Recent Fire Damage Posts
3 Aspects of Fire Damage
Commercial fire damage in Edmond, OK
Three Major Aspects of Fire Damage
Fire can damage the structure and contents of a commercial building. When estimating restoration costs, it is important to account for all of the effects of fire. Learn about three major aspects of fire damage to factor into a risk assessment, safety plan, and insurance claim for a commercial property in Edmond, OK.
1. Structural Components
One of the worst consequences of fire is damage that undermines a structure. This degree of damage necessitates extensive repairs. A commercial property owner should thoroughly document damage for an insurance adjuster before starting mitigation. Timely cleanup may limit the severity of primary or secondary damage.
2. Building Materials
Building materials that contribute toward comfort or have cosmetic value may also suffer damage. Fire may burn through or char drywall and destroy insulation. Have the affected area cleaned and replace these materials. Depending on the measures taken to extinguish a fire, standing water can compound fire damage. Pumping out water may be one of the earliest stages of fire mitigation and cleanup.
The contents of a commercial building that do not get incinerated may still get damaged by proximity to fire. This can take the form of heat damage or exposure to soot and smoke. Contents that have become charred have undergone chemical changes and will require replacement. It is important to thoroughly all clean furniture and fixtures to eliminate smoke odor. Electronics may need to undergo content cleaning or data recovery.
Fire damage can affect every aspect of a commercial building in Edmond, OK, from structural components to building materials and contents. The severity of a blaze will determine whether it is necessary to completely rebuild a structure, an affected area or just clean up smoke damage and do cosmetic repairs. Restoration experts can help property owners assess the damage and provide an estimate to support a commercial property insurance claim.
What Is Involved in the Fire Cleanup Process?
A fire in your home in Oklahoma City, OK can be devastating, and you are probably likely to want to start the process of cleaning your home. However, there are several steps that are helpful to take when cleaning smoke damage and other forms of damage from a fire in your home.
1. Taking Inventory
After a fire has taken place in your home, one of the first steps in the cleanup process is to take inventory of what damage has occurred. The items in your home, as well as the structure of the home itself, is examined by restoration professionals. Once you have an idea of what is damaged in your home, it is likely that you will have an estimate of how long the cleanup and restoration will take.
Once an assessment of your home has been made, the process of smoke cleaning and removing soot damage and smoke damage can begin. Many of your personal belongings, including clothes, photos and electronics can often be restored. Generally, a restoration company can help to determine the best methods to clean your belongings. If there is not a great amount of structural damage that has occurred, the process of cleaning may not take a great amount of time.
3. Removing Residual Odors
In addition to damaging items in your home, smoke can leave a lingering scent. While masking the odor with sprays or other products may be seen as a short-term solution, the smoke smell is likely to return. Methods to help remove the smell of smoke in your home can include replacing air filters, thoroughly sanitizing carpets, walls and ceilings and replacing the drywall in your home. After items in your home are clean and odors have been removed, reconstruction can begin if necessary.
Understanding the necessary steps to remove of smoke damage and other forms of fire damage can help you feel more at ease as the cleanup process begins in your home. If your home has already been damaged by a fire, it can be helpful to work with fire damage restoration experts.
5 Critical Steps To Clean a Home After a Fire
Fire damage in Edmond, OK
5 Critical Steps To Clean a Home After a Fire
Fires happen everyday in homes across the U.S. They are scary events for the residents of a home. In addition to having the power to cause injury and death, a home fire creates a mess in the home. Smoke damage is one aspect of the impacts on a home and it can be tricky to clean. A local fire restoration company in Edmond, OK, is often your best resource for a quick and effective fire cleanup. A team of highly trained specialists will come to your home and begin a proven process to restore your home. These steps are the foundation of a professional cleanup:
- Inspection and Assessment
- Water Removal and Drying
- Removal of smoke damage from all surfaces
- Cleaning and sanitizing
Steps 1 and 2 Explained
The inspection and assessment determines the scope of the problem. At this time the technicians can give you a better idea of the process and how long remediation efforts will take. If the damage is severe, a board-up and roof-tarp service might be needed to secure the home from additional damage from rains or vandalism. Water removal might be undertaken if fire fighting resulted in water damage.
