Recent Fire Damage Posts
Midland, TX Fire Damage- How long do you have to escape a house fire
Everyone knows not to dawdle if their house is on fire, but you may believe you have some time to make a safe exit. Well, think again.
In this video, Gail McGovern, the president of the Red Cross reveals that you only have two (just two!) minutes to get out of your home before you might get stuck in the flames. This is because it only takes about five minutes for a fire to consume your entire house. And with one in seven people dying in a house fire each day, there's little room for error.
Practicing fire safety certainly requires vigilance, but it doesn't take too much effort to avoid a tragedy. First, make sure you have smoke alarms in your home (5 million American homes don't). You need one in every bedroom, one outside every sleeping area, and at least one on every floor. Make sure the detectors are working and refresh their batteries when you change the clocks for the beginning and end of Daylight Saving Time.
Also, it's important to practice fire drills with your family (get the Red Cross' guidelines here). You should go over possible routes to get out of your house fast, and consider getting escape ladders for any rooms on upper floors. Choose a meeting place outside that's a safe distance from your home.
And of course, you should take steps to prevent fires from happening in the first place. Watch the video to learn which common mistakes you might be making.
Click here for original article.
Call SERVPRO of Midland, TX if you've had a fire or would like to know how we can help in the event you do. 432-620-0086
How to Effectively Inspect a Fire Extinguisher
Home Safety: How to Inspect a Fire Extinguisher
When was the last time you took time to check the fire extinguisher that sits under your kitchen sink? Or the one hanging from a dusty hook in your garage? If you’re struggling to remember, it’s time to check it. Like any other piece of safety equipment, a home fire extinguisher should be inspected regularly to ensure it’s in proper working condition. A fire extinguisher in good working condition is your first line of defense when a home fire erupts.
Ideally, you should inspect your portable home fire extinguishers every month.
Tips for Performing a Monthly Fire Extinguisher Check
Check the label or tag.
Every fire extinguisher, whether disposable or rechargeable, has a manufacturer’s label or tag. Read the tag and follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance suggestions.
Check the tamper seal.
If the tamper seal has been broken or is cracked, a disposable fire extinguisher needs to be replaced. If it’s rechargeable, it needs to be serviced professionally. Check the locking or pull pin as well to make sure it’s in the correct position. If the pin missing, the fire extinguisher needs to be inspected or serviced by a professional.
Inspect for physical damage.
Physically inspect the fire extinguisher for obvious damage. This may include but is not limited to dents, corrosion, cracks and obvious leakage. If a fire extinguisher has leakage, it’s no longer under full pressure and may not work properly when you need it most. Check the fire extinguisher nozzle as well, to ensure it’s not clogged by grime, dust, bugs or leakage from the unit itself.
Check the pressure gauge.
Check that the pressure gauge needle indicates the fire extinguisher pressure is in the optimum operating range. Often the correct pressure range will be designated by green on the gauge.
Is the fire extinguisher full?
During your monthly check, lift the fire extinguisher and determine if it still feels full. If there has been a leak, it will feel light, and it won’t have the right amount of pressure to work correctly.
If you have a dry chemical fire extinguisher, it should be shaken once a month during your inspection. This helps prevent the chemical dousing agent from solidifying at the bottom of the unit.
Write inspection date on tag.
Keep track of every inspection date by writing it on the fire extinguisher tag.
Ensure easy access to your fire extinguisher.
Fire extinguishers should always be easy to access if there is an emergency. You don’t want to have to search for it once a fire breaks out. Don’t block fire extinguishers with furniture, boxes or any other items. Everyone who lives in the household should know where the closest fire extinguisher is located and how to use it in case of an emergency.
In the event of a fire emergency, first make sure to get people safely away, then call 911. A home fire extinguisher can be used to put out or control small fires, but it’s still safest to call professional fire fighters before you attempt to control a fire on your own. If you need professional fire, smoke and water damage cleanup and remediation after a fire, call the experts at SERVPRO of Midland, TX.
Call Us Today! (432) 620-0086
FIRE in the home or place of Business
No fire is to big for SERVPRO of Midland, TX
When your Midland, TX home or business suffers fire damage, it can be especially devastating. In addition to the fire and smoke damage, your property may have substantial water damage from firefighting efforts. You may feel stressed and confused after such a disaster, and you’ll need a caring expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Midland, TX has the specialized fire and water damage equipment and expertise to help you through this tough time.
We’ll treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care. If you suffer a fire damage event, please refer to our Fire Damage Tips—Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.
Tips on how to deal with after the fire
Trying to deal with a fire yourself can be exhausting, let the professionals at SERVPRO of Midland, TX help with all of your needs
When a fire rips through your home or business, the smoke damage and Fire Damage can be overwhelming. You don't know where to begin with your fire cleanup. You're dealing with a smoke smell that won't go away, smoke damage, soot damage, and fire damage. Things you didn’t imagine worrying about.
