Recent Fire Damage Posts
Five Ways to Avoid Kitchen Hazards
Many people in Clarksville, Tennessee, love to cook. But even seasoned chefs sometimes make costly mistakes. Here are five helpful ways to avoid kitchen hazards, such as a drain clog or grease fire.
1. Keep Your Vents Clean
It's essential to keep the vent screens above your stove clean. Otherwise, grease can build up on the screen and inhibit ventilation, becoming a contributing factor in a kitchen fire. The grease buildup could even make a fire worse.
2. Don't Leave Pans Unattended
Most cooks know never to lean a pan unattended on the stove. The pan could be knocked over, grease can splatter, or the food can be allowed to cook too long. Each of these things can be a fire hazard.
3. Don't Put Grease Down the Drain
When you're done cooking, it may be tempting to pour the hot grease down the drain. Build-up grease in the drain can lead to a drain clog and sink overflow. Instead, pour the grease into a container, allow it to cool, and then place it in the trash.
4. Wipe Out Greasy Pans Before Washing
You should wipe out any remaining grease and food particles before washing your pans. This can help prevent buildup that may lead to a sink clog.
5. Call a Professional to Service Appliances
If you're having problems with your stove or drain, it may be time to call a professional. They will know how to fix the problem without causing a potential electrical fire. These can come from attempting to fix a broken stove or clogged dish disposal without the correct tools. If fire or flooding does occur, then a fire and water damage restoration service may help.
Following these tips can help you prevent problems like a drain clog or grease fire. Never leave your stove unattended when it's on, don't put grease down the drain, and call a professional if your kitchen appliances need maintenance. If a fire or flooding does happen in your kitchen, then a restoration professional may be able to help.
Do You Have a Back-to-School Family Emergency Plan?
No one ever likes to think that an emergency could happen to them, but the reality is that disasters can strike anytime, anywhere, including while your child is at school.
Even if you never end up needing your family emergency plan, it's best to be prepared just in case. Having a solid plan in place will give you everyday peace of mind and, in the event of an emergency, could save lives.
Make a list of 1-3 trusted emergency contacts who can pick up your child from school in the event that you are unable. Be sure to notify these people and get their permission. Review the list with your child to ensure they're comfortable with these people, know how to contact them by phone, and know what their vehicle looks like. Including an emergency card in your child’s backpack could prove useful for ensuring your child has the correct, pertinent information.
Communicate with the School
Ensure your child's school is kept up to date about who is allowed to pick them up. They'll need correct contact information and sometimes require a form of identification for their records. Many schools have materials they distribute to indicate designated pick up areas and other important information.
Drop Off Location
It’s scary, but it could happen. If none of the emergency contacts can be reached by phone or they're unable to pick your child up in a timely manner, alternative transportation may have to be arranged. Be sure to have a designated alternative drop-off spot. This could be a friend or relative's house, or another trusted location. Be sure your child knows the location, their current address, and phone number so that they can accurately tell authorities how to get there safely.
Reevaluate Each Year
As your child ages, changes schools, or your family moves, it's smart to update your plan.
Although we hope your family never experiences an unexpected disaster, if you do, SERVPRO is available 24/7/365 for emergency service. Learn more here.
Third Party Certified: Upholding IICRC Standards and Maintaining Excellence is the SERVPRO Way
Upholding Standards And Maintaining Excellence
When homes in Tennessee, need remediation, you want to ensure that the company handling the problem adheres to the highest industry standards. The restoration industry standards are set by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). The IICRC is a third-party certification organization that approves instructors and schools to teach the skills needed to meet its values of expertise, integrity, and excellence.
Training programs such as the ones offered by SERVPRO of Montgomery County are IICRC-certified. Classes are offered in any of the following categories:
- Applied Structural Drying Certification
- Carpet Cleaning Certification
- Fire Restoration Certification
- Upholstery Cleaning Certification
- Water Restoration Certification
Receiving a mitigation certificate after completing these courses means that the individual can do the job right. When clients hire someone to fix a problem in their homes, they want to verify that the technicians know what they are doing and that they are certified mitigation experts.
