Essential Tips: How To Prevent a Fire At Home

Fires at home happen more often than we would like to think and the risk of a fire in your home is probably higher than you imagine. We don’t want to scare you by saying this, but by convincing ourselves that a fire is unlikely to happen we often get complacent. This is when we stop doing things which can prevent a fire at home and start doing things which ourselves more at risk.

In today’s post we’re going to look at the things you can do to ensure that you do as much as possible to prevent a fire at home.

1. Inspect Your House

Prevent a Fire at HomeIt’s likely that you will need to get somebody out with experience in electrics, gas or heating to fully inspect everything in your home. But by going through the home you can find areas which may be putting your home at risk of a fire. The gas and electrical system in your home are the two areas which are most likely to put you at risk. But your air conditioning and heating units can also cause you problems.

If you haven’t got any experience in these areas then hiring a professional to check them over is always wise if you want to prevent a fire at home.

2. Safe Use of Extension Cords

prevent a fireOne of the main issues with household items is the risk they cause when connected to an extension cord for a long period of time. These cords can often be easily damaged and if they do sustain damage they are very likely to lead to a fire. If you need to connect something to an extension for a long period of time, find a high quality cord which is unlikely to be easily damaged.

Certain equipment (like air conditioners) should never be connected to an extension cord. If the cord overheats it is like an out of control heater and can very easily cause a fire. Extension cords need to be used very carefully if you want to prevent a fire at home.

3. Safe Use of Electrical Goods.

prevent a fireNever leave your mobile phone plugged in overnight – certain devices have been known to start fires when left plugged in for a long period of time. Charging overnight also damages the battery inside the phone itself, most mobile phones only need a 2 hour charging cycle. Turn off as many electrical devices as possible before you go to bed as well.

Check power cords for all of your appliances – missing prongs on plugs and damaged insulation are two things you should look out for. Replace or repair any defective parts on your power cords.

Be careful with space heaters, make sure they have sufficient ventilation and keep any flammable materials as far away as possible from them. You also want to make sure they are well out of the way of any foot traffic in the room.

4. Cooking Safety

Prevent a Fire at HomeTry not to leave the kitchen when you are cooking, but if you must leave for a short period of time – turn off the oven. You can easily turn it all back on when you return to the kitchen. This may sound like it isn’t a big deal, but unattended cooking is actually one of the most common causes of house fires. Avoiding this risk is a great way to prevent a fire at home.

Never, ever cook when you have drank alcohol, used drugs or feel very tired. Eat a ready prepared sandwich or some fruit if you are very hungry. Many house fires have started when someone has started cooking a meal then fell asleep while the food is cooking. Do not put yourself in this situation, go to sleep and cook the food later when you are fully awake.

5. Be Safe With Day To Day Activities

Prevent a Fire at HomeNever sit or lie down when you are smoking, especially if you are tired. Many fires start because someone lights up a cigarette and then falls asleep dropping the cigarettes onto a flammable material. Always smoke stood up, preferably outside in an area where you can safely put out a cigarette.

Any candles should be placed inside a frame with a wire cage which should prevent anything falling onto the flame. It also protects children and animals from hurting themselves by touching the flame. Always put out the flame when you leave the room and relight it when you return. If you use a match to light the candles (or anything else) run it under water to extinguish any invisible flame which could set fire to your trash can.

Conclusion

Many of these tips may seem like common knowledge – but do you already follow them every day? If you do not then ensure that you start to follow each of them religiously. This should ensure that you aren’t putting yourself at any higher risk of a fire than you need to be.

Unfortunately, even the most well prepared person cannot ensure with 100% certainty that a fire will never happen in their house. Install a fire alarm in your home for the safety of you and your family if a fire does start in your house. This also may notify you at a stage where a fire is contained in a certain area and you can still extinguish it.

If a fire does cause damage in your home then you can call Fireservice Disaster Kleenup 24/7 7 days a year. We can restore your home and save many precious items which may otherwise be lost to the fire.

