Recent Fire Damage Posts

When a fire happens

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO fleet Our vans are ready to head your way!

Common household mishaps happen all the time. However, most of these don’t involve an insurance claim. Throughout the United States, household kitchen fires occur every 18 seconds! That statistic is mind blowing! The typical scenario is when the cook becomes distracted and the stove top is left unattended.

Phone calls, a knock at the door, children calling for their parent’s attention are all common reasons we hear for the cause.

Here at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio, we’re well equipped to react to these calls, typically, responding and on site the day of the event.

With state the art cleaning supplies and chemicals partnered with industry leading training for all our technicians, SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio can handle any size job that comes our way.

Most fire/smoke damage clean ups take 3-5 days, involving structure cleaning of the walls, ceilings and floors, HVAC system and air duct cleanings.

Soot spares no one and contents are also part of the job scope when performing smoke damage mitigation cleaning. Hard surface furniture, sofas, chairs and other upholstered items are cleaned including bric a brac items in drawers and cabinets. Literally, everything in the home gets cleaned. By the end of the job, the house is the cleanest it’s ever been!

We here at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio are ready for the unexpected. We’ve planned and prepared for your emergency.

Should the unexpected happen to you. Please know we’re here to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Please call SERVPRO Northwest San Antonio at 210-521-3313.

Protecting your home against fire

4/15/2020 (Permalink)

Employee barbecuing One of our own at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio at our cookout

As the weather is getting warmer in South Texas, many of us are heading to our patios to grill and barbecue.  With fires and gas grills, SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio wants to encourage you to be safe even when you're outside. 

Should you have a smoke damage in your home, SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio is fully prepared to be there if you need us.  We offer fogging and ozone services to help with smoke odors.  We have trained personnel on staff that can clean your walls, furniture, and structure should smoke damage appear.  And in the unfortunate situation of a house fire, we are able to pack out your home, clean your contents, and store your items while your home is being rebuilt.

We love to barbecue here at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio.  Enjoy the South Texas weather and be safe!  Should an accident occur, give us a call 210-521-3313.

First Steps to take following a smoke damage

3/31/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio specializes in structure cleaning Allow SERVPRO Northwest San Antonio to do what we do best!

If you've had a smoke or fire damage in your home or business, here are some helpful steps you can take before SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio arrives.  

  • Try to limit walking in the affected area.  This can help prevent soot being distributed in non-affected areas.
  • Using a dry towel, wipe the soot from chrome fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Keep your hands clean.  This will limit the spread of soot on other contents.
  • Open doors and windows to decrease the smoke odor.
  • Clean both sides of leaves on artificial houseplants with a damp cloth.
  • Switch out your HVAC filters, but wait to turn your system on until a professional checks the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth or similar over your ducts and registers to prevent soot particles from spreading in your home or business.

Additionally, here are some items NOT to do before SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio arrives:

  • Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces
  • Do not attempt to clean or work on any electrical appliances
  • Do not eat or drink any food or liquid stored near the fire as it may be contaminated
  • Do not attempt to shampoo or clean any upholstered furniture
  • Do not turn on any ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet
  • Do not send your damaged textiles (clothes, drapes, linens) to a cleaning company as improper cleaning could cause more damage.  

SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio will eliminate smoke odor and clean your structure and contents to preloss condition.  We also have electrical and textile companies that we work with that specialize in fire losses.  Allow us to take care of all your needs when a fire occurs.  

Call us today 210-521-3313.

Staying Safe and Warm for the Winter Season

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

The winter season is here and with it comes shorter days and lower temperatures. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in the weather. Many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves to help keep homes cozy. Did you know, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths? According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires cause an estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually.

 Following safety tips to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire.

  • Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater.
  • Have a three foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container.
  • Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.  Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.  Test smoke alarms monthly.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.

If your property does suffer fire damage, contact your  SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

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 – 
(210) 521-3313

Portable Fire Extinguishers

4/14/2019 (Permalink)

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – (210) 521-3313

Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:

Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.

Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.

Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side. 

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 – 
(210) 521-3313

Home Fire Safety

4/14/2019 (Permalink)

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – (210) 521-3313

Every 15 seconds a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the United States. Most fires don’t happen in homes. But most fire deaths and injuries do. The major causes of fatal home fires are misplaced smoking materials, heating equipment, arson and children playing with matches or lighters.

