What Should We Do When We've Had a Home Fire?

  1. Stay calm
  2. Remove pets from damaged areas
  3. Open windows, keep a/c or heat off
  4. Remove valuables from home
  5. Call insurance agent
  6. Let us take your worries away

Home Fire Prevention and Safety Tips from the U.S. Fire


More than 3,500 Americans die each year in fires and approximately 18,300 are injured. An overwhelming number of fires occur in the home. There are time-tested ways to prevent and survive a fire. It's not a question of luck. It's a matter of planning ahead.

Every Home Should Have at Least One Working Smoke Alarm

Buy a smoke alarm at any hardware or discount store. It's inexpensive protection for you and your family. Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home. A working smoke alarm can double your chances of survival. Test it monthly, keep it free of dust and replace the battery at least once a year. Smoke alarms themselves should be replaced after ten years of service, or as recommended by the manufacturer.

Prevent Electrical Fires

Never overload circuits or extension cords. Do not place cords and wires under rugs, over nails or in high traffic areas. Immediately shut off and unplug appliances that sputter, spark or emit an unusual smell. Have them professionally repaired or replaced.

Use Appliances Wisely

When using appliances follow the manufacturer's safety precautions. Overheating, unusual smells, shorts and sparks are all warning signs that appliances need to be shut off, then replaced or repaired. Unplug appliances when not in use. Use safety caps to cover all unused outlets, especially if there are small children in the home.

Alternate Heaters

Portable heaters need their space. Keep anything combustible at least three feet away.
Keep fire in the fireplace. Use fire screens and have your chimney cleaned annually. The creosote buildup can ignite a chimney fire that could easily spread.
Kerosene heaters should be used only where approved by authorities. Never use gasoline or camp-stove fuel. Refuel outside and only after the heater has cooled.

Affordable Home Fire Safety Sprinklers

When home fire sprinklers are used with working smoke alarms, your chances of surviving a fire are greatly increased. Sprinklers are affordable - they can increase property value and lower insurance rates.

Plan Your Escape

Practice an escape plan from every room in the house. Caution everyone to stay low to the floor when escaping from fire and never to open doors that are hot. Select a location where everyone can meet after escaping the house. Get out then call for help.

Caring for Children

Children under five are naturally curious about fire. Many play with matches and lighters. Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching your children that fire is a tool, not a toy.

Caring for Older People

Every year over 1,000 senior citizens die in fires. Many of these fire deaths could have been prevented. Seniors are especially vulnerable because many live alone and can't respond quickly.

I cannot thank enough John and his crew for the great work they did at my house. They handled everything to fix my leak. Walls, floor, painting, plumbing. John is really easy to work with. His crew was very professional. The work quality is superb and was done quickly. I highly recommend them.

Veronique S

Water damage cleanup and restoration of my kitchen was done with professional care. John and his team are great!

Latricia G

We had a water leak and had GTR do the restoration afterwards. They replaced our tile floors and repaired some subfloor, resurfaced our hardwood floors, and repainted walls. They were also able to help with some other minor repairs around the house and install a storm door for us. They were very helpful and easy to work with and we love our new floors!

Casie S

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to John, Great Tarheel Restoration, and the crew members that came to repair our house after some interior water damage left us with our kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom torn apart. The incident occurred with the worst timing - the first week that schools were cancelled and people were asked to stay at home due to COVID-19. We were connected with Great Tarheel Restoration through our insurance agency to complete the reconstruction of our first floor. I received a call within the hour from our contractor, John, and he came out to survey the damage the very same day. John and his crew worked with the utmost urgency to complete the job and get us back into our house as soon as possible. We were thankful for his guidance during what was, and still is, a scary time for all of us. Our house looks amazing and the work was top quality. We highly recommend this company for all of your restoration needs.

Erin C

I had water damage to my hardwoods, due to my neighbor's pipe bursting in the winter. I was referred to Great Tarheel Restoration through my insurance and I am so glad I chose to work with them. Marty and John are professional, reliable, and their team does quality work. They gave me a timeline on how long the work would take and with inclement weather, still got the job done in a timely manner. They are extremely honest and offered to replace my sink pedestal which was cracked when they moved it back in the house. I highly recommend you give them a call. Thank you Marty and John!

Gillian M

Working with John at GTR was a great experience. He was very transparent and detail oriented in the planning phase, and his team was fast to deliver a quality renovation after my house had water damage. When I had questions or concerns he addressed them quickly and clearly which gave me confidence mov forward. I would recommend GTR to anyone.

Jordan R

Great experience with this company...twice! We had two unfortunate incidents within a year and a half. When the second occurred, we insisted our insurance company connect us with Great Tarheel again. They did an excellent job with the restoration work and an amazing job accommodating the improvements/upgrades we wanted to make. Communication was excellent, price estimates were right on target, good group of guys to have working in your house, all around great experience.

Ruth P

This company rebuilt our house in Mebane about four years ago. They handled the entire project without a hitch. The completed project was better than the original home. Good job guys!

Lina M