Recent Fire Damage Posts

The Comprehensive Guide to Fire Damage Restoration in Colorado Springs, CO

10/19/2023 (Permalink)

Image of a fire damaged home. Fire damaged home in Colorado Springs, CO.

Facing a fire in your home is a devastating and overwhelming experience. Beyond the immediate danger of the flames, the aftermath often leaves homeowners grappling with the emotional and logistical challenges of recovery. Fire damage can range from charred walls and smoke-stained ceilings to water damage from firefighting efforts. The process of restoring your home can seem daunting, but there is hope. In this comprehensive guide, we will take an in-depth look at the 4-step fire restoration process that SERVPRO of North Central Colorado Springs follows to help homeowners rebuild and reclaim their lives after suffering fire damage.

The 4-Step Fire Restoration Process

Step 1: Assessment and Inspection

The first step in the fire restoration process is the assessment and inspection of the damaged property. This initial phase is critical as it sets the foundation for the entire restoration plan. SERVPRO of North Central Colorado Springs deploys experienced professionals who meticulously examine every aspect of your home affected by the fire.

  • Damage Evaluation: The assessment begins with a detailed evaluation of the extent of damage. This includes the visible signs of fire and smoke damage but also extends to less apparent issues like structural damage, compromised electrical and plumbing systems, and potential health hazards.

  • Salvageable Items: During the assessment, the team identifies items and materials that can be salvaged. This can include valuable personal belongings, furniture, and sentimental items. A comprehensive inventory is created to guide the restoration process.

  • Restoration Plan: The assessment phase results in a detailed restoration plan tailored to the specific needs of your property. Each plan is unique, addressing the individual characteristics of your home and the extent of the damage.

  • Insurance Coordination: We work closely with your insurance company to ensure that you receive fair coverage. This collaborative approach is designed to streamline the claims process, and it aims to guarantee that no damage is overlooked.

Step 2: Mitigation and Securement

Once the assessment is complete, the next critical step is mitigating further damage and securing the property. This is essential to prevent additional harm and ensure the safety of your home.

  • Securing the Property: After a fire, your home may be exposed to the elements, vandalism, or theft. SERVPRO of North Central Colorado Springs takes immediate action to secure your property. This includes boarding up windows, doors, and any other openings that may pose a security risk.

  • Addressing Water Damage: In many cases, water is used to extinguish the fire, resulting in water damage. This step is crucial for your safety and the preservation of your property. SERVPRO's team uses specialized equipment to remove excess water and moisture, preventing further damage and the growth of mold.

Step 3: Cleanup and Restoration

With the property secure and free from additional damage, the focus shifts to the cleanup and restoration phase. This is where our team of experts works to return your home to its pre-fire condition.

  • Removal of Soot, Smoke, and Residue: The cleanup phase involves the meticulous removal of soot, smoke, and fire residue from all surfaces. This process employs advanced techniques and cleaning products to ensure that your home is not only clean but also free from harmful substances.

  • Odor Control: The team also addresses odors associated with fire damage. This involves the use of advanced deodorization techniques to ensure that your home smells fresh and clean once more.

  • Structural Repairs: If structural damage has occurred, we will work to repair and restore your home. This includes rebuilding walls, replacing damaged insulation, and addressing compromised electrical and plumbing systems. The goal is to make your home safe, functional, and aesthetically pleasing again.

Step 4: Final Inspection and Rebuilding

The final step in the fire restoration process involves a thorough inspection to ensure that all work has been completed to exacting standards. This step is critical as it provides homeowners with the assurance that their home is safe, clean, and free from any residual damage.

  • Quality Assurance: We take pride in our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. During the final inspection, every aspect of the restoration process is evaluated to ensure that it meets our high standards.

  • Rebuilding: Once the final inspection is complete and the homeowner is satisfied, the process of rebuilding and restoring the home begins. We work with experienced contractors to ensure that your home is not only structurally sound but also visually appealing and functional. Homeowners are actively involved in the decision-making process throughout the restoration phase.

Recovering from a fire in your Colorado Springs, CO home is an arduous journey, but with the right partner by your side, you can reclaim your life and restore your property. SERVPRO of North Central Colorado Springs is dedicated to guiding you through the 4-step fire restoration process, from the initial assessment to the final rebuilding, with a commitment to making the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. Your home's future begins with the expertise, care, attention to detail, and dedication that we bring to each and every restoration project. In the face of adversity, there is hope, and your home's restoration is a testament to the power of resilience and expert care.

How To Use a Fire Extinguisher for a Home Fire

8/31/2023 (Permalink)

Image of a person using a fire extinguisher to put out a fire It is essential to have an extinguisher in your Colorado Springs, CO home to prevent the fire spread.

A house fire can happen without warning and get out of control in an instant. Many people don't think about this scenario until it's too late, so it's helpful to learn about the different types of house fires and how to prevent or mitigate fire damage.

Three types of fire extinguishers are used in homes:

  • Type A extinguishers are manufactured to manage common materials fires (e.g., paper, cloth, wood).
  • Type B extinguishers are created for use with flammable and combustible liquids (e.g., oil, grease, gasoline).
  • Type C extinguishers are built to control electrical fires (e.g., appliances, televisions, hairdryers, power tools).

Ideally, you'll have a fire extinguisher accessible in different areas of your Colorado Springs, CO, home for the type of fire that is most likely. For example, type A for an office or living room, type B for a garage or kitchen, and type C for a hallway or recreational room.

Tips for Avoiding Fire Damage

  1. Be Careful With Candles

Candles can give the room a pleasant scent while providing an atmosphere that doesn't compare with light bulbs. However, you must be very careful with candles. Keep them on a sturdy surface and away from flammable materials (e.g., curtains, papers). Also, never leave them burning unattended and leave them out of reach of children and pets.

  1. Maintain Your Dryer

Remember to clean your lint trap every time you do a new load of laundry. Fire damage restoration experts will advise you to also clean behind the dryer to clear it of lint and clothing items. These materials can be highly flammable when exposed to the heat of the dryer.

  1. Keep Toaster, Stove, and Oven Clean

Keep your kitchen cooking appliances such as your toaster, stove, and oven clean. Crumbs, oil, and grease can flame up quickly when the surface gets hot.

  1. Have Working Fire Extinguishers on Hand

Always have an easily accessible fire extinguisher for every part of your home. Inspect them regularly to make sure they will work when you need them.

  1. Monitor Cooking Food

Avoid a kitchen fire by closely watching cooking food. Don't leave the kitchen area unattended while you're cooking. Teach everyone how to put out different types of kitchen fires safely.

  1. Maintain Smoke Detectors

It's vital to your family's well-being to have working smoke detectors in every part of your home and maintain them. Make sure you replace the battery in each detector at least twice a year and test the alarm. Also, keep them free of dust and debris that can build up. You can lightly vacuum, blow with canned air or wipe the casing off with a damp cloth.

