Recent Fire Damage Posts

Red, White, & Barbecue

7/2/2021 (Permalink)

Red, White & Barbecue... One of the main ways The Fourth of July is celebrated in America is through fireworks and grilling. Every year thousands are injured by unsafely handling grills. Here at SERVPRO of Birmingham we care about fun and safety: therefore, we are giving you a few do's and don'ts when grilling, that way you can stay safe and grill your favorite meal at the same time.

What TO DO when grilling:

  • Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house.
  • Clean your grill regularly, this will decrease the amount of fuel the grill would have if there was ever a fire.
  • Check for gas leaks.
  • Keep decorations like umbrellas or plants away from your grill.
  • Keep a bottle of water near your grill just in case it is ever needed.

What NOT To Do when grilling:

  • Don't turn the gas on when the lid is closed: this causes gas to build up.
  • Never leave a grill unattended.
  • Overload the grill with food.
  • Never use a grill indoors.

Reminders:

  1. Do not panic if an emergency occurs, instead call SERVPRO.
  2. Keep safety always at the forefront of your mind.
  Why SERVPRO?
  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • Highly Trained Water Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Water Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Water Inspection, Extraction, and Drying Equipment

Firework Safety Precautions

6/23/2021 (Permalink)

TAKE PROPER PRECAUTIONS BEFORE LIGHTING FIREWORKS! As Memorial Day and the 4th of July approach, make sure you and your family are aware of firework safety! We want the holidays for you and your family to be just as they were meant to be, FUN! Oftentimes, though people handle fireworks in an unsafe manner. I am sure everyone has seen the viral video, "Back up Terry." In this video a man in a wheelchair lights a firework and there is a malfunction with his wheelchair. He can't get away from the firework fast enough, and the fireworks start going off right next to him. And yes, although we thought this video was funny, we need to realize that this could have ended entirely differently and Terry could have been badly injured. DID YOU KNOW? During the holiday months, on average 180 people a day go to the hospital for firework related injuries. We encourage you here at SERVPRO of South Frisco / The Colony to: 

BE PREPARED!

  • Store fireworks away from children
  • Always read the labels and follow directions
  • Keep small children and pets indoors: they are easily frightened
  • Always have water near, in case of an incident

BE RESPONSIBLE!

  • Soak used fireworks in a bucket of water afterwards
  • Dispose of used fireworks and debris properly
  • Never re-light "dud" fireworks
  • Never keep fireworks in your pockets: the friction could set them off

BE SAFE!

  • An adult should always be the one lighting the fireworks
  • Keep matches & lighters away from children
  • Use fireworks outdoors only
  • Do not throw fireworks or hold them in your hand
  • Don't be like "Terry", light firework and move away quickly

BE AWARE!

  • Use only legal fireworks
  • Make sure you are able to set off fireworks (every state is different)
  • Fireworks are prohibited on all state parks, and state or federal forest land
  • The National Fire Protection Association estimates that the local fire department responds to more than 50,000 fires caused by fireworks each year. THEREFORE, DO NOT point fireworks toward homes and keep away from bushes, leaves, and flammable substances.

IF YOU ENCOUNTER A FIRE, SERVPRO CAN HELP!

The Danger Is In the Soot

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

Long after the fire has been put out, long after the flames stop blazing, and even long after the insurance adjusters leave after assessing the damage; after a fire occurs, one thing still lingers: soot damage.

Soot is comprised of very small and very fine black particles that are primarily made up of carbon and contain traces of metals, dust, and chemicals. It is always present after a fire and poses as a danger to human and pets because of it small size and how easily it can get into the lungs. 

Outside of the health hazards soot damage poses, it can also cause damage to furniture, walls, and equipment in your home or office. Because soot is so fine, it so easily gets into tight spaces and if not addressed quickly, can eventually cause metals and objects to rust and break down. 

To prevent further damage after a fire, it’s important to address affected areas right away. Not only that, but also any other areas that seem to be “dusty” as this is usually the result of soot particles flowing through ventilation units and appearing in other rooms throughout the structure. However, one of the primary mistakes home and property owners make following a fire is to try to do the clean up on their own. We recommend DIY for when it comes to refurbishing headboards or coffee tables, not for when it comes to restoring your structure and furniture. 

For professional help after fire, smoke, and soot damage, call the experts in fire damage restoration: SERVPRO of South Frisco / The Colony.

