Recent Fire Damage Posts

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.

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

Kitchen Fire Smoke Damage

7/30/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke Damage After a Kitchen Fire

Cooking is the number one cause of fires in the home; specifically, fires that originate from the stove.  Even when the fire is caught early and put out, the smoke damage that the fire caused can be devastating to a home and it's furnishings.  The smoke odor gets trapped in the curtains, mattresses, sofas, on the walls, and other places in the home.  SERVPRO of The Hill Country is IICR Certified to clean, deodorize, and sanitize upholstery. In addition, SERVPRO of The Hill Country has a tried and true process of eliminating the strong odor of smoke from the air using deodorizers and ionizing machines. Additionally, we will work with your insurance company.

To learn more about smoke damage remediation, click here.

Please call today to get the process started, (210) 361-3235

HUD Standards Regarding Fire safety in manufactured homes

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

HUD Standards Regarding Fire safety in manufactured homes

Manufactured homes (sometimes called "mobile" homes) are transportable structures that are fixed to a chassis and specifically designed to be towed to a residential site. They are not the same as modular or prefabricated homes, which are factory-built and then towed in sections to be installed at a permanent location.

The federal government regulates the construction of manufactured housing. Since 1976, manufactured homes have been required to comply with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) manufactured housing construction and safety standards, which cover a wide range of safety requirements, including fire safety. Post-1976 manufactured homes bear a label certifying compliance with these standards.

The HUD standard has been enhanced over the years and the HUD "Final Rule" for smoke alarms in manufactured homes is largely based upon NFPA 501. Today, new construction of manufactured housing is required to contain, among other provisions:

  • factory installed hard wired or 10 year battery source, interconnected smoke alarms with battery back-up (including alarms inside or immediately adjacent to all rooms designated as sleeping areas, top of the stairs and on the basement ceiling near the stairs)
  • provisions for special devices for hearing and visually impaired persons.

NFPA's national fire data indicate that manufactured homes built to HUD standards (post-1976 construction) have a much lower risk of death if fire occurs compared to pre-standard manufactured homes. The latest data (2007-2011) also shows that the overall fire death rate per 100,000 housing units is roughly the same for manufactured homes and for other one- or two-family homes.

Despite the federal requirements for factory-installed smoke alarms and the fact that eight out of ten manufactured homes now are and seven out of ten manufactured home fires now involve post-HUD-Standard units (based on 2007-2011 data), 51 percent of fires in manufactured homes were reported as having no smoke alarms present. This suggests a problem with detection devices being removed by occupants.

Source: https://www.nfpa.org

Fire safety in manufactured homes

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Safety tips

To increase fire safety in manufactured homes, NFPA offers the following guidelines:

