Residential FAQs

Property Loss Booklet

  1. Who is FirstOnSite?
  2. What services does FirstOnSite provide?
  3. Does FirstOnSite provide its services in the area where I live?
  4. What is Disaster Restoration?
  5. Who should I call when I have an emergency loss or damage to my property?
  6. Why should I call FirstOnSite?
  7. Can I indicate to my insurance company that FirstOnSite is my preferred choice?
  8. How fast will FirstOnSite respond to an emergency claim?
  9. What can I expect once FirstOnSite arrives?
  10. Do I leave equipment running?
  11. Who are the Restoration Representatives that will be working in my home?
  12. How long will the restoration process take?
  13. What happens to my belongings that were affected by the loss?
  14. Can my electronic items be restored?
  15. What is so special about FirstOnSite’s Esporta Wash System® and Ultrasonic cleaning equipment?
  16. Can you remove the odour?
  17. Will my home be safe for my family after restoration?
  18. What do I need to do after initial emergency repairs have been completed?
  19. What will I be charged for all the work that FirstOnSite did?
  20. Does FirstOnSite warranty its work?
  21. How will FirstOnSite ensure my satisfaction?
  22. Do you do repairs and restoration for businesses?


1. Who is FirstOnSite?

FirstOnSite is Canada’s largest independent disaster restoration company.

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2. What services does FirstOnSite provide?

FirstOnSite provides disaster restoration and reconstruction services to Canadian homeowners in times of emergency.

FirstOnSite will respond to contain any initial structural damage during the emergency mitigation phase and work to recover or restore your treasured contents, including photographs, documents, furniture, clothing and electronics. We offer homeowners and insurers the peace of mind that we’ll put things right – quickly and professionally.

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3. Does FirstOnSite provide its services in the area where I live?

FirstOnSite has coast-to-coast locations, and serves the majority of the urban and rural areas of Canada. Contact us to find the location nearest you.

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4. What is Disaster Restoration?

Disaster Restoration is the process of quickly and professionally mitigating, containing or reducing the effects of emergency events. These events could be caused naturally, accidentally or criminally and include:

  • Storm, hurricane or tornado damage
  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Flooding or water intrusion, mould
  • Wind, hail or snow damage
  • Break-and-enter, vandalism, vehicle impacts
  • Mishaps that may have an environmental impact

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5. Who should I call when I have an emergency loss or damage to my property?

Feel free to call FirstOnSite directly. Our staff is fully trained to assist you in determining the best course of action for your situation. Our national hotline (1.877.778.6731) is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If you are the homeowner:

FirstOnSite will gladly help you navigate the path to putting things right. We can immediately help mitigate the damage as well as help you contact your insurance provider, advise you on what information you will need to initiate a claim, and help guide you through the process.

We have prepared a useful guide for homeowners who find themselves in a situation like this.

Download our booklet, or ask your broker for a copy.

If you are a tenant:

Your first step should be to contact your property owner. It is typically the property owner’s insurance policy that will cover damages to the actual dwelling. Call our hotline (1.877.778.6731) or contact your local FirstOnSite office if you have specific questions.

Unfortunately, if you did not arrange or acquire a separate “Tenant’s Insurance” policy, it is likely that repairing, restoring or replacing any affected items/contents will be at your own expense.

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6. Why should I call FirstOnSite?

FirstOnSite is a “Preferred Restoration Provider” for many national, regional and local insurance companies. Preferred Restoration Providers are companies that have been duly assessed and qualified by an insurance company or its agents as being able to:

  • Consistently provide a high workmanship standard
  • Quickly and professionally mitigate emergency losses
  • Have the means to restore your property to pre-loss condition
  • Have the means to restore affected content within your property

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7. Can I indicate to my insurance company that FirstOnSite is my preferred choice?

Absolutely! All policy holders retain the right to request a specific mitigation and/or restoration provider. Since FirstOnSite has national coverage and is a “Preferred Restoration Provider” for many national, regional and local insurance companies, feel free to tell your insurance company or adjuster of your FirstOnSite preference.

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8. How fast will FirstOnSite respond to an emergency claim?

An experienced FirstOnSite Mitigation Professional will contact you within 30 minutes once your claim is assigned to us. The Mitigation Professional will confirm the details of the situation with you and begin taking appropriate actions to deal with your loss. The Mitigation Professional will make arrangements to visit the site as quickly as possible after being assigned the claim, as well as initiate the dispatch and mobilization of appropriate mitigation personnel and equipment.

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9. What can I expect once FirstOnSite arrives?

Once the Mitigation Professional arrives, he/she will:

  • Provide you with a brochure that introduces you to FirstOnSite and share contact information
  • Confirm coverage and policy limits with the adjuster, if required
  • Ask you to sign a Work Authorization that permits FirstOnSite to immediately begin the loss mitigation process
  • Gather, prepare and take all required photographs, documentation and measurements required by the adjuster
  • Introduce you to the Mitigation Crew Leader who will manage the team working in your home
  • Provide you with a detailed explanation of what to expect over the coming hours or days
  • Remain with the Mitigation Crew at (or attend) your site until the cause(s) of your damages has/have been appropriately dealt with and the chances of further damage are minimized/eliminated
  • Arrange the careful handling or removal of contents affected by the loss or that would hinder or prohibit the mitigation and/or restoration process, if applicable
  • In the case of water-related losses, install drying and dehumidification equipment which will remain in place until it is determined, via daily moisture and humidity readings, that the environment has been dried/dehumidified to industry standards

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10. Do I leave equipment running?

Air movers and dehumidifiers are not heaters and have been designed and maintained to run 24 hours a day while in use. The amount of dehumidification equipment and its placement is determined by testing humidity levels at various points within your home. We highly recommended you do not attempt to turn off or move equipment unless it is pre-arranged with one of our technicians.

