Recent Fire Damage Posts

Smoke & Soot - How to handle

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

flames against black back ground Smoke and soot can cause a lot of damage to you home or business

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 Allston, Brighton & Brookline 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 – (617) 903-5055

Most Common Causes of Fire in the Workplace

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

fire and smoke in stairwell of building Know what to do during work place fire

Electrical Fires

Over 25% of all fires are linked to a malfunction of either a piece of electrical equipment, wiring, or both. Electricity is a common source of ignition for major fires. One way to avoid problems with electrical fires is to establish an electrical safety program.

All employees should be thoroughly familiar with the safety procedures for their particular jobs. To maximize his or her own safety, an employee should always use tools and equipment properly. Extension cords must be inspected before use, and those found questionable, removed from service and properly tagged. Damage or inadequate maintenance can cause equipment to deteriorate, resulting in unsafe conditions.

Flammable and Combustible Materials

There are thousands of chemicals in use in the modern American workplace. One of the most prevalent dangers of these chemicals is their flammability or combustibility. Improper handling of flammable materials brings a great risk of fire. When a flammable liquid is spilled, vapors begin to form immediately. It is the vapors that will ignite, and which pose the greater danger.

Flammable liquid spill cleanup should begin immediately. Vapors will continue to build until the liquid is removed, and they can be ignited by a variety of sources in the average workplace. The best way to avoid fire caused by these materials is to follow all OSHA guidelines when dealing with flammables.

Human Error

The most common reason for a sprinkler system failure is human error. Often times the water supply was turned off at the time of the fire. The success of fire prevention strategies depends primarily on pre-planning, preparation, equipment quality, and the readiness of personnel. Employees and loss prevention practitioners must be knowledgeable about the proper use of extinguishers. If the wrong extinguisher is used, a fire may become more serious.

General Negligence

Negligence is another common cause of fire in the workplace. It’s slightly different from fires caused by human error. Negligence occurs when an employee does not follow established procedures and knowingly undertakes an activity that is a potential fire hazard.

Fire caused by negligence can be the result of:

  • Hot surfaces too close to heating equipment
  • Open flame that’s not properly located or protected
  • Not following smoking restrictions or careless disposal of butts, ashes, and matches

Good common sense, self awareness, and close adherence to policy are a great way to avoid fires caused by general negligence. Posting fire safety signs in common areas is another way to keep fire safety at top of mind.

 Arson

The premise behind arson prevention, like other prevention programs, is to address the opportunity to commit the crime. Arsonists, like other criminals, typically prefer to start fires in locations that are secluded or hidden. Prevention programs often suggest improving the surveillance in these areas by lighting the area, removing visual obstructions to natural observation, and moving the targets such as dumpsters.

If your company, please call SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline (617) 903-5055 to assist you with the cleanup.

Ways to prevent fires in your home

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

house under fire Protect yourself and your loved ones

A house can easily catch fire from the misuse of appliances to smoking in bedrooms. You can take measures to avoid fire in your home and ensure the safety of your family. Below are some of the most common causes of household fires, and some tips to take precautions.

Cooking Equipment

Pots and pans can overheat and cause a fire very easily if the person cooking gets distracted and leaves cooking unattended. Always stay in the room, or ask someone to watch your food, when cooking on hotplates.

Heating

Keep portable heaters at least 5’ away from anything that could easily catch fire such as furniture, curtains, laundry, clothes and even you. If you have a furnace, get it inspected once a year to make sure it is working to safety standards.

Smoking in bedrooms

Bedrooms are best to be kept off limits for smoking. A cigarette that is not put out properly can cause a flame, as the butt may stay alit for a few hours. It could burst into flames if it came into contact with flammable materials, such as furniture. Did you know that fires started in the bedroom or lounge make up 73% of all house fire fatalities?

Electrical Equipment

An electrical appliance, such as a toaster can start a fire if it is faulty or has a frayed cord. A power point that is overloaded with double adapter plugs can cause a fire from an overuse of electricity. A power point extension cord can also be a fire hazard if not used appropriately. Double check the appliances and power points in your home.

Candles

Candles look and smell pretty, but if left unattended they can cause a room to easily burst into flames. Keep candles away from any obviously flammable items such as books and tissue boxes. Always blow a candle out before leaving a room. Did you know that in Perth last year 34 house fires started as a result of candles?

