Recent Fire Damage Posts

Plan and Practice your Escape for Fire Prevention Month

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Red sign with White lettering captioned "October is National Fire Prevention Month" October is National Fire Prevention Month.

Every Second Counts during a fire. Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home or business before it's too late to get out! In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families and businesses have developed and practiced a fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in your Palestine home or office understands the plan.

Here are 5 tips to create and utilize a thorough Fire Escape Plan!

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

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

3. Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home  where everyone can meet after they have escaped. Make sure to mark the location of meeting area on your Escape Plan.

4. Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can not help them. Plan for everyone in your home or office, with special consideration for elderly or disabled individuals. 

5. Practice your fire escape plan during the day and the nighttime.

for more information visit 

https://www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com

Tips to Prevent Cigarette Related House Fires

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

Cigarettes in Ashtray -Potential Firehazard

House fires are more common than you’d think. Along with thunderstorms and neglected stoves, cigarettes are one of the leading causes of at-home fires, despite their small size. If you or a household member smokes, here are five things you can do to protect your home and avoid dealing with the fire cleanup process. 


1. Smoke Outside.


The best way to prevent a fire within the home is to step outside while smoking. A cigarette fire often starts in the living room or bedroom. While outside, you can be sure that ashes or cigarette butts won’t ignite any flammable objects within your house.


2. Use Sturdy Ashtrays.


If you do decide to smoke inside, be sure to get an ashtray that is deep and sturdy. This will prevent any ash from encountering rugs, magazines, or anything else that could ignite. Another way to prevent ashtray fire is by putting sand in the ashtray to completely put out the cigarette. 


3. Don’t Smoke in the Bedroom.


It’s dangerous to smoke in bed because there is a chance that you might fall asleep with a lit cigarette. Mattresses, blankets, and bedding are all very flammable. The bedroom should be a safe place to sleep, not an easy location to start a cigarette fire. 


4. Keep Smoking Materials Out of Reach.


Kids are often too curious for their own good. To prevent any accidental fires from starting, stash your cigarettes, matches, and lighters somewhere where they can’t reach.


5. Completely Extinguish Your Cigarette.


If anything, always put out your cigarette completely. If a cigarette butt is still lit while left unattended, it’s easy for it to ignite something flammable close by. You can douse the cigarette in water or sand to help extinguish them. 

Keep your home in Palestine, TX, safe by following these five tips when preventing a cigarette fire. 

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com.

Don't let your furnace heat you out of house and home. Easy ways to prevent Furnace Fires

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

Furnace in need of Maintenance

Modern heating systems are typically easy to maintain and trouble-free. Built for efficient operation, a good furnace requires little more than regular maintenance. Without proper upkeep, an inefficient unit could easily catch fire. To keep your furnace in top condition in Palestine, TX, and prevent a possible fire and the resultant fire cleaning, there are several things you can do. 


Furnaces Need Space

When assessing potential fire hazards,
one of the most common heating system problems is the lack of space. A furnace is often set in an area by itself for a reason. A crowded unit can be a danger to you and your family. These common items can become a fire hazard when placed near the furnace:

• cleaning supplies
• boxes
• brooms 
• clothing

A fire can quickly catch from a stray spark onto any of these items and cause considerable damage to your home, and subsequent fire cleaning and restoration is generally no fun at all.


Furnaces Need Attention


There is an old adage that says, “out of sight means out of mind.” Never has that been truer than when applied to furnace filters. This can be a huge problem for busy homeowners who may seldom see the system; it can be easy to forget to provide regular maintenance. Once dirt begins to accumulate on the filter, it can cause the furnace to work inefficiently and overheat. As the filter becomes clogged, it can start a furnace fire with billowing smoke. Check filters regularly to prevent this build up and a possible fire. 

Furnaces Need Maintenance


These are three of the many fire hazards associated with a poorly maintained furnace. To prevent possible system damages or fires, contact a technician and schedule an inspection at least once a year. If a furnace fire does occur, that same technician can probably help with the fire cleaning or suggest a fire restoration team that can. Most importantly, keep those filters clean and unclogged to allow your furnace to work efficiently.

