Recent Fire Damage Posts
Restoring Hope After a Fire: The SERVPRO Way
When the flames die down, and the smoke clears, the aftermath of a fire can leave you feeling overwhelmed and helpless. At SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia, we understand the emotional toll of fire damage, and that's why we're here to guide you through the process of restoring your home and your peace of mind.
- **Swift Response** Our team knows that time is of the essence when it comes to fire damage restoration. We respond quickly to your call, arriving on-site promptly to assess the situation and develop a tailored restoration plan.
- **Assessment and Safety** Safety is our top priority. Before we begin any restoration work, we thoroughly assess the property to identify potential hazards and ensure a secure environment for both our team and your family.
- **Damage Mitigation** Our experts use state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to mitigate further damage. We board up windows, tarp roofs, and take necessary steps to prevent additional issues from arising.
- **Thorough Cleanup** Removing smoke residue, soot, and water used to extinguish the fire is crucial in the restoration process. We employ specialized cleaning methods to ensure a deep and thorough cleanup.
- **Odor Elimination** The smell of smoke can linger long after the fire is gone. Our advanced deodorization techniques neutralize odors, leaving your home smelling fresh and clean.
- **Restoration and Reconstruction** Our skilled team works diligently to restore your property to its pre-fire condition. From repairing structural damage to painting walls, we handle the entire restoration process, sparing you the added stress of finding separate contractors.
- **Compassionate Support** We understand that fire damage goes beyond the physical aspect, affecting emotions and memories. Our team provides compassionate support throughout the restoration journey, ensuring you feel heard and cared for.
- **Insurance Assistance** Dealing with insurance claims can be complex, but you don't have to go through it alone. We collaborate with your insurance company to help streamline the claims process and ensure you receive the coverage you deserve.
At SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia, we take pride in being your trusted partners in fire damage restoration. We're here to bring back the warmth and comfort of your home, one step at a time. Remember, you're not alone; we're just a call away.
Contact us today at 334-371-7378 for immediate assistance and peace of mind.
Winter Fire Prevention
It seems like every year, the holiday season approaches faster and faster—but that means the increased risk of house fires does, too. Our franchise has seen a dramatic increase recently in calls for house fire cleanup.
The leading cause of home fires is cooking regardless of the season, but the chances for heating and electrical-related fires always increases when the weather turns colder. Focusing on fire safety throughout your wintertime celebrations will ensure that fires are far less likely to get a chance to spark.
Tips for Fire Prevention Around the Holiday Season
Keep safe when cooking. Cooking is the top cause of house fires in every season, but during the winter, there are more large, family style meals and far more baking which causes the frequency of cooking related fires to increase. It is wise to always keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and be careful about utensils, potholders, dish towels and curtains being anywhere near the stove.
Heat the house with proper precautions. It is common to use space heaters throughout the winter season to knock the chill off, but it is important to be certain your model has safety features such as a tip over shutoff and overheating sensor. If you have a fireplace in the home, have your chimney inspected annually to reduce the risk of fire, and be sure to never leave a fire or a space heater unattended or going while you sleep.
Decorate with care. The decorations commonly associated with Christmas, such as trees and lights, present an electrical hazard if they are not installed correctly. Christmas tree fires due to electricity are extremely common, often as a result of the lights being plugged in improperly. Make sure to not overload outlets or power cables, and never use decorations with frayed wiring.
If you have fire damage at your home this holiday season, call the fire restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia at (334) 371-7378.
Winter Weather Fire Safety
Winter weather isn’t a common occurrence in our area, but winter storms do happen from time to time. It is important to keep the following advice in mind before, during, and after a winter storm hits our area. These tips will help keep you and your family safe from a winter fire.
- Test all smoke alarms. Do this at least once a month. This way you will know they are working. Install carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Test the alarms.
- Plan two ways out of the home in case of an emergency. Clear driveway and front walk of ice and snow. This will provide easy access to your home.
- Make sure your house number can be seen from the street. If you need help, firefighters will be able to find you.
- Be ready in case the power goes out. Have flashlights on hand. Also, have battery-powered lighting and fresh batteries. Never use candles.
- Stay aware of winter weather. Listen to the television or radio for updates. Watch for bulletins online.
- Check on neighbors. Check on others who may need help.
- Generators should be used outdoors. Keep them away from windows and doors. Do not run a generator inside your garage, even if the door is open.
- Stay away from downed wires. Report and downed wires to authorities.
- Be ready if the heat stops working. Use extra layers of clothes and blankets to stay warm. If you use an emergency heat source, keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room. Turn them off when you go to bed.
There are more home fires in winter than in any other season. Half of all home heating fires happen in December, January, and February.
As you stay cozy and warm this winter season be fire smart! If you do suffer fire damage at your home, give the fire restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia a call at (334) 371-7378.
Why You Should Hire Professionals to Clean Your Home After a Fire
Hidden damage and strong odors left behind by a house fire
Even after a small grease fire in your kitchen, you are going to wind up with plenty of damage afterward. You also must deal with a heavy smoky odor throughout your home, black soot on your ceiling and cabinets, burnt grease, and even melted appliances.
Many people attempt to clean up after a small fire in their home themselves. However, it is best to leave the inspection and cleanup of the fire damage to the expertise of our technicians at SERVPRO. We are trained and certified to deal with situations like this and have the proper tools as well to restore your home back to its proper state thoroughly.
Kitchen fires produce a mixture of residues which must be cleaned properly. A big challenge of kitchen fires is you will most likely have more than one kind of material which burns and leaves residues. It is not an easy task for the average homeowner to understand how to clean these residues. The different kinds include natural substances such as wood, paper, or natural fabrics, protein substances like grease and burnt food, plus synthetic substances like plastics. It is best that each kind of substance is cleaned with the right method unique to that substance.
Smoke smells are tough to combat. You can keep cleaning, but the smell of smoke can linger still. Smoke particles are tiny, and each of them has an odor. These microscopic particles make their way inside your walls through air ducts, behind the wood trim, into cabinets, under carpeting, and more. Even if you are the best cleaner in the world, there are such a vast number of places you could miss, and it can take weeks for the smell to dissipate.
The fire could have also done more damage than you realize. If flames shot up an air duct, for instance, you may not know about some of the damage done. When you allow SERVPRO staff to inspect your home, we can find all the hidden damage so that your home is completely cleaned and restored, giving you a peace of mind.
SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia has the proper training to handle fire damage of all kinds. Call us at 334-371-7378!
Smoke Alarm Safety Tips
Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives and, when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.*
The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.
Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees, or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.
Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance. For more on emergency preparedness, contact SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
- Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm "chirps," the battery is low and should be replaced right away.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
JUST THE FACTS: Smoke Alarms
- Three out of five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or when the alarms are not working.
- Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.
- More than one-third (37 percent) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
- The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.
*Statistics and tips provided by National Fire Protection Association
Electrical Fires Can Cause Extensive Damage
SERVPRO Offers Electrical Fire Damage Restoration Services
Statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration indicate that electrical fires account for about 7 percent of all residential fires in the country. This figure becomes much more significant when scaled down to a specific location. In most cases, the fire occurs from increased use of lights and heating appliances and usually starts in the bedroom. However, the highest number of fatalities (i.e., injuries and even deaths) come from fires happening in the family room, living room, and den.
When it comes to electrical fires, you cannot afford to be tolerant. You need to contact a locally based fire damage restoration company, such as SERVPRO, to start the mitigation process as fast as possible. Some electrical fires happen due to appliance failure or problems in house wiring, but many are a result of simple mistakes such as overloading extension cords or electrical outlets. Whatever the case, our IICRC-certified technicians have the tools and expertise to reverse the damage as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Research on fire damage events has shown that faulty wiring is the leading cause of electrical fires in most homes. If your house is at least two decades old, it is highly likely to have faulty wiring behind the walls. Rodents such as rats, mice, and squirrels can find their way into these spaces and chew on electrical cords, increasing the risk of a fire disaster.
At SERVPRO, we also deal with many instances of electrical fire damage resulting from shoddy installation. Home building trades are flooding with professionals who cut corners to save time or money, including electricians. On the other hand, overloading an older electrical system with modern electrical devices can prove to be too overwhelming, leading to damages on your wiring, appliances, and even the breaker box.
Holiday seasons are associated with the most house fires resulting from misusing extension cords. Generally, an extension cord should only serve as a temporary solution, especially when it comes to plugging several things in at once. Apart from overloading extension cords, using a frayed power cord can also lead to serious fire damage. Indeed, electricity can escape through the holes in the cord and set the surrounding materials ablaze.
In the event of an electrical fire, make sure that everyone is safe and then contact SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia as quickly as possible to deal with the fire damage. Electrical fires come with many hidden safety hazards, so it is important to allow trained restoration experts to come in and assess the extent of the damage. For any assistance, you can reach us 24/7, every day of the week at (334) 371-7378.
Avoid Fire Hazards in the Kitchen
Who knew that the kitchen would become that wonderfully versatile place where family and friends gather to spend quality time while delicious meals are being cooked up? Unfortunately, however, the kitchen is also a space where many home fires occur.
Fires caused by cooking are listed as the No. 1 contributor of home fires and injuries. And the leading cause of these kitchen fires is unattended cooking.
In 2017, State Farm paid out over $130 million in homeowners insurance claims related to grease and other cooking fires. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:
- North Carolina
- New York
Important Kitchen Safety Tips
Staying in the kitchen to supervise your cooking is not the only fire safety tip you should be following. Here are some other helpful tips to observe while cooking:
- Clothing is flammable! Does your outfit have long, flowing sleeves or is it big and baggy? It could catch on fire if you aren’t careful while cooking over the stove. It’s best to wear short or close-fitted sleeve shirts and make sure any baggy shirts are tucked in or tied back.
- Be observant as to what you have around the stovetop. Make sure you don’t have kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords or even curtains too close to the stovetop when cooking. Ideally, anything that is flammable needs to be kept a safe distance from it.
- Have a fire extinguisher available in/near the kitchen. It is important that you have at least one fire extinguisher available in your home and, ideally, one that is near your kitchen. Make sure you know how to properly use the extinguisher, just in case it is ever needed.
- Hot grease in the garbage can be dangerous. While the grease may not actually be on fire, it might be hot enough to cause something in the trash to burn. You should let the grease cool a bit and then dispose of it in an old coffee can. Also, know the smoke points of the oils you cook with. Be sure to never subject a low-smoke point oil to high heat when cooking, as it could catch fire.
- Make an emergency escape plan and practice it! It’s never fun when it comes to thinking about the worst that could happen, but it’s better to be prepared than to be caught by surprise if an emergency were to occur. Go over exit routes and designated meeting points with your family, making sure that everyone knows what to do.
Fire safety in the kitchen is an absolute necessity, as it can help prevent dangerous and destructive cooking fires. If your home has experienced damage from a cooking fire, know that SERVPRO® of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Frequently Asked Questions About Fire Damage
- How long will the fire restoration process take?
Because there are many variables and many services involved in fire and smoke restoration, it is difficult to predict exactly how long the complete restoration will take. Consult with your SERVPRO Technician on the estimated dates and phases of your restoration project.
- Can I clean the fire damage myself?
We suggest that you do not attempt any “do-it-yourself” cleaning methods without consulting your SERVPRO Technician. Professional cleaning systems and products used by experienced, trained SERVPRO Technicians give you the best chance for complete restoration of your belongings. Pre-testing, using the right cleaning agent for the particular item, mixing deodorizing agents with cleaning solutions, and using correct dilution rates are just some of the ways a fire restoration technician expertly controls the results.
- What are some safety concerns?
At SERVPRO, occupant and worker safety is a top priority. During the initial inspection, safety hazards are identified and addressed, including debris removal, air quality, electrical hazards, slip and trip hazards, etc. Burnt electrical cords and appliances are separate out for disposal, and questionable electrical appliances are unplugged and tagged for evaluation of the safe operation. Electrical power may be turned off and kept off until evaluation by a licensed electrician.
- Can I turn on my heating and air conditioning unit?
We recommend that you not turn on your furnace or air conditioning unit without clearance from the HVAC contractor.
- What items do I keep in my possession?
Cash, Medications, Valuable Jewelry, Checkbooks, Personal Documents, Valuable Paintings, Flammables, Pet, Weapons/Ammunition, Gasoline, Cans, Stamp/Coin Collections, etc.
- How do I keep track of non-restorable items?
We recommend you make a list of items (including food items) deemed non-restorable. Use a format like a sample below, or obtain a similar form from your insurance company. Make a copy for your insurance company and keep one for yourself.
- Do I need to move out of my property during the fire restoration process?
This is ultimately your decision. Some things you may want to consider are safety concerns, odors, electricity, noise from equipment, etc. If vacating your premises for any length of time, consider the following: forward your mail to your temporary residence; stop newspaper and other deliveries; notify utility company, Cable Company, etc. of temporary suspension of services.
