Recent Fire Damage Posts
5 Unexpected Home Fire Starters
There are a number of surprising causes that people do not think of as fire hazards.
Home fires are an extremely frightening to think about and something that many homeowners assume will never happen to them. While a home fire may seem like a rarity, there are approximately 4,000 deaths each year due to home fires in the United States. The National Fire Protection Association states that a new home fire is reported in the United States every minute and a half. So, while it may seem like an infrequent occurrence, home fires are in fact prevalent and dangerous across the country.
Fire damage is quick to occur and often impacts large areas of a home. As such, working to prevent a home fire from happening in the first place is critical for all homeowners. First and foremost, every family should have a fire emergency plan. From escape routes to checking on family members to grabbing particular must-have possessions, this plan should be thorough, understood, and reviewed regularly by the entire family. Next, it is important to determine some of the most common causes of home fires.
When people think of home fires then often associated them with dryers, candles, and smoking. However, there are a number of surprising causes that people do not think of as fire hazards. The following are some of the most unexpected home fire starters:
- Circuit Breakers: Old or faulty wiring in a circuit breaker can catch fire more easily than many think.
- Dishwashers: The heating and motor components in a dishwasher can cause a fire, even though there is plenty of water present.
- Jars: when the sun reflects off of a glass jar a fire can start, as such is it is critical to avoid keeping flammable liquids in a glass jar.
- Smoke Detectors: what surprises many, smoke detectors themselves can catch on fire due to a malfunction.
- Old Appliances: wiring in outdated appliances has a tendency to become faulty and can thus present a fire hazard.
The above causes of home fires makes it clear that it is up to the homeowner to not only act responsibly in keeping hazardous materials in check, but they also must make sure to regularly check appliances throughout the home for functionality. At SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County, we are fire damage experts. Contact us today to learn more!
Smoke Damage After a Home Fire
Properly recovering after a home fire requires a fire restoration technician, an odor control technician, & upholstery and fabric cleaning technician.
Thinking about a potential fire in your home is something that no one wants to do. While we are lucky that in Florida we face much better conditions than California, where wildfires are a massive problem, we still need to consider the possibility of a home fire. From issues with electrical equipment to mistakes made during the holiday season, Florida home fires do happen. When it comes to home fires and the damage that they bring to a property, most people focus their attention on the actual flames and the direct damage caused by them.
While the flames of a fire are certainly harmful and damaging, smoke damage is another factor that must be taken into account. From charring to discoloration, smoke damage can leave a home looking really rough after a fire breaks out. Some of the most notable issues include:
- Yellow stained walls
- Yellow stained ceilings
- Warped wood
- Warped plastic
- Toxic air inside of the home
- Soot in household textiles
- Smoke odor in carpets, upholstered furniture, clothing, and drapery
- General smoke odor throughout the home
Dealing with smoke damage goes far beyond restoring the look of the home, smoke damage repair must attacks odors and toxins. In most cases, properly recovering after a home fire will require a fire restoration technician, an odor control technician, and an upholstery and fabric cleaning technician.
At SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County, we specialize in fire damage and smoke damage repair and restoration. We understand that each and every home fire is different and thus requires a unique solution that is customized for the specific conditions at hand. If you or a loved one has suffered from a home fire and smoke damage, we are here to help. Call our team today to learn more about your options!
14 Top Causes of House Fires
With so many uncertainties surrounding home fires, the best defense is a good offense.
House fires are often looked at as one of those “it would never happen to me” tragedies. The truth is that home fires happening constantly throughout the country. In fact, research from the National Fire Protection Association points out that a home fire occurs every 86 seconds in the United States. Recognizing that the potential for a fire to start in your home is the first step in taking preventative and proactive measures to protect yourself, your family, and your home.
The nature of a home fire lends itself to unpredictability. With so many uncertainties surrounding home fires, the best defense is a good offense. That means learning and understanding the most common causes of home fires in order to take measures to prevent them from occurring in your own home. The following are the top causes of house fires today:
- Electrical equipment
- Inadequate wiring
- Lighting equipment
- Dryers and washing machines
- Flammable liquids
- Heating equipment
- Christmas decorations
- Curious children
- Arson (intentional fires)
As you can see from the above list, nearly every single cause of home fires is an avoidable action. For instance, being on top of equipment maintenance in your home, keeping dangerous items away from children, and exercising extra caution while cooking can prevent a fire from starting in the first place.
Of course, there are always accidents and unavoidable circumstances that may lead to a house fire. If your home as suffered fire damage, we are here to help. At SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County, our fire damage restoration experts are ready to help you any time, any day!
9 Tips to Prevent a Home Fire
Preventing a home fire means taking proactive measures to ensure that your home and your family are as safe as possible.
