Recent Fire Damage Posts

3 Tips for Preventing a House Fire

6/2/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm Keeping your home's smoke alarms in good functioning order is a crucial element of fire preparation.

Three Precautionary Steps to Avoid a House Fire

Your Lake Fern, FL, home is likely your most important investment, and protecting it from the damage a house fire can do involves more than installing a few smoke detectors. Fire preparation includes a variety of actions and keeping a few tips in mind as you reduce this risk may help you feel more confident when it comes to protecting your home and family.

1. Reduce Clutter

Paper and fabric clutter can contribute to a home fire, especially if it is stored near a heat source, such as a heating vent or electrical wiring. Old boxes, paper goods meant for recycling and stacks of discarded books and magazines can fuel a fire with one spark, so storing these items in clear plastic tubs, away from any type of heating vent or fuse box, can reduce the risk of a fire.

2. Test Smoke Alarms Monthly

One important aspect of fire preparation is to ensure that your home's smoke alarms remain in proper working order. You can make it a habit to test the alarms on each floor or area on the first day of every month, as changing the calendar and testing the batteries in your alarms can go hand in hand as a habit that is simple to develop.

3. Practice Drills for Fire Safety

When a fire breaks out, there is usually little time to figure out how to get to safety, so holding fire drills a few times per year and discussing planned escape routes can increase the chances of your entire family leaving the house safely. Fire restoration and cleanup services can also provide you with further information about creating an escape plan that is unique to your home.

Practicing fire preparation for your Lake Fern, FL, home can prevent common actions that may cause costly blazes and serious damage. The sooner you make a plan to discuss preventing a house fire with your family, the safer you can keep them and your beloved home.

What You Need To Know About Furnace Maintenance

2/2/2022 (Permalink)

Fragment of the interior of a country house. The iron furnace is heated. Home furnaces can potentially leak gas into your home. Because this gas is highly flammable, it could cause a fire.

What You Should Know About Furnace Upkeep

A furnace is a permanently installed appliance for heating your home. If you have a furnace in your Tampa, FL, house, it is important that you keep up with regular maintenance. If you don’t, you could potentially end up with a house fire and damage that requires fire cleaning.

1. Why Do You Need Furnace Maintenance?

There are two very important reasons why you need to keep your furnace properly maintained. The first is that it keeps your home and family safe. Home furnaces can potentially leak gas into your home. Because this gas is highly flammable, it could cause a fire. If this happens, you will need fire damage repair and smoke cleaning, so it is best to keep your furnace maintained to prevent this.

Another reason to keep up with furnace maintenance is that it saves you money. As well as preventing the need for fire cleaning and repairs in case of a fire, maintaining your furnace ensures that it is running efficiently, resulting in lower heating bills.

2. When Should You Do Furnace Maintenance?

You should be sure to have maintenance done on your furnace at least once a year. The best time to do this is in late summer or early autumn before the weather has gotten cold. Because you will need to heat your home during this time, you want to make sure that your furnace is working properly and does not need any repairs before you need to use it. This should prevent any problems and keep your home safe.

3. What Should Maintenance Include?

There are several things that should be included in furnace maintenance. You should check each component of the furnace to make sure that it is performing as it should. Be sure to check for any blockages or leaks as well. You should also remember to regularly replace filters to keep the appliance running well.

Because a furnace can become a safety hazard and fire cleaning can be difficult, you should be sure to perform regular maintenance.

4 Steps To Clean Fire-Damaged Contents

1/17/2022 (Permalink)

Warehouse Fire Inside SERVPRO is your local water, flood, and fire damage restoration professional. Call SERVPRO today to learn more about how we can help!

Cleaning Fire-Damaged Contents In 4 Easy Steps

Fire and smoke can damage the contents of a commercial building. It may be possible to clean and restore items depending on the materials and degree of damage. Restoration experts can recommend dry-cleaning, foam, ultrasonic waves or other specialized treatments. Here are four steps to determine whether an item is a candidate for cleaning.

1. Assess Damage

The first step to cleaning contents is to determine whether items can benefit from restoration or should be disposed of and replaced. Contents that have sustained smoke damage or staining due to soot are better suited for cleaning than burnt or charred items.

2. Consider Durability

In addition to damage, the durability of materials is also an important consideration. If an item is inherently delicate, it may not stand up to even the most gentle restoration treatments. This is particularly the case when damage is extensive.

3. Factor In Porosity

Porosity plays an important part in determining the best content cleaning treatment for any item. Porous items such as clothing or textiles may benefit most from dry-cleaning or foam treatments. Delicate, non-porous items made of ceramic or glass can be good candidates for immersion in cleaning solution and the use of ultrasonic waves. Delicate, porous materials may be sprayed and wiped to limit exposure to moisture.

