Recent Fire Damage Posts

Winter fire safety tips

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Space heaters

When the weather turns cold, portable space heaters become a popular way to supplement heat in the home.

If you plan to purchase a space heater this winter, choose one that has been tested and certified by an independent laboratory and that will automatically shut off if the heater tips over.

Carbon Monoxide

With the increased use of gas fueled appliances in the cold winter months there is an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

To insure your home is safe from carbon monoxide, install CO detectors in your home, or, if you already have CO detectors in your home, replace any that are older than 10 years. In addition, you should not run or warm a car in your garage.

Other safety tips

Additional suggestions to prevent fires this winter.

  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets in your home.
  • Install photo electric smoke detectors in every bedroom and on every floor of your home.
  • Have your furnace checked and serviced to ensure it works properly.
  • Know two ways out of your home and establish a family or roommate meeting place in case of emergency, or read your residence hall's emergency plan.
  • Inspect and dispose of non-working electrical holiday decorations.
  • If you live on the second or third floor, consider purchasing an escape ladder.
 

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today –  309-827-7500

Avoid Kitchen Fires

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

There are few things so warm and comforting as inviting people to your home in central Illinois, for a meal you have prepared. What is meant to be relaxing can turn into an emergency if a fire breaks out in your kitchen, though. Fortunately, kitchen fires are easily avoided if you take a few key safety precautions. Here are three tips on how to avoid kitchen fires.


1. Give It Your Attention.


Do not leave cooking food unattended. If a burner is on, you should be in the kitchen. It only takes a moment for something to boil over and catch fire or for small fingers to find their way to the burner in your absence. It may seem like a hassle to turn the stove off just to retrieve something from another room, but it's well worth the trouble if it keeps your home from suffering fire damage from a kitchen fire. Protect your home and your loved ones from danger by paying attention when you're cooking.


2. Keep Your Stove Clean.


A dirty stove is a recipe for a disaster. Not only does built-up grease have the tendency to draw insects, it can also cause a grease fire. Cleaning all cooking surfaces regularly can help you avoid fire caused by oil residue.


3. Keep Flammable Objects Away From Heat Sources.


If something can catch fire, it should not be near the burner on the stove. Pay attention to the tips on food packaging that warn you to keep it away from heat. Wear form-fitting clothing while cooking, especially on your arms so that sleeves don't dangle into danger. Potholders, recipe cards and kitchen towels have their place in the kitchen. That place is just not on the stove.

For More info, call us 309-827-7500

Smoke Alarms

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) reports nearly two-thirds of these fire-related deaths occurred in homes with no working smoke alarm or no smoke alarms present at all. Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when they are properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.

The NFPA recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house.

Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.

Once smoke alarms are in place, it is important to maintain and regularly test the alarms to ensure they are in the proper working order. Review the tips provided here regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance.

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A preparedness plan allows your family, employees, or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation. For tips or information on emergency preparedness, contact SERVPRO of Bloomington / Gibson City / S. McLean County  309-827-7500

Smoke Alarm Tips:

    • Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
    • Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
    • Test smoke detectors at least once a month using the test button
    • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old

In Case Of A Grease Fire..

7/3/2018 (Permalink)

Grease Fire Do's and Dont's

There are many different ways a fire can break out, one of the most dangerous being a grease fire. If you lack experience putting out a grease fire, know that you do not treat it the same as you would a "standard" fire. There are certain things that you must do and things you absolutely must NOT do. Please consider the following:

Do

  • Turn off the stove or heat source
  • Smother the fire with the pot lid. Without oxygen, the fire cannot survive.
  • Use baking soda to douse the flames. Flour and other items will not work
  • Use a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher
  • call 911

Don't

  • Try to put out the flames using water. It will splash the grease, causing the fire to spread
  • Move the item. This could also cause splashing, spreading and could potentially burn you
  • Try to use anything other than baking soda. It will not help

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 309-827-7500

Fire Safety Tips

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Safety Tips When your Central Illinois home or suffers fire damage, it can be especially devastating.

