Home Fires & How to Prevent Them
Residential home fire that started in garage
A home fire can cause a catastrophic amount of damage in a short time. Because of how quickly flames can spread, a simple spark can quickly get out of hand.
Though there is no way to guarantee you will never have to experience a house fire, being adamant about prevention will help make it less likely.
Home Fire Statistics
While most might assume fires are rare and odd occurrences, the reality is that a home fire occurs every 24 seconds, according to the NFPA.
The No. 1 cause of cooking fires is cooking, but there are many other reasons a fire might break out.
Home Fire Prevention Steps
Flames can spread rapidly once they get out of hand—but being vigilant about fire prevention will reduce the chances of it getting to that point. Here are some things around the house to check when practicing fire prevention:
Smoke detectors. Smoke detectors are typically outfitted with a test unit that allows you to check batteries, which is recommended to be done once per month. It is also recommended to replace the full unit every 10 years.
Dryer tray. The lint in the dryer tray might seem like a general inconvenience, but it can actually start fires as well. An overfull dryer tray can become combustible as the dryer heats up.
Open flames. Keeping an eye on open flames is always a good idea, as flames can quickly travel if conditions are right.
Cords and cables. Wires can sometimes be bent in odd or contorted ways, leading to premature fraying and tears. Check cables often and replace when they become frayed.
Aerosol cans. Aerosol cans are an everyday item that can actually be quite dangerous. Protect them from warm or sunny places to prevent them from combusting.
If your home has suffered damage from a house fire, give SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City a call at 702-564-8508. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 24⁄7.
Picking the Right Restoration Company
SERVPRO Van loaded up and ready to go
Every business owner would rather not have a natural disaster occur at their commercial property, but most likely do not realize just how grave the situation can be. After disaster strikes, 40 to 60% of businesses are unable to reopen, according to a recent FEMA report.
There is a lot that goes into recovering from a disaster, but working with a restoration company to properly mitigate the damage at your business is a big component. Here are our top tips for how to pick the right restoration company:
1. Check Their Emergency Response Capabilities
If left untreated, even for a few extra hours, damage due to a disaster can become more severe. This means business owners are stuck paying more and investing more time into restoration.
Because natural disasters have no respect for schedules, we keep our service line open 24⁄7. That way we can act fast at any hour in response to your damage, and you can focus on other tasks involved with reopening the business.
2. Inquire About How They Train Their Technicians
When you trust a company to restore your business, you want the peace of mind to know you are in good hands. A company with highly trained technicians will inspire confidence so you can ensure you are getting top-notch work.
We train our technicians in accordance with the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) standards. After the initial training, technicians are given online learning courses and certification programs to continue their education.
3. Learn About Their Equipment Standards
Technological advancements have made a big impact on the restoration industry in recent years, and you want to be sure your restoration team is using the best tools for the job.
The IICRC has official guidelines on the equipment that is best for the job, which are the standards we adhere to when choosing our own equipment. Whether we are moving gallons of water out of your business or scrubbing harmful chemicals and soot from the air, you can be assured that the highest-tech is being used.
If you’re in need of commercial restoration, do not hesitate to make the call so you can get your business back faster. Our trained experts are here to help 24/7—contact us today, 702-564-8508.
Staying Safe When Lightning Is Near
Storm and lighting damage require specialized restoration techniques and equipment. When a storm hits your home, you need the company with experience
Lightning is one of the most dramatic aspects of a thunderstorm—and also one of the most dangerous. Lightning strikes can start fires, ruin electronics and cause structural damage, in addition to all the safety hazards they pose to those who are outside during a storm.
Being aware of what lightning is and how it causes damage are important components of staying safe.
How Lightning Occurs
Thunderstorms all form an electrical charge, which is what causes thunder and lightning. In technical terms, a lightning bolt is the storm dispelling some of this energy, either into another cloud or to the ground.
When lightning does strike toward the ground, it will usually select an object to pass through, as the atmosphere is a poor conductor. Because of the power and charge behind lightning, this is what can lead to damages.
