Recent Fire Damage Posts

Which Fires Are Not Covered By Insurance?

11/24/2021 (Permalink)

A MAN IS HOLDING IN HIS HANDS A INSURANCE LABBLE. Owners of vacation homes should obtain a policy with vacant home fibre coverage to ensure that coverage remains even when they aren't at home.

What Types Of Fires Aren't Covered By Insurance?

Homeowner's insurance provides coverage for most accidental fires. There are two home fire causes that are not covered by any policy. These include fires that are intentionally set, and fires that break out at a vacant property. Find out more about the two types of fire that are not covered by insurance and potential penalties associated with these fires.

Fires Caused By Arson

Deliberately starting a fire is a criminal offense and is considered insurance fraud. In these cases, homeowners or other interested parties typically attempt to collect insurance money. Not only are these fires not covered by insurance, this act can carry different degrees of criminal charges depending on the state. Charges may include:

  • Felony
  • Misdemeanor
  • Criminal mischief
  • Reckless burning
  • Destruction of property

Arson cases that are considered felonies, aggravated, or in the first degree, may carry a sentence of anywhere from 10 or 25 years to life.

Fires in Vacant Residences

A home fire that occurs in a residence that has not been occupied for at least a month may not be covered by standard insurance policies. Insurers classify vacancy differently, but this term usually describes a residence that:

  • Has not been occupied for more than 30 consecutive days
  • Has no evidence of occupancy during this period of time
  • Is not covered by endorsements or vacancy policies

Owners of vacation homes should obtain endorsements or a policy with vacant home fire coverage to ensure that coverage remains in effect even when they are not staying at these properties.

These are the two major circumstances under which homeowner's insurance will not cover a fire. Most other home fire causes are considered covered perils. If a fire breaks out at a home in Peoria, AZ, a homeowner should contact a local fire department. Once the fire has been extinguished, schedule consultations with an adjuster and damage mitigation and restoration professionals.

Is It Possible To Get Rid of Cigarette Smoke Odor?

11/9/2021 (Permalink)

An ashtray with old smoked cigarettes stands on a black table top view, day The only ways to completely eliminate smoke odors involve the use of professional home deodorization equipment.

Is It Possible To Eliminate The Odor Of Cigarette Smoke?

Cigarette smoke leaves a sticky residue on hard surfaces. Odor molecules also remain in the air and sink into porous surfaces such as carpet or upholstery. Specialized home deodorization methods for air, non-porous surfaces, and porous materials can eliminate smoke odor.

Removing Smoke Residue From Hard Surfaces

Hard surfaces such as ceilings, walls, and window blinds are suited for dry or wet cleaning methods. Depending on the depth of the residue, an odor mitigation service may rely on

• Chemical sponges for dry cleaning
• Degreasing cleaner for wet cleaning

Chemical sponges are made of absorbent rubber and do not contain chemicals. These sponges can be used to wipe off soot and stains. Scraping the sponge surface with a razor blade reveals a fresh layer for continuing to clean without smearing tar residue. Degreasing cleaner such as Trisodium Phosphate or phosphate-free TSP-PF dissolve smoke residue and eliminate odors.

Deodorizing the Air and Porous Surfaces

Smoke odors may linger in the air or porous surfaces such as carpet, drapery, furniture, or air ducts. The only ways to completely eliminate smoke odors involve the use of professional home deodorization equipment. There are several different machines to choose from:

  • HVAC air scrubbers filter smoke particles from the air
  • Hydroxyl generators use UV light to produce radicals that destroy smoke molecules
  • Ozone machines release ozone molecules that oxidize smoke particles
  • Thermal foggers fill the home with fog for 30 minutes prior to ventilation and drying
  • Vapor modification disperses an aromatic compound in a mineral oil base to neutralize odors

Some of these methods, such as ozone or thermal fogging, require evacuation. Others may work more slowly, but can be done while residents remain in the house undergoing deodorization.

If you want to get rid of cigarette smoke odors, contact home deodorization experts in Bagdad, AZ. Odor mitigation specialists can recommend the best methods for your residence.

Here Is What You Should Do With Your Electronics After a Fire

10/28/2021 (Permalink)

A  home on fire If your home is affected by fire damage, don't hesitate and call the pros at SERVPRO for your fire damage cleanup and restoration needs.

After A Fire, Here's What You Should Do With Your Electronics.

One devastating side effect of a fire could be the loss of your possessions. As you try to navigate what the smoke damage might have done to your home in Bagdad, AZ, it is often difficult to tell if your electronics, which might look like they survived unscathed, are ready to be used in the aftermath. A fire cleanup service is extremely important. Let professionals guide you to make sure you can avoid another disaster and save as many of your possessions as possible.

