Recent Fire Damage Posts

Grill safely this spring!

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

Fires can be caused by a multitude of things. Some of those being incidents from cooking or grilling. As we enter the warmer months and you pull the grill out of it's winter hiding place, remember to check it over and keep in mind that a few simple steps can help prevent fire damage. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the leading cause of grill fires is caused by using an unclean grill (25%). As restoration professionals who have seen this type of damage first hand, SERVPRO would like to remind you to clean your grill as you are preparing to use it for the first time this spring. Remembering to clean your grill could be the difference between a great spring meal or having to call the fire department. We at SERVPRO would also like to remind you that you should always use your grill in an open area out and away from structures as over a quarter of grill fires resulting in structural damage were used on a balcony or porch.

If you do have an incident while grilling, be sure to keep a safe distance from your grill and call the fire department or 911 if necessary. 

House Fire, Now What?

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

You had a house fire, Now what?

The first thing you need to think about following a house fire is the safety of yourself and your family members. It is important not to enter a fire damaged structure until the fire department has deemed that it is structurally sound. Going back into your home after a fire can be overwhelming and emotional while you take in all of the damage that has occurred. when you are able to re-enter your home, it is important to not disturb items, as this can lead to secondary damage. When you are not sure where to start, call your local SERVPRO and their team of professionals can help you throughout the restoration process. SERVPRO professionals are available 24/7/365 for emergency services.

Time is of the essence after having a fire, the sooner the damage is addressed, the more likely it is that your property and personal belongings can be restored instead of having to be disposed of and/or replaced. Our team of SERVPRO professsionals can help with emergency board up services, content inventory, cleaning and restoration using cutting edge cleaning techniques and products, perform pack out/move out in the event your belongings need to be stored during the restoration process, electronic cleaning, document and photo restoration, as well as offering content inventory services to assist in the insurance claim process. We will work closely with you and your insurance professionals every step of the way. If the unthinkable happens, let our SERVPRO heroes make it "Like it never even happened."

Space Heaters are a Leading Cause of House Fires

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Space heaters are an easy way to get extra heat in our homes when it is cold outside. But it turns out, many people are using them wrong and causing a huge fire risk in their homes. If space heaters are used correctly, they can be nice to have in the cold months. Space heaters use a lot of power so when plugging them in it is safest to plug them directly into the wall. Depending on the extension cord it might not be able to handle the amount of electricity needed. It is also important to keep any flammable objects at least 3 feet from the space heater. SERVPRO of Mason City recommends checking fire detectors often and have a fire extinguisher in an easy to get place. In case of emergency SERVPRO of Mason City, Austin, and Albert Lea is ready to help 24/7.

Reasons To Keep Bedroom Doors Closed

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

The thought of a fire for a homeowner can cause many emotions. Closing doors is one habit that can help prevent the spread of fire damage. Closing doors prevents the fire from getting more oxygen and room to spread at a faster rate. Smoke and soot travel throughout the house and breathing in the smoke inhalation is very dangerous. Smoke contains many toxic products including carbon monoxide. It is important to close your bedroom door at night while you sleep. The alarms will go off and wake you up, giving you time to get out without the flames, toxic smoke, and high head temperatures in your room. Make sure you check the smoke detectors in your home often and have one close to where you sleep. SERVPRO of Mason City is here to help provide services to prevent long-term problems. SERVPRO provides mitigation services for fire, smoke, and soot removal to personal  belongings and the home structure. 

What is Soot and is it Dangerous?

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

After a house fire is put out, the danger unfortunately does not stop there. Soot may spread to your entire home, this not only poses a threat to the structure, but to your health as well.

Soot is made up of tiny particles created by incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. Soot contains acids, chemicals, metals, soils, and dust. The acidic properties in the soot can cause additional damage to your home and indoor air quality if not removed immediately.

Soot can enter your body through inhalation, ingestion or through the skin and eyes. This can cause breathing issues, including asthma, bronchitis, coronary heart disease, and even cancer. To avoid the health risks of soot exposure after a home fire, make sure that all soot affected areas are properly cleaned and sanitized. SERVPRO of Mason City has specialized training and equipment to remove soot. 

