Recent Fire Damage Posts

Wildfire Preparedness in Missoula

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

A blazing forest fire. Wildfires are unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean you have to be unprepared!

According to the Insurance Information Institute, Montana ranks 9th in the United States for extreme wildfire risk and 1st for percentage of properties at risk of damage by wildfire. So, what should you do to prepare for wildfire season if your home is in or near a forest, grassland, or prairie that makes it susceptible to damage by wildfire?

First, you should prepare before wildfire season, which is typically late summer and early fall. Wildfires, by their very nature, are unpredictable and can spread at speeds of up to 14mph. Sign up for your community’s emergency alert system so you can be assured you’ll get the earliest possible warning of an approaching wildfire and any associated evacuation recommendations. Next, plan out at least two evacuation routes from your home, and have a plan for pets and livestock. When creating your emergency go-bag, keep the needs of pets in mind as well as the individual needs of each household member.

There are also some steps you can take to make your home safer during wildfire season, such as using fire-resistant materials to build and renovate in and around your home, keeping a hose that can reach any area of your property attached to a water source at all times, and clearing all flammable materials (including leaves and debris) at least 30 feet away from your home.

If your home does sustain fire or smoke damage this year, SERVPRO of Missoula has the tools and training to make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us at 406-327-9500.

What to do during a Missoula structure fire

5/27/2021 (Permalink)

close-up of a smoke detector, with a family and smoke in the background If a fire starts in your home, the most important thing to remember is “Get out, Stay out!”

Sometimes fires happen. Despite common preventative measures, despite early warning systems, approximately 370,000 residential fires occur in the U.S. each year. In the event of such an emergency in your home, it is important to think and act quickly, and talking with your family now about what to do during a fire can help ensure their safety if the unexpected does occur.

The number one thing to remember if a fire starts in your home (and becomes too large for a fire extinguisher) is to get out. The American Red Cross also advises to shout “Fire!” several times as you are evacuating, to alert any others in the residence. Check closed doors on your escape route to make sure they’re not warm. If a door in your path is warm to the touch, do not open it; use your secondary route, or place a wet towel under the door and call 9-1-1 if you cannot evacuate safely. If your evacuation route is filled with smoke, stay low and close doors behind you until you reach an exit. As soon as you are outside, call 9-1-1 and go to your family’s emergency meeting place.

Once your family is safely evacuated and the Missoula Fire Department has responded to the fire in your home, call SERVPRO of Missoula as soon as possible to begin the process of making the fire “Like it never even happened.”

For more on fire prevention and preparedness, including purchasing and using a fire extinguisher, check out our other Fire blogs at https://www.SERVPROmissoula.com/blog/fire-smoke-damage-restoration

For more fire safety tips, head to https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/if-a-fire-starts.html

SERVPRO of Missoula asks: are your pets in your fire safety plan?

4/15/2021 (Permalink)

A bulldog wearing a fireman’s coat and hat. Your pets are a part of your family – include them in your family’s fire safety plan!

In our ongoing effort to encourage Missoula families to create emergency preparedness plans, this week, SERVPRO of Missoula specifically challenges you to consider how your pets fit into your home’s Fire Safety Plan, and we have some tips to get you started:

  • Include your pets in family evacuation drills. This means keeping a leash or other necessary equipment close to the main exit, and including pet necessities in your emergency supply kit. Training your pets to come to you when you call can also save valuable time in an emergency.
  • Prevent your pets from starting fires by never leaving a pet unattended around an open flame, and securing pets away from fire hazards when you leave them home alone.
  • When leaving pets home alone, ensure firefighters can easily evacuate them in the event of fire by keeping them in rooms or areas close to your home’s entrance. You can also put a pet alert sticker in a front window to let rescuers know the number and types of pets in your home (be sure to update this when necessary).

Discussing emergency preparedness is an activity that the whole family can (and should) participate in together, and is definitely worthy of some home-schooling time! For more emergency planning tips, check out the blogs in our “Fire” and “Storm Damage” categories.

How SERVPRO of Missoula makes residential fire damage “Like it never even happened.”

3/4/2021 (Permalink)

Two SERVPRO technicians cleaning smoke damage off a ceiling. SERVPRO of Missoula will clean your home top to bottom to make fire damage “Like it never even happened.”

