Recent Fire Damage Posts

Backyard Fire Safety Tips

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Backyard Fire Safety Tips Don't Let This Happen to You

With spring upon us and summer approaching, sitting around a fire is a Dearborn Heights pastime we hold near and dear to our hearts.  However, not all of us can escape to the woods for the true campfire experience so backyard fire pits have become a popular alternative to camp fires.  Having a campfire or fire pit at home?  Follow these safety guidelines:

Prepare Your Fire Pit and Surrounding Area:  If not set right or basic safety procedures aren’t taken, a fun outdoor fire can go from terrific to terrible. Below are some tips for having the safest backyard fire possible.

  • Only build a fire in enclosed, contained areas such as an outdoor chiminea, fire bowl or fire pit.
  • Clear the area around the pit of dry paper, grass, leaves, or pine needles to avoid random sparks from igniting them.
  • Move furniture away from the fire pit to avoid burns from the sparks.
  • Consider adding a fire pit screen to contain sparks — a great option especially if children will be around the fire.
  • Before starting the fire, make sure that the lid will still close to extinguish the fire in case of emergency. Don’t overload it with fuel.
  • Make sure the pit is on a flat surface in an open area — NOT underneath trees or roofs or in a building to avoid anything accidentally catching on fire.
  • Check out the wind direction before lighting the fire. The direction of the wind can affect the strength of the fire — another reason to have a fire pit in an open area.
  • Keep flammable liquids far far away from the fire pit. The heat alone can cause the liquids to catch fire.

 During the Fire

  • NEVER leave a fire unattended.  Even the smallest fire can grow into a large one without supervision.
  • Keep your distance! Fire pits have a knack of spitting out sparks without warning.
  • NEVER use garden waste or garbage in a fire. These items produce harmful black smoke into the air.  Make sure to use seasoned wood or charcoal.
  • Keep a first-aid kit nearby to treat minor burns.
  • ALWAYS keep a fire extinguisher or hose nearby to quickly put out a fire in case of an emergency.
  • Never leave children unsupervised. They tend to not realize the danger of fire and often get too close to one.
  • For obvious reasons, be careful with the amount of alcohol consumed around a fire. Alcohol is also very flammable when around heat.

 Putting Out the Fire

  • Make sure the fire is completely put out before leaving it unattended. Never leave a fire to die out on its own.
  • After 24 hours has passed, all left over hot ashes must be thoroughly dampened, cooled and stored in a metal can that is used solely for ash storage.
  • Ashes that are 2 or 3 days old may appear to be safe, but can still retain enough heat to cause an unwanted fire.
  • Do not discard hot ashes in a compost pile, paper bag cardboard box or anything that is combustible. Also, be careful in handling partially burned wood. The wood may still be smoldering and cause a serious burn.

Unfortunately, even the most careful planning may not be enough and you could suffer catastrophic fire damage.  If so, contact the cleanup team at SERVPRO of Dearborn Heights North/East Garden City at (313) 228-5134.  At SERVPRO, we work to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Fire Prevention Tips

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Here are some ways that you can prevent a fire in your home or business.

Have Smoke Alarms Installed:  Fires often occur at night when you’re asleep and spread so rapidly that some people are overcome by fumes before they even wake up.  Smoke alarms will give you early warning and save lives. 

Have Fire Extinguishers:  That’s plural, as in more than one.  Many people just have one for the kitchen, but you should have one in every room, especially if you have a fireplace or use space heaters.  Don’t forget the garage and attic where people tend to store gas cans, old clothes, and lots of other combustible stuff.

Watch the Wiring:  Electrical fires account for nearly 24,000 residential fires in the US.  In 11% of these fires someone died and in 7% someone was seriously injured.  Keep a close eye out for frayed wiring, overloaded electrical sockets are a major cause of fires.  If you find that a light switch or receptacle plate feels hot, get it replaced immediately by a professional.

Be Careful Cooking:  Stay in the kitchen if you’re frying or grilling food.  Even a short time out of the room might allow a fire to go unnoticed until it’s too late. Don’t cook with a stove, oven, or grill if you’re sleepy or if you’ve been drinking alcohol.  Don’t wear long flowing sleeves when you’re cooking.  If you’re cooking with oil, it’s a good idea to have a lid handy for the pan you’re using. A lid will suffocate the fire and give you time to turn the burner off.  Don’t try to move the pan or throw water on the burning oil as it will splatter and burn you.

