Recent Fire Damage Posts
A Home Fire Extinguisher Buying Guide
A portable fire extinguisher is all that is needed to put out the fire.
Every home should have a fire extinguisher to suppress minor fires. This buying guide identifies the main classes of fire extinguishers and explains why a multi-class or rechargeable extinguisher may be ideal for home use.
Extinguishers are classified in accordance with standard 10 set by the National Fire Protection Agency. Suppressants are selected for effectiveness and safety:
- Class A extinguishers contain monoammonium phosphate and work on ordinary combustibles
- Class B extinguishers contain monoammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate and work on flammable liquids or gases, but not cooking oils or grease
- Class C extinguishers contain monoammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate and work on appliances or powered electrical equipment
- Class D extinguishers contain sodium chloride or copper powder and work on combustible metals
- Class K extinguishers contain potassium compounds and work on cooking oils and grease
The most common home fire extinguishers are classes A, B, and C. Underwriters Laboratories assigns the number that precedes these letters and indicates the effectiveness of a fire extinguisher. A 4-A extinguisher is more effective than a 2-A extinguisher.
Multi Class Extinguishers
Some extinguishers are rated for multiple classes. Homeowners may prefer a multi-class extinguisher to promote comprehensive fire preparedness. Determine the most likely fire risks and purchase an extinguisher rated for all of these classes.
Disposable or Rechargeable
Disposable extinguishers have plastic valves and must be replaced after a single use. Rechargeable extinguishers have durable metal valves and cost more up front. Suppressant refills are more affordable than purchasing a new disposable extinguisher.
All of these factors are important to consider when purchasing home fire safety equipment for a residence in Mission Hills, KS . Homeowners may want to install a different class of fire extinguisher in the kitchen, garage, laundry room, and other areas based on the most likely fire risks. If a fire results in property damage, contact a mitigation and restoration company.
How To Teach Kids To Escape a Fire
Practice with your kids your evacuation plan
Every family needs a fire escape plan, and parents should teach kids safety measures. Be sure to schedule regular drills to make sure kids know how to escape from a home fire.
Make an Escape Plan
The most important fire safety measure is an escape plan. This plan should cover:
- Primary and secondary routes
- Kid-safe strategies
- A meeting point outside
Parents and kids should practice using all escape routes. Kids should know where to go and what to do in the event of a fire.
If a child is awoken by a fire alarm, they should know to roll over rather than sit upright. Have kids practice:
- Rolling over in bed
- Keeping their heads low and facing down toward the floor
- Putting a hand down
- Sliding out of bed onto the floor
You may want to sound a fire alarm during drills. Rolling out of bed can limit exposure to heat and smoke.
Heat and smoke rise during a fire. Crawling will keep kids in the coolest area with access to the clearest air. There are several types of kids safety fire crawls:
- Crawling on all fours
- Crawling on all fours with flat forearms
- Crawling with legs flat on the floor
These methods can help kids escape a home fire. Practice crawls during drills.
How to Check Doors
Opening a door during a fire without checking can result in burns or sudden ignition. Checking a door involves:
- Pressing a door with the back of a hand
- Leaving hot doors closed
- Cracking open cool or slightly warm doors
- Proceeding if clear and re-closing doors
These fire escape methods are useful for children and adults. Keep in mind that regular drills are necessary for all family members.
After ensuring kids safety, homeowners may be faced with severe damage to a home in Prairie Village, KS. A damage mitigation and restoration service can make it possible for a family to return home as soon as possible.
Top Reasons Your Insurance Company May Deny Your Fire Claim
Fire damage in Mission Hills, KS
A home insurance policy typically covers numerous situations, including fire damage. However, there are two home fire circumstances that are usually not covered under most policies: arson and a fire inside a vacant home.
Investigating for Arson
Deliberately setting fire to a home is a criminal act, and a desire to collect insurance money is often the motive. For this reason, insurance companies require a fire investigation as part of the claim process. This helps the insurer establish the cause of the fire and note potentially suspicious details, such as multiple points of origin.
To help further reduce the risk of insurance fraud, your insurance company may also evaluate your personal finance and insurance claim history. Examples of potentially suspicious findings that may result in a denial of a home fire claim include the following:
- A recent increase in coverage or decrease in deductible
- Extensive debt or pending bankruptcy
- Prior insurance claims and loss history
- Recently purchased, high-value items on claim list
- The value of destroyed contents is inconsistent with household income
Because of this detailed investigation, any homeowner filing a claim in Mission Hills,KS, should be prepared for a potentially lengthy claim process.