The extent of damage that occurs during a residential fire can vary greatly, but SERVPRO of Missoula brings the same restoration expertise into every individual case. Whether your home experienced a small fire which got put out quickly and caused mainly smoke damage, or a large fire that charred multiple rooms, SERVPRO of Missoula is there to help with damage mitigation and restoration every step of the way.

In our commitment to making your residential fire “Like it never even happened,” our technicians will perform a complete pack-out of all the items in your home, so that every single salvageable item can be cleaned and inventoried, and so that the entire structure can under-go air purification and deep cleaning. If any areas of your home need to be repaired due to extensive fire damage, our in-house carpenter will erase any evidence of the fire, right down to the base trim!

Though fire restoration can be a long process, our project managers will give you daily updates on job progress and answer any questions or concerns you may have along the way. And when you move all of your cleaned and inventoried belongings back into your newly smoke- and fire-damage-free home, you’ll be glad you put SERVPRO of Missoula on the job!

Nursing Home Fire in Missoula?

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

A woman is being read to by a nursing home staff person. We respond to fire damage emergencies 24 hours a day in Missoula.

Are your loved ones safe?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers many useful publications on its website to increase public awareness about fire hazards. If you have a loved one in a nursing home or are considering nursing home options, there are things you can do to increase the safety of your loved one. SERVPRO® of Missoula cares about the people in the Missoula community, and offers these considerations from the NFPA when visiting someone in a nursing home or when choosing a nursing home:

  • Is the building well maintained? Make sure that paper and other storage items do not block doors or hallways needed for escape.
  • Check to make sure there is an evacuation plan in place that involves all staff and is practiced regularly.
  • Are there safety systems in place such as alternative exits, smoke detectors, and sprinklers?
  • Check on the staff-to-patient ratio. How many staff per resident during the day and especially at night or on weekends and holidays? Is supervisory staff available to carry out an escape plan if there is a fire?
  • Are there guidelines for people who smoke, such as a separate room or staff supervision?
  • Does nursing home management take your questions regarding safety seriously and are they forthcoming with information?

Call Us!

SERVPRO® of Missoula has been responding to fire damage emergencies in Missoula for years and we are on call 24-hours a day to respond to your call.  Call us at 406-327-9500.

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Fire risks for Missoula homes

1/21/2021 (Permalink)

Fireworks in the night sky, with “2021” written in them. Ring in 2021 with these fire facts!

The holidays lead to the highest instance of residential fires each year. But just because the holidays are over, it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear as far as the risk of home fires go. Unintentional home fires can occur at any time of year, and according to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), are caused by four main activities: cooking, heating, using electrical equipment, and smoking. Knowing some of the main risk factors of home fires can help you be on alert throughout the seasons, and decrease the chances of a fire occurring in your own home.

On average, fire departments in the U.S. respond to 350,000 home structure fires each year, which result in 2,620 civilian deaths, 11,220 injuries, and $6.9 billion in property damage. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and injuries, causing more than 170,000 fires annually, but smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths. Fires caused by smoking account for 4.5x more deaths than do fires of any other category. Similarly, space heaters account for a disproportional amount of fire-related deaths (16%), considering they cause only 4% of home fires.

Other fire facts to be aware of are that the instance home fires peak nightly between 5pm and 8pm, and peak weekly on Saturdays and Sundays. Alcohol is also often a factor in the cause and result of home fires; impairment can affect how safely heating or cooking equipment is used, and can inhibit residents from getting to safety after a fire has started.

If you ask us here at SERVPRO of Missoula, keeping an eye on the safety instructions for all cooking, heating, and electrical equipment, and never cooking or smoking while excessively tired or under the influence is a New Year’s Resolution worth keeping!

Chimney Fire in Missoula?

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

A couple are sitting with their feet up next to a blazing fireplace fire on a cold winter night. We respond to fire damage emergencies 24 hours a day in Missoula.

Fireplace Safety Tips

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 54 percent of home heating fires were caused by having heating equipment too close to things that can burn, like furniture, clothing, a mattress, or bedding. SERVPRO® of Missoula responds to home fire damage emergencies in the Missoula area often during the winter months and offer these safety tips from the NFPA for preventing home fires this season:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
  • Make sure that all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Call Us!

