Recent Fire Damage Posts

Winter Fire Safety

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

Many people may not realize, but the risk for house fires increases dramatically during the winter months. As we spend more time indoors, particularly during the holidays, our activities put us at a higher risk. These activities include everything from decorating with lights, cooking, burning candles, and even heating our homes. Follow these winter activity tips to create a safer environment in your house this season:

  1. Place any heating device at least 3 feet away from anything combustible (paper, clothing, etc.)
  2. Don’t leave heaters on when you are home alone or while you sleep. They should never be unmonitored.
  3. Check cords for frays or breaks, and always turn off the heater if the cord or outlet begin to feel hot.
  4. Have chimneys inspected by a professional before use each year.
  5. Always make sure your smoke detectors are installed and working, but especially when you are going to be burning a fire.
  6. Keep any candles in sturdy containers that cannot be easily knocked over, and be sure to extinguish them before leaving the room.
  7. Be careful when using candles in decorations, make sure the flame isn’t too close to something that could ignite.
  8. Consider using battery operated candles to reduce your risk even further.
  9. Always unplug lights, or have them set up on a timer to automatically turn off.
  10. Keep trees away from heat vents and other heat sources.
  11. Make sure your tree stand can hold your tree securely, and that it can also hold about 3 days’ worth of water.

If you experience a fire at your home this winter call SERVPRO of North Garland anytime at 972-496-2441.

Kitchen Fire Safety

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Kitchen Fire Safety Firefighters work to put out a house fire.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Follow these tips to create a safer cooking environment: 

  • Be alert! If you are tired or have consumed alcohol don’t use the oven or stove.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains – away from the stovetop.
  • Keep an easily accessible fire extinguisher somewhere in your kitchen. 

If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 911 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you are cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave a pan covered until it is completely cooled. Never add water to a grease fire!

If you have experienced a kitchen fire call the professionals at SERVPRO of North Garland at 972-496-2441.

Preventing Grill Fires

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

As we get further into summer more and more people will be lighting up their grills family gatherings and holidays. While it may not seem like an outdoor grill would pose much of a risk to your home, without the proper safety precautions a barbecue can cause extensive fire and smoke damage to your home. The following tips can help you reduce the risk of a grill fire at your home this summer:

  • Inspect the propane tank for holes or loose hoses before using. Periodically check the hose for holes by submerging it in soapy water. If any bubbles form the hose should be replaced.
  • Keep the grill at a safe distance from the home and any flammable items. Never grill under any kind of overhang like a garage or a porch. 
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location not too far from the grilling area. 
  • Never leave a lit grill unattended, especially around children or animals that could easily knock it over.
  • Use tools with long handles to keep a safe distance from the flame, and avoid wearing any clothing items that may easily catch fire (i.e. long, baggy sleeves)
  • Always clean a grill after use, while its still hot, with a wire brush to avoid accumulations of fatty, greasy materials. Periodically check and empty any trays below the grill that may collect grease. 
  • If you use lighter fluid to light a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid. Never add the fluid to a flame, add it before lighting the grill. 

If you experience any fire or smoke damage this summer call SERVPRO of North Garland anytime at 972-496-2441.

Types of Smoke

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of smoke. There are two different types of smoke – wet and dry. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of North Garland Professionals will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows us to focus on saving your precious items.

Different Types of Smoke

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 materials rather than from a fire)

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

Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs)

While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.

Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue)

Special loss situations require special care.

SERVPRO of North Garland Professionals are trained to handle even the toughest losses. If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact us, at 972-496-2441, to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Heat Safety For You & Your Home

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

As summer approaches, it is time to consider precautions for the extreme Texas heat we are sure to experience in the coming months. On top of being a concern for safety, heat can also cause severe damage to homes in a variety of ways. Urban area residents have a greater chance of being affected than those who live in rural areas due to the heat island effect – increased temperatures in highly populated areas due to large amounts of concrete. To be better prepared for the impact of heat on both your health and your home read the following information:

Protecting Yourself

Whether you are in an urban or rural area, there are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you. If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or bring them inside. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake.

If you must go outside, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which are heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, and clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; fainting, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life-threatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103+), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person somewhere cool. Reduce body temperature with cool, wet cloths, or a bath. Do not give a person with heat strokes fluids, and treat the situation as a serious medical emergency (CDC).

Protecting Your Home

In a place like Dallas roof damage can be expected. We have heavy hail storms that are not kind to the roofing on our homes; however, many people don’t realize that it is the months of high temperatures we experience that wear our roofs down quickly. Heat can shrink shingles, causing nails to pop and those shingles to lift. Rafters and joists may start to expand which leads to sealant stretching and breaking. Even the heat rising within your home into your attic can result in blistered and cracked shingles.

These things are bad news for your home as we obviously rely on the roof to protect it from all types of weather, particularly the down pours from summer storms. To try and decrease the impact of the heat this summer on your own roof you can install an attic fan, more insulation, or even ridge vents to attempt to alleviate some of the damage. Professional roofers can assess the damage on your roof, and give you further suggestions on maintaining it.

