Recent Fire Damage Posts

The Dos and Don’ts of Grease Disposal

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Stainless steel sink plug hole close up with water. Blue sponge in kitchen sink beside running water To help reduce the likelihood of water damage, never pour grease down the drain

Your home in Bellevue, WA, is more than just a home. It is intricate system that protects your loved ones and belongings. Maintaining it and ensuring everything is functioning properly is key to enjoy your personal oasis. When it’s time to cook, dealing with leftover oil and grease can be annoying and smelly. While you might want to pour the grease in drain, you are guaranteeing that will eventually have a drain clog.

Where Not to Pour Grease

Unfortunately, easy isn’t always better. When dealing with grease and oil, three places to not dump it are:

Drains – Anyone who has done some cooking knows that grease hardens. Hot water and garbage disposals won’t eliminate the grease. Instead, it will spread on the blades and go down the pipes, eventually leading to a drain clog and potentially costly repairs.

Outside – This might seem like an easy alternative, but the soil around your home will absorb the substances. This again can eventually end up in the sewer system and result in clogs. It can also cause issues for local wildlife.

Compost Piles – Minimal amounts are suitable for composting, but large amounts will have negative effects on the composting process. Along with damaging your future fertilizer, it can further increase the activity of vermin and bugs.

Proper Grease Disposal

Instead of dealing with a sink clog, take a little extra time to dispose of grease properly. First, allow it to cool and harden in the cooking pan or transfer to another container. Once cooled, scrape it out of the container directly into a lined trash bin. Use a paper towel to wipe pan to ensure leftover grease doesn’t make its way down the drain. You can also place it in the fridge or freezer to speed up the process.
Even if you are careful, some grease can still make its way down the drain. To avoid a clog, call a professional to get your pipes clean and clear.

Purchasing Renter’s Insurance Is One of the Smartest Things You Can Do for Peace of Mind

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

Renter’s insurance policy is designed for those who don’t own their residence

Renters in Eastgate,WA, are purchasing renter's insurance in record numbers. This isn’t surprising, since lawsuits are creating unprecedented liabilities even for those who don’t own their property. Some landlords are now requiring it as well, since it not only protects your belongings but helps keep their liability covered as well.

One of the key benefits of a policy is that it covers fire damage, which is among the topmost common disasters to occur to residences. Perhaps the best part is that it’s very inexpensive – usually below $20 per month for most renters.

What Is Renter’s Insurance?

A renter’s insurance policy is designed for those who don’t own their residence. It covers a number of things, including:

  • Fire damage.
  • Stolen or lost property.
  • Most other types of damage.
  • Minor medical coverage for 3rd parties who are injured in your home or apartment.

These benefits occur whether the fire is due to your negligence or unforeseeable circumstances. It helps cover your neighbors to some extent as well, including some of their medical costs. It may even cover medical costs from evacuation, such as someone breaking their leg while rushing down the stairs. However, most policies won’t cover criminal acts either performed by you or at your direction. It also often won’t cover major medical expenses for 3rd parties, so make sure you read your policy carefully.

So, It Always Covers Fire Damage?

Except for the criminal exclusion already mentioned, the answer is yes! Even if you act with substantial negligence, it has you covered. This is peace of mind at a fantastically cheap cost.

Does It Cover Fire Restoration?

Renter’s insurance covers smoke damage and general fire cleanup that impacts you. Depending on the company and specific policy, it will often cover loss of use costs, such as needing a hotel during cleanup and repairs, as well as some additional living expenses that are normal to a fire. If you need a policy, ask your neighbors about their recommendations for a good renter’s insurance company, or talk to your automobile insurance company about a discounted policy rider if you own a vehicle.

Are Temporary Security Fences Essential After a Commercial Fire?

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

Putting up a temporary security fence can protect your building after suffering fire damage.

After a fire at your commercial building in Bellevue, WA, the last thing you want is further loss. Insurance companies hold you responsible for mitigating losses — that means you are responsible for doing everything within your power to not allow even more damage. After a fire, there are immediate priorities before restoration begins. One of the first is putting up a temporary security fence.

Security Fences after a Commercial Fire

Isn’t a Temporary Fence Just Another Cost?

