Recent Fire Damage Posts
Safeguard Your Wichita Home with These Fire Safety Tips
Home fires can cause irreversible damage. Did you know that in most cases, cooking and heating are the leading causes of home fires and fire injuries? In the event of a fire emergency, you may have as little as two minutes to evacuate. The most effective way to protect your home and yourself is to identify and remove fire hazards. Here are some key fire safety tips that have been provided by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association):
Fire Safety Tips:
- Develop multiple escape plans and practice them with your loved ones. Your plans should include escape routes from different areas of the house, tools for exiting the building (escape ladders, items to open, break out windows) and a designated meeting place.
- If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL for help.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms once a month, if they’re not working, change the batteries.
- Carbon monoxide alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
Preparing and Preventing a Home Fire - Steps You Can Take Now:
- Have your chimneys, fireplaces, wood stoves and central furnace serviced once a year.
- Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
- Avoid smoking in bed.
- Educate your children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters, and keep them out of reach.
- Turn off portable heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Never leave burning candles unattended.
- Keep an eye on your cooking.
Dry VS Wet Smoke Damage
What is smoke?
Smoke is a collection of tiny solid, liquid and gas particles. Although smoke can contain hundreds of different chemicals and fumes, visible smoke is mostly carbon (soot), tar, oils, and ash.
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of residues after a fire that SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita will assess when they arrive on scene. With the different types of residues, there is also different types of cleaning.
Wet Smoke Damage
Wet smoke is usually produced from items made of plastic or rubber, from a slow burning, low heat fire. Protein fires also create wet smoke, these types of fires are quite common, very difficult to clean, very greasy and quite pungent. Wet smoke damage will leave thick, black, and sticky residue with a lingering smell.
Dry Smoke Damage
Dry Smoke is created by a fast burning, high-temperature fire, usually started by paper or wood. This is one of the most common types of house or business fires and is one of the larger loss types of fires. Dry smoke is an easier to clean smoke as it has a powdery texture and won't smear when cleaning.
Each smoke and fire damage situation is different, they all need a specialized solution customized for the specific event. SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita has the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. Give us a call (316) 684-6700.
Ways To Get Rid of Smoke Odors in Your Home
Fires in your home, no matter the size, can be truly devastating. The worst fires can completely destroy your home and everything inside. Smaller fires can still damage your valuables in your home or business. One of the major effects of fires is actually the smell. For weeks and months after your fire you may still have that lingering smell, let SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita help. We have some effective methods of removing the unwanted stench of smoke and the damage it can cause.
Do it Quickly
Even the slightest amount of smoke in your home can cause problems. It is important to immediately open windows and ventilate the house. Then, you should get right to work. Give SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita a call to come and assess the damage, we are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week, so when you have a traumatic event, such as a fire, you don’t have to wait. It is even more important to call us immediately if your structure is unsecured because we are able to provide board-up services.
Get The Materials Needed
You will want to make sure you have the right equipment and supplies to combat smoke damage. Some of the best smoke cleaning tools are the following:
- Dry Sponges
- Cleaning Productions designed specifically for fires
- Air filtration devices
- Ozone machines
- Thermal foggers
Air filtration, ozone machines and thermal foggers are designed especially for some of the worst smoke odors and damages from smoke. Here at SERVPRO we use these devices to help ensure a home is as close to its original state as possible, "Like it never even happened." If you experience fire or smoke damage in your Wichita, KS home or business please give us a call 316 –684-6700.
Preventing Commercial Fires in Wichita KS
Most of our blogs are all about residential fire safety. There are so many safety tips we can give you about fire hazards in and around your home, but one thing most people don’t think about are the fire hazards that are also at your place of work. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the five most common causes of fires in commercial buildings are cooking equipment, heating equipment, electrical and lighting equipment, smoking materials, and intentional fire setting. By learning the most common workplace fire hazards, you can better protect your commercial property and those working in it.
