Recent Fire Damage Posts
5 Things To Try When Your Smoke Alarm Beeps
Keep your family safe from fire and smoke damage.
How Do You Stop A Beeping Smoke Alarm
You installed a fire alarm in each room of your home in Falmouth Foreside, ME when you moved in. You regularly test the alarms to make sure they're working. The worst thing, then, is when one of the alarms starts beeping. It can take a while to figure out which one is beeping. Then, how do you make it stop? Here are five things to try.
1. Change the Batteries
Start simple and change the batteries. Even if you just did it, it's possible one of them is faulty or you accidentally mixed up an old one with a new one.
2. Use the Silent Button
Your fire alarm has a test/silent button. Try to use that to stop the beeping. This is probably also a good time to find the manual (or look it up online if it was thrown away) for ways to specifically test your brand of alarm.
3. Reset the Alarm
A slightly more complicated solution is to reset the whole device. Again, the manual or YouTube can provide help for how to conduct a full alarm reset. Don't get discouraged here, decide that it's not worth the effort, and leave the alarm unarmed. Fire damage occurs when you least expect it, so it's important to keep all of your detectors up and running properly.
4. Check for Dust
Some detectors are hardwired to your electrical system instead of using batteries. If dust is affecting the wiring, that could be a reason that your alarm is beeping. Use a keyboard air blower to clear out dust build-up.
5. Replace the Whole Thing
When no other solution will stop the beeping, it's time to replace the detector. They don't last forever, and chances are that it's been longer than you realize that since you installed your fire alarm. Don't put this off. The safety of your family could depend on functioning smoke detectors.
Troubleshooting your smoke detector can be a headache, but it's worth the effort to keep your family safe from fire and smoke damage. If a fire does occur, a fire damage assessment will help you determine the cause.
What Happens When Lightning Strikes a House?
Lightning strikes by a house in Gorham, ME
Approximately 22,600 house fires are started by lightning every year. In some areas of the United States, these bolts can strike the ground well over 100 times per second, and meteorologists have recorded over 900 strikes per minute. Although not all of these will cause a lightning fire, some of them can and do.
The Three Types of Damage
Fire is not the only thing that you have to worry about when volatile electricity strikes your home. There are three ways that it can cause both physical and fire damage.
- Fired damage - caused by a direct strike to wood or other flammable substance
- Electrical shorts - caused by electricity traveling through your wiring
- Shock wave damage - damage caused by the wave of energy released during a strike
These three types are all dangerous and can be the cause of a lightning fire.
Strikes Are Preventable
Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to prevent direct strikes. The easiest is to trim tall trees around your home. Lightning looks for the quickest and easiest path downward. This means the taller the object, the more likely it is to be hit.
You should also make sure that your roof and shingles are in good repair. Use either asphalt shingles another nonconductive material as roofing. This may not prevent a strike but will help insulate your home from fire damage.
After a Stike to Your Home
If your home takes a direct strike, you may have scorch marks on the walls even if it did not start a house fire. This is because lightning travels through conductive materials like wiring and coax cable. To clean these scorch marks, you will need a professional in Gorham, ME.
Fortunately, a strike does not always result in a lightning fire. By taking some simple precautions, you can lessen the chances that your home will be a victim of this type of fire.
How To Clean Up Damage After a Fire
Fire damage to a local business in Portland, ME
How To Clean Up Damage After a Fire
Fire cleanup takes place in multiple stages. When your commercial property in Portland, ME, has water, fire and smoke damage, it all has to be dealt with before the building can be rebuilt. Fire restoration specialists take several steps to make sure your building is restored fully.
Before technicians can get to the soot damage done by the fire, they typically have to address the problems the water used to put out the fire left behind. Firefighters must use water liberally to ensure that all flames are extinguished, and this can lead to a lot of water damage. They must inspect and tear out all materials affected:
At the same time as the water damage removal is happening, the smoke cleaning crew is likely to remove materials with fire damage as well. If a support beam is burned beyond repair, for example, it has to go. Temporary supports are installed in its place until the final stage of the process when it can be rebuilt.
The last step of the cleanup phase is soot and smoke damage cleaning. During a fire, these particles get everywhere. They don't just land on surfaces. They also get trapped in corners and cracks. It is not unusual to even find soot damage under floor tiles or in air ducts. To infiltrate all the areas that smoke and soot can go, a thermal fogger may need to be used. It disperses the cleaning agent the same way that a fire disperses smoke so that the detergent can get to every place the particles are hiding. Afterward, an ozone machine may be used to clean the remaining odor from the air.
Fire damage is only the start of what technicians have to handle during the cleanup stage of the restoration process. Both water and smoke damage must also be cleaned before rebuilding can begin.
How to Safely Use Candles In Your Home
Perhaps the easiest way to prevent a fire is simply not to use candles at all
Avoid Candle Fires In Your Home
With warm light and pleasant fragrances, candles can be an easy way to create the atmosphere that you want in your West Falmouth, ME, home. However, they can also become a safety hazard if they are not used properly. Candle fires are common, but the following tips can help you avoid them.
