Recent Fire Damage Posts

3 Steps To Smother a Grease Fire

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Grease fire can burn hotter that other types of kitchen fire

3 Steps To Smother A Grease Fire

Grease fires can burn hotter than most other types of kitchen fires. It is important to know how to safely extinguish these fires, as using a pressurized fire extinguisher may actually cause this type of fire to spread. Here are the three steps necessary to safely smother a grease fire.

1. Turn Off the Heat

The first step to handle smoking grease or a fire is to turn off the source of heat. This can prevent grease from becoming even hotter. Do not attempt to move a pan or pot off of the burner, as motion can intensify the fire. 

2. Smother the Flames

There are two effective ways to quickly smother flames. It is a good idea to keep baking soda and salt handy if you are cooking with large amounts of grease. Baking soda consists of sodium bicarbonate, which releases carbon dioxide. Salt draws heat out of grease to limit its combustibility. 

An intense grease fire will draw in oxygen through convection and may resist this smothering effect. Limit the supply of oxygen by immediately covering the pot or pan with a metal lid, cookie sheet, or another pot or pan. 

3. Make Sure the Fire Is Out

Monitor the situation to make sure that a fire is not spreading. Wait at least 20 minutes for grease to cool before checking the condition under the cover. Lifting a cover too quickly can introduce a surge of oxygen that may cause a fire to reignite. 

What To Do Before Help Arrives

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

What To Do Before Help Arrives

Fire Damage

A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems.
Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough
professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until your local SERVPRO®. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration.

DO:

Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.

Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.

Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.

If electricity is off, empty freezer/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.

Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.

If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.

Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON'T:

Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® of West Knoxville and Farragut

Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.

Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as they may be contaminated.

If the ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fans.

Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.

Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set
in smoke odor.

Can Lightning Start a House Fire?

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Can Lightning Start a House Fire?

If your home sustains damage from a lightning fire, contact a company that provides fire restoration services.

Lightning is the cause of a number of house fire every year. A lightning fire typically occurs when a hot flash strikes a combustible object or travels through conductive metal objects and then ignites combustibles. It is important to recognize the risks of a direct strike and a phenomenon called side flash in order to safely respond to a strike on or around your home. It is almost always a good idea to call the fire department if your home has been struck.

1. Direct strike: A direct hot strike can cause a fire, particularly if it makes contact with combustible material in or around your home. As soon as your home is struck, check for any signs of fire and contact the fire department from a cellular phone as soon as possible. Avoid using a landline in case current is traveling through the wiring. You can rest easy once you are sure that your residence is not running an elevated risk for lightning fire.

2. Side flash: This phenomenon occurs when a strike travels through conductive metal features such as downspouts, gutters, gas lines, water pipes, window frames, or wiring and then ignites combustible building materials such as insulation. Lightning does not require conductive objects to travel down to the ground, but if a side flash occurs, it may lead to hidden fires within the attic or walls of a house.

Whether a direct hot strike starts a fire or the transmission of current through materials in your home in the event of a side strike ends up igniting combustible materials, only the fire department can ensure that your home is safe. A hidden house fire can put homeowners at risk and cause extensive damage prior to being detected. If your home sustains damage from a lightning fire, contact a company that provides fire restoration services

How to Minimize Fire Damage

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

How to Minimize Fire Damage

Minimizing further fire damage is one of the first considerations after a fire in a home or a fire in a business. Commercial fire damage can greatly affect the ability of a business to continue operations. In order to recover as much value as possible from a property that has undergone fire damage, smoke damage, and soot damage, a restoration company should be contacted immediately after the premises are secure. The fire cleanup team can aid in evaluating the damage to the property and listing the items that are present. They can also perform fire damage restoration and offer an estimate onsite.

