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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Things you should throw away after a house fire

9/30/2021 (Permalink)

A house fire can leave a devastating effect on its unlucky victims, but the hardest part of recovery is deciding what to salvage and what to throw away. It is heartbreaking to let go of sentimental things, and trashing smoke damaged food feels like a waste of money. However, the health implications of eating food that was exposed to soot, smoke, and heat are higher than the cost of restocking a pantry and fridge.

Here is a list of things you should trash after a home fire:

  • Foodstuffs
  • Cosmetic products
  • Exposed medications

Perishable and Non-Perishable Food

All foods exposed to high heat, smoke and firefighting chemicals should be thrown away without exceptions. The last thing you want is to eat anything that survived the blaze and end up with food poisoning or something worse. The chemicals used to put out fires are bad enough, now add soot plus other contaminants, and you’ll get a lethal dose with every bite.


Most cosmetics are a bunch of chemicals that change their composition when exposed to high heat, smoke, and other substances. Even if they don’t have any sign of burning on the packaging, the products can still cause skin irritation and hair damage. For that reason, throw away everything in the bathroom cabinet that survives the fire.


The potency of your pills could be affected by high heat exposure. On top of that, the meds could be laced with firefighting chemicals, soot, and other toxins. As a rule of thumb, toss all medications away even if they don’t have any visible signs of fire damage.

As a homeowner in Gainesville, GA, never attempt to salvage things that could put your health at risk. It is better to throw away everything when in doubt. Alternatively, have a restoration company help with the sorting and recovery processes to avoid any long and short term health implications.

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