Recent Fire Damage Posts

Summer Safety Tips | SERVPRO® of Stone Mountain/ Clarkston

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

Happy 4th of July!

There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months! Did you know, July is the peak month for grill fires? A backyard barbeque can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren’t considered. 

July is also the peak time for firework related injuries.  According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, each year around 230 people are injured seriously enough to require medical treatment after firework related incidents.  Fireworks also cause fires to hundreds of homes each year costing millions of dollars in repairs.

As your local SERVPRO® professional, we want you to have an enjoyable and safe summer. Consider the following tips to help ensure your summer celebrations are disaster free!

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and over hanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • When using a charcoal grill, let the coal completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
  • Do not to try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire. Children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over as they may still be active.
  • The Safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.

Tips for Fire Prevention When Grilling

6/20/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Stone Mountain/Clarkston would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July! We remember, thank and appreciate all of the men and women who protect and serve our country!

We would also like to remind everyone to stay alert and safe when grilling this weekend. Below is a handy little check list to keep in mind!

  • Grill outside away from structures: Pay attention to overhanging tree branches when setting up your grill.
  • Make sure your grill is stable: Be sure the grill cannot tip over. Set up your grill on a flat surface. Consider using a grill pad or splatter mat underneath your grill to protect your deck or patio.
  • Keep your grill clean: remove any grease or fat buildup from the grill and the tray below the grill. If you are using a charcoal grill, allow the coals to completely cool off before disposing them in a metal container.
  • Check for propane leaks on your gas grill: check the gas tank hose for leaks. One way you can check is by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose and then turning on the gas. If there is a propane leak, the solution will bubble. Other signs of a propane leak include the smell of gas near the barbecue or a flame that won’t light.
  • Never leave the grill UNATTENDED: Remember the grill will stay hot for at least an hour after use, therefore Don’t allow kids or pets to play near the grill.
  • Always be prepared to put out a fire: Clothing can easily be caught on fire from shirt tails or aprons. Have baking soda on hand to control a grease fire. You should never use water to put out a grease fire!
  • Be Careful with Fireworks:  Sparks from fireworks can cause fires in nearby homes and other structures.

Most of all ….Enjoy the special Holiday with family and friends..  Remember SERVPRO® of Stone Mountain/Clarkston 770-496-1976 is available to help you at any time with any fire related problems and damages.

Ways to Prevent Fires While Cooking | SERVPRO® of Stone Mountain / Clarkston

5/8/2019 (Permalink)

Always a good idea to have a working fire extinguisher in easy reach.

Even though the kitchen can be a wonderfully versatile place where family and friends gather to catch up or enjoy preparing and eating a meal together, it is also a place where many home fires occur.

Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries. The leading cause of these kitchen fires is unattended cooking.

State Farm paid out a whopping $130 million for homeowners insurance claims related to grease and other cooking fires in 2017. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:

  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Pennsylvania
  • California
  • Ohio
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Alabama
  • Georgia
Fire Safety Tips in the Kitchen

Staying in the kitchen while cooking is not the only fire safety precaution you should observe. Take a look at these other helpful tips to observe while cooking:

1. What type of clothing are you wearing? Does your outfit have long, flowing sleeves or is it big and baggy? It could catch on fire if you aren’t careful while cooking over the stove. It’s best to wear short or close-fitted sleeve shirts and make sure any baggy shirts are tucked in or tied back.

2. What type of items are you placing around or on the stovetop? Make sure you don’t have kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords or even curtains too close to the stovetop when cooking. Ideally, anything flammable will be moved away from it.

3. Do you have a fire extinguisher in/near the kitchen? Hopefully you have at least one fire extinguisher located in your home, ideally one that is near your kitchen. Make sure you know how to properly use the extinguisher, just in case it is ever needed.

4. How are you disposing of hot grease? While the grease may not be on fire, it could be hot enough to cause something in the trash to burn. You should let the grease cool a bit and then dispose of it in an old coffee can. Also, know the smoke points of the oils you cook with. Be sure to never subject a low-smoke point oil to high heat when cooking, as it could catch fire.

5. Do you have a fire escape plan? Thinking about the worst-case scenario is never fun, but it’s better to be prepared than unprepared if an emergency were to occur. Go over exit routes and designated meeting points with your family, making sure that everyone knows what to do.

Fire safety in the kitchen is an absolute necessity, as it can help prevent dangerous and destructive cooking fires. If your home has experienced damage from a cooking fire, know that SERVPRO® of Stone Mountain / Clarkston is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Smoke and Fire Deodorization

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

Strong smells often linger after having a fire.  The type of smells that develop are determined by the type of material that was on fire or smoldering.  A hot fire that burned natural building materials will smell different than that of a protein fire from frying or a slow smoldering fire that burned plastics and rubber.  These odors can cause years of problems if they are not handled by a professional.  At SERVPRO of Stone Mountain/Clarkston we employ a multi-step approach to deodorization.

