Recent Fire Damage Posts
How to Avoid a Deep-Frying Disaster During the Thanksgiving Holidays
The holidays create an opportunity to bring family and friends together to feast on a meal that is either considered traditional or a modern spin on a classic dish.
No matter how you decide to prepare your meal, one thing is certain. Keeping the place, you call home free of any unnecessary disasters is a must.
A food trend that has grown in popularity over the past decade is deep-frying your holiday bird. This is one of those instances where if you are not careful with following directions, the one guest you weren’t planning on showing up will arrive in their firetruck to extinguish those flames that got out of hand.
To avoid any unexpected fire emergency, consider using the following tips.
- Thaw your turkey. Frying a frozen bird will make the oil splatter and cause a fire.
- Buy a frying thermometer. Know the smoke point of your oil and keep the temperature below it.
- Use a real turkey fryer. It is made to accommodate various sizes and adapts better to higher temperatures.
- Make sure to keep your skin covered to avoid burns when working with the fryer.
- Use an oil with a high smoke point. Peanut oil is always the best option.
- Allow the oil to cool down for a few hours before emptying it in a container.
- Don’t overfill the frying pot. While your turkey is still in the package, place it in the container and cover it with water until it’s reached the desired level. Remove the turkey and draw a line where the water comes up to on the pot. Fill the oil to this line, and you’ll have the right amount.
- Don’t fry inside. Fry outdoors on a level surface and kept at least 10 feet away from any structure.
- Don’t use water to extinguish a grease fire. Use a fire extinguisher and have it handy at all times.
- Keep your turkey less than 14 lbs. to ensure proper and thorough cooking.
- Don’t leave the fryer unattended. You should always be on hand in case there are any spills; you need to adjust the temperature or extinguish a fire.
- Don’t put marinade under the turkey skin. You can use a marinade, but it needs to be injected deep into the meat and allowed to sit for several hours before frying.
- Avoid splashing hot oil everywhere by slowly dropping the turkey into the oil.
Following these suggestions can lead to a safe and joyous Thanksgiving with your loved ones.
However, if your residence happens to endure an unfortunate fire disaster, know that the trained technicians at SERVPRO of East Brown County can provide cleanup of fire, smoke, and soot damage. We have specialized equipment to handle jobs of all sizes. We are also able to provide reconstruction services.
When you’re having an emergency, you don’t want to wait for a restoration company; you want help ASAP. Our company prides itself on having a fast response time. The holidays are no exception. We are here for you, 24 hours and day, 7 days a week.
Give us a call at (920) 499-7050.
Fire Prevention Month: How to Handle an Emergency Situation Before and After a House Fire
As we come to the end of October and Fire Prevention Month, SERVPRO of East Brown County would like to remind you that residential fires can happen at anytime to anyone.
When owning a home, it is always a best practice to compile a list of emergency contacts in the event of any accidental disasters. It can save a lot of stress off of you and your entire household if you have a plan in place if there were to be an unfortunate turn of events due to a fire emergency.
Some of the basic information you could include in your emergency contact information list are the following:
- Names, Ages and Birth Dates of Each Family Member: to eliminate any confusion about first responders wanting to ensure every person is accounted for.
- Home Address and Telephone Number: include the address of the where the list resides, include full street address, and your phone number with area code.
- Names and Phone Numbers for Your Insurance Agency: the agent you have your policy through or company that would deal with any claim that needed to be filed.
- Local Contact: someone close by - neighbor, relative, or landlord.
- Relative or Person Designated as an Emergency Contact: this person could make vital decisions for you if necessary.
- Work contact: your boss or supervisor, or a close co-worker.
- Family Physician and Hospital: your doctor’s full name and office number with an after-hours office or pager number as well, plus a non-emergency number for your local hospital.
- Police/Ambulance: 911 in most locations, but it may be different; also include non-emergency numbers.
- Fire Department: 911 in most locations, but that may be different in your area; include non-emergency numbers.
- Gas Company: contact information for emergencies.
- Electric Company: contact info for emergency situations.
- Other Utility Companies: emergency contact information
- List of Special Conditions and Equipment/Medication: list (by family member) special medical conditions, including allergies, and specific medications such as insulin, inhalers, Epi-pens, as well as important and necessary medical equipment such as blood pressure monitors, blood glucose testing machines, cpap machines and such.
- Health Care/Health Insurance Information: contact info for your insurance company or provincial/state health coverage providers, as well as personal health numbers (PHNs), insurance policy and group numbers for each person in the home.
A great resource to have on hand is the American Red Cross Picking Up the Pieces After a Fire Guide. They highly suggest the following tasks be done immediately after a home fire.
- Call 9-1-1. Give first aid where needed; cool and cover burns to reduce the chance of further injury or infection.
- Let friends and family know you’re safe.
- People and animals that are seriously injured or burned should be transported to professional medical or veterinary help immediately.
- Stay out of fire-damaged homes until local fire authorities say it is safe to re-enter.
Fires are capable of destroying anything in its path, but there are also times that the damage is manageable; especially with the help of the right restoration professionals.
After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of East Brown County have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.
We have technicians on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ready to go into action when they are needed. Give us a call at (920) 499-7050.
Holiday Preparation: Cooking and Unexpected Kitchen Disasters
The countdown to Thanksgiving has commenced. If you are the person in charge of hosting the time-honored feast, chances are you will begin with most of the holiday preparation’s days, possibly even weeks in advance.
While doing so, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with items that keep your kitchen a safe zone.
One of those items in particular, is your fire extinguisher. If you ever unexpectedly utilized one, then you know the importance in how to promptly follow the guidelines to effectively suppress its foamy contents. However, if you’ve never handled an extinguisher there are a few tips you can follow to make the process a less complicated task.
First, start by checking your fire extinguisher for:
- Easy access in an emergency- be sure nothing is blocking or limiting your ability to reach it.
- The recommended pressure level- many extinguishers have gauges that show when pressure is too high or too low.
- Working parts- make sure the can, hoses, and nozzles aren’t damaged, dented, or rusted.
- Cleanliness- remove any dust, oil, or grease that might be on the outside of the extinguisher.
- Guidelines and instructions- some extinguishers need to be shaken monthly; others need to be pressure tested every few years.
Next, know when to use a fire extinguisher.
Here is a simple checklist to help you prepare to use a fire extinguisher.
- Have I alerted others in the house that there’s a fire?
- Has someone called the fire department?
- Am I physically able to use a fire extinguisher?
- Is the fire small and contained in a single object; like a pan or a wastebasket?
- Am I safe from the fire’s toxic smoke?
- Do I have a clear escape route?
Finally, how to properly use a fire extinguisher.
When operating a fire extinguisher, it is important to remember the word PASS.
- Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
At SERVPRO of East Brown County, we know there are some fires that can get out of hand despite all efforts made to avoid experiencing a household disaster during your Thanksgiving Day festivities.
After the fire department handles the unfortunate matter of your fire, we are here to help with our SERVPRO technicians who are available in the middle of the night; including all holiday’s.
For our Emergency services, give us a call at (920) 499-7050.
Fire Prevention Month: Natural Gas Furnace Safety Tips
National Fire Safety month falls at the perfect time of year when some of the residents in the East Brown County area have already begun preparations for the colder temperatures.
