After A House Fire
After a house fire, there are several actions you should take, but first and foremost, never enter your home after a fire unless you have been cleared by local fire department officials to do so. Going into a home with heavy fire and smoke damage can be potentially dangerous and fire and smoke compromise the structure of your home. Once you’ve been cleared to enter the home, contact your insurance company and a fire restoration company to begin the cleanup process.
If you’re able to re-enter the home, you’ll want to first open windows to air and dry it out. If there is loose soot and ash, you can use a shop vac and suck up as much as you can. Make sure to wear gloves, appropriate clothing, and a mask so you do not breathe in any lingering soot. Do not attempt to clean anything until you’ve consulted with a fire restoration specialist. Even water can make the cleanup process more difficult. Use dehumidifiers and fans to help dry out any wet areas.
Take photos of the damage for your insurance company. Start deciding what you will need to throw out and what you will try to save. Clothing, curtains and linens can be washed a few times to try to remove the smell of smoke. If that doesn’t work, there are dry cleaning companies that specialize in smoke damage removal. Appliances that have been compromised by a fire should not be used unless they have been examined by a qualified technician. You do not want to risk electrocution or another fire.
Work closely with your insurance company and fire restoration company to restore your home to its pre-loss condition.