Recent Fire Damage Posts

Grilling Up Goodness With Safety

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

Apropane grill sitting in a yard with a wooden fence and the SERVPRO logo. Enjoy those barbecues and remember that SERVPRO of Marshall County is #HereToHelp.

It’s warming up outside and we all know what that means….it’s time for all the barbecues to get fired up. May is actually National Barbecue Month, but before we all run out to start up light that charcoal or propane, remember to be safe and take the proper precautions.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration states about 5,700 fires start on residential property each year from grills. The majority of these fires are caused by malfunctioning gas grills. Grill related fires cause an annual average of $37 million in damage, 100 injuries and 10 fatalities.

Remember that grills (both charcoal and propane) should only be used outside away from structures, foliage and other flammable materials. Be aware of what hangs over your grill as well. A grill should never be left unattended once it has been lit, especially if there are children or pets around. A 3-5 foot perimeter should be kept around the grill by all who are not cooking. These precautions can prevent personal injuries and fires. Wildfires and home fires can be caused by coals not being disposed of correctly after they have cooled.

When using propane grills, check that the propane tank and the hoses are in good working condition with no holes or leaks. Check out this video from the NFPA on how to check your gas grill for leaks.  

Follow these safety tips from the NFPA and enjoy the tasty treats your cook on your barbecue grill. SERVPRO is always #HereToHelp should you experience a grilling related fire (or any other fire).

Sources: 

https://www.nfpa.org

Wildfires

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

A wild fire burning with the SERVPRO logo. May is National Wildfire Awareness Month, are you prepared?

May is National Wildfire Awareness Month, which focuses on prevention and preparedness. Now let me guess, when we say wildfires your brain automatically thinks of places out West. California, Colorado, Arizona and Montana tend to come to mind. Everyone remembers the wildfires in California last year that seemed like they would never end. 

Most people around here don’t think wildfires are that prevalent in the Southeast, but according to Facts + Statistics: Wildfires , but North Carolina and Georgia rank in the top 10 for wildfires ranked by the number of fires and the number of acres burned for 2019. Alabama had 1,107 wildfires last year with over 22,000 acres burned. What steps should you take to prevent wildfires? Well, it’s like Smokey the Bear says “Only you can prevent forest fires”. 

According to the National Park Service     , 85 percent of wildfires are caused by humans. Unattended campfires, cigarettes, burning debris, and arson are some of the top human-caused situations that lead to wildfires. Natural events such as lightning and volcanic eruptions can also result in wildfires.

Each person can play a part in reducing the number of wildfires by adhering to the following:

  • If you see an unattended fire, report it to the proper authorities.
  • Ensure campfires and/or fire pits are fully extinguished when you are done using them or leaving the vicinity and can no longer watch the fire.
  • Lit cigarettes should never be thrown out on the ground, especially from a moving car.
  • Before lighting a fire, call the proper authorities to check if your area is under a burn ban.
  • Exercise caution when handling flammable liquids such as gasoline or propane.
  • Fireworks should only be used in open areas free from debris and trees and only if there is no ordinance prohibiting their use.

If a wildfire occurs near you, stay alert to safety and evacuation ordinances. Ensure your route to safety is clear and that family and friends know where you are going. If you become trapped, call 9-1-1.

Talk to your insurance agent today to make sure you are covered in the event a wildfire damages your home or business. 

To track current wildfires in Alabama, check out the Alabama Forestry Commission.

Fire Damage and Precious Contents

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

A cow cookie jar cleaned after a fire damage. This cow cookie jar was a sentimental item we were happy to return to the customer soot free.

Two months ago we were called out to a fire damage in Marshall County. Unfortunately there wasn’t much we could do for the customers. Firefighters had worked hard to extinguish the flames, but the words “total loss” were being used. They were devastated. 

We discussed what options they had and signed them up for services. With great care we packed up what items could be salvaged. All non-salvageable items were cataloged so it could be turned into their insurance company. The items we could work with were brought to our shop and cleaned. Our ladies in the warehouse worked diligently to remove the black soot from the sentimental items this family had left. 

One of the precious items we cleaned for them was a cow cookie jar that had been a gift from a loved one. Another was a beautiful glass angel. The homeowners were so happy to have even these few items left after their tragic fire. 

Smoke Alarms & Public Awareness

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives. Test your smoke alarms monthly.

We have all been there. You are cooking in the kitchen and whatever you are cooking (usually bacon in my house) makes a little smoke and suddenly you are cooking to the annoying and incessant beeping of the smoke alarm. You or another member of your house is trying to fan the alarm and open windows to allow the smoke to escape. Some people even take the batteries out of the smoke alarms, but this is not advised.  

