Recent Fire Damage Posts

How to Store and Protect Precious Metals

3/15/2022 (Permalink)

How to Store and Protect Precious Metals However, if your precious metals have sustained damage in a fire, our Fort Worth Fire Damage Restoration can help you recover and restore them.

Like real estate, precious metals are a valuable commodity that can be a reliable hedge to combat inflation. However, precious metals need proper storage and protection. If you are a collector or an investor interested in purchasing precious metals, make sure you have ample knowledge of how to protect and store them properly.

Precious metals like silver and gold must be stored safely in a dry place away from excessive sunlight. But that’s not all. Here are some ways to store and protect precious metals like bullion or gold and silver jewellery. 

Put Your Precious Metals In A Bank Vault

Storing metals in a vault at the local bank or in a safe deposit box ensures long-term protection delivered by advanced security at these financial institutions. 

The fact of the matter is that banks provide a level of security and safety that most homes simply cannot. But, there are some drawbacks. 

For example, you won’t have 24/7 access to your precious metals since the bank likely only works from 9 to 5. Also, if there is a robbery at the bank, your deposits will be lost forever. 

Still, this is the most reliable way to ensure that their bullion remains safe for many people. 

Build a Safe at Home to Safeguard Bullion

Safes are a great place to store your precious metals, whether inside the office, home, or elsewhere. Presuming it’s big enough, safes are a very secure resource for storing and protecting as these allow you to lock and open them only with a key, a passcode, a fingerprint, or a combination. Additionally, rated safes can protect physical bullion from water and fire damage in case of disaster. 

A sturdy, password-protected safe can cost you several thousand dollars. But irrespective of its cost, a safe is a significant investment to protect your precious metals.

Try Depositories To Safekeep Your Gold and Silver

Precious metal depositories provide peace of mind and security when protecting physical bullion. These offer ample storage space, extremely high-security levels, and climate control. 

Armed guards, limited access, and video are hallmarks of precious metal depositories that cater to investors who buy large quantities of bullion and need unbeatable security to keep their investments safe. 

Precious metals can be a substantial asset in the fight to mitigate inflation and to store value. So make sure you find a reliable way to safeguard them.

Hire SERVPRO to Recover Your Precious Metals from Fire Damage

While storing your precious metals may seem daunting, implementing a well-thought-out strategy can go a long way in safeguarding your belongings. 

However, if your precious metals have sustained damage in a fire, our Fort Worth Fire Damage Restoration can help you recover and restore them.

Contact SERVPRO of North Richland Hills at (817) 589-1499 to learn more.

What Happens to Gold in a House Fire?

3/15/2022 (Permalink)

gold We’re the number one cleaning and restoration service provider in Fort Worth.

Of all fires reported in the US, more than 25 percent were residential fires, according to the Red Cross. It's time to change those numbers and know how to safeguard your home from fires. 

Once you are sure of the safety of your loved ones after a house fire, then you start to wonder about your valuables and belongings like passports, cash, and precious metals such as silver or gold jewelry.

So, what happens to gold in a fire? Is gold fireproof, or is it lost forever? 

No need to worry, as gold is fireproof — to a degree. Chances are, your bullion can survive a house fire unscathed. 

Get in touch with us at SERVPRO of North Richland Hills for fast, reliable Fort Worth Fire Damage Restoration services to recover your valuable possessions after a house fire. 

Gold Flammability 

Thankfully, gold isn't flammable, but it can melt at extremely high temperatures. Gold is one of the least reactive materials and it won’t ignite or otherwise burst into flames, no matter how hot the flames get. 

However, the melting point of gold is 1947.52 Fahrenheit, whereas most house fires generate an average temperature of 1200 to 1700 Fahrenheit. It is likely that if your house did suffer a fire, any gold in your possession will be okay. 

Securing and Saving Undamaged Possessions

Always put your gold in a fireproof safe, or a concealed floor safe, far from areas that catch fire quickly. This way, your gold is safe from fire as well as burglars. 

A restoration company like SERVPRO of North Richland Hills can help you sort out your possessions after a fire and recover as much as possible. Usually, there are plenty of salvageable items in the wreckage, particularly silver and gold jewelry and bullion, safe boxes, etc. 

If your gold was in packaging that catches fire, then could have created temperatures high enough to melt the precious metal. 

But, if you take adequate precautions in storing your gold, then our restoration experts can more easily find your precious metals and restore your jewelry to its former luster.  

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills: Call Today for Gold Restoration Services  

Our damage restoration technicians offer a wide range of restoration services for fire-damaged residential and commercial properties. Besides this, we also provide mold remediation, air duct cleaning, roof tarping, specialty cleaning, and much more throughout all the major cities in the DFW area. 

We’re the number one cleaning and restoration service provider in Fort Worth. Contact us anytime day or night for a free consultation at (817) 589-1499.

Is it Safe to Use Baking Paper Under the Grill?

2/10/2022 (Permalink)

grill with open flame Baking paper is generally not used for grilling because it doesn’t withstand extremely high temperatures.

Baking paper is useful when cooking to prevent food from sticking to baking trays and grill grates. Usually, baking paper or parchment paper is used when roasting vegetables or fish in the oven. And you can also use it to line baking tins so that cakes, bread, brownies, and cookies don’t stick. 

But what about using baking paper if you are grilling meat or vegetables? Is it safe to use baking paper under the grill? After all, paper ignites easily, and you don’t want to risk starting a fire in your kitchen when using an indoor grill. 

What is Baking Paper?

Baking paper is a grease-proof paper that is heat-resistant and creates a non-stick surface to bake on. The paper is processed and coated with silicone to develop resistance to heat, grease and create a non-stick surface. Baking paper is typically used for baking, roasting, and steaming.

Using Baking Paper Under the Grill — Is it Safe?

In some circumstances, you can use baking paper under the grill. This is because baking paper can withstand temperatures of 450°F. However, there’s a risk of hot grill temperatures causing the baking paper to catch fire. So if you use it for grilling, you must ensure the baking paper is well away from hot coals. 

To prevent the risk of fire, it’s generally best to stay away from using baking paper for grilling. 

Tips for Using Baking Paper Under the Grill

Are there safe ways to use baking paper under the grill? Remember that baking paper is safe up to temperatures of 450°F. So, to be on the safe side, you should never cook with temperatures above 400°F. Also, direct heat such as a flame or glowing coals will ignite the paper instantly. 

Here are a few tips on using baking paper when grilling food. 

  • Use baking paper to create a wrapping parcel to cook delicate ingredients like vegetables or potatoes. However, always remember to keep the parcel away from direct flames or burning coals.
  • Use baking paper to cover ingredients if you use a frying pan on the grill. 
  • Always avoid using baking paper for lengthy roasting in the oven or grilling. When under high heat for a long time, the baking paper turns black and breaks down, impacting the flavor of food. 

Alternatives to Grilling with Baking Paper

Baking paper is generally not used for grilling because it doesn’t withstand extremely high temperatures. Therefore, to prevent food from sticking to grates and pans, you can spray oil on the grates before firing up the grill. Alternatively, you can use aluminum foil to protect meat and vegetables from extremely high heat.

Due to the risk of fire damage in the home, baking paper is not recommended for use under a grill. However, if your home has been damaged by fire, contact SERVPRO of North Richland Hills today at (817) 589-1499 to learn about our Fort Worth fire damage restoration services. 

How to Prevent Space Heater Fires

10/11/2021 (Permalink)

Space heater in bedroom If you don’t have a space heater already but want to buy one, consider getting one with an auto shut-off feature.

According to the NFPA, heating is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States. Your space heater could likely cause a fire more than anything else in your home. We implore you to continue reading below so that you know how to prevent space heater fires.

Whenever a fire occurs in your home, contact the experts over at SERVPRO of North Richland Hills. Our team can provide you with reliable and fast fire damage restoration services in Fort Worth. 

Inspect Your Heater’s Power Cord

Examine your space heater’s power cord and look closely at the rubber casing wrapped around the wiring. Also, look for any signs of fraying at the cord and do not touch any exposed wires without protective gear (i.e. rubber gloves).

Check Your Power Supply

Take a close look at the electrical socket that’s used to power your space heater. If there are any signs of damage, charring, or discoloration on the socket, don’t use it to power your heater.

 A damaged outlet may have a technical fault that will cause space heater fires and can be a shock hazard.

Refuel Your Space Heater Outside

Some space heaters will need fuel — such as kerosene — to operate. When you need to refuel your space heater, do it outside and away from your home. Even better, refuel your heater in an area with no flammable objects nearby. 

As you are fueling, always wear thick gloves and a mask so you don’t inhale any harmful fumes.

If a fire does occur and damage is dealt to your property, call us right away for our fire damage restoration services.

Buy a Space Heater With Auto Shut-off

If you don’t have a space heater already but want to buy one, consider getting one with an auto shut-off feature.

The best way to prevent a space heater fire is to get one that will recognize the potential danger. Space heaters with an auto shut-off feature will activate when overheating or a malfunction occurs.

Give Your Space Heater Some Room

Keep your space heater away from clutter and with plenty of space around it. 

While your space heater’s exterior plastic will protect it from burning, flammable objects nearby can be set ablaze. For this reason, it’s best you keep your space heater away from anything even remotely flammable.

Use a Space Heater Appropriately to Prevent Fires

Each space heater model is designed to operate differently. Besides following the aforementioned tips, the best thing to prevent a space heater fire is to learn how your unique device works. Thoroughly read the instruction manual so that you know how to operate your heater correctly to prevent fires. 

If your home has been damaged in a fire, call SERVPRO of North Richland Hills at (817) 589-1499. With our expertise, we can provide you with the fire damage restoration services you need.

Top Tips for Removing Cigarette Odor from Your Home for Good

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

Tips for Removing Cigarette Odor from Your Home Tobacco smoke is a stubborn and stinky villain that can make a home unpleasant.

If you or someone who previously lived in your house smoked, removing that stubborn cigarette odor can seem overwhelming. But you can do it with these top tips for removing cigarette odor from your home. 

Why is Cigarette Odor so Pervasive and Stubborn?

Smells are molecules. And smoke smells are some of the smallest odor molecules in the world. So removing them can be difficult. In addition, these tiny molecules can dig deep into porous materials like wood and upholstery, making them incredibly difficult to eliminate, but not impossibly so. 

To permanently and effectively remove cigarette and smoke odors, you have to attack them on a molecular level. Burning candles and essential oils will only mask the smell temporarily. Ventilating a house can dilute the odor, but again, that’s not a permanent solution. 

Key  Tips:

  • Don’t use odor-masking cleaners. Use disinfectant cleaners that actually kill the smoke molecules. 
  • If you can’t stand the smell of white vinegar, mix a few drops of lavender essential oil in it. 
  • Baking soda will naturally remove odors. Sprinkle it liberally on textiles, mattresses, and wood furniture. Let sit for at least 24 hours, then vacuum. You can also place bowls of baking soda throughout the home to absorb odors. 
  • Placing activated charcoal around the house can also absorb the odors. 

