Archived Fire Damage Blog Posts
SERVPRO of Cincinnati East Teams Up to Bring Fire Safety Awareness
The staff at SERVPRO of Cincinnati East welcomes any opportunity to give back to the community and bring awareness to fire safety. Recently, we were thrilled to participate in a community event for the residents of Forest Park, Ohio. Teaming up with the City of Forest Park Fire Department, the Home Depot of Forest Park, the City of Forest Park and Bryant Hartke Construction, we helped provide a day of fun activities including “touch a fire truck”, “touch a helicopter”, a mobile smoke house, fire demonstrations, craft making, chili tasting contests, and a grill-out. All the activities were meant to promote fire safety in an enjoyable and engaging way. Our staff provided food and drinks for the event and had a fantastic time grilling hot dogs, serving food and drinks and interacting with the community!
Don't Let Your Live Christmas Tree Become a Fire Hazard
According to The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), it is very important to timely dispose of live Christmas trees following the holidays. Live Christmas trees are very flammable and the longer they remain in the home, the more they dry out, increasing the threat of a home fire. A dried out Christmas tree can be engulfed in flames in a matter of seconds.
NFPA statistics show that nearly forty percent of home fires that start as a result of a Christmas tree occur in the month of January. So even though people may want to continue with the holiday festive spirit and leave the beautiful tree up in their home longer, it is best to remove it in a timely manner and avoid the risk of fire.
So as your holiday season winds down this year and it’s time to consider when to take down the decorations, remember the importance of fire safety and dispose of the live tree before it becomes a bigger fire risk.
Happy Holidays from SERVPRO of Cincinnati East!
Home Fires and Live Christmas Trees
In the fire restoration industry, the holiday season can be a time when we see an increase in home fires. Many families love the tradition of picking out a live Christmas tree, bringing it home and beautifully decorating it for the holiday season. But what some fail to take into consideration is the fire hazard that comes along with having a live tree.
The American Christmas Tree Association offers the following safety precautions to help avoid home fires associated with live Christmas trees.
- Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched. Fresh trees are less likely to ignite.
- Always place the tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, heat vents, and lights.
- To keep the tree from drying out, make sure the tree base is always filled with water.
- Make sure all Christmas lights are safety tested and avoid using damaged lights.
- At bedtime, turn the Christmas tree lights off.
- When the tree begins to lose its needles, it is time to properly dispose of the tree.
So this year, if a live Christmas tree is included in your decorating plans, make sure to follow these guidelines to help avoid a home fire disaster!
Happy Holidays from SERVPRO of Cincinnati East!
Safety Tips for Holiday Lights
The holiday season has arrived and with this, the time has come to dig out the tangled holiday lights from the dusty attic and turn the exterior of your home into a blinking, twinkling display of holiday cheer. While this job can sometimes be challenging, there are a few tips provided by bobvila.com to help homeowners with the task of transforming their home into a wondrous holiday display.
TIPS FOR HANGING HOLIDAY LIGHTS
- Create a Master Plan: Taka a look at your home from the street and devise an overall plan. Take into consideration eaves, pillars, posts, windows and doors. Look at bushes, trees and paths. All of these can be perfect locations for adding lights.
- Find Balance: Most people focus mainly on the roofline when hanging holiday lights, forgetting about balancing it with lights below!
- Measure: Try to get an accurate measurement of how many lights you will need. One way to determine lighting for trees is to multiply the height times the width, then double that figure to get its square footage.
- Assess: Test your lights before it is time to hang them. Check that lights and cords are in good repair and are rated for outdoor use. Check manufacturer recommendations to determine the number of lights you can safely string together. Never connect different types of lights on the same circuit or outlet.
- Plastic Clips: Use plastic clips instead of hammer and nails to secure lights to roofs and walls.
- Safety: Work with a partner when hanging lights. If using an extension ladder, place it firmly on flat ground, extend it well above the eaves, and lean it at a safe angle for climbing.
Hanging outdoor lights can be a daunting task that many dread from year to year. Planning ahead and following these tips will help simplify your holiday decorating and leave more time to enjoy festivities!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM SERVPRO OF CINCINNATI EAST!!
