Securing premises after incidents
It is the responsibility of the owner to
ensure the property is secured following an emergency incident.
However the police, in most cases will arrange for the property to
be secured against theft and vandalism, and the fire service will
arrange to protect the property from further damage by the
FIRE - fire can rekindle from hidden
smouldering remains. Be watchful for signs of heat and smoke and
contact the fire service if in doubt. Structural
Damage - be watchful for structural damage. Roofs and floors may be
At the earliest date...
- Contact your insurance company, inform them
of the incident, obtain and complete a claims form.
- They may wish to inspect your property before
anything is moved.
- Return the form to the address shown on the
- If you are uninsured, you may be able to get
financial help or furniture, from your local Social Security
- If you have money that is partially burned,
it can be taken to a bank for replacement.
- DO NOT ATTEMPT TO OPEN YOUR SAFE: A safe
involved in a fire may hold the intense heat for several hours. If
the door is opened before the safe has cooled down, the entering
air, combined with the high temperature inside the safe, may cause
the contents to burst into flames.
- If you rent or lease the property, you may be
required to contact the landlord or his agent.
If your internal supply has been affected,
your Electricity Board will have to re-connect the supply after a
qualified electrician has repaired it (even if only a temporary
circuit) and notified the Board of completion. Do not
attempt to reconnect or turn on the supply yourself.
Temporary lighting or heating units are
potentially dangerous, especially if they have been unused or
stored for some time. Do not forget to have these units checked by
the manufacturer or qualified dealer before use. If you are unsure
of the precautions to take when positioning or filling these
appliances, contact your local fire station. Don't forget
when using these appliances to read and follow the manufacturer's
If any of your gas appliances have been
affected by fire, the fire service or British Gas will turn off or
disconnect your supply. It is important that either British Gas or
an approved installer inspects and rectifies any problems in the
system before any attempt is made to re-connect or turn on the
A plumber will be required if your water
supply has been affected. Do not attempt to turn on your
water until your system has been attended by the
Notify following parties of your relocation
- Insurance company.
- Mortgage company.
- Family and friends.
- Post office.
- Delivery services i.e. milk, newspapers.
- Utility companies i.e. telephone, gas,
electricity, water, refuse collection.
The Clean Up
Carpets and Rugs
A wet/dry vacuum or water extractor cleaning
machine is excellent for this job. It can be rented from various
shops - look at the Yellow Pages. Allow them to dry out
Always read the label. If the
clothing can withstand bleaching it can be treated with the
following mixture: half a cup or domestic ammonia to 2 gallons of
water. Rinse in vinegar (wear kitchen gloves). If the clothes
require dry cleaning - contact a specialist shop for advice.
This is a complex problem due to the materials
used in the home and those which have been involved in the fire.
Contact a specialist cleaning company, or for less severe smells,
use a room deodorising product.
Ceilings and Walls
Unpapered walls may be washed down using a
mild soap or detergent. Wash a small area at a time. Rinse with
clean water immediately. Wallpaper cannot be effectively cleaned
unless it is washable. Use a cloth soaked in a mild detergent and
wrung out. Clean with water and re-paste edges of paper if
For upholstered furniture, a wet/dry vacuum
can be used or contact a specialist cleaning company from Yellow
Pages. White spots on wood may be removed by turpentine or ammonia,
then dry and polish.
If in doubt - throw it out. Fresh food should
generally be thrown out if contaminated by smoke. Food in glass
jars should be discarded if the jar is cracked and has been
subjected to heat. Tinned food should be thrown out if the tin has
bulged or been subjected to heat. DO NOT re-freeze thawed food