Recent Fire Damage Posts
Smoke Detectors Can Save Lives
When was the last time you checked your smoke alarm?
Smoke Alarms Can Save Lives: When Was the Last Time You Checked Yours?
When installed and adequately maintained, smoke alarms can dramatically reduce the risk of injuries and even death caused by fires. According to data by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):
- Smoke alarms were present in three-quarters (74%) of reported home fires in 2014–2018.
- Almost 3 out of 5 home fire deaths were caused by fires in properties with no smoke alarms (41%) or smoke alarms that failed to operate (16%).
- When smoke alarms were present in reported fires considered large enough to activate them, they operated in eighty-nine percent of the fires, seventy-three percent of the deaths, and eighty-two percent of the injuries.
- The risk of dying in reported home structure fires is fifty-five percent lower in homes with working smoke alarms than in homes with no alarms or none that worked.
- When present, hardwired smoke alarms operated in ninety-four percent of the fires considered large enough to trigger a smoke alarm. Battery-powered alarms functioned eighty-two percent of the time. Power source issues were the most common factors when smoke alarms failed to operate.
If you'd like to read more on the report, you can do so here. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) also recommends the following:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every bedroom. Do not install the smoke alarm where it could be blocked or damaged.
- Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen and shower to prevent false alarms and should be at least around ten feet from a cooking appliance.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using a test button.
- Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year, though twice would be best. Daylight savings time can be good dates to set for this task.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are ten years old. Don't forget to write the date on the alarm when it was installed.
- Newer alarms on the market also offer carbon monoxide detection and voice alarms, which have shown to be more effective in waking children up.
Should fire damage happen in your home, our team of certified experts at SERVPRO of Eau Claire stands ready to help make it "Like it never even happened."® Let us know how we can help at 715-834-3473.
Halloween Fire Safety Tips
Halloween is scary enough without fire hazards and these few, easy precautions can help keep your home and family safe.
Given that orange is our logo color, it's no surprise that we like Halloween! Apart from one of our favorite colors getting some much-deserved attention, Halloween is a fun time of year. Festive decorations, children dressed in costumes, excitedly going from house-to-house to trick-or-treat - what could be better than that!
To help our friends and neighbors stay safe, SERVPRO of Eau Claire wants to share a few fire safety tips for your Halloween season:
1) Use battery-operated candles or glow sticks in your pumpkins and other decor items
2) Avoid costumes with long, trailing fabric
3) Teach the kiddos to stay away from open flames and be careful if they see real candles in jack-o-lanterns
4) Keep exits clear of decorations
5) Check all smoke detectors
6) Hay bales, dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper can easily catch fire; keep decorations away from open flames (such as bonfire rings), and other heat sources like light bulbs and heaters
Halloween is scary enough without fire hazards and these few, easy precautions can help keep your home and family safe.
Dryer Fires Cause Tremendous Damage
A dryer fire can leave your home damaged and covered in soot
SERVPRO of Eau Claire responds to fire damage emergencies throughout the year in the Eau Claire & Chippewa Valley areas. Even small, contained dryer or washing machine fires can cause lots of smoke and soot damage to the rest of the house. Here are some clothes dryer fire statistics from the National Fire Protection Association:
- In 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 15,970 home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year
- These fires caused annual averages of 13 civilian deaths, 444 civilian injuries, and $238 million in direct property damage
- The vast majority of fires (92 percent) involved clothes dryers
- The leading items first ignited in dryer fires were dust, fiber, or lint (26 percent of total) and clothing (26 percent), while items first ignited in washing machine fires were part of the appliance itself, including wire or cable insulation (26 percent), appliance housing or casing (24 percent, and drive belt (11percent)
Call Us Today!
SERVPRO of Eau Claire has a team of highly-trained technicians, on-call 24-hours a day to respond to fire damage emergencies in the Eau Claire area. Call us today at 715-834-3473. We’ll restore your fire damage, “Like it never even happened.”
Franchises are Independently Owned and Operated.
After a Fire: What's Next?
Bathroom damaged by fire
If you have had a fire, contact your insurance agent or company. They will open a claim for you and start the process of documentation. Once your claim has been opened, contact SERVPRO of Eau Claire to assess the damage and create a scope (estimate) for mitigation. SERVPRO will work with your insurance adjuster and set a timeline for inventory, cleanup and repairs.
We will work with you throughout the process, from the initial walkthrough all the way to the move back and final inspection.
After any fire damage situation, safety should be your top priority:
- Is it safe to enter the house?
- Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
What To Do After A Fire
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
What NOT To Do After A Fire
- Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
- Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat, or water.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
- Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
These are just a few basic guidelines. Our trained and certified experts are here for you and Here to Help(TM).
Call us today at (715) 834-3473!
Celebrate Safely this Holiday Season
Celebrate Safely this Holiday Season
In a year when large holiday gatherings may not be possible, a focus on family decorating traditions and more intimate celebrations may take on extra significance. It’s as important to keep safety top of mind with a small family gathering as it is with a large holiday party. We all enjoy bringing the glow of the holiday season to our homes with Christmas trees or menorahs and candlelight, but these statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration show how easy it is for home decorating to turn into a home disaster.
