Recent Fire Damage Posts
Fire Extinguisher 101
A fire extinguisher can be your best friend.
When And How To Use A Fire Extinguisher
If the smoke alarm in your Valley Forge, PA, is triggered, it often feels like a scary and chaotic situation. In the case of a small fire, using a fire extinguisher may solve the problem and help avoid extensive repairs by fire damage and restoration specialist. Before trying to put it out, it is important to consider the situation and know how to use the device.
When to Use
Your home is filled with memories, so trying to save them often immediately comes to mind. Luckily, fires tend to start small. If caught soon enough, having a fire extinguisher is vital to put it out. Unfortunately, fire spreads fast. Consider the following when deciding if the flames can be extinguished.
Not all extinguishers are the same. Verify that the one in your home is tested and the device is designed for different kinds of fire.
Ensure everyone in the home has been notified about the fire and emergency services have been called.
Verify you have a safe escape route in case the fires spreads too fast.
Since extinguishers come in many sizes, verify that you are physically able to use them the right way.
If in doubt, leave the fire to the professionals.
How to Use
While you may feel confident that you can handle the fire, you may not be as comfortable using the device. Most manufacturers use the same method for use, which is as easy as remembering the word “PASS.”
Pull the pin
Squeeze the handle
Sweep side to side
Ensuring the last step is focused on the base of the fire. Continue doing it until the fire is out. If it happens to start up again, repeat the last three steps.
Whether faced with a small kitchen fire, flames in a trash can or other minor incident, a fire extinguisher can be your best friend. Before using it, the safety of everyone in the home needs to be considered first.
To Do Or Not To Do?
To Do Or Not To Do?
When tragedy happens to your home such as a fire and you see everything you own affected due to the fire/smoke that was in your home there are a few things to help not further any damage to your belongings.
1. Make sure that if it is necessary to move contents in your home around to always keep your hands clean, that way you do not cause any further damage to your upholstery or walls.
2. Always place a clean towel or old linen down in high traffic area to avoid damaging any flooring that may have been able to be restored.
3. Always make sure your electricity is turned off. Once it is safely turned off dispose of all food in the fridge/freezer and keep items that can be salvaged. Then make sure to prop open the doors.
4. Houseplants can be saved! Just make sure to clean both sides of their leaves!
What NOT to do yourself:
1. Do not attempt to wash or wipe down walls yourselves. SERVPRO of North East Chester County has specialty items and a certified team to come in and clean with our specific tools and equipment to ensure proper cleaning for your home.
2. Do not consume any food that may have been affected by the fire.
3. Do not try to wash your own clothes as it may damage your personal washing machines due to the intense smoke odor. SERVPRO of North East Chester County can take care of that for you. We will bag it up and have specialist take care of it for you!
SERVPRO of North East Chester County has detailed and certified technicians to property restore your home to become "your home" again with our intense fire training and knowledge.
3 Ways Fire and Water Damage Can Coincide
Water and fire damage at a home located in Phoenixville, PA
Putting out a blaze is the primary concern when firefighters arrive at the scene of a house fire in Phoenixville, PA. Flames have the most obvious cosmetic and structural effect on a residential property, but damage due to water is often also present. Standing water or high levels of residual moisture will compound primary fire damage.
Here Are 3 Ways In Which Water Damage Coincides With Fires
1. Fire Hoses
Hoses that connect to fire hydrants may release anywhere from 60 up to 200 gallons per minute. A standard fire hose emits about 150 gallons of water per minute. This can quickly cause standing water to pool in a structure where a conflagration is in the process of being put out. This water starts out clean but becomes contaminated by ash and smoke. It may be necessary to pump standing water out of a residence after the Fire Department responds to an incident.
2. Home Fire Sprinklers
Fire sprinklers are designed to activate one at a time to limit the amount of damage due to fire suppression. High air temperatures cause glass bulbs to burst and activate spray mechanisms. These systems can still contribute moisture to fire damage that exacerbates the primary damage.
3. Secondary Damage
When a fire is the original cause of damage to a residence, burnt materials are considered primary damage. Any water introduced to a structure during suppression efforts and the combined effect of fire and water damage are considered secondary damage but should be covered by homeowners insurance in the event of an accidental fire.