Almost every commercial property is equipped with electrical circuits, which can have many electronic devices to which they must provide power. As a result, it is common for electrical outlets to be overloaded in workplaces. This can cause an overload on the circuit and as a result overheat and cause a fire. Making sure your extension cords aren't damaged and that your outlets aren’t overheating are great ways to help prevent electrical fires.
If dust sits on top of surfaces for extended periods of time, it can become a fire hazard. In a workplace environment, dust can accumulate on electronics and surfaces around the office, it can ignite quickly if heaters or electrical sockets cause a spark. In order to decrease your workplace’s risk of fire, be sure to regularly clean dust off of surfaces, including hard-to-reach areas.
Flammable Liquids and Materials
There are many flammable liquids and objects commonly found in workplaces for many different reasons. If there are flammable liquids inside of your workplace, be sure to contain them and limit their exposure to sparks of flames by keeping them sealed and located in a dry place. If a fire ignites, these flammable liquids or materials can spread the fire quickly and be a catalyst.
If your commercial property is affected by a fire, you can take comfort in SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita’s commercial services. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Give us a call at (316)684-6700.
Who to Call When A Fire Strikes
House fires are extremely tough to go through. Many belongings are destroyed, lives can lose a sense of normalcy, and the whole process is just overwhelming. SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita has been around taking care of fire restoration in Wichita and surrounding areas for over 20 years. Every fire is different and requires a unique approach to the clean-up process. Luckily, your local disaster restoration company should know the next steps for you and your home or business. When the fire is out, what is next?
Know Who To Call
- Call Your Local Disaster Restoration Company. When the fire is out, the cleanup process should begin as soon as possible. Not only can SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita board up your home or business, extract any water that might have affected your property from pipe bursts or the fire department putting out the fire, but we can also clean and pack out your contents. We truly are a one stop shop, you can call our office day or night, and we will dispatch a team to walk you through the cleanup process we use to get you back to your preloss conditions.
- Call Your Insurance Company. Having insurance on your property is so important. We all think that it can’t happen to us, and then it does. SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita will work closely with your insurance company to ensure a seamless process.
Your Local Cleanup and Restoration Company
Dealing with the aftermath of a fire can be hard to navigate, your insurance company and your local restoration company should be at the top of the list of people to call. Call SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita at (316) 684-6700 if you want a company you can trust.
Christmas Tree Fire Safety
SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita is available on Holidays too! (316) 684-6700
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Time for Christmas lights, holiday baking, and a good ole Douglas Fir. Real Christmas trees can pose a fire threat to your home when not properly set up or cared for. According to the NFPA while Christmas tree fires may not be very common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious due to the rate of which it can catch flame and spread. Below are some great tips on where to place your tree in your home and tips on lighting safety.
Where Should I Place My Tree?
- At least three feet away from any heat source, such as fireplaces, candles, heat vents, or lights.
- Make sure your tree doesn’t block an exit or entrance to a room.
- Be sure to add water daily
- Be sure to shut off lights before leaving your house or going to sleep.
- Use the correct voltage of lights, some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
- Never use lit candles to decorate on or around your tree.
- Always replace worn or broken cords and bulbs as soon as possible.
Almost one third of every home Christmas tree fire is caused due to an electrical problem. Follow these tips to hopefully stay in the clear this Holiday season. Remember that SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita is available 24/7/365 including Holidays. Give us a call at (316) 684-6700.
SERVPRO Stove and Oven Safety
Fires in your oven can create a smoky smell in your home, call SERVPRO for odor removal services (316) 684-6700.
As the Holidays approach, yes, I said Holidays, can you believe it?! More and more people are cooking on their stoves for their families and the office potluck. Here at SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita we have seen our fair share of stove fires and thought what a better way to be there for you now, then to give you some tips on oven safety, so you don’t have to call us later.
Before each use, do an oven safety check.
- Be sure you do not smell gas leaking from a gas stove. If you do, open a window, and leave the room.
- Make sure there is nothing in the oven. An oven should never be used for storage.
- Make sure that there are no food particles or grease residue on the stove top.
- Position your oven racks before pre-heating to prevent scalding.
