Recent Fire Damage Posts
Checking Your Home after a Fire
Taking the appropriate steps to stay safe.
Do not cut or walk past colored tape that was placed over doors or windows to mark damaged areas unless local authorities advise that it is safe to do so. If a building inspector has placed a color-coded sign on the home, do not enter it until you get more information, advice and instructions about what the sign means and whether it is safe to enter your home.
If you have children, leave them with a relative or friend while you conduct your first inspection of your home after the fire. The site may be unsafe for children, and seeing the damage firsthand may upset them and cause long-term effects, including nightmares.Check for Structural Damage
- Check the outside of your home before you enter. Look for loose power lines, broken or damaged gas lines, foundation cracks, missing support beams or other damage. Damage on the outside can indicate a serious problem inside. Ask a building inspector or contractor to check the structure before you enter.
- If the door is jammed, don’t force it open – it may be providing support to the rest of your home. Find another way to get inside.
- Damaged locks should be taken apart and wiped with oil. If locks can’t be removed, squirt machine oil through a bolt opening or keyhole, and work the knob to distribute the oil. Hinges should also be thoroughly cleaned and oiled.
- Sniff for gas. If you detect natural or propane gas, or hear a hissing noise, leave the property immediately and get well away from it. Call the fire department after you reach safety.
- If you have a propane tank system, turn off all valves and contact a propane supplier to check the system out before you use it again.
- Check for smoke and embers throughout the home, including the attic.
- Beware of animals, such as rodents, snakes, spiders and insects, that may have entered your home. As you inspect your home, tap loudly and often on the floor with a stick to give notice that you are there.
- Damaged objects, such as furniture or stairs, may be unstable. Be very cautious when moving near them. Avoid holding, pushing or leaning against damaged building parts.
- Is your ceiling sagging? That means it got wet – which makes it heavy and dangerous. It will have to be replaced, so you can try to knock it down. Be careful: wear eye protection and a hard hat, use a long stick, and stand well away from the damaged area. Poke holes in the ceiling starting from the outside of the bulge to let any water drain out slowly. Striking the center of the damaged area may cause the whole ceiling to collapse.
- Is the floor sagging? It could collapse under your weight, so don’t walk there! Small sections that are sagging can be bridged by thick plywood panels or thick, strong boards that extend at least 8–12 inches on each side of the sagging area.
- If the weather is dry, open windows and doors to ventilate and dry your home.
- If power is out, use a flashlight. Do not use any open flame, including candles, to inspect for damage or serve as alternate lighting.
- Disconnect and check all appliances for water damage before using them.
- Make temporary repairs such as covering holes, bracing walls, and removing debris. Save all receipts.
Checking Utilities and Major Systems
- Take photographs of the damage. You may need these to substantiate insurance claims later.
- Check each telephone to see if it is still on the hook. Hang up any phones that aren’t. Wait a few minutes, and then pick up one phone to listen for a dial tone to know whether you have working telephone service.
- If you don’t have a dial tone, try unplugging all the phones. Plug in one at a time and listen for dial tone. This will help you determine if the phone itself is broken or the service is completely out. If it is, contact the telephone company to report the problem and request repair.
Electrical, Plumbing and Heating Systems
- If you see sparks, broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker.
- If there is a pool of water on the floor between you and the fuse box or circuit breaker panel, use a dry wooden stick to try to reach to turn off the main fuse or breaker, but do not step or stand in water to do that. If you cannot reach the fuse box or breaker panel, call a qualified electrician for assistance.
- Inspect the panel box for any breakers that may have tripped. A tripped breaker may indicate damaged wiring inside your home. Do not turn them on. Call an electrician.
- Use a flashlight to inspect fuses. Replace broken fuses with exactly the same amperage rating and never use an object such as a coin or strip of metal to bypass the protection that fuses provide.
- If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using sinks, showers or toilets and call a plumber.
- If water pipes are damaged, turn off the water at the main valve. Call a plumber for assistance.
- If you have a heating oil tank system, turn off all valves and contact a professional specializing in maintenance of such equipment before using it again.
Checking Household Items
- Normal household items, such as cleaning products, can cause toxic fumes and other hazards if they mix. See our household chemical safety tips.
- Spilled chemicals that don’t pose a health risk must still be carefully cleaned up. Wear rubber gloves and discard spilled chemicals and rags used for cleaning according to the advice of local authorities.
