Recent Fire Damage Posts

Cleaning up and removing smoke odor

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning up and removing smoke odor

  • Wash walls one small area at a time, working from the floor up to prevent streaking. Rinse with clear water immediately. Ceilings should be washed last. Do not repaint until walls and ceilings are completely dry. Reduce the chances of growth of mold and mildew by wiping down all surfaces that had gotten wet with a solution of one cup of liquid household bleach to a gallon of water. (Test surfaces to ensure that the bleach solution will not discolor these surfaces. To conduct this test, wipe a small area of the surface with the bleach solution, and allow it to dry at least 24 hours.)
  • Washable wallpaper can be cleansed like painted walls, but do not wet through the paper. Use a commercial paste to repaste any loose edges or sections.

Consult a professional about replacing drywall and insulation that has been soaked by water from fire hoses. It cannot be dried out and maintain structural integrity or resistance to mold and mildew.

https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/cleaning-up-after-fire.html

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here for all of your restoration needs

What do I do now? After the fire!

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

What do I do now? After the fire!

Contact your insurance agent Contact your insurance company right away and ask them what to do first. There are companies that specialize in cleaning and restoring your personal items. Ask your insurance company for recommendations of companies you can trust. Make sure you know if you or your insurance company will pay for the cleaning. When you contact the company, be sure to ask for a cost estimate in writing. If you do not have insurance, your family and community might help you get back on your feet. Organizations that might help include: j American Red Cross (ARC). j Salvation Army. j Religious organizations. j Public agencies, such as the public health department. j Community groups. j State or municipal emergency services office.  Nonprofit crisis-counseling centers. Take care of yourself and family Contact your local disaster relief service, such as the ARC or the Salvation Army. They will help you find food, clothing, medicine and a place to stay. You have a big job ahead of you. Get plenty of rest, and ask for help. Do not try to do it all alone. Help your pets If you have pets, find and comfort them. Scared animals often react by biting or scratching. Handle them carefully. Try to leave pets with a family member, friend or veterinarian if you are visiting or cleaning your damaged home. Keeping your pets out of the house until the cleanup is complete will keep them safe. Security and safety Do not enter your damaged home or apartment unless the fire department says it is safe.

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/fa_46.pdf

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here for all of your restoration needs.

FIRE SAFETY TIPS

9/16/2019 (Permalink)

FIRE SAFETY TIPS

Create and Practice a Fire Escape Plan

  1. Create and practice a home fire escape plan with two ways out of every room.
  2. As part of your plan, designate one person to get infants and small children out safely. Have a back-up plan for young children just in case the primary person is overcome by smoke.
  3. Smoke is toxic. Teach children to “get low and go” if there is smoke when they are leaving the home.
  4. Practice feeling the door, doorknob and cracks around the door with the back of your hand to see if they are too hot. Help your children practice this step.
  5. Choose a place to meet outside that is a safe distance away from your home.

https://www.safekids.org/tip/fire-safety-tips

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Fire Safety Tips

9/16/2019 (Permalink)

Install Barriers Such as safety Gates Around Fireplaces, Ovens and Furnaces

  1. Make sure your fireplace is protected by a sturdy screen. Remember that glass screens can take a long time to cool down.
  2. If you are using a fireplace or wood stove, make sure you burn only seasoned hardwood such as oak, ash or maple.
  3. If small children live in or visit your home, use a safety gate around your fireplace or wood stove.

Blow Out Candles and Store Matches Out of reach

  1. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn, and always blow them out when you leave the room or before you go to sleep.
  2. Make a habit of placing matches, gasoline and lighters in a safe place, out of children’s reach. Avoid novelty lighters or lighters that look like toys.
  3. Teach kids never to play with matches and lightersMake a habit of placing these items up and away from young children.

https://www.safekids.org/tip/fire-safety-tips

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here for all of your restoration needs.