It is not enough that technicians know how to do their job well—they also need to be honest and trustworthy. When the IICRC certifies a company or individual, you know you have found someone you can trust. They adhere to a strict standard of ethics and can be expected to be upfront about their clients' homes' assessment and treatment. The IICRC’s stamp of approval is a big deal, as they, “Stand at the forefront of the Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Industry,” regarding training professionals.
When a certified school or instructor trains specialists, they learn how to exhibit high standards of service. Continuing education courses improve knowledge, turning technicians into industry leaders. These classes also serve to educate insurance and real estate professionals regarding various mitigation processes. Shared knowledge strengthens these partnerships so that together, they can offer more excellent service to the customers they share.
A third-party certification organization sets industry standards that all mitigation professionals must meet. The values of the IICRC are reflected in each training program and instructor it approves. To ensure quality, professional service, recommend certified mitigation professionals to your clients. If you have residential or commercial Smoke, Fire, Water, damage, contact SERVPRO of Montgomery County, an IICRC company, for a free restoration estimate.
Is Your Business Prepared for a Fire?
Fire Preparedness Means More Than Simply Owning a Fire Extinguisher
A fire is every business owner’s nightmare. Your insurance policy will ensure you can rebuild in the event of a fire. But what about protecting your most important assets: your life and the lives of your employees? To avoid the unspeakable tragedy of losing employees in a fire, it’s necessary to build a fire escape plan.
Tips for Your Business’ Emergency Fire Plan
- Ensure your business has the proper number of smoke alarms. In newer homes, the National Fire Alarm Code (NFPA 72) requires hard-wired, interconnected smoke alarms with battery backup on every building level, outside each work area, and inside each office. If your building is older and smoke alarms are not already in place, install them on every level and outside each work area at a minimum. Test your alarms once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
- Teach employees what smoke alarms look and sound like. If your smoke alarm has a test feature, set aside time for a training in which you or a professional teach your employees the fire escape plan and include a smoke alarm test. If it does not have a test feature, there are videos online which provide demonstrations of what smoke alarms sound and look like. Teaching employees to recognize an alarm and know the plan of action ahead of time will give employees more confidence to remain calm during the emergency.
- Ensure everyone in the building knows two ways to escape from every room. It may not be an ideal route, but knowing a second exit from a room is advisable. It is also essential to establish a meeting spot outside the building to ensure everyone's arrival to safety. Depending on the size of the building, this may require a customized escape diagram.
- Establish an emergency communications plan. As part of your building’s fire escape plan, make sure everyone knows who and how to contact in the event of an emergency.
- Practice escaping from your building at least twice a year. This may seem excessive, but fire drills can save lives in the event of a real fire. Employees come and go, so frequently performing this drill makes sure all employees know what to do.
Call SERVPRO of Montgomery County if your business suffers commercial fire damage at (931) 645-1285.
Yes, Your Open-Concept House Design is More Flammable
SERVPRO Eliminates Soot and Smoke Residues After a House Fire
Your home was not intended to stop fires before they spread to other areas of the house. Most of the materials used for constructing your home are flammable and actually fuel the spread throughout the structure. Further, the “open-concept” design that has become popularized thanks to HGTV personalities is a fire-spreading hazard. Flames and smoke can quickly move throughout the home because there is less fuel to burn, i.e. less walls, doors, etc. Building designs that have individual rooms with doors are more likely to have a slower spread since the fire can be temporarily isolated by the closing of doors. In any case, if your property catches on fire, it can incur extensive damage—and fast!
Working to clean up the mess after the incident is over is no easy task. Most often, the substantial effects that stand out are smoke and soot damages. These are common versions of fire damage in homes, and they can often prove to be challenging to remove without the right equipment.