  1. Safely Store Combustible Products

You may be surprised at how many products in your household can combust relatively easily. Keep these materials, such as hairspray, air fresheners, household cleaners, and shaving cream, away from heat sources like space heaters.

The key to avoiding a house fire is knowing what to do and not to do to be safe. Being cautious around heat sources and open flames is essential. Ensure everyone knows how to safely put out different types of fires and how to use a fire extinguisher.

Five Leading Causes of Home Fires

8/4/2023 (Permalink)

kitchen damaged by fire after a faulty wiring on the wall Kitchen fire due to faulty wiring on the wall in Colorado Springs, CO.

Have you ever wondered if one type of incident or action is more likely to lead to a home fire than another? As it turns out, there are five fire causes that are more prevalent than others. Read on to learn what they are and what you can do to avoid them.

  1. Cooking

Cooking fires are the number-one cause of all fires in the United States. They usually occur when someone leaves a kitchen appliance unattended while cooking. Frying creates the greatest threat.

  1. Heating Appliances

Devices such as furnaces and space heaters also pose a great fire risk. Much like with cooking fires, many of these accidents happen when a piece of equipment is left unattended or if it is operated incorrectly.

  1. Electrical Gear

A home fire can also be caused by equipment used for electrical or lighting purposes. This includes lamps, power outlets, and other objects that run on electricity. Once again, careful and attentive operation of electrical devices is crucial to stay safe.

  1. Intentional Situations

Unfortunately, many fires are started intentionally by those wishing to create chaos and destruction. Arson makes up the fourth-largest category of household fires in the United States. Many perpetrators are under the age of eighteen.

  1. Smoking-Related Accidents

Smoke-related fires are the fifth most common kind in the United States. Always practice common-sense safety procedures if you are planning on smoking in or near your Colorado Springs, CO, home.

A home fire is never pleasant to think about, but knowing the leading causes of these disasters can help you to avoid some of them and the aftermath of a fire, which can include fire cleaning. Remember to always call for help and evacuate the premises if a fire begins at home. Being educated is one of the first steps to take in order to keep your house, your family, and yourself safer each day.

What To Expect After a Commercial Roof Fire

9/14/2022 (Permalink)

Roof damage in a commercial building due to a fire Roof damage after commercial fire.

Roof damage can be tricky to recognize immediately after a fire, especially if your attention has been drawn toward the damage inside your commercial property and the people who were on your property during the fire.

3 Steps Professionals Take Right Away

However, when fire cleanup and repair professionals show up to assess your property, there are some steps they'll take right away:

  • Secure your property
  • Tarp over any holes on the roof
  • Provide their initial assessment

It's best to assume that you'll need roof repair. If the heat and flames of the fire didn't directly damage the roofing materials, firefighters may have broken holes in the roof as part of their efforts to save the rest of the building.

Why Does Tarping Matter?

Some of the most important tasks involved in fire cleanup are included in tarp services. When technicians cover the holes in the roof, they protect the inside of your property from rain or snow, windblown debris, animals and insects. This work may also involve preventing others from entering your building without permission. This is a good way to avoid vandalism and other secondary damages.

What Should You Do After the Fire?

There are several other dos and don'ts you should also understand when your building has been damaged by fire:

  • Do contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide these professionals with your insurance policy and account information.
  • Do keep records of all conversations, receipts, and documents related to the fire, the resulting damage, and your insurance claim.
  • Don't try to complete roof repair on your own. There are many safety hazards, and you could cause further damage, as well as making it more difficult for the insurance adjuster to establish the amount of damage.
  • Don't enter the building until the fire department has completed all necessary safety inspections.

If your Colorado Springs, CO, property has been damaged by a fire, you'll need to rely on experienced fire cleanup professionals to help you get your building back into its pre-fire condition. Make sure you're prepared before a fire breaks out, so you can react confidently during an emergency.

What to Do After a Fire

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a home damaged with soot damage on the exterior Board up after suffering fire damage.

Immediately after a fire is a very stressful time. With all of the fire damage and loss, it can be difficult to see what to do next. The first thought on most people's minds is to repair the damage, but there are a few things that you should consider doing even before that. The very first thing you should do is call your insurance company. The second is to secure your home.

3 Steps to Follow After a Fire

  • Secure Your Home

Securing your home does not mean locking your doors. Remember that there could be hundreds of access points after a fire. Between the flames, smoke and the fire department, the damage can be extensive. When you secure your home, you will need to board up holes, windows and doors.

Here's why you need to tarp or board your home:

  • Vacant homes are catnip to vandals and thieves
  • Your insurance may require it
  • Rain, wind and sun can make the damage worse
  • Someone could go in and hurt themselves

You must cover all the exposed areas of your home as soon as possible.

  • Take an Inventory

When you are allowed back in your home, you will need to take an inventory. Take a look at what you need to throw out and what can be salvaged. Make sure you board up or tarp anything exposed to the elements while you are doing this. It is far easier to assess the damage and cover things that need to be covered simultaneously.

  • Find a Restoration Company

You should also find a restoration company in Colorado Springs, CO, as soon as you talk to your insurance company. Some companies will even offer emergency board up services if they have to wait to start the repairs and remediation. Some of the reasons they may have to wait are delays with insurance or fire inspectors. This service will reduce the cost of your repairs and help to keep your home safe.

Fires are devastating. Just remember to board up, take inventory and find a remediation company that can help you. These steps can help you avoid any additional damage.

Reasons Your Smoke Alarm Is Beeping

6/23/2022 (Permalink)

A smoke Alarm If Your Smoke Alarm Is Beeping, just Follow our Tips.

Ensuring your Colorado Springs, CO, home is outfitted with a fire alarm in various locations is essential for everyone’s safety. It is recommended to have one on every floor of the home and outside of sleeping areas. While they are an essential first alert to a problem, they may easily be forgotten until they start to show signs of trouble.

The Different Fire Alarm Beeps

If the smoke detectors in your home aren’t hardwired, it means they are running on a battery. Most standard alarms use a 9-volt battery, which should be replaced every six months. As the battery dies, it will lead to different sounds that are sure signs it’s time to inspect them.

1. Fast, Loud Beeping

Since these detectors are designed to detect the smallest bit of smoke, any loud and fast beeping means smoke has been detected. If there is no fire, it may be caused by tobacco smoke or cooking too close to the detector. It is recommended to install alarms at least 10 feet from cooking appliances.

2. Consistent Chirps in Intervals

If you hear approximately three chirps every 30 seconds, it is a sign that something is malfunctioning. If the fire alarm is more than eight years old, it likely needs to be replaced. In other cases, it may be a battery issue. Pressing the test button for a few seconds should help you determine if the battery needs to be replaced. Once pressed, it should produce a loud sound. If there is no sound, remove and replace the battery and test again.

3. Erratic Beeping

Irregular beeping often indicates that the battery is dying. If you know that it hasn’t been six months since it was replaced, the solution may be as simple as cleaning any dust or residue out of the battery compartment. Along with signaling a low battery, it may be an indicator that the battery isn’t properly positioned. Humidity may also be affecting the detector. Ensure that they are installed away from HVAC registers, open windows and ceiling fans.

