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Top Causes of Holiday Fires

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

A kitchen that has been burnt by a fire. This kitchen was left torched after a towel was left on the stove.

TOP 7 CAUSES OF ACCIDENTAL HOLIDAY FIRES

Stay safe this holiday season by reviewing SERVPRO’s top causes of holiday fires and be prepared to prevent them.

 The holidays can be such a wonderful time of year as people enjoy putting up decorations, cooking, traveling to visit friends and family and celebrating the time together. But because everyone is operating outside of their normal routine during the holidays, it can also be a recipe for risky behavior and accidents.

As SERVPRO of Society Hill has experienced over the years, one prominent accident that can often occur during the holiday season is unwanted fire! Fires can quickly lead to serious home damage or even injury. That's why it's important to look out for the top causes of holiday fires to ensure you keep your home and family safe throughout the holidays.

  1. COOKING FIRES

One of the best parts of celebrating the holidays is the FOOD! Casseroles, cakes, cookies and more, food can be the focal point of the holidays. But when cooking extra food and feeding more people than usual, it can be easy to make mistakes such as leaving the stove unattended. Luckily, you may have additional people around to help monitor hot areas such as the stove and oven. The holidays can be one time where it’s perfectly acceptable to have too many cooks in the kitchen. So, surprise those family members that offer to help this year by accepting their offer!

  1. PORTABLE HEATER MALFUNCTIONS

Brrr, it’s cold out there! For those of us who celebrate holidays in colder climates, it’s nice to have some extra heat around. But beware the portable space heater! According to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters account for 43% of home fires in the United States! Always read your space heater safety instructions and review the safety precautions with any visitors to your home who may be using the heaters without your supervision.

  1. SMOKING IN BEDROOMS

Smoking cigarettes indoors is still a leading cause of home fires. The holidays can add a lot of stress so it’s understandable that some may look to ease the stress with their favorite stress reliever, even something as unhealthy as cigarettes. But when it comes to smoking, it’s best to keep it outside whenever possible and never smoke when in a situation where you may fall asleep such as in a recliner, on the couch or in bed. When in doubt just put it out!

  1. ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES AND CORDS OVERHEATING

With decorations comes the need for many plugs and extension cords. Overloaded sockets can sometimes cause sparks or fire. This can quickly escalate into a dangerous situation. Be sure to only use one extension cord per socket. Also, only use electrical power strips or block adapters that have their own fuse. To stay safe at night, be sure to unplug as many decorations as you can until the morning. Decorations are a wonderful addition to any holiday but be sure to read the safety and proper use instructions every time! 

  1. CANDLES LEFT UNATTENDED

There is a reason why many hotels don’t allow guests to light candles in their rooms, they can easily lead to burns or fires. When using candles, be sure to always place candles in a prominent place away from flammable items such as napkins, curtains or clothing. Place a non-flammable object underneath the candle so as the candles burns the heat from the bottom of the candle won’t burn the object it is resting on. Finally, NEVER leave a candle unattended. If you light a candle, remember to blow it out before leaving the area or going to sleep. Turn it into a holiday game by telling the kids they can make a wish for each candle they blow out at the end of the night.

  1. GRILLING TOO CLOSE TO THE HOUSE

Grilling can be a delicious addition to the holiday cooking and it’s great when entertaining guests. When grilling in the winter, however, it can be a common mistake to keep the grill close to the house or try grilling on a small porch. When a grill is placed too close to a building it can cause the wall to unsafely heat up, buckle or burn. Grills used on porches or other structures with ceilings can potentially ignite the ceiling as the heat and flames travel upward. So be sure to keep your grill at least 10 feet away from any flammable structure both during cooking and after cooking while the grill cools down. And NEVER start a grill or outdoor fire with combustible fuels such as kerosene or gasoline. Use gas grills or self-lighting charcoal whenever possible to easily get your grill heated up to cooking temperature.

  1. CURIOUS CHILDREN

The holidays often bring families together with kids in tow. Children can be very curious, especially in a new location. It’s important to remember to put away matches and lighters that may normally be accessible when children aren’t present. Also, make sure flammable liquids such as gasoline are stored safely out of reach in the garage or shed. Kids should also be taught about the dangers of fire whether around a grill, indoor fireplace or outdoor fire pit. When cooking smores by the fire, be sure instruct children to never try and put out a burning marshmallow by waving their stick around and accidentally flinging the burning marshmallow into the air!