1. Don’t Leave Burning Candles Unattended
It may seem like an annoyance to extinguish a candle every time you leave the room. However, leaving it burning could result in a candle fire if something gets too close to the flame or if it burns too low. It is best to blow out candles before going to sleep as well, even if you are in the same room.
2. Keep Them Away From Flammable Items
When you are using a candle, you should be sure to have the area free of flammable objects. This can include papers as well as fabrics such as curtains and bedding. These types of items should be at least a foot away from any candles that are in use. Flammable liquids should be kept even further away.
3. Keep Them Out of Reach of Pets and Children
Both children and pets often come with an excess of energy and curiosity. For this reason, it can be easy for them to inadvertently start a candle fire. Keep burning candles in an area that is not within reach, and do not leave them unsupervised.
4. Use an Alternative
Perhaps the easiest way to prevent a fire is simply not to use candles at all. There are a variety of other ways that you can achieve a more relaxing home environment. If you are only interested in adding a nice scent to your home, a wax warmer is a great option. You can also buy battery-operated flameless candles that look and smell like the real thing.
While these tips can help you prevent an emergency, accidents can still occur. Whether it is small or large, fires often require smoke cleanup and some repairs. If this happens, a fire damage remediation company can help return your home to its previous condition.
Minimize Damage After a Fire with a Temporary Roof Repair
Roof damaged by fire in a Portland, ME building
The aftermath of even a small or partial-loss fire at your Portland, ME, business can have lingering effects. While the first concern may be the fire cleanup, the potential for further issues to occur should also be a top priority if the roof was damaged. As you wait for the roof repair to take place, leaving it exposed means opening the building up to potential problems.
Roof Damage Woes
Fire cleanup doesn’t happen overnight. Calling a fire damage and restoration expert that is Faster to Any Size Disaster is the first step in ensuring speedy and professional repairs. In the interim, whether the hole was caused by the fire, or firefighters had to create an opening for ventilation, it leaves the structure vulnerable to non-fire losses or worries:
Cost – The longer the roof is exposed, the higher the potential for further environmental damage that can quickly increase repair costs.
Vandalism – While it depends on the extent of the roof destruction, the gap could create an access point for vandals or thieves.
Pests – Animals and insects can easily find their way in through the smallest spaces.
Safety – If the damage isn’t severe, you may be able to continue operating out of the business structure, but that could mean a potential safety hazard for anyone in the building.
Although not a permanent fix, using tarp services is an ideal way to minimize secondary damage or other issues. These experts will properly affix boards and tarps to keep debris and precipitation from entering through the ruined areas. Regardless of the type of roof, they will have the know-how to securely seal off entry points and create an insulation barrier to help minimize costly repairs while determining whether the roof needs to be fixed or replaced.
When fire cleanup includes the roof, take quick action to contain the damage, and help ease the restoration process.
Fire Prevention and Preparedness for Pets
Your pets are an important part of your family, and you surely would do whatever you can to keep them from harm’s way. To help keep your pet and the rest of your family safe from the dangers of a home fire, here are several important steps you should take to prevent and prepare your pet for the possibility of a fire emergency in your home in Falmouth, ME.
Pet Fire Prevention
Like young children, your pets are not always aware of their surroundings and that their actions can result in a fire. Here are a few pet safety tips for preventing a fire:
- Don’t leave pets unattended near space heaters or an open flame
- Secure electrical cords that your dog might chew on
- Remove stove knobs or use safety covers
- Consider flameless candles or other candle alternatives
Pet Fire Preparedness
Once you have set up your home to help your pets from starting a fire emergency, you then need to start on your pet preparation and fire escape plan. When developing an evacuation plan with your family, identify which member of the family will be responsible for helping your pets get to safety, and make sure your dog comes when called.
Create a pet fire safety kit with medical supplies you might need to help your pet, some treats, and a leash or carrier. Also, add a pet alert window cling to a front window with information on all of your pets so firefighters can quickly find them.
While the tips in this guide can help you prevent a fire emergency and provide you with a plan for helping your pet if one does ever does occur, make sure to you don’t delay your escape if saving your pet isn’t possible. Once out of the house, never reenter until after firefighters extinguish the fire and the fire damage assessment team says your home is safe to enter.
How To Protect Your Home From Lightning Fires
Lightning strikes are rare, but when they hit, they can cause serious damage
Ways To Protect Your Home Against A Lightning Fire
Lightning strikes are rare, but when they hit, they can cause serious damage. You can protect your home in North Deering, ME, against a lightning fire in several ways.
Unplug All Electronics
If you know that a storm is approaching your area, unplug all of your electronics. A power surge can severely damage the system of electrical wires throughout the house. It can also destroy the electronics themselves. That includes your TV, computer and electric lamps. You should also unplug the toaster, blender, and any other electrical appliances in the kitchen. If you are going on an extended vacation, it's a good idea to unplug your electronics to reduce the risk of a house fire.
