How to Clean up After a Grease Fire April 17, 2017 – Posted in: Blog
A grease fire can be an unexpected disaster for your kitchen and home. One of the challenges of grease fires is that they are difficult to extinguish. Pouring water on a grease fire only makes it worse, and trying to snuff it out with towels or other materials close by can lead to the fire spreading. A fire extinguisher is the best way to put out a grease fire, so you will want to be sure you have one that is easy to access in your kitchen.
But then there’s cleaning up after a grease fire, which is the second challenge. Just as a grease fire is hard to put out, a grease fire is also difficult to clean up.
When to Call the Pros
Because of just how quickly a grease fire can spread and because of how intensive a grease fire’s damage can be, it’s almost always ideal to call a professional for help with repairing damage from a grease fire. A grease fire most often leaves a heavy scent of smoke throughout your home. It can also leave soot covering your kitchen, including the ceiling, cabinets and more. No matter what, there’s going to be grease residue and soot everywhere — and grease is notoriously difficult to clean.
A professional has the knowledge and experience to quickly and effectively repair damage from a grease fire, as well as the tools needed to get the job done. Additionally, a professional will know the proper techniques for taking care of grease fire residue on different materials.
Residue can often find its way onto paper, wood, plastic, natural substances and more, and there’s a proven process for cleaning each — but the processes are different. A professional can take care of these different materials in the best way possible for each.
Be Proactive While You Wait
When you’ve experienced a grease fire in your home or in your restaurant, it’s important to be proactive. Here’s a look at what you can and should do immediately:
- Find a Professional: It’s likely you’ll need fire damage restoration professional help. Contact one (or get bids from several) to get them on the schedule as quickly as possible.
- Remove Pets and Children: Smoke and soot can cause health problems in both people and animals. For this reason, until the environment has been cleaned and repaired, children and pets should be taken elsewhere.
- Replace Your Filters: Because of the smoke and soot’s ability to travel throughout your house, it’s important that you change out your furnace’s air filter. Replace the filters on your refrigerator, too — if it’s salvageable.
- Toss Out Food: Discard any food substances that were out when the fire struck — soot and smoke particles have contaminated your food.
- Clean Cabinets: It’s likely your cabinets are covered soot inside and out. Wipe them down, too. While initially cleaning them is important, you may need a professional to sand, reseal and repaint the cabinets to fully remove the odor.
- Check Appliances: Your microwave may need to go. If it was located close to the fire, it will be next to impossible to get the smoke scent out of the plastic. Check the gasket seals on your refrigerator for damage as well. If they are impaired, it may be time to get a new refrigerator. This is another area where professional guidance can be helpful.
Never enter a structure that has been affected by any kind of fire until it has been declared safe to do so by the fire department or other public authority. If you have any doubt about the structure’s soundness, wait until a professional can assess it.
Hidden Damage Caused by Kitchen Grease Fires
You can see soot when it is clinging to your kitchen ceiling and cabinets. But a restaurant kitchen fire or a home kitchen fire can leave damage that’s not as easy to see.
For example, flames from a grease fire can find their way into ductwork and cause damage there that will only get worse if left unaddressed. Smoky odors leftover from a grease fire can also linger if they aren’t dealt with in a professional manner.
Hidden damage is yet another reason why it’s often a good idea to call in the professionals for help cleaning up after a grease fire. If left to take care of the damage on your own, you may get your kitchen and home looking great — but the hidden damage can cause problems down the road and certainly hurt your home’s resale value. A professional will know all the places to look, and they will also know how to repair that damage.
Get Equipment from Aer Industries
At Aer Industries, we help equip smoke and fire damage professionals with the tools needed to deliver outstanding results. When you need the right equipment for mitigating damage after a grease fire, browse through our selection of equipment.