Recent Fire Damage Posts

6 Fire Restoration Do's and Don'ts for Maitland Homeowners

9/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 6 Fire Restoration Do's and Don'ts for Maitland Homeowners Some cleaning after a fire can be done yourself but the only way to ensure proper removal of soot is to contact a professional restoration company.

It is extremely common for Maitland homeowners to panic even after a fire making countless mistakes that can both put their safety at risk or make restoration more difficult and costly. Knowing what to do and what not to do beforehand can make you better prepared to handle the situation at hand and save you money and keep you safe as well. Here are some examples of what you should and should not do after a fire.

6 Fire Restoration Do's

1. Avoid soot particles from being embedded into your home's carpets and tracked throughout the rest of the property by limiting movement through your home.
2. Avoid soiling your home's upholstery, walls, and woodwork keeping your hands completely clean at all times. To make this easier, use disposable gloves and change them out multiple times throughout your cleaning process.
3. Prevent additional foul odors by removing your fridge from its electrical source and propping the refrigerator and freezer doors open. Also, remove perishable items from the refrigerator.
4. Wipe soot from metal surfaces and fixtures such as sink faucets and appliances.
5. Use a damp rag or cloth to remove soot from household plants.
6. Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.


6 Fire Restoration Don'ts

1. Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting a professional fire restoration company.
2. Don't attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs, or upholstered furniture without first consulting a professional fire restoration company.
3. Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
4. Don't consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water. There is a high probability that these items have been contaminated.
5. Don't turn on any ceiling fixtures if you suspect that your ceiling is wet. Wiring may also be wet or damaged and can cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
6. Don't send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

10 Orlando Fire Damage Facts for Homeowners

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 10 Orlando Fire Damage Facts for Homeowners Aside from flames and soot, additional damage in a fire disaster can also occur from firefighters cutting ventilation holes and spraying water.

While flames can cause the most visible damage to your Orlando property during a fire, smoke and soot are silent and sometimes invisible hazards that could cost lives. Water is also a reason for damage after a fire. Even firefighters themselves may cause some damage before they can completely put out a fire. Here are 10 important things to know about fires.

Fire Dangers

1. Most deaths in fire disasters are a result of smoke being inhaled, not from contact with the flames themselves. When avoiding flames from a fire, make sure to remove yourself from any areas with smoke as well.

2. Soot is a coating of fine, black dust created when wood, coal, or oil-based substances are burned. These carbon particles float into the air and settle anywhere. Inhaling soot can cause severe lung deficiencies or even death.

3. Other effects of soot inhalation that can occur are cancer and serious defects in newborns. Soot produces polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons are responsible for gene mutation for particular groups of genes.

Water’s Effect on Fire Damage

4. Certain types of fires can be successfully put out using water. It is important to make sure that after a fire is extinguished, all wet components of your home or business are completely dried. If moisture is allowed to remain, mold, mildew, and other consequences can grow and lead to further damage and loss. This is why SERVPRO of Winter Park provides industrial dehumidifiers and air movers to dry saturated carpets, padding, furniture, and any other wet items.

5. Orlando and the rest of Central Florida are known for high levels of humidity. Because of this, mold colonies can begin to grow just 48 hours after water damage occurs. The combination of fire, water, and mold damage to your commercial property or home could result in a complete loss if not handled properly. See more about mold remediation here.

Firefighters Break Windows And Cut Holes

6. Firefighters often must break windows and cut holes in the roof of buildings on fire. As a fire burns, the fire moves up and down and across, growing very fast. Firefighters break windows and cut holes in roofs to provide ventilation that slows the fire’s growth. Ventilation also helps get rid of dark smoke that makes it hard for firefighters to see where they’re going. The holes and broken windows help firefighters fight the fire more quickly. The bottom line is that breaking windows and cutting holes in roofs help save lives and property. Damage caused by these techniques should be repaired quickly and properly to avoid additional damage.

7. Firefighters will also cut holes in walls at times. This is not done for the purpose of ventilation. It’s done so the fire department is sure that the fire is completely out. Fire departments don’t want to risk leaving a fire that’s not visible but is still active inside the walls or in other hidden places.

8. If you have a fire, get a copy of the fire report. In most areas, a fire report is a public document. Ask for it at the fire department or fire marshal’s office. The fire report will help you with information that your insurance company and other official offices may request.