Install a Voltage Surge Protector
There will be times when you aren't home to unplug your electronics. If you're at work or running errands, you don't want to unplug everything each day before you leave the house. If you install surge protectors in the areas where electronics are positioned, they will limit the amount of voltage directed into the electronics.
Consider a Home Protection System
A home protection system combines aluminum material and highly conductive copper to provide a path of low resistance, which will safely ground dangerous electricity. If installed correctly, the system is 99% effective in protecting against a lightning fire. Some homeowner’s insurance policies will even offer a discount if you install a home protection system. If you need advice on installing a system, contact a fire assessment professional.
A protection system can include the following elements:
- Lightning rods
- Main Conductors
Check Your Insurance Policy
Make sure your homeowner's insurance policy covers damages from electrical storms. Some states are more prone to electrical storms, so it's critical that you are covered if you live in a high probability zone.
You can't totally prevent a lightning fire, but you can significantly reduce the risk by being proactive.
Here's How You Put out a Grease Fire
If the fire is still going, dump a liberal amount of baking soda on the flames
While it's true that a fire can start anywhere in your home, the kitchen is one of the most common places. There are a lot of hazards in this room, so you need to be cautious when you're cooking on the stove or using the oven. A grease fire is one of the most concerning types of fires you could encounter at home. Extinguishing these fires is not the same as most kinds.
What Causes Grease Fires?
If you're like many people in North Deering, ME, you probably use your fair share of cooking oil on the stove. Whether it's frying up bacon or sausage for breakfast or grilling up something else delicious on the stove or griddle, you may frequently contend with grease. The common reasons a grease fire may start include:
- Putting too much oil in the pan
- Leaving the room while something is frying or grilling on the stove
- Leaving panhandles away from the stove where other people can bump into them
Smother it Quickly
If a grease fire starts in the kitchen, don't panic. Your first job is to smother the flames and remove the fire's oxygen source. You can do this by grabbing a metal lid and covering the pan or burner.
Remove the Heat
You need to next kill the heat source. Turn off the stove or unplug the electric griddle.
Try Some Baking Soda
If the fire is still going, dump a liberal amount of baking soda on the flames. This should do enough to smother the flames and control the fire. It may require some fire cleanup, but you can control the damage.
What not To Do
Your first reaction to putting out a fire may be to dump water on the source. With grease, this won't work; it will only spread the flames. Never put water on these types of fires.
A licensed fire restoration company can clean up after a grease fire. Still, you don't want to get to this point. By following these pointers, you can stay away from these disasters.
5 Keys for Safe Cooking
Kitchen fire safety is priority during the holidays.
Whenever you first began to cook at home, you were probably given several important tips to keep in mind. Chances are this advice is still valid today. Here are some keys to safe cooking that will probably never go out of style.
Keep Clutter to a Minimum.
It's hard to stay safe when bowls, ingredients, salt and pepper shakers and wrappers mess up your counter tops.
Know Where the Fire Extinguisher Is Located.
If a grease fire starts you want to be able to grab a fire extinguisher quickly, particularly one labelled B that is effective on hot oils.
Stay in the Cooking Area.
Leaving an open flame unattended is a bad practice and the cause of many home fires.
Heed Alarms and Smoke Detectors.
Your stove and your home should be equipped with working alarms that alert you to possible fire damage.
Keep Flammables Away.
The cooking area should never be a place to store gasoline, fire starter or other flammable items.
Make Fire Safety a Priority
Be sure to share these safe cooking tips with everyone in your family. Go beyond the cooking area and come up with a home fire safety plan. This should include placing the fire department number in Portland, ME, in an accessible spot. Go over an evacuation plan. Check that fire alarms, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are in working condition.
Don't Forget About Cleanup
A complete fire safety plan includes measures for cleaning up fire damage. This can be accomplished by contacting a fire remediation team. Not only will professionals be able to assess the damage and secure your home against further damage, they will be able to take care of water damage as a result of putting the fire out. It's always a good idea to follow safe cooking tips, and its smart to prepare for the aftermath of a home fire.
The 3 Most Common Causes of Home Fires
Home fire in North Deering, ME
Understanding The Most Common Sources of Home Fires
Items you use daily can be the most common sources of fire in your North Deering,ME, home. It may be hard to imagine that the space heater you have always loved could cause a home fire, but that is just what can happen. Understanding the most common sources of home fires can help you reduce your risk of injury and property damage.
Cooking Equipment Building codes require smoke detectors near kitchens because fires related to cooking represent nearly half of all residential fires and often result in the need for complex fire restoration services. Several kitchen scenarios can create the dangerous combination of high heat and combustible materials.
A hot stove burner can cause grease on a pan or a burner to ignite.
A hot oven can ignite grease that has splashed or dripped onto the oven interior.
Food in close proximity to a glowing broiler coil is susceptible to combustion.
Small appliances, such as toasters and griddles, can ignite crumbs or grease.
A hot barbecue grill can ignite a nearby item, such as a landscape plant or wooden fence.