What to do in a Fire

9/16/2019 (Permalink)

Know What to Do in a Fire

  • Test any closed doors with the back of your hand for heat. Do not open the door if you feel heat or see smoke. Close all doors as you leave each room to keep the fire from spreading.  
  • Crawl low under smoke. Choose the safest exit. If you must escape through a smoky area, remember that cleaner air is always near the floor. Teach your child to crawl on her hands and knees, keeping her head less than 2 feet above the floor, as she makes her way to the nearest exit.  
  • Don't stop. Don't go back. In case of fire, do not try to rescue pets or possessions. Once you are out, do not go back in for any reason. Firefighters have the best chance of rescuing people who are trapped. Let firefighters know right away if anyone is missing.
  • Stop, drop, and roll! Cool and call. Make sure your child knows what to do if his clothes catch fire.
    • Stop! - Do not run.
    • Drop! - Drop to the ground right where you are.
    • Roll! - Roll over and over to put out the flames. Cover your face with your hands.
    • Cool - Cool the burned area with water.
    • Call - Call for help.

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/all-around/Pages/Fire-Safety.aspx

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here for all of your restoration needs.

Fire by candles

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

Candles may be pretty to look at but they are a cause of home fires — and home fire deaths. Remember, a candle is an open flame, which means that it can easily ignite anything that can burn.

“CANDLE WITH CARE” • Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep. • Keep candles at least 1 foot away from anything that can burn. If you do burn candles, make sure that you... • Use candle holders that are sturdy, and won’t tip over easily. • Put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface. • Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame. • Don’t burn a candle all the way down — put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container. • Never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home. • Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use during a power outage. Never use candles.

https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/Public-Education/Resources/Safety-tip-sheets/CandleSafetyTips.ashx?la=en

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here for all of your restoration needs.

Fire prevention strategies for your family

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

In addition to arming your home, you can employ a few fire safety strategies to keep your family protected.

  • Keep an outdoor water supply with easy access for firefighters: Leave plenty of room for fire trucks to enter and attach to a water supply, if necessary.
  • Prepare with an emergency plan your family: Make sure all family members know what to do and where to go if a house fire occurs. Include an alternate meeting location if your home becomes inaccessible.
  • Assemble an emergency kit: Emergency kits can make a world of difference if you have to evacuate your home. Make sure to include first aid items, bottled water, food, identification information, any necessary prescriptions, additional clothing, a flashlight (don’t forget extra batteries), and a spare credit card or money.
  • If a wildfire is imminent, make arrangements for overnight stay in a safe area: If a wildfire is truly spreading to your home, you may be forced to stay away for several days. Make provisions in your fire safety plan for overnight stay for you and your family. Don’t forget about your pets!
  • Protect yourself and your family from wildfire smoke: Even if you have evacuated the immediate area of a wildfire, your family could still be harmed by the smoke generated by wildfires. Avoid inhaling smoke when possible.

https://www.protectyourhome.com/blog/fire-detection-and-safety/how-to-prevent-a-house-fire

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here for all of your restoration needs.

Fire prevention

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

Electrical safety & home fire prevention

Electrical malfunctions are one of the leading causes of home fires. Make sure that you hire a qualified electrician to make any changes in your home. In addition, be sure to check electrical cords regularly, and make sure cords do not run across doorways or under carpets where they could be damaged.

Remember to limit the number of plugs you have in an electrical outlet or power strip. Overloading an electrical outlet can not only trip a breaker, but it could also start a fire.

Additionally, only use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage for each lamp. Your lamps and light fixtures should have a sticker that indicates the maximum wattage light bulb you may use.

https://www.safety.com/fire-safety/

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Create a fire escape plan with your family

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

Home fires can rapidly spread, and every second counts. Having a plan in place where you and your family can get out of the house in under two minutes once the alarm sounds is critical for your family’s safety.

Everyone in your family should know how to dial 9-1-1 in the case of emergency. In addition, teach your children what a smoke alarms sounds like and what to do if they hear one. You should also establish and practice a fire escape plan, especially if you have small children. Here some tips for creating your fire escape plan:

  • Draw a floor plan of your entire house that shows all the doors and windows.
  • Show and discuss the plan with everyone in the house.
  • Identify at least two ways out of every room, if possible. This could be through doors or windows.
  • Once outside, everyone should meet at an agreed upon meeting place a safe distance from the house. It could be the mailbox or the neighbor’s fence. Just make sure it is easy for young children to get there.

You can also download a kid-friendly fire escape planning worksheet from the National Fire Protection Association and complete it with your family.

https://www.safety.com/fire-safety/

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here for all of your restoration needs.

Prevent Home Fires

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

  • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

Portable space heaters

  • Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from portable heating devices.
  • Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Check to make the portable heater has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over.
  • Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene in kerosene heaters. Never overfill it. Use the heater in a well-ventilated room.

https://www.ready.gov/home-fires

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here for all of your restoration needs.