Fortunately, our SERVPRO fire restoration professionals have the tools and expertise to help you through often widespread soot damages throughout your household. While the most concentrated of this effect can be found around the fire's originating point, where it burned the longest, this is not always the case. This matted debris and film from the combustion leave a dark, often black residue on surfaces, furniture, flooring, and other materials.
Removing this residue requires multiple approaches.
Soot is most concentrated where it burned longest, but matted debris and film from the combustion leave a dark or black residue on surfaces, furniture, flooring, and other materials, too. Removing this residue requires multiple approaches. For wall surfaces, scrubbing with wet and dry sponges can often remove the bulk of the film. Confined spaces like ductwork require high powered vacuums.
Smoke damage often presents itself in the form of a harsh odor lingering in fabrics, carpeting, and open spaces throughout affected areas of your house. Removal of this odor typically requires thermal fogging, a process that releases an unscented chemical compound into the environment and contents of the room to break apart odor molecules and leave no discernible scent behind.
The Right Solution
Unfortunately, this causes a bigger mess than most people are equipped to handle. Fire damage proves to be challenging to remove without the right equipment. We always suggest hiring a professional fire cleanup and restoration expert. We may be biased, but SERVPRO is just that. We have the experience, tools, and techniques to help you through widespread fire, smoke, and soot damages.
When you face the effects after a house fire, SERVPRO of Montgomery County responds quickly to get your home back to preloss conditions, as soon as possible. Give us a call at (931) 645-1285.
Charcoal Grill Fire Safety
Follow These Tips to Avoid a Barbecue Fire
Spring is upon us! The arrival of nice weather calls for grilling out with friends and family. Unfortunately, a grill fire is a real safety hazard in the right combination of circumstances. A fun get-together can turn into a disaster in a hurry. You can avoid a barbecue fire by following these tips:
- Keep the Grill in a Safe Location
Keep the grill outside on a level surface at least 10 feet from buildings and other flammable objects. Never grill under an overhang or in an enclosed area. Be sure to monitor it closely until it cools.
- Keep Children and Pets at a Distance
Children and pets should stay at least three feet away from the grill. Ensure that pets on tie-downs cannot reach the grill; they can wrap their line around the grill and pull it over. It will keep them at a safe distance if a grill fire occurs.
- Be Mindful of Loose Clothing
Make sure that you wear appropriate attire when you grill. You can tie back everything with an apron. For added safety, use long tongs and spatulas and wear heat resistant grill gloves.
- Use a Chimney Starter
A chimney starter is a much safer option than lighter fluid. It will also light the coals more evenly.
- Practice the Two-Zone Method
This simple, versatile method creates a much safer grilling experience. Put the hot charcoal on one side of the grill and leave the other side empty. If a flare-up occurs, move the food to the other side until the flame subsides, then move it back to continue cooking. The two-zone method can improve your food quality because it creates a searing side and another side for flame-free slow cooking.
Keep a fire extinguisher near. Do NOT use water; it can make a grease fire flare-up. Instead, close the grill lid until the outbreak subsides. If your house sustains fire damage or smoke damage from a grill fire, SERVPRO of Montgomery County can return it to its original state.
Fire Prevention: Save Your Home and Family
Fire prevention can save your home and your life.
You protect your family by locking doors at night, monitoring who they spend time with and where they go. But do you consider fire prevention and preparedness tips?
As a homeowner, the thought of a fire breaking out in your house is a nightmare scenario. It puts your family’s safety at risk, and you could lose many possessions including your home itself. Avoid this frightful scenario and potentially save lives by reducing the risk of fire.
Maintain Smoke Alarms
All homes should have smoke alarms to alert you to fire danger. One or two alarm devices are not enough if you have multiple levels or a larger property. Your home should have a working smoke alarm in every bedroom and an additional alarm per floor. Maintain your smoke alarms to ensure they are effective in the unfortunate incident of a fire.