Curious Children

Kids can cause a fire out of curiosity, to see what would happen if they set fire to an object. Keep any matches or lighters out of reach of children, to avoid any curiosity turned disaster. Install a smoke alarm in your child’s room and practice a home escape plan with your children and family in case there was a fire. Inform your kids the importance of knowing their address knowing their address and if they needed to, call 911.

Faulty Wiring

Homes with inadequate wiring can cause fires from electrical hazards. Some signs to see if you’ve bad wiring are: 1) Lights dim if you use another appliance; 2) For an appliance to work, you have to disconnect another; 3) Fuses blow or trip the circuit frequently. Have a licensed electrician come and inspect your house, or contact your landlord if you have any of the above occurrences.

Barbeques

Barbeques are great for an outdoor meal, but should always be used away from the home, tablecloths or any plants and tree branches. Keep BBQs regularly maintained and cleaned with soapy water and clean any removable parts. Check the gas bottle for any leaks before you use it each time.

Flammable Liquids

If you have any flammable liquids in the home or garage such as petrol, kerosene or ethylated spirits, keep them away from heat sources and check the label before storing. Be careful when pouring these liquids.

Lighting

Lamp shades and light fittings can build up heat if they are very close to light globes. Check around the house to make sure. Lamp bases can become a hazard if they are able to be knocked over easily, and so should be removed if they are. Check that down lights is insulated from wood paneling or ceiling timbers.

The above tips are a good guide to avoiding a fire in your home. If you do have a fire and need assistance with the cleanup, please call SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline (617) 903-5055

Protect against a Fire

7/5/2020 (Permalink)

fire in unattended frying pan Be safe when handling fire

The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your property in the event of a Fire:

SMOKE ALARMS AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS

Install smoke alarms. Properly working smoke alarms decrease your chances of dying in a fire by half.

Place smoke alarms on every level of your residence, including the basement.

Install a working carbon monoxide detector in the common area of the bedrooms.

Test and clean smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. Replace smoke alarms once every 10 years.

COOKING SAFETY

Never leave cooking unattended.

Always wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook.

Keep towels, pot holders and curtains away from flames

Never use the range or oven to heat your home.

ESCAPING THE FIRE

Have an escape plan. Review escape routes with your family.

Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut.

Teach family members to stay low to the floor, where the air is safer, when escaping from a fire.

In high-rise, never lock fire exits or doorways, halls or stairways. Never prop stairway or other fire doors open.

HEATING SOURCE

Place space heaters at least three feet away from flammable/combustible materials.

Use only the type of fuel designated for your space heater.

MATCHES/LIGHTERS AND SMOKING

Keep matches/lighters away from children.

Never smoke in bed or when drowsy or medicated.

If you must smoke, do it responsibly.

ELECTRICAL WIRING

Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs

Make sure outlets have cover plates and no exposed wiring.

Make sure wiring does not run under rugs, over nails, or across high traffic areas.

Do not overload extension cords or outlets.

If you do have a fire, please call SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline (617) 903-5055 to assist you in the cleanup

Furnace Puff Back

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

black spots on wall from furnace puff back Know what to do if this happens to you!

If your home has an oil burning furnace, there are several dangers to be aware of. Any furnace can experience a puff back, while puff backs are more common with oil systems, a furnace puff back can also occur with forced air, gas and hot water heating systems. A puff back in a furnace is a volatile explosion that occurs inside your furnace. The result of this explosion is fire and smoke being spewed out from your furnace. This fire, smoke and soot will damage your homes building materials and contents. This explosion will not be lethal, but can cause thousands of dollars in costly repairs and damage restoration, and can also cause health problems for you and your family. The explosions are caused by a buildup of vapor inside your furnace. This build up can occur with furnaces which have not been maintained properly. Parts sometimes need to be replaced, and bi yearly cleaning of your furnace and heating system will help prevent puff backs. Conducting a yearly exam of your heating system or having a professional check your heating system yearly will often times fully prevent a puff back from ever occurring.

