Recent Fire Damage Posts
A fire is one of the most destructive elements of nature and can turn a habitable home into a heap of dust within a short amount of time. Even though there are proactive methods to control the destruction of the house, you cannot snub the damage that may have already occurred. Not only do the flames from a fire cause charring on things like cabinets, but you would be looking at the smoke, which causes widespread damage. The smoke penetrates carpets, clothing, furniture, upholstery, and other porous materials. The ultimate goal of fire restoration in damaged homes is to reinstate the property and contents to pre-incident condition, leaving a clean and safe environment. If cleaning is not done properly, the smoke odor lingers, and further ruin can occur to your contents and structure. SERVPRO professionals start by evaluating the situation, including the extent of the damage, to know what they are dealing with. Depending on the situation, our crews can use onsite and offsite techniques to restore your home. Onsite restoration may include the removal of odor particles using the following equipment:
- Air Scrubbers
- Thermal Fogging
- Ozone Treatments
Cleaning Smoke Damage
Only some restoration projects require a pack out. Some contents can be manipulated and cleaned within their respective spaces. SERVPRO crews might even clean items onsite and then move them to a designated area that has not been affected to be stored. However, when cleanup requires multiple treatments, contents could be packed and taken to the Franchise Warehouse for cleaning.
SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties knows rebuilding a fire damaged home can be stressful, but you don't have to face fire restoration alone. Call us at (540)423-6688. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.
Fires in the Warmer Months
Looking forward to the warmer weather after the long cold months of winter. Spring is in full bloom, and summer is right around the corner.
It's a time of renewal and getting outdoors. There are plenty of activities to do outdoors such as hiking, going to the lake, grilling, and barbecuing with friends and family, just to name a few.
With the warmer weather families will begin to gather for reunions, graduations and the seasonal cookouts that everyone loves. That also brings with it the risks of increased fires.
Unfortunately, spring sees more daily fires on average than any time of year. But by being cautious, you can minimize fires at home this season.
Here are some great places to start:
The grill: Grills are one of the biggest culprits of spring fires. It presents a substantial risk due to the combination of flame, grease, heat and gas. But just taking a few precautions can greatly reduce the risk of a fire on the barbecue grill! Make sure the grill is cleaned prior to every use and that all parts are in proper working order. Replace any worn or damaged components before grilling and keep the grill at least six feet away from any flammable objects, especially the home! Lack of proper cleaning is responsible for almost 20% of grill fires!
The fire pit. While the grill gets it share of blame for accidental fires, the fire pit can be dangerous as well. Gathering on a cool spring or summer evening around a fire pit can provide some of the best rest and relaxation after a long day or week. Keep these safety tips in mind: Kids should never be left alone or around a fire pit. Keep a bucket of water close by at all times. Don't add pine needles or leaves to a fire pit as this can cause "flare-ups" and embers can be carried away by the wind. If you are cooking hot dogs or roasting marshmallows do it over the embers and not the open flame, which will help avoid the flame damage and help you get that elusive perfect roasted finish that you're looking for.
Chimneys and dryer vents. Chimneys should be inspected and cleaned by a professional at least once every season. Ash, soot and creosote buildup is a major cause of fires, and with proper maintenance, this risk can be reduced. The failure to clean dryer vents is a leading cause of fires that emanate from the dryer.
Our technicians are on speed dial 24/7 for emergencies. If you encounter fire damage at your home or business, no matter the cause, we will be there faster and have it cleaned up sooner. Experience the SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties difference.
Candles cause a large number of house fires. Children or pets can accidentally overturn a candle and ignite nearby combustible materials. These fires also frequently start when open flames are left unattended in a bedroom after the person who lit the candle falls asleep. Here are three flameless candle alternatives that you should consider to produce similar mood lighting effects or scents.
1. Electric Candles
Battery-operated candles are perfect for safer use for decorative purposes or as nightlights in the bedroom. These candles may be designed to flicker or disperse a scent. You can find an electric alternative for most colors, styles, and fragrances of candles, whether you desire a pillar, taper, or tea light look. You can place electric candles almost anywhere without worrying about starting a fire.
