Things to do once you enter the house:

  • Check for embers and smoke in the attic and in the crawl space. Check daily for several days after the fire
  • Start a list of things that have been damaged. Damage can occur from fire, smoke, water and chemicals. Take photographs. Don’t throw away damaged belongings or make repairs until you’ve talked to your insurance company.
  • Do not eat food, drink beverages, or take medicine exposed to heat, smoke or soot.
  • Smoke can infiltrate cloth and other materials. Use one to two cups of white vinegar with each load of wash to help rid clothing of the “smoke smell.” Commercial cleaning may be necessary for your drapes, upholstery and carpet.
  • If you leave your home, contact your police department to notify them of the vacant home.
  • Notify your landlord or mortgage company of the damage.
  • Attempt to find important documents and replace them if they were lost. Those items can be:
    • Driver’s license
    • Car registration
    • Titles and deeds
    • Insurance policies
    • Military discharge papers
    • Passports, birth, death and marriage certificates
    • Divorce papers
    • Social security or Medicare cards
    • Credit cards, stocks and bonds
    • Wills
    • Medical records
    • Income tax records
    • Citizenship papers.

Additional Resources:

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