Fire and Smoke Damage

Taking appropriate action immediately following disaster can be a critical factor in determining how much of the affected areas and/or items can be successfully restored to pre-damage conditions. Home and business owners and tenants can help to minimize the long-term effects of the damage by following some basic emergency procedures

Basic "Do's" in the Event of a Fire:

  • DO keep movement throughout the location to a minimum to help prevent soot particles from spreading or becoming impregnated into upholstery and carpets.
  • DO clean/protect chrome trim on appliances with a light coating of Vaseline or other oil.
  • DO blow off or brush-vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery, drapes and carpet; protect with old sheets or towels.
  • DO open windows for ventilation (depending on weather conditions).
  • DO change furnace filter if blower is operating. DO empty freezer/refrigerator if electricity is off; prop doors open with a rolled towel or newspaper.
  • DO clean/protect bathroom faucets, tub fittings and towel bars with a light coating of oil.
  • DO pour antifreeze in toilet bowls, sinks, and tubs to prevent freezing if heat is off in winter. DO wash plants with water on both sides of leaves. DO remove pets to a clean, safe environment.

Basic "Don'ts" in the Event of a Fire:

  • DON'T remain in the building if it has not yet been determined to be safe.
  • DON'T wipe or attempt to wash walls, ceilings or other absorbent surfaces.
  • DON'T use upholstered furniture if it can be avoided. DON'T use food items or canned goods which have been exposed to excessive heat.
  • DON'T use televisions, stereos, or other electrical items until they are checked and cleaned.
  • DON'T attempt to turn on your computer, as it may be subject to additional damage.
  • DON'T send smoke-affected garments to an ordinary dry cleaner; improper cleaning may set in smoke and/or odor.
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