Recent Fire Damage Posts
The Limits of Renter's Insurance for Fire Damage
If you have renters insurance, it is important that you understand what is covered
If you have renters insurance, it is important that you understand what is covered. This allows you to better plan for disasters. It also helps you to decide if you need better coverage. When it comes to a fire, you will most likely be covered for the personal contents of your apartment. This includes items such as your clothing, furniture, artwork, books, music and just about everything else you have moved into the apartment. If you have your own appliances, these should be covered too. The cost of this type of insurance is often fairly reasonable since you do not have to cover the actual building.
The Importance of Speaking With Your Agent
To get a better understanding of your renters' insurance, you should contact your insurance agent about once a year, or of course in the case of an actual fire. It is not unusual for the agent to recommend a few tweaks. Some of the things you can make changes to include the following:
- The dollar amount of coverage
- Policy language
- Contact information
- Liability coverage
If you have bought anything of considerable value, you should then raise the amount of your coverage. Fire damage can even destroy such things as jewelry and computer systems.
The Value of Fire Restoration
If your apartment does fall victim to a fire, your renters' insurance should also pay for cleanup efforts to help you recover more quickly. A local fire remediation team in Shenandoah, TX, can arrive at your place quickly and minimize the level of damage. Professional technicians will work to restore fire and soot damage as well as any water damage caused by firefighters or a sprinkler system. They can offer advice on how best to clean the smoke odors that have penetrated into clothing and furniture. The goal is to restore your apartment back to good condition again. A quality company will help you coordinate the costs and expenses with your insurance company.
3 Space Heater Safety Tips
Safety tips for space heaters.
Three Safety Tips for Space Heaters
Certain rooms in your Rayford, TX, home may be difficult to heat because of their size or lack of heating vents and ductwork in the area. Space heaters may solve this issue; however, misuse of these units causes hundreds of fires every year, so before you decide to use them in your home, learning how to avoid blazes caused by burned space heaters can help reduce the risk of property damage.
1. Use Newer Models
Some newer space heater models have an auto-shutoff feature that ensures the unit turns itself off if you or one of your family members forgets. Replacing older models or those with limited safety features can prevent fires, so shopping around for newer units before the cold weather comes can help you feel more confident when it comes to your family's safety.
2. Leave Space Around the Heater
Space heater fires sometimes occur because there is not enough space around the unit, causing it to overheat and catch the clutter around it on fire. Once a burned space heater catches fire, the resulting blaze can spread quickly. Leave at least a foot of space on all sides of a heater and do not operate it pushed into a corner or up against a wall, even if it has an auto-shutoff feature.
3. Avoid Using a Damaged or Burned Space Heater
Before using a stored space heater for the first time, check it over for problems such as a frayed electrical cord or signs of scorching on the metal heating components. You can also ask a smoke cleanup and fire restoration company to help you decide whether your home's space heaters are safe or if you need to replace them.
Heating your Rayford, TX, home with the help of space heaters is an inexpensive way to provide bedrooms and other rooms with supplemental heat. Keeping the above safety tips in mind can help you operate these units safely and reduce the risk of a costly house fire.
How To Prepare for a Commercial Fire
Make sure everyone in the building knows the best escape route.
Kowing how to handle a fire in your workspace is essential. Fire damage can affect both structures and people, so factor both into your plans.
Basic Prevention and Preparation
Make sure everyone in the building knows the best escape route.
Hold regular emergency drills.
Keep a well-stocked first-aid kit in an easily accessible location.
Stay on top of repairs and maintenance.
Consider asking The Woodlands, TX fire department to inspect your building for hazards.
Consider attending a CPR certification course and inviting your coworkers.
Burn First Aid
If a fire occurs, call 911 immediately; then try to get everyone out of the building and to a safe location. Don't reenter the building until after firefighters have inspected the fire damage.
