Recent Fire Damage Posts
3 Fire Prevention Tips for Fall & Winter
We generally stay indoors when it's chilly outside, but that also means your home has an increased chance of having a fire!
Did you know that most home fires occur during fall and winter? In fact, the peak months are December and January. Fires occur more frequently during these periods for several reasons, but it’s generally because people start using heating equipment and tend to be home more often. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to lower your home’s risk of having a fire!
Protect Your Home From Fire Damages
1. Keep heating equipment away from flammable objects. Space heaters, candles, fireplaces, and other heat sources are also some of the most common fire starters. In many cases, they’re kept too close to Christmas trees, curtains, and other flammable items, which then catch fire. If you opt to use any heating equipment, keep them at least 3 feet away from other objects — especially if they’re flammable!
2. Don’t leave your kitchen unattended. Cooking-related fires are the most common types of home fires. These fires can be instigated in a number of ways, but they often get out of control because the kitchen isn’t being monitored. We know holiday cooking is a favorite pastime for many, but always make sure somebody is present in the kitchen while it’s in use!
3. Don’t put too many plugs into an outlet. When people are home, they tend to use their electronics. This generally isn’t much of an issue, but when too many plugs are put into the same outlet, it can cause the outlet to overheat and catch fire. Use caution when using power strips or when plugging in high-voltage devices!
Cleaning Up After House Fires
At SERVPRO of Iredell County, we’ve seen how destructive fires can be. Homes can be lost, valued possessions can be destroyed, and peace of mind can be disrupted. We hope that you’ll be safe and practice fire safety in the upcoming seasons, but if something were to happen, know that our fire restoration experts are available 24/7!
2 Companies To Call After a Fire
If you've had a fire, it's time to make some important calls so you can get your life back on track!
House fires are one of the most stressful things to live through. Many belongings are destroyed, lives can lose a sense of normalcy, and the whole process is just overwhelming. Now having served the community for 10 years, SERVPRO of Iredell County has worked with countless Mooresville homeowners to restore their properties. During that time, we’ve learned that customers often aren’t sure what the next steps are after the fire’s been put out!
Know Who To Call
1. Call Your Local Disaster Restoration Company. Once the fire is out, the cleanup process should begin as soon as possible. A restoration company like SERVPRO can board up the home, extract standing water, clean your contents, and more. Once you call our office, we’ll dispatch a team to walk you through the cleanup process we use to get you back to normal.
2. Call Your Insurance Company. Your insurance company will play a large role in ensuring your home and possessions are cleaned and restored. In fact, our team will be working closely with your insurance adjuster to make sure you get coverage for the services you need. Your insurance company can also help you with other questions, such as temporary lodging and some next steps.
Your Local Cleanup and Restoration Company
If you’re like most people, house fires aren’t a common experience for you. So when the flames die out, it’s important to call the companies above and get professional help. Experts like our team at SERVPRO of Iredell County know exactly how to get your Mooresville, NC home back to its pre-disaster condition!
3 Frequently Asked Questions About Fire Damage
If you had a house fire, know that help is available!
We’ve served the Mooresville community for more than a decade, and in that time, we’ve helped hundreds of victims recover from fire damage. If you’ve never experienced a house fire before, there are a lot of factors to consider, which is why our experts take several steps to keep the restoration process as simple for our customers as possible. This is why we’re answering some of the most frequently asked questions about the fire damage cleanup process.
Questions You May Have After a House Fire
1. Can you restore damaged documents? It is possible to save fire-damaged documents, but there are some caveats. We cannot undo any damage that’s already been done; we can only prevent further damage and take steps to preserve any salvageable documents. If you have documents that can be saved, we send them to our corporate facility to be safely cleaned and preserved.
2. Can you remove the smoke smell from my clothes and belongings? Yes, we can deodorize your belongings! Smoke can leave a strong smell that can be nauseating for many, but we have a variety of products and techniques we can use to eliminate any offensive odors, such as ozone and CLO2.
3. How long is the restoration process? There’s no simple answer to how long the restoration process will last. If you have minor damages, it could last a couple of days; more extensive damage could last months as you would have to coordinate with our reconstruction team. It ultimately depends on the situation, but we’ll communicate progress and updates to keep you in the loop!
