Fire and Smoke Damage Tips

Even if the fire was in the kitchen, the whole house may be covered in black gunk and stink of acrid smoke.

Although you'll be desperate to clean up quickly, if you're not careful you can inflict more damage on your valuable building and its contents.

Dealing with smoke and soot damage


Protect your pets: remove pets, especially birds, to a clean, safe environment

Get some air: open windows for ventilation to help get rid of the smell

Use your vacuum: if your vacuum cleaner isn't affected by the fire, carefully vacuum loose smoke and soot particles from upholstery, curtains and carpets

Cover up: cover all chairs and sofas with clean sheets before sitting on them

Rescue plants: wash plants thoroughly with water

Ask for help: If you're feeling out of your depth, let the professionals deal with it


Turn it on: get all electrical appliances checked and cleaned, don't use them until this has been done

Make it worse: Don't try to clean absorbent surfaces, like walls and ceilings.

Sit down: avoid sitting down on upholstered furniture

Don't eat : throw away all exposed food or canned goods that might be affected by the heat

Ruin your clothes: if you send them to an ordinary dry cleaner, their cleaning process can set the smoke and the odour

Do it yourself: leave the worst jobs to Chem-Dry® restoration professionals, part of Homeserve.

Dealing with water damage

If water has been used to fight the fire it may have badly damaged your furniture, carpets and belongings.


Catch those drips: if it's safe to enter rooms where leaks are coming from the ceiling put pans or bowls underneath to prevent even more water damage

Open the doors: open drawers and furniture doors to help dry them out

Mop, blot and wipe: remove as much water as possible by mopping and wiping all furniture surfaces, blotting absorbent soft furnishings and carpets with clean white towels

Prop them up: remove and prop up wet cushions so that they dry evenly, turning them from time to time, place them outside if it's sunny

Watch your legs: place foil, china saucers or wood blocks between furniture legs and your wet carpet

Save your art: remove valuable paintings and art objects to a safe, dry place


Get a shock: never turn on appliances or lights while standing on wet carpet or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors

Get a soaking: keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water

Ruin your clothes: take out any wet clothes and hang them up to dry as soon as possible

Leave a stain: coloured books or magazines can stain your wet carpets and floors, move them quickly

Vacuum: you'll ruin your vacuum cleaner and risk a shock if you try to remove water with itBookmark us, or remember this page for when you need some useful guidance and tips.

Important Notice: Please Read

The purpose of this section of the website is to provide homeowners with only general guidance and useful tips on 18/08/06. It does not necessarily deal with every important topic or cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not designed to provide professional advice and should not be relied on as such.

You should always consult an appropriately qualified expert for specific advice before acting on any of the information contained in this section of the website. You should never attempt to carry out any activity which may put you or others at risk or which may cause damage to your or anyone else's property.

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