Recent Fire Damage Posts

What Happens to My Belongings in a Pack-Out Process?

7/16/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO techs packing away contents of home SERVPRO knows that your contents are just as important as the rest of your Waterbury home. We will handle all of your property with care.

Fire damage to Waterbury homes is sometimes severe and requires off-site recovery of impacted contents and belongings through a pack-out process. 

Fire restoration for many Waterbury homes involves practical solutions to protect belongings and contents within the property. While deodorization, debris removal, and other mitigation objectives can be a pressing need once extinguishing is complete, it is the possessions in your house that can make it feel like home. We strive to limit your expenses by offering consistent and reliable content management when we first arrive.

Fire damage in Waterbury homes can often spread rapidly from the most damaged area, the ignition point, to the rest of the property. Using channels like the HVAC system, smoke, ash, and debris can impact contents and structural surfaces throughout the house. While there are options that can sometimes exist to relocate your belongings to a safe place within the worksite to prevent exposure, this is not always practical, and there are many circumstances where the damage has already begun.

What is Content Management? 

In more understandable terms, content management is the series of actions taken when technicians first arrive to reduce the devastation that migrating effects can present. An evaluation conducted on an item-by-item basis determines what individual items require and the best approach to return them to their original state. There are some situations where relocation on-site or basic cleaning techniques can be enough to protect and preserve furniture, textiles, and personal belongings, but not always. After a structure fire, some conditions can impact these individual items directly, leaving several obstacles for our responding technicians. Some of these include:

  • Soot
  • Smoke Damage
  • Odors
  • Ash

When Is Pack-Out Necessary? 

In the instances where damage to your belongings has become too severe for on-site recovery, some options exist to restore them in our SERVPRO facility. Utilizing some of the most sophisticated recovery tools in the industry, we have a team of cleaning technicians who are available to restore your most treasured items and keepsakes to their original conditions. Pack-out is often a last resort situation, as leaving your possessions in the care of our professionals can be a stressful option for many property owners.

There are specific conditions where pack-out might be impossible to avoid, however. To preserve and protect some of your belongings after a structure fire, it requires immediate attention with some of the sophisticated approaches in our warehouse to remove:

  • Surface Residues
  • Odors
  • Water Damage

How Do I Know My Items Are Safe? 

The Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS) ensures that we always have the right information about your possessions while they are in our care. While the pack-out and off-site recovery of your belongings might be inevitable after a fire, it can still be a challenge to hand control of these items over to our professionals. The CCIS approach documents everything about the items in our care from their value and placement in the house to detailed accounts of their damage.

Asset tracking and management are also services offered. At any point, we can show where one of your items is, what is actively happening with it, and grant you access to them whenever possible.

What Cleaning Do My Items Need? 

  • Ultrasonic Immersion Tank – The immersion tank uses thousands of bubbles generated by vibrations to break soot and smoke residues loose on hard materials.
  • Ozone Chamber – While ozone might be unsafe for use in homes when occupants or pets are still present, it remains one of the most efficient odor removal practices for our warehouse. We have a chamber to address an entire room's worth of contents simultaneously.
  • Wipe Cleaning – We often rely on potent chemical agents and cleaning products. Wipe cleaning is a way to address immediate surface damages and residues but does nothing to impact any conditions beneath this surface layer.
  • Drying – Water damage is one of the common compromising factors with structure fires because of extinguishing. In some cases, water damage can be more severe and threatening than soot, odors, and other fire loss effects. 
  • Safe Storage – Once restoration completes on the items in our care, we can safely store them in our climate-controlled facility. Whenever restoration completes, we can move these items back to their original positions. 

Fire losses can be stressful and overwhelming, especially when it comes to recovering the individual items and contents in your house that matter the most to you. Our SERVPRO of Waterbury team can help with nearly all aspects of restoration and recovery as soon as we arrive. Give us a call anytime at (203) 757-5050.

What Do I Need to Do to Reduce Damages After a Fire?

