Fire & Smoke Damage Do's & Don'ts

What To Do:

Below are some things you should make sure to do if your home or property is damaged by smoke or fire:

  • Call emergency services immediately.
  • Call your insurance company to report the damage. Review your policy documentation and discuss it with an agent to familiarize yourself with their claim process.
  • Call Carsons Cleaning & Restoration for emergency Pack Out, Board Up, Security, and Restoration Services. Carsons Cleaning & Restoration has extensive experience working with many insurance companies and we will work with you to make sure your property restoration is done right.
  • If you are forced to relocated due to damage to your home, make sure to provide your insurance company with a contact number where you will be residing.
  • If the property will be vacant during the restoration process, contact the necessary service providers to have utilities turned off until further notice.
  • Save all receipts of purchases made after the fire. There is a good chance that these expenses will be reimbursed by your insurance company.
  • Take the necessary steps to make sure all pipes and plumbing are protected from freezing & bursting when cold weather is a concern and water is shut off.
  • Remove perishable goods from your refrigerator & freezer if your power had to be shut off as a result of the fire.
  • Do not throw out any ruined goods until they are photographed and documented properly for insurance claims. Carsons Cleaning & Restoration offers complete damaged goods inventory purposes that will simplify the claims process and ensure you are compensated properly for lost valuables.
  • Clean and protect chrome trim on faucets and other metallic surfaces by washing with detergent and applying a coating of Vaseline or oil.
  • Open windows for ventilation if weather permits.
  • Empty refrigerators and freezers if electricity is shut off, and prop doors open with a rolled towel or newspaper to allow air circulation. If electricity is out, and these appliances are emptied out, prop them open to prevent odor problems.
  • Pour antifreeze in toilet bowls, tanks, sink and tub drains to prevent freezing damage if heat is off in winter.
  • Call a plumber to drain and blow out all water lines if heat is off in the winter.
  • If the blower on the furnace will be left on, change the filter and also cover all registers with double pieces of cheesecloth with masking tape.
  • Pets, children and the elderly can be affected by the toxic elements that remain even after a fire has been put out, they should stay in a safe environment while the restoration process takes place.
  • Close doors and open windows (if weather permits) in all affected areas in order to isolate the odors and other contaminates as much as possible from the rest of the house and also ventilate the area.
  • Clean plants with a non toxic soapy water, cleaning both sides of the leaves. Rinse the plants thoroughly and store in a clean area not affected by the fire.

What NOT To Do:

If you ever have your home or property damaged by fire, below are some things it is important you do NOT do:

  • 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. Contact Carsons Cleaning & Restoration first!
  • Do not wipe or attempt to wash fire residues from walls, ceilings or other absorbent surfaces. If this is not done correctly, it could lead to odor problems in the future.
  • Do not attempt to deodorize affected areas yourself. Store bought chemicals and detergents can offset the processes we use and do more harm than good.
  • Do not use food items or canned goods exposed to extreme heat.
  • Do not turn on computers, TV's, stereos or any other electrical appliances until they have been cleaned and checked. Particles will be statically drawn into electric devices, as long as they are not turned on, there is a good chance they can be cleaned to prevent problems. Turning these electrical devices on before they are cleaned can likely lead to them being ruined with little chance of repair.