Recent Fire Damage Posts

What To Do If You Suspect a Gas Leak

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

Natural gas burning on kitchen gas stove in the dark. Burners on gas stoves that may have been accidentally turned on

A natural gas leak can lead to an explosion that could result in a gas fire. If you suspect you have a gas leak, it is important to act promptly to reduce your risk of fire damage.

Try To Find the Source

Natural gas is odorless, but gas companies add mercaptan, which has a smell similar to rotten eggs, to make leaks easier to detect. If you notice this smell, and it is safe to do so, you should check for potential sources of the leak:

  • Burners on gas stoves that may have been accidentally turned on
  • Gas hoses on appliances, such as gas-powered dryers
  • Older, or poorly maintained appliances

Take Precautions
Avoid turning on lights and other electrical appliances that could create a spark that might cause a gas explosion, leading to a gas fire. Open your doors and windows to provide ventilation that could prevent gas from building up in your home. Do not attempt to light your stove, strike a match or light a cigarette.

Shut Off the Gas
You should familiarize yourself with the location of your gas meter and how to shut it off if you suspect a leak. The meter should have a valve that you can turn with a wrench to shut off the gas.

Evacuate Your Home
If you can not quickly and safely locate and stop a gas leak, you should vacate your home and make sure you get a safe distance away. Once you are far enough away for safety, call 9-1-1 for assistance.
An explosion caused by a gas leak is a frightening prospect for many homeowners. However, knowing what to do when you suspect a leak can help you avoid potential disaster. However, if your home has sustained damage due to a gas fire, a fire restoration specialist in Missouri City, TX, can help you restore your home to its preloss condition.

Interruption Insurance and Fire Restoration

7/3/2020 (Permalink)

Financial concept meaning Business Interruption Insurance with sign on the piece of paper Business interruption insurance covers financial losses associated with covered perils

A fire at your Houston, TX, business can be very disruptive. Fortunately, interruption insurance can help smooth things over financially, and restoration service can get the property back to normal.

Business Interruption Insurance

Business interruption insurance is a particular type of insurance that covers financial losses associated with covered perils. This type of insurance often covers the following:

  • Lost income
  • Payroll
  • Temporary relocation expenses
  • Other operating expenses such as loan
  • payments and taxes

As with other types of insurance, it is important to speak with your insurance agent to understand your coverage limits and other policy details before you experience a loss.

Fire Restoration
While interruption insurance can help you stay afloat during the restoration period, there are professionals who can help get your business back to normal quickly and safely. There are a variety of services a restoration company can provide, including the following:

  • Emergency board-up
  • Water damage cleanup
  • Smoke and soot cleaning
  • Repairs and reconstruction

The fire department or the fire itself may have left openings in your building, leaving it vulnerable to inclement weather, wildlife, and trespassers. Boarding up or tarping over these openings can protect your property from further damage. Additionally, the firefighting efforts probably left behind standing water. It is important to remove the water as quickly as possible to prevent mold growth. Cleaning smoke and soot can be tricky. Success requires using the right cleaners and techniques for the particular type of smoke and soot being dealt with. A professional can choose the best methods for your property. Finally, a certified restoration team will have the knowledge and equipment to do necessary repairs and reconstruction. Although some of these repairs you may be able to do yourself, delicate items such as antiques and electronics often require specialized care.
Unfortunately, business fires are often financially and emotionally devastating. However, protecting your financial security with interruption insurance and enlisting the help of a certified restoration company can make a stressful situation easier to handle.

Space Heaters: Ways To Reduce the Risk of Fire

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

Space heater Never leave the room while a space heater is on

Cool nights in a small room mean you probably want to turn on the space heater. While they can do wonders to cozy up a room in your Missouri City, TX, home, these warmers are also an appliance that can start a fire. In certain situations, a burned space heater can quickly lead to a big fire.

Safety Tips

To avoid smoke cleanup and extensive damage that requires a smoke and fire remediation and restoration specialist, follow these six tips to reduce the risk of fire:

  • Plug heaters directly into an outlet. Never use a power strip. The current a heater draws could cause overheating.
  • Never leave the room while a space heater is on or when you are sleeping.
  • Ensure it is located in an area away from children and pets, as well as at least 3 feet from flammable items, such as furniture, curtains and paper, and standing on a flat, level surface.
  • As its name implies, only use it to warm a room. It is not designed for any other purpose, such as cooking, drying clothes or thawing something.
  • While in use, do not place anything over the heater.
  • Unplug it every time you are done using it.

