Recent Fire Damage Posts
SERVPRO Recommendations for Fire Prevention
No one wants to deal with a fire in their home and it is better to prevent a fire if you can. There are some easy things you can do to make your home safer and reduce the risk of a blaze.
SERVPRO of Hannibal understands that residents are concerned about fire damage restoration in their homes. We are on hand to help 24/7 all year round. However, there are some simple things you can take to prevent a fire:
- Never leave burning items unattended, including candles, fires, incense, cigarettes, and stoves.
- If you have any pets or children, invest in safety gates so they cannot enter the kitchen unnoticed.
- Do not overload electrical sockets.
- Keep radiators uncovered and with proper clearance around them.
It is also a good idea to remember to test your fire alarm regularly and ensure your family knows about fire safety. However, even with the best care, a fire can still break out. If you need help with fire damage restoration, call SERVPRO. We will take care of everything from cleaning up soot to getting rid of odors.
For service you can trust, call us at
Fire Weather Terms Used by the National Weather Service
- Fire Weather Watch - A watch issued when a combination of dry fuels and weather conditions (low relative humidity and strong, gusty winds) support an extreme fire danger. A Fire Weather Watch will be issued 12 to 96 hours prior to the expected onset of Red Flag Warning conditions.
- Red Flag Warning - A warning issued when critical conditions supporting an extreme fire danger are imminent or occurring. The warning highlights weather of particular importance to fire behavior and potentially extreme burning conditions or many new fires.
- Critical fire weather pattern - Patterns that can quickly increase fire danger and trigger rapid fire spread.
If you suffer fire damage to your house or business then call SERVPRO of Hannibal! Our experienced team can tackle any size job.
Reduce the Spread of Fires
- Refrain from any open burning of leaves, brush or debris whenever conditions warrant.
- Call 911 immediately at the first sign of a fire.
- Smokers should be extremely careful when putting out cigarettes and cigars. Never discard cigarettes from motor vehicles.
- Secure trailer chains to prevent dragging. A spark in dry grass could start a fire.
- Off-Road Driving: Sparks from vehicles or equipment that contact with dry grass can start fires. Catalytic converters can also start fires when they come in contact with dry grass. Always carry a fire extinguisher on vehicles that are used off-road.
- Grilling: Use caution when outdoor grilling. Position the grill away from siding, deck railing, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Fire Pits and Campfire: Exercise the same precautions you would with an open fire. Keep a fire extinguisher or garden hose nearby. Do not burn trash and leaves. Remember to make sure the fire is fully extinguished before leaving the area.
Deep Frying Turkey Dangers
Deep fried turkey is delicious but there are dangers involved when frying a turkey. Please keep these in mind:
- Turkey fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area or surface.
- An over-filled cooking pot can cause cooking oil to spill or splatter when the turkey is placed in the pot.
- Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire.
- Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat cooking oil to the point of igniting a fire.
- The sides of the cooking pot, lid, and pot handles can get dangerously hot.
- Remember, never deep fry a turkey indoors. This includes inside garages!
- Also, never use a deep fryer on your deck. If the oil spills then the deck can catch on fire quickly which also can catch your home on fire.
Fire Damage Questions and Emergency Fire Damage Tips
Fire Damage Key Questions
- Home phone? Business phone?
- Date and time loss occurred?
- Is water damage present? If yes, then see water damage tips.
- What was the source of the fire?
- Has the source been repaired or replaced recently?
- What is the extent of the damage?
- What areas have been affected?
- How bad is the odor?
- Does the area need deodorizing?
- Is a board-up required?
- Are water/electricity available?
- Are there any personal injuries?
Emergency Fire Damage Tips
- Limit movement in the home to prevent further damage.
- Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets and appliances then protect with a light coating of lubricant.
- Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of Hannibal.
- Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting a professional at SERVPRO.
- Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to the fire or water without consulting a repair service.