Estimates show that about 2,500 deaths occur each year due to home fires throughout the United States. While that may seem like a small number compared to other disasters, the reality is that almost all home fires are preventable. South Florida homeowners know that house fires do not happen every day. When something occurs so infrequently, it can be easy to forget about the possibility of it happening in the first place. This type of thinking is what lays the foundation for a potential fire.
With this in mind, we found that it is particularly important to think about the possibility of a home fire. In doing so, you are preparing your mind and significantly increasing your chances of avoiding one from happening. Keep the following tips in mind to prevent a home fire:
- Test your smoke alarms every month
- Change batteries in your smoke alarm as needed, do not delay
- Keep your oven and stove clean
- Keep an eye on the functioning of kitchen appliances and the dryer
- Make sure that your mattress has flame-retardant chemicals inside
- Check chords around your house and make sure there are no frayed ends
- Be extra cautious with candles, never leave the house with an open flame
- Store all flammable products properly
- Keep fire extinguishers easily accessible and check for functionality
Preventing a home fire means taking proactive measures to ensure that your home and your family are as safe as possible. While everyone fears the worst, the above tips will prove to be instrumental in avoiding a fire from starting in your house. However, if the unthinkable happens we are here for you. SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County has decades of experience in home fire damage restoration. Call us today to learn more!
9 Most Common Kitchen Fire Hazards
Knowing the most common risks associated with cooking in the kitchen can help to eliminate some of the risk.
Home fires are scary. What can start out as a simple flames can transform into a full-blown fire in only 30 seconds. Most homeowners fail to think about the potential for a fire in their house. They falsely assume that something like that would never happen to them, especially in South Florida. However, if the California fires have taught us anything, it is that home fires can happen in an instant.
Unsurprisingly, the kitchen is the biggest culprit for fires. From inside of your home to your favorite local restaurant, kitchen fires are extremely common and can result in serious injury. As such, it is important to be aware of the most typical causes of kitchen fires to use extra precaution to avoid them from occurring in the first place.
The following are some of the most common kitchen fire hazards to look out for:
- Grease fires from oil spills on the stove top or grill
- Microwave firs from microwaving things like metal
- Keep flammable items near an open flame
- Walking away from the kitchen while frying food on the stove top
- Cooking at a temperature that is too high
- Keep a kitchen hand towel too close to an oven or stove top
- Appliance malfunction
- Loose clothes catching fire
- Too many people in the kitchen
Knowing the most common risks associated with cooking in the kitchen can help to eliminate some of the risk. However, it is crucial to recognize that safety measures must be taken at all times while using the kitchen. Even the simplest of tasks, such as microwaving, can become hazardous if the right precautions are not taken.
At SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County, we have decades of experience in fire damage restoration. If you or a loved one has suffered fire damage to your home or commercial property, call our fire damage experts today for immediate help.
What Happens In a Home Fire?
It’s easy to think that a fire would never happen in your home, but it can truly happen to anyone.
In a blink of an eye a small fire can transform into a full blown house fire. In fact, a small flame has the propensity to become a major fire in as little as 30 seconds. We see it fictionally in countless movies and television shows and we watch the real stories about it on the news. But how does it all happen? What takes place when that small flame emerges as a terrifying fire wreaking havoc on your home?
For starters, it is important to discuss the difference between home fires today versus home fires a few decades ago. In older times, experts estimated that you had anywhere from 14 to 17 minutes to escape in the event of a house fire. Today, however, the level of flammability in the household limits escape time down to 2 to 3 minutes. That means that home occupants have the get out extremely fast before the entire house goes up in flames.
Let’s take an example scenario into account. Fires most often begin in the kitchen. A stovetop meal starts to boil over and before anyone knows it, oil is igniting and spreading flames throughout the kitchen. Then, cooking utensils catch fire, which then catch onto the dish towel, and fire and smoke are looming. More and more flammable items begin to burn and the flames spread rapidly to the wooden cabinets to the curtains, and on and on.
While this scenario may be horrifying to think about, the reality is that this happens all of the time throughout the United States. It’s easy to think that something like this would never happen in your home, but it can truly happen to anyone. Being extremely careful in the kitchen and when dealing with any fire, even something as simple as lighting candles, is imperative to keeping you and your loved ones safe. Have you experienced any type of fire damage? Our fire damage restoration team is here to help. Contact SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County today to learn more!
Practicing Safety With Holiday Decorations This Year
Far too many people underestimate the level of danger associated with holiday decorations and they leave themselves, and their families, at risk.
