Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire Extinguisher

4/1/2022 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguisher 101

Not only is it smart to keep fire extinguishers in your home or business, it’s also the law in many states.

It's important to make sure you have the right types of fire extinguishers on hand to put out common fires.

Getting started with fire extinguishers

The first thing to do when choosing a fire extinguisher is to decide which rooms in your house need one. You should keep at least one on each level of your house. Make sure you keep fire extinguishers handy where fires are more likely to start, like in the kitchen and garage.

Understanding the four fire extinguisher classes

There are four classes of fire extinguishers – A, B, C and D – and each class can put out a different type of fire.

  • Class A extinguishers will put out fires in ordinary combustibles such as wood and paper
  • Class B extinguishers are for use on flammable liquids like grease, gasoline and oil
  • Class C extinguishers are suitable for use only on electrically energized fires
  • Class D extinguishers are designed for use on flammable metals

Multipurpose extinguishers can be used on different types of fires and will be labeled with more than one class, like A-B, B-C or A-B-C.

Purchasing your fire extinguisher

Now that you know how many extinguishers you need and what types to get, you can head to the hardware store. Look for fire extinguishers that you can easily lift. Larger extinguishers may pack more power, but you must be able to use it properly.

Learning how to use your fire extinguisher

Once you've made your purchases, familiarize yourself with the fire extinguisher directions so you’ll be prepared in case you need to put out a fire. Typically, fire extinguishers are easy to use in the case of a fire. Most of the types operate using the P.A.S.S. technique:

  • Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher to break the tamper seal.
  • Aim the fire extinguisher low, with the nozzle pointed at the base of the fire. 
  • Squeeze the handle of the fire extinguisher to release the extinguishing agent. 
  • Sweep the nozzle from side to side while pointed at the base of the fire until it is extinguished. 
  • If the fire re-ignites, repeat the last 3 steps.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – SERVPRO of Gainesville 770-536-1010

Preventing a Cigarette Disaster

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

Steps To Preventing a Cigarette Disaster

If you're a smoker and you own a home in Gainesville, GA, you need to be aware of the dangers of a cigarette fire. One little mishap can cause thousands of dollars' worth of damage, or worse. By being aware and alert, this kind of tragedy can be avoided. Here are a few simple steps to preventing a cigarette disaster.

1. Don't Smoke in the House

The most effective way of preventing an ashtray fire in your home is to limit your smoking to outdoor areas such as patios and backyards. Make a habit of going outside when you feel the need to smoke. Not only does this prevent the possibility of a cigarette fire, but it also has the benefit of keeping tobacco odors out of your home.

2. Avoid Smoking When Sleepy, Medicated or Drinking

If you feel the need to smoke in your house, be careful to refrain from lighting up when you're tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Never smoke in bed or while reclining on the couch, as the cigarette could easily fall from your hand and set a mattress or other furniture ablaze.

3. Make Sure Smoke Alarms Are Working

It's important to have smoke alarms installed on every floor of your house, including the basement and attic. Be sure to test them every month to make sure that they are working properly.

4. Keep Matches and Cigarettes Away from Children

Keep your cigarettes and any matches or lighters in a secure place that children can't access. A curious child could easily start a fire by dropping a lit match or cigarette.

If you are ever the unlucky victim of a cigarette fire, you may want to contact a professional fire cleanup company to make sure the needed repairs are done properly. Hopefully, this isn't the case, and by taking the precautions outlined above, you can prevent a fire before it has a chance to happen.

What insurance covers if your business is affected by fire?

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke damage from a fire can affect your business in Gainesville, GA, in many ways, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you’re unsure what costs your insurance company will cover. Understanding what expenditures your insurance is likely to pay can help you eliminate stress throughout the cleanup process.

1. Property Damage

After a fire, many items in your business may be destroyed, and insurance should be able to compensate you for your losses. Even if some things in your building were left untouched by the fire itself, water from hoses or sprinklers can damage articles within them. Often, a cleanup and restoration company can assist you in taking inventory and provide you with an estimate of what items have been harmed and what can be repaired.

2. Smoke and Soot

In addition to causing destruction to articles within your building, a fire can leave behind smoke and soot damage. They can affect the structure of your property, and it’s often necessary to thoroughly clean and restore a business that has been rampaged by a fire. In some instances, major soot and smoke damage may require you to replace structures in your building. Luckily, fire insurance should cover the costs of smoke cleaning.

3. Business Interruption

If a business needs to temporarily close in order to make repairs, the costs of lost revenue can quickly add up over time. However, cleaning a building and making important renovations can be time-consuming, and complex repairs should not be rushed. Insurance companies will generally cover the costs of this interruption, allowing you to focus on restoring your establishment to its original state.

When a fire results in property damage, smoke damage and a temporary business shutdown, your insurance company will generally cover the cost of those expenses. If your enterprise requires renovation, it can be helpful to contact the experts in commercial fire damage restoration.

Do you need a fire remediation expert?

12/3/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damage to your home can be traumatic. In addition to the destruction from heat, your property and belongings can be damaged by smoke and soot. Smoke particles can coat walls, ceilings, and almost any surface and cause permanent damage if not cleaned quickly and efficiently.

The particles in the smoke contain unburned carbon that can be difficult to remove after a fire. Furthermore, not all particles are alike, and it takes a multi-step process to eliminate them. It’s a job for professionals who have years of training and expertise in fire damage restoration. Here are some strategies that professionals use to get rid of smoke and soot damage from your property. 

Strategies are developed based on the type of residue

Here at SERVPRO of Gainesville, our expert team evaluates the type of smoke residue and prepares a plan accordingly. Dry smoke residue is easier to clean than wet smoke residue. As dry smoke residue does not stain the surface as intensely as wet smoke residue, it is easier to remove by wiping. In these cases, our IICRC certified technicians use less aggressive methods to clean surfaces.

Wet smoke residues, on the other hand, are significantly harder to clean. The heat streams during a fire can drive these smoke particulates deep into cracks, crevices, and porous surfaces, further exacerbating the difficulty of cleanup. SERVPRO of Gainesville technicians uses a variety of methods such as wet cleaning, foam cleaning, and abrasive cleaning to mitigate the damage caused by wet smoke residues.

Deodorizing

Smoke and soot pose another challenge during the restoration process—the odor. If proper precautions are not taken during restoration, the scent can linger long after the fire. SERVPRO of Gainesville technicians uses Ultra Low Volume (ULV) foggers, heat foggers, deodorizing beads, and other methods to combat odors. Our technicians have years of experience in managing odors after fires of all sizes. We get your home smelling like home again in no time. 

Call SERVPRO of Gainesville at (770) 536-1010 today to talk to one of our fire restoration experts.

Halloween Fire Prevention

10/21/2021 (Permalink)

Don’t Make Halloween Scarier than it should be

October is here. That means Halloween is close at hand. It is a great time for families and friends to gather, carve pumpkins and eat a lot of candy. But, there are a few safety tips you need to follow during this time of year. Because, Halloween can be fun & scary, but really scary if you do not follow simple Fire Safety tips.

Make Halloween safe for your little monsters!

Here are five simple Halloween Fire Safety tips:

1.) Use a battery-operated candle or glow-stick in your jack-o-lanterns, instead of regular candles.

2.) When choosing costumes, stay away from long trailing flammable fabrics.

3.) Dried flowers, cornstalks, crepe paper and plastic can catch fire easily. Keep all of your decorations away from heat sources, including candles, light-bulbs and heaters.

