Addressing Water Damage After a Fire
The main weapon firefighters deploy a fire with is their water hose, the pressure and force alone can douse a fire and property materials can ruin.
Friend or Foe? Is water a collaborator in fighting a fire or an accomplice to the damage sustained? Water, if not correctly used, it can be a double-edged sword in a fire hazard. It might initially sound counter-intuitive to consider water damage after a fire hazard. Still, water is involved in every stage of a fire hazard.
At the beginning of a fire
If you have fire sprinklers, these are activated by smoke or heat. Some sprinkler systems are activated only in specific rooms where the fire is detected, while others are an all-or-nothing system. As the whole room or area gets sprinkled with water, materials also get sprayed.
During the fire
If the fire spreads and gets hotter, utility pipes get damaged. Fire quickly melts and damages PVC water pipes, and leakages occur. If the water pipes are copper, the fire heats the water and builds up pressure in the pipes. Cracks and joints can burst open, flooding the immediate area.
Fighting the fire
The main weapon firefighters deploy a fire with is their water hose. The pressure, force, and sheer amount of water brought to bear on a building is often enough to douse a fire, break properties, and drench everything. It is a common sight for furniture and household items to be soggy in the aftermath of a fire due to this step.
After the fire
At this phase, it is essential to quickly address the damage from the previous stages, as water damage can have a lasting effect. When water damage is left unaddressed, the damage compounds over time. The moist environment and soaked materials are perfect conditions for mold to grow.
Carpets get damaged, drywall, and the ceiling soaks up water, compromising their structural integrity and aesthetic appeal. Unaddressed, water damage from a fire constitutes a danger. The seal around appliances such as sockets and bathtubs weaken and break lose, opening up an opportunity for infestation by moisture-loving pests such as pill bugs. Electrical shock is another risk unaddressed water damage can pose.
It is imperative to contact a restoration expert as delay often leads to further damage and rising costs. Their understanding and help would also help get your home/office back to normal as soon as possible. Contact SERVPRO of Citrus Heights/Roseville and Carmichael to address your fire and water damage concerns.
Cleaning is What We Do: SERVPRO of Citrus Heights/Roseville and Carmichael
Used in a professional sense, the word cleaning connotes, cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting surfaces, materials, and other items.
Cleaning, as used in the title, is somewhat ambiguous and encompasses other processes than mere cleaning. Used in a professional sense, the word cleaning connotes, cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting surfaces, materials, and other items. All these activities are meant to reduce the microbial burden in the home or business.
Lets briefly highlight the key differences between the three:
- Cleaning: Physical removal of dirt and grime from a surface or material with using soap/detergent and water. Cleaning by removing any dirt from the surface. The aim is not to kill microbes. However, since the dirt on which microbes thrive is dislodged, this invariably removes microbes as well.
- Sanitizing: This is the use of approved chemical products to inactivate microbes. The aim here is to lower the number of germs on surfaces and objects to levels deemed safe by Public Health Standards. The target is often bacterial rather than viruses.
- Disinfecting: This is the use of approved chemical products to kill germs on surfaces and objects. It does not necessarily clean the surface, but killing the germs lowers the risk of spreading infections.
There are several risks that a well-meaning individual can inadvertently expose themselves to if there is no professional guide. A typical example is mixing ammonia-based cleaning products with chlorine-based bleachers. Alcohol-based sanitizers are a no go for surfaces or items that would be close to a source of heating. What concentration should your cleaning agent be for a particular surface?
Guessing the proper combination and agent to use can be fatal in light of the recent pandemic. How do you properly clean up after a quarantine? How do you clean up after a confirmed COVID-19 patient is taken to a hospital? How about preventative cleaning. In such cases, professional help is needed.
SERVPRO of Citrus Heights/Roseville and Carmichael, with years of experience in biohazard cleaning, is well-positioned to provide such professional help.
4th of July Safety Tips
SERVPRO of Citrus Heights/Roseville and Carmichael wishes you a safe and happy Independence Day!
The 4th of July is undoubtedly a day of festivity across the country. Irrespective of your state, two activities are synonymous with Independence Day celebrations. Fireworks and Cookouts. Lighthearted and fun, these two activities are filled with hidden dangers.
The National Fire Prevention Agency (N.F.P.A.) and the U.S. Hospital Emergency Rooms report thousands of fires, burns, injuries, and even a few deaths associated with fireworks. A cool wind, the heat, dry combustible materials, and flying sparks can combine to start a fire quicker than a blink of an eye. And being in a festive mood, it is easy to dismiss the glow of a burning material as another firework is going off. Considering that children and teens are often the victims, it is a sign of responsibility to be aware of the dangers.