Affordability and more accessible operational functions of a natural gas furnace tend to outweigh the need for electric furnaces. If your living quarters’ primary heat source solely relies on a natural gas furnace to keep your family warm throughout the winter months ahead, keep in mind one of the essential components to maintaining that warm environment, is safety.
There are various tips to prepare your household for the frigid months ahead. Here are a few to help with those tasks.
Change Your Filters
- One of the primary yet essential safety tips is to remove your dirty filter and replace it with a new one. It takes seconds and can reduce dust circulating in your home. Plus, changing an old filter helps to keep your furnace running more efficiently.
Keep Your Furnace and the Area Around It Clean
- Dirt, dust, and items could impact the safety and efficiency of your furnace. Eliminate fire hazards by keeping your furnace and the area surrounding it clean.
Install a Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector
- Almost every home has smoke detectors, far fewer have Carbon Monoxide detectors. If you have a gas furnace, these are vitally important. A Carbon Monoxide detector will alert you if the CO levels in your home reach a dangerous level. The alert will allow you the opportunity, if ever needed, to evacuate and call for emergency assistance.
Keep Registers Open
- Keeping registers closed while your furnace is on can cause resistance and heat build-up in the furnace. This could lead to damage in your unit and create a fire risk. If you have to close multiple registers, it is best to turn the temperature down.
Keep Registers Clean
- Vacuum registers to remove dust, animal hair, and other pollutants that circulate in your home. Also, take the time to keep the area around registers unobstructed by furniture, rugs, toys, blankets, and other personal objects.
Schedule an HVAC Inspection
- Perhaps the most important way to ensure the safety of your home’s furnace is to get a furnace inspection before it’s time to begin turning on your heat. Local businesses like Healthy Home Heating and Cooling offers a thorough check of your furnace that includes inspecting for cracks in the combustion chamber, faulty wiring, dirty air filters, and more.
For further details, it is suggested to read over the complete list of safety items please see your furnace care and maintenance manual.
If a fire emergency were ever to take place in your home, know that SERVPRO of East Brown County is dedicated to responding when you need help. A fast response helps lessen the damage, limits secondary damage, and reduces cost.
Let our trained technicians handle all of your fire and smoke restoration needs. If you have any questions about our services, please give us a call at (920) 499-7050.
Fire Prevention Month: Testing Your Electrical Safety Knowledge
We are now halfway through Fire Prevention Month and with the recent drop in temperatures, people are finding various of ways to keep their households warm. Having a steady source of heat flowing throughout your living quarters, tends to have some individuals concerned about whether their place may be at risk for an electrical fire.
There are several safety measures you and your family can take to prevent your home from being a hazardous fire zone. Do you know if your home is currently safe against an unexpected electrical fire? Here are just a few questions to test your knowledge on electrical fire prevention.
1. Is it safe to run an extension cord under a carpet or along a baseboard for permanent use?
2. Which of the following are electrical hazards?
a. Flammable materials near electrical equipment and/or static electricity
b. Damaged insulation on wires, broken plugs, and overheated appliances
c. Overloaded circuits
d. All of the above are electrical hazards
3. Which one of the following statements is correct, regarding the use of extension cords?
a. Extension cords can be used on any piece of equipment.
b. Extension cords do not have to be UL listed as long as they are used for only 1 hour.
c. Extension cords can only be used for temporary, portable pieces of equipment.
d. Extension cords are not allowed to be used in the workplace.
4. You notice the electrical cord on a device is damaged or frayed. What should you do?
a. Wrap tape around the damaged area and continue using it.
b. Replace the frayed cord immediately.
c. Do nothing and keep using the cord, regardless of the frayed wires.
To check whether you answered these questions correctly, look for the answers listed at the end of this blog post.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2010 U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 46,500 house fires that were caused by an electrical malfunction of failure. From 2005-2009, 49% of those home electrical fires involved lighting or electrical distribution equipment; another 46% were attributed to other known types of equipment, including stove ranges, washers, dryers, space heaters, and fans.
If you find yourself needing a space heater, know that a modern model can be very safe to keep on for long unsupervised periods of time, including while sleeping. Be sure your heater is certified by one of the three major testing organizations. Also, check for features like automatic shutoff, tip over protection, a shut off timer, and adjustable thermostat. In addition, you should follow basic safety rules like having a working smoke detector and more the heater away from flammable materials.
If an electrical fire were to ever occur in your home, SERVPRO of East Brown County would like for you to know our trained technicians to provide cleanup of fire, smoke and soot damage. We specialize in reconstruction services and respond promptly which in return helps lessen the damage, limits secondary damage, and reduces cost.
If would like more information on our process, please give us a call at, (920) 499-7050.
1-FALSE: You should never run cords under carpets or rugs, as they can overheat and cause a fire risk. Also, never run cords through doorways and open spaces as this poses a tripping hazard as well.
2-D: All of the Above
3-C: Extension cords can only be used for temporary, portable pieces of equipment.
4-B: Replace the frayed cord immediately.
Fire Prevention Month: How to Safeguard Your Kitchen from Fires
Whether your spending time in the kitchen cooking your favorite meal or preparing a feast for a family gathering, fire prevention should be a priority.
Even professional chefs could tell you how a little grease splatter or a small flame on an open range stove can quickly escalate from being tamed to an uncontrollable fire. If you're not careful with the way you handle certain fire situations, there could be extensive damage to more than your kitchen appliances.
This week SERVPRO of East Brown County is focusing on kitchen fire safety. Here are some tips to help you safeguard against a fire breaking out in one of the highly trafficked areas in your house.
Stay in the Kitchen
An apparent practice for the person making the meal, but, according to the National Fire Protection Association, unattended cooking is the number one cause of cooking fires. If you must leave a stove unattended, turn off the heat and move the pan to a cool burner.
Use a Timer
Check food regularly, whether you're simmering, baking, boiling, or roasting. Using a timer can help remind you to check on your dish.
Keep the Stovetop Clear
Keep dish towels, oven mitts, paper towels—anything that can catch fire—away from your stovetop.
Wear close-fitting clothes and tightly roll up sleeves when you're cooking. Loose clothing can come in contact with burners and catch fire.
Immediately Wipe Up Spills
Cooking on a dirty stove, or in a dirty oven, is just inviting a potential fire. Grease buildup is flammable; clean your stove every time you cook and promptly wipe up any spills.
Don't Overheat Your Oils
Overheated cooking oil can start to smoke and bubble up, which can cause it to spill out and ignite. Uncertain about which oils begin to burn a certain temperature? What’s Cooking America offers an informative chart to help you with those burning questions.
Wait for Grease to Cool Before Disposing of It
Resist tossing hot grease into your trash can. It could go up in flames! It is best to allow it to cool before disposing of it in the garbage. You could even pour it into an old food can before tossing it out.
Keep Your Smoke Detector Working
A smoke detector is a vital fire safety device and your first line of defense. Make a mental note to change the batteries twice a year when you change your clocks for daylight savings time.
With these useful tips, your time can be well spent focusing on perfecting your culinary creations.
