Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire: Prevent House Fires: Do's and Don'ts of Grilling this Fall

9/24/2021 (Permalink)

Man grilling at home in Charlotte NC Safe grilling can prevent home fires.

Homeowners in the Charlotte NC area love to grill, but there are many dangers that come with all the outdoor fun.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments went to an annual average of 8,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year.

Here are a few ways to stay safe and prevent house fires while grilling:

Do -

1. Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house. Farther is even better. This includes portions attached to your house like carports, garages and porches. Grills should not be used underneath wooden overhangs either, as the fire could flare up into the structure above. This applies to both charcoal and gas grills.

2. Clean your grill regularly. If you allow grease and fat to build up on your grill, they provide more fuel for a fire. Grease is a major source of flare ups.

3. Check for gas leaks. You can make sure no gas is leaking from your gas grill by making a solution of half liquid dish soap and half water and rubbing it on the hoses and connections. Then, turn the gas on (with the grill lid open.) If the soap forms large bubbles, that's a sign that the hoses have tiny holes or that the connections are not tight enough.

4. Keep decorations away from your grill. Decorations like hanging baskets, pillows and umbrellas look pretty AND provide fuel for a fire. To make matters worse, today's decor is mostly made of artificial fibers that burn fast and hot, making this tip even more important.

5. Keep a spray bottle of water handy. That way, if you have a minor flare-up you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it. The bonus of this tip is that water won't harm your food, so dinner won't be ruined!

6. Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill. And KNOW HOW TO USE IT. If you are unsure how to use the extinguisher, don't waste time fiddling with it before calling 911. Firefighters say many fire deaths occur when people try to fight a fire themselves instead of calling for expert help and letting the fire department do its job.

Don't -

7. Turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. NEVER do this. It causes gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it and open it, a fireball can explode in your face. 

8. Leave a grill unattended. Fires double in size every minute. Plan ahead so that all of your other food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling.

9. Overload your grill with food. This applies especially fatty meats. The basic reason for this tip is that if too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up that could light nearby things on fire.

10. Use a grill indoors. People often think it will be safe to use a grill, especially a small one, indoors. NOT TRUE. In addition to the fire hazard, grills release carbon monoxide, the deadly colorless, odorless gas. That gas needs to vent in fresh air or it can kill you, your family and pets.

In case the you experience a house fire, call your local fire department immediately. Be sure to contact a licensed fire damage restoration company to cleanup and repair any damage to your home occurs.

Top Causes of Fall Season Fires in Charlotte

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

Woman checking Fire Extinguisher in Home Simple steps can help prevent fires.

Cooler weather is prime opportunity for fun and sun, but there are a few ways homeowners in Charlotte, NC can stay safe and prevent house fires.

Here are a few of the most common causes of Fires in North Carolina:

Grill Fires

In the autumn months, many people grill outdoors for various holidays and barbecue dinners. In fact, 5,700 home grill-related fires occur each year.  Grill fires happen when someone mishandles the igniting of the grill with a spark, ember, or flame. Fire hazards derive from cooking with things like coals, charcoals, or ashes. Often times there are mechanical issues with the grill like broken containers or broken pipes that can also increase the risk of fire.

Take preventative measures by checking your grill’s condition before the grilling season begins. Clean the grill, the drip pan, and anything that could have grease on it from previous barbecue dinners. Inspect each part of your barbecue to make sure everything is attached properly. Additionally, be sure you are in a grill-friendly environment free of branches, roofs or any sort of overhang when igniting the grill. Be prepared for a fire, as grease and fat are likely to catch on fire. Keep baking soda near the grill in case a grease fire breaks out.

HVAC - Air Conditioning Fires

About 2,300 residential air conditioners start fires each year. These fires are usually the result of inadequate wiring while having to deal with heavy electric loads, short circuits, or other electrical malfunctions. 

Although temperatures are cooler, your AC System has been running hard all summer long and potential issues may have been ignored while you were having summer fun. Fires are most likely to occur when it’s hottest outside—between 2 and 8 p.m, but it can happen anytime. 

Inspect your air conditioner’s wiring systems each year to prevent these types of fires. Also, find ways to use the AC less during the day. Not only will you save money, you can save your home from a potential fire. Using fans, keeping windows open during the night, and closing blinds during the day are just some ways you can keep your house cool without AC.

Arson Fires

Arson fires are the third-leading cause of fire injuries and fatalities. These fires can easily occur when the weather is dry.. It is important to properly store any flammable substances, propane tanks and even unused fireworks so they aren’t at risk of  misuse.