If someone has been burned, remove constrictive clothing and jewelry. Minor burns can be treated with cool water for initial pain relief; after the burn has cooled apply mild skin cream and loosely cover the affected area with a clean bandage. Over-the-counter painkillers can be helpful; follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Larger (more than three inches in diameter) or more severe burns require medical attention, as does smoke inhalation. While awaiting EMS, attempt to keep the person calm and monitor breathing and pulse. Remove clothing and jewelry from the burned area while being careful not to further damage the skin, and cover the burn with a clean, loose cloth.
Once all the people have been taken care of, you can turn your attention to the building. You'll need professionals to assess the fire damage and handle repairs, so find a restoration firm in The Woodlands, TX, before an emergency takes place. Knowing who to call can make a stressful situation much easier.
No one wants to be dealing with a commercial fire, but taking preventative steps and making sure you have the knowledge and resources you need can go a long way towards making a bad situation better.
A Renter's Guide To Filing Fire Claims
Apartment fire in Rayford, TX.
A Renter's Guide to Fire Claim Filing
After a fire in your apartment building in Rayford, TX, the owner and management will likely file insurance claims for the structure itself. As a renter, you also need to file a claim with your renters insurance provider for any of your items that were damaged. It's important to know where the owner's responsibilities end and yours begin.
The benefit of renting is that you are not responsible for the recovery of the building or any of the appliances and features that come with it. Because you don't own the building, however, your rights to re-enter it once you have relocated to temporary housing may be limited. Before you vacate the premises, be sure to have all the documents you need:
- Insurance policy
- Pictures of damage
- List of items that need repair or replacement
This information is vital for filling out your fire claim in a timely manner. You may not be able to control your access to the building, but you can still start the process of getting assistance.
Contact Remediation Experts
It's not always easy for renters insurance adjusters to assess which items can be salvaged during a walkthrough. Having an official assessment of the damage to your belongings from fire restoration experts is a great way to verify your claim. With an itemized list of restoration costs, you are more likely to get a higher settlement.
Know Your Policy
Of course, the best time to learn what your policy covers is before you need it. It is also helpful to review it after disaster strikes. Your provider may cover more than just the fire damage to your belongings. For example, you may be entitled to reimbursement of all or part of your temporary relocation expenses.
Filing a claim with your renters insurance company after a fire helps you repair or replace any of your belongings that get damaged. Knowing what your rights and responsibilities are can help you make the decisions necessary to get your claim approved.
5 Things To Include in Your Home’s Emergency Plan
Knowing the locations of the exits is also an important point to include in your fire escape plan.
Include the Following In Your Home's Emergency Plan
For a homeowner in Porter Heights, TX, having a fire escape plan can be an important aspect of home safety. Many experts, including fire damage restoration services, recommend the following things to include in your plan to help keep your family safe.
1. Where the Fire Extinguishers Are
Fire extinguishers can be important tools in the event of a small fire. Including their locations and instructions for proper use can help ensure everyone is prepared if handling one becomes necessary.
2. Who Is In charge of Pets and Children
One part of fire preparation that many people overlook is planning for someone to be in charge of any pets or small children in the house. This may be a single person in all instances or a plan for clearly communicating with each other at the time.
3. The Location of Exits
Knowing the locations of the exits is also an important point to include in your fire escape plan. It’s best to plan for at least two exits from any point in the building. This can help ensure safe passage in case one route is blocked.
4. A Safe Meeting Location
In the event you face a home fire, it’s wise to have a meet-up location after the evacuation. This should be an easily identifiable place at a safe distance from the home.
5. Times To Practice
It’s also important to make time to practice your escape plan. This way, everyone involved can have the opportunity to learn their best routes and responsibilities. You may want to run several drills, pretending there is a fire in different locations.
Including these things in your fire escape plan can make it easier to get your family safely out of the building during an emergency. Remember to ensure that everyone knows where the exits are, where to meet up, and if they’re responsible for a pet or another family member.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Grease Fires
Fire damage in Conroe, TX.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Grease Fires
A grease fire is one of the worst kinds of fires you can experience in your home in Conroe, TX. They can flare up and spread fast. It’s really important to be mindful of your actions and how they may affect the fire, so take some time to learn more now so you can act quickly and logically if you ever encounter such a fire. Here are the do’s and don’ts for grease fires:
• Do stay in the kitchen while cooking to prevent fires.