The Importance of Cleaning Dryer Vents
According to FEMA, failure to clean home dryers causes 34% of home dryer-related fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause possible injury or death. To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your home or business, SERVPRO of Hannibal can help clean your dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup. Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean include cleaning the lint filter before and after each load and making sure the outdoor vent flap opens correctly and is not restricted by snow, a bird’s nest, or other potential obstacles.
Dryer exhaust vents should be inspected and cleaned at least once a year depending on the size of the household and dryer usage.
For more information on cleaning dryer vents, contact SERVPRO of Hannibal!
Each year, around the holidays, families gather to celebrate by preparing a delicious feast. However, not everyone practices safe cooking habits.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent holiday cooking fires.
- Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol do not use the stovetop or oven.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
- If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while the food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire, like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, or hand towels, away from the stovetop.
If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.
- Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the flames.
- Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you get out safely.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the oven door closed.
- If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear path out.
- Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
SERVPRO of Hannibal wishes you a safe and happy fall season!
Fire Prevention Month
October is Fire Prevention Month and an excellent time to examine the emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan. Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you changed you smoke alarm batteries within the last year? Are you prepared for whatever happens?
Cooking is the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen. NFPA notes that once a fire alarm goes off "you could have less than two minutes to get out safely," yet only 8 percent of people surveyed said getting out was the first thought they had after hearing a fire alarm go off. Creating, implementing, and practicing a fire escape plan for you home or business may be the difference between safety and tragedy. Make a plan today!
Keep Fall Fire Free
The fall season brings cooler temperatures, beautiful colors, and an abundance of outdoor activities. Plan ahead this season to help ensure it is safe and fire-free.
- Fall decorations, like dried flowers and cornstalks, are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
- Keep emergency exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.
- Teach children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire.
- Remember safety first when choosing a Halloween costume. Consider avoiding billowing fabric.
- It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. Use extreme caution if using a real candle.
Happy Fall everyone!
Fire Damage FAQ
- How long will the fire restoration process take?
Because there are many variables and many services involved in fire and smoke restoration, it is difficult to predict exactly how long the complete restoration will take. Consult with your SERVPRO Technician on the estimated dates and phases of your restoration project.
- Can I clean the fire damage myself?
We suggest that you do not attempt any “do-it-yourself” cleaning methods without consulting your SERVPRO Technician. Professional cleaning systems and products used by experienced, trained SERVPRO Technicians give you the best chance for complete restoration of your belongings. Pre-testing, using the right cleaning agent for the particular item, mixing deodorizing agents with cleaning solutions, and using correct dilution rates are just some of the ways a fire restoration technician expertly controls the results.
- What are some safety concerns?
At SERVPRO, occupant and worker safety is a top priority. During the initial inspection, safety hazards are identified and addressed, including debris removal, air quality, electrical hazards, slip and trip hazards, etc. Burnt electrical cords and appliances are separate out for disposal, and questionable electrical appliances are unplugged and tagged for evaluation of the safe operation. Electrical power may be turned off and kept off until evaluation by a licensed electrician.
- Can I turn on my heating and air conditioning unit?
We recommend that you not turn on your furnace or air conditioning unit without clearance from the HVAC contractor.
- What items do I keep in my possession?
Cash, Medications, Valuable Jewelry, Checkbooks, Personal Documents, Valuable Paintings, Flammables, Pet papers, Weapons/Ammunition, Gasoline, Cans, Stamp/Coin Collections, etc.
- How do I keep track of non-restorable items?
We recommend you make a list of items (including food items) deemed non-restorable. Make a copy for your insurance company and keep one for yourself.
- Do I need to move out of my property during the fire restoration process?
This is ultimately your decision. Some things you may want to consider are safety concerns, odors, electricity, noise from equipment, etc. If vacating your premises for any length of time, consider the following: forward your mail to your temporary residence; stop newspaper and other deliveries; notify utility company, Cable Company, etc. of temporary suspension of services.
