Recent Fire Damage Posts

4 Tips For Preventing a Fire in Your Home

6/18/2020 (Permalink)

4 Tips For Preventing a Fire in Your Home

No one likes to think about the possibility of having a fire in their home. Fires can be devastating physically, emotionally, and financially. Fortunately, there are ways you can prevent the likelihood of a home fire. Here are four tips for preventing a fire in your home.

1. Install Smoke Alarms
Fire preparation begins with installing smoke alarms in every sleeping room of your home. You should also have smoke alarms placed in hallways, kitchens, and family rooms. Once you’ve ensured you have the right number of alarms, be sure to test them monthly and replace batteries annually.

2. Educate
Education is key to increasing the safety of your loved ones. Teach children the following fire safety basics:

  • Stop, drop and roll
  • Fire crawl
  • Checking doors for heat
  • Escape routes
  • The location and sound of smoke alarms
  • Emergency phone numbers

3. Create an Escape Plan
Everyone should create a fire escape plan. Creating a plan is one of the best fire preparation tips to keep your family safe. Draw a floor plan of your house and mark all possible exits, including doors and windows, in each room. Walkthrough your home and ensure that exits are free from clutter and that children know how to open and safely exit each window.

4. Practice Your Plan
Once you have a plan in place, it’s wise to practice it. Choose at least two times a year to hold fire drills. These drills can either be planned or spontaneous. A good run-through of the plan will identify any areas that need to be adjusted or improved. Remember to emphasize that once you get outside, you should stay outside. Never go back inside a home that is on fire.
Fire preparation is one of the best things you can do to keep your kids safe in the event of a fire. If you ever experience a fire in your Oak Highlands, TX, home, there are restoration specialists that can help restore your home.

How to Put Out a Grease Fire

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Damaged walls after a kitchen grease fire A kitchen grease fire in Lochwood, TX

How to Put Out a Grease Fire

A grease fire is pretty much the worst accident that could happen in a kitchen. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of house fires, claiming over 3 000 homes in Lochwood, TX  each year. That's why you need to know how to stop this potential disaster before it spirals out of control.
Here are some of the things you should never do when dealing with a grease fire:

  • Do not pour water on the fire
  • Do not attempt to move the pot
  • Do not use any other baking product beside baking soda

Turn Off the Heat

Turn off the heat as the first thing you do when the oil starts to smoke. If there's a flame already, cover the pot with a metal lid to starve the fire of oxygen. However, it is worth noting that this procedure works if you spot the flame before it gets out of control. It's the main reason why fire experts advise people to stay in the kitchen while cooking.

Pour Baking Soda

Baking Soda can put out small fires, but you have to use a lot of it. The good thing is, this baking agent will not cause any contamination, even when it falls on foodstuffs. Alternatively, use a generous amount of salt to put out the blaze.

Use a Chemical Fire Extinguisher

When everything else fails, use a chemical fire extinguisher to put out the oil fire. You need to be extra cautious as the extinguisher's pressure might spread the burning grease all over the kitchen. Its contents will also contaminate everything it comes into contact with, and a fire cleanup is the only way to undo its effect.
Although cooking does not always present danger, a grease fire can burn down the house or even worse. Use these tips to neutralize this risk before it's too late, but never try to be a hero if the fire breaks out.

4 Rules to Prevent Kitchen Fires

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

Cute little girl and her beautiful parents are smiling while cooking in kitchen at home When it comes to kitchen fire prevention tips, the best one is to remain present

Four Tips To Limit the Possibility of a Grease Fire

While fire remediation companies are available to help you rebuild your home in Lochwood, TX, the preferable option is likely to avoid a fire. While wishful thinking will not always prevent a disaster from happening, when it comes to kitchen fires, you can follow four tips to limit the possibility of a grease fire.

