Recent Fire Damage Posts
How Fires Pose a Multifaceted Threat to Retail Stock in Fort Worth, Texas Businesses
While the common perception of a fire predominantly centers on the flames themselves, it is imperative to recognize that within the realm of an actual fire incident, open flames represent merely one facet of concern. Fires, in reality, manifest as complex disasters capable of inflicting damage through various mechanisms, particularly within the domain of retail merchandise. Comprising perils such as ash, smoke, burns, and water damage, fires possess the capacity to undermine virtually any category of merchandise. For many such cases, SERVPRO of East Ft. Worth emerges as the adept custodian of restoration, yet a comprehensive comprehension of the potential consequences a fire might exact upon your inventory proves indispensable. This understanding not only aids in the assessment of financial loss but also informs prudent decisions regarding the necessity of additional shipments.
Damage Incurred by Burned Goods
Foremost among the conspicuous perils encountered in retail establishments during fires is the direct consequence of burns. Flammable articles may succumb to combustion, rendering them, for the most part, unrecoverable. Concurrently, other goods may endure exposure to flames, resulting in partial or complete annihilation. While we possess the capacity to rectify certain forms of damage emanating from direct burns, such as mitigating discoloration or addressing warping in items, a substantial proportion of articles afflicted by this type of damage remain beyond salvaging.
Water Damage Arising from Sprinkler Systems
Sprinkler systems constitute a pivotal line of defense against more extensive conflagrations. Nevertheless, they bear the unfortunate corollary of exacerbating the damage incurred. Water intrusion can compromise the integrity of most unsealed goods, necessitating the consideration of replacement contingent upon the extent of water dispersion and the nature of the items subjected to it.
The Intricacies of Ash Residue
Ash, as a residual byproduct, poses a nuanced challenge, infiltrating crevices and commingling with water to evolve into a pernicious slurry. Electronics and food items are especially vulnerable to its detrimental effects. Thankfully, the deleterious impact of ash can typically be ameliorated through the expertise of SERVPRO of East Ft. Worth.
Mitigating Smoke-Related Damage
Smoke, with its capacity to inflict the most pronounced harm upon fabrics and clothing, can also detrimentally impact various other categories of merchandise. Within our purview, we deploy a spectrum of methodologies to address smoke-induced damage, whether on an individual item or on a room-by-room basis. It is noteworthy that, in most instances, smoke poses a more substantial challenge to the structural integrity of the building itself as compared to its effects on the merchandise.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
SERVPRO of East Ft. Worth is a locally-owned company with industrial-grade equipment and training capable of handling even the most severe retail fire restorations. Call us 24/7 at (817) 293-5553.
BBQ Fire Safety
Follow These Tips to Avoid a Barbecue Fire
The arrival of nice weather calls for grilling out with friends and family. Unfortunately, a grill fire is a real safety hazard, and in the right circumstances, a fun get-together can turn into a disaster in a hurry. You can avoid a barbecue fire by following these tips:
- Keep the Grill in a Safe Location
Keep the grill outside on a level surface at least 10 feet from buildings and other flammable objects. Never grill under an overhang or in an enclosed area. Be sure to monitor it closely until it cools.
- Keep Children and Pets at a Distance
Children and pets should stay at least three feet away from the grill. Ensure that pets on tie-downs cannot reach the grill; they can wrap their line around the grill and pull it over. It will keep them at a safe distance if a grill fire occurs.
- Be Mindful of Loose Clothing
Make sure that you wear appropriate attire when you grill. You can tie back everything with an apron. Use long tongs and spatulas for added safety and wear heat-resistant grill gloves.
- Use a Chimney Starter
A chimney starter is a much safer option than lighter fluid. It will also light the coals more evenly.
- Practice the Two-Zone Method
This simple, versatile method creates a much safer grilling experience. Put the hot charcoal on one side of the grill and leave the other side empty. If a flare-up occurs, move the food to the other side until the flame subsides, then move it back to continue cooking. The two-zone method can improve your food quality because it creates a searing side and another side for flame-free slow cooking.
Keep a fire extinguisher near. Do NOT use water; it can make a grease fire flare up. Instead, close the grill lid until the outbreak subsides. If your house sustains fire damage or smoke damage from a grill fire, SERVPRO of East Fort Worth can return it to its original state.
Space Heater Safety and Fire Prevention Tips
Stay safe when using a space heater and remember, all heaters need space
Cold temperatures inevitably make us want to cozy up under a blanket and crank up the heat, but before you bring the space heater up from the basement to get extra toasty, consider these safety and fire prevention tips. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is the leading cause of all house fires.
Space Heater Safety First!
SERVPRO of East Fort Worth has compiled some space heater safety and fire prevention tips to help you stay warm, but most of all, to keep you and your home or office safe from fire damage.