 If you have experience a puff back avoids doing the following: Try to clean or wash away soot residue yourself. This soot and smoke residue needs special cleaning methods, as it spreads easily. Soot stains can also set very quickly, making soot damage especially trick to clean if you should do it wrong. Soot is black carbon, and black carbon will stain extremely quickly when mixed with water and common household liquid cleaners. Should you attempt to remove the soot yourself and end up staining something with soot in your home, a professional cleaner may be required to remove the stain. Should you have soot damage, you should leave it to a professional to clean. SERVPRO professionals trained in soot damage have special cleaners and cleaning methods to use to remove your soot and soot damage. Use furniture or walk on carpeting affected by the fire or puff back. Do not use furniture that has been exposed to heat, soot or smoke. You can cause further damage to your furniture, until it is professionally cleaned and restored. Do not turn on any electronics such as computer, stereo's, and TV's until you have had them checked for soot damaged. Computers can be especially vulnerable and ruined as soon as they are turned on if soot has made its way inside them. This soot also contains a corrosive element, which will damage home's building materials, and contents such as your electronics, furniture, clothing and more. Not only can this soot damage your property, it can also affect the health of your loved ones by causing respiratory problems. This soot will often have a very terrible odor that will swiftly travel throughout the home, and will need to be cleaned and deodorized in order to remove the offensive odor from your home. If the soot and smoke travels through your home's duct work, it will need to be cleaned and deodorized as well. You also need to have a professional check your furnace following a puff back, to avoid further incidents. You may have a faulty part or an oil burner that may need replacing. If the problem is ignored, it can cause repeated and long lasting effects to your home. Should you have experienced a furnace puff back, you should SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline (617) 903-5055 to help with the clean up.

Extension Cord Causes Fire

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

fire caused by extension cord Do not overload your extension cord!

Electrical fires are extremely scary and cannot be simply put out with water. Our crew was called to a Dorchester, MA home because a fire was caused by a lamp (see picture). There was extensive damage to the walls, ceiling and their personal belongings. According to the residents the lamp was left on over night. after further investigation it was uncovered that not only was the lamp connected to an overloaded extension cord but it also had a light bulb with WATTS that exceeded what was recommended by the lamp. 

What can you do?

To prevent something like this from happening to your home - First you must ensure the lamp and light bulb are compatible. Then if you can avoid using an extension cord, do so. Extension cord overload have been a leading cause of fire as well. You need to be cautious of how you are using your extension cords because the more you plug in the higher the chances of a spark. Finally, when you are not using a lamp or any electrical accessory unplug it. This will not only prevent a potential fire but it will also help you save on your electrical bill. the reason being is that even though you physically do not have the lamp, radio, etc. on because it is plugged to an outlet there is active electrical currents going through. 

In the unfortunate event there is a fire caused by electrical equipment call 911 immediately. Do not try to put out the fire with water as you can risk electrocution. Once fire is put out call us and your insurance company so we can help make the damage look "Like it never even happened." 

Call SERVPRO Allston, Brighton & Brookline for more information 617-903-5055!

Fire Damage Restoration Tips

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

room in home with furniture, walls and debris all over room after firefighter put out fire Family room in Boston, MA home after a fire

Fire damage restoration is complicated for those who do not deal with it on a consistent basis. Many times we get calls to ask for advice on how to clean up after fire. Below we have listed tips that can help most fire cleanup situations.

Please keep in mind that fire damage restoration takes time and skill. See below and realistically consider whether you want to try these ideas on your own or enlist the help of a restoration specialist like SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline, where we will guarantee our work!

  1. Remove smoke damage

Wash walls one small area at a time. Work from floor up to prevent streaking. Wash the ceiling last. Wipe down and dry the areas that got wet to prevent possible growth of mold and mildew. You can do this with small solution of household bleach and water. If drywall and insulation is soaked your best option is to contact a professional to ensure the materials are fully dried.

SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline 617-903-5055 will help

  1. Limit activity and movement

Once you are cleared to reenter your home by first responders do your best to work on one area at a time to prevent spreading soot into other areas. The worst thing you can do is give yourself more work in what is already considered a very laborious process. Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet in high traffic areas.

  1. Avoid smearing soot into fabrics

Soot from smoke damage is greasy so ensure you dust it off to prevent rubbing it your fabrics and upholstery. Fabrics and upholstery are very porous and will likely absorb the smoke odor. You may need to wash the fabrics multiple times in order to fully get rid of the smoke odor. Make sure that your hands and cleaning equipment is clean so you do not add more soot to the material.