Frequently cleaning your cooking equipment and appliances, and observing all cooking activities will significantly minimize the likelihood of a cooking-related home fire.
Space heaters can overheat, igniting various internal components and nearby items such as drapes, upholstery or carpets. Following the instructions on the appliance carefully and making sure the heater is never unattended can reduce your fire risk from these sources.
Human error contributes to each category of common fire causes, but certain behaviors are known to raise fire risk dramatically. Unattended lit cigarettes cause more residential fire fatalities than any other source; consequently, smoking in the bedroom is strongly discouraged. Unattended burning candles pose a similar risk.
Much of fire safety is common sense. The primary goal is to keep fuel sources, such as grease or textiles, separated from flame or high heat. Equally important is being present to observe anything that is burning or has an active heating element. These precautions are simple and may save you from experiencing a home fire and a disruptive fire cleaning and restoration process.
How To Keep Your Pets Safe in the Case of a House Fire
Remember to include your pet in your fire escape plan
Pets become part of the family and, for some people, their safety matters almost as much as their own kids! In the event of a fire emergency or other disaster in Westbrook, ME, it’s important to prepare ahead of time for both your family and pets.
Pet Evacuation Plan
Many families with small children create a fire emergency escape plan and occasionally practice evacuating the home. It’s a good idea to include your pets while you’re running through your drill, and even including some pet training if possible so they’re more likely to be cooperative in a time-sensitive situation. It may also be a good idea to prearrange a place for your pets to stay if you’re unable to return to your home for a period of time.
Preventative Pet Preparation
If you have a disaster or fire emergency kit that you know to grab as you leave the house, prepare one for your pets as well. This can include:
- Pet ownership and vaccination records
- Food and water supply and dishes
- Feeding instructions
- Medications and instructions (if applicable)
- Leash and collar/harness
- Pet carrier and bedding/blankets
- First aid kit
- Cleaning supplies
In the case that you’re not home when a fire breaks out and firefighters need to enter, keep your pets near the door when you leave and keep leashes and your fire emergency kit in a visible place. There are also “pet alert” stickers you can place on a visible window with the number of pets in your home so they aren’t left behind.
Pets are an important part of most families, and if disaster strikes, it’s always better to be prepared. Create your emergency kit using the checklist provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and include your pets when you practice evacuating the home. This type of preparedness takes time, but the peace of mind it brings will be well worth the effort.
5 Things You Should Do Following A Fire
Board the building up if needed to prevent weather damage or looting
There are many things that could start a fire at your business in Falmouth Foreside, ME; electrical or machinery malfunctions, space heaters and placed too close to flammable materials or plugged into an extension cord, even an overcrowded outlet or a glitch in a break room microwave. Lightening during an intense thunderstorm can also cause a hazardous fire, but is much less likely than things that can go wrong during an everyday work situation.
Encouraging employees to be careful, replacing defective appliances and machinery, and having your electrical system inspected regularly can all help prevent a fire disaster. Sometimes, however, prevention is not enough and the unexpected can happen.
5 Steps To Take Immediately After a Fire
There are several things that need to happen right immediately following a blaze before fire restoration can begin. There are also some big don’ts. Here is a helpful list to keep in mind.
- Call 911, then get everyone out and to safety, if possible
- Call your fire insurance company for instructions
- Board the building up if needed to prevent weather damage or looting
- Do not let anyone go back into the building prior to an inspection and an OK that it is safe.
- Do not touch anything or try to do anything about the damage yourself – it is possible to get injured or to void your insurance company’s requirements of coverage.
Getting Professional Help can Make it Easier
The best thing you can do next is to get help from a professional fire restoration service in Falmouth Foreside, ME. They can perform a through assessment of the damage and help you file the report for fire insurance. They can also direct the cleanup and removal of destroyed materials, smoke cleaning and help with restoration of your building.
Although a blaze can be a serious setback for your business, you can take some comfort in knowing that your local fire restoration service can help. As always, prevention is the best route, but if an unforeseen fire happens, following these steps can help get you back on track.
Tips for Avoiding a Dryer Fire
Cleaning your Portland dryer vent will prevent future fires from lint and dust.
Though you and your family probably take the time to exchange chore duties in your Portland, ME, home, some cleaning tasks inevitably fall by the wayside. One of these tasks includes keeping your dryer maintained and well-kempt, preventing a potential dryer fire in the process. Here are three helpful tips for avoiding a fire through your home’s dryer, whether it be due to a lint fire, an electrical issue or something more hazardous.
3 Helpful Tips for Avoiding a Dryer Fire
- Be sure to clean the lint filter before and after every load of laundry. While cleaning out lint from the trap can easily be overlooked, creating a schedule to regularly follow can quickly make the task become a common habit in your family. This prevents considerable lint and dust build-up from forming near the heating element, eliminating a possible dryer fire hazard with every use thereafter.
- Make it a priority to snake out your air exhaust vent pipe. A lint fire can erupt just as easily through the exhaust pipe as the filter since air flow can become restricted in the ventilation path due to build-up over time. Not only should professional inspections be conducted on a consistent basis but the outside vent ducting should be unblocked from time to time, as well.
