One of the most devastating things about a home fire is the fact that damage isn't always evident. Some homeowners experience what seems to be a small fire and assume there is only minimal damage, only to discover that the level of damage is far greater than anticipated. This statement is often true when it comes to electronics. If the actual flames don't damage these devices, the smoke can definitely wreak havoc.
Electronic equipment is highly sensitive. In the event you experience even a small house fire, smoke produced from the flames can cause corrosive damage to these devices. If the blaze is attacked with water, this creates a humid environment. The excess moisture in the air mixes with the corrosive gases naturally produced after a fire.
In electronic devices, this mixture causes the electrical connections and components within these devices to corrode, at an accelerated rate. Non-corrosive damage can also occur from the soot and smoke residuals that end resting inside these devices after a fire. This form of damage often causes the device to short-circuit.
Corrosive and non-corrosive damage in electronic devices pose a serious safety risk. Each of these types of damage can cause an electrical fire to occur if the internal damage is extensive, which isn't always evident based on the outward appearance of the equipment.
Even if you're lucky enough to avoid an electrical fire, you could permanently damage the device by turning it on. In order to protect your home from electrical fire or risk further damage, it is imperative that you do not try to turn on these devices until they have been inspected by a fire damage professional.
Preventing This Damage
After a fire, protecting your electronic devices begins with your swift action. It is very important that you remove these devices from this highly humid and smoke and soot-containing atmosphere right away, and store them in an environment without these elements in order to prevent further damage. You also want to have a professional cleaning performed by a fire damage company.
These professionals use special tools and materials to remove soot and smoke buildup and clean away any internal corrosion. This step won't just save you from the risk of an electrical fire, but it can also restore your devices, eliminating the need for you to replace these devices, which can be costly.
Make sure you are taking measures to protect your electrical equipment after a fire.