Recent Fire Damage Posts

How to Handle a Natural Gas Leak

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

A gas leak detector can be helpful in your Gardner, KS home

Natural gas is one of the safest ways of providing energy to homes and businesses. Incidents are relatively rare, but they do occur from time to time. If you are prepared, you can quickly identify a gas leak and deal with it before it has time to become a gas fire. Here’s how to recognize a problem in Gardner, KS, and what to do once you smell natural gas.

Incidents Are Rare but Can Be Extremely Destructive

Statistics on overall total gas explosions and fires are difficult to come by, probably because they are so isolated. However, the year 2009 is likely about average, with

  • 158 total natural gas distribution incidents.
  • 10 deaths.
  • About 50 injuries.
  • Around $32 million in property damage.

This may seem troubling, but compared to coal or oil in deaths per unit of energy, natural gas is substantially safer than either. Still, in one recent incident, a contractor in Massachusetts caused a natural gas overpressure, causing up to 70 fires, numerous explosions and 39 homes damaged or destroyed. At least 25 people were injured and one was killed, so knowing what to do in case of a leak is very important.

What to Do if You Smell Natural Gas

First, do not turn on or off any lights or other electrical items – one spark can cause a gas fire! Grab a flashlight or use your cellphone for light if you need it.

Natural gas has a distinctive, “rotten egg” odorant added to it so that you immediately will recognize a leak. A hissing noise will also be possible when you are very near the leak itself. If it’s safe, check your stove; sometimes the gas can be turned on accidentally. Open all doors and windows and get outside fast! If you know where your meter is, turn off the gas and notify the authorities as soon as possible.

If you do have a gas fire, you’ll need to contact your insurance company to help you pay for fire damage cleanup. Hopefully, if you’ve followed the steps above, you’ll avoid any serious repercussions and simply deal with fixing the leak.

Causes of House Fires

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

An electrical outlet on fire.

Three Common Causes of House Fires

Here are top 3 most common causes of house fires in Lenexa, KS as identified by the National Fire Protection Association.

  1. Candles

From 2007-2011, the NFPA says there were an average of 10,630 fires in the U.S. that were started by candles, causing 115 deaths, 903 injuries and approximately $418 million in property damage. That is an average of 29 candle fires per day.

Safety tips:

  • Never leave a candle burning near flammable items.
  • Never leave a candle burning in a child’s room or an unoccupied room.
  • Make sure candles fit securing into candle holders so they won’t tip over.
  • Blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep
  1. Smoking

While the number of fires caused by smoking is trending downward, the NFPA found that there were still an average of 17,600 related fires per year resulting in 490 deaths and more than $516 million in property damage.

Safety tips:

  • If you smoke, consider smoking outside.
  • Use wide, sturdy ashtrays to catch butts and ashes.
  • Look for cigarette butts under furniture and between seat cushions to make sure no lit butts have fallen someplace where they can’t be seen.
  • Don’t smoke in bed, when you’re tired or around medical oxygen.
  1. Lightning

From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes.

Safety tips:

  • 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.

Have Questions? Call SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa Today at 913.782.4693

Are you prepared to grill safely in Lenexa?

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

Before firing up your grill in Lenexa, KS..

DO:

  • Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from any structure. 
  • Clean your grill regularly
  • check for gas leaks
  • keep decorations away from your grill
  • keep a spray bottle of water handy
  • keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill and know how to use it.

DON'T:

  • Never turn on the gas while the grill lid is closed it causes gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it and open it, a fireball can exploded in your face. 
  • Never leave the grill unattended. Fires double in size in minutes. Plan a head so that all of your other food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling. 
  • Don't load your grill with food. This applies especially to fatty foods. The basic reason for this tip is that if too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up that could light nearby things on fire 
  • Never use a grill indoors.  People often think it will be safe to use a grill, especially a small one, indoors.  

Protect Your Business From Fire Damage

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Extinguishers should have a stamped inspection date less than a year old

How Protected is Your Business from Fire Damage?

Your company may exist for years without facing the damages caused by a business fire. Unfortunately, the risk of fire in commercial buildings is higher now than in the past ten years. Check out some eye-opening statistics from the National Fire Protection Association:

Between 2007 and 2011, United States fire departments responded to more than 3000 office fires per year.
Cooking equipment was most responsible for these blazes, and electrical failures account for the next highest percentage of fires.
Human error and general negligence also figure significantly in the amount of damage done during the emergency situation.

