Recent Fire Damage Posts

Restoration Steps after Fire

11/16/2019 (Permalink)

Burning wood with black background Wood burning

After a fire, when the fire is put out, and the fire truck drives off what do you do? Every situation is different; however, the steps below will give you a better understanding of what steps are next in recovering after a fire damage emergency.

 Fire Damage Restoration Steps 

  1. Contact SERVPRO of Manteca and Modesto office once you are safe. Our team will ask specific questions that will help us better handle your needs. We want to ensure that we take care of your home with proper care, with the right equipment needed, and with urgency.  
  1. Upon arrival, our team will inspect and asses the fire damage. Doing so will determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage so that we can develop the best plan to make your home safe again. 
  1. Windows, walls, and roofs are often damaged in a fire. To protect your home from further damage we board up any missing windows or walls. Once that is complete, we will place tarps on any damaged roofs that possess damage. This step should be done immediately. 
  1. If water damage presents itself, the water elimination process will begin right away as well. Our team of professionals will get rid of most of the water in the home and use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove any left-over water, completing the drying process. 
  1. Smoke and soot must be removed from all surfaces. We have specialized equipment and use specific techniques to make sure that your home and belongings are restored to the pre-fire state. Once smoke and soot are eliminated we will make sure odors left behind are taken away with industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.  
  1. The area must be cleaned and sanitized, we make sure your home and belongings are taken care of by using various cleaning processes that are defined to work best for your fire crisis.  
  1. The final step is to restore your home to pre-fire condition. This may call for replacing drywall, painting walls, or installing new flooring. 

When a fire emergency strikes, contact SERVPRO of Manteca and Modesto for your restoration needs. We are like a one-stop shop in your mitigation and restoration tasks.

Top 4 Safety Tips to Avoid a Fire This Holiday Season

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Two pots on the stove that are boiling with steam Cooking is the number one cause for fires

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are more fires in the winter months than any other time of the year. This makes perfect sense as it is colder in winter. We turn to our heating systems like space heaters, fireplaces, woodstoves, and other heat devices to keep us warm.

Not only do we have our heat running to keep us cozy but most of us opt to bring in the holidays with a lot of food. Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations call for a lot of cooking. The number one cause of home fires happens to be just that, cooking! No need to skip on your favorite savory meals this winter in hopes to prevent fires this holiday season, just take a few extra precautionary steps to avoid fires.

 Here are some tips to avoid cooking fires.

  1. If you must leave the kitchen while your stove or oven is on have someone else in the home check on food while you are away.
  2. If no one is available to check on your food while you step away, a good tip from safebee.com is to carry one of your oven mitts when you step out of the kitchen. Doing so will work as a reminder to go back to the kitchen to tend to your food.
  3. Children and pets should not be in cooking areas without supervision.
  4. Ensure when cooking you wear close-fitting clothes and make sure that your sleeves are tightly rolled when stirring food. Clothes often catch fire when they hang close to the stove burners so just be mindful of this.

 Taking these steps will decrease your chances of having a cooking fire.

If you should have a stove fire what now? In the event of a fire and if it is safe for you to do so, turn off the burner immediately and cover the pan with a lid. Do not use water, baking soda or flour to extinguish grease fires. Another great tip is to not carry burning pots or pans through the house as they can easily spread the fire to other parts of the home. If your oven catches fire, turn off the oven and keep the oven door shut.

Have an emergency evacuation plan and call 9-1-1 as soon as it is safe for you to do so. Once all is settled and the fire is extinguished call SERVPRO of Manteca and Modesto for your fire damage restoration needs.

How to Prevent Home Fires

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

Gas stove with two burners that are lit Gas Stove

Fires can be preventable. Educate household members and take safety measures to avoid household fires, this can save your life. The following are some simple steps used to avert a fire event. 

Smoking

  • Smoke outdoors, especially in homes where oxygen is used. Oxygen can be explosive and will cause a fire to burn faster and hotter. 
  • If you do smoke indoors, ensure you do not smoke when sleepy, under the influence of alcohol, or when on medication. Many house fires start with sleepy or careless accidents.
  • Butts go in an ashtray and should be completely put out.
  • To ensure all cigarette butts are cooled, when discarding, soak in water before dumping them in the trash.

