Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire Safety Tips for Children

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

House fires are a tragic event we hope never happens, however if it ever did safety is the first priority. As an adult we have a key understanding on what to do if a fire did happen, something that was taught to us at one point. Making sure you teach those safety tips to any children in your home is very important. Children under the age of five are twice as likely to die in a house fire than any other age. Teaching fire safety at a very young age to a child, and keeping it refreshed in their memory is just the key to hopefully avoiding a tragedy like that from happening. Here are some tips you should remember to teach your children about fire safety if an emergency ever occurred.

-Always teach your children that fire is not a toy, and it is something they should never play with. This goes for matches, lighters, stove-tops, candles, etc.

-Make sure every floor of your home has a smoke detector. You should also teach your kids the sound it makes. That way if it ever went off they know that sound indicates an emergency.

-Sit down with the kids and come up with a family fire safety plan together. Including what to do if you hear the smoke detector go off, different ways to get out of the home, and where to go once out of the house.

-Always practice the fire safety plan your family comes up with. Do test runs showing your children exactly what to do.Showing them all the different ways of getting out the home. Make sure they can easily open windows, and screens if necessary. Also practicing where to go for your meet up location.

-Remember to teach your children safety tips for a fire. Including how to correctly check to see if a door is hot. Letting them know to always stay low to the ground if smoke is entering a room, and to stop, drop, and roll if clothing catches on fire.

-Teach your children that even though it is an emergency try not to panic. Never run and hide if you hear a smoke alarm, and to let them know their main goal is to get out of the home. This is why practicing your fire safety plan as much as you can will make the child feel more comfortable ,and secure on what to do during an emergency.

- Lastly make sure your children know 9-1-1, and to always utilize it for help during an emergency.

It is estimated by the U.S Fire Administration that 300 people are killed, and $280 million in property is destroyed each year from children playing with fire. Talking with your children, and letting them know the dangers of fire can help try and avoid these tragedies from happening.

Caring About Your Belongings After a Fire

7/19/2018 (Permalink)

When dealing with a tragedy such as a fire here at SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale we know how stressful that can be. Smoke and soot may not only affect the structure of your home, but also all of your belongings inside the home. Our number one goal is to save anything we possibly can, and make it Like it Never Even Happened.

SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale knows the key to reducing damage and helping you save money along with your belongings is by responding quickly. Our professionals begin by pretesting your items and figuring out what items we can restore back to pre-fire condition. All of your contents that can be saved will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. At SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale we use several different methods to cleaning depending on the item and fabric. This includes:

  • Dry Cleaning-For cleaning light residues or to preclean before wet cleaning
  • Wet Cleaning-Effective method for removing moderate to heavy residues
  • Spray and Wipe-For items that can't withstand wet cleaning
  • Foam Cleaning- Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned
  • Abrasive Cleaning-Is agitation of the surface being cleaned
  • Immersion Cleaning- Contents are dipped in cleaning products 

Other Services we also provide for fire and smoke damage are:

  • Move out/Packouts
  • Electronic Cleanup
  • Document/Photograph Drying
  • Contents claim inventory service

Here at SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale we know how stressful fire/smoke damage can be. It is a very stressful, confusing, and vulnerable time, and we try to lighten the burden as much as we can. We want to give you peace of mind when you need it the most.

Let us help you! Contact us at 248-246-0790

Cooking Fires

7/11/2018 (Permalink)

Cooking fires have become the leading cause of house fires today. It also is the #1 cause of home fire injuries due to victims trying to fight the fire themselves. Here are some safety cooking tips on how to avoid cooking fires.

Never Leave Cooking Unattended

Leaving food cooking unattended either on the stove, oven, or broiler is the most common occurrence of cooking fires. If you have to leave the kitchen for any reason you should always turn off the oven, broiler, and the stove. It is also a great precaution to remove any pots and pans from the heat.

Clothing

Loose clothing, flowing sleeves, and even aprons can catch fire while cooking. If you must wear an apron make sure it is a well fitted apron.

Keep away flammable objects

Many things can easily catch fire if near a hot burner. Oven mitts, food packaging, towels, paper or plastic items, etc. Always remove any flammable items away from the stove top, or any other appliance in the kitchen that produces heat. 

Fire Extinguisher

You should always have a fire extinguisher handy in case a fire does break out. If you have never used one most fire departments will assist you on how to properly use one in case of an emergency.

