Recent Fire Damage Posts

Anytime Disasters Need Anytime Service | SERVPRO® of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley

12/20/2021 (Permalink)

If a fire issue pops up during the holidays, remember the trusted leader in the recovery industry, SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley.

Certain things in polite society deserve advance notice. If you’re coming to visit family, for example, it’s reasonable for them to expect a phone call. In most business situations, a two-week notice is the norm if you’re changing jobs.

But fires, water incidents and natural disasters have absolutely no sense of politeness or courtesy, and they tend to show up whenever they darn well please, be it nights, weekends or holidays, with no warning.

Rude as that may be, it’s the reality with which homeowners are often faced. You don’t get an email to let you know, “Oh, hey, there’s going to be a burst pipe around midnight on Tuesday,” so you get stuck with dealing with these things whenever they happen to occur.

It’s a good thing, then, that you’re linked up with SERVPRO. We understand the need for anytime access to emergency help, which is why we keep the lights on at all hours. We’ll be here when you need emergency help—because waiting to start cleanup and recovery is only going to accelerate the damage.

After a fire. Fire and flames cut through your home, eating away walls, furniture and more, but they also leave behind soot and smoke to do even more damage. The thick, black sludge and arid stink set in mere moments after a fire, and they’re hard to get rid of from the very start.

Given a few hours to put down roots, so to speak, they become impossible to remove, which means your only option becomes the more costly route of replacement.

After water damage. There’s a two-day race to get your house completely dried out and dehumidified, because in 48 hours mold comes a-knocking.

Mold begins growing on all sorts of organic sources, including furniture, clothing and drywall, creating structural issues, that lovely gym sock smell and potential respiratory issues to boot.

Freak weather events, floods and natural disasters all also have a way of showing up unwanted, and when they do, you need to know that you’ve got immediate access to help. That’s why we’re here—to give you anytime service for your anytime disaster.

Rest easy—you’ve got SERVPRO on your side, 24 hours a day, every day.

When you need help after a home or business disaster, fast service is a priority, and there’s nobody faster or more prepared than SERVPRO. Call us anytime to take advantage of our 24-hour emergency service.

What Causes House Fires? | SERVPRO® of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley

11/4/2021 (Permalink)

Regardless of the cause, SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley is here for you if your home is affected by fire!

If you were to see your home on fire, it might feel like a swift punch in the gut! An unpredictable situation can happen in a matter of minutes and cause complete devastation.

That’s why it’s important to pay attention to fire safety basics, because even with all the awareness campaigns about fire hazards, more than a quarter of all reported fires still occur in homes.

As you snuggle in for the evening, take a quick look at the top causes of house fires. By bettering your knowledge, you can help prevent your own house fire.

Cooking. Kitchen fires are the most common cause of fire in the home, and the number 1 reason is unattended cooking. If you’re not paying attention, your home could catch on fire. Stay alert, aware and present while cooking.

Heating equipment. There’s a reason why house fires are more common during the colder months. When temperatures cool down, we want our heating systems to heat things up. But they also increase the risk of fire. Make sure your heating system or HVAC unit is inspected regularly, and if you use space heaters, be careful to place them away from anything flammable.

Electrical fires. Older homes aren’t equipped to handle the higher usage of electricity we often use every day. And even in new homes, faulty wiring or the overloading of circuits can contribute to fires. Make sure your electrical equipment doesn’t have any frayed wires or faulty outlets, and if you live in an older home, ensure you have the electrical system inspected regularly.

Intentional fires. More than 28,000 intentional home fires started every year. Rather than being a fire set for a legitimate purpose that got out of control, these fires were set with the intention of harming a home.

Smoking materials. While cigarettes and other smoking materials are only responsible for 5% of house fires, they are the leading cause of civilian fire deaths. People can fall asleep with a cigarette still lit, or ashes fall onto something flammable.

Regardless of the cause, SERVPRO is here for you if your home is affected by fire. Contact your local team today to see how we can help.

Fall Fire Safety Season Is Here | SERVPRO® of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

Be mindful about fall fire safety. Always remember that SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley is the trusted leader in the restoration industry.

The fall officially begins on Sept. 22, and the promise of cooler weather is much-appreciated! Fall is a favorite season among many campers, trick-or-treaters and others who simply want to get outdoors.

But as with everything in life, fall comes with risk. So, it’s worth taking a few minutes now to brush up on common autumn fire safety hazards.

Campfire Safety

Going camping? Here are some basic safety tips that you need to keep in mind when you are ready to build a campfire.

Make sure that you build your campfire out and away from anything flammable, including trees with low-hanging limbs. As you are preparing to ignite the fire, never use an accelerant like kerosene or lighter fluid. It’s safer to stick with the basic match or lighter.

Before you go in for the evening, you must be sure your fire has been completely extinguished. You can do this by slowly pouring water on the fire, ensuring that you cover all the embers. This can help prevent it from reigniting.

Space Heaters

As temps start to drop a little, portable space heaters can come in handy. But remember that these little heaters are one of the most common causes of home fires during the fall and winter seasons.

Keep your heater away from anything flammable and always keep it on a level surface. While most heaters today come with an automatic shut-off, it’s essential to do your part and make sure it stays away from anything or anyone that can accidentally knock it over.

Halloween

Halloween isn’t that far away, and many people are putting their decor out!

While we will discuss this later in more detail, it’s important to remember that whatever décor you feel “possessed” to put out, it can all pose a potential fire risk. Stay alert and attentive as you celebrate each season.

