Recent Fire Damage Posts
How-To Properly Clean Your Grill
Break out the metal spatula, tongs and metal skewers, it’s grilling season! If this is the first time using your grill - it is important to clean it before beginning to grill. Too much grease and fat build up from last year can quickly cause grease fires.
Here are some tips on how to properly clean your gas grill before and after grilling season.
- Pre-heat grill for 15 minutes on high heat, then turn off the grill
- Turn the gas off
- Clean grill using a wire brush dipped in water. Do not lean over the grill while cleaning as it will create a lot of steam.
- If grease is too tough, add dish soap to the water.
- Remove burners from the gas supply line and remove blockages to the burner’s gas ports using a dry wire brush.
- Clean the burner valve with soapy water and run water through the inside of the valve.
- Clean the inside of the grill using a wire brush and warm soapy water and rinse with water. Towel dry the burners and reinstall.
- PRO TIP: When cleaning grills with bristle brushes, always wipe down the cleaned area afterwards. This will remove any bristles that may have come off during the cleaning process and get stuck to the grill.
You’ll be ready to grill in no time!
SERVPRO Rebuilds NJ Home After Fire
A housefire ravaged the upper floors of this NJ home.
Can SERVPRO restore/rebuild the affected area of your home? YES!
SERVPRO of Burlington/Mt. Holly was called out to the scene of a house fire back in February. The fire erupted when a squirrel made its way into the home's attic and began chewing on electrical wires. One of the wires sparked, igniting the insulation inside of the attic. The fire resulted in significant damage to the home's roof and second floor.
Our team responded quickly and secured the structure with a roof tarp and board-up. We created a detailed inventory of our customer's belongings for insurance. Then we began the long process of clearing away the damage. Months later, the home is ready to receive a rebuild! The construction crew at SERVPRO of Burlington & Mt. Holly is excited to take on the project. Our talented team has beautifully rebuilt the upper floor and roof of the home!
Using one company for property damage mitigation & restoration can help save time and keep costs low. Trust your home to the professionals at SERVPRO.
Removing Candle Soot Damage at Home
The acidic nature of soot makes it difficult to remove.
The acidic nature of soot makes it difficult to remove. If you’re dealing with heavy soot, you’ll want to contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington & Mt.Holly. For light candle soot on walls, follow these steps:
- Create ventilation. Soot can irritate your lungs. Start by opening a window, turning on a fan, and opening vents.
- Wear personal protective gear. Protect your eyes, skin, and lungs from particles with safety glasses, gloves, and a mask.
- Pull furniture away from the affected area(s). This will prevent loosened particles from settling on your belongings.
- Use a dry cleaning sponge. Soot is easy to smear, so if you use a regular sponge, you’ll push it farther into the wall and cause a permanent stain. Dry cleaning sponges (also known as chemical sponges) are specifically designed to absorb residue, which makes them perfect for cleaning soot. They’re widely available in hardware stores, cleaning supply stores, and online.
- Wipe, don’t scrub. The key to removing soot is to wipe it, as scrubbing will only cause it to spread. Us downward and overlapping strokes to wipe the wall. After each stroke, check the sponge. Flip it over and use the clean side when it becomes clogged and full of soot. Switch to a fresh sponge as necessary. Do not rinse the sponge with water or it will become unusable for cleaning soot.
- Once the soot is removed, treat the remaining stain. Use a degreaser, such as a dish detergent. In a clean bucket, mix 2 tablespoons of liquid detergent with ½ gallon of water. Dampen a sponge in the mixture and use it to clean the stain. Gently rinse with water.
- Dry. Use a towel or rag to dry the area, then allow it to air dry for several hours.
- Vacuum. Use the long nozzle attachment on your vacuum to ensure any loose particles are removed.
Remember, this method only applies to removing soot from a very lightly damaged section of wall. Attempting to remove heavy soot yourself can be dangerous. The professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington & Mt.Holly are experts in smoke and soot removal, as well as odor abatement. For your complimentary cleaning estimate, call 609-326-3663.
What is Ghosting?
The most common cause of ghosting is candle burning.
Have you noticed a faint discoloration on your walls? Or a dark, dusty residue on top of flat surfaces? Your home is being ghosted!
Don’t worry, you’re not being haunted. Ghosting, otherwise known as “sooting” is very subtle soot damage. It is relatively common and typically harmless, aside from being an unsightly nuisance.
Surprisingly, the most common cause of ghosting is candle burning. Although they appear to burn cleanly, scented candles produce tiny particles of soot. As the airborne particles settle, they combine with dust and cling to cool surfaces. Over time this creates noticeable staining.
If you simply can’t forgo the cozy ambiance of a lit candle, not to worry! There are ways to limit candle soot.
- Always trim your wick before lighting, especially if it has a mushroom shape.
- Never burn your candle close to a wall. Place it on a table instead, away from flammable materials.
- If possible, leave a window cracked to allow for ventilation.
- Use a snuffer or lid to extinguish the flame. Doing so will trap emitted smoke.
- Keep the flame still. A flickering wick will produce sooty smoke. Consider purchasing a lid-topper, which reduces the draft around your candle, allowing it to burn evenly.
Aside from candle burning, other causes of ghosting include cigarette smoking, woodstoves and fireplaces, poorly tuned furnaces, kerosene heaters, propane logs, and unvented stoves. Regular maintenance of such appliances and proper ventilation will help reduce the issue.
Creating Your Fire Safety Plan
Involve children in the fire evacuation planning process.
