the fire is large or small care during cleanup can often be
the key to salvaging what remains.
It is critical that home owners take pictures of damaged areas
and inventory the contents of each room. Insurance companies
will use this information to make a value assessment. In fact
it is a good practice to maintain an inventory of important
home items before tragedy strikes. Lists
should be kept in a safety deposit box or fire safe. Content
lists can also be stored on CDs or computer media for easy
updating and retrieval.
While surveying the damage keep hands clean. Soot on hands
can transfer to upholstery, walls, and woodwork causing more
Retain a contractor to board up open windows, roofs, or other
penetrations in order to prevent additional damage, from the
elements or curious intruders.
Use a cotton cloth to wipe or attempt to wash fire residues
from walls, ceilings or other absorbent surfaces. Wipe or
attempt to wash fire residues from walls ceilings or other
absorbent surfaces. It is also important to wipe leaves of
houseplants clean to remove smoke residue.
Blow off or brush-vacuum loose smoke particles from upholstery,
drapery and carpet. Vacuum glass particles from carpet and
upholstery, taking care not to walk in bare feet in the glass
residue. Lift draperies off carpet and hang on drapery rod
via looping through a coat hanger. You should not use household
cleaners on fabrics or carpet without consulting with your
Do not use televisions or other appliances while standing
on wet carpet or floors.
Discard exposed open food packages. The food is probably contaminated.
Send smoked garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper
cleaning may set smoke and odor.
Francesca Black has worked in the emergency services field
for more than 10 years. More information available at Prepare
for Emergency http://www.prepare-for-emergency.com