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Fire Types or Classes

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

fire damage Fire Damage in San Antonio

Fire Types or Classes

There are five different classes of fires, each designated by a letter.

Class A: The most common type of fire, Class A fires have combustibles that include paper, wood, cloth, plastic, trash and other ordinary materials that may be found in any home or business.

Class B: Fires caused by flammable liquids are considered Class B fires. These flammable liquids include gasoline, paint and oil. A Class B fire may also include combustibles such as propane or butane, which are flammable gases.

Class C: Electrical fires are Class C fires and include fires that originate from outlets, wires and other electrical components.

Class D: Any fire caused by combustible metals such as magnesium, sodium, aluminum and potassium, also known as chemical fires, are Class D.

Class K: Combustibles such as cooking oils, grease and fats are Class K fires.

If your home or business has experienced fire or smoke damage, please give us a call today. SERVPRO of The Hill Country is Here to Help. Click here to learn more about fire damage restoration with SERVPRO of The Hill Country.

A Storm in The Hill Country Leaves Home with Water Damage

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

water on carpet Storm Damage in The Hill Country

SERVPRO of The Hill Country got a call from a homeowner in the middle of the night stating broken windows from a storm were letting in water and causing water damage to her second floor bedroom. There was water on the carpeting and water seeping in through the walls through the window sill. The homeowner was very upset and needed us to come right away. We are open 24 hours for emergency service, so the professionals at SERVPRO of The Hill Country were there for her within an hour. We helped to board the window and to begin to remove the water. Later, air movers and industrial grade dehumidifiers were placed in the room to completely dry out the area. The affected area was also treated for mold prevention. To learn more about storm damage restoration, please click here or call today!

Filling and Stacking Sandbags to Reduce Flooding

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Filling Your Sandbags

It is recommended that you use sand to fill your bags with, however if it is not readily available soil will work too. When filling your bags, you want to fill them just slightly more than half-full so they lay flatter, are easier to stack, and are lighter to move.  Bags are much easier to handle if they are no more than 40 pounds when filled, although this may vary depending on the size of the bag (typical bags for sand-filling are 24-26 inches long by 14 inches wide).

Stacking Sandbags

One factor to keep in mind when protecting your home and property in the event of a flood is that sandbags are simply meant to divert water and debris away from the home, but do not create a water-tight seal. Proper placement will, however, significantly reduce the amount of water that seeps in.

First, you will need to prepare the site where the bags will be placed.  You should clear the area where they’ll be placed by removing debris such as large sticks, ice, and snow etc. These may cause gaps in your structure. Your barrier won’t serve you any good if the ground is too slippery and your sandbags all slide away when the water flows so you need to be sure there is enough friction to keep them in place.

If your home has experienced flooding, please call SERVPRO of The Hill Country right away, as time is a factor. The professionals at SERVPRO of The Hill Country offer emergency services 24/7. Here to Help.

Source: Chainsaw Journal Jan 2020.

Which Sandbags to Use for Flooding and Why

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Which Sandbags to Use for Flooding and Why

When the threat of a flood is close to your home, sandbags for flooding become as valuable as gold, yet they’re dirt cheap. There have been advancements with sandbags, which is great, thanks to water-activated sandbag which mimic the ability of real sand bags. Yes, they cost more, but are much quicker to implement in the case of a flood so the cost is negligible.

Sandbags for flooding are essential tools if you live in an area prone to flooding.  It is not advised to use other bags that are not intended for use as sandbags as they may not be as effective. Sandbags are constructed for the use of containing sand or soil to prevent or reduce the impact of water damage in the event of a flood. They are typically made with woven polypropylene or burlap sacks. Plastic garbage bags are slick and will not create a sturdy structure when stacked. Feed sacks, although made of similar materials to sandbags, are usually large and are also not practical for handling.

If your home or business has experienced a flood, please call the professionals of SERVPRO of The Hill Country right away – open 24 hours for emergency services and here to help!

Source: Chainshaw Journal. Jan 2020.

HVAC and Electrical Fires in Commercial Buildings

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

HVAC and Electrical Fires in Commercial Buildings

HVAC System Malfunction

Roughly 9% of fires happen when an HVAC system malfunctions. This includes central heating systems, as well as water heaters, space heaters, and other appliances.

Heating systems should be regularly inspected, especially during winter when they are used most heavily. And always ensure flammable materials are kept well away from heat sources. Areas where the main HVAC system is housed, as well as any water heaters or storage rooms, should be outfitted with smoke alarms.

