Recent Fire Damage Posts

3 Fire Prevention Tips for Your Business

9/13/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a fire extinguisher. Keep your commercial property safe by having a fire extinguisher.

Knowledge is power when it comes to fire prevention. While it’s impossible to completely eradicate the potential for a business fire, there are several steps you can take to keep your commercial property in West Valley City, UT, safe.

Three Steps You Can Take To Keep Your Commercial Property Safe

  1. Schedule a Building Assessment

Fire assessments aren’t reserved solely for your local fire damage restoration company, and they don’t always have to take place after a fire. Contact the fire marshal and inquire about a fire hazard assessment for your building. Identifying and resolving risks up front is your first line of defense.

  1. Equip Your Building With Fire Suppression and Prevention Tools

It’s standard procedure to have fire extinguishers and smoke detectors on every floor of your commercial property. Test smoke detectors monthly to ensure that they’re working properly and be sure to change their batteries promptly when needed.

Depending on the size of your business, you may also want to invest in a sprinkler system as part of your fire prevention plan.

  1. Draft and Distribute a Fire Safety Plan

Your employees need to know what to do if there’s a fire during business hours. Those fire extinguishers mentioned above? Your staff needs to know how to operate them. They should also be aware of multiple evacuation routes in the event of a business fire. Run regularly scheduled practice evacuations and post the routes at various intervals through the building.

For larger companies, instituting a chain of command for fires and other emergencies is an easy way to streamline the process. By appointing fire safety officers and assigning responsibilities, you can lessen confusion in the unlikely event of a fire. All of your employees should know where to locate a first-aid kit as well.

Carve a few hours out of next week’s schedule to make sure your fire prevention procedures are up to snuff. It only takes a few hours of planning to significantly decrease the odds of a dangerous fire erupting at your commercial property.

5 Tips for Home Fire Prevention and Preparation

7/12/2022 (Permalink)

Woman holding her head watching a home destroyed by fire. Fire damage in West Valley City, UT. Fire preparation and prevention it's important.

Witnessing your West Valley City, UT, home ablaze is one one the most devastating things you and your family could endure. Nothing is guaranteed. However, there are fire safety measures that can help you prevent a home fire. There are also fire preparation tips you can practice just in case.

5 Fire Preparation Tips

  1. Inspect Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms must be maintained to keep them operating properly. Dust or vacuum each unit at least once a year when you replace the batteries. Smoke alarm units themselves should be replaced every 10 years.

  1. Use Electricity Safely

Avoid overloading electrical circuits. Make sure that your light bulbs don't go above the suggested wattage on each light fixture. If plugs don’t fit the outlets snugly, you may need to replace the outlets. If you frequently have tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses in your home, have a licensed electrician examine your electrical system.

  1. Cook Safely

Stay in the kitchen while cooking on the stove or broiling. Keeping a pot lid or baking sheet within reach in the kitchen is an excellent fire preparation plan. If a pan fire begins, cover it and turn off the burner. Always keep pot handles turned toward the back of the stove to avoid them being knocked off.

  1. Monitor Open Flames

When burning candles, make sure that they’re in sturdy, non-flammable candle holders away from flammable materials (e.g., curtains, magazines). Also, place them out of the reach of children and pets. Never keep candles burning unattended. Never present an open flame in an area where medical oxygen is used, even if the machine is turned off.

  1. Use Heaters Safely

Keep flammable materials at least three feet from space heaters, fireplaces, woodstoves, radiators and furnaces. Turn off and unplug heaters when you’re leaving home or going to bed. Only use space heaters with overheat or tip over automatic shutoff features.

Fire preparation and prevention are essential fire safety tools that you must practice. If a fire occurs at your home, fire restoration professionals can return it to its pre loss condition.

Fire Preparation Tips for Homeowners

6/22/2022 (Permalink)

A smoke Detector. Follow these steps and be ready to avoid Fire Damage in your Property.

No homeowner in West Valley City, UT, wants to face the danger and damage of a house fire. Keeping your family safe during such an event should be a top priority. With a few fire preparation strategies, you can make sure that everyone knows what they need to do if the unthinkable happens.

Tips for Home Fire Prevention and Response

Of course, the best option is to prevent a fire from occurring in the first place. There are several things you can do to make a fire in your home less likely. Even if you employ all these prevention strategies, though, the whole family still needs to understand some fire safety basics.

Maintain Your Home and Habits

Safety starts by preventing potential hazards. Fire restoration experts recommend several tasks that you should turn into regular habits if you own a home:

  • Store flammable liquids away from heat sources.
  • Have your wiring inspected by an electrician once a year.
  • Take preventative measures to keep pests that chew through cords or wires out of your home.
  • Use space heaters and candles responsibly.
  • Restrict smoking to outside areas and make sure that used cigarettes are disposed of properly.

