Recent Fire Damage Posts

Labor Day Fire Safety Tips

8/26/2020 (Permalink)

Labor Day means cookouts, fireworks, and even campfires as people take advantage of one of the last warm weekends of the year.

It is definitely relaxing and fun to enjoy a backyard fire with friends and loved ones, but it’s also important to make sure that everyone involved stays safe by practicing a few easy fire protection and prevention tips:

Remember this list of four Labor Day fire safety tips:

  1. Keep a bucket of water close by. On the off chance that something floating out of your fire catches nearby items on fire, you don't want to have to run to get water to put it out.  With water right there, you can quickly and safely extinguish the issue.
  2. Don’t let barbecue grease accumulate. Built up grease and food on a grill grate has a high likelihood of igniting. Before, during, and after using your grill, clean the grate using a wire brush.
  3. Inspect the area around your BBQ and campfire.  Make sure to keep as many flammable items away from your grill or fire as possible.  Paper plates and napkins catching on fire are a leading cause of fire damage during Labor Day weekend.  This is especially important if you are grilling near your house or on a deck.
  4. Completely extinguish the fire when you are finished. Never leave a grill unattended after cooking, and never go to sleep without ensuring that it is fully out.  A breeze can send embers that are still hot into the air, and they could land on your roof or other parts of your home, leading to a fire.

If you happen to have any fire damage to your home or business, call SERVPRO of Stamford today at 203.324.1642.

What Is Wall Ghosting?

8/5/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damage comes in many shapes and sizes. Obviously, a large fire in a home or business can cause structural damage, water damage from firefighting efforts, and loss of personal items. But a smaller fire can also cause issues that may be annoying and unsightly. You don't even need to have an open flame for this type of fire damage to occur.

One such instance is discoloration on ceilings and walls, that may present itself as lines or dots, often along studs behind the drywall. This is called “ghosting” or “thermal tracking.” Soot from a small fire will adhere to points on ceilings and walls where the temperature is cooler. When a fire occurs, the soot output is very high, so there is an abundance of carbon particles that will discolor the material that it lands on.

As mentioned above, you don't need to have an emergency to experience ghosting. Common household causes include candles, fireplaces, wood stoves, and tobacco smoke. All of these put soot into the air, and over time, can lead to discoloration of surfaces in your home or business.

Whatever the reason that your walls become discolored, SERVPRO of Stamford can help. We are experienced in remediating all types of discoloration that occurs from any heat source, whether it is an emergency or not. Give us a call at 203.324.1642 today.

Carbon Monoxide Stats And Safety

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

According to the Center For Disease Control, more than 400 Americans die, 20,000 visit the hospital and 4,000 are admitted to the hospital due to carbon monoxide poisoning every year. Carbon monoxide is invisible and odorless, which makes it extremely dangerous. Moderate carbon monoxide exposure can lead to a range of symptoms.  The severity of the symptoms varies with the level of exposure that you suffer. Moderate exposure may lead to headaches, nausea, or dizziness. If further exposure occurs, vomiting, confusion and loss of consciousness. It is highly undetectable, and even has the ability to cause death in some cases.

The first step to preventing this from happening in your home or business is to install a carbon monoxide detector.

Additionally, follow these simple tips to stay safe from carbon monoxide:

  • Have any gas or coal-burning appliances serviced and inspected by a professional on a regular basis.
  • Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters indoors
  • Have your chimney serviced and inspected by a professional on a regular basis.
  • Never use your gas oven to heat your home or business
  • Never run a gas-powered generator inside your home
  • Never run your car in an attached garage, even if you have opened the garage door.  Running cars are the leading cause of carbon monoxide poisoning in homes.

If you feel that you may be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, immediately go outside to get some fresh air.  This could be the difference between being mildly sick and far more dangerous results.

Fire Damage Encapsulation

1/13/2020 (Permalink)

This house suffered extensive fire damage after a firework landed on the second floor and ignited the wood. Fortunately, the structure was salvageable, although it did suffer major smoke and soot damage.

This produced a strong odor that needed to be eliminated as a part of the remediation process.  After debris was removed, we ice blasted the framework to remove soot and smoke damage from the beams. This removes a large amount of the odor, but another step can eradicate the smell altogether. 

