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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Fire Damage Blog Posts

How to Avoid a Fried Turkey Fiasco

11/23/2021 (Permalink)

Fried turkeys are getting more popular every year, and for good reason. They're delicious! But without following a few tips, they can be very dangerous to prepare. 

Turkeys should ALWAYS be fried outside. Just because you’ve been doing it in your garage for 10 years and never had a problem doesn’t mean it can't happen to you.  Because the hot oil will spray everywhere when cooking, a 10’ radius around the fryer is necessary. It quickly starts a fire when making contact with combustible materials, such as wood or fabric.  If the oil touches bare skin, it can also cause severe burns.

One common mistake people make is using a frozen turkey. This is because when a frozen turkey is submerged into a pot of oil, the oil doesn’t mix with the frozen water on the turkey. Instead, heavy pockets of water will sink to the bottom of the fryer while the oil surrounding them quickly heats it beyond its boiling point. The water then evaporates, expands, and splatters the oil everywhere, including the burner. Upon hitting the burner, the beads of oil ignite into flames that spread out in all directions.  If you have marinated your turkey in a brine, make sure it is fully dry prior to putting in the oil. 

Measure your oil carefully, making certain that it is 4-6” below rim after the turkey is placed in it. . When you lower the turkey in, be sure to be wearing oven mitts, long sleeves, pants, and closed-toed shoes. Hot oil will stick to bare skin, causing severe burns that can result in an emergency trip to the hospital.

Even a seasoned turkey fryer can have an accident that causes disaster.  The turkey can slip from your hands when lowering it into the fryer or your rope-and-pulley system could break, spilling the oil everywhere and igniting a fire. The point is that something can always go wrong when frying a turkey; therefore, you should always be prepared and have a fire extinguisher by your side at all times. 

Be safe and enjoy your holiday! 

Bonfire Safety

10/11/2021 (Permalink)

Bonfire Safety Bonfires are fun, but can be dangerous.

Cooler weathers, leaves changing color, and pumpkin spice may signify the arrival of fall, but one other activity that screams fall is bonfires! Sitting around a bonfire with your family and friends may be a fun way to spend time this fall in Huntsville, but you should never forget the risk that comes with outdoor fires. 

What Are Some Safety Measures To Protect Yourself From Fire Damage As A Result Of Bonfires? 

  • Check the weather before building your bonfire! Don’t set up a bonfire on a windy night. 
  • Make sure that the area you have your bonfire is in a legal location. Before you begin, find out your state’s regulations about fire.  
  • Keep an eye on anyone running too close to a bonfire so that no one gets hurt. 
  • Keep a garden hose or a bucket of water nearby in case the fire spreads. It never hurts to be prepared. 
  • Make sure that the wood you’re burning is dry and seasoned. No furniture, nothing coated or treated, and certainly no railroad ties should be thrown into the flames. 
  •  Do NOT burn anything with foam or paint! This includes canisters and aerosols. The chemicals from these items can release toxic fumes and are incredibly flammable. Such products are known to explode, so it’s best to stay away from these materials during a bonfire. 
  • Douse the area with water so that there aren’t any flammable fragments after the bonfire. 

How Can SERVPRO of North Huntsville Help With Fire Restoration This Fall? 

  • We’re faster to any disaster- big or small. Damage is damage, and we strive to restore your Huntsville property "Like it never even happened."
  • We specialize in fire and water damage, which is the foundation of our business. This includes fire, smoke, and soot restoration, odor control, fabric cleaning, and water damage restoration. 
  • We have a “restore vs. replace” mentality. This helps you get back to your Huntsville home or business faster while also lowering costs. 
  • We know that every fire damage scenario is unique, so we tailor each restoration project to the situation on hand. 

A warm, jovial activity such as a fall bonfire can be a festive way to ring in fall, but if you’re not careful, the night can end in disaster. We hope that with these tips, you can have a safe, enjoyable bonfire this season, but if the situation arises (we hope it doesn’t!), our experienced team at SERVPRO of North Huntsville is only one call away. Contact us at (256)534-1177. This franchise is independently owned and operated.

Steps to Take After a Fire

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

Bathroom with Extensive Smoke Damage. Bathroom with Extensive Smoke Damage.

