Recent Fire Damage Posts
3 Tips for Keeping Your Furnace Running
If you maintain your furnace well, however, it should be reliable for the whole season
Heating System Maintenance
As the days grow shorter and the weather gets colder, you want to make sure your furnace is working well. Proper maintenance not only ensures that you won't be left with a chilly home when the first cold snap hits in Lighthouse Point, FL, but it also helps make certain your furnace won't become a fire hazard. You can likely avoid the need for fire cleaning if you keep up with heating system maintenance.
The most important aspect of furnace maintenance is keeping it clean. Focus on these three parts of the furnace to save yourself from requiring smoke cleaning services:
Fire cleaning specialists recommend that you change the filter before you turn the furnace on for the first time each year. When you remove the panel that covers the filter, you can gain access to the blower and the motor. The fan of the blower slides out so you can reach each blade. Use a toothbrush or some other tool for eliminating dirt and debris from small spaces. Clean each blade thoroughly to remove dust and residue. Wipe down the motor and all the surfaces. Finally, use the vacuum hose to remove loosened dirt.
If your motor is sealed, you don't have to provide extra lubrication. It is lubricated as part of the manufacturing process. To check on the type of motor, look for oil ports near the bearings. If you see ports, this means you have to lubricate it manually. You will need 10-weight motor oil, but you should only use a few drops. Lubricate your motor at least once a year, preferably right before the cold season starts. A well-oiled motor keeps your furnace running smoothly.
A burned-out furnace can cause a lot of damage that requires professional fire cleaning services. If you maintain your furnace well, however, it should be reliable for the whole season.
3 Actions to Take Immediately After a Home Fire
Replace important documents
After a fire in your home in Pompano Beach, FL, you may be overwhelmed by the incident and have no idea what to do afterwards. While you naturally need some time to process these events, it is important to act and forge the path to continuing your life. Consider the following actions to get the right resources, throw away damaged items and replace anything you will need soon.
Gather Essential Resources
Whether you lived in a small house alone or a larger building with a family, you will need as much help as possible. Prioritize the essentials, such as food, rest and shelter. Contact organizations such as the American Red Cross that can help you obtain these resources as you get back on your feet. Also contact your insurance company and provide them with details about the fire.
Get Rid of Vulnerable Items
As you work with the fire cleanup company to restore the residence to its former glory, you will need to make important decisions on what items to keep and which ones to throw away. There are certain items that are more vulnerable to contamination created by fire damage than others.
- Damaged, burned clothing
- All perishable and non-perishable foods
- Toiletries and cosmetics
These items can be chemically altered by high heat or contaminated by ash, soot or smoke. Even if they are not significantly changed, their taste or performance may become undesirable.
Replace Important Documents
In addition to food, medicine and other items weak to the effects of the fire, your documents are also likely victims. There are particular documents you will need to replace immediately, including the driver's license, social security cards and credit cards, as well as more. Make the necessary calls and ensure new copies are on the way.
The aftermath of a fire will have you make important decisions, from what items to throw away to calling for assistance. Take your time, recover and tackle these situations as they manifest.
Proper Use of a Fire Extinguisher Can Prevent a Massive Financial Loss
Fire damage is one of the most common forms of homeowner’s insurance claims in Pompano Beach, FL. There is a reasonable chance that sometime in your life you will encounter at least a small, unwanted fire, and knowing what to do – and when to do it – is key to reducing damage and possibly saving a life. By far the best way to deal with small fires is to use a fire extinguisher early to douse the flames.
Using an Extinguisher Is Easy If You Know How
The simplest method of handling an extinguisher is to use PASS:
- Pull the safety pin out.
- Aim low – at the base of the flame.
- Squeeze the handle.
- Sweep from side to side
Keep going back and forth until all the flames are out. Carefully watch the area, since flames can reappear even hours after a fire in some conditions. If your fire extinguisher is low on pressure, grab another one if it’s nearby to be ready for another round.
Fight or Flee?
Fires are incredibly dangerous events and are one of the most common types of emergency. Home fires kill an average of seven people in the U.S. every day. Besides the heat, smoke and toxic gases are released and can quickly overcome even healthy adults. Once a room gets warm enough, an event called a flashover will instantly ignite all flammable surfaces, and even professional fire fighters in full protective gear are occasionally killed by this. If you have the slightest doubt about a fire, if it’s growing rapidly or if the extinguisher isn’t having much impact, get out immediately and call 911. Kitchen fires are especially dangerous, since the oils and grease can be highly resistant to fire-fighting methods and can be accidentally spread around by the wrong type of suppression methods.
