What items should I keep after a house fire?
What items should you keep after a fire in your home? Well, you may be surprised that many items should be discarded. But not every fire will require a significant clean-out. Example: small stove top grease fire may do minimal damage to a kitchen, and only require throwing away a frying pan.
However, for more extensive fires that gut whole rooms, consider discarding several types of items due to contamination and spoilage.
Items That Should Be Discarded After a House Fire
- Perishable and Non-Perishable Items
The intense heat of a fire, especially one that engulfs entire rooms or levels, will likely result in the spoilage of several non-perishable and perishable items. For instance, canned goods will probably boil during a fire, making any warranty or expiration invalid. This includes refrigerators that are damaged during a fire. The temperature inside the fridge will likely rise, causing most, if not all, of the food to go bad.
Medications are another item that you should throw away. While they may appear fine, fires produce toxic chemicals that can cling to medications. Therefore, discard any medicines, vitamins, and other pills safely. You can contact your physician to discuss the situation and ask for refills.
As with medications, fire damage can leave toxic residues on various items, including cosmetics. There is no feasible way to clean cosmetics, and therefore, they should be discarded for your safety.
- Porous Items
While the general rule is to discard any porous items, it is understandable that some materials may be more sentimental than others. If you would like to hold on to some of these items, then you can contact a restoration specialist in the Columbia SC area. These professionals may be able to help you find a local specialty cleaner who can salvage certain porous items.
While there are many things that you should throw away after a fire, there are pieces of your home that you will likely be able to take with you. Also, if you can find a certified restoration company, you should be able to salvage even some things that may seem unsalvageable.
Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call SERVPRO of Richland County at (803) 324-5780.