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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What You Should Replace After Fire Damage

5/12/2023 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Team Harvey in West Somerset County understands the heartbreak that homeowners go through when they lose belongings, lives, and even the structure of their home in house fires. However, if the fire you experience is mild, there may be some things you can keep and some you must replace.

After a fire accident at home, you should always assess the situation and environment when it is safe to do so. You should also rope in technicians and engineers to ensure that your house is structurally stable and safe. A fire accident damages the property and its contents, hence, you should figure out which items can be salvaged, and which need to be replaced. This is a guide on the important items you should replace after fire damage.

Burned Clothing
Textiles, such as clothes and bedding can be salvaged after a fire if proper disinfection and cleaning is done. However, if any clothes are burnt, they should immediately be thrown away and replaced. If you have any young children at home, then you should set a stricter set of criteria for considering which clothes should be replaced and which can still be worn.

Medicine and Cosmetics
Your medicine and cosmetics contain numerous chemicals and minerals which may be affected by fire and high heat. This can alter the composition of the products such that they become more toxic and contaminating. You should inspect the products for any signs of fire extinguisher dust, soot, heat, or other damage. The potency of medication could also be altered due to the high heat, smoke, water, or the chemicals used by firefighters to fight the fire. It is recommended to throw away all cosmetics and medication and replace them.

Insulation and Electrical Appliances
After a fire, there is a high chance that your house insulation and wires may have been damaged by heat or fire. You should always replace the insulation after a fire as burnt insulation is ineffective due to the presence of air holes. Burnt insulation is also hazardous as a hidden ember can continue to burn for hours and could reignite, thereby triggering another fire. Electrical appliances should also be checked for water or heat damage. Wires and appliances which have been damaged by the fire are hazards that may shock and ignite at any point in time. These wires and appliances could also have hidden faults that are not visible to the naked eye. If you spot any damaged or melted wires or electrical appliances, then that is a red glad and should be replaced. As a rule of precaution, all electrical appliances should be replaced and tossed away if you are unsure about their condition.

Non-perishable food could be compromised by the fire and food safety is a huge concern especially after a fire. Although sealed food that is not damaged or burnt may appear to be healthy for consumption, it may not be edible - especially if they were close to the fire. This is because toxic fumes emitted from the fire and smoke could contaminate the food through the cans and sealed jars. High heat can also cause the food to taste unpleasant and activate bacteria which promotes food spoilage. The water and chemicals used to extinguish the fire could also contaminate both perishable and non-perishable food. You should always be rigorous and detailed when inspecting your kitchen after a fire anc check for any heat, smoke, or chemical damage caused by the fire and fire extinguisher. As a rule of thumb, you should throw out any food items.

About SERVPRO Team Harvey
SERVPRO of West Somerset County is proudly owned by Lance and Jennifer Harvey - a husband and wife duo that owns three other SERVPRO locations, including SERVPRO of Lower Manhattan, SERVPRO of Hoboken/Union City, and SERVPRO of Aberdeen/Holmdel.

We understand the stress and worry that comes with a fire or water damage and the disruption it causes your home or business. Our goal is to help minimize the interruption to your life and quickly make it “like it never even happened.”

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