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What Does Smoke Damage Do to Electronics?

What Does Smoke Damage Do to Electronics?

We all know that fire damages any property, but what about smoke alone? Can smoke cause damage even when there are no flames?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes; it contains different chemical compounds that can cause damage, including damage to TVs, sound systems, etc.

Electronics tend to have fragile and sensitive circuitry and can easily damage by smoke. Remember that you do not need a fire to have this type of damage! Even a small kitchen fire that fills the home with smoke can damage electronics.

So, how exactly does this happen? What are the likely results of smoke damage to electronics? Can the damaged electronics be saved?

All Dry USA experts are here to weigh in and help you prevent potential smoke damage in your house.

How Smoke Causes Damage

Smoke causes damage by overheating electronics, leading to failure. It infiltrates the inner components and coats parts with a black film.

When the inner workings are coated, especially the parts that produce heat as part of the electronics, it creates insulation and a magnetic charge. Then, the equipment will experience a short circuit and overheat. Extensive studies have examined this type of harm, covering how duration and concentration can affect electronics.

It also causes damage through soot buildup that gets pushed by smoke and makes contact with anything in its path. It will travel to cooler temperatures and keep traveling until it eventually dissipates. Soot from smoke contains acidity that will destroy metals and cause disintegration and discoloration.

These harmful traits can completely destroy electronics even after the fire is put out. This damage is even a risk if there isn’t a fire. Smoke and soot will linger and corrode circuity, causing short circuits. If you’ve had a small fire where flames did not reach the electronics, you should still be wary of this damage.

Also, if the area is damp, the moisture will make the soot more acidic, permanently staining surfaces, walls, and electronics.

Read more: What can be salvaged after a house fire?

Lit Room With Two Plants, A Turned On TV, DVD Player And Switched On Lamp

Can Smoke-Damaged Electronics Be Saved?

Sometimes the damage is simply too disastrous to overcome. In other cases, careful restoration services can save damaged electronics.

Either way, saving smoke-coated electronics will depend on the device type and the damage.

After a fire, your damaged electronics are a safety hazard. You should not turn any of them on until after talking to a professional. If you turn it on, the corroding acids will immediately cause the device to fail.

If there was a fire, remember that water was used to put it out, so you may also have water in the electronics. Water or heavy soot levels can easily cause your electronic devices to short or disrupt their operational capacities.

One option is to unplug and remove any affected devices. Then, clean the items and wipe off any residue with a cloth. If you do this immediately, you will improve the chances of saving devices.

If the item has a heavy coating of soot or smoke or burns marks, do not attempt to restore it. These devices are often beyond saving and should be safely discarded.

On a practical note, always keep warranty records on your devices. If they are damaged beyond saving, it might be covered by any warranty plans. Typically, devices over $100 in value have warranty plans.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Electronics Get Smoke Damage?

Yes, primarily due to frequent overheating, which can ultimately lead to total failure. It may also coat the inner mechanisms of your electronics with a thin black film.

Can Smoke Damage Your TV?

Yes. The chemical compounds unique to smoke can severely damage TVs, especially the sound system.

Can Smoke Damage a PS4?

Yes, as gaming consoles are prone to overheating anyway, smoke can exacerbate this.

Is Cigarette Smoke Bad for Electronics?

Yes, cigarette smoke behaves the same as other kinds of smoke and is just as damaging.


If you’re afraid your electronics might have smoke damage, it’s best for a professional to conduct a safety inspection. This will help determine the state of your devices and the potential repair options open to you.

Consider an electrical safety inspection from All Dry USA. Our team of experts can evaluate your home and help you deal with any damage from fire and/or smoke.

Get in touch with us today for a free consultation!

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