Recent Fire Damage Posts

Differences in fire damage restoration for homes versus commercial properties

4/19/2024 (Permalink)

A fire damaged doorway. SERVPRO is ready to help with your fire disaster anytime day or night!

As a leading expert in fire damage restoration, SERVPRO® understands that each fire incident is unique, and the approach to restoration must be tailored to the specific property type. Whether it's a residential haven or a bustling commercial space, the nuances in fire damage restoration can significantly impact the recovery process. In this blog post, we'll delve into the key differences between restoring homes and commercial properties after a fire, offering insights that can make a crucial difference in the aftermath.

Structural Complexity

One of the primary distinctions lies in the structural complexity of homes versus commercial properties. Residential structures often have a simpler layout compared to commercial spaces, which can feature intricate designs, multiple levels, and various interconnected systems. This complexity demands a more comprehensive assessment and strategic restoration plan for commercial properties.

Size Matters

The size of the affected area is another critical factor to consider. Residential fires tend to be more contained, affecting specific rooms or sections of the house. In contrast, commercial fires may engulf larger spaces, affecting multiple rooms, floors, or even the entire building. This requires a scalable restoration strategy that can efficiently address the extensive damage seen in commercial settings.

Business Interruption

Commercial properties not only face the physical challenges of fire damage but also the potential for significant business interruption. Time is of the essence in these situations, as extended downtime can result in financial losses and client dissatisfaction. SERVPRO recognizes the need for swift and efficient restoration in commercial spaces, working diligently to minimize disruption and get businesses back on track.

Regulatory Compliance

Commercial properties often need to adhere to specific building codes and regulations that may not apply to residential structures. Navigating these regulatory requirements is a crucial aspect of commercial fire damage restoration. SERVPRO's team is well-versed in local codes and compliance standards, ensuring that the restoration process aligns with all necessary regulations.

Specialized Equipment

Given the differences in scale and complexity, commercial fire damage restoration may require specialized equipment not typically used in residential settings. SERVPRO invests in state-of-the-art technology and tools to handle the unique challenges posed by commercial properties, ensuring a thorough and efficient restoration process.

Understanding the divergences between fire damage restoration for homes and commercial properties is essential for a successful recovery. SERVPRO is committed to providing tailored solutions for every scenario, prioritizing efficiency, and minimizing the impact on our clients' lives and businesses. If you're facing the aftermath of a fire, trust SERVPRO to handle the complexities and bring your property back to preloss condition swiftly and effectively.

Local Fire Damage Restoration Companies: The Benefits of Choosing a Neighborhood Business

11/21/2023 (Permalink)

When a fire occurs, the devastation can be overwhelming, and the recovery process can be long. During such an unfortunate event, choosing a fire damage restoration company that understands your unique needs can make a considerable difference. Working with a local fire damage restoration company offers several benefits compared to hiring a national or chain-of-command service provider. In this blog, we will highlight the advantages of choosing a local fire damage restoration company.

Faster Response Time

A local fire damage restoration company can respond to emergency situations much faster than non-local contractors. They are familiar with the area and can get to your home or business promptly. This prompt response can help minimize the damage caused by the fire and prevent secondary damages that can occur when fire and smoke damage are not remediated immediately.

Personalized Service

Local fire damage restoration companies understand the unique needs and concerns of their community. They are more inclined to provide personalized services and tailor their restoration plans to meet the needs of the community. They are accessible, and their services are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client.

Knowledge of Local Building Codes and Regulations

A local fire damage restoration company is familiar with local building codes and safety regulations that apply to your home or business. This familiarity ensures that restoration work will be completed in compliance with these rules, regulations, and codes. They also have experience working with local insurance companies if an insurance claim needs to be filed.

Familiarity with Local Suppliers

Local fire damage restoration companies have established relationships with suppliers in the area. They have connections with suppliers of materials and equipment needed for their restoration work. They can provide more cost-effective solutions while ensuring that quality is not compromised.

Support for the Local Community

Choosing a local fire damage restoration company helps to support small businesses in your community. Local companies hire local employees and often have a unique understanding of the unique challenges faced by local residents. Choosing a local company helps to support the community in which you live or work.

In conclusion, working with a local fire damage restoration company offers several benefits compared to a non-local company. Local contractors can respond faster, provide personalized services, understand local building codes and regulations, have established relationships with local suppliers, and support the local community. When choosing a fire damage restoration company, consider working with a local contractor who understands your unique needs and is committed to providing top-quality service.

Proper Cleaning After a Puffback: Steps to Restore Your Home

8/10/2023 (Permalink)

Experiencing a puffback from your oil furnace can be a stressful and messy situation. After ensuring the safety of your family and addressing any immediate concerns, it's essential to begin the process of cleaning and restoring your home. Here are the steps to follow for proper cleaning after a puffback.

