If You Need Emergency Assistance
If you need emergency assistance for food, clothing or lodging, contact the American Red Cross.
Smoke can damage the lungs of a dog or cat in minutes and sparks can cause painful bumps that may stay hidden under your pet's fur. As soon as possible, take your pet to a veterinarian. If your pet is lost in the confusion, call the Cook County Department of Animal Control or the DuPage County Animal Control (refer to the telephone directory in the back of pamphlet).
After the fire, you may experience: anxious feelings, depression, difficulty concentrating, sadness, anger, fatigue, irrational (unfounded fears and nightmares) behavior. These are common responses to a traumatic event. If you or your family members need support, call the American Red Cross or check your yellow pages under Counselors. Some employers and/or health insurance carriers provide coverage for counseling services.
What About Cash or Negotiable?
If burned, handle with extreme care and as little as possible. Attempt to encase each crisp sheet in plastic wrap in order to salvage as much as possible. Take everything to your local bank for advice regarding replacement.
What About Perishables?
Any food, beverages and/or medications exposed to heat or smoke should not be consumed. Medication especially, can change strength by exposure to heat. Please check with your doctor first before taking these medications. If food was in a tightly closed or sealed container, or in airtight refrigerators or freezers, they may be salvageable. It is cheaper to replace the material than to jeopardize you or your family’s health by taking a chance. If in doubt, throw it out!
What About Odors
Sometimes there is a residual smoke odor from a small fire that is annoying and lingering. Short of a good cleaning of everything in the house, you can place small saucers of household vanilla, wine, vinegar or activated charcoal about your home to help absorb these odors. Remember that the smoke is also inside the heating and cooling duct work and you get a fresh blast every time your air system is turned on.
If insured, consult your insurance company for assistance. If the odor does not go away in about a week, you may, and probably should, call a janitorial supply or cleaning service specializing in restoration of fire damaged property (refer to your yellow pages, under Fire and Water Damage Restoration). They have the equipment to scrub out the duct work and deodorize everything in the house.