Start with an assessment of your home and determine whether it is safe or not to stay in your home. If you determine that it is safe, and all water is away from outlets or open wires and your roof is holding steady, there are a few things you can do to get ready for the professionals. Likely you have two types of damage: fire, and water from the fire hose. Here are some tips for dealing with both:
- Wear a painters mask, or handkerchief, if possible
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
With Fire damage there are also several things you SHOULD NOT do yourself:
- Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting a professional.
- Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don’t use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
- Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
- Don’t send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.