Recent Fire Damage Posts
What Goes Into a Fire Damage Estimate?
Commercial fire in Baton Rouge, LA
Consider The Different Factors That Go Into A Restoration Estimate
Restarting your business in Baton Rouge, LA after fire damage can be stressful. To take some of your load off, you are going to want to know at least a little bit about what happens after a fire. Since the damage your business faces is going to be extensive, you are going to need qualified fire restoration professionals to help you with the cleanup process. The first step to choosing the right company for your project is to get an estimate. While insurance may cover some of the restoration process, you will likely have some out of pocket costs. Therefore, you need to know what factors affect the price of your cleanup.
A commercial fire is considered one of two types:
The cost of your restoration will often be based on what type of fire your business suffered. As far as price goes, simple fires are better because they only burn natural materials and produce less soot and damage.
When you have a fire in your business, you need to act fast and get everyone out as quickly as possible before calling the fire department. How quickly you react can affect your estimate by lowering the amount of damage done to your building. Once the fire is put out, an insurance agent will come and document the damage. This documentation will be used to determine how much your insurance company will pay for. It is also the time when your response procedure and fire safety will be evaluated.
After your claim has been settled, you should begin work on getting the building restored. Remember to look for a reliable company. Someone from the company you choose will come out and decide how much you need to pay to have your business reopened.
Several different factors go into a restoration estimate. How you responded and the type of fire you had are some of the most common things that can impact your pricing.
How Often Should I Change Smoke Alarm Batteries?
If your smoke alarm starts chirping, it's time to change the batteries
There's no question that smoke alarms save lives; however, they must be working in order to do so. When the battery starts going low in a smoke alarm, it can be tempting to remove the battery and forget it. Statistics show that smoke alarms can decrease the risk of losing someone to a home fire by 50 percent. If everyone understood those odds, maybe everyone would make sure their smoke alarms were always be equipped with working batteries.
When to Change Smoke Alarm Batteries
In an older model smoke detector, it was recommended that the battery be replaced every six months. Technology has come a long way in the last decade, and newer models of smoke alarms come equipped with lithium batteries. For these models, the battery only needs to be replaced every 10 years.
If your smoke alarm starts chirping, it's time to change the batteries. It's a good idea to check your alarms every few months regardless.
Always Be Prepared
If a disaster was happening, would you know what to do? For many people, their natural instinct is to panic. However, if you had a pre-arranged plan, your focus on that plan and keeping everyone safe would lead to calmer and better decision making during the emergency.
Get your family together and develop a fire escape plan. Make sure there's a plan for the pets as well. Plan a meeting place once everyone is outside. It is important to have everyone agree that no one should re-enter the home.
Your home and your personal items can be replaced. After fire damage has occurred, it's important to let a professional restoration company enter the home first to begin the cleanup and repair. There could be dangers that they are equipped to handle.
Having a working smoke alarm in your home is critical to your family's safety. If you need to purchase a new smoke alarm, choose one of the models with the 10-year lithium battery.
What To Look for in a Fire Restoration Company
Fire restoration in Monticello, LA
What To Look for in a Fire Restoration Company
When choosing a fire damage restoration specialist to restore your business after a fire, you will want to make sure you choose the best company available. Many types of damage can occur after a fire, including smoke, heat, and water. Making sure the company you choose offers everything you need will simplify and streamline your experience. Knowing the general services you need will help you choose a company that offers them all.
1. Emergency Services
The best fire damage restoration companies offer emergency services, meaning you don't have to wait days or weeks for help. Instead, they usually arrive on site within 24 hours and begin steps to avoid further damage. They will assess the damage, develop a plan, and apply emergency methods until official work can begin. For example, a commercial fire can leave open access to the outside. A tarp or board may be applied over the area to safeguard the interior from the elements or looters.
2. Clean Up
After a fire, you may have so much damage that you hardly recognize your property. Items might be covered in soot and ashes, things may have fallen to the ground, and carpeting could be ruined. During the cleanup process, professionals will salvage what they can and remove what cannot be restored. Some belongings may be taken offsite to undergo specialized cleaning processes.
During this stage, your building will start to look like its old self. Carpets will be cleaned or replaced, walls rebuilt and painted, and damaged cabinets will be repaired or replaced. Smoke cleanup may be done using ozone machines, air filtration devices, or thermal foggers.
Fire damage restoration involves more than just a cleanup crew. You need a team of experts to clean, disinfect, deodorize, and restore your building to its previous condition. By using a professional restoration company in Monticello, LA, you can have your business back to normal as quickly as possible.
What To Know About Home Fire Alarms
Installing a fire alarm can help protect your home and family by alerting you in time to leave the residence and call the fire department.
If a fire occurs at your Baton Rouge, LA, home a fire damage restoration service can help with cleanup, repairs, and smoke damage removal, but having an alarm can help mitigate the damage from the start. When you install a fire alarm in your home, it’s important to do so correctly, so that this tool can alert you in time to evacuate and call emergency personnel to put the flames out. Here are three things you should know to get the best use out of your alarm.
1. Where to Install Them
It’s recommended to install alarms in each bedroom, outside the bedrooms in spaces such as a shared hallway, and in the kitchen. You may also wish to place an alarm in work areas that use machinery such as the garage.
2. How Many To Have
You can calculate the number of alarms you need by counting the number of bedrooms and floors in your home. There should be a minimum of one fire alarm per floor. Add to that the other installation locations and you will know the recommended number of units for your home.
3. When To Replace Them
Many manufacturers recommend that the alarm unit be replaced every eight to ten years depending on the model. You should also replace the unit if you feel like it’s not functioning correctly. You can test the unit by pressing the test button and listening for the alarm sound.
Installing a fire alarm can help protect your home and family by alerting you in time to leave the residence and call the fire department. It’s best to install them in each bedroom and the kitchen and to have at least one per floor. Batteries should be replaced annually and the alarm should be replaced as indicated by the manufacturer. Remember, if your home does suffer fire damage, a restoration service can help.
Is Medicine and Food OK to Keep After a Fire?
SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge Parish is Faster to Any Size Disaster.
Once the house fire is over in Baton Rouge, LA, there’s a lot to do. You should make sure everyone’s safe, make arrangements for your pets (they’ll need a lot of comforts right now), and notify your insurance company. If the fire was structural, you may need a local fire restoration company to come in immediately and tarp up the exposed areas. Then you’ll have to sort out what you can keep and what must be discarded.
What Must You Throw Away?
The most important consideration is safety: is the item safe as is or can it be restored to pre-fire condition? Regardless, there are four categories that should always be discarded if exposed to smoke or heat greater than room temperature:
All perishable food
Some non-perishable food
So, Always Throw Away Food?
Most perishable food will readily absorb smoke and the toxic materials within, so go ahead and throw it all away. Non-perishable food, such as canned items, may be better able to withstand heat, depending on the packaging. If it’s sealed in non-porous material, such as metal or glass, and hasn’t been exposed to high heat, you may be able to keep it.
Can Medicine Ever Be Salvaged?
Not if exposed to high heat or smoke. Even a brief excursion above 100 degrees can alter the complex chemical formula in medicines. Prolonged temperatures above 80 degrees will also degrade medicine, so unless the pills were far away from the action, toss them.
Why Must Cosmetics Be Discarded?
Just like medicine, most quality cosmetics are engineered to be healthier for the body and skin. They can have complex and harmful chemical changes when exposed to high heat. If they’re expensive, some homeowner’s insurance policies will cover them as personal property. Either way, they won’t look, smell or feel the same if they were significantly impacted by the fire.
Ideally, call a local fire damage restoration company as soon as possible. They can help with insurance information and start cleaning up the mess as soon as possible. SERVPRO is Faster to Any Size Disaster.
4 Ways to Include Pets in Fire Safety
Consider placing a pet fire safety sticker in a window
When a fire emergency happens in your Baker, LA, home, the safety everyone in the house is imperative. For people who have pets, they are also important family members but not always as easy to get out of a burning house. When it comes to pet safety, including them in the family’s evacuation plan increases the chances of everyone getting out safely. As you establish an evacuation plan, there are a number of things to consider. Along with the basics for the humans in the home, consider including these pet preparation tips as part of it.
Pets can be curious creatures, which can lead to them starting an accidental fire. If they love cozying up to the fireplace, place a gate around it to keep embers away. When burning candles, do it an area that a pet will not be able to knock over. The same goes for space heaters. Electrical cords should also be out of reach to avoid being mistaken as a chew toy.
People aren’t always home when a fire emergency breaks out. If a pet is home alone, you want fire responders to know that a loved family member is inside. Consider placing a pet fire safety sticker in a window.
This ties in with the human element of a fire safety plan. Identify potential exits, as well as a safe place to meet. Designate a person to be in charge of locating pets during an evacuation. Be sure to know your pet's favorite hiding spots.
The After Effects
Depending on the damage to your home, it could result in a long cleanup process with the help of fire and smoke remediation and restoration experts. During that time, it may be necessary to find somewhere else to stay. Establish a place to stay that allows pets before disaster strikes.
While hopefully, a fire emergency won’t be something you have to worry about, being prepared ahead of time can help keep all family members safe.
How Professional Content Cleaning Saves Items After a Fire
A house fire in Baker, LA, leaves a path of destruction
A house fire in Baker, LA, leaves a path of destruction. The flames burn just about everything in their path, from wood and furniture to clothing and artwork. Substances from fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems degrade and corrode personal belongings. Finally, the pervasiveness of smoke odors is a difficult smell to remove from the home. Fortunately, a trained and certified fire remediation company has tools such as dry-cleaning that can save many valuables from being a total loss. Some items are not salvageable after a fire, but a professional company will strive to save many possessions from being discarded.
The Importance of Training and Certification
After a fire, content cleaning can be a big job. Fire and water damage specialists should respond with a restore versus replace mentality. This limits losses and reduces expenses. Cleaning a variety of surfaces requires training and certification, allowing for the cleaning of the following items:
Trained personnel know that dry-cleaning is the preferred method for clothes, while ultrasonic methods work best for non-porous objects. The right company has specialized equipment to restore a multitude of materials.
The Value of Experience
Just about every residential fire is unique and comes with its own set of challenges. Experience helps technicians understand the best methods to proceed. At times, family heirlooms and treasured photographs suffer damage from smoke or water. A company that is local can respond quickly to limit losses and begin to address the situation in a matter of hours. At the same time, a company that has corporate resources can capitalize upon its expertise and also provide space for content storage if needed.
While a fire is an unfortunate and emotional event for all, it's good to know help is nearby. Techniques such as dry-cleaning and ultrasonic cleaning improve the benefits of the recovery process and save valuable personal belongings.
HOLIDAY HOME FIRE FACTS
Fire damage during the holiday season can be a disaster. Protect your family this season by knowing the facts.
SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge is here to educate the Baton Rouge community on holiday fire damage facts.
- Nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage.
- On average, one of every 22 home fires started by Christmas trees result in death.
- Candle fires are four times as likely to occur during the winter holidays.
- During the winter holiday season, an average of 40 home fires per day are caused by children playing.
- The number of home fires the American Red Cross has responded to has risen 10% since 2000.
- Having a working smoke alarm reduces one’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.
Space Heater Safety Tips
Fire damage from space heaters can be avoided by following basic rules.
SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge Parish specializes in fire damage restoration. We also like to educate the public when it comes to best practices in your home or business. The following information comes from the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) organization:
Heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States. More than 65,000 home fires are attributed to heating equipment each year. These fire result in hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries and millions of dollars in property damage.
Portable electric space heaters can be a convenient source of supplemental heat for your home in cold weather. Unfortunately, they can pose significant fire and electric shock hazards if not used properly. Fire and electrical hazards can be caused by space heaters without adequate safety features, space heaters placed near combustibles, or space heaters that are improperly plugged in.
Safety should always be a top consideration when using space heaters. Here are some tips for keeping your home safe and warm when it’s cold outside:
- Make sure your space heater has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory.
- Before using any space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully.
- Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater.
- Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you're leaving a room or going to sleep, and don't let pets or children play too close to a space heater.
- Space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.
- Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas and test them once a month.
- Proper placement of space heaters is critical. Heaters must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing and rugs.
- Locate space heaters out of high traffic areas and doorways where they may pose a tripping hazard.
- Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire. Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
- Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.
- Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.
Holiday Cooking Safety
Don't let fire damage ruin your holiday.
SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge Parish wants you and your family to get the best holiday experience possible. Please be safe!
During the Thanksgiving holiday, many families gather in the kitchen to spend time together, but it can be one of the most hazardous rooms in your home. Before you begin your holiday meal preparations, I would like to remind everyone that cooking equipment, most often a range or stovetop, is the leading cause of reported home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Cooking equipment is also the leading cause of unreported fires and associated injuries.
The number of cooking fires increases significantly during the holidays so it is important for you to stay alert and be watchful while you are cooking. Whether you are cooking the holiday family dinner or a leftover snack for the children, practicing these safe cooking behaviors will help protect you and your family:
- Protect Children from Scalds and Burns. Young children are at high risk of being burned by hot food and liquids. Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.
