Archived Fire Damage Blog Posts
Tips for Making a Claim After a Fire
The insurance company is one of the first calls you make when a fire has destroyed your home.
After A Fire, Here Are Some Pointers On How To File A Claim
When a fire damages your home in Tenino,WA you may not be in the right frame of mind for making good decisions. The decisions you make regarding your fire insurance claim, however, can affect how much of the fire restoration is covered by your insurer. Here are three tips to help you think through the process rationally and hopefully get the settlement you need to restore your home.
1. Call Insurance Company
One of the first calls you make after a fire has ravaged your home is to the insurance company. Timely reporting is essential to getting your claim processed and approved. As soon as the company receives your call, an assessor can be sent to review the damage and substantiate your claim.
2. Call Professional Restorers
After a fire, your home is likely permeated with the odor of smoke and soot damage. Firefighters probably had to use a lot of water to put out the fire, resulting in water damage as well. Certified fire restoration specialists offer both smoke cleaning and water damage remediation to fix the problems in your home. They often offer board-up services to secure the house during the restoration process, and they can give you an estimate on what the repairs are going to cost, which can back up your claim with the insurance company.
3. Don't Touch Anything
Once you have made the necessary calls and the waiting begins, you may be tempted to start cleaning up the damage yourself. Fight the urge to do so. The insurance agent that comes to assess the damage needs to see it as it is, and without the knowledge and skills of the specialists, you may cause more damage. While you wait, it is a good idea to take pictures of the damage as long as it is safe to do so.
You may feel powerless when your home suffers fire damage. By calling the appropriate professionals and waiting on their guidance, however, you can speed up the fire restoration process.
Putting Out a Grease Fire
Kitchen fire in Yelm, WAa
How To Put Out a Grease Fire
Regardless if you are a novice chef or have mastered the art of cooking, the potential for a grease fire in your Yelm, WA, exists. If done correctly, they are often easy to extinguish. Once it has spread outside the pan, it’s best to leave the hazard to firefighters and the fire cleanup to professional fire and smoke damage experts.
Putting the Fire Out
If flames appear while cooking, below are steps to take to safely extinguish the fire.
Place a metal lid or baking sheet over the pan. Do not remove it until it is cool.
Ensure the heat source is turned off.
Baking soda or salt can be used to smother the fire. Never use water, other cooking powders, or towels. They can make the fire spread.
Use a Class B fire extinguisher, which is designed for flammable liquids. Other types of extinguishers may have water or other ingredients that may make the fire spread.
If the flames start to spread, get out of the home and call 911. Wait until you receive an affirmative from the firefighters before re-entering the home.
Tips to Avoid a Fire
While knowing how to put out a grease fire is important, avoiding one altogether is always preferred. Below are a few tips to consider to ensure safe cooking.
When frying, boiling or broiling, always stay in the kitchen.
Ensure the area around the stovetop is clear of potentially flammable objects.
Slowly heat oil and gently add food to minimize splatter.
Maintain a proper temperature when cooking with grease. Smoke or an odd smell means it is too hot.
Keep a lid or baking sheet accessible.
Ensure children stay away from the cooking area.
While a grease fire can be scary, quick action and using the right techniques can squash the flames. Remember to always keep safety in mind and don’t try to be a hero if the flames spread.
4 Ways to Ensure Fire Preparedness in the Home
Install smoke detectors in your home to help prevent fires.
Four Things You Can Do To Protect Your Home and Family
Too often, people need to rely on the work of a fire restoration company in Olympia, WA because they fail to take the necessary precautions in their home. Fire preparation should not be optional. Sure, no one expects to have a fire, but there are at least four inexpensive things you can do to protect your home and family.
- Install smoke detectors and extinguishers
- Prepare emergency escape routes
- Practice regularly
- Prepare emergency contacts
Install Smoke Detectors and Extinguishers
The first thing you should do to protect yourself and your family from a possible home fire is to install smoke detectors and extinguishers. Make sure that you install enough of each. You should have at least one extinguisher on each floor and in high-risk areas. Smoke detectors should also be in high-risk spaces and in bedrooms as well as every level of the home.
Prepare Emergency Escape Routes
The next objective for fire preparation is to prepare emergency escape routes. You should have a minimum of two exits from every room in your house. Also, make sure that paths are clear of any clutter, ensuring a safe exit. Remember, during a fire, there will be low visibility.