  • Choose a HUD-certified manufactured home
    If you are in the market to purchase or rent a manufactured home, select a home built after 1976 that bears the HUD label certifying compliance with safety standards.
  • Keep smoke alarms working
    Never remove or disable a smoke alarm. If you experience frequent nuisance alarms, consider relocating the alarm further away from kitchen cooking fumes or bathroom steam. Selecting a photoelectric smoke alarm for the areas nearest kitchens and baths may reduce the number of nuisance alarms experienced. As an alternative, NFPA 501 permits a smoke alarm with a silencing means to be installed if it is within 20 feet of a cooking appliance. Test all smoke alarms at least once a month by pushing the "test" button. It is not necessary to use smoke or a real flame to test the smoke alarm's operability, and it is risky to do so. Replace batteries at least once a year, and when the alarm "chirps," signaling low battery power. Occasionally dust or lightly vacuum smoke alarms.
  • Make sure you have enough smoke alarms
    If your older manufactured home does not have smoke alarms in or near every sleeping room and in or near the family/living area(s), immediately install new alarms and fresh batteries to protect these rooms.  For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Plan your escape
    Know ahead of time how you will get out if you have a fire. Develop an escape plan which includes having an alternate exit out of every room. Make sure you can open and get out of windows and doors. All post-HUD Standard manufactured homes are required to provide windows designed for use as secondary escape routes for the bedroom. Familiarize yourself with their operation and don't block access to them.  Immediately fix any windows that have been painted or nailed shut, doors that are stubborn or "stuck," and locks that are difficult to operate. Security bars or grates over windows or doors should have quick-release devices installed inside, which allow you to open them in an emergency. Hold a fire drill twice a year to rehearse how you will react if the smoke alarm sounds.
  • Electrical
    Hire a licensed electrician if you notice flickering lights, frequent blown circuits, or a "hot" smell when using electricity. Use extension cords for temporary convenience, not as a permanent solution. Avoid overloading electrical receptacles (outlets). Electrical cords should not be run under carpets or rugs, as the wires can be damaged by foot traffic, then overheat and ignite the carpet or rug over them. Ground-fault circuit interrupters reduce the risk of electrical shock and should be installed by electricians in kitchens and baths. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters monitor electric circuits for arcing and should be installed by electricians on bedroom circuits.
  • Cooking
    Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires in U.S. homes. Supervise older children who cook and stay in the kitchen when heating anything on the stove. Keep cooking surfaces clean and place anything that can burn well away from the range. Heat oil slowly and know how to slide a lid over a pan if you experience a grease fire. Read more cooking safety tips.
  • Heating
    Keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn. When purchasing new space heaters, select appliances with automatic shut-off switches. Kerosene heaters are illegal for home use in some jurisdictions. Check with your local fire department before purchasing a kerosene heater. Turn off portable space heaters before falling asleep or when leaving the room. Refill kerosene heaters outdoors, after the heater has cooled down. Supervise children and pets when space heaters are operating. Read more heating safety tips.
  • Walls
    All post-HUD Standard manufactured homes are required to have wall linings that do not promote rapid flame spread, with special protection around primary heating and cooking equipment, such as the furnace and cooking range. Presently, gypsum wallboard has replaced plywood wall paneling and wood based ceiling panels in the fabrication of manufactured housing walls and ceilings. This action has dramatically reduced the impact of fires in manufactured homes. Do not mount anything on the walls – such as paneling, drapery, or wall hangings – that would reduce this protection, especially near major heat sources.
  • Smoking
    If you have smokers in your home, ask them to smoke outside. Wherever people smoke, set out large, non-tip ashtrays on level surfaces and empty them frequently. Thoroughly douse butts with water before discarding. Check around and under cushions for smoldering butts. Read more smoking safety tips. 

Source: https://www.nfpa.org/

Learning About Smoke Alarms

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Learning About Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. 

Here's what you need to know:

  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. 
  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound. 
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.

Source: https://www.nfpa.org/

Dryer Lint Fires

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Dryer Lint Fires

Between 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 15,970 home fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year. These fires resulted in annual losses estimated at 13 deaths, 440 injuries, and $238 million in property damage.

Facts and figures

  • Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of the fires; washing machines 4%, and washer and dryer combinations accounted for 5%.
  • The leading factor contributing to the ignition of home fires involving clothes dryers was failure to clean, accounting for one-third (33%) of dryer fires.
  • A mechanical or electrical failure or malfunction was involved in the vast majority of home fires involving washing machines.
  • Fires involving clothes dryers usually started with the ignition of something that was being dried or was a byproduct (such as lint) of drying, while washing machine fires usually involved the ignition of some part of the appliance.  

Source: Report: NFPA's "Home Fires Involving Clothes Dryers and Washing Machines"
Author: Richard Campbell
Issued: March 2017

Fire Prevention Week is October 7-13, 2018

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Prevention Week is October 7-13, 2018

During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires. See what programs your local fire station offers.

Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere!” That’s the theme for Fire Prevention Week.

LOOK
Look for places fires could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.

LISTEN
Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.

