Recent Fire Damage Posts
Smoking in the home
Emergency Response Service 24/7
According to the National Fire Protection Association, smoking materials that include cigarettes, pipes, and cigars started an estimated 17,200 home structure fires. This was reported from U.S. fire departments. Amongst these 17,200 estimated fires, these fires cause 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in direct property damage. It was also reported that smoking materials caused 5% of reported home fires, 21% of home fire deaths, 10% of home fire injuries, and 6% of the direct property damage. According to the NFPA, most deaths in home smoking-material fires were caused by fires that started in bedrooms or in living rooms, family rooms or dens. It is also a face that the risk of dying in a home structure fire caused by smoking materials rises with age.
With that being said, it is encouraged to use smoking materials outside of the home. Designate a "smoking area" such as the garage or outside. This will help eliminate the risk of a fire starting in the actual home.
Lending a helping hand
Residential Fire Damage
We have a really great relationship with our local fire departments, and follow their social media pages. After scrolling through our daily feed, we came across the Addison Fire Department's post about a local fire. What stood out about this post was that our local fire department and other FDs went to help with this major residential fire that took place. The AFPD responded to a house fire, and the smoke detectors did their job by alerting the family of the fire. They were all able to escape safely. They were very thankful for the help from the Wood Dale FPD, Elmhurst FD, and Itasca FPD for coming out to help. The family had told the firefighters that there were two guinea pigs in the home, and they where able to find and save them. They guinea pigs received O2 therapy and vigorous rubbing, and both were successfully resuscitated. The fire started in the basement, and the heat and smoke rose up throughout the house. They enforced to make sure your smoke detectors are working, and the batteries are changed! They also stated to make sure you keep your bedroom doors closed when sleeping, and try not to risk your life to save a pet. That is what the firefighters are for, and they will do their best to rescue them.
The main take away from this message was to always make sure to test your smoke detectors at least once a month, and the batteries should be replaced at least once or twice a year. Also, a huge shoutout to our local fire department for helping out a different fire department in order to get everyone out safely, along with the pets.
Life with a smoke detector – noisy peace.
Follow the program
Almost 3,000 people every year die for a structure fire in the United States of America, that is 8 on average each day. That is like removing a ball team each day, everyday of the year. Not good, but with a few tips, maintenance and smoke detectors installed the number can be cut in half.
Smoke alarms should be tested once a month by pressing the TEST button. Smoke alarm batteries should be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps” or “beeps” to indicate low batteries, they should be replaced immediately. Occasionally dust or lightly vacuum the exterior of the alarm to remove dust and cobwebs. Smoke alarms should be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, at least every ten years. Never paint over a smoke alarm.
After fire cleanup
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 630-758-1701
Safety tips for the upcoming holidays
Per the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage. The National Fire Protection Association also states that on average, one of every 22 home fires started by Christmas trees result in death.
The website www.redcross.org/homefires, has several good home safety tips for the holidays to keep your home safe. We at SERVPRO LaGrange Park/North Riverside wanted to share some of those tips with you to ensure a safe holiday season.
- Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles.
- Purchase flame retardant metallic or artificial trees. If you purchase a real tree, make sure that it has fresh, green needles that aren’t easily broken. Keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water.
- Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.
- Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room orgoing to bed.
- Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees.
- Keep anything that can catch on fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove top.
- Designate one person to walk around your home to make sure that all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave.
The following video also shares other great ideas to keep in mind this holiday season.
Holiday Fire Safety
Have a safe and wonderful holiday season from your friends at SERVPRO Elmhurst.
How can lint cause a dryer fire?
Make sure to check your lint vent!
Very few people realize the danger of clothes dryer fires. However, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are an estimated annual 15,500 fires, 10 deaths and 10 injuries due to clothes dryer fires. Several hundred people a year are also subjected to carbon monoxide poisoning from improper dryer vent setups. The financial costs come to nearly $100,000,000 per year. In some cases faulty appliances are to blame, but many fires can be prevented with proper dryer venting.
Lint accumulation and reduced airflow feed on each other to provide conditions ripe for a fire. Lint is a highly combustible material, which, interestingly enough, is one of the ingredients in a recipe for home-made fire starters. A number of dryer vent problems contribute to this. Most clothes dryers were in the basement. However, nowadays many newer homes tend to have dryers located away from an outside wall in bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and hall closets. These new locations mean dryers tend to be vented longer distances and vents are generally installed with sharp turns and bends to accommodate the structure of the home. As a result, dryer vents are harder to reach, and also create more places for lint to gather. The ideal solution is to have short, straight, dryer duct venting. However, a dryer vent booster, while not the ideal approach, can improve your dryer venting in cases where your venting is longer and/or has more bends than it should. In addition to creating a fire hazard, if the venting is too long and/or has to many bends, it will cause your dryer to take much longer than necessary to dry loads.
4 Important Steps for Fire Restoration
Board up services in a Berkeley, IL home
4 Important Steps for Fire Restoration
Home fires start for a number of reasons: an open flame that gets knocked over, an electrical malfunction, a forgotten stove burner or an escaped cinder from a fireplace. If you experience a home fire in Berkeley, IL, at some point the fire restoration process will begin. When you work with a professional fire remediation team you get a number of benefits such as a faster recovery process and reduced expenses. Here are some important things to keep foremost in mind.
1. Choose a Local Company. A fast response is important, and a local company can be on the scene in a matter of hours. Faster to Any Size Disaster means such things as smoke damage will be addressed quickly. An inspection and damage assessment will let you know the extent of the damage to your home.
2. Determine if Board-up and Tarp Services Are Needed. If the fire is a major one, your home will need to be secured from vandals and inclement weather. Cracked windows, broken doors and an open roof will need to covered up to prevent additional losses to property.
3. Remove Smoke and Soot Damage. Professional fire restoration technicians have the training and equipment to eradicate smoke odors and soot buildup in your home. Fire and water damage specialists will restore what items they can and replace what is necessary.
4. Continue With Cleaning and Repair. A thorough cleaning with the most effective cleaning agents continues the process. Certified damage cleaning techniques ensure your home is restored to its original condition. This will be done with as little disruption to your daily activities as possible.
The fire restoration process is designed to make your home livable again as quickly as possible. The goal is to make your home look "Like it Never Even Happened." A home fire is a challenging event to bounce back from, but it is achievable with help from experienced professionals.
Understanding Fire Restoration
Fire restoration in a Berkeley, IL home
Understanding Fire Restoration
After a fire in your home, you have likely become familiar with the number of fire restoration companies and services in your area. However, you might be wondering what they do. The process of restoring your home is an involved one that likely requires five steps.
- Water removal
- Debris removal
- Smoke and soot cleaning
- Cleaning and sanitizing
- Restoration and rebuilding
Before any remediation or restoration service can begin damage cleaning, they must remove the excess buildup of water. While it might sound unusual when discussing fire damage, you must consider the efforts of emergency services in putting out the blaze. Fire hoses and suppression systems can leave an abundance of water, which can result in significant water damage if not dealt with immediately.
After removing the water, a remediation team will begin the process of discarding the more significant elements of debris, such as furniture. You can accompany these teams into the property to sort through your belongings, as well.
Smoke and Soot Cleaning
Smoke damage is a challenging thing to alleviate. It is resilient and spreads through porous items and ventilation systems. Therefore, a restoration company will spend a significant amount of time cleaning any residue and odor from your home.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
A large portion of fire restoration services involves cleaning and sanitizing the property, even after the smoke and soot residue are gone. Therefore, before any rebuilding takes place, a company will spend a great deal of time with commercial cleaners and specialized HEPA-filtered vacuums.
Restoration and Rebuilding
Once the cleaning is completed by a fire restoration and remediation company in Berkeley, IL, they will begin the restoration and rebuilding phase. This is when the damaged property begins to look like your home again.
Fire restoration is a challenging and possibly a lengthy process, depending on the damage. However, when it is all said and done, you will have a home to return.
Choosing the Appropriate Fire Extinguisher
You need the very best help on the line as well.
Choosing the Appropriate Fire Extinguisher
- Class A: This is the most common extinguisher and can be used to put out fires in ordinary combustibles such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and many plastics.
- Class B: Used on fires involving flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline, and oil.
- Class C: Designed for fires involving appliances, tools, or other equipment electronically energized or plugged in.
- Class D: For use on flammable metals; often specific for the type of metal in question. These are typically found in factories.
- Class K: Intended for use on fires that involve vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances. Generally found in commercial kitchens.
When fire or water damage puts the things that matter most on the line, you need the very best help on the line as well. That’s why knowing the easiest ways to contact SERVPRO is so important.
Just go to https://www.SERVPROelmhurst.com/to get the team that’s faster to any size disaster. We’re a leader in giving control back to homeowners, property managers, and even entire communities after the ravaging effects of water or fire. So, whether you’re responsible for 1,000 square feet or 100,000 –be ready for the worst with the very best: Your trusted, SERVPRO of Elmhurst team.
Basic Information About Renters Insurance and Fires
Renters insurance covers a variety of expenses after a fire so be sure to check your policy
Basic Information About Renters Insurance and Fires
If you’ve ever experienced the devastating effects of a home fire, you’re likely aware of what your insurance covers. If you’ve never had to deal with fire damage, you’re probably not sure what’s included. Here is some basic information about the three types of coverage and how they relate to your renters insurance after a fire.
Under personal property coverage, fire is considered a covered peril. A peril is any type of unexpected event that results in your personal belongings being damaged or ruined. One thing you can do if you experience a home fire is call a fire restoration specialist to assist in fire damage cleanup. These professionals are Faster to any size disaster and can help clean and remove the prevalent smoke smell from your home. Once you’ve had your home cleaned, you’ll be able to determine what items need to be replaced under your personal property coverage.
Liability is another type of coverage under your renters insurance. This coverage applies when a fire causes injuries or damage to someone and their belongings due to the fire in your home. As with all types of coverage, limits apply so be sure to understand the specifics of your policy.
Additional Living Expenses
If you’re not able to live in your Elmhurst, IL, apartment or home due to fire damage, your insurance should cover additional living expenses. Fire restoration is essential after a fire and it may take some time until you’re able to return back home. This coverage could cover hotel and food expenditures above what you would normally spend.
Renters insurance covers a variety of expenses after a fire so be sure to check your policy. Personal property, liability and additional living expenses are three types of coverage you should include in your policy. Fire restoration is an important part of getting your home back to normal so contact a professional for assistance.
EVERY SECOND COUNTS
Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at nighttime.
Every second counts during a fire. Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families and businesses have developed and practiced a fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home or office understands the plan. The best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing it. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan.
Draw a map of each level of your home or business and show all the doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.
Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting area on your escape plan.
Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home or office, with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals. Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at nighttime.
PLAN and PRACTICE your ESCAPE!
October is Fire Prevention Month and an excellent time to examine the emergency preparedness plans for your home and business.
October is Fire Prevention Month and an excellent time to examine the emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan. Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year? Are you prepared if a disaster strikes?
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets aside a designated week each October to focus on fire prevention. The 2019 theme is "Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!"
According to the NFPA, once the fire alarm goes off, "you could have less than one to two minutes to escape safely," yet only 8 percent of people surveyed said getting out was their first thought after hearing a fire alarm. Creating, implementing, and practicing a fire escape plan for your home or business may be the difference between safety and tragedy. Make a plan today! Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone in your home or business enough time to get out.
How do you define a hero? Is it a person who is courageous and performs good deeds? Someone who comes to the aid of others, even at their own personal risk? A hero can be all of those things! A hero can also be someone who takes small but important actions to keep themselves and those around them safe from fire. When it comes to fire safety, be a hero in your household or community.
In this issue of the September Restoration Newsline, we will cover several fire safety topics, as well as information on creating your fire escape plan.
SERVPRO of Elmhurst wants you to stay safe, informed, and prepared to help ensure you are ready for any disaster that comes your way.
Lightning-Caused House Fires are Seriously Dangerous
One strike in Besenville, IL can easily cause a lightning fire
Lightning is an incredibly common event. Every second, there are around 45 flashes of lightning globally, and the power of just one strike in Bensenville, IL, can easily cause a lightning fire. The U.S. averages about 51 deaths and nearly 23,000 fires caused by lightning strikes per year. While only about 18% of fires caused by strikes occurred in homes, they caused the majority of deaths, injuries and overall losses.
Lightning Fire in Houses
Studies show that while less than 1/5th of lightning fires occurred in homes, they accounted for
- 88% of civilian deaths associated with lightning caused fires,
- 77% of the associated injuries, and
- 70% of the direct property damage
Lightning-caused house fires are responsible for around nine deaths, 53 injuries and over $450 million in property damage each year on average. The ubiquity and power of this natural force is often overlooked – until something dreadful happens.
