Recent Fire Damage Posts

Practicing Fire Safety This Holiday Season | SERVPRO® of Hyde Park/Roslindale

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

multicolor strand of lights on wood floor Make sure your fire risk is low during the holidays. If you experience any damage, SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont will be here to help.

The holiday season always arrives rapidly, and as we get our homes and ourselves ready to celebrate, it is still important to keep the importance of fire safety in focus. Winter is the peak of fires in the home according to the Red Cross, partially because of the risky activities that occur primarily in the wintertime.

Cooking is always a concern, but winter also brings about the concerns of heating and decoration that are not present at other times of the year. Do not give fires the opportunity to spark by focusing on fire safety as you celebrate the best of winter.

Wintertime Tips for Fire Prevention

Keep safe when cooking. The top cause of house fires is cooking at any time of year, but more people tend to prepare large meals and increase the frequency of their baking when it is cold outside. It is wise to practice fire safety each time you cook, keeping a fire extinguisher nearby and keeping flammable items at least three feet from the stove. Make sure children and pets are not allowed near open flames in the kitchen as well.

Heat the house with proper precautions. Many people make use of space heaters and fireplaces to supplement their home’s heating system, but it is important that you always use these tools with caution. Space heaters should always cut off if they get too hot or tip over, and should never be used on carpet or near flammable items. If you use a fireplace, be sure to get your chimney inspected every year and never allow a fire to burn unattended.

Decorate with care. The decorations commonly associated with Christmas, such as trees and lights, present an electrical hazard if they are not installed correctly. Christmas tree fires due to electricity are extremely common, often as a result of the lights being plugged in improperly. Make sure to not overload outlets or power cables, and never use decorations with frayed wiring.

If you have damage due to a house fire, you can depend on us to help. Contact us 24 hours a day to report damage and receive a quick response from our certified restoration technicians. Get in touch today 857-399-9797. 

Why Our “Restore First” Mentality Is Best for Customers | SERVPRO® of Hyde Park/Roslindale

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

large red diamond shape sign with Natural Disaster written in large black print Have you sustained property damage and feeling overwhelmed? We are here to help, contact SERVPRO of Hyde Park/Roslindale.

If your home sustains damage for any reason, it can be a frustrating and fraught time for your entire family. There are many emotions that people will cycle through after a fire or other disaster, and having to go through the process of handling the damage can further complicate the recovery process.

While there are always difficulties to consider throughout the recovery period, having a good restoration company on your side can truly make all the difference.

We will work with you and your insurance company to make the entire procedure as seamless as possible, and with our restoration-first mentality, we will do our best to preserve your belongings so you do not have to replace them.

How Our Restoration-First Mentality Helps Our Clients

We can help you save money on your insurance. Homeowners insurance is designed to help you cover the cost of losses in case of many types of damage, but filing a claim can also raise your premium tremendously. In the event of water damage, for example, the average claim is over $10,000. We can help lower the cost you have to claim with insurance by restoring objects where possible.

We can protect your sentimental items. We have invested in some of the most advanced restoration equipment available to us, which is what enables us to save items that may seem like a lost cause. In the past, we have been able to restore irreplaceable objects such as family photos, documents and art, as well as valuables such as electronics. Some things can’t be replicated, which is why we do our best to keep these sentimental objects intact.

We make sure your home feels like home again. As we have helped many people in the community with losses and damage, we understand all the complex emotions involved. To help make the return home easier, we focus primarily on restoring your house to its pre-damaged state and placing your belongings just how they were before the damage occurred. This will help your house feel like home again so your family can focus on healing.

If you have damages and are feeling overwhelmed, we are here to help. You can call us as soon as you need to in order to begin the restoration process. Contact us today 857-399-9797 to learn more.

Smoke & Soot - How to handle

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

flames against black background Smoke and Soot will cause a lot of damage - Call us for help

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 Roslindale/Hyde 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.


Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (857) 399-9797

Most Common Causes of Fire in the Workplace

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

fire and smoke in stairwell of building Be aware of possible fire hazards in the work place

Electrical Fires

Over 25% of all fires are linked to a malfunction of either a piece of electrical equipment, wiring, or both. Electricity is a common source of ignition for major fires. One way to avoid problems with electrical fires is to establish an electrical safety program.

All employees should be thoroughly familiar with the safety procedures for their particular jobs. To maximize his or her own safety, an employee should always use tools and equipment properly. Extension cords must be inspected before use, and those found questionable, removed from service and properly tagged. Damage or inadequate maintenance can cause equipment to deteriorate, resulting in unsafe conditions.