If a fire hazard should turn from potential to reality in your home, remember the trusted leader in the recovery industry and contact SERVPRO to get your property fully restored right down to the smell of smoke.

What Is Defensible Space? | SERVPRO® of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

If your home is damaged by fire or any other reason, SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley is ready and able to repair any damage.

You may not think about wildfires often, but they’re becoming more common. They are a big cause of property damage, probably more so than most of us realize.

Wildfires can spread at alarming rates because of the combustible materials that we have in our world, and it’s amazing we can get them stopped at all.

Nothing is 100% preventable when it comes to Mother Nature, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to try. You can do that by simply being more careful, but you can also take other steps, such as adding defensible space.

How Do I Achieve Defensible Space?

“Defensible space” is a buffer you create between your home and the landscaping, grass or trees that surround it. You can carve out defensible space by removing anything that can add fuel to a wildfire, such as dead trees or leaves.

You can also use landscaping elements such as flame-resistant gravel to help lower your chances of being affected.

Defensible space is needed so that it can add a barrier of protection, which is designed to protect your home from wildfires by slowing them down or stopping them altogether. It also allows for firefighters to have their best chance of stopping a wildfire before it takes over your home.

Defensible space is now required of property owners in many places, and even when it’s not required, it’s still highly recommended.

The Number of Wildfires

When we think of wildfires, California often comes to mind, but in reality, wildfires occur everywhere. There were over 59,000 wildfires across the United States in 2020.

California did account for 10,000+ of those 59,000 wildfires; however, the average number of wildfires per state in 2020 was right under 1,000. In Georgia last year, we experienced 1,699 wildfires, burning 5,677 acres of land.

That’s a lot of damage! It’s important to take steps to protect your property and limit the spread of wildfires. Defensible space is one way to do that.

If your home is damaged by fire of any sort, wild or not, SERVPRO is ready and able to repair the damage caused. Get in touch today to get the pros on your team.

The Do's and Don'ts of heating your Middle Georgia Home

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley are available 24-hours. Contact us at 478-956-1214!

Even though Middle Georgia usually has mild winters, there is still a need for heating homes or businesses at some point during the winter months.  

Remember these tips when heating your Middle Georgia home or business:

  • Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater.  Have a three foot "kid-free" zone around open fires and space heaters. 
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be completely cooled before putting them in a metal container.  Keep the container a safe distance away from the home.  
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. It’s a good idea to unplug them when not in use.
  • Always us the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters. 
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. 
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions. 
  • Test smoke alarms monthly. 
  • Make sure your home or business is fully insulated by checking attics, crawlspaces doorways and window seals.

Should you suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley at (478) 956-1214!  Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."

For safety home fire safety tips, visit Ready.gov  or the American Red Cross 

Fire Safety Tips You Need as the Weather Warms Up | SERVPRO® of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

Restoring fire and smoke damage is one of our specialties. Contact SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley to learn more.

Most of us look forward to the warmer months! It’s a time where new life starts, life slows down and you get to enjoy more family and friend time.

Warmer months include fun activities like cookouts, family reunions and so much more. The downside of that is the warmer months also bring an increase in fire activity.

In fact, spring sees more daily fires on average than any other time of the year.

The question to ask is what can you do to help prevent becoming a statistic?

Below are three main areas that you can pay attention to.

The grill. Barbecue is a summer staple! With that said, the grill gets a bad rap as being the biggest risk—because, well, it is! With a combination of flame, heat, grease and gas, it gives way to danger easily. Before grilling, do a quick little inspection, making sure it’s in good working order with no leaks, placed at least three feet away from anything flammable and is cleaned in between uses. While cleaning in between uses seems to be common sense, improper cleaning causes around 20% of grill fires.

The fire pit. Fire pits create the perfect ambiance for gatherings of friends and family, fun and memories. Safety is typically the farthest thing from your mind, but it’s a good idea to give yourself a quick refresher. Never leave kids unattended around a fire pit. Keep a bucket of water close to the pit. Don’t add leaves or pine needles to the fire, and when you’re ready to put it out, do it slowly to keep from scattering embers.

The chimney and dryer vent. The dryer vent can get trapped or clogged pretty easily, so make sure you clean these out at least once a year. This not only prevents fires, but it helps maintain your dryer in good working condition. It’s also a good idea to do some fireplace maintenance during the spring or summer, when it’s not In use. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned out, and avoid a dangerous ash buildup.

Your local SERVPRO technicians are on hand 247 for emergencies. If you encounter fire damage at your home or business, no matter the cause, we will be there faster and have it cleaned up sooner. Call or click today and experience the SERVPRO difference.

Residential Fire Safety Checklist

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley is here to help in your time of need. Contact us at 478-956-1214!

What do you need to know about fire safety?

