Recent Fire Damage Posts
Fire Safety Preparedness
This photo gives visual examples and ideas of some essentials that should be in your emergency kit.
As you all when a fire happens it's unexpected. You should always have a plan in place and a fire safety kit
Here are some essentials you should consider including in your kit:
- Water, we recommend one gallon per day for several days. For drinking and sanitation.
- Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and flashlight.
- A first aid kit with bandaids in several sizes, gauze dressings, antibiotic ointment, alcohol wipes, and a blanket, etc.
- Non-perishable foods.
- Local maps
- Complete change of clothes appropriate for the climate
- Books, games, puzzles, and other activities for young children.
There are some good kits at your local stores that have most of these included but you can always add extra to be fully prepared. In the event of a disaster make sure your family has a plan and review this plan every month as things can change.
What You Can Do Until Help Arrives
Homeowners putting out a fire can be worse than the fire itself. The first 48 hours after a fire damage can be the difference between restoring and replacing your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO can provide a timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke, and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration. These services help ensure your property, belongings and memories are restored to preloss condition when possible. What can you do until help arrives you ask? Well, you can limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring, place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery, coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil, place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet, do not wash any walls or painted surfaces, do not shampoo carpet or upholstery, do not clean any electrical equipment, and DO NOT send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set the smoke odor. Emotions often sweeps over the homeowner after fire ravages a home. Fear, uncertainty, stress, and doubt about the future can overwhelm a property owner long after the flames are extinguished. So, after the first responders rescue the property, let your local SERVPRO help you restore it. With our industry approved training to employ rapid response, the utmost professionalism, cutting-edge technology and open communication, we strive to restore not only the home, but the customer's peace of mind, as well. So, before risking further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/ Wentzville to make it "Like it never even happened."
Be Safe This Thanksgiving
Turkey getting put into oven
We've finally reached the holidays. Thanksgiving is Thursday and though this years Thanksgiving will look different for most, there will still be people in the kitchen preparing delicious Thanksgiving meals. More than three times as many home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving day as opposed to any typical day of the year. In 2018, fire departments throughout the U.S. responded to an estimated 1,630 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving day. Here are some ways that you can reduce your chances of becoming part of the statistic this year.
- Remain in the kitchen while your food cooks. Unattended kitchen is by far the leading cause of kitchen fires.
- Keep kids away from the stove.
- Make sure there are no cords for electric appliances that are dangling off the table or counter
- Keep matches/lighters away from children
- Keep floor clean so you don't trip while carrying hot food.
- Test your smoke alarms prior to cooking to make sure they work.
SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon is a 24/7 emergency restoration service so if something goes wrong while you are preparing your meal, don't worry, we'll still be just a phone call away.
Causes of House Fires
burning down home
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are more than 350,000 house fires every year here in the United States, resulting in around 2,000 deaths. It's impossible to know when a fire will start in your home, but here are a few of the most common causes of home fires that you could keep an eye on.
- Electrical. Whether it be short circuits sparking up and igniting nearby building materials or circuits overheating from being overloaded with current. Electrical fires are certainly one of the most common causes of home fires. If you're moving into a new place, we recommend having an electrician check out your wiring to make sure everything in in order and safe.
- Home Cooking. Probably hands down the most common cause of house fires. Typically caused by overheated grease or accidentally leaving the stove or oven on. If grease gets hot enough, it can actually ignite itself. Also, when you use portable appliances like toasters or griddles, be sure to thoroughly clean and let cool down completely before storing it.
- Heating. We're currently transitioning into the cold months. As everyone gets ready to turn the heat up and break out the space heaters, it's very important to be cautious. You'll be fine as long as you don't leave/fall asleep with your space heater running, don't leave anything flammable near it, and don't put it near fabrics like sheets or curtains that could catch flame.
- Christmas Decorations. Christmas is next month. Bring on the Christmas lights! Be sure to be cautious though. Christmas trees, though they're great to look at, can be very hazardous. Make sure all of your decoration lights are off before leaving your home or going to bed.
- Candles. An obvious one considering that there is a literal flame involved. Never keep anything flammable nearby, keep out of reach from pets or children, and absolutely DO NOT forget to blow them out.
I know it's not the easiest thing in the world to be mindful of these things, but the more midful you are, the better off you will be. If disaster ever strikes your home, call SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville!
Home with heavy fire damage
It's been awhile since we've posted about the importance of having a safe plan in case of a fire in your home. This little plan, which you hopefully never end up needing, can be what ends up saving you and your loved one's lives. That being said, I can not stress the importance of taking the time to sit down and come up with such a plan. Now that you have your escape plan sorted out, here is what you do as soon as the fire starts.
- Remain calm
- Tell everyone in the house
- Execute your escape plan to get everyone out.
- Since smoke rises, stay as low to the ground as possible as you move through the burning house. Crawl if you need to.
- Don't try and stop for any possessions/valuables.
- Don't stop for pets
- If possible, close the door to the room where the fire is located and close all doors behind you as you leave
- Test the temperature of the knobs of closed doors with the back of your hand before opening them. If the knob is hot, do not open it. The fire is on the other side.
- Wait for the fire department to come extinguish the house.
Do these things and you and your loved ones will be safe. After that is all said and done, call SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville and we and our partner Midas Hospitality will provide you with a free room at one of their amazing hotels and a care package of essentials all while our team is at your house making that fire "Like it never even happened."
The RIGHT Way to Dispose of Your Fireplace’s Ashes
A garage that had caught fire due to fireplace debris in trash can
Do you have a wood burning fireplace in your home? How do you dispose of the ashes and burnt firewood left behind? Do you take the necessary precautions to ensure all of the ashes and firewood are extinguished? Or, do you just toss them in your garage trash can and forget about it? Well, this photo you see here is someone’s garage that did not take the necessary precautions to ensure the ashes and firewood were extinguished. The ashes were dumped in the garage trash can and as a result, the whole garage went up in flames. Luckily, nobody was injured and the fire was put out before the entire house was affected. SERVPRO of Western O’Fallon/Wentzville was able to quickly arrive to the scene and help salvage as much of the garage’s contents as possible before it was too late. This situation could have been avoided by properly disposing of the fireplace’s charred remains. Those who are now wondering what the right way to dispose of your ashes is, this is for you. What I have listed below are the necessary steps to ensure the fireplace’s remains will not catch anything around it on fire.
- Allow the ashes and wood to cool down before removing them from your fireplace.
- Take a metal bucket and shovel and begin scooping the debris from the fireplace to the bucket.
- Pour water into the bucket of debris.
- Keep the bucket of debris outside at a safe distance from your home until garbage day.
- On garbage day, pour the water out of the bucket and then pour the extinguished debris into your trash can.
If you follow these steps, you and your family can rest assured that the ashes from that fire you just had are going to remain extinguished and that you remain safe.
Microwave after scented candle mishap occurred right underneath of it.
Scented candles. A staple in every home. Especially in these upcoming fall months. While they fill your home with lovely scents, it can be pretty easy to leave them unattended. Leaving a candle unattended is more dangerous than you may think. Just ask the owner of this microwave. SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville took care of this family's candle malfunction and made it "Like it never even happened." They say you should only let candles burn for about 20-30 minutes before blowing them out. Not many people actually abide by this little rule, but more should. You're getting the full effect of the candle while also substantially decreasing the risk of that candle burning your house down. So, next time you spark up that sweet cinnamon pumpkin candle of yours, don't leave it unattended or you could have an unexpected accident in your home.
Cleaning With A Q-Tip
We are very particular here at SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon /Wentzville when there is fire damage to the contents of a house. Our crew is very careful about packing it up and bringing it back to the shop. The crew that is in charge of cleaning the content 1st wipes it repeatably with what is called a dry sponge and then they will also use a q-tip to get into all of the little nooks and crannies. They take great pride in the work they do. And we also know that it is way cheaper and easier in the long run to be able to clean and put things back "Like it never even happened." If you are looking for a team of professionals that are going to treat your belongings with as much care as you yourself would than you do not need to look any further. SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/ Wentzville is here for you.
Trying to Clean up fire damage yourself
walking into the fire
Cleaning up after a fire in your home is not an easy task. However there are people who want to try and tackle this job on there own. Here at SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon /Wentzville all of our techs are highly trained in this. Here are some pointers that they have for you do it yourselfers.
With any fire you are going to have a layer of soot on your walls. You will want to get as much of this dusted off before attempting to clean it with detergent and bleach. this will be greasy. if you decide to repaint after cleaning be sure that the walls are free of all soot and that they are 100% dry.
Until your house is clean limit your activity in the house. You do not want to embed the soot into your carpet and furniture. You will want to have the air ducts cleaned and place a cloth over the vents.
Get rid of all water damaged items in your home. Firefighters are great and we are so gratefull that we have them to put out the fires however that was accomplished with water. and water can cause mold. open all your doors and windows and air out your home.
You will want to pull out all the carpet and get the flooring cleaned very well.
Avoid smearing the soot and smoke into your clothing. This will happen if you simply throw it into the washer. You will need to soak all clothing. SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/ Wentzville can help you. If you have any questions about how to do this call us at 636-856-6202
It is also very important to soak your dishes and clean each and every one of them.
Keep the kids safe
We all would like to think we would know what to do in the case of a fire in our home. And when the home is just adults it may be real easy to talk yourself into thinking you would know what to do. Maybe you would. But once you start adding kids to the house it is a different story. Do you have your escape plan in place? Do you know what you would do if a fire started upstairs where your baby is and you are downstairs. or if the fire was in the hall and your kids were in their rooms? This is all very scary to think about and that is why the average person just puts it out of their mind. I urge you that if you do not have a plan in place sit down with your family and talk about it. go over a few different plans talk about where you would all meet outside. talk about how you would know who was going to grab the baby or the toddlers. Talk to your toddlers about getting down below the fire. Maybe even visit a fire house with them. Be safe. Think ahead.
A Faulty Battery
Have you ever left a battery plugged in to be charged? Well that is exactly what this guy did. It seems like a perfectly normal thing to do. We all do it. Only this time the battery happened to be faulty. No one was hurt but the entire garage was destroyed and a lot of smoke got into the house. SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville was able to clean up a lot of their belongings and in the big picture the fact that no one was heart is the main thing. However just because of one dumb little rechargeable battery their garage went up on flames and the house suffered major smoke damage. All of the insulation in the attic was damaged and it caused a huge mess inside the house.
Fire- What To Do Till Help Arrives
When cleaning up after a fire it is very important to clean it properly or you can cause the smell of smoke to set in. You want to limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and causing more damage. Place a clean towel or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery, put a coat of petroleum jelly or oil on chrome faucets, trim and appliances. place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet. DO NOT wash any walls or painted surfaces. DO NOT shampoo carpet or upholstery. DO NOT clean electrical equipment. DO NOT send clothing to a dry cleaner.
Friends & Family CPR Class
Wentzville Fire teaches CPR
Date: June 1, 2019
Location: Wentzville Fire Protection District
502 Luetkenhaus Blvd.
Wentzville, MO 63385
Time: 6:00 p.m.
The Family & Friends CPR Course teaches the lifesaving skills of adult Hands-Only CPR, adult CPR with breaths, child CPR with breaths, adult and child AED use, infant CPR, and mild and severe airway block for adults, children, and infants. Skills are taught in a dynamic group environment using the AHA’s research-proven practice-while-watching technique, which provides students with the most hands-on CPR practice time possible. Family & Friends CPR is for people who want to learn CPR but do not need a CPR course completion card. This course is ideal for community groups, new parents, grandparents, babysitters, and others interested in learning how to save a life. There is no fee for this class.
Cleaning Fire Damage Fast
The Spider is gone
When you have a fire in your home it is very important to start the clean up fast. The longer you wait to start the clean up the more excessive the damage can be and that will also lead to it being more costly. SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon / Wentzville will work with all insurance agents. It is best to get us on the job site as soon as possible. We are available 24/7. The smoke and soot is not always visible. Our trained professionals know exactly how to get all of the hidden smells that may linger in your home if it goes untreated. Every item in the home will need to be wiped down. Soap and water might work but it is best if done with what is called a dry sponge. We will take an inventory that is writen and with photos of all items. We will clean what we can on site and what needs to be removed during the clean up and renovation we will bring back to our shop to clean. We also have equipment that will actually disintegrate the smoke leaving your home smelling better than before the fire when we are done and this is a permanent fix. Unlike simply resealing the walls and painting and getting new flooring.
FREE Hotel Night Stay
Fire Victim Hotel Stay
When a fire strikes, the last thing you need to worry about is where are you going to go. At SERVPRO Western O'Fallon / Wentzville we will put you up in one of our local luxury hotels that will also provide you with a full breakfast. All you have to do is go there and tell them that SERVPRO Western O'Fallon/Wentzville sent you and that we are taking care of your 1st night's bill. They will get you a room along with a care package from us. We want to do what we can to help alleviate your issues. We can help you from start to finish. We also will work directly with your insurance agent. When you are able to return home it will be "Like it never even happened."
Helpful Cooking Fire Prevention Tips for Thanksgiving
Use these helpful tips to help prevent cooking fires in your home.
Thanksgiving is next week, so SERVPRO of Western O’Fallon/Wentzville wanted to remind you of some cooking facts to be aware of to help prevent home fires through all the hustle and bustle
- Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.
- Unattended cooking is the leading factor in home cooking fires, so stay in the room where/when the cooking is taking place.
- Two-thirds of home cooking fires started when food or other cooking materials caught fire, so always be aware of what is on or surrounding the stove/oven.
- Clothing was the item first ignited in less than one percent of these fires, but these incidents accounted for 18 percent of the cooking fire deaths.
- Ranges accounted for the largest share (62 percent) of home cooking fire incidents.
- More than half (55 percent) of reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves.
- Frying poses the greatest risk of fire.
Source: National Fire Protection Association
Home Fire Safety Tips
In observation of Fire Prevention Week last week (Oct 7-13), we wanted to post some helpful facts/tips to prevent home fires.
- “Keep an eye on what you fry.” Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or using an open flame.
- “3 feet from the heat.” Furniture, curtains, dish towels and anything that could catch fire should be kept at least 3 feet from any type of heat source.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Make sure all large and small appliances are plugged directly into wall outlets.
- Matches and lighters should be locked away.
- Make sure you have working smoke alarms. Different types of smoke alarms, ionization and photoelectric, detect fire in different ways. Experts recommend having both types in your home.
- Change smoke alarm batteries every year unless it has a long-life battery.
- Replace smoke alarms every ten years.
- At least twice a year, use your home fire escape plan to practice your 2-minute drill with all your family members. Practice makes perfect! After each fire drill, mark down your escape time.
- Try to find at least two exits that can be used to get out of every room.
- Make sure everyone can escape in 2 minutes or less, and try to find at least two exits that can be used to get out of every room.
Source: American Red Cross
Avoid Garage Fires
You can avoid disasters like this in your home by following SERVPRO's fire prevention tips.
As wildfires rage on the west coast of the United States, the region of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville has faced many household fires of our own. Our franchise has seen two garage fires in the past two months and we feel it is important to remind homeowners that fire safety is essential for your entire property. Many people do not realize the potential hazards lurking in the garage that could ignite a fire.