4. Consult Experts

It is best to have damaged items cleaned by restoration professionals. Look for a service that provides a full range of content cleaning options as well as content storage. Once items are clean, they should be kept off-site until restoration is complete.

These steps can lead to better outcomes for the contents of a commercial building. This process can also help building owners determine whether it will be more cost-effective to dispose of and replace certain items. Rely on a fire damage mitigation company that provides services such as restoration-grade dry-cleaning in Oldsmar, FL

What to do after a fire

12/29/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Damage in Home Fire damage in apartment

Bring in SERVPRO of Oldsmar/Westchase to Clean and Restore Your Home After a Fire Loss

Even if the damage got contained to a single area in your home, seeing it for the first time after a fire has occurred can feel overwhelming for what to do first. The longer the mitigation efforts get delayed has the potential to increase the loss. That is why it is vital to engage a professional restoration services company as soon as possible. 

Can I Stay in My House After Fire Damage?

Before we talk about what you should do, let's cover what you should not do after fire damage in your home. Deciding whether or not to remain within the property is something you should talk over with the firefighters at the scene. They can tell you if the structure or nature of the fire loss is okay to be around or not. In many cases, it is not safe to remain around charred items as soot has to potential to be a skin and respiratory irritant. Other considerations include:

The utilities in your home should not get turned on unless deemed safe by a certified professional

Do not clean any smoke residues yourself as it can result in greater damages

If electrical equipment received damage, do not turn it on to test it

Do not attempt to enter a property deemed structurally unsafe to retrieve valuables or important documents 

Actions You Should Take Post-House Fire 

There are many proactive things that homeowners can do after a fire before SERVPRO technicians arrive on-site to begin the cleanup and restoration process.

Contact family members or friends if you need a place to stay after the fire. Then contact your insurance agent to start the claims process and SERVPRO to begin the mitigation efforts for the property and contents

If your pets cannot stay with you, see if they can stay with a trusted family member or friend until your property gets restored.

Within 24 hours of the occurrence of the fire, contact your utility companies to turn off the services to your home

Have the post office hold or forward your mail

Cigarette smoke odor

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

Many people think that a fire damage can only be caused by an actual fire. but many don't know that long-term cigarette smoking in enclosed areas can cause similar results as of is like that of a fire. However, tobacco smoke chemicals are much more difficult to eliminate than those of an actual fire. Often the smoke odor penetrates multiple areas of a room, carpet, walls and to remove the smell permanently, one must remove the source of the problem. This means cleaning all surfaces in your home. The cleanup always includes deodorizing agents to help eliminate all of the very tiny particles of tobacco smoke. A  professional equipment like an ozone machine effectively destroys all of the smoke odor particles that have penetrated the hard-to-reach areas.

8 Tips for Preventing Home Heating Fires

11/7/2021 (Permalink)

As the weather is slowly changing and we start seeing early signs of fall, crispy mornings and chilly nights here at SERVPRO of oldsmar we have put together a list on how to prevent home fires caused by our heating devices. I know some of us love having a heating blanket when lounging on the couch watching movies, or maybe having a small space heater to make you feel warm and cozy. 

  • Keep the space heater on the floor, preferably wood or tile. Low pile carpet is acceptable but stay away from high pile and shag carpeting. Space heaters are not intended to be used on a table or shelving. These situations pose a fire hazard if the space heater tips over and the unit does not come with an auto shut off tip feature.
  • Keep children and pets away from space heaters. Wagging tails and little hands pose a fire hazard as well as the potential for burns.
  • Make sure to turn off the heating unit when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Check for worn or frayed wires before using the space heater.
  • Keep the blanket flat while using it. Folds or bunched-up areas can create and trap too much heat.
  • Don't allow pets near your blanket. claws can cause rips and tears, which may expose the electric wiring of the blanket and create shock and fire hazards. 
  • Don't run cords under your mattress. It's tempting to keep cords hidden, but running them under the mattress creates friction that can damage the cord or trap excess heat.

Electrical Fires

10/5/2021 (Permalink)

Electrical fire causes 1: Faulty outlets, appliances. Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and old, outdated appliances. never use an appliance with a worn or frayed cord

Electrical fire cause 2: Light fixtures. Installing a bulb with a wattage that is too high for the lamps and light fixtures is a leading cause of electrical fires. Always check the maximum recommended bulb wattage on any lighting fixture or lamp and never go over the recommended amount.