4.) Teach children to stay far away from open flames, including candles in jack-o-lanterns, bonfires and tiki-torches.

5.) Remember to always keep decorations away from every exit, to not block escape routes. And make sure all smoke alarms in the home are working properly.

Following these simple but effective Fire Safety Tips will help ensure that your little monsters have a safe, fun and memorable Halloween.

Odor control after a fire

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

After a fire, your home will need some serious smoke cleaning to repair the damage With a smell that intense, simply opening up the windows isn’t going to suffice. Professional odor remediation specialists in Gainesville, GA can eliminate smoke odor in your home through the use of special techniques and equipment. Here are three examples of these techniques.

1. Air Filtration Devices

The most basic machine the professionals use is an industrial-strength version of the air purifiers you can buy at the store. An air filtration device with an activated carbon filter works by trapping odor molecules in the filter as the air flows through it. When these gases cannot escape, they deteriorate rapidly. The odor in the room is eventually neutralized.

2. Thermal Foggers

Thermal foggers use heat and deodorizing chemicals for the smoke cleaning process. They simulate the conditions that were present in the fire (i.e., heat and air pressure). Porous surfaces react to these conditions and absorb the deodorizers, just like they absorbed the smoke odor during the fire.

3. Ozone Machines

A third method for eliminating the smell of smoke in your home in Gainesville, GA, after a fire is through the use of ozone machines. Think of how the air smells outside right after it rains. The ozone machine mimics what nature does to purify the outside air. It produces molecules of ozone, also known as activated oxygen. The extra atom of oxygen in ozone attaches to smoke particulates and breaks them down. After a while, the air smells fresh and clean because everything that was making it stink has been neutralized.

Smoke cleaning after a house fire involves more than just removing soot or smoke damage from the home or creating extra air flow. When you hire experts for odor remediation, they use equipment that actually eliminates the source of the smell so that it does not return. For more information, call SERVPRO of Gainesville 770-536-1010.

Things you should throw away after a house fire

9/30/2021 (Permalink)

A house fire can leave a devastating effect on its unlucky victims, but the hardest part of recovery is deciding what to salvage and what to throw away. It is heartbreaking to let go of sentimental things, and trashing smoke damaged food feels like a waste of money. However, the health implications of eating food that was exposed to soot, smoke, and heat are higher than the cost of restocking a pantry and fridge.


Here is a list of things you should trash after a home fire:

  • Foodstuffs
  • Cosmetic products
  • Exposed medications

Perishable and Non-Perishable Food

All foods exposed to high heat, smoke and firefighting chemicals should be thrown away without exceptions. The last thing you want is to eat anything that survived the blaze and end up with food poisoning or something worse. The chemicals used to put out fires are bad enough, now add soot plus other contaminants, and you’ll get a lethal dose with every bite.

Cosmetics

Most cosmetics are a bunch of chemicals that change their composition when exposed to high heat, smoke, and other substances. Even if they don’t have any sign of burning on the packaging, the products can still cause skin irritation and hair damage. For that reason, throw away everything in the bathroom cabinet that survives the fire.

Medicines

The potency of your pills could be affected by high heat exposure. On top of that, the meds could be laced with firefighting chemicals, soot, and other toxins. As a rule of thumb, toss all medications away even if they don’t have any visible signs of fire damage.


As a homeowner in Gainesville, GA, never attempt to salvage things that could put your health at risk. It is better to throw away everything when in doubt. Alternatively, have a restoration company help with the sorting and recovery processes to avoid any long and short term health implications.

What are soot webs?

9/29/2021 (Permalink)

Fire brings with it many unexpected consequences. Of course, you will immediately see the toll it takes on your property and belongings when you are assessing the damage. While taking a look at your home or business, you may notice something unexpected. In the corners and along the ceiling lines of your home or business, you might observe something that looks like black spider webs. This phenomenon, commonly called “soot webs” has a more interesting origin than meets the eye. Read on to learn about what the true cause of these “cob webs.”

People think that soot webs occur after smoke has attached itself to pre-existing spider webs and turned dark as a result of the fire damage and resulting smoke. However, this is a misconception. Soot webs (also called soot tags) are new, unique chains of soot that gather in areas of low concentration. Air moves (or at least attempts to move) from hot areas to cold areas. As flames from a fire cause the temperature of the surrounding area to increase, the air tries to seek out cooler spaces to achieve atmospheric equilibrium. If the air is not circulating properly and cannot escape the structure, the smoke and soot will continue to travel around the enclosed air. Soot webs form in areas of lower circulation, which is why you typically see them up in high places and in corners.

SERVPRO of Gainesville is happy to help you clean up soot webs and all the other damage that a fire might have left behind in your home or business. Give us a call at (770)536-1010..

Smoke Alarm Maintenance

7/16/2021 (Permalink)

Nowadays, most homes have a smoke detector installed. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, 96% percent of homes have a smoke detector. Despite this statistic, the organization also reported that from 2009 to 2013, only smoke alarms only sounded in 53% of house fires reported to fire departments.

The truth is, homeowners and tenants need to do more than simply have smoke alarms installed—they need to maintain them on a regular basis. If you fall into the category of people who have never checked on their fire alarm—don’t fret. We’re going to cover the simple steps you can take to ensure your home is alerted during a fire.

Test Your Alarms Once a Month

Smoke detectors don’t last forever. In fact, you should have yours replaced every 10 years, which is the average lifespan. Even if it’s still within its life expectancy, you shouldn’t assume that it’s going to work when you need it.

That’s why experts advise that you test each of your alarms once a month.To test yours, look for a button the alarm (it’s often red, but yours may vary). Press and hold this button until it chirps. If the alarm doesn’t sound, that means it either needs to be replaced or have its batteries changed.

Replace Your Batteries Annually

Just as your alarms don’t last forever, neither do their batteries. Some smoke detectors will intermittently chirp when their batteries are low, but you still shouldn’t rely on this feature. Each year, replace the batteries in all of your alarms so you can rest assured they will function when needed. It might even be helpful to remember by timing it with a special holiday, such as New Years’ Day!

Responding to Fire Damages

While smoke detectors are crucial to help you and your family to a fire in a timely manner, they don’t prevent fires from actually happening. At SERVPRO of Gainesville, we have seen how devastating fires can be, and we know what it takes to clean them up. If you live in the Hall County area and need fire damage cleanup services, know that we’re available 24/7 by calling (770) 536-1010!

Three common questions about fire remediation

6/17/2021 (Permalink)

We've cleaned and restored homes and businesses in the Gainesville area for more than a decade. Over that time, we’ve helped hundreds of homes and business recover from fire damage. For many customers, this is a one-off experience they have never had to navigate. If this describes you, here are the answers to 3 of our most commonly asked questions.

  1. How long will the restoration process take? It’s hard to say exactly how long the fire damage restoration process will take. If the damage is relatively minor, it could take a few days; if the damage is more extensive, it could take months to make the necessary repairs. We understand how stressful this process can be, so we work quickly and provide updates along the way.
  1. What will happen to my belongings? When possible, our goal is to restore your damaged possessions. At our Lenoir office, we have an on-site textile cleaning facility, and we have access to several propriety cleaning products that can clean most items. If an item is beyond saving, we always discuss this with you before disposing of anything.
  1. Can you get rid of the smoke smell? The lingering odor after a fire is notoriously difficult to get rid of. Fortunately, yes, we do have a variety of products and processes we can use to remove the smell from your home. Our goal is to actually eliminate the odor as opposed to masking it or using other deceptive techniques.