Be sure to follow safety guidelines when using stove top burners.
- Use the back burners as much as possible
- Make sure the pot fits on the burner properly and isn’t too large or too small.
- If you take the pot off the burner, be sure to shut it off and not leave it on.
- If the burner is hot make sure the pot is not empty.
- Make sure the handle of the pots are not in a position that they can be easily hit.
These are just a few tips in the oven safety world, of course be careful and never leave your stove unattended. If you do experience a fire in your home, please give SERVPRO a call, we will work hard to restore your items before recommending replacement. We also offer odor removal and deodorization due to smoke from fires in your home or business. We are 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so you can call us when you need us (316) 684-6700.
Top Causes of House Fires
Always be sure to keep candle flames at least a foot away from flammable materials.
When owing or renting your home there is always a potential for unforeseen circumstances, known as “Named Perils” in the insurance world. Accidental fires are at the top of that list, while the correct insurance can help with coverage if a fire were to happen, the best circumstance would be to prevent the fire in the first place. If your home or business is affected by a fire, SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita handles cleanup and content storage. We are here to help 24/7/365. Below are the top 5 reasons for house fires provided by the NFPA and how to help prevent them.
Candles are common in most homes and can be dangerous if left unattended. Lit candles can be knocked over by animals, kids, or even adults by accident. You will want to keep candle flames at least a foot or more away from any materials that might ignite.
Smoking in your home can cause the potential for igniting fires from cigarette butts dropped on carpeting, furniture, or other flammable materials. Fires from cigarettes and smoking materials cause nearly 1,000 deaths and 3,000 injuries each year in the U.S., according to the National Fire Protection Association. All it takes is a single ash to ignite something on fire. If you must smoke try to do it outside whenever possible or over a sink while using an ashtray.
#3 Electrical Fires
Electrical faults in home wiring cause many fires in homes each year. Older wiring systems can be prone to short circuits and overloading. Most current and properly installed electrical systems are very safe and usually have built-in protective features.
#2 Heating Appliances
Kansas winters can get extremely cold, most homes and offices will get space heaters to help keep things warm. If fabrics or other combustibles are left too close to the appliances this can easily cause a fire. Never leave your house with a heater running, and make sure flammables are kept away from the heaters.
#1 Cooking Related Fires
Cooking fires are among the most common types of house fires. Most kitchen fires happen because food is left cooking unsupervised. Around 49% of all residential fires are caused by cooking incidents. Never leave the kitchen unattended when cooking in oil or when cooking a food that produces grease. Make sure when storing portable appliances, they are cool to the touch.
If your home in Wichita is affected by smoke or fire damage give us a call so we can start making it “Like it never even happened.” at (316) 684-6700.
Cleaning Your Wichita, KS Home After a Fire-Dry Sponges
We are Here to Help. Call us for your fire damage needs (316) 684-6700!
The aftermath of a fire can be tempting to start the cleanup on immediately, our first recommendation is to start with calling a professional in to provide expert knowledge and advice. SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita has been in the fire restoration business for over 20 years and has the expertise and experience to provide you with the tools you need to restore your home or business back to preloss conditions as quickly as possible.
The type of surface you are cleaning will determine the method used and the tools needed. One of the tools we use on a fire job is our Dry-Cleaning Sponge sometimes these types of sponges are called “chem sponges” but this isn’t accurate as they don’t have any chemicals infused in them dry or wet. The Dry-Cleaning Sponge is used to clean smoke residues from surfaces. The sponge is for non-greasy residues and clean better on flat nonglossy surfaces, with firm pressure, friction, and absorption the sponge cleans with no chemical products. Like in the picture, we have extendable poles which allow us to easily sponge every surface in a property, it’s pretty thorough work. Dry-cleaning is the best option when wet cleaning may not be possible. Cleaning soot with water, or with over the counter cleaning agents can set the soot stain, but our products (not chemicals) are specifically made to remove soot. Unfortunately, not every kind of soot and smoke damage can have the stain removed. In that case we still clean do what is called “prep to paint” where we clean the walls to prepare them to be painted. This is done because if you didn’t clean the soot off the wall before painting it, the soot would eventually bleed through the new paint and the odor of the fire would linger.
