What to Do in the Event of a Kitchen Fire
A Complete Guide to Fires in the Kitchen
A fire in the home or business is extremely distressing and can cause massive amounts of disruption to day-to-day life, both emotionally and physically. Unfortunately, kitchens are a common place for fires to start, at which point they can spread to the rest of the home.
If you’ve just suffered a fire on your property, you’re probably feeling lost, confused and stressed. Instead of wondering what to do after a kitchen fire, and how to prevent them in the future, check out this article, where we talk you through:
- How do kitchen fires start?
- Assessing kitchen fire damage
- Fire damage restoration steps by Rainbow Restoration professionals
- How to prevent cooking fires
- Are ovens safe to use following a fire?
- Is it safe to use dishes after a kitchen fire?
- How Rainbow International can help
How do Fires in the Kitchen Start?
Your kitchen is filled with appliances, fuel sources and elements that can easily cause a fire, and spread it to other areas of your property.
Most kitchen fires are caused by a flammable substance coming into contact with a source of heat, such as cooking oil dripping onto the stove. If the fire is caused by grease or oil, it is a serious situation, as these types of fires can spread much more quickly.
Overall, kitchen fires often start with cooking liquids and a heat source, however, it’s important to keep in mind your appliances and the types of surroundings they’re in, as these can also be the cause of a kitchen fire.
Assessing Kitchen Fire Damage
Understanding how damaged the room is after a kitchen fire, is absolutely essential before undertaking any restoration efforts. There are two key steps you should take once the fire has been put out:
1. Take Photos
Capturing the full extent of the damage caused by the fire is important to avoid unnecessary charges that you have to find the money for. By fully documenting the damage, you can ensure that any necessary repairs are taken care of, and recognised by your insurance company.
2. Call Your Insurance
Insurance companies should be contacted at the earliest opportunity in the wake of a kitchen fire.
After a kitchen fire, all you want is to have your home back so you can relax in the comfort, instead of facing a difficult and emotional situation. Having the process started as soon as possible means your home will be back to normal as quickly as possible too, so call your insurance!
Fire Damage Restoration By Rainbow International Professionals
Once your insurance has confirmed the photos of the damage and it’s time to start restoring your home to its former glory.
Having skilled fire restoration specialists handle the situation is key, and Rainbow Restoration’s professionals are here to help. By having expertly designed processes put in place you can trust that your home will be well looked after, along with your health and your possessions.
To begin the process, Rainbow Restoration will clear out the dusty air by providing fresh ventilation, ensuring it flows throughout your home. By opening up all windows and placing high-powered fans in smaller spaces, loose dust, soot and ash will be lifted from the floor and surfaces.
Our professionals will then clear away these disrupted substances, reducing the chance of further damage to your home and your health.
2. Deep Cleaning Soot and Smoke
Only a skilled and well-equipped professional should clear away soot and smoke, as they are made up of incredibly toxic chemicals that are not just harmful to your home, but to your health too.
This is also why it’s so important to have these after-effects of a kitchen fire removed from your home as soon as possible, so Rainbow Restoration work with speed and efficiency when removing soot and smoke from your home.
By using professional equipment such as dry-cleaning sponges, hot water, degreaser products and protective equipment, you can deep clean your home and avoid the soot and smoke from spreading further into your home.
3. Contents Restoration
The structure of your house isn’t the only important part of what makes your home. What you have put into it are often the things we hold the most value, and having those parts of our home returned to us in their original condition after a kitchen fire is important.
Rainbow Restoration works hard to remove your kitchen’s contents and restore them to their former condition by salvaging, cleaning and disinfecting them, so you can go back to enjoying them.
4. PAT Testing of Electrical Items
PAT stands for “Portable Appliance Testing”, and the process in which portable electrical equipment is analysed and examined to highlight any chance of a risk. This is important to prevent fires caused by faulty appliances but is also key after a fire has happened.
Fire can damage the contents of your kitchen in extremely obvious ways, but it can also penetrate the items in the kitchen itself. This can end up going unnoticed in the commotion of the aftermath, but Rainbow International highly recommends not using your electrical items after a fire until they’ve been PAT tested.
