Recent Fire Damage Posts
Tis the Season For Safety
Tis the Season for Safety
Pretty lights and decorations add to the feel of the holiday season, but if they are not used properly your holidays can go from festive to frightening very quickly. Please see below a few very simple safety tips, which can reduce your risk in your home or business this holiday season.
- Place Christmas trees, and other holiday decorations at least 3 feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, and heat vents.
- Purchase flame retardant metallic, or artificial trees. If you purchase a real tree, make sure that it has fresh, green needles that are not easily broken. Keep all live trees moist - check the water daily.
- Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.
- Never use lit candles to decorate a tree.
- Always extinguish candles before going to bed or leaving the house -- designate a person to be in charge of checking and putting out all candles.
- Keep anything that can catch on fire - potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains ... away from your stovetop.
- Smoke alarms save lives. Replace batteries at least once a year. Use the test button to check it each month.
Mundelein/North Wauconda Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- 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
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
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.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (847) 469-6982
Working Fire Alarms save Lives!
Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.
More than one-third (38 percent) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms
The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.
Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.
Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance. For more on emergency preparedness, contact SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda
•Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.
•Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
•Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
•Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm "chirps," the battery is low and should be replaced right away.
•Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
Educating Children about Fire Safety
Have you educated your kids about fire safety? Do you know how to talk about fire safety with your kids?
Here are a few tips:
- Keep matches and lighters in a secured drawer or cabinet.
- Have your children tell you when they find matches and lighters.
- Develop a home fire escape plan. Practice it with your children and designate a meeting place outside.
- Supervise young children closely. Do not leave them alone even for short periods of time.
- Take the mystery out of fire by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
- Teach children the nature of fire. It is FAST, HOT, DARK and DEADLY!
- Demonstrate how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothes catch fire.
- Show children how to crawl low on the floor, below the smoke, to get out of the house and stay out in the case of fire.
- Teach children not to hide from firefighters, but to get out quickly and call for help.
- Teach children to check the door knob before opening the door, if it is hot to the touch don't go out there
- Practice Fire drills at home, so everyone knows how to get out safely
Extension Cord Safety
Roughly 3,300 home fires originate in extension cords each year, killing 50 people and injuring about 270 more.
When extension cords are not properly used, they can overheat and can cause fires to start.
Here are some safety tips to help prevent extension cord fires
- Do not overload extension cords with plugs.
- Check that they are not damaged. There should be no frayed sockets, loose wires, bare wires, and no cracks.
- Never force a fit by cutting off parts from a three-prong plug to fit into a two-slot outlet.
- Make sure the extension cords are used for their intended purpose such as indoor or outdoor use.
- Do not use a power strip with heaters or fans because they can over heat.
- Don’t use a wet extension cord, and don’t keep extension cords near water
- When not using the extension cords, keep them unplugged
- Don’t have extension cords under carpets, someone could damage it or trip over it
Fire or Smoke Damage Safety Tips
After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
Have A Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency? Call 847-469-6982
What to Do After A Fire
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
What NOT to Do After A Fire
- Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
- Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
- Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
Summer Time Safety Tips
Summertime is the time for Cooking out, Campfires, and Fireworks. It is also a dangerous time for Fires, and with these helpful tips, it will keep you and your family safe to enjoy the season.
The best way to enjoy fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays put on by professionals who know how to safely handle fireworks.
If you plan to use fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area.
Never light fireworks indoors
Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby.
Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If the firework does not go off, do not stand over it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
Always read the directions and warning labels on fireworks. If a firework is not marked with the contents, direction and a warning label, do not light it.
Supervise children around fireworks at all times.
Cooking On a Grill Safety (Propane or Charcoal)
Before using a grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line.
Do not overfill the propane tank.
Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbecue.
Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire because the flame can flashback up into the container and explode.
Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Supervise children around outdoor grills.
Dispose of hot coals properly - use plenty of water to cover the coals, and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
Never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas - carbon monoxide could be produced.