Tips for Removing Cigarette Odor From Your Home

  • Wash and scrub the walls and windows, including screens, with a white vinegar solution. 
  • If your budget allows, prime the freshly washed walls with an odor-killing primer and paint. 
  • Wash all interior, hard surfaces, such as countertops, tiles, backsplashes, trim, etc., with mild soap and then rinse with a vinegar solution. Remember to tackle the insides of cabinets and drawers. 
  • Wash all clothing and drapery. Add one cup of white vinegar to the wash to help remove lingering smoke odors in the fabric. 
  • Wash and clean all decorations and knick-knacks with a vinegar solution. 
  • Disinfect and deodorize all textiles, such as carpets, furniture, and mattresses with steam or other cleaning equipment. 
  • If your budget allows, remove carpets and replace them. Don't replace it with new carpeting until the smoke odor is effectively removed. Otherwise, the new carpet will trap the odors and begin to smell too. 
  • Have all ductwork and HVAC equipment professionally cleaned. Change filters once per month for one year. 

Removing Cigarette Smoke Odor FAQs

I cleaned my wood furniture, but the smell keeps returning. What should I do?

Wood is a very porous material and absorbs odors like a sponge. When it's hot and humid, the wood will expand and release any smoke molecules trapped inside. Unfortunately, it can take a long time for these odors to completely dissipate. 

Consider sealing the wood furniture with a clear primer designed for odor removal to trap the smell inside. 

Can spraying Febreze remove smoke smells?

Yes. Febreze includes a chemical called cyclodextrin, which is effective at absorbing odors. 

Should I use an ozone generator to remove cigarette odor?

An ozone generator can reduce smoke smells in the home. But these are pricey products, and if you misuse them, they can be dangerous. So it’s worth it to pay a professional who is trained in using ozone generators if your DIY smoke removal hasn’t worked.

Removing Cigarette Odor from Your Home: Key Takeaways

Tobacco smoke is a stubborn and stinky villain that can make a home unpleasant. If you’re looking to sell your house, then you’ll want to do your best to remove any lingering odors, so you protect its value and get it off the market quickly. 

It’s not a matter of using one odor-killing product and washing walls. Instead, you’ll need to use all of the tips on this list to thoroughly remove the smoke. 

We’re always here and happy to help. If you don’t have the time or energy to tackle smoke smells, we’re here for you. 

Contact us today at SERVPRO North Richland Hills at (817) 589-1499 for a free estimate on our full suite of cleaning and odor removal services.

4 Fire-Safety Tips for Preventing Holiday Fires

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

Preventing Holiday Fires Has your property been damaged in a fire? At SERVPRO Richardson, our Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration experts are always here and happy to help, 24/7

Nothing says Happy Holidays like a festive fireworks display, cozy hearth, or colorful Christmas tree. If you're looking to get into the holiday spirit, you want to do it safely. Here are our top tips for preventing holiday fires. 

Has your property been damaged in a fire? At SERVPRO Richardson, our Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration experts are always here and happy to help, 24/7. Give us a call at (972) 690-1414 for a free estimate. 

Fireworks Safety

Fireworks are a staple for New Years' and Independence Day celebrations. If you'll be lighting fireworks at home, keep those tips in mind for fire safety:

  • Choose a location far away from buildings, brush, and trees
  • Be sure that pets and children stand back from the fireworks
  • Keep a supply of water or a fire extinguisher nearby

If there's a drought, consider doing something else to celebrate that doesn't involve a flame. A stray spark landing on parched grass and leaves can get out of control fast. 

Fireplaces

Nothing illuminates the gloom of long, winter days and nights like a lighted hearth. Keep these fire safety tips in mind for fireplaces:

  • Get the fireplace and chimney inspected
  • Keep flammable items at least three feet away from open flames
  • Install a fire screen to keep embers and sparks where they belong
  • Be sure to extinguish all embers before leaving or going to bed

Also, refrain from burning wrapping paper in the fireplace. These items burn quickly and intensely and can start a flash fire. Only burn seasoned wood in the fireplace. 

Christmas Trees

If you prefer a real tree, be sure to water it every day. Dry needles and wood can quickly spark and become an out-of-control house fire. 

Do not plug in more than three light strings to each other. Use a power strip and throw out broken or old light strings. Never leave the lights on if no one will be home. 

Candles

Keep all flammable items, such as curtains or holiday decor, at least three feet away from an open candle flame. Put the candles on non-flammable surfaces. And be sure to include a tray or aluminum foil-lined dish underneath that will collect the wax. 

Keep the candles out of reach of curious pets and small children, and do not leave a burning candle unattended. 

Preventing Electrical Fires

Faulty wiring causes an estimated 51,000 fires every year. Keep these holiday fire safety tips in mind to prevent a devastating electrical fire:

  • Always use extension cords for their intended use
  • Plug outdoor lights into circuits protected with GFCIs
  • Secure outdoor lights to supports that keep them from blowing in high winds
  • Keep extension cords free of snow and water
  • Do not pinch extension cords in doorways or windows
  • Turn off all holiday light decorations when leaving 
  • Stay at least 10 feet away from power lines when hanging holiday decorations
  • Don't overload the outlet with too many decorations

Fire Damage and Restoration: We're Here 24/7

A stray spark can quickly become a raging fire in a matter of minutes. At SERVPRO Richardson, we've been cleaning and restoring fire-damaged buildings for decades. We're here 24/7 for your damage and restoration needs. 

Contact us today for a free consultation.

Preventing Kitchen Fire: Tips for Your Fort Worth Home

2/12/2021 (Permalink)

preventing kitchen fires in fort worth Contact the experts at our Fort Worth SERVPRO for professional fire damage restoration services.

Most residential fires begin in the kitchen. The safer your habits are in the kitchen, the more you reduce your risk of a house fire. 

At SERVPRO of Fort Worth, we’ve seen our share of housefires and how the loss takes an emotional toll (especially when it could have been prevented). Though we are always available for Fort Worth fire damage restoration, we’d rather they didn’t happen in the first place. 

We want to do our share toward preventing kitchen fires. In this guide, we’ll share how to be safe in the kitchen. 

Kitchen Safety Checklist

An organized kitchen safety plan is a list of action items. Preventing kitchen fires is about maintaining everyday habits. How many of these do you already know about? 

  • Have at least one fire extinguisher in the kitchen (especially around the stove and oven) and have it tested every six years.
  • When a pan fire happens, be careful not to discharge it directly at the pan as this will spread the grease which causes the fire to spread.
  • Keep cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles such as oil spills, grease splatters, towels, paper, etc. Avoid wearing clothing that could catch fire (such as bathrobe sleeves that would drape over the stove).
  • Don’t cook with fats in a pan or pot that is too small.
  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Keep pets and children away from heating elements. Keep the pot handles turned inward so they are not bumped by accident or reached by tiny hands.
  • Keep the lid nearby so if a small grease fire starts in a pan, you can slide the lid over the pan to snuff out the fire. Never pour water on a grease fire.
  • If a fire starts in the microwave or toaster oven, unplug it and do not open the door. Wait for the flames to die from a lack of oxygen.
  • Have an escape plan and makes sure everyone in the house knows what to do when it’s time to evacuate.
  • If you can’t quickly get it under control, call 911 for help.

Having heightened awareness in the kitchen goes a long way toward preventing kitchen fires.

Contact SERVPRO for Fire Damage Recovery

Sometimes no matter how careful you are, house fires still happen. SERVPRO is here 24/7 for emergency contact - even on weekends and holidays. 

Once everyone is safe and you’ve contacted your insurance company, give us a call at (817) 589-1499! We’ll get started right away on fire damage recovery and smoke removal.

Understanding Landlord Responsibilities After a Fire in Fort Worth, TX

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

understanding landlord responsibilities after a fire If you've experienced a fire at your rental property, contact the Fort Worth fire damage restoration experts at SERVPRO for guidance and free pricing.

Rental properties are perhaps the most sought after financial assets these days. But with assets come liabilities. Gains become a loss when a Fort Worth, TX property sustains severe damage such as flooding, tornado, or a fire.

As with any big business decision, investors should weigh the risks before entering into a rental property venture. Full awareness of these risks includes understanding landlord responsibilities after a fire.

SERVPRO in Fort Worth is all about preparedness for a disaster. In this guide, we share essential information about landlord obligations so that you can be proactive in protecting your investment.

What Is A Landlord Responsible For?

Because maintaining a rental property is a lot of work, property management is a lucrative industry. Rental property owners intend for this investment to bring in passive income, and they can make it so by handing off most of the landlord's responsibilities to a management company.

The core responsibilities of a landlord are to draw up a proper lease agreement, comply with fair housing (anti-discrimination) laws, follow proper eviction and rent collection procedure, and return cash deposits in a timely manner. 

Fort Worth landlords are also responsible for maintaining a certain level of living conditions and maintaining insurance on the property. They are on the hook for aspects of the property that "materially affects the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant." If a tenant takes the recourse of reporting unlivable conditions to the authorities, a landlord is forbidden from retaliatory actions.

Landlord’s Responsibilities After a Fire

One of the downsides of being a landlord is not having control over the actions of tenants who live their lives privately in the property you own. According to a FEMA report on multifamily residential building fires, cooking is the leading cause of these fires (74%).

So when a landlord gets the call that a fire has happened at one of their properties, what are the responsibilities of a landlord? What should a landlord do first? If you have staff at the property, they can act on your behalf with clear instructions concerning what to do if a fire happens.

Immediately After the Fire

Below is a list of landlord responsibilities after a fire immediately after the event has occurred.

  • Do not attempt to enter the scene where the fire occurred. Authorized personnel such as a fire marshall or the fire department will need to do an investigation and ensure the area is safe for others to enter again.
  • Either the landlord or those working on behalf of the property should check on the tenants. Be prepared to direct those displaced on where they can go for alternative places to stay (such as the Red Cross).
  • While you communicate with the tenants, try to piece together what the cause of the damage was. The details of these accounts should be documented by either the landlord or their representatives.
  • Contact your insurance company to discuss if a claim should be filed or not. 
  • Even if the official investigation is not yet complete, you can still call fire damage restoration companies in Fort Worth. SERVPRO’s local franchises have substantial experience working with insurance companies to make the process as efficient as possible.
  • Get in touch with the fire department to find out when it will be clear for people to reenter. At this time, the landlord can personally assess the damage, and tenants can salvage what’s left of their belongings.

With landlord responsibilities after a fire, communication and coordination are the top priority. The landlord should keep in touch with everyone involved and document everything.

Days After the Fire

Until the property has been investigated and clear for people to re-enter, all a landlord can do is follow up with all involved parties: the tenants, staff, fire department, insurance representatives, and perhaps the restoration company as well.

