Recent Fire Damage Posts

What Can A Fire Damage Restoration Company Do For You?

5/8/2022 (Permalink)

Here are some disturbing statistics: House fires in the United States kill approximately 4,000 people every year. In 2019, in the United States, every 24 seconds on average, a fire was responded to by a fire department. Every 93 seconds, a home fire was reported. Every three hours, a home fire death occurred. Every 43 minutes, a home fire injury occurred.

What does that point to? Answer: In this country, it's very likely a home will experience a fire of varying severity. If, at your business or home, you ever face a fire, obviously, the fire department will be the first call you make. Following that, however, a company experienced and knowledgeable in fire restoration should be contacted (along with your insurance company).

Can they wave their hand and magically restore your property to its former beauty in an instant? Of course not. But they will help you get your home or business back on its feet as quickly and expertly as possible. If, that is, you pick the right company. Later, we'll introduce you to just such a fire restoration team. (Spoiler: It’s SERVPRO of Hoboken.)

Fire Restoration – What Is It?

For the sake of brevity, let's look at the basics involved in fire restoration. To its preloss state, a smoke and fire damaged property can be returned through the process of fire damage restoration. Depending on the damage caused and the size of the fire, the process of restoration can take up to several months, but possibly only as little as a few weeks.

What can be involved?

  • Complete reconstruction
  • Demolition
  • Property board up
  • Fire restoration
  • Deodorization
  • Cleaning
  • Soot and odor removal
  • Debris removal

Will every one of those be involved? Not necessarily. However, because fire damage is frequently followed by water damage, water restoration services will be part of the fire restoration service. Let's break down these basics.

The Process of Fire Damage Restoration

The following steps are, for the most part, involved in a fire restoration service/project:

  • Once entry to the burned structure is deemed safe, the process begins. Damage will be assessed by experts. Questions that will be answered: How far has smoke penetrated the structure? Regarding cleanup, how lengthy and extensive will it be? Emergency repairs are then completed. Against more damage, the property is protected by sealing things that need it: putting a fence around the property, boarding up windows and doors, etc.
  • Contents removal will be executed first, by salvaging any contents from the property. The items will be carefully removed if it is deemed practical by the owner/team. These items will be removed from the property, sanitized/cleaned, and restored. At a warehouse facility or some other location, the items will be stored until you move back into your property. To recover damaged documents and/or records, commercial customer services may be provided if the damage involved has occurred where a business is concerned.
  • Following fire damage, water damage usually occurs, as suggested earlier. So, affected areas must have all the water removed and be completely dried out. As soon as possible, this must be done because the contents and the structure itself can be further damaged the longer the water sits. To prevent secondary damage (mold), dehumidifier services will be performed in addition to drying.
  • Controlled demolition may need to be done if certain property sections are deemed irreparable. Demolition of ceilings, flooring, drywall, and other materials will be followed by removal of said materials.
  • The contents within your property and building materials will be damaged because soot is acidic. It is essential that a cleaning and decontamination process take place next. Any byproducts considered harmful must be cleaned professionally and removed safely. This could even include sewage if you're dealing with a burst pipe. That means additional viruses and bacteria must be considered.

Call SERVPRO of Hoboken/Union City For Commercial or Residential Fire Restoration

Thanks to extensive education and experience, the SERVPRO of Hoboken/Union City team knows the damage and hazards fires routinely cause. But we stand ready, waiting for your call! We have 24-hour emergency service and are faster to any disaster than our competition.

In addition to fire restoration, we provide cleaning services, residential services, and commercial services that cover the damage done by water, mold, and so much more. We use highly trained restoration technicians and the most advanced restoration and cleaning equipment available.

Within the restoration industry, we are a valued and trusted leader. What’s more, we’re locally owned and operated. 

Call us at 201-656-0035 or contact us through our convenient online form.

Important Things To Do Before Fire Damage Cleanup

4/21/2022 (Permalink)

As you stand there watching flames consume your business or home, it's difficult to imagine anything worse. What's more, you still have to face more destruction after the fire trucks leave. Possibly charred beyond repair, you will find numerous belongings as well as your burned structure. Sometimes, however, only minor damage results, if you’re lucky. However, major fire damage cleanup will still be needed due to water from the firefighters, contamination from soot and smoke, and more.

Fortunately, fire damage cleanup today can be executed by reputable, trained professionals. We'll introduce you to just such a team shortly. For now, however, let's look at some of the things that need to be done before fire damage cleanup/restoration can begin. Remember, this will be a major undertaking. It can be emotionally draining as well as physically.

Fire Damage Cleanup – What's Involved?

Before you face all the challenges involved in fire cleanup/restoration, STOP! Breathe. Before things return to normal, know ahead of time that it's going to be a bit of a long haul. Prepare yourself. You will face the stress and anxiety of the situation better if you try, as much as possible, to get ready for it. Be patient.

Here's what you need to do.

Have You Contacted Your Insurance?

If your insurance company hasn’t been contacted yet, do so immediately. This way, you can get hold of a reputable restoration company and get the project started. There is every chance the restoration process needs to be authorized by your insurance company. So, find out for sure. Then, cleanup can begin in earnest.

