Recent Fire Damage Posts
Do's and Don'ts After Fire Damage to your Home in Worcester
Call us! (508)757-7885.
Our Technicians Arrive Quickly After Your Call to Assess the Damage and Formulate a Custom Cleaning and Remediation Plan
A question that we commonly hear at SERVPRO is: What can I do until you arrive? We aim to ensure We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster, but of course, we understand that a person’s home is meaningful and full of personal belongings that they do not want to lose to fire damage.
It is a natural instinct to try and clean soot-coated or charred items as quickly as possible after fire damage to your Worcester home. However, we would like you to be aware that some cleaning actions can make the situation worse and even lessen the chance of successful restoration. Here are the cleaning actions we recommend you avoid along with some things you can do while you wait for the restoration team.
Do not try to clean upholstery, carpets, or walls. Soot damaged soft furnishings and walls require specialist cleaning, such as HEPA vacuuming. Attempting to clean them yourself might make the damage worse.
Do not switch on or use electrical appliances. Smoke residues can be conductive and might ignite another blaze. Wait until the SERVPRO team arrives to inspect and, if possible, clean the item.
Do not send clothes or soft furnishings to a dry cleaner who does not specialize in cleaning smoke-damaged items. We have access to powerful Esporta washers which were specifically designed to wash smoke damaged soft furnishings.
Do place old, clean linens or colorfast towels over carpets, rugs or upholstered furniture to protect it from further harm.
Do wash your hands regularly – soot has a propensity to cling to hands and clothes and is very easily spread throughout a home, thus causing further damage.
Do try to limit movement into and out of the fire damaged area – this helps prevent the further spread of soot particles.
SERVPRO arrives quickly and ready to tackle the aftermath of the blaze. We equip our IICRC-certified technicians with the skills and tools necessary to clean soot and smoke damage and restore your home. We also deodorize your home after cleaning is complete so it feels and smells fresh once more.
For help with fire cleanup in Worcester, Cherry Valley and the surrounding areas, call SERVPRO of South Worcester at (508) 757-7885.
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Fire Damage in your Worcester home and How best to Handle It
Smoke Stains and Fire Damage Cleanup in Worcester Call SERVPRO of South Worcester (508)757-7885.
Call SERVPRO for Smoke & Fire Restoration Services
Every time a fire starts inside a home, some level of fire damage occurs. Even if the fire stays in a small area, the smoke and soot quickly spreads through the air into other areas and creates soot damage very quickly. Those living in Worcester can cope with this problem affecting their living spaces best by having certified experts carry out the work involved.
Worcester homes affected by fire damage and soot accumulation need experienced mitigation experts. SERVPRO technicians have extensive training and become certified by the IICRC in fields such as Fire and Smoke Restoration (FSRT), Odor Control (OCT), and Applied Structural Drying (ASD).
Even small fire cleanup requires the skills learned in the pursuit of these three certificates, and our technicians continually keep these certificates up-to-date to serve you and your family better. Working together, they can quickly make it “Like it never even happened.”
Technicians skilled in fire and smoke restoration remove only the charred materials within a home and leave those areas that sustained only smoke damage for our cleaning technicians. Soot removal requires several steps. Items with extensive or elaborate detailing require a bit more work than items with smoother surfaces before attaining pre-fire condition. The use of "dry ice blasting" is used, if you have never herd of Ice Blasting, it is a method that can be utilized under specific conditions.
Our technicians with odor control management training help complete restoration by eliminating bad odors caused by deposits from the fire's smoke wherever they occur. By following air currents inside your home, our technician finds the locations of the most substantial deposits. Treatment of these areas renders odor-causing particles inert and unable to continue causing bad smells.
Elevated humidity can make odors from smoke even more pronounced, especially when the furnace runs or on unseasonably warm days. The water used to extinguish a small fire in our home soaks into absorbent materials and also evaporates as steam when making contact with the fire. Every home with fire damage also needs the moisture removed and completely dried out. This part of the process also helps guard against secondary water damage from developing in the not-so-distant future.
SERVPRO of South Worcester, Faster To Any Size Disaster, can be contacted at our local number, (508) 757-7885. Calling us is the first step toward restoration after any amount of fire damage affects your home.
More information on this central MA city by clicking right here.
Summer Safety Tips!
Think SERVPRO call us!
Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades and fireworks displays; but along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to emergency rooms-especially during July.
