Recent Fire Damage Posts

What Are Airborne Concerns in Fire-Damaged Homes?

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

black cloud of ashes SERVPRO Cleans and Restores Fire Damaged Homes in Fair Haven. Removal of Airborne Soot and Ashes improves Indoor Air Quality while Reducing Odors

Mitigation should begin as soon as possible after a fire in Fair Haven homes, and the fast response of our SERVPRO team can help.

After a fire in your Fair Haven home, professional mitigation seeks to reduce loss and ultimate costs for the customer. Our SERVPRO team can work quickly to manage the situation with containment protocols and remove pressing safety and health concerns from the property to begin restoration actions.

Among the chief concerns of fire damage in Fair Haven properties are airborne contaminants and health threats. Addressing particles and particulates left behind from combustion and extinguishment can be vital in making the property safer for occupants and our responding technicians. Some of these circulating threats include:

  • Soot – Soot is among the most hazardous of airborne and stationary byproducts of combustion. These potential carcinogens can directly impact those exposed, so our SERVPRO team utilizes filtration efforts to remove these particles from the environment.
  • Smoke/Ash – Smoke and ash particles can create a residue on surfaces and stain materials hosting these layers.
  • Odors – Burning odors and smoke scents can move quickly throughout the property, beginning at the ignition point and using channels like structural openings and the HVAC system to spread.
  • Contaminants/Toxins – A lesser-considered obstacle for responding technicians is the combustion of toxic materials and products that can also become a threatening condition for the house.

Can the HVAC System Become Damaged by Spreading Soot?

Because of the magnetism of soot particles, sheet metal used in your home's ductwork can attract ionized soot into the system. While this can distribute soot and smoke to new areas of the property, much of it can also remain attached to the inner walls of the HVAC network itself.

We have a fast and reliable response to manage fire loss effects in your home. Whenever these disasters occur, count on our SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch team. Give us a call today at (732) 391-6141.

Smoke & Soot Cleanup

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke & Soot Damage in Residential Home This is the damage caused by a fire.

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 Eatontown/Long Branch 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 – 732-578-9888

What To Do With Contents After a Fire

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

Fires are devastating. If contents aren't destroyed by flames, they can be rendered useless by smoke and soot.

Four items you should definitely throw away:

  • Food Exposed to Fire and Heat - any foods that come contact with the flames, smoke, high heat, including foods stored in the refrigerator or freezer. 
  • Fabrics 
  • Mattresses
  • Medicine and Cosmetics
  • Electric Appliances

Three examples of items that can often be salvaged after a fire.  

Hardwood - unless there is extreme burning or charring, use an oil soap made especially for wood to clean off stains. 

Glass - if it doesn’t melt, try cleaning it with white vinegar or dish soap. You can also try to soak it in vinegar and baking soda.

Metal - use vinegar or dish soap and then try to gently sand and paint the metal.

Note: never try to keep items that may be melted, charred, or rendered structurally unsafe. 

If you need help trying to salvage and/or restore your property and belongings after a fire, our team of experts here at SERVPRO  of Eatontown/Long Branch is close by and ready to help!  Whatever the size of your fire damage, we have the know-how, training, and tools to help you deal with it and move forward.

5 of the Most Important Winter Fire Safety Tips You Need to Know

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

These are the days of the year when we expect temperatures to remain chilly if not freezing, and it’s common for use multiple heating sources to keep your house warm. Unfortunately, that means it’s also a time when there’s a greater risk of fire damage.

Too many homes suffer from fire damage that could have been prevented with just a little foresight and planning. In order to help you keep your family safe from fire during the cold weather days, here are 5 of the most important Winter Fire Safety Tips you should act on:

Check Your Smoke Alarms

Ideally, you would have checked your smoke alarm batteries when the clocks changed. But now is the season when it might actually make a difference, so make sure that your batteries are good for the winter.

Also, there should be smoke alarms in every bedroom plus the kitchen and laundry room at bare minimum. Make sure you have enough smoke alarms strategically placed all around your home.