2. Christmas or Fairy Lights
Strings of lights are a safe way to add a magical touch indoors or outdoors with a lower fire risk. Use these candle alternatives to create a low-light look when decorating a room or for a holiday. You can select single- or multi-colored strings of lights and choose from standard bulbs or models with ultra-efficient LED bulbs. It is affordable to replace individual bulbs or an entire strand.
3. Candle Warmers
If you have standard scented candles that you would like to enjoy more safely, try pairing them with a candle warmer. These devices are available as low-profile bases or lamp-style designs. You can also spread a scent using oil or wax warmers or reed diffusers for a different look.
These candle alternatives allow you to create lighting looks you love or enjoy the scent of standard wax candles. All of these options also significantly reduce the risk of starting a candle fire. If a fire does break out at your home in schedule a consultation with a residential fire and smoke restoration service.
Steps To Reduce Damage After A Fire?
SERVPRO Fire Restoration Technicians Provide Emergency Response Services in Culpeper & Fauquier Counties
After a fire, one thing is sure. There is much work to do before you regain your sense of normality. Even the smallest of fires can have extremely damaging impacts on your home. SERVPRO emergency response technicians move quickly to mitigate further damages.
Can I Stay in My Home After a Fire?
Depending on the extent of fire in your Springfield home, SERVPRO technicians may decide to use additional precautions to ensure your home is livable. If you are remaining in your home, they deodorize first to eliminate some of the strong odors. They also clean the most used portions of your home, such as your kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms.
What Do SERVPRO Emergency Technicians Do to Secure My House?
- Board up windows and doors.
- Address electrical hazards.
- Inspect the home for structural issues for safety purposes.
- If power is out, set up emergency lighting and access to flashlights.
What Else Should I Do Right Away if I want to Stay in My Home?
- Put towels or old sheets over furniture to limit further damage from smoke residue.
- Seal off the parts of the home that were not impacted by the fire.
- Do not eat any contaminated food or use contaminated products.
- Pull clothing out that you need right away for cleaning.
We understand the importance of wanting to stay in your home after a fire since displacement can add additional complications to getting your life back in order. Our technicians check for structural integrity and safety hazards and begin working to keep you in your home while they restore it to pre loss condition.
For 24/7 assistance after a fire, Contact SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties at (540)423-6688.
30 Seconds Is ALL It Takes!!!
Did you know the most common cause of a grease fire is cooking food unattended? Two of every five homes start in the kitchen while food is cooking. It takes less than 30 seconds for a fire to start, so never leave your pan unattended.
Oils and grease are highly flammable, which means they can catch fire easily. Studies have shown that different oils burn at different temperatures. Any oil you purchase from a grocery store is capable of catching on fire.
The most flammable cooking oil has to be coconut oil it has a smoke point of 385°F or 196°C and a flash point of 563°F or 295°C. It may catch fire easily than other oils in comparison. If you catch your cooking oil boiling and smoking this is a sign to turn down the heat.
Oils have a smoke point – What does “Smoke Point Mean?”
The “smoke point” is also referred to as the burning point of cooking oils & fats. When an oil or fat is heated past its “smoke point” it gives off bluish smoke.
The most recommended cooking oils to use that tend to have a higher smoke point making them suitable for frying – Peanut oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, safflower oil & corn oil.
SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties keeps your safety a priority. IF there is a fire in your home, call SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties (540)423-6688.
Do You Know How To Put A Grease Fire Out...?
If you experience any fire damage to your home or business please don’t hesitate to contact SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties – (540)423-6688
Grease fires happen when oil, grease or fat get hot enough to ignite. Grease fires can be extremely dangerous because grease is a liquid that can easily spread. If you suspect the fire is larger than you can handle contact 9-1-1.
NEVER THROW WATER ONTO A GREASE FIRE THIS CAN CAUSE THE FIRE TO WORSEN.
Steps to take if this happens to you:
- Turn off the Stove – If you’re cooking and a pot catches fire, the first step is to remove the heat source. Turn off the burner or oven. (If your grease fire is in the oven, leave the door closed.) A fire can reignite if it’s not smothered.
