If you have been unfortunate enough to suffer a fire or flood in your home or business, we understand the problems you may face once the flames have been extinguished or the water removed. We also realise that because you are unlikely to have experienced a similar event before, you may be feeling upset, distraught, and unaware of the steps you now need to take. The following information will answer some of the questions you may have once our firefighters have left.
Crockery, cutlery, pots and pans should be washed in very hot soapy water and rinsed in hot water. To remove odours from refrigerators or freezers, de-frost and wash all surfaces with water and detergent and then rinse with a solution of water mixed with baking soda (one tablespoon per pint of water). Then rinse again with clean water.
After the fire has been extinguished you may hear noises coming from the area that was affected. This is caused by the cooling of certain materials used in the construction of the building. For instance, brick walls tend to act like night storage heaters, and may remain warm for many hours.
If your property cannot be completely secured following a fire or flood and you have to leave it unattended, follow the checklist below:
If water, gas and electricity supplies have been affected, you should not attempt to turn them back on. They may be dangerous and in need of repair.
You should call a plumber if your water supply has been affected. Do not attempt to turn on the supply until a plumber has checked the system. A list of plumbers can be found in the telephone directory.
If your gas installation, meter or appliances have been affected by fire, the Fire Service or the gas supplier will have turned off or disconnected the supply. You should make sure that either the gas supplier or an installer registered with The Council for the Registration of Gas Installers (CORGI) inspects and rectifies any problem in the installation or appliances before any attempt is made to turn on the supply.
Your electricity supply may have been turned off to ensure the safety of firefighters. If your internal electricity supply has been damaged by fire, your regional electricity company will have to reconnect the supply after a qualified electrician has carried out re-wiring and notified them of completion.
During office hours, council tenants are advised to contact their Housing Department or Private Housing Association which will arrange for any repair work necessary to domestic water, gas and electricity supplies.