According to the American Red Cross, most house fires occur during Winter. Now is the perfect time to create (or update) your family’s fire safety plan.
Follow these tips to perfect your plan:
Plan for everyone. Consider the physical capabilities of each member of your household. Assign a family member to assist each child or elderly adult in evacuating.
Involve children in planning. Draw a map of your home and have children mark two exit routes and the locations of smoke detectors. Make sure everyone knows that they need to get out immediately if the smoke alarm sounds.
Find two ways out. Visit each room of your home and identify two routes of escape. Doors and windows will be the most common routes- ensure they open easily. Install emergency release devices on security bars.
Designate a meeting spot. Decide on a meeting place outside, such as a neighbor’s house, mailbox, or stop sign. It should be in the front of the house so emergency responders can see you when they arrive.
Be visible. Ensure that your house number can be seen easily from the street by emergency responders.
Check smoke alarms. The National Fire Protection Association recommends installing them in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping room, and on every level of the home. Check alarms monthly and replace the batteries yearly. Install a new alarm every ten years.
Have a backup plan. If the planned exit routes are blocked and it’s impossible to leave the house, close all doors between you and the fire. Place a towel under the door and go to an exterior-facing window. Call the fire department to report your location.
Practice regularly. Practice and review your plan at least once a year.
When a house fire strikes, a few seconds can make a big difference to help you and your family escape safely. If your home has been damaged by fire or smoke, the experts at SERVPRO of Burlington/ Mt. Holly are here to help.
Why do the majority of house fires occur in Winter?
Prevention is key to keeping a fire-safe home.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, more home fires occur during Winter than in any other season. As leaders in fire damage cleanup & restoration, the professionals at SERVPRO know a thing or two about fire prevention.
Let's discuss the top causes of house fires.
Cooking is the leading cause of fires year-round. Most cooking is done indoors throughout the colder months. Thus, the likelihood of a kitchen fire increases during Winter. Remember never to leave the kitchen unattended while cooking, especially when using hot appliances. Keep paper products, towels, potholders, and other flammable materials away from the stove and avoid grease buildup by cleaning your stove often.
Heating is the second-leading cause of home fires. Space heaters are responsible for a large portion of Winter fires. Keep space heaters at least three feet away from flammable items. Never plug a space heater into an extension cord or power strip.
Many of us use candles to decorate our homes in Winter. Be mindful of the placement of your candles. Most house fires started by candles occur when combustible material is too close to the open flame. Remember to keep candles at least three feet away from anything that might catch fire. It is unwise to leave a candle unattended. Be sure to extinguish lit candles before going to sleep.
The majority of dryer fires start because homeowners fail to clean the dryer. A buildup of lint and other materials causes fires because the unit cannot release heat properly. That heat buildup becomes the fuel to a hazardous fire. To prevent a dryer fire, clean out lint filters each time you use your dryer. It is best to have your dryer vent and ductwork professionally cleaned once a year.
Electrical lighting is another common cause of house fires. As you decorate your home with lights, be mindful of manufacturer instructions. Avoid overloading your outlet or power strip. There is a limit to how many strands of string lights can be connected safely. Replace any string strands with frayed wires or a worn appearance. Most importantly, turn off Christmas lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
Prevention is key to keeping a fire-safe home. Now would be an excellent time to practice your fire escape plan with your family! Call SERVPRO of Burlington & Mt. Holly for immediate cleanup and restoration if you experience a house fire this Winter.
Grill Safety 101- Preventing Fire Damage
Avoid a fire damage with proper preparation and propane grill maintenance.
Warm weather has arrived in New Jersey and the grills are out! Don’t let a fire damage interrupt your Summer cookout. Avoid a fire damage with proper preparation and propane grill maintenance! Follow these 3 tips:
Clean your drip pan. When the drip pan under your cooking grids and burners becomes too full and heat reaches ignition temperatures inside your grill, a grease fire can occur. Drip pans are removable and should be checked and cleaned regularly.
Scrape your grids. Always scrape your cooking grids before or after every use. Dried on meat and grease are a breeding ground for bacteria and they can also cause dangerous flare-ups. Using your grill brush while the grill is still hot is the best way to keep your cooking grids clean.
Be prepared. Prevention is the best way to deal with a grease fire, but if one starts you need to have the tools on hand to put it out. Baking soda quickly cuts off the oxygen supply to the flame, so keep a box or two in or near your grill station, along with a fire extinguisher. Never use water to put out a grease fire as you can severely injure yourself and damage your home.
In the event of a fire damage, SERVPRO of Burlington Township & Mt. Holly has your back with 24/7 emergency service. Call 609-326-3663 for immediate assistance.
SERVPRO's Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS)
A house fire is a devastating ordeal. Once the flames are extinguished, the claim process begins. One of the most daunting tasks after losing your home to a fire is properly documenting your personal property to ensure you’re compensated fully for what you’ve lost. Completing a total loss inventory list is a high-stress task that must be performed carefully so as not to leave settlement dollars on the table. Allow SERVPRO to ease the worry and confusion of the recovery process with our comprehensive contents claim inventory service.
A content list for insurance claims is a household inventory that documents all your possessions. This list can be used to file a home insurance claim after a fire has damaged or destroyed some or all of your personal belongings. Our contents claim inventory service will provide your insurance with a detailed and accurate list of belongings. We’ll take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding.
By entrusting SERVPRO of Burlington & Mt. Holly to collect and inventory your belongings, you can reduce the time and cost of recovering from a house fire.
