Recent Fire Damage Posts
Fire Damage: What You Should Know
A fire in an adjacent building caused smoke damage to this office. SERVPRO of Macon was called in to clean up the aftermath
Fire Damage Restoration: What You Should Know
Whether it's a fire in the home or a fire in a business, fire damage can be devastating. The shock of a fire to a family or business owner can feel overwhelming, and most people don't quite know what to do. Fire damage can range in severity. From smoke damage and soot damage to serious structural deterioration, fire in a home or fire in a business is nothing to be taken lightly. Fire damage restoration is an in depth process that should be entrusted to a professional restoration company. A fire cleanup should only be carried out by skilled experts.
After a loss to fire, a professional restoration company should be contacted right away to determine the best course of action. Usually the first thing that will be done is to secure the property by boarding up the damaged structure to keep curious people and animals out. Skilled experts can then begin the assessment of smoke damage, soot damage, fire damage, and water damage associated with such a loss. The severity and types of damage that have occurred will depend on the intensity of the fire and the composition of the structure. Commercial fire damage in a steel building may be limited to smoke damage, soot damage, and water damage to the interior, and require only remodeling and mitigation of the smoke smell. Fire in the home however, can often be more severe, as many homes are built of wood and filled with more flammable building materials like carpets and furniture. A professional restoration company should be the only ones entrusted to assess the extent of fire damage and carry out the fire cleanup and fire damage restoration.
After the initial board up and assessment of damage the restoration company can begin the fire cleanup. This means removing any furniture or appliances damaged by the fire in the home or fire in the business. Many articles will be lost to smoke damage and soot damage, even though they have not been burned. If there was fire in a business damaged products will need to be sorted and evaluated to determine the extent of the commercial fire damage. The smoke odor will in some instances never quite come out furniture or appliances that go through commercial fire damage or residential fires. Each item needs to be evaluated.
When all furniture and appliances have been removed the fire damage restoration process can begin. To mitigate the smoke odor the property will usually be opened up and well ventilated. Damaged drywall, carpeting, ceiling tiles and the like will be removed. Once the house or business has been properly stripped of its damaged interior, structural inspection can take place to determine what repairs are needed. The property may be left in a board up state and ventilated for a few days to diminish the smoke smell. Chemical cleaners may also be used to aid the process. The fire cleanup process must be expected to take days if not weeks depending on severity, as the professionals entrusted will want to do a thorough job. Fire damage restoration is no small matter and needs to be entrusted to these skilled experts. After the property has been sufficiently cleaned the board up may be removed and the process of rebuilding and/or remodeling may begin.
What to Do After a Fire Related Loss:
-Board up the property to ensure it's inaccessible to people or animals;
-Contact your insurance company, if applicable;
-Call a professional restoration company immediately and set up a consultation;
Residential and commercial fire damage can be devastating emotionally, mentally, and financially. But home and business owners alike need to remember that they are not alone, and that there are highly skilled and trained experts ready to help them. The sooner these professionals are contacted, the sooner family life and business can get back on track. If you or someone you know has experienced a residential or commercial fire related loss contact a professional restoration company today.
The hours and days following fire damage
A fire disaster can cause serious damage to your house. The resultant flames, smoke, heat, and even water can have permanent repercussions on the structure and many of your items. The contents that survive fire damage may sustain extensive smoke damage in exchange. The firefighters may also cut holes in the walls or roof when putting out the flames, leaving you with a massive cleanup job.
Time and patience are crucial when dealing with any form of fire damage. Once the fire fighting crew leaves, SERVPRO can come in and initiate the restoration process. We have highly skilled, IICRC-trained technicians that are on standby in case of an emergency. Using special smoke cleanup and restoration techniques, we can restore your property to preloss conditions, "Like it never even happened."
When the fire calms down, the resultant smoke damage appears in the form of discolored walls, charred items, or soot and ash on the floor. In some cases, other side effects such as smells can remain behind, presenting health risks to the occupants. It is important to keep in mind that some signs of smoke damage can show almost immediately while others take several hours (sometimes days) after the event to manifest.
Within a few days of smoke and fire damage, walls and flooring may turn yellow (although this yellowing effect does not show right away). Warping and discoloration can also occur on wood and plastic surfaces/appliances. Metal hardware tends to rust and corrode away several hours after a fire. If you have tiles, counter tops, or any other surface with porous stone such as travertine, granite, or marble, the acidic residue in soot can cause them to discolor permanently.
Certain surfaces, especially fabric items, may show both visible signs of fire damage and smoke odor. Smoke releases tiny carbon particles into the air that, when deposited, are known as soot. The first step SERVPRO takes to reduce the smell of a fire is getting rid of this smoke deposit or soot.
In addition to these tiny particles, smoke also contains various components that contribute to the unbearable smell that lingers after fire damage. These include toxic gases and vapors. Vapors are misty droplets that can be poisonous upon absorption or inhalation. Toxic gases come in different forms. Carbon monoxide is the most common toxic gas in a fire disaster. Household products such as plastics, vinyl, and other materials containing chlorine produce phosgene during combustion. Carpets, synthetics, clothing, and carpets release hydrogen cyanide when burning.
