Recent Fire Damage Posts
Winter Is Coming Advoid A Chimney Fire In Your Home
Keep Warm And Safe
Here at SERVPRO of South Chesterfield Wildwood we see many of the preventable fire each year. The Majority of Chimney Fires Go Undetected
Slow-burning chimney fires don’t get enough air or have fuel to be dramatic or visible and they often go undetected until a later chimney inspection, but, the temperatures they reach are very high and can cause as much damage to the chimney structure – and nearby combustible parts of the house – as their more spectacular cousins.Creosote & Chimney Fires: What You Must Know
Fireplaces and wood stoves are designed to safely contain wood-fuel fires while providing heat for a home. The chimneys that serve them have the job of expelling the by-products of combustion – the substances produced when wood burns. These include smoke, water vapor, gases, unburned wood particles, hydrocarbon, tar fog, and assorted minerals. As these substances exit the fireplace or wood stove and flow up into the relatively cooler chimney, condensation occurs. The resulting residue that sticks to the inner walls of the chimney is called creosote.
Creosote is a black or brown residue that can be crusty and flaky…tar-like, drippy and sticky…or shiny and hardened. All forms are highly combustible. If it builds up in sufficient quantities – and the internal flue temperature is high enough – the result could be a chimney fire.
Conditions that encourage the buildup of creosote:
- restricted air supply
- unseasoned wood
- cooler than normal chimney temperatures
Air supply may be restricted by closing the glass doors, by failing to open the damper wide enough, and the lack of sufficient make-up air to move heated smoke up the chimney rapidly (the longer the smoke’s “residence time” in the flue, the more likely is it that creosote will form). A wood stove’s air supply can be limited by closing down the stove damper or air inlets too soon or too much. Burning unseasoned wood – because so much energy is used initially just to drive off the water trapped in the cells of the logs– keeps the resulting smoke cooler, then if a seasoned wood is used. In the case of wood stoves, overloading the firebox with wood in an attempt to get a longer burn time also contributes to creosote buildup. Source:Chimney Safety Institute of America
Fire Safety Smoke Alarm Tips In Chesterfield, MO
Check Your Smoke Alarm Often
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom. They should be outside each sleeping areas and on every level of the home.
- Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When on smoke alarm sounds, they all sound.
- Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure that the alarm is working.
- Current alarms on the market employ different types of technology including multi-sensing, which could include smoke and carbon monoxide combined.
- Today's smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
- A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms.
- People who are hard of hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
*Source: NFPA-Nation Fire Protection Association
Most Common Causes of House Fires
Be prepared for what ever happens.
Here are top 5 most common causes of house fires as identified by the National Fire Protection Association.
From 2007-2011, the NFPA says there were an average of 10,630 fires in the U.S. that were started by candles, causing 115 deaths, 903 injuries and approximately $418 million in property damage. That is an average of 29 candle fires per day.
- Never leave a candle burning near flammable items.
- Never leave a candle burning in a child’s room or an unoccupied room.
- Make sure candles fit securing into candle holders so they won’t tip over.
- Blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep
While the number of fires caused by smoking is trending downward, the NFPA found that there were still an average of 17,600 related fires per year resulting in 490 deaths and more than $516 million in property damage.
- If you smoke, consider smoking outside.
- Use wide, sturdy ashtrays to catch butts and ashes.
- Look for cigarette butts under furniture and between seat cushions to make sure no lit butts have fallen someplace where they can’t be seen.
- Don’t smoke in bed, when you’re tired or around medical oxygen.
- Electrical & Lighting
According to the NFPA, in 2011 approximately 47,700 home structure fires were caused by some sort of electrical failure or malfunction. These resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.
- Don’t overload outlets or electrical cords.
- Make sure you have the right cord for the job – inside cords for inside, heavy duty/outside cords for outdoor use.
- Don’t leave Christmas lights, Christmas trees, or halogen lights on overnight or when not at home.
- Consider having an electrician perform an annual checkup of your home’s wiring.
- Dryers & Washing Machines
Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage.
- Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
- For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
- Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
- Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
- Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.
From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes.
- Stay away from doors and windows during an electrical storm.
- Do not use corded phones, computers, TVs or other electrical equipment during storms.
- Unplug major electronics – TVs, stereo equipment, computers and microwaves to minimize damage if there is a lightning strike close by.
- Avoid plumbing such as sinks, baths and faucets during a thunderstorm.
Have Questions? Call Us Today – (636) 537-5400
Impact of Fire Damage on Your Property
Fires cause unforeseen damage to your home!
Fire damage can have a detrimental impact on a person’s life. Whether there is a fire in home, or a fire in business, fire loss can be heart breaking. Soot damage and some damage can ruin so much of a person’s home. Not only is the fire itself terrible and devastating, but the actual fire cleanup can be awful as well. If a fire has recently occurred and caused commercial fire damage, or if the fire damage occurred die to a fire in home, this article is here to help you determine the best ways to address the aftermath.
First before any fire cleanup can occur it’s important to make sure that the fire in home or the fire in business is no longer a safety risk, especially if there was commercial fire damage. The local fire department can determine whether there is still a health risk in returning to cleanup the fire damage, the soot damage, or the smoke damage that has occurred. Fire loss is no laughing matter and should be addressed sagely and carefully.
Once you have had the notification that it’s now safe to enter your home to start the cleanup process, the actual soot damage, smoke damage, and amount of fire loss can be appraised. This can help to get the fire cleanup process settled so that you know the extent of the damage and make a plan to combat the fire damage. Before anything it’s important to stat ti our out the building, whether the damage was from a fire in home, or a fire in business. This will help the air quality and allow the prices of the cleanup of the soot damage or smoke damage to begin.