Upgrading
While a burned space heater is an obvious reason to get a new one, there are a few other things to consider to ensure you have the safest appliance in your home:

  • Verify it is labeled as tested, approved, and certified by an accredited lab.
  • Check connections and plug for any wear or damage. If there is fraying or loose wires, it is not safe to use.
  • Newer models are more likely to have built-in safety features, including overheating and tip-over protection.

While there is nothing like staying warm and cozy, improperly using an appliance can lead to a burned space heater and potential fire and smoke damage. Consider the above tips whenever operating an electric heater in your home.

Check The Date of Your Smoke Alarm

6/6/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Burning Having an emergency plan and practicing it can help save your life and your family’s life.

The Chicago Fire, also known as the Great Chicago Fire, engulfed the city in flames for two days. When finally controlled, the fire had destroyed more than 17,000 structures and claimed an estimated 250 lives. In remembrance of the Great Chicago Fire and in hopes of saving lives, the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) holds a National Fire Prevention Week. The 2016 Fire Prevention Week theme, running from October 9-15th, is “Don’t wait --check the date!” reminding everyone to replace household smoke alarms every 10 years.

Because of this event, and as Houston’s leading fire damage restoration company, we’ve gathered home fire facts and tips to help keep you and your family safe.


Smoke Alarms


• In 2014, U.S. fire departments responded to 367,500 house fires that resulted in nearly 3,000 deaths. 


• Between 2009-2013, 3 out of 5 home fire deaths occurred in homes without smoke alarms or with non-working smoke alarms.


• Smoke alarm failure is frequently caused missing batteries, batteries, expired batteries, or from the smoke alarm being disconnected from the power source.


• Smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a house fire by half,


Emergency Exit Plan


• Fire can spread quickly. Often you will have as little as 2 minutes from the moment the smoke alarm sounds to get out of the house to safety.


• Having an emergency plan and practicing it can help save your life and your family’s life. Unfortunately, nearly have of those who have a plan practice it.


• For help in developing an escape plan and ways to help children prepare for an emergency, visit the NFPA website.


Fire Prevention


• Two out of every five house fires start in the kitchen. Frying is the activity most often associated with kitchen fires. 


• A fire extinguisher can save lives and your home by putting out small fires before they grow out of control, though it is important to remember that they have limitations. The main priority is always your safety and that of your family.


• Familiarize yourself with the operation of the fire extinguisher and place one in several areas of your home. The suggested locations for keeping a fire extinguisher includes the kitchen, your bedroom, the basement, attic, and by the outdoor grill.


• Space heaters are also a major contributor to house fires and it the second cause of fire deaths in recent years. To help prevent fire, do not use an extension cord with your space heater and be sure to keep it clear of fabrics and other items that are flammable. 


The NFPA and Houston SERVPRO remind you to replace your smoke detectors every ten years. Most house fires happen at night making it all the most critical to have smoke alarms in working order. If you hear the alarm sound at night, implement the family escape plan immediately. Your life and the lives of your loved ones can never be replaced. A home damaged by fire, however, can be restored. 

To learn more about Houston SERVPRO’s fire damage restoration services, call (281) 403-2256

Commercial Cleaning in Stafford Texas

5/25/2020 (Permalink)

You don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office.

When grime, odor and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, call in your local SERVPRO Professional. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on SERVPRO of Stafford / Missouri City to make your workspace look it's very best.

SERVPRO of Stafford / Missouri City will get the job done right and get it done quickly because the SERVPRO Advantage includes these benefits: Award-Winning Training, Nearly 50 Years of Experience and Exclusive Cleaning Products.

Specialty Cleaning Services

We have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business. Our cleaning services include the following: Air Ducts and HVAC, Biohazard, Carpet and Upholstery, Ceilings, Floors, and Walls, Drapes, and Blinds, Odor Removal, Sewage, Trauma and Crime Scene and Vandalism.

