Recent Fire Damage Posts
The Benefits of an Emergency Board Up After a Fire
Boarded up home after a fire in Prairie Village, KS
After your house in Prairie Village, KS, has gone through a dangerous fire, it is common to cover some parts in a practice known as an emergency board up. In a board up, professionals place boards over damaged and vulnerable windows, doors and other weaker parts of the house. While you might be tempted to overlook this option, it can provide multiple benefits to the survival of the building.
Protection Against Further Damage
The fragile position of the damaged home can make it vulnerable to multiple hazards and risk factors.
- Strong winds
- Rain and storms
- Intrusion by wildlife
- Trespass by humans
- Other environmental conditions
Boarding up the house prevents the fire damage from escalating, also reducing the work performed by fire cleanup specialists. Some companies even offer these services as part of the restoration process.
Prevention of Insurance Loss
After a devastating home fire, one of the first actions you might take is calling the insurance company. While you might receive coverage for the fire, companies look for any reason to drop coverage if the homeowner does not make effort to stop the damage. In fact, some insurers even require tarp over and board up for the affected residence. Avoid the additional trouble and request this practice to decrease the destruction and keep your insurance coverage.
Avoidance of Human Intrusion
Even though the burned house is exposed to a variety of risks, human trespass is perhaps the most dangerous one. Intruders can exploit the weakened areas as entry points and either rob the area or vandalize and increase the damage. Additionally, if someone gets injured during a stay in the house, you could be held liable, even if they broke into the place. Emergency board up resolves this potential problem.
Even if a home is greatly destroyed, a board up can play a significant role in its restoration. This practice can protect your home from increased damage, ensure your insurance coverage and stops criminals from breaking in.
What Happens When Lightning Strikes Your Home
Lightning is a part of nature and beyond your control
What Happens When Lightning Strikes Your Home
Between 2007 and 2011, the National Fire Protection Association estimates that U.S. local fire departments responded to an average of 22,600 house fires caused by lightning. During these years, lightning fire caused an estimated $451 million in direct property damage. Only about 18% of these fires occurred in homes but this accounted for 70% of the total property damage. There is always a chance that when a storm comes through your area, damage to your home can result. Effects of a strike could cause both a power surge and fire.
A power surge from a lightning strike occurs when the energy courses through the home’s wiring system. The upwelling of force can also affect the plumbing. The current runs throughout the house causing damage to electronics such as TVs, computers and possibly your alarm and Wi-Fi systems.
A lightning fire is a definite possibility. The strike will usually pass through the roof and into the attic causing the insulation and the structure to burst into flames. There is also a chance that a power surge going through the wiring in your walls can cause a spark which will turn to fire. If you see fire or smell smoke, leave the house immediately. Call 911 and let the fire department in Overland Park, KS, do a check of the property.
Lightning is a part of nature and beyond your control. However, protecting your home and your family from a lightning fire is doable. As a preventive measure, when a storm rolls through, protect your valuable electronics by unplugging everything which could be affected. Also, you can use lightning rods as a means of shielding the home. The rod is attached to the highest point of the house and conducting wire leads from the rod to the ground directing the hit away from the structure. Although you cannot totally prevent a lightning fire from occurring, be proactive in speaking with a fire restoration specialist.
Preparation Is Important When Filing an Insurance Claim for Fire Damage
Broken windows after fire damage
If the worst happens and your commercial property experiences a fire, you should act to file a fire claim as quickly as possible. To keep the process smooth and ensure that you are receiving full coverage, there are several steps you can take to keep your insurance company happy in Prairie Village, KS.
Secure the Property
Once the fire trucks are gone and the fire has died, you will want to keep the fire damage from getting worse. However, only do what you feel comfortable with, and if a situation feels unsafe you should leave it to the professionals.
If certain areas have been exposed or the windows have blown out, try to board them up as best you can.
If part of the roof is gone, it is a good idea to tarp it up to prevent rain and other elements from entering.
If pipes are burst you should shut off the water.
Gather Your Records
So you aren't left scrambling later, you should gather all documents relevant when assigning value to items that have been damaged or lost. You should keep a record of all expenses incurred from the moment the fire started. It is best practice to photograph all the damage, even before you start securing your property. Making a fire claim is even easier if you also take the initiative to get estimates for all your repairs.
