Recent Fire Damage Posts

How To Prepare Your Business for a Fire

7/9/2020 (Permalink)

Contingency Plan Create a contingency plan for your business

How To Prepare Your Business for a Fire

As a business owner, there are many things you can do to prepare your building and employees for emergencies. Your efforts toward creating and maintaining a safe workplace should include writing a contingency plan. There are five steps, outlined by the Department of Homeland Security, that are involved in putting together a plan of action:

  • Program management
  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Testing and exercises
  • Program improvement

Take a look at how preparing your business for a fire-related emergency might look.

Program Management
The success of your preparedness plan depends on the commitment of management. This means you need to commit to spending time and some money on creating the plan and providing appropriate resources. This step also involves researching regulations in your area that outline the minimum requirements for workplace fire safety.

Planning
At this stage of creating your fire contingency plan, you should gather as much information about fire hazards and risks as you can. Your insurance provider may be an excellent resource. You could also reach out to fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals for another perspective. Complete a business impact analysis and look at methods of reducing fire hazards.

Implementation
At this point in putting together your preparedness plan, you should have written explanations for resource management, emergency response actions, emergency communication protocols, employee responsibilities, incident management steps, and scheduled trainings.

Testing and Exercises
Train your employees in the steps of your plan. Clarify the roles and responsibilities of individuals and run drills to support employees' abilities to follow your evacuation plan. During this step, watch out for any weaknesses in your plan and reach out to the Mount Vernon, GA, fire department for advice about making improvements.

Program Improvement
During this final step, schedule reviews of the plan to keep it up to date, look for ways to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan, and use your reviews and information from tests and exercises to improve the plan.
Putting together a contingency plan for the hazards your business may face should focus on keeping your employees and your physical properties safe. Start today and reach out to available resources in Mount Vernon, GA.

Are Your Home and Family Safe From a Fire?

6/15/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm Do you know how many smoke alarms you should have?

According to the Institution of Fire Engineers, homes in the United States have a significant lack of smoke alarms. For the safety and protection of your Briarcliff, GA, home, and family, ask yourself these questions and then take any corrective action as necessary for the fire alarm situation in your home:

Do You Know How Many Alarms You Should Have?

Experts recommend having a fire alarm installed in the hall outside bedrooms, inside each bedroom, and on each level of your home. This includes the basement. If you have a two-story home with a basement and three bedrooms, you should have a minimum of six alarms. For the best protection, install an alarm in rooms that have a higher risk of fire, such as the kitchen and garage.

How often should I replace the batteries in smoke alarms?

It's best to change the batteries in your alarms once or twice a year. The easiest way to remember this simple chore is to swap out old and new batteries when you change your clocks or on your birthday or during a summer and winter holiday. This is a quick and easy chore that helps you avoid fire and smoke damage.

How long do smoke alarms last?

Modern fire and smoke detectors have long lifespans but not as long as some homeowners think. Avoid a visit from fire damage cleanup and repair professionals by replacing your alarms every 8 to 10 years. Write the date of replacement on the back of the fire alarm with permanent ink, so you recognize that need for replacement when you change the batteries.

Which type of alarm is best?

There are multiple types of alarms: ionization, photoelectric, and alarms with both sensors. The United States Fire Administration recommends installing both ionization and photoelectric alarms in your home because they detect different types of fires.
You only have about three to four minutes to escape a home fire, even with working alarms. Without the notice provided by your fire alarm, your escape time will be much shorter. Take a few minutes right now to make sure your alarms are in proper working condition.

How To Avoid Starting Fires in the Kitchen

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

Pot on flames A grease fire in Briarcliff, GA

When you think of a kitchen, preparing and enjoying meals no doubt comes to your mind. Your kitchen is one of the most popular spots at home. Unfortunately, it's also one of the most common places for fires to stop. It's important to pay attention to fire-prevention tips so you can safely cook and avoid this terrible ordeal.

Pay Attention

Much of avoiding fires in your Briarcliff, GA, home involves common sense and being conscientious. The following hints can spare you a lot of grief and heartache:

  • Never leave the room when you're cooking on the stove.
  • Keep pot and panhandles pointed away from walking areas and toward back walls.
  • Turn ovens and stoves off when you're finished.

