Recent Fire Damage Posts

Electrical Fires.

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

Electronics are a daily part of our life and we often forget the dangers that can be associated with lighting fixtures, chargers, appliances and more. At SERVPRO of Richland County we have responded to hundreds of electrical fires over the years, helping our customers get their lives and homes back to normal. Keep in mind the following tips to reduce the risk of an electrical malfunction or tragedy in your home.

  1. On a regular basis, have the home inspected for loose wires, shorts, and faulty wiring that increase the risk of potential electrical fires, as electrical wiring eventually needs to be replaced. This is especially pertinent if one lives in an older home. Signs that faulty wiring is a pressing issue can include flickering lamps, buzzing outlets, or outlets that spark when an electronic device is plugged in. If one of these indications occurs, do not delay in in hiring a certified electrician to give the home an inspection to determine if the wiring is safe or if it is in need of rewiring.
  2. Install a smoke detector on every level of the home and inside each bedroom. It is vital to make sure the smoke detectors are working properly by testing them every month. Test the detectors to ensure that all members of the home know the sound of the smoke detector. Also, create a plan so that the entire family knows what to do in case of an actual fire. Once a plan is in place, practice each aspect of fire-escape strategy to guarantee its success.
  3. Utilize safety measures with electric cords. This includes replacing cords that are loose, frayed, or contains cracks. Never place cords in areas that receive a large volume of foot traffic, such as under mats or carpeting. Avoid tacking cords to surfaces with nails or staples. If an extension cord is being used on a long-term basis, consider having outlets installed by a certified electrician nearer to your electronic devices.
  4. Only use the correct wattage light bulbs in all fixtures. If the wattage is higher than the requirement noted on the lamp or appliance, replace the bulbs immediately. Firmly secure light bulbs in the socket to safeguard them from overheating.
  5. Use a surge protector to guard appliances and other electronics in your home. 
  6. Store flammables away from electrical appliances. It is helpful to establish a safe, designated area for flammable chemicals in your home.
  7. Place a fire extinguisher in all major rooms of the home, such as kitchen, bedrooms, and laundry room. Have all family members read the instructions on how to use the fire extinguisher.

Preventing and Putting Out Grease Fires

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

Tips to Prevent a Grease Fire:

Never leave your pot or pan unattended. It takes less than 30 seconds for smoke to turn into fire

  • Pay attention around fire. Don’t cook when intoxicated or tired.
  • Remove as much moisture as possible from food before cooking. Never put frozen food into hot grease.
  • Keep grease at the recommended temperature.
  • Heat oil slowly.
  • Add food slowly and gently to hot oil to avoid splatter.

What to Do In Case of Grease Fire: 

Turn off the burner.

  • Remove the oxygen by either covering the pot/pan with a metal lid, smothering with baking soda or salt, or lastly, by using a fire extinguisher (this is the best method, if you have one available.)
  • If these steps don't work, call 911 and get everyone out of the house. Close the door behind you to help contain the flames.

What Not to Do In a Grease Fire:

Never try to put out a grease fire with any liquid. It will vaporize and cause steam explosions.

  • Never carry the burning pot/pan outside. You are likely to spill the grease and spread the fire.
  • Do not use anything glass or plastic to try to put out the fire. Glass will heat up and shatter and plastic will melt.
  • Never use baking powder or flour as substitutes for salt or baking soda. They are combustible, and will spread the fire.

If you are ever faced with a fire, Call SERVPRO of Richland County 24/7 365. (803)419-0470.

How to Utilizing A Portable Fire Extinguisher.

1/28/2021 (Permalink)

Let’s discuss the correct methods for utilizing a portable fire extinguisher Here at SERVPRO of Richland County we cannot stress enough the importance of fire extinguishers in your workplace and at home. Residents and employees should be appropriately trained on how to use fire extinguishers and can often mean the difference between saving lives and salvaging the structure from further damage. The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) uses a helpful acronym for remembering the correct sequence and way to operate a fire extinguisher known as P-A-S-S.

Let’s review the steps for PASS;

  • Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
  • Aim Point the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire for best effect.
  • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side to side.

