Recent Fire Damage Posts
Things To Know About Cleaning Up After a Fire
SERVPRO franchisees are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can get to work quickly to fix fire damage to your business.
What You Should Know About Cleaning Up After A Fire
Responsible commercial property owners know that they need to have a comprehensive approach plan to protect the destruction of their buildings due to fire and other types of damage. When examining your coverage options for your property in Mercer Island, WA, keep in mind that smoke and water damage may also occur, so a post-fire cleanup should be completed by an experienced provider of commercial fire damage restoration.
Such a provider has the knowledge, tools, and techniques to expedite the time it takes to restore your property to pre-fire conditions, including dry-cleaning, water removal, and more.
Typical Steps for Content Cleaning and Restoration
After immediately notifying a professional fire restoration company, you can expect the following as a general outline of the cleanup process:
- A full inspection of your property to assess the extent of damage, including that of fire, soot, and water
- Installation of tarps and boarding up windows and doors to block further damage
- Removal of water damage and use of water-drying tools
- Content cleaning techniques for removal of smoke damage from items
- Dry-cleaning and other approaches to disinfect affected items to restore to pre-fire conditions
- Other work, including reconstruction, to finalize the process
Fire damage professionals will take a repair-then-replace approach to help lower the overall costs, whether covered by insurance or not.
Benefits of Working With Professionals
There are many ways to complete a full restoration, but the pros understand the most efficient and effective approaches. Besides cleanup, they can also rebuild damaged structures and provide content storage during the restoration process. The professionals understand big picture issues as well as the details.
As a knowledgeable commercial property owner, you understand that having insurance is good sense. You also know that the best thing you can do for your units in Mercer Island, WA, is to contact expert restoration specialists for the quickest and most cost-effective approach. From dry-cleaning to soot removal and more, they’ve got you covered.
How To Clean Your Gas Range
Spilled grease on your gas range can start a fire, requiring smoke damage restoration and even structural repairs.
How To Clean A Gas Cooktop
When it comes to creating a culinary masterpiece, most Seattle,WA , cooks agree: An electric cooktop is no match for the power and control of a gas range. Of course, an electric cooktop is usually much easier to clean than a gas stove. Range cleaning doesn’t need to be intimidating, however. Try these tips to get your gas cooktop sparkling clean.
Basic Cooktop Cleaning
Cleaning as you go is the best way to keep your range looking its best, but for most ranges, a daily or every-other-day will be sufficient. Follow these steps for a basic, everyday cleanup job:
- Remove the burner grates and set aside. If the grates are dirty, place them in a sink filled with hot water and a little dish soap.
- Wipe any loose crumbs or other debris off the gas range cooktop surface, using a dry paper towel or brush.
- Apply a few drops of liquid dish soap to a clean, wet sponge.
Wipe the entire cooktop surface down with the sponge.
If your sponge has a scrubby side, feel free to scrub a bit at any heavily soiled areas. In the alternative, you can mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray generously over the entire cooktop. Both vinegar and dish soap will cut through cooking grease to get your range clean. Wipe the vinegar solution or soapy water off using a clean paper towel or rag.
If your range has cooked-on spills that remain after basic cleanup measures, try a few drops of dish soap on a clean, wet toothbrush or other small, soft brush. Brush the soapy water onto the stained area and scrub using small, circular strokes. Wipe clean with a wet cloth or rag.
Because a gas range uses an open flame, it’s critical to keep yours clean. Cooking on a dirty stove can cause drips and spills to burn, filling your kitchen and home with a smoke smell. Worse, spilled grease can ignite into a home fire, leaving you to face smoke damage restoration and even structural repairs.
How To Respond When Fire Damages Your Roof
SERVPRO is here to help in your time of need. We are fire damage restoration experts who are available 24 hours a day to respond when you need us.
When Your Roof Is Burned, What Should You Do?
The roof over your head from the beginning of the workday to the end is responsible for protecting everyone and everything within your Seattle, WA, business. Unfortunately, when fires affect offices and warehouses, the roof is often one of the places most likely to suffer damage. Your response following a fire will affect the speed and cost of repair and fire cleanup efforts.
Assessing the Extent of the Damage
Some roofing damage doesn't require an emergency response. At times, the damage may be only minimal, and your building is still secure and protected from the elements. You will need emergency roof repair and tarp services if there's significant damage.
• Underlying roofing substrates are damaged
• Damages extend entirely through roofing materials
• Roofing structure is weakened and unsafe
• Water and/or other elements are getting into your business
When your building has been affected by one or more of these situations, you'll need an emergency response from fire cleanup and repair professionals.
Dos and Don'ts While Waiting for Professionals
What should you do while you wait for experts to arrive at your location?
• Do not climb up on your roof. There are many dangers involved in climbing onto a roof that has been affected by fire.
• Do not try to enter your business until emergency response professionals tell you it's safe.
• Do shut off the primary water and electrical supply switches.
• Do keep your phone on, so local authorities and fire restoration professionals can reach you.
