Recent Fire Damage Posts

Getting Rid of Cigarette Smoke Odor

8/23/2022 (Permalink)

How Do I Get Rid of Cigarette Smell?

It's obvious to a non-smoker when a home smells like cigarettes.  The smell of tobacco and/or cigarette smoke and tar is stubborn because it "sticks" to all surfaces in your Lake Charles area home as it spreads through the air. So, how do you get rid of the cigarette odor?  The short answer is that it's very difficult.  ALL surfaces in the home need to be scrubbed and deodorized, including the: flooring, walls, furniture, appliances, knick-knacks, and clothing. Even the air in the home needs to be deodorized during the process.  It's not an easy task, but the experts at SERVPRO® of Lake Charles have done it many times and are more than willing to help you.  Give us a call today and start breathing fresh smelling air!

The Nature of Smoke Damage

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

The behavior of smoke can often complicate damages to your property following a fire. There are two different types of smoke: wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. SERVPRO of Lake Charles certified professionals have the experience and training in fire cleanup and restoration. Our certified technicians know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns.

Our certified technicians will survey the loss to determine the extent of the damage due to the fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents. Our certified technician will test the soot on the building materials to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The following are types of smoke that can affect the restoration process.

Dry Smoke

Fast-burning, high-temperature fires caused by paper or wood are called dry smoke. Dry smoke can easily fall into the cracks or porous materials in your home or business. This smoke makes it relatively easy to clean compared to more dense smoke and soot residue.

Wet Smoke

Wet smoke damage comes from low heat and smoldering fires. Both plastic and rubber produce wet smoke when burned. These smelly blazes usually have fewer flames but much more thick, black smoke than their dry counterparts. Wet smoke residue is sticky and smeary.

Protein Residue 

Protein residue is produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire. This residue is often caused by cooking fire incidents in the kitchen. This type of smoke is virtually invisible. However, this type of smoke can permanently discolor painted, varnished, or other finished surfaces. Protein residue damage has an extremely pungent odor, and if not treated, the unpleasant smell can permeate your entire home or business if left untreated.

Fuel Oil Soot

Fuel oil residue is not often seen in home and business fires unless petroleum products are in the space. Fuel oil residue is sticky, dense, and especially difficult to clean. Its odor is strong and offensive, which can ruin upholstered pieces of furniture when not cleaned properly. Furnace puff backs can create havoc for homeowners SERVPRO of Lake Charles professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.

Other Types

Other types of smoke include tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue. Special loss situations require special care.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles professionals handle even the toughest losses. If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact us at (337) 478-1133 to make it “Like it never even happened.”

What to do with Your Pets During a Fire

2/11/2022 (Permalink)

Although not everyone may entirely agree... pets are family too! It is crucial for families to create a fire evacuation plan that they can quickly put into action in the event that there is an emergency. When you ensure that all members of your family understand what to do if a fire breaks out in your home, it decreases the need to take unnecessary risks and is a helpful tool to use in case of panic. Even if you do have to consider fire damage restoration in the aftermath, you will find excellent consolation knowing that you have created a plan to follow. In case of a fire emergency, the tips below will help you include every family member - even the ones with paws, wings, or scales!

Planning with Pets

Prepare an Emergency Food Kit

When a fire sparks in your home, you won't have time to think about how many cans of wet food to grab or be able to count out a sufficient amount of daily cups for your pet. By compiling these items beforehand, you will be able to grab and go, saving you precious time in a dangerous situation. Don't forget to pack water, bowls, doggy bags, potential litter. A spare collar with your animal's information wouldn't be a bad idea either!

Create a Form of Shelter

By putting your pet's emergency kit into a crate or some form of travel shelter, you won't have to think about grabbing multiple bags and forgetting the necessities. Even something as simple as a blanket will help keep your pet comfortable in a stressful situation like a fire.

Medication

Fire damage can sometimes make it impossible to return to your property until it is safe, which may take longer than you think. If you are unable to return to your home, you won't be able to access your pet's vital medication. A simple plastic bag will do the trick - just toss it in with your food and other essential materials.

