Recent Fire Damage Posts
Every Family Needs a Home Fire Escape Plan
Every Family Needs a Home Fire Escape Plan
The smoke detectors are in place. You test them monthly to make sure they work and change the batteries at least yearly. Occasionally, the kitchen stove gets a bit smoky and tests your detectors again for you. If your detectors pass all the tests, your fire warning system is operational.
Hopefully, you will never have an actual fire. If you do, will you know what to do next? If your family has a written emergency escape plan, you will.
There are three characteristics common to all family escape plans.
- In the Event of Fire at Home, Everyone Has a Job
For fires at work, most employees are taught to follow the escape plan and get themselves to safety. At home in Vinings,GA, your fire escape plan won’t be so simple. Young children and family members with disabilities may need help evacuating. The same goes for pets. It’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure that everyone gets out of the house.
- Every Room in Your Home Needs an Exit Plan
You could be anywhere in your home when fire strikes. It’s important that each room has a fire escape plan and that all family members know the plan for every room. Also, because there is no way of knowing where a fire will occur, you should have at least two distinct exits from each room.
- Your Fire Escape Plan Should Designate a
Common Meeting Place Away From the House
You never want to find yourself in the position of wondering if someone is still in a burning house. The number one priority of everyone who escapes must be to go directly to the common meeting place. This way, you can be sure everyone is safe.
The Fire Is Extinguished, and It’s Time To Rebuild
You called the insurance company, but your number one priority is to start the cleanup immediately. Local fire restoration specialists can clean up and restore your home quickly and efficiently. You should call them next.
How to Rescue Residential Masonry from Fire Damage in Atlanta
SERVPRO handles fire damage on the inside and the outside of the property. Call today to discuss and start the remediation process.
SERVPRO's Experience with Fire Damage Restoration Works to Your Benefit
In the wake of a residential fire, the primary focus is on repairing the damage done to the inside of the house. However, moderate to severe incidents can lead to visible marks and blemishes on the outside of the building too. It is why SERVPRO conducts a full inspection of fire-damaged properties before we start any restoration work.
The good news is that stains on masonry, concrete and other structural materials are almost always superficial. While brick and concrete are not impervious to fire damage in Atlanta homes, they are extremely sturdy and don’t succumb easily to heat. It means that, in most cases, we can use straightforward cleaning techniques to restore the outside of the property.
If there is no structural damage to the masonry, the SERVPRO technicians use mild cleaning agents to wash soot and smoke deposits from the surface. Where the staining is very light, dry sponging is enough to wipe away grime on block, brick, and concrete. Stubborn marks get lifted with alkaline detergents and direct scrubbing. Sodium hypochlorite is highly effective when it comes to soot removal, and it leaves no residues.
The difficult thing about soot is that it can be highly acidic. If it is not removed quickly, particularly from structural materials, there is a chance of corrosive residues becoming embedded deeper and deeper into the masonry. It is why SERVPRO pays close attention to cracked joints.
They are delicately cleaned and repointed to dislodge any soot deposits which may be trying to move into the capillaries. Once this is complete, larger areas are dry sponged and vacuumed. Then, they are jet washed with a high powered pressure cleaning device.
The most severe staining occurs when heavily combustible materials have caught fire and burned for some time. In some cases, jet washing is still a suitable method of cleaning. We can add soot dissolving formulas like high PH degreasers, dry ice, or soda ash to increase optimal results.
SERVPRO rarely recommends sand blasting for brick, block, and concrete because it is a very abrasive process and can cause additional damage. If there are smaller patches of masonry which are heavily soiled, the technicians may apply a poultice (sodium hypochlorite and diatomaceous earth). It takes 24-48 hours for the formula to take effect.
The great thing about a fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO is that we offer a complete package. We are part of a huge network of contractors, so there is no repair job too big for our team to handle. Call SERVPRO of North Atlanta/Buckhead at (404) 261-2925 today for expert advice.