- Frequently inspect for and remove any dust collection behind the dryer, and ensure that flammable items aren’t resting too close to the heating element. Excess dust, lint and dirt can collect on the electrical wiring and tubing behind your dryer, so using a duster or vacuum to remove build-up is crucial to keeping the machine working properly and safely. Furthermore, be wary of storing any flammable objects or chemicals near the heating element.
While perfectly maintaining your Portland, ME, home at all times can be impossible due to everyone’s busy schedules, making dryer maintenance a priority is vital to preventing a potential lint fire in your residence.
3 Do’s and Do Nots to Reduce Space Heater Fires
Space heaters can result in burn injuries
Winter months mean homeowners looking to turn up the heat – be it central or other. That “other” often includes space heaters, a modern convenience that can also be dangerous. Just one burned space heater could be all that stands between your Portland, ME, home and disaster. Avoid catastrophe – read this list of things to do and not do for space heater use.
What Causes Space Heater Fires
Half of home heating fires happen between December and February when people seek alternative ways to keep utility costs low. Space heaters can result in:
- small fires
- burn injuries
- smoke cleanup/damage
The things to do and not do below should keep your building warm and your family and belongings safe.
Do Look for A Safety Certification
Before you buy your space heater, make sure it has a safety certification from a well-known source like Underwriters Laboratories. Such models typically feature auto shut off features that can prevent overheating and minimize chances of a burned space heater.
Do NOT Put a Space Heater Too Close to Things
Keep about three feet of space around a space heater, with flammable materials removed from nearby. Experts say that fires caused by putting flammable materials too close to space heaters is the second leading cause of house fires annually.
Do NOT Use an Extension Cord
Low amp extension cords are not prepared to handle the amount of power drawn from a space heater, making them a major fire hazard. The one exception is if you know the specific amps for which the extension cord and the space heater are rated. If you don’t, you’re risking a burned space heater.
Space heaters offer a convenient alternative when central heating is unavailable or simply inappropriate. But you must use them wisely. Follow these tips and if the unthinkable does happen, reach out to your local fire restoration expert to make things like new.
Renters Insurance: The Unsung Apartment Dweller’s Hero
Fire damage in a Falmouth, ME apartment
Have you ever accidentally left the oven on and worried about whether you might inadvertently start a fire in your apartment? Have you ever wondered if your renters insurance would cover the ensuing damage? As a great relief to many apartment dwellers, insurance does cover you in most cases, offering significant protection in four ways.
1. Personal Property
Fire damage is typically covered under the peril portion of your policy, and the great thing is that negligence likely does not affect personal property coverage. Most plans include your property’s replacement cost rather than actual value, meaning you can afford a new sofa. However, check to make sure that your policy isn’t only covering actual cash value because this price takes into account depreciation, which can significantly lower replacement coverage.
Renters insurance also offers protection against liability. This means that you cannot personally be sued for damages caused by a fire, even if your negligence caused it. Your representative can respond to injury and loss claims and act on your behalf.
3. Medical Expenses
Your policy will most likely have a section for medical payments to others, which is no-fault insurance meant to handle minor injuries. This portion of your coverage is meant to expedite payments to others without declaring fault or blame.
4. Loss of Use
Unlike liability and medical payments, loss of use is for you personally. This coverage ensures that you continue to have a roof over your head while a fire restoration company in the Falmouth, ME, area fixes your apartment. Your policy will likely cover hotel stays for a certain period, depending on the extent of the damage.
Renters insurance is a valuable tool, and it can ease your worries when it comes to forgetfulness and personal liability. Be sure to either purchase a policy or check your coverage, so you know how you are protected in an emergency.
How To Keep Dryer Lint Under Control
Having a dryer in your home in Westbrook,ME, is a handy convenience, but it can turn into a nuisance if excess lint causes a fire. In order to avoid a lint fire, you need to properly maintain your dryer. Regular maintenance not only includes frequent cleaning but also involves professional help when necessary.
You need to do frequent lint checks on your dryer. A dryer fire can happen easily if the lint hiding inside it ignites. You need to clean every part of the machine where lint can linger, which involves:
- Removing lint from filter after every load
- Cleaning vent pipe once a quarter
- Scrubbing lint filter at least twice a year to remove buildup
- Calling for professional cleaning if your dry times become longer
A lint fire can happen even if you remove lint from the filter because that's not the only place lint ends up. Fire remediation experts advise cleaning the whole machine to reduce the chance of fire.
Keeping the dryer itself clean is only half the process of fire safety. Regular maintenance involves ensuring that the ventilation system is unhindered and working properly. If any restrictions exist, the dryer will not be able to vent well, and lint will inevitably build up. The indoor vent should be inspected before the dryer is installed to make sure that it is not damaged. The outdoor vent should be protected from the elements and small creatures looking to make a home inside of it with a reliable covering. This covering, however, should stay open when the dryer is on so that lint can escape. By taking the entire ventilation system into account, you are less likely to experience a fire due to excess lint.
