Recent Fire Damage Posts
Holiday Light Safety
Check all lights to ensure that there are no worn or broken cords or loose bulbs.
Holiday Light Safety
Christmas is upon us and holiday decorations are in full swing. For many home owners, decorating for Christmas is a tradition and something that is enjoyed by many. Whether you only decorate the interior of the home or you decorate both the interior and exterior, decorations and lights certainly add to the splendor of the Christmas season. According to the National Fire Protection Association fire departments responded to an average of 200 homes for structure fires related to Christmas trees between 2011-2015. Avoid Christmas tree and light related fires by following these simple safety tips.
When purchasing live Christmas trees, check for freshness and try to avoid dry trees. When you are cutting the tree, cut 1-2 inches from the base of the trunk to ensure optimal water absorption. Live trees require plenty of water. Make sure that you are checking the tree daily and watering when needed. If you prefer an artificial tree, ensure that the tag reads “Fire Resistant”. When placing the trees in your home, ensure that they are placed at least 3 feet away from all heat sources.
Check all lights to ensure that there are no worn or broken cords or loose bulbs. If you find any damage, dispose of the damaged lights and replace. When purchasing lights be sure to check the label that shows whether or not they are for indoor or outdoor use and purchase accordingly. In addition, read the instructions included with the lights. Most recommend that you plug no more than three strands together so that you are not overloading the socket. Last but not least, turn ALL Christmas lights off when going to bed or leaving the home.
If you find yourself with a damage this holiday season, call our office. Our teams will evaluate your damage and give you a clear explanation of the restoration process.
Three Common Reasons For House Fires In Your Robertson County Home
Educating yourself on the leading causes for house fires and prevention is a step in the right direction to ensure that your family and home are safe.
Three Common Reasons For House Fires In Your Robertson County Home
If a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape. House fires can be devastating and the road to recovery is long and hard. Educating yourself on the leading causes for house fires and prevention is a step in the right direction to ensure that your family and home are safe.
Many electrical fires in homes or businesses are caused by faulty electrical outlets, old wiring, outdated appliances or electrical cords that are frayed.
-If you live in an older home have an electrician complete an inspection. Standards and codes are constantly being revised and updated to ensure safety.
-Do not overload your circuits.
-Understand the difference between surge protectors and power strips. Both devices allow you to plug in multiple electronics, but only the surge protector will help protect your electronics from a power surge.
Carelessness in the kitchen can lead to devastating house fires. The leading cause of kitchen fires is due to unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.
-Never leave pots or pans unattended on your stove.
-Keeping your stove an oven clean will prevent buildup of food splatter and grease that could later ignite when the stove or oven is turned on for cooking.
-Keep any items that could ignite away from your stove top
-Ensure that you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen in case of emergency.
Dryer vents are becoming a much bigger and more common safety problem. Over time, your dryer vent fills with lint that sneaks by your dryers filter. Fires can occur when the excess lint builds up in the dryer or exhaust duct.
-Clean out the dryer vent regularly.
-Clean the lint filter after EACH load of laundry that is dried.
-Clean underneath and behind your dryer to eliminate any lint that collects.
Emergency Fire Damage Tips for White House
When fire and water damage take control of your life, SERVPRO of Cheatham, Robertson and Dickson Counties will help you take it back.
Emergency Fire Damage DOs and DONTs
These emergency tips will assist you in taking proper action until SERVPRO of Cheatham, Robertson and Dickson Counties arrives. Follow these DOs and DON'Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into carpet and avoid tracking.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
- Empty the freezer and refrigerator if the electricity is off, and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
- Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances.
- Remove soot particles from plans with a damp cloth.
- Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop soot particles from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
- Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of Cheatham, Robertson and Dickson Counties.
- Don't attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs, or upholstered furniture.
- Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TVs, computers, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don't consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water (they may be contaminated).
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. 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.
If you have any questions, or need service, please contact us at 615-672-1905.
Prevent Fire Damage in Springfield This Winter
SERVPRO of Cheatham, Robertson and Dickson Counties responds 24 hours a day to fire damage emergencies.