Contact a Professional Restoration Company

First and foremost, contact a professional restoration company that specializes in puffback clean-up. They have the expertise, experience, and equipment to handle the cleaning process effectively and efficiently. A professional restoration company will assess the extent of the damage, create a plan, and provide an estimate for the restoration work.

Ventilate the Area

Before the cleaning process begins, it's crucial to ventilate the affected area. Open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate and help dissipate any residual smoke and odors. Turn off the furnace and ventilate the entire house to prevent the spread of soot particles.

Put on appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) before entering the affected area. This may include gloves, goggles, masks, and disposable coveralls. Puffback soot contains harmful particles that can be hazardous to your health, so it's important to take precautions to protect yourself during the cleaning process.

Remove Loose Soot

Begin by using a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum cleaner with a disposable filter to remove loose soot from surfaces. Avoid using traditional vacuum cleaners as they may blow the soot particles back into the air. Gently vacuum walls, ceilings, furniture, and other affected areas to capture as much loose soot as possible.

After removing loose soot, carefully wipe down surfaces using dry chemical sponges or specialized cleaning products recommended by the restoration company. Avoid using water or wet cleaning methods, as they can cause the soot to spread and stain surfaces. Follow the instructions provided by the professionals to ensure safe and effective cleaning.

Launder Fabrics and Textiles

Wash all affected fabrics and textiles, such as clothing, curtains, bedding, and rugs, as soon as possible. Use a mild detergent and follow the manufacturer's instructions for washing and drying. If the soot stains are persistent or if you are unsure about washing certain items, consult with the restoration company for guidance.

The soot from a puffback can infiltrate your HVAC system, including ductwork, registers, and filters. It's essential to clean the HVAC system thoroughly to prevent further contamination and potential future puffbacks. This step should be handled by professionals who can assess, clean, and repair the HVAC system as needed.

Consider Professional Deodorization

After the cleaning process is complete, have a certified HVAC technician inspect and repair your furnace. They will ensure that the cause of the puffback is addressed and that the furnace is in proper working condition before it is restarted. This step is vital to prevent future puffbacks and ensure the safety of your home.

Puffback soot can leave behind strong odors that are difficult to eliminate. Consider enlisting the help of a professional restoration company that offers deodorization services. They will use specialized techniques and equipment to neutralize odors and leave your home smelling fresh and clean.

Remember, the process of cleaning after a puffback can be complex and time-consuming. It's best to rely on the expertise of professional restoration companies with experience in puffback clean-up. They will guide you through the process, ensure thorough cleaning, and help restore your home to its pre-puffback condition as efficiently as possible.

Stay Safe and Warm: Essential Tips to Reduce Space Heater Fires

5/10/2023 (Permalink)

When the weather starts getting colder, many of us turn to space heaters to keep our homes and workplaces warm and cozy. While space heaters are an effective way to heat small spaces, they can also be a fire hazard if not used safely. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters are involved in about one-third of home heating fires and 80% of home heating fire deaths.

To keep your space heater use safe and prevent fires, follow these essential tips:

Choose the right space heater

Not all space heaters are created equal. When choosing a space heater, look for one with safety features such as automatic shut-off switches and overheat protection. Make sure to select a space heater that is appropriate for the size of the room you want to heat. Check the label or packaging for information about the heater's wattage and recommended room size.

Keep space heaters on a flat, level surface

Place your space heater on a flat, level surface that is not prone to tipping over. Do not place your space heater on furniture or other unstable surfaces. Make sure the heater is at least three feet away from anything that can burn, such as curtains, bedding, and furniture.

Plug space heaters directly into the wall

Never plug a space heater into an extension cord or power strip. Space heaters draw a lot of power and can easily overload extension cords or power strips, increasing the risk of fire. Instead, plug your space heater directly into a wall outlet.

Turn space heaters off when you leave the room

Never leave a space heater unattended. Always turn your space heater off when you leave the room or go to bed. If you have pets or small children, consider using a space heater with a protective grill or cover to prevent burns.

Keep space heaters away from water

Do not use your space heater in damp or wet areas such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, or basements. Water can increase the risk of electrical shock or short-circuiting, which can lead to a fire.

Maintain your space heater

Regularly inspect your space heater for damage or wear and tear. If you notice any damage, do not use the heater until it has been repaired or replaced. Clean your space heater regularly to remove dust and debris, which can build up and increase the risk of fire.

By following these essential tips, you can reduce the risk of space heater fires and keep your home or workplace safe and warm. Remember, safety should always be your top priority when using space heaters. Stay warm and stay safe!

Fire Extinguisher Safety

2/10/2023 (Permalink)

If you ever find yourself in a situation where there is a fire in your home, it's important to know what to do. Fires can be dangerous and life-threatening. They also have the potential to damage everything in their path. If you know how to use a fire extinguisher correctly, though, it's possible that you will be able to stop a small blaze before it gets out of control or causes serious damage. Here are some tips on how best to fight an emergency fire.

