Types of Smoke
Did you know that there are different types of smoke? Each type of smoke can cause a wide array of damages to your home in the event of a fire. The damage resulting from a fire can be complicated due to the different types of smoke.
- Wet Smoke (Plastic and Rubber): Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
- Dry Smoke (Paper and Wood): Fast-burning, high temperatures; heat rises, therefore smoke rises.
- Protein Fire Residue (Produced by the evaporation of material rather than from a fire): Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
- Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs): While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO of Beaumont can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.
- Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue): Special loss situations require special care.
SERVPRO of Beaumont is trained and certified in Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration. Our knowledge helps restore your home back to preloss condition.
November and December families are brought together to celebrate the holiday season by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your holidays could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.
- Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
- If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly. Remain in the kitchen while food is cooking and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch on fire—oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains—away from the stovetop.
If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.
- Just get out! When you leave close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
- Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
- If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
- Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stove top. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
Mold growth in a storage closet after recent flooding.
Fungi and Mold can naturally occur in our environment. In fact over 100,000 type of fungi have been identified. Moisture is the foremost factor that causes mold growth. It only takes a little bit of excess water or humidity for mold to form in your home or business. After all of the recent flooding throughout Southeast Texas, mold is a huge concern for homeowners and businesses.
If you think you may have a mold problem, contact a SERVPRO Professional and be alert for the following:
- The presence of visible mold
- Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present
- Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth
- Excessive humidity
Mold spores can colonize within 72 hours and multiply within just a few hours. Physically removing mold contamination is the primary means of remediation. In most water damage situations, excessive mold growth is not a problem and we can safely remediate your home or business to preloss condition. The need to address the presence of mold can only be determined by an on-site, indoor environmental specialist.
Call SERVPRO of Beaumont with any questions that you may have. We are locally owned and operated, which means when you call us, we can respond quickly with the help that you need. Don’t try to tackle a mold situation yourself. Call the pros at SERVPRO (409) 729-2800.
Light the Night Safely
Pretty lights, candles, and decorations are just a few of the items bringing charm and cheer to the holiday season—however, if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening.
The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips to help greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season.
- Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, and heat vents.
- Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Always unplug the tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed.
- Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
SERVPRO® of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton wishes you and your family a safe & happy holiday season!
Every Second Counts
Every second counts during a fire. Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place. The American Red Cross suggests that families have a developed and practice a home fire escape plan. Here are a few suggestions to help you and your family to develop an emergency escape plan:
- Draw a map of each level—Show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure that all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
- Consider escape ladders—This is something to consider for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.
- Choose an outdoor meeting place—Make sure the meeting place is a safe distance in front of your home, where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
- Teach children—Teach them how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home, with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.
- Practice makes perfect—Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at nighttime, at least twice a year.
Celebrate Summer Safety
A fire on the beach enjoying the summer
SERVPRO is “Ready for whatever happens.”
You Can Be Too This Summer
Each year, families and friends across the country enjoy the summer months with barbecues, camping trips, or by cooling off in a pool or lake. To enjoy these occasions, it is important to keep safety top of mind to ensure you have fun in the sun.
According to a recent study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 11,900 Americans are injured by fireworks in 2015, with the majority happening in the month surrounding the Fourth of July. Another 8,700 are injured by charcoal/wood-burning and propane grill fires. A grill should always be supervised when in use. Keep children and pets a safe distance from the grilling area to prevent accidental burns or tipping of the grill.
Grills also cause an average of 8,900 home structure or outdoor fires. “These fires caused an annual average of 50 civilian injuries and $2 million in direct property damage,” according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
If you enjoy lounging by the pool or going for a boat ride to cool off from the summer sun, make sure you exercise caution, especially when children are present. Only swim in the approved areas and supervise children at all times when near the water.
The summer season should be a time to make memories and enjoy the great outdoors. Don’t become a statistic. Take precautions to prevent these events from putting a damper on the your summer months.
