Recent Fire Damage Posts

A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Fire Damage Restoration

6/11/2023 (Permalink)

aftermath of a kitchen fire A glimpse into the aftermath of a kitchen fire

Experiencing a house fire can be a devastating event, leaving behind substantial damage long after the flames are doused. The remnants of fire, namely soot and smoke, can continue to harm your property if not promptly addressed. This blog post aims to provide an insightful guide on fire damage restoration, helping you better comprehend the process involved in restoring your home back to a safe and habitable state.

Imagine this scenario: the fire trucks depart, leaving behind a property filled with the scars of fire and smoke damage, as well as the aftermath of water damage from firefighting efforts. It's a daunting scene. However, understanding the fire damage restoration process can provide some comfort during this stressful time.

Each fire damage situation is distinct, and while the process might be adjusted based on the severity of the fire, the fundamental steps remain consistent:

  • Emergency Contact: The restoration process begins as soon as you reach out to a professional restoration company. Your call initiates a quick response to limit further damage to your property.
  • Inspection and Assessment: The damage assessment involves a careful examination of the affected areas to understand the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This forms the foundation for devising an appropriate restoration strategy.
  • Property Securing: Professionals take immediate measures to prevent additional damage, such as boarding up missing windows, covering damaged roofs, and reinforcing compromised walls. This ensures that the property is safeguarded and secure.
  • Water Removal (if applicable): If water damage has occurred due to the firefighting efforts, a water extraction process is initiated. This involves removing most of the water, followed by the use of dehumidifiers and air movers to thoroughly dry the area.
  • Smoke and Soot Removal: Smoke and soot residues can cause extensive damage if left untreated. Professionals use specialized equipment and techniques to effectively clean these residues from various surfaces.
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing: This stage involves restoring your personal belongings to their pre-fire condition using a range of cleaning techniques. Odors are also neutralized using air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
  • Restoration: The final stage of the process can range from minor repairs like replacing drywall and painting, to larger tasks like installing new carpeting or full-scale room reconstruction.

Post-fire, it's crucial to prioritize safety. Be mindful of potential hazards, such as electrical issues and slip risks, and only undertake activities that are safe.

With the support of professional fire damage restoration services, you can navigate the challenging post-fire period more smoothly, steadily working towards making your home or business feel like it never even happened!

Understanding Fire Damage Restoration: A Comprehensive Guide

6/11/2023 (Permalink)

Fire Damage This image captures the aftermath of a devastating fire. But expert restoration, homes can be rebuilt and lives be pieced back together.

Experiencing a fire incident can be a traumatizing event. The aftermath often leaves behind a trail of destruction, with the severity extending beyond the visible charred structures.

Fire damage, coupled with smoke and soot, can gradually deteriorate your property. To navigate this challenging period, understanding the fire restoration procedure can offer much-needed peace of mind and insight into what the recovery journey entails.

Fire restoration services are specialized procedures offered by trained experts to recover and restore properties damaged by fire. A professional fire restoration procedure involves several stages, starting with an emergency call. Fire damage is time-sensitive, every minute counts. A prompt response mitigates ongoing damage and aids in salvaging as much as possible.

The second stage involves a comprehensive fire damage assessment. Experts conduct a detailed inspection to gauge the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This evaluation may also identify any accompanying water damage due to firefighting efforts. A thorough understanding of the damage's scope helps formulate an effective restoration strategy tailored to the situation at hand.

Securing the property is another crucial step in fire restoration. This can involve board-up and roof-tarp services to protect the property from external elements and potential unauthorized entry. Windows, walls, or roofs damaged in a fire need immediate attention to ensure the property's integrity and safety.

The cleanup process is the most extensive stage of restoration. Professionals use specialty equipment for fire damage cleanup to remove smoke and soot from all surfaces. Various cleaning techniques restore belongings to pre-fire conditions as much as possible, and industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment help eliminate odors. In some cases, water damage restoration might be needed if substantial water was used in firefighting efforts.

The final step in the fire restoration procedure is restoration and repairs. This could range from minor tasks like replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet, to significant ones like reconstructing damaged rooms.

Fire incidents are daunting, but with understanding and preparation, recovery can be a systematic process. Relying on fire & smoke restoration contractors ensures professional handling of your situation and peace of mind during the process. Remember, as challenging as the experience might be, fire damage does not mark the end of your property's story; it's just a hurdle to overcome.

Ten Electrical Safety Tips for Every Home

5/23/2023 (Permalink)

Fire Saftey If your home has had a fire, it is important that you don't use electronics that were close to the blaze.

In this modern world, electricity currents are coursing all around us in our homes, helping us accomplish our daily activities. But remember that electricity still poses a possible danger to your home. Avoid accidentally causing a fire with these electrical safety tips.

Keep Your Electrical System Up-to-Date

If you’re in an older home with outdated wiring, you need to contact an electrical professional to take a look at the state of your home’s wiring. Over time, elements of your wiring may have degraded or been damaged. Older wiring also may not be able to provide the power needed to keep all of your technology and appliances running. The amount of energy is greater per each appliance today than the items they used 20 or 50 years ago. Getting it checked out and upgraded if needed will keep your home safe. 