Smoke alarms save lives and that is a fact. Here are a few other facts about smoke alarms that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) use for educating the public on fire safety and smoke alarms.

-Keep the doors to bedrooms closed when you are sleeping. It could slow the progress of the flames during a fire as well as the smoke. But this means that each bedroom inside of each bedroom in your home as well as outside these rooms.

-Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When on sounds the others should sound as well.

-Smoke alarms need to be tested monthly to ensure the batteries and smoke alarm are still working properly.

-Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.

For more information visit NFPA.org.

In the event of a fire, call SERVPRO of Marshall County once the fire trucks are gone.

Escape Plan and Fire Safety

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

Do you have a plan in the event of a fire?

As a kid I remember Smokey the Bear coming to my school and talking about “Only you can prevent forest fires” and fire safety. The fire drills at school where everyone lined up and went outside away from the building. The fire department would come and talk to us. They taught us to stop, drop and roll. And now my kids are learning fire safety at school with Sparky the Fire Dog.

Fire safety is an important subject to remember as adults and to pass on to the younger ones. One of the most important things you can do for fire safety at home (after installing and checking for working smoke detectors) is to create a fire escape plan. How will each person in your home get out in the event of a fire? What if you planned path is blocked by fire, does each person know an alternate route? Do you have a place to meet outside the home? Each person should know these things and the fire drill should be practiced (just like at school).

At work, you should have a picture of the building with emergency exits and evacuation routes indicated. Why not do this for your home? A visual reminder could be helpful to everyone.

Commercial Fire Damage

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial fire damage.

Recently we received a call from a local commercial property. They had suffered a fire damage in their office area. We routed crew to their location. 

The damage from the fire itself was not very severe. But the soot. Oh, the soot. It was everywhere. The walls and floor were black with it. The filing cabinets were balack and the contents of those cabinets were covered in soot as well. 

Rooms that had not been affected by the fire becuase the door had been closed were in fact affected. The air conditioner had been left running and that allowed the soot from the main room to be dispursed throughout the offices. 

We set up equipment to clean the air and set to work cleaning. We cleaned each surface in each office (walls, floors, ceiling, desks, shelves, etc.). the files in the filing cabiniets were packed up and moved to an offsite facility where we cleaned each file to remove the soot. 

House Fires

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

We are here to help.

My name is Lorin and I am the marketing support coordinator (MSC) here for the Lamey Team at SERVPRO of Marshall County. I have been with the company for just over a year. Most people don't know this about me, but I was on a volunteer fire department several years ago. I have seen first hand the damage a fire can cause and the devastation it causes the family. 

House fires are caused by a number of things, such as lightening, brush fires, electrical shorts, candles, fireplaces, heaters and more. Fire damage is often doubled wih water damage due to the fire fighters efforts to extingush the flames. 

Home fires are dangerous. The best precautions to take are having a plan in case of emergencies and having working smoke detectors in the home. A plan needs to be in place of how each person will get out of the house and where to meet in the event of a fire.

Fire is fast and deadly. The smoke is just as dangerous as the flames. Once you are outside of your home during a fire, NEVER re-enter the home. The smoke will make it hard to see and breathe. Wait for the fire department to do what they are there to do. 

Should you experience a fire damage, give us a call. We are #HereToHelp.

Wildfires

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Wildfires rage all across the country more often than we know about.

If you watch the news it seems like the West coast of the United States is always suffering from wildfires and it seems like it is so far away from us. However, wildfires can happen in our area just as easily (and often do on a smaller scale) and can cause severe damage. These fires cost the government significant amounts of money each year.

Many wildfires are caused by human error or are intentionally set. Campfires should always be set up away from trees and belongings. Make sure water and sand are kept close by to put the fire out. Never leave a fire unattended.

Wildfires can also be caused by lightening. The image of a bright lightening bolt flashing from the sky above to the ground can be intriguing to look at, but very dangerous. People, houses, and cars can be hit by these and suffer severe damage. Lightening that strikes the ground has the potential to spark a fire which could quickly grow out of control.

For more information on wildfires visit https://www.ready.gov/wildfires.

We Are Growing

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

A look at the new van.

Recently the Lamey Team at SERVPRO of Marshall County purchesed a new vehicle to better be able to support our growing amount of work. I'm sure most of you have noticed one of our vehicles out and about because let's face it, the green stands out. 

The day the new van showed up at the shop the crew members were walking through asking who got to drive the new van (and it wasn't even painted yet). Chris Mount ended up being the luck crew chief picked to drive this vehicle. 