No matter the source of water, the clean Category One water emitted by a fire hose or home sprinkler system degrades into grossly contaminated Category Three water upon contact with soot and smoke. Timely mitigation is essential for contaminated water and fire damage at a home located in Phoenixville, PA.
4 Traits to Look for in a Fire Restoration Company
SERVPRO crew in Kenilworth, PA
Keep These Key Points In Mind
Has your commercial building in Kenilworth, PA, been damaged by fire or smoke? In the event of a commercial fire, it's important to hire a competent service to restore your building to working order. There are a few traits that you should look for in a fire damage restoration company. As the owner, you should be informed about the most effective and efficient practices that only the best services employ.
1. Prompt Response
Time is of the essence after a damaging fire, and it's important that the company of your choice can arrive promptly. It's best if the assessment and repairs get started as soon as possible, as to minimize any further damages.
2. Detailed Assessment
The fire damage restoration company of your choosing should conduct a complete and comprehensive assessment of your building. This is important so any damages—minute or not—can be identified and addressed as soon as possible. Seemingly small damages can quickly progress into larger issues if not caught early and handled properly.
3. Thorough Repairs
After a meticulous inspection of your building, repairs should start promptly. Aside from being carried out in a timely manner, the reparations should also be comprehensive. A professional should be sure to triple-check his or her work, and it's essential that even the smallest of damages be addressed with haste—lest you risk more serious damages.
4. Efficient Cleanup
Along with a fire comes smoke damage and lingering fumes. A proper company—whether it be conducting smoke cleanup or dealing with scorched walls—should always be sure to clear any debris and clear any and all surfaces of smoke, fumes and soot. Additionally, any water damage caused by your building's fire suppression system will be dealt with. Pumps will be brought in to dispose of standing water, and any furniture will be dried as well.
When employing a company for fire damage restoration, it's important to keep these key points in mind.
Can Lightning Cause a House Fire?
A lightning fire is a common occurrence in nature but can also occur to homes and other buildings
Most homeowners experience a number of severe storms each year. Although most people do not usually think about it, a lightning fire can and does occasionally occur. During 2007-2011, lightning-caused over $450 million in property damage each year. Knowing how lightning travels can help you understand your risk of a fire.
What Happens to the House?
All homes contain paths that could be used as the lightning strike travels to different parts of the residence. When a house sustains a direct impact, many types of damage can occur:
- Breaks and cracks in concrete, bricks, and stone
- Shattered windows
- Damaged foundations
- Electrical surges that damage appliances and electronics
- Fire ignition
Once a house is struck, the energy can continue to surge through a path until it reaches the ground. As the energy encounters flammable materials, it can start a house fire. Attics, roofs, and fallen trees are common areas for fires to start.
How Can the Home Be Protected?
Ensure that your house is fitted with a lightning rod and that the rod is the highest point of your dwelling. If the rod is struck, it should allow the electricity to disperse safely through your home and avoid a lightning fire. Keeping your roof in good repair and choosing flame-resistant shingles can help. If tall branches are growing near, consider having them trimmed so that they are not hanging over your roof. Protect your appliances and electronics by using a surge protector or unplugging them during a storm. If your home is struck by lightning, call your emergency fire department to check for fires in areas that may not be obvious.
A lightning fire is a common occurrence in nature but can also occur to homes and other buildings. If you have experienced a fire in Birchrunville, PA, call a professional fire restoration service to help return your home to its pre-fire condition.
Estimating Restoration Costs in the Wake of a Fire
Board up services in Chester Springs, PA
Estimating Restoration Costs in the Wake of a Fire
The wake of a commercial fire is not the time to start trying to figure out what to do. Contacting a restoration company immediately helps to ensure that the process is handled thoroughly from start to finish. This company assesses the damage, provides a cost estimate to return the building to its pre-fire condition, collaborates with the insurance company, and handles all of your remediation needs. So, what can you expect the entire process to look like? The restoration company will:
1. Perform Emergency Board-Up and Roof Tarping
It’s important to begin the restoration process by preventing further loss resulting from secondary damage, theft, or vandalism. Boarding up all affected exterior doors, windows and walls will do the job until permanent replacements are installed. Any standing water from a fire hose or sprinkler system will also be eliminated immediately. If the roof suffered damage, emergency tarping will be necessary to prevent additional deterioration due to weather intrusion.