If you have a fire damage emergency in your Missoula home, SERVPRO® of Missoula is Here to Help. ® Call us at 406-327-9500. We’ll clean and restore your fire damage, “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Trimming the Christmas tree with SERVPRO of Missoula

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

A Christmas tree ornament that looks like a house hangs on a bow amidst lights, beads, and other ornaments. Prevention is the key to a merry, bright, and fire-free holiday season.

Here at SERVPRO of Missoula, we’re committed to fire preparedness, which is why we’ve previously covered topics such as the importance of checking your smoke detectors routinely and having + knowing how to use a home fire extinguisher.

That said, prevention is really the most effective tool against home fires, especially during the holiday season. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), approximately 160 Christmas tree fires and 780 decoration fires are reported each year, with candle fires in particular reaching their peak on Christmas and Christmas Eve. Similarly, the peak days for home cooking fires are Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Christmas Eve, respectively.

With these facts in mind, there are several preventative steps you can take to decrease the risk of a holiday fire in your home:

  • Never leave a stovetop unattended when cooking
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything flammable
  • For string lights, read the manufacturer’s instructions to find the maximum number of strands to connect
  • Replace string lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections
  • Make sure your tree is at least three feet away from any heat source or vent, and that it does not block exits
  • Water your Christmas tree daily
  • Get rid of your Christmas tree as soon as it dries out
  • Turn off string lights and blow out candles before leaving your home or going to bed

By working these preventative measures into your holiday routine, you can make sure your home stays merry and bright—and fire-free—this winter.

The SERVPRO of Missoula team wishes you and yours a safe and joyous holiday season!

Electrical Fire in Missoula?

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

An extension box is shown holding many extension cords, one is damaged and burnt. We are fire restoration specialists serving Missoula.

Electrical Fire Prevention in Missoula

SERVPRO® of Missoula knows the importance of fire safety as we see the damage even a small electrical fire can do to a property in Missoula. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi) reports:

  • Home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year, nearly 500 deaths, more than 1,400 injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage.
  • Electrical distribution systems are the third leading cause of home structure fires.
  • Each year in the United States, arcing faults are responsible for starting more than 28,000 home fires, killing and injuring hundreds of people, and causing over $700 million in property damage.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), outdoor electrical safety measures can prevent electrical fires from harming your home. Outdoor lighting and other outside electrical work should be handled with care. Here are some tips from the NFPA to help prevent outdoor electrical fires:

  • Use a qualified electrician to do all electrical work
  • Make sure all outside electrical receptacles are GFCI protected
  • Store electrical tools indoors
  • Use extension cords that are listed by a qualified test laboratory and are marked for outdoor use

Call Us Today!

When you have a fire damage emergency at your home or business, SERVPRO® of Missoula has a team of fire restoration technicians on call 24-hours  a day to respond to your fire damage emergency. Call us at 406-327-9500. We’ll restore your fire damage in Missoula, “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Microwave Fire in Missoula?

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

A fire has broken out inside of a microwave oven.    A fire has broken out inside of a microwave oven. Photo Caption: We respond to all kinds of fire damage emergencies in Missoula!

Microwaves Can Start Fires

According to a report published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 93 percent of home cooking structure fires happened in the kitchen or cooking area. Microwave ovens are used frequently by families to prepare meals or heat up leftovers. In fact, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics states that as of 2014, 90 percent of American households own a microwave.

SERVPRO® of Missoula has seen firsthand the fire damage a microwave oven can cause, and we offer some safety tips from the NFPA to help you prevent painful burns and fires:

·Purchase a microwave oven that is listed by a qualified testing laboratory

·Plug the microwave directly into the wall outlet – do not use an extension cord

·Make sure the oven is placed at a safe height within easy reach of all users

·Open food slowly and away from the face to avoid hot steam or hot food burns

·Stir and test food before eating or giving to a child as microwaves cook food unevenly

·Never heat a baby bottle in the microwave as it can cause hot pockets, causing burns

·Always supervise children when they are using a microwave

·Use microwave-safe containers

·Never use aluminum or metal containers in a microwave

·If a fire starts inside the microwave, leave the door closed and unplug it from the wall, if the fire does not go out, call the fire department

Call Us Today!