• Do communicate with your insurance company.
• Do record damages and losses. Write down specifics as you learn them and take photos when it's safe and appropriate to do so.
Short-Term Protection for Long-Term Results
When Seattle, WA, professionals arrive to conduct emergency tarp services, their first priorities involve securing your property and preventing further damages. Installing a tarp is a quick and effective way to keep the elements away from equipment and furnishings. This short-term response protects your business until professionals can complete fire cleanup and restoration efforts.
Security Fencing: Keeping Your Property Safe After a Fire
The main concerns after a commercial property fire are looting and vandalism.
After A Fire, Use Security Fencing to Keep Your Property Safe
Many property owners may wonder why a security fence is put up after a disaster, especially when so much of the property has already been damaged or destroyed. The simple answer is to mitigate further loss and to comply with most insurer requirements. However, fencing also helps to reduce liability risks and ensure a safe and controlled environment for the restoration process.
1. Looting and Vandalism
The main concerns after a commercial property fire are looting and vandalism. This type of disaster can create several access points for potential criminals, and without the proper preventative measures, an insurer can dismiss the losses as owner neglect.
2. Squatting or Trespassing
Additionally, a security fence not only prevents criminal activity, but it also minimizes the risk of any type of trespassing, even squatting. When your business has been shut down, the last thing you want is rebuilding to be slowed down because of people attempting to live in your building.
Beyond people, both criminal and destitute, a fence can reduce the chances of wildlife trampling through your property and causing more damage. Granted, the safety perimeter may not keep birds out, but it may keep larger animals at bay while your property is cleaned and restored.
4. Further Damage
Fencing in combination with a full-scale board-up is meant to mitigate further damage and reduce liability concerns for insurers. Damage can be caused by people, animals and Mother Nature, which is why you should contact a disaster restoration specialist in the Seattle, WA, area to perform both of these services and keep your property safe.
A security fence is only part of the fire mitigation and restoration puzzle, but it is necessary. Without a secure perimeter, you risk criminal trespass, squatting and even wildlife intruders. Keep your building safe and fence off the boundary or hire a skilled and experienced professional to help you.
The 6 Roles To Assign for Your Office Fire Escape Plan
There are several roles to consider when creating an emergency escape plan in case of fire for a commercial business.
The 6 Roles Your Office Fire Escape Plan Should Assign
Unless you are a firefighter, odds are that you rarely think about what to do in the event of a fire at work. Alas, creating and practicing a fire escape plan is a terrific way to ensure a sense of security and unity among staff members. There are several roles to consider when creating an emergency escape plan for a commercial business:
1. Door Shutters
Shutters should be responsible for closing interior doors on their way out of a burning building. This helps to slow the spread of flames and indicates to others when rooms are empty.
2. Space Checkers
A select few may visually sweep hallways or less-crowded work spaces along their escape route to ensure that all coworkers are moving. This assignment would include checking break rooms or bathrooms for stragglers.
3. Progress Reporters
Administrators may be responsible for communicating progress across the building as a fire escape plan is unfolding. Walkie-talkies can help ensure that route adjustments, injuries or obstacles are reported in an effective way.
4. First-Aid-Kit Grabbers
Select employees may be in charge of retrieving first aid kits during their escape. Once outside, they can offer help to injured parties while waiting for emergency services to arrive.
5. Attendance Takers
Managers should take roll call outside, noting any people still missing or badly hurt. Walkie-talkies can help locate missing people if they managed to escape at another exit point.
6. 9-1-1 Caller
Most importantly, a point person should be in charge of dialing 9-1-1 as soon as possible. This ensures that the task isn’t overlooked or presumed finished during the excitement.
After everyone is safe from the blaze, there will be time to consider what happens next. Some emergencies require trauma therapists in the weeks that follow. Others require that a fire damage assessment be performed for insurance purposes. As the aftermath evolves, you will be thankful for the immediate precautions handled in your emergency plan.
Safety is one of the most important gifts a person can receive at work. When fire escape plan roles are assigned, communicated and practiced, employees across Mercer Island, WA, can feel more confident in the workplace.
3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Fire Alarm for Your Home
SERVPRO has the experience to handle any fire damage in your home and we're available 24/7 to answer your call.
When Selecting A Fire Alarm For Your Home, There Are Three Things To Keep In Mind.
You want your home in Mercer Island, WA to be safe, and a smoke alarm can be lifesaving if a fire occurs. However, there are many different fire alarms available and you may be unsure of what alarm is best for your home. There are several factors to consider when choosing the right detector.
1. Not All Alarms Are the Same
There are often different ways in which alarms detect smoke. If you want an alarm that is sensitive to smoke, an air-sampling smoke detector might be best. Alternatively, photoelectric alarms will detect slow-burning fires, an ionization alarm detects quick-moving fires. Overall, knowing what you want out of your alarm can help you choose the best fit for your home.