 The SERVPRO of Society Hill team hopes this list helps you have a safer holiday experience this season and beyond. If an unexpected fire should occur this holiday season leading to damage to your home, please call us for a free quote on repairing the damage and getting your home back to normal!

Happy Holidays!

We can handle all your cleanup needs

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is servicing all medical facility with all cleaning services. Cleaning services for deep cleaning multiple bathrooms and kitchens or cafeterias as well as providing cleaning to any bio hazardous. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is the professional in cleaning services and making the facility look at its optimum. We also specialize in fire and water damages cleanups. We want to take care of our community and want you to know that we are here for your home and business 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Give us a call, and we will have a crew immediately out to help and clean in any way possible to get the facility back to running during regular business hours. We understand the importance of your work environment, and safety! Trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County!

Tis the Season to get Your Fireplace Cleaned!

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

A fireplace that has old soot and ash This fireplace needs to be cleaned before its next use to avoid the risk of a much larger fire.

It's almost that time of year again. Where the family is gonna gather round the warmth of the fireplace. An before you throw those logs on and spark it up, its very important that your fireplace and chimney are properly cleaned. During the spring an summer seasons when your fireplace is not in use a variety of things could have built up in the chimney. Such as soot, leaves and sticks, or even a variety of critters! A chimney is a great place for birds,squirrels, and other varmints to build there nests. Whether the critter is still there or not this still is a huge risk or starting a fire. Always take a flashlight an do a self inspection to make sure your chimney flue is clear of all debris. Even if you think you've done a sufficient cleaning, its always safe to have a professional come out an inspect it properly. If you own a gas fireplace make sure all gas lines are tightly secured, and don't have any leaks. Although it may seem alright to leave it untended. you should always turn it off when leaving your home or going to sleep. Fireplaces are nice an cozy, but if not properly cleaned an attended to they can become a huge fire risk for your home. So just follow the step given an you and your family can enjoy your fires safely! From all of us at SERVPRO of Society Hill have a great fall/winter seasons!

Safety Tips When Heating Your Home With a Space Heater

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

This blanket laying on top of a space heater is sure to start a fire. As you can see if you don't watch where you put blankets this is what can happen with a space heater.

With colder weather on the way, many people will be bringing out their space heaters. An if you don't take the right safety measures, they can be a huge fire risk. Space heaters are the second leading cause for house fires in the United States. Up to 65,000 house fires a year are started from these heaters.  A space heater fire can put a whole home in flames in a matter of seconds. Here are some safety measures that should be taken when using a space heater.

  • Inspect the heater for any broken plugs,and loose or damaged wires.
  • Putting your space heater in the proper place is very important. Make sure its 3 feet away from any furniture, clothing, paper, rugs, or anything that can burn
  • Whenever leaving the room make sure to turn off the heater.
  • Keep out of high traffic areas to prevent a tripping hazard, or possibility of knocking it over
  • When not in use, unplug and store in proper place

From all of us here at SERVPRO of Society Hill. Have a enjoyable and safe fall and winter seasons! 

Providing All Your Cleanup Services

11/21/2019 (Permalink)

Our Technician Sean extracting water from the lobby. Water is being extracted here by one of our techs. This is in a medical facility lobby.

SERVPRO of Society Hill is servicing all medical facility with all cleaning services. Cleaning services for deep cleaning multiple bathrooms and kitchens or cafeterias as well as providing cleaning to any bio hazardous. SERVPRO of Society Hill is the professional in cleaning services and making the facility look at its optimum. We also specialize in fire and water damages cleanups. We want to take care of our community and want you to know that we are here for your home and business 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Give us a call, and we will have a crew immediately out to help and clean in any way possible to get the facility back to running during regular business hours.  We understand the importance of your work environment, and safety! Trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Society Hill!

Frozen Pipes Can Be A Big Issue In The Winter!

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

A pipe coated in thick ice This pipe is a big bursting hazard and if not handled quickly could break.