  1. Stay alert
  2. Remain present
  3. Use a timer
  4. Remove flammable items

Stay Alert

Kitchen fires and fire damage often occur because someone lets their guard down while cooking. It is easy to become distracted, especially when dealing with complicated recipes that involve long periods of cooking. However, it is vital that you stay alert. Therefore, if you are drowsy or have had a few drinks, then it might be a good idea to hold off making that fancy meal.

Remain Present

When it comes to kitchen fire prevention tips, the best one is to remain present. You can take this literally. Do not leave the kitchen when you have things frying on the stove. If you must leave, then find someone willing and able to watch the meal for you while you are away. Kitchen fires can happen in an instant, and they require quick responses to limit potential damage.

Use a Timer

If no one is home and you absolutely must leave the kitchen, then set a timer. It is easy to become distracted with other chores. A timer will bring your attention back to the kitchen, where it ultimately belongs.

Remove Flammable Items

Before cooking anything on the stovetop, make sure that you remove any potentially flammable items. For example, move cloth oven mitts and any boxed or plastic objects. You need the workspace to be clear of any fire risks.
The four tips above will help to reduce your risks of a kitchen fire. However, keep in mind that fire is dangerous, and if something your cooking does ignite and you can't extinguish it, get to safety and call 911.

5 Alternatives to Candles To Keep Your Home Safe

10/12/2019 (Permalink)

Fairy lights Fairy lights are another flameless solution

5 Alternatives to Candles To Keep Your Home Safe

Candles provide warm light and a refreshing scent in your home. They also pose a credible fire hazard. An unattended candle flame can contact a flammable object and create disastrous fire damage. Even though a fire restoration company can help you bring your home back, candle alternatives can prevent these incidents. Continue reading and consider some of the following options.

1. Oil and Wax Warmers

Warmers are safer solutions that deliver both light and a refreshing scent without an exposed flame. They usually have a small dish with either essential oils or wax. The device, powered by batteries or electricity, heats up the contents, providing aroma and illumination.

2. Electric Candles

If you value the light and aesthetic value that candles give, then you might appreciate electric candles. These items operate on batteries. They largely resemble actual candles and generate around the same amount of light, but they can be left alone with no candle fire risk.

3. Book Lights

When using light mainly for visual purposes like reading, book lights are the perfect candle alternatives. These devices come with clips so you can attach them inside books, near desks or on any convenient area. They give enough reading light without consuming too much energy or disturbing others.

4. Fairy Lights

Fairy lights are another flameless solution. These lights are powered by electricity or batteries and can be spread throughout the room to create relaxed, atmospheric lighting. Fairy lights can last for a long time and come in a variety of colors and shapes.

5. Stick Diffusers

There are several options if you are simply looking for an elegant scent for your home. Stick diffusers deliver a strong fragrance without using any power source. Sticks such as reed absorb the scented oil in the bottle and spread out the pleasant smell.
Though candles may provide both illumination and fragrance for your Hamilton Park, TX, home, there are plenty of safe candle alternatives. Using any of these items can prevent a candle fire from destroying your house.

The Truth About Cleaning Mold With Bleach

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Apply vinegar to the mold

When it comes to the correct way to handle a fungus cleanup job, there are many misconceptions people have that can lead to an inadequate cleaning job and an even larger mold problem. One common error people make when cleaning mold is using bleach on the affected surface believing that it is effective at killing mold. Here is some information on why you should never pull out this chemical when removing fungus and how to correctly handle mold growth in your business.

Can I Clean Mold on My Own?

If you have found mold growing in your business in Oak Tree Village, TX, you will need to first determine if the fungus cleanup job is small enough to handle on your own or if you will need the help of a mold damage cleanup company. If mold has just been found in a small, concentrated area, the following methods can be effective:

  • Spray area with hydrogen peroxide
  • Apply vinegar to the mold
  • Scrub surfaces with a baking soda solution

It is important to remember that a mold problem can often be worse than it looks. While keeping humidity levels low, addressing leaks, and cleaning up spills can help prevent mold from growing, if a problem does exist it’s often best to call in the professionals to cleanup mold.

