Recent Fire Damage Posts
What would you do if the unexpected happened?
Picture this, you are out of town for the weekend and you get a call in the early morning hours. It’s your neighbor calling to tell you that the fire department is at your house.
What do you do? You can call SERVPRO of South Louisville and we can be there 24/7. It’s something we all fear and something you wish will never happen. A fire can be devastating to you and your family. Here at SERVPRO of South Louisville we understand how difficult and stressful this can be. Unfortunately, we see this happen more often than you think but the fortunate thing about this situation is that we know what to do no matter the size or situation. Our trained technicians can be there to help clean up and restore the mess left behind. We can save your most valuable items as well as remove any trace of smoke and soot from your home. Let us help make it "Like it never even happened."
The Chemistry Behind Fire
In order to understand fire damage we should understand the process of fire itself. Fire occurring is due to the oxidation of something during the exothermic chemical process. Essentially, that means that when oxygen fuels combustion, heat and light are produced, which is what you see and feel as a result.
While most of us aren’t chemists and haven’t been in a chemistry class in years, we can recall on some knowledge of elements and compounds to understand fire better. The flame itself occurs during the ignition point, which is a part of the combustion reaction. The flame, however, is only the visible part of the fire itself. The flames are a combination of not only oxygen, but also nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. A variety of temperatures and colors of the flames are produced dependent on the circumstances. Different materials can burn hotter, and some can create flames that may be blue in color.
Fire is a hazard to life, once the reaction creates spreadable flames. Of course, we understand that it burns and spreads, however there are other dangerous aspects of fire itself. For one, it can create pollution because certain things, when burned, can put chemicals into the air. Plastic, for example, isn’t something that can be burned safely. Forest fires can threaten the nutrition in the soil, which can prevent a forest from growing back easily. Fires cause permanent damage. Though fires are helpful, used to benefit the growth of society since the beginning of time, there are a lot of boundaries between it being helpful and destructive. For light and warmth we use it in many ways, but the moment we lose control of it, it threatens the well-being of our homes and belongings and lives.
Fire damage is important to take seriously, since the lingering effects of fire can harm our bodies, homes, and material possessions. In case of fire damage, immediately contact a restoration company such as SERVPRO of South Louisville to limit damaging after effects of the chemical process that we just learned about.
List of things NOT to do after a fire damage
When a disaster happens such a fire loss there are things you need to do in order to stay safe after the fire is put out and you're able to safely enter the property.
Below is a list of things to stay away from after a fire loss for your safety. This is not a complete list and is only a helpful tool in the event something arrises you aren't sure if safe after a fire happens in your home.
- DON'T Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO franchise professional.
- DON'T Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture.
- DON'T Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (including tv's, radios etc.)
- DON'T Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to the fire, heat or water.
- DON'T Turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement could cause secondary damage.
- DON'T Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.
SERVPRO certified technicians know exactly what to do with smoke affected garments and household items. We are capable of cleaning and restoring many items that might otherwise be tossed. It's our goal to help you save as many items as we can and help you deal with the insurance company on the items that are not salvageable. Contact SERVPRO of South Louisville if you have a fire at your home or commercial property.
What to do in the event of a fire?
After calling 911 it's important to do your research before hiring a restoration company to help you get your home back to normal. SERVPRO has certified technicians and we are used to working directly with insurance agents and adjusters to make the process easier for you and your family.
Have you ever thought about what you would do if a fire happened at your home?
These steps are things to think about so you understand the process in getting your home or business back to a clean and safe state.
- 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 and refrigerator completely to prop doors open to help prevent odor.
- Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim, and appliances, then protect thee 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.
- Wash both sides of leaves on house plants.
- Change the HVAC filter, but leave the 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.
Fire Damage in Crestwood, Kentucky
According to the National Fire Protection Association there is an estimated 1,000 fires everyday in the United States. Most home fires and fire casualties result from five causes: cooking, heating, electrical distribution and lighting equipment, intentional fire setting, and smoking materials. SERVPRO of South Louisville recently was called to a house in Crestwood, Kentucky that had experienced a fire that was caused by a defect in the lining of the chimney. The fire had actually smoldered inside the chimney and under the hearth for days until it finally ignited. Most of the damage to the house was from smoke and soot.
SERVPRO of South Louisville was called out to mitigate the damage, providing smoke damage cleanup and water restoration. Beyond the visible structural damage, many of the contents inside the structure were evaluated for recovery based on a number of factors including: Replacement Cost, Loss of Use, Loss of Value, Decreased Life Expectancy, and Sentimental Value.