Electrical fire cause 3: Extension cords. Appliances should be plugged directly into the outlet and not plugged into an extension cord for any length of time. Only use extension cords as a temporary measure

Electrical fire cause 4: Wiring. Outdated wiring often causes electrical fires. If a home is over 20 years old, it may not have the wiring capacity to handle the increased amounts of electrical appliances in today’s average home, such as computers, wide-screen televisions, video and gaming players, microwaves and air conditioners.

How to avoid kitchen fires

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen fires are one of the most common causes of fires in a household. We have put together the most common causes that we have come across.

Unplug electric appliances when not in use. Toaster ovens, mixers, coffee makes, and so on, Continue to draw electricity even when they’re not turned on, So if the wiring is old or faulty, Install a smoke detector near, but not in the kitchen. 

Install a smoke detector near, but not in the kitchen. You don't want the small amount of smoke or steam that cooking sometimes generates to constantly trigger the alarm - but you do want it to sense an actual kitchen fire.

Don't use any type of metal in the microwave. The sparks can turn into fire or can seriously damage your microwave.

Clean Up Grease. Grease is highly flammable so cleaning up the kitchen is an important step to prevent the kitchen from catching on fire.

Summertime Fire Safety

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

According to the United States Fire administration, just under 8,600 Americans are injured by fireworks and almost 5,000 are injured by charcoal/wood burning and propane grill fires, annually. A barbecue grill should always be supervised when in use. Keep children and pets a safe distance from the grilling area to prevent accidental burns or tipping off the grill.

Summertime should be a time to make memories and enjoy the great outdoors. The following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), will help keep you safe all summer long.

  • When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluid designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
  • When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
  • Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD (personal floatation device) when boating, jet-skiing, tubing or water-skiing. Air-filled swimming aids, like water wings or inner tubes, are not substitutes for approved PFDs. An adult should always supervise children using these devices.
  • Be sure to extinguish all smoking materials and shut down motors and heating devices before fueling a boat. In case of a spill, wipe up fuel and check for fuel leakage and odors.
  • When camping, always use a flame retardant tent and setup camp far away from the campfire. Only use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns inside the tent, not liquid-filled heaters or lanterns.
  • Always build a campfire down wind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your campfire. Always extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite. To extinguish, cover with dirt or pour water over the fire.
  • Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.
  • Consider leaving firework use to trained professionals. Stay back at least 500 feet from professional fireworks displays.

3 Rules To Teach Kids About Fire Safety

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Young mixed race woman in white dress crawls on ground by trees destroyed by wildfire while covered in ashes Crawling to safety

Teach Your Kids The Following Tactics

When was the last time you practiced a fire drill in your Cheval, FL, home? Do you think that your family would know what to do? Kids safety is the main priority as a parent, so help prepare children for a fire by teaching them these three escape tactics.

1. Roll out of Bed
In a home fire, the temperature difference between the floor and ceiling of a room can be over a hundred degrees. Teach children to roll out of bed to limit their exposure to high temperatures and smoke inhalation. Kids should avoid sitting up and instead roll onto their stomachs and slide onto the floor next to the bed.

2. Stay Low to the Floor
Once on the floor, kids need to stay there. Practice your planned fire escape route with your children by crawling to safety. There are two types of crawls kids need to know. The first is to get down on their forearms and knees with their noses as close to the floor as possible. The second is very similar except that they flatten their legs so that they are as close to the ground as possible.

3. Check Doors
Another important step in ensuring kids safety during a fire is to teach them to check doors before they open them. Show children how to use the back of their hands to check if doors are hot to the touch. Hot doors should stay closed. Cool or warm doors can be opened using a shoulder, and if the kids can see fire or smoke rolls out of the door, they need to close it. Make sure to teach children to close doors behind them, too. Doing this helps slow the spread and prevents fire damage.
Kids safety is important to every parent. Having a plan with clear fire safety rules will make sure children can keep a cool head and get out when needed.

How Sprinkler Systems Fight Fires

11/7/2020 (Permalink)

Factory roof structure and automatic fire protection in building system. Commercial fire sprinkler in Oldsmar, FL

When you walk through your building in Oldsmar, FL, do you notice the fire sprinkler protruding from your ceiling? You should. Understanding how your sprinkler system works and maintaining it is one of the most effective ways to protect your property from fire damage.

How the System Works

A fire sprinkler is only one small piece of a hidden water system that is made up of pipes installed behind walls and in ceilings. Sprinklers are placed along the piping to allow the most effective fire suppression for your building. When a fire breaks out, the heat from the flames triggers the sprinklers that are closest and releases the pressurized water in the pipes. Not all of the sprinklers go off at once. This way, the water goes where it is needed.
Contrary to common myths, sprinklers will not go off due to smoke. It is also very rare that they activate accidentally.

