Recent Fire Damage Posts
Safety Tips For Using Your Space Heater
While space heaters provide wonderful warmth during the colder months, they also can be safety hazards if they aren’t properly set up and monitored. Our SERVPRO team is always concerned with your safety, and today we are sharing safety tips for you to follow when you are using a space heater:
Carefully place your space heater at least 3 feet away from flammable objects. If any objects come in contact with the space heater’s electric heating face or a hot surface, this is a fire risk. Never wrap anything over your space heater and keep it away from rugs, furniture, bedding, clothing, window treatments, or other flammable materials. Your space heater should also always sit on a level surface so that it doesn’t accidentally tip over or fall.
Plug your space heater directly into an outlet instead of using an extension cord; there is a much higher chance of your space heater overheating or otherwise malfunctioning if it is plugged into an extension cord or an outlet strip. You can minimize these dangers by plugging your space heater directly into an outlet that has the power capacity necessary to fire it up and keep it running.
When you’re not using your space heater, turn it off. You will save energy by doing so, as well as ensuring that there will not be an accidental fire.
You should clean your space heater and wipe it down regularly to ensure that no dangerous overheating can occur. You should also carefully monitor your space heater to make sure you know that it is functioning properly. If anything seems out of order, turn it off and unplug it right away until a professional can inspect it.
Space heaters should never be run in places that are humid or wet, due to the dangerous situation that water and electricity will create.
Here at SERVPRO of North Nashville, we care about your safety and are fire damage restoration experts. If you have experienced any disastrous event, such as a fire, flood or storm, call us right away so that we can help you get back to normal as soon as possible.
Best Practices For Using A Gas Fireplace
A gas fireplace provides fire and heat to your home or workspaces, of course, and it’s also a great addition to any room when it comes to ambiance and aesthetics. They do require specific safety precautions, however.
Here are some best practices for using a gas fireplace:
All gas fireplaces should have a protective safety screen across the front of the fireplace; these screens provide a barrier that helps to reduce the risk of someone getting a serious burn. Also, keep in mind that a safety screen will retain heat, so make sure your family members know not to touch it - especially the little ones.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, poisonous gas that can be deadly, and because of this, every home should have at least one carbon monoxide detector located in rooms near gas appliances, including your gas fireplace. In addition, your home should also have smoke detectors that are fully functional; check and replace the batteries on a regular basis to ensure that they are in good condition.
Schedule yearly inspections for your gas fireplace with a licensed gas technician or hearth dealer; they can check the gas lines, clean the unit’s burner and control compartment, check for condensation.
When you are selecting your gas fireplace, try to choose a model that offers direct-venting. They have sealed combustion systems that protect indoor air quality by drawing air from outside the building while sending all the combustion exhaust and any by-products to the outside. Proper ventilation is essential to protect your loved ones, your property, and yourself.
If you have an accident and your premises suffer damage from a fire, you can call us here at SERVPRO of North Nashville for clean up or recovery of your property and belongings. We also handle water damage, we’re mold remediation experts, and we can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned. Ask us how!
Cleaning Up Your Home After Smoke Damage
A fire will affect everything in your home through the flames, heat, soot, and smoke, and the actual structure itself can even be compromised. You’ll need the assistance of professionals who have the expertise and equipment that is needed to get your work or personal space back to normal as soon as possible, following fire damage. Here at SERVPRO of North Nashville, we understand that smoke damage can last for a long time, so here are some first steps to think about as you are cleaning up your home after smoke damage:
Inhaling smoke can have an immediate negative effect on you, so avoiding a smoky situation is really important, even if it’s only for a short time. With that in mind, make sure you don’t enter your home or business until all the smoke is cleared from your premises. Hiring a professional fire and smoke damage restoration contractor will ensure that your property is free from the after-effects of a fire.
Here at SERVPRO of North Nashville, we specialize in restoring the contents of a home or business that has suffered from fire or smoke. Our team will assess all your belongings carefully to determine which items can be restored to their original condition, and they will use several cleaning methods to do just that. These can include:
- Foam: used for upholstery; it can shrink or the colors may bleed if water is used.
