Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire Damage Materials Handling

11/17/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has crews ready at a moments notice. Our crews can ensure that your fire damage "Like it never even happened".

Fire Damage can wreak a lot of havoc on homes and businesses when it occurs, but not everything damaged is beyond repair.

Plastic and Tupperware is one potential gray area with damage in fires. If the damage is only surface-level or soot-covered, then a simple cleaning and wipedown will allow for those items to be saved. If burned past the surface however, it needs to be removed from the home to prevent more cross-contamination into other porous materials in the home.

Clothing that is burned can be saved depending on the cause of the fire. If the fire was a chemical based or solution based fire, than the clothing must be thrown out and not worn again to prevent exposure to those chemicals. If it is caused by fire or some other natural agent, the clothes can be laundered and the side effects would be negligible.

In the event of fire damage, call your insurance agent and ask for SERVPRO of Fraser to get your home back to the way it should be: a home clean and damage-free.

Fireworks Causing Fires

9/6/2019 (Permalink)

This photo shows a home damaged by fireworks during the Fourth of July. Fireworks can cause a lot of damage.

The holidays are a time for celebration and for family, so having a disaster occur on a holiday is not ideal. 

Fireworks often are associated with the Fourth of July, but if used responsibly, they are relatively safe. We have had various jobs that have been caused through improper use of fireworks that has led to housefires. Based on our prior experiences with jobs like these, they often take a long amount of time to get the home back to pre-fire conditions, with the work not being the cause of delays but rather the approval times it takes to finish projects.

It only serves as a reminder to us that we have to be careful during the holidays when using fire for cooking, celebration and or other use. If you run into an event caused by a fire, please call your insurance agency after the fire has been contained and if the damage is severe, you should call in a restoration company like SERVPRO of Fraser to make sure the remediation is handled efficiently. 

Residential Fires vs. Commercial Fires

5/27/2019 (Permalink)

Fires can be very damaging.

Fires that occur in homes and commercial buildings often require a majority of the same processes needed to remediate the fire and its damage effectively, but there are slight differences that can impact how we manage the project.

One big difference that can occur is when the structural integrity of a commercial building is impacted by a fire. When a home loses some structural integrity, often we would lean towards tarping the affected area and depending on the size of the area affected, reinforcing the area by boarding it up. In a commercial building fire, the standard procedure is often to immediately boardup and create a temporary fence around the area to prevent potential outside damage and strengthen the area affected.

Another big difference would be the allocation of our workers. In a home, often the crew members will work as a team to scope and work together in rooms. In a commercial fire though, that may not be a possibility, so we often rely on several groups of workers to spread out and focus on sections of the affected area. This ensures proper scoping of the site and allows for more checks and balances to be established for the cleanup.

How the Summer Heat can Impact Fires

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

Summer sun and heat is coming so make sure you're safe in the event of a fire.

The summer is a welcomed time of year in Southeast Michigan, especially after such cold winter temperatures. It also can result in a lot of fires if not careful.

This blog will discuss how the warmer temperatures can lead to much more damaging fires and how you can prevent humidity and higher temperatures from creating a more severe fire. 

Fires generally feed off the climate, and with climate change having such a widespread impact, it has also led to a significant amount of fires. We don't see this as much in Michigan, but through our decade as a franchise, the warmer temperatures can often correlate with more fires. Make sure that you practice safety and use caution when using flammable materials in your home during the summer season. Summer is also a great time to install a smoke detector within your home in order to prevent fires from impacting your home.

Things to Identify as a Homeowner after a Fire

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage can spread quickly.

As a homeowner, a house fire can be one of the most traumatic events that can happen. When faced with this situation, it is often hard to come up with where to start looking. Here are some things to identify after a major fire.

One thing to immediately find is whether or not important documents for your assets were damaged in the fire. Structural damage can be identified early as well, but the process for getting those documents recreated can be a long spread one and it is better to get out in front of it. 

