Archived Fire Damage Blog Posts
Halt Winter Heating Hazards
SERVPRO is ready for any size disaster. This is one of our trucks that is ready at a moments notice.
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 the weather. In a effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative hear 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 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 friendly 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 manufacturer’s instructions.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
50% of all residential heating-related fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February.
If your property does suffer fire damage, contact the SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton Professionals to help make it “like it never even happened.”
SERVPRO is quietly taking to the streets, every hour of every day, proving that whenever there is a house full of water or an office full of smoke, there is also a van full of clean.
Understanding The Behavior Of Smoke
This is a picture of a dishwasher that has been half cleaned due to a kitchen fire.
Understanding 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 Franchise Professionals are 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, the SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton Professionals 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 of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton Professionals to focus on saving your precious items.
The SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton Professionals know 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.
Different 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.
- Protein Fire Residue (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire) – Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
- Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs) – While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.
- Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue) – Special loss situations require special care.
SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton Professionals are trained to handle even the toughest losses. If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Fire, The Facts
SERVPRO Orange/Nederland/Lumberton cleaning up after a fire loss.
JUST THE FACTS
In 2014, fires caused 2745 deaths, 11,825 injuries, and $6.8 Billion in property damage.
Three out of five home fire deaths are caused by fires in homes with no smoke alarms or not working alarms.
Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 94 percent of the time, while battery powered alarms operated 80 percent of the time.
When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.
One quarter of home fire deaths are caused by fires that start in the bedroom. Another quarter result from fires in the living room, family room or den.
One-third of survey respondents who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening. The time available is often much less. Only 8 percent said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out.
Facts provided by National Fire Protection Association, nfpa.org
WHAT TO DO UNTIL HELP ARRIVES
- 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.
- Change HVAC filters; leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
- Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
- Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
- 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 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.