Recent Fire Damage Posts
Backyard Fire Pit Safety Tips for 2022!
Here in Wisconsin it's a tradition to enjoy the cooler nights outside around a homemade fire pit! Many of us are looking forward to spending time gathering around them to enjoy time with family and friends. Before you start dreaming of moonlit nights and toasted marshmallows, take a moment to check out some of these tips on fire pit safety:
Backyard Fire Pit Safety Tips:
- Whether you prefer a built-in or portable fire pit, choose one that is not too large for the area. The pit should be a minimum of 10 feet away from any structures or combustible materials as well as away from trees, fences, sheds, power lines, and telephone wires.
- Make sure that the seating area is large enough and properly placed for comfort and ventilation.
- Check wind direction before lighting a fire.
- Don’t use flammable fluids (gasoline, lighter fluid, etc.) to light or relight fires.
- To start the fire, use a lighter to ignite crumpled pieces of paper covered with small sticks. Then, add larger sticks and a log or two to keep it burning.
- Burn only dry material. Damp material will create excess smoke.
- Don’t wear flammable clothing (like nylon) or any loose-fitting clothing.
- Never leave the fire unattended, and keep pets and children far away from the fire as they will be attracted to it.
- Keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose, or bucket of water nearby.
- As the fire dies down, use a shovel and spread out the ashes to allow them to cool down. Then slowly pour water over those ashes and watch them closely to be sure that no burning embers remain or reignite. Put the cooled ashes in a specially designated ash storage metal can.
Keep these tips in mind during your s'mores night so that the only fire you have to put out is the one around the pit.
The Smoke Cleanup Process
Few smells linger like the odor of smoke. Even if a fire in your home only affects part of the structure, smoke damage can permeate the entire house. Fire remediation experts remove smoke and soot after they have secured the area and extracted anything damaged by the fire and the water used to put it out. They may use several techniques to do so.
Regular washing may not get rid of the total smell left behind by smoke. Many of the items that need odor removal can be handled by dry cleaning:
- Furniture covers
When you wash smoke-infused clothing in a washer, there is an extended period of time where the clothes are sitting in smoky water. The smell can also get trapped in the machine itself. Dry cleaners often have special oxidation processes for getting soot damage out of textiles.
Many professionals use industrial foggers to rid homes of smoke damage after a fire. A fogger is helpful because it gets the smoke out of cracks and crevices in a similar way to the process it underwent during the fire. Chemicals are heated to produce fog that permeates porous surfaces, traps smoke particles and neutralizes them. Once the fogger has completed its job, the air is usually noticeably cleaner.
Another smoke cleaning method is the use of ozone machines. These devices create a similar atmosphere to the outside air after a thunderstorm. By releasing ozone particles into the air, the area gets refreshed. Soon, the clean air replaces the sooty, stale air, making your home smell clean and normal again.
A fire in your home will likely cause extensive smoke damage not only to items within your home but to the structure itself. Professional technicians can clean the damaged area and employ various methods to get rid of the smoke odors.
The Living Room
Take a look at your living room. You may not think of the living room as a place where home fires are likely to start. It depends on how your family uses this area of your home. The biggest danger is usually the fireplace. Properly attended and maintained, a fireplace is safe to use. However, you’ll need to follow these rules:
- Only burn firewood that is properly seasoned
- Never ever use combustible or flammable liquids to start or maintain a fire
- Never leave your fireplace unattended
- Inspect and sweep your chimney
- Watch out for “popping” sparks
You should always be aware of other hazards. Use candles safely. Never leave them unattended and extinguish them all when you go to leave your house or go to bed. Regularly inspect electrical cords to make sure they aren’t frayed or damaged.
The Kitchen is one of the Most Common Places for a Fire
The heart of the home, kitchens are also the most common spot in the house for fires to start. Specifically, unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires and fire-related injuries.
These man-made fires are also easily preventable: Keep an eye on the stove, oven, and other appliances like toaster ovens, and move combustible items away from the stove. Never leave the kitchen when you’re working with high heat during preparations like frying, boiling, or broiling—fires need only seconds to go from a small flame to an out-of-control blaze.