At SERVPRO of Gainesville, GA, we aim to make any fire damage “Like it never even happened.” If your home or business has a fire, know that our team serves the Gainesville and Hall County communities 24/7!

10 Tips to Prevent Kitchen Fires

6/16/2021 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are not only the leading cause of home structure fires, the majority of kitchen fire injuries occur when victims try to fight the fire themselves.

  • Stay in the kitchen, don't leave food cooking on the stove unattended.
  • Watch your clothing, Long flowing sleeves,large-fitting shirts and even aprons can catch fire.
  • Be aware of items around the stovetop, move flammable items away from your stovetop.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in or near your kitchen.
  • Change the batteries in your smoke detector, you need to make sure your smoke detector is operable.
  • Never throw hot grease in the garbage can, it can cause something in the garbage can to catch on fire.
  • Extinguish candles, be sure to extinguish candle flames as soon as you are done in the kitchen.
  • Be prepared to put out a fire, the best thing to do if you have a stovetop fire is to put a proper fitting lid over the pan or pot to smother the fire.
  • Have an escape plan, include a meeting place once everyone is out of the home.
  • Stop, Drop, and Roll, if in the event that you do catch on fire- Stop where you are, Drop to the ground, and Roll.

SERVPRO of Gainesville are here to help you in case you experience fire damage in your home. 770-536-1010.

How to prevent bedroom fires

5/27/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know that half of all home fire deaths occur in bedrooms? That’s also where most electrical fires start too. However, you can easily prevent bedroom fires by following these essential safety tips:

  • Don’t run electric cords under the bed or carpeting. Don’t trap cords against a wall where heat can build up. Keep cords untangled to allow heat to dissipate. Never overload an extension cord.
  • Always supervise space heaters. Turn them off when leaving the bedroom or going to sleep.
  • Install arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) to prevent fires in electrical switches. They shut off the circuit when an unintentional discharge of electricity occurs in the circuit.
  • Install tamper resistant receptacles (TRRs) in all rooms if you have children. These devices prevent them from inserting foreign objects like hairpins into the outlet.
  • Never put devices that are charging under bedding. Leaving a laptop on the bed can also cause a fire.
  • Only use laboratory-approved electric blankets and warmers. Don’t fold them as it may damage the wiring. Never sleep with an electric blanket turned on and regularly check it for overheating.
  • Keep flammable objects at least three feet away from heat sources, such as space heaters, candles, and electronics.
  • Keep lit candles away from combustible objects like bedding, curtains, and paper. Consider replacing burning candles with battery-operated flameless candles.
  • Use only mattresses that meet the 2007 Federal Mattress Standards.
  • Don’t smoke in bed — you might fall asleep with a lit cigarette in your hand and it could catch fire. Use fire-safe cigarettes as they extinguish more quickly.
  • Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom. Test Smoke Alarms monthly and replace them every 10 years. Replace batteries once a year.
  • Create a fire escape plans. Make sure each room has two exits. Practice your home fire drill with everyone in the home at night and during the day twice a year.

For professional fire damage repair or smoke remediation services, contact SERVPRO of Gainesville today at 770-536-1010.

Keeping your home safe from fire

3/5/2021 (Permalink)

Cooking is the number one cause of home fires. Here are some steps you can take to prevent a cooking fire. Each year from 2014-2016, fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated average of 188,800 cooking fires in residential buildings.

  • Remember to stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or boiling food.
  • If you do have to step away from the kitchen, turn off the burner.
  • Keep things that can burn away from your cooking area.
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so they won’t get bumped.

If disaster does strike in your home, contact the SERVPRO of Gainesville today (770) 536-1010.

For more information about preventing cooking fires and other fire hazards in your home. Check out www.usfa.fema.gov

Avoid Candle Fires in Your Home

2/25/2021 (Permalink)

With warm light and pleasant fragrances, candles can be an easy way to create the atmosphere that you want in your Gainesville home. However, they can also become a safety hazard if they are not used properly. Candle fires are common, but the following tips can help you avoid them.

  1. Don’t Leave Burning Candles Unattended
    It may seem like an annoyance to extinguish a candle every time you leave the room. However, leaving it burning could result in a candle fire if something gets too close to the flame or if it burns too low. It is best to blow out candles before going to sleep as well, even if you are in the same room.
  2. Keep Them Away from Flammable Items
    When you are using a candle, you should be sure to have the area free of flammable objects. This can include papers as well as fabrics such as curtains and bedding. These types of items should be at least a foot away from any candles that are in use. Flammable liquids should be kept even further away.
  3. Keep Them Out of Reach of Pets and Children
    Both children and pets often come with an excess of energy and curiosity. For this reason, it can be easy for them to inadvertently start a candle fire. Keep burning candles in an area that is not within reach, and do not leave them unsupervised.
  4. Use an Alternative
    Perhaps the easiest way to prevent a fire is simply not to use candles at all. There are a variety of other ways that you can achieve a more relaxing home environment. If you are only interested in adding a nice scent to your home, a wax warmer is a great option. You can also buy battery-operated flameless candles that look and smell like the real thing.
    While these tips can help you prevent an emergency, accidents can still occur. Whether it is small or large, fires often require smoke cleanup and some repairs. If this happens, a fire damage remediation company can help return your home to its previous condition.

Getting the Right Fire Insurance

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

What the Policy Covers

Every policy is unique, but most will cover many different aspects of the fire restoration process. The following are some common expenses that are often covered by insurance:

  • smoke cleanup
  • repairing damage from the fire itself
  • repairing damage from the fire-suppression efforts
  • paying fire department fees

Most fire insurance policies do not cover arson. This means that you are not covered if the fire is intentionally started.

What Your Policy Needs
Insuring a commercial property can be tricky. Here are a few things to check for when buying fire coverage:

  • whether the policy covers the replacement cost
  • if the policy covers the full value of the property
  • whether the policy covers damage created by the fire-suppression efforts

Some fire policies insure property for its actual cash value at the time of the loss. This means you would only get the depreciated value of your property and not the replacement cost. Make sure you know which of these values your policy covers. It is also important to make sure you buy coverage for the full value of the property, so you do not have to make up the rest out of pocket. At the very least, make sure to insure the property for the minimum amount mandated by the policy itself. Have an experienced appraiser determine the value.


Additionally, make sure you know what types of damages are covered. Most policies will cover losses caused by fire extinguishers, fire hoses, and other fire-suppression efforts, but double-check your policy to make sure. Read the policy yourself and ask your agent if you have any questions.
If your business suffers fire damage, a fire insurance policy can help you financially. For help with the restoration process, a certified restoration company can help you get your business back to normal quickly and safely.

Steps to prevent a lint fire

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

While the kitchen is the most common room for house fires, dryer fires are another common problem. The heating of the dryer combined with lint build up can cause your dryer to burst into flames. A lint fire is scary, but there are steps that can be taken to prevent it.

Safety First

It's important to realize that even when the lint is properly cleaned from your dryer, there is still a chance of a dryer fire. For this reason, you should never run your dryer:

  • When you are sleeping
  • When you are not home
  • When you are going to be outdoors

Leaving your dryer unattended can cause the fire to spread further, which can cause extensive damage. In addition, unplug your dryer before you start cleaning out the lint.

