Recent Fire Damage Posts
Florida Wildfires in the Summer
Wildfires in Florida are a major cause for concern during springtime and early summer. High chances of fire are in April through to June which are typically drier months for Florida. This year the first half of May experienced some drought increasing the risk of wildfire occurrences. Now that we are in June, well into hurricane season, Florida’s climate is much more humid and wet. According to the National Interagency Fire Center and their Wildfire Fire Outlook Report, months from June to August will have below average risk this year. September will see a near nonexistent threat for wildfires.
Even with the forecasted outlook and wet weather, can a summer fire still occur? Of course! As of June 23rd, though Fire Danger Indices are low, there were 11 active wildfires statewide. Storm season can be a catalyst for summer wildfires in a multitude of ways. Let’s take a look as to what fire-causing factors can stem from a storm.
Summer months bring about more frequent lightning and thunder storms. Fires started by lightning peak most commonly in May and June in Florida. Lightning caused fires occur when lightning strikes dry area, igniting a flame. These fires tend to be larger, affecting more acreage than that of man-made fires.
Loss of Power and Open Flames
While hurricanes are not a direct factor in starting a fire, human activity during a hurricane can be. Hurricanes can lead to temporary loss of power, requiring candles or other open flames to be used as a source of light. Without practicing proper fire safety measures, fires can unintentionally occur; this can be from a knocked over candle or a flame to close to quickly-igniting material. Cooking equipment and generators can also be a source of fire.
Hurricane and tropical storm winds are terribly strong, often kicking up and depositing debris. This debris left to sit in plies, drying out in a matter of days, can become a source of kindling for a wildfire.
Though the threat of a wildfire occurring randomly is low, there are still risk factors associated with summer storms.. Many of these risks are impossible to control, like lightning or debris, while others require an extra level of attention. House fires or wild fires can still happen, regardless of time of year.
Safety Tips for Grilling in West Palm Beach
When we aren’t experiencing daily showers or a hurricane, summers in Florida are beautiful. The summer heat gets many people in the mood to hang out by the pool or beach, relax and maybe even grill. However, just like with cooking in your home, grilling too can have its fire hazards and it is best to practice safety measures. While here at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, we are big fans of throwing a few burgers on the grill on a whim, we also following these safety tips before grilling:
1. Keep Your Grill at a Safe Distance
Keeping your grill a safe distance from your home in a safe, open area is best. This means in an area where there are no overhangs nor any activity from people or pets. Every year many people injure themselves accidentally coming in contact with a grill.
This rule also goes for any furniture or decorations. Many outside decorative items are made from plastics, meant to withstand any weather condition. This plastic and other artificial material can make for quick ignition for a fire.
2. Keep Your Grill Clean
Like grease fires in a West Palm Beach home, leftover grease and food particles can also cause a fire. Cleaning your grill after cooking is done and once it’s cooled down will save you from any work the next time you decide to use it.
3. Do Routine Maintenance and Safety Checks
Grills should be treated like any other major appliance. Checking your propane tanks for gas leaks, loose hoses or any other damage before use is highly recommended. Be sure to keep any charcoal, fuel, and lighters within safe distance once your grill is lit.
4. Keep an Eye on Your Grill
Make sure you are always near your grill, actively watching it for any signs of misuse or potential accidents. Being vigilant and cautious will help keep your food from overcooking also!
5. Don’t Overload Your Grill
Putting too much food on your grill may make the cooking process slower, pushing you to turn up the heat. Turning the heat up can be unsafe especially when cooking food items that are fatty, like hamburgers. Dripping fat combined with high heat can also cause a fire to occur.
Other preventative measures may mean keeping a fire extinguisher nearby, using the proper cooking tools, and storing the grill properly when done.
Soaking up the sun, hopping in the pool, and grilling is all part of summer in West Palm Beach. Doing so safely means more fun days to come without experiencing any fire damage to your home.
Tips to Prevent Your Christmas Tree From Catching Fire
Following fire safety trips for your Christmas tree is important during the holidays.
‘Tis the season for holiday shopping, cooking, and decorating. Even in sunny Florida, residents purchase real Christmas trees every year to decorate their home with. Lights are strung, ornaments put on, and stars top the tree. While Christmas trees are definitely a sight to admire, they can be one of the uncommon sources of fire, posing a dangerous hazard to your home .
Every year, on average, 160 fires start with Christmas trees. Typical electrical items, lighting equipment or a heat source, like a candle, were the main causes of the fire. Fires can be very common and with chances increased during the holiday season, follow these tips on preventing a Christmas tree fire:
1. Get a New Tree
Like a brand-new car, a Christmas tree also needs that “fresh off the lot” smell. Your tree should be slightly fragrant, with needles that do not easily brush or fall off when you pass your hand through the tree. If needles fall quickly, pass on that particular tree to something fresher and newer.