1. Make Sure They’re Unplugged

After making absolutely certain you’re safe and it’s okay to do, unplug your appliances. You don’t want to accidentally turn them on, because this might cause a short circuit and it might lead to damage even fire cleanup professionals can’t help with.

2. Don’t Turn Them On

It can be tempting to turn on your electronics after a fire, especially if you use them to connect with friends or family. Turning them on before getting them professionally cleaned by a qualified technician is a bad idea, however, since they might have smoke residue. This, in turn, might cause damage to the device. It might also be hazardous to you.

3. Wipe Them Off

You should never handle electronics that are turned on or plugged in after a fire. If you can make sure your electronics are completely off and unplugged, however, it might be a wise idea to wipe them off with a clean cloth. The sooner you do this, the more likely a device is to survive.

4. Look for Your Warranty Records

Sometimes, it’s impossible for your electronics to recover after a fire. However, your electronics may be covered by their warranty.

Once you’re done, remember to call a professional fire cleanup service. Its agents are there to help your electronics recover from smoke damage and to make the transition back into normal life a little easier for you.

4 Tips for Maintaining Fire Sprinklers at Your Business

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

To remain helpful and protective of a business, fire sprinklers need proper care. Without it, these systems can instead become detrimental. For example, it could potentially go off without a fire and lead to water damage. Active sprinkler maintenance for your Yavapai County, AZ, business can be accomplished by following four tips.

1. Keep Sprinkler Heads Clean and Unhampered

If you have painting done on the ceiling, be sure to keep the sprinklers protected from the paint until the process is done. The coating can dry and restrict the unit from allowing water to escape. This can lead to flooding in the ceiling when you need water spread around the room.

Sprinklers become dirty if not regularly cleaned, especially in areas where the air is often inhabited by chemicals or grease. If you are not comfortable doing this using a nondamaging degreasing solution, you can have them cleaned by a professional.

2. Complete an Extensive Inspection of the System

Central to sprinkler maintenance, a yearly inspection by a professional can catch problems that may otherwise be invisible. These inspections are thorough and can identify pipe leaks, improperly fitted components or damaged sensors that could lead to a failure to deploy or accidental discharge.

3. Keep the Sprinklers Clear of Obstructions

Blocked fire sprinklers are a danger and safety code violation. Ceilings should be kept clear a few feet around the sprinkler so it can function properly. Unobstructed flow also prevents water buildup inside that leads to unnecessary damage to the sprinkler system.

4. Ensure Valves Are Open and Have Pressure

Water valves need to be regularly checked that they are open. Without water flow, sprinkler systems obviously cannot work. A professional can ensure sprinklers are open and receiving appropriate water pressure.

Maintain Your Business in All Circumstances

Regardless if it’s fire or water damage, a professional damage restoration crew can stop sprinkler damage from irreparably harming your business property. Proper sprinkler maintenance incurs expenses early on to prevent even costlier cleanup in the future. Water and fire damage can be mitigated with proper action.

What To Do With Your Electronics After a House Fire

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

Fire flame coming out of a keyboard of a computer Do not use electrical equipment that has been exposed by heat.

After experiencing a home fire in Prescott, AZ, you might feel overwhelmed trying to figure out what in your home is still salvageable and what needs to be thrown out for good. If any of your electronics have been affected by smoke, fire, or water, you might assume they’ll be too damaged to function. However, with the help of a fire cleanup company, your electronics can potentially be cleaned and restored to working condition. For the best chances of saving your items, keep in mind the following tips.

Important Tips for Handling Electronics Right After a Fire

While a professional can potentially clean your electronics and save them from harm, it is important you handle all electronics correctly to prevent causing irreversible damage or even harming yourself.

  • Never turn on or use an electrical device you feel has experienced water, fire, or smoke damage
  • If possible, unplug all electronics and appliances
  • Avoid handling electronics visibly burned by fire
  • Locate warranty records
  • Don’t attempt to clean electronics yourself
  • Immediately contact a professional for assistance

The Electronics Fire Cleanup Process

The first step a restoration specialist will take when attempting to restore your electronics is to perform a surface clean of the device. They will wipe the exterior of devices to prevent more damage from occurring and will carefully clean all metal components. They’ll also use a vacuum to fully remove all ash and soot.

After assessing the amount of damage to the device, the specialist will back up data if possible. This can involve transferring data to a completely new device or storing it using a cloud storage solution. Once this is complete, they’ll make any necessary repairs to restore the device.