Fire Damage Restoration

9. If soot contaminates items in your home or business, an Orlando fire damage restoration service provider like SERVPRO of Winter Park must assess the damage to see if restoration is possible. A professional company can properly assess the damage, provide closer estimates for the cost of repairs, work closely with your insurance company, and ensure that damage is restored properly.

10. Use caution if you decide to do some of the cleanups after a fire. Never start your cleaning process until you’ve attained the proper safety attire. Wear heavy-duty gloves, safety goggles, and a face mask. Carefully cover your nose and make sure your safety glasses have no place for dust or soot to get into your eyes.

Here To Help

Our team has specialized training and experience in fire restoration services and natural disaster cleanup in Orlando and the surrounding areas.
Call SERVPRO of Winter Park at (407) 678-5391 anytime, 24/7.

Cleaning Different Types of Smoke and Soot in Winter Park

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Cleaning Different Types of Smoke and Soot in Winter Park Soot caused by dry smoke can be removed with dry sponges and cleaned with water-based chemicals.

When a fire occurs in your Winter Park home, the heat and flames are not the only fire damage causing problems to be concerned about. Smoke generated from the blaze burning structural materials and other components can travel throughout an entire home and ruin its contents. Residue from the smoke can permanently stain contents and building materials requiring them to be replaced. In some cases, it is possible to salvage contents and materials by cleaning and removing soot residues. The level of difficulty for doing so is contingent on the type of soot that is present in the property following the fire.

Wet Smoke Versus Dry Smoke

The length of time and overall cleanability of soot strongly depends on how wet or dry the smoke that caused the damage was. Dry smoke is a result of the blaze burning natural materials quickly and with a significant supply of oxygen. Wet moke occurs when a fire burns synthetic materials at a slow pace with very little oxygen. It is extremely common for a fire to create both types of smoke while burning.

The easiest soot to clean is caused by dry smoke. SERVPRO of Winter Park uses dry sponges to wipe dry soot off and also can clean it using water-based chemicals. As an additional step, it is very helpful to vacuum carpets and fabrics to remove loose soot and debris. Removing soot from smoke that is too wet, requires much more aggressive cleaning methods that can be extremely difficult or even impossible in some cases.

Smoke Damage from Protein Fires

A large percentage of kitchen fires have a protein fuel source. Protein types of fuels that are commonly burned as a source include meat, poultry, and fish. These proteins produce smoke that leaves behind a residue, which is usually yellow or amber in color. These residues create a foul odor and must be fully cleaned in order for the smell to be removed. Some of this residue cannot be seen but will still cause a foul odor. Therefore, it is necessary to clean the property thoroughly in order to remove the odor completely.

Smoke Damage Cleaning and Odor Removal Services

If you have experienced a fire in your property, SERVPRO of Winter Park is a professional fire restoration company that can help you restore your property, clean soot, and remove odor caused by smoke. We work closely with you and your insurance adjuster to make this stressful situation as smooth as possible. Give us a call 24/7 at 407-678-5391 to get started!

Working with Insurance Adjusters After a Fire

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Working with Insurance Adjusters After a Fire Taking photos of the damage during an inspection helps for building an estimate and even providing documentation to your adjuster.

Experiencing a fire in your Winter Park home is a possibility that no homeowner wants to consider, however, it is a possibility that occurs more frequently than you may think. There are many causes of fires and they can occur any day, without warning, and cause an overwhelming amount of damage and prolonged effects on your property. Aside from the stress of dealing with a fire itself, the aftermath and process of restoring your property can be equally stressful as well.

The Process with Your Insurance Adjuster

SERVPRO of Winter Park knows how stressful these situations can be and works to make the fire damage restoration process as smooth as possible. Not only do we work to communicate clearly and constantly with you throughout the actual restoration process, but we also communicate with your insurance company and adjuster to help determine which areas of your property require professional restoration services and what items are a loss. Our team works closely with you and your adjuster to make the right determinations and provide the necessary information to get your claim going as quickly as possible.

Fast and Comprehensive Estimate

Working quickly and accurately to provide you and your adjuster with an estimate plays a crucial part in expediting the process of your claim. Our team inspects all of the damage to your home, visible and nonvisible, in order to determine the best course of action for restoration and the amount of equipment, personnel, and time needed to complete the project.

Fire Damage Restoration Process

Once your claims are filed and you are covered by your insurance company, our fire restoration team can get started with the fire damage restoration process and work to get your property restored and functional once again. The length of this process can fluctuate based on the severity of the fire and components affected.

