The following are emergency tips that will help reduce property damage and insurance claims when disaster damage occurs.
Fire and Smoke Damage
- Clean and protect chrome trim on kitchen appliances with a light coating of vaseline or other oil.
- Blow off or brush-vacuum loose smoke particles from upholstery, drapery and carpet.
- Open windows for ventilation
- Change furnace filter if the blower is operating.
- Empty freezer and refrigerator completely if electricity is off, and prop doors open with a rolled towel or newspaper.
- Clean and protect smoked bathroom faucets, tub fittings and towel bars with a light coating of oil.
- Pour antifreeze in toilet bowls, sinks, and tubs to prevent freezing if heat is off in winter.
- Wash plants with water on both sides of leaves (water softener helps).
- Call plumber to drain heating system if heat is off in winter.
- Remove pets (especially birds) to clean environments.
- Wipe or attempt to wash walls, ceilings or other absorbent surfaces.
- Use upholstered furniture if it can be avoided.
- Use exposed food items or canned goods which have been subjected to excessive heat .
- Use TVs, stereos, or electrical appliances until cleaned and checked.
- Send smoked garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke and odor.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying (check for possible bleeding).
- Place aluminum foil, china saucers or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn on air conditioning for maximum drying in summer; open windows to speed drying in winter.
- Open drawers and cabinet doors for complete drying (do not force, however).
- Remove valuable oil paintings and art objects to a safe place.
- Blot wet carpeting with clean white towels.
- Open suitcases and luggage to dry in sunlight, if possible. Punch small holes in sagging ceilings to relieve trapped water (don't forget to place pans beneath!)
- Leave wet fabrics in place; dry as soon as possible. Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
- Leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors.
- Use your household vacuum to remove water.
- Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpet or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
- Change furnace filter.
- Cover upholstery with clean sheets before use.
- Tape doubled pieces of cheesecloth over air registers with masking tape.
- Blow off or brush-vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery, drapes and carpeting.
- Attempt to clean walls or ceilings.
- Use do-it-yourself, home carpet or upholstery cleaners.
- Hose down or wash egg damage from building exterior as soon as possible.
- Wipe up freshly spilled food from carpets and fabrics with a dampened cloth or sponge (but don't over-wet!). DO scrape and blot (don't rub; it may cause fuzzing or damage fibers).
- Vacuum glass particles from carpets and upholstery.
- Save containers which will reveal the composition of spilled inks, cosmetics and paints.
- Attempt to remove ink, paint or cosmetic stains.
- Operate damaged lamps or appliances.
- Throw out wood chips, broken pieces of furniture, porcelain or other art objects.