- Throw away food, beverages and medicine exposed to heat, smoke or soot. Food that was in the freezer can be used if it still has ice crystals on it. If not, discard it.
Make Sure to:
- Stay out of any building that has water around it.
- Keep away from loose or dangling power lines. Report them immediately to the power company.
- Contact your insurance agent. Do not discard damaged goods until an inventory has been taken. Save receipts for money spent relating to fire loss. Your insurance agent may provide immediate help with living expenses until you are able to return home and may offer assistance for repairs.
SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City is always here to help! Call today 702-564-8508
What To Do If A Fire Starts
If a Fire Starts:
- Know how to safely operate a fire extinguisher
- Remember to GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL 9-1-1 or your local emergency phone number.
- Yell "Fire!" several times and go outside right away. If you live in a building with elevators, use the stairs. Leave all your things where they are and save yourself.
- If closed doors or handles are warm or smoke blocks your primary escape route, use your second way out. Never open doors that are warm to the touch.
- If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit. Close doors behind you.
- If smoke, heat or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with doors closed. Place a wet towel under the door and call the fire department or 9-1-1. Open a window and wave a brightly colored cloth or flashlight to signal for help.
- Once you are outside, go to your meeting place and then send one person to call the fire department. If you cannot get to your meeting place, follow your family emergency communication plan.
If your clothes catch on fire:
- Stop what you’re doing.
- Drop to the ground and cover your face if you can.
- Roll over and over or back and forth until the flames go out. Running will only make the fire burn faster.
THEN:Once the flames are out, cool the burned skin with water for three to five minutes. Call for medical attention. For more Fire Safety Tips call SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City Today at:702-564-8508
Fire Safety Basics For Your Home
Each year in the United States, over 350,000 house fires occur, resulting in over $5.5 billion in property damage. Financial loss aside, these fires also lead to nearly 3,000 deaths and 10,000 injuries.
The best defense against a house fire is advance preparation. Even more importantly, it’s vital that each member of your household know how to prevent fires and what to do if one should occur.
Start out by teaching your kids basic fire safety guidelines from a young age. Consider these three other fire safety precautions you can practice together:Establishing a Fire Safety Plan
If a fire occurs, every member of your family needs to know how to react and also stay calm—this includes getting out of the house safely and where to go once outside.
Remember, creating a plan is only the beginning.
Practice makes perfect, and regular practice of the fire safety routine will make you more likely to remember the steps if a fire breaks out.Look for Fire Hazards in Your Home
Do you know how many fire hazards you would spot if you were to look through your home? You could be surprised by the number you find. Go through every room and your outdoor spaces to discover previously unnoticed hazards.
Kitchen Fire Safety Is Key
- Check that your appliances are in good working condition.
- Make sure electrical cords are intact and not frayed or damaged.
- Check that outlets and extension cords have not been overloaded.
- Make sure the correct wattage of light bulbs is being used in light fixtures.
- Be sure no wires are covered up by rugs or carpet.
You may not have known before, but cooking is the biggest single cause of house fires. This is why it’s important to be careful in the kitchen.
Here are some refreshers on cooking safety:
- Don’t cook when tired or otherwise unable to pay attention.
- Supervise kids and teens when they are cooking.
- Be prepared for grease fires by having a lid available to cover and smother.
- If the oven catches on fire, turn off the oven and keep the oven door closed.
- If the fire is spreading, leave the room immediately and close the door behind you.
If your family has experienced a fire and needs help restoring your home, SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City can help! Give us a call to learn about our fire restoration services and what we can do for you. 702-564-8508
Understand Fire Hazards in Your Home
Fire/Smoke Damage from Candle left burning on fireplace mantle
Understanding fire hazards and knowing how to identify them is one way you can help protect your home from the possibility of being damaged by fire.
No one likes thinking about this, but unfortunately, it’s a harsh reality for a multitude of Americans. In this blog, we’ll discuss two of the most common household fire hazards.<51ce4317d74d7e9ed0dbcf595c69e421>Watch Those Candles
According to the National Fire Protection Association, over a five-year period from 2011 to 2015, fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated 8,700 house fires per year that were started by candles. In total, candles were the cause of 82 deaths, 800 injuries and $295 million in direct property damage.
Candles caused 2 percent of reported house fires, with 3 percent resulting in death and 7 percent with injuries. An average of 24 home candle fires were reported per day during those five years, with December having the highest amount of calls for home candle fires.
