Archived Fire Damage Blog Posts
SERVPRO Offers Tips for Buying Second-hand Appliances in Wilmington
Before you buy, check used appliances for frayed cords and other defects.
Thoroughly Checking Second-Hand Appliances Helps Prevent Fire Damage in Wilmington
Finding used appliances for sale in the local paper saves money in many situations. However, it would be best if you had more than a clean appliance. Plugging in the appliance gives you a chance to make sure it works before purchasing and taking it to your Wilmington residence. It is also useful if you use that time also to examine the cord and mechanical components, listen for any abnormal noises, or smell any odors that indicate smoldering parts.
Depending on the severity of any problems you detect, fixing them after you buy, but before you use them in your Wilmington home, can keep fire damage from becoming a reality. A frayed cord might develop when a washing machine ‘walks’ due to an uneven floor or unbalanced seating. This defect is entirely different than finding worn out internal motor parts. You can easily repair a cord by replacing it with the correct gauge, but a new motor might pose more of a challenge.
Lamps and chandeliers often have the highest wattage you can safely use in these fixtures shown in a prominent place. Using a 100-watt bulb in a lamp stating 60 watts or less can start a fire. This might happen because of overloaded wiring or because of materials that melt when you leave the higher watt bulb on for too long.
The danger of fire damage from the much smaller-sized lights used in holiday decorations comes from any nicks in the wiring, lost or burnt-out bulbs, or the accumulation of heat that ignites something near the lights. All lights used in the previous year need to be checked before use. Also, a smart habit against fire damage is to never leave electrical decorations on when leaving the house or overnight while your family sleeps.
Unfortunately, even with precautions, fire damage can still happen. SERVPRO has the specialists and technicians needed to make things “Like it never even happened.” Mitigation of areas affected by fire, smoke, and intense heat, followed by restoration work, undoes the damage. For the worst, most intensive damage, our building crew, under license number 1992104829, teams up with us so we can still provide our customers with a rapid recovery and excellent work.
SERVPRO of Hockessin / Elsmere is nearby, also serving Newport and Greenville. We hope your family home does not experience fire damage, but if it does, call (302) 992-0104. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster and can help reduce the stress associated with such disasters, any time of the year.
Learn more about Wilmington here.
Call Us When Fire Impacts Your Wilmington Home
This fire was a result of a stove top being left on and unattended for too long. We arrived right away and began restoration.
What to do When Fire Devastates Your Wilmington Home
Fire damage is a devastating reality for people who experience a fire in their homes. After you ensure everyone in the house is safe, you must go about the task of recovery and restoration. Time is of the essence, especially with significant fire damage. There are some things you may be able to do on your own, but you should also contact the professionals right away.
Fire damage in your Wilmington home is traumatic, but springing into quick action could ensure restoration instead of replacement. SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist in your time of need. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster.
During the time that you wait for professional assistance, first and foremost, make sure you are safe. Safety should always come first. Walking on soot-covered floors can be a serious slip and fall risk. After ensuring everyone in the residence is safe, secure valuables, keepsakes, and relevant documents. Move them off the premises, if possible, to keep them away from the lingering odor of smoke.
When trained professionals from SERVPRO arrive, they assess the damage. The amount of fire, smoke, and soot damage dictates the extent of the repairs. This is a critical step in developing a plan of action. Right away, technicians board up windows and any gaping holes, as well as tarp roofs to keep the structure safe and protect against secondary damage.
Next, SERVPRO technicians tackle removing and cleaning soot from your belongings. Then we attack the odor. Smoke odor is often the most stubborn part of fire damage. Smoke can permeate through every nook and cranny of the home. We use specialized deodorizers and equipment, catering to your unique situation. If clouds of smoke filled your home, we similarly fog the house to make sure the deodorizer reaches everywhere throughout the home. After your home is clean and deodorized, technicians begin rebuilding structural damage. We are general contractors, license number 1992104829, and have the skills to restore your home.
When fire damage impacts your home, contact SERVPRO of Hockessin / Elsmere at (302) 992-0104. We want to help restore your house, "Like it never even happened."
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Ways to Prevent Fire Damage and Accidents that Protect Your Family in Hockessin.
SERVPRO knows prevention, let us show your Hockessin home.
Let us help your Hockessin home prevent fire damage.
A fire requires both fuel and oxygen to burn. While it produces heat, it also requires initial heat to start consuming both fuel and oxygen. A fire can happen in any part of your Hockessin home, damaging both your belongings and your family members. Fire can begin in different ways and places.
