20 Things NOT To Do After a Fire To Prevent Further Damage

When facing the aftermath of a fire, people usually want to know what to do to start the cleanup process. However, knowing what NOT to do is just as important. 

Before we let you know the top things you should avoid doing after a fire to prevent further damage, let’s take a look at some of the primary fire damage facts that everyone should know, such as: 

  • Fires can start and spread quickly, causing extensive damage to properties and putting lives at risk.
  • Smoke from fires is often more dangerous than the flames themselves, as it can contain toxic gases and particles that can cause serious health problems.
  • Even small fires can cause significant damage, as smoke and soot can quickly spread throughout a property and damage walls, ceilings, and other structures.
  • The longer it takes to extinguish a fire, the more damage it will likely cause.
  • Various sources, including cooking equipment, electrical appliances, candles, cigarettes, and heating systems, can cause fires.
  • Fire damage can be difficult to detect, as it can hide behind walls, under floors, and in other hard-to-reach areas.
  • It is important to have working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan to help protect yourself and your family in case of a fire.
  • Fire damage can affect not only the structure of a property but also its contents, including furniture, clothing, and personal belongings.
  • The longer fire damage is left untreated, the more difficult and expensive it can be to repair and restore.
  • It is important to hire a professional fire damage restoration company to help you properly assess and repair the damage caused by fire, as they have the knowledge and expertise to do so safely and effectively.

Ok, now on to the good stuff. Several mistakes can be made after your home or business has been affected by fire. Avoiding these things will help you avoid making the damage worse than it already is. 

Before you tackle the process of fire damage cleanup, here are 20 things to be aware of that you should NOT do:

  1. Do not re-enter the building until it has been deemed safe by the fire department or other relevant authorities.
  2. Do not touch or attempt to move any items that have been damaged by fire or smoke, as this can spread soot and ash and potentially cause further damage.
  3. Do not turn on any electrical appliances or fixtures until they have been inspected and cleared by a professional.
  4. Do not clean or wipe down any surfaces, walls, or floors without consulting a professional restoration company.
  5. Do not use any household cleaning products or chemicals to clean up after the fire, as they can react with smoke and cause further damage.
  6. Do not attempt to remove any damaged materials or debris without protective equipment and the guidance of a professional.
  7. Do not touch any wiring or electrical cables that the fire has damaged.
  8. Do not use fans or air conditioning units to try and ventilate the area, as this can spread soot and ash throughout the building.
  9. Do not eat any food that has been exposed to smoke or soot.
  10. Do not use water or other liquids to clean up after the fire, as this can worsen the damage.
  11. Do not attempt to operate any machinery or equipment that has been exposed to fire or smoke.
  12. Do not throw away any damaged items until they have been properly assessed by a professional.
  13. Do not touch any insulation that has been exposed to fire or smoke.
  14. Do not attempt to repair or restore any items or structures without first consulting with a professional.
  15. Do not use gasoline or other flammable liquids to clean up after the fire.
  16. Do not touch any charred or burned items, as they may be unstable and could collapse or cause injury.
  17. Do not turn on any gas appliances until they have been inspected and cleared by a professional.
  18. Do not attempt to repair or use any damaged electronics or appliances.
  19. Do not use portable heaters or other heating devices until they have been inspected and cleared by a professional.
  20. Do not try to handle the aftermath of the fire on your own. Seek the help of a professional restoration company and follow their advice.

Now that you know what you shouldn’t do, here is a look at what you can expect during the fire damage cleanup process. 

Fire damage cleanup is a multi-step process involving several different tasks, depending on the fire’s severity and the damage’s extent. Here are some of the typical steps involved in fire damage cleanup:

  • Assessment and Inspection: The first step in fire damage cleanup is to assess the extent of the damage and inspect the affected area to determine the best course of action. This may involve testing for smoke and water damage and evaluating the level of structural damage to the property.
  • Safety Measures: Before any cleanup work can begin, it is important to ensure that the property is safe to enter and that there are no lingering hazards or risks to health and safety.
  • Removal of Debris: The next step is to remove any debris and damaged materials from the affected area, including furniture, appliances, and other items that the fire has destroyed.
  • Soot and Smoke Cleanup: Soot and smoke damage can be pervasive, so it is important to thoroughly clean and deodorize the affected area to remove any lingering smoke odors or particles.
  • Water Damage Cleanup: In many cases, fires are extinguished with water, which can lead to water damage and fire damage. Any standing water should be removed, and any remaining moisture should be dried out to prevent further damage and mold growth.
  • Structural Repairs: Depending on the level of structural damage, repairs may be necessary to restore the property to its pre-fire condition. This may involve replacing damaged walls, floors, and ceilings and repairing or replacing damaged electrical systems and plumbing.
  • Content Restoration: Any salvageable items and personal belongings must be cleaned, restored, and returned to their proper places. This may involve cleaning and repairing damaged clothing, furniture, and other items and storing them until the restoration work is complete.

Western Disaster Cleanup 

Fire damage cleanup is a complex process that requires expertise and experience, which is precisely what the professionals at Western Disaster Cleanup have to offer. Contact us today, and we can ensure that the cleanup and restoration process is done correctly and thoroughly. 


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