Recent Fire Damage Posts
Holiday Safety Tips for Fort Worth
With the holiday season now upon us, there are a lot of things on our plates. From deciding what to get your cousin you drew for the family Secret Santa, to cookie exchanges at work it seems like the month before Christmas goes way too fast. For those of us who enjoy it, anyway. It’s important in all the hubbub to stay safe this holiday season by following these tips.
- Make sure to keep your tree watered. An under watered tree can dry out and be an extreme fire hazard.
- When decorating, check all electrical decorations for sign of wear or tear. Anything old or worn should be replaced and thrown out. If you don’t want to throw away the entire decoration, you can buy replacement wiring.
- Use fake candles instead of real candles when you do your decorating. Avoid open flame as much as possible. If you like the scent of candle, we suggest a wax burner though take caution with those as well.
From all of us here at SERVPRO of Lake Worth/Benbrook we hope you have a safe and happy holiday!
How To Avoid Fires While Grilling
Summer is here, and that means it is time for backyard grill outs! July is the top month for grill fires followed by May, June, and August. While flipping burgers and roasting hot dogs may seem simple, be sure to follow these tips to keep your party from burning out.
Keep the Grill Away From the House
While it may seem like a no brainer, lighting a grill inside your home can have disastrous consequences. Keep your grill out of the house (this includes kitchens, sunrooms, covered patios, and garages), and move it away from the house so that wayward flames do not ignite anything. Flare ups happen, so it is best to keep the grill away from anything flammable in order to avoid fire damage.
Keep it Clean
Failing to keep the grill clean was the leading cause of grill fires from 2011-2015. When you use your grill, fat and grease from your food will build up. Be sure to use a wire brush to scrape off any extra food that may have built up while you were cooking. Simply scraping the grill isn’t enough to ensure your safety; do a deep cleaning of your grill 2-3 times per year (or more if you use your grill often) and be sure to get all the nasty grease and build up out of all the nooks and crannies. In addition to helping prevent fires, keeping your grill clean is just plain hygiene! Nobody wants a burger with old fat stuck to it!
Never Leave the Grill Alone
This tip seems like another common-sense rule, but many properties catch fire because the grill was left unattended and was knocked over by kids or pets. Children under 5 accounted for about one third of contact-type burns. Keeping watch over the cooking area will help prevent your little ones from bumping into the grill or any hot equipment. Designate a grill master to keep watch over the grill and the area around it so that you catch any problems before they happen, and they can make sure the food is cooked to perfection.
Inspect Before You Grill
Propane grills are great for a backyard barbecue, but they also cause more fires than charcoal grills due to the more complicated equipment. Before you light the grill up, take a second to inspect your work station. Make sure the propane tank is connected to the grill correctly and that there are no leaks. A gas leak next to even the smallest flame can have huge consequences, so familiarize yourself with the way your grill works, and take care of the maintenance to keep it in working order.
Know What to do if a Fire Does Break Out
If a fire does break out, knowing what to do and acting quickly will keep everyone involved safe. Never use a squirt bottle to spray water on a grease fire. This can make the fire larger rather than putting it out, and small squirts of water are not likely to be enough to extinguish a fire anyway. Flour can also make things worse, so use baking soda, salt, or a fire extinguisher to combat flare ups. Keep a box of baking soda or a fire extinguisher where you can quickly and easily access it if a flame does get out of control.
The Importance of Smoke Detectors
We’ve all been in that scenario where you accidentally leave something in the oven slightly too long, and suddenly every smoke detector in the house is going off, but think twice before you take the batteries out of your device to prevent another interruption to your evening meal. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that three of every fire home fire deaths came from homes without smoke alarms, and the death rate for every 100 homes was more than twice as high in homes without functioning smoke detectors than in homes with them.
We are giving you these stats as a testimony to the importance of having a working smoke alarm on every level of your house; ideally, they should also be in each bedroom. Install your alarms in the center of the ceiling or up high near the ceiling if they are placed on a wall. Since heat – and therefore smoke – rises, a smoke alarm that is up high can alert you before a smoke detector that is located lower on a wall.
