Recent Fire Damage Posts

Professionals in Restoration

7/22/2022 (Permalink)

Because of the convection pattern that flames typically form during ignition, smoky residue saturates every opening. The soot constructs up in layers that may end up being solidified and tough to eliminate which is another reason to leave the cleaning to a specialist. When the cleaning teams do arrive, they promptly different salvageable items from charred debris, taking the things creating the strongest odors out for cleaning. Following a fire, wall surface areas can be harmed by soot. Non-water based cleaners need to be used to remove soot from walls. These kinds of chemicals should be handled by a specialist due to the fumes and toxicity. Water-based cleaning items can cause spots to bleed into plaster walls which is why a trained specialist should be left to deal with these chemicals. Most importantly, a restoration effort reduces the after-effects a blaze can have on the health of those who return in. 

If a homeowner does not have the property restored by a professional, the results can be found later on down the line. To an untrained eye they might believe the issue has been fixed, they experience the remaining impacts of indoor air pollution for numerous months later on in the form of increased respiratory discomfort. Companies like SERVPRO of Cheviot Hills/Palms are leading experts in fire restoration. They are trained to help remove your belongings as well as cleaning and storing them until your property has been restored to its original condition.

Fire Fighting Technology

7/21/2022 (Permalink)

Everyone knows how devastating fire damage can be, especially when your home experiences a fire, your livelihood and belongings are in grave danger. 

Firefighters risk their lives every day to make sure fires are prevented and minimized and to do that they must have the best equipment. Disaster safety equipment is advancing every day and a great example would be this brand new piece of fire-fighting technology, the C-Thru Firefighting Helmet developed in Sweden.

The C-Thru Fire fighting helmet is similar to Divers helmets with a flash of tomorrows technology thrown in with capabilities such as adjustable oxygen and CO2 levels like normal helmets but also contain heads up  displays to let the firefighter know his remaining oxygen levels, temperature, Line assisted environment visuals, thermal imaging and many other tools to make saving lives for fire fighters easier. 

Average cost of Fire and Smoke damage repair

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

Even a small fire within a home can result in extensive damage from smoke and the water used to extinguish the fire. Prompt professional repair and restoration is essential in order to prevent additional damage and problems such as mold growth and wood rot. Before making a call to a professional, here are some things you should know first.

The average cost of repair and restoration services after fire and smoke damage is $2,950. The total cost that a homeowner pays for such repairs will depend on the location and extent of the damage. For example, fire damage to a kitchen may cost more to repair than damage to a closet due to the expense of replacing costly cabinets and appliances. The out of pocket amount that a homeowner pays to have fire and smoke damage repairs might be reduced by homeowner's insurance coverage. 

Water used to extinguish a fire can saturate the walls and floors of the home. The water can quickly cause mold growth and wood rot if the water isn't removed and the home thoroughly dried. Soot from the fire can saturate and stain anything upholstered. Professional restoration is needed in order to salvage the furnishings as well as linens, draperies and carpet. Smoke discoloration and odors can pervade almost everything in a home, including furnishings, carpets and rugs, linens and clothing. Professional restoration is essential in order to save those items. The smoke can also damage the home's air ducts, resulting in foul odors each time the furnace or air conditioner turns on. Restoration and repair services are needed to clean the ducts before the HVAC system is used again.

The larger the area of a home damaged by smoke and fire, the higher the cost in terms of both time and money to repair and restore the damage. It's important to start the repair and restoration process as soon as possible after a fire, as the longer the damage is left untreated, the worse it can become. Because proper repair and restoration may require the use of professional grade chemicals and equipment, the entire process should be left to experienced professionals.

Smoke and Soot Clean Up

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot can cause serious damage in hard to reach areas in your home. Our expertise allows us to assess the extent of the damage and develop a comprehensive plan of action. 

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper level 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 differing types of soot damage that can occur after a fire. Before our restoration process can begin, we test to find the specific type of soot that has built up. The cleaning procedures may differ depending on the results, here's some additional information on that;

Dry Smoke - Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Wet Smoke - Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean. 

Protein Fire Residue - produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extremely pungent odor. 

Our fire restoration services are available 24 hours a day, anytime you have questions or concerns call us at (323) 667-3100

Fire Damage Differences

6/30/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damage is almost always devastating, regardless of size and damage. An important thing to know though is the type of fire damage you may have endured. SERVPRO is always here to help in any way we can, even if it's just to educate the community. If you take a good look at the picture here from a past job you can see that this home suffered a major loss due to a house fire. There's damage from smoke, soot, and ash on the walls leaving a black layer and a strong odor. There's regular physical damage that fire tends to cause when something is directly touched or set on fire. Something many people may not realize though is the water damage that comes with a fire. Anytime the fire department is called to battle a fire you can count on water damage from the fire hoses. If the home is left long enough with the water soaking into the furniture, carpets, flooring and everything else in the home, mold can form. If your home suffers a loss from a fire, don't wait! Call SERVPRO of Cheviot Hills to come and get the job done.

