Recent Fire Damage Posts

We're Here When Waukesha County Residents Need Help With Fire Damage | SERVPRO® Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

12/19/2020 (Permalink)

firefighter with water hose trying to put out large flames engulfing brick home If you have fire damage due to a heating malfunction or other issue, count on SERVPRO of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin to fully restore your home.

We're Here When Waukesha County Residents Need Help With Fire Damage | SERVPRO® Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin - SERVPRO OF SE WAUKESHA COUNTY/WEST FRANKLIN Blog

Waukesha County residents know that when they need us most we’re here to help remediate and repair fire damage.

No one likes to think about fire damage, but it’s a common problem in the United States—something millions of Americans will deal with over the next year. That could include some families and neighbors in our community.

Want to know why so many families trust us in the community? Here’s what makes us different:

We believe in restoration. Our team helps families recover from a fire in a way that’s both logical and economical. Experts are there at every step. We’ll help you save money on repairs and insurance premiums.

We can do the entire process for you. House fires can damage upholstery, walls and more. Issues resulting from water and smoke are common problems, too. We have the tools and resources to remediate these issues. We’ll make the damage like it never happened.

We are a locally owned business. SERVPRO locations are everywhere—all across the United States. This location is locally owned. It’s staffed by team members who live in Waukesha County and the surrounding communities. But since we are a SERVPRO location, we can use the resources, equipment and training you would find at a leading-edge company. Our team brings the advantages of that partnership to the jobs we do for our neighbors here.

We’re here 247. Beginning the restoration process quickly is an important step in getting your home back to its original state. When it’s an emergency, we’re available 247. We make sure our team is here when it matters most.

Increased Fire Damage During Winter

Fires aren’t a seasonal hazard, but more of them happen during the winter months. The season’s unique conditions create additional fire hazards homeowners should know about.

Space heaters without automatic shutoff functions can topple over. Candles left burning can fall over when someone bumps a table.

Kitchen fires happen more often, as many people are cooking and baking for the holidays. Christmas tree accidents are a leading cause of fires.

Other threats have little to do with holiday parties and more to do with the home malfunctioning items. Broken furnaces and issues with appliances happen sometimes.

If you have fire damage in your home due to a kitchen, heating or other fire, you can count on us for restoration assistance. Our team is always ready to meet your needs and help you restore your home. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services.

How to Handle the Time Period After a House Fire | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

12/12/2020 (Permalink)

woman with hands covering face upset with burnt house in background If your home is damaged in a house fire, SERVPRO of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin is here to help.

Making sure your family is able to withstand a house fire is extremely important. Not only is it vital to plan for the moment the flames begin so you can evacuate to safety, but you should also be certain that you are prepared for the recovery process after a house fire as well.

Handling insurance and restoration can feel overwhelming, but you can do these things with more ease if you know just what to expect.

Preparing for the Recovery Process After a House Fire

Prepare yourself for what to expect. Fires can cause household damage in unprecedented ways. Smoke and soot can travel to far reaches of the home, and firefighters may cause water or structural damage in their efforts to extinguish the flames. Preparing yourself for what to expect is the best way to lessen the emotional impact of re-entering your home for the first time.

Wait to enter your home. When it comes to any element of house fire planning, safety is of the utmost importance. That is true for the time period after a fire as well, which is why you should always confer with officials before re-entering your home in order to make sure it is safe. Fires can cause extreme damage throughout a home, and it is important to not put yourself in harm’s way.

Contact your insurance company. The process of filing a fire damage claim can vary by provider, so in order to make sure you are following your insurance company’s protocol, it is best to contact them early on in the process to get the details of how to file.

Document the damages. Staying organized throughout the recovery process is key to making sure that nothing accidentally gets forgotten, and this applies to damaged items as well. Make a complete list of all that has been damaged in the fire, and take plenty of photos to provide evidence of the damages. Oftentimes, your insurance will ask for documentation like this to bolster your claim, and it can come in handy for personal use as well.

Contact your restoration company. A restoration company you can trust can make a big impact on the overall recovery process, making it less stressful so you can focus on healing. Knowing your home is in good hands will help you stress less throughout the process, and a reputable company will restore the damage as quickly as possible.