Housing

To house you and your family, you may need an alternate place, even if the fire was on the small side. Before you move back in, you want everything cleaned and thoroughly checked. Many health risks can be posed by burned material. For your health, fire/smoke damage cleanup is essential. But so is cleaning up ash, soot, and smoke damaged materials.

Your Property

While you're waiting on the restoration, against the elements and further damage or theft, securing of the property will likely be insisted upon by your insurance company. It's a good idea regardless. For ceiling holes and other areas, tarps may do the trick. For covering up missing doors and windows, however, you'll want to hire a board-up service.

Now it's time to get hold of a professional fire restoration team. One you can rely on and who will get the job done as quickly as possible, as professionally as possible, and with expert knowledge and equipment.

Call SERVPRO of Hoboken/Union City To Clean Up Fire Damage

The SERVPRO of Hoboken/Union City team knows – through extensive education and experience – the damage a fire can cause. But we’re ready, rest assured, and waiting for your call!

We offer cleaning services, residential services, and commercial services that cover the damage done by fire, water, mold, and so much more. As well as being locally owned and operated, within the restoration industry, we are a valued and trusted leader. We use highly trained restoration technicians and the most advanced restoration and cleaning equipment available.

Call us at 201-656-0035 or contact us through our convenient online form. Remember, too, that we have 24-hour emergency service and are faster to any disaster than our competition.

Understanding the Smoke And Soot Damage Restoration Process

4/21/2022 (Permalink)

Of all the experiences humans can go through, one of the most terrifying and devastating disasters is that of fire. In moments, it has the power to destroy precious memories, possessions, and entire properties. After assuring the safety and well-being of employees, family members, and/or yourself – and recovering from the shock you will initially face – the recovery process must begin.

Smoke and soot restoration, as well as water restoration and more, will be best executed by a professional fire damage restoration company. This is your first step forward. These people have the know-how and the tools to deal with all the damage caused by fire, including that which may be hidden. After a fire, it is very likely that soot and an intense smoky smell will be present.

Soot and Smoke

In your commercial building or home, ongoing issues can be contributed by soot and smoke. Your property and components within will be further deteriorated by both of these. In a matter of days, walls can turn yellow from smoke. Even if not initially fire damaged, electrical equipment can corrode courtesy of soot.

Soot and smoke damage restoration should be immediately pursued. Your best bet is to call a highly skilled, experienced, reputable, fire/water damage restoration company. Shortly, we’ll introduce you to just such a company.

In the meantime, let's look more closely at soot and smoke restoration.

The Restoration Process

Professionals who deal with property restoration (following a fire) must be familiar with smoke damage, fire, and the facts surrounding them. They have to understand and recognize what is worth replacing and what can be restored or repaired. To both your insurance adjuster and you, the property owner, a restoration company who is reliable will relay any information they discover.

On the floor and other areas affected by the fire, soot will be removed by the restoration crew. They will clean up loose soot by using a professional soot/smoke vacuum and protective gear. For any additional particles, an inspection will be done of the walls, as well. More vacuuming will occur if necessary.

With a chemical sponge or dry-cleaning, the ceilings, windows, and walls will be cleared of smoke. Only on dry surfaces can this work be done. Now the big cleanup can begin. Cleaning solutions of professional grade will be used here. To scrub off soot and oil soluble particles, degreaser will be used. Then, to thoroughly rinse off cleaning products, hot water will be used.

Restorations

For removing smoke odor and damage, a lower success rate applies to unfinished wood. The offensive odor may, indeed, be trapped if a sealant is applied. The restoration company will fill you in on the best course of action.

Carpet and furniture cleaning may be possible but, in many cases, complete replacement may be called for. It's very tricky to get out the odor of smoke because carpets and fabric soak it up so completely. You may choose to go ahead and clean furniture and carpeting, but if the odor persists, you will want to replace it.

Your electronics can be harmed by soot, smoke, and fire byproducts. To have them restored, it's important to act quickly. When metal and plastic are exposed to exceptionally high temperatures, electronics can be damaged by the toxins produced. In fact, various levels of damage can be caused to electronics by a fire. Seriously consider completely replacing electronics that look like they may have been affected.

Call SERVPRO of Hoboken/Union City For Commercial or Residential Fire Restoration

The SERVPRO of Hoboken/Union City team knows the damage and hazards fires routinely cause. We have 24-hour emergency service and are faster to any disaster than our competition.

In addition to fire restoration, we provide cleaning services, residential services, and commercial services that cover the damage done by water, mold, and so much more. 

Call us at 201-656-0035 or contact us through our convenient online form.

Understanding The Risks of Crock Pot Fires

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Crock pots, or slow cookers, are a staple item in the homes of most Americans. We all seem to know the benefits of this kitchen appliance. All you must do is toss your ingredients together in the crock pot and let them simmer together. Meanwhile, you can engage yourself in more enjoyable activities like watching the television or spending valuable time with your family. Sounds like there are no negatives to owning a crock pot, right? Wrong! There are many dangers of crock pots that you may be unaware of, such as crock pot fires. Though the number of crock pot fires are lower than other kitchen appliances, such as toasters and microwaves, there’s nothing wrong with being on the safer side! Read on to find out more about the risks of crock pots and the sort of dangers these crock pot fires can pose in your life.