Arm Your Home for Alert and Response

Smoke detectors are crucial for alerting your family when a fire begins. One detector won't cut it, though. The number you need depends on the size and layout of your home. Place one in a central location on every level.

You also need a detector for every sleeping area. Test them at least once a month to ensure they're working and to remind everyone what they sound like when they go into alarm. Replace the batteries at least once a year.

It's also a good fire preparation practice to have fire extinguishers stashed in various areas of your home. At a minimum, you should have one near the kitchen and others in easily accessible common areas on every floor. Everyone in the family should know not only how to use them but also when to stop using them and call 911.

Create an Emergency Fire Escape Plan

Despite all your best efforts, you may experience a home fire at some point in your life. Having a clear emergency plan that involves everyone in the family is your best chance of keeping them safe. Start by walking through your home. Find two ways to escape from every room. Plot escape routes and make sure children know what they are supposed to do.

Practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year. This gives all the people in your home a chance to actually go through the steps they need to take in an emergency. Agree on a meeting place that is away from the house and set up a communication plan just in case you get separated. The more you prepare, the easier it will be to remember it if necessary.

Most people will never have to endure a house fire. Every homeowner, however, needs to have a fire preparation plan just in case his or her prevention strategies fail.

4 Questions About Fire Damage and Renters Insurance

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

 Living Room on Fire. Learn more About Fire Damage and Renters Insurance by following These Tips.

When you move into a new rental property in West Valley City, UT, it's important to have a renters insurance policy in place from day one. Your landlord probably required that you hold a policy in order to move in because your policy covers all of your personal belongings while the landlord's policy covers the building.

In the event of a fire at your rental property, your insurance policy can do a lot to cover you. Here are four questions you might have about how fire damage is covered with your insurance.

Questions to consider about Fire Damage and Renters Insurance

1. Will My Belongings Be Replaced If They Are Damaged in a Fire?

If your personal property is damaged in a fire, your insurance policy likely covers the replacement of those items. One important thing to ask about your policy is whether you will receive actual cash value or replacement cost coverage. If there is fire damage to your three-year-old leather couch and your policy offers actual cash value, that means that your policy covers the current value of your couch, not its original price.

Ultimately, that means that you don't get as much money toward new furniture. Replacement value means that your policy pays to replace your damaged couch with a new, similar couch. Keep in mind that there are caps on policies that cover personal property. If you own expensive jewelry or a lot of computer equipment, consider taking out an additional insurance policy to ensure that you're covered.

2. How Can My Insurance Help Me If I Can't Stay in My Apartment?

A fire that does major damage and requires you to leave your apartment is covered under your insurance policy. If you can't live in your rental property until the landlord works with a fire restoration team to repair your home, your insurance policy will pay for a hotel and other associated living expenses such as food and transportation.

3. Are My Roommates Covered Under My Policy?

Each renters insurance policy is for an individual. Even though you share an address with a couple of roommates, you each need to carry your own insurance policy. Imagine that you started a kitchen fire that ruined one roommate's personal belongings and the other roommate hurt their wrist trying to use the fire extinguisher. One policy can't cover you all because there's a conflict of interest. Instead, you each need your own policies to cover your belongings and to pay medical damages to your roommate.

4. How Do I File a Claim with My Insurance Company?

After a fire, as soon as you can safely do so, contact your insurance company. The longer you wait to file, the longer it takes for the insurance company to get you your money. If you can, take pictures of the damages to submit with your proof of loss form. The company will ask you to provide an inventory of the items that were damaged. Once you submit your claim, you'll have to wait for the claim to be processed and approved before you can get the finances to cover the costs of replacing your belongings.

A renters insurance policy is important to have because you never know what sort of emergency will require you to file a claim.

Steps of the Fire Restoration Process

2/23/2022 (Permalink)

 Firefighters Putting out a Residential Fire Learn more about the Fire Restoration Process by following these Steps.

A fire in your home in West Valley City, UT, can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. After the flames are put out, fire restoration can begin. There are several steps to this process.

Important Tips to Start the Fire Restoration Process

1. Initial Contact

Even if the fire doesn't reach all areas of your home, you still need to call fire damage mitigation specialists. They are certified to complete a thorough inspection and treat any problems they find:

  • Smoke damage
  • Weakened structure
  • Soot residue
  • Water issues

Other than your insurance provider, the cleanup team is the first call you need to make. Fast contact means that they are more likely to be able to repair the damage before any further problems occur.

