Recent Fire Damage Posts

How to Protect your Pets in Case of a Home Fire.

8/22/2019 (Permalink)

Gunny, our office dog, is standing safely outside of a commercial building with a fire truck in the background. Here you can see Gunny is standing safely outside while our first responders safely put out a fire.

We love pets here at SERVPRO! For many of the homes we visit the animals are a part of the family but many people do not have a fire safety plan for themselves and their critters. For general fire safety use this post to add emergency pet procedures to your plan.

Planning on how to handle your pets in the event of an emergency can prevent a member of your family or an emergency worker from going back into an unsafe situation. If evacuating your home during a fire here are some steps that you can take before and during to be as safe as possible:

-Stay calm and do not panic, your pet will hopefully take your lead.

-Be sure to call for your pet

-Have a leash or cat carrier easily accessible

-Rescue alert stickers tell emergency workers how many and what kind of animals are in your house and typically also have a space for the name and number of your veterinarian.

-Know your pets hideaway spot, if they are scared they will go there. Mark those places on your fire escape plan map

-If you must leave before you evacuate leave a door open or some other kind of outdoor access available. Call your pets name when you get out and with luck they may head for your voice.

Some general pet related safety tips are:

-Keep all records of shots and vaccinations in a firebox

-Have an emergency bag handy with emergency veterinarian contact, pets food, snacks, water, medications and toys for comfort.

-Talk to your veterinarian about what your pet might need for a first aid kit.

-Microchipping your pet is a more permanent form of identification in case you lose track of them

How to Get the Smell of Cigarette Smoke Out of Your Home

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

Have you just moved into a home or apartment with a strong nicotine smell? There are some home remedies to try, but these will only work under certain circumstances. There are many questions to consider, like how long the cigarette smoke has been impacting the area, how strong the smell is, and where the smell is concentrated.

If the home remedies are unsuccessful, it is best to send a professional out to inspect it. Once we can establish the extent of the damage, we begin to plan action steps for ridding the home of the stench. Often nicotine residue can cling to the HVAC system, so a full duct cleaning could be the answer to residual odor that seems to outlast other odor removal methods. If the ducts have been cleaned, then we will ozone the affected areas. We will bring it air scrubbers to remove the airborne contaminants and control the air quality during the restoration and cleanup process.

After the ozone process is complete, we will use a thermal fogger, which uses a special solvent-based deodorizer that is heated and applied as a dry fog/smoke. Thermal foggers rely on a deodorizing solution that is vaporized in the fogger then blown into the room permeating all of the contents and structural elements. This process will ensure that the nicotine odor is gone for good.

If you have more questions or would like to schedule an odor assessment, give us a call at (210) 610-6800.

We Handle Fires!

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig, we want to give you the confidence to know that whenever you call, no matter the situation, we will be on our way immediately to restore your home or business back in order. As you know, SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig specializes in fire restoration, as it is one of our main services alongside water restoration. When it comes to fire restoration, we understand that there is a high level of stress when encountering it because of the factors that go into it such as what damages have been done to the home or business, how quickly can this be restored, and when can life go back to normal. Because we understand that, we will take on any fire damage for you, big or small!

SERVPRO- Your Source for Fire Restoration

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig understands that fires happen often. It is important to us that we make sure that you are aware that fires are a top priority for us.

In a fire damage, the restoration process of a fire should be started quickly. You shouldn’t wait to contact a certified restoration company, the more likely it is for damage from water and smoke to intensify.

The average person will attempt conventional cleaning methods like renting a steam cleaner and using common cleaning agents available at the store.

Chemical agents could also react with the residue and cause permanent damage, and in some cases, they may cause toxic fumes.

Here at SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig, we want you to know that we are your number one source of fire damage restoration!

Do You Need Qualified Fire Restoration Professionals?

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Fires can ignite in a building by something as small as an electrical failure. If allowed to get out of hand, the damage it can cause can be devastating. It is good to know that in a time of need such as this, SERVPRO has the experience to get things back to normal.

SERVPRO of Universal City / St.Hedwig is an Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) firm. The standards for the restoration industry are set by IICRC. They provide certifications to restoration companies, as well as training.

