Recent Fire Damage Posts

How to Keep Your Dryer Safe and Clean

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

Hand cleaning accumulated clothing lint from trap in clothes dryer. You need to clean the lint trap after every use to prevent a dryer fire

How to Keep Your Dryer Safe and Clean

If you have a dryer, you probably already know that you have to regularly clean the lint trap and the vent. What you might not know is why. If you don't keep them clean, you might wind up with a lint fire. Fortunately, routine maintenance can prevent this from happening.

The Lint Trap
You need to clean the lint trap after every use to prevent a dryer fire. You also need to know the warning signs that something is wrong with your dryer. They are:

  • Your clothes take too long to dry
  • Your clothes are very hot coming out
  • The outside of the dryer heats up unreasonably
  • You smell a burnt smell
  • The vent does not push air out properly

All of these are serious warning signs that there is something very wrong, and you should check for lint build-up on the screen.

The Dryer Housing and Space
The dryer housing and space where the dryer sits need to be clean as well. Cleaning behind, around and under your dryer is also very important. Lint can build up in these areas, causing a lint fire. It is better to clean the dryer than risk a fire and fire cleanup.
In the event of a fire, you will need to hire a professional cleaning company in Doral, FL. A fire started by lint spreads quickly and burns hot. It is better to prevent the fire by cleaning up the lint before there is a problem.

Clean the Dryer Vent
Several times per year, you will need to snake out the dryer vent. Lint can easily get trapped inside, and a clogged dryer vent can easily cause a fire. You can do this by either reaching into the vent if your vent is short or hiring a company to come out and clean it for you.
A lint fire is very dangerous but easily preventable with routine cleaning and maintenance. You should clean lint out often and check your vents several times a year to keep a fire from starting.

How Can Insurance Help After a Business Fire?

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

Hot key for business insurance It is so important to have business insurance that protects you in the event of a fire.

Importance Of Having Business Insurance

A fire at your business can be devastating. Not only is your inventory, office, and equipment destroyed, it takes a while to recover after a business fire. You have to hire a fire cleaning company at the very least and, at most, rebuild your location, which takes time. You may not be able to reopen right away, which costs money. This is why it is so important to have business insurance that protects you in the event of a fire.

It Covers Costs While You Rebuild
Your insurance policy should have business interruption insurance. Check with your carrier but most business interruption insurance covers:

  • Lost wages
  • Lost income
  • Rent or lease payments while your business is not operating
  • Utility and other payments
  • Vendor payments

This insurance is not only for fires. It can cover storm damage, pandemics, or any other disaster that interrupts your regular business operation. Not all policies have this insurance. If yours does not, be sure to add it.

It Covers Cleanup
Cleaning up after a business fire is extremely difficult. Not only does the fire damage your building and equipment, but firefighters also use water to put out the fire and have to open doors, walls, and sometimes break windows to help fight the fire. The damage, even with a small fire, could be extreme. Fortunately, fire insurance usually covers the cost of a fire restoration company in West Miami, FL.

It Covers Inventory and Equipment
Most business fire insurance also covers your inventory and equipment. It gives you money to replace the inventory and equipment lost in the fire and the stuff that was lost when the fire department put out the fire. When you go to begin replacing things, check with your insurance agent to make sure that they are covered.
Check your policy to make sure that you have business interruption, cleanup, and fire insurance. These three types can make a business fire a lot less devastating.

3 Things You Must Have To Protect Your Family From a House Fire

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

Fire escape plan You should always have a fire escape plan

A Successful Fire Escape Is Your First Priority

Fires can start unpredictably and spread quickly. Often, fires are the result of neglected appliances or outdoor conditions that are unknown to the occupants of a building. This is why you and your family should always have a fire escape plan and appropriate safety devices.

