Recent Fire Damage Posts

Clothes Dryer Vents

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

Lint from a clothes dryer vent Clean out the dryer vent on a regular schedule to avoid build up of lint.

Accourding to the U.S. Fire Adminstration 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.  

Here are some tips to help clean and maintain the safety of your clothes dryer.

Cleaning

  • Clean the lint filter before and after each load of laundry. Don’t forget to clean the back of the dryer where lint can build up. In addition, clean the lint filter with a nylon brush at least every six months or more often if it becomes clogged.
  • Clean lint out of the vent pipe every three months.

Maintenance

  • Inspect the venting system behind the dryer to ensure it is not damaged or restricted.
  • Put a covering on outside wall dampers to keep out rain, snow and dirt.
  • Make sure the outdoor vent covering opens when the dryer is on.
  • Check regularly to make sure nests of small animals and insects are not blocking the outside vent.
  • Keep the area around the clothes dryer free of items that can burn.
  • If you will be away from home for an extended time, unplug or disconnect the dryer.

Clothes dryer don’t's

  • Don’t use a clothes dryer without a lint filter or with a lint filter that is loose, damaged or clogged.
  • Don’t overload the dryer.
  • Don’t use a wire screen or cloth to cover the wall damper. They can collect lint and clog the dryer vent.
  • Don’t leave a clothes dryer running if you leave home or when you go to bed.

Hopefully these tips will keep you and your home safe from a clothes dryer fire.  If do experience a fire, give SERVPRO of Grand Traverse Area a call and we'll help restore you property to preloss conditions.

Decorate Safely

12/2/2021 (Permalink)

Red candle buring in front of Christmas lights Decorating safely during 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 seaon.

  • Place Christams trees, candles, and other holdiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents, and candles.
  • Make sure 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.
  • Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over.  Keep curious pets and children away from Chritmas trees.
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire - like pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains - away from your stove top.
  • Designate one person to walk around your home or business to ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave.

SERVPRO of Grand Traverse Area wish you all a save and happy holiday season!

Destroy Odors with Deodorization

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Hdyroxyl generator running for deodorziation One of many tools used in deodorization

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized.  Fire, smoke, and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems.

As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structures, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard-to-reach places.  Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors.

Our technicians are certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), we provide specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage.  We do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, we seek out and remove the source of the odor.  Once the source is found we use SERVPRO's own proprietary line of cleaning products is used to treat and prevent the odor form returning.

If you are in need of deodorization, give our team a call and we'll explain the various deodorization methods available and which one will work best for you. 

Kitchen Fire in Traverse City

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

A kitchen that had a fire with insulation everywhere and exposed ceiling joists A Traverse City kitchen fire from a cooking accident.

Did you know cooking equipment is the leading cause of residential fires?  As we find ourselves spending more time at home these days, fire precautions should be top of mind.

Homeowners experience a flood of emotions when a fire ravages their homes.  Fear, uncertainty, stress and doubt about the future of the property can be overwhelming long after the flames have been extinguished and the smoke has cleared.  After the first wave of heroes have rescued the property, let SERVPRO of Grand Traverse Area help you restore it to preloss conditions.  Combining rapid response, the utmost professionalism, and open communication throughout the entire job process, we strive to restore not only the home, but the customer's peace of mind as well.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers the following eye-opening statistics on structure fires: more than 27% of reported fires occurred in homes within the last year.  Even worse, 79% of fire-related deaths were caused by home fires.  On average, U.S. fire departments respond to an estimate average of 354,400 home structures fires per year.  Most home fires result from five causes: cooking, heating, electrical distribution and lighting equipment, intentional fire setting, and smoking materials.

If the unthinkable happens and a fire strikes your home, give SERVPRO of Grand Traverse Area a call.  We will help make it "Like it never even happened."

Do you have an escape plan?

3/6/2020 (Permalink)

A home that is on fire An escape plan may save your from this

Every second counts during a fire.  Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home 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 the home or office understands the plan.  The best way to do this by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year.  Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing it.  The follow are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan.

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

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

Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped.  Make sure to mark the location of the meeting area on your escape plan.

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

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

Cooking Fires

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

kitchen pan on fire catching the wall behind stove on fire Kitchen stove fire

Did you know cooking equipment is the leading cause of residential fires?  The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers the following eye-opening statistic on structure fires.

  • 482,030 structure fires were reported in the United States in 2018.
  • These fires caused $9.9 billion in property damages.
  • One structure fire was reported every 48 seconds.

A property owner experiences a flood of emotions when a fire ravages their business or home.  Fear, uncertainty, stress and doubt about the future of the property and their livelihood can be overwhelming to the propertry owner long after the flames have been extinguished and the smoke has cleared.

Let SERVPRO of Grand Traverse Area help you restore your property to its preloss condition.  Combining rapid response, the utmost professionalism, and open communication throughout the entire job process, we strive to restore not only the home or business structure, but he customer's peace of mind as well.

If the unthinkable happens and a fire strikes you business or home, give SERVPRO of Grand Traverse Area a call.  We will help make it "Like it never even happened."

Fires are Preventable

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

When it comes to your property, there are certain safety precautions that can be taken to help prevent fires.  Ready.gov shares the following tips on home fire prevention.

Electrical and Appliance Safety

  • Frayed wires can cause fires.  Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet.  Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to touch and lights that flicker.

Fireplaces and Woodstoves

  • Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions.
  • Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.

Fire Prevention Month

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

October is Fire Prevention Month

October is Fire Prevention Month - a perfect time to examine emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan. 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) designates a week each October to focus on fire prevention awareness.  The 2018 theme is "Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere."  This theme hopes to create awareness in the steps necessary to reduce the chance of fire and how to react in the event a fire does happen.  The NFPA states the following:

  • "LOOK" for places fires could start.  Take a good look around your home.  Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.
  • "LISTEN" for the sound of the smoke alarm.  You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds.  Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.
  • "LEARN" two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

Stay safe and prepare now to help ensure you are ready for any disaster.

Smoke Alarms: Life Savers

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

Have you tested your smoke alarms recently?

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 the 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 were smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).