Recent Fire Damage Posts

How Restoration Services Can Help Your Business Recuperate From Smoke Damage

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

Inside of a building damaged by fire, ceiling and walls. Empty building Commercial fire damage in Derby, KS

People often assume that the most damaging part of a fire is the flames itself, but smoke can lead to widespread harm that continues to cause destruction even after the extinguishing process is completed. Even if your business in Derby, KS, did not experience a fire in the building, there are several ways smoke damage can occur. No matter the cause, use the tips in this guide for help addressing the immediate situation and allowing your business to recover as best as possible.

Causes of Smoke Damage

It is important to understand the different ways smoke can enter your commercial building so you can implement certain preventive measures and better understand how the remediation process will work. Insurance coverage also may vary depending on the cause of the fire, but policies generally cover smoke and soot damage that affects your business even it originated somewhere outside of the building. Here are a few of the most common situations that often require smoke cleaning services:

  • A fire inside your building
  • A building fire nearby
  • Wildfire
  • Cigarette smoke

The Remediation Process
Even if smoke does not pose the same immediate threat as a full-blown fire, getting in contact with a fire restoration specialist is the most effective way to keep the level of harm low and to get your business back to normal as quickly as possible. If a fire occurred in your building, the first priority of the cleanup team is to make the building safe as possible and remove any standing water that may be present due to a firehose or burst water pipe. Surfaces and items that are too damaged will need to be disposed of, and special equipment is used to remove smoke and soot throughout the building and deodorize it. Some items can be salvaged and cleaned. The team can then perform repairs, such as replacing damaged surfaces or repainting walls.
Smoke damage often spreads throughout a contained space, making its way into the structure of your building. Get in contact with a specialist right away to start the smoke removal and remediation process.

The 3 Fundamentals of Home Fire Readiness

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm with the word REPLACE IT Replacing your alarms every 10 years or if a malfunction occurs

The Three Most Important Aspects of Home Fire Preparedness

Most homeowners have never had to operate a fire extinguisher or evacuate their home due to a fire. It’s hard to imagine a fire could start in your home, yet fire services respond to over 300 thousand residential fires each year. It doesn’t take much time or effort to reduce your fire risk. This discussion outlines the three most important aspects of home fire preparedness.

Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms are required by residential building regulations because they are so effective at detecting smoke and warning the household of a potential fire. Without an alarm, the fire may grow too large for a fire extinguisher to be effective. It’s important to attend to the maintenance required to keep your alarms operational. Consider implementing the following practices:

  • Pressing the test button to confirm proper operation every six months
  • Replacing the batteries every six months
  • Using a vacuum attachment to clear dust and lint from the exterior of the alarm
  • Replacing your alarms every 10 years or if a malfunction occurs

Smoke alarms are only as effective as you are diligent about maintaining them. It may help to add alarm upkeep to your home maintenance schedule.

Fire Extinguishers
Having access to a well-placed fire extinguisher can mean the difference between a little smoke damage and total devastation. An extinguisher can easily knock down a small kitchen fire if operated properly. It’s important to have your household members study the proper operation of your extinguishers. There isn’t time in an emergency to read instructions.

Fire Sprinklers
Fire sprinklers are generally required in multi-unit dwellings but are available for single-family homes as well. They are especially useful if you are not home when a fire erupts; the sprinklers can manage the fire until first responders arrive. Your local fire remediation specialist will generally be happy to recommend a system for your unique living situation.
With a little bit of preparation, you can significantly reduce your risk of fire damage to your Hutchinson, KS, home. If your smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and fire sprinklers are in working order, you can rest assured your home fire risk is greatly reduced.

3 Ways to Get Rid of Smoke Smells After a Fire

5/25/2020 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Ozone machines are designed specifically with odor control in mind

Some people might consider themselves lucky if the biggest issue they have to deal with after a fire is smoke damage. However, this issue can be more serious than you might think. The scent of smoke means there’s still residual soot in the air, which contains carcinogens that can be harmful to breathe. Plus, the smell is just awful. Fortunately, there are several steps regarding smoke cleaning you can take in order to reduce the smoke odor in your home after a fire in Wichita, KS and even make a space odor-free.

Steps for Smoke Cleaning to reduce the smoke odor:

1. Air Filtration Devices

You’ve probably seen air filtration devices advertised as great ways to deal with allergens. These same devices are excellent for filtering out the agents that cause smoke odor as well. Placing a few (or several) of these devices in the place that’s experienced the smoke damage can help reduce the scent over time. Just remember to keep the filters changed.