- Do I need general contractors?
There are some items that may require general contractors, such as drywall/painting, electrical, plumbing, roofing, framing/finish carpentry, flooring/carpet, installation of doors, windows, cabinets, post-construction cleanup, etc. Please talk with a SERVPRO representative as we have the ability to provide these services to you through our own in-house facility.
- Do my belongings need to be moved away from the premises?
Depending on the source, nature, and extent of the fire, it may be best to remove all belongings to a secure facility for cleaning, storage and to make room for restoration or construction. SERVPRO will work with you and your insurance claim representative to manage this process.
- Will I have access to my belongings while they are in storage?
Yes, with advance notice we can schedule a time for you to access your requested items.
- What about special items? Artwork, china, heirlooms, etc.
Some high-value items require restoration by specialists. Working with your insurance claim representative, we can help you identify these and locate a qualified restorer.
Who is responsible for payment for the service?
Ultimately you, the property owner, are responsible for payment and will need to sign a form authorizing repairs and payment for the restoration services. If this is an insurance claim, SERVPRO generally collects the deductible (co-payment) amount from you and bills the balance to your insurance provider as a service to you. If you have a large loss, your mortgage company may be included as a payee on the payment from your insurance company, and you may need to obtain a signature from them as well. If your claim is not covered by the insurance or you decide not to file a claim, you will be expected to pay in full.
Kitchen Fire Prevention Tips
According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.
Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
Keep anything that can catch fire—oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains—away from the stovetop.
If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.
Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
Smoke Detector Maintenance Tips from SERVPRO
You have several appliances, systems, components and products in your home, many of which you use and depend on every day. Perhaps the most important one is something you hope to never need: a smoke alarm. This device is a critical warning mechanism that will alert you if smoke is present in your home. However, if you don't have enough in your house, or if you don't properly maintain them, you could suffer awful consequences if a fire does start.
Proper Alarm Placement, Care
If you move into a new home, you shouldn't have to worry much about whether you have enough alarms. On the other hand, older places might not be up to smoke detector standards. Make sure you adhere to the following:
- Have one alarm in every sleeping room of the house.
- Have one alarm outside each sleeping area.
- Have at least one alarm per floor.
- Make sure you properly install each alarm; have a professional help you if necessary.
For years, fire damage restoration experts have advised homeowners to replace the batteries in each alarm at least once a year. This is a good guideline to follow if you have an older alarm. Newer alarms, however, have a much longer battery life. With these, you'll only have to change the batteries once every 10 years. It is wise to test your alarm monthly. Most models have a function where you can push a button on the device, which will sound the alarm, letting you know the battery is working and that the sound is sufficiently loud.
Whatever you do, never disconnect a smoke alarm. Some homeowners get annoyed when the alarms go off if something is burning on the stove or in the oven. It's unwise to unhook your alarm under any circumstance.
A smoke alarm could save your life someday. Make sure you have the right number in your home and that you replace the batteries properly.
Summer Fire Prevention Tips from SERVPRO
We here at SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia deal with many house fires throughout the year, they are the most common disaster throughout the U.S and with the summer rolling in, here are some ways you can help prevent these:
#1. Don’t use fireworks at home
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, it’s always best to leave fireworks to the professionals and attend public fireworks displays instead.
#2. Be careful when grilling outdoors
Practice safe grilling this summer with these grilling fire tips:
- Always use your grill outdoors and far away from any structures.
- Clean your grill after every use to prevent a buildup of fat or grease that can cause a grease fire.
- Stabilize the grill on a flat surface to prevent it from tipping.
- Watch for gas leaks.
- Use charcoal starter fluid carefully. Don’t add starter fluid to the fire if it starts to go down.
- Have baking soda, a bucket of sand, or a fire extinguisher handy if you need to put out the fire. Never add water to a grease fire.
#3. Beware of lawn mower fires
You may use your mower with no signs of trouble then put it away in your garage without realizing the potential danger. If the fuel flows from the tank into the engine while the engine is turned off, it will eventually cause a buildup of flammable vapors and a heat source can spark a fire in your garage. To reduce this risk, replace your fuel line every other year, inspect your carburetor for damage, and add fuel stabilizer every fill up.
#4. Have your air conditioner inspected
Regular maintenance and tune-ups of your heating and cooling systems can help prevent a fire.
#5. Reduce your risk of a kitchen fire
Throughout the year, kitchen fires are responsible for most home fires. The stovetop is the usual starting point for kitchen fires, not the oven. To reduce your risk of a fire, always remain in the kitchen when grilling, frying, or cooking on your stovetop. Make sure there are no flammable materials near the heat such as a paper towel dispenser or dish towel. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen but not too close to the stove and oven in case of fire and remember to suffocate cooking flames with a lid, not water.
#6. Check your dryer
Most dryer fires are the result of failing to clean the dryer vent ductwork as highly flammable lint will build up over time and may be ignited by the heat of the dryer. Clean your lint trap between every load and clean your dryer vent at least once a year with a special vent cleaning brush. Make sure the outside dryer exhaust vent allows hot air to escape.
#8. Make sure your smoke detectors work
You should have at least one smoke detector on every floor of your house in an area where it can be heard from every room of the house. Inspect your smoke detectors regularly to make sure they work and develop an escape plan that your entire household can practice in case of emergency. The escape route should have two possible exits from every room and these paths should be as free of clutter as possible.
Choosing the Right Fire Extinguisher
Every fire extinguisher is assigned a class. The suppressant in a Class A extinguisher differs from a Class B, C, D, or K extinguisher. Homeowners should consider where each piece of home fire safety equipment will be kept and choose the most effective suppressant for the fire risks in this area. The following fire preparedness measures can help homeowners purchase the right extinguishers.
Consider the Location
Certain extinguisher classes are better suited for different parts of a residence. Here are a few general guidelines:
- Home extinguishers should be able to put out fires involving standard combustibles
- It is a good idea to put an extinguisher rated for electrical equipment near appliances
- Class B extinguishers can be used on flammable liquids in a garage or work space or kitchen grease fires
Some extinguishers, such as Class D or K, are less common for residential use. Even though a Class K extinguisher is designed to suppress grease fires, using this extinguisher improperly can cause grease to spatter and spread the fire.
Check the Suppressant Class
Each fire extinguisher class is determined by the suppressant. Here are the contents of each major class of extinguisher:
- Class A uses monoammonium phosphate
- Classes B and C combine monoammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate
- Class D uses sodium chloride or copper powder
- Class K uses potassium compounds
Multi-class extinguishers are also available. A-B-C extinguishers are popular for residential use.
