Recent Fire Damage Posts

What Causes Natural Gas To Explode?

12/21/2020 (Permalink)

Natural gas burning on kitchen gas stove in the dark. A gas leak can quickly reach unsafe levels of concentration in a residence

What To Do As Soon You Feel The Smell Of Natural Gas

A gas leak can quickly reach unsafe levels of concentration in a residence. Under these circumstances, any heat or sparks can ignite and cause a gas fire that has the potential to destroy a home and cause damage to surrounding structures in Cornwells Heights, PA. Learn more about the dangers posed by gas leaks and what to do as soon as you smell the methyl mercaptan added to indicate the presence of odorless natural gas.

High Concentrations of Gas
Whether an appliance or a gas connection is leaking, the concentration of gas particles in air make an explosion more likely. Any of the following actions may pose an elevated risk of combustion:

  • Flipping switches
  • Unplugging electronics
  • Using devices

Average gas concentrations in the air of a home that has a gas range and oven hover between 5 to 15 parts per million. If this level passes 30 ppm, a residence is at elevated risk of a gas fire.

Ignition From High Heat or Sparks
Electrical plugs and the devices indicated above can release a spark that ignites gas. Any source of heat, fire, or electrical sparks is potentially dangerous in the event of a gas leak. For this reason, ventilation and evacuation are recommended.

Evacuate and Call Emergency Services
Place a call to emergency services from outside a residence with a suspected gas leak. Gas company employees can arrive on site, determine the leak location and complete a repair. The area where leaking gas was accumulating must be thoroughly ventilated before it is safe for occupants to return and use electricity.
The sulfurous odor associated with natural gas is not naturally occurring. This scent is added as a safety measure to make it possible to detect leaks prior to a gas fire or gas explosion. Homeowners should act quickly to report a leak, ventilate and evacuate a household in Cornwells Heights, PA.

Everything You Need To Know About Business Interruption Insurance

11/8/2020 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage in Woodburne, PA

Learn More About How This Plan Can Benefit You After A Business Fire

When fire affects your Woodbourne, PA, business, you will need comprehensive insurance coverage. Business interruption is one of the most common additions you might see. While it initially seems like commercial or incident-specific insurance, it has major differences that determine the recovery efforts.

Areas Covered by Insurance
Stopping operations after a fire causes a stop on profits until recovery and reopening. An interruption plan accounts for this loss. Additionally, it covers charges that emerge during this period, including:

  • Lease or rent bills
  • Moving costs
  • Continuing utilities (electricity, water, etc.)
  • Taxes
  • Employee payroll

Notice that it only covers money potentially lost from business shutdown and regular monthly costs. Other factors such as fire damage repair are covered by traditional commercial insurance policy.

Coverage Length
Another feature that differentiates business interruption coverage is the time limit. This type of plan takes between 48 to 72 hours to go into effect after the claim. The length depends entirely on how long the recovery of your business takes. Once the fire cleaning and repairing process is complete, your business can resume operations and you will no longer need this insurance. The coverage can last for several days, weeks and even months depending on the severity and extent of the damage.

Interruption Preparation
Even though interruption protection ensures your organization survives this incident, you can always minimize both the overall damage and the pause length with the right preparations. Besides the addition of this protection to your insurance strategy, you can thoroughly inspect the property and fix any potential issues that can escalate after a business fire. Work with a remediation company to create an emergency plan that is specifically designed for your commercial building.
While regular commercial property insurance can help you cover the costs of repairing fire damage, it does not include other aspects like profit loss and regular expenses. Add business interruption to the existing plan to keep your establishment strong during this time.

5 Ways To Avoid a Cigarette Fire

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

Hand putting out a cigarette A cigarette fire can quickly lead to disastrous results

Avoid a Cigarette Fire By Following These Tips

Cigarettes and other smoking-related materials are a leading cause of home fires in the United States. Unattended or improperly discarded smoking materials are particularly hazardous. Avoid a cigarette fire by following these tips for smoking safely around your home.

1. Always Smoke Outside
Smoking outside is generally a lot safer than inside. There are usually many items inside a residence that will easily catch fire by merely brushing against a lit cigarette.

2. Properly Extinguish Smoking Materials
Always fully extinguish burning cigarettes and matches. Even an ashtray fire can potentially lead to a disaster. Make sure your ashtray is deep enough to contain the debris. Smoking outside is much safer than inside, but it’s critical that you still take the proper precautions. Never throw a lit cigarette in the grass or on around any other flammable materials. A sand-filled bucket is a good option.

