Recent Fire Damage Posts

3 Steps to Protect Pets from a Fire

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

3 Steps to Protect Pets from a Fire

Approximately 500,000 pets are affected by fires every year, according to the United States Fire Administration. Promote the safety of the people and animals in your home in the event of a fire emergency by planning ahead. From preventative caution to making an evacuation plan that includes pet safety, here are three pet preparation steps you can take today.

1. Avoid open flames. Cats or dogs may knock candles over or singe their tails in open flames. Try a flameless candle alternative instead. You should also consider the risk posed by knobs on a gas stove. If you leave your pets unconfined at home while you are away, you may want to block the kitchen entrance or install protective covers to prevent pets from accidentally turning on the gas. 

2. Include pets in fire safety and evacuation plans. Prepare to safely evacuate pets along with the rest of your family in a fire emergency. Obtain and put up a front window cling to inform firefighters of the number and types of pets living in your home.

3. Gather pet records and supplies in a fire box. Store this box near an exterior door so that you can quickly grab all of these items during an evacuation. Make sure to include ownership and vaccination records as well as spare collars and leashes in case you need to control or restrain a frightened pet.

These simple steps can help you prevent fires and promote pet safety in the event of a fire emergency. You may also want to keep other home ownership or insurance records in a place where you can also easily find and take them in the event of an evacuation.

Your Belongings and Fire Damage

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage, including smoke and soot, affects not only the structure of your house but also your belongings. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals understand your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings are the very things that make a house a home.

If You Have Questions or Need Help, 
Call Us Today 803-955-0342

Contents Restoration

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals specialize in restoring contents damaged by water, fire, or mold. Their expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. They pretest your belongings to determine what items they can restore to pre-fire condition. They use several methods of cleaning your contents, including:

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.

Move-Outs/Pack-Outs

If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning due to fire damage, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. A move-out has several benefits, including:

  • A quicker remodeling process
  • Protecting items from potential damage
  • Protecting contents from further on-site damage

When restoration is completed, they will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage. 

Contents Claim Inventory Service

When a fire emergency strikes, the damage can often feel overwhelming. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can help ease the worry and confusion during the recovery process by offering our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. They take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding. Learn more about the Contents Claim Inventory Service.

Our Contents Claim Inventory Service:

  • Preloss list and value of contents
  • Detailed and accurate report
  • Better information to settle claims quicker
  • Assistance with burden of proof for claims
  • Peace of mind when you need it most!

Fire Damage Emergency Tips

3/17/2018 (Permalink)

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have A Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency? 
Call 803-955-0342

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

How To Put Out the Grease Fire You Might Have Started

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

How To Put Out the Grease Fire You Might Have Started
1. Turn off the source of heat. Typically, this means turn off the stove your pot or pan is sitting on. If the dial is on the back of the stove, avoid reaching directly over the fire while you do so.
2. Cover with a metal lid or another pot, pan, or even cooking sheet. The idea is to remove as much oxygen as possible from the flame.
3. If you cannot get something on it to cover, throw on baking soda (tons of it) or salt.
4. Use a Class B fire extinguisher as your last resort. If you are unsure of what that is, it is better to simply follow the next step and forget this one.
5. If the fire is taking too long to contain or is larger than you feel comfortable dealing with, get out of the house. Shut the door on your way out to help keep the fire contained, and once you are a safe distance away, call 911.

In order to keep yourself and the rest of your property safe, do not do the following:

1. Use water or any fabrics to put out a grease fire. 
2. Use baking powder or any powders that looks like baking soda or salt. They might look the same on the outside but are made of different chemicals and can lead to a less-than-fun chemistry experiment.
3. Try to move the flaming pot or pan.

As much as you may want to save the cosmetics of the kitchen, safety is always more important than easy fire cleanup. The steps above may help you put the grease fire out sooner and with less damage, but if you have any doubts, you should always follow step #5 first and seek the help of professionals at SERVPRO of Cayce, West Columbia, and Lexington at 803-755-9774

Fire Safety Tips

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Though some fires are unavoidable acts of nature or unpredictable accidents, many fires in the home and workplace are avoidable. The following tips, courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association, can help reduce the likelihood of a fire in your business or home.

-Watch your cooking

Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food.

-Give space heaters space

Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.

-Smoke outside

If you must smoke inside, have sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.

-Keep matches and lighters out of reach

Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.

-Inspect electrical cords

Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs or have loose connections.

-Be careful when using candles

Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn . Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.

-Have a fire escape plan

Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.

-Install smoke alarms

Install alarms on every level of your office  or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.

-Test smoke alarms

Test alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year or as needed.

-Install sprinklers

Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving  your local Fire Department a better chance of saving your property.



Types of Smoke

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damages are complex due to the unique nature of different types of smoke. Some things you may not know about smoke.

-Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.

-Smoke flows around plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor.

-They type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

-Once at a fire scene, a SERVPRO Professional tests the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred.

Types of Smoke:

Wet Smoke Residues: result from smoldering fires with low heat. Residues are sticky and smeary with a pungent odor. Smoke webs can be difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke Residues: result from fast burning fires at high temperatures. Residues are normally dry, powdery, small, nonsmeary smoke particles.

Protein Residues: are virtually invisible residues that discolor paints and varnishes. They have an extreme pungent odor.

Fuel Oil Soot:  occur when furnaces puff back, distributing fuel oil soot.

Other Types of Residue: include tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residues, all requiring cleanup.

Home Emergency Tips: Fire and Smoke Damage

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Home Emergency Tips: Fire and Smoke Damage If you experience fire or smoke damage, call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington at: (803) 755-9774.

Home Emergency Tips: Fire and Smoke Damage

Your home is a place to relax, play and enjoy spending time with your family. Our home is also where we spend a good bit of our time, which is why we are going to talk about some simple steps to minimize the risk of getting hurt. Below are some helpful tips to prevent serious injuries that are often completely preventable.

