Recent Fire Damage Posts

Classifications of fire damage

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

Types of fire damage 

Class A- solid non-metal and non-kitchen fires caused by materials like plastics, paper, rubber, wood, cloth 

Class B- liquid fires like gasoline, petrol, diesel, paint, oils, waxes, not cooking oils and grease 

Class C- gas fires like oxygen, hydrogen, propane, butane 

Class D- metal fires like magnesium, potassium, and sodium 

Class E- Class A and B fires combined along with electrical elements 

Class F- kitchen fires with proteins, fats, and often oils, also known as class K

Why is it important to know the different classes of fire?

The fire classes help determine the best method of extinguishing the fire, help insurance companies understand loss, and help you understand the best method of cleaning the fire damage.  

Why can’t you use certain fire extinguishers on certain fires?

Certain fires result from chemical reactions and adding other chemicals can cause further reactions to take place. These reactions may combust the fire further. 

Why can’t you use certain chemicals to clean fire damage?

The residue from fire damage can be made up of toxic chemicals and can react with cleaning products to cause harmful reactions or toxic chemicals. Some of these byproducts can be airborne, and some can be surface-bound. 

7 simple ways to prevent chimney fires

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

Install a chimney gate to suffocate the fire

Chimney glass doors can be expensive but also very handy for suffocating chimney fires. They also help to reduce the drafts from traveling through your chimney when you're not suffocating a fire. Purchasing these will still usually be cheaper than your average chimney fire repair cost, which usually ranges between $300-$1500, depending on the damages. If you have a chimney door in place, you can more easily suffocate the fire by covering any airflow gaps in the door.   

Try not to use firestarters

It may be compelling to put some firestarter on the wood to make the flame larger and last longer. However, some firestarters may produce fumes that are not healthy for your home, and they may also raise the flames too high. The most important thing to look out for is keeping your flame controlled. If you have creosote or other flammable residue build-ups, you may ignite the layers if the flame is high enough.

Only burn fire-safe wood

It is best to stick to chimney-safe wood because some firewood and other fuel sources can give off flammable residue or possibly toxic fumes. An example of this flammable residue is creosote. Creosote is a flammable and oily residue that builds up from burning wood. It will slowly build up in layers, giving off a tar-like or grey, crusty appearance. There are also certain kinds of wood that cause irritating fumes. A common example is poison ivy. 

Burning packaging and reading material can create a residue that can adhere to the chimney, creating an additional fuel source and toxic fumes. This flammability is particularly dangerous if the flame sparks or raises too high. 

Check for chimney cracks

A crack in the protective lining of your chimney can unintentionally heat flammable layers and let in moisture. Letting in the creosote fumes in secondary layers increases build-up in areas of the chimney that are uncleanable. It is unlikely that there will be a spark or high enough temperatures in the secondary layer near the build-up, but large flames, high temperatures, and larger cracks increase the risk of it happening. 

Check for water damage 

Water damage leaves corrosion, giving flammable residue more surface area to stick to and increase the fuel available for chimney fires. Even worse, water damage often results in mold, which can be inhaled when burned. Mold can leave fumes that act as an irritant and cause health effects for those who are sensitive or allergic to mold.

Clean any flammable residue

Every fire can produce residue that can be flammable. Creosote is the flammable byproduct of burning wood. This residue builds up over time, slowly increasing the amount of possible fuel in the chimney for a spark to ignite to cause a chimney fire. You can use an anti-creosote chemical cleaning solution for easy to reach places, but a professional may be required for higher or thicker build-up. 

Check to see if your chimney cap is still attached and functioning

Chimney caps can stop debris from falling in or animals from nesting in the chimney. A common example is when birds lay nests in an unused chimney, either blocking airflow or adding flammable debris for when the chimney eventually gets used. Over time, chimney caps can get damaged from storms or corrosion. In some cases, the wind can completely take them off. You can simply look at a certain angle or have a professional go in and check during an inspection or cleaning.

Why Board Up After a Fire?

3/26/2021 (Permalink)

If you have experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. In addition to keeping the external elements out of a building with fire damage, boarding up can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process easier. 

Most full-service restoration specialists offer boarding-up services. Here are four reasons to board-up after a fire.

1. There is still viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.

2. You want to protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition. Loss can be far more expensive than restoration or covered replacement.

