Recent Fire Damage Posts

Erie Firefighters Provide Fire Damage Repair

9/4/2019 (Permalink)

Couch, chairs and living room content burned and destroyed by house fire Salvage is the fundamental skill firefighters use to preserve contents and insure the structural stability of the home during and after a fire.

A typical fire call may go something like this…

The tones go out at 3:00 AM. Firefighters gear up quickly and turn the sirens on to head to the scene. The call is an attic fire with visible flames. The family has evacuated safely while fireman attack the fire inside. The family stands on the perimeter of their property and wonder what valuables can be salvaged.

Salvage is the fundamental skill firefighters use to preserve contents and insure the structural stability of the home during and after a fire.

Some of the ways a firefighter is trained to preserve contents from smoke and water damage is through correct ventilation, placing contents in the middle of a room while placing a tarp over the contents utilizing a salvage cover.

Salvage covers are typically colorful, flame resistant tarps that are permanently stored on the fire truck and ready for use. When used, contents are protected under the tarp which then help create a water shute on the outside of the tarp for water to runoff.

This fundamental skill is taught to all career and volunteer firefighters during class to perfect during and after a fire.

SERVPRO of West Erie County shares a common goal with fire fighters in that we try to preserve valuable contents during an emergency situation and minimize the damage.

You can call SERVPRO of West Erie County at (814) 806-1897 for post fire cleanup and help with salvaging as much of your belongings as possible.

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Potential Fire Hazards in your West Erie Home

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Don't over-extend your electrical outlets by trying to plug in too many appliances at once.

Fire hazards can be present in the most inconspicuous of places and put you and your property at risk.

You can reduce the risk of fire by becoming aware of the types of fire hazards and follow fire safety recommendations for your home and business.

Electrical Hazards: Today, everyone is obsessed with charging their iPhone or iPad and plugging in their light fixtures and space heaters or fans.

Electrical outlets and extension cords are a common cause of electrical fires in the home and office. Do not over-extend your electrical outlets by trying to plug in too many appliances at once. Any appliance or electronic item that is not working properly is a fire hazard.

When using a space heater, check on them periodically ensure they are not overheating and place them away from any flammable materials.

When installing light bulbs into new light fixtures, make sure to read the light bulb wattage recommendations. If the wattage exceeds the manufacturer’s recommendation, you are at a higher risk for an electrical fire.

Flammable Materials Inside Your Home: Household clutter, burning cigarettes, live Christmas trees, cooking over an open flame with loose-fitting clothing and a match in the hands of a child, are all fire hazards.

When household clutter like paper, boxes, and old clothing are stored with flammable liquids such as gasoline and paint thinners, the fire will burn hotter and faster.

Flammable Liquids: Paints, stains, paint thinners, cleaning fluids, gasoline, oil, and aerosols are all examples of hazardous combustible liquids that may be present in your home or garage.

Do not throw oil-soaked materials in the dryer-even after they have been washed. Always store gasoline in an outside building away from the home and never use it to start a barbecue.

Hidden Fire Hazards: Dryers, heating pads, electric blankets, and light fixtures are all fire hazards that may not be apparent to the average person.

Always clean out your lint traps and keep the vents clean. Do not store your light fixtures stacked on top of one another or stored too close to another light source. Be aware of falling asleep on heating pads or electrical blankets, as they can easily overheat.

Becoming aware and knowledgeable about the different types of fire hazards is a great way to prevent fires and fire damage.

If you are need of fire restoration, call SERVPRO of West Erie County. We pride ourselves on “Being faster to any disaster.” The professionals at SERVPRO of West Erie County are trained in fire damage and restoration and are available 24 hours a day!

Call us if you need our help! (814) 806 1987

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Dryer Vent Cleaning in Girard, PA

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of West Erie County specializes in air duct and dryer vent cleaning!

Pulling freshly dried towels out of the dryer usually fills the air with a pleasant, clean smelling scent.

Upon removing the towels or load of laundry, it can be easy to forget the simple task of emptying the lint tray. It may seem like an innocent, mundane step to forget, but it is an important step to preventing fire damage.

Did you know that dryer fires are one of the leading causes of fire in a home? Each year, failure to clean out clogged dryer vents and lint traps results in thousands of fires.

When homeowners neglect this task, lint can eventually pass through the duct and become trapped inside. It often sticks to the interior of the duct because it is still slightly damp, and over time, it slowly builds up.

Continued use of your dryer with intermittent removal of lint from the trap can lead to a fire.

Dryer fires can also affect the clothing inside the dryer. Fabrics such as nylon and polyester can produce harmful gases when they combust.

Many people store their washer and dryer in their basement. If that is the case, the fire can affect the ground level floor of your home. 

If you’re feeling brave, watch this video to see how you can clean out your dryer vent and duct!

Too messy, or simply don’t have the time? SERVPRO of West Erie County specializes in air duct and dryer vent cleaning!

The technicians at SERVPRO of West Erie County hold IICRC certificates, including Fire and Smoke Restoration (FSRT). We continually maintain and check our tools and equipment to ensure they remain in working order.

