Recent Fire Damage Posts

Deodorizing After a Fire Damage

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

Things You Should Know

One of the biggest problem after an incidence of fire is the lingering, foul, burnt odor. If the odor is not remedied professionally, it can stay on your property for a long time making it almost impossible to stay there.

Thankfully, professionals can help you get rid of this odor after fire damage to your Lenexa home. The odor after an incidence of fire is a mix of chemical and natural odors due to the burning of wood, plastic, and other building material. Here at SERVPRO, we employ a multi-step process to eliminate odor and get your home smelling like home again- removing, and cleaning. Let's take a closer look at every step.

Removing 
One of the first things that SERVPRO technicians do while tackling an odor problem after a fire is removing the source of the odor. The source of odor after a fire damage can be burnt wood or other building materials. Our IICRC certified technicians dispose of the source in a safely and efficiently.

Cleaning  
The second step during the deodorizing process is cleaning. Smoke and soot residues can deposit on and even penetrate the various surfaces such as walls and ceilings. SERVPRO technicians clean different surfaces depending on the type of the surface and residue deposited on it.

Sealing 
Sealing is not required in most cases, but if the damage is extensive and the removal of the source is too expensive or impractical, it is the best option. Painting walls to seal in the odors is one such case.

We are here to help you in your hour of need. Call SERVPRO of East Monroe County today!

Understanding the P.A.S.S. Technique with Fire Extinguishers

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

A fire extinguisher is one of the most essential pieces of life-saving equipment in your commercial property. While your fire suppression system is excellent for your overall facility and alarms will ensure the safe evacuation of your employees or tenants, extinguishers provide a direct line of defense and allow for immediate response to manageable fires. However, there is a four-step process known as the P.A.S.S. technique.

1. Pull

The first step is to pull the pin from the extinguisher handle. The removal of this pin will allow the handle to be fully compressed, releasing the compressed air and chemical mixture to extinguish the flames.

2. Aim

A fire extinguisher will typically have a short, flexible, rubber hose attached to the nozzle and extending away from the handle. This will allow you to aim the compressed mixture at the fire. However, be sure to avoid contact with the discharge opening as the CO2 can damage your skin.

3. Squeeze

Squeezing the handle will release the extinguishing agent. Its mixture will come out quickly and somewhat powerfully, so be prepared and keep firm aim on the blaze.

4. Sweep

You will want to use a sweeping motion, focusing the extinguishing mixture on the base of the fire. Continue this process until the fire is out. After the fire is out, watch the are and ensure that there are no remaining embers. It is possible for a fire to reignite, causing more fire damage.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the proper extinguisher technique, you can contact your local fire department or a fire remediation specialist in the East Monroe County Area! 

Add Duct Cleaning to Your House Cleaning List

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Very often, when a fire or smoke damage occurs, the air ducts in your home can be affected. Here is some information on getting them cleaned from Home Advisor: The cost of cleaning your air ducts is determined by the size of your air duct system and the extent of contamination. On average, homeowners spend between $265 and $471, with $352 being the national average.

Did you know that cleaning your ducts and vents can help airflow and increase energy efficiency? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), keeping your air ducts and vents clear can increase energy efficiency and indoor air quality. While the cost to clean ducts and vents might sound high, the benefits to homeowners?especially those sensitive to allergens?is worth considering.

When looking to have your ducts cleaned, or any other part of your home, for any reason, give SERVPRO® of South-East Monroe County a call (585-641-0040)! We are here to help you make it "Like it never even happened."

What to do Immediately After a House Fire

11/16/2018 (Permalink)

  1. Ask whether it is safe to enter the home. Do not enter if the fire authorities deem it unsafe. They may establish a safety zone, but never assume a room is safe, until it has been cleared to enter.
  2. Know who to call.
    1. Contact family members and let them know you are safe, and unharmed.
    2. Contact your insurance agent. They will be able to talk you through the necessary steps, including proper documentation and emergency lodging and living expenses (keep all of your receipts!) The insurance company may assist in securing a company to help with clean up options.
    3. You may request SERVPRO at this time for contents cleaning, restoration etc. Contact SERVPRO.
    4. Another call may be to your landlord if applicable, and to your local American Red Cross. SERVPRO is the preferred restoration partner to The American Red Cross.
  3. Secure the property to prevent possible looting. SERVPRO is available to assist with securing property/ Board Ups.
  4. If water hoses were used to exterminate the fire, drying your home is critical. It is best to call the professionals at SERVPRO to do water/ fire cleanups. Water can lead to mold damage if not dried properly. SERVPRO is an approved restoration contractor for many major insurance carriers and adheres to the highest standards in the restoration industry.
  5. Seek counseling if needed. Children and adults can feel a traumatic sense of loss, and may need help to avoid a lasting sense of sadness and disorientation after a house fire. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. A house fire is a traumatic event and individuals need to be treated with respect and compassion by those close to the process of rebuilding.

