Recent Fire Damage Posts

Home Cooking Fire Safety

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

hand holding a pan over a gas stove that has a blazing fire. Don't let your cooking get out of control

Cooking at home more frequently lately?

With the turn of events in the world and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are being asked to abide by the stay at home orders. That means the majority of us are now cooking from home. And that maybe something we are not used to doing.  Cooking fires can easily start and quickly get out of control. Please read these valuable cooking safety tips and statistics provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). https://www.nfpa.org/

What you should know about home cooking safety?

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stove-top.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stove-top.
  • If you have a cooking fire, Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Be sure to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stove-top. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

Frying foods on the stove-top tend to be the most dangerous and have additional safety precautions to consider.

  • Always stay in the kitchen when frying on the stove-top.
  • Keep an eye on what you fry. If you see wisps of smoke or the oil smells, immediately turn off the burner and/or carefully remove the pan from the burner. Smoke is a danger sign that the oil is too hot.
  • Heat the oil slowly to the temperature you need for frying or sauteing.
  • Add food gently to the pot or pan so the oil does not splatter.
  • Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on the fire.

If the fire does not go out or you don’t feel comfortable sliding a lid over the pan, get everyone out of your home. And be sure to call the fire department from outside.  When the fire is out and your family is safe, then it’s time for cleanup to begin. That is when SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury can help. Please contact our office and we will assist you in taking the right steps to restoring your property and belongings. 704-925-1019.

Don’t be taken aback By a Puff-Back 

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

sofa in front of a green wall with a cloudy of soot entering the photo from the left. Puff Backs: Who do you call when your furnace attacks?

It’s that time of year again, folks. It’s the time when the searing hot summer sun still blazes by day and the bone-chilling Fall temperatures creep up at night.  

It’s also the time when the toughest of the tough like to play a game called “How long can I last before I turn on the heat”. It’s a lot of fun provided that everyone in the house wants to play; and as the battle rages on, one by one frozen little soldiers raise their white flags and turn the heat on. 

Most of the time this is a pleasant moment when the comforting warmth blows from every vent thawing chilled toes and ruby red noses; but once in a while this blessed occasion is tainted by a most dreaded phenomenon known as a puff-back. A puff-back occurs when an oil furnace does not immediately ignite as it should. This causes a vapor build up that will create a sort-of explosion when the furnace finally does ignite. This explosion then causes soot to be blown throughout your home. In other words, your house in now warm...but very dirty. 

Soot, because of its fine nature, can literally spread everywhere, making the task of cleaning it by yourself nearly impossible. SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury stands ready with both the crew and the equipment to handle this often-overwhelming situation so that you don’t have to be taken aback by a puff-back. 

Recent Residential Kitchen Fire

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Stove top fires are very common in most homes. They can start out small, but can quickly get out of control. It can start off by a small distraction while you are preparing dinner. You have something on the stove; you defer your attention to something else and possibly leave the room for a second only to walk back to a stovetop fire. Our customer experienced just that while making dinner one night. Fortunately, the homeowners were properly prepared with a fire extinguisher in their kitchen and were able to get this kitchen fire under control quickly. But immediately after, they were left with a terrible mess. That’s when SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury was called in to assist with the cleanup. Although not much structural damage occurred, there was significant smoke damage throughout the home.
Our technicians worked with the homeowner and their family to ensure that all rooms were cleaned to SERVPRO and industry standards. All of the contents within each of these rooms were individually, hand cleaned by our amazing crew. The homeowners were so pleased when we were able to clean some of their more sentimental items.
When you have fire or smoke damage in your home or office, be sure to call the professionals at SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury at (704) 925-1019.

Summer Grilling Safety Tips

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

It is that time of year when the seasons are changing, the weather is getting warmer and summer break is upon us. As summer approaches and the weather gets warmer, more and more people use outdoor grills to prepare their meals and entertain guests. And because of this, the incidents of grill-caused fires go up. According to the National Fire Protection Association, outdoor grilling causes an average of 8,900 home fires each year. The team at SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury want you and your family to be safe and avoid any fire damage to you home or property. Be sure to take a look at these helpful grilling safety tips before you decide to host your first cook-out and throw your steaks on the grill.

