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Fire and Soot Emergency Tips

After fire damage, it is natural to want to jump right in and clean the building and contents. Timely action can be a great help, but incorrect action can jeopardize or impede satisfactory restoration.

Clean and protect chrome trim on faucets and other bright work by washing with detergent and applying a coating of vaseline or oil. Blow off or brush-vacuum loose smoke particles from upholstery, draperies and carpeting.

Fire Damage Tips


• Open windows for ventilation if weather permits.

• Empty refrigerators and freezers if electricity is off, and prop doors open with a rolled towel or newspaper to allow air circulation.

• Pour antifreeze in toilet bowls, tanks, sink and tub drains to prevent freeze damage if heat is off in winter.

• Call a plumber to drain and blow out all water lines if heat is off in winter.

• Remove pets to a clean environment if heavy fire residues are present.

• Send a sample group of garments for cleaning and deodorization in order to observe the results.

• Retain a contractor to board up open windows, roofs, or other penetrations in order to prevent additional damage.

Do Not…

• Wipe or attempt to wash fire residues from walls, ceilings or other absorbent

• Use carpeting or upholstered furniture impacted by heavy smoke residues or debris.

• food items or canned goods exposed to heat.

• Turn on computers, TV’s, stereos or electrical appliances until they have been
cleaned and checked.

Soot Damage Tips – Furnace Puff Backs

While soot may resemble smoke residues from a fire, the restoration of soot damage often requires different techniques. Incorrect action can make restoration more difficult and delay the return to normalcy.


• Change, then save the old furnace filter.
• Blow off or brush-vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery, draperies, and carpets.

• Cover upholstery with clean sheets before use.

Do not…

• Attempt to wash walls, ceilings or contents without professional assistance.

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