While you are waiting for the property restoration experts to arrive, there are some things you can do on your own to ensure that the damage and your out-of-pocket expenses are minimized.
- Protect chrome trim on kitchen appliances by applying a light coat of Vaseline or other type of oil
- Blow off or brush-vacuum loose particles from upholstery, draperies, and carpet
- If weather permits, open all windows in the damaged area to improve ventilation
- Use a small amount of oil to coat and protect smoke-damaged faucets, towel bars, and tub fittings
- Remove any pets to a clean environment (birds are particularly susceptible to smoke particles)
- If electricity is off, empty your freezer and refrigerator and keep the door propped open
- If it’s winter and electricity is out, pour antifreeze in toilet bowls, sinks, and tubs to help prevent frozen pipes and other problems
- If heat is off in the winter, call a plumber to drain your heating system
- Wipe or wash walls or ceilings
- Use upholstered furniture
- Use exposed food items—including canned goods—that may have been exposed to smoke or extreme heat
- Use electrical equipment (TVs, stereos, etc.) until they’ve been professionally checked
- Send smoke-damaged garments to the dry cleaner, since improper cleaning may just cause the residue and odors to sink into the material.