7 Things NOT To Do After a Fire Loss
A fire and the damage it causes can be nightmarish. In just a few moments, an entire room can be destroyed, and a fire restoration services team will need to be called in. Hopefully you’ll never have to face such a scenario, but if you do, there are some things that you should never do following a fire.
Don’t Try To Clean Up Yourself
Vacuuming, wiping down the walls, touching the drapes, and any other attempt at cleaning the place up yourself can put you at risk of inhaling the extremely dangerous chemicals that are in soot and ash. Besides this, you could cause further damage to your property. Ash and soot require specialized, professional cleaning from a fire restoration services team.
Don’t Walk Around On Uncovered Carpets
Put clean sheets or towels over your carpet before you walk around on it. Otherwise you may get ash and soot setting into your shoes, and this is bad for your health.
Don’t Turn Appliances On
This goes especially for fires that took place in the kitchen. Don’t turn any electrical appliances on that were inside the room during the fire. They’ll need to be checked and cleaned professionally before being turned on again. If you turn them on when ash or other debris may be trapped inside of them, you could ruin them. Also, do not turn on ceiling appliances such as a light fixture or fan if the ceiling is wet. The wiring could be damp and could cause electric shock.
If you use the wrong type of deodorizer, such as a store-bought or a commercial deodorizer, you might offset the better formulas that the fire restoration services cleaning team will use that break up smoke molecules and improve odors.
Don’t Try To Clean Your Carpet
If you attempt to remove ash, soot, or water from your carpet or shampoo it, you’re again putting yourself at risk of inhaling very dangerous chemicals from that ash and soot. And in most cases, your carpet will need to be replaced anyway.
Don’t Turn On Your HVAC System
Keep your cooling or heating system turned off until your home is cleaned. By turning on the HVAC system, you’re inviting smoke to travel through your ductwork, which can cause secondary damage to your home.
Don’t Try To Keep Furniture
If there was heavy smoke during the fire, don’t try to continue using your upholstered furniture or carpet. If you keep using them, you’re putting yourself at risk of respiratory health problems. Your upholstered furniture and carpet will need to be replaced. In fact, you shouldn’t even sit or lie down on upholstered furniture that has been in a fire, even for a few minutes.
Knowing what not to do after a fire can make a bad situation a little easier, and can help prevent further damage.
At SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield, we’ve seen our share of fire and smoke damage, and we’ve also seen it made worse when homeowners attempt to clean up themselves. Trust us—don’t try it! Just give SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield a call at 781.593.6663 and we'll come take care of it!