Smoke Odor Removal after a Home Fire

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

The odor left from a house fire can be difficult to deal with. The process to remove smoke odor from a home is complex and it must be done efficiently to be successful. SERVPRO of Mason City has the expertise along with specialized equipment and techniques to achieve smoke odor removal. We do not recommend homeowners to tackle this task themselves. Below are some steps involved in the smoke odor removal process.

  1. Removing the source of the problem: this is the first and most important step which involves removing burnt items such as cabinets, furniture, drywall, and non-salvageable content.
  2. Cleaning the salvageable content: our professional technicians clean the salvageable items with the proper techniques and products. Some of these items may be cleaned off-site.
  3. Cleaning the air ducts: smoke, soot, and odors from fire penetrate the duct system making this an important step early in the smoke removal process to prevent the HVAC system from re-contaminating areas that have already been cleaned.
  4. Removing the smoke smell: to accomplish this step, there are a variety of techniques that can be utilized. These include:
    1. Air scrubbing – remove particulates from the air
    2. Thermal fogging – counteract odorous molecules by using fragrance modification for permanent odor neutralization
    3. Vapor modification – non-toxic aromatic compound into the air
    4. Ozone generation – oxidizer that neutralizes odorous molecules by releasing additional oxygen into the air

Following the steps above can assure the success of smoke odor removal after a home fire. SERVPRO of Mason City has the knowledge and equipment to effectively remove smoke odor and make it look (and smell) like “it never even happened”.

What to do After a Fire

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

When fire damages your structure, there are many emotions running through your mind. As the owner of a business or home, fear, stress, and uncertainty can make you feel overwhelmed by the loss that has occurred. SERVPRO is here to help ease some of those uncertainties and work to make it look like “it never even happened.”

The first 48 hours after fire damage can make the difference in restoring versus replacing. After the rescue team has come in and extinguished the fire, there are some things you, as the owner, can do until help arrives to risk any further damage. These include:

  • Limit movement in the structure to prevent soot particles from spreading.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
  • If the electricity is OFF, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open to prevent odor.

Some things you will want to avoid without contacting SERVPRO first include:

  • Cleaning any walls or painted surfaces, electrical equipment, or shampoo carpet or upholstery.
  • Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
  • Send garments to a dry cleaner; improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damages.

SERVPRO is always here to help. With high-quality products and a team of professionals, we strive to not only restore your structure, but also your peace of mind. In the event a fire occurs to your home or business, please give us a call!

Understanding Structure and Content Coverage

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

Nobody plans for an unexpected disaster but understanding your insurance coverage is very important in the event a disaster does occur. When purchasing a home or business insurance policy, there are several things that need to be considered.

One of the biggest decisions when purchasing insurance is what type of policy or policies you need to protect not only the structure of your home or business, but also the belongings inside. A structure policy covers the building, which includes things attached to the building such as flooring, counter tops, etc. A content policy covers anything you can pick up and carry out of the home or business. This can include furniture, clothing, appliances, etc. Contents are defined as any kind of personal possessions that are not permanently attached to the structure. In the event a loss occurs at your home or business, it is very important to have insurance for the structure as well as the content. This will insure you are protected for all things important to you.

Talk with your insurance agent to review your policy and be sure you’re covered. SERVPRO of Mason City is always happy to help in the time of need and to make a disaster look “Like it never even happened.”

Camp Fire Safety During Dry Season

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

Remember to always have safety precautions in mind prior to starting a camp fire!

It’s getting to be that time again, time for campfires! Sitting around a fire with friends and loved ones is one of the many joys that accompany the coming season. However, campfire accidents send thousands of people to the emergency room with burn injuries every year. To make sure you stay safe this season, please follow the safety tips below from the National Fire Protection Association.

  • Start fires at least 25 feet away from structures and anything that can burn.
  • Clear away dry leaves and sticks from the fire pit.
  • Never burn on windy days and be aware of the direction of the wind to keep your campsite and others safe.
  • Teach children and pets that fire is dangerous and not to be played around.
  • If there is not a fire ring or pit already at the campsite, use rocks to create a ring in the center of a large, cleared area.
  • Always have the fire attended; never leave a fire for even a second.
  • Keep fires small and controlled.
  • Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids on or near the fire.
  • Have a hose or bucket of water, and shovel nearby to put out the fire with dirt/sand and water.