2. Alarms Can Have Different Functions
While the primary function of a fire alarm is to alert you and others in the home if there is a fire, some people also expect their fire alarm to alert them of carbon monoxide. Some fire alarms will alert you to the presence of carbon monoxide and smoke, but some alarms are only made to detect and alert you to smoke. If you’re uncertain whether your smoke alarm will alert you to carbon monoxide, examine the alarm and read over the instructional booklet that came with your alarm when it was first purchased.
3. Understand the Noises Your Alarm Makes
Part of fire safety often means knowing how to react to your alarm, and noises from alarms can mean different things. If you have an alarm that detects both carbon monoxide and detects smoke, you can test your alarm to familiarize yourself with the different noises your alarm will make if it detects smoke or carbon monoxide. Additionally, a smoke detector can start chirping if the batteries need to be replaced.
Knowing the differences between the types of alarms can help you determine what type of smoke alarm is best for your home. If your home has already sustained damage from a fire and you want your home restored, it may be helpful to contact fire damage restoration professionals.
Choosing and Using a Home Fire Extinguisher
Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand to keep your home safe from flames.
Fire Safety Equipment
To keep your home safe from fires, make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand. While any number of things can cause a home fire in Harbor Island, WA, from faulty wiring to smoking in bed, many of the most common causes are concentrated in the kitchen. Electrical appliances, cooking grease and pots and pans forgotten on the stove, can all result in a kitchen fire that causes extensive fire damage. Follow the guidelines below to select and operate this vital piece of fire safety equipment.
Choosing an Extinguisher
From aerosol spray cans to fire blankets, there are a lot of options on the market for home fire safety. However, opting for a fire extinguisher usually give you the most versatility and protection when it comes to stopping blazes.
Different extinguishers are made to fight different kinds of fires and every extinguisher has a label telling you what types of fires it puts out. Fires are classified as A, B, C, D and K.
• A – Solid materials like wood, paper, plastic or fabric
• B – Flammable liquid or gas like kerosene, paint, or natural gas
• C – Electrical fires
• D – Combustible metals like magnesium or aluminum (almost never an issue in the home)
• K – Liquids used in food preparation like grease and cooking oils
Choosing an extinguisher that covers, A, B, C and K fires is an option, though it will likely be less effective for some types than others. Another option is to keep both a K and an ABC extinguisher in your kitchen.
Using an Extinguisher
Local fire departments in and around Harbor Island, WA, may offer home fire safety training where you can get hands-on training on how to use a fire extinguisher. If not, remember the acronym PASS.
• P – Pull the pin out of the top of the extinguisher
• A – Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire where the fuel for it is located
• S – Squeeze the handle to begin spraying the water, powder or foam inside the extinguisher
• S – Sweep the spray from side to side to cover the whole base of the fire
4 Ways To Protect Your Pets From Fire
Include pets in fire safety and evacuation plans.
How To Protect Your Pets From Fire
A little preparation can go a long way when it comes to keeping your pets safe in the event of a fire emergency. Here are a few pet preparation steps to add to your fire safety plan.
1. Include pets in fire safety and evacuation plans. Your family's fire evacuation strategy should account for pets. Plan how to get pets out of the house if possible. Keep in mind that pets may be frightened and keep carriers or leashes in a convenient location for making a quick exit.
2. Avoid open flames. This preventative step can help to reduce the risk of your pet sustaining minor burns as well as a full-scale fire emergency. Never light open-flame candles at low levels or near the edges of a table where a pet can knock these candles over or end up with a singed tail.
3. Make sure pets cannot turn on the stove. Some dogs are tall enough to turn the knobs of a stove. This can result in dangerous consequences that range from gas leaks to fires. Consider using a pet safety gate or other method for keeping pets out of the kitchen while you are not at home.
4. Gather pet ownership and vaccination records in a fire box. In the event of a fire, it is best to have all of the important papers for your home, family, and pets ready to go in a fire box. Make sure your evacuation plan accounts for the location of this box.
Taking these four steps toward pet safety can pay off in the event of a fire emergency. You can also reduce the likelihood that your pet will cause a fire that may endanger every resident of your home and damage your property. If you experience a fire at your home, contact residential damage restoration experts located in Seatac,WA.
Creating an Office Fire Escape Strategy: 3 Factors To Consider
Create a fire escape plan for your Seatac, WA business
Creating a Fire Escape Plan
Imagining the possibility of a fire breaking out at your Seatac, WA, business is not very pleasant. However, preparing for such an emergency can reduce the risk of injury to your employees and customers, and one way to do so is to create a fire escape plan. Before you draw up your map, there are a few factors to consider that can make it more efficient and reduce the time it takes for everyone to evacuate the building.
1. What Are the Fire Risk Factors?
Understanding your office building’s fire risks can help you create a viable escape plan. For example, if your company occupies one floor and there are others either above or below you, consider where a fire might be most likely to start. Restaurants and manufacturing businesses both carry a considerable fire risk, so it is a good idea to keep the environment in mind when creating your evacuation plan.