What Damages Can Lightning Cause?
As lightning travels through a home, it will mainly fuel its energy into the electrical wiring and water pipes, as those make for the best conductors. That is why there are three main types of damages associated with lightning:
1. Fires can break out. Lightning, at around 500,000 degrees, is hot enough to ignite most buildings on impact. Additionally, the damage it causes to wires within the home can lead to electrical fires either right away or later on. If your home has been struck, an electrician or the fire department will typically be able to assess the damage and make you aware of any risks.
2. Electronics may get overloaded. As lightning transfers its charge to the home’s electrical grid, it also channels that energy up any cables connected. This intense burst of power can cause a surge, ruining some electronics. Using surge protectors can prevent this from happening.
3. Shock waves can damage foundations. A shock wave in the clouds is heard as thunder, but a shock wave when lightning strikes the ground can cause serious damage. The force of these waves is strong enough to compromise masonry and shatter windows, so after the storm passes, a thorough home inspection is recommended.
If your home has been affected by storm damages or lightning-related fires, give us a call today! We are experts in damage cleanup and can restore your damage quickly.
What You Should Know About Water Damage
Technician doing Monitor Readings on Water Damage Job
Without water, where would we be? It’s necessary for life. But there are situations where water can cause distress—namely when it causes damage.
There are many different causes of water damage, but some are more prevalent than others.Why Is There Water Damage?
From 2009 to 2015, The Travelers Insurance Companies Inc. noted the top five causes of home claims were:
- Exterior wind damage
- Non-weather-related water damage
- Weather-related water damage
It’s interesting that water damage appears twice on this list! Remember, however, there are non-weather-related and weather-related water damage situations.
Non-weather-related water damage comes from problems with plumbing and appliances, while weather-related damage naturally results from rain and snow.
The top five causes for water damage are plumbing issues, appliance leaks, water pipe failures, old water heaters and weather.Ways to Protect Your Home
There are ways we would like to spend our money—and water damage is not one of them. Take care, however, and be sure that you are covered by your homeowners insurance plan. Look for these situations, which are usually covered by a standard homeowners policy:
- Winter damage caused by snow and ice
- Sewage and overflow of water, even by accident
- Aging hot water heat systems
- Frozen plumbing and pipes
Avoiding water-related issues and potential damage situations is possible if you are proactive.
Take a look at the following list of preventive fixes and routine maintenance suggestions to help you keep your home free of water incidents:
- Applying water sensors and automatic shut-off valves
- Getting back flow valves and standpipes put in basement drains
- Using metal mesh connection hoses on the washer and dryer
- Clearing the gutters and downspouts of debris
- Taking time to flush the hot water tank every six months
- Keeping grease out the kitchen sink and drain
- Running the sump pump every few months and cleaning it before the rainy season
These preventive tips and solutions are just some of the actions you can take to help fight water damage in your home.
Water damage can be a nightmare to deal with, but fortunately, you will always have SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City on your side to help with the cleanup and restoration process. Call today: 702-564-8508
How Do You Know If Your House Has Mold?
Mold Removal in Progress
When your house has mold, there’s more than the smell you have to worry about. Not only can mold cause odor, but it can also damage the integrity of your home. The most common indication of mold is a musty damp smell. However, there are many other signs your house has begun to grow mold in different areas.
Spotting the Signs
If you’re concerned that your house has mold, here are the most obvious and common signs to look out for:
- If you see black spores spreading on surfaces, it’s a sure sign of mold in your home.
- You can smell a musty/damp odor – Mold smells, it’s one of the best ways to detect it even if you can’t see it.
- You see uneven patches on floors or walls – If damp is finding its way into your walls or floors and causing bubbling under your paint, squishy floors, etc., then you almost certainly have mold growing there too.
What does mold smell like?
When mold is growing and spreading, it releases compounds that have a distinct, unpleasant odor.
