Recent Fire Damage Posts
The Fire Tetrahedron & Why It’s Important | SERVPRO® of Hyde Park/Roslindale
If your home or business has any damage, SERVPRO of Hyde Park/Roslindale is ready around the clock to help you recover.
You might have read that title and wondered why on earth we’re talking about a geometric term, the tetrahedron.
Well, we’re not actually talking about geometry in today’s blog. We are actually going to discuss the fire tetrahedron.
If you think back on your childhood education, you may remember that a tetrahedron is a four-faced shape. That’s the connection, because there are essentially four “faces” to fire, or four things it can’t live without.The 4 Things a Fire Needs to Live
Fuel. Adding “fuel to the fire” is a saying because in order for a fire to live or grow is has to have a fueling agent. Things like wood, plastics or many other common things are potential fuel sources for both planned fires and accidental ones.
Heat. In order for a fire to start, you have to have enough heat to make it burn. Different types of fires will require a different amount of heat. Some objects will simply melt when they hit a certain temperature, while others will combust, which can be a major danger.
Oxygen. Humans require oxygen to live, and so do fires. Oxygen feeds a fire, causing it to grow and also generate products of combustion.
Chemical Chain Reaction. A chain reaction is something that perpetuates a fire so long as it is undisturbed.The 4 Ways to Stop a Fire
Cool it. The point of dousing a fire with water is to cool it to a point that combustion is no longer possible. By cooling your burning material, you are cooling it to a thermal balance.
Smother it. You may remember another common childhood lesson—“stop, drop and roll.” We were taught to take those actions if our clothing caught on fire. There’s a reason for that. When you drop to the ground, covering your clothing, it cuts off the oxygen supply to the fire, which smothers it.
Starve it. This works similarly to smothering the fire, except instead of removing oxygen, you’re removing the fuel source.
Interrupt the chain reaction. There are chemical agents, such as halon, that can be very effective in putting out a fire. However, this chemical has an elevated potential for ozone depletion, meaning it is harmful to the environment, and has been banned.
If the fire tetrahedron makes a wreck of your home or business, we’re ready around the clock to help you recover. Contact SERVPRO anytime for fast, thorough cleanup and recovery after a fire.
With Fall Weather Comes New Fire Dangers | SERVPRO® of Hyde Park/Roslindale
Be mindful about fall fire safety. Always remember that SERVPRO of Hyde Park/Roslindale is the trusted leader in the restoration industry.
One nice aspect of living in Boston is that we get to experience all four seasons. And fall is quickly approaching! The official start of the season is Sept. 22 this year.
Fall is a favorite season for campers, leaf-peepers and of course trick-or-treaters. There are lots of fun activities to do during autumn.
But along with the fun comes a few potential fire hazards. So grab a pumpkin spice latte, and let’s look over fire safety tips for the season.
Campfires and Fire Pits
This is the season for campfires and fire pits. But when you’re indulging, be sure to do so safely.
Knowing where and how to build a campfire is as important as knowing how to put it out. Start small with twigs and tinder and then ad larger stick and wood.
Use an extended lighter to start the fire if you have one. If not, consider buying one. Accelerants like kerosene or lighter fluid should be avoided.
Build your fire away from structures and other flammable items. And finally, extinguish your fire completely before leaving your campfire or fire pit.
Slowly douse it with a bucket of water to make sure no embers remain. A slight breeze can restart an ember and possibly cause a fire.
Fall Burning of Yard Debris
This time of year, yards are becoming full of dried leaves and many people like to burn leaves as a method of disposal. Make sure you check with your local Fire Department to obtain a burn permit prior to burning.
Never burn household trash or debris can that can have adverse effects like explosions or the release of toxic fumes.
Safety With Space Heaters
Portable space heaters are one of the most frequent causes of home fires in fall and winter. Following the proper safety precautions with space heaters is important for life and property safety.
Always keep your heater away from flammable objects. Make sure your heater has an automatic shutoff in case the heater turns over or overheats.
Plug any space heater directly into the outlet and avoid extension cords if possible.
If a fire hazard should turn from potential to reality in your home, remember the trusted leader in the recovery industry and contact SERVPRO to get your property fully restored right down to the smell of smoke.
The Leading Causes of House Fires & How to Prevent Them | SERVPRO® of Hyde Park/Roslindale
Regardless of the cause, SERVPRO of Hyde Park/Roslindale is here for you if your home is affected by fire.
No homeowner wants to face a home fire. Fires cause devastation and spread unpredictably. It’s best to be prepared and have a plan in the event a fire occurs.
But despite all the technological advancements and advocacy campaigns, home fires still account for a quarter of all reported home fires.
Prevention is the key, so let’s look at the top causes of these house fires and see if we can get that number down by learning how to prevent them:
Cooking. This is the leading cause of home fires, by far! Almost half of all house fires start in the kitchen, and the main reason is unattended cooking. Want to reduce your chance of a home fire? Don’t leave the kitchen while you’re cooking.
Heating equipment. Nationally, 14% of all home fires are started by heating equipment. It’s a combination of things that cause this, including equipment malfunctions and accidents, but the biggest culprit is space heaters and having flammable items too close.
Electrical fires. These fires are generally caused by higher electrical demand in the home due to the increased amount of electronics. Add to that faulty or overloaded circuits in older homes, and these are the factors that contribute to electrical fires at home. Using ungrounded plugs or even placing high-wattage bulbs into low-wattage sockets can also start these fires.