Home fires

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Before a fire

Create and practice a fire escape plan

In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly.

Twice each year, practice your home fire escape plan. Some tips to consider when preparing this plan include:

  • Find two ways to get out of each room in the event the primary way is blocked by fire or smoke.
  • A secondary route might be a window onto a neighboring roof or a collapsible ladder for escape from upper story windows.
  • Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be properly opened.
  • Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
  • Teach children not to hide from firefighters.

https://www.ready.gov/home-fires

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here 24/7, 365 for all of your restoration needs.

During a fire

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

During a fire:

  • Crawl low under any smoke to your exit - heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling.
  • Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, or if there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
  • If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
  • If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call 9-1-1 or the fire department. Tell the emergency operator where the person is located.
  • If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters right away.
  • If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out.  Call 9-1-1 or your fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
  • If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll – stop immediately, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands.  Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out.  If you or someone else cannot stop, drop, and roll, smother the flames with a blanket or towel.  Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for 3 to 5 minutes.  Cover with a clean, dry cloth.  Get medical help right away by calling 9-1-1 or the fire department.

https://www.ready.gov/home-fires

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here for all of your restoration needs.

Western states are more prone to fires

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

Western states are particularly prone to the dangers of wildfires. 

Drought conditions that are common in Western states make it even more important to have fire prevention measures in place. Dry, brittle brush and extreme temperatures can turn a minor mishap into a raging blaze. But remember, these dangerous events are largely preventable. According to Cal Fire, 95% of wildfires are started by people. Most house fires can be prevented with the proper fire prevention measures.  Heed these tips to help prevent fires:

  1. Maintain vehicles to avoid sparks
  2. Practice campfire safety to avoid house fires
  3. Have fire extinguishers and shovels ready for dousing
  4. Consider a spark arrester on equipment in fire-prone areas.

Across the United States, increasingly hot and dry conditions are making wildfires an issue for many Americans.

https://www.protectyourhome.com/blog/fire-detection-and-safety/how-to-prevent-a-house-fire

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here 24/7, 365 for all of your restoration needs, so call us today.

When a Fire Starts

6/20/2019 (Permalink)

If a Fire starts

  • Know how to safely operate a fire extinguisher
  • Remember to GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL 9-1-1 or your local emergency phone number.
  • Yell "Fire!" several times and go outside right away. If you live in a building with elevators, use the stairs. Leave all your things where they are and save yourself.
  • If closed doors or handles are warm or smoke blocks your primary escape route, use your second way out. Never open doors that are warm to the touch.
  • If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit. Close doors behind you.
  • If smoke, heat or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with doors closed. Place a wet towel under the door and call the fire department or 9-1-1. Open a window and wave a brightly colored cloth or flashlight to signal for help.
  • Once you are outside, go to your meeting place and then send one person to call the fire department. If you cannot get to your meeting place, follow your family emergency communication plan.
If your clothes catch on fire:
  • Stopwhat you’re doing.
  • Dropto the ground and cover your face if you can.
  • Rollover and over or back and forth until the flames go out. Running will only make the fire burn faster.

THEN:

Once the flames are out, cool the burned skin with water for three to five minutes. Call for medical attention.

https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/if-a-fire-starts.html

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Oven, Microwave, and Electrical Fires

2/21/2019 (Permalink)

Oven, Microwave, and Electrical Fires

Fires can happen anywhere in the kitchen — near an electrical outlet, in the microwave, or in the stove. Here are some tips to help you know what to do in case of any of these kitchen fires:

  • Oven fires. Immediately close the oven door and turn it off. If the fire doesn’t go out right away, call the fire department. Have the oven inspected and repaired before you use it again.
  • Microwave fires. Close the microwave door and keep it closed. Turn the microwave off and unplug it if you can do so safely. Leave it closed and don't use it again until you can have the appliance checked out by a technician.
  • Electrical fires. Prevent electrical fires by not overloading your electrical outlets with appliances. If a fire starts, use a fire extinguisher; never douse it with water. Always call the fire department for an electrical fire, even if you have already put it out with the fire extinguisher.

https://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-home/general-safety/tips/how-and-when-to-fight-cooking-fires.aspx

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here 24/7 365, for all of you restoration needs

9 Facts about Fire

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

1. Understand the fire triangle 
A simplified cousin to the fire tetrahedron, the triangle represents the three components that fires need to exist: heat, oxygen and fuel. If one of these components is missing, a fire can’t ignite.

