Recent Fire Damage Posts
Addressing Potential Fire Risks at Home | SERVPRO® of Brazos Valley
Small model home on green grass with sunlight abstract background.
The fall season is here, and we are so ready for it! Football is back on TV, the weather is starting to cool down and we are surrounded by pumpkin spice. The fall season does also have the potential to be a drier time of the year for the Bryan area, which means that the risk of starting a wildfire is always a possibility.
We want you to avoid suffering from any sort of fire disaster, so our fire damage restoration team explains some easy things you can do around your home to reduce your risk on a daily basis.
Check Your Outdoor Equipment
We definitely use outdoor equipment more at this time of year, which can make the equipment more susceptible to malfunctions or gas leaks that could become a fire hazard. Check gas grills for propane leaks or any dents, and check charcoal grills thoroughly before lighting anything on fire.
Lawn mowers and other outdoor lawn equipment should also be inspected before each use. Dents in the tank, missing gas caps or any sort of malfunctioning parts should be fixed before you start them up each time.
Clean around fire pits before having any outdoor bonfires by removing dead brush or log piles. You should also remove any ash buildup so you can better control the flames. Keep a bucket of water or your hose nearby whenever you have a fire going.
Preparing Your Home
It should be no surprise that most house fires start in the kitchen. This is why you should have a fire extinguisher stored in this space that is easily accessible by anyone in the house. Reduce the amount of flammable materials in your kitchen like towels, knick-knacks or any sort of clutter.
You should also take the time to clean out any vents you may have and change air filters. Filters in your HVAC system should be replaced seasonally, and you should be cleaning the lint trap from your dryer after every use. Lint and debris buildup are a huge fire hazard for your home because it is quite literally fuel to a burning fire.
The Fire Damage Recovery Process
We fully understand the unpredictable nature of fire disasters, so there is always the risk of suffering fire damage even when you do everything in your power to prevent them. That’s why we are here! Our team will help you recover right away.
We are available 24/7 to take your call, and we will take action right away to create your personalized restoration plan. We are fully equipped to handle anything from the initial debris removal to the final smoke deodorization process. We can even tackle your entire rebuilding and reconstructing process. Our team will be there for you every step of the way.
Fire damage can happen quickly and be extensive. Contact SERVPRO® of Brazos Valley right away for a faster restoration.
6 Steps to Creating a Home Fire Escape Plan That Could Save Your Life
Having a home fire escape plan is essential in ensuring the safety of you and your family in the event of a fire.
Having a home fire escape plan is essential in preventing injury or even death in the event of a fire. Fires can happen at any time, and being prepared can make all the difference. Here are some tips on how to make a home fire escape plan:
1. Draw a Floor Plan
The first step in making a home fire escape plan is to draw a floor plan of your home. This should include all the rooms, doors, and windows in your home. Make sure to mark the location of smoke alarms and fire extinguishers on your floor plan.
2. Identify Escape Routes
Once you have a floor plan, identify the best escape routes from each room in your home. This should include at least two ways out of each room, such as a door and a window. Make sure that all escape routes are clear of clutter and obstacles.
3. Choose a Meeting Place
Choose a meeting place outside your home where everyone can gather in the event of a fire. This should be a safe distance from your home, such as a neighbor’s house or a tree. Make sure that everyone in your home knows where the meeting place is.
4. Practice Your Escape Plan
Once you have a fire escape plan, it's essential to practice it with your family. This should include practicing how to escape from each room in your home and meeting at the designated meeting place. Make sure that everyone in your home knows how to unlock and open windows and doors in case of an emergency.
5. Teach Children About Fire Safety
Teaching children about fire safety is essential in preventing fires and ensuring that they know what to do in case of an emergency. Talk to your children about the dangers of fire and how to prevent it. Teach them how to escape from a fire and what to do if they can't escape.
6. Install Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms are essential in detecting fires and alerting you and your family to the danger. Make sure that you have smoke alarms installed on every level of your home and in every bedroom. Test your smoke alarms regularly and replace the batteries twice a year.
