Recent Fire Damage Posts
3 Tips for Filing a Homeowners Fire Insurance Claim
Kitchen fire damage
Three Tips On Filling A Claim As Efficiently As Possible
Undergoing a fire in your Erie, CO, home is an undeniably harrowing ordeal. In order to negate any further pain, knowing how to make a fire insurance claim is essential. Here are three tips for filing such a claim as efficiently as possible.
1. Document the Damage
Receiving any help with fire restoration requires thorough documentation of the damage. Make a detailed list for your providers that can help the process go faster. These are some items to include:
- Everything damaged
- Ability to repair affected possessions
- Prices for damaged items
- Overall state of the home
If you're able to safely walk through your property, take pictures of every impairment you can find. If not, you should still take pictures of the outside just in case. This visual proof helps to give credence to your claim.
2. Understand Your Insurance
Using your insurance effectively calls for an understanding of how it works. Fortunately, most policies cover a vast majority of fire restoration costs. Some even provide funds for hotel bills and replacement shopping. Do research on your policy and discover how best to use it. Know what the next steps are in the filing process. Be sure to check if your state has any policies as well. In general, as long as you didn't knowingly cause the fire, you should be covered in some way.
3. Be Sure the Adjuster is Thorough
Insurance companies tend to send adjusters to damaged property. These individuals examine the validity of your claim and the extent of the harm, thus determining how much money you may receive for fire restoration. Unfortunately, not all adjusters are completely thorough. Because of this, it's essential to ensure that this inspection covers every potential issue. Give the adjuster your list of everything affected. Try to make sure that each one is checked. If this is a particular concern of yours, you can hire an outside inspector.
Quick and decisive action is paramount after a fire. In order to receive treatment like smoke cleaning, you'll need to get your insurance to fund restoration experts. If you stay thorough, your home may be back to normal soon enough.
Do Commercial Fire Extinguishers Require Maintenance?
Be sure to have a fire extinguisher in your building
Do Commercial Fire Extinguishers Require Maintenance?
A commercial building requires fire extinguishers to comply with fire safety codes in Berthoud, CO. Property owners and managers should arrange for regular inspections of all fire safety systems on the premises. Disposable and refillable fire extinguisher models call for different maintenance measures.
Check the Pressure
Fire extinguishers must be charged so that the dry chemicals contained inside are propelled at least 10 to 20 feet out of the nozzle. The class of chemicals that an extinguisher contains will determine the appropriate pressure level. The following guidelines apply to dry chemical extinguishers:
- An ideal pressure level is around 195 psi
- Charge extinguishers under 185 psi
- Avoid exceeding a charge of 205 psi
A charged extinguisher can limit fire damage to a commercial structure. Choose from extinguishers with contents that suppress Class A combustibles, Class B flammable liquids, Class C electrical fires, Class D combustible metal or Class K restaurant fires.
Replace Disposable Extinguishers
Extinguishers designed for one-time use can be used at any point. Be sure to check the pressure gauge and date and replace a disposable fire extinguisher with a low pressure level or any extinguisher more than 12 years old.
Recharge Reusable Extinguishers
Commercial property owners may want to invest more up front in extinguishers that can be reused. This can be particularly helpful for food service establishments that run a high kitchen fire risk. Have extinguishers recharged by professionals and monitor pressure levels to be prepared to suppress a fire.
Disposable and reusable extinguishers are both designed for use with the PASS Method. Pull the pin and twist to break the safety tie. Aim the hose at the base of a fire. Squeeze the handle of the fire extinguisher. Sweep the spray from side to side. When a fire breaks out a building in Berthoud, CO, charged fire extinguishers of the right classes can suppress the flames.
How To Prepare Kids To Escape a Fire
Teach kids your safety plan
Kids Safety Plan
A kids safety plan can ensure that your whole family knows what to do if a fire occurs at your home in Mead, CO. Common fire causes include the following.
- Faulty wires
- Lightning strikes
- Unattended candles
- Unattended heaters
Though it can be scary, it is necessary to discuss a fire escape plan with your kids. Here are tips to help you.
Planing a meeting with every member of your family is a great way to convey instructions and assign roles according to your kids' ages. Make sure that everyone understands what they should and should not do during a fire.
