Recent Fire Damage Posts

After the Fire – A Comprehensive Post-House Fire Checklist

12/29/2022 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in a house Fire damage in Baton Rouge, LA

Suffering a house fire is one of the most devastating events a homeowner can experience. The loss of personal belongings and cherished keepsakes often leaves survivors feeling completely helpless. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to protect your property after experiencing a house fire. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything from getting control over your insurance benefits and securing the perimeter of your home with board-up services to assessing damages and dealing with insurance claims adjusters.

Steps to Take Immediately Following a Fire

The moment your house catches on fire, you’ll be in a state of shock. You may not even know what to do first. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take right away to ensure that everyone is safe and that the damage done by the fire is minimal.

First and foremost, call 911 as soon as possible. The sooner first responders are at your location, the sooner they can assess what’s happening and get control over it—or if necessary, help evacuate everyone from the building safely. Once they arrive on scene, they will direct you through each step needed for them to extinguish the flames and make sure that no one is left inside or exposed to hazardous chemicals/emissions such as carbon monoxide poisoning (see below).

Assess the Damage

The first thing you should do after a fire is assess the damage. This can be overwhelming, but it's important that you know exactly what you're looking for so that you can make an educated decision about where to go from there.

  • Look for structural damage and stability. Structural damage refers to any changes in the physical structure of your home that occurred as a result of the fire. You'll want to inspect walls and floors, windows and doors, roofing materials, ceiling beams and supports (if possible), plumbing systems, electrical wiring/outlets/switches—everything!
  • Check for smoke or water damage. Even if no flames were visible during the fire itself (or even if they weren't even suspected), there may still have been smoke damage hidden inside walls or ceilings. This means having an expert come in with specialized equipment like thermal imaging cameras, so they can determine whether there was enough heat generated that could potentially cause structural integrity issues down the road. 

Back-Track to the Source

After the fire has been extinguished, you may be eager to see what happened and how much damage has been done. It’s important to back-track to the source of the fire so that you can prevent another one from happening.

  • Investigate the cause of the fire: If it was an electrical issue, find out if there are any other problems in your home that could lead to another fire.
  • Check for hazardous materials: If it wasn’t an electrical issue, check for any other possible causes like flammable liquids or gas leaks around your house. Also look at all of your belongings and make sure they aren’t leaking anything dangerous onto surfaces where they might ignite a new fire later on – this includes cleaning products!

Gather Valuable Documents and Information

One of the most important steps you can take after a house fire is to gather all of your valuable documents and information. This includes copies of birth certificates, marriage licenses and divorce decrees, Social Security cards (and numbers), passports and immigration papers, wills, deeds to real estate—anything that may be necessary for insurance companies or creditors to prove ownership of property.

Once you’ve begun rebuilding your life after the fire, it’s important that these documents are stored safely in case they are needed later on. Some people choose to use an online cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive; others prefer using a hard drive or flash drive. The choice is up to you!

Evaluate Your Insurance Benefits and Plan Ahead

After the fire, it’s important to collect your insurance information and determine the amount of coverage you have. In addition to making a list of what is covered and what isn't, you should also ask about any exclusions or limitations on your policy. Your insurance company may be able to help you get an estimate for repair costs.

Make a List of Damaged Items

Once the fire is out, you will have time to make a list of damaged items and the rooms they were located in. You should also note how much damage was done to each item. This will be helpful when it comes time to file an insurance claim and replace your belongings.

If firefighters were able to recover any of your possessions, it's important to check with your insurance company to see if they can help you with a claim. Your policy may cover items that were damaged but not destroyed in the fire. If so, you may be able to recover those belongings from the insurance company and donate them to a charity organization that can use them for good.

Securing Your Home with Board-Up Services

After you and your family have safely returned to your home following a devastating house fire, it is important to take steps to secure the perimeter of your home and protect yourself from intruders. If you are not able to secure the perimeter of your home, either by yourself or with help from a board-up company, you may find that strangers enter your property and steal items. This can be especially dangerous for homeowners who have lost their homes in fires because they will likely have minimal possessions left after such an event.

If you’ve been the victim of a house fire, the last thing you want to do is feel like you are alone in this difficult time. A professional fire restoration company, like SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge will be there for you every step of the way. We understand what it means to go through something like this and we want to help ease some of your stress. If at any time during the process, you have questions about getting back on your feet again or just need someone else who understands what it’s like – don’t hesitate to reach out! We will get your Baton Rouge, LA home back to normal as quickly as possible. 

Tips for Creating a Home Fire Escape Plan

8/29/2022 (Permalink)

Map of a house and escape routes Create a fire escape plan for your home

During a home fire, you may only have minutes to escape your Gardere, LA, property. You and your loved ones will not have time to figure out a fire escape plan. That is why you need to come up with a fire preparation strategy ahead of time.