- Dry: used to get rid of light residue.
- Wet: used to remove moderate to heavy residues.
- Immersion: used for heavy residues and overwhelming odors.
Electronics that have been damaged by fire and the accompanying smoke often present a serious hazard. Never turn your electronics on after they have been damaged by fire. Smoke residue contains acids that will corrode metal and can cause electronic failure in a device. Computers, televisions, and CD/DVD players should be assessed and cleaned by a professional before they are used after a fire.
If the smoke and fire damage to your home is such that it will need extensive restoration or cleaning, requiring you to move to other accommodations temporarily, SERVPRO of North Nashville can organize your move-out process. Removing your items from the area will move any remodeling process along a lot faster, as well as protect your items from any further potential damage. We can then coordinate and organize your move back into your premises once it is safe to do so.
If your home or business has suffered damage from fire or smoke, our team here at SERVPRO of North Nashville is ready to handle it. We’re experts in cleanup projects of all sizes, and we are mold prevention and remediation experts, too. We can get your premises Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned!
Fire Safety Tips Everyone Should Know
In every home or business, fire extinguishers are an invaluable tool to use against small fires and can also be very effective to protect evacuation routes. The most common emergency any home or business owner should plan for is a fire, according to OSHA.
Everyone should take the steps necessary to learn how to use the fire extinguisher kept in their home, while OSHA requires all employers to train their staff thoroughly on how to use a fire extinguisher correctly and to accurately assess the situation if a fire is to occur. We all also need to be able to properly determine when an evacuation should take place for the safety and well-being of all those in danger. OSHA has established annual training for employees as a minimal requirement for all places of business, and this training is helpful for homeowners as well.
The PASS fire extinguisher training technique is recommended:
- P - Pull the pin on the extinguisher.
- A - Aim the nozzle of the hose at the base of the fire.
- S - Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
- S - Sweep the nozzle from side to side, directed at the base of the flames until the fire is extinguished.
Once someone knows how to properly operate a fire extinguisher, they should then also be trained to follow fire safety protocol. They should know how to:
- Locate and activate the fire alarm.
- Call the fire department and emergency responders immediately.
- Determine a safe evacuation route that will direct people away from flames, excessive heat, and smoke. They should also know how to keep the route from becoming blocked,
- Use the PASS technique for discharging a fire extinguisher as outlined above, and know the importance of backing away from the area if the fire flares up again.
- Evacuate the area immediately if the fire is still going and the extinguisher is empty, or if the fire grows beyond what can be safely handled without fire department personnel.
Fire extinguishers are only made to handle small fires, so keep that in mind. If a fire is getting out of control, call the fire department immediately. Excessive smoke and heat, impaired evacuation routes, and poor visibility are all conditions that can arise quickly. Safety comes first and foremost; always be prepared to evacuate if the fire grows to excessive levels.
SERVPRO of North Nashville is here to help you if you have experienced fire damage, water damage, or damage from mold. We also handle mold remediation and prevention.
Fireworks may look pretty and are fun to set off, but they can prove to be a real danger to your family, your home, and others around you. Whatever the situation may be, be sure to practice the utmost safety when handling fireworks. When misused, they may cause injury, fire damage, or wildfires. Be sure to check if consumer fireworks are legal in your area. Here are some tips on how to be safe around fireworks during the holiday season from your friends here at SERVPRO of North Nashville!
- Do not let children and young teenagers light or operate the fireworks. Children should not be handling fireworks and should be under strict supervision. Make sure the person who is setting them off is a responsible adult who has not been drinking prior. It is also recommended that the person using the fireworks wears safety glasses.
- Before using the fireworks, read all safety and warning labels. Do not use fireworks that do not have warning labels or fireworks that have been bought illegally. If it is an outdoor celebration, only purchase and use consumer fireworks from a licensed dealer.