While planning escape routes is a significant first step toward fire safety, those routes mean nothing without adequate practice. Make sure that everyone in the family practices at least twice per year. However, more often is likely better.
Prepare Emergency Contacts
Last, make sure that you have a list of emergency contacts prepared for every family member. Always make sure that everyone knows how to call 911 and report an emergency. It may sound obvious, but many people freeze during high-stress situations, which can delay emergency responders.
Don't let the aftermath of a house fire be the first time your family talks about fire preparation. Install the appropriate safety equipment and prepare for possible disasters. Contact a fire mitigation company if you have any questions about fire safety.
How To Prevent a Clothes Dryer Fire
Clean your lint with a flexible dryer lint brush
Cleaning your clothes dryer often can prevent a lint fire at your home in Tenino, WA. The potential for a dryer fire decreases if you follow these steps.
Gather The Appropriate tools and Supplies
Among the tools and supplies you will need to clean your clothes dryer, include:
- A vacuum with a long hose
- A flexible dryer lint brush
- A power drill
- A microfiber cloth
- White vinegar and soap
You can also invest in a dryer cleaning kit that comes with everything you need or schedule a maintenance visit with an appliance cleaning service.
Clean Your Dryer's Lint Screen
Always peel off the dust film on your dryer's removable lint screen between loads. You can also wash the screen with soap and water to remove trapped dust. Remember also to check the lint screen compartment. Dust particles can cling to the sides or deep within this narrow chamber, but a vacuum can help you remove them and prevent them from overheating and causing a lint fire.
Clean The Drum
Wipe down your dryer's drum with a solution of white vinegar and water to sanitize it and remove particles that cling to it. Pay careful attention to the vent through which hot air leaves the drum. It can become clogged, causing the drum to overheat, increasing the risk for a dryer fire.
Clean The Exhaust Hose
The exhaust hose carries hot, moist air out of the dryer's drum through a vent and deposits it outside your home. Lint can accumulate in the vent's openings or clog the hose, where it remains in prolonged contact with hot air before igniting to cause a fire. Unscrewing the dryer's back panel will allow you to access and clean the vent and reach deep into the exhaust hose with a vacuum attachment to remove excess lint and let the hot air escape.
A professional fire restoration service can handle the cleanup and recovery if a lint fire damages your home in Tenino, WA.
3 Safer Alternatives to Traditional Candles
The aftermath of a shed fire.
Candles have long been home-decor staples in Olympia, WA. They give off a warm, inviting glow and many also fill your home with fragrance. Unfortunately, these long-time favorites are also notoriously dangerous. A candle fire can be devastating to your home, and fire restoration experts urge homeowners to switch to safer candle alternatives. Fortunately, there are many options available.
1. Flameless Candles
These battery-operated candle look-alikes mimic the soft, flickering glow of candlelight almost perfectly. They are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Since there is no actual flame or heat, these “candles” are safe to use anywhere inside or outside your home. They work in settings that would be impossible for a traditional candle, such as in an enclosed container. There are no wax drips, making them a great option for the dinner table.
2. Essential Oil Diffusers
Battery-powered candles do a great job of providing safe candlelight, but most are unscented. If the fragrance is what you’re after, try an essential oil diffuser. These candle alternatives use ultrasonic mist to fill your home with the scent of your choice. Just add a little water and a few drops of essential oils. Try mixing a drop or two of different oils to create a custom blend. Unlike scented candles, you can control the strength of the scent, and the diffuser won’t cause allergy flare-ups the way smoke can.
3. Wax Warmers
If you want that traditional candle glow and all the benefits of a scented candle, you may enjoy a wax warmer. There are countless options available, including designs that look like lamps, luminaries, or lanterns and use either steady or flickering light. Some wax warmers use special wax disks or beads; others are made to work with traditional jar candles, so you can still enjoy your favorite scent without risking a candle fire.
No home decor is worth starting a home fire. With so many candle alternatives on the market today, there’s really no reason to take a chance with traditional candles.
Why You Need To Hire a Pro for Fire Damage Restoration
Commercial fire in Olympia, WA
Accidents happen and if your commercial property ever experiences a fire, it’s important to completely clean up any damage as soon as possible. The tenants of your property in Olympia, WA, need their units returned to pre-fire conditions quickly to minimize the interruption to their lives. While it may seem like a good idea to save money with a DIY approach, you need to hire professionals who are experienced when it comes to fire restoration and content cleaning. They will be most knowledgeable about repairing fire, smoke or water damage, and best equipped for dry-cleaning and major reconstruction.
