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What Do I Do With My Fire Damaged Belongings

Fire & Smoke – What Do I Do About All My Stuff?

The damage that happens to your home from a fire can mean much more than the structural damage from flames and extreme heat. There are several, less noticeable, ways that fire can damage your personal belongings that can play a role in the health and safety of your family if not handled quickly & properly.  Here are some tips from Professional Restoration Systems that will help you.

If the fire never touched it, is my food safe?

As certain items burn, hazardous toxins can be released into the air.  These toxins can enter the food stored in your home. Ingesting food that has been exposed to these toxins may cause illness.  In addition, the heat from fire can damage canned goods, making them potentially harmful to eat.  A good rule of thumb in regards to food that has been through a fire is simply to throw away any food you think may have been impacted.

What about my dishes, can they be cleaned after a fire?

Most dishes, including pots, pans, baking dishes, silverware and any utensils—essentially anything that will come into contact with your food, can and should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized after a fire.  However, dishes that are plastic or wood will likely need to be thrown away, because the smoke will have been absorbed into the material of the item.  You’ll want to wash all dishes in hot water with soap, and then rinse the dishes in a bleach solution.  (Two tablespoons bleach to one gallon of water.)  If you have a question about what can and can’t be cleaned, be sure to call us at (203) 309-4409

Removing Smoke Damage from Clothing and Textiles

Smoke damage can affect areas of your home that are in an area unaffected by the actual fire. Bedding, clothing, draperies, rugs and carpeting will all absorb the smell of smoke and will need to be treated to be safely used.

Like dishes, clothing can also retain toxins that may be harmful, and clothing should not be worn until properly cleaned and disinfected. Many clothing items that have suffered smoke damage can be restored, depending on the material the items are made of. You may want to consider taking larger items to a commercial cleaner who has experience restoring items from smoke damage.

Most clothing that is bleachable can be treated at home with a bleach solution, but if possible a professional dry cleaner will be the most help and will be able to salvage more clothing items. You’ll also have the peace of mind that your clothing is safe to wear, and you can focus your time on other areas of fire damage cleanup that are necessary and more pressing.

For carpeting, furniture or rugs, a professional fire restoration expert from Professional Restoration Systems should be consulted to remove smoke damage. If your carpeting and furniture also sustained water damage, the restoration expert will also be able to remove water and dry your carpets and furniture. Depending on the extent of the damage, and how long carpeting has been damp, it may be best to replace it rather than try to restore it.

 Cleanup After A Fire and Smoke Damage

While you may want to do the cleanup of your home yourself, there may be many things you are not considering that could impact your health and safety in your home. If you have any questions, consult us here at Professional Restoration Systems.

Fire restoration is an extensive process that affects many areas of your home. You may want to work alongside a fire restoration specialist who can focus on larger projects while you are able to focus on cleaning clothing, dishes and other items. This will not only speed up the cleanup process, but will also release some of the burden from you. Call Professional Restoration Systems at (203) 309-4409.  We’re always here to help…

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