Cleaning and utilities

Smoke and soot can travel and penetrate into other rooms. This affects paint, carpet, upholstery, drapes, clothing and other belongings.

You may be keen to get on and redecorate your home. Before you start you will need to thoroughly clean it and neutralize both the deposits and odours.

Cleaning up after a fire


Many building materials contain asbestos which is safe unless it is disturbed.

  • Materials containing asbestos could have been damaged during the fire. Asbestos fibres could have been released into the air. These can be harmful if inhaled.
  • If you suspect materials containing asbestos have been damaged, seek advice from the Local Authority Environmental Health Officer.

Drying out

  • Ventilation and gentle heat will speed up the drying process. It will help to prevent rotting as well as reducing post-fire smells.

DIY cleaning

A large amount of cleaning can be carried out using hot, soapy water.

  • Put on any protective clothing and / or equipment
  • Remove burnt or charred material from the property
  • Wash down all hard furniture
  • Wash soft furnishings
  • Dispose of food and drink that has been subjected to heat to smoke
  • Dispose of frozen food that has thawed

Professional cleaning

  • A number of cleaning and maintenance companies offer a cleaning service after a fire.
  • Check with you insurance provided to find if the cost is covered by your insurance policy.

Smoke alarms

  • Smoke alarms that have been subjected to high temperatures or damage will need to be replaced as soon as possible.

Getting your utilities reconnected

Your gas, electricity and water supplies may have been turned off or disconnected by firefighters. Or they could have been affected by the fire. 

Do not attempt to reconnect or turn on utilities until they have been checked by a competent person.

If repairs are required

  • Should only be carried out by a qualified trades person. 
  • Only use a Gas Safe registered engineers to fix your gas appliance.
  • Contact your suppliers to arrange repairs and reconnection.