Recent Fire Damage Posts

5 Home Fire Prevention Steps

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Prevent a Home Fire

The best way to survive a home fire is by preventing one from occurring. Fortunately, fire preparation tasks are straightforward.


Install enough smoke alarms in your home.


Ideally, these alarms should be located inside each bedroom, on every level of the home, at least ten feet from cooking appliances, and in the halls outside of the bedrooms. Don't forget to test the alarms every month and replace the batteries on an annual basis. Make sure that family members know how to recognize the alarm and how to exit safely.


Perform home maintenance consistently and thoroughly.


Greasy buildup in burners, lint in the dryer hose, and neglected chimneys are all cause of fire damage. Many household chores and repairs, such as repairing damaged sockets, have a significant impact on fire preparation and prevention.


Store flammable items safely.


Keep gas for the lawnmower, lighter fluid, and similar products stored in a cool location and out of reach. Additionally, consider the many other potentially combustible items. Go through the cabinets and closets of your home, watching for things such as lighters, matches, chemicals, and other flammable items.


Prepare for emergency situations.


A ten-gallon can of baking soda near the cook top quickly puts out grease fires, safely and effectively. Fire extinguishers with BC or ABC rating are best. An A rating indicates that pressurized water is in the canister and that the extinguisher is not appropriate for cooking fires.


Teach Your Family Fire Safety


In addition to teaching children not to play with matches, fire safety education should include not throwing laundry over a lamp or leaving papers near heaters. The more your children are aware of how fires start, the better they'll be at avoiding them.

Safe Disposal Options for Smoke Detectors:

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

The radioactive material in a smoke detector can become a problem, if the detector is not properly disposed. Smoke detectors placed in the trash or burned will release their radioactive material into the environment. This holds true for any chemical or potentially hazardous material, which is why proper disposal is very important.

The life expectancy of smoke detectors is about 10 years, after this their sensors can begin to lose sensitivity. You can find the manufacturer date on the back of your smoke detector. Be sure to remove the smoke detector from the wall or ceiling to check the date of manufacture. Replace the smoke alarm with a new one if the unit is more than 10 years old or the test alarm does not work.


You can return your old or unneeded smoke detector to the original manufacturer for disposal as hazardous waste. The brand name and/or address can be found on the back of the device or in the user’s manual. After removing the battery, return the entire unit intact with a note indicating that the device is intended for disposal. Detectors should be mailed by surface mail or UPS Ground so they don’t travel by airplane

What to do Until Help Arrives After a Fire

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

WHAT TO DO UNTIL HELP ARRIVES

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 and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor. 
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and 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 to tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures. 
  • Wash both sides of leaves on house plants. 
  • Change the HVAC filter, but leave the 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. 

SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig is a team of specialists, trained to professionally clean your home and personal belongings. If you experience a fire in your San Antonio home or business, give us a call at (210) 610-6800.

Let SERVPRO Put The Flames Of Worry Out In Your San Antonio Home After A Fire

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

Unattended Candle vs Living Room Curtains = Fire Damage in San Antonio

Candles are one of the most frequent culprits for fire damage in living rooms. Left unattended, they post a risk of loss especially for furnishings, window treatments and electronics.

SERVPRO worked on fire damage in a Converse living room caused by a candle. The homeowner regularly burned them and was only out of the room a short time talking with a neighbor at the end of her driveway when she saw smoke pouring out of her garage doorway. The fire was extinguished quickly using a home fire extinguisher, but the area around a window including the curtains was a loss.

SERVPRO arrived within hours and asked the homeowner to turn off the HVAC to stop soot from cross-contaminating other areas of the home through the ductwork. Then while a team of technicians removed the contents too charred to restore from the room, another technician contained the damaged area to stop the spread of soot and odors. The residue left behind by the fire extinguishers was quickly vacuumed up and removed.

Technicians set up high-velocity exhaust fans to speed ventilation in the living room and then began the process of cleaning the smoke damaged area. The homeowner had a high gloss enamel paint on her walls, and this did not allow smoke to penetrate but instead spread across the surface where it was easily cleaned using our professional-grade solutions.
Odor control is never a one-size-fits-all solution. Often the application of multiple methods is necessary to neutralize odors. An air scrubber lowered but did not eliminate the residual odors left behind in the carpeting and a chair that was close to the fire. So the technician chose to use a thermal fogger eradicate the remaining smoke odor, which uses a deodorizing solution delivered as a hot fog that overtakes odors in porous or absorbent items. We also inspected and cleaned the ducts to ensure the odor did not return when the HVAC was back on.

We know when you have fire damage, you need help quickly. SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig has emergency response teams available 24-hours a day by calling (210) 610-6800, and our technicians can make it "Like it never even happened."