Campfires and meant to be a fun and relaxing gathering place for friends and family. Please be aware of the safety hazards the can happen while having a campfire. In the event you were to have contents damaged by campfire smoke or fire, SERVPRO of Mason City can help tend to your restoration needs. We wish everyone a safe and fun season!

How We Track Our Customers Contents

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Mason City we stand by, “Like it never even happened.” 

We understand the stress our customers are experiencing when their personal items are damaged from a loss in their home, or business. SERVPRO of Mason City strives to ease any unsettling feelings our customers may have throughout the restoration process, by using a software called Content Tracker. This software allows the content of our customers belongs to be tracked throughout the restoration process, and gives the ability to get real time updates of status and location. Some key benefits of using Content Tracker are:

  • Promotes customer involvement with having access to belongings
  • No double entry
  • Real time pack out/pack back with barcodes for organized systems
  • Accurate inventory reports
  • Create reports that can be emailed
  • Documents authorized on site

Content Tracker helps us build our customer to  have confidence and satisfaction knowing, we can track their contents location with a simple click. SERVPRO of Mason City is happy to help our customers make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us with your fire or water restoration needs, 641-424-3382.

Summer Sunshine and Safety Tips! Fire up your grills!

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Summer is a time to enjoy the great outdoors, but it is also important to keep safety in mind. Consider the following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association to keep you and your family safe all summer long.

When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
Always build a campfire downwind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your fire. Extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite.
Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire, and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.
SERVPRO of Mason City wishes you a safe and happy summer!!

Fire with water damage

5/17/2018 (Permalink)

Source of the fire started here with the electrical.

SERVPRO Technicians Have Experience and Training to Restore Your Home after Fire Damage

There is nothing that can make you overwhelmed quite as much as witnessing the effects of a recent fire in your residence. While you might not exactly know how to rectify the damages that you see, you are fortunately not alone to have to figure it out on your own. One of the main concerns with more considerable fires is the water damage that is often present after the fire occurs.

While you might be able to identify many of the content in the  home following the blaze, there are still multiple issues that require a trained eye and specialized equipment to locate and assess. For as critical as water damage restoration is to specific house fires, having trained technicians like our SERVPRO team can help you to understand the full scope of the damage that the home faces and the best approach to restoring it.

When it comes to contending with the water damage that you could experience in your home after firefighting efforts have completed, our SERVPRO technicians must scope out the farthest reaches of this damage with the use of thermal imagery from an infrared device. Once this persistent water gets found, drying and dehumidification efforts can begin. This process typically involves the use of air movers and dehumidifiers.

One of the primary reasons that addressing this type of damage first before anything else is the hindering nature of this kind of issue to the rest of the fire restoration process. Apart from this, the warmer temperatures annually throughout this region of the country, combined with the dampness and moisture of the incident, could allow for compounding damages like mold growth to occur on top of the long list of fire damage restoration tasks to complete.

While you might not always think about water damages after a fire to your home, this is one of the first things that our experienced team of specialists looks to resolve when we get dispatched to your restoration project. Our SERVPRO of Mason City technicians are available 24/7 to help you through any disaster your home might experience at (641)424-3382

Preventative Checks

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

  • Here at SERVPRO of Mason City, we would like to give you a few tips to help you with the preventative checks to avoid a potential fire.
  • You want to check your electric heaters for ware on the cord, fraying of the cord, ensure its working properly and keep it clear of objects that could catch on fire.
  • You want to check your furnace filter. Ensure that it is clear of debris and being to dirty. With the filter being full of dirt and debris, it will not only make your furnace work harder it could potentially start a fire.
  • Another thing to be looking for is something blocking the heater vents with in your home. Blocking the vents can not only damage what ever is blocking the vent but it can cause your furnace to work harder, your enegery bill can be higher because of the blockage.