Fire Damage Professionals Serving Mooresville, North Carolina
We know that fire damage incidents can be stressful, which is why we do everything we can to help you get through the process as smoothly as possible. Our professionals are available 24/7, so if you need help or have additional questions, you can reach SERVPRO of Iredell County anytime at (704) 872-7466!
Can You Remove the Smoke Smell from Your Belongings?
If your Mooresville home has a fire, don't worry — we can eliminate the lingering odors!
If your Mooresville, NC home has had a fire, you know firsthand how strong the smell of smoke is. The odor is often headache-inducing, and it seemingly blankets everything in the home. In fact, sometimes the smell is so pungent that people are more than willing to discard affected items.
Although the malodor can be overwhelming, in most cases, it can be removed. At SERVPRO of Iredell County, we have several techniques at our disposal to remove smoke and other strong odors.
Cleaning Your Smoke-Damaged Possessions
We smell things when a substance releases odorants into the air, and then receptors in our nose transmit a signal to our brain . Because smoke is highly volatile, it gives off a lot of odorants. So before our team can begin to remove the odor, we have to clean your damaged belongings so we can address the source. We have several different cleaning methods, depending on the type of material.
Clothes, linens, and other textiles are taken to our textile-cleaning facility, where our Mooresville cleaning experts use various products and equipment to remove soot from your soft goods. We even have an Esporta, a high-powered machine capable of cleaning heavily-sooted items—including uniforms and stuffed animals.
Furniture and more durable items are sent to our cleaning warehouse where we clean belongings with either propriety cleaning products or by using advanced technology. Our ultrasonic machines, for example, can remove soot from jewelry, small electronics, and other objects that require fine cleaning. Depending on the item and the cleaning requirements, we have a process to save many damaged items.
The Odor Removal Process
Just as with the cleaning process, SERVPRO of Iredell County has several different odor removal options. The method we use often depends on what and where we’re cleaning.
In most cases, we will place items in an ozone chamber, which is a special room where we purposefully generate ozone to neutralize smells. The ozone reacts with the odorants and effectively makes the smell go away. (NOTE: Because ozone can be dangerous even with low exposure levels, this is not something we recommend you do on your own.)
Another commonly used odor removal method is chlorine dioxide (CLO2). Similar to ozone, CLO2 reacts with molecules to neutralize the smell. In the case of CLO2, however, the molecules are incredibly small, which means it can more effectively penetrate porous material, which is why it’s sometimes preferable to ozone.
We Can Eliminate Nearly Any Smell
At SERVPRO of Iredell County, we invest in the best products and methods to save and restore your damaged belongings. If your Mooresville home has a fire, and you need our experts to get rid of the smell, know that we’re available for the entire cleanup and restoration process. Call us today at (704) 872-7466!
 Source: https://askabiologist.asu.edu/explore/sense-smell
Why Soot Damage Can Be Detrimental to Your Troutman Home
Soot can stain and damage your home and belongings, so it's important to have it cleaned by experienced professionals!
Fires don’t always consume entire homes. In fact, many of our Troutman-area jobs come from small kitchen fires that may only affect a couple of rooms. These types of jobs often deal primarily with soot, which many people try to clean up on their own. Unfortunately, soot can be a major problem that should be handled by professionals!
Soot is Notoriously Difficult to Clean
Soot can cause major discoloring, which is why it’s important to clean it from affected surfaces as soon as possible. Unfortunately, if it’s not cleaned properly, it can actually stain and cause further damage. Due to its nature, soot cleanup requires the use of certain cleaning products and techniques. That’s generally why the cleaning process is better left to professionals who know exactly what to do!
Soot Disrupts Your Air Quality
Our team is often hired to clean a home’s HVAC after it has fire. That’s because soot particles sit in the air ducts, ready to disperse once the system kicks on. Until your home has been thoroughly cleaned, you’re likely lowering your home’s air quality. This can be especially concerning with people with asthma and other health conditions, but it can cause complications for anyone given enough exposure.
Professional Soot Cleanup in Troutman, NC
Even a small house fire can cause a lot of damage to your home. If your Troutman home has soot damage, call our professional team at SERVPRO of Iredell County today!
Why Fires Often Result in Water Damages
Above, water damaged the interior of a home that had a fire in the kitchen area. Water and fire damage go hand-in-hand!
