Recent Fire Damage Posts
Smoke Damage in Your Blackwood/Gloucester Twp. Home
What is smoke damage restoration?
Restoring a home after a fire requires a lot of work. One of the most involved parts of recovery is smoke damage restoration. Smoke damage restoration is an integral part of the process. Not only does it make the home presentable, but it removes harmful carcinogens and restores structural integrity. It is best to seek help from the Professionals at SERVPRO of Blackwood/Gloucester Township when dealing with smoke damage.
While most don't realize it, there are multiple types of smoke. Our professionals can easily identify the types of smoke present and how to remove damage from a variety of materials. SERVPRO of Blackwood/Gloucester Township is equipped for the job. They have the knowledge and tools to effectively remove smoke damage, regardless of the size and scope of the damage. We will be able to get the job done effectively. To get a better understanding about the process and how we can help, there are a few things homeowners need to know.
Assessing The Damage
Before any restoration work is completed, a fire damage assessment must be performed. This is an important part of the process. It helps determine the costs involved and the best way to approach the project. To get a proper assessment, homeowners should contact SERVPRO of Blackwood/Gloucester Township and their insurance company. They look at the extent of the damage and calculate a cost based on how much work needs to be done. The final cost should cover cleaning the smoke, repairing structural damage, and restoring the home back to what it used to be.
The Restoration Process
SERVPRO of Blackwood/Gloucester Township must begin working fast. While a fire may be put out, damage continues to occur well afterwards. One of the biggest problems faced immediately after a fire is mold and mildew growth. Due to the presence of water and heat, the home instantly becomes a breeding ground for fungi. Within 24 hours, harmful mold will begin to grow. It is important to halt this process as soon as possible. To stop this growth process, we will place dehumidifiers throughout the home. The dehumidifiers absorb water in the air, ultimately bringing the humidity level down and stopping growth.
Since a home has a number of different surfaces, they must use the appropriate cleaner to do the job effectively. These cleaners remove soot and smoke to reveal a clean surface. SERVPRO of Blackwood/Gloucester Township also uses deodorizers to remove the pungent smell that is left behind. If not cleaned properly, a home can wreak of smoke well after a fire. With deodorizers, the smell is removed. Throughout the entire process, workers will salvage as much as they can. Everything else will need to be repaired or replaced.
Smoke damage restoration isn't an easy task and should be left to the professionals at SERVPRO. We use heavy-duty equipment to get the job done, ensuring that the restoration job is thorough. With the help of SERVPRO of Blackwood/Gloucester Township, homeowners can recover and return to their normal lives. We help make it “Like it never even happened."
Fire Content Cleaning
Content Cleaning and Inventory at our warehouse after a local house fire.
SERVPRO Professionals specialize in restoring content damaged by water, fire, or mold. Their expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. They pretest your belongings to determine what items they can restore to pre-fire condition. They use several methods of cleaning your contents, including:
• Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
• Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
• Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
• Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
• Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
• Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.
If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning due to fire damage, SERVPRO of Blackwood/Gloucester Township Professionals can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. A move-out has several benefits, including:
• A quicker remodeling process
• Protecting items from potential damage
• Protecting contents from further on-site damage
When restoration is completed, they will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage.
Contents Claim Inventory Service
When a fire emergency strikes, the damage can often feel overwhelming. We offer a Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. They take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding.
Our Contents Claim Inventory Service:
• Preloss list and value of contents
• Detailed and accurate report
• Better information to settle claims quicker
• Assistance with burden of proof for claims
• Peace of mind when you need it most!
If you have experienced a fire in your home and need your content cared for, call SERVPRO of Blackwood/Gloucester Township at 856-227-7800 and let the SERVPRO Professionals ease the worry and confusion during the recovery process.
After a Fire
Kitchen Fire that affected the entire house.
If you experience a fire in your Blackwood or Gloucester Township home or office, you get everyone out and let the fire department put it out. Fire is a danger to you and your family. Unfortunately, the dangers of fires continue long after the fire is out.