Steps 3, 4 and 5 Explained
The impacts of a fire extend to the pernicious effects of smoke and soot damage. Both soot and smoke can permeate a home and require advanced equipment to completely remove. The step of smoke cleaning is also likely to include the cleaning and restoration of carpeting, furniture upholstery, clothes, and other personal belongings. It might include the use of air filtration devices to eliminate smoke odors. Cleaning and sanitizing wipes down all surfaces with effective and safe disinfectants. Finally, restoration includes repairing any items such as drywall or flooring that have been damaged. Your home is considered restored when all of the effects of the fire including smoke damage are completely addressed to your satisfaction.
How Often Should You Change Smoke Alarm Batteries?
Replace the batteries of your smoke alarm every ten years
How often should you change the batteries in your smoke alarm? It's a common question from Oklahoma City, OK, homeowners who are concerned with protecting their families and homes from fire damage. The standard answer is twice a year. A good way to remember is to swap out the old batteries when daylight savings begins and ends.
Is It Really Necessary To Replace Batteries Twice a Year?
Although, there isn't much power drawn from day to day, the consistent, low draw of power does affect how much juice is available when an emergency occurs. Even if the alarms haven't sounded at all, you still need fresh batteries to be confident that you'll get a robust alarm in the event of a fire. Here are some tips for getting the best batteries for your smoke detector:
Check the alarm to determine the appropriate type of batteries. Many alarms take 9-volt alkaline, but some require AA. Experts recommend avoiding rechargeable or lithium batteries for alarms; both lose their charges quickly.
Invest in brand name batteries. Off-brand products aren't always as reliable as their competition. When it comes to keeping your family safe, invest in dependability.
If you aren't sure that your batteries are fresh, buy new ones. You can run a few tests to see if batteries are old: Drained batteries are bouncy when you drop them. A multimeter or voltmeter tells you how many amps or ohms are in each battery.
When it comes to keeping your family safe, it's better to invest a little extra time and money in keeping your smoke alarm running. Compared to the costs of paying fire damage cleanup and repair professionals, it's a minimal investment.
When Should You Replace the Alarm?
In addition to changing batteries, you should also keep track of how old the alarm itself is. Modern alarms are long-lasting and only need to be replaced every ten years. A good way to remember whether it's time to replace an old alarm is to write the date of manufacture on the front where you can see it. This way, you'll see the replacement date every month when you test the smoke alarm and every six months when you replace the batteries.
3 Tips for Buying the Right Number of Fire Alarms
Smoke alarms – triggered by ions in high levels of smoke
Most homeowners know that a smoke detector is a critical tool in reducing the chance of injury or smoke damage from a house fire. But that’s only part of the story. To be effective, smoke detectors and fire alarms must be properly used, and that means having the right number of them for your home. Determining how many is right for your Oklahoma City, OK, home doesn’t have to be confusing. Follow these tips to secure your home against fire the right way.
Fire Detector Facts
There’s more than one type of alarm to protect your home from a blaze. The main options include:
- Heat detectors – triggered by high temperatures
- Smoke alarms – triggered by ions in high levels of smoke
You may choose one or the other, or even a mixture of both types. Whichever you choose, it’s key that you have enough of them.
Number of Rooms
Smoke and fire alarms can only cover so many rooms. The National Fire Protection Association suggests you make up for this by having smoke alarms in every room and outside each sleeping area throughout your home.
Room count is only one consideration when picking the number of alarms that’s right for your home. You also need to consider your home’s total square footage. A smoke detector will typically cover about 900 square feet. Divide your home’s total square footage by this amount to get a good gauge on how many alarms you’ll need.
Number of Levels
Experts say it’s key to have a detector on every level of your home. This includes the obvious living areas, but also less used places like unfinished basements and attics. These less-trafficked areas are exactly where fires can smolder unnoticed and cause lots of damage.
Fire alarms are easy to come by and effective – if there are enough of them. Use these rules of thumb from fire damage experts and your home should be safe.
How Renters Insurance Can Help You After a Fire
Your renters insurance can help you replace your belongings following a robbery
How Renters Insurance Can Help You After a Fire
You have probably heard that your renters insurance can help you replace your belongings following a robbery. Yet this insurance can also come in handy after a fire.
Fire damage cleanup typically addresses both the apartment itself and the contents inside. The landlord's insurance should cover the cost of repairing the actual building. However, your tenants insurance policy provides plenty of additional coverage.
