Recent Fire Damage Posts

Every Fire Is Constrained by These 4 Things

1/27/2022 (Permalink)

stock fire  photo Stock Fire Photo

Fire seems like a wild, almost uncontrollable force—we use words like raging to describe it because it seems so wild. And while fires are certainly difficult to manage, the truth is that every fire has its limits, and every fire’s limits are the same. How can this be true?

Enter the fire tetrahedron. Its shape may seem a little random, but it only matters in that it represents the four equal things of which every fire consists.

Each side is a vital part every fire must have—and without any one side, a fire falls apart.

The 4 Things a Fire Needs to Live

Fuel. Every fire requires that there be something consumable upon which it can act. In other words, a fire has to happen to something.

Heat. Whatever object or material a fire happens upon must first be heated to a high-enough degree that it combusts. Some objects’ flash points are lower than others, thus they combust more readily.

Oxygen. The combustion reaction requires oxygen, and the oxidation process (of converting said oxygen to carbon dioxide) has to happen not only once, but…well let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Chemical Chain Reaction. All of the above conditions must not only be met, but maintained—in a chain reaction that must continue in order for a fire to survive.

The 4 Ways to Stop a Fire

Cool it. If a fuel source can be cooled by, say, pouring water on it, the fire can’t continue. The reestablishment of a thermal balance keeps the rate at which the fuel source rises in heat unable to compete with the rate at which it cools.

Smother it. Shielding a fire from the oxygen it needs keeps it from fueling the combustion and oxidation processes—so keep that fire blanket handy at home.

Starve it. When all a fire can readily eat has been devoured, it can’t continue. It stands to reason, then, that removing a fuel source is one way to mitigate a fire’s destructive potential.

Interrupt the chain reaction. As we said earlier, every fire has to have all these elements together, in a continual dance, in order to keep moving. As it turns out, there are certain compounds which, when introduced into a fire’s atmosphere, actually disturb the chemical chain reaction itself, causing the fire to hiccup and eventually halt.

If the fire tetrahedron makes a wreck of your home or business, we’re ready around the clock to help you recover. Contact SERVPRO anytime for fast, thorough cleanup and recovery after a fire.

Beware of Dangerous "Red Flag" Weather This Weekend

8/27/2021 (Permalink)

A stock photo of a glowing wildfire at night In the event that your home suffers from fire or smoke damage, call SERVPRO of Central Honolulu 24/7 at  (808)235-5015

The trade winds are picking up and will continue with gusto through the weekend. Considering the high temperatures, low humidity and existing dry conditions, the leeward sides of all islands are under a Red Flag warning. You can read more about this weekends conditions here

Red Flag warnings are issued when the conditions are ideal for dry brush to catch and blow in the wind, which can cause the fire to grow larger. 

SERVPRO of Central Honolulu has a few reminders on fire safety to keep your family safe. 

  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms 
  • Make sure your smoke alarm has a backup battery 
  • Use surge protectors 
  • Consider unplugging unused appliances 
  • Disconnect motor vehicle batteries in flood-prone areas
  • Review your home fire escape plan 
  • Teach children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one 

Is Your Honolulu Business At Risk of Fire?

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

A photo of a warehouse with flames in front of boxes SERVPRO of Central Honolulu is your trusted source for quality repair services

Fire damage in your Honolulu business is a serious concern. The damages can halt business for weeks on end. Unfortunately, no business is immune to the risk of a fire. Certain facilities may be more likely to endure damage from a fire, such as a restaurant that uses open flames. However, fire hazards are present in most workplaces regardless of the work activity throughout the day. When you know what these hazards are, you can take proper steps to address and mitigate those risks and prevent possible fire damage and smoke damage.

Electrical Concerns

When damaged electrical wiring can spark and quickly ignite a fire. Electrical wiring damage may include frayed cords, such as those connecting desktop computers to the wall power outlets. It may also include damage to internal wiring inside the walls, and these may be damaged by rodents, pests and other forces. Electrical fires may also start when power sockets are overloaded or when equipment gets too hot. It is important to periodically review your company's wiring to identify areas of concern that need to be addressed.

Flammable or Combustible Materials

Flammable and combustible materials are most commonly associated with industrial and warehouse environments, yet even restaurants, hotels, dry cleaners and many other types of businesses may store combustible materials on-site. These materials should remain properly sealed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations at all times.

Poor Equipment Maintenance

Other hazards in Honolulu workplaces are related to poor equipment maintenance. For example, failing to replace rusted items, or clean out storage rooms regularly may result in the accumulation of dust and other flammable debris. A gas leak in your business could result in a fire or an explosion. Fire hazards related to poor maintenance may also include dusty, dirty or greasy components, such as air ducts and vents, kitchen exhaust vents and many other features that are used throughout your facility. Scheduling necessary maintenance can decrease fire risk in these areas.