2. Damage Assessment

The first thing the technicians will do when they arrive is to survey the affected area. They look for weak spots and damaged materials. They then compile a list of tasks that need to be completed so that they can present you with an estimate that will be helpful in filing your insurance claim.

3. Material Removal

Before any repairs can be done, the cleanup crew has to remove the parts that can't be salvaged. Drywall, insulation, flooring and ceiling materials may need to be torn out, even if they weren't directly touched by the flames. They may have water damage from the emergency efforts to subdue the fire, or the soot may be embedded deep within the porous materials.

4. Surface Cleaning

The next step of the fire restoration process is cleaning all the remaining surfaces. Smoke and soot continue to erode materials the longer they are left on them, so prompt attention is the key to successful salvage. Technicians are likely to use a combination of chemicals and equipment to rid all cracks and crevices of unwanted substances and get rid of any lingering smoke smell.

5. Area Drying

To prevent mold growth and other secondary damage, the mitigation team must remove all excess moisture from the affected area. The amount of water used to put out a fire makes this step one of the crucial tasks for ensuring that remediation is thorough.

6. Item Repair

The structure isn't the only thing in your home that can be affected by a fire. Damage cleaning also includes determining which of your belongings must be thrown away and which ones can be restored. Before you toss items from the fire, give the mitigation team a chance to salvage them. You may be pleasantly surprised to find out how many things can be repaired.

7. Fire Restoration

Finally, after everything is clean and dry, the team can rebuild the damaged parts of your home to make it livable again. They install new walls and flooring and make sure that the paint, tile and wallpaper match the remaining structures. The job isn't done until the affected area looks like there was never a fire in the first place.

No one likes the idea of a fire breaking out at home, but there's often a lot that can be done to save what's left. Once you call the fire restoration experts, they can get to work on your damaged home.

What Should I Do If I Smell Natural Gas?

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

A kitchen Burner If you suspect a Natural Gas Leak in your West Valley City, UT house, follow these tips and do not hesitate to contact us.

A natural gas leak can result in a gas fire or explosion. If you have natural gas service to your home, it is important to know what to do if you suspect a leak.

Steps To Take If You Suspect a Natural Gas Leak

When everything is working properly, you probably don't think about your natural gas service very much. However, a gas explosion caused by a leak can be a safety hazard and cause substantial property damage. Take steps immediately if you suspect a gas leak.

1. Check Your Stove

If you are noticing a gas smell in your kitchen, check your stove to make sure the burners are all turned off. It can be easy to accidentally turn a burner on when reaching for something in a cabinet or walking by the stove.

2. Don't Switch Any Lights on

If you have ever turned on a light switch in a dark room, you have probably seen sparks. Those sparks can ignite any gas that is in the air and cause an explosion. If you need to investigate a leak in the dark, use a flashlight instead.

3. Avoid Open Flames

If you are in a dark room, you might be tempted to use a cigarette lighter or light a candle to see by without thinking about it. Never introduce an open flame to an area that may have a gas leak. This may cause a gas fire or explosion.

4. Open Windows and Doors

Ventilation will help you disperse any gas that is in the air. Open windows and doors and leave them open until the problem is resolved.

5. Locate Your Gas Meter

Before you have a problem, take the time to locate the gas meter outside your home and learn how to shut it off. If you smell gas, you can use a wrench to shut off the gas at the meter. If you have trouble finding your meter, contact your gas company in West Valley City, UT.

6. Know When To Evacuate

If the source of the gas leak isn't something obvious that you can easily stop, such as a burner that is turned on, evacuate all people and pets in your home and go to a safe place, such as a neighbor's house across the street. Call 911 to report the emergency.

7. Keep Emergency Contacts on Hand

Save the phone numbers for your utility company, fire department, insurance company and a fire remediation company in your cell phone or another easily accessible place. If a fire occurs or the leak takes some time to resolve, you may not be able to reenter your home for some time. If you have this information on hand, you can begin making arrangements immediately.

A natural gas smell might be something as simple as a burner you need to turn off on the stove, or it could be a dangerous situation that could result in a gas fire or explosion. You may not have much time to act when you notice a leak, so having a plan in place before a problem occurs is important.

How To Safely Extinguish a Grease Fire

10/14/2021 (Permalink)

Man extinguishing fire in his kitchen. The most common fires in West Valley City, UT homes are grease fires.

The grease fire is one of the most common causes of fire and smoke damage in West Valley City, UT, homes, and kitchens. There are a couple of ways that grease-fueled fires get started: leave hot oil on the stovetop unattended and heating oil beyond its recommended temperature. These fires may also start if the heated grease overflows the pot or pan.