3 Items You May Want To Discard After a Fire
The loss you experience after a fire devastates your Sandy Springs,GA, home can be painful. There is much to do and consider, especially when it comes to recovery efforts. As you start to sift through your belongings, you will likely have to decide what you must throw away. The urge to hang onto some items will probably be strong; however, there are a few that can put your health in danger once they have been exposed to the heat of a fire, and knowing which they are might protect your well-being during the recovery process.
1. Packaged or Affected Food
Food packaged in thin or porous packaging, such as cardboard, is probably not salvageable because smoke or soot may have penetrated the material and affected the food. While sealed metal cans or jars may look undamaged, the food inside them could have been heated by the fire and develop harmful bacteria. If any items like this in your pantry came into contact with high heat or flames, it is a good idea to discard them.
Both prescription and over-the-counter medications can be affected by fire. If your medicine cabinet is located close to where the flames broke out, go through them carefully and looked for any warping or charring on bottles. Heat can also change the efficacy of some medicines, so you may have to throw away those that have visible damage. Contact your pharmacist or physician about having costly prescription drugs replaced.
Makeup and other cosmetics that have suffered fire damage should be discarded because they may have taken on soot or been chemically altered by the heat. Warped containers or those covered in fire extinguisher foam are likely no longer usable. Ask your fire damage and restoration specialists about any item you are not sure about.
Knowing which items to throw away after a fire affects your Sandy Springs,GA, home can be challenging. However, when you learn the facts about fire damage, you can protect your health as you move through the recovery process.
What You Should Or Should Not Do After Fire Damage Affects Your Vinings Home
Flames in Vinings, Trust SERVPRO for Fire Damage Repair and Restoration
Rely on Professional Fire Damage Restoration from SERVPRO
You had to watch as a fire broke out in your home; you were able to get everyone to safety and contact the authorities but felt helpless as you stood there, watching. Doing a little research on your own led you to give us a call. But now you do not want to wait.
Learning what you should or should not do after a fire damage incident on your Vinings property is important. While you are waiting for an expertly trained professional to arrive, there are many ways you can help, just keep in mind that you should avoid doing too much. Some items on this list are for Do-It-Your-Selfers; we highly recommend that you call us first.
Make sure to focus your attention on safety, eliminate any possible electrical or gas hazards by shutting the services off to your house. ONLY if safe. No one knows your home better than you do, you should be able to locate slip and fall hazards before anyone else.
Do not attempt any activities that are unsafe for you to perform on your own, remember, some of these materials can weigh a lot due to water exposure, be careful. There is no reason to move the big items out on your own, SERVPRO technicians are on the way.
You can, limit traffic to prevent soot particles from being embedded into your upholstery and carpeting, by placing clean towels or old linens on any rugs, upholstery or carpeting found in high traffic areas. Keep your hands clean to avoid transferring different soils to clean upholstery, walls, or woodwork.
If you were able to turn off your electricity properly, you can empty your freezer and refrigerator and prop the doors open for cleaning. If the fire damage is relatively minor, leave the fridge closed for us to come and inspect. You can also help SERVPRO technicians by removing any small loose items found throughout your home, such as house plants, desk lamps, and other small appliances to a safe, dry location carefully.
Placing double layers of cheesecloth over all of your air registers and changing your HVAC filter helps. But, avoid turning on your ventilation system, you'll just end up causing additional cleaning that wasn't otherwise necessary, letting us do the work is preferable.
Avoid washing walls or painted surfaces, or shampooing your carpet and other upholstery items without contacting us. Do not clean any electrical appliances directly affected by fire, heat, or water; SERVPRO has specialty restoration services for those items, to avoid accidental secondary damage.
You should also avoid using any canned or packaged food or beverages stored near the source of the fire, heat, or exposed to water. Also, never send any clothing or other garments to an ordinary dry cleaner after a fire, improper cleaning used on affected items may cause smoke odors to set permanently.
For more advice, and fire damage restoration service, on what you should or should not do after a fire, contact SERVPRO of North Atlanta - Buckhead today. (404) 261-2925
What To Do After a Business Fire
Kitchen fire in a Sandy Springs, GA home
It's easy to think a fire could never affect your Sandy Springs, GA, business, but all too often these disasters affect businesses, leaving people out of work and business owners facing heavy costs in damage. It is possible to recover from this situation, however. Quick action and the correct fire restoration steps can help you get your company back on track.
1. Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you have the go-ahead from the appropriate emergency responders, call your insurance company to discuss the terms of your fire insurance. The company may send out a professional to assess the damages and prepare a claim. When this is done, they make recommendations about fire restoration companies and advise you regarding the content cleaning process. You'll have the information you need about how much coverage you can expect for cleaning and repairs.
2. Don't Attempt DIY Repairs
If you try to repair the structure or your equipment, you could invalidate your insurance coverage. Instead of putting yourself and your property at risk, contact a professional with the training to handle disaster restoration. Many of these technicians are willing to respond around the clock and have the equipment and training necessary to provide a safe, rapid restoration.
3. Understand the Danger
Even though the fire has been put out, the remaining smoke and odors can be hazardous to your health. Anyone entering the property could be affected by breathing in those fumes and could further damage the fragile remains of the property. It's best to board up your services until you've been given permission to return to business. Leave the smoke cleaning services to professionals in Sandy Springs, GA.
There are plenty of tasks for you to complete, including coordinating necessary recovery services, communicating with the insurance company and your vendors, and finding a way to keep your customers satisfied during the recovery period. Leave the rest of the fire restoration worries to the professionals.
Preparing a Residential Fire Escape Plan
Dealing with the loss of mementos and personal items due to a house fire can be devastating, but there are professionals who can help.
A house fire can happen to anyone, including residents of Atlanta, GA. To ensure that you and your family are prepared in the event of such an emergency, it’s critical to develop a personal fire escape plan. If you’re unsure of how to get started, here are some tips courtesy of the American Red Cross that you’ll want to keep in mind:
• Identify multiple points of exit. Make sure that you’ve identified at least two escape routes from each room of your home. Keep in mind that doors may be inaccessible due to excessive heat.
• Stay clear of smoke. Inhaling too much smoke can be just as hazardous as the actual fire itself. Make sure that you and your family practice staying low to the ground as part of any fire escape plan.
• Know what to do if clothes catch fire. If this happens, it’s imperative not to panic. Ensure that everyone knows the proper technique to stifle the flames: stop, drop, and roll.
• Designate a meeting place outside the home. When a house fire occurs, the smoke and flames can cause things to get chaotic fast. Identify an outside location where household members can meet up to ensure everyone is safe.
• Practice, practice, practice. Drills are important for any emergency escape plan, and fires are no exception. The Red Cross reports that you may have as little as two minutes to evacuate. Once escape routes are established, enact regular, timed fire drills to ensure everyone knows how to exit the home as quickly as possible if the unthinkable does happen.
Dealing with the loss of mementos and personal items due to a house fire can be devastating, but there are professionals who can help with cleanup and restoration, and material things can be replaced. Nothing is more important than your family’s safety. Preparing and practicing a fire escape plan is one of the best ways to ensure family members are prepared for an emergency. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthatlantabuckhead.com/.
Too Many Cooks In the Kitchen Can Lead to Fire
Preparing a nice meal can easily lead to a kitchen fire in seconds.
Most Atlanta, GA, residents have had a kitchen scare or two at some point in their lives. Just a few minutes too long on the stove and that recipe can quickly transform into a disaster. Because even a small incident can easily become overwhelming, look to these tips to ensure safety for everyone in the house.
Keep Food in the Spotlight
Especially for those with busy schedules, preparing a meal can often seem to involve a million other important tasks. Keep an eye on cooking food to prevent a fire from standing in the way of those tasks. Turn stove burners off when leaving the kitchen, even if just for a second. Fire damage can do more than ruin a good meal.
Clear the Area
If your kitchen is the central location of family goings-on, it likely sees more traffic than any other room in the house. Too many cooks in the kitchen, however, can lead to safety hazards. Keep flammable materials such as oven mitts, wooden cooking supplies, and plastic wrapping away from the heat. The following items are also especially vulnerable around high temperatures:
A good rule of thumb is to keep your cooking space neat and clear of clutter when making that delicious dinner.
