Archived Fire Damage Blog Posts
5 Tips for Preventing Cigarette Fires at Home
Whenever you smoke at home, there are certain factors to consider in order to prevent a cigarette fire.
5 Tips For Preventing Home Cigarette Fires
Cigarettes can be deadly in more ways than one. Between 2012 and 2016, the National Fire Protection Association reported that more than 18,000 residential fires started as the result of a cigarette fire.
When the weather becomes drier in Sumner, WA, it can create the perfect conditions for a blaze to easily start in a forgotten ashtray. With that said, there are several steps you can take to avoid having to call in a fire cleanup crew the next time you take a smoke break. Here are five to consider.
1. Smoke Outside
If you really want to prevent a cigarette fire at home, stay away from the house when you are smoking. Instead, choose a designated spot that is far enough away to minimize risks.
2. Make Sure Cigarettes Are Completely Out
To avoid an unnecessary ashtray fire, always be sure your butts are completely out before walking away. To be safe, sprinkle some water on the ashes.
3. Smoke When You Are Alert
If you take medication that makes you tired, avoid smoking when you take it. Likewise, make sure you are fully alert in general whenever you smoke so you do not accidentally drop your cigarette or fall asleep.
4. Stay Away From Medical Oxygen
When someone in your home has an oxygen tank, it is best to entirely avoid smoking anywhere nearby. Even when the oxygen is off, the tank can catch on fire or explode.
5. Never Smoke in Bed
No matter how tempting the comfort of your bed might be when smoking, do not do it! Even a small spark can be enough to ignite sheets, blankets and mattress.
Whenever you smoke at home, there are certain factors to consider in order to prevent a cigarette fire. Because smoking is usually a leisure activity that can occur in comfortable settings, you should be especially mindful of flammable areas like bedrooms and risk factors like your energy levels.
3 Cleanup Processes for After a Business Property Fire
SERVPRO responded to this warehouse fire to find damages to structure and equipment. Our professionally trained fire technicians are trained in all a
3 Procedures For Cleaning Up After A Business Property Fire
When cleaning up after a fire at your Puyallup, WA, business, getting everything fresh and repaired can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, your local fire restoration service can offer a number of solutions. From dry-cleaning for cloth items, to smoke odor removal, here are a few of the restoration techniques that your fire cleanup crew may use.
1. Options for Smoke Odor Removal
In many cases, it may be necessary to remove smoke odors from the property after a fire. Many professionals utilize an ozone machine for this process when cleaning the room itself. Items inside this area may be removed, cleaned, and placed in content storage until the damage to the building has been repaired.
2. Options for Cloth Items
For cloth items such as curtains, rugs, or clothing that may have been in the building at the time of the fire, dry-cleaning can be one possible solution for removing smoke damage. Other items may be washable in a cleaning solution.
3. Options for Solid Items
When it comes to content cleaning, it may be desirable to also wash items of a solid nature. These could be furniture pieces, electronics, or even office supplies. The method used will depend on the type of article. Electronic or mechanical devices should be serviced by a professional. Furniture, shelving or cabinet pieces can be washed with a cleaning solution. Some items may be freshened with a simple wipe down, while others may require dipping in the cleaner.
Fire restoration can involve several different cleaning techniques that vary with the damaged items. Dry-cleaning is often suitable for cloth articles, while dips or wiping solutions are used for solid pieces such as furniture. An ozone machine may help clear away smoke odor from the air. If you have any questions about the right method to clean a specific item, a professional can usually help.
The 3 Most Common Home Fire Causes
Cooking, heating, and smoking are three common fire causes.
The Three Most Common Causes Of House Fires
The most common causes of home fires can be prevented with basic fire safety measures and equipment. Find out more about three common fire causes to make more informed home fire safety decisions.
Cooking often involves a combination of hot stoves or ovens, open fire, and flammable substances, such as animal or vegetable oils or grease.