2. Ozone Machines

Ozone machines are designed specifically with odor control in mind. These machines are built to deodorize large areas such as hotel rooms and business offices, so imagine what one could do for your home when you need smoke cleaning. This is a tool commonly used by smoke and fire damage professionals, so you know it’ll get the job done right.

3. Thermal Foggers

Thermal foggers are built to essentially recreate the conditions of a fire by adding heat and pressure to a specified area. However, these machines give off a mist of deodorizing fog rather than smoke. These fog particles are absorbed by porous materials in the same way, however, meaning they seep into to smoke-damaged belongings to replace the unpleasant odor.

These are three methods of smoke cleaning that are commonly used by the pros, and for good reason. They’re effective, simple, and get the job done quickly so you can go back to living a smoke-free life.

SERVPRO of Northwest Wichita has the training, experience and specialized equipment necessary to restore your home and remove any Smoke Odor left after a Fire.  

Why Emergency Board Up Services Are Necessary After a House Fire

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Blue Cape Cod Style Suburban Home with windows and doors board up Board up home in Haysville, KS

A fire can leave parts of your house exposed. That is why some cleanup and restoration companies offer tarp over and board up services, as well.
Following a fire, you have two options for covering up your house: tarping over and boarding up. Which one you choose depends on what parts of your Haysville, KS, home are affected. In general, broken or cracked doors and windows are boarded up. Roofing areas, meanwhile, can be tarped over.

Benefits of Boards and Tarps

You may think that boarding up or tarping over your home after a fire is an unnecessary expense. Yet that is not the case. Boards and tarps can actually reduce your risk of:

  • Additional damage or property loss
  • A personal injury lawsuit
  • Losing insurance coverage

If your roof, walls, windows or doors have holes following a fire, animals and wind can cause even more destruction. Without a proper board up or tarp over, thieves could also take advantage of these openings to steal your appliances and electronics. They could even access your personal information.
There are financial benefits of board ups and tarp overs, as well. Your insurance provider may not cover the costs of repairing your home unless you agree to implement these services. If you don’t properly protect your home, you could be held personally liable for any injuries suffered on the property, as well.

Hiring a Professional

You should not attempt to cover your home on your own. Even if the house appears safe, there may be hidden fire damage or water and electrical hazards. You should thus leave the emergency board up and tarp over to professionals.
Experts should also know how to do the job properly. If you try to use tarps or boards by yourself, you may end up using improper materials or methods. This, in turn, could put the rest of your house at risk.
Professional board up and tarp over services don’t just protect your home following a fire. They also can save you money by qualifying you for insurance coverage.

The 4 Steps of Fire Extinguisher Use

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher instruction labels set Many fire safety and damage restoration professionals recommend using the acronym P.A.S.S.

The 4 Steps of Fire Extinguisher Use

A fire extinguisher can be one of the most important fire safety tools a Wichita, KS, home can have. As such, it’s important to know how to use this safety tool properly. Many fire safety and damage restoration professionals recommend using the acronym P.A.S.S. to remember the formula for extinguisher use. The four steps of this process are as follows.

Pull

When facing a kitchen fire, the first step is to break the tamper-proof seal on the extinguisher. This can be achieved by pulling the pin. This the first letter of the acronym, which stands for pull.

Aim

Once the pin has been pulled, the next step is to aim the fire extinguisher at the fire. It’s recommended to aim the end of the hose at the base of the fire to help ensure the most coverage. Remember not to touch the discharge horn or nozzle, as they can be extremely cold.

Squeeze

The first S stands for squeeze. This is because the trigger on the extinguisher will need to be released before any suppressant can be sprayed. Squeeze the trigger until the fire has been extinguished or the canister has been emptied. After the fire is out, you will want to remember to have your extinguisher refilled.

Sweep

The last step in the acronym stands for sweep. As you squeeze the trigger, sweep the end of the hose from side to side across the base of the flames to help ensure complete coverage by the suppressant. Once the fire is out, you can then contact a professional to make any repairs to areas suffering fire damage.
When using a fire extinguisher, it’s important to remember to pull, aim, squeeze, and sweep, or P.A.S.S. Follow these four steps to help ensure that the extinguisher is used correctly. You may also want to teach your family members to do the same.

