Recent Fire Damage Posts

8 Things to do after a Fire in your Catonsville Home

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

8 Things to do after a Fire in your Catonsville  home. 

The following checklist serves as a quick reference and guide for you to follow after a fire strikes.

  1. Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Be watchful of any structural damage caused by the fire
  2. The fire department should see that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site.  DO NOT attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.
  3. Contact your local disaster relief service, such as The Red Cross, if you need temporary housing, food and medicines.
  1. If you are insured, contact your insurance company for detailed instructions on protecting the property, conducting inventory and contacting fire damage restoration companies. SERVPRO of Catonsville is approved by all insurance companies. 
  2. Conduct an inventory of damaged property and items. Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made. SERVPRO of Catonsville crews are trained to properly document, clean and store damaged items. Nothing will be disposed of without your knowledge or permission and we do our best to salvage your precious items.
  3. Try to locate valuable documents and records-deed to home, car, bank information, birth certificates, etc. 
  4. Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to fire loss. The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and for verifying losses claimed on income tax
  5. notify your mortgage company of the fire.

If you've experienced a home fire, and aren't sure what to do, please call SERVPRO of Catonsville, or your insurance agent. 

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 – 410-242-7370

4 Things to know about Home Fires in Catonsville

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Timing is everything, in just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.

Learn About Fires

  • Fire is FAST! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a serious fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames - impairing vision and breathing.
  • Fire is HOT! Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs and melt clothes to your skin. Always crawl on the floor!
  • Fire is DARK! Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness.
  • Fire is Scary! Smoke is DEADLY! Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire produces poisonous gases that  disorient you. asphyxiation (suffocation) is the leading cause of death from home related fires.

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services for Catonsville

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 – 410-242-7370

Tips for Using a Fire Extinguisher

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

As a homeowner or business owner you need to be prepared for emergencies. If you've ever had a  fire and had to call in professionals to restore your home or business, you understand the importance of having a fire extinguisher on hand. Following the steps below can ensure that you're using it correctly.

1. Assess the Situation

First, understand what you're dealing with. If the blaze is already too big, the best idea may be to call the fire department and get yourself and anyone else in the house to safety. If you can safely douse it with a fire extinguisher, you need to next make sure that you have right type for whatever material is burning.

2. Use the Right Extinguisher for the Fire

Experts classify extinguishers based on the type of fire they can combat. These include:

  • Type A: for fires involving plastics, wood, textiles and paper
  • Type B: used on fires involving solvents, gasoline, oils, paints and other flammable liquids
  • Type C: for electrical fires, including plugged-in equipment like computers or appliances
  • Type D: for fires involving combustible powders or metals
  • Type E: commonly used for a kitchen fire involving fats or cooking oils

These letter classifications are always found on the sides of the extinguishers, many of which are rated for putting out fires of more than one type.

3. Remember: "PASS"

The PASS method is an easy way to remember how to use most fire extinguishers. Each letter in "PASS" stands for the first word of an operational step. The "P" tells you to pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher; it needs to be removed before operation. The "A" tells you to aim the nozzle. The nozzle should not be aimed at the top of the flames, but at the bottom, where the combustion is taking place. The first "S" tells you to squeeze the handle to start the flow, and the second one reminds you to sweep from side to side while spraying.

By acting quickly and following the instructions above, you can safely prevent fire damage before it has a chance.

Heating Fire Statistics You Should Know In Catonsville

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

Heating fire statistics for the United States

Heating appliance related fires are the leading cause in fire related deaths and causes of home fires. Some people are very aware of the dangers of home heating appliances and take great care to make sure they are watched after properly – other people think it will never happen to them. Hopefully these statistics will help reinforce the idea of protecting your home against home heating appliance fires.

  • Heating fires are the second leading cause of home fires.**
  • Fixed and portable space heaters, including wood stoves, are involved in 74 percent of fire-related deaths.**
  • Nearly half of American families use alternative heating sources such as space heaters, fireplaces, or wood/coal stoves to stay warm.*
  • Each year over 200 people die from carbon monoxide produced by fuel burning appliances in the home including furnaces, ranges, water heaters and room heaters.***
  • The number of home fires the American Red Cross has responded to has risen 10% since 2000.*
  • Only 26 percent of families have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.*
  • Eighty percent of Americans don’t realize that home fires are the single most common disaster across the nation.*
  • Having a working smoke alarm reduces one’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.**

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 at 410-242-7370

http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/home-fire-preparedness

About SERVPRO of Catonsville

SERVPRO of Catonsville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Candle Fire Safety

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

From 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 9,300 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 86 deaths, 827 injuries and $374 million in direct property damage. 

Facts and figures

During the five-year period of 2009-2013:

  • Candles caused 3% of reported home fires, 3% of home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries, and 5% of the direct property damage in home fires.
  • Roughly one-third (36%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 32% of the associated deaths and 47% of the associated injuries.
  • Falling asleep was a factor in 11% percent of the home candle fires and 30% of the associated deaths.
  • On average, 25 home candle fires were reported per day. 
  • More than half (58%) of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.
  • December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 11% of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.

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 at 410-242-7370

Safety While Heating Your Home

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

 Heating Your Home

Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.

  • Supervise children when a fireplace, fire pit, or other space heater is being used. Use a sturdy, metal screen to prevent contact burns, which are even more common than flame burns.
  • All heaters need space. Keep things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
  • Use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Never use your oven for heating.
  • Install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment, according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Have a qualified professional install the equipment.
    • Make sure all fuel-burning vented equipment is vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. CO is created when fuels burn incompletely. CO poisoning can cause illness and even death. Make sure the venting for exhaust is kept clear and unobstructed. This includes removal of snow and ice around the outlet to the outside.
  • Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms to avoid risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.

Portable electric space heaters

  • Turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
  • Use and purchase portable space heaters with an automatic shut off so if they’re tipped over they will shut off.
  • Place space heater on solid, flat surface.
  • Plug power cords directly into outlets and never into an extension cord.
  • Inspect for cracked or damaged, broken plugs or loose connections. Replace before using.

Fuel burning space heaters

  • Always use the proper fuel as specified by the manufacturer.
  • When refueling, allow the appliance to cool and refuel outside or in a well-ventilated area.
  • When using the heater, open a window to ensure proper ventilation.
  • In portable kerosene or other liquid-fueled space heaters, always use the proper grade of the proper fuel.
  • All new unvented gas-fired space heaters have an oxygen depletion sensor that detects a reduced level of oxygen in the area where the heater is operating and shuts off the heater before a hazardous level of carbon monoxide accumulates. If you have an older heater without this feature, replace it.
  • If the pilot light of your gas heater goes out, allow 5 minutes or more for the gas to go away before trying again, do not allow gas to accumulate, and light the match before you turn on the gas to the pilot to avoid risk of flashback.
  • If you smell gas in your gas heater, do not attempt to light the appliance. Turn off all the controls and open doors and window. Call a gas service person.

Wood burning stoves

  • Install the stove, chimney connectors and chimneys following manufacturer’s instructions or have a professional do the installation.
  • Wood stoves should bear the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • In wood stoves, burn only dry, seasoned wood. In pellet stoves, burn only dry, seasoned wood pellets.
  • Start the fire with newspaper or kindling, never with a flammable liquid, such as lighter fluid, kerosene or gasoline.
  • Keep the doors of your wood stove closed unless loading or stoking the live fire.
  • Allow ashes to cool before disposing. Dispose of ashes in a tightly covered metal container and keep the ash container at least 10 feet away from the home and any other nearby buildings. Douse and saturate with water.
  • Chimneys and vents need to be cleaned and inspected at least once a year.

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 at 410-242-737

Prevent Home Fires

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

Prevent Home Fires

Home fires are preventable! The following are simple steps that each of us can take to prevent a tragedy.

Cooking

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.
  • Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

Smoking

  • Smoke outside and completely stub out butts in an ashtray or a can filled with sand.
  • Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used, even if it is turned off. Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and faster.
  • Be alert - don’t smoke in bed! If you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy, put your cigarette out first.

Electrical and Appliance Safety

  • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

Portable Space Heaters

  • Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from portable heating devices.
  • Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Check to make the portable heater has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over.
  • Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene in kerosene heaters. Never overfill it. Use the heater in a well-ventilated room.

Fireplaces and Woodstoves

  • Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions.
  • Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.

Children

  • Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
  • Store matches and lighters out of children's reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time.

More Prevention Tips

  • Never use stove range or oven to heat your home.
  • Keep combustible and flammable liquids away from heat sources.
  • Portable generators should NEVER be used indoors and should only be refueled outdoors or in well ventilated areas.

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 at 410-242-7370

Safety Tips For Deep Frying Turkeys

11/8/2017 (Permalink)

When it comes to deep frying turkey, you want to take every precaution to keep your family and your home safe. For the best suggestions, we went to an expert – a fire chief

Fried turkeys are delicious, but they come with a slew of safety issues. Thousands of fires as well as many deaths and injuries happen each year due to turkey fryer fires. Before you set up your turkey fryer this Thanksgiving, remember these safety tips.

  1. Stay Away from The House – Set up the turkey fryer more than 10 feet away from your home and keep children and pets away. Never leave it unattended.

  2. Find Flat Ground – The oil must be even and steady at all times to ensure safety. Place the fryer on a flat, level surface and carefully gauge the amount of oil needed.

  3. Use a Thawed and Dry Turkey – Make sure your Thanksgiving turkey is completely thawed and dry. Extra water will cause the oil to bubble furiously and spill over. If oil spills from the fryer onto the burner, it can cause a fire.

  4. Monitor the Temp – Use caution when touching the turkey fryer. The lid and handle can become very hot and could cause burns. Also be sure to keep track of the oil’s temperature as many fryers do not have their own thermostats.

  5. Be Prepared – Have a fire extinguisher (multipurpose, dry-powder) ready at all times in the event that the oil ignites.

Thanksgiving Safety

11/2/2017 (Permalink)

Thanksgiving safety

For most, the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays. From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations.

So keeping fire safety top of mind in the kitchen during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there’s a lot of activity and people at home. As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large family feast, remember, by following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safer from fire.

Thanksgiving by the numbers
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
  • In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
  • Cooking equipment was involved in almost half (48%) of all reported home fires and civilian and tied with heating equipment for the second leading cause of home fire deaths.
Safety tips
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

SERVPRO of Catonsville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.