Outlet Fire in Universal City, TX

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

We were called out last week to a homeowner who luckily found this happening next to one of her outlets. She called the fire department immediately, and fortunately, there was no fire active behind the wall. The electrician arrived onsite at the same time as SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig. This scenario was one of the first times that the electrician has seen this happen. 

What happened was that there was a mouse behind the wall eating the wire to that outlet. As you can see, it caused a fire to go down the main electrical line in the wall. 

Unfortunately, the only way to keep an eye out for this is to walk around your house and check the outlets for any possible melted spots or black soot coming out of them. It is essential to be aware that this is a possibility. 

Dealing with your fire-damaged home in Universal City, TX can be taxing and tiring, however, it doesn't need to be overwhelming. As a team of professionals with extensive experience in the smoke and fire damage restoration field, SERVPRO's skilled technicians can provide you with the detailed, results-driven services you need to restore your property, “Like it never even happened.” Call us at (210) 610-6800.

Eliminating Heating Hazards This Winter

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

The winter season is in full swing! The days are shorter, and temperatures are lower. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in weather. To keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is responsible for an estimated $893 million in property damage annually. Heating is the second leading cause of residential fire deaths, making it important to review ways to help reduce the risk of a heating-related fire. 

-Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater. Have a three foot "Kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters. 

-Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. 

-Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters. 

-Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home. 

-Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. 

-Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions. 

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half. 

The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be install in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detectors requirements are met. 

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or client to escape quickly and safely in an emergency. 

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance. 

-Install smoke alarms on every level of the home including the basement. 

- Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance. 

-Test smoke alarms at least once a month using a test button. 

-Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm "chirps" the battery is low and should be replaced right away. 

-Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

Dealing with your fire-damaged home in San Antonio, TX can be taxing and tiring, however, it doesn't need to be overwhelming. As a team of professionals with extensive experience in the smoke and fire damage restoration field, SERVPRO's skilled technicians can provide you with the detailed, results-driven services you need to restore your property, “Like it never even happened.” Call us at (210) 610-6800.

Your Home or Business Just had a Fire - Now What?

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

The first 24 hours after fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO® of Universal City / St. Hedwig can help prevent fire damage from creating long term problems.  

Under normal circumstances, within one hour from notice of a loss, a SERVPRO® of Universal City / St. Hedwig professional will contact you to arrange a service. Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO® of Universal City / St. Hedwig professional will be on site to begin mitigation services. Finally, within eight business hours, a verbal job briefing will be communicated to the appropriate person.  

Until a trained professional arrives, there are several things you can do to lessen long term damage.

  • Limit movement in the home or business to prevent further damage.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling.
  • If electricity is off, empty refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Wipe soot from chrome on faucets and appliances then protect with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces.
  • Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture.
  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire or water.  


SERVPRO® of Universal City / St. Hedwig professionals provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration. These services help ensure your property and belongings are restored to preloss condition when possible.

Preventing a Fire...

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

Here are some of our top tips for preventing a fire.

  • Teach everyone in the house basics of fire safety and how to prepare for a fire.
  • Only smoke outside of your home.
  • Prep your outdoor area before having a fire by spraying everything down. Don’t start a fire outdoors if you live in a relatively dry climate. Spraying down the outside area is important in case sparks land outside of the fire pit.
  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking.
  • Make sure you install fire alarms and smoke detectors.
  • Keep all matches and lighters out of reach of children and in a safe place.
  • Learn about electrical fires as they are entirely different.
  • Keep all flammable items at least 3 feet away from anything that gets hot.

Smoke and Soot Damage in San Antonio, TX

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (210) 610-6800

Fire Damage Restoration

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damage restoration is yet another SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig specialty.  Our technicians work diligently to clean your structure and/or contents to preloss condition.  SERVPRO of Athens fire damage restoration includes the following services:

  • Mitigation services—these services secure the structure and prevent further damage. Structures that are wet due to fire-fighting procedures will need emergency drying to prevent secondary water damage
  • Structural Cleaning Services—Removal of the smoke residues from the structure and deodorizing odors given off by the residues
  • Contents Cleaning Services—Personal property within a residence, office, or other building must be cleaned of smoke resides.  Contents cleaning can be held within the structure or may require packing and moving to a separate location for cleaning and storage.

Fire damage situations are all different.  SERVPRO of Universal City / St. Hedwig knows that each situation requires a unique solution.  Let our Fire Damage Restoration technicians restore your property to preloss condition meanwhile treating you and your family with empathy and respect that you deserve.

Call SERVPRO of Universal City / ST. Hedwig today! (210) 610-6800

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.

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.