Data Loss Prevention

6/23/2021 (Permalink)

If a business you’re responsible for relies on backing up large amounts of electronic information, you’ll probably want to make sure there’s a way to preserve it in the case of an accident. To be more specific, you’ll want to have a contingency plan set up to deal with the possibility of fire damage. A fire in the server room can do more than simply damage infrastructure. It can also set a business back months while you replace ruined equipment, and—perhaps worst of all—it can obliterate large quantities of data that the company needs on a daily basis. Data could include everything from financial records to client databases, so you should only ignore the risk of fir eat the peril of losing some very important assets. If you’re a contractor working on behalf of one of these businesses, it also represents a significant challenge.

That said, there are a few things you can do to help avoid irreparable data loss in the event of a fire. From preventative measures to restorative treatments, here are a few ideas to help you soldier on when the sparks literally start flying:

Protect your data using cloud based backups

If you’re worried about losing data when physical servers and computers are threatened, there’s one simple solution: house it somewhere else (or at least house a copy there). Using a cloud based backup lets you store an extra version of your most important information using servers that you won’t be responsible for. Since many of the largest cloud based backup solutions (like Backblaze and Crashplan) take special care to preserve their users’ info, it’s a pretty safe bet that nothing will happen to your stash once you entrust it to them for safekeeping. Of course, this won’t save your equipment or facilities themselves, but it’s better than nothing.

Electronic restoration

In the unfortunate event that damage occurs to your servers and you haven’t stored backups of your information elsewhere, electronic restoration might be the only effective route to take. Many highly sensitive technologies can be restored—at least to some extent—including computers, telecommunications technology, manufacturing machinery and medical instruments. By removing corrosion and deposits, it’s often very possible to get these units working like new again for as little as 10-30% of the cost of replacing them entirely. Once a skilled technician removes contaminants such as soot, dust, and deposits from chemical vapors, he should be able to take the equipment apart, clean the individual pieces, reassemble them, adjust the machinery and return it to service.

Proactive planning for fire (and water) disasters

Of course, one of the best ways to deal with damage is to avoid it completely. You can save yourself from the inconvenience of having to restore your equipment by making sure it’s not an easy place for a fire to start or a flood to break out. Avoid storing flammable materials near sensitive equipment, and make sure electronics aren’t stored under your sprinkler system or near water pipes. It’s also a good idea to have maintenance briefed on the nature of the technology in the area so that they use safe and appropriate methods when cleaning or tidying up around it.

Have insurance

Finally, you want to make you have cover if a disaster does happen to strike. Restoring your electronics can save them, but it can also be time-consuming—and you want to make sure you can afford the downtime. That’s why having comprehensive fire and accident insurance is key to keeping you in business when the unexpected occurs. Make sure you understand your policy and keep an up to date copy with you always, just in case.

Fires Area Of Affect

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damage is devastating, this is a known fact. What’s not widely known is that when there is a large fire, there will also certainly be water damage as well. The reason for this is when the fire department responds to a large fire and spray the fire down with a fire hose they soak the entire property and materials within. Not many people consider this but every time the fire department is involved, there will be fire and water damage which in turn can cause mold growth if left for a long period of time. In most of these cases this requires the property to be completely demoed to be serviced and restored. This can be further complicated by lead and asbestos possibly being in buildings that are quite old requiring testing and proper chemical protection to be serviced. This in many regards is the worst case scenario for a property disaster so we urge you to keep being diligent about your personal and fire safety.

What Fire is

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

Many people know what fire looks like and what fire does to things, but not many know what fire is really comprised of.  Fire is composed of mostly plasma, which is a substance that is most like a gas but kind of in between types of matter interestingly enough. Fire is created when a substance ignites and the molecules of that substance heat up and move very rapidly causing the flame. That’s precisely why fire is hot. Another interesting fact is that fire is not the direct cause of smoke, rather smoke is something that happens when a fire does not burn a substance very efficiently because of a lack of oxygen. These are the mechanics of why and how a fire burns and the smoke/soot it emits, these culminate to burn homes and rain forests alike, and remember, if you ever have an issue with fire, soot, or smoke on your property you can always call SERVPRO for help!

