Recent Fire Damage Posts
American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign
Don't forget to turn and test!
It’s time to spring forward! As people TURN their clocks forward one hour, the American Red Cross reminds everyone to TEST their smoke alarms.
This weekend is also a good time for everyone to take these lifesaving steps to help prepare households for home fires, the nation’s most frequent disaster:
- Check smoke alarms and replace batteries if needed. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half. Test smoke alarms once a month. Change the batteries at least once a year, if your model requires it. Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms, and sleeping areas.
- Create and practice your home fire escape plan. Fire experts agree that people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late. This weekend, create a home fire escape plan with your household and practice it until everyone can escape in less than two minutes. Escape plans should include at least two ways to escape from every room and a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone knows where to meet.
HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN SAVING LIVES
Each year, the Red Cross responds to more than 62,000 disasters—the vast majority of which are home fires. Every day, seven people die in home fires, and most tragedies occur in homes without working smoke alarms. That’s why the Red Cross launched the Home Fire Campaign with community partners in 2014 to reduce needless deaths and injuries.
So far, the Home Fire Campaign has reached more than 1.7 million people and is credited with saving more than 500 lives across the country. The campaign’s volunteers and partners have also:
- Installed more than 1.5 million free smoke alarms
- Reached more than 1.3 million children through youth preparedness programs
- Made more than 660,000 households safer from the threat of home fires
People can visit redcross.org/homefires for free resources and to learn more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire, or contact their local Red Cross to find out about smoke alarm installation events in their community.
Treasure Valley Fire Prevention
If you are dealing with the aftermath of a fire, call SERVPRO day or night at (208) 375-0300
Safeguarding against potential fire hazards will significantly reduce the likelihood of a fire affecting your home and family. Make fire prevention and safety a priority in your home.
- Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home and test it monthly.
- Prevent electrical fires by never overloading circuits or extension cords.
- Use appliances only as directed by the manufacturer. Unplug appliances when not in use.
- Keep portable heaters at least three feet away from anything combustible.
- Keep fire in the fireplace. Use fire screens and have your chimney cleaned annually.
- Install an affordable home fire safety sprinkler system. In addition to keeping you safe, they can increase property value and lower insurance rates.
- Plan your escape. Practice your exit strategy from every room in the house.
- Take the time to educate your children about the dangers of fire.
For more detailed information regarding safety planning and fire prevention, visit the U.S. Fire Administration’s website: www.usfa.fema.gov
Fire Safety During Winter Storms
Nearly half of all space heater fires involve electric space heaters.
Winter storms can happen almost anywhere. They can cause us problems. Know what to do before and after a storm. This will help keep you and your family safe from a winter fire.
- Test all smoke alarms. Do this at least once a month. This way you will know they are working. Install carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Test the alarms.
- Plan two ways out of the home in case of an emergency. Clear driveway and front walk of ice and snow. This will provide easy access to your home.
- Make sure your house number can be seen from the street. If you need help, firefighters will be able to find you.
- Be ready in case the power goes out. Have flashlights on hand. Also have battery-powered lighting and fresh batteries. Never use candles.
- Stay aware of winter weather. Listen to the television or radio for updates. Watch for bulletins online.
- Check on neighbors. Check on others who may need help.
- Generators should be used outdoors. Keep them away from windows and doors. Do not run a generator inside your garage, even if the door is open.
- Stay away from downed wires. Report and downed wires to authorities.
- Be ready if the heat stops working. Use extra layers of clothes and blankets to stay warm. If you use an emergency heat source, keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room. Turn them off when you go to bed.
There are more home fires in winter than in any other season. Half of all home heating fires happen in December, January and February.
As you stay cozy and warm this winter season be fire smart!
Dealing with Fire Damage in Your Home
We have specialized equipment, specific training, and certifications that allow us restore your home to preloss condition.
The process involved will definitely differ depending on the severity and size of the fire and damage caused, as you can see in the image to your right this is quite severe fire damage. However the principles of fire damage restoration will for the most part be the same.
Like in most restoration projects the main goal you are trying to reach is preloss condition, that is you want your property to be restored back to how it was before the damages occurred; you want it to be safe, clean, free of smokey odors, and of course looking "Like it never even happened."
