Recent Fire Damage Posts

Smoke Alarm Safety Tips

4/12/2021 (Permalink)

A smoke alarm beeping Be sure to test your smoke alarm often!

Every home should have a smoke alarm. Smoke alarms save lives. It has been proven that properly maintained and installed smoke alarms reduce fire deaths and injury. Here are some tips to make sure that your smoke alarm is properly functioning.

  1. Ensure that there is a smoke alarm on every floor of your home, as well as in every bedroom. Fires can spread fast and by having alarms spread out, you’ll know faster that you need to get out.
  2. Test your smoke alarm at least once a month. Simply press the button to ensure that the alarm is functioning.
  3. Replace all smoke alarms in your home every ten years at the minimum.
  4. Battery powered smoke alarms, must have their battery replaced at least once a year.

Follow these tips and you will be able to ensure that your smoke alarm is up to date and functioning!

Fire Safety

3/25/2021 (Permalink)

A photo showing smoke and the words saying "Smoke Damage?" Always practice fire safety in your household.

Fire departments across the United States respond to an average of 358,500 home fires every year! These fires caused billions in damage and resulted in several thousand civilian injuries. To avoid being part of a disaster like that, take the time to reduce your risk of a home fire. Check your smoke alarms and make sure that they have the proper battery life. You can easily test your smoke alarms by pressing the button on the surface. If it beeps weakly or not at all, it’s time to immediately change the batteries. Keep household items clear of your heating sources. Avoid having curtains or blankets directly touching these sources. Always keep an eye on any lit candles. If you are going to a different part of the house, blow out the candle. Watch what you are cooking in the kitchen! It’s possible for old food particles in the stove to set on fire or even the food you are cooking. Lastly, keep a fire extinguisher handy in case of the worst. However, if the worst does occur SERVPRO will speedily clean your home to leave it good as new.

SERVPRO Tips to Prevent Space Heater Fires

3/15/2021 (Permalink)

A photo showing a space heater and the SERVPRO logo. SERVPRO of Amherst/Clarence is available 24/7/365

Space heaters, electrical fires, fireplaces, and kerosene heaters are some of the causes of fires SERVPRO of Amherst/Clarence has provided emergency mitigation services and cleaning. There are more fires during the cold months over any other season. Space heaters are behind 79 percent of deadly home heating fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Most of those fires start because an object sitting to closet to the heater got too hot and caught fire, but even plugging the equipment into the wrong outlet could put you in danger.

  • Make sure the space heater has the seal of a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories).
  • Make sure the heater is equipped with a tip-over safety switch, which automatically shuts off the heater if the unit gets falls over.
  • Select a heater properly sized for the room.
  • Install smoke alarms for every floor of your home, outside all sleeping areas and inside each bedroom. Test them once a month and change batteries every 6 months or sooner.
  • Have carbon monoxide detectors set up on every level. High levels of carbon monoxide can cause headaches, sickness, and death.

With over 48 years of experience SERVPRO of Amherst/Clarence operated and owned by Jennifer Sullivan-McLear, Bill and Pat Sullivan are the company you can trust for your cleaning needs.

Candle Fire Safety

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

Photo shows the orange SERVPRO logo with flames around it next to a candle. Candle Safety 101

Every month there is a headline in the news about a candle fire.  Candles cause 3% of reported house fires and many go unreported as they are extinguished by the homeowner. That is 15,600 fires a year put out by the fire department. Most candle fires start in bedrooms and left unattended and too close to combustible materials.  Candles that are left burning for over 4 hours are more likely to cause the glass to heat up causing it to reach a flashpoint and explode.  That is scary.  Besides the risk of fire, candles burn causing soot to go throughout your home causing gray to black staining on walls and ceilings.  These simple steps can help prevent a fire in your home:

  1. Do not walk away.  Never leave the candle unattended
  2. Give your candle space. Remove obstacles and clutter surrounding your candle.
  3. Keep away from pets and children.
  4. Avoid placing candles near windows and vents.
  5. Keep candles apart.
  6. Do not burn for long periods at a time.

Should you experience a candle fire or residual soot, please call SERVPRO of Amherst/Clarence.  We can assist.

Have a Fire Evacuation Route in Place!

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

A Fire alarm Having a fire evacuation route in place will keep you and your employees safe in the event of disaster!

