Recent Fire Damage Posts

Prepare Your Business Before a Fire

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

Testing a smoke alarm Every month test the smoke alarms from your building

Any office, even one in Marathon, FL, needs to be prepared in case of a building fire. Creating a fire escape plan is a critical action step in minimizing potential disaster, and making just a few easy safety checks can also greatly reduce one’s legal liability.

What To Do

As recommended by the American Red Cross, here is a select list of steps all businesses should carefully execute before calamity strikes and they need the help of fire damage restoration services.

1. Install and check all smoke alarms. Test them every month and be certain batteries have not expired. Place them in strategic locations so it will be impossible for employees on any floor to not hear them. Note: Smoke alarms can double your chance of survival.
2. Fire extinguishers and other equipment, like axes or flashlights, should be placed in easily accessible areas. Take time to consider where best to store these items.
3. Make certain that fire escape plan information is posted in conveniently readable, key locations and clearly communicate with staff regarding proper fire emergency protocol.
4. Hire a professional to check electrical systems for potential trouble spots. Pay extra attention to common dining areas, as most fires start in kitchens. Microwaves can be particularly dangerous.
5. Know your routes. Map out exit plans from every area of your building. All employees should know at least two paths leading outside.
6. Designate a proper meeting spot (or more, if necessary) where head counts can be taken.
7. Run impromptu practice drills of your emergency escape plan at least twice a year. Never let anyone back into the building until all safety requirements have been completed.

What To Remember
Maintaining an effective fire escape plan and taking preventative measures will always remain a primary responsibility for any commercial entity. Failure to do so could have serious ramifications, so it is incumbent upon companies to take all reasonable precautions before anything happens. Don’t leave anything to chance.

Check Out These Great – and Safe - Alternatives to Candles

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

Oil diffuser There are excellent candle alternatives available

Check Out These Great – and Safe - Alternatives to Candles

Candles are an ancient method of providing light, heat, and ambiance to a room. Modern candles also often create a pleasant aroma, which may be natural – such as the case with beeswax – or may be an added element to the wax.
Of course, they also have a profoundly serious downside: they’re really dangerous! According to the National Fire Protection Association, candles were responsible for 7,900 home fires between 2013 and 2017. The average annual cost of these fires is staggering:

  • 80 deaths
  • 720 injuries
  • $268 million

You can bet that each person who lost a home believed that a candle fire wouldn’t happen to them! Fortunately, there are excellent candle alternatives available.

It’s Hard to Give Up Candles
Candles are perhaps the ideal combination of technology and primal need. Candles (mostly) tame fire, bringing it inside and connecting humans to their deepest past.
Candles add a sense of relaxation and intimacy to a room. The natural flickering seems to trigger something inside the brain that it finds comfortable. They can transform an ordinary space to something with an edge of mystery – or at least a touch of magic. If only they weren’t so dangerous!

Great New Candle Alternatives Are Now Available
Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, there are good options available. If you’re only trying to get the wonderful aroma of a scented candle, an oil diffuser is ideal. It’s cheaper in the long run than candles, is flameless, and offers a wide variety of scents. Reed diffusers also work for aromatherapy.
Flameless candles are exceedingly popular candle alternatives. They use a fake flame to lend a candle-like visual ambiance to a room. Wax warmers are also quite popular. Some will hold traditional scented candles and warm the wax enough to release their aroma without a flame. Others use scented wax made specifically for them.
Hopefully, you’ll never experience fire from candles. If you do, you’ll need a licensed fire damage restoration company with years of experience cleaning up smoke damage in Key Largo, FL. SERVPRO is Faster to Any Size Disaster.

4 Steps to Steam Cleaning Your Microwave with Vinegar

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

Closeup of hand in protective glove wiping rag microwave. View from the interior of the oven Grab a microfiber cloth and begin wiping down the inside of your appliance

4 Steps to Steam Cleaning Your Microwave with Vinegar

Failure to clean an appliance can lead to a house fire. When grease builds up in the vent grill, and other oils have been allowed to solidify, it is not uncommon for the heat of a microwave to cause a spark and ignite into a full-blown grease fire. Therefore, to prevent the need for fire mitigation services in Big Pine Key, FL, consider cleaning your appliance routinely, especially when there is a noticeable smoke smell. There is a simple four-step method you can use with vinegar.