Once the property is ready for you to enter, here are some of the steps a landlord would take:

  • Document the damage by doing a walk-through of the damaged unit (and those surrounding units if it’s a multi-family property). It helps to take photos and videos of everything.
  • At this phase, no one who enters the property should attempt to clean it up until the insurance company has given the go-ahead. No one should use the utilities until the fire department says it’s okay.
  • List an inventory of everything damaged: both the interior and the exterior fixtures. Make note of damaged appliances and include brand names and model information as best you can. The personal items of the tenant are not typically involved in the claim as this is not one of the landlord’s responsibilities after a fire.
  • After a walk-through of the fire scene is complete, the property should be closed off to trespassers and the elements with either board up or tarping. This is SERVPRO’s first step in the fire restoration process. The insurance company will want to know that measures were taken to prevent additional liabilities, and board up and tarping is a proactive measure.
  • Communicate with your tenants about lease cancellation or rent abatement. Use wise discretion on whether to continue collecting rent. When appropriate, a landlord can suggest the tenant file a claim with their renter’s insurance policy.
  • Hire a restoration company and stay in communication with your point of contact regularly. SERVPRO has one point of contact with property owners who are ready to provide clients with any updates.

Who Pays for Fire Damages?

Typically, the landlord’s insurance is supposed to cover the costs of restoration to bring it back to preloss and habitable conditions. Renter’s insurance normally covers the tenant’s personal items like clothing, electronics, furniture, etc. However, if the fire was due to landlord neglect, they may be liable for the tenant’s belongings.

With kitchen fires being the leading cause of apartment fires, it’s ideal that tenants have a renter’s insurance policy for the duration of the lease term. Before requiring renter’s insurance as a lease term, the landlord should consult a legal expert.

Unfortunately, what cannot be covered with insurance or by being awarded damages through the courts is on the property owner. They will need to decide if they are willing to reinvest in the property with out-of-pocket restoration costs.

Restoring Property Into a Habitable State

The landlord is responsible for providing safe and habitable housing, and they want to earn money from the investment rather than lose out. So, it’s within the property owner’s interests to recover the unit(s) as soon as possible.

SERVPRO is set up to manage the entire fire damage to the rental property.  Being able to handle it all is how we effectively organize all the restoration process efficiently. Our Fort Worth ceiling repair and full-service fire restoration services include:

  • Roof tarp, board-up, and live security
  • Fire cleanup
  • Fire smoke odor deodorization
  • Moving services and long-term storage
  • Clothing sanitization 
  • Sanitization of all belongings
  • Electronic restoration services
  • Reconstruction

Depending on local laws, a landlord may need to apply for a certificate of occupancy before units can be lived in again.

What Happens While the Property Is Uninhabitable?

If the damage is minor, tenants may be able to stay in the unit while the property while repairs are being done. If the unit is not safe to live in during the restoration process, they will either secure temporary housing through insurance coverage payout or other reasons. 

For liability reasons, no one should live in the unit until it’s deemed safe. Tenants may be able to work with non-profit organizations like the Red Cross if they have nowhere else to stay. 

Sometimes the severity of fire damage is extensive to the point that it’s no longer safe to live in. At this point, tenants should be relieved of rent payment obligations. Being let out of a lease may be up to the courts where it is proven that the property is no longer habitable.

Professional Fire Restoration Experts in Fort Worth, Texas

Landlord responsibilities after a fire include prompt action, documentation of what happened and what was damaged, ongoing communication with all involved parties, helping tenants find other living arrangements, and hiring the best Fort Worth fire damage restoration company.

SERVPRO has been restoring fire-damaged properties for decades. Our experienced technicians make it "Like it never even happened." We are available 24/7 for emergency contact, and we communicate with the insurance company on your behalf to help the process run smoothly. 

If a fire damages your rental property, protect your investment. First, call your insurance company, then call SERVPRO of North Richland Hills at (817) 589-1499 any time for guidance and free pricing. We are ready to help you around the clock, 365 days a year.

How to Clean a Clogged Dryer Vent

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

clogged dryer vent cleaning fort worth Prevent a fire in your home - contact SERVPRO in Fort Worth for professional cleaning of your clogged dryer vents.

Clothes dryers work overtime when you spend the whole day getting caught up on laundry. Doing several loads of laundry in a row may uncover issues with the appliance.

If you find that your clothes need more time to dry than usual, the dryer is hot to the touch, the laundry is very hot after being removed from the dryer, or even a burning smell these are all signs of a dryer problem that could be related to a clogged dryer vent.

SERVPRO of Fort Worth is committed to public safety. As a major Fort Worth fire damage restoration company, we’ve seen much fire damage that could have been prevented. 

Clothes dryers are the culprit of thousands of house fires annually. Today, we’ll share some tips on how to keep your dryer vent clean and clear so you can mitigate the risk of fire damage to your home.

What Happens When the Dryer Vent is Blocked?

Dryer exhaust vent blockage occurs when hot air cannot escape as designed. Dryers generate a lot of heat, so for the dryer to work properly there must be a way for this excess to escape.

Aside from being a common cause of house fires, a blocked dryer vent causes the appliance to run inefficiently and could incur higher energy costs.

Reasons Dryer Vents Get Clogged

So how does a dryer go from normal to overheating and under drying? Below are the common causes of a clogged dryer vent.

Mechanical: Such as a kink in the vent duct or a stuck vent flap/blocked vent cover. Lint can get caught on sharp corners.

Natural: If a rodent or a bird creates a nest in the duct, this causes a blockage. 

Accumulation: Lint traps collect all the excess lint for easy removal. Lint that escapes or other debris builds up in the duct/vent over time. Residue from fabric softener sheets may also contribute to this. If your lint screen is damaged or if you have forgotten to remove the lint from the trap, this could be your problem.

Remember to clean out your lint trap before each use.

If you’ve ruled out a mechanical issue, we’ll guide you through how to unclog and clean out a blocked dryer vent.

How to Clean a Dryer Vent

Before you do anything to your dryer, consult your product warranty. Make sure that none of the actions involved in the dryer vent cleaning will void your warranty. You may need to have an authorized repair service come out to clean your vents depending on your warranty details.

If your setup is complex, or you think your ventilation wasn’t set up correctly, you might consider calling a professional.

For a thorough DIY dryer vent cleaning, you’ll need basic home improvement tools, some experience using these tools (like a drill), and 1-2 hours to complete the process. Let’s go through these steps toward getting your dryer back to efficiency and more importantly, back to safety.

Step 1: Locate The Duct

To clean the duct, you’ll need to find it. Your standard exhaust duct is 4 inches in diameter and routes the exhaust from the dryer output all the way to the home’s exterior wall vent.

The longer the route from the appliance to the external outlet, the more length there will be to clean.

Step 2: Safely Disconnect the Dryer

For this step, you’ll need a screwdriver (usually a Phillips). Carefully pull the dryer away from the wall. If your dryer is gas-powered, be very careful not to disrupt the gas connection as a gas leak will cause a bigger problem.

Electric dryers are pretty straightforward to disconnect. You’ll simply unplug from the electrical outlet. Then you detach the exhaust pipe from the back of the dryer by loosening and removing the screws.

For gas dryers, you’d usually unplug the electrical cord, then wait about half an hour until you disconnect the gas. You’d want to make sure no more gas is still in the dryer before attempting to turn off and then disconnect the gas supply to the dryer. Consult your manual for gas dryer disconnection instructions.

Step 3: Clean, Clean, Clean

For this step, you’d use a dryer vent cleaning kit, a drill, and a vacuum cleaner (such as a shop vac). The kit should include an auger brush. You’ll need a brush to clear out the vent. For long vent pipes, you’ll most likely need an auger brush with extension attachments to clean the length of the pipe.

Next, go out to the external hood. If you have an exterior pest screen, you’ll clear out any debris from this first. Then you’ll either remove the hood by loosening the screws or clip the flap out of the way to keep it open.

You’ll use the vacuum to collect lint and debris as you brush it away. It helps to put the vacuum hose inside the exhaust path as you use the auger brush. With the auger brush connected to the drill and extensions, push it through the vent with the vacuum hose alongside it. Turn on the vacuum. Carefully run the drill in a clockwise direction moving the auger brush in a back and forth sweeping motion through the exhaust. 

The idea is to sweep the vent as far in as you can with the vacuum collecting the debris. The vacuum may need to be emptied a few times during this process.

Step 4: Tidy Up, Reconnect Everything

Vacuum up any excess debris or lint both inside the utility room and at the outside hood.

Outside, you’ll reattach the vent hood (or unclip the flap) and reattach the exterior pest screen. Inside, reattach the vent piping to the back of the dryer, plug the dryer back into the electrical outlet, or carefully reattach the gas (if applicable).

If there is a soft foil-style vent connecting to the wall duct, consider replacing it with aluminum elbows as these hoses are a known fire risk.

Step 5: Do a Trial Run

Once everything is securely reconnected (with any necessary precautions for a gas dryer), it’s time to test it out.

Do a load of laundry. When it’s time to dry the clothes, make observations to ensure that things are running smoothly. Are the problems you had before still happening, like a burning smell, the dryer still running hot, or the clothes needing more than one pass to dry?

Next, check to see if the flap on the external hood is moving freely. This will indicate that there is a decent amount of airflow. If problems persist, it’s probably time to call a professional.

How Often Should Dryer Vents Be Cleaned?

  • Daily: Clean out your dryer traps between each use.
  • Monthly: Clear out any buildup any debris on the pest screen and external hood.
  • Annually: Do a dryer duct cleaning once or twice a year depending on the amount of laundry. Large or multiple-family use may need up to three cleanings per year.

SERVPRO Is Ready to Help Fort Worth Residents With All Your Appliance Needs 

Keeping vents clear allows your dryer to run efficiently and greatly reduces the risk of fire. With common home improvement tools and some elbow grease, you can usually clean out a clogged dryer vent on your own.

Remember to be careful with gas systems, and replace outdated soft foil-style vent material. Keep the venting path clear of anything lint could snag on and become attached to. The goal is to keep the vent clear of debris. 

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills has seen hundreds of fire-damaged properties. While we’re honored to be the top choice for fire damage restoration in Fort Worth, we’d rather help prevent fires before they happen. 

We can fix dryers and do a thorough cleaning of the venting, both for commercial and residential situations. We will inspect for any problems that need to be addressed so that all runs safely and smoothly. Call us at (817) 589-1499 anytime with appliance questions or for free pricing!

Most Common Causes of House Fires in Fort Worth, TX

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

house fire damage restoration fort worth Contact the Fort Worth fire damage restoration experts at SERVPRO if you've experienced a house fire.

A house that has stood for decades can be destroyed by fire in a matter of minutes. Because of how devastating house fires can be, we as humans have made great strides in fire prevention. Understanding the causes of house fires is one of the most effective ways we can combat such occurrences.