Vacuum Out the Lint Screen and Dryer

You probably already clean out your lint screen every time you start a new load. However, a lot of lint can get past the screen, and eventually lead to a lint fire. Take your vacuum attachment and clean underneath and around the lint screen the best you can. Refer to your owner's manual to see how to safely vacuum out the inside of your dryer.

Cleaning Out the Hose

Pull out any lint you can reach after removing the hose from the back of your dryer and the wall. If you can't reach it all, use a dryer vent snake to push it all the way through. In addition, check the pathway from the hole in the wall to the outside of your house. Use the snake to ensure that all of the lint is out of the vent.


These steps can help reduce your risk of a lint fire. You should do this at least once every six months, and more often if you do a lot of laundry. If you do experience a dryer fire, let your fire restoration experts do what needs to be done to clean up the mess.

Fire Do's and Don'ts

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

What To Do After a Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After a Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Electrical Fires

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Each year, there are 40,000 residential fires due to electrical wiring, claiming more than 350 lives, causing thousands of injuries from shocks and burns, creating 2 million and personal property damage. Electrical receptacles are responsible for 40 deaths and 5,300 fires.

Electricity is our most mysterious form of energy. You can’t see it, hear it or smell it, but you sure can feel it!

Electricity seeks the easiest path to the ground, trying to find a conductor, such as metal, wet wood, or water. Humans are conductors, since 70% of the body is water. So, if a person touches an energized bare wire or faulty equipment while grounded, electricity will instantly pass through the body to the ground, causing a harmful, potentially fatal shock.

Don’t Be Shocked:

  • It is estimated that 70% electrocutions could be prevented.
  • 32% of all deaths caused by residential electrical systems are as a result of faulty cords and plugs.
  • Electrical burns to the mouth accounted for half of the injuries to young to your children.
  • Electricity can kill in one second.

Treat electricity with the respect it deserves. Never assume anything! If you experience an electrical fire, please call the professionals at SERVPRO of Gainesville. We have years of know-how dealing with homes and businesses that have had extensive fire, soot and smoke damage, and we know what it takes to restore your Hall County residential or commercial property, “Like it never even happened.” Call us 24 hours a day, no job is too small to big for our team. We are always here to help at 770-536-1010.

Candle Safety

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Do you enjoy that fresh baked apple pie or evergreen candle smell?

Before Lighting – here are some tips on candle burning safety. 

  • Trim the wick to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring.
  • Always use a candleholder specifically designed for candle use. It should be heat resistant, sturdy, and large enough to contain any drips or melted wax.
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room.
  • Place the candle-holder on a stable, heat-resistant surface. This will also help prevent possible heat damage to counters and table surfaces and prevent glass containers from cracking or breaking.
  • Keep the wax pool clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.
  • Avoid drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, sooting, and excessive dripping.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on burn time and proper use.

Five Steps to Avoid a Gas Explosion in Your Home

8/5/2020 (Permalink)

If a strong odor is lingering in your home that smells similar to rotten eggs or sulfur, it is possible you have a gas leak. You might also hear a faint hissing noise. While natural gas is not toxic to breathe in, leaking gas is extremely flammable and is considered an immediate emergency. If you smell gas in your home, quickly take these five steps to avoid a gas explosion and keep your family safe. 

1. Turn Off the Stove 

Often, a suspected gas leak is actually the smell of gas from the stove that someone accidentally turned on. If that’s the case, quickly turn off the stove. Is the stove is not the source of the smell, make sure the oven and stove are both turned off regardless to prevent a gas fire.

2. Put Out Any Open Flames

If you smell a gas leak, never use a lighter or ignite any kind of flame. If any candles are lit or the fireplace is on, quickly extinguish the flames. 

3. Keep Lights and Electronics Off

As soon as you detect the smell of natural gas in your home, refrain from turning on any lights or electronics which can start a gas fire. Grab a flashlight if necessary. 

4. Open Doors and Windows

Allow gas to quickly escape your home by opening all the windows and doors. You can turn on the oven range hood fan to help remove some of the gas. 

5. Evacuate Your Home

As soon as you feel it is unsafe to remain in your home, quickly get everyone, including pets, out of your home. Once you make it across the street from your home call 9-1-1. 

Keeping your family safe and escaping your home should always be your priority if you smell a gas leak. If a gas fire does start, a fire damage restoration specialist can help restore your home back to its pre-fire condition.

Making A Small Fire "Like it never even happened"

7/24/2020 (Permalink)

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems.

With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO of Gainesville professionals provide specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO of Gainesville professionals do not cover-up lingering odors with fragrance; they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. Once the source is found, SERVPRO’s own proprietary line of cleaning products is used to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and more. Ask your SERVPRO of Gainesville professional to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you. If you suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact us at 770-536-1010. Whether it’s fire, water, or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Summer Grilling and Firework Safety

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades, and firework displays.  Along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to emergency rooms, especially during July. Each year, an average of 230 people are injured badly enough to require medical treatment after firework-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition to causing injury, fireworks are also responsible for thousands of house fires each year with millions of dollars in property damage.

There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months? A backyard barbecue can become dangerous if safety precautions aren't considered. Your local SERVPRO of Gainesville professionals want you to have an enjoyable and safe summer. Consider the following tips to ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free!

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed away from the home, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Keep a bucket of water nearby or a water hose to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire.
  • Children should never pick up leftover fireworks as they may still be active.
  • The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.

Tips and information provided by the National Fire Protection Association

Smoke Damage in Your Commercial Property

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Whether your commercial property in Gainesville, Georgia, has experienced a fire or a fire has occurred nearby, smoke damage is typically a covered loss. Depending on the proximity of the fire, soot damage can pose a threat to the condition of your property. The smell of smoke can also disturb employees and customers, but it is relatively easy to eliminate this odor with the right devices. Read on to learn about the specific types of damage that smoke can cause to a property and smoke cleaning methods.

Smoke can damage a property in several ways:

• Degrade air quality
• Discolor walls and contents
• Stain upholstery
• Corrode metals
• Degrade appliance finishes
• Strip wood finishes

Smoke can be particularly damaging if it has a high acid content. During a fire, hot air carries smoke and soot as it rises and expands, spreading both throughout the surrounding area. Layers of smoke and soot can form a residue on top of every surface that becomes more difficult to clean over time. It is important to contact restoration experts for smoke damage as soon as possible.

Hiring experts can prevent smoke and soot from lingering and causing damage over time. Cleaning experts will perform several steps to restore your commercial property to pre-fire condition, including: 

• Inspecting and assessing the extent of the damage
• Removing smoke and soot from surfaces using specialized equipment and techniques
• Cleaning all restorable items and surfaces
• Filtering the air with air scrubbers and using ozone or fogging equipment to neutralize odors

If you are concerned about soot or smoke residue inside of electronics, ask the experts to take a look. Acidic smoke residue can corrode metal within devices and cause them to fail. Regardless of the extent of the smoke damage or soot damage, the right smoke cleaning service can eliminate the problem and completely restore your commercial property in

Proper Placement of Fire Alarms and Smoke Detectors

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

Properly preparing for the unthinkable at your home in Gainesville and Hall County, Georgia, can potentially save lives. This is why it’s important to maintain your early warning devices. A fire alarm is designed to alert you as soon as possible after smoke and/or heat is detected so that you can extinguish the fire or escape the building. But have you considered checking to make sure your home is properly equipped?

