Recent Fire Damage Posts
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.