How To Respond to a Grease Fire

Your first step in avoiding a kitchen fire is to remain in the kitchen at all times when you have oil or grease on the stovetop. This precaution is appropriate when you're cooking any type of meat, such as bacon or hamburger, that releases juices. Another great tip for avoiding kitchen fires is keeping the stovetop and oven clean and free of crumbs, animal fats, and other foods. Keep flammable items, such as hot pads, towels, and cookbooks away from sources of heat; instead, keep the pan lid, a fire extinguisher, and baking soda or salt within reach.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

You can't handle a grease fire the same way you approach other types of fire. In fact, some of the first things you would do to put out other types of fire can increase the risk of harm and damage when dealing with grease. Here are some tips about common mistakes:

  • Never throw water on grease, oil, or fat-caused fires. Adding water to an already dangerous fire will dramatically increase the danger and cause flames and oil to splatter.
  • Do not move the pot. Too often, this movement causes the burning oil to splash and the fire to spread.
  • Don't use towels or other flammable materials to smother the fire. You may have a damp cloth or a towel handy, but these materials will cause the fire to spread.
  • Don't use flour or sugar on the flames. Baking soda and salt are the only baking products you can safely use to put out the fire.

With the "do not" list out of the way, it's time to focus on the things you can do to quickly extinguish the fire.

Safe Ways To Put Out the Fire

  • In a best-case scenario, you will be on hand to recognize that your heated oil is starting to smoke. At the first sign of trouble, turn off the heat to your pot or pan. This may be enough to prevent flames and spitting.
  • If you have your metal lid close by, you can use it to cover the pot. The lack of oxygen will put out the fire.
  • A #10 can, such as a large coffee can, full of baking soda or salt can be used to smother grease-fueled fires. Bear in mind that it takes a lot of soda or salt to put out the flames.
  • Use a fire extinguisher if you can't get close enough to use one of these tactics, a fire extinguisher is another good option. You should have a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher on hand. The wrong extinguisher, such as a water-based Class A, can make the fire worse.

A grease fire can be very dangerous. Use these tips to avoid damage, and then turn fire cleanup over to trained fire damage cleanup professionals.

Things To Throw Away After a House Fire

8/19/2021 (Permalink)

A house on fire. After a home fire in West Valley City, UT, some items must be thrown away because of the damage.

A house fire can be devastating emotionally, physically, and financially. The tough decisions you need to make during recovery from the fire can be especially hard as you sort through belongings trying to decide what can be salvaged and what you must throw away. Whether you're struggling to get rid of items for sentimental reasons or because you're worried about finances, there are some items that must be tossed without question.

Perishable and Non-Perishable Food Items

Naturally, any food exposed to flames or smoke should be tossed immediately. Food stored in thin plastic, cardboard boxes, or cloth should also be thrown out. Perishable foods should be thrown away if:

  • They sat at room temperature.
  • The refrigerator lost power.
  • The inside of the fridge smells like smoke or has a weird smell.
  • Items in the fridge or freezer don't feel cold.

Consider getting rid of canned food because the high temperatures that accompany the fire can trigger bacterial growth even in sealed containers. If cans are bulging or have changed shape, the food inside isn't safe to eat. Anything that is covered in fire extinguisher dust should also be thrown out.

Medications

During and after the fire, flames, smoke, soot, water, and fire extinguishing chemicals have all affected the items in your home. Any of your medications could have been affected, and you may not see physical evidence of this contamination. Additionally, the high heat in the home can affect the potency of the drugs. According to the Federal Drug Administration, before tossing medicine into the dumpster, take it out of its container, mix it with something undesirable (such as dirt or cat litter), and seal it in a plastic bag.

Makeup, Cosmetics, and Toiletries

The same high temperatures that negatively affect your medications can also damage your makeup. The various chemicals in all the cosmetics and toiletries in your home could be impacted by those high temperatures, as well as by the water and extinguishing chemicals used to put out the fire. Even if you don't see visible signs of damage, get rid of and replace these items.

Clothes and Other Textiles

These may be some of the most difficult items to throw out. It's natural to want to save as much money as possible after experiencing fire damage, but clothing, bedding, towels, and other textiles could absorb contaminants that are irritating. It is also very difficult to get rid of the smoke and chemical smells that linger after a home fire.

Your well-being should be one of your top priorities after a fire in your West Valley City, UT, home. Although it is difficult to get rid of items that don't look damaged, it's better to protect your safety and that of your family members. This means tossing the items in these four categories and replacing them when you're able.

In addition to protecting your health and safety by learning to throw away contaminated items, contact fire damage cleanup and repair professionals. These technicians are trained to recognize potential dangers during cleanup and reconstruction. Also, if there are items that can be salvaged, these professionals can help you do so safely.