  1. Thoroughly Dry Everything!

This will be the most important yet tedious step. You will need to determine whether or not you should restore (dry) or replace items that were affected by the water (ie. carpet, flooring, insulation and more). It takes on average about 48hrs for a wet area to promote the growth and spread of mold. Your home will most likely be wet if a fire department put out the fire. Before repainting and putting things back to its original place make sure your walls, insulation, ceiling, furniture and all other porous materials are completely dry. You can rent commercial grade fans and open windows. The key is to know when everything is dry! Do not stress yourself and make the mistake of turning the fans off too soon. Instead, call SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline. We have the equipment that will let us know what areas need to be dried and when drying has been completed.

  1. Repaint & Restore

Once the walls are thoroughly cleaned and dry you can repaint a fresh coat of paint on the walls and ceiling. Before painting it is very important that the walls and ceiling is thoroughly dried so there are no streaks. You are now ready to put furniture back in its original space.

Fires are no joke and the damage they leave behind much less. Our goal here at SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline is to be able to make the restoration process as seamless as possible. That way you can work on getting the rest of your life back in order pre-fire. Let us help 617-903-5055

Unwanted Fires and its affect on your property

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

porch of home is burnt by fire. boards installed where a door and window once was Home in Brighton, MA experiences fire damage

Fire damage is the physical damage to a property as a result of burning. The damage can be directly caused by flames or indirectly due to smoke and other substances emitted by fire such as soot. Smoke and soot can be as damaging to your property as actual flames. This is because the smoke will create black clouds throughout the walls, ceiling, and porous materials in your property. There is also a strong odor associated with smoke that is very hard to remove from porous materials such as clothes, carpets and furniture. In the unfortunate event your home or business experiences fire damage (flames, smoke or soot) we recommend you enlist the help of a professional to help you clean your property as thoroughly as possible. If a firefighter was called to your property the likelihood that water damage occurred is highly likely. In this event you have to make sure that the water is dried as quickly as possible to prevent the possible growth of mold. When mold grows it will spread quickly, cause possible health issues and increase the cost of remediation. For this reason edge on the side of caution and just hire a professional in the beginning. We at SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline will ensure we get everything done right the first time so you can have your peace of mind and property back!

Happy Holidays – Lets Prevent Fires

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

holiday lights wrapped around arch in public park Holiday lights light up this public walk way

In our opinion the final months of the year is a very joyus time of year! Flashing lights light up the night. Everyone is scrambling to get home for the holidays. With the holidays its is also reported that the number of home fires increase dramatically. SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline wants to ensure this of year remains joyus for you and your family. Below are simply tips to help prevent a fire.

These simple easy tips can prevent a fire from starting within your house this Christmas!

  • If you have a Christmas Tree, always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out.
  • Make sure all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested in a lab by the UL or ETL/ITSNA for safety, and throw out any damaged lights that are broken.
  • Any lights you use outdoors must be labeled suitable for exterior placement, and be sure to plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle.
  • Keep all your holiday candles away from your Christmas tree
  • Bedtime means lights off! ­ Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.
  • Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, so look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don’t break easily from its branches. The tree shouldn’t be shedding its needles readily

After your tree starts to drop needles and some may turn brown it is time to say your last goodbye and throw it outside.  These simple and easy facts can really be a lifesaver come the holidays. If there ever is a problem in your home call SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline. 

Office: 617.903.5055

Don’t let your summer plans go up in flames! Simple ways to prevent a fire

7/5/2019 (Permalink)

Fire in Brookline, MA home caused by electrical equipment

Summer time is here and the last thing you want to deal with is a house fire! Some of the most common causes of fire damage are:

  1. Cooking equipment
  2. Careless smoking
  3. Electrical equipment
  4. Lawn Mowers
  5. Barbecues
  6. Flammable liquids

Many cooking fires are caused by grease or oil that ignites while unattended. A lot of grill fires are caused by mishandled propane gas. Smoking indoor or outdoor and not properly putting out the bud can spark a fire. Also lawn mowers can build up flammable vapors and when combined with heat source go up in flames in your garage. Short circuits and electrical malfunctions can also cause a fire to start in a home.