For most people, their home is the biggest financial investment they will make in their lifetime. A home also serves as a 'safe space' where you come to rest, store your belongings, and keep your pets. Fire and smoke damage can not only come as a huge loss, but it can also feel like an enormous burden has been placed on your shoulders. The average person has not been trained in fire restoration, the insurance coverage process, or what role they can play in the recovery process. Here are a few steps you should take to ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible: 

1. Call Your Insurance Company

One of the first things you should do after any damage to your home occurs is to call your insurance agent. Contacting him or her right away will allow you to get the process started quickly. Because a fire or smoke insurance claim may take a while, you will want to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. This is especially important if the fire was extinguished with water. This means that you likely have water damage in addition to the fire damage that needs to be addressed immediately to prevent possible microbial growth.

2. Contact a Professional Restoration Service

In some cases, your insurance company or agent may give you a list of restoration services that they recommend. You should arrange to have these professionals come in as soon as you can to assess the situation. They will perform smoke cleaning as well as any necessary repairs to the building. They may be able to salvage some of your damaged belongings as well, depending on the severity of the damage. 

3. Take Photos of Affected Areas and Belongings

While you are waiting for the restoration company, it is a good idea to take pictures of any areas of your home that have been damaged in the fire. The insurance company will use these to help determine the amount of your claim. The restoration company may also take pictures before they begin working. Be sure to put your safety first! If the structure seems unstable, any walls or ceilings seem weakened, or any hazardous fumes are present, do not go in the home. 

4. Prevent Further Damage

Sometimes, your insurance company will require immediate remediation to prevent additional damage. If the conditions are safe, you can assist with this before the professionals arrive by moving smaller items to safer locations and blocking off areas that have not been affected. 

Because fire and smoke damage remediation can be a lengthy and costly process, you should do what you can to ensure your insurance company approves your claim. Acting quickly and contacting them right away is a great place to start.

It is advisable to keep a digital inventory of your belongings and the contents of your home in case you were to suffer a fire in the future. If an Excel spreadsheet is not your style, simply take a video of your home, furniture, and belongings. Be sure to include important information such as serial numbers, brand names, sizes, etc. of any valuables so that the insurance company will reimburse you for the true value of your things. 

If you have suffered fire or smoke damage in your home, call SERVPRO North Huntsville to schedule an inspection at (256) 534-1177. 

Choosing the Right Smoke Alarm in 3 Steps

11/8/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke Alarm Choosing the right smoke alarm for your Huntsville home is important to prevent future fire damages

Alerting your residence of a fire in Huntsville requires the appropriate type of protection. To make sure your home stays safe, here are three steps to choose a smoke alarm that’s perfect for your needs.

1. Understand the 3 Types of Residential Fire Alarms

Ionization alarms use an electric current to quickly pick up fast flame fires such as kitchen fires or burning light furniture. They are, however, prone to nuisance tripping from shower steam or burnt food.

Alarms that use a strobe light for better detection of smoldering fires are photoelectric. They are less prone to going off from minor fires and are better at alerting to dangerous slow burning fires of heavy furniture and building materials.

Combing the two, dual-sensor alarms offer detection of both fast flame and smoldering blazes. While they may false alarm because of the ionization component, they are the most comprehensive coverage.

2. Decide Which Type Fits Based on Your Home Design

The number of detectors necessary for fire safety depends on the size of your home. A centralized system is recommended since noise may not carry throughout the home from a single unit to appropriately alert everyone.

A smoke alarm should be put in every room and outside each door to establish coverage of the entire premise. To prevent nuisance tripping, it’s worth considering using a photoelectric alarm around the kitchen or outside of bathrooms.

3. Evaluate the Unit Before Buying

Reading through any relevant information, you should familiarize yourself with proper maintenance of the unit before buying to make sure it’s reasonable to maintain. 

Testing the smoke detector is a monthly procedure, so consideration should be made towards features that simplify the process to ensure it gets done. Additionally, you should learn how to silence the device without disabling it to always have continuous protection.

A smoke alarm can only do so much. A fire damage restoration company reverses damage and repairs burnt parts of your home. Choosing the right alarm types for your home allows you to act sooner to prevent more damage while increasing the likelihood of successful restoration.

Huntsville Fire/Smoke and Soot Cleanup

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

Heavy smoke & soot clean-up Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Huntsville 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, our team 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.

Please refer to our Fire Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call SERVPRO of North Huntsville Today at 256-534-1177