Making Your Plan

Involve every member of your household in the planning process. Each person should know the locations of the smoke alarms and the windows and doors.
Next, pick a meeting place outside of your home. This way, everyone will know where to go after leaving the house. Common meeting places include:

  • Stop signs
  • Light posts
  • Mailboxes
  • Neighbors' homes


Any security bars on your windows and doors may make it hard for family members to exit the home quickly. As you create your fire escape plan, make sure the bars have emergency release devices.
Finally, have every person in your house memorize the phone numbers for your local fire department and emergency restoration company. That way, someone will be able to contact these professionals from safely outside the home.


Practicing Your Plan
You should practice your escape plan twice each year. This will let you see if there are any faults in your strategy and give you time to correct them.
As each person exits the house during the drill, he or she should practice closing the doors behind them. This can slow the spread of a real fire. If you have an escape ladder, every member of the home should practice locating and using it.
You should also practice a scenario where you or a loved one are trapped in the home due to smoke or fire. In this scenario, you should seal yourself into a room by closing the door and covering and vents or door cracks.
A blaze in your home can be a scary situation. However, having a fire escape plan in place should help everyone keep calm during an emergency.

3 Details of Fire Escape Your Kids Need To Know

5/30/2022 (Permalink)

Father and son speaking It is important to include children in the preparation of a house fire.

Three Things Your Kids Should Know About Fire Escape

Talking with your kids about fire safety might seem a little nerve-racking, but having the right information is crucial to ensuring kids' safety. Clear communication about your fire escape plan helps the whole family to be prepared. Even if you've already covered the basics of escaping a home fire in Baton Rouge, LA, with your children, there are a few details that you may want to revisit and practice during your next fire safety review.

1. Stay Low
There are two important scenarios during which your kids will need to remember to stay low when escaping a house fire:

  • Getting out of bed: Have your kids practice safely rolling out of their beds onto the floor. Because heat rises, they should avoid sitting up to get out of bed during a fire.
  • Moving through the house: Practice crawling on hands and knees through your home to your fire exits. Also practice crawling with the belly to the ground, in the case of extreme heat.

2. Don't Hide
It is important to remind children to never hide during a fire. The impulse to hide in the midst of a crisis is understandable, but it compromises kids' safety by making it harder for firefighters to find them. If they are unable to safely exit the home, they should stay put where they can be found quickly, such as lying on the floor next to their bed.

3. Pick a Meeting Spot
Talk ahead of time about where you will meet after exiting your home. Choose a spot that is easy to get to but a safe distance from the house. Have your children practice meeting there so they will remember if the time comes.
Practicing these steps helps to secure your kids' safety. In the event of a fire, everybody reaching safety and gathering at your meeting place enables you to focus on the next steps. These include finding a safe place to stay while you have a fire damage assessment done on your home. Clear communication with your children is key to both preparing for the event of a home fire and navigating any changes afterward.

How To Get Rid of Stubborn Smoke Smells

4/18/2022 (Permalink)

Bottle of vinegar The strong smell of smoke damage can be neutralized with vinegar.

Removing Smoke Odor In Your Home

Whether from a fire or from a bad cigarette habit, smoke cleaning can be difficult and frustrating. No matter how hard you scrub, the smell seems to linger in your Arlington, LA, home and you feel as if your space will never be the same. Here are some steps that may help you get a good start on it before you reach out to a professional odor elimination specialist.

Determine the Source

There are a variety of reasons you may have a stubborn smoke odor in your home. Determining the source will help you decide the best route to get it cleared out. The smell may come from fire damage, years of indoor cigarette smoking, or even from outdoor wildfires near your home. The smell will leach into fabrics and any porous surface in your home, including furniture, clothing, dishes, floors and walls.

Neutralize With Vinegar

The strong smell of smoke damage can be neutralized with vinegar. Begin by placing several small bowls around the area where the odor is strongest. These will begin to absorb the noxious fumes and reduce the smell. You can also boil some vinegar on the stove to speed up the process, allowing it to simmer for an hour or two.

Clean, Clean, Clean

Smoke cleaning will also require you to remove and thoroughly scrub anything that was within the damaged area. All clothing, furniture cushions, or other fabric items should be washed. You'll also need to clean wall hangings and hard surfaces. Sprinkle baking soda on carpets and allow it to sit for a while before vacuuming up.

Use Ammonia

The most stubborn smells may require an ammonia treatment to fully destroy them. You can add some to the laundry when washing clothing, bedding and other fabrics. The stronger smell will be more unpleasant than vinegar, but you can also place bowls of ammonia throughout the home to absorb smoke smells.
Smoke cleaning takes a lot of work, but the time invested is worth it if you can eliminate the smell. Follow these tips to do it right.

Steps to Take After Your Business Suffers Fire Damage

3/23/2022 (Permalink)

Diner had suffered fire damage, picture shows the aftermath. Clean diner. The aftermath of a fire in Baton Rouge, LA.