Call us today (814) 806 1987 and we’ll help you through any situation! We want your family to be as safe as possible!

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SERVPRO of West Erie County Removes Smoke Odor

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO cleans the space with green chemicals and specialized cleaning technology.

Have you ever sat around a campfire and then forgotten to wash your sweatshirt until a week or two later? You pull it out of the laundry and can still smell the campfire smoke on it? The smell of smoke is strong and can linger on materials for a long time.

Now imagine that smell on a larger scale…cleaning up after a fire in your home or business can be a daunting task. Smoke rises, which can cause odors to linger in your home or attic long after the fire has been put out. But the good news is, the team at SERVPRO of West Erie County is experienced and ready to help at a moment’s notice.

How will SERVPRO of West Erie County remove the smoke odor?

  1. First, they will remove any smoke infected insulation and materials. Most attics have a large amount of insulation in the walls. The insulation makes the smoke smell stronger and keeps it lingering around because it traps the smell.
  2. Then, they will clean the space with SERVPRO’s green chemicals and specialized cleaning technology.
  3. Lastly, they will spray any wooden structures or beams with a specialized spray. The spray is a sealant that will lock in any remaining fire containments so they will not spread the smell any longer.
  4. Additionally, any other restorable contents will be professionally cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This can include anything from electronics, kitchen items, art, bedding and wood furniture.

Visit our website for tips on what to do before help arrives, what to do after a fire, and what not to do.  Or browse our brochure to read more about the restoration process. SERVPRO of West Erie County is professionally trained in restoring fire damage and removing smoke odor. Call SERVPRO of West Erie County today! (814) 806-1987

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ERIE Supports Those In Need With Smoke Detectors

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

The amount of time a person has to escape a fire is down to less than 5 minutes

“They don’t make’em like they use to” is a saying that rings true for a lot of things. In terms of fire safety, it applies as well. Dating back as far as the 1960’s, a person had up to 20 minutes to escape a house when fire broke out because of the slower burning materials used in home construction.

Today, because home construction incorporates of a lot of plastics and vinyl, the amount of time a person has to escape a fire is down to less than 5 minutes. So, it stands to reason that the importance of having a smoke alarm that can activate within seconds of a fire starting becomes of the utmost importance.

Over the past decade, the Erie Bureau of Fire Prevention & Investigation supplied city homeowners who needed smoke alarms with free ones through a federal grant. The grant covered 8,000 alarms back in 2013.

After a similar grant was approved in 2017, the city purchased another 4,000 smoke detectors for distribution to city homeowners in need.  A portion of those were distributed to those with hearing impairments. Hearing-impaired detectors include strobe lights as alerts or vibrating sensors that could be placed under a mattress or a pillow.

These distributions have been a part of an Erie Bureau of Fire project in partnership with the Erie County Department of Health. The project, called “Protect the Place You Call Home,” began in 2006 as a way of identifying city residences without alarms. At the time the project started, about half of the houses visited by city firefighters didn’t have alarms, didn’t have enough alarms or had alarms that didn’t work. The Erie Bureau of Fire has given out about 22,000 smoke alarms since 2006.

Free smoke detectors are available in Erie and the surrounding areas through the American Red Cross of Northwestern Pennsylvania. If you are in need of an alarm, please call the Red Cross at (814) 240-7667 and provide your name, phone number and address. A volunteer crew will be sent to assess your home and provide and install alarms.

For fire, smoke or soot damage restoration, call SERVPRO of West Erie County at (814) 806-1987. We provide 24-hour emergency services and can help to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Electrical Wiring and Old Houses

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

Knob and Tube Wiring

We think of the wiring in our home as the arteries of power that feeds everything electrical in the household. Do you wonder if parts of it can become damaged or deteriorate over time? Can it present a serious fire or shock hazard? Any of these questions can be answered by an experienced professional. Only an experienced professional can answer to the condition of your old wiring and if your power panel can handle the electrical load of your home.

There are a few things to keep in mind to help with the beginning assessment of old wiring.

  1. Identify old wiring: Knob and Tube is the oldest type of wiring and we have seen this in some of the older homes we have serviced in Erie, PA. These systems date back to pre1940. Knob and Tube may lack grounding that is needed for safety. You can keep Knob and Tube wiring according to the National Electrical Code (NEC) but you must follow local codes when adding to or changing.
  1. Knob and Tube becomes dangerous when the wiring insulation wears away. There can be a problem when alterations weren’t performed properly and to code. And, there can also be issues with covering it with building insulation.  All these can be potential fire hazards.

If you have concerns about your wiring, contact a professional electrician.  If you have a fire, contact the professional fire restoration specialists, SERVPRO of West Erie County.

National Burn Awareness Week

2/7/2017 (Permalink)

National Burn Awareness Week is February 5th through the 11th.

For homeowners, putting out a fire can be worse than the fire itself. The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings.

What You Can Do Until Help Arrives

- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.

- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.

- 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 upholstery.

- Do not clean any electrical equipment.

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

 For more information, The American Burn Association (ABA) offers many different prevention resources.