Recent Fire Damage Posts

How To Safely Put Out a Grease Fire

1/10/2018 (Permalink)

Cooking is one of the leading causes of house fires in the United States. Often times, cooking fires are ignited by grease, which can be dangerous for both your home and the individuals inside your home. In an effort to keep everyone safe, here are our tips for safely containing and putting out grease fires in your kitchen:

1. DO NOT USE WATER! Trying to extinguish a grease fire with water can be catastrophic. Also stay away from flourbaking powder, or any other cooking powders that resemble baking soda or salt. While baking soda and salt can help (we’ll touch on this later), powders that merely look like them can have very different chemical makeup and will not react well to the grease. They can actually making the fire worse.

2. Cover the flames with a metal lid or cookie sheet. Do not remove cover until it has cooled. This will help contain the fire and suffocate the flames.

3. TURN OFF the heat source! When a grease fire starts, heat fuels it and can make the flames spread and grow stronger. Turning off the heat will cut that main source of fuel.

4. Here’s where the salt and baking soda come in. If possible, pour some salt or baking soda onto the fire – the substances will help smother the flame and significantly reduce its strength.

5. If none of the previous steps are successful in putting out the grease fire, spray the fire with a Class B Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher.

--

An important note - IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO EXTINGUISH THE GREASE FIRE, GET OUT. Please keep in mind that your safety and the safety of those around you is most important. A grease fire can become very dangerous very quickly. Evacuate, and once everyone is safely out of harms way, call 911. Do not re-enter your home until the fire has been contained by firefighters.

If your home is damaged by grease fire or any other type of disaster, SERVPRO of Bay County is ready to help with the restoration process. Give us a call at 850-785-1077.

5 Common Causes of House Fires

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

Fire is one of the most hazardous types of damage that can wreak havoc on your home. While safety measures can be put in place to combat fire (like having a fire extinguisher handy or a fire alarm system installed), knowing what the common causes are can be a good first step in preventing fire.

Cooking Equipment

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are ranked as the number one cause of house fires in the United States. It’s important to always be alert and aware when cooking in your kitchen, and to not leave items unattended. Pots and pans can easily overheat, food can burn, and any time large quantities of grease or oil are involved they can spray and splatter, taking only seconds to ignite into flame. Be sure to keep an eye on your cooking area at all times, and remove any combustible items like dish towels, paper towels and oven mitts so there are no flammable objects within range.

Electrical Equipment

Electrical fires are one of the most common threats homeowners face. From overloaded electrical outlets to malfunctioning appliances, fires can start quickly and grow strong. Be careful not to overload your circuits or leave lights on overnight, and if you can, start conducting an annual inspection of your home’s electrical systems. This will help you identify and locate any faulty wiring, damaged outlets or other issues your system may have.

Smoking

Smoking is a major contributor to house fires that occur in the United States each year. Lit cigarettes accidentally dropped somewhere in the home can quickly ignite its surroundings and build to dangerous levels of fire and smoke. The best way to significantly reduce the risk of this happening is to stop smoking altogether or by smoking outdoors. However, if you choose to smoke inside your home, take proper precautionary measures: don’t smoke in your bedroom or forget to extinguish your cigarette if you become drowsy. Use large, deep ashtrays, and keep them away from anything that will burn. And finally, check around for any fallen embers and properly dispose of them as soon as possible.

Dryers

This one may surprise some people, but your dryer could pose as a major hazard for your home if not properly maintained. When lint and dust build up over time, the dryer vent becomes clogged with highly flammable materials. When you run your dryer, it exposes the vent to high temperatures that can cause the build up to combust. Regularly cleaning your dryer’s lint trap and routinely inspecting the vent for blockage is the best way to avoid this potential danger.

Candles

Candles provide wonderful aromas and stunning ambiance to any room, but can be hazardous the moment you neglect them. Always blow out a candle before you leave a room – an unattended open flame is asking for trouble, and can quickly lead to a house fire. In addition to blowing it out, be sure to clear away any flammable materials from the vicinity of the candle prior to lighting it. Trimming the wick can also help reduce the size of the flame, better containing it.