Inspect Your Chimney

If you use a fireplace, you should know that they can produce creosote, which is a flammable substance.

If your family likes to light fires in the fireplace, you should get an annual chimney inspection to ensure there are no fire hazards.

And don’t forget to use dry, seasoned wood, which will give you bright flames with less smoke. Excess smoke could lead to smoke damage.

Always Use a Screen for Your Fireplace

Whether you prefer a metal screen or a screen of tempered glass, you want to make sure to protect against any sparks that might otherwise stray from the fireplace.

Even with a screen in place, be sure to keep curious children and pets safely away from the fireplace. Also, any potentially flammable fabrics or materials should be kept at least three feet away from a lit fire.

Maintain Your Furnace

Typically, it’s a good idea to invest in an annual inspection from a professional. They can check your system for the signs of wear and tear or potential damage that could lead to furnace problems.

Use Candles and Space Heaters with Caution

Candle create a lovely atmosphere and may even provide extra light on the darkest of days. Make sure, however, they are placed securely where they won’t get knocked over, as well as safe out of the reach of young children and pets.

And don’t forget to blow them out when you leave the room!

Similarly, with space heaters, you want to make sure to keep sufficient clear space around them (typically at least 3 feet all the way around) to prevent a potential fire hazard. Make sure the heater you use has an automatic shut-off switch so that its internal mechanisms won’t overheat.

And make sure to turn it off before you go to sleep or move to a different room!

Here at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch, we have a strong track record of protecting the people and properties of this community from the horrifying effects of fire damage. We’re known not only for our reliability and expertise as a professional restoration and cleaning services provider, but people love us for our friendly customer service too.

For help with Fire Damage cleanup and restoration, you can give us a call any time 24/7.

What To Do After a Structure Fire

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

A fire in your home or business is always traumatic, and knowing what to do next usually adds to the stress and anxiety already experienced. Most people are unsure of what the next steps should be.

It's always best to call experts who know the behavior of smoke and soot to clean up and restore the building, but there are a few things that can be done to increase the chances of a successful restoration.

  • Limit the amount of foot traffic within the property. Soot particles can be spread to unaffected areas and embed themselves into carpet and furniture fibers.
  • Keep your hands clean. Transferring soot and other fire-related substances can further soil the walls, upholstery, woodwork, etc.
  • Electricity is often turned off, empty refrigerators/freezers. Leave doors open to reduce odors.
  • Cover air registers with cheesecloth, and double layer the tape. If cheesecloth is unavailable, use any similar fabric that will keep soot particles out of the HVAC system.
  • If your electricity is off, your heating system will not operate. In the winter, pour antifreeze designed for RV's and Campers in your sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and bathtubs to "winterize" your home and keep pipes from freezing.

As smoke and soot can leave a film on surfaces (different kinds of smoke will have different properties, and will require different cleaning methods), leave ALL cleaning to SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch.

Do not:

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces.
  • Shampoo carpet or upholstery 
  • Clean any electrical items. Cleaning these should be left to professionals. Most likely they should be discarded.
  • Use or consume any canned or packaged food or beverage that may have been near the fire, heat or water. Varying conditions can alter the integrity of food items.
  • Use or turn on any electrical device, including ceiling fixtures or outlets, wiring can be damaged by water.
  • Send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may cause smoke odor to set in.

If you ever have a fire, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch has certified technicians who know the properties of smoke and soot, and will be able to professionally and thoroughly clean and restore your property. Call us any time, we are open 24/7.

Fire Damage? How to Start the Cleaning Process

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Charred contents in home caused by fire Calling SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch helped this homeowner clean up after a fire.

If you’ve experienced fire damage in your home or business, you’ve undoubtedly observed that smoke and soot can unfortunately damage almost all kinds of surfaces and materials. While some items are easy to replace, it’s a good idea to try to salvage as much as you can.

The good news is: there are many fire damaged items you can clean (or at least start to clean) all by yourself with easily available cleansers and cleaning techniques. In fact, it’s a good idea to get started cleaning as quickly as you can, in order to prevent the effects of long-term damage. However in most cases, CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY, everything from cleaning to replacement is most likely covered.