For more information on contents and structural drying, extinguisher residue and soot removal call SERVPRO at (585) 641-0040

Three Common Reasons for House Fires in Your Rochester Home

11/16/2018 (Permalink)

If a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape. House fires can be devastating and the road to recovery is long and hard. Educating yourself on the leading causes for house fires and prevention is a step in the right direction to ensure that your family and home are safe.

Electrical Outlets

Many electrical fires in homes or businesses are caused by faulty electrical outlets, old wiring, outdated appliances or electrical cords that are frayed.

-If you live in an older home have an electrician complete an inspection. Standards and codes are constantly being revised and updated to ensure safety.

-Do not overload your circuits.

-Understand the difference between surge protectors and power strips. Both devices allow you to plug in multiple electronics, but only the surge protector will help protect your electronics from a power surge.

Kitchen Fires

Carelessness in the kitchen can lead to devastating house fires. The leading cause of kitchen fires is due to unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

-Never leave pots or pans unattended on your stove.

-Keeping your stove an oven clean will prevent buildup of food splatter and grease that could later ignite when the stove or oven is turned on for cooking.

-Keep any items that could ignite away from your stove top

-Ensure that you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen in case of emergency.

Dryers

Dryer vents are becoming a much bigger and more common safety problem. Over time, your dryer vent fills with lint that sneaks by your dryers filter. Fires can occur when the excess lint builds up in the dryer or exhaust duct.

-Clean out the dryer vent regularly.

-Clean the lint filter after EACH load of laundry that is dried.

-Clean underneath and behind your dryer to eliminate any lint that collects.

Don't let your Halloween Decor start a Fire

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Don't let your Halloween Decor start a Fire Stay safe this Halloween!

How to set up your decor safely

   Children dressed in costumes excitedly running door to door to trick-or-treat, festive decorations like glowing jack-o-lanterns, paper ghosts and dried cornstalks adorning front porches – these are some of the classic hallmarks of Halloween that make the holiday special for kids and adults alike.

   Unfortunately, these Halloween symbols and activities can also present lurking fire risks that have the potential to become truly scary. But by planning ahead, you can help make this Halloween a fire-safe one. Taking simple fire safety precautions like keeping decorations far away from open flames and using battery-operated candles or glow-sticks in jack-o-lanterns can help ensure your holiday remains festive and fun!

Did you know?

  • From 2009-2013, decorations were the item first ignited in an estimated average of 860 reported home structure fires per year.
  • Nearly half of decoration fires in homes occurred because the decorations were too close to a heat source.
  • These fires caused an estimated average of one civilian death, 41 civilian injuries and $13 million in direct property damage per year.
  • Forty-one percent of these incidents were started by candles; one-fifth began in the living room, family room, or den

So remember SAFETY FIRST!

Enjoy your Halloween and know your home will be protected!

Space Heater Safety Tips

1/25/2018 (Permalink)

9 Do's When it Comes to Space Heaters

1) Keep the heater at least 3 feet away from combustible materials, including beds, sofas, curtains, papers, clothes, etc.

2) Make sure the heaters power cord is not damaged or frayed in any way.

3) Make sure the heater is securely plugged into the power outlet. Ensure it does not come loose or fall out. 

4) Ensure your heater is on a stable and level surface with minimal risk of it getting knocked over.

5) Make sure your space heater has been certified as safe to use. You should see a safety logo on the back somewhere.

6) Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.

7) Ensure your unit is turned off when you go to sleep, in a different room, or unable to keep an eye on it.

8) It is wise to teach everyone in your household how to properly operate your heater.

9) If your space heater requires fuel, make sure you refill it with the right kind... or you will most likely cause a fire.  

Soda Blasting, What's That?

