Recent Fire Damage Posts

Home Fire Safety

2/6/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know fire services respond to more than 300,000 home fires each year? If you include fires extinguished by the homeowner, the number doubles. Understanding the three areas of proper fire preparation may help you minimize your risk of having a fire in your home.


Fire Prevention


Prevention means getting ahead of the fire risk level in your home. Consider these fire safety measures to reduce the number of potential fire sources:

Maintenance – A bird’s nest or lint blockage in your dryer or heat vent can cause a fire. Having these vents professionally cleaned annually is a smart safeguard.


Inspections – Natural gas lines can leak small amounts of gas that can build up in a confined area and cause fire risk. It’s recommended to have your gas lines inspected and tested for leaks each year.


Caution – When interacting with combustible materials, such as space heaters, lit candles and smoking implements, it is essential to be cautious. These items are common causes of home fires and should not be left unattended.


Early Detection


Working smoke alarms are essential for home fire preparation. Residential building codes require them because they effectively detect smoke and warn you about a fire. It’s important to change the batteries and test your alarms at least every six months to ensure they will function properly.


Fire Readiness


Scheduling regular fire drills will ensure your family is ready to respond appropriately to a fire. Keeping a fire extinguisher on each level of your home is strongly recommended. Having a group of emergency contacts in your phone will give you easy access to your insurance agent, fire remediation services, neighbors or family during an emergency.


Prioritizing fire preparation doesn’t take tremendous effort, but it can significantly reduce the likelihood of serious fire damage. A plan that includes prevention, early detection and readiness can mean the difference between a close call and a life-changing fire disaster.

If you do experience a fire damage in your home, SERVPRO of Garden City/Hempstead is available to help 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Call 516-620-4579.

Tips for a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

Happy Thanksgiving! Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Did you know there are more than three times as many home cooking fires on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year?

We at SERVPRO of Garden City/Hempstead want to make sure you enjoy Thanksgiving with your loved ones, so here are a few tips to ensure your safety this Thanksgiving:

  • Never leave food cooking on the stovetop unattended, especially when frying and sautéing with oil. Stay in your home while the turkey is cooking and check on it frequently.
  • Use a timer to keep track of cooking times, most notably when simmering, baking, or roasting foods that require longer cook times. Check the stove or oven frequently.
  • Consider putting timers in different rooms so you can hear them over music and party chatter.
  • Keep things that can catch fire like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers, and towels well away (a minimum of three feet) from the cooking area.
  • Push up shirt sleeves and avoid wearing billowy clothing that may come in contact with open flames or other heat sources. 
  • Avoid cooking when drinking alcohol, using other substances, or if you’re sleepy.
  • Make sure children stay at least three feet away from all cooking areas, hot food, and liquids to avoid burns.

Deep frying your Thanksgiving turkey has become increasingly popular in recent years. Keep these tips in mind to ensure safety for all:

  • Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.
  • Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups.
  • Watch the weather. Never operate a fryer outdoors in the rain or snow.
  • Place the fryer on a level surface, and avoid moving it once it's in use.
  • Leave 2 feet between the tank and the burner when using a propane-powered fryer.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid overfilling. Oil can ignite when it makes contact with the burner.
  • Choose a smaller turkey for frying. A bird that's 8 to 10 pounds is best; pass on turkeys over 12 pounds.
  • Never leave fryers unattended.
  • Purchase a fryer with temperature controls, and watch the oil temperature carefully. Cooking oil that is heated beyond its smoke point can catch fire. If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off.
  • Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner on.
  • Wear goggles to shield your eyes, use oven mitts to protect your hands and arms and keep an "ABC" or grease-rated fire extinguisher close by. Do not to use water or a garden hose on a fire related to Turkey Fryers.
  • Skip the stuffing when frying turkey, and avoid water-based marinades.
  • Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.
  • Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner, place it on a level surface and cover to let the oil cool overnight before disposing.
  • Opt for an oil-less fryer. This uses infrared heat, rather than oil, to cook the turkey.

If you do have an unfortunate emergency this holiday season, SERVPRO of Garden City/Hempstead is available to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even on holidays. Call us at 516-620-4579.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving from all of us at SERVPRO of Garden City/Hempstead!

Summer Fire Safety!