2. How Many Exits Are There?
During a fire, the route to the main exit may be blocked by smoke or flames. To ensure everyone can leave the building by an alternate route, note all the available exits when you draw up an emergency escape plan and detail how they can be reached during a fire. Have smoke and fire damage cleanup service technicians tour the building with you and ask whether there are enough exits to accommodate the building’s maximum occupancy.
3. What Kind of Protocol Can Be Used?
When you create a fire escape plan, consider how to put it into action if a blaze should break out. For instance, if you have employees on different floors, then invest in fire protocol training across the board to ensure all employees knows how to react if the fire alarm goes off and that they know how to reach the nearest exit.
Remember to give yourself plenty of time to creating a viable fire escape plan for your Seatac, WA, business. Careful planning can reduce chaos and panic during such an emergency.
What To Know About Home Lightning Fires
A lightning fire can destroy your home.
Not every house fire results from an indoor spark or grease spill. Weather events can lead to fires as well. Lightning, in particular, caused 22,600 fires in America between 2007 and 2011. You should thus learn a bit about these types of fires and how to stay safe during storms.
Understanding Lightning Fires
The majority of these fires do not take place in homes. Still, a lightning fire can cause personal property damage. The fires are most common in the late afternoon and early evening and typically occur during the following months:
Ideally, you should remain inside during a thunderstorm. Once you hear the claps of thunder, head for a building, your house or a hard-topped vehicle. Outdoor locations with only a roof, including picnic areas, sports fields and golf courses, are not safe. Standing under trees can be dangerous, as well.
Of course, if a lightning fire occurs in your home, you may need to evacuate. You will thus need to find another indoor location. Talk to a neighbor ahead of time to see if you can take shelter at his property if necessary.
Even if you do not see flames right away, call authorities if you suspect that a strike has hit your home. The flames may be hiding in wiring or plumbing.
Electrical storms can be dangerous even if they do not start a fire. Once you get inside your home, unplug any electronics and avoid using them. You should also stay away from windows. Do not wash your hands, shower or wash dishes, either.
A lightning fire can destroy your home. This weather phenomenon can be harmful in other ways, as well. If a thunderstorm is heading to Seatac, WA, you and your family should stay indoors and away from electronics if possible. If a blaze does occur, head to a neighbor's home for shelter before dialing 911 and contacting fire damage restoration professionals.
3 Steps To Take After a Fire
A fire can be a major disruption to your business operations.
Three Steps To Take After A Fire
A fire can cost your business thousands of dollars to repair or replace damaged property and recover lost income. However, taking these three fire restoration steps after a fire can help get your business up and running faster and reduce the amount of your financial loss.
1. Contact Your Insurance Company
One of the first things you should do is contact your fire insurance company to file a claim. Your claims adjuster will be able to advise you on temporary measures you can take to mitigate damages. The adjuster will also start the process of assessing your damages so that repairs can be completed as quickly as possible. If you have business interruption insurance, you may be compensated for the period of time your business is unable to operate due to the fire.
2. Begin the Cleanup Process
The smoke and soot from the fire and the water used to put out the fire can leave behind a mess that can lead to further damage if not addressed promptly. Additionally, property that remains wet for too long can promote mold growth. However, do-it-yourself cleaning options can often cause more harm than good. Contact a fire restoration company in Seattle, WA, to assist you with smoke cleaning and water mitigation.
3. Mitigate Your Damages
The terms of your insurance policy likely require you to take steps to mitigate your damages while you are waiting for permanent repairs to be completed. If the fire has created openings in the roof or exterior of your building, board them up or cover them with a tarp to prevent leaks. Keep your receipts for any materials you purchase or labor you pay for. Your insurance may reimburse you.
A fire can be a major disruption to your business operations. However, taking the proper fire restoration steps after a fire can minimize the impact on your business.
Prevent Cigarette Fires in Your Home
Avoid fires caused by cigarettes
Although smoking has declined dramatically, puffing away still comes with danger. Inappropriate usage can easily cause a cigarette fire and subsequent residential destruction. Thankfully, basic safety measures can prevent tragedy from striking.
Facts Regarding Fires Caused by Cigarettes
If you believe smoking poses no considerable or preventable risk, ponder these statistics:
- Around 7,600 residential fires are caused by this habit every year.
- Smoking materials create 5% of all house fires.
- 67% of smoking-related accidents happen because of improperly discarded smoking products.
Absorbing these numbers, the seriousness of the problem should be obvious. Additionally, any residential burn site requires fire cleanup, an extensive and complicated process best handled by a fire restoration professional.
Avoiding Fires Caused by Cigarettes
To avert a cigarette fire, those who insist on smoking in Seattle, WA, must follow all guidelines. To begin, never smoke when tired, drinking alcohol, or taking medication that causes drowsiness, as passing out mid-puff is a primary cause of smoking-related incidents. Better yet, only indulge outside and insist on others doing the same. If you must partake indoors, never inhale when sitting on upholstered furniture, which quickly ignites and releases nasty toxins.