- Cover with a Lid – Using a metal pan lid or baking sheet can be another to way to cut off oxygen to a grease fire. Do not use any type of Kitchen fabric the material may catch fire. ALWAYS avoid using glass or ceramic pan lids these materials can shatter.
- Products to use – Baking soda or salt can help to extinguish the fire; however this would require smothering the fire with salt or baking soda to fully extinguish the fire. Sometimes it’s easier and more effective to quickly find a lid & cover the fire. *DO NOT USE FLOUR OR BAKING POWDER as these products are highly combustible and can explode.*
- It is always recommended to have a fire extinguisher close by.
What to do after a fire
Have you had a fire in your home? "Devastating" is an understatement when experiencing the chaos of a fire in your home. Not only is it difficult to deal with the loss, but the clean-up can be, too. If it is a small isolated fire, getting the area cleaned and repaired should be a priority! The first thing to consider is the ash and smoke damage. These can lead to corrosion, unpleasant odor, and discoloration. Getting ash and smoke cleaned up immediately will prevent any of these from leading to an even larger problem. Take immediate action by following these steps if you find yourself handling the aftermath of a house fire: 1. Contact your insurance company. 2. Contact your local fire restoration company. 3. Take photographs of the damage. 4. Keep a record of all conversations with your insurance company. 5. Make a list of everything you lost or that was destroyed. 6. Find a place to stay while your restoration company cleans up your property. While a house fire is a difficult experience, it helps to have a game plan in place. So remember these steps for the next time you or someone you know is handling the aftermath of a house fire, and call SERVPRO® of Culpeper & Fauquier counties.
Common causes of fire
Do you and your family know the common causes of fires?
Here are a few common causes to look out for:
- 48% of all fires are caused by cooking.
- Remember to turn off source of heat.
- Have a fire extinguisher on hand.
- Do not put anything close to the heater.
- Follow guidelines on how the heater can run.
- Electrical Fires
- Make sure fireplaces and lighting are up to code and are safe.
- Ensure alarms are replaced
- Never lay cigarettes, cigars, etc., down and forget about them.
- Smoke outside to avoid any potential fires related to dropping or forgetting about the item.
- Never leave a candle unattended.
- All materials should remain 12 inches away from all candles.
These are just some tips in order to prevent fires. SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier counties keeps your safety a priority and we hope you and family values that as well. Other things to have in place is a route for you and your family if there ever was a fire. Also, everyone in your family should know the route and plan in place. IF there is a fire in your home, call SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier counties
Electric heater safety
As winter begins to hit and temperature begins to drop, you may choose to buy a space heater for warm up your home, apartment, or work space. Space heaters are a good alternative if you do not want to turn up your thermostat to heat up your home. However, space heaters, if not used correctly, can cause fire damage to your property. Here are some tips that you can use to prevent any disaster caused by a space heater:
- Leave the heater on level floor, don’t place on carpet - it can overheat and start a fire.
- Do not use in bathroom, unless it is designed for it - moisture can damage the heater.
- Keep three feet away from flammable materials and out of the way of children and pets.
- Should always be plugged directly into wall outlet, don’t use with extension cord because it can cause overheating.
- Don’t leave heater unattended, make sure to unplug when not in use.
- Install smoke alarms on every floor.
If you run into any issues with fire damage, call SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier counties.
How to use a fireplace safely
As the weather gets colder, it is not uncommon to want to curl up by the fire. Fireplaces in residential properties can provide a great way to get cozy during the colder months, but they also come with their fair share of fire hazards. In this blog, we’ll talk about chimney fires and what you can do to prevent a fireplace emergency in your home.
Overview of Fireplace Statistics
According to the American Red Cross, “Heating equipment [...] is involved in 1 of every 6 home fires.” They also state that this time of year sees the most heating equipment-induced residential fires and even deaths, as “1 in every 5 home fire deaths and half of all fires caused by home heating occur between December and February.” You may be wondering: What is causing heating equipment to malfunction so dangerously so as to initiate such devastating fires? The Environmental Protection Agency cites the National Fire Protection Agency’s statement, “The leading factor contributing to home heating fires was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.” The EPA also reports that 87% of residential building heating fires are the result of chimney fires. With all of this considered, it is evident that fireplace safety plays an important part in protecting your home and those living in it from fires and fire damage during the winter months.