SERVPRO of East Brown County wants everyone to practice every precautionary measure while cooking. In case you happen to find yourself in the unfortunate situation where your kitchen sustained fire damage, know that we have Fire & Smoke Restoration Technicians available to handle the cleanup of fire, smoke and soot damage. These individuals have the training and specialized equipment to handle all size jobs. We are also on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ready to go into action as needed.
We are locally owned and operated business which means a prompt response time for your home.
Have any additional questions? Call us today at, (920) 499-7050.
October is Fire Prevention Month: Testing Your Knowledge
October kicks off Fire Prevention Month. The theme for this year's National Fire Prevention Week is all about smoke alarm safety.
The team at SERVPRO of East Brown County would like to encourage everyone to use this as an opportunity for testing your knowledge of fire emergencies in any environmental situation.
Most people first learn about fire safety during their earlier school years. Some even learned at home during a family orchestrated drill. In either event, knowing how to handle a fire emergency can help each person navigate through the situation with little or no overwhelming complications.
How much do you really know about fire prevention?
1. What is the leading cause of house fires?
A) Chemical and Glasses
B) Cooking Equipment
C) Smoking Materials
D) Heating Equipment
2. How long do most fire detectors work properly?
A) 2 Years
B) 15 Years
C) 5 Years
D) 8 to 10 Years
3. What about how often should you clean your clothes dryer vent?
A) Once every 5 years
B) Twice a Year
C) It Doesn't Need to be Cleaned
D) A Minimum of Once a Year
4. What's the minimum number of escape routes household members should have?
5. A closed interior door will slow the spread of:
D) All of the Above
6. Which is the most likely material to start to burn first in a fire caused by smoking?
A) Waste Basket Contents
B) Bedding and Mattresses
C) Upholstered Furniture
D) All of the Above
7. Where do most fires that are caused by children start?
A) Family room
D) Living room
Here are a few questions that may help rate your level of understanding when it comes to fire prevention awareness.
*The answers to these questions are listed at the end of this blog post. Questions are curiosity of FireRecruit.com
SERVPRO of East Brown County would like our local residence to know we strive to be the premier restoration company in Northeast Wisconsin. Part of ensuring we are that premier company means having a fast response time. When you're having an emergency, you don't want to wait for a restoration company; you want help ASAP.
If you need emergency clean up or restoration work anywhere in and around the Green Bay area, we have technicians on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ready to go into action when they are needed.
Call us at, (920) 499-7050
It is our job to make it “Like it never even happened.”
ANSWERS: 1) Cooking Equipment, 2) 8 to 10 years, 3) A minimum of once a year, 4) 2, 5) All of the Above, 6) Bedding and Mattresses, 7) Bedroom
SERVPRO of East Brown County offers fire damage restoration
Fires can move quickly and cause more damage than one thinks. However, often times even small fires can cause large scale damage. Smoke odor and soot can quickly create a harmful environment in your Green Bay home or business and create a big mess that needs to be cleaned up. Besides the building structure, your personal contents and furniture also needs cleaning and everything needs to be deodorized. SERVPRO of East Brown County can provide cleanup after a fire, smoke and soot damage. Our team is ready to handle any size of damage with years of experience and specialized equipment.
What is Soot?
What really is soot? Soot sounds like a simple word but is much more complicated than that. According to lexico.com, the definition of soot is “A deep black powdery or flaky substance consisting largely of amorphous carbon, produced by the incomplete burning of organic matter.” Soot is very small in size. Soot is about 2.5 micrometers or smaller in diameter! Soot is about 1/30 diameter smaller than a single piece of human hair! The combination of the toxic substance and tiny particles is what makes soot dangerous.
Is soot harmful?
The simple answer is, yes. A house fire can burn many types of material from wood to paper to plastic, causing dangerous soot in the home. Since the soot particles are extremely tiny, it makes it easier to accidentally breathe in unwanted soot. Exposure to soot can cause respiratory problems if not cleaned up properly.
Cleaning up soot
Because of soot’s extremely tiny particles, those particles can easily be spread throughout areas of your home or business making it harder to effectively clean up contaminated areas. Avoid the hassle and the potential risks of cleaning soot on your own without the proper equipment and instead call in the professionals.
Call Us Today
SERVPRO Of East Brown County is ready to any clean up any fire, smoke and soot damage, both large and small. Call us today to get smoke and soot damage out of your home!
Fire prevention: keeping our pets safe
As much as we try to prepare ahead for the unexpected, an emergency may still happen. An estimated 500,000 pets are affected by fire annually. Thinking of all individuals in our family including pets can help minimize damage. Here at SERVPRO of East Brown County, we want to make sure your pets stay safe. We’ve gathered some helpful tips to make sure your pet stays safe ahead of a fire.
- Note where your pets like to sleep or nap. If there’s a fire and you cannot locate your pet right away, you may want to check the area where your pet loves to hang out or likes napping.
- Keep the address and phone number of your pet’s vet handy. If your pet does get hurt or injured, you’ll know exactly where to call.
- Pack your pet’s supplies in your emergency kit. If your family already has an emergency kit (a kit with all your family’s important items) don’t forget to add your pet’s id tags and any important documents concerning your pet.
- Pet proof your home. Most fires can be preventable. You can also help prevent a fire by keeping your pet away from fireplaces, stove tops, and candles.
- Make sure your smoke detectors are working. Double check that your smoke detectors are working as they should be. Keep extra batteries as a backup.
Fun Fact: Did you know July 15 is National Pet Fire Safety day?
Contact Us for your Fire Damage Needs
Here at SERVPRO of East Brown County, we love our pets. Boo, our owner’s pet loves to stop by occasionally to check in on employees. Checkout our Facebook page “SERVPRO of East Brown County” every Tuesday for updates on #BooDayTuesday! Remember if fire strikes your home, SERVPRO of East Brown County can help you recover and get back on your feet and make it look “Like it never even happened.”
Fire prevention: kitchen safety
Any kind of fire can be a devastating event. According to the National Fire Protection Association Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. Kitchen fires can start rapidly but knowing what to do in case of a fire can help minimize further potential damage.
The number one thing to know about grease fires is not to use water to put out the fire in your kitchen. Water and grease are opposites, by using water you can accidentally be splashing grease around your kitchen. Instead, cover up the fire with a lid if possible. If you feel like the fire may spread, get out and call 911 immediately.
Make sure your stove top and oven are always clean. If not, clean those areas before you begin cooking to prevent any grease or food igniting on fire. Keep towels, loose clothing, and dish rags away from your stove top to prevent anything from igniting on fire. If a fire starts inside the oven, immediately shut it off and keep the door shut to allow the fire to burn out by itself.
There can be a variety of reasons for a microwave fire to occur. Accidentally, leaving metals such as utensils or foil can cause a spark and ignite. Leaving food cooking in the microwave for longer than it should be can also be a culprit. Unplugging the microwave and leaving the door shut can help allow the fire to suffocate inside.
What to expect after a fire
According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking equipment is the leading cause to home fires and fire injuries. If a fire and corresponding soot and smell spreads in your home due to a grease fire, oven fire, or even a microwave fire, get out and call 9-1-1. SERVPRO of East Brown County is ready to help in case of any fire in your home by cleaning up and replacing damaged structure, cleaning all soot away, and deodorizing any smell. SERVPRO of East Brown county will make your home look "Like it never even happened” after a kitchen fire.
