Recent Fire Damage Posts
3 Common Causes of House Fires and How to Prevent Them
Unattended candles remain to be one of the leading causes of house fires
The Leading Fire Causes
Nobody ever wants to think about the possibility of a home fire, but it remains to be one of the biggest threats to human life. With your family and prized possessions at risk, it’s important to know what causes these disasters and how to prevent them.
The leading fire causes in North Des Plaines, IL include:
- Cooking fires
- Careless smoking
- Unattended candles
1. Cooking Fires
Cooking is the #1 cause of home fires, accounting for half of the total fires in the state. This news comes as no surprise considering the open flames and intensive heating that happens in this room. If left unsupervised, cooking food could burn, resulting in a big fire and an expensive fire cleaning process. Therefore, stay in the kitchen until the meal is ready or leave someone else in charge.
Smoking poses a danger to your health in many ways, including the risk of igniting your house. While cigarette smoking accounts for only 5 percent of house fires in the entire country, the death rate sits at a whopping 23 percent. In most of these cases, the residents smoke while in the bedroom, and something accidentally catches fire after they fall asleep. It is safer to avoid smoking altogether, but if you must, do it outside the house where there’s little risk of starting an inferno.
There’s something about candles that makes people buy more of them despite the fire hazard they present. Maybe it’s because of the warm, cozy feeling they bring, or it’s the delicious scents they produce. Whatever the reason, unattended candles remain to be one of the leading causes of house fires. To avoid this, consider using safer alternatives such as flameless candles and wax warmers.
Home fires will always remain to be a massive threat, even though you might not think about it much. That’s why you need to be extra cautious in the kitchen and when using traditional candles.
Fires are Preventable
Don't let a fire get you down!
When it comes to your property, certain safety precautions can be taken to help prevent fires. Below are some tips that can help you to prevent a fire.
Electrical and Appliances Safety
- Replace frayed and old worn electrical cords on appliances. Also make sure all extension cords are in good working condition and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
- If an appliance has a three prong plug, use it only in a three slot outlet. Never force it into a two slot outlet or extension cord.
- Immediately shut off light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker and have replaced by a trained professional.
Fireplaces and Wood stoves
- Inspect and clean wood stove pipes and chimneys annually and check for damage or obstructions monthly.
- Always use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop a burning log from rolling out and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying embers.
- Make sure that the fire is completely out before leaving your home or going to bed.
For more fire safety tips, visit ready.org and if a fire should occur call SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines at 847-956-1880 and our trained professionals will make it "Like it never even happened."
How To Put Out a Grease Fire
Smother a small cooking fire with salt or baking soda.
Putting Out Grease Fire
A grease fire is one of the most common ways house fires begin. They often start because food was left unattended while cooking, but even under close watch, fires can happen. All it takes is for a little grease to spill over the side of a pan, and you have the potential of a fire starting. Here are 5 steps to putting out a fire involving grease.
1. Remove the Source of Oxygen
Place a metal lid over the fire. If a lid is not easily accessible, a cookie sheet will also do the trick. Do not remove the lid until the fire is out and it is cool to the touch.
2. Remove it From the Heat
Turn off the source of heat. If you can safely do so, and the fire is contained in a pan, remove the pan from the heat.
3. Smother the Fire
Water should never be used to put out a grease fire. It can splash and spread the fire, making it much worse than it was. Instead, smother a small cooking fire with salt or baking soda.
4. Use a Fire Extinguisher
If you have a class B fire extinguisher that is made to handle chemical fires, you can use it on the fire. Since you should not touch or inhale too much of the powder, you should use this as a last resort.
5. What To Do if All Else Fails
If these steps fail and you are not able to put out the fire or it is spreading, evacuate the area as quickly as possible. Get everyone outside and call emergency services so that your local fire department can put out the fire. Remain outside until they tell you it is safe to go back in.
If you experience a grease fire in Mount Prospect, IL, you need to get the fire out as quickly as possible while protecting your safety. If your home sustains damage, you may want to call a professional fire restoration company for fire cleanup. They are trained to repair or replace damaged items and remove any lingering odors.
Warning Signs of Faulty Wiring or Electrical Systems
Electric fires account for 34,000 house fires a year
Electrical failure or malfunctions account for an estimated 34,000 home fires, on average, per year and result in roughly 440 deaths and $1.3 billion in direct property damage according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). This threat is higher in older homes built before the 1950's due to lower electrical wiring standards, however; even newer homes are at risk. Older homes were built to handle 30 amps of power, but most newer homes demand 100 to 200 amps. Listed below are some of the warning signs that may indicate an electrical problem in your home:
- Flickering or dimming lights.
- Switches or outlets that are hot to touch and/or give off a strong burnt rubber odor.
- Discolored cords, outlets and switch plates.
- Repeatedly blown fuses and tripped circuit breakers.
If you have any any of these, contact a licensed electrician immediately to examine and repair any electrical problems and if the need for fire restoration is required, we are there to make it "Like it never even happened". SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines, 847-956-1880.
Recipe for Safety
Make sure to shut off your stove when you leave the house
Cooking Safety Tips:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you have to leave the room for even a second, turn your stove or cooking device off.
- When you are simmering, baking, or roasting, check the food regularly or use a timer to remind you.
- Keep cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles such as potholders, paper towels, food packaging, etc...
- Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of at least three feet around the stove.
- If an oven fire starts, turn off the oven and keep the door closed. If the fire does not go out, get out of the house and the fire department.
Please remember that education in prevention is the best way to keep you and your family safe. In the event there is a fire, call your local fire department and then call SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines at 847-956-1880 to help you with all your fire restoration needs.
Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Fires can cause immense damage and the aftermath can be stressful
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines 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 – 847-956-1880
Securing Your Building Post-Fire
Fire extinguisher training can be crucial in preventing fires in a business
Is your Mount Prospect, IL, commercial property suffering after a fire? If you are planning on seeking help from a local fire damage restoration company, you are already on the right track. But you also need to keep your building safe in the meantime. Follow these three steps to make sure looting does not affect your business in the aftermath of a commercial fire.
1. Identify and Secure Open Spaces
Survey your building very carefully when beginning your fire cleanup efforts. Ensure that all windows, doors and other open spaces are securely locked. Next, make sure that you purchase some sturdy boards that will be sufficiently protective for the type of opening that you are securing. The length of time you expect the boards to be in place should also influence what type of covering you buy.
2. Research Further Options
While waiting to repair fire damage to your building, you may want to invest in some fencing for added security. This really depends on whether or not you feel that your building is in an area prone to heavy looting, as well as the amount of time you expect your business to be shut down for.
3. Consider Advanced Security Options
If you feel that your company’s geographical area is highly unsafe or expect you will be closed for a very long time, security services or a high-tech alarm may be the way to go. These options allow your building to be secured when you are not physically available to keep a close watch.
Don’t Get Intimidated
Fire damage is stressful enough without worrying about highly customizable security options. You need to focus on fixing any destruction first and foremost, so if you think complicated security measures are out of the question logistically or financially, stick with basic, reliable boards that will keep your Mount Prospect, IL business protected not only from criminal activity, but also the unpredictable natural elements.