Cooking

  • Do not leave the stove unattended when cooking. When frying, grilling, or broiling foods be extra cautious. Leaving the kitchen shortly requires you to turn off the stove.
  • Children should learn to stay away from the stove unattended, at least three feet.
  • Do not wear baggy clothes and ensure your sleeves are rolled up when cooking.
  • BBQ grills should be at least 10 feet away from the home, this includes being 10 feet away from overhanging branches and patio ceilings.     

Children

  • Teach children the danger of fire and teach them that fire is a tool and not to be played with.
  • Ensure lighters and matches are out of your children’s reach and sight. 
  • Do not leave children to their devices when meals are being cooked or when candles are lit in the home.

Electrical & Appliance

  • Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Replace all damaged or worn appliance cords right away. 
  • Do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • Three-prong plugs belong in three-slot outlets. Don’t force them into two-slot outlets or a two-slot extension cord.
  • Lights that flicker or light switches hot to touch need to be replaced.
  • Keep combustible objects three feet or more from portable space heaters.
  • Keep any combustible liquids away from heat sources.
  • Portable generators are to be used outdoors only and should only be refueled outdoors and where well ventilated.
  • Your portable heater should come equipped with a thermostat control mechanism and should switch off on its own if the heater falls over. 
  • Use crystal clear K-1 Kerosene in kerosene heaters.
  • Do not overfill kerosene heaters.
  • Only use kerosene heaters in a well-ventilated room.

Fireplaces & Woodstoves

  • Check for any damage to your fireplaces or woodstoves
  • Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually.
  • Use fireplace screens that are heavy enough to stop any rolling logs and that is big enough to cover the opening of the fireplace to catch any flying sparks. 
  • The fire must be out and cool before leaving the home or going to bed.

These safety measures are a good start to being preventing a fire in your home.

 Resource: https://www.ready.gov/home-fires

7 Home Fire Safety Tips

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

Red and white safety symbols for fire Fire Safety Symbols

A fire safety plan can save your life and can aid in saving you unnecessary costs. Fire emergency planning is essential. According to the National Fire Protection Association, an “estimated $23 billion in property damage occurred as a result of fire in 2017, a large increase, as this number includes a $10 billion loss in wildfires in Northern California”. Be prepared and practice these fire safety methods before an emergency occurs in your home.  

 7 Fire Safety Tips for the Home 

  1. Install the correct number of fire alarms for your home. Test each fire alarm at least twice a year and replace batteries at least once a year.  

The National Fire Alarm Code (NFPA 72) requires that newer homes have hard-wired interconnected alarms with a battery backup on each level of the home and in each hallway. Wire your alarms together. Wiring your alarms together allows for the alarms to all sound at the same time once one goes off. 

The same metrics should be followed in older homes, install fire alarms at every level of the home and in all sleeping areas. Connecting fire alarms is ideal in older homes, just as expected in newer home models. If you are asleep and dangerous gases are in the air, you wouldn’t be aware unless you heard the fire alarm. Having alarms nearby allows you to act fast. The quicker you can respond, the better for you and your home’s safety. 

  1. Children need to know the sound of a fire alarm. When an alarm goes off, children need to understand what steps to take to exit the home.   
  1. Keep fire extinguishers in the home. Replace them when they expire 
  1. Define escape routes in case of a fire. Have two plans of escape just in case the fire blocks the original planned route. Each family member in the home should understand where to meet outside of the home once they make it out and then what the steps are to take to get fire emergency services. 
  1. Practice planned fire escape routes at least twice a year. It is as easy as pressing the smoke alarm button to test it and practicing escape routes dependent upon where household members are at in the home at the time of testing.   
  1. Make sure children can call 9-1-1. 
  1. Teach residents in the home how ‘STOP, DROP, and ROLL’ in case clothing catches fire.  

These fire safety tips can help save lives and help save on costly repairs to your home. The quicker you can get out and the quicker you can call 9-1-1 for fire rescue is imperative.  

Ways Fire Damage Can Show Up Months Later

8/31/2018 (Permalink)

One thing about house fires that is true in almost all situations is that some damage is not as visible in some parts of a home as it is in others. Some damage is in the loss of utility. A door may seem undamaged, along with its frame, but after a fire, no longer open and close correctly. Windows can also be affected this way. Heat and moisture from fighting that fire can cause wood to swell. Even after remediation has been completed, small things like this can pop up.