Use Appliances with Caution

Make sure you’re using appliances or items with electrical connections correctly. This means keeping appliances away from water and moisture. Another tip is to give your technology that generates internal heat space to breathe. This will allow air to circulate properly and keep the appliance or device from overheating.

Regularly Check your Electrical Cords 

It’s a good safety measure to regularly check the most frequently used electrical cords in your home. Check them for frays and cracks; these can leave holes for electricity to run through and harm anything it touches. If you do discover frays and cracks, stop using that cord and get a replacement. Don’t cover cords with fabric material such as a rug or modify cords yourself. If you believe that your cords are damaged, ask a professional to take a look. To make your cords last longer, unplug them by grabbing at the base of the plug instead of yanking it out of the wall by the cord section.

Avoid Overloading Outlets

Overloading an outlet is one of the most common causes of a house fire. Don’t try to put too many plugs into one outlet. If you require more outlets than your power strip can handle, then it’s time to look into getting more outlets installed in your home.

Warm Outlets? Beware

A glaring sign of an electrical issue in your home is a warm or hot outlet. Warmth or sparking from an outlet often means that electricity is arcing inside. Using outlets like this puts your home at risk of a fire. Call an electrical professional to fix the problem.

Don’t Ignore Frequently Flickering Lights

It’s typical for lights to flicker every once in a while. But if the lights throughout your house are constantly flickering, then it’s a possible sign that your home’s wiring system can’t handle the amount of power used daily. There may be too many connections on a single circuit, or you may need to replace your electrical panel.

Block Unused Outlets

If you have small children living in your home, then we suggest you block any unused outlets for their safety. The last thing that needs to happen is an accident because a child was unknowingly playing with an outlet. Cover unused outlets with a solid plate or plug them up with safe plug covers.

Ground Older Appliances

Grounding means that electrical energy is being directed from the appliance to the earth with a resistant conductor. Check to see if your appliance is grounded properly, if not, it can pose a safety threat. If you have older or large appliances with a two-prong plug, you should replace them with a new version that has the ground prong for your safety.

Be Familiar with Your Breakers 

You should be familiar with the electrical breakers in every home you live in. If you notice your breakers tripping frequently, then it may mean that you’re overloading a circuit. You need to reconfigure your appliances or update your wiring system to prevent this from continuing or turning into a bigger safety hazard.

Do You Have Fire Damage? Contact SERVPRO® of Central Oklahoma City

If you’ve experienced fire damage, small or big, in your home due to an electrical fire, call SERVPRO® of Central Oklahoma City. Our team will restore your home as quickly as possible with structural restoration, cleaning, and deodorization so you can get back to taking care of your family. Reach out to us today to assess the damage.

Precautionary Measures To Prevent a Fire on Your Property

4/17/2023 (Permalink)

protecting your home Whether it's cleaning, restoration, or construction, our team is a one-stop shop for all your mitigation or restoration needs.

Fires are dangerous and can pose serious risks to your health and property. Experiencing a fire can be a life-changing event for your family or business. What’s more concerning is that property fires are not uncommon. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 1.35 million fires in 2021 caused 3,800 civilian fire deaths, 14,700 reported fire injuries and $15.9 billion worth of property damage. 

The good news is SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City experts can repair your property back to preloss conditions in these situations. Many causes of fires are preventable, and following fire safety tips can help keep you from falling victim to a property blaze. 

Keep Matches and Lighters Out of Kids’ Reach 

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to prevent a fire on your property is to keep matches, lighters, and other sources of ignition out of children’s reach. It’s also a good idea to teach kids about fire safety, conveying the message that matches and lighters are tools for adults to use, not toys for them to play with. 

Install and Test Smoke Alarms Regularly 

A 2021 report by the NFPA revealed that almost three out of five home fire deaths occurred in homes without smoke alarms (41 percent) or faulty detectors (16 percent). Smoke alarms and detectors give you and your loved ones enough time to escape during a fire, so it’s crucial to ensure you have them and that they’re working properly. 

It’s best to install the detectors on every level of your home, inside bedrooms, and adjacent corridors. Moreover, testing your alarms every month, replacing the batteries at least once a year, and keeping the detectors clean can help toward fire prevention. 

Have a Fire Extinguisher Ready 

Besides checking your smoke alarms, having working fire extinguishers inside your home is also critical in the event of a fire. They aid in first-aid fire-fighting, helping you put out small fires or suppress flames until help arrives. 

Considering their importance, it’s also vital that you know how to use them. Reading the directions and familiarizing yourself with how your unit operates is a good idea since you won’t have the time to do so during a fire. 

Never Smoke Inside 

It may seem unlikely, but cigarettes can cause destructive residential fires. The additives and materials inside them can continue to smolder even if you think you’ve put them out, and the flame can then ignite on your bed or inside your trash can and start a fire. 

The most straightforward way to save yourself from having to enlist fire damage restoration is to smoke outside the home. It’s also a good idea to use deep ashtrays with water to ensure the cigarette butts are fully extinguished.

Cook With Care and Attention 

A report by the NFPA also revealed that cooking activities started an average of 172,900 home structure fires every year from 2014 to 2018. The leading cause of cooking fires and the resulting casualties? Unattended cooking. 

