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Protein Fires: What Are They and How Are They Treated?

When dealing with a fire in your home, more than likely you will notice there is visible smoke residue and large amounts of soot. When dealing with a protein fire, it is the opposite. There is little to no visible smoke residue but a strong pungent odor is present. A protein fire usually occurs in the kitchen and the low level of heat reduces the animal fat and food protein to a mist that leaves an almost invisible residue. This can be an extensive problem because an untrained eye will see no black soot and will underestimate the damage that has occurred on their property. With a protein fire, there is an absence of smoke that is visible and when paired with a pungent odor, can be frustrating to any home or business holder. In most cases, both structural components and contents are compromised in this situation.

During a protein fire the burned material is consumed in a slow manner, making it easy for the residue to penetrate the interior of cabinets, closets, and even air ducts. This type of fire can also cause a discoloration on painted surface that will have a beige or pink tint which could be permanent. If cleaning does not do the trick, then re-painting may be the best option for the homeowner in that instance. Any carpeting, clothing, and upholstery that are affected will also need to be cleaned meticulously to ensure that the odor generating residue is removed. In most cases, textiles usually release the odors greater than hard kitchen surfaces such as tiling.

Many odor sources are overlooked by the untrained eye, as they do not know what to look for in the case of a fire disaster that leaves no visible residue. Usually, these odors are found near the source; in kitchens, dining rooms, and adjacent rooms to where the fire has occurred. A fire can cause substantial damages to electrical wiring and professionals can recognize this effectively. Kitchen cabinets may need to also be taken down and thoroughly cleaned and re-sealed. Any type of odor mitigation is based on the details, and for the job to be successful, the professionals must inspect all elements of the property that were affected.

A team of professionals will follow a strategy and many steps until the problem is fixed and solved. All home and business owners should know that residue left from a protein fire is more damage, and more persistent, then its appearance lets on. A true professional will know the exact steps to take, and if your restorer refers to the “trial and evaluate” method, then they are obviously not experienced. Make sure to call a team of professionals that have experience in the field of fire and smoke damage restoration. These specialists can help you choose, and then implement a correct smoke and odor removal system. Tenting your home may be required during this process. The two main approaches when dealing with protein fire residue in the home are ozone treatments and thermal fogging. An ozone treatment uses a specialized device that breaks up the smoke particles in the air, and during this time, the treatment will replace the smoke odor with the smell of rain. If you opt for thermal fogging, this device, also known as a ThermoFogger, will clear the pores of your home which will then allow the smoke odor to escape effectively.

Protein Fires: What Are They and How Are They Treated?