Recent Fire Damage Posts
Stay Safe While Using Space Heaters
Be mindful when using a space heater. Keep your home safe.
It's getting to be that time of the year where a space heater seems like the perfect appliance to make a room a little cozier.
Fire does not care what season it is or whether or not it’s cold outside. Cold weather related fires are extremely common, especially when you are trying to keep warm.
Our offices in Lee's Summit have experience in fire damage from space heaters and can provide you with some tips to help avoid having to deal with these types of destructive events this coming Autumn and Winter.
SERVPRO of Lee's Summit technicians understand that accidents happen. Placing space heaters too close to other objects or using the wrong type of heater in a particular area can cause severe problems. Please take a moment to consider some factors leading to these fires.
Oil Heaters - Should be used in areas where there is the possibility of moisture. This eliminates any electrical hazards that may be present due to water conductivity. Always keep a safe distance to avoid contact burns.
Electric Heaters - These heaters come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be useful for many areas in your home. However, they should never be left unattended. Thinking of electric heaters as giant toasters can help you understand how important it is to keep a constant eye on them. Make sure you have sufficient wattage to run the device and never use extension cords.
Our SERVPRO of Lee's Summit staff gets an incredible amount of space heater-related calls every year when the weather gets to get chilly and blustery. People are trying to stay warm and use space heaters quite often for this purpose. However, using a space heater does not need to cause so many problems during a cold spell. Just use common sense, and always follow the directions of the manufacturer.
The professional technicians at SERVPRO of Lee's Summit state that you follow a few simple guidelines when operating your space heaters.
1) Always place space heaters on a flat, solid surface for proper stabilization.
2) Purchase heaters with an automatic shut-off feature to prevent dangers from tipping.
3) Maintain proper spacing between heaters and other objects in your home.
4) Never leave children or pets unsupervised around operating heaters.
5) Shut your heaters off properly before leaving your home or going to sleep.
Following these guidelines does not ensure that you will never have to deal with fire damage from space heaters. However, you are less likely to have an unwanted consequence. If this sort of incident still strikes your home this cold weather season, make the call to our offices at 816-246-5566 immediately. We will respond quickly and provide you with the services you need to get back to normal fast.
Methods for Removing Smoke Odor After a Fire
When you have a house fire in Lee's Summit, MO, it may seem like the smell of the smoke will never go away. Smoke particles can infiltrate every nook and cranny in your home. They can even imbed themselves into furniture, flooring and walls. Professional restoration experts, however, have methods for extracting smoke odor from your home as part of the restoration process. Here are some smoke cleaning processes that may prove effective in removing the stench from your home.
Air Filtration Devices
One of the first methods the experts are likely to try is an air filtration device. This air scrubber sucks in the air in your home and returns it clean and refreshed. The filters in this system are specially constructed to reduce smoke odor. Some common features of filtration devices that remove smoke odor include
• HEPA filters
• Activated carbon filters
• Treated filters that specifically target smoke
Another method of smoke cleaning involves the use of ozone machines. Rather than taking air in, these machines create and expel ozone, the same compound chemical created by a rainstorm that gives the outdoor air its fresh scent. The ozone flows throughout your home, oxidizing smoke residue and neutralizing its odor.
Thermal foggers create deodorizing droplets that permeate the air as well as porous materials in your home to get rid of smoke odor. Using heat and pressurization, the fogger creates tiny particles that can go wherever the smoke damage has gone. Your home is deodorized and cleansed of the stench of the fire.
One of the many advantages of hiring smoke cleaning professionals to remove odors from your home after a fire is that they are equipped with industrial machines that can be used to eliminate the smells. A process that would take weeks or even months with any device you could buy retail can be completed in a matter of hours or days with the advanced methods used by professionals.
Electrical Safety During a Flood
Call SERVPRO of Lee's Summit if you have a fire from an electrical problem. 816-246-5566
There are many risks associated with flooding. One of them is the danger associated with your electrical system. It is critically important to treat all electrical appliances, equipment and outlets with caution. Here are a few safety tips:
- Never step into standing water that has covered electrical outlets or devices-the water could already be charged with electric current.
