Recent Fire Damage Posts

Celebrate Safely This Holiday Season

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

Pretty lights, candles and decorations are just a few of the items bringing charm and cheer to the holiday season - however, if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening. 

The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips to help greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season. 

  • Place Christmas trees, candles and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer's instructions. 
  • Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed. 
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed. 
  • Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees. 
  • Keep anything that can catch fire - pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging and towels or curtains - away from your stove top. 
  • Designate one person to walk around your property to ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave. 

SERVPRO of Quincy Franchise Professionals wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

Preparedness For Pets

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

Have you accounted for Fido or feline when emergency planning?

Pets are just as important as any family member to most people, so why would you not make them a part of your preparedness planning? There are several things you can do to make sure they stay safe as well during an emergency. 

Pet Emergency Kit

Ready.gov/animals lists the below items as essential to building your Pet Emergency Kit. 

Food. At least a three day supply in an airtight, waterproof container. 

Water. At least three days of water specifically for your pets. 

Medicines and medical records. 

Important documents. 

Registration information, adoption papers and vaccination documents. Talk to your veterinarian about micro-chipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database. 

First aid kit. Cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Including a pet first aid reference book is a good idea too.

Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag and a leash. 

Crate or pet carrier. Have a sturdy, safe crate or carrier in case you need to evacuate. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down. 

Sanitation.

Pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach.

A picture of you and your pet together.

If you become separated, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you. Add species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics. 

Familiar items.

Familiar items, such as treats, toys and bedding can help reduce stress for your pet. 

Evacuations

While practicing fire escape or evacuation plans, be sure to include pets. If an evacuation happens, don't leave pets behind as they can be lost or injured. 

Identification

Micro-chipping pets is a great way to locate them. Most veterinary clinics and shelters have scanners that will read the microchip information to help find a pet's owners. 

Be sure to take four-legged friends into consideration when planning for emergencies. Visit ready.gov/animals for further tips and safety precautions to think about for you or your insured's families' pets, or your tenants pets during a disaster. 

Fires are Preventable!

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

When it comes to you or your insured's properties, there are certain safety precautions that can be taken to help prevent fires. Ready.gov shares the following tips on home fire prevention. 

Electrical and Appliance Safety 

  • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture. 
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord. 
  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker. 

Fireplaces and Woodstoves

  • Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage and obstructions. 
  • Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks. 
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed. 

Fire Prevention Week

10/12/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Prevention Week Check out the NFPA's website for more information.

National Fire Prevention Week | SERVPRO of Springfield

Every year the National Fire Prevention Agency sponsors the public observance of Fire Prevention Week during the week of October 9th. It is the longest running public health observance in the United States. The program began in 1925 when President Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week in order to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire that claimed the lives of more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, and destroyed more than 17,400 structures over 2,000 acres of land.

During Fire Prevention Week, the NFPA sponsors programs that educate communities about fire prevention and safety. By bringing awareness to the topic of fire prevention to people of all ages, races and socioeconomic status, the NFPA is hoping to drastically reduce the amount of casualties caused by fire.

You can learn more about the NFPA and their mission here: www.nfpa.org

SERVPRO® of Quincy is always here in case your home or office experiences a fire damage. Let us help you get your life back on track. We are available 24/7 at 217-223-2993.

How to Inspect a Fire Extinguisher

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

Home Safety: How to Inspect a Fire Extinguisher

When was the last time you checked the fire extinguisher that sits under your kitchen sink? Or the one hanging from a dusty hook in your garage? If you’re struggling to remember, it’s time to check it. Like any other piece of safety equipment, a home fire extinguisher should be inspected regularly to ensure it’s in proper working condition. A fire extinguisher in good working condition is your first line of defense when a home fire erupts.

Ideally, you should inspect your portable home fire extinguishers every month.

Tips for Performing a Monthly Fire Extinguisher Check

Check the label or tag.

Every fire extinguisher, whether disposable or rechargeable, has a manufacturer’s label or tag. Read the tag and follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance suggestions.

Check the tamper seal.

