Recent Fire Damage Posts

Top 4 Causes of House Fires

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

Fire. It’s one of the scariest dangers for any homeowner, and while the number of house fires in the United States has steadily declined in recent years, these incidents still contribute to thousands of deaths and billions of dollars of damage each year.

While a fire alarm system can alert your family to danger and help you stop the problem before it gets out of hand, understanding what causes a house fire and knowing how to prevent these incidents is essential for protecting your home.

But what are the dangers you should be watching out for and what are the most common causes of house fires? Knowing these answers can help you protect your family and also save you from an insurance headache in the future. Below are the four most common causes of house fires and tips on ways you can help prevent them.

  1. Electrical Fires

Electrical fires are one of the most common threats homeowners face. Whether the result of an overloaded electrical outlet or a malfunctioning appliance, electrical fires can start suddenly and cause a lot of damage. The best tips for avoiding an electrical fire are first, be smart with your home’s electricity use! It's best not to overload a circuit and leave your lights on overnight (especially halogen lights and other high-risk materials). Use power strips in areas where you might need to keep several appliances or devices plugged in continually like at a home office desk.

Another great tip for doubling the safety in your home is to conduct an annual inspection of the electrical system to help avoid house fires. Professional electricians can identify faulty wiring, damaged outlets, and other hazards and then provide the repairs to keep your system safe. In older homes, the wiring can often be on a single circuit, which can cause breakers to short often and heighten the risk of an electrical fire. A professional can check your property for this and fix it if needed.

  1. Cooking Fires

Cooking fires rank as the number one cause of house fires in the United States, with the majority of incidents occurring when food is left unattended after cooking. Most commonly this happens when frying food, or any time when large quantities of grease are involved. Most of us are aware of proper kitchen and cooking safety, but sometimes we can be forgetful.

Your best bet to avoid a cooking fire is simply to keep an eye on your food at all times. Just like when you’re driving, don’t take your eyes off the road—well, the stove in this case. If a fire does occur, your key to fire safety is to cut off the fire’s oxygen and fuel supplies. There are three things that cause a fire to continue one is the heat, the second is fuel, and the third thing is the oxidizing agent (most often oxygen). Get rid of one of these sides of the triangle and you can kill the fire. The best tip to stopping a kitchen fire, or another fire on your property is to suffocate it by removing the oxidizing agent. Grease fires in kitchens should be covered with a lid over the pan, never use water to get rid of a grease fire-throwing water on a grease fire will actually make it worse. An oven fire can be handled simply by closing the oven door and turning the oven off.

Be smart and train others who live in your home or on your property to know how to respond the second a flame gets started. Taking the time to train and teach your family members is one of the best ways to avoid an insurance claim and protect your property, home and family.

  1. Dryers

You may not think of your clothes dryer as a fire hazard, but this kind of equipment accounts for tens of thousands of house fires each year. The problem most frequently occurs when lint and dust are allowed to build up over time. This can cause the dryer vent to become clogged with highly flammable materials, which easily combust when exposed to high temperatures.

Your best tip for dryer safety is to clean the lint trap each time before you use the dryer and to inspect and clean the dryer vent area to remove lint buildup and other potential blockages. Regular cleaning can ultimately make all the difference in avoiding a house fire. If other people in your house do the laundry, make sure they know to clean out the lint trap each time also. This simple practice can cut down on one of the main causes of so many different house fires.

  1. Candles

Candles may seem like the perfect fit for a romantic evening or a blessing in a moment of a blackout, but the minute you leave a lit candle in an unoccupied room you’re asking for trouble. We have two tips: always blow out a candle if you’re going to leave a room, and never place a lit candle in a spot near combustible items or where it could be tipped over.

Conclusion

It’s easy to assume you’re already practicing each of these safety tips in your home, but it’s easy to get lackadaisical and before long you might find yourself filing an insurance claim; something you never want to have to do. Take the time to sit down with your family and walk them through the risks and each of these tips. Teach them the proper steps to prevent a house fire and also the proper way to put out a fire in the home (remember, water isn’t always the answer). As you watch out for these common house fire hazards and take the necessary preventative steps, you can have peace of mind as you keep your family and property safe.

Recognizing The 3 Different Types of Fires

12/22/2021 (Permalink)

Synthetic: A synthetic fire is caused by the burning of oil substances. These materials include plastics and fabrics. Some examples of these materials include furniture, draperies, electronics, and carpet fibers. When these products are burned a thick-black smoke often appears. If a synthetic fire takes place in your home the best cleaning method would be to first vacuum the surface. Finish up the cleaning process with a dry-chem sponge.

Protein: A protein fire can be caused by the burning of meat products. These fires will often leave behind a yellowish-brown residue. Cleaning these fires can be very difficult due to their greasy nature. It is best that you use the proper cleaning chemical when dealing with these smoke residues.

