Recent Fire Damage Posts
Thanksgiving Cooking Fire Safety
Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your happy holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the main cause for home fires and injuries, with Thanksgiving being the peak day for cooking-related fires. Review the following safety tips to help ensure you can enjoy a safe holiday.
--Never leave cooking food unattended–stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn off the stove.
--Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
--Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
--Keep anything flammable–pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
--Do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. n Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
--Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen. Contact the local fire department for training on the proper use of extinguishers.
--Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
--Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas and inside and outside bedrooms. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year. SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties wishes you a happy and safe holiday!
Fire Safety Reminder!
The wildfires in California have caused record breaking destruction for residents. Families are being evacuated from their homes at an alarming rate. Even if you might not live in an area where wildfires are prominent this doesn't mean you shouldn't be properly equipped. Fires can happen anywhere at anytime. A portable fire extinguisher can be a life and property saving tool when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Prevention Association suggests remembering the word PASS: Pull the pin. Hold 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. Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. For more information on the different types of fire extinguishers and to ensure you have the proper one, visit nfpa.org.
Space Heaters & Heated Blankets
During the winter months its hard to stay warm. We bundle ourselves up in coats and heat up our cars a good while before we get in them. However once we get home we tend to use blankets, fires and space heaters. All of these items can allow us some level of comfort when the weather is chilly. However, do you really know the safety precautions to take for these items? Heated blankets are great for snuggling on the couch but once it is bedtime make sure they are unplugged and away from children. Ditch the old heated blankets! Newer heated blankets have timers and heat settings on them. Space heaters should not be left on during sleep either. It is important to keep running space heaters away from comforters, curtains and any object within its reach that could potentially catch fire.
Importance of Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level, including the basement. Extra smoke alarms may be needed in large homes. Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA). If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross. Be sure your home has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills with your family.
Learn About Fires!
Learn About Fires
- Fire is FAST! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames.
- Fire is HOT! Heat is more threatening than flames. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs and melt clothes to your skin.
- Fire is DARK! Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness.
- Fire is DEADLY! Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio
Develop Fire-Safe HabitsIf you do nothing else:
- Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
- Smoking materials are the leading cause of residential fire deaths in the United States. If you smoke, take precautions: Smoke outside; choose fire-safe cigarettes; never smoke in bed, when drowsy or medicated, or if anyone in the home is using oxygen.
- Use deep, sturdy ashtrays and douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before disposal.
- Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended, even for a minute.
For more information visit: http://www.redcross.org
Light The Night Safely
Pretty lights, candles and decorations are just a few of the items bringing charm and cheer to the holiday season, However if they are not sued carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening. The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips to help greatly reduce the risk of fire in your home or business this holiday season.
Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators and heat vents.
Make sure that light strings are other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, and heat vents.
Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturers instructions.
Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed.
Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don't practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fire and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. its important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.
Be alert! if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don't use to the stove top.
Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
Keep anything that can catch fire-oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains-away from the stovetop.
The Behavior of Smoke
The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior 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.
SERVPRO is thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. Before restoration begins SERVPRO will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat and moisture on the building materials and contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows SERVPRO to focus on saving your precious items.
SERVPRO knows smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure causing hidden damage and odor. Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke:
- 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.
Types of Smoke:
- 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.
- Fuel oil soot (furnace puff backs) while "puff backs" can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO can restore contents and structures quickly.
- Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue) Special loss situations require special care.
Smoke Alarms: Life Savers
Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association. In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met. Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries. In larger commercial facilities, hard wire or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detecting in just one area. If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross. Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills.
Halt Winter Heating Hazards
The winter season is here and with it comes shorter days and lower temperatures. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplace cozy, many people use alternative heating sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters and wood burning stoves. Did you know, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths? According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires cause an estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually. Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire.
-Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater. Have a three foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.
-Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
-Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
-Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
-Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
-Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturers instructions.
-Test smoke alarms monthly.
Holiday Fire Facts
One of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.
Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. On average, one of every 31 reported home Christmas Tree fires result in a death compared to an average of one death per 144 total reported home fires.
A heat source too close to the tree causes one in every four Christmas tree fires.
Two out of five home decoration fires are started by candles.
One third of all candle fires start in the bedroom.
Its is extremely important to go through children's rooms and areas not normally occupied and check for any fire hazards that may cause an accident.
Make sure all Christmas lights are turned off before going to bed. Tree lights can make trees become hot faster than you think especially while sitting on over night.
Celebrate Safely With A Recipe For Safety
Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don't practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Its important to be alert to prevent cooking fires. Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don't use the stove or stovetop. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling boiling or broiling food. If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking. Keep anything that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels and curtains away from the stove top. If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe. Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 911 or call the local emergency number after you leave. For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed. If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out. Keep a lid nearby when you're cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
Can You Escape Under 2 Minutes?
Fire experts agree, people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. Ina matter of moments a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26% of families have developed a fire escape plan. Once a plan is in place it is critical that everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have a working smoke detector in place, building an escape plan, and practicing the escape plan. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan. The following are few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan.
Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.
Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they have escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the planned meeting space on your map.
Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Place for everyone in your home with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.
Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at the nighttime.
October is Fire Prevention Month
October is Fire Prevention Month, a perfect time to examine emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan. Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year?
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) designates a week each October to focus on fire prevention awareness. The 2016 theme is "Don't wait, Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years," designed to educate the public on the basic but essential elements of smoke alarm safety. The NFPA recommends installing smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home, including the basement. Did you know that roughly half of home fire deaths reduce from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep? Smoke alarms save lives. In fact, having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half!
Stay safe and prepare now to ensure you are ready for any disaster.
*Data provided by the National Fire Protection Agency
Reversing the effects of fire damage:
These are matching end tables that had soot damage. The one on the left was cleaned with our SERVPRO wood cleaners and wood paste.
After a family sees their belongings immersed in smoke damage, it is hard to imagine that these items could ever look like they once did. Rest assured, your furniture can be returned as good as new with our SERVPRO deep cleaning process. We can make items that were once blackened with thick soot be revealed back to its original state.
Fall Fire Safety
Autumn is the favorite time of year for many people- the temperatures are cooler, the scenery is beautiful and colorful, and there are plenty of events and activities to keep us all busy. But, there are also some unique fire hazards, and it is to your advantage to plan ahead to ensure your fall season is safe and fire-free. Keep these tips in mind: be careful where you put your fall decorations, many are highly flammable so don't place them near open flames or heat sources; don't block escape routes with decorations; teach children to stay away from open flames; avoid billowing fabric when choosing Halloween costumes; try to use a flashlight or batter-operated candle in jack-o-laterns, and use extreme caution if using a real candle. Furthermore, be aware of the dangers of an excess of carbon monoxide. CO poisoning can occur from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers, or idling cars left running in enclosed spaces. Be sure that you have fuel-burning appliances inspected every year, that your fireplace and fuel-burning equipment is properly vented, and only use BBQ grills outside.