1. A Detailed Escape Plan
Because a home fire can create smoke and heat that removes potential avenues of escape for inhabitants, it is essential that you discuss primary and alternative exits with every member of your family. If there are infants, older adults or small children in your family, assign the responsibility of ensuring their safety to an able-bodied person and one additional backup person. You should have your family practice an escape plan with regular fire drills, which will give you a chance to modify elements of the plan that are not working.

2. Working Smoke Detectors
Perhaps the most critical element of home fire preparation is the ability to detect a fire while it is in its early stages. Every room in your house should have a working smoke detector. Because detectors occasionally run out of batteries or fail outright, it is important that you check them on a rigid schedule.

3. Ladders and Other Escape Devices
While most modern homes are designed with fire escape in mind, buildings with multiple stories can be more difficult to exit than others. During a fire, descending a staircase is not always a viable means of escape. Ladders and ramps allow occupants of upper floors to escape without endangering themselves.
If you have had a fire in West Miami, FL, a successful fire escape is your first priority. You will, however, want to restore your property to the best of your ability once all of the smoke has cleared. As soon as possible, you should contact a knowledgeable fire restoration professional who can bring your home back to working order.

Why Your Business Can't Forgo Fire Insurance

7/3/2020 (Permalink)

Businessman present insurance concept with house on fire Insurance that includes fire coverage is one of the best preventive measures you can take

Why Your Business Can't Forgo Fire Insurance

If you own or lease a building for business purposes in Doral, FL, you need commercial property insurance that includes fire insurance coverage. Even the best fire evacuation plans do not make businesses immune from the following fire causes:

  • Human error
  • Vandalism
  • Faulty electrical equipment
  • Unattended heating equipment

Cleaning and rebuilding after a fire can permanently shut down a business that doesn't have the right insurance.

Cleaning
When a fire occurs, it is vital to prevent it from spreading. Firefighters use volumes of water and chemicals to extinguish flames. This water causes floods and soaks carpets and upholstery, making them susceptible to mold. Burning objects create soot that can contaminate air, furnishings, and walls.
It is often necessary to consult with a fire restoration company that can handle water, soot, and smoke cleanup. A fire insurance policy can cover the cost of this extensive work so that you are not liable to pay for it out of pocket.

Rebuilding
After a fire, it may take a long time before you and your employees can return to your business's physical space. If any of your property is salvageable, you can rely on insurance to pay for temporary accommodations during the cleanup. Depending on the extent of the damage, it may never be possible to return, and you may need financial assistance to relocate permanently.
For most businesses that have gone through a fire, cash flow can become a problem. A fire insurance policy may cover your expenses during income interruptions, allowing you to continue paying incoming bills and salaries. Otherwise, without income, your business may not survive.
Insurance that includes fire coverage is one of the best preventive measures you can take to ensure your business's future. Many companies feel that their insurance premiums are high. Still, given how costly fire restoration and recovery can be, companies in Doral, FL, can't afford to forego this necessity.

Three Factors To Consider When Purchasing a Smart Smoke Alarm

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

smoke detector with white smoke and red warning light Smoke detectors are an invaluable fire safety tool

Consider These Three Factors When Making Your Decision

Most people have probably been using the same sort of smoke alarm that has been used to protect homes for decades. However, the advent of smart home technology has made the smart detector a new option for technologically savvy homeowners. Is a smart smoke detector a smart addition to your home? Consider these three factors when making your decision.

1. No Guarantee of Better Smoke Detection
Most smart detectors use the same smoke sensing technology as regular detectors. Even the smart detectors that claim to utilize an advanced form of smoke detecting technology are not substantially better at detecting smoke than high tech versions of regular detectors.

2. Remote Notifications Can Be Helpful
One useful thing a smart smoke alarm can do that a regular alarm can not is alert you when an alarm goes off when you are not at home. Smart detectors accomplish this by sending an alert to your cell phone. This can be a very useful feature if you are concerned about family members or pets that may be in your home while you are gone, or need to monitor your home while you are away on business or vacation.