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke billowing out from under a door. When fire arises in your Waterbury home, we can be right there to help.

SERVPRO Fire Restoration Technicians Provide Emergency Response Services in Waterbury

After a fire, one thing is sure. There is much work to do before you regain your sense of normality. Even the smallest of fires can have extremely damaging impacts on your home. SERVPRO emergency response technicians move quickly to mitigate further damages.

Can I Stay in My Home After a Fire?

SERVPRO Technicians May Prep Your Home So You Can Remain

Depending on the extent of fire damage in your Waterbury home, SERVPRO technicians may decide to use additional precautions to ensure your home is livable. If you are remaining in your home, they deodorize first to eliminate some of the strong odors. They also clean the most used portions of your home, such as your kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms. 

What Do SERVPRO Emergency Technicians Do to Secure My House?

  • Board up windows and doors.
  • Address electrical hazards.
  • Inspect the home for structural issues for safety purposes.
  • If power is out, set up emergency lighting and access to flashlights.

What Else Should I Do Right Away if I want to Stay in My Home?

  • Put towels or old sheets over furniture to limit further damage from smoke residue.
  • Seal off the parts of the home that were not impacted by the fire.
  • Do not eat any contaminated food or use contaminated products.
  • Pull clothing out that you need right away for cleaning. 

We understand the importance of wanting to stay in your home after a fire since displacement can add additional complications to getting your life back in order. Our technicians check for structural integrity and safety hazards and begin working to keep you in your home while they restore it to pre loss condition.

For 24/7 assistance after a fire, Contact SERVPRO of Waterbury at (203) 757-5050. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster. 

To see more about Waterbury, click here.

How Do I Get a New Kitchen after this Horrible Fire?

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

burned stairway in a home SERVPRO can get your fire-damaged Waterbury home on the road to recovery--FAST.

The First Step Is to Hire SERVPRO for Mitigation and Demolition of Your Ruined Waterbury Kitchen

Grease fires are a common threat to area kitchens and can happen unexpectedly. With the severity of these situations and the focus that homeowners should have to protect themselves and their families from the immediate threats, this fire can engulf your kitchen and make restoration without reconstruction impossible. Our SERVPRO team can carefully evaluate the entire damaged area to determine which areas can get preserved and protected and which materials must get discarded and replaced to reach pre-fire conditions.

I wonder what can be saved from my burned kitchen and appliances?

Coming into post-disaster recovery knowing that fire demolition and build-back for Waterbury kitchens is already necessary, our professionals can be more willing to include many of the grey area items into the demolition already necessary in the room. At a certain point, it can often be more cost-effective and beneficial for the customers to focus on rebuilding and repairing damages rather than going through the steps necessary to attempt to clean and deodorize these affected materials, with less than the desired effects? We can help.

What is scoping a fire loss?

Scoping is one of the preliminary tasks that happens before our SERPVRO technicians begin mitigation and recovery. Our project manager can walk through the damaged areas of your house and catalog ruined items and total losses, but also note the points where restoration practices could get employed to reduce further tear-out and reconstruction needs.

Controlled Demolition or Cosmetic Cleaning?

During mitigation, controlled demolition can help our team to reduce the harsh odors and structural dangers that exist. By clearing out compromised construction materials and contents, we can leave the area ready for reconstruction to begin as soon as mitigation efforts have completed.

Build-Back to Precondition or Improve with a Great Remodel?

Our SERVPRO team has a direct partnership with competent and qualified construction specialists in Connecticut Reconstruction Services (CRS.) After our technicians have completed pre-construction steps like clearing debris and performing controlled demolition, we can hand off the job to CRS to build back your kitchen like it used to be.

After a grease fire in your kitchen, your home needs several corrective actions. From deodorization to surface cleaning and recovery, you can count on our SERVPRO of Waterbury team to help you make it “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call today at (203) 757-5050.
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We Act Fast In Waterbury After A Fire Disaster

2/13/2020 (Permalink)

A microwave in a kitchen that is covered in soot and smoke damage after a fire A kitchen fire started in a microwave oven and we used our specialty cleaning products to begin restoration right away.