Fire Safey Tips to Keep Kids Safe this Halloween
Creative costumes, pumpkin carving, and spooky decorations all make Halloween fun for the kids. But what could spoil a good time more than a fire accident?!
NFPA.org provides a few simple fire safety tips to help keep the kids out of fire danger on Halloween.
- Keep costumes flame-resistant or flame-retardant. And for home-made costumes, choose materials that will not easily ignite.
- Many fall themed decorations, like cornstalks and dried flowers are highly flammable. Always keep them away from open flames.
- Use a battery operated light inside of carved pumpkins instead of a real candle.
- Keep pathways and exits clear of decorations so that nothing is blocking escape routes.
- Stress to the kids the importance of staying away from open flames.
- Review and practice with the kids how to stop, drop, and roll just in case their clothing would catch on fire.
SERVPRO of Cincinnati East wishes you a very happy and SAFE Halloween!
SEPTEMBER: National Preparedness Month
Did you know that September is National Preparedness Month? National Preparedness is observed in the United States every September with the hopes of encouraging Americans to prepare for emergencies in their homes and businesses.
How Can You Prepare?
Disasters usually strike unexpectedly, rarely giving any warning signs. But with a little thought and planning ahead, you can be better prepared for a disaster.
Disasters in the Home
No one expects a home fire. But there are steps you can take to be prepared just in case! Do you have an escape plan? Or how about a family meeting place outside the home? Do you have working smoke alarms in your home? How about a fire extinguisher? These are all ways to plan ahead and be better prepared for a fire disaster in your home.
A flooded home can also come unexpectedly. Have you checked and maintained the sump pump? How about the gutters on your home…Are they clean? Is your roof in good condition? Do you have your insurance agent’s contact information handy? How about the SERVPRO of Cincinnati East phone number? You might be in need of clean up and restoration!
Disasters in the Business
Are you prepared if disaster strikes your business? Many business owners are caught off guard when disaster strikes, but there are steps to take to be better prepared. Does your insurance policy cover the type of disasters that are most likely to affect your business? Do you have a plan in place to help continue business operations during the recovery process? Is your business data backed up? Have you contacted SERVPRO of Cincinnati East and developed an Emergency Ready Profile?
It is not too late to join the nation this September by making an effort to be prepared! Take action now by planning ways to stay safe and lessen the impact a disaster might have on you, your family and your business!
SERVPRO of Cincinnati East (513)575-4113
Enjoy Scented Candles Safely!
Many homeowners enjoy enhancing their rooms with beautiful scented candles hoping to bring a calm and cozy feeling to their home. Candles are a very popular accessory to home décor, but can also cause serious damage to homes if not used with caution. As a matter of fact, according to the National Candle Association (NCA), accidental candle fires account for approximately four percent of all U.S. residential fires.
The NCA provides a list of Candle Safety Rules with the hopes of reducing residential fire incidents caused by candle mishaps. Several of these tips include:
- Always keep a burning candle within sight.
- Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire.
- Keep burning candles out of the reach of children and pets.
- Trim candlewicks to ¼ inch each time before burning.
- Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents and ceiling fans.
- Never touch or move a burning candle when the wax is liquid.
- Never extinguish a candle with water.
- Never use a candle as a night light.
Burning candles can have a calming effect, bringing a sense of peace and relaxation after a long day. The National Candle Association provides many more safety tips and suggestions and can be found on their website at candles.org. Help protect your home and safety by following these suggestions when enjoying your candles!
Some Risks With Extension Cords & How to Avoid Them...
Extension cords are a very useful and common household item that, if not used with care, can pose a threat in the home. According to SixWise.com, there are three main risks presented with the use of extension cords:
- Electrical Burns
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that extension cords cause about 3300 residential fires each year. These fires are caused by short circuits, damaged cords, and overloading cords. These risks can be avoided by regularly checking and replacing old, damaged cords, not overloading cords or sockets, not running cords under rugs or near heaters, and just being aware when using extension cords for overheating.