Source Removal

The first step in deodorization is to find the source.  In the case of a fire the area may be obvious, however there are many causes of odor that may not be easily noticed.  Once the source is found by our trained technicians we must remove it. 

Cleaning

The next step in the process is to clean the effected areas.  Many of the soot particles are deposited both on and often inside certain building materials depending on how hot the fire was.  Our technicians are trained on different cleaning strategies dependent on the surface to be cleaned and the soils deposited.

Deodorizing

We employ a combination of pairing and masking deodorization techniques depending on the situation.  Hot fires open the pores of building materials where foul smelling soot can be deposited.  When the fire is extinguished and the materials cool down, the pores of these material shrink, thus trapping odor molecules inside.  In such cases we will use a pairing agent along with a Hot Thermal Fogger to reopen the pores.  The pairing agent will attach to and change the odor molecule so that it no longer smells.

Sealing

While sealing of wood is not always required, we will often do this on studs and structural members.  One of the reasons for sealing is because these building components are often covered up by drywall, or they are located in hard to reach areas.  Summer brings hot weather and as building materials heat up, these materials are capable of releasing odors.  Sealing ensures that any soot not completely eliminated from cleaning remains trapped.

How to Deep Fry a Turkey Safely

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Every holiday people are lured in by the promise of moist, sweet turkey meat and the deep turkey fryer has become an increasingly popular way to make a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.  However, cooking up Tom the Turkey in a vat of boiling oil does come with many dangers.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, every year deep-fryer fires are responsible for five deaths, 60 injuries, the destruction of 900 homes and more than $15 million in property damage.

Therefore it is most important to follow a few safety precautions if you choose to fry a turkey for the holidays.

  • Don’t Deep Fry a Frozen Turkey

Frozen turkeys are full of moisture, and we all know how water and hot oil don’t mix well.  Make sure that your turkey is completely thawed before trying to fry it.

  • Turkey Fryers can Easily Tip Over

Be sure that you place your turkey fryer on solid footing so that it will not tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area.

  • Don’t Let Oil Get Too Hot

When oil gets around 400-425 degrees it can catch on fire by itself.  Most fryers do not have thermostat controls, and it would be prudent to have a thermometer to make sure you keep the oil below 400 degrees.

  • Don’t Use Too Much Oil

An overfilled cooking pot can cause oil to spill when the turkey is put in, and when the oil runs down next to the flame on the burner, a catastrophic fire could result.

  • Never Deep-Fry Indoors or in a Garage

The best place to use a turkey fryer is on a level spot out in your yard away from the house or anything flammable.

May these tips help you and your family to enjoy a safe holiday with a delicious fried turkey. Remember to call SERVPRO® of Stone Mountain/Clarkston if you have any water, fire or mold problems during the holidays. Call us at 770-496-1976. We can help 24/7.

Candle Safety

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

As peak hurricane season continues through the end of November and winter storms follow, it’s critical that you and your family know the best practices for staying safe during power outages.

While flashlights and battery-powered lamps are safe sources of light during lengthy power outages, candles are also reliable alternatives if used safely. It’s important to remember that a candle is an open flame, which always runs the potential risk of a fire-related accident. According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 20% of candle fires involving fatalities occur during a loss of power.

Here are some safety precautions to follow when the lights go out:

DO pay attention to proximity. It’s important to make sure that you’re not burning a candle on or near anything that could catch fire. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, or any other flammable objects. Place burning candles at least 3 inches apart from one another so they don’t melt one another or burn improperly.

DON’T leave burning candles unattended. Try to restrict people and candles to one room in the house so the location of family members can always be accounted for and you can keep an eye on open flames. Extinguish all candles before going to bed or leaving a room.

DO place candles on a fire-resistant surface. Place a handle in its holder on a stable, nonflammable surface, such as a metal cookie sheet, frying pan or ceramic plate.

DON’T light a candle if you smell gas. If you smell gas inside or outside your home, immediately put out all open flames, shut off your gas supply, leave the area, get to a safe place, and call 911.

DO use pillar or container candles. Broader-based candles are a suitable option for power outages, as these are less likely to be accidentally knocked over. When possible, candles should be enclosed within glass hurricane holders or globes.

DON’T use candles as a search guide or night light. Avoid walking around with a candle. Dark rooms can increase the chance of tripping or brushing against a flammable item. Use a flashlight instead.

DO keep candles out of reach of children and pets. Place candles up high to avoid the risk of pets, children, or adults accidentally bumping candles over in the dark.