There are health risks involved with fires. Plastics, for one, can lead to a variety of health risks. When synthetic materials burn, they release toxic fumes in the air and should be removed from the house. Even a small kitchen fire is likely to burn things like plastic cups, milk jugs, and so on. Every plastic item that burns means your health is that much more at risk.
If you have an older home, one that was built somewhere between the 1950s and the 1980s, there is a risk for asbestos that was used in many buildings during that time. This can put your family at risk for serious respiratory issues as well as cancer. These reasons are why you should call SERVPRO of Blackwood/Gloucester Township for fire restoration immediately.
The risk can spread all throughout your home or office through the air conditioning system. This is because the particles of smoke and soot are so small that traditional HVAC filters cannot capture them. So when your air conditioning runs, it is actually circulating these toxic substances to every room in the home or office, meaning that a small fire may soon threaten your entire home or office.
SERVPRO of Blackwood/GloucesterTownship has trained professionals to make your home or office safe after a fire. We thoroughly inspect your home and remove any dangerous substances that may be circulating. Professional restoration is necessary when you experience a fire.
SERVPRO of Blackwood/Gloucester Township is here to help make it “Like it never even happened."
Grease Fire: What To Do
This photo shows a grease fire simulation.
Be Safe In The Kitchen.
A grease fire happens when your cooking oil becomes too hot. When heating, oils first start to boil, then they'll start smoking, and then they'll catch on fire. Most vegetable oils have a smoking point around 450°F, while animal fats like lard or goose fat will start smoking around 375°F.
If the worst happens and your oil does catch on fire, do the following:
• Turn the Heat Off - Don't try to move the pot. You might accidentally splash yourself or your kitchen with burning oil. And that would be bad.
• Cover the Pot with a Metal Lid - Fire cannot exist in the absence of oxygen. With the lid on (and the heat off), the fire should quickly consume all the oxygen and put itself out. Use a metal lid since glass will shatter.
• Pour on Baking Soda - Baking soda will extinguish grease fires, but only if they're small. It takes a lot of baking soda to do the job.
• Spray the Pot with a Class B Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher - This is your last resort, as fire extinguishers will contaminate your kitchen. Still, it's better than the alternative if the fire is getting out of control.
• Get Out and Call 911 - If the fire does break out of control, don't try to be a hero. Get out and find a phone to call 911.
Whatever you do, DO NOT do the following:
• Do Not Use Water - Pouring water can cause the oil to splash and spread the fire. The vaporizing water can also carry grease particles in it, also spreading the fire.
• Do Not Move the Pot or Carry It Outside - Throwing the pot outside might seem logical in the frenzy of the moment. But trying to move the pot might splash burning oil on you, your home, and anything outside.
• Do Not Throw Any Other Baking Product On the Fire - Flour might look like baking soda, but it won't react the same. Only baking soda can help put out a grease fire.
Now that we're clear on all of that, hopefully you'll never be in a situation where you have to actually use this advice. Be safe, fellow cooks! Be safe, and make sure you also pass this news on to teenagers who might be cooking as well. In case you are in need of fire restoration services, we are always on call to help you.
Call SERVPRO of Blackwood/Gloucester Township at 856-227-7800.
Safety Tips For Deep Frying A Turkey
Enjoy Your Turkey This Thanksgiving!
When it comes to deep frying turkey, you want to take every precaution to keep your family and your home safe.
Fried turkeys are delicious, but they come with a lot of safety issues. Thousands of fires as well as many deaths and injuries happen each year due to turkey fryer fires. Before you set up your turkey fryer this Thanksgiving, remember these safety tips.
Stay Away from The House – Set up the turkey fryer more than 10 feet away from your home and keep children and pets away. Never leave it unattended.
Find Flat Ground – The oil must be even and steady at all times to ensure safety. Place the fryer on a flat, level surface and carefully gauge the amount of oil needed.
Use a Thawed and Dry Turkey – Make sure your Thanksgiving turkey is completely thawed and dry. Extra water will cause the oil to bubble furiously and spill over. If oil spills from the fryer onto the burner, it can cause a fire.
