Recent Fire Damage Posts

House Fire Facts

5/25/2022 (Permalink)

House Fire Facts

  • House fires cause nearly 4,000 deaths and over 2,000 server injuries to Americans every year.
  • Heat from a fire can reach over 1,100 degrees in less than 4 minutes.
  • About 80% of civilian deaths are from house fires.
  • Areas without fire in them can get up to 300 degrees, which is hot enough to melt plastics.
  • Leading cause of fire deaths is careless smoking.
  • A working smoke detector more than doubles the chance of survival in a house fire.

Causes of House Fires

  • Faulty appliances/ wiring causes the greatest amount of house fires.
  • Heating devices such as heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces. Most fires start when something like furniture, boxes or clothing overheat from being placed to close to the heat source.
  • Cigarettes being dropped onto furniture like beds, sofas, or chairs.
  • Children playing with fire causes house fires every year.

For more information, visit Home Fire Facts | SF Fire Website (sf-fire.org).

Portable Grill Safety

5/20/2022 (Permalink)

Food plays an important role in outdoor festivities throughout the year and portable grills make it possible to be away from home. While they are smaller, they still have risks. Here are some tips on how to be safe during your adventurous summer!

Environment

  • Only grill where there are no fire restrictions in place. Check to make sure you are permitted to grill in the area.
  • Check fire danger ratings in the area to check if weather or other factors make it dangerous to light a flame.

Safely Starting Charcoal

  • Charcoal Chimney starters allow you to ignite the charcoal using newspaper. Use a long match to avoid burning your fingers when lighting the paper.
  • Only use a lighter fluid intended for charcoal grills.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluids to coals or kindling that has already been ignited.
  • Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids except charcoal starter or lighter fluid to start a charcoal fire.

Cooking Safety

  • Place the grill away from overhanging branches, foot traffic, lawn games, and play areas.
  • Keep children and pets, anything that can burn, and oven mitts and towels at least 3 feet away from open flames and heat.
  • Use long handled grilling tools to have clearance from you and the heat and grill.
  • Never leave the fire unattended.

Disposing of Charcoal

  • Douse the fire with water and make sure it is cold to the touch before leaving the area.
  • Empty coals into a metal container with tight-fitting lid that is used to collect coal only. Place the container away from anything that can burn.
  • Never empty coal directly into a trashcan.
  • Store charcoal and starter fluids away from children and heat sources.

For more information, visit Outdoor cooking safety with portable grills | NFPA

Fire Pit Safety

4/27/2022 (Permalink)

A pile of wood in a hole on a beach on fire. An example of a homemade firepit.

Spring is here, summer is right around the corner, and it's time for camping and trips to the sandy beaches. Bonfires are the best part but can also be the most dangerous. There are at least 5,300 injuries a year related to outdoor firepits that send people to the ER, according to 2017 Consumer Product Safety Commission. A 2019 study found that 19 years old and younger suffered 10,951 burns related to fire pits between 2006 and 2017. So, here are some tips on how to play it safe this summer! S’mores not required (but surely recommended):

  • Place your pit far from houses and other structures that can burn.
  • Avoid bushes, trees, fencing, electrical wires, etc., and anything vulnerable to heat.
  • Ideal placement is in the middle of a backyard or a clearing (at least 10-foot buffer zone around the pit).
  • Try to avoid windy and wooden decks- clear foliage underneath at least twice the pits perimeter.
  • Always place a spark screen on top after the pit is built and keep water on hand to douse the flames.
  • Stay away from soft wood like cedar and pine, as they tend to spark and smoke. Get hardwoods like ash, hickory, and oak.
  • Wood should be dry and not rotten. You can check by cutting the wood in half and using a moisture meter.
  • To douse the fire, spread our coals and ash into the thinnest layer possible and set the nozzle on a hose to a wide spray. Never just pour a bucket of water, as it will create a hard crust on top and have hot embers still burning underneath.

Don’t forget to skewer marshmallows on the end of a long, fire-safe metal rod or grill fork with a heatproof handle to avoid getting burned! SERVPRO of Beaumont wishes you a fun filled and safe summer!