A few more tips for safe cooking:
- If someone else can’t watch things while you step away for a bathroom break or to help the kids, turn off the cooking appliance while you’re in the other room.
- Turn off the stove and all appliances once you’re done cooking.
- Keep everything off hot surfaces. Pay close attention to where you set dish towels or hot pads. Designate a spot, like a hook, to practice putting them back between each use.
- Careful with what you are wearing to prevent singeing you clothing.
- Do not heat your home with your oven.
- Keep a Fire extinguisher handy in case of fire. Water will only spread oil or grease and feed the flames.
Clogged vents, ducts, and filters are the primary causes of dryer fires. Usually, this is a result of a buildup of lint, but can certainly be caused by an accumulation of dirt, grass, or anything else that remains after the washing process.
In addition to the lint filter, the outside vent can also become clogged, which prevents airflow and potentially leads to hazardous conditions. Again, this could be a result of lint making its way through the duct and collecting on the screen. However, it can also become obstructed by pesky birds, insect nests, or rodent nests.
How to prevent dryer fires:
1. Make sure it's properly installed
2. Clean lint screen after each use
3. Clean the vent and duct
4. Replace ducts
5. Have your dryer routinely inspected
6. Make sure you are using your dryer correctly
Common Fire Hazards In Your Home
We all know about the traditional fire hazards in our lives. Unattended stoves, candles, grills, and many more that we are careful with every day. But for every traditional fire hazard you know about, there’s most likely an unusual fire hazard nearby that you might not have ever heard of. A lot of these hazards are not typically causes of fire. However, when not cleaned properly or in long stretches of time, they can become a real threat to your home. So it’s important to know what they are ahead of time so you can properly maintain them. Reader’s Digest has a list of these unique fire hazards to help you be on the lookout;
- Toaster ovens
- Pests and critters
- Bathroom exhaust fans
- Air conditioners
- Range hoods
- Overgrown trees and shrubbery
- Dryer vents
- Unwashed rags
Any of these items or appliances can end up doing massive damage to your home if they are not properly cleaned or maintained. And because they’re not traditional sources of fire, it can be easy to overlook them and their upkeep. So do yourself a favor and make sure you do some simple regular maintenance to protect your home and family from unexpected fires.
As always, if disaster strikes, SERVPRO of Rock County is always here for you. We can be reached 24/7 at (608)-754-7202
Emergency Plan of Action
Fires can occur with little warning, and even less time to react. It is important to have a preplanned evacuation in place before the event of a fire. Whether in your home or business, an evacuation plan is essential.
Fire safety and evacuation plans include:
- A clear passageway to all escape routes.
- Clearly marked escape routes that are as short and direct as possible.
- Enough exits and routes for all people to escape.
- Emergency doors that open quickly and easily.
- Emergency lighting where needed.
- Training for all employees to know and use the escape routes.
- a safe meeting point for staff and family
These are only a few of the steps needed in preparation of a fire event. SERVPRO has the tools needed to help repair fire and smoke damages to your home and property. Call us today. 608-754-7202
Do you need Board-up Services?
Did you know SERVPRO of Rock County offers Board-up services to your home and/or commercial space. In the event you need to get your property secured in a timely manner to make sure your belongings are protected from further damage and or people trying to get into the property.
- In a commercial setting, there may still be viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale, but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.
- You want to protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition.
- You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out to prevent additional damage. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.
- You want to limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.
If you have a fire, water, mold or biohazard disaster gives SERVPRO of Rock County a call today at (608) 754-7202. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Soot and Cinder Wall Cleanup
When a fire erupts inside your home or business, every surface within your home can be subjected to damages. Toxic fumes can travel into the smallest corners of your space, contaminating everything in its path. Smoke residue can cling to hard and soft surfaces and it is important to have the location thoroughly sanitized. Soot and ash can cover your walls leaving behind a dark and dirty layer of material that will need to be properly removed. SERVPRO technicians have the experience and tools required to begin the restoration process as quickly as possible, reducing the length of time it takes to repair and restore your space. We are available 24 hours a day to answer your call and any questions you may have about the restoration process of your property. Call us today!