SERVPRO of Universal City has technicians who are highly trained in property damage restoration. Smoke and soot can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Fire damage can also lead to water damage. Making sure the company that handles the situation correctly and professionally is crucial.

One-Stop Is Here!

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

How great is it to know that you can call one company to get the job done?

SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig offers reconstruction services for all mitigation damages! No need to find someone else to perform your restoration portion of the water, mold or fire damage.

After we come in and perform the cleanup services, we can transition into the reconstruction services to help restore your home or office back to good condition!

With our new Reconstruction division, we are excited to offer the following services during the reconstruction process: 

  • Structural repairs
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • HVAC
  • Windows/Doors
  • Interior Design
  • Flooring Replacement (all types)
  • Ceilings
  • Roofing
  • Drywall
  • Siding
  • Exterior Finishes
  • Carpentry
  • Framing

SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig wants you to know that we can anything at anytime!

Understanding Fire Restoration

2/21/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig understands how dangerous it is dealing with fire damage.

The fire restoration process should be started as quickly as possible following a fire damage. The longer you wait to contact a certified restoration company, the more likely it is for damage from water and smoke to intensify.

Chemical agents could react with the residue and cause permanent damage, and in some cases, they may cause toxic fumes.  Fire damage cleanup is one of the most difficult jobs out there, and it should be left to a professional for the best results. 

Let SERVPRO of Universal city / St. Hedwig be your certified professional when facing your own fire damage. We will walk you through the process step by step to ensure that your home is properly restored.

Children & Fire Safety

2/6/2019 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig, we believe that is important for children to know what to do when a fire occurs.

  1. Go to a firefighter in an emergency. Young children may be scared the first time they see a firefighter in full gear. Explain to children:
  • What firefighters wear and why.
  • How a firefighter can help if there is a fire..
  1. Crawl low under smoke.
  • Tell children that some fires make lots of smoke, which is dangerous to breathe.
  • Show them the safe way to respond when a room fills with smoke: get down on your hands and knees, keep your head up, and crawl outside.
  • Ask children to practice with you.  Lead them in crawling across the room with their heads up. Repeat frequently to help children remember this important safety strategy.
  1. Stop, drop, and roll. When children’s clothes catch fire, their first reaction may be to run. This can make the fire spread faster. Show children the safest way to respond:  
  • Stop, cover your face, get down on the ground, and roll from side to side until you smother the fire.
  • Ask children to practice with you a few times and then split them into pairs. Children can take turns demonstrating to their partners. Repeat frequently to help children learn to stop, drop, and roll automatically.
  1. Tell a grown-up.Tell children that matches and lighters are tools that only adults use.
  • Tell children that they should not play with or even touch these materials.
  • Explain that if they find a match or lighter, they should tell a grown-up immediately.
  • Role-play with children in small groups about what to do when they find these types of materials.

Visit www.playsafebesafe.com to learn about the play safe! be safe! program workshops, access free activities for children, and order a low-cost multimedia kit that includes a teacher manual and a DVD with fire-safety lessons.

For more information, visit: https://www.teachervision.com/emergency/teacher-resources/47554.html

General Fire Information

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig knows that a fire can break out at any time, so it is vital that you are prepared. One thing that we recommend you do as a company is to plan ahead, which can save your business from extended closure following a fire. The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. The more prepared you are, the more chance that you have at making sure that your belongings and property gets restored back to normal. Employee fire training is also advised. Also, by having a FREE Emergency Ready Profile conducted by your local SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig team, you are ahead of the game.

Fire Tips

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO strives to keep you prepared and ahead of anything that comes your way.

If you do not know what to do when you experience a fire, SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig has some tips that will help you out:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading.
  • Place any clean towel or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.
  • Coat chrome faucets, trim, and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
  • Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces.
  • Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery.
  • Do not clean any electrical equipment.
  • Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Comfort Through Fire Damages

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

It is so common here in Universal City, Texas that a fire happens. Someone might be cooking and forget to turn off the stove before they leave the house. Situations vary amongst businesses and households, but as unfortunate as that is, SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig specializes in fire damage.

