Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire Damage Restoration Process in Meriden

1/16/2020 (Permalink)

fire damage in a home with servpro logo Don't let fire damage devastate your home. Give us a call to restore your property to pre-fire condition.

A fire can be devastating for your home or business.

After the fire is out, you may be left with multiple areas of damage. The fire may have compromised the structure of the building, soot and smoke damage can effect walls and furniture, and you may face water damage from putting the fire out.

So, where do you start after the flames are out?

Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us respond immediately with the appropriate equipment and resources. 

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

We carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action. 

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs. 

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process. 

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces. 

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. We’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

SERVPRO of Meriden can restore your property back to pre-fire condition.

We specialize in fire and water damage remediation and restoration. We’re dedicated to responding immediately when you need help with fire or water damage to help lessen the damage, limit further damage, and reduce restoration costs.

We’re open 24/7, 365 days a year to respond to your call.

Don’t wait if you have fire damage, call today.

Prevent Christmas Tree Fire Damage in Your Meriden Home

12/19/2019 (Permalink)

decorated christmas tree with servpro logo and text "christmas tree fire safety tips" Stay safe from fire damage this holiday season!

It’s fun to decorate your home for the holidays, but holiday decorations like Christmas trees and lights can increase your risk for a home fire.

Did you know:

  • More than one of every four home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.
  • A heat source to close to a Christmas tree causes one in every four of holiday fires.
  • Nearly half of all holiday decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.

To prevent fire damage in your home this holiday season, SERVPRO of ­­­­Meriden recommends following these fire safety tips.

  1. If buying a real tree, choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched. This will lower the risk of fire due to a dry tree.
  2. Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source: fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, or lights.
  3. Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit. This is a fire hazard.
  4. Add water to the tree stand and be sure to add water daily. A dry, dying tree increases risk of fire.
  5. Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

SERVPRO of Meriden hopes that you will follow these Christmas tree fire safety tips to stay safe this holiday season!

Source: nfpa.org

Different Types of Home Fire Extinguishers in Meriden CT

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

2 different red fire extinguishers side by side Types of fire extinguishers

Smoke and fire damage is something all of us at SERVPRO of Meriden would like to see you avoid. In the event that the worst happens and you're faced with this kind of disaster, you can count on us to lend a helping hand.

We have a team of highly trained professionals to walk with you each step of the way when repairing the damage from smoke, water, and fire in your home or office.

SERVPRO of Meriden recommends you have at least one fire extinguisher and know how to use it in case of a fire. 

Types of Home Fire Extinguishers: 

Classes A, B, and C fire extinguishers are found in both homes and businesses

  • Class A is for cloth, wood, and paper
  • Class B is for liquids that can burst into flame or explode, such as grease, gasoline, oil, or oil-based paints
  • Class C is for electrical equipment like computers, tools, or anything else that is plugged in
  • Most home-improvement stores sell multi-purpose fire extinguishers: Classes A:B:C

A fire-extinguisher may prevent fire damage and smoke damage from spreading throughout the home.

If you are faced with a small fire, use the following tips. Remember: If you aren't sure you can put it out yourself, everyone should exit the building and call 9-1-1 when you are outside.

SERVPRO of Meriden wants you to know that you should try to fight a small fire only if:

  • You can get to the fire extinguisher quickly. Fire is fast. Fire damage and smoke damage are less painful than personal injuries
  • You know how to use the fire extinguisher
  • You have the correct class of fire extinguisher

How to Use Fire Extinguishers in Meriden CT

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

Close up of top of fire extinguisher and full shot of extinguisher on right side of picture When using a fire extinguisher, remember PASS; Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep.

Here at SERVPRO of Meriden, we hope you never experience the devastation that comes with fire damage.

However, in the event that disaster strikes, be aware that our IICRC certified technicians are qualified in all aspects of cleaning up the damage left by smoke and fire in your business or residence in Meriden.

