Recent Fire Damage Posts

Quick Guide to Residential Fire Extinguishers

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguisher To make sure you get a fire extinguisher that will operate in your home, read the label carefully.

Extinguishers For The Home

Having a fire extinguisher in your home in Valrico,FL can help you increase your chances of escaping from a fire. With so many products on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Use this guide and talk with a residential fire cleanup expert to figure out which extinguisher you should stock.

Size

This fire preparedness tool comes in a variety of sizes. The size you want to get depends on where in the house you want to keep it.

  • 2-pound: This small extinguisher is perfect for on the go. You can keep it in the trunk of your car to help prepare you for any situation. Some small models come with mounting hardware, so you can keep it in one place.
  • 5-pound: This rechargeable model works well in fire-hazard areas in the home. Consider keeping it near your kitchen or laundry room, so it's easily accessible.
  • 10-pound: This larger fire extinguisher is ideal for parts of the home that are left unattended for periods of time. The size means there's more fire suppressant chemicals, which can help dampen a fire that went unnoticed for a bit. Keep this size in a garage, shed or workshop.

As you consider the size of your extinguisher, you also need to think about your personal capabilities. If you would struggle to lift and use a 10-pound extinguisher, it might not be the right option for you.

Classification

You also have to think about the classification of the extinguisher. Residential products come in three classes: A, B and C. The A classification means the suppressant will work well on trash, wood and paper. B means the extinguisher can help put out a home fire caused by grease or liquids. C usually means it's suited for electrical fires.

Read the label of your fire extinguisher closely to make sure you have a unit that can work well in your home. Consider both size and classification before you buy your next fire dampening tool.

A Home Fire Escape Plan Can Help Keep Your Family Safe

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Map of a house and escape routes Practice your fire escape plan.

You plan a party. You plan a vacation. You even plan your dinner. But do you have a plan for helping your family escape from your home in the event a fire breaks out in your home in Plant City, FL? Your family is the most precious thing in your life so give some serious thought to the importance of a fire escape plan.

What Should Your Plan Include?

A plan for escaping a home fire may vary from home to home, but some basics are universal. Sit your family down and have a serious discussion about the urgent and immediate need for action should a fire break out. Include the following items in your discussion.

Make sure each person knows two ways out of every room, if possible
Get some fire escape ladders and have family members practice using them to escape from upper floors
Teach them to check the doorknobs with the back of their hand before opening to avoid burning the more sensitive skin on the palm and to practice crawling out to reduce smoke inhalation
Designate a safe meeting place away from the house where family members can meet
Practice a full drill a few times a year including setting off the smoke alarms so they can get out even with a sense of panic


Additional Safety Measures
You should also make sure you have properly working smoke alarms installed throughout your home. Place fresh fire extinguishers in the kitchen, laundry room and other areas where they may be most needed, including any smokers bedrooms. Keep the phone number of a fire damage and restoration service in Plant City, FL, with your other emergency numbers so you can get help right away if you need it.
A family fire escape plan is an essential part of your family’s fire preparation and should frequently be rehearsed and revised as needed. With careful planning in place, you can rest easier knowing your family is well prepared be safe in a fire emergency.

Home Care: How to Protect Your Family From a Fire

6/4/2021 (Permalink)

smoke moving towards a smoke alarm Do you need a smoke alarm in your home?

How to Protect Your Family From a Fire

In the unfortunate event of a house fire, your family has 3 – 4 minutes to get out alive. That’s because most furniture and decorative fittings are made of artificial fibers that burn hot and fast. As a result, the NFPA recommends that every home should have a fire alarm system. It is the only way to get a head start when the worst happens.
As a homeowner in NE Hillsborough County, FL you should have a functional smoke detector in these rooms:

  • All bedrooms
  • Outside the bedroom
  • Every level of the house


How Many Alarms Do You Need?

Generally, each bedroom should have a fire alarm. One should be enough for an average size room, but you can also install several detectors if it is on the bigger side of the scale. Place another sensor outside the bedrooms and one unit at every level of the house, including the basement. That should wake you in case the fire starts from another part of the house.


How to Maintain Smoke Detectors

Smoke sensors need proper care and maintenance to remain in good working condition. The last thing you want is to go through the ordeal that comes with fire and smoke damage - it is expensive and also takes a lot of time. To avoid it, replace the smoke detector batteries regularly and install new alarms every 8 - 10 years. The average cost per unit is $5 - $20, but there are smart fire detectors that retail at $100 or more. However, that is nothing compared to the cost of fire damage.
That said, it’s clear that a fire alarm system is mandatory for every home. Just make sure you have enough of them throughout the home. A 2 story house with 3 bedrooms should have a minimum of 5 smoke alarms, but there is no upper limit. You can install as many units as possible, so long as there's none within a 10 ft radius of kitchen appliances.

