Recent Fire Damage Posts

Electrical Fires

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and or old, outdated appliances. The following are the most common reasons why electrical fires happen:

  1. Old electrical sockets and unsafe appliances

Appliances that are old and overused and those that fall short of modern safety standards are the worst culprits. Frayed electrical cords, self-jointed wires, and worn out sockets that are not properly grounded are major causes of fires. They become ready outlets for directing heat and fire to carpets, rugs, curtains and combustible plastic. Older appliances draw more power than the wall sockets can handle.

  1. Using light fixtures that exceed the permissible wattage

A very common cause of fires is plugging lights, lighting appliances and bulbs into electrical sockets that cannot handle higher wattage levels. Antique lighting appliances may have defective wiring that makes the appliance unstable by overheating. Decorating lights with colored paper and cloth shades can increase the risk of fire when the material or fabric heats up.

  1. Using multiple appliances plugged into an extension cord

Unrestricted use of extension cords is a major fire hazard. The risk of fire increases when your TV, home theatre, computer and other appliances are all plugged into a single extension cord. This creates excessive power load on a single socket which may not be designed to handle that load.  So, there is a social and economic cost to damaged wiring!

  1. Locating portable heaters near combustible materials

Portable space heaters that use coils are potentially dangerous when they are positioned carelessly near curtains and rugs and adjacent to beds and cloth covered furniture. The chances of inflammable material coming into contact with the red-hot coils increase the risk of fire.

  1. Wiring that becomes defective with the passage of time

Over a period of time you add more electrical appliances such as wide screen televisions, home theater, microwave oven, refrigerator and air conditioners. The outdated home wiring cannot handle the increased power load. Older wiring tends to heat up quickly and catches fire. If the breaker boxes are themselves defective, they cannot prevent overheated electrical panels from catching fire.

Avoid Fire Damage When Grilling at Your Concho Valley Home

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Grass fire burning close to a Concho Valley home Smoke from a small grass fire can fill your home with smoke odor.

The barbeque and grilling season are far from over in the Concho Valley. Cooking outdoors is popular for creating a festive atmosphere and delivering delicious, smoke-infused food to the dining table. Wood, charcoal, or gas grills do pose an elevated risk of household fire. If the flames jump to an exterior or interior portion of your home, we can help with cleanup and restoration.

Outdoor grilling needs constant monitoring to avoid fire damage in your Concho Valley home. Even when you exercise caution variables such as wind gusts, or rambunctious pets can cause an accident that quickly turns into a crisis. During the relatively dry months of late summer, the grass or gardens near your house can ignite fast, spreading the line of fire to the exterior or inside of your dwelling. We respond to many fire cleanup scenarios where the source of the residue on surfaces in your home was an outdoor blaze.

SERVPRO of San Angelo warns that overhanging eaves, an awning, or roof can accelerate the transfer of heat and flames from even a small accidental outdoor fire from grilling. Despite burning just a few minutes before it is extinguished, the smoke and soot of a fire that escaped its containment system can make their way indoors, especially if open windows or heating or cooling intake vents are nearby. Think of how the aromas of your or a neighbor’s grilling waft into your house even when the cooking fuel is contained, and no emergency occurs.

Add to that the increase in smoke and soot if an outdoor fire jumps to the ground or the structure of your home. Fires started outside can grow in intensity if they catch the siding or trim of your home, and if a fire just outside the kitchen, where the majority of grilling spaces are, seeks and finds a burst of oxygen when the door opens, it travels inside with frightening ease. Firefighting efforts, both with fire extinguishers and water, may put out the fire but damage your home on their own. Fortunately, SERVPRO is a full-service restoration company, handling water, fire, and many other disasters.

If a gathering around the grill takes a turn for the worse, SERVPRO of San Angelo is ready to help clean up and restore any areas of your home affected.

Give us a call at (325)942-0414 to get the recovery started.

Fire Damage and Your Insurance

8/8/2019 (Permalink)

When the fire has been put out by the fire sprinkler systems, and the fire trucks have left, the most challenging part of the fire restoration process starts. As a homeowner, this is the point at which you call the insurer and inform them of the accident. Note that when damage of this magnitude has happened, adjusters will be calling you from all corners, trying to help you with ways of achieving fire restoration. Making the call to your insurer gives you the peace of mind you need to proceed to the next important step in fire damage and restoration.

