Immediately after a fire, you need to act fast -- even after the fire itself has been quenched. Whether you've had a minor fire in your kitchen or a more significant fire throughout your entire house, it is the smoke and the soot that will likely linger.

Open All Your Windows and Remove Your Drapes

Your primary goal should be airing out your property. Turn on your fans, open your windows and take down your window dressings. In fact, you should be removing most of the cloth items in your home -- but drapes are of particular importance because they are in the area that air will be flowing through. If there is still smoke in your home you should first make absolutely sure that the fire is out. Once you have, you should attempt to fan out any lingering smoke. 

Vacuum and Shampoo Your Carpeting

Your carpeting will absorb a significant amount of soot and smoke. You should vacuum and shampoo your carpeting immediately after a fire to ensure that the smell does not set into the fabric. If you need to rent a carpet shampooing machine, you may also want to invest in the upholstery attachment. Use the upholstery attachment to clean off couches, chairs, mattresses and any other cloth-based items that could absorb smoke smell.

Wash Your Laundry and Linens

If you still have the lingering smell of smoke in your home, it's very likely that it's coming out of your actual clothes! You could be surprised at how long clothes can retain smells. If the smell is only faint, you can tumble dry your clothing in the dryer with fabric sheets. This should remove any lingering smell. If it does not, you may need to rewash all of your items. A few drops of essential oils, such as vanilla or lavender, may help mask any still-existing odors. 

Replace Your Central Air Filters

After a large fire, your central air filters will likely be filled with the remnants of smoke and soot. Take some time to replace the filters to ensure that they themselves are not redistributing the scent. 

Remember that you should always make sure that a fire is out before you attempt to remove any damage. If there has been a large fire, rather than a simple kitchen fire, you should always wait until professionals arrive before going back into your home. This is also true if you do not know the fire's origins, even if it was small, as there may be smoldering within your home itself. Do not ever return into your home for material possessions. For more information and advice, speak with experts like CTR Cleanup & Total Restoration.