Recent Fire Damage Posts

How To Use Your Fire Extinguisher

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

Red tank of fire extinguisher There are several different types of extinguishers, designed for various types of fires

Different Types of Extinguishers

In less than one minute, a tiny flame can grow into a destructive fire. You should thus address small house blazes right away to avoid the need for fire damage cleanup. In order to put out minor fires immediately, you need to have at least one fire extinguisher in your Mount Pleasant, RI, home.
Of course, having fire extinguishers is useless if you don’t know how to use them. The first step is knowing which one to grab. There are several different types of extinguishers, each of which is designed for various types of fires:

  • Class A
  • Class B
  • Class C
  • Class K
  • Multi-Purpose

Choosing the Correct Extinguisher

A Class A extinguisher sprays water onto fires. It is designed for regular combustibles, including rubber, paper, wood, plastics and cloth.
Meanwhile, a Class B extinguisher uses carbon dioxide and is best for liquids such as grease, oils and gasoline. Electrical fires require a Class C fire extinguisher, which utilizes dry chemicals. A Class K extinguisher can address a kitchen fire and is primarily found in cafeterias and restaurants.
As their name implies, multipurpose extinguishers can be used for several different types of fires. The label should tell you which ones. If you can quickly determine the source of the small fire in your home, get the appropriate extinguisher and follow the below steps.

Using Your Extinguisher

Once you have picked the right extinguisher, you can follow the P.A.S.S. technique to put out the fire. First, pull the pin and break the seal. Next, aim the extinguisher's hose or nozzle at the base of the fire. Then squeeze the handle to release the chemical or water onto the fire. Finally, sweep the fire extinguisher from side to side until the flames are gone.
Even a small blaze can cause major fire damage to your home. Thankfully, a fire cleanup and restoration company can assist with house repairs once the flames have been extinguished.

How Content Cleaning Can Restore Your Fire Damaged Items

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Personal computer burnt Fire damaged computer in Federall Hill, RI

Fire Damage Restoration Services

If your Federal Hill, RI, home has experienced fire damage then you may be wondering how to repair any damaged items you may have. Fortunately, your local fire damage restoration service may be able to offer a variety of cleaning services including dry-cleaning and document restoration. Here is what you may want to know about three of the most popular services that may be offered.

1. Electronic Repairs

Perhaps one of the more impressive services offered when it comes to content cleaning is the ability to make repairs to electronics. The ability to make these repairs will depend on how extensive the damage is, but in cases of minor damage a professional may be able to restore computers, tablets, phones, and small appliances, among other items commonly found in the home.

2. Item Cleaning

Item cleaning is perhaps one of the most common forms of content restoration. Items with light residue or sensitive fabric types may go through a dry-cleaning process, while other items may be able to be submerged in a cleaning solution. Large furniture may be able to be cleaned with a spray and wipe method. Upholstery options may also be available. As each item is cleaned you may want to consider moving it to storage until repairs to the home can be completed.

3. Document Restoration

Another service a restoration company may offer is the ability to restore important documents. This may include information you make keeping in your home such as tax documentation, insurance information, or important records. Once these have been restored, your service may also offer to move them to a safe content storage facility until repairs to your home can be completed.
Your local fire restoration service may be able to offer a variety of services including electronics repair, dry-cleaning or cleaning solutions for various items, and document restoration. The exact cleaning method will vary by item type and it's best to talk to a professional about which solution is best for your items.

What Does the Fire Damage Restoration Process Entail?

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Soot damage to home after a fire in Elmwood,RI

When a fire causes damage to your home in Elmwood, RI, it’s crucial to do what you can to help restore it. After the fire department leaves, the first thing you should do is call professional restoration services to increase the likelihood of your home returning to its normal state. Before help arrives, though, it’s useful to understand exactly what the fire restoration process entails. This guide details what you can expect from having a fire damage cleaning performed in your home.

Preventing Further Damage

It’s important to take simple steps to prevent additional damage after a fire. To keep your home protected, be sure to do the following:

  • Wash hands to prevent soot particles from spreading
  • Remove all contents from refrigerator and freezer if electricity is off
  • Refrain from cleaning electrical appliances
  • Don’t clean any carpets, upholstery or walls

Mitigating as much damage as possible is vital. However, it’s best to leave the cleaning process to a restoration professional to ensure that it's done properly.

Assessing Damage

Once the fire restoration company arrives, they can inspect your home and assess the extent of fire and smoke damage. This examination enables them to determine which restoration efforts are needed, such as board up or tarp services. Once your home has been professionally inspected, you can be reassured that it is receiving the help it needs.

Smoke and Water Removal

In many situations, water damage is present in the home as a result of firefighting efforts. If this is the case, restoration professionals can remove and dry any excess water in your living space. In addition, any traces of smoke or soot can be eliminated with the help of fire damage services. Once all water and smoke has been removed, the cleaning and repair process begins, which allows your home to be restored as soon as possible.
A home fire is a devastating event, but it is possible to return to a normal life. With the help of skilled fire restoration professionals, your Elmwood, RI, home can make a full recovery.

Grill Maintenance and Safety

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

Proper Grill Maintenance and Safety is important for your summer fun.

Tips for Proper Grill Maintenance and Safety

Grilling is a time-honored tradition and a favorite way to cook food in Providence, RI, during warmer months. Grill cleaning is a necessary step any time you cook outdoors. Fire safety experts recommend following the steps below to ensure that you clean your grill thoroughly, and thus lower your chances of starting a grease fire the next time you use it.

  1. Gather Your Supplies

For proper grill maintenance, you need the right cleaning supplies. A grill brush does most of the cleaning, while work gloves, foil, paper towels, stainless steel wipes and a broom provide backup. You also need a bucket filled with warm water and dish soap.

  1. Prepare the Grill

Before you begin your grill cleaning, detach the grill’s metal plates and put them in the bucket of soapy water. Empty the drip pan and put it in the bucket as well. If you have a propane grill, cover the heating elements with foil to protect them.

  1. Clean the Grill

Use the grill brush to scrub the inside of the grill. Particles that flake off can be wiped up with a damp paper towel. After the inside is clean, remove the foil from the heating elements.