If you are worried about any of these hazards that may exist in your home or have any questions, feel free to call our team of professionals here at SERVPRO of Bay County. We’ll be happy to assist you!

Tips For Avoiding Holiday Hazards

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

The holidays are a time for celebration! However, between delicious meals together, reindeer games, and bright decorations, the holiday season can also be a time for hazards in your home. Here are a few tips to reduce your risk of property damage this winter:

  • If you bring home a tree to decorate, make sure its placed far away from any heat source, such as a fireplace, radiator, heat vent, lights or candles. Also, be sure to keep the base filled with water so the tree doesn’t dry out – this will significantly decrease the chances of it catching on fire from any of the sources previously mentioned.
  • Stringing up lights? Check both your indoor and outdoor lights for any damage. Additionally, if you are using lights outdoors, be sure they are labeled suitable for exterior placement and that they are plugged into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle.

  • When it’s time to turn in for the night, remember to switch OFF all lights and decorations around the house. Not only will this help you save on your utility bills, it will reduce the risk of any electrical malfunctions that could occur while you’re asleep.

We hope you find these tips useful, and wish you a wonderful, safe holiday season! 

Summer grilling means more than tasty food

7/3/2016 (Permalink)

Recently SERVPRO of BAY County responded to a fire at a high rise condominium, caused by a guest who disposed of charcoal in the trash chute.  Fortunately, the maintenance crew caught this in time and minimal smoke damage was done to several units. It could have been so much worse.

 According to the National Fire Protection Association Three out of five households own a gas grill, which translates to a lot of tasty meals. But it also means there’s an increased risk of home fires.

Each year an average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling, and close to half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns. While nearly half of the people who grill do it year-round, July is the peak month for grill fires followed by May, June and August.

The following fact sheet gives stunning information on structural fires caused from grilling.

http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/files/research/fact-sheets/grillfactsheet.pdf?la=en

In this case the team at SERVPRO Bay County professionally cleaned soot and deodorized the units from smoke.

SERVPRO of Bay County urges our friends and neighbors to practice safety while grilling this summer.

SERVPRO of Bay County is available 24/7  850-785-1077

Fire Restoration Urgency

7/1/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Restoration Urgency Smoke and Soot Damage

Fire Restoration

Often times after a fire people assume everything is a loss. When hiring professionals like SERVPRO of Bay County the process of restoration can save a lot of the presumed loss.  

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.

The fire, smoke and soot are the expected result of the fire and most people do not think of the damage the water used to extinguish the fire can cause. It is equally important to extract the water and dry the structure properly. If not dried properly even more damage can result in the future.

Quick action to hire professionals such as SERVPRO of Bay County helps keep costs down as prevention of further damage is key. Without quick action metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to not only be distracting, but in some cases harmful.  Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.
This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional like SERVPRO of Bay County that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative.

Each disaster needs its own special attention to detail and that is why SERVPRO of Bay County has a team that will come and assess the damage and create a scope of work needed to take you through the entire process of remediation through reconstruction to make it “Like it never even happened”.  You may visit http://www.SERVPRObaycounty.com/fire-smoke-damage-restoration to learn more.

SERVPRO of Bay County professionals stand ready to help you 24/7  365 days a year  850-785-1077

Fires can result in multiple types of clean up

2/26/2016 (Permalink)

This homeowner called SERVPRO of Bay County after a fire in his bedroom. Restoring his home took many steps. The amount of water needed to extinguish the fire created water clean up and dry out in areas of the home not directly affected by the fire. The water must first be extracted and sometimes drying equipment such as dehumidifiers are necessary before addressing the actual fire damage. In this case the charred items in the room had to be removed to get to the wet carpet. Only after the drying process is started can SERVPRO of Bay County professionals begin cleaning soot and smoke damage, and in some cases removal of walls and ceilings  which results in reconstruction.

If you have the misfortune of ANY SIZE DISASTER you can trust SERVPRO of Bay County to take every step to put home or business back together and make it "Like it never even happened" 850-785-1077