Avoid an ashtray fire by only using heavy receptacles placed upon flat surfaces. Never balance them on your lap or a puffy cushion and definitely do not allow any lit tobacco to go unattended. Douse half-smoked cigs in water and only dispose of them in trashcans once you are positive the flame has been fully extinguished.
Most importantly, remember that children are curious and prone to playing with matches and lighters. As an adult, it’s your responsibility to keep anything that creates a spark out of reach.
Those who smoke shoulder the responsibility of preventing a cigarette fire that puts others at risk and causes building damage. Reduce the odds of one of these blazes from becoming a reality by adhering closely to the above recommendations.
Don’t Forget Pets in Your Emergency Escape Plan
Create a pet emergency kit
Ensure That Pet Preparation Is Part Of The Discussion
When a fire emergency happens in your Mercer Island, WA, home, the No. 1 goal is to get everyone out safely, which includes furry family members. While the home itself may be restored by a fire damage and restoration professional, a beloved pet is irreplaceable. Every home should have an emergency plan that is clear and communicated to others. Ensure that pet preparation is part of the discussion.
Create a Pet Emergency Kit
If the time comes to evacuate, humans may know the drill and are able to deal with not having the necessary supplies on hand. When it comes to pet safety, even if they are safely evacuated, you don’t want them lost in the chaos likely to happen in the designated safety zone. Preparing an emergency kit that can be easily accessed during an evacuation can help ensure pets are kept safe. The kid should include:
- A leash, harness or carrier
- Food, water and bowls
- Medical record copies
- First-aid supplies
- Up-to-date photo of pet
- Veterinarian information
Make Plans for After an Incident
After a fire emergency, there are many things going on. Depending on the loss, it will likely mean finding a temporary place to stay. While humans can easily find a place to stay, pets may not always be welcome. As part of the plan, have a discussion with emergency contacts to see if they are willing to house the whole family. If not, call ahead to area hotels to see if they accept pets to ensure you will all have a place to go.
Another important detail that can be overlooked is ensuring your pet has a collar and tag on. While it can be easy to take them off to let pets have a little freedom, an emergency can happen at any time. Ensure that the tag has the pet’s name and your contact information in case you get separated.
A fire emergency is a scary situation. Plan ahead to ensure that all family members, including ones with four legs, are safely evacuated and cared for in the aftermath.
How to Reduce Fires Caused by Space Heaters
You can prevent a burned space heater by avoiding usage in certain areas
Responsible adults understand the importance of fire prevention. However, most associate accidental burns with triggers such as unattended fireplaces, faulty wiring, and improperly discarded cigarettes. While these can all cause serious incidents, a burned space heater may also create a disaster.
Space Heater Safety Features
When purchasing a space heater in Des Moines, WA, only choose one with:
- A safety certification label.
- A durable cord measuring at least six feet long.
- A ground fault circuit interrupter plug to prevent electric shock.
- An automatic shutoff and tip-over switch.
Choosing a device that includes these features will reduce the odds of yours going up in flames and inducing a debilitating house fire. Should an event such as this occur in your home, a licensed fire damage restoration company will become necessary for handling the smoke cleanup.
Safely Using Space Heaters
Even using warmers without the above-mentioned advantages, you can prevent a burned space heater by avoiding usage in certain areas. For starters, only place your system on a level, non-flammable surface, taking special care that it remains at least three feet away from anything combustible. Similarly, never place your heater inside a garage where gas cans are sometimes present. Children’s bedrooms should also be avoided, as curious fingers can easily get burned.
Before heading to bed, double-check that your machine has been set to the off position. Take care when removing your system’s plug from an outlet, as doing so haphazardly can trigger a combustible spark. Periodically inspect the cord and find a replacement if you detect damage. Reduce the chance of overheating by using different outlets when plugging in other devices.
Obviously, smoke detectors and escape plans remain basic tools of general fire safety. If you have not done so already, implement these measures in your household as soon as possible.
A burned space heater is more than just an inconvenience. At worst, it will cause untold devastation. Avoid heater-related blazes through proper use and a bit of quick consumer research.
The 3 Best Candle Alternatives
A large number of house fires are a result of unattended open flames. Children or pets can accidentally overturn a candle and ignite nearby combustible materials. Here are three flameless candle alternatives that you should consider to produce similar mood lighting effects or scents.
- Electric Candles
Battery-operated candles are perfect for safer use for decorative purposes or as nightlights in the bedroom. These candles may be designed to flicker or disperse a scent. You can find an electric alternative for most colors, styles, and fragrances of candles, whether you desire a pillar, taper, or tea light look. You can place electric candles almost anywhere without worrying about starting a fire.
- Christmas or Fairy Lights
Strings of lights are a safe way to add a magical touch indoors or outdoors with a lower fire risk. Use these candle alternatives to create a low-light look when decorating a room or for a holiday. You can select single- or multi-colored strings of lights and choose from standard bulbs or models with ultra-efficient LED bulbs. It is affordable to replace individual bulbs or an entire strand.