What to Do in case of fire or smoke damage:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Blow or brush vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery, drapes and carpets.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpeted traffic areas.
  • Clean and protect chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances with light coating of Vaseline or oil.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What Not to Do in case of fire or smoke damage:

  • Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO professional.
  • Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your local SERVPRO professional.
  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances, TV’s, radios, etc. that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Do not use any canned or packaged foods or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water- they may have been contaminated.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be wet or damaged.
  • Do not send fabrics to an ordinary dry cleaner- improper cleaning may set the smoke odor.

For more advice on what to do after a fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington at: (803) 755-9774.

Fire Safety in the Workplace

5/18/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Safety in the Workplace

 

 

 

No matter the type of business that you are in, fire safety should always be your main concern. Here are a few fire safety tips to consider reinforcing into your daily routine at your workplace.

 

 

Fire Prevention:

 

  • Keep your work area free of paper, trash and any other items that can easily catch fire. Clutter contributes to fires by providing fuel and by preventing access to exits.
  • Watch your electrical cords, if they are damaged in any way, replace them.
  • Don’t overload your circuits.
  • Turn off electrical appliances at the end of each day.
  • Keep heat producing equipment away from anything that might burn, such as: copiers, coffee makers, and computers.
  • Use and store chemicals safely.
  • Learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher.

 

 

 

In Case of a Fire:

 

  • Call 911 immediately.
  • Close doors when exiting to help limit the spread of smoke and fire throughout the building.
  • Never use an elevator.
  • Follow the escape plan and meet at a place outside of your building and away from danger. Do a headcount to make sure all your staff has evacuated.

 

 

 

Fire safety is very important, and could save your life. Make sure to discuss with your staff the importance of fire safety. For more information on fire safety in the workplace you can go to:

 https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/firesafety/ .

 

 

 

 

 

Soot? Now What?

4/24/2017 (Permalink)

Soot? Now what?

Did you have a fire???

Did that fire leave you with an awful black mess all over your belongings???

Are you questioning why this has happened and what to do now???

Well hopefully I can help you with your questions and concerns.

So, what is soot damage, anyways?

Well that is a very good question! Soot by definition is, “a black powder that is formed when something is burned.” 

Obviously, we already figured out that the soot came from something that has burned, or we wouldn’t be in this current predicament, now would we!

But seriously, soot is nothing to play with, especially when it is involving your home.

When you have a fire, soot is the carbon particles that become airborne, leaving your property in disarray.

So, there is soot, is it safe to be around?

After you have a fire, you may have lots of emotions going through you right now, and you may be concerned about the soot that has taken over everything and if it is safe for you and your family.

Immediately after a fire, soot residue will settle onto your possessions.

 In certain instances, soot can be very toxic and hazardous to your health.

Soot contains elements of the burned material and during soot removal you should avoid exposure. Exposure to soot residue could be detrimental to your health: causing respiratory distress and other medical emergencies.

Your next thought may be:  to clean or not to clean?

If you are the type of person with patience and the drive to get something done, you may want to try your hand at cleaning your own belongings. Just remember safety always comes first!

It’s important to make sure you have the right protective gear when dealing with soot removal, such as: gloves, protective eye wear, face mask, and protective clothing.

Also, you should make sure you have proper ventilation to help clear the air of any soot and odors. (A box fan in the windows will help).

When cleaning your soot damage home, using soap and water, you should always start with the top of the room and work your way to the bottom of the room, making sure to wipe all knick- knacks along the way.

Additionally, using your vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, vacuum your upholstery, lamp shades, and carpet. This prevents the soot from being blown back into the areas you already cleaned.

For your clothing and linens, wash several times in your normal liquid detergent.

If your soot problem is a little too much too handle, you may want to call in the professionals!!! 

SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, will pretest to determine the degree of the damage, and then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the diverse types of surfaces in your home.

Depending on the amount of soot, SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, may be able to reduce the cost of recovery by cleaning lighter soot deposits found on some surfaces, eliminating the expense acquired with repainting or refinishing.

In other cases, SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, will clean and get your structure prepared to paint, this process allows the paint to better adhere to the surface, as well as deodorize.

Things NOT to do when you have soot damage!

  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to a fire, heat, or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don’t use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the incident.
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.

For more valuable information on soot and fire damage please visit http://www.IICRC.org/what-after-smoke-damage-has-happened-a-140.html or don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington!

Fire Extinguisher Safety

4/3/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguisher Safety

Do you know what to do in case of a small fire? Do you know how to use a fire extinguisher? Do you own a fire extinguisher? SERVPRO offers some tips about fire extinguishers!

 

https://youtu.be/gFifToYGgto

Kitchen Fires

2/27/2017 (Permalink)

Kitchen Fires:

The kitchen is where more home fires occur than anywhere else in the house and cooking is the number one cause of home fires. Although, kitchen fires generally begin on the stove, the damage can affect the entire kitchen or even the entire house.

Dealing with a fire in your home can be very overwhelming and devastating, but there are some easy steps that may help you cope during your loss. These helpful steps will help prevent further damage to your home:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery to prevent additional soiling.
  • Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
  • Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces.

The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia offers a variety of services, such as smoke and soot removal, deodorization, water removal and dehumidification, to help restore your home to preloss condition when possible. Proper remediation, can help prevent further damage such as odors, mold growth and permanent discoloration of items.

SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to help get your life back on the right track.

How to Avoid Kitchen Fires

2/27/2017 (Permalink)

How to Avoid Kitchen Fires:

 

The American Red Cross offers great steps on how to avoid kitchen fires:

 

  1. Never leave cooking food unattended- Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you must leave the kitchen, even for a second turn off the stove.

 

  1. Check your food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking.

 

  1. Use a timer so you’ll remember that the stove or oven is on.

 

  1. Don’t wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.

 

  1. Keep the kids away from the cooking area.

 

  1. Keep anything that can catch fire- pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.

 

  1. Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.

 

  1. Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen.

 

  1. Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.

 

  1. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

 

 

For more information, please visit redcross.org or contact SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia at (803)755-9774.

Shocking!!!!

8/9/2016 (Permalink)

According to the US Department of Energy, people use electricity to charge their cell phones and laptops, wash and dry their clothes, cook meals, brew their morning cup of coffee and heat their businesses. Electrical power keeps people connected and allows people to do what they need to do. Even though most Americans recognize the benefits that come with electrical power, they must also understand that there is a responsibility that needs to be taken seriously to avoid injury or possible disaster.