When Your Waterbury Home Needs Reconstruction After a Fire

Fires can be a destructive force in your Waterbury home and allow for substantial structural damages that cannot get easily repaired and restored. In many scenarios following house fires, construction materials like drywall, flooring, ceiling tile, trim, and more can combust and begin to fall apart. Resolving to the knowledge that reconstruction is sometimes the only feasible recovery option left for highly damaged areas can get your property on this path as promptly as possible.

Our SERVPRO team can work to limit your losses by responding to both fire damage and build back for Waterbury homes quickly. We know that longer waits often mean higher losses, and that is why our technicians can mobilize right away to reach your residence often within hours of your initial contact. As with any fire loss, there is a waiting period where the responding fire department still has control of the extinguishment process and has not relinquished the property back to the owners.

Controlled demolition is a common element of fire damage recovery, as many of the construction materials in the path of the spreading fire have become irreparably damaged. Removal opens up the area for more focused cleaning, deodorization, and repairs of areas that are less severely impacted by the blaze. Debris removal and selective demolition processes can also pave the pay and prepare the home for the rebuilding phase to follow mitigation by our SERVPRO technicians.

For the reconstruction of a fire-damaged home to complete the restoration, our professionals relinquish control of the job site to the competent contractors of Connecticut Reconstruction Services. CRS contractors can follow right behind our preparation work to seamlessly transition into the final stages of recovery for the customer.

Between cleaning, debris removal, soot removal, air quality concerns, and lingering odors, there are many elements of recovery that our SERVPRO of Waterbury team must address after a structure fire. When reconstruction is necessary, we can help prepare your home for this build back to ensure that it goes as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Give us a call at (203) 757-5050.

See more about Waterbury.

Fire Recovery In Your Cheshire Home

12/29/2019 (Permalink)

fire causing damage to home Preventing the migration of fire loss effects begins with the deliberate actions of our SERVPRO of Waterbury restoration technicians.

Preventing Cross-Contamination During Fire Recovery in Cheshire

Fire loss incidents can get much worse when the effects can spread throughout your Cheshire home. Often structure fires can remain contained to a specific room or region of the house, but it is open pathways and even traffic of occupants in the house that can help to move soot, smoke, and odors to new areas of the property. Preventing this cross-contamination is a vital step for effective and cost-efficient fire damage recovery in your house.

Our professionals begin this commitment to reducing cross-contamination in your fire-damaged Cheshire home with the initial walkthrough and scoping of the damage. Our project manager gets trained to recognize damaged areas from uncontaminated flooring, so this representative of our SERVPRO team can wear shoe covers to prevent tracking soot and smoke residues back into unsoiled carpeted or hardwood areas. It's vital that we do not make recovery efforts any more challenging than they already can be after a fire.

We strive to reduce the spread of smoke and soot effects by establishing containment barriers as well. Temporary plastic sheeting walls prevent aerosolized soot particles, odors, and other contaminants from reaching unexposed areas of your household. Building this containment zone can help to eliminate the spread of these effects, but also allows for separate areas to get built-in as decontamination areas for our professionals to remove soiled over clothing and become a staging area for dirty equipment until restoration completes.

With widespread concerns, where structural compromise exists throughout the residence, we can focus on preparing the area for reconstruction and renovation. During this phase, it is also crucial for our SERVPRO technicians to avoid affecting unsoiled areas by carefully cleaning where necessary before our build back partners, Connecticut Reconstruction Services, arrive to complete the repairs and remodeling after the fire.

Preventing the migration of fire loss effects begins with the deliberate actions of our SERVPRO of Waterbury restoration technicians. With careful planning and design of the work areas, we can eliminate cross-contamination and reduce overall restoration costs for our customers. Give our professionals a call anytime at (203) 757-5050.