10 Fire Pit Safety Tips

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

Fire pits are a great way to gather friends and family around in the backyard during the warmer months. Burgers on the grill, drinks in hand, and some background music is a sure way to have everyone in a good mood. Which is why SERVPRO of South Frisco / The Colony wants to ensure it’s only the barbecue sizzling during your next get together. Here are some quick and simple fire pit safety tips to keep the fire bright and the mood light:

  1. Clear all flammable materials away from your fire pit. Make sure it’s kept 10 feet away from the home or building. 
  2. Pile dirt or rocks to keep the fire on the ground from escaping 
  3. Before lighting your fire, check wind direction. If it’s too windy, do not light your fire pit as the wind can cause the flames to travel.
  4. Contrary to popular belief, lighting fluid is not safe for lighting a fire pit. Use a commercial fire starter kick with kindling on top. 
  5. Once the fire pit is lit, never leave it unattended and never leave children or pets near the fire pit without adult supervision.
  6. Avoid  soft woods like pine or cedar to prevent flying sparks and flame “pops”, 
  7. Only put enough fuel to keep the fire burning gently to prevent flare ups and uncontrollable flames. 
  8. To extinguish the flames, use water to drown out the fire and stir it with a shovel to make sure it’s fully extinguished. Use the shovel to extinguish any escaped flames as well
  9. Dispose of the ashes in a metal can used only for fire pit ash storage. Careful, even after a few days the ashes are still hot enough to cause a fire. 
  10. Accidents happen, even with the correct preventative measures taken. Having a fire extinguisher nearby can greatly reduce the risk of the fire getting out of control. 

Make sure to keep these tips in mind for your summertime fun. If you have any additional questions, or were affected by open flames from a fire pit, feel free to call SERVPRO of South Frisco / The Colony. 


 

Finding Local Fire Restoration Companies

3/10/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of South Frisco / The Colony Can Provide Fire Damage Restoration

 Many homeowners might not ever worry about the possibility of facing fire damage on their property. Many people may not realize that a small grease fire can cause unsightly soot stains on their wall, or some thing like an electrical socket that might have a short in it can count as a home fire.  So, what should you do if your home suffers fire damage? Getting help as soon as possible is the best way to help reduce long-term expenses. SERVPRO of South Frisco / The Colony can send a team of our talented fire and smoke damage remediation technicians on your property as soon as you call. 

What Can SERVPRO of South Frisco / The Colony Do About a Small Kitchen Fire? 

 Did you know that many people might not consider smaller-scale fires as an event they may need help remediating. Just because you experience a small-scare fire does not leave your home in need of reconstruction does not mean that it will not leave unsightly after-effects.  Take a few situations that maybe you have experienced as examples: 
  • Grease fires can leave greasy soot on your walls
  • Burning plastics can leave lingering malodors
  • Ashes can get stuck in your carpets or rug

What Can SERVPRO of South Frisco / The Colony Do to Remediate These Damages? 

 Our team are fire damage experts. This means our teams have been trained and certified to help restoration fire damage. All our team members are IICRC certified to handle remediation. The IICRC sets the standard in the restoration industry. Choosing a company that has been trained and certified by the IICRC ensures you are working with professionals who truly know what they’re doing.To remediate, our team can: 
  • Use house-made cleaning agents designed to break down grime
  • Set up odor-reducing equipment, such as hydroxyl generators and thermal foggers
  • Professionally clean your carpets and upholstery to take the smokey smell and ashes away 
 Here at SERVPRO of South Frisco / The Colony, we have access to advanced technology designed to remediate the damages inside of your home. Trust us our team to help get your life back to normal. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster. 

Disasters Are More Than What Meets the Eye

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

An unfortunate characteristic about disasters is that they often don’t warn us when they’re going to come around; and usually, when one disaster strikes, another is almost certain to follow. 

After a pipe burst in a local apartment complex following freezing temperatures, the water valves were quickly shut off and so was the electricity. However, when the facility operators returned power to that unit, remaining water in the electrical outlets caused a short circuit that affected the laundry room next door. 

The effects? The laundry room caught fire and quickly spread causing damage to multiple floors.

One of the most important things to consider following a disaster is to recognize that the environment is vulnerable and unsafe. Even if you believe that the damage has already been done and nothing can get worse, there are still elements that have been affected that the naked eye doesn’t pick up. This is why SERVPRO is equipped with specialized equipment to not only mitigate and restore the damage caused by water or fire, but also to prevent the damage from spreading and escalating. 

This is especially true for properties affected by fire damage. Though the fire has been put out, the structure is still unsafe due to the events that have transpired. Following a disaster, it’s important to call the professionals, SERVPRO of South Frisco / The Colony, to get started on the restoration process before the situation escalates and to properly evaluate the safety and integrity of your property.