For more information, visit Fire Pit Safety Advice - Consumer Reports

Classes of Fires & Fire Extinguisher Types

4/27/2022 (Permalink)

Classes of Fires

Class A: Solid ordinary combustibles like paper, wood, cloth, and plastics.

Class B: Flammable liquids like alcohol, ether, gasoline, and grease. These are extinguished by smothering, which is cutting off the oxygen supply from a fire.

Class C: Electrical Equipment, home appliances, and wiring. This requires a nonconductive extinguishing agent that prevents injury from electrical shock. DO NOT USE WATER.

Class D: Certain flammable metallic substances like sodium and potassium.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are classified by type A, ABC, BC, or K. It is important to use the correct type on the specific fire to avoid injury. Using the wrong type could cause electrical shock, explosion, and spread of the fire. Portable fire extinguishers are good for putting out small fires but are not useful on large spreading fires.

Types of Extinguishers

Type A: Pressurized water and can be used on Class A fire ONLY. Can cause spread or electrical sock if used on the wrong class.

Type ABC: Dry chemicals that can be used on all classes of fires.

Type BC: Carbon Dioxide that can be used on electrical and chemical fires.

Type K: Used in kitchens on grease fires.

For more information, visit Classes of Fires & Fire Extinguishers - Environmental Health & Safety - Los Angeles, CA (uclahealth.org).

What to check for AFTER a fire!

4/21/2022 (Permalink)

MOST IMPORTANT

  • Stay out of buildings surrounded by water and/or dangling electricity lines. Report it to the power company.
  • Contact your insurance company and do not throw out any damaged items until an extensive inventory is taken.

Structural Damage

  • Check for important damage on the outside of your home first. Look for foundation cracks, damaged gas and power lines, and support beams, etc.
  • Damage on the outside can mean you have serious damage on the inside of your home.
  • If your doors are jammed shut it could mean that it is providing support for the rest of your home, and you should find a different way to enter the building.
  • If you smell gas or hear a hissing sound, you should immediately leave the property and call the fire department and utility provider as soon as you are a safe distance away.
  • Propane tank systems should be completely turned off and need to be checked by a professional before use.
  • Take photographs of the damage and keep all receipts - you may need these for insurance claims.

Utilities and Major Systems

  • If you see sparks from broken or frayed wires or smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the fuse box.
  • If there is water around your fuse box or a flipped breaker it is best to call a licensed electrician.
  • Flipped breakers may indicate damage inside the home.
  • If you suspect water and sewage lines are damaged, turn off your water at the main.
  • If you have a heating oil tank it should be turned off and inspected by a professional.

Checking Your Home After A Fire | American Red Cross

Winter Holiday Fire Facts

12/8/2021 (Permalink)

Christmas Trees

  • Between 2015-2019, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 160 home fires. These fires started due to Christmas tress. 
  • Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in almost half of home Christmas tree fires. 
  • In nearly one-fifth of Christmas tree fires, some type of heat source, such as a candle or equipment, was too close to the fire. 

Holiday Decorations 

  • U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 790 home fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees.
  • One in five home decorations fires occurred in December. 
  • Year-round, more than one-third of home decoration fires were started by candles. Cooking started 19% of decoration fires, 12% involved electrical distribution and lighting equipment, heating equipment was involved in 11%, 8% were intentionally set and smoking materials started 7% of fires. 

Holiday Cooking

  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. 
  • Cooking equipment was involved in one of every five home decoration fires. This can happen when a decoration is left on or too close to a stove or other cooking equipment. 

Fire Escape Plan

9/3/2021 (Permalink)

An average of 353,100 homes experience a structural fire each year (NFPA). Once the smoke alarm sounds, a fire can spread quickly, leaving only a minute or two to escape. That’s why it is so important to have a home escape plan.

Start by drawing a map for your home and follow these guidelines from the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Plan two way to escape from each room
  • Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily
  • Identify secondary route—a window onto an adjacent roof or a collapsible ladder from upper-story windows
  • If you live in a multi-story building, plan to use the stairs—never the elevator
  • Designate an outside meeting place that is a safe distance from the house where everyone should meet

Summer Safety

5/26/2021 (Permalink)

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, fireworks were involved with an estimated 10,000 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during calendar year 2019. Another 19,700 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 10,600 home structure or outdoor fires.  “These fires caused an annual average of 170 civilian injuries and $149 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 always supervise children when near the water.