  1. Clean the Attachments

One at a time, remove the plates and the drip pan from the bucket. Scrub them thoroughly with the grill brush and hose them off with a garden hose. Dry the attachments completely before returning them to where they belong.

  1. Wipe the Exterior

Cleaning the exterior is part of good grill maintenance too. Wipe down all external parts with a damp paper towel until you can see no traces of grease.

Learning how to maintain your grill is just as important as learning how to make a great steak on it. With a good grill cleaning technique, you don’t have to worry about your next cookout turning into a grease fire.

5 Steps of the Fire Restoration Process

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

Fire in an Olneyville, RI building

If your commercial building in Olneyville, RI, catches fire, the process of getting your building returned to normal will likely involve more than just fire damage cleanup. Technicians must also perform smoke removal and water cleanup. Here are the steps they take to restore your building.

1. Assess Damage

Before the fire cleanup process can begin, technicians must determine how much damage was done and what it will take to fix it. They can come up with an itemized list of tasks and an estimate of the cost to complete it. This list can also be helpful when filing your insurance claim.

2. Extract Water

A lot of water is used in putting out a fire. If your building has a sprinkler system, it probably limited fire damage and protected the structure, but the water still has to be removed. Firefighters also use a lot of water to put out the fire, so water cleanup is an inevitable part of the fire restoration process.

3. Remove Damaged Items

Furniture, supplies, inventory and equipment that are in the affected area must be removed and either thrown away or restored. Any materials in the walls, ceiling or floor that are ruined must also be removed.

4. Clean Area

The part of the structure that remains must be cleaned. Smoke and soot get everywhere during a fire. Smoke cleanup and disinfection are necessary before the damaged parts of the building can be rebuilt.

5. Restore Building

The parts of the structure that are torn out must be replaced before you can move salvaged items back in and reoccupy the building. Technicians add new insulation, lay flooring, rebuild walls and make the new structure match the existing aesthetic.
Fire restoration is more than just cleaning out soot and removing the smoke smell. It also involves water cleanup. Knowing the steps of the process can help you gain a clear understanding of the work that's happening in your building.

Understanding the Fire Restoration Process

5/15/2019 (Permalink)

Security fencing the property after a fire in Reservoir, RI

Fire Restoration Process: Four Phases

The damage incurred by a fire can vary significantly, from small stove fires to more destructive electrical fires. However, despite the level of damage there is likely going to be some level of fire restoration work required to re-establish the structural integrity of your home. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not understand the process of restoration work and can end up feeling overwhelmed. Therefore, to put your mind at ease think of the process in four phases.

1. Securing the Property

A large fire will have its share of both fire and smoke damage, but before either of those issues can be dealt with a restoration company will want to secure the property. Using fencing, plywood and tarps, these companies will make sure that your home is protected against further damage from the weather and other sources.

2. Removing Debris

Once the property is secure, the fire restoration team will begin removing debris from inside of the property. They will remove any excess water from the rescue efforts and make sure that the remaining structure is secure and redeemable.

3. Cleaning the Home

After all of the debris has been removed, the damage cleaning can begin. During this phase, the smoke residue will be cleaned, and deodorization will take place. Additionally, the restoration crew will likely discuss and plan the next step of work.

4. Restoring the Structure

Before the reconstruction process begins, a restoration specialist in the Reservoir, RI, area will probably want to evaluate all plans with the homeowner, ensuring that all concerns are resolved before work begins. Once plans are approved, the construction team will take over and complete the restoration.

Fire restoration can be as simple as fixing some cabinetry and replacing appliances in a kitchen to a complete rebuild of a home. In either case, it is wise to have a professional handle the cleanout and rebuild, ensuring that you and your family remain safe.

Clothes Dryer Safety Tips to Prevent Fires

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

The lint trap should be cleaned between all loads of laundry

Clothes dryers are involved in thousands of house fires each year, and the highest number of these occurs in fall and winter. The majority of these fires start because the dryer is not cleaned and maintained properly. Luckily, there are some simple tips available to help keep your home in Blackstone, RI, safe from a dryer fire.

1. Installation

Using the correct electrical outlet and plug to hook up your dryer is essential. To ensure that installation is completed properly and safely, consider calling a professional to connect your dryer. Like all electrical appliances, dryers come with warnings and instructions from the manufacturers, and you should read over these carefully.

2. Cleaning

The lint trap should be cleaned between all loads of laundry. The back of the dryer should also be cleared, as lint can build up in this area. Every few months, the vent pipe or exhaust should be emptied using a plumber’s snake in order to avoid a lint fire.

3. Proper Use

Using your dryer properly can also protect your home from a dryer fire. Avoid overloading your dryer with too much clothing at once. Do not dry items with rubber, foam or plastic, such as bathroom mats with rubber backing. Never place clothing with oil, gas, alcohol or any other flammable chemical in your dryer. Always turn the dryer off before going to bed or leaving your residence.

4. Maintenance

Routinely inspect equipment parts, such as the venting system, to ensure that there is no damage or build up of lint. Keep the area around the dryer clean and free of anything flammable. Check outside venting for blockages, such as birds nests. Unplug or disconnect dryer if you will be away for an extended period.

A dryer or lint fire is almost completely preventable, but homeowners must take proper precautions. If your residence has been damaged in a dryer fire, don’t hesitate to reach out to a fire restoration service today.

How To Extinguish a Grease Fire at Home

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage in Hope, RI

Nothing interrupts the flow of life in Hope,RI, more than a home fire. A blaze can start from many different causes, but one of the hardest to control is a grease-based fire. Your first impulse when fire is staring you in the face is to douse the flames with water. In the event that grease catches fire, you absolutely must not put water on the fire. It will cause it to splatter and spread. So what can you do to put out a grease fire safely?

