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Emergency Response for Fire Damage Restoration

While every fire emergency is different, the restoration process often starts with similar activities. In many cases, work cannot even start until debris has been removed and a clear path has been created.

Home or Building Inspection

We often start by addressing any safety issues related to the electrical power, structural integrity of the building, and its HVAC system. For instance, we will inspect the furnace and air conditioning units, replace filters and then cover vents to prevent cross contamination of smoke and odor into other areas.

Emergency Board Up

Fire Emergency

In cases of fire and storm damage, our emergency response team can board up and tarp your home or business to secure and protect it.

Fires often create breeches in the home or building structure that could lead to further damage from vandalism or weather elements. ServiceMaster can work with you to get your home or business boarded up as quickly as possible.

Emergency Water Damage Mitigation

Firefighting activities typically leave an affected area with a large amount of water and moisture. So, one of our initial activities is to extract this excess water, check the flooring and structural components for remaining moisture and then set up drying and dehumidifying equipment.

Emergency Pre-Cleaning

Emergency pre-cleaning can play a critical role in mitigating damage and minimizing replacement costs. Fires can leave an acidic residue that can cause irreversible damage in a short period of time to fixtures, appliances and other at-risk surfaces like marble, stone, grout, aluminum and glass. It needs to be removed as quickly as possible.

Once these initial steps have been taken, we can begin initial odor control measures such as ventilating the property, applying deodorizers, and placing air filtration units throughout. We can also assist with the emptying of refrigerators and freezers to prevent odors from spoiling food and arrange for emergency laundry/dry cleaning to provide several changes of clothing for immediate use.

Tips & Tricks

After fire damage to your home, your prompt action can minimize further damage. The safe, timely steps listed below can assist you in restoring your home to the condition it was in before your crisis. Incorrect actions can be costly mistakes. These "do's" and "don'ts" are guidelines for your information and guidance.


  • Blow off or brush-vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery, drapes, and carpets.
  • Cover carpeted traffic areas with towels or old lines to prevent additional soiling.
  • Discard open food packages. The food could be contaminated.
  • If electrical service is off, clean out your freezer and refrigerator. Leave the doors propped open or place charcoal in the unit.
  • Send clothing with heavy smoke damage to a qualified professional dry cleaner.
  • Clean formica and chrome fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom to prevent permanent tarnishing.
  • Wipe residue from porcelain bath fixtures to prevent etching.
  • Wipe the leaves of house plants to remove smoke residue.
  • Change the air filter on your furnace if it uses forced hot air.
  • Tape cheese cloth over intake and outlet air registers to capture any loose soot in the air. This is even more effective if the cheese cloth is damp.
  • If the outside temperature is above 60 degrees, air out the house to reduce smoke odor.


  • Do not attempt to wash any papered or flat painted walls without consulting your professional cleaner.
  • Incorrect cleaning procedures could compound the soot residue problem.
  • Do not attempt to clean carpets or upholstered furniture. Again, incorrect procedures could increase damage.
  • Do not attempt to use electrical appliances that have been close to fire or water before having them checked. They could malfunction.
  • Do not use ceiling fixtures in the ceiling is wet. A short circuit could result.
  • Do not touch anything. Soot on your hands can permeate upholstery, walls, and woodwork, causing further damage.
  • Do not eat food that has been exposed to fire or smoke.
  • Do not wait to call for professional help.