The next step to identify should be what areas of your home had structural damage. If there areas of your home that look vastly different, those areas will obviously require the most attention. 

Finally, you should look towards the ventilation and areas of your home that are essential to maintaining a healthy environment in your home. By making sure that the ventilation is unaffected, you are preventing situations that can cause you to have further soot and smoke from spreading to other parts of your home.

Fire Damage Restoration Process

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage cleanup requires lots of time and careful cleaning.

Fire damage is often one of the most catastrophic events that can happen to a home. Especially for families that can’t afford to lose their home. In this blog, SERVPRO of Fraser aims to educate you on the reasons why fire damage situations take the most work for our franchise and how we work on fire damaged claim situations.

As a fire increases in severity, the more the dollar amount of your insurance claim goes up, which can lead to some conflicts between an insurance company and a homeowner. SERVPRO works for you in order to get any and all damages covered so that you can return to a home that you had before the fire. We work to make sure that you can get a fair value for the items that were damaged within your home.

The insurance company will assess the claim and give each item an approximate value based on the valuation of the item in hand. We provide photo evidence for the insured and we collect those photos and compile them to make the assessing an easier task for the appraiser or adjuster.

If you experience a fire damaged situation and need guidance or a company willing to do what it needs to do for their clients, call us at (586) 296-3331.

Beware of Indoor-Outdoor Connections

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

This could have been prevented with proper checks of the electrical unit.

Having connections that go from inside to outside can be very effective for creating outdoor living spaces, but it is very important to make sure that the connections you make to those spaces are safe and installed correctly. Here are some tips for making safe connections from inside the house.

1. Don't overload breaker boxes. 

Fixtures and breaker boxes typically have labels that state the maximum wattage/voltage that the box or fixture can hold. Making sure that the items you plug in are safe to use and won't have an adverse effect on the electrical outlets. Check to make sure that your connections are stable. If you overload the breaker box, it can cause an electrical fire.

2. Use Outdoor-Rated materials.

A lot of the items used for electrical outlets are deemed by quality experts to be safe to use within certain standards. Ignoring these standards can cause a fire to spread and depending on the damage caused can also cause a homeowners' insurance claim. 

If you have a fire, we here at SERVPRO of Fraser would love to help. Call your local SERVPRO experts at (586) 296-3331.

How to Prevent Kitchen Fires

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

Fires can spread in a matter of moments if not carefully contained.

Fire and a kitchen are almost one in the same, but occasionally accidents happen. Kitchen fires are often easy to prevent and here are some of the ways to do so.

First of all, NEVER leave food unattended while it is cooking in the oven or on a stovetop. These are often a major cause of severe fires that can remove you from your home until the cleanup is done.

Another precaution to take is to remove any flammable materials away from the area being used for cooking. Paper towels, oven mitts, wooden utensils and pot holders can all catch fire and cause major havoc.

Finally, clean your cooking surfaces on a regular basis, to prevent buildup of grease that can cause a grease fire. Grease often creates a spreading effect and creates fires that affect more square area vertically and horizontally.

Kitchen fires can be a headache and if you need a cleanup done, call your local SERVPRO experts at (586) 296-3331 or email us at SERVPRO9752@gmail.com.

Fire Weather Warnings

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

Areas like this are susceptible to widespread dry fires.

Two weeks ago, Michigan had a very unusual warning issued by the National Weather Service about a Fire Weather Warning. Some of you may be wondering why the National Weather Service felt the need to issue a fire weather warning. This blog is going to briefly explain why these warnings occur and what causes them to be administered.

Also known as red flag warnings, the criteria for the warnings vary based on land features in the area, the arrangement of the physical features in the area, and distance from major water sources. The conditions that caused the warning to be instituted were because of the perfect storm of high winds, low humidity and high temperatures, all of which leads to rapid spreading of fires.

These warnings are typically accompanied with outdoor burning bans, which is to deter potential fires from accumulating into a potential wildfire. Overall, these warnings can be few and far in between in Michigan, but they are not impossible to occur in the state.

