Recent Fire Damage Posts

Ask The Experts: What do I do if fire has destroyed my commercial business?

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial fire damage repair may not be something you think you will ever need for your business, but the unfortunate reality is some businesses will experience a fire damaging event. Fires can be caused by an electrical shortage from overloading an extension cord to a lightning strike. Especially common are cooking accidents in restaurants. As soon as the flames are extinguished by firefighters, you may begin to worry about what steps are required to resume business as usual. The best advice is to be prepared for this possible event and have a plan.

The Damage Caused by a Fire 
When you experience commercial fire damage to your business, you may reflect on the mess left behind in the charred ruins of the property. However, the damage you need to contend with will go far beyond the ashes. To repair the property entirely after experiencing a damaging fire, you will need to seek the help of a professional team like SERVPRO. Water may have to be extracted after the firefighters' efforts. The smoke damage may cause more of a problem that the burnt materials from the fire. While a fire may be contained in one area of the building, smoke can fill most or all of the areas, and it can cause significant damage and odors. Our trained Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technicians (FSRT) can resolve these issues. When smoke and water damage are dealt with appropriately, the structure will not show any aftereffects. "Like it never even happened."

A fire loss within your enterprise, whether a retail store, rental apartment building, professional office or a warehouse, costs you customer goodwill and loss of profitability when a business cannot be conducted. We can generate a corporate program called the Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS.) This report will categorize all affected materials, furniture and equipment, stock, electronics, and documents. We suggest what is salvageable, non-salvageable, or questionable. The final decision rests with you and your insurance company as to how we proceed. SERVPRO is a preferred commercial fire damage restoration company to more than 300 insurance companies, federal and municipal entities, and property management companies. We willingly coordinate efforts with your insurance adjuster to efficiently and economically restore your business in the best manner possible.

When to Make the Call 
After you have dealt with commercial fire damage, you may ask yourself when do you need to make the call to a professional for assistance. The time to contact SERVPRO as soon as the fire is out.

We are faster to any disaster and ready to put our expertise to work for you!  

Ask The Experts: The DO & DO NOT'S of Fire Damage

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

Once the fire department leaves, your home may suffer from water damage caused by firefighting efforts. We have the specialized fire and water damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment to handle fire and water damage and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire conditions. Below are some tips to protect you and your home after a fire. 

Do: 

  • Limit movement in your home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets. 
  • Keep your hands clean. Hands covered in soot can further damage upholstery, walls, and woodwork. 
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpeted areas. 
  • If electricity is off, empty your freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor. 
  • Wipe soot off of chrome on kitchen and 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. 
  • Wash both sides of leaves on houseplants. 
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave the system off until a trained professional can check the system. 
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop soot particles from getting in or out of the HVAC system. 

Don't: 

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of Tupelo. 
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water. 
  • Don't attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture. 
  • Don't eat any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water. 
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged or wet and can cause electric shock, and air movement can create secondary damage. 
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set a smoke odor.  

If disaster does strike, give SERVPRO a call! We are faster to any disaster and ready to make things "Like it never even happened."

Leading Cause of Home Fires? Read On To Find Out!

1/24/2021 (Permalink)

Do you know what the leading cause of home fires are in the United States?  Most fires in homes are caused by cooking.  The second most common fire cause is a faulty heating system.  An electrical malfunction is the third leading cause of fires.  Open flames in or around a home are the fourth leading cause.  Finally, intentional fires are the fifth leading cause of house fires.  Here are some fire statistics:

1.  The average number of residential fires each year is 374,000.

2.  The average number of deaths each year due to house fires is 2,600.

3.  The average number of injuries due to fire each year is 13,000.

4.  The average annual dollar lose due to residential fires is $7.32 billion.

In our next blog, we will go over some simple fire safety tips that everyone should be aware of in order to stay safe.  If a fire occurs in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Kosciusko & Noble Counties at (574) 306-4134.  We are always here to help!

What to do if fire strikes your business? Call SERVPRO of Kosciusko and Noble Counties!

1/24/2021 (Permalink)

Reduce Clutter in Your Office

Do you have a stack of papers lying in the corner of your office that is growing bigger every day? Clutter like papers, magazines, boxes, and other paper products in your office is fuel for a potential fire. Clutter not only provides fuel for a fire but it can also hide potential fire hazards. Try keeping your desk and office clean and free of clutter to reduce the risks of fire. Use file cabinets and drawers to store papers and documents. Store boxes in closets and storage areas rather in the corner of your office or blocking stairwells.