Situations that affect a Manteca area home's level of security after fire damage has been remediated still needs to be remediated. Security needs to be restored. These types of fire damage-related issues can appear weeks or months after a fire. Having a situation such as this develop does not mean that the remediation immediately after a fire was unsuccessful. Wood that expands can become more porous, which in turn allows more moisture in the future to be retained, leading to swelling.

Restoring openings to your home that have become impossible to close and open correctly and quickly pose risks to your security. Intruders can gain easier access, and in the event of another disaster, leaving your home might be more difficult, resulting in the loss of precious seconds when they count the most.

Many locks on the market today are made of highly durable plastics. While these are suitable to keep out most burglars, the plastic components can melt during a fire. Some of these locks remain functioning for a while, but then stop working and fall apart internally. If this is the case in your situation, replacement of the lock is a simple enough process.

We can repair these conditions and restore the safety your family deserves. Working to restore homes of our neighbors, family, and friends, we know a safe and secure feeling is important to every family.

We are here to help 24/7 823-8877

Restore Your Home After a Stove Fire

8/31/2018 (Permalink)

Busy lives are full of missteps, some more dangerous than others. Walking away from the stovetop happens when kids call or the doorbell rings, but so then do kitchen fires. SERVPRO of Manteca experts help put your cooking areas, and other affected areas of your home, back together after fire damage.

Sorting out a disagreement between a pair of siblings took you away longer than expected from a pot of water boiling, waiting for some pasta. Instead of cooking dinner, the pot boiled dry and superheated, igniting some potholders, causing fire damage to your home. Our fire damage restoration crews are always on standby for situations such as this. We are ready to assess and begin the cleanup and restoration as soon as the fire department gives the go-ahead.

National statistics point to unattended cooking as the most common cause for the 62 percent of home fires attributed to ranges or cooktops per year. SERVPRO of Manteca team members train on a regular basis to Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) standards to be prepared in industry best practices. A project manager assesses the extent of the damage in the kitchen and other areas of the house and develops a plan to meet your specific needs.

If water put out the fire, SERVPRO’s first job is to remove and dispose of the moisture. Drying techniques begin if the area is very saturated. Then cleanup of soot, chemical residues from fire extinguishers, and smoky odors ensues. The coatings left by fire damage is highly acidic and corrosive. Waiting even a few hours before starting the cleaning process permanently discolors and etches plastics, glass, and metal.

High on the SERVPRO’s checklist is turning off your HVAC system if it is still running as it will spread soot and other residues throughout your home. If smoke sucked into the vents duct cleaning is on the agenda. We match building materials and the character of the sooty coatings when cleaning. Lighter dustings of ash and soot vacuum or dry sponge off well. We use HEPA filtration in our professional vacs. Stickier damage often responds to a spray and wipe technique. Items with many bevels or surfaces like cut glass dishes or window blinds need immersion or even ultrasonic cleaning, requiring a certified technician to operate.

If charring or melting is severe in the kitchen, some materials or appliances may need replacement. Otherwise, we strive to proceed with a restoration mentality, saving you time and money and minimizing disruption to your daily routine.

Leaving Lights on Can Be a Fire Hazard

8/31/2018 (Permalink)

The worst thing that happens when a light is left on is not necessarily a high electric bill. The heat from many kinds of light bulbs is capable of igniting draperies, bedding, and even rugs and carpeting, among other things. SERVPRO of Manteca is a resource for the homeowner recovering from a fire set by this or any method.

Although you cannot be certain exactly how it happened, fire damaged your Manteca home after a lit lamp overturned in a bedroom. Perhaps a pet knocked it down, or it was teetering on the edge of a bedside table, but the bed linens caught fire. Fortunately, a neighbor noticed smoke billowing out of an open window and called 911. You rushed home to find the fire out, but damage in the room, the attic and the roof above it.

A call to SERVPRO of Manteca immediately has our crew arriving right after the fire department authorizes reentry. Fire damage usually poses a complex set of issues, including the obvious charring and destruction to contents and structure, and also water and chemical residue damage, depending on how the first responders extinguished the fire.

