First aid for fire damage

All audio visual media are sensitive to heat and water. However, it may be possible to salvage some objects that have been exposed to fire. In the first instance do not throw anything away! Seek advice first.

General precautions

  • Remove the objects from further harm
  • Seek advice as soon as possible
  • Do not remove the objects from any protective covers
  • Do not attempt to unwind the films or tapes
  • Do not attempt to clean the films or tapes

Films

  1. Gently brush any loose dirt from the reel
  2. If the film is wet place it inside two (2) plastic bags seal the bags and place in a domestic freezer
  3. If the film is dry protect it from water
  4. Seek advice as soon as possible

Video/audio tapes

  1. Gently brush any loose dirt from the protective cases
  2. Drain any water from the cases by gently opening the case (do not remove the cassette) and place the case spine up on a draining surface.
  3. Keep the tapes cool, but do not freeze.
  4. Seek advice as soon as possible

Vinyl discs

  1. Gently brush any loose dirt from the sleeve
  2. If the disc is wet gently rinse with distilled water if available or clean tap water. Gently dry the disc by dabbing with a lint free cloth, do not wipe or rub dry.
  3. Seek advice as soon as possible

CDs/DVDs

  1. Gently brush any loose dirt from the protective cases
  2. Wipe the protective case with a damp (not wet) cloth
  3. If there is no obvious damage to the disc open the case and carefully brush with a soft brush or tissue any loose dirt off the disc.
  4. Wipe from the centre of the disc straight to the outer edge, do not wipe around the disc in a circular motion.
  5. When handling the disc by careful of the label side as this is easily scratched and can affect the ability to replay the disc
  6. Seek advice as soon as possible

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