2.Hydrate Your Tree
Once you have chosen the perfect tree to showcase in your living room, make sure you are watering your tree regularly. Christmas trees usually require daily watering. A drier tree, like many objects, are easily lit and spread fires much more quickly.
3. Don’t Overload Your Tree
A well-lit tree with plenty of bows and ornaments can really put someone in the holiday spirit. When decorating the tree however, be sure not to overload it. It is also suggested to check the wires on your strings to make sure there are no breaks that can cause a spark. When placing your tree and it’s decorations, be sure to stay clear of any electrical equipment, sockets, and even, for the few Floridians that have them, fire places.
4. Don’t Go Past Four Weeks of Use
Christmas trees last for a maximum of four weeks before they should be taken down. There are plenty of organizations that provide tree pickup and recycling.
If a real Christmas tree seems like too much work, artificial trees are also a great option. Plastic trees can catch fire easily just like a real tree. Choose instead a well-rated fire-retardant artificial tree. Remember to follow similar rules when decorating a plastic tree: always make sure not to over decorate and be cautious around sources of electricity and heat. Either type of Christmas tree is susceptible to house fires and should be handled with care.
Removing smoke from a home and going through the fire restoration process is not exactly the best way to spend the holidays.
Removing Smoke After a House Fire
This home in Lake Worth experienced a serious fire causing soot and smoke damage to cover the entire living room.
Can damage happen to your apartment from a neighbor's house fire?
If you live in an apartment building, it’s likely you hear all of the commotion of your neighbors and their daily lives. Due to having to share the same floors and walls, you will get your fair share of noise, smells, and disasters. Apartments in close proximity of one another are more than likely in the direct path of every day disasters including flooding, mold, odors, and fire.
If the apartment upstairs were to have leaky pipes or an overflown tub, surely there would be damage to the ceiling of the apartment below. The extent of that damage may even go beyond just the ceiling, soaking the carpet and furniture below. Eventually, as is common with stagnant water and moisture, mold may develop affecting more than just one apartment. As with water damage, smoke and odors from fires are also able to permeate into the walls of multiple units.
Depending on the size of the fire and materials burned, smoke and odor can easily travel through HVAC systems, while seeping into the walls of units. It is possible for a nearby unit to develop odors. While odors are a nuisance, they are often a symptom of lingering smoke. Smoke from a house fire can be especially dangerous and potentially harmful to a person’s health. Homes today are filled with many different materials, organic and inorganic. Each material burns differently, releasing different chemicals and matter. Thinking the smoke and odors “will just go away on their own”, is not realistic.
In the event that a unit in your building catches fire, an professional restoration company should inspect your home for any damage relative to the neighboring fire. A thorough inspection will uncover what is not initially seen or smelled. If issues are suspected, a professional restoration company can address these areas, providing proper fire damage restoration.
Uncommon Sources of Fires in West Palm Beach
A home in West Palm Beach in need of restoration services after a fire affected the entire garage.
When it comes to a fire, there are root causes that are common while others can be deemed as freak accidents. Then there are starters that are rare but still very prevalent in home or commercial fires. Staying vigilant and being aware is important, even when it comes to the most bizarre causes.
- Cleaning products
Even the most seemingly benign cleaning products can release vapors when used that can cause combustion. Spraying a cleaner on or near a flame source, whether a stove, candle, or even electrical outlet, should occur with extreme caution.
Often in cartoons and movies, we’ve seen fires start with a magnifying glass and some sun. While this appears to be an exaggerated situation, it is a very real possibility. When hit with enough direct sun, glass fixtures or décor can create a beam of light. If it so happens that these beams of light are directed at a flammable material, like a curtain or furniture, that material can be easily set ablaze.
- Outdated products
Similar to broken wires and cords, products with old or even recalled wires can be a fire hazard. As consumers we forget the length of time in which we’ve had a toaster oven, hair appliance, or television. Assuming an item is fine based on the outer appearance can lead to seriously dangerous situations. Depending on the amount of time the item has been owned, these outdated products can be a generator of a serious fire if their wires have not been replaced.
- Home Project Materials
If you’ve recently finished a DIY project, especially if it was building an item of wood or polishing any furniture, there is a possibility that there are highly combustible items within arm's reach. Sawdust and linseed oil when left on surfaces that can easily catch flame are definitely fire hazards. Disposing of these items properly after use is highly encouraged.