Many people become extremely overwhelmed during and after a fire damage event. We know that coping with the aftermath can be confusing, scary, and just plain difficult. That's why we're always here to help Lake Charles and surrounding areas. Our team can assist you in every step of the way. 

Understanding Your Heating Equipment

1/21/2022 (Permalink)

House fires increase over the winter months. According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly half of all home fires occurred in January, February, and December. Several factors contribute to winter fires including, portable space heaters, fireplace, central heat, and water heater. It is essential to know how to use heating equipment the right way to prevent fires at home. The following are some tips for keeping safe and warm indoors.

  • Remember to keep space heaters on a stable, level surface, where they will not fall over. Never run the heater’s cord under rugs or carpeting.
  • Have a professional clean and inspect your chimney and vents for safe use. 
  • Throw away cooled chimney ashes in a tightly covered metal container. Keep the container outside at least 10 feet away from the building.
  • Keep all lit candles at least 12 inches away from anything flammable.
  • Have a fire extinguisher handy. Remember that each extinguisher must be serviced annually.

Have a safety escape plan for your family and pets. To practice fire safety, experts say it is essential to:

  • Check smoke detectors every month to make sure they are working.
  • Have a meeting point away from your home after you have evacuated.
  • Practice your fire safety plan yearly.
  • Plan at least two ways to get out of any room.

Keep these quick tips in mind to help prevent a major fire damage emergency from taking place in your home this winter season.

If you have recently experienced a fire in your home, business, or building, and need professional restoration to your residential or commercial property, give SERVPRO of Lake Charles at (337) 478-1133.

Fire Damage? We Are Here To Help!

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

Fires are one of the most destructive events that can happen in anyone's life. Whether a fire damage event occurs in a residential home or commercial building, we are the fire damage restoration experts that have the power to change your life!

Not All Fire Damage is Created Equal

Nuances in technique, equipment, and technology can make a drastic difference in cost and results. Read the following techniques that we use to get results in the best timeframe, in the most cost efficient manner, and to help more people who have experienced the devastating destruction of fire.

Choosing Deodorizing Tools and Products Sensibly

We take full advantage of having a full network of franchises to discuss the efficiency of tools and products to use when it comes to repairing fire damage or deodorizing the affected areas. We have access to suppliers that have products ranging from odor absorbent crystals, smoke odor counteractant and deodorants, degreasing cleaners, woodcraft cleaners, and many more options.

Caring for Contents

If your personal belongings have been affected by fire or smoke damage, we have the capabilities and mindset to restore rather than replace your precious items. Our technicians are certified through the IICRC and are experienced in removing smoke damage that can cause long-lasting health hazards for the occupants. We use activated carbon or charcoal filters for maximum results when addressing odors, making the site easier and healthier to work in.

Here at SERVPRO of Lake Charles, we're always "Here to Help!"

When fire damage ravages your property, give us a call at (337) 478-1133. Our certified team and fast disaster response will save you precious time and money.

Options Besides Candles

1/10/2022 (Permalink)

Candle Alternatives

Candles can provide great ambient lighting and allow you to choose your favorite scent for your home. Unfortunately, candle use also can result in a house fire. Fire restoration specialists recommend that you never leave a lit candle alone in a room. To keep your home in Lake Charles, safer while still reaping the benefits, consider one of these four candle alternatives.

1. Scented Wax Warmers

A great way to avoid a candle fire without sacrificing the comforting scent you love is by using an electric wax warmer. As the warmer heats up, the wax melts safely, diffusing the scent throughout the room.

2. Battery-Operated Candles

Another flameless option is a candle that operates on a battery. You still get the look and flicker of a real candle without the actual flame. You can also choose a scented option. These candles are perfect for a bathroom or other guest area where you want to have the look and smell of a candle without the danger of an unattended flame.

3. Electric Tea Lights

For dramatic lighting, consider electric tea lights as candle alternatives. This versatile option gives you the soft glow of a traditional tea light. You can place them in candle holders or vases, allowing the light to reflect and set a relaxed mood.

4. Reed Diffusers

If you just want a nice scent but don't really need the lighting that a candle provides, a reed diffuser is a smart choice. You pour scented oil in a designated glass receptacle and then place scent sticks or reeds in the oil. The fragrance is released slowly through the reeds to permeate the room.