House fires aren’t an uncommon occurrence in the Statesville and Mooresville communities; in fact, we usually get at least one or two fire-related calls a week. But in most instances, we first have to send out our water technicians before we send our fire-cleaning team.
Fire Damage Creates Water Damage
As everyone knows, one of the most common ways to extinguish a fire is to douse it with water. (Be aware that water won’t put out every kind of fire.) And of course, the amount of water needed is proportional to the size of the fire, so a large fire is going to need a lot of water.
That’s why house fires tend to have significant water damage—firefighters have to use a lot of water to put them out. In commercial fires, water damage can also occur when even a small fire triggers the sprinkler system. As a result, affected homes have two types of damages that need to be addressed.
Mitigating Your Water Damage
When we respond to a home that has both fire and water damage, we first dispatch our water mitigation team. Because unmitigated water damage can lead to mold and additional structural damage, it’s imperative that it becomes a priority. After that’s been addressed, we’ll follow up with our fire damage cleanup team.
Expecting the Unexpected
Unfortunately, disaster strikes when and where we least expect it. And in many cases, damages can be extensive, requiring multiple phases in the restoration process. While it’s not possible to prevent every disaster, it’s a good idea to plan and prepare for worst-case scenarios. We recommend you put together contingency plans and talk with your local insurance to make sure you’re properly covered.
3 More Kitchen Fire Prevention Tips
We all love to spend time in the kitchen, but if you don't follow safety practices, you could end up with a fire!
Fire Prevention Week is finally upon us! During the 2nd week of every October, the National Fire Protection Association brings attention to the dangers that fires can present. During this year’s campaign, they are focusing on kitchen fire safety. Since kitchen fires are the leading cause of fire-related deaths each year, we’re sharing additional fire prevention tips to keep you safe!
Fire Prevention Tips
- Keep a pot lid nearby. If you’re using a pot or pan, you don’t want to be unprepared for a grease fire. If a small fire does break out, quickly place a lid on the container and turn off the stove. This will remove the fire’s oxygen source, which will ultimately cause it to die out.
- Don’t let handles hang off the stove. If you’re using a pan or other cookware with a handle, be sure to keep the handle over the stove. This keeps hot liquids and ingredients from being accidentally knocked over and causing burns or worse.
- Create children-free cooking spaces. We love our children, and we want to keep them and our kitchens safe. While cooking, there should be a children-free zone at least 3 feet around the stove and other food preparation areas. This will help accidental fires and injuries!
Your Fire Damage Professionals
As we observe Fire Prevention Week, review your home’s safety policies and consider integrating the above recommendations. Each year, our company helps dozens of fire-damaged homes and businesses—many of which could have been prevented. If you do have a fire, know that SERVPRO of Iredell County is always here to make it look “Like it never even happened.”
4 Things You Should do After You Have a House Fire
House fires can be incredibly stressful, but there are some simple steps you can take to begin the recovery process!
There are fewer things more stressful than your home catching fire. For starters, most people are caught off-guard, but even if they were completely prepared, it’s not always a straightforward experience. If you have a house fire and aren’t sure what to do next, here are some steps you can take to get started.
After the Fire
- Let your friends and family know you’re OK. Once you’re safely out of the home and you’ve called 911, you should let your friends and family know you’re safe. This might seem obvious, but in the moment, it can be difficult to think straight.
- Call a local cleanup and restoration company. Once the firefighters put out the flames, you should immediately begin the restoration process. Call a local cleanup and restoration company (like our team at SERVPRO of Iredell County) so they can extract the water, board up your home, and start getting your house back to normal.
- Call your insurance company. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may want to call your insurance company. In addition to helping you cover costs, they may even be able to set you up with a place to temporarily stay (depending on your coverage).
- Stay out of the home. Unless the fire department has given you explicit permission to enter, you shouldn’t go back inside your home. Although you may be tempted to retrieve items or inspect the damage, there are often many dangers still inside. If you’re not certain, it’s always best to ask.
Get Help From Your Local Experts
We know there’s a lot to process after a house fire. Fortunately, you have friends, family, and professionals like ourselves who are here to help you get back on your feet. If you need professional cleanup and restoration services in the Mooresville area, you can call SERVPRO of Iredell County any time at (704) 872-7466!
