Recent Fire Damage Posts

Bonfires

3/14/2019 (Permalink)

Spring is almost here! We're ready to say goodbye to winter and welcome spring with the 1st bonfire of the season. You pick a Saturday night, call some friends and look forward to a relaxing night around a fire. There's some music in the background and everyone is just talking and catching up on life. Everything is going well but have you thought about the dangers? For those with asthma or allergies, breathing in that smoke can be irritating and cause for concern. Try and move yourself out of the path of the smoke and try not to breathe it in. Beware of ash falling and always keep water nearby to properly and safely extinguish the fire. Enjoy yourself and your company but be responsible. 

Soot webs

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

After a fire, you are dealing with tons of emotions and lots of questions.  How did it start? What do I do now? How am I going to move on from here?  Once the fire fire investigators are finished with their portion, the fire marshal usually allows people access to their home, or what's left of it. When you walk back into your home and see tons and tons of spider webs, you wonder to yourself...how did I miss that in my cleaning. the answer is, you didn't. Those aren't spider webs; they're soot webs. Soot webs form when molecules cling to each other like magnets and form a chain. They settle into corners due the cooler temps. We hope you never do, but please call your local SERVPRO franchise at 610-327-9644 if you ever need our services after a fire. 

Is it still edible?

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

After a fire, is it safe to eat any of the food that you had stored? Once the fire marshal has determined it is safe for you to enter the premises to inspect the damage, the first thing you want to do is follow a checklist for safety.

Don't use any canned or pre-packaged food or beverages that may have been exposed to heat or contamination.

Do not attempt to shampoo the carpet or upholstered furniture.

Don't send any soft goods like draperies, clothing and bedding to a regular drycleaner. This needs to be done by a professional restoration company.

If you find yourself in this predicament, reach out to your local SERVPRO Franchise professionals at 610-327-9644 or connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SERVPROofpottstown/souderton

Wires, cords and fires.

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

If you are anything like me, you do not think that a little nick or chunk taken out of any sort of power cord, could cause damage, let alone a full scale fire. I'm very guilty of this and I have just wrapped electrical tape around them instead of replacing the cord itself. but how did the cuts and nicks get there in the first place?  Is it from being walked on? Or just general wear and tear of plugging things in and out? For me, the culprit was a 4.5 pound little ball of fluff in the form of an adorable bunny rabbit. He's a cute little bugger but he's destructive so I must constantly keep my eyes on him.  I can't begin to tell you how many replacement cords I've purchased. Always keep your eyes on your pets to avoid anything that could resemble a fire hazard. 

Washers and dryers and fires.

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

According to the statistics from the National Fire Protection Association from 2010-2014 there was an estimated average of 15,970 home structure fires that involved a washing machine or dryer.  Over that 4 year period there were 13 civilian deaths, 444 civilian injuries and $238 million in property damage.  Most of the fires involved the dryer itself.  When the dust, lint and fibers build up in the lint trap, it can cause a fire. As for the washer, those fires tend to be more related to that actual washer itself. Wire insulation, drive belts and housings or casings seem to be the culprit there. Your local SERVPRO franchise is trained to handle all sorts of fires, so give us a call if you need us. 610-327-9644

Extinguishers; which one to use when

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

We all know that we should keep fire extinguisher's in our homes and businesses...but which ones do we need?  It depends on the type of fire. The most common is Class A. This is used to put out most ordinary things like clothing, paper, plastics and wood.  Class B is for grease, oil or gasoline. Class C is for appliances, tools or other electrical equipment.  Class D is for flammable metals, mostly only found in factories and manufacturing plants. And lastly is Class K.  This is for animal fats and vegetable oils and are primarily found in commercial kitchens but are beginning to make their way into residences as well. If you don't have an extinguisher and you find yourself with a grease fire in your kitchen, remember Do Not use Water, throw baking soda on it instead! 

DIY nightmare

10/3/2018 (Permalink)

Do It Yourself is all the rage right now. With sites like Pintrest ruling social media, everyone has ideas to make everyone else's lives easier, simpler, or more affordable.  Ideas range from making a table out of old skids or pallets to making jewelry.  There are cleaning "hacks" and life "hacks" and everything in between.  Craft ideas to do with your children during summer break or on a day with no school due to inclement weather. Whatever you're searching for, you can find. The attached picture shows exactly what can go wrong even with adult supervision. The kids were melting Crayons on the stove for a project when it caught fire and you can see the results on the ceiling.  We were called for the restoration and cleaning after the fire was put out. 