Understanding the Professional Touch
A professional fire restoration company can save you money in the long run, as these experts understand the best way to repair your contents as opposed to replacing them whenever possible. They bring an expert eye when it comes to examining items that can be repaired. Moreover, the pros can leverage their knowledge of various cleaning processes to effectively restore your property:
Dry-cleaning: Used for removal of light dirt or a pretreatment for wet cleaned items
Wet cleaning: Recommended for medium to heavy levels of dirt and residue
Spraying and wiping: Used for objects that can’t be wet cleaned
Foam cleaning: Used to clean upholstery fabrics that may be ruined by a wet clean
Abrasion cleaning: Employed for surfaces that can withstand agitation
Immersion cleaning: Recommended for items best cleaned by dipping
Cleaning of certain objects, such as electronic items, documents and other surfaces that require dry-cleaning, are best left to the experts.
Exploring Other Advantages With a Pro
In situations where fire damage is more extensive, a professional fire restoration provider can assist with temporary content storage and move out of items to help expedite any remodeling or reconstruction efforts. This also helps control any further damage to your property and its contents. Restorers can help you take inventory of affected items and also assist with move-in. There’s a lot more to the restoration process than cleanup, and the right company can address all aspects of the job.
How a Fire Can Lead To Water Damage in Your Home
House fire in Olympia, WA
Fire and Water Damage
If your Olympia, WA, home has suffered from fire damage, then during the cleanup process you may want to look for areas of water damage as well. This may seem odd as fire and water are two very different things, however, there are a number of ways a fire can create conditions that lead to flooding in your home. Here’s what you should know.
1. Weakened Pipes
In some cases water damage can occur after the heat from the fire has weakened joints or other sensitive areas of the home’s plumbing system. These areas can then form crack, shake loose, or develop other problems which may lead to a pipe leak and home flooding. Fortunately, a local restoration service has professionals trained to deal with a variety of damage types that could occur after a fire.
2. Structural Damage
In some cases, fire damage can leave parts of the home’s structure weakened. This can lead to cracks or holes in the building which can then allow for weather such as rain or snow to get in causing further damage. A restoration team will usually look for these areas and tarp or board them over for added protection until the required repairs can be made.
3. Fire Suppression Efforts
Suppression efforts such as water from a fire hose can also leave damage in the home. This is because in many cases the water used to put out the fire can pool in a single location and begin to soak in if not quickly removed. A restoration service can use pumps to get rid of this water before it can cause any further problems.
When restoring fire damage in your home it’s also important to look for any water caused damage as well. Flooding can occur after a fire from heated pipes that can develop a leak, structural damage letting in rain, and even fire suppression efforts. Remember, after a fire, a restoration service can help will repairs from any damage that the residence may have sustained.
Some Clever Ideas for Fire Preparation
Fire extinguishers on site
A fire can strike anytime in Lacey, WA. Therefore, it stands to reason that fire preparation should be an integral part of your company's business plan. A few clever moves now could save your company a lot of time, trouble and money later. You might even be able to avert a business fire altogether. The basics of preparation include three items: fire extinguishers on site, fire alarms in working condition and a fire sprinkler system. These elements are just the beginning. Other essential steps include taking advice from local fire departments and partnering with a local fire remediation team to help with recovery after a fire.
Additional Mitigation Actions
Strong disaster preparation includes looking at your insurance coverage to make sure it is adequate for your needs. It can be smart to insure to replacement cost and to add a business interruption policy. The following fire preparation actions are also worth considering:
- Inventory all essential equipment
- Store vital records in a separate location
- Educate employees about disaster recovery
- Complete a company risk analysis
- Develop an emergency plan and practice it
- Maintain a list of suppliers and vendors
All of these actions can help a company recover quickly from widespread fire damage. Even reducing your recovery time by a couple of days could save the company thousands of dollars in lost income.
Solid fire preparation is an ongoing process. Fire extinguishers need to be checked on a regular basis and fire alarms need to be inspected and tested at least once a year. Employee training should be conducted as often as is practicable. Key personnel should know how to operate a fire extinguisher. All employees should know where to evacuate to in the case of a fire. Employees should also be informed not to use an elevator in an active fire and to avoid entering rooms that have hot door handles. Smart preparation can save lives and property.