Recent Fire Damage Posts

Seasonal Heating Hazards

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Seasonal Heating Hazards Home fire

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI is expert at cleaning and restoring homes damaged by fire and smoke.

After smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting and floors will often need a thorough cleaning.  Your SERVPRO professional will pretest to determine the extent of damage, and then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different surfaces found in your home.

Seasonal heating hazards are important to consider to prevent home fires.

Space heaters should always be at least 3 feet away from combustible items.

Lighted Candles should never be left untended.

Fire places and chimneys should always be cleaned seasonaly.  Check to make sure the flue is open before lighting the fire.

If you experience a home fire of any size, call your insurance company and then call SERVPRO of Berrien County at 269-925-6841 to inspect damage.

October is Fire Prevention Month

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage October is Fire Prevention Month Smoke alarms distributed to Fire Depts for Berrien County residents.

A National Fire Protection Association report shows an average of 7 people lose their lives as a result of house fires every single day.  SERVPRO of Berrien County is helping prevent future tragedies. In recognition of National Fire Prevention Month, SERVPRO is donating new smoke detectors on a first come basis at area Fire Departments.   

Don’t add to sobering statistics.  Be sure your home has a working smoke detector courtesy of SERVPRO, and brought to you in part by Mid-West Family Broadcasting.

Smoke Detectors available at fire stations and police agencies listed below:

Baroda
Benton Harbor
Benton Township
Berrien Springs/Oronoko Township
Bertrand Township
Bridgman
Buchanan City
Buchanan Township
Coloma
Eau Claire

Galien Township
Lake Township
New Buffalo City
New Buffalo Township
Niles City
Niles Township
North Berrien Fire
Royalton Township
St. Joseph Charter Township
St. Joseph City
Sodus Township
Sister Lakes
Three Oaks
Watervliet
Weesaw Township

For more information, call SERVPRO at 269-925-6841.

Other Fire Prevention resources:
- Fire Prevention for Kids:

http://www.sparky.org/
- Families: http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/fire-prevention-week/for-kids-and-families

 Alarms available in October 2018

Fire damage to your Michigan home.

4/13/2018 (Permalink)

St. Joseph, Benton Harbor, Niles, New Buffalo, Stevensville, Bridgman, Buchanan, Eau Claire, Watervliet, Coloma

More home fires start in the kitchen than anywhere else. In 2011, cooking was involved in an estimated 156,300 home fires that caused:

  • 470 deaths
  • 5,390 injuries
  • $1 billion in property damage

These Numbers could be greatly reduced if people paid more attention when they cooked and practiced simple fire safety behaviors.

Unattended Cooking

is the leading cause of kitchen fires

  • Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling of broiling food
  • Check food regularly – use a timer to remind you the stove/oven is On
  • If you must leave – turn the oven Off

Stay Alert

to avoid stirring up trouble

  • Don’t use the oven or stovetop if you are sleepy, have consumed alcohol or are using drugs.

Hot Tips

  • Keep pot handles turned in
  • When you microwave food, open the container slowly to let steam escape and let food cool before eating
  • Cool a burn under water for 3 to 5 minutes and cover it with a clean dry cloth
  • If the burn is bigger than your fist, seek immediate medical assistance

Flammable Objects

Keep away from the stove

  • Keep anything that can burn a safe distance away from the stove
  • Clean up food and grease from burners and the stovetop
  • Wear short, tight-fighting, or lightly-rolled sleeves. If clothes catch fire, stop, drop and roll over and over or back and forth to put the fire out. Get medical help.

Be Ready

to react fast to a cooking fire

  • When in doubt – just get out!
  • If you try to fight fire with a fire extinguisher, be sure:
    1. Other people are leaving the home
    2. Someone is calling the fire department
    3. You have a clear exit path
  • If a small fire starts:
    1. Slide a lid over the pan
    2. Turn Off the burner
    3. Leave a the pan covered until it is completely cool
  • For an oven or microwave fire, turn off the unit and keep the door closed.  

If you do have a problem in the kitchen or any other room in the house give SERVPRO of Berrien County a call.  We will clean up all Fire, Smoke and water damage. 

Community Service with Fire Dept

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Community Service with Fire Dept St. Joseph Fire Dept has free smoke alarms.

SERVPRO gives back to the community.

For the past 10 years SERVPRO of Berrien County has provided free smoke alarms to fire departments for distribution to residents.  The fire dept will even install them for residents.  

Why do we do this?  Because we believe in fire prevention.  We clean up after fires but also help before the fire.  Smoke alarms are probably the most important safety item a home can have.  They save lives by helping residents escape before its too late.  

Each October SERVPRO distributes 1,000 smoke alarms to Berrien County Fire Departments.  This quantity usually lasts all year.  This is a community service SERVPRO provides.  Check with your local Berrien County, MI fire dept for smoke alarms.  They are always willing to help keep you safe.

Eliminating Heating Hazards This Winter

8/30/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Eliminating Heating Hazards This Winter St. Joseph, Michigan home fire safely extinguished by local fire fighters. #supportfirefighters

SERVPRO of Berrien County 

269-925-6841

Fire Safety

The winter season is in full swing! The days are shorter and temperatures are lower. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is responsible for an estimated $893 million in property damage annually. Heating is the second leading cause of residential fire deaths, making it important to review ways to help reduce the risk of a heating-related fire. 

-Keep anything flammable 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. 

-Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. 

-Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters. 

-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. 

-Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. 

-Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions. 

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

8/30/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half. 

The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be install in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detectors requirements are met. 

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or client to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation. 

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance. 

-Install smoke alarms on every level of the home including the basement. 

- Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance. 

-Test smoke alarms at least once a month using a test button. 

-Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm "chirps" the battery is low and should be replaced right away. 

-Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

Pets and Fire Damage

8/10/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Pets and Fire Damage Pets

Data Says Pets Start Nearly 1,000 Fires Each Year!

SERVPRO Of Berrien County wants all of you pet owners to know these important facts.  An estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by home fires, however, nearly 1,000 house fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners’ pets, according to a new data analysis by the National Fire Protection Association.

The American Kennel Club® (AKC®) and ADT Security Services have joined forces once again for the third annual National Pet Fire Safety Day (July 15) to spread awareness about how pets can start home fires but more importantly how to prevent them.

"Not many pet owners realize that their pet can actually be the cause of a devastating fire," said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson.  "Simple preventative measures, such as flameless candles and stove knob covers, can mean the difference between life and death for your four-legged friends."

Chris and Kay Wardlow of Oklahoma know that all too well.  Their curious dog Lucy was home alone and spied a cake on the stove top. As Lucy tried to get a taste, her paw accidentally hit the stove knob and turned on the gas burner that was under the cake pan. Within minutes, the house was filled with smoke, triggering the Wardlow’s ADT monitored smoke detector. Firefighters were called to the scene, the house was saved and Lucy was rescued.

"Planning for unexpected emergencies like home fires and taking these precautions are an integral part of responsible pet ownership," Peterson said.


AKC® and ADT offer the following tips to educate pet owners on how to prevent your beloved pet from starting a fire, as well as how to keep your pets safe.

PREVENT YOUR PET FROM STARTING FIRES

  • Extinguish open flames - Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove stove knobs - Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in flameless candles – These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Beware of water bowls on wooden decks – Do not leave a glass water bowl for your pet outside on a wooden deck.  The sun’s rays when filtered through the glass and water can actually heat up and ignite the wooden deck beneath it. Choose stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead.     

Keep your pets safe

  • Keep Pets Near Entrances When Away From Home – Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet.  When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them. 
  • Secure Young Pets - Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
  • Since Pets Left Alone Can’t Escape a Burning Home – Consider using monitored smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center so emergency responders can be contacted when you’re not home. These systems provide an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms.
  • Affix a Pet Alert Window Cling – Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. Thiscritical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets.  Make sure to update the number of pets listed.

Tips to prevent a kitchen fire in your Michigan home.

8/10/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Tips to prevent a kitchen fire in your Michigan home. Kitchen Fire

St. Joseph, Benton Harbor, Niles, New Buffalo, Stevensville, Bridgman, Buchanan, Eau Claire, Watervliet, Coloma

More home fires start in the kitchen than anywhere else. In 2011, cooking was involved in an estimated 156,300 home fires that caused:

  • 470 deaths
  • 5,390 injuries
  • $1 billion in property damage

These Numbers could be greatly reduced if people paid more attention when they cooked and practiced simple fire safety behaviors.

Unattended Cooking

is the leading cause of kitchen fires

  • Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling of broiling food
  • Check food regularly – use a timer to remind you the stove/oven is On
  • If you must leave – turn the oven Off

Stay Alert

to avoid stirring up trouble

  • Don’t use the oven or stovetop if you are sleepy, have consumed alcohol or are using drugs.

Hot Tips

  • Keep pot handles turned in
  • When you microwave food, open the container slowly to let steam escape and let food cool before eating
  • Cool a burn under water for 3 to 5 minutes and cover it with a clean dry cloth
  • If the burn is bigger than your fist, seek immediate medical assistance

Flammable Objects

Keep away from the stove

  • Keep anything that can burn a safe distance away from the stove
  • Clean up food and grease from burners and the stovetop
  • Wear short, tight-fighting, or lightly-rolled sleeves. If clothes catch fire, stop, drop and roll over and over or back and forth to put the fire out. Get medical help.

Be Ready

to react fast to a cooking fire

  • When in doubt – just get out!
  • If you try to fight fire with a fire extinguisher, be sure:
    1. Other people are leaving the home
    2. Someone is calling the fire department
    3. You have a clear exit path
  • If a small fire starts:
    1. Slide a lid over the pan
    2. Turn Off the burner
    3. Leave a the pan covered until it is completely cool
  • For an oven or microwave fire, turn off the unit and keep the door closed.  

If you do have a problem in the kitchen or any other room in the house give SERVPRO of Berrien County a call.  We will clean up all Fire, Smoke and water damage. 

Eliminate Heating Hazards This Winter!

2/11/2016 (Permalink)

The winter season is in full swing! The days are shorter and temperatures are lower. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is responsible for an estimated $893 million in property damage annually. Heating is the second leading cause of residential fire deaths, making it important to review ways to help reduce the risk of a heating-related fire. 

-Keep anything flammable 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. 

-Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. 

-Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters. 

-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. 

-Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. 

-Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions. 

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

2/11/2016 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half. 

The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be install in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detectors requirements are met. 

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or client to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation. 

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance. 

-Install smoke alarms on every level of the home including the basement. 

- Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance. 

-Test smoke alarms at least once a month using a test button. 

-Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm "chirps" the battery is low and should be replaced right away. 

-Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.