Should You Keep Furniture After A House Fire?

Wednesday 29th March 2023

Ellen Warren

No comments, yet!

Living room with burnt furniture

CONTENTS

Fires spread fast and destroy quickly, consuming your home, furniture, and valuables inside. Some furniture may seem unaffected by the flames, but invisible risks could be present.

Here at ICE Cleaning, we can restore your home with our fire damage cleaning services. Our expert technicians use odour neutralisation and specialist cleaning solutions that will thoroughly remove fire damage and lingering smoke particles.

Read on to learn more about fire damage and how it affects your furniture.

How is furniture impacted during a fire?

Furniture is legally required to have a fire safety label which confirms that the fillings are not flammable, and the surfaces are cigarette and match resistant. However, some furniture may be less resistant than others which leads to items being burnt, charred, or melted.

Depending on the furniture materials and their surfaces, they will react to fire very differently. There is also the invisible risk of smoke damage that can be difficult to eradicate. Smoke produces microscopic particles that contain toxic chemicals which could harm your health.

Timing is essential when it comes to salvaging the remains of your home and you may be unable to save everything. Metal, ceramics, glass, and some jewellery might be salvageable after a house fire. However, numerous items can become damaged in multiple ways.

Fabric furniture, curtains, and carpets

If the fire has not burned through the fabric, there may be smoke particles in its pores. When touched or moved, the particles will become airborne and you could inhale them.

Plastic containers

Unfortunately, plastic can absorb smoke damage and may harbour some harmful chemicals. It is best to dispose of these and any food stored in them.

Clothing, bedding, and towels

Like fabric furniture, these items are at risk of absorbing smoke particles due to their porous nature. Regardless of if they remained in wardrobes or cupboards, they could have absorbed the chemicals.

Hardwood floors and furniture

Although wood is less porous than fabric, it can still absorb some smoke damage. Applying finish or paint to the wood will not contain the smoke damage and may exacerbate the toxic chemicals.

What are the risks of keeping fire-damaged furniture?

Whatever the size of a fire, it will leave smoke particles behind that could spread throughout your home. These invisible particles are dangerous, not only staining your fabrics and furniture but containing harmful chemicals like:

  • Asbestos
  • Benzene
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Hydrogen cyanide
  • Tar

These chemicals will burn and leave behind a layer of soot that triggers different reactions in materials. It may cause corrosion or rusting on certain metals, whereas wood might start to discolour.

When touched, the smoke particles could become airborne once again and pose an inhalation risk. Smoke damage might put you at risk of:

  • Suffocation
  • Skin and eye irritation
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Cancer
  • Brain damage

Is fire-damaged furniture salvageable?

Depending on the fire damage your furniture has sustained, there may be some chance of saving them if you act quickly enough. Fire damage can be either dry or wet depending on how the flames were tackled.

Water damage

After a fire, your home will be susceptible to mould growth, especially if fire services used water, foam, water mist, and wet chemicals to extinguish the fire. This might lead to water damage which causes moisture and humidity, creating the perfect environment for mould to begin growing.

If your water-damaged furniture consists of wood or fabrics, it is at high risk of mould growing on it. It may be salvageable once dried, but it will require professional cleaning to assure complete safety.

Dry damage

Dry damage is the smoke, soot, and fire damage left behind after a fire. Furniture made of solid metals can be potentially cleaned and restored due to the non-porous surfaces. However, fire damage inflicted on fabric or wood furniture may be irreversible.

You might be able to save some fabrics, wood, and household appliances. These will need to be cleaned or repaired professionally by a third party as cleaning them yourself could put your health at risk.

Will I need to buy new furniture?

If your furniture is beyond repair or the smoke damage has eaten away at the materials, then it is likely that you will need to dispose of these items. However, if you have homeowners’ insurance, you should check your policy before throwing anything away.

Your policy may cover fire-damaged furniture, or the retailer you purchased the items from could have sold you protection cover. Ensure you have insurance coverage before disposing of anything because you must provide evidence of fire damage to make a claim.

What to do if your home has been impacted by a fire

When your home has sustained fire damage, you must not attempt to clean this by yourself. There may be some structural damage as well as smoke damage that might cause physical harm to you. You should follow these steps provided by the Kent Fire & Rescue Service in the meantime:

  • If the property affected is rented, inform your landlord immediately
  • Take photos of the damage and collect evidence
  • Check your insurance policy to check if fire damage is covered
  • Contact your insurance company and inform them of the damage and any lost items
  • Ventilate the property and place a dehumidifier in affected rooms
  • Ensure your gas, electricity, and water are switched off
  • Dispose of food, water, and medicines exposed to heat or smoke
  • Find temporary accommodation, or contact your local council for emergency housing
  • Ensure your property is secure before you leave
  • Contact fire restoration services

Depending on the severity of the fire damage, you may also require fire smoke odour removal. A strong odour indicates that smoke particles are still present, and this will require specialist cleaning to restore your home and remove any traces of chemicals in the air.

