Recent Fire Damage Posts
Exposure To Soot Can Be Dangerous
Neglected pan on stove.
After facing a fire damage situation, some homeowners might think they can save some money by handling the cleanup themselves. But what many do not realize is that exposure to soot can be dangerous.
Soot is the fine black particles composed of carbon and produced by the incomplete combustion of coal, oil, wood, or other fuels. It can consist of toxic acids, chemicals, metals, soils, and dust. The toxic composition coupled with the fact that soot particles are extremely tiny is what makes it so dangerous. The airborne particles are virtually invisible so one can unknowingly be affected by inhalation or ingestion. It can travel into the lungs and bloodstream and has the potential to do serious damage.
So unfortunately, safety risks from a fire do not end once the fire is out. During the fire damage restoration process, it is important to have proper safety equipment and ventilation procedures to ensure the safety of those exposed. The SERVPRO of Abilene technicians have specialized fire damage training and expertise to handle the cleanup in a safe and effective manner. If you are faced with a fire damage situation, let the professionals do the work! Call us at (325)672-5661 and we can make it “Like it never even happened.”
Kitchen Fire at Local Home
Even a small kitchen fire can affect the entire house.
A few months ago, our SERVPRO of Abilene team responded to a fire at a local home. Luckily, the fire was contained to the proximity of the kitchen. When a fire takes place, the home is not just affected by the fire. There is also water damage from the sprinklers putting out the fire.
Our SERVPRO team goes in after the fire fighters have put out the fire and the damage has been done. Our team goes in and cleans all the contents and gets rid of the smell caused by the smoke. The remnants of smoke are much harder to get rid of than imaginable. Our team works very hard by cleaning the walls, then instructing the repair group to paint them with an oil-based paint. And lastly, adding a final coat.
Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and or old, outdated appliances. The following are the most common reasons why electrical fires happen:
- Old electrical sockets and unsafe appliances
Appliances that are old and overused and those that fall short of modern safety standards are the worst culprits. Frayed electrical cords, self-jointed wires, and worn out sockets that are not properly grounded are major causes of fires. They become ready outlets for directing heat and fire to carpets, rugs, curtains and combustible plastic. Older appliances draw more power than the wall sockets can handle.
- Using light fixtures that exceed the permissible wattage
A very common cause of fires is plugging lights, lighting appliances and bulbs into electrical sockets that cannot handle higher wattage levels. Antique lighting appliances may have defective wiring that makes the appliance unstable by overheating. Decorating lights with colored paper and cloth shades can increase the risk of fire when the material or fabric heats up.
- Using multiple appliances plugged into an extension cord
Unrestricted use of extension cords is a major fire hazard. The risk of fire increases when your TV, home theatre, computer and other appliances are all plugged into a single extension cord. This creates excessive power load on a single socket which may not be designed to handle that load. So, there is a social and economic cost to damaged wiring!
- Locating portable heaters near combustible materials
Portable space heaters that use coils are potentially dangerous when they are positioned carelessly near curtains and rugs and adjacent to beds and cloth covered furniture. The chances of inflammable material coming into contact with the red-hot coils increase the risk of fire.
- Wiring that becomes defective with the passage of time
Over a period of time you add more electrical appliances such as wide screen televisions, home theatre, microwave oven, refrigerator and air conditioners. The outdated home wiring cannot handle the increased power load. Older wiring tends to heat up quickly and catches fire. If the breaker boxes are themselves defective, they cannot prevent overheated electrical panels from catching fire.
Avoid Fire Damage When Grilling at Your Big Country Home
Smoke from a small grass fire can fill your home with smoke odor.
The barbeque and grilling season are far from over in Leon Valley. Cooking outdoors is popular for creating a festive atmosphere and delivering delicious, smoke-infused food to the dining table. Wood, charcoal, or gas grills do pose an elevated risk of household fire. If the flames jump to an exterior or interior portion of your home, we can help with cleanup and restoration.