However, despite our best efforts to mitigate the common causes of house fires, fires can and will happen. This is why homeowners cover their property with insurance. When you have a quality fire insurance policy plus a reputable fire restoration company, fire damage can be wiped away.

While SERVPRO is honored to be the trusted brand for fire damage restoration in Fort Worth, we'd rather that home fires didn’t start in the first place. This guide is to raise awareness about the most common causes of house fires so that you might be better prepared.

How Common Are House Fires in Fort Worth?

If you hear a fire truck siren or drive by a house with significant fire damage in Fort Worth, you might wonder how often fires happen here.

In 2019, of the 2192 fires Fort Worth fire department responded to, 618 of these events were residential fires. 

In Texas, it is estimated that a house fire happens every 32 minutes. From 2014-2016, Tarrant County was ranked number 3 for most cases of structural fires in Texas. Houston and Dallas have more fires annually than Fort Worth.

Where Do Fires Start in Houses?

Where do most house fires start? This is the first thing we ask when approaching the common causes of house fires. The first thing we ask when we look for ways to stop the causes of fires at the source is:  When a fire investigation happens, the source of the fire is sought. Documenting how fires start helps us find opportunities to improve on things.

5 Top Causes of House Fires 

While it is possible for a fire can start externally through arson, a lightning strike, or a wildfire, these incidents are rare. We’ll focus on the internal causes of house fires so that we can be proactive to prevent this.

1. Electrical Equipment

Over the last century, we’ve become more and more dependent on electricity. Innovation has answered the call to make circuitry safer. Despite the modern safeguards now in place, house fires that occurred due to wiring and related equipment are at around 7%.

What causes electrical fires in homes? Wires overheat from an overloaded current. Short circuits will spark, and this is tinder for building materials. This could be happening behind a wall, and you wouldn’t know it until the fire had already grown.

Old homes that do not meet current building standards or wiring components that fail after decades of use are the most vulnerable to cause fires. For this, you’ll need the help of a qualified electrician - this includes inspection of old wiring, or investigating circuit problems (like a breaker that constantly trips).

2. Cooking Equipment

Of the top fire causes, most are related to the kitchen, and all too often these fires could have been prevented. Unattended stoves with pots and pans cooking, oven mishaps, and combustibles that are too close to the heating elements are what cause fires in the kitchen. Pressure cookers are also known to explode when not used properly.

There are times of the year when we cook more than usual such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Remember to keep an eye on cooking, especially when using high heat for frying, boiling, and broiling.

3. Candles

According to the National Fire Protection Association, candles caused an average of 7,610

house fires per year. Candles are used for eliminating odors, relaxation, and holiday decoration for Christmas and New Year's Eve. When left unattended, candles could tip over, the glass casing could break, or the flames could set nearby items on fire.

4. Smoking

Of all the causes of house fires, smoking is the most deadly. People smoke to relax. If you relax to the point of dozing off, you are then unable to respond quickly to a cigarette that has fallen from your hands. When the embers of a cigarette make contact with bed linens, carpet, clothing, upholstered furniture, etc. a house fire can easily start. If you must smoke indoors, please do so standing or sitting up (especially when you’re very tired).

5. Heating

Despite our state reputation for being warm, it does get cold here, in north Texas especially. For a short period, we’ll have freezing temperatures with ice and the occasional snow. For places that don’t have central heating, such as a garage, we use space heaters to keep warm.

Among the common causes of house fires, heaters come in second. Some heaters are designed with safety features, but it’s up to us to use them with caution. Don’t keep them running while you’re away from home and don’t use them to heat or dry fabrics.

Does Insurance Cover Fire Damage Restoration?

Homeowners’ insurance is all about the what-ifs. Generally, fire damage is covered by an insurance policy, but it’s best to call your agent for confirmation. We’ll go over the common kinds of coverage.

  • Dwelling - Covers fire damage to the structure of the home. 
  • Personal property - Covers the contents and personal property inside the home. 
  • Loss of use - Covers the expense of living elsewhere either temporarily or permanently. 
  • Personal liability - Pays for damage to the property of others that was caused by your house fire. 

Extensive wildfires in the US have made the news in the last few years, so this should prompt you to check in with your insurance agent and ask about what you can expect for fire coverage.  You might consider increasing coverage for damage to your neighbor’s property or other peripheral issues (for example, damage to an automobile in the garage).

House Fire Prevention Tips

The best way to address the common causes of house fires is to be prepared. Make your checklist with the following actions.

  • Test your smoke alarms. Many people use daylight savings time changes as a reminder to test the batteries twice per year. 
  • Inspect your heating apparatuses. Are there signs of electrical issues? When was the last time your furnace was checked by a professional?
  • Be careful in the kitchen. Keep your oven and stove clean - wipe up oil spills or food particles that could catch on fire. Don’t leave cooking unattended in the kitchen. Refrain from using your stove to heat your home.
  • Check your dryer vents. Lint can cause a fire with a clothes dryer. Clean out your lint traps and make sure the exhaust vent is clear of lint build-up.
  • Mind your power cords. If a cord has been frayed or chewed, discontinue use of the item. Keep cords away from carpets and fabrics.
  • Store flammables safely. Keep aerosols and other flammable chemicals away from heat.
  • Be careful with candles, fireplaces, and cigarettes. We use these to relax, but we must remain alert enough so that these don’t start a house fire. Keep combustibles such as fabrics away from the flames. Use extra caution when pets or children are around and don’t leave matches or lighters out.
  • Have fire extinguishers on hand (especially in the kitchen). Make sure yourself and other members of your household know where the fire extinguisher is and how to use it. Read the instruction label carefully.

SERVPRO Is Here to Assist With Any Fort Worth Fire Damage 

As we approach the end of the year, we use more heat in the form of holiday candles, preparing holiday food in the kitchen, and staying warm in cold months. We should keep common causes of house fires top of mind year-round, but especially during the fall and winter months.

Sometimes despite proactive efforts, homeowners will end up in a fire damage situation. SERVPRO Fort Worth is here 24/7 to respond to any fire issues from isolated damage to a total loss. We do it all from the preliminary tarping and board up to a complete reconstruction. We work with insurance companies so that the process is as efficient as can be. Contact us any time at (817) 589-1499 with questions or for a free estimate for services.

What to Do After a House Fire in Fort Worth: 7 Tips

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

house on fire If you've experienced a house fire, contact the Fort Worth fire damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO. We're available 24/7 to help.

Few things can bring a house to ruin faster than fire.  For communities who have been devastated by wildfires, they know all too well how rapidly fires will consume homes. Then there are isolated incidents that cause a single home house fire: faulty wiring, cooking, candles, falling asleep while smoking, lightning strikes, arson, etc.

In emergencies like these, we try to keep our wits about us as we face hardship.  In this article share advice on how to manage this unfortunate event along with actionable tips on what to do after a house fire. 

What Not to Do After a House Fire

When reeling from house fire aftermath, the homeowner may not be thinking clearly. Below are things to avoid after a house fire, even when they seem harmless at the time.

  • Don’t re-enter the home: Property owners may be anxious to re-enter the home to take account of possessions and look over the damage. It's best that you wait until the fire marshall or the insurance company has given you the go-ahead to go back into the property. Going back inside too soon could impact your insurance claim.
  • Don’t turn on utilities: Fire damage may compromise the safe operation of water and gas connections in the home. It is best to leave utilities off during the recovery process. 
  • Don’t attempt to start or move a fire-damaged vehicle: After a fire damage loss, you are likely to be pooling all your remaining resources together (including transportation). It is best that you do not attempt to drive a vehicle once it’s been damaged by fire. This may not be safe and it could interfere with your insurance claim. 
  • Don’t do your own fire damage cleanup: After dealing with a house fire loss, there is that urge to get back to normal.  It seems productive to get started with cleaning, but it's unsafe. With extensive fire damage, professional clean up services are necessary.

Aside from the above rules, other questions may come up about what to do after a fire in your home. When in doubt contact your insurance company or SERVPRO for guidance.  SERVPRO in Fort Worth is available 24/7 to assist you with any inquires on what to do after a house fire.

What to Do After a House Fire: 7 Tips

When a home is destroyed by fire, the house may be all that you can think about. These tips on what to do after a house fire remind you to prioritize personal welfare matters.  

1. Tend to Your Loved Ones 

Getting everyone out of a structure engulfed with flames is only the beginning of a long process.  

Once everyone is settled, you’ll want to check on the welfare of those who live with you including any pets that you have been able to rescue. 

Medical treatment should be sought for any medical concerns (such as smoke inhalation), especially for pets who are unable to verbalize symptoms.  People with special needs will need a physician’s evaluation for the same reason.

Also important is the mental welfare of those affected by the event. Lean on one another during this time and help secure counseling for those who are struggling emotionally. 

2. Find a Safe Place to Stay

Once immediate medical issues are addressed, it’s time to seek temporary shelter. Reach out to family and friends to ask who might be able to offer a place to stay.

Booking a hotel room or an Airbnb are also options. Some homeowner insurance policies may reimburse you for temporary housing expenses. 

However, some may be low on funds or unable to front the money until insurance claims are approved. In that case, you may be able to turn to churches or disaster relief agencies like the American Red Cross or Salvation Army for free temporary shelter.

Emergency Services may provide trauma assistance that includes housing assistance. Additionally, in the event of fire damage due to a wildfire, you may be able to apply for Fire Management Assistance. Check with fire and EMS on the scene about places that can help after a home fire.

3. Contact Insurance Agent 

Once you’ve taken care of your family's immediate needs, the next most important thing to do is to contact the insurance company for your homeowner’s policy to start a claim. The sooner you initiate the claim, the sooner you can collect upon the policy’s benefits.

The insurance agent will guide you through the post-fire recovery process. Ask your agent any questions you have about what actions you should take and also what the insurance company’s actions will be. You may be required to provide documentation to the insurance company such as a fire report or photos of the damage as part of the claims process.

You’ll also want to look into securing "loss of use" cash if you are eligible for it. This covers expenses incurred from displacement. Save your receipts as the insurance might ask for this later.

The insurance company also assists in securing abatement and cleaning services. At SERVPRO we work directly with the insurance company to make the process more efficient for our clients. 

4. Take Inventory  

Perhaps what homeowners look forward to the most is taking inventory to recoup and salvageable possessions.  This involves sorting through the contents of the home to determine what can be saved and what cannot.

Items you wish to save go into two categories: what is in good condition and what needs fire damage treatment. Good condition items can be put into storage and fire damaged items will be handed off to cleaning specialists (like SERVPRO).

Once you've gathered everything you wish to save, Items that have made it through unscathed can be moved to storage, and damaged items that you wish to recover should be in a separate collection for fire damage. 