Heat can be generated by a cigarette, an electrical current or a home heater. Fuel can be anything combustible, such as wood, paper, clothing, furniture, gases or chemicals.

Once a fire starts, if any of the three components is removed, the fire is extinguished. Water is used to cool a fire and take away the heat source. Oxygen can be removed by smothering a fire with dirt, sand, a chemical agent or a blanket.

Fuel can be removed by moving combustible materials away from the fire or by simply waiting until the fire consumes the material and goes out of its own accord.

2. Fire kills
Every year more than 3,800 people die fire related deaths in the U.S. Approximately 18,300 people are injured every year in fires. Most of these fires could have been prevented by practicing proper fire safety and having fire alarms. On average more than 60 firefighters die every year in the line of duty.

3. It's in the kitchen
Most house fires start in the kitchen. Cooking is the leading cause of home fire injuries. Cooking fires often start from overheated grease and unattended cooking. Electric stoves are involved in more fires than gas stoves.

4. Leading causes of death
Another fact about fire is that smoking is the primary cause of death by fire in the U.S. The second cause of fire deaths is heating equipment.

5. Arson
Arson is the third most common cause of home fires. Arson in commercially operated buildings is the major reason for fire deaths and injuries in those types of properties.

6. Smoke inhalation
More people die from smoke inhalation than flames. Fire can suck all of the oxygen from a room and replace it with poisonous smoke and gases before flames even reach a room. Many times people die from lack of oxygen before the fire reaches their room.

7. Run report
According to NFPA, firefighters in the U.S. were called out on 501,500 structure fires in 2015. Between 2007 and 2011, there was an average of 2,570 civilian deaths and 13,210 civilian injuries per year, and a total estimated cost of $329 billion in 2011.

8. Candles
Candles caused approximately 9,300 home fires and 86 home fire deaths between 2009 and 2013.They were also responsible for 827 injuries and $374 million in property damage.

9. Smoke alarms 
Approximately two-thirds of all fire deaths happen in homes where there’s no working fire alarm. Your chance of dying in a home fire is cut in half if you have a working smoke alarm.

https://www.firerescue1.com/fire-products/Firefighter-Accountability/articles/1206336-9-facts-about-fire/

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What to Dispose of after a fire

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Dispose of These Items After a Fire

There are some items that should always be tossed after a fire.

 
  • Perishable Food
    • If the electricity has been off for more than four hours, even after a small fire, most refrigerated and frozen food should be tossed. If a freezer is full and undamaged, check for ice crystals and you may be able to salvage the food for up to eight hours.
  • Non-Perishable Food
    • Any foods, even canned goods, that have been exposed to heat and firefighting chemicals should be tossed. The excessive heat can cause food to spoil even if the cans are not burned.
  • Cosmetics and Medicines
    • Water, smoke, firefighting chemicals, and excessively high temperatures can ruin cosmetics and medicines. It is not worth risking your health to salvage these items.
  • Electrical Equipment
    • No electrical items like small appliances or entertainment equipment should be used until they have been checked for water damage and heat damage to wiring. Toss any questionable items to avoid the possibility of another fire.
https://www.thespruce.com/cleanup-after-fire-4160200?utm_term=cleaning+up+after+a+fire&utm_content=p1-main-1-title&utm_medium=sem&utm_source=msn_s&utm_campaign=adid-473ea588-6bd2-429a-973d-d46bc26418e8-0-ab_msb_ocode-23793&ad=semD&an=msn_s&am=broad&q=cleaning+up+after+a+fire&o=23793&qsrc=999&l=sem&askid=473ea588-6bd2-429a-973d-d46bc26418e8-0-ab_msb SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here for all of your restoration needs

Interior clean up

10/30/2018 (Permalink)

Interior Clean-Up

When you’re ready to move inside, do so with extreme caution. Open all doors carefully and never force them ajar; the doorway could be supporting the building’s (now precarious) structure, and shifting its position could lead to injury, further damage, or even a collapse. Find an alternate entry to the front door if necessary, and consult a building inspector or fire marshal before entering any interior rooms with a jammed door.

