Tips From State And FEMA On Smoke Removal And Fire Cleanup

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Release date: 
July 29, 2002
Release Number: 
1422-34

Mesa, AZ -- The Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommend that residents in the Rodeo-Chediski disaster area take steps to remove smoke and give a clean up in and around their house.

"Even if your house didn't suffer actual fire damage, the smoke from a fire can create problems in your house and on your property," said ADEM Director Michael P. Austin. We encourage all of those in the area of the Rodeo-Chediski fire to follow a few basic clean up procedures."

Some of the helpful clean up procedures include:

  • Pressure wash/scrub/disinfect all exterior surfaces including walls, walks, drives, decks, window and deck screens, etc.

  • Wash and disinfect all interior walls and hard surfaces with mild soap or other appropriate cleaning solutions or products and rinse thoroughly. Don't forget inside cabinets, drawers and closets.

  • Launder or dry clean all clothing.

  • Wash, dust or otherwise clean all household items like picture frames and knick-knacks, etc.

  • Clean all carpets, window coverings, upholstered furniture and mattresses with steam or other appropriate equipment to clean, disinfect and deodorize.

  • Upholstery, fabric window treatments, etc. can be spray treated with deodorizing products available at most supermarkets. Do not use odor-masking sprays.

  • Have HVAC and all ductwork professionally cleaned to remove soot, ash and smoke residue. Change HVAC filters when you first return and at least once a month for the first year.

  • If aerial fire retardant or firefighting foam residue is present on the house and/or automobiles, use a mild detergent and brushes to scrub and dilute the dried residue and flush it from the surfaces, and rinse with clean water. A follow-up with pressure washing may be beneficial, but will not replace scrubbing to remove the residue.

  • Ash and soot on the ground and vegetation in the vicinity will continue to generate smoke odors and airborne particles when disturbed by air movement. Until the ash and soot are diluted and absorbed by the environment, indoor mechanical air filtration (HEPA air filter) may help minimize the uncomfortable and potentially health-threatening impact of these pollutants.

  • Following these procedures will help make your home safe and sanitary," said Federal Coordinating Officer Sandy Coachman. "The results are well worth the effort," she added.

The Arizona Division of Emergency Management coordinates emergency services and the efforts of governmental agencies to reduce the impact of disasters on persons and property through disaster mitigation programs and the coordination of federal, state and local government agencies to respond to, and recover from, disasters through training and emergency response planning.

FEMA is the federal agency that coordinates response efforts to federal disasters. The agency's 10 regional offices wor...

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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