Fire! What You See, And What You Don't
The flames can be dramatic while watching a news story about a home or apartment fire on the television or the internet. Rightly so because they cause the most visible damage to your property during a fire. But, it is the smoke and soot that are the silent and sometimes invisible hazards that could cost lives. Water is also a reason for damage after a fire. Even firefighters themselves may cause some damage before they can completely put out a fire. Here are 10 important things to know about fires.
- In a fire, more people die from inhaling smoke than from the flames. Never think that if you avoid the flames you are safe. Always keep away from smoke.
- Soot is a coating of fine, black dust created when wood, coal, or oil-based substances are burned. These carbon particles float into the air and settle anywhere. Inhaling soot can caused severe lung deficiencies or even death.
- If soot contaminates items in your home or business, a fire restoration service provider like SERVPRO of Lynchburg, Bedford and Campbell Counties must assess the damage to see if restoration is possible.
- The worst possible effect of soot is its tendency to cause cancer and cause serious defects in newborns. Soot produces poly cyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons are responsible for gene mutation for particular groups of genes. They can cause birth defects and increase the chances of getting cancer.
- Water’s great at putting out most fires but the water itself can cause great damage. You must make sure, after the fire is out, that your home or business is completely dried.
- Mold colonies can begin to grow just 48 hours after water damage occurs. The combination of fire, water, and mold damage to your commercial property or home could result in a complete loss if not handled properly. See our posts about mold, mold myths, and how to clean up mold.
- Use caution if you decide to do some of the cleanup after a fire. Never start your cleaning process until you’re properly attired. Wear heavy-duty gloves, safety goggles, and a face mask. Carefully cover your nose and make sure your safety glasses have no place for dust or soot to get into your eyes. If in doubt, call on the services of a professional restoration company as you may do more harm than good. Some household cleaning products may actually set a stain on your home or personal belongings.
- Firefighters are true heroes. However, they often must break windows and cut holes in the roof of buildings on fire. As a fire burns, the fire moves up and down and across, growing very fast. Firefighters break windows and cut holes in roofs to provide ventilation that slows the fire’s growth. Ventilation also helps get rid of dark smoke that makes it hard for firefighters to see where they’re going. The holes and broken windows help firefighters fight the fire more quickly. The bottom line is that breaking windows and cutting holes in roofs help save lives and property. 9. Firefighters will also cut holes in walls at times. That’s not about ventilation. It’s done so the fire department is sure that the fire is completely out. Fire departments don’t want to risk leaving a fire that’s not visible but is still active inside the walls or in other hidden places.
- If you have a fire, get a copy of the fire report. In most areas, a fire report is a public document. Ask for it at the fire department or fire marshal’s office. The fire report will help you with information to begin the restoration process.
SERVPRO of Lynchburg, Bedford and Campbell Counties stands ready to respond 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to your catastrophic event. Please call us with your questions or concerns at 434.525.9559 or visit us at www.SERVPROlynchburgbedfordcampbellcounties.com for more information.
Better yet, save our contact information in your phone for when an emergency strikes you. When you think fire, smoke, water damage, think SERVPRO. Locally owned and operated.
Our Marketing Department
At SERVPRO, a typical day in the marketing department largely involves communication with insurance companies and local agencies. Because of the nature of SERVPRO’s work, customers often call their insurance companies before they call us. Since the majority of SERVPRO’s jobs involve insurance companies, our marketing department constantly works with insurance companies and their local agencies to ensure that everything is going well with our ongoing jobs and claims. The SERVPRO marketing department makes rounds to our local agency partners to see how we can assist them. We work with over 250 local insurance agencies in the Lynchburg, Bedford, & Campbell County areas.
Training is another part of our marketing effort to assist the insurance companies and local agencies. At least once a year, SERVPRO offers a continuing education course to help insurance companies maintain their licensing requirements. We are very grateful for the stellar marketing team that we have here at the SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford/Campbell Counties!
Danger Can Be Lurking
Have you heard the expression, “What you can’t see can’t hurt you?" This might be a true statement when it comes to a children’s story or a fairytale, but not so with water damage to your home or business.
The smallest water intrusion into your space may result in serious water damage and more importantly, a health hazard to your family or employees. Indoor air quality can be affected over time and symptoms from headaches to irritated eyes to allergies may occur. If you see signs of water damage, call a professional to investigate it as soon as possible.
Be proactive in protecting your home, business and family. Do you notice the following?
- A damp spot on your ceiling or drywall?
- A new smell that cannot be explained?
- Excessive utility bill after a weather event?
- An unexplained damp or soft spot in your flooring?
- Complaints of allergy symptoms?
