If you experience a fire or flood in your home, the following information may be of assistance.
What to do first?
- Don’t go into the property until you’ve been told it’s safe to do so by firefighters.
- If the power or water supplies have been switched off by firefighters, don’t switch them back on until they have been checked by a professional.
- If necessary, arrange to secure windows and doors.
- If you can’t stay in your home, make sure you remove any valuables as a precaution. Firefighters can help with salvage if the property is badly damaged.
- If you can’t stay with friends or family, and your home is uninhabitable, the local council may be able to help with emergency accommodation.
- Inform your insurers of the situation as soon as possible and arrange for a claim form to be completed.
What documents will you need?
Documents can be easily lost, damaged or destroyed in fire, flood or storm. Having the following papers can speed up the process of disaster recovery, so it’s worth getting replacements as soon as possible if something happens. The Citizens’ Advice Bureau may also be able to give advice and help.
- Insurance – contact your insurance company or broker.
- Certificates of birth, death or marriage – visit www.gov.uk/order-copy-birth-death-marriage-certificate
- Bank, building society or post office account cards/books – contact your local branch.
- Driving licence – visit www.gov.uk/apply-online-to-replace-a-driving-licence
- Vehicle logbook – visit www.gov.uk/vehicle-registration-certificate-v5c-log-book
- Passports – visit www.gov.uk/renew-adult-passport
- Divorce papers – visit www.gov.uk/copy-decree-absolute-final-order
- Property titles, wills etc – contact your solicitor.
- Stocks and bonds – your stockbroker may have details of shares you hold. You may need your solicitor to help.
- Travel documents – contact your travel agent or carrier.
- Medical records – original documents will be held at your GP’s surgery or hospital.
- Warranties – registration cards or documents are held by manufacturers. Alternatively, contact the retailer where you bought the goods.
See also this useful reference guide – When we leave, what do you do next?