Security fencing is a minimal cost compared to the safety it lends to your property, especially in a situation where a building looks abandoned or business has been put on hold. Here is why:

• Fences are deterrents to trespassers. This includes vandals targeting an empty building, looters who see an opportunity to take what is left, homeless individuals looking for shelter, and people curious about the building, who then have an accident or are harmed on-site.
• Without a fence, animals otherwise deterred by an active workplace can move in, build nests, multiply and wreak havoc.
• Insurance companies may not pay out if anything happens to a property that might have been prevented by due diligence, like putting up a security fence. A temporary fence communicates vigilance on your part. You still need to be watchful and visit the site, but a fence goes a long way when you can’t be there.

Let Local Professionals Do What They Know Best

A commercial fire restoration company can help with every step, including making the entire property safe in its new after-fire condition. In addition to security fencing, that might include boarding up windows, placing tarps over holes in the roof, beginning the process of drying out water-damaged items and protecting the property from unwanted visitors.

If you are hiring a commercial fire restoration service in Bellevue, WA, get them on task to help set up priorities and put up a security fence before restoration even starts. They are Here to Help and have the required resources. Besides your insurance agent, you will need experts who have been there and can guide you through the process of getting back to work.

What You Should Know About Your Fire Alarm and Your Home

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Change your smoke detector itself as recommended approximately every 10 years.

Things You Should Know About the Fire Detectors Located in Your Residence

Many fire restoration service professionals in Eastgate, WA, recommended use of a fire alarm as an important fire safety and mitigation tool. These units can help protect your home in the event of a fire. They can also alert you to heat or smoke which may allow time for the fire to be put out before it can cause extensive damage. Here are a few things everyone should know about the fire detectors located in their residence.

1. When to Replace the Batteries

One way to ensure that your alarm is working, and to help prevent fire damage, is too regularly replace the batteries in your smoke detector. Most experts recommend doing this once a year when also changing your clocks. You may also want to change your smoke detector itself as recommended approximately every 10 years.

2. What Type of Sensor to Use

You may find that there are two types of fire alarms to choose from. Photoelectric alarms are designed to sense slow burning, smoldering, smoky fires. Ionization alarms, on the other hand, are more sensitive to fast heat such as a quick burning flame. Many experts recommend including both types of alarm in your home. Fortunately, some smoke alarms now include both sensor types meaning you can have the benefits of both alarms in one unit.

3. Where Fire Alarms Should Be Located

To help avoid smoke damage an ensure the alarm can be heard, many experts recommend having at least one alarm per level, one alarm inside every bedroom, and an alarm outside each sleeping area often in the hallway the bedroom lead out too. You should also place a smoke alarm in your kitchen where the statistics show most fires start.

It's an important fire safety step to check on your fire alarm regularly. This includes replacing the batteries and ensuring that the alarm is functional. You should have a fire detector located inside each bedroom of the residence, and in any major hallways. If you have any questions about the proper way to set up your fire alarms, a professional may be able to help.

4 Ways to Prevent a Fire Disaster

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Debris Cleanup after a Fire Damage in Bellevue, WA.

Every business may have some level of fire risk. This risk may be higher or lower depending on whether the buildings only have electrical devices and heating equipment or specialized machinery. There are a few fire preparation measures that property owners, employers, and staff can take to prevent fire damage.

Take these 4 disaster preparation measures today to lower your risk.

1. Keep the Workplace Clean

Clutter can close off evacuation routes and feed a fire. Try to reduce the number of boxes, papers, or other materials that are left lying around a workplace. It is also a good idea to properly dispose of all waste, especially flammable materials.

2. Maintain Fire Safety Equipment

Regular maintenance can prevent malfunction and reduce fire risks whether a business only has standard office machines or additional machinery. Employees should be made aware of potential overheating dangers and monitor the status of equipment. Have a licensed electrician fix any problems that arise to reduce the risk posed by faulty wiring. Property owners can also regularly test fire suppression systems and ensure that fire extinguishers are frequently inspected and ready for use. 

3. Post Emergency Information

One of the most critical fire preparation steps is to ensure that emergency numbers are posted in convenient locations. Managers and employees should be familiar with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines for fire safety in the workplace. Property owners may also want to schedule fire drill and tutorials on using extinguishers.

