Recent Fire Damage Posts
Top Three Causes of Fires
Did you know that the top three causes of residential fires include cooking, heating and electric systems/equipment. Let’s discuss each cause in more depth so you are able to determine how each can be avoided.
- Cooking: Causing nearly half of home fires, cooking-related fires are also, unfortunately, the second leading cause for residential fire deaths. These fires peak during the holidays, first Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas. Unattended cooking plays a large role in how fires begin. Other factors include grease and oil. Heating oil too quickly can cause fires. Leaving grease on the stovetop can also create fires. Leaving common kitchen items such as over mitts and food wrappers on or near the stove can also start fires.
- Heating: Spiking during the cold winter months of December, January and February, heating fires typically stem from space heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves. While it may be tempting to keep your portable heater right near you on the chilliest of days, fires can easily be created if furnishing or personal belongings, such as mattresses and blankets, are within 3 feet of the space heater. Fires also start when heating sources such as space heaters or fireplaces are left unattended.
- Electric: Wiring, cords (including extension cords), lighting, and plugs all fall under the umbrella of electric distribution. Malfunction and damage, such as fraying, are a couple reasons as to why fires begin from electric distribution. Faulty electrical outlets cause fires, as do worn out sockets. Using an unqualified electrician to install or update wiring, lighting, etc. is another reason why fires may begin in your home. Additionally, the exposure of water to electricity can create fire.
Be sure to be mindful if you smoke, light candles, use a grill, or have children and/or pets, as these are a few other leading causes of residential fires. Taking caution and remaining vigilant can greatly help keep you, your family and home safe!
If you suffer fire damage to your home or business, SERVPRO of Port Huron is Here to Help! Call us 24/7 at 810-966-7900.
Small Appliance Fires
There are a myriad of things that can cause house fires. It can seem impossible to prevent all the fire hazards in your home. Smaller appliances such as toasters, space heaters and dehumidifiers can pose great risks if not properly used, maintained and monitored.
-Be sure to check the appliance regularly. Any irregularity in the unit or the power cord could be a potential fire hazard.
-Be sure that the wall outlets you are plugging your appliance into are working properly. If you notice any flickering lights or sparks shut the power off and contact an electrician.
-Unplug the appliance when not in use. An unused toaster sitting on the counter can easily be accidentally turned on.
-Make sure the appliance is far away from any potential fire hazard such as blankets, papers or even water which can cause the unit to spark.
Many appliances have safety features on them that are supposed to shut the unit off when they tip over or malfunction in some way but this is not fool proof. Never leave them running unattended.
Routine Exhaust Fan Maintenance
Bathroom exhaust fan fires are commonly caused by four different things.
- Faulty wiring
- Running the fan for extended periods of time
- Overheating the motor
- Failure to clean the fan
An exhaust fan fire can cause devastating damage. In the attached picture, you can see what a SERVPRO customer was left with after their fan caught fire. The fire department had to completely drown the bathroom and surrounding areas with water to put a stop to the flames, leaving the homeowner with extensive FIRE AND WATER damage.
To prevent this from happening in your home, follow these simple routine maintenance steps.
Get in the habit of inspecting and cleaning your bathroom fans regularly. Every six months to a year is recommended.
Exhaust fans should not run for long periods of time and should always be turned off before leaving the house. The recommended time to run the fan is between 15 and 20 minutes.
Fire Safety for your Family
A fire escape plan could be the difference between the life and death of a loved one.
Start by creating a fire safety file that can be kept in a designated area.
Information to be included in the file.....
-A copy of the floor plan for each family member.
All exits (windows and doors) should be clearly labeled.
-Record the last date you replaced the batteries in each smoke detector.
smoke detectors should be in each room as well as one outside of the room.
-Each person should have there escape plan mapped out on their copy of the floor plan. If there are infants in the house, be sure to label who is responsible for them and map out the retrieval process.
Choose a back up person incase someone is not home.
-A mutually agreed upon meeting place should also be written on each floor plan along with important phone #'s that may be needed later on.
If you have a fire at your home, call SERVPRO of Port Huron to take care of the disaster.
The Affects Smoke Damage Has on your Home and Personal Items.