- Candle Warmers
If you have standard scented candles that you would like to enjoy more safely, try pairing them with a candle warmer. These devices are available as low-profile bases or lamp-style designs. You can also spread a scent using oil or wax warmers or reed diffusers for a different look.
These candle alternatives allow you to create lighting looks you love or enjoy the scent of standard wax candles. All of these options also significantly reduce the risk of starting a candle fire. If a fire does break out at your home in Harbor Island, WA, schedule a consultation with a residential fire and smoke restoration service.
When to Clean Dryer Vents
Cleaning the lint tray helps to avoid a dryer fire.
Several Areas That Need Special Attention In A Dryer
Dryers that are not properly maintained can cause a lint fire that results in fire damage. Different areas of a dryer can get clogged and keep it from properly venting hot air. Regular cleaning reduces the likelihood of a fire occurring. Many people are unaware that dryers need to be cleaned, which leads to around 3,000 fires each year. If this happens, a fire restoration company is needed to return the residence to its previous condition. Fortunately, by maintaining your dryer, you can decrease its drying time, increase its longevity, and reduce the risk of a fire. Here are several areas that need special attention.
1. Lint Tray
Cleaning the lint tray helps to avoid a dryer fire. These trays should be cleaned after each and every load of clothes. Letting the lint build up makes your dryer less efficient and increases the risk of fire. In addition, a lint brush should be used on the lint tray once every 6 months.
2. Dryer Hose
The hose that connects from the back of the dryer to the attachment that vents the air outside of the home can become clogged with lint or other materials. A lint fire can begin within the dryer hose. To keep this from happening, the inside of the hose should be cleaned every 3 months.
3. Exterior Vent
Make sure you have a flap installed on the outside of your house that sits flat against the exterior of the wall when the dryer is not in use. When the dryer is in use, this flap should open, allowing the hot air to properly escape. Check this area often to make sure it is free from debris and bird's nests.
Keeping your dryer in Tukwila, WA properly maintained will greatly reduce your risk of a lint fire. If you end up with a dryer that starts a house fire, you will need the help of a professional restoration service that can restore your home to its pre-fire condition.
3 Things You Should Know About Smoke Alarms
Having a smoke alarm in your house will help alert when a fire starts
Take the Following Precautions to Prevent a Fire in Your Home
It is important to take precautions to prevent a fire in your Seahurst,WA, home. It is also important to be prepared in case of an emergency. Having a working smoke alarm in your house will help alert you when a fire starts so that you can prevent it from spreading or, if necessary, leave the building. The following are a few questions about these devices that you should know the answers to.
1. How Many Alarms Should You Have?
Having one smoke detector in your house will likely not be enough. The number of alarms that you need will vary depending on how large your home is. You should have at least one on each floor of the building, including basements and attics. The kitchen is a common area for alarm placement as many fires start in this room. You also need to place one outside each sleeping area as well as inside each bedroom.
2. How Often Should You Change the Batteries?
How often you need to change the batteries will depend on the type of detector you own. Traditionally, a smoke alarm has often used a nine-volt battery. These will need to be changed at least once a year. Lithium batteries in newer alarms will last the life of the device and will not need to be replaced. If your alarm is hooked up to your electrical system, you should treat it as a traditional unit and change the battery annually.
3. When Should Alarms Be Replaced?
A smoke alarm will usually last for ten years before you need a replacement. However, this can vary depending on the model, so always check the manual for more information. Be sure to test it at least once a month to ensure that it is still working properly.
While a detector can help you stay safe during a fire, it cannot always prevent an emergency. If you have experienced fire damage to your home, call a fire restoration company to perform cleanup and repairs.
Treating Burns in the Workplace
It's important to have a first aid kid in the workplace to treat minor and major burns.
As an employer, the safety of your employees is a high priority, but no matter what type of business you run, accidents happen. While you may already have business insurance for fire damage, you also need to think about your workers. Every year, hundreds of people are taken to emergency rooms in Seattle, WA, and around the United States for treatment of burns. According to the American Burn Association, between 2005 and 2014, 8% of those were occupational. In order to minimize burn injuries on the job and maximize the health and safety of your employees, you may want to implement safety procedures and train your workers in the basics of first aid for burns. The following are treatments to use in the case of minor and major burns.
Treatments for Minor and Major Burns in the Workplace
Minor burns can result in redness, pain and blisters and are usually considered first-degree or second-degree injuries. First aid for minor burns includes the following:
• Place the area of the burn under cool, running water.
• If there is blistering, DO NOT break the blister. If the blister breaks on its own, wash the area gently and apply an antibiotic ointment.
• Apply aloe vera or a moisturizing lotion on the wound for relief.
• If needed, bandage the area loosely with sterile gauze.
While fire damage to your business can take some time to assess, major burns to flesh are serious and require quick emergency care. This type of injury is usually categorized as third-degree or fourth-degree trauma. The burned area will be deep and could be blackened and charred. Dial 911 immediately and give the following burn first aid:
• Make sure any evidence of fire on the person is put out.
• Remove clothing around the area of the burn. DO NOT pull clothing off if it is stuck to the injury.
