Recent Fire Damage Posts

Tips to Keeping Your Smoke Alarm Functioning Properly

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm Among the most important features in your home, your smoke alarm is high on the list

Factors To Know About Smoke Alarms

Among the most important features in your home, your smoke alarm is high on the list. This device can be a lifesaver in the event of a fire. You should never disarm your alarms. Also, if your home doesn't currently have working alarms, make sure you install some immediately. Regular maintenance and care of these warning systems are critical. Failure to do this can lead to disaster or even death. There are a few important factors to know about smoke alarms.

Where To Put Them

Proper placement of each fire alarm will help protect you and your loved ones from harm. When you have alarms in the right places, you can be alerted to danger regardless of where a fire may have started in your Upper Montclair, NJ, house. Your alarms should be in the following places:

  • On each level of your home
  • In every bedroom of the home
  • In the hallway outside each bedroom and common area of the house (living room, kitchen, laundry room)

Changing the Batteries

Though digital alarms are available, many homeowners detect fire damage with battery-powered smoke alarms. It's easy to forget about changing the batteries, but if you can get on a regular schedule, you can make sure the alarms are working well. Change the batteries at least once a year. You may also know it's time if your alarms are chirping. Some also have an indicator light showing that the batteries are dead.

Replacing the Alarms

You may not be able to avoid smoke damage if a fire starts in your home. However, the alarms detect smoke, you can have time to safely exit your home and alert the fire department. Older, worn-out alarms may not work efficiently, so it's best to replace the alarms every 10 years.
Though you can salvage much of your home with the help of a professional fire cleanup company, you'd rather have a reliable fire alarm alert you in time to prevent catastrophic damage.

Everything You Need to Know About Smoke Detectors

2/28/2020 (Permalink)

smoke detector with white smoke and red warning light Smart smoke alarms can be expensive

Everything You Need to Know About Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors are designed to warn people in the event of a fire, and they have been doing well so far. However, there has been technological progress in the smoke alarm scene that has brought more convince to this trusty technology.
Here are some of the features of a smart smoke detector:

  • Remote Control
  • Visual integration
  • Listeners

Remote Control
The ability to take commands remotely is perhaps the smart detector's most significant advantage over its counterpart. You no longer have to press the reset button to stop chirping in a smoke alarm. The devices can now connect to WiFi, and that brings a whole new dimension of functionality. You can now silence a beeping alarm from an app on your phone, and the detectors can also communicate with each other. For example, if a fire breaks out on the first floor while you are watching TV in the basement. All the smart fire alarms will go off to alert you before its too late.

Visual Integration
Some smart fire sensors will let you have a visual of the house while you're away. That is especially useful for people who have kids staying in the house without adult supervision or while on vacation. The devices send a notification to a connected phone when the alarm goes off, and also gives the user an option to see what's happening. Using this information, you can call the firefighters or turn the devices off.

Listeners
Since smart fire detectors are pretty expensive, some people prefer using listeners to get notifications when the regular alarms go off. The only problem with this setup is that you have to operate the actual smoke alarm system manually. Fire safety is perhaps one of the biggest worries for homeowners in Glen Ridge, NJ, and installing a fire alarm system is one way of mitigating this risk. It also feels nice if the system sends real-time notifications to your phone as soon as a fire incident occurs in your home.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Every Type of Fire?

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Pen on insurance contract sheet Most homeowners insurance policies cover accidental fires.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Every Type of Fire?

Different types of fires may or may not be covered by homeowners insurance. Most accidental fires and even some fires for which liability is a factor are covered perils. The legal term for an intentional home fire is arson. These fires are not covered by insurance and may result in criminal penalties. Find out more about the fire coverage available through most homeowners insurance policies.

Accidental Fires

Most homeowners insurance policies cover accidental fires. Several features distinguish this type of fire:

  • May be caused by an electrical short or heating malfunction
  • Could result from the actions of a policyholder or another person
  • No intention to destroy

An investigation will probably be necessary before an insurer will cover restoration costs. The one exception to this general coverage is a vacant home fire. Policyholders should obtain an endorsement or an additional vacancy policy for a vacation home or residence that will not be occupied for more than 30 consecutive days.

Fire Liability

Some fires start due to gross negligence or casual disregard on the part of a policyholder or another occupant of a residence. These fires may or may not be covered, depending on how the home fire started and whether any evidence of intentionality is present.

