Fire Damage: Do's and Don't Until Professional Help Arrives
If you experience fire or smoke damage in your home, here are a few Do's and Don'ts to keep in mind until a professional remediation team arrives.
- Limit movement throughout the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
- Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
- Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim, and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
- If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks, and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
- Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
- Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces
- Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture
- Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
- Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water (they may be contaminated).
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create a secondary damage.
- Send garments to dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.