Natural: A natural fire is caused by the burning of a wood or paper substance. These fires produce greyish-black smoke and are one of the easiest fires to clean. When cleaning these fires use a vacuum that has a bristled brush followed up by the use of a dry-chem sponge.

Now that you are aware of the different types of fires you may encounter and how to distinguish them. You will be able to apply the proper cleaning procedures stated above.

Sleeping With Your Bedroom Door Closed Could Save Your Life

12/22/2021 (Permalink)

Research has shown that a closed bedroom door can slow the spread of flames, decrease temperatures, reduce smoke inhalation, and improve oxygen levels in the room.

Just a few decades ago the average time it took to escape a home fire was about 17 minutes. Now it is three minutes or less. This is because of the synthetic furniture, more open floor plans in homes, and other flammable materials. Just closing your bedroom door at night can give you more time to get out the bedroom windows safely and call the fire department.

Research proves that a closed-door during a fire can mean the difference between 1,000 degrees temperatures and 100 degrees temperatures. Keep your bedroom door closed to keep the extra heat out!

During a fire, a closed-door can also keep carbon monoxide levels at 1,000 PPM versus 10,000 PPM when a door is left open.

Close Before You Doze.

KEEP YOUR OFFICE SAFE BY KNOWING THE SOUNDS OF FIRE SAFETY

10/6/2021 (Permalink)

Every year, Fire Prevention Week is given a theme it focuses on. This year’s theme is “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.” And it’s no surprise that the sounds of fire safety were chosen as this year’s theme. It is well documented that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors can profoundly affect fire safety if we know what to listen for.

For example, the NFPA reports that working smoke alarms reduce the risk of death during a fire by over 50 percent. They also found that 41 percent of household fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarm and that 16 percent happened in homes with alarms that failed to activate.

And though smoke alarms have been instrumental in saving countless lives, there are still steps we can take to make them even more effective and keep our workplaces even safer.  Though mainly our company works closely with other businesses to meet their fire and life safety needs; we all have our own personal dwellings and families to protect as well.

Below we’ll discuss what you need to know about smoke alarms and CO alarms and some tips for keeping yourself and your coworkers safe.

Smoke Alarms

  • If you hear a set of three loud beeps (BEEP BEEP BEEP), the alarm has detected smoke or fire in the building. Your next steps should be to get out of the building, call 9-1-1, and stay out.
  • If you hear just one chirp from your smoke alarm every 30 or 60 seconds, this means its battery is low and needs to be replaced.
  • If you replace the battery and your smoke alarm continues to chirp, this means the alarm itself is due for replacement. No matter what, all smoke alarms must be changed after 10 years.

CO Alarms

  • If you hear four loud beeps (BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP), your CO alarm has detected carbon monoxide in your building. After you hear these beeps, leave your building, call 9-1-1, and stay outside.
  • If your CO alarm chirps once every 30 or 60 seconds, the battery must be replaced.
  • If your CO alarm continues chirping with a fresh battery in place, this means the alarm must be replaced.

Fire Safety Tips

  • Because you don’t know who may be visiting your business or residence, it is best to make sure all of your smoke and CO alarms throughout the property work for those with physical and sensory disabilities.
  • Install a low-frequency alarm for those with mild to severe hearing loss.
  • Encourage everyone in your building to keep their glasses and phone on them at all times.
  • Make sure all stairways and hallways are adequately lit and have a clear walking path so everyone can evacuate safely.

Make sure your coworkers know all of the above sounds and tips for fire safety, so everyone remains safe at your place of business.

7 ESSENTIAL WORKPLACE FIRE SAFETY TIPS

10/6/2021 (Permalink)

Workplace fire safety is an essential concept that all employers and business owners should know. Since you never know when a fire may occur, you should always be prepared and know what to do should this unfortunate incident occur. The good news is that you can prepare in the case of a fire. And with the right preparation, you’re more likely to act calmly if an emergency occurs. Read on to learn about the importance of workplace fire safety and seven essential workplace fire safety tips.

Importance of Workplace Fire Safety

If you operate a retail store, restaurant, industrial business, or any other type of workplace, it’s vital to have proper workplace fire safety measures in place. With the right fire safety measures, you can get employees and patrons out safely and preserve the building. Best of all, with fire safety tips you can prevent fires from occurring in the first place.