Call 911 or your local emergency number if a burn happens and it needs medical attention.
Build campfires where they will not spread, away from dry grass and leaves.
Keep campfires small, and don't let them get out of hand.
Keep plenty of water and a shovel around to put on the fire when you're done. Stir it and douse it again with water, to ensure that the fire is out
Never leave campfires unattended
Grilling Safety Do's and Don'ts
May is National BBQ Month, with everyone grilling this time of year it is important to remember that grilling can be very dangerous. Below are some do’s and don’ts to keep friends, family, children, and yourself safe!
The Do’s and Don’ts of grill safety:
- Keep your grill at least ten feet away from your house.
- Make sure to keep your grill clean.
- Always check for gas leaks.
- Make sure to keep decorations or anything that may be flammable up away from your grill.
- Always keep a fire hydrant nearby.
- Keep baking soda near, in case of a grease fire
- Make sure your grill is on a flat surface
- If the flame goes out, remember to wait a few minutes before re-lighting
- Never turn your gas on when the lid is shut.
- Do not leave your grill unattended.
- Never use your grill inside your home.
- Don’t let children play around the grill
- Don't over fill your grill with food-grease could build up and cause a fire
Christmas Fire Safety Tips
Holiday Fire Safety Tips
The holiday season is one of the most dangerous times of the year for household fires, so take note of these tips to reduce your risk.
A fireplace screen prevents embers from popping out onto your floor.
Residential fires during the holiday season are more frequent, more costly, and more deadly than at any other time of the year. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) reports more than double the number of open-flame fires on Christmas Day than on an average day, and about twice as many on New Year’s Day. And when those fires occur, they do more damage: Property loss during a holiday fire is 34% greater than in an average fire, and the number of fatalities per thousand fires is nearly 70% higher. When the source of the fire is a highly flammable Christmas tree, the toll in property and lives is even greater.
To keep your household from becoming a holiday fire statistic, here are some safety tips to follow.
Cooking is the top cause of holiday fires, according to the USFA. The most common culprit is food that’s left unattended. It’s easy to get distracted; take a pot holder with you when you leave the kitchen as a reminder that you have something on the stove. Make sure to keep a kitchen fire extinguisher that’s rated for all types of fires, and check that smoke detectors are working.
If you’re planning to deep-fry your holiday turkey, do it outside, on a flat, level surface at least 10 feet from the house.
The incidence of candle fires is four times higher during December than during other months. According to the National Fire Protection Association, four of the five most dangerous days of the year for residential candle fires are Christmas/Christmas Eve and New Year’s/New Year’s Eve. (The fifth is Halloween.)
To reduce the danger, maintain about a foot of space between the candle and anything that can burn. Set candles on sturdy bases or cover with hurricane globes. Never leave flames unattended. Before bed, walk through each room to make sure candles are blown out. For atmosphere without worry, consider flameless LED candles.
It takes less than 30 seconds for a dry tree to engulf a room in flames, according to the Building and Fire Research Laboratory of the National Institute for Standards and Technology. “They make turpentine out of pine trees,” notes Tom Olshanski, spokesman for the USFA. “A Christmas tree is almost explosive when it goes.”
To minimize risk, buy a fresh tree with intact needles, get a fresh cut on the trunk, and water it every day. A well-watered tree is almost impossible to ignite. Keep the tree away from heat sources, such as a fireplace or radiator, and out of traffic patterns. If you’re using live garlands and other greenery, keep them at least three feet away from heating sources.
No matter how well the tree is watered, it will start to dry out after about four weeks, Olshanski says, so take it down after the holidays. Artificial trees don’t pose much of a fire hazard; just make sure yours is flame-retardant.
Inspect light strings, and throw out any with frayed or cracked wires or broken sockets. When decorating, don’t run more than three strings of lights end to end. “Stacking the plugs is much safer when you’re using a large quantity of lights,” explains Brian L. Vogt, director of education for holiday lighting firm Christmas Décor. Extension cords should be in good condition and UL-rated for indoor or outdoor use. Check outdoor receptacles to make sure the ground fault interrupters don’t trip. If they trip repeatedly, Vogt says, that’s a sign that they need to be replaced.