Fire Alarm Placement

The placement of these units is key to the safety of your family and home. The National Fire Protection Association recommends installing detectors in the following locations:

  • Each level of the house (including basement)
  • Each bedroom
  • Hallways that connect multiple rooms
  • Near stairs
  • Living room
  • Garage

When checking your home for fire alarm placement, make sure that they are located no more than 12 inches from the ceiling. Basements are an exception; there you will want to place the alarm on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs. They should also be placed at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance. The operation of the alarms could be affected by drafts, so be sure to place them away from doors, windows, vents and ducts.

Fire Alarm Maintenance

Make sure you test the functionality of all fire alarms once a month. Even a hardwired unit has batteries in case of a power outage, so it’s important to replace all batteries twice a year. You can remind yourself by replacing the alarm batteries when you adjust your clocks for daylight saving time. Cleaning should be done occasionally with a vacuum brush attachment. It’s recommended that a fire alarm is replaced every 10 years. 


Fire detection devices are critical to your home safety. With correct placement and maintenance, they will alert you to potential danger before a fire gets out of hand. Should smoke damage or fire damage occur, a fire cleanup professional is Here to Help.

Is it time to replace the battery in your smoke detector?

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

It's a great habit to replace the battery in your smoke detector annually.

But did you know that smoke detectors lose their effectiveness over time? The US Fire Administration says that most smoke detectors today have a life span of about 8-10 years. At that point, the entire unit should be replaced. When you replace the unit, write the date purchased on the inside with a sharpie to have on record.

A smoke detector is an essential component of your home's safety equipment and having at least one smoke detector means that your surroundings are safer. That’s great, but you just need to take the necessary steps to keep your smoke detector in proper working order and that doesn't necessarily mean doings a whole home smoke detector replacement, but rather checking and replacing their batteries. Generally, your smoke detector will let you know if the battery is low. If your smoke detector keeps chirping or there is a blinking red light you might need to change the battery. The smoke detector red light could also indicate that your system is over 10 years old and needs to be replaced. A hard-wired smoke detector with a red blinking light could indicate that there’s a problem with the wire connection. If you’re not sure it might be a good idea to do a quick search on the internet to find out

What Should Be Discarded After A Fire?

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen, fire damage, counter top, microwave oven, sink, dishes If you've had a fire and are unsure what to keep and what can be cleaned, call SERVPRO of Gainesville

Food

Food that has been damaged by heat, smoke, water, toxic fumes or chemicals is not safe to use. Exercise caution and discard if in doubt. It’s recommended to throw away these items:

Fresh food, such as produce, meat, poultry, cheese, eggs and milk
Food in cardboard boxes or foil wrap
Food in canisters, such as spices, flour, and seasonings
Canned food
Any open packages of food

Check your refrigerator to see if it was able to keep your food cold and if soot was able to penetrate it. If your fridge was turned off for more than four hours or if you can detect soot, discard all food. Frozen food can be safe to use if it still has crystals on it; however, the safe bet is to toss it.

Medicine and Cosmetics

Inspect medicines and cosmetics that were near high heat for soot, dust, chemicals and signs of damage. If anything is warped due to the exposure to heat, don’t even think about keeping it. You’re on the safe side if you simply get rid of all medicine and cosmetic items. 

Clothes and Textiles

Some of your clothes and textiles might be able to be cleaned and disinfected by an experienced fire restoration company that has the proper tools and knowledge. Anything that is burnt needs to be thrown away, though. Baby and children’s clothing need some extra care and attention as you don’t want to risk your little one’s health. 

Exercise caution with the items mentioned above. It might be smart to just throw away food, medicine and cosmetics for the sake of your health. Always bear in mind that high heat and fire damage are dangerous, and even if any of these items seem to be in good condition, your eyes might be tricking you.

Call SERVPRO of Gainesville for more information on restoring your home after fire damage, 770-536-1010.

Fires - Assessing the Damage to Properly Mitigate

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

ceiling, sponge cleaned, ceiling fan, windows If you have a fire call SERVPRO of Gainesville to determine the extent of the damage

When a fire starts inside your home, it is never a pleasant experience. Fires not only threaten the safety of you and your family but can also be costly to repair. The heat, flames, and smoke produced by a fire can cause extensive damage to your home. 
 
Whether the fire is small or large, the best choice would be to have the professionals come in and assess the situation. SERVPRO of Gainesville is IICRC certified and have experience with different types of fire scenarios. 
 
Both the heat and smoke created by a blaze causes several types of damage to your home. Flames can burn content and building materials inside the home. Smoke spreads throughout the structure leaving behind soot and foul odors. Our professional technicians at SERVPRO of Gainesville are taught how to mitigate fire damage by putting each case into a category based on the severity of the damage. 
  
No matter how severe the damage is in your home after a fire, hiring professionals can always get you the best results. SERVPRO of Gainesville can be reached at (770) 536-1010, available 24 hours a day and seven days a week to help 

Chimney Tips to Keep Your Family Warm...and Safe

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Living room, fireplace Regular maintenance on your fireplace can keep you and your family safe this winter.

What causes chimney fires?

The build-up of creosote along the chimney lining walls can facilitate the start of a chimney fire. All fires create soot and residue build-up, especially wood burning fireplaces and stoves. This build-up is caused by the unburned materials in the smoke accumulating along the chimney walls and creating a sticky substance that can easily catch fire. The smoke from the fire contains a substance similar to tar and when the temperatures within the chimney are below 250 degrees Fahrenheit, the substance will condense along the chimney surface. When the temperature drops below 150 degrees Fahrenheit, the substance turns into a dark, sticky substance that is also highly flammable.

A chimney that is dirty, blocked or is in disrepair can inhibit proper venting of smoke up the flue and can also cause a chimney fire. Nearly all residential fires originating in the chimney are preventable.

Maintenance - Good maintenance is a very important step in preventing chimney fires!

  • Have your chimney checked annually by a qualified chimney professional.
  • Burn only well-seasoned hardwoods.
  • Start fires with clean newspaper or dry kindling – Gasoline or kerosene should never be used to start a fire.
  • Never burn cardboard boxes, wrapping paper or your Christmas tree.
  • Keep the area in front of the fireplace clear of paper and debris. It can be tempting during the holidays to place decorations close to the fireplace but keep them at a safe distance.
  • If your fireplace doesn't have a glass door, use a wire mesh screen.
  • Install a chimney cap.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector.
  • Have your chimney sweep ensure that your chimney has an appropriate liner.
  • Following a violent storm, earthquake, flood or lightning strike, have your chimney inspected for damage - inside and out.

Prevention - Remember prevention is your best defense against fire. If you have a wood or coal stove, be sure it is installed at least 36 inches away from the wall. Keep combustible materials well away from the stove and chimney connector. Place an approved stove board under the unit to protect the floor from heat and hot coals which might drop out.

Five Ways to Avoid Kitchen Hazards

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

Kitchen, smoke and fire damage Don't let a disaster in your kitchen ruin your holiday.

Many people in Gainesville and Hall County love to cook, especially as the holidays approach. But even seasoned chefs sometimes make costly mistakes. Here are five helpful ways to avoid kitchen hazards such as a drain clog or grease fire.

1. Keep Your Vents Clean

It’s important to keep the vent screens above your stove clean. Otherwise grease can build up on the screen and inhibit the ventilation becoming a contributing factor in a kitchen fire. The grease build-up could even make a fire worse. 

