Common Questions about Fire Damage



  • Report fire damage to your insurance agent.
  • Call a certified restoration company to secure the property and mitigate damages.
  • Document damage with photographs.
  • Do not enter the premises without permission of the Fire Marshall or Building Inspector.
  • Do not attempt to clean soot and smoke-damaged areas with any liquid. Your cleaning could set soot and cause additional damage.
  • Do not touch items without gloves. Oils in your hand can permanently set soot causing irreversible damage.
  • Do not enter the affected areas. Make sure children and pets do not enter the affected areas.
  • Wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment when on the scene and during repair process. The air can be contaminated, debris may be throughout the premises and overhead dangers may be present.
  • Notify your restoration representative immediately of any concerns with items of high sentimental or real value. Survival rates of items that receive immediate restoration attention are much higher.

Take a proactive approach to planning, preparing, and training in the case of fire in your home or business. Manage your risk by checking your smoke alarms at least twice a year and having an evacuation route planned with the appropriate fire escape equipment. In addition to common causes of fire be mindful of the risks associated with spontaneous combustion. 

Will the fire damage be covered by my insurance? Fire often affects contents and the structure. Your policy will address coverage and how it will apply to both structure and contents. A representative from your insurance carrier will be able to answer any questions that you have regarding coverage. A certified restoration firm works with you and your insurance company to make the process as smooth as possible.

What are my responsibilities as an insured? To protect your property from further damage. This may include boarding up the property from weather. A restoration firm can provide all necessary emergency and mitigation services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What if I cannot live/work in my property? Your policy will address available coverage for “Additional Living Expenses” and/or “Loss of Use.” A representative from your insurance carrier will be able to answer any questions that you have regarding coverage. A restoration firm can assist with any of your relocation needs.

How long will the drying equipment be in my property? Drying equipment will be on-site until the area is completely dry. Even though the area may “look” dry ; it may not be dry. A technician from the restoration company monitors your property’s drying process and will keep you informed of the progress.

What products do you use to clean the damage? Restoration companies use a variety of products depending on the circumstances. You may ask your representative to provide you with Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for any products being used in your property. Advise a representative f you or any members of the property have any chemical sensitivities or other health concerns that may be relevant.



Lisa Lavender, Chief Operating OfficerBerks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc.℠