Outdoor grilling needs constant monitoring to avoid fire damage in your Big Country home. Even when you exercise caution variables such as wind gusts, or rambunctious pets can cause an accident that quickly turns into a crisis. During the relatively dry months of late summer, the grass or gardens near your house can ignite fast, spreading the line of fire to the exterior or inside of your dwelling. We respond to many fire cleanup scenarios where the source of the residue on surfaces in your home was an outdoor blaze.
SERVPRO warns that overhanging eaves, an awning, or roof can accelerate the transfer of heat and flames from even a small accidental outdoor fire from grilling. Despite burning just a few minutes before it is extinguished, the smoke and soot of a fire that escaped its containment system can make their way indoors, especially if open windows or heating or cooling intake vents are nearby. Think of how the aromas of your or a neighbor’s grilling waft into your house even when the cooking fuel is contained, and no emergency occurs.
Add to that the increase in smoke and soot if an outdoor fire jumps to the ground or the structure of your home. Fires started outside can grow in intensity if they catch the siding or trim of your home, and if a fire just outside the kitchen, where the majority of grilling spaces are, seeks and finds a burst of oxygen when the door opens, it travels inside with frightening ease. Firefighting efforts, both with fire extinguishers and water, may put out the fire but damage your home on their own. Fortunately, SERVPRO is a full-service restoration company, handling water, fire, and many other disasters.
If a gathering around the grill takes a turn for the worse, SERVPRO of Abilene is ready to help clean up and restore any areas of your home affected.
Give us a call at (325)672-5661 to get the recovery started.
Mitigation Reduces Fire Damage
SERVPRO can help restore your treasured items after a fire.
When disasters strike your Abilene home, there is often little time for you to formulate a plan and remove the most treasured items for safe keeping. Moreover, disasters put these irreplaceable items that you treasure at risk, which leads to one of the most critical aspects of professional restoration services: mitigation. This process helps to reduce the spread and effect of damages in your home when it faces an emergency.
Fire damages are among the worst of these disastrous effects in your Abilene home that you can neither plan for nor prevent. With so many ways that fires can originate in a home, the primary focus must be the safety of the occupants of the house above any of the contents or items that might be inside. With professionals like our SERVPRO technicians, however, these items do not have to be written off. Our emergency response team can utilize mitigation techniques to help lessen the lingering effects of the fire itself and work to preserve at-risk items within your house.
One of the first things that our team does once we assess the full scope of the fire damage to your home is to determine how to preserve both structural integrity and at-risk items from continued damages. The pack-out service we provide can remove damaged items and those threatened by the conditions of the house to a safe area until restoration completes. Once this happens, the items can get returned to their original positions.
Some of the mitigation techniques employed by our SERVPRO team are to prevent worsening conditions from happening, such as mold growth. With many widespread fires requiring water to extinguish, this pooling water can create problems of its own. Our technicians can extract this excess and dry up the saturation into materials to help reduce the possibility of microbial growth.
While you might not find yourself prepared to face a fire in your home, you are never alone in working to bring your house back to its original conditions. From working to preserve the things that matter most to you when disaster strikes to working efficiently to recover from the damages, our SERVPRO of Abilene restoration specialists are here to help.
Give us a call anytime at (325)672-5661.
Professional Deodorization After Fire Damage in Abilene
Smoke and soot ashes penetrate surfaces and leave odors. SERVPRO of Abilene has the equipment to leave your home smelling fresh.
A fire in your Abilene home causes many kinds of harm. Destruction of contents and supporting structures from charring can be severe, and soiling from soot drifting throughout your home reaches areas far from the blaze. As you cope with the many tasks needed to restore possessions and building materials, you concentrate on safety and swift remediation of your living spaces back to a clean, dry, and safe state.
Although your initial focus might not be on the smells resulting from fire damage in your Abilene home, failure to address the odors in your dwelling can come back to haunt you. Lingering smoky aromas impact the enjoyment you deserve to remain in your home after cleanup and restoration. Our team of highly-qualified fire damage responders have strategies to rid your home of offensive odors related to the fire damage.
The first steps toward effective odor control are part of overall fire damage cleanup. SERVPRO removes all charred items from your home, which might need some detective work if the fire spread behind walls or other hidden areas. Sealing of charred surfaces is sometimes an option if the disposal is not possible. Any burned materials continue to emit odor vapors unless steps are taken to remove or contain them.
