Recent Fire Damage Posts

Preventing Arson: Tips for Property Owners

4/19/2024 (Permalink)

As trusted experts in property restoration, SERVPRO® is committed to not only addressing the aftermath of disasters but also helping property owners prevent them. One of the most devastating and intentional threats property owners face is arson. In this blog post, we'll explore proactive steps you can take to safeguard your property from arson, providing you with essential tips and insights.

Understanding the Risk

Arson poses a severe threat to both residential and commercial properties, leading to significant financial losses, emotional distress, and potential harm to occupants. Recognizing the risk is the first step towards prevention. Stay vigilant and educate yourself on the signs of suspicious activity in and around your property.

Securing Access Points

Preventing unauthorized access to your property is crucial in deterring potential arsonists. Ensure that doors, windows, and other entry points are secure. Install quality locks, consider using security cameras, and, if applicable, implement access control systems. A well-lit property also discourages criminal activities, making it an effective deterrent.

Landscaping and Property Maintenance

Maintaining a well-kept property not only enhances its curb appeal but also acts as a deterrent to arsonists. Regularly trim overgrown vegetation, remove combustible materials, and keep the premises clean. By eliminating potential hiding spots and reducing fuel sources, you create a less attractive target for arsonists.

Community Awareness

Building a sense of community is vital for preventing arson. Establish neighborhood watch programs, encourage open communication among residents, and promote awareness of suspicious activities. Remember, an informed community is better equipped to prevent and respond to potential threats.

Fire Prevention Systems

Investing in reliable fire prevention systems can significantly reduce the risk of arson. Install smoke detectors, fire sprinklers, and fire-resistant materials in your property. These measures not only protect your assets but also contribute to the safety of occupants.

Emergency Planning

Develop and practice emergency response plans with all occupants of your property. Ensure everyone knows evacuation routes, emergency contact information, and the location of fire extinguishers. By being prepared, you can minimize potential damage in case of an arson attempt.

Arson is a serious threat that requires proactive measures to protect your property. By implementing these SERVPRO tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of arson and create a safer environment for your home or business. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and work together with your community to safeguard what matters most. Remember, prevention is the key to a secure future.

Restoring Fire-Damaged Exterior Surfaces and Landscaping: Tips for Commercial Properties

11/28/2023 (Permalink)

When a commercial property experiences a fire incident, the damage not only affects the interior but also the exterior surfaces and landscaping. Fire can leave behind visible damage, such as charred walls and scorched landscaping, as well as hidden issues like structural damage and compromised irrigation systems. In this blog, we will discuss the importance of restoring fire-damaged exterior surfaces and landscaping for commercial properties. We will also highlight how professional restoration companies, like SERVPRO®, can assist in the recovery process.

Assessing the Damage

Before proceeding with any restoration, it is crucial to conduct a thorough assessment of the fire damage. Inspect exterior surfaces, such as walls, windows, roofs, and fencing, for signs of charring, smoke damage, or structural compromise. Evaluate landscaping elements, including plants, trees, irrigation systems, and hardscaping, for fire-related damage.

Repairing Exterior Surfaces

Engage a professional restoration company with expertise in fire damage to assess and repair exterior surfaces. Skilled technicians can repair or replace damaged walls, windows, roofs, and fencing, while ensuring structural integrity. They will also address any hidden issues, such as insulation damage or compromised waterproofing.

Restoring Landscaping

Fire can cause extensive damage to the landscaping, including plants, trees, and irrigation systems. Consult with professional landscapers to determine the best course of action for restoring the affected areas. They can remove charred vegetation, replant damaged landscape elements, and repair or replace irrigation systems to support plant rejuvenation.

Addressing Soil Contamination

Fire-damaged landscaping can result in soil contamination, leading to long-term effects on plant health. Test the soil for contaminants, such as chemicals or heavy metals, and take appropriate measures to remediate the soil. Incorporate organic materials or specialized soil additives to restore the soil's fertility and promote healthy plant growth.

Seeking Professional Restoration Services

Dealing with fire damage restoration, especially for commercial properties, requires specialized knowledge and equipment. Consider hiring a professional restoration company like SERVPRO that specializes in commercial fire damage restoration. These experts have the experience, skills, and resources to handle exterior surface repairs, landscaping restoration, and all associated tasks efficiently and effectively.

