What to Do After a Fire
After a fire, most people find themselves with a lot of unanswered questions, so we have compiled this list of helpful hints and advice for you.
Steps to Follow After a Fire
Here are some steps that you should follow in the aftermath of a home fire:
Contact your insurance company immediately.
It is your responsibility to begin loss mitigation, including steps to prevent the damage from getting worse. Take inventory of damaged goods before discarding anything and save receipts for money spent relating to the fire loss.
Avoid falling structural components.
Although fire authorities may allow you to enter the house, the area still could be hazardous. Look carefully for structural damage that may be unstable, like charred beams and sagging ceilings.
Stay away from electrical shock hazards.
Check for exposed wiring. Also, be careful of damage inside walls and electrical lines not normally visible.
Keep people with allergies out of the home.
People with severe allergies or respiratory problems should stay out of the area until initial cleanup is complete. Weather permitting, ventilate the home to remove soot residues.
Wipe down durable surfaces.
Smoke residues combine with humidity to form acids that can stain grout, paint, bath fixtures, kitchen counter tops and may appliances. Immediate clean up of durable surfaces with household cleaners can dramatically limit your loss.
Call Tri State Restorations.
Tri State Restorations has certified professional technicians to provide advice and restoration of your home’s contents after a fire. Only skilled fire restoration professionals can help you get your home and furnishings back to a “pre-loss” condition.
Smoke and Fire Damage Advice
To prevent further damage to your belongings and ensure that your restoration can be completed quickly and smoothly, we also recommend that you:
- Limit your movement in the home to prevent particles from being imbedded into upholstery and carpets
- Keep hands clean and be careful not to touch upholstery, walls and woodwork
- Wash soot off of house plants
- Change the HVAC filter and tape a double layer of cheesecloth over registers
- If loss occurs in the winter: pour antifreeze in toilets, sink and bathtub drains to prevent freezing
- If electricity is off, empty refrigerator and freezer and keep doors open allowing ventilation inside
- Clean all chrome surfaces with a soft cloth and water then apply a coat of Vaseline to protect them from pitting
- Discard any canned or packaged food or beverages that were stored close to the fire into the garbage, especially any containers that were already open, they may contain harmful contamination
- Do Not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces
- Do Not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet
- Do Not attempt to clean electronics, the electronic circuitry is sensitive and can be damaged easily
- Do Not attempt to shampoo or clean your carpet or upholstered furniture, improper cleaning can set in stains and odor