Recent Fire Damage Posts
Fire Damage Do's and Don'ts
When homeowners or commercial property owners deal with a fire in their home or business it can be overwhelming event. It’s crucial, though, to start your fire damage cleanup and restoration process as soon as possible, to get your life back to normal.
Rather than running to the store to buy cleaning products, mops, and buckets yourself, you need to rely on the experts to handle the situation. There are specific steps the professionals will follow to restore your property and contents to their preloss condition.
Here are some do's and don'ts that we suggest:
- Even if everything looks safe and clear to you, don’t enter your property after a fire until a professional has told you it’s safe to do so. Not only could your structure be unstable, but fires can start again — even after they appear to be out.
- Take photos for evidence of the fire damage this will help when it comes to dealing with your insurance company.
- Call your insurance, in order to get the ball rolling on fire damage assessment.
- Call your local restoration company, to help with fire damage cleanup and repair.
- Limit movement inside the building, this will stop soot particles from spreading.
- If the weather allows, open windows and doors for ventilation.
- Remove all clothing from the property and have it cleaned by professional fire damage restoration cleaners, not just a dry cleaner.
- Enter the building before the fire department gives you the go-ahead, even if it looks safe.
- Start to clean or wipe residue from walls, ceilings, and other surfaces. Everything needs to be assessed by your insurer first.
- Use or try to clean carpets or furnishings impacted by smoke residues or debris until they are professionally cleaned.
- Use food items or canned goods that were exposed to heat or fire.
- Turn on the water, electric, or gas until professionally checked
If it’s not handled correctly the residue left behind after fire damage may cause health problems . Only trained experts with professional equipment can ensure fire damage restoration is done safely and thoroughly.
Tips of what to do and what not to do after a fire damage.
Tips of what to do and what not to do after a fire damage
- Make small movements in the home to prevent soot from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Make sure your hands are clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or rags that you may not use anymore to cover carpet traffic areas.
- Empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open if the power goes out.
- Wash plants that are in the house on both sides of leaves.
- Change the filters for your HVAC units
- Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us first since it can increase the damage.
- Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
- Any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat, or water should be disposed if they got damaged.
- Ceiling fixtures should not get turned on if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
- Garments cannot go to an ordinary dry cleaner. There are licensed businesses that know how to fully restore garments from a fire damage.
The Cost to Rebuild your House
Rebuilding your House
Determining your home's estimated replacement cost is important because in the event of a loss the replacement cost will ultimately determine how much coverage your policy will provide. Since it is impossible to predict today what the exact cost will be to replace your home in the future, it's important to have enough coverage to account for unforeseen circumstances.
1. Ask if a replacement cost estimate is available when you have your home appraised.
2 Consult with your local builder association or a reputable builder for an estimate.
Market conditions in your area may impact the amount it will cost to rebuild your home if you experience a loss. Replacement cost estimates are influenced by factors such as supply of labor, the cost of labor, and the cost of construction materials.
Should you experience a fire, water, or mold loss, you can count on SERVPRO of Atascadero to help. Our goal is to help you regain control and make your damage "Like it never even happened."
Is your Chimney at risk?
This is a scenario that plays out almost 25,000 times per year in the US: Chimney Fires. These fires can be very dramatic, or they may burn silently, but their silence holds no indication of the harm they may cause as they burn slowly at incredibly high temperatures. Regardless of the type, all chimney fires can cause substantial damage and risk to you and your family.
So what causes chimney fires? The build-up of creosote along the chimney lining walls can facilitate the start of a chimney fire. This build-up is caused by the unburden materials in the smoke accumulating along the chimney walls and creating a sticky substance that can easily catch fire. The smoke from the fire contains a substance similar to tar and when the temperatures within the chimney are below 250 degrees Fahrenheit, the substance will condense along the chimney surface. When the temperature drops below 150 degrees Fahrenheit, the substance turns into a dark, sticky substance that is also highly flammable.
Tips on how to prevent from using a fire extinguisher
Make sure kids and pets stay away from hot food or liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy, or coffee can cause serious burns.
Keep the floor clean so you don’t trip over any toys, purses, or bags.
Keep knives out of the reach of children.
Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer, or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
Do not leave candles burning in rooms where you cannot observe them and make sure the flame is at least 1’ away from any combustible item.
Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
Tests have shown that a number of available fryers can tip over easily, allowing hot oil to spill and creating a fire or scald burn from contact. They can also overheat which causes hot oil to spill or splatter outside the fryer, a recipe for fire or serious injury.
How to get rid of bad odor after a fire damage.
Kitchen filled with soot
One of the most significant issues after a fire is not the loss of possessions, but the lingering bad odor left afterward. It can be very challenging to remove smoke smells, often requiring the assistance of professionals who understand what to do when smoke odors do not go away.
What are the steps SERVPRO technicians put into place to remove the smells in a fire damaged house?
- Remove: We find and remove all sources of smoke, taking anything charred offsite for cleaning and restoration when possible, and disposing if damaged items.
- Clean: We use dry cleaning for residue not yet absorbed and wet cleaning with solvents for absorbed residue requiring a deeper clean.
- Neutralize: When the smells still linger after removal and cleaning, we use odor-absorbing beads and then thermal foggers which produce a smoke-like substance reaching throughout the home, attacking hard to reach smoke particles
For 24/7 assistance after a fire, contact SERVPRO of Atascadero at (805)541-1271.
Tips on how to prevent a Halloween Fire
A fire can start when candles are too close to decorations or when long trailing costumes touch any lit candles. To make sure you have a spooky and safe Halloween, follow these tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):
• When choosing a costume, stay away from long trailing fabric. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so he or she can see out.
• Keep all decorations away from open flames and other heat sources like light bulbs and heaters.
• Use a battery-operated candle or glow-stick in jack-o-lanterns.
• Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
• If your children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them look for ways out of the home and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
Paso Robles Fire Repair Company, Releases Tips For Preventing Barbecue Fires
Campfire burning. Campfires and BBQ's can be a potential fire damage hazard.
A great barbecue starts with a hot fire that creates the coals needed to grill the food to its delicious perfection. “But,” said Joe Powers, Paso Robles fire repair expert, “We want to keep the fire and hot coals inside the grill so nothing else catches on fire.”
Summer and fall brings family and friends together for good times over the barbecue. Great food and great company make great memories and the professionals from SERVPRO of Atascadero want to make sure those memories are not marred by an out-of-control fire.
People getting together for a good time hardly seems like something that can turn into a disaster, but these interesting facts from the National Fire Protection Association can make people much more aware of barbecue safety:
- May through August is the leading months for barbecue fires.
- From 2013 to 2017 an average 19,000 people per year showed up in emergency rooms due to injuries involving barbecue grills. Children under five years old accounted for an average 2,000 injuries per year.
- Gas grills were involved in an average of 8700 home fires per year. Charcoal and other solid-fuel grills were involved in 1100 home fires per year.
- Twenty-three percent of gas grill fires were caused by leaks or breaks in the equipment.
A few precautions and a watchful eye can help keep flames and hot coals in the barbecue and away from guests, pets, dry vegetation and other flammable surroundings. Here are some tips to help prevent a fire.
- Always check the tank and connections for gas grills before starting.
- Set up the grill in a clear area outside away from flammable materials, including dry grass, trees, umbrellas and covered patios.
- Allow plenty of room for people to move around, reducing accidental contact with the hot barbecue, or even tipping it over.
- Don’t allow children and pets to play too close.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy. A fire extinguisher can be used with gas or charcoal/wood grills. A water hose can be used with charcoal or wood grills.
- Trim excess fat. Meat that is too fatty causes flames to flare and can cause serious injury. Keep a spray bottle handy to stop flare-ups.
- Never leave fire or hot coals unattended.
- Keep the grill clean, including the cooking surfaces and grill pans.
- Check the barbecue for rust spots or holes. Make sure it is well supported with no danger of being easily knocked over. Don’t use damaged equipment.
- Let the barbecue cool down completely before covering it.
- Dump the ashes into a metal bucket and hose them down until there are completely cool with no embers of smoke before disposing of them.
SERVPRO professionals are highly trained in property damage restoration caused by fire, mold, storms and other water damage. The company mission is to help families and communities avoid personal and property damage and in the event of damage, to make it "Like it never even happened.”