What You Should Know About Smoke Alarm Maintenance
Smoke detectors are essential in every home, but you have to keep them properly maintained!
Nowadays, most homes have a smoke detector installed. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, 96% percent of homes have a smoke detector. Despite this statistic, the organization also reported that from 2009 to 2013, only smoke alarms only sounded in 53% of house fires reported to fire departments.
The truth is, homeowners and tenants need to do more than simply have smoke alarms installed—they need to maintain them on a regular basis. If you fall into the category of people who have never checked on their fire alarm—don’t fret. We’re going to cover the simple steps you can take to ensure your home is alerted during a fire.
Test Your Alarms Once a Month
Smoke detectors don’t last forever. In fact, you should have yours replaced every 10 years, which is the average lifespan. Even if it’s still within its life expectancy, you shouldn’t assume that it’s going to work when you need it.
That’s why experts advise that you test each of your alarms once a month. To test yours, look for a button the alarm (it’s often red, but yours may vary). Press and hold this button until it chirps. If the alarm doesn’t sound, that means it either needs to be replaced or have its batteries changed.
Replace Your Batteries Annually
Just as your alarms don’t last forever, neither do their batteries. Some smoke detectors will intermittently chirp when their batteries are low, but you still shouldn’t rely on this feature. Each year, replace the batteries in all of your alarms so you can rest assured they will function when needed. It might even be helpful to remember by timing it with a special holiday, such as New Years’ Day!
Responding to Fire Damages
While smoke detectors are crucial to help you and your family to a fire in a timely manner, they don’t prevent fires from actually happening. At SERVPRO of Iredell County, we have seen how devastating fires can be, and we know what it takes to clean them up. If you live in the Statesville or Mooresville areas and need fire damage cleanup services, know that we’re available 24/7 by calling (704) 872-7466!
Kitchen Fire Prevention Tips
Cooking is a great pastime, but it can also lead to potential fire damage!
Cooking-based fires are the leading cause of home fires in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). But as COVID-19 continues to keep some restaurants and businesses closed, many people find themselves spending more time in the kitchen. While we want you to continue cooking at home, there are some things you should do to prevent a fire from breaking out.
- Don’t leave the kitchen unattended while cooking. If you’re using appliances or doing heating, it’s highly recommended that you stay in the kitchen while they are in use. Fires can occur and quickly get out of hand within seconds, so it’s important you’re there to supervise and react.
- Clear flammable materials from the stovetop. When you’re cooking, it can be easy to forget where you put plastic packaging, towels, and oven mitts, but if you’re using the oven at all, they need to be cleared before it’s in use. Otherwise, these materials can catch fire and become a major hazard.
- Always act on product recalls. It’s a good idea to register your appliances so you can get important recall notices (and often to extend your warranty). If there is a recall, you should immediately act on the notice because these faulty appliances could lead to a fire or other incident!
Kitchen-based fires are one of the most common types of home fires, even here in Iredell County. Our team has helped thousands of homes recover from fire and smoke damage, so if you need professional cleanup services, call SERVPRO of Iredell County at (704) 872-7466!
Why You May Need SERVPRO if You Have a House Fire
Our team has experience cleaning soot from many different surfaces!
Our team at SERVPRO of Iredell County responds to multiple fire-damaged homes each week. Sometimes these are from small kitchen fires, but they can also be the result of larger, more destructive fires. Regardless, we offer a variety of clean up services that can benefit any homeowner, no matter how destructive the damage.
- Your belongings are covered in soot. Soot can be extremely difficult to clean, but our team is more than capable of cleaning your belongings. While we can’t make any guarantees, we have a state-of-the-art textile cleaning facility that can clean and deodorize any clothes, linens, and more. We also have proprietary cleaning products and techniques we can use to clean other damaged objects.
- Your home has a strong, smoky odor. Fires leave behind a strong, distinct odor that can be very difficult to remove. Fortunately, we have a variety of products and techniques we can use to eliminate any odor, no matter how strong it is!
- You have soot in your HVAC unit. Soot is not only destructive—it can cause health issues. Unfortunately, during a fire, these particles will get everywhere, including your duct system. Unless this is cleaned, you’ll only redistribute the soot and cause further damage. Our team is NADCA-certified and is more than capable of cleaning any HVAC system.