- Test your smoke alarm once per month by pressing their tester button.
- Change the batteries in your smoke alarm at least once per year.
- Never disconnect your smoke alarm.
Practice an Evacuation Plan
It is a wise idea to explain rules for safely exiting the home. Putting together a simple to understand plan for all family members is an easy way to make sure you and your family are on the same page in the event of a fire emergency.
Something as simple as identifying a meeting location outside, explaining how to open tricky windows, or showing how to remove cut window screens is a great start for teaching young children safe fire evacuation. Teaching administration of tools like the fire extinguisher and its location can prevent small kitchen fires from forming catastrophes.
Keep an Eye on the Dryer
Of major appliances, the dryer is perhaps the most significant potential culprit for starting a fire apart from countertop ovens and griddles. Check the filter and remove lint buildup after every load. Doing this also helps dry time, so it’s a win-win! We also recommend inspecting the outside vent and the hose leading from the dryer to the vent for proper ventilation. There are many YouTube tutorials that explain the ins and outs of dryers and their filters—those videos may be useful for extra, seasonal, deep cleanings.
Being aware of electrical problems is an important fire precaution. Never overload your outlets. Also, be mindful when you use power strips, especially with computers and TVs. If an outlet looks dingy, it could be blown which indicates hidden problems. Outlet inspection is especially necessary for rental apartments or townhomes. Take precaution and call a professional electrician or property maintenance for help. We do not recommend fixing electrical problems. This is not a DIY project.
Be Careful When You Cook
Because there are many silent heat sources in a kitchen, fire prevention is most likely and therefore most important here. Make sure your oven is clean and functioning correctly. If the oven emits an unusual amount of heat when closed and cooking, there may be problems with the seal or heating mechanism. It does not hurt to have a professional look at the appliance to ensure the temperature regulation mechanisms are working properly.
If all is functioning, it is wise to use the self-clean setting when your oven looks particularly grimy. This will heat the inside of the oven to a high temperature, burning stuck-on residue. When the self-cleaning is done, the food particles inside will be ash and can be easily wiped out. This is a simple and effective way to clean an oven. However, do not leave your oven unattended while this process is happening.
In fact, never leave any kitchen appliance unattended, especially food on the stove. A good rule of thumb is to store items off and away from the stove—you may not know when a child messes with the dials or an adult forgetfully leaves a burner on. In this age, stoves have smart locks that prevent accidental dial clicks. Regardless, putting items away ASAP as opposed to leaving them on the stove is a good, safe practice.
You can have peace of mind when you follow these fire prevention guidelines. We, at SERVPRO, want you to help prepare you. Still, accidents happen. In the event of an unfortunate situation, we offer fire damage services like Fire & Smoke Restoration, soot and odor removal and contents cleaning. If you have fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Montgomery County at (931) 645-1285.
Space Heater Safety and Fire Prevention Tips
Stay safe when using a space heater and remember, all heaters need space.
Cold temperatures inevitably make us want to cozy up under a blanket and crank up the heat, but before you bring the space heater up from the basement to get extra toasty, consider these safety and fire prevention tips. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is the leading cause of all house fires.
Space Heater Safety First!
SERVPRO of Montgomery County has compiled some space heater safety and fire prevention tips to help you stay warm, but most of all, to keep you and your home or office safe from fire damage.
- Keep 3 feet of distance between your space heater and anything that can burn, including people!
- Never plug your space heater into a power strip; always plug it directly into the wall.
- Turn off and unplug the heater whenever you leave the room, especially when leaving for the day or going to bed.
- Always place your heater on a flat surface, away from foot traffic.
- Educate your family and coworkers about the dangers of space heaters.
- Keep the heater away from wet areas. This includes bathrooms, basements, and even wet hands and materials.
Buy the Right Heater
- Check to see if your heater has a seal marking that it’s been tested by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory.