LEARN
Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

Source: https://www.nfpa.org

The Importance of Proper Smoke Remediation after Smoke or Fire Damage to your Home

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

The Importance of Proper Smoke Remediation after Smoke or Fire Damage to your Home

After a fire in a home it's very possible that contaminating smoke has touched every item and area in your home. In smoke, there are residual amounts of chemicals and other bi-products due to burning plastics and other chemical-based items in your home that may have burned in the fire.  Those residual chemicals have been transferred by the smoke and is now left on your walls, furniture, floors, personal items, and other contents in your home.  Even things like your light bulbs in your lamps must be decontaminated or disposed of properly.

It's important to remove and remediate the items in the home that were exposed to the fire and smoke so that they do not further contaminate your home.  The residual amounts of chemicals and other bi-products can irritate: eyes, lungs, skin, and other parts of the body.

SERVPRO® uses special equipment, techniques, and cleaning products to remove the smoke and soot from your home and salvageable contents. SERVPRO® will also remove the odors using our industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment. In most cases, air ducts will need to be cleaned as well along with new HVAC filters installed.

SERVPRO of The Hill Country will help to make it "Like it never even happened."

Candles and House Fires

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Candles and House Fires, According to the National Fire Protection Association.

Candles

From 2007-2011, the NFPA says there were an average of 10,630 fires in the U.S. that were started by candles, causing 115 deaths, 903 injuries and approximately $418 million in property damage. There are more candle fires in December and January; the top three days for fires are: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

About one-third of these fires started in bedrooms, causing 39% of the associated deaths and 45% of the associated injuries. More than half of all candle fires start because of candles that were left too close to flammable items.

Other causes of candle fires include leaving them unattended in a room or someone playing with the candles. Even something as simple as knocking a candle over when someone bumps a table they're sitting on or a pet brushing against one is enough to light a fire.

Source: National Fire Protection Association and http://www.propertycasualty360.com

Cooking is the Number One Cause of House Fires

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Cooking is the Number One Cause of House Fires, According to the National Fire Protection Association

The number one source of house fires is cooking – usually leaving pots or pans unattended on the stove while you run away to do something for “just a minute.” The NFPA says that 40% of all house fires, or an average of 156,600 per year, start this way, causing approximately $853 million in property damage. Two-thirds of the fires started because the food or other materials caught fire.

Fires are more likely to start on a range (57%) as compared to the oven (16%), mainly due to frying. Most injuries occur when the cook tried to put out the fire.

Safety tips:

  • Be alert when cooking and don’t leave food unattended.
  • Don’t throw water on a grease fire, put a lid on the pan to smother the fire.
  • Keep clothing, pot holders, paper towels and other flammable items away from the stove.
  • Have working smoke detectors in the house and keep a fire extinguisher nearby just in case.

Sources: http://www.propertycasualty360.com and National Fire Prevention Association

Home Fires Caused by Dryers and Washing Machines

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Home Fires Caused by Dryers and Washing Machines

 Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage according to the National Fire Protection Association. The most frequent causes of fires in dryers are lint/dust (29%) and clothing (28%). In washers, they are wire or cable insulation (26%), the appliance housing (21%) or the drive belt (15%).

Dryers were involved in 92% of the Washer/Dryer fires; the risk of fire was basically the same for both gas and electric-powered dryers.

Safety tips:

  • Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
  • For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
  • Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
  • Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
  • Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.

Source: National Fire Protection Association and http://www.propertycasualty360.com

The 8 Most Common Causes of House Fires According to the National Fire Protection Association

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

The 8 Most Common Causes of House Fires According to the National Fire Protection Association

The cold weather often means that people are spending more time at home and all of this time indoors increases the risks of house fires. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says there are more than 360,000 home structure fires each year, resulting in about $6-8 billion dollars in damage.

The causes of these fires range from food left unattended on the stove to candles left burning. From the moment a fire starts to the point where the structure is fully engulfed is usually less than two minutes, which is why it is so important for occupants to get out of the home as quickly as possible and not try to put out a large fire themselves.

