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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Fire Damage Blog Posts

How to Get Out: Steps for a Fire Escape Plan | SERVPRO of Russellville, Hamilton & Fayette

11/30/2023 (Permalink)

fire damage aftermath SERVPRO of Russellville, Hamilton & Fayette are Here to Help® every step of the way.

The thought of suffering a house fire can send a shiver up any homeowner’s spine. The danger, the damage and the sheer overwhelming experience is something no one should have to endure, but unfortunately, thousands of house fires happen across the country every year.

Since house fires cannot be completely prevented, you have to have a reliable way of getting out of your home at a moment’s notice. Creating a fire escape plan with your family can help keep everyone safe during the unexpected.

The Plan Creation  

Take the time to draw out an accurate map of your home on a piece of paper, including all of the windows and doors. Have your kids go from room to room and point out all of the exit points, and show them how to open the windows in each room. That may seem irresponsible to do, but it is  a necessary skill for your kids to know during a true emergency. 

Just be sure to reinforce the idea that windows should never be played with. Once you have the exits identified, go outside and choose a central meeting location that is far enough away to be safe but easy enough to get to by all members of your family.

If you live in an apartment, you also need to have a plan, but yours should include the directions on where the stairs are located and how to quickly access the fire escape. Walk through your hallway to identify these areas and make sure your kids know not to use the elevator in a fire. 

Putting It Into Action   

Here comes the fun part for your kids! Practicing your escape plan can keep a serious conversation light-hearted while also reinforcing these concepts for your kids. Simulate a regular day in your household and then push the test button on your smoke alarm to get the game in action. Have your kids practice getting out of whatever room they are in the fastest.

As they exit their rooms, encourage them to get down on their hands and knees to crawl down the hall. Explain the dangers of fire smoke and why it is important to not breathe it in. Once everyone is safely outside, explain how to call 911 and what to tell the dispatcher when they answer. 

Taking Care of You

House fires can create serious and often overwhelming emotions. The adrenaline you experience during the emergency will start to wear off and you will see the damage you are faced with after the fire is out. Our team understands the sensitive nature of house fire recovery, so lean on us to help you overcome this devastating situation. 

Our team will work hard to save as many of your possessions as possible and we will clean upholstery, drapes and even fragile keepsakes to the best of our ability. Once your space is clean and sanitized, we will rebuild and restore your damaged home. We can even handle any demolition that needs to happen before rebuilding rooms or walls. We will make sure your house fire quickly becomes a distant memory.

Suffered a house fire? Call SERVPRO of Russellville, Hamilton & Fayette right away.

Red, White, and SERVPRO Green

6/30/2022 (Permalink)

With 4th of July around the corner, we would like to give everyone some safety tips to ensure everyone stays safe this holiday. 

Water: Make sure water is easily accessible and have a fire extinguisher handy.

Fire: Make sure to place fireworks in an open area away from flammables and explosives.

Clothes: Avoid wearing loose or baggy clothing and wear close toed shoes.

Wind: Pay attention to changes in the wind as they play a part in the flight path for fireworks.

If you find that a fire damage has occurred at your home or business, do not hesitate to let Our trained professionals come in and take care of the situation. There is no job too big or too small for our crews to handle. We will make it "Like it never even happened."

Whether To Restore or Replace Personal Items

5/26/2022 (Permalink)

Within the first 48 hours, your actions can make the difference in restoring items versus replacing them. SERVPRO of Russellville, Hamilton and Fayette can help take care of your structure and personal items by sending a team of professionally trained mitigation experts out to assist in the clean up. Whether it is fire, smoke, or soot related, we are trained to handle it all. Our #1 goal is to get your house back to preloss condition. 

Emotions can run high when disaster strikes. allow the professionals at SERVPRO to help put your mind at ease. We will work with your insurance, if needed, on restoring your structure in a timely manner. 

We also offer reconstruction services to eliminate your worry about finding reliable sub-contractors. 

Should fire, smoke, or soot intrude your house, call the professionals at SERVPRO to help.

Generator Tips

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

It is that time of year again here in our area. That's right, severe weather season. If you are operating a generator this storm season, there are some things you need to know.

  • Never use a generator inside of a structure. This is a fire hazard.
  • Keep the generator in an open area outdoors and if possible under a canopy. Do not touch a generator with wet hands. This can cause electrocution.
  • Cracking doors and windows, and even running ventilation such as fans is not enough to prevent from carbon monoxide poisoning. If you feel dizzy or sick, exit the structure and get fresh air.
  • Installing carbon monoxide alarms can alert you to potentially hazardous conditions in the structure and allow you time to evacuate.

Content Inventory is Key!

12/27/2021 (Permalink)

It is no secret how damaging flames and smoke can be to your home or business. Smoke and soot clean up alone can be tedious and expensive.  One area we find is often overlook when it comes to protecting a home or business, are the contents contained within.

Most insurance policies have contents coverage, in the event that they get damaged in a fire or water (sometimes both!) loss.  However, policy holders are still required to submit a list of the items that were deemed unsalvageable in order to receive payment.  We assess and do our very best while on the job site to take note of any item we determine must be thrown away.  But sadly, not all items can be recognized.  Especially if it's in the room where the fire started. 

Taking pictures and an up to date home inventory, can help determine what times were stored in each room so nothing gets missed.  If you are renting your home or office space, and have tenant's insurance, your inventory can be just as critical! 

Set aside a few minutes every four months or so, to take pictures and make note of any new valuable items you may have acquired. Hopefully you will never need to use them, but if disaster does strike, they could keep you from losing out on content reimbursement.

We are here for you 24/7 if you have a fire or smoke disaster.  