If the problem persists, the residual charge may need to be cleaned. This requires holding the test button for approximately 30 seconds to reset the alarm. Pressing it again should result in normal beeping. If not, a replacement alarm may be needed.

4. Five Loud Chirps

Once you hear a loud chirp once every five minutes, it means the device is at the end of its life. End of device life. That is a clear indicator that it’s time to get a new alarm. When researching a replacement, it may be worth considering alarms with lithium-ion batteries. These alarms are designed to last 10 years without a battery replacement. After 10 years, you simply replace the unit.

Any beeping your fire alarm does that isn't related to smoke damage or flames should never be ignored. As the first line of defense against a fire, you don't want to take any risks. If a fire does occur, you can count on a fire damage restoration company to get your property back to what it was before.

How To Prevent a Lint Fire in Your Dryer

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

A Dryer being Changed Avoid Fire Damage and Prevent a Lint Fire in Your Dryer by Following These Tips.

Lint in your dryer is not just a mere annoyance. It could also cause a lint fire that destroys your Colorado Springs, CO, house. That is why you should frequently clean the lint from your dryer. Removing the lint from the dryer screen is not enough. You also should do deep cleans of the vents and the interior. To keep your dryer functioning well and free of lint, all you need is:

  • All-Purpose cleaner
  • Vacuum
  • Water
  • Microfiber cloth

Prevent Dryer Fire by Eliminating Lint After Each Load

Whenever you finish running a dryer cycle, you should check the lint screen. Depending on the model you have, the screen could be on the side of the dryer, on the bottom of the door or at the top of appliance. You should be able to completely remove the screen by pulling it from the handle. Be careful not to pull too hard. If you bend the screen, you may not be able to get it back into the dryer.

After the screen is out of the dryer, use your hands or a brush to gather a small wad of lint. Rub this wad across the screen to attract additional lint. Then simply throw the lint into the garbage.

You may also want to rinse the lint screen with water every few weeks. Simply run the screen under the kitchen sink. You could additionally utilize soap if there is excess dust on the screen.

Before you put the screen back into the dryer, use your vacuum attachment to clean any lint that has accumulated in the vent. This should further keep your home safe from lint fire.

Deep Clean the Vents and Interior for Extra Fire Safety

Since a dryer fire can start in the interior sections of the appliance, you should deep-clean these areas twice a year, as well. Unplug the machine and move it away from the wall. You should notice an exhaust hose. You can remove it by loosening the clamps with a screwdriver.

Next, take the hose to a well-lit area. Use a vacuum attachment or cleaning brush to remove any lint balls you see. You can then utilize a cleaning rod to eliminate lint from the vent in the wall.

After re-attaching the exhaust hose, you should also brush or vacuum the dryer vent on the outside of your home. Be sure to put the vent securely back in place. Otherwise, rodents or other pests could enter your home.

The entire interior of your dryer should be deep-cleaned biannually, as well. Start by removing the back access panel. Wipe or vacuum any exposed sections, including the area around the exhaust vent. Just be careful when touching any of the wires near the vent. If you opt to clean the metal parts of the dryer, use a microfiber cloth. Once you are done, screw the panel back into place.

The above tips should keep your dryer functioning properly and reduce your chances of a lint fire. If your dryer or another appliance ever does cause fire damage to your home, emergency restoration professionals can assist you.

Understanding the Common Causes of a Home Fire

2/23/2022 (Permalink)

House on Fire. Follow These Tips about Common Causes of a Home Fire and avoid Fire in your Colorado Springs, CO house.

A home fire is a nightmare for many homeowners. While most people feel like they are safe from such events, the statistics show that house fires occur more often than people might like to think. While fire restoration services in Colorado Springs, CO, acknowledge a drop in fires and fire-related deaths since the 1970s, the danger is still prevalent.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, a fire department in the U.S. responds to a fire somewhere in the country every 23 seconds. The causes of home fires are usually not odd or extraordinary things. Most causes of house fires include:

  • Candles
  • Grills
  • Faulty appliances

4 Common Causes of a Home Fire

When reviewing fire causes, it is necessary to check the habits and tools that can lead to such disasters. People often do not realize how lax behaviors or failed maintenance can result in many household fires.

1. Home Cooking

Many house fires start in the kitchen. It is common for stovetop meals to include the use of grease or other flammable elements. Unfortunately, while cooking fires are common, they can quickly become uncontrollable, especially with bad habits.

Too many people leave the kitchen or get distracted while cooking. Leaving the room is one of the worst things you can do. Grease fires can quickly get out of hand and spread to other surfaces. However, if you are present in the room, a grease fire can be extinguished rather quicker by snuffing the flames, using a fire extinguisher, or throwing baking soda onto the flames.

2. Matches, Candles, Lighters

When fire cleaning, many restoration companies find that the cause of the fire was a candle. People love to use candles, but they can become lax around the decorations, leaving them lit in the presence of children or pets.

Again, it is not uncommon for people to leave a room where a candle remains lit. Anytime an open flame is left unattended, it becomes a fire hazard. If you have lighters and matches in your home, make sure they are out of reach of children. Many house fires are caused by accidents when children decide to play with matches.

3. Faulty Electronics

Faulty electronics and wiring are other leading causes of house fires. Many times, these faults occur because of failed maintenance or improper use. You should always follow maintenance guides and recommendations for appliances and other electronics. Additionally, it would be best to have regular inspections of your home's electrical system.

4. Smoking

Smoking is an unhealthy habit and potentially dangerous. Cigarettes cause about 5% of residential structure fires. Additionally, nearly 25% of fire-related deaths were a result of smoking.

The careless disposal of cigarettes or smoking on upholstered furniture are common causes of cigarette-related fires. The cause of the fires is often a result of falling embers.

No property owner wants to experience a home fire; they are dangerous and destructive. The best way to avoid a fire is by adopting basic fire safety practices and being aware of the common fire causes above. Contact your local fire department or fire restoration service for more information about protecting your home.

Prevent a Dryer Fire With Cleaning Tips

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

Dryer being cleaned. Consider these Cleaning Tips to prevent a Dryer Fire in your Colorado Springs, CO house.

While dryers are some of the most pleasant appliances in the home, they are also, sadly, one of the most dangerous when it comes to home fires. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, nearly 3,000 fires are caused by dryers each year. The most common of those fires is the lint fire.

You can tell if you have too much lint built up in your appliance:

  • It takes longer to get clothes dry.
  • Clothes are moist after a cycle.
  • The appliance feels hot when you touch it.
  • You can smell the heat from your appliance.
  • There's a lot of humidity in your laundry room.
  • There's very little air coming from the exhaust vent.

You should empty the lint trap every time you run a cycle through the dryer, but even with this step, there may still be lint trapped throughout the dryer and through the vent. Cleaning Tips To Prevent a Lint Fire With a little bit of prevention, you can improve the efficiency of your dryer and reduce the risk of a dryer fire in your Colorado Springs, CO home.

