Recent Fire Damage Posts

FireWork safety this summer

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

With Summer Coming up, celebrate it safely!

Fireworks can be a festive and fun way to celebrate the holidays. In the United States, no holiday is more widely celebrated with the colorful displays of pyrotechnics than the Fourth of July.

However, each year in July, thousands of people - both children and adults - are injured by fireworks while celebrating. According to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission study conducted in 2006, emergency departments treated more than 9,200 firework-related injuries from June 16 to July 16 (2006). Sparklers accounted for one0third of the injuries to children under the age of 5 in the same time period. Children under 15 accounted for 36% of estimated injuries.*

Since a large percentage of the injuries from fireworks are related to illegally made fireworks, the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) encourages consumers to only use legal, approved fireworks. Of course, even then, the fireworks must be used as directed in a safe and responsible manner.

Though a professional fireworks display is the safest wat to enjoy the aerial displays, the National Council on Fireworks Safety suggest the following tips for a fun, safe fireworks display.

SAFETY TIPS

• Only use fireworks outdoors.

• Be aware of and obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.

• Always have a bucket of water or hose nearby. If conditions are excessively dry, do not use fireworks.

• Alcohol and fireworks are a bad mix!

• Parents should pay special attention to children using sparklers. Sparklers can reach temperatures up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Children should not throw or play games with sparklers.

SERVPRO Of Kaufman County/ Cedar Creek Knows Deodorization

3/2/2018 (Permalink)

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems. 

As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard to reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors.

SERVPRO Of Kaufman County/Cedar Creek professionals provide specialized services that rid in your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. Any restorable item in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including: furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and more.

SERVPRO Of Kaufman County/Cedar Creek professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. Ask SERVPRO Of Kaufman County/Cedar Creek professionals to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.

If you or a customer suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services contact SERVPRO Of Mesquite. Whether it's fire, water or mold damage, or just stubborn odor that refuses to go away, We'll help make it "Like it never even happened."

Understanding The Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisining

3/2/2018 (Permalink)

Each year in America, unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning claims more than 500 lives and sends another 15,200 people to the hospital emergency rooms around the country for treatment. These accidents tend to peak during the winter months, but there are several everyday items that can put you and your family at risk, too. Read on for some simple steps you can take to help protect yourself or your customers from deadly carbon monoxide fumes.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

An odorless, colorless and toxic gas, carbon monoxide cannot be seen, tasted or smelled. Since it is often impossible to detect, CO can cause harm or become fatal before you realize it is in your home. When exposed to lower levels of CO, the gas causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu, including headaches, dizziness, disorientation,nausea and fatigue.

It's also important to note the effects of CO exposure can vary greatly from person to person depending in age, health, and the concentration and length of exposure.

Where does it come from?

  • Gas-fired appliances
  • Charcoal grills
  • Wood-burning furnaces or fireplaces
  • automobiles

Preventative Measures

Consider installing at least one carbon monoxide alarm with an audible warning signal. The ideal placement for these alarms is near the sleeping areas of your home. Since CO alarms measure CO levels over time, the alarm will sound before an average, healthy adult would be experiencing symptoms. If you are not experiencing symptoms when the alarm sounds, please consider ventilating the home and contacting a service professional to check the CO level. If you are experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning, experts say to evacuate immediately and contact emergency personnel.

If you drive a vehicle with a tailgate or rear hatch and are travelling with he hatch open, make certain to open vents or windows to create adequate airflow. And, of course, never run your vehicle inside your garage with the door closed. Even with doors open, refrain from running your vehicle for extended periods of time, as garages with a door on only one side often do not provide adequate air flow.

SERVPRO Of Kaufman County/Cedar Creek Tips For Fireplace Safety

2/28/2018 (Permalink)

A poorly maintained or improperly used fireplace can be dangerous. Here’s how to enjoy your fire safely.