3. Don’t Smoke Sleepy
Whether in bed, on your sofa or reclining outside by the pool, never smoke while you’re sleepy. If there’s any chance that you might fall asleep, avoid lighting up until you’re fully awake.

4. Avoid Smoking in Bed
Smoking in bed is a poor decision whether you’re sleepy or not. A cigarette fire in bed can result in one of the more dangerous fire scenarios. Sheets and blankets can easily be set ablaze by brushing against a lit cigarette, or ash can fall off the cigarette into the bed. You might not realize it’s on fire until it’s out of control.

5. Never Smoke Near Medical Oxygen
NEVER smoke in the vicinity of a medical oxygen device. Even a tiny spark can set off a massive explosion. Shutting off the oxygen won’t guarantee that it’s safe to light up.
A cigarette fire can quickly lead to disastrous results. If your Feasterville, PA, home experiences fire damage of any kind, you can count on fire cleanup experts. They’ll return your home to its preloss condition as quickly as possible.

Is Fire a Covered Peril?

7/13/2020 (Permalink)

Warehouse Fire Inside Fire damage in Eddington, PA

Expenses associated with fire damage cleanup and restoration damage can add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Business or building owners who have commercial property insurance should be able to file a fire insurance claim to cover most expenses associated with restoring fire damage and replacing losses. Policy details including endorsements, exclusions, or limits determine the amount of coverage.

Commercial Property Coverage

Commercial property insurance policies cover most fire restoration costs. Fire damage may not be covered if this peril is excluded or any of the following factors apply:

  • Arson or intentional fire
  • No property insurance coverage
  • Vacant property

As long as a property is covered by an insurance policy, some funding should be available to mitigate, clean, and restore fire damage. The amount of coverage available depends on policy limits, endorsements, and exclusions.

Exclusions and Limits
Some types of coverage may be cut out of commercial property insurance policies. Exclusions are more likely for issues such as mold, which tends to originate as secondary damage due to primary water damage that was not properly restored. An insurance policy may only provide a limited amount of coverage for smoke cleanup and other supplementary cleaning and restoration procedures.

Additional Fire Coverage
A business that uses combustible or flammable substances on a regular basis along with other risk factors such as heat may want to obtain additional fire insurance. Depending on the property insurance policy, this coverage may be available as an endorsement or rider. Additional policies may be necessary for specific risks.
All of these factors determine how much coverage is available for fire damage mitigation, cleanup, and restoration. It may be necessary to tear out damaged materials and rebuild portions of a commercial building in Eddington, PA. Assessing risks, prioritizing safety, and maintaining a sufficient level of fire insurance coverage gives building and business owners more peace of mind.

6 Tips to Avoid a Grill Fire

6/7/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning a grill Every time the grill is used the grates should be cleaned

Six Grilling Tips

For many people Hulmeville, PA, warm weather creates the urge to fire up the grill. Enjoying good food and your backyard oasis with friends and family can quickly become a bad memory if a grill fire breaks out. In the right circumstances, even a small flare-up could lead to needing a fire and smoke damage restoration expert getting your home back to how it should be. To help keep the memories good ones, below are six grilling tips to keep in mind.

1. Only Outdoors
No matter if using charcoal or a gas grill, this method of cooking should only take place outdoors.

2. The Right Location
Ensure grills are located away from the home or other structures, including near covered porches, sheds or garages. Verify that there is nothing above the grill, such as an overhang or branch. Keep flammable decorations away from the grilling area.

3. Trim the Fat
Grease is the main culprit in a grill fire. Although good marbling gives meat tenderness, ensure there isn’t any excess fat. Keep a spray bottle filled with water when cooking extra fatty meat.

4. Stay Alert
Grilling requires focus. Leaving a lit grill with food cooking on it can easily lead to a barbeque fire. From flare-ups to it accidentally getting knocked over, tending to your duties as the grillmaster should take the top priority.

5. Clean Counts
Every time the grill is used the grates should be cleaned. Deep cleaning should happen a couple of times a year. When grill time is over, let it cool. Placing a cover over it while it still hot could lead to a fire.

6. Inspect Before Using
If using a gas grill, inspect the tank, knobs and hoses for any damage or potential leaks.
There is nothing quite like backyard fun, so make sure to keep safety on your mind when grilling to avoid a grill fire.

More than Meets the Eye

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Soot on Ceiling To the naked eye, the ceiling may seem unaffected by a fire, but upon closer inspection, you can see there is a layer of soot in need of remediation.

