Recent Fire Damage Posts

Why you should call SERVPRO of Winston Salem North for residential fire damage services

10/20/2021 (Permalink)

electrical fire from an outlet While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one.

Call SERVPRO of Winston Salem North for Residential Fire Damage Services

When you need residential fire damage services, you should contact a locally owned and operated professional that can quickly diagnose the exact nature of your problem and then get right to work on solving it. Fire and smoke are particularly destructive forces that can gut a structure and cause it to be condemned. If your property is suffering from this sort of damage, you may need immediate help to salvage it.

You'll Need a Company That Specializes in Fire Damage Restoration:


After any damage has occurred, you should contact a company immediately for an initial diagnosis. This will then be followed by a team getting directly to work on cleaning up and fully restoring the affected area. Cleanup, removal of debris, neutralization of remaining odors, and purifying of the air can commence quickly to prevent any further health effects that often arise after fire damage. 

Concentrate on Restoration Rather Than Replacement:


The focus of good restoration service should always fixate on restoring your property rather than replacing it. When possible, it's better to isolate quickly and neutralize any issues rather than replace your entire property. Restoration not only costs you less money in the long run, but it also allows you to quickly get back to living your life faster. If parts of the property do need to be completely rebuilt, talk to the company about timelines for the areas that are fixable first, and then concentrate on the areas that need to be entirely redone.

What to Expect From Any Service:

A reputable restoration service will do an immediate assessment of the damage, followed by board-up and tarp service if required. From there, they will remove all affected material and begin airing out and drying the general area. Once all of the debris, smoke, and soot have been eliminated from the area, they can begin restoring your property back to pristine condition.

What to Look For:


It's best to hire a locally owned company that has a focus and connection to your community. You should also ensure that the service personnel you are dealing with are fully qualified, trained, and experienced at diagnosing and solving the problems that affect your property. When you are dealing with severe fire and smoke damage, you want to make sure the company you choose can handle the scope of the project and will help you handle any problems that come up.


SERVPRO of Winston Salem North is a locally owned and operated authority for residential fire damage cleanup and restoration. When fire damage threatens properties in the areas of Winston Salem and the surrounding region, we can help. Contact us now for a prompt response to your fire damage emergency at (336) 744-5104.

Emergency Fire Damage Tips

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

Do's and don'ts when dealing with fire damage  While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home or business, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one.

Did you know every 90 seconds a residential fire occurs somewhere in the U.S.? If a fire strikes your home or business, know that SERVPRO of Metairie is here to help

Until a SERVPRO professional arrives, here are some DO’s and DON’Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration:

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home and keep your hands clean. This helps prevent soot particles from being embedded into your carpet or upholstery.
  • Place old, dry colorfast towels or linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty the freezer and refrigerator completely and prop the doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim, and appliances. Protect the surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
  • Change your HVAC filter.

DON’T:

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces, or clean any carpet or upholstery, without first contacting a SERVPRO professional.
  • Consume any food, beverages, or medicines that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water. (They may be contaminated.)
  • Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

For other emergency tips for your home, please contact SERVPRO of Winston Salem North 

How soot travels through a home

9/8/2021 (Permalink)

electrical fire from an outlet While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home or business, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

If a fire has occurred in your home or business you likely will notice soot throughout the entire property, not just in the area where the fire occurred. So how does this happen? How can you get rid of the soot? Keep reading to find out more information about how soot travels during a fire and what you can do about it. 

What Is Soot?

Soot is a black powdery or flakey substance that is produced when organic matter burns incompletely. This means that when things burn, they don’t completely disappear, they leave behind particles known as soot. Because soot comes from the burning of many different materials, it can also contain things like acids, chemicals, metals, soils, and dust. These soot particles leave behind a mess and often a foul smell. 

How Soot Travels

When there is a fire in your home, soot can easily travel throughout your whole home. The ultra-light particles can float through the air and reach surfaces throughout your whole home. If the air conditioning or heat is running soot can even enter your HVAC system which will disperse soot throughout your whole home. When this happens air ducts should be cleaned to eliminate the HVAC system further dispersing soot throughout your home. 

