Homeowners in the Okanagan: Here’s your fire damage game plan


In the summertime, the spectacular Okanagan region of British Columbia attracts sun-seekers and wine-lovers from around the world. The dry hills, radiant heat and sparkling landscape is irresistible to tourists – and forest fires – alike.

Man-made forest fires are one of the Okanagan’s most damaging and irritating party crashers in the summer time.  Over the past eleven years, several devastating fires have ripped through the region, including the 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park fire that destroyed more that 230 homes.

From Apex Mountain to Smith Creek, more and more areas across Kelowna, Penticton, Peachland,Vernon and Salmon Arm are impacted by forest fires every summer. “Evacuation plan” is entering just about every Okanagan resident’s vocabulary.

Fire damage is a frightening threat, one which comes with a seemingly endless tangle of repercussions for those affected by it. And that’s why it’s so critical to have a game plan for addressing fire damage, especially if you’re a homeowner in the Okanagan.

That’s why we’ve put together this simplified 12-step plan for dealing with the aftermath of fire damage to your property.  Get your life back on track quickly and with less stress with the help of Total Restoration Services!

Get the fire department’s OK before entering the building

All you want to do is get in there to see how bad the damage is. But please, for your own safety, do not enter your home until after receiving explicit permission from the fire department. Even if the damage appears minor from the outside, essential structures could be compromised.

Contact your insurance agent/company

It’s important to immediately establish what is and is not covered under your home insurance policy. From there, you can begin the process of restoration based on the support and resources that are available to you.

3. Contact your restoration services company

With your insurance policy information in hand, you are now ready to contact your restoration services provider and explain your situation. Be sure to recruit a restoration company with 24/7 emergency response, so your fire damage can be assessed and action can be taken as soon as possible.

4. Take pictures, make lists

If you get permission to enter the home, bring your smart phone with you and take pictures of the damage in order to have proof to cross-reference with your insurance agent/company. With or without entering the home, you should also make a list of items you anticipate damaged by the fire. Include item costs in your lists.

5. Arrange for temporary accommodations 

After an assessment from your restoration services provider, you will be given an estimate for how many days it will take to make your home livable again. This will help you decide where to go in the meantime – a close friend or family member’s home, or a hotel, for example.

6. Call these people

First on your notification list after the smoke has settled: your mortgage lender, your doctor (if you require essential prescription medicine that was destroyed in the fire), your credit card companies, utility providers and any other lending institutions.

7. Get back to your life

Follow through with the steps outlined above, and you will feel a sense of control over the situation. The consequences of fire damage are often challenging; having a game plan for recovery is a valuable way to take back control of your life.


Total Restoration Services Inc. is ready for your call

Despite the summer-long devastation in the Okanagan, the event of a home fire is still rare. But in the unlikely event that you do experience fire damage to your home, it helps to know who to turn to first.

When it comes to immediate fire damage restoration services in Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton, we have you covered.