Intentional Fires

Insurance does not cover fires started deliberately to harm a person, damage property, or commit insurance fraud. Intentionally starting a fire may result in one or more of the following criminal charges:

  • Arson
  • Criminal mischief
  • Destruction of property

Reckless burning
Investigators will search for indications of intent to destroy property. An intentional fire may result in a prison sentence.

Most accidental fires and even some fires in which liability is evident should be covered by homeowners insurance. Intentional fires or fires in vacant properties without sufficient coverage are not covered. Insurers prefer to work with home fire damage restoration experts in Montclair, NJ.

Common Sense Home Fire Safety

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

2 fire extinguishers It is important to have a fire extinguisher on hand.

No one thinks they will experience a home fire, yet nearly half a million residential fires occur per year. This discussion of common fire sources and fire preparation may highlight areas in your home where you could bolster your fire safety plan and reduce your fire risk.


Cooking-Related Fires


Smoke alarms are required near kitchens because nearly half of home fires are caused by cooking practices. Here are some examples of potentially risky kitchen scenarios:

Small appliances, such as toasters, can ignite grease or crumbs near the heating element.
Dry or greasy food near a hot broiler coil can start an oven fire.
Flames from a gas-stove can ignite grease build-up on a pan.

A fire in the kitchen can be serious and require considerable fire remediation work. Good fire preparation includes following safe cooking practices. Monitoring all cooking processes and cleaning grease from ranges, pans and appliances will minimize your chances of a fire.


Recreation-Related Fires


Human carelessness is frequently associated with home fires, and smoking in the bedroom is a primary example. Unattended cigarettes and pipes cause thousands of fires every year. It is recommended you do not smoke in your home. If you do, it is important not to consume alcohol or other drugs while smoking as the combination increases the chances of a smoking-related fire. Unattended burning candles bear a similar risk because they are often left unattended. Common sense is key in this category.


Space-Heater Fires


It’s tempting to start your bedroom space heater an hour before you go to bed, but unattended heaters are notorious for starting fires. A small heater can overheat, igniting internal elements or nearby textiles, such as clothing, bedspreads or drapes. Following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully will minimize your fire risk.


The goal of fire safety in your Montclair, NJ home is to keep flame and heating elements separated from potential fuel sources, such as grease or fabric. Equally important is consistent monitoring of anything in your home that produces heat or has an active flame. Sensible fire preparation can mean the difference between a nice evening meal and a disruptive, costly home disaster.

What To Do If You Smell Gas in Your Home

10/13/2019 (Permalink)

Natural gas burning on kitchen gas stove in the dark What to do if you smell gas in your home?

No one expects a gas fire to happen to them in Verona, NJ, but it is more common than most people think. In order to protect your home and your family you should educate yourself on the best steps to take should you notice a gas smell inside your house.

Proceed With Caution

If you smell is still weak, you should attempt to find the source of the gas leak. You should already be familiar with your gas meter before an emergency occurs, so you know how to turn it off. Some tips to stay safe while you are investigating:

  • Don't turn on your lights- this could spark a fire, so use a flashlight instead
  • Use your senses- follow the smell of natural gas or any hissing noises you hear
  • Check your stove- sometimes a simple bump can accidentally turn on the gas

Air It Out

After you find the location of the gas leak and you've shut it off, you should also ventilate your home as much as possible to avoid a gas fire from the built up fumes. Open up all the windows and doors and keep them open until the smell is gone. To avoid any electrical sparking, do not turn on or plug in any fans. You can use towels or anything flat to attempt to fan the air out yourself.

Get Out of Dodge

If the smell is strong and you fear a gas explosion, feel free to skip any previous steps and leave the premises. Be sure to call emergency services to report the leak, so professionals can handle it using the proper safety protocol and protective equipment. If a fire does start, it will make your life easier if you already have a fire damage remediation service you trust and know what your insurance expects of you.
The thought of a gas fire can be terrifying, but you should do your best to stay calm make careful decisions about how to proceed. Find friends, family or a hotel to stay with until the danger passes.

Prevent Fires: Keep an Eye on Your Dryer Vent

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning the vent house of your dryer

Prevent Lint Fire

You rely on household appliances each day to help you with routine but important tasks. But did you know that some of the most dependable items have the potential to wreak havoc in your Llewellyn Park, NJ, home? Dryers are among the biggest causes for fires in the home. If you're not mindful of maintenance and upkeep, a lint fire could start. Make sure you reduce this risk with regular cleaning.