It is important to monitor food while cooking. If you are cooking something that takes a long time, periodically check in on the progress to prevent burning. Make sure that smoke detectors in this part of a home are functional. A fire extinguisher can promote kitchen safety, but may also cause grease fires to spread. Keep baking soda and salt near the stove to smother these types of fires before covering flames with a metal lid or another pot.
Malfunctioning furnaces or the improper use of space heaters are common causes of heating fires. Schedule regular furnace inspections and perform periodic maintenance. Only operate a space heater on a hard, non-flammable surface while attended and at a safe distance from combustible materials.
Smoking is one of the most preventable causes of a home fire. Avoid smoking in bedrooms or after taking medication that may cause drowsiness. Use stable ashtrays when smoking indoors and ensure that cigarettes are completely extinguished before leaving the room. It is safest to smoke outside and provide a wind-proof disposal solution, such as a bucket filled with sand.
Cooking, heating, and smoking are three common fire causes. A homeowner may be able to prevent or limit the damage resulting from a home fire by taking precautionary measures and installing and testing fire safety equipment such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. A damage restoration and fire cleaning service can help if a fire breaks out for any reason at a residence in Puyallup, WA.
Is Commercial Smoke Damage Covered by Insurance?
Luckily, the average commercial fire insurance policy takes into consideration the rapid degradation that results from smoke damage.
Is Insurance Coverage For Commercial Smoke Damage Available?
After being exposed to smoke damage from a commercial fire in Puyallup, WA, your facility may feel like it will never be the same again. Soot damage and heavy smoke odors may permeate your once functional space. Find answers to some of the most commonly asked-questions about cleaning up after a commercial fire.
Why is Smoke so Damaging?
While a commercial fire is a probable concern for the average businessowner, many may fail to recognize smoke as one of the fire’s most destructive results. Smoke can be very hazardous to these commonplace objects:
- Standard surfaces
Smoke has a polarizing charge which can actually impact the magnetism of most electronic devices. Smoke contains particles made of solids, liquids and gasses. This means that when it settles it can permeate and attach to objects it lands on. That is why smoke tends to leave an ashy film on everything it touches. This sooty film is highly acidic. Soot damage may impact the rate at which objects decay causing them to break or malfunction much sooner than expected.
Does Insurance Cover Loss From Fire Smoke?
Luckily, the average commercial fire insurance policy takes into consideration the rapid degradation that results from smoke damage. The only way to know if your policy covers damage caused by smoke is to check with the insurance company directly. Some plans even account for damage received as a result of a fire at an adjacent business.
Can a Commercial Business Be Fully Restored After Exposure to Smoke?
Although the effects of smoke vary by case, fire restoration professionals in Puyallup, WA should be able to evaluate damages and begin the smoke cleaning process. Electronics, photographs, upholstery and more can often be returned to their original state. Look for a cleanup operation that offers key services like odor removal and surface restoration.
As you cope with the consequences of a commercial fire, turn to a professional to safely restore your business. Addressing smoke damage is the first step to achieving total restoration.
3 Tips for Avoiding Cigarette Fires at Home
Fire damage to your home can be devastating, even an ignored cigarette can be fatal to all your belongings and loved ones.
3 Ways To Prevent Home Cigarette Fires
Thousands of residential fires are linked to smoking each year. If it sounds frightening it should! But you have options. Read on to learn how, with just a little extra care, you can avoid your Puyallup, WA, home becoming a victim of a cigarette fire.
How Does Smoking Cause Fire?
You may wonder, how can it cause fire? There are a variety of ways, obvious and not so obvious. Cigarette butts can ignite:
- Dry underbush outdoors
- Improper ash cans
And much more. A cigarette fire can quickly rise from a small event to a full conflagration, so it’s best to take steps to avoid any flames.
1) Smoke Outdoors
Believe it or not, some folks still smoke indoors, especially at home. Asking members of your family to smoke outdoors removes the risk of an ashtray fire, or of butts or ashes igniting curtains, books, furniture or any other flammable items. It may also leave your house smelling better.
