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August 04, 2022

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After Care Programme (Direct Victim)

The purpose of this programme is to provide direct victims of residential structural fires with professional advice, appropriate council, guidance and assistance in beginning the rebuilding process after their property has been destroyed, damaged or affected in any way by fire or any activity involved in the suppression of such fire.

The Barbados Fire Service Fire Prevention and Community Relations Unit will respond to any area of the island which has been affected by a residential structural fire within forty-eight hours and have dialog with the direct victims of such incidents and execute the purpose as stated above. The Unit will dispense package guidelines focus on returning to normalcy, while offering a one-on one and visit from the Fire Prevention Unit Personnel.

For the purpose of this program and document a direct victim will be considered as a person/s whose property has been affected by the incident in question.

Recovering from a fire can be a physically and mentally draining process. When a fire strikes lives are suddenly turned around. Quite often, the most difficult part is knowing where to begin and who to contact.


The First 24 Hours - Securing Yourself and the Site

Contact the Ministry of Social Care and the Welfare Department if it was not done on your behalf. The Salvation Army can assist with clothing. You can also approach churches and community groups for assistance with the following. 

temporary housing
other essential items

Contact your insurance agent/company.

Do not enter the damaged site. Fires can rekindle from hidden, smoldering remains.

Normally, the Barbados Fire Service will see that utilities (water, electricity and natural gas) are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site. Do not attempt to turn on utilities yourself.
Be watchful for structural damage caused by the fire. Roofs and floors may be damaged and subject to collapse.

Food, beverages and medicine exposed to heat, smoke, soot and water should not be consumed.

Leaving Your Home

Contact your Royal Barbados Police Force to let them know the site will be unoccupied.

In some cases, where it is safe to do so, it may be necessary to board up openings to discourage trespassers.

Beginning immediately, save receipts for any money you spend. These 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 income tax.

If it is safe to do so, try to locate the following items:
identification, such as driver's licenses and NIS cards
insurance information
medication information
eyeglasses, hearing aids or other prosthetic devices
valuables, such as credit cards, bank books, cash and jewelry

There are many people/entities that should be notified of your
relocation, including:
your insurance agent/company
your mortgage company (also inform them of the fire)
your family and friends
your employer
your child's school
your post office
Fire Service and Police departments
our utility companies

Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made. All damages are taken into consideration in developing your insurance claim.

Not Insured

Your recovery from a fire loss may be based upon your own resources and help from your community.

Private organizations that may be sources of aid or information:

Salvation Army
religious organizations
Ministry of social services
civic organizations
non-profit crisis counseling

Replacing Documents & Records

Here is a check list of documents you will need to replace if they have been destroyed, and who to contact for information on the replacement process.

Replacement Documents and Contact Information

Salvage Hints

Smoke odor and soot sometimes can be washed from clothing. An effective way to remove mildew from clothing is to wash the fresh stain with soap and warm water, rinse and then dry in the Sun. If the stain has not disappeared, use lemon juice and salt or a diluted solution of household chlorine bleach.

Cooking Utensils
Your pots, pans, flatware, etc., should be washed with soapy water, rinsed, and then polished with a fine-powdered cleaner.

Electrical Appliances
Don't use appliances that have been exposed to water or steam until you have a service representative check them. This is especially true of electrical appliances. In addition, steam can remove the lubricant from some moving parts. If your gas or electricity were turned off during the fire, call the electric or gas company to restore these services--do not try to do it yourself.

Money Replacement
Handle burned money as little as possible. Attempt to encase each bill or portion of a bill in plastic wrap for preservation. If money is only half-burned or less (if half or more is still intact), you can take the remainder to Central Bank of Barbados to have it replaced at their discretion.