Bear in mind these Cleaning Tips to prevent a Dryer Fire

Clean the Lint Screen

The screen in your dryer may be at the top of the machine, on the side, or at the bottom front inside the door. Pull this out every time you run a cycle and remove the lint from the screen. If the screen needs more attention, you can run it under the faucet in your sink and rinse thoroughly until it is free of dust and residue from dryer sheets.

Vacuum the Screen Vent

This step doesn't need to be repeated with every cycle but should be completed after most loads. Use the attachment on your vacuum to remove lint you can't reach by hand. Vacuuming the lint from the vent prevents clogs and keeps lint out of the other compartments of the dryer.

Deep Clean the Machine

If you have an older dryer or if your appliances are attached to gas lines, contact an appliance professional to perform deep cleans. Unplug the dryer and pull it away from the wall. Look for the access panel at the back or side of the appliance. Once it is open, use a vacuum and soft rag to remove any lint, debris, and the occasional sock. Be gentle around the heating element and wiring. With everything cleaned up, reattach the access panel. An appliance, vent, and exhaust hose deep clean should be done every six months at least. Do this more often if you run a lot of loads of laundry.

Clean the Vents and Exhaust Hose

The machine should be unplugged and pulled out for this task. Carefully find the exhaust hose and loosen the O-ring clamp that keeps the hose in place. Watch for clamps at both ends of the hose and have a screwdriver handy to remove any bolts. Once the hose is unclamped, use a vacuum or long brush to remove lint and debris. Use a cleaning rod to reach into the wall; these are available at hardware stores. Follow the directions on the package for the best results.

Cleaning the lint from your dryer regularly is a great way to avoid a lint fire. If your home has suffered from fire damage, contact fire and smoke cleanup professionals for repairs and restoration.

6 Steps To Take After a House Fire

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

A house on fire. Hire a professional team to help with your fire-damaged house in Colorado Springs, CO.

In the aftermath of a house fire, it's challenging to know which way to turn next. The fire has just ravaged your Colorado Springs, CO, home, so now it's time to begin rebuilding your life as quickly and efficiently as possible, from the fire restoration process to recovering your possessions.

Here are six steps to take after a house fire.

1. Protect Your Family and Pets

Immediately when everyone is safe from the fire, make sure your pets are unharmed. They'll probably be scared and may not act normally. Just remember, they don't understand what's going on. Give them love and care and reassurance, and keep them in a safe, calming area.

2. Contact Your Insurance Company

Home fire insurance policies typically require policyholders to file claims as soon as they can safely do so. First, call your insurance adjuster to report the loss and begin the claim process. Next, the insurance company will require you to list everything you lost in the fire and each item's value. You'll submit this information in a proof of loss claim.

3. Inventory Your Losses

While you're inventorying your losses, make sure you don't throw anything away. The insurance adjuster may want to see it and photograph it as proof of loss before fire restoration begins. You can also be proactive and list your property and its value in case such a disaster occurs. Take pictures of different rooms of your home showing the contents. Doing it beforehand will ease some stress after a disaster.

4. Reach Out for Help

Contact a local disaster relief agency, such as the American Red Cross, if you need temporary housing or other essentials, such as food and clothes. Most homeowners' policies will also provide a certain amount of money for living expenses if you can't occupy your home. Friends, family, and local churches are often happy to help with whatever is needed, such as donating household items or childcare.

5. Secure Your Home

The insurance company requires policyholders to take reasonable actions to protect their property after a loss to protect it from further damage. Mitigating damage after a fire could include tarping the roof, boarding up windows, or installing a temporary security fence. It could also mean moving undamaged items to unaffected areas to keep them out of harm's way. The insurance company probably won't pay for secondary damage that could've been avoided, so it's essential to do as much as possible to minimize the damage.

6. Schedule Professional Restoration

Professional restoration must be performed on a fire-damaged house. Fire damage restoration professionals have years of expertise and industrial-grade equipment for making sure the job is performed properly and as quickly as possible to prevent more damage. From soot and smoke cleaning to odor removal, water extraction, and mold mitigation, they'll return your home to code as soon as possible. They'll also do a thorough inspection to ensure all problems have been addressed.

Fire restoration must begin as quickly as possible after a house fire to mitigate any additional damage and return your life to normal. Proactively familiarizing yourself and your family with the process before a disaster occurs can prove to be advantageous should the worst happen.

Fire prevention tips for El Paso and Elbert county

8/17/2021 (Permalink)

Fire extinguishing. Preventing fire with small steps can go a long way.

According to the National Fire Protection Association in 2015, there were 500,000+ structure fires causing $10+ billion in property damage! Structure fires were reported every 63 seconds!

Here are a few tips to prevent a fire at your Colorado Springs, CO, home or property, provided by the American Red Cross.

  • Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
  • Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches, and lighters and keep them out of reach.
  • Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside every sleeping area. Also, install a carbon monoxide alarm in a central location outside each separate sleeping area.
  • Check electrical wiring in your home.
  • Avoid overloading outlets or extension cords.
  • Make sure wiring is not under rugs, attached by nails, or in high traffic areas.

 Have you checked your home or property for fire hazards recently? Have you had conversations with your family about what you would do in a fire emergency? What is your plan if a fire impacts your home?

SERVPRO of North Central Colorado Springs specializes in the cleanup of residential and commercial property after a fire or smoke damage event and can help you get back on track after an incident.

SERVPRO of North Central Colorado Springs is locally owned and operated—so we’re a part of this community too. We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 Franchises, which enables us to respond quicker with more resources. For major storms and disasters, we can call upon special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country.

SERVPRO of North Central Colorado Springs proudly serves Colorado Springs, Fountain, Security-Widefield, Black Forest, Peyton, Calhan, Woodland Park, Ellicott, and all of Elbert and El Paso County. Call us with your mitigation concerns at (719) 266-0881

Leading Causes of Home Fires

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a house on fire. Prevent home fires.

A fire can be devastating to the people involved. This is why it is important to know and understand the most common causes of a home fire. Knowing the causes can help stop it from happening to you.

Kitchen and Cooking Fires

Accidents in the kitchen cause the majority of household fires in the United States. Some things that happen are:

  • Flammable items are left near flame, heat or burners
  • Frying with oil
  • Setting cooking temperatures too high
  • Cooking while tired or otherwise impaired


Fortunately, most of the kitchen fire causes are preventable with a bit of caution.

Home Heating and Cooling Fires

Home heating and cooling is the second most common cause of a household fire. In this case, it is not always preventable. It is a good idea to have your heating and cooling system inspected at least once per year to help offset the danger.

Intentional Fires

The third leading cause of a home fire is intentional. When most people think of intentional fires, they immediately think of arsonists. This is not always the case. For insurance and remediation companies in Colorado Springs, CO, this can mean using a heat source such as a space heater or stove for something that was not intended, such as using a microwave to dry clothing.

