Recent Fire Damage Posts

Decoding Fire Safety: A Guide to Different Types of Fire Extinguishers and Their Proper Use

4/4/2024 (Permalink)

Fire safety is a paramount concern in every setting, and having the right tools at your disposal is crucial. Fire extinguishers are among the most vital tools for preventing small fires from escalating into major disasters. In this blog, we'll explore the different types of fire extinguishers and provide essential guidance on how to use them effectively.

Understanding Fire Classes

Before delving into the types of fire extinguishers, it's essential to understand the different classes of fires:

  • Class A: Involves ordinary combustibles like wood, paper, and cloth.
  • Class B: Involves flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, and grease.
  • Class C: Involves electrical equipment and appliances.
  • Class D: Involves combustible metals like magnesium and titanium.
  • Class K: Involves cooking oils and fats, common in kitchen fires.

Types of Fire Extinguishers

  • Water Extinguishers (Class A):
    • Suitable for Class A fires.
    • Not for use on flammable liquid or electrical fires.
    • Recognizable by a solid red label.
  • Foam Extinguishers (Class A and B):
    • Effective on Class A and Class B fires.
    • Creates a barrier to prevent re-ignition.
    • Not suitable for electrical fires.
    • Blue label for water-based foam, cream label for alcohol-resistant foam.
  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extinguishers (Class B and C):
    • Effective on flammable liquid (Class B) and electrical (Class C) fires.
    • Leaves no residue, making it suitable for sensitive equipment.
    • Recognizable by a black label.
  • Dry Chemical Extinguishers (Class A, B, and C):
    • Versatile and effective on Class A, B, and C fires.
    • Comes in two types: monoammonium phosphate (ABC) and sodium bicarbonate (BC).
    • Recognizable by a blue label.
  • Wet Chemical Extinguishers (Class K):
    • Specifically designed for kitchen fires involving cooking oils and fats (Class K).
    • Creates a cooling effect to prevent re-ignition.
    • Recognizable by an oatmeal-colored label.
  • Dry Powder Extinguishers (Class D):
    • Designed for combustible metal fires (Class D).
    • Not suitable for use on other fire classes.
    • Recognizable by a blue label.

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

  • Pull the Pin:
    • Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you.
    • Pull the pin from the handle to break the tamper seal.
  • Aim at the Base:
    • Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, not at the flames.
  • Squeeze the Handle:
    • Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  • Sweep from Side to Side:
    • Sweep the nozzle from side to side, covering the entire fire area.
  • Watch for Re-Ignition:
    • After extinguishing the fire, watch for any signs of re-ignition.

Important Tips

  • Know Your Extinguisher: Familiarize yourself with the type of fire extinguisher you have and its intended use.
  • Use the Right Extinguisher: Match the extinguisher type to the fire class for optimal effectiveness.
  • Maintain Regular Inspections: Ensure that fire extinguishers are regularly inspected, and recharge or replace them as needed.
  • Evacuate if Necessary: If the fire is spreading rapidly or if you're unsure how to use the extinguisher, evacuate and call emergency services.

Understanding the different types of fire extinguishers and how to use them is a proactive step toward enhancing fire safety. By choosing the right extinguisher for the type of fire and following proper usage techniques, individuals can play a crucial role in preventing small fires from turning into disasters. Stay informed, stay prepared, and prioritize fire safety in your home or workplace.

Why Smoke Detectors are Essential for Home Safety

11/15/2023 (Permalink)

kitchen tile demo Smoke detectors can help protect your home and family incase of a fire.

We understand that your family's well-being is a top priority, and that's why we want to emphasize the crucial role that smoke detectors play in protecting your loved ones and your property. In this blog, we'll cover the many reasons why every home should be equipped with smoke detectors, backed by practical information and expert insights.

1. Early Detection Saves Lives

Smoke detectors are the unsung heroes of home safety. They are designed to detect smoke and alert you to potential fire hazards long before you might notice the danger yourself. This early detection provides you with valuable time to escape safely, call for help, and mitigate the risk of injury or property damage.