Get Ready for a Visitor
Typically insurance companies will send one or more claims adjusters with specialized knowledge to investigate the claim and assess various forms of damage in order to determine your coverage. They may keep in touch in order to receive updates on the fire restoration process and make payments to your account. Payments are usually sent via direct deposit or check.
When making a fire claim to your insurance, the more information you have at the ready, the easier it will be for everyone involved. This will also make it more likely that you get adequate coverage. Going through a disaster is tough, there's no reason to make it tougher.
Reduce the Risk of Cigarette Fire in Your Home
Never leave a lit cigarette unattended
There are many reasons a house in Leawood, KS can catch fire and it can be a devastating experience. Lightening strikes, electrical malfunctions or sparks from a nearby chimney are unexpected and traumatic. However there are also many types of fires can be prevented. A cigarette fire is one of those. If you or someone in your home enjoy smoking, it is vital to take the necessary precautions to prevent the outbreak of a blaze.
Tips for Safer Smoking
- Make sure to keep sturdy ashtrays in several places in the home, always on a solid surface, never the arm of a chair or the bed. Better yet, smoke outdoors.
- Never leave a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe unattended. It only takes seconds for a fire to break out. This is especially important if there are pets or children in the home.
- Make sure any used matches or butts are completely extinguished before throwing away. Take them out to a sand-filled pot outdoors, not in the trashcan.
- Do not smoke when sleepy or in bed; a cigarette fire can easily happen when you fall asleep
- Never light a cigarette or smoke in the presence of oxygen, as it is highly combustible
Cigarette and ashtray fire is the leading cause of home fire deaths each year. The majority of these fires begin in a chair, a bed or a trashcan, which can ignite quickly, and often when the smoker has fallen asleep or become distracted. Again, smoking outdoors is preferable, both for fire prevention and for more breathable air inside the home.
As the home of a smoker can be at a higher risk of fire, prepare your family in advance to be safer. Discuss evacuation plans and practice escape routes. Decide on a local fire restoration service in Leawood, KS to help with fire cleanup and have their number at hand. Taking the necessary precautions against cigarette fire can help you feel more at ease.
Johnson County Residents need Soot and Smoke Cleanup!
SERVPRO of Leawood/Overland Park will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred and then choose the accurate cleaning procedure.
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home or business, 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 Leawood/Overland Park 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.
SERVPRO of Leawood/Overland Park has been helping families and businesses throughout the Northland with their cleanup and restoration needs for over 15 years.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (913) 381-6550
How To Prepare for a Home Fire When You Have Pets
Remember to include your pet in your fire escape plan
How to Prepare For a Fire Emergency
The thought of a fire in your home in Overland Park, KS can be scary, especially if you have pets. However, being prepared for the worst can help you react appropriately if a fire emergency does occur.
1. Take Precautions
Although not all fires are preventable, it’s often wise to do what you can to prevent a fire from occurring in your home by focusing on pet safety. If your pets roam around the house while you are away, making sure to keep away potential fire hazards out of reach from your pets can be helpful. Since not all fire hazards can be easily moved, it’s often best to keep pets in an area where they do not have access to potentially dangerous items while you are out of your house.
2. Make a Plan
Knowing how to react in the event of a fire emergency is important for everyone, but it’s especially important when you have pets. Make a plan of escape and know how to escape your home if your first route of escape is blocked off. After you have a plan, it’s useful to frequently practice this plan. If a fire does occur, having a plan in place can save you time and energy and can ultimately keep you and your pets safe.
3. Prepare Documentation
Part of pet preparation involves updating documents about your pets and keeping them in a fire-resistant container. If your pet does need veterinary care after a fire, having all of your pet’s documents in one place can save you a great deal of stress. Additionally, placing a sticker on a window at the entrance of your home that includes the number of pets in your home can be beneficial for firefighters when entering your home.
Taking steps to prevent a fire from occurring, making a fire escape plan and preparing documents that pertain to your pets can help you prepare for a fire. If a fire emergency has affected you and your home, it may be useful to contact fire damage restoration experts.
