Recent Fire Damage Posts

Homeowner Fire Prevention Tips

3/21/2021 (Permalink)

If there is one common practice that everyone was taught in school it was to stop, drop, and roll in the case of a fire. While this common practice has been all but drilled into us in childhood there is one piece of information that is often forgotten in the midst of a fire, preparation. Being prepared in the case of a fire is your best bet for keeping yourself and your family safe. Here are five tips to prevent a fire.

Make sure that all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are functional in your home.

Just having a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector in your home is not enough. It is extremely important to verify that these instruments are working how they are intended too.

Invest in fire extinguishers and sprinklers.

It is important to have fire extinguished and sprinklers in the home as they can help prevent the spread of small fires. A fire extinguisher should be used when a fire is confined to a small space.

Stay alert while cooking.

Kitchen fires are very frequent causes of fires. It is important to know how to put out a grease fire. Grease fires is not to be doused in any kind of liquid. A liquid on a grease fire will only work to expand the already growing fire. A better method is if the fire is in a pan to cover it completely with a metal lid or a baking sheet. It is best to also call 911.

Have a plan.

It is very important to not only be avidly working to have a preventative plan in case of a fire but to also to have an up to date backup plan. An escape plan is crucial to ensuring that individuals are calm and not panicked.

Despite how prepared one might be there are still events that result in fires that are uncontrollable. That is where SERVPRO steps in to help. Fire clean up should be left up to a professional that can aid in minimizing the fire damage as much as possible.

If you need any help with fire clean up give SERVPRO of York, James City County, and Poquoson a call.


Be Safe With Your Space Heater

3/20/2021 (Permalink)

Space heaters are designed to supplement cold rooms and must be used with extreme caution. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), nearly half of all home heating fires occur during the peak months of December, January, and February.

According to NFPA - Space heaters are the type of heating equipment most often involved in home heating fires, figuring in two of every five of these fires and accounting for 86% of associated civilian deaths, 78% of civilian injuries, and 54% of direct property damage.

General Guidelines for Space Heater Safety

There are several ways people can prevent accidental fires in their homes. One of the most important is to select heaters that have been tested and certified by testing laboratories. Also, keep areas around the heat source free of paper and trash.

When choosing the placement of the heater, remember the three feet safety rule by keeping everything that can burn at least three feet away from the heat source. Only use the heaters to heat the small space. 

Place the space heater on a hard level nonflammable surface, never on carpet, blankets, or rugs. Never use a defective heater or one that is missing its heating element guard. Make sure you use the proper size space heater for the room.

When purchasing a new space heater, look for a model with an automatic shut-off in case the heater is left on too long. In addition, a tip-switch will automatically cut off the heat if the unit topples over. Even with the safety features, never leave the heater on when sleeping, out of the room, or away from home.

Give SERVPRO of York, James City County, and Poquoson call at 757-229-3442

Not All Fires Are The Same

3/2/2021 (Permalink)

Soot Damage in Kitchen. Soot Damage in Kitchen.

There are five main categories of fires and their extinguishers. As a homeowner or a business owner it is important to be aware in order to prevent fire damage. 

Class A

These are the most common type of fires. They involve combustible materials such as wood, paper, cloth, trash, or plastic. Fire extinguishers under Class A use a water and or various types of dry chemicals to either absorb heat or coat the fire. These are the easiest of the classes to extinguish.

Class B

These involve ignitable liquid or gases such as grease, alcohol, paint, propane, or gasoline. Fire extinguishers under Class B work best on oil or fuel-based fires.

Class C            

These involve electrical equipment such as old wiring in walls, frayed electrical cords, worn out breaker boxes, or faulty appliances. Fire extinguishers under Class C release materials that stop the conduction of electricity.

Class D

These are fairly rare. They involve metals igniting commonly in laboratories and industrial settings such as potassium, magnesium, aluminum, and sodium.

Class K

These involves cooking oils and fats and usually occur when a pan is left unattended for too long on a stove. They are often lumped in with Class B, however the US Fire Administration states that it is in a category of its own. Fire extinguisher under Class K release an alkaline agent to create a foam that traps vapor to put out the fire.