Gas Water Heaters Can Cause Fires If You're Not Careful

12/22/2021 (Permalink)

While electric water heaters generally are rarely the cause of residential fires unless they overheat, gas water heaters have more potential to be the center of a fire damage due to their open flame. There are some actions homeowners can take to ensure their water heater operates safely.

    • Do not store clothes or papers near the water heater
    • Flammable liquids and cleaning products should be away from the water heater
    • The flame cover should be in place at all times

Where Do I Start to Cleanup Fire Damage from a Water Heater?

When a water heater in a home causes a fire, the most likely area is in the basement. On the upper floors, some homes have utility closets, and those come with their own challenges for cleanup. The key to limiting loss with either location is to begin the mitigation efforts as rapidly as possible.

Basement Water Heater Cleanup Post-Fire

Upon arrival to a home after a fire, our technicians get to work removing any water and putting up containment to diminish the chance of soot spread anywhere else in the home. The damaged water heater and any charred items too far gone for restoration services get removed with the approval of the homeowner or adjuster.

The smoke damage on the walls may require the removal of the sheetrock on the walls down to the plywood or even brick or cinder block. Because of the potential for these porous areas to hold smoke odors, our technicians use cleaning agents specially formulated for this type of surface cleaning without the use of acids that can harm the surfaces.

Utility Closet Cleanup After a Fire Caused by a Water Heater

The damage can be far more significant when the water heater has a location in the home outside of the basement. The smoke may have spread to different areas of the house, more than one place may have water loss due from the fire department putting out the fire, and both carpet and sheetrock require mitigation.

Water can equal fire in the potential for damage after a fire, it runs downward flowing through the carpet and padding or under the tile and gets into floor joists and drips through below. It can pick up soot and dirt along the way and stain the walls and ceilings when it comes out. Once water wicks into sheetrock, it begins to buckle and warp and needs cutting away to halt the deterioration.

Carpet gets inspected on a case by case basis for restoration. The water may cause shrinkage, dye bleed, or in the case of acrylic and polyester fibers with a low melting point; they may have too much damage from the heat of the fire for restoration through cleaning applications. Whenever possible, the technicians try to extract any remaining water and deep clean the carpets to eliminate odors and stains to save the homeowners the cost of replacement.

The restoration potential for hardwood flooring depends on the materials that make up the floorboards and how much exposure they had to heat and water.

Ceramic tiles tend to come out of this type of loss situation with the best potential for full restoration if the grout line sealant is intact. It generally needs cleaning with one of the professional-quality agents to remove any smoke residues, and little else is required.

Odor Control is a Big Part of the Fire Loss Cleanup Process

Doors and windows can get left open, and it will not diminish smoke odors within a home after something as significant as a water heater fire. Soot produces odors, and the motes can be smaller than the human eye can see, which makes removing them a challenge without advanced devices to capture the airborne particles. SERVPRO technicians have a broad array of odor control methods that include:

    • Specific equipment like hydroxyl generators and thermal foggers
    • Applications such as gel pellets or sprays for light, residual odors
    • Deodorizing cleaning agents for surfaces
    • Sealants to apply over painted surfaces to halt odors

Fires Can Happen In Your Commercial Property

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

An office or store fire can be devastating, not only to the owners but to the community as well. People could lose their jobs and the community could lose a vital service, but more importantly, people could lose their lives and property could be lost.

Some businesses will have a hard time recovering after being shut down for several months due to the pandemic. The loss from a fire will make it that much tougher to recover. Every year there are 17,000 office and store fires in the U.S., causing over $800 Million in property damage. Add to that the monetary loss caused by the pandemic and many businesses will never reopen.

However, there are important fire safety practices that employers and employees should follow to prevent workplace fires, keep them all safe and keep their businesses open.

  • Check for damaged or overloaded electrical outlets, cords or cables.
  • Never leave portable heating devices unattended.
  • Keep workplace and equipment clean, dry and well ventilated.
  • Plan and practice multiple escape routes.
  • Ensure windows can be opened and screens can be removed.
  • Make sure smoke alarms and fire sprinklers are installed properly and working.
  • Post clear fire escape plans on every level.
  • Conduct regular Emergency Drills.

If there is a fire...

  1. Call 911
  2. Notify co-workers of the fire
  3. Walk, don't run! Use the stairs and never the elevator.

There's Still Some Time To Grill This Summer- Be Safe!

8/17/2021 (Permalink)

Grilling at home is something that nearly everyone enjoys and that can be done safely with a few precautions. Now and then a grill fire breaks out and more often than not the only casualty is the food on the grill. However, if a person is not careful or does something unwise, the fire can get out of control and involve the home. Keeping the following things in mind should avoid a disaster when cooking outdoors:

  • Do not cook too close to the home
  • Do not operate the grill near flammable items such as a gas can
  • Never operate a faulty grill
  • Secure the connections from the gas tank to the grill
  • Never leave the grill unattended

It is a good idea to clean the grill on a regular basis. This keeps oils and fats to a minimum and avoids the flaring up of flames.

What To Do During a Grill Fire

It is important to keep calm. Panic only makes things worse. So long as you are not too close to your home and there is nothing combustible nearby, the grill fire should stay contained. If it is not too hot, turn off the burners and then turn off the line from the gas tank. In a short time, the fire will simply go out. It is a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case the fire gets serious. You might ruin your food, but you could save your home.

What To Do After a Home Fire

A grill fire that spreads to a home can be a devastating event. Calling in a professional fire remediation company can help you recover quickly. A trained team will have the experience and the resources to put your home back together again. Fire damage will soon be a thing of the past. The repair and restoration process is completed with as little disruption as possible to your family.