Recent Fire Damage Posts
4 Steps for Handling a Fire Claim
Here Are Four Steps For Handling A Claim
A fire can cause damage and destruction to your home or business, and it is imperative to take the necessary recovery steps and file a fire claim to maintain your operations. Acting quickly and staying organized helps prevent your business from experiencing any major downtime or interruptions.
1. Contact Your Insurance Provider
Contact your insurer as quickly as possible to report the fire and schedule a meeting with the adjuster. Be sure to have your policy number and the address of your business ready, and provide your contact information so your insurance company knows how to reach you.
2. Start Repair and Cleanup
Do not wait for the adjuster to arrive before beginning cleanup. If you can handle any temporary repairs and secure your property, you should do so to avoid any additional damage or loss. Calling a professional fire restoration and cleanup service is recommended to make sure the process is done properly with the right equipment.
3. Document and Record the Damage
Take photographs of any fire damage before discarding debris or damaged items, and keep records of any costs incurred to repair and restore the property for your fire claim. If the damage is severe enough to temporarily close your business, keep track of any ongoing expenses that you cannot suspend while your business is shut down. If you conduct business at a temporary location, document those expenses as well to submit them with your claim.
4. Provide Financial Statements
For any items that require replacement or repair, provide records to verify the value of the items before they were damaged. You need documents that support any lost business income due to the fire. Be prepared to show bank statements, tax returns and contracts to your insurer.
Filing a fire claim can seem like a lot of work, but staying organized and knowing how to proceed can substantially minimize financial losses. If you are prepared, you can have your business back up and running in no time.
3 Tips for Preventing Cigarette Fires in Your Home
Preventing a Cigarette Fire In Your Home
There are several ways a fire might break out in your home, but one dangerous circumstance is the risk of those caused by cigarettes. A cigarette fire can spread quickly and cause untold damage to several rooms in your home, including scorch marks and smoke damage. You can prevent these types of fires by practicing a few safety measures each time you or your visitors use cigarettes.
1. Smoke Outside
You can reduce the risk of fire completely by asking that family members and guests smoke outside. Place weighted ashtrays on your porch or patio, and ensure that cigarette butts are completely extinguished before you go inside for the evening. Empty the ashtrays completely on windy days to prevent smoldering butts from igniting a cigarette fire near trees or dry grass.
2. Do Not Smoke in Bed
Many cigarette fires start when people fall asleep in bed while smoking, as blankets and mattresses can catch fire quickly. If you feel sleepy, avoid lighting a cigarette, and do not keep ashtrays in your room so you are less tempted to light up in your bedroom. If you take medications at night that make you drowsy, leave your cigarettes in another room. This can also help prevent an ashtray fire from a pile of cigarette butts that could ignite if left unattended.
3. Use Sand To Extinguish Butts
Adding sand to your home’s ashtrays can help you prevent fires and the need for a fire cleanup damage and restoration company. Snuffing butts out in an inch or so of sand can extinguish them completely and prevent them from causing bedding or curtain fires. You might be able to find small bags of clean, chemical-free sand at your local home hardware store.
Preventing a cigarette fire at your Shenandoah, TX, home can be simple. Remain vigilant about snuffing out butts completely and keeping smoldering cigarettes away from flammable surfaces.
Home Fire Tips!
Each year more than 2,500 people die and 12,600 are injured in home fires in the United States. But unlike other disasters, home fires can be prevented! It’s important to know this: Fire is fast! There is no time to gather anything or make a phone call. In just two minutes, a fire could kill you. In five minutes, a house could be swallowed in flames. Fire is hot! Heat and smoke could be even more dangerous than the flames. Fire is dark! It can be hard to find your way out of your house in a fire.
-Create a fire escape plan and practice it twice a year.
-Have smoke alarms in every bedroom and every floor of the house.
-Remind your parents to test the smoke alarms in your house every month.
-Find two ways to get out of each room. A window might be a second way if the door is blocked by fire or smoke.
-Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
-Sleep with your door closed. It helps prevent fires from spreading quickly.
-Get low and go! Crawl under the smoke to an exit. Heavy smoke and deadly gases collect along the ceiling.
- If you hear a smoke alarm, get out fast! You may only have a few seconds to escape.
