Fires are traumatic events and those who are unfortunate enough to suffer one may have little experience of dealing with the aftermath. West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service offer the following help and advice to assist you in returning to normality as soon as possible following a fire.
Safety and security
After the fire is extinguished, the building may retain heat for a period of time and some noises may be heard from the cooling down of construction materials. Fires produce smoke and hot gases and it is necessary to remove these to prevent fire spread and further damage. It is sometimes necessary to cut away part of a building’s structure in order to access concealed fire pockets. This damage may seem unnecessary; however, this work is required to ensure that the fire is completely extinguished.
- If your property is insecure and you have to leave it unattended you may require a boarding-up contractor; these can be sought from a local telephone directory.
- If you are a tenant, this service would normally be arranged by the relevant housing department, association, or landlord.
- Insurance policies vary and therefore you should consult your policy regarding whether any boarding up charges will be covered.
- Where it is necessary for you to vacate the property, remember to remove any valuables, important documents, vital medicines etc.
Fire and rescue service equipment
- If the attending fire crews have left any items of equipment at your property i.e. to cover openareas, roofs etc, this is only a temporary measure and the equipment will be reclaimed later.
- You will therefore need to make alternative arrangements for the protection of your property from the elements and other relevant hazards.
- After a fire in your vehicle, remove any salvageable valuables, including the tax disc, insurance documents and the vehicle’s MOT certificate.
- Make contact with your insurance company who may be able to arrange recovery of your vehicle.
- If not, contact a reputable garage or recovery service to arrange removal.
- Inform the Police if you suspect that the fire was started deliberately, or if it has been involved in a road traffic collision.
- Call your insurance company’s (24 hour) Emergency Helpline as soon as possible, they will be able to provide information on dealing with your claim and provide assistance in getting things back to normal.
- Your insurers may wish to inspect the damage, prior to removal of items from your property.
- Where emergency or temporary repairs are required, you should retain the invoices or receipts for these to help with any future insurance claim.
- If you do not possess any insurance, you may be entitled to assistance from the Benefits Agency.
- If you are not the owner of the property, respective buildings insurance claims will normally be dealt with by the relevant housing department, association, or landlord.
- If any gas or electrical appliances, pipes and wires have been affected by fire, it may be necessary to isolate the supply.
- In addition to this, it may be necessary for the service provider to disconnect the supply.
- All repairs to gas, water and electrical fixtures should be completed by a suitably qualified engineer.
- Do not be tempted to turn on any isolated supply until safe to do so and following the advice of an engineer.
- If you are the owner/occupier of a commercial premise and you require advice, regarding fire safety, please contact (01274) 682311 and an officer will be able to help you.
- If you are the owner/occupier of a domestic property you should take advantage of our free home fire safety check service, which includes free fitting of smoke alarms.
- In most cases the attending fire crew will carry out the home fire safety check and fit smoke detectors prior to leaving the scene, but if this is not convenient contact (0800) 5874536 to arrange a free visit.
For further information, visit http://www.westyorksfire.gov.uk