Holiday season is right around the corner and that means many families throughout South Florida will be decorating their homes. Whether it’s stockings on a mantle or lights on the roof, being careful during this time of year is crucial. Hanging lights is not only a time-consuming and tedious task, it is also potentially very dangerous. As such, it is important for South Florida homeowners to be extra cautious this year while decorating their houses.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), holiday decorations caused over 15,000 injuries that lead to an emergency room visit. From falls to fires, understanding how to properly put up your Christmas lights is essential to staying safe and having a happy holiday. The following tips are helpful to practicing safety with holiday decorations this year:
- Purchase Christmas lights that have a UL Safety Certification
- Choose clips to hang the lights, as opposed to screws or nails
- Make sure you are using outdoor lights outdoors and indoor lights indoors
- Discard any damaged or old Christmas lights
- Turn off the lights when you go to sleep at night
- Consider changing to LED lights
- Always use a GFCI outlet
- Be extra careful when using a ladder and do so with a partner
- Christmas lights should never be run through doors or windows, use outside outlets only
- Do not plug in more than three light sets into one extension cord
Electrical and fire hazards are abundant during the holiday season. While it may take a few extra steps and purchases to maintain proper safety levels, it is extremely important to take every precaution possible. Far too many people underestimate the level of danger associated with holiday decorations and they leave themselves, and their families, at risk of serious injury.
If you or a loved one has suffered from fire damage in your home, SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County is here for you. Contact us today for more information!
Understanding the Most Common Causes of Florida Home Fires
Far too many people underestimate the likelihood of a fire starting in their house.
People usually think about states like California when it comes to fires, but Florida homeowners must be aware of the potential dangers linked to fires as well. In fact, Florida is actually ranked in the top 10 for states with the most fatal home fires across the country in 2018. These numbers are based on fatal house fires per capita and highlight the importance of being prepared for anything.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that anywhere from 250,000 to 275,000 home fires occur each year. While fires are unpredictable by nature, the reality is that house fires often start from only a handful of common causes. Being aware of these potential hazards is the first step in preventing them from occurring. The following are the most common causes of Florida home fires:
- Electrical Issues
- Heating Equipment
In addition to these typical causes, home appliances can also be a concern. Pay close attention when using items like the dryer, oven, and toaster. Taking every precaution when doing the above activities is imperative to keeping your home a safe environment. Far too many people underestimate the likelihood of a fire starting in their house. As a result, they are caught off guard when the unexpected occurs and are ill-prepared to handle the fallout.
At SERPVRO of North Palm Beach County, we pride ourselves on our ability to act quickly. When the unthinkable happens, you can trust that our fire damage repair team will work diligently to cleanup and then restore your home to pre-fire condition. Contact us today to learn more about our fire damage restoration services!
Fire Escape Planning for You and Your Family
These quick and easy steps will help your family to feel prepared in an emergency fire situation.
No one expects a fire to start. It’s one of those “it will never happen to me” emergencies, and so many people neglect thinking about or planning what they would do if the unthinkable occurs. Home fires take place all over the country, for all different reasons. In fact, every 88 seconds U.S. fire departments respond to a home fire. With such a high frequency of fires in homes across the nation, it is imperative that everyone has a plan.
Creating a fire escape plan for you and your family, and going over that plan regularly, can truly be the difference between life and death. First and foremost, call a family meeting to establish a plan that is agreed upon by everyone. Walk through your home to inspect the most logical escape routes. Then, discuss with your children where they should go and with whom they should go with in the event of a fire.
Once a plan is established, go to each exit and ensure that the windows and/or doors open easily. Additionally, make note of where the smoke alarms are located throughout your home. Finally, select a location a safe distance from your house where everyone should meet after escaping the house. These quick and easy steps will help your family to feel prepared in an emergency fire situation.
If you or a loved one has experienced fire damage or smoke damage in your home, SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County is here to help. Contact our fire damage experts today to learn more!
Facts About Home Fires
Homeowners often think about the many safety hazards associated with owning and maintaining a home, yet the threat of a fire is seldom mentioned. Contrary to popular belief, home fires are rather common and something that everyone should be aware of. According to the national Fire Protection Associated (NFPA), an average of seven people die each day in the United States due to home fires.
Home fires are extremely prevalent throughout the country. In fact, U.S. fire departments estimate that they respond to a home fire every 88 seconds. That’s a lot of home fires. Being aware of some home fire facts will help to highlight the true nature of their potential danger:
- Cooking is the leading cause of home fires as well as home fire injuries
- More than half of all home fires occur because the smoke alarms are faulty or missing altogether
- More males are injured and die due to home fires than females
- Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fires
- Each day, close to 30 home fires reported are caused by candles
Being a smart homeowner means being educated on all of the potential threats that exist. While it is impossible to prepare for everything, being aware of some home fire facts will place you in a better position to act safely on a daily basis and respond correctly in the event of an emergency. At SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County, we specialize in fire damage restoration. If you or a loved one has been involved in a fire and wish to return your property to pre-fire condition, give us a call today.