Soot Damage Removal Techniques
Soot is the residue left behind after a solid material is consumed by fire. It can be powdery or flakey, depending on the contents of the burned materials.
The acidic nature of soot makes it challenging to remove. It cannot simply be wiped away with a regular rag or sponge. In fact, this may push it further into the surface you are attempting to clean. Removing soot requires specific tools and techniques.
Our crew members employ several specially designed tools and chemicals to carefully remove soot. If smoke and soot lingers in the air, we place a HEPA500 air scrubber, which removes 99.97% of airborne particles. After vacuuming up dust residue, we use chemical sponges to gently wipe the soot from large surfaces. Contents and furniture require further detailed cleaning procedures.
This photo shows a chemical sponge, which is specially designed to be used in conjunction with SERVPRO chemicals to remove soot.
Chimney Blowback: Common Causes
Chimney blowback results in heavy soot damage.
This photograph was taken at a recent soot removal job. Blowback from the home’s chimney covered the entire living room.
Blowback occurs when smoke blows down a chimney and into the home. This occasionally results in a layer of soot covering walls, floors and furnishings.
Why does blowback occur? The most common causes are related to ventilation.
Chimney Height. The higher the chimney, the stronger the upward draft. If a chimney is on the short side, the upward draft is weak. Negative pressure in the home is more likely to cause smoke blowback.
Chimney Damage. Any spots on the chimney where smoke could possibly leak out will prevent the formation of a strong upward draft.
Poor Ventilation. Sometimes smaller rooms lack the necessary airflow for a fire to get a good draw. In a small room, the fire is going to draw all the fresh air out, and then it won’t be able to suck any more fresh air in to keep the draft going.
Airflow Obstruction. If a chimney is clogged, or if there is something around it that is obstructing the air from exiting it, blowback is almost guaranteed.
At SERVPRO of Burlington & Mt. Holly our team is specially trained in smoke, soot and dust removal. If your home is damaged by blowback, give us a call at 609-326-3663!
A House Fire in 5 Minutes
The speed with which a small fire can grow to engulf an entire home is incredible. A single flame can spread out of control within a matter of seconds. From there, it only takes 5 minutes for fire to consume an entire home. Let’s look at the progression of a house fire minute by minute:
About half of all house fires begin at the stove. Stovetop flames spread with incredible ease, igniting nearby fat and grease residues in a fraction of a second. From there, kitchen combustibles (paper towels, potholders and rags) heat up, smolder and begin to burn, introducing toxic smoke. If caught within the first 30 seconds, the fire can be smothered using an extinguisher.
If the stovetop fire goes unnoticed, it rapidly grows higher and hotter as it begins to spread around the room. Within 60 seconds, many combustible items are consumed by flames. As the flames advance, a plume of hot air and smoke rises up and across the ceiling.
The hot plume of smoke begins to grow thick and deep beneath the ceiling. Carbon monoxide levels are dangerously high. Flames begin to spread outwards into hallways and adjoining rooms. Eventually, the fire will begin traveling through the vents.
In a little as 3 minutes, kitchen cabinets, wooden shelves, and countertops are completely consumed by the fire. With so many combustible materials, the temperature in the upper layer of hot gas reaches deadly levels- 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The smoke is now dense enough that it hangs just above the floor, and it is growing increasingly toxic.
It only takes 3.5 minutes for the heat from a fire to reach 1100 degrees Fahrenheit. This level of heat can cause all materials in the room to spontaneously catch fire, meaning everything is engulfed in flames. As oxygen is sucked out of the room, glass windows shatter. Flames pour out of doorways and begin to burn ceilings and walls, traveling to other areas of the home at a rapid speed.
Flames can be seen from the street. The collapse of wooden floors and even the roof is inevitable. Just 5 minutes after the initial spark, we have a full-blown house fire.
During a house fire, every second matters. It is essential to have an evacuation plan in place to keep you and your loved ones safe. Gather each member of your household together to create a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Consider drawing a floor plan of your home and marking two ways out of each room, including windows.
In the event that a fire has occurred inside your home, you will need to have it professionally cleaned to ensure deadly smoke and toxins are safely removed. SERVPRO of Burlington / Mt. Holly is able to assist in the aftermath of a fire. Give us a call today to learn more about our fire cleanup & restoration services.
Recovering Cherished Items After a House Fire- The SERVPRO Advantage
SERVPRO of Burlington/ Mt.Holly can safely restore your personal items to preloss condition.
One of the hardest parts about recovering from a house fire is deciding what personal items can be salvaged and what must be thrown away. It can be heartbreaking to discard damaged items that hold sentimental value. Luckily, we have the equipment and expertise to safely salvage your cherished belongings.
Belongings not damaged by fire may still be covered with smoke and soot, or may be soggy from water used to extinguish the fire. Such items require prompt and gentle attention to avoid further damage. The longer soot remains on an item, the more difficult complete restoration becomes. Although you may feel tempted, it is important to resist handling damaged items. The very fine particles in soot are exceedingly abrasive, meaning every touch will grind it further into an item. In order to safely preserve your keepsakes, allow us to carefully collect them. Anything you wish to recover will be carefully handled by our crew, using supports that enable us to safely carry fragile items.
At SERVPRO of Burlington/ Mt.Holly, we have the tools to clean and restore your cherished items. After closely inspecting the damage, we’ll proceed with one of the following cleaning techniques:
- Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
- Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
- Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
- Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
- Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
- Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.
Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS)
Allow us to ease the worry and confusion of the recovery process with our comprehensive contents claim inventory service. A content list for insurance claims is a household inventory list that documents all your possessions. This list can be used to file a home insurance claim after a fire has damaged or destroyed some or all of your personal belongings. Our contents claim inventory service will provide your insurance with a detailed and accurate list of belongings. We’ll take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding. By entrusting SERVPRO of Burlington/ Mt.Holly to collect, inventory, clean and restore your belongings, you can reduce the time and cost of returning them to preloss conditions.
Fire Vandalism Clean Up
SERVPRO of Burlington Township / Mount Holly understands your hardships and wants you to know we have a staff that is willing to do whatever it takes to get you back up and running. This means providing services at any time during almost any situation at hand. We are always there to help fix the disaster that has taken place
We offer all services from pressure washing graffiti off of walls to bio hazard cleanings to boarding up fires and rebuilding a facility. Our staff here can clean up the smoke damages by using chemical treatment and taking down charred and damaged structures. We can remove odor out of a building and extract water that may have came out of a sprinkler system. We can dry your structure so it does not grow any mold. If you already have mold then we offer remediation and treatment for it to keep you and the others around you safe.
If you are looking for a company who can do it all SERVPRO of Burlington Township / Mount Holly is here for you and will do whatever it takes to get the job done.
Common House Fires
It is very easy to forget that you left the iron on went to bed with a lit candle and forgot but house fires should be taken very seriously. No one knows that more than SERVPRO of Burlington Township / Mount Holly. We know the process to get you back on your feet can be tough not to mention the danger it brings to you and your family.
Here are some tips to prevent a common house fire.
- Stay in the kitchen. Don't leave a hot cooking surface unattended. ...
- Check the dryer. ...
- Maintain electrical cords. ...
- Know your shutoffs. ...
- Store flammable products properly. ...
- Be careful with candles. ...
- Be a conscientious smoker. ...
- Use the fireplace responsibly.
Fires start very easy and can you guess the most common way?Appliances, Heaters, & Children Playing with Fire
Other common causes of home fires include overuse of appliances, home heating systems, and children playing with fire. Faulty or over-used appliances can easily cause a fire with just a few sparks.
Where are home fires most likely to start? Home fires are more likely to start in the kitchen than any other room in the home. The second leading cause of home fires are heating sources like wood stoves, and fireplaces. Fires caused by smoking are the leading cause of deaths.
Take this advice and use this information as a learning experience.
Fire and Soot
It is not very hard to figure out if and where you have smoke damage in your home after a fire. Most commonly you will have discolored walls or ceilings, ash or soot on the floor, and charred items. Besides the visuals, smoke damage can also produce odor and other side effects that can damage property and health. Although smoke damage usually is noticeable right away, sometimes it does take a few days to surface. Another precaution to be aware of after a fire is that your electrical system could have easily been damaged as well. Electrical damage can range from signs of corrosion, experience of short circuits or just complete failure. Certain parts of a room may experience more damage than others. Ceilings are most common because of how heat rises. Also nail heads in the wall and ceilings will attract smoke particles. A fire will continue to cause issues even after it has been extinguished, don't put you or your family's health at risk. Contact SERVPRO of Burlington Township / Mount Holly to help in any fire or smoke cleanup. It's always important to act quickly to minimize the health risks as well as repairs to be done on the house.
All Types of Fire
Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to personal property and structures. Quick action is the only way to minimize the destruction. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, IICRC, is a globally recognized organization whose mission is to establish higher industry standards. As a referral source for consumers, IICRC certified firms are more likely to provide a faster, better service than non-certified competitors. Restoration costs increase and damages escalate when the cleaning process is extended. By hastening the hiring process and using an IICRC certified technician, owners will be rewarded by having the damage stopped so repairs can begin. What happens only minutes after the disaster? Immediately after a fire, soot residue settles onto the property. Discoloration of porous materials is permanent, but other surfaces may be properly cleaned to remove the discoloration. Acidic soot begins staining other surfaces if not treated quickly. Within hours all surfaces begin to suffer from fire and smoke damage. Wooden furniture may require refinishing. Metal begins to rust, pit and corrode. Painted walls begin to yellow. Clothing can become permanently stained. And finally, flooring may require refinishing or replacement. If left untreated, within weeks the restoration process will take longer and cost more. Prolonged soot exposure permanently harms all surfaces and embeds in fibers. Replacement of property may be the best option at this point. The structure may continue deteriorating if not properly restored by SERVPRO of Burlington Township / Mount Holly.
Important Notes for when the fire is finished
Fire's can bring a wave of emotions after a they burn through a home. Long after the flames and smoke have been extinguished. Families are still faced with the stress, fear, and uncertainty about the future of the home or property. So after the firefighters have put the flames to rest, it's good to know what and what not to do until SERVPRO of Burlington Township/Mount Holly comes in for the mitigation process. Here are some tips of what can be done before help arrives:
Limit movement in the area to prevent soot particles from spreading.
Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
Place clean towels or or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.
Do not wash walls or painted surfaces.
Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery.
Do not clean any electrical equipment.
So, before you risk causing more damage by attempting to clean up fire damage yourself, follow these steps and call the experts of SERVPRO of Burlington Township/Mount Holly
Clean your chimneys before using them!
