Recent Fire Damage Posts

Post-Holiday Pack-Out with SERVPRO of Greater Waco

1/27/2021 (Permalink)

Boxes with labels stored at ERVPRO® of Greater Waco ERVPRO® of Greater Waco offers full service packing solutions to make emergency restoration a breeze

Post-Holiday Pack-Out with SERVPRO of Greater Waco

The holidays are almost a second job between the decorating, cooking, and shopping.  After all of the time and effort invested; the biggest hassle is still packing it all back up and still having it readily available for the next season.  Let the professionals of SERVPRO® of Greater Waco help you with a few handy professional tips to make packing an organized breeze.

Just like on a job site, the first thing that needs to be done is an initial scope. This helps begin the process of organizing by determining what needs to be packed up and what additional supplies will be needed to complete the job at hand.

To ensure your Christmas pack up flows smoothly, make sure to have enough packing supplies. Items such as packing tape, box labels, boxes, wrapping paper, markers, bubble wrap and a small folding table to use as a staging area, are just a few things you’ll need.

Here are a few handy holiday specific packing tips:

*Wrap Christmas lights around hangers or a square piece of cardboard to keep them tangle free.

*Pack glass ornaments in plastic fruit trays or containers then pop into a box with crumpled paper for safe keeping.

*Hang wreaths on clothes hangers and cover with plastic bags.

*Consider storing wrapping paper in garment bags.

*Use vacuum seal bags for items like stockings, Christmas tree skirts or table runners.

*Wrap candle sticks in tissue paper and store them in paper towel cardboard tubes.

*Plastic-wrap your tree.  It makes the take down a breeze and keeps branches manageable.

*Under bed storage containers work great for garland.

Whatever you do make sure that items are packed securely, but not too tight, to prevent damage and make sure items are labeled easy identification.  We recommend putting the room name on the tags and to organize boxes based upon the room they will be used in.

Need a packing service? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Don’t Let Injuries Skyrocket

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Gold fireworks explode over a military instillation Fireworks explode in the skies above a military instillation

“Hey! Watch this!”, famous last words before throwing the lighter instead of the firecracker leading to tears, a blistered hand and a paranoid father who thought small fireworks were harmless. According the Consumer Product Safety Commission 2019 Fireworks Annual Report, there were an estimated 800 emergency department-treated injuries associated with firecrackers. Of these, an estimated 24 percent were associated with small firecrackers, 16 percent with large firecrackers, 3 percent with illegal firecrackers, and the remaining 57 percent were associated with firecrackers of an unspecified size. The parts of the body most often injured were hands and fingers (an estimated 30 percent); legs (an estimated 23 percent); eyes (an estimated 15 percent); head, face, and ears (an estimated 15 percent); and arms (an estimated 10 percent) with burns being the most common injury.

Here are a few tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission to make your holiday fire season just a little safer:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick-up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

a single lit candle A single lit candle in a cathedral.

The holidays are here but SERVPRO Greater Waco is still on alert for your mistletoe mischief, since according to the National Fire Protection Association, Christmas lights cause an estimated 40% of Christmas tree fires.   To fend off the resting Grinch face, we’ve compiled a list of holiday saving tips to keep your holiday season merry and bright.

  • Make sure to only purchase UL-listed lights with UL being the industry standard in safety certifying products
  • Be careful not to overload extension cords. Before you start plugging in, find out the wattage rating of your extension cord, as well as the power requirements of any lights or decorations you’re planning to plug into it. A wattage rating is the amount of electricity that an extension cord is built to carry, and if the combined power requirements (or “pull”) of your lights and decorations exceed that rating.
  • Always turn off all Christmas lights and decorations before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • If you’re planning to decorate outdoors, make sure that you use lights and decorations that are rated for outdoor use. Indoor products exposed to the elements can cause a shocking surprise and fire hazard.
  • If you need to replace a bulb in a string of Christmas lights, make sure that the wattage rating of the replacement bulb you’re using matches that of the light strand. Using a bulb with too high a wattage can cause the light string to overheat, creating a fire risk.
  • Make sure to not run chords or lights behind furniture
  • Make sure to throw away damaged lights or chords with wires showing
  • If using a real tree, make sure to water it daily to prevent drying out and increasing a fire hazard
  • Blow out lit candles and turn off all light strings and decorations when leaving the room or going to bed.

