Recent Fire Damage Posts

When Should I Clean My Dryer Vent?

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

If a fire does break out in your laundry room, contact your fire damage restoration team at (225) 667-2220. If a fire does break out in your laundry room, contact your fire damage restoration team at (225) 667-2220.

When you clean the lint trap of your dryer after a load of laundry, you are removing pieces of the fabric that was just dried. As the clothing tosses to-and-fro within the drum, small bits of fabric often rub off because of the friction created when the materials brush against one another. Some of the bits of fabric often slip through the lint trap and can collect in the dryer exhaust tubing. Over time, the fluff can build up and become a hazard because a lint fire can start using the highly-combustible fabric bits and the tiniest of sparks.

Fire Prevention

To prevent lint fire damage caused by overheated combustible lint, the dryer venting system should be regularly inspected. Although it is often difficult to know when to clean the vent, here are some helpful hints that can act as red flags:

Airflow does not move easily through the tubing.
Vent hoses have kinks or holes.
An abnormal amount of lint begins to accumulate in the lint trap.
Dryer vent has not been cleaned in over a year.

Another sign that your vent may need cleaning is if the time it takes to dry your clothing changes significantly or if the body of the dryer becomes excessively hot. When the heat becomes extreme, the chances of a fire can grow. That is why dryer obstructions, even minor issues, can cause serious problems and possibly lead to a dryer fire.

Fire Cleanup

If a fire does break out in your laundry room, contact a fire damage restoration team. Not only can the professionals inspect the fire-damaged area, but they can also remove the water, smoke, and soot within the room. Once cleaning has been completed, the team can also help remove the smoke odor that can linger long after the fire-damaged area has been restored. A lint fire does not have to leave your home in Livingston Parish, LA in shambles; a team of experts can quickly restore the area. 

4 Rules to Prevent Kitchen Fires

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Four Tips To Limit the Possibility of a Grease Fire

While fire remediation companies are available to help you rebuild your home in Livingston, LA, the preferable option is likely to avoid a fire. While wishful thinking will not always prevent a disaster from happening, when it comes to kitchen fires, you can follow four tips to limit the possibility of a grease fire.

  1. Stay alert
  2. Remain present
  3. Use a timer
  4. Remove flammable items

Stay Alert

Kitchen fires and fire damage often occur because someone lets their guard down while cooking. It is easy to become distracted, especially when dealing with complicated recipes that involve long periods of cooking. However, it is vital that you stay alert. Therefore, if you are drowsy or have had a few drinks, then it might be a good idea to hold off making that fancy meal.

Remain Present

When it comes to kitchen fire prevention tips, the best one is to remain present. You can take this literally. Do not leave the kitchen when you have things frying on the stove. If you must leave, then find someone willing and able to watch the meal for you while you are away. Kitchen fires can happen in an instant, and they require quick responses to limit potential damage.

Use a Timer

If no one is home and you absolutely must leave the kitchen, then set a timer. It is easy to become distracted with other chores. A timer will bring your attention back to the kitchen, where it ultimately belongs.

Remove Flammable Items

Before cooking anything on the stovetop, make sure that you remove any potentially flammable items. For example, move cloth oven mitts and any boxed or plastic objects. You need the workspace to be clear of any fire risks.
The four tips above will help to reduce your risks of a kitchen fire. However, keep in mind that fire is dangerous, and if something your cooking does ignite and you can't extinguish it, get to safety and call 911.

Preventing Space Heater Fires in Livingston Parish, Lousisana

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

Approximately 25,000 house fires every year are attributed to space heaters. User error is the primary cause, although heaters without essential safety features may malfunction and pose a fire risk. Here are five ways that you can prevent a burned space heater from starting a fire in your home.

1. Keep a minimum of three feet between space heaters and combustibles. Combustibles include bedding, curtains, and upholstered furniture. You should also only operate a space heater on a hard, level, non-flammable surface.

2. Don't operate heaters unattended around pets or kids. Children, cats, and dogs don't understand the principles of fire safety.

3. Purchase a space heater with safety features. One of the best ways to prevent a burned space heater is to purchase a model that automatically shuts off when it overheats. Check the model you are considering for a safety certification label, ground fault circuit interrupter plug, and a sturdy cord that is at least six feet long. Make sure the heater has all of the features you need to stay warm while running a very low risk of fire.

4. Turn off or unplug heaters when not in use. This can reduce the risk of a fire starting when you are elsewhere in your home or away from home.

5. Avoid plugging other electronics into the same outlet as a space heater. You should also never use an extension cord, as this equipment heightens the overheating risk.

