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In the regrettable event of a home fire, you’ll undoubtedly have many concerns and questions surrounding what items can be recovered and restored and what must be discarded. 

The damage a fire inflicts on a home can be devastating and will often leave it unusable for some time.

Depending on how quickly the fire was brought under control by the fire brigade, the damage can range from small soot stains throughout your home to total destruction.

The water used to deal with the fire can also cause significant damage. The fire brigade will likely have dampened surfaces to prevent the fire from reigniting.

Whilst you can sometimes clean and recover items, you must discard any burned and melted items.

From furniture to toys, this article will discuss what you can salvage and what you need to discard.


When it comes to food, you have to be extremely careful. Discard any burnt food items or any items exposed to heat and smoke as the high fire temperatures can make food unsafe.

If the fire turns off the electricity in your home, discard the food in your fridge; food will spoil in your fridge after two to six hours without power. 

You can still use freezer food if it is cold and hard. However, if in doubt, it is better to discard the food. 


Depending on the material, you’ll be able to salvage some fire-damaged pieces of furniture. For example, hardwood furniture is salvageable if dried thoroughly, and there is no sign of mold growth. 

However, badly soaked upholstered furniture is usually unrecoverable, particularly if there are any signs of mold, as this can affect the restoration process. In addition, you should discard laminate furniture if it has become delaminated; when the pressed wood under the laminate absorbs water, it’s hard to dry. 

Medicines, Cosmetics and Hygiene Products

Dispose of any medicine, cosmetic and hygiene products damaged by the fire. While these items can be expensive, it is always safest to assume they’ve been contaminated with soot and smoke. 

Books and papers

If treated correctly, books and papers are salvageable; ensure not to open or close folded documents or books. 


Depending on the type of fabric, window drapes and curtains can mostly be dried and restored using different techniques.

Who to call for fire cleanup?

When the emergency services are satisfied with the fire’s cause and you are back in control of the property, you should contact Just Clear. We can give you a free quote to clean up your fire damaged property. 

We have years of expertise in the safe cleanup of fire-damaged properties, and will quickly have your home redecorate and inhabit again.

Failure to clean up fire damage immediately can further deteriorate buildings and equipment. So we will remove all debris from the building and keep any salvageable items for you in a secure storage unit where insurance assessors or tradespeople such as upholstery cleaners will safely inspect them. 

Once we have removed all debris, we can tackle the smoke damage. This includes removing all soot deposits from walls, ceilings and surfaces, using non-damaging techniques. This process will also remove the odour from the surface.