Recent Fire Damage Posts
Why Do I Need Emergency Board Up Service?
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.
Tips for Creating a Home Fire Escape Plan
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 an 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
- 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.
Why Take Security Precautions After a Commercial 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
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.
How To File a Fire Claim for Your Business
Contact a restoration company if you would like further clarification on the claims
Four Steps To File a Fire Claim
A fire is about the worst thing any business owner can experience. However, the important thing after any disaster is staying calm and restoring your business. In order to get back to business as usual, you may need to hire a fire restoration company in Gardere, LA, but before you do that, you will need to file a fire claim with your insurance company, which typically involves four steps:
1. Call Your Insurer
Before getting your fire restoration underway, call your insurer and report the disaster. While you may have millions of things going through your head after the disaster, contacting your insurance agent is crucial to getting the recovery process started.
2. Mitigate Further Loss
If you want your fire claim to be approved, then make sure you take efforts to mitigate any further loss. An insurer may cover the damage caused by the fire, but if any preventable damage occurs after the fire, then you are responsible.
3. Gather Proof of Loss
You can help move the recovery process along if you document any fire damage. An insurance adjuster will want evidence of lost or damaged property, so by photographing everything and labeling it, you can help the adjuster with a proof of loss statement.
4. Collect Receipts
Receipts help your insurance company determine the value of the claim. You want to prove the financial loss. If you have receipts from equipment purchases and repairs you made, make sure that those are organized and with the rest of the claim forms for review.
A fire claim is like any other insurance claim, but the process can feel a little direr depending on the level of devastation. By organizing receipts and documenting the scene, you can help move the claims process along. You can also contact a restoration company if you would like further clarification on the claims and recovery processes.
Get the Right Ambience and Reduce Fire Risk with Candle Alternatives
These electric warmers use a lightbulb to melt scented wax in a plate
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 you Arlington, LA, home some ambiance without having to worry about a candle fire, there are many candle alternatives available.
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 in a plate. These warmers come in an array of styles, including as an outlet plug-in. Be sure to take precautions when dealing with the 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-in to 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 you a home a pleasant smell without any kind of heat needed.
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.
What You Should Know About Fire and Renters Insurance
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
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.
Stop Cooking Fires Before They Happen
Fire damage this winter can ruin your holiday.
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 stove top 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.
Winter holiday fire facts
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
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
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?
Prep Space They 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
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
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
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
"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
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.