Christmas Fire Safety Tips

12/3/2020 (Permalink)

The holidays are one of the most wonderful times of the year! Are we right?! There is nothing better than putting up those Holiday lights and having the home feel warm and cozy. Not to be forgotten the rides at night to see all the homes dressed up with holiday lights! No matter what type of decorations we hang up during the holidays, we’re surrounded by electricity! If we aren’t careful, it can be a huge hazard if not used or maintained properly. According to the National Fire Protection Association (www.nfpa.org), Holiday fires caused an average of three deaths, 15 injuries, and $10 million in direct property damage annually. On average, one of every 52 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 135 total reported home fires. SERVPRO of South Frisco/The Colony what to help keep you safe during this Holiday season, with the help of the NPFA, we’ve pulled together some safety tips for you to keep in mind! Electrical Fire Safety Tips

  • Make sure that there are smoke detectors installed on every floor of the building, inside each room and right outside of every sleeping area to ensure that the alarms can be heard even when sleeping.
  • Test smoke detectors monthly to make sure that they’re working properly and have working batteries.
  • Have your electrical system inspected by a certified professional to make sure that all of the electrical work meets the National Electric Code safety standards.
  • Look and listen for signs of electrical problems such as, flickering or dim lights, buzzing or sizzling sounds from electrical outlets, or insulation and circuit breakers that trip repeatedly. If any of these or any other electrical problems are found, contact a professional as soon as possible for the issue to be inspected.
  • Avoid overloading outlets with too many electronics. Consider having more outlets or circuits installed by a professional.
  • In homes with children, install tamper-resistant devices to keep children from getting electrical shocks or burns.
  • Create an evacuation plan that can be used in the event of a fire.
 Our team understands that there is nothing worse than being out of the home for the holidays. We know this time of year is filled with traditions and creating memories. Make sure to follow all the tips we’ve complied together but also if an emergency occurs inside your home or business, know that SERVPRO of South Frisco/The Colony is ready to help you get back to your holiday traditions!

Fire Safety Tips to Consider During Halloween

10/8/2020 (Permalink)

Keep Halloween Safe and Fire Free!

Unfortunately, symbols of Halloween and activities while fun can also present fire risks that have the potential to become truly scary. Halloween decorations are the first thing to ignite in over 1,000 reported home fires each year. Whether you are trick or treating, throwing a party, or staying inside, decorations can be a lurking fire risk and it is important to be aware. Planning ahead, you can help make this Halloween a fire-safe one. Taking simple fire safety precautions like keeping decorations far away from open flames and using battery-operated candles or glow-sticks in jack-o-lanterns can help ensure your holiday remains festive and fun.  From the National Fire Protection Association, here are five Halloween fire safety tips:

  • Use a battery-operated candle or glow stick in jack-o-lanterns.
  • When choosing costumes, stay away from the long trailing fabric.
  • Teach young children to stay away from open flames, including jack-o-lanterns with candles in them.
  • Keep all decorations away from open flames, especially cornstalks, dried flowers, and crepe paper.
  • Provide young children with glow sticks or flashlights to carry with their costumes.
  • Remember to keep all exits clear of decorations so escape routes are not blocked. Also, make sure all smoke alarms are working properly.

In the case of an emergency, know that the team at SERVPRO of South Frisco/The Colony is going to work around the clock to help keep your Halloween season a good one! Give our team a call at 972.335.9900

4th of July Safety Tips

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

This is a time when people typically enjoy the summer holiday with backyard barbecues or water fun. But this year, celebrating Independence Day will be different due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The American Red Cross offers safety tips you can follow.

Community Safety

If your community is reopening, know which precautions to take in public settings.

  1. Continue to social distance by staying 6 feet away from others, especially if you are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 (over age 65 or any age with underlying medical conditions).
  2. Continue to wear cloth face coverings in public. Face coverings are most essential when social distancing is difficult.
  3. Follow guidelines for your area when it comes to how large gatherings can be. Avoid crowds and mass gatherings.
  4. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
  5. Stay home if you are sick.

Fireworks Safety

While most kids love playing with fireworks, it is important to never toss or throw the fireworks at anyone. If dealing with fireworks, please consider the following safety tips and suggestions.

  1. Never give fireworks to small children, and never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials. Always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  2. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  3. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  4. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
  5. Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.

Grilling Safety

Grilling fires spark more than 10,000 home fires on average each year in the U.S. To avoid this:

  1. Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  2. Never grill indoors — not in the house, camper, tent or any enclosed area.
  3. Make sure everyone, stays away from the grill, including children and pets.
  4. Keep the grill away from the house or anything that could catch fire.
  5. Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.