Dealing With Grease

A grease fire is a different animal than other types of blazes. If too much grease is in a pan, it can spill out onto the range and start a fire. Your first reaction may be to put water on it. However, this will only increase the size of the fire. Instead, smother it with baking soda, or put a lid over the pot or burner.

Maintain Your Appliances

If you're like most people, you probably rely on your kitchen appliances just about every day. After years of use, however, these appliances can wear down and become faulty. A poorly maintained oven, stove or microwave can spell disaster and cause fire damage. Inspect these units annually and replace them as needed promptly.

Be Careful of Metal

As you consider fire prevention tips in the kitchen, remember that metal and the microwave don't mix. You may know this, but make sure your kids do. This includes aluminum foil wrap as well as clips and fasteners that may be on wrappers.
If you want to avoid calling a professional disaster cleanup team to restore your home from a fire, follow these tips. A few simple actions can spare you a lot of grief.

Smoke From a Fire Can Cause More Damage Than the Flames

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke with a sign that says SMOKE DAMAGE STINKS Smoke damage is nastier than fire damage. Call SERVPRO

Smoke From a Fire Can Cause More Damage Than the Flames

Fire damage is easy to spot. Fires burn, char, melt and destroy everything they touch. Remediating fire damage is simply a matter of restoring damaged items to their former condition. Once restoration is complete, everything will look fine, but it won’t smell fine.

Smoke damage is nastier than fire damage in many respects. Particulates created by the fire spread throughout the home, leaving the telltale smell of the fire everywhere. There is nothing simple about smoke cleaning. Complete the following steps, and your home will smell fresh and clean.

  1. Begin air filtration immediately after the fire. Don’t give the smoke odor the chance to permeate everything. It will settle in fabrics, carpets, flat surfaces and every crack and crevasse. The best way to avoid that is to capture particulates out of the air before they have a chance to settle.

  2. Clean everything while air filtration is still in process. Clean carpets, fabrics, ceilings, walls and floors. Some of the particulates will be captured in cleaning while others may go back into the air. Air filtration will capture them.

  3. Ozone removes odors that you cannot reach. You’ve done as much smoke cleaning as you can. Close up your home, load your family and pets in the car, and disappear for a few days. Local smoke and fire remediation specialists in Chamblee, GA, will bring in their ozone generators and do the rest. They will let you know when it is safe to return.

  4. Thermal fogging is the final step. Any odor that survives the above three steps is in your home to stay. Masking that odor is the only remaining option. Thermal fogging is the process of heating a special deodorizer and spreading it as dry smoke, permeating your entire home.

As you can see, effective smoke cleaning requires special equipment and odor removal specialists with the skills to use it. If you have a problem with odors caused by a fire, it’s time to get some help.

3 Ways To Prepare Your Children for a House Fire

11/26/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke surrounding a smoke alarm that's going off Protect yourself with fire alarms.

Unfortunately, fires are a common cause of devastation to homes in Dunwoody, GA. However, many parents are unsure of how to teach their children to escape a fire. There are several ways you can focus on your kids' safety and prepare your children for a home fire.

1. Show Your Children Know How To Get Out of Bed
During a fire, your children's first instinct may be to sit or stand upright. However, it's frequently more difficult to see when standing and can also make escaping more difficult. Instead of sitting or standing, it's often safer to roll out of bed if a fire occurs. You can practice this maneuver with your children to ensure they know how to safely roll out of their bed and onto the floor in the event of a fire.

2. Practice Crawling with Your Kids
Often, an important part of a fire escape is safely crawling to a doorway. Crawling is considered safer than standing, as temperatures can be drastically higher closer to the ceiling. When you focus on kids' safety while preparing your children for a fire, show them and practice how to crawl low to the floor. It's often also helpful to tell your children not to bring anything with them when escaping. Emergency restoration services can often assist in restoring damaged homes, and their safety is most important.

3. Teach Your Children How To Check the Doors
Another important element of fire preparation involves teaching your children how to check whether or not they can safely leave their rooms during a fire. Show your children how to check whether or not it is safe to leave their rooms by touching the door while still crawling. If the door is hot, then it's generally unsafe to open the door. However, if the door is cool to the touch, then it's usually safe to open the door.

Preparing your children for a fire is often an important part of kids' safety. Teaching your children how to roll out of bed, how to crawl and how to check doors can help them keep safe if a fire does occur.

4 Tips for Avoiding an Explosion During a Gas Leak

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

Natural gas burning on kitchen gas stove in the dark. A gas fire is a disastrous incident, but you can avoid it using the right measures.