What Causes Crock Pot Fires?

Most crock pot fires are caused due to a lack of attention to the crock pot. For example, you may have left your crockpot alone while you go about the rest of your day. Quickly engaged in other tasks, you may have forgotten about the crock pot. This situation happens more commonly than you think it does and is the main reason why so many kitchen fires begin.

What Can You Do to Be Safe?

Although crock pots do not need to be constantly monitored whilst on the stove, it would be safest if you are somewhere near the crock pot whilst it is in use. Be sure that you’re not running any errands outside the house whilst the stove is on. Before you begin using your crock pot, check the cord to make sure that there are no frayed or exposed wires Ensure that you’re not overfilling your crock pot with too many ingredients or too much water as this may cause spillage. Cook your recipes at recommended temperatures, rather than going too high. It’s always safer to cook at lower heat rather than extremely high heat.  Finally, if you smell any strange scents coming from your crock pot, immediately unplug it. It might be safer to bring it in for repairs, as smells coming from your crock pot are usually a hint that there’s something wrong!

What If A Fire Starts?

In the unfortunate situation that a fire does begin, the first thing to do would be to remain calm. It would be great if you have a fire extinguisher at home so that you can put out the fire, especially you manage to catch the fire before it has spread elsewhere. However, if the fire has spread, we offer a 24 hours emergency service to help put out the fire. If the fire damage has affected your home, we provide fire damage restoration services. We understand the agony of having your beloved home getting destroyed by fire but at SERVPRO of Hoboken/Union City, we have years of experience. You can be assured that your home is under good care when you entrust us with this responsibility.



Is It Difficult To Remove Black Soot From Fire Damaged Concrete?

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

After a structural fire, even if there isn't a lot of structural damage caused by the fire, the after-clean-up required can mean hours and hours of hard work. Afterwards, to ensure that entry is safe, a structural engineer must check concrete and other affected masonry surfaces. The restoration process can begin once an area has been thoroughly cleaned.

One characteristic of concrete is its natural heat resistance. So, structures made of concrete – think vehicle tunnels, parking garages, etc., will often suffer damage only to the surface as the result of a fire. Black soot and smoke damage are fairly common. Cracking (also referred to as spalling) may occur if the fire gets hot enough to heat the structural steel that exists within the concrete in some structures. How long a fire burns can have everything to do with the severity of damage issues. Potentially, concrete could be rendered unsalvageable if its physical characteristics are changed due to a severe fire.

Cosmetic Fire Damage

The process of removing soot from concrete is relatively straightforward. For removing soot, there are a couple of approaches that may be used:

  • Using abrasive blasting to exfoliate the surface and reveal the surface below, which is clean.
  • Use water and various chemicals to wash the soot away – Multiple attempts may be needed to remove the soot, which is a lengthy process. Even after the visual damage has been removed, deep within the concrete the smell may have permeated and will remain. Additionally, so that any runoff doesn't flow into sewers or storms when executing a liquid-based cleaning method, great care must be taken regarding runoff collection.

Severe Fires

If the fire has been severe enough that spalling and cracking on smooth surface concrete layers has occurred, this changes things. Prior to reapplying a skim coat, a rough surface may need to be created on the concrete by a contractor. CSP – a standard to which the rough surface is held – was created by the ICRI (International Concrete Repair Institute). The new coating being applied, or the new layer of concrete, will help determine the level of roughness required.

This roughness cannot be created by chemical cleaning or water cleaning. For creating the roughness referred to here, the best option is abrasive blasting. Occasionally, contractors may use hand tools. So that in one step, surface roughing and soot removal can be carried out, a unique application may be used called sponge blasting.

Sponge Blasting

During this process, the smell of the fire should be removed from the concrete at the same time the soot layers are removed. Surfaces that are sponge blasted may actually end up being cleaner than they were before the fire, as long as no spalling or cracking has been sustained by the skim coat. Surface soot damage sustained by the concrete is easily removed in this manner.

Need Concrete Cleaned Due To Soot And Fire Damage?

SERVPRO of Hoboken/Union City is locally operated and owned. In the restoration industry, we are one of the most trusted leaders. We serve Gutenberg, Union City, West New York, Weehawken, North Bergen, and Hoboken, in New Jersey. We can help return your fire-damaged concrete to its original condition… maybe even better! Contact us today by phoning 201-656-0035. You can also request online help here.

How Does Fire Damage Affect Concrete Structures?

10/7/2021 (Permalink)

The effects of fire damage on concrete structures will manifest itself in different forms. Understanding the manner in which fire and heat damage concrete will make it easier to assess costs and perform the necessary repairs.

What Occurs When Fire Comes into Contact with Concrete?

Concrete that comes into contact with fire will change in chemical and mechanical ways. One is called spalling, where concrete bits will be expelled from its surface layer, and external cracks which come from concrete dehydration and heat expansion.

Should the temperature of the fire exceed 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius) then the rebar may turn brittle. If the temperature increases further to 1300 degrees Fahrenheit, then the strength of the rebar will be compromised by as much as twenty percent. Unless the fire is put out quickly, the reinforced concrete may suffer structural failure due to the loss of steel tensile strength.

The chemical changes often involve the quartz aggregates growing in volume, while limestone aggregates will deteriorate. The concrete may appear discolored and will often display pink coloration due to the chemical compound changes which involve iron. Carbonation will also occur, where the cement paste will breakdown and the protective coating will fail, which leads to rebar corrosion.

Is Concrete Non-Combustible?

Concrete is often advertised as being non-combustible, and technically it is. However, being non-combustible isn’t the same as being fire proof. Many property owners are under the impression that because their building is made with masonry and steel construction, they don’t have to worry about significant damage from fire.

While these materials do offer a degree of flame resistance, fire can still cause serious and even devastating damage. The primary ingredients which are used to make concrete are aggregates and cement.  They do not light on fire like some materials nor do they produce toxic fumes.

However, concrete which is exposed to excessive heat will still sustain damage due to temperature shock along the concrete surface. Concrete will expand as its temperature rises and the external layers in particular will expand far more rapidly than the interior. This difference in expansion is not readily absorbed by concrete itself, which means that if the fire is not put out in time the layers will eventually separate and break away.

What Happens When Concrete Is Penetrated by Extreme Heat?

In the event that concrete is penetrated by extreme heat, its supporting steel will begin to weaken, which in turn will compromise structural integrity. The precise effects will depend on temperature, but at five hundred and fifty to six hundred degrees Fahrenheit, the cement will begin to lose its load bearing capacity.

This is especially dangerous on bridges and other structures because a collapse could occur which could seriously injure or kill anyone in the vicinity. This is why anyone working in a fire zone that notices cracks, spalling or exposed steel should vacate the premises immediately.

Fire Damage Restoration Is Not A Task For The Layman!

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

For fire damage restoration, how important is it to hire a professional? Is this something you should tackle yourself? Before we go any further, let us make it perfectly clear that where fire damage restoration is concerned, it is not a task for a layman, or even an avid do-it-yourselfer. This is something that must be tackled by certified, experienced professionals.

Some homeowners and business owners have had fire damage, water damage, and other kinds of negative events happen to their buildings. It causes personal burdens, financial hardships, and is an overall devastating experience. If you have suffered losses due to any of these occurrences, a professional water or fire restoration company must be contacted. This is a crucial step in getting everything back to normal. Not only can it be costly to try to clean up something like this yourself, it can be downright dangerous.

Why is fire restoration and/or water restoration by a professional so important?

Specialized Equipment

Dehumidifiers, fans, industrial vacuums, water pumps, and more are required to clean up water after a fire or flood. No hardware store-bought or rented equipment can do the job adequately. Additionally, certain chemicals may be needed by restoration specialists depending on the type, size, and amount of damage.

Don't try to save money by doing this work on your own. In the end, you'll spend more when unknown problems like hidden structural damage, mildew, and/or mold rear their ugly heads.

Knowledge And Training

To get the upper hand on detecting damage and assessing it, certifications and years of experience not only come in handy, they're essential. No matter how many hours you spend trying to assess the damage, it's unlikely you'll find it all and know how to adequately resolve problems that occur and/or arise later. Within hours of a fire, experienced technicians and other officials can arrive on scene when you contact a professional water damage restoration service. To get your structure restored quickly and properly, they will create an effective plan and put it into action after sizing up all the damage.

Insurance Claims

As soon as possible, you will need to inform your insurance company of the fire and resulting damage. Even though you may feel like you can repair the damage yourself, you may be required to go with a professional service in order to have a successful claim filed. Even before repairs and restoration can take place, a professional estimate will likely be needed by your insurance company. This can be acquired through the services of a fire restoration/water restoration company.

Peace of Mind

Not to be trivialized by the above stated reasons for using a professional service after a fire or water damage, this is a big one. For complete peace of mind, you want to know the people who did the restoration did so expertly, completely, and as quickly as possible. After all, time is money if the place that's damaged is a business. If not, and the damaged building is a residence, it’s important for families to get back to a normal way of life as soon as possible.

Where can you go for specialized equipment, knowledge and training, and to satisfy insurance claims? Read on.

Have You Experienced Fire Damage?

If fire and the resulting water have damaged your home or place of business, it's time to call in the experts. We provide seasoned professionals who are certified and highly trained to see to it that all damage done by fire and water is cleaned up and restored.

Don't wait another moment. Time is of the essence. Contact us today at SERVPRO.

Understanding Fire Damage Restoration Processes For Businesses

5/18/2021 (Permalink)

It is crucial for business owners to take immediate action after a commercial fire so as to minimize the damage and restoration costs. The swift action will also help business owners to get back on their feet and restart their operations as quickly as possible. Delaying fire damage restoration for businesses may allow soot and smoke damage to worsen when they settle into the whole building and other fixtures. Water damage also can cause affect the integrity of the building structure as well as cause mildew and mold to grow. To find out about the processes involved in fire damage restoration, continue reading the article.

