Recent Fire Damage Posts

What To Do Immediately After a House Fire

12/17/2018 (Permalink)

  1. Ask whether it is safe to enter the home. Do not enter if the fire department hasn't deemed it safe. 
  2. Know who to call.
    • Contact family members and let them know you are safe, and unharmed.
    • 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.
    • You may request SERVPRO at this time for contents cleaning, restoration etc. 
    • Another call may be to your landlord if applicable, and to your local American Red Cross. 
  3. Secure the property to prevent possible looting. We are available to assist with securing the property, including boarding up windows and doorways.  
  4. If the fire department used water to put out the fire, drying your home is critical. Water damage 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 fire damage cleanup, call SERVPRO of the Quad Cities at (256) 383-4470.

Heating Safety Tips

11/27/2018 (Permalink)

Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths. Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. Some simple steps from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) can prevent most heating-related fires from happening.

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

Thanksgiving Safety

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

For most, the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays. From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations.

So keeping fire safety top of mind in the kitchen during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there’s a lot of activity and people at home. As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large family feast, remember, by following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safer from fire.

Thanksgiving by the numbers
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, and the day before Thanksgiving.
  • In 2016, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,570 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
  • Cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths.  
Safety tips
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Source: NFPA's Fire Analysis & Research Division

Potential Fire Hazards in Your Home

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

A fire can cause devastating damage your home. It’s important to take extra precautions to avoid fire hazards before they cause damage. Often, fires are caused by something that we’ve completely overlooked. Here are a few fire hazards you should look for in your home.  

Faulty Wiring

Over 80% of residential electrical fires are a result of faulty wiring behind your walls. Winter months are the most dangerous due to increased usage of lighting and heating appliances. Replace frayed wires and have flickering or hot light switches inspected by an electrician. New infrared technology is available that can determine if there are potential wiring hazards behind your walls.

Cluttered Heating and Storage Areas

Storing too many things in your utility room and around your heating system, boiler, or hot water heater is not a great idea. Investing in exterior storage could prevent a fire in your home.

Overloaded Extension Cords

Extension cords are not permanent outlets. Overloading an extension cord can cause overheating and put your entire home at risk of a fire. Regularly check your extension cords to make sure they are not damaged or broken. Stop using an extension cord immediately if it feels unusually hot.

Dryer Vents

If you notice that your clothes are taking longer than usual to dry it could be a sign that your dryer vent and pipe need servicing. A blocked dryer vent can cause a fire as the hot air attempts to escape. Clean your dryer vents annually and replace the dryer hose.

Electric Blankets

An electric blanket can be cozy in the wintertime, but they are also a fire hazard if left unattended for too long. Make sure your electric blankets are turned off when not in use and do not leave them around pets.

Safe Alternatives for Candles

8/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Safe Alternatives for Candles Keep candles at least a foot away from anything that can burn

Candles are a common but dangerous household item. According to Alder Home Security, candles are the fourth leading cause of house fires. The National Fire Protection Association reported that there is a report of a candle fire 24 times per day, with about one-third of them beginning in bedrooms. And, around the December holidays, be especially aware if a candle is lit - fires caused by candles spike during the winter season. To safely scent your home in Florence, AL check out the following three candle alternatives. 

1. Flameless Candles

Battery-operated flameless candles are a great option for areas of your home that are often vacant, such as hallways, guest rooms and bathrooms. They are often made with scented wax to smell like an authentic candle and flicker as if they were lit with a real flame. Leaving candles unattended or forgetting to blow them out are two of the reasons for 85 percent of fires, according to the National Candle Association, and flame-free candles can be a preventative measure. 

2. Luminaries

If you’re looking for an option that looks different than a traditional candle, picking up a flameless luminary is a way to go. It’s made up of a decorated shade, and some brands allow you to choose between different scents. As an added bonus, some types shut off after four hours so you don’t have to remember to turn them off. 

3. Candle Warmers

For those who enjoy the look and smell of an authentic candle, candle warmers make great lit candle alternatives. The lamp heats the wax from the candle by warming the top to release its scent. The lamps come in multiple designs and can hold most 22-ounce candles. You may be able to purchase scented candles with or without a wick, or you can heat your own. 

Candle alternatives are excellent additions to homes to prevent candle-related fires. These options can still provide the look, smell and cozy atmospheres in your home that traditional candles provide – without the risk. 

When Fire Damage to Your Home Needs Reconstruction

8/23/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage When Fire Damage to Your Home Needs Reconstruction SERVPRO responded to this emergency fire and handled the demolition, mitigation, and construction needs for this customer from start to finish!

Our SERVPRO Team Works Hard to Make the Fire Damage Cleanup Process as Easy as Possible for You and Your Family!