Fortunately, there are many ways that residents in Hockessin can prevent fire damage from harming their property or causing injuries that hurt their family members. Many of these involve keeping heat sources away from fuels. Oxygen makes up almost 30% of the air, so we need to control errant sparks, instead.
Fuel sources come in many forms – wood, paper, carpeting, clothing, plastics – in short, almost everything inside your home can feed a fire. Sparks and localized areas of intense heat happen within our homes in many ways that we often do not notice. Friction creates enough heat to light a match or lighter, or it can also wear a hole into an electric cord.
Exposed wires can spark, catching fuel items on fire. Because of this, SERVPRO technicians never place cords underneath rugs or mats. We also check our equipment for cuts in cords and make repairs before they can worsen. Sometimes this means replacing the cord with a new one of the same gauge. Smaller wires should not be used because smaller cords cannot handle the amount of electricity needed to power the equipment. Hanging cords on nails or hooks can also cause the wires inside to break.
Cooking fires do not always happen because of grease or oil that caught on fire. Fire damage can start when towels are hung too near the stove. Frayed edges on a time-worn pair of hot pads or oven mitts can also catch fire. For the same reason, avoiding loose sleeves while cooking is always advised. Handles turned away from the edge should not force anyone cooking to place their hand over another burner. Microwave ovens, toasters, and electric grills need space around them to not only keep boxed foods and other items from burning, but to also prevent heat building up inside the appliance.
Garages and other places where dampness occurs might seem like an impossible place for a fire to start in stacks of newspapers or old magazines, but spontaneous combustion can happen if just the right chemical reaction takes place. These items also provide bedding for pests, and disposing them avoids many problems. Storing flammable liquids should only happen in well-labeled containers. When using gas-powered items like lawnmowers or chainsaws, you should let the motor cool down before refilling.
There are many ways in addition to these to help prevent problems that can cause fire damage or personal injury. When someone becomes injured, seek medical help immediately. When your home in Newport or near Greenville sustains fire damage, call SERVPRO of Hockessin / Elsmere at (302) 992-0104. We're here, 24 hours each and every day of the year.
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The Benefits Of Professional Restoration Services After A Fire In Your Wilmington Home
“Like it never even happened.”
Reasons Why Wilmington Homes With Fire Damage Benefit From Professional Restoration Services
After fire damage, numerous secondary damages have the potential to occur. Homeowners should outsource the fire loss cleanup to ensure there are not costly issues to deal with after the fact.
Wilmington homes with fire damage often also have water damage from fire extinguishing efforts. SERVPRO technicians carefully scope the property to determine any areas water migrated into with their moisture detection equipment.
Complete Water Extraction
After locating any leftover water in the home, SERVPRO technicians use different kinds of professional extraction equipment to extract it. Fast action on this step of mitigation assists in increasing the potential for less loss due to water damage.
Protection Against Mold
Mold spores exist both outdoors and indoors, and when there is excessive moisture in a house and ambient temperatures over 70F-degrees, they can germinate within 24-hours and spread quickly. Along with thorough drying and frequent monitoring of the air quality during mitigation, SERVPRO technicians perform proactive applications to inhibit the growth of mold, so it is not an issue in the future as a result of the fire.
Using a Single Company for Everything
No doubt, dealing with fire loss in a home is one of the most devastating situations a homeowner's faces. SERVPRO has a general contractor license, and upon completion of the fire loss mitigation efforts, they have the expertise and experience also to complete any reconstruction necessary to restore the home to its preloss condition.
Before reconstruction occurs, SERVPRO technicians remove any remaining smoke odors from the residence. For light scents, they may use methods such as time-release gel pellets. Technicians often rely on equipment such as thermal fogging units or hydroxyl generators for the removal of heavily embedded scents.
Fire damage requires fast cleanup to limit loss and SERVPRO of Hockessin / Elsmere is ready to assist local property owners when needed. Call (302) 992-0104 and the emergency response team is available to come to your property 24/7 and make it “Like it never even happened.”
For more about Wilmington click here.
We Can Restore Your Smoke Damaged Clothing In Your Wilmington Home After A Fire
Give our SERVPRO of Hockessin / Elsmere fire restoration specialists a call anytime at (302) 992-0104.