Steps To Put out a Grease-based Fire

  1. Turn off or unplug heat source if possible (oven, burner, etc.)
  2. Pour generous amounts of baking soda over the fire
  3. Cover to smother the flames using a non-flammable item such as a large pot or lid
  4. If you cannot extinguish it immediately, get out of the house and call 911 for help
  5. Again, NEVER put water on a grease fire

Prevention is Your Best Bet

Prevention is also extremely important. Use extra care in the kitchen to keep your burners clean during cooking and avoid letting fats and oils over heat. Take care to keep combustible items away from the cooktop and take care when leaning over pans and burners. Broiling in the oven or baking foods that spatter or drip grease onto heating elements can also be a hazard. Never leave the oven unattended when broiling.

A grease fire can be difficult to battle and can cause a lot of damage. If this happens, you will need the help of professional restoration services in Hope,RI, to help with the fire cleanup. Greasy residue and soot is likely to have deposited itself on walls, cabinets, furniture and other surfaces and will require special handling to remove it completely. The odor from burnt grease is particularly putrid as well, and may require expert help to get rid of it.

How To Stop a Fire Alarm From Beeping

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Remember to replace the batteries of your fire alarm in your Wayland,RI residence

A fire alarm that starts beeping when there is no fire or smoke requires maintenance. The specific steps to reset your alarm or change the battery depend on the alarm design. Here are three ways to determine what is wrong with an alarm and ensure that it is functioning properly to limit fire damage.

1. Reset and Clean the Alarm

If you are using an alarm powered by a nine-volt battery, detach the unit from the mounting bracket and remove the battery. Press and hold the reset button on a sealed 10-year model with a lithium battery. If the alarm is hardwired, turn off the power supply at the circuit breaker, detach the detector from the mounting bracket, and disconnect the power supply (if present). Press and hold the test button for 15 to 20 seconds. You can also use an air blower to clean out the vents prior to reinstalling the alarm.

2. Change the Batteries

If a fire alarm powered by a replaceable battery starts beeping again, you probably need to change the battery. Switch out nine-volt or other replaceable batteries every six months to one year.

3. Deactivate and Replace the Alarm

If an alarm keeps beeping after being cleaned and having the battery changed, you may need to replace the unit. Remove the batteries from models that rely on them before purchasing and installing another alarm unit. If the model has a sealed 10-year long-life battery, disconnect the alarm and use a screwdriver to pierce the icon of a straight line next to an arrow on the back. Turn the screw to the off position to permanently deactivate the model and drain the battery.

A functional fire alarm can help you limit the amount of fire damage to your residence in Wayland,RI. If a fire breaks out, contact a fire and smoke damage restoration company.

Things To Look for After a Partial Loss

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

An electrical fire caused damage in Federal Hill, RI home

When fire remediation specialists and your insurance adjuster agree the fire in your building was a partial fire loss, it's okay to feel relieved. Don't let that relief make you less vigilant, however. Even if something doesn't have clear burn marks, that doesn't mean that it doesn't need to be cleaned, repaired or replaced. Here are some things a professional inspector needs to double-check when you have a partial loss.

Damage Below the Surface

With smoke damage, what you see is not necessarily what you get. Smoke and soot can hide in any tiny crevice. There are several places in your commercial building in Federal Hill, RI, that may harbor damage that is not obvious at first glance:

  • Air ducts
  • Storage closet corners
  • Attic
  • Cabinets

Your remediation specialists are trained to thoroughly inspect your property to make sure that everything that needs cleaning gets cleaned. Don’t give in to the temptation to save money by skipping the inspection, or your partial fire loss can lead to further damage.

Damage Due to Delay

The fire restoration process can be lengthy. This is especially true if you put off calling professionals because you don't think there's anything wrong with the building. Remediation that could have been completed relatively quickly can become a bigger problem if you don't start repairs in a timely manner. The water damage from the fire suppression method used to put out the fire, for example, intensifies when the moisture combines with soot to create the perfect environment for mold growth. Your insurance company may refuse to cover secondary damage if the adjuster believes it is the result of negligence. A delay does not help you. In fact, it can cause more damage, making the problem more expensive to resolve.

No matter how little fire loss you believe your building to have, it's always good to get a professional opinion. Have your building inspected for hidden damage so that your building can be restored to its previous condition.

What's the Proper Way To Use an Extinguisher?

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

Proper Fire extinguisher is important in your Providence commercial building

As a safety conscious homeowner, you have a fire extinguisher in your Providence, RI, home. Even though you hope to never need it, you should still know how to properly wield this safety device. In some cases, the proper use of an extinguisher can help mitigate the damage and make the fire cleanup a little easier.

Know the Operation Method

The first thing you need to know when it comes to putting out a living room or kitchen fire is how to run the extinguisher. Most residential models use a simple technique known as P.A.S.S.:

• Pull the pin.
• Aim the nozzle at the bottom of the fire.
• Squeeze the handle.
• Sweep the nozzle from side to side as you continue to aim at the base.

You can repeat the last three steps until the fire is extinguished.

Consider Appropriate Use

Now that you know how to run a fire extinguisher, you need to know when to use it. If the flames are too big or the air is not safe to breath, it is better for you to simply locate an escape route and leave the house rather than try to fight the fire. Only use an extinguisher if the fire is in its incipient stage.

Learn When To Leave

There are many factors that can tell you it's time to leave. First, if your extinguisher runs out of solvent, you should evacuate as soon as possible. Second, if the fire has spread more than 60 square feet or encompasses parts of the wall and ceiling, it may be time to go. Third, if the fire damage includes high heat you easily feel on your skin, it may be time to leave the firefighting to the professionals.

If a fire breaks out in your house, you want to do what you can to minimize the damage. Using a fire extinguisher can help you tame the flames and mitigate the harm done to your house.

For more on Providence click here

Grilling Safety Tips

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Burgers on a grill.

You may be the kind of person who fires up the grill all year long at tailgating parties, or maybe you wait for a warm summer day and a backyard full of friends before you put on your apron. Either way, grilling can be one of life’s simple pleasures.

Unfortunately, where there is fun there is also the potential for safety issues. For example, did you know that leaving the grill unattended, not cleaning grease or fat build up properly, or placing the grill too close to combustible siding can cause injuries, fires and property damage?

Charcoal or Gas?

