Recent Fire Damage Posts

5 Ways Kent, WA Homeowners Can Prevent House Fires This Thanksgiving

11/7/2023 (Permalink)

Fireplace in a home. As a homeowner in Kent, Washington, it's essential to be proactive in preventing house fires during this festive season.

Thanksgiving is a time for gathering with loved ones, expressing gratitude, and indulging in delicious meals. However, it's also a time when house fires are more common due to increased cooking and heating activities. As a homeowner in Kent, Washington, it's essential to be proactive in preventing house fires during this festive season. In this blog, we'll explore five ways you can protect your home and loved ones from the threat of house fires this Thanksgiving.

  1. Kitchen Safety

The kitchen is the heart of Thanksgiving preparations, but it's also the most common location for house fires. To ensure kitchen safety:

a. Supervise Cooking: Never leave your cooking unattended. Whether you're roasting a turkey, frying, or baking, stay in the kitchen to monitor the food.

b. Keep Flammable Items Away: Keep kitchen towels, paper towels, and oven mitts away from the stove or open flames to prevent accidental ignition.

c. Have a Fire Extinguisher: Keep a fire extinguisher rated for kitchen fires in your kitchen, and make sure you and your family know how to use it.

d. Avoid Overloading Outlets: Don't overload electrical outlets with appliances, as overheating can lead to electrical fires. Use power strips with surge protectors if you need extra outlets.

  1. Maintain Heating Equipment

As the weather gets colder, Kent residents often turn to heating equipment, which can pose a fire risk if not properly maintained. Here's what you can do:

a. Clean Chimneys and Fireplaces: Have your chimney and fireplace inspected and cleaned regularly by a professional to remove creosote buildup, a common cause of chimney fires.

b. Check Space Heaters: If you use space heaters, ensure they are in good working condition and placed at least three feet away from flammable materials.

c. Replace Filters: Change the filters in your HVAC system to prevent the buildup of dust and debris that can lead to overheating and fires.

  1. Fire-Resistant Decorations

Thanksgiving decorations can be beautiful but also pose a fire hazard. Be mindful of the following:

a. Candles: Opt for battery-operated LED candles instead of open flames, or use candle holders that prevent the flame from coming into contact with flammable materials.

b. Keep Decorations Away from Heat Sources: Ensure that decorations, such as tablecloths and centerpieces, are not too close to stoves, ovens, or other heat sources.

c. Don't Overload Outlets: When plugging in holiday lights or decorative items, avoid overloading electrical outlets.

  1. Smoke Alarms and Fire Escape Plans

Ensure your home is equipped with functioning smoke alarms. Regularly check the batteries and test them to ensure they work correctly. Additionally, create and practice a fire escape plan with your family. Knowing what to do in case of a fire can save lives.

  1. Deep-Fryer Safety

Deep-frying a turkey can be a delicious alternative to traditional roasting, but it comes with certain risks. Follow these safety tips:

a. Use an Appropriate Fryer: Make sure your turkey fryer is designed for the purpose and placed on a flat, stable surface.

b. Don't Overfill: Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for the correct amount of oil and turkey size.

c. Fry Outdoors: Set up the deep fryer outside, away from any structures, and never use it in a garage or enclosed area.

This Thanksgiving, take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of your home and loved ones. By following these five safety measures - maintaining a vigilant kitchen, keeping heating equipment in good condition, using fire-resistant decorations, having working smoke alarms and an escape plan, and practicing deep-fryer safety - you can significantly reduce the risk of house fires in Kent, WA during the holiday season. Enjoy your Thanksgiving with peace of mind and gratitude for a safe and memorable celebration.

How Household Clutter Contributes to Fire Risks

4/19/2023 (Permalink)

cluttered book store Clutter, especially from paper, can be a hazard.

Household clutter is an issue that affects many people, and it can be dangerous in more ways than one. One of the less obvious risks of household clutter is that it increases the risk of house fires.

Firstly, it's important to understand that clutter can be defined as any material that is stored haphazardly and without proper organization. This can include piles of paper, boxes, and other items that are not put away properly. When these items accumulate, they can create a fire hazard by blocking exits and pathways, and by providing fuel for a fire to spread.