Once you’re inside, stop and sniff for a gas leak. If you even think you detect the odor, or if you hear a suspicious hissing sound that could be a broken gas line, leave the house immediately and call the fire department. Follow their instructions implicitly and be sure to let your neighbors know what’s going on so they can take the necessary precautions.

As you begin your interior inspection, don’t forget to look up; the ceiling may be unstable or show signs of sagging from water collection. Similarly, the walls and flooring may have been weakened from fire or water damage, so step lightly and test any areas that look questionable before putting your own weight on them. You can use thick plywood panels or wood boards to cover unstable areas, just be sure they extend at least 8-12 inches on each side of the damaged area.

Use fans and open windows to increase the circulation of air throughout the home. If there’s a great amount of water damage and you live in a warm, humid climate, it may be better to keep the windows shut and instead opt for a dehumidifier. In cold weather, the heating system can help remove humidity from the air — just don’t forget to check and clean the filter each day.

Dry any wet items like drapes, carpet, and furniture as soon as possible to avoid permanent mold and mildew damage. Aluminum foil or plastic wrap can be placed under furniture legs for protection, and any fully-dried items can be enclosed in plastic until all cleanup is completed. You’ll need to completely remove large area rugs for proper drying, especially those that extend wall-to-wall.

Before you can start working on ridding your house and belongings of smoke odor, you’ll first need to address any soot. Soot is quite oily, meaning it’s easily transferred among items and prone to staining. You may be able to remove it yourself by taking the vacuum hose and holding it slightly off the surface of the item or area. Never use an upright vacuum or brush tools when removing soot, as that can cause the soot to grind deeper into fabric and carpet. You may even want to hire a professional carpet cleaner to remove the soot with a professional grade heavy-duty shop vacuum designed for these purposes.

To remove soot from walls, use a chemical sponge or another non-water based cleaner. (Be especially careful with plaster walls — water-based cleaners can actually cause the soot to bleed into the wall.) You may have success using paint thinner or rubbing alcohol, though you’ll want to ensure the room you’re working in has adequate ventilation before you begin.

Removing smoke odor from fabrics can be a tricky process, but the good news is that you have several options for treatment. For clothing, it may help to add 1-2 cups of vinegar to each wash load, though it may take several cycles to completely remove it. For persistent smells, try dissolving one cup of dishwasher detergent with one gallon of warm water and soaking the items overnight. Wash them as usual the next day. Never attempt to counter the smell with fabric refreshers or perfumes — at best, it will only mask the smell temporarily, and it could even amplify the problem.

For clothing that can be bleached, try mixing 4-6 tablespoons of trisodium phosphate (which can usually be found at your local hardware store), one cup of household chlorine bleach, and one gallon of water. Swish around the clothes and work the mixture through the fabric as much as possible, then rinse them with clean water.

When it comes to furniture and other items unable to be thrown in the wash, consult your local dry cleaner on which counteractants would be best to use; he may have several recommendations based on which items were affected, so be sure to tell him the kinds of materials you’ll be treating. He may even be able to suggest items for your laundry if you’re still having trouble removing the odor from clothing.

A major problem with smoke odor is that it can travel quite easily, including through walls and air ducts. Unfortunately, this means it can get trapped in air ducts and cause a recurring odor even months after the fire. Your best option to ensure your entire house gets aired out properly is to consult a professional about thermal fogging, a process that opens the pores of walls and neutralizes the smoke odor. It’s especially helpful in homes with attics, though you’ll likely need to remove odor-absorbing insulation from the attic either way.

While there are plenty of ways to clean up your home and property yourself, keep in mind that bringing in a professional may be the best route for certain tasks. While costly, these experts will know the best ways to get your home back to its pre-fire condition; plus, the expense will likely be significantly less than having to replace items after failed attempts to refurbish them yourself. Keep detailed records and receipts for both you and the insurance company; some of the repairs may be tax-deductible.

The fire recovery process comes with plenty of challenges and frustrations, so be sure you have a strong support system to help you through it. You may even discover that the cleanup process helps your family come together as one and bond, so look for silver linings as often as you can. With time, your home will look more like you remember it — perhaps even better! — and with patience, your emotional wounds will heal, as well.

https://www.redfin.com/blog/2016/08/the-guide-to-cleaning-up-after-a-house-fire.html

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here 24/7 365, for all of your restoration needs

What is in Smoke Residue/Soot?

