Restoring Fire-Damaged Kitchen Accessories Part 3

September 16, 2002
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+


Part One of this series looked at restoring the fire-damaged dishes, glassware, pots, pans and utensils that are found in every kitchen in every home. In Part Two, we talked about how to handle high-value accessories such as fine china, crystal and silverware. Part Three examines foodstuffs and boxing, packing and transporting items when necessary.

Foodstuffs
Carefully evaluate food products in cans, jars and boxes. Light soot damage seldom presents a problem unless the food was located close to the source of the fire. If labels are scorched or burned off, or if cans are swollen, these products are candidates for disposal.

In heavy soot damage situations, restoration personnel should recommend disposal of all food products that were close to the source of the fire and subjected to extreme heat, regardless of the container's appearance, particularly home-canned foods with scorched labels or broken vacuum seals.

Likewise, remove and dispose of open boxes and bags with heavy soot residue. The value of the contents simply does not warrant taking the chance.

Present food products recommended for disposal to insureds for general itemization and cost evaluation. Do not attempt to make this judgment yourself. Assure insureds that most adjusters are perfectly happy with reasonable "ballpark" estimates of the cost of replacement.

Packing, Boxing, Unpacking and Repacking
Boxes and packing materials are used constantly during restoration work, particularly during move-outs, so this is probably as good a place as any to discuss the basics relating to boxing and packing.

Counting Boxes
Obtain a box count both before loading and before leaving your facility. When you arrive on location, everyone - insureds, neighbors, co-workers - needs boxes for many different purposes. At this point, keeping track of how many went where becomes an impossible task. So count before you load.

When you return to your facility, count the unused boxes as they are returned to inventory. Then, subtract the number returned from the number originally loaded. Be sure to log that number in your paperwork for an accurate billing for boxes used.

Newspaper
In this day and age of recycling, all of us need to do our part. Newspapers can be tossed into the trash, or they can be recycled and used to pack-out soiled dishes and miscellaneous items. Simply ask all co-workers to save their newspapers and bring them to a storage box within your facility. During slow periods, unfold and stack newspaper in single sheets (with single- and double-pages stacked separately). Then, transport the newspaper to the job site on major move-outs. This facilitates packing items later on, and it saves time when working on-site.

Remember, there is a difference between newspaper and newsprint. A newspaper is the printed publication you read; newsprint is the off-white paper that is chiefly used to print newspapers. Go figure.

Wrapping After Cleaning
Pack clean kitchenware in clean, sanitary newsprint. This enables restorers to unwrap items upon delivery and place them directly back into cabinets for insureds.

Packing Order
This may be self-evident, but be sure to pack bulky, durable items first, at the bottom of boxes, placing the more fragile items on top. Always pack crystal and china separately, without crowding, in their own boxes with plenty of extra packing paper. That way, if boxes get turned over inadvertently, heavier items from the bottom won't crush lighter (i.e. expensive) items on top. Stand dishes on their edges and glasses on their bases.

Taping and Labeling Boxes
Be sure that box bottoms are reinforced with careful taping. Also, labeling boxes with the insured's name, the room location and the general contents is needed to facilitate locating specific items when the need arises, as well as when moving boxes back into proper rooms. A hand-held mechanical tape dispenser makes the process of taping boxes faster and more efficient.

Anticipating Insureds' Needs
In severe losses, since insureds probably will set up housekeeping elsewhere, plan to process everyday kitchenware and accessories as quickly as possible.

Fire-damaged kitchens are like Pandora's Box. Open them and you never know what they will hold, or how they will affect your life for the duration of the job. Understanding how to handle all the different categories of kitchen accessories goes a long way toward putting the lid back on the box.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to i Cleaning Specialist Magazine.

Recent Articles by Jeff Bishop

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

The 2014 Experience Conference and Exhibition

A look in photos at the 2014 Experience Conference and Exhibition, which was held from April 24-26 at the Embassy Suites Convention Center and Spa in Frisco, Texas.

1/27/15 2:00 pm EST

Grow Your Business and Improve Operations with New Payment Technology

Attend this free webinar to learn how new developments in payment technology can help you close more jobs, increase upselling opportunities and improve operations.

Podcasts

The winter slow season is a great time to pursue commercial cleaning accounts and stay busy. John "the Hitman" Braun solicited questions from thousands of cleaners across the country regarding their questions on commercial cleaning accounts and answers them in this episode of the show.
More Podcasts

ICS Cleaning Specialist Magazine

CoverImage

2014 Nov/Dec

The Nov/Dec ICS features content on how to get better meter readings, a roundtable on truckmount development, neighborhood marketing and more. Also included is the annual Buyer’s Guide and Directory.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Janitorial Work

In addition to residential and commercial carpet cleaning, do you do any janitorial work on the side?
View Results Poll Archive

THE ICS STORE

FinalCover.gif
The Carpet Cleaner's Book of Unlimited Success! (ebook)

Don’t worry about the recession or about your competition.  Now you can be the owner of over 400 ways for carpet cleaning professionals to make more money and get more jobs!

More Products

ICS DIRECTORY AND BUYING GUIDE

Director_Buyer.jpgThe premier resource and reference guide for the cleaning and restoration industries.

Click here to view

STAY CONNECTED

facebook_40.png twitter_40px.png youtube_40px.pngcrc logo

TRUCKMOUNT EQUIPMENT AND ACCESSORIES GUIDE

Truckmount.jpgEquipment listings and specifications from the leading industry manufacturers.

Click here to view