Heat Your Springfield Home Safely
The winter season is here and with it comes shorter days and lower temperatures. In Middle Tennessee, winter brings a change in the weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves.
Did You Know?
According to the National Fire Protection Association:
- 50% of all residential heating-related fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February.
- Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths.
- Heating equipment fires cause an estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually.
Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire.
- Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater. Have a three foot "kid free zone" around open fires and 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.
- 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.
- 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 local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
If your property does suffer fire damage or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO of Cheatham, Robertson and Dickson Counties at (615) 672-1905 to help make it "Like it never even happened."
*Statistics and tips provided by National Fire Prevention Association.
Give the Gift of Fire Safety in Dickson
Give your family the gift of a fire safety plan this holiday season.
Fire Safety Plans in Dickson
The holidays are approaching and many families are finalizing plans for elaborate meals, get-togethers with friends, and decorating with festive lights. Amidst all this planning, homeowners may be overlooking the most important plan they can make—a fire safety plan.
Each year, statistics show the incidence of home cooking and candle fires peaks during the holiday season. This tends to focus homeowners on fire prevention precautions—and that’s a good thing, but to truly protect your family from the dangers of a home fire, at the holidays and throughout the year, you need to start with a fire safety plan. Developing a fire safety plan and practicing it regularly with your family is the most important step you can take to help prevent a house fire from turning into a devastating tragedy.
SERVPRO is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services, and our disaster response professionals know from experience how devastating a home fire can be. We also know that when fire causes a loss of life, there is no “remediation” possible. This is why SERVPRO has teamed up with the American Red Cross (ARC) by supporting the ARC Disaster Responder program, and in particular the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign. As a Disaster Responder, SERVPRO pledges dollars and support in advance to help the ARC develop and distribute educational materials and respond immediately when they are needed.
SERVPRO encourages all Dickson-area homeowners to follow these fire safety guidelines, developed by the ARC through their Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, to help minimize injury or loss of life due to a residential fire.
- Install the right number of smoke alarms. Test them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
- Teach children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
- Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home and know the family meeting spot outside of your home.
- Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.
- Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year. Press the smoke alarm test button or yell “Fire” to alert everyone they must get out.
- Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
- Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.
Fire prevention and fire safety planning are two very different things. Fire prevention planning helps control or eliminate the causes of a fire. Fire safety planning helps prevent injury and loss of life when a fire does break out. To protect your family and your property, you need both.
For more fire prevention and fire safety tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please call us at (615) 672-1905.
Springfield Fire, Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Springfield Home.
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 Cheatham, Robertson and Dickson Counties 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 – 615-672-1905
Fire Damage from Grilling? Keep Cookouts Safe in Dickson
There's nothing like firing up the grill at your Dickson home during the summer months! Did you know, July is the peak month for grill fires? A backyard barbecue can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren't considered. SERVPRO of Cheatham, Robertson & Dickson Counties wants you to have an enjoyable and safe summer. Consider the following tips to help ensure your summer celebrations are disaster free!
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
- The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets away from grill area.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
- When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
Tips and information provided by the National Fire Association.
Smoke Alarms Prevent Fire Damage in Ashland City and Save Lives
Smoke alarms play a vital role saving lives in Ashland City, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed 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 detector requirements are met.
Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.
Here are some tips for 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 the 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.
Just the Facts: Smoke Alarms
- Three our of five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or when the alarms are not working.
- Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.
- More than one-third (37 percent) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
- The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.
*Statistics & Tips provided by National Fire Prevention Association
Know How to Properly Use a Fire Extinguisher to Protect Your Springfield Home or Business from Fire Damage
Photo courtesy of www.osha.gov.
Everyone knows what a fire extinguisher looks like, but when it comes to operating one, do you know how to use it in case of an emergency? In the moment a fire occurs, our ability to stay calm and think rationally isn’t always there. It’s very important to know how to use a fire extinguisher ahead of time so that we know what to in that situation. There most likely won’t be time to read the label once you realize the fire has started. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the best way to remember how to use a fire extinguisher is by remembering the word PASS.
How to Use a Fire Extinguisher:
Pull the pin. Hold the fire extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
Aim low. Point the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
Sweep the nozzle from side to side.