It’s a smell that once you’ve smelled and are familiar with, there is no mistaking it. The best adjectives to describe mold are; wet, stale, and musty.
People describe the odor as being similar to damp clothes that have been sitting around way too long.
Where Can Mold Hide?
Mold flourishes in areas of the home where there is moisture, oxygen, warmth, darkness and food source. The problem is that the areas where you’re likely to find a combination of elements are not always the most visible.
Here are some of the most common places mold can hide in the home:
Bathrooms are breeding grounds for mold. While it’s easy to spot black mold creeping across white tiles, there’s also plenty of places you can easily miss.
Check behind the toilet around the waste pipe, under the flooring, under your bath (you’ll have to remove the bath panel to see), around sink taps/pipes behind the basin.
Check behind your appliances that use or produce moisture, such as your refrigerator, freezer, ice dispenser, and so on.
Mold can also start creeping up walls that are soaking up damp from the elements outside. So, check inside cupboards, behind appliances, and so on for any external walls.
The main areas of concern in bedrooms are mattresses, and window sills. If you haven’t flipped your bed in a while, do so. Also, check around your windows throughout the home as moisture can collect in window seals.
Attics and Vents
Unless you go into your attic often, you’re not going to know if mold is growing up there. All it takes is a leaky roof to fuel the mold spores, and you can have a severe problem on your hands.
It’s a good idea to check any heating vents and air conditioning units too. The constant flow of air combined with moisture are ingredients for the presence of mold.
What Should You Do If You Find Mold?
If you’ve found mold in your home, it’s important you act sooner rather than later to get rid of it, as mold is potentially very hazardous
There are two parts to ridding your home of mold. The first is to clean up and treat the area where mold is growing. The second is to take steps to fix the issue that caused the fungus to grow in the first place.
To stop mold from returning, the most effective way is to reduce the moisture in the affected areas and in your home in general.
Using dehumidifiers and air conditioners to keep the indoor humidity level below 60% will make a huge difference. You should also dry wet areas in bathrooms after use, fix any leaks, address damp structural problems, and generally wage war against damp in and around the home.
Eliminate Mold Now
Do warm, moist areas of your house continue to grow mold despite your best efforts? Do you have water damage or other mold-causing issues that need treatment? Are you unsure of the presence in your home? Contact SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City today to speak to a highly trained technician. We can restore water damaged rooms, perform water extraction, or conduct a mold inspection. Our licensed professionals work 24.7.365 to make any mold disaster "Like it never even happened." Call today: 702-564-8508
Common Types of Thunderstorm Damage
Large Hail Stones can cause extensive damage to a home or business
Thunderstorms are a common occurrence during the warm spring and the summer months. However, with these thunderstorms comes a chance for storm damage caused by those thunderstorms.
How much do you know about the different types of damage that can come from thunderstorms?How Thunderstorms Form
An estimated 16 million thunderstorms occur across the world each year. The U.S. typically sees an estimated 100,000 thunderstorms each year, with around 10% of those being included in the severe range.
There are certain conditions that must be met for the development of a thunderstorm. Moisture and rising unstable air must be accompanied by a “lifting” mechanism. This could be caused by hills or mountains that force air to rise, or where warm/cold or wet/dry air come together, causing a rising motion.
The life cycle of a thunderstorm goes through three different stages—the developing stage, the mature stage and the dissipating stage. The mature stage is where things like hail, heavy rain, strong winds and even tornadoes may come into play.Differing Types of Damage
Thunderstorms can be dangerous for many different reasons, but one of the most serious risks is the opportunity for high winds to send debris airborne.
It is possible for wind speeds to reach an excess of 57.5 mph during a thunderstorm. This is more than enough wind to create property damage.
Thunderstorms are also responsible for causing the following types of damage besides wind damage:
Hail damage. The cost of hail damage can reach $1 billion a year per the NOAA. From small hail to large, it doesn’t take long for damage to add up.
Lightning damage. With a lightning strike can come fire and electrical damage. The lightning can move through the wiring of your home, which will result in damage to anything that is plugged in.
