Recent Fire Damage Posts
What Type of Fireplace is Best?
Did you know that 1 in every 3 homeowner uses a fireplace to provide heat in their home? It is also one of the top 10 sources of a fire in a home. There are several different types of fireplaces out there to use, some safer than others. This blog will help you distinguish which one may be best for you.
Some key factors to think of when choosing the right fireplace for you are the following:
1. Traditional fireplaces -wood-burning
A traditional fireplace is nostalgic for many people and can often been seen by some as the one and only fireplace out there.
It involves an open combustion system which can produce some heat but the heat generated actually just gets sucked back up the chimney like a vacuum. Older fireplaces are around 10-15% efficient in producing heat into a home.
It requires a chimney which in itself has its own maintenance needed. If they aren’t inspected and cleaned regularly, they can create a build-up of soot and other substances that can be flammable.
It also requires more effort to burn the logs correctly as well as the post fire clean up. However, many will say it is worth it because of the authenticity of having a real fire shooting sparks and crackling as it burns. It is easy on the eyes, creating a warm comfort feeling.
This method is most popular for a number of reasons. It takes minimal installation effort and can be installed almost anywhere since venting gets set up through a PVC pipe in the wall instead of a chimney. Everything is enclosed behind a piece of glass so it very safe to use with little to no monitoring. It can easily be turned on with a switch and heats up a home very well.
It also comes in a vent-less option however these emit the exhaust they produce into your home.
They produce an actual flame that is visible without the need of wood or pellets. It is very efficient in producing heat into a home.
This is probably the most mobile type of fireplace as it can be moved from room to room wherever it can reach an outlet. Downside is because there are no live burning flames it doesn’t produce much heat.
It does prove to be ideal for commercial settings like hotels because of the beautiful appearance of a fireplace without the liability of burning someone who tries to touch it. Cost to buy one is more affordable but in the long-term electric bills will spike.
This is the most expensive and referred to as the high-end option. They don’t run on gas, wood or electric but bio-ethanol which is a burning fuel made from an alcohol produced by the fermentation of carbohydrates. They have no cleaning required and are very good looking on the eyes. Downfall is they do not provide as much heat as gas fireplaces and minimal protection from heat.
When deciding on which option is best for you we hope this helped point you in the right direction.
How to Prepare For and Prevent a Fire.
Did you know that the actual heat from a fire is more dangerous than the flames?
Room temperature during a fire can reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level.
You can scorch your lungs just trying to take a breath. The high temperature will even melt your clothes onto your skin.
- Install the right number of smoke alarms for your home and test them at least once a month. Batteries should be changed once a year.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended
- Turn off portable heater when unattended.
- Never smoke in bed, when drowsy, or medicated. Douse cigarette buds in water before disposal.
- Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used. Oxygen can be explosive and will make a fire burn hotter and faster.
- Never use a portable generator indoors. It should also only be refueled outdoors or in well ventilated areas.
- Keep items 3 feet in distance from any fire source.
- Teach children what to do when they hear the sound of the smoke alarm.
- In the dark close your eyes and practice feeling your way out of your house.
- Establish two ways to exit each room.
- Create a meeting point for all the members in your family outside of your home.
- Make sure everyone knows how to call 911.
- Make sure windows are easily accessible and screens can be removed quickly.
- Make digital copies of all important documents and records such as a birth certificate.
In the event of a fire; before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If it is hot and/or has smoke coming out of the cracks do not open it. Use your second mode of escape from that room. If clothes catch fire teach everyone to stop, drop and roll. If someone cant drop down you can also take a blanket to smother the flames.
Better Act Quick!
Soot cob webs found in the kitchen of this home.
A fire is a devastating thing to have happen to anyone. No homeowner wants to experience a fire and its damages left behind.
Why is it important to start clean up and restoration after a fire?
First and foremost, left over smoke & soot particles is a bio-hazard. Smoke inhalation can cause respiratory problems or worsen conditions like asthma and heart disease. If possible always try to limit exposure by staying with a relative or in a hotel during restoration. Many times when filing a claim your insurance company may offer you a stay in a hotel until it is no longer a hazard.
Was Water Used?
There may be occurrences where water was used to cease the fire. If that is the case you may be experiencing not only fire and smoke damage to your home but also water damage. It is imperative to start proper drying of water in your home to prevent mold growth from occurring.
Acidic soot can cause damage to porous materials leading to permanent discoloration that even a professional at that point wouldn't be able to remove. However, if action is taken quickly permanent damage can be prevented.
It is expected that wherever the fire occurred there can also be electrical damage to outlets, wires, appliances. Make sure these are deemed safe before return to use.
Soot can also cause damage to finishes on appliances or kitchen surfaces. These can become discolored turning a yellow hue. Over time smoke and soot can cause etching to glass and tarnishing of metal.
Hopefully this situation will not occur in your home but if you find yourself needing to act quickly contact SERVPRO of Northeast Bergen County.
What Is Soot?
Soot found on chemical sponge.
Did you know that the highest cause of house fires is from cooking? Usually when a homeowner leaves a pot or pan unattended and then only remembers it when smoke invades their home. It may not develop into fire damage to your property but rather smoke and soot damage that usually is worse than you would think. Although your kitchen cabinetry isn’t on fire and ruined there is still some specialized clean-up needing to be done from the smoke & soot.
Soot is a powdery, flaky substance composed of mostly carbon that is a result of incomplete combustion of materials like coal, oil and wood. Not only is it harmful but it can also be a pain to remove due to its stickiness which can cause staining if not treated properly.
A chemical sponge is used to clean soot from walls. Commonly a chemical sponge may also reveal soot you did not notice was there.
When treating textiles, a heavy duty vacuum must be used before trying to clean them. Do not try to wash these in regular dry-cleaning or wash. Professional cleaners will need to use counteractants to break up smoke molecules and eliminate odors.
It is highly recommended to hire a professional to properly handle clean-up and restoration to eliminate chances of staining and odor.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (201) 445-5588
Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause Pervasive Odor in Your Home
Special Chem or Dry Sponges used to remove excessive soot and smoke from hard surfaces
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 Northeast Bergen 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 – (201) 244-0100