Green Bay Area Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Our team restored this Green Bay area home after a severe fire.
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of East Brown County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 920-499-7050
Project Profile: Garage Fire
Photo of the garage fire.
A garage fire can be a devastating event. Flames can start fast, tearing through the garage itself and then, if it’s an attached garage, move just as quickly into and through the home. And even when the blaze keeps to the garage, soot and smoke damage can get into the house.
SERVPRO of East Brown County recently cleaned up after a garage fire in the Green Bay area. Luckily, in this case, the flames stayed contained to the garage.
The flames did cause severe damage in the garage. Pictures show soot and smoke damage left behind on just about every, single inch of the building. The damage was not limited to the structure itself, but also affected items stored in the garage like tools.
To start the cleanup, our technicians removed all the contents, threw away anything damaged beyond repair (after getting the client’s consent). Techs also photographed any non-salvageable items to ensure full documentation for the insurance company.
The crew then worked quickly to tear out and remove any severely damaged structural elements like drywall and insulation. Then the techs were able to clean the smoke and soot off the walls, ceilings and floors.
The team also took the damaged contents back to our shop to clean them individually, returning those salvageable items back to the property owners after cleaning.
At the end of cleaning we deodorized and ozoned the area to counteract smoke molecules and dissipate them to eliminate any remaining odor.
In this case it took us a couple of days to make the garage fire, “Like it never even happened.”
And if the blaze had been bigger, getting into the home, we would have been able to clean that up as well, taking care of any soot and smoke odors left behind too.
Our team works quickly, carefully and efficiently to clean up and restore any property damaged by a disaster.
If you need our help, call us 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 920-499-7050.
Holiday Prep Profile: Christmas Trees
Photo of a decorated tree courtesy of the American Christmas Tree Association.
As we reflect on our Thanksgiving and look forward to the rest of the holiday season, for many of us, this time of year would not be the same without a Christmas tree.
It’s likely you’ve already started to see lots full of trees popping up all over town, maybe noticing the well-lit evergreens appearing in your neighbors’ windows, or, possibly, you’ve even set up your own tree! These festive firs bring back fond memories for many of Christmases past.
And while the tree if often the centerpiece of the Christmas decorations in many homes, the holiday symbol does come with dangers. We do hate always being the bearers of bad news here, but according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Christmas trees are responsible for about 210 home fires each year in the United States, leaving behind about $13 million in damage.
So, what can you do to ensure your Christmas tree is safe for the season?
First, the NFPA, advises using a modern, artificial tree from a reputable company. These artificial trees are less likely than live trees to start a fire (although you should still make sure to use proper lights on artificial trees and to turn off the lights when you go to bed or leave your home).
However, if you cannot imagine an artificial tree in your home and a real, live tree is the only one for you, there are precautions you can take to lessen your fire risk. The NFPA advises the following:
- Choose a very fresh, green tree with needles that do not fall off when touched.
- Make sure the tree is at least three feet from any heat source like fireplaces, candles or heat vents.
- Make sure to water the tree daily.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking any exits.
- Use only lights from reputable companies that have been independently tested.
- Replace any lights with damaged bulbs or cords.
- NEVER use lit candles to decorate the tree.
- Do not overload electrical outlets.
- Turn off lights when you go to bed or leave the house.
- Get rid of the tree after Christmas, or as soon as it starts to lose its needles.
Please keep these safety measures in mind as you get into the holiday spirit this year.
Enjoy the holidays, be safe and, remember, you can call us any day of the year, at any time of the day at 920-499-7050.
Holiday Prep Profile: Deep Frying a Turkey
Turkey photo courtesy of NFPA.
We’re less than a week away from one of the most delicious holidays of the year. That’s right, Thanksgiving is almost upon us.
Most people who plan to host family and friends this year already have a plan in place for what they’re going to cook: what sides they’ll make, what dessert they’ll serve and how they’ll prepare the main dish, the turkey.
And while most home chefs will probably put old Tom Turkey in the oven for the traditional roasting, some cooks will likely try something more adventurous: deep frying.
Deep frying a turkey can certainly create something delicious, but it is one of the most dangerous activities of the holiday.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are five major concerns when it comes to turkey frying:
- Turkey fryers can easily tip over spilling hot cooking oil over a large area.
- An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is put in, and a frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when you put it in the pot.
- Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire.
- Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire.
- The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles can get dangerously hot.
So, if you’re planning to try out deep frying a turkey this year, you need to be prepared and take serious precautions to avoid any of those above concerns.
State Farm Insurance Company has a long list of safety steps you should take:
- Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages and away from trees and bushes.
- Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and dry before frying to keep oil from splattering.
- Do NOT operate a fryer outdoors in the rain or snow.
- Place the fryer on a level surface and don’t move it once it’s in use.
- Follower the manufacturer’s directions to avoid overfilling the oil.
- Choose a smaller turkey, between 8 and 10 pounds for frying.
- Never leave fryer unattended.
- Use a fryer with temperature controls. Watch the controls to make sure the oil does not get too hot. If the oil starts smoking, turn off the fryer.
- Turn off the burner before putting the turkey in the fryer. Once the turkey is in the fryer, turn the burner back on.
- Wear goggles and over mitts to protect your eyes and arms.
- Keep an ABC-rated fire extinguisher (one that can be used on grease fires) on hand. Never try to put out a grease fire with water.
- Keep children and pets away from fryers at all times.
- Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner. Allow the oil to cool overnight before disposing of it.
Keep in mind that, even if you follow all the safety tips, frying a turkey still comes with risks. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association and State Farm recommend using an oil-less fryer, one that uses infrared heat instead of oil, to fry your turkey. Both organizations say that is the safest option.
Whatever you decide for your Thanksgiving celebration, we wish you a very happy one!
And if you should even need our help with fire damage restoration in the Green Bay area, we’re just a phone call away at 920-499-7050.
Holiday Prep Profile: Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguisher photo, courtesy of OSHA.
It is officially November!
Halloween is behind us, Thanksgiving and Christmas are still ahead, and while it might be too early for some to hear Christmas carols on the radio and in the stores, it’s NEVER to early to do some safety prep for the holiday season.
On Fridays this month we will take a look at some different safety considerations you might want to take before your celebrations begin.
For our first Holiday Prep Profile, we’re going to talk about fire extinguishers.
Why fire extinguishers? Well, according to the National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA (one of our favorite sources, don’tcha know!), cooking fires peak during the holiday season. The NFPA says the most cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving, then Christmas Day, then Christmas Eve. Oh, and cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires.
So, all those statistics are certainly reason enough to consider getting a fire extinguisher for your home before the holidays AND learn how to use it properly.
First and foremost, you’re going to want to choose the right fire extinguisher. There are several classes of them, which the NFPA describes:
- Class A – this is the most common extinguisher and can be used to put out fires on cloth, wood, rubber, paper and many plastics.
- Class B – this is used on fires involving flammable liquids like gasoline, grease and oil.
- Class C – this is used for fires that involved electrical appliances and tools that are plugged in.
- Class D – this is used on flammable metals and is typically only found in factories that work with those metals.