Grease

Grease/Oil are a common flammable substance that is used a lot in cooking. Weather we are cooking food with it, or the food we are cooking produces it, grease and fire are a dangerous combination. Always make sure the stove is cleaned regularly of grease. Never cook oil/grease at a temp higher than their smoking point(450 degrees for oil, 375 degrees for lard/fat). Even if the grease isn't on fire always wait for it to cool before disposing of the grease.

Double Check

You should always do a double check of the kitchen either once your done cooking, before bed, or leaving your home. Always make sure the stove, oven, broiler, and any appliances in the kitchen are all shut off.

Be Prepared

You should always be prepared to put out a fire if one happens. If it occurs in a pan of pot you should carefully smother it with a tight fitting lid. Never use water to put out a grease/oil fire. Lastly flour does not put out a fire flour can actually burn, and it makes a huge mess if you attempt it.

Practicing fire precautions are a big must for safety when it comes to you and your family. Always make sure smoke detectors are working properly, and have fresh batteries. always come up with a plan with the family and children in case a fire breaks out. Also always remember to stop, drop, and roll if clothing catches on fire. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to home fires.

Tips on Keeping Safe During a House Fire

7/3/2018 (Permalink)

House fires are a tragedy that could happen at any moment. Knowing how to stay safe during this time helps with the chances of survival for you and your loved ones. One of the biggest things to remember if a fire is to strike is timing is everything. Remember to stay calm, and focus on these key tips.

Tip #1- React

Smoke detectors/alarms are a safety feature in homes to help detect a fire if we are unable too. Your main concern if your smoke alarm goes off is to get out of the home as fast as you can. If it happens while everyone is asleep you should yell as loud as you can to wake everyone in the home up. Also remember to contact 911 right away if you are able too.

Tip #2- Exiting

Before running out of any door to safety, you should stop and pay attention to what is going on first. Fire brings smoke which is very toxic when inhaled into the body. If you notice smoke coming from under the door the fire could be closer than you think.Keep the door shut if smoke from under the door is occurring. If smoke is not noticeable yet always place the back of your hand on the door/door knob to make sure it isn't hot. If the door/knob is cool to the touch you can slowly open the door to pass through if the coast is clear to any visible fire. If a door is open and you see fire that is stopping you from leaving the room, make sure to close the door to protect yourself. (If the door has smoke coming from under it, and the door is to hot to pass through a window is the best escape option if one is accessible. Be careful at the same time whenever having to use a window to escape from a fire).

Tip #3- Smoke Inhalition

As pointed out before the inhaling of smoke is very toxic to our bodies. Smoke inhalation can cause a person to become very weak, disorientated, and can even put you in a deep unconscious sleep. Smoke always tends to rise at first so make sure to get low to the ground. Always crouch, or crawl if smoke becomes visible in the room you are in. You should also cover your mouth and nose if you must walk through a smoked filled room. If you are able place a shirt or a wet rag over the nose and mouth, but only if you have these items close by should you worry about doing that.

Tip #4- Trapped Safety

If you find yourself in a position that you are unable to get to safety don't panic.While waiting for help the first thing you should do is try to minimize the amount of smoke coming into the room. Close any doors and try to cover any cracks or vents with cloth or tape to help slow down the smoke from coming in. Your first instinct maybe to open a window if one is present, however fresh oxygen draws a fire in. Make sure to keep any windows closed if you are not able to escape from it. It may seem scary if you are on a second story floor or higher, but if your able to fit thru a window and some how jump to safety it is worth a try. If there is a ledge you could even try to dangle your body down to try and get as close to the ground as possible before letting go.

Tip #5- After Exiting the House

Once you have gotten yourself to safety the first thing you should do if you haven't already is call 911. Next thing is to do a head count of the people who were in the home. Only re-enter the home or building if it is safe. Otherwise notify the first responders right away if someone is missing. While waiting for the first responders you should check yourself and other for any injuries. If any injuries have occurred do what you can until help arrives. Lastly you should always keep your distance from the structure on fire once out to safety.

