What to Do If Your Business Is Damaged by Fire
If you’re dealing with fire damage to your business, you may be wondering what you’re supposed to do next.
The good new is: fire damage doesn’t have to mean the end of your business. According to statistics from FEMA, more than half of all businesses do re-open after disaster, and for many businesses, fire damage can become an opportunity to emerge stronger -- just like the mythical phoenix who rises from the ashes.
If you too want to rise above a fire disaster, here’s a simplified step-by-step guide for what to do when your business gets damaged by fire:
Call for Professional Cleanup & Restoration Services ASAP
When disaster strikes, you will want to call for professional help immediately. Once you are dealing with the aftermath, things can get very overwhelming, and knowing what steps to take can be elusive.
This is why calling in the professionals at SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch can be the best move at this critical time.
Figure out who is responsible.
Many factors will come into play, including whether you own or lease the building, who or what caused the fire, and how much insurance coverage you have. (Note: some insurance policies only cover the contents of your building, not all the materials actually used to construct your business.)
In many instances, you will need to wait until investigations have been completed by the local fire or police departments and/or your insurance provider. Just make sure to keep the lines of communication open for information and additional instructions.
Make sure to salvage and safeguard all you can.
If the fire has destroyed windows, doors, walls, or your roof, you will need to act quickly to salvage and safeguard any property you can.
Any large holes in your structure should be patched to prevent further damage and minimize the risk of vandalism. This is another reason it’s so important to call for professional cleaning and restoration help as quickly as is possible.
Contact your business stakeholders.
Your next step will be contacting everyone who may be affected by the fire damage. This includes any employees, business partners, or investors. It also includes your customers – make sure to communicate the news about what has happened and tell them about your plans to emerge stronger. Making this open declaration can help your own motivation in such a difficult circumstance!
Also, don’t forget to contact your insurance agent ASAP. Some claims may require an inspection or consultation, and you’ll wanted to get the process started as soon as you can.
In most instances SERVPRO is able to help manage your insurance process and paperwork.
Make sure your documents are in order.
The insurance company will require documentation about your losses, so be sure to gather up your statements and receipts.
Another good tip is to take photos or video footage of the damage, even just using a smartphone. This can be used as evidence for the extent of your losses.
Get back to business as usual.
Once you call fire damage restoration experts, they will be able to assist you in repairing not only damage from fire and smoke, but also any water damage that may have occurred during the firefighting efforts.
The experts of SERVPRO Eatontown / Long Branch are specially trained to mitigate any damage and oversee the entire restoration process, getting you back to business as quickly as we can.