Make sure to always use your grill outside and away from any structures or obstructions. This includes any low hanging tree branches as well. Be sure to always keep your grill clean.  Grease and fat can build up on the grilling racks as well as the tray below the grill. Before this season’s first barbecue, check for propane leaks on your gas grill. Check the gas hose for leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose and then turning on the gas. If there is a propane leak, the solution will bubble. Always be sure to check for leaks before every use. Also wait to re-light if the flame is to go out. A good rule of thumb is waiting 5 minutes. Most importantly, be aware and take care around the grill; Never leave the grill unattended, never wear lose clothing, do not let kids or pets play near the grill, and never move the grill while it is in use or at least an hour after use while it is still hot.

Grilling season is all about having fun and sharing good times with food. Be sure you and your family are safe during your next cook-out.

Common Causes of Household Fires

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

A fire in the home can spread much more quickly than you might expect.

A fire in the home can spread much more quickly than you might expect. Even a small fire can completely engulf a room in just two minutes.

The loss caused by fire damage is vast and irreversible, so it’s worth making yourself aware of the most common causes of fires in the home to reduce the risk of a devastating fire.

Candles

Candles can add a beautiful atmosphere or scent to any room, but improper use can easily cause a fire.

Never leave a candle burning unattended. Keep wicks trimmed to avoid large flames. Ensure that candles are placed on a heat-proof surface well away from walls, curtains or lampshades. Don’t place a candle in a draught as this may blow the flame towards something flammable. Lighters and matches should be kept somewhere safe and out of the reach of children.

Cooking

There are many hazards in the kitchen when it comes to fire. Cooking oil in particular is very dangerous, as it can get incredibly hot and splatter on flammable surfaces.

Never leave the hob or oven unattended while in use, even if it’s just for a minute. If you have a gas hob or oven, always make sure to keep items such as oven gloves or paper towels away from the open flame, and make sure to switch them off after use. Only use as much oil as necessary while cooking and cover frying pans with lids or splatter guards.

Smoking

Hot ash, embers, and cigarettes that have not been properly stubbed out are all capable of starting a fire, particularly in rooms that are full of soft furnishings such as beds, sofas and carpets.

It is safer to smoke outside where a fire is less likely to take hold, but be aware of your surroundings and don’t smoke around flammable substances such as petrol. Always make sure that cigarettes are properly extinguished. Keep lighters and matches away from children.

Electrical equipment

While electrical items that generate heat such as curling tongs are more obvious fire hazards, anything that uses electricity could cause a fire if it is faulty.

Regularly inspect the cables on your electrical items for signs of damage. Never overload plug sockets with multiple adapters. If an item that you are using starts to smoke or feel very hot, stop using it immediately and unplug it. If an item frequently blows fuses or trips the circuit breaker, it is likely faulty and therefore unsafe.

Faulty wiring

Electrical currents carry heat, so wiring can lead to a fire if it is faulty or overloaded. Electrical systems typically have a lifespan of around 40 years, so older houses may need to be rewired.

Common signs that your wiring may be faulty include frequent blown fuses or tripped circuits, lights that dim if you use another appliance, or having to unplug one appliance for another to work. If you’re concerned about the safety of your wiring, get it inspected by a licensed electrician.

Heating

Well maintained heating appliances that are used according to the manufacturer’s guidelines shouldn’t cause a problem, but you must always make sure to look after your appliances.

Get your boiler inspected regularly by a licensed professional to check for and repair any problems. Any electric heaters must be placed at least a metre away from other objects, especially flammable items such as curtains and sofas. Never cover an electric heater or use them to dry wet clothes.

Children

Children can be curious and clumsy, making them a potential liability when it comes to fire.

Always keep matches and lighters out of sight and reach of children, and be sure to warn them of the dangers of playing with fire. Never leave children unattended around naked flames such as candles or gas hobs. Be mindful of any children present while cooking or using open flames.

If you’ve been the victim of a fire in your home, get in touch with SERVPRO of North Rowan County & Salisbury

Summer Safety Tips

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

Summer is here

6/5/2018

The summer season is a time to make memories and enjoy the great outdoors.  Below you will find tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association.

  • When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
  • When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks.  Apply soapy water to the hoses to easily identify possible leaks.
  • When camping, always use a flame retardant tent and set up camp away from the campfire.  Use flashlights or battery- powered lanterns inside the tent, NOT liquid- filled heaters or lanterns.
  • Always build a campfire down wind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building a fire.  Always extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite.  To extinguish a campfire, cove with dirt or pour water over the fire.
  • Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.