- When you buy fireworks illegally, it can often lead to unexpected explosions. Do not use any fireworks for any purpose besides what they were made for, and do not combine multiple fireworks and light them off as one. It is illegal to make your own fireworks, and building your own can be incredibly dangerous. As mentioned previously, follow local and state laws and regulations.
- Keep water close at hand, whether it be a hose or a bucket of water. This will be used to put out stray flames or sparks. Pour water onto any area that was used when lighting your fireworks. If you have any unused fireworks, do not throw them in the garbage, but instead, check your area’s local waste management system for proper removal so as to avoid any unwanted trash fires and the resulting fire damage.
- When actually lighting the firework, make sure it is on level, solid ground where it cannot tip over. It is also advisable to use a multipurpose lighter instead of matches. Be sure to not have your hands and face directly over the firework when lighting it and do not attempt to light again if it does not go off.
- Be wary of your surroundings by planning where people will be spectating and which direction the fireworks will be fired. Do not buy fireworks that are too large for the area you are lighting them in, and be sure that the spectators are a safe distance away. Never light fireworks indoors or near combustible materials and set them off away from buildings and onlookers to minimize the possibility of fire damage to your property.
- Be prepared just in case of an emergency where an injury occurs. Be familiar with first-aid information and call emergency services when needed.
You must always prioritize your safety and the safety of others before using fireworks. If you are in an area where you do not have enough space to use them, it is advisable to not buy them. However, if you are in a situation where fireworks do cause fire damage, do not hesitate to reach out to professionals to help restore your home building. Here at SERVPRO of North Nashville, we are experts in fire damage repair and restoration, and we are always willing to help!
What To Do When Your Kitchen Catches On Fire
Have you recently experienced a fire in the kitchen and you are not sure how to clean up afterward? There is typically soot left behind along with smoke damage and a lingering smell. You must be sure to handle this situation correctly to prevent it from worsening or endangering your health. If the damage is not too severe, then these instructions will be a helpful guide for you to repair your kitchen to normal in no time! Your first step should be to open the windows and the doors along with setting up fans within the kitchen to create a current of air to push out any lingering odor. Be sure to not use the AC because it could spread contaminated air to the rest of the house.
After letting the kitchen air out, here is what to do next:
Protect yourself from harmful soot and chemicals by donning protective goggles, gloves, and a face mask.
Clean affected walls and surfaces with a cleaning product and then rinse. You will have to go over the affected areas multiple times before it is completely clean. After rinsing, let the area dry before cleaning again.
Use the correct cleaners and detergents to do the job. Different soaps have differing purposes and will be more effective in different areas.
For soot and smoke removal on floors, furniture, and walls, use a mild soap or detergent mix or you can mix together 4 to 6 tbsp. of tri-sodium phosphate and 1 cup of household cleaner or chlorine bleach to every gallon of warm water. Be cautious with TSP, while it is effective, it can be dangerous when mishandled. Do not use it on ceramic or chrome.
You can use dry soot sponges, as long as completely clean and dry them between each use, to clean all surfaces including fabric. They are specifically made to remove soot and other residues without the use of liquids.
Degreaser products are not as strong as TSP, but they are as great at removing soot on many types of surfaces.
Always check the details on the whichever cleaning material you decide to use before applying it to the job.
Do not forget to clean within your cabinets, pantries, and drawers as they are not protected from smoke and soot.
Empty everything out and wipe everything down, thoroughly clean every surface and appliance in your kitchen, including the inside of cabinets.
You will also have to toss out all packaged food, including everything in the refrigerator for safety purposes.
After thoroughly cleaning your kitchen and all affected areas, the scent of smoke still may not be fully removed. Here are some tips to solve this:
Clean non-porous surfaces with an orange citrus cleaner.
Sprinkle baking soda on carpets and other fabrics, let them sit for several hours before going over it with a vacuum.
Set out bowls of vinegar around the house to absorb any remaining scents.
