Recent Fire Damage Posts

It's Grilling Season

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

With the weather warming up and summer sneaking up on us pretty quickly, it's time for outdoor parties and family get togethers. These parties include being outside near the swimming pool and firing up the grill. Though grilling is a pretty simple activity, it can be a major cause of house fires. Grills cause around 8,900 house fires a year. Gas grills are the leading cause of fires rather than charcoal grills. Here are some simple steps to ensure you are being safe while grilling outdoors.

  • Grill outside and away from buildings
  • Make sure your grill is stable
  • Keep your grill and grill area clean
  • Check for propane leaks if you have a gas grill
  • If the flame goes out, wait a minute to re-light it
  • Take care of the area around the grill
  • Be careful with starting fluid
  • Wear appropriate clothing near the grill
  • Be ready to put the fire out after you're done

If you have fire damage, give SERVPRO of Russellville, Hamilton, and Fayette a call! We will make it like it never even happened.

Fire Damage? Call us!

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

Every fire is different. The smallest fire can be devastating to your home and your belongings. It may seem like a total loss at first, but that is not always the case. Making the call to a professional restoration company can make all the difference in the world when it comes to taking care of your home after a fire. A company like SERVPRO can come in and restore your home, clean, and quite possibly save many of your belongings. Your home can be repaired and safe to live in faster than you might think after disaster has struck. 

Fire restoration is essential- this means getting your home back to preloss condition. SERVPRO can be at your home as soon as the fire department clears the scene. We will begin assessing the damage to determine what can be saved and what needs to be replaced. We will be very thorough to make sure that your home will be completely safe for you and your family to live in once everything is cleaned up and restored.  Odor removal makes furniture and belongings, such as clothes and other items, seem as good as new again.

After the fire’s out, that’s were our team at SERVPRO of Russellville, Hamilton, and Fayette comes in. We hope you never need our disaster restoration services, but if you ever do, we hope you give us a chance to make it right again.

How to Keep Your Heated Home Happy

1/3/2019 (Permalink)

The winter months can be cold and dreary. There’s nothing like heating up your home and curling up on the couch to watch a movie, or a read a book, or cooking a warm meal to keep you cozy. Heating your home is simple, but there are many dangers that come with doing so. Follow these steps to keep you and your home safe from a fire.

THE KITCHEN

Cooking that warm meal sounds like a good idea, but there are some dangers lurking in your kitchen. To help keep yourself safe, keep flammable objects like kitchen towels and food packaging away from stovetops and flames. Do not leave the kitchen while you are cooking something. Make sure children are at least 3 feet away from the stove. If you are fatigued or have been drinking alcohol, avoid cooking.

CANDLES

Candles are a very common home décor, especially in the winter months. Though they are pretty and smell nice, they can cause serious injury and harm. When lighting a candle, make sure you have placed the candle away from things that could catch on fire. You should never go to bed or leave the house without blowing the candle out. Lastly, make sure children and pets are kept away from burning candles.

HEATING

Keeping your home warm during the cold months is something we all do. Furnaces, fireplaces, and heaters are all different types of heating devices you may have around your home. To keep you and your family safe, keep children away from heating units and make a three-foot safety zone. Avoid using your oven to heat your home. Make sure to have all chimneys and heating equipment checked regularly by a professional. Keep all flammable items away from heating units. Lastly, make sure you have installed all equipment as stated in the manufacturer's instructions.

By following these steps, you will surely be able to keep your and your family safe during this winter. If a disaster does strike, we are available 24/7/365. Give us a call at 205-921-1449.

Dangerous Dryer Vents

1/3/2019 (Permalink)

Drying our clothes in the dryer is a common, almost every day thing we do. Did you know that the lint from your clothing and towels fill up in the lint filter, vent, and dryer hose? When those items become heavily clogged with lint, they become a fire hazard. Most people do not know that those things need to be cleaned out pretty regularly to ensure that they are not becoming clogged up. Almost 5,000 homes are caught in fires by the build up of dryer lint. The lint filter/screen should be cleaned with every load of laundry that you do. The vent should be cleaned once a year, at minimum. The hose for the dryer to vent to the outside should be cleaned out once a year as well. If you are checking your hose and see that yours is “accordion style”, you might want to switch it out to a smooth hose. The ridges in those “accordion style” hoses can trap and hold lint.

How To Use A Portable Fire Extinguisher

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:

P - Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from your and release the locking mechanism.

A - Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

S - Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.

S - Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. To find more information on choosing the appropriate class of extinguisher, please visit the NFPA website at nfpa.org.

*Courtesy of the SERVPRO Restoration Newsline Volume 28, Issue 2.

Avoiding Kitchen Fires

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Avoiding Kitchen Fires

Cooking fires are the most common household fires, and you do not have to have a huge, commercial-sized range for a fire to start. From stray dishtowels to grease spills, even a very small cook top in a studio apartment can create a blaze. You should know tips ahead of time to keep you and your family safe in the kitchen.

When cooking, remain in your kitchen. It may seem like the obvious thing to do, but most cooking fires and fire damage occur from unattended cooking. If you must step away from the stove for any reason, first turn the heat off and move the pan to a burner that is cool.

When a cooking fire has flared up in your kitchen, be sure to contact SERVPRO after the fire is out. We are a professional and experienced fire damage restoration company, and we can repair and clean your home thoroughly for you.