Here are the eight most common causes of house fires as identified by the National Fire Protection Association.

  1. Cooking
  2. Electrical and Lighting
  3. Lightning Strikes
  4. Smoking
  5. Dryers and Washing Machines
  6. Candles
  7. Children Playing with Fire
  8. Christmas Trees

National Fire Prevention Week

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

National Fire Prevention Week

October 8th - 14th is National Fire Prevention Week.

In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.

That’s why this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” is so important. It reinforces why everyone needs to have an escape plan. Here’s this year’s key campaign messages:

  • Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  • Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  • Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

Source: National Fire Protection Association,  http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/campaigns/fire-prevention-week-2

Talk To Your Kids About Fire Safety

7/26/2017 (Permalink)

A home fire is a devastating event. No one ever thinks that it could happen to them, but it is important that you have a plan, just in case. Get all members of your household, especially any children, involved in discussing what to do if a house fire should ever start. Check all smoke detectors to see that they are in good, working condition. Come up with how to escape your home if it starts on fire and practice it, along with how to feel for fire through closed doors, how to low crawl, how to stop, drop, & roll, and how to call 9-1-1. Familiarize children with the sound of the smoke alarm. It would also be a good time to inform children about the dangers of playing with fire.

Tragically, many house fires are started by children playing with lighters, matches, and other dangerous household items. As a result, the U.S. Fire Administration estimates that every year, $280 million in property is destroyed and 300 people are killed. Look under beds, in closets, and any other “hiding” spot your child may have for evidence that he or she has been playing with fire such as burnt clothing, burnt or melted toys, or charred matchsticks.  

By taking sensible precautions and informing your family about what to do if a fire starts in your Texas Hill Country home, we can help reduce the chances of experiencing a devastating loss.

Rely on SERVPRO of The Hill Country To Properly Clean Your Home After A Fire

5/9/2017 (Permalink)

Our highly-trained team at SERVPRO can clean and restore most of your treasured possessions after they have been affected by fire or smoke damage.

Your home contains most of your valuable possessions.  SERVPRO of The Hill Country in Comfort, Texas understands the trauma that follows when a fire occurs in your home.  When fire damage takes control of your life, we help you take it back. We work quickly to restore your home and belongings back to their original condition.
We provide many fire restoration services including:

  • Contents Services. One of the primary priorities in fire restoration is to complete an accurate inventory to help ensure you can properly account for all of your belongings.  SERVPRO of The Hill Country can provide a detailed room-by-room inventory of contents including digital photographs, suitable for filing insurance claims forms and relieving you of this often stressful and time consuming process.
  • Move Outs. If your home has suffered extensive damage, the cleanup and restoration process may need to be facilitated by relocating your belongings for cleaning, deodorization, and storage while structural repairs are being completed.  A supervised moving crew can carefully pack and move the entire contents of your Hill Country home.
  • Contents Cleaning. All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized.  SERVPRO of The Hill Country begins by carefully inspecting and testing all materials to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate. Our highly-trained staff can provide both wet and dry cleaning.  Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to as near as preloss condition as possible. 
  • Structural Cleaning services including ceiling, wall and flooring cleaning based on pretesting to determine the best method of cleaning.
  • Deodorization. SERVPRO of The Hill Country provides specialized services that rid your home of offensive odors left behind by fire or smoke damage.  

As a leader in fire and water cleanup and restoration, our number one goal is returning damage to its preloss conditions, doing all we can to make it "Like it never even happened."

If your home or business is affected by fire or smoke damage, give us a call at SERVPRO of The Hill Country. We service almost all areas of San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country, including Boerne, Kerrville, Fredericksburg, and Junction.

(830) 995-4102

The Dos and Don'ts After Your Home Is Affected By Fire

5/9/2017 (Permalink)

Leave the fire cleanup to our trained professionals at SERVPRO of The Hill Country

SERVPRO of the Hill Country knows that a fire can be a traumatic event and we are here to help.  If a fire happens to your home or office, here are a few tips to help minimize the damage.