Fire extinguishers may help prevent fire damage or smoke damage, but only if you know how to use them.

SERVPRO of Meriden wants to share these tips from FEMA. You can try to fight a small fire only if:

  • You have alerted others in the building that there is a fire
  • Someone has called the fire department
  • You are physically able to use a fire extinguisher
  • The fire is small and contained (like a wastebasket)
  • You are safe from the fire’s smoke
  • You have a clear escape route

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher:  
SERVPRO of Meriden suggests you remember

PASS:

Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism

Aim at the base of the fire

Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly

Sweep the nozzle side to side

Different Types of Extinguishers in Meriden CT

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

fire extinguisher hanging on wall Common fire extinguisher

All of us at SERVPRO of Meriden hope your business stays safe from fire.  If the worst happens, we are experts in cleaning fire damage and smoke damage.

Just to be safe, SERVPRO of Meriden recommends you keep, maintain, and know how to use fire extinguishers. 

A fire-extinguisher may prevent fire damage and smoke damage from spreading throughout the office.

If you see a small fire that you can take care of yourself, use the following tips.  If you have any worries, you and everyone else should leave the house and call 9-1-1 when you are outside.

SERVPRO of Meriden wants you to know that you can try to fight a small fire only if:

  • You can get to the fire extinguisher quickly. Fire is fast. Fire damage and smoke damage are less painful than personal injuries
  • You have the right class of fire extinguisher
  • You know how to use the fire extinguisher

SERVPRO of Meriden explains the Types of Commercial Fire Extinguishers:

Classes A, B, and C fire extinguishers are found in both homes and businesses

  • Class A is for cloth, wood, and paper
  • Class B is for liquids that can burst into flame or explode, such as grease, gasoline, oil, or oil-based paints
  • Class C is for electrical equipment like computers, tools, or anything else that is plugged in
  • Most home-improvement stores sell multi-purpose fire extinguishers: Classes A:B:C
  • Class D is for metals that can burst into flame. Class D fire extinguishers are usually needed only in some factories
  • Class K is for vegetable and animal oils and fats that are in cooking appliances. Commercial kitchens (restaurants, cafeterias, catering businesses) often use them

Tips to Prevent Kitchen Fire in Meriden CT

10/26/2019 (Permalink)

kitchen with table on left, stove directly in front and sink and counter on right Kitchen

SERVPRO of Meriden understands that cooking equipment is a leading cause of fire damage and fire injuries in the home.

To help prevent fire damage, SERVPRO of Meriden shares these tips. They make more sense than not cooking at home.

  • Many kitchen items can catch fire, including dishtowels, oven mitts, recipes, wooden tools, and loose clothing
  • Never operate the stove or oven when you are tired or have been drinking alcohol
  • If you are frying, broiling, grilling, or boiling food, stay in the kitchen. If you leave, even for a short time, turn off the heat
  • Keep flammable items at least three feet from the stovetop
  • Do not allow children within two to four feet of the stove or oven
  • If you must leave the house while cooking of any kind, turn off the heat sources

Remember that fire is fast. If you cannot contain a fire immediately, leave and bring everyone with you. Call 9-1-1 from outside the home.

SERVPRO of Meriden reminds you that fire prevention is the best strategy against fire damage.

The Best Fire Control is Fire Prevention in Meriden CT

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Two firefighters suited up holding a hose putting water on a fire Firefighters putting out the fire

The U.S. Fire Administration reports that a small flame can turn into a major fire in just 30 seconds. Flames and smoke can fill the house in just a few minutes.

SERVPRO of Meriden will help you recover from fire damage. We hope you never need that kind of help.

The best fire control is fire prevention.

SERVPRO of Meriden notes that the 2019 Fire Prevention Week is October 6 – 12.

