What to Do After a Business Fire
Knowing what to do after a business fire is essential for a business owner with a physical business location, as business fires are unexpected and costly, and therefore a terrible situation to deal with.
No matter how much you prepare for a fire disaster by ensuring that your commercial establishment is fully compliant with building codes and having fire detectors, alarms, sprinkler systems, and fire suppression equipment, a fire could break out when you least expect it.
Knowing this inevitable fact, it’s critical that you know what to do in case such an incident occurs. This information below will help you be ready to act quickly and prepare in advance for the necessary response mechanisms to recover your losses and bring your business back to normal running as soon as possible.
Here is our guide on what to do after a business fire:
Document everything. One of the first things you must do following a fire incident at your business is to document everything – the actual damages on your business, the expenses you incurred to clean up and restore things, and the people who talk to concerning what happened to your establishment (like witnesses and first responders).
You will need such documentation when filing your insurance claim and making a report with local police and fire investigators.
Review your insurance policy. It’s important to quickly revisit your insurance policy so you’ll know everything you need to do to facilitate your insurance claim.
This will prevent second-guessing and keep you on track with the requirements to guarantee a smooth filing of a claim and speedy awarding of insurance privileges. This will be critical in helping your business bounce back quickly from this temporary setback.
Inform your insurance provider. You have to immediately contact your insurance provider to inform them about the fire incident.
Keep in mind that delaying this step could be construed by the insurance company as an attempt to stall investigation proceedings, which could then affect your claim.
Be prepared to present pertinent documents like the police report, photographs of the fire’s aftermath, and the notes that you have containing statements from witnesses and responders.
Consider hiring a public adjuster, if necessary. Not everything could go on your way in terms of the damages that your insurance provider could cover.
If you think that you’re getting the shorter end of the stick, you should consider hiring a certified public adjuster to try negotiating with your insurance provider, so you’ll get the best possible coverage for the damages your business incurred from the fire incident.
Contact the property owner (if you’re a tenant). Whether or not the property owner got wind of the incident, you should still take the initiative of informing him or her about the matter.
Cleaning Up After a Grease Fire
This is not only a matter of courtesy but also a simple way of showing good faith on your part, especially if you suspect negligence on your part or of your employees.
Secure your space. Getting your business establishment razed to the ground is bad enough, falling victim to robbers afterward is worse. You should hire a contractor specializing in property protection to prevent burglars from ransacking your damaged property.
Additionally, your establishment will be at the mercy of the elements like rain, so you have to put tarpaulins or tents to protect what’s left from potential water damage.
If you have money to spare, you should also consider hiring a security firm to man your property or leased space until such time that investigations are done, and you have fully cleaned it up before restoration.
Update your utility providers to have their service temporarily cut off. You wouldn’t want to pay for services that you don’t utilize right? Some service providers charge a flat fee regardless of actual usage.
With this, you have to immediately call them up to have your electricity, water, and gas connections cut while you’re sorting things out.
Retrieve any valuables still lying around. The fire might have missed some valuables that you have in your business establishment, so be sure to retrieve them and store them in a safe place.
You should not have furniture pieces or electronic devices in plain sight as they could only prompt would-be thieves to deliver a double whammy.
Contact business partners, credit card companies, banks, suppliers, and clients. It might be too much for you to handle but you should gather your wits and establish contact with key people related to your business.
These would include your business partners (if any), credit card companies or banks, suppliers, and clients. Keeping them informed about your situation will come a long way in addressing whatever questions or anxieties they may have.
By doing so, you could also negotiate payment extensions with your lending providers or suppliers, as well as ensure that you won’t end up alienating and losing your loyal clients.
Hire a competent restoration company. Suffering from a business fire should not discourage you from moving forward with your enterprise. One of the final steps in knowing what to do after a business fire is to hire a restoration company with a solid track record for fire cleanup and restoration.
Your property restorer will be instrumental in cleaning up your property and procuring the needed materials for the restoration job at hand.
Still Don’t Know What to Do After a Business Fire? Call Five Star Restoration
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Our company is certified and licensed to handle projects involving the restoration of properties that have suffered water, mold, fire, and smoke damage, as well as board up services. We can also handle projects involving crime scenes and trauma cleanup.
Our 24/7 emergency services mean that we are always ready to serve clients with an emergency in their homes or businesses.
Our certified team of restorers includes people with decades’ worth of experience taking care of water, fire, and mold property repair and restoration.
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Want to know more about our offered services? If you do, don’t hesitate to contact us today at 951.368.2227. We’d be more than glad to answer any questions and help you out with your restoration needs.
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