When recovering from fire damage, most of your items can be salvaged, disinfected, and cleaned. However, you will need to pay attention to some safety rules when trying to determine what to keep and what to discard. Be sure to document everything you throw away.
You will have to be very careful when dealing with food. If food is burnt or even partially burnt, discard it. Discard food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot. The high temperatures of fire and its byproducts can make food unsafe. Do not use any canned foods where the can has bulged, is badly dented or has rusted.
If your refrigerator was not damaged in the fire, check its content. Confirm that the food is still cold and that no soot penetrated it. If in doubt, discard the food.
Your refrigerator will keep cold for 4 hours if it is well sealed. In case that the power was turned off during the fire and the refrigerator was turned off for more than 4 hours, discard the food.
The food that was in the freezer can be used if it still has ice crystals on it and if it still feels cold and hard. If not, discard it. Again, whenever in doubt, discard the food.
Medicines and Cosmetics
Discard medicines and cosmetics if contamination is suspected. Inspect medicines and cosmetics carefully to make sure that they are clean of soot, dust, and all other chemicals that might have been in use to extinguish the fire.
Clothes and Textile
Clothes and textile can often be cleaned and disinfected. Discard these materials only if burnt. Be extra cautious with baby and children clothes.
All other content can be reused after you make sure that it is well cleaned and disinfected and that it is dust and soot free.
Last updated on May 3, 2011 by Champion