Tornado damage. With wind speeds that can reach an excess of 200 mph, tornadoes are an extremely destructive force. They can do a large amount of damage in a rather short amount of time.
Flood damage. Heavy rain is a common companion for a thunderstorm, which means there can be a risk for flooding. Flash floods can do a large amount of damage to structures and even rip trees out of the ground.
If a thunderstorm has resulted in damage to your home or business, know that the team at SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City is available 24⁄7 to help with cleanup and restoration.
Protect Your Home When Flooding Is Imminent
Flooded Kitchen Area
If your home is not in a floodplain, you may believe it to be safe from water damage. However, experts report that 90% of natural disasters involve some form of flooding—meaning you could still be at risk.
It is important for homeowners to understand the damage that floods can cause regardless of their location, so they can keep their home and family safe.How to Protect Your Home
Preventing a disaster-related flood isn’t possible, but preventing flood damage may be. With just a few steps, homeowners can do their part to lessen the damage a flood will cause:
Know your risk. A local emergency management authority and the FEMA Flood Map Tool can both provide insights on risk related to your specific geographic location.
Discuss emergency procedures. Be sure your family is knowledgeable about a disaster plan and evacuation route should the need arise. All older children and adults in the house should also be aware of the electricity and gas mains so they can turn off the power if need be.
Raise hazardous materials. To prevent dangerous substances from spilling into floodwater, elevate things such as oil, paint and cleaning supplies.
Prepare appliances. Washers and refrigerators can be elevated using bricks to protect their internal workings from getting soaked when floodwaters are rising.
Anchor propane and fuel tanks. If a fuel tank tips over due to a flood, it can lead to a dangerous spill or even a fire. Anchor fuel tanks securely so they will not tip or leak if water begins rushing around them.
Turn off electricity. It may not seem possible that the waters would reach electrical appliances or outlets, but having live electricity near floodwaters can still be dangerous. Shut off the electrical breaker to any rooms that are at-risk for a flood.
If a flood is on its way to your area, keeping your family sheltered from harm is the most important task. By having a plan in place and knowing what to do, you can protect your home and loved ones from being in harm’s way.
If you’ve experienced water damage due to a flood or other causes, SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City is here to help. Our fully trained water remediation technicians will be there for you when you call. 702-564-8508
How to Avoid Fire Hazards in the Kitchen
Stove Fire in Kitchen
The kitchen can be a wonderful place for family and friends to gather, spending quality time as food is being prepared to share or perhaps just to catch up with family and friends over a cup of coffee or tea. Unfortunately, the kitchen is also the space where many home fires happen.
Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries, and the leading cause of these kitchen fires is unattended cooking.
In 2017, State Farm paid out over $130 million in homeowners insurance claims related to grease and other cooking fires. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:
Safety Tips to Know
- North Carolina
- New York
Staying in the kitchen while cooking is one way to prevent fires, but it is not the only fire safety tip you should be following. Here are some other helpful tips to observe while cooking:
1. Be careful about the type of clothing you wear when cooking. Does your outfit have long, flowing sleeves or is it big and baggy? It could catch on fire if you aren’t careful while cooking over the stove. It’s best to wear short or close-fitted sleeve shirts and make sure any baggy shirts are tucked in or tied back.
2. Be aware of what you have close to the stovetop. Make sure you don’t have kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords or even curtains too close to the stovetop when cooking. Ideally, anything flammable should be moved away from it.
3. Have a fire extinguisher easily accessible to the kitchen. Hopefully you have at least one fire extinguisher located in your home, ideally one that is near your kitchen. Make sure you know how to properly use the extinguisher, just in case it is ever needed.
4. Wait until grease is cool before disposing of it. The grease may not be on fire, but it could be hot enough to cause something in the trash to burn. You should let the grease cool a bit and then dispose of it in an old coffee can. Also, know the smoke points of the oils you cook with. Be sure to never subject a low-smoke point oil to high heat when cooking, as it could catch fire.
