Recent Fire Damage Posts
It’s that time of year again, where we decorate for the holidays. We here at SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant, love the lights. But, we always make sure to check for safety issues. We wanted to share some tips with our customers we found below:
Before Hanging Holiday Lights
There are several things you need to do to ensure that your Christmas lights are safe before you hang them up.
- Verify Proper Rating- Bargain lights aren't a good deal if they pose a fire hazard. Only use lights that have been tested and rated by Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) or Intertek (ETL Semko). Strings of lights that have a safety rating are clearly marked, both on the packaging and with labels attached to the electrical cords.
- Check for Fraying- When you remove your holiday lights from storage, check the cords to make sure they are not frayed or otherwise damaged. Hanging lights with damaged cords can lead to an electrical short. This can damage your other lights and holiday decorations, as well as potentially lead to a fire. If you discover damaged strings of lights, throw them away.
- Use as Directed- There is a big difference between indoor holiday lights and outdoor holiday lights. Before hanging lights, make sure that you are using the fixtures only in the environment in which they were designed to be used.
- Choose Locations Carefully- Avoid hanging holiday lights near any item that poses a potential fire hazard, such as candles, space heaters, fireplaces, etc. Make sure bulbs aren't too close to loose paper or any other flammable materials that present a safety hazard.
- Hang Carefully- Never use tacks, staples, or nails to hang up your holiday light display. Instead, use insulated holders designed especially for this purpose.
Please stay safe and enjoy the holidays! If you need us, we are here 24/7 for your emergency needs. Yes, even on the holidays.
Extension Cord Safety
The holidays are right around the corner, and the lights are going up. As the holiday lights go up, so does the chance of electrical fires from faulty cords and such. At SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant, SC we check our extension cords to make sure they used properly and in good working condition. We wanted to take the time to remind you to check those cords, and make sure you are using them properly.
“The following are do’s and don’ts provided by TDI/DWC for working safely with extension cords:
- Check cords for damage before use.
- Ensure all equipment and extension cords have the mark of an independent testing laboratory.
- Fully insert the plug of an extension cord into an outlet.
- Keep extension cords away from water.
- Use ground fault circuit interrupters in damp environments.
- Store extension cords indoors.
- Unplug extension cords when not in use.
- Only use extension cords temporarily; permanent wiring should be installed when use of the cords is no longer temporary.
- Use an indoor extension cord in outdoor environments.
- Attempt to plug extension cords into one another.
- Use an extension cord that has a lower wattage rating than the tool being used with it.
- Overload cords.
- Force a plug into an outlet.
- Use a wet extension cord.
- Overheat an extension cord.
- Drive over a cord.
- Drag an extension cord.
- Place cords under rugs or carpets or in busy areas.”
As always, we do not want to see any of our customers suffer a fire, so feel free to call us anytime at 843-884-2258, for any help.
Steps to Restore
SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant wants you to know the steps we take to make your home “Like it never even happened” after a fire.
- We first assess the property, see how far the smoke went, check the materials on the property, get measurements, and make a list of what needs done to restore the property.
- Once we have a clear scope of the damage to the property, we sit with the crews and go over a plan of action.
- Once the crews arrive at the property, they get to work to promptly restore the property. This can be anywhere from cleaning walls, carpets, to packing the whole home up, having all fabric materials washed, and taking out burnt materials.
- One the steps we use is deodorization, this helps to get out the nasty smoke smell.
The one thing we want our customers to know is they can ask us anything, no question is too small or too big. We will give or get you the answers. If you ever have a fire emergency, feel safe in calling us at 843-884-2258
Happy 4th of July
Happy 4th of July! We hope our community has a safe and fabulous holiday. We have found some tips, to help stay safe with fireworks. First, we want you to know some statistics. “Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage.” That is just fires, not including injuries. So, please stay safe and follow these tips.
“Recommended Safety Tips
- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
- Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
- A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
- Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
- Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
- FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
- Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.
And let’s not forget the safety of our pets!
- Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
- If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
- Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
- Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.”
As always, if by some chance you have a fire; which we hope you don’t, call us at 843-884-2258. We are here 24/7 for your emergency needs.
Do you know what fire extinguisher to use for fires? Fires can be caused by many different things: grease, electrical etc.
“HERE ARE THE TOP 5 FIRE TYPES AND HOW TO EXTINGUISH THEM:
- CLASS A
This is the most basic form of how a fire spreads. Combustible or inflammable items such as wood, paper, plastic, textiles and etc., catch fire after being overheated. They continue to burn so long as the heat, fuel and oxygen last.