How protected is your Olathe, KS, business? Have you completed drills for the safety of your employees and customers? Are inspections and maintenance completed regularly?

Fire Extinguishers and Sprinkler Systems

Business fire prevention technicians should perform regular inspections and updates. For example, extinguishers should have a stamped inspection date less than a year old. Additional extinguishers should be installed when your business grows. Any sprinkler heads installed as part of your fire preparation efforts should be kept free of dust and debris. All of these safety components should be free of obstruction and positioned where they are immediately effective.

Fire Safety Plans and Employee Training

Business owners should refer to standards established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, and current Material Safety Data Sheets when creating a safety plan and regarding employee training. It's important to note that your employees, customers, and inventory are all much more likely to escape without fire damage when a safety plan has been put into effect.

If a business fire affects your property, remediation and reconstruction experts can get your building back into presentable condition. However, it may be a long time before your staff, customers, and business partners forget the trauma of facing flames. Make sure you have the right equipment in place, that it's in perfect condition, and that employees are trained in comprehensive safety plans.

Steps To Take When You Smell Natural Gas

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

It is important to know how to recognize the signs of a gas leak

If you use gas to power your home in Spring Hill, KS, it is important to know how to recognize the signs of a gas leak. A gas fire can erupt quickly if there is gas present. There are several things you should do immediately if you suspect a leak.

Recognizing a Leak

You can identify a natural gas leak in your home by smell, sight or sound. Some signs include:

  • A rotten egg smell
  • A hissing sound
  • Dead grass near pipeline
  • Bubbling in standing water near pipeline
  • Exposed or damaged pipeline

Checking the Stove

Your home can suffer a lot of fire damage from a gas fire on your stove. Make sure all burners are off when they're not in use. If you see a knob that is in the on position but don't see a flame, that is probably where the smell is coming from.

Ventilating Your Home

To prevent the need for fire damage cleanup, you can air out your house by opening the windows. This can help disburse noxious fumes.

Avoiding a Spark

Many items in your home could trigger a gas explosion when there is a leak present. Don't turn on lights. Avoid using your cell phone until you are away from your home. Anything with a flame can put your safety at risk and lead to damage that can only be remedied by fire cleanup experts.

Evacuating the Area

The most important thing you can do is leave your home. Don't try to fix the leak yourself; call the utility company once you are a safe distance from your home. Wait to enter your home again until a professional technician says it is safe to do so.

While avoiding a gas fire is a worthwhile goal, keeping yourself and your family safe is more important. If you know you have a leak, evacuate even if you don't know exactly where the smell is coming from. Let the professionals handle the problem.

Keep Your Home Safe With Flameless Candles

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Extinguish all candles when leaving a room.

Flameless Candles

Everyone loves the charm and ambiance of a flickering candle and the comfort of the scents that come from lighting one. But your home in Gardner, KS, is a place of safety and a respite from the hardships of the world, so keeping it safe from candle fire is an important safeguard. Candle alternatives can bring just as much satisfaction and enjoyment.

A real, burning candle is perfectly appropriate for setting the mood at dinner, but should be extinguished immediately upon leaving the table. Wax burns quickly and is a perfect fuel for a fire, so care must be taken. If using candles anywhere else, always make sure the candle is on a firm surface and surrounded by a non-flammable enclosure such as glass, and never leave it unattended while burning or allow children to play near them. Open flame is a fire hazard so try flameless options in your home.

Safe Candle Alternatives

Here are some ideas for options that can help your home and family safer while providing a glowing touch to your home’s atmosphere.

1. Candle warming lamps
2. Flame-free luminaries
3. Wax melting pots
4. Battery operated candles or tea lights

What Each Option Offers

Battery operated candles can flicker and glow just like a real candle and can even be set on timers and used with remotes, but will not give you the scent. Wax melting pots can disperse a scent as they melt smaller cubes or discs of wax in the melting chamber but do not provide any light. Flameless luminaries use a small bulb and appear more like the light of a tea light, also releasing aromas into the air. Candle warming lamps provide a soft glow and release your favorite scent. They utilize real jar candles and can be used multiple times – usually more than burning the same candle with a flame.