“So, What Can I Do?”: Chimney Fire Prevention
There are many different steps that you can take in order to prevent fires from escaping the fireplace. The Red Cross recommends that “fuel” - which includes flammable objects ranging from wrapping paper to newspapers and clothing - is always kept at least 3 feet away from the fireplace. It can also be beneficial to utilize a fire screen whenever you use your fireplace, as the screen can prevent embers and sparks from flying out into the room. Make sure that your fire is completely extinguished when you are done with the fire. They also recommend having a professional check and clean your fireplace once every year in order to prevent unexpected problems. The Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Association also advocates for the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home, as well as keeping a fire extinguisher on hand in case of emergency.
What To Do If Your Fireplace Instigates a Fire
If the fire in your fireplace finds its way out of the chimney and into your home, call SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team - Team Wall right away. You can reach our SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier counties office by picking up the phone and calling 540-423-6688, which will connect you with one of our expert team members. No matter what your emergency, trust SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier counties to make it “Like it never even happened.”
What Kind of Smoke Detector Do I need?
There are 3 types of smoke detector alarms on the market today. They are Ionization, Photoelectric and Combination.
An ionization smoke alarm contains a small amount of radioactive material. The radiation passes through an ionization chamber which is an air-filled space between two electrodes and permits a small, constant current between the electrodes.
When smoke that enters the chamber absorbs the alpha particles, it reduces the ionization and interrupts the current, setting off the alarm.
This type of alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires.
The Photoelectric smoke alarms operate using a light source.
A light beam collimating system and a photoelectric sensor. When smoke enters the optical chamber and crosses the path of the light beam, some light is scattered by the smoke particles, directing it at the sensor and thus activating the alarm.
This type of alarm is generally more responsive to fires that begin with a long period of smoldering.
Combination smoke alarms feature both ionization and photoelectric technologies. Ionization smoke alarms respond faster to high energy fires, whereas photoelectric detectors respond better to low energy smoldering fires. The best overall protection is provided by using combination smoke alarms.
Quickly and Safely Fire suppression 101
Did you know there were 4 Different types of fires?
These are the easiest to put out, and the best way to put them out is using water, ex. a water hose or a bucket full of water. A foam fire extinguisher would also be a great option on Class A fires.
- Class B
- Flammable Liquids
- grease (cooking grease)
NEVER EVER use WATER on a Class B fire. This will cause the flaming material to scatter rather than extinguish it. The best course of action is using a powder like baking soda, or a carbon dioxide extinguisher. A foam fire extinguisher would also work.
- Class C
- old wiring
- fault equipment
- bad/damaged wiring
First, shut off power to the electrical fire. That could be as easy as shutting off a breaker, or unplugging the appliance. Then use a carbon dioxide or dry powder to extinguish the flames if they remain or if any appeared.
- Class D (uncommon)
- metal ignition
- mainly in laboratories or industrial type buildings
The best course of action is to use a fire extinguisher if the fire is small enough, otherwise call 911 and evacuate the area.
Mitigate Damage While Waiting for Roof Repairs
The effects of a fire in your Culpeper & Fauquier Counties business can be far-reaching. If the damage has made it to the roof, you may have more than just fire cleanup on your hands. Any areas of the roof exposed to the elements may also mean securing the services of a water damage and mold professional. After contacting your insurance to start the claim process, the next call to be for tarp services to protect against secondary damage.
Why Mitigation Is Important
Whether the damage requires a roof repair or replacement, time isn’t always on your side. Along with waiting for the adjuster, getting the fix scheduled will likely require a wait. Below are reasons it is important to secure your exposed property.
Another weather event could cause more damage, increase repair costs.
If excess moisture begins to build up, mold only needs less than 48 hours to start forming.
Exposed areas may provide an opening for vandals or thieves to gain access to your property.