3 Ways To Clean Contents After a Fire
Soot damage in Overland Park, KS
3 Ways To Clean Contents After a Fire
Even without catastrophic structural damage, a fire can wreak havoc on your property. From smoke damage, to water damage from firefighting efforts, there’s a surprisingly long list of ways that fires create a mess. The good news is there are lots of options for cleaning up your content, from elaborate fire restoration to simple dry-cleaning. Here are a few of the ways you can get your Overland Park, KS, property back to normal.
Fire damage typically evokes thoughts of broken windows and burnt through roofs. But fire damage also often includes:
- Smoke damaged clothing and personal property
- Water logged carpets and furniture
- Soot stained upholstery and carpeting
And that’s just for starters. Fortunately, there are professionals there to help.
This simple process is one of the easiest ways to handle smoke damage. Drapes and other fabrics can be dry cleaned in place to remove the pervasive smell of smoke, soot and burned goods as well as getting rid of stains. Be sure to choose a fire restoration or textile restoration company that specializes in fire damage for the best results.
This typically involves removing water - an important part of ensuring your business is safe for use. Water that gets beneath carpet pads and festers in walls can become a breeding ground for mold. Fire remediation firms use suction devices and industrial dryers to get rid of every drop.
Typically offered as an add on to remediation, cleanup services focus more on cleaning, deodorizing and restoring personal property. This can include spray and wipe cleaning, foam cleaning, abrasive cleaning, immersion and much more.
Cleaning up plays a big part of getting back to normal after a business fire. Fortunately, it’s not something you have to tackle yourself. Contract with experts in dry-cleaning, content storage and other fire content cleaning and your property will be as good as new.
Smoke Alarms: Maintaining Performance
Contact a fire remediation specialist in the Leawood, KS area to get your alarm installed
Smoke Alarms: Maintaining Performance
A smoke alarm may be the last defense you have to ensure that you and your family are safe in a disaster. Therefore, it is vital that all your alarms are correctly installed and regularly tested. If you are not confident in your ability to install these items, you can call a fire remediation specialist in the Leawood, KS, area who may be able to assist you. Beyond installation, you will want to ensure that you are maintaining you alarms appropriately. Depending on your chosen detectors, the maintenance schedule can vary.
1. Nine-Volt Battery Powered Detectors
As an affordable smoke detector option, nine-volt powered detectors will require monthly inspections and tests, you should make sure that the alarm is clean and free of debris, and you should test the signal by pressing the test button. Also, you should replace the batteries annually to ensure proper functionality. Additionally, it is recommended that you replace these alarms every 10 years.
2. Long-Life Alarms
A long-life smoke alarm typically refers to detectors that use a 10-year lithium battery. As these batteries should not be replaced, it is recommended that the entire unit is replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines. However, you should test the alarm and ensure it is free of cobwebs and dust at least once per month.
3. Hardwired Fire Signals
Hardwired fire signals are connected directly into your homes electrical system, which provides an added sense of security because the units can communicate with each other, sounding alarms throughout the residence. This type of alarm should be tested monthly and replaced every 10 years. Additionally, the battery backup should be replaced annually.
Fire damage is one of the worst fears of many homeowners because of the risk to their property and the potential loss of life. A smoke alarm provides reassurance because it can alert and thereby protect a home’s inhabitants. However, depending on the type of alarm, each signal requires a certain amount of upkeep to maintain performance.
3 Things To Consider When Buying an Extinguisher
Having a fire extinguisher in your Prairie Village, KS, home can help you stop a house fire from becoming a disaster. To best protect your home, you need to buy the right extinguisher for the space. You can turn to a residential fire damage professional and this guide to help you choose the best product for your needs.
1. Where Will It Be Used?
Are you going to put the extinguisher in your garage, kitchen or laundry room? Believe it or not, the location of your extinguisher should actually dictate what product you buy. In the garage, for example, you may want a larger model because the home fire may grow before you notice it in this space. On the other hand, you may be able to use a smaller model in the kitchen where you'll typically spot fires before they grow out of hand.
