After the Fire
The fire is out now and we are sorry for your loss. There are a few things you need to know to help you begin to recover. We would like to help you. Here is a checklist for you to follow:
Securing the Site
- The site of the fire needs to be protected from further damage by weather, theft or vandalism.
- If you are the owner, it is your responsibility to see that openings are covered against rain and entry and that outside doors can be locked or secured.
- Contact your insurance agent. He or she must be notified of the fire and may also be able to help you in making immediate repairs.
- If you plan to leave the site, try to remove any valuables remaining in the building. Do not leave until the site has been secured.
- If you are a tenant, contact the resident manager, the owner or the owner’s insurance agent. It is the owner’s responsibility to prevent further loss to the site.
See that your personal belongings are secure either within the building or by moving them to another location, such as the home of a relative or a friend.
- Contact your own insurance agent to report loss.
- The fire department will contact a local disaster relief service such as the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army or contact ministries if you are in need of temporary housing, food, eyeglasses or medicines destroyed in the fire.
- Fire can rekindle from hidden, smoldering remains. Be watchful for signs of heat or smoke.
- Household wiring which may have been water damaged should be checked by an electrician before current is turned back on.
- Be watchful for structural damage caused by the fire. Roofs and floors may be weakened.
- Food, beverages and medicines exposed to heat, smoke or soot should be discarded.
- Refrigerators or freezers left unopened will hold their temperature for a short time.
- The fire department will see that utilities (water, electricity, gas or heat) are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site. If a utility is disconnected, contact the utility company or authorized service representative to have the apparatus checked for proper working order, make necessary repairs and reinstitute service. DO NOT attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.
- Beginning NOW, get receipts for any money you spend. These receipts are important in showing the insurance company what money you have spent related to your fire loss and also for verifying losses claimed on your federal income tax.