Recent Fire Damage Posts

How To Save Your Electronics After a Fire

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

External drive connected to a computer Keep computer files backed up on an external hard drive or cloud in case of fire damage.

How To Save Your Electronics After a Fire

After a house fire has hit your  North End, MA, home, working with a professional restoration company will help you navigate the rebuilding process. Keep in mind that flames and soot not only affected the structure of your home but also your belongings. A crucial step in fire cleanup is restoring your electronic devices that have been exposed to smoke.

Restoring Damaged Electronics
The most important step in electronic fire cleanup is to leave your equipment powered off until it has been properly cleaned. If you don’t turn on an electronic device that has been affected by smoke, it can’t short-circuit or overheat. You can wipe away any residue on the outside of your device. Otherwise, trust the professionals to clean and inspect your electronics. 
Restoration companies can revitalize the following devices:

  • Computers
  • TVs
  • DVD players
  • Gaming systems

Understanding the Effects of Smoke Damage
Smoke covers your electronics with a highly acidic residue. Unless properly cleaned off, the acid in the soot will disintegrate the inner workings of your devices. Corrosion leads to premature electronic failure. Furthermore, the soot leaves a black film on your electronics, adding a layer of insulation that can make them overheat if turned on.

Protecting Your Devices
Take preventative measures to minimize the impact of smoke and soot on your devices. Invest in a backup storage program for your desktop or laptop computer that stores your information and photographs in a safe place. You can upload your data to the cloud or keep virtual copies of important documents online with free or paid software.
As you restore your home after a fire, remember to take care of your electronics as well. Following the proper steps prevents the loss of information and your devices. Let the professionals help you through the fire cleanup process and get your home back.

How Can I Avoid Residential Lightning Fires?

5/26/2022 (Permalink)

Lightning thunderstorm flash over the sky. A thunderstorm can harm you even inside your home.

How Can I Prevent Lightning Fires in My Home?

Even if your South End, MA, house shelters you during a thunderstorm, it can still be vulnerable to lighting fire. The electric system, the metal pipes and other components inside the building not only conduct electricity but are connected to devices that can overheat and burn. You can reduce the probability of discharges affecting your home with these tactics.

Get a Grounding System
The electric energy generated by a powerful storm will always seek a path of low resistance toward the ground. You can exploit this occurrence by setting up a grounding system that includes:

  • Copper/aluminum lightning rod
  • Main conductor
  • Ground
  • Bonded metal components

These parts ensure that the system safely transfers the energy from the strike to the ground with no disturbance. This structure improves the safety of your property and can even earn you some insurance credit.

Avoid Using Electricity and Water
Using plugged electronics during a storm can sometimes result in a lighting fire. The storm's discharge might use the building's electrical wiring system as its path, creating a power surge that can devastate any active device. Additionally, it can also travel through the metallic plumbing system that transports water. Anyone using them can get shocked or accidentally start a fire. People at home should not use electronics and unplug them immediately. They should also avoid using showers and sinks until the storm stops.

Invest in a Surge Suppressor
While powering down and disconnecting electronics is the best way to diminish the impact of a lightning strike, it can be time-consuming and difficult. You also may not be home on time to do so. You can counter this power surge by installing a transient voltage surge suppressor. When the excess energy overwhelms your system, the suppressor will limit the voltage to just slightly higher than average. It can prevent electrical damage and a house fire until you can manually unplug the devices.
A thunderstorm can harm you even inside your home. Consider these strategies to reduce the possibility of lighting fire and contact storm damage restoration if necessary.

How Do You Remove the Smoke Odors After a Fire?

3/16/2022 (Permalink)

soot on wood surface Soot damage in Waterfront, MA.

The fire and water damage, and destruction that occurs during a fire, can be devastating, but with help from a professional fire restoration service in Waterfront, MA, you can find some peace of mind in the aftermath. You may realize that flames and water can both do harm, but smoke damage and residual odors can also be a problem, so careful smoke cleaning needs to be undertaken.

Are Smoke and Soot the Same Thing?

A fire can cause a good deal of soot damage and smoke. Soot is primarily composed of carbon and other chemicals that have not been completely consumed by flames. It leaves a sticky and greasy residue that can be loaded with chemicals and usually carries a sharp and particularly foul odor. Smoke and soot can be compared in the following ways:

  • Smoke is a vapor or gas given off by burning material
  • Soot is a greasy or sticky substance caused by incomplete combustion
  • Smoke is carried in the air and can be breathed while soot is more localized
  • Both can adhere to any surface
  • Both carry foul-smelling odors

How are Soot and Smoke Cleaned Up?

Soot damage, like smoke damage, requires careful handling and complete removal. Scraping and diluting the thick, toxic substance with industrial chemicals may be necessary. If soot cannot be removed thoroughly, then disposal of the affected surface is needed.