2) Never Smoke Sleepy
Smoking can be a relaxing pre-sleep ritual for some, but it can come at a high cost. Falling asleep on a couch or in a bed with a lit cigarette can lead to embers igniting fabric. The results can be fatal.
3) Don’t Use Plants as Ashtrays
It can be tempting, if you’re smoking in the backyard, to toss your butts into the grass. But dry leaves can easily catch fire from a smoldering cigarette butt. Instead, find an ashtray or stamp your butt out.
Use the tips above and, should your home be damaged by a cigarette fire, call remediation specialists quickly for fire cleanup you can trust.
Is It Time to Clean Your Dryer Vent?
A burning smell is a sure sign that something's wrong. Lint can clog up the trap, drum casing, and exhaust tube, and easily cause a lint fire.
Is It Time To Clean The Vent On Your Dryer?
Like most homeowners in Bonney Lake, WA, you've probably taken precautions to prevent fires from happening in your home. But have you checked your clothes dryer lately? Each year, a significant number of homes are damaged by a lint fire. This type of dryer fire can occur when your vent isn't kept clean. So, how do you know if your vent needs maintenance?
1. It's Been a While Since Your Last Inspection
It's important to have your dryer vent duct inspected at least once a year by a professional vent cleaning specialist. While it's possible to do the cleaning yourself, hiring professionals ensures the job is done properly, as they are familiar with all kinds of dryers and have the appropriate tools to efficiently clean the vent.
2. You Smell Something Burning
A burning smell is a sure sign that something's wrong. Lint can clog up the trap, drum casing and exhaust tube, and easily cause a lint fire. If you smell something burning, turn off the dryer and have a professional inspect it immediately.
3. It Takes a Long Time for Clothes to Dry
A vent that's blocked up will keep your clothes from drying properly. The time it takes might be twice or even three times as long. You may put clothes in for a normal drying cycle and find that they're still damp when you take them out. The clothes aren't able to dry because a blocked vent will not be able to release the moist air from inside.
4. The Dryer and Your Clothes Are Really Hot
If the outside of the dryer is hot to the touch and your clothes are extremely warm when you take them out, this is a sign that the vent is blocked and the air from inside the dryer is not being blown out properly.
As a homeowner, you have enough keep you busy without having to worry about a lint fire. Happily, if you look out for the signs above and take the appropriate steps, you won't ever have to!
Pets and Fire Safety
During a fire emergency, an evacuation plan for your pets is an important element of pet preparation to have in place.
Pets And Fire Protection
In the event of a home fire emergency, it pays to be prepared. That goes for keeping your pets secure, too. But what do you need to have ready for pets in the event of a Puyallup, WA, fire? Having these three things ready in case something happens will help you be in a position of better pet safety.
1. Disaster Kit
You should always have a disaster kit ready for your pets in case a fire should start. This can resemble a human’s disaster kit, but you should research the specific supplies that are necessary to care for your pet’s special needs in a crisis.
2. Evacuation Plan
During a fire emergency, an evacuation plan for your pets is an important element of pet preparation to have in place. Practice removing your pets when you simulate your escape plan, and make sure to have a safe space ready if you need to shelter your pets elsewhere after evacuating your home.
3. Important Records
Pet vaccination and ownership records need to be easily accessible in the event of a disaster in the home. Keep these documents in a fire box so they will not get ruined by flames or smoke damage. If a firefighter or other rescuer finds your pets, these papers will help him or her to understand what the animals’ individual needs and histories are.
Remember, you always need to protect yourself and your family members before attempting to rescue a pet, and you should never let an animal delay your escape time. No one wants to think about a fire emergency at home, and it can be stressful to figure out how to take care of pets in such a time. However, being prepared with the steps above and researching methods of better pet safety will allow you to react more calmly under pressure should a fire occur.
Cleaning Smoke Damage in Your Home
Smoke cleaning can be a difficult process, SERVPRO of Puyallup/Sumner is your fire restoration company to call.
