Rocky Mountain Restoration Truck

Can Electronics be Saved After Smoke or Fire Damage?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The correct answer is Yes, or NO… depending on each situation. Some electronics can withstand a soot contaminated environment until they are properly cleaned. Others may not fare so well.

Accidents were burnt computer.

Some of the factors that come into play: how exposed any circuitry or wiring might have been on those electronics, where they were located, whether or not they were subject to significant heat or other damaging contaminants such as water. If they were exposed to any hazardous water, such as in the event of a flood or an overflow – were they plugged in or on at the time?

Three suggestions:

  • Electronics and Appliances Should Be Unplugged: Even while they are turned off, most electronics will still have a small amount of power necessary to maintain internal memory or systems while inactive. Be sure all electronics are unplugged after a disaster, both due to the possible exposure to water, and because electrical systems may have been damaged during a fire.
  • Leave Electronics OFF After A Disaster: It is very possible that your electronics can be saved, but attempting to turn them on right after a disaster could allow them to short out if there’s water present or there are heavily covered with soot. If they’re recoverable, they need to be properly dried first. Smoke damage can also leave oily residue that can cause an electrical short, or which can disrupt other functions, such as cooling in a computer.
  • Keep Warranty Records Available: In the event that your electronics can’t be saved, they may be covered by your warranty in the event of a disaster, so long as it is current. The threshold of value is approximately $100 or more for keeping record of warranties for electronic devices.

Personal Electronics:

  • Tablets, iPads, Cellphones
  • Personal computers or laptops.
  • Small appliances over $100
  • External hard drives or flash drives.



These electronics tend to have a high rate of recovery if they’re handled properly. For water damage, they’re normally restored on a case-by-case basis, and a qualified restoration company should be consulted. One tip includes putting a water damaged cell phone in a bag of rice overnight to absorb any water in its casing. These aren’t foolproof, but they do have some chance of success.

Large Electronics:

  • Servers, Printers, Copiers
  • Large Appliances (refrigerators, ranges, TV’s)


In these damaged electronics equipment situations, it’s best if you hire an electronics restoration specialty company, or at the very least, hire a skilled disaster recovery company familiar with electronics restoration.  These professionals will be able to remove all your electronic items from the property and get them to a clean and safe environment, and then assess smoke, fire, and water damage to these items. In many cases, these items are fully cleanable and restorable, which can save you thousands of dollars.

For large electronics that have hard drives containing valuable information, you can prioritize recovery of that data first. For those businesses that manage consumer information and orders daily, that can be important toward cutting down on the length of time that operations are disrupted.        Rocky Mountain Restoration:  Call Us Today! 480.309.2524


Ranking Arizona - Ranked Top 10 in 2022

As seen on...