Choose One-Time Use or Refillable
Homeowners can save money up front by purchasing a single-use extinguisher. A rechargeable extinguisher costs more, but refills are less expensive than buying a new extinguisher designed for one-time use.
All of these factors determine which class of fire extinguisher is the best choice for various areas of a residence. If a fire is too large to suppress, home fire damage restoration specialists can rebuild structural damage and clean contents.
Wood Encapsulation After a Fire
In the process where SERVPRO is preparing a home that has had fire damage, the smells and air quality are very strong and unhealthy to say the least.
Even weeks after the entire home has been demoed and the inside of the home is close to being ready for construction to replace drywall, re-texture walls, paint, lay flooring, etc... The odor still lingers!
Here at SERVPRO we tackle the air quality by cleaning ducts, and often replacing the ductwork. The next step is to encapsulate all wood framing that was not damaged however still has been affected by odor.
Once full encapsulation is complete, the home begins to have a clean smell and is safe for being reconstructed.
SERVPRO takes great pride in this entire process and the family is always very hands-on in the SERVPRO process. It is actually very healing for the family because when anyone has been awoken by a home fire, it is very scary and unsettling!
Allowing these families to be a part in choosing what personal belongings they get back within 48 hours, helping to choose new paint colors, flooring, and stepping in to their home once it is encapsulated, it very comforting and these families begin to not only feel hopeful but they begin to relax and see themselves actually coming home.
Give SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia a call at 334-371-7378!
The Importance of Installing Smoke Detectors
There is no structure that cannot be made safer with properly installed smoke detectors. These devices, when used as instructed, can save lives and property. SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia knows the safety of your family is your number one concern. It is ours as well.
Did you know:
- Properties without working smoke alarms has an increase in home fire deaths
- Around one-third of home fires begin in homes which do not have smoke alarms
- The chances of someone dying in a home fire is cut in half when smoke alarms are present
SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia would like to share these suggestions:
- We recommend that your home be equipped with smoke detectors outside and inside each sleeping area
- Place a smoke detector on all levels of the structure (bigger homes require more detectors).
- Closing doors will inhibit the movement of heat, smoke, and fire.
- Test your smoke alarms at least every thirty days. Testing is done by pressing the test button to ensure each alarm is working.
Most professionals agree that your alarms should be interconnected so that, no matter where the smoke is detected, everyone in the house is alerted simultaneously. When the alarms sound, immediately vacate the structure and position you and your loved ones away from it until help arrives.
Recovery Plan After a House Fire
Having a plan for the moment a house fire starts is one of the best things you can do to boost your household’s safety. Getting everyone out of the house and calling for help in an organized manner is key, but it is also important to know what happens once the flames are extinguished.
Navigating the aftermath of a house fire is a complicated process, but with these helpful tips, you can make sure you are taking care of all the necessary considerations.
Navigating the Aftermath of a House Fire
Prepare yourself for what to expect. While it is impossible to predict the exact extent of your household’s damage before you go inside, being mentally prepared can help lessen the associated shock. Fire damage can often look more severe than people are expecting, so understanding how the charring, soot and smoke damage might appear can be helpful.
Wait to enter your home. Though many people will want to rush to re-enter the home and get started on their recovery process as quickly as possible, you should never do this without a green light from officials. Fires can compromise the structure of the home and make it quite hazardous, so it is important to prioritize staying safe above all else during recovery.
Contact your insurance company. Filing a fire damage claim will vary based on your policy provider, so getting in touch with them early on is a great way to make sure you are taking the right steps to get the most out of your claim.
Document the damages. Photos and a detailed inventory list are often requested by your insurance company anyway, but even if they are not, we recommend keeping track of the damages in an organized way. This will prevent you from accidentally forgetting about items that have been impacted by the fire and will come in handy as you work to recover.
Contact your restoration company. The emotional repercussions of a house fire can be difficult to deal with, which is why we always recommend prioritizing using the best restoration company you can. Trusting the company you work with will be vital in your peace of mind throughout the process and can help you return to your home as quickly as possible.
If your home is damaged in a house fire, you can count on us to help you. Call SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia at 334-371-7378 for a quick response.
Identifying Smoke Damage After a Fire
SERVPRO Technicians Deal with Different Types of Smoke Damage
Various mishaps or accidents can lead to kitchen fires damaging various materials. Fires also leave smoke residues on walls, ceilings, and other surfaces. Standard smoke residues such as soot are readily discernible through touch or vision. However, there are byproducts of smoke that are harder to identify, so there is a possibility of having smoke damage that you do not notice.
What types of residues do fires leave?
The kind of residues left after fire damage in your kitchen may depend on the materials burnt, the duration it takes to contain the fire, among other things. Incidents commonly involve stove flare-ups, grease fires, and incidents sparked by electrical appliances. The materials burnt range from oil, proteins such as meat, plastics and organic materials such as wood, leaving deposits like:
- Protein residues
- Fuel oil residues
- Dry smoke residues
- Wet smoke residues
How do you tell which residues a fire left?
Most smoke residues are readily visible since they have different colors compared to the materials where they are deposited. What is harder to tell from a casual look is the volume of residues left and the distribution around the room. Our SERVPRO technicians use simple approaches such as wiping the wall surface with a cleaning sponge starting from the area closest to the seat of the fire, thus establishing residue distribution patterns. The process also helps establish whether there are wet smoke, protein, or oil residues.
Is it possible to miss smoke residues?
The characteristics and behavior of smoke are the two main reasons why it is possible to miss residues. Some byproducts of smoke, such as protein residue, can have amber or yellowish appearance. They might also be virtually invisible, thus causing minimal discoloration of painted walls or other surfaces such as cabinets.
Spread patterns can also hide smoke residues. Even when fire damage is contained in the kitchen of your residence, the smoke is likely to filter into other rooms within the house. Failure to check those areas can leave residues in place.
Smoke moves through convection currents to colder areas within the loss site. Concealed areas such as cabinets and other hidden cavities attract more smoke due to cooler temperatures, thus leading to more deposits. Our SERVPRO restoration crews include certified FSRT, Fire, and Smoke Restoration Technicians who are well versed with smoke behavior and thus able to take the right actions, including establishing spread patterns and opening up hidden sections where residues might accumulate out of sight.
Is cleaning sufficient when dealing with smoke damage?
