If you have a fire or water emergency, please call us now at (954) 921-8992

To have the optimal experience while using this site, you will need to update your browser. You may want to try one of the following alternatives:

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Cleaning Electronics After a Fire Must Be Done Cautiously

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

Woman cleaning laptop keyboard. Cleaning electronic after a fire

Cleaning Electronics After a Fire Must Be Done Cautiously

Cleanup after an electrical fire (or any other fire, for that matter) takes a lot of effort and, in many cases, considerable skill. Smoke gets everywhere, water damage can be worse than the fire and, in a large fire, a commercial structure can become unsound. When electronics are damaged, they can often be restored, but it must be done very carefully.

Smoke Plays Havoc With Electronics
Most electrical devices have some sort of method for air to get inside. Even most smartphones usually have a way, although manufacturers are starting to produce some phones that are indeed largely airtight. Virtually all other devices will have airflow built into the case.
The damage from smoke to electrical devices is mostly in three forms:

  • Smoke particles can be conductive, causing shorts.
  • Smoke leaves an oily residue, causing overheating.
  • Smoke can be acid, eating away at protective insulation.

Some Items Can Be Saved

If heat has significantly damaged the protective outer cover, the item may not be salvageable. Also, if the item was running during an electrical fire, or is run after any fire but before being cleaned, the damage can be permanent. The normal – and most unfortunate – way to determine if an item survived a fire is to plug it in. Bad idea! First, try to determine if smoke has found a way inside; if the exterior has a layer of smoke residue that you can see when wiping your finger on it, it probably needs to be cleaned.

Computer Cleanup Is Possible
If the computer wasn’t running during smoke intrusion, it has an excellent chance of being restored. The same is true for most other electronic items, although an electrical fire can cause damaging voltage spikes.
A computer, in particular, is relatively easy for a professional smoke damage cleanup company in Royal Poinciana, FL, to clean. The motherboard can be removed and cleaned with a mild soap, along with many components. The most critical thing is to prevent the device from being energized until it’s had the smoke residue removed. If only the exterior has smoke damage, you can clean it yourself – just make sure nothing wet gets sprayed inside.

Other News

View Recent Posts