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

Summer is finally here! With the summer comes some of our favorite activities, such as outdoor grilling, fireworks and bonfires. No matter where you enjoy your summer activities, safety should always be a high priority. Preventing a fire accident is far easier than investing in fire and water restoration in the aftermath of such an accident. We’ve put together a few tips to make your summer activities not only fun and memorable, but also safe.

  1. Always have water or a fire extinguisher on hand. When you are having a campfire, or backyard fire pit, it’s always a good idea to keep a bucket of water or hose nearby. Sometimes sparks and flammable materials can fly out of the fire. Having water nearby means you will be able to respond quickly to keep the fire under control.
  1. Fireworks should only be used under adult supervision. Everyone loves sparklers, but the reality is, they can be very dangerous in the wrong hands. Keep a close eye on children when fireworks are involved. It only takes a split second for a fun Fourth of July to turn into a life altering disaster. Additionally, never try to relight faulty fireworks or sparklers. All fireworks and sparklers should be disposed of in a bucket of water.
  1. Maintain your gas or charcoal grill. Over time, grease and other flammable materials can build up on your grill. To help prevent a possible grease fire, always maintain your grills and keep them clean.
  1. Survey your surroundings prior to lighting a fire or grill. Make sure there is nothing flammable directly adjacent to the fire. This includes deck railings, branches, dry grass or wood. You should also NEVER start a grill indoors or directly under your home’s covered porch. Additionally, when starting a fire, take care to clear the area around where you will be starting the fire and make certain there are no dry materials that could catch fire from a nearby spark.
  1. Always completely extinguish a fire or grill. When you are finished with your fire or using your grill, always make certain that it is completely out. Grills and fires can quickly become a serious disaster when left unsupervised.

Fires, grilling and fireworks are all a part a fun summertime experience, but remember to be smart and safe so that everyone can have an enjoyable experience. 

SERVPRO of Garden City/Hempstead wishes everyone a safe and happy summer. If you follow these tips, you may never need to call us for fire restoration, but we are always here when you need us - (516) 620-4579!

Fireworks Safety!

5/25/2019 (Permalink)

Wishing you and your family a Happy Memorial Day from SERVPRO of Garden City/Hempstead! Be safe!

Throughout the summer season, many of us enjoy gathering with family, relaxing, celebrating and setting off fireworks. When you’re celebrating, SERVPRO of Garden City/Hempstead would like you and your family to have fun but to also be careful!

When dealing with fireworks, sparklers, or anything else that has the potential to cause harm if mishandled, follow safety guidelines from the American Red Cross or other similar groups. Here are some fireworks safety tips we support. Have a safe and fun holiday!

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks display put on by professionals. Stay 500 feet or more away. If, however, you choose to put on a display of fireworks from your home the American Red Cross and others recommend:

1. Never give fireworks to small children.
2. Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks and similar materials.
3. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
4. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
5. Light only one firework at a time.
6. Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
7. Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures, or flammable materials.
8. Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.
9. Know your fireworks. Read all the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
10. Always have a responsible adult supervise firework activities.
11. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.
12. Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area, away from buildings and vehicles.
13. Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak the dud in a bucket of water.
14. Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.
15. Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
16. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and placing them in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
17. Don’t attempt to travel on a plane with fireworks. FAA regulations prohibit the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
18. Report any illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to your local fire or police department.
19. Keep all pets far away from fireworks and the noise.
20. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2015 U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,900 people for fireworks related injuries. Fifty one percent of those injuries were to the extremities and 41% were to the head. Fireworks are serious fun. Please treat them as such.

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of Garden City/Hempstead has specialized training and experience in fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, water damage, chemical cleanup, and natural disaster cleanup.

Call SERVPRO of Garden City/Hempstead today - (516) 620-4579!

Backyard Fire Pit Safety Tips

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

One of the most enjoyable parts of summer is being able to gather family and friends around a backyard fire pit. To ensure that these nights are as safe as they are fun, here we will go over some safety tips to prevent a fire from occurring.

Positioning:

Make sure your fire pit is a minimum of 10 feet away from any structure. Do not position the fire pit under a covered porch or low hanging branches, it’s best to have it out in the open with no neighboring trees or bushes. Always place a fire pit on a non-flammable surface such as concrete. Never put a fire put on a wooden deck or directly on grass.