Your heater can only work as designed if it is kept in working condition. You may need to regularly clean the filter on your space heater to prevent it from overheating. In addition to following these steps, you should also test the smoke alarms in your home and replace batteries or damaged units. If a burned space heater does cause a fire, contact SERVPRO of South Livingston at (225) 667-2220.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROlivingston.com/.

Top Causes of Residential Fires in the US

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

Of all fires reported in the U.S. every year, 31 percent happen in residential homes. That’s due to a number of factors: negligence, open flames, cooking, and more. A key to preventing fire is understanding common causes. SafeWise experts looked into where fires normally start and what sparks them, so you can better understand how to safeguard your home.

#1: Cooking

House fires happen most during dinner hours—between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. That’s because people are cooking. If you’re preparing dinner, here’s what you should remember:

  • For grease fires, only use a fire extinguisher (class B) or baking soda. Do not use water! It will spread the oil/grease and make your fire worse.
  • Never leave your food unattended. Fires only need 30 seconds to go from a small flame to an out-of-control blaze, so even going to the bathroom could endanger your home.
  • Turn off the stove and all appliances once you’re done cooking.
  • Keep everything off hot surfaces. For instance, don’t throw a dish towel on top of the stove, because it could still be hot!
  • Don’t wear baggy clothing. It could catch fire accidentally.
  • Keep the grill at least 10 feet from vegetation and the house.

#2: Heating Equipment

Almost 13% of all residential fires are caused by heating equipment. You can prevent heating equipment from catching fire by inspecting and cleaning woodstoves and chimneys, using a fireplace screen, and having your hot water heater and furnace serviced regularly. Space heaters can also cause fires if left too close to walls, drapes, and bedding. If you have a space heater, give it some room.

# 3: Electrical Equipment

Electrical equipment causes over 6 percent of house fires. Look for frayed wires, surge marks in wire, and damaged cords. If you see any exposed wires, unplug the electronic and replace it immediately. Also, keep all cords away from furniture and rugs. Running cords under rugs is dangerous.

#4: Carelessness

Mistakes happen. For house fires, negligence causes 5.8 percent of blazes. Carelessness includes not putting our cigarettes, leaving candles burning, putting heating equipment near combustible items, and more. Fire is dangerous. Never treat anything hot or on fire with anything but the utmost care.

#5: Open flame

Candles, fires in the fireplace, and outdoor bonfires are enjoyable when controlled, but disastrous when they’re not. About 4 percent of all house fires start from an open flame. You can prevent fires by always putting out flames completely, never having a bonfire on a windy day, and keeping flames away from flammable objects.

#6: Appliances

Appliances cause about 4 percent of house fires. You can decrease the chances of something malfunctioning and catching on fire by making sure it’s approved by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL). The UL has high safety standards, so you’ll know the appliance is well made.
Another way to keep appliances functioning properly is to never plug them into an extension cord or two-slot outlet. You should unplug everything when you’re away on vacation too, just in case.

#7: Intentional

Arson is a felony and can result in up to 20 years (unless deemed a misdemeanor). Alas, people still do it. Out of all house fires, 4.2 percent are intentionally set.

#8: Smoking

About 2 percent of fires are caused by cigarettes. One way you can prevent fires from cigarettes is to stop smoking them! Another is to do so outdoors and put your spent cigarette butts into water.

#9: Natural

Wildfires and those caused by lightning are unavoidable. Don’t worry though. Natural causes only account for 1.6 percent of all house fires.

Source: https://www.safewise.com/blog/the-most-common-places-that-fires-occur-in-the-home/

House Fire Caused by Dryer Lint

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Dryers come equipped with a lint trap to catch and collect the lint and tiny threads that come off of clothing when residents do their laundry. Over time, larger items, such as broken zippers, can wear tiny holes into the trap. These holes can permit lint to pass through the trap and into the duct. When clogs develop in the interior of the duct, heat can build up and result in a fire. 
 
When a home or Apartment suffers fire damage because of a clogged duct or exterior vent, fire damage can occur. This is not the only way that a fire can occur, though, and clothing that ignites while in the dryer causes almost as many fires. SERVPRO technicians can help you undo the damage and restore your home.
 
Just like we remove charred materials like burnt drywall sections, wooden trim, and destroyed personal belongings, we also remove and replace ducts and vents. SERVPRO helps homeowners prevent such fires by cleaning out ductwork and all related vents. A fire can start in other ducts, unrelated to the dryer, and we can reduce the risk in these areas, also. 
 
Cleaning up and removing any destroyed materials makes it much easier for repair work to happen. Doing so also removes any dangers present that could harm you or your children. Pets can also end up injured when they wander into areas that contain fire damage. A fire, no matter how small, causes a family to experience enough stress without the added crisis of an injury. 
 