Fire Damage Restoration for Businesses

Calling in the experts immediately after a fire will lead to your business re-opening much earlier than you would have expected. The experts will help you out to ease the burden of going through the overwhelming episode on your own. Below is a series of processes that are involved in fire damage restoration for businesses.

Board-Up Services

Experts will head to the location to board up areas that are vulnerable which include damaged walls, broken windows, and spoiled roof panels. This will help to prevent further damage from being inflicted to the building as a result of external elements like debris, weather, and vandalism. It will also help to provide a safe access to the property.

Accessing the Damage

A professional will be tasked to inspect your building thoroughly to document the degree of damage and what can be repaired or saved. A detailed list containing all the contents of the building will be kept as well as the recommended processes on the next course of action. Cleaning, restoration, and rebuilding your premises can be a highly complex process so always rely on the professional services of experts whom you can trust. Bear in mind that cheap fixes that you perform on your own may land you in even further problems.

Water Removal

The main purpose of water removal is to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. This water comes from your building’s sprinklers as well as the water used by firefighters to put out the fire. Fire damage restoration experts will proceed with water removal as soon as possible to prevent seepage. They will then follow up with a dry out process to ensure the premises are thoroughly dry and mold and mildew cannot thrive.

Removing Soot and Smoke

Soot and smoke are just as hazardous as they cause damage to your property. Soot and smoke contain carcinogens which may affect your health. Fire damage restoration experts are called in to clean affected walls, ceilings, and floors which are covered in soot and smoke to reduce the risks of getting exposed to the carcinogens. Some fixtures and furnishings that can still be repaired will be retained and cleaned extensively.

Clean-Up of Contaminated Property

The final step of the fire damage restoration process is to clean and sanitize the property. This is the most important step as a conducive environment has to be prepared before employees can move right back in. A professional fire damage restoration company will ensure that the whole property is livable again which means that it is structurally sound and safe for everyone.

Common Types Of Fire Residues

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damage can be devastating to a property, but the flames may not be the most damaging part of a fire accident. Often, the residues left behind by a fire can cause more damage. There are various types of fire residues, with each one having a different impact on a property and requiring different fire restoration methods. Whether you are facing a problem with fire residues after a fire accident or you just want to know more about them to protect your home from a potential fire accident, learning about the common types of fire residues will be advantageous. Read on to find out more.

Oil or Fuel Residue

Oil or fuel residue will only occur if there were petroleum products at the site where the fire took place. Oil or fuel residue is very sticky and can be challenging to remove.

Protein Residue

Protein residue is formed when a fire consumes materials that are rich in protein, such as beans and meat. It usually appears as a yellowish-brown residue. Moreover, its presence can cause discoloration in paint and other finishes on furniture. In addition, protein residue has a very pungent odor.

Wet Smoke Residue

Wet smoke residue is left behind when there are smoldering fires that burn at a low temperature. It is caused by burning of synthetic substances, such as paint and plastic. Similar to oil or fuel residue, wet smoke residue is very sticky. Wet smoke residue can also smear, which makes it the hardest fire residue to clean. In addition, it has a strong smell.

Dry Smoke Residue

In contrast to wet smoke residue, dry smoke residue is caused by fast-burning fires with a high temperature. It is left behind by the burning of natural substances, such as paper and wood. It usually has a powdery consistency and is dry, which makes it the easiest to clean up.

Fire Extinguisher Residue

While fire extinguishers are important in clearing up a fire, they can also leave behind residues that need to be removed during fire damage restoration. Depending on the type of fire extinguisher used, they will leave different types of residue. Wet chemical fire extinguishers discharge a fine mist, whereas dry chemical fire extinguishers will result in a corrosive powder.

Approach SERVPRO of Hoboken/Union City for Fire Damage Repair and Restoration

If your property has unfortunately met with a fire and needs fire damage repair and restoration, do not hesitate to approach SERVPRO of Hoboken/Union City. We have specialized equipment, training, and certifications that allow us to restore your home to a condition before the fire. We understand the trauma and stress that homeowners experience after a fire accident, which is why our technicians will treat you and your family with compassion. Contact us for more information and our friendly customer representatives will get back to you.

What You Need To Know About Restaurant Fire Safety

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

The equipment and activities found in restaurants pose a high risk of fire accidents. Electrical connections, paper products, hot equipment, cooking oils, open flames, and cleaning chemicals make restaurants highly susceptible to fire. If adequate care is not taken, a fire accident can easily result in consequences, such as the destruction of property, injuries, and loss of revenue. If you are running a restaurant, this article outlines what you need to know about restaurant fire safety.