When cooking, use a timer. Regularly check the food, whether you are baking, roasting, simmering, or boiling. When you use a timer, it helps remind you to check on your dish. You also need to keep the stove top clear of any oven mitts, dishtowels, paper towels or anything that can catch on fire.

Keep your stove top clean and wipe up any spills. When a stove top or oven is dirty, cooking with them is an invitation for potential fires. The buildup of grease is very flammable, so clean your stove each time you cook and wipe up any spills right away.

You should also avoid overheating your oils. Cooking oil which is overheated can start to bubble up and smoke, causing it to ignite and spill out. If you are not sure of the smoking point for your cooking oils, you can find charts online. Also, do not dispose of any oil before it has had time to cool. Tossing hot grease into your trash can could make it go up in flames. Putting it in an old food can after it cools is safer before tossing it out.

Our SERVPRO technicians can help you after a fire to put your house back together again. We do an initial inspection and fire damage assessment, plus immediate board-up services if needed. Water removal and drying are done to clean up firefighting efforts, and we remove smoke and soot from all affected services.

SERVPRO knows what works when it comes to fire damage remediation. Give us a call at (205)-921-1449 whenever you need our help after a fire.

Safety For Fire Damage Clean Up In Your Home!

8/6/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Puts Safety First after Fire Damage in Your Home

If you store flammable liquids in your home’s garage such as turpentine, gasoline, or paint thinner, they can be dangerous if not stored properly. Gasoline alone starts around eight thousand house fires each year. A reason this happens is that it is often stored incorrectly in the garage. For instance, when stored in a glass jar with a metal lid, the lid can create a spark if the jar falls off the shelf.

Flammable liquids in your home should always be stored at room temperature away from any heat sources in the proper containers. If you have suffered a fire and fire damage from one of these catching fire, however, you want to get the damage taken care of as quickly as possible once the fire is out. Our SERVPRO staff can assist you in cleaning and repairing your home, as we are professionally trained to do so.

Many times, fires cause structural damage to buildings, which can pose safety hazards. We are always cautious of falling or loose debris and watch for damaged structural components which could cause puncture wounds. We wear work safety boots and hard hats for added protection when inspecting your home after a fire. We also keep you and your family out until we ensure that it is safe. Warnings of potential risks are made known with barrier tape and signs.

SERVPRO staff also need to be aware of trip, slip, and fall hazards. Most of these accidents can be prevented by following some simple measures. We inspect your home for potential slippery surfaces and tripping obstacles. Wet floors from putting out the fire can be slippery, or a dry floor can be hazardous if a surface nearby is wet.

Structures which are damaged by fire can present different trip and fall hazards. Walkways, floors, and aisles should be kept clean, dry, and free of any protruding splinters, nails, holes, loose boards, or projections. Holes in the floor are covered as well.

SERVPRO ensures that you and our workers are safe while we are restoring your home after fire damage. Reach out to us right away once the fire is out so we can begin helping you.

Fires DO Affect HVAC Systems

7/19/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke & Fire Damage Are Common After a Fire in Your Russellville, Hamilton, & Fayette Property

A fire in any home is a frightening sight. Fortunately, most of the damage after the flames have been put out is from smoke and soot residues. Smoke and soot are easier to restore than removing scorched and burned property, but it does take time and patience.

One item residents forget about before or after fire damage has occurred at their home is the air and heat or HVAC system. It may not be necessary to clean the HVAC after a fire, but it must be inspected to make certain. If the system is turned on with residue still inside, it is possible to contaminate the entire house in a matter of minutes. SERVPRO has developed a thorough list of questions to inspect an HVAC system and another to clean and repair it if there is smoke or soot residue. 

First, how close was the fire to the HVAC vents or the furnace unit? 
Did smoke enter either the supply or return sides of the system? 
How long did the fire burn? Was the HVAC in operation at any time while the fire was active? 

These questions help us determine just how likely there is contamination, the type of residue, and how extensive it might be. Do not assume there is no contamination because the HVAC was off. An active fire creates air pressure which can force smoke into the system if it burns long enough. An inspection provides the information we need to answer these questions and prepare a restoration plan. 

Are mechanical components of the HVAC damaged? Do they need to be replaced? If so, our technicians can service most HVAC systems. For certain brands, it may be necessary to call in one of their technicians to perform the work. 

Is the ductwork sheet metal, duct board, or flex duct? Sheet metal ducts are easy to clean, duct board is a bit more difficult, and flex duct may have to be replaced because it is not cost effective to pull it out and stretch it to clean out every crease. 

Are the filters contaminated? If yes, then they must be replaced. It is a precautionary practice to toss all filters before the fire and run new filters, inspect, and replace again if the residue is exceptionally thick. 

Does the HVAC need to be disassembled? Taking it apart may be required if the residue is particularly thick and resists cleaning. 
Once we or your contractor has rebuilt the HVAC, our technicians seal the ductwork as tightly as possible to prevent additional contamination and then test it. 

This process is not simple, but restoring the HVAC system in your home is the final, needed step before it is truly safe to return. For SERVPRO of Russellville, Hamilton, & Fayette this is not just a job. We understand the need to go back to normal after a fire or any other disaster. Call us today at (205) 921-1449 to begin.