When a commercial property experiences fire damage, restoring the exterior surfaces and landscaping is just as crucial as addressing the interior. Proper assessment, repair, and restoration of exterior surfaces and landscaping elements are essential for maintaining the property's aesthetic appeal, functionality, and value. By working with professional restoration companies, like SERVPRO of Arlington/Jacksonville East, commercial property owners can ensure a comprehensive and efficient recovery process. Don't overlook the significance of restoring fire-damaged exterior surfaces and landscaping, as it plays a vital role in the overall restoration and rejuvenation of your commercial property.

Warm and Safe: Essential Tips to Reduce Space Heater Fires

8/2/2023 (Permalink)

Space heaters provide a convenient way to stay warm and cozy during the colder months. However, they also pose a potential fire hazard if not used properly. To ensure the safety of your home and family, it's important to take precautions and follow safe practices when using space heaters. In this blog post, we will discuss some essential tips to reduce the risk of space heater fires.

Choose a safe location

Select an appropriate location for your space heater. Keep it at least three feet away from anything that can burn, such as curtains, furniture, bedding, or rugs. Place the heater on a flat and stable surface to prevent accidental tipping.

There are different types of space heaters available, including electric, propane, kerosene, and natural gas heaters. Electric heaters are generally considered safer, as they do not emit carbon monoxide and have built-in safety features. However, if you're using a fuel-burning heater, ensure proper ventilation to prevent the buildup of harmful gases.

Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions

Before using a space heater, carefully review the manufacturer's instructions and safety guidelines. Familiarize yourself with the recommended usage, maintenance, and safety precautions specific to your heater model.

Create a child-free and pet-free zone around the space heater. Teach children about the dangers of space heaters and the importance of not touching them or getting too close. Never leave children or pets unattended near a space heater.

Use a thermostat and timer

Opt for a space heater with a thermostat and timer. This will allow you to set the desired temperature and operating time, reducing the risk of overheating or leaving the heater on for an extended period.

It's best to plug your space heater directly into a wall outlet. Using extension cords or power strips can increase the risk of overheating and electrical fires. If you must use an extension cord, choose one that can handle the wattage of your heater and is of the proper gauge.

Practice proper maintenance

Regularly inspect your space heater for any damage or malfunction. Clean it according to the manufacturer's instructions to remove dust, debris, and lint that can accumulate and potentially ignite. Keep the heater well-maintained by scheduling professional inspections, especially for fuel-burning models.

Place smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in every room where a space heater is used. Test the alarms regularly and replace batteries as needed. These detectors provide an extra layer of safety by alerting you to potential hazards.

When you're finished using the space heater, turn it off and unplug it. Leaving it powered on unattended increases the risk of fire. Never leave a space heater running overnight or when you're leaving the house.

By following these tips and exercising caution, you can significantly reduce the risk of space heater fires. Remember, safety should always be a top priority when using any heating device.

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Clean Puffback Soot Yourself

4/11/2023 (Permalink)

Puffback is an unexpected and unfortunate event that can happen to any household that uses oil-fired heating systems. It occurs when the furnace or boiler malfunctions, causing a build-up of soot and debris in the exhaust system. This buildup can then ignite, sending a puff of soot and smoke throughout the house.

If you've experienced puffback in your home, you know how devastating it can be. The soot and smoke can cover everything in your home, from walls to furniture, and even clothing. In an attempt to save money, some homeowners may try to clean up the soot themselves. However, it is essential to understand that puffback soot is not like regular household dust, and cleaning it up requires specialized equipment and techniques. Here are some reasons why you shouldn't attempt to clean puffback soot yourself.

Inadequate equipment

Cleaning up puffback soot requires specialized equipment, such as high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuums, air scrubbers, and ozone machines. These machines are not readily available for homeowners to use, and even if you can rent them, you may not know how to use them properly. Professionals have access to this equipment and have the expertise to use them to effectively clean up the soot and smoke damage.

Lack of expertise

Cleaning up puffback soot is not like cleaning regular dust or debris. It requires specialized knowledge and techniques to ensure that all the soot and smoke residue is removed thoroughly. Professionals have the expertise to assess the damage and determine the best approach to clean up the soot and restore your home to its pre-puffback condition.

