Recent Fire Damage Posts

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 To Avoid a Cigarette Fire in Your Home

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Keep an ashtray outside

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.

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.

How To Practice Fire Safety in Your Home When Smoking Cigarettes

5/15/2019 (Permalink)

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 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 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 a good idea to get in contact with a fire cleanup company that can quickly repair any damage that has occurred.

5 Safety Tips for Cooking on a Grill

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Remember to keep grills 10 feet away

5 Safety Tips for Cooking on a Grill

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.

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.