  • Check smoke alarms regularly. Set a reminder each month to check each alarm. Fire Alarms should be placed in every room of the home.
  • Have an escape plan. A fire can spread very quickly in just a matter of minutes. Having a fire escape plan for each family member will help save lives! Make sure that each member knows where the fire safety spot is outside the home & practice your plan regularly.
  • Keep flammable items such as candles or wax burners attended. Candles should be kept at least 1 foot from walls, curtains, furniture, blankets small children and animals
  • Grease fires are a leading cause in residential fires. Never leave hot or cooking grease unattended! If the grease catches fire, NEVER throw water or any of liquid on it. This could cause the fire to spread. DO-NOT wave a towel or rag to try to put out the fire. This also can cause the fire to spread or even cause serious injury. Using banking soda or even salt should do the trick if contained in a pan. Call 9-1-1 if hurt or injured. Then call SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley to assess any damage
  • Heaters should be kept at least 3 feet away from flammable materials such as walls, curtains, furniture, blankets and even pets. Always make sure to turn off and unplug when not in use, leaving a room or your home
  • Always make sure to clean your lint trap from the dyer at every use. Your dryer vents should also be cleaned regularly as well
  • Do not smoke while lying down or using oxygen. Check to make sure the fire material such as cigar or cigarette is completely put out in the appropriate ashtray. Always keep lighters or matches away from children
  • Close your door. If a fire breaks out in the middle of the night, the closed door can help with the spread of smoke, soot, fire and heat. Having a fire alarm in every room should alert you should a fire break out in another part of your home
  • Get out! Always remember to STOP. DROP. GO! Crawl under any smoke and find the nearest exit. Try to remember to stay calm and don’t hide from firefighters! Make sure to tell them of any possible children or pets that could be trapped inside. Do not go back into the home unless a firefighter advises you to do so.

Every year fire departments respond to over 350,000 residential fires according to the National Fire Protection Association NFPA. Most home fires and fire deaths are caused by cooking, heating, electrical distribution and lighting equipment, intentional setting and smoking materials.

SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley can help if you find yourself in this type of disaster.

Contact us at 478-956-1214. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.

In case a fire breaks out at your workplace

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

Be proactive! Schedule regular fire drills with your employees. It can save lives!

A fire is very terrifying and the marks it can leave are devastating. Fire can result in serious injuries or even fatalities. Workplace safety for all employees is your number one concern. What can you do to help keep your employees safe?

Have an effective workplace Fire Evacuation Plan is important and being proactive to fire safety will save lives. Know the location of each fire extinguisher in the building. Know where all and nearest emergency exits are. Once a fire is detected, alert all employees or people within the building by shouting and/or pulling reachable fire alarms. Find the closest exit to evacuate the facility promptly. Do not lock the doors behind you, just close them. Ensure all people are accounted for. Do not re-enter the building. Members of your Remember to stay calm and call the authorities.

Be proactive! On a regular basis, practice a fire drill. Having an effective plan will save lives. Every employee should know where all fire extinguishers are located and how to properly use them if in the event a fire does breaks out. Having the right emergency evacuation plan in place will better help the outcome. The last thing we think about is a fire destroying the place of business we go to every day.

How Can SERVPRO help?

SERVPRO offers highly trained and experienced Fire and Water Restoration Technicians to help you get through this difficult time. We offer a board-up service to help protect any structural damage or windows. Our technicians will carefully inspect all affected areas and will look for fire, smoke and soot damage. If there’s any water damage, we will begin the water removal process and begin the drying process by applying air movers, dehumidifiers in the appropriate areas. From there- Our certified technicians will use our specialized equipment to remove smoke and soot damage from walls, ceilings, doors, floors and other areas affected. We will pack up any restorable items and bring them back to our facility to clean and sanitize each item. We will do everything we can to get it back to its preloss condition. Finally, the restoration process can begin. SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley has a reconstruction department that will remove all necessary drywall, carpet or wood flooring. Our motto is to get it “Like it never even happened." And we live by that! While you’re here, check out some of our reviews! You’ll be glad you!

Should you or your commercial office experience a fire damage, contact us day or night at 478-956-1214.

How Will You Answer These Fire Safety Questions? | SERVPRO® of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley

1/25/2021 (Permalink)

House fires trend to peak during the winter. SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley are available 24/7 in the event of an emergency.

According to insurance providers, 890 Americans die every year in winter house fires..These fires also cause many more injuries from smoke inhalation and other issues. Beyond that, they cost thousands of families their heirlooms and property every year.

Some house fires are unpredictable and unpreventable, like those that are the result of a natural disaster. But many of the common causes of house fires are preventable by taking a few simple steps.

Do You Know the Steps to a Safer Home?

Check out these questions to see how your fire safety knowledge stacks up:

Could you put out a grease fire? Grease fires are a common cause of kitchen fires. Water makes these types of fires worse; it doesn’t put them out. Instead, it would be best if you had a fire extinguisher handy in your kitchen. If you don’t have that, then a metal lid or baking soda can smother the fire.

Have you considered a switch to battery-operated candles? Candles can seem harmless, but they are the cause of many house fires each year. Please don’t leave them burning unattended. Instead, put them out before you leave the house. If you find yourself having problems remembering to do that, then consider the switch to battery-operated candles.

Do you overload your home’s extension cords? Plugging too many items into an extension cord can cause a fire hazard. Be careful to use extension cords smartly, and be certain your cords are in good shape before you use them.

If your home is damaged due to a fire or any other cause, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We have crews who are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help your family.

Our Team Can Make Fire Damage "Like it never even happened." l SERVPRO® of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

If you have fire damage due to a heating malfunction or other issue, count on SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley to fully restore your home.

No one wants to think about what happens after a house fire. But millions of Americans, including some who live in our community, deal with them every day.