Potential for further damage

If you attempt to clean up puffback soot yourself, you may end up causing further damage to your home. For example, using the wrong cleaning products or techniques can cause discoloration or damage to your walls and furniture. Professionals know how to use the right cleaning products and techniques to ensure that no further damage occurs during the cleanup process.

In conclusion, puffback soot is a hazardous substance that requires specialized equipment and techniques to clean up properly. Attempting to clean it up yourself can put you at risk of exposure to harmful chemicals, cause further damage to your home, and may not yield the desired results. It is essential to hire a professional puffback cleanup service to ensure that your home is restored to its pre-puffback condition safely and effectively.

Things to consider before installing a Fire Sprinkler System

2/13/2023 (Permalink)

Fire sprinkler systems can save lives and your property. They are a critical part of any building's safety plan, but they may not always be necessary. Here are three things to consider before installing a fire sprinkler system in your home or business:

Fire Sprinkler Protection

Fire sprinkler systems are required by law. Fire sprinkler systems are a great way to protect your property from fire hazards. These automatic fire protection systems can help save lives and property in the event of a fire emergency. By installing a fire sprinkler system you can significantly reduce the risk of injury or loss associated with fires in buildings where people live or work.

Qualified Installer in your Area

When shopping for a fire sprinkler system, look for a company that is licensed and insured. Look for a company that has a good reputation. There are companies with experience with the type of building you have, which can help them understand how to best meet your needs. Also, look for a company that has experience with the type of fire sprinkler system you want installed in your business.

Inform yourself about Fire Sprinkler standards

It's also vital to know the standards set by your local government or building department. Most fire codes are based on NFPA 13, a standard that defines how a sprinkler system is installed and maintained. This includes things like how many sprinkler heads are required per square foot floor space and where they should be placed. The next step is to check the manufacturer's installation instructions since they may differ slightly from NFPA 13.

Fire Sprinkler System can save your Life

A well-designed and installed fire sprinkler system can save your life and even help improve property value. The insurance industry has a vested interest in promoting the installation of fire sprinkler systems because they reduce the risk of injury, property damage and loss due to fire. They also save lives.

A properly sized and efficiently operating automatic fire sprinkler system can act as an early warning device, allowing you precious minutes to escape safely during a fire emergency. Fire sprinklers are designed to control fires before they get out of control. The heat from a quickly spreading fire is absorbed by the water in the pipes, causing it to expand rapidly. This expansion creates pressure that activates valves releasing water into open areas where it snuffs out flames before they spread further through dry tinderbox conditions created by wood frame construction elements like wood ceilings or wooden staircases that make up much of modern day homes

A well designed and installed fire sprinkler system can save your life and even help improve property value. If you have any questions about our services, please contact us today! We are here to help!

Fire Damage Restoration Tips

12/14/2022 (Permalink)

Stove severely damaged by fire Kitchen fire damage in Jacksonville, FL

Fire Damage Restoration

Fires can be incredibly devastating, and the fire damage restoration process can seem daunting. Determining how to preserve your Jacksonville, FL home and belongings takes a lot of work, but it can be done! Here are 6 tips for fire damage restoration that will help you make the best during this stressful time.

Knowing these tips for fire damage restoration can help save time and money when disaster strikes

You should hire the services of a professional fire damage restoration company as soon as possible after the disaster. If you have experienced a fire in your home, it is important that you stay out until the home has been inspected by an expert. The longer you are exposed to these conditions, the higher your chances will be for getting sick or injured.

Contact your fire restoration company as soon as possible.

If you have fire damage, the sooner you contact a restoration company, the better.

When there's an emergency in your home like this, it can feel overwhelming to figure out what to do next. But don't worry! The Fire Department can help you with that part as well. If they haven't already done so, they'll direct you to a Fire Damage Restoration Company in your area who can assist with making sure that any affected property is cleaned up and restored as quickly and safely as possible. 

Stay out of your home until a restoration specialist tells you it is safe for you to come inside.

It's tempting to want to go back into your home as soon as possible. You've been away from it for a while, and you naturally want to go back in and do what you were doing before the fire. But don't be tempted by this urge. 