Preparation:

Clear away any flammable materials in close proximity before lighting your fire pit. A five foot break in vegetation around the fire pi will help prevent any escaped flames from spreading. Piling dirt or rocks around the pit will also help prevent any spreading of fire. The pit should be about six inches deep at the center and two feet across to help keep embers and flames contained.

Lighting:

Always check the wind direction when lighting your fire pit and be sure to remove anything down wind of it. If it is too windy do not light your fire pit. Do not use lighter fluid, while it may be easier, instead a commercial fire starter stick with kindling will work just as well. Do no use any flammable fluids to light or relight the fire.

Extinguishing:

Always have a shovel on hand to extinguish any escaped flames. Extinguish with water, drown it and then stir with the shovel until it’s fully extinguished. Dispose of ashes in a metal tin kept nearby and let cool for several days as ashes may stay hot for up to 72 hours. Never discard of hot ashes in a compost pile, paper bag, cardboard box, or anything that is combustible!

Fire Prevention in the Kitchen!

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

Year after year cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries.  According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking accounts for about 47% of home fires and 45% of the fire-related injuries reported across the country each year. 

REDUCE THE RISK OF FIRE IN THE KITCHEN

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says 6 out of 7 cooking fires occurred while the cook was out of the kitchen, and 2/3rds of these fires happened in the first 15 minutes of cooking. This means that it is imperative that you ALWAYS watch what you’re cooking. If you’re using the stovetop, stay in the kitchen and watch closely. Also, experts recommend setting a timer periodically to remind you to check the oven.

OTHER FIRE PREVENTION TIPS INCLUDE

  • Roll up sleeves and don’t wear loose fitting clothing that could catch and open flame or heating element
  • Ban children and pets from a 3-foot “safe zone” around the stove
  • Keep the stove and oven clean, turn pot handles in to avoid spills and cleanup any messes when appropriate
  • Keep potholders, dishtowels, oven mitts, food packaging and other clutter off and away from the stove.
  • Clean cooking equipment thoroughly because built-up grease can catch fire.
  • Don’t over heat your oils, and wait for grease to cool before disposing, tossing hot grease in a trashcan could turn into a disaster


Smoke detectors are your first line for defense against a fire disaster situation so make sure you have one installed in or near the kitchen and make sure it’s working properly. 

IF A FIRE DOES HAPPEN, CONSIDER THESE SAFETY TIPS

  • Close the door behind you to help contain the fire and get out of the house.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

People often try to put out cooking fires themselves with a fire extinguisher or even water. NEVER use water on any grease fire. Store fire safety equipment in a cabinet or under the sink – it is important to have a fire extinguisher close by as well as a box of baking soda or salt for grease fires. The first step you can take is turning the stove off and having a lid handy to put over the pan. You can also smother the fire with baking soda or salt. If the fire is in your oven just close the door and turn off the heat. Done improperly your cooking fire can spread to other parts of the kitchen. Any time you are unsure of how to combat a fire your best option is to leave and call your local fire department!

CREATE AND PRACTICE A FIRE ESCAPE PLAN
In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly.

Practice your home fire escape plan at least twice a year, more often if you have small children. 

Some tips to consider when preparing this plan include:

  • Find two ways out. Visit each room of your house and find two ways out, including windows and doors. Make sure all escape routes open easily so you can get outside, and install emergency release devices on any security bars on doors or windows. Practice feeling your way out in the dark and with your eyes closed.
  • Involve children in planning. Consider having your children help create a fire evacuation plan. Draw a map of the home and have children mark two exit routes and the locations of smoke detectors. Make sure your children know NOT to hide from firefighters or other first responders.
  • Choose a meeting spot. Decide on a meeting place outside, such as a neighbor’s house, mailbox or stop sign. It should be in the front of the house so emergency responders can see you when they arrive. Agree not to go back into the house after you leave.
  • Have a backup plan. If the planned exit routes are blocked and it’s not possible to leave the house, close all doors between you and the fire. Place a towel under the door and go to an exterior-facing window. Call the fire department to report your location.


Whether you’re trying a new cooking technique or cooking your signature dish the way you have countless times before; practicing these important safety tips can help you to avoid major mishaps that could lead to smoke or fire damage.