For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com.

How To Use an Extinguisher During a Fire

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Have an extinguisher in case of an emergency

How To Use An Extinguisher?

Being able to protect your home in Athens, TX , can give you peace of mind. While you want to leave large fires to the fire department, every home should have at least one fire extinguisher on every floor that is easy to access in case of a minor emergency. It's not enough to own the devices, however. You and your family should know how to use them properly by following the P.A.S.S. (pull, aim, squeeze and sweep) technique.

1. Pull

Every extinguisher comes equipped with a pin and a seal. When these items are intact, you know that no one has discharged or tampered with the device. In order to use it, you need to pull the pin out by gripping the tab and yanking it. This breaks the seal and prepares the extinguisher for use.

2. Aim

The nozzle of the fire extinguisher needs to be aimed at the right portion of the fire to work well. It may seem right to aim at the top so that the discharge rains down on the fire, but this is unlikely to put out a small kitchen fire. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.

3. Squeeze

Once you have the nozzle pointed in the right direction, squeeze the handle to release the contents of the extinguisher. Don't be afraid to use all of the extinguishing agent if that's what it takes to avoid as much fire damage as possible.

4. Sweep

The entire base of the fire should be covered. To accomplish this, you will need to sweep the nozzle back and forth from end to end of the fire. If you release all the contents and the fire is not out, fire mitigation specialists recommend that you call 911 to enlist professional help so that the fire doesn't get out of hand.

A large house fire is a job for firefighters, but small fires can usually be handled with a fire extinguisher. Knowing how to use it can help you put a fire out in a hurry.

Can Lightning Start a House Fire? 3 Ways Lightning Can Impact Your Home

12/29/2018 (Permalink)

If you have been a victim of a lightning fire contact clean up specialists in Athens, TX

Lightning is magnificent, intriguing and, unfortunately, potentially destructive. Each year, this natural phenomenon kills nearly 100 people and leads to millions of dollars of property damage. While the natural force of a powerful strike can cause physical damage to your Athens, TX, home, there are numerous other ways it can destroy including causing lightning fires. Here are three of the top ways bolts can cause damage.

What Is Lightning?

It’s is best defined as a high-voltage, natural electrical discharge between a cloud and the ground or within a cloud. Whether you see it or not, the phenomenon accompanies nearly every thunderstorm. It does not, however, make ground contact during every storm. Other interesting facts about it include:

  • It’s about 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit
  • It flashes about 40 times a second worldwide
  • A bolt can power a 100-watt light bulb for three months

How It Damages
This phenomenon is powerful and truly awe-inspiring, but still quite dangerous. This is especially true for homeowners, whose homes can have many high points that are attractive to lightning looking to ground. Top threats include:

  • Fire – A lightning fire is easily the biggest threat this phenomenon can pose to your home. The materials that comprise most homes are largely flammable. That means the wood, insulation, siding and other core materials that make up your home can easily ignite. But house fire risk can also come from bolts passing through wiring or pipes.
  • Power Surge - A bolt that travels through your home’s wiring can result in a power surge that can damage anything connected to your home’s electrical system.
  • Shock waves - Bolts can also produce a huge shock wave that can also damage your home. You can’t see the shock wave, but you can hear it – it’s the cause of thunder. This powerful energy can shake free materials like concrete and stone, shatter glass and even create trenches in soil. This leaves windows, foundations, chimneys and more vulnerable to damage.

This natural occurrence is fascinating but also potentially destructive. Consider everything from a rod to a home protection system if you live in a strike-prone area. And if you’ve already been a victim of a lightning fire, make sure to connect with reputed clean up specialists.

SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine Smoke and Soot Cleanup

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your East Texas Home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.

Smoke and Soot Facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 903-561-0309

Smoke Alarms: Life Savers

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

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

Smoke Alarms

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

In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).