With the cold weather bearing down our necks. It raises concern about pipes freezing in homes and businesses. When pipes freeze it leaves a huge mess of water damage to your homes and businesses. That is when you call SERVPRO of Society Hill to help you clean up the mess and fix the areas that were damaged from the water damage. Here at SERVPRO of Society Hill we make it our job to make sure that the customer is happy with the outcome of the job.

Here are a couple things that will help to prevent this disaster from happening:

  • Keep your home or apartment thermostat temperature set to at least 55 degrees.

  • Do not block heat to areas of your residence that contain plumbing or water fixtures. Keep doors open to bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and cabinets that contain pipes, especially those located on the north side of the dwelling, to expose the plumbing to warmer air inside the house.

  • Prevent drafts of cold winter air by keeping windows and storm windows closed. Repair cracks or holes around doors and windows to keep cold air from blowing in.

  • Cover pipes in unheated areas with heat tape or pipe insulation. Make sure heat tapes are properly installed and working safely.

  • If you plan to be away from your residence for an extended period of time, ask someone to check your house or apartment periodically. Show them what to do if water pipes freeze and where to locate your water shut-off valve in case of an emergency.

Responding Fast to Storm Damage

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

Storm clouds hover over center city Philadelphia. These storm clouds rolled through Philadelphia. bringing heavy rain and tornado warnings.

SERVPRO of Society Hill specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. We are the largest company nationwide to handle large losses.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre storm condition.  Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost. Which in the end either gets your home back to normal sooner or gets your business up and running for you to continue work and make your profit like it never happened.  When storms hit Philadelphia, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Soot & Smoke Damage is a SERVPRO Specialty.

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

The soot on this kitchen wall came from a kitchen fire. Kitchen fire causes soot damage to the walls.

Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to personal property and structures. Quick action is the only way to minimize the destruction. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, IICRC, is a globally recognized organization whose mission is to establish higher industry standards. As a referral source for consumers, IICRC certified firms are more likely to provide a faster, better service than non-certified competitors.Restoration costs increase and damages escalate when the cleaning process is extended. By hastening the hiring process and using an IICRC certified technician, owners will be rewarded by having the damage stopped so repairs can begin.What happens only minutes after the disaster?Immediately after a fire, soot residue settles onto the property. Discoloration of porous materials is permanent, but other surfaces may be properly cleaned to remove the discoloration. Acidic soot begins staining other surfaces if not treated quickly.Within hours all surfaces begin to suffer from fire and smoke damage. Wooden furniture may require refinishing. Metal begins to rust, pit and corrode. Painted walls begin to yellow. Clothing can become permanently stained. And finally, flooring may require refinishing or replacement.If left untreated, within weeks the restoration process will take longer and cost more. Prolonged soot exposure permanently harms all surfaces and embeds in fibers. Replacement of property may be the best option at this point. The structure may continue deteriorating if not properly restored by SERVPRO of Society Hill.

Safety With Heating Your Home

10/25/2019 (Permalink)

This is a heater that is causing a fire hazard. When using a space heater be very mindful where you are placing it.

The fall season is in full swing - the days are shorter and the temperature is lower. No matter where you live, fall/winter bring a change in the weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplace cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters and wood burning stoves. Heating is the second leading cause of home fire deaths, making it important to review ways to help reduce the risk of a heating-related fire.  When using a wood-burning fireplace, make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to help prevent sparks from flying into the room. Spent fireplace ashes should be cool before removing and putting them into a metal container. The container should be stored away from your home or business.  Also all heaters need space. Keep flammable objects at least three feet away from heating equipment.  For all your heating safety tips, and heating damages contact SERVPRO of Society Hill.

Preparing for the Upcoming Seasons and the Weather they bring!

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

As we enter the end of 2019, we also enter into the bad weather season in Philadelphia. While this feels like holiday fun, we have to stay prepared. As we've begun to experience rain, snow, and sleet here at SERVPRO of Society Hill, we've begun to get calls reporting water damage. With the importance of being quick to respond to salvage what we can. We had to act fast of course to prevent mold, but we ask for your vigilance as well. Before consistent rain hits, clean your gutters and if you are able, get your roof examined for any damage. We would like to have people prepared this season to prevent you from suffering a water damage. But if you do suffer from one, don't stress. You can reach out to  SERVPRO of Society Hill and we will make it "Like it never even happened."