One of the main ways that household clutter can increase the risk of house fires is by blocking exits and pathways. In the event of a fire, it is critical to have clear pathways to exits, as this can mean the difference between life and death. Clutter can also impede the ability of firefighters to access the home, putting everyone in the home at risk.

Another way that clutter can cause fires is by providing fuel for a fire to spread. When there are piles of paper, boxes, and other flammable materials stored haphazardly, they can ignite and cause a fire to spread rapidly. Additionally, clutter can hide potential fire hazards such as frayed wires or overloaded electrical outlets, making it more difficult to detect and address these issues before they cause a fire.

So, what can you do to reduce the risk of household clutter causing a fire? The first step is to declutter your home regularly. This means getting rid of items that you no longer need or use, and finding proper storage for the items that you do need to keep. This can involve using storage solutions such as shelves, cabinets, and drawers to keep items organized and out of the way.

Next, it's important to ensure that all pathways and exits are clear of clutter. This means removing any boxes or items that may be blocking the way, and ensuring that there is a clear path to exits such as doors and windows. Additionally, you should ensure that your home has working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, and that everyone in the home knows how to use them.

Another important step is to be aware of potential fire hazards in your home. This can involve inspecting electrical outlets and cords regularly to ensure that they are not damaged or overloaded, and being cautious with flammable materials such as candles and space heaters. By being aware of potential hazards and taking steps to address them, you can reduce the risk of a fire starting in your home.

Household clutter is a risk factor that many people overlook when it comes to fire safety. However, by taking steps to declutter your home, ensure clear pathways and exits, and be aware of potential fire hazards, you can reduce the risk of a fire starting and help to keep your family safe. Remember, fire safety is everyone's responsibility, and it's important to take the necessary steps to protect your home and your loved ones.

Candles, The Risk of Fire, + Safer Alternatives

4/19/2023 (Permalink)

candle Open flames are a hazard to homes and can lead to housefires.

Candles have been used for centuries to create a warm and cozy atmosphere, but they can also be a serious fire hazard. Every year, thousands of fires are caused by candles, resulting in injuries, property damage, and even fatalities.

Candles pose a fire hazard for several reasons. Candles are an open flame, which means that they can ignite nearby flammable materials such as curtains, furniture, and bedding. This is particularly true if candles are left unattended or placed too close to other objects. In addition, candles can also drip hot wax, which can cause burns or start fires if it comes into contact with flammable materials.

Candles can also be knocked over, which can result in a fire. This is particularly true if they are placed on unstable surfaces or if they are in high-traffic areas where they are likely to be bumped or knocked over. Once a candle is knocked over, it can quickly ignite nearby materials, resulting in a dangerous and fast-spreading fire.

Candles can also be a hazard if they are used in areas where there is a risk of oxygen deprivation, such as in confined spaces or near medical equipment. This is because candles consume oxygen as they burn, and they can quickly deplete the oxygen in a small or confined space, resulting in suffocation or other serious health issues.

Fortunately, there are several safer alternatives to candles that can help create a cozy and warm atmosphere without posing a fire hazard. One option is to use battery-powered candles or LED lights. These can provide a similar glow to traditional candles, but they do not produce heat or pose a fire hazard. In addition, they are also available in a wide range of colors and styles, so you can find one that suits your décor and style.

Another option is to use essential oil diffusers or wax melt warmers. These devices use heat or water to diffuse essential oils or scented wax, creating a pleasant and fragrant atmosphere without the use of an open flame. They are also available in a variety of styles and designs, so you can find one that matches your décor and personal taste.

Finally, if you do decide to use traditional candles, there are several steps you can take to reduce the risk of fire. Always ensure that candles are placed on stable surfaces and that they are not placed near flammable materials such as curtains or bedding. Never leave candles unattended, and always extinguish them before leaving the room or going to sleep. Thirdly, always trim the wick to 1/4 inch before lighting the candle, and ensure that the candle is placed in a draft-free area to prevent it from flickering and potentially igniting nearby materials.

While candles can be a great way to create a warm and cozy atmosphere, they can also be a serious fire hazard. Fortunately, there are several safer alternatives to candles that can help create a similar effect without the risk of fire. If you do choose to use candles, always take steps to reduce the risk of fire, such as ensuring they are placed on stable surfaces, never leaving them unattended, and trimming the wick before lighting. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the benefits of candles while keeping your home safe and secure.

