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Restoring Your Restaurant After a Fire

Restoring Your Restaurant After a Fire

Fire in a commercial kitchen can lead to devastating consequences. Unlike the fire in a domestic kitchen, fire in a restaurant kitchen is very potent and dangerous and can spread very fast throughout the entire building or facility. The damage caused due to such fires means shutting down the restaurant altogether for some time. After a fire, you will need to restore everything in your facility back to normal in order to reopen the facility for visitors. Unless your restaurant is brought back to its pre-fire condition, it will be impossible to start doing business. Before you can resume your food service establishment, you will need to get all the restoration work done in a proper manner and ensure you are code-compliant as well. 

If you are a restaurant owner or manager, this article will help you understand the entire process of restoring your facility after a fire and reopening your facility quickly so that you don’t lose too much money.

Assessing the Damage

The first step after a fire is damaged is to assess the extent of damage in the facility. So, this is where the process of fire restoration begins. Professionals will carry out the assessment using multiple techniques and methods. The damage done due to a fire breakout affects multiple aspects of a restaurant business. Whether it is the cooking equipment and appliances, the various systems or the structures, experts will evaluate the entire fire damage in a restaurant.

Food items are either completely destroyed in a commercial kitchen fire or rendered unusable due to the penetration of smoke and soot. It is not just the flames that cause damage, but a lot of damage is caused due to the smoke and soot that result from the burning fire in the restaurant.

The damage to cooking equipment and appliances can be partial or full. Equipment that sustains particle damage can be repaired. But many kitchen equipment are damaged to the extent that they can’t be repaired. During a kitchen fire, it is not just the kitchen area that is destroyed. The damage can extend to the dining area as well, which happens due to smoke and soot. While the actual zone of fire can be small, its effect can be far-reaching. It is difficult to deal with fire-related losses and get back on track once again after all the damage.

For further details on fire damage assessment in a restaurant or commercial kitchen, get in touch with Nationwide Fire Protection (NFP) in Denver, CO, which specializes in restaurant fire restoration services.

Safety First: Securing the Site

One of the key challenges after a fire has wreaked havoc in a restaurant is to secure the entire area. Smoke, odor and toxic fumes continue to linger in a facility or building that is destroyed by fire. Inhaling the odors and fumes can prove to be hazardous for anyone who visits or enters the facility.

That is why ensuring safety after fire is a crucial task to do. Before restoration work in the restaurant can begin, the site should be inspected and secured in a proper manner. You should never try to enter the building or facility or allow any of the staff to go inside, as it can create serious health and safety issues. Whether it is electrical fire or greasy fire due to gas, all safety precautions must be taken in a strict manner in accordance with the local rules and guidelines. If the material or structure is still burning, it is crucial to stop the smoldering. It is also important to secure the entire area properly so that vandalism can be prevented.

Securing the fire-damaged site will help you avoid health hazards, vandalism, accidents and any kind of further damage. Make sure you work with highly trained professionals and technicians to secure the entire area in your restaurant building or facility that has been damaged by fire.

Communicating with Insurance Companies

After your restaurant and commercial kitchen has faced a fire or smoke damage, you will generally turn to insurance companies for relief. Based on the type of policy you have, you may be able to receive complete or partial relief, subject to the specific terms and rules of the insurance policy.

The process to file your insurance claim should start as fast as possible. You should either write your insurance company via an email or give their office a phone call and register your fire damage. As per the policy terms, you should first take all the essential steps to prevent any further damage and then take photos of the area of damage and include it in your “proof of loss claim.” All the losses will need to be itemized and listed in a proper manner. It is important to complete the insurance claim process without any delay. Most of all, it should all be done in a well-organized way, as filing for restaurant fire damage is a major claim.

It is the duty of an insurance company to deal with all claims in a timely manner. This should be your priority as well. You should ensure the insurer acts swiftly so that you can get back on track fast.

Collaborating with Fire Restoration Professionals

Fire restoration or fire recovery is a cumbersome and complex process. If your food service establishment was recently damaged in a fire, you should start the process of restoring the facility to its pre-loss condition as quickly as possible. However, this is a task that you can’t handle on your own. You will need to hire and collaborate with fire restoration experts to get it done.

Fire restoration professionals have a sound understanding of how fire causes different kinds of damages and how to deal with the damages in an effective manner. They are quite well-versed with getting a facility or building back to its previous condition while adhering to all safety guidelines. Since restaurant fires have a destructive nature, it would normally take several weeks or even months for restorations. But experts use a variety of safe techniques to speed up the entire procedure in order to ensure minimum loss of profits for restaurant owners.

Fire recovery specialists are highly trained in restoring facilities and helping owners to reopen their businesses in a code-compliant way. For more details on what to expect from fire restoration professionals, feel free to reach out to Nationwide Fire Protection, which operates in Denver, CO.

