Recent Fire Damage Posts

Essential Tips for Surviving a Fire in your Home

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Most of us probably don’t think this could ever happen to us and our homes, therefore we likely don’t have a plan in place. Putting an evacuation plan together and practicing it with our families can go a long way. We’ve all heard the saying, practice makes perfect. It’s natural for us as humans to panic in a situation like this, but the more we plan ahead and practice, the more it becomes muscle memory.

 Here are some tips to consider when you are putting together your evacuation plan when fire becomes your enemy.

  1. Have a written escape plan
    • Most important, write down your plan. Describe routes that will be used to evacuate your home, where you will meet afterwards and who your designated leader will be that will contact the authorities for help.
  2. Purchase Rope Ladders for the upper floors (if you have them)
    • Having ladders ready to go is important in case your downstairs is blocked off. Most emergency rope ladders can be purchased for $30-$50.
  3. Have a fire extinguisher
    • It’s ideal to have multiple fire extinguishers that are easily accessible in your major rooms including the master bedroom, the kitchen, the bathrooms and living room.
  4. Install and Test Smoke Alarms
    • These should be installed on every level and in each major room of your home. Make sure to test them on a monthly basis to make sure they are working. Repair or replace any that don’t.
  5. Test doors for heat
    • A well-known tip for surviving a house fire is to test the doors for heat before walking through it. There could be a fire blazing in the next room even if it’s not in the room you are in.
  6. Stay low to the ground
    • Staying low to the ground makes you less vulnerable to smoke which tends to rise.
  7. Cover your nose and mouth covered with a wet rag or shirt
    • Often times the fire itself is not the biggest threat, it’s the smoke. Breathing in too much smoke can cause you to pass out. At a minimum, cover your mouth with your hands.
  8. Don’t go back in after you have evacuated
    • Once you have safely evacuated the home, do not go back in no matter what. Leave it to the professional fire crew to handle the situation from that point on. Never go back in for valuables. Those are replaceable, lives are not.
  9. Place emergency kits near the exits
    • Having a few kits near the exits can be helpful to grab on the way out. Include some cash, extra clothing, first aid supplies and so forth.
  10. And most important, PRACTICE
    • The best way to be prepared is to practice! Just like schools that run periodic fire drills to make sure everyone knows how to evacuate, you should do the same with your families. This could ultimately be what saves your lives in the end.

If you do experience fire damage in your home, that can be devastating. We can help restore your home back to its pre-fire condition. Our approach is to take the least invasive path to restoration and save as much as possible. Give us a call today and let SERVPRO of Southeast Waukesha/West Franklin do the worrying for you. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Fire Safety Tips for Your Business | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Tips for Your Business | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

Business owners have much to take into consideration regarding risks to their business, staff and visitors. As a business owner, one of those risks you need to spend a little extra time planning for and working toward preventing is a fire.

Leading Causes of Commercial Structure Fires

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has reported that the leading causes of structure fires in office properties from 2007–2011 were (in order):

  1. Cooking equipment, 29% of fires
  2. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment, 12% of fires
  3. Heating equipment, 11% of fires
  4. Intentional, 10% of fires
  5. Smoking materials, 9% of fires
  6. Exposure, 4% of fires
  7. Electronic, office or entertainment equipment, 3% of fires

Of those causes, intentional, exposure, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment accounted for the most property damage with 20%, 18% and 15% respectively.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2007, fires and explosions were responsible for 3% of all workplace fatalities.

In studying more recent numbers, the NFPA estimates that for a period from 2007–2011, U.S. fire departments answered an average of 3,340 calls for fires involving office properties per year. Those fires resulted in an annual average of four deaths, 44 injuries and $112 million in direct property damage.

Protecting Your Business From Disaster

So, what steps can you take to protect your business and employees from the risk of fires? By placing an emphasis on fire risk assessment, fire prevention and staff education, you are taking steps to reduce the chance of a fire breaking out.

First, assess your facility for the risk of fire hazards. Local governments in some areas may even offer a visit from a fire marshal to help identify these risks and provide guidance on your fire prevention plan.

Ensure that the right fire protection equipment (including an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers) is in place on each floor.

Finally, work with your most important asset—your employees—by creating a fire plan and reviewing it with your staff to make sure everyone knows procedures to follow in the event of a fire. By conducting fire drills at least once a year, you will keep this information fresh in everyone’s mind, and provide the opportunity to review evacuation plans and first-aid kit locations.

Despite best efforts with fire prevention and safety tips, the worst could always happen at your business. If a fire has damaged your business, SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin is available to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin Smoke and Soot Cleanup

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin Smoke and Soot Cleanup Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Southeast Waukesha County/West Frankin 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 Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin 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 – 262-895-5540