Fire Prevention - 5 Things You Can Do

1/23/2023 (Permalink)

a variety of chopped vegetables and spices on cutting boards. Cooking related activities, especially those that require the stove or over, can lead to a fire if left unattended.

Curious about what you can do to prevent fires in your home? The following list is not comprehensive, but can still help prevent house fires.

  1. Change the dryer lint after every load of laundry. That might sound excessive, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Dryer lint is highly flammable, so even a small amount is all it takes. Doing this also prevents the ventilation of your dryer system from becoming clogged, which can prevent fires down the road and optimize performance.
  2. Use surge protectors. When there's a surge of excess electricity, surge protectors prevent that excess electricity from causing a fire by preventing the electricity from travelling up into your electronics.
  3. Never leave cooking, baking, or lit candles unattended. Any of these can easily get out of hand. It's also worth noting that one of the top causes of US house fires is from unattended cooking.
  4. Reduce the clutter in your home. Clutter can cause fires, or help fires spread quickly. Many of the day-to-day items we use are made of highly flammable materials, so the more cluttered a space is, often the faster a flame can spread.
  5. Make sure your roof and gutters are clean. During the summer months in particular, the debris in gutters can become extremely dry. If there is a lightning storm or excessively hot temperatures, those debris can ignite on the roof of your home, surely spelling trouble.

If you need fire damage restoration services, please don't hesitate to contact us. If you're curious about how to prevent fires in your home, check out this blog.

Fully Resolving Kent Fire Damage Concerns

10/3/2022 (Permalink)

Technicians removing soot damage from a ceiling with sponges SERVPRO technicians are trained and experienced in all phases of fire damage restoration. Call us now!

Full-Service Fire Damage Restoration After Losses

Residents understand that several layers of restoration and recovery are required to return the home to its original condition after a fire. You need a full-service team of professionals, and our SERVPRO team is here to help. We start with powerful mitigation solutions like:

  • Temporary construction
  • Content removal
  • Air filtration
  • Water removal
  • Debris cleanup

We must act fast with the severity of Kent fire damage incidents for homes, especially exposures to microscopic soot particles and structural damages. Our roster of FSRT-Certified technicians is ready to mobilize fast when disasters strike. Given our unique relationship with insurance providers in the area, we often have a team assembled and ready to roll out before the extinguishment of the fire completes.

Fire Damage Mitigation Services

Even after a fire gets extinguished, the damage to the structure does not stop. Circulating carcinogenic particles continue to spread, standing water absorbs into materials, and weak structural elements are ready to collapse. Our SERVPRO professionals use the mitigation process to reduce restoration times and further damage to the structure.

Insurance Claims Work

Most fire damage incidents fit the criteria for insurance claims, making much of the work to be done overseen and filtered through the specific processes and procedures companies require. We work directly with many of the areas insurance companies, understanding what the adjusters need to ensure your claim is approved and work can begin:

  • Claims Inventory – Cataloging the condition of loose items and determining the salvageability of individual personal belongings. This would also indicate the need for relocation to our SERVPRO facility for further restoration work.
  • Estimation – Combining the needed efforts and materials into a direct and detailed breakdown of expected costs and paid hours.
  • Restoration Plan – The combined mitigation and restoration solutions necessary to return a property to preloss condition. This information tracks milestones and goals reached during the recovery process.

The Threat of Soot Damage 

The incomplete combustion of fuels and organic matter can create smoke residues and soot that come to rest on surfaces. Under pressure, these can even become affixed to vertical planes like walls. Soot is a challenging obstacle for restoration professionals as the removal often requires several practices and products to achieve. Much of the decisions regarding the type of cleanup required relates to the kind of smoke damage present:

  • Wet Smoke
  • Dry Smoke
  • Grease Residues

Counteractants and Deodorants 

Malodors are often final considerations for the restoration process but no less an obstacle for recovery professionals working in the house. Harsh smells are often created by the combustion of woods, plastics, and chemicals. While counteractant products like beads and granules can reduce the severity of these threats, deodorization equipment and tools are often necessary to complete the job. We generally utilize products and mechanical means to eliminate malodors.

