Recent Fire Damage Posts
Always test your smoke alarms!
Has your apartment or rental home owner ever given you a list to cross off and hand back to the property manager saying you have checked that everything worked and nothing is broken? Did you test out the smoke alarm to make sure it worked?
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.
Are you grilling safely?
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.
Tips for After a Fire
Fire! Let’s face it, it can be extremely stressful and overwhelming in the moment and most people have no idea what to do when that time comes. Here at SERVPRO we would like to offer some do’s and don’ts of fire and smoke to help guide you.
Limit the movement in the home to prevent the soot particles from being embedded into carpets and upholsteries.
Keep your hands very clean. This is because the Soot mixed with the oil on hands can seep into walls, woodwork and upholstery’s further soiling them.
You can change the HVAC filter, but leave the system off until a trained professional can check the system out to make sure there are no further damages to it.
Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without contacting your SERVPRO of West Pasco professional.
Consume any food or beverages that may have been store close to the fire, heat, or water. These items could be contaminated.
Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning of garments and other items in the home could lead to the smoke odor to set in.
My Fire Experience
About a year ago I had one of the worst experiences in my life. I lived on the 3rd floor of an apartment complex with 3 other roommates and my dog. One night it was pouring, thunder, lightning the whole nine yards. One lightning bolt struck and the lights began to flicker but we thought nothing of it. We thought it was just another storm. 10 minutes went by and we heard banging on our door accompanied with yelling. That’s when we knew something was wrong. The Fire Department was at our door telling us the apartment was on fire and we had to evacuate the building now. I grabbed my dog and my purse and ran down the stairs as fast as I could. We sat in our cars and watched the building next to ours burn from a lightning strike catching the roof on fire. Thankfully, everyone was okay, but it was one of the scariest moments of my life. I had no idea what was going on, but we knew that a building was on fire and there was nothing that we could do. We waited for the Fire Department to put it out and thankfully my building was not affected so we were able to go back inside once we got an all clear. We all just went to bed and were grateful it was not our building, and everyone was okay. Unfortunately, this is something that is not so uncommon. If you or someone you know experiences a fire, please call us at 727-847-3000!
Tips to Prevent Fires in Your Home or Business
A fire in your home or business can be devastating. At SERVPRO of West Pasco, we get it. We specialize in disaster recovery which includes residential and commercial fires. With that said we see the causes of these fires and the destruction they can cause. Luckily, we have some tips to help prevent them from happening.
- Overloaded Extension Cords – Bad Connections and other careless use of electrical devices can melt wire insulation and cause a fire to start. This can be avoided by not piggy-backing extension cords off each other.
- Clean your stove and oven – Grease and other flammable build up can easily cause a kitchen fire. Keep your stove and oven clean before turning on the appliance.
- Fireplace safety – If your home or business has a fireplace it is extremely important to have the chimney cleaned at least once a year according to the Nation Fire Protection Association! Built up soot and debris could easily become a fire hazard!
- Saw Dust – Saw dust is highly combustible and should be cleaned up during and after every project. A small spark could ignite the sawdust causing a fire that can quickly spread.
These are just a few tips that we can offer to help prevent fires in your home or business. As always, if you need us, give us a call at 727-847-3000.
Kitchen Fire Safety Tips for Your West Pasco Home
This fire caused extensive damage to half of this New Port Richey home.
Kitchen Fire Safety Tips
In the kitchen grease fires are extremely common while cooking your favorite meal. This type of fire is known to go out of control rather quickly. Kitchen fires also known for getting completely out of hand very rapidly. Even a little bit of spilled grease could get out of hand.
Here are some tips on how to prevent a grease fire: Do not leave the grease unattended; always stay in the kitchen when you are using grease. Move all items that are flammable away from the heat source. Keep the grease at a reasonable temperature when cooking. Add the food slowly to prevent splatter. Always keep children or animals away from the stove while cooking with grease.
Now if the grease fire does ignite, here are some helpful tips to deal. Cover the flames with a metal lid or a cookie sheet so the fire is contained. Always keep baking soda nearby to toss on the grease fire, keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of any emergencies, turn off all of the heat source if it is safe to do so, never try to extinguish the fire with water and never attempt to move the item that is on fire.
Lastly, for a grease fire, DON’T PANIC. People tend to get in a panic and that’s where the fire can take control and cause some serious damage.
Avoid a Fire During This Holiday Season
It’s that time of a year again! As mesmerizing as lights and other holiday decorations are, they account for millions of dollars in property damage every year. Please follow these basic safety tips to ensure your family's wellbeing this holiday season.