If you have any questions on candle safety or need any fire mitigation services, contact SERVPRO of Stone Mountain/Clarkston at 770-496-1976. We are available 24/7 to assist.

SERVPRO Can Handle Your Fire Loss

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

A fire in home, fire in business or commercial fire damage can be a traumatic experience for any homeowner. When one experiences a fire in home, fire in business or commercial fire damage, it is pertinent to keep your composure and take all of the necessary steps to ensure that the life of you and other people are safe. In the aftermath of a fire, fire restoration services can assist in getting rid of the damage in your home. Companies that offer fire cleanup provide you with all of the services needed to restore your home.

After one experiences a fire damage from a fire in home, a fire in business or commercial fire damage, it is important to contact a fire restoration company immediately. By scheduling fire restoration services right away, you have the ability to minimize the losses, smoke damage, soot damage and the time needed for fire cleanup. You are also preventing a decline in air quality. The air quality deteriorates immediately after a fire. With better air quality, you are able to complete fire cleanup sooner. To begin the restoration process, a representative will ask a host of questions pertaining to the fire, smoke damage, soot damage, and fire loss. Fire loss refers to the items lost during a fire in home, fire in business or commercial fire damage.

When SERVPRO of Stone Mountain/Clarkston arrives at your home, they will begin the process by assessing the severity of the fire damage, smoke damage, soot damage, and fire loss. After the fire restoration company has completed their assessment, they will initiate the restoration process by removing smoke damage. The air quality is directly tied to smoke damage and soot damage. Thus, when the smoke damage is eliminated, the air quality improves. Due to smoke odors lingering long after fire damage, it is important to remove smoke damage first. Otherwise, it will make the fire loss more profuse and fire cleanup more of a hassle. During the initial phase of the restoration process, your home’s windows may be boarded. This is done to prevent additional damage from occurring. They may also place tarps on damaged roofs. The company will cautiously inspect to determine the severity of the fire loss, smoke damage, and soot damage. This gives the company the ability to develop a fire cleanup strategy.

The final phase of fire restoration is fire cleanup. The fire restoration company is trained to restore fire damage in a fire in home, a fire in business or commercial fire damage. After the fire cleanup is finished, your home should be as good as new. Do not hesitate to schedule fire damage restoration services right away. Restoration is the final step and it may vary depending of the severity of the fire. Restoration typically involves repairs such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet. In severe cases, it may involve major repairs such as the replacement of multiple areas or rooms in a home or a business. Call SERVPRO of Stone Mountain/Clarkston at 770-496-1976 for all your fire damage needs or questions.

Tips After A Fire Loss

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

We’re not going to kid you. Fire damage restoration is tough work. People call SERVPRO of Stone Mountain/Clarkston frequently to ask for advice on how to clean up after a fire.  Here are seven of the best tips we give people who ask about fire damage restoration.

Most people can put these tips into practice. But remember that fire damage restoration takes time, work, and skill. Realistically consider whether you want to try these ideas on your own or whether you’d be better off hiring a certified fire restoration team who will guarantee their work.

Remove Smoke Damage

With any fire you’ll have a degree of smoke damage to your walls, wall paper, and paint. If the smoke damage is not too serious, you should be able to scrub it clean with detergents and bleach. Soot from smoke damage is greasy stuff, so always try to dust as much of it off from a surface before trying to scrub the surface clean. Often, you’ll want to repaint, but make sure all surfaces are clean and dry before you paint.

Limit Activity & Other Simple Fire Damage Restoration Steps

Until your house is restored, limit your activity and movement in the house. This helps prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets. Keep people’s hands clean so you don’t further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork. Protect your things by placing clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas. Before you clean know the best cleaning method for that particular cleaning job (one example: Clean and protect chrome with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.) Wash both sides of the leaves on your houseplants. Change your HVAC filter and tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

Get Rid of Mold & Mildew

Firefighters are great. They save many a live and many a home. But they do introduce mold and mildew into houses when they must use water to extinguish the fire. We highly recommend you hire fire damage restoration professionals to deal with mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can cause serious health problems. It’s difficult for a nonprofessional to know for certain if he’s clean up all the areas affected by the mold and mildew. And mold and mildew can contaminate your furniture, carpets, clothing, mattresses, walls, and vents. The best thing you can do immediately is to air out every room and clean out all vents and filters.

Replace Carpets. Clean And Dry Your Floors

Your floors and carpets end up absorbing the worst of the damage from all the water used to put out a fire. In almost every case, we would recommend that you pull up any carpets that have water damage and replace them. Water can also seep underneath vinyl flooring and into the cracks in hardwood. You must address this. If you have experience with flooring, you can lift it up and clean under it. Once flooring has been removed, you would need to dry the structure by placing fans and/or dehumidifiers. But you may want to call a professional fire damage restoration company to assist you.