If smoke and fire overtake a room, explain to kids that they should move about by crawling or sliding along the floor to avoid naturally rising smoke and heat.
Don't Rush To Open Doors
A vital part of a kids safety plan during a home fire involves avoiding backdraft. Teach your kids not to open a closed door to a room without first touching it to tell if it is hot. Heat indicates the fire is close to the other side, and opening the door can force a rush of oxygen on it that causes an explosion.
Devise Multiple Escape Routes
Escaping a fire is a priority, but there is no way to predict a fire's path. Your kids will need multiple escape routes to ensure they are not unnecessarily wandering about.
If your kids are old enough to walk, talk, and follow directions, they need to understand that hesitating during a fire is not an option. Their main job is to follow the kids safety plan and escape by any means possible, even if it involves breaking windows or creating other physical damage.
During a home fire, nothing is more important than getting out safely. After that, a Mead, CO, fire restoration company can handle the cleanup and prepare your home for your family's safe return.
How Do Cleanup Experts Restore Office Contents?
Fire damage in Hygiene, CO
Three Stages of Recovering Content After a Fire
Restoration companies have dedicated facilities for cleaning contents damaged by fires and other disasters. It is important to remove items from a building that has recently suffered a fire. Off-site cleaning makes it possible to thoroughly clean and repair a commercial structure in Hygiene, CO. Contents can be returned at the end of the restoration. Find out more about dry-cleaning and other professional methods used in the three stages of recovering content after a fire.
A restoration service will recommend the removal of any contents that can be cleaned. These items may be covered in soot or stained with smoke, but have not suffered extensive heat or fire damage. Burnt or charred contents will probably need to be replaced. After being cleaned, these items can be held in content storage until cleaning and restoration are complete at the original location.
A variety of cleaning methods are used on items that have been exposed to the effects of fire. Dry-cleaning is a helpful method for porous materials such as office furniture or textiles, as is foam cleaning. Other cleaning methods such as immersion cleaning and ultrasonic vibrations are effective for non-porous materials.
Content cleaning is only part of the fire damage restoration process. Water from fire hoses or sprinklers may need to be pumped out and damaged or ruined building materials torn out prior to cleaning and disinfection. The area should be completely clean, dry, and rebuilt before reintroducing contents.
After a fire, the interior of a building may be filled with ashes and smoke as well as water and chemicals from fire suppression efforts. This combination of factors can ruin porous or delicate contents and cause other materials such as metal to corrode. Taking contents off-site for dry-cleaning or other specialized treatments following a fire is an important step toward restoring a commercial building or business located in Hygiene, CO.
How Many Smoke Detectors Do You Need in Your Home?
Smoke alarms are designed to detect ionization fires, photoelectric fires, or both types of fires
Smoke detectors are the best protection against fires in your home in Lyons, CO. In order for a fire alarm to be most effective, however, you must follow some important instructions.
What Type of Smoke Detector Should You Buy
Make sure you purchase a fire alarm that meets the strict safety and testing requirements of the Underwriters Laboratories.
Smoke alarms are designed to detect ionization fires, photoelectric fires, or both types of fires. It’s best to purchase an alarm that can detect both fires since there's no way to predict which type of fire could occur.
Where Should Smoke Detectors Be Installed in the Home?
Place a smoke detector in each bedroom, as well as just outside the sleeping area(s). There should be at least one alarm on each level of the house, so don't forget the basement. It's also a smart idea to install an alarm in the kitchen, since many fires start there. Install the smoke detectors on the ceiling, if possible. If it isn't feasible, place them on the wall no more than a foot from the ceiling. Never install a detector on a window, since the air around it may prevent it from detecting smoke or fire.
How Often Should You Test the Alarms?
It's a good idea to test the alarm once a month by simply pressing the test button. This will either activate a light or a beep to let you know it's working. Once a year, you need to change the batteries in each alarm. Many people change their alarm batteries when they change their clocks for Daylight Saving Time. To avoid potential fire damage, replace each smoke detector every 8 to 10 years.
Keep each fire alarm in good working condition by following these routine maintenance instructions. Call a fire damage expert if you ever suspect smoke damage in your home.
