House Fire? What to do when the smoke clears...
This dining room was affected heavily by smoke damage. Our SERVPRO heroes are trained and equipped to sort it out and clean it up. Give us a call!
Once the flames are out and everyone’s accounted for, the long road to recovery begins. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed, there are many resources available to help you get through it. Here’s a basic to-do list to help you get started.
- Make sure the house has been cleared and deemed safe for entry.
- DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING! Don’t attempt to remove or clean anything. Fire damage and especially soot and smoke damage can be difficult to clean. Also, oils from your skin or any other cleaning products could cause further damage, and even ruin your belongings. It’s best to leave the clean up to the professionals.
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to get your claim started. An adjuster will most likely need to visit the home to assess the damage.
- Document everything. While we don’t recommend you touch or move anything, it is important to keep a list, with photos where possible, of ruined or damaged items. This will help you and your insurance company make sure the items get replaced.
- Finally, call SERVPRO of Chester, Hardin, Henderson and McNairy Counties. We’ll handle the rest! We’ll work with your insurance company and you to get your home cleaned, repaired and restored as quickly as possible. We’ll pack, inventory and clean your belongings using our SERVPRO exclusive products and training. Don’t worry, we’ll take special care of your trinkets and treasures. Finally, when repairs are complete and the cleaning is done, we’ll return your cleaned contents, and even help you unpack!
While fire damage can be devastating, SERVPRO of Chester, Hardin, Henderson and McNairy Counties is here to help. Let us show you the meaning of “Like it never even happened.”
CALL SERVPRO OF CHESTER, HARDIN, HENDERSON AND MCNAIRY COUNTIES TODAY! 731-983-0883
Most Common Causes of House Fires and How To Prevent Them
SERVPRO of Chester, Hardin, Henderson and McNairy Counties is certified in fire damage restoration. Call us today at 731-983-0883!
According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), US Fire Departments respond to an average of more than 350,000 home fires every year, causing about 2,500 deaths and nearly $7 billion dollars in damages. Sadly, many of these fires could have easily been prevented. Here’s the breakdown on the most common causes of house fires, and simple rules you can adopt in your own home.
#1 – Cooking equipment
47% of fires reported from 2011 – 2015 (NFPA) started in the kitchen. Here are some easy rules to follow to prevent cooking fires:
- Stay near the stove-top while cooking, and never EVER leave oil or grease unattended.
- Never cook when you’re overly tired or sleepy, or your motor functions are otherwise impaired.
- Keep flammable objects (paper, towels, oven mitts, etc.) away from the cook-top while in use.
- Keep children at least 3 feet away from the stove-top.
*** To put out a pan fire, simply slide a lid over the top, and turn off the stove. Allow the pan to cool before handling! ***
#2 – Heating equipment
Heating equipment is the second most common cause of fires, at about 15%. Improper use or lack of maintenance is usually the culprit, which means that most of these types of fires can be easily prevented by taking these simple steps:
- Keep flammable objects (paper, clothing, plastics, etc.) away from the heating unit during use.
- Keep a “child-free” perimeter of at least 3 feet around any fire or source of heat.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected professionally each year.
- Do not leave portable heaters unattended. Turn them off while sleeping or when leaving the area.
- Always use the proper fuel for any heating device.
- Install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms, and test them monthly.
- When it comes to the fireplace, make sure you have a sturdy screen to prevent embers from flying into your living area and be sure to let ashes cool before discarding into a metal container.
#3 – Electrical
Nearly 10% of home fires are caused by some electrical fault. Here are some things you can do to help keep your family and home safe:
- Hire a qualified electrician to do any electrical work.
- Plug major appliances, like refrigerators, microwaves, etc. directly into a wall outlet. DO NOT ever use an extension cord or power strip for these items.
- Only plug one heat-producing appliance (coffee-maker, toaster, hair dryer) into any receptacle at one time.
- Keep electrical cords from running across doorways or under rugs or carpets. Only use extension cords temporarily, they are not intended for constant use.
- Call an electrician if you notice any of these problems:
- Frequent blown fuses or tripped breakers
- Tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance
- Discolored or warm outlets
- Sparks from an outlet when you plug in an item.
*** Remember: You don’t need a flame for a fire to start. Heat near any flammable object can just as easily start a fire! ***
Honorable Mention – Smoking, Clothes Dryers, and Young Children
Less common, but equally important, these causes can also be prevented with the proper precautions.
Smoking - Fires caused by smoking materials are the leading cause of fire deaths, and the victim is rarely the actual smoker.
- If you smoke, please smoke outside.
- Keep cigarettes, lighters and other smoking materials out of reach of children
- Ensure cigarette butts and ashes are completely extinguished. Water or sand are best.
- Never smoke where oxygen is being used.
Clothes Dryers – Unfortunately, of all dryer-related fires, the leading cause is failure to clean them properly.
- Clean the lint filters before each use, and NEVER use a dryer without a lint filter. Also clean the area around the drum where lint tends to build up.
- Clean and inspect the outdoor vent regularly. If you notice your clothes are taking longer to dry, there may be lint built up in the vent.
- Keep the area around your dryer clear of flammable objects such as boxes or cleaning supplies.
- Clothes that are soiled with a flammable substance should be air-dried outside before regular washing and drying.
Young Children – It’s natural for children to be curious or want to play with fire. However, proper training and rules can keep your family safe:
- Keep matches, lighters, and other fire starters securely out of the reach of children.
- Closely supervise children around any fire or heat source.
- Keep children at least 3 feet from any fire or heat.
- Teach your children about the dangers of fire and how quickly things can escalate beyond their control.
- Lead by example! Always follow fire safety rules, especially in the presence of children.
SERVPRO of Chester, Hardin, Henderson & McNairy Counties Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Chester, Hardin, Henderson & McNairy County Home.
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Chester, Hardin, Henderson & McNairy Counties will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 731-983-0883