Intentional fires. Arson is still an issue as well. Over 28,000 home fires are intentionally set each year. We use the word intentional because the fire was started with the purpose of burning the structure instead of an accident causing the fire.
Smoking materials. Way too many people still smoke and fall asleep. While smoking materials account for only 5% of all house fires, they are the leading cause of civilian fire deaths. These often start because cigarettes are left burning as people fall asleep and that makes the victim more susceptible.
Regardless of the cause, SERVPRO is here for you if your home is affected by fire. Contact your local team today to see how we can help.
Precautions to Take to Keep Your Home Safe From Wildfires
If your home is damaged by fire or any other reason, SERVPRO of Hyde Park/Roslindale is ready and able to repair any damage.
While flooding is a major concern in the greater Boston area, there is also a risk of wildfire. While the risk may be lower in Massachusetts than in other parts of the country, it is still a risk, and wildfires by their very nature can cause great damage.
There are a number of steps you can take in advance to minimize the risk of a wildfire affecting your home and property. First and foremost, it’s important to simply be more careful when it comes to fire hazards.
But defensible space is another important protocol you can implement.
Create a Barrier of Protection Around Your Home
Creating a fire break around your home is recommended by most communities and its law in a few states. State and federal agencies have coined the term “defensible space.”
This essentially creates a buffer zone around your house that removes most, if not all, of the fuel available for a wildfire. Things like dead trees, broken-off tree limbs and gutters full of debris are all examples of the fuel that makes wildfires extra dangerous around a home.
Defensible space involves removing combustibles and incorporating nonflammable elements in landscaping, which creates a barrier around your home from the flames, embers or even heat from a wildfire. This is the best way to slow down or stop a wildfire.
States like California require defensible space by law and all homeowners must comply. In Massachusetts, it’s simply recommended.
The Rising Number of Wildfires
While California is a hot spot for wildfires, they happen in other parts of the country as well. Last year, we experienced over 59,000 wildfires.
Of the 59,000 wildfires, over 10,000 occurred in California! That still leaves each state in the union an average of 1,000 wildfires per month. Here in Massachusetts, we had 1,189 wildfires in 2020.
Creating defensible space is something tangible we can do in advance a wildfire, so it’s a great place to begin when it comes to protecting your home.
If your home is damaged by fire of any sort, wild or not, SERVPRO is ready and able to repair the damage caused. Get in touch today to get the pros on your team.
With Outdoor Activities in Spring, the Risk of Fire Increases | SERVPRO® of Roslindale/Hyde Park
Restoring fire and smoke damage is one of our specialties. Contact SERVPRO of Roslindale/Hyde Park to learn more.
As old man winter starts to ease its grip on Boston and with the long cold days behind us, spring is right around the corner. Spending more time outdoors is now a priority since the weather is milder. However, with the increased outdoor activity, there also comes and increased risk of fire.
Spring brings with it the increased risk of fire mainly due to the increased outdoor activity around the grill. Unfortunately, spring is responsible for the largest increase in average daily fires.. But if you are diligent, we can all work to prevent fires this spring.
The Fire Marshall Say Pay Special Attention to These Areas Around the Home
BBQing. Single-handedly, the grill is responsible for a large percentage of outdoor fires, with lack of proper cleaning being the major cause.. When you have fuel, flame and grease in close proximity, that recipe has all the ingredients for a grill fire. Food particles that fall through the grill grates and the accumulation of grease are the biggest cause of unintended grill fires. Clean the grill before each use, and replace defective or worn parts.
The fire pit. The grill gets its share of blame for accidental fires, but the fire pit is another source of unplanned outside fires. We all enjoy a nice spring evening, but temperatures can get cold after the sun goes down. The fire pit provides an opportunity to interact outside with others. These safety tips are important to remember: Don’t leave children unattended around a fire. Keep water close by. Adding debris or other materials, other than wood, to a fire pit should be avoided. This can cause “flare-ups” and embers can be carried away by gusting winds. Roasting food should be done over the embers and not the open flame.
The dryer vent and chimney. Chimneys and dryer vents are another cause of outdoor fires. Warmer weather brings fewer fires in the fireplace or woodstove. Ash, soot and creosote build up during the winter in the stove pipe, and unless it’s removed, the risk of fire increases. Professional chimney sweeps are well worth the investment. It’s hard and dirty work. Clogged dryer vents are another opportunity for fire damage. The leading reason for fires in a clothes dryer is clogged lint in the dryer vent. Don’t become a statistic; keep dryer vents cleared of excess lint.
Has your home or business recently suffered fire or smoke damage? Our tech’s will be there fast and have it cleaned up quick. We’re available 24⁄7 for emergency situations. Call today 857-399-9797 and experience the SERVPRO difference.
Practicing Fire Safety This Holiday Season | SERVPRO® of Hyde Park/Roslindale
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
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
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
Be aware of possible fire hazards in the work place
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
- Cooking equipment
- Careless smoking
- Electrical equipment
- Lawn Mowers
- 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!
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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:
- Protect electrical equipment by unplugging them when you know a thunderstorm has surfaced.
- If you have to talk on the phone during a lightning storm its best to use your cell phone
- Stay away from windows and doors
- 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.