Fire Safety Plan for Children
The more you practice as a family, the smoother your escape plan will be in the event of an actual emergency
Do you have an emergency escape plan in place in the event of a home fire? Are you children aware of the plan and their role in getting out safely? Far too many parents neglect to make a fire escape plan altogether, no less making a plan and then communicating said plan with their children. The possibility of a fire seems so rare that most adults never even consider it as a possibility. While smoke alarms are useful, you are asking for trouble if they are the only active part of your fire escape plan.
Your children have likely engaged in countless fire drills in school. They are used to practicing in the event of an emergency and the home should be no different. A family fire drill should be discussed amongst adults and then practiced amongst the entire family. The following is a great basis to build your specific plan upon:
- Make an escape plan based on your home’s particular layout, be sure to identify two ways out of each room in the house
- Have each family member practice escaping the rooms by crawling on the perimeter of the room towards an exit
- Practice this routine multiple times a year, switching which of the two exits that they children leave from
- Ensure that each parent knows which children they are to oversee in the event of a fire
Children 5 years and older need to be made aware of this plan. The more you practice as a family, the smoother your escape plan will be in the event of an actual emergency. At SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County, our fire damage restoration specialists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact our team today to learn more!
Dangers of Smoke Inhalation
If your home has suffered from fire damage, SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County can help. Our fire and smoke damage restoration team is here for you!
Home fires are one of the most frightening things that a family can experience. As a homeowner in South Florida, it is important to think about the potential for a home fire and what you and your family would do in that emergency situation. Does your family have an evacuation plan? If not, it’s time to start thinking about a fire escape plan. Far too many people underestimate the dangers associated with home fires, especially small home fires.
If a small fire occurs in your home, you may be tempted to run back inside to grab important personal items. While this may seem harmless, the reality is that smoke inhalation is extremely dangerous. So, even if the fire is small and contained, running back into the area where smoke is present can be a major risk to your health. A gas and fine particle mixture is what makes up smoke, and these elements can be a big health threat.
Some people are more susceptible to health issues related to smoke inhalation and should be extra careful to avoid exposure. For instance, older adults, children, pregnant women, and anyone with preexisting heart or respiratory conditions are more likely to get sick. Some of the immediate effects of smoke inhalation include:
- Runny nose
- Issues breathing normally
- Rapid heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Stinging eyes
- Scratchy throat
- Sinus issues
- Asthma attack
If your home has suffered from fire damage of any size, SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County can help. Our fire and smoke damage restoration team will get to work quickly in restoring your home to its previous condition. From smoke to soot to fire, this type of damage should be addressed immediately to reduce property damage. Contact us today to learn more!
Home Electrical Fires Risks and Consequences
Being prepared and cautious is the best way to prevent home fires from starting.
Home fires are all too common in the United States. While home fires can arise from a number of sources, residential building electrical fires are some of the most frequently seen issues throughout the country. As a South Florida homeowner, it is important to understand the risks and consequences associated with electrical fires in order to prevent them from starting in the first place.
The U.S. Fire Administration recently released a report outlining some of the most important statistics gathered from 2014 through 2016. The following facts and figures highlight the characteristics of home electrical fires from that time period:
- About 24,000 residential building electrical fires were reported
- Approximately 850 injuries and 310 deaths occurred as a result of the fires
- Property loss numbers reached about $871 million
- January saw the highest rate of electrical fires compared to any other months
- 15 percent of the residential building electrical fires started in bedrooms
While these numbers only scratch the surface, they serve to point out just how dangerous residential building electrical fires can be. Being prepared and cautious is the best way to prevent home fires from starting. If you or a loved one’s home has suffered from fire damage, contact SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County for immediate, reliable restoration services.
Fire Safety When Staying in Peer-to-Peer Lodging
With this substantial growth in peer-to-peer lodging, there are a number of safety concerns that have arisen.
Peer-to-peer lodging companies have seen a massive growth over the last several years. With the lodging trends moving slightly away from hotels and resorts toward privately owned, short-term rentals like apartments and houses, corporations like Airbnb have seen impressive success and are only expanding their reach. In fact, this movement is said to be the fastest-growing substitute to hotels and motels.
With this substantial growth in peer-to-peer lodging, there are a number of safety concerns that have arisen. Today we focus on fire safety and how peer-to-peer lodging options have addressed the issue. While hotels and motels have a number of fire safety regulations, the same may not be able to be said for peer-to-peer lodging options. Code regulations as they relate to important items such as smoke alarms, fire doors, automated extinguishing systems, and posted fire escape routes are the norm in hotels and motels. However, peer-to-peer lodging does not see the same requirements.
Unfortunately, peer-to-peer lodging is mostly unregulated. Since the peer-to-peer lodging sector is so new, most code regulations have yet to reach them. While the private residences for peer-to-peer lodging properties likely fall under their local codes, there are still a lot of issues with a lack of uniformity in regulations. A study was performed by the U.S. Fire Administration and found that one in five Airbnb properties do not have a smoke alarm and about 50 percent do not list a CO alarm.
