Dealing with the aftermath of a fire is one of the most difficult challenges a property manager may face, and hopefully it isn’t one you’ll ever have to deal with. However, if you are faced with this type of emergency, it’s best to go into it knowing a little bit about which steps to take.
After there’s been a fire on your property, the first thing you should do is contact the insurance company. Do this the moment the fire is out because the sooner you get the process started, the sooner you can finish any necessary repairs.
The insurance company will send someone out to assess the damages and determine the cause of the fire. The firefighters will likely have an opinion about how the fire started, which can put the assessor on the right track. If the fire was caused by tenant negligence, you can go after their insurance company to keep your premiums from increasing. Damage can be extensive. There can be damage from the fire itself, from the smoke, and from the water used to put out the fire. Remember that there also can be damage behind the walls and plumbing damage.
When it comes time for repairs, your insurance company will hire the contractors. Remember that these people are working for the insurance company who likely is trying to minimize cost. Be involved in the process to make sure that everything is replaced with new items that are of similar quality to the damaged items. An insurance company might try to get away with minimum repairs.
A fire can be devastating, but as long as everyone who lives in the property is safe, things can always be replaced and the buildings can always be rebuilt.
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