2. Assess Damage and Create a Bid
Assessments will be performed to determine the extent of loss and the recommended measures for returning the property to its preloss condition. The professionals will work up an estimate of their costs for completing the total restoration process including the emergency services that have already taken place. Then, they’ll present you with a bid.
3. Remove Odors
Fire damage isn’t only the result of burning, but also includes harm from water, smoke, and soot residue, as well as foul odors. Many odors can be eradicated with the right equipment and procedures.
4. Eliminate Debris
Debris needs to be eliminated as soon as possible to get rid of odors and harmful materials. An inventory of the items that can’t be salvaged will be sent to your insurance adjuster.
5. Clean and Sanitize
Finally, the area and salvageable contents will be cleaned and sanitized. Some of the items will be taken to a facility to be specially cleaned and deodorized.
If your Chester Springs, PA, building suffers fire damage you can count on restoration professionals. You'll receive an accurate estimate to return your property to its preloss condition.
How Furnace Maintenance Can Help Prevent Residential Fires
Furnace maintenance is an excellent fire prevention step
How Furnace Maintenance Can Help Prevent Residential Fires
It's easy to take some appliances for granted, especially when they are out of sight and mind. Furnaces can be located outside, in basements, or attics. Most people do not venture near these machines because they are controlled inside using a thermostat. However, these machines need constant upkeep and tuning to ensure routine cleaning doesn't become fire cleaning. Any fire restoration company in South Pottstown, PA, can tell you that a dirty or unkempt furnace is a fire hazard. Therefore, make sure to hire a furnace repair technician for the following jobs.
- Air filters
While you may not need a professional to replace your air filters, you may want them to look at the filtration system and blower. Small fires can start in these spaces because of dirt and dust buildup, meaning that you may need to hire a smoke cleaning crew if you get lax on maintenance.
Like the blower and air filter areas, the ducts are prone to dust buildup. While surplus dust may not be a fire hazard in the summer, when the heat is blasting through the system, it is concerning. While a fire cleaning may not yet be necessary, make sure to have your ductwork cleaned at least once per year.
During a professional inspection, the technician can make sure the thermostat is working appropriately. They will turn the temperature up and down to judge the system's response, making any necessary adjustments or tweaks after their assessment.
Overtime connectors can wear away, and wire housing can become worn. During annual inspections, you or a professional should note any potential electrical threats. Faulty wiring is one of the leading causes of residential fires.
Furnace maintenance is an excellent fire prevention step. You can contact fire cleaning experts to discuss other preventative measures you can take, but proper maintenance and upkeep of residential systems is a practical approach to prevention and preparation.
The Fire Restoration Process
Let us help with your smoke and fire damage in your Phoenixville, PA home.
Soot and smoke damage are often corrosive and can cause major problems to your Phoenixville, PA home. However, the sooner you begin cleaning up, the more likely you will be to prevent further damage.
The following steps outline the fire restoration process.
1. Secure the property. The fire and fire-extinguishing efforts may have created openings on the outside of your home, such as broken windows or holes in the roof. Board up or tarp over these entry points to keep out weather, wildlife and vandals. It may also be necessary to install a temporary security fence.
2. Dry out the property. The fire-extinguishing efforts may have left your home with standing water and soaked contents. Mold can begin to grow in as little as 24 hours, so it is important to dry your home as quickly as possible. You can use pumps, specialized vacuums and dehumidifiers to accomplish this step.
3. Clean soot from surfaces. There are a variety of soot removal products on the market. The type of soot damage your home has will determine the most appropriate cleaner.
4. Remove lingering smoke. Smoke damage can affect large areas, including places that the fire did not reach. It is important to eliminate the smoke, rather than cover up the smell with air fresheners, to prevent the odor from returning. There are a variety of smoke cleaning methods on the market today, including air purification, ozone treatments and thermal fogging.
