What to do after a fire

If you have become a victim of fire or flooding in your home.
 
The fire and rescue service will have responded swiftly to whatever emergency has befallen you, but we appreciate that when our fire crews leave, you have to cope with the aftermath.
 
Fires in the home are traumatic and the fire service can only do so much to alleviate and limit the damage.
 
We hope that the information here will help you to deal with the immediate situation and guide you to other agencies and sources of advice and help.
 
It is hoped that the fire safety guidelines will help to ensure that your home is better protected against the threat of fire in the future.
 
Safety
Fires produce large amounts of smoke and hot gases. Firefighters have to remove these to lessen the damage that fire causes and speed up the process of firefighting.
 
For this reason, windows may have to be broken and walls and ceilings forcibly opened to make sure that there are no hidden fires which, if left undetected, could re-ignite later.
 
Firefighters will have thoroughly examined the structure affected by the fire and will have advised you of any apparent defects affecting the safety of the building.
 
In cases of severe structural damage, a building inspector may be called to advise as to the safety of the building.
 
Warning
If your smoke alarm has activated, you will need to replace the battery. Also, if your smoke alarm has been subjected to high temperatures, it may need to be replaced.
 
Gas, electricity and even water supplies may have been disrupted in some way by the fire or firefighting operations. Gas and electricity might be disconnected. Under no circumstances should you attempt to reconnect or turn these on yourself. Contact the gas and electricity companies for your area to ensure that damage to any of the systems is rectified before the power supply is safely restored.  Similarly, all repairs to water fittings, pipes, tanks, etc, should be undertaken by a qualified plumber. If you turn on the water unadvised, you might be  inviting a flood.
 

Electricity, Gas, Water

For emergency out-of-hours number or the office number of the relevant service consult your Yellow Pages or Thomson’s Directory.
 
Ensure all trade people are qualified and belong to an accredited professional body.
 
There are many precautions you can take to reduce the chance of a fire occurring in your home. Many fires in the home start at night. Having a night time routine can help protect your home and family.
 
• Switch off electrical appliances.
• Remove plugs from sockets. Some may be designed to be left on all the time. Check the manufacturer’s instructions.
• Do not leave open fires unguarded.
• Ensure cigarettes and pipes are extinguished.
• Check seats/sofas for carelessly discarded cigarettes.
• Do not empty ashtrays into waste baskets that may catch fire.
• Close doors to prevent the spread of smoke and fire.
 
 
Chip pans are a major cause of fire in the home. Used safely this need not
be the case. They should not be filled more than 1/3 full of fat or oil, allowed
to overheat, or left unattended.
 
Additional safety precautions
• Fires should be guarded at all times, especially where children are playing.
• All smoking materials should be extinguished before going to bed.
• You should follow the manufacturer’s guide for fuses and plugs on domestic appliances at all times.
• ‘One appliance, one socket’ should be the rule. Plugs/wiring which are damaged should be repaired by a competent person.
• Matches and lighters should be kept out of reach of children.
 
To book a home fire safety visit freephone 0800 100 3141 or text "FIRE" to 61611
Remember – Smoke alarms can save lives
These inexpensive and easy-to-fit devices give early warning of smoke and fire, provided they are tested and maintained regularly. They will give you and all members of your family a chance to get out and to call the fire and rescue service out.

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