Recent Fire Damage Posts

What to Do After a Fire

5/12/2022 (Permalink)

  1. Ask whether it is safe to enter the home. Do not enter if the fire authorities deem it unsafe. They may establish a safety zone, but never assume a room is safe, until it has been cleared to enter.
  2. Know who to call.
  3. Contact family members and let them know you are safe, and unharmed.
  4. Contact your insurance agent. They will be able to talk you through the necessary steps, including proper documentation and emergency lodging and living expenses (keep all of your receipts.) The insurance company may assist in securing a company to help with clean up options.
  5. You may request a restoration company at this time for contents cleaning etc. Contact SERVPRO of Visalia.
  6. Another call may be to your landlord if applicable, and to your local American Red Cross.
  7. Secure the property to prevent possible looting. SERVPRO is available to assist with securing property/ Board Ups.
  8. If water hoses were used to exterminate the fire, drying your home is critical. It is best to call the professionals at SERVPRO to do water/ fire cleanups. Water can lead to mold damage if not dried properly. SERVPRO is an approved restoration contractor for many major insurance carriers and adheres to the highest standards in the restoration industry.
  9. Seek counseling if needed. Children and adults can feel a traumatic sense of loss, and may need help to avoid a lasting sense of sadness and disorientation after a house fire. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. A house fire is a traumatic event and individuals need to be treated with respect and compassion by those close to the process of rebuilding.

For more information on contents and structural drying, extinguisher residue and soot removal call SERVPRO at (559) 635-4292.

The Correct Equipment for a Fire Damage

5/12/2022 (Permalink)

We believe at SERVPRO of Visalia that the right tools for the job is vital to timely mitigation and restoration, but perhaps more important, SERVPRO of Visalia fire damage professionals are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration. For instance, knowing the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns are vital to proper restoration.

  • Wet Smoke – Plastics and Synthetics; Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary.
  • Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood; Fast burning, high temperatures, dry, powdery, no smeary residues.
  • Protein – Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
  • Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace Puff Backs.
  • Other Types – Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue.

Deodorization Equipment

Ultra-Low Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that easily penetrates sites where odor-causing residues accumulate. The device can also be used to apply fungicides and disinfectants.

Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products in large volume, dense fogs suitable for confined areas. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that pair with and neutralize odor-causing particles.

Are Your Alarms Ready?

4/4/2022 (Permalink)

Having functional fire alarms in your house is one if the most important things you can do to stay prepared if a fire did happen. It is a small item that often get overlooked but with just a few minutes of your time it could save yours and your families lives.

According to www.cpsc.gov, these are the reasons why smoke alarms are so important and where in the household they should be placed.

Why Are Smoke Alarms Important?

Every year in the United States, about 2,000 people lose their lives in residential fires. During a fire, smoke and deadly gases tend to spread further and faster than heat. This is one reason why most fire victims die from inhalation of smoke and toxic gases, not from burns. A majority of fatal fires happen when families are asleep because occupants are unaware of the fire until there is not adequate time to escape. A smoke alarm stands guard around the clock, and when it first senses smoke, it sounds a shrill alarm. This often allows a family the precious, but limited, time needed to escape. About two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.  Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms are considered to be one of the best and least expensive means of providing an early warning of a potentially deadly fire and could reduce by almost half the risk of dying from a fire in your home. 

Where Should Smoke Alarms be Installed? 

Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home, outside sleeping areas, and inside bedrooms A smoke alarm should be installed and maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When installing a smoke alarm, many factors influence where you will place the alarm, including how many are to be installed.  Consider placing alarms along your escape path to assist in egress in limited-visibility conditions. In general, you should place alarms in the center of a ceiling or, if you place them on

Avoid Common Fire Hazards

4/4/2022 (Permalink)

Having a fire in your home or business can happen fast and unexpected. There is something little or no warning so knowing how to help avoid it is a very smart idea.

On www.safewise.com, they offer several tips and tricks on how you can help to prevent a house fire.

Test your smoke alarms.

Properly maintain your fire alarms by testing the batteries once a month. If they’re not working, replace them immediately.

Inspect heating sources.

Regardless of what kind of primary heating you have in your home, an annual inspection will reduce your risk of fire.

Keep the stove and oven clear.

Don’t leave anything flammable near the stove or oven. Make sure curtains don’t hang over the stove, and never rest towels or a cookbook on the stove.

Stay in the kitchen.

Don't leave a hot cooking surface unattended. Whether it’s a pot on the stove or an electric griddle, you need to be close by. If you have to leave the room, take the pot off the stove or turn off the griddle first.

Check the dryer.

If you have a gas-powered dryer, have it inspected once a year to make sure all connections are secure. No matter what type of dryer you have, always clean out the lint trap after a load is finished. Regularly check behind and around the dryer for pockets of lint or items of laundry that have fallen under or behind.

Maintain cords.

Regularly check the condition of cords and watch out for frayed wires: repair or replace cords with frayed wires immediately. Electrical cords can produce heat, so don’t trap them under a rug or between furniture and the wall.

Store flammable products properly.

Many household cleaners and cosmetic products like shaving cream and hair spray are flammable. Keep flammable products away from heat, including exposure to sunlight. Designate a cool, dark cupboard for flammable products and make sure all family members know where they go.

Be careful with candles.

Never leave candles unattended and always keep them away from flammable items like blankets and curtains. Place candles in secure, tip-proof holders and extinguish them before leaving or going to sleep.

Use the fireplace responsibly.

To keep errant sparks from escaping, install a durable metal fire screen in front of your fireplace. Don’t leave a fire unattended, and give ashes ample time to cool down before disposing of them. Always place fireplace ash in a dedicated metal container that isn’t used for any other household refuse.