Candles are pretty, but they may be more of a fire hazard than they are worth, especially if you are leaving them in a room where you can't watch them. Choose one of these candle alternatives to set the same mood in a safer way.

Space Heater Safety Tips

8/16/2021 (Permalink)

3 Safety Recommendations For The Use of A Space Heater

Preparing for the winter:

Freezing air outside in Lake Charles, LA. makes you long for a warm, toasty atmosphere inside of your home. Warming yourself near a space heater feels good, but is it a smart choice? A burned space heater is one of the top causes of residential fires, particularly during the winter months. Learn how to safely use a space heater by following the three tips below.


1. What Kind To Buy

Space heaters come with options for safety features, such as an automatic shutoff if the unit overheats or tips over. Look for an independent safety certification label, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Ensure the appliance has a sturdy cord that is at least 6 feet in length.

2. Where To Place It

Place the heater on a hard surface, such as the floor. Do not place it in a child’s bedroom or play area or in a garage where incendiary materials are stored. Use the 3-foot distance rule for children, pets, walls, bedding, curtains and furniture. Allow this distance from flammable fabrics to prevent a burned space heater from setting fire to your home.

3. How To Care for It

Plug the heating unit into its own outlet to avoid overheating. Never use an extension cord or place the appliance near water. When you retire to bed for the evening or leave the room, even for a few minutes, turn off the space heater. Remove it from the outlet by holding the plug, never the cord. If the cord is damaged, discontinue use. If the unit has filters, change them regularly.

Follow the above safety tips at your home in Lake Charles, LA., to avoid a burned space heater. Always remember to practice general fire safety as well. Install and maintain at least one functioning smoke detector at every level of your house, especially near the bedrooms and kitchen. Have an escape plan in case of a fire. If a fire occurs, execute your plan to get your family to safety. For soot and smoke cleanup, contact a fire restoration specialist.

Avoid Tobacco Fires by using these 3 Suggestions

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Consider The Following Tips

If you or one of the residents in your home currently smokes, it's important to be informed on how to prevent a cigarette fire. After first checking with your local fire department in Lake Charles, LA, for any pointers they might have, consider other tips, as well.

1. Don't Smoke Indoors
There are a surprising number of flammable materials in your home. Any type of fabric will burn easily, so, if an ashtray gets knocked over, a stray cinder could easily start an ashtray fire and severely damage your home. In addition to the risk of fires, smoke from cigarettes can also damage the fabrics in your home and cause them to smell bad. This smell is difficult to remove with conventional laundry detergent.

2. Wear Removeable Clothing
If you or a family member smokes, make sure to wear clothing that can be removed easily after smoking and before entering the home. A jacket or a hoodie would be a good choice. This way, any odors are likely to soak into the removable item, rather than being tracked in and soaking into your furniture or drapes. It's also wise to wash this removable clothing often, as the odor will build up in these garments.

3. Consider Professional Odor Removal
If someone has smoked in your home for a while, or if there has been a cigarette fire, it's time to consider calling in odor removal and fire damage specialist. Hiring a professional will ensure that your home is cleaned from top to bottom with the best equipment suited for the job. This thorough home cleaning can include your carpet, drapes, air ducts, upholstery, and more. There is equipment meant for every job, whether you need full fire cleanup or an odor removal detail.
With a conscientious mind and some knowledge, it is possible to prevent a cigarette fire before it happens.

Fires: Staying Safe

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage according to the National Fire Protection Association. The most frequent causes of fires in dryers are lint/dust (29%) and clothing (28%). In washers, they are wire or cable insulation (26%), the appliance housing (21%) or the drive belt (15%).

Dryers were involved in 92% of the Washer/Dryer fires; the risk of fire was basically the same for both gas and electric-powered dryers.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to handle all of your fire damage restoration needs.

Safety tips:

  • Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
  • For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
  • Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
  • Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
  • Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.

What to do after a Fire

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

Residential and commercial fires are unpredictable and can be devastating.