Fire Restoration Process

A fire is a devastating incident, and you may feel overwhelmed if your business in Baton Rouge, LA, has been affected by fire damage. There are some key steps you should take in the aftermath of a fire in order to ensure that your business is up and running again as seamlessly as possible. Here are some tips to guide you through the fire restoration process and ensure that everything returns to normal again.

Stay Away From Damage

While you may be tempted to try to repair objects that have been damaged by the fire, it is best not to touch any damaged items in your business. Take the following precautions when surveying the effects of the fire:

  • Avoid washing walls or painted surfaces
  • Do not turn on lighting fixtures if walls or ceiling are wet
  • Keep your hands clean to avoid spreading soot particles
  • Refrain from cleaning damaged electronics

Staying away from damaged articles until a professional arrives can help prevent your business from undergoing further damage.

Call Your Insurance Company

Make sure to call your insurance company as soon as possible to report the fire damage. The faster you inform them of your loss, the faster you can focus on fire restoration and the less likely you are to miss important deadlines. Once you’ve spoken with an agent, you can make a fire insurance claim. Taking care of the logistics after an incident can help you be well informed during a stressful situation.

Turn off Utilities

Until help arrives, it is crucial to do what you can to minimize further damage. Turn off all the utilities in your building, including gas, electricity and water. You can shut off the water at the main valve and turn off gas and electricity at the meter. Once you’ve done this, refrain from using any utilities until a professional has inspected them properly.
Whether you need smoke cleaning services or water removal from firefighting efforts, a skilled fire restoration professional can conduct a fire damage assessment and help bring your business back to normal.

Keep Your Pet Safe in a Home Fire With a Pet Evacuation Plan

2/23/2022 (Permalink)

Escape plan Keep your pets and family members safe by having a well thought out plan if a fire emergency ever does occur.

With A Pet Evacuation Plan, You Can Keep Your Pet Safe In The Event Of A House Fire.

If a fire occurs in your home in Erie, CO, your first priority should always be to get yourself and all your family members out safely. While you should leave belongings behind until a fire restoration company can retrieve them, you will likely not want to leave your pets behind. It is important you have a plan in place to evacuate your pets in case a fire emergency ever occurs. A good place to start is by including your pets into your home escape plan.

5 Pet Preparation Tasks You Should Complete

Preparation is key when it comes to protecting your pets in a fire. In case your pets are in an unsafe location that you or your other family members can’t get to, there are several steps you can take to better the chance of their rescue:

  1. Place your pet near a door so firefighters can quickly save them.
  2. Keep an updated pet alert window sling on the front window of your home.
  3. Set aside a disaster supply kit just for your pet in the case of a fire emergency.
  4. Place important pet ownership documents and proof of vaccinations in a fire box.
  5. Teach your pets the “Come” command so you can easily direct them towards you.


Creating Your Pet Evacuation Plan

In addition to these important pet safety tasks, you will need to create a pet evacuation plan for your pets. Assign a specific individual or two to being in charge of retrieving the pets. If your pets are located in a specific part of the house during the night, identify several different routes to that location. Lastly, make sure to practice the evacuation plan several times.

Keep your pets and family members safe by having a well thought out plan if a fire emergency ever does occur. While your pets might be able to escape safely on their own, you can increase the chance of their rescue with these tips!

How To Extinguish a Fire

12/16/2021 (Permalink)

Types of fire extinguishers Use the right fire extinguisher.

Four Steps To Extinguish a Fire

A fire extinguisher can limit the amount of damage caused by a minor fire. This safety equipment is not difficult to use, but it is important to use it properly. Follow these four steps to put out a household or kitchen fire.

1. Identify a Safe Evacuation Path

Do not attempt to extinguish a fire until you have a safe path for evacuation. Avoid letting the fire get between you and the exit. If there is not a safe path, you should immediately pursue another escape route.

2. Use the Right Fire Extinguisher

There are five classes of extinguishers that contain different substances. These include:

• Class A for ordinary combustibles
• Class B for flammable liquid or gas fuel
• Class C for electrical fires
• Class D for combustible metal
• Class K for liquid cooking materials

Multi-class extinguishers are suitable for more than one type of fire. These extinguishers will be labeled with more than one class, such as A-B-C.

3. Do the P.A.S.S. Technique

There are four steps to the P.A.S.S. technique. These steps are as follows:

• P: Pull the pin and break the tamper seal
• A: Aim the nozzle, horn, or hose at the base of the fire
• S: Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing substance
• S: Sweep from side to side near the base of the fire

Continue until the fire appears to be out. Then, watch the area for signs of re-ignition. If an extinguisher becomes empty and a fire is still burning, you should evacuate immediately.