Can Soot Damage My Home?

Because soot has acidic properties it can further damage your home and harm indoor air quality. Soot can continue to degrade the surfaces and air quality in your home if it is not cleaned immediately.

What If There Wasn’t A Fire?

If you notice soot in your home, but there was never a fire, you might be wondering where the soot came from. Even if there wasn’t a fire, things like fireplaces, furnaces, and excessive use of candles can cause soot building throughout your home. 

Is Soot Dangerous

Soot inhalation can be dangerous which is why you should only enter your home after it has been deemed safe by the Charlotte Fire Department and a fire restoration company. Improperly cleaning soot can lead to excessive inhalation of soot, and soot can be left behind, causing health effects in the future.

How To Clean Soot

Cleaning soot can be difficult to remove from many surfaces as it is a sticky substance and can stain fabrics. Additionally, cleaning soot improperly can mean breathing in soot particles. 

When cleaning soot, safety equipment is essential for reducing the danger of soot exposure. Specialized techniques such as air scrubbing may be necessary to reduce linger scents and restore air quality. 

Using household cleaners to clean soot isn’t enough. Soot particles will leave behind a smell and stain surfaces when professional tools and cleaners are not used. Fire restoration experts will be able to save your personal belongings that can’t be cleaned with household products. 

If your home has experienced a fire and is in need of restoration experts, be sure to call SERVPRO of Winston Salem North. Our expert technicians can make it "Like it never even happened."

Tips That Can Prevent Fire Damage In Your Home!

8/23/2021 (Permalink)

electrical fire from an outlet While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

Nobody wants to think about the risk of a fire in their home. However, it is something you should think about and things you can do to help prevent it. We are going to discuss the prevention tips today.

- Practice basic fire prevention around the house.

~ Avoid smoking and leaving smoking materials laying around.

~Keep heating equipment clean and in repair.

~ Never leave candles unattended.

- Make sure your smoke detectors work. (test them twice a year)

- Know what flammable materials are and store them away from all heating equipment.

- Teach your kids fire safety.

~ Make sure your family knows what to do in the event of fire & have an evacuation plan.

- Be Prepared!

~ Keep important documents, photos, and valuables in a fireproof safe.

- Take extra precautions during the holidays when you are decorating to avoid fire hazards.

Be prepared and practice fire prevention tips to stay safe! SERVPRO of Winston Salem North wants you to know what you can do to stay safe. But we are always here for you in the event of a disaster.

Smoke Detectors

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

A stove with ashes and soot all over it from being caught on fire.  While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

We have just started a new segment on our TikTok page called Tech Tuesday. We will go out to lunch every week and talk to a tech about simple things in a home that homeowners should know.

If you are a new homeowner or just moved out and are renting you may not know simple things that could be very helpful in your home. Our first topic this week was smoke detectors. You should be changing your smoke detector batteries twice a year. A good way to remember to change the batteries is to do it when the time changes. Hard wired smoke detectors also require batteries and you can write the date you changed the batteries on the smoke detector cover to help you remember. Smoke detectors should be replaced every ten years to make sure they are up to date. You should also be testing your smoke detectors about once a month to ensure that if something happens you are keeping yourself and your family safe. They have a test button on the alarm you can push to ensure they are working properly.

Even though SERVPRO of Winston Salem North is always here to help in the event something happens. We also want to educate our customers on what they should be doing in their homes to stay safe.

House Fires

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

A stove with ashes and soot all over it from being caught on fire.  While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one.

Our repair team has just finished a home that had a devastating amount of damage from a fire that started in the kitchen. The homeowner was there starting dinner and got distracted... it only took minutes until there were flames. I had gotten some before pictures where we could see the damage that the fire had caused. In the images, you could see the soot webs all over the ceilings and walls. This is where the soot particles bond together, clinging to walls and ceilings, creating webs resembling cobwebs. At first, our production team went to the home to do the demo and clean. Then our repair team was able to step in where they put in all new flooring, painted all the walls, and put in new appliances. After a big majority of the work was done it did not even look like the same home. We were so excited to begin allowing the homeowner to start moving back into her home that just had a complete makeover. She was ready and so were we! We were so appreciative of the homeowner for allowing us to do the work in her home like we are with all of our customers. We left her a boutique of flowers and a thank you card. We did that so she would understand how thankful we were and in hopes, if something else, unfortunately, happens she would know to call us or could refer us to someone she knows.

