Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire Safety Week 2019 is October 6th thru 12th

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Week 2019 is October 6th through the 12th

Plan and Practice Your Escape

In a fire, mere seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragedy. In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have,giving everyone enough time to get out. Fire safety education isn’t just for school children. Teenagers, adults, and the elderly are also at risk in fires, making it important for every member of the community to take some time every October during Fire Prevention Week to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.

The first step to becoming a Fire Safety Hero is making your home escape plan.

Source: NFPA Online

8 Most Common Causes of House Fires

8/9/2019 (Permalink)

The 8 Most Common Causes of House Fires According to the National Fire Protection Association

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says there are more than 360,000 home structure fires each year, resulting in about $6-8 billion dollars in damage.

The causes of these fires range from food left unattended on the stove, to lightning strikes, to candles left burning. From the moment a fire starts to the point where the structure is fully engulfed is usually less than two minutes, which is why it is so important for occupants to get out of the home as quickly as possible and not try to put out a large fire themselves.

Here are the eight most common causes of house fires as identified by the National Fire Protection Association.

  1. Cooking
  2. Electrical and Lighting
  3. Lightning Strikes
  4. Smoking
  5. Dryers and Washing Machines
  6. Candles
  7. Children Playing with Fire
  8. Christmas Trees

 Source: NFPA

5 Things Never to Plug into a Power Strip

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

5 Things Never to Plug into a Power Strip

No matter where you live—house, apartment, dorm room, mobile home—one factor remains constant: There never seem to be enough power outlets. This may explain the popularity of multi-outlet power strips, which provide additional outlets and also let you control multiple components with a single on-off switch. There are some appliances, however, that should never be used with power strips because they could overload the circuit and cause overheating or even a fire

  1. Refrigerators and Freezers - Large appliances like refrigerators require a lot of power and frequently cycle on and off, which can easily overload a power strip. These devices should be plugged directly into a wall outlet dedicated solely to powering the appliance. If you try to plug additional appliances into the same outlet, you risk tripping the circuit.  
  2. Microwaves - The microwave is a miracle of modern food preparation, thawing, cooking, and reheating food in a fraction of the time it takes a conventional oven. But all that marvelous activity requires more energy than a power strip can provide. Like a conventional electric oven, the microwave should have its own dedicated power outlet.
  3. Coffee Makers - You may not think that your morning cup of joe requires that much energy to brew, but most coffee makers need quite bit of amperage to turn those roasted beans into a hot beverage. Plug your coffee maker directly into the outlet or you run the risk of waking up to a half-brewed pot of coffee.
  4. Toasters - If you’ve ever peered into a toaster to remove a particularly stubborn piece of broken crust, you know that the inside is basically a bunch of wires that heat up to red-hot temperatures to toast the bread. The current draw that those wires require can easily cause a power strip to overheat. This same issue affects toaster ovens, electric skillets, and waffle irons as well.
  5. Slow Cookers and Hot Plates - You might think you're one clever cook when you plug your slow cooker into a power strip to free up outlet space for other countertop appliances, but you'd be wrong. These cooking appliances require more juice over a longer period of time than a power strip can handle. And because the appeal of a slow cooker is that it can operate without supervision, you definitely want to make sure it is safely plugged into a wall outlet to minimize any hazardous outcomes.

Learn more about SERVPRO Fire Damage Restoration by clicking here.

Source: MSN Online

Be Safe with Fireworks this 4th of July

6/23/2019 (Permalink)

Be Safe with Fireworks this 4th of July

Follow these safety tips when using fireworks: 

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • 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.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

Source: CPSC Online

The Importance of Proper Smoke Remediation after Smoke or Fire Damage to your Home

6/4/2019 (Permalink)

The Importance of Proper Smoke Remediation after Smoke or Fire Damage to your Home

After a fire in a home it's very possible that contaminating smoke has touched every item and area in your home. In smoke, there are residual amounts of chemicals and other bi-products due to burning plastics and other chemical-based items in your home that may have burned in the fire.  Those residual chemicals have been transferred by the smoke and is now left on your walls, furniture, floors, personal items, and other contents in your home.  Even things like your light bulbs in your lamps must be decontaminated or disposed of properly.

It's important to remove and remediate the items in the home that were exposed to the fire and smoke so that they do not further contaminate your home.  The residual amounts of chemicals and other bi-products can irritate: eyes, lungs, skin, and other parts of the body.

SERVPRO® of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland uses special equipment, techniques, and cleaning products to remove the smoke and soot from your home and salvageable contents. SERVPRO® of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland will also remove the odors using our industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment. In most cases, air ducts will need to be cleaned as well along with new HVAC filters installed.

SERVPRO of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland will help to make it "Like it never even happened."

Getting Rid of Cigarette Smoke Odor

5/28/2019 (Permalink)

Getting Rid of Cigarette Smoke Odor

It's obvious to a non-smoker when a home smells like cigarettes.  The smell of tobacco and/or cigarette smoke and tar is stubborn because it "sticks" to all surfaces in your home as it spreads through the air. So, how do you get rid of the cigarette odor?  The short answer is that it's very difficult.  ALL surfaces in the home need to be scrubbed and deodorized, including the: flooring, walls, furniture, appliances, knick-knacks, and clothing. Even the air in the home needs to be deodorized during the process.  It's not an easy task, but the experts at SERVPRO® of Lake Conroe, Magnolia, and Cleveland have done it many times and are more than willing to help you.  Give us a call today and start breathing fresh smelling air!

Fire Prevention Week is October 7-13, 2018

10/4/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Prevention Week is October 7-13, 2018

During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires. See what programs your local fire station offers.

Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere!” That’s the theme for Fire Prevention Week.

LOOK
Look for places fires could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.

LISTEN
Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.

LEARN
Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

Source: https://www.nfpa.org

The Behavior of Smoke During a Fire

8/10/2018 (Permalink)

The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated sue to the unique behavior 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. The Professionals at SERVPRO® of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns, knowing the information is vital to proper restoration.  Before restoration begins, our Professional Technicians will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from the fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents.  The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage has occurred.  Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows SERVPRO® of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland’s Professional Technicians to focus on saving your precious items.

SERVPRO® of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland’s Professional Fire Restoration Technicians know smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor.  Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread.  The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke.

  • 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.

Call us today to help you with your smoke and fire restoration needs! 936-441-8550

No job is too big or too small.

Dryer and Washing Machine Fires

7/10/2018 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 15,970 home fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines between 2010 and 2014. These fires resulted in annual losses estimated at 13 deaths, 440 injuries, and $238 million in property damage.

Facts and figures
  • Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of the fires; washing machines 4%, and washer and dryer combinations accounted for 5%.
  • The leading factor contributing to the ignition of home fires involving clothes dryers was failure to clean, accounting for one-third (33%) of dryer fires.
  • A mechanical or electrical failure or malfunction was involved in the vast majority of home fires involving washing machines.
  • Fires involving clothes dryers usually started with the ignition of something that was being dried or was a byproduct (such as lint) of drying, while washing machine fires usually involved the ignition of some part of the appliance.  

Visit https://www.nfpa.org/~/media/files/public-education/resources/safety-tip-sheets/dryersafetytips.pdf to gain access to their dryer safety tip sheet.

Please know SERVPRO of Lake Conroe, Magnolia and Cleveland are here to service you and surrounding communities with any fire or water mitigation needs.

Fireworks Safety

7/3/2018 (Permalink)

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Fireworks Annual Report

Fireworks are often used to mark special events and holidays. However, they are not safe in the hands of consumers. Fireworks cause thousands of burns and eye injuries each year. People can enjoy fireworks safely if they follow a few simple safety tips:

FACTS

• Fireworks cause an average of almost 18,500 reported fires per year.

• Sparklers account for roughly one-quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries. BE CAREFUL!

• Be safe. If you want to see fireworks, go to a public show put on by experts.

• Do not use consumer fireworks. NFPA is opposed to consumer use of fireworks. This includes sparklers and firecrackers. Even sparklers burn hot enough to cause third-degree burns.

• Keep a close eye on children at events where fireworks are used.

• Fireworks cause an average of almost 18,500 reported fires per year. Don't be a statistic!

• Sparklers account for roughly one-quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries.

SERVPRO of Lake Conroe, Magnolia and Cleveland want to wish you a happy and safe Independence Day. For more information on how to keep you and your family this fourth of July, visit the National Fire Protection Association website. Here, you can also find several videos demonstrating the dangers of consumer fireworks. 

Smoke Detectors: Install and Maintain for Your Safety

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, nearly 3,500 Americans die in fires and another 20,000 are injured, each year. Protect your business by installing and maintaining smoke detectors. Refer to your local Fire Marshall for specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements. Here are some helpful tips to ensure your smoke detectors stay in proper working order:

  • Test smoke detectors monthly.
  • Replace the batteries at least once per year.
  • The entire smoke detector unit should be replaced every 8-10 years.

Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly. The following tips are provided to you by the National Fire Protection Services:

  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove.
  • People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
  • Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan.

For more information on the installation and maintenance of smoke alarms, visit https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Smoke-alarms/Installing-and-maintaining-smoke-alarms.

Kitchen Cautions!

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

According to the national Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It's important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don't use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire-oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, and towels or curtains-away from the stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you're cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

Our wonderful team at SERVPRO of Lake Conroe, Magnolia and Cleveland are here to help you with your fire or smoke claim, and make it "Like it never even happened". 

What to do After a Fire

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

You had a fire in your home or business and are unsure of what to do next. You may ask yourself questions such as "Who do I call? What do I do?"

Thank you to our good friends at the City of Conroe Fire Department, they provided us a checklist for the steps you should take after a fire.

Here are the steps to follow after a fire in your home

  1. Contact your local disaster relief service, such as the Red Cross. They will help you find a place to stay for awhile and find food, medicines, and other important things. 
  2. If you have insurance, contact your insurance company. Ask what you should do to keep your home safe until it is repaired. Find out how they want you to make a list of things that were lost or damaged in the fire. 
  3. Check with the fire department to make sure your home is safe to enter. Be very careful when you go inside. Floors and walls may not be as safe as they look.
  4. The fire department will tell you if your utilities (water, electricity, and gas) are safe to use. If not, they will shut these off before they leave. DO NOT try to turn them back on by yourself. This could be very dangerous.
  5. Contact your landlord or mortgage company about the fire. 
  6. Try to find valuable documents and records. See the information in this brochure about how to get new copies if you need them. 
  7. If you leave your home, call the local police department to let them know the site will be vacant. 
  8. Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to fire loss. The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and to prove any losses claimed on your income tax. 
  9. Check with an accountant or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about special benefits for people recovering from fire loss.

Please know that SERVPRO of Lake Conroe, Magnolia and Cleveland can assist you in your fire or smoke restoration needs. You can call us 24/7 to our main office number. We are available around the clock, every day of the year.

For more information or tips on fire safety, please visit http://www.cityofconroe.org/departments/fire-department-home-page/public-awareness.

You too can be "Ready for whatever happens" this summer.

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know grills cause an annual average of 8,900 home, structure or outdoor fires?

Summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family. But, it is important to keep safety in mind during these fun summer activities. Consider following these tips provided by the National Fire Protection Association to help keep you and your family safe this summer.

  • When using a charcoal grill, ensure your starter fluid is designed for barbecue grills. It is important to remember not to add starter fluid once coals have been lit. Also, make sure you have no lighter fluid on your fingers before lighting the coal.
  • When using a gas grill, make sure the hose connection is tight and gas is not leaking. You can apply soapy water to the hose to easily and safely reveal any leaks.
  • If camping is in your plans this summer, always use a flame-retardant tent. Make sure you set your tent and camp far away from the campfire to avoid fires. Also, dig a pit to build your fire and clear vegetation before building your fire. Use an extinguisher before going to sleep or leaving the campsite to ensure the fire is completely out. Make sure you store your liquid fire starter far from your tent and campfire.

It is important to keep safety top of mind to ensure you make the best of your summer months. Take precautions so you do not become a statistic.

