Recent Fire Damage Posts

Electrical Fire Safety Tips

12/21/2020 (Permalink)

Overloaded Electrical Circuit Safety Tips

Electrical circuits can become dangerous when overloaded.  Though it may be easy to simply plug in another power strip or extension cord when adding equipment, the wiring in some buildings often isn't capable of supporting too many high powered electronics.  Older office buildings and homes, in particular, often suffer from lack of electrical outlets.

Overloaded electrical circuits are a major cause of residential fires. Help lower your risk of electrical fires by learning the warning signs and not overloading your electrical system.

Overloaded circuit warning signs:

  • Flickering, blinking, or dimming lights
  • Frequently tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses
  • Warm or discolored wall plates
  • Cracking, sizzling, or buzzing from receptacles
  • Burning odor coming from receptacles or wall switches
  • Mild shock or tingle from appliances, receptacles, or switches

How to prevent electrical overloads:

  • Never use extension cords or multi-outlet converters for appliances
  • All major appliances should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet. Only plug one heat producing appliance into a receptacle outlet at a time
  • A heavy reliance on extension cords is an indication that you have too few outlets to address your needs. Have a qualified electrician inspect your home and add new outlets
  • Power strips only add additional outlets; they do not change the amount of power being received from the outlet

If fire damage has impacted your home or business, please call SERVPRO. Let our professional team do the cleanup with the proper procedures to keep you, your home or company safe.

Smoke Detectors Can Save Lives

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

Fire spreads fast once it is started so SERVPRO of Monroeville/Evergreen/Brewton wants to remind you that smoke detectors (smoke alarms) can help save lives in your Cottage Hill home.

An alarm alerts you that danger is present giving you time to get out.

SERVPRO of Monroeville/Evergreen/Brewton wants you to remember:

  • Closed doors can slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. That is good for reducing smoke damage and fire damage. That is also why you should have a smoke alarm in every sleeping room in the home
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home
  • Large homes might need extra smoke alarms
  • Some companies make alarms that are interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound
  • Do not turn off smoke detectors when cooking
  • Test the smoke alarms at least once a month. There is a test button on the alarm
  • When the alarm sounds, get everyone outside and stay outside
  • Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years

If your home is not properly protected by a smoke detector, please install one. If you experience a fire, immediately vacate the home and then contact your fire department once you are outside the home.

Call SERVPRO of Monroeville/Evergreen/Brewton at 251-809-1260 for all your fire restoration needs!

What To Do After A Fire

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

After a house fire you may not know what to do first after the fire department leaves. It is an overwhelming and stressful experience and is hard to decide what you should do first. Being prepared and knowing what to do can do before it ever happens can make a stressful time a little bit easier. Below I am going to talk about the 5 things you should do after you have a house fire.

Contact Your Insurance Agent

  • This is one of the most important steps you should complete shortly after the fire. This will get the process started of restoring your home and getting you moved back in asap.

Contact the Police

  • If the fire is so bad where you’re not able to live there for some time it is necessary to let the police know. This will prevent things from getting stolen and will make sure there is no activity for people that don’t belong there.

Plan Your Finances

  • During this situation you should plan what to expect financially. This includes talking with your insurance as well to see what they are going to cover as far as temporary relocation expenses, restoration services, and possessions.  

Save Undamaged Possessions

  • If your home was only partially damaged it is good to go back and remove anything that wasn’t affected by the fire. Professional restoration companies have the experience and tools to restore fire affected items.

Wait to Turn on Utilities

  • When you have a fire in some cases firefighters will turn off your utilities to prevent damage. You may need to have your house inspected to make sure nothing was damaged before you turn them back on.

If you experience a fire at your home or business, give SERVPRO of Monroeville/Evergreen/Brewton a call at 251-809-1260.

Indoor & Outdoor Fire Safety Tips

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

During the summer and fall months, we all love to enjoy a nice fire with our friends and family (socially distanced of course) and some s'mores! While in the winter, some of us enjoy a nice fire by the fireplace inside. However you enjoy your fires, it's important that you are safe! 