Seven Tips for Improving Fire Safety in the Workplace

Now’s the right time to improve fire safety in the workplace. You may not know what you need to do to protect your business and occupants from fires. And if you do have fire safeguards in place, make sure you have everything you need for proper fire protection. Here are seven tips to help you improve fire safety in the workplace:

  1. Plan an evacuation strategy
  2. Have the proper fire safety equipment in place
  3. Make sure your employees are trained in fire safety
  4. Ensure proper exits and fire escape routes are clearly posted
  5. Make routine fire drills an employment requirement
  6. Maintain equipment routinely and safely store or dispose of hazardous materials
  7. Be mindful of electrical hazards and eliminate them

If you want to operate your business safely and keep fire tips in mind, these seven items will help you do so. Always be sure to update new employees on the fire safety measures. Also, hold regular meetings with your staff and remind them of these tips as well.

Fire Damage Needs a Meticulous Clean

10/6/2021 (Permalink)

The dangers of fire damage can last much longer than the initial fire blaze. Two of the most toxic types of damage are the fire itself and the resulting smoke damage. Smoke and soot can damage a home by permeating through the walls, upholstery, ceiling, insulation, air conditioning vents, and other hard-to-clean places.
 
This is why it is important to understand that fire damage in Overbrook/Wynnefield homes can present itself in many ways. Depending on the type of fire that attacks your home, not only are the apparent soot, ash, and fire damage unsightly but possible structure damage and future contamination are possible.
 
Never Have Your Fire Damage Overlooked Again
For example, depending on where a fire burns in a structure, it can affect support beams, load-bearing walls, and it can wreak havoc on wiring and insulation. Even if your fire emergency seemed localized to a particular area in the house, remember, the attic must be checked for damage as well.
 
SERVPRO uses our advanced cleanup methods and detection tools to check from closet to closet, room to room, and floor to ceiling, to detect all fire and post-fire damages. We know where to check to make sure your HVAC system will not spread smoke and toxins after a fire. We will make sure that your insulation is intact and that the structure of your home is safe. If we detect any need for replacement and restoration, we provide a range of services, including building services, that can take care of any fire and water damage and debris.
 
Because secondary fire damage, such as water use from firefighting efforts can also be an issue, our specialists pay much attention to a full, detailed analysis of your home’s damage before making a plan of action and beginning cleanup and restoration.
 
Contamination is not always seen by the untrained eye. It can be hidden in places such as your HVAC (air conditioning and heating) systems. SERVPRO inspects the home from attic to basement, to ensure that all vents and air circulating systems are completely clean. If you were to neglect this part of fire damage cleanup, there is always the possibility of blowing toxic dust, ash, and soot, even on the microscopic level, into your cleaned home, effectively re-contaminating it and exposing residents to its dangers.

Our 24/7 Emergency Service line is at your disposal. Contact SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield anytime at (215) 877-6653 for a quick response to your fire emergency, or to ask questions.

Leading cause of houses fires! Electrical Heaters!

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

Electrical heating-related fires most often occur in December, January, and February. Purchasing a cozy electrical space heater is a cost-efficient solution when temperatures drop, however, can be a devastating disaster when used improperly. According to the NFPA (National Fire and Protection Agency), electrical space heaters are the leading cause of most house fires. Here are a few tips on how to properly use your electric space heater and avoid fire hazards:

  • Electrical Fires: Electrical fires occur when the heating unit is not properly plugged into the wall outlet, most often plugged into an extension cord or power strip. To avoid fires:
    • Give your space heater space; at least 3 feet away from combustible materials
    • Do not plug other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
    • Plug the heater directly into the outlet
    • Avoid leaving the unit running overnight
  • Fire Starters: Electrical units placed too close to other combustible materials contribute to 79% of fatal home heating fires. Combustible materials include:
    • Household furniture
    • Clothes
    • Bed Mattress
    • Bedding materials

Before running your electrical heater, it’s important to understand the risks of fire and smoke damage. Fire damage can leave a lasting impact on your house and may cause additional smoke damage

Call SERVPRO at 610-546-2484 to schedule a cleanup. Your SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield professionals have the training, certifications, and equipment to Make it

"Like it never even happened."

Tortoise Sets House on Fire

12/21/2020 (Permalink)

Despite its dour demeanor, an “angry-looking" tortoise in England actually had a “very lucky Christmas Day,” after firefighters rescued the reptile from a house it had set on fire, officials said.

The unnamed 45-year-old reptile was alone in its Essex home when it knocked a heat lamp onto its bedding, which caught on fire, Essex Fire and Rescue said Wednesday in a news release.

Neighbors heard the smoke alarm and called an emergency number around 5 p.m., officials said. Firefighters scrambled to the scene and found smoke filling the home and a fire in one of the rooms.

Firefighters extinguished the fire and cleared the house of smoke within 25 minutes, the BBC reported.

"This incident shows just how important it is to have smoke alarms on every level of your home - even if you're not home they will alert anyone close by to the first sign of fire,” said Watch Manager Gary Wain of the Great Dunmow Fire Station.