2. Don’t Leave Pans Unattended

Most cooks know never to leave a pan unattended on the stove. The pan could be knocked over, grease can splatter, or the food can be allowed to cook too long. Each of these things can be a fire hazard.

3. Don’t Put Grease Down the Drain

When you're done cooking it may be tempting to pour the hot grease down the drain. Built up grease in drain can lead to a drain clog and sink overflow. Instead the grease can be poured into a container, allowed to cool and then placed in the trash.

4. Wipe Out Greasy Pans Before Washing

Wipe out any remaining grease and food particles before washing your pans. This can help prevent buildup that may lead to a sink clog.

5. Call a Professional to Service Appliances

If you’re having problems with your stove or drain it may be time to call a professional. They will know how to fix the problem without causing a potential electrical fire. These can come from attempting to fix a broken stove or clogged dish disposal without the correct tools. If fire or flooding does occur, then a fire and water damage restoration service may be able to help.

Following these tips can help you prevent problems like a drain clog or grease fire. Never leave your stove unattended when it’s on, don’t put grease down the drain, and call a professional if your kitchen appliances need maintenance. In the event a fire or flooding does happen in your kitchen, then a restoration professional may be able to help.

Let's Talk Turkey

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

cartoon, turkey, pizza If you're frying a turkey this Thanksgiving please follow the safely tips and don't become a victim of fire damage.

Turkey Day (aka - Thanksgiving) is right around the corner and it is that time of the year again when family and friends come together for a feast. There are several ways to cook a turkey, but a favorite among some is deep fried. Unfortunately, we have all seen the videos that end in a fiery ball of poultry. If you plan on deep frying a turkey this year, please keep the following tips in mind. 

  • Thaw and Dry turkey completely before cooking.
    • Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every 5 pounds, according to The National Turkey Federation (http://www.eatturkey.com)
    • Ice or water that mixes can cause flare-ups
  • Fryer Setup
    • Use fryer OUTDOORS and away from decks, garages, home, and other structures.
    • Keep children and pets away from the fryer. 
    • Use on a flat surface to avoid accidental tipping. Make sure the tank and burner are at least 2+ feet apart.
  • Measure the Oil
    • Avoid overfilling by reading the manufacturer’s instructions. 
  • Be Prepared (SAFETY FIRST!)
    • Use oven mitts to protect hands and/or arms.
    • Safety goggles to protect eyes
    • Have a grease-rated fire extinguisher nearby and ready.
  • Finishing Act
    • Remove pot from burner and place on a level surface.
    • Allow oil to cool overnight before disposing of oil in a sealed container.

Most importantly, NEVER LEAVE FRYERS UNATTENDED!! Please be careful this holiday season and share these tips with your friends and family that enjoy fried turkey.

If you do become a victim of a deep-fryer fire, SERVPRO Gainesville is here to help. We are available 24/7/365 days a year at 770-536-1010.

SERVPRO Gainesville would like everyone to have a safe holiday season with their family and friends.

Preventing Christmas tree fires

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

tree on fire, chair on fire Don't let a dry tree or damaged Christmas lights put your family and home at risk.

We know it’s not even Halloween or Thanksgiving but it’s never too early to start thinking how to safely decorate your home or business for Christmas. 

If you’re putting up a live Christmas tree, here’s a quick check list to review:

  • Get a fresh tree whose needles are green and don't easily fall off
  • Cut 1-2 inches from base of trunk before placing the tree in the stand
  • Place the tree at least 3 feet away from heat sources
  • Add water daily to prevent drying
  • Do not connect together more than three strands of mini-string sets
  • Check holiday lights for frayed wires or excessive water
  • Always turn lights off on a tree before going to bed or leaving your home
  • Get rid of a tree when its needles start dropping
  • Check that your smoke alarm is working properly

Should You Replace Your Smoke Detector

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke detector, green light, ceiling We all know that we need to check the batteries in our smoke detectors but did you know that you may need to replace the smoke detector itself?

It's a great habit to check your smoke detector regularly and to replace the battery in your smoke detector annually.

But did you know that smoke detectors themselves lose their effectiveness over time? The US Fire Administration says that most smoke detectors today have a life span of about 8-10 years. At that point, the entire unit should be replaced. When you replace the unit, write the date purchased on the inside with a sharpie to have on record.

A smoke detector is an essential component of your home's safety equipment and having at least one smoke detector means that your surroundings are safer. That’s great, but you need to take the necessary steps to keep your smoke detector in proper working order and that doesn't necessarily mean doings a whole home smoke detector replacement, but rather checking and replacing their batteries. Generally, your smoke detector will let you know if the battery is low. If your smoke detector keeps chirping or there is a blinking red light you might need to change the battery. The smoke detector red light could also indicate that your system is over 10 years old and needs to be replaced. A hard-wired smoke detector with a red blinking light could indicate that there’s a problem with the wire connection. If you’re not sure it might be a good idea to do a quick search on the internet to find out. 

Common Causes of Electrical Fires

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

Overloaded surge protector on fire Overloading an extension cord is a common cause of electrical fires.

Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and or old, outdated appliances. The following are the most common reasons why electrical fires happen:

  1. Old electrical sockets and unsafe appliances

Appliances that are old and overused and those that fall short of modern safety standards are the worst culprits. Frayed electrical cords, self-jointed wires, and worn out sockets that are not properly grounded are major causes of fires. They become ready outlets for directing heat and fire to carpets, rugs, curtains and combustible plastic. Older appliances draw more power than the wall sockets can handle.

  1. Using light fixtures that exceed the permissible wattage

A very common cause of fires is plugging lights, lighting appliances and bulbs into electrical sockets that cannot handle higher wattage levels. Antique lighting appliances may have defective wiring that makes the appliance unstable by overheating. Decorating lights with colored paper and cloth shades can increase the risk of fire when the material or fabric heats up.

  1. Using multiple appliances plugged into an extension cord

Unrestricted use of extension cords is a major fire hazard. The risk of fire increases when your TV, home theatre, computer and other appliances are all plugged into a single extension cord. This creates excessive power load on a single socket which may not be designed to handle that load.

  1. Locating portable heaters near combustible materials

Portable space heaters that use coils are potentially dangerous when they are positioned carelessly near curtains and rugs and adjacent to beds and cloth covered furniture. The chances of inflammable material coming into contact with the red-hot coils increase the risk of fire.

  1. Wiring that becomes defective with the passage of time

Over a period of time you add more electrical appliances such as wide screen televisions, home theatre, microwave oven, refrigerator and air conditioners. The outdated home wiring cannot handle the increased power load. Older wiring tends to heat up quickly and catches fire. If the breaker boxes are themselves defective, they cannot prevent overheated electrical panels from catching fire.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – SERVPRO of Gainesville 770-536-1010

Fire Extinguisher 101

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

There are many types of fire extinguishers.

Not only is it smart to keep fire extinguishers in your home or business, it’s also the law in many states.

It's important to make sure you have the right types of fire extinguishers on hand to put out common fires.

Getting started with fire extinguishers

The first thing to do when choosing a fire extinguisher is to decide which rooms in your house need one. You should keep at least one on each level of your house. Make sure you keep fire extinguishers handy where fires are more likely to start, like in the kitchen and garage.

Understanding fire extinguisher classes

There are four classes of fire extinguishers – A, B, C and D – and each class can put out a different type of fire.