Smoke, on the other hand, can float and travel to any surface the air comes in contact with. It adheres and can stain paint and other elements, and can penetrate porous materials, so smoke is something that needs to be dealt with. Physically cleaning with detergent, followed by treating the area with an ozone generator may rid the area of any lingering odors.

Smoke damage does not need to be the end of the road. With help from a restoration service in Waterfront, MA, smoke cleaning can make the nasty odors a thing of the past and give your building a fresh take on life.

How To Practice Fire Safety in Your Home When Smoking Cigarettes

12/31/2021 (Permalink)

Hand holding a lid cigarette Take smoking outside.

Steps You Need to Take When Smoking at Home

While you might not always realize it, every time you smoke a cigarette you are at risk of starting a fire. If you’re not careful, the embers of your cigarette can easily come into contact with something flammable and ignite into a much larger problem. It is especially important to be aware of surroundings when at home in Back Bay, MA, since there are many flammable objects that can catch fire. In fact, cigarette fire is the number one cause of civilian home fire deaths in the United States. Here are a few important steps you need to take when smoking at home to protect yourself and your family.

1. Take Smoking Outside

With so many flammable objects inside your home, the most important safety precaution you can take when smoking is to take it outside. It is especially important you never smoke in your bedroom or while lying in bed. Bedding materials can catch fire easily, and you might fall asleep while smoking.

2. Use Ashtrays

Any time you smoke, dispose of your cigarette butt in a sturdy, stable ashtray placed on a surface that won’t easily catch on fire. A cigarette fire can easily start if you leave your butt on a random surface in your home.

3. Completely Put Out Butts

Make sure to completely put out cigarette butts and ashes before throwing them into the trash to prevent an ashtray fire. It is a good idea to soak the ashes and butts in water before tossing them.

4. Never Smoke Near Oxygen

Stay away from oxygen tanks or other places oxygen is used to prevent an explosive fire. Even if the oxygen source is turned off, stay far away to be safe.

Although cigarette fire is preventable if you keep in mind the steps listed above if one ever does occur in your home, it is a good idea to get in contact with a fire cleanup company that can quickly repair any damage that has occurred.

4 Alternatives to Candles for Your Home

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

wax warmer Consider a wax warmer as candle alternatives.

Candle Alternatives

Candles can provide great ambient lighting and allow you to choose your favorite scent for your home. Unfortunately, candle use also can result in a house fire. Fire restoration specialists recommend that you never leave a lit candle alone in a room. To keep your home in Back Bay, MA, safer while still reaping the benefits, consider one of these four candle alternatives.

1. Scented Wax Warmers

A great way to avoid a candle fire without sacrificing the comforting scent you love is by using an electric wax warmer. As the warmer heats up, the wax melts safely, diffusing the scent throughout the room.

2. Battery-Operated Candles

Another flameless option is a candle that operates on a battery. You still get the look and flicker of a real candle without the actual flame. You can also choose a scented option. These candles are perfect for a bathroom or other guest area where you want to have the look and smell of a candle without the danger of an unattended flame.

3. Electric Tea Lights

For dramatic lighting, consider electric tea lights as candle alternatives. This versatile option gives you the soft glow of a traditional tea light. You can place them in candle holders or vases, allowing the light to reflect and set a relaxed mood.

4. Reed Diffusers

If you just want a nice scent but don't really need the lighting that a candle provides, a reed diffuser is a smart choice. You pour scented oil in a designated glass receptacle and then place scent sticks or reeds in the oil. The fragrance is released slowly through the reeds to permeate the room.

Candles are pretty, but they may be more of a fire hazard than they are worth, especially if you are leaving them in a room where you can't watch them. Choose one of these candle alternatives to set the same mood in a safer way.

5 Safety Tips for Cooking on a Grill

10/26/2021 (Permalink)

Cleaning a grill at a summer barbecue. Remember to keep grills 10 feet away.

Cooking on a Grill: 5 Safety Tips

Having a family barbecue and cooking on the grill in your backyard in Chinatown, MA can be a great way to spend your days during warmer weather. However, it can become dangerous if you’re not careful. A grill fire can happen quickly, so keep these tips in mind when you’re grilling to avoid injuries or damage to your property.

1. Keep the Grill Away From the House
While many people like to grill on a deck, this can lead to disaster if a fire occurs. It could spread to your house and cause a lot of fire and smoke damage. Fire remediation can be a time-consuming process and you could lose valuable and sentimental objects, so it is best to use your grill as far from the house as you can.

2. Only Use Fluids Made for Grills
If you use a charcoal grill, be sure to use only lighter fluid that is specifically made for this purpose. Other flammable liquids might not be safe for use around food. They can also more easily cause a grill fire. You should also never add more fluid after it has already been ignited.

3. Keep the Grill Clean
You should remember to clean your grill regularly. Built up fat and grease can cause a barbecue fire to flare up and become a safety hazard.

