Recent Fire Damage Posts

Can leaving a water bottle in a hot car start a fire?

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

Can leaving a water bottle in a hot car start a fire?

If you are anything like me everything gets left in my car all the time, from bags, to shoes, even clothes; it’s a normal thing. We practically live in our cars, right? Well, the one item you should think twice about leaving in the car, especially when it’s hot, are water bottles. Now you’re probably thinking, what’s the harm in leaving a water bottle in the car? Well, I’ll tell you.

Plastic water bottles or glass reusable water bottles in your car are actually a fire hazard! Yes! A friend of mine recently found this out the hard way. She had actually had a wreck (everyone was fine, no bodily injuries. There was just some car damage.) and while sitting in the driver seat waiting on a tow truck she started to smell a "funny" smell in the car. She starts to investigate the "funny" smell and it turns out the bottle of water she’d left in the back seat was refracting light and causing the seat to catch on fire! As if the damage to the outside of her car wasn’t enough, she now had burn marks in her back seat! Hey, it could have been a lot worse. The whole car could have gone up in flames if it had gone unnoticed!

Incidents like these are pretty rare but it’s something we should be aware of. Firefighters have even issued a warning to drivers about hazardous water bottles.

A test was conducted by The Oklahoma Midwest City Fire Department on the matter and found that sunlight magnified by a water bottle can reach 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Firefighter David Richardson explained that the sunlight “uses the liquid and the clear material to develop a focused beam and sure enough, it can actually cause a fire, a combustion”.

Plastic water bottles can be even more dangerous because they leak harmful chemicals when left in heat. In a study investigating the effects of storage temperatures on the release of chemicals like antimony and bisphenol A, it was found that more chemicals were released as temperatures increased. The experiment also showed that when the water bottles were stored at 158 °F for 4 weeks, the release of bisphenol A and antimony didn’t meet regulation standards for chronic daily intake.

Bisphenol A, also known as BPA, is a chemical that has gotten some bad publicity over the years, and for good reason. It has been proven to alter hormone levels and is specifically linked with lower testosterone levels in men. BPA also contributes to cancer development and progression. Antimony, on the other hand, can cause stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach ulcers. It’s safe to say that ingesting large amounts of either of these chemicals isn’t good for anybody.

With this summer heatwave we have going on you’re probably going to be drinking a lot of water. Be cautious of the bottles you’re drinking from and where you leave them. Opt for the BPA free reusable bottles and take them with you – you’ll preserve your health, the environment, and your car that way!

Kitchen Fire

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

We received a phone call from a customer in regards to their kitchen catching fire and damaging the entire house. Soot and smoke touched every inch of the house. So how do we clean the soot from walls and contents? 

One would think that we should be using water to wash away the soot. One would be wrong. Soot should not be cleaned up with water first. The water on a sponge or rag would just move the soot around on the material. Soot should initially be removed with dry sponges.

Dry soot cleaning sponges are used to remove soot and dirt where you don’t want the surface to get wet. It is made of a natural rubber and is used like an eraser. Once the surface of the sponge is dirty it has to be discarded. The sponges hold a remarkable amount of soot in the pours of the sponge.

After wiping the fine particles of soot off the surface the surface can be wet washed. This process needs to be done by a professional. If not done properly surface damage can occur.

There is a science to fire cleaning and you should trust and hire a professional if you have fire clean up that needs to occur.

This is why we love having IICRC certified technicians on our team! We work hard and have trained professionals ready to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Grilling Tips

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

Spring has arrived and summer is upon us, which means it's time to pull out those grills.

SERVPRO of Statesboro would like to share some helpful grilling tips to prevent any fires from occurring while you're enjoying that quality time with family and friends.

Do:

1. Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your home.

2. Clean your grill regularly.

3. Make sure to check for gas leaks.

4. Keep decorations away from the grill.

5. Keep a spray bottle of water handy.

6. Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple of steps of your grill.