Nearly 9,000 home fires a year involve grills, according to a National Fire Protection Association report. Of all the home fires involving grills, gas-fueled grills accounted for four out of five fires, while 16% involved charcoal or other solid-fueled grills. Gas and charcoal grills each have ardent advocates, who praise the convenience of gas or the flavor of charcoal. Whichever your preferred grilling method, follow these important safety considerations.

Gas Grill Safety

A leak or break was the leading factor contributing to gas grill-related fires, according to the NFPA report.

  • Check the gas cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
  • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose, which will quickly reveal escaping gas by releasing bubbles.
  • If you smell or otherwise suspect a gas leak, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get a professional to service it before using it again. Call the fire department if the leak does not stop.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, get away from the grill immediately and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
  • Never turn on the gas when the lid is closed. The gas may build up inside, and when ignited, the lid could blow off and cause injuries or burns.
  • After cooking, make sure you completely close the valve on your gas grill.
  • Always store gas grills – and propane tanks – outside and away from your house.

Charcoal Grill Safety

The leading cause of structure fires from use of charcoal grills was leaving or placing an object that could burn too close to the grill, according to the NFPA study.

  • Charcoal grills can continue to remain hot for many hours after the flames extinguish. Avoid placing any burnable objects near the grill or moving the grill while the coals are hot. Keep combustible items that may be blown by the wind away from the grill.
  • Check for rust damage in metal grills, which may make it possible for charcoal to fall through onto surfaces below and cause a fire.
  • Purchase the proper starter fluid. Store out of reach from children and away from heat sources.
  • Do not add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited. Never use any other flammable or combustible liquid to get the fire started.
  • If the fire is too low, rekindle with dry kindling and more charcoal if needed. Avoid adding liquid fuel because it can cause a flash fire.
  • Do not leave the grill unattended. 

Here are some other important tips to help you keep danger away when you are enjoying food and fun. 

Choose a safe location for your grill. Keep grills on a level surface more than ten feet away from the house, garage or other structures. Keep children and pets away, as well as overhanging branches. Grills should not be used on a balcony or under an overhang. Avoid placing grills too close to combustible deck rails.

Grill outside only. Never use a grill in a garage, vehicle, tent or other enclosed space, even if ventilated, due to risk of harmful carbon monoxide buildup.

Keep the grill going on a cold day. During cool weather days, avoid wearing a scarf or other loose clothing that may catch on fire. Consumer Reports recommends shielding the grill from wind, placing it about ten feet from combustible surfaces and materials, and keeping the lid closed to retain as much heat as possible. Allow extra time for pre-heating the grill in colder weather and check temperatures of meat and fish with a meat thermometer to ensure that food is safe to eat. 

Teach kids to stay safe. Make a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the grill and areas where hot food is prepared or carried. Children under five are especially vulnerable to burns from contact with a hot grill surface. Grill contact accounted for 37% of burns seen at emergency rooms in 2014 involving children under five.

Remember post-grilling safety. Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill. If you grill with charcoal and need to dispose of the coals, soak them in water to extinguish them before disposing in a metal container. Otherwise, cover the grill tightly and close the vents, this should extinguish the coals and whatever is left will be ready for next time.

Puffback: Avoid This Homeowners' Nightmare

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

This is just a tiny look at the kind of damage a puffback can have in a home.

If you haven’t heard this term before you can be forgiven — but it you have an oil-fired furnace, boiler or water heater, you may want to get educated sooner rather than later. Just a hint: if your Google search turns up a cute little bird, that’s not the kind of puffback you need to worry about. Here are the basics:

Puffback is a furnace backfire that discharges thick, sticky, stinky soot into every crevice of your home. Trying to remove this nasty residue on your own is frustrating and ineffective – there’s no easy fix. Normal cleaning products only spread the damage. Puffback damage requires a professional removal and restoration process similar to the type used after fires – by SERVPRO of Providence.

If you have the misfortune of experiencing a puffback, call your insurance agent right away to start a claim and to get a recommendation for a reputable restoration specialist in your area. It will depend on your insurance policy of course, but it is likely that your homeowners insurance will cover some or all of the damage.  But the bottom line is this: puffbacks are preventable, so don’t let one happen in the first place. Have oil-fired heating appliances serviced regularly!

Call SERVPRO of Providence at 401-941-5500. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

What You Need To Know About Putting Out a Grease Fire

2/6/2018 (Permalink)

More often than not, if you experience a fire in the kitchen, it’s probably a grease fire.

These fires are significantly different than other fires you’re likely to encounter throughout your life and require different steps to eliminate properly and safely. In fact, failing to use the proper measures when dealing with this type of threat can lead to several poor outcomes:

• Further expansion of the fire
• An explosion that spreads fire and hot grease more quickly
• Failure to impact the fire in any way

By knowing the steps to take and consulting the proper sources, you can prevent your home from becoming one of the thousands that are destroyed by these fires in the US each year.

Turn Off the Heat Source

The first thing you should do when a grease fire starts is turn off the heat source. This can help eliminate further damage from occurring. Then, attempt to cover any remaining flames with a metal pan or lid to smother them. In some cases, this may be the end of your firefighting needs, but that’s typically only if you catch the issue at the very beginning.

Use the Right Extinguishing Tools

Never, ever attempt to use water to put out a grease fire. When cool water comes in contact with flaming-hot oil, it can cause an explosion, which could both seriously injure you and spread the fire further into your kitchen. Instead, use baking soda to smother small flares, and use a class B dry chemical fire extinguisher as a last resort.

Know When To Leave

Sometimes, you won’t be able to put out a fire yourself. If your efforts fail to stop or slow down the fire in your kitchen, get yourself, your family and your pets out and call for emergency services in Providence, RI.

Of course, it’s always best to try and prevent a grease fire from occurring. If you do experience one of these fires in your kitchen, you should waste no time in calling 911, your insurance company and a cleanup crew.

Fire Damage Statistics in the United States

10/26/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Statistics in the United States

Fire damage is one of the worst fears of any property owner. In America alone, fire damage is responsible for more than $350 billion in property losses each year. Unfortunately, much of this is due to people not taking the right steps in the immediate wake of fire damage events. The good news is that, with professional help, it is possible to restore the majority of properties that have suffered fire damage to their prior states.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that the fire damage restoration process is complex, difficult, time-consuming and requires highly specialized skills and tools. Many property owners assume that they can handle the fire damage restoration process themselves, only to find out after wasting thousands of dollars and causing further damage that they are not up to the task.

