The First 24 Hours- Secure Yourself and The Site
After the Fire Strikes
- Contact Garn Restoration, or your local disaster relief service, if you need temporary housing, food, and medicine.
- If you are insured, contact Garn Restoration and we can help you contact your insurance company for detailed instructions on protecting the property. If you are not insured, Garn Restoration can help you try to contact private organizations for aid and assistance.
- Garn Restoration can help you check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Be watchful for any structural damage caused by fire.
- The fire department should see that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site. DO NOT attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.
- Garn Restoration can help you conduct an inventory of damage property and items. Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made.
- Garn Restoration can help you try to locate valuable documents and records. Refer to information on contacts and the replacement process.
- If you leave your home, contact a local police department and let them know the site will be unoccupied.
- Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to fire loss. The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and for verifying losses claimed on income tax.
- Notify your mortgage company of the fire.
Do not enter the damaged site. Fires can rekindle from hidden, smoldering remains.
Normally, the fire department will see the utilities (water, electricity and natural gas) are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site. Do not attempt to turn on utilities yourself.
Be watchful for structural damage caused by fire. Roofs and floors may be damaged and subject to collapse.
Food, beverages and medicine exposed to heat, smoke, soot and water should not be consumed.
Leaving your home:
Contact your local police department to let them know the site will be unoccupied.
In some cases it may be necessary to board up openings to discourage trespassers.
Beginning immediately, save receipts for any money you spend. Theses receipts are important in showing the insurance company what money you have spent related to your fire loss and also verifying losses claimed on your income tax.
If it is safe to do so, Garn Restoration can help you try to locate the following items:
- Identification, such as driver’s licenses and Social Security cards
- Insurance information
- Medication information
- Eyeglass, hearing aids or other prosthetic devices
- Valuables, such as credit cards, bank books, cash and jewelry
There are many people/entities that should be notified of your relocation, including:
- Your insurance agent/company
- Your mortgage company ( also inform them of the fire)
- Your family and friends
- Your employer
- Your child’s school
- Your post office
- Any delivery service
- Any fire and police department
- Out utility companies
Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made. All damages are taken into consideration in developing your insurance claim.
Garn Restoration can help you give notice of the loss to the insurance company or the insurer’s agent/company.
Ask Garn Restoration or your insurance company what to do about the immediate needs of the dwelling, such as covering doors, windows, and other exposed areas, and pumping out water.
Ask the insurance agent/company what actions are required of you. Some policyholders may be required to make an inventory of damage personal property showing in detail the quality, description and how much you paid for the item.
Your recovery from a fire loss may be based upon your own resources and help from your community.
Private organization that may be sources of aid or information:
- Garn Restoration
- American Red Cross
- Salvation Army
- Religious organization
- Department of Social Service
- Civic organization
- State or municipal emergency service office
- Non-profit crisis counseling center
Why are windows broken or holes cut in the roof?
As a fire burns, it moves upward then outward. Breaking the windows and/or cutting holes in the roof (called ventilation) slows the damaging outward movement, helps remove the blinding smoke that obscures the actual fire, and enables firefighters to fight the fire more efficiently. The result of this action is less damage to the structure in the long run.
Why are holes cut in the walls?
This is done so the fire department is absolutely sure the fire is completely out, and that there is no fire inside the walls or other hidden places.
Is it possible to obtain a copy of the fire report?
A fire report is a public document and is available at the fire department or by request through Town Hall.
Valuing Your Property
You will encounter different viewpoints on the value of your property in adjusting your fire loss or in claiming a casualty loss on your federal income tax. Knowing the following terms will help you understand the process used to determine the value of your fire loss:
- Your personal valuation: Your personal loss of goods through fire may be difficult to measure. These personal items have sentimental value to you; however the objective measure of value that you, the insurer, will use a common ground for discussion.
- Cost when purchased: This is an important element in establishing an item’s final value. Receipts will help verify the cost price.
- Fair market value before the fire: This concept is also expressed as Actual Cash Value. This is what you could have received if had sold the item the day before the fire. The price would reflect its cost at purchase minus the wear it had sustained since purchase. Depreciation is the loss over a period of time.
- Value after the fire: This is sometimes called the item’s salvage value.
Garn Restoration is the best source of cleaning and restoring your personal belongings.
- Cooking Utensils
- Electrical Appliance
- Rugs and Carpets
- Leather and Books
- Locks and Hinges
- Walls, Floors, and Furniture
- Wood Furniture
- Money Replacement
- Tax Information
What Garn Restoration will do for you:
- Secure the site against further damage.
- Estimate the structural damage.
- Repair the structural damage.
- Estimate the cost to repair or renew the items of personal property.
- Packing, transporting, and storage of household items.
- Securing appropriate cleaning or repair subcontractors.
- Storing repaired items until needed.