Recent Fire Damage Posts
Smoke Alarms: Life Savers
When smoke alarms are properly installed and maintained, they save lives. According to the National Fire Protection Association (https://www.nfpa.org/), residential smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local fire marshal to help ensure all codes are met. Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries. In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area. If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross (https://www.redcross.org/). Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. For more information on emergency preparedness, contact SERVPRO of West Pasco at (727)847-3000.
Fire Drills: Not Just For School Days
We all remember fire drill days at school, the loud and piercing alarm vibrating through the halls, students lining up single file, determined to get to their meeting spot. We won’t even outgrow fire drills once we’ve made the step into the real world and start working – fire drills follow you wherever you go and that should include your home.
It’s the middle of the night. You’re sound asleep when suddenly the smoke alarms in your house go off. It’s dark. The house is filling with smoke. Fire experts say you have about two minutes to get out safely. Would you and your family know what you should do?
Coming up with and practicing family safety drills can help to make sure your family is prepared in the event of an emergency. It is an important topic to discuss with your family, especially children.
The National Fire Protection Association has a helpful section on how to create a family fire escape plan. It includes how to draw a fire escape path for your home, how to reinforce fire safety to younger children, and tips how to stay as safe as possible during a fire.
Some tips include:
- Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
- Have a designated outside meeting place a safe distance from the home
- Assign “partners” for young, elderly, or family members with mobility issues
- Close Doors behind you as you leave each room to slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire
- All members of the household should know two ways to get out of every room.
- Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas or homes on the second floor or above. Learn how to use them and store them near the window.
- Pick a place outside for everyone to meet and make sure everyone knows where it is.
- Practice your home fire drill until everyone in the household can do it in less than two minutes.
- Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.
Your family’s safety is the first priority. After emergency services have done their job SERVPRO of West Pasco will be here to help you repair, restore, and recover your belongings.
There's nothing like outdoor grilling. It's one of the most popular ways to cook food. But, a grill placed too close to anything that can burn is a fire hazard. They can be very hot, causing burn injuries. Follow these simple tips and you will be on the way to safe grilling.
- 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 at least three feet away from the grill area.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
- Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
- 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.
- Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using your propane grill. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill as a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off both the gas tank and the grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
Safety first when celebrating the 4th of July this year!
Big booms that light up the sky with an array of colors make every Fourth of July magical. Tracing out your name with sparklers will never age as time passes on. Wonderful memories are made whether you're grilling out, boating by the sandbar, or laying by the beach in New Port Richey with a cold beverage in your hand. However, fireworks are not safe in the hands of consumers. Fireworks cause thousands of burns and eye injuries each year. People can enjoy fireworks safely if they follow a few simple safety tips:
- Be safe. If you want to see fireworks, go to a public show put on by experts.
- Do not use consumer fireworks.
- Keep a close eye on children at events where fireworks are used.
- Fireworks cause an average of almost 18,500 reported fires per year.
- Sparklers account for roughly one-quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries.
- NFPA is opposed to consumer use of fireworks. This includes sparklers and firecrackers. Even sparklers burn hot enough to cause third-degree burns.
The Importance of Cleaning Dryer Vents
From potentially dangerous to practically brand new, call SERVPRO of West Pasco for your duct cleaning needs.
According to FEMA, failure to clean home dyers causes 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury or death.
To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your or your insured's home or business in Odessa, SERVPRO of West Pasco can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint build up.
Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include to clear the lint filter before and after each load and making sure the outdoor vent flap will open and is not restricted by snow, a bird's nest, or other potential obstacles.
For more information on cleaning dryer vents in Odessa - or anywhere else local from Trinity to Hudson to Dade City, contact SERVPRO of West Pasco Professionals at (727) 847-3000.
Fire Damage Restoration
Fire damage in a New Port Richey kitchen.
New Port Richey Fire Damage Restoration
A fire can be devastating to any New Port Richey home, causing severe fire damage, affecting its look and value. The restoration process is complex and requires the services of fire remediation experts like SERVPRO of West Pasco.
The Fire Restoration Process
There are several techniques used to restore a home after a fire. The main goals are to remove anything that cannot be salvaged, extract all excess water, thoroughly dry everything and rebuild all damaged areas.
Water and Mold Issues
One of the effects of fire damage is the water left over after the fire is out. Furniture, drywall, floors, and carpets are soaked and provide a prime breeding ground for mold and mildew. SERVPRO utilizes large fans and powerful dehumidifiers to dry out your home in preparation for cleaning and rebuilding.
The Cooling and Heating System
The filter and coils of an HVAC system of a home are often blocked by soot and particulates from a fire. The parts must be replaced, and the cost depends on the amount of damage caused by smoke and heat. The ductwork must also be checked for soot buildup as it will cause problems if not removed.