3. You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.

4. You want to limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.

Talk to restoration experts at SERVPRO of Dothan, about whether boarding up is a good strategy for preventing loss and limiting damage after a fire. Your major concern is likely to be how to recover from fire damage as quickly and completely as possible. Preventing looting and exposure to the elements can make fire cleanup more successful. Don’t hesitate to call us 334.699.5961.

10 Ways to Prevent and Survive House Fires

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Many house fires can be prevented and survived. Keep yourself and your family safe with these best practices provided by professional firefighters.

  1. Show Us Your Number

Firefighters and first responders need to find your home quickly in an emergency. House numbers  should be at least 4 inches tall, visible from the street, visible at night and unobstructed from all angles.

  1. Hold Regular Fire Drills

Make a family escape plan and practice it. Start your drill in sleeping areas with the lights out. Practice staying low and crawling through your emergency exits. Meet at a pre-selected meeting place outside.

  1. Inspect Extension Cords

Inspect cords and discard any that get hot with use or are visibly damaged. Make sure your cords are properly rated for the job and aren’t pinched behind or beneath furniture.

  1. Cool Your Ash

Treat all fireplace ashes as if they’re still burning. Put them in a metal container, close it with a tight-fitting lid and let the ashes cool outside at least 10 feet from your home or other structure.

  1. Avoid False Alarms

Make sure your fire alarm system is installed by a licensed professional, test it monthly and keep it clean of dust and debris.

  1. Allow Space for Space Heaters

Give space heaters at least 3 feet of clearance on all sides. Never leave a space heater unattended and keep children and pets a safe distance away.

  1. Learn What to Burn

Don’t burn trash or paper in a fireplace. Tiny particles of burning paper can float up your chimney and onto the roof or into the yard, posing a fire risk.

  1. Use the Right Extinguisher

A 2.5-pound Class ABC multipurpose dry chemical extinguisher will put out many types of household fires that involve wood, paper, plastics, liquids, electric appliances or electrical outlets.

  1. Use That Extinguisher Correctly

Remember a simple acronym: PASSPull the pin, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze and hold down the handle, and Sweep from side to side and front to back.

  1. Inspect Gas Grills Annually

Check the gas tank hose for leaks by applying a soap-and-water solution to it, then open the valve to the propane tank. If you see bubbles, close the gas valve and have the grill repaired before using it.

SERVPRO of Dothan is always here to help. Please call 334-699-5961 - 24/7 for emergency help!

Source: Bob Vila

Are your clothes dryer safe?

1/31/2021 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), "between 2010 - 2014, USA fire departments responded to an estimated 15,970 home fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year.  These fires resulted in annual losses estimated at 13 deaths, 440 injuries, and $238 million in property damage. Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of the fires; washing machines 4%, and washer/dryer combinations accounted for 5%." One-third of the dryer fires were caused by the simple failure to clean them.

“Fires involving clothes dryers usually started with the ignition of something that was being dried or was a byproduct (such as lint) of drying.”

SERVPRO of Dothan is here to help. Please call 334-699-5961 - 24/7 for emergency help!

Cooking safety

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Holiday season is here and with that comes cooking at all hours of the day and night. While you’re dreaming of those amazing smells drifting through your house be sure to keep safe. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries. Ranges or cooktops cause 62% of home fires according to the National Fire Protection Association. Learn how to stay safe with these tips

  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stove top.
  • Always unplug counter top appliances when not in use. 
  • Double check that everything is off when you finish cooking.
  • Prevent fires by keeping your oven and stove top clean of grease and dust.
  • Never leave the kitchen while cooking.
  • Never cook while sleepy, drinking alcohol, or taking medication that makes you drowsy.
  • Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking.
  • Never use a cooking stove to heat your home.

SERVPRO of Dothan is always here to help. Please call 334-699-5961 - 24/7 for emergency help!

Firepit Safety

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

Fall is coming and for many families its a tradition to enjoy the nights outside around a homemade fire pit! Many of us are looking forward to spending time gathering around them to enjoy time with family and friends. Before you start dreaming of moonlit nights and toasted marshmallows, take a moment to check out some of these tips from Allstate to remember.