In 2013, eight people died and about 11,400 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition to causing injury, fireworks are also responsible for thousands of house fires each year with millions of dollars in property damage.
There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months! Did you know, July is the peak month for grill fires? A backyard barbecue can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren’t considered. SERVPRO of South Worcester wants you to have an enjoyable and safe summer. Consider the following tips to ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free!
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
- The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets away from grill area.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill. n When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container. n Never leave your grill unattended.
- Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
- Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire. Children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over as they may still be active.
- The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.
Fire Damage Restoration Services Available For Your Worcester Home
See a Firetruck? Think SERVPRO of South Worcester!
SERVPRO is a Full Service Fire Restoration Company
Driving home after a movie at Blackstone with your family, you turn onto the street where you live and notice fire trucks and other emergency vehicles lining the street. You notice as you move closer that the home they are struggling to save is yours.
At some point, every home requires emergency services or some form of restoration or reconstruction. Your Worcester area home is no different; fire damage may affect it at any time and put you through the test of a lifetime.
SERVPRO technicians and management find various restoration services invaluable during a fire damage situation that each and every restoration company out there should be using to combat the damages affecting your home. We take the time to recommend various services that are available to restore your property to a quality pre-damage condition.
If the company you choose does not follow EPA regulations and standards or do not have IICRC certification and the proper licensing to perform your repairs, you should look for help elsewhere. If you use them, you may fall victim to shoddy work practices and the use of low-quality materials. Our local franchise carries many unique licenses in the restoration
The company you choose should be familiar with mitigation services that are used to secure the structure of your home and prevent additional damages from forming; this could include boarding up openings, winterizing your plumbing, or establishing a temporary power source.
SERVPRO also finds that basic cleaning services are essential during fire damage situations focusing on the removal of smoke residues from your building's structural components and using the proper deodorization methods to remove offensive odors.
We discuss each service with you and your insurance agency and allow you to determine which components require repairs and which need replacement, including content cleaning, which should be available from the restoration company that you have chosen to work with to restore your home.
There are always specialty restoration situations that require contacting a subcontractor to provide cleaning methods to handle certain contents including, your electronics, dry cleaning of clothing, furniture refinishing, or cleaning of expensive artwork.
With SERVPRO of South Worcester, many of these specialty services are maintained in-house and provided to our customers without requiring us to contact someone else to perform the work.
You want to make sure that the company you use can cover all of these situations and much more, or contact SERVPRO of South Worcester today, we have the services you deserve. (508) 757-7885
You don't need to suffer a house fire to have fire damage!
Fire Damage to Your Worcester Home
It is possible that your home might have actual fire damage even if it has never had a house fire. One of these situations is if your home has a fireplace that is often used during the colder months. Another occurrence of fire damage can be a result of malfunctioning furnaces. We have seen this all the time in Worcester. Worcester area homes can develop both kinds of fire damage, instead of only one or the other type, if both fireplace and furnace are used to keep a home adequately heated during the bitterly cold winters. Faulty furnaces are much more dangerous than fireplaces are, in general. Small explosions may not seem to be important in an appliance that is used for heating, but those explosions get larger over time, not smaller. After a furnace begins doing this, which is called 'puff back,' replacement of the furnace with a new one is typically the only sufficient remedy. Residues from puff back are not confined to an area near the furnace but can be expelled wherever there is a heat vent, also. These areas on walls and ceilings, and sometimes floors, can discolor painted and papered surfaces. Paneling can also be cleaned of oily deposits. When fireplaces are used, different residues, including soot and even creosote, accumulate around the exterior. Stone and brick can hold a significant amount of these substances within their rough surfaces, and a build-up of these carcinogenic substances can be highly flammable. On top of being unsightly to the eye, blackened fireplace facings can be dangerous to your health and your home. Fireplaces regain their new look after being cleaned on their exterior facing and their interiors, as well. Their structural components of stone or brick allow for this. Even though they may look dirtier than any other area in your home, cleaning can completely restore their appearance. We at SERVPRO can clean both of these types of fire damage from your home. The same techniques we use to clean and detail personal belongings, furniture, and other housewares are also relevant for fireplaces and the areas around them. When you have fire damage that makes your home look less appealing than what it should, call us, SERVPRO of South Worcester, at (508) 757-7885. We are always ready to answer your call and help you restore any area of your home.