4 Tips for Avoiding an Explosion During a Gas Leak

As a homeowner in Doraville,GA, you likely use natural gas in your home as an important resource. However, this substance is also incredibly volatile and flammable, which can turn a simple open flame or spark into a destructive gas fire. While your priority should be evacuating all inhabitants from the house, you can always reduce the chances of triggering an explosion and needing the services of a fire damage cleanup company. Once you find out there is a leak, you can take the following actions.

1. Avoid Using Electronics

As you create an escape route, you might be tempted to turn on the lights to allow better vision or use a cellphone to ask for assistance. Unfortunately, even the slightest heat or spark generated by these devices can start an instant fire. Do not use any electronic items while you are still in the building.

2. Let the Gas Out

One way to mitigate the risk of gas fire is to let it out of the building. Carefully open doors and windows around the house. While this practice will not stop the problem entirely, it will reduce the possibility of sparking a fire.

3. Inspect the Stove

An appliance that heavily relies on natural gas is the stove. The burners alone emit open flame, and even the smallest of mistakes can allow gas to leak out to the rest of the home. Take the time to check the stove and ensure there is no leak or an open flame that causes a gas explosion.

4. Locate the Gas Meter

The location of your residence's gas meter is important to know, particularly for an emergency like this. Find and remember where the gas meter is, as you will use this knowledge during a gas leak. You can shut the meter off once you evacuate the house.
A gas fire is a disastrous incident, but you can avoid it using the right measures. Pay attention to the signs, reduce ignition scenarios and leave the house as fast as possible.

5 Safe Candle Alternatives

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Spread the sweet aroma of melted wax through your home by using a wax warmer

Candle Alternatives

While candles are great for setting a mood, they aren't so great at keeping fires out of your home in Briarcliff,GA. This is especially true if you have curious, rowdy pets or young children. It only takes one accident before you'll be making calls to the fire department and a fire damage restoration company. Fortunately, there are many great candle alternatives that make your home smell great or create a relaxing ambiance.

1. Battery-Powered Candles

While electric candles might not look or smell exactly like the real thing, they might be able to fool some unexpecting guests. Plus, you don't need to worry about turning them off when you leave the room or house to prevent a candle fire.

2. Wax Warmers

Spread the sweet aroma of melted wax through your home by using a wax warmer. These candle alternatives use battery power or electricity instead of an open flame to heat up the wax. Plus, they often come in decorative holders that can match your home's decor.

3. Fairy Lights

If your main goal is to add relaxed lighting to your home rather than release a scent into the air, fairy lights a great way to quickly light up a room or outdoor area. Fairy lights may be powered by battery or electricity, making them a much longer-lasting option than a candle.

4. Stick Diffuser

Reed or stick diffusers are flameless and add a unique look to any room you put them in. They simply involve placing sticks into a container with scented oil.

5. Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential oils can help add a scent to the room and might benefit your health too. There are many different diffusers to choose from, so you can easily find one that matches your home.
Consider these candles alternatives to make your home a safer place for everyone in it. There are many options to choose from, so you can find an alternative that best meets your needs.

3 Methods Used for Smoke Cleanup

6/27/2019 (Permalink)

A thermal fogger facilitates the smoke cleaning process

Three of the Most Common Methods for Smoke Cleanup

When your commercial building in Doraville,GA, catches fire, charred materials and water damage are not the only problems that require mitigation. Fire restoration experts also have to employ smoke cleaning procedures for removing lingering smoke particles and odor from your building. Here are three of the most common methods they use to do so.

1. Industrial Air Filtration

Smoke particles are small, so when technicians clean up smoke damage, they have to use air purifiers that don't let the particles escape back into the room. A filtration device with a HEPA filter can remove smoke from the air. In addition to the HEPA filter, these machines often have an activated carbon pre-filter. The carbon traps the odor and chemically neutralizes it. When left in your building for a few hours or overnight, these purifiers can make a huge difference.

2. Thermal Fogger

A thermal fogger facilitates the smoke cleaning process by replicating the condition that allows smoke to permeate a building. A deodorizing agent is heated to create a fog that is similar in size and consistency to smoke particles. The fog can then reach into cracks and crevices where the smoke may be hiding. It attaches to the smoke particles and gets rid of the odor.

