Recent Fire Damage Posts
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.