For more about Cheshire click here.

What is Soda Blasting and How is it Used to Restore Fire Damage in Waterbury?

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

dark granite bathroom sink with cabinet Non-porous surfaces can be cleaned using soda blasting. This method is just one of our restoration tools.

Soda Blasting for Fire Damage Restoration in Waterbury Homes  

Surfaces like countertops are vulnerable fixtures when fire loss incidents occur in Waterbury homes. With how fast conditions like soot residues can spread throughout the household, regaining control of these migrating effects is a priority of the fire loss team we dispatch to your home. Health effects can result from unchecked and unchallenged soot particles and other contaminants, making it a vital need to move quickly on the worsening conditions.  

While our SERVPRO professionals have access to potent and effective cleaning agents, deodorizers, and other recovery solutions, soda and media blasting options are still among the most effective strategies for clearing soot fire damage in Waterbury homes on specific surfaces. Understanding the entire scope of work that must get accomplished to fully restore a damaged residence begins with a thorough inspection in which residues get identified, and the migration limits of current effects can get identified.  

Media blasting is an abrasive cleaning approach, and though it is safe for some fire damaged surfaces, it is not ideal for all affected areas of your property. Countertops, masonry, and harder surfaces can respond well to soda and media blasting approaches, but other softer surfaces can mar in this process. Working quickly to get this process started can help to protect installed materials from staining and erosion from the acidity of soot.  

We implement soda blasting when we are looking to protect the underlying substrate best while entirely removing any surface threats that exist. This approach is also ideal for mold remediation for this same reason. Countertops like granite and marble can withstand abrasive cleaning while newly settled soot particles cannot. The removal of soot residues can help to make the environment safer for our technicians and help to reduce overall restoration costs for our customers.  

While soda blasting does not always have an application in the recovery of a home after a fire, our understanding of the best approaches to restore areas of your house can save you money and time. Give our SERVPRO of Waterbury restorers a call anytime you need us at (203) 757-5050. 

 Read more about Waterbury.

SERVPRO Offers Advice to Prevent and Restoration After Fire Damaging Events in the Danbury Area

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Bird Nest Blocking Dryer Vent on Exterior of a House, hand removing it Birds Causing Fire Damage in Danbury? SERVPRO Says to Keep Dry Vents Clear of Nests and Debris or Call Us for Cleanup and Restoration

Dryer Vent + Bird Nest = Fire Damage in Danbury

Did you know dryer fires accounted for an average of $222 million in property fire damage claims every year according to a statement released by Consumer Reports? The worst part of this type of fire loss is that regular maintenance of the vents, exhaust hose, and lint trap reduces the chances of this type of fire.

When handling the cleanup of fire damage in Danbury homes from a dryer fire, SERVPRO technicians also work to find the cause. In some cases, the culprit is a bird that used a dryer vent as a place to build a nest. This happens because the lack of airflow causes overheating, and the highly flammable lint in the hose and vent port ignite easily.
 
Degraded Performance is a Signal
Aside from the danger of fire, with the vent blocked, many problems using the dryer arise and there are the early warning signs there is an issue with the airflow that include: clothes take progressively longer to dry, clothes seem hotter than usual upon removal, and when it takes more than one cycle to dry a load of laundry, it increases the electricity cost not to mention the danger of fire.
 
Fire Damage Clean Up
SERVPRO technicians use their professional-grade solutions to clean up the smoke residue off walls and surfaces. Removal of charred items around the dryer and the appliance itself happen so they can apply odor control methods as needed in preparation for the installation of a new dryer.
 
Diagnose the Issue and Repair the Vent
The SERVPRO technicians perform the removal of any blockages in the vent such as a bird nest and suggest effective solutions like the installation of grates over the flaps to ensure birds, insects, and other pests cannot block the outflow of air when the dryer is in use. Cleaning the lint trap after use is not enough; regular inspection of the exhaust hose and vents is a good idea and helps prevent dryer fires in the future. We have advanced vacuuming equipment to suction out debris from the dryer venting system. Our powered whisks and brushes can ream out and clear these conduits venting hot air to the exterior to help prevent potential combustion.
 