A Vacant Home Fire
Like arson, a vacant home fire is also not typically covered under most insurance policies. A home is considered vacant if it is uninhabited for 30 or more consecutive days. If your insurance company can verify this circumstance, it may deny your claim, forcing you to fund cleanup and restoration costs out-of-pocket. To protect your financial interests, you should consider purchasing vacant home insurance or add an endorsement to your existing policy for any vacation homes or rental property you own.
Protecting Financial Interests
Your home insurance policy can be a strong financial safety net in the event of a home fire. However, because arson and insurance fraud are serious problems, insurance companies must thoroughly investigate fire claims to protect their financial interests. To further safeguard your financial security, you should update your policy to ensure vacation and rental properties are adequately protected.
Top Strategies for Creating an Effective Office Fire Escape Plan
Fires are frightening, destructive and unpredictable disasters that no business in Kansas City, KS wants to battle. While you can’t guarantee that your staff will never have to worry about a fire, the best way to protect your employees and ensure their safety is to prepare and implement a fire safety plan. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires most businesses to have a fire escape plan in place.
Communicating Your Plan
To be effective, your employees must be aware of your emergency escape plan and the proper procedures for executing it. All new employees should receive evacuation training as part of their orientation process. Your staff may also benefit from completing routine evacuation drills to remind everyone of the proper procedures and ensure evacuations can be completed both quickly and orderly.
Reporting a Fire
Your business should have a carefully crafted communication system for alerting building inhabitants of the fire as well as reporting the fire to authorities. Existing fire alarms need to be distinctive and easily recognizable, so they can be quickly located and activated. You may also choose to have an auxiliary power source for your alarm system in case of disrupted power.
Designating Escape Routes
Every fire escape plan should include primary and secondary escape routes and exits. Appropriate signage is essential and should include the following:
• Visible floorplans or route maps that clearly illustrate the location of all available exits
• Well-marked exits that are clear of debris
• Visual reminders that employees should avoid using an elevator in the event of a fire
Regrouping Outside of the Building
To ensure everyone is safe, you need to establish a procedure for accounting for personnel. Designating specific meet-up locations outside and away from the building should be a key aspect of this plan.
Protecting Your Assets
A well-developed fire escape plan can help minimize chaos and confusion should your business ever face a fire. As part of your plan, you may also want to designate a secure place to store duplicates or originals of important documents, such as accounting records, legal paperwork and employee files, that cannot be easily salvaged or restored during the cleanup and restoration process. Visit http://www.SERVPROkcmidtown.com for more information on fire damage.
Deodorization After a KC Fire
Recovering from a recent fire, regardless of its size, can be a complicated process. Contact us at SERVPRO of Kansas City / Midtown to walk you through the entire restoration process and help to bring these damages back to their pre loss conditions.
Call us anytime at 816.895.8890.
Since formidable smells (like those left behind after a fire) are challenging to live with, be sure to speak with our technicians assigned to your residence about deodorizing the area as soon as possible. Fogging can happen alongside our cleaning and restoration efforts, which makes the entire process more streamlined and efficient.
Though this chemical has no scent, it reacts on a molecular level with the foul-smelling odor molecules lingering in the air after the fire gets extinguished. This new chemical compound is entirely neutral, leaving behind no smell at all. The process is a far cry from traditional deodorizing techniques, which merely overpower the harsh smell with an overbearing new scent for the damaged areas. Fogging leaves the room smelling like nothing has ever happened, even if you are still in the process of restoration efforts for the damages.
Precautions to Take While Grilling
- Stay alert when grilling. Avoid grilling when you are tired or have consumed too much alcohol.
- Do Not leave your grill unattended.
- Keep the grill in a place that is free from flammable items and away from porch rails, and low lying branches.
- Keep children and pets as far away from the grill as possible
- Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
NOTE: A light soap and water solution applied to the hose is a great way to check for leaks. You can often smell a propane leak, but propane will also release bubbles when the soap and water solution is applied. If you detect a leak, turn the gas tank and grill off. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
- Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before igniting.
- If you smell gas while cooking, immediately move away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
- If the flames go out for any reason, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it.
- Keep your grill clean by regularly removing grease or fat buildup from the grates and trays below.
Charcoal grill safety tips to consider:
- If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquid to the flames.
- Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
- Electric charcoal starters do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
- When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container with a lid.
5 Steps for Extinguishing a Grease Fire
Have a safe grilling season.