• Do use a lid to smother the flames.
• Do protect yourself from burns by avoiding anything that would splash or spill the fire.
• Do use a dry chemical fire extinguisher.
• Do use baking soda for small areas.
• Do get everyone out of the house.
• Don't walk away from food that is cooking on the stove.
• Don’t cook while sleepy.
• Don't use water or any liquid to put out a grease fire.
• Don’t use a liquid fire extinguisher.
• Don’t use wet or dry fabric to smother the fire.
• Don’t carry the fire out of the house.
It’s so natural for people to want to use water, but remember that is one of the most dangerous things you can do. Water just splashes the hot oil, causing it to jump to other areas like the wall, floor or ceiling. A grease fire can get out of control in a matter of minutes. If you aren’t there at the beginning when it is smallest, just get out and call 911.
Fire cleanup is overwhelming because so much is involved in discerning what can be cleaned and what must be replaced, but a fire damage expert can help with the assessment and the cleanup. When their experience and knowledge is specific to fire recovery, you will get the best care to resolve your problems as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Is Your Fire Extinguisher the Right One for Your Home?
Take some time to learn about extinguishers for your home.
Is Your Fire Extinguisher Appropriate for Your Home?
While most folks would agree to have a fire extinguisher is important, would you know how many to have or what kind to own based on your house and who lives inside? When buying yours, keep the following in mind:
- Who will use it
- Where it could be used
- How to use it effectively
Who Will Be Using Your Extinguisher?
Since household extinguishers can weigh anywhere between 1 and 20 pounds, your first consideration is how much weight the primary user can lift and carry quickly toward a home fire. Rechargeable extinguishers with metal valves will cost more upfront but will cost less to refill than a disposable one. However, if a refillable one is too heavy for a family member to aim quickly, then a smaller disposable canister with a plastic valve should be used.
Where Should Canisters Be Located?
Household extinguishers come in three types: Category A - combats combustibles; Category B - combats flammables, and Category C - combats electrical fires. An A:B: C-classified extinguisher will fight all three kinds of fires. The minimum number of extinguishers recommended for a typical family home is one per floor, but also consider having a fire extinguisher in your garage, laundry room, car and kitchen. Just remember not to use them over a deep fryer as the chemicals could cause the grease to run and make the blaze larger.
How To Operate Your Extinguisher
No fire preparedness plan would be complete without knowing how to use your extinguisher. The first step is to pull the safety pin. Next, stand at least 6 feet from the fire while directing the chemicals at the source of the flames. Then release the chemicals by squeezing the trigger continuously. Finally, move the stream from side to side until there is nothing left inside of the canister. In case of smoke damage, contact a Shenandoah, TX, fire restoration specialist.
Take some time to learn about extinguishers for your home. Then you can sleep easily knowing you have the right fire extinguisher and the right skills to protect your loved ones when it counts.
Get Smart About Smart Smoke Alarms
Fire alarms are one of the most significant ways to protect your family when it comes to fire safety.
Make The Most Of Smart Smoke Alarms
People have been dreaming of home automation since The Jetsons appeared on television in the sixties. Homes in New Caney,TX are finally getting smart now with cameras, thermostats, speakers and even smart lightbulbs. Did you know a smoke alarm can be smart too? Should you replace your current smoke detector with a smart device?
Smart devices are still using the same sensing technology that the old-fashioned devices use, which use either ionic or photoelectric. The smart part is that the device sends a notification to your phone whenever the alarm sounds. You will need wireless internet in your home for it to work, but here are some different device options for getting that notification on your phone:
* Install smart smoke detectors. If it's time to replace the devices in your home, consider replacing them with smart smoke detectors. Prices are coming down on these. Many models are still around $100 or more, but some are now around $40.
* Use smart batteries. This year, you can replace your smoke alarm's batter with a smart one that lasts for five years and sends you notifications. The smart battery is used in your current smoke alarm, pushing a notification to your phone whenever the alarm goes off. If the detector is solely battery powered, that smart little battery can also be used to hush the alarm. That doesn't work if the device is hardwired.