Fire Extinguisher Maintenance:
According to fire-exinguisher101.com, fire extinguishers should be inspected once a month. When doing this, make sure that the extinguisher is always in a convenient location to grab and is not blocked by anything, in case of an emergency. Check the pressure of the extinguisher at its gauge to make sure that the pressure is within the recommended level. Make sure the nozzle and other parts of the extinguisher have not been tampered with and that the pin is intact. Check for dents, leaks, rust and other signs of abuse/wear. Always make sure to recharge extinguishers after each use regardless of how much they were used.
Preparing and Preventing a Home Fire in your Cheatham, Robertson or Dickson County Home
Steps you can take now:
- Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
- Never smoke in bed
- Talk to your children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
- Test smoke alarms once a month, if they’re not working, change the batteries.
- Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. Never disable smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.
- Carbon monoxide alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
- Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, turn off the stove.
- Stay in the home while simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food. Check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that food is cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire – like pot holders, towels, plastic and clothing – away from the stove.
- Keep pets off cooking surfaces and countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner.
Cheatham, Robertson & Dickson County Fire Damage - Why You Should Leave Smoke Damage Removal to a Professional
Fire damage is just the beginning when your house or office catches fire. Smoke and water also do a lot of damage, and this needs to be mitigated as soon as possible in order for the building to be returned to its pre-fire condition.
Why Is Smoke Damage Serious?
Smoke leaves behind powerful odors because of the material burned. Carpets, upholstery, wood and plastics are all burned and create odors and ash that can corrode, etch and discolor as well as cling to the remaining structure. Some of the fumes from the fire damage will seep into the walls and floors and may contaminate the indoor air much later if they are not removed. These cannot be removed with a household cleaner. It takes special equipment and the expertise of professionals to mitigate smoke damage, so the house is odor-free.
The different types of damage include:
- Plastics that melt and change color
- Fiberglass that cracks
- Finishes on appliances that turn yellow
- Metals that tarnish or corrode
- Wood that may need refinishing
The longer you wait to call a professional mitigation contractor, the worse the situation will be. After the fire is out, the smoke and ash remain. It’s also more cost-effective to get the repair started as soon as possible. Even if the fire damage in Springfield is contained in a small part of your house, smoke damage can permeate a greater area.
How Is Smoke Damage Cleaned?
Professionals use thermal fogging to remove smoke odor. This technique opens the pores in the walls and floors to neutralize the odor from the smoke that has entered deep into them. The also use dehumidifiers to thoroughly dry the water damage and ozone generators to neutralize the odor. Different chemicals are required to remove the smoke from different substances such as wood and plastic. The final step in smoke mitigation is to repaint the walls and ceilings.
Professionals Know the Job
The best fire damage professionals are properly trained and certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). They take extensive coursework to get their certification. They will identify all the affected materials in your home and find the source of any odors. Smoke and heat will distribute ash through the home and it can remain in cracks and crevices. Experts know what can be salvaged and what needs to be discarded. They use specialized detergents that have been designed to treat specific types of odor.
Professionals can also increase the possibility of saving property rather than needing to replace it, and they can clean out your vents and ducts. Some of the services offered are:
- Removal of smoke and odor
- Cleaning and sanitizing
- Professional deodorization
- Temporary protection of surfaces already cleaned
- Removing carpets and pads if required
Fire damage is devastating, but it is not over when the fire is out. To get your home back to pre-damaged condition, professional fire and smoke mitigation is essential.
SERVPRO of Cheatham, Robertson & Dickson Counties’ fully certified water removal staff can perform a complete damage assessment to your home of office, and then recommend and follow the industries standards to get your water removal restoration repaired properly available 24 hours a day.
Grilling & Fire Pit Safety Tips to Prevent Fire Damage This Summer at your Cheatham, Robertson or Dickson County Home
As the weather gets warmer, we transition from spending all of our time bundled up inside, to spending every minute we can outdoors in the sun. We’re excited to finally trade the stove for a grill and the fireplace for a fire pit in the backyard. As we drag the summer appliances out and set up the backyard to get ready for the summer, we have to keep the proper safety precautions in mind to avoid fire damage in Ashland City, White House, Pleasant View, Springfield, Greenbrier and Dickson. According to the National Fire Protection Association, every year grilling causes an average of 8,800 home fires.