What Every Homeowner Should Know About Creating a Fire Escape Plan

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

A notebook that says emergency escape plan Creating a fire escape plan is one of the most valuable things a homeowner can do

How to Create A Fire Escape Plan

No one thinks that their home in Colwich, KS, will be affected by a fire, but as a homeowner, it's often important to be prepared for any kind of disaster. Learning about making a fire escape plan can be useful for homeowners, as an escape plan can be life-saving during a home fire.

1. Don't Avoid Creating a Plan

The idea of your home catching fire may make you feel upset or uncomfortable, and you may be tempted to put off making an escape plan in order to avoid thinking about the subject. Parents may also avoid making and discussing an escape plan so as to avoid upsetting their children. However, making a plan will not increase the risk of your home catching fire, and you can discuss your plan with your children in an age-appropriate, calm manner.

2. Practice Your Plan

The more frequently you practice your fire escape plan, the more prepared you will be if a fire does occur. As you practice your plan, it's often helpful to make the goal of the practice to get out of the house in a safe, quick manner. It's frequently best to avoid gathering your belongings. Fire restoration services can assist in restoring your home and your belongings in the event of a fire, and it's generally wise to focus on your own safety.

3. Invest in the Proper Equipment and Tools

There are certain pieces of equipment and tools that could be useful to have if a fire occurs. Depending on the configuration of your home, it might be useful to purchase a ladder if there are rooms above ground level. A ladder can make it easier and safer for someone to escape from a room that is above the first floor of your home. A fire blanket may also be useful to stifle small fires.

When it comes to fire preparation, creating a fire escape plan is one of the most valuable things a homeowner can do. It's often wise to create a plan, practice your plan often and to invest in tools or equipment that could be useful in the event of a fire.

The Three Ps of Fire Safety

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

Run drills regularly

Protect Your Kids Safety From a Home Fire

One of the best ways to protect your kids safety from a McPherson, KS, home fire is to teach them about fire prevention. As part of your efforts, cover basics such as these three Ps of safety from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the U.S. Fire Administration, and several other children's safety organizations:

Prepare – This step focuses on reducing the risk of fire damage situations
Practice – This step covers conducting fire drills and overall fire safety habits
Prevent – This final step includes teaching your children about getting out safely

You should also include a fire escape plan in these efforts.

Prepare Your Home

There are several situations that are common to just about any home, and many of these could easily lead to fire damage, such as overloading electrical outlets, leaving lit candles unattended, setting clutter near a hot stove, neglecting old and damaged wiring, and using old appliances. When you involve your children in this first step of fire prevention, the whole family is safer.

Practice Fire Escape Plans

Establish a fire escape plan and for your kids safety, run drills regularly. These drills should include what to do if the primary escape route is blocked. During these drills, watch out for things such as clutter in the hall. Take time to practice how children should escape if their doorknob is hot, signaling that it isn't safe to open their bedroom door. Discuss the importance of remaining low to the ground, so children don't inhale smoke while exiting.

Prevent Injuries During Fire

This part of the plan should include discussions about not playing with matches or lighters but telling an adult about them. Teach your children the Stop, Drop, Roll technique in the event their clothing is on fire. Talk about never going back into a building that's on fire. Teach children that fire damage cleanup is not their responsibility.
There are many resources available for kids safety practices and fire prevention habits. If you talk with fire and smoke damage remediation professionals about fire cleanup, ask them for further advice. Consistently review the three Ps of fire safety to protect your family from harm.

The Benefits of Combining Remediation and Restoration Into the Same Process

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

Your insurance adjuster assesses the damage to your building to see how much the insurance company pays

Benefits of Using the Same Company for Remediation and Restoration

When your commercial building in Derby, KS, sustains fire damage, certified remediation experts are your best option for fixing it. Do you need to call another company to rebuild the parts that are destroyed, though? Here are some benefits of using the same company for both remediation and restoration.

Convenience

After a fire emergency, you have a lot of responsibilities:

  • Ensure everyone is accounted for
  • Call insurance company
  • Arrange for repairs
  • Implement your business continuity plan

Why add one more phone call to the list? By combining remediation and restoration into one process tackled by one team, you save yourself the time of vetting two different companies to do work that can be handled by one.

Information

Your insurance adjuster assesses the damage to your building to see how much the insurance company pays. Mitigation and restoration experts can provide a list of costs, but those services sometimes overlap, making it seem like the insurance company is being charged twice for some of the same tasks. Having one company that can itemize a list of both repairs and restoration expenses streamlines the information-gathering process by eliminating this overlap, making your fire damage claim process smoother.

