Recent Fire Damage Posts
THE ADDITIONAL COSTS OF FIRE DAMAGE RESTORATION YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT
Fires are devastating and can cause major damage to your home or business, which can often require you to hire licensed professionals to make the repairs. The extent of the damage will all depend on the fire itself, how it started, and how long it burned, and how it was put out. A few determining factors when it comes to fire damage restoration cost will be:
- The number of affected rooms
- The amount of damage
- Repairs needed
It is estimated that fire and smoke restoration will cost approximately $4.50 per square foot, so for a 2,600 square foot home, this adds up to about $12,000. You probably also know that water damages will be extensive, since this is what is often used in the fighting of the fire. Water can damage walls, floors and furniture, and if not handled quickly, the damage can get worse over time. In addition, mold can easily take hold in damp conditions.
There are a few additional costs of fire damage restoration that you might not know about, such as:
- Soot removal and cleanup. Soot can build up on curtains, walls, and carpets, and can cost anywhere from $2,000 - $6,000, depending on the size of the home or business.
- Cleanup of burnt materials. All the materials that have been burned and are no longer usable or are obstructive will need to be removed by professionals, and this additional cost can be $50-$100 per pound.
- Smoke damages. Clothing, carpet, and draperies absorb smoke, and the strong odor left behind will only get worse over time. Cleanup must take place at the source, and only after soot and water damage are removed. Thermal fogging and Ozone treatment are two of the most common methods, and can cost $200-$600.
- Air ducts. Vent and duct cleaning will prevent lingering odors from spreading.
In the event of a fire at your home or business, call the SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville professionals for help with fire damage restoration, water damage restoration, mold remediation, and so much more. We are here to help.
Caring For Your Belongings Following a Fire
Fire damages will affect both the structure of your home and your belongings, as well. Smoke and soot can ruin furniture, clothing, and keepsakes-- the very things that make a house a home.
It may be necessary to contact professional help when it comes to restoring items affected by fire damage, or water damage and mold growth, too. The expertise of such a company can help you save money in the long run, all while preserving those precious, irreplaceable heirlooms. There are several methods that can be used to clean your items:
- Dry Cleaning. For cleaning lighter residues as well as for preparation before wet-cleaning.
- Wet Cleaning. Effective for removing both moderate and heavy residues.
- Spray and Wipe Cleaning. Used for items that cannot be wet-cleaned.
- Foam Cleaning. For upholstery and other fabrics that can shrink or bleed if wet-cleaned.
- Abrasive Cleaning. Uses agitation of any surface being cleaned.
- Immersion Cleaning. A bath of cleaning product is used; items are dipped in and soaked.
Electronics that have been damaged by fire often present serious hazards. No device should be turned on if it could possibly have been damaged by fire. Smoke residues contain acids that corrode metal surfaces, and if they are not removed, that corrosion can cause electronic failure in that device. Taking prompt action will prevent further damages to your devices. Some of the devices you should be careful of include:
- Television sets
- DVD players
- Cell phones
- iPads and Tablets
When documents, such as photographs, contracts, wills, etc. are damaged by water or fire, extreme care will need to be taken to ensure the document is not completely lost. Although in some cases it may not be possible to return every document to pre-fire condition, a professional restoration company can certainly save a good deal of them and minimize additional damage. Depending on the type of document and level of damage, there are five professional methods used for document restoration:
- Air Drying.
- Freezer Drying
- Vacuum Freeze/Vacuum Thermal Drying
When you have suffered a fire, handling the damages following that fire can be overwhelming. The SERVPRO of Belle Meade / West Nashville team can help you in caring for your belongings and premises during this process.
Fire Prevention Tips for Your Hotel
If you run a hotel business, you will want to do everything you can to protect it from disasters such as water damage and fire damage. Being prepared for any kind of disaster is always a good idea. Today, we’re sharing some tips that can help you prevent fire damages as well as some helpful tips in the event a fire ever does happen:
- Take steps to ensure that the address numbers for your buildings or suites are highly visible, enabling emergency responders to easily find your location quickly in the event of a fire or other emergency. Numbers should contrast with the background used, such as black on white, while the numerals should be no less than six inches in height.
- All fire extinguishers should be no more than 75 feet from all work areas for easy access, and they should be mounted in a highly visible spot. Make sure your extinguishers are inspected and serviced at least once a year by a licensed fire extinguisher company.
- Exits need to be clearly marked with EXIT signage that is illuminated at all times with a battery backup for power outages. Emergency lighting should be kept in working order, and the exit areas and spaces around the building outside kept clear of debris and plant material, reducing the fire risk outdoors as well.
- In order to prevent a fire from ever starting, all stored materials need to be stacked at least two feet below the ceiling in an orderly manner. For buildings with an automatic sprinkler system, 18 inches of clearance is required, allowing smoke to collect up high, which gives people adequate time to exit and the sprinklers a clear area for their spray pattern. Entries, hallways, and storage spaces should be kept clear of clutter or obstructions to allow quick exit and access for fire personnel. These instructions have been put in place by your area fire marshal, and if not followed, can result in fines.
- Electrical outlets should have no more than one item per outlet plugged into them, which may include a power strip with a circuit breaker. All electrical cords should be kept in good repair and replaced when needed.
- Trash receptacles need to be kept at least five feet away from combustible roofs, windows, and entryways and not stored in the path of exits.
- Have your sprinkler system tested and serviced every 12 months or less by a licensed fire sprinkler company. This practice should also be used for your fire alarm system.
- If your hotel has a restaurant kitchen onsite, make sure your stove hood has been cleaned at least once every year to prevent excessive grease buildup. Ceiling exhaust fans and bathroom heater/light/fan combinations can also be a risk due to a buildup of dust and grease, resulting in increased operating temperatures.
- Make sure your local fire department has your valid contact information on file for your business.
The SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville team is experienced in cleanup projects after fires both large and small. We are also mold remediation specialists, and here to help in the event of water damages, fire damages, and storm damages.
Handling Fire Damage to Your Apartment Complex
A fire at your apartment complex could be devastating. Your buildings and your tenants, along with their items of value and personal belongings, may have been lost or badly damaged by the flames, heat, smoke, or even received water damage from firefighting efforts. Firefighters may have found it necessary to cut holes in walls to look for hidden flames or in the roof to let out heat and smoke. The clean up after a fire will take a lot of time, patience, and preparation. Below, we are sharing the first steps you will need to take after fire damage to your apartment complex:
- Insurance Company. You will need to contact your insurance agent before any fire damage is repaired or clean-up is begun. Be prepared with information on what is covered, what needs to be repaired or replaced, and how to find reputable companies that can take care of repairs to your property for you during this time.
- Important documents. You will want to take steps to find and retrieve all important documents and replace those that have been lost or irretrievably damaged, such as tenant leasing and financial records, equipment and appliance warranties, mortgage and banking information, and tenants’ personal information.
- Soot Particles. Try to limit movement in the units to prevent soot particles from becoming embedded in the upholstery of all furniture and carpeting. Direct your tenants to place towels or old linens on rugs, upholstered furniture, and foot traffic areas to help alleviate this type of damage.
- Equipment and Appliances. Changing the HVAC filters in your apartment complex after a fire is a good idea, and if the power is out, let your tenants know that they will need to empty freezers and fridges and prop the doors open to get rid of the smoke. Check the wiring for ceiling fans before anyone turns them on as the wiring could have been damaged during the fire.
- Fire Damage Specialists. You won’t want walls to be washed or surfaces painted without contacting a fire damage specialist. Walls and other surfaces, as well as carpeting and draperies, will need to be properly cleaned by a professional before any repair is done.
Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade / West Nashville, we are ready to help you in the event of fire damage to your home or business. We are also experienced in the areas of water damage and mold prevention and remediation.
Winter Fire Hazards to be Aware of For Your Business
With the changing of the seasons comes cooler weather, and for most of us, it is a welcome change. Who doesn’t love snuggling up before a warm fire at this time of year? We’ve pulled out the sweaters and fluffy blankets to stay toasty, and most of us will employ a space heater or two before spring comes around again.
In your place of business, you will be taking those extra steps to make sure your staff is comfortable during the colder months, as well. Let’s make sure they stay fire safe! Here are some winter fire hazards to be aware of:
- Most businesses won’t be using a fireplace to warm their interiors, but those who work out of doors may build fires on the job site to keep hands and toes functional. Make sure your crew is careful to use metal receptacles for those bonfires and that they place them far away from flammable materials such as wood and linens. If a wind comes up, things could get dangerous fast.
- In your offices, the use of space heaters will be helpful. Inspect every unit used to make sure that cords and plugs are in good working condition, and enforce a policy that ensures they are never left running when the room is unoccupied or when the workday is over. Designate someone to oversee this; they should be the person who is normally last out the door. As the owner, it may very well be you.
- Employ a landscape company to remove leaves and dead vegetation from your property. In the event of a fire in your building, space that is cleared from the foundation and exterior walls will help firefighters to gain access as well as prevent a fire from spreading further.
- When repairing or renovating your offices or outbuildings, use fire-resistant materials whenever possible. Flooring, furniture, and paint can all be produced or treated after purchase to make them more fire safe.
The team here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade / West Nashville is always available to help you keep your business fire safe. In the event of damages sustained from fire or water, we have the experience and know how to complete a cleanup project quickly and efficiently, getting you back to work as soon as possible.
First Steps in Dealing With a Kitchen Fire in Your Restaurant
Kitchen fires can happen fast with very little warning. If one starts in your restaurant, you will need to act fast to keep the fire from getting out of control and causing fire damage and smoke damage to your property. Here are a few tips on the first steps to take in dealing with a restaurant kitchen fire:
- If the fire is in an oven, close the door immediately and turn off the oven, leaving the door closed. Lack of oxygen will suffocate the flames.
- If the oven continues to smoke and you think the fire may still be going, call the fire department right away.
- When it is a fire in a cooking pan or pot, use your oven mitt to put the lid on right away and move it off the burner and away from the source of heat. Turn off the stove and wait for the lack of oxygen to stop the flames inside your pot.
- If you are not able to safely put the lid on the flaming pan, or if there is no lid readily available, use a fire extinguisher. Remember to always aim at the base of the fire, not the flames themselves.
- Never use water to put out a grease fire. Water repels grease and can spread the fire by splattering the grease. Try one of these alternative methods:
- If the fire is small, put on the lid and turn off the burner.
- Throw a healthy amount of baking soda on it. Do not use flour. Flour can explode or make the fire even worse.
- Smother the fire with a wet towel or other large, wet cloth by laying the wet cloth on the fire itself. Swatting the flames with a towel or other material, however, may fan the flames and spread the fire.
- Use a fire extinguisher. Every restaurant kitchen should have several fire extinguishers on hand for quick and easy access in case of fire damage.
- If the fire is spreading and you don’t have control, get every person out of the premises and call 911 immediately.
For cleanup after any type of fire, the team at SERVPRO of Belle Meade / West Nashville is always ready to help. We are experts in cleanups of all sizes, and mold remediation is our specialty.
Top Fire Hazards Your Business Should Avoid
Fire damage in your Nashville business is a serious concern. Even moderate damage can result in your facility being closed for repairs for weeks on end, and this can be financially devastating. The unfortunate reality is that no business is immune to the risk of fire. Some facilities may be more likely to endure damage from a fire, such as a restaurant that uses open flames throughout the day. However, there are many fire hazards that are present in most workplaces on a daily basis regardless of the type of activities that take place in the building. When you know what these hazards are, you can take proper steps to address and mitigate those risks and prevent possible fire damage and smoke damage.
Damage to electrical wiring can result in sparks that quickly lead to damaging fires. Electrical wiring damage may include frayed cords, such as those connecting desktop computers to the wall power outlets. It may also include damage to internal wiring inside the walls, and these may be damaged by pests and other forces. Electrical fires may also start when power sockets are overloaded or when equipment gets too hot. Periodically review your company's wiring to identify areas of concern that need to be addressed.
Poor Equipment Maintenance
Other hazards in Nashville workplaces are related to poor equipment maintenance. For example, failing to service your furnace regularly may result in the accumulation of dust and other flammable debris. A gas leak in the furnace could result in a fire or an explosion. Fire hazards related to poor maintenance may also include dusty, dirty or greasy components, such as air ducts and vents, kitchen exhaust vents and many other features that are used throughout your facility. Scheduling necessary maintenance can decrease fire risk in these areas.
Flammable or Combustible Materials
Flammable and combustible materials are most commonly associated with industrial and warehouse environments, but even restaurants, hotels, dry cleaners and many other types of business may store combustible materials on-site. These materials should remain properly sealed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations at all times.
As you can see, there are numerous fire hazards that could result in serious damage in your business. If your Nashville business has already experienced fire damage, it is essential that repair work is completed as soon as possible. SERVPRO of Belle Meade/ West Nashville is your trusted source for quality repair services. We can quickly restore your building to its previous condition so that operations can resume in your place of business. To request assistance with your damaged building, contact us today. You can reach us at (615) 242-9391
Fire Extinguisher Tips Everyone Should Know
Being fireready is just plain smart. Make sure everyone you work with or live with knows how to properly use a fire extinguisher, just in case. Here are some things we all need to know:
- Depending on the size of your home or business, it’s a good idea to have a few fire extinguishers around. The kitchen, garage, main work spaces, and warehouses are all places that could use one, and it wouldn’t hurt to carry them in company cars or trucks. There are different types of extinguishers for different classes of fires; depending on your business, make sure you provide the right kind of fire extinguisher. A common ABC extinguisher will put out just about any kind of fire except hot metal fires, and for those you would need a Class D.
- It’s important that everyone in your home or business, including people who only come in once in a while, such as baby-sitters or cleaning services personnel, know where the fire extinguishers are located. It’s important to ensure that there is a clear and unobstructed path to them.
- Keep your extinguishers up to date, performing a check every year. Make sure the external condition is good and that is still contains extinguishing agent. Check the pressure gauge to ensure that it is still pressurized in an operable range, and that the pin is attached to the extinguisher so that it can’t come loose.
- All fire extinguishers have usage instructions printed right on them. This acronym is all you need to know:
- P: Pull the safety Pin from the handle
- A: Aim at the base of the fire
- S: Squeeze the trigger
- S: Sweep from side to side
- If the fire continues to grow, escape routes can be threatened. If you are no longer able to safely fight the fire, and if the fire extinguisher runs out, leave immediately and call 9-1-1.
SERVPRO of Belle Meade/ West Nashville is proud to serve the Nashville community. We are always ready to help in the event of a fire, and are experienced in fire damage cleanup. We also handle water damage cleanup, and are mold remediation specialists. Visit our website: SERVPRO of Belle Meade/ West Nashville or call us at: (615) 442 7768.
Keeping Your Commercial Property Fire Ready
Keeping your commercial property fire ready is vital in order to avoid disaster. Your livelihood and that of your staff depends on your business, and you will want to protect it. Being ready for any kind of disaster is always a good idea. We are sharing some tips here that can help you get your property ready in the event of a fire:
- Ensure that your building or suite is visibly lettered and numbered so that emergency responders can easily find your location in a timely manner. Numbers should contrast with the background used, such as black/white, while the numerals should be no less than six inches in height.