4. Open the Grill Before Turning On the Gas
If you have a gas grill, always open the lid of the grill before turning on the gas. If you turn the gas on while the grill is still closed, the gas will build up and can create a fireball when ignited.

5. Never Leave the Grill Unattended
When you are grilling, you should always make sure that someone is there to keep an eye on it. If a fire were to start while the grill was unattended, it could cause quite a bit of damage before you even notice.
Because cooking on a grill can be dangerous, you should always take proper precautions to avoid a grill fire. If you stay safe, grilling can be a fun and enjoyable pastime.

3 Tips for Space Heater Safety

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

Space heater Plug the heating unit into its own outlet to avoid overheating.

3 Safety Recommendations For The Use of A Space Heater

Freezing air outside in North End, MA makes you long for a warm, toasty atmosphere inside of your home. Warming yourself near a space heater feels good, but is it a smart choice? A burned space heater is one of the top causes of residential fires, particularly during the winter months. Learn how to safely use a space heater by following the three tips below.

1. What Kind To Buy

Space heaters come with options for safety features, such as an automatic shutoff if the unit overheats or tips over. Look for an independent safety certification label, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Ensure the appliance has a sturdy cord that is at least 6 feet in length.

2. Where To Place It

Place the heater on a hard surface, such as the floor. Do not place it in a child’s bedroom or play area or in a garage where incendiary materials are stored. Use the 3-foot distance rule for children, pets, walls, bedding, curtains and furniture. Allow this distance from flammable fabrics to prevent a burned space heater from setting fire to your home.

3. How To Care for It

Plug the heating unit into its own outlet to avoid overheating. Never use an extension cord or place the appliance near water. When you retire to bed for the evening or leave the room, even for a few minutes, turn off the space heater. Remove it from the outlet by holding the plug, never the cord. If the cord is damaged, discontinue use. If the unit has filters, change them regularly.

Follow the above safety tips at your home in [City, State], to avoid a burned space heater. Always remember to practice general fire safety as well. Install and maintain at least one functioning smoke detector at every level of your house, especially near the bedrooms and kitchen. Have an escape plan in case of a fire. If a fire occurs, execute your plan to get your family to safety. For soot and smoke cleanup, contact a fire restoration specialist.

What You Need To Know About Puff Backs

6/30/2021 (Permalink)

Old dirty brickwork in soot Puff back damage in Chinatown, MA.

What Is a Puff Back?

Having a modern, up-to-date furnace in your Chinatown, MA, home can make life a lot easier, but at the end of the day, you could still be dealing with some serious issues resulting from a variety of malfunctions. That’s because even the best furnaces are still prone to dirt and dust buildup, which often leads to small disasters known as puff backs. A puff back

  • Involves a small explosion inside of your furnace or boiler
  • Tends to occur more commonly in oil-fired heating systems
  • Usually leads to widespread soot and smoke damage in a home

Causes

Generally, these issues are due to a malfunction in the furnace or heating system itself. Of course, the malfunction could be caused by a wide range of issues, such as a clogged filter or failing fan. Lack of maintenance appears to be the leading cause of issues leading up to puff backs of all types.

Varying Severity Levels

In some lucky cases, a puff back only causes minor damage to the furnace or heating system in question and is fairly quick and inexpensive to repair. However, other incidents, especially those from oil-fired systems, tend to be much larger and can spread soot, smoke and debris across all corners of a home in an instant. This not only leads to a potentially lengthy smoke cleaning process but can cause significant damage to the heating unit, requiring a full replacement in some cases.

Best Ways To Avoid Puff Backs

The best way to avoid this problem in your own home is to have your furnace, boiler or other heating system inspected annually by a certified professional. They have the know-how needed to diagnose any issues and can give maintenance recommendations that reduce the likelihood of an explosion occurring. Otherwise, regularly changing your filters is a step in the right direction.

Understanding the basics of the average puff back can help you prepare your home against the threat, so you can enjoy your central heating in peace.

How To Clean Your Microwave

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

Closeup of hand in protective glove wiping rag microwave. View from the interior of the oven Keep your microwave clean.

Microwaves, like any other kitchen appliance in your Back Bay, MA, home, must be cleaned periodically to stay in top working condition. An unpleasant smoke smell can also appear if your device isn’t cleaned properly. If you need help restoring after a kitchen fire, contact a fire restoration right away.

Cleaning Tips After Every Use

The inside of the microwave should be cleaned every time you use it.

Wipe the inside walls and the tray with a wet cloth right after use.
If food becomes hardened, place a bowl of water with a small amount of vinegar inside the unit and warm it up for several seconds. This acts as steam clean to loosen the food particles.
If the tray is especially dirty, place it in the sink filled with warm, sudsy water for a few minutes. Rinse and dry before replacing it.