Does Bleach Kill Mold?

While bleach is effective for addressing a variety of cleaning needs, getting rid of mold is not one of them. This chemical is not very effective at killing mold and loses its effectiveness over time. Additionally, it can only address mold on the area’s surface and will not get rid of any fungus that has made its way into a porous material, such as wood.
While no one wants to find mold growing in their business, proper fungus cleanup can stop mold in its tracks and prevent the problem from getting worse. Just make sure to leave ineffective chemicals in the cabinet, and don’t hesitate to call in the professionals.

4 Tips to Prevent Candle Fires

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Battery powered candle

Help Prevent a Candle Fire in Your Home

Candles are a popular way to decorate your home. Unfortunately, they are also a common cause of fires. Use the following safety tips to help prevent a candle fire from starting in your Wilshire Heights, TX, house.

1. Do Not Leave Candles Unattended

The first thing to remember is that you should never leave a candle unattended. Whether you are leaving the house, going to bed or simply moving to a different room, you should always extinguish any lit candles first. This is especially true in homes with pets or small children who may knock them over unintentionally.

2. Place Candles in a Safe Location

When using candles, make sure that they are placed away from anything that could start a candle fire. Do not use them near flammable liquids or materials that may catch fire, such as curtains or bedding. Papers and books should be kept at a safe distance as well.

3. Use Appropriate Holders

While it is a good idea to place a candle in a holder rather than directly on the surface underneath, you should be sure that you are using one that is designed for this purpose. Some containers may not be resistant to heat and can melt or break when they become too hot. If this happens, a fire is likely to start.

4. Use an Alternative

Of course, the easiest way to prevent a candle fire is by not using candles at all. While they can contribute to a pleasant atmosphere, they do pose a safety risk. Fortunately, there are now a large number of products that mimic a candle’s properties. You can find battery-operated lights that give off a warm, flickering glow and provide a pleasant scent, similar to that of a candle.
Keeping these tips in mind can help you use candles more safely. However, in case you do experience a fire, it's a good idea to have the contact number of a local fire restoration company on hand. These professionals can help with everything from smoke cleanup to structural repairs.

How do I keep my home safe after fire damage?

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

A window that has been boarded up by SERVPRO of Northeast Dallas.

The term "board-up" may have been thrown around a few times by the insurance company and adjuster. You may have even heard it said by the firefighters. The term relates to securing your home after it has been damaged by fire.

Covering the Openings to your Home

Your home will have windows, doors, and even parts of the roof missing after a fire damage. The openings are usually manmade by the firefighters to help them ventilate the house while they fight to extinguish the flames. However, once the fire is out your home is open to the elements and looters. If you home is uninhabitable you need to have the services of SERVPRO of Northeast Dallas. We will secure your home using plywood and roof tarps. The security of your home is a vital part of mitigating the damage done by the blaze.

3 Ways You Can Prepare Your Business for a Potential Fire

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

Inspect the fire extinguishers

Ways You Can Prepare Your Company to Prevent a Potential Disaster

Your company should always be prepared for a potential business fire. A fire can cause severe damage to the structure of the building, expensive equipment, and business materials, and it can also put you and your staff in harm’s way. Thee good news is that there are numerous ways you can prepare your company to prevent a potential disaster.

1. Inspect the Fire Extinguishers

A key way to prevent damage from fire in Wilshire Heights, TX, is to regularly inspect all of the fire extinguishers. They should all be up to date. If this is not the case, it is best to have a professional come out and perform an inspection to make sure they are working properly. The extinguishers should also be mounted on the wall correctly, and there should be one placed on every floor.

2. Train Employees in Fire Safety

One way to avoid fire damage is to train your employees on business fire safety, so they are educated on what should be done if a fire occurs. Have a plan or drill that takes place often, so everyone is on the same page when it comes to workplace fire safety protocol. Designate a safety officer who will be in charge of creating escape routes and meeting points.