The summer season should be a time to make memories and enjoy the great outdoors.  Do not become a statistic.  Take precautions to prevent these events from putting a damper on your summer months.

Celebrate summer safety and 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!

Every Second Counts

5/26/2021 (Permalink)

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 have escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
  4. 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.
  5. Practice makes perfect — Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at nighttime, at least twice a year.

Click this link to download your personal PDF copy of their Home Fire Escape Plan:

https://www.redcross.org/content/dam/redcross/get-help/fire-safety/Home-Fire-Escape-Plan-English-Spanish.pdf

Smoke Alarms

4/28/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries.

Here is what you need to know!

  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home.
  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Larger homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • Be sure to test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure that the alarm is working.
  • Today’s smoke alarms are more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions yet mitigate false alarms.
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.

Types of Smoke

4/28/2021 (Permalink)

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 Orange/Nederland/Lumberton 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 & Orange/Nederland/Lumberton is trained and certified in Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration. Our knowledge helps restore your home back to preloss condition.

Plan Ahead

4/22/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know May 2nd is Wildfire Community Preparedness Day?

Over 58,000 wildfires last year in the United States alone have caused 8.8 million acres to be burned. Four of the most destructive and deadliest, the Camp, Carr, Hill and Woosley Fires, together caused at least 96 fatalities and over 12.5 billion dollars of property loss.

Wildfire Community Preparedness Day helps raise awareness of wildfire risks and encourages action in the community to help people take an active role in creating safer environments.

Help reduce your community’s wildfire risk by participating in a local event for Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. To see a project map to locate local events or for more information and resources to host your ow even, visit wildfireprepday.org.

The Behavior of Smoke

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of smoke. There are two different types of smoke: wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire.

                SERVPRO of Beaumont technicians are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this information is viral to proper restoration. Before restoration begins, our SERVPRO professionals will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat and moisture on the building materials and its contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method.

Smoke Alarms

9/5/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries.

Here’s what you need to know!

  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home.
  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Larger homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • Be sure to test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure that the alarm is working.
  • Today’s smoke alarms are more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions yet mitigate false alarms.
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.

Fire Escape Plan

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

A home fire is reported every 88 seconds. Once the smoke alarm sounds, a fire can spread quickly, leaving only a minute or two to escape. That’s why it is so important to have a home escape plan.

Start by drawing a map for your home and follow these guidelines from the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Plan two way to escape from each room
  • Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily
  • Identify secondary route—a window onto an adjacent roof or a collapsible ladder from upper-story windows
  • If you live in a multi-story building, plan to use the stairs—never the elevator
  • Designate an outside meeting place that is a safe distance from the house where everyone should meet

Top Tips for Fire Safety

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

smoke detector Test your smoke alarms to make sure they are functioning properly.

Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Here are some more tips to keep your loved ones safe in the event of a fire:

Top Tips for Fire Safety

  • 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, be sure to change the batteries.
  • Talk with your family about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
  • If a fire occurs in your home, remember GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.

Top Tips for Fire Safety

3/13/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know that if a fire starts in your home that you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning and detection from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan can save lives. 

  • 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, be sure to change out the batteries. 
  • Talk with family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year. 
  • If a fire does occur in your home, make sure to GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone. 

If you need help after a home fire, your local Red Cross can assist. 

Keeping Your Home Safe From Fire

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

stove fire Damaged kitchen due to cooking fire.

Cooking is the number one cause of home fires. Here are some steps you can take to prevent a cooking fire. Each year from 2014-2016, fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated average of 188,800 cooking fires in residential buildings.

  • Remember to stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or boiling food.
  • If you do have to step away from the kitchen, turn off the burner.
  • Keep things that can burn away from your cooking area.
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so they won’t get bumped.

If disaster does strike in your home, contact the SERVPRO of Beaumont/Orange/Nederland/Lumberton today (409) 212-1977.