Even a small hole is enough for unwanted rodents and bugs to find a new home.
Tips for an Easier Claim
While waiting for fire clean up to happen, most insurers have a stipulation that requires mitigation. If windows aren’t boarded and tarps aren’t temporarily installed to keep the elements out, any additional damage incurred may not be covered. Taking the necessary steps can help ensure you get the most out of your claim.
Although you should never make repairs until after the adjuster gives the go-ahead, documenting the damage is a good way to verify the need for the claim, as well as make the process easier for the adjuster. Photographs and videos should be taken of all areas and items damage. If possible, gather any documentation that lists the value of items.
When it comes to fire cleanup, it is often not just the area the flames burned that need repaired. If there is roof or window damage, take steps to minimize damage.
Ways To A Prevent A Lint Fire In Your Home
Not many people enjoy doing their laundry. Between the time it takes to wash, dry, and put away your clothes, it may seem like hours before it is all done. This is especially true if it takes a long time for your clothes to dry in the dryer. If it takes more than one cycle, then it's likely time to clean out your dryer and hose. This can help prevent a lint fire in your home in Culpeper & Fauquier Counties.
Clean the Lint Screen
You should clean the lint screen after every load, but sometimes, the lint screen can stop trapping the lint. This can happen because of buildup from several sources:
- Dryer sheets
- Fabric softeners
- Laundry detergent
To find out if your lint screen is clogged, run some water over it. If the water collects on the screen instead of running through, then it needs to be cleaned. You should also vacuum underneath and around the lint screen.
Clean Out the Hose
The hose that connects the back of your dryer to the outside of your home can get clogged with lint too. To prevent a lint fire, clean it out regularly as well. You should be able to easily detach the hose from the back of the dryer and from the hole in the wall. You might be able to stick your arm through, or you can take a broom handle or something similar to push the lint through.
Inside of the Dryer
Every once in a while, you should have a professional come and vacuum out the inside of your dryer. The lint can build up around the drum and at the bottom. This leads to a high risk of a dryer fire. If you notice longer drying times and you have already cleaned out the hose and lint screen, then it may be time to have the dryer itself vacuumed out.
These things can help prevent a lint fire. If you do experience a dryer fire, you can count on your fire repair specialists to help repair the fire damage and get your home back to normal.
What Renters Can Expect From Their Coverage
What Renters Can Expect From Their Coverage
Many tenants buy renter’s insurance to cover the cost of replacing their personal belongings if they are damaged or destroyed by an accident in the building where they live. Your coverage, however, may pay for much more than just item replacement. It’s important to talk to your agent, so you know just how much you can expect your insurance company to pay if the place you are renting in Culpeper & Fauquier Counties catches fire.
Part of the fire restoration process is determining which items can be cleaned and saved and which must be thrown away. Your insurance coverage should pay for:
- Cleaning costs
- Replacement costs
Make sure your policy states that it pays replacement cost rather than the actual cash value of your items. The purpose of insurance is to make you whole again, and replacing lost belongings is a good start.
If the fire was caused by your negligence, you might be liable for any damages you cause to other people or to the structure itself. Your renter’s insurance probably has a clause that protects you from legal costs. Your policy may cover damage to your neighbor’s belongings or the property itself, as well as cover medical bills of anyone injured in the fire if you bear some responsibility for its starting.
Fire restoration experts may work quickly, but there are probably going to be some nights that you are unable to stay in your rented space. Finding a temporary place to live can be expensive. Your insurance policy is likely to cover this as well. You can include your shelter needs as part of the fallout of the fire damage to your home when you file your claim.
Your renter’s insurance does cover the loss of your belongings, but it can also cover other losses. Your insurance agent can help you build a solid policy that takes all potential expenses of the fire into consideration.