Maintenance Steps For Periodic Cleaning
There are a few working parts within the appliance that need to be cleaned or replaced periodically. The charcoal filter should be changed a couple of times a year. Since this filter absorbs pollutants, replacing it before it stops working helps to keep any smoke smell at bay. It’s important to note that the charcoal filter is only significant on units that have recirculating air. If your model vents to the outside, you can skip this maintenance step.
In over-the-counter ranges, the grease filter should be cleaned frequently. Manufacturer’s recommendations may vary, so follow the instructions in your operator’s manual. As a rule of thumb, however, once per month is sufficient to keep it working well. Remove the filter and place it in hot, soapy water. You can lightly scrub the filter with a soft brush if necessary.
The vent grill should be cleaned periodically as well. Refer to your owner’s manual for details on how to clean it.
Keep your microwave clean so that it functions well and removes unpleasant smoke smell from your home

How Do Puffbacks Happen?

12/31/2020 (Permalink)

soot web Soot webs happen, SERVPRO is here to help after a puffback.

Puffback and Soot Damage

Puffback damage occurs when a furnace misfires, causing a small explosion inside the chamber of the furnace. In a best-case scenario, the mess will be confined to the furnace area. In extreme cases, the heavy, sticky, grime can be caked on just about any surface, including curtains and the insides of closets and drawers. If you have experienced soot from a furnace puffback in Boston, MA, you will need to have your furnace repaired and the area properly assessed and cleaned.


Assess the Damage


At first glance, the soot may look like a fine, dusty powder that can easily be cleaned. However, the puffback from an oil furnace is anything but easy to remove. Instead, it is a thick, gooey substance that is difficult to get off surfaces. Since failed attempts to clean it can cause more damage to your items, you should not attempt to clean it yourself. If you suspect puffback damage, you can begin to assess the extent of the problem by checking areas for soot:

  • The furnace chamber
  • Inside the ventilation system and ductwork
  • Obvious areas such as floors, walls, and carpeting
  • Less obvious areas like inside drawers and file cabinets

Be sure to check inside each room that is connected to the HVAC system.


How To Restore the Area


Regardless of the extent of the damage, you will need to hire an HVAC technician to check, clean, repair, or replace your furnace. If damage has occurred outside of the oil furnace itself, the soot will be too difficult to remove on your own. The best course of action is to enlist the help of a professional restoration company to properly clean and deodorize the different surface types.


If you have a misfiring furnace that causes puffback damage, rest assured that the problem is only temporary and can be fixed with the right equipment. A professional remediation company like SERVPRO of Boston Downtown/Back Bay/South Boston can help with furnace repairs and restoring the area to its previous condition.

3 Tips for Avoiding Cigarette Fires

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Hand putting out a cigarette,cigarette butt on Concrete floor, bare cement. Don't smoke indoors

Consider The Following Tips

If you or one of the residents in your home currently smokes, it's important to be informed on how to prevent a cigarette fire. After first checking with your local fire department in Seaport, MA, for any pointers they might have, consider other tips, as well.

1. Don't Smoke Indoors
There are a surprising number of flammable materials in your home. Any type of fabric will burn easily, so, if an ashtray gets knocked over, a stray cinder could easily start an ashtray fire and severely damage your home. In addition to the risk of fires, smoke from cigarettes can also damage the fabrics in your home and cause them to smell bad. This smell is difficult to remove with conventional laundry detergent.

2. Wear Removeable Clothing
If you or a family member smokes, make sure to wear clothing that can be removed easily after smoking and before entering the home. A jacket or a hoodie would be a good choice. This way, any odors are likely to soak into the removable item, rather than being tracked in and soaking into your furniture or drapes. It's also wise to wash this removable clothing often, as the odor will build up in these garments.

3. Consider Professional Odor Removal
If someone has smoked in your home for a while, or if there has been a cigarette fire, it's time to consider calling in odor removal and fire damage specialist. Hiring a professional will ensure that your home is cleaned from top to bottom with the best equipment suited for the job. This thorough home cleaning can include your carpet, drapes, air ducts, upholstery, and more. There is equipment meant for every job, whether you need full fire cleanup or an odor removal detail.
With a conscientious mind and some knowledge, it is possible to prevent a cigarette fire before it happens.

What Do I Do After a Business Fire?

10/26/2020 (Permalink)

A fire destroyed five stores on the Atlantic City Board Walk Business stores damaged by fire in Chinatown,MA

Here's A List Of To-Do Items

Your levelheaded actions in the chaotic aftermath of a fire often determine how quickly you can reopen your business. If you have a fire contingency plan with up-to-date records stored off site, you're way ahead in the recovery timeline. Business blueprints, insurance policies, licenses, inventories, accounting statements, employee records, etc., are critical documents that can help speed your insurance claim.
Good documentation is imperative post-fire, too. As you organize your business' rebound in Chinatown, MA, record your fire restoration purchases, keep receipts and document all communications. 