In the event of a household fire, please call SERVPRO of Fraser at (586) 296-3331.

Types of Smoke Damage

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke damage can end up in any crevice or area of your home.

Soot from fires may look the same from a visual perspective, but there are a lot of different formations of soot. When looking at the soot, it is important to know whether the soot itself is wet or dry, if there is an oily residue or if leftover fire extinguisher residue is still available.

  • If the smoke is dry, it occurs from fast burning fires that have a high temperature.
  • Low temperature fires typically have wet soot because at the low temperatures, the moisture can still exist within the materials that were burned.
  • Depending on the brand and type of your fire extinguisher, certain residues can be left, which will alter how the soot looks and feels.

It is important to know that different types of soot requires different types of cleanup catered to the molecular composition of that soot. Having a proper cleanup method is essential and only professionally qualified people can restore your home to its proper state. For any questions about smoke damage in your home, call your local Fraser SERVPRO experts at (586) 296-3331.

Potential Consequences of Fire and Smoke Damage

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

Structural Damage like this can cause further damage.

Fire and Smoke Damage can be easily be detected, sometimes before you enter a room. The average person can detect a lot of damage and may think to automatically spring into action and start cleaning, but that is the worst idea. There are some damages that we look for when we enter a home affected by a fire for the first time.

One possible damaged area could be in the structure of the home. The home could look as if it is stable after a fire, but it is something to seriously consider checking because the structural integrity of your home could be weaker than you think. The damage may affect the stability of the framing and having a professional carefully examine and check on the structure can save you thousands of dollars down the road.

Depending on the age and the type of tiles used in your home, you could also have broken asbestos tiles that could cause issues in your home. These tiles if broken can respiratory and lung issues if you inhale the particles that are airborne. The tiles if not disturbed are fine on their own but damaged asbestos tiles requires professional assistance and trained remediators to remove the asbestos safely and properly.

If your home has been impacted by fire damage and you need a team of professionals to do the job properly and safely, call your local SERVPRO experts at (586) 296-3331.

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Having a fire extinguisher in an accessible place can prevent you from experiencing harmful consequences from a fire.

Depending on what you read or hear about, anywhere from 50-75% of American homes have fire extinguishers inside their home. But do you know how to use one? This blog is intended to show you how to properly use a fire extinguisher in the event of an emergency.

A common technique used is the P.A.S.S. technique. P.A.S.S. stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep. The first step in using a fire extinguisher is to pull the pin located on the top of the fire extinguisher. Usually this pin will break the seal on the fire extinguisher and starts the process. Next would be to aim the hose near the base of the fire. It is best to aim low and stop the fire near where it originally started. After that, you are ready to squeeze the handle and release the agents inside the extinguisher. Finally, when squeezing the fire extinguisher, make sure to make a sweeping motion with your arms until the fire has no base to it. Depending on the scope of the fire, it is best to sweep across the entire perimeter of the fire to prevent further spreading.

In the event of a fire, it is important to not only know how to use the fire extinguisher, but is important to have it easily accessable from anywhere in the house. Where you store the extinguisher is vital to preventing further damage to your home and to yourself. Thanks for reading this blog and in the event of fire damage, call your local experts at SERVPRO of Fraser for the smoke and soot cleanup. Our phone number is (586) 296-3331.

Assessing your Risk in a Fire

11/15/2017 (Permalink)

This fire was triggered by leaving an appliance plugged into the wall.

Fire Safety Week was during October 8-14 and with the California Wildfires that ravaged that region, we here at SERVPRO of Fraser wanted to point out a few ways to assess the risks that could spark a fire within your home or business.

Some key ideas to consider would be to consider cleaning your dryers and washing machines, assessing where you have your space heaters in your home as well as how your electricity is wired within your home. Removing lint from those dryers can prevent overheating within the machine and can allow for quicker drying time. Space heaters are a very common cause of residential fires and is a significant factor of fatalities from fires. Make sure that your space heaters are a safe distance away from potential fire hazards. Proper electrical wiring within your home also prevents fires from occurring. It is very important to keep track of your fusebox or your electrical meters and make sure that the circuits within your home are not overloaded with power.

