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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire Safety for Kids

4/12/2019 (Permalink)

Keep children safe from danger!

Have and practice an escape plan

It is important to have a plan when there are children in the home. Children sometimes need help getting out of the house, and they may not know how to escape or what to do unless an adult shows them.

Have a plan for young children who cannot get outside by themselves

You will need to wake babies and very young children and help them get out. In your plan, talk about who will help each child get out safely.

Know 2 ways out of every room

It is important to find 2 ways out of every room in the house in case one exit is blocked or dangerous to use.

Practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year

If children are old enough, help them practice going to your outside meeting place. Teach them to never go back inside a building that is on fire.

Keep our number handy in case of an emergency. We are available 24/7. Call SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores (586) 741-5050

Fire Safety Tips

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Safety Tips Fire Safety in Eastpointe, MI
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are using the stove. If you leave the room, turn off the stove.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from space heaters. Turn off heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Ask smokers to smoke outside. Have safe ashtrays for smokers and don’t dump the ashtray into a trash can until any embers are completely out.
  • Keep matches and lighters safely out of the reach of children.
  • Check electrical cords for any damage and replace them if necessary.
  • Keep candles several feet away from anything that can burn. Blow candles out when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Make a home fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. Replace any smoke alarm that is more than 10 years old.
  • If you are building or remodeling your home, install residential fire sprinklers. Sprinklers can contain and may even extinguish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive.

Remember SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores is always Here to Help @ 586-741-5050. Save our phone number in your phone so that you can be Hero Ready if disaster strikes your home or business

Space Heater Safety in Roseville, MI

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Space Heater Safety in Roseville, MI Space heater fire

Space Heater Safety

About 25,000 house fires and 300 deaths are attributed to space heaters each year, mostly caused when a heater is placed too close to curtains, bedding, or upholstered furniture, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition, 6,000 people end up in emergency rooms with burns from touching a heater’s hot surface.

Half of all home heating fires happen during the months of December, January, and February.

Safety Tips

  • Place the heater on a hard, level, and nonflammable surface. They are intended to sit on the floor, not on a table.
  • Establish a 3-foot kid- and pet-free zone around the heater, and never put a space heater in a child's room.
  • Keep the space heater at least 3 feet away from combustible materials, such as furniture, bedding, and curtains.
  • Don't use a heater in a workshop or garage near paint, gas cans, or matches.
  • Turn it off when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Unplug the heater when it's not in use by pulling the plug straight from the outlet. Check the cord for damage periodically, and don’t use it if it’s frayed or worn.
  • Don’t plug another electrical device or an extension cord into the same outlet as a heater—that can cause overheating.
  • Install working smoke alarms on every level of your home, and in every bedroom, and test them monthly.

We are here for you 24/7. In case of an emergency call SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores (586) 741-5050.

The Dangers of Soot in your Eastpointe Home

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The Dangers of Soot in your Eastpointe Home Soot is Dangerous!

Soot From Even Small Fires Is Dangerous

Often people think flames are the most harmful part of fires, but this isn’t always the case. Smoke and soot can cause even more damage to your health. Even though soot can make you think of Mary Poppins it can be quite damaging to your health. Breathing in soot can cause respiratory distress and other medical issues. To avoid long-lasting damage, soot must be cleaned up as soon as possible.

SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores has the equipment and knowledge to fully rid your home of soot residue. We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. We’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

At SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores we have on call crews that are available 24/7 for your emergency needs. If disaster strikes, strike back by calling SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores, your Cleanup and Restoration Specialist at (586) 741-5050.

Be Safe With Your Holiday Decorations!

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Be Safe With Your Holiday Decorations! Holiday Lighting Fire

Holiday Lights and Electrical Decorations Safety Tips

by ESFi.org

Now that Thanksgiving is over, many of us will be decorating our homes for Christmas. While decorative lights and other electrical decorations add to the magic of the season, they can increase the risks of fire and electrical injuries if not used safely.

  • Always purchase electrical decorations and lights from reputable retailers.
  • Use lights approved for safe use by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
  • Never connect more than three strands of incandescent lights together.
  • Consider purchasing LED lights, which use less energy and run cooler than traditional incandescent lights.
  • Before decorating, determine how many outlets are available and where they are located.  Plan your displays accordingly.
  • Carefully inspect each electrical decoration. Cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections may cause a serious shock or start a fire.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s use and care instructions that accompany electrical decorations.
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices. They can overheat and cause a fire. 
  • Make sure that cords are not pinched in doors, windows, or under heavy furniture, which could damage the cord’s insulation. 
  • Do not mount or support light strings in a way that might damage the cord’s insulation.
  • Always unplug electrical decorations before replacing bulbs or fuses.
  • Turn off all indoor and outdoor electrical decorations before leaving home or going to sleep

Remember SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores is always Here to Help @ 586-741-5050. Save our phone number in your phone so that you can be Hero Ready if disaster strikes your home or business.

Thanksgiving Safety

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Thanksgiving Safety Happy Thanksgiving!!

Be safe this Thanksgiving. Cooking is the leading cause of fires in the home and of fire injuries, so please follow these safety tips:

  • Make sure your oven is empty before turning it on.
  • Wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when cooking.
  • Turn pot handles inward over the stove.
  • Remember to “stand by your pan” and stay in the kitchen when boiling, frying or broiling.
  • Use a timer when baking or roasting and never leave the house with the oven running.
  • The best way to respond to a stovetop fire is to “put a lid on it” and turn off the heat.
  • The best way to respond to an oven or broiler fire is to keep the doors closed and turn off the heat.
  • If the fire is not quickly snuffed out, leave the house and call 911 from outside.

Remember SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores is always Here to Help @ 586-741-5050. Save our phone number in your phone so that you can be Hero Ready if disaster strikes your home or business

Kitchen Safety: How to Put Out a Grease Fire

4/13/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Kitchen Safety: How to Put Out a Grease Fire Grease Fire in Detroit, MI

Kitchen Safety: How to Put Out a Grease Fire

by thekitchn.com

Cooking doesn't normally present a lot of danger. You might nick your finger while chopping vegetables or manage to burn a pan of roasting potatoes, but in terms of actual danger to ourselves or our homes, not so much. Except for grease fires. Do you know what to do if your cooking oil catches fire?

A grease fire happens when your cooking oil becomes too hot. When heating, oils first start to boil, then they'll start smoking, and then they'll catch on fire. Most vegetable oils have a smoking point around 450°F, while animal fats like lard or goose fat will start smoking around 375°F.

The very best safety is prevention. Whenever you're heating oil for pan-frying or deep-fat frying, stay in the kitchen. Use a heavy pot with a lid and clip a thermometer to the side so you know the temperature of the oil.

Keep an eye on the oil as it's heating. If you see wisps of smoke or smell something acrid, immediately turn down the heat or remove the pot from the burner completely. The oil won't immediately catch fire once it starts smoking, but smoke is a danger sign that it's well on its way to getting there.

If the worst happens and your oil does catch on fire, do the following:

  • Turn the Heat Off - Don't try to move the pot. You might accidentally splash yourself or your kitchen with burning oil. And that would be bad.
  • Cover the Pot with a Metal Lid - Fire cannot exist in the absence of oxygen. With the lid on (and the heat off), the fire should quickly consume all the oxygen and put itself out. Use a metal lid since glass will shatter.
  • Pour on Baking Soda - Baking soda will extinguish grease fires, but only if they're small. It takes a lot of baking soda to do the job.
  • Spray the Pot with a Class B Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher - This is your last resort, as fire extinguishers will contaminate your kitchen. Still, it's better than the alternative if the fire is getting out of control.
  • Get Out and Call 911 - If the fire does break out of control, don't try to be a hero. Get out and find a phone to call 911.

Whatever you do, DO NOT do the following:

  • Do Not Use Water - Pouring water can cause the oil to splash and spread the fire. The vaporizing water can also carry grease particles in it, also spreading the fire.
  • Do Not Move the Pot or Carry It Outside - Throwing the pot outside might seem logical in the frenzy of the moment. But trying to move the pot might splash burning oil on you, your home, and anything outside.
  • Do Not Throw Any Other Baking Product On the Fire - Flour might look like baking soda, but it won't react the same. Only baking soda can help put out a grease fire.

Remember SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores is always Here to Help @ 586-741-5050. Save our phone number in your phone so that you can be Hero Ready if disaster strikes your home or business

Fire Safety Tips for Using Microwave Ovens

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Safety Tips for Using Microwave Ovens Fire in Microwave in Warren, MI

Fire Safety Tips for Using Microwave Ovens

By National Institutes of Health

Microwave ovens are used every day, both at home and in the workplace. When used properly, the microwave is safe and convenient for heating a variety of foods in a short time. When you become complacent about microwave safety, however, your appliance can cause painful burns and become a potential fire hazard.

The following tips will help make the use of your microwave oven a safe method of food preparation.