SERVPRO of Atascadero
Atascadero, CA 93422
Disaster Response Professionals Offer Fire Prevention Safety Tips
Have a SAFE holiday season!
Local Disaster Response Professional Says Keep the Focus on Fire Prevention for a Safe and Joyous Holiday Season SERVPRO® restoration specialist outlines holiday home fire prevention guidelines.
San Luis Obispo, CA (Grassroots Newswire) November 29, 2017 --
The American Red Cross (ARC) cites statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration1 showing nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays, claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage. Joseph Powers of SERVPRO® of San Luis Obispo cautions home owners to follow some important ARC guidelines for holiday decorating and entertaining to make sure that the glow in their holiday celebrations is from twinkling lights and not a costly and potentially deadly fire.
Place Christmas trees and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents, and candles.
Purchase flame-retardant metallic or artificial trees. If you purchase a real tree, make sure that it has fresh, green needles that aren't easily broken. Keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water.
Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
If you are celebrating Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, keep flammable items, including curtains and holiday decorations, at least three feet away from your candles. Place your menorah or kinara on a non-flammable surface, such as a tray lined with aluminum foil, to catch the melting candle wax. Never leave lit candles unattended.
Ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave and always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.
If, in spite of all your precautions, a fire does break out, the most important thing you can do to help save lives is to install and maintain smoke alarms throughout your property, says Powers. Having a working smoke alarm reduces everyone's chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.
Powers notes that the ARC is joining with fire departments and community groups nationwide to deliver and install a limited number of free smoke alarms in homes for those in need. Contact your local ARC chapter for more information.
The disaster response professionals at SERVPRO, a leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services, witness the devastation that home fires can cause far too often.
They also know that when fire causes a loss of life, there is no remediation possible. To keep the focus on fire prevention, rather than fire restoration, SERVPRO has teamed up with the American Red Cross by supporting the ARC Disaster Responder program, and in particular the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign.
As a Disaster Responder, SERVPRO pledges dollars and support in advance to help the ARC develop and distribute educational materials and respond immediately when they are needed.
As a SERVPRO professional, I know that even the most diligent fire prevention planning can't prevent all home fires. That's why fire safety planning, like installing and maintaining smoke detectors and having a family escape plan, is also important, says Powers. If a fire does break out in your home this holiday season, make sure all your family members follow this life-saving advice from the ARC: Get Out, Stay Out, and Call for Help.
For more fire prevention and fire safety tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.SERVPRO.com. For more information on SERVPRO® of San Luis Obispo, please contact Joseph Powers at (805) 541-1271 or office@SERVPROsanluisobispo.com.
Let's Talk Turkey: The Dangers of Deep Frying
SERVPRO of Atascadero wishes you & yours a very happy Thanksgiving!
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to talk turkey. Particularly, deep-fried turkey. If you’ve ever had it, you know how good it tastes. If you haven’t, well, you haven’t lived. Not only is it much faster to cook, but the flavor & moisture that results is amazing! BUT, there is some risk to preparing your bird this way, namely FIRE. The only thing faster than deep frying a turkey is how fast your holiday can be ruined if a fire results at your home. SERVPRO of Atascadero has a few tips to prevent that from happening:
- Make sure the turkey isn't frozen—in fact, make sure that the turkey is COMPLETELY thawed. Oil and water do not mix. Dropping an unthawed turkey in hot oil can cause flames to ignite and spread through your home and property.
- Do NOT stuff the turkey before deep-frying or use any water-based marinades when deep-frying.
- Keep the frying at a distance—at least 10 feet away from the house, not inside any enclosures like a garage or a shed, and not under a porch or eaves.
- Keep a close watch on the deep-fryer. It only takes a moment of inattention to end up with fire damage, smoke damage, and/or even water damage if the Fire Department has to show up with their hoses!
- Keep children away from the deep-fryer. Oil burns are especially dangerous.
We at SERVPRO hope these tips help you enjoy a safe, disaster-free Thanksgiving and holiday season. Although restoration after water damage, smoke damage and fire disasters may be our specialty, we don’t wish them upon anyone. But if they occur, SERVPRO is ready for whatever happens, 24/7. Call us anytime at 805-541-1271.