Related Articles

  1. 5 Reasons to Use a Fire Restoration Company
  2. 9 Common Causes of House Fires That You Can Prevent
  3. Fire Damage Restoration Service – Living Room Demonstration

Images: Moyan Brenn, FreeFoto.comDhscommtech

5 Reasons to Use a Fire Restoration Company

There’s nothing worse than the moment that a fire strikes your home or business… apart from dealing with the fire damage afterwards. If your home or business has been unfortunate enough to be heavily damaged by a fire then you need to choose the right people to perform fire restoration services for you.

It’s important that you recognize straight away that a DIY approach is not going to be enough to get everything back up to8992-close-up-of-a-fire-pv scratch! But if you aren’t going to fix it then whose help should you enlist to sort everything out? In this article we’ll look at 5 reasons why you should use a fire restoration company.

You Will Avoid The Heartache

It isn’t just the physical damage of the fire which is destructive. If you choose to clear up the damage yourself then you have to be prepared to find damaged photographs and items which you might have forgotten about but carry a huge emotional significance to you. Finding these items will be a very painful experience for you to go through. It is much better to avoid these moments by allowing someone else to deal with the cleanup so that you can start planning for the future.

You Will Save Whatever Can Be Saved

While some items will be impossible to save, you want to give those items which have a chance of survival the best opportunity to make it. The items which have just about escaped fire damage need to be handled with care by someone who knows what they are doing. You have the best chance of saving your prized possessions if a fire restoration expert is the first person who handles it.

You Can Protect Your Home From Unseen Damage

Fire restoration companies don’t just restore your home from the damage the flames cause – they also protect it from the damage of smoke. The long term damage of smoke can stick around long after it settles and is no longer visible. Once the smoke settles it can leave behind particles which embed into the walls, carpets, and all of your other belongings.

House_fire_in_Beaver_Falls,_rearIf these aren’t fully cleaned they can leave behind very unpleasant odors and potentially cause long-term health problems. Don’t take a chance, call Fireservice Disaster Kleenup and make sure that all of the smoke particles are fully removed from your home.

You Can Protect Your Home From Water Too

It isn’t just fire and smoke which cause damage to your home, the steps taken to put out the fire can cause damage too. Think of all of the water used to put out the flames and consider what kind of damage that my cause to your home. You need to give us a call to take care of the moisture left behind so you don’t end up with mold and all sorts of other nasty problems.

We Can Provide Fire Restoration Whenever You Need Us

Fire can strike at any time so you need to act fast and make sure that you can save as much as possible. Fireservice Disaster Kleenup offer a 24 hour service in Fort Myres, Naples, Charlotte and Sarasota. If you need help from our fire restoration service give us a call – quickly! We will work with you and your insurance so that we can get to work on the fire restoration quickly whenever you need it.

Holiday Season. Fire Safety Season.

The holiday season is quickly approaching and with the joys of the season come gatherings, meals, and time spent with family and friends. As many people gather to celebrate, the opportunities for distraction and mishaps in the kitchen, at the grills and with those favorite turkey fryers increases. image2387681x

Fireservice Disaster Kleenup is a family owned and operated company that started over 43 years ago here in Southwest Florida and is here to serve your needs today.

We tend to see an increase of fires that cause great damage to homes during this time of year. Many of those disasters can be avoided by staying attentive in the kitchen and at the grill. When cooking for your family and friends, make sure that you remain in the kitchen or with the cooking devices instead of sitting in other rooms talking with friends and playing games.

If you are in the other room away from the stove/oven, then the only way you know if something is burning is when the smoke advances to the room you are in. By then, the fire may have already engulfed the entire area and caused damage. Remember to blow out your candles as well before you leave the house.
We hope you make many fun memories this holiday season but remember to always be careful when you are cooking or gathering with friends to avoid any fire or water disasters.

If you do have an issue with water damage, mold, smoke or fire, let Fireservice Disaster Kleenup be the company that you call to help get your house back to pre-damaged condition.

