After a fire FAQs
After the fire: guidance
If you have experienced a devastating house fire it is often difficult to know where to turn next. You may not know the steps you need to take to look after yourself and your family and move forward with your life. We hope that these fire recovery tips provide you with helpful contacts and prompt you to check things which you may not have had time to consider.
Is it safe to return to your home?
After the Fire Brigade has extinguished the fire in your house they will normally advise if you are able to return.
If there has been significant structural damage it may not be possible to return.
If you are able to return to your home you may need to consider ventilation due to smoke being absorbed into furniture and fittings.
What if I am unable to return to my home?
If you and your family are unable to return to your home you will need emergency accommodation.
Your home insurance will say if you have emergency cover, alternatively you should contact your insurer directly as soon as possible.
If emergency cover is not provided by your insurer you do have options.
If you do not have insurance or your insurer does not cover emergency accommodation the Red Cross may be able to help you with information about accommodation, clothing and food.
Emergency help – Your local council
Your local council may be able to help you with emergency housing and if you have children they will often speed up the process.
Considering your health
You may receive medical treatment at the scene of the fire for smoke inhalation but it is important to take time to consider the implications that this event has had on your day-to-day life. You should consult your GP as soon as possible.
Knowing your rights
Your employer may provide an allocation of time away from work through compassionate leave. Your employment contract should detail the types of leave which you are allocated.
You should check your employment contract to see if you’re entitled to compassionate leave.
What evidence do I need for my insurer and/or legal claim?
Keeping a record of your expenses and receipts following the fire will allows your insurance company to consider all your losses. This information will also be useful if you decide to pursue a legal claim.
You should request a copy of the Fire Brigade’s incident report as you may need to provide it for your insurance claim and for any possible legal case.
Fire recovery top tips
- Find out if it is safe to return home
- Review home insurance policy
- Contact the Red Cross or your local council for assistance
- Consult a GP and other medical professional
- Know your rights in relation to work
- Gather any evidence e.g. out of pocket expenses