While this is an extensive list of tips you can follow in the event of a kitchen fire, it is important to know that handling soot can be very dangerous. If the fire damage is too massive for you to handle on your own, do not hesitate to reach out to a restoration company such as SERVPRO of North Nashville. We are focused on your health and happiness, and we are ready to help with any kind of restoration project, such as fire damage restoration. Our years of experience make us perfect for the job.
What to Expect from a Fire Damage Restoration Project
Has your home or business recently been affected by a fire? No matter the size of the fire or affected area, it is important to practice caution while waiting for the restoration company to arrive. Here is what to do and what not 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. Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
- 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. Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
- Clean and protect chrome with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash any houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change the HVAC filter. Tape double layers of cheesecloth over the air register.
- 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 turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
Once the restoration team has arrived on the scene, this is what you should expect from a fire damage restoration project. Every situation is different and requires different ways of solving the problem, but the process generally stays the same.
Step 1: Emergency Contact
The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us respond immediately with the appropriate equipment and resources.
Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
We carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.
Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service
Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.
Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.
Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.
Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing
We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to their pre-fire condition. We’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
Step 7: Restoration
Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet. It may also entail major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.
Do not hesitate to reach out to us here at SERVPRO of North Nashville! Our employees are professionally trained in property damage restoration to guarantee each job is fully completed and done well. Fire damage is especially difficult to handle, so don’t overwhelm yourself by attempting to take on the job alone!
Smoke Damage Removal from Your Kitchen
Have you recently had a kitchen fire where smoke damage left stains and a bad smell? Smoke damage is hard to remove but it is not impossible. Soot stains can stick anywhere from your counter to your walls or even to your ceiling. So what do you do when everything is covered in soot and smells smoky? The wrong techniques can spread soot throughout the rest of your house and make stains permanent. Even worse, soot is detrimental to your health, so it is important to wear protective clothing while handling it such as gloves and goggles.
The first step you should take in fixing smoke damage is creating good air circulation in your kitchen by turning on the fans, along with opening doors and windows. But be sure not to run the AC because it will circulate the contaminated air throughout the rest of your home. However, if the damage is severe then call a professional to properly remove the soot.
Next, assess the damage. Can the surfaces be cleaned? Surfaces with a satin or semi-gloss paint cover can usually be cleaned, washed, and restored easily. Walls with flat paint may be more difficult to clean completely, and you may have to clean as much as possible and then repaint or replace the wallpaper. Once you have followed these steps, follow the tips below to clean smoke damage and removing smoke odor from your kitchen.
Cleaning Smoke Damage:
- Clear the area that needs to be cleaned, move items so that the affected area is more accessible. Any food exposed to soot should be thrown away, exercise caution by throwing away food if you have any doubt. Clean and wipe down other items that were affected by soot.
- Create a solution of one gallon water and one tablespoon of trisodium phosphate (TSP). TSP is a harsh but effective chemical because it works well on sticky soot residue. Since it is an irritant, wear protective clothing such as rubber gloves and avoid getting it on your skin. Less harsh alternatives to TSP exist, such as degreaser products and dry soot sponges.
- Use a sponge soaked with the solution to clean the affected areas. Try not to get too much water on non-water-resistant walls, as this can cause water damage to the home’s drywall or become a source of mold.
- Wipe down every surface in your kitchen to ensure that all of the soot is removed. Make sure to also wipe down the insides of cabinets, pantries, and even drawers.
Removing Smoke Odor:
- Even after the stains are removed, you may still find a lingering smoke odor in your kitchen that makes it hard to breathe.
- Remove the unpleasant smell by wiping down and disinfecting every surface with an orange-scented cleaner. Odor can attach to virtually every surface, so be sure to wipe down areas from walls to cabinets to windows.
- You can also leave bowls of vinegar out to absorb the smell. If there are areas with persistent smoke smell, create a water-vinegar solution to remove it.
- For carpets and other fabrics, sprinkle baking soda then let it sit for several hours before vacuuming.
