Recent Fire Damage Posts
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.