Before, During and After a Fire....Do you know what to do at your New Paltz home?
Do you know what to do in the event of a house fire? Of course, we all hope a fire will never happen to us, but the reality is that there are an estimated 358,500 home fires occur every year . Though they are always alarming situations, planning ahead can go a long way in helping you feel safe and prepared. While practicing general fire safety is best, knowing what to do at every stage is also essential for keeping you and your family safe.
We’ve compiled resources from the National Fire Protection Association and Ready.gov, we’ve assembled a complete overview of preparedness, safety precautions and actions to take after the flames subside:
Before a Fire:
-Ensure the house number is visible from the road and/or on a mailbox for emergency responders to easily see.
-Identify two ways out of each room and create a drawing of the floor plan reflecting escape routes. Review this with every member of your family.
-Agree on an outdoor meeting place for the whole family, such as a neighbor’s mailbox or a visible landmark far from harm.
-Alert any visitors or overnight guests to the plan should an emergency occur.
-If you have young children or family members who have limited mobility, assign them to a “buddy” who can make sure they get out safely. This should always include family pets.
-Make sure all escape routes are free of clutter and easily accessible for all family members. Check on potential obstacles like door locks that might stick or windows that can be an issue for evacuating.
-Take photos of all rooms in your home for when you might need to file an insurance claim.
During a Fire:
-Call 911 as soon as you are able.
-Smoke rises, stay low to the ground to avoid inhalation as much as possible.
-Always feel the door and doorknob for heat to determine if a route is safe (that’s why 2 ways out is so important).
-Open doors with extreme caution in case the fire is just beyond.
-If your clothes catch fire, remember to stop, drop and roll right away.
After a Fire:
-Contact The Red Cross or other local emergency relief service, they have numerous resources to assist in home fires and other emergencies.
-Call your insurance company and a restoration company that is certified is fire and smoke damage restoration.
-Do not go back in the home until the fire department has told you it is safe to. Make sure you have a professional reconnect utilities like electric and gas.
-Take an inventory of all damaged items, as best as you can before cleanup begins. The photos taken before hand will come in handy here, it’s impossible to remember everything you own in a crisis like a house fire.
-Save any receipts for any expenditures accrued due to the fire to submit to your insurance company.
If your home has been damaged in a fire, don’t hesitate to reach out to us 24/7! We are fully certified in fire damage restoration and will respond quickly to damages. We’re here to help and will make a stressful situation "Like it never even happened."