Garage Fire Hazards
For many homeowners, the garage is a extended storage space for cars, lawn care equipment, and appliances such as fridges and deep freezes. These household items seem harmless, but with the right combination these items could turn dangerous. Anyone that works on cars knows that when there is work being done on a vehicle, there are messes bound to happen with motor oil and other flammable liquids that are a fire hazard. For many people who take smoke breaks in the garage, cigarette ashes in an ash tray can turn dangerous if spilled or even if there are flammable items near by in dry conditions.
Keep your Garage Safe
- Keep a fire extinguisher in the garage
- Install smoke alarm in garage
- Store dangerous products in safe places (example: store combustibles away from sources of heat, such as space heaters, furnaces and boilers.
- Store flammable products such as spray paint and paint thinner in a dedicated storage space in garage.
- Keep water nearby
If tragedy strikes your home, you can count on the professionals at SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville. Call (636) 856-9700
Fire Damage Tips for Homeowners
Don't try and take on the fire damage yourself, leave it to the professionals at SERVPRO.
The first two days after a fire can make or break the possibility of restoring your personal belongings. SERVPRO crew technicians of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville can help prevent fire damage from worsening with their extensive training and knowledge about smoke and fire damages. Our crew are available 24/7 for your fire damage needs before the damage in your becomes irreversible. Before help arrives, there are some things you can do to prevent damage from getting worse, as well as things that could worsen the damage.
Things you SHOULD do:
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
- Keep hands clean. If you have soot on your hands it can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
- Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and high traffic carpet regions.
- If the electricity is already turned 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. You can then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
- If the heat is off during the winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks, and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
- Wash both sides of leaves on any household plants not destroyed. Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
Things NOT to do:
- Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville franchise.
- Don't attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville franchise.
- Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances(TVs, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting the appropriate repair service.
- Don't consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire or heat. Food items may 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.
If you have fire damages in your home, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville at (636) 856-9700
Wildfire Damage Event
While wildfires don't occur in Missouri as often as in California, there is still eminent danger of wildfires in dry and windy conditions.
Wildfires are increasing their chances across the country during sweltering heat and high winds adding fuel to devastating blazes, which are encroaching on residential neighborhoods in areas of the country like Southern California. According to the New York Times, new fires broke out in Malibu on December 7, with at least 96,000 acres already burned in the Ventura area and 116,000 acres in Los Angeles County. Evacuations have closed hundreds of schools and forced 200,000 of citizens of neighboring towns to seek safety. The “Thomas Fire” in the Ventura area continues to burn with the aid of strong winds. This fire has caused the closure of the 101 freeway and a boil-water advisory was issued for Ventura County. The Santa Ana winds; which are enabling the fires to rapidly increase their reach, can have speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour. The National Weather Service has warned of “very rapid fire growth” in this area. SERVPRO Meteorologist Lela Davis said that the Santa Ana winds were already very dry when they reached the Southern California valley, allowing them to quickly pull moisture out of vegetation, increasing the risk for wildfires. For the first time ever, a purple wind warning was issued under the color-coded system used to advise about high winds. This purple warning pushed wind expectations from the “high” category to “extreme”. We are Ready to help, at SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville we are aware of the dry conditions in our Midwest region during these hot summer months. Our thoughts are with those living in neighboring areas who may be put in harms’ way during this event. In many cases, a wildfire can result in a total loss for a home or business, but in others it may be a partial loss, or can result in mild smoke damage. If your home or business is affected by a wildfire, SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville is Here to Help®.
About SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville
SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.
Fire or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help (636)-856-9700
Fire Damage, O'Fallon, MO
These home owners thought the burn barrel was fully extinguished, however, there were still hot embers that caught the home on fire.
Western O'Fallon/Wentzville Smoke and Soot Clean Up Fire Damage
Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Western O'Fallon/ Wentzville 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 Western O'Fallon/Wentzville 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 – 636-856-9700