If the tamper seal has been broken or is cracked, a disposable fire extinguisher needs to be replaced. If it’s rechargeable, it needs to be serviced professionally. Check the locking or pull pin as well to make sure it’s in the correct position. If the pin is missing, the fire extinguisher needs to be inspected or serviced by a professional.

Inspect for physical damage.

Physically inspect the fire extinguisher for obvious damage. This may include but is not limited to dents, corrosion, cracks and obvious leakage. If a fire extinguisher has leakage, it’s no longer under full pressure and may not work properly when you need it most. Check the fire extinguisher nozzle as well, to ensure it’s not clogged by grime, dust, bugs or leakage from the unit itself.

Check the pressure gauge.

Check that the pressure gauge needle indicates the fire extinguisher pressure is in the optimum operating range. Often the correct pressure range will be designated by green on the gauge.

Is the fire extinguisher full?

During your monthly check, lift the fire extinguisher and determine if it still feels full. If there has been a leak, it will feel light, and it won’t have the right amount of pressure to work correctly.

Shake it.

If you have a dry chemical fire extinguisher, it should be shaken once a month during your inspection. This helps prevent the chemical dousing agent from solidifying at the bottom of the unit.

Write inspection date on tag.

Keep track of every inspection date by writing it on the fire extinguisher tag.

Ensure easy access to your fire extinguisher.

Fire extinguishers should always be easy to access if there is an emergency. You don’t want to have to search for it once a fire breaks out. Don’t block fire extinguishers with furniture, boxes or any other items. Everyone who lives in the household should know where the closest fire extinguisher is located and how to use it in case of an emergency.

In the event of a fire emergency, first make sure to get people safely away, then call 911. A home fire extinguisher can be used to put out or control small fires, but it’s still safest to call professional fire fighters before you attempt to control a fire on your own. If you need professional fire, smoke and water damage cleanup and remediation after a fire, call the experts at SERVPRO of Quincy. 

Smoke Alarms: Life Savers

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

In homes, 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 Marshall 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 (NFPA).

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 (NFPA). 

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. 

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 Quincy.

Destroy Odors with Deodorization

7/10/2018 (Permalink)

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems. 

As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard-to-reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors. With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO of Quincy provides specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO of Quincy does not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. 

If you or a customer suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact SERVPRO of Quincy. Whether it's a fire, water, or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we'll make it "Like it never even happened."

Kitchen Cautions

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don't practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It's important to be alert to prevent cooking fires. 

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don't use the stove or stovetop. 
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food. 
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking. 
  • Keep anything that can catch fire - oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains - away from the stovetop. 

If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe. 

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. 
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave. 
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. 
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out. 
  • Keep a lid nearby when you're cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. 

SERVPRO of Quincy Franchise Professionals wish you a safe and happy holiday season. 

Five Dangers of Deep Frying a Turkey

11/6/2017 (Permalink)

A deep-fried turkey: delicious, but worth it? If you've seen any of the numerous videos of turkey fryer explosions and fires online, you may have asked yourself this question before. Running the risk of bodily injury or property damage is something to consider when menu planning this holiday season. 

  • Turkey fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area. 
  • An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is put in, and a partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when put in the pot. 
  • Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire. 
  • Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire. 
  • The sides of the cooking pot, lid, and pot handles can get dangerously hot. 

Celebrate Safely With A Recipe For Safety

11/1/2017 (Permalink)

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don't practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It's important to be alert to prevent cooking fires. 

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don't use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food. 
  • If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking. 
  • Keep anything that can catch fire - oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains - away from the stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe. 

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. 
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • For an over fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed. 
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you're cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire buy sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. 

Your local SERVPRO of Quincy Franchise Professionals wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

National Fire Prevention Week October 8-14, 2017

10/9/2017 (Permalink)

Fast Facts about Fire

Home Fires

  • Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Only one in five home fires were reported during these hours. 
  • One-quarter of home fire deaths were caused by fires that started in the bedroom. Another quarter resulted from fires in the living room, family room or den. 
  • Three out of five home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. 
  • In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 365.500 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,560 deaths, 11,075 civilian injuries, and $7 billion in direct damage. 
  • On average, seven people die in U.S. home fires per day. 
  • Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fire injuries, followed by heating equipment. 
  • Smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire deaths. 
  • Most fatal fires kill one or two people. 
  • During 2010-2014, roughly one of every 338 households reported a home fire per year. 