Use Oil With Caution
Oil is probably the biggest culprit when it comes to kitchen fires. One of the tips you can use to prevent a grease fire involves heating oil slowly. Avoid potentially harmful oil splashes by adding food gradually, as well. As for keeping heat levels safe, you can use a thermometer to ensure oil doesn't reach dangerous temperatures. Finally, having a working fire extinguisher on hand is never a bad idea.
Preparing a nice meal can easily lead to a kitchen fire in seconds. Because of the potential dangers, it is essential that you practice the above safety tips when cooking. Sometimes, help from fire experts is the safest choice, but you can minimize the risks by clearing clutter and paying close attention to your cooking food. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthatlantabuckhead.com/
Why To Board Up After a Fire
If your commercial property in Moringside, Georgia, has experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. In addition to keeping the external elements out of a building with fire damage, boarding up can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process easier.
Most full-service restoration specialists offer boarding-up services. Here are four reasons to board-up after a fire.
1. There is still viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale, but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.
2. You want to protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition. Loss can be far more expensive than restoration or covered replacement.
3. You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.
4. You want to limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.
Talk to restoration experts in Moringside, Georgia, about whether boarding up is a good strategy for preventing loss and limiting damage after a fire. Your major concern is likely to be how to recover from fire damage as quickly and completely as possible. Preventing looting and exposure to the elements can make fire cleanup more successful.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthatlantabuckhead.com for more commercial restoration and fire.
Avoiding Puff Backs in Your Home
Your furnace works hard day in and day out to keep your Atlanta, Georgia, home a warm, comfortable place to live for you and your family. However, when left to its own devices too long without the proper maintenance measures, this same furnace can product a puff back, a small inner-furnace explosion with the power to spread soot and smoke all across your home in a matter of seconds. The best way to defend against this issue is to
• Schedule regular inspections
• Regularly change your filters
• Check your fan now and again
By taking these steps and learning the basics about puff backs, you can ensure you never face this issue in your home.
Invest in Inspections
The average puff back can be caused by a wide range of reasons, almost every single one of which boils down to improper maintenance over extended periods of time. That’s where having a professional on your side comes in handy. Having an annual inspection done by a certified pro helps you catch issues early on and keeps your furnace running smoothly so furnace explosions are never a concern.
A leading cause of puff backs is a clogged filter. When filters become clogged, dirt and dust get sucked into a furnace. Especially in oil-burning furnaces, these particles can combust, leading to an explosion that sends soot flying through the vents. Filters are generally affordable and easy to replace, fortunately, making this a precautionary step any homeowner in Atlanta, Georgia, can take.
Another cause of puff backs is a fan that’s not operational. When the fan can’t move, heat gets backed up in your vents and furnace, which contributes to the formation of puff backs. Checking both your fans and vents now and again helps ensure the heat is moving as it should be.
Each of these steps are fairly simple but can be crucial. You want to do what you can to prevent a puff back of any magnitude from occurring in your home.
Visit us at http://www.SERVPROnorthatlantabuckhead.com for more tips on fire.
Fire Damage to your home in Atlanta, GA
Experiencing a fire loss can be a traumatic time for you and your family. SERVPRO of North Atlanta/ Buckhead is here to help if you ever experience such a situation.
It is important to first make sure your structure is safe to enter. We high recommend not entering your home until it is inspected by a certified company. It is also important to understand your insurance coverage before signing any contracts with a restoration company. Many companies can take advantage of you so make sure you ask plenty of questions before you get started.
Once the process begins, it is important to make sure if your content is salvageable, to make the restoration company takes a detailed inventory on a spreadsheet and with photos before taking your belongings to be cleaned.