 

How To Get Rid Of The Fire Smoke Smell

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

After a fire, the cleanup can seem like a never-ending process. Beyond repairs for items burnt, soot-covered or damaged by water from firefighting efforts, there's the question of how to get smoke smell out of the house. Whether your home has suffered smoke damage from a house fire or from the effects of a wildfire, SERVPRO professionals have the expertise and know-how to get rid of smoke smell in the house quickly and effectively.

Fire smoke infiltrates all areas of a home. It can seep into carpeting, furniture, clothing, draperies, books and even woodwork. Removing fire smoke smell from a home is a process best left to the professionals with the expertise, specialized equipment, and ability to work safely within your home without causing further damage. Often homeowners attempt to dissipate smoke smell with spray deodorizers and scented candles. These tactics only mask the odor of smoke and won't remove it from the home. Smoke particles bury themselves into fabrics, fibers, and other porous surfaces. In order to remove smoke smell completely, items need to be deeply cleaned.

CLEANING

 Essentially everything in a home affected by fire smoke needs to be cleaned. Some items may only require thorough airing to remove smoke smell, but most items like carpeting, rugs, curtains, upholstery, and clothing will need a thorough cleaning and possible sanitization. If the items also are soot-covered, we recommend to handle the item as little as possible and trust it’s cleaning to a professional to prevent further damage. When working out how to get fire smoke smell out of house carpets and upholstery, trust the cleaning experts at SERVPRO for the job. We'll make sure the smoke smell and ash residue are completely removed from deep within the fibers and fabrics. Wash down all hard surfaces with a mild detergent and water — this includes painted surfaces, baseboards, doors, window frames/sills and the outside and interiors of all cabinets and drawers.

Safety Tip: Never eat any food or allow pets to eat food that has been exposed to fire smoke.

Fire safety, But For Kids!!

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

Fire safety is one of the most important procedures to know for possible emergencies. Adults may already know what’s important and the do’s and don'ts in a fire emergency but children may not be so knowledgeable, here are some fire safety tips to make sure your young ones know! 

  • Smoke detectors - what they are for, how they work and the sound that they make is crucial knowledge for a child so that they know to associate the alarm with a fire emergency. 
  • Escape routes - Knowing the best possible way to get away from a potentially dangerous area during a fire is very important.
  • Practice opening windows - Knowing how to quickly open a window in an emergency is important to teach your young ones so they are better prepared to quickly act in an emergency.
  • Touch the door and check for heat - A fire raging on the other side of a door is a huge danger, teaching children to check a doorknob for the heat of a fire is important as the fire could spread faster if the door is opened.

 Use these tips to make sure your children are properly prepared for a fire emergency.

Fire Safety

6/23/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO knows that fire related emergencies can seem like they are very easy to prevent, but you would be surprised to see what other precautions you can be taking.  Some of the most common causes of fires include; cooking, candles, heating equipment, fire places, electrical appliances, smoking, flammable liquids, Christmas trees, etc. to name a few. Below we have a list of recommendations we have to prevent fires. 

  • Never leave a stove top in use unattended
  • Use a cooking timer
  • Keep any & all kitchen surfaces (including ceiling) free from grease build up
  • Place heaters at a safe distance away from flammable materials & disconnect when not in use
  • Avoid plugging in too many electrical appliances into one extension cord
  • Keep candles away from curtains, decorations and other combustibles, and make sure candle holders are stable or simply use battery operated candles
  • If possible, smoke outside. If you smoke inside, avoid doing so when tired/sleepy, and use large and deep ashtrays
  • Keep flammable liquids in approved containers and away from electrical and heat sources. If possible, store them outside in a well-ventilated area.
  • Use decorative lights that have been inspected by an independent testing laboratory. In addition, replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections
  • Install smoke alarms
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors
  • Install a fire sprinkler system
  • Install a fire extinguisher

Differences in Fire Damage

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen damaged by fire Kitchen damaged by fire

Fire damage is almost always devastating, regardless of size and damage. An important thing to know though is the type of fire damage you may have endured. SERVPRO is always here to help in any way we can, even if it's just to educate the community. If you take a good look at the picture here from a past job you can see that this home suffered a major loss due to a house fire. There's damage from smoke, soot, and ash on the walls leaving a black layer and a strong odor. There's regular physical damage that fire tends to cause when something is directly touched or set on fire. Something many people may not realize though is the water damage that comes with a fire. Anytime the fire department is called to battle a fire you can count on water damage from the fire hoses. If the home is left long enough with the water soaking into the furniture, carpets, flooring and everything else in the home, mold can form. If your home suffers a loss from a fire, don't wait! Call SERVPRO to come and get the job done.