Here are some practical fire safety tips worth following to stay safe in the kitchen:

  • Never leave any cooking unattended. 
  • Avoid wearing loose or long-sleeved clothing when cooking, as it can ignite if you get too close to the range. 
  • Turn all pot and skillet handles inward to keep kids from reaching into and toppling over a hot pot. 
  • Put combustible materials like paper products, dish towels, or oven mitts away from the stovetop. 
  • Clean spilled grease as soon as it cools, as built-up grease is combustible. 
  • Never use water to put out the flames in case of a grease fire, as the water will quickly turn into steam and cause severe burns.
  • Instead, smother the flames using a fire blanket or fire extinguisher. 

Practice Open Fire Safety 

Fireplaces can be a cozy way to keep your home warm during winter. However, it pays to remember that they also present a fire risk, especially if used without care. 

To keep your house comfortably warm and safe, it helps to have your chimney cleaned every late summer or fall before you start using it more regularly for the colder months. Once winter comes in, installing a fireplace screen helps keep the burning embers from spreading into the room and accidentally burning anyone near it. 

Check Your Wirings and Appliances

If your home is an older one, it’s a good idea to have your electrical wiring system checked by a qualified electrician. Left unaddressed, issues like worn-out insulation, outdated wiring, frequently tripping breakers, and warm outlets can cause electrical malfunctions and lead to overwhelming house fires.   

Besides checking your property’s wiring, it’s also crucial to use your appliances wisely. Here are some pointers to remember: 

  • Replace cracked or frayed electrical cords immediately. 
  • If an appliance begins to smoke or produce an unusual smell, unplug it right away and have it repaired. 
  • Avoid plugging large appliances into extension cords. 
  • Keep combustible materials like curtains and furniture away from space heaters.

Be Extra Careful During the Holidays 

Winter holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas are among the leading days of the year for home fires, so it’s best to remain aware of precautionary measures throughout the celebrations. Boost your fire prevention efforts by keeping these tips in mind: 

  • Be Careful With Your Turkey Fryers: Since they require large amounts of boiling oil and are often placed on a stand, make sure to only use them outdoors. Putting them on a stable surface and keeping kids and pets away at all times also helps prevent accidents and injuries. 
  • Take Care of Your Christmas Tree: Watering it every day is crucial as dried-out trees can easily catch fire. 
  • Inspect Your Holiday Lights Before Use: Before you light up your decorations, ensure you’re not plugging more than three sets of lights into a single extension cord. You’ll also want to check for frayed, cracked or damaged cords.  

Know the Experts To Call for Help for Fire Damage Restoration

While a property fire is everyone’s worst nightmare, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your house safe and protect your loved ones from harm. Diligently following the fire safety tips listed above can make all the difference in avoiding a property blaze, minimizing losses, and preventing injuries.  

Culminate your preparations by knowing the right professionals to call in case of a fire, like SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City. Dealing with the aftermath of a blaze can be emotionally stressful, but our certified fire damage restoration experts are here to provide caring and immediate services to you and your property. Call us anytime for your fire and smoke damage cleanup needs. 

What You Need To Know About Fire Restoration

3/23/2023 (Permalink)

residental fire damage The aftermath of fire damage affects not only the structure of your property but also your personal belongings.

When your home is damaged by fire, the damage may seem minor, but if not properly documented, it may lead to more problems later. Without professional help, your insurance company may deny any future claims. Fire restoration services to help you document the damage and file accurate claims. In many cases, fire restoration services take over before your insurance company does. They can help you rebuild your home or business after a fire. SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is one such company. We assist with documentation, emergency board-up, soot removal, demolition, and repair of damaged areas.

The cost of fire damage restoration can be expensive, especially if you lose time or have several items to be restored. Fortunately, there are many ways to minimize your cost. By following a few simple guidelines, you can avoid the rising costs of fire restoration. First, prevent fire from spreading. In the event that a fire occurs, it is best to contact a professional fire damage restoration company as soon as possible. The sooner you begin the restoration process, the less expensive it will be.

Depending on the size of the fire, there are many different ways to determine the cost of fire damage restoration. The cost of simple single-fuel fires can be much less than a complex fire with artificial materials and incomplete combustion. Additionally, the cost of fire damage restoration can depend on the type of fire extinguisher used to put out the blaze. Carbon dioxide extinguishers don’t cost anything extra, but chemical extinguishers can leave toxic residues.

The smoke in a fire causes visible and invisible damage to your home. Fire damage restoration services use sophisticated equipment to provide superior results. You can start the restoration process by increasing ventilation in the affected area. You can use dry-cleaning sponges, rubbing alcohol, or vinegar to remove embedded particles. Trisodium phosphate is particularly helpful in releasing embedded particles. Soot removers made for smoke damage are also useful.

Water damage can also damage your possessions. Firefighting water can damage materials, causing mold growth. Firefighting chemicals also leave behind a messy mess. Using the services of SERVPRO’s fire damage restoration professionals is vital. We are licensed and insured. Our goal is to make this disaster feel "Like it never even happened." and get your home back to its original condition sooner.

6 Steps to Fire Damage Restoration

1/26/2023 (Permalink)

fire damage smoke damaged surface in residential home after fire

If you have suffered from fire damage, and your home has sustained smoke damage or soot damage, you may wonder what your next step should be. Navigating the fire cleanup process can be difficult and confusing, but here are the SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City guidelines to follow to make your course of action a bit easier.