- Fire extinguishers should be no more than 75 feet from work areas for easy access, and they should be mounted in a highly visible spot that is easy to get to. Make sure your extinguishers are serviced at least once a year by a licensed fire extinguisher company.
- Exits need to be clearly marked with EXIT signage and should be illuminated at all times, with a battery backup for power outages. Exits should also be clear of any obstructions so that people can get out safely and quickly. Emergency lighting should be kept in working order, and the area around the building outside clear of debris and plant material, reducing the fire risk outdoors as well.
- Stored materials need to be stacked at least two feet below the ceiling and be orderly. For buildings with an automatic sprinkler system, 18 inches of clearance is required, allowing smoke to collect up high, which gives people adequate time to exit and the sprinklers a clear area for their spray pattern.
- Electrical outlets should have no more than one item per outlet plugged in, which may include a power strip with a circuit breaker. All electrical cords should be kept in good repair and replaced when needed.
- Trash receptacles need to be kept at least five feet away from combustible roofs, windows, and door openings and not stored in the path of exits.
- Have your sprinkler system tested and serviced every 12 months or less by a licensed fire sprinkler company. This practice should also be used for your fire alarm system.
- If your business involves cooking foods, make sure your stove hood has been cleaned at least once every year to prevent excessive grease buildup. Ceiling exhaust fans and bathroom heater/light/fan combinations can also be a risk due to a buildup of dust and grease, resulting in increased operating temperatures.
- Make sure your local fire department has valid contact information on file for your commercial property.
Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/ West Nashville, we are experienced cleanup projects after fires both large and small. In the event of water damage we’re ready to help, as well! Call us today at (615) 242-9391.
Chimney Cleaning in the Summer
During the summer, most of us aren’t thinking about the cool nights of Fall. We are too busy splashing around in the pool or at the beach and enjoying the sun. But planning ahead is always helpful; summer will be over before you know it, and you can relax just knowing that you are ready!
The warm glow of a fireplace is one of the pleasures of cooler weather. Sitting in front of a fire in your Nashville home on a crisp day is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy time with family, and it’s even better when knowing that your chimney has been cleaned and serviced. The safety of your home and loved ones is high on your list of priorities, so making sure your chimney is in good shape going into Fall and Winter will give you peace of mind. A chimney that has not been properly cared for allows fumes and dangerous toxins to escape into the home when you light that fire, and regular cleaning prevents these issues.
All chimneys should be completely cleaned at least once a year. Homeowners should also inspect this area several times a year to help identify any potential problems. Use a flashlight and take a good look at the floor of the fireplace itself, where ashes accumulate, and note any issues with the brick. These bricks are more heat tolerant than ordinary brick used in other parts of the home, so these will need to be kept in good repair. If even one brick is out of place it can affect the entire fireplace and could possibly mean that it will be non-functional until repairs can be made.
Checking the chimney itself for obstructions due to bird nests or small rodents is also necessary as well as checking for creosote build-up. If this build-up becomes too thick, one spark can cause a chimney fire. The National Fire Prevention Association says that 30 percent of all home fires are caused by fires in the chimney itself. Make sure your home is not part of that statistic by regular inspection and maintenance.
Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/ West Nashville, we are experts in cleanups both large and small and can help in the event of fire and water damage. Call us today at (615) 242-9391, or visit our website: SERVPRO of Belle Meade/ West Nashville
Cleaning Up After Smoke Damage
Fire, smoke, and soot will affect everything in your home, from the structure to your personal belongings. After a fire, contacting a cleaning professional may be the best decision you can make. A professional cleaning company like SERVPRO of Belle Meade/ West Nashville understands that your furniture, keepsakes, and other precious items are what make your house a home.
SERVPRO of Belle Meade/ West Nashville specializes in restoring the contents of a home or business that have suffered from fire damage or water damage. They will assess all your belongings carefully to determine what items can be restored to their original condition. Professional cleaning companies use several methods to get you back to normal after a fire:
- Foam Cleaning: This method is used for upholstery since upholstery fabrics can shrink or bleed if water is used.
- Dry Cleaning: This method is used to clean light residue.
- Wet Cleaning: This is a very effective cleaning method used to remove moderate to heavy smoke residues.
- Immersion Cleaning: This method is one where items are dipped into a bath of cleaning product.
Keep in mind that electronics that have been damaged by fire present a serious hazard. Never attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that could possibly have been affected by a fire! Smoke residue contains acids that corrode metal and can cause electronic failure in that device. Items that you should be careful of are:
- Computers and IPads, etc.
- DVD and CD players
- Cell Phones
Documents and photographs can suffer a lot of damage in a fire, and many contain information or records that can be devastating to lose permanently. SERVPRO technicians are experienced in document restoration.
If the damage to your home or business is such that it will need extensive restoration or cleaning. SERVPRO of Belle Meade can organize an efficient move-out process of the affected areas. Removal from the area will result in a quicker remodeling process and will also protect your belongings from any further potential damage during that process. After the restoration is complete, move-in can be coordinated easily.
If your home or business has suffered damage from fire, water, or mold, give SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville a call today at (615) 913 4280, or visit our website: SERVPRO of Belle Meade/ West Nashville
Dealing with Fire Damage in Your Nashville Home
A fire in your home is one of the worst things to go through, ever. Your home and many items of value to you may have been lost or badly damaged by the flames, the heat, smoke or water. Firefighters may have found it necessary to cut holes in walls to look for hidden flames, or in the roof to let out heat and smoke. The clean up after a fire in your Nashville home will take time and patience.
You will need to contact your insurance agent before any fire damage is repaired or clean-up is begun. You will need to be prepared with information on what will be covered, and how to find reputable companies that can take care of your property for you during this time.
You will want to take steps to find and retrieve all important documents, and replace those that have been lost or irretrievably damaged, such as birth and death records, social security cards, mortgage and banking information and records, wills, and stocks and bonds.
Try to limit movement about the home, to prevent soot particles from becoming embedded in your upholstery and carpets. You can place towels or old linens on your rugs, upholstered furniture, and foot traffic areas.
Changing your HVAC filters after a fire is a good idea, and if the power is out, empty your freezer and fridge and prop the doors open to get rid of the smoke.
You don’t want to wash any walls or painted surfaces, or clean carpets, etc. without contacting a fire damage specialist. Any canned or packaged food and beverage items that were stored near the heat or fire will need to be thrown out. If your ceiling is wet, don’t turn on any ceiling fixtures such as fans or lighting; the wiring could be damaged.
Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/ West Nashville, we are ready to help you in the event of fire damage to your Nashville home. We are also experienced in the areas of water damage and mold prevention and remediation. Visit our website: SERVPRO of Belle Meade/ West Nashville or contact us by phone at: (615) 358 0603.
Nashville Bonfire Safety Musts
Fire safety is of prime importance if you are considering building a bonfire for your family and friends to gather around on a chilly night. It is imperative that you follow the necessary fire safety tips to prevent fire damage.
Some of those tips include:
Whether you prefer a built-in or portable fire pit, choose one that is not too large for the area. The pit should be a minimum of 10 feet away from any structures or combustible materials as well as away from trees, fences, sheds, power lines, and telephone wires.
Make sure that the seating area is large enough and properly placed for comfort and ventilation.
Avoid starting a bonfire if it is windy because a strong breeze could blow sparks onto nearby people or surfaces.
Burn only dry material. Damp material will create excess smoke.
