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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What To Throw Away After a Fire

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

a kitchen with burned walls Remember that your first priority after a fire is to make sure you and your family members are safe.

A fire in your home leaves you with a lot of fire damage cleanup and concerns about what can be saved and what must be thrown away. It can be frustrating to toss out items of sentimental value or to dump items that don't appear to be damaged. However, there are several things that you must throw away, even if they look fine:


Non-perishable food exposed to high heat, smoke, chemicals, or flames
Perishable food exposed to the same or left at room temperature for more than two hours
Medications with warped or charred packaging
Makeup and other cosmetics with affected packaging
Burned or smoky-smelling clothing and bedding

An Official Warning

The U.S. Fire Administration reminds homeowners that even when items haven't been damaged directly by flames, smoke from the fire as well as water and chemicals from the firefighters pose hazards. Even if you want to save your belongings, it may be much safer to throw away and then replace them. As you sort through your belongings work with firefighters and fire damage and remediation professionals to help you make those tough decisions.

What You Can't See Can Hurt You

It may help you to realize that the dirty water left after a fire often contains contaminants and other health hazards. The soot and smoke odors are reminders of the unseen chemicals that linger in the air. It makes sense that you wouldn't want to wear or eat anything that was contaminated by smoke, chemicals, or flames. High temperatures may cause items to spoil, so they aren't safe for use or consumption.

This is as important after the flames are out as it is when you first hear your alarms sounding. When you're in doubt about the safety of the belongings in your Philadelphia, PA home, "throw away" to keep risks at bay.

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