Water and foam is the best type of fire extinguisher for such fire spreads as it extracts the element of heat and oxygen from the burning elements. All you have to do is spray is it over the burning item.
- CLASS B
Liquids like kerosene, petrol, alcohol, etc. are flammable in nature. This is because they have a low flashpoint that qualifies them as easy to burn items. These are exceptionally dangerous liquids to keep near your stove top because a trivial fire spark can easily ignite them, massively.
The best fire extinguishers to use on such a fire type include carbon dioxide extinguisher, dry chemical extinguisher and clean agents.
- CLASS C
These fires involve electrical components/energized electrical equipment, such as appliances, motors and transformers. More commonly, we see electrical fires with overloaded surge protectors and faulty wiring in buildings.
The most befitting extinguishers for this fire type include carbon dioxide or dry chemical extinguishers.
- CLASS D
Loose or powdered metals commonly found in kitchens such as potassium, sodium and etc. are highly inflammable.
For powdered metals only dry powder extinguishers are suggested as this type of fire has to be dealt more tactfully to avoid further displacing the powder and fire.
- CLASS F
These are the general fires caused by the accumulation of oil, grease and spots on your stove top. By nature, these spills are prone to catching fire and there should be cleaned as soon as possible.
The only type of extinguisher that must be used on this fire type should be wet chemical extinguisher.”
Always call the fire department, if you have a fire. But, these tips will help understand the classes of fire extinguishers and the use of them.
As always, if you have any questions, please call us at 843-884-2258
HOME FIRE SAFETY CHECKLIST
COOKING- Keep an Eye on Your Pans while cooking, especially frying. Stay in the Kitchen or Near the Grill while their is open flames.
FIREPLACES, SPACE HEATERS-3 Feet from Heat. Keep all furniture, Curtains, Dish Towels, Baseboards. 3 Feet away at all Times.
SMOKING- Never Smoke in Bed or Fall Asleep while Smoking.
CHILD SAFETY- Keep Matches and Lighters out of reach and in a safe place.
SMOKE ALARMS- Check Batteries Regularly and Replace.
Replace Smoke Alarms every 10 years. Test Monthly.
APPLIANCES- Large and Small Appliances should be Plugged Directly Into Wall.
MOST IMPORTANTLY!!! HOME FIRE ESCAPE PLAN-Practice Fire Escape Plan with members of household and Know Escape Route and Time of Fire Drill and how long it takes to execute. 2 Minutes or Less would be the best action plan.
American Red Cross
Christmas Light Safety Tips
Christmas Lights Safety Tips
Before you flip the switch to dazzle friends and family with your spectacular light show, take a few moments to run through a quick safety checklist.
A house lit up with Christmas lights is a beautiful sight to behold. But stringing lights across your roof and around your home can be a real safety hazard if you’re not careful. So before you flip the switch to dazzle friends and family with your spectacular light show, take a few moments to run through a quick safety checklist.
- Before you string up a single strand of lights, carefully check them for cracked cords, frayed ends or loose connections.
- The combination of shorts in electrical lights and a tinder-dry tree can be deadly. There are 250 Christmas tree fires and 14 related deaths each year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. So keep your tree well-watered. Not only will it stay fresh and green, but it might also keep your house from burning down.
- Modern lights have fused plugs, preventing sparks in case of a short circuit. Ditch old strands of lights that don’t have fuses and get a set of newer, safer lights.
- If bulbs have burned out, replace them right away, but make sure you use the correct wattage bulbs.
- Water and debris can get into outdoor sockets, so make sure outdoor lights are plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet to reduce the risk of shorts and shocks. Hire a licensed electrician if you need to install GFCI outlets.
- Keep an eye on extension cords, as they can occasionally overheat. Just touch-test the cord. If it’s hot, unplug it.
- Don’t use tacks, nails or screws to hang lights, which can pierce the cable and become electrified. Use insulated hooks instead.
- When running extension cords along the ground, make sure to elevate plugs and connectors with a brick to keep snow, water and debris out of the connections.
- Tape down any ground-level extensions cords to prevent people from tripping over them.
- Check to make sure lights have been rated by a testing laboratory. You can see a list of federally recognized labs on the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s website.
- Not all lights are rated for outdoor use. Indoor lights often have thinner insulation, which which can become cracked and damaged when exposed to the elements outdoors. So make sure the ones you string up on the house belong out there.
- Don’t leave Christmas lights running when you go to bed at night or when you leave the house.