5. Restore or replace damaged items. Throw out everything that cannot be fully cleaned and dried. Then you can begin painting, making repairs, etc. to the remaining items.
Unfortunately, cleaning up fire and smoke damage can be an overwhelming process. If you are unsure of exactly what to do, you can hire an experienced restoration team to help you get your home and personal belongings back to pre-fire condition quickly and safely.
Rogue grease fire smack in the middle of The City of Phoenixville! HELP!!
Residential home in Phoenixville PA , grease fire that affected the home with soot and smoke damage.
Just IMAGINE! You are in the kitchen frying up some of your favorites than out of no where you see smoke coming from the oil and then BAM! There are flames jumping out of the pan! WHAT SHOULD WE DO! We have responded to many smoke damage clean ups in the 19460 area!
- TURN OFF THE HEAT SOURCE
Always make sure your first step is to turn off the gas or electric stove top you are cooking on! Make sure to not move the pan to prevent anymore oil coming out of the pan which could cause a larger fire and even injury.
2. COVER THE PAN WITH A BAKING SHEET OR A LID
This will cut the fire off from any oxygen. Never use anything glass or plastic to cover a grease fire due to the high temperatures it will cause it to melt or shatter.
3. COVER THE FLAME WITH BAKING SODA OR SALT
This will help remove the oxygen which will cause the flame to go out. NEVER use flour or baking POWDER on a grease fire as the two together can amplify the intensity of the fire.
4. USE CLASS B FIRE EXTINGUISHER
Not all extinguishers put out the same fire. Grease and oil fires require a Class B extinguisher. A multipurpose extinguisher can be used as long as the label indicates class B on the label. If you need a fire extinguisher in your home please contact your local fire department on more information as soon as possible. (Local department in Spring City PA is Liberty Steam Fire Engine Company (610)948-6510)
MAKE SURE TO KNOW WHEN IT STARTS TO BECOME BIGGER THAN YOU CAN HANDLE TO PUT OUT AND CALL 911 RIGHT AWAY AND EVACUATE THE HOME.
NEED TO KNOW FACTS THAT ARE ON FIRE!
This home was damaged due to an electrical fire which has now affected the whole home with soot that can be damaging to breath in.
The behavior of fire is never the same, fire can start from any of the right combination of things. Always to make yourself fully aware when being around a open fire. Do you know what the fire triangle is? Well the triangle represents the three components that a fire needs to be able to exist. Heat, oxygen and fuel. If any one of these components were missing, the fire wouldn't be able to ignite. Fire can do more harm than good sometimes, fire can kill. Every year more than 3,800 people die from fire related causes. Most of these fires that have caused this could have easily been prevents practicing and using the proper fire safety. Did you know that most house fires start in the kitchen? Especially when cooking! Cooking fires often start from overheated grease and food being left unattended cooking. Smoke inhalation is a higher cause of death than the actual flames. Fire will take out all the oxygen from the room and replace it with poisonous gasses which end up taking away the oxygen in the room and killing humans. The most important fact is this.... 2/3 of all fire deaths happen in homes that do not have any working fire alarms. Your chance of drying in a house fire is completely cut in half if you have a working smoke alarm.
Preventing Wildfires, Keep our state safe.
8,000 Acres of forest, animals and trees gone caused by a wildfire in the Poconos, PA
Forests cover almost a third of the earth's land and hold a huge variety of plants and animals which provide them food, water and a home. Trees are essential to our human race. We rely on trees for fuel, food, medication and materials. Trees and plants are needed to make sure that the earth's temperature is livable and also produces oxygen to breathe. Wildfires are normally unplanned and very dangerous to the people that live in and around a heavily wooded area. Only you as a individual can help prevent wildfires by making sure to keep away anything flammable or that may cause a spark. Never bring in matches or lighter into the forest that you plan on using to produce a fire. Always make sure to watch your campfire that it does not spread and damage any nature around your campfire. Never forget to make sure that your campfire has completely gone out before leaving. FACT ABOUT WILDFIRES: An Average forest is about 70-100 years old, and the trees in some forests can be 4,000-5,000 years old!
The Sweet Smell of Smoke Odor Removal.