HELPING TO MAKE FIRE AND WATER DAMAGE “Like it never even happened.”

The Capabilities of a Smart Smoke Detector

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke detector mounted on roof in apartment A smart smoke alarm is another tool to consider to respond quickly to a fire danger

Every day it seems a new gadget or device comes on the market, enticing you to part with your hard-earned money. How do you determine if a new product is worth its price? Safety features for your home are always worth considering, and a smoke alarm is an essential device that should be in every home. When it comes to an upgrade on this time-tested device a little skepticism may be warranted. After all, the basic smoke detector has done its job effectively for decades. What will a smart device provide that the basic models do not have, and how will it better protect your home in Arcola, TX?

The Power of a Smart Smoke Alarm

Most people would agree that quicker notification of a fire is a good thing. It allows you to call in the fire department before a fire has destroyed your entire home. This is one of the advantages of a smart smoke warning device offers, as it can alert you of a fire even when no one is at home. Other advantages are as follows:

  • You can sync the device with your phone, allowing for instant notification
  • You have the ability to silence false alarms from your phone
  • You might save money with a listener that covers your entire home
  • You can add smart batteries that feature alerts when battery power is low

A number of smart smoke detectors are now on the market, with prices starting around $100 for each detector. The ultimate test of a smart device is does it increase your fire safety.

The Benefits of Expert Cleanup

A fire in your home demands rapid action. As soon as the fire is out, be sure to contact a fire remediation team in Arcola, TX, to assess the problem and take steps to secure your home. A smart smoke alarm is another tool to consider to respond quickly to a fire danger.

Smoke Damage Stinks

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke with a sign that says SMOKE DAMAGE STINKS Clean out the smells with these tips.

Smoke Damage Stinks

Remove the smell of smoke in your fire-damaged home by following these instructions.

1.      Throw open the windows and doors as quickly as possible after the fire. The less time the smoke sits around the greater chance of getting rid of it quickly. Even if it is in the middle of winter, airing your house right away will disperse the smoke and prevent any more absorption. 

2.     Wash your drapes and linens as soon as possible; they will absorb the smoke odor rapidly. Wash them in the hottest water that the fabric can endure and heavy duty washing detergent. 

3.      Clean your cabinets, walls, and floors with a one-part vinegar, one part warm water solution. Be sure to test this first but most surfaces are fine with this solution. Vinegar naturally absorbs odors so the smell of vinegar and smoke should go away in a few hours after using it.

4.      Place bowls of baking soda around your kitchen, and even put a few in the cabinets, pantry, and any other room that has an odor.  This too will help to absorb the odor in a few days time. Sprinkle the rugs and carpeting with baking soda and vacuum. Sprinkle the baking soda again and this time let sit for a few days time before vacuuming.

5.      If the house still reeks of smoke or if you don’t want to mess with it in the first place, just call us here at SERVPRO and we’ll get it right out.

3 Grill Cleaning Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning a grill Grill cleaning can help to ensure your grill functions at its best

Cleaning Grill Tips

Whether you're grilling fresh veggies or a steak, using your grill is a great way to create a delicious meal in your home in Stafford,TX. Grill cleaning, however, can seem like a chore. Fortunately, there are several tips you can follow that can make cleaning your grill easier.

1. Burn Off What You Can
If you have a gas grill and it's your first time using it since the last grilling season, then it's often recommended that you turn on your grill and allow it to burn for 10 to 20 minutes. This can help to burn off anything that you may have missed previously and may make other cleaning steps easier. However, if you use charcoal rather than gas, it's not necessary to turn on your grill. Instead, safely dispose of the old charcoal. Before you continue cleaning, it's helpful to make sure the propane is disconnected.

2. Focus on the Grates
Grill cleaning can help you to avoid dirty grates, which is important as dirty grates may result in a grease fire, and this can cause major damage to your home. Many people find it useful to contact emergency restoration services if their homes have sustained fire damage. However, you can often avoid the issue by practicing grill maintenance and thoroughly cleaning the grates on your grill. One of the best ways to clean your grill grates is to remove them from the grill, let them soak in warm soapy water and then scrub them with a brush.