Of all the candle fires during this time span, 37 percent began in the bedroom and were responsible for 36 percent of the associated deaths and 51 percent of the associated injuries.
While using a lit candle, be sure it’s kept at least 12 inches away from anything that could catch fire and is in a sturdy holder that won’t easily tip over. Always blow out all candles before leaving a room or going to sleep. When oxygen is used in the home, never use a candle.<51ce4317d74d7e9ed0dbcf595c69e421>Be Cautious When Smoking
If you’re a smoker, it is safest to smoke outside. Most deaths result from fires that start in living rooms, family rooms or bedrooms.
Consider fire-safe cigarettes as an option, and a deep, sturdy ashtray should be used. Be sure to douse all cigarettes and ashes in water or sand prior to throwing them out and keep in mind that one out of four fatalities caused by smoking-material fires is not the smoker whose cigarette started the fire.
While cooking is the leading cause of home fires, smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths. An estimated 17,200 home structure fires that were caused by smoking materials were reported in 2014, which includes cigarettes, pipes and cigars.
Those fires caused 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in property damage per the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes.<51ce4317d74d7e9ed0dbcf595c69e421>Some Lesser-known Hazards in Your Home
While candles and smoking are two of the most common causes of home structure fires, there are also other lesser-known hazards that could be present in your home. Did you know that some kinds of the glassware in your home could be a fire risk? When sunlight passes through them, the magnified ray could ignite flammable materials, which is why it’s best to move glass accessories away from windows and out of sunlight.
Dust bunnies also pose a fire risk if left to collect near electrical sockets and floor heaters. Sweeping or vacuuming your floors regularly and cleaning hard-to-reach areas like behind the entertainment system can keep them from building up.
Also, be aware that loose outlets in your home could spark a fire. The movement of these electrical outlets could loosen wires connected to the outlet and create dangerous arcing.
Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to homes, and in many circumstances, can be accompanied by water damage from firefighting efforts. If your home is damaged by fire or smoke, SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder has your back and is here to help restore your home to pre-fire condition.
Summer Fire Safety
Summer is here and that means cookouts and the big event, the 4th of July. Setting off fire works is a tradition that started as early as 1777. Here are some tips to keep you summer safe and fun.
- Only use grills outdoors and way from the home, deck and out from under overhanging branches.
- Always keep children at least 3 feet away from grilling area.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
- Always clean grease or fat build up.
- Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
Did you know that according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) that sparklers burn AT 1200 degrees? To put that in prospective, Water boils at 212 degrees and glass melts at 900. If you choose to use consumer fireworks please be safe and always watch children.
Grilling Safety Tips
Summer is coming up and for many that means pool parties and grilling. Did you know July is the peak month for grill fires. These tips are here to keep everyone's summer a fun and safe one.
- Remember only to use propane and charcoal grills outdoors.
- The grill should be placed away from the home and clear of any railings, eaves, or over hanging branches.
- Always keep children a minimum of 3 feet away from the grilling area.
- Never leave the grill unattended.
- Always on any gas grill, make sure the lid is open before lighting it.
- Always, on propane grills, check the gas line for leaks. You can do this by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose. A hose with cracks will release bubbles.
Also if you smell gas at any time, back away from the grill and call the fire department.
Electrical Fire Displaces Henderson Family
We recently finished working on a fire loss in Henderson caused by faulty wiring. This family was displaced for quite some time and lost irreplaceable contents. We at SERVPRO of Henderson and Boulder City would like to share some electrical safety tips to prevent future damage.
- Always have all electrical work done by a qualified electrician.
- It is a good idea to get an inspection done when buying a new home or making remodels.
- Always use one heat producing appliance (Coffee Maker, Toaster, etc.) in an outlet
- Never use an extension cord for major appliances (refrigerators, dryers, washers, etc.)
- Consider having arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) installed if you do not already have them in place. AFCIs shut off electricity when dangerous conditions occur.
- Check electrical cords and make sure they are not running under carpeting, rugs, or doorways. Extension cords are designed for temporary use.
For more fire safety tips, check our blog!
Cooking Safety Tips
Did you know that the leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking? Most of those cooking fires involve the stove.
We have seen plenty of kitchen fires in our 20 years of restoration work. We hope that these tips can help keep your home safe while cooking.
