Most Common Causes of House Fires
Fires can start in the smallest of ways and turn into the biggest problems. It's important to check your home regularly and be aware of the most common ways a fire can start to protect you and your family.
So, what are the most common ways that a fire can start in your home?
- Lighting: Most people do not think that lighting can be the cause of a home fire. Make sure that lamps cannot be knocked over, and that lamp shades are not too hot.
- Cooking: Be sure to not leave foods that are being cooked on the stove unattended to. If you need to leave the kitchen, ask someone to keep an eye on the food. it is very easy to get distracted by a phone call or tending to a child and forget you have food on the stove.
- Flammable Liquids: Do you keep flammable liquids in your garage? If you answered yes, you are not alone as most people do keep flammable liquids in their garage. Be sure to keep them away from heat sources and check the label before selecting an area for storage.
- Smoking in Bedrooms: It's best to not smoke in bedrooms as the cigarette bud can still be lit for hours after the cigarette bud has been put out.
- Bad Wiring in your Home: If you notice the lights go down with you use a certain appliance, this could be an indication that the wiring in your home is bad. To be safe, have an electrician come out to check.
- Children & Curiosity: Make sure to keep matches, and lighters away from children. Teach your children how to stop, drop and roll just in case!
- Portable Heaters: Be sure to keep portable heaters away from fabrics as they can get really hot and cause a fire.
- Candles: Candles are a great way to add ambiance to your home and fill the room with your favorite scents! Be sure you don't leave candles unattended to, they're kept away from fabrics, and also kept on sturdy surfaces and away from children. Practice these tips so you can continue to enjoy your favorite scents every season.
Proven Flood Damage Restoration Services
SERVPRO Technicians Dry Your Using the Proper Equipment
Now and again we experience the effects of flood damage. Floods can leave behind massive losses worth thousands of dollars. No matter how well we are prepared to face such disasters, there are always incidents that happen and you can’t always plan for when a storm might hit. Champaign/Urbana residents need to work with IICRC certified restoration service providers like SERVPRO when dealing with the aftermath of flooding to ensure you get a timely response and accurate drying procedures.
Using the right equipment makes a big difference when restoring your Champaign/Urbana property after a flood damage disaster. That is the fact that our SERVPRO team understands and in most cases, we analyze each situation differently to determine the most appropriate tools and technology to use when working on your property. Drying as a process requires one to know humidity, temperature, and the various air properties - something that our technicians understand very well.
Timely evaporation of the moisture in your property is vital during the restoration. It all starts by putting in place appropriate measures to reduce the drying time and the use of extractors, air movers and dehumidifiers works towards achieving that. Air movers facilitate airflow and increase the speed of evaporation. As the moisture evaporates from surfaces, it leads to the formation of moist air. That means we have to remove the extra moisture from the air and we do that by using dehumidifiers.
The two main types of dehumidifiers that our SERVPRO technicians use are desiccant dehumidifiers and refrigerant dehumidifiers. Desiccant dehumidifiers use chemicals to absorb the moisture, while the working of refrigerant dehumidifiers has a lot of similarity to how air conditioners work. Deodorization then follows to neutralize the smells.
The goal of SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana is to restore your contents to their preloss condition no matter the sight of the disaster. We use advanced technology to damaged items that wouldn’t be salvageable otherwise.
SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana should be your first choice for any residential or commercial restoration needs. Our team of professionals is trained to assess the damage and potential threats, extract and contain the affected area, dry, and restore your property to preloss condition.
How to Choose Your Commercial Restoration Company
The ability to know what to do in certain situations as a business owner defines your business entity's success or failure. Situations such as losses, damage to the business caused by water, fire, and weather-related problems go beyond a business owner's expertise when there is a need for control measures to be taken. A business owner needs a company with a proven track record of solutions to restore the business back to its normal day to day operation. Commercial restoration helps businesses to control the impact of fire damage and water damage.
Some things you must look out for in the search for a commercial restoration company
EFFICIENCY: the key to getting back in business requires swift action. Look for a company that delivers good results in a short period to handle your restoration processes. A good turnaround time helps you to keep your customers serviced and satisfied immediately, and for you to get back into the business.