Cigarette Fires

Surprisingly cigarette fires, rate fairly high on this list. These are fires caused by cigarettes or other smoking tools and are usually relatively localized so they don't require a lot of fire cleaning. A bit of preventative care will help you avoid this type of fire.

Washing Machines and Dryer Fires

Washing machines and dryers cause a lot of problems. When it comes to washing machines, the combination of faulty wiring and water can start a fire. In the case of dryers, the leading cause of the fire is the combination of lint and heat. Dryer lint is extremely flammable.

In most cases, the home fire is preventable. Knowing the leading causes helps. Make sure that you are doing everything you can to make sure it doesn't happen to you.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Fire?

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

Image of an apartment complex Renters insurance provides different coverages for various types of fire damage.

Because the property owner's insurance does not cover the personal property of tenants, it is important for renters to purchase their own coverage. The short answer to the question of whether renters insurance covers fire is that it does. However, different types of coverage apply to fire damage in different ways.

Different Types of Renter Insurance Coverage for Fire Damage

Personal Property

The primary reason for renters to purchase fire coverage is to replace personal property damaged or destroyed in a fire. Examples of personal property include:

  • Clothing
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Home decor
  • Cash


Some types of property may be specifically excluded or have different limits, such as jewelry, cash, guns and musical instruments. Most policies cover personal property at replacement value, but some may cover it at actual cash value, which is the replacement value less depreciation. If you need a fire restoration service in Colorado Springs, CO, to clean your smoke damaged property, this may be covered by your policy.

Liability

Another coverage provided by most renters insurance policies is liability. This means that if you accidentally cause a fire in your rental unit, your liability coverage may pay for any damages to the building or injuries to other tenants or guests that you are legally liable for.

Medical Payments to Others

Most renters policies provide a small amount of coverage for medical payments to others. This is no-fault coverage, so it applies, even if you didn't cause the fire. This coverage might apply if you had a guest in your apartment and that person needed medical attention due to smoke inhalation from a fire in your kitchen.

Loss of Use

If a fire makes your apartment uninhabitable, loss of use coverage may apply. This coverage may reimburse you for additional living expenses, such as paying for a hotel room.

Renters insurance provides a variety of coverages for various types of fire damage. If you are unsure what your policy covers, your insurance professional can review your policy with you and make adjustments as needed.

Frequently Lost Items During a Fire

10/21/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a house covered in fire A fire in your home may not result in a total loss.

A fire in your home in Colorado Springs, CO, may not result in a total loss. Fire restoration specialists may be able to save a lot of the items in your home, but there are some things you will have to throw away. Having a prepared list of items that are frequently lost in a fire can serve as a starting checklist for belongings that need to be replaced.

List Of Items That Are Frequently Lost During a Fire

Documents

The good thing about replacing important documents is that you can find almost all of them online. You likely have digital copies of your income tax records, insurance information and legal documents. However, you need to have hard copies of certain documents:

  • Drivers license
  • Passport
  • Titles and deeds
  • Social security cards
  • Health insurance cards


If these items are listed as part of the fire damage to your home, start the process of replacing them right away.

Food

You will likely need to throw away all food if the fire was anywhere near your kitchen. The refrigerator and freezer may keep food fresh under normal circumstances, but it is unlikely that they were able to withstand the fire's blaze well enough to protect the food inside during a fire. Non-perishable items must be tossed as well. Plastic and cardboard are no match for smoke and soot. Even the food in glass jars and aluminum cans can be spoiled by the high heat of a house fire. It is better to get rid of food altogether than take chances that it has gone bad.

Toiletries

Just as you would not want to consume anything that the fire or extinguishing agents have touched, you also don't want to put anything from the fire on your body. This includes cosmetics, soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and hair styling products. It's also necessary to throw away any medication that could have been subject to high temperatures or toxic fumes.

Many items in your home can be salvaged after a fire, but some must be replaced. Mitigation professionals can help you determine what to throw away and what to keep.

Fire Damage and Your Electronics

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

Image of smoke coming out of a plug-in Fire damage comes from may sources.

After a fire damages your Colorado Springs, CO, home, there's a lot more to repair and replace than the structural elements of your home. All of the soot, smoke, flames, and water from the fire and the firefighters' efforts take a toll on your furniture and other belongings. Electronics, in particular, can be affected by the detritus of a fire. During your fire cleanup efforts, consider the value of hiring professionals to care for your computer, stereo system, and other electronics.


Damage Comes From Many Sources

Did you know that it's possible for electronics to suffer even without the presence of flames? If the fire takes place in one room of your home, smoke damage is likely to occur in other rooms. Any electronics in the home may not work properly and may not work at all. This is because the wiring could be coated with soot; other damage to the electronics could include:

  • Melt parts from the heat
  • Corrosion from acidic soot
  • Short-circuited wiring from magnetically charged smoke
  • Disintegration of metal components caused by soot


The temperatures surrounding the flames and the amount of smoke and soot are often very high during a residential fire. When it's safe to return to your home, take pictures and make notes of the visible damage but resist touching anything.


There Are Many Risks to Your Electronics

With an understanding of the many ways that electronic devices can be affected by fire, it's important to hire fire cleanup and repair professionals to help recover your belongings. Handling your electronics or turning them on could cause further harm. For instance, you could lose information from your computer if you turn it on. In fact, you should avoid touching all electronics. The risks include electrocution, wiped hard drives, corrosive acid burns, secondary electrical fires, and similar hazards.


Leave Repairs to the Professionals

The best way to be sure your computer, stereo, security cameras, and other electronics can function appropriately is to have a fire cleanup professional assess damages as soon as possible. It's also a good way to avoid further losses and injuries.

4 Steps for Reducing the Risk of Commercial Fire

7/21/2020 (Permalink)

Image with different stickers, stop sign, a silhouette of a men falling down the stairs, etc. Many threats to commercial succes, including fire damage.

There are many threats to commercial success, and fire damage is one of the most frightening. However, with some fire preparation and consistent training, you can prevent, or at least reduce, the damage left behind after a fire in your Colorado Springs, CO, property.

4 Preparation Steps to Reduce Commercial Fire Damage


1. Create a Buffer Around Buildings

This step involves cleaning up any dry leaves, branches, and other vegetation from the sides of your buildings. It also involves trimming shrub and tree branches hanging next to the buildings. This protects your property from wildfire or fires in neighboring buildings. It also prevents a fire on your property from spreading to your neighbors.

2. Clear the Space Around Electrical Outlets

Power strips, extension cords, and other electrical sources tend to get hotter than other areas, and flammable materials could create a fire hazard. This simply means clearing papers, curtains, and other materials away from outlets and power strips.
Did you know that electrical fires make up a large percentage of the fires reported each year? They also tend to be some of the most expensive. Make sure you don't overload your outlets, power strips, and extension cords. Understanding the power needs of appliances is one part of your fire preparation plan.