Now at this point we are going to assume that the fire has been put out, everybody is safe, and you are now looking at the damage caused and are wondering what to do next.
Before you start any work ensure that:
- the property is structurally sound and is safe to re-enter
- you have identified any safety hazards that may be present
As you re-enter the property you will want to get rid it of any lingering smoke and gasses that may still be present. You can do this by opening windows and doors and releasing them outside. In situations where there is a lot of smoke still lingering inside the property and you have neighbors close by then you will want to exhaust the air through an air filtration device (AFD). An AFD unit will process the air through a series of filters reducing its potency and potentially harmful contents.
Once you have taken care of these initial steps and are ready to assess what work needs to be done. You should be taking note of the two main types of possible damage; the obvious burnt and charred materials and the less obvious smoke and soot damage.
Now, you will need to make a decision whether to repair or replace the affected items or property. Any items or property that got burnt and charred will be easier to spot and will likely need replacement, if you are not sure on what to do with a certain item you should get it out of the property until your decision is made. As once we start the cleaning process we will want all burnt and charred materials out of the property.
Once all the burnt materials are out of the home you can start looking at what got damaged indirectly. It becomes trickier to decide whether to repair or to replace an item that has been affected by smoke and soot as the process can be difficult and costly.
Okay, so now you know the first few steps on how to get started on a fire damage restoration project. If your property has suffered a fire damage incident that is of a large scale or simply outside your comfort zone to handle yourself give SERVPRO of Boise a call at (208) 375-0300
Thanksgiving Fire Safety
Consider these tips if you are already planning on how to cook your bird this year and have a safe holiday!
For most, the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays. From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations. With that being said, keeping fire safety top of mind during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there's a lot of activity and people at home. As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large feast, remember, by following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safer.
- Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
- In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving.
- Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and deaths.
- Cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove-top.
- Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
- Keep children away from the stove.
- Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids.
- Keep the floor clear so you don't have any slips, trips or falls.
- Keep knives out of the reach of children.
- Be sure electric cords are not dangling off the counter.
- Keep matches and utility lighter out of reach.
- Ensure your smoke alarms are in working condition.
Three Common Reasons for House Fires in Your Boise Home
Educate yourself on the leading causes for house fires and prevention.
If a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape. House fires can be devastating and the road to recovery is long and hard. Educating yourself on the leading causes for house fires and prevention is a step in the right direction to ensure that your family and home are safe.
Many electrical fires in homes or businesses are caused by faulty electrical outlets, old wiring, outdated appliances or electrical cords that are frayed.
-If you live in an older home have an electrician complete an inspection. Standards and codes are constantly being revised and updated to ensure safety.
-Do not overload your circuits.
-Understand the difference between surge protectors and power strips. Both devices allow you to plug in multiple electronics, but only the surge protector will help protect your electronics from a power surge.
Carelessness in the kitchen can lead to devastating house fires. The leading cause of kitchen fires is due to unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.
-Never leave pots or pans unattended on your stove.
-Keeping your stove an oven clean will prevent buildup of food splatter and grease that could later ignite when the stove or oven is turned on for cooking.
-Keep any items that could ignite away from your stove top
-Ensure that you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen in case of emergency.
Dryer vents are becoming a much bigger and more common safety problem. Over time, your dryer vent fills with lint that sneaks by your dryers filter. Fires can occur when the excess lint builds up in the dryer or exhaust duct.
-Clean out the dryer vent regularly.
-Clean the lint filter after EACH load of laundry that is dried.
-Clean underneath and behind your dryer to eliminate any lint that collects.
Fire Damage Restoration
Complete fire loss due to a kitchen fire
Boise Fire Damage Restoration
A fire can be devastating to any Boise home, causing severe fire damage, affecting its look and value. The restoration process is complex and requires the services of fire remediation experts like SERVPRO of Boise.
The Fire Restoration Process
There are several techniques used to restore a home after a fire. The main goals are to remove anything that cannot be salvaged, extract all excess water, thoroughly dry everything and rebuild all damaged areas.
Water and Mold Issues
One of the effects of fire damage is the water left over after the fire is out. Furniture, drywall, floors, and carpets are soaked and provide a prime breeding ground for mold and mildew. SERVPRO utilizes large fans and powerful dehumidifiers to dry out your home in preparation for cleaning and rebuilding.