If you are choosing to build a bonfire this weekend make sure that you are using only dry material and make sure that all debris is at least 10 feet away. When you are finished ensure that you extinguish the fire, pour water on all embers until the hissing sounds stop. Always keep a fire extinguisher close by when having bonfires or grills going so you can keep any fire damage from spreading in the case of an emergency. If you do have a fire damage know that SERVPRO of South Frisco/The Colony is a call and ready throughout the entire Holiday weekend! We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and/or smoke damage.  We will ensure the highest care to get you back to celebrating the Freedom we have so graciously been given. 

Facts about Smoke and Soot Cleanup

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home

Smoke and Soot Facts

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke, wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, our team will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises, therefore, smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Fire Damage Content Restoration

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of South Frisco/The Colony Can Restore you Fire Damaged Contents

From furniture to antiques to artwork and appliances, we'll treat your treasures with the care they deserve. While some items can be cleaned on-site, in many cases we'll need to inventory, pack out and transport the contents of your property to our state-of-the-art facility to ensure the best care possible.

Contents Inventory

We arrive on-site and inventory all of your personal belongings. Our team will carefully pack all salvable items to transport to our secure warehouse and cleaning facility. Unsalvageable contents are inventoried and discarded at the approval of the customer.

Contents Valuation

We have trained professionals to help you establish replacement values versus restoration costs. We are also available for the pricing of non-salvable inventory items.

Restoration

  • Thorough cleaning
  • Proper handling of all electronics
  • Photographs and artwork
  • Fabrics
  • Clothes
  • Memorabilia
  • Antiques
  • Softgoods
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Appliances
  • Surfaces
  • Odor Removal

Every Moment Counts in a Fire

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

An in-home fireplace can bring joy but also be dangerous

This time of year means that the fireplace uses are coming to an end. Of course, playing with fire is dangerous for children, so please remember these tips from HealthyChildren.org before you light your hearth. 

  • If possible, keep a window cracked open while the fire is burning.

  • Be certain the damper or flue is open before starting a fire. Keeping the damper or flue open until the fire is out will draw smoke out of the house. The damper can be checked by looking up into the chimney with a flashlight or mirror. Do not close the damper until the embers have completely stopped burning.

  • Use dry and well-aged wood. Wet or green wood causes more smoke and contributes to soot buildup in the chimney. Dried wood burns with less smoke and burns more evenly,

  • Smaller pieces of wood placed on a grate burn faster and produce less smoke.

  • Clean out ashes from previous fires. Levels of ash at the base of the fireplace should be kept to 1 inch or less because a thicker layer restricts the air supply to logs, resulting in more smoke.

  • The chimney should be checked annually by a professional.

  • Even if the chimney is not due for a cleaning, it is important to check for animal nests or other blockages that could prevent smoke from escaping.

  • Make sure the area around the fireplace is clear of anything that is potentially flammable (ie: furniture, drapes, newspapers, books, etc.). If these items get too close to the fireplace, they could catch fire.

  • Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Make sure it is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house. If you leave the room while the fire is burning or the fireplace is still hot, take your small child with you.

  • Minimize your child's chance of burns from the hot glass front of some fireplaces. Safety screens can be installed to reduce the risk of burns.

  • Put fireplace tools and accessories out of a young child's reach. Also, remove any lighters and matches.

  • Install both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.

  • Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.

  • Communicate to children as early as possible the dangers of fires and the heat generated from them.

What are Smoke Webs?

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

Black smoke webs hanging from the corner of a wall effected by soot Smoke webs result from residues

What is a smoke web?

Smoke webs result from residues (such as burning plastics or the soot from furnace disorders) form long chains of ionized smoke particles that assemble in corners or at junctions of walls and ceilings which are called smoke webs!

The picture is from fire damage in an Elementary School our large loss division assisted within Birmingham, AL that luckily occurred only days after the students got out for summer vacation. The building's entire kindergarten wing was affected, it took our team a summer break to completely clean and restore the facility. 

Does your business have a plan? Check out these tips:

  • Protect your people: Your employees are your most important business asset. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.
  • Fire Plans: Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol. 
  • Evacuation Plan: In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs. 
  • First Aid: In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most-such as in the kitchen.

What to Do Before SERVPRO Arrives to a Fire Damage

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

Take the necessary steps to prevent damage before help arrives

A fire can be devastating. It leaves behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems. Fire damages can affect ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need thorough professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until our team can arrive on site. 