4. Evacuate If Necessary

If you cannot extinguish a fire, evacuating can keep you safe. If the fire appears to be out, you can wait outside for the fire department to arrive to ensure that there is no further risk.

These four steps will enable you to use a fire extinguisher to put out an incipient fire at a residence in Gardere, LA. If a fire is more severe, you should evacuate. Once the fire is out, you can contact a fire damage restoration company.

Cleaning Up After a Home Fire

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

Electrical fire Fire by computer cord

Cleaning Up After a Fire in the House

A house fire in Baton Rouge, LA, can be a distressing and devastating event. Seeing the destruction, no matter how minor, may leave you overwhelmed and wondering what to do next. In the aftermath, you should conduct a thorough review of what to keep and what to throw away among items remaining in the residence.

Make Informed Choices

Certain things may appear to be unaffected on the surface, but on further examination, they will likely need to be discarded. There are deciding factors that can help you determine what needs to go. Certain types of fire damage, such as burning or scorching, are easily identified. However, you’ll also want to consider kinds of damage that may not be so apparent, from sources such as these:

  • High heat
  • Smoke
  • Soot
  • Water
  • Fire extinguisher residue

High heat can be damaging to foods, cosmetics, and medicine. To err on the side of caution, you may need to throw away all of them. Anything warped or melted by the heat should be tossed. Clothing and other household textiles often absorb smoke and should be inspected to determine if they can be salvaged. Smoke, soot, water, and fire extinguisher dust often spread and penetrate everywhere, through closet doors, kitchen cabinets, and even appliances such as your refrigerator, so their contents should be scrutinized as well.

Let Cooler Heads Prevail

You’ve got a lot to think about and maybe especially worried about how much of your belongings you’ll need to throw away. Emotions are likely running high. An option that can ease the stress and concern is to contact fire cleanup and restoration professionals. They typically respond quickly to calls from distraught homeowners, and many have hotlines that are staffed 24/7. Most are skilled in rectifying the different kinds of damage a fire can leave in its wake and have specialized expertise enabling them to restore as much as possible to pre-fire condition.

How Restoration Experts Clean Fire-Damaged Items

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

A MAC computer charger cord caused this kitchen fire. Restoration experts use a variety of methods to salvage fire-damaged items.

What You Need to Know About Restoring Contents Cleaning 

The process for cleaning your home in Gardere, LA after a fire is pretty straightforward, but each item in your home must also be cleaned, and content storage is often necessary until it can be restored. Restoration experts use a variety of methods to salvage fire-damaged items. Some of your belongings benefit from dry-cleaning while others fare better with ultrasonic cleaning methods. The best method depends on each particular item.

Porous Items

Items such as untreated wood or cardboard and many items of furniture have tiny pockets of space where soot and smoke can really permeate the surface. Because of this, content cleaning of porous items is typically more difficult. If a couch was significantly permeated with smoke and soot, for example, it may not be salvageable. If the item cannot be cleaned, it is best to throw it out and replace it.

Textiles

When you have a home fire, your clothing and other textiles are likely to be affected by smoke and soot even if they were not in the area where the fire occurred. You home likely contains many different textiles:

• Clothing
• Sheet sets
• Comforters and pillow shams
• Draperies
• Bath linens

The good news is that, as long as the items were not actually damaged by the fire, dry-cleaning will most likely restore them completely. In addition to your wardrobe, you can also dry clean curtains and linens if necessary.

Non-Porous Items

Items made from most metals, glass, varnished wood and plastic are usually non-porous. To clean these items, they are immersed in a cleaning liquid. Then, ultrasonic vibrations are used to produce sound waves that create and burst tiny bubbles. This process is called cavitation, and it allows the cleaning action to remove soot from the items, restoring them to their previous state.

Certified restoration experts are trained to analyze each item's damage and determine whether it can be cleaned and, if so, how it should be cleaned, whether by dry-cleaning or another method. You can rely on the expertise of the professionals who handle your fire restoration.

Stop Cooking Fires Before They Happen

7/5/2021 (Permalink)

Stovetop on flames Kitchen fire

SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge is here to educate the community on ways to prevent fire damage.

The NFPA reports that fires involving cooking equipment account for about 45% of home fires. The outcome of these fires results in $1.1 billion in property damage and 430 civilian deaths every year. And as we know, fires in the winter months are scarily common. 

To prevent your building from becoming part of those statistics, remind your tenants to:

  • Never leave cooking equipment unattended - This might sound obvious, but I'm sure all of us can remember a time when we put something in the oven or were cooking on the stove and got distracted in another room. It's no surprise that leaving equipment unattended in the kitchen is the number one cause of residential fires. 

Remind tenants to turn off the oven or stovetop if they have to leave the kitchen. Even if they plan on being in the room while their food is cooking, it's always a good idea to set a timer. 