This is just a short list of the possible fire hazards that could result in serious damage in your business. If your Honolulu business has already experienced fire damage, it is essential that repair work is completed as soon as possible. SERVPRO of Central Honolulu is your trusted source for quality repair services. To request assistance with your damaged building, contact us today. You can reach us at (808)-235-5015.

4 Things To Know About Home Fire Sprinklers

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

A close up photo of a sprinkler installed in a home Learn more about fire safety now to prevent a disaster later.

The lion’s share of fire deaths occurs in the home. Fire sprinklers are an effective tool which can save lives and diminish property damage. Many times, a fire sprinkler will extinguish the fire prior to the arrival of the fire department. Check out four facts about home sprinkler systems:

  1. A home fire sprinkler system can cause homeowner’s insurance premiums to be lower.
    • The investment in a fire sprinkler system for your home pays off in great ways. Not only you will be able to have more peace of mind knowing you are adding a layer of protection to your home and belongings, your homeowner’s insurance premium may be lower as well.
  2. Fire sprinklers are environmentally friendly.
    • A fire sprinkler uses roughly 10 times less water than the fire department would to contain the same fire. Fire sprinklers are environmentally friendly, because they reduce the amount of run-off water and pollution that fire damages cause.
  3. Only high temperature smoke will activate a fire sprinkler.
    • Rest easy! Your cigar or burnt toast will not activate the sprinkler system.
  4. Maintenance of a home fire sprinkler system is very easy!
    • Inspect your home to ensure there are no objects that would prevent the water from successfully spilling out. Do not paint the fire sprinkler or hang anything from it.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration: “Home fire sprinkler systems help to reduce the risk of civilian and firefighter fatalities and injuries, homeowner insurance premiums, and uninsured property losses. Yet—many homes aren’t equipped with automatic sprinkler systems often seen in hotels and businesses. Help members of your community understand the effectiveness and value of having a fire sprinkler system in their homes.” Click here to learn more from the USFA.

If disaster strikes, SERVPRO of Central Honolulu provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Oahu. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Size Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment

What to Expect After A House Fire

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

An image of a cord plugged into a wall that is on fire House fires can start from very small appliances. Be careful to unplug after use.

After your home suffers fire damage, all of your belongings also suffer and will require specialized cleaning. Fire damage requires restoration from smoke, soot and water. Each fire is unique and brings its own set of challenges to the cleaning job. SERVPRO of Central Honolulu has the right tools and the team ready to help you. 

 Once you call our team we will send out a technician to evaluate your property and restoration needs. Since fires often cause damage to roofs and windows, we will place boards and tarps as needed to prevent theft and weather damage. Next thing to do is remove water; SERVPRO technicians will install various drying equipment to prevent mold and mildew growth. After your home is dry again we will start cleaning the soot from all surfaces and belongings. Finally, after all smoke and soot is removed it's time to begin restoration. During restoration, all repairs will be finished; replacing drywall, repainting, and repairing anything else.  Should you ever need help after a house fire, trust SERVPRO of Central Honolulu to get the job done! Click here to read more about our fire clean-up process. 

Heavy Rains Don't Have to Lead to Home Rain Damage

6/21/2021 (Permalink)

bright blue rain splashing into a pool of water If you need help dealing with any damage caused by water, contact SERVPRO of Central Honolulu today and experience the SERVPRO difference.

Spring is a beautiful time in Honolulu. Weather is pleasant, the jacaranda trees are in full bloom, and it just feels like life has a new freshness to it.

The beauty of nature beckons us once more to leave the living room and enjoy some fresh air, and we’ll take any old excuse to do it.

There are also many social events outside which involve the time-honored tradition of barbecuing. Graduation parties, gender reveals, church functions and family reunions all call for some steaks, wings or veggies to be smoking in the background.

But this increase in backyard activity also means an increase in home fires. In fact, spring sees more daily fires on average than any other time of year. So as the season gets into full swing, let’s go over a few basics you should be handling to make sure your spring and summer are fire-safe.

The grill. Grills get the finger pointed at them first for spring home fires, but they’ve earned the stereotype. The combination of high heat and flammable materials, sometimes even an open flame, give fires an easy place to manifest. Make sure your grill is in good working order with no leaks or weaknesses in the structure, keep it away from anything flammable (including decking or siding), and clean it thoroughly when you’re finished. Almost 20% of grill fires are due to poor cleaning.

