Recent Fire Damage Posts

Overcoming Smoke Damage in Your Home

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke staining, odors, and residue can be among the hardest effects to overcome after a structure fire breaks out in your Sacramento residence. While many homeowners seek to clean up the mess on their own as much as possible, fires can cause too much widespread damage for untrained homeowners to restore.

Fire damage can present itself in many ways after the first responders have left your home. While you work to determine the severity of structural concerns as best and as safely as you can, many homeowners do not realize the full extent of the damages until trained professionals like our SERVPRO team arrive to perform our initial assessment of the scene. This estimation process and cataloging of damages can indicate the portions of the property most affected by the fire and where focused cleanup and smoke effects removal is necessary.

Smoke affects every home differently depending on the source of the combustion and the materials involved. Dry smoke comes from a hotter flame, which often leaves a powdery residue on surfaces and contents of the property. Wet smoke, comes from a smoldering heat that burns for much longer, and this can leave a thick residue that adheres to many surfaces and materials throughout your home and is challenging to remove. This invasive effect can infiltrate more areas of your property through the HVAC system, which also gets inspected and assessed when our professionals arrive.

Wet smoke is also known for leaving the areas with a noxious odor that requires our professional equipment to overcome. Our SERVPRO professionals can work quickly to deep clean salvageable surfaces and contents affected by the staining residue of wet smoke, and utilize equipment like our hydroxyl generators and thermal foggers to handle indoor air quality purification and deodorization.

The effects from a fire can prove troublesome for a homeowner to overcome on their own. With our advanced training and industry-leading equipment, our SERVPRO of Marion, Adair & Russell Counties fire restoration specialists can help you to restore your home entirely after a fire. Give us a call today at (270) 402-8170.

Christmas Tree Fires

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

We wanted to post a quick re-cap on our blog so that our customers would be aware of the potential dangers involving a Christmas tree fire!

Step 1: When picking your tree, make sure it is fresh! If needles fall off when you touch it, it is best to find another tree. Look for the perfect tree with healthy green needles!

Step 2: When you place your tree, ensure that it is three feet away from any heat source (fireplace, heat vent, etc.) AND ensure that it is not blocking an exit.

Step 3: Check your lights. Make sure they are for indoor use and always turn them off before leaving your house or going to bed.

Step 4: Water your tree daily! 

Last but not least- Step 5: After Christmas is over and you're getting rid of your tree make sure to place the dried out tree outside of your home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program. AND bring your outside lights in to prolong their life! 

Fire Prevention This Holiday Season

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Make sure to water your Christmas tree daily to prevent it from drying out.

-Turn off Christmas lights when you leave your home or go the bed for the night.

-Inspect Christmas lights and the wires before putting them up and replace any that have frayed or damaged areas.

-NEVER leave a lit candle unattended.

-When using candles, make sure they are on a firm flat surface away from curtains and other flammable materials. This prevents them from tipping over.

-Keep candle flames away from children and pets, they can burn themselves or accidentally knock the candle over.

-Make sure deep fried turkeys are properly thawed before frying.

-Have the fireplace flue cleaned yearly.

Routine Fire Sprinkler Inspections are important to your building's health

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

Of the many tasks assigned to a Maintenance Manager, making sure the building's sprinkler system is in proper working condition is on the top of the list.

Fire suppression during a building fire replies on the sprinkler system doing it's job of containing/eliminating the fire.

Different types of materials within the structure, along with the amount of time the materials were in contact with the fire, will affect the level of damage that a building incurs.

Once the fire is extinguished, knowing how to properly mitigate and repair the building with the various materials in it is important.

If you find yourself needing mitigation for your fire damage give SERVPRO a call today.

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

5 Steps To Prepare Your Home for a Fire

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

Most people take active measures to prevent house fires, but not many people have implemented fire preparation techniques. Yet, fire prep is just as important as fire prevention, and in fact may be more so when it comes to protecting your home and loved ones. If you have yet to implement fire safety procedures, it’s time to do so. Below are five things you can do to get started: 

• Test your smoke alarms. 
• Plan an evacuation route. 
• Teach your children what to do in the event of a home fire. 
• Devise a communication strategy. 
• Practice. 

Test Your Alarms

Though your smoke alarms should inform you when they’re low on batteries, it doesn’t hurt to check them periodically. Test them once a month, and to err on the side of caution, replace their batteries at least once a year. 

Plan an Evacuation Route

This should be at the top of your fire preparation list. Identify all possible exits for each room in the home and make sure that each family member is aware of where those exits are. Designate a family meeting spot outside. 

Teach Your Children 

If you have young children, show them what the fire alarm sounds like and advise them on what to do if they hear one. Inform them of evacuation routes as well. 

Plan a Way To Communicate

Put together an emergency contact list and make sure that all family members know who to contact if they cannot find one another. Have your young children memorize important phone numbers, beginning with 911. 

Practice

The best way to ensure that all family members know what to do in the event of an emergency is to practice. Host a fire drill every couple of months and devise different scenarios. In doing so, you can increase the odds that everyone knows what to do and how to escape in a real emergency. 

Your SERVPRO fire remediation team or local fire department can review your fire preparation plan and provide additional tips for how to improve it. Don’t cut corners when it comes to fire safety and start planning today. 

What You NEED to Know About Fire Damage

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial or residential fire damage causes tremendous problems to your business or home. Even if your fire is relatively small, there can be hidden consequences. That's where we come in. As tried, trusted and true fire restoration experts Marion, Adair & Russell Counties, we're here to help you get your home or business back in shape.  

Inspection

Before our professionals can begin repairs, we'll survey the property and assess damages. Our inspection is incredibly thorough, so we can provide you with plans for the best path forward. During this time, we'd be happy to answer any and all questions you may have about the fire cleanup process. 