SERVPRO of Meriden offers these Tips for Fire Prevention: Overview

  • Items that can catch fire include: dish towels, oven mitts, paper, curtains, wooden spoons, decorations
  • Heat sources include light bulbs, fireplaces, stovetops, furnaces, candles, or electric heaters.
  • Keep items that can catch fire at least 3 feet away from heat sources
  • Keep kids at least 3 feet away from heat sources
  • Turn off heat sources when you leave the home or go to bed
  • Never use the oven as a heater
  • Have the fireplace chimney inspected & cleaned once a year

SERVPRO of Meriden suggests you keep one or more fire extinguishers available.

Remember fire is fast. If there is a fire, leave and bring everyone with you. Call 9-1-1 from outside the home.

Sharing the Burden After a Fire

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

fire in microwave over stove Fire In Kitchen From Microwave

Fire can be a destructive entity that costs untold amounts in damage and time 

In a moment your situation can go from okay and “normal” to not so okay and anything but normal.

After it’s all said and done, folks are often left in a state of confused immobility.

Like the proverbial “deer in the headlights”, they don’t know which way to turn.

If you find yourself or your business suffering from the stress and costs of dealing with just such a disaster; we have associates who are always ready to answer any questions you may have and to get you over and done with the crisis as quickly as possible.

Since SERVPRO of Meriden is a local business, we know the area and our resources can be an asset to you in your time of need.

Our reason for existing is to serve you when you need us the most.

We promise to do all we can to pull our share of your load.

Summer Fire Safety

7/13/2018 (Permalink)

Summer Fire Safety

Every year we look forward to summer vacations, camping, family reunions, picnics, and the Fourth of July. Summertime, however, also brings fires and injuries due to fireworks and outdoor cooking.

Tell your community, the best way to protect their families is to not use fireworks at home. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends attending public displays and leaving the lighting of fireworks to the professionals.

A study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that over 200 people on average go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday. Fireworks are dangerous! 

Know how to prevent a burn while you enjoy outdoor activity this summer.

Wear short sleeves or roll them up when cooking on the grill.

Use long-handled barbecue tools.

Keep a 3-foot safe zone around grills, fire pits and campfires.

Attend public fireworks displays; this leaves the lighting to the professionals.

Incase if you need restore fire damage, we are here to help, Contact SERVPRO of Meriden.

Why Hire an IICRC Certified Company?

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

Why Hire an IICRC Certified Company?

IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certificate) Benefit:

The IICRC is a non-profit certification and Standards Developing Organization (SDO) for the inspection, cleaning, and restoration industries. In partnership with regional and international trade associations, the IICRC represents the entire industry. The IICRC is recognized internationally as a knowledgeable industry voice and resource.

Why use a certified technician?

Professional restoration technicians understand the need for quick response. Immediate remediation is key to controlling escalating costs. The longer the remediation is delayed, the higher the cost of restoration. Certified restorers have the knowledge to test materials and apply the restoration techniques required in order to return the items to their preloss condition.

If you’re looking to hire a restoration company, look for the IICRC logo.

IICRC Certified Firms have earned the right to display the IICRC logo as a symbol of quality. In order to achieve IICRC-certified status, firms must meet a rigorous list of standards in business ethics and expertise, and continue to, in order to maintain their certification status. 

All IICRC Certified Firms must:

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC actively has relationships with fiber producers, carpet and fabric mills, furnishing manufacturers and retailers, and others affiliated with the industry. The use of IICRC service professionals is specified in leading manufacturers’ maintenance brochures and warranties.

SERVPRO of Meriden, CT is an IICRC Certified Firm. We follow all IICRC standards in our water, fire and smoke cleanup and restoration as well as our mold mitigation work.

IICRC Certified Firm

SERVPRO of Meriden, CT is an IICRC Certified firm. This designation from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration dictates that we are a professional restoring company known for our professional attitude and for providing the consumer with the highest degree of customer service.

If you have experienced smoke, fire or water damage and need a professional restoration company call us 24/7 at (203) 601-6746.