  1. Prep
  2. Heat
  3. Wipe
  4. Shine

Prep

To prepare for this cleaning method, you will need one cup of white vinegar and one cup of water. Combine the water and vinegar into one container or bowl that is safe to use in microwaves. Then, place a wooden spoon into the liquid and put everything in the unit.

Heat

Next, you will want to set the timer for five to ten minutes on high-power, depending on the wattage of your appliance. The higher the wattage, the less time required. Once the timer is up, use an oven mitt and remove the bowl carefully. The liquid will be extremely hot and can burn you quickly if spilled. With any luck, the smoke smell has been replaced with the smell of vinegar.

Wipe

Once the bowl or container is removed, you can grab a microfiber cloth and begin wiping down the inside of your appliance. The steam should have made the area wet so any splatters and spills wipe away quickly without the need for scrubbing.

Shine

Finally, once the inside is clean, use the microfiber cloth to wipe down the outside of the machine. If the remnants of the steam are not enough to clean the outside, you can pour a little bit of rubbing alcohol on the cloth.
Cleaning appliances is a necessary part of routine maintenance. If you have a microwave producing a smoke smell, then consider cleaning it. You can also reach out to a fire mitigation company for more tips and tricks for appliance maintenance.

How to Remove Smoke Damage From Your Commercial Building

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Soot on walls Soot damage in Marathon, FL

How to Remove Smoke Damage From Your Commercial Building

If there has been a fire in your Marathon, FL, building, then you may have a significant amount of damage to take care of. While primary damage from the flames might be your biggest concern, you shouldn’t disregard the smoke damage. Smoke and soot can cause plenty of trouble on their own, even if the fire itself wasn’t too severe. The following are a few things that will need to be done to bring your building back to its previous condition.

1. Scrub Surfaces

Because smoke and soot can travel through the air, it is important to do smoke cleaning even in areas that the flames didn’t touch. With non-porous surfaces, this process is fairly simple. Any excessive amounts of soot will need to be removed first, and then the area should be treated with cleaners to remove any remaining residue.

2. Clean Belongings

Along with the structure of the building, soot damage can affect many objects as well. Smoke can penetrate porous materials, which can make them more difficult to clean than hard surfaces. However, the damage can sometimes be removed with dry cleaning. Smoke can also make its way into electronic devices and equipment, so you should have these inspected and cleaned before attempting to use them. Otherwise, they may be permanently damaged.

3. Remove Odors

Even after smoke damage has been cleaned from surfaces and items, you may still notice some lingering odors in the building. In order to remove these, you may need to clean smoke and soot particles from the air. You can use air scrubbers and filters to do this.
To get the best results and have your building looking as good as new, you should hire a professional service to remove smoke damage and make repairs. A fire damage remediation company will inspect the building, perform cleanup and restore your building and belongings. With their training, expertise and professional equipment, they can have the job done well in a timely manner.

Clean Your Grill To Prevent a Grease Fire

11/21/2019 (Permalink)

The hand of someone cleaning a barbecue grill Each time you use your grill, make an effort to thoroughly clean and maintain all the parts

Three Tips for Grill Maintenance

Seasonal grilling is a popular hobby for foodies in Brickell, FL. Whether you use a charcoal, electric or propane version, grill cleaning is an important part of grilling safety. In order to prevent serious fire damage, follow these three tips for grill maintenance.

1. Clean the Inside

Each time you use your grill, make an effort to thoroughly clean and maintain all the parts. Grease and debris that is built up over time can increase the risk of starting a grease fire. After each use as the grill cools, take a wire brush and scrape away all the fragments and stuck-on food on the racks and hood interior. Use a soapy water bath to dissolve grease from these basic components:

  • Drip pan
  • Metal grates
  • Grill plates

2. Protect the Grill Elements

With electric grills, in particular, protecting the heating element is critical to safe grill cleaning and maintenance. Before you go into full-blown scrubbing mode with soap and water, be sure to properly cover the heating elements. Use aluminum foil to create a loose barrier around any exposed electrical or heating components. This helps prevent electrical damage, as well as the accumulation of debris that could lead to fire damage cleanup in the future.