Our project manager begins ordering the crew to secure the affected areas from the elements. If the fire burned through the wall or roof to the outside, this is crucial. Then an assessment of the damage ensues. SERVPRO technicians train in safely restoring fire damage, including ensuring that flooring is walkable and that no structural supports are in danger of falling. Water and chemicals make floors slippery, demanding extra care when moving through the rooms for the cleanup crew and the residents.

Items destroyed by flames are bagged for disposal by local rules. Porous articles like mattresses rarely survive unless they untouched by charring, and even then, soot and smoke damage counsel replacement in many cases. Clothing and linens clean up well through laundering or dry cleaning, a task the homeowner may take up to free SERVPRO for more technical matters.

Furniture with soot or other residue needs a dry or wet cleaning, depending on the amount and stickiness of the coating. Our staff uses the least intrusive technique that is effective. Vacuuming and dusting are good for light coverage, while spray and wipe to abrasive cleaners may be needed in other instances. SERVPRO staff checks for charred areas as they emit odors even if cleaned, and determines whether sealing or removal is the best option.

Structural charring requires replacement of key supports, and damaged ceilings and drywall replacement may be less expensive and quicker than laborious cleaning and sealing. Throughout the process of restoration, our project manager and office staff work with your insurer to limit your out of pocket expenses. We provide as much evidence, including our professional opinions, as possible to prove your fire damage claim.

We are here to help 24/7 823-8877

Be Prepared in Case of a Fire

8/9/2018 (Permalink)

Bedroom with fire damage Fire Damage

God forbid, but what if it happens to a homeowner or a business. Are you ready?

In case of fire damage, we are always here to help. The cleanup, deodorization and mitigation is our specialty and we can make it "Like it never even happened." Keep our phone number in your emergency contact list.

What can be done by any homeowner or business?

Annual review of electrical wiring, gas lines, appliances, smoke detectors is a must.

Review your insurance policy with your insurance agent to make sure you have adequate coverage for the building, any betterment, your furniture and other content.

Do you need extra coverage for specialty items like artwork, antiques, firearms, jewelry? These items need to be removed from the building before any cleanup work begins. Better have

Have a protocol ready. It's the best prevention, because when it happens decision making is not so easy.

Ask about our emergency ready plan (ERP)  SERVPRO of Manteca 209-823-8877

Help for Fire Damages

8/9/2018 (Permalink)

God forbid, but what if it happens to a homeowner or a business. Are you ready?

In case of fire damage, we are always here to help. The cleanup, deodorization and mitigation is our specialty and we can make it "Like it never even happened." Keep our phone number in your emergency contact list.

What can be done by any homeowner or business?

Annual review of electrical wiring, gas lines, appliances, smoke detectors is a must.

Review your insurance policy with your insurance agent to make sure you have adequate coverage for the building, any betterment, your furniture and other content.

Do you need extra coverage for specialty items like artwork, antiques, firearms, jewelry? These items need to be removed from the building before any cleanup work begins. Better have

Have a protocol ready. It's the best prevention, because when it happens decision making is not so easy.

Ask about our emergency ready plan SERVPRO of Manteca 209-823-8877

Manteca: Be Prepapred in Case of Fire

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

God forbid, but what if it happens to a homeowner or a business. Are you ready?

In case of fire damage, we are always here to help. The cleanup, deodorization and mitigation is our specialty and we can make it "Like it never even happened." Keep our phone number in your emergency contact list.

What can be done by any homeowner or business?

Annual review of electrical wiring, gas lines, appliances, smoke detectors is a must.

Review your insurance policy with your insurance agent to make sure you have adequate coverage for the building, any betterment, your furniture and other content.

Do you need extra coverage for specialty items like artwork, antiques, firearms, jewelry? These items need to be removed from the building before any cleanup work begins. Better have

Have a protocol ready. It's the best prevention, because when it happens decision making is not so easy.

Ask about our emergency ready plan.

Manteca: Restore Your Home After a Kitchen Fire

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

Busy lives are full of missteps, some more dangerous than others. Walking away from the stovetop happens when kids call or the doorbell rings, but so then do kitchen fires. SERVPRO experts help put your cooking areas, and other affected areas of your home, back together after fire damage.

