Recent Fire Damage Posts

March is American Red Cross Month

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage March is American Red Cross Month Where can you make a Difference?

Founded in 1881, the American Red Cross is a charitable organization that relies on donations and volunteers to carry out their mission. Weather it is disaster relief, blood donations, military family support, or training and certifications the Red Cross is committed to helping those who need it the most. You probably hear about the impact the Red Cross has on TV when it comes to major disasters like hurricanes, wildfire and tornadoes. The American Red Cross shows hard work and dedication day in and day out that doesn’t become covered in the media. With over 70,000 disasters a year they respond to the public with support after many emergencies that they face. Every year, March is declared Red Cross Month by the President of the United States. The American Red Cross celebrates by honoring the “everyday heroes” who support and carry out the mission of the Red Cross network.

The Red Cross depends on generous contributions of time, blood, and money from the American public to support the lifesaving services and programs. To learn more about the American Red Cross, or about how you can get involved, visit redcross.org

We are here for any size disaster situation 24 hours a day and 7 days a week! Call Today- 616.647.4300

About SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids

SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a emergency event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

When a house fire strikes what do you do after

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage When a house fire strikes what do you do after House Fires happen every day. Are you prepared?

Recovering from a fire can be a physically and mentally draining process.  When fire strikes, lives are suddenly turned around.  Often, the hardest part is knowing where to begin and who to contact.

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.
  • If you leave your home, contact the local police department to let them know the site will be unoccupied.
  • 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.
  • Check with an accountant or the Internal Revenue Service about special benefits for people recovering from fire loss.

For more information on what you should do after a home fire, including valuing your property, replacing documents, and salvage hints, visit the U.S. Fire Administration’s website.

Source: https://www.ready.gov/home-fires

About SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids

SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Holiday Cooking Comes with Caution

11/9/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Holiday Cooking Comes with Caution Don't Spoil your Holiday this year

Holiday Cooking Safety

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire—oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains—away from the stovetop.

Source: National Fire Protection Association

About SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids

SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a storm damage, fire, and smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

If you need help with cleaning up after a fire damage event call the Professionals at SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids 24/7 616.647.4300

Is your home clothes dryer hiding something

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Is your home clothes dryer hiding something Always make sure your dryer vent is clean

Facts about home clothes dryer fires

  • 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
  • The leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them (34 percent).
  • More home clothes dryer fires occur in the fall and winter months, peaking in January.

Clothes dryer dos

Installation

  • Have your clothes dryer installed by a professional.
  • Make sure the correct electrical plug and outlet are used and that the dryer is connected properly.
  • Read manufacturers' instructions and warnings in use and care manuals that come with new dryers.

Cleaning

  • Clean the lint filter before and after each load of laundry. Don’t forget to clean the back of the dryer where lint can build up. In addition, clean the lint filter with a nylon brush at least every six months or more often if it becomes clogged.
  • Clean lint out of the vent pipe every three months.
  • Have your dryer cleaned regularly by a professional, especially if it is taking longer than normal for clothes to dry.

Maintenance

  • Inspect the venting system behind the dryer to ensure it is not damaged or restricted.
  • Put a covering on outside wall dampers to keep out rain, snow and dirt.
  • Make sure the outdoor vent covering opens when the dryer is on.
  • Replace coiled-wire foil or plastic venting with rigid, non-ribbed metal duct.
  • Have gas-powered dryers inspected every year by a professional to ensure that the gas line and connection are together and free of leaks.
  • Check regularly to make sure nests of small animals and insects are not blocking the outside vent.
  • Keep the area around the clothes dryer free of items that can burn.
  • If you will be away from home for an extended time, unplug or disconnect the dryer.

Source: www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention

About SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids

SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

If you need help with cleaning out your home or dryer vent call the Professionals at SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids 24/7 616.647.4300

Fire Safety Month

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Safety Month Do you have a plan ready?

Fire Safety Month

During the month of October our attention is focused on National Fire Prevention. Promoting fire safety along with knowing the hazards we face every day. With a few quick safety checklists points you can have an idea of what things to prepare for.