When the unexpected happens at your home or business trust the experts, call SERVPRO of South Louisville today.
Have Questions? Call Us Today – (502) 452-1298
Space Heater Fire Prevention
SERVPRO of South Louisville has been dealing with an abundance of fire jobs during the past couple of months. A majority of the fires we have been responding to have most likely started from space heater malfunctions. There are some things you can do to help with the prevention of a space heater starting a house fire.
Space heaters are one of the biggest starters of house fires, if you use these tips they can reduce the likeliness that SERVPRO of South Louisville will be doing fire remediation work at your home.
- Before using any space heater make sure that you inspect the heater for cracked plugs or loose connections.
- Make sure you NEVER leave a space heater on unattended, turn it off before leaving a room or going to bed and do not let animals or children near the space heater unattended.
- Keep everything that is flammable at least three feet away from the space heater (Curtains, furniture, clothing, and etc.).
- Plug in the space heater directly into the wall, do not plug into an extension cord or surge protector. Plugging it into these devices could cause the surge protector to overheat resulting in a fire.
Fire Damage in the early stages
SERVPRO of South Louisville heard about a house fire in the local area and showed up on the scene not long after the firefighters had put out the flames. Losing your home can be a very difficult thing to deal with, so SERVPRO wants to do what we can to provide customers with information on the steps to take during the early stages of the fire restoration process. We are here to help.
Our team of certified technicians and managers made sure that whenever the homeowners were ready to call their insurance company they would assist them with providing temporary housing situation until their home was inhabitable again. The next step is boarding up the home to ensure that the items remaining inside will not be stolen so the customer does not have to worry about losing the items that weren't damaged in the fire after the fact. Once the customer's insurance company approves our scope of work we will start the clean up and rebuild to get their home back to the way it was.
Our hope is that you, or a family member, never has to deal with a loss of this magnitude. However, if you are ever in a situation where you have a big loss in your home whether its with fire, water, or mold, just remember that SERVPRO of South Louisville is here to help. We want to make the whole process as easy and seamless as possible for the customer.
Apartment Fire in Louisville
SERVPRO of South Louisville was called to the scene of a fire of an apartment building in the South end of Louisville. When arriving on the scene the tenants of the apartment building were gathering their belongings together as best as they could and trying to figure out what their next move was going to be.
Fires can be very traumatic and leave people displaced from there homes for months on end. Fires are traumatic enough when they are accidental. In this case the fire was started purposefully, the arsonist put a mattress in the hallway of the apartment building and poured gasoline on it and lit it on fire causing the whole building to be engulfed in flames.
Luckily no one was harmed in the fire but all of the tenants were left with smoke filled belongings and no where to go. One of the tenants is a veteran and was homeless two years ago. He feared he was going to be back on the streets again because of this fire. SERVPRO of South Louisville helped this man pack up most of his belongings, and helped him find temporary housing until his caseworker could find him something more permanent.
Our goal is to make it "Like it never even happened."
Fire safety this winter
When a fire strikes no one is ready for the emotion and fear they can instill. In most cases families can be displaced for months on end, contents are destroyed, and memories are lost. Recently, SERVPRO of South Louisville was called to a home that had heavy smoke and soot damaged caused by a small appliance that had shorted out. A television in the back bedroom of the home had caught fire causing extensive damage to the bedroom and bathroom. Luckily no one was hurt in the fire, but now the process of cleaning up all the soot and tearing out damaged materials throughout the home has begun. SERVPRO of South Louisville understands the process of cleaning a home or business after a fire. We also have the capabilities to do the reconstruction once the mitigation is complete. We work hand-in-hand with the home owner making sure that we can transform the residence back into a home they can make new memories in for years to come.
With the Holiday season upon us statistics show that November-January are the months when fires are most prevalent. It's important to make sure that your family has a plan in place in case a fire of a fire. Here are some tips to keep your family safe during the upcoming Holiday Season.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
- Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.
Fire Safety in South Louisville
This month November 2018 SERVPRO of South Louisville tries to educate how to stay safe in case of a fire. Your local fire station provides lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires. See what programs your local fire station offers.
Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware, fire can happen anywhere, anytime.
LOOK - for possible fire starters. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.
LISTEN - for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to leave your home safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.
LEARN - more than one way out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.