When hanging lights outside, avoid using nails or staples, which can damage the wiring and increase the risk of a fire. Instead, use UL-rated clips or hangers. And take lights down within 90 days, says John Drengenberg, director of consumer safety for Underwriters Laboratories. “If you leave them up all year round, squirrels chew on them and they get damaged by weather.”
Kids Playing with Matches
The number of blazes — and, tragically, the number of deaths — caused by children playing with fire goes up significantly during the holidays. From January through March, 13% of fire deaths are the result of children playing with fire, the USFA reports; in December, that percentage doubles. So keep matches and lighters out of kids’ reach. “We tend to underestimate the power of these tools,” says Meri-K Appy, president of the nonprofit Home Safety Council. “A match or lighter could be more deadly than a loaded gun in the hands of a small child.”
Soot can harden on chimney walls as flammable creosote, so before the fireplace season begins, have your chimney inspected to see if it needs cleaning. Screen the fireplace to prevent embers from popping out onto the floor or carpet, and never use flammable liquids to start a fire in the fireplace. Only burn seasoned wood — no wrapping paper.
When cleaning out the fireplace, put embers in a metal container and set them outside to cool for 24 hours before disposal.
Christmas Tree Safety
Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious.
Picking the tree
- Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
Placing the tree
- Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2" from the base of the trunk.
- Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
- Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.
Lighting the tree
- Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer's instructions for number of light strands to connect.
- Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
- Get rid of the tree after Christmas. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.
The Silent Killer
Carbon monoxide, considered “the silent killer,” is a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. It can be created when fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, coal, natural gas, propane, methane, or wood do not burn properly. According to U.S. Fire Administration, around 150 people die every year from accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Often times, it is the result of faulty, improperly used or vented consumer products like furnaces, ranges, water heaters, room heaters, and engine-powered equipment, such as portable generators. However, there are precautions you can take to help protect yourself, your family and your employees from deadly CO fumes.
Reduce the chance of CO exposure in your workplace by performing regular maintenance on equipment and appliances that can produce CO. Consider switching from gasoline-powered equipment to equipment powered by electricity or batteries. Prohibit the use of gasoline-powered engines or tools in poorly ventilated areas.
To protect your home, install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the home, including outside of all bedrooms. Consider having all fuel-burning heating equipment and chimneys serviced annually by a professional. Use portable generators only in well-ventilated areas away from doors, windows, vents and other openings to prevent fumes from entering the home.
After the Fire
Every 90 seconds a Residential Fire occurs somewhere in the U.S. When a fire strikes your home SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda is on the scene for you when you need us most: 24/7/365
Timely Response is our promise to you. Within 1 Hour our professionals will be in touch with you to discuss a gameplan for restoration of your home. Within 4 hours of your call a SERVPRO of Mundelein/ North Wauconda professional will arrive at the scene to start mitigation services. Within 8 hours, a verbal briefing of the scope of the job will be ready to be submitted to your Insurance Adjuster.
Our promise to you is to make the process go as smooth as possible! Call us today!
Fireplace Safety Tips
FIREPLACE SAFETY TIPS
- Burn only dry, split firewood. Avoid chemically treated wood.
- Install a chimney cap
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Close damper when fireplace is not in use.
- Schedule a yearly fireplace and chimney inspection.