4. Provide Smoking Areas

Provide designated outdoor smoking areas and make sure that there are safe receptacles for smoldering cigarettes in these areas. Consider a self-extinguishing design that will hide unsightly cigarette butts and reduce the risk of fire.

Taking these fire preparation steps can prevent a workplace disaster. If a structure sustains fire damage, rely on a commercial fire mitigation and restoration service in Bellevue, WA. 

Simple Steps to Operating a Fire Extinguisher

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

To avoid Fire Damage it's important to know how to use the fire extinguisher accurately.

If you discover a small fire in your Bellevue, WA, office, you shouldn’t have to wait until the fire department arrives to attack it. You need to act quickly to keep it from spreading. A fire extinguisher is an effective tool for putting out these flames. You and your employees should understand how to appropriately use them.

When Should You Use Them?

The nice thing about these extinguishers is that you don’t need specialized skills or lengthy training to effectively operate one. Small fires can quickly get out of control and consume huge areas. The longer you wait to use one, the more damage the fire will cause.

Here are some ideal occasions when you should use an extinguisher:

• A kitchen fire such as on a stove
• A fire in a garbage can
• Electrical fires

4 Steps to Operating a Fire Extinguisher

Step one: Pull the Pin

In order to operate the fire extinguisher, you must locate the pin on the handle, located on the top of the extinguisher. Grasp the pin and firmly pull from the handle. This will now allow you to squeeze the handle and release the extinguishing agent.

Step two: Aim

You don’t want to randomly start spraying foam everywhere. This could delay putting out the flames and lead to more fire damage in your office. Secure the handle in one hand and the hose in the other. Then, aim for the base of the flames, not the top.

Step three: Squeeze the Trigger

Squeeze the trigger, found by the handle. Do this with control so you can ensure the chemical will come out.

Step four: Sweep

Don’t simply hit one spot of the fire. You need to move the hose from side to side in a sweeping motion. Also, as the fire gets smaller, move closer to the flames.

A highly trained fire restoration specialist can help get your office back to normal following a fire, but you want to minimize the damage. A fire extinguisher can be a valuable asset in these occasions.

Do You Have an Emergency Preparedness Plan for Your Pet? You Should!

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

Are you ready for an emergency? Are your pets and family members ready? It's important to prepare your family and pets for a fire emergency.

Pets are family too, and as such, they need to be included in their families' fire emergency preparation plans. If you have a furry friend, you need to establish a pet preparation plan that guides you and your other family members on what to do in the event of an emergency to ensure that your canine, feline or other pet makes it out of the home safely, too.

Some considerations to make when devising your plan are as follows:

• How to keep your pets from causing fire emergencies
• What supplies your pet will need in the event of an emergency
• How often you should practice your pet safety plan
• What to do if you are forced to evacuate

By taking each of the above into consideration ahead of time, you can devise a plan that will better help you respond in the face of a real fire emergency.

Prevent Your Pets From Starting Fires

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that approximately 1,000 house fires are started by pets each year. You can prevent your pets from starting fires by practicing the same safety measures as you would with your children. Remove stove knobs, extinguish open flames, use flameless candles and secure young pets when you leave the house.

Know What Supplies You'll Need, and Practice!

To increase your response time, have an emergency bag ready to grab and go in the event of a fire. This bag should contain everything your pet will need to stay comfortable and healthy while away from home, such as canned dog food, medications, identifying tags and the like.

In addition to preparing a bag, practice the plan. Train them to come when you call that way you're not looking for them when you should be running out of the house.

Prepare for Evacuation

Evacuation in the event of a fire is a very real possibility. Have a safe place to where you and your pet can go until it is safe to return to your home.

Your fire emergency plan should provide for what to do with your pet in the event of an emergency. If it doesn't, work with your Bellevue, WA, fire safety team to devise an effective plan today.

4 Facts About Renters Insurance and Home Fires

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage in Factoria, WA

4 Facts About Renters Insurance and Home Fires

If you’re renting a house or apartment in the city of Factoria, WA, then you’ll be happy to know that if you have renters insurance your policy will cover you in the case of a home fire. While you might think you will be okay without insurance when renting, if a fire were to happen you would have to pay to replace your belongings and for a place to stay while the fire restoration company repairs your home. If you want more information on how a renters insurance policy can help you in the case of a home fire, read the following four facts!