Grill safety tips:There should be a 3-foot clearance surrounding the grill making sure that there are no kids or pets within this rangePosition the grill far away from home siding, deck railings, and out from underneath overhangs or branchesPeriodically remove grease buildup from the trays below the grill to prevent grease firesMake sure to buy the proper starter fluid for charcoal grills and never add the fluid once the grill has already been ignitedIf using a propane grill, check the propane cylinder hose for leaks each year to make sure that it is not leaking gas while cooking
Fire pit safety tips:Before lighting the fire, make sure that the lid can fit over top of the material inside of the pit in case of an emergencyKeep a fire extinguisher or hose nearbyDo not use flammable fluid to start or relight the fireKeep the fire pit well away from flammable materials and fluidsDo not burn trash, leaves, paper or cardboard that could spark or send hot particles through the air
Source - http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/outdoors/grilling
Be safe this Independence Day. Avoid firework related injuries & fire damage in Cheatham, Robertson & Dickson Counties.
Fireworks by the Numbers
- Fireworks account for 2 out of 5 of all reported fires on Independence Day, more than any other cause.
- Fireworks cause close to 20,000 reported fires each year - 1,200 of which are structure fires.
- These fires result in civilian injuries and around $32 million in direct property damage.
Follow these safety tips when using fireworks:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
Sources: NFPA’s Fireworks Fact Sheet, Fire Analysis and Research Division, June 2014 & http://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks/
Are You Missing These Hidden Sources of Springfield Fire?
Are You Missing These Hidden Sources of Fire?
Most people are aware of the Springfield fire risks posed by candles, smoking, and malfunctioning appliances, but there are also a number of everyday household hazards that may surprise you. Below are some of the most commonly overlooked sources of house fires.
Microwaves - especially out-of-date models - are one of the most common sources of house fires. Accidentally microwaving a piece of silverware or aluminum foil can cause arcing, and dry foods can easily ignite if cooked for too long. To make matters worse, the fan can also provide oxygen to feed the flames, which is why you should never leave a microwave unattended when in use.
While battery-related fires are rare, they do happen. 9-volt batteries are especially hazardous, since the positive and negative posts are so close together. If a piece of conductive metal comes between those posts, it could cause a short, igniting any nearby combustible materials. The best option is to store unused batteries in their original packaging, or to cover the ends with a bit of electrical tape. Never store batteries in a drawer with loose metal or flammable objects.
All outlets are rated for a certain wattage, and use light bulbs that exceed those standards is a fire waiting to happen. If the outlet is unmarked, the safest course of action is to choose light bulbs that are 60 watts or below. If your home includes track or recessed lighting, consider using cooler LED bulbs instead of CFLs in order to avoid overheating.
Every year, more than 15,000 fires are caused by dryer lint. Lint traps do not catch the majority of lint, which means that most of it ends up in the dryer vents, blocking air flow and exhaust gasses and eventually becoming a serious fire hazard. Clean the lint trap between each load of laundry, and take the time to clear lint away from the vent and the back of the dryer at least once a month.
Laptops heat up during regular use, and covering up their cooling vents can result in overheating and even a Springfield fire. Avoid leaving your laptop on the bed, couch, or any other surface that might block air flow.
Newspapers, magazines, books, and paperwork can easily ignite if stored too close to a heat source. Always store reading materials on a shelf or in another cool, dry place, and consider tossing out anything that you won't use again so that it doesn't become a hazard in the future.
Heating pads and electrical blankets that are old, damaged, or improperly used can pose a significant risk to your home and your safety. Replace any pads that have missing covers, tears, cracks, or exposed wires. Avoid bunching pads up during use, and never fall asleep with a heating pad turned on - many older models do not have an auto-off setting, which can lead to serious burns, short-outs, and even Springfield fires.
Barbecue charcoal is highly flammable, even when it's damp. The best way to store charcoal is to keep it inside a metal container with an air-tight lid, so that if a fire does start, it won't be able to spread. Keep charcoal in an area that isn't exposed to sunlight or moisture, such as a shed or outdoor storage unit.
