Recent Fire Damage Posts

IICRC States why professionals should clean smoke damage from a fire

3/10/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage IICRC States why professionals should clean smoke damage from a fire Let the professionals handle the job

3/10/2016

3/10/2016

Recenty I was reading an article written on the IICRC web site. I found it very informative. The Institute of Cleaning, Restoration Certification( IICRC) is a certification and standard-setting nonproft organization for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. The IICRC serves serves the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Japan, in partnership with regional and international trade asscoiations.

Why Professionals Should Clean Smoke Damage From A Fire 

When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it shouldn’t be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own.

While fire is always the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house
. Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. Professionals that clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming they are contacted soon enough. There are many companies out there that advertise their ability to restore areas affected by fire, but only those with proper training and certification should be considered. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the main oversight agency in this industry. The IICRC requires its registrants to take extensive coursework before earning their certification. This is a symbol of excellence, and those that uphold the standards that have been set can be contacted through the IICRC.

These professionals can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.

If a professional isn’t hired to clean smoke and fire damage, the costs for restoration will skyrocket after a few weeks
. Metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to be distracting. Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.

The first thing a trained, certified, professional company will do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. The experts will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, the restorers will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.

This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative
.

Heating Fire Safety Tips

1/26/2016 (Permalink)

There is something about the winter months and curling up with a good book by the fireplace. But did you know that heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths? With a few simple safety tips and precautions you can prevent most heating fires from happening. Like They say " An ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of cure"!

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater. Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • 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 fireplace 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.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

Oh Christmas Tree

12/4/2015 (Permalink)

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas tree!

Form many people the best part of the Holiday season is not the Christmas office parties or the family get-togethers. It may not even be the holiday shopping or the cookies! No, for some the Holiday season is all about finding that perfect tree!  In many homes Christmas trees are hailed as the centerpiece to their Holiday Celebration. With that being said, we must remember that Christmas tree fires do happen.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that local fire departments respond to an average of 250 Christmas tree related fires each year. It is for this reason that it is so important to follow a few simple steps before buying and decorating that Perfect Tree! 

1) When choosing a live tree, make sure the needles are fresh and green. Give the tree a good shake and make sure the needles are not falling off.

2)  Make sure your tree has a fresh cut on the bottom to allow your tree to absorb the water it’s going to need

3) Keep your tree well-watered. A fresh cut tree can soak up to a gallon a day. Plain tap water is sufficient there is no need to add sugar or aspirin or any other additive to it.

4) Place your tree at least 3 feet from all heating sources such as fire places, radiators, candles heat vents or lights. Your tree does not need to be kept warm.

5) Make sure your tree is not blocking any exits

6) Before decorating your tree make sure all strands of lights are carefully checked. All wires should be free of breaks or frays. No cracked sockets or loose connection. Make sure you only connect the recommended number of strands together

7) Make sure all lights are unplugged or turned off before going to bed or leaving home.

And Last but not least remember if a disaster does strike, SERVPRO® of East Toledo is open 24/7 and we help make it “Like it never even happened!”