Using a fire extinguisher on small fires is an excellent way to avoid expensive fire damage cleanup in Pompano Beach, FL. But don’t be a hero – use common sense and let trained fire fighters handle the more dangerous events.
How to Get an Accurate Estimate for Commercial Fire Damage
It is essential to work with a local fire cleanup specialist
How to Get an Accurate Estimate for Commercial Fire Damage
After experiencing a commercial fire in Lighthouse Point, FL, property managers may be eager to begin the process of cleanup and rebuilding. In order to get an accurate price tag for repairs and restoration, it is essential to work with a local fire cleanup specialist who knows all of the ins and outs of the job. Don't settle for a bid that isn't specified to your individual needs. In order to get an accurate estimate, the restoration company should come out and take an in-person look at the damages done. An over-the-phone generic quote will only be a ballpark guess and may result in inaccurate pricing and a higher final price than expected. Likewise, a contractor who only specializes in one aspect of your repair needs may have to hire additional subcontractors to complete work. The cost of subcontracting may be difficult to predict up-front. Look for a restoration crew that can give you a guaranteed quote in all of the following areas.
Following a commercial fire, your facility is likely to be covered in ashes, soot and other debris. Cleanup and complete debris removal is essential to restoring a safe and functional space. Removing debris is the first step in fire damage cleanup for the following reasons:
- Prevention of a permeating smoke smell
- Removal of dangerous rubble
- Inventory of salvageable items
- Calculation of total loss items
If your workplace is ever going to be returned to its former state, air quality must be breathable and smoke-free. Smoke from a fire has a way of quickly permeating its surroundings. Even after a small fire, the smell of smoke may continue to linger. When considering an estimate for commercial restoration, be sure odor removal is included in the price.
Finally, a proper bid should go-over the cost of reconstructing your facility to the way it was before the fire took place. Professional fire restoration companies should never shy away from working with your commercial insurance agent. Be sure to get a pricing guarantee that includes each of the areas mentioned above. Doing so will ensure the most accurate estimate.
Will an Emergency Board Up Prevent Further Damage?
Board up after fire damage in a residence in Wellington, FL
A mitigation service may recommend a board up after fire damages a residence in Wellington, FL. Boarding up can be helpful if it will take time before the structure can be cleaned and rebuilt. An emergency board up involves affixing plywood to cover breaches in a structure. Broken windows or damaged walls are of primary concern, and wood may be used alongside tarps to protect a damaged roof. Here are several ways that boarding up can limit damage.
Keep Out Moisture and Debris
Boards can keep out external contaminants that could heighten the risk of secondary damage. Covering a breach can keep out the following sources of contamination or debris:
- Tree branches and leaves
A homeowner should arrange for boarding up to take place as soon as possible. Timely mitigation can prevent damage from becoming more extensive or severe prior to cleanup and restoration.
Prove Mitigation Efforts to Insurers
Insurance companies require policyholders to do everything they can to limit damage, such as a board up and other mitigation measures. It is important to document the damage in photos or videos before taking any steps to limit or lessen the damage.
Limit Trespassing and Unauthorized Access
Trespassing is a major risk at a damaged structure. Foot traffic grinds soot into flooring and other building materials. Trespassers may also strip valuable components, such as metals, from a structure. Boarding up can help to limit losses.
An emergency board up will be most effective if it takes place as quickly as possible after flames have been extinguished. While a residence may be filled with contaminated water from fire suppression efforts, additional water and debris may otherwise enter and cause conditions to further degrade. When a homeowner needs to board up a damaged residence in Wellington, FL, he or she can rely on a one-stop shop for fire damage mitigation and restoration services.
Safely Enjoying a Bonfire
There are precautions you and loved ones can take when gathering around a bonfire.
The first precaution to take is to pick out or build a sturdy fire pit. To ensure you're going to stay safe as well as keep your home safe, pick a fire pit at least 10 feet away from any structure. You're going to want to make sure you also have enough space to comfortably sit and provide proper ventilation for the fire pit.
