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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Checklist of Items To Throw Away After a Fire

2/24/2022 (Permalink)

Medicine Cabinet Learn More about which Items To Throw Away After a Fire. If you have more questions, just contact us.

If there is a fire in your home in Greenville, NC, many of your belongings may be able to be cleaned and saved. Draperies and other fabric can be cleaned and sometimes furniture can be salvaged. Fire restoration experts may even be able to get your electronics that don't come into direct contact with the flames back in working order. There are certain items, however, that you should always throw away after a fire, even if they look OK.

What should I Throw Away after a Fire?

Throw Away Food

A home fire can ruin the food in your kitchen, fridge and pantry, even if the fire was in a different room. These items may have smoke or soot damage, and that's not something you want your family to ingest. Additionally, high heat can spoil the food even if the outer packaging is intact. Go through your pantry first and toss vulnerable items:

  • Bulging cans
  • Open packages
  • Anything with visible soot or extinguisher residue
  • Burned or melted containers

You should definitely get rid of any food items that are on the counter or out in the open. Don't assume that a closed refrigerator door offers enough protection against the fire, especially if the power was off for several hours. It's better to throw out food that may be spoiled than to take the risk of eating it.

Toss Out Cosmetics

Your skin is your biggest organ, and its purpose is to protect you from toxins. What you put on your body is just as important as what you eat. Therefore, it makes good sense to use similar guidelines when going through toiletries and cosmetics after a fire. Throw away anything that has been subjected to high temperatures. Such an environment can alter the chemical makeup of cosmetics, causing them to spoil. Anything in a burned package should be thrown out as well.

Don't stop at your makeup bag. Go through any cleansers, moisturizers and skin treatments you find. Toothpaste and mouthwash may also be compromised. Check the items in your shower, particularly if you know that the room was subject to a significant increase in temperature. Once again, it's better to err on the side of caution when deciding which cosmetics to toss.

Get Rid of Medication

Your medicine cabinet requires special attention, especially if it is located near the area of your home that sustains the most fire damage. Throw out any pills or tablets that you find. Topical creams and ointments should be tossed as well.

You may be able to salvage some bandages in your first aid kit, as long as they don't smell like smoke and show no signs of damage. If your inspection reveals any issues, however, throw them away. Make a list of everything you have to get rid of so that you can include it on the insurance claim.

It may be disheartening to have to throw away so many items after a fire. However, it's better to replace everything than risk the consequences of contaminated food, cosmetics or medication. If you don't know what to do with a particular item, the mitigation team can help you decide.

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