3. Convenience Features
Most smart detectors come with a set of features that can make life easier or make your alarm more customizable. Many models allow you to silence a false alarm remotely or wirelessly interconnect the alarms so that if one goes off, they all go off. Additionally, you may be able to test your smart device from your phone, rather than getting up on a ladder to push a button on the detector.
In most cases, a smart smoke alarm will not be significantly better at detecting smoke than a regular alarm; however, some homeowners may find the remote notifications and convenience features worth the price. Smoke detectors are an invaluable fire safety tool, but if a fire does occur, fire damage cleanup professionals are ready to assist you in Miami, FL.

Steps To Making a Fire Escape Plan

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

Mailbox Designating a meeting place can be the mailbox of your neighbor

In the event of a fire in your Miami, FL, home, every second is precious. To avoid serious injury or death, you and your family members need to exit as quickly as possible. You don't expect this situation to ever happen to you, but you need to be prepared just in case. You can't afford to panic or be flustered when it's time to get out. You can have peace of mind if you and your family will create a fire escape plan today.

Do a Walk-Through

You may think you know the layout and features of your home perfectly, but would you know how and from where to escape in the of a home fire? You need to become familiar with the following:

  • Where your smoke alarms are and how to change the batteries
  • Where the nearest exit it to every room in the house
  • Any obstacles that may be in the way of getting out
  • How to open windows and how to safely escape that way

Designate a Meeting Place

Knowing where everyone will gather is an essential part of fire preparation. Choose a spot that everyone knows, but make sure it is far enough away from your home that you will all be safe. This might be at a park around the corner, across the street in front of the neighbor's house, in the adjacent cul-de-sac.

Assign Roles

Everyone in the family should have a job in a fire escape plan. Choose someone to be in charge of helping younger children out of the house. Pick a family member to retrieve pets. Someone else should take care of calling 911. Another person should run through the house to make sure everybody is accounted for.

Practice

You can rely on firefighters to put out the blaze and professional fire remediation teams to clean up. Still, you must do your part. Practice escaping from your home at least once a year.
Once you've got your fire escape plan down, you can feel much better about dealing with this emergency. Never neglect this critical responsibility.

The Importance of Having a Fire Plan

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

Emergency exit and fire Create a fire plan for your home in Doral,FL

The Importance of Having a Fire Plan

Ideally, your home in Doral, FL, will never catch fire. It's crucial to have a fire escape plan in place, however, just in case it does. Everyone who lives with you needs to know how to recognize that there's a fire, how to get out and where to go once they are out of the house. There are several key points your plan needs to include.

Smoke Alarms

When it comes to fire safety, one smoke alarm won't do. Every home needs an alarm in various locations around the house:

  • One on each level
  • One in every sleeping area
  • One outside every sleeping area (i.e., in the hallway)

You also need to make sure that each smoke detector is kept in good working order. Get children involved when you test them so that they know what the alarm sounds like. Replace the batteries every six months or as needed.

Escape Routes

The crux of your emergency escape plan is a map of the different potential escape routes. The American Red Cross recommends that you map at least two ways to get out of every room. Have drills where family members get to practice escaping from various rooms. The more often you practice, the better chance you have of getting to safety in the event of a fire.

Meetup Location

Once family members escape from the burning house, they need to know where to go from there. Establish a meeting place as part of your fire escape plan. Discuss how you will contact one another if you get separated or if the planned location is compromised itself. Once you are safe, you can call 911, your insurance company, and fire restoration experts.
It's important that everyone in your home understands the basics of fire safety. While you hope you never have to use it, having a fire escape plan can greatly increase the chances that your family stays safe during a house fire.

Reduce the Risk of Kitchen Fires With Microwave Maintenance

11/26/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning a microwave Many manufacturers recommend cleaning out the grease filter every month.

For the best efficiency, any appliance requires regular maintenance and general upkeep, including your microwave. Although there are many appliances that don't pose regular fire risks, any misuse, damages, and malfunctions can lead to serious trouble in the kitchen:


Even a tiny bit of metal in this oven can lead to sparking and fire.