Backyard Fire Pit Safety Tips:

  • Whether you prefer a built-in or portable fire pit, choose one that is not too large for the area. The pit should be a minimum of 10 feet away from any structures or combustible materials as well as away from trees, fences, sheds, power lines, and telephone wires, 25 feet away from apartment or multi residence buildings.
  • Make sure that the seating area is large enough and properly placed for comfort and ventilation.
  • Check wind direction before lighting a fire.
  • Don’t use flammable fluids (gasoline, lighter fluid, etc.) to light or relight fires.
  • To start the fire, use a lighter to ignite crumpled pieces of paper covered with small sticks. Then, add larger sticks and a log or two to keep it burning. 
  • Burn only dry material. Damp material will create excess smoke. 
  • Use a commercial fire pit screen on top to help prevent large amber from leaving the controlled area. 
  • Don’t wear flammable clothing (like nylon) or any loose-fitting clothing.
  • Never leave the fire unattended, and keep pets and children far away from the fire as they will be attracted to it.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose, or bucket of water nearby.
  • As the fire dies down, use a shovel and spread out the ashes to allow them to cool down. Then slowly pour water over those ashes and watch them closely to be sure that no burning embers remain or reignite. Put the cooled ashes in a specially designated ash storage metal can. 

SERVPRO of Dothan is always here to help. Please call 334-699-5961 - 24/7 for emergency help!

Clothes Dryer Safety

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), "between 2010 - 2014, USA fire departments responded to an estimated 15,970 home fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year.  These fires resulted in annual losses estimated at 13 deaths, 440 injuries, and $238 million in property damage. Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of the fires; washing machines 4%, and washer/dryer combinations accounted for 5%." One-third of the dryer fires were caused by the simple failure to clean them.

“Fires involving clothes dryers usually started with the ignition of something that was being dried or was a byproduct (such as lint) of drying.”

Call Us Today at 334-699-5961 and let us help!

Holiday safety

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

The holidays are sneaking up on us and listed below are a few holiday tips we would like to share.

  1. Inspect electrical decorations for damage before use.

2.DO NOT overload electrical outlets!!!

  1. Never connect more than three strands of lights. Connecting more than this will cause a fuse to blow, and could potentially cause a fire.
  2. Keep your tree watered daily. Watering your tree daily will keep it alive and prevent drying out. Trees can be a serious fire hazard!
  3. Use battery operated candles.
  4. Do NOT leave the house with a fire going in your fire place! Always be home and awake with a fire is going inside. The wood used in a fireplace can  sometimes spark and pop.  This can land on a rug or carpeted area, causing a house fire to start.
  5. Protect electrical cords.

Cords should never be pinched by furniture , forced into tight places,  or placed under rugs/ carpeted areas.  Also remember that you should never nail or staple down an electrical cord. This can cause damage to the cord and therefore end us causing a house fire to start.

  1. Stay in the kitchen when something is cooking!

Never leave your oven or stove unattended.

9.Turn off any decoration while you are away from your home or asleep at night!!!

  1. Keep combustibles at least 3 feet away from a heat source. This was one of the main causes of fires last year.

SERVPRO of Dothan is always here to help. Please be safe and share these few tips with friends and family this holiday season!

Get prepared and stay safe! Call Us Today at 334-699-5961

Smoke and Soot Damage

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

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 Dothan 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 at 334-699-5961 and let us help!

Top Causes of Home Fires in the US

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fires and heating equipment is the most common cause of home fire fatalities.

As the Fall and Winter seasons approach, when we start using heaters and fireplaces, and gathering and cooking for the holidays, please be sure to visit the National Fire Protection Association website and review how to prevent  these top causes of home fires and what action to take if they occur:

Cooking equipment

Heating

Smoking

Electrical

Candles

Curious Children

And don’t forget to check and test your smoke detectors at least twice a year. Most people do it when the time changes as a way to remember when to do it but you can test them at any time of the year.

Clothes Dryer Safety

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), "between 2010 - 2014, USA fire departments responded to an estimated 15,970 home fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year.  These fires resulted in annual losses estimated at 13 deaths, 440 injuries, and $238 million in property damage. Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of the fires; washing machines 4%, and washer/dryer combinations accounted for 5%." One-third of the dryer fires were caused by the simple failure to clean them.

“Fires involving clothes dryers usually started with the ignition of something that was being dried or was a byproduct (such as lint) of drying.”

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers free safety tip and fact sheets along with a Clothes Dryer safety video.

Houston County Smoke and Soot Cleanup

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

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 Dothan 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 – 

SERVPRO of Dothan  334-699-5961!

10 Holiday Safety Tips For The Houston County Residents!

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

The holidays are sneaking up on us and listed below are a few holiday tips we would like to share.