Fire Safety Checklist:

  • Avoid using space heaters close to bedding and sheets that will catch fire easily.
  • When using lit candles make sure to keep a distance away from other objects and always keep an eye on the candle while it’s burning.
  • Electrical objects should be checked for frayed cords to prevent electrical fire from forming.
  • Teach others around you what to do when it comes to clothing catching fire. Always remember to Stop! Drop! And Roll!
  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year and have one located in every room especially in bedrooms.
  • Have an escape plan for you and your family and write it out and display it for everyone to see. Always practice and review the plan to make sure everyone knows where to go in case of a fire.

About SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids

SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

If you need help with cleaning up after a fire call the Professionals at SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids 24/7 616.647.4300

Don't let an Electrical Fire damage your property

9/26/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Don't let an Electrical Fire damage your property What to look for to prevent fire in your home

SERVPRO Technicians are BOTH Certified and Properly Equipped to Remediate After a Fire in Your Home

Electrical fires are one of the top five causes of fires in manufacturing plants. Here a non-exhaustive list of specific electrical hazards:

  • Wiring that is exposed or not up to code
  • Overloaded outlets
  • Extension cords
  • Overloaded circuits
  • Static discharge

The damage caused by these fires can quickly compound thanks to several of the other items on this list. Any of the above hazards can cause a spark, which can serve as an ignition source for combustible dust, as well as flammable liquids and gasses.

How to prevent electrical fire incidents

As with the previous risks, the key to preventing electrical fires is awareness and prevention. This involves training, maintenance, and following best practices. Here are a few to put into practice right now:

  • Don’t overload electrical equipment or circuits.
  • Don’t leave temporary equipment plugged in when it’s not in use.
  • Avoid using extension cords, and never consider them permanent solutions.
  • Use antistatic equipment where required by NFPA or OSHA.
  • Follow a regular housekeeping plan to remove combustible dust and other hazardous materials from areas that contain equipment and machinery.
  • Implement a reporting system so that anyone who observes an electrical fire risk can report it without consequences.

For more information on electrical safety, consult NFPA 70: National Electrical Code and OSHA’s “Electrical Safety in the Workplace.”

Source: http://news.nilfiskcfm.com

SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids is always available 24 hours a day when a loss becomes overwhelming from a fire in the workplace or in your home. These simple ideas will help you with prevention where its most important so seconds dont turn into disaster.

Holiday Fireworks and Fire Safety

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Holiday Fireworks and Fire Safety Safety when using fireworks

In all years studied, Independence Day has more incidents reported in NFIRS than any other day of the year. The number of incidents in the NFIRS database associated with July 4 and July 5 were 2.4 times the average daily number of incidents on other days of the year. Brush and outside fire incidents were nearly four times higher during this holiday than on the average day. Structure fires increase on July 4 and July 5th as well. As would be expected, fireworks were responsible for a considerable portion of the increase in fire incidence on Independence Day. In fact, 31 percent of the total annual number of fireworks−related fires occur on July 4 and 5. These fires individually were less severe than fires generally, with lower average dollar loss per fire, less than half of the injuries and one third the deaths per fire.

source: https://www.usfa.fema.gov

About SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids

SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

If you need help with cleaning up after a fire call the Professionals at SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids 24/7 616.647.4300

Looking for the right signs of Lead Paint

6/29/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Looking for the right signs of Lead Paint You can never be to sure. Test your home today

Where to Look

While virtually any painted surface in an older home could have been treated with lead paint, there are a few particular places where it might be more likely to appear. These include any exterior surface, surfaces that are regularly exposed to weather (like windows and doors), interior trim, stairs, and railings. Also consider that older furniture and toys could contain lead paint as well.

What to Look For

Lead paint typically cracks and chips in a distinct “scaly” or geometric pattern. This is probably the best indication of the presence of lead paint, although bear in mind that oil and latex paints can crack, flake, and chip as well. A secondary indicator that you might be dealing with lead paint is that it rubs off with a chalky residue.

If You Suspect It’s Lead Paint

If you think you might have lead paint in your home, it is best to confirm it with a lead paint test. You can purchase a test kit for around $10 at your local paint store or big-box hardware store. There are a couple of different types of test kits available at this price, so be sure to read the label before you purchase it. The first, and my chosen method, is the disposable swab kit. One kit typically comes with two swabs, each of which contains non-toxic chemicals that turn a specific color when they come in contact with lead. This test yields results within one minute. If you feel uncomfortable interpreting the results of a swab test, your other option is to purchase a kit that allows you to collect a sample of the paint in question and send it to a laboratory for analysis. Typically these results will be mailed to you within a week of the lab’s receipt of your sample.

