Recent Fire Damage Posts

What To DO (And NOT DO) For Fire & Smoke Damage

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

  • Limit movement in the area to prevent further damage.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Clearly mark the area with caution signs and safety tape.
  • If area is safe, list vital contents for emergency restoration/priority service. 
  • Be sure your staff wears proper personal protection equipment. 
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas. 
  • Wash off both sides of leaves on indoor plants.
  • Change HVAC filters and tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system. 
  • Do not attempt to wash walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO Professional. 
  • Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first contacting your local SERVPRO Professional. 
  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances, computers, television, radios, etc., that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first contacting an authorized repair service.

If you are dealing with fire and smoke damage, don't go it alone! Give us a call and let us come in and make it "Like it never even happened."

 

Kitchen Fire: A SERVPRO Story

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

A few months ago SERVPRO responded to a fire at a local home. Luckily, the fire was contained to the proximity of the kitchen. When a fire takes place, the home is not just affected by the fire. There is also water damage from the sprinklers putting out the fire. 

SERVPRO goes in after the fire fighters have put out the fire and the damage has been done. Our team goes in and cleans all of the contents and gets rid of the smell caused by the smoke. The remnants of smoke is much harder to get rid of than imaginable. Our team works very hard by cleaning the walls, then painting them with an oil based paint. And lastly, adding a final coat. 

After we repair the damages, we offer remodeling services as well. We are currently expanding in our remodeling and construction department. SERVPRO  likes to make sure the job is seen all the way through to the end. 

Top ways to Prevent a Christmas Tree Fire

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a list from the NFPA and FEMA's U.S. Fire Administration:

  • When choosing a tree, look for the one that is fresh and has green needles that don't fall out. Brownish needles mean the tree is dried out and more prone to catch fire.
  • Water your tree daily to prevent it from drying out.
  • Check the manufacturer's labels to ensure you use only lights and decorations that are flame-retardant. Look for a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories, Intertek or the Canadian Standards Association, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  •  Check holiday lights for frayed wires or excessive wear.
  • Don't connect more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs
  • Keep your tree at least 3 feet away from any heat source, such as a fireplace, radiator, candles or lights.
  • Make sure your tree is not blocking an exit. In case there is a fire, you want a way to get out.
  • Always turn off lights on a tree before going to bed or leaving your home.
  • Get rid of a tree when its needles start dropping. It means the tree is drying out.
  • Check that your smoke alarm is working properly.

Call your Local SERVPRO of South Elkhart County at 574-533-2500 or go to our webpage at http://www.SERVPROsouthelkhartcounty.com

Destroy Odors With Deodorization

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke, and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems. As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard-to-reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors. With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IIRC), SERVPRO of South Elkhart County Franchise Professionals provide specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO of South Elkhart County Franchise Professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. If you or a customer suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact SERVPRO of South Elkhart County Franchise Professionals at (574) 533-2500. Whether its fire, water, or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we'll help make it "Like it never even happened."

Other Odors that may require DEODORIZATION:

  • Cigarette Smoke
  • Pet Odors
  • Decomposition
  • Mold

Tips For Protecting Your Business Against Fire Devastation

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

When you own your own business, you can't afford to be unprepared for extreme circumstances. If your commercial building in South Elkhart County, caught fire, for example, it would be helpful to have a plan for dealing with the aftermath. Here are some fire preparation tips that can help you handle emergencies as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Data Backup

Every important electronic document should be regularly backed up, and at least one backup copy should be stored in an off-site location. There is a collection of essential information you need to keep your business running smoothly, including:

• Payroll records
• Customer contact and billing information
• Supplier contact information
• List of inventory, equipment and essential assets
• List of the cost of replacing essential equipment and supplies

It is also advisable to store the numbers of fire mitigation experts and your insurance company with the copies of your important business documents. Then you don't have to scrounge to find the first numbers you need to call.

Insurance Coverage

Proper fire preparation involves knowing that your business is covered if something should happen. Review your insurance portfolio with your agent to make sure that you have covered all your bases beyond the standard general liability and property policies. 

Disaster Plan

Every business should have a detailed disaster preparation plan. The plan should include evacuation procedures, task delegation, relocation decisions and a business continuity outline. All employees should receive training on the plan as well as the opportunity to complete a test run to identify unforeseen flaws. Don't wait until the fire damage has already occurred to decide how you are going to proceed.

It's never too early to protect your business against potential fire devastation. Make sure you have protected important information, made an emergency plan and purchased sufficient insurance coverage. Sufficient fire preparation could mean the difference between your company’s survival after a fire and its demise.

Top 5 Causes Of House Fires

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Here are top 5 most common causes of house fires as identified by the National Fire Protection Association.

  1. Candles

From 2007-2011, the NFPA says there were an average of 10,630 fires in the U.S. that were started by candles, causing 115 deaths, 903 injuries and approximately $418 million in property damage. That is an average of 29 candle fires per day.

Safety tips:

  • Never leave a candle burning near flammable items.
  • Never leave a candle burning in a child’s room or an unoccupied room.
  • Make sure candles fit securing into candle holders so they won’t tip over.
  • Blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep
  1. Smoking

While the number of fires caused by smoking is trending downward, the NFPA found that there were still an average of 17,600 related fires per year resulting in 490 deaths and more than $516 million in property damage.