  1. Inspect electrical decorations for damage before use.
  2. DO NOToverload electrical outlets!!!
  3. Never connect more than three strands of lights. Connecting more than this will cause a fuse to blow, and could potentially cause a fire.
  4. Keep your tree watered daily. Watering your tree daily will keep it alive and prevent drying out. Trees can be a serious fire hazard!
  5. Use battery operated candles.
  6. Do NOTleave the house with a fire going in your fireplace! Always be home and awake with a fire is going inside. The wood used in a fireplace can sometimes spark and pop.  This can land on a rug or carpeted area, causing a house fire to start.
  7. Protect electrical cords.

Cords should never be pinched by furniture, forced into tight places, or placed under rugs/ carpeted areas.  Also, remember that you should never nail or staple down an electrical cord. This can cause damage to the cord and therefore end us causing a house fire to start.

  1. Stay in the kitchen when something is cooking!

Never leave your oven or stove unattended.

  1. Turn off any decoration while you are away from your home or asleep at night!!!
  2. Keep combustibles at least 3 feet away from a heat source. This was one of the main causes of fires last year.

SERVPRO of Dothan is always here to help. Please be safe and share these few tips with friends and family this holiday season!

Get prepared and stay safe!

SERVPRO is the solution to soot!

10/22/2019 (Permalink)

Bathroom walls covered in soot. This before picture shows a bathroom covered in soot after a kitchen fire.

After a kitchen fire in a local apartment complex this bathroom was covered in soot.  SERVPRO of Dothan was on the scene shortly after the call was received. SERVPRO crew members jumped right in and tackled this job as quickly as possible. The tenant and property manager were blown away at the difference after the job was completed. 

Fires can leave a lingering smoke smell. LET US HELP!

10/22/2019 (Permalink)

Fogging home from attic fire. This photo shows the fogging of a house due to a fire in the attic.

We cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by this fire. We are trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment. We fogged this entire house after the homeowner experienced a fire in the attic.  

Houston County Smoke and Soot Cleanup

10/26/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Houston 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 Dothan 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 – 

SERVPRO of Dothan  334-699-5961!

10 Holiday Safety Tips For The Houston County Residents!

10/26/2018 (Permalink)

Holiday Safety Tips

The holidays are sneaking up on us and listed below are a few holiday tips we would like to share.

1. Inspect electrical decorations for damage before use.

2.DO NOT overload electrical outlets!!!

3. Never connect more than three strands of lights. Connecting more than this will cause a fuse to blow, and could potentially cause a fire.

4. Keep your tree watered daily. Watering your tree daily will keep it alive and prevent drying out. Trees can be a serious fire hazard!

5. Use battery operated candles.

6. Do NOT leave the house with a fire going in your fire place! Always be home and awake with a fire is going inside. The wood used in a fireplace can  sometimes spark and pop.  This can land on a rug or carpeted area, causing a house fire to start.

7. Protect electrical cords.

Cords should never be pinched by furniture , forced into tight places,  or placed under rugs/ carpeted areas.  Also remember that you should never nail or staple down an electrical cord. This can cause damage to the cord and therefore end us causing a house fire to start.

8. Stay in the kitchen when something is cooking!

Never leave your oven or stove unattended.

9.Turn off any decoration while you are away from your home or asleep at night!!!

10. Keep combustibles at least 3 feet away from a heat source. This was one of the main causes of fires last year.

SERVPRO of Dothan is always here to help. Please be safe and share these few tips with friends and family this holiday season!

Get prepared and stay safe!

Top Causes of Home Fires in the US

10/4/2018 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fires and heating equipment is the most common cause of home fire fatalities.

As the Fall and Winter seasons approach, when we start using heaters and fireplaces, and gathering and cooking for the holidays, please be sure to visit the National Fire Protection Association website and review how to prevent  these top causes of home fires and what action to take if they occur:

Cooking equipment

Heating

Smoking

Electrical

Candles

Curious Children

And don’t forget to check and test your smoke detectors at least twice a year. Most people do it when the time changes as a way to remember when to do it but you can test them at any time of the year.

Clothes Dryer Safety

10/4/2018 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), "between 2010 - 2014, USA fire departments responded to an estimated 15,970 home fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year.  These fires resulted in annual losses estimated at 13 deaths, 440 injuries, and $238 million in property damage. Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of the fires; washing machines 4%, and washer/dryer combinations accounted for 5%." One-third of the dryer fires were caused by the simple failure to clean them.

“Fires involving clothes dryers usually started with the ignition of something that was being dried or was a byproduct (such as lint) of drying.”

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers free safety tip and fact sheets along with a Clothes Dryer safety video.