Reducing The Risk Of House Fires
This house fire was caused by a candle getting knocked off of a table by a family pet.
Your home is your sanctuary. A place where your family spends time together and makes memories. That’s why it is so scary imagining your home getting damaged by an unfortunate fire. Although you can’t control everything that happens in your home, there are some necessary tips you can follow to prevent a possible house fire. Follow these tips below.
- Regularly test your smoke alarms. Test your smoke alarms by pressing the button located on the smoke alarm, if it produces a weak beeping noise, it is time to replace the batteries.
- Check your heating sources. Heating sources that aren’t working properly could potentially trigger a fire. Have them checked annually.
- Maintain a clean oven and stove. Food particles left behind can get to hot on the burner or in the oven causing a potential fire. Make sure nothing is left too close to the stove that could catch fire.
- Never leave your kitchen. Don’t leave your kitchen while cooking. It only takes a few seconds for a fire to break out. If you have to step out of the room, turn the burners off.
- Check your dryer. Make sure to clean out your lint trap after every load of laundry. The build up of lint can cause a fire. Have your dryer inspected by a professional yearly.
- Inspect your cords. Before plugging something in, inspect the cord to make sure it is not frayed or been chewed. Replace the cords as soon as possible if you notice that the wires have been damaged. Avoid running cords under a rug or between the wall and your furniture, it can get too hot causing a fire.
- Store flammable products properly. Store common household cleaners and cosmetic items in a cool area. If they are exposed to high heat, they can combust.
- Use caution with candles. Put candles out before you leave the room or go to sleep and make sure to keep them far away from blankets or any other objects that could catch fire. Place candles on an even surface to prevent them from being knocked over. Also keep them away from pets.
- Use caution with your fireplace. Make sure there is a door between the flames and your flooring, you don’t want any sparks to escape. Allow enough time for the ashes to cool down before throwing them away.
- Always have a fire extinguisher handy. When a fire breaks out, your best line of defense is a fire extinguisher. Make sure every family member knows how to use it properly in case of a fire.
Preparing You And Your Home For A Storm
This flooded basement was caused by a severe storm, damaging the interior of the home.
- Maintain surrounding landscaping. In a heavy storm, dead tree limbs can cause damage to the exterior of your home or shatter a window if they get loose.
- Secure fences. If you have a fence, make sure it is secured to help prevent it from lifting up and getting thrown against the house.
- Secure outdoor furniture. Patio furniture and grills can damage the exterior of your home during heavy winds. Anchor your furniture or bring it indoors before a storm hits.
- Check gutters. Prevent damage to the inside of your home by having your downspouts lead away from your home. Clear any debris that may be hiding in your gutters.
- Protect critical areas. Wind can cause major damage to your home. Install temporary protection on windows, doors and garage doors.
- Protect any valuables. Protect valuables by storing them in waterproof containers. Put any important documents in a safe deposit or fire safe box.
- Have a basic emergency kit. Prepare your family’s emergency kit with enough food, water, and supplies to last for at least three days. Your emergency kit should include water, food, battery powered or hand cranked radio, hand crank flashlight, first aid kit, cell phone with charger and a local map.
- Know your family emergency plan. Staying connected during an emergency is the most important. Establish a local place your family to meet during an emergency.
Help When You Experience Flooding
SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus specializes in storm and flood damage restoration and have the experience and knowledge to handle the aftermath of flooding. Our professionally trained restoration crews can extract the water, demolition all damaged structure and place drying equipment to dry your home or business quickly. We have a full restoration team that can restore your property to its pre-storm condition.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we can respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When summer storms hit, SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We have access to equipment and personnel from a network of 1,700 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 614-888-5700
Fire - Smoke & Soot
Soot & Smoke Damage
Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allow 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 Columbus 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 – 614-888-5700
Restoring Commercial Properties
Water Damage Commercial Property
Flooding and water damage events at Columbus, Ohio commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large-scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. When an emergency arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus
SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a 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.
Dangers of Electrical Fires
Like residential homes, commercial buildings are at risk of an electrical fires and you should take precaution to prevent these hazards. Electrical equipment, plugs and wiring can all causes a fire. Older buildings can have outdated wiring which poses additional risks. If you are in doubt, call a professional electrician.
Here are a few precautions you can make to minimize your risk of an electrical fire:
- Outlet & power cords – Make sure outlets are updated and in good working condition. Outlet should not be warm to the touch or make cracking sounds and should fit snugly. Have a professional repair them if you experience any issues.
