Recent Fire Damage Posts

Thanksgiving Fire Safety- Everything You Need to Know

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

For most, the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays. From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations.

So keeping fire safety top of mind in the kitchen during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there’s a lot of activity and people at home. As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large family feast, remember, by following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safer from fire.

Thanksgiving by the numbers

  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. and Christmas Eve.
  • In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
  • Cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths.  

Safety tips

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Seasonal-fires/Thanksgiving-safety

October Is National Fire Prevention Month

10/12/2018 (Permalink)

Home Safety Checklist

Smoke Alarms

There is one smoke alarm on every level of the home and inside and outside each sleeping area.

Smoke alarms are tested and cleaned monthly.

Smoke alarm batteries are changed as needed. 

Smoke alarms are less than 10 years old.

Cooking Safety

Cooking area is free from items that can catch fire.

Kitchen stove hood is clean and vented to the outside.

Pots are not left unattended on the stove.

Electrical & Appliance Safety

Electrical cords do not run under rugs.

Electrical cords are not frayed or cracked.

Circuit-protected, multi-prong adapters are used for additional outlets.

Large and small appliances are plugged directly into wall outlets.

Clothes dryer lint filter and venting system are clean.

Candle Safety

Candles are in sturdy fire-proof containers that won’t be tipped over.

All candles are extinguished before going to bed or leaving the room.

Children and pets are never left unattended with candles.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Carbon monoxide alarms are located on each level of the home.

Carbon monoxide alarms are less than 7 years old.

Smoking Safety

Family members who smoke only buy fire-safe cigarettes and smoke outside.

Matches and lighters are secured out of children’s sight.

Ashtrays are large, deep and kept away from items that can catch fire.

Ashtrays are emptied into a container that will not burn.

Heating Safety

Chimney and furnace are cleaned and inspected yearly.

Furniture and other items that can catch fire are at least 3 feet from fireplaces, wall heaters,   baseboards, and space heaters.

Fireplace and barbecue ashes are placed outdoors in a covered metal container at least 3 feet from   anything that can catch fire.

Extension cords are never used with space heaters.

Heaters are approved by a national testing laboratory and have tip-over shut-off function.

Home Escape Plan

Have two ways out of each room.

Know to crawl low to the floor when escaping to avoid toxic smoke.

Know that once you’re out, stay out. 

Know where to meet after the escape.

Meeting place should be near the front of your home, so firefighters know you are out.

Practice your fire escape plan.

Grease Fire Safety Tips

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Grease Fire Safety Tips Do NOT pour water on the fire!!!

The best way to avoid a grease fire is to not have one. While you are cooking, keep an eye on the oil as it’s heating. The oil won’t immediately catch fire once it starts smoking, but smoke is a danger sign that it’s well on its way to getting there.

If the worst happens and your oil does catch on fire, use the following tips:

  1. If the fire is still small enough and contained in one pot, it is safe to put it out yourself. If it is already spreading to other parts of the kitchen, evacuate.
  2. Turn off the source of the heat on the stove. Do not try to move the pot because you don’t want to accidentally spill or splash the burning oil.
  3. Do NOT pour water on the fire!  Since oil and water do not mix, pouring water can cause the oil to splash and spread the fire even worse. In fact, the vaporizing water can also carry grease particles in it, which can also spread the fire.
  4. Remove all oxygen from the flame. You can cover with another pot or pan. Do not cover it with a glass lid because the glass lid may shatter.
  5. If you can’t cover it, dump lots of baking soda on it.
  6. Use a chemical fire extinguisher on the grease fire. There are different kinds of extinguishers. Not all can be used on a grease fire, but the ABC dry chemical extinguisher is best.

Hopefully you’ll never be in a situation where you have to actually use this advice, but if you are remember to smother the fire with a pot or baking soda and never use water!

Call us at SERVPRO of Medford/Everett for fire, smoke or soot damage. 

800-394-4466

http://safety.smart911.com/what's-best-way-safely-put-grease-fire/ 

10 Tips for Safe Summer Barbecues!

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Every year, 7,000 Americans are injured while using backyard barbecue grills. It's usually a case of good products used incorrectly.

