Fires happen when you least expect them, and they can burn for a few minutes or for hours. Whether it's a small kitchen fire or one that destroys the second floor of your home, you aren't sure what you need to do when it's out. It's a scary situation that leaves you frightened and unsure of the next steps.

Fortunately, for most people, fires seldom affect their lives. When a fire occurs in your home, you need help plotting your next steps. Here's a guide to help you take the next steps and determine what items you can save after fire damage.

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Steps to take after the fire is out

A fire leaves you bewildered and asking yourself what to do next. Here are a few steps to get you started.

1. Check on your family members and pets

The reality is that the only things in your home that can't be replaced are your family and pets. After a fire, you need to reassure yourself that everyone is okay or getting the medical treatment that they need.

Once you see that everyone is okay, you can focus on the next steps without worry.

2. Take photos and call your insurance company

Whether it was a small fire or a large one that burned down your entire home, you need to take as many photos as you can to document the damage immediately after it occurred. First, you need to make sure that it's safe to enter your home with the fire department.

Once you have all the photos that you can safely take, it's time to call your insurance company. The claims process takes time, and the sooner you start directly relates to how soon you get the funds to rebuild.

Unless the fire created a total loss — you need to tear the remains down and start over — you can restore most homes after a fire. Most small fires leave behind more smoke damage than fire damage.

3. Determine items you want to save and items to toss

After a small fire, there are many items around your home that can be restored. Things that you don't want to save you can go ahead and move to the trash as long as you've documented the damage for the insurance company. Depending on the size of the fire, you might need a dumpster brought to your home.

Any paper or fabric items that you want to save, you need to move to a dry, well-ventilated area. If the fire department came to your home, it's possible that you have as much water damage as you do smoke and fire damage. Drying out the space becomes essential if this happens.

4. Call a professional restoration company

While white vinegar can break down and remove soot stains, you don't want to trust your treasured belongings to something you pick up on the baking aisle in the local grocery store. It's always beneficial to hire a professional restoration company to restore your home and keepsakes.

A professional restoration company has the skills and training to remove the smoke smell from walls and fabrics. They also have the right equipment and cleaning chemicals to safely remove soot stains from your walls, furniture, and other surfaces.

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What items can be saved after a fire?

After a fire in your home, you don't know what can be saved and what can't. The good news is that there's probably a lot more that can be saved than you think. This includes things, such as:

Your home

In most cases, your home can be restored as long as it didn't suffer structural damage. If the structure isn't safe, it might need to be torn down and rebuilt. Otherwise, your home can be restored. There are methods of removing soot stains and removing the smell of smoke from the interior of your home.

Typically, the bulk of the damage is from smoke or water damage when the fire was extinguished. It may take time, but your home can be restored to its previous condition with the right professionals.

Cloth furniture, clothing, and other fabric items

When you look at your soggy couch that reeks of smoke or clothes with soot damage, you're probably thinking there is no way that this can be saved. It can. If you dry it out quickly and use the right cleaning solutions most fabrics that aren't burnt can be restored.

The most important thing is to dry it out as quickly as possible. Water can lead to mold, and you don't want to deal with a mold issue on top of fire and smoke damage.


As long as fire hasn't warped the electronics, a TV or microwave can usually be restored to full functionality. Another consideration for electronics is water shorting out the components.

In many cases, the cost of restoring an electronic with water damage is more than simply replacing it. If the only damage is smoke and soot, it's easier than you might think to restore to good working order and remove the stains from soot.

Wood furniture and wooden knick-knacks

Wood furniture and other wooden items can warp during a fire or from the water used to douse the fire. If you have damaged or wet wooden items, you need to get them into a dry location with good ventilation quickly.

It's also a good idea to wipe these pieces down with a towel to dry them as quickly as possible. When the items have drawers or other pieces that open and close, you want to take the drawers and other pieces out to dry separately. You don't want these items to swell inside the wood furniture or other items.

At AdvantaClean, our team is always ready to spring into action after a fire happens. Our team can restore many items that you might believe can't be saved. Contact us to learn more today.

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