Thorough cleaning also works to reduce odors. SERVPRO uses appropriate cleaners and solvents to clear bad-smelling soot and other residues. If disposal of charred remains and heavy-duty cleaning do not do the trick, we move on to technological advances that use different approaches.
Thermal fogging is an option SERVPRO employs in some cases. A heated chamber recreates the fire’s environment, combusting deodorizing compounds that then spread into the air seeking odor-bearing particles. When the heated deodorizers encounter the particles, they combine, neutralizing the odor through a series of chemical changes. Ozone machines and hydroxyl generators also create minute deodorizing residue, sending these tiny bits airborne to locate the odor-bearing particles, rendering them odorless at the molecular level.
Consult SERVPRO of Abilene for assistance in eliminating the odors created by fire damage. Call (325)672-5661 to set up an appointment with a deodorization expert.
Steps to Follow After Fire Damage
Few things are more complicated than having to deal with fire damage in the home. Sometimes, the steps that you as the homeowner take after the fire damage determine the speed at which the home will be restored to the state it was in before the fire damage happened. Below are is a guideline outlining the steps you ought to take after an electrical fire or another type of fire breaks out in your home.
The very first thing you need to do is ensure that all the people who were in the building have gotten out. In case there is someone still trapped in the building because of soot damage or smoke damage, you should call in emergency services such as the fire truck, fire sprinkler systems, fire hoses, and firefighters to help rescue them and put out the fire. Do not try to get back into the house once you are out where it is safe.
The fire suppression
The fire trucks and firefighters will arrive and assess the situation. The firefighters, fire hoses, and their fire trucks will do their best to try and put out the fire within the shortest time possible after getting to the scene. You might see a firefighter going into the house and trying to rescue people who are trapped in the soot damage. They use equipment such as fire hoses, fire sprinkler systems and other appropriate equipment to help them achieve fire suppression within the shortest time.
Visit SERVPROOfAbilene.com for more information on fire damage.
Your Insurance and Fire Damage
Calling the insurance company
When the fire has been put out by the fire sprinkler systems, and the fire trucks have left, the most challenging part of the fire restoration process starts. As a homeowner, this is the point at which you call the insurer and inform them of the accident. Note that when damage of this magnitude has happened, adjusters will be calling you from all corners, trying to help you with ways of achieving fire restoration. Making the call to your insurer gives you the peace of mind you need to proceed to the next important step in fire damage and restoration.
Contacting the fire restoration company
Commercial fire damage experts recommend that you should stay away from a building that has suffered fire damage until a fire restoration expert has certified it safe to enter. Contact restoration companies which are close to you and let them know about the electrical fire or utility room fire. The details that you share with them will determine the quote they give you for the commercial fire damage restoration process. When they get to your premises, they will assess the utility room fire damage to determine where to start the recovery. The following are some of the issues they usually address:
- Smoke damage and soot damage in the house is a typical result of the fire. The experts will clean up the smoke damage on all surfaces and make sure the house is as clean as it was before the ordeal.
- In case some structures have been weakened by the electrical fire or the utility room fire, they will do a board up and roof tarp as a way of preventing collapse.
- If fire sprinkler systems or fire hoses were used in the fire suppression efforts, water damage would result. The electrical fire damage experts will extract the water and dry the house to prevent future development of mold.
The commercial fire damage restoration experts will then perform services such as repainting the parts that could have been affected by the soot damage and the smoke damage.
The utility room fire restoration experts will only leave home when they have ensured that it is has regained the state it was in before the fire damage and the fire suppression. Take time and choose the restoration company which is close to you to handle the restoration process for you. The quality of the outcome will depend on the competence of the restoration experts that you contact.
Visit SERVPROOfAbilene.com for more information on fire damage.
Preparing to Escape a House Fire
Preparing a fire escape plan for yourself and your family is important whether you live in Abilene or anywhere else in the big country. Your dwelling may be a single-family home, a multi-family home or a high-rise apartment, but whatever the case, the routes to safety should be planned and practiced by all inhabitants.
