Fire & Smoke Damage

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Fire Damage

  • In 2019, property damage caused by residential fires was estimated at $14.8 billion
  • An average of 358,500 homes experience a structural fire each year (NFPA).
  • The top three causes of residential fires are cooking (50% of all fires), heating equipment (12.5%), and electrical malfunction (6.3%).

What Happens During a House Fire?

There are many different degrees of damage that can happen during a fire, from complete destruction of a property (and the corresponding business inventory) to more minor smoke damage, which can occur even if the fire was put out fairly quickly. Fire damage can affect your structure and personal property in many different ways from the direct burning directly caused by the flames to the smoke damage and other corrosive substances emitted by a fire.

Water damage and structural damage from the firefighter’s effort to put out the fire can also occur and be nearly as severe as the original fire, if not more so. These types of damages can also destroy inventory and your ability to operate your business as usual – or at all. If residential it can lead to not being able to stay living in your home.

Being Prepared for a House Fire

As a property owner, you should take all precautions in being prepared for a fire. This starts with documenting as much of your property and other assets as possible with photos and videos, and backing up that documentation in several locations – your hard drive, the cloud, a flash drive in a safe place not on your property, etc. Having a fire evacuation plan for yourself and your employees, ensuring that your business has commercial fire insurance and wildfire insurance where applicable, and understanding how a public adjuster can help you are all essential aspects of being prepared in the event of a fire in your commercial or residential property. Know that insurance companies consider there to be two types of fires – “accidental” and “incendiary.” Accidental covers a wide range from a cigarette in bed to misuse of a space heater. An incendiary fire is one that is intentionally set whether by the named insured or someone else. This should not be confused with a “Hostile” fire, a fire that escapes its intended place and purpose. An example would be a fireplace or a BBQ grill that leads to property damage.

Don't battle your insurance company without consulting a public adjuster.
You could be leaving a significant amount of compensative reward money on the table.