Fire Safety Tips That Could Help Save Your Life

Fire Prevention Tip #1
One of the simplest and most effective fire safety precautions you can do to help keep your family safe is to install smoke detectors and smoke alarms throughout your home. It is important to check smoke alarms regularly, and change their batteries at least once a year. Investigation into home fires often reveals that smoke alarms could have saved lives but didn’t because the alarms were either disconnected or the batteries were dead or removed.

Fire Prevention Tip #2
At a minimum, you should have one smoke alarm for each level in your home. A smoke alarm should be placed within 10 feet of sleeping areas, since most fire deaths occur at night while people are sleeping. In order to be most effective, the alarm should be mounted on the ceiling or towards the top of a wall about a foot below the ceiling. It should never be placed where a wall and ceiling meet or in the corner of a room. Alarms should also not be placed near heating ducts or cold air returns. The air flow around these areas could prevent alarms from detecting smoke. You can also interconnect the smoke alarms throughout the house so when one goes off, all of the smoke detectors will sound.

Fire Prevention Tip #3
In the event of a fire, your primary thoughts should be of the safety of you and your family. If there is any doubt about staying at home or leaving, leave immediately. It is important to have an evacuation plan in place and to practice it. This will ensure that you and your family know and understand how to get out of the house. Here’s a checklist of fire safety considerations:

  • Have an escape plan for each room and make the bedrooms top priority. Rehearse the plan regularly as a rehearsed escape plan will help eliminate panic in an emergency situation. Children who have not rehearsed a fire drill at home may hide under a bed or in a closet, greatly reducing their chance for survival.
  • Once the alarm sounds, time is of the essence. Don’t stop to gather valuables or toys — just get out. .
  • Know how to use 911 and teach your children as well. Post your house address near the phone.
  • Designate a window as a secondary exit. Make sure it is completely unobstructed and is easily opened by children and elderly. For second and third story windows, keep a Fire Escape Ladder stored close by. Practice using them out of a first floor window so everyone is familiar with them.
  • Feel closed doors for warmth before opening them and look for smoke seeping in around the door’s edges and from underneath. Open any closed door slowly and be prepared to shut it immediately if heat or smoke rush in.
  • Have a designated outside meeting place, and make everyone aware of where it is. Make sure the meeting place is located well away from the house and make it a rule to not re-enter the house.
  • As soon as two people have reached the meeting place, have one person leave to call 911. The second person should stay to make sure the other family members all make it out.
  • If someone is missing don’t go back inside. Instead, notify the fire department as soon as they arrive.

Fire Prevention Tip #4
Fires caused by candles, cooking, falling asleep while smoking, and other such accidents can occur at any time. It is always a good idea to consider using smokeless electric or battery-operated candles, like rechargeable Tea Light candles. These candles are much safer than traditional candles. With flameless candles, you don’t have to worry about a child or pet knocking them over and starting a fire.

At SERVPRO of Bloomington / Gibson City / S. McLean County we Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 309-827-7500

Fire Prevention Tip #5
A little fire safety maintenance can go a long way towards reducing your risk for a fire at home. Here are some fire prevention tips you can do to help lower your risk of a fire breaking out:

  • Practice home fire drills regularly and make them realistic. Have different escape routes blocked and practice using alternate exits.
  • Lint build-up in your dryer’s vent can cause a fire. Get rid of it before it becomes a problem using a Dryer Maintenance Kit that includes a vent brush, lint trap brush, and vacuum attachment.
  • Make it a habit to unplug all countertop appliances when they aren’t being used.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector. They are especially useful in the newer energy-efficient homes with tight weather seals.
  • Store cigarette lighters and matches where children can’t get them.
  • Don’t use an outdoor grill or charcoal grill indoors or on a porch or balcony.
  • Test your smoke alarm regularly to make sure it’s in working condition.
  • Change battery-operated smoke detector batteries once each year.

Fire Prevention Tip #6
Help emergency vehicles find your home faster with a Solar LED address light that easily stakes into the ground and illuminates your house numbers.

If a fire does breakout, don’t panic. For example, something cooking on the stove catches fire and you’re not sure what to do. If you throw water on the pan, grease could splatter and the fire might spread. Instead, grab a Fire Blanket and use it to smother the flames quickly. Made of nonflammable fiberglass, the Fire Blanket cuts off the oxygen supply to the fire, putting it out. You can also grab a convenient Fire Extinguisher.