SERVPRO of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland wish you a safe and happy summer 2018!

Fire Prevention Month

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

October is Fire Prevention Month

October is fire Prevention Month and an excellent time to examine the emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan.  Do you have a fire escape plan?  Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year?  Are you prepared?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets aside a designated week each October to focus on fire prevention.  The 2017 there is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” 

According to the NFPA, once the fire alarm goes off “you could have less than two minutes to get out safely,” yet only 8 percent of people surveyed said getting out was the first thought after hearing the fire alarm.  Creating, implementing, and practicing a fire escape plan for your home or business may be the difference between safety and tragedy.  Make a plan today.

SERVPRO® of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland wants you to stay safe, informed, and prepared to help ensure you are ready for any disaster that may come your way. 

The Behavior of Smoke

8/10/2017 (Permalink)

Understanding the Behavior of Smoke

The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated sue to the unique behavior 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.  The Professionals at SERVPRO® of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland’s Professionals are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns, knowing the information is vital to proper restoration.  Before restoration begins, our Professional Technicians will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from the fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents.  The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage has occurred.  Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows SERVPRO® of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland’s Professional Technicians to focus on saving your precious items.

SERVPRO® of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland’s Professional Fire Restoration Technicians know smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor.  Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread.  The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke.

  • 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.

Understanding the Behavior of Smoke

7/12/2017 (Permalink)

Behaviors of Smoke

The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated sue to the unique behavior 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.  The Professionals at SERVPRO® of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland’s Professionals are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns, knowing the information is vital to proper restoration.  Before restoration begins, our Professional Technicians will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from the fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents.  The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage has occurred.  Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows SERVPRO® of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland’s Professional Technicians to focus on saving your precious items.

SERVPRO® of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland’s Professional Fire Restoration Technicians know smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor.  Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread.  The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke.

  • 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. 

Grilling Season is Upon Us

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

Outdoor kitchen & Grill Fires

Each year, families and friends across the country enjoy the summer months with barbecues, camping trips, or by cooling off in a pool or lake.  To enjoy these occasions, it is important to keep safety top of mind to ensure you have fun in the sun. 

According to a recent study by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 11,900 Americans were injured by fireworks in 2015, with the majority happening in the month surrounding the Fourth of July.  Another 8,700 are injured by charcoal/ wood-burning and propane grill fires.  A grill should always be supervised when in use.  Keep children and pets a safe distance from the grilling area to prevent accidental burns or tipping of the grill.

Grills can also cause an average of 8,900 home structure or outdoor fires.  Outdoor kitchen also contribute a large number of fires to this national average.  “These fires caused an annual average of 50 civilian injuries and $2 million in direct property damage,” according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

The summer season should be a time to make memories and enjoy the great outdoors.  Don’t become a statistic.  Take precautions to prevent these events from putting a damper on your summer months! 

Celebrate Safely

6/29/2017 (Permalink)

Firework Safety

The fourth of July is a time to celebrate with friends and family.  In order to celebrate safely, consider the following tips provided by the U.S. Fire Administration.

The best way to enjoy fireworks is to view public fireworks displays put on by professionals. 

If you plan to use fireworks, ensure they are legal in your area.

Always read the directions and warning labels on the fireworks.  If a device is not marked with the contents, directions, and a warning label, do not light it.

Supervise children around fireworks at all times.

Stand several feet away from lit fireworks.  If a firework does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate.  Pour water over it and dispose of it.

Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.

According to nfpa.org, fireworks caused an estimated 15,600 fires in the year 2013 and more than 28% of those fires were reported on the 4th of July. 

Destroy Odors with Deodorization

5/19/2017 (Permalink)

Odors do not stand a chance!

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


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


With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland’s Professionals provide specialized services that can rid your home of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage.  SERVPRO of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland’s Professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the sources of odor.  Once the source is found, SERVPRO’s own proprietary line of cleaning products is used to treat and prevent the odor from returning.  Any restorable item in affected areas will also be cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies, and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and more.


If you suffer from fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact us today!  Whether it is fire, water or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we’ll help make it “Like it never even happened."