Dryer Fire Danger
Clothes dryer fires cost millions each year. It is estimated that 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year, also causing 5 deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property loss. Failure to clean the dryer (34%) is leading cause of home clothes dryer fires. https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/clothes_dryers.html In May of 2018 SERVPRO South Louisville was called out to a home that had unfortunately experienced a dryer fire. SERVPRO arrived on site and started mitigating the water portion of the home damage, we also removed effected drywall and placed air movers and dehumidifiers where needed. Once removal of effected areas and the dryout is complete SERVPRO will be starting with the cleaning process. For this particular home we will start with structural cleaning such as removing all carpet, pad from second floor and steps leading up to second floor. Cutting out drywall from living room ceiling which was located directly under laundry room. Once all of ducts, surfaces and contents have been thoroughly cleaned we will begin the process of getting the customer back in their home. SERVPRO's repair division will replaced carpet and pad, replace and repair effected drywall, sealed and painted all areas upstairs, including the living room ceiling downstairs. The customer will know that our team of certified professionals are HERE TO HELP get them back to normal in their home as quickly and safely as possible.
Would you and your family know what to do if your home was affected by a fire. Being prepared is the best way to ensure your safety. Here are 7 tips that can help make sure your prepared if you are faced with this disaster.
The 7 Ways to Prepare for a Home Fire
1.Install the correct number of smoke detectors . Test them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
2.Teach children what smoke detectors sound like and what to do when they hear one.
3.Ensure that all household members know a couple ways to get out of every room of your home and know the family meeting spot outside of your home.
4.Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.
5.Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year. Press the smoke alarm test button or yell “Fire“ to alert everyone that they must get out.
6.Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
7.Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.
After the Fire
If you have experienced a fire at your place of business or in your home, many decisions exist after the fire has been extinguished. At SERVPRO we are happy to assist you and attempt to make some of these decisions easier with the services that we provide.
Step 1: Emergency Contact
The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us respond immediately with the appropriate equipment and resources.
Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
We carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.
Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service
Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.
Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.
Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.
Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing
We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. We’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
Step 7: Restoration
Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.
Small Fire, Big Smoke
This Fire was controlled before it destroyed the Structure, but smoke covered everything in sight.
A fire at your home or business is that of which nightmares are made of. Each year thousands wake up or come home to find themselves picking up the piece from the ashes of completely burned home. But what do you do if it is a smaller fire? Maybe a grease fire in the kitchen that you where able to get under control before to much damage was done, or a candle that got a little out of control. In these situations smoke can be a bigger issue than the fire itself. It can stain walls and make furniture and clothing carry and odor that always reminds you of a mishap you would like to forget. At SERVPRO we can help no matter how big or small our trained techs can clean items affected by smoke. Let us help you if you find yourself trying to put this situation behind you.
Commercial FIre Information
Each year the National Fire Protection Association produces a National Survey to record data and statistics on reported fires throughout the United States. According to the 2005 survey data, 130,000 non-residential fires were reported last year resulting in approximately $2.5 billion in property damages and loss. Commercial fires are a growing concern not only to employers and employees, but also to property managers and the insurance industry. Commercial fires generally result in a higher monetary loss amount than a typical house fire. According to reports entitled, "Topical Fire Research Series, Volume 3-Issue 10", non-residential structures are often more expensive because the buildings are generally larger than residential structures and the contents of the structure are of higher value. Commercial fires may affect a facility with a lot of square footage, equipment, products and technology, not to mention important data. contracts and customer records.
Our most recent fire damage 4/27/17
Fire damages are definitely catastrophic to your home or commercial building. Luckily with the tools, knowledge, and man power of our SERVPRO staff, we can take care of you with no issues. We like to put as little stress on the homeowner as possible during these difficult times. We know that it is a devastating time in the customers life, so we try to treat them like family, comfort, and console them by letting them know everything will be okay, and SERVPRO will have them back to new in a timely fashion. "Like it never even happened."
Living by that quote and treating the customers property like its our own is very important to making them feel comfortable with our expertise in the field, rather we move out all of the homes contents, or clean everything on site. Working with sub-contractors for their clothes and textiles to get them cleaned and ready to bring back once the job is completed is something else we explain to the customer, but we also try to deal with the sub-contractor one on one to take even more stress off of the customer. Fires are very tedious and take longer than most jobs to complete since there is so much involved, but here at SERVPRO we do it professionally, and in a timely fashion.