Who's Responsible For What After an Apartment Fire

8/3/2021 (Permalink)

Home damaged by a fire. Fire damage in West Valley City, UT.

An apartment fire can raise a lot of questions: Did we lose any family heirlooms? Why didn't we ever replace that ancient, sparking coffeemaker in the kitchen? Are we on the hook for fire damage repairs, or is that the landlord's job? Here's a brief guide to who's responsible for what after a fire at a rental property in West Valley City, UT.

Guide of Responsibilities After an Apartment Fire

What the Property Owner Is Responsible For

In the simplest terms, a landlord is generally culpable for the apartment itself — more specifically its structure and fixtures. This typically includes components such as the following:

  • Plumbing
  • Kitchen and bathroom counters
  • Built-in cabinetry
  • Appliances
  • Windows and doors

If fire damage to any of these structural elements requires repairs, it's usually up to the landlord to fix them or, depending on the severity of the loss, enlist the help of an experienced fire restoration company. A landlord has a responsibility to bring the residence back up to habitable conditions ASAP.

The main exception to this provision is a fire caused by the renter. If a tenant's carelessness results in an apartment fire, and the landlord can prove that negligence, then the renter may be liable for the cost of structural and fixture-related repairs instead. For this reason, it's imperative that all parties involved take photos and videos of any fire damage after the event.

What the Renter Is Responsible For

The renter is culpable for whatever he or she brought into the apartment. These personal items can be large or small: everything from furniture and electronics to clothing and media. In short, if it wasn't there already when the renter moved in, then he or she is likely liable for any repairs or replacement that may be required.
If, however, the renter can prove that the landlord was responsible for the fire through negligence or failure to comply with building codes, then the landlord may be held liable for damage to the tenant's personal items.

The aftermath of an apartment fire can be chaotic. Knowing what you're responsible for — and what you don't have to worry about — is one way to begin regaining control of the situation and your sanity.

Fire Damage: Remediation Services Offer Support and Hope Throughout the Restoration Process

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher residues in a hall. Fire extinguisher residue left after a fire in West Valley City, UT.

Thankfully, after experiencing a fire in your commercial property, you are not alone in the cleanup process. Most insurance companies will even require the use of fire remediation specialists in the West Valley City, UT, area before providing coverage. Many of these services offer both content cleaning and content storage and some even facilitate dry-cleaning. While it is a relief to know that your property will be restored, it is beneficial to understand the fire damage restoration process.

What is the fire damage restoration process?

  1. Initial Contact and Assessment

Dependable restoration services offer immediate response times, meaning that after a disaster they will respond without notice. This initial point of contact will also allow project managers to assess the extent of the damage, which will help them understand the best way to move forward.

  1. Board Up Services

Once the property has been assessed, the restoration crews will board up and tarp any necessary areas to mitigate further loss. This mitigation process also provides property owners with the assurance that they are safe from any other liability issues, like looting and vandalism.

  1. Cleaning Up and Drying Out

During the cleanup phase, the mediation companies will remove excess water, scrub away surface damage, sanitize any problem areas and remove orders. In addition to the extensive cleaning process, these companies may help you find dry-cleaning specialists to help remove smoke odors from porous materials.

  1. Repair and Restoration

After the cleaning, comes the fun part. This is the point when you begin to see your property take on new life. Damaged walls will be replaced. Rooflines will be repaired. Flooring and other surfaces will be changed out or restored. When all is finished, your building can return to full operation.

While the fire is a devastating thing to experience for any business owner, there is security in knowing that fire remediation specialists exist. These companies ensure that there is hope for restoration, and by performing the necessary task of securing property, cleaning out the property, and even facilitating dry-cleaning, the services ensure reduced stress and anxiety.

Fire Restoration Steps

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

Image of fire fighters putting out a home fire A home fire can be damaging.

A fire can destroy your home in West Valley City, UT, in a matter of minutes. Even if the house is not a total loss, a lot of damage can still happen quickly, and professional fire restoration is necessary to get your home back to the way it was before the incident. Before technicians can rebuild, they must first clean up the mess left behind.

5 Steps for Fire Restoration

Assessment

The first thing that fire damage mitigation specialists do when they arrive is assess your home. The walkthrough will give them the information they need to plan mitigation:

  • Extent of the damage
  • Effect on structural integrity of home
  • Places of egress that need boarding up


Once the assessment is complete, the technicians provide an itemized list of the steps involved as well as a cost estimate for their services. This information helps you understand the process and timeline and can also assist with your insurance claim.

Extraction

It takes a lot of water to put out a fire. Therefore, before fire restoration can really begin, technicians must extract all standing water and dry the space. Removing the water also makes it easier to determine which parts of the structure must be removed.