Smoking Fires

Smoking fires are common throughout the year. These fires start by improperly putting out cigarettes and cigars.  If you’re outside enjoying activities like camping, be careful when smoking. Keep used cigarettes off the ground, and make sure they are properly extinguished before throwing them away as nearby grass and brush can easily catch fire.

Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers

Fall is a time to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Be aware of the risk of fires and prepare by having functioning fire extinguishers and checking the batteries in your smoke detectors.

We're Here to Help after a Fire

We're here for all of your fire damage restoration and repair needs.

If you find yourself faced with a fire emergency this summer, don’t hesitate to call us.

SERVPRO of NW Charlotte, Lincoln County, Southern and NE Gaston County can respond quickly to a fire emergency at your home or property. Our highly trained technicians have the tools and expertise to get it done accurately and efficiently. 

Commercial Fire Loss? Here’s What to do Next

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

Firefighters fighting commercial building fire in Charlotte NC What to do after Commercial Fire loss.

Here are important steps to take after a commercial fire loss:

1.) Protect your Property

Do anything you can to protect your property and what is left: Whether it's boarding up your property, putting up emergency fencing, or shutting off water mains -  it's up to you to prevent further damage to the property after the fire. If you neglect to do this, your insurance policy might not pay for the additional damages.

Call a professional loss consultant who can explain to you what steps you need to take under your current insurance policy plan.

2.) Talk to professionals & experts

When experiencing a fire loss, your first response might be to take a break for a few days and process everything the events that just occurred. This is when you  have to go against your instincts and talk to fire officials, specialists, and insurance professionals. You will begin by gathering the correct and required documentation.

Obtain a fire report from the your Fire Marshal's office. Seek a copy of current building codes from building department inspectors, and ask engineers or architects to write out the extent of the building's damage. Or if you think you can handle it on your own, hire a reputable licensed public adjuster who will help you with gathering all the information you need, along with helping you process your insurance claim.

3.) Contact your insurance company ASAP

It is absolutely imperative that you call your agent or insurance company to report the damages as quickly as possible.

If you take too long to contact your insurance agent or insurance company, it could cost you big in the long run. You don't need to request estimates early or sign any paperwork,  just let the insurance company know that a fire loss (damage) has occurred.

SERVPRO of NW Charlotte, Lincoln County, Southern and NE Gaston County specializes in commercial fire damage repair and restoration. We’re locally owned and operated and part of the Mecklenburg, Lincoln, and Gaston communities. Our commercial fire team members are employees, not contractors. That means when property managers call us about an emergency water leak or hazardous cleanup, we can respond quickly.

For questions, contact us anytime at (704) 393-7890 or request help online.

A Two-Step Guide to Fire Damage Prevention

8/12/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Detector - Smoke Guide to Fire Damage Prevention

Fire damage is an easy topic to think of as “something that happens to other people.” SERVPRO of NW Charlotte has witnessed firsthand how “other people” didn’t think it could happen to them either. However, a little prevention could have gone a long way. The answer to minimizing fire damage is simple: it starts with you! Remembering these two simple suggestions will make sure you’ve done everything possible to prevent fire damage.

Steps to Fire Damage Prevention

1. Have all the systems in place.

- Detectors

Make sure that you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. Ideally, these would be professionally hard wired into your home with a backup battery. Any fire safety professional will tell you these are not optional - they make the difference between life and death and will alert you at the onset of a potential hazard so that you can extinguish it as soon as possible. Also, have detectors checked each month.

- Extinguishers

Should an alarm go off, the next system to have in place is a fire extinguisher or sprinkler system. Fire extinguishers should be available in the kitchen, and ideally in at least one main bedroom or any areas that are likely to have an open flame and be a potential fire hazard.

2. Know your hazards

Homes are filled with hidden fire hazards. Closely monitoring or even eliminating such hazards will automatically prevent a fire and minimize the potential for fire damage.

- Cords and Wiring

Make sure surge protectors and extension cords are not overloaded. In addition, make sure none of your electrical cords have exposed or fraying wires. If you notice any odd electrical behavior in your home, have the electrical wiring checked by a professional electrician.

- Dryer

Clean your dryer’s lint trap after every drying cycle so that lint will not accumulate and become a fire hazard.

- Fireplace

Have your chimney cleaned on a routine basis, and do not have a fire in your fireplace unless recommended by a professional.