DON'T:

1. Turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed.


2. Leave a grill unattended.

3. Overload your grill with food.

4. Use a grill indoors

Fire Safety Tips

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

The vast majority of which are home fires. The most common kitchen fire is from leaving something unattended. Depending on the materials in the kitchen, you could have only minutes to escape the danger. 

Here are some fire safety tips: 

  • Install Smoke Alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms, and outside sleeping areas.
  • Test Smoke Alarms every month. 
  • If you have children, talk with every family member about how to escape from their room. Have a safe place outside such as a tree in the yard, neighbor, or mailbox. Each member should go there immediately for parents to know that everyone made it out safely. 
  • If a Fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP.

SERVPRO of Statesboro has IICRC certified technicians on our team to help you through the aftermath of a fire. 

Spring Cleaning and Check those Batteries

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

Spring is quickly approaching. The air is becoming warmer and the days are getting longer. We have already posted some Spring cleaning tips so hurry and read them before getting started! In addition to the deep clean that happens in your home, you need to check the batteries in your house. I am not talking about the remote batteries, but the smoke alarm batteries. Some smoke alarms may malfunction, and it may not alert you that the batteries are dying or dead. So during that Spring cleaning, you should always check and/or change the batteries in every single smoke alarm. 

Every home should have multiple smoke alarms. One near the kitchen as this is a common place for a fire to break out in the house. A smoke alarm should also be on every level in the home- a basement, main floor, second floor, and even the attic. Why the attic? This is a place for an electrical fire to break out. In addition, no one monitors this place in the home so it is the perfect place for a fire to form and spread to the point where a homeowner cannot extinguish the fire. 

Spot vs Stain

2/6/2019 (Permalink)

After a fire, going through items can be extremely difficult. Part of that process is deciding if something is damaged beyond repair or needs cleaning. Here are a few ways to figure out if your items are stained or just covered in spots.

People often use the terms “spots” and “stains” interchangeably, but they have an important distinction between them. A spot is a visible surface discoloration that results from a soil that you CAN remove. A stain on the other hand, is a visible discoloration resulting from a color that permanently attaches that you CAN’T remove.

A skillful cleaner is sometimes able to turn what appears to be a stain into a spot. But someone with poor cleaning techniques may do the opposite. That’s why acquiring the proper spot cleaning knowledge, education and product that SERVPRO of Statesboro has to offer is crucial to carpet cleaning success. We offer a range of specialized cleaning methods backed by state-of-the-art equipment to insure your carpets or upholstery are spick and span, and spot and stain free.

Be sure to call SERVPRO of Statesboro at 912-764-9542 for all your Bulloch, Emanuel, Candler, Jenkins and Screven County spot or stain needs!

How To Avoid A Kitchen Fire; 10 Steps!

10/10/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know the kitchen is where more home fires occur than anywhere else in the house and that cooking is the number one cause of home fires? The American Red Cross has steps everyone can follow to avoid a cooking fire:

  1. Never leave cooking food unattended – stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen, even for a second, turn off the stove.
  2. Check your food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking.
  3. Use a timer so you’ll remember that the stove or oven is on.
  4. Don’t wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  5. Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
  6. Keep anything that can catch fire - pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  7. Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
  8. Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.]
  9. Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
  10. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

To learn how to prevent a fire in your home and how to keep members of your household safe, you can take our cooking safety quiz and download the Red Cross Fire Prevention and Safety ChecklistDownloadable fact sheets are also available on how to avoid home heating fires, candle safety, proper use of smoke alarms and teaching your children what to do in the event of a fire

Swainsboro Smoke and Soot Cleanup

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

The Fire Took Place in the Kitchen but the smoke and soot could be found throughout other parts of the home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor.

Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action and make it look "Like it never even happened."

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 Statesboro will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Bulloch, Emanuel, Jenkins, Screven and Candler County’s Dryer Fire Preventions

10/6/2016 (Permalink)

Thousands of dryer fires are caused by lint every year, yet they can be easily prevented with a few minutes of cleaning.