One our our technicians using the thermal fogging machine to eliminate the smoke odor in the kitchen after a stove fire.
We use specific techniques for odor elimination and deodorization. SERVPRO of North East Chester County have a customized smoke odor restoration plan to accommodate every type of smoke damage for every customer. The first step to any odor deodorization is a pre-clean. This cleaning will prevent any further damage that the smoke can do to your belongings. Next step will be gathering any contents such as documents, photos, furniture or tools will be carefully backed and transported to a textile cleaning service. After all the contents have been packed up and sent to be repaired and cleaned to its original state, on site our technicians will set up odor eliminating equipment which will clean the air such as an air scrubbers, and negative air machines to start working on clearing the air. We also use a deodorization technique with a Thermal Fogging machine. It ultimately acts like the smoke that has damaged your home and can penetrate all the smoke affected surfaces and clean the odor thoroughly saving all your personal belongings and your home.
The DO's and DONT's of Fire Damage in Your Home
Fire damage can be devastating to home owners and their families. It is a difficult event to overcome but there are simple things to do to motivate the process and certain things that you shouldn’t do within your home after an event like this.
DON’T: Use your AC, heater or any electronics
DON’T: Eat any leftover food that could have been affected
DON’T: Wipe away any powder from the extinguisher
DO: Call us at SERVPRO of North East Chester County to come in and help you restore your home after this tragic event that has happened within your home. We will start the cleanup process immediately, also bring in our specialty equipment to get rid of the smoke odor which could cause health issues over time if it is not done properly by trained technicians.
Don't Let Your Future Go Up in Smoke
Pottstown Fire Damage Smoke Odor
Don’t let the odor of smoke that may have been caused from a small fire in your kitchen or maybe a string of Christmas lights that caught on fire affect the odor in your home for long. SERVPRO of North East Chester County has a certified team, proper tools and chemicals to clean, deodorize and seal materials that may have been affected by smoke when a fire has occurred within your home or even business. Every fire is different from how minor it was to how severe it might have been. Any size fire SERVPRO of North East Chester County can handle, removing or remediating the materials that were affected by smoke. To ensure all the odor will be out of the residence make sure all sources of smoke as well as all materials that were damaged by the fire have been removed. Whether you need us to eliminate the odor or repair any fire damage, SERVPRO of North East Chester County wants any level of fire that has affected a residence or a business to be safe, clean, and free of a smoky odor.
Do I Have to Throw EVERYTHING Away?!?
"How can you get the smoke odor out of THIS?!?"
Give us a call, we are up for the challenge!
After a fire occurs in your home or business, as you begin to process the extent of the damage, you may be surprised at how pervasively the smoke odor and soot can permeate...well...pretty much everything! The good news is that SERVPRO of North East Chester County can guide you through the mitigation process so you don't have to go it alone. Building materials and badly damaged contents and furniture may be blatantly obvious as to whether or not they can be salvaged, but those items that weren't "burned" but are still smoke/soot affected may be salvageable after all.
Granted, fires in a home or business in Chester County are a rare occurrence, and hopefully one that you never need to experience firsthand. But should you have the unfortunate experience yourself, you may just assume that nothing can be saved. Before you order a dump truck, give us a call and you may be surprised by the results of our professional cleaning knowledge and procedures. We are not miracle workers, but more often than not, the results we are able to produce are a welcome surprise once we return a Customer's belongings: clean, fresh-smelling, and sanitized!
Wildfires In Chester County, PA?
Fires can ignite from both internal sources of the home and external, like wildfires.
Many people don’t realize that they face serious wildfire danger. But if you live in a wooded, grassy, or rural area of Chester County you could be at risk!
Two factors have emerged as the primary determinants of a home’s ability to survive a wildfire – quality of the defensible space around the home and the home’s structural ignitability.
Together, these two factors create a concept called the Home Ignition Zone (HIZ), which includes the structure and the space immediately surrounding the structure. To protect a home from wildfire, the primary goal is to reduce or eliminate fuels and ignition sources within the HIZ.
The actual design and development of your defensible space depends on several factors.
