Recent Fire Damage Posts

Prevention Tips for House Fires | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

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Prevention Tips for House Fires | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

Not only are house fires extremely dangerous, but they also can cause expensive damages. The most effective house fire prevention tip is installing and regularly testing smoke alarms, but there are many other ways to stop house fires before they start.

The Numbers Surrounding House Fires

House fires occur far more often than one would estimate. In fact, at least two house fires are reported every minute, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

About half of the house fires reported are cooking-related incidents, but that is not the only cause to spark a flame.

Tips for the Prevention of House Fires

Fires are incredibly fast-spreading, and one simple mistake can lead to a devastating amount of flames in an instant. Learning the steps for preventing house fires is the best thing to do to keep flames from starting:

Maintain smoke alarms. Working smoke detectors are the best defense against fires because they are the most efficient way to alert the household that smoke is present. Monthly battery tests should be performed, and the entire unit should be updated every 10 years.

Clean the dryer. Dryer lint is the perfect combustible material when combined with the heat from the dryer. The lint tray should be cleared after each load to avoid a build-up of lint.

Watch open flames. Candles, cooking and fireplaces are just some of the reasons most people are exposed to open flames every day—making it easier to normalize them and forget their risk. Because of how quickly flames can spread, it is advised to never leave them unattended.

Maintain wiring. Household wires and cables can become a fire hazard if they are used when frayed or otherwise compromised. Check them often and replace once they become worn.

Shelter household chemicals. Household products often contain chemicals that are highly flammable, especially when stored in aerosol cans. Keep any of these products protected from sunlight or heat to avoid combustion.

If your home has suffered damage from a house fire, give us a call. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 247.

We Can Help Restore Your Property Following Disaster

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

We Can Help Restore Your Property Following Disaster | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

We take pride in the fact that when disaster strikes, we can get there quickly, but there is another reason why SERVPRO should be one of your first calls if you are faced with a disaster.

Our highly trained technicians have a “restore first” mentality when it comes to your property, which benefits from the use of the latest equipment and cleaning techniques. This mentality also helps reduce the inconvenience to your life and makes it possible for your home to get back to pre-fire condition quickly.

Restore First for Fire Damage

Figuring out who you should call first after a fire has damaged your property can be a major stressor, but that’s why you need us. Contact us and know that our team will leap into action right away to service your cleanup and restoration needs.

Our team will develop a unique plan, tailored to your needs, because every fire damage event is different. However, the general process will remain the same.

Here are the steps that are included in our process:

1. Emergency contact. After contacting us, you’ll be able to detail the fire damage situation to us through a series of questions. By answering these questions, we’re able to make sure the team is sent out with the equipment and resources needed for the job.

2. Inspection and assessment. Once our team reaches your home or business, they’ll get to work on inspecting the damage. They will inspect and test adjoining rooms of the property to determine the extent of damage from the fire, which includes smoke and soot damage. This assessment helps us know what plan to take moving forward.

3. Immediate board-up and roof-tarp service. Part of the moving forward process includes making sure your property is secure and not at risk for further damage. This is accomplished by boarding up missing windows and walls and placing a tarp on damaged roofs that were damaged or destabilized during the fire.

4. Water removal and drying. This is an “as needed” step, but when a fire occurs and is extinguished, water damage is usually present. We start by removing water and then make use of dehumidifiers and air movers. This makes sure remaining water is handled and aids in the drying process.

5. Removal of smoke and soot from all surfaces. The smoke and soot from a fire can wreak havoc on your ceilings, walls and other surfaces. Due to this, we bring in our specialized equipment and techniques to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

6. Restoration. Our final step in the process involves making sure your property is back to its pre-fire condition. The restoration needed can include minor repairs like drywall replacement, paint jobs and new carpet installation, or it could require major reconstruction of the damaged areas.

Remember, if you need us, we’ll be there—no matter the time or day. The team of highly trained restoration experts at SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You Can Avoid Fire Hazards in the Kitchen

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

Even though the kitchen can be a wonderfully versatile place where family and friends gather to catch up or enjoy preparing and eating a meal together, it is also a place where many home fires occur.

Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries. The leading cause of these kitchen fires is unattended cooking.

