Recent Fire Damage Posts

Bonefire Safety

5/21/2021 (Permalink)

Bonfires can be outdoor fun no matter the season. Residents of New Kent can have their very own small bonfire. The New Kent County Code states that homeowners can burn small piles of yard debris, leaves, and brush between 4pm and 12am as long as they meet these requirements:

  • The burning pile is 50 feet or more away from the dwelling.
  • It is in a controlled pile where there is no opportunity for fire spread.
  • The burning pile must not contain any refuse of plastics, rubber, hazardous materials, or petroleum products.
  • Any pile larger than normal household brush clearance MUST have a permit issued from the Fire Marshal's office, especially burning for the purposes of land clearing. If a permit is required, it MUST be obtained by the Fire Marshal's office at least 14 days prior to the start of burning.

There are also some general safety precautions to bonfires in general:

  • Check the weather. Never build a bonfire on a high-wind night.
  • Keep a bucket of water or garden hose nearby in case the fire begins to spread. It is important to be prepared in case of emergency.
  • Keep a close eye on the bonfire as well as children nearby. This will help protect others around you.
  • Do not burn aerosols, canisters or anything containing foam or paint. These types of chemicals have extremely flammable ingredients that can cause fire to spread or produce toxic fumes. Containers of these products could explode, causing injury.
  • Ensure the wood you are burning is dry and seasoned. This means no railroad ties, nothing coated or treated and no furniture should be thrown in the fire.
  • The pile shouldn't be bigger than 5' x 5' to keep the flames containable.

The most important part of a successful bonfire is making sure that it is put out properly. After the bonfire is done, turn over the charred materials with metal shovels and rakes, and douse the area with water. Once you extinguish your fire with water, gently stir and spread the ashes to cool. Leave only when they’re cool to the touch.

Fire Prevention Tips

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

  • Install smoke alarms outside each sleeping area and every level of a home

  • Check smoke alarms once per month an change the batteries at least once per year

  • Plan an escape route and practice it at least twice per year

When our SERVPRO franchise arrives on the scene following a fire, the first step is to ease the customer. The second step is to pre-test smoke to determine what type of fire has taken place. Knowing the types of smoke and their behavior patterns is crucial.

Are you aware of the different types of smoke?

  • Wet Smoke – Plastics & Rubber: low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smears.

  • Dry Smoke – Paper & Wood: fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises, therefore the smoke rises.

  • Protein Smoke – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire: virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

  • Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace Puff Backs.

    Smoke and soot residue can damage carpet, upholstery and contents if not removed quickly and efficiently. In a fire-damaged structure with soot on the walls and other surfaces, cleaning and restoration is less disruptive and more cost-efficient than replacement. Replacement may also mean a longer disruption time than restoration. For a company waiting to open for business, this downtime can present an enormous hardship.

    Pre-testing helps to determine:

  • The most effective cleaning and restoration processes

  • Pre-existing conditions

  • The extent of the loss

  • Overall costs of the restoration process

  • Replacements

  • What is restorable and what must be replaced

If you need any help with fire clean up give SERVPRO of New Kent, Williamsburg, and Northen Neck a call.

804-966-1400.

Williamsburg Smoke and Soot Cleanup

2/28/2021 (Permalink)

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 New Kent, Williamsburg, and Northern Neck 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 – SERVPRO of New Kent, Williamsburg, and Northern Neck

804-966-1400

Space Heater Safety

2/14/2021 (Permalink)

Space heaters are designed to supplement cold rooms and must be used with extreme caution. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), nearly half of all home heating fires occur during the peak months of December, January, and February.

According to NFPA - Space heaters are the type of heating equipment most often involved in home heating fires, figuring in two of every five of these fires and accounting for 86% of associated civilian deaths, 78% of civilian injuries, and 54% of direct property damage.

General Guidelines for Space Heater Safety

There are several ways people can prevent accidental fires in their homes. One of the most important is to select heaters that have been tested and certified by testing laboratories. Also, keep areas around the heat source free of paper and trash.

When choosing the placement of the heater, remember the three feet safety rule by keeping everything that can burn at least three feet away from the heat source. Only use the heaters to heat the small space. 

Place the space heater on a hard level nonflammable surface, never on carpet, blankets, or rugs. Never use a defective heater or one that is missing its heating element guard. Make sure you use the proper size space heater for the room.

When purchasing a new space heater, look for a model with an automatic shut-off in case the heater is left on too long. In addition, a tip-switch will automatically cut off the heat if the unit topples over. Even with the safety features, never leave the heater on when sleeping, out of the room, or away from home.