Protect your house from smoke

12/21/2020 (Permalink)

Winter is here! With the change in seasons, people will be active both outside and indoors. According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency), cooking inside is the #1 cause of house fires. Consider the following tips to ensure your family is safe!

  • Test Smoke Detector batteries every month
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Never use a stove range or oven to heat your home.

Smoke Damage Cleanup

Smoke damage can leave a lasting impact on your house and make rooms unbearable to breathe in.

Before you begin cooking inside, it is important to understand the risks of smoke damage.

SERVPRO can help you eliminate smoke and fire damage professionally.

The Importance of Fire Extinguisher Inspections

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

While at work, school, or at home, you may not even notice the fire extinguishers that are placed throughout the building. Many people probably don’t think twice about fire extinguishers until there comes a time when they need to use one. Imagine how unfortunate it would be if a small fire breaks out in your home or at work, so you grab the fire extinguisher and attempt to use it, only to find out that it is broken. Having your fire extinguishers inspected regularly can help you avoid this scenario.

Inspections Keep your Extinguishers Working

Performing quick inspections of your extinguishers on a monthly and yearly basis can go a long way in keeping your extinguishers working. It may seem like a waste of your time, but fire extinguishers can help you prevent a small fire from growing into a large fire that causes a lot of expensive damage to your property. Over time, fire extinguishers can become damaged without you realizing it. Regular inspections are necessary to be sure that your extinguisher will work when a fire breaks out.

Inspections for Code Compliance

NFPA standards require that your fire extinguishers be inspected on a regular basis. To remain code compliant, you should hire a fire protection professional to perform brief visual inspections on a monthly basis and a more in-depth inspection on a yearly basis.

Monthly Extinguisher Inspections

A monthly inspection of your extinguisher is a visual inspection that makes sure your extinguisher is charged and ready to use. During a monthly inspection make sure that:

  • The fire extinguisher is in the right place, well-marked, and easily accessible
  • The pressure gauge is showing the fire extinguisher is fully charged
  • The pin and tamper seal is intact
  • The fire extinguisher is not visibly damaged or corroded
  • Make sure nameplate and operating instructions are facing outward
  • Check the service tag on the extinguisher and sign and date to record the inspection

Yearly Fire Extinguisher Inspections

Yearly fire extinguisher inspections are more in-depth inspections. On a yearly basis, fire extinguishers components must be checked to make sure they are working correctly. Yearly inspections include:

  • Check the extinguisher for damage to the exterior
  • Check the service date for six-year maintenance and hydro test.
  • Making sure the agent is loose and not settle.
  • Look at the pressure gauge to make sure it is charged and not leaking
  • Make sure the pull pin on the extinguisher works
  • Reseal the pull pin
  • Clean the fire extinguisher

Fire Protection in Retail Stores

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

In a retail business, providing excellent customer service is important to the success of your business. Excellent customer service includes helping them find the product they want, but it also means promoting their safety and wellbeing. One great way to improve the safety of your customers is to have a fire protection system installed in your retail facility.

Fire Protection Systems

Making sure your facility is equipped with the right fire protection system will improve safety and help protect your inventory during a fire.

  • Fire Alarms – Fire alarms are very important in retail stores. If you have a large store, you must have a fire alarm system that will alert customers who are in all parts of the store that there is a fire. You may also want to consider fire alarm monitoring for your store in case a fire breaks out at night when no one is around. Fire alarm monitoring systems will alert the fire department that there is a fire at your facility, even if no one is around to call 911.
  • Fire Sprinkler Systems – Fire sprinkler systems are important to protect the safety of the customers and prevent extensive damage to inventory. When heat from a fire activates a sprinkler system, it will release water onto the flames to prevent the fire from spreading.
  • Fire Extinguishers – Fire extinguishers should be placed throughout the store, especially near flammable products. Depending on the materials present, you may need different types of fire extinguishers. In most cases, ABC fire extinguishers will be adequate because they put out fires from flammable liquids, electronic equipment, and burning paper or plastic. Make sure your staff is trained on how to use fire extinguishers, so they can use them if a small fire breaks out.

Inspections & Testing

Regular inspection and testing of your fire protection systems are necessary for a retail store. If your fire alarm or fire sprinkler systems are not working properly, it can have devastating consequences during a fire. Inspecting and testing your systems will also help your business comply with fire code so you can avoid costly fines. Many fire protection companies will provide regular inspection and testing of your systems with minimal disruption to your business.

Types of Fire Detection

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

One of the most important components of fighting a fire is ensuring that the fire is detected early on. Early detection of fire allows building occupants to safely exit the building sooner and allows for a faster response from fire suppression systems. When it comes to fire detection, there are several detection methods that are available to choose from. The main three forms of fire detection include heat detection, smoke detection, and flame detection.