Fire Damage Repairs for Homes 

Few fire disasters do not require some form of repair or reconstruction. Our SERVPRO IICRC-Certified team is equipped to manage these needs with a general contractor license and years of experience in the building trades to provide these efforts. From controlled demolition where damaged building materials must be removed and discarded to the reconstruction of wall and ceiling assemblies to make it “Like it never even happened,” we can help.

Kent fire damage might occur from many sources or ignition points, but the threat to your home or property should be anticipated. Post-disaster conditions are often volatile and overwhelming between soot and smoke damage threats spreading through the structure. Our SERVPRO of Kent team can help get life back to normal with effective cleanup and restoration services. Call us today at (253) 850-1500.

Content Cleaning After A Fire In Kent

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

a fire damaged hallway with soot covering every wall After a fire in your home, it is important to deal with the damage quickly and efficiently. Contact SERVPRO for certified technicians and equipment.

Efficient Content Cleaning Solutions After Kent House fires

Content management is one of the most discussed actions taken in a Kent home during fire recovery. Each decision made about the belongings in your residence can have a substantial impact on the salvageability of these items and how soon they can be back in your possession. Taking the time to determine the best approach ensures that the entire management process is as efficient and cost-effective as possible.

Because there are multiple approaches for what can happen with damaged contents when our team contends with fire damage in Kent homes, understanding all of these potential choices can put you more at ease. Your belongings are what turn a structure into a home, and when these fall victim to effects like soot and smoke, it can be a stressful situation. We can offer multiple solutions to give each of your possessions the treatment they deserve to avoid being another loss from the disaster.

In-House Cleaning Solutions

Our SERVPRO team has an entire line of potent cleaning products capable of both deodorization and surface cleaning for hundreds of lightly damaged items in your home after a fire. In some situations, these items do not even need to get relocated with the right focused attention.

Relocation Services

Moving your belongings to a different area of the house is a reliable option to prevent exposure to migrating fire damages. If there is a room or region of your house unaffected by the fire loss, many of your at-risk possessions could get moved here to avoid further damages.

Pack-Out Procedure

While it is among the costliest of options for your belongings, contents can get moved to our SERVPRO warehouse for cleaning, drying, deodorization, and other restorative efforts. With in-house tools like immersion tanks and ozone chambers, we can protect many of the heavily soiled items to keep them from becoming losses.

Content management is one of the most significant considerations that restoring professionals like ours must make when recovering your damaged home. Our SERVPRO of Kent team can help with many potential cleaning and protective practices that can restore the things that matter most in your fire-damaged home. Give us a call today at (253) 850-1500.

Qualified Fire Restoration for Kent Residents

7/31/2022 (Permalink)

a fire damaged kitchen with soot covering the cabinets and walls and debris everywhere If a fire occurs in your home, contact SERVPRO right away. We have many talented professionals that can mitigate and remediate the damage.

SERVPRO's Formula for Fire Cleanup

Property fires can vary in the scope of damages and the types of material common to the home. This variance is especially pronounced in wall coverings, paintwork, and materials with different kinds that respond differently to heat, smoke, and cleaning actions. SERVPRO recommends using professional assistance to remove soot or smoke from walls and ceilings.

The goal of fire restoration in your Kent home is to return it to a preloss condition, "Like it never even happened." To enact that goal, we emphasize restoring the original materials of your home rather than replacing them. Restoration can be more cost and time-efficient for the homeowner but does require specific knowledge of smoke cleaning, chemical products, and equipment. Wall 

coverings are a material that is typically unique to each home and may be difficult to find and replace. Our technicians have specific procedures for restoring wall coverings from:

  • Fire damage
  • Smoke soiling
  • Malodors

The first step to returning wall coverings to a preloss condition is pre-testing. Our technicians test cleaning products or equipment on discrete material areas, such as the undersides or beneath the baseboard. This process helps to ensure that any adverse reactions to cleaning agents are noticed quickly before applying the agent to the entire wall surface. Wall coverings that do not respond well to chemical action can still be restored using dry cleaning sponges. Our IICRC-certified technicians take extra care around edges and frayed sections to ensure that potential damage to the existing covering is minimalized.