Cleaning is an effective solution to fight smoke damage since it removes residues restoring a surface to its pre loss state. However, the effectiveness of the cleaning exercise may differ depending on factors such as:
- The porosity of the surface
- Age of the surface
- Heat levels during the fire
Residues deposited on porous surfaces penetrate further, making it harder to clean using methods such as wiping. The porosity level of a material can be natural or can be the result of the conditions prevalent during the incident. For example, higher temperature levels open up pores in materials allowing deeper penetration of residues. Sufficient moisture leads to the setting of residues, which can interfere with cleaning. In most loss sites, moisture comes from firefighting efforts by firefighters or suppression systems such as sprinklers.
How does SERVPRO respond to the challenges of smoke damage?
Cleaning involves four standard actions, including:
- Mechanical action
- Suspension and dispersion
- Chemical action
Although all the actions help clean the affected areas, they work uniquely, so there is a need to use just what is necessary. Our technicians evaluate the loss site to determine which actions would be most effective. We also evaluate the materials in the area to ensure that the action we choose does not create secondary damages. For example, since we know that wet cleaning can lead to the absorption of particles by materials, we use mechanical action such as wiping surfaces with sponges to remove dry, non-greasy residues from a surface. We can use specialized cleaning products such as chemical sponges to remove residues from a surface without leaving smudges.
Setting a cleaning goal also helps deal with challenges. The goal of cleaning can be to restore the affected area to its pre loss state. Cleaning can also help prepare the loss area for refinishing. If the area requires refinishing, cleaning needs to remove physical deposits and odor only since refinishing takes care of minor issues such as blemishes.
SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia can help you address any challenges posed by smoke damage, "Like it never even happened." Give us a call at (334) 371-7378!
Why You Need a Restoration Inspection After a Fire
Damage to a kitchen after a grease fire
Residential and commercial fires are unpredictable and can be devastating.
Hopefully you have given thought to fire prevention for your home. In addition to taking these steps, you have also developed an escape plan with your family. In the unfortunate case of a serious fire, would you know where to turn after the fire crews leave?
SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia is the simple, effective solution. We'll respond quickly and get to work restoring your property.
One of the first steps in our fire damage restoration process is the inspection.
Without proper and careful inspection, we cannot be sure of risk factors in the environment, the extent of damage, critical utility locations, and numerous other important factors. Inspection can sometimes be a lengthy process, as SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia inspectors have to look for and catalog many different factors.
Here are some of the things that we look for in homes that have taken fire damage.
One of the most important considerations when inspecting fire damage is structural stability. Fires, as they burn through supports and other structural components, can create unstable conditions and high potential for collapse. Our technicians look for signs of structural weakening to ensure the safety of both you and SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia technicians, such as warped walls, burned columns, caved-in ceilings, buckled door frames, and scraping between doors, windows, and their upper frames. Any of these may be an indicator of a weakened structure, so knowing of them before any work begins has the potential to save lives.
Spots for Tarping and Boarding
Immediately following inspection, our reconstruction crews move in with tarps and boards to seal up any windows, doors, or holes in the home that leave it open to the elements. Inspectors look for these openings and compose plans to seal them most effectively.
Of course, the central part of any fire damage inspection is what has been hurt, and how much. Inspectors will catalog items, surfaces, and areas which have taken damage, describing in detail for our other teams how bad the situation is and what factors caused it. From there, our technicians can work to apply appropriate cleanup processes and measures. If you have used our ERP (Emergency Ready Profile) system, this process may be greatly accelerated as our inspectors will have access to plans and inventory lists beforehand.
SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia works with you to get fire damage cleaned up quickly, cheaply, and with the minimal safety concern. Give us a call at (334) 371-7378!
How to Safeguard Your Home Against Potential Fires
You Can Lower Your Fire Risks by Developing Safer Cooking Habits and Properly Maintaining Appliances.
Residential fires are common occurrences. These fires often originate from cooking mishaps, poorly maintained appliances, and those that malfunction. Once ignited, blazes can quickly spread to nearby homes.
When looking for a reputable service to remediate your fire-related issues, remember that all fire damage cleanup services are not equally capable of doing the job right. Many simply do not give their technicians the proper training, and some workers likely lack the requisite experience to handle more severe cases. Other companies do not have the specialized equipment necessary to successfully clean up and restore the worst fire damage. Therefore, knowing what your local cleanup and restoration companies are capable of before a fire occurs is to your advantage.
What Can I Do to Reduce My Risks of a House Fire and Mitigate Damages if One Occurs?
Fortunately, you can do several things to substantially lower your residential fire risks and limit your damages if one ever happens. SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia offers the following fire risk mitigation suggestions to homeowners:
- Make sure cooking oil never overheats and only use deep fryers controlled by a thermostat
- If an oil or grease fire starts, turn off the heat if possible and do not attempt to extinguish it with water
- Keep clothing and other flammable materials away from the stove and burners
- Ensure that cooking appliances are turned off once you are finished cooking
- Avoid leaving cooking food or children unattended in the kitchen
- Properly maintain and routinely clean all appliances
- Keep a Class A-B-C fire extinguisher in your kitchen
If a fire occurs at your home or business, give SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia a call at (334) 371-7378!
What Can I Do After a Fire Loss?
If You Suffer Loss from Fire Damage, SERVPRO Comes to the Rescue to Restore Your Home
Any size fire leaves significant damage to your home, and you need to act as quickly as possible so that you can minimize the loss. If you wait too long after the fire gets extinguished before cleanup begins, you are left with pungent lingering odors. Additionally, the water used to extinguish the fire poses a potential hazard to materials in your home and possible mold growth. Calling in the help of trained experts ensures that your home is back to normal, so it seems, “Like it never even happened.”
What Should I Do After the Fire is Extinguished?
If you are dealing with fire damage, SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia is available to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for emergency restoration. Debris throughout your home, along with airborne threats, can hinder restoration and makes DIY methods nearly impossible. We can perform a walkthrough assessment of your home once it is deemed safe to record conditions and identify the best steps to proceed. We also bring advanced tools and equipment that allow us to get rid of stubborn residue from soot and smoke. Early mitigation helps cut back on the severity of the damage as well as the potential for long-lasting, hazardous effects.
What Can Your Company Do to Help with Restoration?
We pay close attention to any areas of the home where smoke and soot residue may have gotten through cracks and crevices. All damaged materials and debris gets removed so that we can begin the restoration and replacement process. A plan is put into place that allows us to utilize our resources in the most effective manner possible, including:
- Pack out services for the removal of personal belongings to be cleaned in detail at our facility.
- Soot removal from all surfaces that helps inhibit corrosive action.