If your home is damaged in a house fire, you can count on us to help you. Get in touch at any hour for a quick response.

Put a Stop to Wintertime House Fires | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

multicolor strand of lights on wood floor Make sure your fire risk is low during the holidays. If you experience any damage, SERVPRO of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin will be here to help.

Put a Stop to Wintertime House Fires | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin - SERVPRO OF SE WAUKESHA COUNTY/WEST FRANKLIN Blog

No matter what the season is, fire safety is an important focus. However, as we approach the winter season, it is something that should be put in even more focus. Winter house fires are common according to the Red Cross, and many traditional winter and holiday activities are easily conducive to an accidental fire starting.

With more people utilizing their kitchen, it is no surprise that kitchen accidents are the top cause of house fires both in winter and during the rest of the year, but there are also heating and electrical accidents to contend with, too. Fortunately, with the following tips you can still celebrate your holidays safely.

Celebrate the Holidays Without House Fires

Keep safe when cooking. Getting together for large meals or enjoying baked goods as a family is quintessential to winter, but it can also mean more cooking and baking incidents have the chance to occur. Whenever you are in the kitchen, practice safety by being cautious about what is near the stove that could be flammable and always have a fire extinguisher within reach in case things get out of hand.

Heat the house with proper precautions. When there is a chill in the air, most of us like to supplement our central heating systems with space heaters or fireplaces, but these can present hazards if you are not careful. For space heaters, be sure you are using a current model with built in safety features to avoid issues with overheating or tipping. For fireplaces, always get your chimney inspected before your first fire of the season and never leave on burning unattended.

Decorate with care. Holiday lights and other decorations are fun and festive, but as they sit in storage for the rest of the year, they can develop problems. Around 25% of Christmas tree fires are due to lights, often because of fraying that develops when they are stored. Additionally, fires can start if too many decorations are plugged into a single power strip or if they are left to burn overnight or when otherwise unattended.

If you have damage due to a house fire, you can depend on us to help. Contact us 24 hours a day to report damage and receive a quick response from our certified restoration technicians. Get in touch today.

How to Increase Your Household Fire Safety Efforts | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

a person laying another wood log into hot burning fireplace SERVPRO of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin is on call 24/7 and will guide you through any fire restoration project.

How to Increase Your Household Fire Safety Efforts | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin - SERVPRO OF SE WAUKESHA COUNTY/WEST FRANKLIN Blog

When it comes to fire safety, it is wise for individuals to make sure they do everything they can to keep their household safe. Fires happen with far more frequency than most people realize, but by keeping key fire safety tips in mind, individuals can reduce their risk of experiencing one.

When researching fire safety, it is helpful to have all the information in a centralized place, which is why we have listed out some of the most pertinent fire safety tips to keep in mind. These address some of the most common causes of fires so you can have peace of mind in your home.

The Most Pertinent Fire Safety Tips

Frequently Check Smoke Detectors. Following guidelines for installation and maintenance of smoke detectors is the best thing you can do to increase your household’s fire safety efforts. Most smoke detectors should be checked each month and replaced in 10-year intervals.

Have a Fire Escape Plan. Drafting an evacuation plan for the event of a house fire and practicing it with your family members will help everyone feel more prepared. Designate at least two exits from each room and an outdoor meeting spot for everyone to reconvene while awaiting assistance.

Know How to Operate a Fire Extinguisher. Knowing the guidelines for using a fire extinguisher can make the difference between a close call and a disastrous house fire. Make sure to purchase the correct classification of extinguisher for your needs and store it in an area that is easily accessible.

Never Leave Flames Unattended. Small flames we utilize every day are still high risk for starting a fire. Flames from candles and sparks from fireplaces can spread in an instant, leading to a full-scale house fire before becoming noticed. This is why it is best to never leave an open flame unattended.

Keep a Closed-Door Policy. The most deadly fires are the ones that break out during the early morning hours, mostly due to the reduced reaction time of sleeping family members. However, one key way to combat this is by closing bedroom doors before going to sleep. The door can slow down flames, allowing more time for everyone to execute the escape plan.

If you’d like to learn more about protecting yourself from a house fire and how our restoration services can help you recover, get in touch today to learn more.