- Keep 3 feet of distance between your space heater and anything that can burn, including people!
- Never plug your space heater into a power strip; always plug it directly into the wall.
- Turn off and unplug the heater whenever you leave the room, especially when leaving for the day or going to bed.
- Always place your heater on a flat surface, away from foot traffic.
- Educate your family and coworkers about the dangers of space heaters.
- Keep the heater away from wet areas. This includes bathrooms, basements, and even wet hands and materials.
Buy the Right Heater
- Check to see if your heater has a seal marking that it’s been tested by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory.
- Purchase a space heater that is suitable for the size of the room you would like to heat. Use small heaters for small spaces, and large heaters only for big, open spaces. Using a small heater in a large space will cause the heater to overwork and reduce its lifespan.
- Know your heater’s wattage. Higher wattage = higher energy output. Low wattage = less energy.
- Choose a heater with an automatic shut-off that engages if the heater is knocked over or overheats.
- Know about the different types of space heaters: oil or water-filled radiator heaters, fan-forced heaters, ceramic heaters, and infrared heaters.
Using these space heater safety and fire prevention tips will help prevent fire damage in the home and workplace. If you have any questions about fire prevention or if your property experiences smoke or fire damage to your home, call your local professionals at SERVPRO of East Fort Worth for assistance. We’re available 24/7 at (817) 293-5553.
Have you Checked Your Smoke Alarms?
While SERVPRO of East Ft. Worth is here to help if you suffer from a fire. We still want each of our customers to be as safe as possible. Here are some tips to make sure your house is prepared in the event of a fire.
The Different Types of Smoke Detectors
There are two main types of smoke detectors: those that use photoelectric detection and ionization detection.
Ionization detectors are more common because they are generally mass-produced and typically inexpensive, but photoelectric detectors are fairly affordable.
Ionization detectors are best at detecting flaming fires, while photoelectric alarms are usually more sensitive to smoldering fires. The best idea is to either have a combination of the two types of alarms or find one alarm that utilizes both detection types.
How Many Smoke Alarms Do I Need?
For maximum protection, one smoke alarm per room except for the bathroom, kitchen, and garage. Heat alarms may be considered where fumes from cooking or smoke from cigarettes or open fires could lead to unwanted alarm activations.
For minimum protection, one smoke alarm for each level/floor of your home.
Test Your Smoke Alarm Often
Test your smoke alarm at least once a month to ensure it is functioning correctly. Most alarms have a test button. Hold the button for a few seconds and see if the alarm sounds. If you don’t hear it or faint, it’s time to replace your batteries. Keep your family safe by remembering to check your alarm regularly.
If you don’t change your alarm’s batteries, you’ll likely hear that annoying high-pitched periodic chirp until you do. While the sound is grating, it does an excellent job reminding you when the battery is low and it is time for a fresh one. If you’re unsure whether or not the battery is dead, test it in a non-safety device.
When in doubt, throw it out. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. It never hurts to give your fire alarm a fresh new battery, even if you aren’t sure if the last one is dead. Consider writing the date on the new battery with a permanent marker so when it dies, you can see how long it lasted and know approximately how long each battery will work in your particular alarm.
Experts recommend you change your smoke alarms about every 10 years. When it comes to your family’s safety, you’ll want to make sure your equipment is functioning well and that you are using the latest technology to warn of fire danger.
Combination Alarms are Available
Arguably even more dangerous than a fire is carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide gas is odorless and tasteless, yet extremely toxic, and therefore very dangerous. It is produced by vehicles and gas-powered furnaces, and unsafe levels cause hundreds of deaths each year. If possible, look for a fire alarm that also includes a carbon monoxide sensor.
Know Your Evacuation Plan!
The purpose of a Smoke Alarm is to give an early warning of an outbreak of fire! You and your family must know exactly what to do when the Smoke Alarm activates.
Plan an escape route, then run fire drills. If possible, figure out two ways to exit every room, even if that means out a window. Make sure everyone in the household understands and can run through the escape route. The practice should include the post-exit meeting place outside.
- Practice drills during less-than-desirable times: in the middle of the night, in very cold weather, etc., as well as under more ideal circumstances.
- Tweak the plan as necessary. Who may be capable of actually sleeping through the alarm? This should be addressed. Make sure that an escape plan is in place for physically disabled occupants, babies, and pets.
- Purchase a folding ladder in case an escape through an upper window is necessary.
To get life back on track after a house fire, call SERVPRO of East Ft. Worth. We have a team of highly trained fire restoration specialists who can clean your home and restore it to its preloss condition. Our staff can also communicate with your insurance to ensure a smoother claims process. Call us anytime at (817) 293-5553. We’re available 24/7.