Electrical Malfunction

About 7% of fires are linked to an electrical system malfunction, often due to problems with wiring in the building. These fires are more likely to occur in older buildings with questionable wiring. Make sure your building is regularly inspected.

Source: Smoke Guard Online

Top 3 Causes of Fires in Commercial Buildings and Tips to Prevent Them

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

1. Cooking/Kitchen Appliances

Cooking remains at the top of the list as a cause of non-residential fires at 25% to 30%. The fires sometimes started because of human error while cooking and sometimes by an appliance malfunctioning.

Because kitchens are an extremely high-risk zone, strong effort should be taken to ensure full protection and prevention. Sprinklers, alarms and easily accessible fire extinguishers are an absolute must.

2. Arson/Intentional

Arson, or an intentional fire, is the next common cause of a non-residential fire, with roughly 10% of fires occurring from arson.  Intentional fires are most likely to occur after working hours, between 3 p.m. to 12 a.m.  An arsonist may start a fire anywhere, but bathrooms, trash cans, dumpsters and garages are likely spots.

While you can’t prevent arson completely, you can take precautions to limit the damage and opportunities:

  • Make sure trash cans are emptied every day.
  • If possible, keep dumpsters away from the building so a dumpster fire can’t spread to the building.
  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed to make them harder to set on fire and so arsonists can’t use them for cover while setting a fire.
  • Put up motion detection cameras or lights in dark or normally unused areas so any fires can be caught and put out faster.
  • Install smoke/fire curtains near the doorways of the areas most likely to be used for arson.

3. Human Error

Human error, or unintentional fires, are also responsible for about 10% of fires. Because there are a vast number of reasons why a fire might occur accidentally, employee fire safety training is extremely important.

Some examples of an unintentional fire include cigarettes being improperly discarded, employees leaving heating equipment too close to walls or flammable surfaces, candles, and improper use of electrical cords.

Source: Smoke Guard Online. 2017-2016 Data

Fire Prevention Week 2019 is October 6th through the 12th

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Prevention Week 2019 is October 6th through the 12th

Plan and Practice Your Escape
In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have,giving everyone enough time to get out.

In a fire, mere seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragedy. Fire safety education isn’t just for school children. Teenagers, adults, and the elderly are also at risk in fires, making it important for every member of the community to take some time every October during Fire Prevention Week to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.

When it comes to fire safety, maybe you’re already a hero in your household or community. If not, maybe you’re feeling inspired to become one. It's easy to take that first step - make your home escape plan! 

Source: NFPA Online

Keeping Gutters Clear to Prevent Water Damage

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

Keeping Gutters Clear to Prevent Water Damage

Ideally, gutters clear the water from your roof and move it safely away from your home. Healthy gutters help prevent leaky roofs, water damage to the attic, and water coming in through your home’s foundation.

Twice a year, it is very important to clear your home’s gutters. Leaves, twigs, mud, nests, and other debris can clog the gutters and restrict the water flow.  When water has nowhere to go, it pools and can seep into areas it should not, which can cause water damage to your home. If you do not feel you can safely perform the job yourself, please hire out the job to a professional.

If your home has suffered water damage, please call SERVPRO of The Hill Country today to remove the water and dry out the area in order to prevent further damage.

Two Fire Prevention Tips for Your Business or Commercial Space

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

Two Fire Prevention Tasks for Your Business

Have fire protection equipment

If you have an automatic sprinkler system in place, this will provide primary fire protection for your business.

Standard fire safety practices call for smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on every floor. Your best bet is multipurpose extinguishers, which will douse most small fires with ease, without shorting out your electronics.

Protect your people : Your employees are your most important business asset. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.

  • Fire Plan : Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol. 
  • Evacuation Plan : In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs. 
  • First Aid : In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most-such as in the kitchen.

Save the phone number for SERVPRO of The Hill Country in your phone. Give us a call today to get a plan in place.

Source: State Farm 

Tree Limbs Through Windows

8/19/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage – Tree Limbs Through Windows

When trees are not properly trimmed, dead limbs are very susceptible to breaking off during a storm, causing storm damage to our homes or places of business. SERVPRO of The Hill Country has received multiple calls this storm season from homeowners who have suffered storm damage due to a tree limb through their window or roof. When this happens, it is important to safely board the roof or window as quickly as possible after the storms have passed and to call a SERVPRO of The Hill Country remediation crew right away. The longer you wait, the more potential for mold growth. (830) 995-4102. To learn more about how SERVPRO of The Hill Country can help you or your business during and after a storm, click here