2. Swift Response to Fire Emergencies

When a fire breaks out, every second counts. Smoke detectors can provide critical early warnings, allowing you to take immediate action. Whether it's calling 911, containing a small fire, or assisting family members, those precious moments can make all the difference between a minor incident and a major disaster.

3. 24/7 Protection

Fire hazards don't follow a schedule. They can occur at any time of the day or night. Smoke detectors offer round-the-clock protection, ensuring that your home is guarded even when you're asleep or away. Their constant vigilance provides peace of mind and minimizes the risk of unattended fires causing extensive damage.

4. Comprehensive Coverage

Modern smoke detectors come in various types, including ionization, photoelectric, and dual-sensor models. Each type is specialized for different types of fires. By installing a combination of these detectors in your home, you can ensure that you're covered against a wide range of fire sources, from fast-burning flames to smoldering fires.

5. Comply with Local Regulations

Many local and national building codes require the installation of smoke detectors in homes. Complying with these regulations is not only essential for your safety but also a legal obligation. Failing to install and maintain smoke detectors could lead to penalties or insurance complications in the event of a fire.

6. Lower Insurance Premiums

Several insurance companies offer discounts on homeowners' insurance policies for homes equipped with smoke detectors. These devices demonstrate your commitment to safety and reduce the risk of fire-related claims. As a result, you can enjoy lower insurance premiums while maintaining a safer living environment.

7. Low Maintenance, High Reliability

Smoke detectors are known for their low maintenance requirements. Regular testing and occasional battery replacement are all it takes to keep them operational. In return, you can rely on these devices to safeguard your home for many years, providing excellent value for your investment.

8. Affordable Peace of Mind

Smoke detectors are cost-effective and provide an invaluable layer of protection. Their affordability means that homeowners of all budgets can access a vital safety feature that could ultimately save lives and property.

In conclusion, smoke detectors are not just simple devices on your ceiling; they are the guardians of your home, your family, and your peace of mind. Their early detection capabilities, round-the-clock vigilance, and compliance with regulations make them an essential component of any home safety plan. Don't wait until disaster strikes – invest in smoke detectors today and secure a safer, more protected future for your family and your home. For more information on home safety or assistance with smoke detector installation, reach out to our experts at SERVPRO of Arnold/ North Jefferson County. Your safety is our priority.

Dos and Don'ts of Cleaning a Gas Range Safely

8/13/2023 (Permalink)

Smoke rising by a smoke detector. Keeping your gas range clean is essential not only for maintaining its appearance but also for ensuring its safe and efficient operation.

Keeping your gas range clean is essential not only for maintaining its appearance but also for ensuring its safe and efficient operation. However, cleaning a gas range requires specific precautions to minimize the risk of accidents or damage. In this blog post, we will provide you with valuable dos and don'ts to help you clean your gas range safely and effectively. By following these guidelines, you can maintain a clean and well-functioning gas range while prioritizing safety in your home or property.


Read the Manufacturer's Instructions:

Before starting the cleaning process, carefully read the manufacturer's instructions that came with your gas range. Each model may have specific cleaning recommendations, so familiarize yourself with them to avoid any potential issues.

Disconnect the Gas Supply:

Always turn off the gas supply to your range before cleaning it. This step is crucial for your safety. Locate the gas valve behind or beneath the range and ensure it is fully closed to prevent any accidental gas leaks.

Wait for the Range to Cool Down:

Allow your gas range to cool down completely before cleaning. Hot surfaces can cause burns or injuries. Wait at least an hour after cooking before you begin cleaning to ensure the range is safe to touch.

Remove Grates, Burner Caps, and Knobs:

Start by removing the grates, burner caps, and knobs from the range. These components are usually removable and can be cleaned separately. Soak them in warm, soapy water to remove grease and stains. Use a non-abrasive sponge or brush to scrub them gently. Rinse thoroughly and let them dry completely before reattaching.

Use Mild Cleaning Solutions:

When cleaning the surface of your gas range, opt for mild cleaning solutions. Avoid abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals that can damage the finish. Instead, use a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap. Apply the solution to a soft cloth or sponge and gently wipe the surface, paying extra attention to areas with stubborn stains.