Communication

When fire mitigation and building restoration are completed by the same team, communication tends to be stronger. The restoration experts know exactly what happened during the remediation process. Either they were either there when it happened, or they can easily obtain access to the records of the process details. The team putting up new walls and ceilings in your building doesn't have to guess which materials were repaired and which they need to replace when they are the ones who did the job.
Complete fire damage repair starts with assessment and doesn't end until your building looks as good as it did before the fire. To make this process go as smoothly as possible, it is a good idea to use the same company from start to finish.

3 Ways Lightning Can Affect Your Home

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Roof fire at strike point

3 Ways Lightning Can Affect Your Home

Many homes in Topeka, KS, are not protected from lightning strikes. While lightning systems are effective, they are expensive to install and protect against a problem that is fairly unlikely to occur. If your home is struck, however, a lightning fire can ignite. Here are some possible outcomes of a direct strike on your home.

Fire

Fire damage is the biggest danger you risk from a lightning strike. A jolt can cause a house fire in several ways:

  • Roof or attic fire at strike point
  • Flammable materials along path of current
  • Burned wires or circuits

You are likely to need fire damage cleanup if your home is struck during a thunderstorm. Lightning looks for the quickest path to the ground. Unfortunately, your home may be the path it chooses.

Shock

Thunder is evidence of shock waves produced by lightning. In addition to a lightning fire, a storm can cause waves that fracture your foundation, bricks or chimney and shatter your windows. The debris that flies around as a result of this shock can cause secondary damage.

Surge

If your electrical system is affected by the lightning strike, any connected equipment or appliances may be damaged by the subsequent power surge. Sensitive electronics cannot withstand the surge and will likely be fried, perhaps even beyond the help of fire cleanup professionals.

Injury

Lightning can compromise your safety even if you are inside your home. If it strikes your house while you are touching a connected electrical advice or water out of the plumbing system, you could be injured. Therefore, when there are thunderstorms in your area, you should avoid using corded phones and computers or showering, washing dishes or doing laundry.

If your home is struck during a thunderstorm, your home may be affected. Lightning fire, shock, power surges and injury are all problems that could occur if lightning strikes your house.

5 Tips for Preventing Kitchen Fires

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage can result from Grease Fire.

It may not come as a surprise to learn that the kitchen is the most likely starting point of a home fire. While a grease fire is something many people worry about in Wichita, Kansas there are numerous potential causes of disaster. Fire damage can result from lack of attention, poor preparation or honest, everyday mistakes.

Five tips to keep your food-preparation area safer.

1. Where There’s Smoke…

There’s a reason firefighters and fire recovery professionals constantly discuss the importance of smoke detectors, and that’s because they save lives. Make sure you have an alarm installed near the kitchen; check and replace batteries as recommended by the manufacturer.

2. Wear It Right

It’s easy to forget how dangerous cooking can be, but exposed flames and hot surfaces can cause major problems. For this reason, it’s important keep clothes and other such items in mind:

  • Don’t wear loose, long sleeves or other clothing that could come into contact with heat sources.
  • Ensure curtains won’t interfere with cooking surfaces, even with windows open.
  • Store potholders, aprons and other cloth items safely away from heat-generating appliances.

3. Wash Regularly

Keeping your cooking surfaces clean is more important than you might think. Greasy buildup is a potential fire risk, so make sure to clean thoroughly and on a routine basis.

4. Watch the Clock 

The simplest tips are the most important ones to remember: use timers, monitor heated appliances properly and always double-check to ensure that everything’s turned off before going to sleep at night.

5. Work-Area Control 

You never want too many cooks in the kitchen, nor do you want rambunctious youngsters running around near sources of heat. Establish a three-foot space around any cooking area, and make sure kids stay clear.

Preventing fire damage in Wichita, KS is largely about planning, especially when it comes to the kitchen. Mitigate your risk of a grease fire or other such disaster by following these handy tips when it’s time to prepare your food-prep area. 

What to Know About What Fire Insurance May Not Cover

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

It is important to reach out to your insurance agent in Topeka, KS and know what exactly is included

What to Know About What Fire Insurance May Not Cover

If you’ve been through a home fire in Topeka, KS, then you may be worried about what your insurance policy will cover. In most cases insurance policies will cover fire damage and restoration. However, if the home is vacant, or the fire was started intentionally, you could be out of luck. Here’s what you should know.