Extreme Heat

Extreme heat is a serious concern for both the safety of humans and homes. If you experience any damage to your home due to a damaged roof, call SERVPRO of North Garland right away to get your home back to normal as quickly as possible. Call us anytime at 972-496-2441.

What To Do After a Fire: Dealing With the Damage

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

From the first call to 911 to calling in a remediation team, dealing with a fire is extremely overwhelming and stressful. After the fire has been put out it can be hard to know what your next steps should be, so here are a few tips on what you can do to get your life and home back to normal as quick as possible. 

1. Call in your local SERVPRO remediation specialists. A fire can result in multiple types of damage to your home or business, including water, so call in the professionals who have years of experience in all realms of restoration. 

2. Call your insurance agent in order to get your insurance claim rolling, and to find out important information such as coverage provisions, emergency housing options, etc. If you are a tenant, call your landlord so that they know to get in touch with their insurance agent.

3. Do not enter the home until a fire fighter has assured it is safe for you to do so. Once inside try to limit your movement around the home so soot particles are not spread or embedded. Also avoid touching anything to avoid soiling previously clean areas. 

4. Carefully move any undamaged items that are at risk in the effected area (i.e. television at risk for water damage) to a safe zone if possible.  

Our SERVPRO professionals will be onsite within just a couple of hours after a call to begin the cleanup. We work with insurance agents to ensure that people get their homes or businesses back to normal as quickly as possible. If you experience a fire, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of North Garland at 972-496-2441 anytime of the day or night. 

Common Causes of Fires in Homes

10/30/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Common Causes of Fires in Homes Smoke damage from a kitchen fire.

Fires contribute to millions of dollars’ worth of property damage each year. Knowing the most common causes of household fires can help your family better prevent these types of damages in your home. According to the NFPA, the leading causes of fires in homes from 2010-2014 were:

  • Cooking Equipment - 46% of all fires
  • Heating Equipment - 16%
  • Electrical Equipment - 9%
  • Intentional - 8%
  • Smoking Materials - 5%

Almost half of all home fires result from cooking. While that number is concerning, many cooking fires can be prevented through general awareness and by following proper procedures. This is particularly important with the holidays coming up. Here are some tips to help you prevent a fire damage from occurring in your kitchen:

  • Never leave your cooking food unattended, especially if you are broiling, frying, or grilling. Use a timer to remind you when you are using a stove or an oven.
  • Avoid leaving anything flammable – such as oven mitts, plastic bags, paper towels, or pot holders - close to your stove or oven. You should also not cook when you are wearing loose clothing.
  • Install a fire alarm close to your kitchen, and be sure to test it each month.
  • Avoid a flammable grease buildup by cleaning regularly, particularly in the oven and on the stove.
  • Turn off all cooking appliances when you are not using them, and double check the kitchen prior to going to bed to make sure everything is off.
  • To be prepared for any cooking related fires, buy a Class K fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. 

If you experience a fire damage in your home, call SERVPRO of North Garland today at 972-496-2441!

Fire Classifications and Extinguishers

10/20/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Classifications and Extinguishers Fire damage in a church kitchen.

Every family should have a fire escape plan, working smoke alarms, and at least one fire extinguisher on each level of their home. A fire with a stable supply of fuel, oxygen, and heat can double in size within 60 seconds; therefore, quick action is key to preventing catastrophic damage. Fires, and their extinguishers, are categorized into 5 different classes based on fuel types. An ABC fire extinguisher is typically what most people stock within their homes as it is versatile – it can extinguish 3 out of the 5 fire groups; however, many household fires result from Class K type situations, which require their own specific extinguisher. Read the following information to learn more about these fire groups and the methods to extinguish them.

Fire Classes

Class A - Typical sources of these fires include trash, fabric, paper, wood, and plastics. Class A fires are the most common, and they will burn as long as heat, oxygen, and fuel are available. Water is a good extinguisher for these fires because it reduces heat. Water based and foam extinguishers can also be used.

Class B - Fires with fuel bases of flammable gases or liquids, not including those used/produced in the kitchen (see Class K). Some examples of Class B fuels include gasoline, propane, butane, kerosene, alcohol, solvents, and paints. These fires are typically difficult to extinguish, and they produce thick smoke. Water can spread a liquid fuel source, so it is best to extinguish these fires by smothering the flames with a foam extinguisher.

Class C - Fires that originate from electrical equipment. More common in industries that use large electrically sourced machinery, but can occur in homes with faulty wiring, overloaded outlets, etc. The first step to extinguishing these types is to turn off the electricity source. Water should not be used to control electrical fires, neither should foam extinguishers, instead use carbon dioxide and dry powder extinguishers (ABC).

Class D – Fuels for combustible metal fires include titanium, aluminum, magnesium, and potassium. They typically occur in laboratory settings, but can sometimes happen in various business industries. The intensity of a metal fire may be increased using water or foam, so many times fire fighters will allow these fires to burn themselves out.