At SERVPRO of Iredell County, we’ve worked with thousands of customers with fire and water damages. No matter what kind of damage your home may have, our team is here to help. If you have fire damage at your property, call our team anytime at (704) 872-7466!
What Are Soot Tags (Soot Webs)?
Soot webs are common features that show up after a fire, but they should be cleaned by a professional!
If you’ve ever had a house fire, you might have noticed the soot-covered cobwebs lingering in the upper-corners of affected rooms. Many of our customers are surprised at the discovery and will make comments about their cleaning habits. These features actually aren’t spiderwebs—they have nothing to do with spiders at all!
Soot tags are features that form when ionized soot particles stick together, giving the impression of a web. Soot webs are generally found along ceiling corners where surfaces are generally cooler. However, if you do find them, you should leave them for the professionals to clean. They are very sticky and can cause an additional mess.
Soot can be harmful to you and your home, so it’s best to have your fire-damaged home cleaned as soon as possible. Fortunately, our team is certified and experienced in handling soot cleanup, so call SERVPRO of Iredell County anytime at (704) 872-7466!
3 Common Sources of Fire Damage
House fires can be highly destructive, but they can be prevented if you're aware of the most common causes!
Each year, many homes and businesses in the Statesville and Mooresville areas experience some kind of fire damage. In some cases, they have actual fires; in others, they have smoke and soot damage. These incidents can be expensive to clean up and restore, but they can also be prevented. There are many ways fire damage can occur, but we’ve identified at 3 of the most common sources.
- Cooking fires. Cooking-based fires are one of the most common causes of home fires each year. These can be further broken down into subcategories, but it’s important to practice fire safety in general. As a precaution, it’s highly encouraged that you never leave the kitchen unsupervised while in use.
- Electrical fires. We’ve worked on many homes that have experienced fire damage due to electrical sources. For starters, never use exposed wires, but it’s equally as important that you never overwork an outlet. Be smart with electricity, and you can reduce your risk of a fire.
- Heating-related fires. Heat is important to all of us, especially during the winter. But heating equipment—such as space heaters, candles, and fireplaces—can also start fires if they get too close to flammable objects. Keep heating equipment at least 3 feet away from such materials and that will substantially reduce your risk!
Fire damage can be stressful to navigate, which is why it should be prevented from occurring in the first place! If you do have a fire, though, our expert team can clean up and restore your property. You can call us anytime at (704) 872-7466!
Celebrate Summer Safely
Each year, families and friends across the country enjoy summer months with barbecues, camping trips, or by cooling off in a pool or lake. In order 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 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 5000 Americans are injured by charcoal/wood-burning and propane grill fires.
The following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association, will help keep you safe all summer long:
- When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbeque grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
- When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight: check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
- Be sure to extinguish all smoking materials and shut down any motors and heating devices before fueling a boat. In case of a spill, wipe up fuel and check for fuel leakage and odors.
- When camping, always use a flame retardant tent and set up camp far awat from the campfire. Always extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite. To extinguish, cover with dirt and pour water over the fire.
- Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.
The summer season should be a time to make memories and enjoy the great outdoors but please keep safety in mind.
A Fire Extinguisher can be a Life Saving Tool
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends individuals be properly trained in order to use and maintain an extinguisher. USFA says an extinguisher should only be used if:
- You have alerted other occupants and someone has called the fire department.
- The fire is small and contained to a single object, such as a wastebasket.
- You are safe from toxic smoke produced by the fire.
- You have a means of escape identified and the fire is not between you and the escape route.
- Your instincts tell you that it is safe to use an extinguisher.
For fire damage questions or concerns, call SERVPRO of Iredell County at 704-872-7466
Thunderstorms and Lightning
All thunderstorms are dangerous. Every thunderstorm produces lightning. While lightning fatalities have decreased over the past 30 years, lightning continues to be one of the top three storm-related killers in the United States.
On average in the U.S., lightning kills 51 people and injures hundreds more. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms.
Other associated dangers of thunderstorms include tornadoes, strong winds, hail and flash flooding. Flash flooding is responsible for more fatalities – more than 140 annually – than any other thunderstorm-associated hazard. Dry thunderstorms that do not produce rain that reaches the ground are most prevalent in the western United States. Falling raindrops evaporate, but lightning can still reach the ground and can start wildfires.
