What To Do After A Fire!
Before Entering the Residence....
Check with fire officials to make sure it is safe to enter the structure.
Contact Your Insurance Claims Department Representative
- You should contact your insurance company or agent as soon as possible after the incident.
- You should not discard any damaged belongings. Do not contract for any repair work until authorized to do so by your insurance agent.
Make Sure Your Home is Protected from the Elements and Illegal Entry
- Cover all openings in windows or walls with plywood.
- Make sure all door and window locks are tightly secured.
- If the house will be left unattended, contact the Police Department at their non-emergency number and ask for a "Watch in Passing". They will patrol the area more closely for a limited time.
- Other private service companies offer services for protecting your home. Search for "Board Up Companies" on the internet.
If You Rent....
- Contact the property owner or representative to inform them of the situation. It is the owner's responsibility to secure the property.
- If you have renters insurance, contact your insurance agent immediately.
- Your mechanical, electrical, and gas systems may be may need to be checked by a professional, even if they do not appear to be damaged.
- If your house has been damaged by fire, the utilities will not be restored until the Inspection Division of the City or County has approved the reconnection.
- If you or anyone else has inhaled smoke or have gotten burned seek medical attention immediately.
- Do not enter the structure until you meet with the Fire Official in charge. Inform the Fire Official of the presence of important papers or valuables.
- Be sure to protect your personal belongings from the elements, either inside the building or by moving them to a safe location.
- Retain receipts for any money you spend. These receipts may be necessary for possible insurance reimbursements.
- Nothing should be thrown away until the items are listed in an inventory of damaged belongings.
- If you need emergency housing, food, clothing, basic furniture, counseling for you or your children, you may contact the Red Cross, Salvation Army or your church or synagogue.
- A copy of your fire report will be available from the fire Administration Office. You can expect the report to be available five workdays after the incident.
- Let friends and family members know where you will be staying temporarily.
- If you must move inform the Post Office, your bank, utility companies, credit card companies, magazine/newspaper providers and friends and relatives of your new address.
- If your pets have inhaled smoke they should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible. If your pet has been lost in the confusion contact the Humane Society.
- If you have lost your credit cards contact your credit card company to inform them of the loss and reordered new ones.
- If you have lost your drivers' license you may need to go to the License Bureau to receive a new one.
- You may also need to contact the Social Security Administration to receive a new Social Security Card if it has been lost.
- It is good to inform your children's school of the incident so teachers are aware of what is going on at home.
- Employers should be notified especially if you plan to not attend work due to the incident.
- Losing your home and your possessions can have a traumatic affect on you or others in your house.
- If someone is having difficulty dealing with the situation they should seek help whether it be professional or just a friendly ear to listen.