In conclusion, having a home fire escape plan is essential in ensuring the safety of you and your family in the event of a fire. By drawing a floor plan, identifying escape routes, choosing a meeting place, practicing your plan, teaching children about fire safety, and installing smoke alarms, you can be prepared in case of an emergency. Remember, the key to fire safety is being prepared, so take the time to make a fire escape plan for your home today.
How To Properly Use a Fire Extinguisher: The PASS Method
Fire Extinguishers are for small fires.
How To Use A Fire Extinguisher Using The PASS Method
Having a fire extinguisher in your home is never a bad idea, but it won’t be of much use if you don’t know how to properly operate it. When an emergency happens, seconds can mean the difference between a minor kitchen fire and a total disaster. Thankfully, there are a few basic tips and one simple acronym that can help you and your family easily remember the basics of using an extinguisher:
• Assess the size of the fire. Extinguishers are meant for smaller fires still in their infancy, known as the incipient stage. If the flames have grown taller than an average adult (5-6 feet), your extinguisher won’t help. Evacuate the home immediately and call 911.
• Check the available pressure. If the flames are still incipient, the next step is to check the pressure gauge on your fire extinguisher. A needle in the green means you’re good to go. If it falls anywhere outside of this acceptable range, abort and get your family out of the house.
• Position yourself appropriately. Learn and memorize the effective discharge range of your extinguisher ahead of time. Before you begin, position yourself as far away as possible while still ensuring that the discharge will reach the fire itself. Have an exit strategy in mind in the event that the flames are unable to be controlled.
• Utilize the proper technique by remembering the PASS method:
P – Pull the pin from the handle.
A – Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
S – Squeeze the trigger to initiate discharge.
S – Sweep from side to side while continuing to aim for the base until the fire is out or the extinguisher stops discharging.
Keeping these simple tips in mind will help to ensure that you are getting the most out of your fire extinguisher in an emergency. Once the flames are out, contact a professional cleanup and restoration specialist in Bryan, TX that can help repair any fire damage and remove smoke odors from the home.
How To Create a Fire Escape Plan
It is possible that during a home fire, each person may have to use different escape routes to exit the building.
How To Make A Fire Exit Strategy
No one wants to think about the possibility that they may experience a home fire, but taking the opportunity to come up with a fire escape plan and discuss it with your family or housemates can save lives in the event of an emergency. Homeowners in Brenham, TX, should make sure they have all the safety supplies they need and a plan in place.
Have Fire Safety Supplies
An important part of fire preparation is having all of the right safety supplies on hand and making sure all residents know where to find them:
- Fire extinguishers
- Smoke detectors
- Rope ladders for upper level windows
- Fire blankets
- Phones or walkie talkies
These items can help you escape a burning building faster or keep yourself safe until the fire department can assist you.
Determine Escape Routes
When creating a fire escape plan, you and the other people in your residence should discuss how you would get out of each room in the house if you were trapped there during a fire. You should consider multiple scenarios to make sure you have a plan for every possible situation. Before exiting any room during a fire, you should touch the door handle to check for heat. If the handle is hot, then the fire may be right outside of the door. In that case, keep the door closed and find an alternative exit or wait for the fire department's help.
Decide on a Meeting Place
It is possible that during a home fire, each person may have to use different escape routes to exit the building. You should determine a meeting place outside of the home. This will allow you to stay together and know who is still trapped inside so that you can tell the first responders.
You should also have a place in mind to stay while a fire damage repair service fixes the damage. Options include a friend's or family member's house or a hotel.
Having a fire escape plan can save your live and the lives of your loved ones in the event of a home fire.
Cleaning Up the Mess After the Fire Trucks Leave
Initially, firefighting efforts can turn your home into a disaster. The SERVPRO goal is to make the house look "Like it never even happened."
Cleaning Up After The Fire Trucks Have Left
The fire fighting process is seldom pretty. The fire department has a job to: put out the fire, rescue people and animals and limit property damage. Sometimes to do this the firefighters must bring down doors with axes, break windows and open holes in roofs. Then there is the damage caused by the fire itself. For these reasons, a board up is often needed to secure your home from additional damage. In this precarious state, your home in Burton, TX, is vulnerable to storms, vandals and even wild animals.
A Job for Professionals
An emergency board up is not a simple task. Your home after a fire is a notoriously unstable place. Climbing up on the roof with boards and nails is best left to a professional fire mitigation franchise. Not only can trained workers with the appropriate equipment do the job safely, but they can also make sure all gaps are closed. Once the home is secure, the mitigation crew will take the following steps:
- Inspection and assessment of the property
- Water removal and drying
- Removal of soot and smoke damage
- Cleaning and repair services
A secure board up allows workers to perform their tasks in safety. They often must contend with water damage as a result of the fire department using fire hoses to put out the blaze.
A Solution to Fire Damage
Both fire and fire fighting efforts can make a mess of your home at first. With the help of trained professionals, though, your home can be restored to its original condition. The goal of a SERVPRO company is to make the home look "Like it never even happened." This takes advanced cleaning methods and specialized equipment.
Technicians employ a variety of cleaning techniques that eliminate smoke odors and clear away soot from all surfaces. A board up is often the beginning of an important process to get your home back in shape.
5 Smoke Damage Restoration Methods
Contact a smoke and fire damage restoration company to determine which treatment is right for your home.
5 Smoke Damage Repair Techniques
A variety of smoke cleaning methods are available to homeowners. In addition to using degreasing solutions to remove residues from surfaces and contents, it is also possible to lower the concentration of smoke molecules in the air and neutralize persistent odors. Restoration professionals rely on these five treatment methods to eliminate smoke damage.
1. Run an Air Scrubber or Filter
An HVAC air scrubber or HEPA air purifier are useful for capturing larger smoke molecules. There will still be some residual odor from smaller molecules or surface residues.
2. Use an Ozone Generator
An ozone generator is a fast and highly effective smoke odor restoration method. These machines emit ozone, which follows the same paths through the air as smoke and oxidizes any residual traces in the air or on surfaces. Evacuation is necessary for the duration of an ozone treatment.
3. Arrange for Thermal Fogging
Thermal fogging is an intensive treatment involving fogging machines. After residents evacuate, smoke cleaning professionals fill a structure with petroleum distillates that neutralize odors and then ventilate the area. Evacuation is also necessary during this treatment, and workers should wear chemical respirators.
4. Operate a Hydroxyl Generator
A hydroxyl generator is a slower and gentler alternative to ozone. These machines rely on UV light to generate hydroxyl radicals that eliminate smoke odors. It will take about three to five days of continuous operation to achieve the same results as a single ozone treatment, but evacuation is not necessary.
5. Try Vapor Modification
Vapor modification is another odor elimination method that relies on aromatic compounds and a blower or fan to neutralize smoke odor. This method also does not require evacuation.
Any of these smoke cleaning methods may be the right choice for a residence in Ollege Station, TX. Contact a smoke and fire damage restoration company to determine which treatment is right for your home.
Navigating Fire Damage Estimation
Commercial fire damage in Brenham, TX.
Steps To Take After Fire Damage To Your Commercial Building
Besides the emotional turmoil, one of the biggest costs of a fire is damage. In 2018, experts estimate the average cost of repairing fire damages at around $12,000. It takes time for your Brenham, TX, business to get back to normal, but you can help by jump-starting the fire damage estimation process. Here are two steps to take as soon as the flames die down.
Document the Damage
Your insurer won’t waste much time getting to you, but in the meantime, you can help by documenting some things on your own. Those include:
- Taking pictures
- Taking notes
- Taking inventory of damaged personal property
Use a disposable camera to take pictures of the damage. Look for smaller damage and take notes to help you remember things. Your notes should also include any property that has been damaged or destroyed. A good rule of thumb is to begin the process before doing any cleanup.
Call Your Insurer
It can be tempting to wait a few days to settle down from the incident to reach out to your insurer, but this isn’t the best approach. That’s especially true if there’s a chance that weather or vandals could cause any further damage to your property, as insurers won’t want to cover that. Instead, as soon as the fire is out, and the immediate threat is gone, reach out to initiate the insurance investigation process. Your insurer will schedule a visit to help you get a good initial estimate of how much the damages will cost. With that in hand, you can start shopping around for contractors to help with repairs.
A commercial fire can be stressful, but there are steps you can take to make things flow smoothly and quickly. Understanding the ins and outs of the fire damage estimate process is one of them. Use these tips to help get back on track fast.