It’s a well-known fact that smoke can cause significant damage to one’s health, but a slightly lesser-known fact that it can also harm electronics. Smoke exposure, whether from a wildfire, excessive cigarette smoking, or an overenthusiastic blaze in a fireplace, can cause a great deal of harm to your electronics. To help you prevent this, below is everything you need to know about smoke damage in electronics.
How Smoke Damages Electronics
There are several different ways in which smoke can harm electronics. First, smoke can layer over electronic ventilation, preventing them from releasing excess energy and causing them to overheat. This can decrease your technology’s lifespan, slow down its memory, and drain its battery. Furthermore, if the overheated device is not handled correctly, it could give you severe burns.
In addition to causing overheating, smoke exposure can also directly damage the insides of electronics. When smoke seeps into the cracks of an electronic device, it leaves a layer of black residue over the device’s components. Not only can this residue insulate the components and make them overheat, but it can also cause shorting, as it carries a magnetic current that will disrupt the electricity flow within the device.
Finally, smoke may also carry soot, which can be harmful to electronics in its own right. Because soot is highly acidic, it can corrode the metal pieces within electronics, decreasing the device’s lifespan and potentially ruining it entirely. This is why it’s very important to do everything you can to prevent your electronics from being exposed to excessive amounts of smoke.
Preventing Smoke Damage
Unsurprisingly, the best way to prevent your electronics from being damaged by smoke is by limiting their smoke exposure. To do so, refrain from smoking inside and keep electronic devices far away from active fireplaces.
Additionally, as a device’s memory is its most valuable component, consider investing in online backup storage for your digital information. This way, even if your electronics are exposed to smoke and fire, you will still have access to your documents, photographs, videos, etc.
Repairing Smoke-Damaged Electronics
Unfortunately, accidents sometimes happen, and despite your best efforts to the contrary, your electronics may fall prey to smoke damage. Thankfully, there are a few simple steps that you can take to repair most smoke-damaged electronics.
Make sure that the device is turned off and unplugged. As previously mentioned, smoke carries magnetic currents, and these currents can disrupt the electricity flow of active devices in unexpected and potentially dangerous ways.
Remove the device’s storage and/or memory, as doing so will prevent your important digital information from being further damaged by your restorative efforts. Use a dry cloth to gently wipe away any black residue that you can find.
Finally, while allowing the device to air out, contact an electronics restoration professional about examining the device. They will safely address any smoke damage that you either did not notice or were unable to handle on your own, and will hopefully be able to restore the device entirely.