As such, it is important to keep fire safety in mind whenever staying at peer-to-peer lodging. Hopefully, regulations will soon catch up to that of hotel requirements.
Fire Safety Tips While Cooking
As you cook your meals this year, be sure to share these fire safety tips with your entire family.
Cooking is a special activity that many families like to do together. Unfortunately, cooking fires are the leading cause house fires and home fire injuries today. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 40 percent of all home fires begin in the kitchen and U.S. fire departments record that they respond to an average of approximately 166,100 cooking-related fires annually. There are about 455 daily fires in the United States and with cooking fires being the top source, it is important to be aware of how to prevent kitchen fires from starting in the first place.
Cooking equipment can be very dangerous if not used properly and carefully. Thanksgiving is actually the leading day for home fires involving some type of cooking equipment. That number is 4 times the average number of home fires! Since the average American household cooks at least one hot meal each day, it is absolutely essential to be doing so safely. These are some of the most critical fire safety tips to follow while cooking:
- Never leave the kitchen while boiling, frying, broiling, or grilling food
- Turn off the stove every single time the kitchen is left unattended
- Do not use the stove or stovetop if you have consumed alcohol or are feeling sleepy
- Keep items like wooden utensils, oven mitts, towels, and food packaging away from the stovetop
- Regularly check on food items that are roasting, baking, or simmering
- Always use a timer to remind yourself that you are cooking food
- Be aware of your clothing like large-fitting shirts or loose sleeves
- Keep a fire extinguisher near the kitchen
- Never throw away hot grease in the garbage can
- If a small fire starts on the stovetop, smother the flames with a lid to cover the pan and then turn off the burner
- If an oven fire starts, turn off the heat and do not open the door
- If you have any doubts about stopping the small fire, get out of the home immediately and call 9-1-1
As the fall holiday season begins, many families will be enjoying their time together in the kitchen. As you cook your meals this year, be sure to share these fire safety tips with your entire family. If your kitchen does suffer from fire damage, contact SERVPRO right away to handle the cleanup and restoration. Contact us today for more information!
Getting Smart about Smoke Alarms
If you or a loved one has suffered from fire damage in your home, SERVPRO is here to help you recover from the tragedy.
Fire safety is often associated with tips to prevent fires from starting and steps to take in the event that a home fire occurs. Research shows that when a smoke alarm sounds off in a household, the inhabitants have less than 2 minutes to get out of the house for safety. This means that families must have a very specific plan of action when it comes to fire safety. We have discussed this in previous articles, but we have never spent the time to talk about something extremely important: smoke alarms.
Did you know that smoke alarms need to be replaced every 10 years? Did you know that smoke alarm batteries (9-volt battery) need to be replaced at least once per year? Did you know that smoke alarms should be tested every month? These types of facts are things that are rarely discussed yet are extremely essential for each and every homeowner. Having a smoke alarm properly installed in your home can literally be the difference between life and death. Reports from the U.S. Fire Administration point out that three out of five home fire death result from fire in properties without working smoke alarms. This speaks to the massive dangers linked to malfunctioning smoke alarms and just how critical is it to be on top of your alarms at home.
There are a few additional tips beyond replacing smoke alarms every 10 years and batteries every year that each person should know. First, when discussing your evacuation with your family it is imperative to enforce that as soon as an alarm sounds off everyone should exit. Hesitation in exiting the home when a fire starts is a common issue. Also, smoke alarms in your home should be interconnected, meaning that when one alarm sounds off, they will all sound off. In doing so, everyone in the house will be made aware of the fire no matter their location.
Finally, smoke alarm placement is key. Be sure to have a smoke alarm inside and outside of any and all sleeping areas and bedrooms as well as installing alarms on every level of a home. If you or a loved one has suffered from fire damage in your home, SERVPRO is here to help you recover from the tragedy. Contact our team of fire damage cleanup professionals to learn more about your restoration options today!
Fire Safety Tips for Your Pets
All homeowners with pets must think about their fire safety plans with their furry friends in mind.
When it comes to evacuation and safety plans in the event of a fire, most homeowners plans for protecting their family and their most meaningful possessions like important documents and family photos. Home fires are far more common than many people think and having a specific plan in place is essential. For those family with pets, an additional level of fire safety must be accounted for in order to keep your furry family members safe and sound. Approximately 500,000 pets are affected by fires every year, according to research from the United States Fire Administration. Therefore, all pet owners are strongly encouraged to think about fire safety preparation for pets.