Hopefully you have given thought to fire prevention for your home. In addition to taking these steps, you have also developed an escape plan with your family. In the unfortunate case of a serious fire, would you know where to turn after the fire crews leave?


SERVPRO of Lake Charles, (337) 478-1133, is the simple, effective solution. We'll respond quickly and get to work restoring your property.


One of the first steps in our fire damage restoration process is the inspection.

Without proper and careful inspection, we cannot be sure of risk factors in the environment, the extent of damage, critical utility locations, and numerous other important factors. Inspection can sometimes be a lengthy process, as SERVPRO inspectors have to look for and catalog many different factors.

Here are some of the things that we look for in homes that have taken fire damage.
 
Structural Instability
 
One of the most important considerations when inspecting fire damage is structural stability. Fires, as they burn through supports and other structural components, can create unstable conditions and high potential for collapse. Our technicians look for signs of structural weakening to ensure the safety of both you and SERVPRO technicians, such as warped walls, burned columns, caved-in ceilings, buckled door frames, and scraping between doors, windows, and their upper frames. Any of these may be an indicator of a weakened structure, so knowing of them before any work begins has the potential to save lives.
 
Spots for Tarping and Boarding
 
Immediately following inspection, our crews move in with tarps and boards to seal up any windows, doors, or holes in the home that leave it open to the elements. Inspectors look for these openings and compose plans to seal them most effectively.
 
Damage Inspection
 
Of course, the central part of any fire damage inspection is what has been hurt, and how much. Inspectors will catalog items, surfaces, and areas which have taken damage, describing in detail for our other teams how bad the situation is and what factors caused it. From there, our technicians can work to apply appropriate cleanup processes and measures. If you have used our ERP (Emergency Ready Profile) system, this process may be greatly accelerated as our inspectors will have access to plans and inventory lists beforehand.
 
SERVPRO of Lake Charles works with you to get fire damage cleaned up quickly, cheaply, and with the minimal safety concern. Call us at all hours at (337) 478-1133

A Couple of Ways to Extinguish a Grease Fire

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Grease fire in kitchen Fire damage restoration is a service that SERVPRO of Lake Charles specializes in.

One of the most common types of kitchen fires is the grease fire. As oil and grease collect on your stovetop or inside your oven, it presents an increasing risk. When you're heating food or preheating your appliance, the oils get closer and closer to their flashpoint. This is the temperature that it takes for the oil to burst into flame.

What To Do and What To Avoid

One of the most crucial things you need to know about putting out a grease fire in your home is to NEVER put water on that fire. Water doesn’t mix with oil; instead, the water will sink below the oil, and as it evaporates, the moisture sends burning oil throughout your kitchen. Instead of using water, use one of the following techniques:

  • Cover the flames with a metal lid. The seal between the dish containing the burning oil and the metal lid must be tight enough to prevent oxygen from reaching the flames.
  • Pour baking soda or salt over the fire. Baking soda puts out the flames because it contains carbon dioxide, cutting off the oxygen supply. You'll need a lot of baking soda. Keep a #10 can or one of the big boxes from the laundry aisle. Salt absorbs heat, and you'll only need about one cup to put out the fire.
  • You can avoid a lot of trouble and damage when you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. It's important to have the right type of extinguisher, however. You could choose a multipurpose extinguisher; just be sure there is a B or K in the label.


There are several things you may have in the kitchen that can make matters worse. For example, do not use flour, baking powder, or sugar. The chemical reaction between these ingredients and the grease will make the fire worse instead of better. Some people suggest draping a damp cloth over the flames. However, if any water from the cloth drips or splashes onto the flames, the fire may explode in your face.

Get Help When You Need It

As soon as you feel that the grease fire is out of your control, call 911, and make sure that members of your household safely leave the home. If your home suffers any damage, contact fire cleanup professionals to handle repairs.

Business Fire? Here's what to do.

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

fire damaged computer Call SERVPRO of Lake Charles if your business is in need of fire damage restoration services.