Fire is out, now what?

2/26/2018 (Permalink)

You've had a fire in your home or business and it's been safely put out. What's your next step?  Once the fire marshal has determined it is safe for you to enter the premises to inspect the damage, the first thing you want to do is follow a checklist for safety.

Remove valuable items such as documents, old photos, and family heirlooms to a safe, dry place.

Wash both sides of plant leaves to remove soot and debris.

Don't attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture.

Don't use any canned or pre-packaged food or beverages that may have been exposed to heat or contamination.

Don't send any soft goods like draperies, clothing and bedding to a regular drycleaner. This needs to be done by a professional restoration companies. 

If you find yourself in this predicament, reach out to your local SERVPRO Franchise professionals at 610-327-9644 or connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SERVPROofpottstown/souderton

Valentine's day nightmare

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

So you want to relax and enjoy your night at home with your significant other. You order a gourmet dinner in, you watch a movie and enjoy few glasses of wine together.  You light a few candles to set the mood and the next thing you know, you get called into the other room to check on something. You've left the bedroom where the candles are burning and you start to smell smoke.  You rush back into the bedroom and realize that your romantic night has just turned into a nightmare. The cat has jumped up on the nightstand and knocked a candle onto the floor setting the carpet on fire. You all get out safely but now your watching your home burn. According to the NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association) approximately 25 home fires per day are caused by candles. Call your local SERVPRO Franchise at 610-327-9644 to help you get your life back to normal after a devastating fire. Our trained technicians know how to handle fire, soot and water cleanup.  You can also find us on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/SERVPROofpottstown/souderton

Chimney fires - how to prevent them

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

According to the CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America), a clean chimney will not catch fire.

Some of the causes of chimney fires are creosote build up, unseasoned wood, or a cold chimney. 

Creosote is an oily substance that will build up on the walls of your chimney over time. It can look yellow, brown or dark brown to black in color. It can be a mixture of tar, phenolic compounds, or aromatic hydrocarbons. It's highly flammable and can cause a fire if not treated properly. 

Some people have reported signs of loud cracking and popping noises, a hot smell, and a dense smoke.

You should have your chimney cleaned annually by an CSIA Certified chimney sweep!

Should you have a chimney fire, call your local SERVPRO Franchise at 610-327-9644. We can clean your home and contents in a quick and economical way! 

Smoke detectors save lives!

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

The National Fire Protection Association recommends that smoke detectors be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Smoke alarms work best when they are combined with a fire evacuation route that allows your family or customers a way to escape quickly in the instance of a fire. 

Smoke detectors should be on every level of the home, including the basement.

They should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms and at least 10 feet from all appliances.

Test your detectors at least once per month by using the "test" button.  If it begins to randomly chirp, change your batteries immediately. 

Smoke detectors are only good for 10 years, after that, they need to be replaced. 

Should you have a fire, please contact your local SERVPRO Franchise at 610-327-9644.

Understand the Behavior of Smoke

1/26/2018 (Permalink)

The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of smoke. There are 2 different types of smoke-wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this is vital to proper restoration. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from the 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 is done to determine the proper course of action for cleaning. 

*Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure. 

* Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes from floor to floor. 

* The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process. 

Call your local SERVPRO office for assistance 24/7. 610-327-9644

Eliminate hazards

1/12/2018 (Permalink)

The winter season is in full swing. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in weather. In an effort to keep our homes cozy, many people use fireplaces, portable space heaters, wood or pellet stoves. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is responsible for an estimated $893 Million in property damage every year.  Here are 7 things to help you reduce your risk.

*Keep anything flammable at least 3 feet from heating equipment.

*Remember to turn off portable heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.

*Always use the correct type of fuel specified by the manufacturer for your fuel burning space heaters.

*Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Also, ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container.

*Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a certified professional.

*Have a qualified professional do any installation of Space heating equipment, water heaters, or central heating equipment according to local codes and manufacturers instructions.

*Test you smoke alarms monthly. 

If your property does suffer any fire damage, contact your local SERVPRO franchise!

SERVPRO of Pottstown/Souderton 24 Hour Emergency Fire & Water Damage Service

6/21/2016 (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 of Pottstown/Souderton 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 at 610-327-9644.