Monitor the Temp – Use caution when touching the turkey fryer. The lid and handle can become very hot and could cause burns. Also be sure to keep track of the oil’s temperature as many fryers do not have their own thermostats.
Be Prepared – Have a fire extinguisher (multipurpose, dry-powder) ready at all times in the event that the oil ignites.
SERVPRO of Blackwood/Gloucester Township specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. We have the experience and training to make your home safe and livable again. Call us at 856-227-7800.
SERVPRO Cleans Up and Restores Blackwood/Gloucester Twp. Properties Affected by Smoke and Fire
Big or Small, Fire is a serious matter.
In your Blackwood/Gloucester Township home, a fire is a serious matter. Even a fire which is small and non-devastating can have consequences which are overwhelming. Some of these might not be apparent right away to the average person, which is why you need a professional company such as SERVPRO to help you clean up after a fire.
Listed below are some possible affects from a fire:
The structure of your Blackwood home can be damaged by a fire. You need to be cautious when entering your home after a fire because of this damage. It is not reasonable to determine that all the floor supports are intact on your own. Therefore, an inspector needs to check your property for damage to the structure before you go back into it. When the damage is severe, you may have to board up the property for liability and safety reasons. Our SERVPRO technicians can also help you do this.
Smoke Residue and Odor
Most smoke particles are just 0.004 microns wide, which means they can work their way into all the nooks and crannies, from carpet to furniture, wallboard, and even insulation. Cleaning up smoke residue and odor becomes increasingly difficult depending on the volume of smoke, but also on the type of smoke which are present during the fire. Some materials which are natural, such as paper and wood, leave gray or black, ashy residues which are easier to clean up. Some inorganic materials, like synthetic fabrics and plastics, leave a smeary residue which is difficult and risky to clean up. SERVPRO can get rid of all residue and odors with special equipment, detergents, and deodorizers.
Most fires also lead to water damage. When firefighters try to put the fire out, they douse your home with water, which soaks everything which was involved in or close to the fire. If you do not act right away to dry out your walls, carpeting, and furniture after the fire, there is a high chance that mold and mildew growth begins in addition to the fire damage. Building materials degrade rapidly after being exposed to pressurized water.
Our SERVPRO Professionals are trained to handle this type of damage. We can dry out your home while doing the other cleanup work, as well as, clean up any mold damage and check for hidden mold.
Check out our Fire Damage Emergency Tips here.
Call SERVPRO of Blackwood/Gloucester Township right away after a fire. (856)227-7800. We will guide you through the whole restoration process to get your home back to its normal condition.
How to Inspect a Fire Extinguisher.
Ideally, you should inspect your portable home fire extinguisher every month.
When was the last time you took time to check the fire extinguisher that sits under your kitchen sink? Or the one hanging from a dusty hook in your garage? If you’re struggling to remember, it’s time to check it. Like any other piece of safety equipment, a home fire extinguisher should be inspected regularly to ensure it’s in proper working condition. A fire extinguisher in good working condition is your first line of defense when a home fire erupts.
Ideally, you should inspect your portable home fire extinguishers every month.
Tips for Performing a Monthly Fire Extinguisher Check
Check the label or tag.
Every fire extinguisher, whether disposable or rechargeable, has a manufacturer’s label or tag. Read the tag and follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance suggestions.
Check the tamper seal.
If the tamper seal has been broken or is cracked, a disposable fire extinguisher needs to be replaced. If it’s rechargeable, it needs to be serviced professionally. Check the locking or pull pin as well to make sure it’s in the correct position. If the pin missing, the fire extinguisher needs to be inspected or serviced by a professional.
Inspect for physical damage.
Physically inspect the fire extinguisher for obvious damage. This may include but is not limited to dents, corrosion, cracks and obvious leakage. If a fire extinguisher has leakage, it’s no longer under full pressure and may not work properly when you need it most. Check the fire extinguisher nozzle as well, to ensure it’s not clogged by grime, dust, bugs or leakage from the unit itself.
Check the pressure gauge.
Check that the pressure gauge needle indicates the fire extinguisher pressure is in the optimum operating range. Often the correct pressure range will be designated by green on the gauge.