After a fire or smoke damage DO:

  • Limit movement of people in the structure to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until checked by a trained professional.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely, and prop doors open to help prevent odors.
  • Pour RV antifreeze into sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs if heat is off during freezing season.
  • Call SERVPRO of The Hill Country!

 

DON’T:

  • Attempt to wash or clean anything (walls, furniture, carpet, etc) without first contacting the professionals at SERVPRO of The Hill Country. Give us a call at (830) 995-4102. With years of experience, they can determine what the best method of cleaning is.
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to the fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service person.
  • Consume any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. They may be contaminated.
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock.
  • Send garments to the dry cleaner.  Improper cleaning may set in the smoke odor.

 

 

If your home or business was affected by a fire, call SERVPRO of The Hill Country today and our highly-trained professionals will make it “Like it never even happened.”

We service almost all areas of San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country, including Junction, Kerrville, Bandera, and Boerne.

(830) 995-4102

Restoring After A House Fire

4/29/2017 (Permalink)

When a fire occurs in your Hill Country home, it is not only the fire that can leave damage. Smoke and soot can cause damage to your property. Soot and smoke is very invasive. They can penetrate various cavities within your home thus causing hidden damage and odor. At SERVPRO of The Hill Country, we have a team of highly-trained professionals whose smoke damage expertise and experience allows them 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. Because of this, there are also different types of soot residue. Before restoration can begin, SERVPRO of The Hill Country will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred in your home. Based on the information identified during pretesting, the proper cleaning procedures will be executed.

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.  SERVPRO of The Hill Country has the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore any fire and smoke damage that has affected your home.

Need a professional to restore your home after a fire? Call SERVPRO of The Hill Country Today – (830) 995-4102

We service most areas of San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country, including Boerne, Junction, Kerrville, and Fredericksburg.

Summer Fire Safety Tips

4/12/2017 (Permalink)

Summer means it's grilling season. Stay safe by keeping these tips in mind!

Summer is right around the corner, and summer means grilling out and lighting up a fire to sit around once the sun goes down. Here in The Hill Country, we like to keep our homes cool during the hot Texas summers. We also love BBQ, so we move from cooking inside to outside on the grill. While we look forward to this time of year, it is important to keep these fire safety tips in mind.

Grilling:

  • Keep at least a three foot clearance around the entire grill. Keep kids and pets clear of this area too!
  • Move the grill away from the house and fence, and move it out from underneath any overhangs. Do not use the grill under trees or near shrubbery.
  • Regularly clean out the grease traps on your grill to prevent grease fires.
  • Never leave your grill unattended!
  • If using charcoal, make sure the coals have cooled completely before disposing of them in a metal container.
  • Keeping a fire extinguisher or a big box of baking soda in the vicinity is good idea in case a fire does breakout.

Bonfires:

  • When a burn ban is in effect, use a fire pit, preferably with a lid that can cover the fire in case of an emergency.
  • When a burn ban is not in effect, you can burn on the ground where the grass is low and green. Never burn on grass that is long or dry! Take a hose and saturate the area around the fire with water to help prevent it from spreading.
  • Drag a hose over to where you’re burning. If you have a sprayer on your hose, turn the water on and keep it on until you’re through with your fire in case of an emergency.
  • Never have a fire under trees or overhangs, near shrubbery, or close to the house.
  • Keep flammable materials away from fires.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Never have a fire on a windy day!

 

If your Boerne, Kerrville, or Fredericksburg home experiences fire damage and is in need of remediation, call our team in green at SERVPRO of The Hill Country! We are here to help when you need us the most!

(830) 995-4102

Smoke Damage: The Lingering Hazard After A Fire

1/25/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke can linger in your home after a fire and can damage your belongings.