A second precaution is to check your local weather. Windy conditions are not good conditions for a bonfire. A sturdy and strong breeze could easily blows embers or sparks unto people or combustible items.
A third precaution is to have fire extinguishing equipment nearby and ready in case of a fire emergency. A water hose, extinguisher, or sand are great to have in an emergency.
One last precaution is to wear the right kind of clothing. Wearing non flammable clothing and hard-sole shoes are the best choices to wear. Skip going barefoot to a bonfire, it may sound cozy but it leaves you at a huge risk for some serious burns.
Preventing a fire: 4 places to regularly check
Give SERVPRO of Pompano Beach a call after fire damage!
A fire in your home can be devastating. Structural damage, loss of possessions, and displacement from your living space are just a few side effects of such an event. 90% of house fires and 85% of commercial fires are caused by human error.
This means it is worth your time to do routine checks around your home or business to prevent a tragedy. Here are 4 places to look for fire-starting risks in your home or business:
- The electrical system
Look for damaged wiring, make sure your circuit breakers are in good condition, and be careful of signs of corrosion on any electrical elements.
- Gas/propane system
Check vent stacks on gas powered water heaters, furnaces, and clothes dryers. Check pilot lights for dust buildup or improper installation
- Air conditioning/heating systems
Clean/have your interior AC coils cleaned, and replace your air filters regularly. This keeps your system from working too hard and will also save you money on your energy bill!
- Kitchen appliances
Keep your stove and oven clean of excess grease buildup, clean vent hoods regularly, and make sure your external (outside) vents are free of debris
Even with precautions, fires can happen! In the event a fire does occur in your home or business, remember to call SERVPRO of Pompano Beach at (954) 970-4942. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we will be there to help make it "Like it never even happened!"
Fire Safety When it Comes to Candles
Don't forget these safety tips when enjoying candles.
Candles are beautiful, fragrant and relaxing. However, a candle is a possible fire hazard if it's not properly monitored. The fact that a candle is an open flame can increase the risk of a fire. The following three basic rules to avoid a candle fire came directly from a study done by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Number one rule: Never leave a burning candle unattended. It may seem like a good idea to leave your candle burning so your house could soak up the fragrance, but it's a really bad idea considering there is no one to watch it in case of an emergency situation.
Number two rule: Never burn a candle on or near anything that may catch on fire.
Number three rule: Keep candles out of the reach of both children and pets.
How to Prevent a Dryer Fire
Don't forget to throw away lint after using the dryer.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fires in the laundry room average a total of 15,000 fires per year in the United States. This means that every day 42 families go through the scary event of a laundry room fire. Each year it's estimated that these fires cause approximately $201 million dollars in structure damage. Ranging from small scale fires to large and deadly, laundry room fires pose a threat when it comes to fire safety in your home. Considering what goes in any given laundry room: water, heat, electricity and flammable items, it's easy to see how fast a fire can happen if the right precautions aren't taken.
One pro tip is to get rid of any lint as soon as possible. Making sure that your laundry room is clear of lint build up lessens the chance of combustible material catching on fire. Don't forget to clean the dryer and washer vent after each use.
Another tip is to be sure that you have the proper rigid metal or plastic dryer hose vent and outdoor vent. Checking them regularly is also advised.
A final important tip is to never dry clothes that have been exposed to paint, gas, pesticides, cleaning chemicals, or oil in the dryer. The safest way to dry these items is to air dry them.
What makes the SERVPRO way superior when it comes to fire damage?
When fire or water damage occurs in your home or business, choosing the right people for the restoration job is very important. So what makes SERVPRO the nation's leading restoration company?
- We're faster to any size disaster
SERVPRO of Pompano Beach responds to emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. As soon as you make contact with our dispacting team, our technicians are on their way to your property.
- We specialize in restoration
Unlike some restoration companies that have a select team dedicated to restoration, SERVPRO of Pompano Beach's staff specializes in water and fire damage cleanup and restoration. No job is too big or small for us!
- We restore before we replace
When your home experiences water or fire damage, the contents are almost always affected as well. Furniture, rugs, and family heirlooms may need special care to be restored to their original condition. SERVPRO of Pompano Beach takes every step to restore your affected contents rather than discarding them.
FIRE 101 – Preventing a Fire Triangle Protects Your Property
A fire needs all 3 components in order to keep a fire going. Remove 1 or more and the fire will go out.
