How To Fix Smoke Damage to Computers

You never think it can happen, but it did.

A nasty fire can cause significant damage to some of your electronics, like your computer. You never know how much you miss such objects until a small house fire smokes it away.

smoke damage computer laptop keyboard

The computer was not entirely damage; the fire never really got to it. The smoke did and caused significant smoke damage to it. The computer was completely black with soot due to the smoke. 

I want to give you guys who suffer the same fate some ideas on how to clean your computer or laptop from smoke damage. 

First Thing You Need To Do

The very first thing you need to do is make sure it’s safe to re-enter the area where the fire was. Make sure the fire department has cleared you and considers the area safe.

The next thing you need to do is to NOT turn the computer on. You need to remove the battery and place it far away from you. The battery can be dangerous if exposed to extreme heat, so please be careful. Wear face protection and gloves; it’s that serious.

If you feel like this is too much, then look for a local computer shop to help you. 

Just Worry About The Hard Drive

The only thing you need to worry about is the hard drive. The hard drive has all the files you need and want. You need to get the data off the drive as soon as possible. 

You can buy SATA to USB adaptors like these, but in most cases, it would be best to take it to a computer store. But if you’re like me, then you like to do things your way, and the adaptor cable is a must-have. 

After You Save The Data

After you have gotten the files off the computer, then you can start to put the computer back together. I would get a new battery and power supply. It’s a must that you buy a new battery for your laptop because when batteries are exposed to high heat, they can combust, so please be careful, and if you don’t feel safe, then please get an expert to do it for you. We can not stress this enough!

You can buy new batteries and power supplies and have them to your doorstep. Make sure you get the correct one for your computer. You can also go to your local Best Buy and see if they have one or your local computer shop. 

Open It Up

Before you power it on, you’ll want to open the computer up. Smoke damage or just plain old smoke has carbon in it. Carbon is very conductive, so just turning the computer on might just short some stuff out. That’s why we don’t power the computer on after it has been done in with smoke or fire. 

You’ll want to open the computer up and blow out any smoke or carbon you see. You can use an air compressor or devices made just for blow computer dust out. 

You’ll also want to get some rubbing alcohol and some cotton pads and Q-tips. Then very carefully go through and clean all the components you see that have the carbon film on them. This may require you to altogether remove the whole motherboard, hard drive, cd drive, and any other components to make sure you get them cleaned. 

Once Cleaned

When you have it cleaned the best you can; then you can finally fire up the old computer. If you get nothing or get smoke, then pull the cord and remove the battery. This means the computer is toast. It’s time to move one, at least you got your files out. 

Yea, it kind of sucks. But the computer was exposed to fire or smoke, so you can’t expect miracles sometimes.

My Fate Your Fate

Your fate could have been like mine. I wasn’t able to fix my computer as the fire damage was too much for it. I was able to save my files, so I’m not that mad about it.

I was able to get insurance to cover it, but oddly it took forever to get my money to buy my computer. Luckily you can get some cheap computers to tie you over as I did.