It is always stressful to have to deal with fire damage cleanup in your home. Depending on the intensity, magnitude and duration, devastating fire incidents may end up condemning the home and incur extra expenses in getting another for your family. But if you are lucky enough to have the fire contained before much damage is done, you will still have to deal with the aftermath of the fire.
One of the decisions you will have to make after a fire incident is to sort out all the affected items and decide what may be salvageable and what must be thrown away. Though such a decision will be highly subjective depending on your evaluation of the situation and the extent of damage, there are certain items you MUST throw away after a fire incident. Read below to find out what these items are.
Exposed and Contaminated Foods
If you stored any foods in permeable packaging in places affected by the fire, then you will have to dispose of it all. This includes foods stored in places such as cupboards, open containers, and plastic bags. This is because foods in such packaging will most likely be exposed to smoke, soot, chemicals, and heat associated with the fire, and if they don’t get damaged, they may become poisonous due to exposure to fire elements, and eating them may result in serious health complications. This is also the case for foods in sealed cans and jars that may still become contaminated due to exposure to the fumes.
There are occasions when you may not notice any signs of contamination for foods stored in sealed jars, but if they were in the room affected by the fire, it is safer to throw them away than risk using them only to develop serious health issues a few days down the line. To help you decide whether or not to throw away foods, watch out for the following signs-: charred pieces of food inside the container, bulging on the can, and the residue from the fire extinguisher. Noticing any of these should be a sufficient reason for you to get rid of all that food. Pet foods should also be given the same treatment after a fire incident.
Damaged Hygiene and Cosmetic Products
Damaged hygiene and cosmetic products should also be thrown away after a fire incident at home. Most of these products are not only susceptible to melting when exposed to the heat from fire, but their chemical and structural nature may easily change due to exposure to the heat and fumes.
As such, you could be using a completely different product if they were already exposed to the fires, and just like foods, using them may come with undesirable effects. Even if you suspect the item was not affected, but you can clearly see that the packaging is damaged or charred, that should be sufficient reason to throw them away.
Any form of medication obtained from a room affected by fire must be thrown away. It is possible to argue that you can still keep some medicine simply because you can’t see any visible fire damage on the medicine cabinet. However, the recommendation is that you should get rid of all medicine that was located in the room that experienced the fire.
The reason for this is very simple. Medications are chemical in nature, and due to their sensitivity, their structure and composition are likely to change with exposure to fires, smoke odor, soot or heat. When that happens, they are no longer medications, but poisons which you should never ever try to consume. Simply get back to your doctor and get a new prescription.
Burnt clothing, linens, bedding, and other textiles
The final category of items you must throw away after a fire incident at home is clothes, linens, bedding, and other similar textiles. In some instances, clothes may only be damaged and not necessarily burned, and in such a case, you could salvage them. But when it comes to baby clothes, however, it is imperative for you to be cautious with how you handle them.
If you choose to salvage them, then you have to be ready to wash them carefully and condition them before the baby uses them again. This is because the effects of fire may cause irritation and other complications to the baby’s skin. Otherwise, you can always wash them and get them restored to usable conditions.
For items such as rags and carpets, however, you don’t necessarily have to throw them away after a fire because the fire damage cleanup crew knows how to deal with them. The crew can have them cleaned thoroughly and also help with the odor removal so that you may start using them again in the house as soon as possible. When choosing the cleaning crew, however, be sure to choose a reputable company that will offer you excellent cleaning results.
Get Professional Fire Damage Cleanup
Throwing away the above items is the first step in resuming normalcy after a fire incident. The real work is to get the entire premise back into the initial conditions so that you may resume normal use of the house. Immediately after a fire is put out, you should always call for emergency cleaning in Montreal so that you receive assistance in bringing back order into the room. Remember, after the fire, you will have to deal with getting rid of the soot and the odor left behind.