A restoration company will also be instrumental in boarding up a property if commercial fire damage has compromised any doors or windows. Roofs and walls that may have been cut into by firefighters during the fire may also need to be boarded up. This process can be much more difficult than it originally appears due to the need to evaluate the structural integrity of much of the buildings foundation. A professional contractor should be contacted before an individual attempts to board up his or her own property after a fire in a home or a fire in a business. Boarding up a property that has undergone fire damage is important both to prevent the collapse of the building as well as to protect it from any intruders who may cause additional damage.

The fire cleanup will also involve drying up all the water that firefighters may flood the premises with in order to put out the fire. This water can cause extensive water damage as well as promote the growth of mold. A certified technician can employ all manner of techniques to dry out the property and prevent mold growth using industrial equipment that may include a water extractor, a dehumidifier, and an air current mover. This process will also somewhat remove the smoke smell that may persist after a fire.

After a list of personal belongings have been identified and list along with the property owner, a restoration company can work with him or her to reverse the smoke damage and soot damage that may have settled into the property. Surfaces can often be fully cleaned, even if it is porous like carpet. Deep vacuuming and steam injection are often successful in removing the oily soot that may lead to residual smoke smell. Fire damage restoration requires techniques that require specialized equipment, and these techniques can be discussed with the property owner in order to decide whether or not to proceed with restoration.

If fire damage restoration is not possible on certain items, they may be more easily replaced. In this case, the restoration company will also help to dispose of these items in the appropriate manner. After a fire in a home or a fire in a business, much debris will need to remove anyway. Smoke damage and soot damage is reversible, but property owners sometimes choose to replace items and surfaces instead.

All surfaces are sanitized and cleaned after all soot damage and smoke damage has been reversed. The fire clean up team will also instruct property owners on how to prevent commercial fire damage in the future. Any residual smoke smell will be ventilated until gone. If the smoke smell persists, chemical solutions like an ozone treatment or thermal fogging are also options depending on the needs of the property owner. Additional treatments may be needed weeks or even months after the initial incident.

Fire cleanup is extremely daunting for an individual who is shocked by a fire in a home or a fire in a business. However, fire damage restoration is normal for a fire cleanup specialist, even after extension commercial fire damage. A specialist who has the experience and the expertise to guide a property owner will ensure that fire damage is minimized as much as possible. 

Be Disaster Aware Take Action To Prepare

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency or disaster. While each situation is unique, your family can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies.

The following are measures you and your family can take to start getting ready. A commitment to begin planning today will help support your family, home, and the community. Review the following questions to learn if your family and home are prepared.

Be Informed
Do you know what kind of emergencies might affect your home or daily life? Do you know what you and your family will do in an emergency situation?
Prepare Your Emergency Plan
Do you have an evacuation and shelter-in-place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with your family before, during, and after an incident? Do you have an emergency supply kit?

Practice the Emergency Plan
Have you practiced your plan recently? Does your family know where to go in the event of a natural disaster? Have you reviewed your plans in the last 12 months?

Review Insurance Coverage
Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster?
Secure Your Home
Have you conducted a room-by-room walk-through to determine what safety measures can be taken?
Improve Cyber Security
Have you installed a firewall on your computer? Do you regularly update your antivirus software?
If you answered “No” to any of these questions, visit ready.gov and learn how to better prepare your family and home for an emergency or natural disaster.

How to Minimize Fire Damage

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

How to Minimize Fire Damage

Minimizing further fire damage is one of the first considerations after a fire in a home or a fire in a business. Commercial fire damage can greatly affect the ability of a business to continue operations. In order to recover as much value as possible from a property that has undergone fire damage, smoke damage, and soot damage, a restoration company should be contacted immediately after the premises are secure. The fire cleanup team can aid in evaluating the damage to the property and listing the items that are present. They can also perform fire damage restoration and offer an estimate onsite.

A restoration company will also be instrumental in boarding up a property if commercial fire damage has compromised any doors or windows. Roofs and walls that may have been cut into by firefighters during the fire may also need to be boarded up. This process can be much more difficult than it originally appears due to the need to evaluate the structural integrity of much of the buildings foundation. A professional contractor should be contacted before an individual attempts to board up his or her own property after a fire in a home or a fire in a business. Boarding up a property that has undergone fire damage is important both to prevent the collapse of the building as well as to protect it from any intruders who may cause additional damage.

