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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Fire Damage Blog Posts

Fire Prevention week is OCTOBER 8-13

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Fire prevention week is coming up! It is the week where you evaluate how safe is your home from fire and how prepared are you if your home is on fire?

There are several events around Humboldt County during Fire Prevention Week. Arcata Fire Department kicks it off on the Seventh of October with an Open House. SERVPRO OF EUREKA will have a table there with lots of fire prevention and remediation materials along with balloons and face painting for the kids!

Humboldt Bay Fire Department also has an Annual Open House during Fire Prevention Week. It is usually held at their Fire Station 1 located at 533 C Street, Eureka. 

Both of these fun events are geared towards safety, prevention and are very kid friendly! 

Do you have a plan if your home catches fire?

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Our friends at NFPA have posted these great prevention tips that everyone should know. Preparation can prevent a tragedy from happening! 

In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.

That’s why this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” is so important. It reinforces why everyone needs to have an escape plan. Here’s this year’s key campaign messages:

  • Draw a map of your home by using our grid in English (PDF) or Spanish (PDF) with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  • Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  • Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

10 Key Fire Safety Tips

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

Though some fires are unavoidable acts of nature or unpredictable accidents, many fires in the home and workplace are avoidable. The following tips, curtesy of the NFPA, can help reduce the likelihood of a fire in your business or home.

1) Watch your cooking. Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Never allow young children around the stove or oven.

2) Give space heaters space. Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.

3) Smoke outside.If you must smoke inside, use a sturdy, deep ashtray.

4) Keep matches and lighters out of reach. Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets , preferably under a child lock.

5) Inspect electrical cords. Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs or have loose connections.

6) Be careful using candles. Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.

7) Have a fire escape plan. Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.

8) Install smoke alarms. Install alarms on every level of your office or home and inside bedrooms, interconnect them so they all sound at once.

9) Test smoke alarms. Test alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year or as needed.

10) Install sprinklers. Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance of saving your property.

Why you need the professionals to clean up after a fire

7/27/2017 (Permalink)

Why you need professionals to clean up fire damage according to the IICRC website.

When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it shouldn’t be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own.

While fire is always the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house
. Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. Professionals that clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming they are contacted soon enough. There are many companies out there that advertise their ability to restore areas affected by fire, but only those with proper training and certification should be considered. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the main oversight agency in this industry. The IICRC requires its registrants to take extensive coursework before earning their certification. This is a symbol of excellence, and those that uphold the standards that have been set can be contacted through the IICRC.

These professionals can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.

If a professional isn’t hired to clean smoke and fire damage, the costs for restoration will skyrocket after a few weeks
. Metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to be distracting. Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.

The first thing a trained, certified, professional company will do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. The experts will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, the restorers will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.

This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative

Fire Facts that may surprise you.

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

FLSA has compiled some information and statistics to help you practice effective fire prevention habits, understand the causes of fire, learn more about fire protection, and minimize your fear with facts.

  • Fire kills almost 4000 Americans each year, more than all natural disasters combined.
  • About one home fire is reported about every minute and a half each year.
  • Smoke detectors save lives, minimize damage and limit injuries. About 60% of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke detectors.
  • Exercise extra caution in the kitchen. Cooking and kitchen fires are the leading cause of home fires.
  • Electric stoves are more likely to cause kitchen fires than gas stoves.
  • When was the last time you had a professional inspection of your heating system? Faulty heating equipment is the next leading cause of home fires.
  • What about those extension cords? Are you overloading electrical outlets? Electrical related fires are next in line behind kitchen and heating equipment home fires.
  • Check your clothes dryer vents. Over 3000 dryer related fires occur each year in homes and apartments.
  • What about fire and life safety on the road? It’s a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher in your vehicle. Approximately 200,000 vehicle related fires occur each year. That’s about one every three minutes.
  • Celebrate your holidays safely. Fires caused by candles are most common on Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
  • What about fireworks? They are a leading cause of fire and fire related injuries on special holidays. Be careful.
  • Do you practice fire and life safety outdoors during routine and recreational activities? Annually, over 600,000 fires occur outdoors away from the home.
  • Approximately 90% of all wildfires in the U.S. are caused by humans.
  • Children playing with fire cause hundreds of deaths each year Teach fire protection and prevention. Keep them away from matches, lighters and flammable liquids!
  • Stop smoking! If you choose to smoke be extra careful. Careless smokers are a leading cause of fires in the home and workplace.
  • Cooking related fires are the most common type of fire related incidents at work. Most workplace fires occur between noon and 2PM.
  • Over 25% of workplace related fires can be linked to electrical malfunctions.
  • Is your sprinkler system OK? Flammable and combustible materials are common in many workplaces. They are also common causes of fire.
  • The total cost of fires in the U.S. is estimated to be between 11 and 12 billion dollars annually.
  • Close to 100% of fires are preventable!

Smoke and Soot Clean-Up

10/27/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke and Soot Clean-Up Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Humboldt 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 Eureka 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?
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