  • Class A extinguishers will put out fires in ordinary combustibles such as wood and paper
  • Class B extinguishers are for use on flammable liquids like grease, gasoline and oil
  • Class C extinguishers are suitable for use only on electrically energized fires
  • Class D extinguishers are designed for use on flammable metals

Multipurpose extinguishers can be used on different types of fires and will be labeled with more than one class, like A-B, B-C or A-B-C.

Purchasing your fire extinguisher

Now that you know how many extinguishers you need and what types to get, you can head to the hardware store. Look for fire extinguishers that you can easily lift. Larger extinguishers may pack more power, but you must be able to use it properly.

Learning how to use your fire extinguisher

Once you've made your purchases, familiarize yourself with the fire extinguisher directions so you’ll be prepared in case you need to put out a fire. Typically, fire extinguishers are easy to use in the case of a fire. Most of the types operate using the P.A.S.S. technique:

  • Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher to break the tamper seal.
  • Aim the fire extinguisher low, with the nozzle pointed at the base of the fire. 
  • Squeeze the handle of the fire extinguisher to release the extinguishing agent. 
  • Sweep the nozzle from side to side while pointed at the base of the fire until it is extinguished. 
  • If the fire re-ignites, repeat the last 3 steps.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – SERVPRO of Gainesville 770-536-1010

Electrical Fires

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and or old, outdated appliances. The following are the most common reasons why electrical fires happen:

  1. Old electrical sockets and unsafe appliances

Appliances that are old and overused and those that fall short of modern safety standards are the worst culprits. Frayed electrical cords, self-jointed wires, and worn out sockets that are not properly grounded are major causes of fires. They become ready outlets for directing heat and fire to carpets, rugs, curtains and combustible plastic. Older appliances draw more power than the wall sockets can handle.

  1. Using light fixtures that exceed the permissible wattage

A very common cause of fires is plugging lights, lighting appliances and bulbs into electrical sockets that cannot handle higher wattage levels. Antique lighting appliances may have defective wiring that makes the appliance unstable by overheating. Decorating lights with colored paper and cloth shades can increase the risk of fire when the material or fabric heats up.

  1. Using multiple appliances plugged into an extension cord

Unrestricted use of extension cords is a major fire hazard. The risk of fire increases when your TV, home theatre, computer and other appliances are all plugged into a single extension cord. This creates excessive power load on a single socket which may not be designed to handle that load. In the recent past classes at Middle School and East Pennsboro Elementary School had to be cancelled owing to a power outage caused by damaged wiring. So, there is a social and economic cost to damaged wiring!

  1. Locating portable heaters near combustible materials

Portable space heaters that use coils are potentially dangerous when they are positioned carelessly near curtains and rugs and adjacent to beds and cloth covered furniture. The chances of inflammable material coming into contact with the red-hot coils increase the risk of fire.

  1. Wiring that becomes defective with the passage of time

Over a period of time you add more electrical appliances such as wide screen televisions, home theatre, microwave oven, refrigerator and air conditioners. The outdated home wiring cannot handle the increased power load. Older wiring tends to heat up quickly and catches fire. If the breaker boxes are themselves defective, they cannot prevent overheated electrical panels from catching fire.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – SERVPRO of Gainesville 770-536-1010

What Should Be Discarded After A Fire?

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Food that has been damaged by heat, smoke, water toxic fumes or chemicals is not safe to use.

Items You Should Throw Away After a Home Fire

A home fire in Gainesville, Georgia is a frightening event that can change your life. Standing in your home among your damaged belongings, you probably ask yourself which items you need to throw away. The fact is that high heat and fire damage render some of your personal belongings useless and can even cause them to be dangerous if used. 

Food

Food that has been damaged by heat, smoke, water, toxic fumes or chemicals is not safe to use. Exercise caution and discard if in doubt. It’s recommended to throw away these items:

Fresh food, such as produce, meat, poultry, cheese, eggs and milk
Food in cardboard boxes or foil wrap
Food in canisters, such as spices, flour, and seasonings
Canned food
Any open packages of food

Check your refrigerator to see if it was able to keep your food cold and if soot was able to penetrate it. If your fridge was turned off for more than four hours or if you can detect soot, discard all food. Frozen food can be safe to use if it still has crystals on it; however, the safe bet is to toss it.

Medicine and Cosmetics

Inspect medicines and cosmetics that were near high heat for soot, dust, chemicals and signs of damage. If anything is warped due to the exposure to heat, don’t even think about keeping it. You’re on the safe side if you simply get rid of all medicine and cosmetic items. 

Clothes and Textiles

Some of your clothes and textiles might be able to be cleaned and disinfected by an experienced fire restoration company that has the proper tools and knowledge. Anything that is burnt needs to be thrown away, though. Baby and children clothing need some extra care and attention as you don’t want to risk your little one’s health. 

Exercise caution with the items mentioned above. It might be smart to just throw away food, medicine and cosmetics for the sake of your health. Always bear in mind that high heat and fire damage are dangerous, and even if any of these items seem to be in good condition, your eyes might be tricking you.

Call SERVPRO of Gainesville for more information on restoring your home after fire damage, 770-536-1010.

Is it time to replace the battery in your smoke detector?

9/7/2018 (Permalink)

When should you replace the batteries in your smoke detector?

It's a great habit to replace the battery in your smoke detector annually.

But did you know that smoke detectors lose their effectiveness over time? The US Fire Administration says that most smoke detectors today have a life span of about 8-10 years. At that point, the entire unit should be replaced. When you replace the unit, write the date purchased on the inside with a sharpie to have on record.

A smoke detector is an essential component of your home's safety equipment and having at least one smoke detector means that your surroundings are safer. That’s great, but you just need to take the necessary steps to keep your smoke detector in proper working order and that doesn't necessarily mean doings a whole home smoke detector replacement, but rather checking and replacing their batteries. Generally your smoke detector will let you know if the battery is low. If your smoke detector keeps chirping or there is a blinking red light you might need to change the battery. The smoke detector red light could also indicate that your system is over 10 years old and needs to be replaced. A hard wired smoke detector with a red blinking light could indicate that there’s a problem with the wire connection. If you’re not sure it might be a good idea to do a quick search on the internet to find out. 

Fire Extinguiser 101

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher - P.A.S.S method of use

Not only is it smart to keep fire extinguishers in your home or business, it’s also the law in many states.

It's important to make sure you have the right types of fire extinguishers on hand to put out common fires.

Getting started with fire extinguishers

The first thing to do when choosing a fire extinguisher is to decide which rooms in your house need one. You should keep at least one on each level of your house. Make sure you keep fire extinguishers handy where fires are more likely to start, like in the kitchen and garage.

Understanding fire extinguisher classes

There are four classes of fire extinguishers – A, B, C and D – and each class can put out a different type of fire.

  • Class A extinguishers will put out fires in ordinary combustibles such as wood and paper
  • Class B extinguishers are for use on flammable liquids like grease, gasoline and oil
  • Class C extinguishers are suitable for use only on electrically energized fires
  • Class D extinguishers are designed for use on flammable metals

Multipurpose extinguishers can be used on different types of fires and will be labeled with more than one class, like A-B, B-C or A-B-C.

Purchasing your fire extinguisher

Now that you know how many extinguishers you need and what types to get, you can head to the hardware store. Look for fire extinguishers that you can easily lift. Larger extinguishers may pack more power, but you must be able to use it properly.