Clean the Burners:

Clean the burners regularly to ensure efficient gas flow and prevent clogging. Use a soft brush or a toothbrush to remove debris or food particles from the burner ports. For tougher stains, use a vinegar and water solution to soak the burners, then scrub gently and rinse thoroughly before drying.


Use Excessive Water:

Avoid excessive use of water or any liquid near the gas valves, ignition switches, or electrical components of your gas range. Moisture can cause damage and affect the range's functionality. Instead, wring out your cleaning cloth or sponge thoroughly to avoid dripping water on sensitive areas.

Scrub with Abrasive Materials:

Never use abrasive materials like steel wool, scouring pads, or harsh brushes on the surface of your gas range. These can scratch the finish, making it more prone to stains and damage. Stick to non-abrasive sponges or soft cloths to protect the range's appearance.

Neglect Proper Ventilation:

Ensure that your kitchen is well-ventilated while cleaning the gas range. Open windows or turn on the exhaust fan to remove any fumes or odors that may arise from cleaning products. Proper ventilation will improve air quality and prevent any potential health hazards.

Ignore Regular Maintenance:

Cleaning your gas range is an essential part of its maintenance, but don't overlook other maintenance tasks. Regularly inspect and clean the gas burners, check for gas leaks, and ensure the range's knobs and controls are in good working condition. If you notice any issues, contact a professional for assistance.

Cleaning a gas range can be a straightforward task when you follow the dos and don'ts of safe cleaning practices. By adhering to the guidelines mentioned above, you can maintain a clean and safe gas range while extending its lifespan. Remember to prioritize safety, follow manufacturer instructions, and perform regular maintenance to keep your gas range operating efficiently. A clean gas range not only enhances the aesthetics of your kitchen but also provides a safe cooking environment for you and your family.

6 Steps to Take If You Smell Natural Gas in Your Home or Business

4/16/2023 (Permalink)

Hand pointing to text that says "Be Prepared." If you smell natural gas in your home or business, the first and most important step is to evacuate the building immediately.

Natural gas is a valuable energy source used in many homes and businesses for heating, cooking, and other purposes. However, if you smell natural gas in your home or business, it can be a sign of a gas leak, which can be dangerous if not addressed promptly. In this blog, we'll cover some important steps to take if you smell natural gas in your home or business.

Step 1: Evacuate the Building

If you smell natural gas in your home or business, the first and most important step is to evacuate the building immediately. Natural gas is highly flammable and can ignite if exposed to an ignition source, such as a spark from a light switch or a running appliance. Even a small spark can cause a large explosion, so it's important to get everyone out of the building as quickly and safely as possible.

Step 2: Call the Gas Company

Once you're safely outside, call the gas company or emergency services immediately. In many areas, the gas company has a 24-hour emergency hotline that you can call to report gas leaks. They will send a qualified technician to investigate the source of the gas leak and take the necessary steps to repair it.

Step 3: Don't Use Electrical Devices

Do not use any electrical devices or appliances, including light switches, telephones, or cell phones, while you're inside the building or in the vicinity of the suspected gas leak. Any spark or flame can ignite the gas, causing an explosion or fire. It's important to wait until you're safely outside the building to make any calls or use any electrical devices.

Step 4: Don't Smoke

If you or anyone else in the building is a smoker, do not light any cigarettes, cigars, or other smoking materials. Smoking materials can also ignite the gas, causing an explosion or fire.

Step 5: Don't Try to Find the Source of the Leak

Do not try to locate the source of the gas leak yourself. Natural gas is odorless and colorless, so it's difficult to detect without specialized equipment. Leave the job to the qualified technicians from the gas company, who have the training and equipment to locate and repair gas leaks safely.

Step 6: Don't Return to the Building

Do not return to the building until the gas company or emergency services have given you the all-clear. They will inspect the building and make sure that it's safe to re-enter before allowing anyone to return.

In conclusion, if you smell natural gas in your home or business, it's important to act quickly and follow these steps to keep yourself and others safe. Evacuate the building immediately, call the gas company or emergency services, don't use electrical devices or smoking materials, don't try to find the source of the leak, and don't return to the building until it's been inspected and declared safe. By following these steps, you can help prevent a potentially dangerous situation from turning into a disaster.