AVAILABILITY: in the event of fire damage or water damage, the availability of expert damage control experts and commercial restoration companies cannot be overemphasized. They ensure that you get back in business as early as possible to cover your losses.
COMMUNICATION: Because of the resulting disturbances that come with damages resulting from flooding, leaks, and fire outbreaks, actionable plans need to be communicated to the business owner by the restoration company. It helps them to make informed business decisions for long term efficiency.
In all these, SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana provides you the security that your business needs to stay in production. Our experience as a commercial restoration company during a situation of fire damage and water damage spans across different exercises carried out over the past years. Other damage control plans we have cover damages resulting from inclement weather change, damages from equipment failure, damages from vandalism, accidental damages, and aging property damage control.
Our 24 hours service runs to solve and control your losses to a bare minimum where you will be able to get back in business in a smooth transition. For any questions related to commercial restoration, don’t hesitate to call us at 217-355-0077.
How To Prevent a Space Heater Fire
Space heaters can be useful for keeping an area in your home warmer than the temperature setting on central heating. These appliances can lower costs and increase comfort. An unsafe appliance or one that is not operated properly can lead to a burned space heater and house fire. Follow a few simple measures to safely use a space heater.
Choose a Heater With Safety Features
The right heater can reduce the risk of a fire. Make sure the model you buy has the following safety features:
- Ground fault circuit interrupter plug
- Automatic shut-off for overheating
- Safety certification
- A cord that is six feet or longer
A heater with these features may cost slightly more but should be worth the peace of mind.
Situate a Heater in a Safe Spot
A burned space heater may result if you operate this appliance in a risky location. Make sure the room where you plan to use the heater has an empty outlet, level surface, and sufficient space. You should always:
• Avoid plugging other electronics into the same outlet as a space heater
• Plug the heater directly into an outlet and never use an extension cord
• Keep at least three feet of space between heaters and combustibles such as curtains, bedding, or upholstery
• Situate the heater on a hard, non-flammable, level surface
Attend Operating a Heater
Even an appliance with safety features that is safely situated can still be a fire hazard. Reduce the risk of fire by turning off the appliance when you leave the room. You should never operate a heater unattended around children and pets or leave a heater plugged in when not in use.
It is estimated that space heaters start around 25,000 house fires every year in the United States. If a burned space heater causes a fire in your home in Champaign/Urbana, contact residential fire damage and smoke cleanup specialists. 217-355-0077.
Flood Damage from Bathtub Overflow
When you forget to turn off the water in your tub to take a phone call, a child starts the water and leaves it without telling anyone, or your overflow drain was not working correctly, you have accidental water damage. This can cause severe damage to your home that you need to address quickly.
Flood damage can affect your carpeting, subfloor, drywall, the ceiling and walls underneath the tub, and more. Depending on how quickly you call a remediation company like SERVPRO to repair the water damage, many of these can be saved. When you let the issue sit for several days, you may deal with a strong odor and microbial growth behind the drywall. Plus, since the water had time to soak into the subfloor, the floor's moisture content is very high, creating the need to remove the subfloor to ensure that it dries thoroughly.
When water goes down through the ceiling, you have damage to ceiling tiles or sections of your ceiling. We need to take these down to properly dry the area above them and replace sections of the ceiling. A setup of ducting can be inserted into the ceiling area affected so we can pump warm, dry, dehumidified air into the cavity to speed up drying and guard against the growth of mold.
With SERVPRO, the moisture content is checked daily with moisture meters, hygrometers, and hydro sensors. Snake cameras may also be employed to give visual confirmation that confined areas such as under cabinets or in the wall cavities are thoroughly dry.
Other areas that were hit by the water below the bathroom are dried using containment, air movers, and dehumidifiers. The containment minimizes the volume of air to be dried. It speeds up the drying of the ceiling because of water moving from an area of high water concentration to an area of low concentration.
If you experience a water loss due to an overflowed bathtub, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana to make it “Like it never even happened.” 217-355-0077.