Here’s a guide to help you get started cleaning up after a fire:

Remove Smoke and Soot Stains from Wood

As long as your wooden items aren’t charred, you should be able to clean them with a mild oil soap. Rinse with water, and let them air dry.

Remove Smoke and Soot Stains from Upholstery

If you can remove stained upholstery, bring it to a dry cleaner that specializes in cleaning fire damaged fabrics. At home, you could try washing it in a solution of water mixed with white vinegar and baking soda.

If you have upholstery that’s can’t be removed, start by vacuuming the surface with a shop vac, keeping the hose just above the surface to prevent rubbing in the stain even more. Next, sprinkle the stain with baking soda and allow it to sit for at least one hour. Then, spray the stain with white vinegar and wipe with a damp rag.

For hard-to-clean stains, you may have to let the baking soda sit longer (sometimes overnight) and/or repeat the cleaning process multiple times.

Remove Smoke and Soot Stains from Metal

When cleaning metal, you want to be sure to use a polish that is specially designed for the specific type of metal you have. Typically, the process is just to gently rub the stain with the polish and then wipe away with a clean rag, but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Remove Smoke and Soot Stains from Glass

To clean glass, you can often use a commercial glass cleaner or a homemade solution of one-part water to one-part vinegar. You’ll want to avoid spraying the glass, as this can leave smoke streaks. Instead, apply the solution to the rag and start wiping at the edge of the stain moving inward.

Remove Smoke and Soot Stains from Leather

You can clean fire damaged leather with a specialized leather soap and conditioner.

You want to be sure not to get the leather too wet, as this can create additional stains. Also, you’ll want to apply the soap gently to avoid scratching the leather.

If you need help to restore your property after fire damage, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is always available to help. 

SERVPRO Is Here to Help You Clean Up After Smoke Damage

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Burned and charred treadmill covered in soot and fire extinguisher dust Soot and fire extinguisher dust will cover every surface and is usually difficult to clean.

Smoke damage can make your home a dirty, smell mess. Whether you’ve suffered a major fire catastrophe or had smoke damage accumulate from the presence of fire in your home, you want to start cleaning up smoke stains as soon as you can in order to prevent permanent damage.

Our team at SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch has seen our share of fire incidents as Professional Cleaning and Restoration Leaders in this community so, we know what smoke damage can do to a home.

Make Sure the Area is Safe

If your incident was a small kitchen grease fire, there is probably minimal risk. However, if fire burned through a significant section of your home, you want to be sure the area you enter is structurally sounds and cleared by officials before anyone can attempt to start fixing it.

Dispose of Everything that Can’t Be Salvaged

The first step of the cleaning process is to get rid of everything that can’t be saved.

Be especially wary of food that may have been contaminated, plastics that may have melted, or materials that are too stained to be cleaned.

Vacuum Up Debris

We have specialized equipment to clean up debris.

Soot is greasy,  it is best to wait for a professional to clean soot-stained surfaces and making a bigger mess.

Clean up Odors

You can clean some fabric and upholstery yourself that may have avoided smoke stains may still have absorbed odors.

If you have fabrics that are dry clean only, be sure to take them to a dry cleaner that specializes in smoke removal or fire treatment.

For fabrics that can go in a washing machine, add a cup of white vinegar and a cup of baking soda to your regular load to clean the smoke damage. A mixture of white vinegar and baking soda can also be used to spot clean carpeting and upholstery.

Seal Surfaces

Even after a full cleaning, there may still be some lingering stains and odors. To mitigate this, we use a sealing primer.

We use specialized sealers for different surfaces. For example, on painted walls, we use a stain concealing primer followed by a topcoat of latex paint. For wooden surfaces, we use a sealer designed specifically for wood or particleboard.

If you need professional assistance in cleaning up after a fire incident, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is here to help. Our specialized technicians have the advanced training and equipment needed to clean and restore your property, helping you get your life and property back to normal ASAP.