Planning for a Safe Getaway
No matter your type of home, it is important to have functional smoke alarms on every level. In a fire emergency situation, an alarm can provide the two minutes that the Red Cross estimates are needed to get out safely. Make sure that all family members recognize the sound of the alarm and know how to call 911. Design and regularly practice your fire escape plan.
• In single-family homes, identify at least two exits from each room. Preselect a gathering point outdoors. Once outside, call 911 if the emergency is real.
• In multi-family homes, identify two exits from each room, and place escape ladders in second floor rooms. Plan a meeting place outdoors. Call 911 if it is an actual emergency.
• In high rises, head for the interior fire stairs if possible. If it is too dangerous to leave via the interior stairs, find a safe place, and close all doors. Call 911, and hang a white sheet outside your window to alert the fire department to your location if it is not a drill.
• Never return to the dwelling to retrieve people, pets or belongings.
• Download and complete the Red Cross’s emergency escape plan. Share it with everyone in the home.
Though it is regrettable that items of monetary or sentimental value can be lost in a fire or a beloved home can be damaged, restoration and remediation services can go a long way in helping with material losses. A fire escape plan can be an essential element of protecting what really matters. Visit SERVPROOfAbilene.com for more information on fire damage.
Fire Damages in the Big Country
SERVPRO Restores Damaged Big Country Properties After Fires, Large or Small
The word 'fire' scares just about every homeowner and renter out there. As much as it is feared, it is also just as misunderstood. Not every fire is a total loss nor can a victim walk right back in and start washing walls.
Damage does not usually happen from direct exposure to flames or heat. Most of the damage to a residence (and the cleanup costs) result from the soot and smoke that remain after a fire has been put out. Regardless of the size of the fire or the type of damage SERVPRO has the experience and the equipment to put our fellow residents back into their homes as quickly and safely as possible. Our response team has three immediate goals to meet: Establish a safe work site for technicians and residents to enter, prevent further damage from soot and smoke to the structure and prepare the work site for restoration. Once accomplished, technicians take the following step: Secure the structure: This means boarding up any doors and windows that may have been damaged putting out the fire. Our team does this to prevent trespassing and possible vandalism or looting. If there is roof damage, we stretch tarps across openings to secure against the weather. Establish emergency power: Depending on what needs to accomplished, SERVPRO technicians set up a portable generator or park a generator truck to ensure that electricity is available while personnel is working or even 24/7 if needed to secure our client's property. Immediate property cleaning: To ensure that residents can have what they need while in a hotel or other housing, technicians help choose clothing and other possessions that can be quickly cleaned and used. We can also employ sonic cleaning for hard surfaced items. Drying the building: If the fire department deployed or if sprinklers engaged, then there is an excessive amount of water in the home. Team members use water pumps and extractors to remove standing water and draw it out of carpets and wood floors. Our SERVPRO IICRC certified technicians also use dehumidifiers and commercial grade heaters to eliminate moisture from the air inside the structure. Deodorize the structure: Technicians use air ozone machines and thermal foggers to destroy odors trapped in walls and carpets, as well as furniture and other personal property. Recovery after a fire is not always a quick process, but SERVPRO Abilene is here to help you through it. Call us at (325)672-5661 today to get started.
10 Tips to Make Your Home Safer
It’s an unfortunate tragedy. Your home in Abilene has been ravaged by a raging fire. A restoration company has come to the rescue to return your home back to its prior condition. Hopefully you will never experience such loss again, but it is wise to prepare your home in the event of future disasters. Even if your home has never been devastated by a fire, the following fire preparation tips can prove beneficial in giving you greater peace of mind regarding fire safety in your home.
1. Smoke alarms: Test smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries annually.
2. Prepare children: Teach fire preparation to children, including the dangers of fire. Make sure they know the proper use of 911 for emergencies. Keep matches and lighters out of their reach.
3. Plan where to go: Create an escape plan and make sure everyone in the household is aware of it. Choose an outside meeting spot for all family members to gather upon escaping. Conduct practice drills at least twice a year.
