Sharon Hill Fire Company - Station 9

Some Salvage tips for your belongings

Professional fire and water damage restoration businesses can be a excellent source for cleaning and restoring your personal belongings. Various Companies offering this service can be located in your phone book, or found on the internet. We are not responsible with any results you may encounter when trying these methods. This information is provided to help others in a time of need.

Carpets, Rugs, Throw Rugs:

Rugs and carpets should be allowed to dry thoroughly throughout the entire fabric. Throw rugs can be cleaned by beating, sweeping, or vacuuming, and then using a shampooing machine. Rugs should be dried as quickly as possible before mildew develops - lay them flat and expose them to a circulation of warm, dry air. Normally a fan turned on the rugs will help speed the drying. Even though the surface seems dry, moisture often is remaining at the base of the tufts and can quickly cause the rug to mildew and rot.

Walls, Ceilings and Floors

To remove soot and smoke from walls, furniture and floors, use a mild soap or detergent and warm water. Wear rubber gloves when cleaning with this solution. Be sure to rinse your walls and furniture with clear warm water and dry thoroughly after washing them. Wash a small area of wall at one time, working from the floor up. Then rinse the wall with clear water immediately. Ceilings should be washed last. If the weather allows, open windows and use a fan to circulate air. Do not repaint until walls and ceilings are completely dry.

Cooking Utensils, Pots, Pans, etc...

Your pots, pans, flatware, etc., should be thoroughly washed with regular soapy water, rinsed and then polished with a fine-powdered cleaner. You can polish copper and brass with special polish, salt sprinkled on a piece of lemon, or salt sprinkled on a cloth saturated with vinegar will also work.


Preserving damaged photographs is often very important to victims of fires, floods and other various disasters. If photographs are not burned they can usually be saved fairly easily. Never attempt to peel apart photographs that have stuck together. Soak the photos in clear, clean water and rinse carefully and thoroughly and let stuck photographs separate on their own. If they stay damp they can be damaged by mold. After washing the photos, dry them with the image side facing up on a smooth surface like a table or kitchen counter.

Insurance Information

Notify your insurance agent as soon as possible. Most policies require you to have your home secured against vandalism and looting, and allow advanced funds for your family to find lodging. Keep all receipts, in order to be reimbursed by your insurance company. If possible, do not disturb or remove any items before the insurance adjuster arrives. Some insurance policies provide for additional living expenses until you are able to move back home. You must keep receipts for all expenditures.

If you are a tenant, contact the manager, the owner or the owner's insurance agent. It is the owner's responsibility to prevent further loss to the site. See that your personal belongings are secure either within the building or by moving them to another location, such as the home of a relative or friend. Contact your own insurance agent to report the loss. The property owner's insurance, in most cases, will not cover the loss of your personal belongings.

I Don't have Insurance what do I do?

Emergency assistance, including temporary shelter, food, clothing, eye glasses, and medicine is available through the American Red Cross and Salvation Army. Try contacting relatives or family friends to find shelter, and assistance.