Recent Fire Damage Posts
BBQ Fire Safety
Follow These Tips to Avoid a Barbecue Fire
The arrival of nice weather calls for grilling out with friends and family. Unfortunately, a grill fire is a real safety hazard, and in the right circumstances, a fun get-together can turn into a disaster in a hurry. You can avoid a barbecue fire by following these tips:
- Keep the Grill in a Safe Location
Keep the grill outside on a level surface at least 10 feet from buildings and other flammable objects. Never grill under an overhang or in an enclosed area. Be sure to monitor it closely until it cools.
- Keep Children and Pets at a Distance
Children and pets should stay at least three feet away from the grill. Ensure that pets on tie-downs cannot reach the grill; they can wrap their line around the grill and pull it over. It will keep them at a safe distance if a grill fire occurs.
- Be Mindful of Loose Clothing
Make sure that you wear appropriate attire when you grill. You can tie back everything with an apron. Use long tongs and spatulas for added safety and wear heat-resistant grill gloves.
- Use a Chimney Starter
A chimney starter is a much safer option than lighter fluid. It will also light the coals more evenly.
- Practice the Two-Zone Method
This simple, versatile method creates a much safer grilling experience. Put the hot charcoal on one side of the grill and leave the other side empty. If a flare-up occurs, move the food to the other side until the flame subsides, then move it back to continue cooking. The two-zone method can improve your food quality because it creates a searing side and another side for flame-free slow cooking.
Keep a fire extinguisher near. Do NOT use water; it can make a grease fire flare up. Instead, close the grill lid until the outbreak subsides. If your house sustains fire damage or smoke damage from a grill fire, SERVPRO of Lake Arlington can return it to its original state.
Smoke and Soot Dictate Cleanup Practices After Fire Damage
It is wise to contact a professional in the fire damage restoration industry, like SERVPRO of Lake Arlington at (817) 460-7766.
Professionals Describe the Different Types of Smoke
Suppose you ever suffer from a structural blaze inside your Lake Arlington home. In that case, it is always smart to consult a professional when going about cleanup and restoration.
A professional will know to use different chemicals and techniques when removing residues left behind, based on the smoke type. In most situations, smoke and the soils it leaves behind can be classified into one of the following four categories of smoke and soot damage. Knowing what type of smoke was present helps the technician pick the best method to remove soot residues on the various surfaces of your building materials and contents.
Category No. 1 - Dry Smoke
Most fires go through stages of creating both wet and dry smoke. However, usually fires will have more of one type than the other. Dry smoke is created by fast-burning, oxygen-rich burns. Dry smoke is also usually created when organic materials like wood, paper, or natural fabrics burn.
Category No. 2 - Wet Smoke
Whether a fire produces a majority of wet or dry smoke depends on the amount of oxygen present, the combustion rate, and the type of substance that is burning. When the fire is starved of oxygen and burns at a lower temperature, it produces wet smoke. Wet smoke is also created when synthetic materials such as rubber or plastic burn. Wet smoke usually adheres strongly to surfaces and is difficult to remove.
Category No. 3 - Protein Residues
Protein residues can be found any time products such as meat, poultry, or fish burn. These residues leave behind a yellow or amber discoloration, but they can sometimes be clear and hard to see on a surface. Protein residues leave behind strong odors making deodorization the biggest issue when dealing with them.
Category No. 4 - Fuel Oil Soot
Furnace puff-backs can create fuel oil residues that consist of dust particles from the ventilation system and fuel oils that did not burn all the way. This type of soot usually has a gray or black color and can consist of large or small particles. Often, the electrically charged ions form formations in corners that resemble spiderwebs and can smear readily if not vacuumed and sponged off correctly.
If a fire ever ignites inside your home, it is wise to contact a professional in the fire damage restoration industry, like SERVPRO of Lake Arlington at (817) 460-7766.
Why is My Smoke Alarm Beeping?
In addition to potentially causing significant fire damage, flames and smoke can endanger the lives of everyone inside your home. A properly functioning fire alarm can alert you to danger and help save lives. For this reason, every household should have this lifesaving device.
Sometimes, however, a smoke detector may act sporadically, chirping loudly or going off despite the absence of smoke. Often, there is a simple explanation for this erratic and—let’s be real, annoying!—behavior.
Why Is My Smoke Alarm So Annoying?
- Weak Battery
Batteries have a limited lifespan. A chirping alarm may indicate that your device needs a new battery.