In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.

Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact SERVPRO® of Athens/Minoela/Palestine at 903-561-0309

Stay Warm This Winter With These Space Heater Safety Tips

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Pick the right floor space for your heater

Space heaters can be a great way to stay warm over the long, cold winter months and save money on heating costs, but they can also be dangerous. Though small, space heaters can wreak havoc if their owners aren't careful. Here are a few safety tips you may want to keep in mind to prevent a burned space heater accident:

  • Pick the right place to put it.
  • Plug it directly into an outlet.
  • Shut off and unplug your heater when it's not in use.
  • Perform routine inspections.

If you keep the above tips in mind when heating your home, you should be able to enjoy a nice, cozy and event-free winter.

Pick the Right Floor Space

The number one cause of burned heater accidents is proximity to flammable objects. Curtains, table cloths, blankets and other fabrics can, when they get too hot, burst into flames. You can prevent this from happening by placing your mini heater in a spot all by itself.

Plug Directly Into an Outlet

Another common cause of burned space heater accidents is overheating via a power source. Space heaters use up a lot of energy. If you use a power strip that cannot support that kind of energy, you risk overheating, electrical shock and fire. Prevent this by plugging your heater directly into a wall outlet.

Shut the Heating Unit Off

When you leave your apartment or house, turn the heater off. You should take extra precautions to do so if you have animals in the home that can knock the heater over.

Maintain Your Heating Unit

Finally, keep your unit clean and free of dust and other pollutants. By regularly wiping down the heater you can ensure that it always performs to maximum capacity and does not go up into flames because it is clogged and overworked.

Burned space heater accidents are, unfortunately, all too common. You can prevent such an accident by taking precautions. If your heater does happen to catch fire, contact your Mineola, TX, smoke cleanup crew for immediate remediation assistance.

5 Ways To Prevent a Cigarette Fire From Starting in the Home

7/15/2018 (Permalink)

House fires are more common than you’d think. Along with thunderstorms and neglected stoves, cigarettes are one of the leading causes of at-home fires, despite their small size. If you or a household member smokes, here are five things you can do to protect your home and avoid dealing with the fire cleanup process.


1. Smoke Outside.


The best way to prevent a fire within the home is to step outside while smoking. A cigarette fire often starts in the living room or bedroom. While outside, you can be sure that ashes or cigarette butts won’t ignite any flammable objects within your house.


2. Use Sturdy Ashtrays.


If you do decide to smoke inside, be sure to get an ashtray that is deep and sturdy. This will prevent any ash from encountering rugs, magazines, or anything else that could ignite. Another way to prevent ashtray fire is by putting sand in the ashtray to completely put out the cigarette.


3. Don’t Smoke in the Bedroom.


It’s dangerous to smoke in bed because there is a chance that you might fall asleep with a lit cigarette. Mattresses, blankets, and bedding are all very flammable. The bedroom should be a safe place to sleep, not an easy location to start a cigarette fire.


4. Keep Smoking Materials Out of Reach.


Kids are often too curious for their own good. To prevent any accidental fires from starting, stash your cigarettes, matches, and lighters somewhere where they can’t reach.


5. Completely Extinguish Your Cigarette.


If anything, always put out your cigarette completely. If a cigarette butt is still lit while left unattended, it’s easy for it to ignite something flammable close by. You can douse the cigarette in water or sand to help extinguish them.

Keep your home in Palestine, TX, safe by following these five tips when preventing a cigarette fire.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com.

2 Easy Ways to Prevent Furnace Fires

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

Modern heating systems are typically easy to maintain and trouble-free. Built for efficient operation, a good furnace requires little more than regular maintenance. Without proper upkeep, an inefficient unit could easily catch fire. To keep your furnace in top condition in Palestine, TX, and prevent a possible fire and the resultant fire cleaning, there are several things you can do.


