Recent Fire Damage Posts
Do You Have a Back-to-School Family Emergency Plan?
As your child ages, changes schools, or your family moves, it's smart to update your plan.
No one ever likes to think that an emergency could happen to them, but the reality is that disasters can strike anytime, anywhere, including while your child is at school.
Even if you never end up needing your family emergency plan, it's best to be prepared just in case. Having a solid plan in place will give you everyday peace of mind and, in the event of an emergency, could save lives.
Make a list of 1-3 trusted emergency contacts who can pick up your child from school in the event that you are unable. Be sure to notify these people and get their permission. Review the list with your child to ensure they're comfortable with these people, know how to contact them by phone, and know what their vehicle looks like. Including an emergency card in your child’s backpack could prove useful for ensuring your child has the correct, pertinent information.
Communicate with the School
Ensure your child's school is kept up to date about who is allowed to pick them up. They'll need correct contact information and sometimes require a form of identification for their records. Many schools have materials they distribute to indicate designated pick up areas and other important information.
Drop Off Location
It’s scary, but it could happen. If none of the emergency contacts can be reached by phone or they're unable to pick your child up in a timely manner, alternative transportation may have to be arranged. Be sure to have a designated alternative drop-off spot. This could be a friend or relative's house, or another trusted location. Be sure your child knows the location, their current address, and phone number so that they can accurately tell authorities how to get there safely.
Reevaluate Each Year
As your child ages, changes schools, or your family moves, it's smart to update your plan.
Although we hope your family never experiences an unexpected disaster, if you do, SERVPRO is available 24/7/365 for emergency service. Learn more here.
SERVPRO Helps Prevent Fire in Your Home with Dryer Vent Cleaning
House fires affect millions of people every year at the cost of over $500 Million. Smoke detectors have proved their value, saving lives and homes from total loss. Most house fires start in the kitchen, but a significant number still occur in a place most forget about once the item is installed, the dryer vent.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 2,900 dryer fires are reported each year. These fires lead to a staggering national average of 35 million dollars in property damage, 100 injuries, and five fatalities annually.
PSA: Vent cleaning service may reduce your clothes dryer's workload while lowering energy usage!
A dryer inside the house or apartment uses a metal exhaust pipe (galvanized iron or steel usually) to vent hot air outside the home. The zinc-coated material is designed to handle the highest dryer settings and more but not open flames from burning built-up lint. Since this is an exhaust pipe and smoke seeks the most comfortable access, a vent fire goes undetected by the smoke detectors much longer than a fire anywhere else in the house.
If your dryer is in the garage or under a carport, the chance for a significant fire is reduced. The flexible vent tube may not run under the house, but it is still at risk. The build-up of lint can still ignite, destroying your dryer and the washer next to it. As the flexible plastic pipe melts, the burning material quickly ignites drywall and other building materials.
Our technicians can eliminate this threat with an inspection. We can attach an air mover that introduces high-velocity airflow into your vent for just a few minutes. If the build-up has caked against the sides of the pipe, we'll then use a brush with a telescoping handle to scrape the sides and then blore-attach the air mover to the lint outside your home. We detach it from the dryer for a flexible conduit and clean it outside using either an air mover or garden hose to wash it out.
The cost for vent cleaning is minor compared to the possible cost(s) to restore your home fire-damaged home. Aren’t convinced? There are still some things you, as a property owner, can do to keep your home as safe as possible.
What You Can Do
Clean the lint filter.
A clogged lint filter is the leading contributing factor in residential dryer fires. The U.S. Fire Administration reports that failing to clean out the lint trap causes 34 percent of reported dryer fires every year.
Each time you unload the dryer, clean out the lint trap. Before putting the next load of clothes in, double-check that the lint trap is completely clean to lower your risk of fire. A clean lint filter allows the dryer to run more efficiently, too, thus drying your clothes faster while also preventing your machine from overheating.
Inspect the ducts regularly.
Blocked ducts frequently cause dryer fires. To ensure your dryer is running correctly, check your ducts about once a month to ensure there are no blockages. Some telltale signs that your ducts are clogged include the following indicators:
- Your laundry is taking longer to dry
- Exhaust air is failing to exit the vent
- You suspect that your machine is overheating
Sometimes, a blockage occurs because the venting system itself is damaged. Other times, blockages may be occurring because of an accumulation of lint, animals building nests in the vents, or snow building up over the outside vents.