A lot of grease and other food buildup on the inside of the appliance can lead to smoke smell and flames.

Damaged appliances may begin to smoke or flame up at the back where the fire isn't spotted until it has spread to cabinets and countertops.


Avoid these risks and many other inconveniences by consistently cleaning and maintaining the appliance.

Replace Filters and Lightbulbs

There are some parts of microwave ovens that should be replaced, such as charcoal filters. These filters are usually installed on an over-the-range hood that circulates air and should be replaced every six months. The interior light and a bulb over the countertop may need to be replaced once in a while. These quick tasks shouldn't take very long.

Clean Grease Filters and Grills

It is recommended to clean out the grease filter every month, but you may need to do so more often if you use the oven heavily or if you notice an unpleasant smoke smell. This step can be accomplished by soaking the filter in mild detergent and hot water. Scrub the filter lightly to get rid of debris. Don't forget to clean out the vent grill.

Wipe Out the Inside

Of course, the appliance should be cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis. When food particles coat the inside cavity, the oven loses efficiency and may begin to smell bad. You can wipe out the oven each time you use it or use a bit of vinegar water to steam-clean the oven. Simply heat a bowl of vinegar and water inside the oven and then wipe away the food.

With the right care, your microwave may last for several years. If your Doral, FL kitchen has been affected by an oven fire or a lingering smoke smell, contact fire damage and remediation professionals to help you recover.

The Importance of Having a Fire Escape Plan

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

escape plan paper. Make sure to have fire detectors in every room of your property.

It's important to be prepared in case for emergency. This is especially true regarding emergencies that can cause serious injury or death. House fires occur most often during the dinner hours, but they can happen anytime. Whether it's due to a malfunctioning kitchen appliance or a candle that was left unattended, fires can spread rapidly. For this reason, it's important to have a fire escape plan that everyone in the family is aware of.


Different Situations
Because a home fire can happen at any time day or night, you should have plans for different situations. This may include a plan for when the family is:

Together in a main living area
Doing different activities throughout the house
Sleeping in the middle of the night

Not only do you need to make a plan, you also need to rehearse so everyone is adequately prepared.
Smoke Alarms
In addition to fire preparation, make sure you have enough smoke detectors, and that they are functioning. You should have one in every bedroom, outside every sleeping area and on every level of your home. Test them monthly, and promptly replace the batteries if needed. Most smoke detectors should be replaced every ten years.
Making a Plan
When you make a fire escape plan, you should have at least two escape paths, as one may be inaccessible during a house fire. Write out your plan, and practice it regularly. Have some drills when your children are not expecting it, so you can see how they might respond when they are caught off guard. Have a safe meeting spot outside that everyone can meet up at. Make sure it isn't too close to the house. Keep the pathways to the exits of your home clear to ensure an easy escape route for everyone.


Having a fire escape plan is important for keeping your family safe in case of a fire emergency. If you are unfortunate enough to experience a home fire, let your fire restoration company help you with cleaning up the damage.

The Effects of Lightning Strikes on Homes

10/13/2019 (Permalink)

Extremely detailed lightning bolt behind electric utility pole Lightning strike in Doral, FL area

There are many causes of home fires, both natural and man-made. A lightning fire is one of the most destructive and deadly you could encounter in Doral,FL. As a homeowner, it’s helpful to be aware of how these occur, what you can do to prevent them and what the effects can be on the structure and your own safety.

How and When They Occur

Unlike other types of fires that could start in your home, it is difficult, if not impossible, to predict when a lightning strike will hit a structure. However, there are certain conditions and situations where there is a greater likelihood for a house fire due to this weather phenomenon:

  • Strikes occur frequently during the summer months
  • Strikes occur mostly in the late afternoon or evening
  • Strikes vary depending on regions
  • Weather patterns affect where and when strikes occur

Damage

A lightning fire can often be more devastating than other types of fires. In many cases, these blazes result in fatalities and widespread damage. Fires from strikes can result in structural losses, electrical failure and loss of other property and belongings. The results can be sudden although some of these fires may start small and gradually increase in strength.