Class K –  Two out of five household fires begin in the kitchen. Their fuel types include vegetable and animal fats, grease, and cooking oil. They can be extremely difficult to extinguish because of the high temperatures in which they burn at. Water will not extinguish these fires, it may even increase their severity by spreading the flames. Class K fires require their own personal extinguisher (K) that contains a wet chemical formula to cool off high temperatures and prevent re-ignition.

Use Caution with Extinguishers

During a fire the immediate concern should be for yourself and your family members. Before you attempt to extinguish a fire make sure the fire department is being called and that everyone in your home is aware of the situation. Only use an extinguisher while a fire is small and manageable. Never try to extinguish a fire if you are unsure on how to use an extinguisher correctly, there will be no time for reading instructions. If you have any amount of doubt regarding extinguishing a fire, don’t do it. Leave it to the fire fighters and get yourself to safety.

If you experience a fire in your home, SERVPRO of North Garland is here to help. Our professionals will quickly assess the impact of the flames, smoke, and moisture to create a personalized restoration plan for your home. If you have a fire damage don’t hesitate to call us for 24-hour emergency services at 972-496-2441.

Understanding the Behavior of Smoke

5/31/2017 (Permalink)

The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior 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, SERVPRO of North Garland Professionals are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of North Garland Professionals will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows SERVPRO of North Garland to focus on saving your precious items.

SERVPRO of North Garland Professionals know smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke.

  • 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 types of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

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 materials rather than from a fire)

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

Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs)

While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO of North Garland Professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.

Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue)

Special loss situations require special care.

SERVPRO of North Garland Professionals are trained to handle even the toughest losses. If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact us, at 972-496-2441, to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Celebrate Safely with a Recipe for Safety

5/31/2017 (Permalink)

Each holiday season, families gather to celebrate by preparing delicious feasts, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

  • Be alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains – away from the stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 911 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you are cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave a pan covered until it is completely cooled.

SERVPRO of North Garland Professionals wish you a safe a happy holiday season.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

5/31/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.

Review the following tips regarding smoke detectors installation and maintenance. For more on emergency preparedness, contact SERVPRO of North Garland at 972-496-2441.

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed away from kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using a test button.
  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps,” the battery is low and should be replaced right away.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

Extreme Heat

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, sick and overweight. Urban area residents also have a greater chance of being affected than those who live in rural areas due to the heat island effect. 

According to the EPA, "the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs an pavements, to temperatures 50-90 degrees F hotter than the air, while shaded or moist surfaces - often in more rural surroundings - remain close to air temperatures." These surface heat islands are strongest during the day when the sun is shining, while the atmospheric heat islands are more likely after sunset "due to the slow release of heat from urban infrastructure."

Whether you are in an urban or rural area, there are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you. If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or bring them inside. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake.

If you must go outside, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which are heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, and clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; fainting, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life-threatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103+), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person somewhere cool. Reduce body temperature with cool, wet cloths or a bath. Do not give a person with heat strokes fluids, and treat the situation as a serious medical emergency (CDC).

If you live in a humid climate, be aware of the heat index. The heat index factors in the humidity, which can make the temperature feel 15 degrees hotter.

Extreme heat is a serious danger. For more information on preparation and prevention, visit ready.gov or cdc.gov. 

Why Should Professionals cleanup Smoke damage from a fire

10/4/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Why Should Professionals cleanup Smoke damage from a fire This is a fire damage we received a call on. See the Before and After tab for the results.

There’s a fire in a home, you call 911, the big red trucks with flashing lights start to appear. They do their job to contain the fire, the big flames that are rising more and more towards the sky. Once the flames are gone the real work begins: the cleaning part. The family enters the home and tries to figure out what is salvageable and what gets thrown away. But from this story, what has been done wrong?

What was wrong to do was the family trying to clean up the fire and smoke damage in their home. The damage to the house, of not cleaned correctly, can continue to spread to the areas not affected and cause more damage to the home and the family, especially if not cleaned on time. According to the IICRC, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, it is crucial to have professionals clean up and restore after a fire. Professionals that are cleaning up the fire and smoke damage can stop it before it really becomes a major problem. The IICRC is an agency that ensures companies who claim they can restore areas affected by fire are properly trained and certified.

For example, SERVPRO of North Garland is trained and certified under the IICRC. And not just us but every single SERVPRO. Our highly trained specialist teams are certified and trained to work on fire and smoke damage.

If you know of someone or have been affected by a fire and smoke damage loss, give us a call at 972-496-2441 and we, SERVPRO of North Garland, will make it look "Like it never even happened."

North Garland Smoke and Soot Cleanup

10/4/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage North Garland Smoke and Soot Cleanup Smoke and soot damage can cause a pervasive odor in your Garland 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, leaking through the holes used for 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 smoke residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Park Cities / North Garland 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, oily. 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 finishes, 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 – 214-522-3000