The holidays are one of the most wonderful times of the year! There is nothing better than putting up those Holiday lights and having the home feel warm and cozy. Not to be forgotten the rides at night to see all the homes dressed up with holiday lights! No matter what type of decorations we hang up during the holidays, we’re surrounded by electricity! If we aren’t careful, it can be a huge hazard if not used or maintained properly. According to the National Fire Protection Association (www.nfpa.org), Holiday fires caused an average of three deaths, 15 injuries, and $10 million in direct property damage annually. On average, one of every 52 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 135 total reported home fires. SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier counties what to help keep you safe during this Holiday season, with the help of the NPFA, we’ve pulled together some safety tips for you to keep in mind! Electrical Fire Safety Tips
- Make sure that there are smoke detectors installed on every floor of the building, inside each room and right outside of every sleeping area to ensure that the alarms can be heard even when sleeping.
- Test smoke detectors monthly to make sure that they’re working properly and have working batteries.
- Have your electrical system inspected by a certified professional to make sure that all of the electrical work meets the National Electric Code safety standards.
- Look and listen for signs of electrical problems such as, flickering or dim lights, buzzing or sizzling sounds from electrical outlets, or insulation and circuit breakers that trip repeatedly. If any of these or any other electrical problems are found, contact a professional as soon as possible for the issue to be inspected.
- Avoid overloading outlets with too many electronics. Consider having more outlets or circuits installed by a professional.
- In homes with children, install tamper-resistant devices to keep children from getting electrical shocks or burns.
- Create an evacuation plan that can be used in the event of a fire.
Our team understands that there is nothing worse than being out of the home for the holidays. We know this time of year is filled with traditions and creating memories. Make sure to follow all the tips we’ve complied together but also if an emergency occurs inside your home or business, know that SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier counties is ready to help you get back to your holiday traditions! We are a phone call away
Home fire pits - how to safely use them
The cold season is here and in Culpeper & Fauquier area its a tradition to enjoy the cooler nights outside around a homemade fire pit! Many of us are looking forward to spending time gathering around them to enjoy time with family and friends. Before you start dreaming of moonlit nights and toasted marshmallows, take a moment to check out some of these tips from Allstate to remember.
Backyard Fire Pit Safety Tips:
- Whether you prefer a built-in or portable fire pit, choose one that is not too large for the area. The pit should be a minimum of 10 feet away from any structures or combustible materials as well as away from trees, fences, sheds, power lines, and telephone wires.
- Make sure that the seating area is large enough and properly placed for comfort and ventilation.
- Check wind direction before lighting a fire.
- Don’t use flammable fluids (gasoline, lighter fluid, etc.) to light or relight fires.
- To start the fire, use a lighter to ignite crumpled pieces of paper covered with small sticks. Then, add larger sticks and a log or two to keep it burning.
- Burn only dry material. Damp material will create excess smoke.
- Don’t wear flammable clothing (like nylon) or any loose-fitting clothing.
- Never leave the fire unattended, and keep pets and children far away from the fire as they will be attracted to it.
- Keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose, or bucket of water nearby.
- As the fire dies down, use a shovel and spread out the ashes to allow them to cool down. Then slowly pour water over those ashes and watch them closely to be sure that no burning embers remain or reignite. Put the cooled ashes in a specially designated ash storage metal can.
An Everyday Item IS Flammable
We go about our everyday lives in the safety of our own homes. But has one ever taken a moment to think about all the dangers that are actually in our homes?
Just take a brief moment and think about it. What is one of the most flammable things in a household? Depending on the household, this item is used once a week, multiple times a week, or even daily! It is rather bulky, it can hold a lot, sometimes it is noisy, and it cleans certain items in your household. (No it is not a dishwasher). It’s your laundry machine!
How is this possible?
The lint buildup in your dryers! The lint is so flammable that you can use it as a fire starter.
It is incredibly important that after every dryer use you clean the lint out and keep up to date with maintaining your dryer. In doing this, you can save yourself from being one of the 20,000 households a year that have fires from their dryers.
The link above gives information about dryer fires, how to prevent them, and how to proper clean your dryers.
The link above brings awareness about some every day household items that are flammable.
Microwave has melted
Once a fire has been put out, there is still a dreadful cleanup afterwards.
As we all know, there are different types of fires. In turn, it would make sense that there are different ways to clean up a fire, different equipment that is used, and the time frame for the cleanup will never be the same.