Call SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita for your fire damage (316) 684-6700. We are available 24/7/365.
Prevent Fire Odors from Traveling Through Your Home
This is the before and after of a fire cleanup job we did on this beautiful hand crafted furniture for one of our customers.
There are several actions we recommend a homeowner take immediately after a fire in their home or business. There is potential for airborne soot particles to travel throughout the home via foot traffic, air currents and the ductwork, this will create an odor throughout the house in places that maybe were not affected. When a loss like this happens the most important thing is your safety, once the property is safe to enter you can do the following to be proactive until SERVPRO can get on site to start the mitigation process:
- Turn off the HVAC
- Turn off the electricity
- Remove valuables and important papers
- Close the doors to the fire loss area
What is the Best Way to Remove Fire Damage?
One thing you can do immediately after a loss is to bring in a professional restoration services company. SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita is 24 hours, 7 days a week. A small amount of fire loss can quickly become a large amount if the soot gets the opportunity to spread around the home. SERVPRO technicians will be out to give you an estimate and get started on restoring your property and belongings.
It is not unusual to find different types of smoke residues in a single room requiring different removal applications. The wrong clean up approach can result in great damage, for example, if wet cleaning solutions get used on dry smoke, that can stain or embed it further into surfaces. When the mitigation efforts complete, the techs can inspect the ductwork to ensure there are no issues with smoke odors remaining.
Call SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita for your fire damage (316) 684-6700. We are available 24/7/365.
How To Protect Your Home From Potential Fire Damage
Helpful tips for fire safety near your home.
SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita is here to help in the event of almost any kind of loss you might have at your residential or commercial property, including a fire loss. However, it is very important to us here at SERVPRO that we provide you with the information to help prevent all kinds of losses from fire to water to mold. In this blog post we are giving you the best tips and tricks for fire prevention and safety when it comes to accidental outdoor fires. Learn before you burn this summer on camping trips, or in your backyard and when grilling outdoors near your home. Below are some tips to help you remain safe. For more fire tips visit the FEMA guide.
- Make sure your fire pit is, at minimum, 10 feet away from any structure or neighboring yard—25 feet is preferable.
- Do not position a fire pit under a covered porch or low hanging tree branches.
- Always place a fire pit on a non-flammable surface, such as patio blocks or concrete.
- Do not put a fire pit on a wooden deck or directly on grass.
- Remove combustible litter on roofs and gutters.
- Trim tree branches that overhang the roof and chimney.
- Eliminate all combustible materials within 30 feet of your home.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today (316) 684-6700
How Do I Restore my Wichita Home After a Fire?
This Wichita home fire burned the siding off leaving the upstairs bedroom completely unsecured. We boarded it up the day we were called out.
How to Handle the Soot Covering Everything?
Cleaning soot off your contents and structure is a major challenge in every fire restoration project. Soot is the source of odor; it can be physically corrosive to your property and can be dangerous to breath. Besides that, based on what type of fire you had and what burned the soot will be different and will require different cleaning and restoration techniques based on the damage! Fortunately, our trained technicians know how to identify the type of soot and what processes we need to employ to properly clean it.
How do we start this process?
Sometimes we are called in to help secure a property with our board up services. Sometimes windows, doors or new holes are made unsecure from a fire or from the process of putting a fire out. We come out and board up the unsecure areas when you call. The cleaning process begins in the area which was the source of the fire. That area is where the soil is the strongest and typically where the most work needs to occur.
We begin with out least invasive process (dry cleaning with a dry sponge or HEPA Vacuum) before moving onto more invasive processes (wet cleaning with cleaning agents). We clean every surface such as walls, ceilings, floors, countertops, outlets etc.. We go room by room until all the affected areas have been cleaned and even clean and deodorize the contents of your home.
Call today to schedule restoration work on your home whether it is severely or lightly affected by soot or smoke damage. Our 24/7 line is – 316-684-6700.