Your tenants insurance policy primarily covers the loss of your personal property. This includes any damage to your belongings after a fire. Insurance can also help you pay for fire restoration services.
Of course, your furniture and electronics have depreciated in value over time. Thankfully, most renters insurance policies will give you the amount of money you need to replace your belongings rather than the actual value of those items.
Fire Liability and Medical Payments
A fire may not just affect your Oklahoma City, OK, home. The flames could cause fire damage to nearby apartments, as well. Your neighbors could also suffer burns or smoke inhalation.
If the fire started in your apartment, you may have to pay for the repairs to your neighbors' valuables. Your tenants insurance should cover these costs. Specifically, the insurance covers any property damage of third parties not named on your policy.
Your policy may also provide some coverage for your neighbor's medical bills. Typically, this medical payment coverage is minimal and applies to minor injuries such as a sprained ankle.
Loss of Use
Finally, tenants insurance can cover any expenses you incur due to the temporary loss of use of your apartment after a fire. For instance, the insurance can pay for the cost of a hotel for you and your family while the apartment is being restored.
Fire cleanup is an extensive and costly process. Renters insurance can help you replace or repair your belongings and pay for other fire-related expenses.
How To Prevent Space Heater Fires in Your Home
Space heater fires can happen
How To Prevent Space Heater Fires in Your Home
Space heaters can keep you warm during those long winter months. A burned space heater, however, can cause severe fire damage to your Edmond, OK, home that may require extensive smoke cleanup.
Space heater fires most commonly occur when the heater is left next to a flammable substance. You should thus avoid placing your space heater next to:
- Upholstered furniture
- Gas cans
There are several other steps you can take to avoid a space heater fire in your home. You can check for certain safety features before purchasing a heater. Once you do choose a heater, you should also make sure it is used properly.
When you are considering a space heater for your house, make sure you choose one with a strong cord. The cord should also be long enough so that it doesn’t require the use of a power strip or extension cord. An extension cord or power strip can lead to a burned space heater.
You should additionally look for a space heater with an automatic shut-off feature. This causes the heater to turn itself off when it tips over or gets too hot.
After you take your space heater home, make sure to place it on a level, non-flammable and hard surface. The floor is an ideal spot. You should similarly put it at least three feet away from flammable items. Keep your children and pets a safe distance away from the heater, as well.
Make sure to clean the space heater’s filter regularly. When you aren’t using the heater, turn it off and unplug it from the wall. You should also regularly check the cord and replace it if it appears worn or frayed.
Even if you follow the above advice, space heater fires can happen. If a burned space heater damages your home, you need to hire fire cleanup professionals. Fire damage cleanup experts can eliminate the smell and even remove soot from your carpets.
How To Respond to Burns in the Workplace
Apply a sterile gauze bandage
A fire safety plan is an essential for business owners, and part of that plan must include how to response when fire damage directly affects a staff member or a customer. Are you prepared to treat burns and administer first aid? Take a look at important steps for preventing injuries and an overview of the appropriate treatment steps.
The best scenario is to avoid using the burn first kit altogether. Use the following tips to decrease the possibility of fire in your workplace. Prevention starts by recognizing the three most common workplace burns:
- Thermal (heat)
Preventing burns starts with compliance with OSHA standards and MSDS safety protocols. The next step is to train employees according to your company safety plan. Finally, consistently maintain building safety systems and reinforce safe behaviors in your employees.
Contact Emergency Services
When fire damage affects the building, one of your first steps should be to contact emergency personnel and fire remediation and reconstruction experts. The same is true when an employee or customer is injured; immediately contact emergency medical professionals. With paramedics or EMTs on the way, it's time to implement some basic burn first aid.
Treat Minor Burns
Minor burns can usually be treated simply and without medical help:
- Cool the burned area.
- Remove jewelry and other tight items before swelling sets in.
- Leave blisters alone.
- Treat the area with a moisturizing lotion or aloe vera.
- Apply a sterile gauze bandage.
Treat Major Burns
Major burns require more attention. While waiting for the medical technicians to arrive, take the following steps:
Move the burned individual away from further harm.
Check for breathing. If the person isn't breathing, begin rescue breathing as appropriate.
