Is a computer safe to use after a fire or contact with smoke?

Each case is different and it depends on the severity. Some electronic devices can survive a smoke and soot contaminated environment until they are appropriately cleaned whereas others may not be so fortunate.

Smoke and soot are just as damaging to a computer as it is to human life. These substances can rapidly cling to anything it comes into contact with such as internal computer components like the motherboard, and even worse they convert stored dust and dirt which is already inside your computer into sponges of harsh substances.

Despite being turned off, most electronics will still consume a small amount of power needed to sustain systems while out of action. Check that all electrical devices are switched off and unplugged after an incident of fire or smoke.

It’s advised to keep the computer turned off and unplugged until it’s been cleaned as keeping it powered on essentially heats up and bakes on these dangerous elements. There’s a chance that your electronics can be rescued, but powering them on straight after a case of fire or smoke could cause them to short out if they are severely covered with soot.

Additionally, smoke damage can leave behind oily sediment that can trigger an electrical short or unsettle other functions. If recoverable they’ll need to be thoroughly dried first. This is why it’s so important to have your computer checked and cleaned up as soon as possible.

Invest in a fireproof hard drive – ioSafe

ioSafe solo g3

Nobody wants to be the victim of fire but it could happen to anyone at any time. It’s vital you’re prepared should the worst happen. Keep your precious data safe with a fireproof hard drive. Whether you’re a business or home user if your data is important to you then protect it.

The Solo G3 by ioSafe protects data from loss up to 1550°F for 1/2 hour per ASTM E119.


The Solo G3 ioSafe provides fire insulation technology which protects your data from extreme heat. A chemical bond is formed with water particles that release water vapour at temperatures over 160°F, to cap the internal temperature of the unit during a fire.

Fan less vent design

If damaging heat levels are detected such as a fire, the FloSafe vents safeguard your data from the extreme heat. The FloSafe airflow cooling technology is designed for quiet operation.


Secure the ioSafe Solo to any surface with the built-in anti-theft tab which keeps your data protected in the event of a burglary.


The water barrier technology is designed to protect data loss from water damage including full immersion. It protects data from loss up to 10ft for 72 hours.

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