* Plug in a monitor. Instead of your nosey neighbor telling you when the alarm is going off, you can buy a monitor that plugs into an electrical outlet. This is a great option to get smart notification without replacing multiple smoke detectors in your home. Monitors listen for the frequency of another smoke alarm and send you a notification when that sound is detected.
When it comes to fire safety for your family, fire alarms are one of the most important ways to protect your family. If you do have a fire, thankfully a well-placed and well-maintained alarm will help your family get out fast and restoration specialists can help remedy any smoke and fire damage.
Stay Warm & Safe With These Simple Furnace Maintenance Tips
Clean out the dust from your furnace filters.
Free-Furnace Maintenance Tips
Heating systems are generally easy to maintain. However, most people are unaware that furnaces need maintenance at all, which is why you continue to hear horror stories about furnace fires and other heating disasters. Fortunately, you can stay safe this winter, keep warm and prolong the life of your furnace with these hassle-free furnace maintenance tips from the fire cleaning experts in The Woodlands, TX:
- Common sense is king. Chances are that if your furnace is malfunctioning, it’s likely due to an issue with the distribution system, thermostat or heat/cold source.
- Take proper preparation steps before working on your furnace, such as locating the power source, hitting the reset button, making sure the thermostat is set properly and checking the gas supply and pilot light.
- Have your furnace professionally maintained at least once a year.
- Keep safety at the forefront of your mind. Fire and smoke cleaning experts recommend turning off the power to the furnace before beginning any work. Also, know when it’s time to call in a professional. If your fuse pops repeatedly, your furnace’s issues may be due to an electrical problem, in which case you should not try to fix it on your own, say fire cleaning experts.
- If you smell gas, shut off the main valve and get out of your house immediately.
Bearing the above tips in mind, do the following:
Clean Out the Dust
Dirt is your furnace’s biggest enemy, so start by cleaning it out. There are three main components you should concentrate on: the filter, the motor and the blower. Your filter should be replaced or cleaned before winter and once a month thereafter until warm weather arrives.
Lubricate the Motor
If your furnace has a motor that has oil ports, grease them regularly. This helps to ensure your furnace runs cool and clean.
Replace the Belts
If your belts look frayed or worn, replace them. All motors need belts that are in good condition to run, and your furnace’s motor is no different.
If you’re concerned about the safety and wellbeing of your family and home, keep the above furnace maintenance tips in from fire cleaning experts in The Woodlands, TX.
How to Handle Damaged Electronics After a Fire
With the help of professionals, you can have your electronics ready for use again in no time.
Steps To Salvage Your Devices During Fire Cleanup
A fire in your house in Porter Heights, TX, can have a large impact on your property. Not only is the building affected, but the belongings inside are often damaged as well. Even if the flames do not touch these items, smoke can cause problems, particularly for electronics. The following are some steps you can take to salvage these important devices during fire cleanup.
1. Unplug or Turn Off Your Devices
If any of your electronics are still on, turn them off if it is safe to do so. If smoke has gone inside of these objects, it can carry soot and contaminants throughout the devices. Heat and air circulation can make it easier for corrosion and permanent damage to occur if they are still on.
2. Clean the Exterior
While smoke damage can be more devastating to the inside of your devices, you should still take care to remove any residue from the outside. A wet rag is often enough for the exterior of objects with hard surfaces.
3. Drain Wet Electronics
If the fire was severe, then a hose was likely used to put out the flames. In this case, a cleanup and restoration service will need to remove water from the building before fire cleanup begins. Affected devices should be drained and dried as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
4. Have Them Inspected and Repaired
Whether they have been affected by water or smoke, your devices can be irreparably damaged if you attempt to use them before these elements have been completely removed. It is best to bring them to a professional for an inspection and any necessary repairs to make sure they are safe to use.
Fire cleanup is an important step in the restoration process. Many of your belongings can be salvaged after a fire if they are treated in the right way. With the help of professionals, you can have your electronics ready for use again in no time.
3 Types of Damage Your Home Can Suffer During a Fire
There are several different types of fire damage that can affect your home after a blaze.