Often overlooked, pyrolysis is a chemical reaction that occurs when an item is exposed to heat over a long period of time. The chance of this happening is highly present when an item, like wood, is kept directly near a source of heat much like a piece of equipment or electronic appliance. Over time the heat of the equipment can cause the wood’s combustion temperature to lower and self-ignite.
Home and commercial owners have the duty to properly inspect all areas of their property for possible fire hazards. Removing or remedying common, and as shown above, uncommon sources of fire is important as fires are deeply unpredictable. Be sure to take action before finding yourself in a situation where damage remediation and restoration is needed for your property.
Removing Smoke, Odor, and Soot After a Fire
This garage was affected by soot and smoke damage. The odor also lingered in the home closely connected to the garage.
The Importance of Professional Smoke Removal After a Fire
It may come as a surprise to many that the biggest cause of death and illnesses resulting from a fire is not the fire itself but smoke. Homes and commercial spaces are filled with many different materials, both in the structure and home furnishings. Not all materials burn clean, often releasing hazardous toxins. Some of these chemicals can break into particulate matter: extremely small solid or liquid particles. These particles are easily inhaled or absorbed via skin contact, potentially causing serious health issues. While most every fire has particular matter and carbon monoxide, there are other chemicals to know and be weary of.
Burning barrels of trash is not encouraged with highly regarded warnings because of the dyes, pigments, coatings, and other components of everyday trash. Allowing these chemicals to be released into the air and environment around you is extremely harmful. This holds true to the burning of non-trash household items as well. For instance, treated wood that is burned can release arsenic, copper, or creosote. The chemicals found in treated wood are used to preserve the wood from everyday wear; they are not meant to be burned, therefore considered as possible carcinogens. Another commonly found material is plastic. Burned plastic can release hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, and other heavy metals. Inhaling any of these compounds can potentially cause damage to the immune and respiratory system.
When stopping to take a look around a place of residence or commercial space, many different materials can be found; some materials are evident and others, like those making up a building’s structure, are not always known. The uncertainty of these materials and the chemicals they extricate should be taken as a warning. When dealing with the aftermath of a fire, the soot and smoke remaining should never be handled by anyone who is not a professional. Inexperienced and DIY cleaning of soot and smoke can lead to serious health effects. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach has dealt with many residential and commercial fires, providing cleaning and restoration in a safe, professional manner. Our technicians have the proper equipment and safety gear to avoid the affects of lingering toxins.
If your home is in need of soot, smoke, or odor removal, call the professionals at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, 561-795-5410.
Classes of Fires
Not all fires are created equal. The classes of fire not unlike the classes of water, are determined by source of the ignition. Most homeowners are unlikely to experience more than one class of fire, while some businesses may be susceptible to various classes. Understanding the different classifications of fires allows for effective extinguishing and restoration.
Class A fires are the ordinary everyday house fires. Usually caused by wood, paper, plastic or fabric, these fires are easily extinguished by water or monoammonium phosphate. Monoammonium phosphate is found in common fire extinguishers that are kept in homes or offices.
Any flammable liquid or gas like gasoline, propane, or kerosene are at the center of Class B fires. Businesses or homes that have these highly volatile items are at a higher risk of fire. Any other objects that pose a threat of heat or pressure set off combustion.
Major appliances, transformers, or fuse boxes are all sources of Class C fires. Fires that are caused by any object with electricity as it’s fuel source are within this category. In homes electrical fires can be damaged cords or underserviced appliances. Businesses with heavy electrically operated equipment are susceptible to Class C fires. Unplugging or cutting off the electrical supply, when safe of course, is the first step to diminishing this fire. Extinguishers with carbon dioxide are ideal.
Class D fires consist of burning metals. Specific metals are flammable including uranium, potassium, magnesium and more common titanium or aluminum. These metals can take shape in a powder, flake, or chips that are placed under extreme heat. The attributes of these materials typically make for a quickly spread fire. These fires are also not easily smothered and take dry powders before they are put out.
Class K fires are usually cooking fires, started by a liquid like oil or grease. These fires are much more common and put out with wet chemical fire extinguishers.
As a business or home owner, knowing the potential classes of fire that can occur based on environment is important. Staying prepared with the correct fire extinguisher is imperative in the event that a fire arises.
Top 5 Causes of Fires in Wellington
In two minutes, a Wellington house fire can become life threatening. Fire can turn from a small flame to a major fire within less than 30 seconds. Smoke and toxic gasses travel and affect any inhabitants of the home just as quickly. The color of a fire can turn from a bright flame to thick, dark smoke obscuring any sense of vision.
These facts are not meant to frighten but are meant to raise awareness. Understanding how fast fire affects a space and the varying damage it creates, is crucial to staying vigilant. Being cognizant of the top 5 fire causes can minimize the risk of home fires.