Is the fire extinguisher full?
During your monthly check, lift the fire extinguisher and determine if it still feels full. If there has been a leak, it will feel light, and it won’t have the right amount of pressure to work correctly.
If you have a dry chemical fire extinguisher, it should be shaken once a month during your inspection. This helps prevent the chemical dousing agent from solidifying at the bottom of the unit.
Write inspection date on tag.
Keep track of every inspection date by writing it on the fire extinguisher tag.
Ensure easy access to your fire extinguisher.
Fire extinguishers should always be easy to access if there is an emergency. You don’t want to have to search for it once a fire breaks out. Don’t block fire extinguishers with furniture, boxes or any other items. Everyone who lives in the household should know where the closest fire extinguisher is located and how to use it in case of an emergency.
In the event of a fire emergency, first make sure to get people safely away, then call 911. A home fire extinguisher can be used to put out or control small fires, but it’s still safest to call professional fire fighters before you attempt to control a fire on your own.
If you need professional fire, smoke or water damage cleanup after a fire, call the experts at:
SERVPRO of Blackwood/Gloucester Township (856)227-7800
Soot and Smoke Removal
What Do I Do?
For people who’ve experienced a fire in their home, the initial cleanup of soot and water can be only the beginning. On top of the devastation of possibly losing irreplaceable personal items and memorabilia, the process of getting the home back in living order can be filled with difficulties.
Restoring the home requires professionals who are experienced in dealing with fires and restoration of the property. The national association that certifies companies’ expertise in fire cleanup is the IICRC, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. IICRC-certified companies must meet a rigorous list of standards in business ethics and expertise.
IICRC, working with the manufacturers of carpet, upholstery and fabric, works to establish the standards on how these items can be restored, whether from fire or water damage. When it comes to cleaning, restoring and inspecting that items are safe to be replaced in the home, the IICRC writes the books, so their certification of a local company offers homeowners the reassurance that the fire restoration work will be done correctly.
Our SERVPRO professionals are IICRC-certified, and our technicians receive ongoing training in the IICRC best practices. We also understand the need for immediate response, working with your insurance agent to document the loss and items that are able to be restored versus those that are a total loss.
If you ever experience a fire and need a restoration company, SERVPRO meets these standards:
• Proof of proper insurances and licenses
• Formal and recent training in specialized fire restoration work
• IICRC Certification
For restoration of your home and its contents after a fire, SERVPRO of Blackwood/Gloucester Twp. is the company to call. We take pride in keeping our customers informed about their restoration work, and in upholding the standards of our IICRC certification.
If you have experienced a fire in your home, Call SERVPRO of Blackwood/Gloucester Twp. (856)227-7800. We Can Help.
Fire Safety and Why You Should Care!
Being prepared will make all the difference.
Though some fires are unavoidable acts of nature or unpredictable accidents, many fires in the home and workplace are avoidable. The following tips, courtesy of the NFPA,(National Fire Protection Association) can help reduce the likelihood of a fire in your business or home.
Watch your cooking- Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Never allow young children around the stove or oven, especially if they are not closely attended.
Give space heaters space- Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.
Smoke outside- If you must smoke inside, have a sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.
Keep Matches and lighters out of reach- Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.
Inspect electrical cords- Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs or have loose connections.
Be careful when using candles- Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.
Have a fire escape plan-Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.
Install smoke alarms- Install alarms on every level of your office or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they will all sound at once.
Test smoke alarms- Test alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year as needed.
Install sprinklers- Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance at saving your property.
Fire escape planning tips
Below you will find several tips that could potentially save your life or the life of a loved one should a fire break out in your home
• Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home
• Test smoke alarm batteries every month and change them at least ones a year.
• Consider installing a 10 year lithium battery powered smoke alarm
• Practice finding your way out of the house with your eyes closed, crawling or staying low and feeling your way out of the house.
• Remember escape first, then notify the fire department.
**Tips courtesy of www.usfa.dhs.gov**
What to do until help arrives.
• Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.
