If you’ve experienced a house fire, you’re understandably eager to get your home in order again. But if you dive in and do too much, too soon, you could actually create even more problems for yourself. Before you get started on cleaning up your damaged home, remember these five things that you should NOT do.

Don’t enter the house. You’re eager to get inside and save your possessions, or simply check out the extent of the damage. But definitely do NOT enter a building damaged by a fire until the fire chief or another inspector has declared the structure safe. You could put yourself in danger if you don’t wait.

Don’t touch contaminated objects. Don’t touch things that have been contaminated by soot or dirty water. It is possible to make damage worse when you’re working with certain materials. Let a professional handle soiled objects that you want to save.

Don’t clean your upholstery or furniture. It can be super easy to damage soiled upholstery and furniture if you’re not working with the correct cleaning solutions and equipment. Since these items can be expensive, it’s worth the wait to allow a professional to clean them correctly.

Don’t use any electrical appliances. If you’re allowed to enter the house to begin cleaning or removing things, you might feel tempted to use appliances while you’re there. Make sure a professional has tested your electric wiring and all appliances before attempting to use anything. Damaged wiring and/or appliances can actually start another fire, and that’s the last thing you want.

Don’t turn on the gas or water. Wait until the fire chief or other professional has cleared you to turn on utilities again.

And of course, don’t try to tackle this enormous task alone! Give us a call if you’ve experienced a house fire, and we will help you clean up the damage so that your home is livable again.