  1. Call for Emergency Services

Contact a fire restoration company as soon as possible. Most companies offer 24-hour services and can assist you right away.

  1. Appraisal of Damage

Most companies send a professional to assess your home for smoke damage, soot damage and water damage. From there, it is possible to create a plan for repair.

  1. Damage Prevention

Fires frequently damage or threaten the integrity of windows, doors, roofs or walls. These can all be temporarily repaired so that further damage does not occur before the fire restoration process can take place.

  1. Water, Smoke and Soot Removal

Once you have ensured that your home does not sustain additional damage, the fire restoration company can begin to remove water from the home and repair water damage, if there is any. Smoke cleaning and soot cleaning occur at this point to remove traces of the fire from the surfaces of your home, such as ceilings, walls and floors.

  1. Cleaning and Disinfecting

The next step is for the company to clean and repair any salvageable items in the house, such as furniture or cabinetry. In addition, the air is usually scrubbed by special equipment to improve the air quality inside your home.

  1. Restoration of Finishes

After the major structures and furniture have been repaired, it is time to bring your home back to its pre-fire condition. Sometimes, this is minor, such as repainting a room. Other times, it can be more complicated, such as small construction projects.

After a restoration company has completed its work, all signs of smoke damage should be removed, your home should be back to its original condition and all signs that a fire has occurred should be gone.

5 Ways To Prevent House Fires

9/29/2022 (Permalink)

fire damage fire damage

We’ve all  heard the stories, or at least seen someone's story on tv. It starts out of nowhere, then- before they knew it- FIRE! The damages of a fire can be disastrous, In fact, there are about 365,500 house fires in the U.S. every year. On average, 7 people die in U.S. house fires every day. SERVPRO®? of Central Oklahoma City wants to help keep your home and loved ones safe, it is critical that you follow these 5 tips.

Smoke Alarms

This one should be a no-brainer. Smoke alarms are absolutely essential for keeping your home safe. Make sure you install at least one on every level of your home and inside all the bedrooms in the house.

Battery Changes

Having smoke alarms is great, as long as you alway remember to make sure they’re working. Test the smoke alarms once per month, and if the batteries are dead, replace them.

 Checking The Home

 Be sure to check certain systems in your home regularly. You may even want to hire a professional to ensure that your home is thoroughly inspected. The things you should regularly check include; the condition of your home’s electrical system, the natural gas/LP gas system in your home, and the air conditioning and heating units in your home.

Kitchen Safety

One of the most common causes of house fires is something going wrong in the kitchen. To ensure your safety in the kitchen,  SERVPRO®? of Central Oklahoma City wants you to follow these practices: When you’re cooking on a stove and need to leave the stove for a minute or two, turn it off rather than letting it cook unattended. Don’t cook while under the influence of any drugs or alcohol, or if you’re tired. Also, ensure that no clothes or rags are left on or near a burner.

Safe Use of Wires

Faulty wiring and outlets are one of the top causes of house fires. So make sure your wires and outlets are working properly. Do not attempt to plug or unplug anything if your hands are wet. Also, don’t pinch or cover electrical cords with items like rugs.

If all of the above steps are followed, and the unthinkable fire still occurs, remember that  SERVPRO®? of Central Oklahoma City fire damage restoration experts will be ready and faster to your disaster and make it feel “Like It Never Even Happened”.

3 Questions About Caring for Leather Furniture After Fire Damage

9/29/2022 (Permalink)

fire damage fire damage

f you’re wondering how to properly care for leather after it's been affected by fire damage, you’ve come to the right place! SERVPRO® of Central Oklahoma City has some helpful tips that could save your personal or professional belongings.

How Can Leather Be Cleaned?

When it comes to cleaning, leather upholstery typically needs to be dusted and vacuumed on a weekly basis. You can wipe it down with a dry microfiber cloth, or a damp cloth if the dust is thicker. Remember to never, ever use a soaking wet cloth on your leather upholstery. Use your vacuum’s cleaning attachment to vacuum corners, nooks, and crannies in leather furniture. It’ll do wonders!

How Often Should Leather Be Conditioned?

 After that first step, comes conditioning. Leather conditioning is just as important as leather cleaning! Leather furniture should be conditioned once to twice a year, depending on the amount of wear and tear it endures on a daily basis, and quickly it’s drying out.

What Causes Leather to Dry Out?

Leather is similar to our skin, which needs to stay moisturized in order to remain healthy and in good condition. What causes leather to dry out? Well, if your sofa or chair is near an air vent, or a sunny window, it could dry out and fade quicker than if it were placed away from the vent/window (or if the window were covered).

SERVPRO®? of Central Oklahoma City has experience with cleaning, conditioning, and caring for leather furniture! Especially after fire damage and water damage. If your furniture is in need of a little bit of tender loving care, don’t be afraid to contact SERVPRO®? of Central Oklahoma City. We can clean and restore your leather to its original condition, and you’ll love the results! Our motto is to make this disaster feel “Like It Never Even Happened.”

Fire Damage Contents

9/2/2022 (Permalink)

picture frame soot on picture and picture frame

When fire strikes your home or business you first thought is what about my contents? Fire and fire contents are top tier important when it comes to assisting the loss. When our knowledgeable team arrives they will not on take care of the fire structure and fire smell, they will provide services needed to take care of your contents and make sure to restore them back to preloss condition. SERVPRO® of Central Oklahoma City will make sure to provide the needed services to help make it "Like it never even happened." 