If a fire ever impacts your home, we want to guide you through the fire damage restoration process. Many families in Forsyth have relied on us as a trusted partner during the restoration process. Here’s why:

We are locally owned and operated. SERVPRO has locations nationwide. But our business in Forsyth is owned by a resident and staffed with a local team. That means we have access to the resources and training of a large, thriving company. We bring the advantages of that relationship to the jobs we do in the community.

We work to restore items instead of just replacing them. We want to help you remediate fire damage logically and economically. The team guides you through restoration and helps you save money on your insurance premiums and repairs.

We help with the entire restoration process. The aftermath of a fire damages your home’s walls, water damage and odors that cling to upholstery, curtains and other fabrics. Our team has the training and technology that’s necessary to repair and remediate these issues.

We’re available to help 247. Fires don’t only occur during working hours. Beginning the restoration process is a vital step in restoring your home to its original state. Timing matters during an emergency. We make sure our team is available at any time if you need us.

Winter Fire Threats

More house fires happen during the winter. Of course, they can occur at any time, but winter’s unique fire hazards mean they’re more common when it’s cold outside.

Christmas tree accidents are the root cause of many holiday house fires. But broken furnaces and mishaps with appliances are winter fire culprits, too.

If you have fire damage in your home due to a kitchen, heating or other fire, you can count on us for restoration assistance. Our team is always ready to meet your needs and help you restore your home. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services.

Keeping Fire Safety at the Forefront of Holiday Celebrations | SERVPRO® of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley

11/10/2020 (Permalink)

Make sure your fire risk is low during the holidays. If you experience any damage, SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley will be here to help.

Being concerned with fire safety is wise regardless of the time of year, but as the temperatures turn colder, it is wise to be extra cognizant of its impact. Winter is when most fires occur at homes based on the Red Cross’ reporting. Many activities during winter are ripe for fires to begin, so it is important to be aware of all the risks involved.

Cooking and baking are traditionally the top cause of household fires, with the winter season being no exception. In addition to this, as people heat their homes and decorate for the winter holidays, there can be additional fire safety concerns added on. Thankfully, there are many precautions you can take in order to keep your winter activities safe from fires.

Make Sure Your Winter Is Safe From Fires

Keep safe when cooking. Cooking large meals and undertaking delicious baking projects is a great way to celebrate the season, but kitchen incidents do cause the majority of house fires both during winter and year-round. Implementing safety in the kitchen is a wise thing to focus on, which can include purchasing a fire extinguisher, keeping flammable items away from the oven and stove and never leaving the room while cooking is in process.

Heat the house with proper precautions. As the temperatures start to drop, using a space heater or fireplace to get rid of the chill in the air is common, but it can be dangerous. Be sure that you are practicing safety regardless of what heating implements you are using. For space heaters, use models equipped with safety features and avoid leaving them near flammable objects. If you are using a fireplace, never leave it unattended and ensure that you have a fire extinguisher handy at all times.

Decorate with care. Adding strings of lights and other decorations are a fun way to get in the spirit of the winter holidays, but adding any electrical component does lead to the increased risk of a fire in the home. Christmas tree fires are extremely common during the winter months, often due to lights malfunctioning. As you decorate, be sure to check all cables for frays and never leave lights plugged in if you are not around to decrease the likelihood of a fire occurring.

If you have damage due to a house fire, you can depend on us to help. Contact us 24 hours a day to report damage and receive a quick response from our certified restoration technicians. Get in touch today.

Risk Reduction Tips for Preventing House Fires | SERVPRO® of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

If you experience any property damage due to a fire, we are here for you. Contact SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley to learn more.

While most of us would agree that experiencing a house fire does not sound like something we want to endure, have you thought about the ways you can actively keep your home safer from one?

Preventing a fire from starting and knowing what to do if one does occur is so important to your safety and your home, especially when you consider that it takes less than a minute for fires to spread.

Taking action toward fire safety is not a complicated process and it will provide you with extremely valuable peace of mind as you go about your days. Here are some of the best tips we have for fire safety.

How Can I Actively Keep My Home Safer From Fires?

Check your smoke detectors. The first thing we recommend for fire safety is making sure you have an adequate number of smoke detectors and that you are checking them regularly to ensure they are operational. Smoke detectors should be on every floor and near every sleeping area, and should generally be tested monthly to ensure they are operational.

Create a fire escape plan. If you do hear an alert from your smoke detectors, knowing what comes next is key. Having a fire escape plan that you and your family can execute in under two minutes will help you get everyone to safety in the event of a fire starting so you can get outside and call for help quickly.

Limit your fire risks. Good habits around the house can go a long way toward your fire safety efforts, too. Even little things such as being careful with candles, avoiding leaving the stove unattended and being safe when grilling can go a long way in reducing your chances of ever experiencing a house fire in the first place.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy. If there is an open flame nearby, it is wise to have a fire extinguisher nearby, too. Be sure it is operational, rated for the right type of fire you might be dealing with and that you know how to use it. If a fire is contained and small, extinguishing it can help prevent it from becoming a much larger problem.

If your home is damaged by a house fire, we are here to help. Our expert fire restoration technicians are here 247 to spring into action as soon as you call. Contact us at any hour to report your damage and receive a quick response.

How SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley Can Help Assist In Fire Damage

8/5/2020 (Permalink)

Electrical fires can happen at anytime or anyplace. Contact our emergency service at 478-474-6700!

Any fire or smoke damage to your home or business can be overwhelming and devastating. During these trying times, understanding your needs is our #1 priority and getting you back “Like it never even happened.” Our team of professionals are highly trained in fire restoration and have years of professional experience.