California Wildfires - What To Know

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

States affected: California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho

  • Approx. 5 million acres burned
  • Some wildfires have been contained but many still burning at this time.
  • Air quality is poor and although residents are being evacuated, the death toll continues to rise.

Deaths: 33 (updated: September 14th, 2020)

Causes: There are several, some accidental, some not so much. Due to the climate and drought, a malfunctioning gender reveal party smoke bomb ignited a fire which spread rapidly. There are also at least 2 separate reports of individuals purposely starting fires. 

How to Help

Donating to The Red Cross and the California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund are both ways you can help those affected by California Wildfires. You can also use www.charitynavigator.org to search for other ways to donate.

https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation.html/

https://connect.calfund.org/give/wildfirerelief

https://redrover.org/join-us/donate/

Resources

https://www.latimes.com/wildfires-map/

https://climate.gov/sites/default/files/USDrought_July2019August2020_ani_lrg.gif

https://climate.gov/news-features/event-tracker/colorado-summer-drought-wildfires-and-smoke-2020

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/09/inside-california-race-to-contain-devastating-wildfires/

https://time.com/5888449/wildfires-smoke-california-oregon-washington-satellite-space/

Electrical Fires: Outdoor Safety

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

A man in a work helmet working with wires Know when you can DIY and when you need to call a professional. Safety first!

Are you a homeowner taking advantage of the extra time at home making some needed repairs? Some of these projects might require the outdoor use of electrical equipment which need to be handled with care. 

The National Fire Protection Association (www.nfpa.org) reported that in 2014-2018, 10% of home fires were caused by electrical equipment, which included outdoor lighting, wiring and power cords. 

Electricity is used daily and it's important that we always keep safety in mind. Here are some safety tips from the NFPA when working with electricity outdoors:

  • Cords and Lighting:
    • check for damage before using and dispose and replaced damaged cords
    • use cords that are marked for outdoor use for only short-term use & ensure that they are listed by a qualified test laboratory
  • Electrical Tools
    • make sure they are made for outdoor use and listed by a qualified test laboratory
    • store electrical tools indoors and away from children
  • Outside Electrical Work
    • use a qualified electrician to do all electrical work
    • ensure that all outside electrical receptacles are grounded (GFCI= ground-fault circuit interrupter).
    • use a professional tree removal service to trim branches near power lines
    • utilize a wooden or fiberglass ladder at least 10 feet away from power lines

Call 8-1-1 before digging on your property to locate and 

For more tips, statistics and research, go to: www.nfpa.org

Electrical Fires

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2014-2018 10% of home fires were due to electrical equipment. This would include wiring, lighting, cords, and plugs. Extension cords or plugs were involved in 7% of documented deaths. 

Electricity is used daily and it's important that we keep safety in mind when utilizing it. Here are some safety tips from the NFPA:

  • Inspect your living space for hidden electrical hazards. This could include:
    • damaged, cracked or loose wires
    • remove cords running across doorways or under carpets
    • all receptacle outlets and switches must have faceplates
    • use only one heat producing appliance into an outlet at a time
    • major appliances should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet
  • Call a qualified electrician or landlord if you have any of the following issues
    • frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers
    • a tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance
    • discolored or warm wall outlets
    • a burning or rubbery smell coming from an appliance
    • flickering or dimming lights
    • sparks from an outlet

For more tips, statistics and research, go to: www.nfpa.org

https://www.nfpa.org//-/media/Files/Public-Education/Resources/Safety-tip-sheets/Electrical_Safety_Tips.pdf

https://www.nfpa.org//-/media/Files/Public-Education/Resources/Community-tool-kits/electric-kit/Electrical_Safety_Checklist.pdf

It's almost Memorial Day Weekend!

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

a grill is on fire on a balcony Use these helpful tips to keep your loved ones and yourself safe this Memorial day weekend.

If your plan is to grill up some good grub this Memorial Day weekend or any weekend for that matter, keep reading for some helpful tips to keep everyone safe!

  •  Maintain cleanliness! Grill fires are often caused by fat and oil buildup on the grill and the tray underneath the grill.  Use a wire brush to clean up excess fat and oil while the grill is still hot.  Try to clean your grill thoroughly at least 2 to 3 times a year.
  • Gas grills:  Be sure to check for any leaks on the propane tank.  A thorough examination does not take long and can help prevent a dangerous accident.
  • Do not leave the grill unattended.  This may seem like common sense, but it does lead to fires more often than you’d think! Also, grills stay hot up to an hour after use, so keep that in mind when you’re finished grilling for the day.
  • Wear proper clothing. If your clothing has long sleeves or hanging tassels/ strings, consider changing into a tee shirt. Clothing that has loose ends and hanging strings can catch fire easily.
  • Keep the grill outside.  It is best to keep the grill at least 10 feet from your house.  Almost one-third of grill fires happen on the porch or balcony of a residence. It is safer to be as far from the home as possible.

 Remember these simple tips to stay safe while grilling.  We want you to have the most enjoyable time with your families for the upcoming holiday weekend and the entire summer.

FIRE FACTORS

4/18/2020 (Permalink)

It doesn’t take long for a house fire to become extremely dangerous or even life-threatening.  There are a few factors to consider when it comes to a fire as well as some preventative measures you can take to help you and others in your home if you are faced with a fire.

               There are a few important factors to consider during a house fire:

  • SPEED: A fire can turn into a major disaster in minutes or even seconds.  Never underestimate how quickly a fire can spread and become even more dangerous.
  • TEMPERATURE: A fire produces extremely hot air which can affect your breathing as well as burn your skin.
  • SMOKE: Smoke can be more dangerous than flames!  Smoke inhalation is the leading cause of fatalities in house fires.

Here are a few preventative measures we can take to be better prepared in the event of a fire at home:

  • Smoke Alarms. There are several types of smoke alarms available.   Just be sure to check the batteries regularly!
  • Plan a Fire Escape. Find the quickest and safest ways to exit your home.  Try to have more than one way to exit your home from each room if possible.
  • Fire Extinguishers.
  • Home Sprinkler Systems.
  • Sleep With Doors Closed.

Always keep in mind that a house fire is very dangerous and can be deadly.  Your first priority should always be to get you and your loved ones out of the house. SERVPRO® of Greater Waco can help you with fire cleanup and restoration.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

In our line of work, SERVPRO® technicians come into contact with hazards that could cause injury and must use special personal protective equipment or PPE. Some examples of these hazards could be environments with dust, fumes, smoke or some that pose a biological or chemical threat if exposed. All technicians are trained in identifying when PPE is necessary on a jobsite, what and how to wear each item. It is also extremely important to understand the limitations of the personal protective equipment, useful life and proper disposal procedures.

On a CAT 3 site, you would see the following PPE on a SERVPRO® of Greater Waco technician:

  • Goggles: to protect technician’s eyes from hazardous materials
  • Respirator: to protect technician’s lungs from airborne contaminants
  • Suit/gloves: one-time use, disposable protective wear used to protect the technician’s skin from coming into contact with hazardous materials

For more info on OSHA approved PPE visit: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/personalprotectiveequipment/

Fire Safety and Kids

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

USFA logo and Grover of Sesame Street holding a fire exit plan Teach your children fire safety messages that will remain with them for years to come.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, half of fire deaths are those of children aged 4 and younger. Their joint efforts with Sesame Workshop created the Sesame Street Fire Safety Program. There are printable coloring pages for children of preschool age, and additional educational materials for parents, families and educators. You can also find songs and stories on the USFA website that can be used to help children further understand the importance of fire safety.

Some of the fire safety messages they discuss in their program are:

Having awareness of what is hot, and what is not. If children know what is hot, they know that it can burn and to stay away from them

Kitchen safety tips for adults. Children also learn by observing what we do and ensuring that we are promoting a safe kitchen environment.

A home fire escape map for ensuring your family is safe in the event of a fire emergency. Creating a plan together and practicing is a great way to help children be aware of what to do and where to go in case there is a fire.

Smoke alarm safety. This is an area that is often overlooked because they are high on a ceiling or wall but an integral part of fire safety in the home.

Exits found in the home. Being able to self-evacuate the home is crucial for children’s safety and understanding where exits are would help in the event of a fire in the home. Practicing a fire escape plan twice a year is encouraged.

Firefighters and First Responders are helpful friends in our community. Letting children know that first responders are not individuals to feel fearful about, and to follow their instructions if there is an emergency.

For more information on fire safety, check out www.usfa.fema.gov .

Fireworks Safety

12/31/2019 (Permalink)

Mother helping her toddler hold a lit sparkler Keep your loved ones safe during this joyous New Year celebration

It’s New Year’s Eve and that means fireworks galore!!! Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires each year which include 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and 17,000 other fires. That is why it is important for us to take a moment to look over some of the safety tips from the  National Safety Council on handling fireworks:

Never allow young children to handle fireworks

Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol

Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands

Only use fireworks away from people, houses and flammable material

Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding

Never use illegal fireworks

We want to thank everyone for a great 2019, and wish you all a safe and Happy New Year!

-SERVPRO® of Greater Waco

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

A shocked woman in an apron is holding a pan on fire in a kitchen. Stay safe this Thanksgiving.

As many folks prepare their homes and recipes for Thanksgiving meets and eats, we want to take a moment to share a few cooking and fire safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Stay in the home when cooking and check on your turkey frequently.
  • Steam and splash from liquids could cause serious burns; keep children away at least 3 feet from the stove.
  • Keep floors clear so as to avoid tripping hazards.
  • Matches and lighters should be kept out of reach of children; this also includes lit candles.
  • Test smoke alarms.

[Check out more safety tips HERE.]

It is reported that Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment. We hope that you and yours have a wonderfully blessed and safe Thanksgiving holiday. 

Restoration Dream Team

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

A man is focused on a computer, the photographer is smiling at the camera. Our production team and office team work together to create the SERVPRO® of Greater Waco Dream Team.

One of the many reasons SERVPRO® of Greater Waco can make it “Like it never even happened." when restoring your home or business is because of our office operations. Our office is the central hub where we support sales and marketing efforts, maintain financial records, complete job files, scheduling and handle a myriad of other tasks. Together with our production crew, we strive to provide you with high quality services we are best known for.

Exceptional job file documentation: Ordinarily, restoration companies can write you a one-page estimate when called to inspect and provide a quote for restoration services. We like to provide our customers with as much information when providing estimates so that the best decision can be made for the restoration of a home or business. The same attention to detail goes into our itemized billing. Every charge is listed per room and contains a description of why it was performed.

Communication: Along with documenting our job files thoroughly, we also ensure to stay in constant communication with our customers regarding our progress and with the customer’s insurance company. This ensures that each job is completed in a timely fashion and that all work completed has been approved and will be covered.

October Fire Safety

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

A boy dressed as Mr. Incredible and a toddler aged girl dressed as snow white holding Halloween candy pails. Educating our children can ensure they have a safe and fun month of October.

The month of October is nearly upon us which cues us to bring out the spooky decor and pick out costumes for frightful parties to be held for Hallows Eve. We wanted to take a moment to provide some Halloween Fire Safety Tips, retrieved from the National Fire Protection Association website:

  • Make safe costume choices: Avoid costumes that are long with fabric that trails (some fabrics are more flammable than others), and ensure that children’s masks have eye openings that they can easily see out of. Provide children with flashlights or glow-sticks to carry with them.
  • Decorate safely: Materials such as paper products, cornstalks and dried flowers are highly flammable so it is important to be very aware that these items are not placed near flames, light bulbs and heaters. Instead of candles, opt for battery operated candles or glow-sticks for decorations such as jack-o-lanterns. If you must absolutely use real candles, use extreme caution and ensure that children are watched at all times, that the placement of candles be a good distance from areas where trick-or-treaters will be walking and from anything that could easily burn.
  • Plan for emergencies: Keep exits clear of decorations or obstructions so that escape routes may be easily accessed in case of an emergency. Test and ensure that all smoke alarms in the building are working and discuss with your children to look for ways out of the home and have a plan in place in the event of an emergency. Sit down with children and address the importance of staying away from open flames including fun decor such as jack-o-lanterns with real candles in them. Educate them on what to do if their costume catches on fire:  STOP-DROP-AND ROLL. Have them practice this by (1) Stopping immediately, (2) Dropping to the ground, (3) Covering their face with their hands, (4) Rolling over and over to put the flames out.

With these few tips we can ensure that our little monsters have a safe and fun Halloween.

Grilling Fire Safety

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Safe grilling is best grilling.

Summer is in full swing bringing cookouts, fireworks and hot dry weather. We want everyone to enjoy their summer to the fullest and to also best prepare you with some grilling safety tips to ensure that your barbecue goes off without a hitch.

Check out the following tips provided by fema.gov:

  • 3 Feet: Only grill outside and keep it at minimum 3 feet from any siding, deck rails and eaves.
  • Safe Zone: Keep a 3-foot safe zone around your grill to ensure that kids and pets remain safe.
  • Open your gas grill before lighting.
  • Monitor: Keep an eye on your grill, fire pit or patio torches while lit.
  • Clean your grill after each use. This will remove grease that can start a fire.
  • Place the coals from your grill in a metal can with a lid once they have cooled.

Taking a few precautions will help create a safe environment for your summer fun. If you need more information on our fire and water restoration services, please give us a call at 254-224-5999.

Fire Damage: Smoke, Soot and Smells

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

At first glance, this might look overwhelming. SERVPRO of Greater Waco can handle it.

Home is your safe place, but the destruction a house fire leaves behind can leave you feeling hopeless, stressed and wondering if you will ever be able to get back to the way it was before. In the event of a fire in your home, we are ready to respond to your needs and lend a compassionate hand as we guide you through the restoration process of your home from start to finish.

You might notice that after the fire has been safely put out that there is damage to your home in areas far from where the fire originated. As the temperature rises inside a building, air expands carrying soot into cooler areas. Smoke will migrate into upper areas of a structure, allowing it to permeate other things like your ventilation system. Smoke and soot staining not only are unsightly and difficult to remove, they also produce odors which could be harmful if inhaled.

Before we begin the restoration process on your home, we assess the damage and pre-test the affected materials to determine the appropriate cleaning procedure. We then use the results to specifically tailor the cleaning procedure we will use in your home to provide you with the best plan to appropriately address your loss. Not every fire loss is cleaned in the same manner.

Unsure if restoration is possible? Give us a call at 254-224-5999 and let SERVPRO® of Greater Waco show you how we make disasters “Like it never even happened.”

Fire Safety Tips Part 1

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

This Fire was caused by a cigarette that did not make it into the ashtray properly. SERVPRO® of Greater Waco was called out to clean up the aftermath.

With the holidays behind us hopefully everyone has put up their Christmas decorations. As homeowners it is essential to be mindful of the presence of fire hazards and to minimize the possibility of them causing a structure fire. A good example is keeping around a severely dehydrated, and highly flammable Christmas tree too long. SERVPRO® of Greater Waco has compiled the following prevention tips for some areas in your home to help keep you and your loved ones safe from possible fire hazards throughout the new year.

In the kitchen:

• Avoid leaving cooking food unattended. If a grease fire occurs, use baking soda to extinguish it. NEVER use water on a grease fire. You can smother the fire in the pan by starving it of oxygen by placing a lid over it. Always supervise children that are cooking and educate on the dangers of fire and cooking appliances.

• Be aware of where you leave pot holders, dish towels, aprons and any cooking utensils.

• Ensure that electrical appliances are far from sinks, flames or hot plates

• Invest in carbon monoxide detector if your home does not already have one if you use natural gas for heating and cooking.

In living areas & bedrooms:

• Make your home a smoke free environment if possible, or at least ensure that cigars, cigarettes, and pipes are properly extinguished prior to disposal as they may continue to burn and may reignite.

• Recycle and replace appliances with damaged electrical cords

• Avoid running electrical wires or cords under the weight of heavy furniture and rugs

• If you feel that you often have to unplug an appliance to plug in another because your outlet is overloaded, reconsider spacing out appliances to other outlets

• Be aware that clothing or draperies do not rest atop lighting such as desk lamps.

Take a moment from your day to check the areas in your home and see if there are any possible fire hazards.

Check out our next blog for fire safety prevention tips for your bathrooms and garage from SERVPRO® of Greater Waco.

Fire Safety Tips Part 2

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

This home window was melted from the heat of a fire, it suffered no direct contact with the flames, but melted due to its proximity of the flame.

In our previous blog SERVPRO® of Greater Waco covered some fire safety tips for the kitchen, living areas, and bedrooms. Here you’ll find more suggestions on locating possible fire hazards that exist in your home and reminders of how to keep you and your loved ones safe from structure fires.

In the bathroom:

• Ensure that proper care is taken when using candles in a restroom for deodorizing and that they are snuffed out before you leave

• Use appropriate incense plates or burners; do not leave cones or sticks lying on counters, shelving or windowsills

• Turn off hairstyling irons before you walk away from it and invest in fire resistant holders

• Do not use, or charge, electronic devices near you while you are showering or bathing

• Before leaving home turn off any wax or oil potpourri pots

In the garage/storage:

• Chemicals such as fuels, solvents, cleaning agents, thinners, adhesives, and paints could ignite or explode due to improper storage. Make sure you take time to organize chemicals and to properly store them, preferably away from the house if possible. Dispose of anything that is damaged or leaking.

• Do not use stoves or barbecue grills inside the garage; you could not only start a fire, but also die from carbon monoxide inhalation

• If fire extinguishers are present in the home, ensure that everyone knows its location and how to use it. We also recommend having a fire plan in place.

Now, this is not a comprehensive list by any means, but these tips should be covered with family and/or roommates so that everyone understands where fire hazards exist for everyone’s safety and well-being. SERVPRO® of Greater Waco hopes you never have to experience the effects of a fire loss where you live, but we are here to help if you ever need our services. Call us 24 hours a day at (254) 224-5999.

After the Fire...

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

This was a complex Waco fire that SERVPRO of Greater Waco was able to restore all the clients personal contents back to a preloss condition.

There are a number of problems that a fire in your home or business leaves behind even after the immediate danger has passed. It is often the case that a thorough cleaning of walls, ceilings, carpeting, woodwork, and flooring will need to be professionally done. There are also a number of appropriate steps that can be taken in order to prevent further damage until SERVPRO of Greater Waco arrives on the scene. The chances of an effective restoration will be boosted by reducing damage by following a few tips:

  • Try to keep movement in the home to a minimum. Soot can become ingrained in the upholstery or carpeting from repeated movement in the home.
  • Use old towels or linens to cover up high traffic carpeted areas and upholstery.
  • If the power is off, empty the refrigerator and freezer of all contents and prop open the door to help prevent unpleasant smells.
  • Be mindful of what you are touching. Your hands can become soiled with soot and that can be transferred to other items in the home.
  • If you can immediately wipe all the soot off sink faucets and metal window molding, then coat with petroleum jelly to prevent the soot from pitting the metal surfaces.