The fire pit. Backyard conversations around the fire pit are a regular occurrence during these months, but make sure you’re doing it safely. Have a bucket of water within arm’s reach to douse any dancing flames, and use it to slowly and safely put out the fire when you’re done. Embers should be cool to the touch before you go inside. Also, don’t use leaves or pine needles in your fire, because they create lots of tiny embers that can travel easily on the wind. Never leave fires unattended, and never leave children or pets by the fire alone.

Chimneys and dryer vents. It’s rare for homes in our area to have fireplaces, but if you do, take steps to care for it now. Instead of waiting until fall, clean your chimney out now that winter is over, and get rid of soot and ash buildup inside that creates a fire hazard. And clean your dryer’s vent pipe, ensuring no lint has caked inside—that stuff goes up in flames quickly.

If you encounter fire damage at your home or business, no matter the cause, your local SERVPRO agents will be there faster and have it cleaned up sooner. Call or click today

What to do when your home finds fire and smoke damage?

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

A photo of a customers home with our SERVPRO team working on the cleaning SERVPRO of Central Honolulu servicing a home after fire and smoke damage

Localized fires can be caused by big or small household appliances. Small appliances that receive daily use easily become fire-starters simply from normal wear and tear. 

 Bathroom fires can be started by any appliance that develops a frayed cord. When they do, these bathroom items can become deadly shock-hazards. When a cord remains plugged in, sparking and subsequent ignition is a risk that can leave any family devastated.
 
Prevention is said to be easier than repairing and restoring fire damage, but even the most diligent people still experience this kind of catastrophe. Knowing that SERVPRO has the technicians with proper training, certification, and experience in all sizes of restoration gives you the reassurance needed when disaster strikes you and your family. When a fire happens in a small room, the blaze might remain there, but this occurs in few cases. In most situations, fire spreads quickly, especially when the home is unoccupied. Regardless of how large or small a fire is, smoke spreads into every open area in a home, leaving behind a horrible scent that can last indefinitely.
 
We are skilled in all phases of fire damage restoration, including extracting all water and other fire extinguishing foams, ensuring the safety of your home's structure. Our services also include removal, and restoration of all burnt materials, refinishing and repainting of walls and ceilings and deodorization. When we finish, your family can return to a home that looks and feels “Like it never even happened.”
 
We recognize that your home is of vital importance to your family, and we work hard each time to ensure we work both quickly and thoroughly to restore your property to livable standards.

Solar Batteries Catch Fire

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

Melted Solar Battery Soot and smoke spread after solar battery catches fire.

Electrical Fires are the second most common type of fire damage. This photo shows a battery that melted in a local commercial building.  The fire spread soot and smoke odor throughout the area covering the structure and contents with soot and smoke odor.  The professionals at SERVPRO were able to remove the unsalvageable items and dispose of them as well as clean the soot off the salvageable items.  With their specialized deodorization chemicals SERVPRO was able to eliminate the smoke odor from the property and contents.  The professionals at SERVPRO were able to complete the restoration process in a timely discreet manner that minimized business interruption making it feel "Like it never even happened."

Who Knew Doing a Simple Chore Could Cause a Devastating House Fire

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

 melted kitchen cabinets with heavy soot settled on counter tops The kitchen in this Kapolei home suffered traumatic loss due to a kitchen fire started in the oven.

Young Boy Turns on "Oven Clean" Button on Stove - Fire Grows to Devastate

Our SERVPRO team received a call to perform restoration services for this Kapolei home after a disastrous house fire. A young man had been given a few chores to complete before leaving home for football practice that evening. One of these chores being to clean the inside of the oven. He hit the "clean oven" button assuming it would get the job done. Little did he know his mother had stored kitchen utensils in the oven. These utensils caught fire, and soon spread to the rest of the kitchen and surrounding walls. After returning home from practice they found fire trucks and firemen had put out the fire in their home. Simply attempting to do chores before football practice resulted in a drastic fire. Our SERVPRO team had to remove all belongings as well as tear out nearly every wall in the home and rebuild as well. 

If you have suffered from fire damage in your home, call our team at SERVPRO (808)744-2730. We specialize in restoration and reconstruction services for fire damage, mold, and storms. Call today for an inspection.

What To Do Immediately If a Fire Starts

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

Fires can become unmanageable quickly.

If a fire starts, it is understandable to feel anxious. Here are some tips on what to do in case a fire breaks out in your home. 

Learn how to safely operate a fire extinguisher

There are a multitude of ways in which you can learn how to operate a fire extinguisher. Talk to your local fire department or access their website for more information.

GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL 9-1-1

Do not stay inside when a fire is happening. If you cannot put it out safely by yourself, contact the authorities!

Yell “Fire!” loudly as you exit

Alerting others of the situation will improve their chances of getting out in time. This could save lives. Leave all your belongings and exit the area.

Go low

If your only exit route is contaminated with smoke, get low to the ground all the way to the exit. Always close doors behind you.

If smoke, heat or flame block your exit, stay in the room

Close the doors and place a wet rag under the door. Call the fire department and give them your exact location. Open a window, try to signal attention or flash a light to signal that you need help.

Follow your family emergency communication plan

Having a family emergency communication plan in place takes unnecessary stress out of stressful situations. Make sure you update your rendezvous spots often in order to avoid mix-ups. If you inhaled smoke, get the necessary medical attention and be sure to rest and assess how you are physically doing.

Fires are unpredictable, it is a good idea to not only have fire detection systems in place but also fire suppression systems. Our team can meet your needs here on Oah’u! We offer safety, maintenance and other services to keep you, your family and your home safe.

Call us at (808) 235-5015 or visit our website:https://www.SERVPROcentralhonolulu.com/

7 Common Causes of Fire at Home

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

Cigarettes are one of the leading causes of fire at home.

To better prevent fires, it is important to know the leading causes for them so the proper measures can be taken! Get to know common household practices that can cause and propagate fires.

  • Smoking

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, the leading cause of fire deaths in the United States are cigarettes. A great majority of the fires starts with incandescent ashes or cigarette butts falling into upholstered surfaces. If you smoke, dispose of your ashes properly! Make sure the cigarette is completely out before tossing it into the garbage.

  • Children and Animals

If children or pets are left unattended in the same room as a lit candle, the risks of a fire increase greatly. Make sure to put out candles if you are not in the room with an unattended pet or child. Lighters and matches should similarly not be in close reach of any child. 

  • Dryers

Lint is a great fire-starter. Keep your dryer clean and well-maintained to avoid sparks that could evolve into a fire. Clean your lint filter after each load to minimize risks.

  • Portable Space Heaters

Portable heaters account for a third of all house fires. Make sure flammable items are kept at least 4 feet away from the space heaters. Heaters should not be left unattended or on overnight.

  • Cooking

A lot of house fires happen as a result of using cooking oils, fryers and improper use of microwaves. Never leave a child unattended while cooking, especially if using cooking oil or higher temperatures. Always make sure your stovetop or oven is completely turned off before leaving the kitchen. Keep flames away from loose clothing, paper, and other fabrics

  • Flammable Liquids

Common sense as it may be, keep flammable cleaning agents, paints and adhesives away from heat sources of any kind. Keep them in a ventilated area that is cool.

  • Fireplaces

If you have a fireplace at your home, get it checked out yearly to ensure it is in proper working order. Do not go to sleep with your fireplace on and utilize a screen to prevent sparks from flying off the fire.

If fire damage happens to your property, our team can meet your needs here on Oah’u! We offer safety, maintenance and other services to keep you, your family and your home safe.

Call us at (808) 235-5015 or visit our  website: https://www.SERVPROcentralhonolulu.com/

Kitchen Fire Started By Left Stove Burner In Honolulu Home

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Kitchen devastated,  the sink and stove melted painted bubbled and blistered. The cabinets hang off their hinges. Devastating Kitchen Fire caused by a stove burner left on.

Left Stove Burners Cause Most Fires We Receive on Oahu

The tenant at this Honolulu fire damaged property left their home in a rush to get to a doctors appointment on time. In leaving so hurriedly they left their food on the stove with the burner still on. The fire grew to affect all rooms in  the home. The kitchen was completely destroyed. Under immense heat from the fire, the sink and stove melted painted bubbled and blistered. In observing the photo, the detail of the effects of the fire on the kitchen are depicted. The cabinets have fallen, and the content and the counters are all damaged by the fire, and soot has settled throughout the kitchen. The dining room and the bedroom also had drastic damage from the fire. The walls were all charred. Our SERVPRO team removed all contents of the home. The pot, pans, utensils and decorations from the kitchen were all removed, sorted, cleaned and packed out. The same applied to all other contents throughout the home. The damaged areas of the home were all removed including the walls, and ceiling. Our team then deodorized the home, freeing from the odor of smoke and soot. Our team also repainted the home with colors chosen by the home owners. The Home owners were so appreciative of the diligence and speed of our SERVPRO team.

If you are in need of restoration services call our SERVPRO team at (808)744- 2730. They specialize in commercial or household cleaning, as well as restoration and reconstruction services for mold, fire damage, floods, and storms. Call today for an inspection.