- Improperly Installed Battery
A loose battery or terminal obstruction may cause your fire alarm to chirp intermittently. Use the self-check button on your smoke alarm to ensure the battery works after installing.
- Dirty Sensing Chamber
Dust and dirt can sometimes obstruct the sensing chamber, resulting in a false alert. To help prevent this problem, you should routinely wipe your detectors with a dusting cloth.
- Interference From Steam
Steam can also interfere with your detector’s sensing capability. This may be a particularly challenging problem for units located near bathrooms. To help reduce the likelihood of an inadvertent alert, close the bathroom door while showering and turn on the fan.
- Interrupted Power Supply
An interrupted power supply may also cause erroneous beeping. You should examine each detector’s wiring for loose connections. If you notice lights dimming spontaneously, especially when an appliance is in use, contact a licensed electrician to help you inspect your home’s wiring.
- End of Lifespan
Did you know your smoke detector can essentially expire? The average lifespan for most smoke detectors is 8 – 10 years. After this period, the unit’s sensing capacity may diminish, reducing its effectiveness. If an older device is chirping, it may be time to replace it with a new one.
A fire alarm may not spare your home from a destructive fire or smoke damage, but this valuable safety device may one day save your life. To help safeguard your well-being, you should promptly investigate a chirping detector and replace batteries, or the entire unit, as needed.
Call SERVPRO of Lake Arlington if you have smoke or fire damage, (817) 460-7766. We proudly serve Lake Arlington, TX, Pantego, TX, Dalworthington Gardens, TX, and surrounding areas.
What is Wet and Dry Smoke?
Did you know different types of smoke damages emerge based on the type of material burning? These smoke types determine the measures professional fire restoration technicians take when cleaning up after a fire. We break down the types.
Wet and Dry 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, a professional like SERVPRO of Lake Arlington tests the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pre-testing.
Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
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, extremely pungent odor.
It's important to survey all areas of a property because every part has the potential for damages. Smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure, and smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action to restore your property to its preloss condition. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call SERVPRO of Lake Arlington today at 817-460-7766.
Space Heater Safety and Fire Prevention Tips
Stay safe when using a space heater and remember, all heaters need space.
Cold temperatures inevitably make us want to cozy up under a blanket and crank up the heat, but before you bring the space heater up from the basement to get extra toasty, consider these safety and fire prevention tips. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is the leading cause of all house fires.
Space Heater Safety First!
SERVPRO of Lake Arlington has compiled some space heater safety and fire prevention tips to help you stay warm, but most of all, to keep you and your home or office safe from fire damage.
- Keep 3 feet of distance between your space heater and anything that can burn, including people!
- Never plug your space heater into a power strip; always plug it directly into the wall.
- Turn off and unplug the heater whenever you leave the room, especially when leaving for the day or going to bed.
- Always place your heater on a flat surface, away from foot traffic.
- Educate your family and coworkers about the dangers of space heaters.
- Keep the heater away from wet areas. This includes bathrooms, basements, and even wet hands and materials.
Buy the Right Heater
- Check to see if your heater has a seal marking that it’s been tested by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory.
- Purchase a space heater that is suitable for the size of the room you would like to heat. Use small heaters for small spaces, and large heaters only for big, open spaces. Using a small heater in a large space will cause the heater to overwork and reduce its lifespan.
- Know your heater’s wattage. Higher wattage = higher energy output. Low wattage = less energy.
- Choose a heater with an automatic shut-off that engages if the heater is knocked over or overheats.
- Know about the different types of space heaters: oil or water-filled radiator heaters, fan-forced heaters, ceramic heaters, and infrared heaters.
Using these space heater safety and fire prevention tips will help prevent fire damage in the home and workplace. If you have any questions about fire prevention or if your property experiences smoke or fire damage to your home, call your local professionals at SERVPRO of Lake Arlington for assistance. We’re available 24/7 at (817) 460-7766.
What To Do After a House Fire
Your Texas home was likely not built to stop house fires before they spread to other areas of the house. In general, most of the materials used for the construction of your home are fire kindling, able to catch fire quickly and spread throughout the property. On top of that, the popular open-concept floor plan lays out the perfect environment for fires to spread from room to room more easily than other floor plans.
While flames do much damage on their own, other substantial effects of a fire are smoke and soot damages.