Fire Protection Equipment and Systems

To fully protect a restaurant in the event of a fire, there needs to be a comprehensive installation of fire protection equipment and systems. This includes:

  • Automatic fire suppression system – The majority of fires that happen in restaurants are caused by cooking equipment. With this installation, chemicals will be released automatically to suppress the fire before it spreads. Furthermore, gas or electricity supply to the cooking equipment will be cut when the system is in activation.
  • Portable fire extinguishers – Class K fire extinguishers are the most suitable for kitchens as they can extinguish fires that are caused by oils, grease, and fats. At the same time, fire extinguishers of classes A, B, and C should also be in place as there could be fires that result from electrical faults, wood, plastic, and paper. The locations where these fire extinguishers are placed should be planned strategically.
  • Fire sprinkler system – This system can control the heat release rate of the fire and prevent fire spread.
  • Wet chemical installations – This will help to suppress fires that result from deep fryers, which are very high in temperature. Fire blankets should be used in conjunction.
  • Automated fire alarm system – Having a fire alarm system can alert customers and employees that there is a fire, and they should evacuate. In addition, it can also seek help from emergency services.

Impose a regular maintenance schedule to ensure that all the fire protection equipment and systems are working like they are supposed to. Check that the fire extinguishers have not reached their expiration date.

Emergency Lights and Exit Signs

In the event of a fire, emergency lights and exit signs can help guide employees and customers towards safety. Place exit signs above exit doors and have emergency lights where employees and customers usually gather. These should be checked monthly to ensure that they are always in working condition.

Professional Fire Damage Repair and Restoration

Fire damage can be highly destructive to the business of a restaurant. If your restaurant has unfortunately suffered from fire damage, fret not as SERVPRO is able to help you restore the restaurant to pre-fire condition. As fire damage repair specialists, we have the expertise and experience to perform thorough restoration for your property. Contact us today to let us know how we can help you.

What You Should Do After Fire Damage

3/10/2021 (Permalink)

What You Should Do After Fire Damage

It can be scary when experiencing a house fire. After the feelings of fear and confusion have subsided, people wonder what they can do to begin the process of cleaning up the fire damage. Here are some essential steps you can take to ensure the safety of you and your family.

Request Permission

Before you enter your home, first seek permission from the Fire Marshall to ensure that the property is now safe to go in. This is depending on how severe the fire damage is. Some possible dangers that could cause harm in your home include unsupported beams and hot spots. You should also remind your family members not to use the electricity without getting permission from the authorities. You may be in a hurry to find out if your beloved things are still intact after the fire, but waiting until it is safe will ensure that you do not have to deal with any injury which could delay cleaning up the fire damage.

Record the Damage Process

When cleaning up the fire damage, do remember to take photos of the process. These pictures can be used for insurance purposes as well as to give potential firms a gauge of the extent of the damage when you are getting quotes. It is important to note that not all damage is visible, such as trying to remove the smell of smoke from clothes and furniture. Do keep in mind that two types of smoke damage are created by fire: an invisible odor and a visible scoot.

Call a Professional

There are many times you can manage by yourself, such as taking away items like linens and clothing that can be washed or brought to the dry cleaners. However, for items that have been subjected to severe damage from the fire, smoke, or water, it is better to not handle it on your own. Contacting a fire damage restoration company is the most ideal way to handle these fire damages, as these firms are specialized in restoring and repairing the damaged items.

Inform your Insurance Agent

Contact your insurance agent first to find out the necessary documentations required for the claims and what do you need to do immediately. The faster you get to contacting them, the sooner you can start the necessary repair work or search for a new home.  Your insurance agent will assist you in filing a claim and restoring your property.

Find a Safe Place to Stay

After a fire, depending on the size of the fire and the extent of the fire damage, you may need to stay at another place for a few days. It is important to get sufficient rest during this stressful period and have a safe place to stay. This will be beneficial in helping you make the relevant decisions moving forward and for you to be more prepared mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Useful Fire Damage Recovery Tips

10/2/2020 (Permalink)

A fire disaster can be devastating and can leave you feeling stressed and helpless. Fire victims are often confused and traumatized and don’t know what to do next. This is why the last thing you want is to deal with fire damage. But look – misfortunes and accidents happen unexpectedly, and it’s prudent to prepare for them. Even though you should not try to remediate your property yourself after a fire, there are helpful fire damage recovery tips that can help you bigtime. They include:

  1. Talk To Your Insurance Company As Soon As Possible

When you face a fire catastrophe in your home, it is natural to think of calling the fire department and a few of your friends and families. One important phone call you might forget to make during this time is to your insurance provider. Before you start coming up with ways to deal with this menace, you need to inform the insurance company about the incident. This will help you understand what is covered what is not be your fire damage recovery insurance coverage. Don’t forget to inform your insurance company about your fire damage recovery plans, and avoid taking any actions before you get a green light from your agent. By doing this, you will avoid breaching the terms of the insurance coverage.

  1. Get A Copy If The Fire Damage Report

Requesting for a fire damage report is an integral part of your fire damage recovery plan. This report will give you all the details surrounding the fire incident, including when, how, and why it happened. This data will not only give you an account of the damage but will also help you make your insurance claims.

Contrary to what some sources of information claim, getting a fire damage report is not difficult. This is a public document you should receive without any complications.

  1. Confirm Whether The Property Is Safe To Enter

Before you enter your damaged property, you need to make sure it is safe to enter. It is recommended that you work with a remediation professional, who will use advanced methods to check for signs of structural damage that may compromise the safety of your home. They will carefully inspect the property from outside before the door is opened. You can also work with an inspector who will assess the property and deem whether or not it is safe to enter. Regardless of the company you choose, make sure it is locally owned and operated for guaranteed reliability.