1. About Vacant Home Fires

Insurance companies may not cover a vacant home fire. This is often determined by if no one has lived in the house in over a month. There is good news though. Many insurance companies offer a separate vacant home insurance policy for just this type of scenario. If you have a seasonal home, or will otherwise be away for a long period of time, you can purchase one of these plans to help ensure your home is covered.

2. About Intentionally Started Fires

An intentionally started home fire is also known as arson. This is a type of insurance fraud that insurance companies take very seriously. In many cases when you make a fire claim for your home your insurance company will arrange for an investigator to determine the fire source. Once it’s determined that the fire was accidental, the insurance company can begin processing the claim.

3. About What May Be Covered

If your house fire does not fall under one of the above categories, odds are the plan will cover the damage. Your insurance agent can tell you what’s in your plan and help you take the necessary steps for restoration. In some cases, they may even be able to recommend a fire damage professional to help with cleanup and repairs.

Unless the home was vacant or the fire started intentionally, your home fire should be covered by your policy. It’s important to talk to your agent about what exactly is included, and follow any recommended steps they may have for you.

Fire Safety: How To Teach Your Kids

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

Your kids safety is everything

Fire Safety: How To Teach Your Kids

Parents don’t want to burst their child’s bubble about invincibility, but your kids safety is always a top priority. When children reach a certain age, they are capable of learning disaster safety, to protect themselves if no one else can. Fires are dangerous and intimidating, and if unprepared, fire escape can be impossible. Therefore, it is vital that your children learn the basics as soon as possible.

1. The Bed Roll and Fire Crawl

A home fire can move fast. For that reason, the first lessons you should teach your child are the bed roll and the fire crawl. The bed roll is performed by rolling to the edge of your bed, bracing yourself, and gently sliding to the floor. The fire crawl can be completed in two ways. The first is a basic crawl, like a dog, but if the heat is too much to keep your rear end in the air, drop into an army crawl position, keeping your entire body as low as possible.

2. Checking Doors

To ensure your kids safety make sure they know how to check doors. Using the back of your hand, feel the door, not the doorknob. If the door is hot to the touch, do not open it. If it is warm, then press your shoulder into the door and open it slightly to locate the fire. If you have a clear path outside, run.

3. Escape or Hunker Down

Every room in your home should have at least two potential exits, and you can call a fire remediation specialist in the Topeka, KS, area to help you make a plan. Practice these routes with your children at least once a month. During a fire, if they can escape, it is crucial that they don’t hesitate. Also, it is vital that they stay outside. If escape is not possible, they should stay near a window and even open it slightly to get fresh air.

Your kids safety is everything. While every parent likes to think that they will always be there to protect their child, sometimes your child will have to protect themselves. Help them learn and prepare.

Tips for Partial Loss After a Commercial Fire

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage in Topeka, KS

Devastatingly, your business in Topeka, KS, catches on fire. You are ecstatic to find out that the building is not a total loss. In a partial fire loss, fire and smoke damage do not completely destroy the property. When this occurs, what are your responsibilities as the owner? What happens next?

Business Owner Responsibilities

After a partial loss transpires, know what to do. Consider the following tips:

  • File a claim with your commercial insurance agent as soon as possible after the fire loss. Photograph and document all water, fire and smoke damage before the insurance adjustor assesses the loss.
  • Insurance companies typically cover costs to achieve a consistent, uniform look. This means that partially damaged materials, such as roofing or siding, must be matched to the non-damaged areas or replaced entirely.
  • Advocate for yourself and your business if the insurance adjustor does not consider your partial loss case a priority.
  • Contact a professional fire restoration specialist immediately. A delay in beginning the cleanup process risks secondary damage. Water damage from firefighting efforts can spread and lead to mold growth in as little as two days.

Fire Restoration Steps

Once you have done your part, the cleanup and restoration process begins. Know what to expect next:

  • The fire restoration company typically arrives within hours to properly and thoroughly assess the damage. A detailed inspection commonly includes all building structures and systems. This consists of evaluating the siding, roofing, foundation, walls and windows. Plumbing and electrical systems are checked as well. Drywall may require removal to investigate water damage in the walls and insulation.
  • Your building may be boarded up or tarped to increase security and prevent further damage from the weather.
  • If present, excess water is drained with vacuums and pumps. Professional grade equipment cleans smoke and soot from structures, contents and the air.

Even though your commercial property only suffered a partial fire loss in Topeka, KS, you must still act quickly. Immediately contact your insurance agent and a restoration specialist to return your business to pre-fire condition.

