Recent Fire Damage Posts
Winter Fire Hazards In Your Place Of Business
Power Strip Fire Hazard
Call SERVPRO of West Miami at 786-789-3963!
With the changing of the seasons comes cooler weather, and for most of us, it is a welcome change. Who doesn’t love snuggling up before a warm fire at this time of year? We’ve pulled out the sweaters and fluffy blankets to stay toasty, and most of us will employ a space heater or two before spring comes around again.
In your place of business, you will be taking those extra steps to make sure your staff is comfortable during the colder months, as well. Let’s make sure they stay fire safe! Here are some winter fire hazards to be aware of:
- Most businesses won’t be using a fireplace to warm their interiors, but those who work out of doors may build fires on the job site to keep hands and toes functional. Make sure your crew is careful to use metal receptacles for those bonfires and that they place them far away from flammable materials such as wood and linens. If a wind comes up, things could get dangerous fast.
- In your offices, the use of space heaters will be helpful. Inspect every unit used to make sure that cords and plugs are in good working condition, and enforce a policy that ensures they are never left running when the room is unoccupied or when the workday is over. Designate someone to oversee this; they should be the person who is normally last out the door. As the owner, it may very well be you.
- Employ a landscape company to remove leaves and dead vegetation from your property. In the event of a fire in your building, space that is cleared from the foundation and exterior walls will help firefighters to gain access as well as prevent a fire from spreading further.
- When repairing or renovating your offices or outbuildings, use fire-resistant materials whenever possible. Flooring, furniture, and paint can all be produced or treated after purchase to make them more fire safe.
The team here at SERVPRO of West Miami is always available to help you keep your business fire safe. In the event of damages sustained from fire or water, we have the experience and know how to complete a cleanup project quickly and efficiently, getting you back to work as soon as possible.
Kitchen Fire Restoration
Pot Fire in Kitchen
A fire damage event is difficult for the home or business owner on many levels, and the restoration process that follows can be intimidating. Today we are sharing what you can expect from a fire restoration project. Each fire event is a little different, and each will require a unique solution, although the overall general process stays the same. The steps we are listing below will illustrate the SERVPRO process for the average fire damage emergency.
- Emergency Contact. Your restoration process begins the moment that you contact us. Our representative will ask you questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us to respond with the appropriate equipment and resources for your particular situation.
- Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment. Our team will carefully inspect and test all the adjoining rooms of your home or business to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is vital to us, allowing us to develop the perfect plan of action for your property.
- Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service. Fire damage will often compromise the condition of windows, walls, and roofing. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we will board up missing windows and walls, and place tarps on damaged areas of the roof.
- Water Removal and Drying. If water damage is present, the water removal process will begin almost immediately, with the goal of removing the majority of the water. Our team will then employ dehumidifiers and air movers to remove any remaining water and complete the drying process.
- Removal of Smoke and Soot From All Surfaces. SERVPRO of West Miami uses specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and all other surfaces.
- Cleaning and Sanitizing. We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. Our team uses a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to the condition they were in before the fire. We are also trained to remove lingering odors, using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
- Restoration. This is the final step - getting your home or business back to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, installing new carpet, or painting surfaces, or it may entail major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various rooms or areas.
Here at SERVPRO of West Miami, we are ready to help if your home or business suffers from damage due to fire or water. You can also count on us when it comes to mold remediation and prevention.
Damages Resulting from a Fire
Kitchen Fire and Smoke Damage Image
Fire damage is caused by the actual fire. This can include damage to the structure of the property. Often materials are melted and can ignite other materials with this type of damage.
Fire damage can also cause different toxins to react causing explosions or they can act as accelerant spreading the flames and causing additional damage.
Water damage is always present with fire damage because the flames have to be extinguished. Often the damage caused by the sprinklers in a building is much more significant than the initial fire damage.
Soot from a fire can be found in every room of a house that has been badly burned, even those rooms that were not burnt. Often homeowner's belongings, furniture, clothes in drawers, important documents, paintings, and more are completely covered in charcoal black soot. Some items are not salvageable and the items that are have to be properly cleaned or the soot can permanently destroy them.
After experiencing a house fire, the water damage has to be professionally handled, because when it is not properly dried mold can grow. Mold is a toxin that can cause numerous potential health problems for those living in the property. It is important to make sure the water damage is taken care of by professionals like those at SERVPRO of West Miami.
Making Fire Restoration Easier
Fire damage restoration in Coral Gables commercial building
Fire damage restoration in Coral Gables commercial building
How To Make Fire Restoration Easier
A fire can do major damage to your Coral Gables, FL, business. Fortunately, following the three steps outlined below can help the fire restoration process go more smoothly, so you can get back to work quickly.
1. Contact Insurance Company and Document Damage
After the fire has been extinguished and everyone is safe, your first task is calling the fire insurance company and filing a claim. Follow all instructions your agent gives you, and be sure to document the damage thoroughly.
2. Secure Property
Before you or a certified restoration service begin cleaning up, it is important to secure the property. There may be broken windows and other openings resulting from either the fire or the extinguishing efforts. Board up or tarp over these areas to protect the property from inclement weather and prevent wildlife and trespassers from entering the building. If your commercial building is particularly vulnerable, consider installing a security fence for another layer of protection.
3. Prevent Further Damage
Unfortunately, water damage from the fire extinguishing efforts can lead to mold growth. Additionally, both smoke and soot are corrosive. Leaving any of these elements to sit can lead to further damage and the need for a more extensive fire restoration process. In some cases, insurance companies will not pay for damage that occurred after the fire was extinguished if they feel you did not take adequate steps to prevent it.