To start cleaning the soot damage and smoke damage it is absolutely crucial to make sure the air quality is fine before you begin, because too much smoke can have a detrimental impact on your heath. To begin this fire cleanup from the fire in home, fire in business, or commercial fire damage, you will need protective frat such as rubber gloves and eye protection. A bucket and spine will also be needed so that the soot damage can be scrubbed off from the walls. There are cleaning solutions that are available commercially to help you with this project. To make extra sure that the air quality is suitable it may be necessary to open a window. This is to ensure the air quality is not impacted by any apsidal smoke, and the air quality is not impacted by the cleaning agents being used.
After the walls have been cleaned the fire cleanup from other areas can being. Now the fire loss impact must be determined, and the items from the fire loss must be cleaned or discarded if they are beyond repair. This fire cleanup hopefully will not be too substantial, but it may be. If there is a large scale of destruction to may be a better idea to call professionals who can evaluate the damage and clean the mess for you. However, even if there was a fire in business or commercial fire damage you may be able to take care to the situation yourself be removing the soot form the commercial fire damage with a vacuum cleaner and rags.
Have Questions? Call Us Today – (636) 537-5400
Candle Safety In Your Home in Chesterfield Wildwood, MO
Here at SERVPRO SOUTH CHESTERFIELD WILDWOOD
We have seen many candle fires in our community, Below are some tips how to prevent a fire in your home. Candles are beautiful but they can be devastating as well.
On average 25 home candle fires start every day. The simple nature of candles having an open flame is the key to why they can be so dangerous. CCFR recommends using battery operated, flameless candles.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than half of all candle fires start because candles were too close to things that could catch fire.
If you use regular candles, they need to be:
• At least a foot away from anything that can burn (curtains, walls, lamps, Christmas trees, etc.)
• Attended at all times (never leave a child alone in a room with a candle)
• Used in sturdy, enclosed candleholders
• Placed in areas where they cannot be tipped over
• Avoided in homes where oxygen is used
Avoid using candles in the bedroom, where more than one-third of home candle fires begin, or other areas where people may fall asleep. In the event of a power outage use flashlights or other battery-operated power, not candles to light your home.
Avoid using candles in the bedroom, where more than one third of home candle fires begin, or other areas where people may fall asleep.
FLOOD, FIRE, EARTHQUAKES AND TWISTERS
Be ready for any event.
Article From Our First Responders Monarch Fire Protection Chesterfield, MO
Everyone who has watched the news this year has seen areas flooding from hurricanes and rain; fires destroying forests, crops and homes; earthquakes toppling houses, stores and factories; and tornadoes destroying everything in their path. Fortunately, the worst missed our area this year. Unfortunately, we have seen floods from rain and rivers, fires consuming homes and businesses; earthquakes doing minor damage (the last severe one was the New Madrid earthquake in 1811/1812) and tornadoes with their associated destruction here in Monarch or very nearby. While no one can fully prepare to weather every calamity, the Monarch Fire Protection District is ready to respond to our residents and businesses when misfortune calls. We have five fire houses across the District with more than 100 professionals ready to help. Everyone knows we have fire trucks ready to roll within minutes of receiving a call for help and ambulances staffed with paramedics and excellent equipment to assist with medical emergencies. However, we do much more. Monarch is home to a regional heavy hauler that is designed to provide confined space rescue for victims trapped in collapsed buildings or trenches with about 50 firefighters trained to use the specialized equipment. We also have boats and personnel trained for swift-water rescues. We team up with the St. Louis County Police to provide helicopter rescues using their helicopter and pilots and our rescue personnel. We operate and staff a designated Rescue Truck when the need arises which carries tools to extricate victims trapped in vehicles and other rescue equipment. Then, of course, we participate in area events and in District training to hone the skills needed to perform these duties. However, Monarch, the Department of Homeland Security and the State of Missouri all recommend everyone take a few basic steps to help themselves. Under normal circumstances, Monarch crews and equipment is minutes away, but, what if a major disaster strikes the area. First, everyone should have a minimum of three days of non-perishable food (don’t forget a manual can opener in case the electricity is off) and water for each family member. You should have a flashlight with fresh batteries and you may want to get a few emergency candles and matches. A simple first aid kit is very inexpensive. Make sure you have a few simple tools (hammer, nails, screw drivers, pliers, crescent wrench and, perhaps, even some vice grips or locking pliers). Make sure you know where to shut off the gas and water to your home in case there is a leak. For a few dollars, you can buy a special wrench designed for the gas shutoff. Keep cell phones charged or have an external charging device. A comprehensive list could become quite long but just a few simple items can make a big difference when calamity strikes. To borrow from the Boy Scouts, “Be Prepared”.
Chesterfield Wildwood Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Severe damage can be cleaned and restored.
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 South Chesterfield Wildwood 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
Air Purification After Fire Damage
Smoke smells and smoke damage are present in the air after a fire, which will require removal purifying. A restoration company will employ a variety of techniques to clean and sanitize the air so that the property can be usable once again. Fire damage restoration cannot be complete without a complete purification of the air.
A fire in a business can extensively damage drywall or paint, which will need to be restored last once all other damage is handled. Once the smoke smell is completely removed, fire cleanup and be completed with aesthetic touches. Complete fire damage restoration will leave the property completely usable. Commercial fire damage is reversed to the point where business can resume as usual, "Like it never even happened."
The stability provided by a restoration company after a fire in a home or a fire in a business is incomparable to that of an individual handling the situation by him- or herself. Fire cleanup is a complicated task that requires specialized equipment and multiple technicians depending on the extent of the fire damage. It is almost impossible to reverse commercial fire damage without help. Whether it is just to board up the property or to remove all the water from firefighting, a company takes on a lot of the burden, providing stability to a shaken individual.