Furnaces Need Space


One of the most common heating system problems is the lack of space. A furnace is often set in an area by itself for a reason. A crowded unit can be a danger to you and your family. These common items can become a fire hazard when placed near the furnace:

• cleaning supplies
• boxes
• brooms
• clothing

A fire can quickly catch from a stray spark onto any of these items and cause considerable damage to your home, and subsequent fire cleaning and restoration is generally no fun at all.


Furnaces Need Attention


There is an old adage that says, “out of sight means out of mind.” Never has that been truer than when applied to furnace filters. This can be a huge problem for busy homeowners who may seldom see the system; it can be easy to forget to provide regular maintenance. Once dirt begins to accumulate on the filter, it can cause the furnace to work inefficiently and overheat. As the filter becomes clogged, it can start a furnace fire with billowing smoke. To prevent smoke cleaning from walls and ceiling, and a possible home fire, inspect furnace filters monthly and replace as needed.


Furnaces Need Maintenance


These are only two of the many fire hazards associated with a poorly maintained furnace. To prevent possible system damages or fires, contact a technician and schedule an inspection at least once a year. If a furnace fire does occur, that same technician can probably help with the fire cleaning or suggest a fire restoration team that can. Most importantly, keep those filters clean and unclogged to allow your furnace to work efficiently.

For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com.

4 Tips To Stay Safe When Using Space Heaters

2/10/2018 (Permalink)

Many people rely on space heaters during the winter to stay warm. It is an efficient way to stay warm, and you will not have to worry about your electric bill being as high because space heaters do not use as much power as your HVAC system. However, there are dangers associated with these products. A burned space heater is extremely dangerous, so follow these tips to avoid having a fire in your home in Athens, GA.

1. Turn Off When Not in Use

You do not want to leave your heater running when you are not in the room. Turn it off every time you leave. Many heaters come with a timer feature, so if you want to run it while you are asleep, you can set the timer to shut it off shortly.

2. Keep Heater Three Feet Away From Furniture

You can decrease the likelihood of having a burned space heater and needing smoke cleanup by keeping the device at least three feet away from furniture, bedding, clothes, drapes and rugs. You should also ensure your heater is on a level surface. You do not want to risk the heater tipping over and coming into direct contact with carpeting.

3. Keep Away From Moisture

Never set your heater in an area that is at risk of flooding. That means you should keep it out of basements and bathrooms. You should never touch a heater when you have wet hands.

4. Inspect Regularly

You should inspect your heater when you first purchase it to ensure there are no defects. After that, you need to continue maintenance to prevent dust and other allergens from building up on the heater’s filters.

Heaters are a great asset when you are shivering from the cold. However, a burned space heater is a safety issue you never want to expose your family to. With a few preventive actions, you can use your heater for years to come. Visit http://www.SERVPROathens.com for more information on fire damage.

Facts About Smoke and Soot

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – 903-561-0309

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 903-561-0309

Light the Night Safely

12/11/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

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

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

  • Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, and heat vents.
  • Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.

SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

Can a Fire-Damaged Home Ever Get Back to Normal?

12/11/2017 (Permalink)

Here are four steps most fire restorers use to fix fire damage.

Can a Fire-Damaged Home Ever Get Back to Normal?

Few things are more heartbreaking than going through a home fire. If your home in Texas has gone through a blaze, whether due to bad electrical wiring or an oil fire, it may be a literal shell of its former self. You may wonder if your smoke-damaged home can ever get back to normal.

Fortunately, by working with a fire restoration company, you can increase your chances of returning your home to its
pre-burn state. Here are four steps most fire restorers use to fix fire damage.

1. Survey the Damage

As you may know, fire restoration firms play no part in extinguishing your home’s blaze. Instead,
firefighters work hard to check your house for inhabitants and stop the destructive fire. After firefighters leave, restorers survey damage. They also board up doors and broken windows to keep criminals from causing additional damage.