1. Immediately contact your insurance company. Check your fire insurance coverage and advise your agent.

2. Don't touch any damage. Wait for the insurance inspection.

3. Secure the premises. Avoid vandalism by asking for extra police patrols or arranging private security. If there's exterior damage, contact fire restoration professionals to tarp the roof and board up breaches to avoid secondary damage before your building is inspected.

4. Turn off all utilities. Don't resume service until your property's cleared by the utility company.

5. As soon as you can officially reenter your building, retrieve important paperwork. If not stored off site, recover all key documents, cash and valuables.

6. Keep all business-related parties up to date. Provide your contact information to employees, customers, vendors, suppliers as well as banks, utilities, the post office, etc. Inform them of fire restoration progress and the estimated timeframe for reopening your business.

7. Consider the help of a public adjuster. If you feel more objectivity is needed to settle your insurance claim fairly, request a review by an impartial public adjuster licensed by the state to negotiate disputed settlement issues.
Fire restoration goes beyond smoke cleaning and water damage remediation services. It's a common-sense, many-faceted process that furthers your chances of fully recovering from a disastrous fire and getting your company back to the business of business.

What To Do if You Smell Natural Gas

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

Natural gas burning on kitchen gas stove in the dark You should never ignore the smell of natural gas in your home

Natural gas has many good uses. In Back Bay, MA, gas is used to heat homes and water, and it is arguably the best option for cooking meals in the kitchen. But as good as it is, natural gas is also inherently dangerous. There is always the risk of a gas fire, especially when cooking on a gas stove, and homeowners should educate themselves about using gas safely. Another risk of natural gas is a gas explosion. Home gas explosions do happen, but many times they are avoidable.

What To Do if You Smell Gas

If you smell gas in your home or hear the hissing sound of gas escaping, it's important to be cautious of what you do next.

First, don't turn on any lights in the home, as it could cause a gas explosion.
The most common mistake is when the burners on the stove are accidentally turned on, so check the stove.
Open the windows and doors to help the gas fumes escape.
If the issue wasn't the stove and you know how to turn the gas meter off, go ahead and do it. Otherwise, contact your gas company.
Get out of the house and stay out until the gas company can inspect the inside and outside of the home.

If There's a Gas Fire
If you experience a gas fire on your kitchen stove, evacuate the home immediately, as a fire can quickly get out of control. Call for emergency help. Once the fire has been extinguished, don't re-enter the home until the fire crew has told you it is safe to do so. Call your insurance company and don't attempt cleanup yourself. Trained restoration professionals should assess the damage first.
Gas fires are an especially dangerous type of home fire due to the risk of a gas explosion. You should never ignore the smell of natural gas in your home, and you should always know what to do if you do smell it.

3 Ways To Avoid a Cigarette Fire in Your Home

7/17/2020 (Permalink)

Ways to Prevent a Cigarette Fire in Your Home

Though there are various reasons residential fires occur, cigarettes are one of the most common causes of home fires in Chinatown, MA. Fortunately, there are several ways you can prevent a cigarette fire from starting in your home.

1. Keep Ashtrays Outside

Properly extinguishing and disposing of cigarettes is often a helpful way to prevent a fire. Though many people keep ashtrays in their home, it can be wise to place your ashtray outside of your home if you want to decrease the chance of a fire occurring. If a cigarette isn't properly extinguished, an ashtray fire can easily start in your home, especially if the ashtray is near flammable materials. Keeping an ashtray outside and away from flammable objects can be a useful way to keep your home safe.

2. Don't Smoke When Sleepy

In order to reduce the likelihood of a cigarette fire in your home, it's usually best not to smoke when you are tired. Many fires from cigarettes occur when a person is smoking on a sofa or bed and then falls asleep. When asleep, it's easy to drop a lit cigarette without noticing, and if the cigarette remains lit, mattresses, cushions and other materials can quickly catch fire. Avoiding smoking when you're tired is an easy way to decrease the chance of a home fire.

3. Smoke Outside

When a person smokes inside a home, a fire is often more likely to occur. With so many flammable items in homes, setting a lit cigarette down momentarily can result in a fire. Homeowners whose homes have been damaged by fires may find it helpful to contact fire restoration experts. However, smoking outside of your house can help to prevent a home fire, eliminating the need for restoration and fire cleanup.

Instead of restoring your home after a fire, it's generally easier and less time-consuming to take precautions to prevent a cigarette fire. Keeping ashtrays outside, not smoking when tired, and only smoking outside are helpful ways to prevent a cigarette from causing a fire in your home.

The Importance of an Office Fire Escape Plan

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

People escape to fire exit door Practice your fire escape plan to avoid complacency

How To Create a Fire Escape Plan for Your Building

Fires can be destructive and deadly. The speed at which a fire takes a facility varies based on the materials and causes of the blaze. Every emergency and fire restoration service in South End, MA, likely understands and encourages every commercial property owner to create a fire escape plan. Unfortunately, too many people do not know what that entails. Escape plans need not be complicated and should require at least three components.

