Recent Fire Damage Posts
Below the smoke
When we think of a home or business fire, we may have a huge misconception on time. Fires are extremely fast, elevating from minor to catastrophic in minutes. It is important to know the basic steps to take when you find yourself with seconds to spare. Most home and business fires originate in one of four situations, the first being cooking. Without knowing how to properly distinguish flames, they can quickly spread. The second, Heating. Improperly used heating items can cause disaster. The third cause being electrical, such as over used extension cords. Finally and the most avoidable of all fires are cigarettes and candles that are not extinguished or being monitored. The most important step to take when a fire erupts is to GET OUT! Get as far away from the flames as possible and keep low to the ground. Shut doors behind you to stop the spread of the fire. Be sure everyone is out safely and never go back inside. Fires are swift and volatile. SERVPRO has the skill and experience to get you back on your feet, faster.
Ahead of the Flame
Home and business fires can be a difficult and life changing event to deal with. Irreplaceable items may be lost forever within a matter of minutes. The first and most important step to avoid these situations is to prevent them from happening at all. Not all fires are foreseeable but there are a few helpful steps to take to avoid disaster. Always test your smoke detectors and have them placed in a pathway that leads to an exit. Inspect your source of heat and be sure it is up to code. Keep laundry lint traps cleared and have your ducts cleaned periodically to prevent dryer fires. Never leave a candle burning without a proper base beneath it and never leave it unattended. Maintain your cords and never over use an outlet. These simple and effective steps can help keep your family safe.
Ashes to Ashes
The after effects of a home or office fire can be traumatic and lasting. Personal items and family heirlooms can be lost forever, along with the feeling of safety in your home. It is imperative to know the steps to take after the fire has been extinguished in order to prevent further problems.
Step One: Entering your home after a fire can be devastating. Be sure you have contacted Fire Department Officials to have validation the scene is safe.
Step Two: Contact your utility providers and let them know there has been a fire at your residence and to cease operations until further notice
Step Three: Contact your Homeowners insurance to begin the process of filing your claim. The sooner the better!
Step Four: Obtain a copy of the 'Fire Report' which should be made available form the responding Fire Department.
Step Five: Document losses. Take photo evidence that can be used for your insurance claim.
Step Six: Remove all valuable items and documentation. Contact your local Police department and let them know your location will be vacant pending repairs.
Step Seven: Contact SERVPRO. We will be there from start to finish to ensure your home is handled with care and brought back to its former glory.
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.
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 of Lake Geneva is here to give you tips to keep safe and will always be there when things go wrong.
Lake Geneva Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Lake Geneva 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 Lake Geneva 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 – (262) 248-7588