Removal

If your walls, ceiling or floors sustain significant water or smoke damage, the materials must be torn out. Any porous material is particularly susceptible to damage that cannot be fixed. If it can't be salvaged, it has to be removed.

Cleaning

The next step is removing soot from remaining surface. The damage cleaning process may involve techniques that mimic the factors involved in the fire so that cleaning agents can get into cracks and crevices.

Restoration

After the remaining structure is thoroughly disinfected, technicians rebuild the structure. The restoration team matches the new walls, floors and ceiling with the remaining ones so that no one can tell where the damage occurred.

The fire restoration starts with assessment and mitigation. The final step isn't finished until your home is back to normal.

Protect Your Family From a Gas Fire

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a gas stove Gas may be used for cooking.

In many communities, natural gas is the go-to source of energy for home and water heating. In addition to these conveniences, this gas may also be used for cooking, powering air conditioning units, running the clothes dryer, and powering a gas fire in your fireplace. While this cost-effective source of energy is generally safe, there are some precautions you should take if you smell that "rotten egg" odor, hear a hissing sound, or suspect a gas leak for any other reason:

5 Precautions to Take if You Suspect a Gas Leak

  1. Don't turn any lights on. Don't plug anything into your outlets. Any spark or flame could cause collected gas to ignite. If you need a source of light, choose a flashlight.
  2. Check your gas appliances. If you have a gas stove, for example, make sure the burners have been turned off. It's fairly easy for the knobs to get bumped into an "on" position.
  3. Open windows and doors. This is the best way to provide the ventilation necessary to get gas out of your home.
  4. Evacuate everyone from your home. After moving across the street, call 911 or the gas company. The best way to avoid a gas fire is to alert professionals to the problem. They may also ask you to warn your neighbors to evacuate.
  5. Locate the gas meter. When you aren't worried about a potential leak and resulting gas explosion, find out where your gas meter is installed. With this information, you can turn off the meter if you smell gas.

Remember that your top priorities are the safety of your family, your loved ones, and the people around you. Don't take risks when dealing with gas.

Natural gas is an affordable option when it comes to powering your house. With the right information, you can avoid a gas fire. If your West Valley City, UT, home is affected by fire, contact property damage cleanup and repair professionals for help.

Reducing Fire Hazards While Cooking

10/19/2020 (Permalink)

Image of woman in an apron holding a frying pan with fire. Many homes succumb to a grease fire.

The kitchen may be the heart of the home, but it is also the most at risk of fire. To help ensure you and your family's safety, adhere to the following safety tips that any fire restoration company in West Valle City, UT would provide.

  • Never leave the kitchen unattended
  • Do not overuse oil or grease
  • Keep appliances serviced and clean
  • Unplug appliances when not in use
  • Install smoke and fire detectors

Safety Tips To Reduce Fire Hazards While Cooking


Never Leave the Kitchen Unattended

Many accidental kitchen fires occur because items are left in the oven or on the stove unattended. Staying in the kitchen is the best advice for avoiding residential fire damage. You do not have to wait at the cooktop, but remaining in the room keeps you mindful and watchful.

Do Not Overuse Oil and Grease

Many homes succumb to a grease fire. Grease is a dangerous accelerant, and while the substance is useful in cooking, you should use it with an abundance of caution. The best cooking tips often suggest that a little oil or grease goes a long way, so avoid overuse in your recipes.

Keep Appliances Serviced and Clean

Many appliances can last years when well-maintained, but they can become a fire hazard if they are not. Old food crumbs, leftover grease, or other contaminants can add to an appliance fire's susceptibility, but faulty mechanics may also lead to a problem. All machinery, including kitchen appliances, require upkeep and maintenance; keep up with manufacturer recommendations.

Install Smoke and Fire Detectors

While installing a smoke or fire detector directly above a cooktop is likely problematic because it may produce many false alarms, you should place a sensor in or near the kitchen. These devices are essential early warning systems, and they may save you and your family, possibly even your home.

The above tips are universal suggestions for protecting your home and family. If you would like more specific recommendations, contact a local fire restoration company to assess your house.

What To Do Immediately After a House Fire

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a fire fighter on top of truck trying to put out a fire. Fire damage can be scary

Even a small kitchen fire can be scary. Larger fires raise even more questions and concerns. If a blaze breaks out at your West Valley City, UT, home, it’s important to keep a cool, calm head. Once everyone is safe and sound, the fire restoration process can begin.