Electric Fire

9/2/2022 (Permalink)

Electric fire ceiling ceiling light wires caught on fire

When building a new home or business electrical fires happen unexpectedly and can cause serious fire damage. When fire damage happens you can trust that SERVPRO® of Central Oklahoma City will arrive to assist the damages. Our team knows how valuable it is to get your home or business back to living or working and in stable condition. When fires happen you want to make sure you are ready for whatever happens. 

Holiday Fire-Safety Tips

12/17/2021 (Permalink)

The holidays are upon us and decorating for Christmas is something we all love to do. Pretty lights, candles, and decorations enhance the holiday spirit - however, if they are not used carefully, your holidays may go from festive to frightening.

The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips to help greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season:

  • Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents, and candles.
  • Make sure light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or before going to bed.
  • Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees.
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire - like pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains - away from your stove top.
  • Designate one person to walk around your home or business to ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave. SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City professionals wish you all a safe and happy holiday season!

Professionally Service Your Heating Unit Before Winter

10/20/2021 (Permalink)

Home heating unit Maintaining your furnace will ensure the safety of your home and family throughout the winter weather season.

Most Moore residents don’t generally think about their heating unit until it’s time to crank up the heat or there's an impending ice storm of doom heading our way. However, neglecting this crucial piece of home equipment when it’s not in use could wind up costing you in the long run. Higher heating bills while inconvenient are manageable, but fire cleaning and smoke cleaning costs tend to be more expensive. Here are some tips to keep your furnace in good working condition.

Get Your Heating Unit Professionally Serviced

The general rule of thumb is to get a professional to inspect and service your heating unit once a year, typically in the early fall. This timing gives you the opportunity to fix any problems a technician finds before temperatures drop and you need to turn up the heat. Professional furnace technicians typically do the following during an annual inspection:

  • Clean your furnace
  • Test for operational efficiency
  • Tighten loose hardware and replace any broken parts
  • Check the wiring for fire hazards

The last action is essential to preventing home fires and avoiding additional fire cleaning costs, including flooding and smoke remediation.

Perform Simple Heating Unit Maintenance Throughout the Year

While it is best to have a professional take on more complex heater maintenance tasks, there are some easy things you can do throughout the year to keep your heating unit in prime condition. The most critical thing is to replace your filters regularly — every 90 days is standard for some filter types. If you have pets, however, it is best to switch the filters every 60 days.
You also need to check your thermostat to ensure it is working in tandem with your furnace’s electrical system. Circuits can get tripped and if they aren’t fixed, it can cause a larger, more expensive issue down the line. Finally, make sure you choose a sensible temperature for your home so as not to exhaust your system and keep your heating bills down.

Avoid the need for fire cleaning. If you diligently maintain your furnace, it will thank you with years of worry-free and fire-free warmth.

With Fire Damage, Expect Water Damage, Too

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

Image of home kitchen following house fire damage. Fire damage can take a toll, but so can water damage incurred from putting out the original fire.

Imagine a restoration company shows up at your house after you’ve had a fire, and the first thing they check for is water damage. Doesn’t that seem a little counterintuitive, especially considering how fire and water are opposites?

However, fire and water are much more like kindred spirits than you would think, especially when it comes to how they impact each other in damaging structures, spaces and belongings. 

When there is fire damage, there is almost always going to be water damage. Think about when the fire department is involved in a house fire — most likely, your space will get hosed down. Or if your building has a sprinkler system that can be triggered by smoke or intense heat, the structure that has been burned will be immediately soaked with water. Consider the way fire can bend and damage structures, including pipes that may leak within a building.

All of these scenarios can occur because of fire damage, so it is necessary that whatever restoration company you’re working with must understand the ins and outs of fire damage restoration but be well-versed in other categories of restoration as well. 

This is especially true because water restoration is a major part (and the first task) of the fire damage restoration process. Before someone can effectively treat your fire damaged household, you must first mitigate the water damage. This includes examining and evaluating the damage that may have been done to your drywall, floors, ceilings and/or belongings.

Also, did you know that if water stays around long enough, it can result in mold growth and damage? So fire damage can start the domino effect causing your space to be damaged by other elements.

That’s why SERVPRO® of Central Oklahoma City provides experts and services for all types of damage restoration — fire, water, mold storm and commercial. This way, you don’t have to wait for the water restoration company to show up before you can start the fire restoration process. You can have them treated simultaneously!

If you ever have damage from not only one but multiple causes, make sure to invest in a company like SERVPRO® of Central OKC that has its hand in all aspects of restoration. Otherwise, you’ll end up spending a lot more time and money than necessary.

Learn the Different Types of Fire Extinguishers

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

Image of fire extinguishers posed together Did you know there was more than one kind of fire extinguisher? Now you do!

Maybe you’ve never used one. Maybe you’ve never seen one or owned one (which, in that case, you should). Whatever the case, fire extinguishers are crucial to understand in terms of safely preparing for the unexpected.

At SERVPRO® Central Oklahoma City, we hope to educate you so you feel confident and prepared to fight any fire before it causes too much damage. With this in mind, you should know the basic types of fire extinguishers.