2. Clean Personal Belongings

Because your smoke-damaged home is likely not safe or inhabitable, restorers remove salvageable
belongings to clean them off-site. Then, using specialized cleaning products and techniques, restoration technicians remove smoke from your keepsakes.

3. Restore Walls and Floors

Homeowners are often surprised to realize that fire-suppression activities can cause more damage than the fire itself. Restorers work hard to remedy smoke and water damage. Often, they must paint walls and renovate flooring.

4. Tackle Lingering Smoke Odor

Even weeks after a fire, smoke odor can linger in your smoke-damaged home. To encourage a fresh, clean scent, restorers use ozone and thermal fogging techniques. They also spend time deep cleaning your home’s heating and air conditioning systems. Likewise, with the help of high-powered filters and fans, fire restoration techniques remove small soot particles from your home’s air. After workers finish, homes often smell like they never burned.  Returning your fire-damaged home to normal involves more than simply cleaning soot from walls.

When you work with a skilled restoration service, you take advantage of expertise and equipment to recover from your devastating East Texas home fire.

Visit SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com for more information.

Until Help Arrives

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems. Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until your SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine professionals arrive. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration.

Do:

Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.

Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.

Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.

If electricity is off, empty freezer/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.

Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.

If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.

Change HVAC filters; leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.

Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

Don’t:

Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® Athens/Mineola/Palestine professional.

Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine professional.

Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.

Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as they may be contaminated.

If ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fans. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.

Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

More fire tips from SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine

Stay Safe This Summer

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

Consider the following tips to ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free!

Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades and fireworks displays; but along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to emergency rooms-especially during July. In 2013, eight people died and about 11,400 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition to causing injury, fireworks are also responsible for thousands of house fires each year with millions of dollars in property damage. There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months! Did you know, July is the peak month for grill fires? A backyard barbecue can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren’t considered. Your local SERVPRO® of Athens / Mineola / Palestine Professionals want you to have an enjoyable and safe summer. Consider the following tips to ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free!

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.

Firework Facts

  • In 2011*, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires.
  • These fires resulted in an estimated 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage, with no reported fire deaths.
  • On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for two out of five of all reported fires, more than any other cause of fire.

*Most recent statistics available-provided by the NFPA

Emergency Fire Damage Tips

2/14/2017 (Permalink)

When fire and water damage take control of your life, SERVPRO® will help you take it back.

DO:

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

DON’T:

  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
  • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs, or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don’t consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water. (They may be contaminated.)
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

When fire and water damage take control of your life, SERVPRO® will help you take it back.

Make This Fall Fire Free

10/25/2016 (Permalink)

This fall season brings cooler temperatures, Beautiful colors and abundance of outdoor activities. Plan ahead this season to help ensure it is safe an

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

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

Facts and information provided by the National Fire Prevention Association, nfpa.org

Are you Prepared?

10/14/2016 (Permalink)

More Fire Prevention Tips for kids at Sparky.org

October is Fire Prevention Month-a perfect time to examine emergency preparedness plans, including your home fire escape plan. Do you have a plan? Have you changed or tested your smoke alarm batteries within the last year?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) designates a week each October to focus on fire prevention awareness. The 2016 theme is “Don’t Wait-Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years,” designed to educate the public about the basic but essential elements of smoke alarm safety. The NFPA recommends installing smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of your home, including the basement. Smoke alarms save lives. In fact, having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half!

Visit Sparky.org for more fire prevention tips.

What To Do Until Help Arrives

9/30/2016 (Permalink)

Fire damage in an elementary school

A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems. Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until your SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine professionals arrive. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration.

Do:

Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.

Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.

Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.

If electricity is off, empty freezer/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.

Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.

If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.

Change HVAC filters; leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.

Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

Don’t:

Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® Athens/Mineola/Palestine professional.

Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine professional.

Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.

Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as they may be contaminated.

If ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fans. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.

Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

More fire tips from SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine

Make This Fall Fire Free

10/14/2015 (Permalink)

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

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

Facts and information provided by the National Fire Prevention Association, nfpa.org