Fire safety at homes

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

Fire safety at homes

Spring is when many people decide to open up their seasonal houses, cabins, and cottages. An important part of the preparation is gearing up for fire safety. Just like permanent housing, vacation homes are vulnerable to unsafe conditions.

By the time vacationers arrive at their seasonal homes, the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms may no longer work and chimneys could be blocked.

Here are some safety tips:

  • Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  • Install CO alarms outside each separate sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations as required by laws, codes, or standards.
  • Test CO alarms at least once a month.
  • Pack extra batteries for smoke alarms and CO alarms in case they need replacing.
  • Make a home escape plan. Practice the plan with everyone in the household, including visitors.
  • Know the telephone number of the local fire department and the address and phone number of the vacation home.
  • Chimneys and vents need to be cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional at least once a year.
  • If you smoke, smoke outside. Use deep, sturdy ashtrays.
  • If you are renting, contact the property manager, landlord, or fire department to be sure that smoke alarms and CO alarms are installed and properly working.

NFPA’s tip sheets provide further information on how to be safe while at your “home away from home.”

Source

http://www.nfpa.org

Escape From A Home Fire In 2 Minutes!

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

firetruck in front of fire Escape From A Home Fire In 2 Minutes!

Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Learn what else to do to keep your loved ones safe!

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.

Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.

Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.

If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.

SERVPRO of Meriden Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. When various materials burn, the soot and residue they create differs greatly and requires a specific cleaning procedure. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage restoration. Learn more about our fire damage restoration process.

  1. Emergency Contact
  2. Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
  3. Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)
  4. Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
  5. Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
  6. Cleaning and Repair
  7. Restoration

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 800-734-3213

Fire Damage Restoration in CT

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage can be very devastating for a residential or commercial property. In addition to fire, smoke, and soot damage, water damage caused by firefighting efforts and fire suppression systems may occur. Every hour spent restoring your business back to pre-fire condition is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If you have a fire emergency, call SERVPRO because we have the training, experience, and equipment to manage your commercial fire damage emergency. We will respond quickly and manage the fire restoration project through to its completion—getting your property business-ready.

Whether your need is removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can depend on SERVPRO of Meriden, CT to get the job done right the first time. We’ll respond promptly and make your workspace look its very best. Learn more about our Commercial Cleaning Services.

Your commercial property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, SERVPRO of Meriden, CT has the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

We are available throughout Connecticut 24 hours a day to get your business back up and running. Our expertise includes restoration services for fire and water damage, including electronics restoration and document drying.

Fire damage? Call us today!

No Job Is Too Large

Call SERVPRO of Meriden, CT at 1-800-734-3213

How Fire Can Lead to Water Damage?

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

How Fire Can Lead to Water Damage?

When your home or office experiences fire damage in Connecticut, you may also find yourself scheduling water damage repair and mold removal. In fact, water damage is a very common side effect of a household and business fire. There are several ways that a fire can lead to water damage in your home or busine. First, your firefighters may use water-based extinguishers to put out the flames. As gallons and gallons of water are pumped into your indoor spaces, water damage will naturally occur. During a fire, your pipes and other plumbing fixtures may also burst and lead to water damage throughout your home. 

To ensure that your fire damage and water damage problems are properly remediated, be sure to contact an insurance restoration company that services your local area. A team of remediation professionals will have all of the tools that are needed to fully remove both water and fire damage from your indoor spaces. Your restoration company SERVPRO will work closely with you to return your home to the condition that it was in before the fire.

Fireworks are dangerous!

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

Fireworks are dangerous!

Fireworks are dangerous!

Tell your community, the best way to protect their families is to not use fireworks at home. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends attending public displays and leaving the lighting of fireworks to the professionals.

Remember, fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries. You can help us prevent fireworks-related injuries and deaths. How? By working with a national, state or local organization where you live to promote fireworks safety in your community.