• Place clean towels or old linens in rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery
• Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil
• Place Aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
• Wash any walls or painted surfaces.
• Shampoo carpet or upholstery
• Clean any electrical equipment.
• Send Clothing to dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
SERVPRO of Blackwood/Gloucester Twp. professionals are available 24/7 (856)227-7800
What to do Before a Fire Restoration Company Arrives.
Fire in home and fire in business are especially devastating. The extensive fire damage can leave a person homeless or a workplace out of business. It may be temporary, but the impact can be overwhelming for a homeowner or a business owner. After fire trucks depart, fire cleanup is necessary. Whether it is fire in home or fire in business, the property will suffer from smoke damage as well. Aside from that, there could also be widespread flooding and water damage due to the firefighting efforts.
Before the Fire Damage Restoration
The next step after the distressing fire damage is to call a restoration company that can provide board up services and more. While waiting, the primary focus of the victims of the fire should be their safety. Here are some things to bear in mind:
It may not be safe to stay in the house or building especially after destructive commercial fire damage.
Electrical wiring as well as slip and fall hazards are typically present after the fire damage.
Wet materials, after firefighters have stopped the fire, can be very heavy. It is not wise to attempt to carry them.
After a fire and before the professionals from the restoration company arrive to give board up services, here are actions that a homeowner or a businessperson can carry out after fire damage:
Soot damage can take place in carpets and upholstery. It is advised to limit movement to prevent the particles from being embedded in the mentioned items.
Make sure that the hands are clean. This not only helps with the fire cleanup, but also avoids further soiling walls, woodwork, and upholstery.
There should be old linens or clean towels on upholstery, carpets, and rugs to reduce smoke smell and even soot damage.
If it is fire in home and electricity is not working, the freezer and the refrigerator should be emptied. Doors should remain open until fire damage restoration professionals get there.
Cleaning and protecting chrome using light coating of oil or petroleum jelly is also advised.
Houseplants should be washed on both sides of the leaves to reduce smoke smell.
It is also time to change HVAC filter whether it is fire in home or fire in business.
Air registers can be taped with double layers of cheesecloth. This can also help reduce smoke smell.
If there are things that can be done before the restoration company arrives, there are also activities that should be avoided. Here they are:
Do not attempt to wash painted surfaces, such as walls. Shampooing carpet and upholstery is also not recommended without the go signal from the professionals of the restoration company.
It is also not advised to attempt to clean electrical appliances, particularly those that may have been exposed to fire or heat or even water. It is best to consult an authorized repairman first especially if soot damage is visible.
Commercial fire damage in stores that sell canned or packaged food and beverages can be upsetting as these items should no longer be used. The same thing should be applied if it is fire in home, particularly if the items have been stored near the areas that have been affected by fire and smoke damage.
If the ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fixtures before fire damage restoration since there could be something wrong with the wiring.
Garments should not be sent to an ordinary dry cleaning service. Improper cleaning may heighten smoke smell.
Fire in business or commercial fire damage, including soot damage and smoke damage, can affect the structure of the building and equipment in the area. The same thing can be said when fire took place at home where board up is often essential. It can destroy the house and the person’s belongings. Fire damage restoration companies understand that furniture, keepsakes, clothing, and other possessions are important to the victims of the fire.
It is important to find fire cleanup pros that specialize in restoring houses and structures and providing board up services for home or commercial fire damage. These pros can help renovate contents of the area that underwent fire, water, mold, and smoke damage. With the aid of professional fire cleanup, homeowners or business people can save money as their possessions are restored instead of replaced.
Visit www.SERVPROblackwood.com for more information on fire damage.
Space Heater Safety Tip
Make sure to use space heaters safely.
In the colder months of the year, homeowners look for ways to make chilly areas warm and comfortable. While space heaters can be useful to keep small areas warm, it’s very important to use them with caution. Using a space heater can be safe if you follow these simple recommendations.
First, before purchasing a space heater, check out the specifications and make sure that it's UL approved. When using the heater, make sure that you create a three-foot safety zone around the space heater. Do not place the heater on or near any carpets, throw rugs, papers, or clothing. The space heater must be placed on a flat surface and not elevated on any cabinets, shelves, or other furniture.
