No one expects to have to deal with a terrifying and traumatic ordeal such as a fire in their home, but it can happen much easier than you might think. All it takes is some faulty wiring, a candle placed too close to a curtain or some other fabric furnishing, a lump of hot coal falling or being spat out of the fireplace, or a stove being left on by accident. As much as you might take precautions to avoid all of these incidents, sometimes mistakes happen. So, if you are ever in this unfortunate position, what should you do?
Get Out of the House
When there is a fire in your home, your first instinct is to put it out. For smaller fires, it might be easy to extinguish them quickly, but for circumstances where your attempts fail or the fire is simply too big for you to try to tackle yourself, you must get out of the house. The temptation to gather up valuable and sentimental objects might be strong, but don’t do this. Fires can spread very quickly, and if you stay too long, you’re at risk of passing out due to smoke inhalation.
Call the Fire Department
As soon as you and everyone else in the house are outside and at a safe distance, the next job is to call the fire department. If you have your phone on you, then great; if not, ask a neighbor to do this for you or use a payphone if there is one nearby. If you’re concerned that anyone is injured or suffering from smoke inhalation, call the paramedics as well so they can be checked out and taken to hospital if need be. Stay a safe distance away from the burning building, and urge your neighbors to vacate their property if you live in a terraced home or an apartment block.
Call Your Insurance Provider
Once the fire has been extinguished and everyone is safe, you will need to notify your home insurance provider about the incident. They will probably need to wait for a report from the fire department until they can pay anything out to you, but the sooner you tell them what happened, the quicker the process. If you don’t have home insurance, you need to get this as soon as possible in order to keep your property safe from potential scenarios like this. Look at this firm that offers home insurance in Montreal as an example of what you should be getting.
Find a Place to Stay
If the fire hasn’t caused significant structural damage, you might be able to return to your home once the fire has been put out and it has been declared safe by the fire department. However, if you can’t get back into your property, you will need to find somewhere else to stay. This might need to be a hotel, or ask a close friend or relative who lives nearby if they can let you stay with them until this issue is resolved.
Hopefully, you will never have to deal with a fire in your home, but it’s important to be prepared and to know what steps you should take if this ever does happen to you.