Fire Damaged Items You Should Consider Discarding
Black, sooty, and or greasy smoke and residue can be produced by even the smallest fire. Even worse than natural fire residues are synthetic and protein fire residues. After a fire, it's important to know what you should throw away, even though you will probably want to save as much as you can. Even further than flames, soot and smoke will travel and ruin things you might not expect to be affected.
From clothing to food, and more, we are going to take a look at which fire damaged items you should throw away after a house fire and which ones can be salvaged.
Salvageable Items After a House Fire
The best way to remember what can be salvaged following a house fire is to think of nonporous, hard surfaces. If an item is melted, charred, or burned, it should be discarded.
- Hardwood floors – After a fire, you can salvage most hardwood floors, unless there are burn marks or extreme charring. Use oil soap to clean the floors, then sand them. As necessary, refinish the floor.
- Metal – Significant fire damage can usually be withstood by metals, though they may stain. Use dish soap and vinegar to clean them, sand the metal lightly, then paint it.
- Glass – There is a good amount of fire resistance to glass. With dish soap and vinegar, you can usually clean glass, even when stained. You may also prefer the baking soda and vinegar soaking method.
Items That Should Be Discarded after a House Fire
Almost anything in your home can be damaged by one of the most dangerous things that can occur – fires. Any items damaged by flames and heat, melted, or burned, should be thrown away after a house fire. Additionally, the following should be discarded after a fire:
- Fire damaged mattresses and furniture – Because they can fall apart, any mattresses or furniture burned in a fire should be thrown away. If minor to moderate soot stains and smoke occur on hardwood furniture, that would be an exception. By cleaning with oil soap, hardwood furniture might be salvaged. Sanding and refinishing could be a possibility if staining is severe.
- Burned bedding, towels, and clothing – Any bedding, towels, or clothing that was burned or charred should be thrown away. You can try washing items with dish soap for minor soot stains. Before washing, soak fabrics in vinegar to remove odors.
- Fire impacted hygiene products, cosmetics, and medicines – Any of these that were damaged by fire should be discarded. Contact your doctor immediately if prescription medication has to be discarded.
- Any food that remained at room temperature or higher – You may need to throw away the food from your freezer and refrigerator if the power went out. Without power, after as little as two or as many as six hours, refrigerator food will spoil. You might be able to wait up to 24 hours with freezer food.
- Fire exposed boxed or canned foods – Any box or canned foods that were exposed to smoke or flames should be thrown away. This is particularly applicable if they have burn marks, sweat stains, or were opened.
- Stained or melted plastics – Most plastic items can be ruined by even a small fire. Plastics will pull in the soot and smoke, due to their makeup. That's why, following a fire, you should always throw them away.
Have Your Home And Possessions Suffered Fire Damage? Let SERVPRO of West Somerset County Help
We don't just handle fire damage restoration as a sideline here at SERVPRO… it's what we do. Since fire damage and water damage frequently go together, we specialize in both. If you have water damage from any type of natural disaster, plumbing problem, sewage backup, fire and more – we are here for you with emergency service, 24/7. The same goes for any resulting fire damage. We understand that when you need fire and water restoration, you can't wait.
Feel free to contact us if you have any enquiries!