- If there are downed power lines in your area, you should avoid them and notify your local power company.
- Avoid areas where there are sparks or if you hear popping or buzzing noises.
- If you smell something that resembles plastic burning, this could indicate an electrical fire.
After any flooding event, you should consult a certified electrician to determine the extent of damage to your electrical system.
How to Perform a Monthly Fire Extinguisher Inspection
If you need professional fire, smoke and water damage cleanup and remediation after a fire, call the experts at SERVPRO of Lee's Summit.
Home Safety: How to Inspect a Fire Extinguisher
When was the last time you took time to check the fire extinguisher that sits under your kitchen sink? Or the one hanging from a dusty hook in your garage? If you’re struggling to remember, it’s time to check it. Like any other piece of safety equipment, a home fire extinguisher should be inspected regularly to ensure it’s in proper working condition. A fire extinguisher in good working condition is your first line of defense when a home fire erupts.
Ideally, you should inspect your portable home fire extinguishers every month.
Tips for Performing a Monthly Fire Extinguisher Check
Check the label or tag.
Every fire extinguisher, whether disposable or rechargeable, has a manufacturer’s label or tag. Read the tag and follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance suggestions.
Check the tamper seal.
If the tamper seal has been broken or is cracked, a disposable fire extinguisher needs to be replaced. If it’s rechargeable, it needs to be serviced professionally. Check the locking or pull pin as well to make sure it’s in the correct position. If the pin missing, the fire extinguisher needs to be inspected or serviced by a professional.
Inspect for physical damage.
Physically inspect the fire extinguisher for obvious damage. This may include but is not limited to dents, corrosion, cracks and obvious leakage. If a fire extinguisher has leakage, it’s no longer under full pressure and may not work properly when you need it most. Check the fire extinguisher nozzle as well, to ensure it’s not clogged by grime, dust, bugs or leakage from the unit itself.
Check the pressure gauge.
Check that the pressure gauge needle indicates the fire extinguisher pressure is in the optimum operating range. Often the correct pressure range will be designated by green on the gauge.
Is the fire extinguisher full?
During your monthly check, lift the fire extinguisher and determine if it still feels full. If there has been a leak, it will feel light, and it won’t have the right amount of pressure to work correctly.
If you have a dry chemical fire extinguisher, it should be shaken once a month during your inspection. This helps prevent the chemical dousing agent from solidifying at the bottom of the unit.
Write inspection date on tag.
Keep track of every inspection date by writing it on the fire extinguisher tag.
Ensure easy access to your fire extinguisher.
Fire extinguishers should always be easy to access if there is an emergency. You don’t want to have to search for it once a fire breaks out. Don’t block fire extinguishers with furniture, boxes or any other items. Everyone who lives in the household should know where the closest fire extinguisher is located and how to use it in case of an emergency.
In the event of a fire emergency, first make sure to get people safely away, then call 911. A home fire extinguisher can be used to put out or control small fires, but it’s still safest to call professional fire fighters before you attempt to control a fire on your own.
How Professional Fire Damage Restoration Improves Your Business's Quick Recovery
Count on SERVPRO after fire damage in your business.
Recover after fire damage with the help of SERVPRO.
No business owner in Lee's Summit wants the focus for their clients or customers to be the company's ineffective recovery from a disaster. Keeping any damage from fire low key by trying to manage it in-house feels as though you retain control of both the recovery process and your brand. This benefits from this approach quickly become detriments when the challenges fire restoration derail your well-intentioned cleaning staff’s efforts. Involve our well-qualified and equipped fire damage crews to abate the effects fast and to health and restoration industry standards.
The fire damage in your Lee's Summit restaurant kitchen extinguished swiftly, but the damage is surprisingly pervasive. Smoke and soot are difficult to contain, especially when everyone involved concentrates on putting the fire out by any means possible. Concerns about the spread of fire residues assert after the fire department leaves. Our crews receive comprehensive training not only on basic cleaning at a fire site but also on a myriad of strategies to seek and halt migration of and remediate the non-combusted particles sent airborne during a conflagration.