If Your Paint Tests Positive for Lead

First, don’t panic. Some experts agree that if your paint is not cracking, chipping, chalking, or flaking off and is not in a high-traffic or child-accessible area it is best to leave it alone and simply monitor it for future signs of damage. However, lead paint in heavy-use areas like windows, doors, stairs and railings should be addressed even if it is not clearly chipping off. The friction resulting from the regular use or operation of these surfaces can create airborne lead dust. In addition, any cracking, flaking, chipping, or otherwise compromised lead paint should be addressed immediately.

Source: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/identifying-lead-paint

About SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids

SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Things to prevent a fire from Fireworks this Holiday

6/26/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Things to prevent a fire from Fireworks this Holiday One Sparkler can start a Huge Disaster

Firework Injury Statistics

  • Every year almost 10,000 people are treated in emergency rooms with fireworks-related injuries. The estimated cost of the injuries exceeds $100 million dollars annually.
  • Over 2/3 of all fireworks injuries occur between June 16 and July 16
  • 72% of all fireworks injuries are to males.
  • Most fireworks injuries occur to the face (12%), eyes (17%), and hands (34%).
  • Fires caused by fireworks injure 50 and kill 15 people on average annually.

Tips for Having a Safe Fireworks Display

The safest and most effective way to prevent firework-related injuries and deaths is to leave all fireworks displays to trained professionals. If these professionals are unavailable for your firework displays the following safety tips will help keep you and your audience safe.

Only adults should use fireworks.

The vast majority of firework-related injuries happen to children under the age of 15.  Understanding the risks fireworks pose to children and the importance of having adults present to handle fireworks can greatly decrease injuries and deaths.

Follow federal and state firework laws.

Every state has unique rules and regulations concerning the use, possession, and distribution of all types of fireworks. Knowing the laws in your state can keep you safe, prevent fines, and protect you from purchasing unsafe or illegal fireworks. The following link contains updated laws for every state concerning fireworks.

Use fireworks in clear, open areas

Make sure the area being used is clear of any obstructions. Also, make sure the area where fireworks are used is clear of dry, potentially flammable grass, wood, or debris. It is also a good idea to monitor your state’s wildfire warnings and make sure there isn’t a fire weather watch in effect. These warnings occur during extended periods of dry weather and higher-than-average wind speeds. During these conditions, lighting fireworks could lead to potentially lethal wildfires. For more information regarding wildfire warnings visit the USDA Forest Service Page.

Light fireworks on flat surfaces.

Using a flat surface is extremely important when using fireworks. If the area where you are using fireworks is too uneven, there is the potential they could tip over and go off horizontally and severely injure someone. Flat surfaces are also important when using fireworks that take off vertically, like bottle rockets. If the area is too uneven they could have an angled trajectory which could result in an injury to a person, property damage, or fires.

Have fire extinguishers ready.

Have water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. When using fireworks, there should be at least one person assigned the duty of operating the fire extinguisher in case something should go wrong.

Store and dispose of fireworks safely.

Do not store fireworks for extended periods of time and use as soon after purchase as possible. When storing fireworks, keep them in a cool dry place out of the reach of children.

Once a firework is used it should be allowed to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.  Once this period of time is over it should be placed in a bucket of water to soak thoroughly. After the rest period and soak period they can be safely disposed of in a regular trash receptacle. Both of these steps are important because if fireworks are not soaked properly there is a potential for heat to be trapped inside of them and they can reignite and cause trash fires. Also, use caution when cleaning up debris from used fireworks since certain parts may still be extremely hot, combustible, or sharp.

Know how to handle firework duds.

If a firework malfunctions, do not attempt to relight it. Allow it to rest for 15 to 20 minutes and then safely douse it with water and let sit for another 15 to 20 minutes. After this period of time submerge the firework in water and allow it to soak. Once the firework is completely soaked it is safe to dispose.

Source: http://cultureofsafety.thesilverlining.com/safety-tips/fireworks

Be safe out this holiday season! Call SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids if Disaster hinders your Celebrations 24/7 where we can clean up any situation.