- Watch What You’re Cooking. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or cooking food on the stop top or broiling food.
- Choose the Right Equipment and Use It Properly. Follow manufacturers' instructions when using cooking equipment. Remember to plug microwave ovens and other cooking appliances directly into an outlet. Never use an extension cord for a cooking appliance, as it can overload the circuit and cause a fire. Cook only with equipment designed and intended for cooking, and heat your home only with equipment designed and intended for heating.
- Avoid Using Deep Fat Turkey Fryers. The use of a deep fat turkey fryer can be very dangerous. If you do decide to use one, use it at a safe distance from buildings and other items that can catch fire. Never use a turkey fryer in a garage or on a wooden deck. Watch the fryer carefully, as the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire. To avoid oil spillover, don’t overfill the fryer. Oil-less turkey fryers are available. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.
- Keep Things That Can Catch Fire and Heat Sources Apart. Keep anything that can catch fire - potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains - away from your stovetop. Keep the stovetop, burners, and oven clean. Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
- Prevent Scalds and Burns. To prevent spills due to overturned appliances containing hot food or liquids, use the back burner when possible, and/or turn pot handles away from the stove's edge. Use oven mitts or potholders when moving hot food from ovens, microwave ovens, or stovetops.
On behalf of the staff at the U.S. Fire Administration, I want to wish you and yours a very Happy (fire and burn-free) Thanksgiving.
Fire restoration means being prepared
Smoke damage, fire damage? Call us today!
The Boy Scout motto is "Always be prepared." This could very easily be the SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge Parish motto as well.
We take pride in keep supplies staged for fire restoration Many times, when a fire occurs in your home or business, the responding restoration company can show up without the necessary supplies to begin immediately. Not us! We keep a trailer fully stocked with everything needed to restore charring, smoke damage, discoloration, odor problems and even clean your duct system. We also are prepared to inventory the contents that got damaged in order to have them cleaned on site or off site in accordance with insurance standards.
Our trained crews make the difference between us and the competition as they are fully trained to operate the SERVPRO fire restoration systems.
Call us today and let us begin!
Developing an Action Plan
We take the time and deliver the results
When SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge Parish gets a call to provide fire damage restoration we approach it with the understanding that each and every loss is different. With that in mind we start the assessment phase where we develop a scope and action plan.
Our team will carefully inspect each room that was affected by the fire, soot and smoke damage. This is a crucial step in the development of the plan. Without spending the proper time in the begin to understand the extent of the damage we run the risk of overlooking something.
Action plans can be the glue that keeps every body together as a group, moving in singular fashion towards a collective goal.
If you need an assessment please give us a call today.
Deodorizing after a Louisiana Fire
Make sure to get your home or business cleaned by professionals if you experience fire damage
In Louisiana we have very high levels of humidity. If you experience a fire and do not get it professional deodorized the humidity levels could exacerbate the problem. Even if you have a small fire that doesn't cause a large amount of structural damage the soot that travels through the house and settles on surfaces could be pulled out as the summer approaches. As the humidity levels increase so will latent smells. SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge Parish understands this, which is why we encourage home owners or business owners to ask questions regarding the process. Make sure you are getting the treatment you deserve before the summer months arrive and you discover you didn't.
If you have any questions please call us.
Smells can linger if not handled properly
When your home or business experiences a fire the damage can be overwhelming. The obvious damage is usually structural with your contents and belongings coming in second. Often times odor control is overlooked. It shouldn't be. Odor control is a lingering threat to, not only, your sense of smell, but also your health. It can accost your senses every time you enter your home or business. Once you have become acclimated you may not smell it as bad but that isn't because it's suddenly gone. SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge Parish uses state of the art equipment plus good ole fashion elbow grease to ensure that your home or business has been restored to preloss conditions.
SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge Parish is the community's number fire restoration company. We do it all in accordance with industry and insurance standards. Give us a call to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions or concerns.
Don't let your belongings be an after thought
Fire damage to a home or business is extremely devastating and can send you into a crisis of priorities. Typically, your primary focus is on your largest asset, your home; and rightfully so. We work our whole lives to pay a mortgage so that we can live in a house. It is priority number one!
Once SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge is on the scene to begin fire restoration on your home we encourage you to focus of your contents, or belongings. These cherished items can usually be restored or replaced. With your help our crews do an inventory list that we share with the insurance company. This helps you, us and the insurance company to appropriately reimburse you for the necessary repairs or replacement value of your fire damaged items.
SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge is HERE TO HELP!
Protecting you and your family from fire
Anytime a fire occurs in Baton Rouge, LA, there's always cause for concern. There are four key fire preparation and fire safety measures that you should implement.
1. Install Smoke Alarms
Generally, the most important measure you can take is to have smoke alarms installed in your home. Alarms can serve as an early warning system. Place a smoke alarm on every level of your home and inside and outside each bedroom.
2. Maintain Your Smoke Alarms
Alarms are worthless if they aren’t working. As part of your fire preparation, replace the batteries once a year. Test your smoke alarms every month, and change batteries as needed. Make sure everyone knows the alarm sound and what to do if they hear it.
3. Establish Fire-Safe Habits
Make yours a smoke-free home. If you smoke, do so outside. Never smoke in bed or when impaired in any manner. Dispose of ashes and butts with water.
Do not ever leave burning candles unattended. Keep flammable items at least three feet away from space heaters or anything hot. Turn off portable heaters when you go to sleep or leave the room.
4. Have a Fire Safety Plan
Prepare a diagram of your home, and show each family member two ways to escape from each room. In the event of fire or an alarm, get low, go and stay out. Establish a family meeting spot outside your home away from the house. Additionally, specify one emergency contact for family members to contact if they are unable to locate other family members following a home fire.
Practice fire drills twice a year. Press the test button on your smoke alarm, and everyone should leave your home and go to the meeting spot.
Fire preparation is important for you and your family. If you have a fire, contact your SERVPRO professional for help.
Protecting yourself from electrical fires
Electrical fires cause millions of dollars in damages, while also claiming lives in the process. There are so many possible causes for these types of fires. One of these causes can be faulty wiring through out the house, and overloading connection for more than they were designed for. Improper use of extension cords and power strips can cause a situation. Even something as simple as small animals chewing through wiring in the wall can cause a fire.
You can prevent electrical fires in your Baton Rouge, LA home by following a few safety tips. When purchasing a used heating appliance, make sure the temperature switch will shut down the equipment if the thermostat fails. When doing duct work, make sure you use a licensed professional. Anywhere there is an electric current, there is a chance of a fire. By the time you see or smell smoke, the electrical fire may already be out of control. SERVPRO Central East Baton Rouge Parish wants you to stay safe and take action immediately to repair and replace faulty wiring in your home to reduce the risk of an unwarranted situation. Know the signs before the fire even starts.
The most common causes of home fires
Fires contribute to millions of dollars’ worth of property damage each year in South Louisiana. Knowing the most common causes of household fires can help your family better prevent these types of damages in your home. According to the NFPA, the leading causes of fires in homes from 2010-2014 were:
- Cooking Equipment - 46% of all fires
- Heating Equipment - 16%
- Electrical Equipment - 9%
- Intentional - 8%
- Smoking Materials - 5%
Almost half of all home fires result from cooking. While that number is concerning, many cooking fires can be prevented through general awareness and by following proper procedures. This is particularly important with the holidays coming up. Here are some tips to help you prevent a fire damage from occurring in your kitchen:
- Never leave your cooking food unattended, especially if you are broiling, frying, or grilling. Use a timer to remind you when you are using a stove or an oven.
- Avoid leaving anything flammable – such as oven mitts, plastic bags, paper towels, or pot holders - close to your stove or oven. You should also not cook when you are wearing loose clothing.
- Install a fire alarm close to your kitchen, and be sure to test it each month.
- Avoid a flammable grease buildup by cleaning regularly, particularly in the oven and on the stove.
- Turn off all cooking appliances when you are not using them, and double check the kitchen prior to going to bed to make sure everything is off.
- To be prepared for any cooking related fires, buy a Class K fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen.
Call SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge Parish for additional information.
Pet Safety Awareness in your Home
These homeowners encountered a kitchen fire caused by a damaged electrical cord. And the culprit... their furry feline "Sazzy".
To all pet owners out there, our little "furry babies" have a tendency to crave a late night snack as we do. But their apatite for electrical cords can cause some unexpected problems in our homes. Systematically checking all power cords in your home can lower your risk of an electrical fire substantially. If you find any damage, throw it out immediately! And as aways, make sure your smoke detectors are properly maintained and working. Thankfully, this home owner was able to extinguish this fire quickly due to the smoke alarm. Within the hour, SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge Parish was on site and eager to get these folks back in their home.