Recent Fire Damage Posts

Caughlin Ranch Fire: A Personal Look Back

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

A few years ago, Caughlin Ranch caught fire in Reno, Nevada. Some lauded it as the "worst fire in Reno history". The day is November 18, 2011. It is a cold, windy day, but the wind only worsened the already burning issue at Caughlin Ranch. 9,500 people are being evacuated from the area. Smoke rises from the side of a charred mountain. Embers smolder in the underbrush. Sirens fill the air, and joining the red fire trucks is a brigade of bright green vehicles, heading in after them. One career and technical school--called the Academy of Arts, Careers, and Technology (AACT), had to suspend classes for the day, due to a significant amount of their students from the zoned school in the Caughlin Ranch area being unable to attend. An administrative staff member records a message for each student's household, and sends it out. Phones ring. Andrea picks up and hears the news; that classes have been cancelled, that Monday will be an 'A' day, and the schools thoughts were with the victims of the fire. She recalls: "Yeah, it was a day off, sure, but I was afraid for my friends the entire time," Andrea says, "but knowing that six years later, I'd be working with the people who helped get my friends' homes back together is beyond wild to me." Andrea, who goes by Andi now, works as SERVPRO's Marketing Support Coordinator. She wrote this article, and was delighted to share her story.

What Happens in a Wildfire Evacuation

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

Wildfire evacuations sound stressful and frightening. Knowing where to go an what to bring is a battle all on its own-- not to mention what you are meant to be doing during one. SERVPRO is committed to making sure that the people we serve are armed with as much knowledge as possible so that they can safely return to their lives after the wildfire "Like it never even happened." The first thing that will happen is fire officials will recommend residents leave the area as soon as possible to avoid being caught in smoke or fire, and to lessen the danger on the road for emergency vehicles. This is a "voluntary evacuation order". If you don't leave right then, and the fire worsens, other emergency services like the police may order you and any of your household to leave the area, for your safety. This would be a "mandatory evacuation order". Either way, once you are clear of the area, there will be a designated assembly area where transportation to a safer location will be available. According to Readyforwildfire.org, there are three steps for when you return home that you should be aware of: WHEN YOU RETURN HOME: Be alert for downed power lines and other hazards. Check propane tanks, regulators, and lines before turning gas on. Check your residence carefully for hidden embers or smoldering fires. Do you have a wildfire story you want to tell? What were your experiences with evacuations? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook!

Holiday Cooking Gone Wrong

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Holiday Cooking Gone Wrong Holiday cooking can catch fire, cause smoke damage, and endanger a safe and fun holiday.

The holidays are peak timing for house fires and other accidents related to cooking. 

A big reason for it is the fact that many people do not follow safety directions for their new cooking appliances (turkey fryers, for example) and they might not have the appropriate fire extinguisher for the job, either. 

Here are some safety tips from the United States Fire Administration about home and cooking fires: 

  • Turn pot handles towards the back of the stove to avoid bumping into them and spilling potentially flammable grease or alcohol onto the burners.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking and frying. Turning your back on the stove might give fire enough time to spread or become out of control.
  • In the case of an oven fire, provided that it is safe to do so, turn off the oven and keep the door closed until it is cooled off. 

After all of that, contact SERVPRO to mitigate the damage done by holiday cooking gone wrong. We are always here to help. 

For more information and to keep up with our tips, follow SERVPRO on Twitter: @SERVPRO9944

And, stay in the loop on Facebook with us, too: SERVPRO9944

Smoke, Soot, and My Home

10/30/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke, Soot, and My Home Smoke and soot can cause different types of damage; there are different kinds of fires, which makes for difficult cleaning. Luckily, you have SERVPRO!
Smoke, Soot, and Your 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.  

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

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

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

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

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

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

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

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

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

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call Us Today – 775-287-7040

For more information and to keep up with our tips, follow SERVPRO on Twitter: @SERVPRO10274

And, stay in the loop on Facebook with us, too: SERVPRO10274

What To Do During A Fire

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

What to Do During a Fire

Typically, when it comes to fires, an 'ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure'. Find out how to prevent fires and be prepared for them by clicking through our blogs!

Unfortunately, not every fire is predictable. Fires can start because of lightning during storms, electrical surges, neighbors, or even just the dryness of the environment (something we have in abundance here in Nevada, especially during the winter!).

During a fire, many people panic. Not only does panicking make it much harder to organize yourself and others in an emergency, it also speeds up breathing--a potentially lethal mistake in a house or apartment fire. Smoke inhalation has “a 2-to-1 ratio of smoke inhalation to burns for fire deaths overall, while fire incident reports show an 8-to-1 ratio for home fire deaths,” according to the National Fire Protection Association. Remember the Triple S:  Keep your breathing Shallow, Slow, and Steady!

According to Ready.gov, what you should do if you find yourself in a fire is:

  • Crawl low under any smoke to your exit - heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling.
  • Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, or if there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.

  • If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
  • If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call 9-1-1 or the fire department. Tell the emergency operator where the person is located.
  • If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters right away.

  • If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out.  Call 9-1-1 or your fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
  • If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll – stop immediately, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands.  Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out.  If you or someone else cannot stop, drop, and roll, smother the flames with a blanket or towel.  Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for 3 to 5 minutes.  Cover with a clean, dry cloth.  Get medical help right away by calling 9-1-1 or the fire department.

Once everyone is safe, and the damage is done, call SERVPRO to restore your belongings and handle smoke left in clothing and furnishings. Fires can be devastating, so let SERVPRO make it "Like it never even happened." 

For more information and to keep up with our tips, follow SERVPRO on Twitter: @SERVPRO10274

And, stay in the loop on Facebook with us, too: SERVPRO10274

Preventing Fires: Your Mission

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Preventing Fires: Your Mission Prevent fire from destroying your home!
Preventing Fires: Your Mission

You may have never had a fire before--and we certainly hope it stays that way!--but if you’re just putting your life back together after a fire loss, and want to make sure it never happens again, you have a mission to complete below:

Practice Your Escape Plan:

  • Make sure there are two exits from each room in case of emergency.
    • GET CREATIVE: A secondary route might be a window onto a neighboring roof or a collapsible ladder for escape from upper story windows. Craftiness saves lives.
  • Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be properly opened.
  • Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
  • Teach children not to hide from firefighters.

Alarms:

If you are in a high-risk area for fire damage, you might be eligible for a free smoke alarm: the Red Cross is aiming to reduce 25% of deaths caused by fires by the year 2020. They may be able to install a free smoke alarm in your residence! Knowing that there IS a fire is the first step to being safe from burns and smoke inhalation.

  • Install both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms, OR dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.
  • Test batteries monthly.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Replace the entire smoke alarm unit every 8-10 years or according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking – it can be a deadly mistake.
  • There are also visual alarms for the hearing-impaired, and audible instruction alarms that will give directions aloud.

For their longer list of fire tips, visit Ready.gov.

SERVPRO will gladly handle the aftermath of a home or apartment fire--we know first hand how devastating the effects can be, that’s why we got into the restoration business. We want to see your property clean, undamaged, and smoke-free. If it isn’t currently looking like that’s the case, give us a call!

For more information and to keep up with our tips, follow SERVPRO on Twitter: @SERVPRO10274

And, stay in the loop on Facebook with us, too: SERVPRO10274