A candle fire can still happen and if it does a professional restoration service in Gardner, KS, can help clean up the waxy residue and smell that permeates the house as well as salvage your belongings. Using candle alternatives can help ensure you don’t have to deal with such a disaster in your home.

How To Prepare Your Child for a Potential Fire Escape

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Develop a fire evacuation plan at your Gardner, KS home

Fires can be both destructive and deadly. If you’re a parent, kid’s safety is a top priority. To help ensure everyone knows how to react in the event of a home fire, it’s important to develop an evacuation plan and educate your child about fire safety. A thorough plan and discussion should include the following elements.

1. Establish Multiple Escape Routes

Under the right conditions, a fire may spread throughout your home. For this reason, it’s essential that you help your child identify every available exit point, including windows.

2. Check Doors

Before opening any doors, instruct your child to feel them for heat. If a door feels hot, she should avoid opening it and proceed to a secondary escape route.

3. Stay Low

Smoke rises and can be a potential detriment to every kid’s safety. To reduce the amount inhaled, your child should stay as low to the ground as possible. You should demonstrate both a forearm and belly crawl to help her understand the safest ways to proceed to the nearest accessible exit.

4. Designate a Meet-up Spot

As you develop your fire escape plan, make sure to designate an outside location away from your home where your family can meet. Instruct your child that once she evacuates, she should not re-enter the home for any reason.

5. Stop, Drop and Roll

If your child’s clothes catch on fire, inform her to stop, drop and roll on the ground until the flames are extinguished.

6. Open Nearby Window If Trapped

If flames block all viable escape routes, instruct your child to close the nearest door and proceed to a window. She should open the window, yell for help and wave an object to alert firefighters of her location.

Because it helps promote kid’s safety, all households in Gardner, KS, should develop a fire evacuation plan and educate their children accordingly. Although there may be little a homeowner can do to minimize fire damage and restoration needs, ensuring everyone knows how to efficiently escape the home may provide some peace of mind.

How to Avoid Additional Damage After a Commercial Fire

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

If your Olathe, KS business recently endured a fire, you likely have a lengthy fire cleanup project ahead of you. In addition to internal destruction, your building’s external infrastructure may have also sustained damage. Because the cleanup and restoration process can take time, you may need to take steps to protect your business’s internal components from additional damage in the interim.
Roof Damage
As firefighters battled the blaze inside your building, they may have cut a large hole in the roof to aid their efforts. Cutting holes helps clear heat and smoke from burning buildings, creating a safer environment for the fire-fighting team. So even if the fire didn’t directly damage your roof, you will likely need to add a roof repair to your building’s restoration requirements.
Temporary Roof Protection
While your roof is exposed, your office space is vulnerable to additional damage from rain, snow, other weather elements and intrusion from animals. To protect your internal assets, you will need to shield your roof with a temporary cover. A variety of temporary roofing materials are available:
• Self-adhesive tarps
• Non-adhesive tarps or thick plastic that you can secure with lumber and felt roofing nails
• Commercial-grade shrink wrap
If you choose to use the shrink wrap method, you may wish to consult a professional for assistance to ensure proper application. A fire cleanup and restoration company can also provide a professional tarp service, which may be particularly beneficial if the roof sustained significant damage.
Boarding Broken Windows
In addition to the roof, your building’s windows may have also been damaged during the fire. To prevent both unauthorized entry into your building and injuries due to broken glass, you will need to board all broken and exposed windows until they can be properly repaired or replaced.
A Work in Progress
The duration of the fire cleanup process depends on several factors, including the severity of the fire and the resulting destruction. Applying a temporary roof cover and boarding broken windows can offer peace of mind that your internal assets will be safe from additional damage while the restoration process unfolds. Visit http://www.SERVPROolathelenexa.com/ for more information on fire damage. 

Electrical & Lighting Fires

7/28/2018 (Permalink)

According to the NFPA, in 2011 approximately 47,700 home structure fires were caused by some sort of electrical failure or malfunction. These resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.

SERVPRO Of Olathe / Lenexa has a series of safety tips that can help keep your home safe from fires.

Safety tips:

  • Don't overload outlets or electrical cords.
  • Make sure you have the right cord for the job; inside cords for inside, heavy duty/outside cords for outdoor use.
  • Don't leave Christmas lights, Christmas trees, or halogen lights on overnight or when not at home.
  • Consider having an electrician perform an annual checkup of your home's wiring.