Place the space heater in an area where it will not be in the way and where no one will trip on it. It’s a great idea to shop for a space heater with an automatic shut-off so that the heater will shut off if it tips over. Make sure that kids and pets are kept away from the heater for their own safety; space heaters can be quite warm to the touch. Also, pets may chew on the cords, so keep an eye on them around the space heater.
It’s a good idea to inspect the heater before every use. Don’t use the heater if there is any damage.
Never leave a space heater unattended. It’s tempting to leave it on while you’re sleeping to keep your bedroom warm. It is too risky to let these appliances run overnight when no one is nearby to make sure there are no problems.
You should never use a power strip or extension cord with a space heater. This cords could overheat due to the higher electrical demands and cause fire damage. Finally, ensure that your home smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order and test them monthly.
If you do have fire damage to your home and need professional cleaning services, contact us at SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township 856-227-7800. We will work with you to make sure your home or business returns to normal as quickly as possible.
Clean Your Dryer Vents to Prevent Fire in Blackwood
Clothes dryer vents can build up lint over time, restricting air flow and posing a threat of fire. This type of fire is totally preventable.
One of the most common causes of fires is also perhaps the most preventable.
Dryer vents connect from your clothes dryer, and can build up lint. If not cleaned out properly, the air cannot flow properly, and a fire can result. This type of fire happens most frequently in homes, posing dangers to adults and children.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year. These fires cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. The U.S. Fire Administration also reports that the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them (34 percent).
Apart from cleaning your dryer vent, the U.S. Fire Administration has suggestions to enhance safety when using your clothes dryer:
- Don’t use a clothes dryer without a lint filter or with a lint filter that is loose, damaged or clogged.
- Don’t overload the dryer.
- Don’t use a wire screen or cloth to cover the wall damper. They can collect lint and clog the dryer vent.
- Don’t dry anything containing foam, rubber or plastic. An example of an item not to place in a dryer is a bathroom rug with a rubber backing.
- Don’t dry any item for which manufacturers' instructions state “dry away from heat.”
- Don’t dry glass fiber materials (unless manufacturers' instructions allow).
- Don’t dry items that have come into contact with anything flammable like alcohol, cooking oils or gasoline. Dry them outdoors or in a well-ventilated room, away from heat.
- Don’t leave a clothes dryer running if you leave home or when you go to bed.
Fire Damage: How do we do it?
Customers belongings after a fire damage, most of the items were able to be restored.
Do you ever wonder how SERVPRO keeps up with every customer’s job progress? SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township has a pretty tried and true method to keep everyone up to date on the progress of every job. When a customer first calls in a loss, we at SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township enter all of the pertinent information into a form called the FNOL or “First Notice of Loss.” This form is sent to everyone involved including our First Responders, Office staff so they can communicate with your insurance company, and managers so they know the status of every job in progress. Every note, assessment, detail associated with that job from that point forward is attached to that initial FNOL so that it is at our fingertips if you ever have any questions or concerns.
Call us today for all of your fire damage restoration needs at 856-227-7800
Preventing Electrical Fires with Nine Easy Tips
In today’s society, people are working overtime to meet the pressures of daily life. With technology and electronic accessories being an inescapable part of day-to-day activities, it means that electricity is in high-demand, and it is working around the clock in the home setting. Children need their cell phones charged at all times to keep in touch with their parents, and adults use their computers late into the night to complete work assignments. When work and school are done, dinner needs to be cooked with the appliances in the kitchen and the family likes to unwind with television, video games, music, and a multitude of various electronic devices. In addition, electricity is needed to heat and cool the home and run light fixtures. Undoubtedly, homes today are generating a tremendous amount of electricity, and the greater the electric load, the greater the risk of electrical-related fires. Below are nine safety measures one can adhere to in order to reduce the risk of electrical fires in one’s home:
- On a regular basis, have the home inspected for loose wires, shorts, and faulty wiring that increase the risk of potential electrical fires, as electrical wiring eventually needs to be replaced. This is especially pertinent if one lives in an older home. Signs that faulty wiring is a pressing issue can include flickering lamps, buzzing outlets, or outlets that spark when an electronic device is plugged in. If one of these indications occurs, do not delay in in hiring a certified electrician to give the home an inspection to determine if the wiring is safe or if it is in need of rewiring.