How to Clean Your Gas Range
If you don’t clean your gas range regularly, grease can build up and cause a smoke smell
Cooking with a gas range is the ideal way to prepare stovetop meals. You have much more control of the heat with gas burners than you do with electric units and there is no warmup time. The only drawback is that cleanup can be more of a hassle with a gas model. There are a few easy tips that can make the job a little easier.
Before you begin your range cleaning routine, you will need a few simple items:
- Paper towels or clean rags
- Dry scrub brush
- Dish soap
- Empty spray bottle
- Old toothbrush for those hard-to-clean areas
First, remove the grates and place them in the kitchen sink that you’ve filled with hot water and dish soap. Let the grates soak while you clean the stovetop.
Gently pull off the burner caps and soak them in the soapy water with the grates.
Using the scrub brush, wipe any loose crumbs from the stovetop.
Mix even parts water with the vinegar in a spray bottle and spray liberally on the burners. Allow it to sit for about a minute and then wipe clean with the dry paper towel or rag.
Clean the knobs with the same mixture.
Lift off the burner heads and wash away dirt and grime.
Pull up the range hood and vacuum up any crumbs.
Take the grates and caps out of the water. Scrub off any excess dirt with the brush and rinse thoroughly. Then dry completely before placing them back on the stovetop.
Instructions for Those Tough Jobs
If you don’t clean your gas range regularly, grease can build up and cause a smoke smell. To remove the grease, put a dab of dish soap on an old toothbrush and scrub the area using a circular motion. Then wipe with a damp towel.
If you follow these few easy steps routinely, your gas range in Lyons, CO will stay shiny and clean.
Keep the Heat On by Preventing a Puffback
Puffback damage in Hygiene, CO
Keep the Heat On by Preventing a Puffback
When cold weather arrives, heating appliances are often taken for granted—until they fail. Oil-fired water heaters, furnaces and heating boilers need more attention than gas and electric. So, regular maintenance is key to limiting risks such as furnace puffback. A puffback occurs when unburned oil pools at the bottom of a heating appliance’s combustion chamber, ignites and then explodes. At a minimum, the area around the appliance will be a sooty mess. Puffback damage can, however, take a major toll on the equipment as well as the building and other contents. Lower your risk of a puffback by taking these proactive steps:
1. Get a Yearly Inspection and Servicing
Have your heating system inspected and serviced yearly. Problems can be solved early on or avoided completely if caught before they have a chance to develop. The servicing of an oil furnace will include opening the appliance for a thorough inspection, cleaning and making any needed repairs.
2. Be Aware of Leaks and Soot
Regularly check around the area of the furnace and the boiler for oil leaks and soot. Oil leaks can be at the oil burner or on the oil piping system. If puffback damage has occurred, you’ll likely see soot and debris in the area, maybe even on the walls and ceiling. Moreover, it can be dispersed throughout the building if it’s in the air ducts.
3. Be Aware of Sounds and Odors
Be aware of noises or odors that might be associated with these appliances. If it’s malfunctioning, your oil burner might start with a small puff or banging sound. It might even rumble. Smoke or oil smells are another sign that something’s not quite right.
4. Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
In the event of a puffback, carbon monoxide levels in the building will increase. A detector will give you an early warning of something that otherwise might go unrecognized until it's too late.
Regular maintenance is imperative for the health of your heating equipment and your property overall. If puffback damage occurs at your building in Hygiene, CO, you can rely on restoration professionals to return it to its previous state.
How To Make a Home Fire Escape Plan
Be sure that you have a fire escape place and practice it often
How To Develop a Good Fire Safety Plan
One of the best things you can do to protect yourself and your family from a fire is to have a fire escape plan. If your home sustains damage in Berthoud, CO, a fire restoration company can help get things back to normal, but your priority should be to get everyone out as quickly as possible. Planning in advance can help everyone know where exits are, how to safely use them, what to do while inside, and how to find each other outside. Following some basic guidelines will help you develop a good fire safety plan.
