Commom causes of Fires in Homes
Here are top 5 most common causes of house fires as identified by the National Fire Protection Association.
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.
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Prep your Home for Spring Cleaning
Clean Rain Gutters
Wind, animals, and gravity bring sticks, leaves, and other organic matter into your rain gutters, and chances are yours have accumulated their share of detritus over the winter. That's bad news for your home: When downspouts are clogged, rainwater can spill out of your gutters and around the perimeter of your house, putting it at risk for leaks and flooding. Get ready for spring showers by removing the mess from your gutters to ensure that the water will flow freely.
To maintain optimal air quality in your home, it’s a good idea to replace your HVAC system's air filter seasonally as well as the filter in your kitchen range hood. While you're at it, consider changing the filters in your water purification system. Depending on your water, you might not need to change these as often as your HVAC filters, but it's not a bad idea to check them now. So, go ahead and welcome spring with new filters all around to keep your home clean and fresh, and your appliances in good working order.
As snow melts away from your home’s foundation, it’s a good time to check any vents along the foundation or in the attic. Look for missing or damaged screens, debris, signs of insect or rodent infestation, or other issues, and correct them before they have a chance to become bigger problems later in the season.
Check the Roof
Take advantage of the sun’s return to check your roof for cracked or missing shingles or tiles, and examine flashing around vents and the chimney for damage. While you’re at it, have the chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional.
Any Questions or help call SERVPRO fo Gateway 216-575-1985
Characteristics of Mold
You probably have many checklists that apply to your commercial building. With all the regular maintenance routines and proper repairs, finding black mold growth – or any type of mold invasion – can come as a complete shock. However, you might be wondering what mold looks like in the first place. The following list includes three angles from which you can better identify mold.
If you've observed some funky colors spring up around the company sink, you may have a mold cleanup in your future. Most commonly known as Alternaria, this kind of mold frequents bathrooms and other damp places indoors. This fungus spreads quickly, so you'll want to address even minor problems in a timely manner.
Another way you can detect mold in your building is by observing its texture. If you've tried cleaning those worn-out carpets time and again to no avail, a mold called Cladosporium could be your culprit. In addition, not all dark colored molds are black mold; this dark colored mold with a suede-like texture loves to thrive in carpets and upholsteries. Cladosporium is also known to grow in both warm and cool climates. Some molds may take on powdery textures, while others can take on a slimy appearance.
Most Ogden, UT, residents are familiar with that musty smell that can pop up in basements or other dark, humid places. Black mold could be present if that earthy smell just won't go away. Even if your building has never had past moisture damage, this kind of mold easily feeds on damp drywall and even dusty corners. Hiring a professional is usually your best bet when it comes to detecting types of mold, since identifying and determining all those subtle growth spots could prove challenging.
Helpful Hints before SERVPRO arrives.
If you have a water damage from a clean source such as water supply lines, sink overflows, tub overflows, or appliance malfunctions, here are some things to do before SERVPRO arrives.
Shut off the source of the water.
Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if the access panel is safe from electrical shock.
Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting
Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items
Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying
Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting
Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors
- Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors
How to Prevent Electrical fires
Electrical fires cause millions of dollars in damages, while also claiming lives in the process. There are so many possible causes for these types of fires. One of these causes can be faulty wiring through out the house, and overloading connection for more than they were designed for. Improper use of extension cords and power strips can cause a situation. Even something as simple as small animals chewing through wiring in the wall can cause a fire.
You can prevent electrical fires in the home by following a few safety tips. When purchasing a used heating appliance, make sure the temperature switch will shut down the equipment if the thermostat fails. When doing duct work, make sure you use a licensed professional. Anywhere there is an electric current, there is a chance of a fire. By the time you see or smell smoke, the electrical fire may already be out of control. SERVPRO of Gateway wants you to stay safe and take action immediately to repair and replace faulty wiring in your home to reduce the risk of an unwarranted situation. Know the signs before the fire even starts. Call 1-800-933-7179
24 Emergency Response
SERVPRO of Gateway provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster. We can respond to your emergency needs and have expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs.
- 24-Hour Emergency Service
- Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
- Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
- A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
- Locally Owned and Operated
- Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment
Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 1-800-933-7179
Flooding in Businesses
Floods rank as one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether you live near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, out in the country, or even in the desert, there is potential for flooding. Anywhere it can rain, it can flood.
A variety of events can cause flooding, like: heavy rains, when ocean waves come onshore, if snow melts too fast, or when dams or levees break. A flooding event may occur over a long period and could last days, weeks, or longer.
The most dangerous type of flood, a flash flood, happens quickly with little or no warnings. Flash floods are the top weather-related killer in the U.S. since they can roll boulders, tear out trees and destroy buildings of low-lying areas in less than six hours, caused by intense rainfall from a thunderstorm or several thunderstorms.
At least 25% of the business that close after an event like a flood never reopen their doors. As little as one-inch of water can cause costly damage to your property. That's where we are here to help to keep businesses in business.
Spring will soon be here.
We want to give you a few tips before the impending spring rains hit. As the temperatures climb and you just have to get outside to enjoy the warmer weather, make your first venture out a productive one.
Take a look at your Roof to see if you have any shingles missing or other damages the winter winds may have caused. Don’t forget to clean the Gutters while you are on the ladder. How about those underground or exterior Drains?
The winter could have wreaked havoc on your Siding or the exterior Paint. Because of the mountainous terrain most of us have basements so check for Cracks in the Block or Foundation. Remember to check the Caulking around doors and windows.
If you have managed to survive the winter without water entering your House or Business, make it a point to keep them dry this spring and summer too.
Safety 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.
For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact your local SERVPRO Of Western Lake 1-800-933-7179
Removal of Soot
Whether you operate a single facility or hundreds of commercial properties nationwide, a fire damage requires prompt action to reduce losses and costly down time. Who can you trust to provide dependable services and information?
Soot Removal. Our technicians are highly trained and certified in smoke and soot removal. Pictured is our Fire Damage Supervisor using a special sponge designed to pull smoke and soot off surfaces. This is the dry cleaning portion of removal. Next, depending on the surface (paint/wood/fabric type) we would wet clean the surface using SERVPRO grade chemicals. For the rest of the space odor removal and air purification systems would be put in place.
Our technicians respond quickly, providing a full line of cleaning and mitigation services to help ensure faster recovery. We utilize technology designed specifically to provide you and your insurance company with quick. dependable information necessary to make more informed decisions faster, saving both time and money.