  • Before using a new microwave oven, always read the manufacturers operating procedures and safety precautions first.
  • To minimize risk of fire, never attempt to heat articles that are not approved for use in microwave ovens.
  • Remove food from packaging before defrosting in a microwave oven. Do not use plastic storage containers, foam trays and plastic wraps in microwave ovens because they are not heat stable at high temperatures. Melting or warping can occur which may cause harmful chemicals to migrate into the food.
  • Never use recycled paper products in microwave ovens unless they are specifically approved for microwave use. Some recycled products including paper towels and even waxed paper may contain minute metal flecks. When a microwave oven is operating, the interaction between microwaves and the metal can cause sparks and even flames.
  • Do not leave a microwave oven unattended when microwaving popcorn, since the heat buildup can cause fires. Heat the popcorn according to the written instructions but begin with the minimum time specified because some microwaves can scorch popcorn in as little as two minutes.
  • If you have a fire in your microwave oven, turn it off immediately. This will stop the fan so it won’t feed oxygen to the flames. Then simply wait until the fire suffocates. Never open the oven door until you are absolutely certain that the fire is out. If in doubt, call the fire department.
  • Use only microwave-safe utensils. The instructions that come with each microwave oven specify what kinds of containers are safe to use and how to test the suitability of materials before use.
  • Always use oven mitts to remove items from the microwave oven after cooking. Be careful when removing a wrapping or covering from a hot item. Hot steam escaping from the container, as the covering is lifted, can cause painful burns.
  • Be careful when heating liquids in the microwave oven. Since the containers may only feel warm, rather than hot, they are sometimes handled with less caution. This can easily result in the splashing or spilling of a scalding liquid.
  • Before allowing children to operate a microwave oven, make sure that they are instructed in the proper use, and that they are tall enough to reach the oven and handle foods safely. Over 500f those burned using microwave ovens are under 5 years of age.  
  • If you have any questions concerning microwave oven fire safety and burn prevention, please contact the Division of the Fire Marshal, Office of Research Services, at 301-496-0487.
  • At SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores we have on call crews that are available 24/7 for your emergency needs. If disaster strikes, strike back by calling SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores. Your Cleanup and Restoration Specialist at (586) 741-5050.

Furnace and Boiler Puffbacks in Macomb County

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Furnace and Boiler Puffbacks in Macomb County Furnace and Boiler Puffback in Macomb County.

The following article on “Furnace and Boiler Puffbacks”, written by Matt Livingston of HVAC Investigators, originally appeared in the Technical Notebook Column of Claims Magazine and was also published on Property Casualty 360

As the weather gets colder and homeowners start up their heating systems for the first time in months, insurance carriers see an influx of claims for the failure of furnaces and boilers. One frequent issue that can be both messy and potentially dangerous is a phenomenon known as a “puffback.”

A puffback is a release of smoke or soot that occurs when a boiler or furnace misfires. It is important that adjusters and insurance carriers understand what a puffback is and what causes one to occur. Not only are they expensive (and occasionally dangerous), but they are often caused by a non-covered cause of loss.

What is a puffback?

A puffback occurs when a furnace or boiler does not ignite properly and allows oil or gas vapors to build up within the ignition/combustion chamber. When it does finally ignite, the excess fuel in the chamber causes this puffback scenario. The result can be anywhere from a small amount of smoke to a minor explosion, depending on how much fuel has accumulated in the chamber.

Puffbacks can occur in both oil and gas furnaces and boilers, but are much more common in oil-fired equipment. Oil furnaces and boilers require more maintenance than their gas-fired counterparts, presenting more opportunities for the ignition process to be hindered if the system is not properly maintained. Additionally, oil is less likely than gas to dissipate, leading to larger average explosions. Forced air, oil-fired heating system puffbacks tend to be the messiest, as oil creates more soot than gas, and the ductwork for the forced air system can spread that soot to every room in the home.

What causes a puffback?

Regardless of fuel type, furnaces and boilers should have annual system maintenance. Puffbacks generally occur due to a lack of this routine maintenance or because of age-related wear and tear. Specific causes can include:

  • A leak at or near the combustion chamber can allow the fuel to build up in the combustion chamber and can cause a puffback to occur upon ignition.
  • A clogged exhaust or chimney that is obstructed by dirt, dust, fuel residue, rust or corrosion could prevent combustion gases from properly venting out of the furnace. This can cause an internal pressure irregularity that can eventually lead to a puffback, due to an incorrect ratio of fuel to air.
  • A cracked heat exchanger (similar to a clogged exhaust or chimney) prevents the combustion gases from properly venting out the furnace and results in an internal pressure irregularity that can cause a flame roll out. The resulting improper combustion process allows excess fuel to enter the ignition chamber and potentially lead to a puffback when ignition occurs.
  • Manually resetting the system too often when it fails to ignite may cause unburned fuel to accumulate in the chamber and can lead to a puffback once ignition finally occurs.
  • A damaged oil fuel nozzle, such as one that is clogged or cracked, may cause the oil to spray unevenly and result in insufficient fuel for the burners to ignite. The nozzle will continue to attempt to spray and allow excess oil to enter the burner over time. When the oil eventually ignites, a puffback can occur.
  • A clogged burner full of dirt, dust, fuel residue, rust or corrosion can cause a misfire and allow excess fuel to build up in the combustion chamber. This may eventually lead to a puffback when the fuel at last ignites.

How do you diagnose the cause of a puffback?

Following a puffback event, it is often not recommended to turn the system on and perform full diagnostic testing, as this can be both dangerous and messy. There are, however, other ways for HVAC professionals to detect if a puffback has occurred and what the chief contributor to the problem might have been. These diagnostic steps include:

  1. Check for fuel leaks in and around the combustion chamber. Visible signs of leaking oil are a strong sign that a puffback has occurred, and that the leak and/or air in the oil line were the primary culprits.
  2. Check the exhaust/flue for clogs. Blockage in the heating system exhaust could impact the fuel-to-air ratio and prevent fumes from safely venting. If observed during the post-puffback investigation, this blockage is a likely contributor to the problem.
  3. Perform a “candle check” of the heat exchanger. Holding a lit flame near the heat exchanger while the blower is on will provide a visual indication that a crack is present, and will thus provide a likely puffback cause.
  4. Inspect the oil nozzle and burner assembly for damage, checking to see if this condition caused the puffback. However, depending on the severity of the puffback incident, the fuel nozzle and burners themselves may have been damaged, limiting the ability to definitively diagnose the puffback cause using this method.

You should also follow up with a mitigation company that can test throughout your house to verify the extent of the damage and if an insurance claim needs to be filed.  You can set up your free appointment with our professionals today at SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores at (586) 741-5050. 

Space Heater Fire Damage in St. Clair Shores

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Space Heater Fire Damage in St. Clair Shores Fire damage in St. Clair Shores Cleanup

Space Heaters And Fire Damage

Most of the U.S. is experiencing much colder than normal temperatures right now. In Michigan, we are gearing up for outdoor winter activities, like ice skating, skiing, sledding and snow mobile rides with all of the snow we keep getting.  To stay snuggly warm indoors, many homes will be investing in space heaters. Did you know that space heaters, if not properly used, is the leading cause of residential and commercial fires? The National Fire Protection Association reports that one-third of all house fires happen during the cold months between December and February.

Fires can occur by space heaters without the proper safety features. The devastating results of a fire damage in St. Clair Shores can make a family homeless and close down a commercial establishment. However, when used correctly, space heaters can be safe to use. The safety features and tips to stay safe in using electric space heaters, are:

• Space heater should be placed on a flat, solid surface
• Use a heater with an automatic shut-off features.
• Use a three-foot space zone around space heaters.
• Supervise children and pets around space heaters that are on.
• Never leave a space heater on when absent or asleep.

Space heaters help to give warmth during those cold, chilly days. Just play it safe and keep an eye on them, don't leave them alone. As comfortable as they are to use in the winter, they can easily destroy a home or an office building. If a fire breaks out, dial 911 first, then call SERVPRO for complete restoration treatments. Immediate action is crucial when dealing with water, fire and mold damage. We’re dedicated to responding quickly when you need help. A fast response helps lessen damages and quick action also limits any secondary damage, and reduces cost.

SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores does not apply blame to how a fire starts; we just do all we can to make you whole again. We specialize in fire and water restoration. Our advanced training, experience, and specialized equipment in restoration techniques, can quickly restore your property. Call us when you need the best in fire damage recovery, we are available 24-hours a day - (586) 741-5050.

Christmas Tree Safety Tips

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Christmas Tree Safety Tips Be Safe This Christmas!

10 Christmas Tree Safety Tips by Robert Siciliano

We want you to have a safe holiday season. Did you know that Christmas trees can kill? Not by falling on you, but by burning down your house. Between 2006 and 2010, about 230 home fires per year were responded to by U.S. fire departments, killing an average of four people each year and injuring many more.

Though not common, Christmas tree fires usually cause serious and costly damage. Eighteen percent of these fires were caused by a heat source too close to the tree. Improper disposal of the tree is also implicated as a cause. Here are tips to prevent this very preventable type of residential fire.

  1. Choose fresh over cheap and dry. The fresher the tree, the less likely it will pose a fire hazard. Look for flexible needles that don’t break, and a trunk with sap. 
  2. Keep the water coming. The tree stand should contain a continuous source of water and be sturdy enough to resist toppling by kids or pets.
  3. Don’t choke the cord. Attach only three maximum strings of lights to any one extension cord, then place cords along walls to prevent a tripping hazard. Never run them under rugs or carpets.
  4. Trees don’t need warmth. Keep the tree away from heat sources such as fireplaces, candles and even a TV.
  5. Not any lights will do. Use low energy, safe lighting that’s been certified by a safety testing lab. Don’t use damaged or frayed cords.
  6. Shut the lights. Never leave the lights on overnight. Same goes for any appliances not in use when you are home or away.
  7. Don’t keep a dry tree around. Dispose of it at this point properly. Don’t even keep it in the garage.
  8. Artificial tree safety awareness. Artificial trees should be flame resistant and have a seal for an approved safety testing laboratory if the tree contains a built-in lighting set.
  9. Death by artificial tree. If the tree is metal, never use electric lights, as they can charge the tree and lead to electrocution.
  10. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Make sure everyone knows its location and how to use it.

Remember SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores is always Here to Help @ 586-741-5050. Save our phone number in your phone so that you can be Hero Ready if disaster strikes your home or business.

Be Safe This Thanksgiving!

11/13/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Be Safe This Thanksgiving! Kitchen Fire!

nfpa.org

For most, the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays. From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations.

So, keeping fire safety top of mind in the kitchen during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there’s a lot of activity and people at home. As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large family feast, remember, by following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safer from fire.

Thanksgiving by the numbers:

  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
  • In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
  • Cooking equipment was involved in almost half (48%) of all reported home fires and civilian and tied with heating equipment for the second leading cause of home fire deaths. 

Safety tips:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button. 

Remember SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores is always Here to Help @ 586-741-5050. Save our phone number in your phone so that you can be Hero Ready if disaster strikes your home or business

8 Flammable Liquids Lying Around Your House

10/23/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know these common household items could cause a fire? David Arv Bragi

Look around your house, including under the kitchen and bathroom sinks and in your garage. Do you see hair spray, rubbing alcohol, paint thinner or linseed oil? Chances are, if you're an average homeowner (or renter), you have a wide variety of flammable liquids under your roof.

Flammable or combustible liquids cause more than 43,000 home fires each year, resulting in 200 deaths, 2,500 injuries and $469 million in property damage, according to estimates by the National Fire Protection Association. The chances that they'll set your house on fire are slim — if you take the right precautions. The Federal Hazardous Substances Act requires that all flammable or combustible household products carry a precautionary label alerting consumers about the danger of fire or explosion. “But consumers have a role to play as well,” says John Drengenberg, consumer safety director at UL, which develops product safety standards. “Make sure that you put on the cap and, if it spills, clean it up properly.”

Here are eight flammable liquids that may be lying around your home.

Nail polish remover. The liquid you rub over your fingernails is composed of acetone, which is highly flammable. Recently, in Cypress, Texas, a woman's body caught fire when a nearby candle ignited her nail polish remover.

Flammable and combustible liquids don't actually catch fire themselves. It's the vapors they give off that burn, according to Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s East Side Fire Department. In the Cypress case, vapors from the nail polish remover migrated to the candle flame, then ignited.

Fortunately, such incidents are rare. “It's in tiny bottles. It's a small amount,” says Drengenberg. “You're not generally doing your nails near a fire that can cause it to ignite.” Just be sure you aren't.

Rubbing alcohol. The rubbing alcohol you keep in your medicine cabinet is flammable and vaporizes quickly. The Environmental Protection Agency says numerous home fires have started when people poured it over fabrics to get rid of bedbugs (the agency calls this treatment method illegal).

Gasoline, paint thinner and turpentine. One of the most dangerous liquids in the home, gasoline starts approximately 8,000 home fires annually. One reason is that people often store it improperly in their garage. “I've heard many stories about glass jars filled with gasoline falling off a shelf and breaking,” says Drengenberg. “The metal lid, for instance, can create a spark." Store it in a UL-approved container at room temperature away from heat sources like your hot water heater or furnace. Also store flammable solvents like paint thinner and turpentine in tightly sealed containers away from heat sources.

Lighter fluid. Many backyard grill masters rely on charcoal lighter fluid to fire up the coals in a jiffy. But it's easy to create an out-of-control flame on the grill, burning a lot more than your pork chops.

Some tips from the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control: Douse the coals before, not after, lighting them (that is, only when the briquettes are cold). Never spray anything but recognized charcoal lighter fluid on the grill,

And don't go overboard. “Many people are hungry when they light the charcoal, and the temptation is to spray more fluid into the fire to speed up the cooking,” says Drengenberg.

Aerosol cans. Many aerosol spray cans use a flammable propellant, such as propane or butane, according to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. “If you have a candle or a fireplace in a room, don't spray near it,” says Drengenberg. In addition, the pressurized cans themselves might explode when overheated, so keep them away from heat sources. An explosion also could occur if a pressurized can is accidentally punctured. Last year at Montana State University, two students were reportedly playing with a lighter and an aerosol can when the can exploded. One of the students was hospitalized with burns to half his body.

Linseed oil. Instead of evaporating vapors into the air, certain liquids used in staining or finishing work, such as linseed oil, dry up on exposure to air, according to the Bend, Oregon Fire Department. That drying process, called oxidation, generates heat that can cause cleaning rags soaked in linseed oil to spontaneously ignite. Regardless of the chemical processes involved, many products used to strip, stain or paint contain hazardous liquids. In Wheaton, Illinois, authorities suspect that a house fire started when stripping solvents ignited during a remodeling job. Furniture polish and other cleaning products are also potentially hazardous if they are oil-based.

Handling spills. If you spill a flammable liquid, open windows immediately. But don't use fans or other electrical devices, which can be a source of ignition, according to the Pasadena, California Fire Department.

After cleaning up a spill, “take the rag or towel out of the home and dispose of it,” says Drengenberg. “If it is really saturated with oil, it might be good to use a zip-lock bag. Otherwise, getting it out of your house and into a garbage can would be good.”

If you get liquids on your hands, don't wipe them on your clothes or your pants or shirt may become flammable, advises the Consumer Product Safety Commission. If your clothing does become contaminated, spot-wash it by hand, then dry it on a line. Avoid using a washer or dryer, which can sometimes ignite the clothing.

Fortunately, modern packaging has made most flammable products safer to use. “If you drop it, these days they are sold in plastic containers, so the chance of a spill is reduced,” says Drengenberg.

Remember SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores is always Here to Help @ 586-741-5050. Save our phone number in your phone so that you can be Hero Ready if disaster strikes your home or business.

Don't Get Trapped In Your Basement!

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Don't Get Trapped In Your Basement! Don't let this be your only way out

Don’t get trapped in your basement

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

The old saying “Always leave yourself an out” is especially true when it comes to home fires. When the basement stairs are blocked, or fire and thick, black smoke are racing down a hallway toward a dead-end bedroom, windows that are large enough for you to escape—and for firefighters to enter—become essential lifesaving equipment. These all-important escape hatches are called egress windows.

You may have installed smoke detectors, but if you haven't provided a way out once they blare, you've only done half the job. This is especially true for upstairs bedrooms and basements, where the stairway is often the sole escape route. If that stairway is blocked, you can be trapped.

According to the International Building Code, “Basements and sleeping rooms below the fourth story shall have at least one exterior emergency escape and rescue opening. Such opening shall open directly into a public street, alley, yard or court.”

Few of us think of windows as lifesaving equipment— but they are! When you need to escape a house fire or other disaster, or when rescue personnel need to enter—the right size egress window can make the difference between life and death.

Remember SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores is always Here to Help @ 586-741-5050. Save our phone number in your phone so that you can be Hero Ready if disaster strikes your home or business.

Don't Let Fireworks Spark a House Fire!

6/13/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Don't Let Fireworks Spark a House Fire! Fireworks Damage

Recommended Firework Safety Tips

© The National Council on Fireworks Safety, Inc

  • 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.

Be safe this July 4th!! SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores is always Here to Help 24/7 (586) 741-5050.

Watch Professional Fireworks Instead of Risking a House Fire

6/13/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Watch Professional Fireworks Instead of Risking a House Fire Detroit Fireworks

Be safe this July 4th!

The fireworks season is upon us. We are always preaching fire safety. The best way to enjoy fireworks is by going to a professional display instead of doing them yourself and taking a chance of a house fire. Here is a list of fireworks shows for select communities in Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair and Wayne counties as reported by michiganfireworks.com:

Macomb County

June 20

  • Utica Riverwalk at the Clock tower next to City Hall, 9:45 p.m.
  • RoseFest at Veterans Memorial Park, Roseville, dusk

June 25

  • Bay-Rama Fishfly Festival at Waterfront Park in New Baltimore, 10 p.m.

June 26

  • St. Clair Shores Fireworks Extravaganza at Veterans Memorial Park, dusk
  • Stony Creek Metroparks Fireworks in Shelby Township, dusk
  • Mount Clemens Independence Day Fireworks Presented by Wayne & Joan Webber Foundation, riverfront, dusk

June 28

  • Stars & Stripes Festival at Freedom Hill Park in Sterling Heights, 10 p.m.

June 30

  • Center Line Fireworks at Memorial Park, 10 p.m.
  • Lake St. Clair Metropark Fireworks in Harrison Township, 10 p.m.

July 4

  • MacRay Harbor over Lake St. Clair, Harrison Township, 10 p.m.

July 8

  • Clinton Township Fireworks at Civic Center, dusk

July 26

  • Fraser Picnic and Parade at City Hall, dusk

Aug.8

  • Memphis Festival Days at City Park, 10 p.m.
  • New Haven Rocket Fest at New Haven High School, 10 p.m.

Aug. 28

  • City of Warren Birthday Bash at City Square, dusk

Sept. 12

  • Richmond Good Old Days Festival over the festival grounds, 10 p.m.

Oakland County

June 20

  • Ortonville CreekFest Fireworks at Brandon Middle School, dusk
  • Walled Lake Let Freedom Ring Block Party on E. Walled Lake Road, dusk

June 24

  • Rochester Festival of the Hills at Borden Park, 10:06 p.m.

June 25

  • Red Run Golf Course in Royal Oak, dusk
  • Wixom Independence Day Fireworks at Sibley Park, dusk

June 27

  • Lake Orion 2015 Jubilee at Green’s Park, dusk

June 28

  • Festival in the Park at Civic Center Park in Madison Heights, 10 p.m.
  • Kensington Metropark Fireworks in Milford, dusk

July 3

  • Addison Oaks County Park in Leonard, 9:30 p.m.
  • Beverly Hills/Birmingham Fireworks at Lincoln Hills Golf Course, dusk
  • Oakland County Boat Club Fireworks over Sylvan Lake, dusk
  • Wolverine Lake Tiki Night and Fireworks, dusk
  • Oakland County Fair at Springfield Oaks County Park in Davisburg, 10 p.m.
  • Hazel Park Raceway, 10:30 p.m.

July 4

  • Groveland Oaks Park in Holly, 9:30 p.m.
  • Clawson Park, dusk
  • Lake Orion Fourth of July Fireworks over Lake Orion, dusk
  • White Lake Fireworks at south end of lake in Highland, dusk
  • Clarkston Independence Fest at Clintonwood Park, dusk
  • Big Bang Fireworks at Maceday Lake in Waterford, 10 p.m.
  • Lake Sherwood Fourth of July at Higgins Island, dusk
  • Huntington Woods Firework at Rackham Golf Course, 10:05 p.m.

July 10

  • Elizabeth Lake Fireworks in Waterford, dusk

July 10/11

  • Seymour Celebration in Oxford at Seymour Lake Township Park, dusk

Sept. 19

  • Troy Family Daze at Troy Civic Center, 9 p.m.

Nov. 6

  • Macy’s Fireworks Spectacular at Oakland Mall in Troy, 7 p.m

St. Clair County

June 13

  • Marysville Days, over St. Clair River, 10 p.m.

July 3

  • Algonac Lions Pickerel Tournament, Riverfront Park, 10 p.m.

July 4

  • St. Clair Fireworks at Palmer Park in downtown St. Clair, dusk
  • Port Huron Fireworks at Desmond Landing / Vantage Point 51 Water Street

July17

  • Blue Water Fest in Port Huron, dusk

July 24

  • Yale Bologna Festival, 10 p.m.

July 31

  • Marine City Maritime Days over the St. Clair River, dusk

Wayne County

June 22

  • Detroit Ford Fireworks, Hart Plaza, 10:06 p.m.

July 4

  • Grosse Pointe Farms Regatta and Fireworks, Lake Shore Drive waterfront, 10 p.m.

July 10-11

  • Detroit Symphony at Ford House on Lake Shore Road, 9:30 p.m.

July 10

  • Woodhaven Uncle Sam Jam at Civic Center Park, dusk

Aug. 8-9

  • Dearborn Homecoming Festival Ford Field Park in Dearborn, 10 p.m.

Sept. 5

  • Detroit International Jazz Festival at Hart Plaza, 11 p.m.

Sept. 12

  • Old Car Festival at Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, 9 p.m.

Nov. 19

  • Wayne County Lightfest at Hines Park, Westland, dusk

As always, keep SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores in mind. We are Here to Help @ (586) 741-5050.

Fire Safety

4/5/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Safety: Five Steps to a Safer Home

Fire Extinguisher Sales & Service, Inc

 

Thousands of fires occur every year and sometimes they are fatal. Fires are serious whether they are major or minor. When a fire occurs, a lot of damage can take place. Read on for five simple safety tips you can follow to keep you, your family, and pets safe.

1. Install Smoke Detectors

Install smoke detectors and make sure the batteries are always charged or changed on a regular schedule. Many deaths in fire occur due to smoke detectors not be installed or missing batteries. When it is time to change the batteries in a smoke detector, you will hear a few beeps every few minutes. Instead of removing the batteries because the low battery alert is annoying, change the batteries right then. Do not wait.

2. Do Not Attempt to Hide

A lot of people, even adults attempt to hide when a fire occurs. Hiding is one of the worst things you can do when a fire occurs. Some people freeze because they are afraid and are not able to collect their thoughts. Fire and smoke can reach every part of a residence, business or other establishment, so hiding is not a good idea. Instead of hiding, go outside immediately.

3. Escaping a Fire

You may not be able to escape a fire by simply walking out of the front, back or side door. In some situations, you will need to crawl on your hands and knees to get out of the home or business. When a fire occurs, it is easier to breathe when you are low to the ground.

4. Stop, Drop, and Roll

In the event your clothes catch fire, immediately stop, drop, and roll until the fire is completely out. Scream out for help and go to a fire extinguisher if you have one. When your clothes are on fire, never run because it causes the fire to burn faster.

5. Choose a Meeting Place

Before a fire ever occurs, you need to pick a place to meet. Everyone in the family needs to be aware of the meeting place and the place you choose to meet needs to be out of the way of the burning home or facility. You may want to have accessories such as flashlights and whistles to help you find one another.

 

 

Remember SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores is always Here to Help @ 586-741-5050. Save our phone number in your phone so that you can be Hero Ready if disaster strikes your home or business.

Thanksgiving Day Safety Tips

11/18/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Thanksgiving Day Safety Tips Thanksgiving Day Safety Tips

Thanksgiving Day Safety Tips

We hope everyone has a very happy and safe Thanksgiving. With that in mind, below are tips on staying safe this holiday season.   Avoid Turkey Frying Dangers With Thanksgiving fast approaching, thoughts turn to turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie. Delicious deep-fried turkey, historically prevalent in the southern states, is growing in popularity around the country thanks to celebrity chefs such as Emeril Lagasse. The only problem is that the turkey fryers used to create this succulent dish can be unsafe.

Turkey fryers are devices, resembling a large commercial coffee pot, that are filled with oil heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Turkeys are placed in this hot oil to fry the birds. The big problem, though, is that people often fill the fryers too full of oil, and it overflows when the bird is placed inside. This cascading oil hits the heating flames below, causing an instant fire. In addition, the turkey fryers are often quite unstable and easy to tip over. Lastly, many of these fryers lack adequate thermostat controls. Thus, the units have the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion.

But for those people who insist on using their turkey fryers, the following tips are offered:

  • Always use turkey fryers outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other burnable materials.
  • Never use turkey fryers on wooden decks or in garages.
  • Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce the chance of accidental tipping.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended since most units lack proper thermostat controls. If people do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
  • Never let children or pets near the fryer when in use. Even after use, never allow children or pets close to the turkey fryer. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot for hours after use.
  • To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer. Test it beforehand with water.
  • Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect eyes from oil splatter.
  • Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby.

Copyright 2010 International Risk Management Institute, Inc.

 

Top 10 dangers of Fireplaces

10/26/2016 (Permalink)

The Top 10 Dangers of Fireplaces:
What Every Fireplace User Should Know
by www.SixWise.com

 

Most people love the warmth and coziness of having a fireplace in their home, so much so that fireplace sales rose to 3.2 million units in 2005, up 50 percent since 1998, according to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association.

 

About 55 percent of U.S. households have at least one fireplace.

 

Over half of all U.S. homes (55 percent) have at least one fireplace, and they're ranked as the third most desirable feature that people look for when buying a new home, says the National Association of Home Builders (outdoor porches and upscale kitchens rank first and second).

But as you get ready to crank up your fireplace this winter season, it's important to know that fireplaces can be dangerous -- accounting for a large number of home fires and emergency room visits every year. You can enjoy your fireplace while keeping your family and your home safe by avoiding these 10 common fireplace dangers.

    1. Not having your flue and chimney inspected each heating season. If your flue or chimney are blocked by debris or contain cracks or leaks, inadequate venting can occur, and toxic fumes may seep into your home. Further, creosote, a byproduct of burning wood, can build up on the chimney flue and lead to a chimney fire. An inspection lets you know that everything is in safe working order.

    2. Forgetting to open the damper, or closing it too soon. The fireplace damper should be opened before lighting the fire, and kept open until all ashes are cool. Closing a damper too soon, even if just the ashes are warm, can allow poisonous gasses like carbon monoxide to build up in your home.

    3. Using charcoal in a fireplace. Charcoal should never be used in a fireplace because it can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

    4. Not using a screen or glass enclosure. These barriers are necessary to keep sparks, rolling logs and embers from jumping out of the fireplace and starting a fire.

 

Never burn charcoal in a fireplace -- it can release poisonous carbon monoxide.

    1. Allowing children or pets to get too close to the fireplace (or carelessly getting too close yourself). The glass barrier doors of a fireplace can reach over 400°F in only six minutes, and it takes 45 minutes for the doors to cool down to a safe temperature after the fire has been put out. Children may reach out to touch the doors out of curiosity and suffer a serious burn.

      "We urge the industry that makes and sells gas fireplaces to warn consumers of this burn risk and to investigate design changes to help protect children," says says Amy Zierler, information specialist at Safe Kids Canada, the national injury prevention program at The Hospital for Sick Children.

      An excellent option to consider when the fireplace is in use is The HearthGate™, a fireplace protection gate that keeps kids and pets clear of dangerously hot indoor fireplaces.

    2. Using gasoline, charcoal lighter fluid or other fuel to light the fire. These substances release vapors that could cause an explosion.

Enjoy Your Fireplace While
Keeping Your Kids and Pets Safe

Fireplaces are great for families, but they also present an added risk of serious burns to your children and pets. But with HearthGate Fireplace Protection Gate, the risk is eliminated!

    • Base set fits a 6-feet wide by 2-feet deep hearth
    • Five 24-inch wide and 28-inch high interlocking sections (extensions available)
    • Includes a single one-hand open gate that swings in both directions
    • Constructed of non-toxic strong tubular steel ... heat-resistant and easy to clean!
    • Black finish blends beautifully with most home interiors
  1. Burning plastic or other garbage in the fireplace. Burning plastic materials like cups, wraps or plates, or other trash, can release toxic gases into your home's air.

  2. Not cleaning your chimney regularly. This is necessary to avoid the buildup of creosote that could cause a fire. You should not use your fireplace if your chimney is in need of a cleaning.

  3. Using too much paper to build the fire. It's OK to use paper to get your fire started, but using an excessive amount can over-build the fire and ignite soot in the chimney, causing a fire.

  4. Hanging decorations from your mantel. If you have decorations that hang down from your mantel over your fireplace, it's possible for a spark to ignite them and cause a fire. Make sure any decorations (i.e. Christmas stockings, garland, etc.) have been removed before lighting the fire.

Have you experienced a Puff Back in your home?

10/26/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Have you experienced a Puff Back in your home? Puff Back Damage

FURNACE PUFFBACKS LEAVE SOOTY MESS

MODERN heating systems are quite dependable, with very little attention needed from the homeowner. When a breakdown occurs, a professional can usually solve the problem quickly.

However, the malfunction known as a puffback is not so easily dealt with. A puffback is an explosion inside the burner chamber of the furnace or boiler (hot-air systems use furnaces, and steam or hot-water systems use boilers).

Although such explosions are usually small and confined to the burner chamber, they can do considerable harm to the heating system. Sometimes the burner will start easily and need only minor repairs and adjustments. But puffbacks usually do more damage, sending soot and smoke throughout the house.

Most puffbacks occur in oil-fired heating systems. In a furnace or boiler fueled with gas, the explosion is usually bigger and more damaging.

A puffback can have many causes but can almost always be traced to a lack of maintenance or a failure to make needed repairs. All heating systems, especially the oil-fired, should be inspected, cleaned and adjusted at least once a year by a qualified professional.

One point of inspection in an oil burner, for example, are the two electrodes that create a spark when the burner starts. This ignites oil sprayed into the chamber through a nozzle.

If these electrodes become coated with carbon or soot or are not adjusted properly, the oil may fail to ignite. In such cases, a control is supposed to shut off the oil in about 30 seconds, but if the control malfunctions the oil will form a small puddle on the bottom of the burner chamber.

The next time the burner tries to start, the excess fuel in the chamber will cause a small uncontrolled explosion - a puffback - and a sudden dis-persion of black smoke and soot throughout the house.

Puffback can also be caused by a partly clogged or cracked nozzle, improper nozzle angle, cracked electrodes, poor adjustment of the air-fuel mixture, a defective spark transformer, shorted ignition cables or dirty or low-grade fuel.

The aftermath is usually the main problem. Walls, ceilings, carpets, furniture and curtains are coated with a fine film of soot and smoky streaks. As a rule, the damage is worse with a forced-air heating system or central air-conditioning, because the duct work provides a path through the house, even into closets.

Cleaning up the mess is not a job for the amateur, but rather a professional cleaning company (many are listed in the Yellow Pages under ''house cleaning''). These concerns use special techniques and materials. For example, attempts to wash soot off a flat-painted wall or ceiling usually leave greasy smears. Professional cleaners use waterless rubber sponges that work like an eraser and absorb the soot without spreading it.

Cleaning carpets, upholstery or draperies can be trickier. They must be washed or chemically cleaned, depending on the material and how dense the absorbed soot is. In extreme cases it may be impossible to remove stains or odors completely.

''White carpeting that gets badly smoke-stained may never get fully restored to its original whiteness,'' said Ron Marchand, head of the Interstate Fire Restoration Corporation in Bayside, Queens. ''But in most cases we can get everything looking like new again - but not if someone has made amateurish attempts at trying to do the job themselves first.''

Costs for cleanup vary greatly. ''The least a small home can get by with is about $800 to $1,000 on the average,'' Mr. Marchand said. ''But where there is clothing, carpeting and upholstery involved, the cleanup cost can run up as high as $5,000 or even $10,000 after a serious puffback.''

For those with adequate homeowners' insurance, the bulk of the cost is usually covered. Most insurance companies are reluctant to pay for jobs by the homeowner; they usually cover labor costs by a professional.

As with most insurance claims, an adjuster must first examine the damage and establish a fair price for the job. To keep a lid on the total cost, most insurance companies have certain maximums for each part of the job. These may be based on such things as the square footage of walls or carpeting, or may be specific amounts allowed for each upholstered piece.

Candle safety for a safe Halloween/Thanksgiving Season

10/26/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Candle safety for a safe Halloween/Thanksgiving Season Candle safety from your friends at SERVPRO.

Do you know someone who loves to burn candles during the colder months?  Test you candle safety by freshening up on some Candle Safety Tips below.  We are always Here to Help at SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores. 

 

Candle Safety Rules from the National Candle Association. 

  • Always keep a burning candle within sight. Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or before going to sleep. Be sure the wick ember is no longer glowing.
  • Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire. Keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc.
  • Keep burning candles out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Trim candlewicks to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning and dripping.
  • Always use a candle-holder specifically designed for candle use. The holder should be heat resistant, sturdy, and large enough to contain any drips or melted wax.
  • Be sure the candle-holder is placed on a stable, heat-resistant surface. This can help prevent heat damage to underlying surfaces and prevent glass containers from breaking.
  • Keep the wax pool free of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.
  • Always read and follow the manufacturer’s use and safety instructions carefully. Don’t burn a candle longer than the manufacturer recommends.
  • Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents, ceiling fans and air currents. This will help prevent rapid, uneven burning, and avoid flame flare-ups and sooting. Drafts can also blow nearby lightweight items into the flame where they could catch fire.
  • Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room. Don’t burn too many candles in a small room or in a “tight” home where air exchange is limited.
  • Don’t burn a candle all the way down. Extinguish the flame if it comes too close to the holder or container. For a margin of safety, discontinue burning a candle when 2 inches of wax remains or ½ inch if in a container.
  • Never touch or move a burning candle or container candle when the wax is liquid.
  • Never use a knife or sharp object to remove wax drippings from a glass holder. It might scratch, weaken, or cause the glass to break upon subsequent use.
  • Place burning candles at least three inches apart from one another. This helps ensure they don’t melt one another, or create their own drafts to cause improper burning.
  • Use a snuffer to extinguish a candle. It’s the safest way to prevent hot wax splatters.
  • Never extinguish candles with water. The water can cause the hot wax to splatter and might cause a glass container to break.
  • Be very careful if using candles during a power outage. Flashlights and other battery-powered lights are safer sources of light during a power failure.
  • Extinguish a candle if it repeatedly smokes, flickers, or the flame becomes too high.  The candle isn’t burning properly. Cool, trim the wick, then check for drafts before relighting.
  • Never use a candle as a night light.

9 Ways to Prepare Your House for a Safe Halloween

10/11/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 9 Ways to Prepare Your House for a Safe Halloween Don't have Pumpkin Fire!

9 Ways to Prepare Your House for a Safe Halloween

 The SafeWise Report

 

 

It won’t be long before you’ll be greeted by little ghosts and goblins shouting “Happy Halloween!”

 

Now is the time to make your home safe for trick-or-treaters. We’ve gathered nine ideas to get you started.

 

  1. Secure railings.

Young children, and the adults who often accompany them, will need the security and support of railings while climbing steps to get to your front door. If you’ve been putting off fixing that rickety railing, it’s time to get out the toolbox and make it secure.

 

  1. Clear walkways.

Trick-or-treaters are too busy counting candy to pay close attention to where they’re walking, so it’s critical to survey your yard for potential trip and slip hazards. Be sure your yard is free of tripping hazards like hoses and sprinklers, clear walkways of loose gravel, and be sure to clean moss off steps. If your home has an irrigation system, turn the system off well in advance of the big night so your lawn and walkways have a chance to dry.

 

  1. Avoid using candles.

A glowing jack-o’-lantern makes your home warm and welcoming to candy seekers, but using a candle to illuminate a pumpkin can be dangerous. Costumes, paper decorations and ornamental straw can easily catch on fire. Instead of a traditional candle, use one powered by batteries.

 

  1. Consider candy choices.

No doubt buying Halloween candy is fun, but keep in mind that not all candy is appropriate for every child. Avoid candy that poses a choking hazard for toddlers, and keep in mind that a number of children have peanut allergies. Even if the candy doesn’t contain peanuts, it could be made in a facility that handles peanuts. Check the candy bag’s label for a peanut allergy warning.

 

  1. Use lots of lights.

A dimly lit entryway helps set the spooky mood of Halloween, but it’s also increases the chance of an accident. Make sure the exterior lights of your home are working, and consider turning on flood lights to illuminate the darkest areas of your yard. Even if you’re not going to be home, leave on lights for safety reasons and to dissuade unsavory characters from vandalizing your home. And, if you won’t be there, make sure you set your security system, just to be safe.

 

  1. Contain your pets.

Barking dogs not only scare trick-or-treaters of every age away, they also present a danger. A dog that breaks away from your home might not bite, but he could knock down a toddler or scare a teen right into the street, causing even more danger. Keep all pets securely confined inside your home until the hustle and bustle of the night has passed.

 

  1. Don’t put out candy.

Maybe you won’t be home on Halloween or perhaps it’s difficult for you to answer the door, so you’ve put out a bowl of candy for kids to help themselves. While this seems like the right thing to do, someone could taint the candy. It’s probably unlikely, but it’s definitely not worth taking the chance.

 

  1. Make room in the garage.

If you’re headed out on Halloween, clean out the garage and store your car securely in it. From teen antics to serious vehicle vandalism and theft, your car is best kept in the garage on Halloween.

 

  1. Use discretion when opening the door.

While nearly all trick-or-treaters are innocent kids out to collect as much candy as they can possibly carry, you must still be cautious of whom you open the door for. If you have an uneasy feeling about the person approaching your door, don’t open it. And as the barrage of trick-or-treaters fades to just a few here and there, it’s a good idea to stop opening the door for the night.

Halloween has a reputation as a frightening holiday, but that doesn’t mean it should be dangerous. Use these tips to keep trick-or-treaters and your family safe and enjoy a spooktacular Halloween night.

 

 

SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores 586-741-5050.  We are Here to Help 24/7.

Autumn Safety Tips: Protect What Matters this Fall

10/11/2016 (Permalink)

Autumn Safety Tips: Protect What Matters this Fall

by Victoria Araj 10-4-11

 

  • Every month should be fire prevention month, but we tend to plug in a lot more devices in the fall and winter.  It’s important to test all smoke alarms and have a family fire drill.  Remember to replace used and expired fire extinguishers as well.
  • Turn your heater on before the temperatures really plummet so you can ensure it works.  Contact a technician to inspect that it’s operating properly if you suspect it needs servicing.
  • Keep all flammable materials away from your furnace.  This includes, clothing, paint products, toxic materials, cardboard and more.
  • If you use a portable or space heater, keep it away from clothing, bedding, drapery and furniture.  Remember to shut them off if you leave the house and don’t leave them unattended if you have children or pets.
  • Do not use your space heater as a dryer for hats, gloves and other articles of clothing.
  • If you have a fireplace, inspect the chimney to confirm it is free of debris, creosote buildup, and is unobstructed so combustibles can vent.  Make sure the bricks, mortar and liner are in good condition.
  • Do not warm your kitchen with a gas range or an open oven door, as this can lead to toxic air that is not safe to breathe.
  • Keep matches, lighters and candles out of the reach of children and pets.
  • When burning a candle, don’t leave them unattended, burning near other flammable items or on an unsteady surface.
  • Doing laundry?  Avoid fires by cleaning filters after each load of wash and removing lint that collects in dryer vents.
  • Do a quick check for areas that may need repair before extreme weather hits:  unsteady roof shingles, warped windowsills and concrete that might be sloping toward the house.
  • Check all outdoor lighting fixtures to make sure they are working properly.  This can safeguard you against falls and neighborhood crime.
  • Before burning leaves, check your city’s regulations, as it may be illegal where you live.  If you burn them, do so away from the house and use proper containers.

Remember SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores is always Here to Help at 586-741-5050. Save our phone number in your phone so that you can be Hero Ready if disaster strikes your home or business.

What you can do until help arrives.

7/21/2016 (Permalink)

Below is a list of things you can do until help arrives after you experience a fire. 

*Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occuring.

*Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffice areas and upholestry.

*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 upholestry.

*Do not clean any electrical equipment.

*Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office at (586) 741-5050.  We would be happy to come out and do an inspection and help point you in the right direction.  We are always Here to Help at SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores at (586)741-5050

Preventing a Fire

7/6/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Preventing a Fire Preventing a Fire

At SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores we are always Here to Help, before, during and after an emergency.  Below are a few helpful things you can do to prevent a house fire happening to you.  If you need further assistance, call SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores at (586)741-5050. 

Most home fires occur in the kitchen while cooking and are the leading cause of injuries from fire. Common causes of fires at night are carelessly discarded cigarettes, sparks from fireplaces without spark screens or glass doors, and heating appliances left too close to furniture or other combustibles. These fires can be particularly dangerous because they may smolder for a long period before being discovered by sleeping residents.

Home fires are preventable! The following are simple steps that each of us can take to prevent a tragedy.

Cooking

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Do not cook if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.
  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.
  • Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

Smoking

  • If you smoke, smoke outside. Most home fires caused by smoking materials start inside the home. Put your cigarettes out in a can filled with sand.
  • Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out. The cigarette really needs to be completely stubbed out in an ashtray. Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
  • Check for cigarette butts. Chairs and sofas catch on fire fast and burn fast. Don't put ashtrays on them. If people have been smoking in the home, check for cigarettes under cushions.
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used, even if it is turned off. Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and faster.
  • Be alert - don’t smoke in bed! If you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy, put your cigarette out first.

Electrical and Appliance Safety

  • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • Buy electrical products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Use electrical extension cords wisely; never overload extension cords or wall sockets.
  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

Portable Space Heaters

  • Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from portable heating devices.
  • Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Check to make the portable heater has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over.
  • Check with your local fire department on the legality of kerosene heater use in your community.
  • Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene in kerosene heaters. Never overfill it. Use the heater in a well-ventilated room.

Fireplaces and Woodstoves

  • Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions.
  • Never burn trash, paper, or green wood.
  • Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.
  • Store cooled ashes in a tightly sealed metal container outside the home.

Children

  • Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
  • Store matches and lighters out of children's reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Teach children not to pick up matches or lighters they may find. Instead, they should tell an adult immediately.
  • Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time.
  • Check under beds and in closets for burned matches, evidence your child may be playing with fire.

More Prevention Tips

  • Avoid using lighted candles.
  • Never use the range or oven to heat your home.
  • Replace mattresses made before the 2007 Federal Mattress Flammability Standard. Mattresses made since then are required by law to be safer.
  • Keep combustible and flammable liquids away from heat sources.
  • Portable generators should NEVER be used indoors and should only be refueled outdoors or in well ventilated areas.

How to Create and Practice a Fire Escape Plan

7/6/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How to Create and Practice a Fire Escape Plan Create and Practice a Fire Escape Plan

Create and Practice a Fire Escape Plan

In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly.

Twice each year, practice your home fire escape plan.  Some tips to consider when preparing this plan include:

  • Find two ways to get out of each room.
  • If the primary way is blocked by fire or smoke, you will need a second way out. A secondary route might be a window onto a neighboring roof or a collapsible ladder for escape from upper story windows.
  • Only purchase collapsible ladders evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
  • Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be properly opened.
  • Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
  • Windows and doors with security bars must have quick release devices to allow them to be opened immediately in an emergency. Make sure everyone in the family understands and practices how to properly operate and open locked or barred doors and windows.
  • Teach children not to hide from firefighters.

Smoke Alarms

A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is the only thing in your home that can alert you and your family to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire.

  • Install both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms, OR dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors
  • Test batteries monthly.
  • Replace batteries in battery-powered and hard-wired smoke alarms at least once a year (except non-replaceable 10-year lithium batteries)
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends installing smoke alarms both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions when installing smoke alarms.
  • Replace the entire smoke alarm unit every 8-10 years or according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking – it can be a deadly mistake. Open a window or door and press the “hush” button, wave a towel at the alarm to clear the air, or move the entire alarm several feet away from the location.

Smoke Alarm Safety People with Access or Functional Needs

  • Caregivers are encouraged to check the smoke alarms of those who are unable to do it themselves.
  • Audible alarms for people who are blind or have low vision should pause with a small window of silence between each successive cycle so that they can listen to instructions or voices of others.
  • Smoke alarms with a vibrating pad or flashing light are available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Contact your local fire department for information about obtaining a flashing or vibrating smoke alarm.
  • Smoke alarms with a strobe light outside the home to catch the attention of neighbors, and emergency call systems for summoning help, are also available.

More Fire Safety Tips

  • Sleep with your door closed.
  • Only those trained in the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers should consider using them when appropriate.  Contact your local fire department for information on training in your area and what kind to buy for your home.
  • Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your residence.
  • Ask your local fire department to inspect your residence for fire safety and prevention.

Call SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores in case of an emergency at (586) 741-5050.  We are always Here to Help and Ready for Whatever happens. 

Home Fires Stats in US

7/6/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Home Fires Stats in US Home Fire Escape Drill

Home Fires

Each year more than 2,500 people die and 12,600 are injured in home fires in the United States, with direct property loss due to home fires estimated at $7.3 billion annually.  Home fires can be prevented!

To protect yourself, it is important to understand the basic characteristics of fire. Fire spreads quickly; there is no time to gather valuables or make a phone call. In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.

Heat and smoke from fire can be more dangerous than the flames. Inhaling the super-hot air can sear your lungs. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Instead of being awakened by a fire, you may fall into a deeper sleep. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio.

Does your family have an Emergency plan in place?  What would you do and who would you call?  For help planning, call SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores at (586) 741-5050.  We are always Here to Help!

Safe Handling of Food and Utensils After a Disaster

7/6/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Safe Handling of Food and Utensils After a Disaster Safe Handling of Food and Utensils After a Disaster

Safe Handling of Food and Utensils After a Disaster

  

Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist

Food contamination may be a problem after a flood, tornado or fire. Floodwaters may carry silt, raw sewage, oil or chemical wastes. Filth and disease bacteria in floodwater may contaminate any foods the water touches, making them unsafe to eat. Fire may cause food contamination from exposure to heat, smoke or chemicals.

Handling Food Following a Flood

Examine food carefully after a flood. Contamination may occur if floodwaters have covered, dripped on or seeped into the food. Some foods may be protected by their containers. If you have any doubt about the safety of a food, it is always better to throw it out rather than risk disease.

The following guidelines will help you decide when to throw out foods and how to disinfect foods that can be saved.

Do not try to save the following foods if they have come in contact with floodwater:

  • Fresh produce from your garden, such as lettuce, cabbage and potatoes. In some situations, immature root crops may be safe if you do not harvest them for at least two weeks after the floodwaters recede. To be safe, however, have your local Extension office or health department test the garden soil for harmful bacteria.
  • Containers of nuts, spices, seasonings and flavorings.
  • Canisters or bags of grains, sugar, salt, coffee and tea.
  • Paper, plastic, cloth, fiber or cardboard boxes of food.
  • Plastic bags of food, even if boxes and containers inside the bags seem dry. These include pastas, cereals, rice, dried milk, crackers, cookies or mixes.
  • Screw-topped or crimp-topped jars or bottles of food that have been touched by floodwaters, even when jars have not been opened. This includes all home-canned foods in glass jars and bottles as well as all jams, jellies, honey, molasses, syrups, fruits, pickles, etc., in glass jars. There is no lid in use on glass food containers that will keep out water if the container is immersed.
  • Porous non-food items that are used with food or put into the mouth, and items made of hard rubber, plastic or other flexible (porous) materials, such as baby bottle nipples, pacifiers, and plastic or wooden dishes and utensils.

Disinfecting Food and Utensils After a Flood

Cans of Food. Cans that do not have dents or rust can be saved if they are handled properly before they are opened:

  • Remove labels. Use a permanent marker to immediately re-label each can.
  • Wash the cans in a strong detergent solution with a scrub brush to remove all silt.
  • Immerse scrubbed containers completely in a lukewarm solution of chlorine for one minute. See directions in table below for making a chlorine disinfecting solution.
  • Remove containers from the chlorine solution. Allow to air-dry before opening. Re-label with the permanent marker, if necessary. Use as soon as possible because containers may rust.

Dishes and Utensils. Glass, ceramic and china dishes, metal and glass cookware, glass baby bottles and empty canning jars can be saved in the following way:

  • Thoroughly wash them in a strong detergent solution, removing all filth and mud.
  • Disinfect china and glass dishes in a chlorine solution in the strengths described in the table below.
  • Disinfect metal pots, pans and utensils by boiling in water for 10 minutes.

Handling Food Following a Fire

Use extreme caution when trying to save food after a fire. Food and utensils damaged by heat, smoke and chemicals or water used to fight the fire may not be safe to use. The following guidelines will help you decide which foods to throw away and how to disinfect those that can be saved:

  • Treat food items and utensils exposed to water used in fighting the fire as though they had been exposed to floodwaters. Throw away or wash and disinfect.
  • Throw away any food items that were charred or near the fire. Heat damage may not be apparent on the outside of canned goods, but extreme heat can harm the contents. Throw them away.
  • Throw away all food in paper, plastic, cloth and cardboard containers, and screw-topped jars and boxes that were exposed to smoke or chemicals used in fire fighting. Disinfect cans that are free from dents and rust, glass, ceramic, china and metal dishes and cookware.

Handling Food Following Chemical Exposure

Food and utensils can become contaminated by chemicals used in fire fighting or from other sources. Broken bottles or aerosol cans that contain pesticides or household cleaning items also can cause food contamination. If you suspect chemical contamination:

  • Throw away all food in paper, plastic, cloth and cardboard containers and screw-topped jars and bottles that were exposed to the chemical

How to Know What to Do Following a House Fire

7/6/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How to Know What to Do Following a House Fire How to Know What to Do Following a House Fire

How to Know What to Do Following a House Fire

 1.  Ask when it is safe to enter a house or other building on the property after a fire. Do not enter a house or other building that has been affected by a fire until you have listened to the professionals telling you that is okay to do so. Other factors to be aware of include:
  • making sure that the fire is extinguished
  • knowing that fire authorities have checked out the site and done what they need to do to establish a safety zone
  • the severity of the fire
 2. Recognize that if a house or building is too badly damaged, you may not be allowed back inside at all.  3. Know who to call after a fire.
  • Contact family members that may not have been with you. Let them know what happened, let them know that everybody is okay (if so) and let them know the information that is necessary.
  • After a house fire, don't assume that someone is going to contact your insurance. This is the number one thing that you need to do. This will not only enable documentation of the event and set in train the insurance claim but your insurer will be able to talk you through emergency lodging and living expenses. Remember to retain all receipts to make a claim.[1] The insurance company will also assist with clean up options.[2]
  • If you are a tenant, contact the owner/landlord and/or their insurance company.
  • Call SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores to provide Board up service to secure your home and property while you are staying somewhere else, or to begin the cleaning of your home and contents. 
 4. Understand what happens with a "fire report". A fire report will discuss what structure the house was in, what area was involved, the time of the incident, the date of the incident and it will have an incident number if it comes through a fire department. This enables the fire department to know all the specifics of who was there and what resources were there, to assist in gathering a lot more information.  5. Know how to get a copy of a fire report. You may be able to call the fire department for a copy. For example, in Los Angeles, you can call the Fire Prevention Bureau, the Fire Marshall or the billing agency of the fire department. If arson is involved, the Arson Unit or equivalent will probably be able to get this information to you.  6. Secure the property. If you have not already being told to do so, it is important to secure your property to prevent possible looting. Talk to emergency services on how best to go about this. Most insurance policies require this.  SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores is available 24/7 for your emergency needs at (586) 741-5050. 7. Consider the clean up requirements. If your house has been damaged rather than destroyed, interior clean up will be required. Keep in mind that damage to the property often goes beyond what the eye can see. (Removal of a destroyed house should only be done by professionals.) You should spend a little time assessing whether you think you can perform the clean up or if you'll need professional cleaners. You will find it useful to discuss this with your insurance company. Consider such things as:
  • The types of damage including soot, ash, charring, smoke, odor, etc.
  • Damage to a single room - this may be something you can manage yourself
  • Extensive damage - leave it alone and call in the professionals at SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores.
 8. Know how to handle smoke and soot damage after a fire. If you do make the decision to clean up yourself, be aware that soot and smoke damage might be significant and often creates a film on the walls. There will also be residue from the extinguishers used by the fire crew.
  • Soot - while there are many cleaning products available on the market, one of the most common is "TSP" or tri-sodium phosphate. Mix it with water according to the instructions and use a sponge. Wipe down the walls and let it dry.
  • Extinguisher residue - use a shop hired vacuum to remove the residue and any remaining dry soot.[5]
  • Furnishings such as carpets, rugs, curtains etc. are best cleaned professionally if they are even salvageable.[6]
  • Open all doors and windows if possible. Even if it is freezing cold outside, let small bursts of fresh air circulate through. Send the kids to a friend's house for a bit while this is happening. They should not be around anyway, for fear of the potential for ingestion of chemical particles or other particles that might damage young lungs and immune systems.
 9. If water hoses were used to put out your fire drying your home is very important. It is best to hire professionals at SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores to do fire/ water combination clean up. Water damage can lead to more damage or even mold if not dried properly. Insurance companies will often have approved restoration contractors that you can call for board up, structural drying, contents cleaning and structural cleaning and repair.  Call us for help at (586) 741-5050.  10. Seek counseling if needed and reassure children. Having your house damaged or destroyed by fire is extremely traumatic and can have lasting impacts on each family member, depending on his or her ability to cope. Common feelings are helplessness, disorientation, pining for belongings, deep sadness, a sense of deprivation, despair and a loss of routine and structure.  The depth of feelings and disorientation will depend on the extent of damage - loss of the entire house can leave everyone feeling as if they have to rebuild life all over again; partial loss, however, still carried stress and sadness. Reassure each other and let the emotions happen. Keep a close eye on children and be truthful with them about what has happened and if you do not know what is going to happen next, at least reassure them that you have one another, that things can all be replaced and that the only way is up from here on.

Repairing your Commercial Property after a fire

7/6/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Repairing your Commercial Property after a fire Commercial Fire - Call SERVPRO

When a Commercial Fire Damages Your Business, Call SERVPRO

When a fire ravages your business property, you may wonder how you will be able to repair all of the fire damage. Some Macomb County commercial fire damages will result in a full loss, but others may only impact a small area of the property and business. Regardless of how large or small the fire was, you may need the property repaired as soon as possible so that operations can resume. Until this happens, you and your clients may be inconvenienced, and the business profit will decrease. With a few important steps, you can rectify commercial fire damage and get your operations back to normal as soon as possible.

Surveying the Damage
An important first step to take in the fire restoration process is to survey the damage to your property. Through a quick overview of the damage, you will get a better idea of the scope of a repair project, and you can estimate how long it will take to get the damage repaired. Keep in mind that a fire often inflicts more damage than just the area affected by the flames. Smoke damage, for example, may spread throughout a property even when the fire was contained to a particular room of the building. Water damage incurred from the firefighters putting out the fire may also be present. Each of these types of damage will require a different overall repair process and may lengthen the overall restorative job.

Cleaning the Property
Clean the property and removing the ashes and soot are a high priority to limit damage and odors. In some cases, water extraction is necessary. Afterward, you will be able to determine other areas that may need to be cleaned. For example, carpeting or furnishings may require special professional cleaning techniques if they have been damaged by smoke or water.

Repairing the Area
While some areas impacted by the fire will need to be professionally cleaned, others will need to be repaired or replaced. For example, any charred areas that have been burned by the fire often will need to be entirely replaced and will not be salvageable. It can be difficult to determine which areas can be repaired or replaced and which can be cleaned, but a professional team of fire damage remediation professionals from SERVPRO can assist you in this area. We can inventory and document all salvageable and non-salvageable business items such as computers, copiers, furnishings, retail stock, and documents. Our team can also interact with your insurance provider to mitigate damages, costs, and your downtime.

If your business property has been affected by a fire, our team of fire damage specialists can help. As a locally owned company, we can respond quickly to your request for assistance with fire damage repair services. Contact SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores today at (586) 741-5050 for assistance.  We are always Here to Help!

Fireworks vs. Your House

6/8/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fireworks vs. Your House FIREWORKS vs. Your House

Injury patterns and trends, including shares by type of fireworks, and fire patterns and trends, based on reports to hospital emergency rooms, and trends in fireworks-related fires. Also includes published incidents.

Executive Summary

In 2011, an estimated 17,800 reported fires were started by fireworks. These fires resulted in an estimated 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage, with no reported fire deaths.

During 2007-2011, 91% of the average of 19,700 fires associated with fireworks per year occurred outside any structure or vehicle. The largest numbers of these outdoor fires associated with fireworks involved grass fires (6,800 per year), brush fires (4,500), dumpster fires (1,700), unclassified or unknown-type natural or vegetation fires (1,300) and other outside trash, rubbish, or waste fires (1,200).

In 2007-2011, four people per year were killed in fires started by fireworks, while data from death certificates show that five people per year were killed directly by fireworks. These estimates may overlap, because fireworks can directly kill someone while also starting a fatal fire.

Using 2000-2010 data, the risk of fire death relative to hours of usage is higher for fireworks than for cigarettes. On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for two out of five of all reported fires, more than any other cause of fire.

Keep this number trending down with being safe this year with your fireworks.  If disaster does strike, strike back by calling SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores at (586) 741-5050.

BBQ Safety Tips & Tricks

6/8/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage BBQ Safety Tips & Tricks BBQ Safety

Everything has risks. Knowing what those risks are and how to reduce them is the secret to success. When cooking outdoors, whether hot and fast grilling, or low and slow barbecue there are a few things you need to know to make sure nothing goes wrong and how to get the most out of your cooking.

Combining explosive fuels with food, hot metals, and large groups of people can cause be a recipe for disaster if you are not careful. Of course, there is more to outdoor cooking safety than just the fire.

 Fire

Fire is the most destructive force in the universe and you are inviting it into your backyard for a little cookout. First thing you need is a fire extinguisher. Second, you need to know your fire and know how to control it. Every year grills and smokers cause thousands of fires, hundreds of injuries, dozens of deaths and millions of dollars in damage. You need to know how to cut fuel supplies, extinguish fires and call the fire department. Always have one person in charge of the fire at all times, a fire marshal if you will. You should also know something about treating burns.

  Food Safety

Bacteria eats every kind of food you can think of, even brussel sprouts. It grows at any temperature above freezing and stays alive until that temperature hits around 165 degrees F. Every second you give it between these two temperatures it is multiplying and causing disease in your food. So, until it goes into your mouth or on the grill, it needs to be kept cool. The second you are done serving it up, it goes back in the refrigerator. The basic rules are: Suspect Everything, Keep it Covered, Keep it Cool, Get it Hot!, and Use your Head. Remember you are more likely to get food poisoning than you are to get the flu.

  Instructions

You'd be surprised by how many questions I get asked when the answer was in the manual. Please, read the manual. Follow all the safety restrictions to the letter. If you have a fire and you didn't follow the instructions it is your fault, no matter what. Grills, gas or charcoal, and smokers all have very specific ranges of operation. You need to know these before you light up. Don't assume that your new grill works just like the last one and that all the same rules apply. One hint: You can find the manuals to most grills and smokers on the manufacturers website.

  Charcoal Safety

Charcoal grills are the cause of far more fires that gas grill. The number one problem with charcoal grill is lighting the charcoal. Lighter fluid causes all kinds of problems and you should really find a better way to light your coals. What really burns the hair off your face is adding lighter fluid to hot coals. Lighter fluid turns to a heavy gas at a relatively low temperature. While liquid lighter fluid burns the evaporated (gaseous) lighter fluid explodes. Flow the instructions exactly and don't ever let lighting charcoal become a game.

 Smoke

Smoke gets in your hair, clothes, eyes, and lungs. While a big part of the cookout experience is the smoke, you need to be careful with smoke. Smoke from your grill or smoker contains carbon monoxide, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH), and other dangerous substances. PAH are cancer causing substances that are formed when grease burns. As much as we all love the smell of the smoke from our outdoor cooking it is best to let it get away without breathing it in. So enjoy the smell from a distance and remember that the younger you are when you are exposed to this stuff the worse the outcome.

  Gas Safety

The number one cause of gas grill fires is an obstruction in the path of the fuel. This largely takes place, behind, underneath or inside your grill where you do not look. This means you need to regularly inspect your gas grill for problems. Bugs and other critters can climb into little places causing gas to flow where it shouldn't. At the first sign of problems turn off your control values, turn off the fuel tank, and disconnect everything. Gas grills produce a great deal of heat that can melt through hoses, knobs and other parts. Assume everything is third degree burn hot.

  Grease

Bad enough that you are using flammable materials to do your cooking, but the food itself is creating more. Flare-ups are more than a nuisance, they are potentially lethal. Grease that collects in your grill builds up over time. It is easy to get several pounds of grease in the bottom of your grill after only a few cookouts. This is why you need to keep your grill clean. A clean grill is a safer grill whether it is gas or charcoal. Also, smokers are not exempt from this problem as I have seen many uncontrollable grease fires in smokers. So no matter what you use, get the grease out. 

  Location     

Location is everything when it comes to placing your grill or smoker. Every year hundreds of people cause fires to their houses, garages and patios because they didn't put their grill or smoker in the correct location. Your manual (tip #3) will tell you the minimum distances around your unit that must be kept clear. I suggest that you take a good look at your equipment and imagine the worst fire you can. Make sure there isn't anything (buildings, trees, etc.) in that space. Also, make sure that your grill isn't going to require people to walk too close to hot surfaces and that children won't be playing nearby.

  Alcohol

After reading the nine above you really shouldn't have to ask. Grilling and smoking require some clear thinking, especially when it's time to pull it all together. Please, keep a clear head and save that drink for after the fire is out and someone else is dealing with the dishes.

Steps to a Safer Cookout

Barbecues & Grilling Expert

Do you know what to do if your cooking oil catches fire?

3/21/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Do you know what to do if your cooking oil catches fire? Grease Fire Eastpointe, Mi SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores 586-741-5050

Do you know what to do if your cooking oil catches fire?

A grease fire happens when your cooking oil becomes too hot. When heating, oils first start to boil, then they'll start smoking, and then they'll catch on fire. Most vegetable oils have a smoking point around 450°F, while animal fats like lard or goose fat will start smoking around 375°F.

If the worst happens and your oil does catch on fire, do the following:

Turn the Heat Off - Don't try to move the pot. You might accidentally splash yourself or your kitchen with burning oil. And that would be bad.
Cover the Pot with a Metal Lid - Fire cannot exist in the absence of oxygen. With the lid on (and the heat off), the fire should quickly consume all the oxygen and put itself out. Use a metal lid since glass will shatter.
Pour on Baking Soda - Baking soda will extinguish grease fires, but only if they're small. It takes a lot of baking soda to do the job.
Spray the Pot with a Class B Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher - This is your last resort, as fire extinguishers will contaminate your kitchen. Still, it's better than the alternative if the fire is getting out of control.
Get Out and Call 911 - If the fire does break out of control, don't try to be a hero. Get out and find a phone to call 911.

Whatever you do, DO NOT do the following:

Do Not Use Water - Pouring water can cause the oil to splash and spread the fire. The vaporizing water can also carry grease particles in it, also spreading the fire.
Do Not Move the Pot or Carry It Outside - Throwing the pot outside might seem logical in the frenzy of the moment. But trying to move the pot might splash burning oil on you, your home, and anything outside.
Do Not Throw Any Other Baking Product On the Fire - Flour might look like baking soda, but it won't react the same. Only baking soda can help put out a grease fire.

Phew, now that we're clear on all of that, hopefully you'll never be in a situation where you have to actually use this advice. Be safe, fellow cooks!  In case you were wondering, this is a real photo of a board up we were called out to do after someone used water to try and put out a grease fire.  Be safe, and make sure you also pass this news on to teenagers who might be cooking as well.  In case you are in need of restoration services, we are always on call "Hero Ready" to help you.  Call SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores at (586) 741-5050. 

8 fire Safety Tips for Thanksgiving

11/24/2015 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 8 fire Safety Tips for Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Day Grease Fire

Turkey on Fire – 8 Fire Safety Tips for Thanksgiving

Did you know that the threat of a cooking fire triples on Thanksgiving Day? This is according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In recent years, the average daily number of cooking fires escalates from 400 to 1,300 incidents during turkey time! So what can you do to keep you and your loved ones safe during this holiday season? Below are the top 8 tips for fire safety and prevention.

  1. Inspect all the smoke alarms in your home. Test their functionality. Replace the batteries annually.
  2. Purchase a fire extinguisher for your kitchen. Learn how to properly operate it in the event of an emergency.
  3. Download the First Aid app. and the SERVPRO App The American Red Cross has a great app that provides essential information needed to handle common first aid situations.  SERVPRO.com also has an App that you can use in case of emergencies.  This stores all emergency numbers you may need.  Including your insurance company, police/fire dept. and the SERVPRO Professionals.
  4. Keep a clean work space. Avoid grease build up on areas such as stove tops. Clear the cooking area from loose items such as oven mitts that can catch fire.
  5. Stand by your Pan. It is an expression that has been used in fire safety circle for a long time. Monitor cooking items frequently. Use a timer to remind you to check.
  6. Establish a “kid free zone.” Young ones may be tempted to grab hot pots or pans. They may also leave toys on the floor that may serve as a tripping hazard.
  7. Smother, don’t splash. If a grease fire occurs, DO NOT splash it with water. Smother the fire with another pot or lid.
  8. Fry smart. If frying the bird, only do it outside and keep a large distance between your home and the fryer. Don’t overfill the oil or leave it unattended.

The entire team at SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores would like to  wish you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving. May you be safe and joyful during the holiday season.  We are always on stand by Hero Ready for your emergencies at (586) 741-5050. 

4th of July

6/29/2015 (Permalink)

The National Fire Protection Association reports that in 2011 fireworks caused $32 million in direct property damage. As you gear up for the 4th this year make sure you have a plan to celebrate safely.

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