Once you have your detectors installed, you must be sure to test them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year. The alarms won’t be any use to you or your family if they are dead when an emergency arises.
We hope that you never find yourself with your house or business in flames, but if you do, SERVPRO of Lake Worth/Benbrook is here to help you get back on your feet again. Call us at 817.560.3086 to find out how we can restore your home and belongings after a fire.
Your Pets and Fire
Here at SERVPRO of Lake Worth/Benbrook, we love our pets and they’re a part of our families! We can’t imagine the possibility of our lives without them, which is why it’s important to be sure to make sure your pet is safe in the event of a fire. An estimated 500,000 pets are affected by fires annually, and 1,000 of those fires are started by pets who have knocked over candles or turned on stoves (United States Fire Administration). Because of the risk, we’ve put together some tips to help prevent and plan for a fire.
We cannot stress prevention enough! The number one way to make sure both you and your pet are protected from fires is to prevent them.
- Candles are the cause of an estimated 8,690 fires in the United States (National Fire Protection Association). While it may seem like a no brainer to blow out your candles before you leave the house or go to bed, we are human. Double check to make sure open flames are put out. Cats can knock over lit candles with their tails, or a dog might get excited and knock one off of a table.
- Keep electrical cords out of reach if your pet is a chewer, especially puppies. A puppy could chew through an electrical cord, which could cause a short. Not only is this dangerous for your puppy, but it’s also dangerous for your house.
- We like the warmth in the winter, and so do our pets! Keep bedding and toys away from fireplaces or other heating elements during the winter time.
- Test your smoke alarms! Make sure they’re working. Look to see where your pet goes to hide when they’re scared and make a note of it, so a firefighter can find them in the event of a fire.
- If you have a stove/oven that has knobs, try and take those off before you leave your home or go to bed at night. Animals can accidentally turn them on and catch anything that’s on top of the stove or in the oven on fire.
If There’s A Fire:
If the unimaginable happens and you do have a fire, below are some tips to keep your pet safe.
- In the event of a fire and you’re not at home, make sure your neighbors know how many pets you have and what their names are. You can also get a sign for your windows to let rescue workers know how many and what type of pets you may have in your home.
- Train your pet to come when she’s called so you won’t have to go looking for her just incase there is a fire.
- Keep leashes by the door so your pet can be evacuated easily, and you won’t have to carry an 80-pound dog out of the house.
- Have a pet emergency kit by either the door or in with yours. Make it easy to grab and go. Some things you’ll want to include are: a toy, medicine, treats, food, water, an extra collar and leash with tags, a first-aid kit, and any important documents you may need.
- Make sure your pet wears a collar with identification tags at all times just incase they get out of the home by themselves. If your pet manages to lose their collar by wiggling free or they aren’t wearing one, it’s a good idea to get your pet microchipped as well.
- Make a fire escape plan that includes your pet just incase there is a fire. Practice it with your whole family so everyone is on board.
In the event that you and your pet have been affected by a fire, give us a call! We are here to help 24/7. 817.560.3086
Six Most Common Causes Of Housefires
House fires are unimaginable, and something we never want to happen to our home. In 2016 a house fire was reported every 90 seconds, and the causes vary. It’s why you should be able to identify the most common causes of house fires, you’ll find the list of six in no particular order below.
If your lamp shades or fittings are close to the light bulb, then there Is a possibility of them heating up and starting a fire. It’s good to keep lamps away from piles of clothing. If they get knocked over they could cause a fire as well.
We all love candles, I am personally a fan of any of the pine tree scent or leather. But if forgotten about they can cause a serious fire hazard. Make sure to keep your candles away from flammable items such as curtains, Christmas trees, books or mail, and tissues. If you have pets carefully supervise them so they don’t knock anything over and always blow out a candle before going to bed or leaving your home.