Another problem caused is damage to electronics. Some power companies offer a lightning-protection device that they install in your service box. While not perfect, this has been shown to mitigate a great deal of damage to devices and in some cases may be guaranteed to cover losses.
What to Do If Your Home Is Struck by Lightning
Lightning can be insidious – if you know your home has been struck, call the fire department. As electricity, it always takes the path of least resistance, meaning the damage can be hidden. Attic fires have been known to develop and smolder for quite some time before showing symptoms of fire damage. Its path can branch out and go totally unexpected routes, so it’s best to be safe. The fire department can come out and inspect your home for hidden dangers.
Dealing With the Aftermath of a Lightning Fire
With luck and a proactive approach, you can keep the damage very limited. However, once a fire has caused significant smoke damage, you should contact your insurance agency in Bensenville, IL, to file a claim. The residue from a fire is often toxic and difficult to locate and remove so insurance will normally pay for a professional fire damage cleanup.
Your Home Needs THIS Many Fire Alarms and Other Facts That May Surprise You
If you're like the average American, your home has one fire alarm, two tops, and that's not enough. According to one survey, Americans need to equip their homes with another 100 million smoke alarms to be fully protected.
It's not enough to have working alarms, though. You also need to know how to react when an alarm goes off. Test your fire safety knowledge by attempting to answer the questions below.
Q: How Many Fire Alarms Should the Average Home Have?
A: The National Fire Protection Association recommends placing one alarm in every bedroom, one outside each sleeping area and one on every level of the home. So, if your home has three bedrooms and two stories, you need a minimum of five fire alarms.
Q: What Type of Fire Alarm Should You Install in Your Home?
A: An ionization alarm sounds when a fast-moving fire occurs while a photoelectric alarm detects smoke damage and smoldering fires. Because you cannot anticipate what type of fire will move through your home, you need both types of detectors.
Q: How Often Should You Replace Your Fire Detector?
A: Everyone knows to replace their batteries after one year or when they start chirping, but how often should you replace the fire detector itself? Do you need to do it annually, every five to seven years or every eight to 10 years? The answer is every eight to 10 years.
Q: How Many Minutes Do You Have to Escape a House Fire?
A: Had you asked a fire damage professional 10 or 20 years ago, he or she might have said you have between 20 and 30 minutes to get out. The reality is you have between three and four minutes to get out of a house that's on fire. This short timeframe is why it is so important to have smoke detectors throughout your home.
This information is not meant to alarm you but simply to inform you. If you only have one fire alarm, go out and buy four more. For more safety tips, talk to your Elmhurst, IL fire department.
3 Tips To Eliminate Cigarette Smoke Odor
Cigarette odors can be very persistent. It is possible to eliminate the smell that lingers after smoking indoors through home deodorization treatments. Here are three tips that can be helpful for getting rid of the residual smell of cigarette smoke at a home in Elmhurst, IL.
1. Clean Exposed Surfaces
Nicotine, tar, and other chemicals in cigarettes can cause a residue to form on surfaces such as ceilings, walls, and window blinds. These surfaces can be treated with either dry or wet cleaning methods.
A chemical sponge is an effective way to clean residues. This treatment does not contain chemicals and is made of absorbent rubber. Wet cleaning with a degreasing cleaner such as Trisodium Phosphate or the phosphate-free TSP-PF formula can break up residue and eliminate odors. These treatments are ideal before allowing painted surfaces to dry, applying a stain-blocking primer, and repainting.
2. Filter the Air
Air filtration can reduce the number of smoke particles in the air. Homeowners may use a free-standing HEPA air filter or attach an air scrubber to an HVAC system. Filtration may not completely eliminate smoke odors. A home deodorization treatment can reach smoke particles on surfaces or areas that are difficult to clean and neutralize smells.
There are several treatments that a homeowner can pursue depending on the severity of smoke odors. Ozone machines and thermal foggers are both very fast and effective, but require evacuation during treatment. Hydroxyl generators and vapor modification may take longer, but these treatments can proceed while occupants remain at home.
These three tips can help a homeowner get rid of the odor of cigarette smoke at a residence in Elmhurst, IL. While it may be possible to start the cleanup process on your own, a smoke damage remediation service can provide home deodorization treatments to ensure that every trace of the smell is gone.