Two exit minimum
Clear pathways
Implementation and practice

Two Exit Minimum
The basic emergency escape plan requires a two exit minimum out of every room in your facility. While plans can have more options, two is the minimum because it improves the odds of survival. If a room only has one exit, then people may become trapped if the fire overtakes that exit. Most offices will have a window and a door, these can stand as your exit points, but make sure that there is a feasible way to get to safety from those points.

Clear Pathways
The key to an effective fire escape plan is clear pathways. Make sure that hallways are free of clutter and that exit points are not blocked by shelving. While warehouses and packaging facilities can become overwhelmed with boxes and random items, it is crucial to have processes in effect to maintain order and cleanliness.

Implementation and Practice
It is not enough to create exit strategies. The only way to test the effectiveness of a plan is to implement it and put it into action. Routine practices should take place throughout the year to ensure that every employee makes it safely outside without incident. These scheduled run-throughs will help you tweak the escape strategy if you find there are hiccups.
A fire escape plan is not necessarily complicated to create, but the practice is vital to avoid complacency. If you need help creating a plan for your building, then contact the fire department or a restoration expert for help.

Avoid a Cigarette Fire

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

putting out a cigarette If smoking is allowed in your home, take a few extra precautions to avoid a cigarette fire

While there may be a number of reasons for an accidental home fire in Seaport, MA, cigarettes still rank high on the list of culprits. Although they may only have a burning ember, improper use inside a home can quickly lead to a cigarette fire. The best fire deterrent is to not allow smoking inside the home. If that is not possible, safety precautions should be taken each time a cigarette is smoked.

Avoid a Fire

A cigarette can smolder for up to four hours, which means disposing of them properly is imperative to avoid an ashtray fire or one somewhere else in the home. Below are a few tips to reduce the chances of a fire.

If a room has been smoked in, check the furniture for any ashes or embers before leaving the room.
Keep ashtrays on a stable surface away from flammable items. Try to use ashtrays with wide brims.
Do not dispose of ashtray contents directly into the regular trash. Keep a tin or other non-combustible pail with water outside to be used for disposal.
Never smoke in bed or in a room with flammable products.
If there are small children in the home, ensure lighters and matches are kept out of reach.

Fire Cleanup
If a cigarette fire does break out, extinguish as quickly as possible. If it spreads to fast, immediately get out and call 911. After the fire is put out, there will likely be smoke and fire damage. The amount of which will depend on the size of the fire. When it comes to fire clean up, calling a smoke and fire restoration professional is your best bet in ensuring your home is properly cleaned and deodorized.
Any kind of fire is unwelcome. If smoking is allowed in your home, take a few extra precautions to avoid a cigarette fire, and keep your home intact.

What To Know About Content Cleaning After a Fire

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Professional cleaning a table after fire damage Content cleaning in North End, MA

What To Know About Content Cleaning After a Fire

After a fire in your North End, MA, the cleaning of your personal items may be something you’re worried about. In addition to needing to know what items are salvageable, it’s also important to know which cleaning method should be used. There are many options from dry-cleaning to a full wash. Here’s what you may want to know.

1. Many Items Can Be Salvaged

One of the most comforting things to know is that many more items than you might initially believe can be salvaged. This includes paper documentation and electronics. If you need help identifying what items can be recovered, you may wish to consult with a restoration professional. Items can be cleaned and then moved to content storage until repairs can be completed.

2. Cleaning Methods May Vary By Item Type

It’s also important to remember that content cleaning includes a variety of methods designed to clean different types of items. Some solutions include dry-cleaning for delicate fabrics, washing detergents for items that can be submerged, and wipe on solutions for large scale metal or wood items. An ozone machine can be used to restore air quality, while paper documents and electronics may require special care.

3. Your Restoration Company Can Help

Knowing which items are salvageable, what cleaning method to use for each one may seem overwhelming at first. Fortunately, a local fire damage restoration service can help. These professionals know how to identify the different types of damage that may befall your home's contents during a fire. They will also know which cleaning solution is best for each item type.
Many of your items may be able to be saved even if they seem to be badly damaged. Consult with a restoration professional to determine what can be done, and what the appropriate cleaning solution may be for each item. Remember, different cleaning options, such as dry-cleaning, may be needed for different items.

Grease Fire Basics

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

Young Man Using Red Fire Extinguisher To Stop Fire Coming From Oven In Kitchen If available, extinguish the fire with a Class B fire extinguisher

Grease Fire Basics

Home cooking fires are common, and a fire caused by grease and oils is among the most common of cooking fires. A grease fire is a different animal from fires that have paper or wood as a primary source. They can also quickly erupt on the stove top, in the oven and on grills. The source of the fire doesn't have to be cooking oils but can also originate from the oils and grease generated by the foods that are being cooked. They are tricky to extinguish, which may be a factor in why they cause so much damage.