- Class K – this is used on fires that involve oils and animal fats INSIDE cooking appliances. These are typically only found in commercial kitchens; however, they are on the market for use in homes.
The NFPA advises choosing a fire extinguisher for your home that is multi-purpose and large enough to put out a small fire, but not so large that it is difficult to handle.
The association also recommends reading all of the fire extinguisher’s directions and becoming familiar with it as soon as you buy it. This way you’ll know how to use it if you need it.
And when it comes to using it, remember the acronym PASS:
- P – Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle away from you and release the locking mechanism.
- A – Aim Low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- S – Squeeze. Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- S – Sweep. Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
The NFPA WARNS a fire extinguisher should ONLY be used if the fire is contained to a SMALL area, is NOT growing and the room is NOT filled with smoke. Otherwise, it is far too dangerous to try to put out a fire using an extinguisher and you should leave the home immediately. And, the NFPA says, you should always call the fire department.
A fire extinguisher is certainly a good tool to have in your home, particularly around the holiday season. However, it is not the be-all or end-all for fire safety. Take care of yourself and always put your safety first.
Fire Prevention Profile: What to Do Until Help Arrives
Damage from a fire in the Green Bay area.
October has come to an end and, with it, so has Fire Prevention Month. However, you are in luck, as we have one more, bonus prevention profile to share! (And, let’s be honest, it’s never a bad time to talk about fire prevention.)
Aside from the obvious dangers house fires present, even the smallest blazes can bring big headaches. Meaning, even fires that are put out quickly without injury can leave soot, smoke damage and other nasty problems.
That’s where SERVPRO of East Brown County comes into the picture. After the you or firefighters have done the heavy lifting of putting out the flames, our technicians come in to clean up the damage left behind. We have the expertise and equipment to make a fire “like it never even happened.”
There are some things you can do to make that recovery process go smoothly and ensure the damage doesn’t get any worse before our team arrives.
SERVPRO advises these DOs:
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can cause further damage to upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpeting.
- Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim and appliances. Then 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.
- Change HVAC filters; leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop soot particles from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
And along with those DOs, there are a list of DON’Ts:
- Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO professionals.
- Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstery without first contacting your SERVPRO professionals.
- Do not attempt to clean nay electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first contacting an authorized repair service.
- Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as they may be contaminated.
- If ceiling is wet, do not turn on any ceiling fans. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may cause secondary damage.
- Don’t send garments to dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in odor smoke.
Hopefully you never need this advice, but if you do, the steps are simple ones to take to ensure your property can be restored as easily as possible.
At SERVPRO of East Brown County we know a fire of any size can be a traumatic event and we know the damage left behind, the sights and smells of soot and smoke, can amplify and prolong that trauma. It is our goal to take care of that damage quickly and efficiently to help minimize the trauma and get your life back in order.
We are always just a phone call away at 920-499-7050.
Fire Prevention Profile: Home Heating Safety
House fire photo, courtesy of FEMA.
As October comes to an end, we can all start to feel that chill in the air.
Fall is a time known for “sweater weather,” a time of year to get cozy. And as we get deeper into autumn, we know old man winter is not far behind.
When winter arrives, the sweaters are no longer enough to keep us warm and snug and we all start to rely on home heating to get us through the bitter months (honestly, some of us have already turned on our thermostats!).
However, when it comes to home heating, the threat of fire is never far behind. In fact, according to FEMA, heating is the second leading cause of home fires after cooking.
Furnaces, space heaters, fireplaces and woodstoves all have the potential to cause a blaze. So, it’s important to follow some safety rules when using any of these.
FEMA has a list of advice for each piece of equipment we listed:
- Have your furnace inspected each year by an HVAC professional.
- Keep anything flammable at least three feet from your furnace.
- Keep anything flammable away from implements like heat registers too.
- Have your chimney inspected and cleaned once a year.
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from your fireplace or woodstove.
- Do not burn paper in your fireplace or woodstove.
- Put the fire out before you go to sleep or leave the house.
- Put ashes in a metal container with a lid, outside, at least three feet away from your house.
- Keep a glass or metal screen in front of your fireplace to keep sparks and embers from jumping out.
- Space Heaters:
- Again, keep anything flammable or that can burn, at least three feet away from the space heater.
- Make sure the heater has an automatic shut off on the event it falls over.
- Turn heaters off when you leave the room or go to bed.
- Plug portable heaters directly into wall outlets, never into extension cords or power strips.
- Only use space heaters from a recognized testing laboratory.
These are some easy tips to follow and they’re also very important. According to FEMA, 75% of home heating fires are “confined,” meaning they are confined to chimneys, flues or fuel burners (so get those chimneys cleaned!) and 29% of heating fires that are not confined are caused when something flammable is left too close to a heat source.
It’s also important to note that, as FEMA reports, home heating fires peak in January (that’s the month when 21% of those blazes occur) and those fires peak between the hours of 5:00 and 9:00 p.m.
So, be sure to stay warm and cozy and SAFE during the cold months ahead!
Fire Prevention Profile: Electrical Fires
Picture courtesy of FEMA.
As the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer, we all start to rely more heavily on our lights and other electronic devices to keep our homes bright and warm. But, along with the increased use of electricity comes a greater risk of electrical fires.
And since October is fire prevention month, now is a great time to ensure your home is safe from this risk before we get into the bitter winter months.
According to FEMA there are more than 45,000 home electrical fires each year in the United States. Half of those are caused by lighting equipment or home electrical wiring. FEMA says the peak months for these fires are December through March and deaths caused by these blazes peak between the hours of midnight and 6:00 in the morning (a very good reason to have working smoke detectors in your home!).
There are some very easy steps you can take immediately to prevent electrical fires. FEMA has an easy to follow checklist for you:
- Always plug appliances (especially major appliances like washers, dryers and refrigerators) directly into wall outlets.
- Never use an extension cord with those major appliances, as the cords can overheat quickly and cause a fire.
- Unplug small appliances when not in use.
- Plug only one heat-producing appliance (like a coffee maker or microwave) into an outlet at a time.
- Never use an extension cord with a heat-producing appliance.
- Keep light fixtures and lightbulbs away from anything flammable.
- Use lightbulbs that match the recommended wattage of the light fixture.
- Check the cords on appliances often. Replace any cracked, damaged or loose cords.
- Do not overload wall outlets.
- Insert plugs fully into sockets.
- Never force a three-prong plug into a two-prong outlet.
- If you have young children, be sure to install tamper resistant outlets.
- Replace old, worn or damaged extension cords right away.
- Use extension cords for temporary purposes only.
- Avoid putting cords where they can be damaged or pinched (like in heavy traffic areas where they might be stepped on).
- Do not overload power strips.
- Only use power strips with internal overload protection.
Now that you have this list, we recommend you go through your home and check off every bullet point on there (What are you waiting for? Do it now!). Doing so can help protect you, your family and your property, while keeping things bright this winter.
Fire Prevention Profile: Kitchen Fires
A stove that caught fire in the Green Bay area
Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires in the United States and the dangers only rise as we get into the holiday season. So, (since October is Fire Prevention Month) now is a good time to learn more about these incidents and what you can do to prevent them.