Avoid Disaster! SERVPRO Offers Fire Safety Tips for Your BBQ Grilling
Always Use Safe Practices When Grilling!
Everyone loves a good BBQ. Keep in mind that a grill can be a fire hazard. They can be very hot, causing burn injuries. Placed too close to other flammable objects, they can become an ignition source resulting in a deck or house fire or wildfire. Follow these simple tips and you will be on the way to safe grilling.
- Only use propane and charcoal BBQ grills outdoors.
- Place the grill well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Children and pets should be kept at least three feet away from the grill.
- Your grill should be kept clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
- Never leave a grill unattended—they can flare up in an instant.
- Before lighting it, always make sure your gas grill lid is open.
- There are several ways to prepare the charcoal. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
- If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids directly to the fire. Do not EVER use gasoline.
- There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord that is rated for outdoor use.
- When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposal—always dispose of them in a metal container.
- Keep charcoal fluid away from heat sources an out of the reach of children.
- Before using it for the first time each year, always check the gas tank hose for leaks. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If you can smell gas, and/or if the “soapy bubble test” is actively releasing bubbles, your grill has a gas leak. If there is no flame, turn off both the gas tank and the grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, clear the area and call the fire department. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
- If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 5 minutes before re-lighting it.
All of us at SERVPRO of Atascadero hope these tips help you enjoy a safe, disaster-free summer and beyond. Restoration after smoke, fire and water disasters may be our specialty, but we don’t wish them upon anyone. But if they occur, SERVPRO is ready for whatever happens, 24/7.
Autumn is Upon Us! Here are a Few Important Tips from SERVPRO:
Autumn brings with it many changes--make sure you're ready.
As cooler fall weather moves in, SERVPRO of Atascadero reminds you to keep electrical safety in mind. Here are a few safety tips to help you stay safe as things cool down:
- Safely store warm weather tools like lawn mowers and trimmers. BE CAREFUL not to park a lawn mower or other motorized tool with a hot engine near fallen leaves as they may ignite, causing a fire.
- ALWAYS check cold weather tools, such as leaf and snow blowers, along with their power cords, for unusual wear and tear. Repair or replace worn tools or parts right away.
- ALWAYS unplug and safely store battery chargers when not in use.
- Use ONLY weatherproof electrical devices for outside activities. Protect outdoor electrical devices from moisture.
- Keep dry leaves swept AWAY from outdoor lighting, outlets and power cords.
- Make sure electric blankets are in good repair. Power cords should not be frayed, cracked or cut. If you see ANY visible damage to an electric blanket, it should be properly disposed of immediately.
- NEVER tuck an electric blanket under mattresses or children, and NEVER put anything, on top of an electric blanket while it is in use. This includes other blankets and/or comforters/bedspreads.
- The same advice re electric blankets can be said for heating pads. Heating pads and electric blankets cause almost 500 fires each year. Almost all of these fires involve electric blankets that are more than ten years old.
We at SERVPRO hope these tips help you enjoy a safe, disaster-free Autumn and beyond. Restoration after smoke, fire and water disasters may be our specialty, but we don’t wish them upon anyone. But if they occur, SERVPRO is ready for whatever happens, 24/7.
Atascadero Fire Damage Specialists issue report on fire and how it spreads
ATASCADERO, Ca. – Fire is a common element that is credited with being the most utilized in today’s society. It’s used for a multitude of things, baking, lighting, cooking, ceremonies, the list goes on and on. But what exactly is fire?
Most know it as that orange, hot wispy thing that is used to light cigarettes or cook food on a stove. But often times, fire can be the disaster waiting to turn a beloved household into a smoldering pile of ash. To fully understand how to prevent it from spreading, you have to know what it is and what feeds it. Today, Atascadero Fire Damage Specialists at SERVPRO have issued a report on what fire is, how it spreads, and how to prevent it from making a tragedy of a treasured home.
What is fire?
Fire is a chemical process requiring three essential factors: Oxygen, fuel, and an ignition source. Without these three components, a fire cannot start or will immediately extinguish. When a fire burns, a process called oxidation occurs, wherein oxygen atoms combine with carbon and hydrogen to form carbon dioxide and water; heat and energy is released very quickly. The rate of oxidation is particularly fast with paper and wood, and when heat can’t be released faster than it occurs it creates the phenomena known as fire.