Here's A List Of To-Do Items

Your levelheaded actions in the chaotic aftermath of a fire often determine how quickly you can reopen your business. If you have a fire contingency plan with up-to-date records stored off site, you're way ahead in the recovery timeline. Business blueprints, insurance policies, licenses, inventories, accounting statements, employee records, etc., are critical documents that can help speed your insurance claim.
Good documentation is imperative post-fire, too. As you organize your business' rebound in Lake Charles, LA., record your fire restoration purchases, keep receipts and document all communications. 

1. Immediately contact your insurance company. Check your fire insurance coverage and advise your agent.

2. Don't touch any damage. Wait for the insurance inspection.

3. Secure the premises. Avoid vandalism by asking for extra police patrols or arranging private security. If there's exterior damage, contact fire restoration professionals to tarp the roof and board up breaches to avoid secondary damage before your building is inspected.

4. Turn off all utilities. Don't resume service until your property's cleared by the utility company.

5. As soon as you can officially reenter your building, retrieve important paperwork. If not stored off site, recover all key documents, cash and valuables.

6. Keep all business-related parties up to date. Provide your contact information to employees, customers, vendors, suppliers as well as banks, utilities, the post office, etc. Inform them of fire restoration progress and the estimated timeframe for reopening your business.

7. Consider the help of a public adjuster. If you feel more objectivity is needed to settle your insurance claim fairly, request a review by an impartial public adjuster licensed by the state to negotiate disputed settlement issues.
Fire restoration goes beyond smoke cleaning and water damage remediation services. It's a common-sense, many-faceted process that furthers your chances of fully recovering from a disastrous fire and getting your company back to the business of business.

Office Escape Procedures

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

fire escape sign SERVPRO of Lake Charles is Southwest Louisiana's premiere Fire and Water Restoration Company!

How To Create a Fire Escape Plan for Your Building

Fires can be destructive and deadly. The speed at which a fire takes a facility varies based on the materials and causes of the blaze. Every emergency and fire restoration service in Lake Charles, LA., likely understands and encourages every commercial property owner to create a fire escape plan. Unfortunately, too many people do not know what that entails. Escape plans need not be complicated and should require at least three components.

Two exit minimum
Clear pathways
Implementation and practice

Two Exit Minimum
The basic emergency escape plan requires a two exit minimum out of every room in your facility. While plans can have more options, two is the minimum because it improves the odds of survival. If a room only has one exit, then people may become trapped if the fire overtakes that exit. Most offices will have a window and a door, these can stand as your exit points, but make sure that there is a feasible way to get to safety from those points.

Clear Pathways
The key to an effective fire escape plan is clear pathways. Make sure that hallways are free of clutter and that exit points are not blocked by shelving. While warehouses and packaging facilities can become overwhelmed with boxes and random items, it is crucial to have processes in effect to maintain order and cleanliness.

Implementation and Practice
It is not enough to create exit strategies. The only way to test the effectiveness of a plan is to implement it and put it into action. Routine practices should take place throughout the year to ensure that every employee makes it safely outside without incident. These scheduled run-throughs will help you tweak the escape strategy if you find there are hiccups.
A fire escape plan is not necessarily complicated to create, but the practice is vital to avoid complacency. If you need help creating a plan for your building, then contact the fire department or a restoration expert for help.

Fire Tips for your Children

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

fire damage bathroom Fire damage can be an ongoing problem if you do not mitigate it properly.

Teaching kids safety is an important factor when making an emergency fire plan for your Lake Charles, LA., home. One way you can help protect them is by instructing them in what to do if a fire does occur. Many firemen and fire damage restoration professionals agree that learning the following tips can help.

5 Lessons About Fire Safety


1. What Fire Hazards Are

One step toward preventing a home fire is to tell your children what a fire hazard is. This way they will know what items not to play with, and to tell you immediately if they see something amiss.

2. How To Stay Low

During a fire smoke and heat rise, meaning the cooler air is closer to the floor. Teaching your child to stay low can help them avoid the smoke and find fresher air.

3. How To Check a Door

One important step for kids safety during a fire is to know how to check a door before opening it. They should know to use the back of their hand to test the door’s surface for heat, and to open it only if it doesn’t seem hot.

4. What Safe Routes Are

Safe exit routes are an important part of a fire escape plan. Explain to your child where the closest exits are and how to use them safely.