There are five types — A, B, C, D and K (or F) and each class signals the type of fire the extinguisher can be used to put out.

Class A

These are typically used to put out fires on ordinary combustible materials such as paper, rubber, wood, cloth and plastics. Class A extinguishers are usually found in homes or businesses and use water (red label), dry powder (blue label), foam (cream label) or wet chemicals (yellow label) to absorb the heat or coat the fire.

Class B

These extinguishers are used on fires that originate from flammable liquids and gases such as oil, fuel, solvents, lacquers or alcohols. They can be found in homes or businesses as well and can use dry powder, foam and carbon dioxide (black label) to put out the fire.

Class C

These are used against electrical fires from wires, panels or circuit breakers and can be found in homes and businesses. They release material like dry powder to stop the conduction of electricity so the fire cannot continue to ignite.

Class D

These extinguishers are used on combustible metals such as magnesium, sodium, aluminium, titanium, potassium and zirconium. They are typically found in factories and use dry powder to put out the fire.

Class K (or F)

These extinguishers are reserved for commercial use such as in restaurant kitchens. They are effective on fires that were caused by cooking fats, greases or oils and use a process called saponification which releases an alkaline agent foam to trap vapors and put the fire out. Inside these are wet chemicals (yellow label).

How to use a fire extinguisher

All of this information is pretty useless unless you know how to use a fire extinguisher, which is why this little acronym PASS should help you remember how to put out a fire.

Pull the pin in the extinguisher to break the seal.

Aim the extinguisher low with the nozzle pointing toward the bottom of the fire.

Squeeze the extinguisher’s handle to release whatever agent is inside.

Sweep the nozzle from side to side, still pointing it toward the base of the fire until it is fully extinguished.

If the fire continues to re-ignite, repeat the last three steps until the fire is completely out. Remember to keep your distance, act swiftly and always stay safe in the event of a fire.

The Science Behind Putting Out a Fire

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher putting out a fire When it comes to controlling, and ultimately extinguishing, a fire, it's helpful to know what you're dealing with.

As the summer goes on, the chance for a fire to ignite continues — whether it be from a grilling accident or the heat of the sun.

Fire can easily destroy a home or business in minutes, so it’s important to understand the basics behind putting out a fire.

At SERVPRO® of Central Oklahoma City, we value your safety and hope to educate you on potential threats to your safety.

What is fire?

First, we must understand how fire works. Fire is a chemical reaction — combustion, to be exact. Flammable substances will combine with the oxygen in the air to produce water, carbon dioxide and waste gases, creating a lot of heat. 

This doesn’t happen spontaneously. Typically, there must be something to ignite fire, which is found in activation energy (produced by a spark, match, the sun or an overheating machine).

The fire triangle and how to break it

It’s important to understand that there are three elements that must be present for a fire to ignite:

  • Fuel (the substance that will burn, like wood or coal)
  • Oxygen (from the air)
  • Heat

To stop a fire, you have to remove one of these elements. 

In order to remove heat, it’s best to dump some water on the fire. This cools the fuel down to below the ignition temperature, putting a pin in the combustion cycle. If you want to remove oxygen, you can smother the fire to prevent its exposure to air. You can do this by covering the fire with a heavy blanket or dumping nonflammable substances on it such as sand or baking soda. Removing fuel is much more difficult, especially in house fires as the house itself counts as fuel. Typically, fuel will only be removed after the fire has burned it up.

The usual way of putting out a fire is by using a fire extinguisher, which is basically a giant aerosol. Though there are different types of extinguishers, most of them fight the fires by separating the fuel from the oxygen.

In all circumstances, make sure to take preventative and proactive measures to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. And be sure to call SERVPRO® of Central OKC with any fire restoration needs: (405) 252-9400.

How to Prepare for a Safe Fourth Of July

6/30/2021 (Permalink)

Woman holding a sparkler Fireworks are a fun tradition on the Fourth of July, but only if you're safe!

It’s that time of the year again — barbecue, parades and, of course, fireworks and sparklers! But with great celebrations, especially ones involving fire, comes great responsibility. That’s why SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City has you covered when preparing for a safe Fourth of July.

Though fireworks are legal, that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily safe. In fact, the National Safety Council advises people to enjoy public displays of fireworks conducted by professionals. But if you do choose to use them at home, make sure to follow some essential tips to ensure a safe Fourth of July:

  • Keep children safe by never allowing younger children to handle fireworks and ensuring that adults supervise older children.
  • Stay sober minded when using fireworks and never try to use them while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
  • Protect your body parts by wearing protective eyewear and avoiding holding lighted fireworks.
  • Light them in the right place and avoid using them indoors and in close proximity to people, houses and other flammable materials.
  • Keep a safe distance from others by not pointing or throwing them at people and maintaining a safe distance after you light them.
  • Be careful with malfunctioning fireworks and never re-light or try to handle them but keep a bucket of water nearby to extinguish them (or in case there is a fire).

The same seriousness should be taken when using sparklers as they burn at about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals. The National Fire Protection Association states that sparklers account for more than 25% of emergency room visits for firework-related injuries.

Consider using safer alternatives such as glow sticks, confetti poppers and colored streamers, or just sit back and watch the experts do it. But most of all, have fun this Fourth of July and do it safely!

