A blaze roaring in your Orange County, CA home is not something you ever want to encounter. After ensuring everyone’s safety and calling emergency services, the wait can feel like forever. Once the flames are out, staying calm is essential to begin addressing the fire restoration process. Below are five essential steps to take after a fire.

1. Call Your Insurer

The sooner you make a fire insurance claim, the faster you can get your home back on track. Along with communicating about the loss, it’s important to ask questions on what you can and can’t do. In most cases, agents will request that you do not remove any damaged items. Every insurance policy is different, so having a good understanding of it prior to an emergency situation helps.

2. Document the Damage

Before fire restoration can happen, you need to have a clear understanding of the damage. Taking videos and photos of all affected areas and items can help speed up the claims process and provide better proof regarding reimbursement.

3. Secure the Home

When the fire was put out, there is the potential that windows or doors may need to have been broken. The fire itself may have left a portion of your home exposed. Most insurers require that you protect your property from secondary damage caused after the fire, as well as limit exposure to potential thieves. This often means boarding or tarping up windows and monitoring the home.

4. Call a Certified Professional

Calling a certified water and damage restoration company like JGB Restoration should be your next call. Along with arriving on-site for assessment within 24 hours, certified technicians can take care of most aspects of the restoration process, from smoke cleaning to mold mitigation and rebuilding.

While it may be hard to stay calm in the aftermath of a home fire, keeping a clear head and following the above steps can make the process of fire restoration easier.