Safely Store Flammable Liquids and Chemicals

If you’re working with flammable liquids, chemicals, and/or solvents, make sure you store them in the proper area. Some flammable materials and chemicals may need to be stored in specialized cabinets according to local rules and regulations. For flammable liquids and materials that don’t require specialized storage, you still should ensure that they are stored away from any heat source. You also need to make sure that if the liquids or materials off-gas creating flammable vapors that you have proper ventilation. If you don’t have proper ventilation, the vapors can build up and ignite from a small spark like a light switch being flipped on or a plug being inserted into an outlet.

Designate a Smoking Area

If you have employees who smoke, designate an area where smoking is only allowed. It’s preferable that the area is located outside to reduce smoke odors in the business and fire risks from cigarettes that weren’t fully extinguished. You also need to make sure that you have a proper receptacle for employees to discard their extinguished cigarette butts. Also, make sure that the designated smoking area is away from flammable liquids and materials, as well as, landscaping that could fuel a fire like dried grasses, mulch, and dead leaves.

Report Electrical Problems

It’s important to let your employees know to report any electrical problems immediately before they result in a potential fire. This could be exposed wiring, frayed cords, faulty wiring, electrical equipment and sockets near water sources, etc. If you notice an electrical problem in your business, call an electrician to fix it if needed. Don’t try to fix any wiring issues yourself as this can also lead to an increased risk of fire due to inexperience and mistakes. It’s also important to keep access to electrical boxes clear so you can quickly cut the power to an area if there is a risk of fire.

Don’t Overload Electrical Outlets

One of the most common causes of fire in a business is an overloaded electrical outlet. An overloaded outlet can cause an increase of heat to the outlet, plugs, and wires. The heat can melt the insulation around the wires causing them to touch and cause sparks. The best scenario is that the circuit breaker flips before the wires short and cause sparks. If the circuit doesn’t flip off, then the heat and the sparks can quickly lead to an electrical fire. If you’re always tripping a circuit or notice your desktop lights dimming, then you might be overloading the outlet. To reduce the load, move some electronics to other outlets.

Be Smart & Be Safe

These are just a few tips that you can follow to reduce the risks of smoke and fire damage to your business. The best advice to keep your business safe from fire is to be smart and be aware. Use common sense when at your business. For instance, while some businesses allow scented candles to be burned by employees, it might be smart to not permit this. The same goes for space heaters. While you don’t want to be a mean business owner by prohibiting things like candles and space heaters, you also don’t want to increase the risk of fire occurring at your business. I think most workers will understand that safety is more important than convenience and comfort in these situations.

Contact the Fire & Smoke Damage Professionals if a Fire Does Occur

Hopefully, your business will never experiences a fire. Not only can a fire cause a lot of property damage, it can also lead to a lot of downtime and loss of revenue. If you should, unfortunately, experience a fire at your business, contact the fire and smoke damage experts at SERVPRO of Kosciusko & Noble Counties. They’ll be able to quickly clean up and restore any damage that has occurred to your business from fire. SERVPRO of Kosciusko & Noble Counties has the resources and expertise to handle any size disaster. Contact them today for fire damage restoration.   

Ask The Experts: What causes residential fires?

1/24/2021 (Permalink)

According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) The United States averages between 350,000 and 400,000 fires every year. That translates to an average of 39 – 46 fires every hour!  By knowing the most common ways a fire is started, a majority of these fires can be prevented.

Cooking Incidents

The leading cause of residential fires are incidents related to cooking. Cooking incidents actually make up about 42% of reported house fires in the country! For example, an oven or stove left on and unattended is a disaster waiting to strike.

Electrical

Electrical fires are another common type of home fires. One of the leading culprits is the over-use of extension cords. Extension cords are designed to safely pull a certain amount of amps, so make sure to read labels and know the limitations of the cord you are using. We recommend having an electrical inspection performed by a certified electrician at least once a year.

Unsupervised Children

Teaching children about fire safety is definitely something every parent should consider. It is extremely common for items such as lighter and matches to be left within reach of children who are not aware of the dangers of fire.

Smoking

Smoking is the source of many house fires and leads to almost 1,000 deaths a year. Lit cigarettes that have been left unattended, forgotten about can make contact with flammable items in your home and lead to a fire. Another common occurrence is smokers falling asleep while smoking in their home.  We recommend not smoking in your home or quitting altogether, however, if you choose to smoke in your home you should always make sure to extinguish your cigarette.

Candles

Candles should never be left unattended but oftentimes are. When leaving a room with a burning candle make sure to blow it out or take it along with you if necessary. Forgotten candles are very dangerous and can quickly lead to a fire disaster.

Dryers

Dryers are all too often forgotten!  It is important to remember to empty out your dryer vents and be certain that they are properly vented. Remember to maintain your dryer by cleaning the vents at least once a year.