- Assignment of technicians to address the cleaning of ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.
- Inspection of all structural elements to ensure safety.
- For smoke odors that got into the wall cavities, we remove the first few inches of insulation within the walls to be replaced with new insulation.
Why Can’t I Address the Fire Damage on My Own?
It is difficult to thoroughly remove charred debris and rid your home of stubborn odors from soot and smoke residue. Just a few reasons why professional intervention is recommended after a fire include:
- The residue and debris left from a fire loss can be very toxic. Our team comes with all of the personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary to safely manage the job.
- There are often significant amounts of water or chemicals used to extinguish the fire. This must be addressed right away with the help of our expert extraction techniques and tools to speed up the process.
- Various portions of your structure, including the floors, walls, and ceilings, call for a professional assessment to determine whether or not they are stable.
- The methods and cleaning agents used to address soot cleanup vary depending on the surfaces impacted and the materials that burned in the fire. Our team is fully trained following the standards set form by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) to handle any size fire damage project.
- We have EPA-registered cleaning agents and disinfectants that allow us to safely and effectively clean and deodorize your home at the end of the restoration.
What Cleaning Methods are Used to Restore My Interior?
SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia is trained to formulate a plan that best suits the unique fire loss situation at hand. We perform an assessment, and technicians are instructed on each step to provide you with the best results.
- Wet Cleaning: is done to address hard surfaces that are not easily damaged by water. Technicians may use a combination of water and specialized cleaning agents to strip away smoke and soot residue, leaving the surface clean and refreshed. If necessary, we also have ultrasonic cleaning machines that use ultrasonic waves that pass through an aqueous solution made up of mild detergent, softener, and water. High-frequency sound waves create pressure that results in millions of bubbles to loosen grime.
- Dry Cleaning: is done to clean items that may become damaged when they come into contact with water, which includes electronics, antiques, and books. In some cases, our skilled technicians carefully use sponges, brushes, and towels to loosen soot and residue from your belongings.
There is nothing like knowing that you have a trained team on your side to help once you suffer from fire damage in your home. Give our SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia technicians a call and we can send out a team 24/7 to get started with your emergency restoration needs. You can reach us by calling (334) 371-7378, and we will send out a team promptly to start with an assessment.
How to Use a Fire Extinguisher
SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia would like to provide you with some valuable knowledge in the event of a small fire. If you are not in danger and feel that you can safely attempt to extinguish the fire, remember the acronym PASS to help you activate the extinguisher successfully.
- Pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher that prevents the handle from being pressed.
- Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
- Sweep foam from side to side at the base of the fire.
Watch for re-ignition and repeat the steps if necessary.
It is a good idea to have fire extinguishers conveniently located on each floor of your home or business, as well as areas a fire may break out. Kitchens, Laundry rooms and mechanical rooms are common locations. As always remember safety first and if a fire is too large it is always best to leave the area and call 911 immediately.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia is strategically located to respond quickly to your flood and water emergency event. When fire damage occurs in Greenville, Troy, Andalusia, or Luverne, we have the resources and personnel to help. Call us today at (334) 371-7378!
Struggling to Revive Your Home After Fire Damage?
Salvaging your Possessions after Fire Damage in your Greenville/Troy/Andalusia Home
Property fires are frequent but rarely catastrophic. Despite beginning in one area of the home, smoke from burning materials can quickly spread throughout. Smoke travels into clean air moving upwards. As it does so, residues in the smoke are deposited onto clean surfaces resulting in soiling. These residues can also cool and drop onto possessions in the form of soot. In the majority of cases, possessions suffer light soiling and can be restored effectively using professional cleaning methods.
Expensive possessions to replace after fire damage in Greenville/Troy/Andalusia properties could be your blinds and mattresses. SERVPRO works with a restore over replace method to ensure your replacement expenses are kept as low as possible. We achieve this by training our technicians in a wide variety of cleaning techniques that can restore items you may think are non-salvageable.
Different cleaning methods are a requirement when it comes to restoring possessions and using the wrong ones can exacerbate damages. A common concern for homeowners is upholstery, fabrics or mattresses which are porous. Porous materials can shrink using wet cleaning, absorb soot deeper into the fabric or cause color bleeding. SERVPRO uses a foam cleaning solution to ensure this does not happen thereby increasing the chances of restoring furnishings to pre loss conditions.
For materials that can sustain full immersion in cleaning SERVPRO can use advanced ultrasonic cleaning equipment. This method can be exceptionally useful in restoring blinds or other solid items. Ultrasonic immersion cleaners use soundwaves to agitate solvents. These soundwaves create bubbles which then actively remove soot from surfaces by creating high-pressure and temperature conditions around the item.
It is not always possible to salvage everything after a fire. However, by using the latest equipment and techniques, SERVPRO is confident we can provide an impressive restoration service that mitigates losses and prevents expensive replacements. Items that cannot be salvaged can be packed up and disposed of by your technician in line with federal and state laws.
To restore your possessions to pre loss conditions, contact SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia at (334) 371-7378 today!
How to Avoid a Kitchen Fire
Did you know that the majority of house fires begin in the kitchen and the most common cause is cooking?
The American Red Cross has steps everyone can follow to avoid a cooking fire:
- Never leave cooking food unattended – stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen, even for a second, turn off the stove.
- Check your food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking.
- Use a timer so you’ll remember that the stove or oven is on.
- Don’t wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
- Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
- Keep anything that can catch fire - pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
- Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
- Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
- Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
- Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.
Call SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia at (334) 371-7378 for all of your fire restoration needs!
Grilling Safety Tips
Spring has arrived and summer is upon us, which means it's time to pull out those grills.
SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia would like to share some helpful grilling tips to prevent any fires from occurring while you're enjoying that quality time with family and friends.
- Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your home.
- Clean your grill regularly.
- Make sure to check for gas leaks.
- Keep decorations away from the grill.
- Keep a spray bottle of water handy.
- Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple of steps of your grill.
- Turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed.
- Leave a grill unattended.
- Overload your grill with food.
- Use a grill indoors
Call SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia at (334) 371-7378 for all of your fire restoration needs!
Versatile Approaches to Fire Damage and Odor Control for Greenville/Troy/Andalusia Residents
One of the lasting impacts of a fire in your property is the odor. Evacuating your property in the dead of night is stressful enough; however, taking a comprehensive approach to odor control can be even more challenging. Odor causing particles can suspend in the air, enter surfaces as well as fabrics, and your heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Numerous areas can cause the offending odor while locating and neutralizing each one can be unnecessarily time-consuming.