Escape Planning

  • According to an NFPA survey, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. 
  • Almost three-quarters of Americans do have an escape plan; however, less than half ever practiced it. 
  • One-third of survey respondents who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. The time available is often less. Only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out. 

Smoke Alarms

  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half. 
  • In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 94% of the time, while battery powered alarms operated 80% of the time. 
  • When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead. 
  • An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, or where extra time is needed to awaken or assist others, both types of alarms, or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms are recommended. 

Cooking

  • U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 166,100 home cooking-related fires between 2010-2014 resulting in 480 civilian deaths, 5,540 civilian injuries and $1.1 billion in direct damage. 
  • Two of every five (43%) home fires start in the kitchen. 
  • Unattended cooking was a factor in one-third of reported home cooking fires. 
  • Two-thirds of home cooking fires started with ignition of food or other cooking materials. 
  • Ranges accounted for three of every five (62%) home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 13%. 
  • Children under five face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking and hot food and drinks than of being hurt in a cooking fire. 
  • Children under five accounted for 30% of the 4,300 microwave oven scald burns seen in hospital emergency room during 2014.
  • Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of home cooking fires, but these incidents accounted for 18% of the cooking fire deaths. 
  • More than half of the people injured in home fires involving cooking equipment were hurt while attempting to fight the fire themselves. 
  • Frying is the leading activity associated with cooking fires. 

Heating

  • The leading factor contributing to heating equipment fires was failure to clean. This usually involved creosote  build-up in chimneys. 
  • Portable or fixed space heaters, including wood stoves, were involved in two of every five (40%) of home heating fires and accounted for 84% of the home heating deaths. 
  • Over half (56%) of home heating fire deaths resulted from fires caused by heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding. 
  • In most years, heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires, fire deaths, and fire injuries. 

Home Fire Sprinklers

  • If you have a reported fire in your home, the risk of dying decreases by about 80 percent when sprinklers are present. 
  • Sprinklers reduce direct properly damage by about 70 percent per fire. 
  • Research shows that when sprinklers were present during a fire, the fire is kept to the room of origin 97 percent of the time.
  • Roughly 85 percent of the time, just one sprinkler operates during a fire. 
  • Each individual sprinkler is designed and calibrated to go off only when it sees a significant heat change. 
  • Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, spraying water directly on the fire.

Sparky the Fire Dog has some advice about planning your fire escape route!

In the event of a fire, call SERVPRO of Quincy at 217-223-2993 for all of your cleanup needs!

Every Second Counts

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

Every second counts during a fire. Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it's too late to get out. In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing the escape plan. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan. 

Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily. 

Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.

Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan. 

Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home, with special considerations for elderly or disable individuals. 

Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at nighttime, at least twice a year. 

Keep Fall Fire-Free

The fall season brings cooler temperatures, beautiful colors, and an abundance of outdoor activities. Plan ahead this season to help ensure it is safe and fire-free. 

  • Fall decorations, like dried flowers and cornstalks, are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters. 
  • Keep emergency exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes. 
  • Teach children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire. 
  • Remember safety first when choosing a Halloween costume. Consider avoiding billowing fabric. If you are making your costume, choose material that won't easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or a flame. 
  • It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. Use extreme caution if using a real candle. Place lit pumpkins away from anything that can burn, and ouf of they way of doorsteps, walkways, and yards. 

A Business Plan...For Fire Emergencies

An emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses; however, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency. OSHA suggests the following steps when developing such a plan. 

  • Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company's emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team of individuals to lead and coordinate your emergency plan.
  • Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and well lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times. 
  • Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover, and conduct a head count. Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed. 

When They Call You, Call SERVPRO of Quincy

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

Mitigation requires quick action. The faster SERVPRO of Quincy arrives on-site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results--including lower claim costs. Within four hours of loss notification, SERVPRO of Quincy will be on-site to help ensure a fire damage is handled by utilizing the following services. 