Make sure that you properly use a fire extinguisher with the PASS Method. 

If you experience any fire damage in your home and need remediation give SERVPRO of York, James City, and Poquoson a call at 757-229-3442.


Have you Heard of the P.A.S.S Method?

2/12/2021 (Permalink)

Having a fire extinguisher in you home can be very useful for preventing any extensive fire damage. Though it is important to also know how to properly use it. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration suggest that users use the P.A.S.S. technique.

Pull: pull the pin

Aim: Aim low, pointing the extinguisher nozzle at the base of the fire

Squeeze: Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent

Sweep: sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until it appears to be out. Watch the area. If it re-ignites repeat steps 2-4.

If you experience any fire damage in your home and need remediation give SERVPRO of York, James City, and Poquoson a call at 757-229-3442.

Fire Damage - tips for while you wait

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

When fire damage happens at your home or property it is a terrifying moment, because you don’t know what to do once everyone has made it out safely. So here are some tips to help you while you wait for our crews to reach your property:

  • 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/fridge completely and prop doors opens to help prevent odor

  • Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim, 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

  • Change HVAC filter; 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


5/22/2018 (Permalink)

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if 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 hared to reach places. Unless fast professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in periodically resurfacing odors.

SERVPRO professionals provide specialized services that rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. Any restorable item in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including: furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceiling, HVAC air ducts and more.

SERVPRO professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. Ask SERVPRO professionals to explain the carious deodorization methods available and which will work best for you. 

If you suffer fire damage – or some other accident – and require deodorization services, contact us at 804-966-1400. Whether its 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.”

Candle Fires

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

The U.S. Fire Administration released a Topical Fire Research Report in July of 2006 entitled, “Candle Fires in Residential Structures”, which examines the causes and characteristics of residential candle fires. According to the report, candles are responsible for an estimated 23,600 residential structure fires annually resulting in $390 million in direct property loss. Candle sales and usage increase during the winter and holiday season and peak in December. Almost 25% of candle fires occur during December and January. The number one cause of candle fires is placement near combustibles. Typically, the items initially ignited by candles include furniture, curtains, bedding and cabinetry. In December, holiday decorations are the first to ignite. Most candle fires result from accidental error and negligence, such as leaving burning candles unattended. Caution, common sense and attention to your surroundings can help reduce the risk of candle fires.

Some Tips for Candles Usage:

  • Ensure lit candles are in sturdy metal, glass, or ceramic candle holders and are placed where they cannot easily be knocked down

  • Keep candles out of reach from children and pets

  • Extinguish candles after us

  • Blow out all candles before napping or falling asleep

  • Never leave burning candles unattended

Experienced fire damage? Give SERVPRO of York, James City County, and Poquoson a call.


General Fire Facts

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Preventative Tips:

  • Install smoke alarms outside each sleeping area and every level of a home

  • Check smoke alarms once per month an change the batteries at least once per year

  • Plan an escape route and practice it at least twice per year

When our SERVPRO franchise arrives on the scene follow a fire, their first step is to calm the customer’s fears. The second step is to pre-test smoke to determine what type of fire has taken place. Knowing the types of smoke and their behavior patterns is crucial.

Are you aware of the different types of smoke?

  • Wet Smoke – Plastics & Rubber: low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smears.

  • Dry Smoke – Paper & Wood: fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises, therefore the smoke rises.

  • Protein Smoke – 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.

    Smoke and soot residue can damage carpet, upholstery and contents if not removed quickly and efficiently. In a fire-damaged structure with soot on the walls and other surfaces, cleaning and restoration is less disruptive and more cost-efficient than replacement. Replacement may also mean a longer disruption time than restoration. For a company waiting to open for business, this downtime can present an enormous hardship.

    Pre-testing helps to determine:

  • The most effective cleaning and restoration processes

  • Pre-existing conditions

  • The extent of the loss

  • Overall costs of the restoration process

  • Replacements

  • What is restorable and what must be replaced