Here are the top 10 most common mistakes and key safety tips.

Do:

  1. Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house.Farther is even better. This includes portions attached to your house like carports, garages and porches. Grills should not be used underneath wooden overhangs either, as the fire could flare up into the structure above. This applies to both charcoal and gas grills.
  2. Clean your grill regularly.If you allow grease and fat to build up on your grill, they provide more fuel for a fire. Grease is a major source of flare ups.
  3. Check for gas leaks.You can make sure no gas is leaking from your gas grill by making a solution of half liquid dish soap and half water and rubbing it on the hoses and connections. Then, turn the gas on (with the grill lid open.) If the soap forms large bubbles, that's a sign that the hoses have tiny holes or that the connections are not tight enough.
  4. Keep decorations away from your grill. Decorations like hanging baskets, pillows and umbrellas look pretty AND provide fuel for a fire. To make matters worse, today's decor is mostly made of artificial fibers that burn fast and hot, making this tip even more important.
  5. Keep a spray bottle of water handy.That way, if you have a minor flare-up you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it. The bonus of this tip is that water won't harm your food, so dinner won't be ruined!
  6. Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill.And KNOW HOW TO USE IT. If you are unsure how to use the extinguisher, don't waste time fiddling with it before calling 911. Firefighters say many fire deaths occur when people try to fight a fire themselves instead of calling for expert help and letting the fire department do its job.

Don't:

  1. Turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. NEVER do this. It causes gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it and open it, a fireball can explode in your face.
  1. Leave a grill unattended.Fires double in size every minute. Plan ahead so that all of your other food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling.
  2. Overload your grill with food.This applies especially fatty meats. The basic reason for this tip is that if too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up that could light nearby things on fire.
  3. Use a grill indoors. People often think it will be safe to use a grill, especially a small one, indoors. NOT TRUE. In addition to the fire hazard, grills release carbon monoxide,the deadly colorless, odorless gas. That gas needs to vent in fresh air or it can kill you, your family and pets.

 https://abcnews.go.com/Business/ten-tips-safe-summer-barbecues-learn-dos-donts/story?id=13918382

What Happens to My Belongings in a Fire?

6/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage, including smoke and soot, affects not only the structure of your house but also your belongings. SERVPRO of Medford/Everett understands your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings make your house more than a structure; they make it home.

If You Have Questions or Need Help, Call Us Today 800-394-4466

Contents Restoration

SERVPRO of Medford/Everett specializes in restoring contents damaged by water, fire, or mold. Our expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. We pretest your belongings to determine what items we can restore to pre-fire condition. We use several methods of cleaning your contents, including:

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.
     

Move-Outs/Pack-Outs

If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning due to fire damage, SERVPRO of Medford/Everett can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. Move-out will provide several benefits, including:

  • A quicker remodeling process
  • Protecting items from potential damage
  • Protecting contents from further on-site damage

When restoration is completed, we will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage.

Electronic Cleanup

Fire-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by fire. Smoke residues can contain acids that corrode metal surfaces. If the residues are not removed, corrosion causes electronic failure in the device. We will coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including:

  • Television sets
  • DVD players
  • Computers
  • And more

The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. Electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician.

Document / Photograph Drying

When your valuable documents, including photographs, are damaged by water or fire, extreme caution should be taken to help ensure the fire damage does not destroy the document. Although some documents may not be restored to pre-fire damage condition, SERVPRO of Malden / Melrose can save a great deal and help minimize additional damage. 

Depending on the type of documents and the level of fire, smoke, or soot damage, they have five options for the restoration of documents:

  • Air Drying
  • Dehumidification
  • Freezer Drying
  • Vacuum Freeze Drying
  • Vacuum Thermal Drying

Contents Claim Inventory Service

When a fire emergency strikes, the damage can often feel overwhelming. We can help ease the worry and confusion during the recovery process by offering our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. We take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding.

Our Contents Claim Inventory Service:

  • Preloss list and value of contents
  • Detailed and accurate report
  • Better information to settle claims quicker
  • Assistance with burden of proof for claims

Peace of mind when you need it most!