Follow these safety tips when using fireworks: 

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

Power Damage from Power cords

11/3/2017 (Permalink)

Eliminate Electric Power Damage from Power cords

Power cords on electrical appliances that are moved frequently receive a lot of abuse. These include vacuum cleaners, floor polishers, power tools and other portable appliances. Often, the damage occurs at the plug (i.e., a missing ground prong on a three pronged grounded plug).

Damaged and ungrounded power cords pose serious hazards to users of the appliance including electrical shock and risk of fire. Missing ground prongs on power cord plugs usually result from users pulling on the cord to remove the plug from the outlet instead of handling the plug directly.

In some cases, the plug may be pulled from the wire covering, exposing the inner wires to damage. Power cords can become frayed or damaged from heavy use, age, or excessive current flow through the wiring.

When a power cord is damaged, the appliance should be removed from service and the cord replaced as soon as possible to reduce the risk of electrical shock, electrocution or fire. Cord damage can also result when the cord is pinched, caught between or punctured by heavy objects such as legs on a desk. This damage could lead to a short circuit and result in a fire. Also, cords placed under stress, such as when a heavy appliance is hung by its cord, could eventually cause damage to the cord or plug.

Commercial Property Fire Damage restoration in Connecticut

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Property Fire Damage Restoration in Connecticut

Fire damage can be very devastating for a business or commercial property. In addition to fire, smoke, and soot damage, water damage caused by firefighting efforts and fire suppression systems may occur. Every hour spent restoring your business back to pre-fire condition is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If you have a fire emergency, call SERVPRO because we have the training, experience, and equipment to manage your commercial fire damage emergency. We will respond quickly and manage the fire restoration project through to its completion—getting your property business-ready.

Whether your need is removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can depend on SERVPRO of Meriden, CT to get the job done right the first time. We’ll respond promptly and make your workspace look its very best. Learn more about our Commercial Cleaning Services.

Your commercial property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, SERVPRO of Meriden, CT has the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

We are available throughout Connecticut 24 hours a day to get your business back up and running. Our expertise includes restoration services for fire and water damage, including electronics restoration and document drying.

Do you have commercial fire damage? Call us today!

Call SERVPRO of Meriden, CT at (203) 601-6746

Summer Fire Safety - Campfire Safety Tips

6/22/2017 (Permalink)

Summer Fire Safety - Campfire Safety Tips

If you'll be spending the summer camping or just toasting marshmallows in the back yard, it's a good idea to educate yourself about campfire safety.

Every year people look forward to summer vacations, camping, family reunions, picnics, and the 4th of July. However, injuries increase in the summertime due to fireworks and outdoor cooking. We encourage summer fire safety in your community with these tips…

  • Always follow the campfire rules for the area where you are camping or living. Some parks and towns prohibit fires, and these rules are there for a reason. Check the local regulations before you build your fire.
  • It is important to make sure that all members of your family know to "Stop, Drop, and Roll" if an article of clothing ever catches on fire. Instead of just talking about it to young children, practice the steps to become familiar with them together.
  • Choose a location for your campfire where it will not spread. Never build a campfire near any dry leaves, grassy areas or under overhanging tree branches. Before building a campfire, clear away all shrubbery and vegetation from the area, dig a pit for the fire, and surround it with rocks.
  • Do not store gasoline, liquid fire starter, or any other type of flammable liquid near the campfire. It's too easy for stray flames to ignite these materials. Always keep away from children.
  • Do not place your campfire near the tent. It should always be placed downwind from the tent. Only use tents made from flame-retardant materials if you'll be having a campfire.
  • Do not build large campfires, even if they seem impressive. It's much safer to keep fires small so they are easier to control.
  • Never leave a campfire lit if there is no one to attend to it. If you're going to sleep for the night, always take the time to put the fire out first.
  • Never light a campfire if you do not have the means of extinguishing it. Always keep plenty of water and a shovel near the campfire to use in an emergency and put the campfire out when you are finished using it.
  • To extinguish a campfire douse it with water, use the shovel to bury the fire with ash and dirt. Then douse the area with water.

