Recent Fire Damage Posts
Top Causes of Holiday Fires
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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
Tis the Season to get Your Fireplace Cleaned!
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
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!
Soot & Smoke Damage is a SERVPRO Specialty.
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
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.
Common Causes of Fire in Commercial Buildings
Fire at a High Rise Commercial Building
One place that is responsible for most commercial building fires is the kitchen. One reason being all of the equipment such as; deep fryers, ovens, grease hoods, ranges, grills, and rotisseries are just a few. Always use extreme caution in the kitchen, as well as keeping the proper extinguishers to contain a small fire before it gets out of hand. Studies show that about 3,300 office fires break out every year. Once again one of the leading causes is cooking equipment that is not being used properly or left unattended. Coffee makers, toasters ovens, and microwaves, are the main fire stating appliances. Also offices contain a lot of flammable/combustible materials. When a fire does start it can easily spread and grow rapidly. That is why all materials should be stored and disposed of correctly, reducing the damage a fire may cause. Always have a planned prepared in the case a fire were to occur. Fire alarms along with commercial sprinkler systems, and a planned exit strategy play a huge roll in fire safety. Frequent maintenance on alarms and sprinklers to see that they are working properly is crucial as well. In the event of any type of fire in your commercial building, SERVPRO of Society Hill has the experienced professionals to clean up any destruction a fire may bring.
How Smoke Can Damage a Home!
Here we have a heavily smoke damaged house.
It is not very hard to figure out if, and where you have smoke damage in your home after a fire. Most commonly you will have discolored walls or ceilings, ash or soot on the floor, and charred items. Besides the visuals smoke damage can also produce odor and other side effects that can damage property and health. Although smoke damage usually is noticeable right away, but sometimes it does take a few days to surface. Another precaution to be aware of after a fire is that your electrical system could have easily been damaged as well. Electrical damage can range from signs of corrosion, experience of short circuits or just complete failure. Certain parts of a room may experience more damage then others. Ceilings are most common because of how heat rises. Also nail heads in the wall and ceilings will attract smoke particles. A fire will continue to cause issues even after it has been extinguished, don't put you or your family health at risk. Contact SERVPRO of Society Hill to help in any fire or smoke cleanup. It's always important to act quickly to minimize the health risks as well as repairs to be done on the house.
How to handle the fire aftermath
Fire's can bring a wave of emotions after a they burn through a home. Long after the flames and smoke have been extinguished. Families are still faced with the stress, fear, and uncertainty about the future of the home or property. So after the firefighters have put the flames to rest, it's good to know what and what not to do until SERVPRO of Society Hill comes in for the mitigation process. Here are some tips of what can be done before help arrives:
- Limit movement in the area to prevent soot particles from spreading.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
- Place clean towels or or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.
- Do not wash walls or painted surfaces.
- Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery.
- Do not clean any electrical equipment.
So, before you risk causing more damage by attempting to clean up fire damage yourself, follow these steps and call the experts of SERVPRO of Society Hill.
Christmas Tree Fire Safety
Christmas tree Fires can burn a home down in minutes! Also be safe when decorating with a real tree.
The holiday season is upon us and many people will be decorating there homes for this festive time of year. While these decorations are quite a site to see, they also come with some dangers. One of the biggest potential hazards is Christmas trees. A tree after it is cut needs to be properly watered to keep it from drying out. Even after a while a properly watered tree will eventually dry out. Soon after the holidays make sure you dispose of your tree properly, because this is when most fires occur. When going to sleep or leaving your home always make sure to unplug any lights on the tree. Most tree fires start because lights were left plugged in overnight or while away. Also make sure trees are a safe distance from any heat source such as space heaters, fire places, and any furnaces. Follow these tips to ensure that you have a safe and happy holidays! If disaster does happen to strike this holiday season, SERVPRO of Society Hill is one call away ready to respond!
Heating Your Home
Wood burning fireplace.
With the nights getting colder, winter is fast approaching. Heating your home increases the chances of a fire starting. With the fireplaces and space heaters the number one and two way to start a fire in the winter. Here is some information about fireplaces and space heaters to prevent fires from starting.
Winter is a notorious time for house fires and it is vital to have working fire alarms around the house to alert everyone, but one of the main culprits is faulty fireplaces. The best way to prevent a disaster is having a professional properly inspect it. If your flue or chimney are blocked by debris or contain cracks or leaks, inadequate venting can occur, and toxic fumes may seep into your home. An inspection lets you know that everything is in safe working order. Always make sure your fireplace is out and cooled before going to bed.
In an effort to help cut energy costs or to accommodate roommates many people use space heaters. Space heaters are an excellent way to warm up cold rooms or provide extra heat. Space heaters can also be hazardous if not used properly. Never leave a space heater unattended especially when children and pets are around, and don’t place it near drapes, shades or bedding. If your heater is more than a few years old, replace it with a new model that has more current safety features such as tip-over protection. This way it shuts off automatically if it happens to fall over.
SERVPRO Society Hill wants everyone to take the right steps to prevent house fires from happening.
Thanksgiving Safety Tips
Studies show that cooking is the main cause for most home fires and burn related injuries. With Thanksgiving being the busiest cooking day of the year. It's good to know some safety tips to have a safe, and happy Thanksgiving holiday.
- Never leave food that is cooking unattended, especially when frying or broiling food. The stove should be turned off if you must leave the kitchen
- Keep anything that could easily catch fire a safe distance away from flames, or hot surfaces. Examples such as; potholders,towels of any material, paper or plastic bags, and wooden utensils.
- Cooking surfaces should be kept clean to prevent grease buildup.
- Always make sure to check the kitchen before leaving the home or going to bed. Check to see that all ovens, stoves and appliances are shut off and stored correctly.