- Size and shape of building(s)
- Construction materials
- Slope of the ground
- Surrounding topography
- Sizes and types of vegetation on your property
Three zones need to be addressed when creating defensible space:
- Zone 1 is the area nearest the home and other structures – This zone requires maximum hazard reduction.
- Zone 2 is a transitional area of fuels reduction between Zones 1 and 3.
- Zone 3 is the area farthest from the home. It extends from the edge of Zone 2 to your property boundaries.
The ideal time to address home ignition risk is when the structure is in the design phase. However, you can still take steps to reduce ignitability to an existing home.
For instance, it is important to choose a fire-resistant roofing material that is rated class C or higher when building a house in, or near, forests or grasslands. Avoid flammable materials such as wood or shake shingles.
If you believe that your home may be at risk, don't procrastinate on looking into it further: do some research and take proactive measures to keep your home safe!
Through the Fire and the Flames, We Carry On
As with any catastrophe, a quick response makes all the difference. The first 48 hours after experiencing a fire in your home or business are vital to distinguishing what can be restored versus what must be replaced. With over 40 years of experience, SERVPRO genuinely lives up to its title as the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals. Undoubtedly, emotions can run wild for a home or business owner after a fire. Our SERVPRO professionals are highly trained to rapidly respond and restore hope and peace of mind once the smoke clears. Apart from fire, smoke and soot removal, SERVPRO professionals take the utmost care to attempt to restore contents and documents that have been damaged in a fire to preloss conditions whenever possible in order to salvage your belongings and memories. Before risking further damage by attempting to cleanup yourself, call SERVPRO the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals to help make fire damage, "Like it never even happened."
Photo Content By: https://www.deviantart.com/eris-stock/art/Flames-86-Cathedral-34813999
Where Do I Even Start?!?
Let's face it: any type of damage to your home or business can be devastating, as you experience a range of emotions and hope may be dwindling. But fire damage can really exacerbate these emotions; smoke odor and soot damage can permeate the entire structure and the remains can seem hopeless. You may ask yourself: where do I even start?!? One of the first things you should do is call SERVPRO of North East Chester County - we can help explain exactly how your home or business can be restored "from the ashes" and will put together a cohesive plan that will get your life back on track.
What Can Be Saved??
There are many techniques that we at SERVPRO of North East Chester County employ to specifically address each affected material and to take the best approach to make it like it never even happened. It is true that most fire damages involve some level of demolition to remove non-salvageable materials, but we will outline a plan to replace these as well. If it can be cleaned and saved, we make every effort to do so; i.e. we don't just assume everything is a total loss, because we are willing to put in the time and effort to salvage contents and materials that are able to be saved, no matter how difficult the procedure. We don't make promises we can't keep, and provide realistic timelines and estimates for the work to be performed, so you are 100% in the know - after all, this is YOUR space and YOUR life!
Fire damage sure can be daunting, but with SERVPRO of North East Chester County on your side, life can be restored to normal.
More Soot Than Santa's Suit in Spring City, PA!
The soot really stands out on this yellow towel at a Spring City fire loss - it blends in more on Santa's suit!
Santa Claus isn't the only one with a soot issue! If you have experienced a fire damage in your Spring City, PA home or business, then soot and smoke damage can accumulate in regions of the building where you never thought fire-related damage could have occurred! Each building has a natural way that it "breathes" and in the event of a fire, smoke and soot-laden air can spread throughout the entire structure based on how air pressure forces them around. Soot is not only an aesthetic blemish, but it can also be dangerous: carrying hazardous substances that may be detrimental to your health! That is why we at SERVPRO of North East Chester County track the soot and smoke damage throughout the entire structure and professionally clean it, wherever it may end up. We exercise full due diligence to make sure that nothing escapes our inspection and is left lingering...
Vent Collects Soot in Spring City, PA Home
This Spring City, PA home's vents not only collected common dust, but also debris from the fire damage.