After the Blaze: Fire Damage Repair
When a fire damages your home or business there will be many steps needed to restore your space to make it inhabitable again. Carpets, clothing, ceilings and floors will all be needing a deep cleaning and sanitation to be deemed safe for your family or employees. When materials within your home or business come into contact with high temperatures, toxic smoke is released into the air and will cling to almost any surface. Household cleaning products will not be able potent enough to deal with the lasting and deep set smoke that has damaged your home. It is important to seek the help of qualified professionals to be sure all materials have been properly decontaminated and are made safe. SERVPRO is available 7 days a week to answer your call for help.
Toxic After Effects of Fire Damages
A fire that occurs in your home and business can cause a seemingly never ending list of issues that you will need to address to fully repair the damages. When materials in your home melt and become warped from the high heat of the flames, toxic fumes are released in the air which can cause immediate damage to your lungs. Poisonous reside can be left behind on the surfaces within your home, transferring contamination and increasing the possibility of getting you or your loved ones sick. It is important to have the toxic materials in your home safely and properly removed. SERVPRO's team of highly trained professionals are available to help you in your worst of times to help resolve the damages of property loss and get you back on your feet faster.
Fire Hazards After the Holidays
Now that we are all officially in the year 2021, its time to remove those twinkling lights and take down the Christmas Tree. Holiday decorations pose a unique danger, setting up a scene for disaster if one is not careful. If your tree has dried from infrequent watering, you have an extremely high risk of an in home fire of occurring. Pine trees that have little to no moisture left in its branches it becomes nothing short of kindling. High temperatures from holiday lights can ignite a flame in the matter of seconds and you could potentially be facing a destructive fire in less than a minutes time. It is important to have a fire extinguisher in your home and a plan of action for your family to follow in the case of an in home fire. Following these simple steps could prove to be life saving. SERVPRO is always here to help you get back on your feet.
Hvac Cleaning After Fire
When a fire ignites inside your home or business, your HVAC system will need to be completely cleaned, even if it had been switched off during the event. Smoke and soot infiltrate even the smallest access points and can leave a dangerous and toxic residue behind. Breathing in harmful smoke or soot can cause lasting health effects. Smoke is corrosive and debris will be absorbed into the Hvac system as soon as smoke enters the duct. It is essential to have your home properly cleaned before living or working in the damaged space. SERVPRO has the equipment and expertise to handle all aspects of fire and smoke damage in your home. We have the ability to complete the work from beginning to end ensuring your space will be safe and fully cleaned. Call us today!
Trash or Treasure: What to Keep and Toss After a Fire
Sorting out ruined items after a fire can be time consuming and disappointing. Items in your home or business that come into contact with smoke or soot can permanently destroy even your most precious of property. Having your items properly cleaned after contact with toxic materials is essential in restoring and preserving them. Food must be discarded as they will have become inedible and can potentially cause poisoning. Disinfecting items that were untouched is an important step in restoration after a fire. SERVPRO has the equipment needed and expertise required to restore all possible items, while removing all contaminated remnants. We are always available to answer your call and any questions you may have and can help you with your restoration project from beginning to end.
Prepare For Fire Damage
The most efficient way to avoid fire damages is to avoid having a fire. Simple concept, but when you consider how many heating sources that are located in your home, you may think twice. First and above all else, it is essential to have your fire alarms maintained and batteries checked regularly. Having your fire alarms located outside of bedrooms and leading a path to a safe exit from the home is a life saving technique. Smoke can hinder your ability to see, having fire alarms strategically placed helps guide you to safety with sound. Maintain all heating sources in your home (heaters, outlets, etc) and have them checked regularly. Lastly, never leave an open flame unattended. Kitchen fires caused by food left to cook alone, or candles that were lit and forgotten are two of the leading causes of in home fire. Taking the proper steps and paying attention can save you thousands of dollars, if not your life!