After a fire, smoke lingers in your home and can further damage your belongings. The problem is that many Hill Country homeowners are unprepared for a house fire because they don’t think it could ever happen to them; they believe that they are being cautious and avoiding all possible risks of a fire happening in their home. In reality, house fires of all sizes are very common, even if you’re being extra careful. Even if a fire that occurs in your home is just a minor one and does not cause a lot of fire damage, it can still cause smoke damage. Smoke damage is very difficult to remove from your home and belongings and can be dangerous to live around.


Smoke Damage that is a direct result of fire damage should be cleaned by professionals. Our specially trained experts at SERVPRO of The Hill Country know how to get rid of smoke damage that might be present in the home after it has been ravished by flames. We start by evaluating the overall extent of the fire and smoke damage that is present in the home before arriving at the best plan of action for your situation.


There are quite a few reasons why you should have remediation done as soon as possible and why you should leave it to our SERVPRO professionals to handle the smoke damage. The smoke that you find after a house fire contains ash and soot. The smoke may also contain tar and carbons that came off of the flames. Carbon monoxide is often present after fire damage has occurred. This gas is extremely dangerous, as it is invisible, odorless, and cannot be tasted. You may not even be aware that you are surrounded by it until you start exhibiting symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning or until it is properly tested. It is standard practice for us to test the carbon monoxide levels in your home after a fire.


Smoke can damage your belongings, walls, furniture, etc by turning them gray or black. Smoke can also leave an odor on your belongings and in your home. Many items will need to be properly cleaned by our SERVPRO team and depending on the size of the fire and the extent of the damage, items may need to be completely removed in order to rid your home of the smoke damage. The team remediating your home will tell you what is and is not salvageable.


Fires are incredibly common, and a substantial amount of smoke damage can ensue from even the smallest of fires. Smoke damage can even happen in your home if a fireplace is not well-vented. You don’t always need to have had a house fire to have smoke damage. If you are in need of a qualified, professional team to help get your home back to “Like it never even happened”, don’t hesitate to give SERVPRO of The Hill Country a call – (830) 995-4102

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

10/30/2016 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half. 

The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house.  Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan.  A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance.  

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement
  • Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms.  Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year.  We like to recommend doing this to coincide with the changing of the clocks.  If an alarm "chirps," the battery is low and should be replaced right away.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

SMOKE ALARM FACTS

  • Three out of five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or when the alarms are not working.
  • Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.
  • More than one-third (37 percent) of home fire deaths results from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
  • The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

Hill Country Smoke and Soot Cleanup

8/15/2016 (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 The Hill Country 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 – 830-995-4102

SERVPRO of The Hill Country is to here to help with all of your emergency fire restoration needs

5/10/2016 (Permalink)

Our number one goal is returning damaged areas and items to pre-loss condition, doing all we can to make it “Like it never even happened.” Every SERVPRO® of The Hill Country Professional is dedicated to restoring both the property and the lives of the customers being helped. Like it was never dirty, like it never overflowed, like it never caught fire, like it never spilled, like it never smoldered–whatever the case, with SERVPRO® our goal is to make it “Like it never even happened.”

What is the SERVPRO difference?

Serving America Since 1967

SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals have been helping home and business owners recover from water damages across the United States.

 Over 1,500 Franchises Nationwide

More locations means faster response. A SERVPRO® Franchise Professional can usually be on-site within four hours to help protect the structure, business and personal property.

 SERVPRO® National Call Center Served Over 300 Insurance and Property Management

Companies and Their Clients Nationwide in the Last Year Alone.

We have earned the trust of the insurance industry by serving thousands of their policy holders and clients with respect and integrity. The more we restore the less that needs to be replaced. This helps our clients save millions of dollars each year. That helps lower your insurance rates too!

 24-Hour Emergency Service

In our business, you need us fast! The sooner we arrive, the better the chance we can reduce damage and save money. Franchise Professionals are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

 Trained, Uniformed Franchise Professionals

A trained, uniformed and equipped SERVPRO® of The Hill Country Professional will walk you through the job process and then work quickly to restore your property to pre-loss condition whenever possible.

