Recent Fire Damage Posts

How To Avoid A Contact Burn

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

gas stove Be careful around the stove when cooking!

This week is National Burn Awareness Week and SERVPRO of Southern Lorain County wants to make sure you and your family are safe when it comes to hot surfaces and objects. Follow the tips below!

DID YOU KNOW?

  • According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, in 2018 roughly 70,000 people went to the hospital emergency department because of contact burns.
  • About one-third of the patients were children under the age of five

TIPS

  • Supervise children around hot objects at all times.
  • Stand at least 3 feet away from hot outdoor objects. Keep area clear of trip hazards. Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Protect your feet from hot objects by wearing shoes when walking on hot pavement or sand. Keep pets off hot pavement too.
  • Turn heating pads and blankets off before sleep.
  • Have hot pads available whenever cooking. Long oven mitts are best when needing to reach in or over hot surfaces, such in an oven or over a grill. Assume all pots and pans are hot.
  • Remember to treat items coming from the microwave as you would items from the oven. Limit microwave use by children.
  • Unplug tools such as these when not in use, and always treat as if they are still hot. Keep out of reach of children.

The Do's And Don'ts Of Using Power Strips

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

power strip on hardwood floor with multiple plugs plugged into it If you experience an electrical fire caused by a power strip, call SERVPRO of Southern Lorain County for help.

With the endless amount of accessories, appliances, and tools that are becoming more and more common in your household, it can sure be a hassle figuring out where to plug all of them in at. Many homeowners find themselves always swapping plugs or using devices such as a power strip. While a power strip can help you out in many situations, it is the mistake of relying on them too much that causes problems. Follow these tips below to ensure your safety when using a power strip in your home.

  • Use only light load appliances on power strips. That includes computers, lamps, clock, etc.
  • Ensure that the power strip you purchase has an internal circuit breaker. This is a very important safety measure that is designed to prevent property loss and risks of fire.
  • Use power strips sparingly. They aren't designed to maintain a load for an extended period of time, and can easily overheat quickly if used to often.
  • DON'T plug a power strip into another power strip (term is called "daisy chaining"). Doing this will short out appliances and highly increase the risk of an electrical mishap.
  • DON'T use power strips in moist or potentially moist areas. DON'T put them in kitchens, utility rooms or basements.
  • DON'T continue to use a power strip if it feels hot.
  • NEVER cover, staple, tack or nail a power strip to anything. Covering can smother the strip, and provide ample flammable material in the event of a power strip failure. Puncturing can harm the cords, making room for dangerous situations.

Cleaning Soot In Your Home

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

soot covering wall Call SERVPRO of Southern Lorain County for your soot removal needs.

As the temperature continues to drop, we often looks for ways to keep warm inside our homes. Whether that be to light candles, have a fire in the fireplace, or use a space heater. Unfortunately these heath sources can cause a fire if not monitored correctly. A fire then produces soot, a black residue that is left behind when various materials are burnt such as plastics, synthetics, foam and wood. Soot can have damaging effects on your home. While it is advised to leave it to the professionals to clean up soot, you can make the cleanup process easier by following these safety guidelines.

  • During the first inspection of a soot damaged room, refrain from touching anything. This prevents soot to from getting in areas that were unaffected.
  • The best method for soot cleanup is by using dry-cleaning sponge or chemical dry sponge. If you attempt a wet method, the soot will smear, leaving behind a hideous stain.
  • Always wear protective gear, such as masks, gloves, and long clothing that covers the skin.
  • To minimize the inhalation of soot particles, keep the room properly ventilated.
  • For easier cleanup, clear the room of unnecessary debris.
  • Use proper cleaning methods when removing soot from the walls. Most homeowners think soap and water will do the trick but improper cleaning can cause the damage to spread or get worse.

Leave it to the professionals. Call our SERVPRO of Southern Lorain County team for fire damage cleaning and restoration.

Stages Of A Fire

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

fire damaged kitchen Call SERVPRO of Southern Lorain County if you experience an unexpected fire

A fire in your home or business never something you expect to experience. Which is why it is important to know the 4 stages of a fire to keep you safe.

Incipient: This first stage begins when heat, oxygen and a fuel source combine, having a chemical reaction resulting in a fire. It is also known as “ignition”. There is usually a small fire, which often goes out on its own, before the following stages are reached. During this stage, recognizing a fire so early is your best chance at suppression or escape.