Your electronics may be very valuable or contain important information you don’t want to lose. With the help of a fire cleanup specialist, it is possible your electronics can be saved even after a house fire.

Here Are the Rules of Playing With Candles

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Battery powered candle Electric candles are way safer than their traditional counterparts.

Here Are the Rules of Playing With Candles

Candles may smell and look pretty, but they also one of the leading causes of house fires. While there are safer alternatives with even better scents in the market, people still buy more of them every year. So, if you have to play with candle fire, here are the rules.

  • Never leave candles unattended
  • Candle placement is crucial
  • Consider using flameless candles

Blow Candles When You Leave the Room

It’s surprising how many candle fire incidents happen in Prescott, AZ, despite all the sensitization efforts. Usually, these accidents occur when the victim walks out on a burning candle and gets distracted elsewhere. A curious child or pet goes to investigate and ends up tipping the wax light. The flame gets into contact with the table cloth, and a fire breaks out.

Place Candles Wisely

The safest place to leave a candle is in the middle of a stable table. It will be in front of you the whole time, so there’s little risk of a fire incident. Avoid placing wax lights near windows where the wind could blow the curtains towards the flame. Also, move any flammable items such as papers, clothes and combustible liquids. That will save you from a potential smoke cleanup or even worse.

Consider Using Flameless Candles

Electric candles are way safer than their traditional counterparts. You can leave them on for as long as you wish and still find everything as you left it. Some brands have also added popular candle scents so you can get the exact experience of using the real thing. They are an excellent candle alternative for families and pet parents.
There is no doubt candles are romantic, and they add a homey feeling to any space. Even so, a candle fire is a significant threat and should be treated as such. Use these rules to stay safe and also consider switching to safer alternatives.

Top 5 Mistakes When Using a Fire Extinguisher

3/31/2021 (Permalink)

wildifre beside a house, black smoke Fire damage in Prescott, AZ.

Top 5 Mistakes When Using a Fire Extinguisher

Most homes have a fire extinguisher, but do you know how to use one properly? Do you know where it is located in your house or residential complex? The biggest mistake is to put off learning until it's too late.

1. Forgetting the Safety Pin
The pin prevents accidental use of the fire extinguisher. However, if you forget to disarm it, the tool will not be able to do its job. Locate it on the handle, and pull upward to remove.

2. Touching the Nozzle
A CO2 extinguisher causes the nozzle to be extremely cold to the touch. This can possibly harm the skin. To be safe, don't touch this part of the fire extinguisher. The CO2 kind can be identified its stiffer nozzle and absence of a pressure gauge. Regardless, it's best to keep humans away from the front end.

3. Aiming Too High
The natural instinct is to start at the top of the flames and work your way down. However, it's most effective to make a sweeping motion at the base of the fire. This way, whatever is igniting the flames will go out more quickly.

4. Getting Too Close
Furthermore, panic sets in during a fire emergency. Resist the urge to get as close to the fire as you can. This will only make you vulnerable to burns. In most small cases, like a kitchen fire, it can be put out farther away.

4. Being Overconfident
Firefighters are trained to put out fires for a reason. It's harder than it looks. Many individuals will think that they extinguished the flames, so they are done. That isn't the case. After doing the sweeping motions, wait to see if the fire reignites.
Large fires are often too difficult for an extinguisher to put out. If the flames get out of hand, evacuation is the best plan. If fire damage occurs, you will need to contact the local fire damage remediation experts in Prescott, AZ. Cleanup on your own is not safe due to possible structural damage.

4 Steps of the Fire Damage Restoration Process

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen severely damaged by fire in Prescott Valley, AZ Fire damage in a Prescott Valley, AZ home

Fire Damage Restoration Process

If you have recently experienced a fire in your home in Prescott Valley, AZ, you might be at a loss about what to do now that the flames are out. Fire restoration is a serious undertaking. You can make sure the job is done right by hiring damage cleaning experts that follow a proven process.

1. Assessment
The first step in restoration is understanding the task at hand. The restoration company will inspect your home for any issues that were caused by the fire. Professionals inspect not only the immediately affected area but any rooms that might have suffered smoke damage, too. They also look for signs of water damage that resulted from the fire. Afterward, these experts use their findings to create a plan, cost estimate, and timeline for your cleanup process.

2. Property Protection
Depending on the severity of the situation, your home may need further protection. Holes in the roof and walls leave your property open to more problems. If needed, the company will seal and tarp the house to prevent further damage.

3. Cleanup
Cleaning is the most time-consuming step in fire restoration. There are many steps in the cleanup process, including:

  • Removing burned materials
  • Drying and repairing any water damage issues
  • Air filtration and odor removal
  • Inspecting, cleaning and restoring belongings
  • Moving out and storing your property in a safe location

The amount of cleaning needed depends on the situation, but even a small fire can create a lot of mess.