9/20/2018 (Permalink)

What is in the Smoke Residue/Soot? All materials involved in a fire cause odors. Typically, soot is representative of what has burned, but may include byproducts that at first seem unrelated to the original material. For example, hydrogen cyanide is a byproduct of burning wool. When wood burns it can produce manganese and benzene. As many products as there are in the world, there are an equal number of byproducts produced in a fire. Each fire is different based on the contents of what has burned during the event. Organic and inorganic materials produce different types of smoke residue or soot. These residues may be present on surfaces that conservators may be tasked with treating. Burnt organic material produces soot that is hard to see and often has a very pungent odor. This is known as protein smoke. It can discolor paints and varnishes. Protein smoke can disperse over large areas and attach itself to everything. How the fire burns and how much moisture is in the air while the fire burns, plays a role in soot deposition on articles. The amount of moisture in the air is a key component in whether the smoke that is produced is wet or dry. There are several types of smoke or soot, which may be present on a surface that conservators might be tasked with treating: Wet Smoke—can present as a sticky residue or soot, and is often associated with a smoldering type of fire and often will have a strong odor. Dry Smoke—associated with a fast-burning fire and occurs at high temperatures. Protein—often present in soot, usually invisible, it can discolor paints and varnishes and often has a very pungent odor. Protein odors could be caused by food on the stove burning slowly or other sources. The slow burn allows the protein to disperse and attach itself to everything, producing a strong odor.

http://www.conservation-us.org/docs/default-source/periodicals/2010-09-sept-aicnews.pdf?sfvrsn=6

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After the Fire! Returning to Normal

8/17/2018 (Permalink)

After the Fire! Returning to Normal A fire will change your life in many ways. Knowing where to begin and who can help you is important. The U.S. Fire Administration hopes you find this information useful in your journey to return tonormal. What to Expect A fire in a home can cause serious damage. The building and many of the things in your home may have been badly damaged by flames, heat, smoke and water. You will find that things the fire did not burn up are now ruined by smoke and soggy with water used to put out the flames. Anything that you want to save or reuse will need to be carefully cleaned. The firefighters may have cut holes in the walls of the building to look for any hidden flames. They may even have cut holes in the roof to let out the heat and smoke. Cleanup will take time and patience. If your home had a home fire sprinkler system, you will find little damage from flames, heat, smoke and water. If you plan to rebuild your home, now is the time to think about installing sprinklers.

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/fa_46.pdf

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here for all of your restoration needs.

How to make a fire escape plan

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

How to make a home fire escape plan  

Your ability to get out of your home during a fire depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning

Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors.

https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Safety-in-the-home/Escape-planning

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here 24/7 365 for all of your restoration needs.

6 Tips

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

You may think a house fire will never happen to you. But what if it does? Are you prepared?

Figuring out what to do after a home fire can be a very stressful and overwhelming process, and it can be hard to decide what to do first. With a little help from your insurance agent, though, you may be able to settle your claim more quickly and get your life back to normal.

Here are the six things you should do after a home fire.

1. Call your insurance agent immediately.

2. Ask about restoration companies that can help with cleaning up soot, boarding up windows, and other construction.

3. Separate damaged property from undamaged property.

4. Save undamaged property from further destruction.

5. Cooperate fully with the insurance company’s investigation.

6. Find somewhere to stay if you can’t live in your home.

https://blog.equifax.com/credit/six-things-you-need-to-do-after-a-house-fire/

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here 24/7 365 for all of your restoration needs. Call us today at 972-602-1112, we're waiting to serve you! 

Tips for fire safety

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

The National Fire Protection Association has announced the theme for its Fire Prevention Week 2018 campaign:Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere.

Through the annual campaign, set for Oct. 7-13 this year, NFPA aims to raise awareness of “three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire.” Those steps are:
LOOKfor possible fire hazards in your home and eliminate them.
LISTENfor your home’s smoke alarms. Know that you may have only minutes to get out if a fire breaks out.
LEARNtwo ways out of each room of your home. Exits should be easy to access and free of clutter. After leaving the home, go to your family’s designated meeting spot, established when you set up ahome fire escape plan.

NFPA provides resources, including community posters, for the public to use to educate others about home fire safety. For kids, the campaign has activity pages and Simon, a character whoshares messages about fire safety.

http://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/17212-fire-prevention-week-2018-look-listen-learn

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here for all of your restoration needs.