Top 5 Causes of Home Fires in Wellington
In 2016, cooking made up for just a little over 50% of U.S. residential fires. It’s no surprise that this is the main driver, when the kitchen holds so many items and incidences that can spark a fire. From frying, boiling, grilling to small grease fires, even accidentally leaving the oven or stove on for too long, fires are imminent without proper precautions.
Staying alert while cooking, removing distractions and preparing a workspace free of anything particularly flammable can greatly lessen the changes of a cooking fire.
While South Florida is not known for its winter months often dropping to temperatures below freezing, there are a few days in the year where it does get uncomfortably cold for native Floridians. Most homes are equipped with central air and heat, there are instances where a space heater, portable or stationary, is utilized. Space heaters too close to items that easily catch fire, like furniture for example, are the leading contributor in starting fires. Improper cleaning of heating devices, whether it is a fireplace or heating system, has also led to 27% of heating related fires.
Wiring, appliances, even lightbulbs can be the root cause of electrical fires. Your Wellington home is full of wires for your major appliances, TVs, lighting, and more. Faulty, outdated or broken wires can set off a spark or two. Even laying rugs or other materials over or directly on top of wires can cause potential fires.
Lighting is not just limited to the wires producing the light. Lightbulbs installed with a wattage that is too high for the fixture can trigger a fire. As romantic as it seems, laying material over a lampshade or light fixture often results in fire as well.
4. Open Flames Link
Between 2012-2016, 23 candle related fires were reported per day. That number may seem a bit high for an item that typically has a contained flame and does not take up much space. Lighting a candle or two can be relaxing, however, fires triggered by candles have been due to a homeowner’s leaving the candle unattended. A burning candle through the night or a candle too close to a flammable object have been reported during such incidents.
Using candles does not have to induce fear, there are plenty of tips on how to safely use candles in your home, including staying aware.
Smoking materials are the leading cause of fire deaths among all other events. Fires stemming from smoking are not limited to cigars or cigarettes. Fires associated with E-cigarettes have been from battery failure while the battery was being charged or transported. Whether it is a cigarette, pipe, or e-cigarette involved, users should take caution to properly store and use these items. Smoking outside, proper storage and discard of smoking materials help to reduce the number of fires and fire related deaths.
Distraction and carelessness are the root of many fires unfortunately. While some incidents are out of the control of any one person involved, many fires are preventable. Performing due diligence when it comes to everyday tasks or the upkeep of your home is vital to avoid a fire and the long-lasting damage it can cause to your Wellington home.
Can Your Belongings Be Saved After Fire Damages To Your Home?
Fires can be scary and emotionally tough on a home or business owner. While a reputable emergency restoration company and your insurance handles a majority of the paper work and minute details, property owners in Palm Beach face a much tougher task. Adjusting to damage and the potential loss of belongings can be daunting and all may feel lost. There is always a break in every storm cloud however! Depending on the fire, the location, and the affected material, there is a chance of salvaging any items damaged by a fire emergency.
Knowing the details of what caused the fire and how certain items burn can determine their ability to be restored. Every fire behaves and burns differently, potentially causing different damage. The behavior often depends on the fuel, the weather, oxygen and the environment it's burning in.
Other than completely scorching or completely burning materials, fire creates soot and odor. Again, depending on the material, soot and odor can seep into fabric, cracks, crevices, even into any porous surfaces. The material and damage will determine the cleaning process and salvageability.
With so many variables surrounding a fire and damage, home and business owners may be worsening effects of a fire rather than mitigating.
A professional fire restoration and cleaning company, like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, have had years of servicing fire calls in the Palm Beach County area. A project manager, estimator or technician will arrive to the site of fire damage and assess the aftermath. Cleaning and restoration can be done by SERVPRO along with the many industry experts SERVPRO partners with for finer materials including upholstery, marble, or glass.
Consider contacting a fire restoration expert prior to attempting to save any of your belongings. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach treats your home or business and valuables with care and compassion.
Call today, 561-795-5410.
Steps for Palm Beach County Homeowners To Restore Home After A Fire
Disasters can strike at any time and can differ from one accident to the next. A leaky pipe might burst causing water damage or a storm might cause flood damage. Fires are on the list of unexpected disasters. Does your Palm Beach home or business have a plan of action should a fire occur?
Fire damage can be very stressful for a home or business owner. Fires may bring loss of items, smoke damage, soot, and odor. After your initial call to an emergency service, like your local fire department and first responders, make sure you check a few other items off your list.
Calling your insurance agent should be immediate. Following that phone call, calling an emergency restoration service, like SERVPRO, is just as important. A restoration company has certified technicians who are familiar with fire and property damage to your Palm Beach home or business.
