Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Text Size

Buy a New Toothbrush

ToothbrushYou receive a panicked call from a policyholder telling you that they have had a fire in their home… what should you tell them? Obviously, each of you has a procedure that you follow which includes making sure everyone is okay, gathering as much detailed information from them as possible about the damage and offering them suggestions on what to do next. Beyond that, we find that there are several very important “little” things to do, and not to do, that most people don’t think about.

Have you ever instructed your insured who’s had a fire, smoke or soot event in their home not to use their toothbrush? From our experience, the answer is probably no. Think about it - soot, smoke and heat can do tremendous damage to many things in your home, including causing the settling of soot on an exposed toothbrush in the bathroom. The last thing someone should do is put something in their mouth that has been exposed to soot. It sounds pretty logical once you think about it, and probably causes you to cringe, too. The same advice can be given for hairbrushes, dentures left in a glass in the bathroom to soak, and even medication. We urge you to counsel your policyholders on these types of items for their own well being. For the most part, common sense guides what should be used or replaced after a fire event. In the case of medications, refer your policyholder to their doctor or pharmacist so that they can be made aware of the event that has occurred. Severe heat can cause damage to both over-the-counter and prescribed medications. Once the fire department has deemed it safe for them to return to the property, have the policyholder collect their medications from the home and contact their medical professional prior to ingestion.

We hope that you never get one of these phone calls, but if you do, let common sense prevail. For a few other guidelines you may want to offer to your policyholder:

  • Don’t try to turn on electrical appliances as they too may have been damaged by heat.
  • Electrical appliances all have fans for cooling purposes; turning on even a laptop computer before it is properly cleaned runs the risk of pulling soot particles through the machine.
  • Remove all valuables, jewelry, cash, check and bank books.
  • Remove all firearms, weapons and ammunition, once cleared by the fire department.

If important documents are damaged or destroyed, contact your:

  • Mortgage holder
  • Credit card companies
  • Banks for checking and saving accounts
  • Post office to hold or redirect mail
  • Social Security Administration
  • Driver’s License Bureau
  • Children’s school(s)

Also contact the newspaper to stop delivery; as well as utility companies and delivery services (bottled water, frozen food, etc.)

Retain receipts for any out of pocket expenses incurred following the damage. The receipts will be required by the insurance company.

Don’t throw anything away until all items are inventoried as non-restorable.

Company News

  • Continuing Education Notification Signups RestorePro's continuing education classes are ready and will begin being scheduled throughout the year.  If you are interested in being notified about upcoming dates, please signup for CE class notifications...
  • IICRC and RestorePro Announce WRT Certification The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and RestorePro announce the following certification: Water Restoration Technician (WRT) Donald Giles, WRT RestorePro remains...
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3


  • Beware: Health Effects of Water Damage Water damage events happen more often than the average person realizes.  There are very real health risks associated with water damage; risks that can be effectively minimized or substantially increased,...
  • Buy a New Toothbrush You receive a panicked call from a policyholder telling you that they have had a fire in their home… what should you tell them? Obviously, each of you has a procedure that you follow which includes making...
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
Follow us on: RestorePro on Facebook RestorePro on Twitter

Remote Support Tool Download