There is no easy way to contend with a fire to your Florence home. For many people who have experienced this disaster, the effect on the structure of your home can be overwhelming to see. When it comes to restoring the damages to your home and to reconstruct the weakened portions of your residence following the fire, professional restoration services are more than just highly recommended. 

Your Florence home might show its fire damage in several different ways, but the most pressing of any of these issues are the ones that threaten the structural integrity of your home. These issues must be resolved before any of the other problems from the fire, as these make your home unsafe to live in. Fortunately, our SERVPRO technicians get trained in all aspects of fire restoration for houses, including preparation techniques for reconstruction. 

The entire process begins with a thorough inspection completed by our experienced SERVPRO professionals. This inspection determines the farthest reaches of the damage from the fire, our approach to restoring the damage from the fire that trouble you and your family, and lastly to assess what areas of your home must get reconstructed or rebuilt to have the structural integrity it once had. 

While no one wants to hear that parts of their home must get rebuilt to be safe to live in, our technicians work to make this process as fast and simple as possible for you. Our team utilizes our training in controlled demolition to remove the highly damaged portions of your home and ready these areas for new materials. 

It is never an easy thing to deal with the effects of a fire, especially when reconstruction is a requirement, but SERVPRO of the Quad Cities can make this process as easy as it can be. We can restore all of the damage to your home and recontruct the areas with the worst damage. Our emergency response team is available anytime you need us by calling (256) 383-4470.

Click here for information on the Florence Fire Department.

Ten Fire Safety Tips

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

With the Christmas holiday upon us, now is a good time to review some fire safety tips to help you and your family stay safe while celebrating the holiday.  Some simple prevention steps can aid in helping you prevent a fire in your home.

1. Watch your cooking - Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Never allow young children around the stove or oven, especially if they are not closely attended.

2. Give space heaters space - Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.

3. Smoke outside - If you must smoke inside, have a sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.

4. Keep matches and lighters out of reach - Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.

5. Inspect electrical cords - Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have bro- ken plugs or have loose connections.

6. Be careful when using candles - Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.

7. Have a fire escape plan - Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.

8. Install smoke alarms - Install alarms on every level of your office or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.

9. Test smoke alarms - Test alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year or as needed.

10. Install sprinklers - Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance of saving your property.

Christmas Tree Safety Tips

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Christmas Tree Safety Tips As you deck the halls this holiday season, be fire smart. A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly.

Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) show the holidays are a high-risk time for home fires. Christmas trees are responsible for 240 home fires each year, and other holiday decorations are the cause of another 1,170 fires.

Here are some tips to keep your home safe this holiday season: 

•Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree.

•Keep trees at least three feet away from major sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, and direct sunlight). Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process.

•Use lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights, to reduce drying of the tree.

•Always inspect light sets before placing them on the tree. If worn, replace with a new set.

•Do not overload electrical circuits.

•Always turn off the tree lights when leaving the house or when going to bed.

•Monitor the tree for freshness. After Christmas or if the tree is dry, remove it from the house.

•Install and ensure smoke alarms work inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.

If you do have a fire, please refer to our Fire Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

Have Questions? Call Us Today – (256) 383-4470

Winter Fire Safety

11/22/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Winter Fire Safety We want you to stay warm and cozy this winter, but we also want you to stay safe.

It's getting a little chilly at night in Florence!  The winter season is just around the corner.  Homes fires occur more often by unattended candles, space heaters, wood stoves and fireplaces.  

At SERVPRO of the Quad Cities, we want to remind everyone to take simple steps to protect their homes and family from the danger of household hazards and heating equipment. Practicing the best fire safety is how you can be most prepared for unexpected disaster in the winter.

Here are some fire safety tips to prevent most heating related fires from happening:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Have your chimneys and vents checked. Fireplaces produce creosote which can ignite. If you light fires frequently, you need a chimney sweep service once a year. When you burn wood, make sure it's dry and seasoned so that it produces more flame and less smoke.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms. Make sure batteries are fresh. Place smoke alarms in the kitchen, laundry room and in bedrooms.
  • Beware of lit candles. Candles can set the mood for relaxation, and that's how they get forgotten or knocked over by kids or pets. Light candles only when you're around to watch them and blow them out when you're ready to leave the room.
  • Beware of space heaters. The name should give you a clue space heaters need space. Like fireplaces, people and pets should not be allowed to sit any closer than 3 feet.
  • Don't put space heaters near curtains, tablecloths or other fluttering fabrics. Make sure the space heaters you buy have automatic shut-offs before reaching dangerous temperatures.

If you have the unfortunate experience of fire or smoke damage in your home or business call SERVPRO of the Quad Cities.