And remember that we are a phone call away, 24 hours a day: (405) 252-9400.

Steps to Prevent a Fire

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of a fire extinguisher in a home living room We're experts in fire damage restoration, but we've also got some tips to help mitigate the risk of a fire in the first place.

Our experts at SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City are trained to be faster to any disaster, and to restore fire damage "Like it never even happened." You know we’re always a phone call away.

With that said, however, there are still a number of easy steps you can take around your home or commercial property to mitigate the risk of a fire before it happens. Take a look:

Check Your Smoke Detectors

Be sure to regularly check the fire detectors throughout your home or property to ensure they have working batteries and are operating properly. You can do this fairly easily by pressing the little button on your smoke detectors. If the alarm is loud and striking, that means it’s working properly. If the sound is weak and faint, or, worse yet, there’s no sound at all, then that means you’re in need of a battery change.

Regularly Clean The Lint Trap in Your Dryer

It can be easy to forget, but when lint backs up in your dryer it can create a dangerous fire hazard. Every so often it’s also a good idea to check behind your dryer to ensure no lint or articles of clothing have fallen back there and created a fire risk.

Clean Your Stove and Oven

One of the leading causes of stove or oven fires are food bits left behind from past meals that can combust the next time you’re cooking, so it’s important to clean your stove and oven regularly to ensure there’s nothing that could suddenly spark a kitchen fire. In that same line of thinking, be sure to always make sure things like towels or oven mitts are far enough away from your stove and/or oven that they won’t accidentally catch on fire.

And be sure to never leave the kitchen while cooking, because a fire can start quickly and can escalate even faster if you’re not there to take action right away. Remember that attacking grease fires will only further feed the flames, and that the best way to subdue a grease fire is to cover it and trap it.

Keep a Fire Extinguisher In Your Home or Property

You never know when you might need it, but when you do you’ll be glad you have it. Keep it somewhere that’s both safe and easily accessible in the event of an emergency, and be sure you and/or someone in your home or commercial property is properly trained to use a fire extinguisher. 

Call Us If you Need Us

If you do sustain fire damage, give us a call 24/7 at 405-252-9400 to speak with our experts and have a team dispatched to your home or property.

Maintaining Your Furnace for a Warm, Worry-Free Winter

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

Home furnace air filter replacement Perform regular maintenance to your furnace

Most residents of The Village, OK, don’t think about their furnace until it’s time to crank up the heat. however, neglecting this crucial piece of home equipment when it’s not in use could wind up costing you in the long run not only in higher heating bills but also in fire cleaning and smoke cleaning costs. Here are some tips to keep your furnace in good working condition.

Get Your Furnace Professionally Serviced

The general rule of thumb is to get a professional to inspect and service your furnace once a year, typically in the early fall. This timing gives you the opportunity to fix any problems a technician finds before temperatures drop and you need to turn up the heat. Professional furnace technicians typically do the following during an annual inspection:

  • Clean your furnace
  • Test for operational efficiency
  • Tighten loose hardware and replace any broken parts
  • Check the wiring for fire hazards

The last action is essential to preventing home fires and avoiding additional fire cleaning costs, including flooding and smoke remediation.

Perform Simple Furnace Maintenance Throughout the Year
While it is best to have a professional take on more complex furnace maintenance tasks, there are some easy things you can do throughout the year to keep your furnace in prime condition. The most critical thing is to replace your filters regularly — every 90 days is standard for some filter types. If you have pets, however, it is best to switch the filters every 60 days.
You also need to check your thermostat to ensure it is working in tandem with your furnace’s electrical system. Circuits can get tripped and if they aren’t fixed, it can cause a larger, more expensive issue down the line. Finally, make sure you choose a sensible temperature for your home so as not to exhaust your system and keep your heating bills down.
Avoid the need for fire cleaning. If you diligently maintain your furnace, it will thank you with years of worry-free and fire-free warmth.

Fireplace Safety Tips for Fall

9/16/2020 (Permalink)

Two wooden chairs facing a stone fireplace outside at dusk. Fireplaces are a great way to relax and unwind in the cooler months.

As colder weather beings to roll into Oklahoma City, it is appealing to light up your fireplace to invite some warmth into your home. Fireplaces are a leading cause of house fires. Here are some tips regarding fireplace safety so that you can enjoy your fireplace with less worry this fall and winter.

Give your fireplace some space. Arrange the area around your fireplace with care. Do not place any furniture too close to the fireplace. If the fireplace overheats, it can cause nearby items to ignite. Make sure that you, your family, and your friends maintain a safe distance from the fireplace as well.

Reduce your risk of chimney fires. There are several ways you can (and should!) do this. First, you should have your chimney checked and cleaned at least once a year by a certified chimney sweep. Second, you should use a chimney cap, and regularly assess that the chimney cap is securely attached to the chimney and is not blocked by any leaves or any other debris. This ensures that smoke and carbon monoxide can exit your home properly. Additionally, you can use a spark arrester, which will decrease the chance that a spark will fall off the chimney into the lawn and start a fire.