A lint fire can break out if your dryer is not cleaned or well ventilated. By being diligent about regular maintenance, you can avoid damage to your dryer and your home in general.
The Truth About Smoke, Soot and Insurance
This is the aftermath of a house fire in Portland
Perhaps you believe that insurance only covers smoke damage resulting from a fire in your business. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your insurance should cover the smoke cleaning even if it was damaged by smoke from a nearby business. Regardless of the source, smoke cleanup challenges and procedures will be the same.
The cost and the magnitude of post-fire cleanup varies, depending heavily on the type of fire and residue.
• Hot, fast-burning fires result in a more complete combustion of the burned material. This results in a dry smoke with a powder-like residue that makes clean-up comparatively easy.
• Smoldering, slow-burning fires produce what is called wet smoke. It contains large amounts of unburned material including soot and sticky, odor-causing particles that adhere to surfaces. Most of the smoke damage from wet-smoke is invisible and difficult to address.
• Fires of any type that involve petroleum products are likely to generate significant amounts of soot. Soot damage is easily seen on hard light-colored surfaces but easily hides in carpets and fabrics. It still presents a significant cleaning challenge.
Smoke Cleaning Is Not for Amateurs
Finally, the end is in sight. The inspection is complete, the paperwork processed and the insurance company has approved the plan. The fire restoration specialists in Portland, ME, are ready to proceed with the cleanup. They bring with them a crew of experienced cleaning professionals and their specialized equipment. Visible surfaces are cleaned. Odors that can’t be cleaned are neutralized with the help of ozone machines. Odors that can’t be neutralized are completely masked by special deodorizers broadcast throughout the building by thermal foggers.
Open for Business Again
The process is complete and the air in the building no longer smells like smoke. The restoration specialists have done their job and moved on. Business is back to normal and the smoke damage is on its way to becoming a distant memory. Life is good.
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Top 5 Causes of House Fires
Fires can destroy your home
Every 86 seconds, fire departments across the United States respond to residential fires. As a homeowner in Portland, ME, the prospect of a home fire is terrifying. Help prevent fires in your home by knowing the top five fire causes:
Leaving cooking unattended is the leading fire cause in homes. The risk is increased with frying and attempting to extinguish the blaze without assistance from firefighters. Never leave your home with food cooking in the kitchen. If a fire starts, call 911 before attempting to put out the flames.
The majority of house fires instigated by smoking involve bedding and upholstery. If you smoke, go outside if possible. Never smoke in bed or near flammable fabrics, especially when tired.
When heating is the reason for a home fire, it is commonly due to space heaters or wood stoves. Reduce your risk by turning off these devices when you are asleep or not at home. Furnace maintenance can help prevent fires due to central heating.
Failures with electrical equipment or lighting cause 9-13% of residential fires. Check your cords, plugs, outlets and light fixtures for damage and repair or replace as needed.
There is little you can do to prevent a fire that is set intentionally. About half of this type of fire is set by children and adolescents.
The best way to protect your own safety and reduce fire damage at your home in Portland, ME, is to know the common causes of home fire and how to prevent them. In addition to the above information, keep at least one functioning smoke detector at each level of your home. If possible, install a home sprinkler system. Have and practice an escape plan with your family in case of a fire. After a fire, contact your insurance agent and a fire restoration specialist to begin the process of smoke and fire cleaning.
For more on Portland click here.
Smoke & Soot Cleanup
Soot buildup on these light fixtures after a fire occurred in a local business in Portland.
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 Portland 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 – 207-772-5032
What Is a Puffback?
The basement hallway carpet was affected by the puffback.
Soot is Left All Over House in Portland, ME
A puffback occurs when a furnace has malfunctioned where a small and confined explosion has occurred in the burner chamber sending soot and smoke throughout the home. The soot will attached itself to walls, ceilings, upholstery carpet and many other items within the home making it difficult to clean. Our office was recently called to a home in Falmouth where a puffback had taken place.
The soot traveled throughout the house which you can see in this picture. SERVPRO of Portland was called in to help with the cleanup. We have a great relationship with the insurance company these homeowners in Portland use. We were glad to be of service and the homeowners were very grateful to be back in a clean home.
Managing Electronics After Fire Damage.
As a general rule, you should steer clear of any electronics you suspect may have been affected by smoke damage during the fire until a professional can perform a quick inspection. This is to ensure that no moisture or other particles have entered parts of the device that could make it dangerous.
Smoke carries acids and a number of different chemicals that can corrode the metal pieces inside of your electronics’ casings. These substances typically need more than just a damp cloth to clean properly, which is why all cleaning should be left to trusted electronics professionals. Usually, your fire cleanup crew will work alongside an electronics shop of your choice to get the best possible results.
Of course, after the initial cleaning, you’ll want to have either the electronics store owner or a cleanup pro check the electronic in question to ensure its working properly. This can help them catch any unexpected remaining issues, so that when you do get your belongings back, they’ll be good as new.