  1. Heat Detection

Heat detectors are activated when a fire occurs and causes the temperature in the area to rise. Once the area reaches a certain temperature, the heat detectors are activated. Heat detectors usually have less false alarms, but they can take longer to identify a fire than other forms of detection. Heat detectors are best suited for areas that are not frequently occupied and in areas that are not well suited for smoke detection such as steamy, humid, or dusty environments.

  1. Smoke Detection

Smoke detectors are activated when smoke is created by a fire. There are several types of smoke detectors that use different methods to detect smoke.

    • Ionization

Ionization detectors use radioactive material to create an electric current between two electrodes. When a fire creates smoke, the smoke disrupts the ionization and causes the alarm to go off. This type of smoke detection may result in false alarms as it can be triggered by things like humidity. These types of smoke detectors do a good job of detecting fast-burning fires.

    • Photoelectric

These alarms use a light beam to detect smoke. When smoke particles from fire cross through the beam, the detectors are activated. This type of detector is reliable and has few false alarms. Photoelectric detectors work well on small smoldering fires.

    • Combination

Combination detectors use the technology from both ionization and photoelectric detectors to identify both fast-burning and smoldering fires.

    • Aspirating Smoke Detectors

Aspirating smoke detection is a method of detecting a fire very early on. This type of detector samples and tests the particle levels in the air and is activated when the level of smoke particles rises above normal levels. This type of smoke detection is resistant to false alarms and works well around sensitive equipment as the fire can be detected before it can cause damage.

  1. Flame Detection

Flame detectors are used to detect a fire when flames are present. This type of fire detection includes UV detectors and/or infrared detectors to identify a flame and trigger an alarm.

IICRC And Fire Damage

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

The IICRC explains why Fire Restoration is important after experiencing a fire in your home or business. When a home or business owner prolong the restoration of their home or business after a fire, they extend the effects brought on by the smoke and soot exposure. Professional restoration technicians know that damage increases and restoration costs escalate the longer neutralization, corrosion control and cleaning are delayed. The following is a timeline provided by the IICRC of the effects of fire and smoke on a home.

Within Minutes: Acid soot residues cause plastics to yellow and can cause small appliances located close to the source to discolor in addition highly porous materials like marble may discolor permanently.

Within Hours: Acid residues stain grout in bathrooms while fiberglass bath fixtures may yellow and uncoated metals tarnish, counter tops may yellow and finishes on appliances, particularly refrigerators, may yellow in addition furniture finishes may discolor.

Within Days: acid residues may cause painted walls to yellow permanently and metal can corrode, pit and rust; wood furniture may require refinishing while vinyl flooring may require replacement; clothing can become soot stained and upholstery stains may be stained permanently.

Within Weeks: Restoration costs escalate quickly. Synthetic carpet fibers may yellow or discolor permanently while silver plate can be corroded permanently in addition glass, crystal and china may require replacement due to severe etching caused by prolonged exposure to acid soot residues.

Cleaning up soot residue must be done as quickly as possible. The IICRC explains that during combustion, soot residue and volatile vapors are carried by rising and expanding air to surfaces throughout a structure, and are then deposited onto structural surfaces in the home or business. This process occurs repeatedly until combustion ends, during which soot residue continues building up on surfaces layer by layer. This can make the soot very difficult to remove once restoration technicians arrive on site.

Fire Damage Often Leads to Water Damager Cleanup!

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Restoration Often Includes Water Damage Cleanup

Being prepared in case of a fire in your Overbrook, PA business is key for the safety of everyone onsite as well as keeping damage to a minimum. After following proper fire protocols, the next step is fire cleanup. Along with that, water cleanup will likely be part of the process.

Extinguishing the Flames Leaves Water Behind

Although smoke cleanup and rummaging through burnt items is to be expected after a fire, many may forget the massive amounts of water required to extinguish the flames. Depending on the extent of the fire, it could result in more water cleanup than expected. The main water damage concerns include:

Wood Damage – Floors, furniture and other items made from wood quickly soak up water. As it retains the water, buckling and other damage can take root. Items severely damaged will likely need to be replaced.

Ceilings – Along with inspecting for any fire damage to the structure of the building, ceilings with water damage will need to be repaired immediately.

Drywall – The walls of a building often take the brunt of both fire and water issues. If they made it unscathed from the flames, there could still be hidden water issues. Any areas affected will need to be replaced to avoid further deterioration and mold growth.

Electrical – Water can find its way into electrical equipment and outlets without being detected. A close inspection of all electrical components should be conducted.

Count On Professional Help

Lingering water left unattended can cause big problems long after the fire has taken place. A water damage specialist has the expertise to properly dry, clean and restore your business back to new. Along with repairing physical issues, they can also help with the restoration of items such as documents, furniture, paintings and more.
While you might not be expecting water cleanup after a fire, it’s important to make sure water damage doesn’t go unchecked. Getting the right help can help get your business back to normal.

Causes of Dryer Fires

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

According to the US Fire Administration, nearly 2,900 residential fires are caused by dryers, and 34% of those fires are likely caused by a lint fire, meaning a failure to maintain or clean the appliance. Therefore, dryer fires can be prevented, and the best way to ensure your safety from these appliance disasters is to follow the three keys of ownership.

Proper installation
Routine cleaning
Inspection and maintenance


A dryer fire can occur because of poor installation. A professional installer will ensure that all electrical components are correctly connected and that all plugs and outlets are compatible. Also, while using a third party installer is wise, you should also make sure you read all the manufacturer's warnings and instructions before use.


If you fail to clean your dryer regularly, then you are putting yourself and your family at risk of a lint fire. To prevent such an issue, you need to not only clear the lint filter but ensure that lint is removed from any other likely areas. For example, you can develop a lint buildup in the back of the dryer at the exhaust connection. Also, lint can buildup in the vent pipe. For any difficult cleaning call on a professional.


Inspection and Maintenance


Most remediation companies and other appliance repair professionals in St Michael, MN recommend performing routine checks on dryers, typically every three to six months. These inspections should cover the cleaning, testing and possibly replacing of integral components.


If you are in the market for a new dryer or are concerned about the possibility of a dryer or lint fire, then follow the advice above. Dryer fires are often preventable fires. Therefore, ensure that they are correctly installed, cleaned regularly and inspected every three to six months. Your home does not have to become a part of the statistics. Be an educated appliance owner.

Fire Damaged Materials Need Meticulous Cleaning

2/7/2020 (Permalink)

Soot settles on storage unit doors Pictured is soot sitting on top of a metal service at a large commercial fire loss.

The dangers of fire damage can last much longer than the initial fire blaze. Two of the most toxic types of damage are the fire itself and the resulting smoke damage. Smoke and soot can damage a home by permeating through the walls, upholstery, ceiling, insulation, air conditioning vents, and other hard to clean places. 
 
This is why it is important to understand that fire damage in Overbrook/Wynnefield homes can present itself in many ways. Depending on the type of fire that attacks your home, not only are the apparent soot, ash, and fire damage unsightly, but possible structure damage and future contamination are possible. 
 
Never Have Your Fire Damage Overlooked Again 
For example, depending on where a fire burns in a structure, it can affect support beams, load-bearing walls, and it can wreak havoc on wiring and insulation. Even if your fire emergency seemed localized to a particular area in the house, remember, the attic must be checked for damage as well. 
 
SERVPRO uses our advanced cleanup methods and detection tools to check from closet to closet, room to room, and floor to ceiling, to detect all fire and post-fire damages. We know where to check to make sure your HVAC system will not spread smoke and toxins after a fire. We will make sure that your insulation is intact and that the structure of your home is safe. If we detect any need for replacement and restoration, we provide a range of services, including building services, that can take care of any fire and water damage and debris. 
 
Because secondary fire damage, such as water use from firefighting efforts can also be an issue, our specialists pay much attention to a full, detailed analysis of your home’s damage before making a plan of action and beginning cleanup and restoration. 
 
Contamination is not always seen by the untrained eye. It can be hidden in places such as your HVAC (air conditioning and heating) systems. SERVPRO inspects the home from attic to basement, to ensure that all vents and air circulating systems are completely clean. If you were to neglect this part of fire damage cleanup, there is always the possibility of blowing toxic dust, ash, and soot, even on the microscopic level, into your cleaned home, effectively re-contaminating it and exposing residents to its dangers. 

Our 24/7 Emergency Service line is at your disposal. Contact SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield anytime at (215) 877-6653 for quick response to your fire emergency, or to ask questions.

Fire Displaces Many Residents

12/27/2019 (Permalink)

COBB (CBS46)—Smyrna fire officials are working to determine what caused an apartment fire that left two people injured and several residents displaced early Friday morning.

The fire happened around 1:00 a.m. at The Alcove Apartments on Woodlands Drive in Smyrna.

 

Fire officials said they arrived to heavy flames in the breezeway on the second story.

According to officials, one person had superficial burns and another person was injured due to jumping from the second story. Both were transported to an area hospital and are expected to survive.

 

Ten units in the complex were damaged, leaving several people displaced.

The American Red Cross was called out to provide assistance to the displaced  victims.

Tortoise Sets House on Fire

12/27/2019 (Permalink)

Despite its dour demeanor, an “angry-looking" tortoise in England actually had a “very lucky Christmas Day” after firefighters rescued the reptile from a house it had set on fire, officials said.