Smoke inhalation, not burns, is by far the largest killer in fires, so the more time you have to escape, the better. This heat-resistant, transparent copolymer Smoke Escape™ Hood features a patented 3-layer ionized smoke filter that gives you up to 15 precious “escape” minutes.

Following these fire prevention tips and fire safety ideas will not only lessen your risk for damage, injury, and loss, but may also save your life, and the lives of your family. The minimal amount of time it takes to read and practice these fire prevention tips could end up being one of the best investments you ever make!

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 – 309-827-7500

Central Illinois Smoke and Soot Cleanup

7/7/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Central Illinois Smoke and Soot Cleanup Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your 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 Bloomington / Gibson City / S. McLean County 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 – 309-827-7500

BBQ Safety: Tips For Grilling

5/30/2017 (Permalink)

When the weather gets warmer, it’s always fun to gather with friends and family for an outdoor cookout. After all, nothing spells spring or summer like the smell of burgers, steaks, hot dogs and chopped veggies fresh off the grill – until something starts burning, that is.

While gas and charcoal grills are an easy way to cook up large amounts of delicious food, they can also pose a fire danger to your property and family. By following a few simple BBQ safety tips, you can prevent injury while keeping your home and surrounding property safe. Learn the most important grill safety tips from the experts at SERVPRO to keep your property out of harm’s way the next time you smoke, sizzle or sauté outside.

Practice Good Grilling Habits

Whatever kind of grill you use, there are a few simple things you can do to reduce your risk of fire or injury. Here are some basic grilling safety tips to follow:

  • Set your grill up a safe distance away from structures and overhangs, including your main building, shed, garage, trees and other potentially flammable objects.
  • Never use your grill inside, in a tent or under an outdoor awning or carport. Doing so can pose a serious fire hazard and potentially cause carbon monoxide poisoning if you’re using a gas grill.
  • Light your gas or charcoal grill using special long-length lighters or long matches to avoid getting burned. Keep all ignition sources out of the reach of children.
  • Never leave an actively burning grill unattended, and let your grill fully cool before you cover or store it.
  • Clean your grill thoroughly and often to reduce flammable buildup inside.

Be Aware of Proper Charcoal Grill Safety

Many people swear by the taste of food cooked on a classic charcoal grill. This popular way of cooking is fun, but it also poses unique fire risks of its own. Keep these important BBQ safety tips in mind if you own or use a charcoal grill:

  • Only add enough charcoal to cover the bottom of the grill. Don’t pile too much inside since it could cause ashes and sparks to become airborne, possibly catching nearby objects or even your home on fire.
  • Store extra charcoal in a secure place away from other potential fire hazards, and preferably in an airtight metal container.
  • Only use starter fluid specifically designed for charcoal. Apply it to cold coals only, and don’t add extra fluid once the grill is lit. Otherwise, the flames could get too high, resulting in possible burns or an uncontained fire.
  • Empty your used ashes only when they have fully cooled. Never store or dispose of them in a garbage can or leave them on a deck. Even when cooled, ashes can still cause a fire. It’s best to dump them on garden soil or contain them in a metal receptacle for proper disposal.

Use your Gas Grill Wisely

Gas grills are convenient and easy to use, and require less refueling than charcoal grills. But gas grills are also susceptible to fire risks, so it’s important to be aware of how to properly operate your gas grill. Remember these safety tips if you own a gas grill:

  • Open the lid before lighting the grill. This allows oxygen to escape and reduces the risk of fire or even explosion.
  • Check your grill’s gas line and tank fittings regularly for leaks. You can do this by brushing soapy water around these areas. If you see bubbles emerge, there could be a leak somewhere. Replace any damaged/leaking parts and make any other needed repairs before using the grill.
  • If you have spare gas cylinders, never store them under a stairway or the eaves of your home. Place them upright and outside, away from any structures to minimize fire risks.
  • Turn off your grill using the controls first, then close off the gas line at the tank. This helps to ensure any excess gas can escape safely.

If you happen to experience a fire during BBQ season, the professionals at SERVPRO are always available to help. We hope you never need to make that call but if you do, we’re available 24/7/365 to assist you. Visit our Fire Damage Repair and Restoration page