3 Tips for Space Heater Safety

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Follow the above safety tips at your home in Wichita, KS, to avoid a burned space heater.

Freezing air outside in Wichita, KS, makes you long for a warm, toasty atmosphere inside of your home. Warming yourself near a space heater feels good, but is it a smart choice? A burned space heater is one of the top causes of residential fires, particularly during the winter months. Learn how to safely use a space heater by following the three tips below.

1. What Kind To Buy

Space heaters come with options for safety features, such as an automatic shutoff if the unit overheats or tips over. Look for an independent safety certification label, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Ensure the appliance has a sturdy cord that is at least 6 feet in length.

2. Where To Place It

Place the heater on a hard surface, such as the floor. Do not place it in a child’s bedroom or play area or in a garage where incendiary materials are stored. Use the 3-foot distance rule for children, pets, walls, bedding, curtains and furniture. Allow this distance from flammable fabrics to prevent a burned space heater from setting fire to your home.

3. How To Care for It

Plug the heating unit into its own outlet to avoid overheating. Never use an extension cord or place the appliance near water. When you retire to bed for the evening or leave the room, even for a few minutes, turn off the space heater. Remove it from the outlet by holding the plug, never the cord. If the cord is damaged, discontinue use. If the unit has filters, change them regularly.

Follow the above safety tips at your home in Wichita, KS, to avoid a burned space heater. Always remember to practice general fire safety as well. Install and maintain at least one functioning smoke detector at every level of your house, especially near the bedrooms and kitchen. Have an escape plan in case of a fire. If a fire occurs, execute your plan to get your family to safety. For soot and smoke cleanup, contact a fire restoration specialist.  For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestwichita.com/.

6 Tips To Reduce Fire Hazards in the Kitchen

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire safety is important for your family, so use these tips.

The fire department often responds to kitchen fires in Wichita, KS, so it’s wise to take simple precautions to reduce fire hazards in your home. Here are tips to keep your home safe from kitchen fires.

1. Organize Your Kitchen With Safety in Mind

Anything that might catch fire should be kept away from your stovetop. Keep a baking sheet or pan lid nearby to cover a pan if there is fire. Turn pot handles so they point to the rear of the stove as this will minimize the chance that someone might knock them over.

2. Stay in the Kitchen While Cooking

Unattended cooking is by far the leading cause of kitchen fires. Stay in the kitchen whenever you are grilling, frying or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off and move your pots and pans off the heat because a grease fire is a danger.

3. Dress Safely While Cooking

Loose clothing can catch fire from a gas flame or electric burner. When cooking, wear short sleeves or rolled sleeves. If you have long hair, tie it back.

4. Remember To Turn Everything Off

Turn ovens or burners off after cooking. Other kitchen fire safety tips are to clean up food spills, grease or anything that could catch fire. Be careful when lighting the burner on a gas stove or a pilot light. Don’t put too much oil or grease in pots or pans as hot oil or grease might splatter and cause a grease fire.

5. Install a Smoke Alarm Near the Kitchen

Be sure you have a smoke alarm installed near the kitchen, but not in it. You don’t want cooking smoke or steam to trigger the alarm. Change the batteries every six months.

6. Install a Home Sprinkler System

A sprinkler system will provide protection for your home. If you are renovating or building, consider installing a sprinkler in the kitchen, the area of your home with the greatest fire risk.

Kitchen fire safety is important for your family, so use these tips. Contact a restoration specialist for help if you have kitchen fire damage. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestwichita.com/. 

How To Clean Your Chimney and Avoid Chimney Fires

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

If you have a chimney in your Wichita, AL home, it’s imperative to keep it clean and in good working order if you want to reduce the risk of chimney fire and keep your family safe. Here are a few steps you can follow to clean your chimney and avoid thick black smoke and chimney fires.

1. Determine If You Can Clean It Yourself

Before you can effectively clean your chimney, you need to make sure you have the ability to do the job yourself. One easy way to tell if it’s an appropriate DIY project or if you should hire professionals is by checking to see if you can reach all parts of the chimney either from inside your home or from your roof. Creosote buildup causes fire damage, so you need to be able to remove it from every part of your chimney.

If you can reach the smoke chamber from inside your home and have the tools necessary to clean the flue efficiently, you may be able to clean your chimney yourself. If you have any trouble reaching all areas of the chimney, it’s wise to hire a professional. If the flue isn’t cleaned properly, the risk of a chimney fire goes up.