3. Don't Forget the Outside

As you look to prevent serious fire cleanup, don't overlook cleaning the exterior of your grill. If it contains a cabinet below the grill rack, be sure to clear it of leaves and rubble that accumulate from being outdoors. Wipe grease splatters with stainless-steel wipes and dry with a clean cloth. Consider using a grill cover to protect your grill and it's heating elements from exposure to weather conditions.

Prevent Grill Fires

Regular grill cleaning is one of the best ways to prevent a dangerous flame-up and the need for home fire damage restoration. By giving your barbeque equipment a thorough cleaning inside and out, you can help prevent a grease fire or other dangerous residential fire incident.

Before the Professionals Arrive

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Black smoke cloud Always call a qualified fire restoration company like SERVPRO of Brickell.

While it's best to have a qualified fire restoration company like SERVPRO of Brickell handle the smoke damage restoration, there are some small tasks you can do to help minimize the initial damage before the professionals come in to do the major cleanup. Remember that safety comes first, so if there’s no way to safely gain access into your home, then stay out until the SERVPRO arrives. If it is possible to enter your house, make sure you’re wearing gloves, long sleeves/pants, and proper respiratory protection, because exposure to soot can cause respiratory problems and other medical issues.

Ventilation - Open all the windows and air out the house as much (and as often) as possible. SERVPRO will use industrial-strength fans and other air-moving equipment to help reduce the smoke damage your home has been subjected to, but in the meantime, proper ventilation is key to helping remove the polluted air.

Cleaning - Scrub all surfaces inside and out with soap and water.

Laundry - Delicate fabrics will need to be professionally dry cleaned by someone who is familiar with articles that have smoke damage. Only use washers and dryers that haven’t been exposed to smoke or experienced significant fire damage.

Electrical Fires

11/8/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage is the last thing you’d expect to happen to your home. Most electrical fires start out in the bedroom. Now, before you can plan the clean up and restoration, you must first determine the extent of the loss. To be able to understand how the fire occurred the source of the fire must be found. One of the most commonly overlooked causes is Faulty Outlets.

Overcrowded electrical outlets can harm the electrical circuit and lead the way for an electrical fire. You’ll see this with outlets that have a power strip, or many cords plugged into it. These should be inspected frequently and unplug anything not being used at the time. Other warnings include: circuit breaker keeps tripping, constant burnt smell, flickering lights, any burnt outlets, or maybe you just have old wiring.

Some of the best ways to avoid an electrical fire is by:

Checking electrical cords and plugs.

Keeping electrical wiring up to date.

Keeping electrical cords away from heat sources and water.

Not running electrical cords under carpet.

Fire Safety: Kitchen

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

Flame of gas burner Fire safety is extremely important.

Fire safety is extremely important. The kitchen is an area in the home that is most likely to catch fire. Before cooking, you want to avoid wearing loose-fit clothing, so it doesn’t get too close to a hot surface. Always check the area for anything too close to a burner such as paper towels, pot holders, food packaging, etc. You should always wipe down the area before cooking to remove any leftover residue from previous thing you cooked. While you are cooking, never leave the stove unattended. This could easily catch fire and spread quickly. In addition, you should have a fire extinguisher somewhere close to your kitchen in case of a fire; if you don’t have one, consider buying one. Most people assume the best place to keep it is close to the stove or oven. This would be wrong. If a fire breaks out in that area, the last thing you need to do is go toward the fire and harm yourself. Keep the fire extinguisher in a place such as the pantry or closed cabinet that is away from any area that is more prominent to a fire.

If you experience a fire in your home and need assistance: call SERVPRO of Brickell at (305)-643-0710.