The Cooling and Heating System
The filter and coils of an HVAC system of a home are often blocked by soot and particulates from a fire. The parts must be replaced, and the cost depends on the amount of damage caused by smoke and heat. The ductwork must also be checked for soot buildup as it will cause problems if not removed.
Rebuilding the Home
A home that is left structurally unsound by fire damage will need to be reinforced and rebuilt. While this can done through independent contractors, the SERVPRO Boise remediation service team can take care of the rebuilding process, reducing stress and worry for the homeowner.
Removal of Damaged Items
Part of the fire restoration process is the removal of anything that cannot be saved. If smoke-damaged items are allowed to remain, they may contaminate the home. SERVPRO may be able to help with salvageable items or can make recommendations for their repair.
A fire is a sudden, disruptive life event and working with a professional fire remediation service like SERVPRO is the fastest way to clean and restore a home. Our experts will get things back to normal with minimal stress to the homeowner and will often cost less than hiring additional contractors. Most home insurance policies will pay for at least part of the remediation costs.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
As a locally owned and operated business, we work and live in Boise too. We are close by and ready to respond immediately when you need cleaning or restoration services.
We're Fire and Water Damage Specialists. Call us to help you. (208) 375-0300
Space Heater Safety Tips
Workplace portable space heater
9 Do's When it Comes to Space Heaters
1) Keep the heater at least 3 feet away from combustible materials, including beds, sofas, curtains, papers, clothes, etc.
2) Make sure the heaters power cord is not damaged or frayed in any way.
3) Make sure the heater is securely plugged into the power outlet. Ensure it does not come loose or fall out.
4) Ensure your heater is on a stable and level surface with minimal risk of it getting knocked over.
5) Make sure your space heater has been certified as safe to use. You should see a safety logo on the back somewhere.
6) Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.
7) Ensure your unit is turned off when you go to sleep, in a different room, or unable to keep an eye on it.
8) It is wise to teach everyone in your household how to properly operate your heater.
9) If your space heater requires fuel, make sure you refill it with the right kind... or you will most likely cause a fire.
SERVPRO: Your First Choice for Commercial Fire Damage Restoration in an Idaho Business
Let us help you bring your business back to life after a fire.
SERVPRO: Your First Choice for Commercial Fire Damage Restoration in an Idaho Business
Fire damage in Idaho can be very inopportune for a business owner. If a fire strikes your place of business, the result can be primary and secondary water damage, along with possible structural damage caused by the combustion. Firefighter’s efforts to douse the flames can leave large volumes of water behind. Additionally, business owners will often find that their employees feel unsafe working in the office due to health and sanitation issues. Dealing with fire damage is also challenging given that management teams may have to deal with the loss of valuable inventory, expensive equipment, and important documents. Finally, business owners will be faced with the task of contacting organizations such as the fire department and their insurance provider following the fire. To ensure that you can effectively grapple with your roles and responsibilities following a fire, you should obtain professional assistance from a trained team of fire damage restoration experts. Learn why SERVPRO is the best company to offer you these services by reviewing the following outline:
How SERVPRO Can Assist You:
The by-products of fire can be more severe and costly than the actual fire damage itself. They include water, smoke, and soot damage that results from the flames. If of any size and severity, then the professionals from SERVPRO Boise should be called in. The experts are trained to assess thoroughly the extent of the fire damage and subsequently determine the best course of action for restoration. Depending on the business, the contents that are under duress, documents, cash, and records, may be of more value than the structural damage. Our remediation experts will help you save and restore as much important material as possible. Our goal is always to minimize your expenditures and get your doors re-opened.
Our Talented Technicians
When it's time for you to find the ideal commercial fire damage restoration company, you should select a business known for employing capable technicians. And here at SERVPRO, that's precisely how we operate. Our trained technicians are IICRC-certified and known for offering exceptional customer service. The professionals at SERVPRO also specialize in many aspects of the restoration process, including upholstery restoration, fire damage restoration, and water damage restoration. This encompasses efforts of water removal, drying, cleaning, repairing and restoring whenever possible. Our team offers 24-hour emergency service. Finally, SERVPRO can and will work with the majority of insurance providers to optimize the restoration timeline and to minimize costs.