Finally, make sure that your unused appliances are unplugged. These appliances can spark a potential fire, so it is important to make sure that those appliances are safely put away and stored.

This is another helpful tip from your local restoration experts from SERVPRO of Fraser. Please call us at (586) 296-3331 in the event of an emergency and we will make your sure that your home will look “Like it Never Even Happened”.

Checking Your Home After A Fire

8/30/2017 (Permalink)

Structural Integrity is typically altered or destroyed after a fire.

After a fire situation, the damage can be severe and maneuvering around a home is very difficult. In assessing your home, it is important to look at these different characteristics of your home:

  • The outside of your home: Your home can have structural damage on the outside of the home such as down power lines, down gas lines as well as missing support beams. This is pertinent information to find because it will help you to assess the potential damages.
  • Check for gas: If you smell some mysterious odors within your home, then it is best to leave the premises. Gas leaks can be fatal if a person has prolonged exposure to the leak.
  • Beware of suspicious odors/sounds: If you don’t understand why something smells or sounds abnormal in your home, it is best to be vigilant and find the proper professionals to administer a fix. It is always best to err on the side of caution regarding a hazard in your home.

If you suspect that your home has an issue regarding water, fire, mold or biohazard, please call your local Fraser experts at SERVPRO of Fraser at (586) 296-3331. 

Fourth of July Fire Safety

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

We wish our SERVPRO of Fraser customers and partners a fun and safe Fourth of July Season!

The National Fire Protection Association produced a “Fireworks” report which provided estimates of fire damage and associated losses caused by fireworks through 2013. According to this report, fireworks caused an estimated 15,600 reported fires in the U.S., including 1,400 structure fires, 200 vehicle fires, and 14,000 outside and other fires in 2013. Sparklers and Firecracker damage accounts for over half of injuries caused by fireworks. The holidays are a time for celebration and taking preventive measures as well as making sure that all precautions are taken are vital to ensuring that your Fourth of July night is not affected by a self-created disaster. It is also important that fireworks are used in a safe location away from buildings and other housing facilities that could be affected by damage. In the event of an emergency where your home is affected by fire damage during the holidays, please call your local SERVPRO experts at (586) 296-3331.

The Importance of Closed Doors in a Fire

5/15/2017 (Permalink)

A picture that shows the difference between a closed room and a open room.

Soot and smoke damage can travel quite rapidly in any size building. In the event of a fire, some homeowners may believe that leaving entryways open can lead to a greater rate of survival and more routes for a homeowner to escape from a fire. While it is of utmost importance to escape immediately, it is also important to contain the scope of a fire and this can be done by shutting the doors in your house. This should be done in order to contain the damaged areas from spreading at an alarming rate to the rest of your house. The doors can often lead to the fire spreading at a slower rate which stops damage. It is also important to have smoke detectors available in each of the hallways within your home. In the event of a fire to your home or business, please get help from your Fraser experts at (586) 296-3331.

How Soot Travels in Your Home

3/21/2017 (Permalink)

An area rug before and after a soot cleaning.

Soot is linked to multiple medical conditions with the most common being heart attacks and asthma. It is important to know where soot accumulates and where it can end up sitting in your home. Soot most commonly accumulates in the fireplaces and chimneys of your homes, which in itself is pretty obvious. Less commonly, however, soot can develop in your vents of your home, which can cause you to breathe in the particles from soot.

Soot does not only come from fires either, it can come from fossil fuels, power plants and even diesel trucks. You could be inadvertently carrying soot particles in from the environment depending on the area that you live in. When dealing with soot, it is important to call an environmental expert. If you feel that your home or business has dangerous levels of soot, please call your local mitigation experts from SERVPRO of Fraser at (586) 296-3331.

10 Key Safety Tips

1/5/2017 (Permalink)

The homeowners experienced a fire in their basement which affected the entire house.