Learning how to use your fire extinguisher

Once you've made your purchases, familiarize yourself with the fire extinguisher directions so you’ll be prepared in case you need to put out a fire. Typically, fire extinguishers are easy to use in the case of a fire. Most of the types operate using the P.A.S.S. technique:

  • Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher to break the tamper seal.
  • Aim the fire extinguisher low, with the nozzle pointed at the base of the fire. 
  • Squeeze the handle of the fire extinguisher to release the extinguishing agent. 
  • Sweep the nozzle from side to side while pointed at the base of the fire until it is extinguished. 
  • If the fire re-ignites, repeat the last 3 steps.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – SERVPRO of Gainesville 770-536-1010

Summer Grilling and Firework Safety

8/17/2018 (Permalink)

Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades, and firework displays.  Along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to emergency rooms, especially during July. Each year, an average of 230 people are injured badly enough to require medical treatment after firework-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition to causing injury, fireworks are also responsible for thousands of house fires each year with millions of dollars in property damage.

There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months? A backyard barbecue can become dangerous if safety precautions aren't considered. Your local SERVPRO of Gainesville professionals want you to have an enjoyable and safe summer. Consider the following tips to ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free!

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed away from the home, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Keep a bucket of water nearby or a water hose to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire.
  • Children should never pick up leftover fireworks as they may still be active.
  • The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.

Tips and information provided by the National Fire Protection Association

Hall County Smoke and Soot Cleanup

8/13/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Hall County Home.

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 Gainesville 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 and personal belongings with care.

If  you have questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – SERVPRO of Gainesville 770-536-1010

Hall County Smoke and Soot Cleanup

7/19/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Hall County Home.

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 Gainesville 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 – (770) 536-1010

FIRE DO's AND DON'Ts

12/21/2015 (Permalink)

What To Do After a Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.

  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.

  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.

  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.

  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.

  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.

  • Change HVAC filter.

  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After a Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.

  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.

  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.

  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.

  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Fire Prevention and Safety Tips for Your Business

12/18/2015 (Permalink)

Protect yourself and your business from any unforeseen hazards like fires. Here are some tips to protect your business from fire damage.

Fire Extinguishers and Business Safety
One way to protect yourself, your employees, and your business from fire is to have proper fire extinguishers handy on the premises. Fire extinguishers can help you eliminate a small fire from spreading into a fire you cannot control.  Once you buy all the necessary extinguishers, perform a training session with all employees on the proper use of the extinguisher and how to check if it is charged. Place them in a highly visible area for quick and easy access. The most common place for extinguishers are break rooms and kitchens.

Smoke Detectors and Fire Alarms
The best protection from a fire is early detection.  Smoke detectors provide the early warning you need to stop a fire in its tracks. Be sure to change the batteries every three months and test them every month. Place one smoke detector in every room and fire alarms on every floor. Like everything else in the world, smoke detectors have a life expectancy. Replace your smoke detectors every ten years.

Overhead Sprinklers Prevent Fire Damage
One important tool for putting out a fire is water.  Overhead sprinklers can douse a fire as soon as they detect it.  If you have equipment and paper that is sensitive to water, simply have them installed in the areas that are prone to fire outbreaks.

Your business is your livelihood. You do not want to lose it to a fire. Taking the proper precautions can save you a lot of time, effort and money in the long run. Use these tips to help you take preventive measures to protect your business.

Smoke Detectors Have a Shelf Life

12/11/2015 (Permalink)

It's a great habit to replace the battery in your smoke detector annually.

But did you know that smoke detectors lose their effectiveness over time? The US Fire Administration says that most smoke detectors today have a life span of about 8-10 years. At that point, the entire unit should be replaced. When you replace the unit, write the date purchased on the inside with a sharpie to have on record.

A smoke detector is an essential component of your home's safety equipment and having at least one smoke detector means that your surroundings are safer. That’s great, but you just need to take the necessary steps to keep your smoke detector in proper working order and that doesn't necessarily mean doings a whole home smoke detector replacement, but rather checking and replacing their batteries. Generally your smoke detector will let you know if the battery is low. If your smoke detector keeps chirping or there is a blinking red light you might need to change the battery. The smoke detector red light could also indicate that your system is over 10 years old and needs to be replaced. A hard wired smoke detector with a red blinking light could indicate that there’s a problem with the wire connection. If you’re not sure it might be a good idea to do a quick search on the internet to find out. 

Do you enjoy that fresh baked apple pie or evergreen candle scent during the holidays?

12/10/2015 (Permalink)

Before Lighting – here are some tips on candle burning safety. 

  • Trim the wick to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring.

  • Always use a candleholder specifically designed for candle use. It should be heat resistant, sturdy, and large enough to contain any drips or melted wax.

  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room.

  • Place the candleholder on a stable, heat-resistant surface. This will also help prevent possible heat damage to counters and table surfaces and prevent glass containers from cracking or breaking.

  • Keep the wax pool clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.

  • Avoid drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, sooting, and excessive dripping.

  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on burn time and proper use.

Chimney Tips to Keep Your Family Warm…and Safe

12/7/2015 (Permalink)

What causes chimney fires?

The build-up of creosote along the chimney lining walls can facilitate the start of a chimney fire. All fires create soot and residue build-up, especially wood burning fireplaces and stoves. This build-up is caused by the unburned materials in the smoke accumulating along the chimney walls and creating a sticky substance that can easily catch fire. The smoke from the fire contains a substance similar to tar and when the temperatures within the chimney are below 250 degrees Fahrenheit, the substance will condense along the chimney surface. When the temperature drops below 150 degrees Fahrenheit, the substance turns into a dark, sticky substance that is also highly flammable.

A chimney that is dirty, blocked or is in disrepair can inhibit proper venting of smoke up the flue and can also cause a chimney fire. Nearly all residential fires originating in the chimney are preventable.

Maintenance - Good maintenance is a very important step in preventing chimney fires!

  • Have your chimney checked annually by a qualified chimney professional.
  • Burn only well seasoned hardwoods.
  • Start fires with clean newspaper or dry kindling – Gasoline or kerosene should never be used to start a fire.

  • Never burn cardboard boxes, wrapping paper or your Christmas tree.

  • Keep the area in front of the fireplace clear of paper and debris. It can be tempting during the holidays to place decorations close to the fireplace, but keep them at a safe distance.

  • If your fireplace doesn't have a glass door, use a wire mesh screen.

  • Install a chimney cap.

  • Install a carbon monoxide detector.

  • Have your chimney sweep ensure that your chimney has an appropriate liner.

  • Following a violent storm, earthquake, flood or lightning strike, have your chimney inspected for damage - inside and out.

Prevention - Remember prevention is your best defense against fire. If you have a wood or coal stove, be sure it is installed at least 36 inches away from the wall. Keep combustible materials well away from the stove and chimney connector. Place an approved stove board under the unit to protect the floor from heat and hot coals which might drop out.

Prevent Christmas tree fire

11/24/2015 (Permalink)

Safety Checklist

  • Get a fresh tree whose needles are green and don't easily fall off
  • Cut 1-2 inches from base of trunk before placing the tree in the stand
  • Place the tree at least 3 feet away from heat sources
  • Add water daily to prevent drying
  • Do not connect more than three strands of mini-string sets
  • Check holiday lights for frayed wires or excessive water
  • Always turn lights off on a tree before going to bed or leaving your home
  • Ged rid of a tree when its needles start dropping
  • Check that your smoke alarm is working properly