Don't postponed your fire restoration

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

When a fire occurs in a home, the aftermath can seem overwhelming, and if fire restoration is postponed, the destruction from smoke damage can become even worse. The longer you wait to address the damage, the more repairs you'll have to fix - which means you'll most likely have a larger bill for damages when all is said and done. You can avoid costly repairs and long-term issues if you make fire damage restoration a priority and follow the steps you'll need to get your home back to normal as soon as possible.

Prolonged Smoke Damage

Fire damage is tricky because some signs are apparent—such as discoloration on walls and ceilings and dark stains from smoke on surfaces—but others are not, such as odors trapped in hidden places. Air conditioner vents, the space behind walls and the outside walls of your home are all areas where ash and soot can be deposited and continue to cause damage if they aren't taken care of in a timely manner.

https://www.resolvebylowes.com/guidance/fire/why-immediate-fire-damage-restoration-is-so-important/115003354947

Call SERVPRO of Grand Prairie at 972-602-1112. SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here 24/7 for all of your restoration needs.

Only Use A Fire Extinguisher If...

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

Here are a few tips to follow when using a fire extinguisher to prevent further damage to your home.

Fires are dangerous and extremely unpredictable. It can be easy to become anxious during a fire and lose control over the situation. 

Luckily, we now have access to disaster technology specifically designed to combat such situations with access to tools such as fire extinguishers and water hoses. It is important that we know exactly how and when to use them when the time comes. 

Here are a few tips to follow when using a fire extinguisher to prevent further damage to your home. 

Only Use A Fire Extinguisher If...

  • If the Fire is contained in a small area, such as a waste basket and is not growing.
  • If Everyone has exited the building. Fire extinguishers can be messy and cover a large area when sprayed. Dry chemical extinguishers are tanks of foam or dry powder. They work by smothering the fire. When you put a layer of powder or foam on the fire. If this foam is sprayed prematurely it will cause an obstruction and make it harder for people to escape the fire. 
  • If the room is not filled with smoke. Be sure the fire department is called and on their way. You want to be sure that they will be arriving soon and you do not cause more of an obstruction for your family to view your escape path. 

If your home or office is suffering from fire or smoke damage call your local SERVPRO of Grand Prairie at (972)602-1112

Why You Should Not Put Water On Grease Fires

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

Put A Lid On Grease Fires!

We have all been there before. The baby is crying while you are making dinner and the children are restless and running around the dinner table. While your spouse is on their way home from a long day at work with their belly rumbling. 

Cooking can be challenging especially with our busy lives. You may be tired just getting home from work with a hungry family waiting to eat.

Cooking requires focus which can be a rare commodity this day in age distractions are endless.  It can be easy to get distracted while cooking and leave hot grease on the stove.

Did you know cooking accounts for over 45% of all home fires? When and if a fire happens in the home it is important that your family knows exactly what to do in that situation. 

Put A Lid on Grease Fires!

IF A GREASE FIRE STARTS:

    1. Cover the flames with a metal lid or cookie sheet. Leave the cover on until it has cooled.
    2. Turn off the heat source. 
    3. If it’s small and manageable, pour baking soda or salt on it to smother the fire.
    4. As a last resort, spray the fire with a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher.
    5. Do not try to extinguish the fire with water.
    6. Do not attempt to move the pot or pan outside. 

If your home is suffering from fire damage call your local SERVPRO of Grand Prairie at (972)602-1112

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie Smoke and Soot Cleanup

3/28/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot damage from a Grand Prairie home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Grand Prairie will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (972)602-1112

Home Fire Facts

3/28/2018 (Permalink)

Emergencies can strike at any time. Be sure that your family knows how to react!

At SERVPRO of Grand Prairie we understand that fires in the home can be devastating and that prevention is the best policy. It is for this reason that we have provided five fire facts to keep your family and home safe this summer! 

Home Fire Facts

  • Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. 
  • One-quarter of home fire deaths were caused by fires that started in the bedroom. Another quarter resulted from fires in the living room, family room or den.
  • Three out of five home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fire injuries, followed by heating equipment.
  • Smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire deaths.

We hope that these fire facts will be instrumental in saving the lives of millions of Grand Prairie residents. After all education is key!

So, be sure not to leave cooking food unattended and remember to put out any candles that you may have around the house. Keep your smoke detectors full of batteries and ready to go! 