- Open Flames

Keep burning candles away from flammable objects such as curtains, tablecloths, etc. Do not leave open flames unattended. Even better, use battery-operated candles to eliminate the potential of hazard from an open flame.

- Natural Gas

Always keep a close eye on pipes and appliances that use natural gas. If you smell gas, call your utility company immediately. Do not turn on or turn off any appliances. Doing so could cause a spark that will ignite any leaking gas. Strictly follow the directions of your utility company.

- Outdoor hazards

The best policy for outdoors is to not have piles of leaves, brush, or foreign objects such as glass surrounding your home. In extreme temperatures, such piles are flammable and tend to self-ignite.

- Cooking, Outdoor Fires, and Grills

The number one cause of fire damage is cooking. Always have a fire extinguisher nearby the kitchen, grill, or outdoor fire. The quicker you can act on an uncontained fire, the less the extent of the damage will be.

- Items that Charge

Keep a close eye on rechargeable items such as batteries, cell phones, hoverboards, and more. Charge items away from flammable materials such as curtains, pillows, bedspreads, etc. If the item’s battery or the charge itself begins to feel hot, do not leave it unattended and it is best to unplug the item.

Fire Damage Cleanup and Restoration

As always, it is essential to remember that a prompt response will lessen any fire damage, reduce further damage and minimize costs. However, should fire damage occur despite your preparation, our certified professionals are ready to respond immediately and will help return your home to its original condition.

We are locally owned and operated and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The quicker you call us, the quicker we can help!

Have Fire Damage? Here's what to do next.

4/27/2021 (Permalink)

House Fire Damage Be Smart and Be Safe after a Home Fire

Home fires happen and it’s important to know your next steps if your affected by loss from a home fire. Cooking accidents, heating issues, and electrical malfunctions account for close to 70% of all residential home fires. An average of 358,500 homes experience a structural fire each year, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. 

Most people needed fire damage repair in their homes after an accidental or unintentional fire, according to the latest statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration.

If you need fire or smoke damage repairs, there are some important steps to take before calling a professional fire and smoke restoration specialist to make your home safer. Note: The fire department determines whether it is safe to stay in your home or not.

Be Careful with Fire Damage 

Often, with fire damage and smoke damage, there is also water damage hidden behind the walls from fire fighting efforts. After a fire, call a professional fire damage repair company to ease your worries and take care of all the heavy cleaning, drywall replacing, and mold and mildew preventative maintenance.  

Be Smart and Be Safe after a Fire

  1. Make sure it’s safe to re-enter home or affected areas. First discuss safety with a fire marshal and ensure that it is safe.
  2. Wear and use protective clothing including rubber gloves, protective eyewear, and a face mask to prevent breathing any debris particles. Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  3. Change HVAC filters.
  4. Avoid using your own household vacuum. Soot that has collected like dust requires a special vacuum.
  5. Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us or another fire damage restoration company.
  6. Be Safe and Smart. Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to heat, fire, or water without consulting an authorized and licensed repair service.
  7. Don't turn on electrical appliances affected by fire or water from firefighting efforts. If ceiling fixtures if ceiling are wet, then the wiring may be damaged.
  8. Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may permanently set smoke odor in your clothing. 

Even in small amounts– can be extremely dangerous even if the after effects are not immediately visible to you. Contacting a professional fire damage company helps ensure proper repairs to your property, as well as mold and mildew prevention.

24-hour emergency fire damage restoration services

We’re locally owned and operated and part of the MecklenburgLincoln and Gaston communities. Our fire damage restoration technicians are employees, not contractors. They can respond to fire damage emergencies with the most advanced cleaning equipment, products and technology to get you back in your home. To learn more, call us anytime at (704) 393-7890 or request help online.

Advancing the Commercial Restoration Game with 3D Technology

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

 Commercial Restoration 3D Technology 3D scanning technology can reduce their downtime, restore their properties, and settle claims faster.

In the commercial cleanup and restoration game, performance is everything.

It’s critical for business owners and property managers to recover quickly from water, storm, or fire damage. Now, thanks to 3D scanning technology, commercial clients can reduce their downtime, restore their properties, settle claims and get back to business more efficiently than ever before. 

Matterport’s 3D reality capture technology has been around for a while, primarily used in the real estate industry to help sell homes. Instead of relying on 2D photographs, the technology takes comprehensive 3D scans in real-time that capture every detail.