If you notice any blockages, clean them out before using your dryer again. To clean your ducts, disconnect them, remove the blockages and reconnect them. If you notice any damage to the venting system, call in a professional to repair the issue.
Replace outdated ducts.
Older ducts made of plastic or foil are prone to sagging. These accordion-style ducts can easily trap lint in hard-to-reach spaces, increasing your risk of fire. To keep your home safe, replace your older models with new ducts designed with heavy-duty metal.
DON'T overload the dryer.
Stuffing too many wet clothes or bedding into a dryer can cause an excess of lint to accumulate. Since lint build up reduces a dryer's ability to ventilate, the machine may quickly overheat and cause a fire to break out. Read your owner's manual to determine your machine's maximum hold to ensure you aren't overstuffing it.
DON'T leave the dryer running unattended.
Never go to sleep or leave the house while your dryer is running. If a fire breaks out, your ability to extinguish it or call emergency services right away can make all the difference between damage to your laundry room and complete loss of your home.
DON'T dry clothes without the lint filter.
A dryer without its lint trap is an accident waiting to happen. The filter protects the dryer's inner workings from collecting lint. Without this defensive shield, a buildup of lint in the ducts can easily lead to a dryer vent fire.
To lower your risk, always use your dryer with the lint trap in place. If your existing lint trap is worn or develops any holes, replace it immediately at your nearest home supplies store.
When it comes to disasters, one could argue that none are worse than a residential fire. Not only do the flames cause inherent danger as they destroy your family's home and or business, but there is also the after effect concerning the removal of debris, soot, the smell of smoke, compromised structure, and additional damages that have been inflicted on your property. For most homeowners, fire is an incredible event. However, they DO happen and for a variety of reasons.
Top 10 Other Causes of Fires
- Home heat fires: Your furnace needs regular inspection(s) and ensures combustibles are not near any portable heaters.
- Cooking fires: Unattended kitchens, splattering grease, and combustibles near the source of heat are very common fire starters.
- Smoking: Always ensure that you properly and completely extinguish the cigarette if you smoke in your home.
- Electrical fires: Look out for frayed cords, overloaded plug outlets, and the overuse of extension cords.
- Children: Keep lighters and matches away from children to stifle any curiosity they could have about what happens when various items catch fire.
- Candles: Candles may smell nice, but if left unattended, they could cause a significant issue.
- Flammable items: Do not keep adhesives, paint, or cleaning agents close to sources of heat.
- Faulty wiring: A significant safety hazard is inadequate wiring (MOSTLY prevalent in older apartments and homes).
- Grills: Never cook on the grill under an awning or a covered porch. Give yourself ample space away from your home and automobiles.
- Holiday décor: Be mindful of how close your Christmas tree is to your fireplace and always safely hang another décor.
Despite our best efforts as homeowners, accidents still happen. If your home has been damaged by fire and smoke, call SERVPRO of South Orlando. Our team of highly trained technicians can help get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. With the proper training, innovative equipment, and helpful guidance, our expert technicians will be with you every step of the way to get you back on your feet.
We will arrive at your home quickly to mitigate the damages, secure your property and start the emergency cleaning process to items that are of priority. While we are on the site, your property will be inspected, assessments of damage(s) will be documented, and preliminary estimates made to give you a comprehensive restoration plan of action.
Is Your Business Prepared for a Fire?
Call SERVPRO of South Orlando if your business suffers commercial fire damage at (407) 985-3200.
Fire Preparedness Means More Than Simply Owning a Fire Extinguisher
A fire is every business owner’s nightmare. Your insurance policy will ensure you can rebuild in the event of a fire. But what about protecting your most important assets: your life and the lives of your employees? To avoid the unspeakable tragedy of losing employees in a fire, it’s necessary to build a fire escape plan.