These tips are suitable for jobs that you can attempt on your own but do not hesitate to call the professionals if the damage is severe. Here at SERVPRO of North Nashville, we are experts when it comes to fire and smoke damage restoration and can help you with everything from odor control to fabric cleaning! Your kitchen can be as good as new with our help!
Top 5 Common Causes of House Fires
Their is an average of 29 candle fires per day.
Top 5 most common causes of house fires as identified by the National Fire Protection Association.
From 2007-2011, the NFPA says there were an average of 10,630 fires in the U.S. that were started by candles, causing 115 deaths, 903 injuries and approximately $418 million in property damage. That is an average of 29 candle fires per day.
- Never leave a candle burning near flammable items.
- Never leave a candle burning in a child’s room or an unoccupied room.
- Make sure candles fit securing into candle holders so they won’t tip over.
- Blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep
While the number of fires caused by smoking is trending downward, the NFPA found that there was still an average of 17,600 related fires per year resulting in 490 deaths and more than $516 million in property damage.
- If you smoke, consider smoking outside.
- Use wide, sturdy ashtrays to catch butts and ashes.
- Look for cigarette butts under furniture and between seat cushions to make sure no lit butts have fallen someplace where they can’t be seen.
- Don’t smoke in bed, when you’re tired or around medical oxygen.
- Electrical & Lighting
According to the NFPA, in 2011 approximately 47,700 home structure fires were caused by some sort of electrical failure or malfunction. These resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.
- Don’t overload outlets or electrical cords.
- Make sure you have the right cord for the job – inside cords for inside, heavy duty/outside cords for outdoor use.
- Don’t leave Christmas lights, Christmas trees, or halogen lights on overnight or when not at home.
- Consider having an electrician perform an annual checkup of your home’s wiring.
- Dryers & Washing Machines
Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage.
- Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
- For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
- Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
- Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
- Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.
From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes.
- Stay away from doors and windows during an electrical storm.
- Do not use corded phones, computers, TVs or other electrical equipment during storms.
- Unplug major electronics – TVs, stereo equipment, computers and microwaves to minimize damage if there is a lightning strike close by.
- Avoid plumbing such as sinks, baths and faucets during a thunderstorm.
You experience a fire in your home, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Northwest Davidson County 615.876.9551
Fire Damage DOs and DON'Ts
Emergency Fire Damage Tips
- Keep hands clean
- Limit movement in the home to prevent further damage.
- Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Wipe soot from chrome on faucets and appliances then protect with a light coating of lubricant.
- Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting a SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
- Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting a SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
- Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire or water without consulting a repair service.
It may seem easier to try and take care of fire damage on your own, but more often than not, trying to clean with generic products only ruins the damaged area more. Call SERVPRO of Northwest Davidson County and we'll be there to help!
Sun's Out, Grill's Out
Image belongs to the U.S Fire Administration.
As the summer season is quickly approaching us here in Nashville, SERVPRO of Northwest Davidson County wanted to remind everyone to exercise fire safety around your home. We all know that the first official sign of the summer season is when Dad decides to pull out his handy, dandy grilling apron. When using an open flame, the U.S. Fire Administration says that you should keep your grill at least 3 feet away from any structures. This ensures that the mixture of out-of-control flames and wind cannot reach your home, garage, or any other building that you may have in your backyard. Always be aware of other surrounding while you are grilling. Keep an eye out for children, pets, and small flammable objects to be sure that they stay away from the flames. When you practice the appropriate fire safety techniques, the only thing you have to worry about is keeping stains off of your lucky apron! We wish everyone a great summer and happy grilling!
Commercial Fire Damage, Nashville TN
On St. Patrick's Day, SERVPRO of Northwest Davidson County was called out to help mitigate fire and water damages in a distribution warehouse in Nashville TN.
Although this photo appears to be hazy, it is just a realistic aftermath of a major fire. There is no power and most components inside have melted.
To most, cleaning and restoring this damage seems like an insurmountable task. It could be the luck of the Irish, it could be that we always wear green, or it could be unmatched training and expertise that will allow us at SERVPRO of Northwest Davidson County to have them back up and running in no time.