What you can do to get ready for Grilling Season!

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

Grill on the deck of a house that has caught fire next to the door. Nobody ever thinks this could happen to them. Be cautious and safe!

We hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Memorial Day!... But now it is time people are going to be bringing out their grills for the summer and we want you to be safe. 

First thing when you bring out your grill you want to give it a basic scrub and wipe down. You do not want to place your grill near your home and you never want to grill in a garage or on your patio. 

Be sure before firing your grill up, you check for any gas leaks, check all the connections and make sure it is all cleaned out. This link will give you some tips.  

https://www.thebbqdepot.com/blog/get-your-grill-ready-for-summer/

While grilling make sure you always have an eye out. Often time fires are started from children and pets knocking the grill over. 

Here at SERVPRO we never want anyone to go through any type of traumatic event but we know it happens. In the event something does happen we are HERE TO HELP and will do anything and everything we can to satisfy our customers.  

What Kind of Smoke Detector Do I need?

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

stove and microwave burnt and melted from fire While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

There are 3 types of smoke detector alarms on the market today. They are Ionization, Photoelectric and Combination.

An ionization smoke alarm contains a small amount of radioactive material. The radiation passes through an ionization chamber which is an air-filled space between two electrodes and permits a small, constant current between the electrodes. 

When smoke that enters the chamber absorbs the alpha particles, it reduces the ionization and interrupts the current, setting off the alarm. 

This type of alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires.

The Photoelectric smoke alarms operate using a light source.

A light beam collimating system and a photoelectric sensor. When smoke enters the optical chamber and crosses the path of the light beam, some light is scattered by the smoke particles, directing it at the sensor and thus activating the alarm. 

This type of alarm is generally more responsive to fires that begin with a long period of smoldering.

Combination smoke alarms feature both ionization and photoelectric technologies. Ionization smoke alarms respond faster to high energy fires, whereas photoelectric detectors respond better to low energy smoldering fires. The best overall protection is provided by using combination smoke alarms.

Outdoor Fire and Grill Tips

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

stove and microwave burnt and melted from fire While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

It’s GRILLING season. As everyone starts enjoying the weather, people use outdoor grills – and incidents of grill-caused fires go up. Outdoor grilling causes an annual average of 10,200 home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. That statistic goes up every single year! 

Gas grills cause more home fires than charcoal grills. Gas grills cause more fires mainly because  64% of households own a gas grill, 44% own a charcoal grill and 9% own an electric grill.

Fires can spring up from any type of grill, so we’ve got a helpful tip list for you.

Always Use your Grill Outside

Charcoal and gas grills are designed for outdoor use only.  Not only could a fire spring up in your home, avoid grilling in your garage, on your patio, or under anything that is flammable. 

Maintain your grill

Making sure everything is secure and undamaged when you take your grill out of storage. Check for rust on the structure and make sure all nuts and bolts are tight. Gas grills should be checked for leaks by using the “Soapy Water” technique. 

A really good deep cleaning of the grill to start off the season is advised, and after each use make sure to wipe down and remove any build up or grease. 

WATCH your grill

Never ever leave your grill unattended

Be ready to put out the fire

It’s always advisable to have a fire extinguisher nearby, and baking soda on hand for a grease fire. A bucket of sand will also do well to quell any fire.

Get all Fired up over Fire Damage Terminology

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

stove and microwave burnt and melted from fire While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

When a property experiences a fire, a homeowner or commercial property manager will begin to hear a lot of terms they aren't familiar with. Familiarizing yourself with this vocabulary will help facilitate your understanding of what is happening.

Rest assured that if you should ever need our help, our crew will walk you through the process of cleanup and restoration.

Fire Damage:  This is a general term that says a fire was the cause of loss.

Stabilizing the Structure:  This refers to the need to make a structure safe enough for our technicians to begin cleanup and remediation work.  The fire must be completely put out.  It may also include roof tarping, board-up, temporary fencing, and a security guard.