Plan an Escape Route
When smoke alarms go off, they should be responded to as if a fire is in the residence since the fire could be located in another part of the house. The first reaction should be to get out of the building. Knowing where the exits are ahead of time and practicing using them will allow everyone to navigate the fire escape route faster. There are some things you can do to make exit routes more accessible:
- Ensure pathways, doors, and windows are clear
- Check that windows and doors open properly
- If there are bars on the windows, install a safety release on the inside of the window
- Have a ladder nearby to escape from second-story windows
- Practice using different escape routes
- Have a predetermined meeting place
People can easily panic during a home fire and not know what to do. For this reason, it is important to have drills and practice using the routes.
Follow Safety Guidelines Inside
If you are unable to get outside, you can stay close to the ground, close doors, block air from coming in around doors and vents, and open windows. This will prolong the time before the smoke enters your area. Shining a flashlight or waving a light-colored cloth out the window will help the fire department find you.
Developing and using a fire escape plan can help can you stay safe until help arrives. Smoke alarms and fire preparation can help minimize the impact of a fire.
Why Arson and Unoccupied Fire Claims Are Denied
Home unoccupied in Niwot, CO damaged by fire
A home fire is a devastating event. The loss of personal belongings, possibly a lifetime of memories, going up in flames is irreplaceable. If the fire was caused by arson or happens when your home in Niwot, CO, is unoccupied, there is a chance your claim will be denied, making it impossible to replace the things that are replaceable.
What Does It Cover?
A home is an investment, which is why you have home owner’s insurance. In most policies, fire damage is covered if it is accidentally caused by lightning, smoke or vandalism. They typically cover:
Dwellings – The home and attached structures, such as a garage, shed and fences.
Personal property – Claims can be made to help cover replacement costs for appliances, furniture and clothing.
What Won’t It Cover?
If a home fire breaks out and is not accidental or the home is vacant, regular insurance may not accept the claim. Arson is an illegal act of insurance fraud in which a homeowner purposely sets a home on fire and will be instantly denied. A vacant home fire can be a little trickier, but many policies will not provide coverage if a home has been vacant more than 30 days.
Is There Coverage Available for an Unoccupied Home?
Typically, an unoccupied home is one ready to be used, is furnished and has utilities. A vacant home has no occupants or belongings. In either case, there could be a number of reasons no one is residing in it. For most people, this isn’t an issue. For the situations below, getting extra standalone fire coverage may be needed.
Vacation homes only used occasionally.
People in the middle of a move or renovation that may take longer than a month.
People who travel for extended periods of time.
If a property is rental and has no current tenants.
While everyone hopes a home fire won’t happen, having a little extra protection is worth it to protect your investment. If one does happen, count on a professional to help you navigate the restoration.
Safely Snuffing Out a Grease Fire: What You Need To Know
A grease fire can get out of control fast, which is why it is imperative that you know what to do to snuff it out as quickly and safely as possible.
Of the more than 160,000 house fires caused by cooking each year, 66% begin with the ignition of food or other cooking materials. More often than not, the culprit is grease.
Of course, if you can prevent a cooking fire from occurring, you'll be better off. Some tips for preventing grease fires include the following:
• Stay in the kitchen while the stovetop is in use.
• Keep flammable materials away from the stovetop.
• Before placing foods in hot oil, remove as much moisture as possible.
• Keep the grease at the recommended temperature, and heat it slowly.
• Keep a lid near the grease-filled pot, just in case a fire does break out.
If you cannot prevent a cooking fire, it's important that you know how to respond to one.
How To React When a Grease Fire Breaks Out
If you respond quickly enough, you may be able to extinguish the fire yourself. Some things you can do to combat a fire caused by grease include the following:
• Cover the flames with a cookie sheet or metal lid and leave the pot covered until it has cooled.
• Turn off the source of the heat.
• For smaller fires, pour salt or baking soda on the flames.
• If necessary, spray the flames with a dry chemical fire extinguisher.
Whatever you do, DO NOT try to put out the fire with water. Also, do not attempt to remove the pot from the stove. Also, just because a substance looks like baking soda does not mean it reacts like it. Avoid baking powder, flour and other cooking powders, as using them might make the flames worse.
Calling for Help
If you cannot extinguish the flames yourself, get out of your house as quickly as possible and call 911. You should also call your Longmont, CO fire cleanup crew to mitigate as much secondary damage as possible.