3. Reduce Clutter and Designate Fire Escape Routes

One vital component of your disaster preparation plan is clearly the way for people to evacuate if a fire does happen. Throughout the year, practice your evacuation procedures, so everyone in the building knows how to get out. Make sure that boxes, doors, chairs, and other items aren't blocking these exit paths. It's also important to keep the areas around fire extinguishers and alarms clear.

4. Coordinate With Local Fire Authorities

Most businesses have to comply with annual fire inspections. Use the recommendations from these professionals to increase safety and reduce the risk of fire. If you don't have an inspection coming up in the next few months, reach out to schedule one. Your insurance company may also offer advice for reducing the risk of fire.
You can't always avoid fire and other disasters, but with a fire preparation plan in place that includes preventative steps, you can reduce your risk of damage. Get more information or schedule fire damage cleanup services from your local fire damage reconstruction professionals.

Dealing With Smoke Damage After a Fire

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Image of the front of a building with smoke damage with white letters stating "In need of a cleaning" Smoke damage in a Colorado Springs property.

When a fire happens to your commercial property in  Colorado Springs, CO, there's a lot to handle in the aftermath. One aspect that is not immediately obvious is the task of smoke cleaning. This is an important step that should not be skipped, so be sure to add it to your to-do list.

What It Harms

Smoke damage doesn't just mean seeing some dark smudges on the ceiling. Smoke and soot spread quickly and can manifest on almost everything in your building. It will affect different items and surfaces in different ways. Some common problem areas can include:

  • electronics
  • documents
  • furniture
  • fabric materials

How It's Cleaned

Depending on what needs cleaning, there can be a method for every scenario. Specific items, such as those listed above, each require their own customized type of smoke cleaning, that should be conducted by a qualified remediation specialist. Surfaces such as walls and solid furniture can handle a process of dry to wet cleaning. For upholstery and fabric than will shrink if exposed to wet cleaning, there is an option called foam cleaning. Immersive cleaning is a form of wet cleaning in which smaller objects can be totally sunk into a cleaning solution. The list goes on for many more categories.

How It's Reported

If you've hired a smoke odor and cleaning service, they most likely can help you with your insurance claim, as well. You will probably need to inventory all your content that has been damaged by fire or smoke, and gather all you can to verify each item's value. Then you can contact your insurance to determine your coverage. If you don't already have coverage, this moment would also be a good time to consider adding it.

Fire damage is a dynamic problem that needs to be approached from multiple angles. One of these angles that shouldn't be dismissed is that of smoke cleaning. Smoke damage can hinder functionality and cause a strong odor. Give it proper attention for a complete rehabilitation of your commercial property.

Putting Out a Kitchen Grease Fire

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

A grease fire can start quickly and spread rapidly if not extinguished. Home cooks need to be cautious when cooking with oils and grease, limiting the amount to only what is necessary. If you experience a fire, do not panic and follow four steps.

  • Cover flames
  • Remove heat source
  • Use baking soda
  • Use a fire extinguisher

4 Steps to Put Out a Kitchen Fire

Cover Flames

The first thing you need to do is cover the flames. Use a metal pan lid or a cookie sheet, anything to smother and extinguish the fire. Quick reflexes can mean the difference between needing a fire cleanup crew from Colorado Springs, CO, and not. If you put out the fire quickly, your home may not experience any fire damage.

Remove Heat Source

Next, when dealing with a grease fire, remove the pan from the heat source. You need not pull the pot from the stove. You can cover the pan and turn off the burner. If possible, move the pan from the hot burner. However, don't risk injury.

Use Baking Soda

If you do not have a lid or sheet capable of covering the pot with the fire, use baking soda. Do not use water. Water may make the situation worse. If you do not have baking soda, use salt.

Use a Fire Extinguisher

If you are at a loss and nothing seems to control the fire, consider using a fire extinguisher to reduce fire damage. However, you cannot use just any fire extinguisher. You need a class B fire extinguisher, have one in your kitchen at all times for essential fire prevention. 

A grease fire is common, and it is controllable. However, if you do not act quickly, the fire can spread rapidly. Use the steps above to extinguish a stovetop fire. If you are not familiar with grease fires, or if you don't know how to use an extinguisher, contact your local fire department to ask for help.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup by SERVPRO of North Central Colorado Springs

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Room with smoke and soot damage. Smoke and soot can cause large damage in your Colorado Springs home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of North Central ColoradoSprings will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Colorado Springs Fire Damage Cleanup

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial Kitchen Fire Kitchen Fire in Rockrimmon Commercial building near Colorado Springs, CO

After the kitchen fire at Carrabba's in Rockrimmon, CO, it seemed word got out that we were the team to call after a fire anywhere! Since then we have done 5 other commercial fire cleanup jobs, including a multifamily building and even a storage unit complex.

Busy with Commercial Fire Cleanup

Our team knows that fire is the most devastating force to any structure and we have gotten a first hand look at some pretty rough sights in the last few weeks. The families affected give us the drive to do the best job possible in restoring, not only their homes and properties, but their lives as well. 

Fire is hard on families and business owners. Call the company that is available 27/7. SERVPRO is "Here to help." 

Rockrimmon Fire Update

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

Rockrimmon Fire SERVPRO priority responded to a fire involving multiple units in the Rockrimmon area of Colorado Springs.

Work to recover after a fire in Rockrimmon affecting 5 townhomes and multiple families is underway. We have completed mitigation on the first unit which had minor burn damage and a lot of smoke. We completed a full packout and storage of the entire home's contents. We have cleaned the other 3 smoke affected units with dry sponges and proprietary chemicals. Cleaned the air with air scrubbers and HEPA vacuumed any affected areas. we just got clearance to begin work on the source unit today after a long wait for insurance investigation. So we will get going on the contents cleaning and cataloging for the homeowner, her tenant, and their insurances. 

Fire in Rockrimmon

2/2/2020 (Permalink)

Rockrimmon Burned Kitchen This photo was taken of the halway to the kitchen. You can see the devastating damage this fire caused.

For the community of Rockrimmon which was at the base of the Waldo Canyon Wildfire, the sight of smoke never goes unnoticed. Fast acting firefighters and other quick responding community members saved adjoined structures and prevented the spread of a fire in a condominium community. We priority responded and came to aid the property owners and the homeowner's association. There is one unit that will need to be fully restored and 3 others that suffered from smoke damage, 1 with minor fire damage and some water damage too. SERVPRO of North Central Colorado Springs has aided the displaced families with resources they needed and walked them through the fire department and insurance procedures. We're restoring more than property... were helping our clients restore their lives.  

Carrabba's Fire UPDATE

2/2/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen Demo Fire site demolition and bracing of the hood system for the roof work.

The Carrabba's Italian Grill is coming along wonderfully. The corporate contractor is everything you would expect from a man who travels the country redesigning and rebuilding a large group of restaurants. He is fast and efficient. Our mitigation work is almost completed there and we are still storing the kitchen equipment for the owner, but the remodel of the restaurant is moving right along. SERVPRO came to the rescue and was able to recommend some of our vendors to help aid the process. We are very proud of our work on this project. It was a commercial loss at a restaurant everyone has been to before. Our staff is very excited to come in for dinner after they reopen SOON. 