The good news is that all of these causes of fire can be prevented. When cooking for large group have a designated cook who will watch over the food on the stove or grill until it has cooked and then properly shuts the stove or grill. Always grill outdoors and away from any structures.  Have baking soda or a bucket of sand nearby in case you need to put out a fire. NEVER add water to grease fire. Try to smoke outdoors when you can, ensure the bud is completely put out by dipping in water or a bucket of sand.  Check the batteries on your smoke detectors regularly. Also, keep flammables away from fire sources. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby!

Accidents happen, in the unfortunate event that there is a fire call 911 immediately and get to a safe location!  

When the fire has been put out assess the damages to determine if you need to put in a claim with your property insurance carrier. Once complete begin the remediation process by reaching out to a professional like us! Although we cannot get what was lost back - Our job is to make it look like the fire never happened.

#Boston #SERVPRO #Allston #Brighton #Brookline #Fire #Homefire #electricalequipment

#firesafety #remediation #reconstruction

Don't Overload Your Outlets!

6/5/2019 (Permalink)

MA home experienced fire due to overloading outlet

Don't add more than what your outlet can handle!

Overloaded circuits is one of the leading cause of fires in homes. It can be as simple as an overloaded outlet! There is too much energy which the conductor does not have the capacity to disperse. The energy build up converts to heat. The heat build up with the static from the electricity cause fire to ignite. 

If a fire starts in your home due to an overloaded circuit do not try to handle the fire on your own as you can risk electrocution. Instead, call 911 and get yourself and your family to a safe place. Once the fire has been put out call your insurance company and a remediation company like us to help get your home back to pre loss condition.

We are always here to help in the event of a fire in your home or commercial space. We offer local support and expertise 24/7 to ensure you are taken care of! Give SERVPRO Allston Brighton, & Brookline a call at 617-903-5055.

 Learn more 

Decrease Chances of a Fire and Your Electric Bill

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage in Dorchester, MA home caused by a lamp

Electrical fires are extremely scary and cannot be simply put out with water. Our crew was called to a Dorchester, MA home because a fire was caused by a lamp (see picture). there was extensive damage to the walls, ceiling and their personal belongings. According to the residents the lamp was left on over night. after further investigation it was uncovered that not only was the lamp connected to an overloaded extension cord but it also had a light bulb with WATTS that exceeded what was recommended by the lamp. 

What can you do?

To prevent something like this from happening to your home - First you must ensure the lamp and light bulb are compatible. Then if you can avoid using an extension cord, do so. Extension cord overload have been a leading cause of fire as well. You need to be cautious of how you are using your extension cords because the more you plug in the higher the chances of a spark. Finally, when you are not using a lamp or any electrical accessory unplug it. This will not only prevent a potential fire but it will also help you save on your electrical bill. the reason being is that even though you physically do not have the lamp, radio, etc. on because it is plugged to an outlet there is active electrical currents going through. 

In the unfortunate event there is a fire caused by electrical equipment call 911 immediately. Do not try to put out the fire with water as you can risk electrocution. Once fire is put out call us and your insurance company so we can help make the damage look "Like it never even happened." 

Call SERVPRO Allston, Brighton & Brookline for more information 617-903-5055!

#fire #electricity #SERVPRO #Allston #Brighton #Brookline #lamps #extensioncord

Christmas tree safety tips to keep your home safe over the holiday

12/22/2018 (Permalink)

christmas tree with white lights in a white room Happy Holidays to You & Yours!

Christmas tree could be found throughout your house. 

These simple easy tips can prevent a fire from starting within your house this christmas!

  • Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out.
  • Make sure all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested in a lab by the UL or ETL/ITSNA for safety, and throw out any damaged lights that are broken.
  • Any lights you use outdoors must be labeled suitable for exterior placement, and be sure to plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle.
  • Keep all your holiday candles away from your Christmas tree
  • Bedtime means lights off! ­ Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.
  • Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, so look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don’t break easily from its branches. The tree shouldn’t be shedding its needles readily

After your tree starts to drop needles and some may turn brown it is time to say your last goodbye and throw it outside.  These simple and easy facts can really be a lifesaver come the holidays. If there ever is a problem in your home call SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline. 

Office: 617.903.5055