3 Things That Must Go After a Fire
After a fire, there are some items you may be able to salvage and restore. However, there are other items that you should throw away. If you’re not sure what is worth keeping and what you should get rid of, check out these three suggestions:
1. Makeup. After spending hundreds of dollars on the best foundations, concealers, and eyeshadow palettes, no one wants to trash some of their most valuable makeup. Unfortunately, the makeup you’d normally wear may no longer be in such good condition due to the high flame heat. Some of these products may have melted and are no longer usable.
2. Medication. If your medicine cabinet was slightly destroyed by the fire and smoke in the home, throw away the medication and talk to your physician about getting refills. Most physicians understand situations like this because it’s not safe to take medication that has been exposed to such heat in the first place.
3. Food. If food smells like smoke and soot is on it, toss it in the trash. You may not like wasting food you’ve purchased, but it’s simply not safe to eat any contaminated food due to the chemicals commonly used to put out fires. You never know if those chemicals are on certain products, such as your bread, crackers, and even your box of cereal, so don’t take any risks.
Here to Help
S - Service that exceeds the competition
E - Excellent communication throughout the process
R - Restoring property into its preloss state.
V - Vow our pledge to meet customers’ needs.
P - Professionalism displayed by all team members.
R - Respected and Recognized as the industries leader
O - Outstanding Customer Service
There is a reason that SERVPRO is one of the leaders in the fire and water restoration industry we can assist clients across the country no matter the size of the project or the time of day. Our team is committed to continually learning about new restoration techniques or equipment to help speed up the process. Training is a vital piece of this industry where people’s personal belongings and homes are being taken care of with complete professionalism.
The SERVPRO of Franklin County team maintains several certifications under the Institute of Inspection Cleaning Restoration Certification (IICRC). These include Water Removal technicians, Odor Control technicians, Fire and Smoke technicians, Carpet Cleaning Technicians, and Health and Safety technicians, among many others. We hope that if you are ever in need of assistance, you will call our team to help you through this challenging time!
3 Categories of Water
Sometimes we will call about a job that isn’t the most desirable, but we will never turn it down. A job site affected by a sewage leak or flooding can carry harmful bacteria that come in contact with or are ingested and can cause severe discomfort. When going into an area affected by a contaminated source, we will have our crew wear the complete PPE to secure their health and safety.
Categories of Contaminated Water
Category 1: “Clean Water”
This category is when a leak comes from a clean source from a broken water pipe. A toilet containing no urine or feces is considered a category since it has no harmful pathogens. Category one floods will escalate to category 2 or 3 if it doesn’t get mitigated.
Category 2: “Gray Water”
In this category, you are looking for the possibility of contamination from a water source containing some degree of contamination. When gray water gets ingested, it can create some discomfort due to the ingestion of harmful bacteria.
Category 3: “Black Water”
Water contaminated by an unclean source will be considered category three because it has been affected by a source that has harmful pathogens. The difference between category 2 is that when category three gets ingested, it can create severe pain with the possibility of death due to these harmful pathogens. We will never suggest that our clients should put themselves in contact with this category for that reason. Flood water is an excellent example of this category because you cannot know where the source came from, such as a pipe, river, or sewage from an unclean source.
Quick Action Needed
If you business experiences fire or water damage, give SERVPRO of Franklin County a call.
Within four hours of a loss notification, SERVPRO of Franklin County will be on-site to help ensure a fire damage is handled properly by utilizing our services.
The faster SERVPRO of Franklin County arrived on-site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results, including lower claim costs.
Fire, smoke and soot cleanup and restoration services;
- Structural Cleaning-After a smoke or fire damage, ceiling, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. SERVPRO will pretest to determine the extent of damage, then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found within the structure.
- Contents Cleaning-All the restorable contents in the affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. SERVPRO of Franklin County can provide wet or dry-cleaning services. Additionally, all other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, and much more. Finally, SERVPRO of Franklin County can provide an inventory list of all "to be claimed" items.
- Deodorization- SERVPRO of Franklin County provides specialized services that rid your insured's home or place of business of offensive odors left behind by fire or smoke damage. We do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; we seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.
If your business experiences fire or water damage, give SERVPRO of Franklin County a call.
We are here to help 24/7: (636)583-5200
Need To Winterize Your Home? Here Are Five Ways To Help You Be Better Prepared
Winter is coming.
As you prepare to put up the tree and hang the lights this holiday season, it’s important to remember to prepare your house for the winter, too.
Don’t forget to take these steps to get your home ready for the cold.
Clear the leaves and debris that have accumulated to ensure water can flow freely. This will help prevent icicles from forming in the winter. It’s vital to clean the gutters to avoid them getting damaged, which can lead to expensive repairs. To top it off, when gutters pile up with leaves, twigs and other debris, it can cause contaminants like mold and mildew to spread throughout your home.
