Have you experienced a fire in your condo due to an appliance malfunction or perhaps a fire in the unit above?
At ServiceMaster of Lake Shore, we provide comprehensive condo fire restoration services for residents throughout Chicagoland, so we understand how stressful this situation can be.
We’ve used our knowledge to compile this extensive guide on what to do when Chicago residents and HOAs are faced with condo fire damage.
Let’s dive in.
What to Do Immediately After a Fire in Your Condominium
The period after a condo fire can be chaotic and stressful. Keep calm and follow these steps:
1. Get your family to safety
Even if the damage to your condo was minimal, smoke, soot, and other fire remnants pose multiple health hazards, so it likely won’t be safe to stay in your home.
Smoke inhalation can damage your lungs and cause a variety of health problems.
2. Seek medical attention
Even if you think you’re okay, it’s wise to take your entire family to the doctor for a check-up. If you have pets that were present during the fire, take them to the veterinarian for a complete examination.
3. File an insurance claim
Next, you’ll need to contact your insurance agent to file a claim that addresses your immediate needs.
Some policies offer “loss of use” funds to cover daily expenses like food and gas.
As you receive funds from your insurance policy, keep all your receipts and maintain a detailed record of any purchases you make – even on small items.
You’ll also want to ask your insurance company how they can help you with temporary housing and accommodations.
If your insurance doesn’t cover these things, reach out to friends or family in your area.
4. Call ServiceMaster of Lake Shore
When it’s time to restore your property, you’ll need a team of professionals to help. If you’re in the Chicago area, contact ServiceMaster of Lake Shore.
Our condo fire restoration experts will remove damaged building materials, carpeting, drywall, and belongings and provide extensive restoration services to remove all traces of smoke and soot and return your condo to like-new condition.
5. Make sure your condo is secure
Even if your condo is vacant for the time being, take steps to protect it. Work with your condo’s management staff or HOA to protect the building from further damage by weather or unlawful entry.
6. Obtain a copy of the fire report
Visit your local fire department to get a copy of the fire report for your condo. This document is essential for legal purposes and will help you file further insurance claims.
7. Assess your finances
Even after a condo fire, mortgage payments, car payments, and finances continue.
Take steps to replace any credit or debit cards destroyed in the fire and make arrangements to maintain any existing payment schedules.
8. Replace your belongings
Usually, your insurance policy will cover items destroyed in the condo fire. Most homeowner’s policies, for example, offer a replacement-cost policy.
These policies pay out the actual cash value of damaged items after a settlement and allow you to replace your belongings accordingly.
What are my Rights Under Illinois Condominium law to fix Fire Damage?
Your rights under Illinois law will depend on a few factors.
Currently, the law requires all condo associations in Illinois to provide and maintain various types of fire safety equipment in the common areas of a given property.
Condo Board Members must also ensure that the building they manage complies with local fire safety laws.
This includes having the correct number of fire extinguishers required by the law, installing exit signs and emergency lights in all buildings, and facilitating routine evaluations by a licensed fire safety technician.
If a condo Board or property owner fails to abide by mandated safety requirements, they could face negligence lawsuits on the part of tenants.
To understand your rights under Illinois law, we recommend consulting a local attorney who can review the specific details of your case and provide recommendations.
Dealing with the Aftermath of a Condo Fire in Chicago? We’re Here to Help!
There’s nothing quite like living in a condo. The shared experience, the close relationships with your neighbors, and the strong sense of community are all significant perks. When a fire strikes your condo, though, it can turn life upside down.
Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate the aftermath alone. If you’ve experienced a condo fire, ServiceMaster of Lake Shore is here for you.
Our team tackles condo fires daily in Chicago, downtown Chicago, and the suburbs. We also work closely with HOAs and insurance companies in the wake of a condo fire, as we did after the Park Ridge condo fire.
Our expert condo fire restoration experts are here to provide guidance, comprehensive restoration service, and even help filing an insurance claim after a fire strikes your condo.