When fire damage happens due to a dryer, contact SERVPRO of Waterbury at (203) 757-5050. The certified technicians arrive quickly and make the fire loss "Like it never even happened."

Here is your local Danbury Fire Department

The SERVPRO Short Answer to Waterbury DIY'ers for Fire Loss Cleanup Is--DON'T--Call Us!

7/21/2019 (Permalink)

Get SERVPRO for Matchless Fire Damage Cleanup and Restoration in Waterbury

Should You Clean Fire Damage in Waterbury Homes on Your Own?

Fire losses can be one of the most destructive forces to Waterbury homes, especially when property owners are unclear of the best approach to navigate returning the house to preloss condition. As rife with detrimental effects as a structure is, even after a smaller loss incident, time is of the essence to get the situation resolved. As tempting as it might be to pursue cleaning and recovery efforts on your own, many owners must question their ability to handle the workload and pressing timeline to restore their home entirely.

Restoring fire damage to Waterbury homes begins with first appreciating how widespread and severe these damages have become since the fire got extinguished. With situations like soot and smoke effects, these conditions can worsen continually until the appropriate preventative actions and cleanup occur. To avoid choosing our certified SERVPRO team is your decision, but we want to make sure that you are making the safest and best choice for your property by addressing specific effects in the right order, with the ideal equipment, and with effective cleaning products.

Because every fire loss scenario is different, our SERVPRO team must follow a loose outline to guide mitigation and recovery efforts from the time our technicians first arrive at an address. If the firefighters used a significant amount of water for putting out the blaze, just call us in immediately for extraction, drying, and restoration. As a self-driven, DIY restorer, you should consider the mid and long-term negative impacts from a less than full restoration.

-    Inspect the property and assess the damage as best (and as safely) as possible.
-    Identify a need for temporary construction solutions like board-up and roof tarping.
-    Determine the presence of more pressing concerns like water and mold damages that must get addressed first.
-    Cleaning all surfaces of smoke residues and soot.
-    General cleaning, debris removal, deodorization, and air filtering.
-    Restoration work that remains.

This breakdown can give you a loose idea of the steps even our talented SERVPRO of Waterbury fire restoration specialists take in a damaged home or business. If you need assistance or want to leave recovery to our technicians, you can call us anytime at (203) 757-5050 to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Waterbury CT

Fire Prevention '16

10/27/2016 (Permalink)

Flames

You never hear: “I figured our house would be catching fire one of these days.  I’m sure glad we’re prepared.”

When it comes to the unthinkable, we tend to ignore the prospect or do a periodic, check-the-box review.  This is an area where investing a little mental energy on the front end can save you, literally.

Here are a few tips from Team Randolph to get you started:

  • More than six in 10 house fires between 2007 and 2011 were caused by power or wiring issues. Outdated power strip/surges are the major culprit.   Old power strips are not rated to safely support the power load of the techno modern household… this means flat screens, dvd players and gaming consoles.   The demand for power, particularly in older houses with fewer outlets encourages daisy chaining power which is a huge hazard.  The solution is to look at your outlets and see how you are drawing power.  If you can’t remember when you bought your power strips or extension chords but you remember when you bought the devices they power, replace the power strips.
  • 6,800 fires started around washers and dryers in 2010. The most common cause is lint traps. Clean them and teach your kids or anyone else who might use the dryer, to keep them clean.  You should also watch for gas or propane leaks around the dryers.
  • Two-thirds of kitchen fires tend to start from food or other peripheral material catching fire on the range. Watch loose clothing and never leave an open flame on an uncovered pan.  Fire investigators are wary of seeming carelessness around kitchen fires because they are so preventable with a modicum of diligence.  Kitchen fire hint: In the event of an oven fire, turn off the oven and leave it closed.  The fire should extinguish itself.