According to the CPSC, electrical burns to the mouth accounted for half of the extension cord related injuries to young children. Plugs, outlets and cords can be very intriguing to young children who do not realize they are dangerous. Keep all extension cords out of reach of children!
The CPSC claims that about half of extension cord related injuries involve fractures, lacerations, contusions, or sprains from people tripping over the extension cords and that the elderly are the most at risk for this type of injury. The solution to avoid this risk is to simply avoid placing extension cords in areas where people walk. Instead, run cords along walls or thread them behind tables or other furniture where they are out of the way.
Most people do not consider the dangers of extension cords until something actually goes wrong. Don’t make that mistake…Use your extension cords with caution and care!
Dryer Vents and Home Fires
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 15,000 fires start each year by the clothes dryer. When lint and debris build up in the dryer vent, a common fire hazard is created.
Signs That the Dryer Vent Needs Cleaning
According to ABC news, there are many signs that it is time to clean the dryer vent. Several of these signs include:
- Clothing does not dry completely after normal drying cycle.
- A musty odor is present in the clothing following the drying cycle.
- Clothing seems unusually hot to the touch after a complete drying cycle.
- Debris is present within the outside dryer vent opening.
- Large amounts of lint accumulate in the lint trap of the dryer.
Reduce the risk of a dryer vent fire by watching for these signs and regularly maintaining the dryer vent. Not only will the risk for a dryer vent fire be reduced, clothes will dry faster and smell better!
Factors that Affect Odor After a Fire
One of the most important concerns for complete restoration after a fire is controlling or eliminating the odors. When attempting to eradicate the odors after a fire, there are many factors that must be taken into consideration during the restoration process. These factors all impact the strength of the odor that is left behind.
Factors that Affect Fire Odor
- Size – Larger fires burn more objects and bring more smoke. With more smoke, there is stronger smell.
- Length – The longer a structure has been exposed to smoke, the more deeply the odor has seeped into porous materials.
- Space – The smaller the room where the fire occurs, the more intense and concentrated the smoke odor becomes.
- Items – Not all items smell the same when burning. For example, wood and plastic have very different smells and consistency. This needs to be considered during the restoration process.
Where the fire damage occurred and what items burned are the two main concerns in the fire restoration process. The technicians at SERVPRO of Cincinnati East are fire restoration specialists and have the training, expertise, and equipment to restore your property back to pre-fire condition.
Guidelines to Safer Space Heater Use
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is a non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety at home and in the workplace. According to ESFI, heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States.
During the cold winter months, many will turn to portable space heaters as a source of supplemental heat in their homes. Unfortunately, if not used with caution, these convenient heaters can pose significant fire hazards.
The ESFI provides the following tips to be considered when using space heaters:
- Make sure the space heater has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing lab.
- Before using, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels.
- Inspect heaters for any damage prior to use.
- Never leave a space heater unattended.
- Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas and test them once a month.
- Always keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything than can burn.
- Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use extension cords or power strips.
- Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
- Place space heaters on flat, level surfaces.
- Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.
Portable space heaters are very convenient and can be a great source of supplemental heat during the winter months. Safety should always be the top priority when using space heaters. Following these tips will help keep your home safe while keeping your toes warm!
SERVPRO OF CINCINNATI EAST OFFERS CONTINUING EDUCATION COURSE 7/27/16
SERVPRO of Cincinnati East is offering a free continuing education insurance credit course entitled, “Understanding the Restoration Industry: Property Fire Damage Restoration.” The course will be held at our Northwest Cincinnati location at 2115 Schappelle Lane, Forest Park, Ohio, 45240 on July 27th, 2016 from 8:30am to 12:30pm with registration beginning at 8:00am.
This course has been designed to teach and explain the special procedures used by professionals in mitigating and restoring fire damage claims. The purpose of the course is to provide insurance professionals a better understanding of what the insured is going through when they experience a fire damage situation as well as what is involved with the work performed by the mitigation vendor at fire damage work sites. Those in attendance will learn emergency tips which can drastically reduce the cost of the claim if performed in a timely manner.
For reservations or more information, contact SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati at 513-541-3200.