When surveying damage to your property and belongings, if you do not already keep one, create an inventory. Listing your belongings will aid both your insurance and the restoration company in salvaging and cleaning any items that might have experienced harm.
Calling in the professionals ensures an experienced crew will mitigate any further harm caused by improper cleaning or time of resolution. Companies like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, use multiple methods and equipment to begin restoring any damage caused by a fire to your home or business. Technicians aid in salvaging, cleaning, and removing odors caused by a fire.
Your home is not a home without you in it. Let the experts at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach get you back into your home sooner with excellent customer service and fire damage restoration services. It will be "Like it never even happened".
Call your local professionals at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach when disaster hits, (561)795-5410.
How To Keep Your Home Safe When Using Candles
Candles can add a touch of warmth and lovely scents to your home, but with these following safety tips you can be sure to use your candles with ease of mind each time. Take a look at a few tips we've gathered for you below, and avoid a fire disaster.
- Make sure to keep a burning candle within your sight. Turn off candles when you leave your home/room and before going to sleep. To make sure it's fully turned off check that the wick is completely black and not glowing.
- Avoid placing candles near flammable items. Items like paper, books, wood, furniture and other flammable decorations should be avoided.
- Make sure candles are out of reach from pets and children. Curious hands and paws may strike disaster at any given time if a candle is left within reach.
- Cut candlewicks down to 1/4 inches long before each candle use. Long candle wicks can burn unevenly and become a danger.
- Your candle holder should be specifically for candle use only. A heat resistant, large and strong candle holder will catch wax drops and melted wax from the candle.
How To Prevent Your Furry Friends From Starting Fires
"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 ADT Security Services have joined forces to provide the following tips:
1. 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.
2. Remove Stove Knobs - Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house - a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a
3. 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.
4. 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.
Help Firefighters Help Your Pets:
- Keep pets near entrances when away from home. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
- Affix a pet alert window cling and write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to keep the number of pets listed on them updated.
If you're located in West Palm Beach and are in need of disaster restoration services, call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach at (561)795-5410
What Are the Health Risks of Living With Smoke Damage?
What Are the Health Risks of Living With Smoke Damage?
Not only is living with smoke damage uncomfortable, but it also carries risks associated to your overall health. Being aware of the risks may persuade you to professionally clean up your home or office after fire or smoke damage.
One of the main health risks involves breathing. Even the smoke is not visible anymore, the smokes harmful effects linger on walls, furniture, carpet and other places in your home. Every time you enter the smoke damaged area of your home you could be inhaling soot and other particles left behind after a fire. This could cause sinus issues, lung problems and worst which could effect your health down the road.
Smoke and soot residue is also known to be a skin irritant and could possibly damage skin. They can cause severe irritation and drying not treatable with lotion. Washed fabric and clothes after a fire can still hold remnants of some that can continue to irritate your skin and cause discomfort.
Smoke and soot can also cause itchy, red, watery eyes that are never comfortable. Smoke damage, even when you cannot see it, can cause irritation and even damage to your eyes after a prolonged amount of time. If you are noticing any signs of eye irritation, consult with a doctor and have your property mitigated immediately.
Smoke damage can cause a wide range of issues and as such it is best to have this damage cleaned up as soon as it happens. Cleaning up smoke damage by professionals is the quickest way to avoid any health issues down the road.
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is full-service fire, mold, and water restoration company. We offer immediate response to residential, commercial, industrial, and commercial property owners and offer immediate assistance to properties that have experienced unexpected natural disasters such as smoke, mold or water damage. Give us a call at (561)795-5410 if you have fire damage in your home or office.
Smoke And Fire Repair In West Palm Beach
A small fire is capable of causing big damage from the smoke and water that's used to extinguish it. Repair and restoration that's done in a quick manner is key to preventing more damage from growing, like mold.
Average Cost of Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration and Repair
On average smoke damage restoration could cost around 3 thousand dollars. Factors like location and severity of the damage affect the price. One costly location for a fire disaster to happen is the kitchen compared to a closet fire. However having homeowner's or renter's insurance is a smart thing to acquire in order to lower out of pocket expenses.
Types of Repairs for Fire and Smoke Damage
Water that's been used to extinguish a fire can easily soak walls and floors inside a house. This water can then turn into mold and even make wood rot if the water isn't completely dried and removed. Smoke soot also saturates and marks fabrics in it's path. The pros at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can come in and salvage belongings such as bed linens, curtains and other belongings if called promptly after a fire disaster. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is also able to professionally remove smoke odors from your home. Without using a professional restoration company like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, restoring belongings will be extremely hard to do. Your home's HVAC system and ducts need to be cleaned as well before they can be safely used again
If you're experiencing smoke or soot damage call us at (561)795-5410 and our experienced technicians will be glad to walk you through the process of bringing your home back to normal.
