London Fire Brigade

After a fire

Read our information leaflet ‘After we leave’ giving advice about what you should do after a fire in your home. Once a fire has been extinguished, we will thoroughly examine the affected building, and will advise you of any apparent structural or other defects.

If the building is considered unsafe by the emergency services

  • We will inform the local building control officer. 
  • Public access may be fenced off and the building repairs left to you. 
  • We may shore up or demolish the property to avoid danger to the public.

If you can’t live in your home after a fire

  • Try to arrange temporary accommodation with relatives or friends. 
  • Contact your local authority housing office (or ask us or police to do this for you when those offices are closed). 
  • Contact your local social security office for short term financial assistance.  
  • Contact the British Red Cross, who can provide a fire victim support vehicle, which can provide immediate temporary shelter including shower/toilet facilities, telephone and clothing. The crew are volunteers and are trained to provide emotional and practical support. The London Fire Brigade officer in charge of the fire in your home can ask for the vehicle and will include how many people need help and the help required.

When the emergency services leave

 When the emergency services leave, you are responsible for the security of your property. Your insurers will expect you to make sure your home is still secure. 

  • Remove all valuables from the property if it is safe to do so and close all doors and windows. 
  • If windows and doors need boarding up, contact your local authority if you are a council tenant. 
  • Owners or private tenants should contact a 24 hour glazier. Contact details can be found online or using the Yellow Pages.
  • Inform the police if you leave the property before it is secure, explaining any arrangements made with contractors. 
  • You will probably be charged for most of these services, but you may be able to claim through your home insurance. 

What to do next

  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
  • Contact gas, electricity and water suppliers.
  • Don’t be tempted to switch any gas, electricity or water supply on if they have been turned off.
  • Get utility supplies and installations checked and repaired by a qualified person.