Our team of highly trained fire restoration technicians are on call and ready to respond to your fire damage emergency 24-hours a day. Call us at 406-327-9500. We’ll take care of your fire damage, “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

I bought a fire extinguisher for my Missoula home -- now what?

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

An illustration of arms deploying a fire extinguisher on flames. Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep until the fire is out!

So you read our recent blog about fire extinguishers in the home, and you went out and bought one. (If you need to catch up, no worries; just scroll down the page a bit for “Should I have a home fire extinguisher?”) Now you may be thinking that you’re as prepared as you could possibly be for a home fire. However, owning a fire extinguisher won’t do you much good if you don’t know how to use it. Fires can double in size every 60 seconds, so you don’t want to wait for a fire to break out in your home to look over the directions for the first time.

Before you even reach for that fire extinguisher, make sure the fire is still in the incipient stage (the flames aren’t taller than you) and that it’s not threatening to block your evacuation route. If you’re good on both of those fronts, all it takes to effectively operate most fire extinguishers is remembering and executing the acronym P.A.S.S:

PULL the pin.

AIM the nozzle at the base of the fire.

SQUEEZE the handle to release the fire extinguishing agent.

SWEEP the nozzle from side to side until the fire appears to be out.

After executing the P.A.S.S. technique, don’t turn your back on the area of the fire as flames may still flare up. And remember to evacuate immediately and call 9-1-1 if the fire gets out of hand. Your safety is the number one goal of a fire preparedness plan!

Halloween Bonfire Fire in Missoula?

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

A Halloween party bonfire is sending up flames and sparks into the night sky. Halloween decorations catch fire easily in Missoula.

Halloween Fires Happen

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), each year, over 780 homes fires are caused by Halloween decorations catching on fire, forty-four percent of these fires are caused by decorations being too close to a heat source, and more than thirty-seven percent are started by candles.

SERVPRO® of Missoula has been responding to fire damage emergencies in the Missoula area for many years and have seen the damage even a small fire can cause. Our technicians are trained and certified fire and water damage specialists and have the experience, expertise, and advanced training and technology to safely restore your property to preloss condition. Here are some safety tips from the NFPA to help you have a safe and fun Halloween this year:

  • Replace real candles with battery-operated candles or put glow sticks inside jack-o-lanterns
  • Teach children to stay away from open flames
  • Keep all decorations away from open flames and other heat sources like light bulbs and heaters
  • Keep exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes
  • Make sure smoke alarms are working

Call Us Today

Fire damage causes some of the costliest home repairs. Not only will you have to restore the damage caused by the fire, but there will also be smoke, soot, odor, and water damage from the firefighting efforts clean and repair. Call SERVPRO® of Missoula today at 406-327-9500. We’ll restore your fire damage, “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO® of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Should I have a fire extinguisher in my Missoula home?

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

A fire extinguisher hangs on a wall. Quick use of a fire extinguisher can suppress a small fire before it spreads throughout the home.

Home fire safety should start with a working smoke detector and a fire safety plan. If you already have those in your home, though, you may consider a fire extinguisher as the next step in fire preparedness.

A fire extinguisher works to put out a small fire by removing one of the three components of the fire triangle: heat, oxygen, and fuel. The most common fire extinguisher removes oxygen from a fire by smothering it in a dry chemical foam. In a way, it’s a high-powered version of pouring baking soda on a grease fire, which makes it particularly relevant in the kitchen.

But if you’re going to invest in a fire extinguisher to help protect your home and family—which luckily isn’t a huge investment, with most home units coming in between $10 and $40—you don’t want a one-hit wonder. The National Fire Protection Association recommends a multipurpose extinguisher, which works to suppress fires from ‘ordinary combustibles,’ grease fires, and electrical fires. On the market, this translates to a fire extinguisher that is ABC rated, such as a unit with a 3A:40-B:C rating, or the slightly smaller 2A:10-B:C rating. Units with these ratings can be found at almost any home improvement store.

Once again, having a working smoke detector in each room of your home should be your first priority in home fire preparedness. Two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends checking the batteries in your smoke detector once a month, changing them at least once a year, and replacing the unit altogether once it is 10 years old. Once you’re confident with this routine, you can consider adding a fire extinguisher to your home arsenal!

Dryer Fire in Missoula?