- When purchasing a live tree, make sure it isn’t dried out to much. Sometimes, if trees are cut too early the needles begin to dry and fall. these are more likely to catch fire. The Frazier Fir is a great choice and has a softer needle that does not dry out as quickly.
- Remember to water your tree immediately after getting it home and in the stand. Continue to water the tree until it stops taking water.
- Keep your tree away from heat sources, candles and other electronics.
- All your Christmas lights should be UL or ETL/ITSNA tested for safety, and you should throw away damaged lights.
- Be sure to plug outdoor lights into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle.
- Keep all your candles away from your Christmas tree, surrounding furniture and décor.
- Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.
- When your tree's needles begin to fall, it is time to take it down.
Follow these guidelines and avoid being another statistic in the National Fire Protection Association or United States Fire Administration report this holiday season. Of course, if you do have an emergency contact us immediately along with the local emergency response departments needed. We will be there to help you get things back, "Like it never even happened."
What Is A Partial Fire Loss?
This customer unfortunately had a house fire that affected not only their home but the side of their neighbors house as well.
HOW IS A PARTIAL LOSS DIFFERENT FROM A TOTAL LOSS
A partial loss indicates that a structure was not irreparably damaged. In general, this level of damage may require restoration and repairs, but not a complete rebuild. Find out how to determine the extent of fire loss at a commercial building in Wesley Chapel.
The Damage Is Limited
If a particular area of a structure has sustained fire damage while other areas are only affected by heat or smoke, the loss is likely to be partial. The following are some of the most common forms of partial loss:
- Burnt or charred building materials or contents
- Heat-damaged building materials or contents
- Smoke-damaged building materials or contents
Buildings that remain structurally sound can still suffer an extensive partial loss. An actual total loss involves a situation in which a property has burned down or sustained such extensive structural damage that a complete rebuild is necessary.
A fire loss is likely partial if a building can be cleaned and restored. This even applies to situations in which a certain portion of a structure sustains significant damage and may have to be rebuilt, but the building remains structurally sound on the whole and safe for occupation after cleaning and restoration.
Fire damage at a commercial building is likely to involve damaged contents. Getting a professional verdict on the condition of equipment can facilitate claim settlement. Any assessment should account for fire, heat and smoke damage. It is helpful to have an insurance policy that covers replacement costs rather than actual cash value with depreciation.
In the event of a partial fire loss, cleanup and restoration experts should check for hidden damage. Fire damage that appears minor may actually be more extensive. Experienced fire restoration professionals can inspect and accurately identify the extent of loss for the purpose of making a commercial property insurance claim. If your home or business suffers from fire damage, give us a call 727-847-3000.
Here at SERVPRO of West Pasco, we believe understanding how fires may start and what you can do to quickly extinguish them is important to keeping not only you and but your family safe. Take a look at these quick statistics to get a better understanding of how to avoid having fire damage in your home.
- About 44% of home fires are started by cooking accidents. Be sure you keep a fire extinguisher close at hand whenever you are working in the kitchen.
- Just above 21% of residential fires are caused by electrical malfunctions or issues with the heating system in the home. This is why it is extremely important to have your appliances checked often and keep up with their maintenance year-round.
- There are more than 209 fires in Florida homes every day.
- One of the most shocking statistics is that smoke detectors are not present or are inoperative in over 52 percent of these homes.
Being prepared plays a huge part of avoiding injury and death during a fire. Make a plan and be sure that everyone in the building is familiar with it so that if a fire breaks out, everyone knows exactly what to do.
If you have fire damage in your home, give us a call at 727-847-3000, and we will make it “Like it never even happened.”
Day 9: The Day I Taught My Son to Bump Elbows
Day 9 In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he can see a future where we do not shake hands anymore. I know people who, prior to the pandemic, would only fist or elbow bump to say hi. I thought it was weird but I guess they were ahead of their time. Heck, before all of this, I had no issues with a Golden Corral buffet – but now I am thinking twice. In our business, we are inside many properties; most are fairly clean and organized, but some not as much. We all have a lot of stuff, but some have more than others – I try not to judge. All of this makes me think the service industry may never be the same after COVID-19. Perhaps in the future our team will begin a project by setting containment areas around all work areas to protect everyone while we work. Meaning, by design we do not have much interaction with our client and we seal off the area we are working in regardless of the service being provided. Will air scrubbers, with the HEPA filters that can remove particulates as tiny as 0.3 microns from the air, be required in work spaces? If an employee calls out sick, for any reason, does this mean they stay home for two weeks? I guess we all have to wait and see what happens. On the bright side, if I see you at the Golden Corral, life is back to normal. This is my new barometer on normal – will I eat at the Corral? So when we dip our strawberry into the same chocolate trough, just as the previous 139 (hygienic) people before us did, just know that I want to shake your hand – but an elbow bump will have to do, you know, because our hands will be full with plates of chocolate strawberries.