SERVPRO wishes you a happy and safe summer.

Dryer Fire Prevention Tips

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

If you have experienced dryer fire in your home, SERVPRO is here to deal with the fire damage.

Dryer Fire Prevention Tips from your local  SERVPRO North Rowan County / Salisbury

Each year in the United States homeowners suffer from the aftermath of clothes dryer fires. In fact, nearly 15,000 home clothes dryers catch fire each year which in turn cause about 100 injuries. While it may surprise some, neglecting to clean your dryer is the most common cause of a fire. As such, preventing dryer fires is actually easy if the homeowner is aware of the potential of fire damage and takes steps to avoid an accident from occurring in their home.

Keep in mind the following tips for dryer fire prevention:

  1. Hire a professional to install your dryer, do not attempt to do this yourself
  2. Make sure that your laundry room has no flammable items inside or near the dryer
  3. Clean your linen filter both before and after every single load of laundry
  4. Get your dryer serviced regularly
  5. Be sure that your dryer’s vent pipe is free, blockage is one the top causes of dryer fires
  6. Hire a professional to look at your gas lines
  7. Never run your dryer when you are asleep or not home
  8. Avoid overloading your dryer
  9. Clean your dryer in any place where lint can build up
  10. Use metal dryer ducts
  11. Check the electrical outlet and plug to ensure it is connected correctly
  12. Do not dry any items containing rubber, foam, or plastic
  13. Do not dry clothes that have anything flammable on them such as gas, alcohol, or cooking oils
  14. Leave ample room between your dryer and the wall behind it
  15. Read your manufacturers’ instructions to go over particular safety tips for your dryer

From lack of maintenance to dirty dryers, almost every single dryer fire each year is caused by something that could have been avoided. If you have experienced dryer fire in your home, SERVPRO North Rowan County / Salisbury is here to deal with the fire damage. Call us today to learn more!    704-939-1944

How Fire Cleanup Works

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Restoration

Proper fire damage restoration is an essential step after you have had a fire in home or fire in business. As soon as you're certain everyone in the home or business made it out safely, contact your insurance company and begin making plans to have the fire damage, smoke damage, soot damage and any commercial fire damage taken care of.  Selecting a licensed, insured, experienced fire cleanup company such as

SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury

. This can make the process of fire cleanup fast, easy and effective. 

Dealing with the damage caused by a fire in home or fire in business can be difficult and dangerous if your try to do it yourself. In addition to fire damage, smoke damage, soot damage and commercial fire damage, the home or business owner also has to be sure the air quality in the structure is safe. Professional fire cleanup companies have the tools, equipment and trained staff to quickly and effectively take care of the fire damage, soot damage, smoke damage and commercial fire damage as well as improve the air quality in the structure. This can make it possible for people to return to the home of business in a short period of time.

When you are dealing with the aftermath of a fire in home or a fire in business, the decisions you make are crucial. The most important decision you have to make is choosing a reputable, experienced fire cleanup company. The quality of their work will decide what your home or business will look like when the fire damage, soot damage, smoke damage or commercial fire damage is repaired and the air quality issues have been addressed. Their work repairing the damage done by fire in home or fire in business can make a dramatic difference in how long it will take you to be able to get back into your home or business and what it will cost.

The amount of your fire loss will be determined by how quickly and well the fire cleanup company can get the job done. They can limit the amount of fire loss you have based on their ability to handle the fire damage, smoke damage and soot damage. The company can control the amount of your fire loss by the way they handle your commercial fire damage. An experienced company knows exactly what to do to salvage as much as possible from properties that sustain fire damage, soot damage and smoke damage. It takes skill, experience and the right equipment to clean and repair your property and keep your fire loss to a minimum.

Improving air quality is an important part of the repair process from fire in home or fire in business. Until the air quality improves people cannot safely return to the home or business. Choosing the right fire cleanup company will not only limit fire loss, they will quickly improve the air quality in the damaged property and get you back in your home or business.  When disaster happens 

SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury

704-939-1944 

Rowan County / Salisbury Smoke and Soot Cleanup

12/27/2016 (Permalink)

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 North Rowan County / Salisbury 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 – (704) 636-1700