In one of the fire cleanups we did this year, we were there for over 22 days. During the process we used 3 air scrubbers. Air scrubbers are one of the key equipment pieces to use during a cleanup. Why is that? An air scrubber is a filtration system that removes different contaminants from the air
Another example of equipment that we have used is an Ozone machine. What is that? They deodorize, disinfect, and remove irritating/dangerous particles.
A fire cleanup isn't easy. Even in a small space it can be a big job. So leave it to the professionals. Call SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties. Why? Because we have all the training and equipment necessary to get the job done!
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 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.
Have you contacted your local fire department? See how you can get involved with them and your community to prevent house fires. Sometimes they will have events or give out smoke detectors for your home. Don't think this could never happen to you because it easily could. We don't have control over everything in our homes! Be safe and have a plan!
Putting Out a Fire
When putting out a fire you need to know: what type of fire it is, how did it start, and how to put the fire out.
Here are some of the different types of fires:
- Ordinary Combustibles like plastic, wood, paper, rubber, cloth, etc
- Flammable Liquids like grease, oil, paint, aerosol, solvents
- Flammable Gases like propane, hydrogen, methane, etc
- Live Electrical Equipment like electrical panel, motor wiring, computers, generators, etc
- Combustible Metal like magnesium, aluminum, lithium, etc
- Commercial Cooking Equipment like cooking oils, animal fats, vegetable oils
Here are the different types of extinguishers to put the fire out:
- For Ordinary Combustibles extinguish the fire with water, foam, dry powder, or wet chemical
- For Flammable Liquids extinguish the fire with foam, dry powder, or CO2 Carbon Dioxide
- For Flammable Gases extinguish the fire with dry powder
- For Live Electrical Equipment extinguish the fire with dry powder or CO2 Carbon Dioxide
- For Combustible Metal extinguish the fire with dry powder
- For Commercial Cooking Equipment extinguish the fire with wet chemical
Here are some other ways to put a fire out:
- Sand/Dirt- good for outdoor fires.
- Water- pour over any fire that is NOT electrically based.
- Baking Soda- when heated it produces CO2 which is in extinguishers.
- Salt- suffocates heat. Salt then water on top.
- NON flammable Blanket/Coat/Rug- this is more of a last resort. Smother the fire.
- Microwave/Pot Fires- keep the door closed/put the lid on. The lack of oxygen will help control the fire. unplug/turn off what you can.
- Call 911 & leave the location. NEVER fan a fire. Do NOT feed the fire.
Facts about Smoke and Soot Damage
Smoke and Soot Damage can cause a long-lasting odor in your home
Smoke and soot can cause hidden damage and odor. Our Production Techs are experts when it comes to smoke damage who can accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a plan of action. Facts about Smoke and Soot
- 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 Did you know there are actually different types of smoke? There is what is called wet smoke and dry smoke! Check out the two types below in more detail. 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.
- Fireplaces should not be used as furnaces. Use a fireplace for a short-duration fire — no longer than five hours.
- Keep the glass open to allow air to be drawn up to cool the chimney, but keep the screen closed to prevent sparks from jumping onto the carpeting.
- Never leave a fire unattended when children are in the house. Adults, even if near, should not allow children to play near or with fire tools and equipment.
- Open a window when using the fireplace to prevent the room from becoming smoky. The air coming in from the window will go up the chimney.
- Before making a fire, open the glass doors, pull aside the screen curtains, and place the kindling, newspaper and logs inside. Next, open the damper and a window. The window needs to be open only a few inches. You can check to make sure the smoke will go up the chimney properly by lighting a match, quickly blowing it out and watching the smoke to see whether it's going up and out.
- Keep a nonflammable rug (available at fireplace-supply stores) in front of the fireplace so that sparks won't melt or otherwise damage your carpeting.
- Use fireplace tools to handle burning logs. Never use your hands.
- Use a chimney cap to prevent water damage, to keep animals from nesting and to keep debris from blocking the chimney and causing carbon monoxide to flow into the house. Use a spark arrester to help prevent sparks from flying out, which could start a fire on the roof or lawn.