Fall Furnace Inspection: 3 Vital Parts To Check

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Technician looking over a gas furnace with a flashlight before cleaning it Schedule a furnace inspection

Fall Furnace Inspection

As fall arrives in Brickell, FL , cooler temperatures and chilly evenings usually arrive with it. As summer fades, your thoughts might turn to household chores such as raking leaves, winterizing your pool and, of course, furnace maintenance. Having a professional fire cleaning service inspect your furnace can give you peace of mind that the unit is running properly. Three vital parts should be checked thoroughly before the furnace is run daily:

Filter

A clogged furnace filter can lead to unpleasant odors while the unit is running, poor circulation and increased risk of a house fire. Ask your cleaning technicians whether you should start the heating season with fresh filters even if the previous ones were not in place for a long period of time. Inquire about which kind of filter would best suit your family’s needs and which can provide you with the most efficient filtration.

Blower Assembly

A furnace blower assembly can become clogged with dirt and debris. If left unmaintained, your furnace might overheat or break down once you start using it every evening. Ask your smoke cleaning and furnace technicians about the condition of the blower and whether it needs any new parts. The cleaner the assembly, the more efficiently the unit may function.

Motor

Your furnace’s motor is the heart of the entire heating system. If it is not working properly due to age or improper maintenance, you may find yourself having to replace it. A fire cleaning and restoration company can test the furnace motor, inspect its parts and gauge whether it will have to be replaced by the end of the season. If your furnace seems noisier than usual or you notice uneven heating in your home, a failing motor may be to blame.
When fall arrives in Brickell, FL, it is a good idea to schedule a furnace inspection with a qualified fire cleaning and remediation service. New filters, a clean blower assembly and a robust motor can keep your unit functioning without worry all winter long.

Firework Safety

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

With the Holidays just having finished, and July 4th coming up. We thought now would be the best time to drop some knowledge. Fireworks can bring several dangers if mishandled incorrectly. Some of those dangers include severe injuries or death and fires. The possibility of starting a fire is especially high when in a drought year.

There are several ways to prevent injury and fires when using fireworks.

  • Follow any and all local laws, rules, or regulations regarding fireworks.
  • Keep a hose and a metal bucket full of water near the site where you are shooting off fireworks.
  • When the fireworks are done going off, dispose of them in the metal bucket of water and leave them over night.
  • Keep the metal bucket of water away from any structures or vehicles in an area where it won’t be blown over by the wind.
  • Fireworks should only be shot off under direct adult supervision. Children should never be given fireworks.
  • Do not light fireworks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Light one firework off at a time and quickly get out of the way before it goes off.
  • Never light fireworks indoors or in a garage or near buildings or vehicles.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.

People are not the only ones that fireworks affect. Pets have very sensitive hearing so keep them indoors during any and all fireworks shows. This will keep them from getting hurt in their confusion and fear.

Deodorization

12/17/2018 (Permalink)

Even small fires can cause odors that last for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke, and soot damage in your home or business can create an unpleasant and potentially permanent problems. As materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard-to-reach places. If professional action is not taken, these residues and deposits can cause serious damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors. With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO of Brickell provides specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO of Brickell does not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; we seek out and remove the sources of the odor. If you suffer fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact your local SERVPRO of Brickell. Whether it’s fire, water, mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Fire Damage Specialists

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

No one ever expects anything bad to happen inside of their home. House fires are something that most people think will never happen. However, accidents do happen, and one day it is possible that you could have a fire inside your home. Many people find themselves in a situation where a minor fire starts in their home. If this ever happens to you, it's a good idea to call SERVPRO's fire damage experts. Some people have small fires start inside their home, and they can quickly put it out. However, even though you may not see any amount of burn damage where the fire first started, it is still wise to call in SERVPRO to inspect the damage. Many times, a fire causes damage that is not in the exact area of the source of the fire. When a fire burns, it creates smoke that spreads to all areas of your home. A fire sometimes embeds an unpleasant burn smell into contents inside your home. Any of issues, if not treated correctly, might result in permanent damage to your home.  When you call in the professionals, it is now up to them to figure out every area fire or smoke damage may have affected.  Our staff is highly skilled at diagnosing every unique situation.  Our experienced team knows how to find things that get ruined in the most unexpected places and use the best equipment available in the industry to remove any damage caused by a fire. It is always a devastating experience when a fire starts inside your home.  Let our team take some stress out of the situation for you and call SERVPRO of Brickell & Wynwood at (305) 643-0710 24/7.