Fireworks are not the only issue in fires breaking out on holiday. Celebrating the 4th with an outdoor cookout is a long American tradition. Considering that 7 out of 10 U.S. adult possess either a grill or a smoker, it is easy to be lax about safety as it is an activity one is familiar with.
The tips below are not exhaustive. They serve as a starter pack for you to keep both yourself and your family safe during this celebration.
- Check the Fire Danger Index for your local area.
- Be careful if a drought has been recorded in your area.
- Keep a water hose or a bucket nearby
- Have a fire extinguisher handy. Remember P.A.S.S. – Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep – when operating it.
- Be aware that grease and fat buildup on grill grates are prime fuel for fires.
- Don't grill under overhangs, including railings or trees.
- Keep children, pets, and materials at least 3 feet away from grills. 17% of grill fires often involved items being dangerously close to the grill.
- Never leave the grill unattended.
These tips should help to keep your family safe. SERVPRO of Citrus Heights/Roseville and Carmichael wishes you a safe and happy Independence Day!
Plan Before Fire Strikes
Learn to use and maintain a fire extinguisher. Contact a certified authority such as the fire department.
Fire can happen to anyone. The threat is universal and sometimes with the littlest provocations. However, as a Malay Proverb says, “Prepare the umbrella before it rains.” It is essential to follow proper guidelines in preparation for the eventuality of a fire.
Three Ways to Plan Before Fire Strikes
A clear and well-understood fire escape plan is critical. Having a plan eliminates confusion and decision paralysis that might occur in the heat of an emergency. A few essential components of such a plan include:
- Make sure windows are easy to open up from the inside.
- Know your way around instinctively. Practice feeling around the house in a blindfold or the dark.
- Ensure children understand to cooperate with firefighters and know where to go should a fire arise.
The earlier you know there’s a fire, the better your chances of surviving.
- Install smoke alarms. Every area of the house should have a fire alarm.
- Have a schedule to check and replace the batteries in all alarms
- Have a plan to test and replace the alarm units.
- Never disable a smoke alarm (not even when cooking).
- Have smoke alarm options for people with accessibility needs. The alarm should also trigger sounds, strobe/flashing lights.
These are extra steps to minimize potential losses and ensure all preparation does not go to waste.
- Create digital copies of relevant documents. Backup these copies to a secure cloud-based service (such as Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.).
- Learn to use and maintain a fire extinguisher. Contact a certified authority such as the fire department.
- Consider an automatic fire sprinkler.
- Ensure your home is not a fire hazard. Keep your home in top safety conditions.
Proper preparation is vital in determining how disastrous a fire hazard would be to you.
Does Your Family Have an Emergency Fire Plan?
An emergency plan is a set of instructions stating steps for each family member to take and adhere to in the eventuality of a disaster.
An emergency plan is a set of instructions stating steps for each family member to take and adhere to in the eventuality of a disaster. It is easy to forget how disruptive a disaster can be with regards to our set routines, movement, communication channels. It is, therefore, essential that the whole family understands the plan. In creating this plan, pay special attention to adults, kids, and those with special needs.
An Emergency Plan can be developed in 3 steps:
During an emergency, there are two key concerns: Getting to a safe place, ensuring your family and loved ones are also in a safe place.
Simple guidelines include:
- Collect important household contact information for your family and other important people/offices, such as medical facilities, doctors, schools, or service providers.
- Find out what to do during an emergency if you or your family member is at home, outdoors in the neighborhood, work, school, a childcare home, or out of town.
- Find out if there are shelters that can be used as muster points or emergency meeting places in each of these locations.
- Specific instructions include receiving and identifying emergency alerts, navigating to the nearest shelter, and making use of emergency communication channels.
- Tips specific to different emergencies such as fire or flood emergency.
Once the plan is completed, it can be printed onto a wallet-sized card.
- Make sure everyone carries a copy of the plan in a place that is easily accessible.
- You should also post a copy of your plan in a central location in your home. A good place for your emergency plan is posting it to your refrigerator or on a family bulletin board.
- Also, have a digital copy in everyone's mobile device.
Practicing gets everyone familiar with the plan.
- Have regular household meetings to review the plan and make a note of any changes.
- Discuss what information to send during an emergency. clear, concise, and informative should be the goal.
- Practice, practice, practice. Calls, sending SMS, gathering in emergency meeting places.
What to do If Fire Strikes
Fire grows rapidly and it is hot and deadly. There are certain things you can do to be safer and to minimize damage.
