Recent Fire Damage Posts

DID YOU KNOW THT THERE IS BEHAVIOR TO SMOKE?

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of smoke.  There are two types of smoke – wet ad dry.   As a result, there are different types of soot residue after fire.


SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown technicians are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns.  Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration.   Before restoration begins, SERVPRO will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat and moisture on the building material and its contents.  The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred.  Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allow SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown to focus on saving your precious items.

Smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor.  Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread.  The following points are additional facts you may not know about smoke. 

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor. Type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration.

Types of smoke:

  • Wet Smoke – (Plastic and Rubber) Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky and smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
  • Dry Smoke – (Paper and Wood) Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises, therefore smoke rises.
  • Protein Fire Residue – (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire) Virtually invisible, discolors paints, and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
  • Fuel oil Soot, (Furnace puff backs) While “Puff Backs can create havoc for homeowners SERVPRO can in most cases restore the contents and structure quickly.

Other types (tear gas, fingerprint power and fire extinguisher residue) Special loss situations require special care.

SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown professionals are trained to handle even the toughest of losses.  If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown to help make “Like it never even happened.”

Top Do's and Don'ts After a Fire

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

These tips will assist you in taking proper action until SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown technicians arrive. Follow these Do's and Don'ts to help reduce the damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.

DO:

  1. Limit Movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
  2. Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  3. Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas. 

DON'T:

  1. Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO.
  2. Do not attempt to clean electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  3. Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage. 

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Every Second Counts

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

Every second counts during a fire.  People have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out.   In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place.   Once a plan is developed, it is critical for everyone in the home or office understands the plan.   The best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year,  Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building and escape plan, and then practicing it,  The following are a few suggestions to help you develop and emergency escape plan. 

  • Draw a map on each level of your home or business show all the doors and windows.  Find two ways out of each room Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
  • Consider escape Ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors.  Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by ad recognized testing laboratory.  Store them near the window where they will be used. 
  • Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting area on your escape plan.
  • Teach Children how to escape on their own in case you can not help them. Plan for everyone in your home or office, with special consideration for elderly or disabled individuals. 
  • Always practice your fire escape plan during the day and at night time.

Emergency Fire Damage Tips

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

This kitchen sufferd a fire on the stove which caused microwave to go on fire and the cabinet.

These emergency tips will assist you in taking proper action until SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown to arrive.  Follow these Do’s and don’ts to help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration. 

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into carpet and avoid tracking.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON’T:

  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown professional.
  • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown professional.
  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water.
  • Don’t consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

When fire and water damage take control of your life, SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown will help you take it back.

Fire Prevention

10/30/2017 (Permalink)

OCTOBER IS FIRE PREVENTION MONTH Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it's too late to get out. In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan. Draw a map of each level of your home show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily. Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used. Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan. Teach Children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home, with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals. Practice your Fire Escape plan during the day and at nighttime, at least twice a year.  A Business Plan for Fire Emergencies.... Organize and Emergency Preparedness procedures review with you employees to review your company's emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team of individuals to lead and coordinate your emergency plan. Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and well lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times. Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover, and conduct a head count. Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed. Please remember SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown is here for your emergency needs. Smoke Damage, Water Damage, Mold Remediation, we will make it "Like it never even happened." 631-265-9200

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

1/30/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

In homes:

smoke alarms should be in every bedroom.

Outside each sleeping area and on every level, including the basement. 

Extra Smoke alarms may be needed in large homes.

Test Smoke alarms monthly using test button.  Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years.   Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years.  If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately.  Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm.  Almost half of the fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries. 

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your spoke alarms, contact your local fire department, and electrician or the American Red Cross.

Be sure your home has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills with your family.

For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown @ 631-265-9200

Smoke and Soot Damage in Smithtown home

1/26/2017 (Permalink)

Soot Webs throughout the home

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 631-265-9200

Winter Heating Hazards

1/17/2017 (Permalink)

Types of Heaters

Did you know 50% of all residential heating-related fires are reported during the Months of December, January and February?

Keep Anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater.  Have a three foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.

Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.  Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container.  Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.   

Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.  

Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.

Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.

Test smoke alarms monthly.  

If your property does suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown to help make it "Like it never even happened"

Eliminate heating hazards this winter

12/18/2015 (Permalink)

The winter season is in full swing! The days are shorter and the temperatures are lower. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in the weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is responsible for an estimated $893 million in property damage annually. Heating is the second leading cause of residential fire deaths, making it important to review ways to help reduce the risk of a heating-related fire.

  • Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater. Have a three foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

If your property does suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Escape planning for your business in case of a fire

12/15/2015 (Permalink)

Before we touched on how to prepare for escaping from a fire in your home, but if you own commercial property it could be a bit different. And although an emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency situation. OSHA suggests the following steps when developing such a plan.

Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company's emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team to lead and coordinate your emergency plan.

Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and well-lit, wide enough to accomodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times. 

Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover, and conduct a head count. Once complete, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.

Tips provided by the National Fire Protection Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Be ready for a home fire by preparing an escape plan

12/15/2015 (Permalink)

October was Fire Prevention Month, but considering our last blog post, it seems like a good idea to talk about fire prevention and what to do in case it happens.

A house fire can happen to ANYONE, and every second counts. In a matter of moments, a small flame can turn into a major fire, mating it critial to be perpared by having an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families have developes and practiced a home fire escape plan. Once a plan is developes, it is critical everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan.

Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.

Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floor. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they well be used.

Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.

Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.

Plan for everyone in your home with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.

Practice your fire escape plan at night AND during the daytime.

Steer clear of fires this year!

12/14/2015 (Permalink)

Here's a few facts about you might not know about fires during this season!

  • One of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.
  • A heat source too close to the tree causes roughly one in every six Christmas tree fires.
  • More than half (56%) of home candle fires occur when something that can catch on fire is too close to the candle.
  • December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 11 percent of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4 percent the rest of the year!
  • Although Christmas tree fires are uncommon, when they do occur they are more likely to be serious.

The above facts are provided by the National Fire Protection Association.

Avoid holiday hazards!

12/10/2015 (Permalink)

Review the following simple safety tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association, to greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season. 

  • Two out of five home decoration fires are started by candles. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that burns
  • Use sturdy candle holders that are not likely to tip over and place candles on clear, uncluttered surfaces. Consider using flameless candles instead of real candles.
  • Make sure your tree and decorations are at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles or heat vents.
  • Make sure you have the correct type of lights for your desired decor. Some lights are designed for only indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Carefully inspect light strands before placing them. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of lights sets.
  • Remember to turn off outside decorative lights and Christmas tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
  • Get rid of your tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

Everyone here at SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!