Call SERVPRO to Board-up your Home or Business After a Fire
This garage was left unsecured after a fire destroyed the integrity of the garage door and needed boarded up.
Fires often create new openings in buildings from damage to the roof, siding or windows breaking. Windows often break because of the fire itself, people needing an exit or get broken by the fire department in the course of putting the fire out. When the fire has been extinguished and the firefighters have left, you have to put the pieces back together and that is where we come in. We have been helping people come back from fires and others disasters in Wichita since 2001. We can help guide you through the process including the first step: Boarding up your home.
Why should you board up?
After a fire if you have any windows broken, siding destroyed, holes in your roof or any other unsecured openings in your home they need to be secured. This is because:
- Prevents additional damage to your home and belongings from weather
- Protect your property and home from damage or burglary
- Stopping animals from getting into you home causing more damage
- Contributes to your insurance coverage by showing you are taking proactive steps to prevent more damage and address the damage
Once the board up is complete we can begin the rest or the restoration process to help you make it "Like it never even happened." Call our 24/7 emergency line at 316-684-6700 if you need an emergency board-up.
SERVPRO Cleans Smoked Damaged Homes in Wichita, KS
Here is an example where the concentrated soot around the exhaust fan is visible whereas the less concentrated but still present soot cannot be seen.
Not every fire does an immense amount of damage to homes. In fact many fires don’t require a large amount of demolition and rebuild; especially ones caused by cooking accidents. Grease fires, protein fires, contained fires or outdoor fires can all do a small amount of damage to homes but they can produce a lot more smoke and residue than people realize.
That smoke, soot, and residue will go throughout your home covering all kinds of surfaces like walls, counter-tops, cabinets, contents, and clothes. The smoke damage leaves behind sticky residue, stains surfaces, odors, and can be toxic to breath long term especially for people with respiratory issues. The residue is not always visible either so the testing process is very important.
A home does not need to be severely damaged after a fire for you to call one of our experts for a free inspection of your home. The size and scope of damage after a small fire can be very surprising to many people when we do our inspection and show how far reaching smoke damage can be and what all is affected. In our inspection we use various cleaning tools and chemicals (made by our chemists at SERVPRO) to determine the best way to restore your home to its before fire condition.
What goes into a Fire Cleaning and Restoration Project?
Projects vary based on a variety of factors such as:
- Size and scope of the damage
- Source of the fire
- Odor level
- Type of materials affected
To get a good idea of what is necessary for your particular situation it is best to give us a call and schedule a free inspection and estimate to determine what processes are best suited to restore your home. Typically many of our fire restoration projects include:
- Board Up
- Dry cleaning with a sponge or HEPA vacuum
- Wet cleaning with solutions or enzymes
- Ozone treatment for odor
- Thermal for odor
- Content pack-out for off site cleaning (more severe fire damage situation)
- Duct cleaning
We deal with fires all year around and we are ready to help you take back your home after fire. Make sure you review these fire damage tips and give us a call today for an inspection today at (316) 684-6700
Fire Safety and the Fourth of July
Burns account for 44% of firework injuries around the Fourth of July.
This years Fourth of July celebrations are looking to be more robust than usual. It is outside where we can socially distance while still enjoying the holiday and the pleasure of lighting fireworks. In 2018 fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires including 1,900 structure fires causing 5 deaths and $105 million in property damage. In the past we have posted about fire safety for home and even pet fire safety. Here we want to provide you with some information and preventive measures you can take to stay safe while blowing up some fireworks!
The danger for some fire works, such as mortars or Saturn missiles are much more apparent than others. For example a sparkler burns at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit which is 300 degrees hotter than what glass melts at! Due to the highly combustible fuel and oxidizer used in sparklers they can be a fire and burn hazard. Sparklers should be held at arms length away from your body to prevent burns or clothing fires. In case of a clothing fire use fire blankets or the stop, drop, and roll technique.