3. Keep Exit Doors in Check

It is important to have plenty of exit doors in the building, giving people numerous chances to get out safely if a fire occurs. It is also wise to make sure these doors are unlocked at all times and have enough lighting around them for employees to make a quick escape if the building or room is dark at the time of a fire. This is a key step when it comes to fire preparation.

Keep these tips in mind so you can increase the safety of your company and employees. In the even that a business fire does occur, it's wise to contact fire damage specialists that can assess, repair, and restore your property promptly.

5 Steps To Take If You Smell Gas in Your Home

5/15/2019 (Permalink)

If a gas fire does start, a fire damage restoration specialist can help restore your home

Five Steps to Avoid a Gas Explosion in Your Home

If a strong odor is lingering in your home that smells similar to rotten eggs or sulfur, it is possible you have a gas leak. You might also hear a faint hissing noise. While natural gas is not toxic to breathe in, leaking gas is extremely flammable and is considered an immediate emergency. If you smell gas in your home, quickly take these five steps to avoid a gas explosion and keep your family safe.

1. Turn Off the Stove

Often, a suspected gas leak is actually the smell of gas from the stove that someone accidentally turned on. If that’s the case, quickly turn off the stove. Is the stove is not the source of the smell, make sure the oven and stove are both turned off regardless to prevent a gas fire.

2. Put Out Any Open Flames

If you smell a gas leak, never use a lighter or ignite any kind of flame. If any candles are lit or the fireplace is on, quickly extinguish the flames.

3. Keep Lights and Electronics Off

As soon as you detect the smell of natural gas in your home, refrain from turning on any lights or electronics which can start a gas fire. Grab a flashlight if necessary.

4. Open Doors and Windows

Allow gas to quickly escape your home by opening all the windows and doors. You can turn on the oven range hood fan to help remove some of the gas.

5. Evacuate Your Home

As soon as you feel it is unsafe to remain in your home, quickly get everyone, including pets, out of your home. Once you make it across the street from your home call 9-1-1.

Keeping your family safe and escaping your home should always be your priority if you smell a gas leak. If a gas fire does start, a fire damage restoration specialist can help restore your home back to its pre-fire condition.

3 Surprising Things You Can Do To Prevent Space Heater Fires

5/8/2019 (Permalink)

Dallas building with space heater fire damage.

Did you know that space heaters are estimated to cause over 25,000 residential fires each year? If you rely on a space heater to warm your home or office in Dallas, TX this number can be alarming. Fortunately, you are not helpless and can minimize your chances of dealing with a burned space heater. Here are three surprising things you can do to prevent space heater fires in your living space.

Space Heater Fire in Dallas

1. Keep Filters Clean

Have you ever cleaned the filters in your space heater? If not, your heater is at greater risk of catching on fire. Dirt and debris collects on the filters over time and can cause the space heater to overheat and ignite. To keep this from happening, clean your filters regularly (preferably before each use).

2. Turn Your Heater Off Regularly

Many homeowners use space heaters just like furnaces to keep specific rooms in their homes warm during the colder months. However, a space heater is designed for only temporary use and can easily overheat if left on indefinitely. To reduce your chances of dealing with a burned space heater (or burned home!) remember to turn your heater off regularly.

3. Never Leave Your Heater Unattended

Life gets busy, and it’s easy to forget you have a space heater running in the other room. For this reason, it’s strongly recommended that you never leave your heater unattended by an adult. You should also place it on a hard, stable surface that’s far away from carpets, fabric and other flammable items. Your heater should have at least 3 feet of space all around it whenever it is operating. You should also keep it away from children and pets that could knock it over and get burned by it.

If you rely on a space heater for warmth, follow these helpful tips to avoid dealing with a burned space heater or home fire. If your space heater does overheat, know the number to your local fire restoration experts in Dallas, TX. They can help with your fire damage and smoke cleanup efforts.

