Recent Fire Damage Posts

What Kind of Smoke Alarm Should I Install?

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

white fire alarm hanging on selling with signs of smoke If your home should become damaged by fire, contact SERVPRO of Gordon, Murray and South Whitfield Counties. We are your local restoration company.

Fire safety is critical for homeowners. Your home is so full of important things that neglecting fire safety can be tantamount to failing to protect your loved ones, not to mention all the memories and memorabilia you’ve worked so hard to make and acquire.

That’s why smoke detectors are recommended (and in some cases, mandated) for every home, or even every bedroom.

But did you know there are two main types of traditional smoke detectors? It’s true, and each type focuses on a different indicator before it sends an alert.

So what are they, and which should you choose for your home?

Photoelectric Smoke Alarms

Photoelectric alarms use light to detect fire threats. They have an LED light inside, which shoots a light beam into a light-sensing chamber. When the beam is interrupted by smoke or particles, the light is refracted to a different area of the chamber, striking a photosensor that triggers the alarm mechanism. Photoelectric alarms are typically better at sensing smoldering fires, such as fires caused by smoking materials left unattended, which create a large amount of smoke.

Ionization Smoke Alarms

Ionization alarms actually house a minor amount of radioactive material which causes air between two electrodes to ionize, meaning the air itself becomes electrically charged. When smoke enters the alarm chamber, it decreases the current as it disrupts the flow of ions between the plates, and when the current is reduced, the alarm sounds. This kind of alarm is better at sensing fast-flaming fires, such as those caused by ignition of flammable liquids, grease or anything that creates lots of flames with smaller amounts of smoke.

So which is right for you? Truthfully, it’s best to be aware of any kind of fire, so the best solution is to either install both kinds of alarms, or to install a modern alarm that combines these technologies to detect both smoldering fires and fast-flaming fires.

If your home should become damaged by fire, no matter the source or fire type, SERVPRO of Gordon, Murray and South Whitfield Counties is equipped to restore your home to its original state. Call or click today to find out more.

Deep Fryer Safety

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

hand holding a deep fryer basket cooking fries Should you find yourself faced with a kitchen fire, trust the experts at SERVPRO of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties.

Here in the south, fried foods are a necessary food group. It's as essential to our way of life as sweet tea. Frying foods at home is much easier thanks to residential deep fryers. So if you find yourself hankering for some fried chicken or veggies, following these tips to ensure you don't need to call the fire department or SERVPRO. 

*Know your oil smoke point. Each type of cooking oil has it's own smoke point. This is the temperature that your oil begins to smoke and could catch fire. 

*Don’t overfill your deep fryer. Most deep fryers have a max fill line. What most people don't account for is that this should include the food, not just the oil. Overfilling your deep fryer could result in spilling oil and causing a fire and uneven cooking due to the oil temperature dropping. 

*Do not deep fry wet food. Water can cause hot oil to splash and spill over potentially resulting in a fire. Most frozen foods are already mostly dry, but fresh foods can contain a lot of moisture and need to be patted down before putting in hot oil. 

*Keep your deep fryer in clear surroundings. Many deep fryers aren't cool to the touch when cooking. Make sure the are around your deep fryer is free from flammable and combustible materials. 

*Make sure your deep fryer has a break-away cord. This is a standard safety feature on most home deep fryers to keep the fryer from tipping over if the cord is tripped up by something or someone. However, not all have this so inspect yours and use accordingly.

*Have a lid on hand. While not necessary, smothering is the safest way to put out a grease fire. If your deep fryer doesn't come with a lid, find something you can use that will work just as well. 

*Keep a fire extinguisher handy. There are many people who've never thought to have a fire extinguisher in their kitchen in case of a fire. There are many options available for a fire extinguisher made for home use, so make sure you have one to on hand in your kitchen.

*Keep track of your temperatures. Many deep fryers have a built in temperature gauge to track how hot your oil is and make sure your fryer is cooking at the proper heat. These can malfunction so having a separate clip-on thermometer as a back up is a great idea. 