Structural Cleaning

After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. SERVPRO of Quincy will pretest to determine the extent of damage, then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your insured's structure. 

Contents Cleaning

All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. SERVPRO of Quincy can provide wet or dry cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding and much more. Finally, SERVPRO of Quincy can provide an inventory list of all "to be claimed" items for your insured. 

Deodorization

SERVPRO of Quincy provides specialized services that rid your insured's home or place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO of Quincy does not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them. 

Solar Eclipse 2017

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

Solar Eclipse 2017: The Great Ball of Fire | SERVPRO of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties

On August 21, 2017, our region will experience a total solar eclipse. This type of eclipse is when the sun, moon, and earth align so that the moon casts a shadow on the earth. We are in its direct path and will have a prime viewing opportunity.

The Great Ball of Fire

According to NinePlanets.org, the temperature of the sun’s surface is about 5800 Kelvin—or 9980 degrees Fahrenheit. That is roughly nine times hotter than the average house fire, which burns at 1100 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Institute of Fire and Safety Training. A lot of damage can occur at that temperature.

Here to Help

SERVPRO of Quincy is your local professional fire restoration team. When the fire trucks are gone and you find yourself stressed and confused, know that SERVPRO® is here to help. More so than even help cleaning up the fire damage, you need someone who cares for your needs during this time of crisis.  We provide 24-hour emergency service so that we are there when you need us the most.

We primarily serve Adams County, Brown County, Hancock County, Pike County and Schuyler County, but are willing to help wherever we get called.

When the 2017 Solar Eclipse makes its way through town, remember the power of the sun, and that a fraction of that heat is all it takes to damage a home. When fire restoration is needed, call SERVPRO of Quincy, and we will help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Celebrate Summer Safety

6/21/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Quincy is "Ready for whatever happens." YOU CAN BE TOO THIS SUMMER!

Each year, families and friends across the country enjoy the summer months with barbecues, camping trips, or by cooling off in a pool or lake. To enjoy these occasions, it is important to keep safety top of mind to ensure you have fun in the sun. 

According to a recent study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 11,900 Americans were injured by fireworks in 2015, with the majority happening in the month surrounding the Fourth of July. Another 8,700 are injured by charcoal/wood-burning and propane grill fires. A grill should always be supervised when in use. Keep children and pets a safe distance from the grilling area to prevent accidental burns or tipping of the grill. 

Grills also cause an average of 8,900 home structure or outdoor fires. "These fires caused an annual average of 50 civilian injuries and $2 million in direct property damage," according to the National Protection Association (NFPA). 

Summer is a time to enjoy the 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.

If you enjoy lounging by the pool or going for a boat ride to cool off for the summer sun, make sure you exercise caution, especially when children are present. Only swim in approved areas and supervise children at all times when near the water. 

The summer should be a time to make memories and enjoy the great outdoors. Don't become a statistic. Take precautions to prevent these events from putting a damper on your summer months!

What To Do Until Help Arrives - Fire Damages

5/26/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What To Do Until Help Arrives - Fire Damages Residential fire in Payson, IL before our crew began work.

Fire and Smoke Damage

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork. 
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas. 
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor. 
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant. 
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures. 
  • Wash both sides of leaves on house plants.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system. 
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system. 

DON'T:

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO of Quincy Franchise Professional
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO of Quincy Franchise Professional
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service. 
  • Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated)
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor. 

Destroy Odors with Deodorization

3/24/2017 (Permalink)

Destroy Odors with Deodorization

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems.

Other odors that may require deodorization:

  • Cigarette Smoke
  • Pet Odors
  • Decomposition
  • Mold

As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard-to-reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors.

With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO of Quincy can provide specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO of Quincy does not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance they out and remove the sources of the odor. Once the source is found, SERVPRO's own proprietary line of cleaning products is used to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and more.

Ask SERVPRO of Quincy to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.

If you or a customer suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact SERVPRO of Quincy at 217-223-2993. Whether it's fire, water, or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we'll help make it "Like it never even happened."