Tips for Your Business’ Emergency Fire Plan
- Ensure your business has the proper number of smoke alarms. In newer homes, the National Fire Alarm Code (NFPA 72) requires hard-wired, interconnected smoke alarms with battery backup on every building level, outside each work area, and inside each office. If your building is older and smoke alarms are not already in place, install them on every level and outside each work area at a minimum. Test your alarms once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
- Teach employees what smoke alarms look and sound like. If your smoke alarm has a test feature, set aside time for a training in which you or a professional teach your employees the fire escape plan and include a smoke alarm test. If it does not have a test feature, there are videos online which provide demonstrations of what smoke alarms sound and look like. Teaching employees to recognize an alarm and know the plan of action ahead of time will give employees more confidence to remain calm during the emergency.
- Ensure everyone in the building knows two ways to escape from every room. It may not be an ideal route, but knowing a second exit from a room is advisable. It is also essential to establish a meeting spot outside the building to ensure everyone's arrival to safety. Depending on the size of the building, this may require a customized escape diagram.
- Establish an emergency communications plan. As part of your building’s fire escape plan, make sure everyone knows who and how to contact in the event of an emergency.
- Practice escaping from your building at least twice a year. This may seem excessive, but fire drills can save lives in the event of a real fire. Employees come and go, so frequently performing this drill makes sure all employees know what to do.
Call SERVPRO of South Orlando if your business suffers commercial fire damage at (407) 985-3200.
Why is My Smoke Alarm Beeping?
It is crucial to check your batteries in your fire alarm frequently.
In addition to potentially causing significant fire damage, flames and smoke can endanger the lives of everyone inside your home. A properly functioning fire alarm can alert you to danger and help save lives. For this reason, every household should have this lifesaving device.
Sometimes, however, a smoke detector may act sporadically, chirping loudly or going off despite the absence of smoke. Often, there is a simple explanation for this erratic and—let’s be real, annoying!—behavior.
Why Is My Smoke Alarm So Annoying?
Batteries have a limited lifespan. A chirping alarm may indicate that your device needs a new battery.
Improperly Installed Battery
A loose battery or terminal obstruction may cause your fire alarm to chirp intermittently. Use the self-check button on your smoke alarm to ensure the battery works after installing.
Dirty Sensing Chamber
Dust and dirt can sometimes obstruct the sensing chamber, resulting in a false alert. To help prevent this problem, you should routinely wipe your detectors with a dusting cloth.
Interference From Steam
Steam can also interfere with your detector’s sensing capability. This may be a particularly challenging problem for units located near bathrooms. To help reduce the likelihood of an inadvertent alert, close the bathroom door while showering and turn on the fan.
Interrupted Power Supply
An interrupted power supply may also cause erroneous beeping. You should examine each detector’s wiring for loose connections. If you notice lights dimming spontaneously, especially when an appliance is in use, contact a licensed electrician to help you inspect your home’s wiring.
End of Lifespan
Did you know your smoke detector can essentially expire? The average lifespan for most smoke detectors is 8 – 10 years. After this period, the unit’s sensing capacity may diminish, reducing its effectiveness. If an older device is chirping, it may be time to replace it with a new one.
A fire alarm may not spare your home from a destructive fire or smoke damage, but this valuable safety device may one day save your life. To help safeguard your well-being, you should promptly investigate a chirping detector and replace batteries, or the entire unit, as needed.
Call SERVPRO of South Orlando if you have smoke or fire damage, (407) 985-3200.
Why Smoke Detectors are Important
If you experience fire damage in your property, call SERVPRO of South Orlando at (727) 341-1001!
We learned fire safety throughout elementary and middle school and what to do when you hear a smoke detector. However, have you forgotten to change out the batteries? Or maybe you turned off your smoke detector because everything you cook sets off the alarm?
Individuals should think twice before taking out the batteries. Why? According to The National Fire Protection Association, 3 out of 5 homes without a smoke alarm experience deaths. Let smoke detectors help your family!
So, be sure to check your smoke detectors once a year, replace the batteries, and make sure each smoke detector is working in your home – they save lives, after all! For additional fire safety tips, visit The National Fire Protection Association.
If you experience fire damage in your property, call SERVPRO of South Orlando at (727) 341-1001!
New Year Cleaning and Decluttering For a Fresh Start
Regularly scheduled home-maintenance and cleaning can curb hazardous, pricey problems in the future like fires and mold growth.