Avoid Smearing Soot Into Clothing

Cleaning smoke damage from clothing is one of the biggest jobs you’ll have after a fire. Make sure you don’t smear the greasy soot into the clothing or just throw the smoky clothes into the wash. Often dry cleaning is the best bet, and you should ask around local dry cleaners to see if any have experience with post-fire laundry.

Scrub, Soak, And Cleaning Dishes

Dishes are also important items to clean thoroughly after a fire because they will be in contact with your food. Scrub all dishes well, let them soak in a solution of bleach and water (2 tablespoons of bleach per gallon) for at least 20 minutes and scrub some more for safety. When in doubt, if a dish, pot, or pan won’t come clean, cut your losses and throw it out – especially rubber or wooden dishes that absorb smoke.

Summer Safety

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

Summer is synonymous with vacations, barbeques and fireworks displays; but along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to emergency rooms—especially in July. Each year around 230 people are injured badly enough to require medical treatments after firework-related incidents, according to the U.S consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition to causing injury, fireworks are also responsible for thousands of house fires each year with millions of dollars in property damage.

There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months! Did you know, July is the peak month for grill fires? A backyard barbeque can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren’t considered. At SERVPRO of Stone Mountain/Clarkston where we can be contacted at 770-496-1976, we want you to have an enjoyable and safe summer. Consider the following tips to help ensure your summer celebrations are disaster free!

-Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.

-The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and over hanging branches.

-Keep children and pets away from the grill area.

-Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.

-Never leave your grill unattended.

- When using a charcoal grill, let the coal completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

-Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.

-Do not to try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire. Children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over as they may still be active.

-The Safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.

After the Fire Trucks Leave

5/17/2018 (Permalink)

After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Stone Mountain/Clarkston has the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call SERVPRO of Stone Mountain/Clarkston at 770-496-1976.

Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of Stone Mountain/Clarkston, which is a 24 hours emergency service provider. Our representative will ask a series of questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us dispatch our IICRC Fire Technician with the appropriate equipment and resources.

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Our Professionals will carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, the technician can board up missing windows and walls.

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. They will then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

The technicians use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

They will clean all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. They’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Firework Safety

5/17/2018 (Permalink)

Fireworks are a great way to help celebrate the summer holidays. Keep these safety tips in mind before lighting up your celebration. Remember fireworks injure 10,000 people per year, so keep your family safe.

  • Always have adult supervision
  • Keep fireworks away from children. Sparklers can burn up to 1200 degrees
  • Always wear eye protection
  • Never light fireworks indoor or near grassy areas
  • Obey local laws regarding fireworks
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix
  • Follow label instructions
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person
  • Always have an bucket or water or hose near by
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers
  • Light one firework at a time
  • Never attempt to re-light a firework
  • Never have any portion of your body over the firework
  • Don’t experiment with homemade fireworks
  • Buy only fireworks from a legal source
  • Keep your pets indoors and away from fireworks

Unfortunately, accidents happen. In case of fire or water damage call SERVPRO of Stone Mountain/Clarkston at 770-496-1976. We are available 24/7 to help!

What to do Immediately Following a House Fire

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

  1. Ask whether it is safe to enter the home. Do not enter if the fire authorities deem it unsafe. They may establish a safety zone, but never assume a room is safe, until it has been cleared to enter.
  2. Know who to call.
    1. Contact family members and let them know you are safe and unharmed.
    2. Contact your insurance agent. They will be able to talk you through the necessary steps, including proper documentation and emergency lodging and living expenses (keep all of your receipts!) The insurance company may assist in securing a company to help with clean up options.
    3. You may request a fire mitigation company at this time for contents cleaning, structure cleaning, restoration etc. Contact SERVPRO® of Stone Mountain/Clarkston at 770-496-1976.
    4. Another call may be to your landlord if applicable, and to your local American Red Cross. Our company is the preferred restoration partner to The American Red Cross.
  3. Secure the property to prevent possible looting. SERVPRO® of Stone Mountain/Clarkston is available to assist with securing property/ Board Ups.
  4. If water hoses were used to exterminate the fire, drying your home is critical. It is best to call the professionals at SERVPRO® of Stone Mountain/Clarkston to do water/ fire cleanups. Water can lead to mold damage if not dried properly. Our company is an approved restoration contractor for many major insurance carriers and adheres to the highest standards in the restoration industry.
  5. Seek counseling if needed. Children and adults can feel a traumatic sense of loss and may need help to avoid a lasting sense of sadness and disorientation after a house fire. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. A house fire is a traumatic event and individuals need to be treated with respect and compassion by those close to the process of rebuilding.