Once the technology expanded into the cleanup and restoration world, SERVPRO of NW Charlotte, Lincoln County, Southern and NE Gaston County  was an early adopter among the 1,700 SERVPRO franchises across the country. When Mitigation Estimating Manager (and Matterport ambassador) Jason Sadler told franchise owners Penny Benkeser and Danny Cox about the camera technology, they were immediately ready to “jump on board” as the first franchise to implement Matterport in the greater Charlotte area.

Not only does the investment streamline the property restoration process, it instills peace of mind for business owners, property managers and adjusters.

Loss documentation process goes from arduous to efficient

There are many moving parts and pieces during any restoration project, especially with more extensive and complex business losses from storm damage or fire and water damage. Once SERVPRO’s disaster recovery team arrives on a scene, they must determine where and how the damage occurred and thoroughly document the scene for an insurance claim. 

Using 3D technology shifts the loss documentation process from arduous to efficient, Sadler said. Project managers no longer need to spend a tremendous amount of time walking and measuring properties and buildings while simultaneously sketching and scanning drawings or taking, labeling and documenting 2D photos.

“The Matterport technology scans the property and creates a 3D model and floor plan that the restoration team, client and insurance adjuster can securely access online from anywhere,” Sadler said. “We’re not doing the documentation process and the adjuster isn’t doing it; the camera is doing it for us with 99-percent accuracy, which takes human error out of the picture and holds everyone accountable.”

Using snapshots in time to save time … and ensure accuracy

The technology is a tremendous time-saver for disaster cleanup and restoration - whether it’s a fire, water or storm emergency, Sadler said. Precise measurements of a commercial building or property mean more accurate loss and repair estimates and fewer discrepancies on damage claims.

Adjusters can review property scans the same way as project managers. They can zoom in and out of a 3D model on their computer screen and measure remotely, which means less time spent on the job site. This helps expedite the claims process because adjusters know they can trust the camera’s accuracy and ability to capture every detail.

“The ability to have a snapshot in time before major disruption and restoration of the job site is paramount. Everyone - project managers, clients and adjusters - can see exactly what a business looked like at that precise moment when the property was scanned,” Sadler said.

He added, “That’s powerful because things happen in between that time and when you take additional pictures for the restoration and repair process. You don’t want to miss out on certain details of the claim, certain line items or certain objects because every little detail is required to help our commercial customers get back to business quickly and efficiently.”

24-hour emergency commercial building restoration services

We’re locally owned and operated and part of the Mecklenburg, Lincoln and Gaston communities. Our commercial restoration and cleaning technicians are employees, not contractors. They can respond to commercial property emergencies with the most advanced cleaning equipment, products and 3D technology to get you back to business. To learn more, call us anytime at (704) 393-7890 or request help online.

Frequently Asked Questions about House Fire Damage

7/12/2019 (Permalink)

House Fire Firefighters attempting to extinguish home fire.

Got questions about what to do after a house fire? We have a few answers for you.

Fire and Smoke damage is not as rare as you may think. Those who are affected by a fire and contact us for help with the restoration process often have similar questions regarding what to do after. Some of those questions and answers are provided below.

Can I go back into my home to get my belongings after a fire damage?

We suggest an expert determine the safety of any home or building. While you may not see a risk in checking the fire damage in your home, it may be dangerous, or pose a hazard to your health.

What will happen to my items left in the home?

Your insurance agent may deem some that are safe be stored. If so, our technicians would remove those items and safely store them. Items damaged due to the smoke damage from the fire would need to be disposed of properly, which our technicians will also do.

Do you board up our home?

Yes, we can. SERVPRO of Northwest Charlotte can board up a home safety and securely to prevent possible theft after a fire damage has occurred.

Can I stay in my home after a fire?

Insurance adjusters will make this determination usually based on damage, but common sense will sometimes tell you to stay elsewhere. If a small situation is centered in one room and did not affect other areas, you may be able to safely stay.

Can we clean the fire or smoke damage ourselves?

Most people think fire or smoke damage can be easily cleaned. There are actually strict standards for fire restoration set forth by the IICRC, which all professional fire restoration companies follow to make sure your home is properly restored. While you may think you can do it, if you lack the proper training and experience, you are taking all responsibility for future hazards and problems that may occur.

Still have questions? Call us anytime at (704) 393-7890 or request help online.

Most Common Areas in Your Home for a Fire to Start

5/15/2019 (Permalink)

Man opening door with fire behind it as it as opened. Common Areas in Your Home for a Fire to Start

Places and Items Prone to Smoke and Fire Damage

It's important to identify areas, objects and circumstances that are more likely to be fire hazards than others, to help prevent any home fires and keep your house up-to-date on safety practices. Keep fire extinguishers in the kitchen, garage, and near any appliances that use heat/electricity. It's also a good idea (if not required by code) to have smoke detectors in every room of the house – especially bedrooms – and to check them at least once a month to make sure the devices are working properly.