Contacting the fire restoration company

Commercial fire damage experts recommend that you should stay away from a building that has suffered fire damage until a fire restoration expert has certified it safe to enter. Contact restoration companies which are close to you and let them know about the electrical fire or utility room fire. The details that you share with them will determine the quote they give you for the commercial fire damage restoration process. When they get to your premises, they will assess the utility room fire damage to determine where to start the recovery. The following are some of the issues they usually address:

  • Smoke damage and soot damage in the house is a typical result of the fire. The experts will clean up the smoke damage on all surfaces and make sure the house is as clean as it was before the ordeal.
  • In case some structures have been weakened by the electrical fire or the utility room fire, they will do a board up and roof tarp as a way of preventing collapse.
  • If fire sprinkler systems or fire hoses were used in the fire suppression efforts, water damage would result. The electrical fire damage experts will extract the water and dry the house to prevent future development of mold.

The commercial fire damage restoration experts will then perform services such as repainting the parts that could have been affected by the soot damage and the smoke damage.

The utility room fire restoration experts will only leave home when they have ensured that it is has regained the state it was in before the fire damage and the fire suppression. Take time and choose the restoration company which is close to you to handle the restoration process for you. The quality of the outcome will depend on the competence of the restoration experts that you contact.

Call SERVPRO of San Angelo for more information on fire damage (325)942-0414.

Why You Should Choose a Professional for Your Fire Restoration

3/21/2019 (Permalink)

Small Fire Created Large Amounts of Soot

A small fire quickly extinguished still left significant amounts of smoke damage and heavy soot throughout the home. The soot affected most of the living space.

After fire damages, count on the professionals at SERVPRO of San Angelo.

After the firefighting teams and first responders have left the scene at your San Antonio residence, you might be curious of how to proceed with getting your home back to the way it used to be. As much as you might understand about professional restoration services, there are still many homeowners that do not fully understand the nature of the work that we do.

Better appreciating the full scope of the work that professional restoration technicians can do for the fire damage in your San Angelo home, the better prepared you are to know what to expect. You are also better informed then as to why you need to employ a company for this venture and not attempt the work on your own.

Equipment is a big part of the work that SERVPRO does in fire restoration projects. From the tools that we use to remove lingering water damage from extinguishing efforts, to the equipment that helps us to clear out harmful and noxious smoke damage from the affected areas, these are specialized units explicitly created for restoring homes and commercial properties.

IICRC certification is also at the heart of the work that we do when restoring fire damage to those in the community. Every one of our technicians has unique training and certifications in their particular restoration niche to offer the most experience and expedient work for your home, regardless of the severity of the damage we experience.

Give our emergency response team a call today at (325)942-0414.

10 Tips to Make Your Home Safer From Fires

8/8/2018 (Permalink)

It’s an unfortunate tragedy. Your home in San Angelo has been ravaged by a raging fire. A restoration company has come to the rescue to return your home back to its prior condition. Hopefully you will never experience such loss again, but it is wise to prepare your home in the event of future disasters. Even if your home has never been devastated by a fire the following fire preparation tips can prove beneficial in giving you greater peace of mind regarding fire safety in your home.

1. Smoke alarms: Test smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries annually.
2. Prepare children: Teach fire preparation to children, including the dangers of fire. Make sure they know the proper use of 911 for emergencies. Keep matches and lighters out of their reach.
3. Plan where to go: Create an escape plan and make sure everyone in the household is aware of it. Choose an outside meeting spot for all family members to gather upon escaping. Conduct practice drills at least twice a year.
4. Share contact information: Make sure all household members know who to contact in the event that they cannot find each other during a home fire.
5. Educate on proper techniques: Teach everyone in the household to stop, drop and roll in the event their clothes catch on fire.
6. Take action if you smoke: Smokers should take extra precautions, as many residential fire deaths are caused by smoking materials. Avoid smoking in bed, especially while sleepy or medicated. It is better to smoke outside.
7. Handle heaters: Portable heaters should be turned off when not in use.
8. Take care of candles: Candles should be extinguished when not in use, and never left unattended.
9. Store other sources of light: Speaking of candles, consider using flashlights during a power outage instead of candles.
10. Examine the home for other fire hazards: Check the electrical wiring and home heating sources to make sure they are safe.

A home fire is a most unwelcome event, but by taking fire preparation seriously, you and your household can hopefully avoid this happening or, at the very least, be better equipped to handle such an emergency when it occurs. Visit SERVPROOfSanAngelo.com for more information on fire damage. 

Preparing to Escape a House Fire

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Preparing a fire escape plan for yourself and your family is important whether you live in San Angelo or anywhere else in the country. Your dwelling may be a single-family home, a multi-family home or a high-rise apartment, but whatever the case, the routes to safety should be planned and practiced by all inhabitants. Planning for a Safe Getaway no matter your type of home, it is important to have functional smoke alarms on every level. In a fire emergency situation, an alarm can provide the two minutes that the Red Cross estimates are needed to get out safely. Make sure that all family members recognize the sound of the alarm and know how to call 911. Design and regularly practice your fire escape plan.