Five Safety Tips to Prevent a Dryer Fire

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Clean the lint filter of your dryer regularly

Five Safety Tips to Prevent a Dryer Fire

A clothes dryer is a common and convenient household appliance, but it can be dangerous if not properly maintained. Not only can the dryer break and need replacing, but it can also cause a lint fire in your Dallas, TX home. Follow these safety tips to help prevent any emergency situations.

1. Have Your Dryer Professionally Installed
Having your dryer installed by a qualified professional can put you on the right path to keeping your home safe. They can make sure that everything is installed correctly and working as it should, preventing any potential safety hazards.

2. Clean the Lint Filter and Dryer Vent Regularly
The most common cause of a dryer fire is not keeping the unit clean. You should remove lint from the filter before and after each use. Lint can also build up in the back of the dryer, so be sure to clean that area as well. The dryer vent should be cleaned at least every three months to prevent blockages.

3. Have the Dryer Serviced Regularly.
It is a good idea to have your dryer serviced on a regular basis. Hiring a professional to clean and inspect the appliance at least once a year can help minimize any problems and keep the unit safe to use.

4. Keep Flammable Items Away From the Dryer
A lint fire is not the only kind of fire that can occur when using your dryer. If a flammable liquid has been spilled on an item, you should never put it in the dryer. Be sure to keep any flammable materials away from the surrounding area as well.

5. Make Sure the Dryer is Off Before You Leave the House
If you are leaving your house or going to sleep, make sure that you turn the dryer off beforehand. If a fire were to start while the unit was unattended, it could spread and cause a lot of damage before you were aware of it.
You can hire fire remediation specialists to help in case of a lint fire, but keeping your dryer cleaned and properly maintained can help keep your unit safe.

Tips for Using a Fire Extinguisher

12/23/2018 (Permalink)

As a homeowner in Wilshire Heights,TX you understand the importance of having a fire extinguisher on hand

Tips for Using a Fire Extinguisher

As a homeowner in Wilshire Heights, TX, you need to be prepared for emergencies. If you've ever had a house fire and had to call in professionals to restore your home, you understand the importance of having a fire extinguisher on hand. Following the steps below can ensure that you're using it correctly.

1. Assess the Situation

First, understand what you're dealing with. If the blaze is already too big, the best idea may be to call the fire department and get yourself and anyone else in the house to safety. If you can safely douse it with a fire extinguisher, you need to next make sure that you have right type for whatever material is burning.

2. Use the Right Extinguisher for the Fire

Experts classify extinguishers based on the type of fire they can combat. These include:

  • Type A: for fires involving plastics, wood, textiles and paper
  • Type B: used on fires involving solvents, gasoline, oils, paints and other flammable liquids
  • Type C: for electrical fires, including plugged-in equipment like computers or appliances
  • Type D: for fires involving combustible powders or metals
  • Type E: commonly used for a kitchen fire involving fats or cooking oils

These letter classifications are always found on the sides of the extinguishers, many of which are rated for putting out fires of more than one type.

3. Remember: "PASS"

The PASS method is an easy way to remember how to use most fire extinguishers. Each letter in "PASS" stands for the first word of an operational step. The "P" tells you to pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher; it needs to be removed before operation. The "A" tells you to aim the nozzle. The nozzle should not be aimed at the top of the flames, but at the bottom, where the combustion is taking place. The first "S" tells you to squeeze the handle to start the flow, and the second one reminds you to sweep from side to side while spraying.

By acting quickly and following the instructions above, you can safely prevent fire damage before it has a chance.

The Smoke Cleanup Process

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Few smells linger like the odor of smoke. Even if a fire in your home in Vickery Meadows, TX, only affects part of the structure, smoke damage can permeate the entire house. Fire remediation experts remove smoke and soot after they have secured the area and extracted anything damaged by the fire and the water used to put it out. They may use several techniques to do so.