The following tips may help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork. n Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer/ refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor
  • Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/ bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system

Call SERVPRO of South Frisco/The Colony at 972.335.990, if you've had a fire or would like to know how we can help in the event you do.

Pet Fire Safety

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

Pets can be considered family, too!

At any given moment, a fire emergency can take place in the Dallas Fort Worth area or abroad, and though unexpected; it can be beneficial to already have a plan in place for everyone in your home to evacuate and meet in a safe location. While you should always be most focused on keeping yourself and your family safe, you can also spend some time on pet preparation so that you can have a better chance of getting your pets out of danger as well.

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners' pets. The American Kennel Club and American Red Cross have provided the following tips:

Extinguish Open Flames

  • Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.

Remove Stove Knobs

  • Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house - a stove or stovetop is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.

Invest in Flameless Candles

  • These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.

Secure Young Pets

  • Keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.

Fire Safety Tips for Children

3/28/2019 (Permalink)

According to the American Burn Association, children are the most susceptible to burn injuries. 24% of all burn injuries happen to children under the age of 15. At some point in time, children are going to be curious about fire, but it can be dangerous and costly.

Here are some tips to follow to keep your family safe according to the National Protection Association:

  • Be sure to keep all matches and lighters out of the reach of children, preferably somewhere up high or in a locked cabinet.
  • Closely supervise your children, making sure that they are away from any fire sources, including lit candles, cigarettes, fire pits, and stoves.
  • Take advantage of any opportunity to teach your children about fire safety.
  • Explain that fires are something to be taken seriously as they move very fast and can hurt you with contact.
  • Teach young children to not touch matches or lighters, and to notify an adult immediately if found.
  • Establish a clear set of rules and consequences about unsupervised and unapproved uses of fire.
  • Remember, children are always watching. Make sure you set a good example by handling fire in a safe manner.
  • Show your children appreciation for displaying respect and age-appropriate responsibility when it comes to fire.

If your children happen to burn themselves, cool the burn by running it under cold water for 10 to 15 minutes.

If it is a more serious burn, CALL 9-1-1.

Cleaning salvageable items after a home fire

3/28/2019 (Permalink)

A home fire is devastating. The most important aspect is that you made it out of your home safely and are now able to return to it. You might ask yourself if some of your belongings can be saved. SERVPRO® of South Frisco/The Colony, experts in content cleaning, know that most smoke-damaged belongings can be cleaned.  Here are some tips on how to clean your salvageable belongings.

  • Get Rid of the Water

The first thing you will have to do is get rid of the water and moisture. Not doing so will cause further damage and give mold a chance to grow. The way to do this is with a powerful water pump and press extractor. Dry wet carpets and furniture and hang clothes, draperies and pillows outside to dry. For non-damaged items, content storage is recommended so nothing can cause harm to them.

  • Dry Clean Clothes

For clothes, most restoration professionals recommend dry cleaning. Don’t attempt to clean clothes, draperies and any other textile items yourself as this can cause permanent damage to them. A restoration expert can assess if the soot can be removed from your damaged items.

  • Remove the smoke smell.

After you get rid of the soot, you will want to get rid of the smoke smell in textiles and throughout the home. Thoroughly vent your house and get box fans and dehumidifiers to help expedite the process. The experts at SERVPRO® of South Frisco/The Colony use specialized procedures such as ozone treatment and thermal fogging to effectively remove the smell. 

  • Clean Non-porous Items

Non-porous items are generally easier to clean than porous items. Ultrasonic treatment and high-pressure water are some of the procedures SERVPRO® of South Frisco/The Colony are utilizing. Our equipment can remove contamination from your belongings and help restore them. 

Your local SERVPRO® of South Frisco/The Colony restoration professionals have the proper expertise, tools and equipment to get the job done right and can help with dry cleaning, content cleaning and content storage.

Why do I need SERVPRO® professionals to help clean after a house/building fire

3/28/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. At SERVPRO® of South Frisco/The Colony, our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke:

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO® of South Frisco/The Colony will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber:

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood:

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire:

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  

SERVPRO® of South Frisco/The Colony has the equipment, expertise, and experience to help properly restore your fire and smoke damaged home or business.

How to reduce your risk of a house fire?

3/28/2019 (Permalink)

In this blog post we will explain how you can reduce the risk of a fire starting in your home. We also want you to consider the five most common causes of house fires:

  1. Cooking equipment 
  2. Heating equipment 
  3. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment
  4. Intentional fires 
  5. Smoking materials 
  6. Candles

In this blog post we will explain how you can reduce the risk of a fire starting in your home.