Don’t use lighter fluid or gasoline to get the fire going as it could get out of control. Don't burn tires, aerosols, fireworks, or anything containing paint or foam to avoid toxic fumes which could explode and cause injury.
Use a lighter and crumpled pieces of paper covered with small sticks to start the fire, then add larger sticks and a log or two to keep it burning.
Wear non-flammable clothing and hard-soled shoes when starting, sitting near, or extinguishing the fire.
Never leave the fire unattended, and keep pets and children far away from the fire as they will be attracted to it.
Keep the proper fire extinguishing equipment, or at least a water hose, handy in case there is an emergency. You could also fill a bucket with sand, which can be used instead of water to help extinguish a fire.
As the fire dies down, use a shovel and spread out the ashes to allow them to cool down. Then slowly pour water over those ashes and watch them closely to be sure that no burning embers remain or reignite. Put the cooled ashes in an specially designated ash storage metal can.
We at SERVPRO of Belle Meade / West Nashville are dedicated to having the fastest 24-Hour Emergency Service response to any fire damage that unexpectedly happens in our area. Immediate action is crucial to limiting the damage, and we have the trained and experienced team and specialized equipment that are necessary for the prompt activities and later for restoring a home or business.
Preventing Cooking Fires This Thanksgiving
Make sure you and your family are safe this Thanksgiving by avoiding kitchen fires!
Thanksgiving is a time when Nashville families get together. People look forward to cooking a wonderful meal with classic favorites. When in the kitchen, you should know the importance of kitchen safety. You want to make sure that you keep your kitchen safe from hazards like fire. Fire damage can be incredibly costly. A single fire may cause hundreds if not thousands of dollars in fire damage.
Clean the Area
Before you start that big Thanksgiving dinner, clean the entire kitchen. Clear all grime from the oven. Wash the microwave. Make sure the floors are swept. Clean everything else in the room including the fridge, the windows, the doors and the area leading to the kitchen. A clean kitchen is a safe kitchen.
When cooking, make to wear the right clothing. Do not wear anything with dangling sleeves that could catch or spread a fire. You can also wear good boots to protect your feet. Oven mitts are a must when you bring things out of the stove. Hot pots, pans, and utensils can catch other items on fire, so prepare a place to put them after you bring them out.
Thanksgiving is a fun time to bring kids into the kitchen and teach them simple tasks. They can help sort or get things out of the fridge. However, they need to be carefully supervised for their own safety. Keep them away from stoves and anyplace where there might be live flames.
One of the best ways to help prevent fires when cooking any large meal is to store all chemicals like solvents away from any heat source. Keep cleaning fluids on shelving that is protected far away from the stove and range. Also, make sure that any pots you are using have all handles away from everyone in the kitchen. This way, no one grabs the pots by accident and starts a fire.
Hopefully, your Thanksgiving is filled with great memories of family and food. In the unfortunate event that a fire does cause damage, do not hesitate to give us a call at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville!
Chimney Cleaning Tips
Keep your chimney clean to prevent fire damage in your home!
At SERVPRO of Belle Meade / West Nashville, we know the lovely warm glow a chimney can add to any home. Sitting in front of a fireplace in your Nashville home on a crisp day is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy an evening with family. There is nothing more important than keeping your home and family safe. To help keep those fires going, it's useful to make sure the chimney is periodically cleaned. Chimney cleaning can help a fireplace stay in good shape and reduce the risk of a fire breaking out in your home. Additionally, the chimney allows smoke, fumes and dangerous toxins escape the home through its ventilation. Read on for some helpful tips on having your chimney services.
Inspect the Brick
All chimneys should be completely cleaned at least once a year. Proper cleaning is important to make sure that the chimney is in good working order. Any homeowner should also perform an inspection on their own. This can help identify any potential problems that must be addressed as soon as possible. It's a good idea to bring a flashlight and have a good look at the floor. All the ashes in the chimney accumulate here. The flooring needs to be kept in good shape to make sure the fire can be turned on. Note any problems with the brick surrounding it. The bricks used in a fireplace are more heat tolerant than ordinary bricks. They need to be maintained to prevent any fire in the fireplace from spreading to other areas of the home. If a single brick is out of place, this can make the rest of the chimney far less functional.
Have a Look Up
After having a good look at the area surrounding the fireplace, it's a good idea to have a look at the rest of the chimney. Put on some old clothes and get in the area surrounding the fireplace. Have a look at the chimney area. You should see if there's any obstruction or other issues. Small birds and rodents often find themselves stuck or you could have a thick layer of creosote and soot sticking to the flue and masonry inside the chimney. When this gets too thick, all it takes is a spark and you have a chimney fire on your hands.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, 30 percent of home fires are caused by chimney fires. Be sure your home is not one of them and have your chimney cleaned regularly. If you do run into trouble with smoke or fire in your home, give us a call. At SERVPRO of Belle Meade / West Nashville, we take pride in making it like it never happened.
Preventing Electrical Fires
Electrical fires can get out of control quickly. Prevent them from ever occurring with these tips.
Over 1300 people sustain injuries or death due to electrical fires every year in the United States. And almost every one of those injuries or deaths could have been prevented. The fact is that many fires of this nature happen because of human error. Taking preventative steps now will help you avoid a fire in the future. Here are five ways you can prevent such a fire in your Nashville home or business.
Fix or replace broken plugs and cords
Frayed electrical cords and broken pugs can overheat or throw off sparks. Both of these can cause a fire. It is not difficult to replace most appliance cords or plugs. If you are not able to do the work yourself, an electrician can do the work for you.
Don't overburden electric outlets
Plugging too many appliances or electronics into the same outlet can cause overheating. An overheated plug can spark or blow out completely and cause a fire. If you need to plug more than one thing into an outlet, use a power strip with built-in overload protection.
Have faulty wiring fixed
If you have flickering lights, buzzing outlets, or breakers that constantly trip, you have faulty wiring somewhere. Faulty wiring is often hidden in the walls or ceiling cavities. So, leave faulty wiring to an electrician. He can diagnose and fix the problem quickly and effectively.
Keep flammable materials away from electrical appliances
Your home and business abound with flammable materials, such as paper, rugs, draperies, towels, and blankets. Keep electrical appliances well away from these flammable materials. This includes electric heaters, hair dryers, irons, and lamps. Never hide cords under rugs because they can overheat and cause fires.
Get an electrical inspection done
If your home or business is an older property, consider a thorough inspection performed by a professional electrician. Older homes often contain aluminum wire or even knob and tube wiring, which are both prone to cause fires more than modern copper wiring. It may be time to rewire your century-old building.
Each of these tips will help you prevent an electrical fire from starting in your home or business. Now, if the worst happens, and you do sustain damage from a fire, you need the help of professionals to get your home and business straightened out. Call on the fire damage restoration specialists here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade.
Enjoy Your Summer Fires by Building a Safe Fire Pit
Fire pits are great for social gatherings - just be sure to stay safe!
Enjoy Your Summer Fires by Building a Safe Fire Pit
It's finally that time for outdoor BBQs, parties, and camp-outs and it's important to always keep safety at the forefront. Whatever type of pit you have in mind, make sure you follow all the rules from proper ignition, to ensuring every last ember has burned out. This will keep not only your family and friends safe but also those around you, like your neighbors.
Before you start digging to build your summer fire pit, think through the process. Where are you going to build your pit? How deep should you dig? What should you use to create the above ground wall? When selecting your spot, take care not to dig too near other items that would easily flame up. So place your pit at least ten feet from other structures and avoid overhanging branches. It's important that if you are installing a prefabricated pit, you need to ensure your ground is level. Using pavers is a great way to ensure that any burning embers that may escape won't spread to other structures or brush.