Preventing Electrical Fires in Your Ft. Worth Home
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 47,700 home fires in the U.S. are caused by electrical failures or malfunctions each year. These fires result in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries, and $1.4 billion in property damage. Overloaded electrical circuits are a major cause of residential fires. Help lower your risk of electrical fires by not overloading your electrical system.
Overloaded Circuit Warning Signs
- Flickering, blinking, or dimming lights
- Frequently tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses
- Warm or discolored wall plates
- Cracking, sizzling, or buzzing from receptacles
- Burning odor coming from receptacles or wall switches
- Mild shock or tingle from appliances, receptacles, or switches
When choosing to light for your home, it is essential to understand that some light switches have more functions than merely turning on lights. These added features such as timers and dimmers can make your home more convenient and efficient. If you are thinking of making a switch, contact a qualified electrician to ensure that the lighting you choose is compatible with your home. And remember, all light switches should be installed by a professional.
Don't Take These Warning Signs Lightly
- The wall plate is hot to the touch.
- There is discoloration of or around the switch plate.
- Lights dim and/or flicker without cause.
- You hear crackling, popping, or buzzing from your outlet.
- Often Breakers trip or fuses blow when the switch is turned on.
- You detect an odor when a switch is used.
- The switch leans to one side or feels loose when operating.
- You often experience a shock when operating the switch.
- Lights get brighter or dimmer when other appliances turn on or off.
- The home is over 40 years old and has aluminum wiring but has not recently undergone a safety inspection by an electrician.
If any of the above characterizes your lighting control points, have your home's electrical system inspected by a qualified electrician as soon as possible.
How to Prevent Electrical Overloads
- Never use extension cords or multi-outlet converters for appliances
- All major appliances should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet. Only plug one heat-producing appliance into a receptacle outlet at a time
- Heavy reliance on extension cords is an indication that you have too few outlets to address your needs. Have a qualified electrician inspect your home and add new outlets
- Power strips only add additional outlets; they do not change the amount of power being received from the outlet
Hopefully, these tips can help keep your home safe and protected from fires caused by an electrical malfunction, though accidents do occur. Our crews here at SERVPRO of East Ft. Worth see a handful of electrical fires each year, especially during the summer when extra fans and a/c units are plugged in and in winter when plug-in heaters are in use as well as holiday lights.
If your home or business is affected by an electrical fire. SERVPRO of East Ft. Worth is ready 24/7 365 to help deal with the smoke and fire damage that can occur and get your house back to pre-fire condition.
Pets and Fire Safety
No one wants to consider the possibility of facing a fire emergency in their own home, but it could happen at any time. Coming up with a fire plan is key to getting yourself and your family out safely. But what about your pets? Including pet preparation in your fire safety plan is crucial to get your furry friends out in time. Keep your furry companions safe by following these steps to create a fire evacuation plan for your pets.
- The best way to protect your pets from the effects of a fire is to include them in your family plan. This includes having their disaster supplies kit and arranging in advance for a safe place for them to stay if you need to leave your home.
- When you practice your escape plan, practice taking your pets with you. Train them to come to you when you call.
- If you must evacuate in the event of a disaster, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them, too. But remember: never delay escape or endanger yourself or your family to rescue a family pet.
Prevent Your Pets from Starting Fires
The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners' pets.
- Extinguish Open Flames: Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame, and make sure to extinguish any open flame before leaving your home thoroughly.
- Remove Stove Knobs: Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house - a stove or cooktop is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
- Invest in Flameless Candles: These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
- Secure Young Pets: Keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home, such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
Help Firefighters Help Your Pets
- Keep pets near entrances when away from home. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
- Affix a pet alert window cling and write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating their pets. Make sure to keep the number of pets listed on them updated.
Be Prepared. Have a Plan.
- Know their hiding places! During a fire, your pets will be terrified, and they'll most likely run to the places they feel most safe. If you don't know their common hiding places, you could run out of time to save your furry, scaly, or feathered friend.
- Map it out! Find their hidey-hole and niches. Map these out on a piece of paper, and include the map in your fire escape plan.
- Always evacuate your pets on a leash or in a pet carrier. Pets will panic at the smell of smoke and may bolt when outside, making them impossible to find.
- Prepare an emergency kit for each of your animals. The kit should contain your pet's food, veterinary paperwork, prescription medications, and an updated photo and description of each animal. You may have to board your pet at a kennel or other facility until you get settled after a fire, and they will require proof that your pet has current vaccinations.
- Have an evacuation plan. If you have to evacuate your home, and you cannot return for a while, have a plan of action!
Dealing with Smoke Damage After a Fire
If you’re dealing with fire damage, it’s time to call the professionals at SERVPRO of East Ft. Worth. Several little-known facts are crucial to smoke damage restoration procedures. Put your health and property first by learning more about the recovery period.