Assorted clutter is a surprisingly common source of household fires. Combustible materials that are stored near light fixtures or electrical outlets can easily ignite; clutter in the bedroom is especially dangerous since it gives you less time to react to a potential fire. Avoid stacking clothing or paperwork in a closet with light bulbs, and vacuum regularly so that flammable dust doesn't accumulate around sockets and light fixtures.
Old and outdated appliances are a major Springfield fire hazard, even if appear to be functioning properly. Many older appliances do not have the built-in safety features that come with modern models, and pieces may wear out or break down over time with regular use. Check old appliances regularly for worn insulation, exposed wiring, or malfunctioning components.
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. When various materials burn, the soot and residue they create differs greatly and requires a specific cleaning procedure. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage restoration. Learn more about our fire damage restoration process.
- Emergency Contact
- Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
- Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)
- Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
- Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
- Cleaning and Repair
Put a Freeze on Winter Fires
According to FEMA, home fires occur more in winter than in any other season.
- Half of all home heating fires occur in the months of December, January & February.
- Heating equipment is involved in 1 in every 6 reported home fires & 1 in every 5 home fire deaths.
Here are some tips to avoid damage to your property this winter:
- Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from any heat source like fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators or space heaters.
- Keep portable generators outside, away from windows and as far away as possible from your house.
- Install and test carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.
- Have a qualified professional clean and inspect your chimney and vents every year.
- Store cooled ashes in a tightly covered metal container, and keep it outside at least 10 feet from your home and any nearby buildings.
- Plug only 1 heat-producing appliance (such as a space heater) into an electrical outlet at a time.
For more information on how to prevent winter fires, you can visit www.usfa.fema.gov/winter/
Homeowners Take Note! Holiday Fire Risk Increases After Christmas Day
The following is a recent press release, were SERVPRO Industries CEO, Sue Steen, encourages homeowners to take precautions throughout the holiday season:
Restoration Specialists SERVPRO® Cautions Homeowners to Take Common Sense Precautions Throughout the Holiday Season
Most homeowners are aware holiday decorations should be used with care. Each year, statistics tell the story of the fire danger resulting from frayed wires, proximity to heat sources, and lights left on unattended. But disaster recovery specialists SERVPRO wants homeowners to know that the danger of fire caused by holiday decorating, and by Christmas trees specifically, actually increases after the holiday. Citing research from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)*, the fire and water damage experts at SERVPRO say while four out of five Christmas tree fires happen in December and January, the 10 days with the highest average number of fires were all after Christmas Day.
"For many families, preparing for the holiday season is a very busy time," said Sue Steen, SERVPRO Industries, Inc. chief executive officer. "Come December 26, it's tempting to relax and stop watering the Christmas tree, replacing bulbs in outdoor lights and tucking indoor garlands back into place. Dry greens, open sockets and decorations that slip dangerously close to light sockets or fireplaces can all increase the risk of fire in the days after the Christmas holiday."
The American Christmas Tree Association** quotes Nielsen research that says Americans purchased 21.6 million live Christmas trees in 2011. That number is significant because, according to the NFPA, Christmas trees remain the number one culprit in holiday fires. Forty-three percent of Christmas tree fires happen in December, but January is close behind, claiming 39 percent -- numbers that demonstrate the danger of allowing Christmas trees to dry out during and after the holiday season. Tragically, Christmas tree fires are particularly deadly, claiming on average one life in every 40 fires compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home fires.
Steen encourages homeowners who choose to decorate with live Christmas trees to be diligent about watering their trees both before and after the holidays. "When a Christmas tree dries out, it takes only a single spark from the fireplace, a draft that blows a candle flame too near, or a carelessly held cigarette to turn your holiday celebration into a tragedy," says Steen. "Beyond the damage from the fire itself, a Christmas tree fire, like any fire, can result in extensive smoke and water damage throughout your home, and can even be deadly."
As the holiday season moves into full swing, SERVPRO reminds homeowners to take common sense precautions based on a clear understanding of the potential danger to help prevent holiday traditions from turning into a holiday nightmare.