*Dispose of oil properly. Always let the oil cool down completely before storing or disposing of it. If storing, make sure to filter out all food particles so your oil doesn't spoil prematurely. If disposing, make sure to pour into a air tight container. Never pour oil down a drain as it can cause the drain to clog and back up. 

*Use proper protective equipment. Most foods won't splatter as long as excess moisture is removed, but fatty foods like bacon will splatter regardless. Using the handle on the fryer basket will protect you, but having protective gloves as secondary protection is always a good idea. 

Should you find yourself faced with a kitchen fire, trust the experts at SERVPRO of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties to help you make it "Like it never even happened."

*Source: Deep Fryer Safety Tips

An Overview of Applying for a Disaster Loan as a Small Business Owner

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

Disasters are something that no one ever wants to experience, especially if they own their own business. The damage done from disasters can completely change your business’ plans for the future, and often, business owners are never able to recover.

While there is no way to predict when or how a disaster will occur, the best thing you can do is ensure you have a plan in place.

You will often be able to rely on your insurance for at least some coverage related to the disaster, but these funds are often not enough or available fast enough to be as helpful as they could be. Fortunately, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has developed a robust loan program to help small businesses in the aftermath so they can receive the funds they need.

Utilizing the Disaster Loan Program After a Disaster Impacts Your Business
What can I use the loans for? While many damages that a disaster causes can be claimed on your insurance, this can be a long process and often does not cover every expense your business may face. The SBA loans can be utilized for costs to repair damage as well as to cover a loss in revenue so you can have the funds you need to cover bills, payroll and other expenses that do not halt just because a disaster occurs.

When can I apply for a disaster loan? In order for the disaster loan funds to be made available, a disaster must be declared by the SBA in your area. From there, you can apply for a loan and work with the SBA to see what you are eligible for and when you will receive it.

How can I go about getting repairs done to my business? Starting on the process of having restoration done to your commercial property can be daunting, but it is important to begin as quickly as possible to prevent any secondary damages. Having a commercial restoration company you can trust is important, as is calling them as quickly as possible after you discover damage to your business.

If you need commercial restoration, we are here to help. You can get in touch with us at any time to report your damages and get a quick response. Contact us to learn more.

Do I need a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

You probably have a smoke alarm in your home. After all, new homes come with them already installed and many communities have laws that require them to be installed.

What about a carbon monoxide detector? Do you have any installed in your home? Do you need one?

The importance of having a carbon monoxide detector is often underestimated or simply forgotten by many parents. Unfortunately, carbon monoxide sources, such as furnaces, generators, and gas heaters, are common in homes and can put your family at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.

In fact, the CDC reports that over 15,000 people each year are treated in emergency rooms for non-fire related carbon monoxide exposures. And an average of about 500 people die each year from non-fire related carbon monoxide exposures.

The CDC also reports that common sources of carbon monoxide exposure include:

  • Oil and gas furnaces
  • Motor vehicles
  • Stove/Gas range
  • Gas line leaks
  • Gas water heaters
  • Generators
  • Space heaters

So you should definitely have a carbon monoxide detector in your home if you have any appliances that are not electric and that burn natural or liquefied petroleum gas, oil, wood, coal, or other fuels, or if you have a home with an attached garage.

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

These guidelines from the CDC can help you avoid exposing your family to carbon monoxide:

  • Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
  • Install a battery-operated CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall.
  • If your CO detector sounds, evacuate your home immediately and telephone 911.
  • Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseated.
  • Do not use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, or garage or near a window.
  • Do not run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.
  • Do not burn anything in a stove or fireplace that is not vented.
  • Do not heat your house with a gas oven.

Symptoms of CO Exposure

Depending on the degree of exposure, carbon monoxide can cause the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Light-headedness
  • Sleepiness
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Chest tightness
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision

Remember that carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, so without a CO detector, it can build up in your home without your knowledge.