Monitor and Maintain Other Appliances:  The lint trap in your clothes dryer can cause fires by overheating the appliance.  Clean it out after each load.  Replace furnace filters diligently and keep clutter several feet away.  Let professionals establish and monitor settings and do the needed repairs and maintenance.  Portable space heaters are handy, but be certain to remove any combustible clutter at least 3 feet away in every direction.  Get a heater that has an automatic shutoff function if it falls over.

Teach Your Children:  Kids are notoriously curious about fire and flames. Teach them that fire is a tool not a toy.  Keep kids 3 feet away from cooking stoves and fireplaces except under your direct supervision.  Do not let kids handle matches, lighters, or lighted candles.  Kids should not be allowed to use barbeque grills and kids should be taught to follow established escape routes from the home in the event of a fire.

Use Sense If You Smoke:  Smoking is a fire hazard, so avoid the activity inside the house and, especially, don’t smoke in bed.  Avoid smoking when you’re drowsy, on certain meds, or have been drinking alcohol.  Make sure that all cigarettes and cigars are completely out before you toss them in the trash.  Better yet, have an ashtray with sand in it available.  Never smoke in a home in which someone uses oxygen.  Oxygen is extremely flammable, even explosive.  Come to think about it, isn’t this a great time to quit smoking?

Establish Escape Plans:  You should be already looking around the house for at least 2 ways to make a rapid exit from the house. If there’s a second floor, the family should know how to easily open the windows and deploy a ladder, in case they can’t get downstairs. Conduct fire drills regularly so that everyone knows exactly what to do in a fire, with a designated meeting spot outside the home.

You might not be able to protect your family from every calamity but with a little planning and some common sense, you’ll be able to spot every fire hazard short of a flaming meteorite hitting your home.  Find those hazards and eliminate them and your home will become a whole lot safer.  If you need fire mitigation assistance, call SERVPRO of Dearborn Heights North/East Garden City at (313) 228-5134.  At SERVPRO, we work to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Smoke and Soot Damage Remediation

4/13/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke and Soot Damage Remediation Bathroom Smoke/Soot Damage

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate nooks, crannies and 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.  Following are some facts about smoke and soot:

  • 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 leave different types of soot residue after a fire. 

  • Wet smoke is generated by a low heat, smoldering fire such as burning plastic or rubber. Wet smoke has a pungent odor and is typically sticky and smeary.  Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
  • Paper and wood fires produce a dry smoke.  This type of is a fire is fast burning and generates a high temperature.  Heat rises therefore the smoke rises and soot residue is usually heavy on ceilings and in attics.
  • A protein fire occurs from the intense burn of a protein-enriched fiber, such as eggs left unattended on a stove, or a forgotten roast in the oven. There may not be any noticeable damage, but there might be a sticky residue coating the surfaces of your home, and an extreme pungent odor.  

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  Before restoration begins, we will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred and the cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting.

SERVPRO of Dearborn Heights North/East Garden City personnel have the training, equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damaged property.   We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with consideration and care.

Should you have any questions or want more information regarding Fire, Smoke and Soot Damage Remediation, contact us immediately at (313) 228-5134.  At SERVPRO, we work to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Cleaning up Smoke and Soot Damage

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Cleaning up Smoke and Soot Damage Smoke and Soot Damage

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.

There are three (3) different types of smoke. 

  • 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.  Protein fire residue is virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, and has an extreme pungent odor. 

Each type of fire has a different type of cleaning process.  Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Dearborn Heights North/East Garden City 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.  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.  Should you suffer from fire and/or smoke damage, contact us at (313) 228-5134.  SERVPRO of Dearborn Heights North/East Garden City…working to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Preventing Holiday Home Fires

11/30/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Preventing Holiday Home Fires When Disaster Strikes - Strike Back...Call SERVPRO

Did you know that nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage?  Did you know that, on average, one of every 22 home fires started by Christmas trees result in death?  These facts, compiled by the U.S Fire Administration and the National Fire Protection Association are sobering and alarming.

At SERVPRO of Dearborn Heights North/East Garden City, we want to offer you the following preparedness tips to have a safe and happy holiday season:

  • Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles.
  • If you purchase a real tree, make sure that it has fresh, green needles that aren't easily broken.  Keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water.
  • Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition.  
  • Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree.
  • Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over.  
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire - pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains - away from your stove top.
  • Smoke alarms save lives.  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 and replace all batteries at least once a year.

Unfortunately, even when the best precautions have been taken, things can go wrong and bad things can happen.  Should you be victimized by fire or some other type of adversity, call SERVRPO of Dearborn Heights North/East Garden City at (313) 228-5134.  We have the trained professionals that can help you take back your life when disaster occurs.

At SERVPRO, we work with you to make it "Like it never even happened."