When Fire Strikes
Fire damage in a home can be a stressful event for a homeowner. Damage to your personal belongings and home are just some of the concerns you may experience. Timely response and thorough mitigation can alleviate these concerns.
SERVPRO of South Worcester understand your home is more than four walls. Your home includes your memories and personal belongings. SERVPRO Response Teams are trained in caring for both you and your home. By responding quickly with a full line of fire cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO of South Worcester can help you restore your home and personal belongings.
So, before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals at (508) 757-7885. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have worked for over 35 years to make fire damage like it never even happened.
Kitchen Fire Leaves Heavy Smoke
Microwave melted from intense heat from cooking fire.
In our home town of Worcester a forgotten pot was left on ta running stove quickly turned an ordinary evening family meal into a complete disaster. The pot caught on fire due to excess amounts of grease build-up, and began to spew soot throughout the home. The fire department responded quickly and promptly and put out the fire blaze without anybody getting hurt or injured.
SERVPRO of South Worcester was called in to clean up the damage resulting from the kitchen cooking fire. We were able to get everything back to normal for the homeowners in a matter of days. Afterwards, the property owner stated ‘Wow! It really is "Like it Never Even Happened" any challenges little or small, SERVPRO is here to help 24/7 don’t hesitate to call us at (508)-757-7885
Cherry Valley Fire & Smoke Damage Services
Odor & Smoke Removal and Restoration in Cherry Valley by SERVPRO
Much of the restoration cost after a fire comes from cleaning smoke and soot residues off the structural and personal property. These same residues also result in hundreds of dollars in costs to eliminate the smells left behind as well.
Removing the odors from fire damage in Cherry Valley is a multi-level task. To return a home to its original state, SERVPRO uses Multiple-Phase Odor Control.
The first phase is Chemical Containment. The task for us here is to block odor molecules from vaporizing into the air. Technicians spray a deodorizer directly on smoke residues; forming a barrier that slows down or stops the evaporation process.
Vapor Odor Control is the second phase. Technicians release deodorant vapors to counteract smoke odor particles that are already airborne. We use granular agents that release different odors which are remarkably effective after smoke damage.
Thermal Fogging is the final step. We disperse solvent-based deodorants using thermal foggers. These devices use heat to break down the deodorant to the same particle size as the odors. They bond with the odors, changing their chemical composition, and effectively neutralizing them. This a dry fog that evaporates within several hours, leaving almost no moisture that can stain surfaces. It is ideal for furniture fabrics, drapes and even building material such as drywall.
Not every home requires all three phases to eliminate odors. After each one, our technicians wait and determine if they need to move to the next one or if they only need to repeat a phase.
Eliminating the odors from a fire may seem like a small part of the restoration process. It is not as obvious a problem as a burned-out structural support, but a lingering smoke scent is a continual reminder of the disaster that struck your home.
SERVPRO of South Worcester understands how important it is to put the crisis behind you and is here to help. Call today at (508) 757-7885.
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Cleanup after a fire in a Worcester home
Fire and Water Damage Cleanup
Fire, smoke and soot damage is not only upsetting, but also very destructive. In many instances after the fire fighters leave there will be water damage from their efforts. SERVPRO of South Worcester specializes in fire and water restoration. At SERVPRO of South Worcester we have the equipment, specific training and certifications that will allow our crews and crew chiefs to restore your home or business to pre-fire condition. SERVPRO understands that you may be feeling stressed and confused. Rest assure our professionally trained technicians and staff will treat you with respect and empathy you deserve. Please don't hesitate to call us with any questions at 508-757-7885.
- 24 Hour Emergency Service
- Faster to Any Disaster
- Locally Owned and Operated
- Highly Trained Fire Restoration Technicians
Smoke and Soot Damage
Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Worcester Home.
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. 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 [[Franchise Name]] 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.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (508) 757-7885
Summer Safety Tips!
Keep a close eye on your grill and keep children and pets away.
Call the Cleanup Team that’s faster to any size disaster (508) 757-7885
Faster to any size disaster. This is not just another catchy tag line for SERVPRO®. It is a commitment from each SERVPRO® Franchise Professional to be there when you need them most. Whether you are a small business or home owner facing minor fire or water damage, or a property manager dealing with a widespread disaster, SERVPRO® of South Worcester has the resources to respond quickly and efficiently. The sooner help arrives, the sooner restoration begins and the sooner you can resume life and business as usual. SERVPRO® of South Worcester is just the tip of the iceberg. Should a major disaster such as a flood or wildfire occur, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team® is always poised and ready to go where they are needed. If a fire, water or mold damage strikes, no matter the size, call SERVPRO® of South Worcester at (508) 757-7885. Backed by a system of Franchises more than 1,700 strong, we’ll help make your property disaster “Like it never even happened.”