Our crew works diligently to make sure the appropriate measures get taken to overcome all of the damage that your home experienced from the recent fire. If you are facing fire damages in your home, you can trust SERVPRO of Winter Park’s professional team to help you get going in the right direction. Give us a call at any time or day at (407) 678-5391.

Types of Fires and How They Are Extinguished

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Types of Fires and How They Are Extinguished Knowing the type of fire you are trying to extinguish is essential for safely attempting to put it out and can help avoid making the fire worse.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there were approximately 1,345,500 fires nationwide in 2015. As a homeowner or property manager, being aware of the different types of fires and how they are extinguished can help you to quickly resolve a fire incident, avoid making it worse, and even determine when the risks are too high for any attempt at extinguishing the flames. In the event of any fire, your safety and health should be your number one priority at all times. If you are concerned about your safety at any point, vacate the property, keep a safe distance, and wait for your local fire department to arrive. The types of fires are generally split into the 5 classes listed below.

Class A - Ordinary Combustible Fires

This common type of fire happens when materials are heated to their ignition temperature. Heat, oxygen, and fuel will allow a combustible fire to continue burning. Rubber, plastic, textiles, wood, paper and organic carbon-based compounds are a few of the materials that can be involved in these types of fires.

Combustible fires are usually the most simple to extinguish since spraying with water will cool the flames and source material. By removing the supply of heat, the fire is left without the essentials needed to burn. A water-based or foam based fire extinguish is recommended for Class A fires.

Class B - Flammable Liquids

Any liquid substance that has an ignition temperature below 100°C is classified as a flammable liquid. These liquids burn easily due to having a low flashpoint ( the temperature of a substance where enough vapor to be ignited is released). If a spark, flame, or any other source of ignition is applied to a flammable liquid, they can burn at any temperature. Types of flammable liquids include, but are not limited to, petrol, kerosene, alcohol, solvents, and paints.

When attempting to extinguish a Class B fire, it is important that you DO NOT use water to put the fire out. Splashing water can cause the flammable liquid to spread, spreading the fire along with it. Instead, smother the flames using a foam extinguisher. It is also important to note that Class B fires produce a thick and black toxic smoke, so avoiding the fire and waiting for the professionals may be the best route.

Class C - Flammable Gases

Butane, propane, and petroleum are a few flammable gases that have the potential for creating explosions if triggered by a spark. These fires are amongst the most dangerous and only need about a 5% concentration of flammable gas in the air to burn.
These fires should always be left to your fire department. Once on scene, they will have to isolate the fire’s gas supply and then use dry powder extinguishers. Most other extinguishers are ineffective against Class C Fires.

Class D - Metal Fires

Metals are good conductors and most require a lot of heat to ignite. Certain types of metals can burn if ignited. Metal shavings and powders pose a higher fire risk than solid masses of metal. Alkali metals such as potassium, magnesium, and sodium can burn when in contact with air and water. Therefore, spraying water or foam onto metal fires will increase the intensity of the flames and can potentially cause explosive reactions sending pieces of burning metal in all directions.

When dealing with a Class D fire, the safest approach is usually to allow the fire to burn out on its own. These type of fires tend to occur in industrial properties with large amounts of burning metal and an increased chance of explosions. Class D fires have a tendency for producing large amounts of ash, which builds up and starves the fire’s supply of oxygen. For metal fires that are spotted early, special type D powder fire extinguishers can be effective. Just make sure to check that they are the specific dry powder type intended for use on metal fires.

Electrical Fires

Electrical fires do not have a class of their own and are designated to Class C in the United States. However, they have their own fire safety requirements and are important to mention. These fires can be caused by short circuits, overloaded switchboards, faulty equipment and damaged wiring.

Before attempting to extinguish an electrical fire, it is important to isolate its electrical supply as quickly as possible. Water and foam are both conductors for electricity, so even after isolation, it is not safe to use them as extinguishers. The only types of extinguishers recommended for safely addressing electrical fires are carbon dioxide and dry powder fire extinguishers.

Class F - Cooking Oil Fires

Fires that involve cooking oil and fats are classified as Class F. These fires are common in homes, businesses and professional kitchens. They pose a very difficult challenge to extinguish, due to the high temperatures involved. Simply trying to cool the fire with water will not work. In fact, using water on a burning pan is likely to cause a rapid spreading out of the flames, making the fire worse and potentially injuring anyone in its vicinity.

For this reason, special fire extinguishers have been developed to address Class F fires. Wet chemical extinguishers contain a formula which cools the fire and then mixes with the oil to seal the surface and prevent re-ignition.

Fire Damage Restoration

SERVPRO of Winter Park does not extinguish fires. In case of a fire emergency, please contact your local emergency services and fire department for assistance. If you have suffered from fire damage to your property, give us a call at 407-678-5391. Our phone lines are open 24 hours to assist you and our skilled technicians can help you assess the extent of the damage to get the fire damage restoration process going.

6 Common Causes of Residential Fires

4/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 6 Common Causes of Residential Fires Fires related to cooking make up about 42% of all reported causes of residential fires in the U.S.

According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) The United States averages between 350,000 and 400,000 fires every year. That translates to an average of 39 – 46 fires every hour!  By knowing the most common ways a fire is started, a majority of these fires can be prevented.

Cooking Incidents

The leading cause of residential fires are incidents related to cooking. Cooking incidents actually make up about 42% of reported house fires in the country! For example, an oven or stove left on and unattended is a disaster waiting to strike.

Electrical

Electrical fires are another common type of home fires. One of the leading culprits is the over-use of extension cords. Extension cords are designed to safely pull a certain amount of amps, so make sure to read labels and know the limitations of the cord you are using. We recommend having an electrical inspection performed by a certified electrician at least once a year.

Unsupervised Children

Teaching children about fire safety is definitely something every parent should consider. It is extremely common for items such as lighter and matches to be left within reach of children who are not aware of the dangers of fire.

Smoking

Smoking is the source of many house fires and leads to almost 1,000 deaths a year. Lit cigarettes that have been left unattended, forgotten about can make contact with flammable items in your home and lead to a fire. Another common occurrence is smokers falling asleep while smoking in their home.  We recommend not smoking in your home or quitting altogether, however, if you choose to smoke in your home you should always make sure to extinguish your cigarette.

Candles

Candles should never be left unattended but oftentimes are. When leaving a room with a burning candle make sure to blow it out or take it along with you if necessary. Forgotten candles are very dangerous and can quickly lead to a fire disaster.

Dryers

Dryers are all too often forgotten!  It is important to remember to empty out your dryer vents and be certain that they are properly vented. Remember to maintain your dryer by cleaning the vents at least once a year.

When Disaster Strikes

There are many possible causes and contributors to residential fires. Being aware of the causes listed above will go a long way in helping to prevent fire damage or much worse in your home. In case of an emergency, please be sure to dial 911 to reach a local emergency responder. Also, keep in mind that SERVPRO of Winter Park performs excellent fire restoration services and is available 24/7 to take your call!

The Aftermath Of A Fire

10/10/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The Aftermath Of A Fire After a fire and after its flames are extinguished, there still exists some safety risks.

Fire Damage

After a devastating house fire, you are anxious to enter your home, but do not touch the carpets, draperies, upholstered furniture or clothing. They are likely covered with soot, which is oily, and it stains easily. Soot includes fine black particles, consisting mainly of carbon, as well as acids, chemicals, metals, soils and dust. Its removal should be handled by SERVPRO, professional fire remedial experts.

A common residential fire results in the burning of a variety of materials, from wood, paper, plastics, foams, fabrics, wool, wood products, synthetics and asbestos containing materials. Fire damage to Orlando residential and/or commercial buildings will result in soot contamination. Exposure to soot may occur via the eyes, skin, inhalation and ingestion.

Airborne soot particulates are invisible, thus after a fire you may unknowingly be affected. Soot particles can enter the bloodstream and cause a variety of health issues. Firefighters today are very well-trained in safety, plus they were protective gear, yet they experience a higher incidence of respiratory problems than the public.

After a fire and after its flames are extinguished, there still exists some safety risks. Soot is just one of the secondary fire residue risks, which cause damages. Not all soot residues are the same. There are different types of soot which are easier to clean than other types. SERVPRO professionals will clean any of four different types: dry smoke, wet smoke, protein smoke, and fuel oil smoke residues.

Industry issued safety equipment are essential in reducing possible exposure to dangerous soot conditions, including water related health problems from firefighting efforts. The fire restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Winter Park use IICRC professional tools and industry approved remediation methods. Our knowledge and expertise are at the heart of a thorough and safe fire restoration. Call us at (407) 678-5391 and let us help restore your property back to normal.

