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What to do after a loss?
Contact the Appropriate Fire or Police Departments
Contact the Claims Department to Report Your Claim
Prevent Additional Damages with Care
- Keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging due to retained water.
- If electricity is still on, do not enter rooms where standing water is present.
- Do not use any electrical equipment/appliances while standing on wet carpet or floors, particularly if the floor is concrete.
- Watch for broken power lines, shattered glass, splintered wood or other sharp objects.
Important Immediate Steps:
Inspect property, Report to applicable police or fire departments, Prevent additional damages, Retain, Inventory and Photograph damaged property:
- INSPECT: Do a physical visual inspection of your Home and Property to reveal all damaged property.
- REPORT: Report missing or stolen property immediately to local law enforcement agencies and obtain the police report number.
- PREVENTATIVE REPAIRS: Don’t make expensive, permanent repairs prior to a claim representative’s inspection.
- RETAIN: Retain all damaged property so your claims representative can inspect it.
- INVENTORY: Make a list of all damaged or stolen property
- PHOTOGRAPH: Take photographs of all damage.
Prevention of Additional Damages:
It is important for you to take steps to prevent further damage to your home, such as making temporary repairs. Further damage may be prevented as follows:
- Cover any holes in the roof, lock all doors and windows, and block any other openings.
- Try to salvage property by thoroughly cleaning smoke or water-damaged items.
- Have a professional restore gas and electric utilities; don’t handle this yourself.
- Change the filters before turning on the air conditioning.
- Until the air ducts can be cleaned, place double layers of cheesecloth over all air registers to reduce the spread of soot.
- Use an undamaged vacuum cleaner (one that hasn’t been exposed to extreme heat, fire or water) to remove loose smoke particles from drapes, carpet and upholstery.
- Touching walls or woodwork with sooty hands can cause further damage, so remember to keep your hands clean.
- A light coating of petroleum jelly or light oil will clean and protect chrome trim on appliance and bath fixtures.
- If electricity is off, empty your refrigerator and freezer. Prop the doors open for ventilation.
- Don’t wash walls or painted surfaces. Hire a professional who will use the proper chemicals for best results.
- Treat smoke damaged garments with care. Improper cleaning may fail to remove smoke odor or, worse, permanently set it into the fabric.
- When possible, efforts should be made to remove any standing water or moisture.
- To release water from the ceiling, use a nail on the end of a stick to poke a small hole at the edge of the sag. Don't poke at the center of the sag since the ceiling could collapse. Repeat this process working toward the center of the sag until all of the water drains.
- Test for water trapped in walls by removing the baseboard and poking small holes in the wallboard about two inches above the floor. If water drains, cut or drill holes large enough for it to flow freely.
- Open (do not force) windows, doors, cabinets and drawers to help with the drying process.
- Remove loose items and cushions from wood furniture, and then wipe all excess water from wood.
- Put wax paper, coasters or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Unplug all damaged property.
- Do not attempt to use the damaged property again.
- Have an electrician inspect the breaker panel and areas where the Lightning came into the home to reveal damage to your home’s circuitry.
Theft and/or Vandalism Claims
- Report any theft to the local police immediately
- Report any missing credit cards, debit cards or checks to the appropriate banks and credit card companies.
- Board up broken windows and fix broken locks to dissuade further break-ins.
- Cover holes in the roof, walls, or windows with boards, tarp, or plastic sheeting to prevent additional damage.
- Unplug appliances in home if power is off as power surges may damage property when power is restored.
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