5. Have a fire escape plan established for all to be aware of. Thinking about the worst-case scenario is never fun, but it’s better to be prepared rather than unprepared if an emergency were to occur. Go over exit routes and designated meeting points with your family, making sure that everyone knows what to do.
Fire safety in the kitchen is an absolute necessity, as it can help prevent dangerous and destructive cooking fires. If your home has experienced damage from a cooking fire, know that SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City is here to make it “Like it never even happened.” Call today to learn more about our complete fire damage restoration services at 702-564-8508.
We Can Help Restore Your Property Following Disaster
Commercial Building Board Up
SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City takes pride in the fact that when disaster strikes, we can get there quickly, but there is another reason why we should be one of your first calls if you are faced with a disaster.
Our highly trained technicians have a “restore first” mentality when it comes to your property, aided by the use of specialized equipment and cleaning techniques. This mentality also helps reduce the interruptions to your life and helps get your home or business back to pre-disaster condition.
Restore First for Fire Damage
Knowing who to call first after a fire has damaged your property is stressful, but that’s why you need us. Once you contact us, our team will get started right away to service your damage needs.
Our highly trained team will develop a unique plan tailored to your needs, because every fire damage event is different. However, the general process will remain the same.
Here are the steps that are included in our process:
1. Emergency contact. You will be asked a series of questions regarding your fire damage during your initial call to us. This helps us make sure our team is dispatched with the appropriate equipment and resources.
2. Inspection and fire damage assessment. When our team arrives on the scene, they will inspect and test adjoining rooms of the property to determine the extent of fire, smoke and soot damage. This helps us determine the right plan of action moving forward.
3. Immediate board-up and roof-tarp service. We will make sure that your property is secure and protected from further damage by boarding up missing windows and walls and placing a tarp on damaged roofs compromised by fire damage.
4. Water removal and drying (if water damage is present). Water damage from a fire is almost inevitable. We’ll begin the removal process right away and then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and finish up the drying process.
5. Removal of smoke and soot from all surfaces. We then remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls and other surfaces using our specialized equipment and techniques.
6. Cleaning and sanitizing. If it is possible, we clean restorable items and structures. They will not only be cleaned, but odors will be removed through the use of industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
7. Restoration. This will be our final step in getting your property back to its pre-fire condition. Restoration could include minor repairs like replacing drywall, painting and installing new carpet, or it may involve major repairs like reconstruction of damaged areas.
Remember, if you need us, we’ll be there—no matter the time or day. The team of highly trained restoration experts at SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call today 702-564-8508
Water Damage Process Steps-What to do!
Flooded Crawl Space
Water damage can be unfamiliar for a lot of people who haven't experienced it first hand. Many jobs are different bases on the kind of loss and time. This is a brief overview of what you may be able to expect if you have a water loss.
Identifying the Source and Water Type
The type of water is important in determine how to handle a loss. If the water is clean water or a category 1, to sewage water or category 3. There are different safety and clean up protocols we need to follow.
Once we know where the loss occurred we can start to identify the damage and come up with a plan of action. We moisture map the house and look at all affected materials.
Furniture and Water Removal
Next, we need to remove or block up any furniture that may be damaged due to standing water. Once furniture has been safely set aside, we can begin to extract and standing water, if there is any
Drying and Odor Treatments
This is when we bring in those big fans you may have seen or heard about. Also, adding de-humidification to the process is extremely important. The fans will pull the water out of affected materials and the dehumidifiers will remove that moisture from the air.
Material Removal and Final Cleaning
There may be some material that may be very difficult to remove water from. When this happens it may be easier to remove that material all together and get it ready to be replaced. After everything is dry or affected materials have been removed everything is cleaned and prepped for the reconstruction process.
SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City employs certified and well-trained technicians who are experienced with all kinds of water damage restoration and cleanup jobs. If you need our services for any type or volume of water damage to your home, call us at (702) 564-8508 for 24/7 emergency service.