1. You Are Compensated for the Replacement Value of Belongings

Luckily, most insurances will give you the amount of money it would cost to replace your belongings rather than their current value. For example, rather than getting the value of an old, outdated television, you will get the amount of money necessary to replace the TV with a new one.

2. You are Covered for Any Damages You Are Liable For

If the fire was caused as a result of something you did, your renters insurance will cover the money you would owe to the landlord for fire damage or neighbors who were injured in the fire.

3. Your Stay Somewhere Else Is Paid for

If your place of residence is deemed uninhabitable, your insurance will pay for the time you spend at an apartment or other location while your home is being restored.

4. Arson Is Not Covered

As you would probably assume, insurance will not cover you for a fire you started in your own home on purpose. However, if you start a fire on accident you will be covered.

While it is easy to assume that a fire will never happen in your home, it can happen to anyone. That is why it so important you have renters insurance to cover any costs that might accrue as a result.

Proper Care and Use of Fire Alarms

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

Install a smoke alarm in your Eastgate, WA home

The correct use of a fire alarm in your home is one of the most important things you can do to keep your Eastgate,WA, family safe from fire damage. It is more important than ever to have enough alarms positioned throughout your home.

  • Inside of each sleeping room
  • Outside of sleeping areas
  • On every level of the home
  • Additional alarms for larger homes

Interconnected smoke alarms are the most effective for increasing safety. Just make sure that all of the alarms are compatible with each other.

Proper Installation

When installing smoke alarms, there are several things to keep in mind, such as making sure each alarm has approval from recognized testing laboratories. Make sure you have an alarm located in the basement and in the most frequented rooms of the house, including family rooms and hallways. Install a fire alarm at least 10 feet away from your cooking appliances and mount all alarms high on the wall or on the ceiling. Consider installing both ionization and photoelectric alarms in your home.

Regular Maintenance

Proper maintenance is key to ensuring fire protection for your home and family. For instance, if you have an alarm positioned near a window or door, the drafts and moving air could clog the device with dust and make it unreliable. Never put stickers or other decorations on alarms and don't paint them. These could also prevent the device from working. Contact a fire damage professional if you have questions.

Monthly Testing

The U.S. Fire Administration recommends testing them once a month and replacing the batteries once or twice a year. (One common suggestion is to do this at daylight savings time.) Test your alarms according to the user manual. While testing, have a family member stand at the point in the home furthest from a device, so you know it can be heard everywhere in the home.

The fire alarm is an affordable device that could save your home and family from significant fire and smoke damage. If you don't currently have them installed, today is the day to fix that.

Candle Safety 101

10/26/2018 (Permalink)

Avoid a candle fire at your Factoria, WA home

Candle Safety Tips

Many people in Factoria,WA, enjoy candles. However, a candle fire can lead to a house fire just as easily as anything else. In fact between 2011 and 2015 a lit candle was the source of fire in two percent of reported cases. If you enjoy candles but are worried about fire safety, many fire restoration professionals recommend the following tips.

1. Never Leave a Lit Candle Unattended

Your goal may be to help your home smell nice and fresh, however smoke cleanup after a fire is anything but. Even if you only intend to be out of the room a brief moment, a pet or child could knock the candle over while you’re gone.

2. Don’t Leave Your Candles Near Flammable Materials

Make sure there is at least 12 inches of clear space around your candle. This will help insure that there is nothing near the flame that could potentially catch fire.

3. Use Reliable Candle Holders

One of the fastest ways a candle fire can start is from an unreliable holder. Make sure your candle holders are stable and won’t tip over. Also ensure they are non-flammable.

4. Properly extinguish Your Candles Before Leaving the Room

When putting out your candle check to make sure that the end isn’t still smoldering. Even without a flame the wick can remain hot and still spark a fire.

5. Use These Flameless Options Instead

Many people use candles because they find the light or scent relaxing. However, there are many flameless options that can have a similar effect while carrying less risk. Flameless candles are battery operated and provide the soothing flickering light, while air fresheners can give a soothing scent without requiring flame.

These tips can help you avoid a candle fire in your home. Don’t leave lit candles unattended, be aware of what’s around your candle, and properly extinguish your candle before leaving the room. In many cases there may be an alternate option to lit candles that can still serve the same purpose without presenting the same fire danger.