This month I thought I'd post some helpful information pertaining to suffering a fire loss. We have worked on a number of fires recently and that made me re-visit some basics, however, when I re-read through an old list I found, it was a list of Don'ts and not Do's: Let me go over a few of the Do's from the old list, and I will explain why you do not do these things.
DO'S AND DON'TS AFTER A FIRE: (Part 1)
Excerpt from the old list:
Immediately turn off heating and air conditioning system to prevent spreading of soot and odor. If it is necessary to use the system, change the filter first. (Partially true. But do not run the system at all until an air conditioning contractor experienced in fire restoration, has looked at it.)
Secure any doors or windows that may be damaged, to prevent vandalism. (Contact your insurance company immediately and they will send out a company 24/7 to secure the doors and windows in a proper and professional manner to make your home secure.) Attempting this on your own can be dangerous. If your insurance carrier doesn't refer a company, contact a fire restoration contractor, all fire restoration contractors perform 24 hour board-up services. And more than likely the fire department will assist you in getting a board-up company out to your home or business.
Blow-off or brush vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery, drapes and carpets. (Again, please do not do this yourself. You could ruin your vacuum and the upholstery, drapes and carpet. Contact your insurance company first; if they do not recommend a company you can readily find a contents specialist on the web on your smart phone. Just search for "restoration", and keep my number stored in your phone.