2. Minimize Mess

Cleaning a fireplace is messy business. To keep your carpets and furniture protected, put a canvas tarp or plastic paint sheet on the floor around your fireplace.

3. Brush the Flue

Use a large chimney brush to thoroughly clean the flue. Simply ram the brush into the flu and pump it up and down several times, working in small sections.

Take Care of Your Chimney

If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning your own chimney, there’s no shame in hiring professionals to do it for you. That way you’ll have greater confidence that your risk of chimney fire is severely reduced. If you’ve already had smoke damage due to burning fires in an unclean chimney, call professional smoke and fire restoration services. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on fire damage. 

What Needs To Be Thrown Away After a House Fire?

12/7/2017 (Permalink)

What Needs To Be Thrown Away After a House Fire?

Few things can wreak havoc on your home like a fire. If your home in Wichita, KS has been devastated by smoke or flames, it can be difficult to know what is safe to keep and what you’ll need to throw away. Here are some tips to help get you started.

Watch for Things Damaged by High Heat

Even items not ruined by flames can be rendered unusable and even dangerous by the high heat of the fire. Food products in cans, bottles or packages can be unhealthy to consume after a fire. The high temperatures can not only affect the ingredients of the food but also the pressure levels inside the containers. Opening pressurized containers can result in small explosions and may physically harm you. Other items may cause injury although they appear fine:

Cosmetics
Medicines
Hair products
Contact lenses

Take Special Precautions With Anything Electrical

Both large and small electrical appliances can be affected by a house fire and you may need to throw away more than a few. Anything with a power cord can sustain wire damage from heat and flames. Connecting an appliance to a power source or turning on appliances already plugged in can cause damaged wires to flare up and electrocute you or burst into flames. These are some items to pay special attention to:

Phone chargers
Computers
Dishwashers
Coffee makers
Vacuum cleaners

Look for Warped Furniture

Heat can warp and damage both wood and metal, making seemingly unaffected furniture items structurally unsound. Test any load-bearing furniture to make sure it is stable before setting anything on it. Items like the following can collapse or buckle under only a small amount of weight if they have been warped:

Bed frames
Couches and chairs
Tables
Dressers

Fire damage to your home in Wichita, Kansas is never easy to deal with, and it can be physically and emotionally draining. Although it might be tempting to try to salvage everything you can, sometimes it is safer to err on the side of caution and follow the advice of fire restoration experts when deciding what you need to throw away. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on fire damage.

Deep Frying a Turkey Safely Outdoors

12/7/2017 (Permalink)

Deep Frying a Turkey Safely Outdoors

Each year, turkey fire incidents keep restoration professionals busy around the holidays. Damage is often due to preparation gone awry, particularly when deep frying. Fire safety is a crucial must in Wichita, KS. If you’re going for that deep-fried flavor this season, be sure to keep these helpful hints in mind for best results.

Fresh or Frozen

Unless you’re using a fresh turkey or the packaging instructs otherwise, you’ll need to thaw your bird before cooking it. Most people consider thawing in the refrigerator the best method. It requires a day in the icebox for every four pounds of weight, so plan accordingly.

Initial Preparation

After unwrapping the turkey, remove excess fats, giblets and the neck. Add oil to your fryer, leaving approximately 5 inches between the fill line and pot top so it won’t spill over when boiling. Oil should be preheated to a temperature of 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Determine your fill line by placing your thawed turkey in the fryer and adding water until the top of the bird is just barely covered; the water level will act as your oil fill line.

Safety Focus

Avoiding the possibility of a turkey fire is about preparation and working safely. Set up your fryer outside the home and at least 10 feet away from any enclosed or covered space, such as the garage. When lowering the bird into the heated oil, do so slowly and with the burner turned off. Once everything’s settled, turn the burner back on again.

Timing Is Everything

Cook for 3–4 minutes for each pound of meat. Dark meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of 175–180 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas white meat requires temperatures within the range of 165–170 degrees Fahrenheit. Slowly remove the turkey when cooking’s complete, and let it rest for 20 minutes in a clean pan so it can drain.

Fire safety is everyone’s responsibility, so make sure to prepare the right way. Steer clear of the turkey fire risk this year with these simple tips, and you’ll be sure to enjoy great deep-fried flavor this holiday. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on fire damage.

How To Cook Safely and Reduce Fire Risks

12/7/2017 (Permalink)

How To Cook Safely and Reduce Fire Risks

The National Fire Protection Association states that cooking mishaps are the leading cause of home fires and injuries, with 46 percent of those blazes starting at the stove. Cooking fires also account for 44 percent of home fire injuries and cause extensive damage to the entire property. You can avoid becoming another home fire statistic in Wichita, Kansas with a few simple precautions. Here are some tips for cooking at home safely.