  • Clean cooking equipment regularly - Grease and food particle build-up in or on the surface of cooking equipment can catch fire. Ask tenants to keep cooking areas safe and clean by wiping down any scraps and grease. 
  • Keep flammable material away from heat sources - This includes loose-fitting clothing, plastic and paper packaging, potholders, towels, etc. 
  • Check cooking appliances before going to sleep - Remind your tenants to check that cooking appliances are shut off before they retire for the night or leaving the building.
  • Never smoke inside - Smoking inside is a great way to set off fire alarms and light the building on fire (not to mention that it disturbs other tenants and the chemicals can cling to walls and other surfaces). Kindly remind tenants that there is absolutely no smoking inside the building. Period. 

Get the Right Ambience and Reduce Fire Risk with Candle Alternatives

6/8/2021 (Permalink)

wax warmer These electric warmers use a lightbulb to melt scented wax on a plate.

Candle Alternatives

For centuries, candles have provided light and been a mainstay in creating a calm and relaxing environment. They have also served as one of the top fire hazards. When you want to give your Arlington, LA, home some ambiance without having to worry about a candle fire, there are many candle alternatives available.

Other Options
Whether it’s for the light it gives off or the fragrance, people have many choices besides traditional candles. Below are some top alternatives.

Flameless: These battery-operated candles mimic the effect of candlelight without the flame. Many are programmable, which allows you to have them automatically come on at a specific time.
Warmers: Instead of a melting candle providing a gentle light and scent, these electric warmers use a lightbulb to melt scented wax on a plate. These warmers come in an array of styles, including as an outlet plug-in. Be sure to take precautions when dealing with hot wax.
Plug-in Air Fresheners: When the goal is to ensure your home has an inviting smell, these have become a popular option. They simply plug into an outlet and gently release the fragrance. They do require changing out the fragrance portion every month or so.
Heatless Options: From sprays to potpourri and oil diffusers, there are many ways to give your home a pleasant smell without any kind of heat needed.

Fire Safety
If real candles are still preferred over candle alternatives, ensure that safety precautions are taken when using them. The ambiance they give isn’t worth a fire and having to call a fire and smoke damage restoration specialist to get rid of the unpleasant smell of smoke. When burning a candle, never leave it unattended and ensure it is away from anything flammable, as well as out of reach from children and pets.
While candles can creating a pleasing environment, safety should always be considered. To avoid any fire-related issues, consider the above candle alternatives to keep your home smelling welcoming.

Why Do I Need Emergency Board Up Service?

3/24/2021 (Permalink)

Blue tarp on roof Tarping roof area after fire damage.

If your Gardere, LA, home is damaged in a fire or other disaster, the last thing you want to deal with is arranging for emergency board up or tarp over services. Most likely, you would rather take a “hands-off” approach, leaving everything up to your insurance company. After all, it can be extremely upsetting to view your home in such a state. Furthermore, it’s tempting to feel as though the damage has been done at this point — why bother taking protective action now? Read on to learn why failing to properly secure your home could have dire consequences.

What Are Board Ups and Why Do I Need Them?

After a fire or other disaster, your home may have structural damage which leaves it open to further damage from other sources. For example:

  • Exposure to the elements, such as wind and rain, could cause additional damage to your home, which in turn could dramatically increase your remediation costs.
  • Depending on the extent and nature of the fire damage, without proper board-up service, you could face looters, thieves, or animal invaders.

Furthermore, many home insurance policies require that you take appropriate measures to secure your property pending repairs. Failure to do so could result in a loss of coverage.

Can I Do It Myself?
In the aftermath of fire damage, securing your home is a job best left to the professionals. While the property may appear safe, there may be indiscernible damage to your roof, floor, or load-bearing walls that can create unsafe conditions. Boarding up or tarping over damaged areas of your home is a service that is typically offered by premium restoration companies and some roofing professionals, who have the skills, equipment, and training to secure your property safely and correctly.
If your home has been damaged by fire, don’t underestimate the importance of prompt and professional board up and tarp over services to minimize your overall damage and reduce cleanup time.

Why Take Security Precautions After a Commercial Fire

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage

Taking Precautions You Can Protect Your Business

Fires are extremely dangerous even after they are put out. The loss of inventory and equipment may not end once the fire department leaves. This is why you need to take security precautions before someone gets hurt or breaks into your business. By taking precautions like putting up a security fence, you can protect your business.

Firefighters Can Cause Damage
It is unfortunate but true that firefighters cause a lot of damage, putting out the fire. This damage includes:

  • Broken windows
  • Holes in roofs, floors and ceilings
  • Broken doors and entries
  • Water damage

This damage is part of fire fighting and cannot be helped. After the fire is out and before the inspector comes, your home is open. Without a way to lock up, people can sneak in and steal the remaining inventory or equipment. Security fencing is necessary to prevent theft.

