How to React to Kitchen Fire Damage
In most homes, people are walking in and out of the kitchen all day, whether they are preparing a meal or just grabbing a snack. The kitchen is one of the busiest areas of a home and it is also a place where families gather for meals or to entertain friends. Unfortunately, it is also where most house fires originate. Cooking is always one of the top causes of house fires and cooking fires can cause a devastating amount of damage to your kitchen. You should always take the right safety precautions to prevent kitchen fires and if one occurs, protecting yourself and your family should be your top priority. After a kitchen fire is put out, you can clean up the damage with the following tips. Make sure you call a fire damage restoration professional if the damage is too extensive for you to clean up yourself.
Before reentering your kitchen, you must take every possible safety precaution. There could be unseen damage to the electrical work or gas lines that can have very dangerous consequences. After the fire department puts out the fire, an inspector will check for safety issues and let you know when you can enter safely. Make sure you protect yourself by wearing a mask, gloves, pants, boots, and long sleeves when you enter the kitchen.
Document the Damage
Once it is safe to enter your kitchen, document the damage before you do any cleaning. Take as many pictures as you can of the damage and make a list of damaged items for your insurance claim. File a claim with your insurance provider as soon as possible so that they will send an agent to make an estimate. Do not start cleaning your kitchen until the insurance adjuster comes out to evaluate the damage and tells you that you can proceed with the fire damage cleanup.
Cleaning the Fire Damage
In most cases, you would be better off calling a professional to clean up the fire damage using powerful cleaning products and advanced techniques. However, you can still clean up some of the damage yourself, even as you wait for fire damage restoration professionals to arrive. Make sure you follow these tips to safely and effectively clean up the damage from a kitchen fire:
- Wear protective gear including goggles, masks, boots, long pants, and long sleeves.
- Do not eat or drink anything in the damaged area.
- Open your windows to air out the smoke and odors.
- Remove valuable items and items that can be saved from your kitchen.
- Dispose of debris and materials that cannot be salvaged.
- Remove drawers and kitchen cabinets to clean the space inside.
- Wipe off stainless steel and metallic surfaces.
- Use alkaline (soap free) detergent to clean plastic and painted surfaces.
- Change the air filter in your exhaust fan and furnace.
When to Call a Fire Damage Restoration Professional
The extent of the damage will determine if you can effectively clean up your kitchen yourself or if you should contact a professional for fire damage restoration. The damage from a fire can be extensive and it is rarely contained to one area. The fire may have caused undetected structural damage and corrosive byproducts created by the fire like smoke and soot can spread to other areas and cause additional damage. Smoke and soot will tarnish and etch affected surfaces and materials and it takes specialized cleaning to restore the damage. Soot particles are also hazardous for your health which is why we recommend wearing a mask at all times while in the fire damaged area.
Even if you can clean up some of the damage caused by a kitchen fire yourself, you should still call a fire damage restoration professional. These professionals will uncover the true extent of the damage including structural damage and the spread of smoke and soot. Fire cleanup technicians have the expertise to stabilize and repair structural damage and they use specialized cleaning agents to restore materials affected by smoke and soot. They can also remove lingering smoke odors.
By calling a professional to clean up the fire damage, you can rest assured that they will have the right equipment and cleaning products to effectively clean and restore the damage to your home.