Smoke Alarms: Life Savers

1/26/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). 

In homes, 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 Marshall 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 (NFPA).

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 (NFPA). 

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. 

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 Quincy at 217-223-2993. 

Fire Facts:

  • 7 people die every day from a home fire.
  • 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day. 
  • $7 billion in property damage occurs every year. 

Portable Fire Extinguishers:

Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the work PASS:

Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism. 

Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire. 

Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly. 

Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side. 

 

Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. To find more information on choosing the appropriate class of extinguisher, please visit the NFPA website at nfpa.org. 

Emergency Fire Damage Tips

1/26/2017 (Permalink)

These emergency tips will assist you in taking proper action until SERVPRO of Quincy arrives. Follow these DOs and DON'Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of successful restoration. 

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into carpet and avoid tracking. 
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork. 
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor. 
  • Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances. 
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls holding tanks, and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures. 
  • Remove soot particles from plants with a damp cloth. 
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system. 

DON'T:

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of Quincy. 
  • Don't attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs, or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO of Quincy. 
  • 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. 
  • Don't consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water. (They may be contaminated.)
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage. 
  • Don't send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor. 

 

 

Fire Tips and Safety

1/10/2017 (Permalink)

8 Areas or Rooms Where Fires Are Most Likely to Start

  • Kitchen
  • Bedroom
  • Utility Room
  • Living Room
  • Basement
  • Garage
  • Bathroom
  • Attic

3 Misconceptions About Home Fires

  • It Won't Happen to Me
  • There is Plenty of Time to Escape
  • My Smoke Alarm Will Always Alert Me

Things to Do When the Time Changes

  • Change Smoke Alarm Batteries 
  • Practice Home Fire Drill
  • Check Fire Extinguisher
  • Clean Dryer Vent
  • Clean Coils on Refrigerator
  • Clean Near Furnaces and Heaters

It is important to check your fire extinguisher twice a year. You will need to shake it and make sure the arrow stays in the green. This ensures that your fire extinguisher will work properly in the event of a fire. 

When using your fire extinguisher, remember the phrase PASS. This stands for:

  • Pull the pin
  • Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire 
  • Squeeze
  • Sweep

It is important that your fire extinguisher is replaced every ten years. 

Fire Facts

  • A fire is reported approximately every 16 seconds
  • Most fatal home fires occur while we are asleep
  • Super Heated Air, Lack of Oxygen, Smoke Inhalation, Flames and Toxic Gases could attack your family while they are sleeping
  • A flaming fire can double in size every 30 seconds

Halt Winter Heating Hazards

12/20/2016 (Permalink)

The winter season is here and with it comes shorter days and lower temperatures. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in the weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. Did you know, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths? According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires cause an estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually. Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire. 

  • Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater. Have a three foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters. 
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home. 
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. 
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters. 

50% of all residential heating-related fires are reported during the months of December, January and February.

  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions. 
  • Test smoke alarms monthly. 

If your property does suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Quincy to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Celebrate Safely This Holiday Season

11/28/2016 (Permalink)

The holiday season is a time for gathering with friends and family to enjoy fellowship and quality time. As the weather outside turns frightful, we rely on the warmth of our homes to host gatherings with loved ones. 

Holiday Fire Facts

  • One of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.
  • Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. On average, one of every 31 reported home Christmas tree fires results in a death compared to an average of one death per 144 total reported home fires. 
  • A heat source too close to the tree causes one in every four of Christmas tree fires. 
  • Two out of five home decoration fires are started by candles. 
  • One-third of all candle fires start in the bedroom. 

Pretty lights, candles and decorations are just a few of the items bringing charm and cheer to the holiday season - however, if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening. 

The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips to help greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season. 

  • Place Christmas trees, candles and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles. 
  • Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer's instructions. 
  • Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed. 
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed. 
  • Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees. 
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire - pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains - away from your stove top. 
  • Designate one person to walk around your property to ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave. 