Dry Cleaning Smoke-Damaged Clothing In Wilmington Homes
Fire recovery is an involved process, even when the fire itself is not widespread or structurally compromising to your Wilmington property. Often homeowners want to do what they can to improve the way their home looks and smells after a small flare-up. Odor removal can be a complicated obstacle to overcome, but there are some practices that you can expect from professional restorers in your house. The more you understand about these approaches, the more you can trust the process and help to get your home to preloss condition as promptly as possible.
While fire damage in Wilmington homes requires multiple machines, products, and practices to overcome, deodorization is a priority to making fire loss “Like it never even happened.” Our SERVPRO professionals have invested substantial time in training and money in our inventory of recovery tools to provide our customers with the ideal approach for eliminating harsh smoke odors every time. As leaders in restoration, we are happy to share some approaches that can protect your clothes when you do not feel you need the full measure of professional recovery service.
Dry-cleaning is always a great option because many of these locations use oxidation or ozone to remove odors at a molecular level. This cleaning process is often gentler on your clothes as well, reducing the possibility of irreparable damages from excessive scrubbing when particulates on the fabric set into the material. With many of these clothing items enduring excessive smoke exposure, dry-cleaning is often the ideal approach. Even our SERVPRO team has dry-cleaning equipment for fabrics for this reason.
Depending on the damage, you can also potentially protect and recover your clothes on your own as well. This process involves spraying these damaged fabrics thoroughly with a vinegar and water solution. While the items are still damp, put them into your washing machine along with a cup of vinegar and a cup of baking soda. Before you put them in the dryer, run them through the washing machine a second time with your regular detergent of choice.
You might still encounter smoke smells throughout your house, and often these do not go away on their own. We have sophisticated tools and practices to address odor removal in materials and open areas of your property. Give our SERVPRO of Hockessin / Elsmere fire restoration specialists a call anytime at (302) 992-0104.
For more about Wilmington click here.
Working Fire Alarms Save Lives
Working Fire Alarm
Smoke alarms save lives. There are many smoke alarms you can have in your home or business. It is easy to take smoke alarms for granted if you have some already in your property. Protecting what matters most, your life and your property, should make you stop and think about the last time you had yours serviced or replaced. There are many types and brands available on the market today. Most smoke alarms run on batteries. Have you changed your batteries lately? It is up to you to make sure they are working batteries. Perhaps making it an annual “to-do” item may help resolve this. Some smoke alarms are hardwired into the electrical system of your home or business. These fire alarms have different features you can utilize. Just because you may have hard wired fire alarms, you may still need to change those batteries as well. Again, setting up reminders to complete this task is a good thing to do. Help keep your family and property protected by keeping working fire alarms.
Some Fire Prevention Tips
Clear Stove Top
When one thinks of fire it may remind them of destruction and loss. It may be hard to think what we can do to prevent fires however, in some cases we may be able to prevent some. Accidents happen. That is why they are simply called accidents. A bit of common sense can aid help us. Some examples would be: such as not leaving candles lit, forgetting about them or placing them near something too close, leaving food or containers on the stove while walking away, plugging in too many cords into the same receptacle, cooking barbecue too close to the house or trying to light it with gasoline. Simple precautions and thinking ahead before we do something are good rules of thumb. If you see something that you think could cause a problem fix it or get rid of it. Those of us who are old enough to remember, there use to be a little TV cartoon, Smoky The Bear. The cartoon told of how you can help prevent forest fires. We can use the same mantra when it comes to helping prevent housefires. Be careful, think what you are doing and hopefully, prayerfully, you never will have an event that causes destruction of property damage or even perhaps personal injury.
Preventing Dryer Fire With Maintenance
Preventing Dryer Fire With Maintenance
Dryer Fires are common all year round and simple cleaning maintenance can help prevent them. Keeping your dryer vents clear and free from lint plays an important part in fire prevention. Did you know lint is extremely flammable? People keep lint from there lint screens and keep it in bags so they can later use it to start fires in fireplaces, outdoor fire pits and campfires. This is a wonderful technique, especially for outdoor fire building. However; since it is extremely flammable, keeping it in your dryer can cause problems. Lint build up can become hot and ignite a fire. Keeping your lint screens clear and having a cleaning on dryer vents will help. Some people do not want to call upon SERVPRO of Hockessin / Elsmere to have their dryer vents cleaned because there is a cost associated with this. In the long run simple maintenance out weighs the risks.