The truth is that no one should ever attempt a fire damage restoration on their own. It is a job for professionals. Fortunately, almost every town in America has a professional restoration company that can help minimize costs and get buildings back to a habitable state as soon as possible.

The fire damage restoration process

The single most important thing that any property owner can do in the event of a fire in their home or fire in their business, besides always following the directions of the fire department, is immediately calling in their local professional restoration company the moment the fire marshal declares the fire is extinguished. Getting a head start on the fire cleanup process won't just save time, it could ultimately save the property itself.

The restoration company is called

Once the restoration company is contacted, they will send out a fully licensed inspector to the site of the fire in the business or fire in the home. The inspector's first line of work will be determining if the building has suffered any significant structural damage. If it has, that will be the first thing to be rectified. If the building is determined to be structurally sound, a fire cleanup team will be dispatched to the site of the fire in the home or fire in the business.

The fire cleanup team arrives and begins the board up

The company will dispatch a fire cleanup team to begin the board up of the property. The team will make sure that the board up includes sealing off all exterior walls, doors and windows from outside elements. The board up will also include inspecting the roof, placing tarps and boards, if necessary, to ensure that no rainwater enters the home. Although this process may seem relatively simple, it is extremely important and must be carried out with competence. Rainwater can quickly surpass even the fire damage itself, potentially damaging the property beyond repair. Rain must always be kept out.

Removing soot damage, smoke damage and smoke smells

Next, the team will begin the removal of all soot damage, smoke damage and smoke smells. Soot damage and smoke damage will be blasted away using a special air gun that shoots sodium bicarbonate at a high speed. This will completely scour the surfaces of soot damage and smoke damage, leaving the materials and surfaces appearing new.

Smoke smells will be encapsulated through the application of a latex sealant. When it dries, this air-tight sealant will trap the smoke smells within the materials that smoke has permeated. Smoke is one of the worst consequences of a fire in a business or fire in a home. Encapsulation will permanently remove smoke smells from the air.

Additional concerns with commercial fire damage

Because tenants are often involved, commercial fire damage can cause even more potential trouble. Commercial fire damage often involves the displacement of tenants and the destruction of their property. In situations involving commercial fire damage, it is particularly crucial that landlords follow all codes, laws and fire department directives to the letter in order to avoid litigation.
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What to Do After a Fire

8/30/2017 (Permalink)

What to Do After a Fire

For many people, having a fire in the home is one of their worst nightmares. Large fires can cause extensive damage, ruining carpets, furniture, walls, and belongings. After a fire, soot damage, smoke damage, water damage, and smoke smell all need to be eliminated. A fire in a business can cause severe commercial fire damage and shut down normal operations. Whether a fire is large or small, the fire cleanup process should be overseen by a qualified restoration company. Trained professionals know how to board up a property, eliminate smoke damage, and remove smoke smell.

Expecting a Speedy Response

After firefighters put out a fire in a home or a fire in a business, property owners should immediately think about calling a fire damage restorat professional. Most fire damage restoration companies offer 24-hour emergency services, and they should be able to respond quickly. The sooner they arrive to the scene and get started, the better, so keep this in mind when hiring a restoration company.

A professional will do an evaluation to determine how much residential or commercial fire damage there is. They will then take steps to prevent further damage. If the fire has left a hole in the wall or roof, they may or board it up to seal it off from the rain. Additionally, they may need to reinforce the structural integrity of a property.

Although most people think about the smoke damage and soot damage that a fire can leave behind, it's also important to take into account whether there's any water damage in a property. Firefighters will have used water to extinguish the flames, and fires can damage pipes, leading them to burst.

Restoration After a Fire in the Home

There are a number of steps involved in the fire cleanup process, each of which should be handled with care. Restoration professionals will clean surfaces to eliminate signs of soot damage and smoke damage. Their goal will be to remove odors and make sure everything is sanitized. Carpets can trap smoke smell and may need to be cleaned even if they appear undamaged.

Tackling water damage is also an important part of the fire restoration process. Professionals will use use pumps and dehumidifiers to remove water from a property. They will make sure surfaces are dried and sanitized. During this stage, they will pay special attention to carpets and padded furniture.

Fire damage repair technicians will inspect items and throw away ones that are too badly damaged to be repaired. If a carpet has been extensively burned, it may be easier to remove and replace it than to attempt to restore it. Damaged cabinets and furniture may also need to be replaced.

In the final step of the fire cleanup process, fire damage restoration technicians will complete repairs on items and parts of the home that can be saved. They may fix furniture or repaint walls. Their goal will be eliminate all signs that a fire in the home has occurred, leaving it looking as good as it did before the fire damage.

Commercial Fire Damage

In many ways, the fire cleanup processes involved in commercial fire damage restoration are similar to the ones used when restoring homes. Technicians will need to take steps to eliminate smoke damage, smoke smell, and soot damage. However, commercial properties are more likely to have fire suppression systems. Water damage may be more widespread after a fire in a business than in a residential property.

Fire damage technicians can help business owners take an inventory of equipment, electronics, and other valuable items. They may board up the property to help prevent theft. After commercial fire damage occurs, the restoration company's goal will be to assist the business in resuming normal operations as quickly as possible.

From the time they board up a property to the time they complete a final inspection, a restoration company should have the safety and satisfaction of the client in mind. Although a fire in a business can be a serious issue, having a qualified professional handle the cleanup process will give property owners peace of mind.
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Recovering Property from Fire Damage

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

Recovering Property from Fire Damage

Recovering property from fire damage can be a difficult process. While the fire itself often wreaks havoc on one's home or business, it only accounts for a portion of the overall damage. There's also soot damage and smoke damage to worry about, which can be more destructive than the initial fire itself. Whether there's been a fire in the home or fire in a business, it's crucial to react swiftly. This involves taking control of things that are in your hands, and deferring to a restoration company when professional assistance is necessary. In cases of major fires, there's often some degree of irreparable damage. By reacting quickly and addressing the following issues, however, it's possible to minimize the eventual long-term costs of fire damage restoration.