Make sure the butts of your cigarettes are put out well. If not put out properly and the ashes are thrown in the trash or dropped on fabric such as furniture or carpeting, then they can cause a fire.
If you have a heater to keep your electric bill down during the winter time, it’s a good idea to keep it away from anything that can catch fire easily like furniture, curtains or laundry. If you’re one of the few people that still have a furnace anymore, get it inspected yearly to make sure it’s still working properly.
- Faulty Wiring
If you have faulty wiring in your home, it can cause fires from shorts or other electrical hazards. Fortunately, there are three signs you watch for when it comes to faulty wiring. First is if you blow a fuse or trip breakers more often than not. Second is if you need to disconnect one appliance in order for another one to work. Third is if your lights dim when you use another appliance.
- Appliances or Other Equipment
Stoves and ovens, if left on with things inside or on them, can cause fires. Especially if they’re not cleaned properly. Things that use electricity to heat up like hair straighteners, toasters, and TVs should be inspected frequently for cord damage.
If you’ve suffered from a fire, and need help cleaning up, we can do that! No matter the type we are equipped to handle any size job. Give us a call today at 817.560.3086
Building A Fire Escape Plan
A household fire is something that we all think would never happen to us – but it starts with something as simple as a candle left alight or some faulty wiring. Suddenly, your home is engulfed in flames. Do you and your family have a plan for getting out of your home safely? A fire escape plan is an important tool to make sure your family knows what to do in the event of a fire.
Here are some tips to get your family prepared:
- Make sure you gather everyone in the event of a fire. Walk through your home and note all the possible exit routes.
- Draw up a floorplan of your home for a visual. Label each room and mark at least two exits per room – just in case one is blocked by fire or smoke.
- Do a walkthrough of your house with your family and make sure everyone knows and understands the escape plan.
- Choose a meeting place outside like a neighbor’s mailbox, a light post, or a stop sign. Be sure it’s a safe distance from the front of your home. Mark your meeting place on your escape plan.
- Once you’re out, stay out! Do NOT go back into a burning building. If a family member is missing, let the fire department dispatcher know when you call.
If your home has been affected by a fire, we here at SERVPRO of Lake Worth/Benbrook are always here to help! Our phones are answered 24/7. Give us a call at 817.560.3086
Fire and Smoke Damage Experts in Fort Worth present Safety Tips for Extension Cords
Tis the Season... of extension cords.
If your home is anything like ours in Fort Worth, you find yourself making use of extension cords. Lights on the tree, lights on the home, other decorations needing power... the list can expand quickly. Usually, these items end up plugged into an extension cord, and sometimes the extension cords end up plugged into other extension cords!
All of these cords present a number of hazards - the Fire and Smoke Damage experts of SERVPRO of Lake Worth / Benbrook want everyone to have a happy and safe holiday season, so we are offering these safety tips related to extension cords.
- Inspect all cords for damage prior to use. Cords that have exposed wires, frayed or cut insulation, cracked sockets or loose (or missing) prongs should not be used.
- Ensure the cords are designed and rated for the intended use and power load. Indoor/outdoor use, gauge of the cord, gauge of the items plugged into the cord and load through the cord should all be considered.
- Stop using any extension cord that feels hot to the touch - the danger presented by a hot cord is very real. Unplug any hot cord immediately.
- Avoid pinching cords under doors, windows or heavy furniture. Extension cords are easily compromised if the insulation around the wires in the cord gets damaged.
- Extension cords pose a tripping hazard. Keep them out of walkways, doorways or any high traffic area.
- Do not run extension cords through walls, ceilings or under rugs. This may cause the cord to overheat.
- Extension cords should be a temporary solution - if you are using them year round, you should consider upgrading your electrical system in your home.
Here at SERVPRO of Lake Worth / Benbrook, we use extension cords nearly every week. Safely using them is something we train on regularly, and being aware of potential hazards is always on our mind. Keep the safety tips above in mind this holiday season and you should enjoy all of the festive decorations you desire.