Fire & Soot Restoration

When disaster strikes, it is natural to want to clean a building or home and contents. Prompt action can help. However, incorrect or delayed action can jeopardize satisfactory restoration. Compiled by the National Institute of Fire Restoration, the following emergency tips may or may not be required. We suggest that you evaluate your circumstances and use those tips that pertain to your situation.

Fire and Smoke Damage


  • Blow off or brush-vacuum loose smoke particles from upholstery, drapes and carpets.

  • Open windows for ventilation.

  • If furnace is operating, change furnace filter.

  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open with a rolled towel or newspaper.

  • Clean and protect chrome trim on kitchen appliances with a light coating of petroleum jelly or other oil.

  • Clean and protect smoked bathroom faucets tub fittings and towel bars with a light coating of oil.

  • If temperature drops below freezing and heat is off, pour antifreeze in toilet bowls, sinks and tubs to prevent freezing.

  • Wash plants with water on both sides of leaves.

  • If heat is off, call a plumber to drain heating system.

  • Remove pets, particularly birds, to a clean environment.

  • Call a professional restoration company like Sterling Quality Cleaners.


  • Wipe or attempt to wash walls, ceiling or other absorbent surfaces.

  • Use upholstered furniture if it can be avoided.

  • Use exposed food items or canned goods that 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.

Soot Damage

Smoke and soot may seem the same but experienced professionals recognize the differences. To increase the chances for successful restoration and a quicker “return to normal” time, we suggest the following.


  • 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.

  • Call a professional restoration company like Sterling Quality Cleaners.


  • Attempt to clean walls or ceilings!

  • Use do-it-yourself carpet or upholstery cleaners!