State Farm paid out a whopping $130 million for homeowners insurance claims related to grease and other cooking fires in 2017. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:

  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Pennsylvania
  • California
  • Ohio
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Alabama
  • Georgia

<h4fire-hazards">Avoiding Fire Hazards

Staying in the kitchen while cooking is not the only fire safety precaution you should observe. Take a look at these other helpful tips to observe while cooking:

1. What type of clothing are you wearing? Does your outfit have long, flowing sleeves or is it big and baggy? It could catch on fire if you aren’t careful while cooking over the stove. It’s best to wear short or close-fitted sleeve shirts and make sure any baggy shirts are tucked in or tied back.

2. What type of items are you placing around or on the stovetop? Make sure you don’t have kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords or even curtains too close to the stovetop when cooking. Ideally, anything flammable will be moved away from it.

3. Do you have a fire extinguisher in/near the kitchen? Hopefully you have at least one fire extinguisher located in your home, ideally one that is near your kitchen. Make sure you know how to properly use the extinguisher, just in case it is ever needed.

4. How are you disposing of hot grease? While the grease may not be on fire, it could be hot enough to cause something in the trash to burn. You should let the grease cool a bit and then dispose of it in an old coffee can. Also, know the smoke points of the oils you cook with. Be sure to never subject a low-smoke point oil to high heat when cooking, as it could catch fire.

5. Do you have a fire escape plan established? Thinking about the worst-case scenario is never fun, but it’s better to be prepared than unprepared if an emergency were to occur. Go over exit routes and designated meeting points with your family, making sure that everyone knows what to do.

Fire safety in the kitchen is an absolute necessity, as it can help prevent dangerous and destructive cooking fires. If your home has experienced damage from a cooking fire, know that SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Fire Safety Tips for Your Business | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Tips for Your Business | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

When you are a business owner, there are plenty of safety factors that you must take into consideration regarding risks to your business, staff and visitors. One of those risks you need to spend some time on is planning for and working toward preventing a fire.

Top Causes of Commercial Structure Fires

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that the leading causes of structure fires in office properties from 2007–2011 were (in order):

  1. Cooking equipment, 29% of fires
  2. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment, 12% of fires
  3. Heating equipment, 11% of fires
  4. Intentional, 10% of fires
  5. Smoking materials, 9% of fires
  6. Exposure, 4% of fires
  7. Electronic, office or entertainment equipment, 3% of fires

Three of those causes—intentional, exposure, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment—were responsible for the most property damage with 20%, 18% and 15% respectively.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2007, fires and explosions accounted for 3% of all workplace fatalities.

The NFPA estimates that in more recent numbers during the period from 2007–2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 fires in office properties per year. Those fires were solely responsible for an annual average of four deaths, 44 injuries and $112 million in direct property damage.

How to Protect Your Business

So what are some of the many steps you can take to protect your business from the risk of fires? By focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention and staff education, you will be working to reduce the chance of a fire breaking out.

First, you must assess the risk of fire hazards. In some areas, the local government may even offer a visit from a fire marshal to help identify these risks and provide guidance on your fire prevention plan.

You’ll want to make sure that the right fire protection equipment is in place. This includes an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on each floor.

Finally, you must provide for the safety of your employees. By creating a fire plan and regularly reviewing it with your staff, you’ll be taking steps to ensure everyone knows what to do in the case of a fire. Conduct fire drills at least once a year to keep the fire safety protocol fresh, and take time to review evacuation plans and where the first-aid kits are.

Despite best efforts with fire prevention and safety tips, the worst could always happen at your business. If a fire has damaged your business, SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County is available to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Space Heater Safety

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Millions of people use space heaters to keep warm in the winter. They are small, cost efficient and can keep your family warm. During the colder months, space heater fires increase. Improper use of a space heater can cause your home to go up in flames. With subzero temperatures approaching the end of this week here in Kenosha, we wanted to share some safety tips with you should you choose to use a space heater.