When digging your own summer pit, ensure you remove at least one foot of earth. Place large stones or landscaping bricks around the outside edge of your site and cover up at least one foot. Using concrete to secure your bricks will provide a safer, stronger pit. Once you have your pit completed, create a ten-foot circumference around it by clearing any brush, leaving only bare earth, or by using pavers to secure the area and help prevent drifting embers.
Enjoying Your Pit
Light your pit before the light is too dim. Twilight is a bit late, but with some skill, you should be able to get it lit. Make sure you have enough water stored near your pit to quickly douse flames. Finally, keep your wood well away from the pit. And it goes without saying, no horseplay should ever happen near the pit. The professionals at SERVPRO of Belle Meade can help you with any fire disaster--large or small, just as they are there to help you with mold removal. While we would rather you enjoy your summer safely, we are here for you should you experience a fire, or need mold removal after the hoses have completely wet your walls. SERVPRO of Belle Meade is always happy to help you restore your home after accidents happen.
Be Careful with Kitchen Fires, Nashville!
Our fire restoration process can have your kitchen back online!
Kitchen flames can occur suddenly and cause lots of damage; even after the flame is tame. The flame burns anything in its path, soot leaves items covered in gray ash, the smoke damages walls, and the burn odor lingers. Sprinklers add water damage to a destroyed flame, and fire extinguishers spread particles on the flame and unharmed items. After the coast is clear, the cleaning process becomes a time-consuming chore.
It's always advisable to hire SERVPRO of Belle Meade in the Nashville area to handle fire damage.
Begin by gathering cleaning materials. Soap, water, sponge, dry cloth, and scrubber are the obvious necessities, but in a kitchen fire, health risks increase. Therefore, prepare to enter the cooking area with goggles, face mask, and gloves.
To clear odorous smells, open a window and/or door and turn on the fan. Turn the fan in the window or door's direction. Avoid turning on the HVAC; those scents don't leave the home. It circulates the odorous scent throughout the home instead of pushing it outdoors.
The cleaning process varies by how extensive the damage is. First, clean the area where the blaze originated. Afterward, soap and water can clean walls and ceilings containing smoke. Soap and water can clean floors, dishes, appliances, and furniture too. It might take multiple cleans for results.
Cabinets, drawers, and pantries require cleaning attention as well. The closed environment does not provide shelter for items inside or the door outside. Flames can destroy that area too. Open cabinet and pantry doors. Open drawers. Take everything out of cabinets, drawers, and pantries. Be sure to clean the cabinets, drawers, and pantries to remove soot and smoke damage. Clean items that were inside. Return items to cabinets, drawers, and pantries when dry.
With water damage, it's best to wipe wet areas with a dry towel. A fan can speed up the drying process. Ensure hard-to-reach areas get adequate fan air so it won't turn into mold and mildew.
Toss out or throw away furniture, cooking items, dishes, and appliances showing no signs of improvement after two or three rounds of cleaning. Toss out food in appliances, pantries, cabinets, and drawers regardless of whether it was harmed to reduce health risk.
Contact SERVPRO of Belle Meade and one of our specialists will tackle kitchen damage. An uncontrollable flame should not take away from the joy of cooking and family/friend togetherness. We'll make your cooking space look like new.
Use Your Space Heater Safely This Winter Nashville
Be safe when using space heaters!
As the months roll on and the winter season approaches, it is important to talk about home fire safety - especially with space heaters. SERVPRO of Belle Meade wants you to remain warm and safe Nashville, so here are some tips and stats on space heaters.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, between “2009-2013, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 56,000 reported U.S. home structure fires, with associated losses of 470 civilian deaths, 1,490 civilian injuries, and $1.0 billion in direct property damage. These fires accounted for 16% of all reported home fires”. Those are astonishing numbers.
Based on 2009-2013 annual averages:
- Space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for two of every five (40%) of home heating fires and four out of five (84%) of home heating fire deaths.
- The leading factor contributing to home heating fires (30%) was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
- Placing things that can burn too close to heating equipment or placing heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding, was the leading factor contributing to ignition in fatal home heating fires and accounted for more than half (56%) of home heating fire deaths.
- Nearly half (49%) of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February.
Source: NFPA's “Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment" report by Richard Campbell, April 2016.
So how do you stay safe when using a space heater? Consider these as essential elements for buying.
- Consider the size. If you are only trying to keep a small space warm then one of the smaller spot heating units should do the trick. If you are attempting to heat an entire room then one of the larger units makes more sense.
- Check for safety measures. Be sure your heater has a temperature sensor that automatically shuts down the unit when it has reached a certain temperature or has been running for a certain amount of time. Just as important is a sensor that detects when it has tipped over.
- NEVER USE AN EXTENSION CORD. Extension cords will not protect portable space heaters from surges and can heat up rather quickly from electric currents causing the extension cord to melt and create a fire hazard.
- Handles are especially useful for moving smaller units without risking burning your hands.
- Thermostats that show room temperature and the temperature of the unit are also useful.
- Timers are helpful if you just want a quick boost of heat and then the option to shut it off automatically. This can tempt some people to leave the room while it is running but we do not recommend that.
- Make sure the power cord gives you at least 70 inches of length because you can NEVER USE AN EXTENSION CORD!
So Nashville, prevent a fire in your home this winter by following these guidelines when using your space heater!
Keep Your Dryer Clean of Lint Nashville
Regular cleaning can prevent dryer fires
Did you know dryer lint is one of the leading causes of dryer failure and house fires? "How is this possible if you are clearing the lint from the filter between uses," might be a question you're asking. That is a great practice to follow, but by no means the only maintenance you can perform to keep your drying running smoothly. We are in the habit of making sure your home remains a safe haven for you and your family, especially concerning fire, as our recent campaign with the American Red Cross attests. So here are a few tips and reasons to go the extra mile when cleaning your dryer.
Yes, removing the lint from your dryer between uses is a great place to start. But did you know fabric softener can affect the usefulness of your lint filter? The next time you finish a load of laundry, remove the lint filter and clean it as you normally would. Next, run water over the filter and see if the water pools. If it does, your filter runs the risk of still clogging despite your efforts. It is an easy enough fix though so don't fret. Use a brush and warm soapy water and gently clean the filter. Try the water technique again until the water runs unimpeded. You are already much safer when running your dryer so congratulations!
Next, unplug your dryer and disconnect the vent hose / line from the dryer. This is where the majority of fires begin - in the exhaust duct. The buildup is usually higher in flexible hoses because of the potential for excess lint to get caught in the ridges. If you can switch from a flexible duct to rigid, we highly recommend you do. Your dryer and home will thank you! Depending on how often you run the dryer, we recommend cleaning at least once a year, but have clients who clean it every season. You can measure your needs based on how much lint you find when you clean, but back to the cleaning! Take your extendable brush and gently extend it into the vent and brush the lint back towards you - pushing it further just makes it harder to reach!
Ensuring the ducts are clean and clear of obstruction is an important step and checking the dryer drum is as well. This one requires a bit more DIY so if you are not comfortable, please call a licensed handyman. Removing the top or front from the dryer (based on where the lint filter is) requires removing a few screws. Once the panel is removed, you can brush and vacuum the drum, being careful around sensitive electrical parts. Make sure to get the lint under, around and behind the unit after cleaning.
These few steps can ensure you lessen the risk of a dryer fire in your home Nashville!
SERVPRO Supports the Home Fire Awareness Campaign, Nashville!
Check your smoke alarms monthly and practice your 2-minute fire drills at home, including an escape plan.