Flammable and Combustible Materials

There are thousands of chemicals in use in the modern American workplace. One of the most prevalent dangers of these chemicals is their flammability or combustibility. Improper handling of flammable materials brings a great risk of fire. When a flammable liquid is spilled, vapors begin to form immediately. It is the vapors that will ignite, and which pose the greater danger.

Flammable liquid spill cleanup should begin immediately. Vapors will continue to build until the liquid is removed, and they can be ignited by a variety of sources in the average workplace. The best way to avoid fire caused by these materials is to follow all OSHA guidelines when dealing with flammables.

Human Error

The most common reason for a sprinkler system failure is human error. Often times the water supply was turned off at the time of the fire. The success of fire prevention strategies depends primarily on pre-planning, preparation, equipment quality, and the readiness of personnel. Employees and loss prevention practitioners must be knowledgeable about the proper use of extinguishers. If the wrong extinguisher is used, a fire may become more serious.

General Negligence

Negligence is another common cause of fire in the workplace. It’s slightly different from fires caused by human error. Negligence occurs when an employee does not follow established procedures and knowingly undertakes an activity that is a potential fire hazard.

Fire caused by negligence can be the result of:

  • Hot surfaces too close to heating equipment
  • Open flame that’s not properly located or protected
  • Not following smoking restrictions or careless disposal of butts, ashes, and matches

Good common sense, self awareness, and close adherence to policy are a great way to avoid fires caused by general negligence. Posting fire safety signs in common areas is another way to keep fire safety at top of mind.

 Arson

The premise behind arson prevention, like other prevention programs, is to address the opportunity to commit the crime. Arsonists, like other criminals, typically prefer to start fires in locations that are secluded or hidden. Prevention programs often suggest improving the surveillance in these areas by lighting the area, removing visual obstructions to natural observation, and moving the targets such as dumpsters.

If your company, please call SERVPRO of Roslindale/Hyde Park 857-399-9797 to assist you with the cleanup.

Furnace Puffback

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO techs cleaning ceiling after furnace puffback We are always ready to help!

If your home has an oil burning furnace, there are several dangers to be aware of. Any furnace can experience a puff back. While puff backs are more common with oil systems, a furnace puff back can also occur with forced air, gas and hot water heating systems. A puff back in a furnace is a volatile explosion that occurs inside your furnace. The result of this explosion is fire and smoke being spewed out from your furnace. This fire, smoke and soot will damage your home's building materials and contents. This explosion will not be lethal, but can cause thousands of dollars in costly repairs and damage restoration, and can also cause health problems for you and your family. The explosions are caused by a buildup of vapor inside your furnace. This build up can occur with furnaces which have not been maintained properly. Parts sometimes need to be replaced, and bi yearly cleaning of your furnace and heating system will help prevent puff backs. Conducting a yearly exam of your heating system or having a professional check your heating system yearly will oftentimes fully prevent a puff back from ever occurring.

 If you have experienced a puff back avoids doing the following: Try to clean or wash away soot residue yourself. This soot and smoke residue needs special cleaning methods, as it spreads easily. Soot stains can also set very quickly, making soot damage especially tricky to clean if you should do it wrong. Soot is black carbon, and black carbon will stain extremely quickly when mixed with water and common household liquid cleaners. Should you attempt to remove the soot yourself and end up staining something with soot in your home, a professional cleaner may be required to remove the stain. Should you have soot damage, you should leave it to a professional to clean. SERVPRO professionals trained in soot damage have special cleaners and cleaning methods to use to remove your soot and soot damage. Use furniture or walk on carpeting affected by the fire or puff back. Do not use furniture that has been exposed to heat, soot or smoke. You can cause further damage to your furniture, until it is professionally cleaned and restored. Do not turn on any electronics such as computers, stereos, and TVs until you have had them checked for soot damaged. Computers can be especially vulnerable and ruined as soon as they are turned on if soot has made its way inside them. This soot also contains a corrosive element, which will damage home's building materials, and contents such as your electronics, furniture, clothing and more. Not only can this soot damage your property, it can also affect the health of your loved ones by causing respiratory problems. This soot will often have a very terrible odor that will swiftly travel throughout the home, and will need to be cleaned and deodorized in order to remove the offensive odor from your home. If the soot and smoke travels through your home's duct work, it will need to be cleaned and deodorized as well. You also need to have a professional check your furnace following a puff back, to avoid further incidents. You may have a faulty part or an oil burner that may need replacing. If the problem is ignored, it can cause repeated and long lasting effects to your home. Should you experience a furnace puff back, you should contact SERVPRO of Mattapan/Hyde Park at (857) 399-9797 to help with the cleanup.