Types of Fire Damage
When you think of fire damage, you may think of flames charring a home’s walls or roof. However, you may be surprised to know that your The Woodlands, TX, home could suffer from a variety of issues during and after a blaze, all of which could have long-lasting negative effects. Even smaller fires may cause these issues, but being aware of what type of damage you might encounter can help you take more effective steps toward restoration afterward.
1. Smoke Damage
When a fire sweeps through one or more rooms of your home, smoke can leave behind strong odors and stain your walls and ceilings. The smoky smell may also permeate porous items, such as drywall and carpeting, causing the stench to linger for months. Smoke can also discolor painted walls, causing colors to fade and white shades to turn yellow.
2. Soot Stains
During a fire, items in a room may only be charred instead of burning completely. When this occurs, the carbon created by the incomplete burning creates a fine black powder, or soot, that settles on furniture, floors and other surfaces. This type of damage can be difficult to remove from carpeting and may stain fabrics and other items when they are not cleaned correctly. Calling in a fire damage and restoration company to professionally remove soot from your home can give you peace of mind that the cleanup process is performed correctly.
You may not associate water damage with a house fire. However, a fire hose releases tremendous amounts of liquid in a high-pressure spray that can leave your home and belongings soaked. If the water sits for more than 24 hours, the humid conditions caused by the fire’s heat can create ideal conditions for mold growth, so it is wise to have any flood waters removed as soon as possible.
There are several different types of fire damage that can affect your The Woodlands, TX, home after a blaze. However, knowing how to resolve them may make the restoration process less stressful.
4 Steps for Handling a Fire Claim
Commercial fire damage in Porter Heights, TX
Here Are Four Steps For Handling A Claim
A fire can cause damage and destruction to your business in Porter Heights, TX, and it is imperative to take the necessary recovery steps and file a fire claim to maintain your operations. Acting quickly and staying organized helps prevent your business from experiencing any major downtime or interruptions.
1. Contact Your Insurance Provider
Contact your insurer as quickly as possible to report the fire and schedule a meeting with the adjuster. Be sure to have your policy number and the address of your business ready, and provide your contact information so your insurance company knows how to reach you.
2. Start Repair and Cleanup
Do not wait for the adjuster to arrive before beginning cleanup. If you can handle any temporary repairs and secure your property, you should do so to avoid any additional damage or loss. Calling a professional fire restoration and cleanup service is recommended to make sure the process is done properly with the right equipment.
3. Document and Record the Damage
Take photographs of any fire damage before discarding debris or damaged items, and keep records of any costs incurred to repair and restore the property for your fire claim. If the damage is severe enough to temporarily close your business, keep track of any ongoing expenses that you cannot suspend while your business is shut down. If you conduct business at a temporary location, document those expenses as well to submit them with your claim.
4. Provide Financial Statements
For any items that require replacement or repair, provide records to verify the value of the items before they were damaged. You need documents that support any lost business income due to the fire. Be prepared to show bank statements, tax returns and contracts to your insurer.
Filing a fire claim can seem like a lot of work, but staying organized and knowing how to proceed can substantially minimize financial losses. If you are prepared, you can have your business back up and running in no time.
3 Tips for Preventing Cigarette Fires in Your Home
Smoke outside your home
Preventing a Cigarette Fire In Your Home
There are several ways a fire might break out in your Shenandoah, TX, home, but one dangerous circumstance is the risk of those caused by cigarettes. A cigarette fire can spread quickly and cause untold damage to several rooms in your home, including scorch marks and smoke damage. You can prevent these types of fires by practicing a few safety measures each time you or your visitors use cigarettes.
1. Smoke Outside
You can reduce the risk of fire completely by asking that family members and guests smoke outside. Place weighted ashtrays on your porch or patio, and ensure that cigarette butts are completely extinguished before you go inside for the evening. Empty the ashtrays completely on windy days to prevent smoldering butts from igniting a cigarette fire near trees or dry grass.