Course Number: 43375-OH, C34588-KY, 28814-IN
HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY FROM SERVPRO of CINCINNATI EAST
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. It is a very important holiday, established to give us a time to honor and remember the men and women who have sacrificed their lives by serving our country.
Many people consider Memorial Day to be the unofficial start of the summer season. And with the summer season, comes family picnics and outdoor grilling. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, grill fires cause an estimated $37 million in property loss each year. Patios, terraces, screened-in porches and courtyards are leading home locations for grill fires.
SERVPRO of Cincinnati East would like to share the following grilling safety tips to help prevent outdoor cooking fire damage in our Cincinnati East neighborhoods of Anderson, Hyde Park, Milford, Batavia, Williamsburg, New Richmond, and other surrounding communities.
Only use grills outdoors
Keep grills away from siding and deck railings.
Clean grills often and remove grease or fat build-up.
Make sure the gas grill lid is open before lighting.
Always have a three foot safe-zone around grills.
Dispose of coals after they have cooled in a metal can.
Never leave grills unattended.
Knowing and following even a few fire safety grilling tips can help everyone have a safer and happier summer. In the event that you experience a grilling mishap and have a fire damage situation at your Cincinnati East home, give us a call for quick, professional help.
For fire damage repair and restoration in the local communities of Anderson, Milford, Cincinnati, Hyde Park, Batavia, Amelia, Bethel, Williamsburg, Pleasant Plain, and New Richmond…Call SERVPRO of Cincinnati East – (513) 575-4113
SERVPRO & RED CROSS PARTNER TO PROMOTE HOME FIRE PREPAREDNESS
Since March of 2013, SERVPRO has been a national sponsor of the American Red Cross and their Ready Rating Program. This program is a free, web-based program designed to help businesses, organizations, and schools become better prepared for emergencies.
We are happy to announce that in January 2016, SERVPRO renewed our commitment to the American Red Cross. The strategy is now focusing more on their Home Fire Preparedness Campaign by supporting Disaster Responders.
The goal of this campaign is to reduce home fire deaths and injuries across the country. Our support of Disaster Responders enables them to assist affected families quickly by providing trained volunteers, supplies, emergency response vehicles, and resources to transform community sites into shelters.
SERVPRO of Cincinnati East is proud to support the American Red Cross to ensure that families and communities are prepared for disasters...especially home fires. Our goal is to build awareness about steps families can take to be prepared in their own homes.
Smoke Detectors & Escape Plans Help Save Lives!
According to redcross.org, 60% of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. In the event of a home fire, working smoke alarms in conjunction with a practiced fire escape plan can save lives by allowing families to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.
The following are tips regarding the installation and maintenance of smoke detectors:
Install smoke detectors on every level of the home.
Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen and at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance to avoid false alarms.
Smoke alarms should be tested at least once a month.
Batteries should be replaced in all smoke alarms at least once a year.
All smoke alarms should be replaced after 10 years.
In addition to working smoke alarms, a family escape plan is also important to home fire safety and everyone in the household should be involved in the planning process. The following are guidelines when creating a home fire escape plan:
Make sure that all family members know two ways to escape from each room of the home.
Have a designated meeting place outside for all family members in the event of a fire.
Practice the escape plan at least twice a year and at different times of the day.
Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling, and meeting outside.
While home fires can be terrifying, working smoke alarms in addition to a practiced escape plan play a vital role in reducing fire deaths.
Sometimes Its Better To Restore Than Replace
Regardless of the size, a fire in one room can damage belongings throughout an entire home. Personal belongings are treasures of life representing hard work and accomplishment. Photographs, books and other life momentos have a value that cannot be measured. When confronted with a fire loss, we at SERVPRO of Cincinnati East understand the concerns about losing such treasures and about the expense of trying to replace them. Typically, restoring an item will save money versus replacing the item and, at the same time, relieve concerns of losing the priceless treasure.
So, if faced with a fire situation, follow these tips to increase chances of successful restoration:
1. Limit movement to prevent further damage.
2. Place clean towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling.
3. Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of Cincinnati East.
4. Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO of Cincinnati East.
Let the professionals do the work.