The moments after a fire can be extremely overwhelming for a family. Seeing your home and your personal items damaged can leave you feeling very lost on what to do next. We’ve put together a short list of tips to consider after a fire. Many of these tips are important to help keep your family safe and healthy, as well as to protect your home and personal items from further damage. What to do after a fire: File a claim immediately with your insurance company by contacting your carrier’s claims department Talk to the fire department on scene before entering your home – they will ensure the premise is safe for you to enter Make arrangements for board-up and tarping to secure your home Remove valuables such as jewelry, firearms, credit cards, and cash if you cannot stay in your home after the fire If you incur additional living expenses, keep your receipts This includes, but not limited to: food, clothing, hotel, etc. Contact a restoration company to properly mitigate your loss What not to do after a fire: Enter your home until the fire department has released the scene and deemed it safe to enter If you enter your home, do not disturb the areas affected by the fire – Your insurance company may want to conduct an investigation to determine how the fire started Throw away items or documents from the fire. If these items have not been accounted for, you will not be compensated for them If you enter your home, do not take smoke damaged items out of the home unless they are being transferred to Woodard’s Content Care CenterSM – Items removed from the home and taken with the owner will risk cross contamination Take any food, medication, or toiletries with you – Items that have been contaminated by smoke are not safe to digest or use If at the time of the fire you have further questions or are unsure what to do, talk to your local fire department on scene. They will be able to help you and ensure that your home, personal items, and family are kept safe.