-If smoke is blocking the door, use your second way out of the room or house.
-Feel the doorknob and door before opening it. If either is hot, leave the door closed and use the second way out. If you see smoke coming around the door, use the second way out.
-If you do open a door, open it slowly and be ready to shut it quickly if there’s smoke.
-Don’t hide from firefighters! They may look scary with all of their equipment, but they are there to help you.
- Tell firefighters if there are any pets trapped in the house. Don’t try to get them yourself!
-If your clothes catch on fire, stop-drop-roll! Stop, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands. Then roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out.
-Don’t go back into any building unless a firefighter or your parents say it is safe.
Call SERVPRO of Fort Smith to restore your home after a fire. We can make it "Like it never even happened."
Your Belongings and Fire Damage
Fire damage, including smoke and soot, affects not only the structure of your house but also your belongings. SERVPRO of Fort Smith understand your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings are the very things that make a house a home.
If You Have Questions or Need Help,
Call Us Today 479-452-8282
SERVPRO of Fort Smith specialize in restoring contents damaged by water, fire, or mold. Their expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. They pretest your belongings to determine what items they can restore to pre-fire condition. They 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.
If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning due to fire damage, SERVPRO of Fort Smith can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. A move-out has several benefits, including:
- A quicker remodeling process
- Protecting items from potential damage
- Protecting contents from further on-site damage
When restoration is completed, they 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.
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. A SERVPRO of Fort Smith will coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including:
- Television sets
- DVD players
- 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 Fort Smith can save a great deal and help minimize additional damage. Learn more about our document restoration services.
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
- Freezer Drying
- Vacuum Freeze Drying
- Vacuum Thermal Drying
Contents Claim Inventory Service
When a fire emergency strikes, the damage can often feel overwhelming. SERVPRO of Fort Smith 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. They take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding. Learn more about the Contents Claim Inventory Service.
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!
SERVPRO of Fort Smith is Here For Your Fire Restoration Needs
When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building may never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it shouldn’t be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own. The trained professionals at SERVPRO of Fort Smith should be called on-site immediately. We can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but we must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause.
The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. The experts at SERVPRO of Fort Smith will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, the restorers will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.
Fire Restoration Process
Fire damage is probably the last thing on your mind, but you may want to move it up on your list of priorities; preparation is the key. The first 48 hours after a fire often makes the difference between ‘restoring’ vs. ‘replacing’ your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO of Fort Smith provides a timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal, to content claims inventory and document restoration. Here is a timeline to help ease your mind of what should be done before and after SERVPRO of Fort Smith arrives:
- One Hour: Within one hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO of Fort Smith professional will contact you to arrange for service.
- Four Hours: Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO of Fort Smith technician will be onsite to start mitigation services.
- Detailed Explanation: A trained and uniformed Fort Smith employee will walk you through the job process step-by-step, explaining what to expect and the anticipated outcome.
- Pretesting: A SERVPRO of Fort Smith employee will begin pretesting for restoration, working from the source of the damage outward.
- Eight Hours: Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope is communicated to the appropriate person.
- Cleaning, Restoration, & Deodorization: SERVPRO of Fort Smith will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property. We then use state-of-the-art restoration techniques to make it “Like it never even happened.”
- Final Walk-through: After the work has been completed, a final walk-through will be conducted with you to help ensure your satisfaction.
SERVPRO of Fort Smith responds quickly, offering a full line of fire cleanup and restoration services to help you return home as soon as possible. Before risking further damage by attempting to clean up the damage on your own, call the fire damage clean up and restoration professionals at (479) 452-8282.
Fire Damage?? Large or Small, Give SERVPRO of Fort Smith a call
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 Fort Smith 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 Fort Smith 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 Fort Smith can be reached at (479) 452-8282, available 24 hours a day and seven days a week to help you.
Stop, Drop & Clean the Lent Out From Inside Your Dryer Vent!
We all know to clean out the lint screen of our dryers, right? Did you know if you aren’t cleaning the lint out of the INSIDE and VENT of your dryer you are putting your family in danger of a house fire? Over time lint will build up and settle in the bottom of your dryer and in your dryer vent. If you don’t clean this out the heat from the dryer can ignite a fire inside your dryer. You know what the boy scouts say, “lint is the great to start a fire”.