3 Steps For the Fire Remediaton Process

1. Call a Fire Damage Mitigation Company

This first thing you should do after a fire is call your local fire damage mitigation company to initiate the recovery process. Be prepared to describe the damage over the phone so the recovery service knows who to dispatch and with what equipment.
Once the recovery team arrives, they’ll perform an assessment to determine the extent of the damage and how to best proceed. They’ll board up any compromised windows and doors, and if the roof is damaged, they’ll cover it with a tarp. Next, the team will remove water left behind by sprinkler systems and fire hoses; after that, smoke and soot will be eradicated as well. The last step before restoration is fire and smoke cleaning. All affected areas will be thoroughly sanitized.
After the damage is dealt with, the actual fire restoration begins. Repairs such as new drywall, fresh paint or replacing rugs all take place during this final step.


2. Don’t Touch Anything

While you wait for the fire damage mitigation team to arrive, don’t touch any of the areas affected by the fire. If the destruction is extensive, leave your home altogether and make arrangements to stay elsewhere until the restoration process is complete. Parts of your home that look safe may be weakened due to fire or even water use by the fire department.


3. Call Your Insurance Company

Whether you added fire insurance to your homeowners policy or not, your next step is to call your insurance company. It may cover various parts of your restoration.

It may be difficult, but it’s in your best interests to remain calm after a fire. Acting quickly and rationally to expedite the fire restoration process will help return your home to normal as fast as possible.

How Do You Create a Fire Escape Plan?

7/24/2020 (Permalink)

Image of flames with logo of SERVPRO and letter in white stating Fire Damage Fire Damage

One of the best ways to keep your family safe during a home fire in West Valley City, Utah, is to have a strategic fire escape plan. This can help ensure everyone gets out of the house as quickly as possible without injury.

Following these next steps may save the life of someone in your family.

4 Steps To Create a Fire Escape Plan

1. Know Where the Exits Are

While the doors may be obvious exit points, it is best to have at least two possible exits from each room. That way you have a backup option in case the doors are unsafe. Consider all usable windows, and make sure you have an easily accessible ladder tall enough to reach them. It is also critical to ensure no exits are blocked by furniture.

2. Draw a Map

Developing exit routes from each sleeping room in your home is an essential part of a good fire escape plan. It is helpful to talk about all the escape routes with your family members and to also draw a map. The map should include a basic floorplan of the house and the escape route from each room. Keep a copy of the map handy in all rooms.

3. Have Home Fire Drills

Especially in households with children, it is crucial to practice the emergency escape plan routinely so everyone is prepared in the event of a fire. Have everyone practice using both exit points from their room as well as main exit points from the home. 

4. Have an External Rendezvous Point 

Choose a secure location a safe distance away from your home to use as a meetup point for your family members. That way you can do a head count and make sure everyone is out safely. Anyone with limited mobility, such as infants or elderly adults, should be assigned a helper so they don’t get left behind or forgotten. 

Protect your family from a home fire in West Valley City, Utah, by being prepared with a fire escape plan. Keep the phone numbers to the local fire department and fire restoration company handy, and never ignore your smoke alarms.

Securing Your Building Post-Fire

7/17/2020 (Permalink)

Image of flames with logo of SERVPRO and letter in white stating Fire Damage Protect your commercial property after suffering fire damage.

Is your West Valley City, UT, commercial property suffering after a fire? If you are planning on seeking help from a local fire damage restoration company, you are already on the right track. But you also need to keep your building safe in the meantime.

Three steps to make sure looting does not affect your business in the aftermath of a commercial fire.

  1. Identify and Secure Open Spaces
    Survey your building very carefully when beginning your fire cleanup efforts. Ensure that all windows, doors and other open spaces are securely locked. Next, make sure that you purchase some sturdy boards that will be sufficiently protective for the type of opening that you are securing. The length of time you expect the boards to be in place should also influence what type of covering you buy.
  2. Research Further Options
    While waiting to repair fire damage to your building, you may want to invest in some fencing for added security. This really depends on whether or not you feel that your building is in an area prone to heavy looting, as well as the amount of time you expect your business to be shut down for.
  3. Consider Advanced Security Options
    If you feel that your company’s geographical area is highly unsafe or expect you will be closed for a very long time, security services or a high-tech alarm may be the way to go. These options allow your building to be secured when you are not physically available to keep a close watch.

Don’t Get Intimidated

Fire damage is stressful enough without worrying about highly customizable security options. You need to focus on fixing any destruction first and foremost, so if you think complicated security measures are out of the question logistically or financially, stick with basic, reliable boards that will keep your West Valley City, UT, business protected not only from criminal activity, but also the unpredictable natural elements.

Why You Need Interruption Coverage

7/17/2020 (Permalink)

Image of staircase with fire flames Fire damage can be devastating for your business.