• The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve.
• More than half of the home decoration fires in December are started by candles.
• A heat source too close to the Christmas tree causes one in every four winter fires.
• On average, one of every 52 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in death. In addition to exercising caution with candles and heat sources, it is important to follow manufacturers’ guidelines for holiday lighting.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 44% of home Christmas tree fires. Though Christmas tree fires may not be common, they can be devastating to more than the house itself. They can destroy irreplaceable photos, mementos, and family heirlooms and even cost lives.
To help keep your holidays bright and your home and family safe, use common sense with candles and tree placement, and follow these important home decorating guidelines:
• Only use decorations that are flame-retardant or not flammable.
• Check holiday lights each year for frayed wires or excessive wear.
• Don’t link more than three strands of holiday lights.
In a year when so many of the things we take for granted have changed, we know people will still come together – in person or virtually – to celebrate family and holiday traditions. ‘Stay safe’ has become a common expression in the context of public health, but this holiday season, we urge all area home and business owners to think about ‘staying safe’ in their homes as they prepare for and enjoy the holiday season.
SERVPRO is an industry leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services. For more fire prevention and fire safety tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.SERVPROeauclaire.com. For more information on SERVPRO of Eau Claire, please contact us at (715) 834-3473 or email office@SERVPROeauclaire.com.
Fire in Chippewa Falls, WI
Fire damage to home in Chippewa Falls, WI after car started on fire in the garage.
We were called to a fire in Chippewa Falls where the cause was very rare. Their car had blown up in the garage shortly after they had gotten home from work. No, cars do not blow up in real life like they do in movies. No one was hurt in this fire, thank goodness but there is extensive damage done to the house. While we don't know what exactly caused the car to start on fire, here are some things we do know regarding vehicle fires.
What are engine fires caused from?
According to Statista, there were 181,500 vehicle fires reported in 2018. While it is hard to find the cause of a vehicle fire, the most common causes are issues with the vehicle's electrical wiring system, fuel system, or even cigarettes left in the car. Get the systems checked at every service appointment to be sure everything is working correctly.
What are some warning signs?
- Fuses that blow repeatedly
- Oil or other fluid leaks under the vehicle (noticed after car has been parked)
- Cracked or loose wiring, or wiring with exposed metal
- Very loud sounds from the exhaust system
- Rapid changes in fuel level, oil levels, or engine temperature
- Broken or loose hoses
Call us @ 715-834-3473
If you see or smell smoke coming from your car pull over, get everyone at least 100 feet away from the vehicle, and call 911. Call your insurance agent to see what kind of coverage you have.
If you have a fire in your home, no matter the cause, SERVPRO of Eau Claire is ready, 24/7, 365 days a year.
SERVPRO of Eau Claire Wishes You a Fire Free Holiday Season
We are always ready for whatever happens in the Eau Claire area!
Tis' the Season
After Thanksgiving (or even before) your town or neighbors have started putting up trees and lights on their house. Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls is open, snow has covered the ground... it truly is the most magical time of the year! But what do we do if our tree ends up on fire?
As much as we love the work, the last thing we want to hear is that your Christmas tree started on fire and you have smoke damage through out your house.
Here are some tips to stay safe this holiday season.
Winter Fire Facts
- Two of every five decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source
- Christmas tree fires cause an average of $10 million in direct property damage EACH YEAR
- Of those fires, three quarters of them occurred in December and January
- Electrical issues are the cause of 44% of Christmas tree fires
Tips to Prevent Holiday Fires
- Don't block an exit with the tree or decorations
- Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not ever used for both
- Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source
- Make sure candles are at least twelve inches from anything that will burn
- Water your tree every day
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 your property with care. If its Christmas day or New Years Eve, we're always here to help!
Call SERVPRO of Eau Claire at 715-834-FIRE(3472)
Eau Claire Smoke and Soot Cleanup
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 Eau Claire 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 – 715-834-3473
Soda Blasting for Farm & Home after fire damage
Soda Blasting is very much like Sand Blasting. It works in conjunction with an air compressor to clean dirty parts and surfaces. But instead of using sand as the cleaning abrasive, a soda blaster shoots out sodium bicarbonate, which is commonly known as baking soda (though what's used in blasters is composed of larger particles than those found in standard household baking soda).
The advantage of using baking soda, as opposed to sand, crushed walnut shells, coal slag, or any other abrasive, is that it's environmentally safe, less aggressive, relatively affordable, and easily rinsed away with water. In fact, the first large-scale industrial use of soda blasting occurred during the 1986 centennial restoration of the Statue of Liberty. It was the only safe and effective way to remove coal tar, paint, and corrosion from the statue's soft copper skin.
It can be used on wood to brick to remove soot & smell from smoke damage and fire charring. Grain Elevators / Grain Bins in need of cleaning before use or after a fire can benefit from the quick turn around time and peace of mind of using this process.
SERVPRO of Eau Claire keeps stock on hand and can respond quickly (24/7 emergency service) to anywhere. Commercial, Agricultural, Industrial & Residential.
SERVPRO of Eau Claire