4 tips for fireplace safety

1. Have your fireplace cleaned and inspected regularly

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 28 percent of heating fires are caused by failing to clean equipment, especially chimneys. Over time, creosote (a sticky, flammable substance that’s released when wood’s burned) can build up in the chimney. If the creosote isn’t removed, a chimney fire can result. This is not only dangerous in itself, but it can also cause damage to the chimney, increasing the risk that flames will reach the frame of the house.

Debris such as fallen leaves and animal nests should also be removed, since they can restrict airflow and cause carbon monoxide to back up into the house. (Besides, if your chimney’s blocked, how’ll Santa get in?)

If you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, you should have the chimney professionally inspected at least once a year (before you use it). Ask for a Level 1 inspection, which involves a visual examination of readily accessible parts of the chimney. The inspector will ensure the chimney is sturdy and perform any necessary cleaning.

Have a gas fireplace instead of a wood-burning one? You should still get a regular inspection, as corrosive deposits can build up and prevent your fireplace from venting efficiently. Debris can block this type of chimney as well.

2. Burn only dry, seasoned wood

Properly seasoned firewood contains around 20 percent water. Freshly cut wood can contain up to 45 percent water, so it takes a lot of heat to get it to catch fire (which means less heat inside your house). Burning wet wood also creates large amounts of smoke and causes creosote to build up more rapidly.

To be properly seasoned, firewood must be cut to length and allowed to dry for at least 6 months (up to a year in damp climates) before being burned. If you’ve gathered a stockpile of wood, be sure to protect it from rain and snow. If you’re buying wood to burn, look for dark edges with visible cracks. Well-seasoned firewood’s fairly lightweight and makes a clear, sharp sound when clapped together.

Resist the temptation to toss wrapping paper, cardboard boxes, or foam containers into the fireplace. Paper and cardboard can cause flames to burn too high, while foam releases toxic smoke and particles into the air.

3. Make sure your damper’s properly adjusted

The fireplace damper is a plate or valve that controls airflow in your chimney. When the fireplace isn’t in use, keep the damper closed completely to prevent heat from escaping. When lighting the fire, open the damper wide to help create a good blaze and get smoke flowing up the chimney. Once the fire’s burning well, partially close the damper to keep in warmth while still allowing smoke to escape.

4. Install and regularly check carbon monoxide detectors

Burning wood creates carbon monoxide (a poisonous gas) — but this poses little danger if your chimney’s properly maintained and free from obstructions and if your damper’s letting smoke out. Nonetheless, it’s wise to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors close to your fireplace as well as in your bedrooms.

Now that you know how to use your fireplace safely, you can relax, toast some marshmallows, and find other way to winterize your home.

Halt Winter Heating Hazards

12/13/2017 (Permalink)

The winter season is here and with it comes shorter days and lower temperatures. 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 fire places, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. Did you know, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths? According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires cause estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually. Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

50% of all residential heating-related fires are reported during the months of December, January and February.

  • 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 manufacturers instructions.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

If your property does suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO Of Kaufman County/Cedar Creek to help make it "Like it Never Even Happened."

Avoid Holiday Fires This Season

12/13/2017 (Permalink)

Eliminate potential risks this holiday season. Follow these helpful hints and you will enjoy a happy and fire-safe holiday season. 

Use Only Non-Flammable Decorations

All decorations, including a metallic or artificial tree, should be flame retardant. Be sure you place all decorations away from heat vents and heating sources.

Maintain Holiday Lights

Prior to decorating, check holiday lights for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in insulation, broken or cracked sockets and excessive wire kinking. Only use lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory. Lights should be inspected yearly.

Do Not Overload Electrical Outlets

Do not link more than three light strands together, unless directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the wall outlet. periodically, check the wires- they should not be warm to the touch.

Avoid Using Lit Candles

If you enjoy decorating with candles, consider choosing flameless candles. If you do use candles, make sure they are in low traffic areas, where they cannot easily be knocked down. Never leave the building with a candle burning.

Dont Block Exits

Ensure that trees and other decorations do not block an exit way. In the event of the fire, a blocked entry/exit puts you at risk.

As in every season, check all smoke and fire detectors to ensure they are in proper working order. Test the detectors monthly and keep them equipped with fresh batteries.