Steps To Take During a Grease Fire

A quick response to this type of fire can prevent disaster. These measures have been proven to put out the flames.

Snuff out the flames by covering them with a metal lid or cookie sheet.
Keep the cover on until the fire is out.
An alternative is to cover the fire with baking soda or salt.
If available, extinguish the fire with a Class B fire extinguisher.

If these steps don't work and the fire grows, get everyone out of the home. Call the fire department as soon as possible.

Steps Not To Take

Unlike other fires, you should never use water on a fire feeding on cooking oils. It's also vital not to attempt to move the fire outside, either when it is burning or right after a metal lid has been put over the fire. This action can result in burns and a spread of the fire. Flour and baking powder will not work on snuffing out this type of fire, as they have a different chemical structure than baking soda and salt and can feed the fire.
Understanding a grease fire protects you and your family. If a blaze does harm your home, the first step to fire cleanup is to call in a fire remediation team in Theatre District, MA. Professionals will clean up the damage and restore your home "Like it never even happened."

When Is a Home Fire Not Covered by Insurance?

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Fire in the house House on fire in South End, MA

Two Conditions A Home Fire is Not Covered by Insurance

Most home insurance policies cover fire, as well as other common causes of damage, such as theft or various weather events. There are two conditions under which a home fire is virtually never covered, however:

1. When It's Set on Purpose

Arson is when a fire is deliberately set with the goal of causing destruction. It happens for a variety of reasons, but one of the most common reasons why a homeowner might choose to set his or her own home ablaze is to scoop up the insurance money.
Predictably, insurance providers are prepared for this. If a fire results in a claim, the insurance company will dispatch a team of investigators to examine the damage and pinpoint the cause of the fire. If their assessment is that arson was the cause, the home fire will not be covered by the homeowner's policy.

2. When Nobody Lives There

A vacant home fire is not covered by insurance providers, either. While the definition of "vacant" may vary from insurance company to insurance company, generally speaking, if nobody has lived there for 30 consecutive days, a home is considered vacant. It's up to the insurance company to prove vacancy in order to deny a claim.
It's important to note that a vacant home, in terms of the denial of insurance coverage, is different than a seasonal home, such as a summer lake house or a winter cottage. If you own property that isn't occupied year-round, most insurance companies that offer homeowners policies also offer vacant home insurance that safeguards your home through those months when nobody's there. This type of policy usually covers vandalism, theft, fire, and weather-related issues, such as those involving hail or wind damage.
No one expects a home fire. Fortunately, if one does occur at your South End, MA, residence, it is most likely covered by your insurance policy. Working with your insurance company, as well as trusted fire damage restoration professionals, you can promptly return your home to its pre-fire condition.

How To Prepare Your Home for a Fire

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

House fire in Boston, MA

Most people take active measures to prevent house fires, but not many people have implemented fire preparation techniques. Yet, fire prep is just as important as fire prevention, and in fact may be more so when it comes to protecting your home and loved ones. If you have yet to implement fire safety procedures, it’s time to do so. Below are five things you can do to get started.

5 Steps To Prepare Your Home for a Fire.

  • Test your smoke alarms. 
  • Plan an evacuation route. 
  • Teach your children what to do in the event of a home fire. 
  • Devise a communication strategy. 
  • Practice.

1. Test Your Alarms

Though your smoke alarms should inform you when they’re low on batteries, it doesn’t hurt to check them periodically. Test them once a month, and to err on the side of caution, replace their batteries at least once a year. 

2. Plan an Evacuation Route

This should be at the top of your fire preparation list. Identify all possible exits for each room in the home and make sure that each family member is aware of where those exits are. Designate a family meeting spot outside. 

3. Teach Your Children 

If you have young children, show them what the fire alarm sounds like and advise them on what to do if they hear one. Inform them of evacuation routes as well. 

4. Plan a Way To Communicate

Put together an emergency contact list and make sure that all family members know who to contact if they cannot find one another. Have your young children memorize important phone numbers, beginning with 911. 

5. Practice

The best way to ensure that all family members know what to do in the event of an emergency is to practice. Host a fire drill every couple of months and devise different scenarios. In doing so, you can increase the odds that everyone knows what to do and how to escape in a real emergency. 

Your Boston, MA, fire remediation team or local fire department can review your fire preparation plan and provide additional tips for how to improve it. Don’t cut corners when it comes to fire safety and start planning today. 

3 Ways Smoke Can Affect Your Building After a Fire

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke travels further than flames

Smoke Cleaning Should be Performed After a Fire

If you experience a fire in your South End, MA, building, it’s not only the flames that you need to be concerned about. In some cases, smoke can cause even more damage. The following are a few reasons that smoke cleaning should be performed as soon as possible after a fire.