 References

From large commercial environments to small residential losses, SERVPRO® of The Hill Country Professionals understand your loss is the job that matters most! We will be happy to provide references so you can feel confident that SERVPRO® is the best system to service your needs.

You Can Trust SERVPRO® of The Hill Country!

SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals Put Property Owners Back in Control.  Call us at (830) 995-4102 today for all of your water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, bio-hazard restoration needs.

SERVPRO of The Hill Country Smoke Alarm Information

5/4/2016 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.*

The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house.  Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan.  A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance.  For more on emergency preparedness, contact SERVPRO of The Hill Country:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms.  Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year.  If an alarm "chirp," the battery is low and should be replaced right away.  We recommend changing the batteries when daylight savings time begins and when daylight savings time ends.
  • All smoke alarms should be replaced when they are 10 years old.
  • An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires, and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, both types of alarms or a combination alarm (photoelectric and ionization) should be installed in homes.
  • Smoke rises; install smoke alarms following manufacturer's instructions high on a wall or on a ceiling. Save manufacturer's instructions for testing and maintenance.
  • Alarms that are hard-wired (and include battery backup) must be installed by a qualified electrician.



*Tips and statistics provided by the National Fire Protection Association

SERVPRO Fire and Smoke Damage Tips for citizens in the Hill Country

4/11/2016 (Permalink)

If fire damage occurs to your Hill Country residence call the experts at SERVPRO of The Hill Country

SERVPRO of the Hill Country knows that a fire can be a traumatic event and we are here to help.  If a fire happens to your home or office here are a few tips to help minimize the damage.

After a fire or smoke damage DO:

·         Limit movement of people in the structure to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets

·         Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.

·         Place dry, colorfast towels on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.

·         If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely, and prop doors open to help prevent odors.

·         Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances. Then protect with a light coating of lubricant.

·         Pour RV antifreeze into sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs if heat is off during freezing season.

·         Gently wash both sides of leaves on indoor plants.

·         Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until checked by a trained professional.

·         Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON’T:

·         Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of The Hill Country professionals at (830) 995-4102.

·         Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting with SERVPRO of The Hill Country.

·         Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to the fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service person.

·         Consume any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. They may be contaminated.

·         Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock.

·         Send garments to the dry cleaner.  Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Hill Country Residents: SERVPRO of The Hill Country understands the trauma of home fire damage

4/1/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of The Hill Country is here to help with your fire damage restoration needs

Your home contains many of your most valuable possessions.  SERVPRO of The Hill Country in Comfort, TX understands the trauma that follows a home fire.  When fire damage takes control of your life, we help you take it back. 
We provide many fire restoration services including:

  • Contents Services: one of the primary priorities in fire restoration is to complete an accurate inventory to help ensure you can properly account for all of your belongings.  SERVPRO of The Hill Country can provide a detailed room-by-room inventory of contents including digital photographs, suitable for filing insurance claims forms and relieving you of this often stressful and time consuming process.
  • Move Outs- if your home has suffered extensive damage, the cleanup and restoration process may need to be facilitated by relocating the contents for cleaning, deodorization, and storage while structural repairs are being completed.  A supervised moving crew can carefully pack and move the entire contents of your home.
  • Contents Cleaning- all of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized.  SERVPRO of The Hill Country begins by carefully inspecting and testing all materials to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate.  SERVPRO of The Hill Country can provide wet or dry cleaning.  Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to as near as pre-loss condition as possible. 
  • Structural Cleaning services including ceiling, wall and flooring cleaning based on pretesting to determine the best method of cleaning
  • Deodorization: SERVPRO of The Hill Country provides specialized services that rid your home of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage.  
  • As a leader in fire and water cleanup and restoration, our number one goal is returning damage to its pre-loss conditions, doing all we can to make it "Like it never even happened."