Indoor fireplaces/pellet/ wood stoves

Be sure your chimney and stove (if you have one) is inspected and cleaned by a chimney specialist once a year to ensure there is no creosote build-up and no other issues. Keep the area around the fireplace clean and clear of any fire hazards. This can include decorations, tripping hazards, and any other flammable materials. 

ALWAYS 

  • Ensure the flue is open before igniting a fire
  • Use fireplace gloves when adjusting the doors or screens
  • Close the damper when the fire is completely out
  • Control your fire

Outdoor fires 

While most of us enjoy sitting outside by the fire with friends and family, enjoying a beautiful summer or fall night, it is always important to remember and be aware of safety and any hazards. 

  • Always use a designated fire pit
  • Keep water nearby in case of an emergency
  • Never use a flammable liquid to start a fire 
  • Don't wear flowy clothing around a fire, always wear snug fit or short-sleeved clothes. 
  • After you've had your fun around the fire, be sure the fire is doused with water and is fully extinguished. 

Whether you're enjoying a campfire outside or warming up by the fire inside, always be sure you're practicing proper safety measures!

SERVPRO of Monroeville/Evergreen/Brewton is here to help you with any fire-related damage. Our teams are highly trained to help guide you through the entire process. We'll make it "Like it never even happened."

Give us a call at 251-809-1260! We're always here to help!

It Was Only A Small Fire - Do I Really Need SERVPRO?

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Soot from Even Small Fires Can Cause Big Damage – SERVPRO Cleans & Restores Your Home “Like it never even happened.”

When most people picture a house fire, they think of a home that gets destroyed. But more commonly, small fires occur in a home that can seem minor but still need professional care.

We put the fire out quickly, and it seems like a quick cleanup is all that is needed?

Kitchen fires and fires from faulty appliances and outlets occur more frequently than most people realize. They are often put out quickly and leave little damage, or so it seems. Your paint may not peel, and it may look like no physical damage has occurred. The only thing you see is some soot on items in the room. The fire damage in your home may only be from smoke damage, but it can be extensive even when you cannot see it. Here’s what you should know about soot:

  •   Soot is smoke that has settled onto surfaces.
  •   It can cause hidden damage.
  •   Its tiny particles can quickly spread.
  •   It produces an acidic film that can cause worse problems when in contact with skin.
  •   Specific chemicals are needed to neutralize soot.
  •   If left untreated, it can eat away at the material it covers.
  •   Causes odors.

Cleaning Up Smoke Damaged Rooms

Because of how soot can get into everything from furniture covers to the corners of the ceiling, you need a professional fire damage company that knows how to do the proper cleaning. SERVPRO’s fire and smoke restoration technicians (FSRT) attack the situation with experience and the best tools. The techs use equipment such as dry sponges, HEPA vacuums, and potent cleaning agents to restore your home to pre loss condition.

Contact SERVPRO of Monroeville/Evergreen/Brewton at 251-809-1260 for quality fire damage service that is Faster to Any Size Disaster.

Top Causes of Summer Fires

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Grill Fires

In the summer months, many people grill outdoors for various holidays and barbecue dinners. In fact, 5,700 home grill-related fires occur each year. Fifty-seven percent of these fires happen in just four months—May, June, July, and August. Grill fires happen when someone mishandles the igniting of the grill with a spark, ember, or flame. Fire hazards derive from cooking with things like coals, charcoals, or ashes. Oftentimes there are mechanical issues with the grill like broken containers or broken pipes that can also increase the risk of fire.

Take preventative measures by checking your grill’s condition before the grilling season begins. Clean the grill, the drip pan, and anything that could have grease on it from previous barbecue dinners. Inspect each part of your barbecue to make sure everything is attached properly. Additionally, be sure you are in a grill-friendly environment free of branches, roofs or any sort of overhang when igniting the grill. Be prepared for a fire, as grease and fat are likely to catch on fire. Keep baking soda near the grill in case a grease fire breaks out.