Tips for fire victims facing clean up!!

5/3/2017 (Permalink)

Fire and Smoke Restoration in Connecticut

Fire and Smoke Restoration in Connecticut


In the wake of a fire that has covered homes with smoke and ash, it’s important to begin clean up as soon as possible in order to prevent permanent damage or discoloration from soot residue. The IICRC provides the following tips for fire victims facing clean up:



  • Practice safety first. Use a dust mask (like painters use) and gloves as you work.

  • Ventilate the home. Place a box fan in an open window to draw the air and dust out.

  • Clean from top to bottom. Start with the ceilings, walls and fixtures, and work your way down to the contents of the room, then to the floor.

  • Vacuum floors and upholstery. Make sure your vacuum cleaner has a high efficiency filter. Otherwise, you risk blowing soot back into the air.

  • Some draperies, clothing and machine-washable items may be laundered. Use a mild alkaline cleaner to neutralize the acid in the soot. Fine clothing should be dry cleaned.

  • Most exterior walls (brick, stone, wood, paint, siding) and eaves can be cleaned by spraying with a detergent, agitating soot with a soft-bristled brush, pressure washing from bottom to top, then rinsing from top to bottom.

  • If the damage and residue are heavy, it may be best to hire a professional to thoroughly restore your home and belongings.

  • Check with your insurance company to see if smoke damage from outdoor sources is covered by your policy.

  • If the fire has warped or distorted the structure, consult a licensed general contractor.


Professional restoration technicians know that damage increases and restoration costs escalate the longer neutralization, corrosion control and cleaning is delayed. When homeowners prolong the restoration of their home, they extend the effects brought on by the smoke exposure. The following is a timeline of the effects of fire and smoke on a home.


Within Minutes: Acid soot residues cause plastics to yellow; small appliances located close to the source of combustion discolor; highly porous materials (marble, alabaster) discolor permanently.


Within Hours: Acid residues stain grout in bathrooms; fiberglass bath fixtures may yellow; uncoated metals tarnish, counter tops may yellow; finishes on appliances, particularly refrigerators, may yellow; furniture finishes may discolor.


Within Days: In time, acid residues cause painted walls to yellow permanently; metal corrodes, pits and rusts; wood furniture requires refinishing; vinyl flooring requires refinishing or replace­ment; clothing becomes soot stained; upholstery stains permanently.


Within Weeks: Restoration costs escalate tremendously. Synthetic carpet fibers may yellow or discolor permanently; silver plate is corroded permanently; glass, crystal, china may require replacement due to severe etching and pitting caused by prolonged exposure to acid soot residues.


Cleaning up soot residue must be done as quickly as possible. During combustion, soot residue and volatile vapors are carried by rising and expanding air to surfaces throughout a structure, and are deposited. This process occurs repeatedly until combustion ends, with soot residue building up on surfaces layer by layer. By the time restoration technicians arrive, lacquer-like soot residue may be quite difficult to dissolve and remove.


In addition to removing residue, ridding your home of its smoky odor is necessary. Professionals use this four-step process to remove odors:



  • Remove the source of the odor, as possible, including unsalvageable debris that contributes to odor generation and recontamination of cleaned and deodorized areas.

  • Clean salvageable surfaces and items to physically remove odor-causing residue.

  • Chase remaining odor with an odor counteractant. In the case of smoke, create a deodorizing fog or gas that seeks out and combines with odor-causing substances.

  • Seal salvageable surfaces that are inaccessible or slightly scorched, not only for aesthetic purposes, but primarily to encapsulate odor and prevent progressive recontamination.


Understanding the effects of a fire can help homeowners evaluate the damage to their home. By learning more about residue clean-up and deodorization after a fire, you can minimize the need for costly repair. Fire and smoke restoration experts can help you return your home and furnishings to a “preloss” condition.


References : http://www.IICRC.org/consumers/