Even though you may not think about it often, there are fires in the workplace across the United States every single day. It’s very important for your company or place of work to have a fire drill procedure in place. Having a clear plan that is well rehearsed will ensure the safety of everyone in the workplace. Evacuation skills are vital for all employees; it will train employees how to leave quickly in the event of any disaster. First develop a detailed fire evacuation plan. Make sure to establish roles and means of communication in the event of a disaster. Plan routes and be familiar with the workplace map. Be aware of where the fire tools are including smoke detectors, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers. Repetition is key when it comes to emergency drills. Be sure to practice at least twice per year, and introduce new employees to the procedure. Also be sure to display the plan in an area where it can be easily accessed. Fires are no joke, but with the proper procedures and practices in place, you can be prepared for the worst. In the event of fire damage to your business, call SERVPRO at 716-639-8687 for your fire cleanup needs.

Home Fire Prevention Tips

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

A House on fire It only takes minutes for an entire home to be enveloped in flames!

Home fires can begin very suddenly and very quickly after envelope the entire home. It only takes second for a fire to spread uncontrollably throughout the home and only minutes to cause permanent damage. Let’s consider some of the most common fire starters and what you can do to prevent them. Many home fires are caused by kitchen related accidents. These are often grease fires that occur when grease becomes overheated, causing it to combust spontaneously into flames. Never leave the kitchen unattended when cooking and be sure to scrub your pans thoroughly to prevent grease buildup. Approximately 12% of home fires are caused by electrical heaters. Avoid keeping fabric, like blankets or curtains too close to portable heaters. Also be sure to never use an electrical heater that has frayed or broken wires. In a similar situation, electrical wiring can cause fires. Older faulty wiring is susceptible to overloading or short circuiting. It’s a good idea to get your wiring checked out by a professional electrician, especially if you own an older home. Candles are often the cause of many home fires. You should never leave a candle unattended or place a candle near cloth or fabric that can easily light on fire. The lighters and matches that are used to light candles can be just as dangerous so keep them out of reach of children or in a locked area. If you follow these tips, you will make your home safer from a potential fire. However, if the worst does occur, SERVPRO is here to help you recover and provide the necessary services to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Commercial fires can be huge, tips on how to avoid

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

Firefighters fighting a business fire in Western New York Fire fighters fight a costly fire that broke out in a business in western New York

This business in western New York suffered over $500,000 in fire damage due to a mishap in their pantry area. A hot plate was left plugged and caught this business on fire. Firefighters managed to get the fire under control and the building isn't a complete loss but now they must spend thousands on repairs. So here are a few tips to avoid these costly fires. First tip is always unplug any heating appliance right after use. Hot plates, space heaters even toaster ovens if left on and unattended can cause a fire to break out. Second, make sure you double check your area before leaving for the day, I know once quitting time comes we all just want to high tail it home, but if we all just take a couple minutes to look around and double check that hazards are taken care of we will always have a job to come back to. With the warm up on the way please make sure your homes or businesses are well ventilated, this can keep any fumes from spreading and causing damage as well.

How to deal with a Grease Fire

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

A grease fire in a kitchen pan Do not attempt to lift a pan or pot on fire!

Over 160,000 home fires are caused by cooking every year! Cooking remains the number one reason for home fires and home fire injuries. These raging fires are often ignited by grease and then we are unaware how to deal with them. Here are some tips to dealing with grease fires:

  1. Cover the flame with a lid to cool the fire and prevent its spread
  2. Turn off the heat source
  3. A small fire can be smothered by baking soda or salt
  4. Use a fire extinguisher to put out the flame

Do not use water to extinguish the fire. This will only make the fire worse. Do not attempt to move the pot and pan. It’s likely that the pan can fall and the grease will splatter spreading the fire instantly.

If you fail to put out the fire. Leave immediately, closing the door behind you, and call 911.

In the event of fire damage, SERVPRO has trained professionals who can help you cleanup and get your home back to its original condition.

Close before you Doze

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

A hand closing a door Sleeping with the door closed is your greatest tool to prevent fire spread

Keep the door closed! This has become the motto of many fire prevention associations when asked about whether you should keep your door open or closed when you sleep. Keeping the door closed when you sleep has many benefits. It will reduce fire growth and spread, limit damage to your home, and save lives! Those should be reason enough to keep the door closed. Fires spread far faster throughout the home than they did forty years ago. Due to modern synthetic materials and furniture, fire is up to 7x faster. While you had up to 17 minutes to escape a fire 40 years ago, you only have 3 minutes today! Closed doors will slow fire growth. When leaving a room that’s on fire, close the door! In the event of a fire disaster, SERVPRO will help you with our team of trained technicians and specialized equipment. We will work fast and thoroughly to restore your home to pre-fire conditions.