Once the wood was free of soot, our technicians encapsulated the affected areas. We apply a substance to the wood that protects the wood and seals in any lingering odor. This process masks smells caused by smoke and other carcinogens, and it also encapsulates some of the toughest stains that have soaked into the porous surfaces in the area.

Turkey Fryer Safety

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Caused By Deep Fried Turkey Fire Caused By Deep Fried Turkey

The allure of deep frying a turkey this Thanksgiving may lead many people to try this method that yields a very tasty alternative the traditional baked option.  But this method comes with many risks, both for your safety, as well as to your home.  Fryers can tip over relatively easily, spilling cooking oil, which can burn you easily.  Pouring too much oil into the fryer may also lead to the same outcome.  One precaution that causes the most fires is attempting to fry a turkey that has not fully thawed.  This causes the oil to become severely agitated, which can cause sever burns, as well as ignite any flammable material in the vicinity.  If this is the way you will be cooking your turkey this year, please review the information below so that you keep your family and property safe from fire damage.

  • NEVER attempt to deep fry a turkey indoors
  • Keep the fryer away from your house, and away from flammable materials
  • Do not fill the fryer with too much oil
  • Make sure that your turkey is fully thawed before frying

Fireplace Ash Disposal

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

Recently, firefighters were called to a trash fire that started when fireplace ashes were not properly disposed of. Prematurely discarding ashes, which can stay hot for hours, leads to numerous fires every year. Now that the weather is getting colder, people are turning to their fireplaces and wood burning stoves as a source of heat. Follow of these tips to make sure that you are taking the right precaution with your ashes to avoid any damage to you or your property.

1.) Make sure you allow the remaining wood and ash to completely cool off before removing or transporting them.
2.) Transfer the remaining wood and ashes to a metal bucket, preferably with a shovel or similar metal tool. Get the receptacle as close to the fireplace or stove as possible, as this will minimize any hot material to fall on combustible material and igniting.
3.) Wet down the contents of the bucket to absolutely ensure that no damage can occur. After these steps are followed, you can dispose of the ashes with your normal garbage.

Top Tips for Easy Prevention of Electrical Fires

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

As one of the top causes of house fires, electrical fires can happen anywhere in the home. You don’t want to suffer fire damage or worse due to a preventable electrical risk. Follow these safety tips to prevent electrical fires, and if you have an older home, you may want to hire a certified electrician to look at your wiring.

Plugging in or Unplugging Items - Safety Tips:

  • First things first - Cover unused outlets with safety plugs if there are young children present. Or install outlets with spring-latch covers
  • Replace or repair loose-fitting plugs, which can cause a shock or fire hazard
  • Replace missing or broken wall plates to cover wiring and components
  • When pulling a plug from the wall, hold the plug securely. Otherwise, you can wear out the cord, increasing the risk of a short circuit, an electric shock, or a fire
  • Minimize use of multi-outlet extenders, power bars, and surge protectors. They pose the risk of overloading a single circuit
  • Only use extension cords on a temporary basis. Ask a certified electrician to install additional electrical outlets

If your Stamford home or business suffers damage from an electrical fire, do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO of Stamford.  We have the skilled technicians and specialized equipment to get the job done thoroughly and rapidly.

The Importance of Board-Ups

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

Every year, more than a million fires are reported worldwide. As homeowners, we install fire alarms, equip our property with fire extinguishers and take all measures to prevent one in our Stamford home or business. Sometimes, because of these measures, the house is saved from total destruction, but it needs to be restored before we resume living in it. We need to move to a safe place until the doors and windows of the house are restored. Therefore, it becomes necessary to board up the house after the fire because it becomes prone to various threats. Flames can destroy the doors and windows leaving the interiors vulnerable to the outside elements such as rain, wind, animals, and others from further exacerbating the damage. Boarding up the doors and windows of the fire-damaged house prevents it from external factors such as the environment along with the more feared factors such as looting. After a fire, the building becomes easily accessible to thieves and vandals as they can easily slip into through the damaged doors and windows. Boarding up the property makes it far more difficult to gain access. Boarding the building also makes the fire cleanup process much easier.  Items that cannot be put on sale but can be further used after proper assessment and cleaning and these can also be useful for insurance purposes.

One more important aspect to board up a house after a fire is to prevent human traffic into the house. This is because it further escalates the soot damage. The human intervention causes the soot to be embedded into the carpeting which further makes it difficult to restore them to a good and reusable condition. Therefore, it is highly recommended to get the house boarded up quickly. Board-up services are offered by SERVPRO of Stamford as part of our remediation and rebuild process.

Hole In The Roof

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Even a small fire can dramatically affect your home.  One thing that people don’t realize is that in order to properly extinguish a fire, the fire department often has to damage the home in the process.  Two measures that cause damage to the home are sometimes taken.  First, a lot of water is often used to extinguish a fire, which causes water damage to the home.  The second measure is cutting a hole in the ceiling and roof so that heat and smoke can escape,  They do this so that cool air can flow into the house, allowing for easier and safer entry to put out the flames.  This picture shows one such hole.  As part of our rebuild process, we will fix this hole that was made by the firefighters.

SERVPRO of Stamford provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

Flash Fire Damage

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association a “flash fire” is defined as a type of short-duration fire that spreads rapidly through a fuel, such as dust, gas, or the vapors of an ignitible liquid, without the production of damaging pressure. This is what it looks like when a flash fire occurs as a result of improper use of propane tanks.  One unit in this multi-family building exploded due to rapid flame movement throughout.  Once the fire department had left, our crew got to work restoring the property.  Please use extreme caution when using and storing flammable substances.  If you suffer a fire or smoke damage at your home or business, please do not hesitate to call us.

SERVPRO of Stamford provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

Fire In The Garage

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

Recently, a fire broke out in a home and adjoining garage structure.  Fortunately, none of the inhabitants, one of which was a small dog, were hurt during the ordeal.  The fire consumed most of the interior, and spread rapidly into the garage, pictured here.  You can see just how hot the fire was, based on the damage to the car that was parked away from the house.  We responded quickly by boarding up the structure, and are now in the process of cleaning and deodorizing the interior. Once that step is done, the rebuild can proceed.

SERVPRO of Stamford provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

Eliminating Secondary Fire Damage

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

When a fire occurs, it is not only the building that has the fire that is affected. Often, the surrounding structures suffer secondary damage like a layer of soot and smoke odors. If not properly cleaned in a timely fashion, the issue can lead to more permanent damage that unfortunately cannot be reversed. Here we see Odir cleaning the floors of an affected apartment to remove a thin layer of soot that will also remove the resulting odors. Because we responded within hours of the fire being extinguished, this will ensure that no long-term damage will occur.

SERVPRO of Stamford provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

Attic Fire

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

This is a recent fire that started in a residential attic.  The fire started when some flammable material was left in front of a skylight, which ignited under extreme heat.  The fire started in the attic, and spread down to one side of the house.  SERVPRO of Stamford was called in to remediate the damage.  We will be providing a few different services in this case.  First, we will be packing up contents and belongings to store while other work is being done.  We will also be cleaning the soot off the walls, as well as deodorizing the area from the smoke smell.  Then, reconstruction can begin on the actual frame of the house.

To avoid a similar disaster, remember to keep all flammable objects out of direct sunlight where they may get too hot.

Fire Education Class

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

One of the best ways to learn how to avoid a disaster occurring in your home is to be educated about the issues that can be prevented.  Getting that knowledge at an early age is even more valuable, so it becomes normal at a young age. 

That is why SERVPRO of Stamford sponsored a local class for young kids to learn about disaster prevention and management.  The children learned about fire safety in the summer class.  They learned how to make an evacuation plan for the family in the event of a fire, or any other situation where they would need to leave the house.  In the photo, the class is learning about the fire trucks and how they work to put out fires.  Each child even got to spray the hose!

Fire Extinguisher Importance For Your Home or Business

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

Office buildings need specific fire safety equipment to keep both employees and clients safe. This includes smoke detectors, sprinklers, fire alarms, and extinguishers.  

The first step in fire damage restoration is to put out the fire using the proper tools.  A first responder may use an approved portable fire extinguisher to prevent a small fire from growing and causing further damage.  

The National Fire Protection Agency publishes a series of standards and requirements for portable fire extinguishers called NFPA 10, available here.

