After a Fire

Fire Recovery

Contact your insurance company. Your policy may cover house cleaning by a fire restoration specialist. As you go through your possessions, keep the ruined items for insurance purposes. Download our Fire Recovery Guide (PDF).

  • Smoke, Odours and Soot. Smoke odours can last a long time. You will probably need to clean everything in the house several times. Try placing small saucers of vinegar, vanilla or activated charcoal around the house to absorb odours.
  • Overall House Cleaning: Vacuum all surfaces with wet and dry vacuums. Change and clean all heating and air conditioning filters. Have the heating ducts cleaned by a professional furnace cleaning company.
  • Walls and Wallpaper: To remove soot and smoke from painted walls, mix 60-90 ml of tri-sodium phosphate, 250 ml bleach, 4 Litres water. Wash a small area at a time, working from the floor up. Leave the ceiling until last. Wallpaper is usually not salvageable, sometimes washable wallpaper can be washed like a painted wall but, work quickly so you don’t soak the paper.
  • Flooring: When water gets underneath linoleum, it can cause odours and warp the wood subfloor. If water seeped under, remove the linoleum.
  • Rugs and Carpets: Use wet/dry vacuum or water extractor type carpet cleaning machine to remove water and dirt. Then steam clean and shampoo, repeating as needed. A final rinse using a mix or one part vinegar and two parts waters will help reduce odour.
  • Mattresses and Pillows: These are usually not salvageable.
  • Clothing: If clothes are stained from smoke, they will likely not come clean.
  • Refrigerators and Freezers: Wash the inside with the solution of baking soda and water or use 1 cup vinegar or ammonia to 4 Litres of water.
  • Cooking Utensils: Make sure all pots, pans, etc are disinfected and thoroughly cleaned.
  • Leather Goods: It is best to have leather goods professional cleaned.
Guide to Fire Recovery