2. What Kind of Flames Will It Fight?
Did you know that a fire extinguisher may be designed to fight a certain kind of flame? This safety equipment often comes labeled as A, B or C. The A category works well against common combustibles, including cloth, wood and paper. B extinguishers are often designed to tackle fires caused by cooking oils, gasoline or other liquids. The C products may help with electricity fires. As you purchase your tool, you need to think about the kind of fires that may take place in the room you want to keep it in.
3. How Easy Is It To Use?
Will anyone be able to use the extinguisher? A big part of fire preparedness is making sure everyone in your home can tackle an emergency situation. Purchasing an extinguisher that has an easy-to-use hose may make it easier for anyone in your family to dampen flames. It may be a good idea for you to include a how-to demonstration during your next family fire drill.
Having at least one fire extinguisher in your home is a great safety practice. Getting the best product for your space can increase the safety tool's usefulness.
5 Tips To Prevent Kitchen Fires
In 2016, 50% of house fires in the United States were caused by cooking. As a homeowner in Overland Park, KS, follow these five helpful tips to reduce the chance of fire damage in your kitchen:
1. Pay Attention.
Be attentive to your cooking and do not leave it unattended, even for a few minutes. If you must leave the house, turn off the oven first. Regularly check on the food, especially if you are frying, broiling or grilling. If you are not in the kitchen, set a timer so you know when the food is done. Double check that appliances are turned off before heading to bed.
2. Reduce Fire Hazards.
Move anything that is flammable away from heat sources in the kitchen, especially those that generate open flames. This includes dish towels, pot holders, grocery bags and long sleeves or hair when cooking.
3. Clean Surfaces.
Over time, grease and oil residue build up. Regular cleaning is one of the best tips to prevent a grease fire. If a grease fire occurs, never put water on it. Rather, cut off the oxygen to the flames by covering it with a pot or pan.
4. Take Precautions.
The kitchen is no place for small children while you are cooking. Teach your kids to stay at least three feet away from the oven for safety.
5. Be Prepared.
Protect your home by installing a working smoke detector in or near your kitchen, and on all levels of your home. Check the batteries and test the device on a regular basis. Keep a fire extinguisher within reach to combat small fires in early stages.
Follow the above tips to decrease the risk of fire in your home. Sometimes even taking precautions cannot prevent a fire in Overland Park, KS. If this happens, immediately get your family to safety and call the fire department. After the blaze is out, contact a fire restoration specialist and your homeowner’s insurance agent to learn about your next steps to restore your fire damaged home.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROleawoodoverlandpark.com/.
How To Select the Best Fire Extinguisher for Your Home
Not all fire extinguishers are created equal. When shopping for one for your home, it’s important that you understand the differences between each type of fire extinguisher, what they’re used for and how to select the right one for your home. There are a few factors to consider before making your purchase:
There are four different sizes for extinguishers used to fight home fires: 10-pound, five-pound, two-pound and stove-top. The 10-pound extinguisher is best for garages, sheds and outbuildings in which a fire might have the potential to grow without being noticed.
A five-pound extinguisher is best for in the home and for combatting kitchen fires and electrical fires. If you want to be able to combat a home fire, the five-pound fire extinguisher is ideal.
A two-pound extinguisher is best for on-the-go, such as in a vehicle. These models are typically disposable and come with mounts to keep them from rolling around in the trunk.
Stove-top extinguishers are exactly what they sound like—extinguishers used to fight stove fires. They’re lightweight and can be mounted directly on the range hood for easy access.
Home extinguishers are labeled as either A, B or C. Models with an “A” are effective on ordinary combustibles such as paper, wood and cloth. Those with a “B” are ideal for flammable liquids such as oil or grease. Extinguishers with a “C” can be safely used on live electricity.
Finally, you want to consider ease of use. An extinguisher won’t do you any good if you do not know how to use it or if you do not have the capacity to operate it. When shopping around, ask a technician for a demonstration or, at the very least, step-by-step instructions.
A fire extinguisher needs to be a part of your fire preparedness plan. Talk to your local Overland Park, KS, fire remediation team about selecting the best model for you and your home.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROleawoodoverlandpark.com/.