Water expands when it freezes, causing pipes to burst and water to spew throughout your home. To protect your pipes, make sure to shut off all outside faucets and drain water out of valves. For particularly vulnerable pipes, heat cables are a smart solution, as they have built-in-thermostats that turn the heat on and off as needed to prevent freezing. If you’re leaving town for an extended period of time, turn your water off at the main shutoff so you don’t come home to frozen pipes.
- Flush Your Hot Water Heater
This is an often overlooked, yet simple way to make your water heater run more efficiently. Gunk and other mineral deposits build up in the heater over time, so it’s important to flush it through the drain valve every 1-3 years. This will not only make the heater run more efficiently, it will improve your water quality as well.
Cold air coming into the house can lead to higher gas bills. To keep the cold weather outside, caulk around your windows and use foam outlet protectors. You can also use thermal lined curtains or drapes to prevent cold air from slipping through window cracks.
- Bring In/Protect Outdoor Items
Outdoor equipment and furniture can be damaged by cold weather or snow. Protect your grill with a cover and move your furniture into the garage or basement, if possible. Plants and flowering trees should also be brought inside before temperatures drop below 45 degrees.
5 Prevention Tips For Fall Fires
Keeping your family and home safe is important no matter the season. But fall brings more chances for safety to be compromised.
While autumn is a great time to light candles or build fires, there’s also an increased likelihood of a fire getting out of hand.
But, if you follow these tips, you can ensure both an enjoyable and safe fall for yourself and your loved ones.
- Check Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers
- The easiest way to stop a house fire is to make sure your house has preventative measures in place. Check to see if your smoke detector batteries are still working, and change them out if necessary. Also, make sure that your fire extinguishers still have liquid in them and are located in easily accessible places.
- Caution With Candles
- There’s nothing like candles to put you in an autumn mood. But it’s important to be mindful when you are using them. Don’t leave candles unattended and keep them away from children, pets and flammable objects.
- Fireplace/Pit Safety
- Similar to lit candles, you should never leave a fire alone. If you’re making a fire in a fireplace, use a screen to keep sparks and debris from getting out. When building an outdoor fire, be sure that the pit is on level ground. Keep the fire away from overhanging trees and close houses or buildings, and use wood that has been split and stored in a safe and dry environment for at least six months.
- Safety With Space Heaters
- Space heaters should be surrounded by at least three feet of empty space. If your space heater requires venting, make sure you have vented it to the outdoors. Remember to turn space heaters off when you leave the house/building or go to bed. Review Your Safety Plan Look over your safety plan and remind your family (or co-workers in the case of an office safety plan) of the procedures to take in the event of a fire. Locate all possible exits and establish safe meeting places to head to after getting out of the house/building. To ensure greater success, practice a fire drill so that everyone is on the same page.
How To Deal With Smoke Odor.
Professional smoke odor removal is important not only to eliminate unpleasant smells, but because lingering smoke can pose a health hazard.
Exposure to particles caused by fires can be harmful to one’s health and should be dealt with as soon as possible.
There are a few steps homeowners can take while waiting for professional help.
• When it is safe to re-enter the house, circulate the air as much as possible. Open all windows and doors and use fans to ventilate the area.
• Mop floors and make sure everything dries thoroughly to prevent mold growth.
• Items made of brass and copper should be cleaned within 24 hours to prevent them from etching.
• Vacuum carpets to remove dirt and dust particles that trap unwanted smells.
To completely rid the house, one smoke odor removal process that is utilized is called thermal fogging, which is a procedure used by professionals.
Thermal fog is a process in which a fluid is vaporized and then condenses when it meets a cooler atmosphere temperature. The particles that are created are extremely tiny and mimic particles created by fire, heat and pressure. This technique is one treatment that is proven to eliminate odors.
As experts in deodorization, SERVPRO of Franklin County is trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors.
These odors can come from a number of sources both inside and outside a structure.
SERVPRO teaches IICRC technical classes in the proper removal of odors. Masking and other short cuts don't work when your odor problem is serious or persistent.
We have the training and equipment to identify and eliminate these offensive odors. By identifying the cause of the odor and determining the conditions in which it contacts any surfaces, the odor can often be removed over time without a trace.
The science of identifying and eliminating odors can be a tricky thing, so give SERVPRO of Franklin County a call, and leave the restoration to us. 636-583-5200
Emergency Tips For Fire Damage
These emergency tips will assist you in taking proper action until SERVPRO of Franklin County arrives. Follow these DOs and DON’Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into carpet and avoid tracking.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
- Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances.
- If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
- Remove soot particles from plants with a damp cloth. n Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
- Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO Professional.
- Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO Professional.
- Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don’t consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
- Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock and air movement may create secondary damage.
- Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.
When fire and water damage take control of your life, SERVPRO® will help you take it back.
Holiday Season Is Here! Here Are Some Tips On How To Practice Safe Cooking.
SERVPRO of Franklin County - Fire Damage Restoration Specialist Offers Franklin County, MO Families Tips on Cooking Up a Safe Holiday Season
Startling statistics underscore the need for caution in the kitchen.
Union, MO (Grassroots Newswire) 10/25/2018 -- Holiday party planning begins now for many families, and Jerry Alvey of SERVPRO of Franklin County, MO offers some important reminders to Union, MO residents to help ensure this season glows with the warmth of good food and good friends, and not with the glare of a devastating home fire.
“The holiday season is a time when many families plan big and elaborate meals for large groups of people,” says Alvey. “But all that cooking creates an extraordinary risk of fire. For a safe and festive holiday season, it’s important to understand that risk and take steps to minimize it.”
Cooking Fire Safety NFPA research reveals that in 2016, on average, U.S. fire departments responded to a home fire every 90 seconds. Cooking fires were the leading cause of these home fires and related home fire injuries and the second leading cause of related home fire deaths. Unattended cooking was the leading contributing factor in these fires.1
“Union, MO families should keep these statistics in mind as the holidays approach. According to the NFPA, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and Christmas Eve2,” says Alvey. “Families should also be aware that frying poses the greatest risk of fire the NFPA discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil.3 This video graphically illustrates the danger these devices can pose.” https://youtu.be/j3rF8F0JQRQ.
Alvey offers these additional cooking safety tips from FEMA’s U.S. Fire Administration.4
- Keep an eye on what you fry: If you see any smoke or the oil starts to boil, turn the burner off.
- Stand by your pan: If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off.
- Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so that no one can bump them or pull them over.
- Wear short sleeves or pull sleeves up: 18 percent of cooking fire fatalities in 2016 were caused by ignited clothing.2
- Keep a pot lid or cookie sheet nearby to cover a pan if it catches on fire.
“Taking common sense precautions like these and keeping kids and pets out of the kitchen during meal prep can help keep your holiday celebrations safe,” says Alvey. “The precautions you take could help prevent a devastating home fire, a tragic injury, or even the loss of life. While SERVPRO disaster response professionals are fire damage restoration specialists, they know how important it is to keep the focus on fire prevention because for some types of loss, there is no remediation.”
SERVPRO is an industry leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services. For more fire prevention and safety tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.SERVPRO.com.
Controlling Moisture in Your Home
Extra moisture in your Franklin County, MO home can cause damage and encourage potentially harmful mold and mildew growth.
How can you reduce moisture in your home? Learn to keep moisture out and prevent damage and mold.
Activities such as cooking, bathing, and dish washing can add moisture into the air. Even some heating appliances can cause additional humidity in your home, for example: unvented gas or kerosene models. Droplets can accumulate on common cool surfaces during the winter, such as windows, walls, and doors that lack proper insulation. This can cause rot and peeling of paint and is a good environment for mold growth.
If you happen to see moisture accumulating, be sure to dry it promptly. Be sure to take care of the issue that is causing the moisture.
Storm doors and windows can minimize cool surfaces in the winter by separating the interior from cold air outside. Upgrading your windows to double and triple pane can also help insulate the interior glass. This will also make your home more energy efficient.
Opening drapes and blinds in the winter allows warmth to the interior glass. Some condensation can occur, but the improved circulation makes it less probable to accumulate. Insulating cold-water pipes eliminates a common cool surface.
Bathroom exhaust fans, dryer exhaust and ducted kitchen exhaust hoods that vent to the outside remove moisture that some activities create. Keep the devices free of dust, lint, grease or anything that could keep them from working efficiently.
Other ways to reduce air moisture:
•Covering pots while cooking, when possible
•Leaving room doors open to allow good air circulation
•Storing firewood outside
Moisture in the home is not always as obvious as water beading on a window. Poor ventilation in an attic can result in condensation, promoting mold growth in the framing elements of the house. A sealed, unused fireplace creates an opportunity for moisture problems. If air doesn't circulate in the fireplace, condensation can accumulate on the walls and soak into the masonry. If you have a crawlspace, moisture from the soil can enter your home, increasing the level of humidity. A vapor barrier over the bare soil blocks the moisture.
Rain that seeps into your home's foundation can lead to moisture problems. Make sure your gutters work properly and direct water away from your home's foundation.
Some moisture problems require more complex solutions, and sources of moisture may be hidden. It may be time to call a professional like SERVPRO. Extra moisture in your home can cause mold. Mold can produce allergens and irritants so if you suspect you have a mold issue, you should call us to inspect your Franklin County, MO home. We are trained mold damage specialists who get started quickly to get your Franklin County, MO home (or business) back to normal, with specific training and certifications to handle your restoration needs.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (636) 583-5200