Soot Damage

Soot damage is particularly problematic because it's something people often assume they can put off. When there's an active fire in a home, the need for immediate action is obvious and palpable. When there's a fire in a business, everyone in the building typically understands the urgency of the situation. Even though soot may not feel as threatening in some ways, it's an equally urgent issue in terms of fire cleanup.

Soot damage begins immediately after a fire dies down, settling into materials throughout the entire property. Initially, it may cause some degree of discoloration in porous materials. However, by acting immediately it's possible to prevent it from discoloring other materials.

Smoke Damage

Equally disastrous is the potential for lingering smoke damage. Whether someone is dealing with commercial fire damage, fire in a home, or fire in a business, taking action against smoke damage is an essential part of fire cleanup. Some preventative measures can be taken by individuals, while others may require specialized equipment from a fire restoration company.

Smoke damage can cause discoloration of walls, as well as rust and corrosion to metal objects. One of the worst effects, of course, is the notorious smoke smell that so many fire damage restoration sites end up being left with. After the smoke smell has set in at a fire cleanup site, it can be almost impossible to get rid of without the help of a professional restoration company. This is particularly problematic for small businesses, as the stench of smoke from commercial fire damage often results in customers being driven away. In some cases, the smoke smell forces companies to board up their building and go out of business, even if the structural foundation of the building is still solid.

Fire Damage

Fire damage, of course, is always the most immediate concern both during and after any fire. Whether it's a fire in a home or a fire in a business, the damage inflicted by the extreme temperatures can be devastating. Businesses with lots of flammable merchandise are especially susceptible to commercial fire damage. Of course, a fire in the home can be just as troublesome. Even if the fire cleanup doesn't involve trying to salvage millions of dollars of merchandise, the items that get damaged may have more sentimental value.

Having to board up a business or a home can both be painful. Whether you're dealing with home fire damage restoration or commercial fire damage, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage.

What To Do

Wash all surfaces with soap and water, before soot and smoke smell have a chance to set in.
Use a vacuum cleaner with a good filtration system on carpet and upholstery.
Board up any areas where the building has become unstable or dangerous.
If you lack the proper equipment, contact professionals to help with fire damage restoration.
Above all else, stay safe. Many things - like having to board up a room due to fire damage - are best left to a restoration company.
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5 Commonly Asked Questions About Fire Damage

6/22/2017 (Permalink)

5 Commonly Asked Questions About Fire Damage

Fire damage and resulting smoke damage can be very costly. Whether it is the result of a fire in a home or at a place of business, as is the case with commercial fire damage, knowing what to do in regards to fire damage restoration is important in order to preserve what is left and repair what's been damaged. Below are some commonly asked questions regarding fire damage restoration for those who have suffered a fire in their home or even a fire in their business.

1. What is the first thing to do in the event of fire damage?

Mitigate the damages right away. Mitigation is the process by which one works quickly to try to salvage what they can. If there are items which have gotten wet from water during the extinguishing of the fire, they may be able to be washed and salvaged. If it is safe to do so, moving any items not already damaged out of harm's way will also help control the amount of damage sustained but remember, safety first.

2. What should I know about the fire cleanup process?

Fire cleanup is important. If an insurance company is involved and will not be out right away to assess the damage, check with the insurance adjuster and see if it is okay to take pictures and then begin removing obviously damaged items. In the case of commercial fire damage, this is important as a business owner will want to get back up and running as soon as possible.

Removing damaged items will clear the way to begin assessing the damaged area to see what other damages exists. In addition to the actual damage from the fire, soot damage is also quite common, as is water damage. Most times, an insurance company will dispatch a restoration company to the scene fairly quickly to begin the cleanup process. Whenever possible, let them take the lead when it comes to fire cleanup.

3. How will a fire damage restoration company address soot damage and smoke damage?

Depending on the porousness of the damaged item, some items with soot damage can simply be wiped down. Others may need to be professionally cleaned. The same goes for smoke damage. What about that smoke smell? Often times, one of the biggest concerns heard by clean up professionals is how to remove the smoke smell from items. Walls can be washed to help remove the smell of smoke but more porous surfaces, such as fabric upholstery or clothing, may require the cleaning by a professional to remove any lingering smoke smell.

5. How is commercial fire damage addressed when there has been fire in a business?

Commercial fire damage restoration is similar to damage from a fire in the home. A fire in a business setting can be a little more complex because typically there will be a loss of revenue associated if the facility is deemed unusable for a period of time while the fire cleanup and restoration process is ongoing. Restoration companies fully understand that the loss of business from commercial fire damage can adversely affect one's livelihood, so a restoration company will work diligently to get a company back up and running as quickly as possible. As a business owner, keeping detailed, up to date records of on hand inventory can help expedite the claims process with the insurance company as well.

Whether it is soot damage, smoke damage or a smoke smell that is in need of remediation, a professional fire damage restoration company will properly guide you through the fire damage cleanup process. Contacting a professional as quickly as possible after the fire damage has occurred will ensure the fastest path to recovery after a fire in a home or fire in a business.
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The Recovering Process after Fire Damage

5/29/2017 (Permalink)

The Recovering Process after Fire Damage

A fire in home or fire in business is a frightening and upsetting experience. It is best to have precautionary measures in place to ensure one does not undergo such an ordeal. However, in the case of fire in home or fire in business, it is essential to know how to handle oneself and others to make certain no one gets harmed further, be it from the blaze or the smoke smell.

Commercial fire damage can be highly destructive, and if not put out on time, it will cause damage not only to the belongings but also to the utilities. Some of the damage forms that one might experience are burst pipes and ruined electrical fitting. Just as bad is getting the smoke smell traveling ubiquitously around the house. Thus, it is crucial to respond to fire in home or commercial fire damage quickly.

Do Not Go into the Building to Inspect Fire Damage

Avoid entering the building that has been affected by fire damage at all costs. It might be tempting to find out about the condition of items, but it is advisable to ask a professional whether it is safe to go in. It is only safe to do so when the specialists have examined the site and established a safety zone. They have to confirm that the soot damage and smoke smell are under control before allowing anyone to enter.

Be Ready to let Go

One should be aware that, at times, fires can be so severe that homeowners might not be permitted to go back inside at all. Though it is frustrating, it is for the greater good of everyone. The fire cleanup department has a duty to ensure no one encounters harmful situations. Note that the smoke smell can be the source of harmful effects to the human body.

Know the People to Contact

Fire in home or commercial fire damage are frustrating, and it is best to know the people to call in such incidents.

• It is essential to talk to a family member who was not present during the ordeal and give them the status of the fire and soot damage.
• Contact the responsible insurance company as soon as possible and tell them about the smoke damage. Doing this will enable the documentation of the event, and the insurer might also have advice on how to go about the recovery process after such a disturbing incident. If one does not know of any fire cleanup companies, the insurance company will help in finding one qualified to deal with the mess, including soot damage.
• In case it was a rental home that got gutted down, call the owner and give them information about the blaze and soot damage.
• If it was a commercial fire damage, contact the businesses located nearby and let them know what has happened. Even if the inferno did not reach their premises, they might have to deal with smoke damage if not fire damage.

Understand the Information to give when making a Fire Report

Provide accurate information when talking to fire damage restoration company representatives. In case the fire in home or fire in business took place when no one was around, it is essential to gather as much information about the occurrence. Fire damage restoration firms are only able to help when they have enough information about the incident. They will also need to know of any smoke damage in a fire in business or commercial inferno.

Get a Copy of the Fire Report

If the fire department had already gotten a report, ask them for a copy. That way, one will have something to present not only to the fire damage restoration companies, but also the insurance firm.

Think about the Requirements of the Fire Cleanup

A fire cleanup is only possible in cases where homes have not been destroyed but have just been damaged. However, never underestimate the damage to the property as it goes beyond what is visible. In fact, the fire damage restoration and cleanup should only be done by experts who are trained to deal with smoke damage because its effects are not as immediately apparent as fire damage effects.
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Fire Damage Restoration Step by Step Cleaning Process

4/25/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Restoration Step by Step Cleaning Process

It doesn't matter if there has been fire in business or fire in home damage, the next course of action is getting the fire loss restoration team on the job as quickly as possible. The team needs to carefully inspect soot damage, smoke damage, fire damage, and the current air quality, then take action to get the location back to the way it was before the fire. Don't hesitate, SERVPRO is on call 24 hours a day to help.

After you contact the fire restoration team, they will arrive quickly to begin inspecting the location and doing a fire damage assessment. During the inspection of the fire loss, the professionals will check adjoining rooms to ascertain how much smoke damage, soot damage, and fire damage occurred. Once the fire cleanup team has completed the inspection, then they can develop a plan of action.

The next part of the process is for the fire professionals is to board up any fire damage to windows and doors to secure the location. If the roof suffered smoke damage or fire damage, a tarp will be installed to prevent further issues.

In the event of commercial fire damage, even more work needs to be done to locate and remove soot damage, smoke damage, fire damage, while working on improving the air quality. The commercial fire damage professionals are working against the clock and have a larger location to inspect than in a house, so soot damage and smoke damage to machinery and equipment must be carefully inspected before making the determination how to clean. The commercial fire damage team must place extra emphasis on cleaning air quality before employees can resume work.

The fire in business or fire in home cleanup team now begin working on the removal of water from the location. The fire loss restoration team must remove all the standing water before it causes further damage or leads to mold growth. If the fire cleanup team can eliminate all that standing water, the next part of the fire cleanup process is drying the entire location. The commercial fire damage professionals will make use of industrial dehumidifiers and extremely powerful air movers that can quickly remove the all of the remaining water while completely drying surrounding items.

After the fire loss restoration team has removed and dried away all the water, they need to focus on removing smoke damage, soot damage and fire damage, from ceilings, floors, and every other surface that was affected. Air quality issues will also be addresses. The fire loss cleaning and sanitizing team will use a variety of techniques and scrubbing devices to restore the location to the pre-fire condition. Once air quality issues pass inspection, residents or employees can return.

If any restoration is required, the commercial fire damage crew have the ability to make any minor repairs like painting, replacing drywall, or installing carpeting after the fire cleanup. Visit for more information on fire damage.

How to Handle and Recover from a Fire Loss

4/25/2017 (Permalink)

How to Handle and Recover from a Fire Loss

Fire can be hazardous, dangerous and can cause severe damages if uncontained. Half of all losses reported on properties emanate from fire damages. If there is a fire in homes, it leaves soot damage, smoke damage and water damage to the property. The same can be experienced through commercial fire damage.

Recovering these properties can involve a complicated process that might take time and other resources to accomplish. Follow these steps to recover from fire damage and fire loss:

Secure the fire site and prepare for a fire cleanup

After extinguishing a fire in home, one should expect water damage. To limit the amount of fire damage on the surviving properties, protect the site. These damages might include vandalism, theft or inclement weather. If it’s a homeowner, he should ensure that everything that is valuable and has survived the fire is accounted for and is in their possession.

In the case of an occupant, he should contact his landlord or real estate agent to inform them about the fire. In most cases, fire brigade help to secure the area until the relevant party takes over. He should also make a path for water to flow to avoid more water damage. The homeowner should also do a complete fire cleanup and eliminate any harmful materials. Properties that have incurred soot damage and smoke damage can be kept separate from the rest.

Contact the insurance company

It is encouraged for any homeowner to have an insurance cover. Whether it’s fire in homes or commercial fire damages, one can get compensation from their insurance company. One will have to show the cause of the fire and prove all damages incurred, that is fire damage, soot damage, smoke damage, and others. For those living in areas that are prone to wildfires like California, they should make sure that their home is covered from fire loss. Any receipts of incurred expenses relating to fire loss should be kept and presented to the insurance company.

Providing the insurance company with forwarding address can facilitate quick and easy communication. In case of fire in business, one should always have work properties insured. Having fire in business can expose workers too to great dangers.

Exercising caution

When trying to access the home for whatever reasons, one should make sure that he stays away from house wiring as it might have experienced water damage. Fire damage might leave the structure weak. If it is commercial fire damage, all employees should be kept away from the premises. Any food items or drinks that might be exposed to fire and smoke damage should not be used. If it is fire in homes, one should make sure that all the gas and any other fuel used in the house are disconnected. The same case applies to commercial fire damage.

In the case of a fire in business, one should ensure that all surviving items are accounted for and in a safe place. Any paintings that haven’t suffered soot damage should be separated from those which are completely damaged. If the house or the structure is not badly burned, do thorough fire cleanup to improve the air quality in the home because some burned plastics contain harmful chemicals. The house should not be occupied until the air quality is back to normal. If one is not capable of conducting the entire fire cleanup process, he should seek professional help. Whether it was a fire in business or fire loss in homes, air quality should be checked.


Fire loss can be devastating and can hamper daily activities. But just like any loss and damage, it can still be recovered. Whether it’s fire in homes or fire in business, one is advised to follow the above steps to ensure smooth recovery. For soot damages and smoke damages, one can contact cleaning companies that can help to restore the properties back to normal. These companies also handle commercial fire damages and offer proper ventilation to ensure high air quality. They also help to conduct fire cleanup to make sure all burned materials are properly disposed. Visit for more information on fire loss.

Handling a Fire Loss in Providence, RI

3/30/2017 (Permalink)

Handling a Fire Loss in Providence, RI

Life is turned upside-down for people that experience a structure fire in their home. Even after the flames are extinguished, damage throughout the home continues. Water damage from fire and suppressant chemicals create prime breeding grounds for mold, mildew, and bacterial growth. Smoke odors, soot, and fire damage invade furniture, carpet, and other porous materials. Unsecured grounds are an open invitation for vandals looming about. With these problems on the horizon, acting quickly is imperative.

Unfortunately, all-too-often homeowners that are victimized by a Providence, RI house fire wait too long to act on their fire restoration service needs. The most common reasons reported include:

• The need to recover from the shock of these events
• Fear of selecting the wrong fire damage restoration team
• Belief that they can handle the clean-up services on their own
• Delays on the part of insurance companies
• No clear direction on what steps to take in these situations

Making the Call is the First Big Step
Professional Providence, RI fire restoration teams have a far better understanding of how to approach the clean-up process when a home fire occurs than most people realize. These companies have extensive knowledge and understanding when it comes to dealing with insurance providers and claims processors. Their expertise can save homeowners a lot of unnecessary stress, frustration, and even harassment.

As soon as the fire trucks leave, the homeowner should be contacting the fire clean-up crew for services. This fast action will result in the ability to get the home back in livable condition quickly, saving their precious personal property from being totally lost due to soot damage, smoke damage, and water damage from the fire. It will also provide a heightened level of security and protection from others being injured and filing insurance claims even in the event they are trespassing on private property.

Those homeowners that believe they can handle the clean-up services are their own quickly encounter a sad realization. These services are often to handle than what is first expected. The poor air quality that results when soot and smoke odors are left behind following a structural fire has sent many unsuspecting individuals to the hospital with respiratory ailments that don't heal so quickly. The costs can become astronomical when paying full retail for building materials and equipment. Many of the industrial equipment and tools that contracting specialists have available to them are not even offered in local stores. Most homeowners also ultimately lack the available time that is needed to get the job done when working around work schedules and other limitations that are encountered in their personal lives.

Here are some important facts for choosing the right restoration company when a house fire is encountered so life can get back to normal:

• Ask friends and family if they have any recommendations for companies that handle soot damage, smoke damage, or fire damage clean-up services
• Conduct online searches through companies such as Angie’s List for recommended providers
• Select a company that is available to take your call 24/7
• Inquire about the fire cleanup provider’s willingness to work with insurance companies on your behalf
• Always ask about the fire cleanup provider’s liability coverage and customer guarantees

What to Expect from a Fire Clean-Up Crew
Understanding what a fire restoration clean-up crew typically handles helps homeowners feel more confident that they have hired the right team for the job. These professional service providers begin by securing the premises. Temporary fences are constructed or erected around the entire property. Boards are placed over windows, doors, and other entry points that prevent trespassers and curiosity seekers from entering the home. Tarps may be placed over the roof or entry points that fire crews make in the home’s structure during their firefighting efforts. These services are often completed once the fire marshal has given the approval for the home to be safe for entry.

Usually, within one to two days, the clean-up team will bring in commercial-sized dumpsters. This makes it possible to dispose of all damaged materials or belongings that promote mold, mildew, or bacteria growth and impacting the air quality throughout the home in a negative way. Industrial fans are brought in to help dry out the inside of the home. This fast action gives the clean-up team the ability to determine what property can be salvaged.

One important factor that a reputable clean-up crew will do is obtain necessary permits required by the local Providence, RI government. Various permits are necessary for all construction projects that take place throughout the community. Having the clean-up team secure these saves the homeowner unnecessary hassles during this devastating time in their life and leaving them to focus their attention on more pressing matters.

Communication is a Right, Not a Privilege
Homeowners should always be included in discussions concerning the clean-up and restoration process taking place within their home. The contractors hired for this process have the obligation to ask the homeowner’s opinion concerning any construction projects that must be completed. This gives the homeowner and other residents of the home the ability to feel as though they have hope in getting their life back on track following a structural fire.

What Homeowners Can Do to Prepare for a Day That Hopefully Never Occurs
While no one wants to think about being the victim of a house fire, the unfortunate truth is that these unplanned occurrences happen every day throughout communities of Rhode Island. There are some important steps that homeowners can take to prepare themselves should they fall victim to a structural fire within their home.

1. Secure necessary paperwork, including insurance policies, property deeds, and contact information in a fire-proof safe.
2. Get to know the more reputable fire restoration companies that service their community.
3. Create escape routes throughout the home that all members of the home understand.
4. Know what their insurance company considers an appropriate course of action when filing a claim.
5. Leave contact information with neighbors should the homeowner be away when a fire takes place. This gives the homeowner more time to act should this event happen. Visit for more information on fire damage.