A family pet is truly like a real member of the family. As such, ensuring that your fire safety plan includes your pet is critical. Keep the following fire safety tips for your pets in mind:
- Never leave any open flames, like candles, unattended – especially if they are within the reach of your pet
- Watch out for things like space heaters getting knocked over by your animal
- Hide all electrical cords out of reach of your pets
- Do smoke detector checks twice a year
- Keep a collar on your pet
- Put a sticker on your windows and door to let firefighters know that a pet is inside the household
- Have a microchip implanted in your pet
- Account for your pet’s food when making emergency supply lists
- Keep your pet’s leash, food, and carrier by the home’s exit in case of a fire
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), about 700 home fires annually are started every year as a result of a pet or wild animal. All homeowners with pets must think about their fire safety plans with their furry friends in mind. If you have suffered any fire damage as a result of a home fire, contact the fire damage professionals at SERVPRO for immediate help!
Staying Safe in a House Fire
SERVPRO has the specialized fire and water damage cleanup and restoration training and experience to quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition.
A house fire is one of the most frightening things that a family can experience. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that there are more than 300,000 home structure fires each year in the United States, with an astonishing average of seven deaths per day linked to house fires. While the kitchen is the most common place that a fire starts inside of a home, areas like the living room, bedrooms, and family room are also sources of a sizable number of fires. As a homeowner in South Florida, it is absolutely essential for you and your family to be well-versed on an emergency plan in the event of a fire in your home.
A common misconception about house fires is that homeowners think “it will never happen to me”. Unfortunately, this mindset often leads to a lack of preparation that can make all of the difference in the event of an emergency. As such, keep these safety tips in mind for staying safe in a house fire:
- Do not rely on a fire alarm to inform all of the members of your family that a fire is present in the home, start yelling out loud
- Grab the fire extinguisher is the fire tame enough, but be sure to abort that plan and leave immediately if the fire extinguisher proves to be a futile effort
- Call 9-1-1 or the fire department
- Exit immediately and crawl low to avoid smoke inhalation
- Feel the doorknob before opening any door to ensure that it is not hot
- Leave your valuables in the home, get yourself and your family out as quickly as possible
- Use a damp towel or shirt to cover your nostrils so that smoke does not enter your lungs
- Never run into a room with flames present
- As you exit a room, close the door behind you to avoid the spreading of the fire
- Once you have evacuated the home, stay outside in a safe place and wait for first responders to arrive
House fires bring out a variety of instincts in people, and they are often dangerous responses to the emergency situation. Therefore, it is vital that you go over these safety tips with your family so that everyone is prepared in the event of a fire. After the fire trucks are gone, your and belongings likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO has the specialized fire and water damage cleanup and restoration training and experience to quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. Call us today to learn more!
6 Surprising Causes of Home Fires
At SERVPRO, we always treat your family with the greatest empathy and respect, and we’ll treat your property with great care.
Home fires are incredibly scary to think about. In the most unsuspecting of times, homeowners must act quickly to protect their loved ones, their pets, and their most cherished home items. Unfortunately, in the United States nearly 4,000 people are killed each year from fires, that number is more than all natural disasters combined. In fact, approximately every minute and a half a new home fire is reported throughout the country, as reported National Fire Protection Association. While most people think of home fires as something that would never happen to them, the reality is that these occurrences strike far too many families across the nation. Fire damage is a serious problem, even for the smallest of home fires. As such, the ability to prevent a home fire from happening in the first place is absolutely critical.
Most people think that common fire starters like candles and cooking make up the majority of home fires. Nevertheless, it is important to be educated on all kinds of causes in order to prevent fires from starting in the first place. Some of the more surprising causes of home fires are as follows:
- Dishwashers: many people believe that since dishwashers have water in them they are incapable of causing a fire. However, the motor and heating elements in a dishwasher make it a potentially dangerous appliance.
- Jars: ant kind of glass object has the potential to catch fire from the reflection of the sun, so flammable liquids should not be stored in glass jars or glass containers of any kind.
- Outdated Appliances: old appliances have a tendency of having faulty wires and thus cause unexpected fires.
- Circuit Breakers: if the wiring in a circuit breaker is old or faulty it make catch fire.
- Smoke Detectors: even though smoke detectors are there to help in the event of a fire, they can actually catch fire on their own if they are malfunctioning. Make sure that your smoke detectors is not missing any batteries or malfunctioning in any way.
- Children Playing: when kids begin to experiment with things like lighters and matches, accidents tend to occur. Children should be kept far away from matches, lighters, and candles.
Fire damage can be devastating for you and your family. Feelings of confusion and stress are common, and you need a caring expert to guide you through this crisis. At SERVPRO, we always treat your family with the greatest empathy and respect, and we’ll treat your property with great care.
Basic Home Fire Escape Plan
When it comes to fire safety, there is no better way to prepare than having a solid fire escape plan.