First, check with your restoration specialist about whether it is safe for you to return home yet. If they say no, listen to them! They know exactly what's going on inside and outside of your house, so if they say there are still major problems like water damage or structural issues that need fixing first, listen up! 

Don't touch anything until everything has dried completely. This includes walls which may have been affected by moisture; floors which may have gotten wet; surfaces where steam came out of vents during drying process (such as kitchen counters). Anything wet or damp could potentially leave behind harmful mold spores that could quickly grow into full-blown mold colonies if left unchecked - especially when combined with high humidity levels found within our homes during summer months.

If hot spots are still present in your house, call the fire department and ask for an inspection before entering for re-entry.

If you have hot spots in your house and re-entry is not recommended, take these steps:

  • Call 911 or the fire department and ask for an inspection.
  • Wait for the fire department to inspect your property before re-entering it.

It's important to keep in mind that not all fire damage can be fully repaired; sometimes it's best to just start over from scratch. But we're able to do the job right — in most cases we'll be able to restore everything back as close as possible before it broke down during a fire incident.

Salvage what you can, but let the pros decide what is safe.

Never try to salvage anything from a fire unless you are positive that it's safe! Fire damage can cause hidden dangers like mold and asbestos contamination. Fortunately, professional fire damage restoration companies will know how to evaluate your property for safety before beginning any work on it.

Hopefully, we’ve given you some helpful advice to use if disaster strikes. Keep these tips in mind as you work through your fire damage restoration project and save yourself time, money, and stress.

3 Key Components of the Fire Restoration Process

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Burned kitchen Kitchen fire damage in Monument, FL.

Fire Restoration Process

When a fire rips through your home, the cleanup and repair process can seem daunting. However, there are three critical components that must take place to make the home safe again. Here is what to expect if your Monument, FL, home requires fire restoration. 

1. Removal of Soot and Smoke Damage
After a fire has blazed through your home, contact a local fire damage restoration company. These experts are best equipped to remove the harmful soot and smoke encased in the structure from the flames. They will use specialized cleaning techniques and products to lift residue out of walls and surfaces. Don't attempt to clean soot damage before help arrives, as the structure could be unsafe and improper smoke cleaning methods may cause more damage.  

2. Home Deodorization
A lingering smell of smoke and smolder is typically inevitable after a home fire. However, the stench can be lifted during the fire restoration process. Fire damage professionals can deodorize the home using a variety of trusted, science-backed methods that fully remove the smell rather than mask it. This step will often occur after smoke damage has been removed and while an overall deep cleaning of the home occurs. 

3. Repairing Home
You may think that issuing repairs to the home is the only part of the restoration process. However, it comes last after the house has been cleared of any smoke damage, deodorized and properly sanitized. During this step, experts will restore any part of the structure that was damaged in the fire. This process can vary depending on the size of the home and the extent of the damage. It can include anything from replacing drywall and carpets, to full reconstruction of parts of the house, such as the roof. 
Following a house fire, the process to restore the home includes expert cleaning of smoke and soot, removal of odors and structural repairs. 

Homeowners Should Plan for Water and Fire Damage Cleanup

6/25/2022 (Permalink)

Fire and Water Cleanup

As a homeowner, you want to clean up fire damage quickly once the flames disappear. However, you may not have water contamination on your radar. Unfortunately and fortunately, the two coexist. Firefighters rely on moisture to extinguish the blaze, saturating possessions and materials.
Don't limit your restoration scope. This essential safety procedure leaves you with more than soot and ash concerns. The home also has soggy structures that demand professional drying procedures. The following are reasons to give prompt attention to fire and water cleanup.

Water Damage Is a Big Deal
Visible symptoms of fire devastation make sense. The charred walls become a clear sign of trouble. You know you have to wash them off, repair holes and eliminate the unpleasant odor. On the other hand, water hides, often lurking in your home's structure. Because you don't see it, water remediation may not seem significant.
However, the fire crew used large quantities of moisture, drenching roofs, walls, and floors. As a result, the following may be soaked:

  • Drywall
  • Carpeting
  • Appliances
  • Furniture
  • Personal belongings

If you focus on fire damage only, the fluid sits, absorbing into porous items. These conditions trigger mildew and mold spores to reproduce, create a musty odor and deteriorate crucial building parts. Furthermore, appliances with water exposure pose an additional fire risk.