  1. Cooking equipment.
    • Be alert when cooking and don’t leave food unattended
    • DO NOT throw water on a grease fire- put a lid on the pan or powdery material such as baking soda to smother the fire
    • If an oven fire flares up, turn the oven off and leave the door shut until the fire extinguishes itself
    • Keep clothing, pot holders, paper towels and other flammable items away from fires
    • Keep working smoke detectors in the house, and have a fire extinguisher nearby just in case
  2. Heating equipment.
    • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater
    • Maintain a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters
    • Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before going to bed or leaving home
    • If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes; keep children and pets away from space heaters
    • Make sure your fireplace is properly cleaned and checked before the cold weather season starts.
    • Keep the fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs
    • Make sure wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys, and furnaces are professionally inspected and cleaned once a year
  3. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment.
    • Don’t overload outlets or electrical cords
    • Make sure you have the right cord for the job – inside cords for inside, heavy duty/outside cords for outdoor use
    • Don’t leave Christmas lights, Christmas trees, or halogen lights on overnight, or when not at home
    • Consider having an electrician perform an annual checkup of your home’s wiring
  4. Intentional fires.
    • Consider what could burn
    • Remove overgrown vegetation
    • Remove abandoned cars
    • Secure vacant homes
    • Watch for kids
    • Get to know your neighborhood
    • Report suspicious activity
    • Work with your community
    • Watch local businesses
    • Organize a watch program
    • Install and test smoke alarms
    • Call 911
  5. Smoking materials.
    • If you smoke, consider smoking outside
    • Use wide, sturdy ashtrays to catch butts and ashes
    • Look for cigarette butts under furniture and between seat cushions to make sure no lit butts have fallen someplace where they can’t be seen
    • This one might be obvious, but nonetheless, don’t smoke in bed, when you’re tired, or around medical oxygen
  6. Candles.
    • Never leave a candle burning near flammable items
    • Never leave a candle burning in a child’s room or an unoccupied room
    • Make sure candles fit securing into candle holders so they won’t tip over
    • Blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep.

      Insurance coverage is very important in protecting your home and belongings.

      Know what you own- document everything in a video. Educate yourself on the policy you are buying and choose your agent based on your needs.

You can follow every piece of advice above, and the chances are positive that you’ll avoid any type of fire in your home. However, even though the risk is greatly reduced, accidents still happen.

Know what you own- document everything in a video. Educate yourself on the policy you are buying and choose your agent based on your needs. The bottom line is that you need to make sure you have enough coverage in the event of a major loss. Insurance coverage is very important in protecting your home and belongings.

Fire Safety Tips for Children

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

According to the American Burn Association, children are the most susceptible to burn injuries. 24% of all burn injuries happen to children under the age of 15. At some point in time, children are going to be curious about fire, but it can be dangerous and costly.

Here are some tips to follow to keep your family safe according to the National Protection Association:

  • Be sure to keep all matches and lighters out of the reach of children, preferably somewhere up high or in a locked cabinet.
  • Closely supervise your children, making sure that they are away from any fire sources, including lit candles, cigarettes, fire pits, and stoves.
  • Take advantage of any opportunity to teach your children about fire safety.
  • Explain that fires are something to be taken seriously as they move very fast and can hurt you with contact.
  • Teach young children to not touch matches or lighters, and to notify an adult immediately if found.
  • Establish a clear set of rules and consequences about unsupervised and unapproved uses of fire.
  • Remember, children are always watching. Make sure you set a good example by handling fire in a safe manner.
  • Show your children appreciation for displaying respect and age-appropriate responsibility when it comes to fire.

If your children happen to burn themselves, cool the burn by running it under cold water for 10 to 15 minutes.

If it is a more serious burn, CALL 9-1-1.

Protect your most valuable possessions: Review and Practice Fire Safety

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Many home fires can be prevented if you learn, follow and teach family members safety and prevention guidelines. 

  • Smoke Detectors: on every floor of your home. If you call our local Fire Departments they can you decide the best location to have them installed. Be certain to test and replace batteries on your smoke detectors on a regular basis.
  • Portable fire extinguishers: can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. A fire extinguisher should be tested yearly to ensure they are in working order.   
  • In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:

    Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.

    Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

    Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.

    Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

    It is always a good idea to show EVERYONE in your household how to use a fire extinguisher in case of fire.  You never know when or where the fire will start and having more than one person know how to use an extinguisher could save you from excessive damage to your home or save a life.