Get in touch

Our rapid-response team is available for thorough fire cleaning services 365 days a year, including bank holidays. Here at ICE Cleaning, our technicians work with industry-leading tools to make your home a safe place to live again.

To find out more about our fire and smoke odour removal services, get in touch with us at 0208 066 0360 or email us at enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk.

Comment
Sydney Bowell

Sydney Bowell

Operations Assistant

Add to contacts

Speak with me today,
I’m here to help

By asking you a few questions either via phone or email I can immediately provide a realistic estimation of the cost.

You’re in good company. We’ve cleaned for the following commercial clients… View all

Customer reviews

Our happy customers have rated our service as
4.9 on Google.

View All Reviews

Sue Sullivan

Star Star Star Star Star

8 months ago

Ice did a brilliant job and I would highly recommend them. Reilly in the office booked everything in and was most helpful, and then Harry came and…

Read more

Posted on Google

John Hatswell

Star Star Star Star Star

9 months ago

We had a pressing need to address concerns regarding a clean up of a Trauma site. Ice Services and Zoe were responsive, informative and professional.…

Read more

Posted on Google

Eddie Mack

Star Star Star Star Star

10 months ago

I’ve used ICE Cleaning a few times and the service has been absolutely terrific. Paul Gimenez was incredibly helpful and dealt with everything…

Read more

Posted on Google

Martha Sparkes

Star Star Star Star Star

10 months ago

Power cleaned my external brick walls and look very good. They were punctual, hard working and respectful. I would recommend them with no hesitation.

Read more

Posted on Google

Simon Nicholson

Star Star Star Star Star

10 months ago

Booked ICE Cleaning at short notice to help with the clean-up of our outdoor Event Site in Central London. Whilst they were unable to assist with our…

Read more

Posted on Google

Kim Barnes

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

From start to finish, booking in with Jess in the office to Mark and Lee turning up for app 5-star service from start to finish..Quick turnaround…

Read more

Posted on Google

Mark Treasure

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

We recently used ICE Cleaning to assist with the cleaning of communal areas and flats following a fire in a service riser. I initially spoke with…

Read more

Posted on Google

Martin Haw

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

Very prompt, polite and professional service

Read more

Posted on Google

George C

Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

Very professional and the sales team are very helpful and easy to deal with. The job was carried out quickly and professionally and the site team…

Read more

Posted on Google

Derik Matheus

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

ICE Cleaning is a great company to work with! They have been cleaning our office for two years, and we are thrilled to have them as part of our team.

Read more

Posted on Google

Dannil Sourez

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

ICE Cleaning Solutions is a serious and responsible company that takes pride in their work.

Read more

Posted on Google

Sam Hart

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

Very impressed with ICE cleaning, really efficient and had good service. Dealt with my mould issue in my gym really well and couldn’t be…

Read more

Posted on Google

Luke Stockwell

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

We used ICE Cleaning at BT Sport for a Cage Warriors event in our studios. In previous years this event had caused multiple problems due to the risk…

Read more

Posted on Google

Danielle Baycanli

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

ICE cleaning cleaned the floors and carpets of our school to a very high standard. The team was friendly and efficient and we were very happy with…

Read more

Posted on Google

Emma Bryan

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

ICE cleaning completed a commercial clean for us. They were very professional, prompt, responsive and they event went back the next day to finish…

Read more

Posted on Google

Stuart Goodson

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

Zoe as the first point of contact was extremely helpful and efficient. The decontamination of toxic mercury from my mother’s garage was…

Read more

Posted on Google

Nick Barringer

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

I was dealt with very professionally from first contact through to completion. The people are pleasant and knowledgeable, the work was carried out…

Read more

Posted on Google

Jason Etherington

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

Fantastic service, the technician was very understanding and talked us through the process and was happy to answer any questions. Work was completed…

Read more

Posted on Google

Alison Bailey

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

On calling ICE following a spillage, I first came into contact with Zoe. At all times Zoe was courteous, calm and professional. I asked her to call…

Read more

Posted on Google

Elisabeth Underdown

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

We came back from holiday to see a massive mould problem in 2 of our rooms. We checked around but found this company to be best priced, most…

Read more

Posted on Google
Why choose us

Why choose us?

  • Cater to a wide variety of cleaning situations
  • Nationwide coverage, available 24/7
  • Cater to commercial and domestic clients
  • Free survey provided prior to quotation 
  • Emergency response team
  • Offer a bespoke service designed to suit all your needs 
  • All technicians hold professional health and safety qualifications, including BICSc, IOSH, Dewpoint Professional & Safe Contractor 

We’re fully accredited

We place best practise, professional expertise and health and safety at the core of our business. We’re fully compliant with all legal obligations. You can view a list of our accreditations below, or visit our Health & Safety page for more information.

CSCS
BICSc
IOSH
SafeContractor
Dewpoint® Professional Corporate Membership
IPAF
NACSC
0208 066 0360Open 24/7
Close

We use cookies

If you continue without changing your settings we'll assume you're happy to receive our cookies.
If you'd like to change this just update your browser settings. Find out more.

Okay. I got it.