Sometimes a little smoke can do a lot of damage.  Sure, it's easy to identify when a fire causes major damage, but what about when a small fire leads to smoke all the way on the other end of the structure?  

If you unknowingly hire an inexperienced contractor or restoration company, you may end up with lingering smoke odors for weeks, months, or even years.  This is because you need the expertise of certified soot cleaners.  Technicians and project managers who know exactly where and what to look for that could lead to lingering odors.  For instance, a small hole in a ceiling or an exterior wall could be big enough to let soot particles in and affect insulation behind the walls.  Additionally, running a central air system could potentially lead to circulating the soot throughout the structure.  

These are just a couple of examples of small details that, if not properly identified & addressed, could lead to unnecessary lingering odors.  

Luckily we are here to help!  Call us any time and we will happily provide an inspection & estimate!

Soot Mess

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

Sooted Carpet This homeowner, understandably, couldn't believe the living room fireplace caused soot to reach their bedroom carpet!

Sometimes you don't realize how extensive a damage to your property is.  Often times, in the cases of puffbacks and chimney mishaps, it may seem like a just a little soot has landed on your walls, floors, or personal belongings.  However, after making an attempt(s) at cleaning the soot themselves, many customers will call us for an estimate days, or even weeks, later.  This is because they've discovered that the soot reached areas of the homes they thought unimaginable, and now need professional cleaning help.

Though we find a valiant effort has been made by the home or business owner to clean the soot themselves, often times they are not equipped with the proper cleaning tools & products for the long and tedious process.  Did you know, this type of damage is typically considered a "covered loss" by the majority of insurance providers?  Why struggle with the agony and hours of cleaning your property yourself when you can call SERVPRO for a professional cleaning today!

Residential Fire

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Insulation on Fire Damage Insulation can be a culprit in retaining smoke smell after a fire if not properly removed & replaced.

Cleaning up after a fire can be a daunting task.  Depending on the severity of the blaze, not only is there the physical task of performing demolition and inch by inch cleaning, but there is also the emotional toll of sorting through charred personal belongings and possibly heirlooms.  

SERVPRO is here to relieve that stress for you.  We have the knowledge and expertise to perform and properly document any and all necessary demolition, cleaning, contents inventorying/cleaning, and contents moving/storing.  This will allow you to focus on day to day priorities in the aftermath of a fire, like getting to work on time, taking the kids to school, etc... rather than focusing on the physical and emotional clean up of the fire damage itself. 

You've Had a Fire Damage - What Happens Next?

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Air Scrubber Pictured is an air scrubbers we placed at a smoke-damaged property

Fire damages can be the worst type of losses a person or family can experience.  And while everyone is anxious to get their property and personal items restored, unfortunately, the process can be slow moving at first.  At SERVPRO of Langhorne/Bensalem, we recommend placing negative air fans (aka air scrubbers) at your property as soon as the fire department allows access.  Depending on the severity of the damage, these machines can help to limit cross-contamination, and limit the smoke odor. 

It is important to let the restoration professionals and insurance adjusters assess the situation before rushing to clean or replace damaged items & structural materials.  This will allow for proper restoration and end up saving you from future frustrations.  

There are also a few things that can be done before the full restoration process begins, such as:

  • Place air scrubbers (as stated above)
  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and causing additional damage
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet
  • Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces
  • Do not clean any electrical equipment

Unfortunately, fire & smoke damage does happen.  Here at SERVPRO of Langhorne/Bensalem, we are happy to help you in your time of need, 24/7/365.

Keurig Mess in House

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage to Kitchen and Living Room

We were called in recently to tend to a kitchen fire that was caused by a keurig.  While we never figured out exactly what caused the fire, it was evident there was much damage.  Including the living room carpet as well.  Many people associate SERVPRO with just water and mold damage.  We like to make it known we not only tend to these issues, but cleaning up fires happens to be one of our most important jobs we get called in to take care of.  It means a lot to us to try our very best to salvage your prized items and save your memories.  If you or anyone you know experiences fire damage in their home--please don't hesitate to give SERVPRO a call.

Fire Throughout Entire House

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

Keurig fire

We got called in to tend to a residential fire a few weeks ago nearby.  We had all hands on deck for this job.  A Keurig caught on fire and the entire house burnt because of it.  Luckily, no one was hurt and everyone got out in time safely.  Fires are one of the more severe jobs we tend to.  SERVPRO is partnered with many fire departments around the area and we pride ourselves on quick response.  If you happen to encounter a fire, please don't hesitate to give us a call to so we can help salvage anything we can.  Many of these incidents are a very painful and emotional time for the customer.  We want to make times like this as easy and least stressful for our clients as possible.