If your home suffers a fire your can count on us to make it "Like it never even happened."

Dryers & Washing Machine Fires

7/28/2018 (Permalink)

One of the most common fire restoration situations SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa services is a dryer or washing machine fire. 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.

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.

Remember these safety tips to keep from having to give us a call in the case of fire.

How To Avoid Kitchen Fires

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

There are few things so warm and comforting as inviting people to your home in Olathe, KS, for a meal you have prepared. What is meant to be relaxing can turn into an emergency if a fire breaks out in your kitchen, though. Fortunately, kitchen fires are easily avoided if you take a few key safety precautions. Here are three tips on how to avoid kitchen fires.


1. Give It Your Attention.


Do not leave cooking food unattended. If a burner is on, you should be in the kitchen. It only takes a moment for something to boil over and catch fire or for small fingers to find their way to the burner in your absence. It may seem like a hassle to turn the stove off just to retrieve something from another room, but it's well worth the trouble if it keeps your home from suffering fire damage from a kitchen fire. Protect your home and your loved ones from danger by paying attention when you're cooking.


2. Keep Your Stove Clean.


A dirty stove is a recipe for a disaster. Not only does built-up grease have the tendency to draw insects, it can also cause a grease fire. Cleaning all cooking surfaces regularly can help you avoid fire caused by oil residue.


3. Keep Flammable Objects Away From Heat Sources.


If something can catch fire, it should not be near the burner on the stove. Pay attention to the tips on food packaging that warn you to keep it away from heat. Wear form-fitting clothing while cooking, especially on your arms so that sleeves don't dangle into danger. Potholders, recipe cards and kitchen towels have their place in the kitchen. That place is just not on the stove.

To be able to feed yourself and others can be a wonderful feeling, but having to call fire restoration specialists to fix your kitchen is not. By following these tips, you can avoid a kitchen fire and enjoy your meal.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROolathelenexa.com/.

Deodorizing After A Fire Damage To Your Lenexa Home

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Ozone machine cleaning up fire and smoke damage.

Things You Should Know

One of the biggest problem after an incidence of fire is the lingering, foul, burnt odor. If the odor is not remedied professionally, it can stay on your property for a long time making it almost impossible to stay there.

Thankfully, professionals can help you get rid of this odor after fire damage to your Lenexa home. The odor after an incidence of fire is a mix of chemical and natural odors due to the burning of wood, plastic, and other building material. Here at SERVPRO, we employ a multi-step process to eliminate odor and get your home smelling like home again- removing, and cleaning. Let's take a closer look at every step.

Removing 
One of the first things that SERVPRO technicians do while tackling an odor problem after a fire is removing the source of the odor. The source of odor after a fire damage can be burnt wood or other building materials. Our IICRC certified technicians dispose of the source in a safely and efficiently.

Cleaning  
The second step during the deodorizing process is cleaning. Smoke and soot residues can deposit on and even penetrate the various surfaces such as walls and ceilings. SERVPRO technicians clean different surfaces depending on the type of the surface and residue deposited on it.

Sealing 
Sealing is not required in most cases, but if the damage is extensive and the removal of the source is too expensive or impractical, it is the best option. Painting walls to seal in the odors is one such case.

We are here to help you in your hour of need. Call SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa at (913)782.4693 today to schedule an appointment and discuss your restoration needs.

SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa Contents Restoration

4/30/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa's storage facility where we clean and store contents.

Did you know that SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa is one of the nation's largest contents restoration companies? When we started our company 21 years ago, restoring contents after a fire or water damage became a cornerstone of our business.  Today, we have grown to be not only one of the largest in the nation, but we are the premier contents restoration company in our local Kansas City area. Our team of empathetic, trustworthy professionals have the necessary training our customers expect when it comes to handling their personal property after a catastrophic loss.  A "Here to Help" mentality combined with our state of the art facility right here in town, SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa is ready to assist you during what is likely a very chaotic time.

A recent customer of ours had this to say:  "I know that nothing can prepare anyone for a fire or disaster to your home. But if we had to choose this experience to survive, Matt and Brenden would have to be in our lifeboat...they were amazing.  It is this kindness and true human compassion that makes your team different.  We are forever changed by this experience but more so by the new friends we have made."