Developing a Restoration Plan

For successful restaurant fire restoration, it is crucial to develop a suitable and effective plan. The fire recovery program should include everything that is essential required to bring a facility back to its original state.

What the restoration plan will include depends on the what is found during the damage assessment exercise. Based on the extent of damage, experts will come up with a step-by-step plan to clean up the facility, get damaged equipment repaired or replaced and prepare the facility in order to reopen operations in a proper way. When the restoration plan is developed, professionals especially focus on the safety of building structure. Securing the property, salvage machinery and equipment and perform proper cleanup and backup power. The overall recovery plan also involves coordinating with the insurance company, so that the essential step of preparing and submitting the claim can be submitted in time and correctly.

Restoring Structural Integrity

A restaurant and commercial kitchen fire, the damage done can be huge and affect every aspect of the business. Structural damage is one of the most devastating that these fires can cause. That is why the first crucial step of the restoration plan is to restore the structural integrity of the restaurant.

Rebuilding or restoring the structure of a fire-damaged restaurant is where the process begins. A kitchen fire can cause a lot of damage to the structure of a facility or building including the building and the materials it is made from. Many damaged structures will be salvageable while many other structures will need rebuilding. Addressing structural repairs, inspecting and repairing the electrical system and dealing with other similar damages due to fire are all crucial tasks that will need to be done. In places where repairs are not possible, reconstruction work will be performed. As part of the reconstruction project, you may need to rebuild the roof, replace walls and kitchen countertops, installation of new carpeting etc.

The goal of the structural restoration will always be to bring back the previous strength and durability for completely safe re-opening of business. Get in touch with one of our experts at the Nationwide Fire Protection in Denver, CO, to find out the further details of the structural restoration procedure.

Addressing Smoke and Soot Damage

Dealing with smoke, soot and corrosive residues after a fire is an important part of the recovery plan or process. The problem with soot is that it will affect even those areas that were not burned by fire. 

It is not possible to directly remove all the soot and corrosive residues. In that case, the professionals will employ effective cleaning techniques. Whether it is the floor, walls or the ceilings, fire restoration professionals will use the right methods and industry-grade cleaning products to properly get rid of all the soot. The clean up project will also eliminate the odor of smoke from every area and corner of the restaurant. Smoke and soot can significantly impact and cause damage to the interiors and the furniture inside the facility. Many of the damaged structures and objects will need to be discarded while others can be fixed or rebuilt.

Cleaning and Restoring Equipment

A fire may affect different cooking equipment differently. Usually, many of these kitchen equipment and appliances can be repaired. However, severely damaged equipment will require complete replacement. 

Kitchen equipment cleaning is an important part of the overall restaurant fire restoration process. The clean up exercise aims to remove all the debris, soot and smoke from the ovens, ranges, food processors, slicers, mixers, refrigerators, freezers and safety equipment installed in the facility. In many cases of equipment cleaning and restoration, replacement will be the practical alternative. Repaired equipment may have shorter lifespan and maintaining them can actually be costly in the long term. Professionals will recommend you the best options.

Renovating the Interior and Decor

The final stage of restoring a restaurant after a fire is renovation of the interiors of the commercial kitchen and the dining area. Reconstruction of the fire-damaged sections should be performed as per the specific interior decor requirements. Painting, flooring, carpeting and rebuilding the furniture are all part of the overall renovation project after a fire. Make sure you discuss your specific needs with interior design professionals to get the job done exactly as you want.

Getting the interior decor back to their original state is crucial to provide guests with the right kind of ambiance and experience.

Ensuring Food Safety and Sanitation

To run your food service establishment, you need to adhere to all the health and food safety codes. Whenever there is fire damage in a restaurant or commercial kitchen, the smoke, soot and toxic fumes are almost everywhere. Stored food items can easily become unusable as a result of this.

As part of the fire recovery plan, professionals will ensure proper sanitation of the entire facility, from one corner to another. The refrigeration system will need to be repaired or replaced as per specific need. Most of all, every area inside the commercial kitchen should be sanitized and disinfected. Before you reopen the restaurant, you should see to it that the facility is up to code in regard to food safety and hygiene in accordance with the FDA rules and guidelines.

Marketing and Rebuilding Your Customer Base

Finally, it will be time to market your restored and renovated restaurant, cafeteria or dining facility post-fire damage. Work with experts to rebuild your client base and put your business back on track.

Talk to a Fire Restoration Professional

After a fire has wreaked havoc on your restaurant, you will need to develop a recovery plan consisting of several important steps. The fire restoration process is a difficult and complex one. Therefore, it is best to work with a professional restaurant fire restoration company such as Nationwide Fire Protection (NFP), which provides its services all over Denver, CO. You can get in touch with us by dialing our office phone number or sending an email to us via the contact form.

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