Here is an experience from someone who recently had a fire in her dryer and was lucky enough it didn’t start her house on fire.
Counting our blessings today… Last night we smelled something "burning" right as we were going to bed. We thought it was our renters burning food or something in their oven. We had windows open and fans going but didn't really think much of it. Well this afternoon I went to get clothes out of the dryer, they smelled horrible!!! Like a cross between camp fire smoke and cigarette smoke. So, I threw them back in the washer and told my husband. When he got home, we pulled the bottom portion of the dryer off just to check things out. To our amazement (we haven't had this dryer THAT long - but bought it from someone else) there was burnt/singed lint everywhere. There had been a lint fire inside the bottom of our dryer last night. Our house seriously could have caught on fire. I'm so glad it didn't. Hence - we are counting our blessings today and I am spreading the word to all that you should go clean out under your lint catcher thing so your house doesn't start on fire!
Here are a few tips from The Family Handy Man on how to clean the lint out of your dryer.
If you so experience and fire caused by your dyer or any other appliances in your home call SERVPRO of Fort Smith today! SERVPRO of Fort Smith will come and mitigate the damage, clean up & restore the affected area, and make it “Like it never even happened."
How to Make a Fire Safety Escape Plan for Your Family
In 2016 there were an estimated 364,300 reported residential fire and 2,000 fire related fatalities. In the event of fire, TIME is the BIGGEST ENEMY and EVERY SECOND COUNTS! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a major fire. The most important thing you can do to prepare is have a Safety Escape Plan.
At Home Fire Safety Plan Tips
First and foremost, make sure you have one working smoke alarm on every level of the home, as well as inside and outside each sleeping area.
Have two ways out of each room, and the proper equipment to get out any upper story windows. Walk through each room in your home with your family and point out possible exits. Also, provide alternatives for anyone with a disability.
Once you have established the exits, practice and show children how to get out of the house and check the door for heat before opening it.
Know to crawl low to the floor when escaping to avoid toxic smoke. Practice dropping to your stomach and shimmying out under the smoke with your children.
Make a plan to help pets evacuate safely as well if possible.
Once you are out of the house, STAY OUT. DO NOT go back in the house. There could be unseen damage and danger. Call 911 immediately.
Know where to meet after the escape. Your meeting place should be near the front of your home so firefighters know you are out.
Practice, Practice, Practice your escape plan. It is recommended you practice at least twice a year. If you have young children it may require more than twice. Practicing can save the lives of you and your family.
If you do have a fire in your home call SERVPRO of Fort Smith.. 479-452-8282!
Why Board Up After a Commercial Fire?
If your Commercial property 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 your home 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. The premises still have sustainable inventory. If the building still contains products that appear viable, you should consider boarding. These products may involve evaluation and cleaning and may not be suitable for sale, but it may be useful for insurance reasons to have them correctly processed rather than stolen.
2. You want electronics and other valuables to be protected. You may be able to restore certain electronics or other precious assets to working condition depending on the extent of the fire damage. Loss can be much more costly than repairing or replacing covered.
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 at SERVPRO of Fort Smith, about whether boarding-up is a good strategy for preventing loss and limiting the 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.
Give us a call 479-452-8282
Space Heater Safety Tips
As night-time temperatures dip this time of year, the usage of space heaters can go up. Although helpful machines, they can pose a threat to your safety if not properly used.
Space heaters cause 25,000 home fires a year, and 6,000 emergency room visits, according to the Harvard University Environmental Health and Safety group.
Here are a few tips for using space heaters that will reduce the risk of fire in your home.
-Before purchasing a space heater, check out the specifications and make sure that it's UL approved.
-Check for safety features such as an automatic shut off when the unit is tipped over and heat element guards.
-Read the owner's manual and be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions on proper usage.
-Keep other objects at least 3ft. away from the heater.
-Never leave space heaters unattended.
-Be sure to turn off your space heater before going to bed.
-Leaving a space heater unattended is never advisable.