- Purchase a space heater that is suitable for the size of the room you would like to heat. Use small heaters for small spaces, and large heaters only for big, open spaces. Using a small heater in a large space will cause the heater to overwork and reduce its lifespan.
- Know your heater’s wattage. Higher wattage = higher energy output. Low wattage = less energy.
- Choose a heater with an automatic shut-off that engages if the heater is knocked over or overheats.
- Know about the different types of space heaters: oil or water-filled radiator heaters, fan-forced heaters, ceramic heaters, and infrared heaters.
Using these space heater safety and fire prevention tips will help prevent fire damage in your home and workplace. If you have any questions about fire prevention or if your property experiences smoke or fire damage, call your local professionals at SERVPRO of Montgomery County for assistance. We’re available 24/7 at (931)-645-1285.
New Year Cleaning and Decluttering For a Fresh Start
Regularly scheduled home-maintenance and cleaning can curb hazardous, pricey problems in the future like fires and mold growth.
Regularly scheduled home-maintenance and cleaning can curb hazardous, pricey problems in the future like fires and mold growth. Since we are entering the new year, decluttering is a great way to improve the usability of your space—so you can freely undertake your big plans for the year.
More than a tidy environment
One of the easiest ways to declutter your mind is to declutter your home. If untidy environments are stressing you out, we suggest starting small. Pick up the general items around your most used spaces. Wash the dishes, fold the laundry, and make the beds. After the basics are cleaned, tackle the details.
Deep clean the kitchen:
- Check for expiration and toss old food and condiments
- Wipe out refrigerator drawers, cabinets, the microwave, and oven
- Get rid of cupboard items you don’t use
- Empty the junk drawer
Main area cleaning:
- Dust ceiling fan blades
- Wash baseboards and walls—especially if you have children!
- Vacuum underneath furniture
- Wash curtains and linens
- Rotate and flip mattress
- Turn all hangers backwards, then when you wear an item, replace the hanger normally—this indicates which items you wear. Toss or donate backwards hanging items after 1 year.
- Scrub the bathtub walls and don’t forget the shower head
- Use a drain snake tool or drain liquid to break up stuck hair and scum in sinks and shower
- For every gift received, get rid of one item
- Sell or donate decor you didn’t use this season
- Replace air filters every 3 months
- Check and replace smoke alarm batteries
If you need more in-depth mold, fire, or water damage cleaning, SERVPRO of Montgomery County is Here To Help®. We understand not every clean up is quick, easy, or preventable. To inquire about our services, call us today at (931) 645-1285.
Why Smoke Detectors Are Important
We learned fire safety throughout elementary and middle school and what to do when you hear a smoke detector. However, have you forgotten to change out the batteries? Or maybe you turned off your smoke detector because everything you cook sets off the alarm?
We know this is bad, and we should think twice before taking out the batteries. Why? Because fire detectors work. According to The National Fire Protection Association, 3 out of 5 homes without a smoke alarm experience deaths. Let smoke detectors help your family!
So, be sure to check your smoke detectors once a year, replace the batteries, and make sure each smoke detector is working in your home – they save lives, after all! For additional fire safety tips, visit The National Fire Protection Association.
For all your fire cleaning needs, call SERVPRO of Montgomery County today at (931) 645-1285!
Overcoming Soot Damage
SERVPRO Has the Experience to Eliminate Many Different Types of Soot Residues Remaining in Your Home After a Fire
Your Clarksville, Tennessee, the home was not intended to stop fires before they spread to other areas of the house. Most of the materials used for constructing your home can catch fire and help it spread throughout the structure. Unfortunately, this can spread the effects of this blaze throughout your property and cause a lot of work for the professional restoration team you choose to help clean up this mess.
Working to clean up the mess after the incident is over is no easy task, either. Most often, the substantial effects that stand out are smoke and soot damages. These are standard versions of fire damage in homes, and they can often prove to be challenging to remove without the right equipment.