  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully
  • Only use a heater that has a recognized testing laboratory on the label
  • Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. Do not use the heater if they are frayed, worn or damaged.
  • space heaters need space, keep everything clear of them by at least three feet
  • space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes
  • Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place them on cabinets, tables, furniture or carpet which can overheat and start a fire.
  • plug it directly into a wall outlet and you should never plug a space heater into an extension cord or power strip. Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater. This can cause it to overheat and result in a fire.
  • Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you’re leaving a room or going to sleep, and don’t let pets or children play too close
  • When not in use, unplug and safely store the heater
  • make sure you have smoke alarms installed on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas

You can count on SERVPRO of North Kenosha County to provide you with the tips that you need to help protect you, your home and your belongings from fire damage. Should fire damage occur, we are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. 

Dryer and Washing Machine Fires

1/14/2019 (Permalink)

Remember to have your dryer vent pipe cleaned at least annually.

Between 2010 and 2014, U.S fire departments responded to an estimated 15,970 home fire involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year. These fires resulted in annual losses estimated at 13 deaths, 440 injuries and $238 million in property damage. Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of these fires, with the leading factor being failure to clean them.

Here are a few simple safety tips that can help prevent a clothes dryer fire from the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association).

  • Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional
  • Do not use a dryer without a lint filter
  • Make sure you clean the lint filter before after each load of laundry
  • Remove lint as collected around the drum
  • Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating
  • Clean lint from the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it one a year or more often if you notice it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry
  • Follow manufactures’ instructions and don’t overload your dryer

In the event you do experience a fire, call the professionals at SERVPRO of North Kenosha County right away and we will get to work to restore your home to its preloss condition.

October is Fire Prevention Month

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

Fire prevention month raises awareness about fire safety and home safety to help ensure your home and family are prepared in the case of an emergency.

Fire Safety Tips:

  • Install smoke detectors throughout your home, on every floor and close to bedrooms, test/clean them monthly and replace batteries at least once a year
  • Install fire extinguishers in your home, keep them in the kitchen, garage and any workshop area and check them regularly to ensure they are working properly
  • Teach kids about the dangers of fire
  • Create a plan for escape and practice it with your family

Common Causes of Fires at Home

Clothing Dryers

  • Inspect the air exhaust pipe to the outside of the home yearly to ensure that there is no blockage and clear the lint filter after each load

Flammable Liquids

  • Liquids such as cleaning agents, paints, gasoline and adhesives are highly flammable and should be stored in a ventilated, cool area away from heat sources

Smoking

  • If you must smoke, step outside and make sure the embers are completely out

Portable space heaters

  • These account for 1/3 of heating fires. Keep any flammable items at least 3 feet away, keep the space heater on a flat and stable surface and never leave it on overnight or unattended

Electrical appliances

  • Faulty appliances can also result in a fire, check them regularly

Cooking

  • Most house fires occur as a result from using cooking oils, fryers, microwaves and unattended cooking. To avoid potential hazards, never leave the kitchen unattended while cooking and hot items should be kept away from loose clothing, dish towels and other fabrics that could potentially cause a fire

Fireplaces

  • Have your fireplace checked yearly to ensure it is working properly. Only use when you are home and make sure the fire is out before you go to bed. To prevent sparks, use a fireplace screen.

You might think that these fire safety tips are common sense, however it can be easy to overlook them. Taking the necessary measures will save a lot of hassle, your belongings and most important, your loved ones.

North Kenosha Smoke and Soot Cleanup

8/28/2017 (Permalink)

Soot from even a small fire can cause pervasive odor damage in your home or business.

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 Kenosha 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 at 262-764-7231.

Large house fire in Racine

8/8/2016 (Permalink)

Outside of Racine house

A 90 minute blaze unfortunately took out an entire second story of this beautiful house in Racine. The homeowners and their dogs were luckily not injured in this massive fire. The homeowners, local business owners, were absolutely devastated. We were called in the following day to start working on their house. We had to first board it up and tarp the roof to make sure no more damage could come to this beautiful estate. We then started cleaning up all the damage. We quickly realized that the house unfortunately was to badly damaged by the fire departments water to save any of the interior. We then began a full demo. Currently we have finished with the demo of the house and is down to the framing. Our friends at Elcano Construction are working with the homeowners to get this house back to its previous glory. When they are done it will look "like it never even happened."