Regularly scheduled home-maintenance and cleaning can curb hazardous, pricey problems in the future like fires and mold growth. Since we are entering the new year, decluttering is a great way to improve the usability of your space—so you can freely undertake your big plans for the year.
More than a tidy environment
One of the easiest ways to declutter your mind is to declutter your home. If untidy environments are stressing you out, we suggest starting small. Pick up the general items around your most used spaces. Wash the dishes, fold the laundry, and make the beds. After the basics are cleaned, tackle the details.
Deep clean the kitchen:
- Check for expiration and toss old food and condiments
- Wipe out refrigerator drawers, cabinets, the microwave, and oven
- Get rid of cupboard items you don’t use
- Empty the junk drawer
Main area cleaning:
- Dust ceiling fan blades
- Wash baseboards and walls—especially if you have children!
- Vacuum underneath furniture
- Wash curtains and linens
- Rotate and flip mattress
- Turn all hangers backwards, then when you wear an item, replace the hanger normally—this indicates which items you wear. Toss or donate backwards hanging items after 1 year.
- Scrub the bathtub walls and don’t forget the shower head
- Use a drain snake tool or drain liquid to break up stuck hair and scum in sinks and shower
- For every gift received, get rid of one item
- Sell or donate decor you didn’t use this season
- Replace air filters every 3 months
- Check and replace smoke alarm batteries
If you need more in-depth mold, fire, or water damage cleaning, SERVPRO of South Orlando is Here To Help®. We understand not every clean up is quick, easy, or preventable. To inquire about our services, call us today at (407) 985-3200.
Fire Prevention, Protect your Home and Family
Fire prevention can save your home and your life.
You protect your family by locking doors at night, monitoring who they spend time with and where they are going. It’s important to add fire preparation to your safety regimen. As a homeowner, the thought of a fire breaking out in your house is a nightmare scenario. Your family’s safety is at risk, and you could lose precious possessions and your home itself. The preparation steps below will reduce the risk of fire and potentially save a life.
Maintain Smoke Alarms
All homes should have smoke alarms to alert you to fire danger. One or two devices are not enough. Your home should have one in every bedroom and an additional alarm per floor. Maintain your smoke alarms to ensure they are effective.
- Test your smoke alarm once a month.
- Change the batteries in your smoke alarm at least once a year.
- Never disconnect your smoke alarm.
Keep an Eye on the Dryer
Of all your appliances, your dryer is perhaps the most significant potential culprit for starting a fire. Check the filter and remove lint buildup after every load. We also recommend inspecting the outside vent and the hose leading from the dryer to the vent for proper ventilation.
Watch the Outlets
Being aware of electrical problems is an important fire precaution. Never overload your outlets with cords. Also, be mindful when you use power strips, especially with computers and TVs.
Be Careful When You Cook
Fire prevention starts in the kitchen, where there are many different heat sources. Make sure your oven is clean and functioning correctly. Also, never leave food on the stove unattended.
You can have peace of mind when you follow these fire prevention guidelines. If you need further direction, contact SERVPRO of South Orlando at (407) 985-3200.
SERVPRO of South Orlando Talks About Inspecting Your Personal Belongings
SERVPRO of South Orlando can clean your personal belongings affected by fire damage.
Fire Damage Experts and Your Home's Contents
Any time something burns on your South Orlando property, several issues can arise. A fire's flames and the heat they produce can spread quickly, burning anything in its way as fuel. In many cases, structural components that make up the building get severely burnt and charred to the point that removal is necessary. Aside from what burns, smoke coming from it can also ruin parts of your house.
Smoke leaves behind soot residues on surfaces inside your home and can cause foul aromas to linger. Every fire damage project in South Orlando typically involves removing ruined structural components and dealing with smoke-related issues. Before work begins, our SERVPRO professionals inspect the structure and figure out the job's overall scope.
When inspecting a damaged home for the first time, we assess the torched items first, then determine where smoke traveled inside the house. Once we decide on the affected rooms, our SERVPRO technicians then figure out the soot damage severity. We first inspect the parts of a building smoke usually affects, such as the ceiling and upper parts of walls, and come up with the best technique to clean the structural materials.