9 Common Causes of House Fires That You Can Prevent

Fireservice Disaster Kleenup sees many fires in Fort Myers, Naples, Marco Island, North Port and all surrounding areas almost every single day.

This time a year, a lot of the fires are caused by a lightning strike. Lightning is not something you can prevent;  however, here are some of the top other causes of house fires that you can prevent.

fire-damage-cleanup-fireservice-fort-myers-naples-cape-coral-north-port-charlotte1. Cooking Equipment– Make sure that you are using the correct size pots and pans for cooking. Do not leave things on the stove and make sure that the surrounding countertops are clean from paper towels, cloths or oven mitts. If you can’t cook without the smoke detectors going off then pick up take out for the family. I promise they would rather have take out anyways.

2. Careless Smoking– My suggestion is if you are going to smoke then try to do it outside and put you cigarette butts in a wet container. If you are going to smoke inside do so standing or sitting up. We see when people smoke laying in bed or couch that they can fall asleep holding on to the lit cigarette causing a fire to ignite.  Imagine the look on your friends face when you have to tell them that the fire and burnt hair is your fault cause you were smoking.

3. Electrical Equipment– This can be anything that you plug into a wall. Make sure that all the plugs are in good condition and items are powered off when not in use. If electrical item gets warm when not in use unplug and avoid from using.

4. Candles– Limit candle use and make sure that the candles are blown out before you leave or go to sleep. Suggestion that I do is to lay my car keys or phone beside the candle so that I have to see the candle before I leave. A blown out Cucumber Melon candle smells a lot better than chard kitchen cabinets.

5. Children Playing with Fire– Make sure that your kids know fire safety. Also try to keep all lighters and matches out of children’s reach.

6. Inadequate Wiring– If your lights flicker or get dimmer when certain appliances are in use , then have a licensed electrician come and inspect the issue. (Not a handy husband that thinks he knows what the issue is)

7. Flammable liquids– Store all flammable liquids and cleaners in a good location with approved containers.

8. Christmas Tree/Decorations– Keep your tree watered daily. Make sure to inspect lights and wires before hanging them up. If wires , plugs or lights are damaged just dispose of them. Also, do not over load the breakers trying to be the Clark Griswold of the neighborhood.

9. Barbecues– Clean all removable parts with soapy water. Make sure that when grilling that do it away from the house, not under tree branches and as bad as it feels to even have to say it, do not grill indoors.

Fireservice Disaster Kleenup wants everyone to be safe. Make sure that you and your family have a plan if a fire does happen. Call 911 first and then call your local Fireservice Disaster Kleenup office in Naples, Fort Myers or North Port.

-Jamey Nassef

Fireservice Disaster Kleenup
2241 Trade Center Way
Naples, FL 34109

Office 239-261-1422
Mobile 239-823-7278
Fax 239-936-5420

jnassef@fireserviceusa.com
www.fireserviceusa.com

 

How to Cleanup Fire Damage (without making things worse)

After the devastation of a fire in your home, it can be hard to focus on the next steps you need to take to clean up the fire and smoke damage.

Trying to cleanup fire damage on your own without consulting a professional can cause even more problems. To help with the overall cost and stress, it is best to contact Fireservice, especially if you are planning to file a claim with your insurance company.

Within hours, Fireservice will

  • board up broken windows
  • secure doors
  • patch holes
  • remove any standing water from your home.

You won’t have to worry that your home is vulnerable to further damage by thieves, animals, or the elements.

Fireservice will evaluate the damage done to your home in the fire, and provide you with an estimate for repair costs. This information is valuable when dealing with your insurance company. We can provide you with expert estimates because we have years of experience dealing with fire damage.

Along with removing soot and water from your home, Fireservice will eliminate the odor of soot and chemicals from your home, dry your home with industrial fans and dehumidifiers, and clean affected surfaces with antimicrobial disinfectants.

