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BEFORE ENTERING THE AFFECTED AREA - check to see If any dangers remain from:

  1. Water in the area from fighting the fire
  2. Possible shock or electrocution hazards from affected electrical systems, light fixtures affected by water, etc.
  3. Exposure to dangerous chemicals or biohazards or material released during the event (soot is a carcinogen)
  4. Possible collapse of structural or sagging finish construction materials such as drywall ceilings, etc.

If you are uncertain about any of these conditions. DO NOT enter the area.


  1. Shut down your furnace or HVAC system to limit the spread of soot and odor.
  2. Do not touch anything with bare hands (the oils on your skin will react with the soot and cause damage to contents, walls, upholstery, etc.).
  3. Do not attempt to clean anything.
  4. Do not operate any electrical appliances, switches or outlets affected by water, soot, heat or fire.
  5. Limit the number of trips in and out of the affected area and place clean linens on the floor where you intend to walk to limit damage to the carpet.
  6. Do not remove any food or medicines until a professional can assist you in determining if they are salvageable (food and medicines inside a refrigerator or sealed packaging can still be dangerous).
  7. Wash off live household plants as soon as possible.
  8. Do not remove any clothing affected by soot or heat. Only specially trained dry cleaners can successfully clean fire and smoke damaged garments.
  9. If it is cold and heat cannot be restored, drain all items retaining water such as water heaters and boilers and pour antifreeze in toilets (bowl and tank) and in all sink traps.
  10. Secure the property by boarding up windows and doors and securing any items that could cause personal injury such as hanging glass or siding.