Remediation Teams Can Tackle Both Problems
Immediately request help from fire and water restoration experts in Fort Caroline, FL. These certified technicians use specialized technology to evaluate fire contamination and water concerns. They assess personal possessions and property to determine what they can sanitize and what requires replacement, focusing on minimizing secondary problems.
Expect water to take precedence. Moisture from the fire hose spreads quickly. The team needs to use industrial dehumidifiers to reduce harmful humidity from the impacted rooms. Then, they can focus on washing and scrubbing walls, clearing away the soot.
Yes, fixing the fire damage remains vital, but you must also concentrate on the effect of water on the home. Manage both problems simultaneously to minimize future concerns.

Cleaning 101: How to Remove Microwave Smells

6/14/2022 (Permalink)

How to Remove Microwave Smells

Modern appliances can be very convenient. You can cook a variety of things in them and many of them save you time. In order to extend the lifetime of your appliances and to prevent a house fire, you should regularly clean them.

Clean the Turntable and Interior
You may have some odors lingering inside your microwave from the last time you cooked: Tomato smell from leftover spaghetti, the chicken smell from your canned soup lunch, or smoke smell from the time you cooked your popcorn just a little too long. Follow this method to clear these odors:

  • Squeeze out a lemon and place the peels into a safe-to-heat bowl filled with one cup of water.
  • Heat the lemon water for five to ten minutes.
  • Let stand for five more minutes.
  • Carefully remove the bowl.
  • Wipe down the entire interior with a soft cloth.
  • Don't forget the turntable.

Voila! No more smoke smell or any other unpleasant aromas. It's important to note that you shouldn't use anything abrasive, as that can cause damage and increase the risk of a fire during use. 

Clean the Vent Grill and Exterior
If your appliance is found over your stovetop, then after you wipe the exterior of your appliance, you will also need to remove and clean the grills and vents. These collect a lot of greases while they are working. If you haven't cleaned it in a while, it will take a lot of scrubbing. Another option, Oak Haven, FL, is to call your local cleanup and restoration company. They can do the deep cleaning that even day-to-day housecleaning services sometimes miss.
On a weekly to biweekly basis, you should be cleaning the inside and outside of your appliances. Remember to use a gentle cleanser and cloth so you can prevent a fire risk. Regular cleaning can prevent odors from building up, such as a rancid, rotten smell or a smoke smell. Follow these simple tips for keeping your kitchen a cleaner, safer space to use.

3 Benefits of Hiring a Comprehensive Fire Restoration Team

1/18/2022 (Permalink)

3 Reasons to Hire a Full-Service Fire Restoration Company

Most business owners in Oak Haven, FL, hope to avoid a destructive fire inside their facility. While fire mitigation strategies may help reduce the risk, every site is potentially vulnerable. If a blaze erupts, managing fire damage, restoring the building and resuming normal business operations may be top priorities. Taking a comprehensive approach and hiring a single cleanup and restoration entity can help expedite and enhance the process in three primary ways.

1. Enhanced Coordination and Communication

Choosing one company to complete fire cleanup and restoration can simplify the process by enhancing coordination and communication. Instead of managing multiple contacts, you may have one liaison responsible for overseeing the entire project. Utilizing one company also means personnel can complete one assessment and promptly devise an action plan that addresses every repair need.

2. Time-Saving

To salvage equipment and prevent mold contamination, a timely response is essential. Finding and contacting different agencies can be time-consuming. A comprehensive fire damage response team can work efficiently to remove debris, extract saturated items, dry the affected space and commence soot and smoke damage repairs. While this process unfolds, they can evaluate restoration requirements and make plans accordingly, helping to minimize delays.

3. Simplified Record-Keeping

Notifying your insurance company may be one of the first steps you take following a fire. To file a complete and accurate claim, you may need to accomplish a variety of steps, such as documenting damage, determining the value of lost property and tracking repair costs. Working with one company may minimize paperwork, helping you maintain organized records for your insurance adjuster.

A commercial blaze can have a devastating effect on any Oak Haven, FL, business. Because managing fire damage can be daunting, it’s important to make a wise decision when choosing your cleanup and restoration team. Selecting a single entity may help prevent miscommunication and costly delays, helping you to resume normal business operations as quickly as possible.