3. Ozone Machine

To use an ozone machine, technicians seal off the affected area so the ozone can remain concentrated. The machine produces a compound with three oxygen molecules. The extra molecule in the compound attaches to particles and alters their chemical composition. This process eliminates the smoke odor.

No matter what smoke cleaning technique the technicians use, it is important to get rid of residual smoke and the smell it leaves behind before they begin the restoration phase of cleanup. These methods are designed to help mitigate the damage caused by the fire and improve the air quality in your building so that you can get back to business.

Need Fire Damage Services for Your North Atlanta Home? SERVPRO Can Help.

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

Don't let fire damage take over your residential property. Trust SERVPRO to get it back to preloss condition!

Fire Damage Restoration

Most restoration costs do not come from demolition and replacement of property destroyed by heat and flames. It is the smoke and soot residues that cause hundreds, even thousands of dollars in damages.

Restoring a North Atlanta home with fire damage requires a professional company that specializes in cleaning up the effects and returning your home and property to its preloss condition.

SERVPRO of NW DeKalb/ Dunwoody/ Brookhaven has developed a set of principles and key cleaning elements to help restore almost any home.

Principles of Cleaning:

Locate smoke residues with a thorough inspection. Our inspectors find the source of the fire to determine exactly how far smoke has moved throughout a home.

Identify the type of residues. Identification provides the needed information to select a cleaning method which removes the residue.

Identify the type of surface. To remove the residue without harming the surface of the affected item, restoration team members need to know the composition of the surface. Certain chemical cleaners are not compatible with porous surfaces such as upholstery or plastic.

Capture and remove residues. Smoke residues quickly bond with surfaces. Response team members use the most efficient dry or wet cleaning elements to loosen residues and make them easier to remove.

Dispose of residues. We safely dispose of all residues according to state and federal regulations.

Elements of Cleaning:

Temperature. Depending on the surface of an affected item, technicians may raise the temperature of a cleaning solution to speed up the process.

Agitation. If the residue is set deep in a surface such as rock or marble, technicians use air or water pressure to loosen residue from the surface. For other surfaces, they use brushes to dislodge the residue. Both methods allow cleaning agents to penetrate deeper into the residue and clean the surface underneath.

Chemical action. Restoration personnel selects chemical cleaners depending on which action they want. Our extensive inventory removes smoke residue by dissolving it, changing its pH number, oxidizing it or even digesting it.

Time. This element refers to the amount of time need for each type of chemical agent to be effective as well as the labor time required to complete each restoration task.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

By combining these principles and elements, SERVPRO of NW DeKalb / Dunwoody / Brookhaven works to put your home back to its preloss state as quickly and safely as we can. If you need our help, call us today at (770) 396-3883.

How Do Experts Restore Fire Damage?

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage in Briarcliff, GA

Four Stages of Fire Restoration

A home that has recently sustained damage from a fire should be cleaned and restored by certified professionals. This process starts with damage cleaning and continues through rebuilding to the finishing touches. Learn more about the four stages of fire restoration.

1. Inspect

Experts will examine the location of a fire to determine which building materials and contents need to be cleaned or replaced. This assessment will also identify the mitigation measures that should be taken and the scope of restoration. An all-in-one company can provide a verbal briefing within hours after inspecting damage followed by a single estimate that accounts for mitigation and restoration.

2. Mitigate

Mitigation should begin as soon as fire damage specialists have a clear idea of the extent of damage and homeowners have photographic or video evidence to provide to an insurer. The primary goal of this phase of the process is to prevent damage from getting worse prior to cleaning and restoration. Mitigation may involve boarding up broken windows or structural breaches, tarping over holes in the roof or putting up security fencing.

3. Clean

Cleaning is a critical step toward fire restoration. Professionals use commercial-grade equipment to remove soot and any standing water remaining after fire suppression. After eliminating water and debris, experts may tear out damaged building materials or wipe down stained surfaces. Restoration can proceed after cleanup is complete.

4. Restore

Restoring a fire-damaged residence can range from cleaning and replacing a few components all the way to a full rebuild. This process may take days or weeks, depending on the extent and severity of the damage. Finishing touches may include cleaning smoke damage and odor mitigation.

Homeowners should rely on a one-stop shop that provides all of these services with a single estimate and schedule. Insurance companies prefer to work with an IICRC-certified fire restoration company located in Briarcliff, GA.