• Cover the burn lightly with gauze or a clean cloth.
• Watch the individual for signs of shock.
Your personnel and their work environment are of great importance to you. Contact a biohazard cleanup and restoration specialist to help not only with fire damage but also chemical and electrical accidents.
Common Causes of Home Fires
Keep space heaters away from flammable items.
Frequent Causes of Residential Fires
A home fire can devastate a family, and a multitude of residential fires in Mercer Island,WA, share common causes. It’s often helpful for homeowners to learn about frequent causes of residential fires
1. Misuse of Cooking Equipment
Grease fires and other fires that begin in a home’s kitchen can result in damage throughout a home. It’s often helpful to know how to properly handle any type of cooking equipment before you begin to cook. Additionally, it’s useful to know what methods should be used to extinguish different types of fires in the kitchen. When homeowners put water on a grease fire or use other improper extinguishing methods, the fire can actually spread more rapidly and cause more damage.
2. Faulty or Mishandled Heaters
During the winter, space heaters are commonly used to keep homes warm. However, space heater fires are incredibly common. As a result, extensive fire cleaning by fire damage restoration experts is often necessary. In order to prevent a space heater from causing a home fire, it’s often wise to keep space heaters away from flammable items, and if you suspect your heater is no longer working well, it’s generally best to replace it rather than risk the chance of a fire.
3. Misused Electrical Equipment
Electrical items often cause fires in homes. A fire is more likely to spark if electrical items have frayed wires. Additionally, plugging in several power strips simultaneously and plugging in an item in each slot makes a fire more likely to occur. Though these types of fires cannot always be prevented, it can be useful to unplug items that aren’t needed prior to going to sleep. Replacing items with frayed wires can also help to reduce the chance of a fire starting in your home.
Knowing common causes of residential fires can help you take steps to prevent a home fire. Misusing cooking equipment, old or mishandled heaters and misused electrical equipment are all common fire causes.
Reasons To Secure Your Damaged Property
To prevent further issues, it is smart to make sure your property is secure by blocking holes in the structure.
Fires typically cause extensive damage to the structures where they occur. Not only does a fire in your commercial property in Seattle, WA, often render the building unsafe, it can also leave it vulnerable to further problems. Once firefighters and other emergency personnel have cleared the scene, your building once again becomes your responsibility. To prevent further issues, it is smart to make sure your property is secure by installing a security fence and blocking holes in the structure.
Protection From Other People
There are several things that may occur in your unsecured building after a fire:
• Unauthorized occupation
While you might like to believe that no one would take advantage of a property owner who has clearly already had his or her share of bad luck, the fact is that others may see your damaged property as an opportunity for their own gain.
Securing your Building after a Fire
Additional security measures are often necessary to prevent further issues.
A security fence is barrier against further damage. It can help ensure that no one can get into your building when it is vulnerable and help protect what is left until repairs can be finished.
Additional security measures are often necessary to prevent further issues. After a fire, your building probably has extensive soot and water damage that may need to be mitigated by professional remediation specialists. To prevent extra damage from rain or debris, it can be necessary to place boards or shutters on any broken windows or significant holes in the outside surface of your structure. Guard against additional problems by protecting your building from the outside elements.
Coverage From Insurance Company
If you neglect to protect your building from other people or further damage, it is unlikely that your insurance company will cover the cost of those additional repairs. Depending on the extent of the secondary damage, you could face significant out-of-pocket expenses. Following suggested security protocols can save you money.
A commercial building fire loss can be significant enough by itself, but the problem can get even bigger without protections such as shutters or a temporary security fence. Save yourself extra time and costs by guarding your property against intruders and inclement weather.
When Fire Strikes
A few years back, a couple of college students were attempting to make pasta for a quick and easy dinner before a long night of studying. They put the boiling water on the stove but quickly realized they would need to go to the store for pasta sauce, garlic bread, and Parmesan cheese - the essentials for any pasta dinner. Without even thinking, the pair left their apartment and headed across the small college town to get to the store. What did they forget to do? Turn off the stove before leaving. By the time they got back merely twenty minutes later, their kitchen was in flames and the fire department was already on scene. After the two were cleared to enter, they found their kitchen was in black, smoky shambles, and the rest of their apartment had a gray residue staining the walls and ceiling.
Unfortunately, fire damage is much more common than most would hope. Simple tasks like remembering to turn off the stove or blow out a candle can be quickly forgotten in the haste to get somewhere. In the case of those two college students, they were relatively lucky. A few years ago in Pullman, WA, a similar instance happened; however, that couple wasn’t so lucky. The fire caught two other apartment buildings, and ended up destroying three in total.
What to do when Fire strikes.
Now, how does one come back from something like this? Smoke residue can be a pain to get off walls and ceilings. Smoke will seep into the smallest cracks in dressers, closets, and shelves so that even when everything is clean and back to normal, clothes, shoes, and furniture will still smell of smoke.