Dangerous Toxins Are Released During a Fire
Many businesses have some toxic chemicals inside them. Sometimes these toxic chemicals are on or inside the walls in the form of asbestos or lead. Sometimes these chemicals are part of the inventory or product line, which is the case for many plastics or cleaners. Either way, even after the fire is put out until a remediation company can come in, you will need some form of protection against outsiders. A security fence might be necessary to keep people from injuring themselves, making you liable for their injuries.

Burned-Out Buildings Are Dangerous
Even without the damage that fighting the fire might cause, there are other dangers inside a burned-out building. Fire can damage key supports and load bearing beams. It can also damage floors and subfloor to the point where they are a serious fall risk.
Water damage can also cause electrical shorts, and live wires could be down and laying in water. Until inspectors clear your home, no one should go in.
Despite the dangers, people might try to enter your property. To stop them, you should put up a security fence around fie damaged property for their protection and yours.

3 Things You Should Know About Fire Alarms

9/25/2020 (Permalink)

smoke alarm surrounded by smoke A smoke alarm is a great device for keeping your home safe

3 Things You Should Know About Fire Alarms

A fire alarm is an essential item for your Gardere, LA, home. This small device can help keep you safe and may be able to alert you in time to prevent serious damage to your property. There are a few things that you should know about these useful items.

1. What Are Your Alarm Options?
When it comes to a home fire alarm, you have a few choices. Ionization and photoelectric alarms detect smoke and flames in different ways, making each one better at alerting you of a certain type of fire. Luckily, there are alarms that come with both kinds of detection, so you can be prepared no matter which kind of fire occurs.

2. How Many Alarms Should You Have?
The number of alarms that you should have in your home depends on how big it is. To best prevent fire and smoke damage in all areas, you should have at least one alarm on each level, including attics and basements. You should also have an alarm inside each bedroom and outside of each sleeping area.

3. How Often Should You Change the Batteries?
To keep your fire alarm working properly at all times, be sure to test the batteries at least once a month. If you are using a traditional battery-operated alarm or a hardwired alarm that uses backup batteries, these should be changed at least twice a year. If your alarm uses lithium batteries, these will last the life of the device and do not need to be replaced.
When it is properly maintained, a smoke alarm is a great device for keeping your home safe. However, there are circumstances when you may still experience some fire damage to your home. If this happens, a cleanup and restoration service can help restore the building to its previous condition and salvage a wide variety of affected belongings.

What You Should Know About Fire and Renters Insurance

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Logo. While you never want to experience a fire in your home, you need to be aware of what your renter's insurance coverage includes to be prepared.

A landlord should have property insurance to cover damages to the home structure. As a renter in Baton Rouge, LA, you need renters insurance to cover losses and damages to your belongings. You may be wondering what level of coverage is offered by your policy. It is important to know the particulars of your policy, especially when fire damage is involved. You need to understand what is covered by your particular plan in case of loss and injury as a result of a fire.

Renters Insurance Policy Coverage
The following is usually covered by most renters insurance policies:

If you lose items due to a fire, your policy covers personal property. Check to see that your plan offers the replacement value instead of the actual cash value of lost items. The cost to replace your furniture, for example, maybe more than their current cash value.


If you’re responsible for the fire, your plan covers the loss and injury that results, such as property damage or injury to a neighboring unit.


Most policies include medical payments to others with limited coverage for small injuries that result from a fire.


If your home is not livable during the fire cleanup process, your policy covers loss of use and temporary living expenses incurred.

You owe it to yourself to know what your insurance plan covers when it comes to fire damage.


Fire Restoration Guidance
While you never want to experience a fire in your home, you need to be aware of what your renter's insurance coverage includes to be prepared. Consult with a professional provider of fire restoration services. They should be fully knowledgeable on the best methods of fire damage cleanup to not only restore your home to pre-fire conditions but also to minimize the disruption to your life. If there is damage due to extinguishing the fire, these experts will also know the best processes for cleanup that will prevent further damage to your items.

Post Fire Cleanup: 3 Things You Should Toss

2/28/2020 (Permalink)

Plastic bottles of body care and beauty products in the bathroom. Throw away items that you usually would use on your skin

3 Things You Should Toss

After a fire is anything safe? Homeowners may not really know what poses hazards; therefore, when disaster strikes contact a fire restoration company in Gardere, LA. The experts can offer you advice and provide guidance for what may be salvaged and what needs to go. One thing to keep in mind is this: Throw away products found in the refrigerator as well as the bathroom shelves.

1. Food and Beverage
Yes, groceries and medicine cost money, but they are also vulnerable to high heat. During the blaze, the intensity may have expanded the cans, bags, and boxes, allowing smoke into the products. There is no sure way to feel good about the products. It's best to get rid of them, especially if you notice any issues with bulges or dents. Also, freezer food should be inspected, especially if it never lost power. You may be able to wrap it up and put it in another location. Avoid anything you think may have defrosted.

