Recent Fire Damage Posts

Preventing Christmas Tree Fires

1/1/2019 (Permalink)

Preventing Christmas Tree Fires

Like candle fires (the number one cause of fires in the home), Christmas tree fires are more common during the holidays, with 43% occurring in December and 39% in January. The NFPA says an average of 230 fires are attributed to Christmas trees each year and they are more likely to be serious because of the factors that can contribute to the fire: a dry tree, electrical lights, and an abundant fuel supply (gifts) under the tree. Christmas tree fires cause an average of $18.3 million in property damage each year.

The most common causes are electrical failures (32%), having the tree too close to a heat source like a fireplace or wood stove (17%) or being too close to candles (7%).

Safety tips:

  • Keep live trees well watered and dispose of them before they become dry.
  • Turn off tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
  • Check lights for any shorts or other electrical issues before putting them on the tree.

Source: National Fire Protection Association and http://www.propertycasualty360.com

Home Fires Caused by Dryers and Washing Machines

1/1/2019 (Permalink)

Home Fires Caused by Dryers and Washing Machines

Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage according to the National Fire Protection Association. The most frequent causes of fires in dryers are lint/dust (29%) and clothing (28%). In washers, they are wire or cable insulation (26%), the appliance housing (21%) or the drive belt (15%).

Dryers were involved in 92% of the Washer/Dryer fires; the risk of fire was basically the same for both gas and electric-powered dryers.

Safety tips:

  • Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
  • For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
  • Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
  • Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
  • Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.

Source: National Fire Protection Association and http://www.propertycasualty360.com

Getting Rid of Cigarette Smoke Odor

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Getting Rid of Cigarette Smoke Odor

It's obvious to a non-smoker when a home smells like cigarettes.  The smell of tobacco and/or cigarette smoke and tar is stubborn because it "sticks" to all surfaces as it spreads through the air. So, how do you get rid of the cigarette odor?  The short answer is that it's very difficult.  ALL surfaces in the home need to be scrubbed and deodorized, including the: flooring, walls, furniture, appliances, knick-knacks, and clothing. Even the air in the home needs to be deodorized during the process.  It's not an easy task, but the experts at SERVPRO® of West Austin have done it many times and are more than willing to help you.  Give us a call today and start breathing fresh smelling air!

Fire Prevention Week is October 7-13, 2018

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Prevention Week is October 7-13, 2018

During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires. See what programs your local fire station offers.

Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere!” That’s the theme for Fire Prevention Week.

LOOK
Look for places fires could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.

LISTEN
Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.

LEARN
Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

Source: https://www.nfpa.org

Understanding Smoke & Soot Restoration

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

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 West Austin/Lakeway 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 – 512-335-7247

When Fire Damages Your Business

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

To you, it’s more than just a business, it’s your livelihood.  SERVPRO West Austin/Lakeway understand the feelings of frustration and overwhelming concern related to handling fire damage.  Our priority is to help you regain control and get your doors open again.  Within eight business hours of arriving at your facility, our technicians will discuss the extent of the damage and the steps they will take to help restore your building, equipment and furniture.  Responding quickly to a fire damage can save your company money, reduce more extensive damage and shorten the length of down time.

Armed with industry-approved equipment and expertise, SERVPRO West Austin/Lakeway will make every effort to restore your business to preloss condition when possible.  We use the latest equipment, products and processes to properly remove smoke, soot and fire damage from walls, flooring and air ducts and restore furniture and equipment.  We are available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to help you get your business back in business. 

Business closures due to a fire damage don’t just affect the business owner.  It affects the employees, their families and the community.  Contact SERVPRO West Austin/Lakeway at 512-335-7247 for your fire damage restoration needs.