According to Electrical Safety Foundation International, more than 50,000 fires in the home are attributed to electrical fires. These have resulted in almost 500 deaths and more than 1,400 injuries. The damage that has been done has totaled to more than $1.3 billion. Obviously, being careless with electrical power has very serious consequences.

The experts at SERVPRO recommend that individuals follow these safety measures in their business and home to reduce the risk of electrical fires: 

• Inspect your home and business for loose wires, faulty wiring, and shorts. If there are any issues, contact a qualified electrician. Also, use safety covers on outlets to protect children. 

• Make sure there are smoke detectors on each level of your home or business. Test them each month to make sure they are working properly.

• If electrical equipment is making strange sounds or has a weird odor, turn them off. If there is water damage on your property, make sure that an expert inspects all electrical appliances. Do not plug them in or turn them on until they are safe. When water has damaged electrical appliances, they can be very dangerous.

• Use safe cord practices. When cords are loose, frayed or cracked, repair them or replace them. Never place cords in high traffic areas, under rugs, or stapled to surfaces. Additional outlets can be installed by an electrician if necessary. Extension cords should only be utilized temporarily.

• Light bulb wattage should be correct for the appliance being used.

• During spring cleaning and while working near service meters or electrical lines, use caution. Consider hiring a professional to do the work if it is dangerous.

• Flammable items should be kept away from electrical appliances.

• Consider installing an arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) to reduce the chances of electrical fire in your home.

• Avoid using electrical power tools outside after it has rained, or the area is wet. Never operate electrical equipment while barefoot.

• Do not allow children to climb trees near power lines. Reduce the risk of electrical-related injuries by keeping balloons, kites, and other items away from overhead lines.

Prevention is the best method to keep your family and property safe. If you have experienced property damage because of fire, you can rely on SERVPRO of Lexington.

Fire Alarms are important

6/27/2016 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house.  Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan.  A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation. 

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance. Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.

  • Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms.  Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year.  We have found it useful to change the batteries when daylight savings time either begins or ends.  If an alarm "chirps," the battery is low and should be replaced right away.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
  • Just the Facts: Smoke Alarms

  • Three out of five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or when the alarms are not working
  • Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.
  • More than one-third (37 percent) of home fire deaths resuSmoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.

    The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house.  Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.

    Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan.  A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation. 

    Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance. Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.

  • Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms.  Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year.  We have found it useful to change the batteries when daylight savings time either begins or ends.  If an alarm "chirps," the battery is low and should be replaced right away.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
  • Just the Facts: Smoke Alarms

  • Three out of five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or when the alarms are not working
  • Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.
  • More than one-third (37 percent) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
  • The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.
  • SERVPRO of Lexington wants you and your family to be safe.  If you have a home or business fire, we are here for you and are a phone call away. (803) 755-9774lt from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
  • The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.
  • SERVPRO of Lexington wants you and your family to be safe.  If you have a home or business fire, we are here for you and are a phone call away. (803) 755-9774

    Smoke and Soot Clean Up

    5/11/2016 (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 Lexington 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.

    Spring Is Here

    4/29/2016 (Permalink)

    Spring is here!!!!!!! Celebrate with BBQing.

    Here at SERVPRO of Lexington we are always safety cautious when it comes to fire. Here are some great tips for grilling outside and a great recipe.

    General grilling tips

    ·         Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.

    ·         The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

    ·         Keep children and pets away from the grill area.

    ·         Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.

    ·         Never leave your grill unattended.

    Before you use your grill:

    ·         Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.

    ·         Check the gas (propane) tank hose for the potential (gas) leaks. To do that:

    o    Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.

    o    Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose (big enough to see).

    o    If there are no bubbles, your grill is safe to use.

    ·         If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again.

    ·         If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department immediately.

    When the grill is on:

    ·         As you are cooking, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.

    ·         If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.

    ·         If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.

    Charcoal grills

    ·         There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.

    ·         If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.

    ·         Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.

    ·         There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.

    ·         When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

    The Best Grilled BBQ- Chicken Kabobs

    Ingredients

    ·         2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts

    ·         2 teaspoons kosher salt

    ·         1 1/2 tablespoons sweet paprika

    ·         2 teaspoons smoked paprika

    ·         4 teaspoons sugar

    ·         2-3 slices raw bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

    ·         1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce

    Instructions

    1.     Trim chicken of excess fat, then cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the salt. Then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

    2.     Turn all grill burners to high, close lid, and heat for about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on, but turn off other burners.

    3.     Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, combine the paprikas and sugar. Place the raw bacon in a food processor and pulse for about 30-45 seconds, until a smooth paste forms, scraping down the sides of the bowl twice throughout. Add the bacon paste and spice mixture to the chicken. Mix with hands or spatula until the ingredients are blended and chicken is coated. Thread the chicken onto the skewers, rolling or folding as needed to maintain 1-inch cubes.

    4.     Grill the chicken over the primary burner with lid closed, turning one-quarter of a turn every 2 minutes or so, until browned and slightly charred (about 8 minutes total for chicken breast and 10 minutes for thighs). Brush the top of kebabs with BBQ sauce; flip and cook until sauce is browned in spots, about 1 minute. Brush second side with sauce; flip and cook for another minute or so, until cooked through.

    5.     Remove kebabs from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve, passing remaining BBQ sauce separately, if desired.

    Contents Credit: fabulesslyfrugal.com/  and nfpa.org

    Be Prepared

    2/3/2016 (Permalink)

    Burn Awareness Week is also a great time to refresh ourselves on the ways to prevent fires by being prepared. So the first step is plan and get ready.

    Fire is one of the most common disasters to hit the average family. Did you know fire causes more deaths than any other type of disaster? But fire doesn’t have to be deadly. Especially if you have early warning from a smoke detector. Another thing everyone in your family should know is how to escape calmly. Please take this seriously. As parents it’s your responsibility for planning for and practicing what to do in case of a fire.