Soot Damage After a Fire?
After a house fire, the danger unfortunately doesn’t stop once the flames have been put out. Soot may have spread to your entire Trinity home, posing a threat to your health and the building. Learn more about soot, how dangerous it is, and how to restore the damage below.
What is soot?
Soot is made of tiny carbon particles created by incomplete combustion of fossil fuels (wood, oil, coal, and more). Soot contains lots of acids, as well as chemicals, metals, soils, and dust. These particles leave an ugly sight and foul smell.
During a fire, soot spreads to the whole house, attaching to surfaces. Thus, the acidic properties of soot can further damage your home and indoor air quality if the soot is not removed immediately.
Soot can inhabit your home even if there wasn’t a fire. Excessive use of candles can lead to soot buildup, so make sure to use them sparingly (they are also a fire risk). Fireplaces can release soot as well if they’re not ventilated enough. Furnaces are also a source of soot contamination when they produce a puff back.
What are the dangers of soot exposure?
Statistics show that particle exposure leads to around 20,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Soot-related diseases are the culprit of many of them. Moreover, soot exposure causes 300,000 asthma attacks and two million lost workdays annually due to respiratory problems.
Soot can enter your body through inhalation, ingestion or via the skin and eyes. These toxic particles can cause breathing issues, including asthma, bronchitis, coronary heart disease, and even cancer. Infants, the elderly, and those who already have breathing problems are the most affected.
To avoid the health risks of soot exposure after a home fire, make sure that all soot-affected areas are properly cleaned and sanitized.
If you’ve experienced a fire in your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Pasco!
Why You Shouldn't Clean Your Own Fire Damage
DIY fire damage cleanup? Let the professionals handle it.
We understand that after a fire damage occurs in your New Port Richey home, the number one priority to the homeowner is to get their life back to normal as quickly as possible. One mistake they make is to attempt to cleanup the smoke damage and remove charred debris themselves. While it sounds like a great idea to save money and speed the process up, it can actually cause more harm than good. Certain cleaning agents can increase the amount of loss you have and even render other items unsalvageable.
It’s important that Bay Area homeowners allow a professional remediation company to take the proper precautions to protect areas of the home that may not have been affected. Did you know that soot particles are sometimes smaller than the eyes can see? That’s why the first thing our team does is set up containment to keep soot away from areas it shouldn’t be.
The cleaning process is also different depending on the material that’s been involved in the fire. While sheetrock and wood structural elements tend to leave behind a powdery, light residue called dry smoke, rubber and plastic contents produce wet smoke which is think and difficult to clean from surfaces without the proper procedures.
Luckily for you, SERVPRO of West Pasco has certified technicians who have the knowledge and the equipment to make your fire loss “Like it never even happened.”
Laundry Room Fire Prevention Tips
This local Bay Area home was affected by a large loss fire that began in their laundry room!
While cooking remains the leading cause of house fires, laundry room fires account for an average of 15,000 fires each year in the United States according to the National Fire Protection Association. That’s the unfortunate event that happened at this local Tampa Bay Area home. With it being our largest residential fire to date, our team dived in head first and utilized all of our tools and resources to get these clients home back to them and make it “Like it never even happened.”
Between structural damage for this 5,000 square foot home and the affected contents inside during the fire, we have been busy! Calling in engineers, electricians, plumbers, and even moving companies to help!
We know what you're thinking.... "How can I prevent this from happening SERVPRO of Hernando County?" Well, you're in luck because we've listed some tips to help ensure you don't have the same devastation our client has had.
- Clean the lint filter after every use. Lint is highly flammable, so allowing it to build up in your dryer’s filter is dangerous. Before you start a load of laundry, always make it a habit to pull out the lint filter and clean it. You also need to check around the vent pipes and ducts to make sure that they stay clear of lint.
- Replace your foil accordion vent pipe with a rigid metal pipe.Many dryers have a foil vent pipe that can collect lint that easily gets stuck in the folds of the vent, becoming a fire hazard. You can prevent lint build-up by replacing the vent pipe with a sturdy metal vent, which will reduce the amount of lint being left behind.
- Clean inside, underneath, and behind the dryer.Lint and other debris can build up in the spaces surrounding your dryer. Heat or a spark from the dryer can ignite the flammable materials, causing a fire. You can reduce the risk of fire by dusting and sweeping around your dryer once a week to keep it lint free.
