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.
Where Do You Begin When You Need Fire Damage Repair?
Home Fire Damage Repair
About 380,000 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. Cooking accidents, heating issues, and electrical malfunctions account for close to 70% of all residential home fires. If you need fire or smoke damage repairs, there are some steps you can take before calling a professional fire and smoke restoration specialist to make your home safer. The fire department determines whether it is safe to stay in your home or not.
Fire Damage Repair
Often, with smoke and fire damage, there is also water damage hidden behind the walls. 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. However, follow these steps to start the fire damage repair yourself. First, put on some protective clothing including rubber gloves, protective eyewear, and a face mask to prevent breathing any debris particles.
- Soot that has collected like dust requires a special vacuum. You should avoid using your own household vacuum.
- Use the following formula to clean surfaces. Pick up some TSP, or trisodium phosphate, and mix 5-tablespoons into 1-gallon of water with 1-cup detergent or bleach. Wash the floors and walls in small sections and complete the ceiling last. To prevent mold, rinse off this solution and dry at least 24-hours before you try repainting.
- You can wash clothes with TSP, about 5-tablespoons per load, and detergent to remove the smoke odor.
- Wash kitchen utensils and cooking items in hot soapy water.
- Wipe down leather furniture and bags with a wet cloth followed by a dry wipe using a dry cloth. Keep them in a cool dark place while drying and use saddle soap on dried items.
Removing fire damage, soot, and smoke from walls, ceilings, and floors is a not a simple task. Take the following steps to minimize the risk of fire and smoke damage to your home in the future.
- Electrical - Check and replace damaged electrical outlets, plugs, cords, and wires regularly and do not keep them covered or pinched against a wall. Avoid overloading your homes circuit system and use surge protectors rather than unprotected power strips.
- Kitchen – Often overlooked as part of a kitchen setup is the fire extinguisher. Keep one in close reach and prepare yourself to use it. Most ovens have a self-cleaning button; use it regularly to prevent buildup. Keep the stovetop clean to minimize grease fires.
- Appliances - A clothes dryer holds lint and many other appliances with a fan or motor suck in dust and other particles. Clear the filter of lint after each load and the dryer vent often. Clean under all appliances regularly to prevent buildup.
- Other fire causes include smoking, placing grills less than 10 feet away from your home, and children’s curiosity.
After you start your own fire damage repairs, contacting a professional fire damage company helps ensure proper repairs to your property, as well as mold and mildew prevention.
WINTER IS IN FULL SWING !
SERVPRO wishes you a happy, healthy and wonderful New Year!
Safety Tips: Winter Fires
More fires occur during the winter months than at any other time. Fortunately, taking simple precautions can prevent most fires. Follow the safety tips below to help ensure your safety:
- Put at least three feet of empty space between the heater and everything else.
- Vacuum and clean the dust and lint from all heaters.
- If the cord gets hot, frayed or cracked, have the heater serviced.
- Never use extension cords with portable electric heaters.
- Turn off portable heaters when leaving or sleeping.
- An adult should always be present when anyone is using a space heater around children.
- Make sure your portable electric heater is UL approved and has a tip-over shut off function.
Woodstove and Fireplace Safety
- Have a certified chimney sweep clean and inspect your fireplace.
- Place ashes outdoors in a covered metal container at least three feet away from anything that burns.
- To prevent flue fires, burn dry, well-seasoned wood.
- Always use a fireplace screen made of sturdy metal or heat-tempered glass. If children are present, use a special child-guard screen.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible killer. You cannot see or smell it. A generator's exhaust contains poisonous CO, which can kill you in a matter of minutes. Follow these important generator safety tips:
- Never use a portable generator inside a home, garage, shed or other partially enclosed space, even if doors and windows are open.
- Place portable generators outside only, far away from the home. Keep the generator away from openings to the home, including doors, windows, and vents.
- Read the label on the generator and the owner's manual, and follow the instructions.
- Install CO alarms with battery backup in the home outside each sleeping area.
- Get to fresh air immediately if you start to feel sick, weak or dizzy. CO poisoning from exposure to generator exhaust can quickly lead to incapacitation and death.
- Be sure generator fuel is properly and safely stored.
- Always refuel the generator outdoors and away from any ignition sources.
- If you choose to have a generator permanently connected to your home's electrical system, make sure a licensed electrician installs it and be sure to notify your electric company.
- Place candles in sturdy, fireproof candleholders where they cannot be knocked over.
- Make sure all candles are out before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Keep candles, matches, and lighters out of children's reach.
- Keep candles away from Christmas trees, evergreen clippings, decorations, presents, and wrapping paper.
- Install smoke alarms outside each sleeping area and in each bedroom.
- Test and vacuum your smoke alarms each month to make sure they are working.
- Smoke alarms 10 years old or older need to be replaced with new units.
Home Escape Plans
- Know two ways out of every room.
- Practice your escape plan with your whole family at least twice a year.
- Do not attempt to go back into a burning home.
National Fire Prevention Association
DID YOU KNOW ?
A special thank you to all of our Friends, Family and Customers.
Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment. Please be safe this holiday season.
SMOKE ALARM SAFETY TIPS
Have you replaced your batteries yet ?
* Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including basement.
- Smoke alrms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent flase alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
- Test smoke alarms a least once a month using the test button.
- Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm " chirps", warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
Information provided by National Fire Protection Association.