The statistics when it comes to kitchen fires are stark. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking accounts for about 47% of home fires, 20% of fire-related deaths and 45% of the fire-related injuries reported across the country each year. The NFPA says Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and then Christmas Eve.
Luckily, there are many simple steps home chefs can take to avoid these fires. One big step? Always watch what you’re cooking. The NFPA tells us one third of kitchen fires happen when a person leaves the equipment they’re using unattended. So, particularly if you’re using the stove top, stay in the kitchen and watch closely. If you’re using the oven, experts advise checking in regularly.
It’s important to remember, kitchen fires don’t just happen when food burns, anything flammable can catch fire if it’s too close to the heat. So, keep anything like oven mitts, dish cloths and paper towels AWAY from heat sources.
We have saved the BIGGEST culprit of cooking fires for last: frying. The NFPA says frying dominates the cooking fire problem. So, the Association has some advice you’ll want to follow this holiday season (and, of course, all year long):
- Always stay in the kitchen when frying.
- If you see smoke coming off the food you’re frying, turn off the burner or safely remove the pan from the burner. Smoke it a sign the oil is too hot.
- Slowly heat the oil to the temperature you need.
- Add food to the oil gently so that it does not splatter.
- Always keep a lid beside your pan. If the pan does catch fire, cover it with the lid and turn off the banner. Let the oil cool before removing the lid again.
- NEVER put water on a grease fire. If a fire starts to spread, leave the house immediately and call 911.
Now you know a little bit more about how to stand the heat and stay in the kitchen SAFELY. Team SERVPRO of East Brown County wishes everyone in the Green Bay area and beyond a very safe and happy holiday season!
Fire Prevention Profile: October is Fire Prevention Month
October is Fire Prevention Month
October is National Fire Prevention Month and we at SERVPRO of East Brown County want to ensure you are staying safe this month and all year long.
And in that spirit, we will be posting Fire Prevention Profiles each Friday in October.
For this first profile, we will provide some general prevention tips. The second week we will talk about preventing kitchen fires, the third week we’ll cover electrical fire prevention and the final fire prevention profile will discuss home heating safety and how that relates to fire prevention.
So, diving in to this week, the National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA, provides a theme each year for fire prevention and 2018’s theme is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be Aware. Fire can happen anywhere.”
So here is what the NFPA advises:
- LOOK – look for places in your home fires could start. Identify any possible hazards and take care of them.
- LISTEN – listen for the sound of your smoke alarm. If you hear the smoke alarm, leave the building immediately. You only have minutes, sometimes seconds to escape the smoke and flames safely once you hear the alarm.
- LEARN – learn (and teach your family) two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.
This is also a great time of year to PREPARE for emergencies! In case you didn’t see our Preparedness Profiles from last month, they are all still in our blog archives, which you can find easily on our website and our social media pages. You can find out more about preparing for evacuations, pet safety in emergencies and proper use of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
And always remember, if a fire should damage your home or business, SERVPRO of East Brown County is always here for you. You can reach us, day or night, at 920-499-7050.
Preparedness Profile: Sound the Alarm
Smoke alarm photo courtesy of the CDC.
There is no reason to be alarmed by this week’s Preparedness Profile! We’re simply talking about some of the important alarms/detectors you should have in your home to ensure your family’s safety.
Those include: smoke, carbon monoxide and radon detectors.
At this point, it’s likely you have at least one smoke detector in your home. These are designed to sound an alarm when smoke is in the vicinity of the detector. However, one alarm is not enough to ensure your safety, especially if that device is not working.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has a few tips when it comes to installing and maintaining smoke alarms in your home:
- Install smoke alarms in each bedroom.
- Install smoke alarms outside each sleeping area.
- Install smoke alarms on each level of your home, including your basement.
- On levels without bedrooms, install alarms in living rooms or dens and/or at the bottom of staircases.
- Smoke alarms should be mounted high on walls or on ceilings.
- Smoke alarms should be at least 10 feet from any cooking appliances to prevent them being set off by cooking.
- Test your alarms once a month to ensure they’re working.
- Change batteries at least once a year. If you have ten-year battery-operated alarms, make sure to buy new ones every ten years.
- The alarms will chirp if the batteries are low.
- Keep alarms clean and follow all manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance.
According to the NFPA, about 3 out of every 5 fire-related deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms.
The bottom line: smoke alarms save lives. So, make them a top priority in your home.
Now we move on to carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that is known as the “invisible killer.” The NFPA says the deadly gas is created when fuels like wood, propane and gas burn incompletely.
A large amount of carbon monoxide can kill a person in a short amount of time, while a small amount of the gas can kill a person over a longer amount of time. This is why CO detectors/alarms are so important for your home.
The tips for CO alarms are similar as those for smoke alarms. The NFPA advises:
- Install CO alarms in a central location outside each sleeping area.
- Install CO alarms on every floor of the home, including basement.
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions for installations and placement.
- Test batteries once a month, replace yearly (or if the alarm chirps, signaling low battery)
- If the alarm sounds immediately move all people and pets out of the home and call for emergency responders.
Remember: because carbon monoxide is invisible to the senses you will not be able to tell if It’s in your house. That means you need an alarm to do that for you!
And finally, we are talking radon. Radon is probably the least talked about behind smoke and carbon monoxide, but it poses significant dangers too.
According to the CDC, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking, resulting in about 20,000 deaths every year.
Like CO, radon is a colorless gas that you cannot see or taste. The CDC explains that radon occurs naturally in the ground and is created when radioactive metals like uranium, thorium, or radium break down. The gas can then seep into your home through cracks and crevices.
The CDC says you should test your home for radon levels. You can do so using a kit, which you can buy online or in most home improvement stores. If your test shows high radon levels you can make changes to your home to lower those levels, like sealing up cracks. The CDC does recommend hiring a professional to make those changes, however, if you’re not an expert yourself.
These are just three easy things you can do to ensure your home is safe for you and your family. So, take the opportunity to get into the spirit of National Preparedness Month and make sure you have all the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors your home needs and do a radon test for good measure!
Remember, you’ll have a lot less cause for alarm in the future if you take the steps to prepare now!
What's that Smell? Talking Odor Removal
Photo of Smoke, courtesy of the NFPA
While a fire can happen in the blink of an eye, the damage it leaves behind can go on for ages.
This is true when it comes to the severe, physical damage flames cause. It’s also true when it comes to something unseen, but no less tangible: the smell. Odors from smoke can and will linger for years, especially if they’re not dealt with quickly.
Smoke, soot and ash are made up of tiny particles that move around easily and get into hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. Those little particles are very clingy and stick to surfaces of all kinds, the more porous the better.
The good new is, SERVPRO of East Brown County can destroy those odors left behind by a fire.
And when we say “destroy,” we mean it.
Many people think that getting rid of bad smells simply means covering them up with some sort of perfumed product. That will NOT do the trick. The odors must be completely eradicated.
That’s where trained SERVPRO technicians come into the picture. They will seek out and remove the SOURCES of the smells. The techs are trained to remove those sources using deodorization techniques and equipment like ozone machines and hot thermal fog.
We understand that fires are traumatic events that can have a long-lasting effect on a person’s emotional and mental state. Having the smell around only serves as a reminder of what happened and can make that trauma even worse for a person.
