Fires usually start in the kitchen and can spread to other areas of the home. This is because when cooking, you may be working with exposed flames and high heat. You should always take all possible measures to prevent fires and stay safe in the kitchen.
Kitchen fires are usually caused by flammable materials that encounter a source of heat. Some of these materials include cooking oils, grease, fat that drips onto a hot surface, spilled liquid, or food left unattended. Fires caused by oil can happen if it boils at a hot temperature and starts smoking, it will eventually set on fire.
Fire is an incredibly dangerous element; when it strikes, it can be daunting to know exactly what to do, especially with your home and family at risk. Kitchen fires are very serious, and if dealt with unprofessionally could lead to death. Fortunately, most kitchen fires can be overcome with little more than a working fire extinguisher, some secure from harm. Check out the tips below and make sure that you’re prepared if disaster strikes in the comfort of your own kitchen!
Best Ways to Prevent Kitchen Fires
You can easily prevent fires in the kitchen if you take these precautions:
Never leave food unattended when cooking
If you are cooking, make sure that you are always within a reasonable distance from the heat source. If you must go away from the oven, microwave, or any other appliance, make sure you shut it off first.
Keep flammable items away from the heat source
You should always keep flammable items in your kitchen such as potholders, paper towels, and curtains away from the heat source. These items should be a safe distance from your stove and oven to prevent them from setting on fire. The cooking area and counters should also be kept clean to avoid grease build up.
Have a smoke alarm installed in your kitchen area
Your kitchen should have a smoke alarm that can alert you if there is a danger of a fire. It should be installed higher up on a wall or the ceiling. Make sure you test it so that you know it works and it can be effective when it is needed.
What to Do if You Experience a Kitchen Fire
If you encounter a fire in your kitchen, the first thing you should do is call 911 and put out the fire. After the fire has been put out, you will need to follow these steps:
- Take pictures
Make sure to take pictures of the damaged property and keep a list of everything that has been damaged so that you can file the claim with your insurance.
- Call your insurance
Call your insurance immediately and let them know that there has been a kitchen fire in your home.
- Do not clean up right away
It is important that you do not clean up after the fire right away so your insurance agent can see the damage for your claim.
Putting Out Kitchen Fires
If you face a kitchen fire at your home, you should know how to react. Here are a few things you should do if you experience a small fire in your kitchen.
- If the fire is in your pan, put a lid over it so that oxygen can’t get into the flames. Turn off the burner and don’t touch anything until it has all cooled. If the fire is caused by grease, be careful about using water as it can spread it further.
- Always have a fire extinguisher near you. Usually, kitchen fires will have grease, gasoline, and oil and water will just make them worse. A fire extinguisher will help put out the fire.
- For a fire in the oven, make sure to turn off the heat inside it and allow the fire to burn out by itself. If the fire does not burn out, call the fire department, and leave your home. If the fire does go out, make sure to remove the pan from the oven and open all the windows to air out your space.
Cleaning Up Your Kitchen After a Fire
If you’ve experienced a fire in your kitchen, here are the steps you should follow so that you can clean it up properly so that odors do not linger in your home.
- Use the proper equipment
After a fire, you will have leftover soot that needs to be cleaned. It is dangerous for your health as it contains carbon-based particles that can get into your lungs, eyes, and skin. Always wear a face mask, googles, and rubber gloves when cleaning soot.
- Air out the area
Make sure that you open all windows and doors and set up fans in the opposite corners of the kitchen. This will help push the odors out. You should not run your AC as it can circulate contaminated air all around your home.
- Clean all surfaces
It will take you some time and elbow grease to clean all the surfaces affected by soot. Apply a good cleaning product to the surfaces, rinse it and dry it, and clean it again. It will take some patience, but this is the best way to clean the soot from your property.
The best cleaners to use for cleaning your kitchen after a fire are a little stronger than ordinary cleaners. Here are a few you can use:
- Trisodium phosphate
- Degreaser products
- Dry soot sponges
- Clean inside of cabinets, drawers, and appliances
All cabinets and drawers should be cleared out and cleaned. Any leftover food should be thrown out. Check the doors to your appliance and make sure they are not damaged. Also, clean the condenser coils on the back of the fridge.
Dealing with Odors After a Kitchen Fire
Even after you’ve cleaned your kitchen from the fire, you may still experience some odors. After a fire, it is important to take a few more steps to make sure the leftover odors do not continue lingering in your home. Here are some tips:
- Once all the soot has been cleaned, make sure to clean the non-porous surfaces with an orange citrus cleaner.
- To deal with odors inside your kitchen cabinets, you can open some coffee containers and the coffee grounds will help absorb the odors.
- To combat odors throughout your home, you will need to take out a few bowls of vinegar and it will absorb any leftover odors.
- Take some baking soda and put some on top of carpeting and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming it up.
- A fire restoration company can set up ozone generating equipment that will help the air freshen up quickly.
If you’ve experienced a fire at your home, our technicians at ServiceMaster by Restoration Contractors can help. We will clean up any soot damage with our specialized equipment and methods. Our technicians specialize in cleaning up after kitchen fires so you can rest assured that we will get your property back to its original state. For all of your fire damage restoration needs in Fort Wayne, IN, and the surrounding areas, reach out to ServiceMaster by Restoration Contractors at (260) 420-1502.