For more information about preventing cooking fires and other fire hazards in your home. Check out www.usfa.fema.gov

Winter Heating Hazards

12/19/2019 (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 effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative hear sources like fireplaces, 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 an estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually.  Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of heating-related fire.

  1. 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 friendly zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  2. 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.
  3. Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  4. Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  5. Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  6. Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. Test smoke alarms monthly.

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

Smoke Alarms

9/6/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained can play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, just remember that smoke spreads fast and smoke alarms will give you the time to get out.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • A closed door can slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Be sure to install alarms on every level of the home.
  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month.
  • Today’s smoke alarms are more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.

Source: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Safety-equipment/Smoke-alarms

Smoke Alarms & Fire Safety

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

In the event of a fire, a working smoke alarm increases your chances of surviving a fire. Here are some smoke alarm tips to help keep you and your family safe:

  • Install a dual sensor smoke alarm. These contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors. Ionization smoke alarms are more responsive to flaming fires while photoelectric smoke alarms are more responsive to fires that begin with a long smoldering period.
  • Test batteries monthly.
  • Replace the batteries in a battery-powered and hard-wired smoke alarms at least once a year.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Also, place them inside and outside sleeping areas.
  • Replace the actual smoke alarm unit every 8-10 years or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking.

Source:www.ready.gov/home-fires

Soot Webs

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

This is a soot web caused by a kitchen fire.

Many times we walk into a customer’s home to assess the extent of the damage in their home after a fire loss. They begin to assure us that their home has “never been this dirty.” In most cases after a fire has occurred, customers notice “dirty cobwebs” throughout their home. However, they aren’t indicative of your cleaning skills. They are actually due to the fire!

These “dirty cobwebs” are called soot webs. Soot webs are formed when smoke from rubber or plastics may have ionized the soot particles that then bind together to form what looks like cobwebs.

If you do have soot webs in your home, do not try to clean them yourself! Any time you try to clean soot without the proper chemicals, tools and experience, you’ll likely cause further damage in your home.

If you have soot webs, call the SERVPRO of Beaumont at (409) 212-1977!

Understanding Smoke

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of smoke.  There are two different types of smoke-wet and dry.  As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire.  SERVPRO of Beaumont is thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. 

Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Beaumont will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents.  The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred.  Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows SERVPRO to focus on saving your precious items.

SERVPRO of Beaumont knows that smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor.  Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread.  The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke.

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

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 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 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 to handle even the toughest losses. 

If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact the SERVPRO of Beaumont to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Different Types of Smoke Damage

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke damage from a protein fire.

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.

Facts about Fires

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

Fire: Just the Facts

-Between 2011 and 2015 fires caused: over 12,300 civilian injuries, 2,510 civilian deaths and $6.7 billion in property damage.

-Three out of five home fire deaths are caused by fires in homes with no smoke alarms or not working alarms.

-Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.

-In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 94 percent of the time, while battery powered alarms operated 80 percent of the time.

-When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.

-One quarter of home fire deaths are caused by fires that start in the bedroom. Another quarter result from fires in the living room, family room or den.

-One-third of survey respondents who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening.   The time available is often much less.  Only 8 percent said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out.

Facts provided by National Fire Protection Association, nfpa.org

WHAT TO DO UNTIL HELP ARRIVES

DO:

  • 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/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these 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.
  • Change HVAC filters; leave 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.                               

DON’T:

  • 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 without first consulting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as they may be contaminated.
  • If ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fans. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

Smoke Alarms: Life Savers

9/7/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National fire Protection Association (NFPA). In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate has missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).

In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.

Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. For more information on emergency preparedness, contact the SERVPRO of Beaumont today.

Smoke Alarm Tips

4/24/2018 (Permalink)

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom. They should be outside each sleeping areas and on every level of the home. 
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms. 
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When on smoke alarm sounds, they all sound. 
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure that the alarm is working. 
  • Current alarms on the market employ different types of technology including multi-sensing, which could include smoke and carbon monoxide combined. 
  • Today's smoke alarms alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms. 
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. 
  • People who are hard of hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers. 
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old. 

*Source: NFPA-Nation Fire Protection Association 

The Importance of Cleaning Dryer Vents

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

According to FEMA, failure to clean home dryers causes 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury or death.

