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Protein Fire Restoration – Will Your Insurance Company Pay?
You are busy preparing the evening meal when the phone rings. It is your friend Mary. She is having problems with her husband John, as usual. And she wants to tell you everything about it, to the last detail.
Then you smell it, the roast burning. But it is too late. It’s burned to a crisp. All that is left is a foul smell permeating the air and a greasy mess.
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries.
Read on to discover if your insurer covers protein fire restoration if burning protein leaves a pungent smell and greasy mess in your home.
Not all smoke and fire damage are the same.
Smoke consists of heated particles and gases. According to WebMD:
“The products being burned, the temperature of the fire, and the amount of oxygen available to the fire all make a difference in the type of smoke produced.”
The main categories of smoke damage are:
- Wet Smoke – Wet smoke plumes are thick and black. It’s normally caused by burning rubber or plastic products. Besides a distinctly unpleasant smell, synthetic substance smoke residue is notoriously hard to clean.
- Dry Smoke – Typically caused by burning paper or wood. Dry smoke residue or natural substance residue is powdery, not sticky. It’s comparatively easier to get rid of than wet smoke residue.
- Fuel Smoke – Usually a result of burning oil or petroleum. It’s unlikely to occur inside your house, but you may experience a “puff back” – caused by an oil burner malfunction.
In addition to the above three categories, there is a fourth one, namely protein smoke. And that is what we will be covering in this article.
What Is a Protein Fire?
Protein smoke refers to the fumes from burning high protein foods such as meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. A protein fire releases protein matter into the air, often as a fine mist. It covers surfaces throughout your kitchen and, sometimes, other rooms.
Protein fires do not typically have flames leaping to the ceiling or thick billows of smoke. And smoke damage from a protein fire is often invisible at first glance. However, the pungent smell from burning organic matter is unmistakable.
Even if you don’t see flames, protein smoke from grilling or charring can cause a fine mist of soot and grease and leave a lingering smell.
Cleaning Up After a Protein Fire
Cleaning up smoke damage from a protein fire is difficult! Traditional household cleaners won’t get sticky surfaces clean and remove all signs of grease and soot residue. And since smoke is highly invasive, it may get into places you cannot reach.
In addition, damage from a protein fire is often not limited to your kitchen area. Your clothes, fabrics, and carpets might need specialized cleaning too.
Your best option is to contact a fire damage restoration company. Depending on the nature and extent of the damage, it might take several days to clean your home.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Protein Fires?
In principle, a standard homeowners insurance policy covers smoke and fire damage.
Smoke damage from a protein fire might cause temporary or permanent damage to fabrics, curtains, etc. While a fire restoration company can likely clean some items, you may need to replace others.
Insurance companies typically only cover sudden and accidental damage.
The challenge homeowners face is they may inadvertently fail to file a claim timeously, thinking the damage is minor. And soot and grease from grilling or charring animal products may gradually build up over time, even in the absence of a protein fire.
Based on the above, don’t delay filing a claim for protein smoke damage thinking the smell will naturally dissipate over time or you can clean up the damage. The damage might very well get worse in which case your insurance company might not accept your claim.
That's a Wrap
A protein fire can leave a pungent smell and greasy mess in its aftermath.
But as the smoke damage is often not visible at first glance, many homeowners neglect to timeously file an insurance claim. Or they think they can clean up the damage themselves, which they usually can’t.
Managing a large and potentially complicated protein fire damage claim with an insurance adjuster can be difficult, frustrating, and time-consuming. For these reasons, we recommend you hire a public adjuster who will look after your interests.
Avner Gat, Inc. has 17+ years of experience as a public adjuster in Southern California. We protect homeowners from the games and fine print that insurance companies are known for.
Call us at (818) 917-5256 to find out how we can help you get the best possible settlement offer from your insurance company.