Any one or more of these may be a sign of a water event in your space. Avoid the high costs of a future large restoration by addressing the problem sooner rather than later. The SERVPRO difference in Lynchburg, Bedford County and Campbell County is the use of the right water detection tools:
Moisture Sensor-Used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.
Moisture Meter-Used to determine the actual moisture contact of various materials. This also is the equipment that allows us to monitor the drying process.
Thermohygrometer-Used to measure temperature and relative humidity to calculate and create an environment most conductive to drying. When handling a contaminated loss (CAT 2 or 3), it is not only important to dry the structure, but to disinfect and often deodorize as well.
Ultra-Low-Volume (ULV ) Fogger-Used to atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. It can also inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard- to-reach areas that typical residential products and methods cannot reach.
Thermal Fogger-Used to dispense solvent- based products by creating a dense fog that consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor causing bacteria.
Early detection and treatment of water damage is the key to promoting a healthy living space and getting your domain back.
Contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment with one of our trained professionals here at SERVPRO of Lynchburg, Bedford and Campbell Counties by calling 434.525.9559.
Preparing for Storms
Storms can bring powerful winds and dump inches of rain in a short period of time which can cause significant damage to your home. The damage can be extensive and expensive. It is important to be to take preventative steps in order to help protect your home against any potential damage. Below are a list of precautionary steps that should be taken in the event of a storm:
- Monitor local weather stations, and sign up for local alerts on your phone. These bring important warnings in case the storm changes course, or if your area becomes at risk of flash flooding.
- Ensure that you have stocked up on enough food, water, and other essentials to last for a few days in case of a power outage or severe local flooding.
- Create an emergency plan for your family. Have a list of emergency phone numbers prepared. Have an exit plan in case your home becomes unsafe, and make sure that there is an assigned meeting location in case family members are separated.
- Clear outside gutters and drains of any leaves, sticks, or other blockage. This will ensure that water is able to flow freely, and will help to prevent water from backing up into your home.
- Remove any large tree branches and brush around your home. Store or secure items such as garbage cans, lawn furniture, and other items that can be blown away or damage your home during a storm.
- Create an inventory list of the items in your home. This will be very important for insurance purposes in the event that your home floods.
- Finally, remember to stay safe and dry by remaining in a secure location for the duration of the storm.
Taking precautions is the first step toward protecting your family & your home in a storm situation. If your home has flood damage from the storm, please call SERVPRO of Lynchburg/ Bedford & Campbell Counties at (434)525-9559. It would be our privilege to serve you!
Lynchburg Business Owners: Be Emergency Ready
SERVPRO of Lynchburg / Bedford & Campbell Counties is a leading expert in providing Emergency Ready Profiles (ERP’s) for area businesses, churches, municipalities and non-profit organizations.
What is an ERP?
An ERP is simply a plan of action of what to do, who to call, and emergency contacts! It will also include where water shut off valves are, and electrical panels, plus so much more.
Why get an ERP?
One advantage to being prepared for a disaster includes reducing business interruption. Most people do not know that as many as 50% of businesses never recover following a disaster because a plan was not in place ahead of time. We can provide a no cost assessment of your facility and not only provide you with a concise profile that contains critical information needed in the event of an emergency, but give you access to our “SERVPRO ONLY” mobile app which puts this information at your fingertips at all times!
Call us today to get started! 434-525-9559
SERVPRO of Lynchburg / Bedford & Campbell Counties is here when you need us, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
SERVPRO's Technicians are IICRC Certified
SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms must
• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
If you have water, fire, or storm damage to your business or home, call us 434-525-9559.
Water Damage in Lynchburg? We are IICRC Certified
Here at SERVPRO of Lynchburg we understand how important it is to uphold the condition of your home and the memorabilia within it that help make your house your home. We know that above all else, the number one important factor is the safety of your family (pets included of course). That is why we have made certain that our franchise be certified by IICRC and uphold their standards as well as continually train our crew the IICRC standards and for each member to work towards being personally certified as well. We take our work seriously knowing that if a Fire, Water, or Mold Damage happened in our home or business, we would want it to be restored as efficiently, and safely as possible. That is why when disaster strikes your home or business, you can count on SERVPRO of Lynchburg!
What is IICRC?
IICRC stands for Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is recognized internationally as a knowledgeable industry voice and resource. It serves as an independent, nonprofit standard-setting and certification body, to set and promote high standards and ethics; and to advance communication and technical proficiency within the inspection, cleaning and restoration service industries.
The IICRC is the leading, independent, non-profit, certification and standard-setting body within the cleaning, inspection, and restoration industry. The IICRC sets and promotes high ethical standards, and advances communication, collaboration and technical expertise.
Lynchburg VA, Flash Flooding
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- When dealing with flooded homes or roads remember that the water could have contained sewage.