There is consolation in finding items that we're spared.  Another benefit of clearing out possessions is to make way for cleaning crews or potential abatement services. Just remember to wait until the property has been deemed safe for re-entry. 

This is also the time to replace important documents like identification documents, passports, etc. Contact the appropriate agencies to order duplicates.

Now for the unpleasant part: itemizing your lost valuables and possessions.  As part of your insurance claim, you will need to provide a complete list of items that could not be recovered. Make this list as you walk around the property to help you remember things that may have slipped your mind.

5. Address Your Finances 

While it may feel like the world has stopped during a house fire recovery, unfortunately, expenses won't. If debit cards or personal checks perished in the fire, arrange replacements for these through your bank.

Mortgage and car payments also continue to be due through the post-loss process.  Your insurance policy or any supplemental coverage you may have might cover some of these payments.

Stopping utilities such as water, electricity, gas, internet, trash collection, etc. saves money as you recover. 

 This is also the time to start calculating other post-loss related expenses incurred during this time such as new clothing or other personal items.

6. Contact a Cleanup Crew

You've done your part. Now it’s the cleaning crew’s turn. SERVPRO’s goal is to make it like it never happened with our complete cleaning and fire restoration services.

SERVPRO in Fort Worth is equipped to handle more than one recovery project at a time.  In addition to fire damage restoration, we do Esporta wash system textile recovery, water damage restoration, and reconstruction of the house. 

One company managing several necessary recovery tasks saves time and makes the process more efficient.  If you hire specialized companies individually, the process could take longer, especially when insurance approval is needed. 

When we work directly with the insurance company, we consolidate the work to make the process more efficient. Our goal is to complete the recovery process quickly so that homeowners get back to normal as soon as possible.

7. Destress!

On top of having to deal with all the stress of your house burning, there are so many action items to manage and address. Remember to pace yourself as you go and take breaks between tasks when you need to.

Take it easy on yourself and turn to your favorite destressing activities. Stress relief activities are a nature walk, getting a massage, watching your favorite movie or TV show,  or getting a family together for a fun activity. With all you've been through, it's important to gain relief through doing the things you enjoy.

SERVPRO is here to take some of that burden from your shoulders. For fire damage restoration in Fort Worth, we are faster to any size disaster.  Call us any time 24/7 at (817) 589-1499 for emergency contact and assistance.

Contact SERVPRO North Richland Hills Today for Fort Worth Fire Damage Restoration

SERVPRO’s Fort Worth fire restoration services are at the ready to respond when disaster strikes. After our customer care agents ask you important intake questions, we dispatch our IICRC certified crew right away. 

What our crews do:

  • Roof tarping and board-up
  • Content cleaning
  • Clothing and textile sanitization
  • Electronic service restoration
  • Moving services and storage
  • Fire and smoke odor deodorization
  • Roof replacement
  • Repairs and reconstruction

For over 30 years, we’ve been helping Fort Worth, TX homeowners through the house fire recovery process step by step. This includes working directly with your insurance company to ensure that the process goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible. We’re in your corner! Check out our before and after Fort Worth property fire damage restoration photos.

Call us as soon as possible, 24/7, at (817) 589-1499 for emergency contact so we can get started on your recovery process right away!

Fort Worth Fire Damage Restoration Process

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

fire damage restoration If you've experienced fire damage to your home, call the Fort Worth fire damage restoration experts at SERVPRO.

Fires can happen to anyone and at any time. 80 fire departments in or surrounding the Fort Worth, TX area are prepared to respond when houses and businesses need help.

Did you experience fire damage this year? Maybe a kitchen mishap, 4th of July fireworks on the roof, or (heaven forbid) an electrical fire? Even when the fire happened to the property next door, there may still be damage to yours.

From counting your blessings that the loss wasn’t worse, to reeling from extensive damage, you must address the damage right away.  Smoke and soot are damaging to property and must be dealt with as soon as possible. 

Whether it’s sharing our best fire damage tips or coming out to the property for a free evaluation, our SERVPRO franchise in Fort Worth is here for you. We’re with you every step of the way through the fire damage restoration process.

How Long Does Fire Damage Restoration Take?

How long a complete fire restoration takes depends on the size of the property, the extent of the damage, and the amount of belongings that need to be recovered.

A smaller dwelling project with moderate damage (like an apartment) takes about a week to complete. However, a home around 3,000 Sq. Ft. (also with moderate damage) needs a few weeks to finish. 

During the restoration process, we work to clean and restore your belongings. How many items there are to treat determines how long it takes to get the job done.

For businesses and larger homes, the process can take about a month. Situations with significant loss (like those requiring reconstruction) may need longer than a month and typically involve an insurance claim. When an insurance adjuster is involved, this adds another 2-3 days to the timeline.

Working with a full-service restoration company like SERVPRO has the advantage of a more efficient process. This means we can coordinate the cleaning alongside the reconstruction (when applicable) to minimize the time needed to complete the restoration. 

SERVPRO’s goal is to get your life back to normal as soon as possible, so we aim to keep the recovery process no longer than a month.

What Does a Fort Worth Fire Damage Restoration Company Do?

External fire damage leaves the structure exposed to further harm from the elements. For instance, rain leads to rotting and mold that make matters worse.

Internally, fires create problems by burning construction materials. The release of toxic chemicals makes the interior environment unhealthy. Then, acid soot seeps into porous surfaces causing permanent discoloration. Damage is also caused by lingering smoke (to electronics, for example).

SERVPRO’s Fort Worth area fire damage service professionals are “faster to any disaster.” We’re here 24/7 to respond immediately after the fire department leaves. The sooner you call, the sooner we can get started to protect your property and its valuable contents from further destruction.

Our Fort Worth Fire Damage Restoration professionals are highly-trained specialists who have the proper equipment to restore your property back to preloss condition.

Our Team of Specialists:

  • Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician
  • Odor Control Technician
  • Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician

We have a “restore first” mission. So we use specialized equipment and cleaning techniques to recover damaged property so replacement isn’t needed. We’re glad to know that we’ve recovered irreplaceable items, so we do our best to make it "Like it never even happened.”

Our Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration Process

SERVPRO is upfront about what to expect during the fire damage restoration process. Below is what a typical fire damage procedure entails.

Step 1: First Point of Contact

Fire damage restoration begins when our Customer Care Specialist takes your call at our 24/7 dispatch center. 

On this call, we begin the intake process. We ask questions about the event so we can send out our Fort Worth fire damage experts - equipped with everything needed to perform a complete restoration.

Step 2: Inspect and Assess the Fire Damage 

To properly outline the necessary fire restoration procedures for your property, we do a complete inspection. Our team is specially trained to assess the true extent of the damage from fire, smoke, and soot. Once we’ve identified everything that needs attention, we create a plan that addresses every inch of damage.

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

Should you lose a window, wall, or some of the roof from fire damage, we won’t leave your property exposed to the elements or trespassers.

We’ll either board up or tarp these areas as soon as possible to prevent an unfortunate situation from becoming worse.

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (When Water Damage Is Present)

Sometimes restoring property with fire damage involves water removal and drying. Water from fire hoses, fire sprinklers, or attempts by the occupant to snuff the flames will leave a water mess behind.

First, we extract excess water from the property. Then we remove additional water and moisture from the environment with dehumidifiers and ventilation helpers so the entire area is completely dry.

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

The most important step in repairing fire-damaged homes and buildings is the thorough and complete removal of smoke and soot, both externally and internally. 

We use specialized equipment and expert technique to rid roofs, ceilings, walls, belongings, etc. of the damaging remnants of a fire (including the recovery of documents and photos).

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

Soot and smoke make everything dirty. That’s why we use our expert fire damage cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize it all.

Smoke also leaves a stench behind. We use industrial air scrubbers and fogging to remove smoke and its odor from the environment. You shouldn’t have to live with the smell and you won’t have to.

Step 7: Restoration

SERVPRO’s fire damage services go beyond mere recovery - our goal is full restoration. 

We do the necessary repairs to bring the property back to its pre-fire state. This may include drywall replacement, carpet replacement, painting, or major reconstruction. Our team does whatever it takes to make it good as new.

Contact SERVPRO of North Richland Hills Today for Fort Worth Fire Damage Restoration

For over 30 years, SERVPRO of North Richland Hills has carried out complete fire damage repair and restoration numerous times. 

Our team is “faster to any size disaster” for fire-damaged homes and businesses. It matters to us that your environment is healthy and comfortable. So our goal is to use our expertise, specialized equipment, and resources to make it "Like it never even happened.”

If fire damage happens to your property or the one next door, call us right away at (817) 589-1499. We’re here to answer the phone 24/7. The sooner we can get started on the fire damage restoration process, the better. Let’s get started today so you can get on with your life ASAP!

We Sell “Peace of Mind” When it Comes to Handling Your Residential Fire

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

If the unthinkable happens and a fire strikes your business or home, give the experts at SERVPRO of North Richland Hills a call.

Did you know cooking equipment is the leading cause of residential fires? As you find yourself in the kitchen from time to time, fire precautions should be top of mind.

A property owner experiences a flood of emotions when a fire ravages their business or home. Fear, uncertainty, stress, and doubt about the future of the property and their livelihood can be overwhelming to a property owner long after the flames have been extinguished and the smoke has cleared. After the first wave of heroes have rescued the property, let SERVPRO of North Richland Hills help you restore it to its preloss condition. Combining rapid response, the utmost professionalism, and open communication throughout the entire job process, we strive to restore not only the home or business structure, but also the customer’s peace of mind.


The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers the following eye-opening statistics on structure fires.

  • 482,030 structure fires were reported in the United States in 2018.
  • These fires caused $9.9 billion in property damages.
  • One structure fire was reported every 48 seconds.

If the unthinkable happens and a fire strikes your business or home, give the experts at SERVPRO of North Richland Hills a call. We will help make it "Like it never even happened."

What to Expect During a Fire You Weren't Expecting

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Damage

What to Expect from a Fire Damage Restoration Project

A fire damage event is difficult for the home or business owner on many levels, and the restoration process that follows can be intimidating. Today we are sharing what you can expect from a fire restoration project. Each fire event is a little different, and each will require a unique solution, although the overall general process stays the same. The steps we are listing below will illustrate the SERVPRO process for the average fire damage emergency.

  • Emergency Contact. Your restoration process begins the moment that you contact us. Our representative will ask you questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us to respond with the appropriate equipment and resources for your particular situation.
  • Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment. Our team will carefully inspect and test all the adjoining rooms of your home or business to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is vital to us, allowing us to develop the perfect plan of action for your property.
  • Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service. Fire damage will often compromise the condition of windows, walls, and roofing. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we will board up missing windows and walls, and place tarps on damaged areas of the roof.
  • Water Removal and Drying. If water damage is present, the water removal process will begin almost immediately, with the goal of removing the majority of the water. Our team will then employ dehumidifiers and air movers to remove any remaining water and complete the drying process.
  • Removal of Smoke and Soot From All Surfaces. SERVPRO uses specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and all other surfaces.
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing. We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. Our team uses a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to the condition they were in before the fire. We are also trained to remove lingering odors, using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
  • Restoration. This is the final step - getting your home or business back to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, installing new carpet, or painting surfaces, or it may entail major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various rooms or areas.

