One day, your business is booming. The next, you’re staring at its charred remains. The fire that broke out destroyed everything and you have no idea how your business will bounce back from it.
It can’t with that attitude. You’ve got to buck up and get the fire recovery process going as soon as the fire trucks leave the scene and the last flame is extinguished. The longer you wait, the harder it’s going to be for a service to come in and repair all the damage.
Check out this guide to learn all the steps you should take after suffering from a commercial fire.
1. Document Every Little Thing
Fire damage cleanup is hectic and stressful. It’s understandable for you to call the same employee more than once on accident to inform them about the incident. Reduce your stress by documenting every little thing you do.
When you call someone, write it down. When you buy or spend money on anything concerning the fire damage restoration efforts, keep the receipts so you can try to get reimbursed later.
It might be tough considering all the work you put into your business, but when things have died down, you’ll need to go in and take pictures of the damage. You’ll have to give your insurance company proof if you want to get the full amount you need to clean things up and get repairs underway.
These pictures may also be helpful in court later if the situation comes to that. Written evidence can be a powerful thing but pictures provide physical proof so, they’re even more powerful.
2. Call Your Insurance Company
Now that you’ve gotten your proof, it’s time to call your insurance company. They’re the first ones you want to get in touch with after the fire trucks leave the scene. The sooner you report the incident, the sooner you can get the money you need to start fixing things.
They can also point you in the direction of a fire damage restoration company so you can schedule an inspection and cleanup. They may even call one for you and get the process started if they’re feeling generous.
3. Secure Your Property
If you leave your property unsecured, vandals will take advantage. They’ll rush in and take anything that isn’t damaged. There are a couple of things you can do to protect your commercial building.
The first thing is to patch up any holes created by the fire with boards. The second thing you should do is call the police. Someone will be sent over to watch over your business and stop anyone from entering who shouldn’t enter.
4. Have Your Utilities Turned Off
Have all your utilities temporally turned off. Gas, water, and electricity can cause further damages if left unchecked. You can head to the meter to turn off your electricity and gas.
Water has to be shut off using the main valve. Even though you’ve shut everything off, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Call your utility company and have them stop everything.
There’s now no chance of further damage happening and you’re not paying for services that you won’t be using until you get your business going again.
5. Call a Fire Damage Cleanup Crew
Everything has been cleared with your insurance company. It’s time to recover your business by calling a fire damage cleanup crew. Their job is to sweep up all the ash, make repairs, and get your business standing strong again.
They’ll come in and take notes regarding all the damage. Once they’re done with their walkthrough, you’ll be handed a written estimate and a contract. Read over the contract and if everything looks good, sign it. If everything doesn’t look good well, follow these steps to find a new company.
Check Their Credentials
Always check a company’s credentials. They have to have a license in order to clean up your business. You should also make sure that the employees got their training from a reputable program.
Ask if the company has insurance. You’re already paying to fix your business. You don’t want to have to pay extra money because a worker was harmed on the job.
If one of your family members or friends have gone through a similar process, ask them what restoration company they used. If you don’t know anyone who’s been through a fire, ask around in your community.
When you call a restoration company that you’re interested in, you can request for them to send you a few referrals. This way you can talk to actual people who’ve worked with them before.
6. Call Any Affected Party
Chances are, your employees are going to have to be out of work while everything is being fixed. You need to call each and every one of them to give them the news so they can start planning financially.
If you lease your building, you should get in contact with the landlord as soon as you get off the phone with your insurance company.
7. Get an Investigation Going
Get an investigation going so you can figure out who or what caused the fire to break out. The information found might be able to help you with filing your claim.
If it turns out the fire was caused by another person, you can find out who it was and take them to court. If you win, you’ll get a little extra money that you can put toward the recovery efforts.
Use These Fire Recovery Tips to Save Your Business
Watching the business you worked so hard to create burn to the ground is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to witness. It will make you feel hopeless. Like you’ll never bounce back.
We’re here to tell you that you can if you start the fire recovery process as soon as the flames die down. Use these tips to rise from the ashes.
If you work out of your home, a fire will be even more devastating than it already is. Check out our blog for ways to decorate and revitalize your house after everything is said and done.