Getting Rid Of Smoke Damage In Your House
Smoke is the product of soot, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Combined with the potentially harmful chemicals of whatever material is burning, smoke damage can affect the air quality of your home and render damage on physical structures, making cleanup a necessary and immediate need for the safety of your home and health of all dwelling inside.
Materials You Will Need
Smoke cleaning can be a difficult process and even the smallest of impacted areas will need extensive attention to remove the smoke and soot damage left behind. For an effective cleaning, you’ll need several materials:
- Dry-cleaning (chemical) sponge
- Bucket of hot water
- Rubbing alcohol
- Degreaser or commercial soot remover
- Clean rags, sponge
With tools in hand, it’s time to enthusiastically and vigorously clean.
Steps You Will Take
As quickly as a fire spreads, the process for cleanup is comparatively slow and methodic.
1. Ventilate: Turn off your HVAC system to avert the spread of smoke and soot. Circulate fresh air into the smoke damaged area by opening windows and turning on fans.
2. Protect: The irritants contained in smoke and soot can be risky to inhale or contact with bare skin. Wear protective gear and consider a respirator mask if there are significant levels of soot to be cleaned. Protect clean items by removing them from the room or covering with plastic sheets.
3. Vacuum: Remove loose soot particles by vacuuming the area with an upholstery attachment on a powerful shop-vac.
4. Wipe down: Use the dry-cleaning sponge before any soot cleaner or water touches the damaged area. This chemicals in the sponge work to remove layers of soot, and should only be used in a wiping motion, never scrubbing.
5. Clean: Using your preferred liquid cleaner, wipe every surface in the room with a wet rag. Follow with a diluted solution of two tablespoons of degreaser and one gallon of hot water, ensuring you use a clean rag and/or clean solution as soon as either appear murky from the soot deposits.
Smoke damage can be an invasive problem worthy of professional cleanup. Keep the number for your local South Hill, WA restoration company nearby for when the aforementioned materials just aren’t enough.
What To Know About After Fire Content Cleaning
We can restore any fire damage you may experience.
Fire Content Cleaning Process
There are a number of content cleaning services, including Dry-cleaning, available after a fire at your Puyallup, WA home. These are designed to help restore personal items that may have been damaged by fire, smoke, soot, or suppression water. There are a few things you may want to know about this process.
1. Your Restoration Service Can Help
One of the first things to remember after a fire is that a local fire damage restoration service can help. These professionals can clean up the mess and repair the variety of damage types commonly associated with a fire. They can also work with your insurance agent to document damage and keep everyone updated on repairs. Additionally, these professionals may offer item cleaning services as well.
2. Methods May Vary
The methods used for cleaning may vary depending on damage severity and the material an item is composed of. Special dry-cleaning methods can be used for any items that cannot be submerged in cleaners. Other items may be wiped off with a solution or washed with a special soap. Paper items may be freeze-dried before the restoration process begins.
3. Many Items Can Be Cleaned
Many items can be salvaged after a fire depending on damage severity. These can include clothing, furniture, books, computers, and cabinetry. The professional working on the restoration will use the appropriate cleaning method for each piece. After an item is cleaned it will be temporarily moved to content storage until the repairs on the home are complete.
A restoration service can help with any cleaning and repair needs you home may face after a fire. This includes repairing and cleaning a variety of personal items and using the appropriate methods to do so. You may see them use special wash cleaners or dry-cleaning for more delicate items. If you have any additional questions these professionals should be able to help.
SERVPRO® Can Restore Your Fire Damaged Structure
Types of fire extinguishers.
For a fire department to successfully battle and control an inferno or a small fire, they are trained to identify the different types of fires. Yes, fires have classifications based on what is fueling them.
