5 Tips for Recovering After a House Fire

Updated October 19, 2011
smoke damage
If your home is damaged due to smoke or water, professionals can usually help restore it back to its original state. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Andrew R.)

House fires are a disaster that no one wants to experience. Learn the steps to help limit further damage to your home after a fire and to get through the claims process.

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

House fires are a disaster that no one wants to experience. Sustaining water and smoke damage or having your home completely destroyed by a fire is a common fear among homeowners, especially in areas prone to wildfires like Colorado and California.

In high-risk areas, residents are often required to have homeowner's insurance for water and smoke damage resulting from fire. While insurance companies are prepared to help you if you are an unlucky victim of such a disaster, you can take some common steps during the claims process to make the recovery process as quick as possible and prevent further unwanted damage.

Don’t re-enter your home

Gain permission from the fire marshal before going back into the dwelling after a fire. Re-entering your home without permission could void certain aspects of a home insurance policy.

Prevent further damage

Once you can go back into your home, ventilate the area properly to help it dry out.

Gather information

The insurance company will need information to help determine the cost of your property damages. You'll want to include a police report, list of items that were destroyed, a description of the condition of the home and other items that you want to claim.

Evaluate the situation

You may need money from your insurance company for basic items like clothing, a hotel room and transportation if your home is completely destroyed.

File the claim as soon as possible

Policies usually require homeowners to report their losses right after the incident. You can do this by calling the agent on your policy and notifying him or her of the incident before you file a proper claim.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.