Many restaurants use open layouts to connect diners to the magic occurring in the kitchen. With little blocking airflow, it is nearly impossible to stop fire residues from depositing on the tables, chairs, and flooring in your dining room. When SERVPRO’s crew arrives, we assess the extent of the fire damage apparent and plan to limit any further spread. If the majority of the damage is in the kitchen area, we can decide to set up a containment zone around the cooking area with heavy plastic sheeting and a negative pressure air scrubber system that prevents more residues from escaping into the spaces where your customers enjoy their meals. We use the walls and doors in place, but augment as needed to keep the spaces separated.
SERVPRO then matches the type of sooty residue with suitable cleaning tools and products. Kitchen fires are frequently protein based, laying down a thin but tenacious lacquer-like film that can require solvents to dislodge. We get to work in the containment chamber on the surfaces close to the fire center using techniques that minimize smearing and are appropriate for the damaged materials.
Meanwhile, in the parts of your restaurant further from the burning, we evaluate the type of soot and other residues that invaded before the establishment of the containment perimeter. SERVPRO technicians can vary the products, techniques, and tools if we encounter different types of residues. Lighter, ashy residues respond well to vacuums, dusting, and dry sponging. Stickier residues need the addition of cleaners with wetting agents and surfactants to loosen for wiping or scrubbing.
All spaces are likely to need deodorization, and SERVPRO employs cutting-edge technology to eliminate smells through chemical neutralization. Cover-ups like candles or air fresheners fail while our resources are broad and eventually remove the odors when our trained employees monitor the process, adjusting the methods until we achieve success.
All About Fires
If you have a fire loss, call us - 816-246-5566
House fires are dangerous and can become life-threatening in just two minutes. It will only take 30 seconds for a small candle flame to engulf the window curtain and then create a thick black smoke that will fill your house. The smoke and gases are more deadly than the fire itself, so you must take extra precaution when you smell smoke.
Make sure you plan and create a fire escape plan and practice it with your family. Check your smoke alarms monthly to make sure the batteries are still working; working fire alarms increase your chance of survival.
If you do experience a fire, take these precautions:
- Crawl low under any smoke to your exit - heavy smoke and poisons gases collect first along the ceiling.
- Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, or if there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
- If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
- If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call 911 or the fire department. Tell the emergency operator where the person is.
- If the pets are inside your home, tell firefighters right away.
- If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out. Call 911 or your fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
- If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll. If this is not possible, smother the flames with a blanket or towel. Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for 3 to 5 minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth.
Make sure you take precautions when you are cooking and smoking, or have portable space heaters and fireplaces to prevent those preventable house fires.
Top 5 Most Common Causes of House Fires
If you experience a fire in your home, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Lee's Summit at 816-246-5566
Here are top 5 most common causes of house fires as identified by the National Fire Protection Association.
From 2007-2011, the NFPA says there were an average of 10,630 fires in the U.S. that were started by candles, causing 115 deaths, 903 injuries and approximately $418 million in property damage. That is an average of 29 candle fires per day.
- Never leave a candle burning near flammable items.
- Never leave a candle burning in a child’s room or an unoccupied room.
- Make sure candles fit securing into candle holders so they won’t tip over.
- Blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep
While the number of fires caused by smoking is trending downward, the NFPA found that there were still an average of 17,600 related fires per year resulting in 490 deaths and more than $516 million in property damage.
- If you smoke, consider smoking outside.
- Use wide, sturdy ashtrays to catch butts and ashes.
- Look for cigarette butts under furniture and between seat cushions to make sure no lit butts have fallen someplace where they can’t be seen.
- Don’t smoke in bed, when you’re tired or around medical oxygen.
- Electrical & Lighting
According to the NFPA, in 2011 approximately 47,700 home structure fires were caused by some sort of electrical failure or malfunction. These resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.
- Don’t overload outlets or electrical cords.
- Make sure you have the right cord for the job – inside cords for inside, heavy duty/outside cords for outdoor use.