1. KITCHEN

It's crucial to practice home fire safety in the kitchen because it's the place where most home fires originate. In fact, half of all residential fires start in the kitchen due to appliances that utilize heat/electricity, cooking-related incidents (such as an unattended oven/stovetop), or fabric and material (a dishcloth, for example) that's too close to heat. A dirty oven/stovetop that has a lot of baked-on grease and residue is another fire safety hazard, as it can easily cause grease fires.

2. APPLIANCES

Most homes have a number of appliances, many of which operate with electricity, gas or heat (or some combination of these) and can be potential fire hazards. Older appliances (15 years or older) are particularly prone to fire damage especially if they aren't regularly cleaned/inspected and properly maintained. It's a good idea to only run appliances when you're at home to avoid having to deal with any safety issues or fire restoration, in the unexpected case that they overheat and/or ignite.

  • Dryers – Lint, fiber and dust buildup in dryers is one of the main causes of a laundry room fire. Make sure to keep vents and filters clean by removing any lint after each use and to clean out the lint from the hose connected to the back of the dryer at least once a year.
  • Dishwashers – Heating elements in the dishwasher raise the water temperature and help dry the dishes. These mechanisms can overheat and catch fire, especially in older models or if the dishwasher has faulty parts.
  • Microwaves – Although they are convenient, microwaves can be dangerous if you heat food or materials (such as aluminum foil, Styrofoam or certain plastic containers) that are flammable. You could end up with a fire or even smoke damage if not quickly extinguished.
  • Toasters/Toaster Ovens – The electrical elements inside a toaster can start to become faulty over time and may not turn off, which could start a fire. Crumbs can accumulate and become stuck at the bottom of the toaster, so make sure to clean it regularly to prevent a fire and never leave these appliances unsupervised when in use.

3. BEDROOM

There are many potential fire hazards in bedrooms – bedding, curtains, plush items, mattresses – which make this room a high risk for fire damage. Mattresses made after 2007 are flame-retardant and comply with higher safety standards. Most mattresses made before 2007 usually aren't up to code with the Federal Mattress Flammability Standard, so you may want to consider upgrading to a new one. Incorporate home fire safety by installing smoke alarms in each bedroom and make a fire escape plan that includes two ways to exit the room (usually through the door and a window).

4. CHIMNEYS AND FIREPLACES

Some common issues that arise with chimneys and fireplaces include structural problems which can cause temperatures to burn too high, or chimney liners that are loose or have become detached which can cause burning embers and ash to escape to combustible areas in walls, attics and roofs. Keep chimneys and fireplaces cleaned and maintained. You should have them inspected and professionally cleaned at least once a year or when there is a quarter-inch buildup of creosote or soot. Rugs, tapestries and other fabrics that are too close to the fireplace can easily ignite. Prevent this by keeping cloth items away from the fireplace and always keep a spark screen in front of the fireplace.

5. LIVING ROOM

Like bedrooms, living rooms contain many potentially flammable items – electronics, drapes/curtains, furniture ­– which could easily catch fire and spread it rapidly. One of the leading fire hazards in living rooms are candles. Never leave a burning candle unattended and make sure it’s kept away from flammable/combustible objects.

Fire Cleanup

You may be able to handle some of the fire cleanup on your own, such as ventilating your home by opening all of the windows and washing all of your clothes and fabric items that have been exposed to fire and smoke damage. However, for cleanup and fire damage restoration tasks, it's advisable to hire a professional fire restoration company. 

Call us for 24/7 Emergency Response to your Fire Damage Restoration needs.

Protection For Businesses When Fire Damages Causes Closure

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

What Does Business Interruption Coverage Cover after a fire?

If your building catches fire, your property insurance coverage may help you replace the building, your desks and copiers, and inventory from your warehouse. It may also cover the cost of hiring a fire restoration company. However, this type of coverage doesn't cover your lost revenue. What does interruption insurance cover?

• Employee wages and other routine operating expenses
• Profits you would have earned if your business hadn't been affected by fire
• Costs related to moving to a temporary location
• Lease payments for the property affected by the fire
• Loan and tax payments

What Isn't Covered by Interruption Coverage?