You want to protect yourself and your family during the cleanup.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said to keep children and pets out of the affected areas until cleanup has completed.
INSIDE THE HOME:
- Wear personal protective equipment, including rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of affected area.
- While cleaning up areas with mold damage, wear a NIOSH-approved N-95 respirator, or one that provides even more protection.
- Remove and discard items that cannot be washed and disinfected (such as, mattresses, carpeting, carpet padding, rugs, upholstered furniture, cosmetics, stuffed animals, baby toys, pillows, foam-rubber items, books, wall coverings, and most paper products).
- Remove and discard drywall and insulation that has been contaminated with sewage or flood waters -- this should include material that are located a foot higher than the high water line.
- Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (such as flooring, concrete, molding, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures) with hot water and laundry or dish detergent.
- Help the drying process by using fans, air conditioning units, and dehumidifiers.
- After completing the cleanup, wash your hands with soap and clean water.
- Wash all clothes worn during the cleanup in hot water and detergent. These clothes should be washed separately from uncontaminated clothes and linens.
- Wash clothes contaminated with flood or sewage water in hot water and detergent. It is recommended that a laundromat be used for washing large quantities of clothes and linens until your onsite waste-water system has been professionally inspected and serviced.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you become injured or ill.
OUTSIDE THE HOME:
- Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of affected area.
- Have your onsite waste-water system professionally inspected and serviced if you suspect damage.
- Wash all clothes worn during the cleanup in hot water and detergent. These clothes should be washed separately from uncontaminated clothes and linens.
- After completing the cleanup, wash your hands with soap and clean water. Use water that has been boiled for 1 minute (allow the water to cool before washing your hands); or you may use water that has been disinfected for personal hygiene use:
- - When using 5-6% unscented liquid household chlorine bleach – add a little less than 1/8 teaspoon (8 drops or about 0.5 milliliters) per 1 gallon of clear water. Stir well, and let it stand for 30 minutes before using. If the water is cloudy, add a little less than ¼ teaspoon (16 drops or about 1 milliliter) per 1 gallon of water.
- - When using 8.25% unscented liquid household chlorine bleach – add a little less than 1/8 teaspoon (6 drops or about 0.5 milliliters) per 1 gallon of clear water. Stir well, and let it stand for 30 minutes before using. If the water is cloudy, add 12 drops (or about 1 milliliter) per 1 gallon of water.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you become injured or ill. See wound care for more information.
Flood waters and standing waters pose various risks, including infectious diseases, chemical hazards, and injuries.
Eating or drinking anything contaminated by flood water can cause diarrheal disease -- this could be caused accidentally after coming in contact with flood waters.
To protect yourself:
- Practice good hygiene (handwashing with soap and water) after contact with flood waters.
- Do not allow children to play in flood water areas.
- Wash children’s hands with soap and water frequently (always before meals).
- Do not allow children to play with toys that have been contaminated by flood water and have not been disinfected.
- For information on disinfecting certain nonporous toys, visit CDC Healthy Water’s Cleaning and Sanitizing with Bleach section.
- Do not bathe in water that may be contaminated with sewage or toxic chemicals. This includes rivers, streams, or lakes that are contaminated by flood water.
If you have open wounds, avoid exposure to flood waters and cover clean, open wounds with a waterproof bandage.
Flood waters can displace animals, insects, and reptiles.
Prevent Electrical Fires in Your Home
Electrical fires are the cause of many house fires, and can be some of the most difficult to put out due to the difficulty of identifying the source. Proper care of electrical outlets and appliances will help to prevent electrical fires. It is very important to follow manufacturer guidelines when using electrical appliance and systems, such as the wattage guidelines given when changing light bulbs. Be sure that you do not plug in too many electrical units into one outlet, as this could burn out the outlet and cause a fire. Be sure that you have your wiring checked regularly by an electrician. Faulty wiring is a leading cause of electrical fires and is a common problem in many homes. If you hear a sparking sound near a particular electrical outlet or appliance, or see smoke or smell burning after plugging a unit in, immediately unplug the object and call an electrician to check your wiring.
Finally, if an electrical fire does occur, do NOT attempt to put the blaze out with water. This will only make the fire worse and could shock or electrocute you. If safe to do so, attempt to unplug the source. Put the fire out using baking soda or a blanket to smother the flames. If the fire is larger, a class C fire extinguisher can be used. If the fire continues to grow, leave immediately! Do not be tempted to put out a growing fire by yourself. Allow the firefighters to do so.
If your home has been damaged by fire, please call SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties at (434)-525-9559.
Faster to Lynchburg, Bedford & Campbell Counties Water Damage
Faster to Lynchburg, Bedford & Campbell Counties Water Damages
Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.
Faster To Any Size Disaster
Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 434-525-9559
Water Damage Timeline
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.