Dry up the water within 24-48 hours using pumps or wet/dry vacuums, and begin the soot and smoke cleaning process as soon as possible. Make sure you know what type of soot you are dealing with before you begin cleaning. Using the wrong cleaning solution or technique could make the damage worse.
By contacting the insurance company, securing the property, and preventing further damage, you have ensured that the fire restoration process will go as smoothly as possible. The more quickly you begin cleaning up, the more of your items you will be able to fully restore.
Are You Prepared for a Fire?
Is your smoke detectors fully charged?
Any office, even one in Coral Gables, FL, needs to be prepared in case of a building fire. Creating a fire escape plan is a critical action step in minimizing potential disaster, and making just a few easy safety checks can also greatly reduce one’s legal liability.
What To Do
As recommended by the American Red Cross, here is a select list of steps all businesses should carefully execute before calamity strikes and they need the help of fire damage restoration services.
1. Install and check all smoke alarms. Test them every month and be certain batteries have not expired. Place them in strategic locations so it will be impossible for employees on any floor to not hear them. Note: Smoke alarms can double your chance of survival.
2. Fire extinguishers and other equipment, like axes or flashlights, should be placed in easily accessible areas. Take time to consider where best to store these items.
3. Make certain that fire escape plan information is posted in conveniently readable, key locations and clearly communicate with staff regarding proper fire emergency protocol.
4. Hire a professional to check electrical systems for potential trouble spots. Pay extra attention to common dining areas, as most fires start in kitchens. Microwaves can be particularly dangerous.
5. Know your routes. Map out exit plans from every area of your building. All employees should know at least two paths leading outside.
6. Designate a proper meeting spot (or more, if necessary) where head counts can be taken.
7. Run impromptu practice drills of your emergency escape plan at least twice a year. Never let anyone back into the building until all safety requirements have been completed.
What To Remember
Maintaining an effective fire escape plan and taking preventative measures will always remain a primary responsibility for any commercial entity. Failure to do so could have serious ramifications, so it is incumbent upon companies to take all reasonable precautions before anything happens. Don’t leave anything to chance.
3 Ways To Deal With a Business Fire
Image of file storage in flames at local business
Business fire in Coral Gables, FL
How To Move Forward After A Fire
When your business in Key West, FL, suffers fire damage, it can be overwhelming to know how to move forward. Luckily, there are steps you can take to get back to business as soon as possible. These three simple tips can help you be prepared and file a fire claim with all the necessary information.
1. Keep Good Records
When dealing with insurance, things go faster when your records are clear and organized. The best time to prepare for filing a claim is now, before you’ve had a fire. Always have up-to-date insurance and ensure your records are easy to find. Keep proof of business ownership and a ledger of all business expenses in a safe storage place or online.
2. Preserve Everything While Evaluating the Damage
Go through the entire property and take detailed notes about what has been damaged or destroyed. Be comprehensive and evaluate everything. Take pictures of the damage where possible. You may be tempted to clean up, but it’s in your best interests to keep everything as it is at first to help you prove the damage.
3. Call Your Insurance Company Immediately
Contact your insurance agent quickly to start processing your fire claim. The company will want to know exactly what was lost, when the fire happened, where it happened, who (if anyone) was involved or injured, what is the condition of the building, and what repairs you’ve made. The agent may ask for access to the police report if there is one.
This process will not be quick, and it involves a lot of communication. Keep everything and take detailed notes of all conversations you’ve had with the insurance company or anyone involved.
Dealing with a fire is difficult. While quickly submitting a fire claim can help you get reimbursed for the damages, a quality fire restoration service can help repair your property. Be prepared, act quickly, and find a professional to help with the damage.
How to Remove Smoke Damage From Your Commercial Building
Soot Damage in commercial building
Soot damage in West Miami, FL
How to Remove Smoke Damage From Your Commercial Building
If there has been a fire in your Coral Gables, FL, building, then you may have a significant amount of damage to take care of. While primary damage from the flames might be your biggest concern, you shouldn’t disregard the smoke damage. Smoke and soot can cause plenty of trouble on their own, even if the fire itself wasn’t too severe. The following are a few things that will need to be done to bring your building back to its previous condition.
1. Scrub Surfaces
Because smoke and soot can travel through the air, it is important to do smoke cleaning even in areas that the flames didn’t touch. With non-porous surfaces, this process is fairly simple. Any excessive amounts of soot will need to be removed first, and then the area should be treated with cleaners to remove any remaining residue.
2. Clean Belongings
Along with the structure of the building, soot damage can affect many objects as well. Smoke can penetrate porous materials, which can make them more difficult to clean than hard surfaces. However, the damage can sometimes be removed with dry cleaning. Smoke can also make its way into electronic devices and equipment, so you should have these inspected and cleaned before attempting to use them. Otherwise, they may be permanently damaged.
3. Remove Odors
Even after smoke damage has been cleaned from surfaces and items, you may still notice some lingering odors in the building. In order to remove these, you may need to clean smoke and soot particles from the air. You can use air scrubbers and filters to do this.
To get the best results and have your building looking as good as new, you should hire a professional service to remove smoke damage and make repairs. A fire damage remediation company will inspect the building, perform cleanup and restore your building and belongings. With their training, expertise and professional equipment, they can have the job done well in a timely manner.