Recent Fire Damage Posts
Fire Extinguisher Readiness
It’s December—time for Thanksgiving dinners and cozy fires in the hearth. It’s also a great time to review your fire extinguisher knowledge.
- Do you have a fire extinguisher? Do you know where it is?
- Do you know when your fire extinguisher expires? “You can tell the difference between the two by the head; a rechargeable extinguisher has a metalhead with a gauge that reads Charge/Recharge, and a disposable extinguisher has a plastic head with a gauge that reads Full/Empty.” (Keystonefire.com)
- Do you know how to use your fire extinguisher? The time to read the instructions is not when you reach for it in an emergency.
You should always familiarize yourself with the instructions for your specific extinguisher, but there are four basic steps to follow with a standard foam model. You can remember them with the acronym PASS:
- P—Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher.
- A—Aim the nozzle or hose at the base of the fire. Keep a safe distance away.
- S—Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing materials.
- S—Sweep the nozzle from side to side.
Continue directing the foam at the base of the fire until it is completely extinguished.
If you have experienced fire damage, call SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City to find out how we can help you make it “Like it never even happened.”
Avoiding Fire Damage In Your Home
Most electrical fires are caused by faulty cords, plugs and appliances so knowing safety and fire prevention are keys in avoiding fire damage to your home or business. The following are steps that homeowners and commercial property managers can take to avoid costly fire and soot damage.
Electrical Cord Safety:
- Inspect all cords for frayed or damaged casings
- Never damage or break off the third prong in a plug
- Never break off a third prong plug and plug into a two prong outlet
- Replace all 2 prong outlets with 3 prong outlets
- Do not pull out cords from the cord always pull out plugs from the plug.
- Use surge protectors sparingly as it is possible to overload a circuit if too many plugs are plugged into one outlet.
- Extension cords are to be used as temporary cords.
- Use the correct gage when using an extension cord
- Try to keep cords from running underneath a carpet or rug
- Keep cords away from water and heat sources
- Follow manufacturers instructions
- Disconnect small appliances when not in use
- Disconnect appliances when you are going to clean them
- Unplug small appliances if you are going to leave town for an extended period
- Check phone chargers for overheating
At SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City we are there to help our customers in a fire and soot damage situation with fast service in order to get you back on your feet. Please feel free to contact us at: (805) 674-5771
OSHA Guidelines For Fire Extinguishers
SERVPRO of Morro Bay / King City knows that the proper use of fire extinguishers can prevent fire from destroying lives.
Owning a fire extinguisher is not enough. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) requires that employers train their employees how and when to use fire extinguishers. They must provide the training shortly after the employee is hired, and then every year thereafter.
OSHA does not allow untrained employees to use a fire extinguisher.
OSHA also requires monthly inspections of the fire extinguishers.
Fire extinguishers have to be placed where they cannot be moved or damaged..
The carrying handle should be 3-1/2 to 5 feet above the floor.
Employees must know when to use fire extinguishers.
SERVPRO of Morro Bay / King City suggests asking yourself these questions regarding fire extinguishers.
- Have I pulled the fire alarm?
- Is the fire extinguisher easy to reach?
- Do I know how to use it?
- Is the fire contained in a small area?
- Is the smoke non-toxic?
- Can everyone get out?
- Do I have an escape route?
If you can answer “yes” to all of the questions, it is reasonable to use the fire extinguisher.
SERVPRO of Morro Bay / King City reminds you that fire is fast. If you cannot contain it within 30 seconds, get everyone out of the area. Call 9-1-1 once you are outside.
Fire Hazards in the Kitchen San Luis Obispo County
Fire accidents are something that people think will never happen to them. As we’ve seen in recent months in California, forest fires can be extremely dangerous and destruction to anything and everything near and in its path. It is important as California residents to understand that there are still a lot of risks when it comes to fires and your home or commercial property. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently released a report stating that 2 in every 5 home fires in the United States begin in the kitchen.
Cooking is a fun activity that is enjoyed by friends and family of all walks of life. Some of a family’s best moments are those spent in the kitchen cooking, eating, and enjoying each other’s company. Unfortunately, the kitchen is also a potentially hazardous place when it comes to fires. The following are some of the biggest fire hazards in the kitchen:
- Grease build-up on stovetop
- Electrical wiring
- Loose clothing near open flames or on the stovetop
Being aware of the above hazardous items is important to maintain a safe and secure kitchen area. It is important to keep a fire extinguisher near or inside of the kitchen in the event that a fire starts. Cooking fires are the leading source of fires throughout the country, so being hyper-aware of the potential risks associated with kitchen items is important. If you have experienced a kitchen fire, contact our team at SERVPRO to take care of the cleanup and restoration.
Electrical Safety for Your Children
Homeowners often think of fire and electrical safety in regards to protecting their family and their property, but considering these practices from a child’s perspective is imperative to truly keeping your loved ones and home safe from harm. When discussing these issues with kids, it is best to break things into two categories in order for them to be easily understood and readily followed. Far too many parents sit their children down and offer guidelines given to them, which are difficult for kids to understand and put into practice. As such, today we offer some easy tips for explaining electrical safety to your children.
Below, we will break down how to help your children with identifying safe practices versus unsafe practices. Be sure to talk through these items with your kids slowly and carefully.
The following practices and ideas are positioned in the “safe” category:
- Help your parents by reminding them to test your smoke alarm monthly and change the smoke alarm batteries yearly
- Be sure to turn off the lights when leaving a room and before going to sleep
- If you see smoke or a fire, leave your home right away and call 911 from a safe location
- Make sure space heaters have a space, do not place anything that can burn anywhere near them
The following practice and ideas are positioned in the “unsafe” category:
- Never use or touch electrical cords that are broken or frayed
- Always keep electronics far away from any liquids
- Do not overcrowd electrical outlets with cords, if there are too many in one location ask an adult to remove some
- Do not put anything that can burn near lightbulbs or lampshades
Electrical safety and fire safety are important subject matters that must be addressed by parents on a regular basis. Make it a habit to ask your children questions to ensure that they are well-versed on the above safety tips at all times.
Fire Disasters Not Covered by Standard Home Insurance in San Luis Obispo County
Many people assume that a home fire is covered by their insurance policy. In reality, most insurance plans only cover specific types of fire disasters. Learn which circumstances can qualify you for reimbursement and which ones can leave you with a large bill.
Arson: A Dead End
When a homeowner deliberately sets fire to property, then authorities consider it a criminal offense. A common motivator for this crime is to collect insurance money, and companies are aware of this fact. They often send investigators to assess the fire damage to a property. If arson is suspected then there is no financial reimbursement.
Fire in a Vacant Home: No Luck
Insurance companies typically define a vacant home fire according to these points:
- No occupation for at least 30 days
- A property that is purchased, but the homeowners haven’t moved in yet
- Homes that are rented out but currently free of tenants
Vacant homes are a large risk to insurance companies because a fire cleanup tends to be more severe. If you want to secure your property against a possible home fire, then you can purchase an endorsement to an existing policy. This is a good idea for a summer home, for example, that is not occupied for part of the year.
Commonly Covered Circumstances
Disasters and fires that occur from an appliance malfunction, vandalism, wildfire or lightning strike can often qualify for coverage. In these cases, you and your family may not have to pay for a fire damage cleanup company in San Luis Obispo County, California out of pocket. If someone was hurt during the incident, then insurance can also cover medical costs. Insurance companies have to make a profit, but they are also concerned about the well-being of their clients.
Understanding the details of your homeowner's insurance can be useful in the event of a home fire. Fires resulting from arson and vacant home fires often do not receive financial assistance.