SERVPRO Wants to Help You Prevent Summertime Fires

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Summertime is the season for backyard barbecues, fireworks, and time spent enjoying the outdoors, maybe even sitting around a fire pit. This means there’s also an increased potential for a fire emergency. 

Here’s a guide that can help keep your home and/or local business safe from fires this summer:

Practice Grill Safety

It’s a good practice to make sure your grill is at least 3 feet away from the house and any other structures or objects that could potentially catch on fire.  Be wary of any overhanging tree branches!

Regularly clean the grill and remove any grease build up. Also, always make sure you have water and a fire extinguisher nearby when you’re grilling, just in case

Monitor Your Air Conditioning

Air conditioning, fans, and other cooling equipment are a frequent cause of summertime fires. Typically, they occur from electrical or mechanical failures.

One way to make sure your equipment is in good working condition is to schedule regular maintenance. You can also make sure to change the filter and remove any dirt or debris.

In order to prevent overuse, try turning your air conditioner off during peak hours.  You can also adjust your thermostat when you leave for more than one hour to maximize efficiency.

Check Your Lawnmower

Don’t let a faulty lawn mower be the cause of a fire!

Be sure to check the engine, mufflers, and cutting blades and keep your machine clean and well maintained.  If your lawn mower overheats, wait for it to cool down before trying to refuel it.

Be Cautious with Fireworks

If you live somewhere where fireworks are legal, they can add some extra pizzazz to your summer parties. Just be sure to use them with caution!

Make sure to follow all the local laws, and heed any warnings or instructions that come with your fireworks. Make sure to keep your fireworks at a safe distance away from people, buildings, and any flammable objects.

And always keep a bucket of water on hand, just in case!

These summertime fire prevention tips can go a long way to keeping you safe. However, if you still do experience a fire accident, know that SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch can help you take the right steps to get your home or business back in shape.  We often even can help you work with your insurance company.

SERVPRO Can Help After a Fire  

3/21/2019 (Permalink)

While we unfortunately can't do anything for the structure that is gone, SERVPRO CAN remediate and clean the surrounding structures.

Having a fire in your home is a devastating and traumatic experience. No matter how small, soot, smoke and ash can creep into every crevice of your home, leaving a fine film over surfaces, ash everywhere and a lingering odor.

Having a fire in a structure next to your home can be just as devastating, as fire may destroy siding, smoke and ash may enter your home and water used to put out the fire next door can also affect rooms in your home as well. It can be just as traumatic not knowing what to do or whom to turn to.

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is here to help. We have certified, experienced and professional technicians who will come to clean and deodorize – finding every place soot and odor can hide. We are also experts in content cleaning like furniture and have services that can clean documents, photos, artwork, rugs and window treatments. We can also tarp your home where damage has occurred or board up windows and doors if needed.

Whether you experience a fire in your home or are affected by one next to you, remember that SERVPRO is here to help, and truly can make it “Like it never even happened.”

Smoke is Sneaky - It Gets Everywhere

3/21/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke damage from a fire, no matter how large or small, can be devastating. Oftentimes smoke damage can be long lasting  because the odor soaks into every surface including walls, furniture, window treatments, flooring, and wall studs.

Behavior of Smoke

A fire loss can be very complex because of the unique behavior of smoke. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals undergo extensive fire restoration training and certification, and understand the behavior of smoke.

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas.
  • Smoke migrates to upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor.

Knowing how smoke penetrates and lingers is only one part of being able to mitigate smoke damage. Knowing what types of smoke will greatly affect the restoration process as well. 

Knowing what type of smoke has affected your home is also important.

  • Wet smoke- Plastics and Synthetics
  • Dry smoke- Paper and Wood
  • Protein Fire Residue- Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire.
  • Fuel Oil Soot- Furnace Puff Backs

Because we are experts in dealing with fires, we know how to clean it professionally and completely. It is important to understand why you need to call us in the event of a fire, no matter how large or small. The professionals at SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch will help get you back to your lives and jobs as soon as possible, making it “Like it never even happened.”