Roof Tarping:  A thick, weatherproof piece of plastic tarping will be attached to the roof to prevent precipitation from entering the building and causing secondary damage.  

Board-Up:  When pieces of board are placed over damaged windows and doors to prevent precipitation from entering the building and also to deter possible break-ins.

Temporary Fencing:  When a temporary fence is installed around the perimeter of the property or highly damaged areas to prevent possible break-ins and keep the general public away from sensitive areas.

Security Guard:  When a structure cannot be immediately stabilized (for example, it’s raining and it’s not safe to tarp the roof), a 24-hour security guard can be hired to protect the property.

Secondary Damage:  A damage that occurred which did not come from the original source.  For example, in a fire damage, the fire is the primary damage.  Secondary damage may come from the water used during firefighting efforts.

Pre-Loss Condition:  Means to put the property back together the way it was before the fire damage. This is the goal of the insurance company when a fire damage occurs.

Smoke Damage:  When smoke particles have embedded themselves in a material, like a wall, clothing, or piece of furniture.  Smoke damage cannot usually be seen, but it can be smelled.  Cleaning and deodorization should take place.

Soot Damage:  When soot has sullied a material.  Soot is produced by the incomplete burning during the fire.  It is acidic and causes damage to materials when it’s not properly or promptly cleaned.  Cleaning and deodorization should take place.

Demolition:  When a material has experienced permanent damage and cannot be cleaned, it is removed and thrown away.

Containment:  When thick plastic is set up in order to isolate the airspace of a room.  This is done so that deodorization techniques can be more effective or to prevent an unaffected area of a property from becoming contaminated.

Air Scrubber:  A machine that cleans the air.  

HEPA Filter: High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance filter can catch particles as small as 0.3 microns.  This is our filter of choice when using an air scrubber.

Deodorization:  When an item or property is rid of smells caused by the fire damage.

Structural Framing:  The structure of the property, like beams.  If the structure has been damaged, it must be replaced.

Contents:  Anything that is not part of the structure, like furniture.  When affected, contents can either be cleaned on-site or taken back to our cleaning facility.

Textiles:  If you turned the property upside down and everything fell out, the items that fell and did not break are textiles.  These include clothing, shoes, plush animals, etcetera.  When affected, textiles are taken back to our facility for cleaning.

Pack-out / Pack-Back:  When the structure isn’t safe, contents and textiles are moved out of the property and taken to our facilities for cleaning and storage.  They are returned when the property is clean, reconstructed, and safe for inhabitants.  Items may also be delivered to a second location if the owner would like them returned sooner.

Storage:  Items that have been packed-out are stored in our facilities until they can be returned.

HVAC & Duct Work:  Heating, Ventilation, and Air Condition system.  Ducts are the pathways for the cold or warm air to travel around the property.  Many times, the HVAC system needs to be cleaned after a fire damage because smoke has accumulated inside of it.

After A Fire Checklist

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

stove and microwave burnt and melted from fire While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

After a Fire

The following checklist serves as a quick reference and guide for you to follow after a fire strikes.

  • Contact your local disaster relief service, such as The Red Cross, if you need temporary housing, food and medicines.
  • If you are insured, contact your insurance company for detailed instructions on protecting the property, conducting inventory and contacting fire damage restoration companies.  If you are not insured, try contacting private organizations for aid and assistance.
  • Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Be watchful of any structural damage caused by the fire.
  • The fire department should see that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site.  DO NOT attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.
  • Conduct an inventory of damaged property and items.  Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made.
  • Try to locate valuable documents and records.  Refer to information on contacts and the replacement process inside this brochure.
  • Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to fire loss.  The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and for verifying losses claimed on income tax.
  • Notify your mortgage company of the fire.

During a Fire Checklist

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

electrical plug on fire While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

During a Fire

  • Crawl low under any smoke to your exit - heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling.
  • Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, or if there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
  • If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
  • If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call 9-1-1 or the fire department. Tell the emergency operator where the person is located.
  • If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters right away.
  • If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out.  Call 9-1-1 or your fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
  • If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll – stop immediately, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands.  Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out.  If you or someone else cannot stop, drop, and roll, smother the flames with a blanket or towel.  Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for 3 to 5 minutes.  Cover with a clean, dry cloth.  Get medical help right away by calling 9-1-1 or the fire department.