SERVPRO’S 1-4-8 Service Response guidelines can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems. Our professionals provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal. We also specialize in document restoration and will help insure your property has been inventoried.

Our restoration services include:

  • Fire, Smoke and Soot Removal
  • Water Removal and Dehumidification
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation
  • Large Loss Storm Response
  • Move or Pack Outs
  • Contents Restoration
  • Document Drying
  • Content Claim Inventory Service
  • Deodorization

From the floors to the walls and ceiling and upholstery, we will take care of everything, so you don’t have to. SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley works with many insurance companies such as State Farm, Georgia Farm Bureau, Alfa Insurance, USAA, National General, Farmers Insurance, Allstate, Geico and many, many more. We are the #1 trusted leader in fire restoration services.

For emergency services, please do not hesitate to call us at 478-956-1214!  

Ensure Every Cookout Is a Safe One With Fire Safety Tips | SERVPRO® of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley

7/24/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley is the fire restoration experts. To learn more give us a call or contact us online

If you are trying to make the most of a summer afternoon, cooking a delicious meal on the grill is a natural way to do it. While the taste of a freshly grilled meal can’t be beat, we do like to remind everyone of some essential safety tips as summer moves into full swing. As with any activity that involves an open flame, a few prevention tactics can make a big difference in your overall safety.

A grill fire can start in the blink of an eye, and it is reported that over 5,500 do every year by the U.S. Fire Administration. Knowing the essentials of grilling safety can stop you from being part of this statistic so you can remain safe during every cookout.

Know the Essentials of Grilling Safety

Create a safe zone around your grill. When you set your grill up in your yard, you are likely thinking more about convenience than safety, but both are equally important. Keeping three feet around your grill is what is recommended so if a flare-up does occur, there is nothing nearby that could catch fire.

Clean your grill grates often. Bits of food and grease can adhere to your grill grates when you are cooking, which can not only alter the cooking temperatures of your grill but can also lead to a fire hazard. These bits of food can ignite suddenly if they are left undisturbed, so experts advise cleaning them off after every meal.

Never leave the grill unattended. If a fire starts in your grill, it can quickly begin to spread to other parts of the area—and if no one is around, it may not be noticed until the damage has already been done. If you have to step away from the grill for any reason, be certain you are able to have someone take your place with a fire extinguisher nearby in case of a flare-up.

Inspect the grill regularly. As with any piece of equipment, your grill should be maintained, and wear and tear is expected with time. Checking your propane lines regularly can help prevent any dangerous gas leaks from occurring, which is why we recommend doing it before every cookout just in case.

If you have a grill fire that does damage to your home, we are here to help. You can call us any time, day or night, to have a quick response from our restoration experts.

Creating a Regular Workplace Fire Drill System | SERVPRO® of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

If your business experiences any fire damage, you can count on us. SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley specializes in commercial fire cleanup

The ability to anticipate change is a skill that every business owner is likely familiar with, and it is important to plan for both the good and bad when considering the future. Emergencies like fires in the workplace can completely derail your vision if you are not prepared, and can also be extremely dangerous for any staff that are on-site when the fire breaks out.

For this reason, we always recommend starting with fire evacuation drills when you begin planning your fire safety efforts. Making sure your staff knows what to do and can calmly and quickly escape the building will create a safer workplace for all and reduce your liability in the event a fire does break out.

Starting With Workplace Fire Evacuation Drills

Consult with your local fire officials. You have so many options for online research regarding workplace fire safety, but make use of your local resources as well to create the most effective plan. You can often get in touch with your local fire department for personalized recommendations on evacuation routes and other safety measures based on the specifics of your buildings.

Communicate and mark fire evacuation routes. After you have determined the best evacuation routes for your space, mark them so they are highly visible and brief staff on what comes next. Making them aware of the drill ahead will keep everyone prepared and ready to act.

Have fire drills frequently. Frequent fire drills could easily become tedious, but you should have them regularly enough that details do not end up forgotten. Additionally, it is important to make sure any new employees are quickly put through a drill so they know what to do if a fire starts early on in their employment.

Run different fire scenarios. Fires never follow a distinct pattern, so having a drill plan that is dynamic is a good way to prepare for whatever comes your way. Mix up where the fire “originates” in your drills so your staff is familiar with all available evacuation routes and exits they can possibly take.

If your business has experienced fire damage, you can count on us. We specialize in commercial fire restoration and will be here for you at any hour—contact us today.

What the House Fire Recovery Process Looks Like

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

If your home is damaged in a house fire, SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley is here to help. Contact us for any fire restoration needs.

A fire breaking out in your home is always a difficult thing to endure, and everyone’s safety is the primary concern. Be sure that you have an evacuation plan in place that everyone in the home can follow to get to safety, first and foremost, and then consider planning ahead for the fire recovery process to be better prepared.

In what is an overwhelming time, knowing what to expect can help you manage the stress of the situation much more effectively.

Planning Ahead for the Fire Recovery Process

Prepare yourself for what to expect. Before you enter your home it will be impossible to truly know what it will look like inside, but understanding the possible types of damage can help blunt the emotional impact it might have. Fire damage can impact far reaches of the home that were nowhere near the flames, and the firefight can often cause unexpected damage as well.

Wait to enter your home. Staying safe is the common thread that ties every aspect of house fire preparedness together, and the aftermath is no different. Make sure you listen to authorities regarding when it is safe to return to the house—structural damage is common after a fire, and can lead to the risk of injury for anyone who is entering without authorization.