If your home does experience fire or smoke damage, give SERVPRO of Garden City/Hempstead a call at (516) 620-4579.

Fire Safety in the Home!

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

With fire damage remediation being one of our specialties, we have seen our share of tragic home fires. In this block we’d like to discuss a few ways in which you can prevent a fire from occurring in your home. Proper preparation is key in avoiding an event as devastating as a house fire.

Smoke Alarms:

Be sure that you have the proper amount of smoke alarms for the size of your home. In addition, you’ll want to regularly test them to be sure they are in proper working condition. Fire alarms are responsible for saving countless lives so make sure to change the batteries when they have expired.

Awareness:

Be sure that all people occupying your home are aware of the locations of the fire alarms. Make sure everyone knows exactly what they sound like so that in the event that they go off nobody is caught off guard or left confused.

Plan:

Everybody in your home should be informed of how to safely exit each and every room. If there are multiple ways to exit a room, be sure to go over them thoroughly. In addition you’ll want to make sure all occupants of your home are aware of the safest meeting spot to locate each other once the home has been evacuated. There should also be a plan of contact in case loved one’s become separated during the ordeal.

Practice Makes Perfect!

Practice fire drills at least twice a year. Press the smoke alarm test button on your smoke alarm or yell “Fire” and have everyone exit the home as if an actual fire was discovered. While this may seem insignificant, knowing your exit strategy well is a simple way to save your life!

Teaching:

It’s important to teach everyone in the home, especially children, that should they catch fire they must STOP, DROP, and ROLL. This will smother any fire burning on clothing. Make sure everyone also knows how to dial 9-1-1 in case of a fire or any other home emergency.

While we hope we never have to clean up fire damage in your home, should a fire occur, contact us here at SERVPRO of Garden City/Hempstead 24/7! We take pride in arriving on the scene promptly and completing all necessary work in a timely fashion so that your home can return to normal as quickly as possible!

Fire Damage Restoration - Smoke and Soot Cleanup

4/2/2019 (Permalink)

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 Garden City/Hempstead 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 – (516) 620-4579

Wood Burning Stove

3/8/2018 (Permalink)

One of the best ways to heat your home during the cold months is a wood burning stove. In this blog we will go over some safety tips to ensure that the use of your wood burning stove never leads to a fire in your home.

Installation:

When you install a wood burning stove be sure that there is a 36 in clearance of combustible materials around the entire perimeter of the stove. Insufficient clearance could result in the heat produced by the stove penetrating nearby combustibles ultimately causing a serious fire. You should make sure to install a heat shield along the combustible wall as well.

Chimney:

The chimney for a wood burning stove should be masonry. Never should an unlined, single brick chimney be used for a wood stove. This is due to the fact that single brick chimneys are prone to deterioration, which could potentially allow for dangerous situations to develop. If you have a double brick chimney check for cracked mortar or missing bring. Metal chimneys must never be used with a coal stove as the corrosive flue gases produced by a coal fire will cause rapid deterioration of the chimney.

Ventilation:

Venting the stove is the most important aspect of using a wood burning system. 90% of all stove related fires originate within the venting system. A venting system is not the chimney itself!!! The venting system is insulated stovepipe which connects the stove to the appropriate chimney type. Keep the vent as short as possible. Stovepipe clearance is important as well. It must never pass through an interior wall, floor, or ceiling.

Maintenance:

For proper maintenance make sure you always use the proper fuel such as hardwoods, regular cleaning is of upmost importance using a wire brush. It’s good to clean the stovepipe at least once per year. Avoid creosote buildup which is a highly combustible fuel that burns intensely.

Home Fire Safety

11/16/2017 (Permalink)

With fire damage remediation being one of our specialties, we have seen our share of tragic home fires. In this block we’d like to discuss a few ways in which you can prevent a fire from occurring in your home. Proper preparation is key in avoiding an event as devastating as a house fire.

Smoke Alarms:

Be sure that you have the proper amount of smoke alarms for the size of your home. In addition, you’ll want to regularly test them to be sure they are in proper working condition. Fire alarms are responsible for saving countless lives so make sure to change the batteries when they have expired.

Awareness:

Be sure that all people occupying your home are aware of the locations of the fire alarms. Make sure everyone knows exactly what they sound like so that in the event that they go off nobody is caught off guard or left confused.