Fires can cause extensive damage to your home and personal effects. The heat radiating from the flames will radiate and cause items to melt or crack. After the flames have been delt with you are left with the devastating after math of smoke damage.
What Can Be Saved?
It all depends on the extent of the damage as well as the cost involved. Some items will cost more to salvage then to replace. A specially trained SERVPRO professional can assess and determine what items should be cleaned, discarded or replaced.
How Does Smoke Affect Your Home?
Smoke does not affect all materials the same. Also, just how hot the fire got and what it originated from will affect the outcome. The worst way smoke can cause damage is when it sneaks into small cracks. The particles are so fine so they often go undetected for a long period of time, leaving a smoke smell that can last for a very long time. You can remove the smell from your home only by removing or cleaning the affected items and clean your home with special formula cleaner.
How Do You Clean Smoke Damage?
First and foremost, the home needs to be properly ventilated. Next all debris needs to be removed and every surface area needs to be cleaned. The quicker this step is complete the more likely you are to reduce the possibility of cross-contamination.
Hardwood floors are porous so smoke particles are often impossible to get out. The floor may have to be refinished or completely replaced.
Commercial cleaning detergents should be enough to remove most, if not all of the smoke smell.
What SERVPRO can do for YOU After a Fire!
What does SERVPRO of Port Huron do for you when your home and family are affected?
1. Within one hour a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will call to arrange for service.
2. Within 4 short hours a professional will arrive on-site prepared to begin emergency mitigation services, if so needed.
3. A Project Manager of SERVPRO will review your home with you and address any questions or concerns.
4. The SERVPRO Project Manager will then go through your home starting from the fire and working his way outward to see what is restorable or salvageable.
5. Next SERVPRO will present to you and your insurance adjuster a plan of action, also known as a "Scope of Work".
6. Your home will be cleaned and restored by SERVPRO Franchise Professionals.
7. After all of the work is completed, a final walk-through will be conducted with you to help ensure your satisfaction
After The Fire Trucks Leave
After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of NW Genesee County has the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition. What should you do after a fire? Call SERVPRO!
Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Today (810-966-7900)
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 of NW Genesee County, whose phones are answered 24 hours a day. Our representative will ask a series of questions regarding the fire damage event.
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, the SERVPRO of NW Genesee County 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
SERVPRO of NW Genesee County uses 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.
4 Causes of Workplace Fires
Fires in the workplace can be especially devastating to business owners. There is the damage to the facility, any inventory, and then there is the longer timeline before you can get back up and running which may lead to loss of employees. SERVPRO does not often receive calls for workplace fires, however the ones they do respond to, often have major damage with a loss of most or all their inventory. Take note of these 4 most common reasons for workplace fires.
Faulty Electrical Equipment
Loose wires, overloaded plugs and faulty connections can lead to dangerous electrical fires. This often happens because businesses put off replacing functional but unsafe or outdated equipment. It requires a slight investment to keep your staff safe and saves money in the end.
*Note- it is a business owners' responsibility to care for electrical equipment. These types are especially dangerous because they cannot be put out by water. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher in site for all employees.
Flammable and Combustible Materials
Workshops and garages can be prone to these types of fires. If these items are not stored properly certain tools like a circular saw can cause a spark and light near bye flammable chemicals.
Lack of Staff Training
Unforeseen accidents are always a possibility even when you have followed all rules and regulations. For this reason, employee training is vital! Proper training can prevent innocent mistakes, like covering the vents of electrical equipment, that could lead to a major disaster. If a fire does still occur, it is extremely important that all staff members are aware of your evacuation plan.
Lack of resources and equipment in place
Smoke detectors and fire alarms need to be installed and checked! This should seem like a given, but unfortunately that is not always the case. Investing in the initial upfront cost of these safety procedures could save you thousands of dollars in the end and most importantly will KEEP YOUR STAFF SAFE!
If disaster should occur call
SERVPRO of Port Huron 24/7-365.
Thanksgiving Fire Safety
Thanksgiving is a time to relax and celebrate with family, but we wanted to take a moment to remind everyone to exercise caution while preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Statistically, fire departments respond to more residential fire calls on Thanksgiving day than any other day of the year.