1. Smoke Travels Further Than Flames

Even if the fire was small or contained to a specific area, there may be smoke damage beyond this point. Smoke travels through the air and carries soot and other contaminants as it does. Because of this, it is important to have smoke cleaning done throughout the building, whether the flames spread far or not.

2. It Can Cause Long-Term Damage

While fire damage is often obvious, smoke damage can be less so. Smoke and soot particles can find their way into small crevices where they can begin to cause problems for your belongings. This is especially true for electronics, as the acidic elements in the smoke can cause the metal and hardware to corrode. If you believe that your computers, televisions or equipment have been affected, do not turn them on until they have been examined to prevent making the damage worse.

3. Odor Can Be Difficult to Remove

It may be fairly easy to remove the visible signs of smoke and fire damage, but the smell can linger for long afterward. Smoke particles can become trapped in the walls, carpeting and porous items, so you should include these in the cleanup process as well. Smoke odor can be stubborn, but a fire restoration company will have professional equipment that should be able to remove it from the air and your belongings.

After a fire, it can be easy to focus on the damage that you can see, but you should be sure to pay attention to that which is less visible as well. Performing smoke cleaning is an important part of the restoration process and should be done thoroughly to return your building to its previous condition.

Protect Your Home Against Chimney Fires This Winter

12/15/2016 (Permalink)

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC), an average of 22,300 chimney fires occurred annually in the United States between 2011 and 2013.

As the temperatures continue to drop, there is nothing like gathering in front of a cozy fire or basking in the warmth of a wood stove. Unfortunately, many people fail to consider the condition of their chimney before lighting those inviting fires. Not having your chimney cleaned and inspected annually can leave you at risk for a chimney fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. This can damage structures, and cause physical harm to your home and family.

Annual chimney inspections will remove flammable creosote, the major cause of chimney fires, prevent carbon monoxide intrusion and identify potential system issues before they become costly. 

To mitigate the potential for a chimney fire and help keep heating appliances and fireplaces functioning properly, we offer the following safety tips:

  • Schedule an annual chimney check. Have chimneys inspected annually, and cleaned as necessary, by a qualified professional chimney service technician. This reduces the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisonings due to creosote buildup or obstructions in the chimneys.
  • Keep it clear. Keep tree branches and leaves at least 15 feet away from the top of the chimney.
  • Install a chimney cap to keep debris, rain, snow and animals out of the chimney.
  • Choose the right fuel. For burning firewood in wood stoves or fireplaces, choose well-seasoned wood that has been split, stacked, and dried for eight to 12 months and stored in a covered and elevated location. Never burn Christmas trees or treated wood in your fireplace or wood stove.
  • Only burn wood. Crates, lumber, construction scraps, painted wood, or other treated wood releases chemicals into your home, compromising your air quality.
  • Build it right. Place firewood or firelogs at the rear of the fireplace
  • Keep the hearth area clear. Combustible material too close to the fireplace, or to a wood stove, could easily catch fire. Keep furniture at least 36” away from the hearth.
  • Use a fireplace screen. Use metal mesh or a screen in front of the fireplace to catch flying sparks that could ignite or burn holes in the carpet or flooring.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Place detectors throughout the house and check batteries in the spring and fall. When you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time, remember to check your batteries.
  • Never leave a fire unattended. Before turning in for the evening, be sure that the fire is fully extinguished. Supervise children and pets closely around wood stoves and fireplaces.

Even if you have already used your fireplace this year, it is never too late to have your chimney inspected. If you experience damage to your home caused by a chimney fire, call SERVPRO of Boston Downtown immediately at (617) 227-2200.

Brian Gregory Attains Fire and Smoke Restoration Certification

11/18/2016 (Permalink)

NEWS RELEASE

WOBURN, MA – November 15, 2016

SERVPRO of Boston announced that Project Manager, Brian Gregory, has successfully received a certification from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).  This organization has been the trusted advisor for the cleaning, inspection and restoration service industries for more than 40 years.  Gregory successfully completed his course work to become a Certified Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician (FSRT). 

In order to receive this certification, Gregory passed a comprehensive examination demonstrating a thorough and working knowledge of cleaning and restoration techniques. The Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician course concentrates on technical procedure for successfully completing the restoration of a fire and smoke damaged environment.

“I congratulate Brian on his achievement,” said Paul LaGrandeur, General Manager of SERVPRO of Boston.  “Each day, we strive to provide our clients with a superior level of service, and that starts with having a highly trained staff experienced in the latest in disaster restoration technology.  The IICRC holds themselves to a higher standard of service excellence and we are pleased Brian has been recognized by such a well-respected institution.”

Gregory joined the SERVPRO of Boston team in October 2015. In addition to his newly received FRST certification, he is also a certified Water Damage Restoration Technician. He resides in Beverly, MA.