Our production team is prepared and highly trained to remove smoke from your HVAC system, as well making sure that damaged belongings get cleaned and restored back to its original form. We also understand that things such fires happen, and we also know how overwhelming and stressful that can be. We are here to make sure that you can have comfort knowing that whatever happened, will get taken care of in a timely fashion! 

We are now a one-stop shop!

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO will take the nightmare of a damage and help to make it "Like it never even happened."

How great is it to know that you can call one company to get the job done?

SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig now offers reconstruction services for all mitigation damages! No need to find someone else to perform your restoration portion of the water, mold or fire damage! After we come in and perform the cleanup services, we can smoothly transition into the reconstruction services to help restore your home or office back to good condition!

With our new Reconstruction division, we are excited to offer the following services during the reconstruction process: 

    • Structural repairs
    • Electrical
    • Plumbing
    • HVAC
    • Windows/Doors
    • Interior Design
    • Flooring Replacement (all types)
    • Ceilings
    • Roofing
    • Drywall
    • Siding
    • Exterior Finishes
    • Carpentry
    • Framing
    • Tile Work

Call today for more information! (210) 610-6800

Fire Restoration Certified

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

Fire, smoke, and soot all due significant damage to this garage.

Fires can ignite in a building by something as small as an electrical failure. If allowed to get out of hand, the damage it can cause can be devastating. It is good to know that in a time of need such as this, SERVPRO has the experience to get things back to normal. SERVPRO of Universal city/St.Hedwig is a  Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) firm. The standards for the restoration industry are set by IICRC. They provide certifications to restoration companies, as well as training. SERVPRO of Universal City has technicians who are highly trained in property damage restoration. It is important that all salvageable items be properly restored, as fires also cause smoke and soot damage. Smoke and soot can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Fire damage can also lead to water damage. Making sure the company that handles the situation correctly and professionally is crucial. SERVPRO of Universal City has the certifications that qualifies them to lend their assistance in such times of need.

Understanding the fire Restoration Process

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

The fire restoration process should be started as quickly as possible following a fire damage. The longer you wait to contact a certified restoration company, the more likely it is for damage from water and smoke to intensify. It’s bad enough there was a fire, but the water and chemicals used to extinguish it can cause secondary damage.  The remnants will continue to do damage long after the flames are extinguished.   

The average person will attempt conventional cleaning methods like renting a steam cleaner and using common cleaning agents available at the store.  Unfortunately, this will barely make an impact on the problem and could cause bigger issues.  Chemical agents could react with the residue and cause permanent damage, and in some cases, they may cause toxic fumes.  Fire damage cleanup is one of the most difficult jobs out there, and it should be left to a professional for the best results. 

Let SERVPRO of Universal city / St. Hedwig be your certified professional when facing your own fire damage. We will walk you through the process step by step to ensure that your home is properly restored. Our team of professionals is available 24/7 to help you put your life back together and restore your normal as much as possible.

Call us today at (210) 610-6800.

* https://www.IICRC.org/blog/tag/fire-restoration.

Teaching Children About Fire Safety

2/26/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Prevention Week was established to remember the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which began on October 8. Use these worksheets, activities, and lessons to teach your students/child(ren) about fire safety and prevention. Prepare your students/child(ren) for emergency situations with worksheets and literature on fire readiness. October is Fire Prevention Month, but any time of the year is appropriate to enjoy these resources.

Please visit: https://www.teachervision.com/emergency/teacher-resources/47554.html

1. Go to a firefighter in an emergency. Young children may be scared the first time they see a firefighter in full gear. Explain to children

  • What firefighters wear and why.
  • How a firefighter can help if there is a fire.

Contact your local fire station to arrange a tour. The children can learn about equipment and become familiar with what firefighters look like and what they do. Or invite firefighters to your classroom so they can put on their gear in front of the children, explain their jobs, and answer children’s questions.

2. Crawl low under smoke.

  • Tell children that some fires make lots of smoke, which is dangerous to breathe.
  • Show them the safe way to respond when a room fills with smoke: get down on your hands and knees, keep your head up, and crawl outside.
  • Ask children to practice with you.  Lead them in crawling across the room with their heads up. Repeat frequently to help children remember this important safety strategy.