Basement Puffback

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

Puff Back aftermath in basement

Here is an example of a puff back SERVPRO was called into assist with at a residential property.  Although our clients' basement was not finished, the soot from the puff back ended up affecting her entire home--which consisted of three floors in total.  It's important to note that when you notice things such like this that occur in your home that you immediately call for assistance.  Applying to this situation, soot can be extremely dangerous to your health when it is inhaled because it is so toxic.  Although puff backs may or may not only be a one time event it is also important to note that you should reach out to a heating specialist--just so you can prevent this from happening again.

Residential Fire Call

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

2nd Floor Fire

Here is a perfect example of a fire SERVPRO was called to tend to in a residential area.  Unfortunately, a candle caught on to a lit curtain and the family's entire second floor was ruined.  SERVPRO, along with the local fire department was called in immediately to the job as best we could.  As you can clearly see, via the "After" picture here, there is still work that needs to be done.  Our client was unbelievably thankful for what we had already done.  Many items and memories were destroyed in this fire, but our client was very grateful for how easy SERVPRO made everything.  As much as they were already dealing with, they still loved how reassuring and comforting our team made the entire process for them.

Chimney Fire

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

Living Room Chimney

Here is an example of a fire we tended to recently.  Our clients had just renovated their house and the chimney had a backup which caused the fire.  SERVPRO was the first this family thought to call and we're very glad they did.  As a team, we were able to save majority of the house that was damaged--some of which included the kitchen, wood floors, and wallpaper.  Our clients were incredibly relieved for the sole fact they thought they would need to renovate majority of the house all over again. 

Much of the time our clients envision their mishap to be more than it actually is.  Never be afraid to pick up your phone and call SERVPRO if you are unsure of something.  We are always here to help and answer any questions!

Fire, Smoke, and Soot Damage

9/7/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to help you regain control quickly.

The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings.  SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems.  SERVPRO Franchise Professionals provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke, and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration.  These services help ensure your property, belongings and memories are restored to preloss condition when possible.

What You Can Do Until Help Arrives

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.
  • Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
  • Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces.
  • Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery.
  • Do not clean any electrical equipment.
  • Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Thanksgiving Holiday

11/21/2017 (Permalink)

It's hard to tell from the photo, but there once stood a deep fryer in this home. Unfortunately it caused extensive fire damage.

This time of year, everyone is gearing up for the holidays.  While we will all surely be eating turkey on Thanksgiving day, we may be preparing it differently.  

In the last few years, deep frying turkeys has become a wildly popular method to cook the food.  However, according to a "Home Fire Involving Cooking Equipment" report, home fires caused by cooking are nearly 4 times as likely on Thanksgiving as any other day of the year.  Deep frying turkeys, while delicious, is also very dangerous.  So before you get into some deep frying fun, here are 3 quick safety tips for you to protect your home:

1) Stay Away from The House – Set up the turkey fryer more than 10 feet away from your home and keep children and pets away. Never leave it unattended.

2) Use a Thawed and Dry Turkey – Make sure your Thanksgiving turkey is completely thawed and dry. Extra water will cause the oil to bubble furiously and spill over. If oil spills from the fryer onto the burner, it can cause a fire.

3) Be Prepared – Have a fire extinguisher (multipurpose, dry-powder) ready at all times in the event that the oil ignites.

From all of us here at SERVPRO of Langhorne/Bensalem, we want to wish you and your family a Happy (and safe) Thanksgiving!

Cleaning Up After a Fire

8/10/2017 (Permalink)

At a home in Glenside, PA, one of our technicians is wiping away soot above a window using a chemical sponge and extension pole.

For homeowners, putting out a fire can be worse than the fire itself.  A backdraft of emotions often sweeps over the homeowner after a fire ravages a home.  Fear, uncertainty, stress and doubt about the future of the property can overwhelm the homeowner long after the flames have been extinguished.  

The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings.  SERVPRO of Langhorne/Bensalem's professional staff and technicians provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents inventory and restoration.  These services help ensure your property, belongings, and memories are restored to preloss condition when possible.

SERVPRO of Langhorne/Bensalem professionals are available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to help you regain control quickly.  Call us at 215-600-1497 today!