1/25/2018 (Permalink)

I don't know about you, but the first thing I think about when someone says 'soda blasting' is a bunch of kids running around shaking up cans of soda and spraying them at each other. If you were thinking along the same lines as me, you will be surprised to find out that soda blasting is a very helpful way to clean a fire damaged house. 

Soda blasting is a process in which sodium bicarbonate is applied against a surface using compressed air. Soda blasting is a non-destructive method for many applications in cleaning, paint & varnish stripping, automotive restoration, industrial equipment maintenance, rust removal, graffiti removal, oil removal, soot remediation and much more.

Fun Fact:An early use of soda blasting was to restore the Statue of Liberty in the 1980s!

We have used this method of cleaning in many homes in the Rochester area. So whether your Rochester business is vandalized by graffiti or if your home has experienced soot damage from a fire, call your restoration professionals at SERVPRO of SE Monroe County located in Rochester NY to come soda blast your problems

Fire Damage in Rochester

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

An unknown electrical issue caused the fire damage in this house in Rochester.  The fire luckily happened while the homeowner was not home. 

This photo was taken in the kitchen and although it looks as if the fire may have  started here, it actually started in the family room next to the kitchen.  The fire damage was so severe, there was very little able to be salvaged from the affected rooms in the home.  The most salvageable items will be found in the basement , since smoke rises and the 2nd floor was heavily affected as well.

SERVPRO of South East Monroe County was called in to save everything we possibly could for this customer.  And they were very happy to know there is a company like ours that can save some of her sentimental items and not all is lost in a disaster like this.

Call SERVPRO of South East Monroe County Today! (585) 641-0040

Fire Damage in Rochester NY

11/9/2017 (Permalink)

An unknown electrical issue caused the fire damage in this house in Rochester.  The fire happened luckily while the homeowner was not home. 

This photo is from the kitchen and although it looks as if the fire may have  started in this room due to the damage, it actually started in the family room next to the kitchen.  The fire damage is so severe, there is very little able to be salvaged from this home.  The only salvageable items will be from the basement below, since smoke rises and the 2nd floor was heavily affected as well.

SERVPRO of South East Monroe County was called in to see if there is anything we could possibly salvage for this customer.  And they were very happy to know there is a company like ours that can save some of her sentimental items and not all is lost.

Smoke and Soot Damage

11/8/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your 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 South-East Monroe County 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?

Limited Fire Damage

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

Kitchen fires generally begin at the stove. However, damage caused by the fire may affect the entire kitchen, including the walls, ceiling, air ducts and appliances. Once the fire is out, you are left with smoke, soot and water damage to clean up. The damage to your home and personal belongings may be devastating. Handling the damage properly could prevent long-term effects. 

After contacting SERVPRO of South East Monroe County, the following steps can be taken to help prevent further damage:

  • Limit movement to prevent further damage.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent additional soiling.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets and appliances with a light coating of petroleum jelly.

SERVPRO of South East Monroe County is trained in the line of cleanup and care of your home and personal belongings following a fire incident. Before attempting to clean up the fire damage yourself, contact SERVPRO of South East Monroe County today! (585) 641-0040

Soda Blasting, What's that??

9/25/2017 (Permalink)

I don't know about you, but the first thing I think about when someone says 'soda blasting' is a bunch of kids running around shaking up cans of soda and spraying them at each other. If you were thinking along the same lines as me, you will be surprised to find out that soda blasting is a very helpful way to clean a fire damaged house. 

Soda blasting is a process in which sodium bicarbonate is applied against a surface using compressed air. Soda blasting is a non-destructive method for many applications in cleaning, paint & varnish stripping, automotive restoration, industrial equipment maintenance, rust removal, graffiti removal, oil removal, soot remediation and much more.

Fun Fact:An early use of soda blasting was to restore the Statue of Liberty in the 1980s!

We have used this method of cleaning in many homes in the Rochester area. So whether your Rochester business is vandalized by graffiti or if your home has experienced soot damage from a fire, call your restoration professionals at SERVPRO of South-East Monroe County located in Rochester NY to come soda blast your problems away!

Call Us Today!! (585) 641-0040

Do's and Don'ts of Fire and Smoke Damage

9/7/2017 (Permalink)

Do:

  • Limit the movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keeps 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.
  • Clean soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances and protect with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Pour RV antifreeze into sinks, toilet bowls and tubs if heat is off during freezing season.
  • Wash both sides of leaves on house plants.
  • Change HVAC filters.
  • 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 SERVPRO of S.E. Monroe County!
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO of S.E. Monroe County.
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV, Radio, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first contacting an authorized repair service.
  • Consume any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (they may be contaminated)
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged.
  • Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor. 