The fire cleanup will also involve drying up all the water that firefighters may flood the premises with in order to put out the fire. This water can cause extensive water damage as well as promote the growth of mold. A certified technician can employ all manner of techniques to dry out the property and prevent mold growth using industrial equipment that may include a water extractor, a dehumidifier, and an air current mover. This process will also somewhat remove the smoke smell that may persist after a fire.

After a list of personal belongings have been identified and list along with the property owner, a restoration company can work with him or her to reverse the smoke damage and soot damage that may have settled into the property. Surfaces can often be fully cleaned, even if it is porous like carpet. Deep vacuuming and steam injection are often successful in removing the oily soot that may lead to residual smoke smell. Fire damage restoration requires techniques that require specialized equipment, and these techniques can be discussed with the property owner in order to decide whether or not to proceed with restoration.

If fire damage restoration is not possible on certain items, they may be more easily replaced. In this case, the restoration company will also help to dispose of these items in the appropriate manner. After a fire in a home or a fire in a business, much debris will need to remove anyway. Smoke damage and soot damage is reversible, but property owners sometimes choose to replace items and surfaces instead.

All surfaces are sanitized and cleaned after all soot damage and smoke damage has been reversed. The fire clean up team will also instruct property owners on how to prevent commercial fire damage in the future. Any residual smoke smell will be ventilated until gone. If the smoke smell persists, chemical solutions like an ozone treatment or thermal fogging are also options depending on the needs of the property owner. Additional treatments may be needed weeks or even months after the initial incident.

Fire cleanup is extremely daunting for an individual who is shocked by a fire in a home or a fire in a business. However, fire damage restoration is normal for a fire cleanup specialist, even after extension commercial fire damage. A specialist who has the experience and the expertise to guide a property owner will ensure that fire damage is minimized as much as possible. 

Choose the right professional for fire damage

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

In the wake of a residential fire, the primary focus is on repairing the damage done to the inside of the house. However, moderate to severe incidents can lead to visible marks and blemishes on the outside of the building too. It is why SERVPRO conducts a full inspection of fire-damaged properties before we start any restoration work. 

The good news is that stains on masonry, concrete and other structural materials are almost always superficial. While brick and concrete are not impervious to fire damage in Knoxville homes, they are extremely sturdy and don’t succumb easily to heat. It means that, in most cases, we can use straightforward cleaning techniques to restore the outside of the property. 

Light Stains 

If there is no structural damage to the masonry, the SERVPRO technicians use mild cleaning agents to wash soot and smoke deposits from the surface. Where the staining is very light, dry sponging is enough to wipe away grime on block, brick, and concrete. Stubborn marks get lifted with alkaline detergents and direct scrubbing. Sodium hypocrite is highly effective when it comes to soot removal, and it leaves no residues. 

Moderate Stains 

The difficult thing about soot is that it can be highly acidic. If it is not removed quickly, particularly from structural materials, there is a chance of corrosive residues becoming embedded deeper and deeper into the masonry. It is why SERVPRO pays close attention to cracked joints. 

They are delicately cleaned and re pointed to dislodge any soot deposits which may be trying to move into the capillaries. Once this is complete, larger areas are dry sponged and vacuumed. Then, they are jet washed with a high powered pressure cleaning device. 

Heavy Stains 

The most severe staining occurs when heavily combustible materials have caught fire and burned for some time. In some cases, jet washing is still a suitable method of cleaning. We can add soot dissolving formulas like high PH degreasers, dry ice, or soda ash to increase optimal results. 

SERVPRO rarely recommends sand blasting for brick, block, and concrete because it is a very abrasive process and can cause additional damage. If there are smaller patches of masonry which are heavily soiled, the technicians may apply a poultice (sodium hypocrite and diatomaceous earth). It takes 24-48 hours for the formula to take effect. 