- Don’t leave Christmas lights, Christmas trees, or halogen lights on overnight or when not at home.
- Consider having an electrician perform an annual checkup of your home’s wiring.
- Dryers & Washing Machines
Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage.
- Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
- For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
- Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
- Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
- Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.
From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes.
- Stay away from doors and windows during an electrical storm.
- Do not use corded phones, computers, TVs or other electrical equipment during storms.
- Unplug major electronics – TVs, stereo equipment, computers and microwaves to minimize damage if there is a lightning strike close by.
- Avoid plumbing such as sinks, baths and faucets during a thunderstorm.
During the cleaning process after a puffback.
A puffback is a messy furnace malfunction that occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout the interior of a home. It can happen all at once, covering the interior in grimy soot, or it can leak soot more gradually.
Initially, many people mistake soot for dust and simply wipe it away. However, once cleaned, this “dust” often reappears and can sometimes be accompanied by a strong, oily odor. There are several steps your clients can take to prevent damage to their home. Remind them to:
- Have the oil-burning furnace professionally checked and cleaned annually.
- Keep an eye out for traces of soot around their home.
- Install a carbon monoxide monitor. Puffbacks (and the soot they create) will increase the carbon monoxide levels in their home. A carbon monoxide monitor can help to detect the puffback in its early stages.
If soot begins accumulating on objects or walls within their home, they should turn off the heating system immediately. Contact a heating professional to service the heater and restore it to proper working order.
Fortunately, if your client does experience a puffback, SERVPRO has the knowledge and experience to complete a thorough cleaning and removal of any soot and odors. Our Fire Restoration Team will respond immediately and make it look Like it never even happened®.
The Impact of Fire Damage on Your Property
House fires cause unforeseen damage to your home!
Fire damage can have a detrimental impact on a person’s life. Whether there is a fire in home, or a fire in business, fire loss can be heart breaking. Soot damage and some damage can ruin so much of a person’s home. Not only is the fire itself terrible and devastating, but the actual fire cleanup can be awful as well. If a fire has recently occurred and caused commercial fire damage, or if the fire damage occurred die to a fire in home, this article is here to help you determine the best ways to address the aftermath.
First before any fire cleanup can occur it’s important to make sure that the fire in home or the fire in business is no longer a safety risk, especially if there was commercial fire damage. The local fire department can determine whether there is still a health risk in returning to cleanup the fire damage, the soot damage, or the smoke damage that has occurred. Fire loss is no laughing matter and should be addressed sagely and carefully.
Once you have had the notification that it’s now safe to enter your home to start the cleanup process, the actual soot damage, smoke damage, and amount of fire loss can be appraised. This can help to get the fire cleanup process settled so that you know the extent of the damage and make a plan to combat the fire damage. Before anything it’s important to stat ti our out the building, whether the damage was from a fire in home, or a fire in business. This will help the air quality and allow the prices of the cleanup of the soot damage or smoke damage to begin.
To start cleaning the soot damage and smoke damage it is absolutely crucial to make sure the air quality is fine before you begin, because too much smoke can have a detrimental impact on your heath. To begin this fire cleanup from the fire in home, fire in business, or commercial fire damage, you will need protective frat such as rubber gloves and eye protection. A bucket and spine will also be needed so that the soot damage can be scrubbed off from the walls. There are cleaning solutions that are available commercially to help you with this project. To make extra sure that the air quality is suitable it may be necessary to open a window. This is to ensure the air quality is not impacted by any apsidal smoke, and the air quality is not impacted by the cleaning agents being used.
After the walls have been cleaned the fire cleanup from other areas can being. Now the fire loss impact must be determined, and the items from the fire loss must be cleaned or discarded if they are beyond repair. This fire cleanup hopefully will not be too substantial, but it may be. If there is a large scale of destruction to may be a better idea to call professionals who can evaluate the damage and clean the mess for you. However, even if there was a fire in business or commercial fire damage you may be able to take care to the situation yourself be removing the soot form the commercial fire damage with a vacuum cleaner and rags.