How To Prevent a House Fire

12/14/2022 (Permalink)

Finger pressing button of a smoke alarm Smoke alarms have a limited lifespan, usually 10 years.

House fires are one of the most devastating and life-threatening events that can happen to you. The good news is that they're avoidable if you take some simple steps. In this post, we'll outline how to prevent your house from catching fire. We'll also discuss what circumstances increase your risk of burning down—and what may be done to lower it again. Let's get started!

Fire Hazards

Fire hazards are everywhere in the home. If you can't see them, they may still be present and waiting to ignite. The following are some of the most common fire hazards in houses:

  • Electricity – Electrical wiring that's not up to code or power cords running under rugs can result in electrical fires.
  • Smoke detectors – Many homes have smoke detectors with dead batteries or missing battery covers. These aren't working as well as they should be, putting lives at risk when a fire breaks out.
  • Candles – Candles cause over 12 percent of all residential fires each year (according to NFPA). It only takes a few moments for a candle flame to spread across your living room carpeting and send everything up in flames!

Another thing you can do to prevent many house fires is keep lighters and matches away from kids. Lighters, along with other sources of ignition such as candles and fireplaces, are a major cause of residential fires in the United States. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that two thirds of these fires are caused by smoking materials or careless use of candles—and that's just one source!

If you smoke indoors (or if anyone else who lives in your home does), please don't leave lighters or matches within reach of children. If kids come over to play at your house, make sure they don't have access to any matches or lighters that are lying around—no matter how safe they think their parents might be! This is especially important during the winter when everyone's wearing gloves anyway.

You should also store flammable liquids like gasoline in metal cans with screw-on lids instead of plastic bottles because metal will not burst into flames as easily as plastic if there is an explosion from static electricity buildup or friction caused by moving parts inside them (like pumps).

Install Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smoke detectors should be installed on every floor of your home, including the basement and attic. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed near sleeping areas, such as bedrooms, or in the garage where cars are parked.

Smoke alarms have a limited lifespan, usually 10 years. After that time, they must be replaced because they may not work properly any longer. The same is true for carbon monoxide detectors; although they're not required to be replaced as often as smoke alarms are — typically every 7-10 years — it's still wise to check them regularly to ensure they're working correctly so you can get an early warning in case of fire or CO poisoning before it becomes too late to escape safely.

Build and Practice a Fire Safety Plan

Practice your fire safety plan every month. You can practice with your children, pets, and neighbors or anyone else who lives in the house or might be visiting. Don't miss opportunities to remind people of what they should do. For example: If you're cooking a meal that involves grease or oil on the stovetop and someone is near the stove, warn them about it! Make sure everyone knows where the master key is kept if there's an emergency (either lock their door from outside or make sure someone else has a copy).

By taking the time and effort to learn about the most common causes of house fires, you can help protect your home from being destroyed by fire. We hope this article has given you some valuable information on how to prevent a fire in your Arnold, MO home, so that when one does happen, it doesn’t destroy everything. If you do have a fire in your home, know that there are steps for first responders who will come help save those inside as well as their homes. Take care of yourself and others around you so that we can all live safely in our communities without fear of tragedy striking again tomorrow. If you do experience a fire, call SERVPRO of Arnold/Jefferson County to restore your home!

Tips for Removing Dryer Lint From Your Exhaust Hose

7/14/2022 (Permalink)

Removing lint from filter Regular cleaning of dryer lint is important for preventing a dryer fire

Tips for Cleaning the Exhaust Hose of Dryer Lint

There are certain laundry room tasks that you complete daily or weekly. Other duties are performed less frequently. While some of these tasks are simple, others take more time and effort. A very important chore to prevent a lint fire in Murphy, MO, is cleaning your exhaust duct every six months. Here are three different ways to thoroughly clean the lint from the dryer exhaust vent.

1. Clearing the Exhaust With a Vacuum
A lot of lint can build up in the dryer exhaust. Even when you clean out the lint trap daily, some lint inevitably makes its way through the dryer. An easy method to clean out that vent is with the hose attachment of your vacuum. Make sure to unplug the dryer before pulling it out and disconnecting the exhaust. Thorough cleaning of the vent and the area around it can go a long way in preventing a lint fire.