4. Share contact information: Make sure all household members know who to contact in the event that they cannot find each other during a home fire.
5. Educate on proper techniques: Teach everyone in the household to stop, drop and roll in the event their clothes catch on fire.
6. Take action if you smoke: Smokers should take extra precautions, as many residential fire deaths are caused by smoking materials. Avoid smoking in bed, especially while sleepy or medicated. It is better to smoke outside.
7. Handle heaters: Portable heaters should be turned off when not in use.
8. Take care of candles: Candles should be extinguished when not in use, and never left unattended.
9. Store other sources of light: Speaking of candles, consider using flashlights during a power outage instead of candles.
10. Examine the home for other fire hazards: Check the electrical wiring and home heating sources to make sure they are safe.
A home fire is a most unwelcome event, but by taking fire preparation seriously, you and your household can hopefully avoid this happening or, at the very least, be better equipped to handle such an emergency when it occurs. Visit SERVPROOfAbilene.com for more information on fire damage.
Fire Safety Tips
Check our website for more tips SERVPROOfAbilene.com
Did you know that if a fire starts in your homeyou may have as little as two minutes to escape?During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Learn what else to do to keep your loved ones safe!
Top Tips for Fire Safety
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
- Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
- If a fire occurs in your home,GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP.
- Never go back inside for anything or anyone.
- And after you’ve done all you can, executed your fire safety plan and the fire is put out, remember that SERVPRO is dedicated to responding immediately, day or night, to yourhome or business. A faster response helps to prevent secondary damage and to reduce cost.
- Tips from the American Red Cross <http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire>
EVERY YEAR, NFPA surveys a sample of public fire departments in the United States, stratified by the size of the community they protect, to project national estimates of the country’s fire problem. Based upon the data we received in response to our 2015 National Fire Experience Survey, we estimate that public fire departments in the U.S. responded to 1,345,500 fires last year, a highly significant increase of 3.7 percent from 2014.
SERVPRO of Abilene can help you get your life back in order!
SERVPRO of Abilene professionals returned restored contents after a fire
Two of our excellent fire crew members unloading cleaned smoke damaged items.
Pack-outs are performed by restoration companies on behalf of property owners after damage caused by water, fire or smoke. It involves removing and transporting damaged property to a secure location for processing and restoration.
During a pack-out:
- After the initial inspection, your restoration professionals will let you know whether or not an item can be restored. You will find that most items can be brought to preloss condition. All contents will be inspected and any pre-existing damage will be documented before being sent out to be restored. This documentation helps to estimate the losses and facilitates the filing of your insurance claim.
- If an item does not require packing out, it will be secured and protected while structural repairs are made to the property.
- In some cases, affected items are cleaned in place to prevent acidic residues from causing any further damage.
- Small items will be individually wrapped in paper, boxed, labeled and inventoried by your restoration professional. This includes kitchen knives, spoons, pots and pans, dishes, storage containers, etc.
- Large items like upholstery and wooden furniture will be carefully inspected, often using high intensity light to detect all damages that existed before the disaster.
- You will receive a copy of every inventory sheet with noted preexisting damage, if any.
- When the transportation begins, items will be loaded and secured in a covered box truck using pads and the appropriate packing protocols.
- The restoration process is constantly monitored and you will be informed on the status of your claim before the items are ready to be sent back to your home or business.
Steps in Fire Restoration
Our fire crews are very pleasant and conscientious.
After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.
Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Today (325)672-5661
Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.
Step 1: Emergency Contact
The restoration process begins when you call the local SERVPRO, whose phones are answered 24 hours a day. Our representative will ask a series of questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us dispatch the nearest SERVPRO Franchise Professional with the appropriate equipment and resources.
Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
Our Professionals will carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.
Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service
Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, the SERVPRO Franchise Professional can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.
Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. They will then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.
Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
The SERVPRO Franchise Professionals use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.
Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing
They will clean all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. They’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
Step 7: Restoration
Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.
Abilene Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Big Country Home.
Photo Caption: Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Big Country 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 Abilene 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 – 325-672-5661