Gather your family and create an escape routine in case of a fire. According to an NFPA survey, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.

Emergencies can strike at any time. Be sure that your family knows how to react! 

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call SERVPRO Grand Prairie
–(972) 602-1112

How Handle a Fire Loss at a Commercial Building

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

A fire can be devastating to a commercial business, but after the fire truck and firefighters have left, the real work has just begun. What can a professional fire damage restoration company do for a business with commercial fire damage? We'll find out.

When the firefighters and fire trucks have cleared the building of a commercial fire, a trained fire damage specialist will inspect the site to see what materials were affected by smoke damage or soot damage. The building may not be safe for anyone to work in until a commercial fire damage specialist has started work. For example, the roof may need to be boarded up and spread with tarps for the safety and security of the workers. When there's an electrical fire or fire damage to the electrical system, generators may need to be installed for temporary power. A commercial fire damage company can remove burned trees as well.

A fire hose can pump thousands of gallons of water per minute, and that water will have to be removed before the work of fire restoration can really begin. If the fire sprinkler system does its job, it can stop a lot of fire damage before it occurs. A working fire suppression system is essential to reducing damage, but the fire suppression system can also drench everything, so a lot of water from the fire hoses or fire sprinkler system may need to be removed.

One area that needs to be handled carefully is smoke and soot damage. Soot Damage is a major problem after a commercial fire, discoloring anything close to the flames. Within hours, soot damage can turn fiberglass and appliance finishes yellow. Soot damage can also tarnish metals and cause corrosion. After a few days, the smoke damage will also permanently discolor upholstery, clothing, and walls. The lingering smell of smoke can be reduced by cleaning with the proper detergents or sealing up and removing objects that are too damaged. The sooner commercial fire damage professionals are brought in, the better.

A utility room fire will often require special attention because the fire might have started in the utility room because some utility room fires are caused by storage of flammable chemicals. With the fire extinguished, a utility room fire might have burned important equipment that will need to be repaired or replaced. There also may be an electrical fire in the utility room fire that needs to be dealt with. Smoke damage can also be concentrated in the utility room's small space.

An electrical fire could have burned much of the building, and the fire hoses and fire sprinkler system might have soaked the drywall and insulation, so a fire restoration professional may need to replace it to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Firefighters do a great job putting out fires, but they can't worry about the damage they leave behind. In some cases, the firefighters might have broken through walls or windows or the fire truck itself might have collided with the building, causing more damage. Fire restoration specialists will need to deal with that, too. The fire restoration professional can also look at the fire suppression system to make sure it will work the next time.

When it comes to hiring a commercial fire damage specialist, it's important to hire the best available. Fire restoration may involve a lot of work, because an electrical fire, soot damage, and smoke damage are all major problems, but the right professionals can take care of them. A fire sprinkler system or fire suppression system is critical to keep a fire from spreading, and a fire truck and a fire hose can save lives, but only a fire restoration professional can get a business running again.

Call SERVPRO Grand Prairie at 972-602-1112  for more information on fire damage.

Smoke and Soot Clean Up

12/12/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO Grand Prairie will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 972-602-1112

Christmas Tree Safety

12/12/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that a spark can turn a dry Christmas tree into a torch within 12 seconds?

Christmas tree fires are rare, but they still account for roughly 200 home fires each year, destroying an annual $14 million in the process, the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) says. They're deadly, too, killing an average of six people yearly.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission released Christmas tree tips:

  • Fresh, watered trees are much less likely to catch fire. So when buying a tree, look for branches with vibrant, green needles that don’t come off the branch easily.
  • Make sure your tree is at least three feet from any heat source, like a fireplace, heat vent or candle.
  • Water your tree daily.
  • If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it’s labeled “fire resistant.”
  • Do not forget to cut off 2 inches from the bottom of the tree to allow it to soak up water.

SERVPRO Grand Prairie would like to wish all of our customers and vendors a very Merry Christmas!

If you are need of our services during this holiday season SERVPRO Grand Prairie is on call 24/7.  Call our office at 972-602-1112. We are here to help!

Did you have a fire in your home?

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

When the cleaning of a fire becomes too much, we are here to help!

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Grand Prairie will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 
972-602-1112

Total Loss Fire Damage

11/1/2013 (Permalink)

Total Loss

All this damage was caused by an exhaust fan in a bathroom.