SERVPRO is proud to support the American Red Cross and their month-long Home Fire Awareness Campaign. This month, we recognize the two-year anniversary of an important initiative to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires, which is the disaster Red Cross responds to most frequently every year. As the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign reaches this significant milestone, the Red Cross and community partners have already saved at least 111 lives, and have made at-risk communities from coast-to-coast stronger and safer by installing more than 473,000 smoke alarms, replacing more than 32,000 batteries and creating nearly 170,000 escape plans.
In recognition of Fire Prevention Week (October 9-15) and the campaign anniversary, the Red Cross will focus efforts on raising awareness about fire safety nationwide, and by canvassing local communities to install smoke alarms in homes that need them. They also spend time teaching people about what they can do now to be prepared should a fire break out in their home. Throughout the month, the Red Cross will be talking about the Home Fire Campaign our social media, through email and digital marketing, and via celebrity ambassadors.
Nashville, we invite you to align with these important and visible messages of fire safety and join us in promoting two important life-saving calls to action: 1) check your smoke alarms monthly, and 2) practice your 2-minute fire drills at home, including an escape plan. We want to ensure all of our neighbors know what to do in the event a fire emergency happens at home. Make sure your family and friends have a plan as well.
Share these videos (courtesy of the Red Cross) and help spread the word through social media. We can prevent home fire disasters Nashville!
Don’t go Undetected in Your Nashville Home!
Protecting your Nashville home or business from fire should be a priority. Smoke and fire damage can be costly and devastating, but there are steps you can take to decrease your risk. Making sure your smoke detectors are in prime working condition is one of those steps that is simple but can have an enormous impact.
Smoke detectors are a key line of defense and in many cases your first warning of danger. First of all, it is important to make sure that everyone is aware of what the alarm system sounds like and knows how to respond appropriately. It is also important to be able to recognize the warning signs of a poorly functioning unit. For example, if a detector begins to “chirp” periodically, the battery is low and needs to be replaced. It is important to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for what kind of battery to use for your specific unit. Installing interconnected smoke alarms is one of the best options for protection due to the fact that when one alarm goes off, all of the alarms go off.
Here are a few more tips to help maintain the smoke detectors in your Nashville residence.
Only install smoke detectors that have a label from a recognized testing laboratory
Do not place detectors near windows or any area where a draft may prevent the unit from operating properly
Make sure you have enough detectors for your space and that they are installed at the proper heights for each room
Ensure that they have been installed correctly and that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use
Test every detector at least once per month by pressing the “TEST” button on the device
Never paint over a smoke detector
Fire and smoke damage can overwhelm your Nashville home or company in very short amount of time. Taking the appropriate precautions to maintain your detectors is an easy and simple step in protecting yourself and your loved ones from harm.
For more information on smoke detector maintenance and fire safety and prevention please visit www.nfpa.org
Ways to Clean Up After a Small Kitchen Fire in Your Nashville Home
Do you like to cook? If so, you probably know the risks involved when in the kitchen preparing a tasty meal. Sometimes, we can get distracted and leave a hot pot on the stove or item in the oven. These don't typically cause problems unless forgotten about. Especially so, if there is grease involved.
It is recommended to stay alert while cooking. Also, make sure your smoke detector is up to date. Unfortunately, fires still occur and must immediately be put out.
If you live in an apartment, there might be a sprinkler system. If at home, you may have pulled out the fire extinguisher before the fire department arrived. Regardless, there was probably even more damage done when the fire was put out. So, that's why we have put together a check list of what to clean after a small kitchen fire has been put out.
1. Walls and ceilings likely have smoke or water damage. They will need to be wiped/dried thoroughly.
2. Dishes near or involved in the fire may need to be thrown away.
3. Furniture and floors depending on how large the fire was will need a deep scrubbing.
4. If the fire got out of hand, there may be a need for remodeling or replacing of appliances and more.
5. Lastly, there may be hidden places where water is standing. Grab a fan to make sure the area gets completely dry to prevent mold from growing.
While these things may take a few days to clean, they will save you from more damage in the future.
Why It's Important to Get Fire Damage Cleaned Up Immediately
It's devastating to experience the chaos of a fire in your Nashville house. Not only is it difficult to deal with the loss, but the clean up too. If it is a small isolated fire, getting the area cleaned and repaired should be a priority.
The first thing to consider is the ash and smoke damage that occurred. These can lead to corrosion, discoloration and unpleasant odor. Getting ash and smoke cleaned up immediately will prevent any of these from leading to an even larger problem.
Take these action steps if you find yourself handling the aftermath of a house fire.
1. Contact your insurance company.
2. Contact your local fire restoration company.
3. Take photographs of the damage.
4. Keep a record of all conversations with your insurance company.
5. Make a list of everything you lost or that was destroyed.
6. Find a place to stay while your restoration company cleans up your property.
While a house fire is a trying experience, it helps to have a game plan in place. So, remember these steps for the next time you or a loved one is handling the aftermath of a house fire.
Keeping safe from fire damage while staying warm and cozy in your Nashville home
As the temperature drops throughout Nashville, we find ourselves staying bundled up and inside where it’s warm. This is the time of year when people start to bring out extra sources of heat to warm their home. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) gives us a list of other heat sources available, as well as how to stay safe this winter while using them.
· Space heater
o Keep anything that can burn or catch fire at least three feet away at all times.
o Buy a space heater that has an automatic power-off, especially for if the heater tips over accidentally.
o Do not keep the heater on when unattended or while sleeping.
o Plug the heater directly into an outlet instead of using an extension cord or power strip.
o Do not burn paper in your fireplace. This can cause small, burning particles to fly into the living area.
o Keep a screen in front of your fireplace to prevent embers from flying out into the living space.
o Never leave a fire unattended while sleeping or when out of the house.
o When cleaning out the ashes from the fireplace, make sure to dispose of them in a metal can with a lid that’s at least three feet away from your Nashville home.
· Wood-burning stove
o The wood-burning stove is treated much like a fireplace with the same rules that apply, but with a wood-burning stove, there is also the chimney that comes into play.
o Have your chimney inspected and cleaned at least once a year by a professional.
** Read more about heating fire safety at USFA and remember to only use products that are labeled as being tested in a laboratory.
Keep your Nashville home safe from fire damage this year by following these Christmas tree safety tips
The holiday season is upon us and the streets and houses are covered in color. As you drive around the city you can see homes strung with lights, wreathes hanging on doors and trees lit up in windows. If you decide to pick out a real tree this year, remember to keep some safety tips in mind. The National Fire Protection Association gives some tips on how to stay safe while picking out, placing, decorating and disposing your tree.
Picking out a tree
- Pick out a tree that is fresh and not dead or dying. Look for a tree that displays fresh, green needles that don't fall off easily.
Placing the tree
- Before placing the tree in a stand, cut approximately 2” off of the base of the trunk.
- Take a look around the room and make sure to place the tree at least three feet away from any type of heat source including, but not limited to, fireplaces, candles, radiators, heaters or lamps.
- Make sure that the tree is not blocking an exit.
- Add water to the base daily to keep the tree from drying out and causing a fire hazard.
Decorating the tree
- Check the lights to make sure they’re labeled as tested and that you are using them as stated (indoor or outdoor use).
- Replace strands of lights that are worn, frayed or have loose bulb connections.
- Turn off lights before leaving the home or going to bed.
Disposing of the tree
- Get rid of the tree as soon as possible after Christmas. Having a dried out tree in the home is a fire hazard. Check with your local community to see what your options are for disposing the tree properly and safely. Do not leave the tree in the home, garage, or leaning against the house outside.