Common Fire Hazards in Homes
A majority of home fires come from common hazards listed below. Learning what these hazards are and how to prevent them is sure to help keep you and your family safe.
1. Cooking. Cooking is one of the main causes of house fires than anything else. This includes using microwaves, cooking oil, fryers, etc. in your West Palm Beach home — the biggest concern with cooking is unattended cooking, that is what leads to most home fires.
- Never leave the kitchen unattended while cooking, especially when using oil or high temperatures.
- Be sure that all heating elements are turned off immediately after cooking is done.
- Keep combustible items like dish towels and loose clothing away from cooking surfaces.
- Bear in mind that Thanksgiving and other holidays lead the way in terms of most dangerous single days for cooking, so be extra astute.
2. Heating equipment. This includes your furnace, fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, etc.
- Have chimneys/fireplaces cleaned and inspected once per year — this is the leading cause of home fires related to heating.
- Have furnace inspected every year, change filters regularly, and consider having air ducts professionally cleaned to prevent the accumulation of dust.
- Never set clothes/shoes on a radiator or space heater to dry.
- Space heaters account for one-third of heating fires. Keep any flammable material at least three feet away, and make sure the heater is on an even and stable surface. Never leave space heaters on overnight or when you leave the home (there are timed space heaters that turn off after 1-4 hours that are a better option). Only use space heaters that shut off automatically when tipped over.
3. Electrical equipment. This includes electric appliances, lighting, outlets, and wiring.
- Check all appliances/lighting for frayed or damaged cords. Unplug and replace immediately if any are found.
- Use tamper resistant (TR) outlets. The average home has 75 outlets, and we all remember as kids how tempting it was to stick things in there. TR outlets utilize small shutters so that only a plug with two/three prongs can be inserted.
- Don’t overload outlets with high-wattage devices. Be especially wary of this in bathrooms and kitchens, and spread out your appliances as best as you can. It’s recommended to only have one high-wattage device per outlet.
- If you have regular problems with an outlet or wiring (sparking, frequent blown fuse, constant flickering in lights), contact an electrician to handle the problem instead of letting it fester.
- In lighting, use light bulbs that match the fixture’s recommended wattage.
- Only utilize extension cords as temporary use devices. If you are using one full-time in your home or garage, install another outlet.
- Don’t run extension cords under rugs, carpet, furniture, etc. Cords can get warm, and if it frays/wears out, it will pose a hazard.
4. Candles. Are often seen as the number one fire hazard (they aren’t), but with a few small measures, you can nearly eliminate the chance of a home fire happening from a candle.
- As you can imagine, winter is the most dangerous time for candles, with Christmas and New Year’s being the single worst days. Be extra aware, especially on holidays when there’s wrapping paper all over.
- One-third of candle fires start in the bedroom. If you want to have a romantic evening, make sure that candles are on a stable surface and won’t be knocked over. Keep it sexy but safe, folks.
- Keep candles at least a foot away from anything that will easily burn; more than half of candle fires start because they came in contact with a combustible material.
- Blow all candles out when leaving the room.
- Always keep candles out of reach of children.
5. Accidents involving children. We’ve all been there: kids love fire. Combine that with their insatiable curiosity, and you have a potential disaster on your hands. Heed the following tips to make sure your kids stay safe:
- Keep anything with a possible open flame out of reach of kids. This includes lighters, matches, candles, etc.
- Most of the fires in this category are caused by kids under 10 who play with matches and lighters. Even if you take the above advice, it seems like kids can still find ways to get their hands on fire. Most often, they know it’s bad, so will play in their rooms or closets. Be sure to: regularly check on your kids (especially if doors are closed and they are being extra quiet), know how many lighters/match boxes are in the home and where they are, bring up any melted toys you may find or burned spots on clothing.
- The best thing you can do is to simply teach your children about fire and fire safety. Teach them the escape plan, the sound of the smoke alarm, and even how to use fire as a tool. When they get old enough, let them help with the fire pit in your backyard, or with burning the brush in the fall (if legal in your area, of course). Taking the mystery out of fire is a good way to decrease their curiosity about it.
6. Grilling. ESPN anchor Hannah Storm’s accident last year brought grilling safety to the forefront of people’s minds. If done properly, grilling is perfectly safe, but without thought or care it can turn dangerous very quickly.
- Always, always grill outside. Garages don’t count as outside. It should be placed well away from the home, as well as from decks and low-hanging tree branches.