Cleaning Up Fire and Soot Damage

8/17/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Cleaning Up Fire and Soot Damage Smoke Damage Degrades IAQ in Your Aloma Home

Fire & Smoke Damage Cleanup is SERVPRO's Cornerstone Expertise

The term fire damage is actually a little inaccurate. The source of most damage to someone's home doesn't come from the fire itself. Most damage and the resulting replacement and restoration costs would come from smoke and soot unless it were a major incendiary event. In areas with large amounts of surrounding vegetation, like ours, the smoke damage to a home can come from blocks away.

Regardless if it comes from the surrounding area or if your home itself is the source of fire damage, an Aloma home can suffer thousands of dollars in damage after just a few minutes. SERVPRO has the equipment and the expertise to put homeowners and renters back into their residence as swiftly as possible.

Once damage does happen, our technicians are fully trained and certified under the guidelines of The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) to restore your home to its original state. Our technicians also receive corporate and franchise level training. Local teams learn the latest procedures to clean carpets, furniture and surfaces of soot and to remove the smoke odor that can linger for weeks in an untreated home.

Our franchise maintains its set of commercial grade vacuums to remove soot and other residue. Our blowers and exhaust fans can be adapted to work from a large family room to a small laundry closet. We also maintain a very deep shelf of cleaning products specialized for every surface in a home from marble countertop cleaners to soaps and dry sponges that gently remove soot and not the paint underneath. Please note that whatever else you may do before help arrives, there is one thing you must NOT do once damage has happened, especially if you can already see soot. Do not turn on your HVAC unit, even if there is sweltering heat; not even the fan by itself. It's almost overpowering to want to clear the air, but if you do, you will blow even more soot throughout your home, even into areas that might not already be fire and smoke damaged. All filters have to be replaced first, and the registers in each room must be covered to prevent further contamination. We can use HEPA grade filtration systems, air scrubbers, and ozone machines to help improve the IAQ, indoor air quality.

SERVPRO of Winter Park is a locally owned franchise. All of us here are part of the community and have a vested interest in helping our neighbors. You are not just a paycheck to us. If you have fire damage or would like to schedule a free inspection to help prevent future damage, call us today at (407) 678-5391.

After A Devastating Fire Damage in Orlando - Steps to Take

3/18/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage After A Devastating Fire Damage in Orlando - Steps to Take When a fire strikes, call a professional restoration company to help restore your home back to normal.

Fire Damage - Steps to Take After a Fire

When the devastating fire that ripped through your home is extinguished, and everyone is safe, you want to focus on measures you can take to minimize damage and reduce expenses for restoration. To do that follow these steps:
 


1. Clean all clothing to remove smoke or fire odors that could cause damage to the fabrics. Not to mention you can make them smell better. Clothes that are severely soiled from A damageing fire should be taken to a professional cleaner.
 


2. Thoroughly scrub all outside areas of your home with a strong disinfectant. These cleaners can help remove soot and harmful bacteria. Be sure to wear gloves and other safety equipment. Target all areas of your home such as floors, walkways, walls, glass, and screens.
 


3. Now you can move to the interior of your home. Cleaning inside includes scrubbing and disinfecting walls, cabinets, counters, tables, flooring, tables, chairs, and other areas. Remember to wear the same safety gear for interior projects.
 


4. Clean all of your fire damaged furniture in Orlando thoroughly. You do not want to damage sensitive material with harsh cleaners. Some furniture may need to be discarded if it is too badly damaged.
 


5. Next, restore fire damaged draperies and tapestries with an odor neutralizer spray. This spray helps combat the soot and fire damage that has penetrated deep into the fabrics. If your fire damage in Orlando is too much to handle on your own, consult a professional restoration expert.
 


6. Deodorize carpets and mattresses if possible. Steam cleaning could be considered as an option. Wash or dust all household items.
 


7. Finally, do not forget the importance of cleaning the ventilation systems in your home. The HVAC cleaning requires calling a fire damage restoration professional in Orlando. Heating/Cooling systems need all vents, ductwork, and filters thoroughly cleaned to ensure soot and smoke particles are not being cycled through the air in your home.
 


If you suffer fire damage , we respond to your needs day or night. We want to help and serve our community. For more information or an estimate call SERVPRO of Winter Park at (407) 678-5391.