- Install a smoke detector on every level of the home and inside each bedroom. It is vital to make sure the smoke detectors are working properly by testing them every month. Test the detectors to ensure that all members of the home know the sound of the smoke detector. Also, create a plan so that the entire family knows what to do in case of an actual fire. Once a plan is in place, practice each aspect of fire-escape strategy to guarantee its success.
- Utilize safety measures with electric cords. This includes replacing cords that are loose, frayed, or contains cracks. Never place cords in areas that receive a large volume of foot traffic, such as under mats or carpeting. Avoid tacking cords to surfaces with nails or staples. If an extension cord is being used on a long-term basis, consider having outlets installed by a certified electrician nearer to your electronic devices.
- Only use the correct wattage light bulbs in all fixtures. If the wattage is higher than the requirement noted on the lamp or appliance, replace the bulbs immediately. Firmly secure light bulbs in the socket to safeguard them from overheating.
- Use a surge protector to guard appliances and other electronics in your home. It is important that homeowners use a surge protector that is equivalent to the equipment one has while keeping in mind that they only protect the items that are directly plugged into them. Note that there are two basic types of surge protectors: the power strip accompanied by a surge protector and the wall-mount surge protector. When buying a surge protector, locate one that has the Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) mark of approval and always avoid overloading it. As with wiring, surge protectors will eventually need to be replaced, especially if the home experiences a large surge or frequent power surges.
- Store flammables away from electrical appliances. It is helpful to establish a safe, designated area for flammable chemicals in your home.
- As the average daily temperature declines, portable space heaters run a high risk of electrical fires. Other risks include lamps, blow dryers, hair straighteners, and clothing irons. Any object made of fabric, such as towels and bath mats, can quickly ignite and spread fire rapidly.
- Place a fire extinguisher in all major rooms of the home, such as kitchen, bedrooms, and laundry room. The National Fire Protection Association suggests a multi-purpose extinguishers that carry and “A, B, C,” combination classification while also carrying the label of an independent testing laboratory. Have all family members read the instructions on how to use the fire extinguisher. Extinguisher are useful in containing small fires until the fire department arrives, but the first priority should be getting one’s family out of the home safely.
- Arcs cause numerous electrical fires every year, but this can be combatted by installing an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) breaker in the home. Arcs in the home’s electrical system occur when an electrical current flows through an inadvertent path generating a sudden, high temperature in electrical wires. When this happens, the extreme temperatures can easily ignite other combustible materials surrounding it, such as wood or insulation. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association says having an AFCI breaker offers greater fire protection for homeowners than a standard circuit breaker. An AFCI monitors the circuits in your home for the presence of hazardous arcing conditions and instantly disconnects the damaged circuit before the arc has time to build enough heat to cause a fire. As of 2008, the National Electrical Code has required new homes to have AFCI protection, but the code varies from state to state, and older homes are at greater risk due to aging electrical wiring. As always, have a qualified electrician install the AFCI breaker.
Reducing the risk of electrical fires in one’s home is relatively simple, but the safety benefits are worth a great deal of peace-of-mind.
What to Do After a Fire
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
What NOT To Do After a Fire
- Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
- Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
- Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
Call SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township 24/7 at 856-227-7800 for all of your fire damage restoration needs.
SERVPRO Battles Smoke & Fire Damage to Restore Your Home
Fire damage displaces families from their homes and creates a traumatic hardship. While residents naturally want to return home, it may be unsafe and uncomfortable. Odors from smoke and fumes along with soot residue must be completely removed first. Any water damage from emergency response crews must be dried. The wait can seem like an eternity, and fast action is necessary to make the home livable once again.
