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Damage from even minor fires can be devastating.  It’s natural to want to immediately clean and repair the area, but keep these tips in mind to ensure a speedy restoration process.

Do
– Open windows (weather permitting)
– Brush or vacuum soot from upholstery and carpets.
– Protect chrome faucets and other bright trim by brushing with detergent and coating in Vaseline.
– If it’s cold, pour antifreeze in toilet bowls and drains.
– If heat is off during winter, call a plumber to drain and blow out water lines.
– Remove pets to a clean environment.
– Send a sample group of garments for cleaning. Observe the results before sending a large quantity.
– Board up windows, roofs, or other structural gaps to protect against further damage. Retain a contractor, if necessary, to help stabilize the structure.

Don’t
– Wipe or attempt to wash affected surfaces.
– Use affected furniture or upholstery.
– Use exposed food items.
– Turn on appliances until they’ve been cleaned and checked.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks for tips on how to restore furniture, photographs and other valuable items following a fire.