Air Conditioning Fires

About 2,300 residential air conditioners start fires each year. These fires are usually the result of inadequate wiring while having to deal with heavy electric loads, short circuits, or other electrical malfunctions. It’s not just the AC that catches on fire, if your AC heats up, flammable materials near your unit can catch on fire. Fires are most likely to occur when it’s hottest outside—between 2 and 8 p.m. While it can sometimes be impossible to be comfortable in your home without the AC on, there are ways to keep your home cool even if you don’t have the AC on all day.

Inspect your air conditioner’s wiring systems each year to prevent these types of fires. Also, find ways to use the AC less during the day. Not only will you save money, you can save your home from a potential fire. Using fans, keeping windows open during the night, and closing blinds during the day are just some ways you can keep your house cool without AC.

Arson Fires

Arson fires are the third-leading cause of fire injuries and fatalities. These fires usually peak in the month of July especially around the Fourth of July holiday since it’s not only firework season, but the weather is usually quite dry and hot, too. It is important to properly store any unused fireworks so they aren’t at risk of accidental combustion or misuse.

Smoking Fires

Smoking fires are common throughout the year but it’s important know they are the leading cause of summer fires. These fires start by improperly putting out cigarettes. If you’re outside enjoying activities like camping, be careful when smoking. Keep used cigarettes off the ground, and make sure they are properly put out before throwing them away so any dry grass nearby doesn’t catch on fire.

Summer is a time to get out and have fun. The weather isn’t the only thing that heats up during these few months. Be aware of the risk of fires and prepare by checking the batteries in your smoke detectors and having functioning fire extinguishers. 

If you find yourself faced with a fire emergency this summer, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Monroeville/Evergreen/Brewton at 251-809-1260!

Steps in Fire Restoration

12/24/2019 (Permalink)

After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Monroeville/Evergreen/Brewton has the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call Today 251-809-1260

Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call  SERVPRO of Monroeville/Evergreen/Brewton, which is on call 24 hours a day. Our representative will ask a series of questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us dispatch our team of Professionals with the appropriate equipment and resources.

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Our Professionals will 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 will 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 will use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

We will clean 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 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; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Fire Safety

9/16/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Monroeville/Evergreen/Brewton responds to many residential and commercial fire damages, which means we tend to stay in close contact with local fire departments.  

Here is some data:

In Alabama, there are 796 fire departments registered with the National Fire Department Registry.

Most fires are structure/residential and vehicles. 

Fires only make up about 6% of calls in Alabama, others include: service calls (7.8%), false alarms (8.4%), good intent (9.1%), and EMS (65.9%). For the National average, fires make up around 4.7%. Surprising!

In 2016, 82 home fire fatalities were reported by the news media.

Fire prevention is important, we want to make sure your home or business stays safe. Make sure you replace batteries in your smoke detectors and keep a fire extinguisher close. If you don’t know what to do and need some helpful tips call your local fire department. 

Soot Damage and It's Dangers

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

After a fire, soot damage is very typical. Soot can be a black flaky or oily or powdery substance which forms from incomplete combustion. Fine carbonized compounds cling to surfaces in your home like ceilings and walls, plus your possessions. Soot can be difficult to remove, and sometimes it is not possible to restore the surface to its pre-fire condition.

There are two types of sediment you can find after soot damage home – oily and dry. A quick check you can do to discover the type of residue you have is just to run your finger over a soot-covered surface. It is oily residue if it smears. Try not to make a mess. Better yet, leave it to us to inspect and clean.

You need an experienced fire damage restoration team working with you to clean the soot from your home thoroughly. SERVPRO is standing by to help you as soon as the fire is out and everyone is safe. The longer you leave the smoky substance sitting in your home, the more damage it does. 