To prepare for a thunderstorm, you should do the following:
- To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
- Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
- Postpone outdoor activities.
- Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
- Get inside a home, building, or hard top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
- Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
- Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
- Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.
For fire, water or mold damage, call SERVPRO of Iredell County at 704-872-7466
10 Fire Tips For Your Home
For most people, homes are one-time assets, containing their most precious belongings. A home is the most important thing you own. It is prudent to ensure the security of your home and family from destructive elements such as fire.
Many homes are destroyed due to fires. Fires may occur due to accidents through carelessness or negligence. It is therefore essential to know of ways and means to keep your house safe from fires.
Listed below are 10 tips for ensuring fire safety for your home:
1 Install a few smoke detectors, preferably on each level. Smoke detectors help save lives and property with early-warning mechanisms. All instructions regarding smoke detectors must be observed scrupulously.
2 Maintain and test smoke detectors periodically. Replace smoke alarm batteries. Most detectors give out signals when the batteries get low to avoid the danger of forgetting about you batteries.
3 Keep an eye out for potential fire hazards. Look for things like frayed or torn cords on electrical devices such as televisions, stereo systems, lamps or computers. Watch out for heaters that are too close to flammable items such as clothing, fabric, books, magazines or old newspapers.
4 Keep match boxes and lighters out of reach of children. Children are fascinated with fire, and curiosity can get dangerous. Keep temptation at bay by hiding matches and lighters. Better still, keep them locked away.
5 Stay on guard when cooking or baking in the kitchen. Many home fires begin in the kitchen. It's always best to be cautious and exercise care in attending to areas that are prone to fire accidents.
6 Have an emergency fire-exit plan handy at all times. Family members should be aware of this plan, and safety drills are in order from time to time. Escape plans have helped families to be safe in fires.
7 Always exercise caution when using, placing or lighting candles. Candles can easily allow other things to catch fire if you are not careful. Have proper candle holders, protective covers and extinguishers for candles.
8 Avoid electrical fires by always unplugging all electronic devices and appliances after use. Plugged-in appliances and electronic devices are fire hazards.
9 Take good care of fireplaces or wood-burning stoves that you use during the winter. Ensure proper safety and upkeep of such devices and keep children out of reach of fire.
10 Teach children about the hazards of fire and ensure they are aware of fire safety rules. Remember, the wellbeing of your family is important and everyone is responsible in understanding the hazards of fire.
Iredell County Red Cross Fire Safety Tips
Did you know that if a fire starts in your home, you may have just two minutes to escape?
The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards. 60 percent of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. During a home fire, working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives.
Fire Safety Tips
- If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL for HELP.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms once a month, if they’re not working, change the batteries.
- Talk with all household members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
Winter has arrived, along with bitter cold and freezing temperatures. In an effort to keep living and working spaces cozy, many residents and employees turn to alternative heat sources. The most common form of alternative heat comes from portable space heaters. These devices can generate a lot of extra heat, but if used improperly, can also create a serious safety hazard.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating is the leading cause of home fire deaths. Almost half of these deaths occur during the months of December, January, and February. Statistics show most of these fires also involved stationary or portable heaters. In 2009, heating equipment fires were responsible for an estimated $1.1 billion in direct property damage.
When used as directed and maintained properly, space heaters can be used safely. When purchasing a space heater, make sure it has been evaluated by an independent testing Laboratory; this will generally be indicated on the box or tag. Before operating the heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions. For more ways to minimize the risk of a heating related fire, review the tips list here:
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from the heating equipment, like furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters, or central heating equipment according to local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Remember to turn off portable heaters when leaving a room.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
SERVPRO of Iredell County professionals are dedicated to restoring both the property and the lives of customers being helped. The number one goal is returning damaged areas and items to preloss condition, doing all we can to make it “Like it never even happened.”
3 Tips to Avoid Electrical Fires
Although electricity is an integral part of our lives, it’s not something we should take for granted. In reality, electricity can result in safety hazards, such as a fire. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), home electrical fires claim the lives of approximately 310 Americans each year and injure around 850 more. Fortunately, many electrical fires can be avoided by taking safety precautions like the ones below.