Classes of Fires and Types of Fire Extinguishers
Did you know there are different types of fire extinguishers for different types of fires! Not all fires are the same! Listed below are classes of fires and the type of fire extinguisher you would need:
Class A: Trash, Wood, Paper
Class B: Flammable Liquids-gasoline, petroleum oil, and paint
Flammable Gases- propane and butane
Class C: Electrical Equipment- energized electrical equipment such as motors, transformers, and appliances
Class D: Combustible Metals-potassium, sodium, aluminum, and magnesium
Class K: Cooking Oils- greases, animal and vegetable fats
For each class of Fire different fire extinguishers are used listed below are the different types:
Water Fire Extinguishers (red): This fire extinguisher is the cheapest and most widely used. The water fire extinguisher is used for Class A fires
Foam Fire Extinguishers(cream): This one is a little more expensive that water, but can be used for Classes A&B fires.
Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers(blue): This fire extinguisher is a multi-purpose extinguisher, as it can be used on classes A, B &C fires. It works best on Class B fires. The dry powder fire extinguisher will put out a Class C fire, but can be dangerous to extinguish a gas fire without first isolating the gas supply
CO2 Fire Extinguishers (black): are used for class B and C fires. CO2 extinguishers contain carbon dioxide, a non-flammable gas, and are highly pressurized. The pressure is so great that it is not uncommon for bits of dry ice to shoot out the nozzle. They don't work very well on class A fires because they may not be able to displace enough oxygen to put the fire out, causing it to re-ignite.
Commercial Fire Safety
Call SERVPRO for Fast, Friendly Fire Remediation Services
The word “fire” strikes fear in the hearts of most people and for good reason. Whether it’s your home or business it can bring life, as you know it, to a screeching halt.
If your business or commercial property caught on fire, don't panic. Instead, call the professionals of SERVPRO® of Mundelein/North Wauconda and let us start cleaning up immediately. Acting right now is the key to limiting damages and expediting the restoration process, and choosing our team of industry specialists is the secret to attaining the services you deserve. All of our IICRC-certified technicians will work with diligence and determination to get your commercial property back in pristine condition, so call us now at 847-469-6982
Knowing which steps to take in the face of a commercial fire can help prevent you from becoming anxious, losing money, and undergoing extensive property damages. To handle fire damage successfully and speedily, implement the following four tips:
- Call The Insurance Company Immediately.
Be sure that you call your insurance company once the fire is out. This step is important because your insurance agent will work with you to file a claim and determine how much coverage you'll attain for the commercial damages.
- Contact A Fire Remediation Expert.
In addition to fire, smoke, and soot damage, your business may also suffer from water damage as a result of the firefighting efforts.
- Assemble Your Records.
In addition to contacting a fire remediation expert, make sure that you assemble your business's essential records. You'll want to have this information with you when you start working with your insurance company. To guarantee that you can have all of your files ready in a safe place, make a point to buy a fireproof safe where they can be stored.
- Get Permission to Reenter the Building.
Always ask the fire department or another local authority whether you can reenter your building. In some cases, a fire can weaken the structural integrity of the commercial property and make it subject to collapse. This is why you need to assure that reentry is safe for you and your employees
SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda specializes in fire and water damage restoration. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your business to pre-fire condition. Don't ever attempt to handle any of the cleanups, drying, or restoration processes on your own. Doing so could put you at risk of injury and illness.
Don't Wait Check the Date!
This week of October 9th-15th, 2016 is the National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Prevention Week! This year’s theme is “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years,”
According to statistical data from the NFPA, in 2012 an estimated 1,375,500 fires were responded to in the United States. These fires caused 2,855 deaths and 16,500 civilian injuries while costing more than 12.4 billion dollars in damages. Though some fires are unavoidable acts of nature, many fires in the home and workplace are avoidable.
Here are some 10 key fire safety tips that you should adhere to:
- Watch your cooking – Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. Never allow young children around the stove or oven, especially if they are not closely attended.
- Give space heaters space – Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.
- Smoke outside – If you must smoke inside, have a sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach – Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.
- Inspect electrical cords – replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs or have loose connections.
- Be careful when using candles - Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Have a fire escape plan – Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.
- Install smoke alarms – install alarms on every level of your office or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.
- Test smoke alarms - Test your smoke alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year as needed.
- install sprinkles – Sprinkles can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance of saving you property.