A common misconception when dealing with the aftermath of a fire is that once the fire has been extinguished the threat is over. Unfortunately that is far from the truth. The fact of the matter is that anything that was in proximity to the fire, more than likely retained smoke damage. Toxins can attach themselves to any surface. When a fire occurs in your home, the materials it is burning, releases these toxins into the air, which then get absorbed into the surrounding areas. SERVPRO has the tools and techniques to fully sanitize your home of these pollutants. Using state of the art equipment, paired with decades of experience, your smoke and fire damages will be tended to and repaired completely and correctly. Give us a call today with any questions you may have. With SERVPRO you are in good hands.
Fire in the Dryer
Are your clothes not getting completely dry? Is there a musty smell that was never there before? Is your dryer extremely hot to the touch when it is running? These may all be warning signals that it is high time you have your dryer properly cleaned. Fires from blocked ventilation are extremely dangerous and have the ability to cause thousands in repairs. There are simple steps you can take to prevent this from occurring. Always keep your lint trap free of all debris and have it emptied after every drying cycle. Particles of dust and lint may be pushed back through the hose, inaccessible to reach and extremely dangerous to ignore. Our team at SERVPRO have the necessary tools needed to safely remove all lint and get your ventilation back to working order. Give us a call today!
Ignition to Inferno: Fire Prevention
Fire damages are some of the most destructive and complicated causes of property loss. From the fire itself, to the toxic fumes it releases, the clean up can be extensive and time consuming. Always take the proper steps to avoid property loss from fire. Having a comprehensive and detailed plan of action constructed before disaster strikes allows all involved to know the proper steps to take. Having smoke detectors located on a path to a safe exit are crucial. Smoke may obscure your vision and you may need to rely solely on the sound of the alarm to find a safe way out. Conducting routine fire drills better prepares those located in a business setting the proper procedure to follow. Using fire retardant materials on the interior of your building also helps prevent further damages. Be sure to have these simple steps in place to make recovery a less stressful event.
Electrical Fire Prevention
With cold weather on its way, we may be bringing out our trusted old heated blankets or space heaters. Not so fast. There are a few things you should consider before plugging in those used electrical items. Are there signs of distress? Such as discoloration on the cord? Are there signs of fraying? Always be sure to check before use. If any electrical item omits an unusual order discontinue use. Replace any outdated items, such as lamps that have cloth covered cords. They do not meet today's standards and pose a serious risk. Always be sure to change the batteries in your smoke detector and be sure they are in proper working condition. Smoke detectors should be replaced , at a minimum, every 10 years. These simple steps can keep you, your family and your home out of harms way.
Toss it in the trash: Items to remove after a fire
There are an innumerable amount of items, big and small, that get the brunt end of fire damage. But there are also items you may be unsure about. Canned food that has been exposed to heat may been safe, but its quite the opposite. Having been exposed to heat, bacteria had the opportunity to grow and amplify. Discard any perishable and non perishable food items in your home. The smoke and toxic chemicals may have tainted its quality. It is better to be safe than sorry. Cosmetics and medications follow closely behind. Having the ability to absorb toxins from the air, it is important to discard these items. Most obviously is to remove and discard any items that have been directly burned or has the remnants of soot. Nothing is worth risking your health.
In a Cloud of Smoke.
Fire damage to your home or business bring with it disastrous results. Structural damage, lost property and the emotional trauma that follows can be difficult to recover from immediately. As much as we are aware of the destruction that fire causes, smoke is just as deadly,if not more so. If a fire occurs while you are asleep, smoke can be a fatal element. Not all items are lost in home and business fires. Some rooms may be completely decimated, while others remain relatively untouched. It is important to be aware of the hidden dangers of items effects by smoke. When a fire occurs, a toxic mix of chemicals are released from burning items. It is important to inspect your remaining furniture and have them properly cleaned before reuse. Our team at SERVPRO are ready for the call. Our crew of experts have extensive training and expertise to clean and reconstruct the damaging effects, to get you back on your feet, faster.