The unnamed 45-year-old reptile was alone in its Essex home when it knocked a heat lamp onto its bedding, which caught on fire, Essex Fire and Rescue said Wednesday in a news release.

Neighbors heard the smoke alarm and called an emergency number around 5 p.m., officials said. Firefighters scrambled to the scene and found smoke filling the home and a fire in one of the rooms.

Firefighters extinguished the fire and cleared the house of smoke within 25 minutes, the BBC reported.

"This incident shows just how important it is to have smoke alarms on every level of your home - even if you're not home they will alert anyone close by to the first sign of fire,” said Watch Manager Gary Wain of the Great Dunmow Fire Station.

Fire Damage Awareness

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

Fire can cause more damage than meets the eye. Of course, fire itself causes much of the damage to a home or business. Did you know that smoke can cause just as much damage too? Smoke and soot can permeate through walls, ceilings, upholstery, and air conditioning vents. Many of these spots are very hard to clean when not properly educated on the issues associated to fire damage.

Not only is there visible damage to the structure, but also damage that can be unnoticed. Structural damage can occur to support beams, weight bearing walls, and studs etc. and these are places that you would not check unless you know how to properly restore a structure after this type of loss.

SERVPRO uses our advanced cleanup methods and detection tools to check from closet to closet, room to room, and floor to ceiling, to detect all fire and post-fire damages. We know where to check to make sure your HVAC system will not spread smoke and toxins after a fire. We will make sure that your insulation is intact and that the structure of your home is safe. If we detect any need for replacement and restoration, we provide a range of services, including building services, that can take care of any fire and water damage and debris.

Because secondary fire damage, such as water use from firefighting efforts can also be an issue, our specialists pay much attention to a full, detailed analysis of your home’s damage before making a plan of action and beginning cleanup and restoration.
 
Contamination is not always seen by the untrained eye. It can be hidden in places such as your HVAC (air conditioning and heating) systems. SERVPRO inspects the home from attic to basement, to ensure that all vents and air circulating systems are completely clean. If you were to neglect this part of fire damage cleanup, there is always the possibility of blowing toxic dust, ash, and soot, even on the microscopic level, into your cleaned home, effectively re-contaminating it and exposing residents to its dangers.

Our 24/7 Emergency Service line is at your disposal. Contact SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield anytime at (215) 877-6653 for quick response to your fire emergency, or to ask questions.

Overbrook/Wynnefield Soot and Smoke Clean-up

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

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 Overbrook/Wynnefield 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.

Do's and Do Not's for Fire Emergencies

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

After a fire coming back to the house or building were it happened can be a very emotional experience. Here are some tips of what to do and what not to do in in your house after a fire.

What To Do After a Fire:

  • Keep hands clean so as to not furth soil an upholstery, walls or woodwork.
  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas
  • If electricity is off, empty the freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change the HVAC filter.

What NOT To Do After a Fire:

  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your local SERVPRO.
  • Do not use canned or packaged foods or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures is the ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Do not send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Content by: SERVPRO Corporate

Smoke Behavior is No Joke

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Fire losses and the damage they leave behind can be an incredibly complex job to deal with. This is caused largely by the behavior of smoke. When our SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield professionals respond to a call for a fire job, their initial goal is to determine the extent of damage from fire itself, smoke, heat, and moisture. Not only do we deal with damage to building structures, but we work to clean a building's contents and your belongings as well.

Our SERVPRO trained professionals are trained to understand how smoke penetrates various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Our teams knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. We know it can be stressful when you don't understand the issues facing your home, so take a moment to read up on the different kinds of smoke and soot that could potentially effect your property.

While there are technically only two different types of smoke - wet and dry, there are varying types of soot residue after a fire. Here's a handy glossary of smoke and soot types that might come in handy if you're ever faced with the misfortune of dealing with a property fire:

Wet smoke (plastic & rubber): Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. These smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry smoke (paper & wood): Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises and thus so does the smoke

Protein fire residue (caused by evaporation of material instead of fire): Virtually invisible discolors paints and varnishes, extremely pungent odor

Fuel oil soot (furnace puff backs): While "puff backs" can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO can, in most cases, restore your contents and your Baltimore structure quickly (thanks to their training)

Additionally, we do deal with tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher resides. These special situations require special care and evaluation.

Understanding and having the ability to differentiate between these different types of smoke and soot is part of SERVPRO's specific training which makes us a cut above any other Baltimore local restoration team. Trusting company to care about your home like you do can seem daunting and feel impossible, but when it comes to SERVPRO, trust that you're always in good hands. We make it, "Like it never even happened."

Safety Tips for Dryers

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

WASHINGTON — A rash of dryer fires in Prince George’s County, Maryland has sparked a warning from fire department officials in Maryland and Virginia. Fire departments are offering tips to residents for keeping their dryers working properly and safely.