Safety while using space heaters

2/7/2020 (Permalink)

Space heater in home in Amherst When a space heater caught fire in a home in Amherst, SERVPRO was there to help get this family back in their home safe and sound.

Here in Amherst we know the winters can be brutal, and trying to heat your home because more and more costly and requires much unwanted effort. here are some safety tips to avoid costly fire damage due to inappropriate use of space heaters.

According to the NFPA space heaters caused 85% of house fires between 2011-2017. this is an astonishing amount and can be easily avoided if taken the right precautions. Always keep about 3 feet of space between space heaters and any children or pet areas. Kids and pets can accidentally get burned, knock over the heater causing major issues.

Always use the designated kind of fuel for the space heater you are using. Using the wrong fuel could result in malfunction or improper heating.

Never leave your heater on while you are asleep or away from your home, heaters can cause dangerous levels of carbon monoxide to accumulate which puts your home in great risk.

The winters can get awfully cold here, but being safe is always best.

Dangers of Candle Burning

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

A kitchen with severe fire damaged.  Holes in the drywall, charred debris, soot stained walls. An unattended candle was left on a kitchen counter and caught on fire in Williamsville, NY

Blog Candle Fires on the rise in Williamsville, NY

We all love our candles in Williamsville, NY. There are so many yummy smelling scents. Scents that relax us, scents of pine tree at Christmas time, scents of apple pie fill the room and scents that make us feel like we are on a tropical island. Unfortunately candles can be dangerous.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, from 2012-2016, fire fighters responded to 8,200 fires that were caused by candles.  These fires resulted in millions of property damage and caused 80 deaths.

On and average there are , 23 home candle fires reported each day.

SERVPRO of Amherst/Clarence responds to many candle fires each year, mitigating and cleaning the damage left behind that can fill the entire home with smoke, soot and odor.

Some Safety Tips for Candle Use:

-Never burn a candle unattended

Blow the candle out before walking out of the room

-Trim the wicks before lighting

-Keep candles away from windows and drapery

-Keep away from flammable items

-Place the candle on a heat resistant surface

-Keep candles away from children and pets

-Don’t light the candles on decorative center pieces that are meant for decoration only.

Some Candle Alternatives:

-Wax warmers can give you the same scents without the risk of fire or carbon staining your walls

-Battery operated candles come in scents, timers, different colors and remotes.

-LED lights can give that glow and relaxing feeling as candles can.

Keep your family safe.  Visit www.SERVPROamherstclarence.com for more information on fire damage.

We are always here for you 24/7

Thanksgiving Fire Prevention Tips

11/26/2019 (Permalink)

Soot on the kitchen cabinets as a result of a oven fire Soot covered the entire home requiring the assistance of SERVPRO of Amherst Clarence.

With Thanksgiving around the corner, we are all preparing our menus, getting our grocery list ready, putting our guest list in place and deciding on how we are going to cook our turkey. Oven Bake? Deep Fry? Smoke? They all sound delicious and all have fire risks. Deep frying a turkey is the most dangerous. In the US, fire fighters respond to 1,000 fires a year that involve deep fryers and sadly cause extensive 3rd degree burns to the cook.

Some common mistakes when using a deep frying are:

-Placed to closely to a structure/home

-Placing to much oil in the fryer

-Attempting to fry a turkey that isn’t completely thawed.

-Always follow the instructions of the deep fryer -Don’t be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while deep frying -Always have a fire extinguisher near by -Heat the oil slowly -If a grease fire occurs do not use water to put it out.

Prevent Oven Fires By Following These Tips:

-Make sure your oven is clean before using -Pick up the dropped food, wipe up the spills -Put a cover over food that might splatter -Never cook unattended -Don’t cook if you are sleepy or consumed alcoholic beverages -Check the food often -Keep the space around the oven clear of items that could catch on fire -Use kitchen timers -Don’t store items on top of the stove or inside the oven.

-Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and know how to use it

Thanksgiving is the highest day for cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day.

Practice these tips and have a safe happy holiday from your friends at SERVPRO of Amherst Clarence

Fire Damage : Process of Restoration

6/14/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage

Fire Damage in Buffalo NY Smoke Damage in Buffalo, NY and Restoration, and the Process of Fire Restoration.

The process of fire restoration can be very involved. Private homeowners and companies can oftentimes be devastated by the damage caused by this kind of event. One aspect that gives peace of mind involves knowing when the right professional has been hired. That is one of the reasons why it is important to hire a firm that is associated with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.  