- Cords & Wiring – Do not use a damaged cord. If your cords are frayed, pinched or pierced, throw them out. Damaged, worn, cracked or corroded electrical wires can increase the chance of an electrical fires.
The National Fire Protection Agency suggest calling a qualified electrician if you experience:
- Frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers.
- Discolored or warm wall outlets
- Flickering or dimming lights
- Sparks from an outlet
Call SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus if you do experience an electrical fire in your business at- 614-888-5700.
Fire Damage: What To Do Until Help Arrives
Experiencing a fire, whether at your home or place of business, can be very scary and stressful. Once the fire is out, you may not know what to do to move forward.
After any fire damage situation, your first priority should be your safety. Is it safe to stay inside your house? If you do stay in the home, be sure to only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
- Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If the electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
- Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
- If the heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in the sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
- Wash both sides of leaves on houseplants.
- Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloths over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in and out of the HVAC system.
- Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus Professionals.
- Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus Professionals.
- Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don’t consumer any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. They have be contaminated.
- Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
- Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.
Water Damage: What To Do Until Help Arrives
What to do Until Help Arrives
Experiencing a flood or water loss, whether at your home or place of business, can be very scary and stressful. Once the source has been stopped, you may not know what to do to move forward.
After any water loss situation, your first priority should be your safety. Is it safe to stay inside your house? If you do stay in the home, be sure to only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
Water Damage From Clean Water
- Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
- Turn off the circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
- Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
- Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
- Don’t enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
- Don’t enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- Don’t leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.
- Don’t leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
- Don’t use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Don’t use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
- Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures is ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
Water Damage From Contaminated Water
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.
- Don’t spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
- Don’t turn on HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Don’t use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.
- Don’t use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.
Dangerous Wind Damage
With spring just right around the corner, thunderstorms can not only bring water damage to homes, it can also bring wind damage. Damage from severe thunderstorm winds account for half of all severe reports in the lower 48 states and is more common than damage from tornadoes.
Below are some steps to take if your home is damaged by wind.
- Call and report your damage to your insurance company.
- From a safe location, take pictures of any damage.
- Inventory any belongings that may have been destroyed or damaged, noting the brand, price, age, etc.
- If you have pictures of your home before the damage, include them with your insurance claim.
Preventing Further Damage:
- If you suspect possible structural, electrical or gas-leak hazards, shut off electrical power, natural gas and propane tanks to avoid fire, electrocution or explosions.
- Cover broken windows and doors with tarps, heavy plastic or plywood to prevent further damage. Save repair receipts for reimbursement.
Repairs and Cleanup:
- Don’t start permanent, major repairs or renovations until your property has been inspected by an insurance representative.
- If your roof needs to be replaced, hire a professional roofing contractor who is licensed and insured.
- Fallen trees or large branches also are best removed by a professional tree service. This service may be covered depending on your policy coverage.
If your home suffers wind damage, please contact SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus for any board up, tarp up, tree removal, or roof replacement services.
Be Prepared When a Storm Strikes
Floods can occur in every single U.S. state. Below are a few steps to take before, during, and after a flood from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
- Know Your Risk: Is your home or business in a floodplain? Where is water likely to collect on the roadways you most often travel? What is the fastest way to get to higher ground? Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time can save your life.
- Assemble an Emergency Kit: It is good practice to have enough food, water and medicine on hand at all times to last you at least 3 days in the case of an emergency. You should also have batteries, blankets, flashlights, first aid kit, rubber boots, rubber gloves, and a battery-operated radio easily available.
- Get to a Higher Ground: Get out of areas subject to flooding and get to higher ground immediately
- Stay Informed: Monitor local radio and television, internet and social media for information and updates.
- Practice Electrical Safety: Don't go into a basement, or any room, if water covers the electrical outlets or if cords are submerged. If you see sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping or popping noises --get out!
- Contact Your Family and Loved Ones: Let your family and close friends know that you’re okay so they can help spread the word. Register with or search the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well listings.
- Wait for the "All Clear": Do not enter a flood damaged home or building until you're given the all clear by authorities. If you choose to enter a flood damaged building, be extremely careful. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to discuss the damage done to your property
If a flood occurs and affects you, call SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus. Even minor floods have potential to cause major damage. Let us help you get your life back in order.