When Fire or Smoke Damages Your Home: What to Do and Not Do

Did you know that within hours after a property fire, additional damage begins that can be limited if addressed promptly? Metal fixtures such as faucets and door handles can begin to tarnish. Plastic tub surrounds and vinyl on cabinets can yellow. There are some things you can do before technicians from a company like PuroClean Property Rescue arrive, and some things are better left for the professionals.

Here are some tips about how to stay safe and limit fire and smoke damage:

What To Do:

·         Contact PuroClean or similar fire mitigation professionals immediately. This will help ensure that your property doesn’t sustain further damage.

·         Be Careful. If fire personnel were involved, wait until they have cleared the structure as safe to enter. Watch for trip and fall hazards. Watch for exposed electrical wires. Avoid rooms where ceilings sag due to water damage.

·         Shut Off Ventilation Systems. Turn off central A/C or Heating Systems to limit the spread of smoke and soot. Contact a licensed HVAC contractor.

·         Avoid Further Damage. Limit your activity in the structure. Soot particles can easily penetrate upholstery, carpets, walls and woodwork but much of the soot can be cleaned off surfaces if it isn’t disturbed.

·         Wear Gloves and keep your hands clean. Oil from hands can contribute to permanent soot marks on many surfaces.

·         Protect Kitchen and Bathrooms. Clean and protect metal surfaces, like fixtures and doorknobs with a light coating of oil such as WD-40.  Clean and protect light colored plastics like tub surrounds with a light coating of petroleum jelly.

·         Wash House Plants. Wash both sides of leaves with softened water.

What Not To Do:

·         Don’t Turn on Ceiling Fixtures. If the ceiling is wet, don’t switch on ceiling lights or fans. Don’t stir the air with fans – this can spread the soot.

·         Don’t Clean Walls, Carpets or Upholstery: To prevent smoke and soot from setting permanently, don’t attempt to clean without consulting experts from a company like PuroClean. In fact, disturb them as little as possible.

·         Don’t Clean or Repair Electrical Appliances. Electrical Appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water should be examined by a trained repair technician.

·         Don’t Launder or Dry clean Clothing. Clothing that has been damaged by smoke shouldn’t be cleaned without consulting experts from a company like PuroClean.

Look for other helpful tip sheets in this series: “When Water Floods Your Home” and “When Mold Invades Your Home;” provided by Doug Williams, Owner and President of PuroClean Property Rescue / 500 E Arapaho Rd Suite 206 / Richardson, Texas. PuroClean professionals are “The Paramedics of Property Damage.” For Water/Fire/Mold/Biohazard emergency services 24/7 call 972-232-1200. For more information, see www.PuroCPR.com.

Posted 9:20 AM  View Comments

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