    To help you with this we have prepared a checklist which you’ll find below. As you’ll see it is pretty easy to do and a fun family activity because it gives everyone an opportunity to be involved in the protection of your house and loved ones. If you have small children it’s great because they feel a sense of accomplishment. Plus, they take pride in the responsibilities of taking care of family. It helps build their self-esteem.

    We suggest you install dual sensor smoke detectors outside each bedroom and on each additional floor of your residence. Remember to keep new batteries on hand.

    When were new smoke detectors installed: ________ (date)

    When were the Batteries purchased: ________ (date)

    What day of the month are you going to check your smoke detectors: ________ (date) (remember they should be checked every month).

    Create a chart. Make sure there’s a place for the family member in charge to sign their name or initials after each of the tests they’re responsible for.

    ______________ (family member name) checks smoke detectors.

    Look at the fire extinguisher(s) you have; check it to make sure they are properly charged. There’s nothing worse than depending on a fire extinguisher that is out of date. Just imagine how it would feel if you or your loved ones pushed the button. Nothing happened.

    If your house has more than one floor you should have at least one fire extinguisher on each floor. Check the pressure on the gauge. Some fire extinguishers have a test button to check proper pressure. If the unit is low on pressure, damaged, or corroded in any way, replace it. Some fire extinguishers can be professionally serviced. Find out which kind of fire extinguisher you have.

    Did you know that many fire departments have training on how to use a fire extinguisher? Call your local fire department and ask them when they are holding classes. If they don’t offer this training, ask how you can get involved in helping them create one. That way you not only help your family but many others, too. You can also check with your local Community Emergency Response Team about training in how to use the fire extinguisher. If you live in the United States you can contact your local emergency manager. Every city has one._______________ (family member name) examines extinguisher.

    ______________________________________________________ (family member names) have been trained to use the extinguisher.

    Draw a floor plan of your home; mark two fire escape routes for each room.

    Floor plan completed: _____________ (date)

    Remember to pick a safe outside place away from the house to meet after escaping from a fire.

    Meet up place outside: __________________________________

    Remember to teach your children: Practice a low-crawl escape from your bedroom. After everybody’s done it a few times, try doing it with your eyes closed. That way you can see how well each of you would do in thick smoke.

    Smoke escape drill conducted: __________________ (date)

    Conduct a home fire drill at least twice a year.

    Home fire drill conducted: ______________________ (date)

    Make your home fire safe:

    Fact: Dual sensor smoke detectors save lives. Dual Sensor smoke detectors have both ionization and photoelectric sensors in them. This offers maximum protection from two primary types of fires: flaming and smoldering. Dual photoelectric and ionization smoke sensing technologies offer optimal sensing of smoke particles produced in both flaming and smoldering fire. Remember to install a battery-powered dual sensor smoke detector outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your home.

    Use the test button to check each smoke detector once a month. When necessary, be sure to replace batteries immediately. Remember all the batteries in your smoke alarms need to be changed at least once a year.

    Don’t forget to have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Did you know that’s where most buyers happen?

    You and every member of your family need to know how to use a fire extinguisher correctly. It’s the wrong time to learn when you’re trying to fight a fire. If you don’t know how you can get from the fire department on how to use it. After you’ve gone through the training make sure there is written instructions in your kit on the way to attack a fire. Also you need to make sure that everybody knows when the right time is to get out and quit fighting.

    Remember, we want everybody to survive to play another day.

    Also have instructions how to turn off all the utilities in your house.

    Practice Every Month: Periodic Fire Drills.

    We suggest you practice them at least once a month that way everyone remembers what to do when there is a fire.

    Remember, don’t forget to make plans for your pet.

    Each member in your family needs to have an Emergency Go Bag.

    Here Are the Basic Things Each of You Should Have in Your Emergency Go Bag:

    A Couple Days Supply of Any Needed Medications

    House and Cars Keys

    Cash

    Copies of Important Documents

    Important Phone Numbers

    Change of Cloths

    Emergency Space Blanket

    Have a Current Picture of All Who Live in Home

    Have Activities for Your Children to Do and Yourself

    Food

    Water

    Anything extra you think you’ll need. (Remember you know your family better than anyone else.)

    Plan Escape Routes:

    Know at least two ways to escape from every room of your home. If you must use an escape ladder, be sure everyone knows how to use it.

    Select a safe zone outside your home where everyone will meet after escaping.

    Practice your full escape plan at least twice a year. (We suggest you try to do it every other month.) Remember, once you are out, stay out!

    Please escape safely. We really enjoy having you around. And we’re not the only ones. This business is serious but you can have fun doing it.

    If you see smoke in your first escape route, use your second way out.

    If you must exit through smoke, crawl low under the smoke to escape.

    If you are escaping through a closed door, feel the door before opening it. If it is hot, use your second way out.

    If smoke, heat, or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with the door closed. Signal for help by using a bright-colored cloth at the widow.

    If there is a telephone in the room, call 911 (Use this in the United States. If in a different country check with your local fire department on how to get a hold of him in an emergency.) When you call them remember to tell them where you are.

    If you catch on fire stop, drop, and roll.

    “Once out stay out.”

    This concludes this week’s blog. We hope you found it informative. We also hope that you make this part of your family conversation and implement this so you and your family can be prepared.

    Contents Credit: www.ergeeks.org

    Be Burn Aware

    2/1/2016 (Permalink)

    Burn Awareness Week
    February 1-7, 2016

    Burn Awareness Week, observed the first full week in February, is designed to provide an opportunity for burn, fire and life safety educators to unite in sharing a common burn awareness and prevention message in our communities. Burn Awareness Week, celebrated early in the year, is an excellent opportunity to “kick off” a year full of burn awareness education.

    The Epidemic of Liquid and Steam Burns

    Children and Older Adults Most At-Risk

    Each year, over 450,000 burn injuries occur in the United States that are serious enough to require medical treatment.

    Between 2007 and 2013, the proportion of burn center admissions due to scald burns increased from 29.8% to 33.7%.

    Join us in the fight to prevent severe burn and scald injuries!