Celebrate Summer Safely
Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades and fireworks displays; but along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to emergency rooms—especially during July. Each year, around 230 people are injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition to causing injury, fireworks are also responsible for thousands of house fires each year with millions of dollars in property damage. There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months! Did you know, July is the peak month for grill fires? A backyard barbecue can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren’t considered. SERVPRO® of South Worcester wants you to have an enjoyable and safe summer. Consider the following tips to help ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free!
· Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
· The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
· Keep children and pets away from grill area.
· Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
· Never leave your grill unattended.
· When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
· Anyone using fi reworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
· Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fi reworks. Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fi reworks that don’t go off or in case of fire. Children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over as they may still be active.
· The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.
Be careful with space heaters!
The winter season is in full swing! The days are shorter and the temperatures are lower. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in the weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is responsible for an estimated $893 million in property damage annually. Heating is the second leading cause of residential fire deaths, making it important to review ways to help reduce the risk of a heating-related fire.
- Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater. Have a three foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
- Make sure the fi replace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
Test smoke alarms monthly. If your property does suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of South Worcester to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Fire Damage Help When You Need It
A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems. Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until SERVPRO of South Worcester arrives. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase 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.
- 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.
- Change HVAC filters; leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
- Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of South Worcester.
- Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO of South Worcester.
- Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
- Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as they may be contaminated.
- If ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fans. Wiring may be wet or damaged and can cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
- Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.
Electrical Fire Prevention
A recent report from the National Fire Protection Association says US Fire departments respond to an estimated 48,000 electrical-related fires annually. Many electrical fires in the home or workplace are the result of faulty circuits, overloaded outlets, or electrical failures. In fact, some type of electrical failure or malfunction was cited as a factor contributing to ignition for 74 percent of residential fires. December and January are the peak months for electrical fires; this spike can be attributed to the increased amount of time spent indoors, which also increases the use of lighting, heating, and other appliances. Many electrical fires can be avoided if basic safety precautions are taken. Review the following safety tips to reduce your risk of an electrical fire:
- Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.
- Avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpets. Consider having additional outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.
- Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.
- If outlets or switches feel warm, frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuits, or flickering or dimming lights, call a qualified electrician.
Fire Extinguisher Information
A fire extinguisher can be a life saving tool when used correctly. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends individuals are properly trained in order to use and maintain an extinguisher. USFA says an extinguisher should only be used if:
- You have alerted other occupants and someone has called the fire department;
- The fire is small and contained to a single object, such as a wastebasket; You are safe from the toxic smoke produced by the fire;
- You have a means of escape identified and the fire is not between you and the escape route; and
- Your instincts tell you that it is safe to use an extinguisher.
Choosing the Proper Fire Extinguisher for Your Needs
Class A: For use with fires involving ordinary combustible materials such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and many plastics.
Class B: Used on fires involving flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline and oil.
Class C: Suitable for use on fires involving appliances, tools, or other equipment that is electrically energized or plugged in.
Class D: For use on flammable metals and are often specific for the type of metal in question. These are typically found only in factories working with these metals.
Class K: For use on fires involving vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances. These extinguishers are generally found in commercial kitchens, but are becoming more popular in the residential market.
Information provided by U.S. Fire Administration
Smoke Damage Information
A fire loss can result in complex damages because of the unique behavior of smoke. A trained professional should survey the loss site to determine the extent to which fire, smoke, heat, and moisture impacted building materials and contents.
SERVPRO of South Worcester knows smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. Here are some facts you may not know about smoke:
- 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.
The 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 Worcester 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.
- Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace Puff Backs While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO of South Worcester can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.
- Other Types – Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue Special loss situations require special care. SERVPRO of South Worcester is trained to handle even the toughest losses.
What is Your Fire Escape Plan?
Every second counts during a fire. In just a matter of moments, a small flame can turn into a major fire, making it critical to be prepared by having an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is important to ensure everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan for your family.
- Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
- Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floor. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.
- Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
- Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.
- Have a plan for everyone in your home who has a disability.
- Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime.