Sorting through the laundry, both unwashed and already laundered, reveals which items suffer from fire-related defects. We can often remove smoke damage on unique or one-of-a-kind clothing items. The fire's heat can also cause other problems to items in the immediate area. Drying racks and shelves can become unsightly messes, but the small endeavor of installing new ones can help make everything "Like it never even happened." 
 
Call SERVPRO of South Livingston if you need our assistance with fire cleanup. (225) 667-2220

Fire Sprinklers Save Money and Lives

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Make sure your business is equipped with a sprinkler system.

No business in Livingston Parish, LA, wants to deal with the destruction caused by fire. One of the best ways to minimize potential damage and associated expenses is to maintain a commercial fire sprinkler system. A sprinkler system is a highly effective fire suppression strategy that can prevent many significant losses.  

1. They're Activated by Heat, Not Smoke

A sprinkler system is not activated by smoke. Instead, the heat generated by a fire rises to the ceiling, where the sprinkler heads are located. Sensors recognize the change in temperature and trigger the release of water. Only sprinklers in the area of the fire will be activated. It is possible that only a single sprinkler head will deploy.

2. They Use High-Pressure Water

The pipes that feed the fire sprinkler system are filled with pressurized water at all times. There will be no delay between the activation of the system and the release of water. The volume of water from even a single sprinkler can help contain a fire, which reduces fire and water damage to the rest of the structure. By the time the fire department arrives, the fire will likely not have spread further. It may even be extinguished by the sprinkler system.

3. They Can Minimize Cleanup After a Fire

Minimal fire sprinkler cleanup is another key advantage of a sprinkler system. While there will still be fire and water damage, it is likely to be much less extensive than what you'd find in a building without a sprinkler system. The fire damage should be limited to the area where sprinklers activated. The water damage from sprinklers is far less intrusive than water damage caused by fire hoses.

Any fire will cause structural and water damage. The primary benefit of a fire sprinkler system is that inevitable damage will be kept to a minimum, resulting in saved dollars and saved lives.

Smoke Damage is as Dangerous as Fire Damage

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

In a typical house fire, more damage is caused by smoke than by the actual flames.  During a fire, the materials that burn produce toxic smoke that is actually filled with microscopic particles known as soot.  These tiny particles become charged from the extreme heat and migrate to cooler air found in other parts of the house.  Because this smoke is often extremely hot, it can cause additional damage away from the actual source of the fire by melting plastics, scorching fabrics and textiles and spreading toxic gasses that will literally kill any living thing in its path.  That’s why smoke alarms throughout your home are critical to saving lives.

The Department of Homeland Security says, “In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames. Most deadly fires occur in the home when people are asleep. If you wake up to a fire, you won't have time to grab valuables because fire spreads too quickly and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape.”

At SERVPRO® of South Livingston, our trained specialists know how to restore your belongings after a house fire.  We hope you never need our services but if you do, we will help you determine what can be restored and what needs to be replaced.  Restoring smoke and fire damaged items costs less than replacing them.  Having your belongings restored, especially items of sentimental value, helps most families recover from the trauma of a fire more quickly than otherwise possible.

Again, we hope you never need these expert services but if you do, call us at (225) 667-2220 or visit us on the web at SERVPRO of South Livingston.  

How Can SERVPRO Restore Soft Contents?

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

The most advanced technology in textile cleaning and restoration.

We recently took on a new department, and it is TEXTILE CLEANING & RESTORATION.

What does this mean for you? No more subcontracting out textiles, we are now your one stop shop! We are now the home to the Esporta Wash System.  We provide full service Textile Cleaning & Restoration.

Esporta’s proprietary technology is the most effective washing system available today. Types of damages we can restore are contaminated water & sewage, heavy smoke & soot, mold, and bio waste contaminated goods. We restore what used to be considered “non restorable.” With the Esporta System we can restore, leather goods of all kinds, household items of all kinds, sports equipment, and specialty items like pillows, stuffed animals, purses, shoes and so much more. To give you an idea of just how amazing this system is, laboratory testing has verified that the Esporta Wash System can restore to Food Grade Clean by removing 99% of contaminants. By utilizing the Esporta Wash System we provide you with a simpler and faster claim settlement process in addition to restoring soft goods. Our cleaning technicians are Esporta trained and certified.

House Fire Season

11/3/2017 (Permalink)

This was an electric fire that started in a bedroom closet. The family was not home at the time and no one was harmed.

We often hear about a particular time of the year as being the season for house fires, cleaning house fire disasters are on the rise from that month forward.  It is usually associated with colder weather when we start to use more home heating.  When it comes to your home, however, there is no season for a fire.  It can strike at any time.  The sad fact is that 2,500 people will be killed in fires over the next year.  13,000 people will suffer serious injuries related to fires and the loss of property - in terms of real dollars - will be more than $7 Billion!