Overall if you have any questions about handling a fire loss in your home feel free to reach out to us at http://www.SERVPROnorthatlantabuckhead.com/ or call us at (404) 261-2925
The Benefits of Hiring Experts for Professional Fire Damage Restoration
The Benefits of Hiring Experts for Professional Fire Damage Restoration
Fire damage is one of the most challenging situations that a property owner has to manage. Most people think that the most challenging part of the fire damage is watching everything go up in smoke; while this could be hard, it is even more difficult to organize the restoration of the home to the state it was in before the damage. In case you have suffered massive losses in the fire, you may even be tempted to try home restoration by yourself. However, the benefits that come from engaging commercial fire damage professionals in the fire restoration process greatly outweigh the cost. Below are a few of these benefits.
Round the clock fire damage and fire suppression support
A house that has suffered fire damage can only be declared safe and stable after the fire sprinkler systems, the fire hoses, and the fire trucks have left and entire commercial fire damage restoration process has been carried out. There is no way to know if the fire weakened internal structures in the house, or the pressure from the fire hoses and the fire sprinkler systems and they could collapse at any given time. There have also been cases where a fire which was thought to have been put out rekindles. All these are scenarios which need 24-hour support from the firefighters and the restoration company. If you try to handle the soot damage, smoke damage and water damage from fire sprinkler systems alone, you will increase the magnitude of your losses.
The support services you will get during this time after fire suppression include:
• Emergency board up and stabilization of the structure after a utility room fire
• Removal of the household goods and assessment for damages immediately after the fire, soot damage and smoke damage
• Use of water extractors and dehumidifiers for the remediation of any water damage coming from the fire suppression efforts.
• The initial cleaning up of the surfaces after the soot damage or smoke damage to prevent staining.
Availability of the right equipment for fire restoration
Fire restoration is not a simple process. It needs tools such as fire trucks, fire hoses, and a person who knows how to handle the equipment. When trying to put out a utility room fire or any other form of electrical fire, for instance, you will need a powerful fire hose or fire sprinkler system, and a firefighter who knows how to handle it. Hiring these experts will be the simplest way to make sure that fire restoration is carried out properly.
Quality of the outcome
The basic goal of fire suppression and home restoration after an electrical fire is to take it back to the state it was in before any of the commercial fire damage happened. However, competent firefighters do more than that. The firefighters and their fire trucks will go an extra mile and make sure that the furniture has been cleaned, the smoke damage and smoke smell has been removed from the upholstery. The fire truck operators will also go the extra mile and ensure that any surfaces which were stained by soot damage have not only been cleaned, but the resistant ones have been painted over. The best electrical fire restoration professionals also ensure that after the water extraction, dehumidification and drying are done properly to protect the home from mold damage.
These are some of the benefits which come from engaging professional commercial fire damage restoration experts. It is advisable to contact them as soon as the electrical fire or utility room fire damage occurs because this will determine the speed at which the home restoration process will be completed. When you contact them, you will have to give them a detailed account of the situation, and set up an initial assessment. It will help them look at the electrical fire damage or utility room fire damage and prepare appropriately for restoration. With a competent restoration expert, you can be assured that your house will get to the state it was in before the damage.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthatlantabuckhead.com for more information on fire damage.
Fire Damage Restoration: What You Should Know
Fire Damage Restoration: What You Should Know
Whether it's a fire in the home or a fire in a business, fire damage can be devastating. The shock of a fire to a family or business owner can feel overwhelming, and most people don't quite know what to do. Fire damage can range in severity. From smoke damage and soot damage to serious structural deterioration, fire in a home or fire in a business is nothing to be taken lightly. Fire damage restoration is an in depth process that should be entrusted to a professional restoration company. A fire cleanup should only be carried out by skilled experts.
After a loss to fire, a restoration company should be contacted right away to determine the best course of action. Usually the first thing that will be done is to board up the damaged structure to keep curious people and animals out. Skilled experts can then begin the assessment of smoke damage, soot damage, fire damage, and water damage associated with such a loss. The severity and types of damage that have occurred will depend on the intensity of the fire and the composition of the structure. Commercial fire damage in a steel building may be limited to smoke damage, soot damage, and water damage to the interior, and require only remodeling and mitigation of the smoke smell. Fire in the home however, can often be more severe, as many homes are built of wood and filled more flammable building materials like carpets and furniture. A professional restoration company should be the only ones entrusted to assess the extent of fire damage and carry out the fire cleanup and fire damage restoration.