When Disaster Strikes

There are many possible causes and contributors to residential fires. Being aware of the causes listed above will go a long way in helping to prevent fire damage or much worse in your home. In case of an emergency, please be sure to dial 911 to reach a local emergency responder. Also, keep in mind that SERVPRO of Kosciusko & Noble Counties performs excellent fire restoration services and is available 24/7 to take your call!

SERVPRO® of Kosciusko & Noble Counties is always here to help! Whether in Warsaw, Wabash, Syracuse, Huntington, Columbia City, Milford or surrounding areas, we are here to make it "Like it never even happened," for you!

Ask The Experts: Fire Alarms Save Lives

1/17/2021 (Permalink)

The fact is a fire alarm can save lives and every home should have more than one. That’s right houses are supposed to have more than one alarm. In order to better prepare yourself for a potential emergency, it is essential to know the answers to the most frequently asked smoke alarm questions.

1. How many smoke alarms do you need?

While people tend to concern themselves over the possibility of fire and smoke damage, they should be more concerned with the number of alarms in their homes. You should have a signal in every bedroom and outside of every bedroom. You should also have smoke alarms installed on every level of your home. Keep in mind that this is the minimum and that you may want to have more.

2. How often should you replace the batteries?

The general rule is that you should replace fire alarm batteries at least once a year. Granted, the instructions may state that the batteries have a longer shelf life, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.

3. When should you replace the smoke detector?

In order to provide the greatest defense against fire damage, you should replace your smoke detectors every 8 to 10 years. Obviously, this is dependent on the type of alarm and any guarantees. To keep track of the timeline, you can write the date of purchase on the alarm and even record it in a calendar app with a reminder to replace.

4. What type of smoke detector should you use?

While you can reach out to the fire department or a fire restoration company in the area to learn about the specific types of fire detectors, each can be put into two categories: ionized and photoelectric. Each one provides different strengths and weaknesses depending on the kind of fire and smoke, which is why you should have a mix of detectors in your home.

A fire alarm is a life-saving tool. Be sure to install them in your home today, for the safety of you and your loved ones.

SERVPRO Tips: After A Fire

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

After a fire, your primary focus should be safety! Things like...

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

What To Do After A Fire

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

So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and ready to make things "Like it never even happened."

Have A Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency? Call 574-306-4134!

Grease Fire on Stove: Smoke & Soot Damage

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

This Wisconsin home experienced a fire damage when a grease fire started on the stove.  The owner used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire but smoke and soot still traveled throughout the house.  They called SERVPRO of Kosciusko & Noble Counties to handle the fire and odor clean up.

When your home or business suffers fire damage, it can be especially devastating. In addition to the fire and smoke damage, your property may have substantial water damage from firefighting efforts. You may feel stressed and confused after such a disaster, and you’ll need a caring expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Kosciusko & Noble Counties has the specialized fire and water damage equipment and expertise to help you through this tough time.

We’ll treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Smoke & Soot Facts

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

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 Kosciusko & Noble Counties 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. We are faster to any disaster and when it comes to your property in Kosciusko & Noble County, we will make it "Like it never even happened."

Smoke and Soot Damage Remediation

10/28/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate nooks, crannies and 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.  Following are some facts about smoke and soot:

  • 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 leave different types of soot residue after a fire. 

  • Wet smoke is generated by a low heat, smoldering fire such as burning plastic or rubber. Wet smoke has a pungent odor and is typically sticky and smeary.  Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
  • Paper and wood fires produce a dry smoke.  This type of is a fire is fast burning and generates a high temperature.  Heat rises therefore the smoke rises and soot residue is usually heavy on ceilings and in attics.
  • A protein fire occurs from the intense burn of a protein-enriched fiber, such as eggs left unattended on a stove, or a forgotten roast in the oven. There may not be any noticeable damage, but there might be a sticky residue coating the surfaces of your home, and an extreme pungent odor.  

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  Before restoration begins, we will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred and the cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting.

SERVPRO of Kos justo & Noble Counties personnel have the training, equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damaged property.   We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with consideration and care.

Should you have any questions or want more information regarding Fire, Smoke and Soot Damage Remediation, contact us immediately at (574) 306-4134.  At SERVPRO, we work to make it “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Kosciusko & Noble Counties: Getting through fire damage!

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

Damage caused by a fire is devastating for your family and your home. It’s a stressful and confusing time, so you’ll need a caring expert to guide you through this crisis. Our professionals will always treat you with respect and empathy, and we’ll always treat your home and belongings with great care. We will do all that we can to get you to the point where it is "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Kosciusko & Noble Counties has the water and fire damage training and expertise to help you through this tough time. Once the fire department leaves, your home may suffer from water damage caused by firefighting efforts. We have the specialized fire and water damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment to handle fire and water damage and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition.