Recent Fire Damage Posts

Industry Terms for Fire Damages

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

Industry Terms for Fire Damages

When a property experiences a fire, a homeowner and commercial property manager will begin to hear a lot of terms they may be unfamiliar with.  Familiarizing yourself with this vocabulary will help facilitate your understanding of what is happening.

Rest assured that if you should ever need our help, our 3-Expert Team will walk you through the process of cleanup and restoration.

Fire Damage:  This is a general term that says a fire was the cause of loss.

Stabilizing the Structure:  This refers to the need to make a structure safe enough for our technicians to begin cleanup and remediation work.  The fire must be completely put out.  It may also include roof tarping, board-up, temporary fencing, and a security guard.

Roof Tarping:  A thick, weatherproof piece of plastic tarping will be attached to the roof to prevent precipitation from entering the building and causing secondary damage.  

Board-Up:  When pieces of board are placed over damaged windows and doors to prevent precipitation from entering the building and also to deter possible break-ins.

Temporary Fencing:  When a temporary fence is installed around the perimeter of the property or highly damaged areas to prevent possible break-ins and keep the general public away from sensitive areas.

Security Guard:  When a structure cannot be immediately stabilized (for example, it’s raining and it’s not safe to tarp the roof), a 24-hour security guard can be hired to protect the property.

Secondary Damage:  A damage that occurred which did not come from the original source.  For example, in a fire damage, the fire is the primary damage.  Secondary damage may come from the water used during firefighting efforts.

Pre-Loss Condition:  Means to put the property back together the way it was before the fire damage. This is the goal of the insurance company when a fire damage occurs.

Smoke Damage:  When smoke particles have embedded themselves in a material, like a wall, clothing, or piece of furniture.  Smoke damage cannot usually be seen, but it can be smelled.  Cleaning and deodorization should take place.

Soot Damage:  When soot has sullied a material.  Soot is produced by the incomplete burning during the fire.  It is acidic and causes damage to materials when it’s not properly or promptly cleaned.  Cleaning and deodorization should take place.

Demolition:  When a material has experienced permanent damage and cannot be cleaned, it is removed and thrown away.

Containment:  When thick plastic is set up in order to isolate the airspace of a room.  This is done so that deodorization techniques can be more effective or to prevent an unaffected area of a property from becoming contaminated.

Air Scrubber:  A machine that cleans the air.  

HEPA Filter: High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance filter can catch particles as small as 0.3 microns.  This is our filter of choice when using an air scrubber.

Deodorization:  When an item or property is rid of smells caused by the fire damage.

Structural Framing:  The structure of the property, like beams.  If the structure has been damaged, it must be replaced.

Contents:  Anything that is not part of the structure, like furniture.  When affected, contents can either be cleaned on-site or taken back to our cleaning facility.

Textiles:  If you turned the property upside down and everything fell out, the items that fell and did not break are textiles.  These include clothing, shoes, plush animals, etcetera.  When affected, textiles are taken back to our facility for cleaning.

Pack-out / Pack-Back:  When the structure isn’t safe, contents and textiles are moved out of the property and taken to our facilities for cleaning and storage.  They are returned when the property is clean, reconstructed, and safe for inhabitants.  Items may also be delivered to a second location if the owner would like them returned sooner.

Storage:  Items that have been packed-out are stored in our facilities until they can be returned.

HVAC & Duct Work:  Heating, Ventilation, and Air Condition system.  Ducts are the pathways for the cold or warm air to travel around the property.  Many times, the HVAC system needs to be cleaned after a fire damage because smoke has accumulated inside of it.

Emergency READY Profile:  An ERP helps provide a plan of action for a property before any disaster happens.  It provides us your property’s information, like room sizes and types of flooring, so our response is faster, should anything ever happen.  You can fill one out on your own using SERVPRO’s READY Plan website or you can schedule one of our team members to visit your property and fill one out for you at no cost.  Be sure to list SERVPRO of Ellis County as your preferred SERVPRO franchise.

SERVPRO of Ellis County has over 30-years of experience remediating water, fire, and mold damage.  We are also a Texas Licensed Mold Contractor servicing Waxahachie, Ennis, and all other communities in Ellis County plus those surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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www.SERVPROelliscounty.com



“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

Commercial Fire Damage Services

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire Damage Services

When your business suffers fire damage, you need to know what next steps to take to begin the cleanup and restoration process as soon as possible.  Business interruptions are expensive.  SERVPRO of Ellis County has been helping businesses open their doors after disaster for over 30-years.  We offer the following fire damage services:

  • Roof Tarping: we will install a thick, weatherproof tarp over the damaged portions of your roof to prevent precipitation from coming in and causing secondary damage.
  • Board Up: we will install temporary boards over damaged doors and windows to prevent precipitation from coming in and to deter possible break-ins.
  • Temporary Fencing: we will install a temporary fence around the perimeter of your property to deter the public from entering sensitive areas.
  • 24-Hour Security: if a board up can’t take place for any weather-related reason, we will install a security guard for your property until our crews can safely install them.
  • Water Damage: a water damage occurs at most fires due to firefighting efforts.  Standing water can cause secondary damage to your structure.  We will extract all standing water to prevent further damage.
  • Structural Cleaning & Deodorization: after the building is secure, we will begin the process of cleaning and deodorizing your property.  Permanently damaged debris will be removed and all soot and smoke odor will be removed.
  • Contents & Textile Cleaning: soot and smoke-affected contents and textiles can be cleaned and deodorized.
  • Move-Out / Move-Back: if any contents need to be cleaned and deodorized and your structure is still not safe, we will transport the items back to our cleaning facility and then move them back.
  • Storage Space: should your contents need temporary storage space, they will be stored in our warehouse until your property is safe again.
  • Reconstruction: any structure that was permanently damaged removed can be replaced.
  • 3 Expert Contact Team: you will be assigned 3 different people that will be your main points of contact throughout your entire process.  These individuals will be responsible for communication with insurance, cleaning and remediation, and reconstruction.

Emergency READY Plan (ERP)

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Plan is pre-planning for the cleanup and restoration of your business before a disaster even happens.  We understand that business disruptions are expensive, and nearly half of U.S. businesses close due to a disaster.  Every minute counts.  A READY plan helps makes the cleanup and restoration process faster by letting us know things such as the size of your rooms, type of flooring, etcetera.

We recommend completing a READY plan soon.  Give us a call and we’ll schedule a team member to visit your property and prepare a plan for you at no cost.  Or, you can fill out a plan yourself at SERVPRO’s Ready Plan website.  Make sure to list SERVPRO of Ellis County as your preferred franchise.

SERVPRO of Ellis County has over 30-years of experience remediating water, fire, and mold damage.  We are also a Texas Licensed Mold Contractor servicing Waxahachie, Ennis, and all other communities in Ellis County plus those surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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www.SERVPROelliscounty.com



“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

What to Do After Fire Damage at Home

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What to Do After Fire Damage at Home Photo by SERVPRO

What to Do After Fire Damage at Home

We have helped many families put their homes together after a fire damage.  Our team of managers and technicians have worked with every insurance provider to assess damage, clean, and rebuild every type of home--including everything inside of it.  We can help you, too.

After the fire department’s job ends, our work begins.

Full-Service Process:

  1. CALL US.  We will immediately dispatch a project manager to visit your property and assess the damage and any emergency services needed.
  2. EMERGENCY BOARD-UP.  We will tarp any damaged portions of your roof along with windows and doors.  Our team uses heavy plastic and 2x4 wood to create a waterproof barrier that will also prevent possible break-ins.
  3. MITIGATION.  We will extract any water that may be on the property after the fire department has left.
  4. PACK-OUT.  With insurance approval, we will pack out all contents of your home and move them to our cleaning facility.  Packing out contents will also give our reconstruction and cleaning teams a safe environment to work as we rebuild your home.
  5. CLEANING.  Different crews will work on different aspects of your project.  One crew will be dedicated to cleaning your home, while another will clean your contents and another your textiles.  We can clean all items typically found in a home, such as furniture, clothing, toys, and electronics.
  6. RECONSTRUCTION.  Our reconstruction team will coordinate all reconstruction services, including scheduling.  The Reconstruction Project Manager will work you to choose any replacement materials needed, such as flooring, carpet, and cabinets.
  7. PACK-BACK. Once your home is rebuilt, all of your cleaned contents will be delivered back to you.  

Your 3-Expert Team Works With Your Insurance and on Your Home

A 3-Expert Team is a team consisting of a Project Coordinator (works with your insurance), Mitigation Manager (board up, cleaning, pack out), and Reconstruction Project Manager.  They will be assigned to you and be your main points of contact for everything regarding your project from beginning to end.  We understand stress levels are likely to be high, and we want to simplify the process and be here to help.

Delivering Emergency Items to Temporary Housing

During the restoration process, many families are temporarily housed in an apartment or hotel.  Some also choose to live with a parent or family member.  While this is happening, it’s important to continue normal-life functions as much as possible, like going to work and school.  This is why we ask you for any important items you, your children, or pet may need, like a week’s worth of clothing or a favorite blanket.  We will work to clean those items and get them back to you immediately.

We understand the interruption and stress this may cause you, so we’ll do all we can to make sure this process goes smoothly.  Our goal is to get you back to normal as quickly as possible.

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Ellis County and all surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth communities.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

What Happens to Smoke and Soot Affected Clothing?

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What Happens to Smoke and Soot Affected Clothing? Before and after photo of a smoke and soot-affected pair of jeans after being washed in the Esporta Wash System.

What Happens to Smoke and Soot Affected Clothing?

One of the first items we take out of a smoke-affected home are textiles--clothing, shoes, teddy bears, bedding, towels, etcetera.  Sometimes these items smell like smoke, but no visible soot is on them.  Other times, the soot is so heavy, you can hardly tell the original color of the item beneath.

Usually, homeowners are quick to throw away these items, thinking they are unsalvageable.  

The truth is, the majority of smoke and soot affected clothing and other textiles can be cleaned.

We are one of the few Esporta Certified businesses in the Dallas, Ft. Worth region.  The Esporta Wash System is a specialized machine that uses hydraulic pressure to gently clean the fabric.  Unlike traditional dry cleaners, our system is a wet wash and uses six-environmentally friendly detergents to remove all smoke particles and soot from a textile.

We successfully wash over 85% of smoke and soot affected textiles regularly.

Full-Service Process:

  • We remove all affected textiles from your home and take them back to our cleaning facility.
  • If anything is wet, we set it aside to begin the drying process and prevent mold.
  • We inventory all the clothing and create an estimate for your insurance company.
  • Once your inventory approves cleaning, we spot clean your clothing and then wash it.
  • Clothing is set in a humidity-controlled drying chamber.
  • All items are professionally finished by being pressed, hung, bagged, and boxed.  Leather items are conditioned.
  • Items are delivered back to you.
  • Any items that were not salvageable are reported to you and your insurance.  We even provide your adjuster with a replacement cost report.

Rush Items Delivered Within 3-Days

We understand that while a fire damage claim is being processed, our customers still need clothing to be able to continue going to work and school.  For this reason, we ask our clients which items they’d like rushed, and we do everything in our power to make sure they’re returned within three days.

Proven, Scientific Results

To prove the results of our wash, items are pre and post-wash tested using ATP Testing.  Using a scale, we know when a textile is safe to wear again or if it needs to be washed again.  We’re not satisfied until all textiles are food-grade clean, meaning it’s actually clean enough to eat off of.  This is how we know without a doubt that it’s safe to wear or use again.

It’s not clean until it’s food-grade clean.

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Ellis County and all surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth communities.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

Renters: What To Do After An Apartment Fire

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Renters: What To Do After An Apartment Fire Photo by SERVPRO

Renters: What To Do After An Apartment Fire

We’ve helped many renters that have experienced a fire in their apartment.  Our team knows how to work with many insurance providers to provide the help both renters and property owners rebuild after a fire loss.  We can help you, too.

We’ll Work With Your Insurance

You will be assigned a Project Coordinator whose responsibility is to establish a relationship with your insurance adjuster.  They will communicate with them frequently about the status of your claim.

Content Cleaning

We can inventory all items, whether they’re damaged or not, and clean all salvageable contents that are inside your apartment.  If necessary, we will move them to our office’s cleaning facility.  We can clean all items in your apartment, including furniture, toys, electronics, clothing, bedding, shoes, etcetera.  

