Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire Season Safety Tips

8/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Season Safety Tips Always be prepared around fire.

Fire season is here in the Northwest. Preventing a fire accident is far easier than investing in fire and water restoration in the aftermath of such an accident. We've put together a few tips to make your summer activities not only fun and memorable, but also safe.

1. Always have water or a fire extinguisher on hand. When you are having a campfire, or backyard fire pit, it’s always a good idea to keep a bucket of water or hose nearby. Sometimes sparks and flammable materials can fly out of the fire. Having water nearby means you will be able to respond quickly to keep the fire under control.

2. Fireworks should only be used under adult supervision. Everyone loves sparklers and pinweels, but the reality is, they can be very dangerous in the wrong hands. Keep a close eye on children when fireworks are involved. It only takes a split second for a fun fourth of July to turn into a life altering disaster. Additionally, never try to relight faulty fireworks or sparklers. All fireworks and sparklers should be disposed of in a bucket of water.

3. Maintain your gas or charcoal grill. Over time, grease and other flammable materials can build up on your grill. To help prevent a possible grease fire, always maintain your grills and keep them clean.

4. Survey your surroundings prior to lighting a fire or grill. Make sure there is nothing flammable directly adjacent to the fire. This includes deck railings, branches, dry grass or wood. You should also NEVER start a grill indoors or directly under your home’s eaves or soffits. Additionally, when starting a camp fire, take care to clear the area around where you will be starting the fire and make certain there are no dry materials that could catch fire from a nearby spark. Check your local municipalities to ensure that a campfire ban in not in effect in your area.  

5. Always completely extinguish a fire or grill. When you are finished with your fire or using your grill, always make certain that it is completely out. Grills and fires can quickly become a serious disaster when left unsupervised.

Fires, grilling and fireworks are all a part a fun summertime experience, but remember to be smart and safe so that everyone can have an enjoyable experience. SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls wishes everyone a safe and happy summer having fun and making memories. If you follow these tips, you may never need to call us for fire restoration, but do remember, we are always here when you need us. 406-458-6008

Christmas Holiday Safety

12/13/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Christmas Holiday Safety Christmas Trees can start a huge fire that can completely damage your Helena or Great Falls home. Follow our safety instructions.

The Christmas season is in full swing. During this time each year, the traditional Christmas tree fills the family room surrounded by presents. BE CAREFUL - Christmas tree fires are infrequent, but they can happen. Listed below are a few good measures that will help ensure your home’s safety:
• Make sure you pick a healthy tree; trees with brown needles indicate dryness.
• Make sure your tree is placed in a sturdy stand to prevent it from falling over.
• Make sure your stand has an adequate basin for water.
• Make sure to check and water your tree daily.
• Check your lights to make sure they are fire resistant and supported by a national testing organization.
• Keep your trees a safe distance from any heat source.
• Make sure that the lights and any extension cords used are in good working condition; look for and replace damaged wires.
• Check all the bulbs to make sure they are working properly.
• Make sure you have adequate smoke alarms in the area and they are working properly.
The SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls team wants to ensure that everyone has a safe and joyous season. In the unlikely event that a fire were to occur, know that the SERVPRO team in Helena and Great Falls is ready to assist 24/7 by calling 406-458-6008.

Helena and Great Falls residents protect yourself from Wildfire Smoke.

8/30/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Helena and Great Falls residents protect yourself from Wildfire Smoke. Currently Montana has 600,000 Acres burning. Please stay safe and stay indoors. If restoration is needed call SERVPRO.

Dry conditions in Montana have increased the potential for wildfires in or near wilderness areas. Stay alert for wildfire warnings and take action to protect yourself and your family from wildfire smoke.

When wildfires burn in your area, they produce smoke that may reach your community. Wildfire smoke is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burning trees and other plant materials. This smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system, and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases.

Who is at greatest risk from wildfire smoke?

  • People who have heart or lung diseases, like heart disease, chest pain, lung disease, or asthma, are at higher risk from wildfire smoke.
  • Older adults are more likely to be affected by smoke. This may be due to their increased risk of heart and lung diseases.
  • Children are more likely to be affected by health threats from smoke. Children’s airways are still developing and they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults. Also, children often spend more time outdoors engaged in activity and play.

Stay alert for wildfire warnings.

Take precautions to decrease risk from wildfire smoke.

If you have question call 406-458-6008.

Take steps to decrease your risk from wildfire smoke.

  • Check local air quality reports. Listen and watch for news or health warnings about smoke in Lewis& Clark and Cascade counties. Find out if your community provides reports about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index (AQI) or check the report on AirNow.gov. In addition, pay attention to public health messages about safety measures.
  • Consult local visibility guides. Some communities have monitors that measure the amount of particles in the air. In the western United States, some states and communities have guidelines to help people determine if there are high levels of particulates in the air by how far they can see.
  • Keep indoor air as clean as possible if you are advised to stay indoors. Keep windows and doors closed. Run an air conditioner, but keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. If you do not have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed, seek shelter in a designated evacuation center or away from the affected area.
  • Avoid activities that increase indoor pollution. Burning candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves can increase indoor pollution. Vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home, contributing to indoor pollution. Smoking also puts even more pollution into the air.
  • Prevent wildfires from starting. Prepare, build, maintain and extinguish campfires safely. Follow local regulations if you burn trash or debris. Check with your local fire department to be sure the weather is safe enough for burning.
  • Follow the advice of your doctor or other healthcare provider about medicines and about your respiratory management plan if you have asthma or another lung disease. Consider evacuating if you are having trouble breathing. Call your doctor for  advice if your symptoms worsen.
  • Do not rely on dust masks for protection. Paper “comfort” or “dust” masks commonly found at hardware stores are designed to trap large particles, such as sawdust. These masks will not protect your lungs from the small particles found in wildfire smoke.
  • Evacuate from the path of wildfires. Listen to the news to learn about current evacuation orders. Follow the instructions of local officials about when and where to evacuate. Take only essential items with you. Follow designated evacuation routes–others may be blocked–and plan for heavy traffic.
  • Keep it safe Montana.

Teaching children what to do in a fire.

7/7/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Teaching children what to do in a fire. Planned evacuation for a house fire.

In 2014, there were an estimated 367,500 reported home structure fires and 2,745 associated civilian deaths. In the United States Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds. A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound. Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Also, mark the location of each smoke alarm. Make sure to have a meeting location outside the home.

Fire Damage: How do we do it?

7/7/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage: How do we do it? Fire with a lot of belongings. Most of the contents were restored.

Do you ever wonder how SERVPRO keeps up with every customer’s job progress? SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls has a pretty tried and true method to keep everyone up to date on the progress of every job. When a customer first calls in a loss, we at SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls enter all of the pertinent information into a form called the FNOL or “First Notice of Loss.” This form is sent to everyone involved including our First Responders, Office staff so they can communicate with your insurance company, managers and ownership so they know the status of every job in progress. Every note, assessment, detail associated with that job from that point forward is attached to that initial FNOL so that it is at our fingertips if you ever have any questions or concerns.

Helena and Great Falls Smoke and Soot Cleanup

4/28/2016 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls 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 – (406) 458-6008