Florence Smoke and Soot Cleanup

8/29/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Florence Smoke and Soot Cleanup Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Florence 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 the Quad Cities 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 – 256-383-4470

Repairing Your Property After A Fire

8/25/2017 (Permalink)

Has your home recently been damaged by fire? If so, you’re probably eager to get started cleaning up and restoring your home and belongings. Most people who suffer fire damage want their lives and their homes to return to normal as soon as possible. But many don’t know the costs. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to repair smoke and fire damage is $8,571.

Fire damage can make areas of your home unusable until the fire damage has been repaired. More extensive fire damage may make your entire home unsafe and you may have to live in temporary housing or with relatives until cleanup and repair work is completed.  No matter how minor or significant the fire damage restoration work is, you want to know how long it will take. The timeline depends on the restorative process and whether you take the opportunity to do remodeling at the same time.

Starting Fire Damage Repair Work 
It can be difficult to determine how and where to get started with fire damage repair work. The first step in the repair process is to remove water from the home if firefighters used water during the extinguishing process. Water extraction can be completed by the professionals from SERVPRO of the Quad Cities quickly and properly. We arrive in our green vehicles stocked with equipment and supplies to tackle any cleaning and restoration need you have. 

Other Things To Consider
SERVPRO of the Quad Cities can also suggest to you and your adjuster what items and materials are salvageable. Keep in mind that smoke damage can also be a problem.  Some items, such as carpeting and your HVAC system, may need to be professionally cleaned to remove the smoke odor from your home. 

Get Professional Help
Repairing your home after you have suffered fire damage is not something that you want to attempt on your own. A fire damage restoration project requires a considerable amount of time and energy to complete. SERVPRO can help you restore your property in minimal time with minimal costs. Our IICRC certified cleanup and restoration technicians have the skills and assets to do a quality job. We are a locally owned and operated water and fire damage repair franchise. 

Call SERVPRO of the Quad Cities at (256) 383-4470 Anytime

First Steps After Fire Damage

8/24/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage First Steps After Fire Damage Grease Fire

How do you clean up after fire damage?

First, consider your safety. Only stay in your fire damaged home if you know it’s safe. Remember that electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most common ways people get injured after a fire.

If putting the fire out has left lots of water on your property, avoid lifting wet materials. They could be much heavier than you think. When fire has damaged your property, some of the first steps you should take are:


What To Do After Fire Damage
•    Limit movement in your home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
•    Keep everyone’s hands clean so you don’t further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
•    Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
•    If your electricity is off, empty your freezer and refrigerator and prop the doors open.
•    Clean and protect chrome with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
•    Wash your houseplants on both sides of leaves.
•    Change your HVAC filter.
•    Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After Fire Damage
•    Don't try to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo your carpet or upholstery without contacting a professional. You may do more damage. 
•    Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
•    Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat, or water.
•    Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
•    Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Remember, we’re here to help. We are fire restoration contractors. Many people in the Florence/Muscle Shoals region have used our professional fire restoration services. So call SERVPRO of the Quad Cities anytime, 24/7 at 256-383-4470.  

Christmas Season Reminder

12/19/2016 (Permalink)

The holidays are in full swing as people are finishing up last minuet shopping for gifts and decorations are all around us. Here at SERVPRO of the Quad Cities want to make sure that everyone has a safe Holiday. We took some time to find some tips and tricks to keep your home and family safe. 

Water the Tree: 

If you have a live Christmas tree in your home if not taken care of can lead to a fire that can damage your home. Even small fires create smoke that can have lasting affects. 

- When you bring your tree home make sure you cut off the bottom of the tree to open the pours so the tree adsorbs the water properly. 

- Make sure the tree is not by any heaters or warm vents. 

- Fill the stand with water. This is something you will have to check every day and multiple times a day when you first bring it home. The tree can soak up to a gallon of water the first day. You want to make sure the level of water is never below the base. 

Keeping your family and home safe is our number one priority. 

What you can do until help arrives after a fire

7/11/2016 (Permalink)

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.
  • Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.

DO NOT:

  • Wash any walls or painted surfaces.
  • Shampoo carpet or upholstery.
  • Clean any electrical equipment.
  • Send clothing to dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

10 Fire Safety Tips

7/11/2016 (Permalink)

1. Watch your cooking - Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Never allow young children around the stove or oven, especially if they are not closely attended.

2. Give space heaters space - Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.

3. Smoke outside - If you must smoke inside, have a sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.

4. Keep matches and lighters out of reach - Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.

5. Inspect electrical cords - Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have bro- ken plugs or have loose connections.

6. Be careful when using candles - Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.

7. Have a fire escape plan - Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.

8. Install smoke alarms - Install alarms on every level of your office or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.

9. Test smoke alarms - Test alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year or as needed.

10. Install sprinklers - Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance of saving your property.