The great thing about a fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO is that we offer a complete package. We are part of a huge network of contractors, so there is no repair job too big for our team to handle. 

Tips for Using a Fire Extinguisher

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

As a homeowner you need to be prepared for emergencies. If you've ever had a house fire and had to call in professionals to restore your home, you understand the importance of having a fire extinguisher on hand. Following the steps below can ensure that you're using it correctly.

1. Assess the Situation

First, understand what you're dealing with. If the blaze is already too big, the best idea may be to call the fire department and get yourself and anyone else in the house to safety. If you can safely douse it with a fire extinguisher, you need to next make sure that you have right type for whatever material is burning.

2. Use the Right Extinguisher for the Fire

Experts classify extinguishers based on the type of fire they can combat. These include:

  • Type A: for fires involving plastics, wood, textiles and paper
  • Type B: used on fires involving solvents, gasoline, oils, paints and other flammable liquids
  • Type C: for electrical fires, including plugged-in equipment like computers or appliances
  • Type D: for fires involving combustible powders or metals
  • Type E: commonly used for a kitchen fire involving fats or cooking oils

These letter classifications are always found on the sides of the extinguishers, many of which are rated for putting out fires of more than one type.

3. Remember: "PASS"

The PASS method is an easy way to remember how to use most fire extinguishers. Each letter in "PASS" stands for the first word of an operational step. The "P" tells you to pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher; it needs to be removed before operation. The "A" tells you to aim the nozzle. The nozzle should not be aimed at the top of the flames, but at the bottom, where the combustion is taking place. The first "S" tells you to squeeze the handle to start the flow, and the second one reminds you to sweep from side to side while spraying.

By acting quickly and following the instructions above, you can safely prevent fire damage before it has a chance.

What are the dangers of space heaters?

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

Chord burning while plugged into a wall.

Fire Hazards for Electric Heaters

SAFETY TIPS

CPSC recommends the following for the safe use of electric heaters:

  • Never operate a heater you suspect is damaged.
  • Before use, inspect the heater, cord, and plug for damage.
  • Follow all operation and maintenance instructions.

Visit www.SaferProducts.gov to see if your electric heater has been recalled.

  • Never leave the heater operating while unattended, or while you are sleeping.
  • Keep combustible material such as beds, sofas, curtains, papers, and clothes at least 3 feet (0.9 m) from the front, sides, and rear of the heater.
  • Be sure the heater plug fits tightly into the wall outlet. If not, do not use the outlet to power the heater.
  • During use, check frequently to determine if the heater plug or cord, wall outlet, or faceplate is HOT! If the plug, outlet, or faceplate is hot, discontinue use of the heater, and have a qualified electrician check and/or replace the plug or faulty wall outlet(s). If the cord is hot, disconnect the heater, and have it inspected/repaired by an authorized repair person.
  • Never power the heater with an extension cord or power strip.
  • Insure that the heater is placed on a stable, level surface, and located where it will not be knocked over. Never run the heater’s cord under rugs or carpeting. This can damage the cord, causing it and nearby objects to burn.
  • Prevent electrical shocks and electrocutions, always keep electric heaters away from water, and NEVER touch an electric heater if you are wet

Tips for Kitchen Fires

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know...

A majority of fires that take place in homes begin in the kitchen.

The holiday season is approaching, which means that many of us will be spending a lot more time in the kitchen. This also means that, with every pumpkin pie and each batch of Christmas cookies you make, there is a greater risk of a fire emergency. 

Aside from calling 9-1-1, which should be one of your first moves, here are some quick tips for dealing with a fire emergency in your kitchen.