Homeowners and business owners may be in shock from the initial devastation. It is important to try and follow the proper steps to achieve a complete fire restoration. Service providers that are associated with the Institute will have the following distinctions: current training, safety and health certifications, vast amounts of experience in restoration projects and the proper licenses and insurance information. Customers should also check all references and obtain price quotes prior to hiring anyone. Any contracts that are presented should be reviewed closely.

The first step in the process is to clean up as much of the existing area as possible. If the area is not immediately cleaned, soot residue and permanent damage can be left behind. If the homeowner or business owner does the initial cleaning, it is important to follow these steps. When cleaning, always use dust masks and open the area for proper ventilation. Clean from the ceilings to the floors and vacuum all floors and upholstery. Wash any items that are able to be laundered. Clean the outside with a pressure washer if available. 

If immediate clean up is not done, it can lead to devastating effects. Within minutes of fire and smoke damage, appliances and many items will discolor to a yellow hue. After a few hours, acid will stain bathrooms and many other areas of the home or business. Within days, walls will discolor permanently and items will begin to rust due to the acid residue.  Finally, after weeks the cost of clean-up will become substantially more expensive. The building and furnishings can be permanently damaged by the acid left behind. Soot residue will be layered throughout the home or business. For these reasons, it is vital to contact a professional associated with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification to utilize fire restoration techniques in an effort to return the home or business to a preloss state. One company or service provider should be able to handle the damage. The seal of Certification by the Institute should be shown on any provider’s website. This shows the customer the reliability and the expertise of the service provider.

Residue and smoky odors need to be removed immediately. Professionals will use the process of fire restoration to achieve satisfactory results. These providers will remove the source of the odor, clean any items that can be salvaged, get rid of any lingering odor with an odor counteracting and deodorizing fog. Finally, the provider will seal salvageable items to encapsulate odor and prevent further recontamination.

Homeowners and businesses that are educated in the fire restoration process are able to minimize the cost of repair. Professionals can be contacted in a timely manner to return the area to a preloss state.  By hiring the right professionals the victims can have some peace of mind during a very stressful time.

We are here to help with your clean-up and restoration process!

House Fire Escape Plan

10/10/2018 (Permalink)

Every home should have a fire escape plan. According to the American Red Cross, homeowners shouldn’t just have a plan of escape for a fire but have a plan and practice it twice a year. Home fires cannot be predicted and can happen to anyone. If you’re making preparations to prevent home fire, you should also prepare for what you and your family would do if you have one. Here are some tips from the American Red Cross in making a plan for your home.

  • All members of the household should know two ways to get out of every room.
  • Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas or homes on the second floor or above. Learn how to use them and store them near the window.
  • Pick a place outside for everyone to meet and make sure everyone knows where it is.
  • Practice your home fire drill until everyone in the household can do it in less than two minutes.
  • Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
  • Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

http://www.redcross.org/news/article/A-Home-Fire-Escape-Plan-Can-Save-Your-Life

Once the safety for your family is established, the next steps to come will be home recovery. SERVPRO will work with you from window and roof board up to assisting with the final stages of move back & rebuild.

If you have a fire : SERVPRO of Amherst/Clarence is here to help with fire damage clean up

716-639-8687

Cleaning Importance after Fire Damage

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

A fire in Amherst, NY caused by an space heater

Damage caused by fire is varied. Different surfaces, textures, and materials react in different ways to the extreme temperature which makes restoration a nuanced and complex job. Using the wrong cleaning materials can at best, spread soot and smoke residues. At worst, it can cause further damage and require expensive replacement. After a blaze has been contained, there is the added risk of secondary water damage.

Properties that have fallen victim to fire damage should be pre-tested before any work begins. A pretest can be carried out by a qualified SERVPRO fire technician who can measure affected areas for smoke damage. Although, smoke damage is visible, there are many different types which depend on the materials that burned.

Wet smoke, for example, burns at a low temperature and comes from synthetic materials that could be in appliances, lampshades or fabrics. This smoke, produced from melting plastics, has a pungent smell leaving behind thick, oily markings on walls and ceilings. Dry smoke, on the other hand, comes from natural materials like wood and paper leaving behind a powdery soot like texture.

A SERVPRO technician can conduct a pre-test that looks for different types of smoke residue. A pretest allows us to decide on the correct method of restoration as well as products that we should use to restore your items to pre-fire standards. Using a combination of wet cleaning and dry cleaning allows us to provide a professional focus to each affected area and guarantee the best results.

