On a Loss, Think Twice Before You Toss

After a house fire devastated Helen Otto’s home in Grand Rapids, MI, she was convinced most of her belongings, electronics and appliances were destroyed by water and soot exposure. Most concerning was her autistic son’s electronic gaming system which was knocked onto the ground during the fire and now drenched in soot and water. These items were very important to Helen’s son because they provided normalcy for him during an already tumultuous time in their lives. Helen was also saddened by the smoke and soot damage left on many of the family’s keepsakes and sentimental items. However, to Helen’s content and surprise, most of the items Helen had originally thought were a total loss due to the fire (including her family photo albums, electronics and her son’s beloved gaming system) were able to be restored back to their pre-loss condition.

It is common knowledge that after a fire has engulfed a residence or a place of business, the priority is to begin the structural restoration as soon as possible. Although acting swiftly is critical to ensuring no further damage occurs, think twice before tossing soot-covered contents, like art, electronics or appliances into the dumpster—Often times, these items can be restored.

Did you know electronics and appliances can be restored for a fraction of the cost to replace them? According to the National Fire Protection Association, an estimated 374,000 U.S. homes catch fire each year and on average each one of these homes has at least 25 pieces of electronics. When looking at the total cost to replace all those items, it makes a whole lot of sense (pun intended) to restore them instead.