During a fire, adhering to guidelines could be the difference between surviving a fire with only a bad scare or having a true crisis on your hands. There are so many things to consider once a home fire begins. Fire grows rapidly and it is hot and deadly. There are certain things you can do to be safer and to minimize damage.
Consider the following:
Fire is Fast
It can take as little as 30 seconds for a small flame to turn into a major fire. Be decisive in your actions. Take a direct, unhindered route to the nearest exit. If the primary exit is blocked, make use of the alternative exit.
Fire is Hot and Deadly
Fire generates a lot of heat. Fire produces smoke and other toxic fumes. Asphyxiation and disorientation are real dangers.
- This hot air can cause a lot of damage to the lungs if inhaled. Crawl to the exit to avoid the heat, as well as smoke and toxic gases that collect closer to the ceiling.
- Cover the nose with a wet piece of cloth to prevent inhaling toxic fumes.
- The heat can also cause damage to the skin as well. If you cannot get out fast enough, dampen your cloth.
- Before grasping a door handle/ knob, briefly touch it to test how hot it is. Be ready to shut the door quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
- If your clothes catch fire - stop, drop, and roll. Stop right away and drop to the ground covering your face with your hands. Once You do so, roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out.
If all means of exiting are inaccessible; close the door, cover vents and cracks around the outside of your doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out. Call the fire department and describe where you are.
- At the sound of available help, signal for help at a window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
- If you can't get to someone or a pet needing assistance, leave the home and call the fire department.
- Make necessary adjustments to facilitate emergency escape for adults and people with accessibility needs.
Tips to Prevent Home Fires in Citrus Heights/Roseville and Carmichael
Tips to Prevent Home Fires in Citrus Heights/Roseville and Carmichael
Avoiding a fire outbreak in the home comes down to become more safety-conscious and following specific fire safety guidelines in the home. Following these guidelines will help to prevent a fire incident in the home.
- Matches and lighters should be out of sight, reach, and access for kids.
- An adult should always be with kids whenever there is an operating stove or burning candles.
- Teach kids to be responsible with fire as a tool, not a plaything.
- Fire Hazard Awareness
- Keeping combustible and flammable liquids/ materials close to heat sources is a recipe for disaster.
- Ovens and stove ranges are not meant for heating the home.
- Portable generators should be used and refueled outdoors and/or in well-ventilated areas.
Activity Specific Guidelines
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking. If you are leaving, even for a short period, turn off the stove.
- Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled top sleeves when cooking.
- Enforce a 3-feet "kid-free zone" around the stove.
- Grills should be at 10 feet away or more from any siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Don't smoke in bed, especially when drowsy, or when tipsy, or when Oxygen is being used in the home.
- Smoke outside, completely stub-out butts in an ashtray or a can filled with sand. Also, soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Hot cigarette butts can light up a trash can.
- Electrical and Appliance Safety
- Don’t force plugs to fit into a slot outlet or extension cord that is not an exact match.
- Immediately turn off, unplug and professionally replace faulty appliances, light switches that are hot to the touch, or frayed wires.
- Portable Space Heaters
- Purchase heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory.
- Thermostat control and automatic switch-off mechanism are important features in a portable heater in preventing fires.
- Use the heaters in a well-ventilated room.
Fireplaces and Wood stoves.
- Schedule regular and thorough inspection of wood stove pipes and chimneys.
- Use a fireplace screen that is heavy enough to stop any rolling logs and that are big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch any flying sparks.
- If the fire is not completely out, do not leave the house or go to bed.
Following these fire safety guidelines should help you prevent a fire in your home in most cases.
Staying Safe When a Wildfire Is Near
A wildfire is a fire that is unplanned and that burns in a natural area such as a forest, grassland, or prairie.
A wildfire is a fire that is unplanned and that burns in a natural area such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. Fire in these types of unclosed space can often get out of hand and become disastrous. Even while it is under control, the smoke and fumes can pose a severe threat.
When such is the scenario, few guidelines would be of immense help.
- Evacuate immediately if authorities tell you to do so.
- Call 911 if you are trapped and give your location. Understand that emergency response may be delayed or impossible.
- Listen to local alert systems for emergency information and instructions for your area.
- Use N95 masks if available to keep from breathing harmful particles.
- If you are not ordered to evacuate, but conditions worsen, stay inside in a safe location.
However, safety should start before a wildfire occurs.
- Sign up for emergency alerts broadcasted by the authorities such as Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio.
- Get familiar with the evacuation routes and shelter locations in your community.