Pay Attention

If you are roasting, baking, boiling, or simmering food for a long period of time, don’t leave your home. It’s a bad idea to leave the kitchen while you are broiling, grilling, or frying food, but if you must turn your attention away from the stove, turn off the burner. Don’t cook if you have consumed alcohol or feel tired.

Keep the Area Safe

Following these simple kitchen safety tips can help reduce fires:

Have a 3-feet “kid free” zone around the stove.
Keep towels, oven mitts, curtains, and other combustibles away from the stove.
Keep pot handles turned to the back of the stove top.
Don’t wear clothing with loose, flowing sleeves.

Be Prepared

You can stop a small grease fire by sliding a lid over the pan. Immediately remove the pan from the stove and turn the heat source off. Never use water on a fire that was started by grease. Doing so will spread the fire.

If an oven fire erupts, turn off the oven and leave the door closed until the blaze stops burning. If you don’t feel that you can put out a small fire, leave immediately, close the door, and call 911.

The holidays are the most dangerous time of year to cook. More cooking fires happen on Thanksgiving Day, followed by Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Remember to follow the above tips, and don’t become distracted by the hustle and bustle of the season. If the worst does happen, there are professional fire damage cleaners in Wichita, Kansas who are ready to help. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on fire damage.

The Importance of Fire Damage Restoration

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

The Importance of Fire Damage Restoration

Did you suffer commercial fire damage or residential fire damage? Whether the cause was an electrical fire or a utility room fire, a fire restoration company will be able to help you deal with the soot damage and smoke damage. In addition, they will be able to clean up the water damage that was caused when the fire sprinkler system or fire suppression system was activated (or by the water from the fire hose and fire truck, if firefighters came). It is important to call them as soon as possible, because the fire damage or commercial fire damage can get worse if not dealt with right away.

The first thing the fire restoration company will do is walk around your building and find out how much fire damage or commercial fire damage occurred. They will look at the cause of the electrical fire or the utility room fire. They will assess the extent of the water damage caused by the fire hose, fire truck, firefighters, fire sprinkler system, or fire suppression system. They will create a plan on how to start the fire restoration process.

The first step will likely be sealing up any openings and holes caused the fire. These holes may let in additional water when it rains. Birds and animals may come in. In addition, your home is not safe with so many openings. They may board them up with wood, or they may seal them with tarps.

Next, they will start the cleanup process. This starts with removing the water that was caused by the fire sprinkler system, fire suppression system, or the fire hose on the fire truck that the firefighters used. They will use special pumps that can remove the water from your home. Water and moisture will probably have seeped deep into your walls, ceiling, and furniture. They will use special equipment to detect hidden moisture and clean out your home until it is entirely dry.

The cleanup process also involves repairing the soot damage and the smoke damage. Soot damage and smoke damage causes your home and furniture to get blackened with soot and ashes. It also causes your home to have a bad odor. Using special tools, the fire restoration company can clean up all the soot and remove the bad odor from your home. They may have to clean some rugs and carpets, or they may have to throw them out and replace them.

During the process, they will likely remove your furniture. If possible, they will clean them and return them to you. If they can not be cleaned, they will advise you about the safety of using them and how to replace them.

Next comes the restoration process. Even if your home is clean and has no water, soot, or smoke, it still will not yet be suitable to live in. Commercial fire damage and residential fire damage often causes severe structural problems. This includes ruined walls, ceilings, floors, and more. The fire restoration company will repair whatever they can. If they cannot repair something, they will replace it for you. They may install new planks in your walls. They may install new tiles on your ceiling or floor. They may repaint your entire home; the previous painting will probably have been ruined by all the soot damage and smoke damage. In short, they will restore your home to its beauty and safety, like it was before the damage occurred. They may even renovate your home. This means that your home may even look nicer than the way it was before the fire damage occurred.

They will also advise you how to prevent future fires. They will give you safety tips that will ensure that you don't suffer another electrical fire or utility room fire. If the cause of the fire was not an electrical fire or utility room fire, they will give you tips on how to avoid repeating whatever did cause the fire. They will also help you replace and update your fire sprinkler system and fire suppression system. This is important, even if the firefighters came with a fire truck and fire hose, because next time they may not come in time.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on fire damage.