Mitigating the Dangers

Every year, homes are destroyed due to a dryer fire. You can significantly minimize the chances of this happening to you with some simple steps:

  1. Make sure your dryer is installed correctly.
  2. Keep flammable items away from the dryer.
  3. Use a flexible vent hose.
  4. Service your dryer each year.
  5. Don't run the dryer unless you are home.

What About the Vent?

After each use, your dryer will collect dust and lint from your clothes. Over time, the filter can become clogged. Consider that your dryer can reach temperatures of up to 550 degrees, and it's easy to see how a lint fire can start. While it may be common to forget about removing the filter and cleaning the vent screen, you should make it a habit of doing this before every load. It's especially important to do this if you've just washed a load of towels or other heavy items such as blankets or sweatshirts.

Other Considerations

If you want an extra line of defense, wipe out the inside of the dryer once a week. This is an effective way of catching lint and other materials that the filter misses. Check the vent hose, and make sure it's unrestricted.
It's much simpler to avoid a lint fire if you take good care of your dryer. Never start a new load until you've removed the lint screen and clean it off thoroughly. While you can rely on the expert help of a fire restoration company, you never want to go through the terrible ordeal of a house fire.

How the Pros Clean Electronics After a Fire

6/27/2019 (Permalink)

A professional company is accustomed to repairing and cleaning up devices after an electrical fire

How to Salvage and Repair Your Electronics After a Fire

If you're like many businesses, you rely on electronic equipment at work each day. Without dependable devices such as computers, printers and servers, you would not be able to communicate effectively, meet customers' demands or keep up with competitors in a demanding, fast-paced environment. It's no wonder an electrical fire in your building would cause so much concern. Fortunately, there are ways Verona, NJ, companies can salvage and even repair your electronics following a fire.

How They Start

It's helpful to know how these fires can start so you can put safeguards in place to help prevent them. An electrical fire is largely preventable if you are simply aware and use equipment properly. Here are some causes of these situations:

  • Faulty outlets
  • Old, run-down equipment
  • Circuit overloading
  • Running cords under rugs or carpet
  • Keeping cords too close to heat sources

Call in the Pros

If a fire damages your electronics, or if you know you need to address computer cleanup, get in touch with a trusted electronics cleanup company. Unplug the equipment and don't attempt to turn on anything. The specialists will come to your office and asses the severity of the problems and the extent of the damage. These companies have the right experience, tools and methods to safely clean and restore your items without posing the risks of ruining them. The team will be sensitive and will handle everything with care.

The Process

To combat issues such as smoke damage, the technicians will start by wiping down the equipment with a soft cloth. Next, a crew member may use compressed air to blow dust and other debris out of motors and ports. The company will handle everything carefully, as the items may be fragile.
A professional company is accustomed to repairing and cleaning up devices after an electrical fire. As distressing as this ordeal may be, you can have confidence that you can use the electronics once again when you enlist the help of a cleanup specialist.

3 Steps for Avoiding a Dryer Fire

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

The lint filter should be cleaned before and after every load of laundry

Steps Recommended By the USFA

One common cause of home fires is the clothes dryer. The United States Fire Administration includes some startling statistics in their information about fire safety at home, specifically regarding a lint fire situation.

  • 2,900 home fires due to clothes dryers are reported every year.
  • Failure to clean the dryer, including the lint trap and hose behind the dryer, is the leading cause of these fires.
  • The rate of these fires increases during the fall and winter months.

You can avoid a clothes dryer fire with steps recommended by the USFA.

1. Hire a Professional To Install and Service Your Dryer

A home appliance professional will choose the correct electrical outlet and plug for your home and your appliances. They may also recognize potential risks, such as old wiring or outdated construction. You should also be sure to read through the manufacturer warnings and instructions before you operate the dryer.

2. Clean the Dryer Regularly

The lint filter should be cleaned before and after every load of laundry. The vent pipe should be cleaned out every three months. You should also clean the dryer itself once every six months at least. This may involve vacuuming out the interior of the appliance, scrubbing down the interior sides with a nylon bristled brush, and rinsing off the lint trap. Cleaning out the dryer and keeping it free of debris is one of the top steps you can take to avoid a lint fire. If you notice the dryer cycle takes longer than normal, hire a professional to inspect and clean the appliance before risking a dryer fire.

3. Perform Consistent Maintenance

Regularly inspect the vent system directly behind the dryer, watching for damages or restrictions. Cover the outside dampers to prevent dirt, rain, or snow from clogging the vents. However, you need to make sure the covers open when the vent is in use.

Carefully following these three steps can keep you and your home safe from a lint fire. Contact fire damage and remediation professionals in your West Orange, NJ, to get more tips.