3. Clean the Inside of the Grill
The elements inside your grill may seem difficult to clean, but fortunately, they aren't too hard to wash. Removing the grates before attempting to scrub the inside of your grill makes the process much simpler. Once you have removed the grates, you can access the inside elements of the grill and then can wipe away any ash or additional debris inside the grill with a cloth.

Grill cleaning can help to ensure your grill functions at its best. You can maintain and clean your grill by frequently burning off grime, scrubbing your grates and cleaning the inside of your grill.

Act Fast To Prevent Further Fire Damage

9/6/2019 (Permalink)

If your Houston area home has recently been affected by a fire, act fast to prevent further damage. 

Even a small single-room fire can cause significant damage to other areas of the home. Heat affects electrical appliances throughout the home, water from knocking down flames damages carpets and floors, soot causes pervasive corrosion and damage, and smoke odor can permeate the walls. To avoid such fall-out damage, here are a few steps to follow as soon as possible after a fire:

1. Contact your insurance company to start the claims process. They will likely recommend you contact an emergency response team like your locally owned and operated Houston SERVPRO to help you throughout the rebuilding and restoration process. We are available 24 hours a day, and our fire damage restoration team has advanced training to help prevent further damage to your home. 

2. Complete an assessment of structural damage and damage to personal items in the home caused by the flames, heat, smoke, and water. It is vital that all rooms, including those not initially touched by flames, be examined thoroughly for damage. All wiring must be carefully inspected for heat damage; if wires behind walls were affected by the heat, rewiring may be required. For your safety and to prevent further damage, do not use any electrical outlets until wires and electronic devices have been professionally evaluated.

3. Conduct an inventory of the items in your home. Missouri City SERVPRO is on hand to conduct this room-by-room evaluation, categorizing each item as salvageableunsalvageable, orquestionable. Salvageable items will need professional cleaning, unsalvageable items will be properly disposed of, and questionable items will be further examined by industry experts. Often, antiquities and art restoration professionals can bring even seriously damaged personal items back into pre-fire condition. Either way, the earlier that restoration professionals have access to fine art, antiques, fine carpets, and other heirlooms, the better your valuables’ chance for a full restoration from the devastating effects of smoke, flames, and water.

4. Guard against mold quickly. The longer the water and soot remain in the home, the more long-term damage will be caused. In the greater Houston area, mold starts to develop within 48 hours after water damage. It is essential that water extraction, cleaning and dehumidifying process begin as soon as the fire department deems the property safe, to avoid further damage.

Count on your locally owned and operated Houston SERVPRO if a fire, water, or a storm damages your home. We are available 24 hours a day, and can arrive on scene within hours to help you throughout the cleaning, restoration, and rebuilding process. Our team has the  advanced training, expertise, and tools necessary to help you and your family get back into your home quickly. Call us right away—you can trust us to care for your home as we would our own. For more information and customer testimonials, visit our Home Page.

Fire Damage in Stafford Texas

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Beginning to end repair.

Fire Damage Can Catch You Off Guard!

Here is a total reconstruction project that SERVPRO has taken on after a freak accident caused this family's house to burn down beyond repair.

SERVPRO handled all the demolition for this residence after the tragic fire had happened. The owner loved working with us so much that he decided to have SERVPRO take care of the entire reconstruction of the home as well.

The project has passed all inspections and was to be a quick rebuild for the homeowner. This fire damage repair moved along at a great pace!

Not many companies can take you from Fire Damage Cleanup to Total Reconstruction of your most valuable possession.

Call us today if you have had a fire damage! (281) 403-2256

Burn Awareness

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

We thought it was a good time to share some tips that could keep you and your family safe from getting burned.

Scalds are one of the leading causes of burns in children under the age of 9 in the United States. To prevent your children from being scalded by hot water make sure that you are checking the temperature of their bath water before placing them in the bathtub. To ensure that your water won't be too hot adjust your Hot Water Heater to no more than 120 degrees F so that the chance of having water hot enough to scald someone is drastically reduced.

Before giving them a warm drink like Hot Chocolate, make sure that it is cool enough for them to drink or hold before handing it to them.