Getting the proper care for your home during fire cleanup in Portland, Maine, is important if you want to get things back to normal again, and that includes your electronics. Fortunately, with the right crew, the process is easier, faster and more effective.
Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information on fire.
Caring for Your Electronics After a House Fire
Caring for Your Electronics After a House Fire
After a house fire, there is a lot you and your family can get done with old-fashioned soap and water. However, there are some things that are best left to professional fire cleanup crews, such as your electronics. Instead of just scrubbing these belongings clean, pros will need to
• Inspect for any present safety issues
• Clean away corrosives from inside the casings
• Perform a thorough inspection of the item after professional cleaning to ensure performance safety
Each of these steps is important, and none of them can be missed if you want a truly good electronic restoration experience in Portland, Maine.
Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information on fire.
Getting a Firm Quote
Getting a Firm Quote
The reality is that not all firms providing fire damage restoration services provide the same pricing scheme for its residential and commercial fire damage remediation services. Because of this reality, you need to make certain that you obtain a thorough estimate or fee quote from a commercial fire damage remediation service.
Although time is of the essence in the aftermath of a residential or commercial fire, if you can, you should attempt to do at least some price comparisons. You cannot sacrifice the need for immediate intervention at the premises, including prompt board up and fire cleanup, in order to spend an inordinate amount of time shopping for the lowest price. Keep in mind that the lowest price for fire damage remediation services typically is not the best deal. You want to seek out the more reputable, effective fire damage restoration professional at the most reasonable price.
Inquire About Equipment
Not only will you want to glean information about the team of specialists at a fire damage remediation firm, you will also want to inquire about the equipment a company uses. For example, you will want to find out what equipment a company uses to deal with issues like fire cleanup more generally, but also to address smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell.
Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information about our services.
What to Expect from a Fire Damage Restoration Company
What to Expect from a Fire Damage Restoration Company
It is difficult to imagine anything that is more traumatizing than a fire in home or a fire in business. Home fire damage threatens the sense of security of a family or a group of professionals. Commercial fire damage can swiftly bring the operations of an enterprise to a sudden halt. It can therefore affect the business as well as the customers.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, the latest survey shows that there is structure fire damage that takes place every 65 seconds. Emergency responders, along with the firefighters, answer the signal from the alarm sounds to provide help for those who are in need of a fast and decisive action. After the smoke clears, a team that will carry out the fire damage restoration and board up process should be contacted.
Why Fire Cleanup and Rebuilding with the Help of a Restoration Company is Crucial
The first 24 to 48 hours after the fire in home or fire in business are known as the golden hours – to be specific, they are the most important times for recovery after fire damage. A restoration company will provide professionals that will quickly help in stabilizing the facility. This helps ensure the recovery of possessions and the property as much as possible.
The soot damage and the smoke damage are considered to be acidic. This means that they can accelerate the corrosion and the deterioration of the components of the house or building. Not only that, the soot damage and the smoke damage that are a result of extinguishing the fire can lead to the destruction of vital assets. It becomes even worse because these days, water or dry chemicals are used to put out the fire. Aside from this problem, the smoke smell is toxic and therefore must be neutralized, cleaned, and deodorized.
How a Restoration Company Can Help
The home and commercial fire damage rebuilding procedure depends on the approach used by the restoration companies. Often though, it involves mitigating damage, fire cleanup and providing smoke smell solutions. It may also include water restoration and other ways to fix structural issues. Aside from that, a restoration company should understand that the contents within the structure should be saved or recovered as much as possible. Usually, evaluations will be made based on a number of factors including:
Comparison of costs between replacing the contents and restoring them
The extent of the aftereffects of smoke smell and damage
The loss of use of contents of the house or business due to heat, soot damage, and others
Loss of value of belongings due to fire damage
If an item has sentimental value
If an item has suffered from decreased life expectancy
After evaluation, home and commercial fire damage companies can provide services depending on the needs of the homeowner or business. In general, fire damage restoration can include services like emergency board up, fire cleanup, soot damage inspection and removal, thermal deodorization for mitigating smoke damage, and sometimes, even complete reconstruction after fire in home or fire in business.
A restoration company can work closely with the fire departments in the local area. A team of skilled specialists are often called in to help in dealing with fire cleanup, soot damage, and even smoke smell shortly after fire has been extinguished. These specialists can provide support services for the victims of fire and smoke damage such as:
Emergency board up services as well as site containment to secure the area or the premises and preserve the scene from additional smoke damage and soot damage
Assisting fire cleanup and fire damage restoration by working under arson investigators where they will secure evidence and perform other tasks for private and commercial fire damage
Providing cranes and heavy equipment to help in clearing paths, expediting hauling, and other needs for fire damage restoration
Moving materials to secure safe entry of authorized personnel before and during the fire cleanup and fire damage restoration process
The restoration company may also be responsible for the application of board up decals in case they are required to help in decreasing visual eyesore of the structures that have been affected by the fire in home or fire in business.
Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information on fire damage.
How Can Professional Fire Damage Restoration Help?