Different fires require unique solutions for cleanup and restoration. SERVPRO® of Puyallup/Sumner knows and understands how to work with fire damages, which can often be restored by our professional, IICRC certified technicians. We can handle the aftermath of residential and commercial fires. We specialize in fire and water damage cleanup. With our restoration experience, we can quickly restore your home or business to a pre-fire condition. "Like it never even happened."
- Class A: wood, paper, or trash, anything that leaves ash. Water can extinguish this fire. Type A fire extinguisher.
- Class B: oil, gas, or flammable liquids. Smothering solutions extinguish this fire. Type B fire extinguisher.
- Class C: electrical. Use carbon dioxide to extinguish this fire. Type E fire extinguisher.
- Class D: combustible metal fires. A dry powder agents will extinguish this fire. Type D fire extinguisher.
- Class K: kitchen fires. Small kitchen fires should be extinguished with powder or foam type extinguishers to prevent the splashing of hot oils and other materials.
SERVPRO® of Puyallup/Sumner is strategically located. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster. Our main purpose is to help our residents get back on their feet as quickly as possible, after a fire or any natural disaster. We will provide the personal attention you deserve. We will keep you informed and comfortable throughout the fire damage repair process. Call us today at (253) 848-0800 so that we can help restore your home or business.
5 Family Celebrations With Candle Safety Hazards
Fire damage in Puyallup, WA.
Five Candle Safety Hazards
Holiday decorations are fun until they burn the house down. Indeed, family celebrations can be some of the most exciting times of the year, but they can also be opportunities for increased risk of a candle fire. Every year, the National Fire Protection Association reports hundreds of residential fires that start as a result of celebratory candles.
To avoid needing to call a professional smoke cleanup team during your next family get-together in Puyallup, WA, consider these five common celebrations that often come with candle safety hazards.
1. Birthday Parties
What is a birthday cake without candles? Truthfully, it is a lot safer. If you still want to use candles this year, you can reduce the risk by waiting to light them right before the birthday boy or girl blows them out.
While Christmas trees make up the majority of holiday-related house fires in the United States, candle decorations can still be problematic. To prevent fire damage, never place candles anywhere near your tree or any other flammable household goods or furniture.
Another holiday celebration that comes with the risk of starting a candle fire is Hanukkah. One way to minimize danger is by using a flameless menorah. If you prefer to use candles, make sure the stand is sturdy, and place it on a hard, non-flammable surface.
Between decorations, cake toppings and dancing party guests, there is enormous potential for candle safety hazards at a wedding. For this reason, only use candles in areas where there is no flammable decor, alcohol or children.
Jack-o'-lanterns are part of what makes Halloween... Halloween. Without them, the holiday would look much different. Nonetheless, they can pose a danger when you put traditional candles in them. For a safer and easier alternative, consider a cheap package of flameless tea lights you can easily place inside your pumpkin.
When families celebrate holidays and events, it can be a lot of fun, but it can also lead to a candle fire. Understanding the risks can help you prevent emergencies.
4 Ways to Prevent a Home Fire
Avoid a fire in your home.
Below Are Four Ways Homeowners Can Help Reduce The Risk
Although you can count on a fire damage and restoration professional to restore your home in Puyallup, WA, after a fire, avoiding that situation altogether is always ideal. While a home fire may not always be preventable, such as a lightning strike, having a fire preparation plan is an easy way to minimize the chances of one happening. Below are four ways homeowners can help reduce the risk.
1. Install and Maintain Fire Safety Devices
Along with being the first line of defense to protect the people in your home, smoke alarms ensure earlier detection that may minimize the spread of the fire. Properly placed fire extinguishers are also essential to keep a small flame from overtaking the home. These devices can only be relied on if general maintenance is done throughout the year, such as checking batteries and conducting a test on alarms.
2. Regularly Inspect Heating Sources
When it comes to fire preparation, cooler outdoor temperatures should trigger a reminder to verify that heating sources are properly working. An annual inspection should be done on HVAC systems, and filters should be cleaned or replaced every three months. If using a space heater, keep it away from flammable items and ensure it can’t be easily knocked over.