The easiest way to take care of this is to call SERVPRO of South & West Seattle to handle all of the cleaning - from walls to teddy bears. Not only do we have a large team of trained technicians who can come out and clean the walls and ceilings, but we will also pack up any belongings and bring them back to our facility to be cleaned and deodorized; leaving you with nothing but peace of mind that your items will be taken care of by our skilled employees.
There are also very simple things homeowners can to do help prevent smoke and fire damage. These may seem like no-brainers, but even the smallest slip of the mind can have devastating consequences:
- Never burn candles on shelving or near a window.
- The heat from the candle can catch the shelving on fire, and the air from outside could possibly fuel the small flame.
- Make sure you have everything you need BEFORE you start cooking.
- One of the most common ways to start a kitchen fire is from forgetting to turn off the oven or stove top.
- Have windows open and a fan running when cooking
- This will decrease the chances of a grease fire happening.
Now, what happens if a fire does start? If it’s small enough, there are a few ways to keep it from spreading:
- Coil stove-top: if a small fire (a flame no bigger than your pinky nail) happens, turn off the stove and pour salt over the fire. NEVER use water. This could cause a bigger electrical fire.
- Grease fire: Smother the pan with a lid and immediately put the pan in the oven. DO NOT turn on the hood fan, as that will draw the flames to a condensed area and could cause a larger fire.
- Fire in the oven: the best way to put this out is with a fire extinguisher.
- Note: Avoid any grease build-up in your oven by regularly cleaning
If a fire starts in your home and cannot be controlled by smothering, leave the house immediately and call 9-1-1. Smoke inhalation is just as dangerous as a fire itself, so do not linger if the fire is out of control.
Once the fire is out and the damage has been assessed, call SERVPRO of South & West Seattle at 425-225-2227 to schedule a cost-free estimate and start getting your life back to normal.
Three Types of Smoke Alarms and How to Maintain Them
Alarm with replaceable battery
How Alarms are Powered and How to Maintain Each Type
Fire alarms are important safety tools for your Seahurst,WA home. They can warn you when a fire starts and, in some cases, allow you to prevent significant fire damage. Not all alarms are made the same way, so it is important that you know how your alarms are powered and how to maintain each type.
1. Alarms That Use Replaceable Batteries
When you think of a smoke alarm, you will likely think of this kind first. These alarms use a nine-volt battery that needs to be replaced at least once a year. The alarm will start beeping as a reminder when the battery starts to run low. When this happens, you should replace the battery right away to ensure that the alarm continues to work properly.
2. Alarms That Use Non-Replaceable Batteries
If you have a newer smoke detector in your home, then it might use a non-replaceable lithium battery instead. These batteries will last for up to ten years and you should not try to replace them. Instead, you will need to replace the entire alarm when it is time. The manual that comes with your alarm should have instructions on how to determine when you need to purchase a replacement.
3. Alarms That Use Electricity
Some alarms are connected to your home’s electrical system and do not require a battery to function. However, even if your smoke alarm is hooked up to the electricity, it should always have a backup battery in case of a power outage. You should replace this battery once a year, the same way you would with a battery-powered alarm. All types of alarms need to be tested monthly and should be completely replaced at least once every ten years.
No matter what type of smoke alarm you have in your home, you should be sure to maintain it properly by replacing the batteries or the alarms themselves when necessary. Fire damage restoration services are available in case of damage to your home, but keeping your alarms working can save your life.
How Do House Fires Typically Start?
Plugging in too many cords in one outlet can cause fire damage
It’s a nightmare scenario that no homeowner wants to think about: a house fire causing major damage or harm. The effects of a home fire can be devastating and even deadly. Fortunately, there are ways you can help prevent these awful situations in your Mercer Island,WA, house. When you understand some of the leading residential fire causes, you can take appropriate measures to keep you and your family safe.
You rely on electricity in your house every day of your life. It powers your appliances, your computers and forms of entertainment. It’s hard to imagine living without this convenience. However, electrical issues can also start fires. Here are some typical ways this occurs:
- Plugging in too many cords in one outlet
- Faulty wiring or faulty fuse boxes
- Old, outdated appliances
- Overheated space heaters
If you smoke, take great care to dispose of cigarettes or cigars properly. Better yet, smoke outdoors away from your home and away from brush. Cigarette butts and ash can easily fall onto carpet, furniture, paper and other items. Once a home fire starts, it can spread quickly. If you choose to smoke indoors, use an ashtray and never leave a lit cigarette unattended.
Many fires begin in the kitchen over a hot stove or in an oven. Not only can these issues lead to expensive fire cleaning, but they can cause extensive damage. Often, people will let pans get too hot or may even leave a stove or oven on. Keep a close eye on cookware when you’re baking or cooking, especially if grease is involved.
People love scented and other types of candles for the ambiance they can create. Regrettably, they’re also culprits for fires at home. If you light candles, keep them away from flammable materials.
Any of these problems could arise in your house and cause a home fire. While a restoration team can help clean up the damage, it’s better to know the causes of fires and avoid them altogether.