When cooking, make sure you turn your pot handles in over the counters so that they don't get knocked over by you or your kids by accident.

For adults who use home oxygen make sure that there are no open flame sources nearby, and please do not smoke or let them smoke while an oxygen tank is in the room.

If you are using a fireplace in your home make sure that you have a gate that protects embers from leaving the fireplace and that no one touches that gate while the fireplace is in use as it can be very hot if touched.

If you do get burned the best thing you can do first is to place the burned area under cool (not cold) water for a few minutes to lessen the severity of the burn. If the burn is serious it is advised that you report to an emergency medical office to seek further treatment.

For more information visit ameriburn.org or beburnaware.org and if any scalds are from the result of a fire and the damage is too much for you to clean yourself, call SERVPRO (281) 403-2256.

Stafford Texas Fire Restoration Process

1/27/2019 (Permalink)

Most people do not know what to expect when it comes to calling someone to help you pick up the pieces after a fire.

Here is the process we take to make you and your family feel safe after a major disaster.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of Stafford / Missouri City.  

Step 2: Inspection and Assessment

We carefully inspect and test the rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. 

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs. 

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying 

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process. 

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces. 

Step 6: Cleaning

We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. 

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Call SERVPRO today (281) 403-2256.

Dos For Fire Damage Restoration

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Dos For Fire Damage Restoration

Contact SERVPRO, your fire restoration specialists to make sure that you have the help and guidance you need.

  • Turn off your utilities, this includes electricity, gas, water, and any others until one of our professionals can evaluate your situation and see if any of these systems were damaged in your 
  • Although our SERVPRO professionals will take care of you. Grabbing that vacuum out of the closet and getting a kick start on clean up will help prevent ash and soot from soaking deeper into your upholstery.
  • As stated above with your upholstery, you can do the same thing to your floors, carpets, and countertops. This will help keep that soot from going deeper into your carpets roots. Cleaning the countertops will prevent from clinging and deeply staining to the surfaces. 
  • Check your appliances. Empty freezers and refrigerators. 
  • Remove your pets from your damaged home. Smoke and lingering soot can cause great harm to them.

Do Not's For Fire Damage Restoration

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Do Not's For Fire Damage Restoration

Contact SERVPRO, your fire restoration specialists to make sure that you have the help and guidance you need.

  • Do NOT use your AC, Heater or Electronics. Wait until our professionals arrive to the scene before trying to use your devices such as your television, hand held devices, computers, or anything of that nature. Powering on these devices could potentially create a greater damage than what was already present.
  • Do NOT clean walls, ceilings, or your clothing. Allow our SERVPRO professionals to give you their expert advice on the proper precautions. 
  • Do NOT eat any food that was involved in the fire. It is not save, even if it was only present during the extinguishing of the fire.
  • Do NOT try and clean any of the powder that was discharged by a fire extinguisher, let our professionals guide the clean up in these areas.

Working Smoke Detectors Save Lives

12/13/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke detectors can save your life, don't get caught without one.

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

The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be 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.

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance. For more on emergency preparedness, contact your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals.

  1. Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.
  2. 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.
  3. Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  4. 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.
  5. Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

Just The Facts: Smoke Detectors

  • Three out 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 and tips provided by National Fire Prevention Association.

If you have fire damage call SERVPRO TODAY! (281) 403-2256

8 Tips to Avoiding Holiday Hazards In Your Stafford Home

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Candles can be a holiday hazard, always use caution.

Candles, pretty lights, and decorations are just a few of the items that add to the charm and cheer of the holiday season-however if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening very quickly.

Review the following simple safety tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association, to greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season.

1. Two out of five home decoration fires are started by candles. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that burns.

2. Use sturdy candle holders that are not likely to tip over and place candles on clear, uncluttered surfaces. Consider using flameless candles instead of real candles.

3. Make sure your tree and decorations are at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles or heat vents.

4. Make sure you have the correct type of lights for your desired decor. Some lights are designed for only indoor or outdoor use, but not both.

5. Carefully inspect light strands before placing them. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of light sets.

6. Remember to turn off outside decorative lights and Christmas tree lights before leaving or going to bed.

7. Get rid of your tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.

8. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals wish you a safe and happy holiday season!