4. Restoration
Repairing your home is the last part of the process. A fire damage restoration company can replace any building materials that your home lost so that it is structurally sound. Remediation professionals can also complete cosmetic restorations such as carpet installation and painting.
Fire restoration is a daunting process. Having a professional to keep you informed along the way can ease your mind while the work is done.

How To Estimate Commercial Fire Damage

11/8/2020 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire in Prescott, AZ

How To Estimate Commercial Fire Damage

A commercial fire is devastating, and after a fire, you may feel confused, frustrated and scared. In many cases, the insurance companies have adjusters that will do the actual calculations, but you still need to tell them exactly what was lost in the fire. After contacting your insurance agent, you will need to estimate what was lost. This may seem like a difficult task, but there are very basic things that you can do to make it easier.

Take an Inventory

The first thing you want to do is take an inventory of everything that is damaged. Write it all down, even if it seems inconsequential. You should write down:

  • Damage to the exterior and interior of the structure
  • Inventory loss
  • Equipment loss, particularly electronics
  • Supply loss

Knowing what you lost is the first step in getting an accurate estimate of the damage caused by the fire and firefighters. Fighting the fire sometimes causes more damage than the fire itself.

Evaluate Structural Damage

You should only enter the structure when it is safe to do so. If the structure is damaged beyond repair or the damage is extensive, you can use the formula, square foot cost to rebuild or repair multiplied by the total square footage of room or structure to approximate the cost of rebuilding or repairing the damage. You will also need to add in the cost of water damage and fire damage restoration in Prescott, AZ for your calculations to be accurate.

Approximate Equipment Loss

Approximating damages in a commercial fire also includes damage to equipment, inventory and supplies. You can do this by performing a reverse inventory. Take an estimate of what you had before the fire and subtract what you have now. This is what you lost. It is particularly important in a commercial fire where inventory and supplies are damaged.
Remember, insurance companies have adjusters that use formulas to estimate the value of what was lost. You should only need to give them an accurate picture of what was lost.

3 Ways to Choose the Best Fire Extinguisher

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Set Different Types of Extinguishers (Water, Foam, Dry Powder, Halon, Carbon Dioxide) Using a fire extinguisher is your best protection against a fire

3 Ways to Choose the Best Fire Extinguisher

You have several options when choosing a fire extinguisher to protect your home. Not only do you have several sizes to choose from, but different classes work on different types of fires. Class A is for ordinary combustibles, B is used for flammable liquids, and C is used for live electricity. Type A:B:C is effective on all three types and is best when a variety of materials are contained in a confined area. Here are suitable extinguishers for different areas of your home in Dewey- Humboldt, AZ.

1. Larger Areas
Garages and home workshops tend to be filled with many different types of items including flammable gas, paper or cardboard, and live electricity. These areas are generally on the larger side. To account for the different types of materials and the larger area, you may want to opt for a 10-pound A:B:C type fire extinguisher.

2. Confined Spaces
Kitchens and laundry rooms are generally more confined. Accessibility is extremely important in these areas. The faster you can access your fire suppression unit, the less time the fire has to spread. Some models can be mounted directly on the wall or inside a cabinet door. A 5-pound canister is easy to maneuver and contains enough flame retardant for a small home fire.

3. Over the Stove
Since stoves and ovens are the main areas fires break out in the kitchen, good fire preparedness includes mounting an extinguisher over this area. 2-pound disposal models are designed to burst open when exposed to the heat of an open flame. These units provide a safe and effective way to eliminate cooking flames in your kitchen.
Using a fire extinguisher is your best protection against a fire. However, if the fire begins to get dangerous or out of control, leave the home immediately and call the fire department. If you have experienced damage from a fire, hire a professional fire remediation company to restore your home to sites pre-fire condition.

Learn the Basics of a Commercial Partial Loss

7/9/2020 (Permalink)

Walls of a building with smoke damage Commercial fire loss in Bagdad, AZ

Not every fire loss means the complete destruction of your Bagdad, AZ, commercial location. Sometimes, only part of your property is affected by a fire or the damage is not complete. This type of fire incident requires a different process than a total loss, from claims filing to restoration. Learn the basics of a partial loss to handle this specific situation effectively.

Definition of a Partial Loss

A partial loss occurs when a fire partially destroys a building. The fire may affect only a part of the building or destroy only some of the property. Additionally, it can also include damage that does not permanently impair use, like smoke damage. Sometimes, it may not even occur directly on your location. For example, if a nearby building catches on fire, your building or equipment may be altered by that incident's smoke, ash or increased heat.