3. Stop, drop, and roll. When children’s clothes catch fire, their first reaction may be to run. This can make the fire spread faster. Show children the safest way to respond:  

  • Stop, cover your face, get down on the ground, and roll from side to side until you smother the fire.
  • Ask children to practice with you a few times and then split them into pairs. Children can take turns demonstrating to their partners. Repeat frequently to help children learn to stop, drop, and roll automatically.

4. Tell a grown-up. Emphasize to children that matches and lighters are tools that only adults use.

  • Tell children that they should not play with or even touch these materials.
  • Explain that if they find a match or lighter, they should tell a grown-up immediately.
  • Role-play with children in small groups about what to do when they find these types of materials.

Visit www.playsafebesafe.com to learn about the play safe! be safe!program workshops, access free activities for children, and order a low-cost multimedia kit that includes a teacher manual and a DVD with fire-safety lessons.

Why is it Important to Have a Fire Evacuation Plan

1/30/2018 (Permalink)

We hear a lot about smoke detectors. They are VERY important in a home safety plan. But do not forget the full Fire Evacuation Plan.

We hear all too often sad stories of houses catching fire and not everyone making it out safely.  

This brings me to the main reason for this topic.  As we hear these stories and how the smoke detectors save people’s lives, we realized that a FULL PLAN of escape is necessary. So, when was the last time you and your family practiced an evacuation drill?  Maybe, it has been awhile. Please do not put this off any longer.  The main point is, it’s easy to forget about your overall evacuation plan. Please, take a few minutes and go over a Complete Fire Evacuation Plan with your family.

    • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
    • Everyone in the household must understand the escape plan. When you walk through your plan, check to make sure the escape routes are clear and doors and windows can be opened easily.
    • Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. neighbor's house, a light post, mailbox, or stop sign) a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
    • Go outside to see if your street number is clearly visible from the road. If not, paint it on the curb or install house numbers to ensure that responding emergency personnel can find your home.
    • Have everyone memorize the emergency phone number of the fire department. That way any member of the household can call from a neighbor's home or a cellular phone once safely outside.
    • If there are infants, older adults, or family members with mobility limitations, make sure that someone is assigned to assist them in the fire drill and in the event of an emergency. Assign a backup person too, in case the designee is not home during the emergency.
    • If windows or doors in your home have security bars, make sure that the bars have emergency release devices inside so that they can be opened immediately in an emergency. Emergency release devices won't compromise your security - but they will increase your chances of safely escaping a home fire.
    • Tell guests or visitors to your home about your family's fire escape plan.
    • Be fully prepared for a real fire: when a smoke alarm sounds, get out immediately.
  • Once you're out, stay out! Under no circumstances should you ever go back into a burning building. If someone is missing, inform the fire department dispatcher when you call. Firefighters have the skills and equipment to perform rescues.

Commercial Fire Preparedness

1/25/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial business owners everywhere know they must keep their fire protection systems up to code, but what happens when they don't?

A fire can break out at any time.  Faulty equipment or a careless employee, you must be prepared.  Maintaining your fire suppression system, as well as planning ahead, can save your business from extended closure following a fire.

There are many cases every year in which a lack of properly installed fire safety equipment leads to extensive damage from fires.  If your business isn't up-to-code on all of your sprinklers, suppression systems and alarms, your business could face disastrous consequences.

You also need to address the issue that businesses don't always prepare for - employee fire safety training.  An employee who has been trained can avoid the fire hazard, and possibly even fight the fire, using an extinguisher the right way. 

Next, you must prepare for the aftermath.  By having a FREE Emergency Ready Profile conducted by your local SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig team, you are way ahead of the game.  This profile will expedite the cleanup and restoration services provided by SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig.  Contact our local office at (210) 610-6800 to schedule yours today.

What to do until SERVPRO arrives

1/25/2018 (Permalink)

A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems. Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until your SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig professionals arrive. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration.

DO:

Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.

Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.

Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.

If electricity is off, empty freezer/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.

Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.

If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.

Change HVAC filters; leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.

Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON'T:

Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted

surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig Professional.

Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig Professional.

Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.

Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as they may be contaminated.

If ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fans.  Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.

Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.