Contact your insurance company. Getting in touch with your insurance company is the best way to understand what the claims process is like, as it is always different based on what provider you are insured with. Contact them quickly to ensure you are taking the right steps to start your claim.

Document the damages. Taking inventory can be a tedious process, but it is an important one. Not only will many insurance providers ask for this to process the damages, but having photographs and a detailed list is a good way to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.

Contact your restoration company. The peace of mind that comes with hiring a restoration company you can count on is one of the best things you can give yourself. Fires have a serious emotional impact, so streamlining the restoration process and getting back to your home as soon as possible can significantly lessen the stress you will likely be facing.

If your home is damaged in a house fire, you can count on us to help you. Get in touch at any hour for a quick response. 

Common causes for house fires

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

The top most common causes of house fires

  1. Cooking Equipment
  2. Heating
  3. Smoking in bedrooms
  4. Electrical equipment
  5. Candles
  6. Curious Children
  7. Faulty wiring
  8. Barbeques
  9. Flammable liquids
  10. Lighting

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the number one cause of home fires is unattended cooking. However, we realize that accidents happen. Having a fire extinguisher ready and available should be placed in your kitchen, garage or office. You should also know how to properly use a fire extinguisher for the in-case in the event you may need to use one.

Heating equipment such as space heaters should only be used if a small section of your home needs to be heated. The heater should be kept away from anything that could easily catch fire such as curtains, furniture, clothing, and even animals. We recommend your home or business should have alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home or business. We also recommend placing a Carbon Monoxide detector in every room that contains a fuel-burning appliance.

While smoking-related fires accounted for only 2% of all residential building fires, they were a leading cause of civilian fire deaths, accounting for 14% of fire deaths in residential buildings. Non-confirmed fires accounted for 93% of residential buildings smoking related fires.

An electrical appliance such as a microwave or flat iron can start a fire if it is faulty or the cord is frayed. Overloaded power adapter plugs can cause a fire from an overuse of electricity. If the power strip is not used properly, the results can be devastating.

Candles can smell nice and can come in handy to quickly cover up smells. However, 85% of candle fires are due to negligence. NEVER leave a burning candle unattended. NEVER burn a candle on or near furniture, curtains, walls or flammable items. If the candle is in a glass container, make sure to not let the candle burn all way to the bottom of the glass. The heat of the glass could explode, causing the wax to melt out or the wax/flame could fall out and cause a fire. ALWAYS keep candles out of the reach of children or pets.

It’s very important to teach our children fire safety! Most fires caused by children involve matches or lighters. However, studies have found that children playing with candles, stoves, fireworks and cigarettes are most common. You should lead by example, explain why they cannot use fire, treat matches and lighters like tools, keep matches and lighters out of reach of children, reward children for making right decisions with matches and lighters and encourage your child’s school to promote fire safety.

Kinks in wiring cause electrical resistance with the wire. Frayed wires and extension cords and even damaged phone chargers are some examples of faulty wiring. Do you know some of the signs of faulty wiring? Flickering or buzzing of lights, feeling a tingle when you touch an electrical appliance, discoloration around outlets or even unusual smells or odors coming from appliances or outlets are some signs of faulty wiring. It’s recommended to get an electrical check every 3-5 years. If you notice sounds coming from within your walls or attic, this could be a potential issue and we recommend you contact a professional to handle both the rodent infestation and any potential electrical issues.

When grilling outdoors, you should always keep your grill away from your home or structure. You should never leave your grill unattended and should always be properly cleaned when not in use. Grills should be kept away from tablecloths, plants, trees, children and pets. If using a gas grill, you should always check for leaks. A great way is to apply a soap and water mix to each connection in the gas lines. Turn on the gas and look for bubbles. If you see bubbles, tighten the fitting with a wrench and recheck. If unsure how to check, take your gas tank to your local propane company.

If you have flammable liquids in your home or business, they should be kept securely and away from heat sources. Always check the label for storing.

Did you know that lamp shades and light fittings can also contribute to house fires? Fabric lampshades can easily catch fire. Fabric shades are for accenting a room and lighting a path through an area. LED light bulbs are the coolest lighting available. They stay cool no matter how many hours the light is on.

For more information, please visit https://www.usfa.fema.gov/ 

SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth and Fort Valley is always here when you need us. We care about you and your loved one’s safety. If you or your business experience any of these disasters, contact SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth and Fort Valley 24 hours seven days a week at 478-956-1214! Let us help you make it “Like it never even happened.”

Does your home or business have a fire extinguisher?

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Always remember to PASS

t’s very important to not only have fire extinguishers in your home or business but also know how to use them. Some safety tips are essential to know as it may one day save your home, business or even your life. Most fire extinguishers operate the same way. Make sure to stand six to eight feet away from the fire.

Fire Safety Tips:

Check all electrical appliances, cords and outlets monthly.

Carefully read the directions for proper use of space heaters, electrical cords.

Be vigilant in the kitchen. Always keep a close eye on food while cooking. If you leave the kitchen, turn the stove off. Take an oven mitt or spoon to remind yourself of the food left on the stove.

Keep fireplaces kept clean and free of paper, wood or flammable materials that can escape while burning or left unattended.

Always keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach.

Use candles safely by keeping them away from children, pets, furniture and curtains.