It's important to understand that there are exclusions to this type of coverage. For example, some fire restoration services may be covered, but the expenses that result from a flood or earthquake probably won't be covered.Water damages are often paid for out of your business budget. Other costs that may not be covered include

• Utilities, which are usually stopped after a disaster
• Undocumented income, such as a recent increase in income
• Losses due to voluntary or partial closures
• Losses related to power outages and downed power lines

SERVPRO of NW Charlotte, Lincoln County, Southern and NE Gaston County is part of a national network of 1,700-plus franchises, we’re locally owned and operated and part of the Mecklenburg, Lincoln, and Gaston communities. protection

For questions, contact us anytime at (704) 393-7890 or request help online.

Who Pays During Apartment Fires?

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Apartment Fire Damage in Charlotte NC Apartment Fire Damage

An apartment fire can cause panic and undoubtedly create extensive fire damage. However, some landlords and renters worry more about the financial burden of the recovery than the immediate loss. Thankfully, fiscal responsibility is pretty cut and dry, especially when the fire is deemed accidental.

1. Facility 

The actual building is the responsibility of the owner. This means that the renter is not obligated to pay for structural damage, even if it occurs in their apartment. However, the landlord’s insurer may challenge the renter’s insurer if the fire is caused by tenant neglect or ill-will.

2. Function

Also, any utilities – water, gas, electric – that are damaged in the apartment fire are the responsibility of the property owner. A landlord is responsible for the functionality of a building, meaning that the tenant is not responsible for ensuring the utilities work properly.

3. Personal Property

While a landlord must take care of the structure and functionality of their property, they have no responsibility for the personal property of their tenants. Therefore, tenants must cover the costs of replacement themselves. However, most tenants will have renter’s insurance which should help cover this expense.

4. Construction

Lastly, the rebuilding of the property is the responsibility of the property owner. Likely, their insurance will cover any water and fire restoration efforts, but they may require that the owner call a disaster restoration specialist in the Charlotte, NC, area, and receive an estimate for the work to be completed.

An apartment fire is scary and confusing, but despite the confusion, there are clear lines of responsibility when the fire is deemed an accident. However, the loss of property is still devastating, and it may evoke feelings of desperation. Fortunately, if you have adequate insurance coverage, the stress of the impending financial burden may be alleviated. Insurers account for fire loss in most policies and are ready and willing to help you through this crisis.

Prevent Winter Fires

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Prevent Winter Fires Prevent Winter Fires

Preventing Winter Fires

Most home fires happen during the winter season.  Follow these fire safety tips to keep your home and family safe:

  • Keep area around heating equipment clear of flammables.
  • If you use a fireplace, have the chimney swept yearly, use a sturdy screen to stop sparks and store ashes outside at least 10 feet away from the house. 
  • Use space heaters with automatic shut-offs and keep pets & children 3 feet away.
  • Test smoke & carbon monoxide alarms and make sure batteries are fresh.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on each floor and teach family members how to use it.
  • Keep baking soda by the stove to combat grease fires.
Heating

Heating is the second leading cause of U.S. home fires, deaths and injuries. December, January and February are the peak months for heating fires. Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating equipment fires, figuring in two of every five fires (40%). More statistics on heating fires.

Carbon Monoxide

Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, propane, etc. do not burn completely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of CO. Carbon monoxide incidents are more common during the winter months, and in residential properties. More statistics on carbon monoxide incidents.

Winter storms

Most of the U.S. is at risk for winter storms, which can cause dangerous and sometimes life-threatening conditions. Blinding wind-driven snow, extreme cold, icy road conditions, downed trees and power lines can all wreak havoc on our daily schedules. Home fires occur more in the winter than in any other season, and heating equipment is involved in one of every six reported home fires, and one in every five home fire deaths.

Generators

Portable generators are useful during power outages, however, many homeowners are unaware that the improper use of portable generators can be risky. The most common dangers associated with portable generators are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, electrical shock or electrocution, and fire hazards. According to a 2013 Consumer Product Safety Commission report, half of the generator-related deaths happened in the four coldest months of the year, November through February, and portable generators were involved in the majority of carbon monoxide deaths involving engine-driven tools. 

Candles

December is the peak time of year for home candle fires; the top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve. Each year between 2012 and 2016, an average of 8,200 home candle fires were reported each year. More statistics on candle fires.

Electrical

Electrical home fires are a leading cause of home fires in the U.S. Roughly half of all home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment, while nearly another half involved other known types of equipment like washer or dryer fans, and portable or stationary space heaters. More statistics on electrical fires.