How To Create a Fire Escape Plan for Your Family

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

Map of a house and escape routes Create multiple escape routes in your fire escape plan.

How To Create a Fire Escape Plan for Your Family

It’s not fun to think about experiencing a fire in your Valrico, FL, home, particularly one large enough to require fire damage remediation, but it’s best to be ready for any kind of emergency. Creating a fire escape plan is a great way to keep your family prepared. If you’re not sure where to start, the following steps may be helpful.

1. Locate All Exits
While you likely know all of the obvious exits in your house, there may be some that you haven’t considered. Along with doors, windows on lower floors can also be a quick way to safely get out of the building.

2. Create Multiple Escape Routes
You might be used to leaving your house in a certain way every day, but if there is a fire, your usual route might not be an option. When making your fire escape plan, figure out multiple paths from each room in the house to make it easier to find your way out during an emergency. You may find it helpful, especially for younger members of the family, to post these on walls around the house.

3. Have a Designated Meetup Spot
Because you may be separated from other members of the family while leaving the building, you should agree on a location where you will meet once you make it outside. This will make it easier to determine if everyone has made it out safely. This spot should be at a safe distance from the house and should be easy for everyone to remember.

4. Practice Regularly
It does no good to create an emergency escape plan unless you practice. In most cases, practicing once a year should be enough. If you have younger children in your family, you may want to have practice fire drills more often. Knowing exactly what to do during a fire can help make the experience less stressful if it occurs.
Having a fire escape plan and making sure your family knows what to do during a fire can help keep everyone safe. Practicing often will reduce the chances of panicking during an emergency.

3 Top Causes for Residential Fires in 2020

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

A hand holding a lid up candle, SERVPRO logo Burning candles

Three Common Reasons For Fire Houses

An unexpected home fire can happen to anyone and can be started for a number of various reasons. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), household fires most often occur when homeowners neglect basic safety measures. The following three fire causes are some of the most common reasons for house fires in 2020.

1. Indoor Cooking
For the average American, indoor cooking is a way of life. Microwave ovens, stovetops and ovens are standard appliances in a typical U.S. household. With careful attention and basic cooking skills, these appliances can be used safely. However, where many residents can misstep is walking away from an appliance while it is in operation. The NFPA recommends never leaving any indoor cooking appliance out of sight while in operation. This includes the following less-obvious kitchen appliances:

  • Toasters and toaster ovens
  • Fryers
  • Griddles and waffle makers

2. Burning Candles
Many homeowners enjoy the natural light and calming ambiance of burning candles indoors. While this common practice may seem harmless, indoor candles have the potential to wreak serious havoc on your home. The NFPA says that one of the most dangerous areas of the home to burn an open-flame candle is in the bedroom. Bedrooms are typically filled with highly flammable furnishings including drapes, bedding, home decor and more. To prevent the common mistake of starting a home fire using a candle, consider only burning candles in open areas of your home when careful supervision can take place.

3. Unsafe Grilling
Open grills are a highly popular food preparation tool in the United States, particularly during the summer season. The most common reason for grill fires is unsafe grilling techniques. You can prevent a grill fire by keeping the grill clean to prevent flare-ups and by only using it outdoors. Additionally, keep your grill off of decks, porches and away from awnings to prevent an unwanted fire.

Fire Cleanup
Residential fires can happen to even the most cautious homeowner. If you have experienced a home fire in Plant City, FL, talk to your insurance provider as soon as possible to start fire restoration services that suit your immediate and long-term fire cleaning needs.

How To Deal With Revenue Losses After a Fire

11/8/2020 (Permalink)

A fire destroyed five stores on the Atlantic City Board Walk Fires are unpredictable, but they can be planned for

A fire does not just spell the loss of property. It also means the loss of future income. Even a few days of lost revenue can cause serious financial complications. Fortunately, with interruption insurance and a good restoration plan, most businesses can limit losses and bounce back quickly.

Understand Business Interruption

From an insurance standpoint, loss of income from the suspension of operations constitutes business interruption. If a kitchen fire causes a restaurant to close down in Plant City, FL, an insurance policy will consider it business interruption, and will likely cover projected losses. However, insurance will only cover losses during the period of restoration, so it is important that your business is ready to go as soon as the repairs are complete.