  1. Keep A Record Of Damaged Items

Most homeowners insurances include contents coverage. If you have this insurance, it should cover the cost of replacing items damaged in a fire. Before they are replaced, however, you will need to provide an inventory of damaged items. Therefore, create a detailed register of everything in your home and document all losses. However, if you lost essential documents such as passports, title deeds, vehicle log book, driving license, and more, you need to replace them yourself as soon as possible.

  1. Clean The Property To Mitigate Damage

Smoke and soot can damage property even after the fire has been put off. You need to be concerned about the air quality, mold and mildew, rust and corrosion, and soot staining in the home. You need to clean all surfaces to mitigate damage. Doing this will also increase the chances of an overhaul restoration, which is the #1 goal of your fire damage recovery plan. Once you have done this, hire a professional restoration and recovery contractor to rebuild your property.

Fire Damage in Residential Basement

8/3/2020 (Permalink)

Roof structure that has been affected from the fire. Roof structure that has been affected from the fire.

Here at SERVPRO of Hoboken/ Union City we understand how badly some fires can affect our customers. Not only do they do damage to the homes and businesses to so many individuals but they also cause a tremendous amount of stress.  We are here to alleviate that stress and restore your home back to the way it once was prior to the damage.  This job classifies as fire damage as you can see the color of the beams after the fire got to them when looking at the picture. Our crew went in with the proper tools to get rid of all the garbage and debris the fire left behind to make this house look like a home again. Our customer was very happy with the level of professionalism we provided. It’s easy to get worked up when something like this happens to you but don’t worry SERVPRO is #heretohelp.

Soot From Fire Damage

4/17/2020 (Permalink)

The gray dust on the floor is known as soot. Visible soot damage covers the floor after a fire.

A fire that started in the elevator shaft of a commercial building caused repercussions throughout different parts of the structure as well. Unless it's summer and you're sitting next to the bonfire, fires are never anticipated. In almost any case, they are not what any business owner wants for themselves. As you can see in the picture we have a different point of view from the building and there is soot damage present on the flooring. This is shown by the darker color on the floor and the footprints shown within them. SERVPRO of Hoboken/Union City went into this job and before we even put a single piece of equipment down we assured the business owner that this was nothing new to us and we would restore the conditions of the property. 

We Clean the Mess a Fire Leaves

4/17/2020 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Hoboken/Union City, we have a long list of jobs we specialize in going beyond the fire, soot, and mold. Cleaning up fire damage is one of our specialties. So naturally, when a local high school suffered a grease fire in their kitchen we were more than happy to help clean up the damage.  It is our job here at SERVPRO to make accidents look "Like it never even happened." The extent of the fire was pretty bad, as soot covered most of the walls. Our team used our special SERVPRO cleaning products to help restore the kitchen to a much cleaner state. The owners of the property were very pleased with the rate of our work as well as the final product and thanked us for our service.

Understanding Soot Damage

4/17/2020 (Permalink)

What is soot?

It is a combination of small carbon particles formed by the unstable combustion of coal, wood, oil, and other fossil fuel. The end result is an unsightly and smelly substance attached to surfaces after a fire. Soot is mainly made up of dust, soils, metals, and chemicals. Even if there was no fire at all, soot can still find its way around your home. This comes about through frequent candle use, poorly ventilated fireplaces, and furnaces that produce puff backs. Failure to contact reliable fire services soon enough can render soot a serious health risk to people with weakened immune systems.

Why is Soot Considered Dangerous?

During a fire, when combustion occurs, there are those materials that do not burn normally. This results in smoke and soot. Waste products of incomplete combustion (solids, liquids, and gases) are highly composed of different health hazards. Modern homes today feature a massive array of chemicals that were not present in early homes. The chemicals are present in:

  • Wood products
  • Asbestos-containing materials
  • Synthetic fabrics
  • Wool
  • Plastics
  • Fabrics
  • Foams
  • Carpets, etc

The chemicals in the above items can lead to serious health hazards that render fire restoration efforts difficult and dangerous.

How Does One Get Exposed to Soot?

Soot exposure often occurs via ingestion, inhalation, or contact with the eyes and skin. Most of the time, you may not see the soot particulates as they are too tiny to be seen by the naked eye. The moment it becomes one with your bloodstream, soot can trigger life-threatening conditions. Some of them include cancer, heart attack, stroke, asthma, respiratory issues such as bronchitis, and at times, premature death.  When infants are exposed to soot, the effects have been known to be lifelong and dangerous.

Toxic Materials Present in Soot during Fire Restoration

  • When partially oxidated, hydrocarbons can yield carboxylic acids, cresols, phenols, alcohols, ketones, furfural, acrolein, formaldehyde, and so much more.
  • PVC can create halocarbons, bromomethane, chloromethane, hydrogen chloride, halocarbons, dioxin, and phosgene.
  • Wood smoke released into the air during combustion shares about 100 chemicals present in cigarette smoke.
  • Sulfur forms sulfur dioxide, thiols, and hydrogen sulfide, which result in residual smoke odor.
  • Asbestos fibers from building materials that were widely used during the 1950s-1980s period.
  • Carbon materials produce tar, nitrogen oxides, ammonia, hydrogen, and carbon monoxide.   

