After the Fire Brigade is in attendance at your house fire;
- Inform your family and immediate friends (and landlord if you are in rental accommodation).
- Phone your insurance company, (employer, school, bank)
- Arrange to have the property secured. The Emergency Services may inform you about this.
- Consider your options of where to stay the first night, though the best option is somewhere you can stay short to medium term. Some insurance policies include emergency accommodation.
- If people offer to help in this immediate stage, ask for nightwear, toilet gear and a complete change of clothes for everyone (give approximate sizes).
- Arrange the collection of any medications your family require.
- Take pets.
- Arrange for new phones, glasses and hearing aids if required.
The Next Day
- Keep the children in their routines as best you can – this may mean delegating someone to drop the children at their schools and then collect them after school to bring them back to where you are staying. Offer lots of reassurance to the children. Allow others to support them too.
- Compile a list of your entire essential document details. See appendix one.
- Purchase a notebook/diary. Begin to note your conversations with the insurance company and other associated agencies. Remember to note the name of who you speak to and their contact details.
- In a separate notebook start to list the goods, vouchers, offers and kindnesses given to you. Again, note people’s names and contact details (this makes it easier to ensure you thank people at a later date). See appendix two.
- If someone is coordinating help, ask them to arrange for meals for the entire household to be delivered to where you are staying for at least a week. We found this to be the most practical help of all as everyone is tired at the end of the day and there is just no energy left to be even thinking of food preparation.
If it is deemed safe some insurance companies may allow you to go to your property the following day.
- Ensure you wear face masks and wear disposable gloves. Take torches.
- Photograph the remains of rooms in as much detail as you can (this may help you to itemise the goods in your household for your insurance contents claim).
- Photograph the remains of the garage and sheds also in as much detail as you can capture.
- You may want to record the general section layout.