Commercial Restoration Presents Unique Challenges
SERVPRO of Boise has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial fire damage emergencies. Whether your fire emergency occurs in a restaurant, motel, or office building, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.
We are proud to serve our local communities:
- Ontario, OR
- Mountain Home
- Twin Falls
If your business experiences a fire loss, call the fire and water damage restoration experts and we’ll respond immediately to get you back to business. (208) 375-0300
Why Professionals Should Clean Smoke Damage from a Fire
This home was damaged due to a kitchen fire, the entire home had to be packed out and cleaned.
When firefighters leave, your home or business may seem safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal. That’s why you can trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Boise to restore your home back to normal. Our team has the experience and the manpower to perform fire damage restoration services adequately.
Once the Fire is out, your home or business needs to be restored
Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration. There can also be very disruptive, powerful odors. The professionals at SERVPRO of Boise clean fire and smoke damaged to stop this before it becomes an extensive problem. There are many companies that advertise their ability to restore areas affected by fire, but only those with proper training and certification should be considered. The IICRC is the main oversight in this industry and requires its registrants to take extensive coursework before earning their certifications.
Start Restoration as Soon as Possible
Our professional can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to our site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issue that smoke residue can cause. After a few days ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery, wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding. Our team of experts will identify what can and cannot be salvaged and will assist in the removal of non-salvageable items. All of your items will be handled with the utmost care and documented using iCat Contents Management software immediately. The entire process takes extremely thorough cleaning and attention to detail. Hiring the professionals at SERVPRO of Boise will ensure your home or business is taken care of and returned to its pre-disaster state.
Reconstruction May be Necessary
In the event of a fire, water and smoke can drastically affect the structure of your home or business. This is why it is imperative to hire a team that can take care of all of your needs in one place. SERVPRO of Boise is proud to take care of our customers from start to finish; we will clean and restore your home or business and items and can also perform all of the reconstruction repairs to your property.
If you have had a fire, call us today! (208) 375-0300
Preventing Electrical Fires with Nine Easy Tips
Tips to protect yourself and your home from electrical fires.
Preventing Electrical Fires with Nine Easy Tips
In today’s society, people are working overtime to meet the pressures of daily life. With technology and electronic accessories being an inescapable part of day-to-day activities, it means that electricity is in high-demand, and it is working around the clock in the home setting. Children need their cell phones charged at all times to keep in touch with their parents, and adults use their computers late into the night to complete work assignments. When work and school are done, dinner needs to be cooked with the appliances in the kitchen and the family likes to unwind with television, video games, music, and a multitude of various electronic devices. In addition, electricity is needed to heat and cool the home and run light fixtures. Undoubtedly, homes today are generating a tremendous amount of electricity, and the greater the electric load, the greater the risk of electrical-related fires. It should be noted that, according to Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), Idaho electrical fires cause approximately 51,000 fires in the home that result in close to 500 deaths, more than 1,400 injuries, and approximately $1.3 billion in property damage per year. Following are nine safety measures one can adhere to in order to reduce the risk of electrical fires in one’s home:
- On a regular basis, have the home inspected for loose wires, shorts, and faulty wiring that increase the risk of potential electrical fires, as electrical wiring eventually needs to be replaced. This is especially pertinent if one lives in an older home. Signs that faulty wiring is a pressing issue can include flickering lamps, buzzing outlets, or outlets that spark when an electronic device is plugged in. If one of these indications occurs, do not delay in in hiring a certified electrician to give the home an inspection to determine if the wiring is safe or if it is in need of rewiring.
- Install a smoke detector on every level of the home and inside each bedroom. It is vital to make sure the smoke detectors are working properly by testing them every month. Test the detectors to ensure that all members of the home know the sound of the smoke detector. Also, create a plan so that the entire family knows what to do in case of an actual fire. Once a plan is in place, practice each aspect of fire-escape strategy to guarantee its success.