SERVPRO of South Livingston provides expert restoration services if you have experienced a house fire.  If that is your situation now, please call (225) 667-2220 so we can begin restoring your home.  The residue left from a fire, known as soot, presents hidden dangers if not properly removed from your home and your possessions.  Soot is acidic in nature and within hours to days, it will begin to decay or even destroy whatever surface it comes in contact with.

Our homes are a collection of different types of materials, all of which represent unique risks once they have been exposed to the heat from a fire.  The structure itself is composed of wood and sheetrock.  Electrical wiring is wrapped with plastics and rubber.  Insulation is found in attics and behind walls.  Floors are made of wooden materials that have been coated with chemicals to preserve their beauty, or covered with synthetic materials found in carpets.  Each presents its own set of risks.  The water used to extinguish the fire also presents a different set of problems for furniture that comes in contact with it and personal belongings left on floors. 

SERVPRO of South Livingston technicians are trained to determine what can be salvaged and what needs to be discarded.  Each home contains items of sentimental value like pictures and heirlooms.  Until help arrives, pictures need to be removed from glass frames as quickly as possible so they can dry unless they have become stuck to the glass.  Valuable items like jewelry, weapons, ammunition, financial papers and other personal items should be removed from the home for safe keeping. 

Our restoration specialists treat the damaged contents of your home with the utmost respect and care.  Once cleaned and restored, we will safely store your property until your home is ready for your return.  Our job is to make your loss "Like it never even happened." 

We have helped hundreds of families recover from house fire damages all over South Louisiana. To learn more, visit us on the web at www.SERVPROsouthlivingstonparish.com or give us a call at (225) 667-2220.

SERVPRO of South Livingston Fire Restoration

11/1/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of South Livingston understands you may be feeling confused, stressed, and more than a little vulnerable after a fire affects your home. Our professional IICRC certified technicians have been highly trained and will treat your family with empathy and your home with great care.

SERVPRO of South Livingston specialize in fire and water damage restoration; it's the cornerstone of our business. We have specialized equipment, specific training, and certifications that allow us to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Our SERVPRO team is ready to assist you with your fire emergency 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!

When a fire disaster strikes your home or business call the professionals at SERVPRO of South Livingston at 225-667-2220

Content Restoration after Fire Damage

3/16/2017 (Permalink)

CONTENTS RESTORATION

From furniture to antiques to artwork and appliances, we'll treat your treasures with the care they deserve. While some items can be cleaned on-site, in many cases we'll need to inventory, pack out and transport the contents of your property to our state-of-the-art facility to ensure the best care possible.

Key Issues

  • Contents may need to be cleaned off-site
  • Contents inventory
  • Determine replacement and restoration
  • Pack
  • Ozone treatment
  • Cleaning
  • Odor removal
  • Secure
  • Return

Contents Inventory

  • We arrive on-site and inventory all of your personal belongings.
  • We carefully pack all salvable items to transport to our secure warehouse and cleaning facility.
  • Unsalvageable contents are inventoried and discarded.

Contents Valuation

We have trained professionals to help you establish replacement values versus restoration costs. We are also available for pricing of non-salvable inventory items.

Restoration

  • Thorough cleaning
  • Proper handling of all electronics
  • Photographs and artwork
  • Fabrics
  • Clothes
  • Memorabilia
  • Antiques
  • Soft goods
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Appliances
  • Surfaces
  • Odor Removal

Fire Safey Tips

3/6/2017 (Permalink)

This is a house that caught fire due electrical issues in the attic. This is a house that caught fire due electrical issues in the attic.

Tips For Fire Safety:

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.

  1. Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.

  2. Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.

  3. If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT, and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.

    We partner with the American Red Cross and also our local fire departments so fire prevention is VERY important to us! These tips are from REDCROSS.ORG

Here are some tips on WHAT TO DO AFTER A FIRE:

  1. Call 9-1-1. Give first aid where needed; cool and cover burns to reduce the chance of further injury or infection.

  2. Let friends and family know you’re safe.

  3. People and animals that are seriously injured or burned should be transported to professional medical or veterinary help immediately.

  4. Stay out of fire-damaged homes until local fire authorities say it is safe to re-enter.

Caring for Yourself & Loved Ones
  • Pay attention to how you and your loved ones are experiencing and handling stress. Promote emotional recovery by following these tips. Discard any food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot.
  • Watch pets closely and keep them under your direct control.
  • Help people who require additional assistance- infants, elderly people, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help in an emergency situation, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.

Also from REDCROSS.ORG, check it out for more information and make sure you are prepared in case an emergency happens in your home! And if you ever experience any smoke or fire damage in your home, give SERVPRO of South Livingston Parish a call at 225-667-2220.