4 Tips to Prevent Fire Damage During the Cold Weather Season  

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know there are more fires during the Winter months than any other time of the year? During the cold weather season, it makes sense that people are looking for extra ways to keep warm.  Unfortunately, many alternative heating methods can also be fire hazards, especially when they’re not approached with care.

If you want to protect your home and/or business from fire damage during this cold weather season, here are 4 tips to keep in mind:

Know the Dangers of Fireplaces and Wood Burning Stoves

Sitting in front of a fire on a cold winter’s night may sound cozy – unfortunately, a large percentage of fires start with issues to a chimney or fireplace.

  • Shield the fireplace with a grate to prevent flying sparks from igniting in the room.
  • Keep any flammable materials at least 4 feet away from the fire place.
  • Perform regular maintenance and cleaning on your fireplace and/or wood burning stove.
  • Make sure there are no cracks in your chimney and that the top is properly capped to keep out debris throughout the year.

Know the Dangers of Space Heaters

Space heaters are wonderful for keeping us extra warm on cold days. But this extra heating equipment is also a major cause of winter house fires.

  • Use only space heaters with a “tip switch,” ones that shut off automatically if tipped over.
  • Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions.
  • Keep the space heater at least 3 feet away from anything flammable.
  • Make sure there is adequate ventilation and base/floor support in the areas where you will use a space heater.

Know the Dangers of Electric Blankets

On a cold night, it’s comforting to curl up in a warm bed.  However, if you want to use an electric blanket, make sure to be cautious – these can quickly catch fire if the blanket material is ignited by an overheated electrical element within the blanket.

  • Check for charred or frayed cords or any dark spots, these may indicate a potential problem with the electrical element.
  • Don’t allow anyone or anything on top of the blanket when it is in use, this could lead to overheating.
  • Similarly, don’t fold or tuck in the blanket when it is in use, as this could also lead to overheating.
  • An electric blanket should never be left unattended or used while one is sleeping.

Make Sure Your Smoke Alarms are Working

If a fire accident should happen, you want to make sure your smoke alarms are in working order, so that you can address the issue immediately.

It’s generally a good idea to regularly check the alarms each year (many people remember to check the alarms on the days when daylight savings time changes).  However, it’s also wise to double-check the alarms before you start a fire or use a heating element, just in case.

These tips can help make sure you, your property, and your family all stay safe during the cold weather season when we’re all trying to stay warm. If, however, you do experience a fire accident, know that SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch is here to help. We pride ourselves on being “faster to any disaster,” no matter the size. And we can help you get back to normal ASAP!

Halloween Fires Can be Scary so Be Prepared

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Halloween is almost here.  It is a time of fun and festivities for children and adults alike, including decorating the house, dressing up in costumes, going out trick-or-treating, and attending spook-filled parties. But don’t forget about Halloween fire prevention!

Unfortunately, many of the favorite activities associated with Halloween can also be serious fire hazards, especially if precautions aren’t taken. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Halloween fires are responsible for $13 million in property damage every year, in addition to risks of injury and death.

In order to make sure you and your family stay safe, make sure to follow these Halloween fire prevention tips:

Consider Costume Length and Materials.

Dressing up can be one of the most fun activities associated with Halloween.  Unfortunately, some costume can be fire hazards.

Look for costumes that are made of flame-retardant materials. 

Avoid long-trailing costumes or outfits that are oversized and bulky.  

Pay Attention to Decoration Locations.

Jack-o-lanterns and other candlelit decorations are always popular on Halloween. However, if you use real candles for these decorations, it is important to keep them in a safe location.  Make sure they remain at least three feet away from people and things that could accidentally ignite.

Similarly, corn stalks, hay bales, and paper decorations need to remain at least three feet away from any heat source or flame. Flammable decorations that are too close to a light bulb or heater may start a fire.

Make sure no Halloween decorations are blocking your exits. If you need to escape quickly, you will want all paths out the house to be clear and easily accessible.

Choose an Alternative Light Source.

One of the best ways to keep safe on Halloween is to use battery operated lights or glow sticks instead of open flames.