Here at SERVPRO of North Richland Hills, we are ready to help if your Texas home or business suffers from damage due to fire or water. You can also count on us when it comes to mold remediation and prevention.

Preventing a Fire in your Texas Apartment

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

A fire in a small space, such as your apartment, can spread quickly and become a deadly fire within just a few minutes.

A fire in a small space, such as your apartment, can spread quickly and become a deadly fire within just a few minutes. Just a few precautions taken beforehand can protect you, your apartment, and your belongings. Today, we’d like to share some fire prevention tips with you:

  • Inspection First. Take a good look around your home to make sure all potential hazards have been identified and eliminated:
    • Use surge protectors in place of overloaded circuits or extension cords
    • Appliance cords that are frayed or cracked are replaced immediately
    • No cords are being extended under rugs or between rooms
    • Space heaters are not being used near flammable materials, such as furniture and drapery. Make sure your space heaters are always turned off when the room is empty or everyone is going to bed
    • No matches or lighters are within reach of children
    • Candles and incense are never left unattended - make sure these items are used far away from curtains and other flammable materials
    • Items such as gasoline cans or propane tanks are not stored inside your apartment 
  • Kitchen Safety:   
    • Never leave food cooking on your stove unattended
    • Keep towels and potholders away from cooking areas
    • Don’t wear loosely fitted sleeves while cooking
  • Laundry Room Safety
    • Have your dryer installed and serviced by professionals
    • Always use a lint filter in your dryer, and clean it before or after every load 
    • Remove lint that collects around the drum of your dryer regularly
    • Make sure the right plug and outlet are being used and that your machine is connected properly
    • Never leave the dryer running when you go out of the apartment or when you go to bed
  • Smoke Alarms
    • Make sure there are smoke alarms in your apartment, and that they function correctly. There should be one installed outside of every sleeping area, and they should be tested once a month, with batteries changed at least once a year. 

Here at SERVPRO of North Richland Hills we are fire safety experts, and we are here for you if you experience damage from a fire, as well.

Every Second Counts

1/15/2020 (Permalink)

Practice your fire escape plan during the day and nighttime.

Every second counts during a fire. Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families and businesses have developed and practiced a fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home or office understands the plan. The best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing it. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan:

  • Draw a map of each level of your home or business and show all the doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
  • Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.
  • Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting area on your escape plan.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home or office, with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.
  • Practice your fire escape plan during the day and nighttime.

Call SERVPRO of North Richland Hills with any questions you may have.

Twinkles are Fine, Sparks are Not

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

With just a little extra attention, you can enjoy beautiful and safe decorations in your home this holiday season.

Holiday decorations are a significant part of the season. Trees, lights, and candles help create the holiday environments that are a part of some of our best memories. While all of the decorations are great ways to enjoy the holiday season, they can also be a cause for concern if the right precautions are not taken.

To protect your home in the midst of beautiful holiday decorations, The U.S. Fire Administration recommends paying close attention to the following 3 areas: trees, lights and candles.

Nothing replaces the scent of a real Christmas tree, but real Christmas trees require extra attention. Making sure your Christmas tree does not dry out is crucial for the safety of your home. Also, keeping the tree a safe distance from heat sources is important.

Lights are a beautiful way to decorate your home for the holidays. Making sure they are in working condition without fraying is important. Also, reading the manufacturer’s instructions can help make important decisions about when to connect another strand vs when to find another plug.

Finally, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, “More than half of the home decoration fires in December are started by candles.” Keeping candles a safe distance from flammable objects and remembering to extinguish them are important for the safety of your home.

With just a little extra attention, you can enjoy beautiful and safe decorations in your home this holiday season.

Free Board-Up Program

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

Board Up in Dallas after Tornado

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills is faster to any disaster. Our production team is on call 24/7 for when there is an emergency. Our emergency services do not restrict us to just removing large quantities of water. In the event of a fire or a storm, there are multiple safety precautions that are taken. Most fires cause windows to bust due to the pressure; fire fighters bust down front doors, interior doors, and anything in the way in order to extinguish a fire. Once a fire courses through a home or business, structural issues need to be considered. When a fire is put out, until a structural engineer can make it on-site, we perform board-ups to the windows and doors that were damaged during the fire. This is an emergency service that we provide that can give some comfort and peace-of-mind that no one can get into your home and steal your belongings while you are being put out of your home. It also protects the home or business from further damage such as wind, rain, or any other natural forces. When using this emergency service, it does not bind the customer to use our mitigation services. This is an additional service that we wanted to be available to the members of our community.This photo was taken inside of a home in Dallas after the October 2019 tornado swept through the area. After the storm, the windows were unstable and shattered in multiple areas of the home. This family wanted our team to secure their home so that no one could get into the home without a key.

Please call SERVPRO of North Richland Hills to ask questions about our free emergency board-up program - (817) 589-1499

Celebrate Safely This Holiday Season

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Remember to keep all decorations at least three feet away from heat and/or an open flame.

Pretty lights, candles, and decorations are just a few of the items bringing charm and cheer to the holiday season—however, if they are not used carefully, your holidays may go from festive to frightening.

                The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips to help greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season.

  • Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents, and candles.
  • Make sure light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or before going to bed.
  • Use only sturdy tree stands designed to not tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees.
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire—like pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper of plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove top.
  • Designate one person to walk around your property to ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave.

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

Our Fire Damage Technicians Can Manage Different Kinds Of Soot After A Fire In Your Home

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

If you or anyone you know are in need of services please give us a call at (817)634-5509

In the aftermath of a fire in your home, the sight of blackened walls, ceilings, and surfaces can make you feel overwhelmed and unequipped to manage the cleanup. The first reaction is understandable, while the second is wise. Cleanup of toxic fire residues is a job best completed by our Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)-trained and experienced managers and technicians. We match soots to appropriate cleaners and methods for optimal results.

Fire damage cleanup requires evaluation of the types of residues found throughout all spaces in your home. Even rooms far from the ignition site show signs of soot soiling. Depending on the materials combusted and the surfaces coated, we use different cleaners, tools, and methods. Structural components are cleaned on-site, but we might transport some of the contents of your home to our production facility for specialized treatment.

Wet soot occurs when a fire is lower in temperature and smolders because of limited oxygen. SERVPRO sees this kind of soot after rubber, plastics, and oils burn. The residue is thick and sticky, prone to smearing. Odors can be strong and irritating. Successful removal requires a cleaning agent with surfactants and wetting agents applied with agitation to loosen the residue before wiping.

Paper and wood burn fast and hot, leaving ashy soot. Lingering smells are not as dominant nor unpleasant as wet soot. Careful brushing and dry sponging followed by HEPA-filtered vacuuming work well. Fabrics suffering from an ashy buildup respond to foam cleaners applied and removed quickly with a brush.

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills has the trained crews, effective cleaning products, and appropriate equipment for thorough soot removal. Call (817)634-5693 immediately after a fire for an expert assessment and swift resolution of this challenge.

How Can You Minimize the Risk of Space Heater Fires at Home?

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

If you have questions or need services please give us a call at (817) 634-5693 or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

If you stop and consider the ways in which your home may be at risk for fire, you could come up with a startling lengthy list. Near the top of the list of these potential causes is the dreaded space heater. A burned space heater can be a nasty culprit for disastrous fires. Understand how these heaters can causes fires and what you can do to eliminate the risks.

An Overview

While it’s true that space heaters are common causes for fires and need for smoke cleanup, reducing fire risks doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, with a few simple steps, you should be able to avoid a burned space heater in most circumstances.

• Turn off your space heater if you leave the area for an extended period.
• Clean the filters regularly.
• Leave plenty of space around the heater.

Turn it Off

A space heater can be your best friend on a cold day if your furnace isn’t working well or if you don’t have one. You may be thinking leaving it on all day will help warm up your home faster and more effectively. However, this will only increase the likelihood of it having problems or starting fires. When you leave your home, or if you don’t plan on being in a certain part of your house for a while, turn it off.

Clean the Filter

Don’t put off this important step. Keep extra filters handy and replace them as they become dirty. When in doubt, consult your owner’s manual. It’s better to change it out unnecessarily than to leave it in too long.

Situate it properly

Don’t put your space heater in a cramped space or near blankets. Also, don’t plug in multiple space heaters in a single outlet.

If your space heater does cause a fire, get in touch with a professional smoke cleanup crew right away. However, if you follow these guidelines, you shouldn’t have to worry about fire or smoke concerns from a burned space heater.

4 Tips for What to do After a Fire

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Following the right steps after a fire can help limit the pain and destruction of a fire.

A house fire is an overwhelming event, but you can limit the pain and damage. Knowing the right things to do after a fire and having the help of a fire restoration service is essential. These four tips can help your get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.

1. Call your insurance company immediately. 

Your insurance company’s representatives can guide you through your options based on your fire insurance coverage. They can also offer detailed instructions about what you need to do based on your needs.

Maybe most importantly when it comes to insurance is they can help you begin the process of filing a claim. This step is essential to make sure you receive the compensation you need for the coming costs.

2. Use caution.

Don’t enter your home until you have been given permission by the authorities. Once you’ve been given permission, be aware of dangers that may still remain. Watch out for exposed wires, wet floors and compromised structures such as flooring or roof damage.

You will want to avoid causing any extra damage to your house by tracking soot and water to other areas. Additionally, your health could be at risk from exposure to soot particles and toxic materials via skin, ingestion and inhalation. Restoration specialists have the experience and tools to properly deal with these hazardous conditions so you can safely get back in your home.

3. Secure your property.

It’s very common for there to be broken windows or doors after a fire. Your property that survived the fire can be at risk if it hasn’t been properly secured. A professional fire restoration service can help you minimize further damage from things like weather, vandalism or theft.

A damaged roof can be a significant part of the fire damage. If your roof is damaged, the fire restoration team may also be able to secure your home with tarps for protection from the elements.

4. Make the important calls.

Many people think about calling their insurance company, but there are other important phone calls after a fire. Calls to your landlord or mortgage company, as well as any utility providers will need to be contacted.

It’s also wise to inform the police that your house will be vacant so officers on patrol around your house are aware to look for anything suspicious. Notifying your employer and your children’s school can be helpful to make sure they are aware of short-term changes that will come with restoring your home from a fire. You may also contact a local charitable organization for help with immediate needs, such as a place to stay, clothing and other items.

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after damaging event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility for regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. SERVPRO wants our team to be part of your team! Call us at (817) 589-1499 or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Fire Safety Tip for Fireworks Season

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills wants you to celebrate safely this Fourth of July.