We’re here to help you make things better.
And we can help you in other situations where unpleasant smells are making your home or office miserable.
These are just a few of the other odors we can clean up:
- Cigarette Smoke
- Pet Odors
If you need to breathe a little easier, we’re here to help clear the air. Give us a call at 920-499-7050.
Fireworks: Play it Safe this 4th of July
Fireworks photo from the CDC
As we celebrate our country’s birth and Independence Day, we know a lot of fun comes with that celebration. However, sometimes that fun comes with dangers.
We’re talking about fireworks. The explosions in the sky are synonymous with the 4th of July, but, if not used properly, they can cause fires and severe injuries.
The best advice to remember is that fire officials, both locally and nationally, advise you leave any exploding fireworks displays to the professionals. They say you should go see your local community’s fireworks show and enjoy it!
When it comes to trying out your own, personal pyrotechnics, however, there’s a lot more you need to know.
First of all, fireworks that leave the ground and/or explode may not be legal, depending on the community you live in. You must check in with your local municipality to see what is or is not legal, or else face punishments like heavy fines.
When it comes to the fireworks that ARE legal, if you want to put on your own show, the National Council on Fireworks Safety has a list of reminders for you to avoid any mishaps:
- Read all cautionary labels before lighting fireworks.
- A responsible adult should supervise all activities.
- Do NOT drink alcohol while using fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and walk away from it.
- Use fireworks outdoors in an area clear of buildings and trees.
- Always have a water source nearby.
- Never relight a “dud.”
- Soak any used or dud fireworks in water and throw them away in a metal trash can.
- Remember, even sparklers get EXTREMELY hot.
- Veterans groups ask that you consider your neighbors. If you know your neighbor is a combat veteran, check with them before putting on any pyrotechnics.
According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, an average of 280 people go to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries each 4th of July. Of those injuries, 53% are burns and 14% come from sparklers. The commission says the age group reporting the most injuries includes people between the ages of 25-44-years-old.
Fire officials say it’s important to remember your pets this time of year too. According to the Wisconsin Humane Society, more pets are lost on July 4th than any other day of the year. Experts say this is because pets can become frightened by the loud noise of fireworks and run off. They advise keeping your pets inside and safe during any displays.
And if something should go awry because of fireworks this holiday, remember, SERVPRO of East Brown County is here for you to help recover from any fire damage. You can call us at 920-499-7050.
Fire Safety for Four-Legged Family Members
Boo, the SERVPRO of East Brown County Office Dog
We at SERVPRO of East Brown County consider our pets to be part of our families. We suspect most pet owners feel the same way. So, it’s important to consider your four-legged friends when planning for emergency situations. Top among those emergencies are house fires.
According to the United States Fire Administration, about 500,000 pets are affected by fires each year.
The Red Cross says the easiest and most important way you can protect your pets is by including them in your fire plans. That means practicing your escape routes with your pets and training them to come when you call.
As important as our furry friends are, however, you should NEVER waste time during a fire to go looking for your pets. Do NOT put your life or your families lives at risk.
Luckily, there is more you can do to ensure your pets’ safety. You can help firefighters find them by putting a pet alert cling in your front window with the accurate number and types of pets you have written on it. Your local fire department likely has these clings available.
You can also make sure to keep any crated pets close to the door to help firefighters find them right away. In addition, keeping leashes or carriers near the door can help too.
Aside from planning for your pets, the Red Cross says you should also make sure to keep your four-legged friends from STARTING fires.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, about 1,000 pets are responsible for starting house fires each year.
The Red Cross recommends you follow these steps to help prevent a similar situation in your home:
- Keep pets away from open flames like candles or fireplaces. Cats and dog tails can easily knock over lit candles.
- Invest in flameless candles or air fresheners.
- Take knobs off the stove when you’re out of the home.
- Block pets, particularly young pets, from any possible fire-starting materials with crates or baby gates.
We know how much you love your pets. So never underestimate how important it is to make family plans for emergencies and include the furballs in those plans.
And should fire damage ever strike your home, we are here to help you recover. You can call us, day or night, at 920-499-7050.
Clean Your Dryer Vents!
Photo of a dryer lint filter courtesy of FEMA
A clothes dryer is one of those household conveniences most of us can’t imagine living without. But, if you’re not taking a few simple steps to ensure your dryer is safer, the machine could become a veritable tinder box.
Dryer lint is extremely flammable and if you’re not keeping your dryer clean and well-ventilated, you’re putting your home and yourself at risk.
According to FEMA 2,900 home dryer fires are reported yearly. Those fires cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property damage each year.
FEMA says 34% of those fires are caused by failure to properly clean the dryer.
Luckily there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent dryer fires.
- Have the dryer installed by a professional in the first place.
- Clean the lint filter before and after each load of laundry and in between cycles, if it needs to run more than once.
- Clean the back of the dryer where lint can build up.
- Clean lint out of the vent pipe once every three months.
- If it’s taking longer than normal for clothes to dry, have a professional inspect it.
- Ensure the venting system behind the dryer is connected and un-damaged.
- Check regularly to make sure things like animal nests are not blocking the outside vent.
- Keep anything flammable away from the dryer.
- Do not leave the dryer running when you leave home or go to bed.
Something as small as a little bit of lint can be easy to overlook, but it can also have big consequences if you do.
So please keep your dryer clean and your home safe!
And should you experience a fire of any kind, remember, we are here to help with cleaning, recovery and reconstruction. Simply give SERVPRO of East Brown County a call at 920-499-7050.
Wildfires: Watches and Warnings
A National Weather Service photo of a wildfire
In our last blog post we discussed wildfires. We took a look at how you can help prevent wildfires and how you can protect your property against them.
Now let’s take a look at what you need to know when it comes to the National Weather Service’s (NWS) Watches and warnings for wildfires. Do you know the difference between a red flag warning and a fire weather watch? If not, it’s an important distinction.
Let us break it down for you:
- Fire Weather Watch: According to the NWS, a Fire Weather Watch is when you need to PREPARE, because weather conditions over the next 12 to 48 hours are expected to create a critical risk for wildfires.
- Red Flag Warning: According to the NWS, a Red Flag Warning is when you need to TAKE ACTION, because this is the alert that is sent out when fire conditions are ongoing or are expected to occur within the next 24 hours.
- Extreme Fire Behavior: This is the alert the NWS will put out when an already ongoing wildfire is likely to rage out of control. To send out this alert, one of the following conditions must be met:
- The fire is moving fast.
- There is prolific crowning, meaning the tree canopy is catching on fire, or spotting, which means embers from the main fire are blowing to new areas, starting new fires.
- Presence of fire whirls, which are like tornadoes of flame.
- A strong convection column, which is a column of gases, smoke and ash that is rising out of the wildfire.
Don’t forget, the Wisconsin DNR is another resource you can turn to in order to find out more about the risk of wildfires in your area and how you can work to keep yourself safe.
And if a wildfire leaves its mark on your property, SERVPRO of East Brown County is here to help you recover and rebuild from any flame, smoke or soot damage. Just give us a call at 920-499-7050.
Photo of a wildfire from the Wisconsin DNR
As Smokey Bear says, ‘only you can prevent wildfires.’