My Smoke Alarm Works - Why Would I Change It?

1/25/2018 (Permalink)

We all know to change the batteries in our smoke alarms twice yearly but did you know the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that you replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old?

I know what you’re thinking, “how I am supposed to remember how old they are?”  Check the back of the smoke alarm and you will find the manufacturer date.  

Even if your smoke alarms aren’t ten years old you may also consider replacing them early to keep up with the latest technology.

There are two kinds of smoke alarms:

Ionization smoke alarms are generally more responsive to flaming fires.
How they work: Ionization-type smoke alarms have a small amount of radioactive material between two electrically charged plates, which ionizes the air and causes current to flow between the plates. When smoke enters the chamber, it disrupts the flow of ions, thus reducing the flow of current and activating the alarm

Photoelectric smoke alarms are generally more responsive to fires that begin with a long period of smoldering (called “smoldering fires”).
How they work: Photoelectric-type alarms aim a light source into a sensing chamber at an angle away from the sensor. Smoke enters the chamber, reflecting light onto the light sensor; triggering the alarm.

 The NFPA recommends smoke alarms that use both of these technologies. 

 Check out the NFPA website for lots of great information on smoke alarms.

https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Smoke-alarms

Fire-Safety Tips to Keep in Mind This Thanksgiving

11/2/2017 (Permalink)

The kitchen is where the holiday meal magic happens, but it can also be a danger zone, especially on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is typically the most dangerous day of the year.  Everybody's cooking in the kitchen and it's one of the few days where almost everyone is preparing a meal.  "The house is more congested than normal so you have to control the flow in your kitchen to make sure there's no accidents.

More fires start in the kitchen than anywhere else in the home.  On Thanksgiving, in particular, there are three times as many house fires than any other day of the year, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission

Below are some safety tips for the holiday:

  1. Don't wear loose-fitting clothing around open flames.
  2. Don't leave your food unattended on the stove or in the oven.

Make sure a person is always in the kitchen watching the food that's cooking.

You should have a zone, around anything around the stove, within like a 3-feet range for children.

  1. If deep-frying turkey, do it outside.
  1. Never put water on a grease fire.
  1. Store fire extinguishers in plain sight and near an exit - not under the sink. According to the National Fire Protection Association. Because fires can double every five to 10 seconds - and can consume a room in just one minute - call 911 first.

Smoke Detector - Ionization vs Photoelectric

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

The two most commonly recognized smoke detection technologies are ionization smoke detection and photoelectric smoke detection.

Ionization smoke alarms are generally more responsive to flaming fires.
How they work: Ionization-type smoke alarms have a small amount of radioactive material between two electrically charged plates, which ionizes the air and causes current to flow between the plates. When smoke enters the chamber, it disrupts the flow of ions, thus reducing the flow of current and activating the alarm. 

Photoelectric smoke alarms are generally more responsive to fires that begin with a long period of smoldering (called “smoldering fires”).
How they work: Photoelectric-type alarms aim a light source into a sensing chamber at an angle away from the sensor. Smoke enters the chamber, reflecting light onto the light sensor; triggering the alarm. 

For each type of smoke alarm, the advantage it provides may be critical to life safety in some fire situations. Home fatal fires, day or night, include a large number of smoldering fires and a large number of flaming fires. You can not predict the type of fire you may have in your home or when it will occur. Any smoke alarm technology, to be acceptable, must perform acceptably for both types of fires in order to provide early warning of fire at all times of the day or night and whether you are asleep or awake.

For best protection, use both types of smoke alarm technologies

For best protection, it is recommended both (ionization and photoelectric) technologies be used in homes. In addition to individual ionization and photoelectric alarms, combination alarms that include both technologies in a single device are available.

Fire Damage in Medford, MA

8/9/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage in Medford, MA Living Room Candle Fire in Medford, MA

Title: SERVPRO of Medford/Everett  Smoke and Soot Cleanup

Category: Fire Damage

Photo Caption: Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Home.

Body:

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 Medford/Everett 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 – 
781-395-4444