- Have emergency supplies such as N95 respirator masks. Emergency supplies should take into consideration specific needs – physical, medical, and age-related needs.
- Select a room. Use a portable air cleaner to keep pollution levels down. Ensure the room can be sealed off – doors, windows, and door cracks. It is also helpful to keep home surroundings free of leaves, debris, or flammable materials.
- Keep essential documents in a fireproof, safe place. Have a password-protected digital backup as well.
After the fire, follow these steps:
- Return home if authorities say it is safe to do so. The same goes for drinking water.
- Stay alert to hot embers, flooding due to the changing landscape and other information issued by authorities.
- Use fire-resistant materials to rebuild, renovate, or make repairs. A professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Citrus Heights/Roseville and Carmichael can help.
Protecting Your Home From Fire Damage this Summer
It is advisable to keep barbecues away from the house structure, dry trees, or fabric materials.
Summertime indeed is a great time to spend with family and friends, especially the time for a small gathering outside your garden, camping, bonfires, and fireworks. While this is an exciting time for getting together, the high temperature of summertime can quickly spark a fire in the home. To protect your home from fires, follow the steps below.
Watch Your Grill
Grills can easily cause a fire when close to flammable material. It is advisable to keep barbecues away from the house structure, dry trees, or fabric materials. When using a grill, make sure it is in a well-ventilated area. Always keep the grill clean to prevent a grease fire. Gas grill cause about 80% of grill fires. Check the gas holes and connectors. Approximately 12% of grill fires is caused by charcoal fueled grills. Ensure charcoals are completely cooled before disposing to avoid fire outbreak.
Light Fireworks Far From Home
Hundreds of home properties are damaged by fireworks yearly. Ensure you light fireworks in an entirely safe location away from families, homes, grasses, and sheds.
Beware of Lawnmower Fires
If your mower is damaged, especially if the damage is from the fuel line, do not use it, get it repaired. If the grass is dry, any spark from the mower can cause grass fire to spread rapidly and may go out of hand. Check the carburetor for leakage or damage and replace your fuel line yearly.
Practice Fire Safety While Smoking
Avoid smoking in the bedroom or close to materials that can catch fire easily, such as clothes and wooden tables. Ensure cigarettes are completely out and dispose of properly.
Check A/C and Dryer Vents
Inspect your AC system yearly and clean dryer vents regularly. Dust and tilt can pile up in your AC system and dryer vent which, if not cleared for proper ventilation, may cause a fire.
Check Your Smoke Detectors Regularly
Smoke detectors are essential in every home. The alarm makes you aware that early smoke is detected in installed places before it escalates to a severe fire. Test smoke detectors sometimes to determine its working condition. Inspect and service smoke detectors regularly.
If you require a service expert to after fire damage, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Citrus Heights/Roseville and Carmichael at (916) 966-2601.
Avoiding Water Damage While Vacationing
When planning a getaway ensure all things are in order before travel to avoid water damages while vacationing.
Planning a getaway is an excellent idea, especially after all the stress of work, idleness, being indoors for too long, and more. It is best if you spin your web elsewhere sometimes to refresh your body, mind, and soul. It is always good to keep your house in order before going on a vacation to keep your mind at ease and to prevent property damage while you are away.
You could be at risk of water damage if you fail to check the little things that matter before leaving the house. Check for dripping water, leaky pipes, and ensure to turn off water sources.
Tips to help you prevent water damage while you are out vacationing:
Turn off Water Sources
Turning off water sources could save you from headaches when you return. If the water mains is not turned off, pressure could build up in pipes, which may lead to leaks or pipe burst, causing your house to become flooded.
Check Your Appliances
Before leaving the house, check your washing machine, dryers, dishwasher, and refrigerators for leakages and fixes. Consider replacing damaged supply or drain lines as well.
Clean Your Rain Gutters
People sometimes don't remember to check their gutters for debris and blockage. Have your gutter cleaned and debris removed before vacationing to prevent water blockage.
Have Someone Checking in On Your Home
Consider having someone check up on your home regularly if you plan to away for several days or weeks. Having someone check on your home could help detect any water leak issues. At the same time, you are gone and prevent and damages from escalating if detected and fixed early.
Check Your Home For leaks
Pay attention to pipes under your kitchen and hand washing sinks. Rust, cracks, pipe damage, or drains repair should be completed as soon as possible. Check your windows and doors for any loss and fix to prevent rain from entering while away.
Get the service of a professional to ensure all repairs are carried out successfully to guarantee the safety of your property while you are away.