If you’ve experienced a fire in your home, the last thing you want to face is even more loss. But unfortunately, some items will be dangerous after they have been exposed to smoke and soot. The following four items should be discarded for your safety, and replaced as necessary.

Food in the pantry. All opened foods within your pantry should be discarded after they have been exposed to the fumes associated with a house fire. Even closed, aluminum cans might be contaminated. Throw out any food that you suspect has come into contact with smoke, heat, or firefighting chemicals. We really can’t be too careful about food safety, and luckily food is not a sentimental keepsake. Just replace it for your health and peace of mind.

Food in the fridge. If the inside of your fridge smells smoky, or if you notice soot inside of it, you should get rid of all perishable food stored inside. You should also empty the fridge if you lost power due to the fire. And of course, anything with an odd odor, or frozen food that thawed during the event, has to go.

Medicine and personal care items. Check all of your medications, cosmetics, and other personal care items for signs of soot and smoke damage. Fire extinguisher dust is another huge concern, because it can contaminate everything in the room. You don’t want these chemicals to be in your mouth or on your skin.

Clothing and bedding. Occasionally, mildly damaged items can be salvaged with proper cleaning. But in many cases they simply need to be tossed for your safety, or because they are damaged beyond help.

When in doubt, please call us to help you determine the best way to clean up after a fire event. Fire damage is one of our specialities, and we can help you save anything that stands a good chance of being salvageable.