• In single-family homes, identify at least two exits from each room. Preselect a gathering point outdoors. Once outside, call 911 if the emergency is real.

• In multi-family homes, identify two exits from each room, and place escape ladders in second floor rooms. Plan a meeting place outdoors. Call 911 if it is an actual emergency.

• In high rises, head for the interior fire stairs if possible. If it is too dangerous to leave via the interior stairs, find a safe place, and close all doors. Call 911, and hang a white sheet outside your window to alert the fire department to your location if it is not a drill.

• Never return to the dwelling to retrieve people, pets or belongings.

• Download and complete the Red Cross’s emergency escape plan. Share it with everyone in the home. Though it is regrettable that items of monetary or sentimental value can be lost in a fire or a beloved home can be damaged, restoration and remediation services can go a long way in helping with material losses. A fire escape plan can be an essential element of protecting what really matters. Visit SERVPROOfSanAngelo.com for more information on fire damage. 

Creating an Effective Fire Escape Plan

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

Do you know how to exit your home most effectively in the case of a fire? Few people in the Concho Valley, give much thought to developing an escape plan, so they may not be able to answer this question accurately. A fire escape plan is often an important piece of family preparedness, so taking the time to create and practice an emergency escape plan can help you be that much more prepared for unexpected circumstances.

3 Steps to Success

There are a few steps required to creating an effective fire escape plan.

1. Identify exits.
2. Choose at least two exits.
3. Meet at a pre-determined location.

Begin by identifying all exits; remember to count side doors and exits leading into garages. Identify the exit that all family members can effectively use; very young and very old family members may need assistance. Choose two exits that all family members can use; this gives people an alternative exit if one doorway is blocked. Establish a family meeting place; plan to gather at a pre-determined location that can be safely and easily reached.

The Importance of Having a Meeting Plan

Having a family meeting place, can be an important safety measure. Establishing it can help ensure that all family members are present and accounted for following an emergency; you can see at a glance that everyone is safe and sound. It may be best to establish this spot on your property because then it is under your primary control. Choosing a spot at a public park, for instance, is usually less advisable because then people have to travel. Landmarks in parks and other public places sometimes change, which can cause confusion.

Developing an effective fire escape plan is typically easy and can be done with input from all family members. Once it is made, share it with everyone and practice using it.

Visit us for more fire tips at SERVPROOfSanAngelo.com

Fire!

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

One of the most common causes of house fires is something you would never think as a possible danger. Thirty-two percent of all home fires and deaths related to those are caused by space heaters, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

With the cold that sets over the North East Texas area, some residents are using space heaters to try and keep their homes and garages warm during those cold nights. Having a space heater on while you sleep can put you and your family at extreme risk for a home fire. When a space heater is left unattended and is too close to flammable items, a massive fire can occur. Which can cause injury or even death to the occupants of the home.

Be safe and reduce your risk when using a space heater, as they can be a great addition to the home during those annoyingly cold months. Following safety precautions can reduces the risk of fire. Making sure your heater is on a flat surface, and is being used in proper area of the home and garage, can also reduce your risk of starting a house fire.

So we here at SERVPRO of San Angelo ask the wonderful members of our community to be responsible and think about all the risks that go along with having a home and living in the community. We are not only responsible for ourselves but also our neighbors and fellow community members.

How to Prevent a Kitchen Fire

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

Check out our other tips on our website SERVPROOfSanAngelo.com

Did you know the kitchen is where more home fires occur than anywhere else in the house and that cooking is the number one cause of home fires? The American Red Cross has steps everyone can follow to avoid a cooking fire:

  1. 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.
  2. Check your food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking.
  3. Use a timer so you’ll remember that the stove or oven is on.
  4. Don’t wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  5. 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.

To learn how to prevent a fire in your home and how to keep members of your household safe, you can download the Red Cross Fire Prevention and Safety ChecklistDownloadable fact sheets are also available on how to avoid home heating fires, candle safety, proper use of smoke alarms and teaching your children what to do in the event of a fire. 

SERVPRO of San Angelo is here to help!

Steps in Fire Restoration

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

Our fire crews are very pleasant and conscientious!

After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Today (325)942-0414

Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call the local SERVPRO, whose phones are answered 24 hours a day. Our representative will ask a series of questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us dispatch the nearest SERVPRO Franchise Professional with the appropriate equipment and resources.

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Our Professionals will carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, the SERVPRO Franchise Professional can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. They will then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

The SERVPRO Franchise Professionals use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

They will clean all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. They’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

San Angelo Smoke and Soot Cleanup

5/4/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your San Angelo 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 San Angelo 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.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 325-942-0414