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. SERVPRO of Fort Smith has 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 SERVPRO of Fort Smith (479) 452-8282
Wildfire Damage Event
Wildfire Damage Event
The active wildfires here in Southern California are increasing their impact as growing Santa Ana winds add fuel to these devastating blazes that are encroaching in our area. According to the New York Times, new fires broke out in Malibu on December 7, with at least 96,000 acres already burned in the Ventura area and 116,000 acres in Los Angeles County. Evacuations have closed hundreds of schools and forced 200,000 of our neighbors to seek safety. The “Thomas Fire” in the Ventura area continues to burn with the aid of strong winds. This fire has caused the closure of the 101 freeway and a boil-water advisory was issued for Ventura County. Santa Ana winds The Santa Ana winds that are enabling the fires to rapidly increase their reach can have speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour. They are not expected to diminish until Friday into Saturday at the earliest. The National Weather Service has warned of “very rapid fire growth” in this area. SERVPRO Meteorologist Lela Davis said that the Santa Ana winds were already very dry when they reached the Southern California valley, allowing them to quickly pull moisture out of vegetation, increasing the risk for wildfires. For the first time ever, a purple wind warning was issued for today under the color-coded system used to advise about high winds. This purple warning pushed wind expectations from the “high” category to “extreme”. Ready to help Here at SERVPRO of Fort Smith we are monitoring this wildfire situation closely. Our thoughts are with those neighbors who may be put in harms’ way during this event. In many cases, a wildfire can result in a total loss for a home or business, but in others it may be a partial loss, or can result in mild smoke damage. If your home or business is affected by a wildfire, SERVPRO of Fort Smith is Here to Help®.
About SERVPRO of Fort Smith
SERVPRO of Fort Smith specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and Soot Cleanup
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 Fort Smith 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
Our Highly Trained Staff
SERVPRO of Fort Smith is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms must
• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
About SERVPRO of Fort Smith
SERVPRO of Fort Smith specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Mobile Home Combustion
In Oklahoma our communities have vast amounts of mobile homes.
When it comes to mobile homes, they require a different kind of understanding that the traditional property structure. Due to how mobile homes are made and manufactured, they require a different understanding for property care and maintenance.
Under extreme pressures such as tornadoes as experienced here in Oklahoma this combination can be deadly.
Pre-screen your mobile home for potential safety hazards such as but not limited too air tight doors for furnaces. Make sure your heating system is working properly and that the air flow exchange is not blocked in any way. Also check for leaks stains and debris.
Last but not least, during storms with extremely strong winds such as that that accompanies most tornadoes can affect the air exchanges within a mobile home. Please be sure to take all proper precautions for your region when face with storm warnings.
A retired firefighter, David Comingdeer was used to putting out fires and saving lives. Until he experienced his own fire, he never knew the violation such a turbulent experience provided.
The day before Christmas Eve David and his son Spencer had plans of hosting the family’s Christmas Dinner. An electrical malfunction and fire changed everything.
“With a house fire during Christmas, it’s been a real kick in the teeth,” David said.
Fortunately for David, he was insured, and allowed SERVPRO to help him mitigate his losses. Working with the insurance and adjuster directly, SERVPRO had David’s interests in mind 100% of the time and every step of the way. With SERVPRO, David maintained 100% of control when life seemed and felt out of control.
“They’re cleaning everything I’ve asked them to. I’ve been closely involved in the process, and I’m confident in the work,” David said. “I’m very impressed with the tedious job they’re doing.”
"I pray my friends and family never suffer a house fire...but if you do, I hope you have good insurance and help from these folks. SERVPRO Rocks!!!”
Residence affect by smoke damage from a neighboring house fire one block away. Insurance covered loss and restoration services due neighbor’s fire.
Did you know fewer deaths are caused by the actual fire itself?
Did you know more deaths are caused by the smoke from a fire rather than the actual fire?
Smoke, much like water, moves to fill spaces. Just as a rock in a spring can break the flow of water in that specific place so does any content or material act as a filter blocking smoke’s pathway leaving a trail of affected content to be cleaned and restored. Smoke is made up of soot, carbon monoxide, and various other chemicals that may have been consumed by its fire.
For these reasons it is extremely important to mitigate the damage caused by smoke even if the property itself wasn’t affect by the fire directly. The property can still decompose and deteriorate because of lingering smoke damage which is not only hazardous to the property but also to your health.