No one plans for a fire to break out inside of or near their home. Home electrical fires account for close to 500 deaths and over 1,400 injuries each year. In addition, home electrical fires cost billions of dollars in property damage annually. As such, preparing and planning an emergency escape strategy is critical to protecting you and your loved ones in the event of an unexpected home fire. First and foremost, your home should be inspected for working smoke alarms in every room. In addition, you must create a specific evacuation plan, practice fire drills, and make sure that your entire family is well-versed in what to do in the event of an emergency.
Keep in mind the following pieces of advice when developing and deploying your personal home fire escape plan:
- Keep all exits unblocked (both doors and windows throughout the house)
- Make an escape route for each individual room in the home
- Smoke alarms should be placed in every room, on every level of the home, and outside of any sleeping area
- Walk through your escape plan with entire family
- Choose a location a safe distance away from your home as your family’s meeting place
- Memorize the fire department’s emergency phone number, make sure your family does as well
- Assign a capable adult to be in charge of any infants, elderly people, or anyone that lacks mobility and would require assistance in an emergency
- Take every smoke alarm signal seriously and evacuate immediately
- Inform guests or visitors in your home of the fire escape plan
- Never go back into a burning building before being cleared from the firefighters on the scene
Creating a home fire escape plan is absolutely essential for everyone. Whether you live in a single-family home or a high-rise apartment building, be sure to prepare yourself for the steps that would be taken in the event of a fire. When it comes to fire safety, there is no better way to prepare than having a solid fire escape plan.
Dryer Fire Prevention Tips
If you have experienced dryer fire in your home, SERVPRO is here to deal with the fire damage.
Each year in the United States homeowners suffer from the aftermath of clothes dryer fires. In fact, nearly 15,000 home clothes dryers catch fire each year which in turn cause about 100 injuries. While it may surprise some, neglecting to clean your dryer is the most common cause of a fire. As such, preventing dryer fires is actually easy if the homeowner is aware of the potential of fire damage and takes steps to avoid an accident from occurring in their home.
Keep in mind the following tips for dryer fire prevention:
- Hire a professional to install your dryer, do not attempt to do this yourself
- Make sure that your laundry room has no flammable items inside or near the dryer
- Clean your linen filter both before and after every single load of laundry
- Get your dryer serviced regularly
- Be sure that your dryer’s vent pipe is free, blockage is one the top causes of dryer fires
- Hire a professional to look at your gas lines
- Never run your dryer when you are asleep or not home
- Avoid overloading your dryer
- Clean your dryer in any place where lint can build up
- Use metal dryer ducts
- Check the electrical outlet and plug to ensure it is connected correctly
- Do not dry any items containing rubber, foam, or plastic
- Do not dry clothes that have anything flammable on them such as gas, alcohol, or cooking oils
- Leave ample room between your dryer and the wall behind it
- Read your manufacturers’ instructions to go over particular safety tips for your dryer
From lack of maintenance to dirty dryers, almost every single dryer fire each year is caused by something that could have been avoided. If you have experienced dryer fire in your home, SERVPRO is here to deal with the fire damage. Call us today to learn more!
Most Common Causes of House Fires
If you or a loved one has suffered from a house fire, contact our fire damage specialists immediately for 24/7 disaster help!
Fires are one of the most terrifying and devastating accidents that can occur in a home. Most victims of house fires will agree that they never saw it coming and never thought a tragedy like that would happen to them. Unfortunately, fires are unpredictable and alarming no matter how they happen and preparing is something that homeowners seldom think about. According to the National Fire Protection Association, approximately 1.3 million fires required U.S. fire departments responses in 2015. On average in our nation, a home fire occurs every 86 seconds. This means that there is no such thing as being too prepared for a house fire.
More than three-quarters of civilian fire deaths are caused by home structure fires. As such, homeowners must be aware of the threat of a fire in order to hopefully prevent one from occurring. In fact, research shows that the majority of home fires are completely avoidable. Having a complete understanding of typical house fires causes can play a critical role in prevention. The most common causes of house fires are:
- Cooking/cooking equipment
- Careless smoking
- Heating equipment
- Electrical equipment
- Lighting equipment
- Intentional fires (arson)
- Curious kids
- Poor wiring
- Flammable liquids
- Christmas decorations and trees
- Dryers and washing machines
Smoke alarms and sprinkler systems are critical for any homeowner. Most homes in the U.S. have smoke alarms, however, about 60 percent of fire deaths come from homes without smoke alarms or with non-working smoke alarms. From more obvious dangers like cooking and smoking to less obvious dangers like flammable liquids and poor wiring, being aware of the most common causes of house fires is essential to preventing them from occurring. If you or a loved one has suffered from a house fire, contact our fire damage specialists immediately for 24/7 disaster help!