Its important to read the fire extinguisher instructions to familiarize yourself. Ensure that you have the correct size and style for your facility and consider where to store it so accessibility is feasible during an unexpected emergency. If a fire occurs in your home or business call the professionals at SERVPRO of Richland County (803)419-0470. Our team assists with cleaning and restoration of structure and contents, we make a stressful situation more manageable and streamlined to make your life easier. If you have questions about fire safety in your home or business don’t hesitate to reach out, we are always happy to help.

What to do after the fire

7/24/2020 (Permalink)

Suffering fire damages at your home can be a very traumatic experience.  Along with the damages from the flames, your home may have soot residue, smoke odor, and water damages from firefighting efforts.  Many times, the hardest part of the experience is determining “What do I do now?” once the fire is out.  The U.S Fire Administration offers these “After the Fire” guidelines to help you through this tough time:

  • The top priority is keeping yourself, loved ones, and pets safe. The structure of your home may be unstable, or various hazards present due to the fire damages.  Always follow the instructions of the local authorities pertaining to safety in a fire damaged area.
  • Contact your insurance agent. Your insurance agent can help determine what your policy covers regarding cleaning and restoration.
  • Contact your mortgage company or landlord to report the fire.
  • Secure important documents. If undamaged, gather items such as Social Security Information, Birth Certificates, and Passports.  If these items have been damaged, you will need to formulate a plan for replacement.

In the unfortunate event that you experience a fire at your home in the Columbia area, SERVPRO of Richland County is Here to Help. Our professional team provides fire restoration services, soot clean up, smoke odor removal, and structural drying to help restore your home.  Give us a call at (803) 419-0470, We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.

Has fire affected you?

7/15/2020 (Permalink)

No matter the size a fire can affect your entire home or business. Flames, heat, soot and smoke travel quickly. We always advise hiring a cleaning professional to examine and perform the work necessary following any fire.

Our SERVPRO of Richland County Fire team is certified by the IICRC in Fire Restoration. That means they understand how fire, smoke and soot residue travel, affect materials, and how they should be restored. Our team is careful to maneuver in a way that does not cause further damage to the home. Walking on contaminated areas can track soot residue into other rooms, creating additional cleaning that has to be done. You must also take precautions due to possible structure damage. Floors can become weakened and support beams brittle after a fire, your safety should be the #1 priority.  

The fire team at SERVPRO of Richland County is prepared to handle any fire job, the RIGHT way. We understand that being displaced by fire creates an immense amount of stress on homeowners as well as business owners, and we do our best to comfort, reassure and help them through the entire process. If you or someone you know has experienced a fire and is struggling to get back on their feet, please reach out to us, we’re connected with many organizations that help individuals get the assistance they need.

Protecting yourself from Fire!

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

If your Columbia, SC business has experienced a fire it’s likely that you’re unsure how to proceed.  The two most important steps of restoring any building that has experienced fire damage, no matter how large or small the fire, are:

  • Protecting the property
  • Cleaning affected areas/materials

First – Call Your Insurance Agent

One of the first calls you should make (after 911 of course) should be to your insurance agent. They can help you determine if you should file a claim or pay out of pocket for the steps necessary to restore your business. If the fire was small, let’s say a break room kitchen fire or something similar, you very well could be better off not filing a claim against your insurance. Your agent may also recommend a restoration service they know and trust to help you with the cleanup process while protecting your property from further harm.

Second – Contact a Restoration Service

Soot and smoke are extremely difficult to clean without the proper knowledge and equipment to do so. We always recommend calling a professional fire restoration service to handle this. SERVPRO of Richland County offers board-up services to secure your property and keep unwanted guests and animals out. We also offer tarping services if damage has occurred to the roof. This prevents water from gaining access to the space and causing further damage.

If water was used to extinguish the fire you may also be facing water damage, this requires a restoration company also. If the water damage is left untreated, you’ll likely be facing issues with mold down the road.

Has your business suffered fire damage? Call SERVPRO of Richland County, the trusted leader in the restoration industry for fire damage restoration.

Richland County Smoke and Soot Cleanup

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Richland County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (803)419-0470