Fire Damage: Do's and Don'ts

If your house has suffered fire damage, here are some basic tips to help get your home back to normal.

What You Should Do:

  • Individuals with a medical condition or chemical sensitivities should move to a clean environment if they experience dizziness or nausea. Should symptoms persist seek medical attention.
     
  • Ventilate all rooms by opening windows and doors.
     
  • If the damage occurred within one area contain it by shutting the doors of the affected area, placing towels under the doors, boarding up open windows and other open areas in order to prevent additional damage.
     
  • Secure damp cheesecloth over air vents to capture any loose soot in the air.
     
  • Limit your movements as much as possible and cover carpets with old linens to prevent additional soiling.
     
  • Blow off, brush or hoover loose smoke particles from upholstery, draperies and carpeting.
     
  • Wipe off and protect the chome on plumbing fixtures and appliances by applying a light coating of Vaseline or oil.
     

What You Shouldn't Do:

  • Don’t enter the building unless you are sure that it is structurally sound.
     
  • Don’t delay the cleaning process. The longer corrosive gases are in contact with surfaces such as metals, the more likely those surfaces will be damaged.
     
  • Don’t use ceiling lights if the ceiling is wet, a short circuit could result.
     
  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls, ceilings or absorbent surfaces without consulting a professional first.
     
  • Don’t use your bare hands when cleaning as oil from your hands can permeate upholstery, walls and woodwork.
     
  • Don’t walk on carpet that has soot as this will tend to make the soot drive into these porous surfaces and make cleaning more difficult.
     
  • Don’t use any electrical appliances until they have been checked by a qualified person.
     
  • Don’t take clothing, draperies, linens etc. to a dry cleaner. These items require special equipment and procedures to fully remove soot and smoke odor.
     
  • Don’t eat any canned or packaged food, beverages or medicines until the level of exposure to heat, smoke and soot has been determined.
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