- Utilize safety measures with electric cords. This includes replacing cords that are loose, frayed, or contains cracks. Never place cords in areas that receive a large volume of foot traffic, such as under mats or carpeting. Avoid tacking cords to surfaces with nails or staples. If an extension cord is being used on a long-term basis, consider having outlets installed by a certified electrician nearer to your electronic devices.
- Only use the correct wattage light bulbs in all fixtures. If the wattage is higher than the requirement noted on the lamp or appliance, replace the bulbs immediately. Firmly secure light bulbs in the socket to safeguard them from overheating.
- Use a surge protector to guard appliances and other electronics in your home. ESFI says it is important that homeowners use a surge protector that is equivalent to the equipment one has while keeping in mind that they only protect the items that are directly plugged into them. Note that there are two basic types of surge protectors: the power strip accompanied by a surge protector and the wall-mount surge protector. When buying a surge protector, locate one that has the Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) mark of approval and always avoid overloading it. As with wiring, surge protectors will eventually need to be replaced, especially if the home experiences a large surge or frequent power surges.
- Store flammables away from electrical appliances. It is helpful to establish a safe, designated area for flammable chemicals in your home.
- As the average daily temperature declines, portable space heaters run a high risk of electrical fires. Other risks include lamps, blow dryers, hair straighteners, and clothing irons. Any object made of fabric, such as towels and bath mats, can quickly ignite and spread fire rapidly.
- Place a fire extinguisher in all major rooms of the home, such as kitchen, bedrooms, and laundry room. The National Fire Protection Association suggests a multi-purpose extinguishers that carry and “A, B, C,” combination classification while also carrying the label of an independent testing laboratory. Have all family members read the instructions on how to use the fire extinguisher. Extinguisher are useful in containing small fires until the fire department arrives, but the first priority should be getting one’s family out of the home safely.
- Arcs cause numerous electrical fires every year, but this can be combatted by installing an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) breaker in the home. Arcs in the home’s electrical system occur when an electrical current flows through an inadvertent path generating a sudden, high temperature in electrical wires. When this happens, the extreme temperatures can easily ignite other combustible materials surrounding it, such as wood or insulation. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association says having an AFCI breaker offers greater fire protection for homeowners than a standard circuit breaker. An AFCI monitors the circuits in your home for the presence of hazardous arcing conditions and instantly disconnects the damaged circuit before the arc has time to build enough heat to cause a fire. As of 2008, the National Electrical Code has required new homes to have AFCI protection, but the code varies from state to state, and older homes are at greater risk due to aging electrical wiring. As always, have a qualified electrician install the AFCI breaker.
Reducing the risk of electrical fires in one’s home is relatively simple, but the safety benefits are worth a great deal of peace-of-mind.
What to Do After a Fire
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
What NOT To Do After a Fire
- Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
- Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
- Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
What to do Immediately After a House Fire
Fires can devastate families. Know what to do! Copyright: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/profile_jrowland16'>jrowland16 / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
- Ask whether it is safe to enter the home. Do not enter if the fire authorities deem it unsafe. They may establish a safety zone, but never assume a room is safe, until it has been cleared to enter.
- Know who to call.
- Contact family members and let them know you are safe, and unharmed.
- Contact your insurance agent. They will be able to talk you through the necessary steps, including proper documentation and emergency lodging and living expenses (keep all of your receipts!) The insurance company may assist in securing a company to help with clean up options.
- You may request SERVPRO at this time for contents cleaning, restoration etc. Contact SERVPRO.
- Another call may be to your landlord if applicable, and to your local American Red Cross. SERVPRO is the preferred restoration partner to The American Red Cross.
- Secure the property to prevent possible looting. SERVPRO is available to assist with securing property/ Board Ups.
- If water hoses were used to exterminate the fire, drying your home is critical. It is best to call the professionals at SERVPRO to do water/ fire cleanups. Water can lead to mold damage if not dried properly. SERVPRO is an approved restoration contractor for many major insurance carriers and adheres to the highest standards in the restoration industry.
- Seek counseling if needed. Children and adults can feel a traumatic sense of loss, and may need help to avoid a lasting sense of sadness and disorientation after a house fire. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. A house fire is a traumatic event and individuals need to be treated with respect and compassion by those close to the process of rebuilding.
For more information on contents and structural drying, extinguisher residue and soot removal call SERVPRO at (208) 375-0300.