If you own a home or business in Spring City, PA, you know that vents require an occasional dusting or cleaning, as dust bunnies and debris can collect on the registers. However, if you experience a fire loss, as this homeowner did, these "collection areas" can recruit a new tenant: soot! SERVPRO of North East Chester County takes soot very seriously, as it can contain materials that are hazardous to your health. We have specialty, proprietary products that are extremely effective in cleaning up after a fire damage - to restore salvageable contents and structures to an acceptable level of cleanliness that meets health and general standards. Not all soot and evidence of smoke can always be removed entirely from even salvageable materials, however. Even after being adequately cleaned, some materials, such as drywall, may require painting to completely dispel evidence that there was a fire - but we can do that too! SERVPRO of North East Chester County makes fire damaged spaces "Like it never even happened."
Fire Precautions 101
Don't wait until you experience a fire loss to think about precautions and safeguards...be prepared!
As with any emergency situation that affects your home or business, the first thing you want to do AFTER experiencing damage is call SERVPRO of North East Chester County! We have the skill, experience, tools, and know-how to help you navigate through the process and make things "Like it never even happened." But...
The Best Plan is a PRE-Plan!
Fires and the damage they can wreak are an unfortunate reality that many face at one time or another at their home or business. As with any disaster, however, the best way to mitigate loss is by being prepared and having a plan!
General fire precautions include such things as:
- Escape routes and fire exits
- Fire fighting equipment
- Raising the alarm
- Making emergency plans
- Limiting the spread of the fire
To get the best information for general fire precautions to safeguard your home or business, you should reach out to your local Fire Department - ask the real pros! Just like you would contact SERVPRO - the real pros - AFTER the damage!
Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire...
DO NOT disturb contents in your home or business after a fire - improper methods may actually make things worse!
The First 48 Hours...
At SERVPRO of North East Chester County, our skilled technicians know well that the first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings in your Chester County home or business. Soot and smoke can be very dangerous, even toxic, and permeating things. The longer they have to seep into your home or business and all of its contents, the harder it may be to salvage them - it may not even be possible!
What Can You Do?
The first, and most important thing you can do after experiencing a fire is to call us at SERVPRO of North East Chester County - our professional crews are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays, to beat the clock in attempting to salvage your home and property. But while you wait for us to arrive, you can take these precautions to help mitigate the damage:
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.
- Coat chrome faucets, trim, and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
- Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces.
- Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery.
- Do not clean any electrical equipment.
- Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
Smoke is Amorphous and Permeates into Hard to Reach Places
When most home or business owners think of fires and fire damage, they imagine burned belongings and building structures, but one of the most hazardous and permeating aspects of a fire is often the smoke!
Smoke Goes Where It Wants...
Every house and commercial building has a way in which it "breathes," as air currents move throughout the structure in a pattern - the path of least resistance. It is not uncommon for significant soot and smoke to be present in the opposite end of where the source actually occurred. This makes fire mitigation a thorough and comprehensive process, often requiring cleaning of contents throughout the building. Smoke can travel into closed drawers, closets, rooms - essentially wherever it wants!
Test, Test, Test!
At SERVPRO of North East Chester County, our skilled technicians approach fire losses in a comprehensive way, testing every surface, nook, and cranny to evaluate the extent of the path where smoke has traveled and deposited soot. Because of the elusive and permeating nature of smoke, we leave no area untouched so that nothing is missed. Our goal is always to do the job the right the first time and leave your Chester County home or business "Like it never even happened."
The Fire is Just the "Starter"...
After a fire is extinguished, the process of restoration has just begun...
Fire damage is an unfortunate and significant event that comes in varying degrees. If you happen to experience a fire loss at your home or business, the extinguishing of the fire is the just the start of a complicated process that we at SERVPRO of North East Chester County pride ourselves on being able to help you facilitate.
Beyond the accumulation of soot and smoke damage, fire losses also usually accumulate significant amounts of debris and fire extinguisher discharge (if water is not used). These materials may be hazardous and are certainly unwanted and need to be appropriately removed and cleaned up after. Our technicians at SERVPRO of North East Chester County are ready to spring into action and handle the aftermath.
Oftentimes after a fire loss, some contents of a home or business must be inventoried, packed, cleaned off-site, and sometimes stored while the affected areas are cleaned and restored. At SERVPRO of North East Chester County, we are organized and thorough in our approach to making sure that your belongings are accounted for and restored, so once your home or business is ready to be loved in again, your belongings are returned "Like it never even happened."