2. Using a Cleaning Rod in the Wall Vent
At your local hardware store, you can find tools made specifically for cleaning your dryer exhaust. The most common tool to use is a flexible rod to attach to your power drill. You will use the same steps with the auger as you did the vacuum.

3. Going the Extra Distance to Prevent a Lint Fire
Along with the exhaust vent, you will want to take the back off your dryer at least twice a year and vacuum all the lint from the rear of it. Unplug your dryer, take the screws off the back, and carefully set the back panel aside. Careful to avoid any wires, clear all the lint that has settled on the bottom of your dryer.
Regular cleaning of dryer lint is important for preventing a dryer fire. While these cleaning tasks can easily be undertaken by anyone, it may be a task you want to leave to a professional residential cleaning service. No matter how you go about it, make sure that your dryer gets cleaned regularly and thoroughly so you don't have to worry about cleaning up after fire damage.

Cleaning Up After a Residential Fire

6/3/2022 (Permalink)

burned furniture, walls burned. Concept of a home fire Fire damage in a home in House Springs, MO.

Residential Fire Cleanup

Dealing with the aftermath of a fire disaster can be stressful for homeowners. The fire, water, and smoke damage are often overwhelming, and if you have never experienced such disasters before, it is disheartening. Fire and smoke cleaning professionals in House Springs, MO, understand the complexity of the cleanup process and urge homeowners to follow tried and true methods for recovery.

1. Focus on Water Removal
Water removal should be a homeowner's primary focus after a fire. Hoses, plumbing, and suppression systems can saturate houses. You want to get the Water out as soon as possible to reduce the risk of other issues, such as mold and further structural damage.

2. Remove All Debris
You cannot get an accurate overview of property damage until all trash is removed from the house. Obviously, if any items are salvageable, put them aside. However, you will still want to remove the items from the property.

3. Clean Smoke and Soot Damage
Soot and smoke damage can be prevented after a fire. Smoke can infiltrate HVAC units and appliances. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need to replace equipment. However, before throwing expensive purchases away, consult with a fire restoration professional. they can often provide greater insight into whether an item can be saved

4. Restore Your Property
With all surfaces clean, you can tell what structures need help or work. You will want to fix all systems and support all structures before closing walls and ceilings. Once all aspects of the home are restored, you can work on finishing touches, allowing you to return home. 
Fire and smoke damage are challenging to face. A homeowner can become overwhelmed by the disaster, wishing only to step away. However, following a process makes it easier to manage such disasters and come out the other side with a restored property. 

Property Security After a Fire

1/7/2022 (Permalink)

Windows and door of commercial building boarded Boarding up services in Parkdale, MO.

How To Keep Your Property Safe After a Fire

The list of things to handle after a fire can be long and overwhelming. But one of the things that should be near the top is security. As devastating as a business fire can be, suffering additional damage can make things much worse. Read on to learn steps you can take - from boarding windows to getting a security fence - to keep your Parkdale, MO, property safe after a fire.

Secure Data

Data is easily one of the most valuable resources any business has. Examples include:

  • Credit card information
  • Medical records
  • Tax documents

If your business has this or other information stored in computers or files, and there’s no longer a way to lock up your property, it’s critical that you remove these materials. Identify a safe place, such as a secure storage unit, and move sensitive data there promptly.

Protect Against the Elements

Fire can destroy many things in your business, but the wrath of the weather can be just as damaging. Just one heavy rain penetrating a compromised roof or door can multiply damage costs. Invest in a heavy-duty tarp for damaged roofs. Boarding up broken windows and doors will also help keep water out as well as animals.

Secure Against Thieves

Vandals know that a burned-out property can be a gold mine. Don’t rely on a security system to protect your business - those can be damaged by the fire! Instead, in addition to securing windows and doors, invest in a security fence. Security fencing creates a barrier that makes it harder and longer to break into your building. Such fencing also helps in the insurance process by preventing further damage that your provider may not cover.

Dealing with a fire is challenging enough. Don’t multiply your problems by becoming a victim of weather or looters. Connect with a fire clean-up firm to discuss a security fence or other methods to keep your business safe.