Test your smoke alarms monthly and change the batteries twice a year (I.e. Spring & Fall)

Practice fire drills at home and work

Always remember to PASS

Pull the pin at the top to break the temper seal

Aim the extinguisher low, pointing the nozzle at the base of the fire

Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent

Sweep the extinguisher from side to side, continuing to aim at the base of the fire until it appears to be out

Did you know there are 4 types of fire extinguishers?

Water extinguishers

Water extinguishers are filled with regular tap water. The best way to remove heat is to dump water on the fire, however depending on the type of fire, this is not always the best option.

Foam extinguishers

The foam has a blanketing effect that knocks down the flames, smothering and cooling them. Hopefully preventing re-ignition of the flammable vapors by sealing the surface of the solution.

Dry Power extinguishers

Dry power fire extinguishers interrupt the chemical reaction of the fire by coating the fuel with a thin layer of powder, separating the fuel from the surrounding oxygen.

Carbon Dioxide (C02) extinguishers

C02 extinguishers contain carbon dioxide, a non –flammable gas. C02 is heavier than oxygen so these extinguishers work by displacing or taking away oxygen from the surrounding area. C02 is also very cold so it also works by cooling the fuel. C02 is non corrosive and on conductive.

Fire Damage Restoration: What You Should Know

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Restoration: What You Should Know

Whether it's a fire in the home or a fire in a business, fire damage can be devastating. The shock of a fire to a family or business owner can feel overwhelming, and most people don't quite know what to do. Fire damage can range in severity. From smoke damage and soot damage to serious structural deterioration, fire in a home or fire in a business is nothing to be taken lightly. Fire damage restoration is an in depth process that should be entrusted to a professional restoration company. A fire cleanup should only be carried out by skilled experts.

After a loss to fire, a professional restoration company should be contacted right away to determine the best course of action. Usually the first thing that will be done is to secure the property by boarding up the damaged structure to keep curious people and animals out. Skilled experts can then begin the assessment of smoke damage, soot damage, fire damage, and water damage associated with such a loss. The severity and types of damage that have occurred will depend on the intensity of the fire and the composition of the structure. Commercial fire damage in a steel building may be limited to smoke damage, soot damage, and water damage to the interior, and require only remodeling and mitigation of the smoke smell. Fire in the home however, can often be more severe, as many homes are built of wood and filled with more flammable building materials like carpets and furniture. A professional restoration company should be the only ones entrusted to assess the extent of fire damage and carry out the fire cleanup and fire damage restoration.

After the initial board up and assessment of damage the restoration company can begin the fire cleanup. This means removing any furniture or appliances damaged by the fire in the home or fire in the business. Many articles will be lost to smoke damage and soot damage, even though they have not been burned. If there was fire in a business damaged products will need to be sorted and evaluated to determine the extent of the commercial fire damage. The smoke odor will in some instances never quite come out furniture or appliances that go through commercial fire damage or residential fires. Each item needs to be evaluated.

When all furniture and appliances have been removed the fire damage restoration process can begin. To mitigate the smoke odor the property will usually be opened up and well ventilated. Damaged drywall, carpeting, ceiling tiles and the like will be removed. Once the house or business has been properly stripped of its damaged interior, structural inspection can take place to determine what repairs are needed. The property may be left in a board up state and ventilated for a few days to diminish the smoke smell. Chemical cleaners may also be used to aid the process. The fire cleanup process must be expected to take days if not weeks depending on severity, as the professionals entrusted will want to do a thorough job. Fire damage restoration is no small matter and needs to be entrusted to these skilled experts. After the property has been sufficiently cleaned the board up may be removed and the process of rebuilding and/or remodeling may begin.

What to Do After a Fire Related Loss:
-Board up the property to ensure it's inaccessible to people or animals;
-Contact your insurance company, if applicable;
-Call a professional restoration company immediately and set up a consultation;

Residential and commercial fire damage can be devastating emotionally, mentally, and financially. But home and business owners alike need to remember that they are not alone, and that there are highly skilled and trained experts ready to help them. The sooner these professionals are contacted, the sooner family life and business can get back on track. If you or someone you know has experienced a residential or commercial fire related loss contact a professional restoration company today.

Things to consider when choosing a fire damage restoration company

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Fire Damage Restoration Company

Fire damage is one of the most devastating calamities that can befall individuals and construction. Fire damage is capable of bringing to ash anything from vegetation to large buildings. After a fire strikes a premise, it is vital to proceed with caution. When it comes to commercial fire damage restoration, you should not attempt to do it on your own, seek a certified firefighter or repair company to do the work, do not endeavor to do any cleaning or renovation after commercial fire damage. If you proceed without consulting the experts, you may injure yourself and even make the utility room fire situation worse.


In the event of an electrical fire or a utility room fire, you should alert your insurance company and take as many photos of the destruction as you can to show to them. Your next move should be to get in touch with a commercial fire damage restoration company to begin the fire restoration process.

The process of electrical fire restoration includes:

  • Assessment of the destroyed property
    • Removal and disposal of unwanted clutter
    • Fixing Board ups and roof tarps
    • Drying of water from fire trucks, fire sprinkler systems and fire hoses
    • Removal of soot and smoke
    • Cleaning
    • Utility room fire restoration

The fire damage restoration process needs to be carried out by certified and trained specialists who are equipped with tools such as fire sprinkler systems, fire hoses, fire trucks, and able to handle issues such as electrical fires, smoke damage, soot damage and other aspects of fire suppression.