Pack-Out & Pack-Back

If items need to be packed out, they will be taken to our office cleaning facility.  Your items will be cleaned and stored until you can take them back again, whether it be at your cleaned and rebuilt apartment or another place you call home.

Rush Item Cleaning and Delivery

We understand that while the fire damage restoration is taking place, our customers need to resume normal activities like going to work and school.  For this reason, we offer a rush item service, where our customers can request items they need, such as clothing.  We prioritize these items for cleaning and delivery them quickly, usually around 3-days.

Full Service 3-Expert Team

You won’t have to worry about coordinating handfuls of different people and companies to handle your claim.  We know this will be a stressful time, so our promise to you is to simplify the process by assigning you a 3-Expert Team.  Each of these team members will take care of all aspects of your project from beginning-to-end.  Rest assured that if you ever have a question, they’ll have the answer.

  • Project Coordinator:  they will work with your insurance company to process your claim.
  • Project Manager:  they will clean all your contents and service your pack-out and pack-back.
  • Reconstruction Manager:  if they are needed, they will rebuild any damages to your apartment.

We understand the stress that comes with a fire loss, and our team of experts will work with you from beginning-to-end.  We’re ready to help as soon as you call.

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Ellis County and all surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth communities.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

Fire Safety: Portable Heaters

12/17/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Safety: Portable Heaters Photo by FEMA

Fire Safety: Portable Heaters

Portable heaters are popular during the winter, especially when a temporary cold spell falls and you need just a little bit more heat to be comfortable.  Most are inexpensive, making them attractive purchases every year.

Yet, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 home fires are associated with the use of space heaters.

Our office works with fire damaged homes on a daily basis, and we know that safe practices at home can’t be undervalued.  Safe practices with space heaters are important to prevent the loss of property and contents.  

Space Heater Purchase Considerations

  • Purchase a heater with the latest safety technology.
  • Buy one that’s meant for the size of the room you’re heating and no larger.
  • Put the heater on a safe platform away from pets, children, and foot traffic.
  • Choose a heater that has a thermostat so it can know when to turn itself off.

Electric Space Heater Safety

Electric space heaters are the only safe heaters to use indoors because they don’t need ventilation.  After purchasing an electric heater, consider:

  • Plug it in directly into a wall outlet or a short, heavy-duty extension cord.
  • Purchase a unit with a tip-over safety function.  This will cause the heater to turn itself off if it notices it’s not standing upright.
  • Understand the electrical needs of the heater(s) your purchase and be mindful not to plug so many in that you overload your home.
  • Give the heater 3 feet of space on every side.

If you or anyone you know has experienced a fire damage, please give us a call.  We’re available to help anytime, and we work directly with all insurance providers.  Our office offers damage assessment services, property, content, and textile cleaning, and reconstruction services.  

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Ellis County and all surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth communities.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

For more heater safety information, visit energy.gov.

This Thanksgiving, Prevent a Turkey Fryer Fire

11/1/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage This Thanksgiving, Prevent a Turkey Fryer Fire Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance away from buildings or other flammable materials.

Did you know?  Most home fires occur on Thanksgiving.

 

Frying a turkey is fast, easy, and most importantly--delicious.  The oil creates a crispy exterior while keeping the meat moist.  For even more flavor, the SERVPRO of Ellis County family likes to inject the turkey with a combination of melted butter and our favorite spices.  Whichever way you like your turkey cooked, please keep safety as your top priority. 

 

Every year, SERVPRO of Ellis County responds to calls from customers whose homes have suffered smoke damage, many related to Thanksgiving-related fire incidents.  This holiday season, keep the following safety tips in mind to keep your family and home safe from fire:

 

  • Turkey fryers can easily tip over.  Use them on a flat surface.
  • An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is put in.
  • A partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when put in the pot.  Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before inserting it into the oil. 
  • Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire.
  • Use a fryer with temperature controls to prevent overheating the oil.
  • Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance away from buildings or other flammable materials.
  • Source: U.S. Fire Administration

 

From our family to yours, we wish you a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.