And, according to the Wisconsin DNR, spring is the riskiest time of year for wildfires across the state. Summer is a close second in that department.
The DNR says spring is especially dangerous once the snow melts, because even a few days without rain can lead to dry grasses, pine needles, and leaves. Combine those dry fuels with lower humidity, warmer temperatures and blustery winds and you have conditions that can easily create fast moving wildfires.
What Smokey says is certainly true too, because, according to the DNR, 98% of wildfires in Wisconsin are caused by people.
Here are some of the most common causes:
- Burning debris
- Using equipment and vehicles like lawnmowers and ATVs
- Power lines
There are some precautions you, personally, can take to prevent these fires:
- Have water on hand any time you burn or build a campfire.
- Fully put out a burn or campfire by drowning it with water, stirring it, drowning it again and feeling the area with the back of your hand to ensure it’s no longer warm. If it is warm, drown and stir it again!
- Do not use equipment like lawnmowers on especially dry days as they can spark, leading to fires.
- If you see smoke along the railroad tracks, call 911 and report it.
- Do not throw lit cigarettes away outside.
Now, depending on where you live and play, your home or other property could be at risk from wildfires. The DNR says your property is especially vulnerable if it’s in a rural or wooded area surrounded by tall grasses or trees like pines and oaks.
The National Fire Protection Association has named May 5th, 2018 Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. So, now is a good time to know the risk at your own property and take some precautions.
The DNR recommends:
- Rake leaves away from your house and from under your deck.
- Remove leaves and pine needles from your gutters.
- Clear a five-foot zone around your building of any flammable materials.
- Move firewood at least 30 feet from your home.
If you see a Smokey Bear sign in your community, take note of what it says. If Smokey says there’s a risk for fire danger, believe him and take precautions.
And if a wildfire should ever affect your Green Bay area property, SERVPRO of East Brown County is always here for you. We can help clean, restore and rebuild following any damage. Just pick up the phone and call us any time, day or night at 920-499-7050.
What You Need to Know: Generator Safety
A photo of a generator from the Wisconsin Red Cross
As we’ve been writing recently about severe weather season and preparing for any possible flooding or storms, we thought it might be a good idea to tackle generators.
Generators are always great to have as a backup if your home or business loses power during a storm, but they can pose serious dangers if you’re not careful.
According to the American Red Cross the biggest dangers generators can pose are fires, electrocution and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
The Red Cross has a long list of safety measures to take if you need to use a generator personally.
- Turn the generator off and let it cool before refueling. Hot fuel can spark a fire.
- Keep the generator dry. Do not use in wet conditions.
- NEVER plug a generator into a wall outlet. That puts you and your neighbors at risk of electrocution.
- Read instructions thoroughly to avoid overloading the generator. Also, stagger use to avoid overloads. Overloads can lead to over-heating, which can lead to fires.
- NEVER use a generator inside your home or inside ANY partially enclosed space.
- Don’t put your generator close to windows or vents to avoid letting CO inside your home.
- Put CO detectors up in your home.
- If the CO alarm goes off, leave the building, go outside into fresh air and call 911 for help. Stay outside until help arrives.
Hopefully you won’t need the help of a generator this spring or summer, but if you do, please remember this advice.
And, also remember that if you do experience any fire, storm or water damage issues, we’re can help you out at SERVPRO of East Brown County. Call anytime at 920-499-7050.
Spring into the Season Safely
A photo of a smoke alarm from the CDC.
At SERVPRO of East Brown County we know fires can strike at any time of the day or night. We also know how devastating, even deadly those fires can be.
One great way to protect yourself and your family is to make sure you have working smoke alarms in your home. The key word here is WORKING.
The National Safety Council (NSC) has a spring safety checklist for you to check off when doing your annual spring cleaning. Number one on the list? Check those smoke alarms.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) goes a step further saying smoke alarms SAVE LIVES.
An NFPA study shows:
- A smoke alarm sounds in about half of U.S. home fires on average.
- Three of every five home fire deaths occur in houses where there are no smoke alarms, or no working smoke alarms.
- About 70% of the incidents in which the alarms do NOT sound the batteries are missing, disconnected or dead.
There are simple steps you can and should take this spring to make sure your smoke alarms are ready to go. The NSC advises:
- Test your alarms at least once a month.
- Change you alarm batteries at least once a year.
- If an alarm is making a chirping sound, replace the battery immediately.
- Put alarms up in each bedroom and common room on each floor of your home.
Going hand in hand with smoke alarms are carbon monoxide detectors. The NSC describes carbon monoxide (CO) as an “invisible, odorless gas, and it can kill you.”
The NSC has advice about protecting yourself from CO gas:
- Anything that burns fuel can produce CO.
- Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed outside each bedroom and on every level of your house.
- You should test the batteries monthly and change them yearly.
As we get deeper into spring it’s a good idea to go through this checklist to ensure your family is as safe as possible when it comes to fire and carbon monoxide.
Please protect yourself and if a fire should affect your property, we are here for you. Our SERVPRO team is well-prepared to clean up and provide any necessary reconstruction services. You can reach us at 920-499-7050.
Major Fire Restoration
Major fire damage to a home in the Green Bay area.
A fire can be a devastating event for anyone to experience. The team at SERVPRO of East Brown County understands that and we have seen just how bad that devastation can be.
This photo shows the damage to a home we helped to completely rebuild following a fire in the Green Bay area.
Just about everything was destroyed from the fireplace to the staircase, the dishes in the kitchen to the toilets in the bathrooms. Beautiful antiques were lost in the flames. Ash and soot even reached the parts of the home that were the farthest from the source of the blaze.
Early after the fire happened the homeowner debated whether to have the house demolished or to rebuild instead. They decided to rebuild and called SERVPRO in to do the job.
This was a large-scale residential fire project that required expertise in mitigation, restoration and reconstruction services. The home was completely gutted of all drywall and plaster, flooring materials, cabinetry and all burned or charred structural materials. We also dried out remaining structural components that suffered water damage when the fire department put out the flames with lots of water. Then we replaced the burned and charred structural components, including part of the roof rafters. The electrical and HVAC systems were redone followed by new drywall, paint, flooring, cabinetry, lighting and plumbing fixtures. We even added a new, stone fireplace. On the exterior, we installed new doors, hung new siding and put new shingles in place.
It took team members working tirelessly for several months to complete the restoration. In the end, the home is like brand new
We would never hope for a tragedy like this to affect you and your family, but we do hope if it does, that you’ll call on us to help on the mitigation, restoration and the rebuild. We understand what is lost when something like this happens and we’ll be there for you to lean on.
If you ever need us, please call us at 920-499-7050.
SERVPRO of East and West Brown County Restores Several Commercial Buildings After Fires
SERVPRO of Brown County in Green Bay restores a commercial manufacturing building that suffered smoke and heavy soot damage.
SERVPRO of East / West Brown County has recently restored several commercial / industrial buildings after machinery started on fire and filled the buildings with smoke and heavy soot. We get the businesses back in business quickly by providing emergency services on critical equipment and machinery and then restore the entire structure. Special deodorization processes also remove all smoke smell from the structure to make it "Like it never even happened.”