Every year, 2,100 residential structures catch fire on Thanksgiving, resulting in 10 deaths, 50 serious injuries, and $28 million dollars in damage. Here are some simple steps that you can take to avoid disaster on your day of relaxation and celebration:
- Don’t leave food unattended while cooking
- Check all smoke detectors before beginning Thanksgiving dinner preparation
- Keep children and pets away from the kitchen
- Keep the kitchen floors unobstructed to avoid tripping
- Don’t use any electrical appliances that have damaged or severed cords (use this as an opportunity to treat yourself to some new kitchen toys!)
- Avoid using deep fryers (even in the back yard, the NFPA discourages ALL use of fryers)
As always, our crews are on call 24/7 365 days of the year, should disaster strike. Please take note of the steps above to protect your home and your family! Relax, kick back, enjoy some football, and give thanks!
On this Thanksgiving, we feel especially thankful for all of YOU, our loyal clients!
Fall Fire Safety
The cooler weather has arrived and with that comes warm cozy sweaters, the burning of all fall scented candles and the constant baking of every dessert that includes pumpkins or apples.
In the middle of all the warm fuzzy feelings, let's take a second to talk fall fire safety.
-Candles look and smell great but they are not always practical for families with younger children. Keeping them high up on a shelf or counter does not always guarantee safety. Kids love to climb, especially when they see that pretty orange flickering light. Battery operated candles are just as beautiful, last a lot longer and are a lot safer.
-Baking is a fall must and it is also a great skill to teach your kids. Just be sure to use proper kitchen safety. Keep the stove top clean from any grease or dust. Keep towels away from the stove top and make sure everything is completely turned off when you are finished.
Should disaster ever strike, SERVPRO of Port Huron is ready to answer your call.
Bathroom exhaust fan lint is a huge fire hazard! Exhaust fans can be found in most homes and many businesses. The purpose being to help prevent steamed mirrors, moist walls, and foggy windows. It also comes in handy in when you need to get rid of a not so wonderful smell. However, if these vents are not properly and routinely cleaned they can become dangerous. Just like all types of fans, vent fans collect dust or lint. This lint can cause the motor to overheat and ignite the plastic fan and the wood structure.
These vents are not designed to last forever and it typically tends to be the last thing a homeowner thinks about replacing. Newer vent fans have thermal protection that causes the motor to shut off if they seize and overheat. This type of vent has only been around since the late 70's so there are still millions of older builds that are without this vent safety precaution.
You should clean your bathroom exhaust fan twice a year. If it starts to make noise or has an odd odor than it is time to replace it.
If disaster should strike, call SERVPRO of Port Huron 24/7, 365 days a year.
Removal of Smokey Odor After a Fire
Fires can be devastating in so many ways. After the fire is put out, you are left with water damage from a sprinkler system or fire hose, and even worse is the lingering smell of smoke. You need a team of professionals who have certified training in all areas of restoration to help you rid that awful smell and take care of all the damage while you take care of the most important thing, your family.As fire restoration pros, SERVPRO of Port Huron use 2 primary methods to eliminate odor 1. Dry fogging- Dispenses solvent based deodorants as very small particles 2. Ozone- Activated oxygen quickly dissipates with no residue, fragrances, or chemicals that some can be sensitive to.
Family Escape Plan
Something as simple to understand as this can be crucial for helping your family get out safely. Once you have a plan, PRACTICE IT!
Do you have an escape plan if a fire happens at your home?
Consider these tips to create a plan:
- Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan, showing 2 exits of each room (door and window)
- A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home
- Everyone in the household must understand the escape plan. When you walk through your plan, check to make sure the escape routes are clear and doors and windows can be opened easily.
- Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. neighbor's house, a light post, mailbox, or stop sign) a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
- If there are infants, elderly, or family members with mobility limitations, make sure that someone is assigned to assist them in the fire drill and in the event of an emergency. Assign a backup person too, in case the designee is not home during the emergency.
- Once you're out, stay out! Under no circumstances should you ever go back into a burning building. If someone is missing, inform the fire department dispatcher when you call. Firefighters have the skills and equipment to perform rescues.
Having an escape plan set in place- JUST IN CASE- can be life saving and beneficial.
If you have a fire at your home, call SERVPRO of Port Huron to take care of the disaster. Available 24/7 at 810-966-7900