Regular maintenance of your dryer will help to improve the drying speed of your clothing, reduce energy usage, and most importantly, reduce the risk of dryer fires! Here are a few ways to get cleaning…

  • One of the best precautions is to empty the lint trap after every load. Use of laundry detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets can lead to an unseen waxy build up or film over your lint trap. Remove any large clumps of lint build-up that are visible. Fill up a bucket or sink with warm water and a little dish soap and gently scrub with a toothbrush until clean. If you run water over the filter, it should be able to pass through easily without any pooling. Ensure that there are no tears in the screen.  
  • Pull out the dryer from the wall and unplug the machine. Ideally you will pull the dryer all the way out so that you can vacuum underneath it all. You’ll want to suck up any loose debris and then wash and dry the floor.
  • Remove the vent off the back of the dryer. Using a screw driver, remove the vent clamp and slide the vent (dryer duct) off the dryer. Reach into the hole on the back of the dryer, remove any large clumps of lint and then follow with your vacuum attachment reaching as far in as you can. Metal ducts are much less of a fire risk than foil or plastic vents and, if a fire does start, are more likely to contain it.
  • Clean the inside drum. Using a rag, wipe down the inside of the dryer with a 50/50 water and vinegar mixture. Dry thoroughly. If you have an automatic drying setting, give the moisture sensor electrodes a cleaning with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol. Buildup from link or dryer sheets can affect these sensors and leading to either damp or overly dried clothing. These are usually located just inside the dryer below the door opening. Don’t forget to clean the inside of the door too!

For best fire prevention, do a deep cleaning at least annually with regular maintenance to remove any visible lint.

In case of fire, SERVPRO of Statesboro is available 24/7 to come in and make it "Like it never even happened."

Fireworks Safety for the 4th of July

6/30/2016 (Permalink)

The number of Americans planning to use backyard fireworks this Fourth of July is expected to hit an all-time high. In preparation for holiday celebrations, The National Council on Fireworks Safety (NCFS) encourages consumers to review all safety tips before purchasing and using fireworks.

"Every year, safety is our first priority as families begin to plan their Fourth of July festivities. While fireworks are the most iconic and festive way to celebrate our country’s independence, there can be dangers if fireworks are used improperly,” said Nancy Blogin, President of the National Council on Fireworks Safety. “Consumers should purchase fireworks from a reputable company or fireworks stand, check local and state laws for fireworks use in your city, and check all instructions on fireworks packaging before use.”

The fireworks industry has made great progress in improving firework quality and reducing injuries; however, there is still work to be done as the vast majority of fireworks-related injuries in the U.S. each year result from the misuse of fireworks.

We have seen an increase in injuries among youth that have used fireworks in videos unsafely to impress their friends or to get a laugh.  We want parents to help us put a stop to using fireworks in viral videos by encouraging safety and by explaining that the improper use of fireworks can produce serious injuries or even death. 

“We have a collective responsibility as a community to put a stop to improper fireworks usage. If you see something that is unsafe, say something or report it to your local fire or police department,” said Blogin.

The NCFS’s mission is to educate the public on the safe use of fireworks and encourages consumers to follow the following safety tips before engaging in fireworks celebrations this Fourth of July:

1.      Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.

2.      Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.

3.      A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children.

4.      Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.

5.      Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.

6.      Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.

7.      Do not hold a fireworks item in your hand.

8.      Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.

9.      Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water before you discard it.

10.  After purchasing fireworks, always store them in a cool, dry place.

11.  When using fireworks always have a connected hose, bucket of water, or other water source nearby.

12.  Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.

13.  Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.

14.  Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trashcan away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.

15.  Ensure all pets and animals are away from fireworks noise.

16.  With the rise in stress-related disorders affecting American service men and women, pay special consideration to individuals who may be sensitive to loud noises in proximity to your fireworks show.

If you have any questions regarding how to properly use fireworks we encourage you to consult your local dealer.

 About The National Council on Fireworks SafetyThe National Council on Fireworks Safety is a nonprofit 501(c) organization dedicated to educating the public about the safe and responsible enjoyment of consumer fireworks. For more information, visit http://www.fireworkssafety.org.