Know What Interruption Insurance Covers
Business owners should familiarize themselves with what their policy covers for suspended operations. Business interruption clauses usually cover most of the following:

Profits: most insurance will pay out on lost profits, based on what a business estimates it would make if the fire did not occur
Fixed costs: this includes any costs of doing business, including operating expenses
Taxes: even when disaster strikes, taxes are owed, and an interruption clause in your policy will ensure that you can pay them
Temporary location: some policies will pay for a business to re-open at another venue during the period of restoration
Loan payments: as with taxes, loans have to be paid no matter what, and loans are usually due monthly, which makes them even more difficult to pay when business is halted. However, many policies insure your loan payments as well
Employee salaries: insurance can and usually does help to prevent the loss of workers by helping your business make payroll

Fires are unpredictable, but they can be planned for. Talk with your insurance provider, and have them detail all of the ways interruption insurance can help you mitigate the financial burden of fire restoration. This knowledge, along with the help of certified restoration professionals, can have you back on your feet in no time.

When Fire Isn't Covered by Insurance

9/25/2020 (Permalink)

Home Destroyed By Fire With Caved In Roof Home destroyed by fire in Plant City, FL

When Fire Isn't Covered by Insurance

Each year around half a million homeowners will experience a home fire that destroys their home and their possessions. Fortunately, most of these homeowners have insurance to help cover the losses they experience. It's important to understand your policy and know what coverages it offers, as the insurance on your home in Plant City, FL, won't cover every type of fire cleanup and recovery.

Intentional Fires
Fires set by the homeowner are not covered by insurance. Home arson is a type of insurance fraud, and all policies stipulate damage will not be covered when it was caused intentionally. Though this type of fire is rare, it does happen.

Vacant Home Fires
A typical homeowner's policy doesn't cover claims of any type for a vacant property, and this includes a vacant home fire. For property owners of an unoccupied residence, they will need to purchase a policy that is specifically designed for an unoccupied home.

Some Wildfires
Most policies do cover wildfires, but some homeowners live in areas where wildfires are common which also makes the risk of a home fire more likely. For the homeowners in these areas, some insurance companies will not offer coverage for wildfires due to the high risk. This is one of the reasons it's important for homeowners to review their policies to ensure any threats common to the area are covered.
If you do experience a home fire, there are professionals available to help. After the fire has been extinguished, contact your insurance company to plan your next steps. Never attempt any fire cleanup yourself, as there are dangers inherent to fire destruction. A cleanup and restoration company can assess the damage and determine the best route to getting you back in your home.
An accidental home fire will be covered by most insurance policies. Review your policy before you purchase it so you don't experience any surprises should disaster occur.

Why Does Smoke Damage Stick Around?

7/13/2020 (Permalink)

A fire destroyed five stores Commercial fire damage in Plant City, FL

The smell of smoke may linger long after a fire at a commercial building in Plant City, FL, particularly if fire damage was not properly cleaned and restored. Property owners should arrange for professional fire and smoke damage remediation. Find out how a full-service restoration company uses specialized equipment and trained experts to banish smoke odor.

Smoke Residue Coats Surfaces

Smoke consists of airborne particles that move through the air during and after a fire. Smoke may contain any of the following substances:

  • Ash
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Chemicals
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Water vapor

This mixture moves through air and settles down as soot damage on contents and surfaces throughout a building. Smoke damage can affect portions of a structure not ruined by fire. Surfaces such as ceilings, floors, and walls and any contents in a structure that was recently on fire should be cleaned during restoration to lower the concentration of smoke particles.

Odor Particles Linger In Air
Particles of smoke can get into ductwork, crevices in furniture or other places, and stick around even after surfaces or objects have been cleaned. It is necessary to filter out these particles and deodorize air to eliminate any residual traces of odor. Specialized air purifiers are necessary for smoke cleaning, as most wood smoke particles are smaller than one micron.

Deodorization Eliminates Trace Odors
A deodorizing treatment such as thermal fogging, ozone, or hydroxyl generation can get rid of residual odors. These treatments may be most effective after a structure and all contents have been cleaned. Contents exposed to smoke that have not been cleaned may recontaminate the location of a fire.
The chemical composition and pervasive qualities of smoke particles cause odors to persist after a fire at a commercial building in Plant City, FL. A damage restoration company can recommend the best approach to cleanup, restoration, and getting rid of stubborn smoke damage.

Five Facts About Fire Alarms

6/7/2020 (Permalink)

Photoelectric smoke detector A photoelectric alarm is built more for sensing a smoky, smoldering fire

Common Fire Alarm Questions

Is your Plant City, FL, home prepared for a fire? No one wants to think about their house burning, but knowledge and prevention are key. Take note of these answers to common fire alarm questions to keep your family and home safe:

1. How Many Should My Home Have?
Homes should have fire alarms on every floor, including the basement, inside every bedroom, and outside every sleeping area. Ideally, all of the alarm units are connected so that when one alarm sounds, the others will, too. After all, a fire could start in another area of the house while you’re unaware of any problem until it’s too late.