3. Safety First in the Kitchen
The kitchen is a prime location for a fire to happen. From food particles burning to a towel too close to a burner, a lot can happen. Whenever cooking, always stay in the kitchen to avoid an accident from happening.
4. Don’t Forget the Clothes Dryer
Fire safety often involves remembering that everyday appliances are a potential source of a problem. That is especially true for clothes dryers. Any lint that builds up is prime kindling for the tiniest of sparks. To avoid a dryer fire, clean the lint trap after every load of laundry and regularly inspect the vents for debris.
Although a fire isn’t always avoidable, being focused on fire preparation may help reduce the risk and keep your home and everyone in it safe.
Commercial Structures and Fire Loss
Fire in Graham, WA warehouse
Commercial Structures and Fire Loss
A business fire is one of the worst things that can happen to an owner. While the loss of merchandise is terrible, the loss of the building structure is often devastating. The fortunate thing for many owners is that with a quick response and rapid fire cleanup from a restoration service in Graham, WA, salvageability is possible. These companies provide several advantages.
- Protection of claims
It isn't easy to express the importance of one element of a crew's work, but mitigation often arises because of its connection to the rest of the process. Without correct mitigation practices, a business will not only lose time, merchandise and more property to damage; it also risks losing insurance coverage for the disaster.
Liability and Disaster Mitigation
One of the most common areas affected by fire and rescue efforts is the roof. If the fire does not weaken and collapse the structure, firefighters will often puncture the roof to create vent holes. A roof repair after a fire is potentially costly, and if you do not mitigate further loss, your insurer may not cover the damage.
Most insurance providers require commercial owners to mitigate further losses after a disaster. To prevent further loss, you will need to secure the facility against weather, animals, vagrants and other threats. While it may sound challenging to secure your building, a fire cleanup company can often help with security, board up and tarp services.
Hope Amid Disaster
It is often challenging to see the upside after a disaster, but one does exist: reopening. A disaster does not need to be the end of your business. Despite the panic and devastation that may occur, remember that these moments are only momentary blips in your business timeline. Trust the insurance process and secure professional assistance.
A fire cleanup and restoration service understand how to assess a damaged property. They can help you rebuild. Do not dwell on the fire; instead, contact a qualified restoration service for help.
3 Ways To Remove Smoke Odors
Ozone generators are especially effective with protein-based smoke that is difficult to neutralize
How To Remove Smoke Odor After a Fire
Professional smoke cleaning is part of the fire restoration process. Often done as a last step, technicians may choose one of several options to remove offensive odors from your home.
Most people think of smoke coming from an indoor fire. However, odors can also enter from outside fires such as nearby structural fires or wildfires. Whether the source of the odor inside your home is from outside or inside, experts are trained to safely identify the origin of the problem and eliminate any lingering odors. Here are three techniques that are commonly used by professionals to remove smoke odor.
1. Air Filtration Devices
Air filtration devices work by circulating the air through a powerful HEPA filter. These filters are an excellent choice for smoke cleaning because they remove 99.97% of particulates from the air. As the particles get trapped, so do the molecules causing the smoke odor.
2. Ozone Machines
Ozone generators are especially effective with protein-based smoke that is difficult to neutralize. Because these machines release additional ozone into the air, it is not safe to enter the home while this process is taking place. Your smoke damage professional will let you know when it is safe to reenter your residence.
3. Thermal Foggers
Thermal fogging uses a petroleum-based fragrance to neutralize odors. Smoke from a fire can reach into tiny crevices. Since thermal foggers produce a fine mist in the form of a fog, they can reach just about anywhere odors could be hiding, including inside drawers, closets, or carpet fibers. Once the fog makes contact with the molecule causing the smoke smell, it absorbs it.
If you need smoke cleaning for your home in Elbe, WA, a professional fire restoration company can help return your home to its pre-smoke condition. With access to special training, knowledge, and equipment, the professionals should soon have your home looking and smelling "Like it never even happened."