  • When cleaning wall coverings, avoiding using too much water is vital as some adhesives- such as wheat paste- can dissolve with exposure to moisture.
  • Wet cleaning cloths and dry cleaning sponges should be examined regularly to prevent streaking from over-saturation.
  • Wall rinse is a chemical agent that reduces streaking and removes soiling from wall coverings. 

If your home interior is damaged by smoke, contact SERVPRO of Kent, quoting fire restoration at (253) 850-1500.

Does Household Air-freshener Get Rid of Burnt Odors in Kent?

5/6/2022 (Permalink)

a fire damaged living room with debris everywhere Fire damage cleanup and remediation often involves dealing with remaining odors. Call SERVPRO 24/7 to discuss our process.

Dealing with Fire and Odor Damage Requires Powerful Cleaning and Deodorizing Agents. SERVPRO Assists Kent Residents with Fire Odor Issues.

Why is air-freshener bad for fire odors?

The presence of burning smells in your Kent home after a fire can be persistent and unpleasant. A house fire releases a considerable amount of gasses and chemical compounds into your home. Some of these gasses may be volatile odor particles that remain due to a lack of indoor ventilation. Masking agents, like air-freshener, are rarely the primary method that SERVPRO odor control technicians (OCT) use to bring an odor under control. Fire odors typically linger in a property due to volatility, which describes how quickly liquids change to a gas. A burning smell is full of highly volatile particles, which results in a stubborn odor that does not disappear after using air-fresheners.

What affects fire odors in the home?

  •   The volatility of microscopic odor particles
  •   Presence of moisture which can increase the perception of odors
  •   Porous materials in the home which can absorb odor particles

What chemicals control fire and burnt smoke aromas?

If air-freshener does not get rid of fire and odor damage in your Kent home, then you can resort to more powerful control agents. SERVPRO technicians frequently use pairing agents in combination with air-fresheners to tackle odor appropriately. Pairing agents bond with odor particles on a chemical level. Some of these pairing agents are humectant and cause odor particles to fall onto surfaces where they can be wiped away. Other pairing agents change the properties of an odor molecule neutralizing or destroying the odor.

What are other odor chemicals used in fire restoration?

  •   Enzymes that can digest and break down organic materials such as protein smoke residues and odor.
  •   Air purification uses an electronically charged grid to kill any odor-causing microorganisms.
  •   Oxidizing substances are usually reserved for severe fire situations because inhabitants cannot remain on-site during an ozone generator operation.

Tackling smoke and odor can be a massive challenge without professional assistance. Contact SERVPRO of Kent at (253) 850-1500.

The Effects of Fire Damage in Kent Homes

3/21/2022 (Permalink)

heavy smoke surrounding smoke detector Even small fires produce smoke and soot that deposit on your belongings all over your home. SERVPRO is always ready to restore your home.

SERVPRO Addresses All Effects of Fire Damage in Kent Homes Professionally

Structure cleaning is an essential aspect following a fire at your Kent home. Since fire residues tend to travel throughout a building, they can affect your property and its components. The best way to reverse the effects is through professional cleaning and remediation, as SERVPRO does.

When fire damage in a Kent home is not utterly destructive, several items can be restored to their preloss condition. Our technicians inspect the damage and develop a restoration plan. SERVPRO's priority is to clean your home with minimum disruption quickly. Thus, we begin restoration immediately upon plan acceptance.

Steps to Fire Damage Recovery      

  • Demolishing and disposing of fire-damaged structural components
  • Cleaning structural components
  • Cleaning contents
  • Deodorization 

Specialized Restoration Equipment

Cleaning a fire site involves clearing debris and salvaging what can be saved. We remove parts of drywall or ceilings if they are heavily soiled or charred. The problem might be water damage in some cases, which leaves the ceiling and wall panels soggy. In some instances, elaborate drying processes can fix the damage, saving you the inconvenience of demolishing. SERVPRO technicians evaluate contents and structure to determine if they can be cost-effectively restored. We have specialized equipment that simplifies cleaning and drying procedures helping salvage more items.