Six Feet Away.

Do not stand closer than six feet from the fire. The heat, smoke and flames can injure or kill you if you are too close. If your clothing catches on fire, stop what you're doing and drop to the ground immediately! Roll around in a blanket or rug until the flames are out. Do NOT run away from it because that will only fan the flames!

Be careful when dealing with hot embers after extinguishing an outdoor fire as they may still be burning inside their casings and could start another blaze if handled improperly (or even just touched).

Never use water on a grease fire.

If you think you have a grease fire, don't use water to put it out. Water causes the oil in the pan to spread and can make the flames larger. Instead, get yourself a dry powder fire extinguisher and aim for the base of the flame. Having a fire extinguisher in your kitchen incase of an emergency is always a good idea.

Call a Professional.

If you are in doubt about how to use a fire extinguisher, or if you feel unsafe near the fire, call the fire department. If that's not possible, or if it takes too long for them to arrive and put out your blaze, then here are some other ways that you can handle it yourself. Call a professional fire extinguisher service. There are many companies that offer this kind of service, they'll come out with their own equipment and take care of everything!

Call a professional fire damage restoration company. They can help clean up any messes left behind by extinguished flames before they cause any more damage than necessary. Give SERVPRO a call for remediation after a fire loss to your property.

As you can see, there are many ways to extinguish a fire. Even so, it's important to remember that safety always comes first. If you are unsure about how to use a fire extinguisher or if there is any doubt in your mind about whether or not you should use one at all, call 911 immediately! 

3 Smoke Odor Remediation Techniques

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Removing Odor After a Fire

Smoke cleaning can be used to return your home to its pre-fire condition. Once the cleanup and restoration process is complete, you may find you still have some lingering odors that make your home less than habitable. Fortunately, there are several techniques that professionals often use to remove the smell of smoke. If you have experienced smoke damage in Somers Point, NJ, you may need the help of an expert to remedy the situation. Luckily, there are three techniques that are often used to remove odors after a fire.

1. Thermal Fogging
Fogging machines use a petroleum-based deodorizer that counteracts the smoke molecules, rendering them odorless. Since this works by emitting a thick fog, it can easily get into small cracks and crevices where other techniques may have a harder time reaching. It is not safe to be in the room while the fog is present. Anyone that remains in the room must wear respiratory protection.

2. Ozone Machines
Ozone generators perform smoke cleaning by releasing additional ozone into the air. These machines use an electrical charge to break down oxygen molecules. After the atoms sort themselves back into oxygen molecules, the smoke odor should be gone for good. Ozone is dangerous at high levels, so everyone should leave the room until the ozone level returns to normal. It will not be safe to enter the residence until the process is complete.

3. HEPA Filters
High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestors, more commonly known as HEPA filters, work by trapping up to 99.97% of particulates. The system sucks the air into the device, passes it through the filter, and releases it on the other side. Most odor-causing particles will become trapped inside the filter, leaving you with only clean air.
Smoke cleaning is a special skill that requires special training and equipment to safely and effectively remove odors. If you are dealing with unwanted odors after a fire, call a professional fire restoration service for help.

Top Tips for Avoiding a Natural Gas Fire

5/19/2022 (Permalink)

Top Natural Gas Fire Prevention Tips

Gas lines to your home are one of the wonders of the modern era. At the turn of the switch, plentiful gas flows into your home in a steady, controlled manner, allowing you to cook your meals, heat your home and clean your clothes. Occasionally, a gas leak occurs, leaving your home vulnerable to a gas fire. A few precautions and a little bit of knowledge can better prepare you and your family for such a scenario.

How To Identify a Gas Leak

Natural gas is colorless and odorless. To help with detection, a chemical called mercaptan is added to give gas a recognizable smell. The odor is commonly described as that of rotten eggs or hydrogen sulfide. Look for these signs to detect a gas leak:

  • The sudden smell of rotten eggs
  • A hissing sound coming from gas pipes
  • A stove burner turned on but no flame

To prevent a gas fire make sure everyone in your home knows these signs of a gas leak. It may be helpful to children to let them smell natural gas with mercaptan so they can identify it.

How To Respond to a Gas Leak

If you suspect a leak, make a quick check of the stove to make sure all burners are off. Don't turn on any lights, as this could cause a spark and result in a gas explosion. Increase ventilation in the home by opening doors and windows. Have someone call 911 when that person is safely outside the home. If you know where your gas meter is located (normally outside of the home), try to locate a turn-off valve. A wrench may be needed to turn it to the off position.

If you do experience a gas fire, call in a fire cleanup team once the flames are extinguished. Look for a company that is Faster to Any Size Disaster and that can help with all aspects of fire recovery.