- Have a fire extinguisher near by, and know how to properly use it if needed. Also smoke alarms should be checked monthly to see if properly functioning.
SERVPRO of Society Hill wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!
Immediate Fire Restoration and why its Important
Begging of restoration from a kitchen fire.
Fires can be a devastating when they occur. It is crucial though when a fire strikes that you get the restoration process started immediately. The longer that it is put off the harder and more repairs will be needed. This also means the price of repairs goes up as well. SERVPRO of Society Hill specializes in fire damage and restoration. Contacting us is the first step in getting the restoration underway. SERVPRO will try to save as many of your home and personal belongings that we can. Remember that safety comes first, so if there’s no way to safely gain access into your home, then stay out until SERVPRO professionals arrive. On arrival we perform a thorough cleanup using our industrial-grade products and equipment, such as dry cleaning soot sponges to remove loose soot and specialized vacuum filters to clean carpet and upholstery. Unfortunately fires happen, but when they do make sure you act quickly to get the damage cleaned up. SERVPRO of Society Hill takes fire damage and leaves it "Like it never even happened."
Electrical Outlet on Fire
Electrical fires are the most common fires in houses. They also are one of the hardest fires to put out due to the constant charge that the electric gives out. Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electricaloutlets and old, outdated appliances. Never use an appliance with a worn or frayed cord which can send heat onto combustible surfaces like floors, curtains, and rugs that can start a fire. Running cords under rugs is another cause of electrical fires. The amount of electrical fires increase in the months of December and January due to the increase of heating appliances and the increase of lights used. Therefore, to prevent this disaster from happening use newer appliances and make sure that the outlets in your house are updated. If this disaster does happen SERVPRO Society Hill will clean and restore your house back to the way it was. SERVPRO Society Hill will make sure your house looks like nothing even happened.
At SERVPRO of Society Hill we care about your safety of you and your family. Dryer safety is important to know. Here is some tips to keep your dryer safe from any potential fire.
- Have a professional install and repair the dryer
- Do not use the dryer without a lint filter
- Always clean the lint filter before/after loads
- Clean any loose or accumulating lint in and around the drum
- Rigid or flexible metal should be used in venting for proper use and drying for the dryer
- If clothing takes longer than usual check the vent pipe for any possible blockages
- Never leave a dryer left on during the night while sleeping or when away from your home
These are great tips to follow and a great way to prevent fire happening in the home
Kidde i4618 Ionization Smoke Alarm, Hardwired with 9V Battery Backup
Fire prevention is one of the most important things for you and your family. Ensuring that your home has smoke alarms are one of the first steps in fire prevention. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 3 out of 5 home fire deaths were caused because of no smoke alarm or no working smoking alarm. Smoke alarm cut the risk of people dying. Hardwired fire alarms operated 94% of the time versus battery powered alarms. The battery may tend to fail because of missing, disconnected or dead batteries. Ionization smoke alarm is more responsive to flaming fires and can detect a fire faster during the night hours when you are sleeping to give you extra time to safety assist or waken others to evacuate from a fire.
SERVPRO of Society Hill wants you to be prepared as best as possible for fires. Here are some tips.
Fire spreads quickly. If fire breaks out in your home, there is no time to gather valuables or make a phone call. In just two minutes, a fire can become life threatening. In five minutes, your home can be up in flames. Be prepared for a fire before it starts.Prepare for a fire
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside bedrooms, at the top of open stairways, and at the bottom of stairways that are closed in between two walls.
- Test smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries twice a year. Make it a habit when you reset your clocks for Daylight Saving Time.
- Replace your smoke alarms once every 10 years.
- Plan and review your home escape routes with your family. Practice getting out of each room.
- Check that windows are not nailed or painted shut. If you have security gratings or burglar bars on windows, make sure they have a fire safety opening feature and can be easily opened from the inside.
- Think about getting escape ladders if your home has more than one level.
- Teach your family to stay low to the floor (where the air is safer) when getting away from a fire.
- Put A-B-C-type fire extinguishers in your home and teach family members how to use them.
- Put heaters at least three feet away from anything that could catch fire. Be very careful when using temporary heating sources like space heaters.
- Make sure your home is insured. If you rent, consider buying renter’s insurance.
Better Safe Than Sorry
Better safe than sorry is an all too common saying that holds a lot of value. Here at SERVPRO of Society Hill we want you to be prepared for the worst. SERVPRO of Society Hill believes in being READY. One of the first ways of doing this is to have an emergency supply kit. It may be different depending on what type of disasters you are likely to encounter but this is a good starter list. Put this emergency kit in a safe place that easily able to be found by all members of your family.
- Water ( one gallon water per person per day)
- Food ( non-perishable 3-day supply)
- Battery-operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal help
- Dust mask
- Hygiene items
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener
- Local Maps
- Cell phone with chargers
- Important documents
- Fire extinguisher
We care about the well being of you and your loved ones so this is why we recommend taking the proper precautions in being ready. You never know what could happen but whenever you reside in the Philadelphia area, just know that SERVPRO of Society Hill has your back.
Home Fire Campaign
SERVPRO partnered with the American Red Cross and local Fire Departments going house to house in the Willingboro area installing free smoke detectors. We donated cases of water and provided breakfast for all the volunteers. SERVPRO cares about our community and we always want to give what we can back. We were broken up into teams of four to document, install and educate each resident. For residents who were not home we left packets on each door to give them the opportunity to call their local fire department to schedule a time for them to stop back. The 11 groups were able to hit about 800 houses and installed 216 smoke detectors. This is the third time this year this campaign has taken place and this year alone 800 smoke detectors have been installed in the state of New Jersey. It was a beautiful day to walk around Willingboro to increase the chances of saving a life.