How to Deal With Smoke and Soot

Once the flames have been extinguished, the fire safety risks can stick around for years. To prevent this, ensure the soot problem is properly and professionally addressed. Rather than expose yourself to the harmful effects of soot, contact those with essential safety equipment. Such equipment shields their eyes, skin, and respiratory tracts. Safe and thorough fire restoration is only achieved through professional expertise, knowledge, and tools. One thing you should do after a fire is to maintain proper ventilation practices around your home. Preserve the air quality by carrying out adsorption of activated carbon as well as HEPA filtration.

Fire Damage in Kitchen

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO, we take pride in our long list of services we provide to our clients. On this list is fire damage restoration. Any type of fire is a big deal to us here at SERVPRO of Hoboken/ Union City. That’s why when we got a call about a small kitchen fire we told the customer we’d be more than happy to help. Not pictured here is where the damage of the fire had taken place, above the cabinets the damage was the most visible. Not pictured is the damage to the stove and countertops. As you can see when looking at the picture on the right our crew restored the kitchen like there was never a fire there in the first place.

What are the Most Common Commercial Fire Hazards?

3/12/2020 (Permalink)

If you own a business, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your customers, employers and any other people who set foot in your property. Meanwhile, you would also want to protect your building, important records and inventory. This can be done by having a well-designed fire protection system. However, that alone is not enough. It is highly important to avoid and prevent situations where a fire might occur in the first place. Therefore, we have put together a list of some of the most common commercial fire hazards that you should take note of.

Combustible materials

People who work in industrial settings are typically aware of any flammable chemicals and materials they have at work. However, people who work in offices may be less well-informed. Offices are full of combustible materials, especially dues to the huge amount of paper in them. Other than that, furniture, carpet, curtains and other fabrics can also act as fuel for a fire. Many cleaning liquids are also flammable and must be stored correctly to prevent any incidents. No matter where you work, it is essential to ensure that combustible materials are located far away from heat sources to prevent a fire.

Faulty Electrical Equipment

Some fire hazards may be easily detectable, such as a frayed wire on an office machine. However, there are also hidden threats that people do not always take into account. For example, faulty wiring in electrical equipment can also be a fire risk. It is important to have an electrician inspect the electrical components of your faulty equipment to ensure they do not pose a danger.

Overloaded Extension Cords

It is not uncommon to use extension cords to increase convenience at work. They are safe to use if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Unfortunately, many people tend to use extension cords improperly, such as by overloading them. In such cases, they can act as a serious fire hazard. It is recommended that you educate your employees on the appropriate use of extension cords and the fire risks they can pose to prevent any incidents.

Broken Cables

Any broken cables in your workplace should be removed as soon as possible. Leaving them lying around is highly dangerous and risks the safety of all workers. They may spark which can lead to the outbreak of an electrical fire.

Overheated Machines

Machines like photocopiers, printers, laptops and computers are present in all commercial buildings these days and they have a tendency to overheat. This is not usually a problem on its own. However, the heat generated by these devices can lead to a fire if there are combustible materials thereby, such as paper for example. It is important that you ensure that these machines are well ventilated and kept away from combustible materials, to prevent risks of a fire due to overheating. You should also remember to shut down these machines before leaving work to allow them to cool down over night. 

Poorly Disposed Cigarettes

If smoking is allowed in your workplace, you should ensure that the designated smoking areas are far away from the main buildings and any flammable materials. Your employees should also be educated on the importance of putting out cigarettes properly to reduce risks of a fire. 

Fire In Basement

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO we take pride in our long list of services we provide to our clients. On this list is fire damage restoration. One of our clients had the unfortunately experienced a fire in their basement and called us to help them out of their situation. As you can see in the picture on the right the fire tarnished much of the foundation of the basement. Our crew went in and cleaned up all the debris the fire had left behind. Once they were done with the cleanup they moved on to replacing basement with a new foundation. Our client was very pleased with the level of professionalism they received as well as the final product of the basement. The best part of our job is knowing we helped alleviate the stress of a worried client. 

Fires are More Common Than You Think

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

There is a long list of causes when it comes to home fires. They're beginning to become a commonality. When you're a victim of a house fire you lose everything; all the memories you've made, burnt to a crisp.

Some practices to preventing a fire in your home are as follows:

  • Make sure everything is switched OFF and unplugged
  • Check/Inspect your chimney annually
  •  Keep comforters and anything flammable away from heaters
  • Test fire alarms/ replace batteries frequently
  • Never smoke in the home
  • Keep a spoon or spatula as a reminder when cooking/ do not leave stove tops unattended when lit

It is widely recommended that families practice a fire escape route in the event a fire does occur. No one sees a fire coming and it's best you know what plan of action to take in case you're faced with one.

In the event your home has endured a fire, call SERVPRO of Hoboken/ Union City at 201-656-0035 and we'll make it "Like it never even happened."