    The average annual cost of scald injuries is $44 million

    Over 136,000 children were seen in emergency rooms for burn injuries in 2011

    1,100 children die each year from fire and burns

    Older Adults are at higher risk of suffering an injury from burns

    Adults ages 65+ are twice as likely to die in home fires

    Adults 85+ years are four times more likely to die from a burn injury

    Tips to Stay Safe

    DO’S

    Set your water heater at 120 degrees F/48 degrees C or just below the medium setting.

    Use a thermometer to test the water coming out of your bath water tap.

    Run your hand through bath water to test for hot spots.

    Use back burners and turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so children cannot pull them down.

    Use oven mitts when cooking or handling hot food and drinks.

    Use oven mitts, not towels, to handle hot pots and pans

    Use caution when cooking with grease – keep burner on a low to medium setting and keep a pan lid in reach

    Stir and test food cooked in the microwave before serving. Open heated containers away from you from back to front.

    Keep children away from the stove when cooking by using a safety gate for younger children and marking with tape a 3-foot “no-kid zone” for older children.

    Keep hot drinks away from the edge of tables and counters and avoid using tablecloths and placemats.

    Use a “travel mug” with a tight-fitting lid for all hot drinks.

    Never hold or carry a child while you have a hot drink in your hand.

    Make sure smoke alarms are in place on each level of your home and replace batteries every 6 months Have an escape plan if fire breaks out in the home – “two ways out” should always be available

    DON’T’S

    Wear clothing with loose or large sleeves while cooking

    Leave food cooking on the stove unattended

    Pour water on a grease fire – use a lid to smother the flames

    Cook when you are sleepy or have taken medications that make you drowsy

    Ever heat your home using the warmth from a kitchen oven or stove

    Leave a child unattended in the bathtub; if you must leave, take the child(ren) with you

    Allow young children to adjust the water   temperature or sit near faucet handles

    Set anything hot on tabletops within reach of young children who can pull them down

    Allow appliance cords (slow-cookers, deep- fryers, coffeemakers) to dangle over the counter edge

    Contents Credit: www.ameriburn.org

    Be aware Be ready

    1/15/2016 (Permalink)

    Home Fires

    Each year more than 2,500 people die and 12,600 are injured in home fires in the United States, with direct property loss due to home fires estimated at $7.3 billion annually.  Home fires can be prevented!

    To protect yourself, it is important to understand the basic characteristics of fire. Fire spreads quickly; there is no time to gather valuables or make a phone call. In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.

    Heat and smoke from fire can be more dangerous than the flames. Inhaling the super-hot air can sear your lungs. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Instead of being awakened by a fire, you may fall into a deeper sleep. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio.

    Every day Americans experience the horror of fire but most people don't understand fire.

    Fire is FAST!

    There is little time! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames. Most deadly fires occur in the home when people are asleep. If you wake up to a fire, you won't have time to grab valuables because fire spreads too quickly and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape.

    Fire is HOT!

    Heat is more threatening than flames. A fire's heat alone can kill. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs. This heat can melt clothes to your skin. In five minutes, a room can get so hot that everything in it ignites at once: this is called flashover.

    Fire is DARK!

    Fire isn't bright, it's pitch black. Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness. If you wake up to a fire you may be blinded, disoriented and unable to find your way around the home you've lived in for years.

    Fire is DEADLY!

    Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire uses up the oxygen you need and produces smoke and poisonous gases that kill. Breathing even small amounts of smoke and toxic gases can make you drowsy, disoriented and short of breath. The odorless, colorless fumes can lull you into a deep sleep before the flames reach your door. You may not wake up in time to escape.

    Only when we know the true nature of fire can we prepare our families and ourselves.

    Recovering from a fire can be a physically and mentally draining process.  When fire strikes, lives are suddenly turned around.  Often, the hardest part is knowing where to begin and who to contact.

    The following checklist serves as a quick reference and guide for you to follow after a fire strikes.

  • Contact your local disaster relief service, such as The Red Cross, if you need temporary housing, food and medicines.
  • If you are insured, contact your insurance company for detailed instructions on protecting the property, conducting inventory and contacting fire damage restoration companies.  If you are not insured, try contacting private organizations for aid and assistance.
  • Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Be watchful of any structural damage caused by the fire.
  • The fire department should see that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site.  DO NOT attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.
  • Conduct an inventory of damaged property and items.  Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made.
  • Try to locate valuable documents and records.  Refer to information on contacts and the replacement process inside this brochure.
  • If you leave your home, contact the local police department to let them know the site will be unoccupied.
  • Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to fire loss.  The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and for verifying losses claimed on income tax.
  • Notify your mortgage company of the fire.
  • Check with an accountant or the Internal Revenue Service about special benefits for people recovering from fire loss.
  • For more information on what you should do after a home fire, including valuing your property, replacing documents, and salvage hints, visit the U.S. Fire Administration’s website.

    Most home fires occur in the kitchen while cooking and are the leading cause of injuries from fire. Common causes of fires at night are carelessly discarded cigarettes, sparks from fireplaces without spark screens or glass doors, and heating appliances left too close to furniture or other combustibles. These fires can be particularly dangerous because they may smolder for a long period before being discovered by sleeping residents.

    Home fires are preventable! The following are simple steps that each of us can take to prevent a tragedy.

    Cooking

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Do not cook if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.
  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.
  • Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Smoking

  • If you smoke, smoke outside. Most home fires caused by smoking materials start inside the home. Put your cigarettes out in a can filled with sand.
  • Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out. The cigarette really needs to be completely stubbed out in an ashtray. Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
  • Check for cigarette butts. Chairs and sofas catch on fire fast and burn fast. Don't put ashtrays on them. If people have been smoking in the home, check for cigarettes under cushions.
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used, even if it is turned off. Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and faster.
  • Be alert - don’t smoke in bed! If you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy, put your cigarette out first.
  • Electrical and Appliance Safety

  • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • Buy electrical products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Use electrical extension cords wisely; never overload extension cords or wall sockets.
  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.
  • Portable Space Heaters

  • Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from portable heating devices.
  • Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Check to make the portable heater has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over.
  • Check with your local fire department on the legality of kerosene heater use in your community.
  • Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene in kerosene heaters. Never overfill it. Use the heater in a well-ventilated room.
  • Fireplaces and Woodstoves

  • Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions.
  • Never burn trash, paper, or green wood.
  • Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.
  • Store cooled ashes in a tightly sealed metal container outside the home.
  • Children

  • Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
  • Store matches and lighters out of children's reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Teach children not to pick up matches or lighters they may find. Instead, they should tell an adult immediately.
  • Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time.
  • Check under beds and in closets for burned matches, evidence your child may be playing with fire.
  • More Prevention Tips

  • Avoid using lighted candles.
  • Never use the range or oven to heat your home.
  • Replace mattresses made before the 2007 Federal Mattress Flammability Standard. Mattresses made since then are required by law to be safer.
  • Keep combustible and flammable liquids away from heat sources.
  • Portable generators should NEVER be used indoors and should only be refueled outdoors or in well ventilated areas.
    Content Credit: www.ready.gov/home-firesPhoto Credit: www.facebook.com
  • Wildfire Safety Tips

    5/20/2015 (Permalink)

    Fire Damage Wildfire Safety Tips photo credit: Washington post

    • Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks.  Remove dead vegetation from under your deck and within 10 feet of the house.  This prevents embers from igniting your home.
    • Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches.  Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris from accumulating.
    • Ensure flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks, dry vegetation) are more than 30 feet from your home or business's foundation and outbuilding.
    • Wildfire can spread to treetops.  If you have trees on your property, prune so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
    • Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained.  If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity.  Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.

    All about FIRE

    4/30/2015 (Permalink)

                                   TYPES OF SMOKE

    • Wet Smoke - Plastics and Synthetic Materials Low heat, pungent odor, sticky residues
    • Dry Smoke - Paper and Wood Fast burning, high temperatures
    • Protein - Food, Virtually invisible residues, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor
    • Fuel Oil Soot - Furnace Puff Backs

                             Fire Mitigation Procedure

    • Pretesting - What can be cleaned?  What cannot be cleaned?
    • Restoration Begins
    • Contents Claim Inventory Service - Accurate replacement lists lower adjusting expense.
    • Deodorization

    EXTINGUISHER

    4/15/2015 (Permalink)

    Fire Damage EXTINGUISHER Photo Credit: CityofWatsonville.org

    The U.S Fire Administration (USFA) recommends individuals be properly trained in order to use and maintain an extinguisher.  USFA says an extinguisher should only be used if:

    1. You have alerted other occupants and someone has called the fire department.
    2. The fire is small and contained to a single object, such as a wastebasket.
    3. You are safe from toxic smoke produced by the fire.
    4. You have a means of escape identified and the fire is not between you and the escape route.
    5. Your instincts tell you that is safe to use an extinguisher.

    What you can do until help arrives:

    3/3/2015 (Permalink)

    DO

    • Limit movement in the home to preven soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occuring.
    • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and uphostery.
    • Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
    • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.                    

    DO NOT

    • Wash any walls or painted sufaces.
    • Shampoo carpet or upholstery.
    • Clean any electrical equipment.
    • Send clothing to dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

    PUFFBACKS

    2/12/2015 (Permalink)

    A puffback is a messy furnace malfunction that occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout your home or business.  It can happen all at once, covering an interior in grimy soot, or a puffback can leak soot particles more gradually.  Equpped with the training, tools and experience to quickly and efficiently clean and restore your home or business, your SERVPRO Franchise Professional will help make your puffback "Life it never even happened"

    ITS A FACT

    2/9/2015 (Permalink)

    Even a small fire can cause odors in your home for years to come.  Any fire in your home is bad.  But when you try to clean it up yourself, it can be a disaster.  Especially considering that smoke and soot from even a small fire can cause odors that may resuface for years.  So, before you risk doing more damage by attempting to clean it up yourself, call us, your local fire, smoke and soot cleaup and restoration experts at SERVPRO!!!

    CANDLE WITH CARE

    1/27/2015 (Permalink)

    Hmm.. the smell of a sweet candle, there is nothing like it.

     If you are anything like me, during the holidays i love the smell of a burning candle.  Heck, it doesnt even have to be a holiday, i just like to light the candle and enjoy the sweet aroma it brings into my home.  But as someone who loves the smells, i also know that there is a lot of precautions i must take to keep my family and home safe.  While candles may be pretty to look at, they are a cause of home fires and home deaths.

     If you burn candles, make sure that you..

    •  Use a sturdy candle holder, make sure it won't tip over easily.
    • Place the candle holder on a sturdy and uncluttered surface.
    • If oxygen is used in home, DO NOT USE A CANDLE!
    • During a power outage, never use a candle.
    • Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from flame when lighting.

    For more information please visit: www.nfpa.org/education

    Home Fire Do's and Dont's

    10/10/2014 (Permalink)

    If you experience a fire in your home there a few things you should and should not do to help yourself in minimizing damages and the cleanup process.
    Do:
    Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.
    Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.
    Coat chrome faucets, trim, and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
    Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
    Do not:
    Wash any walls or painted surfaces.
    Shampoo carpet or upolstry.
    Clean any electrical equipment
    Send clothing to dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor in clothes.

    Fire Extinguisher Maintenance and usage

    10/9/2014 (Permalink)

    Are you aware of how to property maintain and use your fire extinguisher?
    Not every fire extinguisher is made equal.  Check your extinguisher’s manual on how to properly care for and maintain the extinguisher regularly.
    Be aware of the proper technique in using an extinguisher.  The leading successful way to use an extinguisher is the P.A.S.S. method
    P – Pull the locking pin on the handle that prevents the extinguisher from being improperly discharged.
    A – Aim your extinguishers nozzle so that it affects the base of the fire.  Extinguishers do not last long, so its important that you affect the most important part of the fire for as long as you can
    S – Squeeze you extinguishers lever towards your palm once its been properly aimed in order to start its use.
    S – Sweep the nozzle from side to side at the base of the fire in order to make sure that all host spots are affected.  Do not shy away from using the extinguisher until it runs out.