5. Where to Meet Up

Instruct your child to go to a pre-selected location to meet up with you once they’re safely out of the house. This should be an easily identifiable location such as a neighbor’s porch or a fire hydrant.

In the event of a fire, kids safety is important, and by teaching your child these things, you can feel more secure knowing they understand what to do in a fire. Telling them what a fire hazard is can help prevent a fire before it starts. They should also learn to stay low, check doors before they enter a room, follow safe routes out of the house, and where to meet up with everyone else.

Steps Toward Fire Damage Recovery In Your Southwest Louisiana Home

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

Steps Toward Fire Damage Recovery For Lake Charles Residents

Waking up to the sound of your fire alarm, then having to quickly evacuate the property while calling the fire department is every homeowner's worst nightmare. It is after the fire has been contained that anxieties over your possessions, valuable documents, and financial costs arise. There are measures you can do to make the process of getting your home back to its preloss condition runs smoothly after the initial shock.

The first thing is to contact a restoration service to carry out repairs on the fire damage in your Lake Charles home. SERVPRO operates an emergency line day and night for homeowners in need of assistance and reassurance. You might want to contact your insurance company to get a better picture of the task at hand as well as any utilities or lending companies. Fire situations are recognized as a debilitating situation, and many companies can put in place holds on bills or payments in exceptional circumstances, while you prioritize the restoration of your home.

A fire marshall can inspect the property after the fire and clear you for entry. Now's a good time to gather any necessary documents:

    •        Passport
    •        Driver's License
    •        Certificates
    •        Social Security
    •        Financial Documents
    •        Tax Records
    •        School Records
    •        Vehicle Registration

Some or all of these documents may show signs of damage from soots or smokes as well as water damage from firefighting procedure. Do not discard documents. SERVPRO operates specialized document recovery that can mitigate losses through a vacuum or freeze-drying procedure for waterlogged documents. Although we cannot reverse existing damages, there is a strong chance we can restore documents to a usable condition using these special procedures.

While you wait for a SERVPRO fire and smoke damage restoration technician (FRST) you can begin mitigating losses by covering floors and furnishings with sheets or tarpaulin which can prevent falling soots from causing further harm. Open the windows to allow air circulation throughout the property, which aids drying and replaces polluted air with cleaner outdoor air. For now, it is essential to leave walls, ceilings, appliances, and electrics until a qualified technician arrives.

SERVPRO trains technicians to the highest standards. On arrival, they can direct the restoration effort, as well as conducting crucial tests on materials, soot deposits, and smoke residues. These tests keep procedures efficient and ensure soots are not spread around, causing further issues to unaffected areas. Where necessary, our team can bring in odor control technicians to restore your indoor air quality.

We have extensive experience in handling fire restorations from start to finish. Using a combination of testing, cleaning, deodorizing, and drying, we can help you to get your property back to its preloss condition. Contact SERVPRO of Lake Charles at (337) 478-1133.

For more about Lake Charles click here.

Holiday Fire Preparedness Tips

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

stove fire Fire damage occurs most often during the winter months.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to educate the Lake Charles community of proper ways to protect your home or business against fire damage.

  • Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles.
  • Purchase flame retardant metallic or artificial trees. If you purchase a real tree, make sure that it has fresh, green needles that aren’t easily broken. Keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water.
  • Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees.
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove top.
  • Designate one person to walk around your home to make sure that all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave.
  • Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

Visit www.redcross.org/homefires for more information on how to keep your home fire safe during the holidays.

Thanksgiving fire safety tips

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

fire safety image Fire damage can ruin your holiday cheer.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles wants you to a safe holiday experience.

Top 10 safety tips
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey, and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay three feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
Thanksgiving fire facts
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, and the day before Thanksgiving.
  • In 2016, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,570 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
  • Cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths.  

Fire Damage: Duct cleaning and odor control

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

duct cleaning results Duct cleaning can help with odor issues after you have experienced a fire in your home or business.

If you have experienced a fire in your home or business then you are well aware that odor issues can be quite persistent afterwards if it's not treated correctly. SERVPRO of Lake Charles understands this as well, which is why we make sure to find out if your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system was running during the fire.

