Helpful Tips for Fire & Water Restoration in Los Angeles County & Surrounding Areas

Fire & Smoke Damage

  • Corrosive by-products can cause irreversible etching in surfaces in as few as 72 hours. Call immediately for professional help
  • If the temperature is above 60 degrees, open doors and windows to air out the house to reduce smoke odors
  • Change the air filter on your furnace if it uses forced hot air
  • Taping damp cheesecloth over returns and supply registers captures loose soot
  • Discard any open food packages because they could be contaminated
  • Clean porcelain, Formica, chrome, and aluminum fixtures to prevent permanent tarnishing
  • If the electricity is off, clean out the refrigerator and leave the door propped open
  • Send clothing with heavy smoke damage to a qualified restoration dry cleaner
  • Do not touch anything with your bare hands. Oil from your hands can cause additional damage
  • Do not attempt to clean carpets or upholstered furniture
  • Do not wash walls. Incorrect cleaning will compound the soot residue
  • Do not use electrical appliances until having them checked. If they were damaged by the fire, they could malfunction and cause you harm, or spark another fire
  • Do not use ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet

Water Damage

  • Call for professional help immediately. If the outside temperature is above 60 degrees, use dehumidifiers
  • Use fans to circulate the air and aid in drying
  • Remove as much water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe furniture dry
  • Lift draperies off the floor, loop through a coat hanger and place the hanger on the drapery rod
  • Open closet doors, furniture drawers, and luggage to facilitate drying
  • Move photos, paintings, and other valuable items to a safe, dry location
  • Use heat to aid in drying during the cool season and air-conditioning to dry in the hot season
  • Prop up damp furniture cushions for even drying
  • Remove wet fabrics and dry them as soon as possible
  • Do not go into rooms with standing water if the electricity is still on. This is a serious hazard
  • Do not use an ordinary household vacuum to remove water
  • Do not use electrical appliances while on wet carpet or floors
  • Do not lift tacked down carpet without professional help. Lifting it incorrectly could rip it


The trouble with disaster is that you never know where or when it will strike. It takes many forms- earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes, floods, fires, tornadoes, or hazardous spills- so it is almost impossible to prepare for every scenario.

Luckily, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2003. FEMA’s primary mission is to reduce the loss of life and property following a disaster. It is also responsible for protecting America from natural and man-made disasters by providing a comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation.

Visit FEMA’s website here.

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