Fortunately, our SERVPRO professionals have the tools and expertise to help you through often widespread soot damages throughout your household. While the most concentrated of this effect can be found around the fire's originating point where it burned the longest, this is not always the case. This matted debris and film from the combustion leave a dark, often black residue on surfaces, furniture, flooring, and other materials.
Removing this residue requires multiple approaches. For wall surfaces, scrubbing with wet and dry sponges can often remove the bulk of the present film. Confined spaces like ductwork require high-powered vacuums to get used instead.
Smoke damage often presents itself in the form of a harsh odor lingering in fabrics, carpeting, and open spaces throughout affected areas of your house. Removal of this odor typically requires thermal fogging, a process that releases an unscented chemical compound into the environment and contents of the room to break apart odor molecules and leave no discernable scent behind.
There is very little that most homeowners can do alone to bring their homes back from the harmful effects of a fire. When you face these kinds of damages, seek out the professionals we employ at SERVPRO of Montgomery County. We can respond quickly and get your home back to preloss conditions as soon as possible. Give us a call 24/7 at (931) 645-1285.
Inspecting Your Home for Damage After a Fire Fire Damage
A fire in a commercial business or a property-managed real estate complex can be devastating. Still, when you add in the additional damages from the sprinkler systems kicking on, the commercial damages are enormous. Businesses and apartment complexes cannot afford to close for a day; it affects many different individuals' lives. SERVPRO of Montgomery County offers 24/7 commercial damage services to get commercial businesses back on their feet in as little time as possible.
Using SERVPRO commercial services is like a one-stop shop. Continuing with the example, if a fire burns through a commercial business and the sprinkler system turns on, there will be both fire and water damages. SERVPRO's commercial services are an umbrella term that extends our normal services into a commercial setting. SERVPRO can treat fire and water damages simultaneously. Our commercial services reduce the cost that businesses pay because they do not need to look for multiple companies. The other additional benefit to SERVPRO is that they are essentially a liaison between insurance companies and clients.
Unfortunately, disasters are not preventable, but companies like SERVPRO are there to make it "Like it never even happened," with their residential and commercial services. You can trust our SERVPRO of Montgomery County fire restoration specialists to work quickly to bring your home back to how it should be. Give us a call anytime at (931) 645-1285.
Kitchen Fire Tips
Between 2012-2016 the NFPA found that cooking was the leading cause of fires within the United States. It’s important to remember safety when cooking in our homes. Don’t leave stove tops or ovens unattended, and if you have to leave the room to host guests or for another reason, be sure to take an oven mitt with you to remind you that something is cooking on the stove or in the oven.
If you happen to have a grease fire in your home, do not pour water on it! It seems like it’s elementary, but when you’re panicked with a fire in your kitchen, sometimes you can do silly things. Instead, cover the fire with a cookie sheet to suffocate it. If it’s a small fire, you can also use salt to put it out as well. Make sure to always have a fire extinguisher on hand just if a fire breaks out in your kitchen.
For all your fire cleaning needs, give SERVPRO of Montgomery County a call today at (931) 645-1285.
Fire Damage Restoration in your Clarksville Home
SERVPRO of Montgomery County is available today for any fire damage needs!
Clarksville Home Fire Damage Restoration
We recently responded to a service call regarding a local Clarksville home that experienced fire damage and needed SERVPRO of Montgomery County’s cleaning and restoration services. This home suffered extensive smoke damage from a grease fire that occurred in the kitchen. Additionally, the fire affected the home roof because the fire ended up burning through the ceiling, resulting in a large hole in the roof. As a result of the firefighters putting out the fire, there were water damage issues inside the house.
Our team of production and service technicians arrived on the scene to remediate the damages. We cleaned all of the houses, including the walls, ceilings, and all surfaces. Since most of the structure suffered smoke damage, including its contents, we hand clean every little bit of the client’s personal belongings, including mattresses, lamps, and many other household items. Lastly, we thoroughly cleaned the house’s air ducts with our trained on-staff experts.