System Maintenance
Like any important piece of your building, sprinkler systems need to be checked and maintained. There is more to look for than just leaky sprinkler heads. The following should be checked at least once every quarter to make sure they are in good condition and operable:

  • Valves
  • All system gauges
  • Alarms
  • Fire department connections

Annual inspections also need to be conducted and should include sprinkler head checks.

When Fire and Water Collide
There may come a time when your sprinklers are going to have to do what they are meant to do – put out a fire. This could mean a lot of mess to handle. Not only is there the aftermath of the fire, but the resulting water issues from putting that fire out. By working with a professional fire and water damage company, fire sprinkler cleanup can go smoothly.
Protecting your property from fire damage only takes thinking ahead and maintaining your system by checking a fire sprinkler every once in a while.

5 Ways to Reduce Fire Hazards While Cooking

9/25/2020 (Permalink)

Young Man Using Red Fire Extinguisher To Stop Fire Coming From Oven In Kitchen Oven fire in an Eagles, FL home

Fire Safety Tips

Cooking accidents are among the leading causes of fires in the United States and often occur because the person in the kitchen wasn't making the proper fire safety precautions. Reducing your personal fire hazard risk while cooking is an excellent way to protect your home in The Eagles, FL, from becoming another statistic. Follow these basic fire safety tips to help keep your kitchen safe.

1. Never Leave Your Cooktop Unattended.
Your stove and other cooking appliances generate open flames, which can easily spread out of control if you aren't careful. You should never leave the room while your stove is on. If you must leave, make sure to turn your appliances off before you go.

2. Clean Up All Grease Spills Immediately.
A grease fire is one of the most difficult home fires to manage once it starts. You can help prevent fire damage by immediately cleaning up any grease spills you happen to come across.

3. Never Store Anything In Your Oven.
You can't always see the inside of your oven, so it can be easy to forget that items are inside. Many kitchen fires are caused when people begin to preheat their oven while these combustible items are inside. It's best just to be safe and never store anything inside the appliance.

4. Never Throw Hot Grease In The Garbage.
Your garbage can is full of highly combustible materials and throwing hot oil into the trash can is a guaranteed way to ignite a grease fire. The best grease disposal tips involve waiting for the oil to cool off before throwing it away in a separate can.

5. Never Cook While Wearing Loose Clothing.
Dangling sleeves can hang down onto hot surfaces and quickly catch fire. Prevent these types of accidents by either wearing short, tight sleeves, or rolling your sleeves up before you begin cooking.
Carelessness is one of the main causes of home cooking fires. Staying vigilant and following the above tips can certainly help reduce your risk. If a fire does break out in your home, make sure you contact fire remediation experts as soon as possible.

So You've Had a Fire in Your Rented Home. Now What?

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

Surviving an apartment fire in Oldsmar, FL can be both physically and emotionally exhausting. If you have recently had a fire in a rental property, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure how to proceed. Some of your personal items, as well as the apartment structure itself, have probably suffered fire damage or smoke damage that will require the help of a professional fire restoration company at someone's expense. If you are unsure which expenses are covered by renters, and which are the responsibility of the property owner, the answer to a few key questions can easily clarify things.

1. Do You Have Renter's Insurance?

An apartment fire is just one of many potential disasters that can leave a renter in a precarious financial position. For those with the foresight and resources, getting renter's insurance before a disaster is always a good idea. Insurance companies should be able to reimburse renters for furniture, personal appliances, or other possessions lost to fire.

2. Does the Damaged Property

Belong to the Tenant or Landlord?
Generally speaking, structural features of a property, including plumbing and ventilation, are covered by the landlord or landlord's insurance. Personal belongings within the household, such as furniture and decor, are the responsibility of the renter.

3. Which Party Was Primarily

Responsible for the Fire?
Unfortunately, negligence on the part of renters or property owners is frequently the cause of destructive domestic fires. It is always important for tenants to document any evidence of a landlord's negligence, as this may entitle tenants to compensation for fire-related losses.

If you think you might qualify for reimbursement for possessions that were lost or damaged in an apartment fire, it is wise to inventory your items meticulously. This will give you the best chance at receiving compensation for your losses and start you off on the right foot on your journey back to normalcy.

What To Do After a Fire

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

If your business in Oldsmar, FL has suffered a fire, it is important to begin the fire restoration process as quickly as possible. By working with a company that is Faster to Any Size Disaster, you can help mitigate the risk of additional damage. If your fire sprinklers went off or you have water damage, mold could begin forming in as little as twenty-four hours. There are several things you need to know about what to do after a fire.