For Gloucester Township fire damage, SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township can be there fast. Our team of technicians is skilled in restoring homes damaged by fire and water with the right tools and products. Do it yourself cleaning methods cannot remove all of the odors from smoke damage. Attempts by homeowners can be frustrating and expensive. SERVPRO technicians are skilled at completing the job quickly with industrial strength cleaners and specialized equipment. They can save you the effort and heartache by completely removing stubborn smoke odors and water stains in home interiors and possessions.
After emergency contact is made, SERVPRO sends technicians to perform an emergency assessment. The full scope of the damage is determined, and a plan of action is made. This is done as quickly as possible. If tarping or boarding is required to protect the contents of the home, the task is attended to immediately. If there is water damage, any remaining water is removed, and the interior is professionally dried. Soot is wiped off of hard surfaces; special primer paint may provide a base for recoating walls and ceilings, and smoke is also removed and then deodorization is executed. After cleaning and repair, restoration of the home to its pre-fire condition is completed. "Like it never even happened."
Our goal is to help families get back into their homes fast. We move as quickly as possible while taking care to ensure that the restoration is done completely. Every detail is attended to with speed and with precision to deliver outstanding service that reunites people with their homes and personal possessions.
Call anytime 24/7 for emergency fire damage services from SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township at (856) 227-7800.
Cooking Safety Tips and Fire Prevention
A burnt pan after a cooking fire
Cooking fires are the #1 cause of home fires and injuries according to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) The cause is unattended cooking so it is important to be alert and make sure you never leave the kitchen while cooking. A kitchen fire, regardless of the size, can be overwhelming. Most kitchen fires begin on the stove and the damage can affect the entire kitchen along with other areas in the home including walls, ceilings and appliances. A cooking fire is usually started by grease, oil or food which can make cleanup more difficult.
A few tips to remember in the kitchen:
- If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding a lid over the pan. Turn off the burner but do not remove the pan.
- Stay in the kichen while you cook
- Remove items such as towels, plastic utenils and pot holders that can catch fire away from stove
- Keep cooking surfaces clean to prevent food & grease build up
- Make sure you have a working smoke alarm
- Make sure you kitchen has a fire extinguisher
- If you need to lave the room, be sure to turn the stove off
For more information on cooking fire safety visit the NFPA website at http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/top-causes-of-fire/cooking
Should you experience a kitchen fire that has left you with smoke, soot or fire damage, our office is available 24/7 to help with the cleanup whether it be the building structure or your personal property. Call SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township at 856-227-7800.
Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration
Fire and the resulting smoke from such a destructive force can cause damage to all areas of your home, not just the ground zero location of the fire
Fire and the resulting smoke from such a destructive force can cause damage to all areas of your home, not just the ground zero location of the fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the costs of direct property damage as a result of house fires has increased since 2011. 2015 saw $7 billion worth of damage.
Fire damage in Gloucester Township is stressful and can be a scary surprise for any homeowner. SERVPRO has seen firsthand what fire and smoke damage can do to a home and this is the reason why we work quickly and restore homes with the best methods and latest technology to get you and your family back in your beds, safe and sound.
Reasons To Never Extend The Cleaning Process Post-Fire
When a fire has occurred in your home, it is crucial to call a fire cleanup and restoration expert like SERVPRO right away to respond to your emergency. Extending the response time can have many consequences to the living spaces and structure of your home. Right after a fire, soot and ash begin to settle onto every surface in your home, from floor to ceiling. Porous materials may experience permanent discoloration, but many other surfaces in your home can be cleaned and saved if you take immediate action.
Within only a few hours, all of the surfaces in your home can be affected by the fire and smoke damage. Your furniture will likely need refinishing or heavy cleaning, the metals in your home begin to rust and corrode, your walls will start to discolor, and even far away from the fire, clothing in your closet and bedding will become affected. To avoid permanent staining from the acidic soot and smoke, take immediate action after a fire. Also, the longer your belongings and structure remain untreated after a fire, the longer the restoration process will be and could end up costing you more due to permanently damaged furniture and structural pieces.
Call SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township at 856-227-7800 anytime, day or night. Our specialists are standing by to take your call with our 24/7 Emergency Services.