1. If you are not the building owner, notify the owner or agent.
  2. Notify your insurance company or agent if you have coverage on furniture, possessions, merchandise or other contents.
  3. Make sure the building or area is secure from looting, vandalism, or the elements after the Fire Department leaves.
  4. Remove valuables from the building if there is doubt that it is secure. Notify the officer in charge of the fire if there are valuables in an unsafe or burned out area of the building and ask assistance in retrieving them.
  5. Notify the proper utility company if utilities have been disrupted or turned off. They will turn on gas and re-ignite pilot lights for gas furnaces, water heaters and stoves, if that service is in order. They will restore electrical service to the electric meter, if it is possible. You must engage your own electrician for the extension of electrical services within the building or for temporary wiring. Water is often turned off because of damaged soldered joints caused by heat of the fire. A plumber may have to be called to make repairs before water service can be restored.
  6. Get a furnace service person to restore heat if this is necessary or possible.
  7. If freezing weather is imminent, drain the water system, including toilets and sink traps, or safeguard them from freezing with salt or antifreeze if heat cannot be restored.
  8. If the building is going to be occupied, be sure the fire alarm systems and fire protection systems are fully restored and the fire extinguishers are recharged.
  9. Call the American Red Cross for assistance should temporary housing or clothing is needed. (1-800-236-8680)
  10. If the fire has caused more than furnishing or smoke damage, please call the Building Inspection Department at (608) 266-4551 for information. An inspector will provide information on how to proceed.

A fire investigator from the Fire Department or Police Department may make a further investigation into the cause of the fire; please cooperate and answer all questions. The officer's job is to determine the cause of the fire so measures can be taken to prevent a recurrence to you or someone else.

More information about recovering from a fire can be found in the following booklets (PDF):