1. Call the Experts

Most business owners have fire insurance that will cover the majority of damages, often after paying a deductible. As a first step to getting your business back on track, call your insurance agent to report the damage.

2. Do Not Touch Damaged Items

As tempting as it may be to begin the cleanup process, it is not a good idea to do it yourself when fire restoration is involved. There can be damage in places you cannot see, like subfloors, which could make the area unsafe. Additionally, you may unintentionally spread hard to clean soot or ash to other locations throughout the building. Cross-contamination could make smoke cleaning more difficult.

3. Perform Board-up Services

After a fire, your building could be open to the outside world in places it was not before. Not only can fires burn holes in walls and roofs, but sometimes firefighters cut holes as a way to help put out the fire. These openings can lead to further damage if animals, looters, or water enter. Most restoration teams will put a board or tarp over exterior holes to help prevent any further damage.

Fire restoration may involve more than just heat damage. There could also be problems from water, smoke, or fire suppression methods. When you work with an expert fire remediation company, your business will get back to its pre-fire condition as quickly as possible.

Necessary Preparations for Potential Fire Threats

7/12/2020 (Permalink)

Contingency Plan Every company needs a contingency plan if a disaster strikes

Necessary Preparations for Potential Fire Threats

The most significant threat to a business after a disaster is time. Repairing the damage and getting back to work is of the utmost importance for your company, employees, stakeholders, and clients. As with most things in business, preparation through a contingency plan helps to avoid long-term interruptions. Any fire restoration company in Cheval, FL, will explain that there are three things a company can do to limit damage and speed up the recovery process.

Fire prevention systems
Fire Escape Plans
Business interruption procedures

Fire Prevention Systems
If you wish to limit the extent of fire damage to your facility, then fire prevention systems should be installed. Many municipalities require commercial properties to have sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers on-site, and those same governing bodies likely regulate these systems. While you may need to install these systems, often the type of system is up to you. Sprinkler designs come in several varieties, including non-water. However, the one system that helps to limit the damage is a zoned system. These systems will only release in areas where a fire is detected, meaning the rest of your facility remains dry.

Fire Escape Plans
Every company should have an evacuation plan, and it should be given to every manager and employee. Escape plans should also be posted in hallways and meeting rooms. A plan needs to have at least two exits from every space in the building.

Business Interruption Procedures
As the primary concern of business owners is limiting interruption, a contingency plan should include ways to continue operations without the building. Can employees work remotely? Can orders be fulfilled through external distribution centers? Who needs to know what is happening and how services change? Answering these questions and many others will help you limit the financial strain of a fire disaster.
Every company needs a contingency plan if a disaster strikes. It is also useful to have a disaster mitigation professional on standby to help move the recovery along.

3 Dryer Exhaust Cleaning Tips

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning a dryer exhaust A clogged dryer exhaust can cause a lint fire

Three Dryer Exhaust Cleaning Tips

Whenever you use your dryer, lint gets trapped in your dryer exhaust, vent, and ductwork. A clogged dryer exhaust can cause a lint fire. These three dryer exhaust cleaning tips can help you keep your dryer ductwork free of excessive lint.

1. Find Your Duct
You can not clean your dryer duct if you do not know where to find it. Most dryers have a 4-inch diameter exhaust behind them, which connects to ductwork inside the wall by an aluminum elbow or pipe. The outside exhaust vent is usually located within a few feet of your dryer's exhaust and covered by a vent cover that should be visible from the outside. If you are having difficulty locating the vent, try following the pipe connected to your dryer.

2. Use a Brush Made for Cleaning Dryer Vents
Vacuum attachments can be used to remove some amount of lint from the dryer duct, but because they do not agitate the lint, they are not very efficient and can leave a substantial amount of lint behind, increasing the risk of a lint fire. Dryer brush kits come with long-handled brushes designed to reach deep into the dryer ductwork and efficiently remove lint from the interior walls.

3. Replace Your Flexible Duct With a Rigid One
Flexible dryer ducts used to be very popular, because they were easier to route through tight spaces. However, because their ribbed design can easily trap lint, they pose a higher risk of starting a fire than rigid types. If your dryer has a flexible duct, replace it with a rigid duct to make cleaning easier and reduce your risk of a dryer fire.
Failure to regularly clean and maintain your dryer vent can lead to a lint fire. These three tips can help you reduce your fire risk. If you have suffered fire damage to your home, a fire restoration professional in Heritage Harbor, FL, can assist you with your cleanup needs.