Securing Yourself and The Site


Contact your local disaster relief service, such as the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army, to help with your immediate needs, such as:

•temporary housing;




•clothing; and

•other essential items.


Contact your insurance agent/company.



Do not enter the damaged site. Fires can rekindle from hidden, smoldering remains.


Normally, the fire department will see that utilities (water, electricity and natural gas) either are safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site. Do not attempt to turn on utilities yourself.


Be watchful for structural damage caused by the fire. Roofs and floors may be damaged and subject to collapse.


Food, beverages, and medicine exposed to heat, smoke, soot, and water should not be consumed.

Leaving Your Home


Contact your local police department to let them know that the site will be unoccupied.


In some cases it may be necessary to board up openings to discourage trespassers.


Beginning immediately, save receipts for any money you spend. These receipts are important in showing the insurance company what money you have spent related to your fire loss, and also for verifying losses claimed on your income tax.AFTER THE FIRE – RETURNING TO NORMAL! 3


If it is safe to do so, try to locate the following items:

•identification, such as driver’s licenses and Social Security cards;

•insurance information;

•medication information;

•eyeglasses, hearing aids, or other prosthetic devices; and

•valuables, such as credit cards, bank books, cash, and jewelry.


Many people/entities should be notified of your relocation, including:

•your insurance agent/company;

•your mortgage company (also inform them of the fire);

•your family and friends;

•your employer;

•your child’s school;

•your post office;

•any delivery services;

•your fire and police departments; and

•your utility companies.


Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made. All damage is taken into consideration in developing your insurance claim.


If you are considering contracting for inventory or repair services, discuss your plans with your insurance agent/company first.AFTER THE FIRE – RETURNING TO NORMAL! 4 Insurance



Give notice of the loss to the insurance company or the insurer’s agent/company.


Ask the insurance company what to do about the immediate needs of the dwelling, such as covering doors, windows, and other exposed areas, and pumping out water.


Ask your insurance agent/company what actions are required of you. Some policyholders may be required to make an inventory of damaged personal property showing in detail the quantity, description, and how much you paid for the items.



Your recovery from a fire loss may be based upon your own resources and help from your community.


Private organizations that may be sources of aid or information:

•American Red Cross;

•Salvation Army;

•religious organizations;

•department of social services;

•civic organizations;

•State or municipal emergency services office; and

•nonprofit crisis counseling centers.




You will encounter different viewpoints on the value of your property in adjusting your fire loss or in claiming a casualty loss on your Federal income tax. Knowing the following terms will help you understand the process used to determine the value of your fire loss:

Your personal valuation


: Your personal loss of goods through fire may be difficult to measure. These personal items have SENTIMENTAL VALUE to you; however, it is objective measures of value that you, the insurer, and the Internal Revenue Service will use as a common ground for discussion. Some of these objective measures are discussed below.

Cost when purchased


: This is an important element in establishing an item’s final value. Receipts will help verify the cost price.

Fair market value before the fire


: This concept is also expressed as ACTUAL CASH VALUE. This is what you could have received for the item if you had sold it the day before the fire. The price would reflect its cost at purchase minus the wear it had sustained since purchase. DEPRECIATION is the formal term used to express the amount of value an item loses over a period of time.

Value after the fire


: This is sometimes called the item’s salvage value.

Restoration Services


There are companies that specialize in the restoration of fire-damaged structures. Whether you or your insurer employs this type of service, be clear on who will pay. Be sure to request an estimate of cost for the work. Before any company is hired, check its references. These companies provide a range of services that may include some or all of the following:


•securing the site against further damage;


•estimating structural damage;


•repairing structural damage;


•estimating the cost to repair or renew items of personal property;


•packing, transportation, and storage of household items;


•securing appropriate cleaning or repair subcontractors; and


•storing repaired items until needed.


St. Louis Park Home Remodeling Minneapolis Fire Damage



Here’s a checklist of documents you will need to replace if they have been destroyed, and who to contact for information on the replacement process.


Driver’s license, auto registration

Bank books (checking, savings, etc.)

Insurance policies

Military discharge papers


Birth, death, and marriage certificates

Divorce papers

Social Security or Medicare cards

Credit cards

Titles to deeds

Stocks and bonds


Medical records


Income tax records

Citizenship papers

Prepaid burial contract

Animal registration papers

Mortgage papers




Department of motor vehicles

Your bank, as soon as possible

Your insurance agent

Department of Veterans Affairs

Passport service

Bureau of Records in the appropriate State

Circuit court where decree was issued

Local Social Security office

The issuing companies, as soon as possible

Records department of the locality in which the property is located

Issuing company or your broker

Your lawyer

Your doctor

Issuing company

The IRS center where filed, or your accountant

U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service

Issuing company

Humane Society

Lending institution