  • Store flammable liquids in appropriate containers: Dispose of all unused newspapers, rags, and other flammable material. Keep everything away from electrical outlets.
  • Create an emergency escape plan with your family in case of a fire. Agree on meeting place outside of the home where you will meet and ensure everyone is out safely. Have a practice fire drill. 
  • If your home is on fire DO NOT STAY IN THE HOUSE!
  • If your house is on fire and you are inside a closed room, feel the door with the back of your hand before you open it to see if it hot. 
  • Breathing smoke can be very dangerous! Heat rises, so there will be more smoke higher in the room. Get on your hands and knees and crawl to the nearest exit away from the fire.
  • If your clothing should catch on fire, DO NOT RUN! REMEMBER STOP, DROP, and ROLL! If your sleeves are not on fire use your arms to cover/protect your face.These safety tips can help keep you and your family stay safe! 

What You Should Do When Dealing with Fire Damage

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

What You Should Do When Dealing with Fire Damage in Your Home

Life has enough interruptions and bumps along the way without the unwanted disaster of a house fire. The aftermath is almost as bad but much longer-lasting. Even small fires can use the assistance of a professional cleanup/restoration company. Cooking fires that spread beyond the stove, barbecue grills that go up in smoke, and even small appliances that catch fire can cause damage to surrounding areas. 

Small Fires can Pose High Risks 

While you should never pour water on a grease fire, nor on an electrical one, many times that is a person's first reaction anywhere. This can cause even more damage. Cooking fires and electrical shorts are common causes of Seattle home and business fire damage.  It can also create physical risks to people standing nearby. With grease fires, baking soda should be poured into the pan and any grease or oil that has caught fire outside of the cooking pan or skillet instead of water. 

With electrical fires the appliance should be unplugged if it can be safely done, but not by pulling on the cord. This can cause the cord to snap, leaving the plug, without the cord, still in the outlet. The power to the area where this is happening should be shut off at the fuse box as quickly as possible to eliminate the hazard. 

After the Fire is Out, It's Time to Repair the Damage 

When there's been a localized fire, you should have someone assess the damages for you. This can often help with insurance documentation.

Damage can range from blackened walls and countertops to heavily burned surfaces, electrical wires being damaged and requiring replacement, to floors suffering damage so severe they must be replaced to be safe again. Having experts conduct the repairs needed can expedite insurance claims being resolved, as well. 

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

We have highly trained and skilled professionals who are experienced in all sizes of fire damage clean up and restoration. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help clean up and repair fire damage, no matter how large or small. 

Fire Caused By Lightning Strike

2/9/2018 (Permalink)

Lightning strike causes total loss

Whether you are building a new home, remodeling an existing home or even repairing a home that has been damaged, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) a lightning protection system can be a worthwhile investment.

Damage caused by lightning, such as fire, is covered by standard homeowners insurance policies; and some policies provide coverage for damage from power surges that are the direct result of a lightning strike.

“Lightning losses were $790 million in 2015 and the average cost per claim rose 64 percent from 2010 to 2015,” explained Loretta Worters, a vice president with the I.I.I. “The $3,000 or $4,000 it will cost to install a lightning protection system could prevent a deadly house fire and save on costly repairs,” she added.

The growing market for smart home technology makes installing a lightning protection system even more important, noted the I.I.I. It is also an opportunity for designers, builders and code officials to include lightning protection systems in their plans.

A lightning protection system does not attract lightning, a common misconception, noted the LPI. Lightning will strike a location whether there is lightning protection in place or not. A lightning protection system directs the harmful current from a lightning strike to the ground, leaving the structure and its contents undamaged.

“Keep in mind lightning protection system design and installation is complex and not a do-it-yourself project,” said Loehr. “Installation is not typically within the scope of expertise held by general contractors, roofers or even electricians--which is why the work is typically sub-contracted out to specialists.”

Always hire an LPI-certified expert who specializes in lightning protection and utilizes UL-listed components and equipment to install your system, and make sure the materials and methods comply with national safety standards. 

“If you contract to install a lightning protection system, keep the receipt and let your insurance professional know about this improvement. That will ensure it is included in the cost of rebuilding your home should a disaster occur,” said Worters. “It may even help reduce your insurance costs.”

SERVPRO of South Frisco/The Colony specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property

Beware of Fire Damage from Your Clogged Dryer Exhaust Duct

2/9/2018 (Permalink)

Most of us don’t think about maintenance on our clothes dryers, but we should! The U.S. Fire Administration reports that every year there are thousands of home fires started by clothes dryers. Lint and debris can build up in your dryer vent, reducing air flow to the dryer, backing up dryer exhaust gases, which can result in a fire hazard. It is recommended you have your dryer exhaust system cleaned at least twice a year.