No matter what the size of the fire, your first priority should be to get everyone out safely and call 911.  Once the fire has been put out, you can call SERVPRO of Stamford at (203) 324-1642 to assist.

Highly Trained Restoration Specialists

Our SERVPRO Professionals are highly trained in property restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, our Professionals are equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. The SERVPRO training program includes the follow:

• IICRC Training

• Employee Certification Training

• Initial Franchise Training

• e-Learnings

• Continuing Education Classes

Coping With A Fire

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

When we talk about a fire, or any other disruptive disaster to strike your home, we always refer to SERVPRO’s amazing service and expertise making it "Like it never even happened."  We talk about drying and repairing, dehumidification and reconstruction.  What often gets looked over is the mental aspect of these events.

During and after a disaster it is natural to experience different and strong emotions.  Emotional reactions can often be strong, with young children at an increased risk of experiencing trauma from a disaster at home.

Talk with someone about your feelings - anger, sorrow and other emotions - even though it may be difficult.  You can also look for help from professionals who deal with post-disaster stress.

Whether your Fairfield County home has emergency flood damage or you need your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best.  Learn more about our residential services:

• Water Damage Restoration

• Fire Damage Restoration

• Mold Remediation

• Storm Damage Restoration

• Cleaning Services

• Building/Reconstruction Services

Fire Investigation Assistance

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

After a large fire loss many questions need to be answered such as:

• What was the source of the fire?

• Were there any fire accelerants present?

• Was there negligence or arson activity?

• Was it a mechanical/structural issue or human error?

Local fire departments, private insurance companies, gas and power company representatives and many others are called upon to investigate the scene of the fire and do their best to answer these and many other questions. This process can take from a few days to several weeks.

SERVPRO will set up a containment fence around the perimeter of the property and install any needed wind and/or erosion control barriers. We will bring on site portable restrooms and any heavy equipment such as excavators, backhoes and skid steers that are requested by the investigation team.  We provide the investigators with a mobile office, generators for power, lights and computers, hard hats, gloves, respirators, eye protection, water, coffee and miscellaneous office supplies.

Providing the fire investigation team with all the resources necessary to accurately and quickly determine the cause of the fire, helps streamline the entire insurance claims process, ensuring the reconstruction is started sooner for the property owners, so they can get back to living "Like it never even happened.

SERVPRO of Stamford is here to help with all fire damage and remediation issues. 

Avoiding a Dryer Fire

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

The fear of a dryer fire is one that is not commonly heard of, however, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are an estimated annual 15,500 fires, 10 deaths and 10 injuries due to clothes dryer fires. Several hundred people a year are also subjected to carbon monoxide poisoning from improper dryer vent setups. The financial costs come to nearly $100,000,000 per year. In some cases faulty appliances are to blame, but many fires can be prevented with proper dryer venting.

Here are some small steps to take to Avoid a Dryer Fire:

1. Dryer's produce large amounts of lint. Be sure to clean the lint trap after EVERY use of the dryer.

2. Dryer Vents should ONLY be made of metal and be short and straight. Bends and curves result in lint buildup increasing the risk of a fire. 

3. Do not run the dryer when you are away from home or sleeping. 

Stamford Fire: Part 1

1/31/2017 (Permalink)

Recently, a family home on Underhill St, Stamford CT, went from the bottom up in flames. The first dispatched firefighters arrived to see dark smoke rising from the home. However, even when the total of four firetrucks and 30 firemen were at the scene, they were prohibited to enter the home due to dangerous electrical complications. It was stated that the fire had initiated from the basement and was possibly caused by a faulty electrical panel. The fire spread through the walls of both the second and third floor doing irreparable damage. After the electricity of the home was disconnected by a power company, the firefighters proceeded their fight to eradicate the growing fire.

Most of the damage harmed only the home; However, both a resident and a firemen were transported to the hospital and released later with no serious injuries.

SERVPRO was at the scene while the fire began to dwindle. Offering our best service and consolation to the family that had been displaced from their home. After consulting and conversing an overview of our procedure and any questions they may have had, our crew was ready for their cue to be at the scene to begin clean up. On arrival, the SERVPRO crew began their course of action for board up. A total of 13 sheets of plywood were required to cover the combination of doors and windows that were lost or damaged in the fire.