No one plans to have a grease fire in the kitchen, but when oils from cooking build up, fire is more likely to occur. What you can plan is how to put out the fire once it has started. It is also important to know your limits and when to involve emergency services. If a fire breaks out on the stove in your home in KC, MO, here are some steps to help minimize the damage.
1. Contain the Flames.
A metal lid or cookie sheet is a great tool for suffocating a fire. The lid can be especially helpful, as it is more likely to be able to cut off more of the oxygen feeding the fire.
2. Turn off Heat.
The faster you can get the burner cool, the better. If you can safely get to the knob on the stove to turn it off, you should do so.
3. Smother the Fire.
If the fire is small, use baking soda or salt to put out the flames. Never douse a grease fire with water; it will only antagonize it!
4. Recognize Limits.
If the fire is still going strong after the first three steps, call emergency services as you are leaving the house. Don't try to fight a fire that is too big on your own, and don't stay in the house with the fire. Get to safety and call in the experts.
5. Repair Damage.
No matter how small the fire is, it likely left some damage behind. Fire restoration specialists can assess the damage and restore your kitchen and any affected surrounding area to be like new again. Let them take the lead on the fire cleanup.
A grease fire may start small, but it can become big in a hurry. If you are not able to extinguish it immediately, it is best to call professional firefighters to do the job.
Grilling Safety Tips
Grill Safety to consider when breaking out your inner backyard culinary skills.
June and July are peak months for summer grilling fires in Kansas City. The Memorial Day weekend opened up grilling season so if you haven't already, it’s time to dust off the grills and let the inner backyard culinary skills to work. As exciting as it is to break out the grill for the official start of the summer season right, we have to always consider the safety that needs to be taken when preparing to light up the grill.
NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) says that the U.S. fire department responded to an average of 8,900 home fire that involved the use of grills, hibachis, or barbecues per year. These 8,900 fires caused annual averages of 10 civilian deaths, 160 injuries, and $118 million in direct property damage. Almost all the losses resulted from structure fires. The leading causes of grill fires were a failure to properly cleaning of the grill, placement of the grill because it was placed to close to a structure and leaving the grill unattended. Five out of six (83%) of grills involved in home fires were fueled by gas while 13% used other sources of fuel.
The Steps You Should Follow After Fire Damage
Few things are more complicated than having to deal with fire damage in the home. Sometimes, the steps that you as the homeowner take after the fire damage determine the speed at which the home will be restored to the state it was in before the fire damage happened. Below are is a guideline outlining the steps you ought to take after an electrical fire or another type of fire breaks out in your home.
The very first thing you need to do is ensure that all the people who were in the building have gotten out. In case there is someone still trapped in the building because of soot damage or smoke damage, you should call in emergency services such as the fire truck, fire sprinkler systems, fire hoses, and firefighters to help rescue them and put out the fire. Do not try to get back into the house once you are out where it is safe.
Calling the insurance company
When the fire has been put out by the fire sprinkler systems, and the fire trucks have left, the most challenging part of the fire restoration process starts. As a homeowner, this is the point at which you call the insurer and inform them of the accident. Making the call to your insurer gives you the peace of mind you need to proceed to the next important step in commercial fire damage and restoration.
Contacting the fire restoration company
Commercial fire damage experts recommend that you should stay away from a building that has suffered fire damage until a fire restoration expert has certified it safe to enter. Contact SERVPRO of Kansas City and let us know about the fire. Once contacted we will send a project manager to you home to assess the damages and work with you and your insurance carries to put you back to pre loss condition!
• Smoke damage and soot damage in the house is a typical result of the fire. We will clean up the smoke damage on all surfaces and make sure the house is as clean as it was before the fire.
Deodorizing Your Home Following A Fire
After a small fire in your home, you quickly start to assess the damage to the areas. You visually inspect the furniture and walls. Even if there is no real lasting damage, there is one problematic element that tends to linger for weeks after a fire: the smell. Odor removal is an often overlooked, but significant aspect of fire restoration services.
While our SERVPRO team is well educated in restoration techniques and cleaning processes to restore areas of your home that have been damaged aesthetically by an unexpected fire, the lingering odor that remains is often something that homeowners are less concerned with initially. It becomes more and more problematic as the home is being restored, but the smoke and charring scent of the fire’s destruction remains as powerful as ever.
Fortunately, our team of technicians has state-of-the-art equipment for removing foul smells from a residence or business. Deodorizing happens through the use of dense fogging machines. The machines are capable of producing a heavy chemical fog that is sprayed throughout the entire affected area, ensuring that all of the affected structure and contents are also affected by the fog.
Call us anytime at 816.895.8890.