4 Essential Things To Do When Filing a Fire Damage Claim

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

When Filing a Fire Damage Claim, There Are Four Things You Must Do

If a fire occurs in your Pleasantville, NJ, home, you may be at a loss for what to do next. One of the most important tasks to complete is filing a fire damage claim. Doing this can allow you to cover the fire restoration process. If you're unfamiliar with this task, here are four essential things to do when filing a fire damage claim.

1. Study Your Coverage

To make the most out of your insurance policy, you must study your coverage. These are particularly important factors to investigate:

  • What damages are covered
  • How soon your claim should be filed
  • What your next steps are

If you need more thorough information, you can call your insurance company for help. Just be sure beforehand that you're planning on filing a claim.

2. Ask About Assistance

If your home is uninhabitable after the fire, you may be able to receive assistance from your insurance company. Part of your fire insurance could include housing, at least until your home has been restored. You may also be able to get essential products replaced. Keep in mind that these expenses may be taken out of your claim.

3. Document the Damage

Your fire restoration costs won't be covered unless the damage can be located and proven. If it's safe, walk through your home and look for damaged areas or items. Be sure to document what you see, preferably with visual proof. This will also be useful when an adjuster comes to inspect your home. When this happens, you can be sure every bit of damage is noted.

4. Keep Your Claim Open

While it may be easy to close your claim after getting the initial fire restoration payment, this could become problematic after a while. You may find that further damage has occurred since the accident. In case this happens, consider keeping your claim open for a while afterward.
Covering smoke cleaning and other aspects of the restoration process is essential. Therefore, it's important to file a claim as soon as possible.

How To Help Prevent a Fire During a Gas Leak

2/10/2022 (Permalink)

While the building materials of a home provide plenty of kindling when a blaze breaks out, a gas fire can be another matter altogether. In both scenarios, hungry flames devour all in their path, but in a fire caused by an ignition of natural gas, explosive forces can blow out the structure of a home and cause greater demolition and even spread to neighbors more quickly. You can help prevent a disaster from occurring in your home in Linwood, NJ, during a gas leak by learning and remembering this checklist.

What To Do if You Smell Natural Gas

• Ventilate the area as quickly as possible to reduce the gas concentration by opening windows and doors.
• Make sure that your gas stove or oven is turned off.
• Do not plug in, unplug or turn on anything electrical including light switches.
• Learn where the gas line is located and how to shut it off. Turn it to the off position using a wrench.
• Get everyone out of the house and safely away from a potential gas fire explosion, then call 911 immediately.

How To Implement These Safety Steps

Using electricity during a leak can send out invisible sparks that can ignite gas fumes and start a fire, as can static electricity, and even your cell phone. Your best bet is to get everyone out and then investigate the odor’s cause or get help. You should learn where your gas meter is and how the shut-off operates. Keep a wrench to use for that purpose in a set location near the meter in case you need to use it. Get your family out with as little fuss and movement as possible to avoid building up static.

Should you experience a gas fire, or gas explosion, call on fire damage assessment technicians in Linwood, NJ, for help with salvage and restoration. The experience is traumatic enough without trying to deal with those things on your own. Learning what to do proactively if you do smell gas can save your home and even your life.

3 Factors That Can Influence a Fire Damage Restoration Estimate

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

3 Things To Consider When Getting A Fire Damage Restoration Estimate

When a fire hits your business or Egg Harbor Twp, NJ, commercial property one of the first things you may consider is getting an estimate for the restoration costs. There are many professional restoration teams that can take care of the many repairs that come with fire damage, but the type of repairs they need to conduct and the costs can be affected by a number of factors. Here are three that could play a part in the quote.

1. Additional Damage Types

When receiving your quote, fire damage may not be the only type of cleanup required. In many cases a fire can also lead to water damaged caused by fire suppression systems or broken pipes. Smoke remediation may also be required. Your damage assessment professional will look at all these factors when factoring your quote.

2. Cleansing Services

The estimate given by your restoration team may also be influenced by the necessary cleaning services required to get everything back to pre-fire condition. These may include smoke odor removal, cleaning of furniture and upholstery, electronics cleaning for affected technology, and in some cases document restoration.

3. Extra Services

Many restoration companies offer additional services you may need to get your property functional again. These can include board up services to protect the building from additional damage during the restoration, debris removal, security services for lengthy repair work, and even help with the insurance claim. The use of these services may have extra costs attached, and should be indicated in your quote.

When receiving a commercial fire estimate it’s important to understand that a number of factors may play into the final price. In addition to standard fire damage clean up, your restoration team may look to see if there are any additional damage types such as smoke odor removal or water damage. You may also have options for cleaning services for damaged items, including documentation and furniture. Additional costs could come from other services you choose to take advantage of as well.