Rebuilding the Home
A home that is left structurally unsound by fire damage will need to be reinforced and rebuilt. While this can done through independent contractors, the SERVPRO of West Pasco remediation service team can take care of the rebuilding process, reducing stress and worry for the homeowner.
Removal of Damaged Items
Part of the fire restoration process is the removal of anything that cannot be saved. If smoke-damaged items are allowed to remain, they may contaminate the home. SERVPRO may be able to help with salvageable items or can make recommendations for their repair.
A fire is a sudden, disruptive life event and working with a professional fire remediation service like SERVPRO is the fastest way to clean and restore a home. Our experts will get things back to normal with minimal stress to the homeowner and will often cost less than hiring additional contractors. Most home insurance policies will pay for at least part of the remediation costs.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
As a locally owned and operated business, we work and live in New Port Richey too. We are close by and ready to respond immediately when you need cleaning or restoration services.
We're Fire and Water Damage Specialists. Call us to help you (727) 847-3000.
Celebrate Summer Safety!
Be safe and enjoy your summer!
It’s quintessential Florida summertime: roasting marshmallows over an open campfire with a cold beverage in your hand, grilling burgers and dogs by the pool, relaxing with friends and family. Summer is a time to enjoy New Port Richey’s great outdoors, but it is also important to keep safety in mind. Consider the following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association, to keep you and your family safe all summer long.
- When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
- When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
- When camping, always use a flame-retardant tent and set up camp far away from the campfire.
- Always build a campfire downwind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your fire. Extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite.
- Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.
The team at SERVPRO of West Pasco wishes you and safe and happy summer!
On-The-Job Training: 5 Things from my First Fire Damage
PPE is everything. Mastering the ability to rock a hard hat and N-95 face mask.
It all started with what seemed like an innocent text: "interested in working on Saturday?"
Without a second thought, I typed back: “Absolutely!” with a smiley face emoji. Next thing I know, I'm shopping for a hard hat. (Side note: Did you know how impossible it is to find a pink hard hat in stock in New Port Richey? I figured they were a hot ticket item.)
And just like that, I was thrown into the fire. Literally.
SERVPRO of West Pasco had been onsite for a week at a Port Richey storage facility where a fire had damaged the building as well as the contents of dozens of storage units. Our team was onsite to safely remove all contents from the building and assist facility customers as they moved out and sorted through their belongings. Some customers lost everything in the fire, while some others just had a light dusting of soot. The team carefully removed all salvageable contents from each unit and carried it out to customers, then cleaned the building to prep it for reconstruction.
And then there was me. I'm more of a behind-the-scenes type of girl, logging in my 40 hours a week in Accounts Receivable behind a computer and on the phone. Although I’d never before been to an active job site, I knew my customer service and organizational skills would translate to managing a team and working closely with people who were facing devastating losses. But, wow – I learned a lot! Here are five take-aways from my two days managing a contents-cleanout project.
1. Fire damage really smells! Each fire has its own personality, based on the contents that were burned. In this fire, Here, like plastic bins, TVs and even afghan blankets melted, leading to an odor so pungent we wore N-95 masks anytime we were inside the building or in close contact with affected contents. And after a few days, my nail polish started peeling back.
2. Even construction companies need forget to weigh down their tents. Since the customers would be going through materials for long periods of time in the hot Florida sun, we set up two tents to work beneath. With one strong gust of wind, my favorite lime green tent ended up on the storage facility roof. You can bet I won't be letting the guys live this down for years to come.
3. PPE is everything! Mastering the ability to wear hard hat, a N-95 face mask and safety goggles without causing a thick shield of fog that only allows you to see about an inch in front of your face is much harder than it seems. I'm pretty sure the atrocious bruise on my knee was from walking into a wall during one of my many run-ins with the fog of doom.
4. Black business flats are practical when working in the office, but not so much when out in the field. Never did I think that work boots would be on my shoe-shopping list.
5. Helping one customer through such a devastating loss is feat in itself; helping 44 storage unit renters who face fire damage is more than just one fire x 44. At SERVPRO of West Pasco, we learn that safety is our first priority and premiere customer service a close second. Giving your everything to 44 different customers simultaneously as they each work through the emotions and logistics of fire damage is heart wrenching and, at the same time, life giving.
The fire is cleaned up now, but I'm still shopping for my pink hard hat. Getting out of the office to work side-by-side with our production team and our clients gave me insight and knowledge to help me do my office job better, and understand the nuances of our daily business. I'm glad I was able to get my hands dirty (literally) and experience the magic that comes with the production side of SERVPRO.
West Pasco Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Trinity Home.
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. At SERVPRO of West Pasco, 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 West Pasco 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 – 727-847-3000