If you and your family are going out trick-or-treating, be sure to carry a flashlight.  Make sure it is bright enough so that you can see any potential fire hazards and so that others can see you and the full extent of your costumes.

Practice “Stop, Drop, and Roll”.

Advise young children to keep far enough away from any decorations that may have candles.  And make sure they know to “stop, drop, and roll” if their costumes should catch on fire.

Check Your Fire Alarms.

October is Fire Prevention Month, so make sure to double check that your fire alarms are working properly, just in case.

Fire Damage?  Why You Should Call Restoration Experts ASAP

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

If you’ve just suffered fire damage to your home, the aftermath can feel overwhelming.  You may feel tempted to hole yourself up some place far away and safe, putting off the stress of dealing with the whole restoration process.

While this reaction is understandable, you should know that if fire restoration gets postponed, the extent of the destruction and damage to your home can grow even worse than it already is.  The longer you wait, the more repairs you will probably need – and the more money it will undoubtedly cost you in the long run.

However, if you make restoration a priority, you can probably avoid many long-term issues and expensive repairs.

Here are some steps you can take to get your home -- and your life -- back to normal as quickly as possible:

Contact Fire Damage Restoration Experts ASAP

In order to reduce the risk of increasing damage to your home, it is essential to bring in help from licensed fire damage restoration professionals.  Everyone’s situation is different, but here are some of the steps they are likely to help you with, making your safety and the protection of your valuables their number one priority:

  • Salvaging as many of your personal belongings as possible, making sure they will be safe for future use (this includes furniture, appliances, other electronics, etc.)
  • Documenting everything temporarily removed from the premises, either through written records or photographs.
  • Performing any needed restoration services from the fire (here in NJ near to the shore, fire damage is also often accompanied by water damage – which the professional can also help you address).
  • Returning and re-installing the belongings that were saved.
  • Working as quickly and carefully as possible to get you and your family back living in your home, keeping in contact to make sure you aren’t experiencing any continuing issues. 

Be on the Lookout for Prolonged Smoke Damage

Fire damage can be tricky to assess, because while some signs of damage are obvious (wall discolorations and smoke stains on surfaces), there are some instances of prolonged smoke damage that stay hidden and can go unnoticed, until they start causing problems. 

For example, it is common for ash and soot to become trapped in vents or in the spaces between your walls.  You fire damage restoration experts should make sure to check your HVAC system, attic, basement, and exterior walls to ensure that all contaminants are removed and cleaned. They should also keep in touch after the cleaning is done, to ensure there are no lingering issues.

Preventing Grill Fires

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

Summer is the time for lazy days, warm nights, fireflies and barbecues. Many families use their grill daily during the summer so they don’t heat the house and because clean-up is easy.

However, it’s always important to remember to use the grill safely to avoid injury or fire. Before lighting up, remember the following safety points.

According to the National Fire Protection Association:

  • 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 the 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..

Make safety checks with your propane tank & lines before you use your grill. Learn how to check your propane tank with this video from NFPA.org.


Charcoal grills

There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use.

  • Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Remember that a fun summer also means a safe summer, and if you need SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch for any fire or smoke damage, we are a phone call away 24/7.

Smoke 101

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

Fire leave smoke and soot damage throughout the home.

Smoke damage from a fire, no matter how large or small, can be devastating. Oftentimes smoke damage can be long lasting, which is why it is so important to take care of it immediately.

Behavior of Smoke

A fire loss can be very complex because of the unique behavior of smoke. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals undergo extensive fire restoration training and certification, and understand the behavior of smoke.

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas.
  • Smoke migrates to upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor.

This enables us to take care of smoke throughout the entire home or office.

  • Knowing how smoke penetrates and lingers is only one part of being able to mitigate smoke damage. Knowing what types of smoke will greatly affect the restoration process as well. Upon arriving at a fire scene, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch will test the smoke to see what type of fire has taken place.

