Ten Steps to Take After a Fire

October 15, 2020

The news of houses burning in California also happens in Delaware. According to the Delaware Public Media, The Glass Fire burning in Northern California wine country has forced thousands from their homes, among them the residents of a tiny home village, built to help people transition out of homelessness. For those who’ve spent years — or decades — on the streets, it’s a traumatic displacement. Do you know the ten steps to take after a fire?

Authorities are investigating a house fire in Bear, Delaware, that left seven people injured.

Locally, the State Fire Marshal’s office says the blaze was reported shortly before midnight Saturday at a two-story house in Bear.

There were two occupants of the home hospitalized in critical condition. Firefighters reported five others were in good condition.

The estimated damage was $300,000.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration of FEMA, on average, 1,000 homes catch fire every day. A home fire in Delaware can be devastating to a family. Not only can a family lose everything, but there’s the disruption of everyday life, possible guilt, and grief, not to mention the potential loss of loved ones.  There is one critical step to take before a fire: have working smoke alarms! There are ten steps to take after a fire.

There are Ten Steps to Take After a Fire:

  1. Be Safe, Be Smart – It is normal to want to enter the house as quickly as possible to see the damage for yourself and retrieve your valuables. Please wait until the professionals tell you it is ok.
  2. Know who to call – It is your responsibility to contact your insurance agent. This is a priority. Calling your insurance agent starts all the paperwork to establish a claim. Call relatives. Call the Red Cross who helps families like yours.
  3. Check Your Family for Shock – a fire is very traumatic. Everyone will process the loss differently. Get immediate help or counseling.
  4. Establish a home base – One of the ten steps to take after a fire: try to get back to a routine as quickly as possible. You will need temporary housing, clothing, essential bathroom items, medicines, school clothes for children, etc. Be sure to document everything to be reimbursed by your insurance company. You may even need to ask for a draw on your policy for the basics.
  5. Get a copy of the fire report – A fire report will discuss where in the house the fire occurred, the time of the incident, the date of the incident, and the incident number if it comes through a fire department.
  6. Secure the property – one of the ten steps to take after a fire. The insurance company will require this.
  7. Keep track of all your expenses and correspondence regarding your loss. A three-ring binder is a handy way to document the process.
  8. Coordinate with your insurance company the work needed to restore your home from fire, smoke, and water damage.
  9. Last, many people decide not to live in the house again. They take the cash from the insurance company and move on. However, city ordinances, for safety reasons, require the house either be repaired or torn down
  10. Ensure that your house or apartment has a smoke detector, and for very little money you can add a carbon monoxide detector. These simple items can and will save your life.

Jane Perillo


2700 Kirkwood Highway

Newark, DE 19711
(302) 995-2535

(302) 995-2550 fax

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