- Glass doors may develop tough stains from flames and heat. To clean them, make sure the glass doors are cool, then scrape off any thick gunk deposits with a razor blade. Add a squirt of liquid dishwashing detergent to a bucket of warm water, or add a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water. Spray or sponge the cleaner on, and then wipe it away with newspaper (which is lint-free). Another option is to buy glass cleaner at a fireplace store.
- Fireplace coals can remain hot enough to start a fire for up to three days, so always wait at least that long before removing the ashes. At that point, close the damper to prevent cold air in the flue from stirring up excess dust while you're removing the ashes. Be sure to wear a dust mask and open a window in the same room as the fireplace to prevent negative air pressure. Use a shovel to scoop the ashes into a metal container. Store the container far from combustible materials and surfaces and wood floors.
- Never use a vacuum to clean up ashes, because live coals may remain in those ashes.
- Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the chimney when necessary. Have him show you how to check it yourself, too. The chimney should be checked at least once a year or after about 80 fires.
- Shine brass fireplace utensils with Worcestershire sauce and a toothbrush.
- Clean the firebox (the area where the logs burn) at least once a week during the months you use it, when ash builds up. Leave about an inch of ash because it acts as insulation, allowing the coals to heat faster and retain the heat easier. Keep the firebox completely clean during the months when the fireplace is not in use.
- To clean an exterior slate hearth, wash, dry and coat it with lemon oil every six weeks to make it shine. For cleaning exterior brick hearths, buy a brick cleaner at a fireplace shop.
What to do until help arrives:
A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems. Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until your local SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties arrives. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration.
-Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
-Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork. n Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
-If electricity is off, empty freezer/ refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
-Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/ bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
-If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
-Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign
Each year, the Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters, the vast majority of which are home fires. So we set a goal to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries in the US by 25%.
- 7 people die every day from a home fire, most impacting children and the elderly
- 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day
- Over $7 billion in property damage occurs every year
Every day, seven people die in home fires, most in homes that lack working smoke alarms. Sadly, children and the elderly disproportionately lose their lives. The American Red Cross wants to improve the odds and save lives- that’s why we launched our Home Fire Campaign in 2014.
A critical part of the campaign is Sound the Alarm, a series of home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events across the country. Together with fire departments and other community partners, Red Cross volunteers:
- Canvass at-risk neighborhoods
- Install free smoke alarms
- Replace batteries in existing alarms
- Provide fire prevention and safety education
In just three years, our home visits have accomplished so much, including the installation of more than 1 million smoke alarms and preparing more than 1 million people against home fires.
Join us April 28 through May 13 on a Sound the Alarm home visit in your community, where teams of volunteers will be installing 100,000 free smoke alarms in more than 100 cities across the U.S. Together, we can save lives!
Check out www.redcross.org/sound-the-alarm for more information and how to help in YOUR community!!
Be careful with the deep fryers
SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties recently took on the clean up and restoration of a fire damaged kitchen. What was the cause of the fire? None other than a deep fryer. Splattering oil caught a kitchen towel on fire. In a panic, the homeowner knocked over the deep fryer causing the fire to engulf the kitchen. Luckily, injuries were avoided and the fire was soon contained by the fire department.
SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties was able to restore the kitchen to it's former condition and a lesson was learned on the appropriate use of deep frying appliances.
Should you need fire restoration services at your home or business, contact SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties
Fire cleanup & restoration
What would you do if...
You receive a call from a client today with a fire loss?
You have a fire loss on one of your properties?
You have a fire at your own personal property?
Fire claims spike during the months of November - March.
On average, Fire causes over $12.4 billion in property damage annualy.
Top 5 Causes of Fire loss:
Electrical distribution & lighting equipment
After the fire is out...
You need a company "Like SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier counties"
Industry research from 2016 by Buntin Group found that SERVPRO Brand is becoming synonymous with the services provided!
Why not a Contractor?
Mitigate, clean, & restore FIRST! Then repair and rebuild.
SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier counties can handle it all -One Stop Shop.
By the way...
WE DO BOARDUP!
Many times, the home or building must be secured immediately BEFORE anything else.