Remove jewelry, belts, and other tight items before the person begins swelling.
Cool the burned area with a moist cloth or bandage.
Elevate the affected body parts above heart level.
Don't submerge large burns in water.
Hopefully, your Oklahoma City, OK, business won't be affected by fire. However, it's best to take steps to reduce the possibility of fire damage and prepare for the worst with appropriate first aid training.
Treating Burn Injuries in the Workplace
If a first-aid kit is available, use burn dressings or slightly moist sterile gauze pads to cover the burned area..
Fire damage can result in large losses to your business' material assets in Oklahoma City, OK. Along with those damages, there may be injuries to employees. Knowing how to provide burn first aid can be very beneficial in this situation. After calling the appropriate local emergency services, here are four things you can do to help.
1. Stop the Burning Process
Once the injured person has been safely evacuated from the building, take them to a safe area and have them sit or lie down so the injury can be looked at. Be sure there is nothing still burning, such as hair or clothing, that can cause further injury. If it is safe to do so, remove any restrictive clothing or jewelry before the burned area swells.
2. Asses the Injury
Just as the fire damage to your business needs to be assessed, so does the injury to an employee. Check the person to see how many areas of his or her body have been burned. Look carefully for burns to the face, as these types of injuries can cause the person to have trouble breathing, and he or she may need special attention or rescue breathing.
3. Cover the Wound
If a first-aid kit is available, use burn dressings or slightly moist sterile gauze pads to cover the burned area. A clean cloth can be used if emergency supplies are not available.
4. Treat the Injured Person for Shock
Have the injured person lie down with his or her feet and, if possible, the injured area elevated above the level of his or her heart to help prevent shock. If the person is cold, cover him or her with a blanket or similar item. Have someone remain with the person until emergency services arrive.
Handling fire damage to your business in Oklahoma City, OK, and having an injured employee is a stressful situation. A little bit of preparation and first aid learned beforehand can go a long way in keeping everyone calm and ensuring the best outcome.
How To Avoid a Cigarette Fire
Keep fire extinguisher accessible
In addition to causing health problems, smoking may also pose a safety hazard. Failure to recognize the potential dangers of a lit cigarette can result in disastrous consequences. To safeguard their homes from a potentially destructive cigarette fire, homeowners in Edmond, OK, should abide by several important protocols.
Properly Extinguish Butts
Properly extinguishing butts is vital to preventing infernos. To accomplish this, you can utilize several strategies:
- Ensure butt is not smoldering
- Discard in an ashtray, not on the ground
- Wet butt before disposal
Throwing a smoldering cigarette on the ground may ignite nearby combustibles, such as dry vegetation. To avoid this, place used butts in a glass or ceramic ashtray.
To minimize the risk of an ashtray fire, routinely clean the container and wet your butt before placing it inside. Never throw a used cigarette into a trash receptacle until it has been properly extinguished.
Avoid Smoking in Bed
The best way to prevent a cigarette fire in your home is to refrain from smoking inside. If you choose to smoke indoors, avoid doing so while lying in bed. Falling embers can easily ignite clothing, bedding and your mattress. Because you may not be alert enough to properly extinguish a cigarette, you should also refrain from smoking inside if you are excessively drowsy.
Never Leave Cigarettes Unattended
Whether indoors or outside, leaving a lit cigarette unattended can be dangerous. The burning object can fall from its resting place and ignite surrounding combustibles. Embers can also fall into potentially hazardous areas, such as cushions, the carpet or dry leaves.
Keep Fire Extinguisher Accessible
Any flame inside or near your residence poses a potential danger. Keeping a fire extinguisher accessible can help you smother a small blaze, minimizing damage and fire cleanup requirements.
No homeowner wants to endure a blaze and a time-consuming fire damage restoration project. Although refraining from smoking in or near your residence is the safest way to prevent a cigarette fire, employing conscientious practices can minimize the threat.
SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City offers cooking safety tips
November is here and with it comes some of our favorite things. We hear at SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City love the smell of pumpkin spice, leaves changing, warm fires and lots of turkey. November brings in the start of the holiday season and with that comes lots of cooking and time spent in the kitchen. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. Fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving alone. Below are some easy steps everyone should follow to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday season.
The NFPA recommends the following safety tips:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
- Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
- Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
- Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
- Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
- Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.