The summer is an incredible time filled with outdoor activities. There are opportunities for swimming, grilling, and Independence Day fireworks.

With traditions like fireworks and bonfires on the fourth of July, there may be some potential dangers along the way. In order to celebrate safely when it comes to these events, consider the following tips provided by the U.S. Fire Administration.

  • The best way to enjoy fireworks is to view public fireworks displays put on by professionals.
  • If you plan to use fireworks, ensure they are legal in your area.
  • Always read the directions and warning labels on fireworks. If a device is not marked with the contents, directions and a warning label, do not light it.
  • Supervise children around fireworks at all times.
  • Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a firework does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate. Pour water over it and dispose of it.

With a little preparation and consideration, you can keep your outdoor activities fun and safe.

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after damaging event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility for regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. SERVPRO wants our team to be part of your team! Call us at (817) 589-1499 or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Three Tips for Great and Safe Grilling

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills Offers 3 Tips for Great and Safe Grilling

In Texas, grilling is a year-round activity! Steaks on a cold winter’s day are just as welcome as grilled hamburgers and hot dogs by the pool. Since Texas grilling knows no seasonal boundaries, neither should grilling safety practices. Here are some tips from SERVPRO of North Richlands Hills to help.

The NFPA explains, “In 2013-2017, fire departments went to an annual average of 10,200 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year, including 4,500 structure fires and 5,700 outside or unclassified fires. These fires caused an annual average of 10 civilian deaths, 160 civilian injuries and $123 million in direct property damage.”

Three Tips for Great and Safe Grilling

  1. Know Your Grill

Knowing your grill starts by making sure you have read the instructions to understand how to assemble and use it correctly. Every model of grill has its own needs and taking the time to make sure you know them not only enhances what you grill, it also makes sure you are grilling safely.

  1. Take Care of Your Grill

A good grill can cost a significant amount of money. Because the investment in your grill can be significant, taking care of that investment should be priority. Make sure you regularly clean the surfaces, removing grease and ash. Regularly inspect hoses and connections if you own a gas grill. Not only will this extend the life of your grill, it can help prevent grill fires.

  1. Take Care of the Area Around Your Grill

Where you cook matters. Cooking on uneven surfaces or too close to structures can affect the quality of your cooking. By taking the time to find a stable place for your grill, with the proper distance from structures – you can focus on the impact of your smoke and fire on the meat, not the impact of the smoke and fire on the surfaces surrounding your grill.

Following these easy grilling safety tips can help prevent fires and ensure your year-round grilling is safe and fun.

If a structure fire does occur SERVPRO of North Richland Hills is ready to help 365 day a year, 24 hours a day. For more information call 817-589-1499 or go to our website at www.SERVPROnorthrichlandhills.com

Smoke Detectors & Carbon Monoxide

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

Fires happen suddenly and destroy rapidly. Just look at what happened to this home during an electrical fire!

Don't Take Chances When It Comes To Fires

You try to prepare for whatever life throws at you. You take precautions. You formulate plans. But when it comes to emergencies, will you know what to do?

With a few simple tips, preparing your family and securing your home for a fire can be the difference between life or death.

 Smoke Detectors

  • Install in every room and outside every bedroom
  • Interconnect your smoke alarms
  • Make sure to test run your smoke alarms once a month
  • Make sure your smoke alarms can also detect carbon monoxide
  • Replace old smoke alarms if they are over 10 years old
  • Is someone in the household deaf or hard of hearing? Install bed shakers or strobe lights

 Tips For Fires

  • Leave bedroom doors closed, as they slow the spread of smoke and fire
  • 3 out of 5 deaths in a fire occur because there is no smoke detector

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after damaging event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility for regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. SERVPRO wants our team to be part of your team! Call us at (817) 363-4177 or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

3 Quick Tips to Prevent Fires This Halloween

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

Pumpkins and Candles are fun for Halloween, just don't let them turn dangerous!

Time honored traditions around Halloween often consist of the cutting and carving of pumpkins.

As October and Fire Prevention Month comes to an end, practice these safety tips to help ensure that you have a spooky Halloween, not a fiery one!

3 Quick Tips

  1. Instead of leaving a lit candle unsupervised as you handle all the Halloween festivities, make sure to use a led candle light instead. Or try adding spooky effects like different colored glow sticks.
  2. Don’t get caught without wearing a flame-retardant costume! From capes, to hats, to a “witch’s broom”, one wrong turn could leave room to something to catching on fire.
  3. Double think your fall decoration! Scarecrows and bales of hay may add that fall harvest look to your home, but dried material ignite easier and faster than some other decor. Make sure there isn’t any lit candles that could accidentally start an unnecessary fire.

Expect for the Unexpected

When in doubt, make sure that there is a safe path to exit the home as well as fire extinguishers readily available.

If you do experience any fires, let SERVPRO of North Richland Hills clean up from the aftermath. Cleaning soot from fire is not as easy as you would think! But SERVPRO has the resources and know-how to make it “Like it never even happened!”

Taking Fear out of the Fire

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after damaging event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility for regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. SERVPRO wants our team to be part of your team! Call us at (817) 589-1499 or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

And from all of us at SERVPRO of North Richland Hills, we hope everyone has a fun, safe Halloween!

7 Tricks to Prevent Candle Fires this Fall

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

A single candle that is burning by a flame.

Autumn for the beginning of cozy weather and holiday festivities like going to pumpkin patches, trick or treating or even lighting a pumpkin spice candle to enjoy the fleeting days of fall (and in Texas, it goes by fast!)

Candle Safety & Preventing Candle Related Fires

Who doesn’t love lighting the candles, especially in fall and winter? Though precautions have to be made when handling a live flame. There are nearly 24 fires from candles reported per day with December as being the peak month for most candle-related fires from home decoration. One-third of all fires from candles start in the bedroom and cause 36% of deaths. But what may be a surprise is that half of home candle fires happen when left less than twelve inches from a combustible material.

To keep your home and family safe, read these 7 safety tips to stop candles from burning your perfect holiday memories (and a hole in your wallet!):

1. Keep Candles Away from Children and Pets

If there is any advice that is the most important, this is it! Kids and pets can be all over the place and all it takes is one curious finger or fur to close to the flame to get burnt!

2. Never Leave a Candle Without Supervision

Anything can happen when you turn your back. Be aware of the surroundings and keep an eye on the candle.

3. Hide Lighters and Matches

Lighters or matches places too close to a flame or in a child’s reach can cause major destruction. Hide lighters, matches, gas, oil, and combustible items out of sight, up high, or locked up!

SECRET TIP: Use a candle burner to have the same scent fill the house without the fear of the flame!

4. Use Candle Holders...Seriously!

This is such an understated hack! Candle holders are LIFESAVERS and are a great way to decorate for the holidays while still being safe. Place candles inside a flame retardant container, or place on a candle holder to collect melting wax.

5. Use a Snuffer to Put Out Flames

Blowing out a candle or using water to put out a candle fire may cause more harm than good. Keep in mind that wax that forms around the flame is now a liquid and blowing the candle may spray the wax, or pouring water on the candle may cause the wax to spray out of the candle. Using a snuff, cover that is placed over the flame to cut off oxygen source is the safest method of putting out a candle flame.

6. Stick with Flashlights in Emergencies

If the power is cut off or it is dark at night, try to use flashlights over candles. Moving in the dark may cause tripping, and dropping a candle can instantly start a fire on a rug or carpet.

7. Toss Old Candles

Have that favorite candle that is burned to the bottom? Best to throw it out because using candles with a short wick can cause a fire. Try saving the leftover wax by melting what is left of the candle on a candle burner or in a bowl of shallow hot water over a boiling pot, and {CAREFULLY} pour the wax into a new container (be aware of plastics and glass!)

This way you can combine what is left of all your favorite fall candles into a new autumn mix!

That's a Wrap!

Now that you have brushed up on candle safety and preventing future fires for #firepreventionmonth, bring on all the cozy smelling scents!

Though in the case you have experienced a home fire from candles, fireplaces, holiday cooking, grilling or more, SERVPRO of North Richland Hills is there “to make it like it never even happened!”

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility for regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. SERVPRO wants our team to be part of your team! Call us at 817-589-1499 or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Check out Four Steps to an Effective Business Contingency Plan!

Also, check out Tips for Protecting Your Pets From Fire!

Sources:

https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Top-causes-of-fire/Candles

Tips for Protecting Your Pets From Fire

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Pets need to often remain relocated while an expert fire damage restoration crew works to restore your home.

Your pets are family, so their safety during a fire emergency is a strong concern. Pets can be protected by preventing them from causing a fire and establishing procedures to protect them if a fire happens. With your adequate planning, your pets can continue living a happy and safe life in North Richlands Hills, TX.

Protect Your Pets From Fire by Keeping Fire Away From Your Pets

Pets can easily cause a house fire. As the first step of pet preparation for fire safety, you should establish your house as a secure place for pets to roam when you are away. There are several situations that can be mitigated by taking preventative measures:

• Turning off or blowing out open flames that pets may investigate when left alone
• Blocking off or removing stove knobs or buttons a curious pet could turn
• Replacing candles with alternatives such as flameless varieties
• Stopping younger pets from being left to roam altogether while you are gone
• Elevating or covering cords that pets may chew to expose the wiring

Plan With Your Pets in Mind

Pet safety during a fire emergency is accomplished by having an escape plan that considers your pets. An emergency supply box should contain vaccination records, ownership certificates and veterinary supplies.

When doing routine fire drills at your house, you should include your pet and establish an easy way to bring them to you such as a verbal call or food trigger. With more skittish pets, a pet carrier should be readily available to prevent the animal from running away due to the stress.

Properly Handle Pets for Your Property’s Restoration

Pets need to often remain relocated while an expert fire damage restoration crew works to restore your home. While temporarily displaced from your residence, you may be put into a hotel where pets are not allowed. You should decide on a trustworthy friend or business to watch over your pets if a fire emergency ever affects you. With your pets’ safety out of mind, you can focus on your home’s restoration. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthrichlandhills.com/

Preventing Holiday Cooking Fires

6/29/2018 (Permalink)

In Wright County, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

It’s that time of year again when we start getting creative in the kitchen, cooking up mouthwatering dishes for all your friends and family. It’s also the time of year when kitchen fires happen the most for Richland Hills, TX

Per Greene Publishing, INC. about 3,500 Americans die each year in fires and about 18,300 are injured. Many of them might be alive today if they had only learned what to do if there is a fire.

Below are a few tips on what you can do to prevent fires from happening or spreading.