No business is completely disaster proof. Even if you have a strong bottom line and a great deal of financial security, a fire that causes extensive damage can put you out of commission for a long period of time. If that happens, you are going to need interruption insurance to bear some of the financial burden. Interruption coverage can compensate for lost income as well as other expenses.

2 Reasons Why You Need Interruption Coverage

Revenue

Even the most basic business interruption policy takes care of lost revenue. There are several factors that can contribute to an income hit after a major disaster:

  • Damaged production equipment
  • Loss of retail store front
  • Destroyed inventory


The fire restoration company you hire to repair your building doesn't just provide an estimate for the cost of the repairs. The assessment team can also provide an expected timeline for completing them. You can use this information to calculate how much income you expect to lose in that time frame due to the damage to your building.

Expenses

If you expand your interruption insurance coverage to include expenses, you can be even more protected after a fire ravages your building in West Valley City, UT. This extra coverage can pay the cost of relocating your business while your building is under reconstruction. It may cover monthly expenses such as rent or mortgage payments as well as employee wages. The policy may also help you make your tax and loan payments until you can get back on your feet. In addition to replacing your lost revenue, your insurance may cover some of the things your income usually pays.


Purchasing some kind of interruption insurance is a good idea for any business that has a physical location. If your building catches fire or is damaged by a natural disaster, the cost of repairs is not your only concern. Replacing the money you would have made if the accident had not occurred is an important consideration.

Insurance Coverage and Residential Fires

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Image of paper with letters asking "are you covered?" It's important to know what your insurance will cover in case of a residential fire in West Valley City, UT.

If you experience a home fire, will your insurance policy cover the damage? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is not straightforward. Every insurance policy is different, and the variables to determine coverage depend on the specific insurer. However, you can break most policies down into three categories for fire coverage: one often results in coverage, and the other two lead to questions and investigations.

  • Accident
  • Neglect
  • Arson


Accident


If you speak to any fire damage expert in West Valley City, UT, they can tell you that accidental fires receive insurance coverage. However, the extent of coverage often ties back to the cause of the fire. For example, if a natural disaster causes the fire, your insurer may not pay, depending on your coverage.


Neglect

As a homeowner, insurers expect you to perform routine maintenance of your property, which includes inspections of wiring and appliances. If a home fire stems from faulty wiring, especially if the homeowner was aware of the issue from previous inspections, your insurer is unlikely to provide coverage for the damage or property loss. If you were unaware of the problem because of a lapse or avoidance of inspections, your insurer is also unlikely to cover the losses.


Arson


When a fire stems from criminal activity, like arson, coverage is unlikely. While arson does not automatically negate coverage, an investigation will need to clear the owner of any wrongdoing before a claim is considered. Insurance fraud is a serious crime with significant fines and jail time if a person is convicted.


Only your insurer can speak to the specific fire causes that limit or prohibit coverage for a home fire. If you have questions, it is best to contact your insurer. You can also discuss fire risks, prevention and property assessments with a fire mitigation company, possibly helping you reduce the risks of property loss from fire loss.

What Does Rental Insurance Cover After a Fire?

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Picture of files with letters saying document restoration SERVPRO can take care of your belongings and documents after suffering fire damage.

Homeowners aren't the only people who need insurance on the place they live. Whether you live in an apartment, town home or house in West Valley City, UT, you need renters insurance if you don't own your own place. For a relatively small monthly fee, you can protect yourself in the event of a fire or other disaster.

Personal Belongings

While the property owners are responsible for coverage that pays for the fire restoration services of the building itself, they are not required to cover your personal belongings. You need a renter's policy to protect certain items:

  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Clothing
  • Collections



Most policies cover replacement cost rather than the actual cost of the items. That way, even when items depreciate, you are still able to afford to replace them if they are damaged in a fire.

Temporary Housing

It's likely that your home will become uninhabitable while undergoing repairs. Your renters insurance policy may cover the short-term costs of temporary relocation. If, for example, you need to get a hotel for a few nights while a burned wall is replaced and repainted, you can make a claim on your policy. That way, you don't have to worry about extra out-of-pocket expenses.

Damage to Third Parties

Sometimes, an event in your apartment can cause fire damage to someone else's property or person. If this happens, your policy may cover some of their expenses. An upstairs neighbor who is injured exiting the building as a result of the fire in your home may need help with medical bills. When you live in close quarters, your neighbors' personal belongings can also get smoke damage. While they're not specifically covered on your policy, the event that caused the damage is, so they may be entitled to compensation.

Property owners aren't the only people who need insurance. It's important to have renters insurance to protect you, your belongings and others who are affected in case of a fire.