Recent Fire Damage Posts
Let us handle the fire damage
Fires inside the home can be a terrifying ordeal. Flames, smoke, and ash can destroy many of your personal belongings and can also damage floors, carpets, and furniture inside the house. Once firefighters extinguish fires, dirt, debris, and strong smoke odors can remain inside the structure. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster, which is why calling us can be helpful.
SERVPRO of Gateway professional fire damage teams in Cuyahoga County are certified and can restore your house if possible. The techs may employ fans, and top-grade air scrubbing and fogging equipment to eliminate heavy smoke odors fast. Plus, the crew can use industrial cleaning products to remove ash, soot, and debris from the affected surfaces such as your ceilings, counter-tops, walls, and floors. The team may also apply odor removal deodorants to remove smoke odors from materials affected by the flames such as upholstery, curtains, and carpeting.
In some cases, we may need to utilize portable ozone machine to get rid of offensive and lingering smoke odors. Ozone machines use activated oxygen to neutralize and eliminate strong smells and to purify the atmosphere inside the structure. If we employ this type of equipment, all occupants and any pets inside the structure must leave the house until the job is complete due to the strong chemicals. You can rely on us to make sure the air quality inside your home is safe when you return.
If necessary, the team can perform minor repairs to secure the structure such as boarding a window or door or covering and sealing a hole in the roof. Securing the home can help prevent human and wildlife intruders from invading your house. If significant repairs are necessary, SERVPRO we can do the repairs and restoration as well. The crew can also remove burned or charred contents from the structure like carpeting, tables, chairs, clothing, and drapes. The technicians can clean, sanitize and store any materials they remove from the house and keep them in a safe storage area on or off-site until the job is complete.
SERVPRO of Gateway offers fast and reliable fire damage restoration that can return your home to its preloss condition. Contact us at 216-575-1985 any time of the day or night. We are close by and here to help.
What to Do Until We Arrive During a Fire Damage
House fire damage
A fire can be devastating. It leaves behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems. Fire damages can affect ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need thorough professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until your local SERVPRO of Gateway arrives. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration:
- 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. n 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
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system
Call SERVPRO of Gateway at 216-575-1985, if you've had a fire or would like to know how we can help in the event you do.
Ways to Prevent Fire Damage Part 1
Soot covered walls after a Christmas Eve grease fire.
With the holidays behind us hopefully everyone has put up their Christmas decorations. As homeowners it is essential to be mindful of the presence of fire hazards and to minimize the possibility of them causing a structure fire. A good example is keeping around a severely dehydrated, and highly flammable Christmas tree too long. SERVPRO of Gateway has compiled the following prevention tips for some areas in your home to help keep you and your loved ones safe from possible fire hazards throughout the new year.
In the kitchen:
• Avoid leaving cooking food unattended. If a grease fire occurs, use baking soda to extinguish it. NEVER use water on a grease fire. You can smother the fire in the pan by starving it of oxygen by placing a lid over it. Always supervise children that are cooking and educate on the dangers of fire and cooking appliances.
• Be aware of where you leave pot holders, dish towels, aprons and any cooking utensils.
• Ensure that electrical appliances are far from sinks, flames or hot plates
• Invest in carbon monoxide detector if your home does not already have one if you use natural gas for heating and cooking.
In living areas & bedrooms:
• Make your home a smoke free environment if possible, or at least ensure that cigars, cigarettes, and pipes are properly extinguished prior to disposal as they may continue to burn and may reignite.
• Recycle and replace appliances with damaged electrical cords
• Avoid running electrical wires or cords under the weight of heavy furniture and rugs
• If you feel that you often have to unplug an appliance to plug in another because your outlet is overloaded, reconsider spacing out appliances to other outlets
• Be aware that clothing or draperies do not rest atop lighting such as desk lamps.
Take a moment from your day to check the areas in your home and see if there are any possible fire hazards.
Check out our next blog for fire safety prevention tips for your bathrooms and garage from SERVPRO of Gateway.
Ways to Prevent Fire Damage Part 2
Fire damaged bathroom after a Christmas Eve grease fire.
In our previous blog SERVPRO of Gateway covered some fire safety tips for the kitchen, living areas, and bedrooms. Here you’ll find more suggestions on locating possible fire hazards that exist in your home and reminders of how to keep you and your loved ones safe from structure fires.