Ventilation is the First Step
Immediately following a fire, focus on ventilation for the home. The professionals may not be on-site yet, but you can improve the situation right now. Open the doors and windows. Use any fans within the home to move air out of the structure. Our Technicians will bring in industrial fans for this purpose, but get the process started yourself.
Consider your health when it comes to ventilation too. Wear dust masks if you must be inside the home. Remove children, pets, and older residents from the premises. The particles in the air can be irritating to some people.
Odors Don’t Dissipate on Their Own
There’s a misconception about fire damage cleanup and ventilation. You might believe that fire odors will dissipate with enough fans blowing in the house. Soot and other fire byproducts are chemically based substances. Unless they’re physically removed, they’ll continue to react with the drywall, wood, and other materials.
Our smoke damage restoration professionals will clean, remove and service the structure as necessary. They’ll deodorize rooms with careful attention to humidity and corrosion issues. There shouldn’t be any remaining odors after a professional cleanup job. Subtle odors equate to dirty conditions that will only grow stronger over time.
Soot Moves into Every Crevice
Cleaning off the walls and ceilings is only the beginning of the fire damage cleanup process. Most people don’t realize that soot is an excellent article. It floats and lands on nearly every surface. If you have light fixtures near the damaged area, be sure to remove the bulbs and clean them. Soot finds its way into the threaded base. Hazards arise if you turn the fixture on without cleaning it first. Soot can be a fire hazard if it’s not cleaned away in its entirety.
Smoke Damage Restoration Applies to Electronics and Antiques
If soot can find its way into light fixtures, your electronics might fall prey to it too. Discuss fire damage cleanup about your televisions, audio receivers, and other devices. It may take time to restore these items, but it’s worth the effort when it’s done right.
Think about any antiques that you might have as well. SERVPRO of East Ft. Worth restoration experts can bring these items back to life. When an antique has either sentimental or monetary value, restoring it should be part of your recovery process.
Call us anytime at (817) 293-5553. We are available 24/7 for any size fire damage emergency. Our team is trained to work with your insurance to ensure a smooth claims process. We’re committed to making your fire-damaged home look “Like it never even happened.”
Dryer Do's and Don't's to Prevent House Fires
How often should you clean the lint buildup in your dryer? If you answered after every load, you are correct! This is the easiest way to prevent a house fire. Amazingly, doing this small, seemingly insignificant task, can end up saving your home and possibly your life.
There are approximately 2,900 home clothes dryer fires, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Dryer fires can be detrimental to you, your family, and your home. Take precautions to reduce the risk for home fires by following the do’s and don’t’s of dryer maintenance and identifying the signs of a clogged dryer.
- Have your clothes dryer installed by a professional.
- Make sure the correct electrical plug and outlet are used and that the dryer is connected properly.
- Read manufacturers' instructions and warnings in use and care manuals that come with new dryers.
- Clean the lint filter before and after each load of laundry. Don’t forget to clean the back of the dryer where lint can build up. In addition, clean the lint filter with a nylon brush at least every six months or more often if it becomes clogged.
- Clean lint out of the vent pipe every three months.
- Have your dryer cleaned regularly by a professional, especially if it is taking longer than normal for clothes to dry.
- Inspect the venting system behind the dryer to ensure it is not damaged or restricted.
- Put a covering on outside wall dampers to keep out rain, snow, and dirt.
- Don’t use a dryer without a lint filter or with a lint filter that is loose, damaged, or clogged.
- Don’t overload the dryer.
- Don’t use a wire screen or cloth to cover the wall damper. They can collect lint and clog the dryer vent.
- Don’t dry anything containing foam, rubber, or plastic, like a bathroom rug with a rubber backing.
- Don’t dry glass fiber materials (unless manufacturer's instructions allow).
- Don’t dry items that have come into contact with anything flammable like alcohol, cooking oils, or gasoline. Dry them outdoors or in a well-ventilated room, away from heat.
- Don’t leave a clothes dryer running if you leave home or when you go to bed.
Warning Signs Your Dryer is Clogged and May Cause a Fire
- If it takes longer than about 45 minutes to dry your clothing, it could be a sign that the dryer vent is clogged.
- Your clothes are roasting hot to the touch after they have gone through a dry cycle.
- The flapper on the dryer's vent may not open entirely when the appliance is on.
For those homeowners who aren't lucky to catch the warning signs in time, fire damage can be daunting to clean up on your own. Professionals of SERVPRO of East Ft. Worth can work on your home's fire restoration when it is most convenient for you. Make sure to contact SERVPRO of East Ft. Worth at the first sign of fire damage so that issues are resolved immediately. We’re available 24/7 and can respond immediately. Call us at (817) 293-5553.
Smoke and Soot can be Cleaned? Yes!
Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allow us to inspect and accurately assess the damage's extent 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 significantly 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 East Ft. Worth 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 slightly 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. We’re available 24/7 for your fire damage emergency. Call us anytime at (817) 293-5553.