Stay safe while decorating and entertaining for the holidays
Source - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Candle_light,_pillar_candle.jpg
The holidays are finally here meaning lots of food, family, celebrations and decorations. Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it’s time to prepare for the next big holiday! This time of year can seem like the busiest, from longer work hours to trying to find the perfect gift for loved ones. Don’t let the running around fog your mind. It’s important to keep safety forefront during this time of year to avoid fire damage incidents. RedCross gives some fire safety tips to keep in mind while decorating and entertaining for the holidays.
1. Keep children, pets and decorations away from lit candles
This is the perfect time of year to light your Christmas scented candles to fill the home with a welcoming and cozy aroma. As you're placing your candles around the home, make sure that they are set in safe locations out of the reach of children, pets and decorations.
2. Remain in the home and set a timer while cooking
Cooking is one of the most time consuming tasks around the holidays, so it’s understandable that people try to multitask as much as possible while making meals. It’s easy to forget that something may be in the oven when you have a lot of other things to focus on. Set a timer and make sure to stay in the home when cooking meals.
3. Choose decorations that are flame resistant
There are plenty of decorations to choose from every year and as the years go by, companies are coming up with safer ways to decorate your home. While searching for new decorations, try to find ones that are fire resistant or retardant. Also keep in mind to place trees away from heat sources, exits and water real trees daily.
4. Never leave fireplaces or portable heaters unattended
Sometimes having a portable heater running can go unnoticed or forgotten about. Set yourself a reminder or timer to remember to turn off the heater or fireplace, especially before heading off to bed for the night.
5. Do not light the fireplace where stockings are hung
Many people hang their stockings traditionally over the fireplace every year. As this a great decoration, make sure to not use the fireplace while the stockings are hanging. The smallest ember can fly up and land on a stocking and start a fire.
Fire Prevention Week 2015: October 4th – October 10th
Source - http://files.esfi.org/file/Fire-Prevention-Week-2015-0E9E.pdf
Every year, the National Fire Protection Association sponsors fire prevention week where they pick a topic about fire safety to share with communities. This year, the topic chosen was “Hear the Beep Where you Sleep” to show everyone the importance of having smoke alarms installed in every bedroom of the home. According to the NFPA, roughly half of home fire deaths that occur happen from fires that occur between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are sound asleep.
Smoke alarm safety tips
· Choose smoke alarms that have the label showing that they’ve been tested in a testing laboratory.
· Install smoke alarms in each bedroom, outside of every sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Basement smoke alarms should be installed on the ceiling right at the bottom of the stairway.
· On main levels, (such as where the living room or dining room is) install smoke alarms in the main rooms and right where the entrance of the stairway leads to a different level of the home.
· Smoke alarms should be installed at least ten feet from a cooking appliance.
· Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings. If mounted on the wall, they should not be more than 12 inches from the ceiling.
· Interconnect all smoke alarms, so if one goes off, they all go off in the home. This will ensure that no matter where you are located in the house, you will be aware of the house fire. Make sure that all smoke alarms are from the same manufacturer and compatible.
· Remember to always test smoke alarms at least once a month, replace batteries when necessary and make sure to replace the smoke alarms when needed or stated by manufacturer.
Source - http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/fire-and-safety-equipment/smoke-alarms/installing-and-maintaining-smoke-alarms
Avoid fire hazards while trying to stay warm as the Fall weather settles in
As we can all tell by the weather, we’re starting to experience the cooler weather now that Fall has approached. This unfortunately means more time inside, as we get further into the year. As we spend more time inside trying to stay warm, it’s important to remember the safety precautions to take in order avoid potential fire hazards and fire damage. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) put together Fall season safety tips to keep in mind as the weather gets cooler.
Fall Safety Tips:
- Most people enjoy the feeling of being snuggled up in a warm blanket, as the weather turns chilly, but take proper precautions when using electrical blankets. Do not place the electric blanket under a mattress or child and always make sure that it is exposed instead of being covered by other blankets or comforters. Also never let pets sleep on an electric blanket.
- Look for dark, charred or frayed spots on the blanket or near the electrical cord. This could indicate damage and could potentially cause a fire.
- Never fold electrical blankets when in use. This can lead to overheating and fire damage.
- Do not leave blankets unattended or when sleeping.
- Protect outdoor electrical devices from moisture and use only weatherproof electrical devices for your outdoor activities.
- This is the time to start putting away the warm weather tools and swap them out for the tools that are needed for the colder weather. Check your equipment ahead of time to make sure there are no wear and tear in the cords and if there are, make sure to get them replaced to avoid electrical hazard.
- Keep dry leaves away from outdoor lighting, outlets and power cords.
Source - http://www.esfi.org/fall-safety
Don’t let the electrical system in your Nashville home cause fire damage
Electrical safety tips
Most of us have grown up using electricity just about every day of our lives. Whether it is plugging in a toaster, watching TV, or even charging a laptop or phone, we’re surrounded by it. Electricity is essential, but can be a huge hazard to us if not used and maintained properly. According to Electrical Safety Foundation International (Esfi.org), home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year, nearly 500 deaths, more than 1,400 injuries and $1.3 billion in property damage. 65% of home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no working smoke detectors. ESFI gave a list of some electrical fire safety tips to keep you and your family informed on the proper electrical safety precautions.
Electrical Fire Safety Tips
- Make sure that there are smoke detectors installed on every floor of the building, inside each room and right outside of every sleeping area to ensure that the alarms can be heard even when sleeping.
- Test smoke detectors monthly to make sure that they’re working properly and have working batteries.
- Have your electrical system inspected by a certified professional to make sure that all of the electrical work meets the National Electric Code safety standards.
- Look and listen for signs of electrical problems such as, flickering or dim lights, buzzing or sizzling sounds from electrical outlets, or insulation and circuit breakers that trip repeatedly. If any of these or any other electrical problems are found, contact a professional as soon as possible for the issue to be inspected.
- Avoid overloading outlets with too many electronics. Consider having more outlets or circuits installed by a professional.
- In homes with children, install tamper resistant devices to keep children from getting electrical shocks or burns.
- Create an evacuation plan that can be used in the event of a fire.
Source - http://www.esfi.org/resource/home-electrical-fires-184
The four main ways to remediate your home after fire damage hits
When something drastic happens such as a home fire, our minds aren’t always thinking of the next steps involved to repairing the fire damage. This is when restoration companies come into play to make sure that the fire remediation process is as efficient as possible and the home is brought back to its original state; safe and structurally sound. Fire remediation is the process of cleaning up the debris and damage caused after a fire occurs. According to enlightenme.com, there are four main steps that a restoration company can take to remediate the fire damage in your home.
1. Drying the home
Water damage is one of the biggest concerns following a fire. As the water sits, it collects bacteria, contaminants and becomes the perfect place for mold to grow. Restoration companies have the proper equipment to help dry out the area such as dehumidifiers, large fans and other machines to quickly circulate the air through the home.
2. Cleaning the HVAC system
If an HVAC system is present in your home, it is a strong possibility that the filters or coils in the equipment will get clogged from the soot and debris caused by the fire damage. Depending on the severity of the damage, the restoration company may have to replace the filters or perform extensive repairs.
3. Rebuilding damaged structure
The structure of the home is very important to keeping your family safe. If the structure is damaged, it may need replaced. A remediation company will help assist in the steps to making sure your home’s structure is safe and rebuilt correctly.
4. Removing the last of the debris
Any items that are unable to be salvaged will need removed to make sure that they don’t contaminate the rest of the home and belongings. Some items may be tough to restore back to their original state, but this is also something that the restoration company is able to assist with. Make sure that everything is cleaned properly before putting it back into the home to ensure that there is not debris contaminating the other belongings in the home.