Preventing Holiday Fires

12/1/2016 (Permalink)

Residential fires during the holiday season are more frequent, more costly, and more deadly than at any other time of the year. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) reports more than double the number of open-flame fires on Christmas Day than on an average day, and about twice as many on New Year’s Day. And when those fires occur, they do more damage: Property loss during a holiday fire is 34% greater than in an average fire, and the number of fatalities per thousand fires is nearly 70% higher. When the source of the fire is a highly flammable Christmas tree, the toll in property and lives is even greater.

To keep your household from becoming a holiday fire statistic, here are some safety tips to follow.

Cooking

Cooking is the top cause of holiday fires, according to the USFA. The most common culprit is food that’s left unattended. It’s easy to get distracted; take a pot holder with you when you leave the kitchen as a reminder that you have something on the stove. Make sure to keep a kitchen fire extinguisher that’s rated for all types of fires, and check that smoke detectors are working.

If you’re planning to deep-fry your holiday turkey, do it outside, on a flat, level surface at least 10 feet from the house.

Candles

The incidence of candle fires is four times higher during December than during other months. According to the National Fire Protection Association, four of the five most dangerous days of the year for residential candle fires are Christmas/Christmas Eve and New Year’s/New Year’s Eve. (The fifth is Halloween.)

To reduce the danger, maintain about a foot of space between the candle and anything that can burn. Set candles on sturdy bases or cover with hurricane globes. Never leave flames unattended. Before bed, walk through each room to make sure candles are blown out. For atmosphere without worry, consider flameless LED candles.

Christmas Trees

It takes less than 30 seconds for a dry tree to engulf a room in flames, according to the Building and Fire Research Laboratory of the National Institute for Standards and Technology. “They make turpentine out of pine trees,” notes Tom Olshanski, spokesman for the USFA. “A Christmas tree is almost explosive when it goes.”

To minimize risk, buy a fresh tree with intact needles, get a fresh cut on the trunk, and water it every day. A well-watered tree is almost impossible to ignite. Keep the tree away from heat sources, such as a fireplace or radiator, and out of traffic patterns. If you’re using live garlands and other greenery, keep them at least three feet away from heating sources.

No matter how well the tree is watered, it will start to dry out after about four weeks, Olshanski says, so take it down after the holidays. Artificial trees don’t pose much of a fire hazard; just make sure yours is flame-retardant.

Decorative Lights

Inspect light strings, and throw out any with frayed or cracked wires or broken sockets. When decorating, don’t run more than three strings of lights end to end. “Stacking the plugs is much safer when you’re using a large quantity of lights,” explains Brian L. Vogt, director of education for holiday lighting firm Christmas Décor. Extension cords should be in good condition and UL-rated for indoor or outdoor use. Check outdoor receptacles to make sure the ground fault interrupters don’t trip. If they trip repeatedly, Vogt says, that’s a sign that they need to be replaced.

When hanging lights outside, avoid using nails or staples, which can damage the wiring and increase the risk of a fire. Instead, use UL-rated clips or hangers. And take lights down within 90 days, says John Drengenberg, director of consumer safety for Underwriters Laboratories.  “If you leave them up all year round, squirrels chew on them and they get damaged by weather.”

Kids Playing with Matches

The number of blazes — and, tragically, the number of deaths — caused by children playing with fire goes up significantly during the holidays. From January through March, 13% of fire deaths are the result of children playing with fire, the USFA reports; in December, that percentage doubles. So keep matches and lighters out of kids’ reach. “We tend to underestimate the power of these tools,” says Meri-K Appy, president of the nonprofit Home Safety Council. “A match or lighter could be more deadly than a loaded gun in the hands of a small child.”

Fireplaces

Soot can harden on chimney walls as flammable creosote, so before the fireplace season begins, have your chimney inspected to see if it needs cleaning. Screen the fireplace to prevent embers from popping out onto the floor or carpet, and never use flammable liquids to start a fire in the fireplace. Only burn seasoned wood — no wrapping paper.

When cleaning out the fireplace, put embers in a metal container and set them outside to cool for 24 hours before disposal.