Shut The Door!
A recent study has discovered that a closed door can save your life. In the unfortunate occurrence of a home fire, it has now been proven that, other than fire alarms, a closed door is essential. Within minutes of a fire located on a lower level, toxic fumes and suffocating smoke will have already made their way to the upper most rooms, stealing precious lifesaving minutes. A closed door acts as a shield between you and the damage raging outside. It also allows you time to formulate an escape plan, or if trapped, for rescue efforts to reach your location. A basic house fire can reach upwards of 1,100 degrees but by having your door remain closed prevents the atmospheric temperate of rising above 110 degrees. Hot, but survivable. By choosing this one simple step for your daily routine could be a lifesaving method that’s as simple as shutting the door.
As always, SERVPRO is here to give you tips to keep safe and will always be there when things go wrong.
Freeze Fire in Its Tracks: Fire Prevention During Winter
There’s nothing like staying warm through a bitter cold evening in Wisconsin. The whipping wind is notorious for its ability to steal your breath away in a matter of moments. Heat is essential and our only defense during the coldest months of the year. December, January and February bring the harshest wrath. As we are in the grips of a record cold forecast ahead of us, listed below are preventative measures and tips to keep in mind to prevent your home from going up in smoke.
Side effects of heating sources: Carbon Monoxide is a silent and invisible threat to every member of your home. It is an odorless and colorless gas that is commonly omitted from cooking equipment and heating appliances. Be sure to have proper ventilation and to have your equipment up to date to prevent the possibility of exposure to the poison. Having a CO reader in your home is an essential tool as well, as it detects the threat immediately.
Mood lighting: Candles are a common threat statistically in the winter months. Never leave a candle lit for more than 4 hours at a time. Supervision of any lit candle is advised at all times.
It’s electric: Electrical units are a leading cause of home fires in the United States. Lighting equipment, washer/dryer fans and space heaters are typically the culprit in these incidents. Following instructions and turning units off when unused is a preventative measure to take to avoid disaster. Never use any heating source unsupervised.
To avoid disaster this winter use these helpful tips to remain safe and cozy during the cold dark days.
Grease Lightning: Fires in the kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of the home. It is a universal meeting point to converse while rummaging for a snack and is an essential part of any household. So it should be no wonder to know that nearly 41 percent of fires originate in the kitchen area. Multiple factors can play into the dangers of in home fires, many of which we overlook. We will be going through a list of steps to take when confronted with a grease fire and how to practice the proper techniques to either get the fire under control, or remove yourself to seek help.
Once a fire ignites:
- The most immediate approach you can take is to smother the flames with a cooking lid or cookie sheet. Leave on flame until it has been extinguished and the surface has cooled.
- Immediately turn off the heat source
- Baking Soda or Salt are the only two kitchen ingredients to be used when putting out a grease fire. Never use flour or any other substance to extinguish flames as they can make the fire worse.
- If all else has failed and the fire is still manageable, use a fire extinguisher to control situation.
NEVER USE WATER TO PUT OUT GREASE FIRE FLAMES. Do not attempt to move burning items outside.
If all else fails:
- If you cannot get the flames smothered it is imperative to immediately vacate the home and seek help. Kitchen fires can spread very quickly leaving you vulnerable and reduces your points of exit.
- Close all doors behind you as you leave as it can help contain the spread of the flames.
- Call 911 immediately from a safe distance.
- Never under any circumstances reenter your home while fire is in progress.
- Always have a current evacuation plan composed for your family to know which route is best to safely leave in the case of an emergency.
Home fire loss makes for a long process of recovery as well as the possibility of losing precious items that cannot be replaced. These simple steps and help you prevent disaster from striking and keep your family safe.
Smoke and Soot Clean up in your South Rock County Home
Smoke and Soot damage can cause a pervasive odor in your South Rock County 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 Rock 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?
Call Us Today – (608) 563-5067