Fire Damage Tips
What items should I keep in my possesion after a fire damage?
How do I keep track of non-restorable items?
We recommend that you make a list of items (including food items) that are determined to be non-restorable. It is best to have a copy for yourself as well as your insurance company.
Do I have to throw food after a fire?
No. however, you will have to be very careful when dealing with food. Throw food if it is burnt or if it has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot. In addition, do not use any canned foods if the can has bulged, is badly dented or has rusted.
You can keep refrigerated food if your refrigerator was not damaged in the fire. Your refrigerator will keep cold for 4 hours if it is well sealed. In case that the power was turned off during the fire and the refrigerator was turned off for more than 4 hours, discard the food.
Frozen food can be used if it still has ice crystals on it and if it still feels cold and hard. Whenever in doubt, discard the food.
Do I need to move out of my property during this process?
This is ultimately your decision. You should consider all safety issues, odors, electricity, noise from equipment, etc. If you are vacating your premises for any length of time, consider the following: forward your mail to your temporary residence, stop newspaper and other deliveries, notify utility company, cable company, etc. of temporary suspension of services.
For more information on fire safety see FEMA’s guide to fire prevention and safety.
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