2. Do Not Smoke in Bed
Many cigarette fires start when people fall asleep in bed while smoking, as blankets and mattresses can catch fire quickly. If you feel sleepy, avoid lighting a cigarette, and do not keep ashtrays in your room so you are less tempted to light up in your bedroom. If you take medications at night that make you drowsy, leave your cigarettes in another room. This can also help prevent an ashtray fire from a pile of cigarette butts that could ignite if left unattended.
3. Use Sand To Extinguish Butts
Adding sand to your home’s ashtrays can help you prevent fires and the need for a fire cleanup damage and restoration company. Snuffing butts out in an inch or so of sand can extinguish them completely and prevent them from causing bedding or curtain fires. You might be able to find small bags of clean, chemical-free sand at your local home hardware store.
Preventing a cigarette fire at your Shenandoah, TX, home can be simple. Remain vigilant about snuffing out butts completely and keeping smoldering cigarettes away from flammable surfaces.
Regular Maintenance, Inspection Necessary for Fire Sprinkler Systems
A fire sprinkler is a vital component of a business’s safety plan
Protecting the people in your Rayford, TX, building safe from fire, as well as the building itself, is one consideration that can’t be overlooked. For businesses or properties with a fire sprinkler system, that can provide ease of mind that if the unthinkable happens, the damage will be minimized. Like with most things in life, the system can only be counted on if it is properly maintained and inspected. Proper maintenance can also ensure it isn’t accidentally triggered, which will likely require calling water remediation and restoration expert for fire sprinkler cleanup.
A fire suppression system is a complex one with many working parts. NFPA 25, which is the Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, recommends monthly, weekly, quarterly and annual and inspections.
Monthly: Check the gauges. For dry, pre-action, and deluge systems, consider doing an inspection more frequently.
Quarterly: Inspect water flow alarm devices, valve supervisory alarm devices, supervisory signal devices, control valves, and hydraulic nameplates.
Annually: Verify the hanger/seismic bracing, pipes and fittings, information signage and spare sprinklers are free of damage.
Every five years, an internal piping inspection should be conducted.
While maintenance can go a long way, a fire sprinkler also needs to be tested to ensure it can be counted on. During testing, a more in-depth check of the equipment and parts is also completed. It is ideal to do a quarterly test of the mechanical devices and a semiannual test of the vane and pressure switch devices and main drain. Every year, a full test and tagging should be done by a professional. They will also test the main drain, water flow, alarm devices, fire pump, and pre-action valves.
A fire sprinkler is a vital component of a business’s safety plan. Making sure it is up to code and ready to use is just as important.
Smoke Odor Remediation
Ozone machines work by oxidizing smoke residue and neutralizing smoke odors
Three Methods To Remove Smoke Odor
If you have experienced a fire in Conroe, TX, you may be in need of smoke to get rid of any lingering odors. Whether the problem is overwhelming or barely noticeable, there are people that can help remove smoke odors from a variety of materials within your home. Smoke can permeate carpet and upholstery, walls, and personal items like artwork and paper documents. By working with a professional odor removal specialist, you may soon have things smelling clean and fresh. Here are three common methods professionals use to remove smoke odors.
1. Air Filtration Devices
Air filtration devices work by scrubbing the air clean. The air is sucked in, recycled through specialized filters, and then dispersed back into the room. Some of the most common filters for these machines are HEPA filters and activated carbon filters. Many companies also use specialized filters that are specifically designed to target smoke.
2. Ozone Machines
A popular smoke cleaning device, ozone machines can be tailored to your match your unique environment. Professionals can adjust the settings to control the amount of time the machine runs, the amount of humidity it expels, and the temperature of the exhaust. Ozone machines work by oxidizing smoke residue and neutralizing smoke odors. Although too much ozone can be harmful, these devices are considered safe when operated by a professional.
3. Thermal Foggers
By using heat and pressurization, fogging can help get rid of odors in tiny cracks and crevices. It works by permeating porous surfaces, attaching to smoke particles, and destroying them. The fog is capable of reaching anywhere the smoke damage occurred. This technique also neutralizes harmful, carcinogenic debris that may be left from the fire.
Smoke cleaning is often the last step in the fire restoration process. By working with an expert remediation team, your home may soon look and smell like the fire never even happened.