How to choose a good fire restoration company
There are various points to consider before choosing the best firefighter and fire suppression company to employ. Below are certain criteria to look at as you weigh your decision:

1. License


For you to decide on a restoration company, you must ensure that their firefighters and are authorized by the government to undertake reconstruction jobs. Make sure the equipment they use such as fire sprinkler systems, fire hoses and fire trucks are in the proper working order. You can do this by searching the company on the licensed business data base or by looking for the company on the web.

2. Personal Referrals


It is recommended to use a fire restoration organization that has already been tried and tested. Seek out people who have been affected by fire damage, soot damage or smoke damage, and get from them references and reviews on the firefighters, or electrical fire restoration company they used.

3. Cost effectiveness


Employ a repair company that will go easy on your pocket. Find out whether your insurance provides for fire damage, smoke damage and soot damage restoration, and plan a budget appropriately. You should avoid spending a lot of money for commercial fire damage restoration services you can receive at lower prices.

4. Type of smoke damage, soot damage or fire damage

It is fundamental to know what sort of electrical fire damage you have undergone. The repair company may be able to restore some of the damage caused, but if your electronics have been affected, you may need to contact another company or get one that can renovate all forms of destruction.

5. Availability and accessibility

The company you select should be available at all hours of the day and accessible. Disaster can strike at any time, and you need to choose a company which can get to your rescue as soon as an electrical fire erupts and is reliable to deliver an excellent service.

6. Technical Knowledge


Restoration requires the use of sophisticated industrial tools and equipment such as fire sprinkler systems, fire hoses and fire trucks to get the job done. You should find fire suppression experts who can handle these machines and who have them in plenty to avoid shortage if calamity strikes in many places at once.

7. Services offered.


You should research on the fire suppression and restoration company of your liking and make sure that they cover a broad range of utility room fire restorations. It would be disappointing if, after employing the company, you find that they can’t handle the sort of destruction the fire has caused.

Different aspects of fire damage

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage

Fire damage is caused by the actually fire. This can include damage to the structure of the property. Often materials are melted and can ignite other materials with this type of damage. 

Fire damage can also cause different toxins to react causing explosions or they can act as accelerant spreading the flames and causing additional damage. 

Water Damage

Water damage is always present with fire damage because the flames have to be extinguished. Often the damage caused by the sprinklers in a building is much more significant than the initial fire damage. 

Smoke Damage

Soot from a fire can be found in every room of a house that has been badly burned, even those rooms that were not burnt. Often homeowner's belongings, furniture, clothes in drawers, important documents, paintings, and more are completely covered in charcoal black soot. Some items are not salvageable and the items that are have to be properly cleaned or the soot can permanently destroy them. 

Mold Damage

After experiencing a house fire the water damage has to be professionally handled, because when it is not properly dried mold can grow. Mold is a toxin that can cause numerous potential health problems for those living in the property. It is important to make sure the water damage is taken care of by professionals like those at SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley.

Cleaning and Repairing Fire Damage Properly

5/10/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage can stem from even small fires. If you've had something catch fire that was plastic or rubber based, it can quickly melt onto your carpeting or tile floor. While tile is much easier to clean than carpeting because it is less porous, it can still be damaged if cleaning is not done properly. Other parts of your home's interior can also be damaged in small fires that don't necessitate the calling of the fire department. 
 
Middle Georgia homeowners who have mild to severe fire damage need to understand that it is not just the destruction of things from heat and flame, but also soot and smoke that can ruin textile furnishings like carpeting and draperies, as well as the finishes of interior walls and ceilings. These often need cleaning, but sometimes they need repairs, also. Restoring your home to pre-fire damage condition is a priority for us. In addition to our certifications in IICRC methods, we also have extensive experience in damage from all sizes of fires, and in any diverse settings. 
 
We have equipment that can remove evidence of the fire damage, down to the scent of it. We use ozone-producing equipment for this as one of the final steps in fire damage restoration. It wouldn't be complete to simply look clean – we want it to smell clean and fresh, too. Even with small fires, damage can be extensive, and the smell left behind will never go away until the soot that causes it is eliminated. Ozone can do this by bonding with the soot particles, and helping to disintegrate them naturally. 
 
We take pride in our workmanship and in knowing that the customer can live in his or her home again without the smell of smoke, soot, and burned items lingering. If you've had fire damage, please call SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley at 478-956-1214. We answer calls 24/7, and will set up an appointment for your convenience. 

Fireplace Safety and Maintenance

5/3/2019 (Permalink)

Here are some things to keep in mind when keeping and using a fireplace in your home:

  • 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.

For more information, visit SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley online at:

www.SERVPROthomastonforsythfortvalley.com

What are smoke webs?

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know?

Residues (such as burning plastics or the soot from furnace disorders) form long chains of ionized smoke particles that assemble in corners or at junctions of walls and ceilings which are called smoke webs!

The picture is from a fire damage that a large loss division assisted with out of state. The building had 35,000 square feet that was affected, it took the team a few weeks to completely clean the facility. 

Does your business have a plan? Check out these tips:

Protect your people : Your employees are your most important business asset. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.

  • Fire Plans: Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol. 
  • Evacuation Plan: In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs. 
  • First Aid: In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most-such as in the kitchen.

For more information, visit SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley online at:

www.SERVPROthomastonforsythfortvalley.com

https://www.statefarm.com/simple-insights/planning/3-business-fire-prevention-tips