SERVPRO Will Clean your Flood Damage in Champaign/Urbana the Right Way
Two things about flood damage when it occurs: first, cleanup has to start quickly. Second, all water requires the removal, and inadequate extraction of water leaves the property open for more costly issues.
SERVPRO technicians utilize a wide array of water extraction equipment when working on flood damage in a Champaign/Urbana property. Each surface and amount of water dictates the type of removal equipment chosen for use. Before water removal efforts commence, technicians scope the property using different kinds of moisture detection devices to ascertain areas where there are excessive levels of moisture that require extraction or drying attention.
Special Attention to the Subfloor
When water enters a property, it follows the path of least resistance and migrates into the subflooring rapidly. The use of inadequate or improper removal methods leaves the property open for the weakening of the building materials, foul odors, and mold infestations. Technicians use squeegee attachments when pooling water is an issue.
Hardwood Flooring with Water Damage
Wood flooring constructed from composite never fares well with water exposure and is generally a loss. Hardwood flooring has restoration potential on a case by case basis partly determined on the category and length of water exposure. SERVPRO technicians use squeegee attachments with wet vacuums and follow up using drying mats to limit the warping or buckling.
Water Extraction from Carpets
In cases of wet carpeting from rainwater entering the home and where the cleanup was started within 24 hours, there is potential for restoration of the carpet. SERVPRO technicians use a host of tools such as pumps with weighted carpet wands or deep extractor tools, and rovers that use the weight of a technician to push water out of carpeted surfaces. When carpet absorbs groundwater, there is no restoration potential. The technicians extract the water and cut the rug into strips for easier handling.
SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at 217-355-0077 is ready to handle flood damage in your home.
Workplace Fire Safety
Fires and explosions are fairly rare in the workplace, but they can be extremely dangerous and costly. Here are the most common causes of commercial property fires and steps to help prevent them.
1. Faulty electrical equipment
The most common cause of workplace fires is electrical issues. Overloaded plugs and loose wires can result in electrical fires. Be certain to minimize the number of devices drawing from one power source.
2. Flammable and combustible materials
Improper storage of some materials is a contributor to fires. Industrial workshops and garages are especially prone. Workplace fire loads vary depending on what is stored in your space. This risk can be lessened simply by ensuring all materials are properly stored away from any potential ignition sources.
3. Lack of staff training
Properly training staff to recognize hazards is critical for avoiding and handling emergency circumstances. Avoiding innocent mistakes like improper material storage or blocking cooling vents on electronics can prevent disasters. A top safety priority should be making sure everyone knows what do to in an emergency including evacuation routes and how to use a fire extinguisher.
4. Lack of resources and equipment
Prevention is key. That means investing in the tools designed to keep people safe - smoke detectors, fire alarms and suppression systems. Without these, a fire can quickly reach a dangerous stage. Smoke alarms are as important in the workplace as they are at home.
About SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana
SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana provides 24-hour disaster mitigation service. We specialize in the restoration of homes and businesses suffering losses from fire and smoke, water, flood, wind, and storm damage. Our locally owned and operated 24/7 response team is always just a phone call away. 217-355-0077
The Process of Making a Flood Cut
Example of flood cut
Flooding often leads to water damage, and water damage often leads to the removal of affected items and structures. If your home in Champaign/Urbana, floods during a storm, mitigation experts may have to use a flood cut to determine how much of your wall to tear out. A flood cut is a mark that is made 12-18 inches above the perceivable water damage to a wall to mark the point to which the technicians need to remove the drywall. Here are the steps of using a flood cut.
1. Determine Necessity
A flood cut is not always necessary. If water damage is minimal or the water is clean, the wall probably doesn't need to be removed. When the flooding is the result of a storm, however, the contamination of the water seeps into the walls. It's best, therefore, to mark them with a flood cut and remove the walls, especially if they are saturated.
2. Prepare for Mess
Removing the drywall is usually a pretty messy process. You will probably see the professionals put a tarp down before they begin. It's also advisable for them to wear gloves and protective clothing, especially if they will be removing damp insulation that's behind the wall.
3. Remove Wall
Once there is a tarp down to catch the falling drywall, the demolition process can begin. Technicians start at the flood cut and remove everything below it, ensuring that all the water damage is gone.
