When Fire Strikes
A few years back, a couple of college students were attempting to make pasta for a quick and easy dinner before a long night of studying. They put the boiling water on the stove but quickly realized they would need to go to the store for pasta sauce, garlic bread, and Parmesan cheese - the essentials for any pasta dinner. Without even thinking, the pair left their apartment and headed across the small college town to get to the store. What did they forget to do? Turn off the stove before leaving. By the time they got back merely twenty minutes later, their kitchen was in flames and the fire department was already on scene. After the two were cleared to enter, they found their kitchen was in black, smoky shambles, and the rest of their apartment had a gray residue staining the walls and ceiling.
Unfortunately, fire damage is much more common than most would hope. Simple tasks like remembering to turn off the stove or blow out a candle can be quickly forgotten in the haste to get somewhere. In the case of those two college students, they were relatively lucky. A few years ago in Pullman, WA, a similar instance happened; however, that couple wasn’t so lucky. The fire caught two other apartment buildings, and ended up destroying three in total.
Now, how does one come back from something like this? Smoke residue can be a pain to get off walls and ceilings. Smoke will seep into the smallest cracks in dressers, closets, and shelves so that even when everything is clean and back to normal, clothes, shoes, and furniture will still smell of smoke.
The easiest way to take care of this is to call SERVPRO of South & West Seattle to handle all of the cleaning - from walls to teddy bears. Not only do we have a large team of trained technicians who can come out and clean the walls and ceilings, but we will also pack up any belongings and bring them back to our facility to be cleaned and deodorized; leaving you with nothing but peace of mind that your items will be taken care of by our skilled employees.
There are also very simple things homeowners can to do help prevent smoke and fire damage. These may seem like no-brainers, but even the smallest slip of the mind can have devastating consequences:
- Never burn candles on shelving or near a window.
- The heat from the candle can catch the shelving on fire, and the air from outside could possibly fuel the small flame.
- Make sure you have everything you need BEFORE you start cooking.
- One of the most common ways to start a kitchen fire is from forgetting to turn off the oven or stove top.
- Have windows open and a fan running when cooking
- This will decrease the chances of a grease fire happening.
Now, what happens if a fire does start? If it’s small enough, there are a few ways to keep it from spreading:
- Coil stove-top: if a small fire (a flame no bigger than your pinky nail) happens, turn off the stove and pour salt over the fire. NEVER use water. This could cause a bigger electrical fire.
- Grease fire: Smother the pan with a lid and immediately put the pan in the oven. DO NOT turn on the hood fan, as that will draw the flames to a condensed area and could cause a larger fire.
- Fire in the oven: the best way to put this out is with a fire extinguisher.
- Note: Avoid any grease build-up in your oven by regularly cleaning
If a fire starts in your home and cannot be controlled by smothering, leave the house immediately and call 9-1-1. Smoke inhalation is just as dangerous as a fire itself, so do not linger if the fire is out of control.
Once the fire is out and the damage has been assessed, call SERVPRO of South & West Seattle at 425-225-2227 to schedule a cost-free estimate and start getting your life back to normal.