Dry Cleaning

Regular washing may not get rid of the total smell left behind by smoke. Many of the items that need odor removal can be handled by dry cleaning:

  • Draperies
  • Clothes
  • Furniture covers
  • Linens

When you wash smoke-infused clothing in a washer, there is an extended period of time where the clothes are sitting in smoky water. The smell can also get trapped in the machine itself. Dry cleaners often have special oxidation processes for getting soot damage out of textiles.

Thermal Foggers

Many professionals use industrial foggers to rid homes of smoke damage after a fire. A fogger is helpful because it gets the smoke out of cracks and crevices in a similar way to the process it underwent during the fire. Chemicals are heated to produce fog that permeates porous surfaces, traps smoke particles and neutralizes them. Once the fogger has completed its job, the air is usually noticeably cleaner.

Ozone Treatments

Another smoke cleaning method is the use of ozone machines. These devices create a similar atmosphere to the outside air after a thunderstorm. By releasing ozone particles into the air, the area gets refreshed. Soon, the clean air replaces the sooty, stale air, making your home smell clean and normal again.

A fire in your home will likely cause extensive smoke damage not only to items within your home but to the structure itself. Professional technicians can clean the damaged area and employ various methods to get rid of the smoke odors.

What are the dangers of space heaters?

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Chord burning while plugged into a wall.

Fire Hazards for Electric Heaters

SAFETY TIPS

CPSC recommends the following for the safe use of electric heaters:

  • Never operate a heater you suspect is damaged.
  • Before use, inspect the heater, cord, and plug for damage.
  • Follow all operation and maintenance instructions.

Visit www.SaferProducts.gov to see if your electric heater has been recalled.

  • Never leave the heater operating while unattended, or while you are sleeping.
  • Keep combustible material such as beds, sofas, curtains, papers, and clothes at least 3 feet (0.9 m) from the front, sides, and rear of the heater.
  • Be sure the heater plug fits tightly into the wall outlet. If not, do not use the outlet to power the heater.
  • During use, check frequently to determine if the heater plug or cord, wall outlet, or faceplate is HOT! If the plug, outlet, or faceplate is hot, discontinue use of the heater, and have a qualified electrician check and/or replace the plug or faulty wall outlet(s). If the cord is hot, disconnect the heater, and have it inspected/repaired by an authorized repair person.
  • Never power the heater with an extension cord or power strip.
  • Insure that the heater is placed on a stable, level surface, and located where it will not be knocked over. Never run the heater’s cord under rugs or carpeting. This can damage the cord, causing it and nearby objects to burn.
  • Prevent electrical shocks and electrocutions, always keep electric heaters away from water, and NEVER touch an electric heater if you are wet

Holiday Care to Reduce Fire Risk

11/26/2017 (Permalink)

Most Homeowners are aware that holiday decorations should be used with care. Each year, statistics tell the story of fire danger resulting from frayed wires, proximity to heat sources, and left on unattended. But, SERVPRO of Northeast Dallas wants homeowners to know that the danger of fire caused by holiday decorating, and by Christmas trees specifically, actually increase after the holiday. Research from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says while four out of five Christmas tree fire happen in December and January, the 10 days with the highest average number of fires were all after Christmas Day.

For many families, preparing for the holiday season is a very busy time. Come December 26, it is tempting to relax and stop watering the tree, replacing bulbs in outdoor lights and tucking indoor garlands back into place. Dry greens, open sockets and decorations that slip dangerously close to light sockets or fireplaces can all increase the risk of fire in the days after the Christmas holiday.

The American Christmas Tree Association quotes Nielsen research that says Americans purchased 21.06 million live Christmas trees in 2011. That number is significant because according to the NFPA, Christmas trees remain the number one culprit in holiday fires. Forty – three percent of Christmas tree fires happen in December, but January is close behind, claiming 39 percent – numbers that demonstrate the danger of allowing Christmas trees to dry out during and after the holiday season.

As the holiday season moves into full swing, SERVPRO of Northeast Dallas reminds homeowners to take common sense precautions based on a clear understanding of the potential danger to help prevent holiday tradition from turning into a holiday nightmare.