The United States and Canada have the highest fire death rates of any industrialized countries. Why? Our buildings are built to high standards and our fire departments are among the best in the world. The problem is people and their lack of awareness about the importance of making fire safety a part of their everyday lives. How long do you have to escape from a fire in your home? When people were asked this question in a recent survey, they answered in ways that were surprising.

Fifty-eight percent said two minutes or more. Twenty-four percent estimated they had more than 10 minutes to escape a home fire. The truth is, you may have much less time to escape than you think. A typical living room fire can threaten the entire house in just moments—producing life-threatening conditions in nearby bedrooms less than two minutes after the smoke alarm sounds. Your family needs to know how to get out at the first sign of a home fire. Don’t wait, plan your escape today Every family should have a fire escape plan. Include everyone in the planning process.

Draw your plan, marking two ways out of every room. Include windows. Pick a meeting place outside, well away from the building. Tell everyone to meet there after they’ve escaped. That way you can count heads and tell the fire department if anyone’s trapped inside. Don’t forget to call the fire department from a safe location. Practice your plan Plans are great, but the only way to know if they work is to practice them. Hold a home fire drill. Getting out of your own home sounds easy, but your home can look very different if it’s full of smoke.

Children, in particular, need to practice. Children practice drills at school every month, but rarely at home. But fires are far more likely to happen at home. Have someone press the button on the smoke alarm as the signal for the drill to start. Get out quickly, but carefully. Everyone should go to the meeting place.

Source: (San Antonio Fire Department)

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Every fire damage situation is a little different and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. When various materials burn, the soot they create differs greatly and requires a specific cleaning procedure. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage restoration. Learn more about our fire damage restoration process.

  1. Emergency Contact
  2. Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
  3. Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)
  4. Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
  5. Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
  6. Cleaning and Repair
  7. Restoration

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (210) 521-3313

Residential Fire and Smoke Damage in San Antonio

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – (210) 521-3313

Ten years ago, we received a call for a house fire that started in the homeowner's purse. Just like any day, this homeowner came home, placed her purse on the counter and began gathering ingredients to make dinner. A few moments later, she turned around to see her purse engulfed in flames and her home filled with smoke!

When the Cause and Origin Director at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio arrived, he determined that the fire was started by the homeowner’s cell phone battery. Yikes! SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio was called out to clean the home. This was an onsite cleaning, meaning we did not have to pack out the homeowner’s contents. Everything was able to be cleaned in place. This is the preferable way we like to address smoke damage. Everyone at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio is IICRC trained for the best and latest methods in cleaning smoke/soot and odor from a home. After several days, the home was good as new.

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 – (210) 521-3313

An Unconventional Fire Restoration and Cleanup

2/23/2019 (Permalink)

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – (210) 521-3313

One of the most unique fire and smoke cleanup SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio has ever completed was on a car. Typically, we don’t work on cars but we’ll attempt anything once! The most peculiar aspect of this job was the origin of the fire.

We all do this every day: you plug your phone in to charge with an ac adapter in your car. Well, in this instance, the charging cord got a little too hot and started a fire right there in the passenger seat! This isn’t likely to happen all the time, the charger must’ve malfunctioned, but even so, we approached this task with the same expertise and professionalism as we always do.

When the fabric of the passenger seat in the car caught fire, it caused the car to completely fill up with smoke and it smelled of plastic. This job required several days to complete, there are so many nooks and crannies in a car!  

We ozoned the odor out. Sounds very futuristic, doesn’t it? The ozone is a machine that changes the smell on a molecular level. It places O2, activated oxygen, between the molecules that pull together to create the smokey smell. After several attempts and a lot of dedicated work by our team, the car was cleaned and ready to go.

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 – (210) 521-3313

Smoke Alarms: Life Savers

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Call Us 24/7 – (210) 521-3313

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level, including the basement. Extra smoke alarms may be needed in large homes.

Test Smoke Alarms Monthly

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately.

Never Disable or Remove Smoke Alarm Battery

Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).

Smoke Alarm Help is Nearby

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.

Be Prepared In Case of Emergency

Be sure your home has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills with your family. For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact SERVPRO® of Northwest San Antonio.

Interested in obtaining more knowledge on water, fire, smoke, and mold? Check with us on available classes.