Soot is most concentrated where it burned longest, but matted debris and film from the combustion leave a dark or black residue on surfaces, furniture, flooring, and other materials, too. Removing this residue requires multiple approaches. For wall surfaces, scrubbing with wet and dry sponges can often remove the bulk of the film. Confined spaces like ductwork require high powered vacuums.
Smoke damage often presents itself in the form of a harsh odor lingering in fabrics, carpeting, and open spaces throughout affected areas of your house. Removal of this odor typically requires thermal fogging, a process that releases an unscented chemical compound into the environment and contents of the room to break apart odor molecules and leave no discernible scent behind.
The Right Solution
Unfortunately, this causes a bigger mess than most people are equipped to handle. Fire damage proves to be challenging to remove without the right equipment. We always suggest hiring a professional fire cleanup and restoration expert. We may be biased, but SERVPRO is just that. We have the experience, tools, and techniques to help you through widespread fire, smoke, and soot damages.
When you face the effects after a house fire, SERVPRO of Lake Arlington responds quickly to get your home back to preloss conditions, as soon as possible.
Home Fires and Smoke Damage Aftermath
Fire Damage Consists of More Than Flames
The damages from flames after a fire are not the only damages incurred. Flames can move throughout the home quickly, burning and ruining every item in their path, but once the flames have been extinguished, the home is left with soot and smoke damages, too. Smoke damage can completely devastate a home if not properly and swiftly addressed. In fact, smoke damage can occur in rooms where the flames were not even present.
With so much attention placed on the flames, people often overlook the dangers linked to smoke damage. The following are some of the most common issues of smoke damage after a home fire:
- Toxic air
- Smoke odor in upholstered furniture, drapery, clothing, carpets, and in the air
- Warped plastic
- Warped wood
- Yellow stains on walls and ceilings
- Household textiles covered in soot
Salvaging items that have smoke damage is a complicated issue. A smoke damage expert will need to assess the home and the impacted items to determine what can be saved. In addition, smoke damage experts will tackle lingering smoke in less obvious places like crevices and cracks where particles may linger, since the smell can last for months following a fire.
Smoke Damage is as Dangerous as Fire Damage
During a fire, the materials that burn produce toxic smoke filled with microscopic particles known as soot. These tiny particles become charged from the extreme heat and migrate to cooler air found in other parts of the house, forming soot webs. Because this smoke is often scorching, it can cause additional damage by melting plastics, scorching fabrics, and textiles and spreading toxic gasses that will kill any living thing in its path. That's why smoke alarms throughout your home are critical to saving lives.
Don’t Grab, Just Go.
The Department of Homeland Security says, "In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can [...] turn into a major fire…Most deadly fires occur in the home when people are asleep. If you wake up to a fire, you won't have time to grab valuables because the fire spreads too quickly, and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape."
Call Us Today for a FREE Fire Damage Estimate
Restoring smoke and fire-damaged items costs less than replacing them. We love when we can restore your belongings, especially items with sentimental value. Call SERVPRO of Lake Arlington at (817) 460-7766 for a free fire damage consultation. We have helped hundreds of families recover from house fire damages and our fire damage repair and restoration specialists have years of experience.
Prevent Holiday Fires
The upcoming holiday season brings traditions, parties, shopping, entertaining – and potential danger.
The latest statistics available from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) show the holidays are a high-risk time for home fires. Christmas trees are responsible for 240 home fires each year, and other holiday decorations cause another 1,170 fires. Thanksgiving Day sees almost a threefold increase in cooking-related fires; cooking fires are almost twice as likely to happen on Christmas Day as on non-holidays.
“No one wants to think about the possibility of losing their home, and even more tragically, lives because of a fire during the holidays,” said Rick Isaacson, CEO of SERVPRO Industries, Inc. “But statistics show, it’s important to be aware of the increased risk seasonal decorating, entertaining and cooking can cause during the holidays.”
Isaacson reminds homeowners that prevention and common sense can help keep homes and families safe during the holidays and throughout the year. Here are some sobering facts about holiday fires and tips to help keep your home, friends, and family safe throughout the holiday season.
Christmas Tree Fire Facts
- Electrical problems cause 33% of tree fires; 13% involve decorative lights. Check wiring on lights for breaks and wear. Replace worn strings and don’t exceed manufacturer guidelines for connecting multiple strands of lights. Don’t leave tree lights plugged in when you are away from home or go to bed.
- 42% occur on the 12 days from December 23 through January 3. Keep live trees well watered to reduce the chance of a fire.