We conduct frequent inspections of the drying process and relocate equipment as necessary to dry your home safely. Any interruption in the drying process due to shutting off equipment could result in increased costs and delays. If there is a power problem, please contact your Mitigation Crew Leader immediately.

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11. Who are the Restoration Representatives that will be working in my home?

Our technicians are professionals who have been carefully screened during the hiring process to ensure our team is comprised of intelligent and caring individuals. We take pride in the fact that our team members are multi-certified and highly trained in all areas of their work.

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12. How long will the restoration process take?

We do our best to establish a time frame in the first 24 hours, taking into consideration:

  • Need for structural repairs
  • Type and degree of loss
  • Emergency situation

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13. What happens to my belongings affected by the loss?

Generally, all affected and restorable contents are carefully removed and shipped to a secured FirstOnSite facility for storage, restoration and/or further assessment. Once there, FirstOnSite will attempt to restore affected items to a pre-loss condition, using state-of-the-art equipment (such as Esporta Wash System® and Ultrasonic cleaning equipment) and/or other highly successful restoration processes.

An initial survey and testing procedure will help us make recommendations as to whether cleaning and/or restoration efforts will yield the best value. Technology is always improving, enabling us to restore a wide variety of contents. We take into consideration the sentimental value of an item, as well as its replacement cost, when making recommendations.

All restored goods will be returned to you at a convenient time. Any content that did not respond to FirstOnSite’s restoration processes will be documented and photographed for further assessment by you and the adjuster.

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14. Can my electronic items be restored?

Yes! With prompt, decisive actions, your electronics can be restored to pre-fire or pre-flood states.

There are, however, two exceptions that can cause fatal damage to equipment: exposure to high levels of moisture when powered up and excessive heat as evidenced by a deforming of the plastic cases and internal components. Your restoration contractor will provide a risk-free analysis.

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15. What is so special about FirstOnSite’s Esporta Wash System® and Ultrasonic cleaning equipment?

 

The Esporta Wash System® is an innovative washing system that uses a patented system of hydraulic pressure cleaning, combined with a specific blend of detergents, to effectively clean, disinfect, sanitize, and restore an infinite number of soft contents (like clothes, bedding, rugs, sporting equipment, etc.) to the most pristine levels possible. In fact, the Esporta Wash System® is even able to treat content that has been affected by mould, sewage or soot, and restore it to “hospital-level” bacterial standards – something not possible with other wash methods. How do we know items are actually at hospital-level bacteria standards? FirstOnSite tests contents before and after each load AND provides those results to you.

FirstOnSite’s Ultrasonic cleaning equipment is similar to the equipment used by jewellers to clean jewellery only our equipment is MUCH larger. Ultrasonic equipment uses a process called “cavitation” to clean any number of non-porous items. Cavitation, in simple terms, is the creation of very tiny air bubbles (within a cleaning solution) that “explode,” causing a scrubbing action on the items being cleaned. Ultrasonics allows us to effectively clean items where manual cleaning would be inadequate.

Why all this equipment? The Esporta Wash System® and our Ultrasonic cleaning equipment allow FirstOnSite to restore many valuable or sentimental itemsthat historically would have been discarded, keeping them out of landfill. Quite often, our equipment will restore items to a better condition than prior to the loss; it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

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16. Can you remove odour?

Our job is to accurately identify and restore items to their pre-loss condition, or recommend replacement. Advanced technology allows us to safely restore a wide variety of different types of contents – from upholstered furniture to electronics.

We use “True Deodorization,” a process that removes the source of the odour as opposed to just masking it. In some cases, restorative cleaning techniques are followed by refinishing or repairs.

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17. Will my home be safe for my family after restoration?

Returning your home to a safe environment is our main objective. Organizations like the IICRC (the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) have published standards for cleaning and restoration.

One of the criteria requires we provide testing and documentation throughout the restoration process. For example, when we remediate mould conditions, our post-remediation clearance testing is carried out by an indoor environmental professional. Your Mitigation Crew Leader will be happy to explain our methods during the restoration process.

 

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18. What do I need to do after initial emergency repairs are completed?

Not much. A FirstOnSite Mitigation Professional will have already created a document outlining the process and the costs attributed to returning your property to its pre-loss condition, referred to as a “Restoration” or “Rebuild” Estimate, for the adjuster.

Once the adjuster approves the Estimate, FirstOnSite will:

  • Immediately advise you of the approval
  • Arrange to meet with you
  • Provide you with a detailed Scope of Work
  • Have you sign the necessary authorizations
  • Create a mutually agreed-upon restoration schedule

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19. What will I be charged for the work FirstOnSite does?

For most insurance-related claims, all you need to pay are the “deductibles” outlined in your insurance policy.

You may also be responsible for “differential” costs: if you opt to have additional work done e.g., for items not related to the actual loss or an “upgrade” of any replacement items, like higher quality carpeting. Those costs would require a down payment of 50% prior to commencement of the restoration phase, with the remainder due upon completion of that phase.

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20. Does FirstOnSite warranty its work?

Absolutely! FirstOnSite guarantees its workmanship for a minimum of two years. Individual manufacturer warranties apply to any products or materials installed by FirstOnSite.

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21. How will FirstOnSite ensure my satisfaction?

Most insurance providers require that restoration companies supply them with a “Certificate of Satisfaction” signed by you, the property owner, and you don’t need to sign it until you are satisfied.

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22. Do you do repairs and restoration for businesses?

Yes, FirstOnSite also performs restoration work for commercial and specialty markets. For more information, please refer to our Commercial Division.

We take pride in putting things right – the right way – each and every time.

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Residential Restoration Services

For Emergency Disaster Restoration Services, Call 1.877.778.6731