Types of Smoke

  • Wet smoke- Plastics and Synthetics
    • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
  • Dry smoke- Paper and Wood
    • Fast burning, high temperatures, dry. Powdery, non-smeary residues. Heat rises therefore the smoke rises.
  • Protein Fire Residue- Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire.
    • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
  • Fuel Oil Soot- Furnace Puff Backs
    • While “puff backs” can create havoc for property owners, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.

Other smoke related services we offer are:

Content Cleaning

  • Smoke and soot residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in periodically resurfacing odors if not properly deodorized.
  • All restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition when possible. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, upholstery, electronics, clothing, photos, kitchen items, bedding and much more.

Deodorization

  • SERVPRO® Franchises provide specialized services
    that rid structures of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. We do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, we seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.
  • Proper deodorization is vital as odors may appear to be gone, only to reappear months later under different conditions, including when humidity levels rise.

It is important to understand why calling us in the event of a fire, no matter how large or small. The professionals at SERVPRO Eatontown/Long Branch will help get you back to your lives and jobs as soon as possible, making it “Like it never even happened.”

Fire Dangers After a Flood

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Electrical appliances such as this treadmill are in danger of catching fire after being submerged in flood water.

Fire is probably not the first thing you think of as the result of flooding, however it is a real concern and something every homeowner should be aware of.

It is well known that water and electricity DO NOT mix. It is important to remember that any electrical device that has been submerged in water could potentially be dangerous, as the wires may become compromised or corroded.

According to the Colorado Inspection Services, the rule of thumb for electrical devices that have been submerged is REPLACE them. The fire hazard from soaked electrical devices is not worth trying to save them.

As stated in their web site, outlets, switches and breaker boxes are the obvious electric devices that need replacement. Appliances, heaters, furnaces, AC units and anything else that contains electric motors, switches or wiring are included.

Flood waters may also contain mud and many toxic substances such as fuels, solvents, cleaning chemicals, industrial chemicals, sewage, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and other toxic compounds, that can deposit in these devices causing overheating and/or mechanical failure.

Winter is the Biggest Season for Home Fires

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

Home fires occur in winter more than any other season.

Did you know that, the threat of a home catching on fire is the greatest during the winter months? Half of ALL heating home fires occur during the months of December, January and February. One in Seven home fires is a result of malfunctioning or misused heating equipment.

There are several tips to keep your home safe while keeping warm during the winter.

  • Have your fireplace, heating vents and dryer vents inspected and cleaned by a professional every year.
  • If you use your fireplace, make sure you clean after every use. Dispose of ashes correctly by placing them in a metal can at least ten feet from the house.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from any heat source like fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, or space heaters
  • Plug only one heat-producing appliance (such as a space heater) into an electrical outlet at a time.
  • If portable generators are needed, keep them outside, away from windows and as far away as possible from your home. Make sure someone is home to supervise.
  • Install and test carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.

These are simple but effective steps to take to safeguard your home against fire. But should you ever need us, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch can clean fire, smoke and soot damage and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Christmas Tree Safety

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Christmas trees are a wonderful holiday decoration, but it is important to remember to keep them at least 3 ft away from any heat source.

Christmas trees are an integral part of decorating for the holidays. They are beautiful to look at, have that wonderful aroma that permeates the house, and lend a festive atmosphere in the home. But if not properly taken care of and set up correctly, they could pose a dangerous fire hazard.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the statistics are alarming: 

  • From 2011-2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 200 home1structure fires per year that began with Christmas trees.
  • Christmas tree fires caused an annual average of $14.8 million in direct property damage.
  • Four of every five Christmas tree fires occurred in December or January.
  • In one-quarter (26%) of the Christmas tree fires, some type of heat source, such as a candle or equipment, was too close to the tree.

With proper planning and common sense, Christmas tree fires can easily be avoided. Here are some tips to remember when bringing home fresh cut trees:

  • When choosing a tree, look for one that is fresh and with needles that don’t fall off easily.
  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2" from the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

It is important to remember that your holiday lights need to be used safely as well. The lights you use to decorate your tree or your house need to be in good shape:

  • Make sure there are no frayed ends or wires showing.
  • Make sure the lights are specifically meant for either indoor or outdoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer's instructions for number of light strands to connect. 
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

We at SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch hope all our friends, family and customers have a very happy, healthy and SAFE holiday season!

