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Fire Damage Response


  • Throw away any items, such as food or medicines that have been contaminated by smoke or fire. Document and take pictures of these items before disposal.
  • Discard open food packages since they could be contaminated. Discard canned goods that were exposed to heat.
  • Sort clothing with smoke damage into "clean quickly," "clean eventually" and "don't wear anymore" piles.
  • Change air filter on furnace if it uses forced hot air.
  • Tape cheese cloth over intake/outlet air registers to capture any loose soot in the air. If possible, dampen cheese cloth first.
  • If outside temperature is above 60 degrees, air the house out to reduce smoke odor.


  • Tamper with evidence located around the source of the fire. This may need to be analyzed by the insurance company and/or a fire investigator.
  • Attempt to wash papered or flat painted surfaces.
  • Attempt to clean carpets or upholstered furniture.
  • Use electrical appliances that were close to fire or water before making sure they are safe.
  • Eat food that has been exposed to fire or smoke.
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