Though some fires are unavoidable acts of nature or unpredictable accidents, many fires in the home and workplace are avoidable.  The following tips, courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association, can help reduce the likelihood of a fire in your home or business.

 

1.  Watch your cooking - Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food.  Never allow young children around the stove or oven, especially if they are not closely attended.

2.  Give space heaters space - Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.

3.  Smoke outside - If you must smoke inside, have a sturdy, deep ashtray.  Never smoke in bed.

4.  Keep matches and lighters out of reach - Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.

5.  Inspect electrical cords - Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, haven broken plugs or have loose connections.

6.  Be careful when using candles - Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn.  Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.

7.  Have a fire escape plan - Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.

8.  Install smoke alarms - Install alarms on every level of your office or home and inside bedrooms.  Interconnect them so they all sound at once.

9.  Test smoke alarms - Test alarms once per month.  Replace batteries once per year or as needed.

10.  Install sprinklers - Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance of saving  your property.

If you have a fire or smoke damage, leave the cleaning up to the professionals.  Give SERVPRO of Fraser a call at 586-296-3331 and our trained and professional crew will be on-site to begin the services needed.

What To Do Until Help Arrives after a Fire

12/21/2016 (Permalink)

This is an example of a fire loss.

What you can do until help arrives after a fire

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

What 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.
  • 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.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
  • 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 use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

For any questions or need for fire or soot clean up call SERVPRO of Fraser 586-296-3331

5 Tips to keep you safe this holiday season!

12/16/2016 (Permalink)

Fire damage can put a real damper on the holiday season.

In 2014, the National Fire Incident Reporting System, reported that residential structure fires reported on average 5 deaths and 21 injuries per 1,000 fires in Michigan. SERVPRO of Fraser wants your family to stay safe and disaster free this holiday season by making sure you follow these five steps to ensure safety this holiday season and beyond.

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
  • Test smoke alarms every month.
  • Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
  • Have a safe meeting place planned in case of a fire emergency.
  • Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or before going to sleep.

By following these steps to ensure your family’s safety, you can make sure that your holidays are merry and bright. The SERVPRO of Fraser staff would like to wish your family a safe and prosperous holiday season and a Happy New Year.

How to Put out a Grease Fire

6/22/2016 (Permalink)

Results of a grease fire.

Fires are scary!  Grease fire are not an exception.

Do you know how to properly put out a grease fire?

One of the most important things to remember is to NEVER put water on a grease fire.  In a grease fire, the water will cause the fire to instantly spread bringing danger to you and anyone else nearby.

First, turn the heat source off.  If the grease fire is contained, place a metal lid or cookie sheet on the pan.  This will help smother the fire.  If you do not have a metal lid or cookie sheet available, pour baking soda onto the flames. 

It is highly recommended to have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.  There are different kinds of fire extinguishers, so make sure that you get one that is made for kitchen/grease fires.

If the flames are out of control, quickly and safely get everyone out of the house and to a safe location.  Then call  911.  You and your family's safety is the most important thing in a fire.

If you do have a fire, small or large, at your home be sure to give SERVPRO of Fraser a call at 586-296-3331.  We are here to help you during your time of need.

How to Avoid a Kitchen Fire

6/22/2016 (Permalink)

Results from a fire in the kitchen in Detroit.

For the past couple of years, SERVPRO of Fraser has responded to several kitchen fires.  Below are some tips from American Red Cross on how to avoid a kitchen fire.

1. Never leave cooking food unattended – stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen, even for a second, turn off the stove.

2. Check your food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking.

3. Use a timer so you’ll remember that the stove or oven is on.

4. Don’t wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.

5. Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.

6. Keep anything that can catch fire - pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.

7. Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.

8. Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.

9. Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.

10. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

If a fire does occur at your home or place of business, give SERVPRO of Fraser a call at 586-296-3331.  We will make it "Like it never even happened."

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

4/29/2016 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Home

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  Fraser 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 – 586-296-3331