- When you put your lights back into storage after the holidays, make sure to place them in a well-sealed container to prevent possible water damage and to block hungry rodents looking to turn the cords into lunch.
My final advice? Be careful with ladders.
Maintaining Your Gas Furnace- Tips
You should maintain your gas furnace every season to prolong its life and keep it working properly. Here are some furnace maintenance tasks you can do yourself, but you can always hire a professional if you don’t feel comfortable doing them:
Ensure Your Safety First – Before doing furnace maintenance, shut off the gas supply and power it off to prevent accidents. The gas line is typically connected to the furnace in a black pipe and has a shut-off valve nearby. The power switch can be found on the side of the furnace – if not, shut off the appropriate breaker at the electrical panel.
Clean the Furnace Interior – Open the furnace door and clean all crevices and inner components of dust and debris with a soft-tipped paint brush. Then, vacuum out the base of the furnace, the gas burners, and inner components using a vacuum cleaner with a long snorkel attachment.
Check the Thermostat Wires – Once you’ve shut off the power to the furnace and opened its door, pull the furnace wires slightly to ensure they’re tight and properly fitted.
Replace the Air Filter – The filter traps dirt and dust, maintaining the efficiency of the furnace. Check and change the air filter monthly during the heating season, but read the manufacturer’s instructions on how often to change the filter.
Clean the Blower – Located just behind the air filter, the blower can accumulate dirt and dust that penetrates through the air filter. To clean the blower, first remove it (unscrew the two bolts that keep it in place) and carefully clean the blower blades with a small brush, as well as the blower assembly with a damp cloth. Vacuum the dirt and dust once you’ve brushed off the blower.
Check the Drive Belt – This component can get too loose or suffer fraying, glazing or cracks. Check it for damage and ensure it feels tight but not too loose (it should deflect ½ to ¾ inches when pushing down in the center of the belt). If it’s extra loose or damaged in any way, replace it.
Clean the Flame Sensor – Over time, residue builds up on the flame sensor which may stop the furnace from working. Pull down the sensor from its bracket and clean it carefully with a fine emery cloth. Place it back into its bracket once it’s clean.
Clean the Furnace Ducts – As dust and dirt accumulate in the furnace ducts, it should be cleaned to keep the furnace working at maximum efficiency. Professional duct cleaning is your best bet at cleaning out your ducts thoroughly.
Follow these furnace maintenance tips and you’ll save yourself some expenses if your furnace stops working during a cold winter night! Check out additional home heating safety tips and electric heater safety rules just in case. For professional smoke remediation or fire damage repair, contact your local PuroClean office.
SERVPRO is a leading commercial and residential restoration franchising company. Founded in 1957, the company offers fire and water cleanup and restoration services, mold mitigation and remediation, and biohazard cleanup and removal throughout the United States.
Categories: Fire Restoration
N. Charleston Fire
Last night we had a fire in N. Charleston, http://www.live5news.com/story/34986601/emergency-crews-extinguish-mobile-home-fire-in-n-charleston . We are posting some tips from the American Red Cross. We want our community to stay safe. You never know when a loss can happen, so it’s best to always have a plan. If you have any questions please call 843-884-2258
Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Learn what else to do to keep your loved ones safe!
Top Tips for Fire Safety
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.
Fire Safety Tip Reminders
We were watching the news the other day of this tragic house fire in Downtown Charleston.
It made us want to remind everyone to take care of your own homes, Make sure to check your smoke alarms and follow these safety tips in the event of a fire:
Top Tips for Fire Safety
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
- Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
- If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.
If you should ever experience such a tragic event. We are there for you, day or night!
Resources taken from: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire
Charleston/Mt Pleasant Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your home
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 Downtown Charleston/Mt Pleasant 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 – 843.577.2470 or 843.884.9096
Techs working on the ceiling.
Started work on the fire damage at the Applebees in Moncks Corner. We estimate to be done around 10 days. We'll be removing smoke from the walls, floors, and ceilings. We will then be sealing and deodorizing. Fire damages can take some time to get the soot smell out, but we have the necessary equipment to make it "Like it never even happened". We have skilled employees, skilled contractors, and are ready to help.
We are happy, we could get the Moncks Corner Apple-bees, up and running. Now the locals, can enjoy their local restaurant.
Call us at 843-884-2258 with your emergency needs, 24/7 or for carpet cleaning, duct cleaning, or questions. We are always here to help.
SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant
Started work on the fire damage at the Applebees in Moncks Corner. We estimate to be done around 10 days. We'll be removing smoke, sealing and deodorizing.