4. Clean the Mess
The wall that they tear out has to go somewhere. Another benefit of using the tarp is that it makes for easy cleanup. They can just gather the edges to contain the mess and head to the dumpster.
5. Replace Wall
Many mitigation professionals are also restoration experts. They can put new insulation and a new wall back up and blend the paint so that it looks "Like it never even happened."
If you have flooding in your home, you may need a flood cut to mark the spot where the wall gets removed. Understanding the steps of the process can help you know what's going on when the professionals arrive. If you experience water damage in your home, call us at (217) 355-0077.
Out of the Ashes? What Can and Cannot Be Saved After a Fire
A house fire is a horrific event. Even if everyone in the home makes it out safely, the physical damage on the structure will be intense. That pain will only be matched by the acute mental and emotional anguish endured by those living there.
There are many factors that will determine what, if anything, can be saved once the flames are extinguished. Our technicians at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana are often surprised by what survives even the most intense fires. Books, wood furniture, tools, certain types of pottery and stoneware might have a life after the blaze. Even pictures and important family documents have been found fully intact under piles of ash and debris.
How does fire damage things and what needs to be thrown out?
Visible fire damage is not hard to spot. What will not be as evident is what has been impacted by extreme heat and flames. Even if there is no apparent physical damage, get rid of certain materials, including:
- All food that was in the house (both perishable and non-perishable)
- Cleaning supplies
While these kinds of items might have avoided visible fire damage, they may have come in contact with toxic chemicals. Combustion, the process of something burning, releases harmful chemicals like hydrogen cyanide, sulfur dioxide, and tar.
You cannot eat food that has been exposed to heat or the chemicals produced during combustion. Medication, cosmetics, and most cleaning supplies also react negatively with heat and must be discarded. Burned insulation no longer insulates, and it is impossible to clean the accumulated soot and smoke odor. However, our SERVPRO technicians remove the top three to four inches of insulation in case the problem only involves residue deposits.
How we can help?
Fire affects ALL materials at the site. Meticulous and detailed scoping is necessary before deciding what to throw and what, if anything, can be kept. Our SERVPRO technicians consider three main factors:
- Can it be restored?
- How much will it cost?
- What is the sentimental or monetary value of the item?
After a thorough inspection of your property, our technicians can assess when items can be restored. Restoration, not replacement, is always what we strive for initially in an effort to save your belongings and to save you money.
What is a Moisture Meter?
Technician using a moisture meter to take a reading
If you’ve ever had a restoration team repair flood damage to your home, you’ve probably encountered some sci-fi looking devices that the technicians pulled out and occasionally told you were saying something significant. It’s understandable if you wondered whether these are actually high-tech tools or just gimmicks meant to fool you into paying a contractor.
One of these mystery tools is called a “moisture meter” and today we want to explain them a little better so you know what our technicians are looking at.
Obviously we can only vouch for our own technicians’ honesty, but we can re-assure you that moisture meters are a legitimate piece of technology used throughout the industry. In fact, consumer-grade moisture meters are widely available at hardware retailers or online.
How Do Moisture Meters Work?
There are two main types of moisture meters: resistance meters (pin meters) and capacitance meters (pinless).
Pin meters have two small sharp detectors that are inserted into wood. They detect moisture by measuring the electrical current that travels between the pins. This is a fast and proven method of measuring moisture in wood, but it will slightly damage the material that’s being inspected.
Capacitance meters are good for using on materials that can’t or shouldn’t be penetrated with pins. They work by creating an electromagnetic field that is affected by the moisture in the material.
How Do Technicians Use Moisture Meters?
Your SERVPRO technicians will make an initial moisture reading during their first visit to your building. At that time they’ll make a determination about the best drying method depending on the moisture level and material that’s being restored, and then they’ll get the restoration process started.
Every day after that, a technician will visit your site to take follow-up readings. They’ll use the same moisture meters on the same material to ensure consistency, so if they used a capacitance meter on the wall during the initial inspection, they’ll use a capacitance meter in every other reading.
If you have experienced water damage, contact SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana at (217)355-0077.