    Things You Didnt Know About Your Fire Extinguisher

    10/9/2014 (Permalink)

    Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher, but did do you know the different tips and safety tips surrounding your fire extinguisher?  Portable home fire extinguishers are not meant to fight big and fast spreading fires.  They are meant for small in home fires that are able to be controlled. 
    There are 3 different classes of fires, and as a result there are three different classes of extinguishers: A, B, and C. Which class of fire is your extinguisher rated for?  A red slash through any of the symbols tells you the extinguisher cannot be used on that class fire. A missing symbol tells you only that the extinguisher has not been tested for use on a given class of fire.  
    Class A: Ordinary combustibles such as wood, cloth, paper, rubber, and many plastics.
    Class B: Flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, grease, tar, oil-based paint, lacquer, and flammable gas.
    Class C: Energized electrical equipment including wiring, fuse boxes, circuit breakers, machinery, and appliances.
    Many home fire extinguishers are multi-purpose, so you might see multiple letters on yours at home.  That being said, if all you have is a Class C fire extinguisher for a class A or B fire, do not be hesitant to use it.  

    Smoke Alarm Safety Facts

    10/7/2014 (Permalink)

    National Fire Prevention week

    Smoke alarm safety facts:

    1. Usually when a smoke alarm fails to operate it is because the batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.
    2. Three out of every five fire deaths occur result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
    3. NFPA’s 2014 Fire Prevention week theme is “Working Smoke Alarms save Lives.  Test yours Today!”
    4. You should test a smoke alarm by pushing the button with your finger.
    5. You should test your smoke alarms at least once every month.
    6. A smoke alarm should be installed inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home. 
    7. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years from manufacture. 
    8. If your smoke alarm sounds whenever you cook you should replace the smoke alarm with a photoelectric type alarm and be sure that the alarm is at least 10 feet from the stove. 
    9. If your smoke alarm makes a chirping sound, you should replace the battery.
    10. With today’s modern furnishings and construction, you may have as little as 3 minutes to escape a home fire.
    11. If the smoke alarm sounds you should stop what you are doing and get outside. 
    Facts Reproduced from NFPA's Fire Prevention Week website, www.firepreventionweek.org. ©2014 NFPA.

    NFPA Fire Prevention Week

    10/6/2014 (Permalink)

    This week of October 6th 2014 is the National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Prevention Week!  This year’s theme is “Working Smoke Alarms save Lives!”  Test yours every month!

    Accoring to statistical data from the NFPA, in 2012 an estimated 1,375,500 fires were responded to in the United States.  These fires caused 2,855 deaths and 16,500 civilian injuries while costing more than 12.4 billion dollars in damages.  Though some fires are unavoidable acts of nature, many fires in the home and workplace are avoidable.

    Here are some 10 key fire safety tips that you should adhere to:

    1. Watch your cooking – Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling, or broiling food.  Never allow young children around the stove or oven, especially if they are not closely attended.

    2. Give space heaters space – Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn. 

    3. Smoke outside – If you must smoke inside, have a sturdy, deep ashtray.  Never smoke in bed.

    4. Keep matches and lighters out of reach – Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.

    5. Inspect electrical cords – replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs or have loose connections.

    6. Be careful when using candles - Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn.  Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.

    7. Have a fire escape plan – Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.

    8. Install smoke alarms – install alarms on every level of your office or home and inside bedrooms.  Interconnect them so they all sound at once.

    9.  Test smoke alarms - Test your smoke alarms once per month.  Replace batteries once per year as needed. 

    10.  install sprinkles – Sprinkles can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance of saving your property.

    Choosing a Tree

    12/6/2013 (Permalink)

    The difference between the most wonderful time of the year and a call to SERVPRO can be in the choosing of this year's tree. Christmas trees are involved in approximately 400 fires annually, according to the National Fire Protection Association. These typically result in more than a dozen deaths, dozens of injuries, and more than $10 million in property loss and damage. In short: circuiting tree lights are cited as the leading cause.

    Since the holiday season has begun, take a few of safety tips courtesy of the State Fire Marshal's Office on choosing and preparing Christmas trees for decoration that will minimize the risk of fire and injuries.

    • If you're buying an artificial tree, it should bear the "Fire Resistant" label. While this type of tree can catch fire, it will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.
    • If you're buying a natural tree, buy the freshest you can find. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. The trunk butt is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.
    • Watch out for trees with a greenish cast to their trunks and branches; many growers spray trees with green paint to make them look more appealing.
    • Cut at least one inch off the trunk's base to expose fresh wood for better water absorption. A tree will absorb as much as a gallon of water or more in the first 24 hours and one or more quarts a day thereafter. A seal of dried sap will form over the cut stump in four to six hours if water drops below the base of the tree, preventing the tree from absorbing water later when the tree stand is refilled. If a seal does form, another fresh cut will need to be made.
    • To maximize freshness and minimize fire risk, keep the tree outdoors for a few days in a bucket filled with water before bringing it indoors to decorate. The tree stand should hold at least one gallon of water.

    Because heated rooms dry out natural trees rapidly, keep the stand filled with water; check the water level daily. A six-foot tree will absorb one gallon of water every two days.

    Avoid Holiday Fire Disasters Through Safe Candle Use

    12/6/2013 (Permalink)

    Candles lend a special light to the holiday season: Halloween jack-o-lanterns, Thanksgiving dinner tables, Advent wreaths, Menorahs, luminarias, and Kwaanza Kinaras. If not for a seasonal purpose, then perhaps the romantic lighting or the smell of sugar cookies has convinced you that candles are an undeniable asset to ambiance. Whatever the reason, candle safety is important, particularly during the holiday season when their use is particularly common. Here are some basic guidelines to help keep you safe. Commit these to memory and avoid the embarrassment of last year's flaming cheese fondu (the result of a single candle... and might I add, not my fault).

    Who

    Children should be taught to stay away from lit candles. Try to keep them out of reach of young children and pets. Candle lighting is not an appropriate activity for small children, so keep matches and lighters out of the sight and reach of children.