• Routinely check your appliances and wiring. One of the easiest ways to prevent an electrical fire is to ensure electrical devices aren’t already at risk. Replace frayed wires and repair any device that overheats, shorts, or gives of sparks.
• Make sure the plugs match the outlet. If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
• Use extension cords and outlets wisely. An overheated wall socket can eventually become a fiery disaster. Use safe practices by not overloading extension cords or wall sockets.
An electrical fire can be dangerous, but in many cases, it can be avoided. If you do have a house fire, however, know that our local restoration experts are available 24/7. Call SERVPRO of Iredell County any time at (704) 872-7466!
Fire Damage Restoration
The fire trucks may be gone but without proper immediate response, the real damage and the costs are just beginning. To return your residential or commercial property to its preloss condition requires professional restoration. This is not the job for a do-it-yourself property owner.
Professional restoration technicians know that damage increases and restoration costs escalate the longer neutralization, corrosion control and cleaning is delayed. When homeowners prolong the restoration of their home, they extend the effects brought on by the smoke exposure. The following is an initial timeline of the effects of fire and smoke on a home:
Within Minutes: Acid soot residues cause plastics to yellow; small appliances located close to the source of combustion discolor; highly porous materials (marble, alabaster) discolor permanently.
Within Hours: Acid residues stain grout in bathrooms; fiberglass bath fixtures may yellow; uncoated metals tarnish, counter tops may yellow; finishes on appliances, particularly refrigerators, may yellow; furniture finishes may discolor.
For results you can have confidence in, the IICRC recommends hiring a certified restoration firm. Restoration to a property can be complex. Proper smoke and odor removal are tasks that require technicians certified in these specific areas.
When selecting a certified restoration firm several factors must be considered:
- Formal and up-to-date specialized training
- Health and safety certifications
- Experience in a wide range of restoration projects
- Proof of proper insurance and licenses
Tips on What to Do After a Fire in Your Mooresville Home
Fires can cause significant damage, but there are steps you can take to restore both your home and your belongings!
A house fire is one of the last things a person wants to experience. The situation is both physically and mentally exhausting, and if it’s your first encounter, it’s not always clear what to do next. For years, our team has helped house fire victims recover their homes and belongings. As local experts in the Mooresville community, we know the many things you and your family should do if you have a fire.
Contact the Professionals
Once you’ve called your local fire department and let your family know you’re safe, you should call the right professionals to get the restoration process started. At the very least, this will include your insurance company and your local fire restoration company.
You should first call your insurance company or your local agent. They will be instrumental in helping you cover costs and managing the multiple steps involved in the restoration process.
Ask your agent:
• What to do about the immediate needs of your home. This includes pumping out water and covering doors, windows, and other openings.
• Who else you should call. If you aren’t sure who to call for restoration and repair services, your local agent can refer you to somebody they have a trusted relationship with.
• What you need to do. Your life has been disrupted, and you agent can instruct you on the steps you should personally take to reclaim it.
You should also call a local cleanup and restoration company so you can restore your damaged home and belongings. These experts—like our team at SERVPRO of Iredell County—can extract water, clean up soot and ashes, and even restore many of your damaged belongings.
Ask your restoration company:
• What services they can provide. Not all cleanup and restoration companies are equal, so see what services they can provide, such as boarding up doors and windows, cleaning your belongings, and HVAC cleaning.
• If they can also repair your home. If possible, find a company that can do the entire restoration process—from mitigation to repairs. It’s often easier to work with one company versus several.
Re-entering Your Home
Once it’s safe, you’ll want to re-enter your home to inspect damages and see which of your belongings endured. Before you do so, consider the following:
• You should never enter the home until your fire department has said it is safe to do so.
• Fires can start again even if they appear to be out.
• Soot and dirty water left behind may contain things that could make you sick. Do not eat, drink, or breathe in anything that has been near the fire’s flames, smoke, soot, or water used to put the fire out.
Reclaiming Your Home
There are many steps involved in restoring your home after a fire, and it’s never easy. Fortunately, if you live in Mooresville, NC, you have access to our professional team of cleanup and restoration experts. So if you have a fire, put yourself in good hands by calling SERVPRO of Iredell County at (704) 872-7466!