Safety tips:

  • If you smoke, consider smoking outside.
  • Use wide, sturdy ashtrays to catch butts and ashes.
  • Look for cigarette butts under furniture and between seat cushions to make sure no lit butts have fallen someplace where they can’t be seen.
  • Don’t smoke in bed, when you’re tired or around medical oxygen.
  1. Electrical & Lighting

According to the NFPA, in 2011 approximately 47,700 home structure fires were caused by some sort of electrical failure or malfunction. These resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.

Safety tips:

  • Don’t overload outlets or electrical cords.
  • Make sure you have the right cord for the job – inside cords for inside, heavy duty/outside cords for outdoor use.
  • Don’t leave Christmas lights, Christmas trees, or halogen lights on overnight or when not at home.
  • Consider having an electrician perform an annual checkup of your home’s wiring.
  1. Dryers & Washing Machines

Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage. 

Safety tips:

  • Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
  • For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
  • Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
  • Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
  • Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.
  1. Lightning

From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes.

Safety tips:

  • Stay away from doors and windows during an electrical storm.
  • Do not use corded phones, computers, TVs or other electrical equipment during storms.
  • Unplug major electronics – TVs, stereo equipment, computers and microwaves to minimize damage if there is a lightning strike close by.
  • Avoid plumbing such as sinks, baths and faucets during a thunderstorm.

You experience a fire in your home, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of South Elkhart County (574) 533-2500.

10 ways to prevent Christmas tree fires

11/15/2017 (Permalink)

Here is a list from the NFPA and FEMA's U.S. Fire Administration:

  • When choosing a tree, look for the one that is fresh and has green needles that don't fall out. Brownish needles mean the tree is dried out and more prone to catch fire.
  • Water your tree daily to prevent it from drying out.
  • Check the manufacturer's labels to ensure you use only lights and decorations that are flame-retardant. Look for a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories, Intertek or the Canadian Standards Association, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  •  Check holiday lights for frayed wires or excessive wear.
  • Don't connect more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs
  • Keep your tree at least 3 feet away from any heat source, such as a fireplace, radiator, candles or lights.
  • Make sure your tree is not blocking an exit. In case there is a fire, you want a way to get out.
  • Always turn off lights on a tree before going to bed or leaving your home.
  • Get rid of a tree when its needles start dropping. It means the tree is drying out.
  • Check that your smoke alarm is working properly.

Call your Local SERVPRO of South Elkhart County at 574-533-2500 or go to our webpage at http://www.SERVPROsouthelkhartcounty.com

Fire and Smoke Damage Tips

10/19/2017 (Permalink)

DO:

  • Limit movement of people in the structure to prevent soot participles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean. soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels on rugs,upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely, and prop doors open to prevent odors. 
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances then protect with light coating lubricant. 
  • Pour RV antifreeze into sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs if heat is off during the freezing season.
  • Wash off both sides of leaves on indoor plants.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until checked by a trained professional. 
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

For all your cleaning and restoration needs call SERVPRO of South Elkhart County at 574-533-2500 or go to our webpage at http://www.SERVPROsouthelkhartcounty.com

Holiday Kitchen Safety

9/27/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know there are more residential fires on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year? Not to be surprised but most of these accidents were on the stove or in the oven and were caused by being left unattended. To help keep this problem from happening in your home and ruining your holiday SERVPRO has formed a list for your safety. 

  • Stay in the kitchen when your are frying, grilling or boiling food. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, TURN OFF THE STOVE.
  • Keep everything that can catch fire- potholders, towels or curtains- away from your stove.
  • Have a "kid free zone" of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and a lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. 
  • Never use a wet oven mitt, as it presents a scald danger if the moisture in the mitt is heated. 
  • Have a smoke alarm installed in your kitchen. Ensure it is in working order. 

For all your clean up and restoration needs call SERVPRO of South Elkhart County @ 574-533-2500 or go to our website  www.SERVPROsouthelkhartcounty.com

Children and fire

9/6/2017 (Permalink)

EDUCATING KIDS AND FIRE

  • Keepmatches andlighters in a secured drawer or cabinet.
  • Have your children tell you when they find matches or lighters.
  • Develop a home fire escape plan, practice it with your children and designate a meeting place outside.
  • Supervise young children closely. Do not leave them alone even for short periods of time.
  • Take the mystery out of fire by teaching children fire is a tool, not a toy.
  • Teach children the nature of fire. It is FAST, HOT, DARK and DEADLY.
  • Educate on how to stop, drop and roll if their clothes are on fire.
  • Show children how to crawl low on the floor, below the smoke, to get out of the house and stay out in case of fire.
  • Teach children not to hide or be afraid of firefighters.

Call your local SERVPRO of South Elkhart County at (574)533-2500 or go to our webpage at http://SERVPROsouthelkhartcounty.comfor all your fire and restoration needs.

What To Do Until Help Arrives

4/24/2017 (Permalink)

DO:

  • Limit movement in the facility to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas.
  • Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between office furniture legs and wet carpet.

DO NOT:

  • Wash any walls or painted surfaces.  
  • Shampoo carpet or upholstery.
  • Clean any electrical equipment.
  • Send clothing to the dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor in to the clothing.

SERVPRO of South Elkhart County has all of your needs covered. Call us at (574)533-2500 or go to our webpage at http://www.SERVPROsouthelkhartcounty.com. Let us be the one to help you make it like it never even happened.