It's almost that time of year again. Where the family is gonna gather round the warmth of the fireplace. An before you throw those logs on and spark it up, its very important that your fireplace and chimney are properly cleaned, and SERVPRO of Burlington Township/Mount Holly is the place to call! During the spring an summer seasons when your fireplace is not in use a variety of things could have built up in the chimney. Such as soot, leaves and sticks, or even a variety of critters! A chimney is a great place for birds,squirrels, and other varmints to build there nests. Whether the critter is still there or not this still is a huge risk or starting a fire. Always take a flashlight an do a self inspection to make sure your chimney flue is clear of all debris. Even if you think you've done a sufficient cleaning, its always safe to have a professional come out an inspect it properly. If you own a gas fireplace make sure all gas lines are tightly secured, and don't have any leaks. Although it may seem alright to leave it untended. you should always turn it off when leaving your home or going to sleep. Fireplaces are nice an cozy, but if not properly cleaned an attended to they can become a huge fire risk for your home. So just follow the step given an you and your family can enjoy your fires safely! From all of us at SERVPRO of Burlington Township/Mount Holly have a great fall/winter seasons!
Tips for Avoiding Holiday Fires This Season!
Food was left unattended and set this whole kitchen ablaze!
TOP 7 CAUSES OF ACCIDENTAL HOLIDAY FIRES
Stay safe this holiday season by reviewing SERVPRO’s top causes of holiday fires and be prepared to prevent them.
The holidays can be such a wonderful time of year as people enjoy putting up decorations, cooking, traveling to visit friends and family and celebrating the time together. But because everyone is operating outside of their normal routine during the holidays, it can also be a recipe for risky behavior and accidents.
As SERVPRO of Burlington/Mt. Holly has experienced over the years, one prominent accident that can often occur during the holiday season is unwanted fire! Fires can quickly lead to serious home damage or even injury. That's why it's important to look out for the top causes of holiday fires to ensure you keep your home and family safe throughout the holidays.
- COOKING FIRES
One of the best parts of celebrating the holidays is the FOOD! Casseroles, cakes, cookies and more, food can be the focal point of the holidays. But when cooking extra food and feeding more people than usual, it can be easy to make mistakes such as leaving the stove unattended. Luckily, you may have additional people around to help monitor hot areas such as the stove and oven. The holidays can be one time where it’s perfectly acceptable to have too many cooks in the kitchen. So, surprise those family members that offer to help this year by accepting their offer!
- PORTABLE HEATER MALFUNCTIONS
Brrr, it’s cold out there! For those of us who celebrate holidays in colder climates, it’s nice to have some extra heat around. But beware the portable space heater! According to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters account for 43% of home fires in the United States! Always read your space heater safety instructions and review the safety precautions with any visitors to your home who may be using the heaters without your supervision.
- SMOKING IN BEDROOMS
Smoking cigarettes indoors is still a leading cause of home fires. The holidays can add a lot of stress so it’s understandable that some may look to ease the stress with their favorite stress reliever, even something as unhealthy as cigarettes. But when it comes to smoking, it’s best to keep it outside whenever possible and never smoke when in a situation where you may fall asleep such as in a recliner, on the couch or in bed. When in doubt just put it out!
- ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES AND CORDS OVERHEATING
With decorations comes the need for many plugs and extension cords. Overloaded sockets can sometimes cause sparks or fire. This can quickly escalate into a dangerous situation. Be sure to only use one extension cord per socket. Also, only use electrical power strips or block adapters that have their own fuse. To stay safe at night, be sure to unplug as many decorations as you can until the morning. Decorations are a wonderful addition to any holiday but be sure to read the safety and proper use instructions every time!
- CANDLES LEFT UNATTENDED
There is a reason why many hotels don’t allow guests to light candles in their rooms, they can easily lead to burns or fires. When using candles, be sure to always place candles in a prominent place away from flammable items such as napkins, curtains or clothing. Place a non-flammable object underneath the candle so as the candles burns the heat from the bottom of the candle won’t burn the object it is resting on. Finally, NEVER leave a candle unattended. If you light a candle, remember to blow it out before leaving the area or going to sleep. Turn it into a holiday game by telling the kids they can make a wish for each candle they blow out at the end of the night.
- GRILLING TOO CLOSE TO THE HOUSE
Grilling can be a delicious addition to the holiday cooking and it’s great when entertaining guests. When grilling in the winter, however, it can be a common mistake to keep the grill close to the house or try grilling on a small porch. When a grill is placed too close to a building it can cause the wall to unsafely heat up, buckle or burn. Grills used on porches or other structures with ceilings can potentially ignite the ceiling as the heat and flames travel upward. So be sure to keep your grill at least 10 feet away from any flammable structure both during cooking and after cooking while the grill cools down. And NEVER start a grill or outdoor fire with combustible fuels such as kerosene or gasoline. Use gas grills or self-lighting charcoal whenever possible to easily get your grill heated up to cooking temperature.
- CURIOUS CHILDREN
The holidays often bring families together with kids in tow. Children can be very curious, especially in a new location. It’s important to remember to put away matches and lighters that may normally be accessible when children aren’t present. Also, make sure flammable liquids such as gasoline are stored safely out of reach in the garage or shed. Kids should also be taught about the dangers of fire whether around a grill, indoor fireplace or outdoor fire pit. When cooking smores by the fire, be sure instruct children to never try and put out a burning marshmallow by waving their stick around and accidentally flinging the burning marshmallow into the air!
The SERVPRO of Burlington/Mt. Holly team hopes this list helps you have a safer holiday experience this season and beyond. If an unexpected fire should occur this holiday season leading to damage to your home, please call us for a free quote on repairing the damage and getting your home back to normal!