Odor Removal after Fire Damage
At SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County, our team of fire damage experts are trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors in your home.
House fires are incredibly scary for homeowners and even neighbors. Getting out of the house safely and quickly is of course the main priority if a fire ignites in any area of the house. While making sure that you and your loved ones are safe is the first step, dealing with the aftermath of the fire comes next. After a fire, it is important to do the following:
- Limit all movement in the house in order to prevent soot particles from becoming embedded in the carpets and upholstery
- Change the HVAC filter
- Make sure hands are kept clean to not further soil the woodwork, walls, or upholstery
- Wash all houseplants on both sides of the leaves
- Take old linens or clean towels and place them on upholstery, carpet, and rugs in traffic areas
- Use a light coating of oil or petroleum jelly to protect any chrome in the house
Following the above steps, it is important to reach out to professional fire damage removal experts in order to assess the damage within the home and make recommendations for the most efficient and effective way to clean up. Odor removal and deodorization is critical in the days following a house fire. It is important to note that attempting to deodorize your home on your own can cause major issues in the long-run. As such, hiring a team of professionals will ensure a stress-free, thorough, and complete job.
At SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County, our team of fire damage experts are trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors in your home. With IICRC technical class under their belts, the fire damage team is able to properly removal all odors to ensure they stay gone forever. Too many people attempt to do this themselves and end up just masking the smell, not eliminating it. Using special equipment, the SERVPRO fire damage squad removes the odor without a trace, even odors that have penetrated surfaces.
Have you recently suffered from fire damage in your home? Is the odor just not going away? Contact our fire damage odor removal team today and we will make it "Like it never even happened."
Steps to Prevent a House Fire
Taking the above steps to prevent home fires is incredibly important to making sure that you and your family are safe and secure in your house.
Home fires are a true danger in the United States, marking approximately 12,600 injuries and 2,500 deaths each year throughout the nation. In many cases, the smoke and heat actually poses a greater threat than the flames themselves. As such, being educated and prepared in the event of a home fire is critical. Even more important, however, is understanding how to prevent home fires from starting in the first place.
Fire spreads incredibly fast. In less than 30 seconds, a tiny flame can spread and get out of control, causing a serious fire. The most deadly fires in homes happen when the people are asleep. If a person wakes up to a fire, it is imperative that they get out of the house immediately, as there is no time to grab valuables.
From discarded cigarettes to cooking appliances, the majority of home fires are started from carelessness. Some of the most important steps to prevent house fires include:
- Never leave the kitchen while cooking. If you must leave the kitchen, turn off the stove or any other heating appliance being used.
- Barbeque grills should be placed at least 10 feet away from overhangs, branches, etc.
- Do not wear long sleeves while cooking.
- Never cook while drowsy or under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
- Always smoke cigarettes outside of the home.
- Ensure that cigarette butts, ashes, etc. are completely out before walking away.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Make sure all electrical and appliance wires are replaced once worn out.
- Teach children about the dangers of fire at a very young age.
- Make sure that all lighters and matches are locked in a cabinet, out of the reach of any children.
Unfortunately, far too many people underestimate the true dangers of home fires. Taking the above steps to prevent home fires is incredibly important to making sure that you and your family are safe and secure in your house. Most people who suffer in a home fire say that they never thought it would happen to them. Be sure to make a plan and take every measure to prevent a house fire.
What to do After a Fire in your Home or Commercial Building
SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County specializes in fire and water damage restoration. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and
The days following a fire are extremely scary for a homeowner or a property manager of a commercial building. From structural damage to cleaning up and removing smoke odor, tackling a “to do” list following a fire can be daunting and overwhelming. It is important to remember that one should not enter their home or commercial property after a fire until the fire department has confirmed that it is safe to do so. According to the American Red Cross, the following actions should be taken:
- Check for structural damage
- Check utilities like telephones, electrical systems, and climate control systems
- Look around for household items that may contain toxic fumes and any other hazards (things like cleaning products may present a hazard when mixed with fumes)
- Contact a local service like SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County to clean up and remove the smoke odor
Consulting a professional is imperative to keeping the property safe and secure. When in doubt, call SERVPRO to make sure that they can clean the damage and remove the odor throughout the property.
Fire Repair and Restoration
Recovering your home and commercial building after a fire means taking the necessary steps to revive the structure. After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.
Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today – (561) 881-8784
Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.
Step 1: Emergency Contact
The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us respond immediately with the appropriate equipment and resources.
Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
We carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.
Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service
Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.
Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.
Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.
Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing
We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. We’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
Step 7: Restoration
Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.
Remember, these steps should be carried out by trained professionals. Attempting to do these things on your own can result in unsafe conditions for you, your family, and your employees.
North Palm Beach County Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your North Palm Beach County Home.
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 North Palm Beach County 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 – 561-881-8784