- Clean the removable parts of your grill regularly, and don’t let grease build up on the trays underneath propane grills.
- Never leave the grill unattended.
- Check for propane leaks at least once per year. To do this, apply a light soap and water solution to the gas tank hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If there is a leak, immediately turn off the gas.
- Do not smoke while grilling.
- When done cooking, ensure that the burner controls are turned off and that the propane cylinder valve in closed.
- If you have a cover, make sure the grill is off and cooled before covering.
7. Clothes dryers. Seeing as how lint is a fantastic firestarter, it makes sense that an ill-maintained dryer could pose a serious threat.
- While it’s not common these days, don’t use a dryer that doesn’t have a lint filter.
- Clean the lint filter after every load. Also clean any lint from around the drum, and around the housing for the lint filter.
- At least once per year check the air exhaust pipe to the exterior of the home. Ensure that there is no blockage. While the dryer is running, you should feel (and smell) the fresh laundry air coming out.
- Preferably, don’t leave the dyer on overnight or while you’re not home.
- Don’t overload the dryer, as it can lead to an excess of lint.
Many of these tips are common sense, and yet when we have other things on our mind (especially at dinnertime, around the holidays, etc.), we can lose track of those basic precautions we’re normally on top of. You can never play it too safe with fire prevention. The most valuable things in the world — our home and families — depend on it.
Call the professionals at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach at (954)970-4942 to help you with any fire related damage, we can make it "Like it never even happened." To read a list of fire damage restoration visit our homepage at http://www.SERVPROpompanobeach.com
Dealing with Smoke Damage After a Fire
How To Deal With Fire Damage?
Smoke is one of the worst things about fire damage to your Palm Beach home. Smoke can quickly ruin the walls and ceilings of your property, and it is not easy to clean the damage due to smoke. The particles in smoke are small, unburnt material that is dark in color and can deposit on almost any surface. These particles can not only cause cosmetic damage but also can cause structural damage.
Cleaning smoke after fire damage to your Palm Beach property is a job for the professionals here at SERVPRO. Particles in smoke that are less than 10 micrometers in diameter can get lodged in porous surfaces. If these particles are not cleaned correctly, they can cause an irreversible structural damage to your property.
Call In The Professionals
Smoke residues can be very difficult to clean. If you try to clean them on your own, chances are, you will worsen the situation. Trying to clean smoke covered ceiling or walls can drive the particles deeper into the pores making the damage permanent. Professionals at SERVPRO are trained and have years of experience to do this job. Make sure that you call in the experts rather than trying to clean the smoke damage by yourself. We use various extraction methods to drive these particles out and minimize the damage. Paint on the walls and ceiling can also blister bubble during the fire as well. If it is not restored correctly, it can cause cosmetic and structural problems as well.
The odor is yet another huge problem that accompanies smoke damage. Here at SERVPRO, we use some of the best equipment to combat even the most terrible smoke odors. We use both Wet and Dry Fogging to reach the most difficult to reach places to eliminate odor-causing particles. Our technicians also use air scrubbers to eradicate any lingering smoke particles and get your home smelling like home again.
Limiting the damage and a successful restoration depends on how quickly we can start working. Call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach at (561) 795-5410 to schedule an appointment with one of our experts today.
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Wet Environments Can Still Suffer Fire Damage in West Palm Beach
SERVPRO Can Restore Your West Palm Beach Home From Fire & Water Damage
In post-hurricane season, many people think only about the damage caused by the storms. However, places like West Palm Beach can suffer other disasters. Haphazard set-ups of cooking areas, waterlogged cords and appliances, and other problems can cause even more disasters.
West Palm Beach homes are more likely to suffer fire damage after significant storm events than other homes who never suffer such catastrophes. SERVPRO helps homeowners and many others recover from complicated situations involving fire and other damaging situations. This combination of services helps reduce restoration time and overall costs, one of our goals in helping families recover from disasters of any kind.
Another part of our goal in making it “Like it never even happened” is restoring your property through repair work and cleaning. Both must occur to combat the effects of fire damage. A fire itself causes many chemical changes to occur, including melting of plastics and rubber items. Smoke creates a problem because it infiltrates everything, adhering thickly and creating a messy situation.
Cleaning the interior from soot deposits where it remains undamaged by fire, as well as removing melted materials, takes time. However, we work as quickly as possible in teams. Removing and disposing of unrecognizable materials and items also happens. Our training prepares us for this, and we always use the best tools for each aspect of cleaning and restoring.