Heat from the fire pushes the soot and can cover everything in its way. Smoke looks for a kind of equilibrium and travels until its energy is used and it goes to cooler temperatures. When tested, soot can always be found on the acidic side of the pH scale. Acidic materials are destructive to a majority of elements found in nature. Over time, they keep degrading materials by oxidation which leads to discoloration, etching, corrosion or pitting. Stains over metals can yellow and soften. These reactions are ongoing from soot residues until they are removed. 

We can clean up oily residue with special degreasing agents, while we clean dry soot with cleaning sponges. Sometimes, soot will be oily in one room and dry in another. It all depends on the kinds of materials that were burned, so we check ahead of time before we begin remediation. 

Many varying types of damage occur after a fire, including water damage from firefighting efforts, but soot damage continues to eat away at the surfaces it is covering if left untouched.

Fire Safety

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Monroeville/Evergreen/Brewton responds to many residential and commercial fire damages, which means we tend to stay in close contact with local fire departments.  

Here is some data:

In Alabama, there are 796 fire departments registered with the National Fire Department Registry.

Most fires are structure/residential and vehicles. 

Fires only make up about 6% of calls in Alabama, others include: service calls (7.8%), false alarms (8.4%), good intent (9.1%), and EMS (65.9%). For the National average, fires make up around 4.7%. Surprising!

In 2016, 82 home fire fatalities were reported by the news media.

Fire prevention is important, we want to make sure your home or business stays safe. Make sure you replace batteries in your smoke detectors and keep a fire extinguisher close. If you don’t know what to do and need some helpful tips call your local fire department. 

The Process of Contents Restoration

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

CONTENTS RESTORATION

From furniture to antiques, artwork,  and appliances, we'll treat your treasures with the care they deserve. While some items can be cleaned on-site, in many cases we'll need to inventory, pack out and transport the contents of your property to our state-of-the-art facility to ensure the best care possible.

Key Issues

  • Contents may need to be cleaned off-site
  • Contents inventory
  • Determine replacement and restoration
  • Pack
  • Ozone treatment
  • Cleaning
  • Odor removal
  • Secure
  • Return

Contents Inventory

  • We arrive on-site and inventory all of your personal belongings.
  • We carefully pack all salvageable items to transport to our secure warehouse and cleaning facility.
  • Non-salvageable contents are inventoried and discarded.

Contents Valuation

We have trained professionals to help you establish replacement values versus restoration costs. We are also available for pricing of non-salvageable inventory items.

Restoration

  • Thorough cleaning
  • Proper handling of all electronics
  • Photographs and artwork
  • Fabrics
  • Clothes
  • Memorabilia
  • Antiques
  • Soft goods
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Appliances
  • Surfaces
  • Odor Removal

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot following a fire can be very invasive and penetrate various surfaces and crevices 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 Monroeville/Evergreen/Brewton will work to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the type of smoke identified. 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 to fit the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damaged home or business. 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 – SERVPRO of Monroeville/Evergreen/Brewton 251-809-1260

Every Second Counts

12/14/2018 (Permalink)

In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.

That’s why this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” is so important. It reinforces why everyone needs to have an escape plan. Here’s this year’s key campaign messages:

  • Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  • Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  • Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

via http://www.nfpa.org/

Have you contacted your local fire department? See how you can get involved with them and your community to prevent house fires. Sometimes they will have events or give out smoke detectors for your home. Don't think this could never happen to you because it easily could. We don't have control over everything in our homes! Be safe and have a plan!

Fire Damage: How do we do it?

12/14/2018 (Permalink)

Do you ever wonder how SERVPRO keeps up with every customer’s job progress? SERVPRO of Monroeville/Evergreen/Brewton has a pretty tried and true method to keep everyone up to date on the progress of every job. When a customer first calls in a loss, we at SERVPRO of Monroeville/Evergreen/Brewton enter all of the pertinent information into a form called the FNOL or “First Notice of Loss.” This form is sent to everyone involved including our first responders, office staff so they can communicate with your insurance company, managers and ownership so they know the status of every job in progress. Every note, assessment, detail associated with that job from that point forward is attached to that initial FNOL so that it is at our fingertips if you ever have any questions or concerns.