2. Personal Hygiene Products
Throw away items that you usually would use on your skin, especially cosmetics. The compounds may have changed during the event, perhaps making them dangerous for application. You want to feel comfortable with these materials. Remove anything questionable from the shelves.

3. Medical Supplies
As you evaluate fire damage, think about whether the flames came near your medicines. The temperatures could impact the effectiveness, so this may be something to discard. Make a list of all potential contaminated medicine. Take pictures of its location, and then speak with your pharmacist and doctor about whether you can continue to take it. It's may simply be best to get rid of it and request a new supply. Work with your insurance companies to discuss coverage.
Remember, you've been through enough. You don't need to consume or use anything that might hurt you more. Throw away anything that may pose harm.

Winter holiday fire facts

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

turkey fryer Fire damage can ruin your holiday.

SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge wants your holiday experience to be safe. Please learn and follow these tips:

  • Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in more than two of every five (44%) home Christmas tree fires.

  • Two of every five (39%) home Christmas tree fires started in the living room. Five percent were chimney or flue fires. One-fifth (21%) of the decoration fires started in the kitchen.Fifteen percent started in the living room, family room or den.

  • Almost three of every five (57%) December home decoration fires were started by candles, compared to one-third (32%) in January to November.

  • See more statistics on winter holiday fires.

Here are some Tips for Holiday Entertaining

  • Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.
  • Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
  • Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them.
  • Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.

Contact List following a fire

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

It can be overwhelming seeing the damages that fire has caused to your home and belongings but timing is essential in fire damage restoration and you need to act fast to mitigate your home. 

Companies the you want to contact:

Restoration contractor: The longer you let your home sit in soot and water damage, the further the damage. This is why it is crucial to start the fire restoration process right away. After speaking to a reputable fire restoration company they will be able to develop a custom action plan to restore your home.  An expert will be dispatched  to your home to review the damage, get a clean up plan in place and save as much of your belongings as possible. 

Insurance Company: Contact your insurance company and alert them of the situation at hand.  They will be able to shed a little light on this dark situation by informing you of the next steps you need to take. With their guidance, you will be able to navigate the first initial steps of your fire damage claims. In addition, they will be able to inform you of the best practices you should take such as making a list and taking pictures of damaged items for documentation. 

Utility and Lending Companies: Paying your bills and living expenses in addition to paying to having your home and belonging restored can be financially exhausting. Utility and lending companies realize this and they know the hardship a family can face in the event of disaster such as a house fire. Contact them, explain your situation, and see if they offer any hardship programs that would lower your payments or stop them completely until you get back on your feet.

Physician: Do you or a family member rely on daily medication to stay healthy? Depending on the extent of the fire damage or the origin of it, retrieving medication may not be possible. Contact your family physician and request to have your medication filled at your nearest pharmacy. 

Child’s School: If you have a child in school you may want to contact the school and alert them of the situation at hand. If the fire damage deems your home unlivable you may need to stay with a family member and their home can be too far from the school. Teachers and principles are understanding of the difficulties a child and family faces in the event of a disaster and may allow them to do class work at home.

Call SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge if you have any questions or concerns.

Your Home can be severely damaged by Smoke

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

After you have been cleared to re-enter your home or business it is important to keep an eye out for structural damage. A licensed inspector may be needed to evaluate the building to make sure that it is safe. Ceilings can collapse, causing injury or even death. Concrete can expand from the heat of a fire leading to an unsound foundation.

Make sure to take lots of pictures of the structure and of your damaged contents. Fabric, leather and wood will all have telltale signs. Check everything for charring. If it passes your inspection then give it the old smell test to check for smoke odor.

Your walls and ceilings may be discolored from the intense heat, charring and soot. If your HVAC system was running during the fire you may want to thoroughly check rooms that were seemingly not affected by the blaze. The soot could have traveled through your duct work to other rooms.

If you have any questions or concerns please call SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge.

How can homeowners remove odors and restore their homes on their own?

8/8/2019 (Permalink)

Prep SpacThey should start by removing all materials from the area. Some people only recommend removing items that suffered fire damage, but a homeowner must keep in mind that total restoration starts by reducing exposure of clean items to lingering smoke. Also, if one area is burnt and another nearby one is fine, a homeowner should seal off damaged sections so that odors do not contaminate materials in untouched areas.

Purify the Air Throughout the cleaning and restoration process, a homeowner must set up one or more air purifying devices that contain activated carbon filters to absorb odors. Boxes of baking soda placed throughout the damaged area can also help. SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge can provide Hydroxyl Generators, Ozone and air scrubbers with carbon filters.