Fire Escape Planning for Older Adults and People with Access or Functional Needs

  • Live near an exit. You'll be safest on the ground floor if you live in an apartment building. If you live in a multi-story home, arrange to sleep on the ground floor, and near an exit.
  • If you use a walker or wheelchair, check all exits to be sure you get through the doorways.
  • Make any necessary accommodations, such as providing exit ramps and widening doorways, to facilitate an emergency escape.
  • Speak to your family members, building manager, or neighbors about your fire safety plan and practice it with them.
  • Contact your local fire department's non-emergency line and explain your special needs. Ask emergency providers to keep your special needs information on file.
  • Keep a phone near your bed and be ready to call 911 or your local emergency number if a fire occurs.

Before a Fire; House Fire 101

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

electrical plug on fire While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.

Learn About Fires

  • Fire is FAST! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames.
  • Fire is HOT! Heat is more threatening than flames. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs and melt clothes to your skin.
  • Fire is DARK! Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness.
  • Fire is DEADLY! Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio.

Before a Fire

Create and Practice a Fire Escape Plan

In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly.

Twice each year, practice your home fire escape plan.  Some tips to consider when preparing this plan include:

  • Find two ways to get out of each room in the event the primary way is blocked by fire or smoke.
  • A secondary route might be a window onto a neighboring roof or a collapsible ladder for escape from upper story windows.
  • Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be properly opened.
  • Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
  • Teach children not to hide from firefighters.

Smoke Alarms

A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire.

  • Install both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms, OR dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.
  • Test batteries monthly.
  • Replace batteries in battery-powered and hard-wired smoke alarms at least once a year (except non-replaceable 10-year lithium batteries).
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Replace the entire smoke alarm unit every 8-10 years or according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking – it can be a deadly mistake.

Smoke Alarm Safety for People with Access or Functional Needs

  • Audible alarms for visually impaired people should pause with a small window of silence between each successive cycle so that they can listen to instructions or voices of others.
  • Smoke alarms with a vibrating pad or flashing light are available for the hearing impaired. Contact your local fire department for information about obtaining a flashing or vibrating smoke alarm.
  • Smoke alarms with a strobe light outside the home to catch the attention of neighbors, and emergency call systems for summoning help, are also available.

More Fire Safety Tips

  • Make digital copies of valuable documents and records like birth certificates.
  • Sleep with your door closed.
  • Contact your local fire department for information on training on the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers.
  • Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your residence.

Fast Home Fire Facts

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

electrical plug on fire While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

Prevent Home Fires

Home fires are preventable! The following are simple steps that each of us can take to prevent a tragedy.

Cooking

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.
  • Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

Smoking

  • Smoke outside and completely stub out butts in an ashtray or a can filled with sand.
  • Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used, even if it is turned off. Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and faster.
  • Be alert - don’t smoke in bed! If you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy, put your cigarette out first.

Electrical and Appliance Safety

  • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

Portable Space Heaters

  • Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from portable heating devices.
  • Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Check to make the portable heater has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over.
  • Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene in kerosene heaters. Never overfill it. Use the heater in a well-ventilated room.

Fireplaces and Woodstoves

  • Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions.
  • Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.

Children

  • Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
  • Store matches and lighters out of children's reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time.

More Prevention Tips

  • Never use a stove range or oven to heat your home.
  • Keep combustible and flammable liquids away from heat sources.
  • Portable generators should NEVER be used indoors and should only be refueled outdoors or in well ventilated areas.

What can I keep after a house fire?

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

electrical plug on fire While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

In 2017, The Fire Department of Winston-Salem responded to over 700 house fires. Statistically that's 2 or more fires a day.  Our Brave Men and Women at the WSFD, are tasked with a grueling and unforgiving job.  Time and again, they are called upon day after day to run head first into burning buildings and cars to save those inside.