8/24/2020 (Permalink)

A hand is shown removing the lint form a clothes dryer lint trap. Dryer fires are common in East Missoula.

Clothes Dryer Fires

In a research report published by the National Fire Protection Association, (NFPA), between 2010 and 2014, fire departments responded to about 15,970 home structure fires connected to washing machines and clothes dryers, with 92 percent of these fires being attributed to clothes dryers. The ignition source in the majority of these fires was lint. SERVPRO® of Missoula offers these dryer safety tips to Missoula residents from the NFPA:

  • Clean the dryer’s lint filter each time before use
  • Remove the accumulated lint from around the drum
  • Do not operate the dryer without a lint filter in place
  • Clean lint out of the vent pipe once a year
  • Have a qualified service person clean the interior of the dryer chassis periodically to reduce lint accumulation
  • Keep the dryer area clear of combustible items
  • Never leave the dryer running when you are not home
  • Use the lowest heat setting and drying cycle that has a cool-down period
  • Make sure your machines are properly grounded
  • If a fire occurs inside the dryer do not open the door as the outside air will flame the fire and make it worse

Call Us Today

If your home experiences fire damage, SERVPRO® of Missoula wants to help. We have a team of highly trained professionals that can be onsite within 60 minutes of your call in the Missoula area. Call us today at 406-327-9500. We’ll clean and restore your fire damage “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO® of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

What to do if a fire starts in your Missoula home

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

close-up of a smoke detector, with a family and smoke in the background If a fire starts in your home, the most important thing to remember is “Get out, Stay out!”

Sometimes fires happen. Despite common preventative measures, despite early warning systems, approximately 370,000 residential fires occur in the U.S. each year. In the event of such an emergency in your home, it is important to think and act quickly, and talking with your family now about what to do during a fire can help ensure their safety if the unexpected does occur.

The number one thing to remember if a fire starts in your home (and becomes too large for a fire extinguisher) is to get out. The American Red Cross also advises to shout “Fire!” several times as you are evacuating, to alert any others in the residence. Check closed doors on your escape route to make sure they’re not warm. If a door in your path is warm to the touch, do not open it; use your secondary route, or place a wet towel under the door and call 9-1-1 if you cannot evacuate safely. If your evacuation route is filled with smoke, stay low and close doors behind you until you reach an exit. As soon as you are outside, call 9-1-1 and go to your family’s emergency meeting place.

Once your family is safely evacuated and the Missoula Fire Department has responded to the fire in your home, call SERVPRO of Missoula as soon as possible to begin the process of making the fire “Like it never even happened.”

For more on fire prevention and preparedness, including purchasing and using a fire extinguisher, check out our other Fire blogs at https://www.SERVPROmissoula.com/blog/fire-smoke-damage-restoration

For more fire safety tips, head to https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/if-a-fire-starts.html

SERVPRO of Missoula wants Frenchtown to be free from fires

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

 daytime view of a wildfire nearing a paved road SERVPRO of Missoula recommends building defenses between urban lands and fire

Fire Season in Montana

The Missoula Fire Prevention Bureau notes that wildfires are a risk all year long, but we usually think of summer as being fire season.

Because summer weather has been lasting for a longer time, the fire season is lasting for a longer time.

We all need to be alert to the possibility of wildfires at any time.

Call SERVPRO® of Missoula for restoration after fire or smoke or soot damage

If any type of fire causes damage in a Frenchtown home or business, SERVPRO of Missoula has 24-hour emergency service. Call (406) 327-9500 to start disaster recovery.

Prevention

SERVPRO of Missoula and the Missoula Fire Department hope that no one will have to cope with the damage caused by fire, no matter whether the fire started from the outdoors, or it started from faulty wiring, unattended candles, or another indoor source.

The Missoula Fire Department offers free consultations for homeowners and businesses on how to establish fire-defensible spaces between urban areas and the wildfire-prone outdoor spaces.

The fire department also provides information about safety for families and their pets.

Nationally

Ready, Set, Go is a program that has resources for creating defensible spaces, mitigating wildfires, and preparing for emergencies.

The program has information for home-owners and for businesses.

Stay Safe, Frenchtown and Missoula

We are your neighbors. We want to keep this area free from any losses.

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Link:

https://www.SERVPROmissoula.com/fire-smoke-damage-restoration