Soot on a Clock
Soot on a Clock
Soot and smoke clean up can be a tedious task. Soot is very invasive and penetrates a lot of nooks and crannies of a home. When the smoke goes into all these cavities it causes odors. SERVPRO of Hockessin / Elsmere specializes in accurately assessing the extent of damage and helps develop a comprehensive plan of action. Each smoke and soot damage situation are different therefore requiring different techniques. Depending on what caused the fire from what actually burned or melted in the fire makes a difference. There are different types of smoke that will play a factor in determining which cleaning method is best to do. Wet Smoke, mostly from plastic and rubber will differ from Dry Smoke, mostly paper and wood and they both will differ from Protein Smoke. Since every situation is different calling upon a specialist and trained company such as SERVPRO of Hockessin / Elsmere can help restore your property properly.
Fire Prevention Week is in the month of October. During this month we want to help you think of ways and inspire you to increase safety of fire in your home. Every year, the majority of fire deaths in North America happen at home. Plan an escape if your home were to catch fire. Home fire escape planning and drills are an essential part of fire planning and safety. A fire escape has to be planed and practiced in order for it to be a developed escape. Consider the following: properly working and installed fire alarms, all possible exits from every room (Doors and windows), a meeting place outside the home to meet after the exit and know how to dial 911. Another way to think of fire safety is during cooking. Remember to stay in the kitchen while you are cooking. Keep flammables away from your stovetop and have an up- to-date fire extinguisher near your kitchen if an emergency were to happen. These are just some ways to think of fire safety in your home.
Fires Can Be Devastating
Fires Can Be Devastating.
Fires can be very devastating to experience. When your home or office goes up in flames and your possessions inside are still there, it can be traumatic. We here at SERVPRO of Hockessin/Elsmere work day in and day out training and perfecting the craft of cleaning up the aftermath from a fire loss. Our technicians have training and experience. After the firemen have cleared the scene and the smoke clears, the SERVPRO team can come in and do an assessment of what needs to be performed. Once the full scope has been created and discussed we begin the process. The process can vary depending on the scope. It can range from demolition to cleaning. The team will work day after day to complete the phase of fire cleaning. Sometimes after we are done repairs or painting may need to be performed. SERVPRO of Hockessin/Elsmere strives to make the process "Like it never even happened."
SERVPRO Mobile App
Our Free SERVPRO ERP App/Service can help your company organize and better prepare your properties in a customized format. Businesses that use our ERP app gain preparedness and security in the case of an emergency. Here are some of the ways businesses benefit from our Emergency Ready Plan App.
Location Management: Businesses with multiple locations are able to manage all of their buildings' emergency needs from this app. Some of our clients use this ERP service for on building, while others use it to manage multiple locations.
Strengthens Protocol: In many cases, our businesses have to address an emergency while the authorized personnel is not on-site. Our ERP App breaks down important information for all employees including water lines, floor plans, and breaker locations.
Faster Response: The ERP app allows you to contact us directly through the app which can be a more direct way to contact us and provide all the information we need to get to the emergency.
This photo shows the damage that not only a fire can do, but also the damage that a fire extinguisher can do. Even if someone used a fire extinguisher and contained or put out a fire, there can still be a strong odor and chemicals that need to be removed from the building/home.
The chemicals from a fire extinguisher can coat a room quickly and leave a thick dust behind. Normally this extinguisher dusting comes along with a coat of soot. Even if a fire has been small and quickly put out, the smell and chemicals left behind should be properly cleaned out of the space. You can see in the photo how apparent the soot and extinguisher's affects are. This is just one corner of the room, but this entire living room was impacted.
Winter House Fire
SERVPRO technicians surveying the property
Recently our SERVPRO technicians were called out to a property after a large fire. Along with the home owners, our team surveyed the house and the damage to what was left. In this photo, our technicians stand inside the home with the front yard totally visible through the burnt walls. The home was considered a total loss and there was not much left within the property for our team to clean or assist with. As SERVPRO of Hockessin/Elsmere, we did our best to lend a helping hand to the family in any way that we could especially since this trauma occurred right before the holidays. We assisted them in their move to a temporary living space and checked in with them often to make sure they were okay.
Before Board Up
Fire Damaged Room
This picture was taken right before our SERVPRO team cleaned out and boarded up this house. As you can see, there was a major house fire here that affected almost every single room with either fire or soot damage. The fire originated in the kitchen and spread into the dining room, living room, and then to the bedrooms. Luckily, even with the large size of the fire, the structure remained intact and our technicians were able to save and clean some of the contents. Once our team was sure the structure was secure, they started on the demo of the home, removing all soot and fire damaged sections. After the home was rebuilt and brought back to livable conditions, SERVPRO moved the family's cleaned contents back in for them.
The Colder Months are Coming
The colder months of the year are coming and for those who have a working fire place in their home, it's important to know the how to operate it safely. Before anything else, you should make sure that your fire extinguisher is accessible and that it works correctly. You should also check you smoke detector and your carbon monoxide detector. The fireplace should be clear of anything around it that could catch fire. You should give the fireplace a range of three feet around it with nothing flammable nearby. Cracks and pops of fire from the fireplace should be sure to not land on anything. Before lighting the fire, check the chimney to make sure there are no blockages or animal nests that are lodged in the chimney. You should have you chimney swept every few years as well.
Once you have taken all of these precautionary steps, you should be ready to put your fire place to use!
Our Services After a Fire
Fire Damaged Kitchen
After a fire, SERVPRO offers many services to restore your home/office/building back to it's pre-fire damage state. We offer Structural Cleaning, which includes cleaning of the ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors as well as paint preparation cleaning. We also offer Contents Cleaning. Contents cleaning is the cleaning of the items that were affected by the fire, which includes electronics, wood furniture, artwork, kitchen items, bedding, clothing, and much more. After our main Structural Cleaning, SERVPRO offers Deodorization, which is conducted using our leading technology that attacks the source of smell rather than just covering it up. Beyond these services offered when our customers endure a fire, we also offer other related services. These services include Board-ups, Inventory, Move-Outs, Duct Work, and Metal Polishing.
Before SERVPRO Arrives
SERVPRO has Arrived on the Scene
- Leave soot on surfaces until a SERVPRO of Hockessin/Elsmere professional arrives and can assess the Fire damage. Cleaning surfaces may further damage furniture and walls.
- Restrain from walking, cleaning, or sitting on damaged furniture, carpets, upholstery, and walls until a SERVPRO of Hockessin/Elsmere professional has arrived.
- Electrical appliances like televisions sets, radios, microwaves, etc. that may have come in contact with water, soot, or fire should be avoided. Touching or cleaning electrical appliances should be handled by a SERVPRO professional or after consulting with an authorized repair service.
- All food, drinks, and water that are close to a fire damage or a water damage may be contaminated. All consumable goods should not be eaten, they should be thrown out.
- Leave all ceiling fixtures off. Moving air throughout the damaged rooms may cause more damage. Fire damage or water damage to the electrical wiring of ceiling fixtures are likely to heighten the risk of shock.
- Do not send damaged clothing and textiles to the dry cleaner before consulting with your insurance agent and your SERVPRO of Hockessin/Elsmere professionals. Damaged clothing and textiles are likely to be mishandled at a dry cleaners rather than with the use of SERVPRO of Hockessin/Elsmere's Esporta services.
Fire Damage Tips
Prevent soot particles from further damaging your furniture and carpets by keeping movement throughout the home to a minimum
Change your HVAC filter but leave systems off until a professional can come check the home
Cover HVAC air registers with layers of cheesecloth to prevent soot particles from getting in/out of your HVAC system
If your home electricity is off, empty your refrigerator and freezer to prevent mold and odors. Keep your refrigerator doors open after removing food
In the case of your heating being off during the winter, pour antifreeze down your sinks, toilet bowls, tubs, and holding tanks to avoid freezing and bursting pipes
When walking on damaged carpets and floors, place towels down to prevent tracking of soot and further damage
Here is a team of SERVPRO men attending to a hole in the roof as well as the side wall. In this picture you can see the men working to put down a tarp and securing it with furring strips. They also placed a board over the side window. After a mishap has taken place in a home or building sometimes the structure needs to be secured from additional outdoor elements. Additional elements may be something like additional rain and winds. The furring strips are placed to help raise, level or help secure the tarp and/or wood. They are placed perpendicular to the joists and then they are nailed in place. This is a temporary fix until the roof can be properly repaired by a roofer.
SERVPRO of Hockessin makes the News!
Servpro of Hockessin/Elsmere doing what we do best!
While driving by a burning house, a bystander had noticed a man still within the residence. With great heroism, the young man was able to get inside and save the mans life. As the scene had calmed, and fire stopped, SERVPRO of Hockessin was on site and had came upon the residents pet, still alive! While delicately removing the wreckage and debris, they were able to safely get the pet out and get him to care. While in shock and distraught with what had just occurred, the owner was pleased to find out that his beloved pet was in fact saved. With the great bravery of a young man, and the great help of SERVPRO, a man and his beloved pet were able to be rejoined and saved.