A fire restoration service by SERVPRO is two-fold. The first is your contents which can be removed, tested and restored. The second is the structure itself, which involves removing soot and smoke residue from your walls, ceilings, and permanent fittings. We can restore your walls, so they are ready for repainting, as well as your floors, windows and, where possible, fabrics.

The final step is to deodorize. Burning materials leave thick smells that are not cleanable with regular fresheners. Our equipment neutralizes the odor particles rather than merely covering the smell. This approach is especially important when tackling synthetics which can release toxins when subjected to fire. WE ARE HERE FOR YOU 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK. CALL SERVPRO of Amherst/Clarence 716-639-8687

After Fire Care

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

A terrible fire in East Amherst

After a fire damage incident, it is understandable for any homeowner to be stressed. Such traumatic events disrupt your professional or personal lives, and there is need to work closely with a restoration service provider as you work towards returning your East Amherst property to its earlier state. It all starts by identifying what is restorable and performing emergency services to limit further damage.

Cleaning is one of the services that our SERVPRO team offers when attending to fire damaged property. One of our goals is to reduce the fire damage claims. Remember, if you do not act quickly, you might end up with expensive options such as replacing restorable items and resurfacing parts of your structure. We are going to look at some of the principles of cleaning that we use when restoring your materials.

Starting from the location where the fire originated from, our SERVPRO technicians carefully inspect the site. During the inspection, we identify the various kinds of residues, and this helps us to come up with an effective cleaning method. The cleaning process we choose should remove the smoke residues efficiently and not cause any damage to the surface.

There are four essential elements we take into consideration to suspend and remove the smokeresidues: : temperature, agitation, time and chemical action. Our SERVPRO technicians understand that chemical reactions increase as the temperature increases and thus we are keen to select an appropriate degree of heat that corresponds well with our cleaning solution of choice. If we want to dislodge smoke particles and distribute cleaning product on areas, we can use agitation. In this process, we can use sonic vibrations, water and air pressure, brushes and towels. Digesting, changing pH, oxidizing, dissolving, bleaching and emulsifying are some of the chemical actions we take into consideration when cleaning your property. Depending on the action we desire, we select a proper cleaning product. Time is also critical during restoration, and it is dependent on the type of cleaning solutions we use and residues at the site.

At SERVPRO of Amherst/Clarence, WE ARE HERE FOR YOU 24 HOURS A DAY, SEVEN DAYS A

WEEK. LET US HELP YOU! We can be reached at 639-8687

Soot ? Odor ? Fire ? You need SERVPRO

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Electrical Fire

Fire damage to your home can be a traumatic experience for any homeowner.  Apart from the damage due to heat, fire can cause significant damage to your property and belongings due to smoke and soot.  The smoke particles can coat walls, ceilings, and almost any surface and cause permanent damage if not cleaned quickly and efficiently.

The particles in the smoke contain unburned carbon that can be very difficult to remove after a fire to your Williamsville home.  Not all soot particles are alike and it takes a multi-step process to eliminate them.  It is a job for the professionals who have years of training and expertise in fire damage restoration. 

We’re Fire and Water Damage Specialists

As fire and water restoration specialists, we have the training, experience and specialized equipment necessary to restore your home or business. We are committed to providing superior service while restoring your property back to pre-fire condition.

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

Call SERVPRO of Amherst/Clarence 716-639-8687

SERVPRO of Amherst/Clarence Responds to a Restaurant Fire

9/25/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Amherst saves the day. Breakfast is served!

No one wants to miss out on a delicious breakfast at their favorite restaurant but when fire breaks out, it’s important to know who to call for fast, efficient and professional service. It was 4:30 am when the prep cook started to fire up the fryers and the grills for their usual busy morning feeding their customers. When the fire department arrived, the restaurant owner knew it was their time being served. The fire department quickly put out the flames and referred SERVPRO of Amherst to assist with the next step of cleaning up the water and soot damaged. SERVPRO of Amherst got the call and quickly dispatched 2 crews to the site. The production manager quickly sprang into action setting up the crew to extract water from the floor and remove the water from the kitchen equipment. The adjuster arrived and told the customer he would most likely be closed for at least a week. Knowing the importance of customer service, the SERVPRO of Amherst/Clarence crews brought in a 3rd crew and worked late hours. The restaurant was opened and running in 2 days. We are open 24 hours a day to get your Amherst business back up and running. Call Today SERVPRO of Amherst/Clarence 716-639-8687