Fire in the home and fire in the business can cause extensive damage. Fire damage restoration is not a job you should handle on your own. SERVPRO of Midland, TX professional's can deal with commercial and residential fire damage. In the Midland, TX area, we can assist you with fire damage restoration from start to finish, well be there with you.
Decisions after the Fire
Once the fire is put out and the fire department considers the property to be safe, you have decisions to make about your home or business. You may think you can board up your property and begin the fire cleanup process, but this is a job for the professionals. When residential or commercial fire damage strikes, you will be left with fire damage, soot damage, and smoke damage. Your contents may be destroyed, and you may be left in distraught.
The smoke smell will be so heavy you are afraid it will never go away. SERVPRO of Midland, TX can handle the fire cleanup and fire damage restoration job for you. We begin by choosing to board up your windows for safety purposes after evaluating the extent of fire damage after you have experienced fire in the home or business.
We will be able to deal with every aspect of your fire cleanup job after there has been a fire in the house or fire in the business. The process begins by using various types of industrial chemicals to clean all the surfaces that have been affected by fire damage, soot damage, and smoke damage.
We can handle commercial fire damage in addition to residential damage. The size of the property doesn't matter. We will put the processes in place to board up the property to protect it from intrusion, eliminate the smoke smell, and tackle every type of damage that has occurred.
The use of the proper tools, technique, and cleaning products will effectively address soot damage, as well as every other type of damage that has taken place.
If it is possible to salvage your property after residential or commercial fire damage, SERVPRO of Midland, TX will help you to put this terrible time behind you.
Residential and commercial fire damage isn't easy to repair, but a professional service will be with you every step of the way to help you cope during this difficult time. You will be able to get back to a normal life once your cleanup and restoration is over.
Decorations on fire
This holiday season, make sure that the glow in your home's decorations is from twinkling lights and not from a costly and potentially deadly fire. SERVPRO of Midland cautions Midland County home owners to follow some of these American Red Cross (ARC) guidelines for holiday decorating and entertaining.
Place Christmas trees and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents, and candles.
Purchase flame-retardant metallic or artificial trees. If you purchase a real tree, make sure that it has fresh, green needles that aren't easily broken. Keep live trees as moist a possible by giving them plenty of water.
Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
If you are celebrating Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, keep flammable items, including curtains and holiday decorations, at least three feet away from your candles. Place your menorah or kinara on a non-flammable surface, such as a tray lined with aluminum foil, to catch the melting candles wax. Never leave lit candles unattended.
Ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave and always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.
We at SERVPRO of Midland knows that even the most diligent fire prevention planning can't prevent all home fires. That's why fire safety planning, like installing and maintaining smoke detectors and having a family escape plan, is also important. If a fire does break out in your home this holiday season, make sure all your family members follow this lifesaving advice from the ARC: Get Out, Stay Out, and Call for Help.
SERVPRO of Midland, TX is available 24/7 to assist you in a fire emergency. Call 432-620-0086.
Large or Small Fires we have you covered
When the fire over-welms you we got you
When a fire starts inside your home, it is never a pleasant experience. Fires not only threaten the safety of you and your family, but can also be costly to repair. The heat, flames, and smoke produced by a fire can cause extensive damage to your home.
Whether the fire is small or large, the best choice would be to have the professionals come in and assess the situation. SERVPRO of Midland Texas is IICRC certified and have experience with different types of fire scenarios.
Both the heat and smoke created by a blaze causes several types of damage to your home. Flames can burn content and building materials inside the home. Smoke spreads throughout the structure leaving behind soot and foul odors. Our professional technicians at SERVPRO of Midland Texas are taught how to mitigate fire damage by putting each case into a category based on the severity of the damage.
In fire damage situations, there are three main types of severity. Putting each damage scenario into a certain level of severity helps our specialists know what types of methods to use when mitigating the problem. The three levels are minor, medium and major fire damage.
No matter how severe the damage is in your home after a fire, hiring professionals can always get you the best results. SERVPRO of Midland Texas can be reached at (432) 620-0086, available 24 hours a day and seven days a week to help you.
Cooking that Turkey
Cooking a Turkey
As you gather to celebrate the Holidays with your friends and family, at SERVPRO we want to help keep you and your loved ones safe from fire hazards.
According to data from the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA, an estimated 2,000 Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings occur annually in the United States, resulting in an estimated average of five deaths, 25 injuries, and $21 million in property loss each year. The leading cause of all Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings is cooking.
The USFA recommends the following tips to keep your holiday safe.
- Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and in every bedroom. Test smoke alarms monthly and replace them if they are 10 years old or older.
- Keep a close watch on your cooking. You should never leave cooking food unattended.
- Keep oven food packaging and other combustibles away from burners and heat sources.
- Heat cooking oil slowly and watch it closely; it can ignite quickly.