We will then begin the process of restoring your home to its original condition by repairing walls, floors, and ceilings.

For more information please contact
Gene Pigott
239-823-5397
gpigott@fireserviceusa.com

Residential Fire Sprinklers Save Lives

Fire Damage Restoration

Fire Sprinklers are protection devices that we all expect to see and are required per federal mandate in commercial buildings. However, what about residential structures? If the life-safety benefits are proven, why don’t consumers install them in their homes?

Common objections are that fire sprinklers are “too expensive to install” or that “in the event of a fire, sprinkler water would cause more damage than the fire” also it’s thought that “ devices will be activated by the smoke alarm.” All of these statements are myths keeping consumers from installing life-saving devices.

85% of US fire deaths occur in the home. In 2013 that equated to 369,500 residential fires, 2,755 deaths,12,200 injuries and $6.8 million dollars in property damage.

If fire sprinklers are installed in a home the risk of dying is reduced by about 80% and the average property loss is cut by 70% (as compared to a property with no sprinklers).

These statistics should be enough motivation to have fire sprinklers installed in new residential properties, however the myths stated above often deter homeowners from installing them.

Here are the facts:

  • Home fire sprinklers can control and may even extinguish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive on the scene.
  • Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, spraying water directly on the fire. In 84% of home fires where the sprinklers operate, just one sprinkler operates.
  • The cost of installing home fire sprinklers averages $1.35 per sprinklered square foot.

According to Bob DiModica of Naples Fire Protection , another unwarranted concern is leaky sprinkler heads. Properly installed and maintained sprinkler systems are not at greater risk for water leaks than the homes plumbing system. Also, accidental sprinkler head activation is rare.

In the event of a fire, a reputable fire damage restoration company such as Fireservice Disaster Kleenup can extract the sprinkler water, repair any damage and restore the property back to normal.

Remember – residential fire sprinklers save lives.

 

All statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and www.firesprinklerinitiative.org

 

 

Just Say ‘No’ To Unlicensed and Uninsured Vendors

A few months ago, we started to see a trend. As more people are arriving in SW Florida, more people are hiring unlicensed, uninsured vendors to do repairs they have no training for or insurance for.

Recently we were called to a job by a homeowner who had been given our name by the Fire Department. A condo owner had hired an unlicensed, uninsured air conditioning repairman.

During his attempt to repair the A/C unit, he was soldering a copper line that came out of the A/C unit and into the wall of the condo. He did not realize (as he was soldering)  the copper pipe was heating up on the inside of the condo wall. The heat caught the inside wall and insulation on fire and it rolled up the wall into the roof, up the trusses, to the firewall that separated 2 units.

By the time the fireman arrived, the adjoining unit (Unit #2) was filled with smoke. The fireman put the fire out in the Unit #1 by pulling down drywall and insulation in the ceiling. There was a lot of water damage to Unit #1 and Unit #2.

The damage that this unlicensed, uninsured vendor caused was: severe drywall and insulation damage to Unit #1 with a hole burned in the ceiling and roof.  Unit #2 had water damage, smoke damage and a broken window.

The condo association was responsible for all drywall, all the insulation, an engineer to determine if the roof trusses were damaged or needed to be rebuilt. Since the firewall was exposed, the engineer also needs to determine if the condo needs to be brought up to code.

The building official and code enforcement showed up to inspect and determine damage. They determined the liability was to fall on the condo owner, who hired the unlicensed, uninsured vendor.  By the way, the condo owner who hired this contractor owned Unit #3, which had NO DAMAGE at all.

Here are some photos of the damage.

IMG_20150108_104136694_HDR IMG_20150108_104206000 IMG_20150108_104735055

 

He knew better than to do this because he owns 3 other units in the building. Be very careful of who you hire. When you hire the cheapest, sometimes the consequences will be much greater than you even imagine!

