You’re never prepared when a devastating fire sweeps through your life.
It happened to us a few months ago, destroying our beautiful store, Ambience Furniture & Fine Gifts.
But alas, we have since re-opened, better than ever!
Still, the things I learned through the aftermath of the fire are worth sharing.
Let me begin my letting you know that we went through a complete renovation of our building just three years ago. All of the required inspections were done, and we were given a green light to occupy the building.
Despite our apparent thoroughness, it was a simple power strip made in China that sparked the blaze.
The fire marshal told my husband and I that it is never advisable to use an extension cord that is more than a year old. He went on to explain that his personal policy is to swap out his Chinese-made power strips once a year, at the same time also changing his smoke detector batteries.
Only use metal power strips in your house. Look for American made; they do exist.
Also, if you own a business, do not store your computer backup system there.
Most importantly, your insurance company is not going to take your word on what was actually in the building that was damaged by a fire.
Take pictures of your contents and what your building looks like. Any new items you bring in, or building improvements you make should be photographed and kept on file – outside of your space.
Save your receipts – also off site.
Oh, and another thing: when you’re buying insurance, kick in for the addition of “replacement value” coverage. It’s worth the extra money!!!
And be patient with your insurance company. The only thing these folks do quickly is request your monthly payment. Otherwise, be prepared to wait for a payout. And wait. And wait.
You never think this will happen to you but, it can. Being prepared is your wisest move. And of course, stay positive. Nothing is ever as awful as it may seem as first glance.