Fire Damage Emergency Tips

What you can do until help arrives

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How to Fill Out an Inventory List After a House Fire

As devastating as losing your belongings in a house fire can be, you may derive some relief from if you you're insured. Your home insurance company will pay to replace what you lost, but it won't just hand over a blank check. You must submit an inventory of everything damaged or rendered useless from the fire in order to receive compensation.

Compiling an inventory of lost items is the first step in replacing your belongings!

Creating a list it isn't always easy however.  Here are some tips to follow:

  • Make a diagram of the house, and label all the rooms. This will help jog your memory about the contents of each room. Draw in furniture and electronic items.
  • Make a list of items that will have to be replaced.
  • Gather photographs and videos that show your home's interior, including images from family get-togethers, holiday events, and birthday parties. Note any possessions in these photographs that are not yet on your list and include them.
  • Visit stores or review pricing online to determine the replacement cost of items on your list. Note these prices on your inventory list.


  • Have more than one person in the family compile a list so you can compare notes and not forget anything.
  • Note model numbers on any of your possessions so you can price items accurately.
  • Make copies of the completed list

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What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

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