Sorting out a disagreement between a pair of siblings took you away longer than expected from a pot of water boiling, waiting for some pasta. Instead of cooking dinner, the pot boiled dry and superheated, igniting some potholders, causing fire damage to your home. Our fire damage restoration crews are always on standby for situations such as this. We are ready to assess and begin the cleanup and restoration as soon as the fire department gives the go-ahead.

National statistics point to unattended cooking as the most common cause for the 62 percent of home fires attributed to ranges or cooktops per year. SERVPRO team members train on a regular basis to Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) standards to be prepared in industry best practices. A project manager assesses the extent of the damage in the kitchen and other areas of the house and develops a plan to meet your specific needs.

If water put out the fire, SERVPRO’s first job is to remove and dispose of the moisture. Drying techniques begin if the area is very saturated. Then cleanup of soot, chemical residues from fire extinguishers, and smoky odors ensues. The coatings left by fire damage is highly acidic and corrosive. Waiting even a few hours before starting the cleaning process permanently discolors and etches plastics, glass, and metal.

High on the SERVPRO’s checklist is turning off your HVAC system if it is still running as it will spread soot and other residues throughout your home. If smoke sucked into the vents duct cleaning is on the agenda. We match building materials and the character of the sooty coatings when cleaning. Lighter dustings of ash and soot vacuum or dry sponge off well. We use HEPA filtration in our professional vacs. Stickier damage often responds to a spray and wipe technique. Items with many bevels or surfaces like cut glass dishes or window blinds need immersion or even ultrasonic cleaning, requiring a certified technician to operate.

If charring or melting is severe in the kitchen, some materials or appliances may need replacement. Otherwise, we strive to proceed with a restoration mentality, saving you time and money and minimizing disruption to your daily routine.

Manteca: Leaving Lights On Can Be a Fire Hazard

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

The worst thing that happens when a light is left on is not necessarily a high electric bill. The heat from many kinds of light bulbs is capable of igniting draperies, bedding, and even rugs and carpeting, among other things. SERVPRO is a resource for the homeowner recovering from a fire set by this or any method.

Although you cannot be certain exactly how it happened, fire damaged your Manteca home after a lit lamp overturned in a bedroom. Perhaps a pet knocked it down, or it was teetering on the edge of a bedside table, but the bed linens caught fire. Fortunately, a neighbor noticed smoke billowing out of an open window and called 911. You rushed home to find the fire out, but damage in the room, the attic and the roof above it.

A call to SERVPRO immediately has our crew arriving right after the fire department authorizes reentry. Fire damage usually poses a complex set of issues, including the obvious charring and destruction to contents and structure, and also water and chemical residue damage, depending on how the first responders extinguished the fire.

Our project manager begins ordering the crew to secure the affected areas from the elements. If the fire burned through the wall or roof to the outside, this is crucial. Then an assessment of the damage ensues. SERVPRO technicians train in safely restoring fire damage, including ensuring that flooring is walkable and that no structural supports are in danger of falling. Water and chemicals make floors slippery, demanding extra care when moving through the rooms for the cleanup crew and the residents.

Items destroyed by flames are bagged for disposal by local rules. Porous articles like mattresses rarely survive unless they untouched by charring, and even then, soot and smoke damage counsel replacement in many cases. Clothing and linens clean up well through laundering or dry cleaning, a task the homeowner may take up to free SERVPRO for more technical matters.

Furniture with soot or other residue needs a dry or wet cleaning, depending on the amount and stickiness of the coating. Our staff uses the least intrusive technique that is effective. Vacuuming and dusting are good for light coverage, while spray and wipe to abrasive cleaners may be needed in other instances. SERVPRO staff checks for charred areas as they emit odors even if cleaned, and determines whether sealing or removal is the best option.

Structural charring requires replacement of key supports, and damaged ceilings and drywall replacement may be less expensive and quicker than laborious cleaning and sealing. Throughout the process of restoration, our project manager and office staff work with your insurer to limit your out of pocket expenses. We provide as much evidence, including our professional opinions, as possible to prove your fire damage claim.

Manteca's Expert in Soot and Smoke Clean Up

4/14/2017 (Permalink)

Our machinery (Hydroxyl Generator) is excellent for removing smoke odor even while residents are still in the home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Manteca will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 209-823-8877