- Always stay in the kitchen if you are boiling, frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you do have to leave the kitchen for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- Keep anything that has the possibility of catching fire away from your stove top. Including oven mitts, towels, and even curtains.
- If you have a fire on the stove top, slide a lid over the pan to smother the fire and leave it there until it is completely covered.
- If you have an oven fire, turn off the heat and leave the door closed.
- Finally it is always a good idea to keep children away from the stove.
Removing Porous Materials key To Removing Odor In Fire Damage
Technicians removing drywall and insulation due to fire damage
This loss came from a car catching on fire in a garage. The fire affected most of the home but the garage got the worst of the damage. You can see our technicians wearing personal protective equipment because it can be very hard to breath and see with all the soot on materials and in the air.
When big losses like this arise it is very possible to have to remove every inch of porous material, including drywall and insulation. We need to remove all porous materials because the smoke smell is very hard to remove. Removing the source is always the most effective step in odor removal.
We take the time to make sure our technicians are fully trained on the effects of fire and odor by getting them IICRC certified.
Most fire jobs require board ups
Customer attempts to keep his possessions safe by covering holes cut by fire department with wooden boards.
Board ups are pretty common to see on fire damages, either the fire department needs to break down a door, or the pressure from the fire causes windows to break, or the fire itself can literally take down walls of a structure.
That was the case in this job. The fire department had to cut open this garage door in able to attack the fire. Being made of brick there was no other way inside.
This photo is the customers attempt to keep wondering eyes off his possessions in the garage. This customer had a lot of tools unaffected and needed to keep them safe.
We ask that if you need the extra protection of a proper board up, that you call professionals. We are available 24/7/365.
Keep your home and possessions safe. Call SERVPRO of Henderson and Boulder City.
How to get the smell out of your house from a nearby fire
As you may know, the smell of smoke travels quickly and sticks to everything it touches. I was in a building that had a fire a week prior and my clothes smelt like a campfire after just 10 minutes.
If you have been unfortunate enough to be around an area that recently had a fire, your home may also have that same campfire smell to it.
Here are a few tips to help rid your home of that smell.
Open All The Windows
Opening windows is a mustGet some fresh air in and let the gross air out. You may also think about purchasing a window fan to help circulate air in and out of your home.
Wipe Everything Down
If you’re close to a fire, or if you had your windows open while a nearby building was on fire, then chances are good you have some soot at least on your windows, if not on your walls as well. Make a solution of a gallon of water, a quarter cup of white vinegar, and a teaspoon of dish soap, and then used it to wipe down all your windows, window sills, and walls on the side of your apartment where the fire was. Small smoke particles have probably settled all those places, and this cuts through it like nothing else. Get the windows with window cleaner as well and mopped your hardwoods.If your home was smoky, you also want to pay attention to things like light fixtures and bookshelves that are high up. Smoke likely rose and then settled there. These need to be wiped down as well. You also want to hose down your window screens (if you have them) with either a garden hose or in your shower.
Wash Everything Washable
Have curtains? Take them down and wash them. Duvet? Wash that. Anything that you can throw into a washing machine you should. Do you own a mattress pad? This may help salvage your mattress.
Plan, Plan, Plan
I highly recommend purchasing renter’s insurance. Most people think of renters insurance just in case someone breaks into your home and don't take into account what could happen in a fire. If you have a policy, a lot of the cleanup would be taken care of.
Small Apartment Catches Fire Due To Fireworks
This is the bedroom that the fire loss started in.
Recently we got a call to remediate an apartment. The apartment caught fire one night because kids were playing with fireworks in their room. Thankfully no one was hurt and no others buildings were affected.
The management company of this apartment called us the day after the accident to get going on the job as time was of the essence.
The apartment being completely covered in water from the fire department had to be dried before any demolition of affected building materials. The reason we had to dry the structure first is because there were a lot of contents and we couldn't remove anything until the contents were taken care of.
After doing flood cuts and removing insulation we place equipment to dry the structure before being able to move the contents.
After the contents and the structure was dry, we were able to completely remove all building material.
This was a big job that could have been prevented, fire safety is important and make sure you are protected with working smoke alarms and an exit strategy for you and your family.