Holiday Safety Tips

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

Lit candles are beautiful, but be careful about where you place them. Keep them away from flammable materials and out of reach of children and pets.

It’s that time of year - the holiday season- when most people are busy getting their homes ready for large family dinners, guests and celebrations. 

With all that goes behind getting your house in perfect holiday order, it’s easy to get distracted and forget about safety.

Here are some tips to remember while you decorate and cook that perfect holiday meal!

Fires

Cooking is the No. 1 home fire hazard, according to the NFPA.

  • Always stay in the kitchen when cooking, and always keep an eye on the stove, oven or grill.
  • Be careful of smoking oil – that is a sign that the oil is too hot and may ignite. Lower the flame or remove the pan from the heat.
  • Never try to put out a pan fire with water. Baking soda works to extinguish a pan fire.
  • It is now New Jersey law that every home must have a fire extinguisher within 10 feet of the kitchen area,
  • Keep oven mitts, dish towels and other flammable items away from heating elements and open flames.

Candles are a popular decoration, however it is important to follow these simple rules:

  • Keep an eye on candles, and never place them near fabrics such as curtains, wall hangings or flammable decorations.
  • If you have small children or a pet, make sure the candles are placed out of reach.
  • Be sure to extinguish candles before going to bed or leaving the house.

Fireplaces are also a safety concern:

  • Have your chimney cleaned annually.
  • After a fire, dispose of ashes in a metal container, away from flammable material.
  • Keep children at least three feet away from fireplaces.

Lighting

Holiday lighting poses the risk of overdrawing power and creating a fire hazard, and older strands are more likely to overheat because they require more electricity.

  • Inspect your lights before hanging them. If they look worn (frayed wires, loose or cracked bulbs), don’t hesitate to replace them. Switch to LEDs, which are more energy-efficient and burn coolerthan conventional incandescents.
  • If you’re stringing lights outside, make sure they are for outdoor use.
  • Do not attach more than three strings of lights together.
  • Always unplug your lights and decorations before going to bed or leaving the house.

Christmas trees

We wish the best, brightest and safest holiday season for all our SERVPRO friends and families.

Is Your House Safe?

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

Basement wall where dryer caught fire.

How safe is your home? Have you done the proper maintenance needed to minimize your family’s risk of fires? Now is the time for you to prepare your home against risks that are easily avoidable. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 2015 saw nearly 370,000 home fires nationwide, at a cost of 7 billion dollars in damages. Ninety-two percent of the appliance fires were caused by the clothes dryer. Thirty-two percent of those fires were due to lack of cleaning.

Here are some dryer safety tips:

  • Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
  • Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
  • Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
  • Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
  • Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
  • Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
  • Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and don’t overload your dryer.
  • Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.

As scary as the statistics for dryer fires sound, they aren't close to being the number one cause of home fires. Two out of every five home fires started in the kitchen, Cooking and cooking equipment account for over 60% of all home fires. They also account for 42% of all fire related injuries in the home.

The peak month of the year for these kitchen related fires is January, the peak time being between 5-8 p.m. Unattended cooking was by far the leading cause of these fires.

What you need to know:

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.

It all amounts to common sense and being mindful.  

This short video has more safety information:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dm6UMPP2z8I

3 Alarm Fire In Destroys Businesses And Homes in Ocean Grove

2/9/2015 (Permalink)

Green on the scene Saturday morning in Ocean Grove.

A three-alarm blaze demolished a section of Main Street in Ocean Grove on Friday. The fire began in an apartment above Yvonne's Luncheonette at approximately 4pm. Firefighters battled the flames and cold temperatures throughout the night. 

On Saturday morning, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch was called in to clean up the soot, smoke and water damage in three adjacent buildings. Crews began work shortly before noon. SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch offers 24 hour response for fire, and water clean up and remediation.

At this point, no cause has been determined for the fire.