Have you experienced a fire in your home or business? Please do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio at (210) 521-3313. We are always here to help YOU!

Keeping Safe & Warm this Winter Season

1/27/2019 (Permalink)

Call the cleanup team that’s faster to any size disaster.

The winter season is here and with it comes shorter days and lower temperatures. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in the weather. Many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves to help keep homes cozy. Did you know, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths? According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires cause an estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually.

Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire.

  • Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater.
  • Have a three foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container.
  • Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.  Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.  Test smoke alarms monthly.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.

If your property does suffer fire damage, contact your  SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

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 – 
(210) 521-3313

Fire Fact - Part 1

4/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage in home.

Some facts about fire.

SMOKE Isn't Easy as 1,2,3...

Behavior of Smoke

A fire loss is very complex because of the unique behavior of smoke. That's why it is important to have trained technicians at your customers home. SERVPRO franchises know their smoke!

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas
  • Smoke migrates to upper levels of a structure
  • Smoke flows through plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke will greatly affect the restoration process.

Types of Smoke

The first step at a fire scene is to calm your customers fears and then test the smoke to see what type of fire has taken place.

Wet Smoke-

Plastics & Rubbers

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

Dry Smoke-

Paper & Wood

Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefor the smoke rises.

Fire Fact - Part 2

4/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Loss

What to know about fires.

Easy Smoke? Never!

Protein-

Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire.

Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, Extreme pungent odor.

Fuel Oil Soot-

Furnace Puff Backs

While "puff backs" can create havoc for your insured, SERVPRO franchisees can normally restore the contents and structure quickly.

Other Types-

Tear Gas, Fingerprint Powder and Fire Extinguisher Residue

Special loss situations require special care. SERVPRO franchises are trained to handle your toughest losses!

Continuing Education Programs

Interested in obtaining more knowledge on water, fire, smoke, and mold? Check with us on available classes.

Have you experienced a fire in your home or business? Please do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio at (210) 521-3313. We are always here to help YOU!

SERVPRO Fire Restoration and Insurance

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Melted roof from fire.

SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio fire restoration practices.

Pretesting

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals start the cleanup and restoration process by pre-testing to determine which process to utilize and allow your customer to preview the results.

Contents Claim Inventory Service

Utilizing Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS) technology, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can generate comprehensive room-by-room inventories. Contents are categorized as salvageable, non-salvageable and questionable - allowing for easier contents settlement.

Cleaning and Restoration

All restorable structure and contents will be professionally cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition in most cases. This service includes: walls, ceilings, floors, area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, clothing, bric - a - brac and more. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can even provide emergency cleaning of contents the customer will need immediately.

Move Outs

If relocation is necessary due to extensive damage, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are trained to properly move out and control the inventory of the contents throughout the cleaning, restoration and deodorization process.

If you have a fire damage at your home or business talk to your insurance agent or adjuster about SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio services. We are partners with most insurance companies.

What to Expect From SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio When There is a Fire

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Soot damage from fire.

SERVPRO Northwest San Antonio and Fire

SERVPRO Offers

  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • Access to over 1,150 locations
  • Over 35 years of experience

SERVPRO Services

  • Soot & smoke removal
  • Water removal & dehumidification
  • Contents cleaning & restoration
  • Mold mitigation & remediation
  • Deodorization
  • Document drying
  • HVAC and ductwork
  • Electronics & equipment restoration

Fire & Smoke Facts

  • Most people don't die from the fire, they die from smoke inhalation.
  • Fires in 1 to 2 family dwellings most often start in the kitchen.
  • Cooking is the leading cause of home fires.
  • Heating is the 2nd leading cause of home fires.

Emergency Tips

  • Crawl low where the air is the clearest during the fire.
  • Limit movement inside the dwelling to prevent further damage.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucet's and appliances with light coating of petroleum jelly.
  • Don't attempt to wash any walls painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO.

What To Do Until Help Arrives: Fire

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

Fire and Smoke Damage.

Do:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and prop doors  open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets,  trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Wash both sides of leaves on house plants.
  • change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

Don't:

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio professionals.
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio.
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

San Antonio Smoke and Soot Cleanup

1/3/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your San Antonio 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 Northwest San Antonio 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 – 
(210) 521-3313