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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Burning Down The House

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Fire Damage Restoration

Burning Down the House

            “Ah, watch out, you might get what you're after 
Cool babies, strange, but not a stranger 
I'm an ordinary guy 
Burning down the house”

            If you grew up around 1983 you no doubt recognize the above lyrics from The Talking Heads, Burning Down the House. The opening lines illustrate a normal, average joe, burning down a house.  Ok, so it might not be literal, but in our line of business, we know it doesn’t take a small child, a master mind, or a forgetful Lucy to start a house fire. Anyone can become victim to a house fire, even an ordinary guy.

            In the following blog, we will explain how and where fires begin in your home, how fire can damage beyond its flames, the three main areas to clean, our process, and why you would choose SERVPRO of Golden, Wheat Ridge, Evergreen.

How House Fires Happen

            A house fire can start just about anywhere in your home, and from the smallest of sparks.  However, there are the five most common places in your home that you can come to know and take special attention to. 

            First off, the kitchen.  This is the number one place where house fires occur.  Nearly half of all house fires start in the kitchen.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering most all of the cooking is done in the kitchen and most household appliances are located here. Among kitchen fires, grease fires are the most common, and that is due to neglect.  Hot pans of grease are left unattended on the stove and become too hot.  Once the oil is too hot, it will catch fire.  If the cook is not there to see this happen, the fire builds and spreads.  To help prevent kitchen fires take the following into consideration:

  • Maintain all appliances, keeping them clean and in good condition.
  • Unplug electrical appliances such as coffee makers and toasters when not in use.
  • Install a working smoke detector in the kitchen and keep a fire extinguisher.
  • Always use caution when lighting a piolet burner or gas stove.
  • Never put metal in the microwave.
  • Keep an eye on what you are cooking at all times.
  • Do not over fill pots and pans with oil.
  • Keep oven mitts, towels, and the like away from the stove.

            Next up on the list is the bedroom.  This is the location where electrical meets plush. The bedroom is full of plush items such as pillows, blankets, drapes, and a bed of course. A bed is especially prone to fire if it is not a new one.  Any bed before 2007 is not likely up to fire code.  The following are tips for preventing fires in the bedroom:

  • Install a working smoke alarm in the bedroom and have a fire extinguisher near.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Replace mattresses prior to 2007.
  • Keep lit candles away from bedding, drapes, papers, or anything flammable.
  • Do not run electrical cords underneath the bed or trap them against a wall.(Heat can build in this way).
  • Do not overload extension cords.
  • Only use lab-approved electrical blankets.

            The chimney is number three on our list. This one may seem like the obvious, but neglect to your chimney can result in a damaging house fire.  Often, the fire place itself is serviced regularly because it is in sight.  However, the chimney is forgotten.  Whatever you are burning in the fireplace will travel up and stick to the inside of the chimney, whether it be ash from paper or sap from the wood.  The coating on the chimney is flammable, especially if it is too thick.  Clean out your chimney.  It is recommended to clean out our chimney at least once a year or after 50 uses. 

            Fourth is the living room.  This is another place for an electrical fire.  The living room is often home to fire places, electronics, and like the bedroom, many plush items.  Many of the same rules from the bedroom apply to the living room such as, installing a smoke detector, not running electrical cords underneath furniture, keeping lit candles away from flammable materials, etc.

            Lastly, the laundry room. The main culprit here being lint in the dryer.   Lint can get caught in the vents and filters of your dyer machine and the heat can cause the lint to flame.  Additionally, the laundry room is often left unattended due to its passive work.  Be sure to regularly clean out the filters and vents in the laundry room and avoid leaving the house if you have a load running.

The Black Stuff

            Fire can completely destroy whatever is in its path. It can turn an entire dining table into ash, but that is only the beginning of a fires destruction.  Soot and smoke can be very invasive and can penetrate various areas of your Golden, Wheat Ridge, or Evergreen home.  Smoke travels up and to the coolest part of a room or home. It travels alongside piping, getting into the holes as it goes from room to room. It causes hidden damage to the naked eye and can leave a nasty odor.  Even if the fire was contained in the microwave, the traveling smoke can affect your entire house, potentially leaving every room damaged. 