Examples of Partial Loss
A partial fire loss manifests in various shapes and forms. You will need to identify them to correctly assess the damage.

Partially damaged property
Hidden damage (smoke, water, mold, air quality, etc.)
Unsatisfactory and disputed repairs
Improper cleaning and repair

As you see, not every partial loss is blatant or occurs only during the time of the incident. Hidden damage and improper procedures can affect your building just as much. This is why it is important to have trusted professionals inspect the location, even if it initially seems like everything is intact.

What To Do After a Partial Loss
After the incident, it is important to contact your insurance adjuster and an approved fire restoration company to handle your case. These professionals will ensure every detail of the partial loss is accounted for, even the hidden damage. Make sure to keep detailed documentation of the damage, as this information is useful. The restoration specialists should inspect every area, including the roof, windows, and plumbing.
You should take a fire loss seriously even if it barely noticeable. Record every bit of information and contact professionals, no matter the scope of the damage.

What Can You Keep After a Home Fire?

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

Broken windows in a home, fire damage in a home Residential fire loss in Bagdad, AZ

A home fire can cause a lot of significant damage. In addition to the harm done to your home, many of your furnishings and belongings will also be damaged by flames, the heat and smoke of the fire, and the water from fire fighting efforts. You may find some items that don't look damaged but may still be ruined.

How Can You Tell What You Need To Throw Away and What Can be Salvaged?

Permeable items may have absorbed contaminants from soot and water.
Discuss the potential dangers with experts such as firefighters or your insurance agent.
Compare the cost of cleaning and repair versus the cost of replacement.
Keep your family's safety and health as your primary focus.

Remember that fire damage isn't limited to those areas affected by the flames. High heat, water, and soot can all cause potentially harmful situations.

First Things First
During the first few days after the fire, you should talk with your insurance agent about how to assess the value of your home, furnishings, and property. It's important to immediately begin replacing documents such as your driver's license, birth, and social security records, deeds to your home, and auto registration, for example.

Throw These Things Out
When it's safe to return to your Bagdad, AZ, home, you can begin the task of deciding what to throw away and what to keep. There are some items that should be thrown out immediately:

  • Any open containers of food
  • Food stored in permeable containers
  • Charred, rusted, or bulging cans of food, medicine, and cosmetics
  • Containers with evidence of fire extinguisher residue
  • Food in a fridge that smells like smoke or has soot inside
  • Food that smells bad or doesn't feel cold anymore
  • Clothing that has been damaged

The high heat of a fire can affect foods, medications, and cosmetics even when the products are in airtight containers. Don't put your health at risk; just replace these items.

Focus on Safety
It can be difficult to throw away food and medication that looks fine, but it's more important to be sure that you and your family members are safe and in good health as you recover from the experience. While home restoration experts work to return your home to its pre-fire condition, you can focus on cleaning and replacing the items inside.

Can Cleaning Restore Smoke-Damaged Electronics?

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Electronics damaged by fire will likely need to be replaced, but it may be possible for fire cleanup experts to restore appliances and devices that have only sustained smoke damage. There are several methods that may restore the functionality of items exposed to smoke.

Clearing Out Corrosion

Smoke contains acidic compounds and water vapor that combine to cause corrosion on metal components such as circuits. Electronics cleaning experts may:

• Remove corrosion
• Prevent short-circuiting
• Reduce the risk of an electric fire

It is unsafe to use electronics that have corroded components. It is safest to rely on the expertise of fire cleanup experts in a controlled off-site location than to attempt to clean corrosion.

Cleaning off Black Film

Another telltale sign of smoke damage is a black film that forms across internal electronic components. This film is caused by smoke and soot and:

• Adheres to dirt or dust
• Can cause overheating
• May prevent devices from functioning

Cleanup professionals can also safely remove this black film, which may restore the normal functionality of electronics. It is important to use specialized cleaning and repair equipment to avoid further damaging delicate parts.

Safely Testing Electronics

You may run the risk of starting another fire by attempting to test electronics damaged by excessive heat or smoke. It is safer to allow experienced professionals to attempt to clean damage and then test items in an off-site facility. In addition to testing, these specialists can provide:

• Data recovery or backup
• Proof of damage or loss
• Restored electronics

It is best to hand off electronics to a content cleaning service to have restoration attempted elsewhere. Items with irreparable damage should be claimed as losses and replaced.

Electronics cleaning experts are likely to have the best results when it comes to restoring electronics. Rely on a fire cleanup firm that provides off-site content cleaning and storage in Prescott, AZ.