In the bathroom:
• Ensure that proper care is taken when using candles in a restroom for deodorizing and that they are snuffed out before you leave
• Use appropriate incense plates or burners; do not leave cones or sticks lying on counters, shelving or windowsills
• Turn off hair styling irons before you walk away from it and invest in fire resistant holders
• Do not use, or charge, electronic devices near you while you are showering or bathing
• Before leaving home turn off any wax or oil potpourri pots
In the garage/storage:
• Chemicals such as fuels, solvents, cleaning agents, thinners, adhesives, and paints could ignite or explode due to improper storage. Make sure you take time to organize chemicals and to properly store them, preferably away from the house if possible. Dispose of anything that is damaged or leaking.
• Do not use stoves or barbecue grills inside the garage; you could not only start a fire, but also die from carbon monoxide inhalation
• If fire extinguishers are present in the home, ensure that everyone knows its location and how to use it. We also recommend having a fire plan in place.
Now, this is not a comprehensive list by any means, but these tips should be covered with family and/or roommates so that everyone understands where fire hazards exist for everyone’s safety and well-being. SERVPRO of Gateway hopes you never have to experience the effects of a fire loss where you live, but we are here to help if you ever need our services. Call us 24 hours a day at 216-575-1985
Home Fire Escape Plan
Every second counts during a fire. Fire experts agree, people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out.
In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared with an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical that everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing the escape plan. The following are a few steps to help you develop an emergency escape plan:
Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.
Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance from your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the meeting location on your escape plan. Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals. Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime. SERVPRO of Gateway wants you to stay safe and prepare now to ensure you are ready for any disaster.
Fire Damage Restoration Services
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 Gateway 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? Call SERVPRO of Gateway 216-575-1985
Dryer Vent Cleaning Importance
We all know to clean out the lint screen of our dryers, right? Did you know if you aren’t cleaning the lint out of the INSIDE and VENT of your dryer you are putting your family in danger of a house fire? Over time lint will build up and settle in the bottom of your dryer and in your dryer vent. If you don’t clean this out the heat from the dryer can ignite a fire inside your dryer. You know what the boy scouts say, “lint is the great to start a fire”.
Here is an experience from someone who recently had a fire in her dryer and was lucky enough it didn’t start her house on fire.
Counting our blessings today… Last night we smelled something "burning" right as we were going to bed. We thought it was our renters burning food or something in their oven. We had windows open and fans going but didn't really think much of it. Well this afternoon I went to get clothes out of the dryer, they smelled horrible!!! Like a cross between camp fire smoke and cigarette smoke. So I threw them back in the washer and told my husband. When he got home we pulled the bottom portion of the dryer off just to check things out. To our amazement (we haven't had this dryer THAT long - but bought it from someone else) there was burnt/singed lint everywhere. There had been a lint fire inside the bottom of our dryer last night. Our house seriously could have caught on fire. I'm so glad it didn't. Hence - we are counting our blessings today and I am spreading the word to all that you should go clean out under your lint catcher thing so your house doesn't start on fire!
Here are a few tips from www.familyhandyman.com on how to clean the lint out of your dryer.
Cleaning your dryer vents is so important when it comes to preventing fires. Call SERVPRO of Gateway today!
Protect your Pets from a Fire
Approximately 500,000 pets are affected by fires every year, according to the United States Fire Administration. Promote the safety of the people and animals in your home in the event of a fire emergency by planning ahead. From preventative caution to making an evacuation plan that includes pet safety, here are three pet preparation steps you can take today.
1. Avoid open flames. Cats or dogs may knock candles over or singe their tails in open flames. Try a flameless candle alternative instead. You should also consider the risk posed by knobs on a gas stove. If you leave your pets unconfined at home while you are away, you may want to block the kitchen entrance or install protective covers to prevent pets from accidentally turning on the gas.
2. Include pets in fire safety and evacuation plans. Prepare to safely evacuate pets along with the rest of your family in a fire emergency. Obtain and put up a front window cling to inform firefighters of the number and types of pets living in your home.
3. Gather pet records and supplies in a fire box. Store this box near an exterior door so that you can quickly grab all of these items during an evacuation. Make sure to include ownership and vaccination records as well as spare collars and leashes in case you need to control or restrain a frightened pet.
These simple steps can help you prevent fires and promote pet safety in the event of a fire emergency. You may also want to keep other home ownership or insurance records in a place where you can also easily find and take them in the event of an evacuation.
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.
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
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.