Post-Fire Checklist

A fire in your home or business can be one of the most tragic events you ever experience. The fire is out, and now you must try to get back to life as usual.

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  • Any windows that were broken, and any holes cut in the roof were for ventilation. Proper ventilation techniques used by firefighters reduce horizontal fire spread in a building and greatly reduce smoke and heat damage.
  • Openings in walls and ceilings are to ensure the fire is completely out. Any hidden embers could reignite later.
  • It is sometimes necessary to disconnect utilities to prevent further damage and to ensure the safety of firefighters.
  • If tarps have been thrown over your possessions, it was to protect them from water and debris. The tarps need to be picked up by the Fire Department as soon as possible to be ready for use again.
  • City codes require the investigation of all fires that harm people or damage property. The Fire Investigator must make a preliminary determination of the cause before the fire area can be disturbed.


  • When entering the building, watch for structural damage caused by the fire. Roofs and floors may be weakened, and the ceilings may fall.
  • Fire can rekindle from hidden, smoldering remains. Be watchful for signs of heat or smoke.
  • Household wiring which may have been water damaged should be checked by an electrician before the electricity is turned back on.
  • Do not attempt to restore electric or gas service that has been disconnected to appliances or to the building. Service may be restored only by a representative of the utility company.
  • It is not permissible to make repairs without permits and inspections by Irving Building Inspectors. Inspections also are required before utility companies can restore service.
  • When practical, firefighters will have done some cleanup in residential properties. Due to the size of most commercial buildings, cleanup assistance from firefighters is not possible. Equipment such as water vacuums can be rented from rental service or home improvement stores.

Additional Questions

Your disaster relief service case worker, the Irving Fire Department or your insurance agent will help you with the many questions you will have in the coming days. In the meantime:

  • Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made. All damages are taken into consideration in developing your insurance claim.
  • Do not contract for an estimate, inventory or repair services without first consulting your insurance agent or adjuster.
  • If you feel that the amount of money offered by your insurance company to pay for your loss is not fair, you have several courses of action:
    • You can ask that the loss be evaluated by appraisers who do not work for your insurance company.
    • You can hire an attorney to represent your best interests.
    • You can file a complaint with the Texas Department of Insurance.

Useful Resources