  1. Always watch your cooking; don't leave anything unattended
  2. Set a timer so that you don't accidentally burn something or forget that an appliance is being used
  3. If something on the stove catches on fire and it is small, cover it with a lid and turn off the burner
  4. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen near your cooking area where it is easily accessible
  5. Add baking soda to a grease fire, not water
  6. Clean your appliances regularly so that grease does not accumulate and start a fire
  7. Clean and dust around and behind appliances, as dust accumulation can cause fires if it is close to electrical wiring
  8. Keep flammable objects away from cooking appliances, especially those things like tea towels and potholders 
  9. Install a smoke alarm in your kitchen
  10. Test your smoke alarms and make sure they will work when you most need them!

Keep these quick tips in mind, and prevent a major fire damage emergency from taking place in your home this season!

Prevent Electrical Fires

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Electrical fires are the cause of many house fires, and can be some of the most difficult to put out due to the difficulty of identifying the source. Proper care of electrical outlets and appliances will help to prevent electrical fires.  It is very important to follow manufacturer guidelines when using electrical appliance and systems, such as the wattage guidelines given when changing lightbulbs.  Be sure that you do not plug in too many electrical units into one outlet, as this could burn out the outlet and cause a fire.  Be sure that you have your wiring checked regularly by an electrician. Faulty wiring is a leading cause of electrical fires and is a common problem in many homes.  If you hear a sparking sound near a particular electrical outlet or appliance, or see smoke or smell burning after plugging a unit in, immediately unplug the object and call an electrician to check your wiring.

                Finally, if an electrical fire does occur, do NOT attempt to put the blaze out with water.  This will only make the fire worse and could shock or electrocute you.  If safe to do so, attempt to unplug the source.  Put the fire out using baking soda or a blanket to smother the flames.  If the fire is larger, a class C fire extinguisher can be used.  If the fire continues to grow, leave immediately! Do not be tempted to put out a growing fire by yourself.  Allow the firefighters to do so.

Prevent Home Fires

8/31/2018 (Permalink)

Home fires are preventable! The following are simple steps that each of us can take to prevent a tragedy.

Cooking

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.
  • Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

Smoking

  • Smoke outside and completely stub out butts in an ashtray or a can filled with sand.
  • Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used, even if it is turned off. Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and faster.
  • Be alert - don’t smoke in bed! If you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy, put your cigarette out first.

Electrical and Appliance Safety

  • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

Portable Space Heaters

  • Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from portable heating devices.
  • Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Check to make the portable heater has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over.
  • Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene in kerosene heaters. Never overfill it. Use the heater in a well-ventilated room.

Fireplaces and Woodstoves

  • Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions.
  • Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.

Children

  • Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
  • Store matches and lighters out of children's reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time.

More Prevention Tips

  • Never use stove range or oven to heat your home.
  • Keep combustible and flammable liquids away from heat sources.
  • Portable generators should NEVER be used indoors and should only be refueled outdoors or in well ventilated areas.

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.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage                                                        Smoke and Soot Cleanup Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Washington DC Home.

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 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 202-737-8776

Is Your House Ready For Santa?

12/4/2017 (Permalink)

As we start December and get excited because the holidays are upon us, we must also keep in mind the importance of safety. Here are some tips to remember during the holidays.

Never use lighted candles near trees, boughs, curtains/drapes, or with any potentially flammable item.

Stand your tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Make sure the tree does not block foot traffic or doorways.

If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.

If using a natural tree, make sure it is well watered to avoid dry branches from catching fire from the heat of light bulbs.

Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Unplug extension cords when not in use.

When putting up holiday decorations, always use the proper step stool or ladder to reach high places. Don’t stand on chairs, desks or other furniture.

Prepare your car for the winter by checking items such as the brakes, spark plugs, battery, and tires. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended interval for a tune-up.

Refer to the link below for more safety tips.

http://www.nsc.org/NSCDocuments/Holiday-Safety-Tips.pdf

FIRE SAFETY

12/4/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that 3 out of 5 home fire deaths are due to non- working smoke alarms? Have you checked yours? It is as simple as looking on the back of the smoke alarm for the date of manufacture.