Fireworks are a lot of fun and can be a great way to mark an occasion. Here is a list of general firework safety tips to keep in mind this Fourth of July:
- Older children (never young children) should use fireworks only under the close supervision of an adult
- Only ignite fireworks outside and make sure you use them were you buy them to ensure they are legal
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to use in case of fire or on any malfunctioning fireworks
- Soak all fireworks in water, preferably overnight before discarding
- Light fireworks 1 at a time on a stable and flat platform and keep a safe distance from any lit fireworks
- Wear protective eye wear while setting off fireworks
- Do not hold lit fireworks in your hand or point them at other people
- Do not ignite fireworks in a container
- Store any remaining fireworks in a cool dry place
- Follow the instructions on the fireworks packaging. Fireworks produced outside of the US must adhere to US Safety standards to sell their products here and the testing is rigorous.
- Punks or long BBQ lighters are the safest way to light fireworks
From everyone here at SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita we hope you have a fun and safe Fourth of July. Feel free to call our office with any questions or concerns about fire or smoke damage – (316) 684-7600.
SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita is Here to Help with your Fire Damage
Whether your fire is as intense as this photo or if there is a light layer of soot and odor in a just a few rooms we can help make it clean.
Often when fire or smoke damage occurs in a house if it isn’t extensive many homeowner choose to clean it themselves and some are more successful than others. Many issues we have seen when we come in after the fact to help deodorize are: using the wrong types of cleaning materials for the soot/odor type, lingering odors, or even a larger scope than expected.
Here are a few tips for cleaning a smoke or fire loss yourself. Of course it is always a good idea to give us a call for a fire cleaning inspection to give you idea of what should be done and what that would cost.
Foul odors are probably the most common issue with fires and it is difficult to know where odor is coming from and what should be done to stop it. Unfortunately there is no way to measure odor or any machine which can detect it besides the human nose. Besides meticulously cleaning every affected source things like carpet cleaning, duct cleaning, ozone or thermal fog can help deodorize after a fire. Sometimes sealing affected materials is necessary to stop odor.
Depending on what was burned in a fire using the wrong kind of chemical to clean can make the issue worse! Some soot types will get set into the material they are on when cleaned with a water based cleaning agent. Oils from human skin can also set soot into the material it has attached upon. Fires that started from protein based sources often need a enzyme based cleaner and other fires need oil based. That is why we test clean before starting a project to figure out the best approach.
If a fire is very hot the pours of materials all over the house can open up and soot and other odor causing particles go into those pours and then the pours shrink as the materials cool trapping those pesky odor causing chemicals into the materials. That is why we often employ thermal fogging at the end of a cleaning which opens those pours up with the heat of the fog, destroys those particles and can leave a nice scent or a neutral one depending on your preference.
Whether the fire just happened or if the smell of an old fire lingers give SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita a call at 316-684-6700 and our certified technicians can help bring your home back to the way it was before the fire.
How to Protect your Pets in Case of a Home Fire.
Here we see a dog outfitted with a top of the line backpack ready to carry her share in the event of an emergency.
We love pets here at SERVPRO and have worked several times with our local Kansas Humane Society here in Wichita because helping lil’ pups and kitters find their forever home just makes sense to us. For many of the homes we visit the animals are a part of the family but many people do not have a fire safety plan for themselves much less their critters. For general fire safety check our blog post to set up a plan for you family and use this post to add emergency pet procedures to your plan.
Planning on how to handle your pets in the event of an emergency is more than just being a good caretaker, it can also prevent a member of your family or an emergency worker from going back into an unsafe situation. If evacuating your home during a fire here are some steps that you can take before and during to be as safe as possible:
- Stay calm and do not panic, your pet will hopefully take your lead.
- Be sure to call for your pet
- Have a leash or cat carrier easily accessible
- Assign evacuation pet buddies like you would people buddies.
- Make sure your designated meet up area will accommodate your pet.
- Rescue alert stickers tell emergency workers how many and what kind of animals are in your house and typically also have a space for the name and number of your veterinarian.
- Know your pets hideaway spot, if they are scared they will go there. Mark those places on your fire escape plan map
- If you must leave before you evacuate leave a door open or some other kind of outdoor access available. Call your pets name when you get out and with luck they may head for your voice.
Some general pet related safety tips are:
- Keep all records of shots and vaccinations in a firebox
- Have an emergency bag handy with emergency veterinarian contact, pets food, snacks, water, medications and toys for comfort.
- Talk to your veterinarian about what your pet might need for a first aid kit. Most kits include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. A pet first aid reference book is also a good idea.
- Keep lit candles away from areas a pet can access and start a fire
- Be aware and take measures for any stove-top or oven control knobs pets could possibly turn
- Microchipping your pet is a more permanent form of identification in case you lose track of them
While there is no 100% way to stay safe taking fire prevention and being prepared greatly improves your chances of avoiding giving us a call to help clean up.
The Different Kinds of Soot SERVPRO Cleans.
This Wichita home looks pretty destroyed and while many materials did need to be discarded many more were able to be saved thanks to our technicians.
SERVPRO works to restore homes and businesses which have experienced fire damage all the time and in the course of this work we have encountered a plethora of causes to those fires. Gas cans in a garage going off, cigarettes on porches, leaving a fish on the stove or even a treadmill spontaneously combusting. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what the cause of the fire is, what matters is getting your Wichita home or business back in order. Please refer to our Fire Safety page and make sure you have done what you can to keep your family and home safe.
As IICRC certified fire restoration specialists reigning in the chaos and damage from a fire is our job. Typically, we utilize the cause of your fire to initialize the most effective cleaning process possible. Since SERVPRO has chemists that develop almost all of the cleaning supplies we use they are able to make very precise recommendations when needed as long as we provide the proper information.
One of the most important elements to cleaning soot left behind after a fire is identifying the type of soot we are dealing with. There are three general types of soot residues produced in a fire:
- Protein Residues: These residues typically occur due to overcooked or burned meat, fish or beans. The residue color range falls somewhere between yellow and brown with the texture being greasy sticking very easily to almost any surface. This can be one of the most difficult residues to clean often requiring strong water based cleaning solutions to effectively remove.
- Natural Substance Residue: These residues are caused by the combustion of natural substances such as paper or wood. The residue is grey to black with a dry dusty texture. Techniques such as vacuuming followed by wet cleaning are effective at cleaning and deodorizing this type of residue.
- Synthetic Residue: These residues are created by the burning of oil based products such as carpet, furniture, upholstery, toys or rubber. These residues are often quite thick and heavy being very black in color and smear very easily. As long as they are not touched with bare flesh they can be removed relatively easily.
Some other elements about the fire also contribute to the level of soil it produces such as:
- Higher temperature fires burn the fuel more efficiently. Since soot is mostly the product of incomplete combustion higher temperature fire will produce less soot.
- Higher temperature fires can also bake residues onto some surfaces making them very difficult to clean.
- High heat opens up the pores of many materials which soot gets into and those pores close as the materials cool making deodorizing very difficult.
- Metallic surfaces become magnetized when heated and soot particles are attracted to those surfaces since they also have an electrical charge.
If you are experiencing any kind of soil caused by a fire refer to our Fire Damage Emergency Tips and give us a call for an inspection (316) 684 -6700
How SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita handles a Fire Restoration Project
In this Wichita home a fire start was started by an electrical malfunction and as the fire grew it broke a water pipe which put the fire out.
Smoke and flames from something burning in your Wichita home can lead to an extensive list of issues with the items in your home and even the structural materials themselves. The fire does not even need to be large or particularly damaging for there to be a layer of soot covering every wall and item suffusing your home with a terrible and unwanted odor. If you are struggling with any of these issues it is a good idea to call a professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita.