In Prince George’s County in just the last 11 days, firefighters have responded to 20 residential and commercial dryer fires, fire officials say.

Keeping your dryer lint-free is a crucial step when it comes to preventing a fire. Lt. Mike Buffum, with the Prince George’s County Fire Department, said his department typically sees an increase in dryer fires in the winter.

 

“A lot of times that’s contributed to people not cleaning out the lint or the vents for the outside (are) blocked and that heat is building up,” he said. That’s when lint and build up can ignite.

Meanwhile, in Fairfax County, Virginia, Battalion Chief Will Bailey says so far this year, fire officials have responded to six dryer fires.

“Numerous times we’ve found the cause of a dryer fire to be there was no lint filter in the dryer,” Bailey said.

You can prevent lint from building up by limiting how many items you place in the dryer at once. If your clothes are taking longer than normal to dry, clean the lint out of the vent pipe behind the dryer.

“One of the biggest safety tips we like to let folks know is turn the dryer off if you leave home or go to bed,” Bailey.

Buffum also suggested pulling your washer and dryer away from the wall and giving the area a good clean. Checking the exhaust vent outside and making sure the pipe connected to your dryer is cleaned out are also crucial steps to preventing a fire.

Story by: WTOP

Thanksgiving Cooking Tips

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

  • 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.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • 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.

Tips provided by NFPA.org

Cooking With Caution

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

“Cooking with Caution”

  • Be on Alert. Do not cook if you are sleepy or have consumed any alcohol. This can potentially create dangerous situations. Do not use the stovetop or stove if you are under the influence.
  • Be sure to stay in the kitchen while frying, boiling, grilling or broiling food. Always turn off the stove if you have to leave the kitchen, no matter how quick you may be.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in your home while it is cooking, or use a timer so you do not forget about it.
  • Be sure your kitchen is free of clutter and no loose items are near the stove. This reduces the chance of anything catching on fire.

If you have a small grease/ cooking fire and decide to fight the fire…

  • On the stovetop, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Leave the pan to covered until it is completely cool.
  • If the fire is inside the oven, shut the oven off and keep the door closed.

If you have any doubt about fighting a small fire…

  • Just leave the house! When leaving be sure to close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from outside the house.

Content & photo by: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Campaigns/Fire-Prevention-Week/Safety-Tip-Sheets

Do's and Do Not's of Fire Emergencies

10/30/2018 (Permalink)

After a fire coming back to the house or building were it happened can be a very emotional experience. Here are some tips of what to do and what not to do in in your house after a fire.

What To Do After a Fire:

  • Keep hands clean so as to not furth soil an upholstery, walls or woodwork.
  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas
  • If electricity is off, empty the freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change the HVAC filter.

What NOT To Do After a Fire:

  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your local SERVPRO.
  • Do not use canned or packaged foods or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures is the ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Do not send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Content by: SERVPRO Corporate

Fire Damage Awareness

10/27/2018 (Permalink)

Fire can cause more damage than meets the eye. Of course, fire itself causes much of the damage to a home or business. Did you know that smoke can cause just as much damage too? Smoke and soot can permeate through walls, ceilings, upholstery, and air conditioning vents. Many of these spots are very hard to clean when not properly educated on the issues associated to fire damage.

Not only is there visible damage to the structure, but also damage that can be unnoticed. Structural damage can occur to support beams, weight bearing walls, and studs etc. and these are places that you would not check unless you know how to properly restore a structure after this type of loss.

SERVPRO uses our advanced cleanup methods and detection tools to check from closet to closet, room to room, and floor to ceiling, to detect all fire and post-fire damages. We know where to check to make sure your HVAC system will not spread smoke and toxins after a fire. We will make sure that your insulation is intact and that the structure of your home is safe. If we detect any need for replacement and restoration, we provide a range of services, including building services, that can take care of any fire and water damage and debris.

Because secondary fire damage, such as water use from firefighting efforts can also be an issue, our specialists pay much attention to a full, detailed analysis of your home’s damage before making a plan of action and beginning cleanup and restoration.
 
Contamination is not always seen by the untrained eye. It can be hidden in places such as your HVAC (air conditioning and heating) systems. SERVPRO inspects the home from attic to basement, to ensure that all vents and air circulating systems are completely clean. If you were to neglect this part of fire damage cleanup, there is always the possibility of blowing toxic dust, ash, and soot, even on the microscopic level, into your cleaned home, effectively re-contaminating it and exposing residents to its dangers.

Our 24/7 Emergency Service line is at your disposal. Contact SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield anytime at (215) 877-6653 for quick response to your fire emergency, or to ask questions.

Overbrook/Wynnefield Smoke and Soot Cleanup

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

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 Overbrook/Wynnefield 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.