Pay attention on Turkey Day!
An estimated 2,400 residential fires occurred on Thanksgiving Day in the last 2 years that resulted in 2 deaths, 25 injuries and over $19 million in property damage. At SERVPRO of Burlington County/Mt. Holly we want you to be safe during the holiday season and not become apart of these unfortunate statistics.
If you have taken the role of chef this year for thanksgiving you should know and follow the simple rules to keep your holiday season safe. You should never leave your work station when an appliance is on and working. Always have a fire safety plan and make sure your fire extinguisher is up to code and close by. On a slow cook for your turkey always have a timer set to check in on your food, a house can go up in flames in less than 10 minutes when the setting is right. If you are deep frying your turkey make sure to have your station set up safely and that you use the correct materials when cooking to avoid any accidents.
We at SERVPRO of Burlington County/Mt. Holly want to wish you and your family a happy and safe Thanksgiving!
Hoarding can lead to a big fire risk.
We have heard of those crazy shows about individuals hoarding stuff and not wanting to part ways of all the things they have collected over the years. At SERVPRO of Burlington Township / Mount Holly wants to keep families safe and give them tips in keeping a safe and healthy home. Hoarding is something hazardous when it comes to fire safety for anyone will this problem. The risks of one hoarding can crowd stoves and ovens making very unsafe to cook because of the possibility of something falling into those appliances and starting a fire. Another risk has items to close and crowed near heating equipment like a fireplace or a furnace which is very dangerous if the items were to fall into these kinds of equipment causing it to damage and start a fire. The hoarding of items is a very serious dangerous even when it comes to saving your own life. Firefighters will have a hard time trying to get in your home to rescue you or your loved ones in case of a fire. With stuff being everywhere like in any hoarding situation can make it difficult for a firefighter to navigate in the home. It is important to remember that if you have lots of items in or around your home to keep them at least 3 feet away from cooking appliance like a stove(s) or oven(s) and as well as any heating equipment like furnaces, boilers or fireplace. Just be cautious when your belongings start to build, and think of the risk you are putting you and your family at.
Common Causes of Fire in Commercial Buildings
Fire in a Commercial High Rise
One place that is responsible for most commercial building fires is the kitchen. One reason being all of the equipment such as; deep fryers, ovens, grease hoods, ranges, grills, and rotisseries are just a few. Always use extreme caution in the kitchen, as well as keeping the proper extinguishers to contain a small fire before it gets out of hand. Studies show that about 3,300 office fires break out every year. Once again one of the leading causes is cooking equipment that is not being used properly or left unattended. Coffee makers, toasters ovens, and microwaves, are the main fire stating appliances. Also offices contain a lot of flammable/combustible materials. When a fire does start it can easily spread and grow rapidly. That is why all materials should be stored and disposed of correctly, reducing the damage a fire may cause. Always have a planned prepared in the case a fire were to occur. Fire alarms along with commercial sprinkler systems, and a planned exit strategy play a huge roll in fire safety. Frequent maintenance on alarms and sprinklers to see that they are working properly is crucial as well. In the event of any type of fire in your commercial building, SERVPRO of Burlington Township/Mt Holly has the experienced professionals to clean up any destruction a fire may bring.
How Smoke Can Damage a Home!
Here we have a heavily smoke damaged house.
It is not very hard to figure out if, and where you have smoke damage in your home after a fire. Most commonly you will have discolored walls or ceilings, ash or soot on the floor, and charred items. Besides the visuals smoke damage can also produce odor and other side effects that can damage property and health. Although smoke damage usually is noticeable right away, but sometimes it does take a few days to surface. Another precaution to be aware of after a fire is that your electrical system could have easily been damaged as well. Electrical damage can range from signs of corrosion, experience of short circuits or just complete failure. Certain parts of a room may experience more damage then others. Ceilings are most common because of how heat rises. Also nail heads in the wall and ceilings will attract smoke particles. A fire will continue to cause issues even after it has been extinguished, don't put you or your family health at risk. Contact SERVPRO of Burlington Township/Mount Holly to help in any fire or smoke cleanup. It's always important to act quickly to minimize the health risks as well as repairs to be done on the house.
Immediate Fire Restoration and why its Important
Fires can be a devastating when they occur. It is crucial though when a fire strikes that you get the restoration process started immediately. The longer that it is put off the harder and more repairs will be needed. This also means the price of repairs goes up as well. SERVPRO of Burlington Township/Mt Holly specializes in fire damage and restoration. Contacting us is the first step in getting the restoration underway. SERVPRO will try to save as many of your home and personal belongings that we can. Remember that safety comes first, so if there’s no way to safely gain access into your home, then stay out until SERVPRO professionals arrive. On arrival we perform a thorough cleanup using our industrial-grade products and equipment, such as dry cleaning soot sponges to remove loose soot and specialized vacuum filters to clean carpet and upholstery. Unfortunately fires happen, but when they do make sure you act quickly to get the damage cleaned up. SERVPRO of Burlington Township/Mt Holly takes fire damage and leaves it "Like it never even happened."
How to handle a fire aftermath
Fire's can bring a wave of emotions after a they burn through a home. Long after the flames and smoke have been extinguished. Families are still faced with the stress, fear, and uncertainty about the future of the home or property. So after the firefighters have put the flames to rest, it's good to know what and what not to do until SERVPRO of Burlington Township/Mt Holly comes in for the mitigation process. Here are some tips of what can be done before help arrives:
- Limit movement in the area to prevent soot particles from spreading.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
- Place clean towels or or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.