We provide in-depth inspections on your home in order to determine the extent of damage and what it will take to clean and deodorize your home. Some of the things we do in an inspection can include:
- Inspecting rooms and areas for the presence of soot
- Severely and moderately materials soiled by soot are typically obviously visible. Lower levels of soil can be invisible but contribute greatly to odor
- Testing cleaning techniques
- Dry cleaning methods
- Spot testing chemicals unique interaction with your home’s materials
- Evaluate what can be restored and what must be torn out
- We always try to restore everything we can to keep cost and time as low as possible
- Determine whether a pack out is necessary
- Pack-outs typically occur because the structure is excessively affected
- We use a pack-out software which links the pictures of your items to the box and barcode they have been assigned
- Give a general road map to you about how this process will go
- Come up with a preliminary estimate on the cost of remediation
While this is the general outline of how a fire restoration project starts there are many factors which can change how a first inspection can go. Since we provide emergency board up services sometimes we will be boarding up windows, doors or any other area which needs to be secures. Additionally since we also provide emergency water services there is typically some water damage associated with a fire that has been put out and we can get right on to drying that.
Whether you are dealing with a large fire or simply an odor that won’t go away after burning dinner we can help get you back to clean. Give our office a call today at 316-684-6700.
The Phenomenon of Soot Webs
This is an example how soot tags look. You can see how easy it is to assume they are spider webs covered in soot.
Being fire restoration specialists we have seen a lot of fire damaged homes and businesses in Wichita, KS over the years. Sometimes the extent of the damage is very evident especially when the damage is on the walls and ceilings of homes. Other times the most extensive part of the damage is in the attics, or trapped between walls where it is unseen until we dig in with our inspection.
One of the most common visible instances of fire damage are the black spider webs that seem to spring out of nowhere after a fire. These spider webs are actually called “Soot Tags” and actually don’t have anything to do with spider webs. So you can put your worries to rest because there is no such thing as “fire spiders” as one of our customers put it.
Soot Tags form in areas of low circulation when petroleum/synthetic based sources burn. In a fire the heat of the fire moves into colder areas since the air seeks to create equilibrium. Since that soot is riding the air with that heat soot particles follow the air into those colder areas with low circulation and are able to concentrate. Since that soot is a product of combustion the particles themselves are charged which makes it quite easy for them to create long chains of soot or soot tags. So while it looks like a lot of soot got stuck on pre-existing spider webs it is actually a whole new structure.
If your home of business in Wichita is affected by smoke or fire damage give us a call so we can start making it “Like it never even happened.” at (316) 684 – 6700.
Guide to Fire Extinguishers for Homeowners
An example of a fire extinguisher, note do not hold fire extinguishers close to sources of heat.
Owning a home in Wichita, KS means there are many different dimensions of home ownership you must have knowledge about and today we are here to help you with one of those areas. In the past we have written about fire safety and steps that you can take to minimize the risk of fires. We still are giving out smoke detectors and emergency plans so contact us for those today! In this post we will go over what is the best fire extinguisher type for your home.
Fire extinguishers come in many classes and some are better suited for residential properties while others for commercial. Different classes are also better for combatting various types of fires. The ideal fire extinguisher combines these three classes:
- Class A: These extinguishers excel at putting out, textile, plastic, wood, trash and paper based fires. These extinguishers use the chemical monoammonium phosphate.
- Class B: These extinguishers excel at putting out oil, paint, grease, gasoline and kerosene based fires. These extinguishers also use monoammonium phosphate as well as sodium bicarbonate.
- Class C: These extinguishers excel at putting out electrical fires and utilize monoammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate. Class C extinguishers do not conduct electricity.
When choosing a fire extinguisher also consider that the class rating refers to effectiveness and area covered by the canister. The larger the number the larger the area it covers. Buy the largest canister that you can operate yourself. Typically people use a 5 pound canister for kitchens or laundry rooms while many choose to have at least a 10 pound canister for their garages.
Remember that fire extinguishers are only to be used when a fire is contained and found early. Once the fire has spread the safest thing to do is exit the building and call 911. When a fire occurs in your home or business contact a fire restoration specialist and your homeowners insurance agent as soon as possible to begin the restoration process. For more information check out our fire page here.
Wichita Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Wichita Homes and Businesses.
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 Northeast Wichita 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 – 316-655-6094