Our technicians specialize in fire damage and odor control here in Greenville/Troy/Andalusia. Since odors come from numerous sources, our approach is to use various methods to neutralize them. We may never fully understand which way is effective at controlling odor. However, by following SERVPRO best practices and industry-leading training, we can ensure that the scent no longer remains a problem for you.
Odor control tends to be the last aspect of restoration service. There is little point in applying methods or chemicals to an area that contains odor-causing materials. Charring on contents or structure produces unpleasant smells. Similarly, moisture that we use during the restoration process can make smells more noticeable to the human nose. By prioritizing cleaning, removing debris, and drying the structure, SERVPRO takes the first step toward bringing unpleasant odors back under control.
Our approach to lingering smells is to try and replicate the dispersal of the odor. In a fire, smells typically come from smoke, which billows out from the source of combustion at high pressure and enters small cracks or crevices, like light fittings, in the home. To combat this, SERVPRO can use water-based misting equipment, which produces a smoke-like vapor. These vapors behave in a similar way to smoke, reaching, and neutralizing areas where smoke resides.
Sometimes fabrics or furnishings can absorb soots as well as smoke. To replicate this effect, we can lightly spray furnishing using a hand-held pressure pump. These ensure an equal dispersal of deodorant solvents which absorb into fabrics and other porous materials. By testing on a small area first, we can ensure that these chemicals do not harm the color or fabric of your furnishings.
Odor control needs to be versatile to be effective. We offer many other options for odor control. Contact SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia at (334) 371-7378.
Do You Have a Fire Escape Plan?
In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.
It reinforces why everyone needs to have an escape plan.
- Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
- Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
- Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
- Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
- Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
- Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
Have you contacted your local fire department? See how you can get involved with them and your community to prevent house fires. Sometimes they will have events or give out smoke detectors for your home. Don't think this could never happen to you because it easily could. We don't have control over everything in our homes! Be safe and have a plan!
Call SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia at 334-371-7378 for all your fire damage needs!
Fire Content Restoration
From furniture to antiques to artwork and appliances, SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia will treat your treasures with the care they deserve. While some items can be cleaned on-site, in many cases we'll need to inventory, pack out and transport the contents of your property to our state-of-the-art facility to ensure the best care possible.
- Contents may need to be cleaned off-site
- Contents inventory
- Determine replacement and restoration
- Ozone treatment
- Odor removal
- We arrive on-site and inventory all of your personal belongings.
- We carefully pack all salvageable items to transport to our secure warehouse and cleaning facility.
- Non-salvageable contents are inventoried and discarded.
We have trained professionals to help you establish replacement values versus restoration costs. We are also available for pricing of non-salvageable inventory items.
- Thorough cleaning
- Proper handling of all electronics
- Photographs and artwork
- Soft goods
- Dry Cleaning
- Odor Removal
Fire Safety Tips
SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia has browsed the internet looking for tips to help our clients better prepare for a fire in their homes. We found this list of tips from the American Red Cross website. We hope they help. If you have any questions call our office at (334) 371-7378
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
- Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
- If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.
- We partner with the American Red Cross and also our local fire departments so fire prevention is VERY important to us! These tips are from REDCROSS.ORG
Fire Restoration Process
Fire damage is probably the last thing on your mind, but you may want to move it up on your list of priorities; preparation is the key. The first 48 hours after a fire often makes the difference between ‘restoring’ vs. ‘replacing’ your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia provides a timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal, to content claims inventory and document restoration.
Here is a timeline to help ease your mind of what should be done before and after SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia arrives:
Within one hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia professional will contact you to arrange for service.
Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia technician will be onsite to start mitigation services.
A trained and uniformed SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia employee will walk you through the job process step-by-step, explaining what to expect and the anticipated outcome.
A SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia employee will begin pretesting for restoration, working from the source of the damage outward.
Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope is communicated to the appropriate person.
Cleaning, Restoration, & Deodorization
SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property. We then use state-of-the-art restoration techniques to make it “Like it never even happened.”
After the work has been completed, a final walk-through will be conducted with you to help ensure your satisfaction. SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia responds quickly, offering a full line of fire cleanup and restoration services to help you return home as soon as possible. Before risking further damage by attempting to clean up the damage on your own, call the fire damage clean-up and restoration professionals. Call us at (334) 371-7378.
SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia is a leader in the cleaning and restoration industry and we see the most incredible things when fire damages homes or offices. The hardest part of cleaning up after a fire finding all of the soot. It literally gets in, on and around everywhere and everything.
Our well trained crew opened a closet knowing they were going to see soot and they were correct. Every item inside the closet had left it's print on the painted shelving below and fire particulate had filled in all of the blank spaces.
We know that every surface in a home affected by fire will need to be cleaned. This includes the front, back, bottom, top, side, inside and outside.
Who knew there were so many sides?
Have a Fire Loss?
Have you had a fire-loss, but do not want to lose your fire-damaged items?
Here at SERVPRO® of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia we have your best interest in mind. We make sure your items are restorable before we suggest replacing them.
We work with your insurance company to provide items that can be professionally cleaned and deodorized to a preloss condition. We have special industry standard cleaning products, highly trained technicians, and a policy to help our customers with their fire damage to our full potential.
We have a variety of items that can be included in this process:
- HVAC air ducts
- and much more!
We won't cover up or mask odors --we seek out the source to make sure they do not linger around after we are gone.
If you have smoke or soot damage, don't you want a professional to keep your beloved items safe? Call us today for a free estimate! (334) 371-7378
Why You Should Board-Up
If your property has experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. In addition to keeping the external elements out of a building with fire damage, boarding up can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process easier. SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia offers full-service restoration specialists who can also assist in board-up services.
Here are four reasons to board-up after a fire:
- In a commercial setting, there may still be viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale, but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.
- You want to protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition.
- You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out to prevent additional damage. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.
- You want to limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.
Talk to our experts at SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia, about whether boarding up is a good strategy for preventing loss and limiting damage after a fire. Your major concern is likely to be how to recover from fire damage as quickly and completely as possible. Preventing looting and exposure to the elements can make fire cleanup more successful. Call us at (334) 371-7378.
Did you know?
Residues (such as burning plastics or the soot from furnace disorders) form long chains of ionized smoke particles that assemble in corners or at junctions of walls and ceilings which are called smoke webs!
Does your business have a plan? Check out these tips:
Protect your people : Your employees are your most important business asset. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.
- Fire Plans: Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol.
- Evacuation Plan: In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs.
- First Aid: In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most-such as in the kitchen.