    Where

    Burn candles away from drafts, other heat sources, and all flammable objects or materials. In other words, never use candles near windows or exits. Don't place them on Christmas trees, real or artificial (I know, it's tradition, but setting the house on fire isn't). Keep burning candles away from curtains, wrapping paper, paper, combustible decorations and displays (including Aunt Juanita's hair), flammable liquids, and aerosol sprays (please see Aunt Juanita's hair), such as hair spray, which can explode. Never allow a candle flame to touch any glass surface.

    When

    Don't burn candles for more than four hours at a time. Unattended candles are an invitation to disaster, so don't forget to snuff out candles before leaving the room or going to bed (that's right, falling asleep to candle light: bad idea). Blowing out candles doesn't do the trick: extinguish them by wetting the wick.

    And some other quick tips:

    • Candles other than jar candles must be used in an appropriate non-tipping, non-flammable holder made of tempered glass or made with a proper glaze.
    • Place candles on a safe, heat-resistant dry surface. If possible, place glass chimneys or shades over them.
    • For Christmas luminarias, use 15-hour votive candles in holders placed in paper bags filled with at least 2 inches of sand. The candle must be of a size that will allow adequate space between the candle and bag so as not to ignite the bag.
    • Remove labels and tags from candles before burning.
    • Keep wicks trimmed to 1/4 inch at all times. This inhibits smoking and carbon build-up at the tip of the wicks and provides a cleaner burn.
    • Sometimes a layer of liquid wax forms that causes the wick to fall to the side. To maintain an even burn, keep the wick centered. This will also protect the candle holder, since a flame that's too close for too long may crack the holder.
    • Keep the wax pool free of foreign objects such as wick trimmings and matches. They will interfere with proper burning and are flammable.
    • Extinguish taper or pillar candles when they get within 2 inches of their holders. Discontinue use of candle containers when 1/2" of wax remains. 

    When Fire Strikes

    9/25/2013 (Permalink)

    Fire damage in a home can be a stressful event for a homeowner. Damage to your personal belongings and home are just some of the concerns you may experience. Timely response and thorough mitigation can alleviate these concerns.

    SERVPRO Franchise Professionals understand your home is more than four walls. Your home includes your memories and personal belongings. SERVPRO Response Teams are trained in caring for both you and your home. By responding quickly with a full line of fire cleanup and restoration services, your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can help you restore your home and personal belongings.

    So, before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals at 1-800-SERVPRO. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have worked for over 35 years to make fire damage like it never even happened.

    Educating Kids about Fire

    8/1/2013 (Permalink)

    Have you educated your kids about fire safety? Do you know how to talk about fire safety with your kids? 

    Here are a few tips:

    •  Keep matches and lighters in a secured drawer or cabinet.
    • Have your children tell you when they find matches and lighters.
    • Develop a home fire escape plan. Practice it with your children and designate a meeting place outside.
    • Supervise young children closely. Do not leave them alone even for short periods of time.
    • Take the mystery out of fire by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
    • Teach children the nature of fire. It is FAST, HOT, DARK and DEADLY!
    • Demonstrate how to stop, drop to the ground and roll if their clothes catch fire.
    • Show children how to crawl low on the floor, below the smoke, to get out of the house and stay out in the case of fire.
    • Teach children not to hide from firefighters, but to get out quickly and call for help. 

    10 key Fire Safety Tips

    8/1/2013 (Permalink)

    Though some fires are unavoidable acts of nature or unpredictable accidents, many fires in the home and workplace are avoidable. The following tips, courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association, can help reduce the likelihood of a fire in your business or home. 

    Watch your cooking
    Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food.

    Give space heaters space
    Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.

    Smoke outside
    If you must smoke inside, have sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.

    Keep matches and lighters out of reach
    Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.

    Inspect electrical cords
    Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs or have loose connections.

    Be careful when using candles
    Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn . Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.

    Have a fire escape plan
    Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.

    Install smoke alarms
    Install alarms on every level of your office  or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.

    Test smoke alarms
    Test alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year or as needed.

    Install sprinklers
    Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving  your local Fire Department a better chance of saving your property.

    Your Recipe for Cooking Safety

    8/1/2013 (Permalink)

    It is common tradition in the United States for the holidays and cooking to go hand in hand. But more time in the kitchen brings an increased chance for cooking–related fires.

    According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking has long been the leading cause of residential fires and fire injures, and Thanksgiving is the peak for residential cooking fires. 

    Did You Know?

    • Cooking fires account for nearly half of reported home fires.
    • In 2010, cooking fires resulted in 410 deaths, 5,310 injures and over $993 million in property damage.
    • Three of every five reported, non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the individual attempted to fight the fire themselves.
    • If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding a lid over the pan. Turn off the burner but do not remove the pan. Keep it covered until the pan cools completely.
    • You can reduce the risk of a cooking fire by: Staying in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. Check on food regularly and use a timer to remind you of cooking food. Keeping children three feet away from cooking surfaces, also keeping cooking surfaces clean to prevent food or grease build up.

    Smoke 101

    7/24/2013 (Permalink)

    • Fire damages are complex due to the unique nature of different types of smoke. Some things you may not know about smoke.
    • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
    • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor.
    • They type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
    • Once at a fire scene, a SERVPRO Professional tests the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred.

    Types of Smoke:

    Wet Smoke Residues: result from smoldering fires with low heat. Residues are sticky and smeary with a pungent odor. Smoke webs can be difficult to clean.

    Dry Smoke Residues: result from fast burning fires at high temperatures. Residues are normally dry, powdery, small, nonsmeary smoke particles.

    Protein Residues: are virtually invisible residues that discolor paints and varnishes. They have an extreme pungent odor.

    Fuel Oil Soot:  occur when furnaces puff back, distributing fuel oil soot.

    Other Types of Residue: include tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residues, all requiring cleanup. 

    Who will pick up the pieces?

    7/11/2013 (Permalink)

    The leading causes of fire in a home include



    • Cooking

    • Heating Units

    • Electrical

    • Smoking


    No matter how the fire started a rush of emotions and feelings of panic seem to follow. After calling the Fire Department to put out the fire, who do you call to help you clean up the damage caused by the fire?

    SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia are trained in the cleanup and care of your home and personal belongings following a fire incident. Before attempting to clean up the fire damage yourself, contact us 803-755-9774.