How to tell if you dryer vent is clogged

  • Normal drying cycle is not drying clothes
  • If it takes more than 40 minutes to dry a load of clothes
  • Clothes smell musty after normal cycle
  • Clothes are hotter at the end of the cycle
  • Large amount of lint accumulates in the lint trap
  • Your laundry area is more humid
  • Burnt smell in your laundry room
  • Outside dryer vent cover is not lifting

What you can do to reduce the risk

  • Clean your lint filter after each load of clothes
  • Use dryer sheet and fabric softener sparingly
  • Remove the back of the dryer to vacuum out lint that is trapped
  • Keep area around dryer free of dust and debris
  • The duct line that vents outside should be as short as possible

There are tips online on how to clean you dryer vent system, but it is recommended you hire a professional. The cost is $100 - $150 depending on the length and location of the vent. In addition to the reduced threat of fire, a cleaning can pay for itself in less than a year through the improved efficiency with less drying time required.

Industry terms for Fire damage

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

When a property experiences a fire, a homeowner and commercial property manager will begin to hear a lot of terms they may be unfamiliar with.  Familiarizing yourself with this vocabulary will help facilitate your understanding of what is happening.

Rest assured that if you should ever need our help, our expert team will walk you through the process of cleanup and restoration.

Fire Damage:  This is a general term that says a fire was the cause of loss.

Stabilizing the Structure:  This refers to the need to make a structure safe enough for our technicians to begin cleanup and remediation work.  The fire must be completely put out.  It may also include roof tarping, board-up, temporary fencing, and a security guard.

Roof Tarping:  A thick, weatherproof piece of plastic tarping will be attached to the roof to prevent precipitation from entering the building and causing secondary damage.  

Board-Up:  When pieces of board are placed over damaged windows and doors to prevent precipitation from entering the building and also to deter possible break-ins.

Temporary Fencing:  When a temporary fence is installed around the perimeter of the property or highly damaged areas to prevent possible break-ins and keep the general public away from sensitive areas.

Security Guard:  When a structure cannot be immediately stabilized (for example, it’s raining and it’s not safe to tarp the roof), a 24-hour security guard can be hired to protect the property.

Secondary Damage:  A damage that occurred which did not come from the original source.  For example, in a fire damage, the fire is the primary damage.  Secondary damage may come from the water used during firefighting efforts.

Pre-Loss Condition:  Means to put the property back together the way it was before the fire damage. This is the goal of the insurance company when a fire damage occurs.

Smoke Damage:  When smoke particles have embedded themselves in a material, like a wall, clothing, or piece of furniture.  Smoke damage cannot usually be seen, but it can be smelled.  Cleaning and deodorization should take place.

Soot Damage:  When soot has sullied a material.  Soot is produced by the incomplete burning during the fire.  It is acidic and causes damage to materials when it’s not properly or promptly cleaned.  Cleaning and deodorization should take place.

Demolition:  When a material has experienced permanent damage and cannot be cleaned, it is removed and thrown away.

Containment:  When thick plastic is set up in order to isolate the airspace of a room.  This is done so that deodorization techniques can be more effective or to prevent an unaffected area of a property from becoming contaminated.

Air Scrubber:  A machine that cleans the air.  

HEPA Filter: High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance filter can catch particles as small as 0.3 microns.  This is our filter of choice when using an air scrubber.

Deodorization:  When an item or property is rid of smells caused by the fire damage.

Structural Framing:  The structure of the property, like beams.  If the structure has been damaged, it must be replaced.

Contents:  Anything that is not part of the structure, like furniture.  When affected, contents can either be cleaned on-site or taken back to our cleaning facility.

Textiles:  If you turned the property upside down and everything fell out, the items that fell and did not break are textiles.  These include clothing, shoes, plush animals, etcetera.  When affected, textiles are taken back to our facility for cleaning.

Pack-out / Pack-Back:  When the structure isn’t safe, contents and textiles are moved out of the property and taken to our facilities for cleaning and storage.  They are returned when the property is clean, reconstructed, and safe for inhabitants.  Items may also be delivered to a second location if the owner would like them returned sooner.

Storage:  Items that have been packed-out are stored in our facilities until they can be returned.

HVAC & Duct Work:  Heating, Ventilation, and Air Condition system.  Ducts are the pathways for the cold or warm air to travel around the property.  Many times, the HVAC system needs to be cleaned after a fire damage because smoke has accumulated inside of it