Keep fire extinguishers handy.

Stock key areas of your home with fire extinguishers. At the very least, keep one in the kitchen and others near high-risk areas like a fireplace. Regularly review the instructions and make sure all members of the home know how to properly use the extinguisher.

House Fires Cause More Than Just Flame Damage

4/4/2022 (Permalink)

3 Types of Damage Caused by House Fires

When you think about fire damage, you probably picture damage caused directly by flames; however, not only are flames not the only source of damage, the flames may not even cause the most damage. Smoke from the fire and water from the firefighting effort may cause as much or more damage than the fire itself.

  1. Heat and Flames

The intense heat from a fire can melt plastics, wiring, electronics, and other items. The flames can destroy property made from combustible materials, such as wood, cloth, or foam. Additionally, fires may cause chemical reactions that may create caustic substances that can damage property.

  1. Smoke

Smoke can penetrate surfaces causing fire damage from stains and smells that may be difficult to remove. Professional fire restoration services in Clovis, CA may be able to assist in removing smoke stains and smells from furniture, walls, carpets, and other items. Smoke can also contaminate items such as food and medications. These items may need to be thrown away due to safety concerns.

  1. Water

Unfortunately, the water used to extinguish fires can often cause substantial damage to property. A fire hose sprays water at rates of up to 125 gallons per minute. If you have ever accidentally flooded your bathroom, you probably know that substantial damage can be caused to your property by even relatively small amounts of water. The enormous amount of water sprayed on your property to put out a fire can cause severe property damage.

In addition to soaking into furniture, warping wood, and destroying drywall, water can damage electronics, clothing, flooring, and potentially lead to mold growth. It is important to promptly clean up water damage to avoid unnecessary additional damage.

Fire damage, water, and smoke can combine to severely damage a home during a house fire. Prompt fire restoration services can help mitigate damages and restore your property to preloss condition.

Fire, Smoke and Soot

12/3/2021 (Permalink)

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

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

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.

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 Visalia 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. 

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 
(559) 635-4292

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

8/9/2018 (Permalink)

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 Visalia 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 – 559-635-4292

6 top fire damage restoration tips

8/9/2018 (Permalink)

We’re not going to kid you. Fire damage restoration is tough work. People call SERVPRO of Visalia frequently to ask for advice on how to clean up after a fire.  Here are seven of the best tips we give people who ask about fire damage restoration.

Most people can put these tips into practice. But remember that fire damage restoration takes time, work, and skill. Realistically consider whether you want to try these ideas on your own or whether you’d be better off hiring highly trained restoration specialists who will guarantee their work.

  1. Remove Smoke Damage

With any fire you’ll have a degree of smoke damage to your walls, wall paper, and paint. If the smoke damage is not too serious, you should be able to scrub it clean with detergents and bleach. Soot from smoke damage is greasy stuff, so always try to dust as much of it off from a surface before trying to scrub the surface clean. Often, you’ll want to repaint, but make sure all surfaces are clean and dry before you paint.

  1. Limit Activity & Other Simple Fire Damage Restoration Steps

Until your house is restored, limit your activity and movement in the house. This helps prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets. Keep people’s hands clean so you don’t further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork. Protect your things by placing clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas. Before you clean know the best cleaning method for that particular cleaning job (one example: Clean and protect chrome with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.) Wash both sides of the leaves on your houseplants. Change your HVAC filter and tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

Call SERVPRO Of Visalia for Cleanup and Restoration. Call (559) 635-4292

  1. Get Rid of Mold & Mildew

Firefighters are great. They save many a live and many a home. But they do introduce mold and mildew into houses when they must use water to extinguish the fire. SERVPRO of Visalia highly recommends you hire fire damage restoration professionals to deal with mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can cause serious health problems. It’s difficult for a nonprofessional to know for certain if he’s clean up all the areas affected by the mold and mildew. And mold and mildew can contaminate your furniture, carpets, clothing, mattresses, walls, and vents. The best thing you can do immediately is to air out every room and clean out all vents and filters.

  1. Replace Carpets. Clean And Dry Your Floors

Your floors and carpets end up absorbing the worst of the damage from all the water used to put out a fire. In almost every case, SERVPRO of Visalia recommends that you pull up any carpets that have water damage and replace them. Water can also seep underneath vinyl flooring and into the cracks in hardwood. You must address this. If you have experience with flooring, you can lift it up and clean under it. But you may want to call a professional fire damage restoration company to assist you.

  1. Avoid Smearing Soot Into Clothing

Cleaning smoke damage from clothing is one of the biggest jobs you’ll have after a fire. Make sure you don’t smear the greasy soot into the clothing or just throw the smoky clothes into the wash. Often times dry cleaning is the best bet, and you should ask around local dry cleaners to see if any have experience with post-fire laundry. Removing smoke odor is another issue and we’ve covered it in another blog post.

Call SERVPRO Of Visalia for Cleanup and Restoration. Call (559) 635-4292

  1. Scrub, Soak, And Cleaning Dishes

Dishes are also important items to clean thoroughly after a fire because they will be in contact with your food. Scrub all dishes well, let them soak in a solution of bleach and water (2 tablespoons of bleach per gallon) for at least 20 minutes and scrub some more for safety. When in doubt, if a dish, pot, or pan won’t come clean, cut your losses and throw it out – especially rubber or wooden dishes that absorb smoke.

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of Visalia also has specialized training and experience in fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, water damage, chemical cleanup, and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO Of Visalia for Cleanup and Restoration. Call (559) 635-4292 anytime.