Cleaning

Once we complete our inspection, we'll discuss proper procedures and a schedule. Our experts here at SERVPRO of Marion, Adair & Russell Counties will prepare our equipment, close off the area, and make all necessary preparations for cleaning. We'll  take care of surface damage by removing burnt sections and damaged items.

Odor Treatment

One of most difficult parts of any fire cleanup job is properly removing the scent in the area. Burnt odors often linger in the air, causing damage to the property's surface on a micoscopic level. We use advanced cleaning technology and products to permanently remove the prescence of all odors in the area. 

Final Steps

Once the burnt sections of the property are removed and the odors have been treated, we move on to the last step of addressing the fire damage. If there are any structural damages to the property, we'll either make the repairs ourselves or provide you with the appropriate contact information for other experts who can help. We take our time in addressing each and every detail, because lingering smoke and fire damage can result in future problems. 

If you have any questions or need help with fire or smoke damage, contact us 24/7 at (270) 402-8170

Tips for Creating a Fire Escape Plan

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

A fire usually happens without warning, so it is important that you are prepared and have a fire escape plan in place before you need it. Knowing how to create an emergency escape plan is the first step, because you want to ensure that the one that you design will be able to get you, your family and your pets out safely and quickly should a fire ever occur.

Fire Alarms

You should have fire alarms outside of all bedrooms and on all levels of the home. This ensures that everyone will be able to hear them sound if a fire happens. Every season, test them and change the batteries so that they are always fresh and working properly. 

Prepare and Practice Your Escape Plan

Everyone should play a role in the creation of an escape plan so that they know it. Write it down and put it in an area where people can see it daily, such as on your refrigerator. When you are creating and practicing your plan, give each family member two escape routes. You also want to have a meeting spot for everyone to go to that is safely away from your home.

Once you have a good fire escape plan, it is important that the whole family knows what to do. This means occasionally practicing it, just like the fire drills you used to do when you were in school. According to the American Red Cross, only 26 percent of American families have created a plan and practiced it. 

Now that you have this information, it is time to get your fire escape plan in place. Get the entire family together so that you can work on the plan together. It is also a good idea to practice your plan every now and then so that it remains fresh in everyone’s mind.

Fire Restoration Tips

11/26/2017 (Permalink)

After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Hardin/Larue Counties have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call the SERVPRO National Call Center, which is staffed 24 hours a day. Our representative will ask a series of questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us dispatch the nearest SERVPRO Franchise Professional with the appropriate equipment and resources.

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Our Professionals will carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, SERVPRO of Hardin/Larue Counties can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. They will then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

The SERVPRO of Hardin/Larue Counties use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

They will clean all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. They’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Hardin & Larue Counties Smoke and Soot Clean Up

11/26/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

  • There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Hardin/Larue Counties will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today!

Why choose us for your fire restoration?

11/26/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Restoration

 All restoration projects are unique and require different cleaning methods and processes.  These are some steps that we follow to make sure you are receiving the best quality service available for you. 

Pretesting

Our SERVPRO professionals start the cleanup and restoration process by pretesting to determine which processes to utilize and allow the customer to preview the results. 

 Contents Claim Inventory Service

  Utilizing Contents Claims Inventory Service technology, our SERVPRO professionals can generate comprehensive room-by-room inventories.  Contents are categorized as salvageable, non-salvageable and questionable-allowing for easier contents settlement.  

 Cleaning and Restoration

 All restorable structure and contents will be professionally cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition in most cases.  This service includes: walls, ceilings, floors, area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, clothing, bric-a-brac and more.  Our SERVPRO professionals can even provide emergency cleaning of contents the customer will need immediately.

Move Outs 

   If relocation is necessary due to extensive damage, our SERVPRO professionals are trained to properly move out and control the inventory of contents throughout the cleaning, restorations and deodorization process. 

Crews and Equipment

We keep in house the necessary equipment and supplies to clean your home to preloss condition.  All of our crews are professionally trained and IICRC certified.  So you can feel at ease when trusting SERVPRO with you restoration project. 

 So call SERVPRO for all of your fire restoration needs and feel assured that you will have a team of well trained professionals handling your most valued assets. 

Fire At Your Commercial Property

11/22/2017 (Permalink)

Why Professionals Should Clean Smoke Damage From A Fire From Your Commercial Property

When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it shouldn’t be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own.

While fire is always the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house
. Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. Professionals that clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming they are contacted soon enough. There are many companies out there that advertise their ability to restore areas affected by fire, but only those with proper training and certification should be considered. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the main oversight agency in this industry. The IICRC requires its registrants to take extensive coursework before earning their certification. This is a symbol of excellence, and those that uphold the standards that have been set can be contacted through the IICRC.

These professionals can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.

If a professional isn’t hired to clean smoke and fire damage, the costs for restoration will skyrocket after a few weeks
. Metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to be distracting. Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.

The first thing a trained, certified, professional company will do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. The experts will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, the restorers will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.

This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative
.

Fire Extinguisher - Every Home Needs One

11/22/2017 (Permalink)

A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives; but portable extinguishers have limitations. Because fire grows and spreads so rapidly, the #1 priority for residents is to get out safely.

Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Every household should have a home fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.

Safety tips

  • Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.
  • To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:
    • Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
    • Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
    • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
    • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
  • For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher (can be used on all types of home fires) that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle.
  • Choose a fire extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory.
  • Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out. Local fire departments or fire equipment distributors often offer hands-on fire extinguisher trainings.
  • Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when you use the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately.
  • Know when to go. Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Every household should have a home fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.

Article from nfpa.org

Smoke Alarms

11/22/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. 

Here's what you need to know!
  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. 
  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound. 
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use of both types of alarms in the home.
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.

Article from nfpa.org