Next Monday, October 28th 2019 is National First Responders day, and I hope everyone finds a time to thank our local Winston-Salem First Responders.

Did you know, that after a fire, most items in your home are potentially dangerous? There are 4 things that you need to throw away immediately after a fire.

  1. Perishable Food items 
    • These items were exposed to extreme temperatures and will spoil quickly. Power is generally cut and those food items in your fridge will have reached unsafe temps for too long.
  2. Non Perishable Food Items
    • Everything in cupboards and on counters were exposed to fire, soot, and possible fire extinguishing chemicals and are now unsafe to eat. 
  3. Cosmetics and Medicines
    • After being exposed to high heat, most cosmetics and medicines have melted. Even more importantly, medicines exposed to high heat might have changed chemically and are no longer safe to ingest, or have become obsolete. 
  4. Clothing, Bedding, and soft textiles
    • If it was burned or singed in any way, properly dispose of them.
    • Find a professional cleaning service, and they might be able to salvage and clean some items.

Time to get your Fireplace ready!

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

stove and microwave burnt and melted from fire While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

It’s finally Autumn! My very favorite time in the whole year.  It means the weather is at its peak perfect temperature. I’ve never been a Winter snow bunny, and although I did lifeguard all summer, I’m not a huge fan of cooking outside.  Fall is just the very best! The mornings are cool and crisp, perfect for warm coffee and breakfast. The days are warm enough to enjoy being outside and not overly humid or stuffy. The evenings cool down and are just perfect to enjoy a nice bonfire or maybe a fire in the fireplace. 

Fireplaces can be both wonderful and amazing, but they can get dangerous if not properly maintained.  

How to get your chimney ready for Fall

Quickly and Safely Fire suppression 101

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

electrical plug on fire While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

Did you know there were 4 Different types of fires?

  • Class A
    • Solid Materials
      • wood
      • paper
      • plastic
      • clothing

These are the easiest to put out, and the best way to put them out is using water, ex. a water hose or a bucket full of water. A foam fire extinguisher  would also be a great option on Class A fires. 

  • Class B
    • Flammable Liquids
      • oil
      • alcohol
      • gasoline
      • grease (cooking grease)

NEVER EVER use WATER on a Class B fire. This will cause the flaming material to scatter rather than extinguish it. The best course of action is using a powder like baking soda, or a carbon dioxide extinguisher. A foam fire extinguisher would also work.

  • Class C
    • Electrical

      • old wiring
      • fault equipment
      • bad/damaged wiring

First, shut off power to the electrical fire. That could be as easy as shutting off a breaker, or unplugging the appliance. Then use a carbon dioxide or dry powder to extinguish the flames if they remain or if any appeared. 

  • Class D (uncommon)
    • metal ignition
      • mainly in laboratories or industrial type buildings

The best course of action is to use a fire extinguisher if the fire is small enough, otherwise call 911 and evacuate the area. 

There are Different Types of Soot

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

2 people cleaning fire soot off of a ceiling While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one

This past week, I got some more field experience in fire and soot damage. I had no idea there were different kinds of soot, and different ways of optimal removal.  Each job is unique and offers its own challenges, but we can broadly classify soot in a few categories. 

  • Wet/Oil Soot
    When Plastics, rubber or oil is burned, leaving behind a sticky and smeary residue. It has a distinct electrical burnt smell. Also the most dangerous to inhale and clean up, as it is full of toxins from the plastic, rubber or oil that burned. 
  • Dry Soot
    Usually from natural materials, ex. Untreated wood, Plant material, Paper, Lint, cotton/textile clothing. Most of these burn very fast and very hot, quickly escalating across the area, and consuming everything in its path.
  • Fuel Oil Soot
    Commonly found in oil furnaces, Caused by improperly maintained systems, or damaged parts. This will cause an internal combustion, damaging the machine and possibly spreading to the area around it.
  • Protein Soot
    Typically food or kitchen type fires, with long lasting smells, ex. burnt popcorn. This type of soot is very light, but will build up over time, and leave a slightly stick surface on walls and ceilings. Will eventually discolor everything. This requires a great deal of time and effort to clean up, with a long deodorization method used.