Drying out and cleaning up
After the fire page banner

Drying out and cleaning up

After a fire, how do you put your home right again?


If your home is not habitable then you may wish to put furniture and belongings into a local storage unit, while your home is being repaired.

Drying out

Do not use liquid petroleum gas (LPG), heaters as they create additional water vapour.

You can hire dehumidifiers, which will remove water from the atmosphere.

Your home will need to be thoroughly heated and ventilated with open windows for several days. This will also help remove odours.

Maintain your homes security during the drying out stage.

Electrical hazards

If water has come into contact with electrical wiring or appliances, we advise you to isolate the electricity supply and have the circuit checked by a registered electrician.

Remember, water conducts electricity and can kill if not used correctly.

Fridge freezers and food

For a short period of time food will remain safe in your fridge or freezer if kept closed.

Consider transferring food to a neighbour’s house.

If in doubt - throw it out!

Clothing and bedding

Before attempting to clean your home yourself or professionally, always read the care label for instructions.

Walls and ceilings

Painted surfaces and vinyl wall coverings may be carefully washed using mild soap or detergent.

Take extra care when washing around electrical switches and sockets. Preferably isolate the electrical supply first.

Children’s toys

Your child’s toys may need to be cleaned professionally before being used again. Always read the label.

Books and photographs

Books can be dried by placing them on end, separating the pages and placing unmarked dry paper between the pages. Press to avoid crinkling and distorting.

Single sheets can be dried using a hand-held hair dryer. Take care not to scorch the surface. Afterwards, press flat between the pages of a heavy book.


Upholstered furniture may be soiled, stained and wet.

Allow your items to dry in a well ventilated place after removing drawers and stored items.

Contact a specialist cleaner in your area to clean carpet, curtains and upholstery.