Holiday Decoration Fire Facts
- 45% of all holiday fires involve candles; that number rises to 56% in December. Use flameless candles. If you do use traditional candles, burn them in sturdy candleholders, well away from drapes and other flammable materials, and never leave them unattended or allow them to burn down to less than one inch in length.
- 48% of all decoration fires start because the decoration is too close to a heat source. Keep all decorations away from heat sources like radiators, portable heaters, fireplaces, etc.
Cooking Fire Facts
- Cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day exceed the daily average by 272%. Supervise items on the stovetop. 58% of kitchen fires involve ranges; homes with electric cooktops have a higher risk of fire than homes with gas cooktops.
- Cooking fires on Christmas Day and Christmas Eve exceed the daily average by 96% and 89%, respectively. Keep flammable items – potholders, packaging, wrapping, wooden utensils, loose clothing – away from the stovetop. Don’t let lack of sleep or alcohol consumption affect your ability to concentrate on preparing the meal.
“It only takes a moment’s distraction or carelessness to turn a holiday celebration into a catastrophe,” said Isaacson. “We hope these tips will be a reminder to families everywhere to make fire prevention a priority in their holiday preparations, so they can spend the season enjoying family and friends, not dealing with the aftermath of a fire.”
Chemical sponges are for the removal of dry dirt, dust, and dry smoke soot residues. Our SERVPRO team uses these sponges on all of our fire jobs while cleaning. If our team needs to reach high ceilings we have poles that hold the chemical sponges up high so we can reach those areas. This is a very good way to get soot residue off of walls and ceilings. You never want to wipe fire soot off with a wet sponge, it will only smear more! We use a dry sponge for that very reason. Although, chemical sponges should not be used with protein fires because they will only smear them more. Our technicians are certified in fire restoration and we have the perfect chemicals for any size job.
Brand New Ozone Room
SERVPRO of Lake Arlington is proud to announce the completion of our on-site Ozone Room!
Ozone treatment is a powerful way to eliminate odors without the use of chemicals or masking deodorizers. The ozone room can be used after a fire to get soot smells off of contents. You set the contents in the room, set the timer, and let it work its magic!
The ozone room works by utilizing an electrical current and breaks down odors. The ozone room is a very important tool that SERVPRO of Lake Arlington utilizes when cleaning contents and deodorizing because it kills the odors at the source without using harsh chemicals.
Here is the science behind the ozone room: Normal oxygen is mixed with an electrical current such as lightning transforming normal oxygen into activated oxygen. The activated oxygen is what cleans the air, contents, etc. This is why it always smells so fresh outside after a thunderstorm! The activated oxygen from the electrical currents is cleaning the air naturally! Electricity is nature's way of cleaning the air.
Lake Arlington Wildfire Damage Event
The active wildfires here in Southern California are increasing their impact as growing Santa Ana winds add fuel to these devastating blazes that are encroaching in our area. According to the New York Times, new fires broke out in Malibu on December 7, with at least 96,000 acres already burned in the Ventura area and 116,000 acres in Los Angeles County. Evacuations have closed hundreds of schools and forced 200,000 of our neighbors to seek safety. The “Thomas Fire” in the Ventura area continues to burn with the aid of strong winds. This fire has caused the closure of the 101 freeway and a boil-water advisory was issued for Ventura County.
Santa Ana winds
The Santa Ana winds that are enabling the fires to rapidly increase their reach can have speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour. They are not expected to diminish until Friday into Saturday at the earliest. The National Weather Service has warned of “very rapid fire growth” in this area. SERVPRO Meteorologist Lela Davis said that the Santa Ana winds were already very dry when they reached the Southern California valley, allowing them to quickly pull moisture out of vegetation, increasing the risk for wildfires. For the first time ever, a purple wind warning was issued for today under the color-coded system used to advise about high winds. This purple warning pushed wind expectations from the “high” category to “extreme”.
Ready to help
Here at SERVPRO of Lake Arlington we are monitoring this wildfire situation closely. Our thoughts are with those neighbors who may be put in harms’ way during this event. In many cases, a wildfire can result in a total loss for a home or business, but in others it may be a partial loss, or can result in mild smoke damage. If your home or business is affected by a wildfire, SERVPRO of Lake Arlington is Here to Help®.
About SERVPRO of Lake Arlington
SERVPRO of Lake Arlington specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Fire or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help - 817-460-7766