The Type of Cleaning You Will Want After a Fire | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

black smoke coming out of windows from a burning house Having a team on your side after a disaster can help relieve stress. SERVPRO of North Kenosha County is here to help when a fire strikes.

The Type of Cleaning You Will Want After a Fire | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin - SERVPRO OF SE WAUKESHA COUNTY/WEST FRANKLIN Blog

There is no limit to the time of year fires can occur, but as winter approaches, now is the time to consider being extra prepared. The Red Cross reports that the majority of house fires occur in winter, which indicates it is a time homeowners should be extremely vigilant in prevention.

Planning a fire escape route and other emergency procedures is wise, but homeowners should also consider deciding what to do in the aftermath—namely, what restoration company you will be working with so you can call right away.

Picking the Right Fire Restoration

With a time-tested multifaceted cleaning system, we have become industry leaders in fire restoration and have honed our focus on customer satisfaction. Because we understand the importance of you recovering your home and belongings, we offer several different fire restoration services so that you are able to reclaim your life more quickly:

Structural Cleaning

Structural damage in a fire can affect almost every aspect of a home, including floors, walls and ceilings. By performing initial testing, we can determine the severity of the damage and what equipment we will need to utilize for restoration. We can provide restructuring, cleaning and even paint preparation for most surfaces in the home.

Content Cleaning

Replacing your items after a fire is often costlier than having them restored, which is why we make sure to have the tools on hand to clean a variety of belongings. Utilizing both wet and dry cleaning equipment, we can handle a variety of items from wood furniture to area rugs to electronics. This allows you to keep the items you love while ensuring they are cleaned, deodorized and safe to use.

Deodorization Services

The smell fires leave behind can seem inconvenient, but due to the severe health issues smoke and soot can cause, it is much more than that. Our equipment allows us to actually scrub the air free of these harmful particles, ensuring your family will no longer be breathing them in.

If you’ve been affected by a fire, reach out to us right away! We are here 247 to help you recover.

Preventing Fires in the Kitchen

5/28/2019 (Permalink)

Preventing Fires in the Kitchen 

The kitchen can often be the hub of a home, a wonderfully versatile place where family and friends gather spending quality time and where some delicious meals are prepared. Unfortunately, the kitchen is also the space where many home fires occur.

Cooking fires are ranked as the No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries, and unattended cooking is the leading cause of these kitchen fires.

In 2017 alone, State Farm paid over $130 million in homeowners insurance claims related to cooking and grease fires. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:

  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Pennsylvania
  • California
  • Ohio
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Alabama
  • Georgia

<h4tips-for-cooking">Safety Tips for Cooking

Staying in the kitchen while cooking is a good habit to practice, but not the only fire safety tip you should be following. Here are some other helpful tips to observe while cooking:

1. Are you careful about what you wear while cooking? Does your outfit have long, flowing sleeves or is it big and baggy? It could catch on fire if you aren’t careful while cooking over the stove. It’s best to wear short or close-fitted sleeve shirts and make sure any baggy shirts are tucked in or tied back.

2. Are you cautious about what you set on the stovetop? Make sure you don’t have kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords or even curtains too close to the stovetop when cooking. Ideally, anything flammable will be moved away from it.

3. Is your home equipped with a fire extinguisher in/near the kitchen? Hopefully you have at least one fire extinguisher located in your home, ideally one that is near your kitchen. Make sure you know how to properly use the extinguisher, just in case it is ever needed.

4. Are you throwing hot grease in the garbage can without letting it cool? The grease may not be on fire, but it could be hot enough to cause something in the trash to burn. You should let the grease cool a bit and then dispose of it in an old coffee can. Also, know the smoke points of the oils you cook with. Be sure to never subject a low-smoke point oil to high heat when cooking, as it could catch fire.

5. Has your family prepared a fire escape plan? Thinking about the worst-case scenario is never fun, but it’s better to be prepared than unprepared if an emergency were to occur. Go over exit routes and designated meeting points with your family, making sure that everyone knows what to do.

Fire safety in the kitchen is an absolute necessity, as it can help prevent dangerous and destructive cooking fires. If your home has experienced damage from a cooking fire, know that SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”

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)

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