  1. Never leave cooking food unattended. Unattended cooking fires occur when a person starts cooking food on the stove and then leaves the kitchen and does not pay attention to the food. A fire can occur quickly when food is left unattended. Watch what you heat: When frying, grilling or broiling and stay in the kitchen while the food is cooking. Turn off the stove if leaving the kitchen, even for a short time.
  2. Always keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove or appliances. When cooking try to wear clothing with sleeves that are short, close fitting or tightly rolled up. For clothing fires remember: STOP, DROP AND ROLL.
  3. Always know what to do if you have a cooking fire: When in doubt, get out of the residence and close the door to contain the fire. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after leaving the house or apartment. Keep oven mitt and lid that fits the pan nearby. NEVER USE WATER ON A GREASE FIRE! Wear an oven mitt and smother the fire by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner and do not move the pan.
  4. Always keep kids away from cooking area: Create a “kid-free zone” of three feet from the stove or appliance.
  5. Place objects so they cannot be pulled or knocked over. Turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge. Open microwaved food slowly, away from the face to avoid scald burns.
  6. Make sure that you have working fire alarms: Prevent nuisance alarms during cooking by not installing smoke alarms in the kitchen. Do not disable your smoke alarm or take out the batteries.

Following the tips listed above can help prevent a kitchen fire or trip to the emergency!

About SERVPRO of North Richland Hills

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a fire or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Call SERVPRO of North Richland Hills at 817-589-1499. 

Tips on Preventing a Residential or Commercial Fire

6/29/2018 (Permalink)

House in Richland Hills, TX has fire damage.

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills knows that coming home to a house fire isn’t any one’s idea of a good time. A fire can destroy your home or business in a matter of minutes. Everything inside your home can go up in smoke in a blink of an eye. Most fires occur with little to no warning, but they can be prevented if you follow some of these small fire safety prevention tips.

Don’t Use Damaged Power Cords

Always check your power and extension cords for any damages, worn out ends, exposed or fraying lines. Damaged cords will most likely cause an electric shock and if the cord is worn out, the heat it generates can lead to a fire with direct contact to any flammable material. Avoid a potential fire damage by replacing damaged or worn cords.

Turn Off Your Appliances

If you plan on leaving your home for any amount of time, make sure you turn off any electrical appliances. It only takes one malfunction while you’re away to quickly turn into a disastrous house fire. 

Clean Out That Dryer Lint Trap

Believe it or not, leaving the link to buildup in your dryer’s lint trap can lead to a house fire. Cleaning lint out of your dryer’s lint trap only takes a few seconds and can greatly reduce the risk of a house fire. You should also consider checking your dryer hose for any lint or debris buildup.

Never Leave Lit Candles Unattended

Many people will light candles in their home for numerous reasons, but it is very important that you don’t forget that you have a candle burning. A single candle can cause major fire damage if it is knocked over or placed too close to flammable material. When lighting candles make sure you place them in secure holders far away from anything that can catch on fire. Always blow your candles out before leaving the room or your home.

Following these 4 simple tips can help minimize the risk of a fire but if a fire loss does occur SERVPRO of North Richland Hills is ready to help 24/7/365! Call 817-589-1499

Hidden and Harmful: Electronic Fire Damage

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

Relying on computer cleanup professionals in Richland Hills, TX, to assess and recommend solutions makes the ordeal less taxing.

When a fire ravages your commercial property in Richland Hills, TX, and no one is harmed, you breathe a sigh of relief. However, the loss of records and files stored on your electronic equipment can be devastating, especially if the data was not saved. Even if all the computers and peripherals appear unscathed during computer cleanup, extensive and invisible damage to the inside is quite common.

Common Culprits

Before anyone turns on any electronics after the fire, have a professional examine all the equipment for smoke and soot damage. The three most common perils include:

• Magnetic Charge. Although it’s not common knowledge, smoke carries a magnetic charge that can short out electronic circuits and potentially start an electrical fire.

• Acidity from Soot. Soot is more than just unsightly; its acid content is extremely high and destructive. When it reaches the inside of electronics, soot may cause premature degradation and significantly reduce the normal lifespan of equipment.

• Black Film. Another unseen enemy is the layer of black film smoke often leaves on the inside of equipment. This black coating insulates components, increasing the chance of overheating and an electrical fire. Overheating can also shorten the lifespan of equipment.

Fixing the Problems

First and foremost, hire a professional who specializes in electronic restoration. It’s acceptable for an in-house IT pro to remove any storage or memory—typically stored on hard drives—and transfer the information to a cloud or clean computer that was not in the fire. After that, only an electronics restoration specialist should address the damage and attempt to salvage the equipment. Be aware that merely turning on a computer that’s been in a fire could quickly result in a short circuit and an electrical fire, or other damage.

Important Paperwork

While the restoration specialist is cleaning your equipment, locate warranty and insurance information on the damaged goods. Fire damage is often covered by warranties, and commercial fire insurance policies may also include coverage on electronics. Contact manufacturers and your insurance agents with relevant questions.

Recovering from a fire is stressful, especially when your important electronic data is at stake. Relying on computer cleanup professionals in Richland Hills, TX, to assess and recommend solutions makes the ordeal less taxing. For more information, visithttp://www.SERVPROnorthrichlandhills.com/.

Fire Damage Cleanup

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

Fort Worth Fire that caused damage in all rooms of the house.

Many times, if asked; what is your emergency plan? Homeowners and renters can answer that with their emergency plan on how to get out of their home during a fire. 

What about how to get back into your home, after the fire has been put out? You can always call your insurance to make a claim, wait to get through to an actual live person and then, wait some more on who they suggest. This time, can be costly, especially when you have water just sitting in your home from the fire hoses.

Know your rights and steps you can take to prevent secondary damage. Call SERVPRO of North Richland Hills first. Allowing us to start work right away, will save you time and money! We will work directly with your insurance and adjuster, to get you back in your home after fire damage or water damage as soon as possible!

How Can I Prevent and Prepare For a Fire In My Home?

11/1/2017 (Permalink)

Recent fire SERVPRO of North Richland Hills restored.

When a fire occurs, it is always a shock. Homeowners never know when or if, a fire will occur in their home. Fires cannot always be prevented but there are tips and tricks, to help eliminate the risk.

Prevention is key:

  • Have your heating system serviced regularly by a professional
  • Remove the lint from your dryer filter after every use
  • Keep firewood, piles of leaves and trash away from the home
  • Avoid using outlet extenders or plug-in power bars
  • Test smoke alarms EVERY month 
  • Store containers of cooking oil well away from the stove
  • Consider using borrowed heat to keep outdoor pets warm
  • Be sure to properly extinguish smoking materials

Fires can still happen, even with the most prepared homes. In this case, your family needs a safety plan. Everyone in your household may not be together when disaster strikes so, it's important that every member of the family; know the safety plan and know to call 911 immediately. 

In the event a fire occurs, you need to know who to call afterwards to help restore your home and belongings. Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. SERVPRO of North Richland Hills has 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.

Smoke and Soot Facts

7/7/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in your home or business.

Did you know that smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. At SERVPRO of North Richland Hills, 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 North Richland Hills 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.  SERVPRO of North Richland Hills has the equipment, expertise, and experience to help restore your fire and smoke damaged home or business. 

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – SERVPRO of North Richland Hills 817-589-1499

Tips on Preventing Fires

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Make sure this fire damage does not happen to your home or business by always taking fire precautions.

Did you know that house fires account for the majority of disasters that the Red Cross responds to annually? According to the Red Cross the reason is because risk for home fires exist all year long. Statistics given by the Red Cross also show that seven people die in home fires each day in the U.S which is why one of the goals for the Red Cross is to reduce these deaths by 25% by the end of 2019.  

SERVPRO is helping in the effort to help educate home owners and commercial building owners on how to prevent fires

Fire Prevention Tips

  1. Install working smoke alarms and have fire extinguishers on hand
  2. Change out overloaded circuit breakers, panel boxes and fuses
  3. Repair any loose or defective wiring
  4. Dont overload extension cords
  5. Inspect wiring in expoused areas that could have been chewed by pet or insects.
  6. Have your furnace and HVAC checked annually
  7. Have your fireplace cleaned and checked
  8. Do not leave kitchen cooking unattended
  9. Douse grills when done barbequing
  10. Don't have barbeque grills too close to sides of home 
  11. Store flammables in safe area
  12. Plan you escape routes and know where the exits are
  13. Check Natural Gas / LP Gas systems for leaks, faulty pilot lights, gas valves and gas regulators.

If a fire disaster does happen our SERVPRO of North Richland Hills team is ready to help!

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a fire or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Call SERVPRO of North Richland Hills at 817-589-1499. 

Summer Grilling Safety

4/13/2017 (Permalink)

Structure fire caused by grilling to close to the structure.

Spring is here and summer is right around the corner. A time for family and friends to get together and BBQ but even for a seasoned griller it can be dangerous.

The NFPA explains, “Gas grills constitute a higher risk, having been involved in an annual average 83% of home fires in 2009-2013, while charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in an annual average 13% of home fires.”

  • These 8,900 fires caused an annual average of 10 civilian deaths, 160 civilian injuries and $118 million in direct property damage. Almost all the losses resulted from structure fires.
  • The leading causes of grill fires were a failure to clean, having the grill too close

Knowing general summer grilling safety tips will help ensure you and your family understand the precautions to take.

10 safety grilling tips put together by SERVPRO of North Richland Hills:

  1. Whether you are an experienced griller or a beginner always read the owner’s manual. This will ensure a proper installation and usage.
  2. Grilling should always be for outside use only. Open flames and smoke need to be properly ventilated and should always be placed outside.
  3. Place grills away from homes and structures.  Wind can blow sparks that can quickly ignite structures causing damage.
  4. Make sure to place your grill on a stable surface.  Each leg of the grill should be on equal plane to ensure coals and flames stay within the grill.
  5. Use proper grilling accessories. Long handled utensils will make sure that your hands and arms are properly protected from open flames reducing the chances of being burned.
  6. When grilling try to tie back loose shirts or aprons so that they don’t get caught in the wind or catch sparks from the flame. If possible buy flame retardant mitts and aprons to ensure safety.
  7. It is very important to know how to control a fire. If a flare up does occur remove food if possible or use a fire extinguisher or a garden hose. Sand will help if you don’t have access to an extinguisher or garden hose.
  8. Always pay attention and be aware of your grill. Setting timers for each type of food and never leaving the grill unattended can prevent old grease and oil from flaring up if left unnoticed.
  9. Purchase a splash mat to place under your grill. This will prevent sparks or hot oil from falling onto areas such as your deck. Hot grease can easily start fires if not properly handled.
  10. Explain to young children grilling safety. Allowing them to play or sit around a hot grill can cause danger to them.

Following these easy grilling safety tips can help prevent fires and ensure your spring and summer grilling is safe and fun.

If a structure fire does occur SERVPRO of North Richland Hills is ready to help 365 day a year, 24 hours a day. For more information call 817-589-1499 or go to our website at www.SERVPROnorthrichlandhills.com