The smell that follows smoke damage penetrates different materials after some time. Unless a professional fire damage restoration company cleans up and deodorizes these items properly, the smoky smell may remain for a long time. SERVPRO technicians can pinpoint the source of the odor and neutralize it accordingly.
Do not leave your property to fate when a fire disaster comes knocking. SERVPRO of Macon is a part of your community and can arrive promptly to reverse the fire damage. Call us anytime at (478) 474-6700!
Water and Mold Damage after a fire?
Fire damage is caused by the actually fire. This can include damage to the structure of the property. Often materials are melted and can ignite other materials with this type of damage.
Fire damage can also cause different toxins to react causing explosions or they can act as accelerant spreading the flames and causing additional damage.
Water damage is always present with fire damage because the flames have to be extinguished. Often the damage caused by the sprinklers in a building is much more significant than the initial fire damage.
Soot from a fire can be found in every room of a house that has been badly burned, even those rooms that were not burnt. Often homeowner's belongings, furniture, clothes in drawers, important documents, paintings, and more are completely covered in charcoal black soot. Some items are not salvageable and the items that are have to be properly cleaned or the soot can permanently destroy them.
After experiencing a house fire the water damage has to be professionally handled, because when it is not properly dried mold can grow. Mold is a toxin that can cause numerous potential health problems for those living in the property. It is important to make sure the water damage is taken care of by professionals like those at SERVPRO of Macon.
Smoke Alarm know-how
Have you ever taken the batteries out of that annoying beeping smoke detector in your home? I know I have, and I’m sure you may have done that before too. However, this could be very dangerous if you don’t replace the batteries and make sure your smoke alarm is working properly.
The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) survey data shows that the public has many misconceptions about smoke alarms, which may put them at increased risk in the event of a home fire. For example, only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced. NFPA focuses on these key messages:
•Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
•Make sure you know how old all the smoke alarms are in your home.
•To find out how old a smoke alarm is, look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm; the alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date.
Here’s how to check:
1-Remove the smoke alarm from the wall/ceiling.
2-Look at the back of the alarm for the date of manufacture
3-Smoke alarms should be replaced 10 years from the date of manufacture
4-Put the alarm back on the ceiling/wall if it is less than 10 years old.
•Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Larger homes may need more alarms. For the best protection, make sure all smoke alarms are interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
•Test smoke alarms at least once a month by pushing the test button
•If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside/ go to your outside meeting place
•A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat & fire
•Call the fire department from a cell phone or neighbor’s phone. Stay outside until the fire department says it’s safe to go back inside.
•Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice different ways out.
•Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can't help.
•Make sure the number on your home is clearly marked and easy fo rht fire department to find.
•Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
This week is an also an opportunity for local firefighters to visit schools and teach children the importance of fire safety. They want to make sure you’re doing all you can to keep your family safe. Firefighters are also encouraging smokers to make sure they throw out butts and ashes correctly because it only takes something small to spark a fire if the conditions are dry.
For more information on fire safety please visit: http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/campaigns/fire-prevention-week
Do’s and Don’ts of heating your Middle Georgia home
Even though Macon usually has mild winters, there is still a need for heating homes or businesses at some point during the winter months.
Remember these tips when heating your Macon home or business:
- Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater. Have a three foot "kid-free" zone around open fires and space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be completely cooled before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from the home.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always us the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
Should you suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Macon at (478) 474-6700! Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."
Content Restoration after a Fire
Your home or commercial facility contains many of your most valuable possessions. SERVPRO of Macon understands the trauma that follows a loss. When fire damage takes control of your life, we help you take it back.
Some of our Contents services include:
Inventory – One of the first priorities in fire restoration is to complete an accurate inventory to help ensure you can properly account for all your belongings. Your SERVPRO of Macon technician can provide a detailed room-by-room inventory of contents, including digital photographs and bar codes for each item, suitable for filing insurance claims forms and relieving you of this often stressful and time consuming process.
Move Outs – When the structure has suffered extensive damage, the cleanup and restoration process may need to be facilitated by relocating the contents for cleaning, deodorization and storage while structural repairs are being completed. A supervised moving crew can carefully pack and move the entire contents of your home or office and move them into our secure facilities.
Contents Cleaning – All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery. SERVPRO of Macon technicians begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate. SERVPRO of Macon can provide wet or dry cleaning. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to as near as pre loss condition as possible. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, bric-a-brac and much more.
Call SERVPRO of Macon today! (478) 474-6700
Quick Facts about House Fires
Did you know that each year more than 12,600 people are injured in home fires in the United States? It is important to be prepared and know the facts about home fires.
- Home fires can be prevented.
- Fire is fast. In two minutes, a fire could kill you. In only five minutes, a whole house can be engulfed in flames.
- Fire is very hot! However, heat and smoke have the potential to be more dangerous than the flames.
- Hot air can burn your lungs and fire produces poisonous gas that can make you sleepy and unable to escape.
- Fire is very dark. This can make it difficult to find your way out of your house during a fire.
- Fire is deadly! Fire uses up oxygen you need to breathe.
You can always be prepared to prevent deadly fires in your home. Just taking a few precautions can help save you and your family.
These fire facts were found on www.ready.gov!