Keep Dryers Lint Free

10/13/2019 (Permalink)

 Hand cleaning accumulated clothing lint from trap in clothes dryer Lint traps should be cleaned after very load

A dryer seems like a convenient, safe appliance that lets you forget it and go. If you don’t maintain it properly, a lint fire can happen, which can cause sever fire damage to your home in Colorado Springs, CO.

A Surprising Amount of Lint

Depending on your family size or how often you go through clothes, it is likely that you do a lot more laundry than you realize. An average family does approximately eight to 10 loads a week. Every load means small fabric, dust and dirt particles are collecting in your dryer’s int trap, vent and duct work. Lint is highly combustible, making it vital to eliminate.

Cleaning Out the Lint

Instead of dealing with a potential dryer fire and needing expert help in repairing the damage, good habits can go a long way.

Lint traps should be cleaned after very load. Most appliances make this easy. The trap usually slides out and the lint can be lifted off. Any lint that is leftover should be scrubbed off with a brush. Every few weeks, the screen should be rinsed with water. While the screen is out, vacuum in and around its entry point.
Approximately once a year, unplug the dryer and inspect the vent and hose or pipe connected to the dryer. Wipe lint off of the opening and clean any leftover in the hose or pipe. A brush can bused to clean the interior of the vent.
Don’t forget the exterior vent. Ensure the vent flap is still attached and working properly. Vacuum or wipe out the opening. This should be done a few times a year.

Extra Safety Tips

To further avoid a lint fire, ensure your dryer is properly installed. Additionally, avoid drying clothes stained with chemicals, gas, oil or cleaning products, and only operate the dryer while at home.
In most cases, a lint fire happens because of improper cleaning and maintenance. Taking a little extra to be safe is worth it.

How To Use a Fire Extinguisher

7/21/2019 (Permalink)

PASS technique is useful for operating most extinguishers

Types of Fire Extinguishers

There are many hazards within the home that can cause a fire to break out, but with proper care and basic safety, this is a rare problem. Accidents still do happen though, and it never hurts to be prepared if the situation calls for it. Owning a small fire extinguisher and having it in a handy spot, such as the kitchen pantry, can be a life saver.
Of course, making the decision to take it out and use it can be tricky, as you must know what type of fire it is, what type of fire extinguisher can be used safely, and whether or not it is a safe enough situation to handle it yourself without instead evacuating and calling the fire department. Consult OSHA’s website to determine which type of extinguisher would be the best for your home. There are many types, including multi-purpose, as well as Class K which is specifically for putting out a kitchen fire.
There are situations when even if you are able to get to the fire extinguisher, but the fire is growing quickly, it’s better to call emergency services in Colorado Springs, CO, before you attempt to control the situation.

Operate Your Fire Extinguisher

The following technique called PASS is useful for operating most extinguishers:

Pull: Pull the pin and break the tamper seal.
Aim: Aim at the base of the fire with the hose or nozzle.
Squeeze: Squeeze the handle.
Sweep: Use a sweeping motion to spray the chemicals along the base until it goes out, then wait to see if it reignites, and repeat if necessary.

If there are any doubts about your ability to handle a fire, evacuate and call 911. Especially in the case of a kitchen fire, burning oils are incredibly dangerous and having the right type of chemicals in your extinguisher is crucial for your safety. Fire damage restoration services are much more affordable than risking your life!

Understanding Emergency Board Up Practices

5/15/2019 (Permalink)

Emergency board up services in Colorado Springs, CO

Understanding Emergency Board Up Practices

Fires can be destructive forces that feed on wood, insulation and other substances that make your home as its kindling. Therefore, depending on the emergency response time to your home, significant damage may occur before the blaze is extinguished. While the resulting material loss may be substantial, it is necessary to protect the surviving structure from further damages, which is where professional board up services come into play. By mitigating any further loss, these services help to reduce homeowner liability and improve the chances of a successful restoration.

1. Boarding

An emergency board up occurs quickly after a fire has been extinguished. A restoration company will enter the property, assess the structural integrity of the home, and then begin the process of securing the assets from would-be intruders, animals or other natural phenomena. Boarding up is typically used to cover any broken windows or unsecured doors. However, it may also be used to cover any holes in the walls of the building. Primarily, boarding a property will aim to secure the vertical structure.

2. Tarping

Aside from the board up process, it may be necessary to use tarps to cover any hole in ceilings or upper floors. Tarps are primarily used to cover large horizontal holes in the structure. The practice of tarping secures the property from exposure to the natural elements.

3. Mitigation

The boarding up and tarping services are used to mitigate the potential for further property loss. Most insurers require homeowners to protect their homes from further damage, and this mandate is a prerequisite to receiving aid or their policy’s coverage. Therefore, mitigation through quick response boarding and tarping services is often necessary for securing funds to help in the restoration efforts.

4. Restoration

You can contact a fire damage specialist in the Colorado Springs, CO, area to help with your restoration efforts. These companies should be able to walk you through the process of mitigation and insurance protocols. However, you should also contact your insurer.

Board up services are only a piece of the restoration puzzle, but they are instrumental in the process. Therefore, after a fire, hire a restoration company to secure your property.

How To Check Your Home's Alarm System

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Some smoke alarms have 10 years batteries

Despite the efforts you make to ensure your home in Colorado Springs, CO, is safe, no home is completely fireproof. A working smoke alarm system is a vital part of an adequate emergency preparedness system. Older smoke alarms need replacement batteries once a year, but the rules change as you upgrade your detectors. Following these inspection tips can help keep your system in top form.

Power Check

First, you want to make sure all your detectors have power. The power source depends on the type of smoke detector you have in your system:

  • Battery-operated detectors (9-volt batteries) should have the batteries replaced every year.
  • Battery-operated detectors (lithium batteries) should be completely replaced every ten years.
  • Hardwired systems should have the backup battery replaced yearly, and the detectors replaced every ten years.

Regardless of the replacement for the battery or detector, fire remediation experts recommend that you test each smoke alarm every month to make sure it's working. Don't rely strictly on a schedule. Replace faulty alarms whenever necessary.

Age Check

No matter where your detectors get their power, all of them must be replaced every ten years to keep the system in shape for detecting fire damage. Checking the age of the devices in your system is easy. Remove each detector from the ceiling or wall and turn it over. The date of manufacture should be printed on the back. As long as the date is within the last ten years and the device is still working, it does not need to be replaced. Return it to its designated spot and make sure that it is linked with the rest of the system.

Testing your smoke alarm system once a month is a crucial part of home maintenance. If you have outdated detectors or your power source is not properly supporting the system, prompt maintenance can help keep you safe during a home fire.

Do Renters Insurance Policies Cover Fire Damage?

