Recent Fire Damage Posts
Prevent Holiday Fires
The approaching 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 are the cause of another 1,170 fires1. 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-holidays2.
“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, Executive Vice President 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
- 33% of tree fires are caused by electrical problems; 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 when you 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. And, 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.”
For more fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.SERVPRO.com
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 thunder storm! The activated oxygen from the electrical currents is cleaning the air naturally! Electricity is nature's way of cleaning the air.
Chemical sponges are for 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 it will only smear it more. Our technicians are certified in fire restoration and we have the perfect chemicals for any size job.
Lake Arlington Smoke & Soot Cleanup
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 Lake Arlington 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 – 817-460-7766
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
Fire & Soot Damage- Do & Don’t
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
- Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer, and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
- Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim, and appliances. Protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
- If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowels, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
- Wash both sides of leaves on house plants.
- Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
- Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO.
- Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO.
- Attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
- Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water. ( They may have been contaminated)
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
- Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.
How to Avoid Fire Damage This Holiday Season
SERVPRO of Lake Arlington wants everyone to have a happy and safe holiday season.
Unfortunately 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.**
Here are some prevention tips to help keep your family safe:
- Check your smoke alarms in your house
- Place Christmas trees, candles and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, heat vents and candles.
- Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed
- Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
In the unfortunate event you do need our services SERVPRO of Lake Arlington is available 24/7 to help.
Call us at 817-460-7766
Source** U.S. Fire Administration