- Do not wash walls or painted surfaces.
- Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery.
- Do not clean any electrical equipment.
So, before you risk causing more damage by attempting to clean up fire damage yourself, follow these steps and call the experts from SERVPRO of Burlington Township/Mt Holly.
Heating Your Home
Wood burning fireplace.
With the nights getting colder, winter is fast approaching. Heating your home increases the chances of a fire starting. With the fireplaces and space heaters the number one and two way to start a fire in the winter. Here is some information about fireplaces and space heaters to prevent fires from starting.
Winter is a notorious time for house fires and it is vital to have working fire alarms around the house to alert everyone, but one of the main culprits is faulty fireplaces. The best way to prevent a disaster is having a professional properly inspect it. If your flue or chimney are blocked by debris or contain cracks or leaks, inadequate venting can occur, and toxic fumes may seep into your home. An inspection lets you know that everything is in safe working order. Always make sure your fireplace is out and cooled before going to bed.
In an effort to help cut energy costs or to accommodate roommates many people use space heaters. Space heaters are an excellent way to warm up cold rooms or provide extra heat. Space heaters can also be hazardous if not used properly. Never leave a space heater unattended especially when children and pets are around, and don’t place it near drapes, shades or bedding. If your heater is more than a few years old, replace it with a new model that has more current safety features such as tip-over protection. This way it shuts off automatically if it happens to fall over.
SERVPRO Burlington/Mt. Holly wants everyone to take the right steps to prevent house fires from happening.
Electrical Outlet on Fire
Electrical fires are the most common fires in houses. They also are one of the hardest fires to put out due to the constant charge that the electric gives out. Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electricaloutlets and old, outdated appliances. Never use an appliance with a worn or frayed cord which can send heat onto combustible surfaces like floors, curtains, and rugs that can start a fire. Running cords under rugs is another cause of electrical fires. The amount of electrical fires increase in the months of December and January due to the increase of heating appliances and the increase of lights used. Therefore, to prevent this disaster from happening use newer appliances and make sure that the outlets in your house are updated. If this disaster does happen SERVPRO Burlington/Mt. Holly will clean and restore your house back to the way it was. SERVPRO Burlington/Mt. Holly will make sure your house looks like nothing even happened.
Space Heater Safety
Always keep objects at least 3 feet from your space heaters
With colder weather on the way, many people will be bringing out their space heaters. An if you don't take the right safety measures, they can be a huge fire risk. Space heaters are the second leading cause for house fires in the United States. Up to 65,000 house fires a year are started from these heaters. Here are some safety measures that should be taken when using a space heater.
- Inspect the heater for any broken plugs,and loose or damaged wires.
- Putting your space heater in the proper place is very important. Make sure its 3 feet away from any furniture, clothing, paper, rugs, or anything that can burn
- Whenever leaving the room make sure to turn off the heater.
- Keep out of high traffic areas to prevent a tripping hazard, or possibility of knocking it over
- When not in use, unplug and store in proper place
From all of us here at SERVPRO. Have a enjoyable and safe fall and winter seasons!
Fireplace and Chimney Cleaning
It's almost that time of year again. Where the family is gonna gather round the warmth of the fireplace. An before you throw those logs on and spark it up, its very important that your fireplace and chimney are properly cleaned. During the spring an summer seasons when your fireplace is not in use a variety of things could have built up in the chimney. Such as soot, leaves and sticks, or even a variety of critters! A chimney is a great place for birds,squirrels, and other varmints to build there nests. Whether the critter is still there or not this still is a huge risk or starting a fire. Always take a flashlight an do a self inspection to make sure your chimney flue is clear of all debris. Even if you think you've done a sufficient cleaning, its always safe to have a professional come out an inspect it properly. If you own a gas fireplace make sure all gas lines are tightly secured, and don't have any leaks. Although it may seem alright to leave it untended. you should always turn it off when leaving your home or going to sleep. Fireplaces are nice an cozy, but if not properly cleaned an attended to they can become a huge fire risk for your home. So just follow the step given an you and your family can enjoy your fires safely! From all of us at SERVPRO have a great fall/winter seasons!
Fall Fire Safety
Summer is coming to an end an fall is right around the corner. This means leaves falling, cooler temperatures, an the use of heaters and fireplaces. all of which are cause for fire concern. Here are a few fall safety tips to help prevent fires.
- When changing those clocks back make sure to change the batteries in you smoke detectors
- Have you fireplaces inspected and cleaned. As any cracks, debris, an animals are fire hazards. An never leave a fire unattended.
- Space Heaters in the home should always have 3 feet of space around them
- Clear any leaves or pine needles from roofs and gutters
- Make sure to that you are using plastic electric candles in your pumpkins rather than real fire ones to protect yourself and others around you
- Wear flame resistant costumes for you and your friends that you will be going to trick or treat with
Have a Safe an Fun fall season fromSERVPRO
Dangers of Hoarding
We have heard of those crazy shows about individuals hoarding stuff and not wanting to part ways of all the things they have collected over the years. At SERVPRO of Burlington/ Mount Holly want to keep families safe and give them tips in keeping a safe and healthy home. Hoarding is something hazardous when it comes to fire safety for anyone will this problem. The risks of one hoarding can crowd stoves and ovens making very unsafe to cook because of the possibility of something falling into those appliances and starting a fire. Another risk has items to close and crowed near heating equipment like a fireplace or a furnace which is very dangerous if the items were to fall into these kinds of equipment causing it to damage and start a fire. The hoarding of items is a very serious dangerous even when it comes to saving your own life. Firefighters will have a hard time trying to get in your home to rescue you or your loved ones in case of a fire. With stuff being everywhere like in any hoarding situation can make it difficult for a firefighter to navigate in the home. It is important to remember that if you have lots of items in or around your home to keep them at least 3 feet away from cooking appliance like a stove(s) or oven(s) and as well as any heating equipment like furnaces, boilers or fireplace.