We know many homeowners want to view all items before their disposal and we always work with you on the best way to do this. You may or may not want your children present, depending on their ages. Other items may be from a neighbor who would like to see their belonging before we add it to the rest.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
Everyone at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach knows how lousy weather can continue to impose harsh conditions in our area. Fire damage as a result of weather-related situations happens quite often. We are ready and highly skilled to take care of any disasters your home or property might face. Contacting us to start the work your home needs is as easy as calling our local number, (561) 795-5410, any hour of the day or night, 365 days a year.
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Distraction: Top Cause of Home Fires
Smoke Odors and Fire Cleanup Performed by SERVPRO Professionally
Household fires frequently elicit an “if only” remark from the homeowner after the flames die down. “If only” I had turned off the stove before watering the flowers. “If only” I checked to make sure curtains were tied back when I turned on the space heater. “If only” I blew out the candles on the dining room table when my guests and I retired to the living room after dinner.
We hear these stories regularly when assessing homes for needed fire damage restoration in West Palm Beach. Letting a pot boil dry because you get caught up chatting with a neighbor is a not uncommon tale, but yours ignited a blaze. Smoke and soot quickly covered every inch of your kitchen and the space on your laminate countertop where you placed the red-hot pan suffered a deep and unsightly burn. Regardless of the cause of disaster, our fire damage restoration and repair team assesses the situation and lists the tasks needed to transform a sooty, smelly mess to preloss condition.
You put out the fire in the pot with a chemical extinguisher and were glad that kitchen structure did not sustain damage from open flames. Even though charring, other than the melted counter, is minimal, you are astonished at how far the soot drifted through your home. The smell of burning plastic is pervasive as well. The SERVPRO project manager we send to evaluate takes note of the widespread nature of soot and smoke damage and devises a plan to clean up the various residues and eliminate that horrible odor.
Technicians on our SERVPRO team hold certifications in Fire and Smoke Restoration, Odor Control, Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning, and Carpet Cleaning received from completing IICRC courses. All of these specialties are crucial as we move from room to room in your Florida home cleaning up the ash and soot from all surfaces. Making professional decisions on the tools to use and the products that enhance the equipment's cleaning action is essential to a successful outcome. Fire damage cleaning is not a “one size fits all” process. Light dustings of soot vacuum or dry-sponge up well, while sticky airborne residues from the melted countertop may need a solvent and abrasive scrubbers to eliminate.
Repair of the counter top and the deodorization procedure are likely to be our last jobs. Depending on the depth of the melted area, the burn mark may buff out or the damaged piece might have to be removed and a new portion installed. SERVPRO approaches deodorization step by step, beginning with the removal of the offending substance and then moving to high-tech solutions like thermal fogging, ozone machines or hydroxyl generators. You can rely on our expertise on all counts.
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is more than ready to rescue you and your family from a momentary lapse that resulted in fire damage to your home. Call for a consultation at (561) 795-5410.
Fire Damage and it's Effects on West Palm Beach Homes
Smoke & Soot Can Have Long Ranging Damage to Possessions and Structures
The neighbors notice smoke coming from your two-story, single family home and call for help. As the Firefighters arrive, there is significant fire showing from both of the front side windows, with smoke billowing out of the cracks around your front door.
Time is crucial during a fire damage incident that strikes your West Palm Beach home. You will want access to a company that responds to your call immediately, with the proper amount of personnel, equipment, and the experience required to provide you with the services you deserve.
SERVPRO technicians learn early on that time plays a huge factor when dealing with repairs or attempting to prevent secondary damages from developing. While our primary goal is providing a safe environment for everyone involved, we also try to perform our services as quickly and efficiently as possible for our customers.
SERVPRO technicians understand the components of smoke and how fire, smoke, and heat affect your structure and its contents. Our fire damage restoration service involves removing soot residues caused by smoke and combustion effects on various surfaces and different kinds of materials.
Combustion takes place as a material burns, turning a solid into a gas by way of heat. As this process occurs, the burning material is breaking down, combining with oxygen, and giving off heat. With a perfect combination of fuel, oxygen, and heat, there wouldn't be any residues after a fire. However, when these three components are out of balance, the combustion process produces several different types of smoke and soot residues.
SERVPRO technicians are taught that when burning materials decompose, they release small solid particles, gasses, and aerosols that are lighter than air. These materials are what we describe as smoke.
Gas - The invisible component of smoke, is created by oxides of nitrogen produced by burning organic compounds, or sulfur dioxides while burning inorganic compounds.
Particles - Small unburnt particles of matter and carbon, light enough to suspend in the air. These particles are what gives smoke it is visible appearance.
Soot - Once smoke settles onto a surface, it is called soot and contains several different types of acids, created when chlorides and sulfides clash with the humidity in the air, causing discoloration, staining, and corrosion on materials over time.
When in need of fire damage restoration, please contact SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. (561) 795-5410