- Do I need general contractors?
There are some items that may require general contractors, such as drywall/painting, electrical, plumbing, roofing, framing/finish carpentry, flooring/carpet, installation of doors, windows, cabinets, post-construction cleanup, etc. Please talk with a SERVPRO representative as we have the ability to provide these services to you through our own in-house facility.
- Do my belongings need to be moved away from the premises?
Depending on the source, nature, and extent of the fire, it may be best to remove all belongings to a secure facility for cleaning, storage and to make room for restoration or construction. SERVPRO will work with you and your insurance claim representative to manage this process.
- Will I have access to my belongings while they are in storage?
Yes, with advance notice we can schedule a time for you to access your requested items.
- What about special items? Artwork, china, heirlooms, etc.
Some high-value items require restoration by specialists. Working with your insurance claim representative, we can help you identify these and locate a qualified restorer.
Fire and Smoke Damage Tips
SERVPRO of Hannibal understands the stress involved when you experience a fire loss. Here are some dos and don'ts to help you before our heroes arrive to navigate you through this difficult time:
- Limit movement of people in the structure to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place dry, colorfast towels on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off then empty freezer and refrigerator completely, and prop doors open to help prevent odors.
- Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances then protect with a light coating of lubricant.
- Pour RV antifreeze into sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs if heat is off during freezing season.
- Wash off both sides of leaves on indoor plants.
- Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until checked by a trained professional.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
- Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of Hannibal.
- Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without consulting with one of our professionals.
- Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water.
- Consume any canned or packaged 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.
- Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
We operate 24/7 and are always prepared to make it "Like it never even happened."
Call us at 573-231-0056.
Do You Know What to Do with Food after a Fire?
Opened and unopened boxes and cans are unsafe to eat after a fire loss.
SERVPRO of Hannibal is here to navigate you through the difficult and emotional time during a fire loss.
Do you know what to do with your food after your home or business experiences a fire?
The best safe practice is to let us damage out and throw away all the food in your cabinets and pantries. This includes can goods, cake/cookie mixes, vegetable/olive oils, coffee/tea containers, flour/sugar, and even pastas! The list goes on but we here at SERVPRO of Hannibal are fire damage experts and can help you sort through your items.
Smoke and soot have the ability of finding their way into every little nook and cranny which includes food. The heat from the fire itself can damage can goods and make them unsafe for you to eat.
If you have any questions about the safety of your food after a smoke or fire loss then please do not hesitate to call us at 573-231-0056.
Using a Portable Fire Extinguisher
A portable fire extinguisher can be a life and property saving tool when used correctly. In order to operate a fire 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 fire extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Encourage you family members and co-workers to do the same.
Remember, extinguishers do have their limitations! It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your home or facility.
- Class A: This is the most common extinguisher and can be used to put out fires in ordinary combustibles such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and many plastics.
- Class B: Used on fires involving flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline, and oil.
- Class C: Designed for fires involving appliances, tools, or other equipment electronically energized or plugged in.
- Class D: For use on flammable metals; often specific for the type of metal in question. These are typically found in factories.
- Class K: Intended for use on fires that involve vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances. Generally found in commercial kitchens.
If you have any questions or concerns about your fire extinguisher then give SERVPRO of Hannibal a call at 573-231-0056!
Fire, Smoke and Soot Restoration
Your home or commercial facility contains many of your most valuable possessions. SERVPRO of Hannibal understands the trauma during this challenging time. When fire damage takes control of your life, nobody helps you take it back like SERVPRO of Hannibal!
Inventory - One of the first priorities in fire restoration is to complete an accurate inventory to help ensure you properly account for all your belongings. We can provide a detailed room-by-room inventory of contents, alleviating you of this often stressful and time-consuming process.
Move Outs – When the structure has suffered extensive damage, the cleanup and restoration process may be facilitated by relocating the contents for cleaning, deodorization, and storage while structural repairs are being completed.