Greg Frith
Fireservice Disaster Kleenup
239-826-0217

 

Fire Alarm Code Change

In an effort to reduce residential fire fatalities and damage, new smoke alarm regulations will go into effect Jan. 1 for Florida families whose homes have battery-powered smoke alarms.

As outlined in the Florida Building Code, starting in 2015 homeowners must install 10-year, sealed-battery smoke alarms when replacing outdated or non-working alarms or installing new ones.

In Florida, 114 residential fire deaths were reported by U.S. news media between Jan. 1 and Dec. 1, 2014. Of those incidents, 43 percent of the homes did not have alarms or working smoke alarms. Missing or disconnected batteries are a main reason smoke alarms fail to operate in residential fires.

A recent survey conducted ranked late-night low-battery chirps as the top smoke alarm annoyance, with 40 percent of respondents opting to either disconnect the alarm or wait a day or more to replace the battery.

A long-life battery sealed inside an alarm makes it virtually tamper-proof and reduces the risk associated with disabling the alarm. In addition millions of dollars in damage, cleanup, and restoration repairs would have been minimized.

“Millions of Florida homes use battery-operated smoke alarms, and we can’t emphasize enough the importance of upgrading these to help ensure families have working alarms in case of a home fire,” said Jon Pasqualone, executive director, Florida Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association.

“By sealing the battery inside the alarm, the unit becomes tamper-resistant and removes the burden from consumers to remember to change batteries, which will save lives.”

Also in the code changes for 2015, homeowners updating one and two family dwellings and town homes may now use 10-year sealed-battery smoke alarms instead of retrofitting the dwelling with hard-wired models, saving the owner time and money.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends replacing smoke alarms every 10 years, yet industry data from found that nearly a quarter of U.S. homeowners with homes built before 2000 have outdated alarms.

A recent survey by ORC International also found that nearly five times as many Americans knew the shelf life of a Twinkie™ snack cake than the operating life of a smoke alarm. In the survey, 44 percent of respondents correctly identified 45 days as the shelf life of a Twinkie, while only 9 percent correctly noted 10 years as a smoke alarm’s operating life.

Someone dies in a U.S. home fire every three hours, and most of those deaths occur in homes without a smoke alarm or with one that isn’t working.

Long-life sealed battery alarms provide continuous protection for a decade and are recommended by national fire experts, including the National Association of State Fire Marshals.

Ten-year sealed-battery smoke alarms are available at Home Depot & Lowes in Ft. Myers & Naples or online and cost between $25 and $50. Consumers save up to $40 in battery costs over the life of one alarm.

In addition, the alarms contain location-based features, such as an LED light for the hallway model. After 10 years, they will indicate it is time for replacement.

Contact me to learn more

Mike Joyce
Customer Advocate
Fireservice Disaster Kleenup
Mobile 239-823-5049

mjoyce@fireserviceusa.com

Property fires are the most common and most dangerous type of fire

We at Fireservice want to make sure that you understand the real dangers of fires and are prepared to keep you and your family safe.

Fires happen every day — in fact, you can see below that they occur every 65 seconds. Our team is here to help when the worst happens. But one of our biggest missions is to help everyone we know to be prepared and avoid injury or death if the worst happens.

Property fires are the most common and most dangerous type of fire.

In 2013, there were 1.24 million fires reported in the United States. These fires caused 3,240 civilian deaths, 15,925 civilian injuries, and $11.5 billion in property damage. Of these, almost half were structural fires (homes and buildings). Structural fires caused 2,855 civilian deaths, 14,075 civilian injuries, and $9.5 billion in property damage.

The 2013 U.S. fire loss clock

  • A fire department responded to a fire every 25 seconds.
  • One structural fire was reported every 65 seconds.
  • One home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds.
  • One civilian fire injury was reported every 33 minutes.
  • One civilian fire death occurred every 2 hours and 42 minutes.

To learn more about fire safety, contact your local fire department or request information from one of our customer care advocates in the Fort Myers and Naples area.

Greg Frith
Customer Care Advocate
Fireservice, Inc.

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