If it was then you may qualify for a duct cleaning as part of the insurance claim that you will inevitably file. SERVPRO of Lake Charles uses state of the art duct cleaning equipment to dislodge and remove any particulates from within your duct runs. This includes carbon buildup that may have been the result of the fire damage. We also can use either ozone or hydroxyl systems to remove any lingering odors and finally deodorize the duct system with something to your liking.

If you need our help please do not hesitate to call.

Duct Cleaning after Fire Damage

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

After you experience a fire in your home or business it is important to follow the necessary steps in order to properly restore the duct work in your building. After you have contacted a restoration company make sure to get in touch with your insurance company. If your HVAC system was running during the fire it is important that all parties are aware. This is a very important component to your home or business and needs to be considered when the restoration process begins.

Make sure to go in every room to observe whether or not soot traveled throughout via the duct runs. Take lots of pictures and tell you restoration contractor. 

SERVPRO of Lake Charles uses the latest duct cleaning equipment to insure that not only are your ducts free of soot but that they no longer retain the odor from the fire.

Call us if you have any questions!

Fireplace Safety Tips

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

  • Fireplaces should not be used as furnaces. Use a fireplace for a short-duration fire — no longer than five hours.
  • Keep the glass open to allow air to be drawn up to cool the chimney, but keep the screen closed to prevent sparks from jumping onto the carpeting.
  • Never leave a fire unattended when children are in the house. Adults, even if near, should not allow children to play near or with fire tools and equipment.
  • Open a window when using the fireplace to prevent the room from becoming smoky. The air coming in from the window will go up the chimney.
  • Before making a fire, open the glass doors, pull aside the screen curtains, and place the kindling, newspaper and logs inside. Next, open the damper and a window. The window needs to be open only a few inches. You can check to make sure the smoke will go up the chimney properly by lighting a match, quickly blowing it out and watching the smoke to see whether it's going up and out.
  • Keep a nonflammable rug (available at fireplace-supply stores) in front of the fireplace so that sparks won't melt or otherwise damage your carpeting.
  • Use fireplace tools to handle burning logs. Never use your hands.
  • Use a chimney cap to prevent water damage, to keep animals from nesting and to keep debris from blocking the chimney and causing carbon monoxide to flow into the house. Use a spark arrester to help prevent sparks from flying out, which could start a fire on the roof or lawn.
  • Glass doors may develop tough stains from flames and heat. To clean them, make sure the glass doors are cool, then scrape off any thick gunk deposits with a razor blade. Add a squirt of liquid dishwashing detergent to a bucket of warm water, or add a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water. Spray or sponge the cleaner on, and then wipe it away with newspaper (which is lint-free). Another option is to buy glass cleaner at a fireplace store.
  • Fireplace coals can remain hot enough to start a fire for up to three days, so always wait at least that long before removing the ashes. At that point, close the damper to prevent cold air in the flue from stirring up excess dust while you're removing the ashes. Be sure to wear a dust mask and open a window in the same room as the fireplace to prevent negative air pressure. Use a shovel to scoop the ashes into a metal container. Store the container far from combustible materials and surfaces and wood floors.
  • Never use a vacuum to clean up ashes, because live coals may remain in those ashes.
  • Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the chimney when necessary. Have him show you how to check it yourself, too. The chimney should be checked at least once a year or after about 80 fires.
  • Shine brass fireplace utensils with Worcestershire sauce and a toothbrush.
  • Clean the firebox (the area where the logs burn) at least once a week during the months you use it, when ash builds up. Leave about an inch of ash because it acts as insulation, allowing the coals to heat faster and retain the heat easier. Keep the firebox completely clean during the months when the fireplace is not in use.
  • To clean an exterior slate hearth, wash, dry and coat it with lemon oil every six weeks to make it shine. For cleaning exterior brick hearths, buy a brick cleaner at a fireplace shop.

 via HGTV.com 

What Should I Do After A Fire

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lake Charles has you covered when you have a fire or smoke damage in your home or office.Here is a list of what to do and not do while you wait for help to arrive.

