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698 Burnham Drive
University Park, IL 60484
Ph: (708) 534-6451
Monday- Friday:9:00am -5:00pm
SAT: Closed
SUN: Closed
I have experienced a fire in my home. What should I do now?
AFTER THE FIRE: THE FIRST 24 HOURS
The fire is out now, and we are sorry for your loss. There are a few things you need to know to help you begin to recover. We would like to help you. Here is a checklist for you to follow.

STEP 1: SECURING THE SITE
The site of the fire needs to be protected from further damage by weather, theft or vandalism.

If you are the owner, it is your responsibility to see that openings are covered against rain and entry and that outside doors can be locked or secured. The fire department will help with this activity.

Contact your insurance agent. He or she must be notified of the fire and may also be able to help you in making immediate repairs.

If you plan to leave the site, try to remove any valuables remaining in the building.
Do not leave until the site has been secured.

If you are a tenant, contact the resident manager, the owner or the owner’s insurance agent. It is the owner’s responsibility to prevent further loss to the site.

See that your personal belongings are secure either within the building or by moving them to another location, such as the home of a relative or friend.

Contact your own insurance agent to report loss.

The fire department will contact a local relief service such as the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army, or Contact Ministries if you are in need of temporary housing, food, eyeglasses or medicines destroyed in the fire.

STEP 2: CAUTIONS
Fire can rekindle from hidden, smoldering remains. Be watchful for signs of heat or smoke.

Household wiring which may have been water damaged should be checked by an electrician before current is turned back on.

Be watchful for structural damage caused by the fire. Roofs and floors may be weakened.

Food, beverages and medicines exposed to heat, smoke or soot should be discarded.

Refrigerators or freezers left unopened will hold their temperature for a short time.

The fire department will see that utilities (water, electricity, gas or heat) are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site. If a utility is disconnected, contact the utility company or authorized service representative to have the apparatus checked for proper working order, make necessary repairs and reinstitute service. Do no attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.

Beginning NOW, get receipts for any money you spend. Theses receipts are important in showing the insurance company what money you have spent related to your fire loss and also for verifying losses claimed on your federal income tax.

STEP 3: LEAVING YOUR HOME
This may be your decision or one based on the building inspector’s judgment that the residence is unsafe.

Contact the local police. They will keep an eye on the property during your absence.

Temporary Housing: Local relief services, such as the American Red Cross, Contact Ministries, and the Salvation Army, should be able to help you with temporary housing.

If you are insured under a package homeowners or tenants policy, a section of your coverage may pay for the extra costs of temporary housing such as a hotel. If you are in need of immediate funds, ask you insurance agent about how soon you might get an advance on your eventual insurance claim settlement.

Try to locate the following items to take with you:
Identification
Vital medicines such as insulin or blood pressure regulating drugs.
Eyeglasses, hearing aids, prosthetic devices, etc.
Valuables such as credit cards, checkbooks, insurance policies, savings account books, money, jewelry, etc.

Do not attempt to open your safe. A safe involved in a fire may hold the intense heat for several hours.

Notify the following parties of your relocation:
Insurance agent or adjuster.
Mortgage company. Also inform them of the fire
Employer
Family and friends
Children’s schools
Post Office
Delivery services such as newspapers.
Fire or police department, if the fire is under investigation.
Utility companies; these include telephone, heat, power, water and trash collection.

STEP 4: ASKING FURTHER QUESTIONS
Your disaster relief service case worker, local fire department or insurance agent will help you with the many questions you will have in the coming days.

Do NOT throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory has been taken.

Do NOT contract for estimating, inventorying or repair services without first consulting with your insurance agent or adjuster.


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FIRE

Show All Answers

1. I have experienced a fire in my home. What should I do now?
2. I need a copy of of EMS report. How do I obtain one?
3. Why did the sirens go off?
4. My smoke detector is making a short, intermittent beeping. What does this mean?
5. I received a solicitation call from a representative of the South Cook County Professional Firefighters and / or the Will County Professional Firefighters – are they legitimate organizations?
6. Do you fill swimming pools?
7. There is an open fire hydrant near my home. Who should I contact to have it turned off?

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