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

Storage unit fire in Colorado Springs, CO

Renters insurance can cover damage to a tenant's property after a fire at an apartment or rental house in Colorado Springs, CO. Structural damage should be covered by the property owner's insurance policy. Find out more about what rental policies do and do not cover, and how to file a claim.

What Is Covered

A renters policy provides coverage for the contents of an apartment or rental home. This includes items such as:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Electronics
  • Personal effects

Renters should select policies that cover replacement costs rather than actual cash value. This policy may also include limited amounts of loss of use and liability coverage. The latter can be helpful in the event that a third party sustains an injury on or near the property due to the fire.

What Is Not Covered

Renters insurance does not cover structural damage. The owner or landlord will need to file a separate property insurance claim for:

  • Building materials
  • Included contents
  • Fire restoration

The process of filing a claim calls for documenting damage, a visit from an adjuster, and filing proof of loss. It is the owner's responsibility to clean up fire damage or hire a mitigation and restoration service.

Filing a Claim

A tenant should contact their insurance provider as soon as possible after a fire. The policyholder can also take several measures to support their claim, including:

  • Documenting damage
  • Gathering receipts
  • Listing damaged contents

A renter may want to contact a restoration company to determine whether certain items can be cleaned or repaired rather than replaced. The policyholder can obtain an estimate and submit this information to the insurer.

It is important to know precisely what a renters insurance policy covers. A tenant should assess the terms of a policy before he or she needs to file a fire damage claim for the contents of an apartment or house in Colorado Springs, CO.

Rental Property Fire Damage: Who Pays for What

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire in Colorado Springs, CO

Rental Property Fire Damage

An apartment fire can be devastating. However, the aftermath can be more stressful than the initial experience as everyone struggles to understand who is responsible for what fire damage. Thankfully, the rules of responsibility are pretty cut and dry.

1. Responsibility and Ownership

Essentially, responsibility and ownership are the leading determiners for financial responsibility. The property owner owns the building and therefore his or her insurance is responsible for covering building damages. The tenant owns their belongings, and thus his or her coverage is responsible for covering personal items.

2. Structure and Property

The building structure and the surrounding property should be covered under the apartment owner’s insurance policy. Therefore, unless the owner is proven negligent, the insurance will cover any damage incurred during the apartment fire. As the owner is not responsible for a tenant’s belongings and as such is not liable for them, he or she cannot be held accountable for any damage unless, again, proven negligent.

3. Contents and Personal Belongings

As tenants are responsible for their belongings, like furniture, clothing and other personal items, his or her insurance will cover this damage. This coverage can be challenged if the tenant is proven both negligent and responsible for the initial blaze.

4. Insurance Coverage and Restoration

While there does exist a clear division between insurer responsibility, the use of a fire remediation specialist in the Colorado Springs, CO, area is most likely the responsibility of the building owner and their insurance policy. The responsible party can be disputed depending on the initial cause of the fire.

An apartment fire is difficult for everyone involved. Whether you are the owner or a tenant, the loss of property can be emotionally taxing enough without worrying about who is responsible for covering what damage. However, in most cases, the property owner is responsible for the building, and the tenant is responsible for their belongings.

3 Reasons You Need a Security Fence After a Fire

8/30/2018 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire damage in a Colorado Springs, CO home

You may think a security fence is not important after a fire in your building. You are probably wondering what else you could possibly lose after seeing the damage to your property? Believe it or not, you still have property to protect and liability to consider. Effective protection during the recovery stage is critical to protect your remaining property.

Here are 3 reasons why you need a fence:

  1. The property may be unsafe. While you don’t expect anyone to go into a building damaged by fire, you would be surprised that many people actually try. Employees looking for personal property, curious people, and opportunists may try to access your property. To protect their safety, and your liability, a fence can help.
  2. Some people see a burned building as an opportunity for theft and vandalism. Even though the building may be unsafe, some people will exploit the opportunity to take what remains.
  3. Once firefighters hand the property back to you, any additional damage that happens could be your financial responsibility. Even if a well-meaning person tries to help with recovery, they may cause further damage from something as simple as tracking soot and dirty water into carpet running what could otherwise have been recovered.

In addition to providing a security fence to protect your property from damage due to people, you will need to protect it from the weather as well. Boarding up exposed areas and covering the roof with a tarp are also important solutions to prevent further damage and cost.

This seems like a lot to think about, but a good professional restoration company will take care of tarps, boarding up and a security fence as part of the full array of services they provide in response to fire damage. You can count on the right company in Colorado Springs, CO to handle these and all aspects of your recovery, which saves you the hassle of dealing with multiple contacts.

Smoke Alarms: LIFE SAVERS

4/27/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke Alarms can safe your life!

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level, including the basement. Extra smoke alarms may be needed in large homes.


Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA). If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross. Be sure your home has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills with your family.

For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact your local SERVPRO of North Central Colorado Springs.

Electrical in the Office and at Home In El Paso County

4/27/2017 (Permalink)

Electrical Fire can happen anywhere in El Paso county

Consumer electronic products are more
prevalent than ever. Research indicates that
the average household owns more than
twenty-five consumer electronic products.
With all of today’s technology, it can prove
challenging to safely maintain power to all
of our electronic devices. Electrical outlets
are easy to overload and as a result, may
become hazardous. While adding a power strip
or extension cord seems like an easy solution to
a lack of electrical outlets, the wiring in some
buildings often isn’t capable of supporting too
many high-powered electronic appliances.

Older office buildings and homes, in particular,
often suffer from lack of electrical outlets. The
temptation is to simply add a power strip or plug
in an extension cord from across the room. Even
in newer office buildings and homes, it can be all
too easy to overload a single outlet with power-hungry machines such as computers, printers,
scanners and monitors.

When an employee or resident overloads an
electrical outlet, that means more current is
running through the outlet than it can handle.
This causes the outlet to overheat, which may
lead to an electrical fire. According to a 2008
National Fire Protection Association study,
electrical distribution and lighting equipment
are involved in more than 24,000 home structure
fires per year. These fires resulted in an average of 320 deaths per year and an estimated $700 million in property damage per year.1

If an electrical fire should occur, get safely away
from the fire and call your fire department. If you
choose to use an extinguisher on the fire, never
let the fire get between you and a safe exit, and
never use water to extinguish an electrical fire. The risk of electrical shock is far too great. Class C fire extinguishers use a non-conductive extinguishing agent and should not cause electrical shock.

To help prevent this and other electrical hazards,
refer to the list below (provided by Electrical
Safety Foundation International).


  • If you must use a power strip, use a name brand
    product from a reputable retailer.
    Low-quality or counterfeit power strips
    may contain wiring that isn’t adequate to
    carry the load.
    
  • Place power strips where there is plenty
    of air circulation to disperse the heat.
    
  • Never attempt to plug grounded (three prong)
    cords into an ungrounded (two prong)
    outlet.
    
  • Do not bind, kink or knot electrical cords.

Should you encounter the aftermath of an electrical fire, call SERVPRO of North Central Colorado Springs at (719) 266-0881 to help you get your life to normal again.