DO:

  • Limit movement in the building to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets. trim and appliances, them protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Wash both sides of leaves on house plants.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheese cloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

Do NOT:

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of Lake Charles
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO of Lake Charles
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Consume any 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, and air movement may cause secondary damage.
  • Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor. SERVPRO of Lake Charles has the facilities to clean your garments.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Lake Charles and surrounding areas. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

If your home or business has suffered from fire/smoke damage call SERVPRO of Lake Charles (337)478-1133. 

What do you do when you find fire/smoke damage in your home or office?

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lake Charles has you covered should you experience fire/smoke damage. We have made a list of what to do and not do while you wait for help to arrive.

DO:

  • Limit movement in the building to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets. trim and appliances, them protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Wash both sides of leaves on house plants.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheese cloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

Do NOT:

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of Lake Charles
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO of Lake Charles
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Consume any 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, and air movement may cause secondary damage.
  • Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor. SERVPRO of Lake Charles has the facilities to clean your garments.

If your home or business has suffered from fire/smoke damage call SERVPRO of Lake Charles (337)478-1133

FIRES CAUSED BY WASHERS AND DRYERS

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

Home Fires Caused by Dryers and Washing Machines

 Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage according to the National Fire Protection Association. The most frequent causes of fires in dryers are lint/dust (29%) and clothing (28%). In washers, they are wire or cable insulation (26%), the appliance housing (21%) or the drive belt (15%).

Dryers were involved in 92% of the Washer/Dryer fires; the risk of fire was basically the same for both gas and electric-powered dryers.

Safety tips:

  • Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
  • For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
  • Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
  • Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
  • Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.

Source: National Fire Protection Association and http://www.propertycasualty360.com

House Fires Resulting From Lighting

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

Lightning During Storms and House Fires Resulting

Unlike other types of house fires, which occur more frequently in the winter months, fires in the home caused by lightning are more likely to happen in June, July and August in the late afternoon or early evening. From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes.  Lightning is responsible for a number of wildfires as well.

Lightning during storms poses the greatest risk outdoors and frequently strikes the highest point on a structure.

Safety tips During Lightning Storms: 

  • When possible, stay away from doors and windows during an electrical storm.
  • Do not use corded phones, computers, TVs or other electrical equipment during storms.
  • Unplug major electronics – TVs, stereo equipment, computers and microwaves to minimize damage if there is a lightning strike close by.
  • Avoid plumbing such as sinks, baths and faucets during a thunderstorm as metal plumbing is an excellent conductor of electricity.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is faster to any disaster and cleans-up after fire and smoke damage.

Source: http://www.propertycasualty360.com and National Fire Protection Association

What to do after a fire

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

After the smoke clears and the soot settles in your home, you’re left with some critical questions. To help you overcome the devastation of a fire, here are the answers to some common questions about fire damage restoration:

  • What is the first thing I should do after a fire? Call your insurance agent and submit your claim. He or she will provide you with information on securing your home.
  • Can I inspect my house after the fire? Legally, only a licensed inspector like a structural engineer or industrial hygienist can determine the safety of a building. Besides, the risk of checking the fire damage yourself is too great. Call a professional.
  • Do I really need professional clean-up if the fire was small? In most losses, cleaning the soot and smoke is the toughest part. Moreover, even small fires can cause major damage within minutes and leave lingering odors if not cleaned up properly. If you don’t act within a day or two of the fire, soot and smoke can leave permanent damage. Professionals have the tools and know-how to restore your home as fast as possible and mitigate the loss.
  • What should I do with all the water that was used to put out the fire? Water can lead to more damage such as mold growth. Reputable restoration companies also extract the water from the damaged area as part of the fire restoration job.
  • Can I stay in my home during the fire damage restoration process? This depends on the degree of the damage, your home’s layout, and your comfort level. As an alternate plan, talk with your insurance agent about off-site housing and staying at a hotel – these might be covered by your policy.
  • How long will the restoration process take? The length of time varies on the extent of the damage. Additionally, local authorities and your insurance agent will also want to investigate the damage before the restoration company can start the clean-up.
  • Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – SERVPRO of Lake Charles 337-478-1133