Taking Care of Smoke and Soot Damages
Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to personal property and structures. Quick action is the only way to minimize the destruction. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, IICRC, is a globally recognized organization whose mission is to establish higher industry standards. As a referral source for consumers, IICRC certified firms are more likely to provide a faster, better service than non-certified competitors.Restoration costs increase and damages escalate when the cleaning process is extended. By hastening the hiring process and using an IICRC certified technician, owners will be rewarded by having the damage stopped so repairs can begin.What happens only minutes after the disaster?Immediately after a fire, soot residue settles onto the property. Discoloration of porous materials is permanent, but other surfaces may be properly cleaned to remove the discoloration. Acidic soot begins staining other surfaces if not treated quickly.Within hours all surfaces begin to suffer from fire and smoke damage. Wooden furniture may require refinishing. Metal begins to rust, pit and corrode. Painted walls begin to yellow. Clothing can become permanently stained. And finally, flooring may require refinishing or replacement.If left untreated, within weeks the restoration process will take longer and cost more. Prolonged soot exposure permanently harms all surfaces and embeds in fibers. Replacement of property may be the best option at this point. The structure may continue deteriorating if not properly restored by SERVPRO of Burlington Township / Mount Holly
SERVPRO OF Burlington Township / Mount Holly wants you to be ready for fires.
Fire spreads quickly. If fire breaks out in your home, there is no time to gather valuables or make a phone call. In just two minutes, a fire can become life threatening. In five minutes, your home can be up in flames. Be prepared for a fire before it starts.Prepare for a fire
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside bedrooms, at the top of open stairways, and at the bottom of stairways that are closed in between two walls.
- Test smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries twice a year. Make it a habit when you reset your clocks for Daylight Saving Time.
- Replace your smoke alarms once every 10 years.
- Plan and review your home escape routes with your family. Practice getting out of each room.
- Check that windows are not nailed or painted shut. If you have security gratings or burglar bars on windows, make sure they have a fire safety opening feature and can be easily opened from the inside.
- Think about getting escape ladders if your home has more than one level.
- Teach your family to stay low to the floor (where the air is safer) when getting away from a fire.
- Put A-B-C-type fire extinguishers in your home and teach family members how to use them.
- Put heaters at least three feet away from anything that could catch fire. Be very careful when using temporary heating sources like space heaters.
- Make sure your home is insured. If you rent, consider buying renter’s insurance.
Better Safe Than Sorry
Better safe than sorry is an all too common saying that holds a lot of value. Here at SERVPRO of Burlington Township / Mount Holly we want you to be prepared for the worst. SERVPRO of Burlington Township / Mount Holly believes in being READY. One of the first ways of doing this is to have an emergency supply kit. It may be different depending on what type of disasters you are likely to encounter but this is a good starter list. Put this emergency kit in a safe place that easily able to be found by all members of your family.
- Water ( one gallon water per person per day)
- Food ( non-perishable 3-day supply)
- Battery-operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal help
- Dust mask
- Hygiene items
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener
- Local Maps
- Cell phone with chargers
- Important documents
- Fire extinguisher
We care about the well being of you and your loved ones so this is why we recommend taking the proper precautions in being ready. You never know what could happen but whenever you reside in the Philadelphia area, just know that SERVPRO of Burlington Township / Mount Holly has your back.
The local fire department is a very important part of our community. The Burlington Township Bureau of Fire Prevention's goal is to decrease the frequency and severity of fires in our town.
At SERVPRO, we understand the devastation caused by fire, which is why we strongly support the Bureau's goal. We believe it can be accomplished through an active enforcement program, public education activities, engineering and plans review, and investigations. We strive to provide these services; utilizing well trained and highly motivated personnel who understand the importance of customer service and fire safety education.
According to the US Fire Administration each year, more than 4,500 Americans die and more than 30,000 are injured in fires. Many of those deaths and injuries could have been prevented if people had a better understanding of fire.
The Burlington Township Bureau of Fire Prevention has the responsibility of educating the community, inspecting local businesses and various public establishments, and enforcing codes to ensure the safety of the community. This website has been established in order to assist in dispensing information to the community as well as aiding in its education.
SERVPRO of Burlington Township / Mount Holly is very lucky to have them.
Home Fire Campaign
SERVPRO partnered with the American Red Cross and local Fire Departments going house to house in the Willingboro area installing free smoke detectors. We donated cases of water and provided breakfast for all the volunteers. We were broken up into teams of four to document, install and educate each resident. For residents who were not home we left packets on each door to give them the opportunity to call their local fire department to schedule a time for them to stop back. The 11 groups were able to hit about 800 houses and installed 216 smoke detectors. This is the third time this year this campaign has taken place and this year alone 800 smoke detectors have been installed in the state of New Jersey. It was a beautiful day to walk around Willingboro to increase the chances of saving a life.