Growth: This stage is where the structure’s fire load and oxygen are used as fuel for the fire. During the growth stage, there are multiple factors that affect the fire including where the fire started, what combustibles are nearby, ceiling height and the potential for “thermal layering”. This is stage is when a deadly “flashover” can occur’ potentially trapping, injuring, or killing firefighters.

Fully Developed: When the growth stage has reached its maximum and all nearby combustible materials have been ignited, the fire is considered fully developed. This is the hottest stage of a fire and the most dangerous for anyone trapped within.

Decay: The decay stage is the longest stage of a fire; it is characterized by a significant decrease in oxygen or fuel, putting an end to the fire. There are two common dangers during this stage. First, the existence of non-flaming combustibles that can potentially start a new fire if they are not fully extinguished. Second, there is a danger of a backdraft when oxygen is reintroduced to a volatile, confined space.

Fireplace Safety

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

fire in fireplace Call SERVPRO of Southern Lorain County if you experience a fire caused by a fireplace in your home.

As the weather starts to get colder outside, you and your family often look for ways to stay warm inside, such as gathering around the fireplace. Unfortunately, fireplaces can be dangerous. Follow these tips to keep your family and home safe.

  1. Keep a nearby window cracked open while the fire is burning, if possible.
  1. Make sure the damper or flue is open before starting a fire. This allows the smoke to be drawn out of the house. You can check the damper by looking up the chimney with a flashlight. Do not close the damper until the embers have stopped burning completely.
  1. In the fire, use dry and well-aged wood. Wet wood produces more smoke and contributes to soot buildup in the chimney. When the wood is dry it burns more evenly and produces less smoke.
  1. Before starting a fire, clean out the ashes from any previous fires. The level of ash at the base of the fireplace should be 1 inch or less. Thicker layers of ash restrict the air supply to the logs, resulting in more smoke.
  1. The chimney should be checked by a professional annually.
  1. Even if your chimney is not due for cleaning, it is important to check for any blockages that could prevent smoke escaping.
  1. Clear the area around the fireplace of anything that is potentially flammable. If these items get too close to the fireplace, they could catch fire.
  1. If you have a switch on the wall that turns on your fireplace, consider covering the switch to prevent children from turning the gas or fireplace on.
  1. Never leave an active fire in the fireplace unattended. Before going to bed or leaving the house, make sure the fire is completely out. Never leave children unattended around a fire.
  1. Place fireplace tools and accessories out of reach of children.
  1. Always have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors located throughout your home. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.
  2. Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand.

Contents Overlook In A Fire

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

soot covering contents and bathroom surfaces All contents in this home had to be cleaned by our team from the amount of soot build up on each item.

Contents are often easily overlooked in a fire. Most homeowners or tenants, are worried about the damage and devastation that a fire calls to the property. They’re worried about their couch, they are worried about their vehicle and their wallet, but it’s easy to forget many of the little things that can add up and cost a lot of money to a customer. Here at SERVPRO of Southern Lorain County, we make every effort possible to restore every item an article in your home or property that has been damaged or effected by a fire. This includes all of your electronics, DVD collections, clothes, shoes and all other personal items and keepsakes that can be restored. We know that our customers are in an uncomfortable situation with any type of loss, so that’s where SERVPRO of Southern Lorain County comes in to deal help you deal with the devastation of your loss. We are #HereToHelp 

Holiday Lights Safety

1/3/2020 (Permalink)

Christmas lights on house and in yard of house If you experience a fire due to holiday lights, call SERVPRO of Southern Lorain County.

Putting up holiday lights on the outside of your home can be pretty to look at but there are safety tips you should follow to ensure the pretty lights don't end up damaging your home.

  • Inspect the light strings. Throw away any strings of light if they are damaged. Frayed or cracked electrical cords or broken sockets are big fire hazards.
  • Replace burned out bulbs. Empty sockets can cause the entire string to overheat causing a potential fire.
  • Outdoor lighting is UL-Rated for external use. Exterior and interior lights are not the same. Exterior lights should be weather resistant. The same follows with extensions cords being used outdoors.
  • Don't nail or staple light strings. Attaching light strings by nailing or stapling them can cut through the wire insulation, creating a fire hazard. Use only UL approved hangers.
  • Take down exterior lights within 90 days. The longer you have your lights up, the more likely they are to suffer damage from weather or critters chewing on them.
  • Safely store lights during off season. Tangled lights can lead to damaged cords and broken sockets. When you are putting your lights away, coil each string loosely around a stiff piece of cardboard, wrap them in paper, and store them in a sturdy container to protect the bulbs.