Following just a few of these steps can be a game changer in the restorability of your home and personal items. SERVPRO of Greater Waco is here to help you through a catastrophe that is a fire loss. If you suffer a fire or smoke damage remember SERVPRO of Greater Waco are your fire restoration experts backed by years of experience and a team of knowledgeable individuals.

The Holidays are coming up

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

It’s November which means it’s the beginning of the holiday season. It is the time of year that families get together for a Thanksgiving or Christmas feast. It is also the time to practice safe cooking habits so that your happy holiday does not become a holiday disaster.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the number one cause for fires in homes with Thanksgiving day being the day of the year with most fires reported. Let’s try to be safe this holiday season by following some guidelines:

  • If you are cooking food in the kitchen, stay in the kitchen. If you must leave the kitchen, you should turn off the stove
  • Keep children away from the cooking area. As much as some children like to help it is best to keep them at least 3 feet away from the cooking area, especially during a family get together when kitchen traffic may be high.
  • Flammable items such as paper goods, towels, food packaging, and oven mitts need to be kept away from the oven and stovetop.
  • Regularly clean the cooking area
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher for your home if you don’t have one already
  • Have smoke alarms installed if you don’t have them
  • Always check all equipment used for cooking after you are finished and are ready for bed or leaving the house. This includes all appliances that were used as well as the stove and oven.

SERVPRO of Greater Waco wants everybody to have a safe holiday season, but in the event that the need arises we are available 24/7 and 365.

According to The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a Home structure fire is reported every 90 seconds.

6/27/2018 (Permalink)

A dryer that a homeowner returned home to find just in time to remove before it caused significant damage to his home.

With our lives becoming more and more reliant on electronics are we more at risk for a fire? Think about the number of items in your home that have electronic circuitry, each one has the potential to malfunction and could be the cause of a fire in your home. While we keep adding devices in our homes, we also keep increasing the demand on our home’s electrical system. Are we creating a higher risk with each and every device we bring home and plug in?

Are you the type that leaves home with one or more of your appliances running in your absence? A recent homeowner took to Facebook to share his near miss with a malfunctioning dryer. Luckily the owner returned home in time to pull the dryer out of the house before it caused significant damage. While SERVPRO of Greater Waco is here to help you if your home suffers are fire or smoke loss, we are also here to help provide tips that could possibly prevent a fire from ever starting in your home.

Here are SERVPRO of Greater Waco’s Top 10 things you can do to help prevent a fire in your home:

  • Test your smoke detectors regularly, we recommend replacing the batteries every six months for peace of mind to know that they will operate properly when you most need them to.
  • Consider replacing old appliances before it is too late. As appliances age they become more likely to malfunction which could result in an ignition spark.
  • Avoid overloading electrical circuits, most in home circuits are rated for 15amps. A general rule of thumb is not to put more than 80% load (12amps) on any 15-amp breaker, or risk overloading the circuit.
  • Clean your dryer lint trap after each cycle and manually inspect your dryer vent at least once a year.
  • Unplug toasters after each use and do no not store them on countertops where pets may knock them off.
  • Do not run appliances when you are not home, especially your dishwasher, dryer, or washing machine.
  • Do not use water, or flour, to put out a grease fire. Smothering or Baking Soda are the preferred methods.
  • Select the proper gauge extension cord for the job, be careful not to overload them which causes them to overheat.
  • Create and practice a home evacuation plan with all members of your family.
  • Purchase and install fire extinguishers, they are handy when you need them.

Doing these simple things could help reduce your chances of experiencing a fire loss in your home. SERVPRO of Greater Waco is committed to helping reduce home fires to create a safer environment for your family.

We are always here to help, feel free to contact us at 254-224-5999 for all your Waco area Fire and Smoke needs.

SERVPRO of Greater Waco Smoke and Soot Cleanup

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor beyond the Obvious damage in your Waco home or business.

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allow us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.

Smoke and Soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Greater Waco will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call Us Today – 254-224-5999