Worcester - Only you can prevent wildfires!
Did you know, more than 72,000 U.S. communities are now at risk from wildfire? Every year, wildfires burn across the U.S., and more people are living where wildfires are a real risk. By working together, residents can make their property, and their neighborhood, much safer from wildfire. Keeping your property clear of debris and maintaining landscaping are easy and effective ways to prevent fuel for a wildfire. Keep flammable materials, like wood piles and propane tanks, at least 30 feet away from your home’s foundation. Wildfire can also spread to tree tops; help prevent this by pruning trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground. Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. Following these simple tips can help protect you and your property, and reduce the intensity of a potential fire. For more information of these and other wildfire safetly tips, visit firewise.org
Helpful tips to prevent fires this winter.
The winter season is in full swing—the days are shorter and the temperature is lower. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in the weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters and wood burning stoves. Heating is the second leading cause of home fire deaths, making it important to review ways to help reduce the risk of a heating-related fire.
- Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
- Use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
- All heaters need space. Keep flammable objects at least three feet away from heating equipment.
- Plug space heaters directly into outlets, never into an extension cord or power strip.
- When using fuel-burning heaters, use only the type of fuel specified by the manufacturer.
- Install and maintain carbon monoxide and smoke alarms inside your home and business. Test alarms monthly.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off before leaving the room or going to bed.
- When using a wood-burning fireplace, make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to help prevent sparks from flying into the room. Spent fireplace ashes should be cool before removing and putting them into a metal container. The container should be stored away from your home or business.
Safety tips provided by National Fire Prevention Association
Avoiding Holiday Hazards
December is the peak month for candle fires.
Pretty lights and decorations add to the feel of the holiday season, but if they are not used properly your holidays can quickly go from festive to frightening. Fortunately, by following a few simple safety tips, you can greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season.
Candles are widely used throughout the holidays, and December is the peak month for home candle fires. The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) statistics show, more than half of all candle fires start because the candles were too close to flammable objects. Consider using flameless candles instead of real candles. However, if you do use traditional candles, keep them at least 12 inches from anything flammable, and remember to extinguish them when leaving a room or going to bed. Use sturdy candleholders that are not likely to tip over and place candles on clear, uncluttered surfaces.
Christmas Tree Safety
The NFPA also reports, local fire departments respond to an average of 250 Christmas tree related fires each year, with the majority of these fires caused by electrical problems. If you have an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant. If you choose a live tree, pick a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched. Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights. The tree should also be clear of all exits. Make sure the tree has plenty of water every day. After the holidays, properly dispose of your tree. Dried-out trees can be a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside the home.
When purchasing decorative lights make sure they are properly labeled and have been inspected by an independent testing laboratory. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of lights; some lights are designed for only indoor or outdoor use, but not both. Carefully inspect light strands before placing them. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than the number of light strings recommended by the manufacturer. Remember to turn off outside decorative lights and Christmas tree lights before leaving or going to bed.
The Behavior of Smoke
There are many types of smoke. Call SERVPRO to help clean it up.
A fire loss can result in complex damages because of the unique behavior of smoke. A trained professional should survey the loss site to determine the extent to which fire, smoke, heat and moisture impacted building materials and contents.
SERVPRO of South Worcester knows smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Our knowledge of building systems helps us investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. Here are some facts that you may not know about smoke:
Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping though the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
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, a SERVPRO of South Worcester professional 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.
10 Key Fire Safety Tips
According to the US Fire Loss Clock, in 2011, a fire department responded to a fire every 23 seconds. Structural fires were reported every 65 seconds. Tragically, fires claimed an average of nine lives per day.
Though some fire are unavoidable acts of nature or unpredictable accidents, many fires in the home and workplace are avoidable. The following tips can help reduce the likelihood of a fire in your home or business.
1. Watch your cooking. Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Never allow young children around the stove or oven, especially if they are not closely attended.
2. Give space heaters space. Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that is flammable.
3. Smoke outside. If you must smoke inside, have a sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.
4. Keep matches and lighters out of reach. Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.
5. Inspect electrical cords. Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs or have loose connections.
6. Be careful when using candles. Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.
7. Have a fire escape plan. Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.
8. Install smoke alarms. Install alarms on every level of your home or office and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.
9. Test smoke alarms. Test alarms once a month. Replace batteries once per year or as needed.
10. Install sprinklers. Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance of saving your property.