How does it spread?
Once started, a fire is likely to spread until all fuel feeding it has been used to the point of extinction. This could mean devastation for a beloved home or business property. However, understanding the many fuels can assist in preventing the spreading.
Chemicals and combustibles – Lab chemicals, household cleaners, paint, and other such chemicals all cause fire to burn hotter and more aggressively. Common household combustibles include mattresses, newspapers, and various fabrics.
Closed space – Closed spaces will burn up much faster than open space. It will trap the flames and only result in further smoke damage, not to mention creating a tough time for fire fighters trying to eliminate the flame.
Ventilation – Buildings with central heating or air conditioning have ductwork which creates a pathway for smoke and flames to travel between floors.
Water – In some cases, such as grease fires, water will not extinguish the fire, but will actually help spread it. In this case, a special fire extinguisher or baking soda is best to put out the flame.
Fire Damage Atascadero
For many years SERVPRO has been a trusted name in San Luis Obispo County. Fast response, skilled experts, 24 hour emergency service, what more could be asked of a company? With a franchise in almost every area of the Central Coast, SERVPRO is able to arrive at the scene of a disaster in the timeliest manner possible to optimize restoration and reduce damage so they can quickly make it “Like it never happened.”
SERVPRO of Atascadero
Atascadero, CA 93422
Press release by San Luis Obispo SEO company Access Publishing, 806 9th Street, #2D, Paso Robles, CA 93446 (805) 226-9890.
Holiday Fire Risk Increases After Christmas Day
Christmas tree causing fire restoration needs
Homeowners Take Note! Holiday Fire Risk Increases After Christmas Day
Local SERVPRO® restoration specialist cautions Atascadero homeowners
to take common sense precautions throughout the holiday season Atascadero, CA (Grassroots Newswire) December 3, 2014 -- Most homeowners are aware holiday decorations should be used with care. Each year, statistics tell the story of the fire danger resulting from frayed wires, proximity to heat sources, and lights left on unattended. But Joseph Powers of SERVPRO of Atascadero wants local homeowners to know that the danger of fire caused by holiday decorating, and by Christmas
trees specifically, actually increases after the holiday. Citing research from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)*, Powers says while four out of five Christmas tree fires happen in December and January, the 10 days with the highest average number of fires were all after Christmas Day.
“For many families, preparing for the holiday season is a very busy time,” said Powers. “Come December 26, it’s tempting to relax and stop watering the Christmas tree, replacing bulbs in outdoor lights and tucking indoor garlands back into place. Dry greens, open sockets and decorations that slip dangerously close to light sockets or fireplaces can all increase the risk of fire in the days after the Christmas holiday.”
The American Christmas Tree Association** quotes Nielsen research that says Americans purchased 21.6 million live Christmas trees in 2011. That number is significant because, according to the NFPA, Christmas trees remain the number one culprit in holiday fires. Forty-three percent of Christmas tree fires happen in December, but January is close behind, claiming 39 percent—numbers that demonstrate the danger of allowing Christmas trees to dry out during and after the holiday season. Tragically, Christmas tree fires are particularly deadly, claiming on average one life in every 40 fires compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home fires.
Powers encourages Atascadero homeowners who choose to decorate with live Christmas trees to be diligent about watering their trees both before and after the holidays. “When a Christmas tree dries out, it takes only a single spark from the fireplace, a draft that blows a candle flame too near, or a carelessly held cigarette to turn your holiday celebration into a tragedy,” says Powers. “Beyond the damage from the fire itself, a Christmas tree fire, like any fire, can result in extensive smoke and water damage throughout your home, and can even be deadly.”
As the holiday season moves into full swing, Powers reminds homeowners to take common sense precautions based on a clear understanding of the potential danger to help prevent holiday traditions from turning into a holiday nightmare. For more fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.SERVPRO.com. For more information on SERVPRO of Atascadero, please contact Joseph Powers at (805) 541-1271 or office@SERVPROsanluisobispo.com.
Christmas Tree Fact Sheet
Christmas Tree Tips
Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO® Franchise System is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO’s professional services network ofnearly 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi million dollar losses. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.