Specialized Restoration Equipment

  • Pressure washers
  • Rotating brushes
  • Blast-cleaners

Stubborn smoke odor is a detrimental consequence of a fire, and it can linger in the home for a long time. The smell can compromise the indoor air quality and irritate the occupants. So, taking measures to get rid of the smell quickly and effectively is necessary. Even though the odors decrease when affected materials are demolished and removed, other steps are required. Our SERVPRO technicians use ozone generators and photocatalytic oxidizers to neutralize malodors.

SERVPRO of Kent works hard to manage fire damage "Like it never even happened." Call us at (253) 850-1500.

What Types of Agitation Work for Tukwila Fire Restoration?

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

smoke and soot on walls Long after the blaze is extinguished, smoke and soot damage remain.

SERVPRO Has Training for Professional Fire Cleanup for Tukwila Properties

Agitation is frequently used to remove soils of all types when handling fire damage in a Tukwila property. There are main types: light, medium, and hard. Knowing when and how to use the various levels can make a difference in the mitigation service outcome.

A soot-covered article in a Tukwila home can get new life through fire restoration. The technicians from SERVPRO have a host of cleaning solutions and methods from which to choose. Agitation at different levels is one application that gets used to remove the fire and smoke damage within a house. 

How Does Agitation Work Against Removing Fire Residues?

When agitation gets used, the tech uses friction to loosen smoke and soot damage. In some cases, cleaning products are not required as the agitation alone is sufficient. 

Light and Medium Agitation

A light touch during smoke damage cleanup in a home can be accomplished by using a hand tool such as a feather duster. Small paintbrushes help remove embedded soot in ornamental areas of hardwood and other firm-surface furnishings or molding. Handheld brushes can eliminate all types of dry smoke and smoke webs present post-fire. When a surface is fragile, the techs may use low-impact applications such as compressed air. 

Heavy Agitation Actions

This method of soil removal is only for use on stuck-on smoke damage and often requires the application of a solvent-containing cleaning agent. The technicians may choose to use: 

  • Abrasive powders
  • Liquid/cream cleaners
  • Sandpaper and steel wool
  • Rotopads and steel brushes

Blast Media

One last way techs remove smoke damage from surfaces involves blast media such as soda, ice, or sponge blasting. These methods remove smoke residues, and the application gets chosen depending on the surface getting cleaned.

SERVPRO of Kent at (253) 850-1500 brings decades of experience and training for fire restoration for the local Tukwila community. 

How Can Kent Professional Fire Damage Restoration Work Against a Grease Fire?

1/24/2022 (Permalink)

grease fire on stove, pans burning, soot residue on stove Grease fires happen quickly and spread smoke and soot far from the kitchen.

SERVPRO Uses Advanced Equipment During Fire Mitigation Jobs in Kent

A grease fire in a Kent kitchen can quickly lay a great deal of fire and smoke damage within a structure, especially if a homeowner makes the mistake of tossing flour or water on a burning pan. This action can work to spread the fire even more by fueling it. 

When the flames flash up during a grease fire in a Kent kitchen, the fire damage can appear in numerous ways, including: 

  • Melted and ruined appliances
  • Heat and smoked damaged cabinets and counters
  • Ruined walls and ceilings 

Everyday Actions During Post-Fire Kitchen Mitigation 

SERVPRO technicians typically section off the work area during house fire cleanup. However, a grease fire can quickly spread smoke throughout the property, and even the ductwork may require mitigation to remove the pungent odor from a protein fire. The technicians removed all the charred building materials and articles from the kitchen area.  

This type of fire deposits oily, smelly protein residues on surfaces. To clean them, SERVPRO technicians use self-mixed emulsions as needed, along with their professional solvent-based cleaners to release the grip the residues have on the countertops and other surfaces. 

Repairs and Rebuilding by SERVPRO

Our SERVPRO location holds a general contractor license #SERVPCS911LE. The technicians have the experience and skills to handle all phases of the recovery of a property after damage from a house fire, including reconstruction of the walls, floors, or ceilings and painting, molding, and other cosmetic additions. 

Local Kent residents rely on SERVPRO of Kent at (253) 850-1500 for professional fire damage restoration services after a grease fire or other type of fire cleanup needs. The trained techs can make the house fire, "Like it never even happened."