Things To Throw Away Following A Fire in the Kitchen
Unfortunately, not everything can be saved after a kitchen fire. Soot, smoke and dust will penetrate almost anything in its path, so some things must be thrown away, including:
1. Non-Perishable Food Exposed
Fire can harm your health in multiple ways, including through the food you eat after the fact. Any non-perishable food that has been permeated by the effects of fire should be thrown away immediately.
Even sealed food might seem okay, but the heat from the fire can activate bacteria that cause food spoilage. Toxic fumes can even cause damage through sealed food so make sure it goes in the bin. Rainbow International recommends having a full clear-out to be safe, as your health should always come first.
2. Perishable Food Left at Room Temperature for Too Long
Food should never be kept if there’s even a slight suspicion of contamination from the kitchen fire, as it can be unsafe. If you’re not too sure, look out for the following signs of fire damage to food:
- A smoky smell in the fridge
- Soot is inside the fridge
- The refrigerator lost power for over two hours
- A strange smell in the fridge
- Food in the freezer no longer feels cold
It’s incredibly important to triple-check that all medications and cosmetics are safe to use following a kitchen fire. Dust, ash and smoke can penetrate packaging and contaminate the contents, making it unsafe to use. If in doubt, chuck it out.
How to Prevent Cooking Fires
Whether you’ve suffered a kitchen fire recently or you’ve never had to face it before, prevention is key. Preventing cooking fires is possible, and is a worthy task to undertake as it can save you emotional, physical and financial stress that is worth avoiding.
Rainbow Restoration has outlined three easy steps if you want to prevent a kitchen fire, using our expert knowledge and experience.
1. Never Leave Cooking Unattended
Having any exposed heat source around fuel, whether it’s cooking oil, fat or grease is a risk. You should never leave cooking unattended in your kitchen, as you can easily miss warning signs of a fire until it’s too late.
By staying with the food you’re cooking, you can keep an eye on how hot the fuel is, how contained the heat source is and ensure flammable objects nearby are protected.
2. Ensure Your Smoke Alarm Is Working
Not all smoke means fire, and being able to intercept something burning before it turns into a raging fire in your kitchen will help you to prevent cooking fires.
Having a smoke alarm that has fully charged batteries and is functioning properly will help you with this. Without it, you can miss fire as it begins, putting you, your loved ones and your home in danger. Check your smoke alarm regularly and prevent cooking fires.
3. Protect Flammable Objects
Kitchens are filled with flammable objects, from kitchen towels to food packets and decorations. All of these items are potential fuel for a fire, and sometimes even the cause of fire themselves.
By moving these objects away from heat sources, you will drastically reduce the chances of a kitchen fire occurring, and even reduce the chance of a fire spreading. Rainbow International recommends reducing clutter in your kitchen and putting away any flammable objects to truly prevent a kitchen fire.
Are Ovens Safe to Use Following a Fire?
Electric ovens should be thoroughly checked before using after a fire as broken electrical wires can occur during a kitchen fire. These types of faulty electrics can often be the cause of fires themselves, so have a professional review your fire to not only keep you safe after a fire but to prevent future ones.
Gas ovens are perfectly safe to use after a fire, but thoroughly inspecting them to make sure it’s been properly cleaned and there are no structural issues is highly recommended.
Is it Safe to Use Dishes After a Kitchen Fire?
It is safe to use dishes after a kitchen fire if they have been thoroughly cleaned and any toxic chemicals from dust, soot or ash have been removed.
How Rainbow Restoration Can Help After A Kitchen Fire
With decades of experience restoring homes and commercial businesses after a kitchen fire so people can return to their comfort zone with as little stress as possible, our fire restoration specialists will provide quick and reliable services.
By supporting people through these stressful times, our teams will provide knowledge and services that will help you to relax, even in the face of an emotionally and physically distressing time.
Having our trained fire damage restoration experts on your property is key, as they’re trained in spotting every nook and cranny that has been affected by fire, along with highlighting any potential future concerns. This is essential to protecting your health, and your home’s health in the moment, and for the future.
Get In Touch With Rainbow Restoration
Our team of experts understand how important your home or business is to you, and how fire restoration services and smoke damage restoration services can improve your home and your life. Get in touch with them today to enlist their help if you’ve suffered a kitchen fire.