Since we had it painted and branded it all of the SERVPRO decals and it rolled out of the parking lot for it's first job it has seen a fire and multiple water damages. 

The Behaviors of Smoke

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

The Behaviors of Smoke

The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior 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.

SERVPRO of Marshall County are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Anniston will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows us to focus on saving your precious items.

We know smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Our knowledge of building systems helps our crews investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke.

  • 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.

SERVPRO of Marshall County is trained to handle even the toughest losses. If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact us to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Smoke Alarms Are LIFE SAVERS

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives.

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level, including the basement. Extra smoke alarms may be needed in large homes.

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA). If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross. Be sure your home has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills with your family. For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact us today!

American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Each year, the Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters, the vast majority of which are home fires. So we set a goal to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries in the US by 25%.

On average:

  • 7 people die every day from a home fire, most impacting children and the elderly
  • 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day
  • Over $7 billion in property damage occurs every year

Every day, seven people die in home fires, most in homes that lack working smoke alarms. Sadly, children and the elderly disproportionately lose their lives. The American Red Cross wants to improve the odds and save lives- that’s why we launched our Home Fire Campaign in 2014.

A critical part of the campaign is Sound the Alarm, a series of home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events across the country. Together with fire departments and other community partners, Red Cross volunteers:

  • Canvass at-risk neighborhoods
  • Install free smoke alarms
  • Replace batteries in existing alarms
  • Provide fire prevention and safety education

 

In just three years, our home visits have accomplished so much, including the installation of more than 1 million smoke alarms and preparing more than 1 million people against home fires.

Join us on a Sound the Alarm home visit in your community, where teams of volunteers will be installing 100,000 free smoke alarms in more than 100 cities across the U.S. Together, we can save lives!

Check out www.redcross.org/sound-the-alarm for more information and how to help in YOUR community!!

BOARD-UPS

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

What would you do if...

You receive a call from a client today with a fire loss?

You have a fire loss on one of your properties?

You have a fire at your own personal property?

Some statistics...

Fire claims spike during the months of November - February.

On average, Fire causes over $12.4 billion in property damage annualy.

Top 5 Causes of Fire loss:
Cooking equipment
Heating equipment
Intentional
Electrical distribution & lighting equipment
Smoking materials

After the fire is out...

You need a company "Like SERVPRO"
Industry research from 2016 by Buntin Group found that SERVPRO Brand is becoming synonymous with the services provided!

Why not a Contractor?

Mitigate, clean, & restore FIRST! Then repair and rebuild.

SERVPRO of Birmingham can handle it all -One Stop Shop.

By the way...

WE DO BOARDUP!
Many times, the home or building must be secured immediately BEFORE anything else.

Did you know?

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Residues (such as burning plastics or the soot from furnace disorders) form long chains of ionized smoke particles that assemble in corners or at junctions of walls and ceilings which are called smoke webs!

The picture is from a fire damage that our large loss division assisted with out of state. The building had 35,000 square feet that was affected, it took our team a few weeks to completely clean the facility. 

Does your business have a plan? Check out these tips:

Protect your people : Your employees are your most important business asset. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.

  • Fire Plans: Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol. 
  • Evacuation Plan: In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs. 
  • First Aid: In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most-such as in the kitchen.

https://www.statefarm.com/simple-insights/planning/3-business-fire-prevention-tips

Home Fire Campaign

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

 

Each year, the Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters, the vast majority of which are home fires. So we set a goal to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries in the US by 25%.

On average:

  • 7 people die every day from a home fire, most impacting children and the elderly
  • 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day
  • Over $7 billion in property damage occurs every year

Every day, seven people die in home fires, most in homes that lack working smoke alarms. Sadly, children and the elderly disproportionately lose their lives. The American Red Cross wants to improve the odds and save lives- that’s why we launched our Home Fire Campaign in 2014.

A critical part of the campaign is Sound the Alarm, a series of home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events across the country. Together with fire departments and other community partners, Red Cross volunteers:

  • Canvass at-risk neighborhoods
  • Install free smoke alarms
  • Replace batteries in existing alarms
  • Provide fire prevention and safety education

 

In just three years, our home visits have accomplished so much, including the installation of more than 1 million smoke alarms and preparing more than 1 million people against home fires.

Join us April 28 through May 13 on a Sound the Alarm home visit in your community, where teams of volunteers will be installing 100,000 free smoke alarms in more than 100 cities across the U.S. Together, we can save lives!

Check out www.redcross.org/sound-the-alarm for more information and how to help in YOUR community!!