3 Things You Should Know About Emergency Board Up Services
After a fire, your Elmhurst, IL home may have quite a bit of damage. Depending on the severity of the fire, it can affect the structure of your home. If this is the case, it might be necessary to board up your home. Here are a few things that might help you to better understand the process.
1. What Is Emergency Board Up?
This service is fairly self-explanatory. If there has been a lot of damage to your home, there can be missing walls or roofing that leave the inside of your home exposed. These services will cover these areas to reduce exposure.
2. Why Should You Do This?
There are several reasons that it is a good idea to board up your home after a fire. Perhaps the most important is that leaving the interior of your home exposed can result in further damage. If there is a storm, your home is vulnerable to wind or rain damage. It can also keep people and animals out as well. In some cases, your insurance company will require this kind of mitigation and failing to do so can prevent the damage from being covered by your policy.
3. How Is It Done?
If you need to board up your home, you should consider hiring an emergency restoration service to do it for you. They will have the tools and experience to make sure everything is done correctly and with quality materials. They will likely use a light material such as plywood for highly damaged areas as well as broken doors and windows. Tarps can be used to cover the roof.
Fire damage can be extensive and require a lot of rebuilding and restoration, so using an emergency board up service can be helpful. It can prevent further damage which will make the process of repairing your home go more quickly. Using a professional company will ensure that the job is done well.
Fire Damage Restoraton Information
Fire in bedroom
There is nothing more devastating than a fire in home or fire in business. Seeing one's personal belongings or business products go up in smoke is a stunning experience that makes one wonder what to do next. Often the first indication of a fire is the smoke smell.
The day following a fire is the time to start planning on fire damage restoration. Fortunately, there are commercial fire damage companies who specialize in the fire cleanup process. In a severe fire, one is talking about fire cleanup starting from scratch. However, in many cases the fire is confined to a limited area.
The first step is to contact a commercial fire damage company that specializes in fire cleanup. This company will have the equipment and expertise to clean up smoke damage, soot damage, a smoke smell and all the other problems that have been caused by the fire.
1. Upon being contacted, the professionals will immediately arrive on the scene to make an inspection and determine the amount of the damage. Whether it is a fire in home or a fire in business, they will carefully survey the area and provide a written estimate of the cost of the repairs. This is especially important with commercial fire damage where there are often large amounts of salable goods involved.
2. If the fire damage has caused a breech in the walls, roof or windows, the professionals will immediately use boards and tarps to cover these areas to prevent further damage. This protects the property from vandals or weather damage.
3. Unfortunately, fire hoses must spray water to put out a fire. This is part of the fire damage that is left behind. Removing this water quickly will avoid things like warped boards or the formation of mold. Professionals are equipped with large dehumidifiers, blowers and air movers to clear the area of excess water and dry the area.
4. Today's professionals in the business have the equipment and materials to return many of the items suffering from soot damage or smoke damage to their pre-fire condition. They sanitize and clean all items that are salvageable.
5. Smoke damage and soot damage are fire damage restoration problems that require special consideration. Using special equipment, as much smoke and soot as possible will be removed. In many cases it will be necessary to repaint or refinish some surfaces that are smoke stains. This, as well as replacing drywall, making minor or major reconstruction, painting and so forth, can be done by the specialists by contract.
Commercial fire damage can be costly. Not only in the actual damage to a building and goods, but in the lack of business caused by the shutdown. This makes it imperative to obtain the services of a specialist in the area of fire damage restoration. An experienced company will be able to quickly access the damage and present a plan to cover all aspects of cleaning up the fire in business circumstances.
When a fire in home is involved, have a professional immediately address problems such as soot damage, smoke damage, smoke smell and general all over fire cleanup. They will carefully explain the cost, the methods used and the end result. As a rule, an insurance company must be contacted before work can begin.
Professionals in the area of fire damage restoration are especially trained in the ins and outs of fire damage that occurs when there is a fire in home or a fire in business. In addition to training, they have the equipment and materials to address things such as smoke damage, soot damage, smoke smell and other things caused by fire damage. This makes it possible for them to start work immediately after a fire and have the home or business back in tip-top shape quickly and efficiently. Visit http://www.SERVPROElmhurst.com for more information on fire damage.