Smoke Damage Restoration Services in Winter Park: A Brief Overview

9/22/2015 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke Damage Restoration Services in Winter Park: A Brief Overview After a fire strikes your residential property, there are a plethora of tasks that you must complete to expedite the remediation process.

Smoke Damage Restoration Services in Winter Park: A Brief Overview 

After a fire strikes your residential property, there are a plethora of tasks that you must complete to expedite the remediation process. One of the most crucial tasks that you will need to attend to is Winter Park smoke damage restoration. Often, homeowners believe that completing a do-it-yourself project is advisable because it will save them time and money. However, this is almost never the case. In fact, hiring a professional smoke damage restoration company is the best route to take because these individuals possess the experience and equipment necessary to optimize the remediation process. Learn more about smoke damage restoration and the importance of hiring a professional company by reviewing the following data: 

Performing The Fire Damage Assessment
One of the most significant components of Winter Park smoke damage remediation process is completing a fire damage assessment on your property. This work will help determine the extent of the damage done by smoke and fire. The best way to get the process started is to contact your insurance company and a smoke damage restoration company. These individuals will be able to inspect your property and provide you with a cost estimate for the cleanup and repair processes. If you can obtain a referral to a restoration company by your insurance company, the two companies will likely be able to work together to create a fair settlement. If this happens, you will probably pay less money out of pocket for remediation services.

Cleaning Your Home
After completing a detailed assessment, professional restoration companies will start cleaning up the fire damage in your residential property. Dehumidifiers will help absorb excess water. Smoke damage restoration experts will also utilize cleaners and deodorizers to remove soot and smoke from your property. 

Contact SERVPRO Today
Winter Park smoke damage restoration is a complex, complicated process that should be left to the professionals. When you start looking for a team of trained experts to assist you, trust the talented technicians of SERVPRO. We offer round the clock emergency services and work with speed and skill to resolve all smoke issues as quickly as possible. Call us immediately at (407) 678-5391 to attain the excellent, expedient smoke damage restoration services you deserve. 

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Winter Park is strategically located to respond quickly to your smoke or fire damage event. When a major fire or disaster event occurs, we can call upon our national network of 1,650 SERVPRO Franchises and special Disaster Recovery Teams if we need additional resources or personnel.

We are here in Winter Park and are ready to help you. Just call us. (407) 678-5391

Avoid Smoke and Fire Damage UCF With These Tips by SERVPRO

8/4/2015 (Permalink)

Avoid Smoke and Fire Damage With These Tips by SERVPRO

A vigilant approach is the best way to avoid a house fire. By taking the proper precautions listed by SERVPRO, homeowners can protect their house from smoke and fire damage.

Creating an Escape Plan

A National Fire Protection Association survey revealed many homeowners overestimate the time they have to escape their house during a fire. Since a home fire is an unexpected, high-stress event, it is imperative to create an escape plan. The ideal plan has an exit strategy. A minimum of two ways to exit each room when possible, and ensure windows and doors can be easily opened. Nobody should reenter the house to retrieve pets or belongings after escaping the fire.

Following Safe Electrical Guidelines

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 280 people die, and 1,000 more people are injured in America every year due to electrical fires, many of which are preventable. Homeowners should:

  •  Match light bulbs to each light fixture and lamp's recommended wattage.
  • Plug all major appliances into an outlet instead of a power strip or extension cord.
  • Talk to an electrician about installing AFCIs or arc fault circuit interrupters, to shut off electricity in the event of a dangerous arcing fault.
  • Use a single heat-producing appliance in each outlet at one time.

 Installing Smoke Alarms 

When it comes to fire prevention, smoke alarms are an essential preventive tool a homeowner can use. Statistics from the American Red Cross show that 65 percent of deaths from home fires occurred in houses that did not have an operable smoke alarm. All smoke alarms should be interconnected, so they sound off when smoke is detected, and alarms should be replaced every 10 years even though they still work. Homeowners should also make sure to install detectors in the basement, in every bedroom, outside each bedroom door, on every level of the home and ten feet or more away from cooking appliances.

Practicing Cooking Safety

Fire damage caused by cooking accidents costs homeowners $1 billion according to the National Fire Protection Association. Because cooking is a common home activity, it carries serious safety risks. SERVPRO recommends that homeowners:

  • Never leave cooking food unattended.
  • Store flammable materials in a location away from the stove and oven.
  • Use a timer while cooking to prevent them falling asleep or forgetting about the cooking food.