2. What Types Are Available?
There are two types of fire alarms available: ionization and photoelectric. An ionization alarm is best for detecting a flaming, fast-moving fire. A photoelectric alarm is built more for sensing a smoky, smoldering fire. The installation of both types of alarms is recommended; alarms with both types of sensors are also available.

3. How Often Should Units Be Replaced?
A fire alarm purchased today should be good for up to 10 years. It’s good to note the date you purchased the unit. If your alarm is still chirping after you’ve replaced the batteries, it’s probably time to replace the unit itself.

4. How Often Should Batteries Be Replaced?
The batteries should be replaced at least once a year. At some point, you’ll probably hear the high-pitched chirp signaling that you need to replace them. However, just to be sure, it’s best not to wait for the chirp. It’s helpful to place a reminder on your calendar to replace them; this will also give you an idea of how long batteries last in the units.

5. Should They Be Cleaned?
They should be cleaned at least once a year to keep their sensing chambers clear. Vacuuming the units will keep them dust- and debris-free.
Your family’s well-being is worth investing the time and money to choose the right fire alarm and the appropriate number of alarms for your home. If your home sustains fire damage or smoke damage, restoration professionals can return it to its original condition.

Learn To Extinguish Fires and Evacuate Safely

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

Putting a fire extinguisher in your kitchen or workshop is just part of creating a fire safety system in your home. You and the rest of your family need to know how to use the device during an emergency. Without the right training, it's possible that you'll face additional hazards while fighting a developing or relatively small fire. Experts recommend that you review the fire safety steps and the use of an extinguisher on at least a yearly basis.


The P.A.S.S. Method

There's a simple acronym (P.A.S.S.) to help you remember the proper use of an extinguisher when fighting a workshop or kitchen fire:
  • Pull the pin to break the tamper-proof seal.
  • Aim the nozzle of the extinguisher low and toward the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the handle at the top of the canister to release the chemical extinguishing agent.
  • Sweep the spray from one side of the fire to the other, back and forth repetitively.


Remember, the four steps: pull, aim, squeeze, and sweep. Keep the focus on the base of the fire and continue to move through steps two, three, and four until the flames don't reignite.


Know When To Evacuate

Understanding how to use a fire extinguisher is an important step in fighting fires to protect your home and family. When a fire does break out, evacuate your family, then call the fire department. If it is safe to attempt extinguishing the fire, discharge the device according to the P.A.S.S. method. Never let flames, heat, or smoke to get between you and the exit. If you aren't sure you can safely put out the fire, move away from the flames and evacuate. You should also get out of your home if the fire has grown past the small fire (or incipient) stage.


When you have prepared to use and practiced using a fire extinguisher in a home fire, you can prevent a lot of fire damage. The rest of the damage should be addressed by home damage and reconstruction professionals in NE Hillsborough County.

4 Steps To Using a Fire Extinguisher

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

2 fire extinguishers Using a fire extinguisher can help you combat a fire.

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

If you are in the midst of a fire, you will need to know how to use a fire extinguisher. Go through these four steps to learn how to utilize one and find out the kinds that are available.


Step 1: Take Out the Pin


Remove the small pin that is near the top of the device. Taking this pin out makes the extinguisher usable.


Step 2: Step Away and Aim


Stand at least six feet away, and point the nozzle at the bottom of the fire.


Step 3: Squeeze and Release


Squeeze the handle that had the pin in it to release the powder. Make sure you do this in a precise and even manner.


Step 4: Sweep it Along


Move the fire extinguisher from side to side in a sweeping motion to stamp out the fire.


What Type of Extinguisher Should You Use?


The extinguisher that you will use will depend on the type of fire you are trying to fight. Class A is for items like plastic, wood, clothing and even rubber. Class B extinguishes liquids that are flammable. This includes cooking oil, which can cause a kitchen fire, paint, thinners and gasoline. Class C is for electrical items like wiring, electronics, kitchen appliances and electric machines. Class ABC is a multipurpose extinguisher that can be used for all three kinds of fires.


Seek Help


If you feel that a fire is beyond your control, seek help from professionals immediately. Call 911 so that the fire department can put out the fire. You will also need to find a company to assess the fire damage.


 Steps you will need to use the extinguisher include taking out the pin, moving away from the fire and aiming it, squeezing the handle to let out the powder and sweeping the extinguisher from side to side. If the fire seems like it is too much for you to handle, please call 911.