Removing Blown in Insulation
Removing blown in insulation from attic fire damage
We got called to help out with a fire that happened over night at a customers house in Las Vegas. Not every house is built the same and particularly with this older house it had blown in insulation. Since the smoke happened in the attic all of the insulation was affected and needed to be removed. Blown in insulation is exactly as it sounds, insulation is blown in though cavities of the home through a hose. So the most effective and time efficient way to remove it is to use a machine like the one in the photo that sucks the insulation and blows it into a big bag to be properly sealed for disposal.
Doing these special jobs require the proper equipment and knowledge. Call the SERVPRO team with the experience and knowledge to handle anything!
Fire Destroys Whole Apartment
Photo after a fire damage after all damaged building material was removed
We got this call because we do emergency board up services for fires, breaks ins, and basically any time you need a temporary entry way closed off. Our guys went out, did the board up and talked to the home owner about all the fire restoration services we provide to the Las Vegas area.
We explained to the customer that we would be able to remove any contents that may have been affected and any that may not have been. Also, that we could removed and affected building material and take care of any odor issues that the smoke may have caused. This loss happened at an apartment complex so with the smoke affecting other residences we were able to help resolve the odor issues as well.
We do it all SERVPRO of Henderson and Boulder City, from emergency late night board ups, helping with odor issues, and complete fire restoration.
Fire Damage Can Lead To Water Damage
Fire Damage, Water Damage, Contents Cleaning, Document Drying
There is so much going on in this photo it may be overwhelming. Not as overwhelming as the employees of this office showing up to work and seeing everything destroyed. Not only was this disaster a fire damage, but also suffered extreme water damage from the sprinklers and fire department.
A job like this can be devastating, the benefits of calling SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City is that we have the technicians and equipment for any size disaster. This particular job required a pack out and full inventory of all materials. Most of the paper work was completely drenched in water, luckily contents restoration is something we do as well. Drying out the structure from the water, and deodorization from the fire. The benefit of SERVPRO is that we can be as small or as large as we need to be.
Even A Small Fire Can Cause Odors
Small fires can leave lasting odors
Fire, smoke and soot damages can create unpleasant and permanent problems if not properly addressed.
As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels through the building leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in those hard to reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and result in periodically resurfacing odors. Unfortunately such damages are often made more severe when unprepared property owners attempt to perform the cleanup themselves.
All of your restorable items in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronic, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and so much more. We at SERVPRO of Henderson and Boulder City do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, we seek out odors and remove them.
Do's and Dont's
Fire at an apartment building
When you come home to an unfortunate fire damage it is important to do things to prevent further damage, and don't do things that might cause more damage.
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
- Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces witha light coating of lubricant.
- If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
- Wash both sides of leaves on house plants.
- Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
- Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contracting your SERVPRO franchise professional
- Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture
- Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV, radio, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
- Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water.
- 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.
- Send garments to the dry cleaner, Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.
Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Henderson/Boulder City Home.
Residential Smoke/Soot Damage
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 Henderson/Boulder City 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 – 702-564-8508
How To Make Your Home Fire Safe: A Few Quick Steps Can Go a Long Way
Fire Damage Restoration Services from SERVPRO
Protecting your family in your home is important and fire is something nobody wants to think about. Unfortunately, fires can and do happen. The best way to prevent a house fire is to take some precautionary steps and fireproof your home. Knowing how to make your home a little more fire safe not only saves lives and property, but will also make you feel safer and more at ease.
5 Quick Steps to Fire Safety
- Remove Clutter - Clutter can cause fires, make fires worse and even stop you from getting out of your home during a fire. Get rid of it or at least reduce it.
- Check Your Smoke Alarms Often - Your smoke alarms will alert you of a fire before you see or smell smoke. Check them at least every six months.
- Keep A Fire Extinguisher In Your Home - A fire extinguisher can be used to put out some small fires and stop them from spreading. Every home should have one. If you have a multiple story home it's a good idea to have one easily accessible on each level.
- Never Leave Candles Unattended - Candles can easily catch furniture, papers and even hanging pictures and décor on fire. Never leave your candles unattended.
- Check Your Wires - Check your electric wires often to make sure they are not rips or shorts. Also make sure your wall sockets are not too full and that all the plugs are secure. A fire safe home will help you and your family feel safer and sleep better at night. Take the time to do it right.
If a fire does happen, first call the fire department. Once the blaze has been put out you can contact the highly trained professionals at SERVPRO 24/7 to service your home and repair and restore after fire damage. We will help make the entire fire damage restoration process simple, straightforward and as painless as possible.