How to Prepare Your Home or Business for Restoration after a Fire

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How to Prepare Your Home or Business for Restoration after a Fire

Although the trauma has not yet subsided, your fire department has indicated that you can safely return to your home or business after a fire. Here are some things you can do before the fire and smoke damage company arrives to help increase the likelihood of salvaging your belongings. Time is of the essence here.

Remember that your health and safety are more important than any possessions, so please do not take unnecessary risks and always adhere to the recommendations of the fire department or other responding authorities.


  • Call a reputable fire and smoke damage restoration company.
  • Call your insurance company.
  • Inventory your items.
  • Open windows to allow smoke out and clean air in.
  • Empty the contents of your refrigerator and freezer and prop the doors open.
  • Remove and relocate any pets to safe, clean environment.
  • Vacuum loose, dry soot/smoke particles from carpeting.
  • Close doors and/or seal off entry to areas unaffected by fire or smoke.
  • Change the furnace filter if blower is operating.
  • Tape cheesecloth over air registers.


  • Do not use any TVs, stereos or other electronic appliances or equipment until they have been checked and/or thoroughly cleaned by a technician.
  • Do not attempt to wipe or wash ceilings, walls, or any absorbent surfaces as the water or soaps you use may cause further damage.
  • Do not attempt to clean carpeting with non-professional carpet cleaner or chemicals.
  • Do not consume food items exposed to high heat or smoke even if canned or sealed in a container.
  • Avoid using upholstered furniture or handling draperies.

A Reputable Restoration Company will:

  • Send out IICRC-Certified Technicians to work on your project.
  • Professionally clean your upholstery, drapes, carpets, walls and all other belongings.
  • Clean and protect wood trim, cabinetry, hardware and fixtures.
  • Clean and test appliances and electronic equipment.
  • Use environmentally-friendly cleaning materials and processes.
  • Use a dumpster service that sorts and recycles materials and products.
  • Work with all insurance companies to quickly and accurately estimate repair-and-rebuild and restoration costs.

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