Plan:

Everybody in your home should be informed of how to safely exit each and every room. If there are multiple ways to exit a room, be sure to go over them thoroughly. In addition you’ll want to make sure all occupants of your home are aware of the safest meeting spot to locate each other once the home has been evacuated. There should also be a plan of contact in case loved one’s become separated during the ordeal.

Practice Makes Perfect!

Practice fire drills at least twice a year. Press the smoke alarm test button on your smoke alarm or yell “Fire” and have everyone exit the home as if an actual fire was discovered. While this may seem insignificant, knowing your exit strategy well is a simple way to save your life!

Teaching:

It’s important to teach everyone in the home, especially children, that should they catch fire they must STOP, DROP, and ROLL. This will smother any fire burning on clothing. Make sure everyone also knows how to dial 9-1-1 in case of a fire or any other home emergency.

While we hope we never have to clean up fire damage in your home, should a fire occur, contact us here at SERVPRO of Garden City/Hempstead 24/7! We take pride in arriving on the scene promptly and completing all necessary work in a timely fashion so that your home can return to normal as quickly as possible!

How to Properly Use a Fireplace

11/9/2017 (Permalink)

Here we would like to share some information on proper usage of a fireplace in your home. When the weather gets colder nothing beats cozying up to the warm fire, however, one mistake can cause a fire or smoke throughout your home. Here are some safety tips everyone using a fireplace should know.

Keeping Safe:

Always make sure your fire extinguisher, smoke detector, and carbon monoxide detector have been recently tested and are in working order. You’ll want to remove any flammable materials within 3 feet of your fireplace. Make sure you keep regular maintenance of your chimney to be sure there is no blockage in the flue.

Opening the Damper and Priming the Flue:

The damper inside the flue when opened will allow the smoke to travel up and out of the chimney. You can adjust the damper as needed by using the handle located inside of the chimney. You can check that it opened by sticking your head in the flue and looking upwards. If you feel cold air then you must prime the flue or in other words pre-heat the flue. The draft could otherwise blow smoke into the room. To warm the flue, simply light a roll of newspaper and hold it against the open damper.

Building the Fire:

Always use the proper gloves and a fire poker when preparing the fire. Start by placing pieces of wood at the bottom of the fireplace in a row and continue to pile the wood on in layers alternating directions. The stack should take up the height of the fireplace. Make sure smaller pieces are at the top and proceed to light the stack with a single match. The fire should travel downward.

Cleaning:

A bed of ashes between 1-2 inches in the fireplace will act as insulation for the next fire. Beware that coals may take several hours or even days to cool down. To remove ash, use a metal shovel to scoop ashes into a metal container with a tight lid and keep it outside away from the house, garage, and deck.

If ever there is the unfortunate event of a fire please keep SERVPRO of Garden City/Hempstead in mind as we are available 24/7 to help you in your time of need!

Puff Backs...What You Need To Know!!!

11/7/2017 (Permalink)

What is a puff back?

A puff back is a malfunction inside the burner chamber of the furnace or boiler caused by an imbalanced mix of fuel and oxygen.

The damage:

Puff backs will send soot and smoke throughout the house causing quite a mess that can vary from a very light to very dense coating.

Causes:

While there are many causes, puff backs are most commonly traced back to lack of maintenance or care. Many times there is a failure to make needed repairs to the furnace or boiler. Nozzle clogs or malfunctions may also cause puff backs to occur.

The Aftermath:

Cleaning up the mess caused by a puff back is not for amateurs. Professionals, such as our crew of technician’s at SERVPRO of Garden City/Hempstead are trained to properly clean and disinfect the affected areas. Attempting to clean a puff back with soap and water will most likely result in just smearing the soot around and not removing it.

Prevention:

There are warning signs to look out for before a puff back will occur. Soot and debris on top of your boiler, furnace, or water heater, or black soot stains on ceilings or walls in the boiler or furnace room could be signs of a heating system needing attention. Your heating system may also make a muffled rumbling sound or strange noises when starting up or shutting down. If you notice any of these signs you should have a professional take a look at the system as soon as possible!

If such an issue occurs in your home or the home of a friend or family member please know that SERVPRO of Garden City/Hempstead is here to help 24/7!!!