            There are 2 types of smoke that fire creates, wet smoke and dry smoke.  Each one varies in odor and level of damage.  It also great affects the restoration process.  The two require different measures in order to restore the damaged area to like new again.  Our SERVPRO team pretests the smoke to determine the type and course of action. 

            Wet Smoke

                        This type of smoke usually comes from a fire that was left unattended or unnoticed.  It comes from a slow burning fire that is of lower heat and from its smoldering.  An example of a wet smoke fire would be from an iron that was left on after you left the house.  During a slow burn fire, fewer air currents are created.  With less air currents, the smoke has more time to enter into cavities around the home.  Often times these crevices are harder to reach and therefore, harder to remediate. The odor it leaves behind is very pungent.  The smoke itself is sticky and smeary on surfaces.

            Dry Smoke

                        This type of smoke comes from a very hot quick burning fire often wood or paper being the primary source.  This type of smoke occurs when there are sufficient amounts of oxygen present, unlike a wet smoke situation where the fire was oxygen starved.  Since this smoke is dry, it carries with it less deposits and aerosols, and is easier to clean.  Additionally, the odor from a hot fire is less pungent and requires less aggressive cleaning methods.

            While we cannot fix a dining table that has turned into ash, we can fix almost everything that the smoke it produced damaged. Even your remaining furniture can be restored.  Restoring items after the damage of smoke is far less expensive than replacing it.  Plus, it can help to save a family heirloom. 

3 Areas in Fire Damage Restoration

            Structural Cleaning

                        The first step in the remediation of a fire is structural cleaning.  After fire and smoke has made its mark on your home, ceilings, walls, flooring, and woodwork will need a thorough cleaning.  After the pretest, our SERVPRO team of Golden, Wheat Ridge, and Evergreen will use the appropriate cleaning chemicals for the type of smoke and specific surface it is on.  Often times, our specifically designed chemicals can completely remove the damaging smoke from the structure so that repainting or refinishing is not necessary, saving you money.  If we cannot clean the surface completely, we will restore it to a “prepare for paint” condition.  This process deodorizes and ensures that the new coat of paint will adhere properly.

            Content Cleaning

                        Area rugs, furniture, draperies, upholstery, and all restorable personal items in the affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. Some items can be cleaned onsite, but many are packed up and cleaned in-house.  The type of cleaning will be determined upon a pretest and an inventory list of all items will be made so our franchise and the home owner can keep track of them. 

            Deodorizing

                        After the structures and contents of the home have been cleaned, the home itself will also be deodorized.  We do not merely mask the smells, we seek the source and eliminate it.  SERVPRO teaches IICRC technical classes in the proper removal of odors, and our specialized equipment cannot be beat.

The 7 Step Process

Each fire situation is unique and will require its own specific steps in restoration. However, we follow a 7-step process for a typical fire damage emergency.  Here it is below so you may better understand what will take place.   

Step1: Emergency Contact

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

Step 6: Cleaning and Repair

Step 7: Restoration

Why Choose SERVPRO of Golden, Wheat Ridge, Evergreen For Fire Damage Restoration

            SERVPRO is an industry leader in fire restoration.  We use advanced equipment and techniques to remediate the damage quickly and efficiently. We are a locally owned and operated family business, so customer care is our number one goal.  We live where we serve!  Heck, we might even be your neighbor. 

            We provide extensive training to our employees and are highly specialized in fire damage restoration putting great emphasis on monitoring and documenting the entire process until completion.

            We are a preferred vendor to many national and local insurance companies making the claims process easy and painless for the homeowner.

            Please give us a call for any of your home restoration needs! (303) 279-8055

Or visit our website at  https://www.SERVPROgoldenwheatridgeevergreen.com  

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