What happens if a disaster strikes your property during the most wonderful time of the year? You can't afford to wait for a restoration company to return from Christmas vacation to begin the cleanup. You need help now - even if it is the night before Christmas. If a fire or water damage strikes your home or business during the holidays, give SERVPRO of Quincy a call at 217-223-2993. We are on call 365 days a year, because we know disasters can't wait. 

Understanding The Behavior of Smoke

11/7/2016 (Permalink)

The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior 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. SERVPRO of Quincy Franchise Professionals are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Quincy Franchise Professionals will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat and moisture on the building materials and contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows SERVPRO of Quincy Franchise Professionals to focus on saving your precious items. 

SERVPRO of Quincy knows that smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke. 

  • 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

Wet Smoke (Plastic and Rubber)

Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky and 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. 

Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs)

While "puff backs" can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO of Quincy Franchise Professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.

Other Types (Tear Gas, Fingerprint Powder and Fire Extinguisher Residue)

Special loss situations require special care.

SERVPRO of Quincy Franchise Professionals are trained to handle even the toughest losses. If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO of Quincy at 217-223-2993 to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Halloween Fire Safety

10/26/2016 (Permalink)

Halloween is a fun time of year, but without precautions it can lead to house fires. The Illinois Department of Public Health website offers great tips and suggestions to keep Halloween safe and fun. http://www.idph.state.il.us/public/press08/10.23.08HalloweenSafety.htm

If you are faced with fire damage, call SERVPRO of Quincy at 217-223-2993 for 24/7 emergency service.

Tips for a Safe Halloween

The National Fire Prevention Association also reports an average of seven deaths and $24.9 million in property damage each year in the United States as the result of home fires caused by Halloween decorations, the majority involving candles.

Costumes

  • Should be bright, reflective and flame retardant.
  • Be sure children know how to "Stop, Drop and Roll" in the event their clothing catches fire.
  • Use face paint instead of masks, which can interfere with a child's vision, or wear masks that are well-fitting with eye and ear holes that do not obscure sight or hearing.
  • To reduce the likelihood of tripping, children should not wear long, baggy or loose costumes or oversized shoes.
  • Accessories should be flexible and made of soft material, not sharp or pointed.

Treats

  • Parents should inspect all treats and throw away any unwrapped or loosely wrapped items.
  • Homemade items or baked goods should be discarded unless you personally know who gave them.
  • Parents of young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies and small toys.
  • Inspect all commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes or tears in wrappers. Dispose of anything that looks suspicious.

  Parents Should Also..

  • Supervise children younger than 12 years of age trick-or-treating.
  • Not send children out on an empty stomach. You don't want kids to eat any treats before there is a chance to inspect them.
  • Plan a trick-or-treating route in a known neighborhood and set a return time.

Children Should..

  • Not enter home or apartments without adult supervision.
  • Not ride bicycles, which could catch costumes in the chains or spokes.
  • Travel in groups when adult supervision is not provided.
  • Use flashlights and look both ways before crossing streets.
  • Stay on sidewalks, not in the street. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
  • Go to familiar neighborhoods. Only go to well-lit houses and remain outside while waiting for treats.

Motorists Should..

  • Slow down, especially in residential areas.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleyways slowly and carefully.
  • Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
  • Have children get out of cars on the curbside.

Homeowners Should..

  • Turn on an outside light if welcoming trick-or-treaters.
  • Clear walkways and yards.
  • Keep dogs and other animals inside and away from the door.
  • Keep highly flammable decorations, such as dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs, heaters, etc.
  • Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating for trick-or-treaters. If using candles to illuminate Jack-O-Lanterns, place pumpkins well away from anything that can burn including doorsteps, walkways and yards.

Mapping out your escape plan

10/24/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Mapping out your escape plan SERVPRO and the American Red Cross want to help save lives from house fires. Download your escape plan worksheet today. http://rdcrss.org/10h5yEg

Did you know that if a fire starts in your home, you'll have just two minutes to escape? That's why it's important to have working smoke alarms in your home, develop an escape plan and practice that plan. Practice your plan until everyone in the household can evacuate in less than two minutes. Test smoke alarms every month and replace the batteries as needed.

Top Tips for Fire Safety

  • 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.