How Can Professional Fire Damage Restoration Help?
A fire in a home or a fire in a business can be one of the greatest challenges for an individual to overcome. It is tempting to attempt to fix the situation immediately and without assistance, but this is ill-advised for a number of reasons. A restoration company is much better equipped to handle the challenges of property recovery after fire damage. Smoke and soot settle into furniture, carpet, and household textiles within minutes causing smoke and soot damage as well as leaving a smoke smell. Calling a fire cleanup crew immediately will prevent further damage and allow for more stability more quickly.
A restoration company can begin fire damage restoration immediately by drying up the property after firefighting. Firefighting can cause flooding, which is not possible for an individual without training or the proper equipment to clean up. Water damage can reduce property values by just as much as fire damage and should be handled immediately. Industrial water extractors, dehumidifiers, and air current movers are all employed by technicians in order to better dry out a property.
Once fire damage has caused doors and windows to be compromised, it is important to board up these areas so as to secure the property. A fire cleanup crew will be more adept and better equipped than any individual at properly boarding up any weakened entry points. Boarding up a house is a temporary way to provide the kind of stability necessary for further fire damage restoration.
Smoke damage settles into the property quickly and leaves a smoke smell that is irritating. An odor control technician can employ a number of techniques to remove the smoke smell including ozone treatment, deodorizing sprays, and ventilation. The extent of smoke damage and smoke smell is invisible but can is just as damaging as fire damage.
Soot is oily and staining to any fabric or carpeting. Commercial fire damage can cause entire areas of carpet to require deep cleaning. A heavy duty industrial vacuum cleaner as operated by a professional is much more effective at removing soot damage than any individual. A fire in a home or a fire in a business can quickly cause soot damage and smoke damage that is impossible for a property owner to manage. Counteractants may be employed by a specialist to better manage soot damage and smoke damage. Commercial fire damage can be reversed in this way with these specialized chemicals.
Smoke smell is a common complaint after a fire in a home or a fire in a business. Restoration companies often use thermal fogging, which is a technique that employs a chemical smoke that removes smoke smell. This is must more effective than regular ventilation. Fire cleanup teams specialize in removing odor in all fire damage restoration cases. Air purifying equipment is also often employed to better ventilate smoke out of the premises.
Commercial fire damage can cause debris to accumulate and require fire cleanup teams to remove debris. Managing large debris with heavy machinery is a job best left to professionals as it can be dangerous and require special licensing. A restoration company has extensive experience in their area and will know exactly how to manage the disposal of debris from a fire in a home or a fire in a business.
A restoration company is able to better manage commercial fire damage then any business owner. From boarding up doors and windows to removing odor, a property owner is much more likely to save money from employing a professional restoration company than by trying to manage the fire damage him- or herself. Most of these companies operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week to meet the unexpected need for their services. It is important to call them immediately after a fire in a home or a fire in a business due to how quickly damage can accumulate if left unmanaged. Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information on fire damage.
Ultrasonic Cleaning After A Fire
Molly cleaning a blind from a residential home that suffered a smoke damage.
Ultrasonic Cleaning is commonly used in many different industries such as jewelers and medical facilities. Ultrasonic cleaning is the process of using high pressured waves with a cleaning solution to effectively clean an object This type of cleaning removes particles that are adhered to an item especially in hard to reach places. Metals, plastics, glass, rubber and ceramics can be used in the ultrasonic machine.
Ultrasonic cleaning in the restoration industry is applied and used to remove residue from fire, smoke and water losses.
Our technician Molly is using the ultrasonic machine to clean a window blind from a residential home that suffered a soot damage to their house.
Should your commercial or residential property suffer a fire or water damage and contents are damaged, contact our office at 207-772-5032. We have the tools and resources making it "Like it never even happened".
Cooking Safety Tips and Prevention
Remnants of a pan that caused a fire in a Scarborough home while the homeowner was cooking chicken. The fire caused odor and minor soot damage.
Cooking fires are the #1 cause of home fires and injuries according to the the NFPA. The cause is unattended cooking so it is important to be alert and make sure you never leave the kitchen while cooking. A kitchen fire, regardless of the size, can be overwhelming. Most kitchen fires begin on the stove and the damage can affect the entire kitchen along with other areas in the home including walls, ceilings and appliances. A cooking fire is usually started by grease, oil or food which can make cleanup more difficult.
Should you experience a kitchen fire that has left you with smoke, soot or fire damage, our office is available 24/7 to help with the cleanup whether it be the building structure or your personal property.
A few tips to remember in the kitchen:
- If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding a lid over the pan. Turn off the burner but do not remove the pan.
- Stay in the kichen while you cook
- Remove items such as towels, plastic utenils and pot holders that can catch fire away from stove
- Keep cooking surfaces clean to prevent food & grease build up
- Make sure you have a working smoke alarm
- Make sure you kitchen has a fire extinguisher
- If you need to lave the room, be sure to turn the stove off
For more information on cooking fire safety visit the NFPA website at http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/top-causes-of-fire/cooking