The kitchen is one of the most aesthetic and active areas of the home. It’s a place to entertain, cook, and even eat for some families. This room is essentially the heart of all homes, which is why a fire in this area can be the most devastating.
Even small fires in one area of the kitchen is enough to cause and spread severe damage and interrupt daily activities. The most important action to take after a fire is to ensure the safety of yourself and loved ones. Ensure to create and practice your fire safety and escape plan frequently with your family so everyone knows what to do if a fire breaks out.
But after extinguishing the fire, you need to start taking action to limit and clean up the damage. Here are some tips on restoring fire and smoke damage in the kitchen:
1. Call Your Local Restoration Professional
Following any property fire, local restoration professionals should be called right away. Because the smoke damage can still spread after a fire, calling these licensed experts is imperative to minimize costs and time spent during the restoration process.
Most restoration companies are available 24/7 for your convenience and will respond shortly after receiving your first call. They will arrive right away with the restoration products and equipment needed to restore the area. During the restoration process, it is highly advised to stay clear of this area as any smoke byproducts can trigger allergies and respiratory issues.
2. Gather Protective Equipment
Before approaching the damaged area, know that soot and other corrosive byproducts can trigger a number of negative health issues and even long-term damage. You’ll also see that the soot leaves an oily residue, which can get on your hands and clothes without proper precaution.
Before tackling the inspection process, be sure to gather and put on the proper equipment, including a face mask, gloves, and eye wear. Be careful when following the steps listed below.
3. Inspect the Damage
Be sure to take pictures of the damage before moving or cleaning any of the affected materials. Record the details of the damage and create an inventory of the affected items to support your fire damage insurance claim. Then call your insurance company, have them send out an agent to assess the damage and cost of repair. Avoid cleaning the area or making any repairs until the insurance agent has finished gathering the necessary evidence to move forward with the claim.
4. Start the Restoration Process
Extensive fire damage should always be handled a by a local restoration contractor. These experts have years of experience and training using tools, processes, and products to restore your kitchen quickly, effectively, and safely. But there are ways that you can aid in the restoration process to protect your loved ones and prevent the damage from spreading further.
Check out these tips listed below to start the fire damage restoration process:
- Change the air filters in your furnace
- Turn on your air conditioning, but be sure that smoke or soot has not yet affected the HVAC
- Turn on the ceiling fan to air out the smoke particles
- Place two layers of cheesecloth over each air register
- Set up additional fans in the affected area to put out strong odors
- Remove kitchen drawers and open cabinets to access the interior spaces
- Avoid eating and drinking food and drinks that might be contaminated
- Always wear protective equipment, such as a breathing mask, eye wear, and gloves around the damaged areas
- Wipe down metallic surfaces and steel appliances
- Clean painted and plastic surfaces using an alkaline (soap-free) detergent
- Throw out unsalvageable and other items that were exposed during the fire
- Improve air circulation throughout the property by opening all windows to allow smoke odors to escape
Is it Safe to Use a Stove or Oven after a Grease Fire?
You should always check with the appliance manufacturer before turning on your oven. If you used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames, the area will also need to be decontaminated by a professional.
Be aware that the chemicals emitted from the fire are hazardous, so remember to continue using the protective gear mentioned in step 2.
Be Aware of the Spread of Damage
Depending on the severity of the fire, cleaning efforts and products will vary. But the smoke and soot byproducts produced from the burning combustible materials can embed themselves within the porous surfaces of your home – even in areas away from the kitchen.
In the instance that any sprinklers went off during the fire, you may need additional water damage restoration services to extract and mitigate the water damage and prevent mold growth.
Fire Damage Restoration Services
If you are unsure of where to start after this disaster, rely on the professionalism of local fire restoration professionals. Those that are licensed, experienced, and trained to respond immediately to these emergencies will use the proper products and methods that are guaranteed to restore your kitchen to its original condition. Just be sure to contact them quickly as the smoke damage can permanently compromise the structural makeup of the affected materials.
Fire damage restoration professionals will address all building materials as well as contents, providing you with complete peace of mind. Finally, the restoration contractors will work with your insurance company during the claims process so you can focus on other matters during this stressful time.