Fire Escape Planning for Your Business
Are you prepared?
An emergency plan is not required for all businesses, however, OSHA recommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency. OSHA suggests the following steps when developing a plan.
Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company’s emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team of individuals to lead and coordinate your emergency plan.
Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked, and well lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times.
Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover and conduct a head count. Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.
Turn and Test
When in doubt, test it out!
Great Advice from American Red Cross!
Did you know:
- Every day 7 people die in the United States due to a home fire
- You have two minutes- that 120 seconds – to escape a home fire
- On an annual average, the Ohio Buckeye Region of the Red Cross responds to over 3 home fires per day in our 45 counties!
The American Red Cross cares about your safety and encourages you to test your smoke alarms and replace your batteries as needed. This is a lifesaving action of our Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, which rallies communities across the country to protest people from these every day disasters. Don't ignore the beeping sound of batteries going dead on a fire alarm, take a few minutes and go change the batteries right away! Your safety is in your own hands!
4th of July Summer Safety Tips
Celebrating the summer safely!
The 4th of July is one of the best times of the year in Missouri. Many people get together to celebrate freedom, friends, and food. Unfortunately, the holiday can also be dangerous due to different risks that are present. When trying to stay safe during the holiday, there are a few important safety tips to follow to protect yourself from harm.
Handle Fireworks with Caution
To prevent injuries and fires that are caused by fireworks in the community, certain precautions should be taken. Never allow small children to get near fireworks or handle them. Adults should be the only ones lighting off the fireworks and should do so on the ground at a safe distance from trees or other objects. Keep a fire extinguisher close by and avoid lighting more than one firework at the same time.
Grilling can also cause fires when you’re spending time flipping hamburgers and hot dogs outdoors. Look for leaks, holes, and cracks in the grill before you start using it on the 4th of July. Avoid grilling indoors or in an inclosed area. This can cause a fire to start and will lead to you to hire professionals such as SERVPRO of Lee’s Summit to repair the damage. The grill should also be placed at least two feet away from the deck, branches, or the siding of the house.
Use a Pool Gate
Many people spend time in the pool cooling off from the warm temperatures in Missouri during the summer season. Keep it a safe activity by using a pool gate that will prevent children from getting into the water when they’re not supervised. Wireless outdoor sensors can also be installed to inform you if a child is near the pool. A first aid kit should also be on hand to tend to any injuries that can occur in the water. Kids should also use life jackets and floatation devices while swimming.
Practice Food Safety
Wash hands and clean the surfaces where you plan to prep food on the holiday. All meat should be cooked with a thermometer used to ensure that it reaches the right temperature to avoid food-borne illness. All leftovers should be refrigerated after two hours and not left outside. Toss out anything that sits outside for too long.
When trying to have a safe and memorable 4th of July, there are several safety practices to follow. With the right caution used, you can protect your family from harm and enjoy the day.
Candles are beautiful...until they start your house on fire!
Candles can result in fire loss
Make sure to call SERVPRO at 816-246-5566 if this should happen to you.
According to the National Candle Association, more than 15,000 candle fires are reported annually. Now that the holidays are upon us, entertaining events are in full force. Typically that entails lovely meals, great music and ambient lighting like candles. Here are some tips to burn your candles safely:
· Always extinguish candles when you leave a room. It's very easy to forget it's lit when the candle is out of sight.
· Keep your candle away from flammable items. Curtains, bedding, or paperwork don't take long to ignite.
· Make sure your candle is out of reach for children and pets alike. They can easily be knocked over and result in an injury or a fire.
· Trim candlewicks to 1/4 inch before every lighting. This helps to eliminate excess smoke and keeps the flame lower.
· Your candle should be placed on a stable, heat resistant surface. Special attention should be given to the surface below since you don't want it to burn.
The holidays are a time to enjoy spending quality time with those you love. We don't think dealing with a smoke or fire loss would not necessarily qualify as "quality" time!
But in the event of a fire, what should you do? Call your SERVPRO professional at 1-816-246-5566. We respond within an hour and can help you get on track immediately.