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Smoke & Fire Damage

The following Emergency Tips were compiled by members of the National Institute of Fire Restoration and are based on their wide experience in this field. It is not likely that you will require all the procedures listed, so examine your situation and use those steps which common sense dictates. The National Institute of Fire Restoration contractor in your area is a good person to know - and a good company to rely upon.

After a fire, it is natural to want to clean a building and its contents. Timely action can be a great help, but incorrect or delayed action can jeopardize or impede successful restoration.

Do...

  • Clean and protect chrome trim on kitchen appliances with a light coating of petroleum jelly or other oil such as WD40.
  • Blow off or brush vacuum loose smoke particles from upholstery, draperies, and carpets.
  • Open windows for ventilation.
  • Change furnace filter and make sure blower is operational.
  • Empty refrigerator and freezer completely if electricity is off, and prop the doors open with a rolled towel or newspaper.
  • Clean and protect smoked bathroom faucets, tub fittings, and towel bars with a light coating of oil.
  • Pour antifreeze in toilet bowls, sinks, and bathtubs to prevent freezing if heat is off in the winter.
  • Wash plants with water on both sides of leaves (water softener helps).
  • Call plumber to drain heating system if heat is off in the winter.
  • Remove pets (especially birds) to clean environments.

Do Not...

  • Wipe or attempt to wash walls, ceilings, or other absorbent surfaces.
  • Use upholstered furniture if it can be avoided.
  • Use exposed food items or canned goods that have been subjected to excessive heat.
  • Use TVs, stereos, or electrical appliances until they have been cleaned and tested.
  • Send smoked garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke and odor.