Be mindful of what you are burning. You should only use wood in your fireplace. Do not put anything treated with chemicals in your fireplace, as the toxins will be introduced into your home as the wood burns. Do not use any moist or wet wood. Wet wood creates more smoke as it burns, which will likely causes more creosotes to build up in your chimney. Creosotes are extremely flammable, and increase the risk of chimney fire. Ensure that leftover firewood is properly stored while you are saving it so that it can safely be used the next time you do want to use it.  

No matter how careful you are, things can still wrong. And if they do, SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is here to help you. Our award-winning team is a trusted leader in the fire damage restoration and repair industry. Our team is standing by 24/7 so help will be on the way as soon as you call!

Looking Out for Your Laundry Room

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

Pile of clothes in a dryer with a dryer sheet being put in the dryer by a female’s hand. There are a number of different things that can cause a fire to start in your laundry room.

In one of our recent blog posts, we went over some of the ways to protect your home from fires. We briefly mentioned the importance of taking care of the appliances of the laundry room. This blog post will further discuss the ways you can protect yourself from fires that start in the laundry room. This is especially important, as 15,000 fires per year are started in the laundry. That is an average of 42 laundry room fires per day! Here are some tips that can help you prevent laundry room fires in your household!

Regularly remove lint from the dryer screen. Even try to make it a habit to do this after every load of laundry that you remove from the dryer. Additionally, be sure to clean behind your appliances, removing any lint from there and in any exposed vents. 92% of all laundry room fires start as a result of lint, so this seemingly obvious action can be of grave importance.

Remove clothes from the drier immediately. If the conditions are right (pile large enough, material has the correct physical properties, etc.) the heat inside the pile could build up faster than the heat could leave the pile which could result in spontaneous combustion.

Make sure that your appliances are plugged in correctly. The outlet needs to be of the appropriate wattage for the associated appliance. Additionally, you should never use an extension cord to power a washer or dryer. Make it a rule not to overload outlets in general.

If you do experience a house fire for any reason, SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is here to help! Give us a call at (405)252-9400 and our crew will be dispatched and began restoring your home and belongings to preloss condition!

Leading Causes of Residential Fire Damage

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

Gray wooden house on fire with firefighters working in the front lawn. Both the fire itself and the aftermath needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible in order to minimize possible damage.

The team here at SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is no stranger to housefires. In 2018, there were 379,600 fires, which resulted in over $8 million dollars of loss. Between 2009 and 2018, there was a 4% increase in fires at residential properties.

Cooking is the leading cause of residential fires, accounting for 197,200 fires in 2018. Heating systems were the second leading cause of residential fires. Electronic malfunctions caused 25,700 fires in 2018. Aside from unintentionally/carelessly started fires, these were the three leading causes of residential fires over a ten year period.

It can be hard to protect your home from all the dangers lurking out there, but SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is here to help in the instance that anything does happen to your residence. Give us a call at (405)252-9400 or submit an information form!

How to Protect Your Home From House Fires

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

Wooden structure of a house on fire. There are many ways a fire can start in your home. Try to protect your home from every angle that you can!

The amount of house fires that SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City works on is unfortunate. Our team does everything we can to help you get your home, belongings, and life back after a fire, but we also want you to know how to best protect your home. This blog will provide homeowners with tips for how to protect their homes from fire damage.

One easy way to protect your home is by regularly testing your smoke alarm. That way, in the event that a fire does occur, fire fighters can be dispatched immediately. Fire alarms have a test button on them so you can know whether or not you need to change the batteries in the device. Don’t let a fire be how you find out that your smoke alarms are not working!

Considering that most residential fires are started in the kitchen, it would be wise to check your oven and stove for food particles regularly so that they do not get burnt and start a fire. Similarly, you should also regularly check your laundry room appliances and clean your dryer’s lint trap every time you do a load of laundry. Finally, make sure that all flammable items such as household cleaners, hair spray, and many common cosmetics are properly stored. This means keeping them away from heaters and keeping them in a safe, cool place.

SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is here to help if a fire does strike your home. Our team will get to work on cleanup and mitigation immediately, and assure that your home is restored to its former glory.

The Source of Soot Webs

8/24/2020 (Permalink)

Black web-like soot damage in the corner of a white room. This type of soot damage may look similar to spider webs, but the two are actually entirely unrelated.

Fire brings with it many unexpected consequences. Of course, you will immediately see the toll it takes on your property and belongings when you are assessing the damage. While taking a look at your home or business, you may notice something unexpected. In the corners and along the ceiling lines of your home or business, you might observe something that looks like black spider webs. This phenomena, commonly called “soot webs” has a more interesting origin than meets the eye. Read on to learn about what the true cause of these “cob webs.”

People think that soot webs occur after smoke has attached itself to pre-existing spider webs and turned dark as a result of the fire damage and resulting smoke. However, this is a misconception. Soot webs (also called soot tags) are new, unique chains of soot that gather in areas of low concentration. Air moves (or at least attempts to move) from hot areas to cold areas. As flames from a fire cause the temperature of the surrounding area to increase, the air tries to seek out cooler spaces to achieve atmospheric equilibrium. If the air is not circulating properly and cannot escape the structure, the smoke and soot will continue to travel around the enclosed air. Soot webs form in areas of lower circulation, which is why you typically see them up in high places and in corners.

SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is happy to help you clean up soot webs and all the other damage that a fire might have left behind in your home or business. Give us a call at (405) 252-9400 or submit an information form