It is recommended that you try and change smoke alarms every 10 years if not sooner to avoid problems.

To find out more information on fire safety week visit the website of Fema:

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/

SERVPRO of Washington, DC is locally owned and operated—so we’re a part of this community too. We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 Franchises, which enables us to respond quicker with more resources. For major storms and disasters, we can call upon special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country.

Importance of Chimney Cleaning

8/30/2017 (Permalink)

Keeping a clean chimney can eliminate the possibility of chimney fires. The issue that can lead to fires is the creosote can build up when the firewood is not burned completely.

A smoky fire without enough oxygen emits lots of unburned tar vapors that can condense inside the flue and stick to it, possibly leading to a chimney fire. You can reduce creosote buildup in your fireplace by providing adequate combustion air, which will encourage a hot, clean-burning fire.

To check for creosote, shine the light near the top of the firebox, in the smoke chamber and around the damper. And check the flue, too, especially on exterior chimneys, where creosote builds faster than on interior chimneys because of lower outside temperatures

For more information check out:

https://www.familyhandyman.com/

Why Trusting a Restoration Professional After a Fire Is So Important

8/28/2017 (Permalink)

Because of the convection pattern that flames typically form during ignition, smoky residue saturates every opening. The soot constructs up in layers that may end up being solidified and tough to eliminate which is another reason to leave the cleaning to a specialist. When the cleaning teams do arrive, they promptly different salvageable items from charred debris, taking the things creating the strongest odors out for cleaning.

Following a fire, wall surface areas can be harmed by soot. Non-water based cleaners need to be used to remove soot from walls. These kinds of chemicals should be handled by a specialist due to the fumes and toxicity. Water-based cleaning items can cause spots to bleed into plaster walls which is why a trained specialist should be left to deal with these chemicals.  

Most importantly, a restoration effort reduces the after-effects a blaze can have on the health of those who return in. If a homeowner does not have the property restored by a professional, the results can be found later on down the line. To an untrained eye they might believe the issue has been fixed, they experience the remaining impacts of indoor air pollution for numerous months later on in the form of increased respiratory discomfort.  

Companies like SERVPRO are leading experts in fire restoration. They are trained to help remove your belongings as well as cleaning and storing them until your property has been restored to its original condition.

Soot Damage and IICRC Certification

8/28/2017 (Permalink)

Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to personal property and structures. Swift action is the only way to minimize the destruction.

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, IICRC, is a globally recognized organization whose mission is to establish higher industry standards. As a referral source for consumers, IICRC  certified firms are more likely to provide a faster, better service  than non-certified competitors.

Immediately after a fire, soot residue settles onto the property. Discoloration of porous materials is permanent, but other surfaces may be properly cleaned to remove the discoloration. Acidic soot begins staining other surfaces if not treated quickly.

Within hours all surfaces begin to suffer from fire and smoke damage. Wooden furniture may require refinishing. Metal begins to rust, pit and corrode. Painted walls begin to yellow. Clothing  can become permanently stained. And finally, flooring may require refinishing or replacement.

Prolonged soot exposure permanently harms all surfaces and embeds in fibers.

For more information visit :http://www.IICRC.org/what-after-smoke-damage-has-happened-a-140.html

Keep Your Kitchen Safe!

8/25/2017 (Permalink)

Recipe For Kitchen Safety:

·        Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.

·        Stay in the home when cooking food and check on it frequently.

·        Watch children closely. It is a good rule of thumb to keep children three feet away from the cooking area.

·        Clean cooking surfaces to prevent food and grease build-up.

·        Keep curtains, towels and pot holders away from hot surfaces and store solvents and flammable cleaners away from heat sources. Never keep gasoline in the house.

·        Turn pan handles inward to prevent food spills.

·        Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.

·        Make sure your smoke alarms are working by testing them prior to beginning food preparation.

Tips and statistics reproduced from NFPA’s Web site, nfpa.org