After our SERVPRO crew inspects your structure, we check your personal belongings for damages. The best way to tell if soils exist on an item is to use the contrast method. In many scenarios, we accomplish this by cleaning a spot of an object and comparing it to the dirty parts. Some of your contents, such as tables, possibly have unaffected areas covered by tablecloths or dinner mats. We correspond the exposed areas to the untouched sections to see where the smoke touched.
The next step of the inspection process is to clean a part of each affected item and see which chemicals work best for each material type. When formulating the project's scope, we record soiled items and the best methods to clean them.
Once we pinpoint every item in the home that got damaged, we'll estimate the time, equipment, and labor to complete the work. If you ever find your personal belongings covered in soils or residues after a blaze, call SERVPRO of South Orlando at (407) 985-3200 24/7.
Best Way to Remove Smoke and Soot Damage From Your South Orlando Home
Contact SERVPRO of South Orlando for odor removal and soot damage.
SERVPRO Solves Many Forms of Fire Damage in Orlando Homes
After the fire, there're fire damage levels to address even in a home blaze that would qualify as a small scale. The key to lessening the secondary damage from smoke, soot, and water (used to extinguish the fire) is to begin the cleaning and restore the property as quickly as possible.
When SERVPRO arrives to remediate fire damage to South Orlando properties, our technician teams do several things at once to make the cleanup efforts go faster. We use containment when the fire is local to only a specific area in the home. Our technicians set up barriers to control the spread of odor-causing soot particles naked to the human eye. At the same time, other technicians take moisture measurements and determine the best course for drying with positioned air movers and humidifiers for fast results.
Once the affected areas are ready to dry using moisture probes, SERVPRO technicians determine smoke and soot residue that needs cleaning from surfaces and restorable objects using wet and dry sponges to remove all fire traces and odor. Our certified Odor Control Technicians (OCTs) determine how much the odor has spread throughout the home and affected building materials, fabrics, and porous items. We often use multiple methods to completely eradicate odor left behind by home fires, such as HEPA-filtered air scrubbers with charcoal filters. We also follow up with a thermal fogging application to neutralize odors in carpeting, fabrics, and other porous items that may be holding stubborn odors from the fire. The solvent-based fog travels in the same manner as smoke and effectively overtakes and eliminates deeply seated odors.
We know cleanup needs to start as soon as possible for the best outcome from fire damage. Contact SERVPRO of South Orlando at (407) 985-3200 and talk to one of our certified technicians; we are available 24/7 to assist you.
Steps to Take After Fire Damage Disaster Happens
Contact SERVPRO of South Orlando for your fire damage needs.
What to Tackle First When There's Fire Damage to Your South Orlando Home
Disaster can strike at any time, leaving our families amid debris and at a loss for answers. In Florida, we tend to get an advanced warning when hurricanes, winds, or storms threaten our homes, but we rarely think that fire could also affect us. As homeowners, we need to quickly connect with the best in the industry to help us remediate fire damage and salvage as much as we can.
SERVPRO is the answer to your needs. When there's fire damage to your Orlando property, we help mitigate the devastation and work with you to protect the structure and contents of your home. Our team is on call around the clock and ready to apply its skills and experience to help you. SERVPRO technicians are IICRC certified to restore your home after affected by fire and smoke. We're your greatest ally in bringing your property back to pre-damage condition through our training and the availability of specialized equipment and technology.
There's much to worry about after a fire strikes your home. Your family's immediate safety and lodging are our top priority, followed by the physical integrity of your home and everything you had in it. Our team can make an assessment and work with relevant parties to determine which parts of your home are compromised if any. Simultaneously, we explore your belongings to salvage as much as we can. In the process, we utilize solutions specific to each surface to eliminate traces of smoke and soot.
Very often, the smell of smoke is the last priority but an overwhelming nuisance. Our deodorizing process includes different methods for neutralizing the odor and improving air quality in your home. For this, we may use air scrubbers, ozone generators, and even thermal foggers to erase the smell from furniture and other materials inside the home.
Do not feel alone when disaster strikes. Call SERVPRO of South Orlando at (407) 985-3200 and allow us to help you leave your home "Like it never even happened."