- Don't wear loose sleeves while working over hot stove burners - they can melt, ignite or catch on handles of pots and pans spilling hot oil and other liquids.
- Have a "kid-free zone" of at least three-feet around the stove and areas where hot foods or drinks are prepared or carried.
- Keep a lid nearby to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.
Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without the turkey. And deep-fried turkey has become a favorite Thanksgiving tradition in many households. But if used improperly, an overloaded fryer can easily tip over and set an entire house ablaze. USFA offers the following helpful tips to backyard chefs who plan to deep-fry a turkey for Thanksgiving:
- Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.
- Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.
- Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
- Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
- Never let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.
- To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
- Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
- Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix, and water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.
- The National Turkey Federation (NTF) recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight.
- Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help.
Christmas Trees and lights
According to NFPA.org, between 2011 and 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 200 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of 6 deaths, 16 injuries, and $14.8 million in direct property damage annually. We want to help you avoid house fires!
Tips to Avoid Christmas Tree fires
Picking the tree
Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
Placing the tree
- Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2" from the base of the trunk.
- Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source (like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights).
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit!
- Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.
Lighting the tree
- Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer's instructions for number of light strands to connect.
- Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
Why you should get rid of the tree after Christmas:
Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.
Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards. Doing this also helps your Christmas light last longer.
SERVPRO of Midland Texas will help save your Christmas from going up in flames!
A FIRE What Should I Do
Steps to help after a fire
After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
Have Smoke or Fire Damage? Call 432-620-0086
What To Do After A Fire
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
What NOT To Do After A Fire
- Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
- Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
- Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
Fireplace Needs to be Cleaned
It is time again for chimney sweeps and fall weather. Homeowners in the Midland TX area who want to use their fireplaces this winter should prepare now. Chimney sweeps clean the interior of the chimney and point out problems that need attention from roofing specialists, as well as interior defects when they exist.
Midland Texas area homes should have their fireplaces cleaned professionally to eliminate smoke residues and the risk of fire damage. Local chimney sweeps do not perform restoration of the exterior fireplace and mantel area. However, we can perform these and other services to help ensure that your fireplace functions perfectly when you use it and looks beautiful when it is idle.
Cleaning away smoke and soot from your fireplace's interior can expose any defects, which the chimney sweep likely already discussed with you. The mantel can brighten up your room after cleaning, of course, but the reduction in soot and creosote also reduces the number of carcinogens in your home. Even if this substance seems hard to the touch, continual use of your fireplace can heat these areas up and release toxins into the air.
You might be surprised to find out how far the soot from your fireplace can travel in the room. Even though it is not a typical fire that causes damage in a home, fires burnt in the fireplace produce soot, smoke, and ashes. Most of this remains either inside the fireplace or leaves via the chimney, but microscopic amounts steadily escape into your living area each time you use your fireplace. These build up over time on your walls, woodwork, windows, and every other surface in the area.
At SERVPRO of Midland, we want to help homeowners by ensuring their homes are truly clean and safe for every member of their family. To many families, a fireplace is a source of inexpensive heat that helps regulate utility costs during the cold Midland TX nights. We can help you do this safely and with fewer risks to your family and home.
The professional team members at SERVPRO of Midland TX want to help you remain warm this winter while staying safe. Please call us at (432)620-0086 to find out how we can assist you in doing that this winter. We always answer our phone.
Fire Smoke Odor
Fire Smoke can reach everything
Any fire in your home is bad. But when you try to clean it up yourself, it can be a disaster. Smoke and soot from even a small fire can permanently damage contents throughout a home – and cause odors that may resurface for years. Your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional understands how disruptive fires can be for you and your entire family. For this reason, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals offer 24-hour emergency response, and, under normal circumstances, will have trained, uniformed technicians on-site of a fire damage within four hours to begin emergency mitigation services. By responding quickly with a full line of fire, smoke and soot cleanup and restoration services, your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional can help you regain control quickly while deodorizing and protecting your home and belongings. So, before you risk doing more damage by attempting to clean it up yourself, call your local fire, smoke and soot cleanup and restoration experts at SERVPRO®, or dial 432-620-0086 for SERVPRO of Midland to get there and get it cleaned up.
Smoke Types and Behavior
Where there is smoke there is a fire
Behavior of Smoke
A fire loss is very complex because of the unique behavior of smoke. For this reason, it is important to have trained technicians at your Insured’s home. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals know smoke! Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas. Smoke migrates to upper levels of a structure. Smoke flows around plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor. The type of smoke will greatly affect the restoration process.
Types of Smoke The SERVPRO® Franchise Professional arriving at a fire scene test the smoke to see what type of fire has taken place.
Wet Smoke – Plastics and Rubbers 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 the smoke rises. Smoke Isn’t as Easy as 1, 2, 3… SAMPLE
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire. Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace Puff Backs While “puff backs” can create havoc for your Insured, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly. Other Types – Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue. Special loss situations require special care. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals are trained to handle your toughest losses!