After the Fire
The After the Fire Program is designed to provide immediate assistance to Loudoun County residents who have been affected by a fire. Residential fires can cause a tremendous amount of stress. Often, the hardest part is knowing who to contact first. By focusing on the personal needs of those affected the level of stress can be significantly reduced. Through the program, the Loudoun Department of Fire and Rescue and the Loudoun Chapter of the American Red Cross are able to facilitate the beginning steps to recovery.
After the Fire is Out: the First 24 Hours
After the fire is out and the fire department has left the scene, you are once again responsible for your home. Your responsibilities include:
- Contacting your insurance company
- Ensuring no further damage occurs to the
- Securing doors, windows, and other areas to prevent unauthorized entry
- Have your animals checked by your veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Smoke can damage the lungs of your pets in minutes and sparks from fire may cause painful burns, which can stay hidden in your pet's fur.
- Be careful when entering your damaged home.
- Do not attempt to turn on utilities yourself. Normally the fire department will see that utilities are safe to use or have been disconnected.
- Food, beverages, and medicines exposed to heat, smoke, soot, and water should not be consumed.
Leaving Your Home
Individuals who have experienced a fire may not be able to reoccupy their homes or may choose to stay with family or friends. In this situation, contact your local law enforcement to notify them that the house will be unoccupied. If you need assistance with obtaining lodging, clothing or food, the Loudoun Chapter of the American Red Cross, 703-777-7171, is available to provide these services.
If it is safe, try to locate the following items. If not, know how to replace them:
- Checkbooks, credit cards, cash and jewelry
- Identification such as driver's license and social security card
- Insurance information and legal documents
- Medications, eye glasses, hearing aids
There are many people who will need to be notified of your relocation. In addition to family and friends, remember to contact:
- Delivery services
- Financial institutions, credit card companies
- The post office and Department of Motor Vehicles
- Your child's school
- Your insurance agent
- Your mortgage company