It takes two minutes for a house fire to become fully engulfed.  Talk to your kids about fires. Discuss their escape options, practice.   Consider yours as well.

Keep Summer Safe

7/14/2016 (Permalink)

Soil Embers

Public Service Announcement – Keep Summer Safe

A: Three

Q:  How many fires has Team Randolph mitigated in the last year that started in potted plants?

Potting soil is comprised of peat, bark, perlite and coconut coir.  This highly flammable mix can turn a lazy afternoon on a deck to tragedy with the tamping of a single cigarette butt.  If you doubt it go to the Wizard of Oz (or Google) and type in “fire potting soil”.  The picture is not pretty.  

Dry potting soil requires only a tiny catalyst to begin smoldering and this is significantly underappreciated hazard. What’s worse the embers can expand unseen and burn out the bottom of a plastic hanging planter box. 

Avoid tragedy by using ashtrays, keep  your plants watered, use clay pots, keep  combustible material away from plants, and dispose of potting soil carefully.

Latex Foam reopens two weeks after fires

7/16/2014 (Permalink)

Firefighters are on scene in the aftermath of an early morning fire at the Latex International factory Thursday, June 26, 2014

SHELTON -- The prospect of Latex Foam reopening two weeks after two significant fires was doubtful.

But that's what happened Monday, as many of the company's 150 employees returned to work.

"It was a tremendous undertaking by everyone," said Allen Randolph, owner of SERVPRO of New Haven, Waterbury, the Naugatuck Valley and northern Westchester County which managed the cleanup. "Half of our staff lives in the Valley. We consider the Valley our home turf, so we're proud to have helped save these jobs."

Mayor Mark Lauretti said he drove by the company Monday morning and noticed the parking lot was full.

"This is good news for those who are employed there," the mayor said. "People need to work. They need the paycheck to pay their bills and feed their families."

Attempts to reach officials at Latex Foam by telephone were unsuccessful Monday. The general voicemail box was full and not accepting new calls.

Randolph credited David Fisher, Latex's chief executive officer, and the company's insurance team with providing the necessary resources to get the business back in operation.

Fisher "told us early on that it was his expectation to reopen July 14 and it was our job to do it," Randolph said. "There was never any discussion of failure to meet that goal."

There may not have been any discussion, but there were obstacles, like the second fire which struck just four days after the devastating first one that had required firefighters to pump more than 150,000 gallons of water on the blaze.

It seems black clouds have loomed over Latex Foam, which arose from the ashes of an arson that destroyed its predecessor -- Sponge Rubber Products -- on March 1, 1975. There was also the catastrophic 2001 weeklong fire that consumed the company's Ansonia headquarters, sending the company to its present River Road site. And two company executives are serving federal prison terms for embezzling $3.5 million. And there is the current bankruptcy petition to reorganize $29 million in debts.

The June 26 and 30 fires could have been the final straw.

"We were about 90 percent finished drying the basement when the second fire struck on June 30 at 11 a.m.," Randolph said. "That was a smaller fire and a lot less water was used."

But Randolph's crews, which worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week and at times numbered 170 people, attacked the clean-up in three stages. SERVPRO brought in extra employees from their Rhode Island, New York and Tennessee companies and members of ERS Services in Indiana to clean inside the machinery.

The first cleanup, which began June 26 and ended July 2, involved drying and cleaning the offices. The second, which ended Sunday, involved drying, cleaning and disinfecting rollers, conveyors, presses, machinery, pipes, rollers and conveyors through which the product moves.

The third stage, which is still progressing, involves cleaning non-critical working areas.

During the cleanup, Randolph said, SERVPRO brought in 200 air movers, 17 scissor lifts, a gigantic trailer-based desiccant dryer which removes condensation from compressed air and "a lot of guys with mops and wet-vacs."

mmayko@ctpost.com, 203-330-6286