American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign
Each year, the Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters, the vast majority of which are home fires. So we set a goal to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries in the US by 25%.
- 7 people die every day from a home fire, most impacting children and the elderly
- 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day
- Over $7 billion in property damage occurs every year
Every day, seven people die in home fires, most in homes that lack working smoke alarms. Sadly, children and the elderly disproportionately lose their lives. The American Red Cross wants to improve the odds and save lives- that’s why we launched our Home Fire Campaign in 2014.
A critical part of the campaign is Sound the Alarm, a series of home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events across the country. Together with fire departments and other community partners, Red Cross volunteers:
- Canvass at-risk neighborhoods
- Install free smoke alarms
- Replace batteries in existing alarms
- Provide fire prevention and safety education
In just three years, our home visits have accomplished so much, including the installation of more than 1 million smoke alarms and preparing more than 1 million people against home fires.
Join us April 28 through May 13 on a Sound the Alarm home visit in your community, where teams of volunteers will be installing 100,000 free smoke alarms in more than 100 cities across the U.S. Together, we can save lives!
Check out www.redcross.org/sound-the-alarm for more information and how to help in YOUR community!!
Wildfire Damage Event
The active wildfires in Southern California are increasing their impact as growing Santa Ana winds add fuel to these devastating blazes that are encroaching in our area. According to the New York Times, new fires broke out in Malibu on December 7, with at least 96,000 acres already burned in the Ventura area and 116,000 acres in Los Angeles County. Evacuations have closed hundreds of schools and forced 200,000 of our neighbors to seek safety. The “Thomas Fire” in the Ventura area continues to burn with the aid of strong winds. This fire has caused the closure of the 101 freeway and a boil-water advisory was issued for Ventura County. Santa Ana winds The Santa Ana winds that are enabling the fires to rapidly increase their reach can have speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour. They are not expected to diminish until Friday into Saturday at the earliest. The National Weather Service has warned of “very rapid fire growth” in this area. SERVPRO Meteorologist Lela Davis said that the Santa Ana winds were already very dry when they reached the Southern California valley, allowing them to quickly pull moisture out of vegetation, increasing the risk for wildfires. For the first time ever, a purple wind warning was issued for today under the color-coded system used to advise about high winds. This purple warning pushed wind expectations from the “high” category to “extreme”. Ready to help Here at SERVPRO of Greenville / Troy / Andalusia we are monitoring this wildfire situation closely. Our thoughts are with those neighbors who may be put in harms’ way during this event. In many cases, a wildfire can result in a total loss for a home or business, but in others it may be a partial loss, or can result in mild smoke damage. If your home or business is affected by a wildfire, SERVPRO of Greenville / Troy / Andalusia is Here to Help®.
About SERVPRO of Greenville / Troy / Andalusia
SERVPRO of Greenville / Troy / Andalusia specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your 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 Greenville / Troy / Andalusia 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.
Don’t Burn the Kitchen Down…
There is someone, somewhere or other, cooking dinner at this very moment. We do not know who or where, but I guarantee you someone is not paying attention to what they are doing and a flame has begun to flicker.
You can be an experienced Chef or someone that could not boil an egg if your life depended on it. Starting a fire in the kitchen can happen to all of us. No matter what side of the cake batter you are on.
There are many reasons why…
DO NOT forget that you are deep frying French Fries when the phone rings and you get so caught up with the latest gossip that you sit down, put your feet up and wait until your fire alarm goes off before you remember them.
DO NOT try to impress a date or spouse with cooking skills that you do not possess. It is imperative not to try making a Banana Foster Flambé with liqueur that is one hundred twenty proof when you want to keep your kitchen in tip top condition. (SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia cannot even make your eyebrows “like it never even happened” if you try that stunt.)
DO NOT wait for a cleaning fairy to come wash the buildup of grease and oils in your oven, on the stove and/or the Grille.
DO NOT sit your toaster near the Kitchen curtains while you toast bread that you have impulsively buttered before hand.
The above is not meant to be comical.
It is meant to grab your attention for just a few moments…To make you think, reflect, and realize the dangers of not paying attention while you are working in the kitchen.
Life is demanding…Multi-tasking is how most of us live each day. So many things to do that we often forget the little details that can save us from a future disaster. Slow down.
If you need us, though, we are there. Visit our home page and click on the “Fire” link. It will guide you through what SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia can do for you.
Smoke & Fire Alarms are Important!
Get a Smoke & Fire Alarm Today.
In Alabama, there have been thirty deaths due to home fires so far this year. There were one hundred thirteen deaths in 2016.
In the United States, FEMA reports that eight hundred fifty-nine people have died so far this year in home fires, two thousand two hundred ninety-one people in 2016.
These numbers are down from the previous years, thirteen out of fourteen homes now have a working Smoke or Fire Detector/Alarm in their home, but the statistics continue to prove the importance, as over sixty percent of all fatalities stem from homes without one.
At SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia, we have seen what a house fire does to a home, a family, and there is enough heartache to deal with, without losing yourself or your loved ones. This is why we want to stress the importance of making sure you have a working Fire/Smoke Alarm in your home today.
We can clean up after a fire, but we can’t bring your loved one back.
How Smoke Alarms Work
Smoke and Fire Alarms use a sensor to pick up any traces of gasses, smoke or heat.
There are two types of Smoke Alarms (also called Smoke Detectors), that you can install in your home – Photoelectric and Ionization…Each with their own special capabilities. A Photoelectric Alarm is installed in the wiring with backup battery for when the power is out. These are more expensive, but can detect a slow, smoldering fire. (Great for kitchens and near bathrooms since it doesn’t pick up steam). An Ionization Alarm can be very inexpensive and allows you to install several throughout your home. (We’ll discuss this later) They will alert you in seconds of a fast moving fire.
Installing and Servicing
Fire and Smoke Alarms are easy to install. Just find the highest place on the ceiling or/and on a wall about four inches below the ceiling, and follow the directions included. Smoke and Gasses rise, and you want them overhead.
Install one on every floor, including basement, and beside every bedroom in the house.
Check your batteries often and remember to replace the Unit every ten years.
Important Steps to Remember
When an alarm goes off at night, wake everyone up immediately and get out!
Remember to do a head count and make sure everyone is safe.
Do not run back in your home for anything that is not breathing.
Use your cell phone or a neighbor’s phone to call the fire department.
Stay together while the fire is being put out.
And then, after the last smoldering flame is extinguished…
SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia will do everything in our power to make it
“Like it Never Even Happened”.