Remove All Debris Cleaning up ash and soot isn't an easy task. Creosote creates difficult-to-remove oily stains. Water-based cleaning solutions make a mess that's even harder to remove, and moisture promotes bacteria and mold growth in badly deteriorated materials. A homeowner must start to remove ash and soot odors by rubbing surfaces from the ceiling down toward the floor with a dry soot eraser sponge. Afterward, they should then sweep up remaining particles with a broom and dustbin and finally a vacuum. Application of a liquid solvent with a sponge is necessary to remove stains. To remove lingering odors, a homeowner must use liquid deodorizer spray.

Restore the Home The final part of the process for smoke removal and returning a space to its former physical state is total restoration. If necessary, a homeowner must repair or replace structural materials, furniture, and appliances. Once they complete this portion of the restoration process, they merely need to replace decorative items to make the area comfortable and welcoming once again. Air purifiers should no longer be necessary unless the homeowner uses them to reduce allergy-related dust, pollen and pet dander and odors unrelated to a fire. Homeowners can't solve every smoke-based fire damage scenario on their own. If smoke odor doesn't dissipate or the fire affected a large area or caused extensive damage, they should invest in help from a professional restorer. If something does happen, call our team at SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge. We expertly and quickly handle total reconstruction jobs, including smoke removal and structural rebuilds and repairs. We're also available 24/7 for emergency restorations.

Air Quality after a Fire

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge can mitigate all types of fire damage in accordance with insurance standards.

After a fire the air quality in your home or business can be very difficult to mitigate. As I’m sure you are aware smoke travels everywhere and if your HVAC system is running it can spread to parts of your home or business that we’re not even affected by the actual file. SERVPRO of Baton Rouge can provide odor control in conjunction with the fire damage cleaning and restoration process. We can provide smoke damage cleaning as well as an O-Zone treatment and the placement of a Hydroxyl generator. Also we will have air scrubbers with carbon filters placed throughout your home or business to further clean the air that is already being deodorized utilizing other methods.

If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call us.

#fire damage cleaning

#cleaning smoke damage

Protect your home from electrical fires

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Home electrical fire

Electrical fires cause millions of dollars in damages, while also claiming lives in the process. There are so many possible causes for these types of fires. One of these causes can be faulty wiring through out the house, and overloading connection for more than they were designed for. Improper use of extension cords and power strips can cause a situation. Even something as simple as small animals chewing through wiring in the wall can cause a fire. 

You can prevent electrical fires in your Baton Rouge, LA home by following a few safety tips. When purchasing a used heating appliance, make sure the temperature switch will shut down the equipment if the thermostat fails. When doing duct work, make sure you use a licensed professional. Anywhere there is an electric current, there is a chance of a fire. By the time you see or smell smoke, the electrical fire may already be out of control. SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge wants you to stay safe and take action immediately to repair and replace faulty wiring in your home to reduce the risk of an unwarranted situation. Know the signs before the fire even starts.

The most common causes of home fires

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Home fire in Baton Rouge La

Fires contribute to millions of dollars’ worth of property damage each year in South Louisiana. Knowing the most common causes of household fires can help your family better prevent these types of damages in your home. According to the NFPA, the leading causes of fires in homes from 2010-2014 were:

  • Cooking Equipment - 46% of all fires
  • Heating Equipment - 16%
  • Electrical Equipment - 9%
  • Intentional - 8%
  • Smoking Materials - 5%

Almost half of all home fires result from cooking. While that number is concerning, many cooking fires can be prevented through general awareness and by following proper procedures. This is particularly important with the holidays coming up. Here are some tips to help you prevent a fire damage from occurring in your kitchen:

  • Never leave your cooking food unattended, especially if you are broiling, frying, or grilling. Use a timer to remind you when you are using a stove or an oven.
  • Avoid leaving anything flammable – such as oven mitts, plastic bags, paper towels, or pot holders - close to your stove or oven. You should also not cook when you are wearing loose clothing.
  • Install a fire alarm close to your kitchen, and be sure to test it each month.
  • Avoid a flammable grease buildup by cleaning regularly, particularly in the oven and on the stove.
  • Turn off all cooking appliances when you are not using them, and double check the kitchen prior to going to bed to make sure everything is off.
  • To be prepared for any cooking related fires, buy a Class K fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen.

Call SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge for additional information.

Pet Safety Awareness in your Home

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

"Fire by Feline"

To all of our Feline lovers and their families...Our little furry babies can be so enjoyable and loving. But we urge you be beware of their apatite for electrical cords at times as our customers, Derek and Anya Hudnall, can attest to. Their furry feline chewed the charger cord for a laptop which caused a kitchen fire. Luckily, the fire was extinguished quickly with prompt notification from their properly maintained smoke detectors.Tip For The Day...Regularly inspect your home for damaged cords. If any damage is present, replace immediately! And always remember, SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge is always here to wander your call pertaining to any issue you may have. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. "Like it never even happened." 

Emergency Fire Damage Tips for the Insured

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor

If you experience fire damage to your home, call SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge today at 225-761-9500.