Fire Safety Tips

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

cartoon image of hand putting out fire with fire extinguisher Safety should be your priority especially when dealing with fires

The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your property in the event of a Fire:

SMOKE ALARMS AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS

Install smoke alarms. Properly working smoke alarms decrease your chances of dying in a fire by half.

Place smoke alarms on every level of your residence, including the basement.

Install a working carbon monoxide detector in the common area of the bedrooms.

Test and clean smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. Replace smoke alarms once every 10 years.

COOKING SAFETY

Never leave cooking unattended.

Always wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook.

Keep towels, pot holders and curtains away from flames

Never use the range or oven to heat your home.

ESCAPING THE FIRE

Have an escape plan. Review escape routes with your family.

Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut.

Teach family members to stay low to the floor, where the air is safer, when escaping from a fire.

In high-rise, never lock fire exits or doorways, halls or stairways. Never prop stairway or other fire doors open.

HEATING SOURCE

Place space heaters at least three feet away from flammable/combustible materials.

Use only the type of fuel designated for your space heater.

MATCHES/LIGHTERS AND SMOKING

Keep matches/lighters away from children.

Never smoke in bed or when drowsy or medicated.

If you must smoke, do it responsibly.

ELECTRICAL WIRING

Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs

Make sure outlets have cover plates and no exposed wiring.

Make sure wiring does not run under rugs, over nails, or across high traffic areas.

Do not overload extension cords or outlets.

If you do have a fire, please call SERVPRO of Mattapan/Hyde Park (857) 399-9797 to assist you in the cleanup.

Stay Safe During Summer Time

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

yellow caution tape with fire debris behind Stay safe during the summer

Don’t let your summer plans go up in flames! Simple ways to prevent a fire

Summer time is here and the last thing you want to deal with is a house fire! Some of the most common causes of fire damage are:

  1. Cooking equipment
  2. Careless smoking
  3. Electrical equipment
  4. Lawn Mowers
  5. Barbeques
  6. Flammable liquids

Many cooking fires are caused by grease or oil that ignites while unattended. A lot of grill fires are caused by mishandled propane gas. Smoking indoor or outdoor and not properly putting out the bud can spark a fire. Also lawn mowers can build up flammable vapors and when combined with heat source go up in flames in your garage. Short circuits and electrical malfunctions can also cause a fire to start in a home.

The good news is that all of these causes of fire can be prevented. When cooking for large group have a designated cook who will watch over the food on the stove or grill until it has cooked and then properly shuts the stove or grill. Always grill outdoors and away from any structures.  Have baking soda or a bucket of sand nearby in case you need to put out a fire. NEVER add water to grease fire. Try to smoke outdoors when you can, ensure the bud is completely put out by dipping in water or a bucket of sand.  Check the batteries on your smoke detectors regularly. Also, keep flammables away from fire sources. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby!

Accidents happen, in the unfortunate event that there is a fire call 911 immediately and get to a safe location!  

When the fire has been put out assess the damages to determine if you need to put in a claim with your property insurance carrier. Once complete begin the remediation process by reaching out to a professional like us! Although we cannot get what was lost back - Our job is to make it look like the fire never happened.

Lightning Cause Fires Too!

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

lightning bolt and fire in the sky during storm We are here to help 365 24/7

Lightning peaks during the summer months around June – August here in Massachusetts. Lightning – related fires typically happen during the late afternoon and evening.

A simple Google search returns numerous counts of lightning fires that have occurred in our state in the recent years. One of the highest profiles was in 2018 where a 150 year old church in Wakefield, Ma went up in flames after being struck by lightning.

Lightening is normally accompanied by a storm which turns the day into darkness and at times is followed by rumbles in the air. To some it’s a scary experience. What is most important and the purpose of this post is that you know what to do in the event you find yourself near or in a property that is in flames due to being struck by lightning.

How do you know if your home was struck by lightning – one insurance company states: Expect to hear an explosive sound so loud and powerful that everything inside your house shakes.

Because lightning storms are so common, many newly constructed homes have been designed to withstand lightening strikes. Most homes are also equipped with some sort of surge protection. It is still recommended that you are still extra cautious with these simple steps:

  1. Protect electrical equipment by unplugging them when you know a thunderstorm has surfaced.
  2. If you have to talk on the phone during a lightning storm its best to use your cell phone
  3. Stay away from windows and doors
  4. Stay away from water until the storm has passed

In the event you believe your home was struck most times a fire will follow. Call 911 if you suspect there is a fire in your home and get to a safe location.

After the storm assess the damages (if any) to determine if you need to put in a claim with your property insurance carrier. Once complete begin the remediation process by reaching out to a professional like us 857-399-9797! Although we cannot get what was lost back - Our job is to make it look like the fire never happened.