CELEBRATE SUMMER SAFETY
Summer is a time to enjoy the great outdoors, but it is also important to keep safety in mind. Consider the following tips, provided by the Nation Fire Protection Association, to keep you and your family safe all summer long.
- When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after the coals have been lit.
- When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
- When camping, always use a flame-retardant tent and set up camp far away from the campfire.
- Always build a campfire downwind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your fire. Extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite.
- Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.
Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals wish you a safe and happy summer.
Helpful tips on how to stay safe
As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, sick, and overweight. Urban area residents also have a greater chance of being affected than those who live in rural areas due to the heat island effect.
According to the EPA, “the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50-90 degree F hotter than the air, while shaded or moist surfaces-often in more rural surroundings-remain close to air temperatures.” These surface heat islands are strongest during the day when the sun is shining, while the atmospheric heat islands are more likely after sunset “due to the slow release of heat from urban infrastructure.”
Whether you are in an urban or rural area, there are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you. If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets that may be outdoors or bring them inside. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake.
If you must go outside, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which are heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale and clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; and fainting, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life-threatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103 degree F), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person somewhere cool, wet clothes or a bath. Do not give a person with heat stroke fluids, and treat the situation as a serious medical emergency (CDC).
If you live in a humid climate, be aware of the heat index. The heat index factors in the humidity, which can make the temperature fell 15 degrees hotter.
Extreme heat is a serious danger. For more information on preparation and prevention, visit ready.gov or cdc.gov.
Extreme Heat Safety tips to Prepare Your Home
- Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
- Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
- Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes) such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
- Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or lovers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)
- Keep storm windows up all year.
Biohazard, Crime Scene, and Vandalism Clean up
This is a biohazard loss that SERVPRO was called into help and cleanup.
Biohazard, Crime Scene, and Vandalism Cleanup
Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO Professionals also offer fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners.
Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.
The SERVPRO of Beaumont professionals are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations.
Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, the SERVPRO of Beaumont professionals help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes, and offices.
SERVPRO of Beaumont professionals can help with the following issues:
- Bloodborne Pathogens
- Methamphetamine Labs
- Crime Scene Residues
- Sewage Backups
- Black Water Intrusions
- Mold Mitigation and Remediation
SERVPRO of Beaumont professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime, or death. Trained SERVPRO technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect, and deodorize, the structure.
Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine, are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO of Beaumont professionals follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.
Crime Scene Residues
From fingerprint power and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO of Beaumont professionals can clean and restore your property and contents.
Arson and Vandalism
SERVPRO of Beaumont professionals are recognized as leaders at helping property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage. SERVPRO of Beaumont also provides general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods, and human or animal waste.
Do You Have Dirty Ducts?
This is a picture of a commercial duct clean at a medical facility.
Do You Have Dirty Ducts?
Improve your indoor air quality with duct cleaning
Did you know your ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality? Inspecting the ductwork in your facility or home should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building or home.
A routine part of your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional’s service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may not always be necessary. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.
In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke, or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases your SERVPRO Franchise Professional can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.
If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends they be inspected for proper functioning and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.
The SERVPRO duct cleaning system is proven and cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, your SERVPRO Franchise Professional uses a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.
- The process begins by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
- Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
- Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
- As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
- Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.
For more information on duct cleaning, or to schedule an appointment, contact SERVPRO of Beaumont today at 409-212-1977.
Understanding Water Types
This is a picture of a commercial water loss that occurred at a church. Notice the blocking of the pews.
Understanding Water Types
When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.
There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.
Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.
Damage from Clean Water
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
- Move any paintings, are objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
- Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
- Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
Damage from Contaminated Water
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
- Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
- Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Do not use household fans to dry the structure, air flow could spread contaminants.
- Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.SERVPRO’s network of more than 1,700 Franchises is ready to help in the event a fire, water, or mold loss occurs
- Call on a restoration system serving insurance companies and their insureds, as well as thousands of commercial property owners in North America. Don’t leave your property to chance.