After the initial board up and assessment of damage the restoration company can begin the fire cleanup. This means removing any furniture or appliances damaged by the fire in the home or fire in the business. Many articles will be lost to smoke damage and soot damage, even though they have not been burned. If there was fire in a business damaged products will need to be sorted and evaluated to determine the extent of the commercial fire damage. The smoke smell will quite often never come out furniture or appliances that go through commercial fire damage or residential fires.
When all furniture and appliances have been removed the fire damage restoration process can begin. To mitigate the smoke smell the property will usually be opened up and well ventilated. Damaged drywall, carpeting, ceiling tiles and the like will be removed. Once the house or business has been properly stripped of its damaged interior, structural inspection can take place to determine what repairs are needed. The property may be left in a board up state and ventilated for a few days to diminish the smoke smell. Chemical cleaners may also be used to aid the process. The fire cleanup process must be expected to take days if not weeks depending on severity, as the professionals entrusted will want to do a thorough job. Fire damage restoration is no small matter and needs to be entrusted to these skilled experts. After the property has been sufficiently cleaned the board up may be removed and the process of rebuilding and/or remodeling may begin.
What to Do After a Fire Related Loss:
-Board up the property to ensure it's inaccessible to people or animals;
-Contact your insurance company, if applicable;
-Call a professional restoration company immediately and set up a consultation;
Residential and commercial fire damage can be devastating emotionally, mentally, and financially. But home and business owners alike need to remember that they are not alone, and that there are highly skilled and trained experts ready to help them. The sooner these professionals are contacted, the sooner family life and business can get back on track. If you or someone you know has experienced a residential or commercial fire related loss contact a professional restoration company today.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthatlantabuckhead.com for more information on fire damage.
Atlanta Fires Affect HVAC Systems
Fires, Smoke, Ductwork Cleaning in Atlanta
Smoke & Fire Damage Are Common After a Fire in Your Atlanta Property
A fire in any home is a frighening sight. Fortunately, most of the damage after the flames have been put out is from smoke and soot residues. Smoke and soot are easier to restore than removing scorched and burned property, but it does take time and patience.
One item residents forget about before or after fire damage to their Atlanta home is the air and heat or HVAC system. It may not be necessary to clean the HVAC after a fire, but it must be inspected to make certain. If the system is turned on with residue still inside, it is possible to contaminate the entire house in a matter of minutes. SERVPRO has developed a thorough list of questions to inspect an HVAC system and another to clean and repair it if there is smoke or soot residue.
First, how close was the fire to the HVAC vents or the furnace unit?
Did smoke enter either the supply or return sides of the system?
How long did the fire burn? Was the HVAC in operation at any time while the fire was active?
These questions help us determine just how likely there is contamination, the type of residue, and how extensive it might be. Do not assume there is no contamination because the HVAC was off. An active fire creates air pressure which can force smoke into the system if it burns long enough. An inspection provides the information we need to answer these questions and prepare a restoration plan.
Are mechanical components of the HVAC damaged? Do they need to be replaced? If so, our technicians can service most HVAC systems. For certain brands, it may be necessary to call in one of their technicians to perform the work.
Is the ductwork sheet metal, duct board, or flex duct? Sheet metal ducts are easy to clean, duct board is a bit more difficult, and flex duct may have to be replaced because it is not cost effective to pull it out and stretch it to clean out every crease.
Are the filters contaminated? If yes, then they must be replaced. It is a precautionary practice to toss all filters before the fire and run new filters, inspect, and replace again if the residue is exceptionally thick.
Does the HVAC need to be disassembled? Taking it apart may be required if the residue is particularly thick and resists cleaning.
Once we or your contractor has rebuilt the HVAC, our technicians seal the ductwork as tightly as possible to prevent additional contamination and then test it.
This process is not simple, but restoring the HVAC system in your home is the final, needed step before it is truly safe to return. For SERVPRO of North Atlanta / Buckhead, this is not just a job. We understand the need to go back to normal after a fire or any other disaster. Call us today at (404) 261-2925 to begin.
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