Fires don’t normally happen by themselves. Something usually triggers a fire. A spark from a match or a lighter can usually get them going, but often times fires are sparked by things like poor electrical wiring, a stove that hasn’t been properly turned off or a candle that’s been left unattended (cat owners, beware. They have been known to knock down a candle while scurrying off a kitchen counter. True story!)
Keeping a fire going, requires three things:
- Fuel [something to burn – wood, paper, oil, coal, etc.]
- Oxygen – which is already in the air around us
If there is ample supply of these three entities, a fire can continue indefinitely. This is what makes a fire so dangerous.
So, how do you put a fire out?
To stop a fire from spreading, you need to eliminate one or more of the 3 points of the triangle. Most home owners do not own a fire extinguisher. What makes these devices so important and necessary is that they do exactly that, they remove the 3 ingredients for a fire. They cool off heat and smother the flame preventing oxygen from contacting the fuel. This allows the fire to be completely put out.
But what happens if you didn’t have this and you experience a fire loss?
That’s where SERVPRO® of Pompano Beach comes in. Our trained experts are here to help restore your home or business back to normal as quickly as possible. We know that precious photos, memorabilia and other sentimental items in your home can never be replaced, but we are here to refurbish and restore your home so that you can begin to rebuild those precious memories.
Some of the fire services we provide are:
- Debris removal and hauling away
- Soot cleaning from restorable surfaces such as walls, floors, ceilings and non-porous furniture
- Soft content cleaning – clothing, bedding and other linens and some furniture.
- Deodorizing to remove odors caused by smoke infiltration.
- Air duct cleaning
- Carpet cleaning or removal when necessary
We at SERVPRO® have 50 years in the restoration business to best serve you, your home and your business in times when you need it most.
Call us today! We’re here to make it, “Like it never even happened.”™
Avoiding A Christmas Tree Fire
Choose a Christmas Tree that has fresh and green needles to help prevent a fire.
It's that time of year again when the music is jolly and the time is merry. Yes, it's Christmas time once again. While your beloved tree may be beautifully and carefully put together it's good to know how to prevent it from causing a fire.
Before you go out to buy a tree make sure that it has fresh needles that are green and will not fall when touched. If the needles fall, it's a good sign that the tree is dryer than fresher trees and more likely to cause a fire.
Another tip is to carefully cut off 2 inches from the base of the tree trunk. Doing so will decrease the chance of your tree tipping over and causing an electrical spark from the lights crushing on top of another.
One last important tip is to add fresh water to your tree daily. Although it may seem tedious, it will not only keep your tree fresher longer, but prevent it from really drying out and becoming a huge fire hazard in case of a fire emergency.
Avoiding A Thanksgiving Fire Disaster
Did you know the greatest number of cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day?
We're officially only three weeks away from Thanksgiving. The temperatures are fluctuating and the days are getting shorter as the nights get longer and dramatically cooler. As one of the most anticipated holidays draws family from afar near, it's important to remember a few tips for keeping your home safe during the Thanksgiving festivities of all day cooking. Our first tip for the Thanksgiving host is one that seems simple yet can be easily forgotten: don't leave the food your cooking alone! It may be tempting to leave the food to bake alone while you finish cleaning up but regularly checking up on it can help you avoid a fire emergency. It's important to frequently check on items in the oven and keep a very close eye on anything being grilled, sautéed, fried, or broiled. Another important tip is to be mindful of your kitchen attire. Baggy and loose clothing may seem perfect to throw on before your guests arrive but they pose a huge threat in the event of a kitchen fire. Loose clothing will be the first item to catch on fire. Instead wear tight and short shirt sleeves to avoid this dangerous scenario. Have longer hair? Keeping it back and tied is also a good idea in the event of a kitchen fire. Also, a great tip to keep in mind this Thanksgiving, is to try to avoid using a turkey fryer. As great as it might sound, turkey friers are so risky that the U.S. Fire Administration published a guide to prevent a turkey fryer fire. Consider skipping the fryer and removing fire hazards out of the way like oven mitts when they're not in use. Preparing by having a kitchen fire extinguisher nearby in case of a fire emergency is also a great tip to keep in mind. Remember to practice these helpful tips this upcoming Thanksgiving Day to decrease the chance of a fire disaster brewing in your kitchen.