Source - http://enlightenme.com/fire-damage-remediation/
How to remove that awful smoke smell after your Nashville home has been hit with fire damage
When our home and belongings are affected by fire damage, we usually aren’t thinking about the aftermath of the damage right away. Aside from figuring out all of the insurance deductibles and what needs replaced, we also have to worry about the hidden smell that may linger after an incident such as a house fire. According to the Home Guides on SFgate.com, there are steps that can be taken to eliminate the smell of fire damage, bringing your home back to its original scent.
Steps to removing fire damage smell
1. Blow fresh air into the house to start the process of removing the odor. Close all windows and doors except for one window to work as an exhaust. This will force the pressure of the air blown from the fan to push out any smoke lingering in the home.
2. Remove any linens, pillows, drapes, or curtains and put them in the wash to completely clean and remove any residue that is left over. Any plastic blinds will need to be wiped down and washed by hand.
3. Any solid surfaces, such as tables, chairs, baseboards, shelves or tile, will need to be sprayed down and scrubbed to remove the residue and smell from the surface. It is recommended by SFgate to use one gallon of water mixed with a teaspoon of dish soap and a quarter cup of white vinegar.
4. Vacuum any carpeted area with a vacuum that holds a high-efficiency filter to make sure that particles do not blow back into the air. This will also be a good time to clean the furniture with the vacuum or upholstery cleaner.
5. Make sure to wash and scrub all windows and screen due to the smoke and residue possibly getting stuck on the screens as the smoke tried to clear the rooms.
6. Remove and wash all of the light fixtures within the home to make sure that there isn’t residue left untouched at the top of the light fixtures in the hard to see and reach areas.
7. Scrub or mop any hard surfaced floors where particles may have settled even during the cleaning process. Make sure that if using a mop, there aren’t particles being placed into dirty water and then back onto the floor that was just cleaned.
Source - http://homeguides.sfgate.com/remove-fire-smoke-smell-apartment-8328.html
Cleaning techniques for cleaning soot and smoke residue after fire damage occurs
Just as fire moves rapidly through the home, soot and smoke moves quickly through the home once the fire is put out. The aftermath of soot and smoke damage is not a pretty sight and can affect just about everything in the home, but that does not mean that some things cannot be salvaged and cleaned. Depending on the type of fire that occurs and with the proper techniques, there is a possibility for a recovery of some materials. According to publichealth.lacounty.gov, there are different techniques to cleaning depending on the person’s situation.
High- oxygen fires –
These types of fire usually result in dry, dusty soot. This type of damage would be most effectively cleaned up by using a dry sponge to remove the top layer deposits, then detergent to get the stain out and water to rinse.
Low-oxygen fires –
These fires leave a damage that is more like a greasy deposit coating. Do not start off with a dry sponge for this type of damage. This will most likely cause smearing worsening the damage. Use a high-alkali detergent mixed with warm water to wash down the area and remove the greasy deposits. Make sure to rinse thoroughly afterward to ensure that the area is clear.
Methods to cleaning heavy residue –
· Low-pressure sandblasting
· Sodium bicarbonate blasting
· Dry-ice blasting
· Power washing with stream
· Chemical application and agitation
· Non-destructive rubber blasting
** Safety tips to remember **
· Do not use electrical appliances that have been near a fire.
· Do not use ceiling fixtures on wet ceiling.
· Get drapes and other linens dry-cleaned to eliminate transfer of soot from one area to the next.
· Do not touch anything during first inspection.
· Do not hesitate to contact a professional
Source - http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/eh/docs/emergunit/cleanFireDamage.pdf
How to stay safe this summer when joining around the campfire
Source - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/Campfire_4213.jpg
Although it’s getting hotter outside, the nights are still keeping cool, making it the perfect weather to sit around a campfire. Whether it be your family’s annual camping trip or just a small fire in your backyard, it’s always important to remember the proper safety precautions to take. The smallest fire can spread and cause fire damage in a matter of moments. It’s good to know the safety precautions to take ahead of time and be prepared.
According to Smokeybear.com, there are steps to take when maintaining and extinguishing a fire.
Maintaining your campfire
1. Once your fire is already roaring steadily, keep it maintained by adding larger pieces of dry wood.
2. Make sure the fire is staying at a manageable size and is not in danger of getting out of control.
3. Never leave the campfire unattended. It can take a matter of moments for the wrong material to catch on fire and spread.
4. Never cut live trees or branches to use in the fire.
Extinguishing your campfire
1. Try to allow the campfire to burn completely out to ashes to ensure that it will not start back up.
2. Pour lots of water on the fire and embers, even the ones that are not glowing red. The embers that look dead are still very hot.
3. Pour water until the hissing sound stops.
4. Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel.
5. Make sure everything is wet and covered in water so that it is cool to the touch.
6. If water is not available, dirt can also be used to put out a fire. Mix enough dirt or sand with the embers to cool it down.
7. If it’s too hot to touch, then it’s too hot to leave.
Source - http://www.smokeybear.com/put-out-campfire.asp
Don’t let soot damage settle in your Nashville home
The time to act on fire damage restoration is unfortunately right after the disaster happens. At the time of the devastating incident, many people are not in the right state of mind to act quickly and get the area cleaned up and restored. This is where companies, such as SERVPRO, come into play and help take care of the damage that has been done. According to the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, delays in fire damage clean up can have serious consequences. Acidic soot residue can cause permanent damage to areas of the household over time.
· Within minutes of the fire being extinguished: The residue can cause a discoloration to materials such as, plastic, marble and alabaster.
· Within hours: The acidic soot residue can cause permanent discoloration or yellowing of furniture in the household, such as bath fixtures, countertops and unpolished metals.
· Within days: Walls and flooring can start to be affected. The soot will cause discoloration of walls and corrosion of metals throughout the home. Flooring that is made out of vinyl or wood must be replaced or refinished and any clothing or upholstery will most likely be permanently stained.
· Within weeks: Carpet can become unsalvageable and objects such as silver-plated fixtures, glass, crystal or china will become etched due to the long exposure to the residue.
Although the restoration process can be done with extensive vacuuming and cleanup, it is a process that sometimes requires the proper equipment and time to get the job done. Restoration companies have the equipment to help save you hundreds of dollars in valuables and time to get the job done effectively and efficiently. With the proper tools, there is more chance for the removal of stains, damage and odor removal to take, leaving you with less of a headache and salvaged items.
Source - http://www.iicrc.org/selecting-restoration-firm-preform-fire-damage-clean-a-107.html
Know how to properly use a fire extinguisher to protect your Nashville home or business from fire damage
Source - http://3rdsaintsfiresafety.weebly.com/
Everyone knows what a fire extinguisher looks like, but when it comes to operating one, do you know how to use it in case of an emergency? In the moment of a disaster, such as a fire, our ability to stay calm and think rationally isn’t always there. It’s very important to know how to use a fire extinguisher ahead of time so that we know what to do if a fire ever breaks out. There most likely won’t be time to read the label once you realize the fire has started. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the best way to remember how to use a fire extinguisher is by remembering the word PASS.
How to use a fire extinguisher
Pull the pin. Hold the fire extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
Aim low. Point the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
Sweep the nozzle from side to side.
Fire extinguisher maintenance
According to fire-extinguisher101, fire extinguishers should be maintained at least once a year.
Make sure that the extinguisher is always in a convenient location to grab and is not blocked by anything, in case of an emergency.
Check the pressure of the extinguisher by the gauge attached to it to make sure that the pressure is within the recommended level.
Make sure the nozzle or other parts of the extinguisher are not tampered with and the pin is in tact.
Check for dents, leaks, rust or other signs of abuse/wear.
Always make sure to recharge extinguishers after use no matter how much they were used.