To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your home or business, SERVPRO of Beaumont can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup. Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include cleaning the lint filter before and after each load and making sure the outdoor vent flap will open and is not restricted by snow, a bird’s nest, or other potential obstacles.

For more information about cleaning dryer vents and other safety tips, contact the SERVPRO of Beaumont today at (409) 212-1977!

Smoke Alarms

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

In the event of a fire, a working smoke alarm increases your chances of surviving the fire. Here are some smoke alarm tips to help keep you and your family safe:

  • Install a dual sensor smoke alarm. These contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors. Ionization smoke alarms are more responsive to flaming fires while photoelectric smoke alarms are more responsive to fires that begin with a long smoldering period.
  • Test batteries monthly.
  • Replace the batteries in a battery-powered and hard-wired smoke alarms at least once a year.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Also, place them inside and outside sleeping areas.
  • Replace the actual smoke alarm unit every 8-10 years or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking.

Source: www.ready.gov

Home Fires

2/28/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that each year more than 12,600 people are injured in home fires in the United States? It is important to be prepared and know the facts about home fires.

  • Home fires can be prevented.
  • Fire is fast. In two minutes, a fire could kill you. In only five minutes, a whole house can be engulfed in flames.
  • Fire is very hot! However, heat and smoke have the potential to be more dangerous than the flames.
  • Hot air can burn your lungs and fire produces poisonous gas that can make you sleepy and unable to escape.
  • Fire is very dark. This can make it difficult to find your way out of your house during a fire.
  • Fire is deadly! Fire uses up oxygen you need to breathe.

You can always be prepared to prevent deadly fires in your home. Just taking a few precautions can help save you and your family.

These fire facts were found on www.ready.gov!

Types of Smoke

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

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.

Kitchen Cautions

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

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.

Halt Winter Heating Hazards

1/23/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is ready for any size disaster. This is one of our trucks that is ready to go at a moments notice.

Halt Winter Heating Hazards

                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 a effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative hear sources like fireplaces, 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 an estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually.  Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of heating-related fire.

  1. 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 friendly zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  2. 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.
  3. Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  4. Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  5. Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  6. Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. Test smoke alarms monthly.

 

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

If your property does suffer fire damage, contact the SERVPRO of Beaumont Professionals to help make it “like it never even happened.”

 

SERVPRO is quietly taking to the streets, every hour of every day, proving that whenever there is a house full of water or an office full of smoke, there is also a van full of clean.

Understanding The Behavior of Smoke

11/2/2016 (Permalink)

This is a picture of a half cleaned dishwasher that was affect due to a kitchen fire.

Understanding the Behavior of SMOKE

The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of smoke. There are two different types of smoke-wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. The SERVPRO of Beaumont Professionals are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. Before restoration begins, The SERVPRO of Beaumont Professionals will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows the SERVPRO of Beaumont Professionals to focus on saving your precious items.

 

The SERVPRO of Beaumont Professionals know smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke.

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

 

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 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 Franchise Professionals 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.

The SERVPRO of Beaumont Professionals are trained to handle even the toughest losses. If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact the SERVPRO of Beaumont Franchise Professionals to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

 

 

Fire, The Facts

9/23/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Beaumont cleaning up a fire loss.

JUST THE FACTS

ABOUT FIRE

In 2014, fires caused 2745 deaths, 11,825 injuries, and $6.8 Billion in property damage.

Three out of five home fire deaths are caused by fires in homes with no smoke alarms or not working alarms.

Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.

In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 94 percent of the time, while battery powered alarms operated 80 percent of the time.

When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.

One quarter of home fire deaths are caused by fires that start in the bedroom. Another quarter result from fires in the living room, family room or den.

One-third of survey respondents who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening.   The time available is often much less.  Only 8 percent said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out.

Facts provided by National Fire Protection Association, nfpa.org

 WHAT TO DO UNTIL HELP ARRIVES

DO:

  • 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/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these 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.
  • Change HVAC filters; leave 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.                               

DON’T:

  • 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 without first consulting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as they may be contaminated.
  • If ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fans. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.