Contents Cleaning – All of the restorable contents in the affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery. Our team begins by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate. We can provide wet or dry cleaning. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized including electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing and bedding, and much more.
Ceilings and Walls – SERVPRO of Hannibal Professionals will pre-test to analyze the extent of the damage to your ceilings, walls and woodwork. Our team can reduce the cost of recovery by expertly cleaning lighter soot without incurring the expense associated with repainting. When higher concentrations of soot exist, our professionals will clean the area to prepare the surface for smooth painting.
Carpet and Floor Restoration - After a smoke or fire damage, carpeting and floors will often need a deep-down thorough cleaning. Residue from smoke or soot will settle and can be ground into flooring every time someone walks on them. We have the experience, equipment and cleaning products to clean and protect all types of flooring surfaces.
Ductwork – The ductwork and HVAC system will be inspected to determine if they were affected by the smoke damage. Depending on the amount of damage, a restoration process will be determined to properly clean and deodorize your HVAC and duct system.
SERVPRO of Hannibal Professionals provide specialized services that rid your home or place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. Our professionals do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them. Ask us to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.
SERVPRO of Hannibal is here for you to make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us at 573-221-0056!
Smoke Isn't as Easy as 1,2,3...
Behavior of Smoke
A fire loss is very complex because of the unique behavior of smoke. That is why it is important to have trained technicians at your home. SERVPRO of Hannibal Professionals know their smoke!
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas.
- Smoke migrates to upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around 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 technician at a fire scene will calm your fears, and then test the smoke to see what type of fire has taken place.
-Wet Smoke- Plastics and Rubbers
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 the smoke rises.
-Protein Fire Residue- 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 you, our team can in most cases restore the contents and structure quickly.
-Other Types- Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue.
Special loss situations require special care. SERVPRO of Hannibal Professionals are trained to handle your toughest losses! Call us at 573-231-0056!
When a Fire Strikes, We are Here to Help
SERVPRO of Hannibal is here to help when a fire strikes your home. We understand that to you, it isn’t just a picture frame, it is a piece of your family history. Our professionals understand the emotional task of picking up the charred pieces of your memories and belongings. Our technicians will be on the scene within four hours of your loss and within 8 hours they will discuss the extent of the damage and the steps they will take to help restore your home and personal belongings.
Leading Causes of Fire in a Home
- Heating Units
Here are a few helpful reminders regarding fire safety:
- Install smoke alarms outside each sleeping area and on every level of a home.
- Check smoke alarms once per month and change the batteries at least once per year.
- Plan an escape route and practice it at least twice per year.
SERVPRO of Hannibal is armed with industry-approved equipment and expertise. We are available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to help you make it “Like it never even happened.”
The season is here for alternative heating.
Be extra careful when using your heating system using wood or other material for burning. Many people use wood for alternate heat and it is usually safe.
Be sure your flue is clear of soot creosote build-up. This material in the flue can ignite and cause a flue fire which can cause a hot fire somewhere in the flue. Devices or a service company can be used to clean your flue.
Have an area around your loading door that is tile or fire brick so when the door is open, sparks will not land on flammable surfaces.
Regularly check the furnace for proper seals on all doors and flue connections to be sure smoke is being vented outside.
Be safe when saving money by burning wood.
Smoke and Soot.... GONE!
Table Top before after.
After a fire the smoke and soot gets in the smallest places.
Cleaning it takes the right people, the right process and a bit of time.
To get all the smoke smell you must get all the soot from the smallest crevices. To clean surfaces you must determine wet or dry smoke residue then use the right process. if not you end up with impossible-to-remove stains, then possible smell.
SERVPRO has the cleaners, the right process and trained technicians to get it ALL!
The before and after shows a job done right and a cleaning done Like It Never Even Happened!
For smoke damage cleanup call and we will take care of the clean-up and your insurance coverage details.