You cant always prevent fires from happening, but you can always come up with ways to try and keep your family safe and informed if a tragedy like this occurs. Always come up with two escape routes per room, and practice with the family and small children to show them where they can escape in a time of crisis. Make sure smoke detectors/alarms are always working properly, and always have fresh batteries. Show everyone in the home especially small children how to open and close any windows in the house in case of an emergency. Most importantly practice fire safety. Always let children know fire is not a toy or a game. Always pay attention while cooking, and never leave candles unattended, etc. Also always remember to stop, drop, and roll if you catch on fire at anytime. 

Grilling safety tips

6/22/2017 (Permalink)

Fire in the grill, under hot dogs and burgers, is a welcome sight at the family cookout. But fire anywhere else can make your summer kick-off barbecue memorable for all the wrong reasons. With approximately 8,900 fires started by grills each year, SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale doesn’t want your summer to be ruined by one as well. To keep you and your family safe while grilling, follow these general guidelines.

General grilling tips

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.

Propane grills

Before you use your grill:

  • Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.
  • Check the gas (propane) tank hose for the potential (gas) leaks. To do that:
    • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.
    • Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose (big enough to see).
    • If there are no bubbles, your grill is safe to use.
  • If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department immediately.

When the grill is on:

  • As you are cooking, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.
  • If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.

Charcoal grills

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Of course, accidents do happen, no matter what. If you do find yourself the victim of a grill fire and in need of help, contact us at 248-246-0790, 24/7, 365. The sooner you call us, the sooner we will get your summer back to sunshine, family fun-days, and backyard barbecues, “Like it never even happened.”

Fireworks Safety for this Upcoming Independence Day!

6/9/2017 (Permalink)

With the Fourth of July holiday just around the corner, it’s time to start planning and lining up the fun and entertainment. Many of us Michiganders will be lighting off fireworks in tradition and celebration of our country’s independence. In 2012, Michigan enacted a new firework law, allowing for state residents to purchase and operate bigger fireworks, year-round. Consumer-grade fireworks are now legal for purchase from state-authorized retailers, and must meet Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. This genre includes roman candles, bottle rockets, aerials, missile-type rockets, and reloadable shell devices. With these this new law comes more need for added safety to discharge these larger fireworks. Not only is there a heightened risk for bodily injury, with approximately 8,600 injuries caused by fireworks each year and 10-12 deaths, but fireworks are also responsible for over 2,000 reported structure and vehicle fires. It is important to know and practice firework safety, not only for yourself, but for your audience and guests, as well as your neighbors and all the personal property surrounding the ignition and viewing area. SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale is dedicated to keeping you informed and offering way to protect not only your home, but your family as well.

If you plan on entertaining with fireworks this upcoming Independence Day, SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale recommends that you follow this fireworks safety tips:

  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance description prior to igniting.
  • Know and obey all your local laws and ordinances regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from building and vehicles, as well as overhanging trees.
  • A responsible adult should always supervise all firework activities.
  • Children should never handle fireworks, even sparklers. Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle fireworks, under close adult supervision.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Be careful when lighting the fuse. Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then quickly back up to a safe distance.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework. Don’t try to pick it up right away either. Wait at least 20 minutes then soak it in a bucket if water.
  • Keep a bucket of water or garden hose nearby in case of a fire or other mishap. After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water, or place spend devices in a bucket of water for a few hours before discarding to prevent a trash fire.
  • Use Common Sense. Never point or throw fireworks at any living thing. Never carry them in your pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers. Wear safety glasses.
  • Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix. Have a “designated shooter.”

SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale wants you to have a happy, fun, and safe 4th of July. But hey, accidents happen. If you find yourself in need of fire or water restoration, call us at 248-246-0790. We are available to you 365 days a year, 7 days a week, and 24 hours a day. Call us any time, day or night and we will be there, SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster.

Fire Safety Tips for your Next Outdoor Party from SERVPRO!

5/26/2017 (Permalink)

With the warmer weather we’re having and summer just around the corner, outdoor parties in the backyard, or at the cottage are a delightful way to spend time with family and friends. However, safety should be your top priority when hosting any kind of party, especially when you’re using open flames for cooking, lighting or ambiance. Fire sources such as candles, portable outdoor fireplaces, sky lanterns, patio (tiki) torches, and fire pits can start a fire if they’re not used carefully. SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale wants you to enjoy your family and friends, as well as see you all be safe, so here are some practical tips to prevent fires during you next outdoor party:

  • If there are children and pets at the party, always supervise them and keep them at least 3 feet away from any flames.
  • If the scene is decorated with burning candles, use sturdy candle holders to help prevent candles from being tipped over.
  • More than half of all candle fires start when objects that can burn are too close to candles. Keep flammable objects far away from candles and any other open flame.
  • We strongly recommend using battery-operated flameless candles and patio torches instead of their more dangerous, open-flame counterparts.
  • When a portable fireplace is burning, be present at all times. Or designate another responsible adult to keep an eye on the fireplace.
  • Keep in mind that sky lanterns are prohibited by NFPA code requirements, so consider using something safer instead, such as kites or streamers.
  • If you’re going to make a campfire, build it in a fire pit to help prevent fire from spreading. Never leave the fire unattended, and keep a water source nearby.
  • If you’re grilling, keep the gill at least 10 feet away from any structure and don’t turn on the gas with the grill closed.

SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale hopes that you’ll keep these tips in mind during any outdoor party and pass them on to those who plan to host outdoor parties this summer. SERVPRO want you all to have a wonderful, safe summer. However, if you, or someone you know find yourself in need of any professional fire, water, storm, and mold restoration services, contact SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale office at 248-246-0790. We are here for you 24/7, 365!

Nine Fire Safety Tips

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

Fire safety should be a concern for everyone, young, old, big and small. Whether you live alone or have a family of six with your elderly parent living with you, it is important to make a fire plan and for everyone to know where fire detectors and extinguishers are placed in your home and maintaining a maintenance plan for them all. Here are nine very important fire safety tips that everyone should read. While SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale will be here to help if you find yourself in need after a fire, we’d much rather prefer that you keep your family and yourself safe with these helpful safety tips.

  1. Educate Your Kids

Kids have an awesome capacity for learning and understanding, so school them in fire safety. Children do really well with mnemonics and mantras and other tools to jog their memories in case of emergency. (For some specific tips, check out this article on fire prevention for kids or this comprehensive guide to Fire Safety for Kids.)

  1. Smoke Alarms & Fire Extinguishers

You should have at least one smoke alarm per level of your home, plus extras in every sleeping area and near the kitchen. You should also have at least one fire extinguisher in your home, and preferably one per floor. Check smoke alarm batteries & extinguisher pressure regularly, and change batteries at least twice a year. (Read more about smoke detector placement & maintenance.)

  1. Fire Sprinklers

Did you know you can get fire sprinklers installed in your home? I know, sounds fancy schmancy, but they’re actually quite affordable. In fact, once you factor in insurance discounts and increased property values, home fire sprinklers are actually a great investment in your family’s safety.

  1. Plan Your Escape

You may not want to think about it, but you do need to create an emergency escape plan in case of fire.

  1. Appliances & Electrical Safety

Nearly half of all house fires are attributed to faulty appliances, electronics, and electrical wiring. Practice proper electrical safety at home, including regular safety checks.

  1. In the Kitchen

Okay, the number one fire safety tip in the kitchen is never leave your cooking unattended! Even if it’s just a turkey roasting for hours in the oven, don’t leave the house. If you’re using the stovetop, take extra precautions and move flammable materials (napkins, oven mitts, etc.) to a safe distance.

  1. Smokers, Be Safe

If you smoke, you need to follow extra safety precautions. Keep lighters and matches out of reach of little hands. Always be sure to stub out your cigarettes thoroughly (or douse them in water). Never smoke near oxygen tanks, aerosol cans, or other flammable materials. Don’t smoke in bed.

  1. Lightning

I don’t know about you but for me, lightening is both awesome and terrifying. A lightning storm, especially at night, is absolutely gorgeous. But it’s also potentially dangerous, so remember to stay inside. Stay away from water (don’t even wash your hands). Don’t use electronics. And if you feel your hair stand on end, lightening is about to strike. Duck! (Not kidding.)

  1. Fire Protection Systems

Think of it like this: fire protection is to smoke alarms what a home security system is to DIY door sensors. In other words, a fire protection system links your smoke alarms to a security company, so they can monitor your home while you’re at work or on vacation, or can call the fire department in an emergency. Fire protection means someone else is looking out for your family, too.

 

Dealing with the aftermath of a fire can be awful and frustrating, SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale will do what we can do not only get your home clean, this also helps in getting your life back as well.

Metro Detroit Smoke and Soot Cleanup

6/23/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Metro Detroit Smoke and Soot Cleanup Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 248-246-0790