- Avoid drying items that have been exposed to combustible materials.If you have items soiled with oil, grease, or gasoline, don’t put it in the dryer because the heat could cause the item to catch on fire. Instead, hang those items up to dry!
- Check to make sure that there is space between the dryer and the wall.Your dryer needs clearance from the wall so that air can circulate around it to cool it down. If the back of the dryer is blocked, it can easily overheat. Additionally, your vent pipe needs space so that it doesn’t get bent or compressed to prevent lint build up!
Fire Safety Tips From The American Red Cross
With 1.32 million house fires igniting in the United Stated each year, more than 2,500 people die and 12,600 are injured in residential blazes each year.
But unlike many other relatively common disasters, house fires - and sometimes, tragedies - can be prevented.
The American Red Cross (www.redcross.org) puts forth tips easy for most to implement to help prevent house fires and to prepare for the unexpected. When a fire starts, occupants may have as little as two minutes to escape. Research has shown the Red Cross’s tips for fire safety (www.redcross.org-fire) practiced regularly, can save lives.
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.
Fire Damage: What to Expect When You Call
Fire Damage: What to Expect When You Call
While we cleanup more water damages than fires, we spend more of our time cleaning up fires. Restoring a home or business after a fire to remove all smoke and soot is a long and detail-oriented process, but one that in the end has great results making a disaster “Like it never even happened.”
But while fire damages are a regular occurrence for us, when clients call, its almost always the first time they have experienced such a loss. We understand that experiencing a fire can be devastating, with cherished memories and treasures at stake, as well as emotional toil. It can be overwhelming and stressful, and seem like a huge project one can never dig out of, even with professional help.
We tackle every project systematically, breaking the cleanup process down into steps. As we work through the process with clients we do our best to empathize and to walk through the process, much of which will be unknown until we get into the project. Here are the basic steps to a fire damage cleanup, presented here to help clients understand what to expect when they face damage from fire, smoke, or soot:
Step1: Emergency Contact: As soon as we take your call, we begin a plan for 24/7 emergency response.
Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment: Once onsite, we assess damage and needs to stabilize the structure and mitigate further or secondary damage.
Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed):
Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
Step 6: Cleaning and Repair
Step 7: Restoration
The team at SERVPRO of West Pasco is here 24/7 to help with your restoration needs.
The Morning I Smelled Fire
A New Port Richey, FL home with fire damages caused by an electrical malfunction.
It was a typical Tuesday. Freshly brewed coffee in hand, before I sat down to the computer in my home office to begin work I opened the window to let in the sunshine and fresh air.
In wafted a strong stench of smoke. Something very close – closer than I’d ever smelled – was on fire. I ran outside and through the yards of Radcliffe Estates in Port Richey and quickly it was obvious that a house one street away from my home was on fire. Struck with the thought of another family going through the devastation of a house fire, I joined forces with neighbors immediately and we did what we could to help.
When your family business is disaster cleanup, a house fire is a regular event. Luckily we have been spared that experience in our own home, but we have sat and shed tears with families as they faced disaster following fires, and cried together joyfully months later after we have worked as a team to rebuild a home.
Unfortunately that day, a family lost two dogs and many of their possessions. No human life was injured. Our neighborhood banded together to support the family in need with generosity of all kinds – shelter and meals, immediate needs that cropped up, long term housing, and friendship.
Before that day, I’d mostly thought of the physical loss a family experiences after a fire, and the emotional tolls of losing your home and possessions, and sometimes even an animal you love or other extremely difficult losses. But after watching first-hand the moments that lead up to a client calling a company like SERVPRO of West Pasco, I became more acutely aware of the emotional stressors that occur from the moment the fire ignites and that last for many years or even longer.
The neighbors whose home burned to nearly a total loss due to an electrical malfunction have since become good friends. We have attended their son’s hockey games, hired their teenage daughter to babysit, celebrated milestones together, and relaxed on the back porch. We’ve also learned from them to understand another dimension of being a disaster restoration client, and I’m grateful for that perspective. I’ve been able to be a more empathetic project manager by putting myself in a client’s shoes from the start of a project to the end, and trying to understand the depth of loss and renewal that accompanies a fire restoration project in a home.
Our neighbors’ fire was unpreventable. Many fires like this happen each year, and while we cannot plan, we can prepare. I wish I hadn't smelled fire in my neighborhood that morning, and of course my neighbors feel the same. But because I did, I have a wider understanding of the process and new friends.
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.
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!
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.