Give SERVPRO of New Kent, Williamsburg, Northern New Kent call at 804 -966-1400

4 Fire Prevention Tips for Homeowners

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

If there is one common practice that everyone was taught in school it was to stop, drop, and roll in the case of a fire. While this common practice has been all but drilled into us in childhood there is one piece of information that is often forgotten in the midst of a fire, preparation. Being prepared in the case of a fire is your best bet for keeping yourself and your family safe. Here are five tips to prevent a fire.

  1. Make sure that all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are functional in your home. Just having a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector in your home is not enough. It is extremely important to verify that these instruments are working how they are intended too.
  2. Invest in fire extinguishers and sprinklers. It is important to have fire extinguished and sprinklers in the home as they can help prevent the spread of small fires. A fire extinguisher should be used when a fire is confined to a small space.
  3. Stay alert while cooking. Kitchen fires are very frequent causes of fires. It is important to know how to put out a grease fire. Grease fires is not to be doused in any kind of liquid. A liquid on a grease fire will only work to expand the already growing fire. A better method is if the fire is in a pan to cover it completely with a metal lid or a baking sheet. It is best to also call 911.
  4. Have a plan. It is very important to not only be avidly working to have a preventative plan in case of a fire but to also to have an up to date backup plan. An escape plan is crucial to ensuring that individuals are calm and not panicked.

Despite how prepared one might be there are still events that result in fires that are uncontrollable. That is where SERVPRO steps in to help. Fire clean up should be left up to a professional that can aid in minimizing the fire damage as much as possible.

If you need any help with fire clean up give SERVPRO of New Kent, Williamsburg, and Northern Neck a call.

804-966-1400.

Fire Damage - Tips While you Wait

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

When fire damage happens at your home or property it is a terrifying moment. So here are some tips to help you while you wait for our crews to reach your property:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.

  • 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/fridge completely and prop doors opens to help prevent odor.

  • Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim, appliances then protect these surfaces with a 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.

  • Change HVAC filter; leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.

  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC.

Experienced water damage? Give SERVPRO of New Kent, Williamsburg, and Northern Neck a call.

804-966-1400

Deodorization

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Deodorization

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems.

As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hared to reach places. Unless fast professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in periodically resurfacing odors.

SERVPRO professionals provide specialized services that rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. Any restorable item in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including: furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceiling, HVAC air ducts and more.

SERVPRO professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. Ask SERVPRO professionals to explain the carious deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.

If you suffer fire damage – or some other accident – and require deodorization services, contact us at 804-966-1400. Whether its fire, water or mold damage – or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away – we’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Candle Fires

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Candle Fires

The U.S. Fire Administration released a Topical Fire Research Report in July of 2006 entitled, “Candle Fires in Residential Structures”, which examines the causes and characteristics of residential candle fires. According to the report, candles are responsible for an estimated 23,600 residential structure fires annually resulting in $390 million in direct property loss. Candle sales and usage increase during the winter and holiday season and peak in December. Almost 25% of candle fires occur during December and January. The number one cause of candle fires is placement near combustibles. Typically, the items initially ignited by candles include furniture, curtains, bedding and cabinetry. In December, holiday decorations are the first to ignite. Most candle fires result from accidental error and negligence, such as leaving burning candles unattended. Caution, common sense and attention to your surroundings can help reduce the risk of candle fires.

Some Tips for Candles Usage:

  • Ensure lit candles are in sturdy metal, glass, or ceramic candle holders and are placed where they cannot easily be knocked down

  • Keep candles out of reach from children and pets

  • Extinguish candles after us

  • Blow out all candles before napping or falling asleep

  • Never leave burning candles unattended

Experienced fire damage? Give SERVPRO of New Kent, Williasburg, and Northern Neck a call.

 804-966-1400

General Fire Facts

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Preventative Tips:

  • Install smoke alarms outside each sleeping area and every level of a home

  • Check smoke alarms once per month an change the batteries at least once per year

  • Plan an escape route and practice it at least twice per year

When our SERVPRO franchise arrives on the scene follow a fire, their first step is to calm the customer’s fears. The second step is to pre-test smoke to determine what type of fire has taken place. Knowing the types of smoke and their behavior patterns is crucial.

Are you aware of the different types of smoke?

  • Wet Smoke – Plastics & Rubber: low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smears.

  • Dry Smoke – Paper & Wood: fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises, therefore the smoke rises.

  • Protein Smoke – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire: virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

  • Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace Puff Backs.

    Smoke and soot residue can damage carpet, upholstery and contents if not removed quickly and efficiently. In a fire-damaged structure with soot on the walls and other surfaces, cleaning and restoration is less disruptive and more cost-efficient than replacement. Replacement may also mean a longer disruption time than restoration. For a company waiting to open for business, this downtime can present an enormous hardship.

    Pre-testing helps to determine:

  • The most effective cleaning and restoration processes

  • Pre-existing conditions

  • The extent of the loss

  • Overall costs of the restoration process

  • Replacements

  • What is restorable and what must be replaced