When it comes to what can be salvaged after a house fire, the intensity of the fire is going to have a lot to say on the matter. If you experience an intense fire that destroys your home then, obviously, not much is going to survive. On the other hand, if you have a less intense fire there, are many common household items that could survive and be salvaged.
Items That Can Survive a House Fire
Here is list of items that can often be salvaged after a house fire:
Pots, Pans and Cookware
Many pots and pans are made of steel and iron and are designed to withstand very high temperatures. For instance, most pots and pans can be counted on to not melt even in extremely high temperatures. For example, iron is typically able to withstand heat up to 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another factor working in the favor of pots and pans and cookware surviving a fire is there placement within confined spaces that may not be as open to flames.
Like cookware, silverware is another common household item that can often withstand high temperatures.
Most silver is made from stainless steel which has a high melting point of 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit and is thus capable of withstanding high fire temperatures. Silverware is also small in size and placed in a confined space. These factors can also make it less likely that they are damaged in a fire.
Silver is able to withstand heat to approximately 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit – this makes them a likely survivor of a house fire. That means if you are a coin collector your collection may just be able to make it through a house fire. For non-collectors, quarters prior to 1965 contained silver and so might survive a fire.
Tools made of steel are extremely durable and can withstand temperatures up to 2,600 to 2,800 degrees. Stainless steel tools can withstand up to 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. This means if you have tools in a garage that was damaged by fire or in a drawer in a kitchen damaged by fire that there is a good chance they can be salvaged.
In other words, you may have some of the tools you need to start repairing your fire damaged house.
This is another common item that is often capable of withstanding extreme temperatures from a fire. Sure they may suffer some superficial appearance damage but all in all they are apt candidates to survive a fire.
As an example, diamonds are created under intense heat and pressure and thus don’t melt until temperatures reach 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Other precious stones like rubies and sapphires also have high melting points.
In comparison, gold melts at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a high enough temperature to survive most house fires. Meanwhile, jewelry made of platinum can survive temperatures up to 3,200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Metal Filing Cabinets
Filing cabinets that are made of steel are another common household item that is likely to survive a fire. That means they can be a good place to keep important documents.
Other factors working in file cabinets advantage include placement that is often away from frequent fire locations like the kitchen or a fire place.
In particular, safes designed to withstand fires are frequently able to do just that. These safes are well made and do as advertised – surviving extreme temperatures to keep the personal belongings and records you have stored in them safe from damaging flames and heat.
The steel composition of these safes allows them to often survive temperatures up to 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit.
As these are made for cooking in high temperatures they are often able to survive house fires. Grills are usually composed of steel or iron, which as we’ve noted both have a high melting point.
In addition, grills are often kept outside away from a potential house fire which makes their chances of surviving even higher. They may, however, to debris falling from a fire damaged house.
Stone Tables & Countertops
Stone is one of the oldest things on the planet for a reason – it is capable of withstanding extreme temperatures from fire. They are capable of surviving thousands of degrees of heat.
That means if you have a stone table top or counter top there is a good chance that it can be salvaged after a fire. Unless, the stone falls and breaks apart.
Yes, it’s true some appliances may also be able to be salvaged after a fire. In particular, appliances made of stainless steel are the odds on favorites to survive and be used another day.
Additional Items to Keep After a House Fire
Of course, less intense fires cause less damage and so more items may be able to survive. However, you should not be quick to salvage everything following a fire.
Smoke is a real and dangerous thing. Items damaged by smoke can contain carcinogenic chemicals that can hurt your health when breathed in.
That means you need to be careful with anything that may have absorbed smoke during a fire, including furniture, clothes, bed linens and more.
If clothes and bed linens appear to be undamaged you should wash them thoroughly – possibly multiple times – to remove smoke and soot damage.
You should also be extra careful with any items from a kid’s or baby’s room as young people can be extremely susceptible to the bad effects of smoke and soot.
That means you should carefully clean all toys and furnishings in a child’s room. Always error on the side of caution as chronic exposure to smoke can lead to skin, lung and other health issues.
Avoid the Hazards of Smoke Damage – Sell Your House
If your house has been damaged by fire, We Buy Fire Damaged Houses pays all cash and buys homes in “as is” condition. That means you don’t have to worry about making expensive, time consuming repairs. Instead you can get your money and get on with your life.
To learn if your fire-damaged house qualifies for a free quote, fill out the short form below.