The Nature of Smoke and Soot Dictate Clean Up Practices After Fire Damage Fire Damage
SERVPRO of South Orlando can handle your fire damage needs.
If you ever suffer from a structural blaze inside your Orlando home, it is always smart to contact a professional restoration company such as SERVPRO immediately. Our fire damage restoration crews know the best techniques to refinish and restore burnt and soiled items to prevent replacement. When dealing with burnt materials, smoke, which consists of partially combusted particles, can add to the extent of your problems.
When mitigating any fire damage in Orlando, our SERVPRO technicians know to use different chemicals and techniques when removing residues left behind by various smoke types. There're four categories of classification of smoke and smoke residue. Knowing the smoke class present will determine the best method to remove soot residues from your building's materials and contents.
1. Dry Smoke
Most fires go through stages of creating both wet and dry smoke. Usually, fires will have more of one type than the other. Dry smoke gets created by fast-burning, oxygen-rich burns. Also, it's made when organic materials like wood, paper, or natural fabrics burn.
2. Wet Smoke
Whether a fire produces wet or, dry smoke depends on the amount of oxygen present, combustion rate, and substance burning type. When the fire lacks oxygen and burns at a lower temperature, it produces wet smoke. Also, wet smoke is created when synthetic materials such as rubber or plastic burns. Wet smoke usually adheres stronger to most surfaces and is difficult to remove and clean.
3. Protein Residues
Protein residues can be found when products such as meat, poultry, or fish burn. When a fire starts inside your kitchen, there's a good chance that protein residues can exist. These residues leave behind a yellow or amber discoloration, but it can sometimes be clear and hard to see on a surface. Protein residues leave behind strong odors making deodorization the most prominent issue when dealing with them.
4. Fuel Oil Soots
Furnace puff-backs can create fuel oil residues that consist of dust particles from the ventilation system and fuel oils that did not burn all the way. This type of soot usually has a gray or black color and can consist of large or small particles. Often, the electrically charged ions form spiderweb-like formations in corners that can smear readily if not vacuumed and sponged off correctly.
If a fire ever ignites inside your Pine Castle, Belle Isle, or Barber Park house, contact SERVPRO of South Orlando at (407) 985-3200.
Smoke Residue Can Accumulate after Fire Damage to Your Edgewood Home
If you have smoke residue on your Florida property, call SERVPRO of South Orlando.
Rely on SERVPRO for Professional Fire Damage Restoration
An incidence of fire damage can cost you a ton of money and time to restore. The ability to restore depends on the extent of damage caused by the flames and the smoke and soot residue. Smoke and soot particles are one of the most significant contributors when it comes to fire damage to your Edgewood home. Not all fires produce identical residue, and the time and effort required to clean these different residue types determine the success of the restoration process. IICRC certified SERVPRO technicians use their extensive knowledge about different types of residue during the restoration process. While some residues have a minor impact, some others can cause more profound damage.
Dry and Wet Residue
Frequently encountered residue after a fire incident includes wet and dry residues. All fires produce both these residues, but their relative proportion can vary greatly. For instance, a rapid burning fire that has an abundant supply of oxygen usually produces dry residues. On the other hand, if the fire was slow-burning with less than optimal oxygen supply, the wet residue is formed mostly.
Another thing affecting residue generated is material burning. While natural materials such as wood and cotton result in drier smoke residue, synthetic materials such as rubber and plastic produce wetter smoke. As it turns out, drier residues are easier to clean compared to wetter residues. SERVPRO technicians can use less harsh techniques such as cleaning with a sponge to clean the damage due to drier smoke, but wet residues often require more intense cleaning processes.
Protein residue is quite common if a fire breaks out in the kitchen. The burning of meat, poultry, or fish usually generates this type of residue. It's pale yellow and can stain surfaces quite easily. It's also accompanied by the characteristic odor that can linger on for a long time. Odor removal cannot occur without a thorough cleaning process followed by an efficient deodorization. Protein residue can be quite challenging to stop, and the restoration process may require additional time.
Call SERVPRO of South Orlando at (407) 985-3200 today to schedule a free consultation with one of our restoration experts.