If you just had a minor fire in your kitchen and were able to put it out without the assistance of the fire department, then take a deep breath and be thankful you're okay. Next, you'll need to take some time to assess the repair the damage. Even a small fire -- and the water or fire extinguishing chemicals required to put it out -- can cause quite a lot of damage. The following tips will help you restore your kitchen safely.
1. Throw away any opened food products.
Even if the food product looks okay, soot from the fire may have seeped in through small holes in the packaging, contaminating the food product. So, it is best to throw away any food that has been opened. This includes items that you resealed into Ziplock bags; they're not always as tightly sealed as you think. Also toss any loose fruit, like bananas and oranges.
2. Wear a mask.
When doing any sort of cleanup in the kitchen, make sure you wear a face mask. This prevents you from breathing in any soot or residue from the fire. The contaminants that the soot contains are not great for your lungs and respiratory tract, especially if you have asthma or allergies.
3. Clean up water sooner rather than later.
If you used water to put out the fire, make sure you soak it up as soon as you can with a towel or sponge. If left in place, water can quickly cause mold to start forming on your surfaces, and mold is a big threat to health. If the surfaces are still moist after you dry them with a towel or sponge, set up a fan in the room to blow air through the space and encourage the water to evaporate.
4. Wipe up dry chemical fire extinguisher residue carefully.
If you used a dry chemical fire extinguisher to put out the fire, the safest way to clean up is to wait for the dust to settle, and then sweep it up -- while wearing a face mask. Then, use a mixture of 50% water and 50% isopropyl alcohol to wipe up any lingering residue.
If you need more assistance cleaning up after a small fire, contact a fire damage restoration team for help. No project is too small for these professionals, and in many cases, hiring them is the safest way to restore your kitchen to the clean, safe environment it once was.