Safety Measures

During an electrical storm, you should turn off all electronics, including televisions, stereos and phones. Do not bathe or do dishes when there is lightning nearby. You should stay away from windows but remain inside during these situations. The only time you should leave your home during such a storm would be if your house caught on fire. Otherwise, remain indoors until 30 minutes have passed since the last flash.
If lightning does hit your dwelling and cause a fire, evacuate and get to a low place outside. Call 911 and do not try to reenter the house. After crews extinguish the lightning fire, get in touch with a professional fire restoration team to clean up and rebuild your home.

How to Prevent Smoke Damage to Your Electronics

9/2/2019 (Permalink)

Soot damage inside a home from a fire loss. Smoke can travel throughout your home carrying soot and contaminants with it

After a fire in your Doral, Florida home there will probably be a lot of obvious damage to take care of. However, there can also be some problems that you have not considered. When you are performing fire cleanup, it is important to include your electronic items, even if they were not directly affected by the flames. Smoke can become trapped inside of appliances and gadgets. Use the following advice to prevent permanent damage to these objects.
1. Wipe Down Surfaces 
During a fire, smoke can cover a much wider area than the flames. It can become trapped inside porous materials and create a layer of soot on hard surfaces. The first thing that you should do to slow the process of smoke damage to your electronics is to remove residue from the exterior of affected items. To do this, use a cloth to carefully wipe the surfaces clean.
2. Do Not Turn Them On
Most electronics have several areas that can allow smoke to enter the inside. Because of this, you should avoid turning them on until they have been examined and fire cleanup has been finished. Doing so will create heat inside the object that causes the smoke and soot to spread over a larger area. The acidic components in the soot can corrode the machine and cause it to stop working.
3. Have Them Professionally Cleaned
If you believe that your electronics have been damaged by smoke, take them to a professional. They will have the necessary tools and knowledge to safely restore the items. If you attempt to do this on your own, you risk breaking the object and losing important data and files.
Call a cleanup and restoration service if you have had a fire in your home. They will be able to perform fire cleanup on both your house and any items that have been damaged. Avoid using affected items until you are sure it is safe to do so.

Fire Damage Restoration Tips

5/14/2019 (Permalink)

House on Fire

Fire is extremely dangerous even if the after effects are not immediately visible. There are a few things that need to be known before entering the home after you have had a fire.

Always consult a fire marshal and ensure that it is safe to re-enter the home after fire damage. Even though you may want to inspect and see what survived the fire, you need to be safe for obvious reasons. Fire can cause the home to be extremely unstable and dangerous.

Immediately following the fire, call a Fire Damage and Cleaning Restoration Company to help assess the damage in the property and begin the clean-up process.  A fire damage restoration professional can save a lot of money, time and keep your family safe when dealing with fire damage, but here are some things you can do before help arrives:

  • Open all windows and doors to ventilate and help get the smoke out as much as possible.
  • Cover any clean, unaffected pieces of furniture up with plastic to make sure they are not damaged in the clean-up process.
  • Do not try to clean anything yourself. Soot and smoke that has set into the furniture and carpet can be dangerous.
  • Don’t plug in any electronics. Call an electrician to inspect for any electrical damage from the fire.
  • Throw out any open of possibly exposed foods that make have been contaminated from the fire.

Damage caused by a fire is devastating for your family and your home. It’s a stressful and confusing time, so you’ll need a caring expert to guide you through this crisis. Our professionals will always treat you with respect and empathy, and we’ll always treat your home and belongings with great care.

SERVPRO of Doral has the water and fire damage training and expertise to help you through this tough time. Once the fire department leaves, your Miami Lakes home may suffer from water damage caused by firefighting efforts. We have the specialized fire and water damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment to handle fire and water damage and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition.