Recent Fire Damage Posts

What Are the Necessary Tools to Clean Up After a Fire?

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

3 SERVPRO Vehicles Contact SERVPRO for fire damage restoration services.

Fire Restoration is Best Left to Professionals, So Call SERVPRO to Address the Damage to Your Manhasset Home

There are countless reasons to call in the help of trained restoration technicians after a fire in your Manhasset home. For example, smoke and soot bring on foul odors that linger past the fire-loss zone and call for specialized techniques to rid your interior of them. Additionally, the only way you can ensure you salvage the most materials and belongings is by having specialized cleaning methods and the industry's best products today. SERVPRO comes to each fire restoration job, ready to work with all of the latest advancements in the field. 

How Do My Furnishings, Walls, and Ceilings Get Cleaned?

When you call us for help with fire restoration in Manhasset, we arrive with our Green Fleet loaded with all of the equipment and proper cleaning agents to handle the job. To determine the best measures for cleaning your interior, we test surfaces covered in smoke residue. This allows us to match the right cleaning techniques and products for optimum results. 

Anytime a homeowner tries to handle fire-loss with consumer cleaning tools and DIY methods, they run the risk of worsening the damage. Some of the standard, professional-grade equipment that we bring to each fire damage project includes:

  •   Personal protection equipment (PPE), which protects the crew from harmful irritants, such as soot
  •   Durable wet-sponges best for working on the removal of wet smoke residue
  •   Dry-sponges that work to lift away any dry smoke residue on surfaces easily
  •   Moisture detection tools to help find hidden moisture pockets from the water used to extinguish the flames
  •   Air scrubber equipment that helps capture the soot particles from the air
  •   EPA-registered solvents and cleaning solutions to fight smoke odors

What Sets SERVPRO Apart from the Rest?

Once you choose us for your fire damage restoration needs, we send out a team to begin assessing your interior. The crew chief examines each area and records each detail, which allows for the formulation of a tailored plan of action. We use research-based planning to help facilitate the mitigation and remediation steps. Several areas that we address when putting a plan into place include:

  •   Integrity and safety of any structural materials
  •   Whether pack-out services are required
  •   The level of damage within the loss zone, including potential materials that must get treated using controlled demolition methods
  •   Any residual moisture from water or chemicals used to douse the flames
  •   What drying or dehumidification equipment, if any and how many, is needed 
  •   What odor-control equipment will work best on the project

What are Pack-Out Services?

There are times when items can be relocated to another room of the home for cleaning, or we will send them to our facility for detailed cleaning. We may also suggest a partial move out, where only some of your contents get moved at any given time. Whatever we decide is best, all of your belongings get logged for your records and to your insurance provider to go with your claim. 

Of course, there will be items that can be cleaned on-site, which our technicians will address and handle with care. 

What is Done to Address Foul Odors?

A common complaint after a house fire is the strong smell of smoke and charred materials. Without proper techniques, the smoke remains a constant reminder even after other traces of the fire get removed. Handling smoke odors is something that our IICRC-certified technicians at SERVPRO are trained to do. We take measures to contain the fire-loss zone so that mitigation can begin, which includes tarping off the area and covering vents. This helps to keep soot and smoke from getting tracked throughout the home and limit particulates in the air. Whenever soot and smoke residue get into the ducts of your HVAC system, these foul odors can spread throughout each room in your home.

Some of the advanced technology that we bring with us to help battle smoke odors includes:

  •   Sealants for walls and ductwork that halt odor transmission from soot that has become embedded
  •   Powerful deodorizing agents
  •   Hydroxyl generators with UV light technology that help to eliminate odors safely
  •   Thermal foggers that use chemicals to bind with odor molecules for easy removal.

What Items are a Total Loss?

As mentioned with our pack-out services, we take the time to catalog all items that are handled. Our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), reports the condition of each item as well as anything that has been discarded. What this service does is establish a chain of custody, which then helps to give you added peace of mind while also helping to expedite your insurance claim. Any items deemed unsalvageable are adequately disposed of according to local guidelines.

To have a team deployed to your home for fire restoration services, call SERVPRO of Great Neck/Port Washington at (516) 767-9600. We are here to make sure that your interior is "Like it never even happened."

Can I Paint Over Fire Residue??

5/9/2020 (Permalink)

fire damaged bedroom Are you trying to figure out who can take care of the fire damage in your Great Neck home? Call SERVPRO!

Do Not Paint Over Smoke and Soot Left Behind in Your Great Neck Residence

Whether you live in Great Neck or elsewhere, your home is not immune to catching on fire. Even a small kitchen fire can result in residual smoke and soot that fills your entire home. Although painting over it sounds like a great idea, it is best to clean the area thoroughly before getting your paintbrush.

For professional fire damage restoration in Great Neck, call our SERVPRO team for help. Our technicians are certified in water and fire restoration, and we apply our knowledge to your situation. We intend to leave your home in mint condition while protecting your personal belongings and minimizing your costs.

Do soap and water eliminate soot?

When you call our SERVPRO team, you will realize that there are many ways to clean smoke and soot depending on their origin and how it presents in your home. Organic and inorganic materials have different burn patterns and settle onto your walls and furniture in different ways. Our staff takes a look at your situation and cleans your walls accordingly. Sometimes our cleaning is enough and others it serves as preparation for a fresh coat of paint. Some techniques available to us include-

  • Dry cleaning sponge
  • Wet cleaning
  • Peroxide active cleaning

SERVPRO of Great Neck/Port Washington is your ally. Call us at (516) 767-9600, whether you live in Manhasset or Roslyn and let us leave your home, "Like it never even happened."

How Do You Stay Safe While Recovering From a Kitchen Fire?

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

Fire in kitchen Homeowners have to deal with many things which may include fire damage. Contact SERVPRO right away.

Rely On the Safety Procedures SERVPRO Uses for Manhasset Homeowners

Safety is an essential issue after any fire damage, but kitchen fires pose especially unique and difficult challenges. The problems include possible structural damage, safe kitchen access, and electrical hazards, and having the help of trained professionals is critical to avoid being overwhelmed.

What initial steps are necessary to make the kitchen safe after fire damage in your Manhasset Home?

A thorough, professional assessment should be performed as soon as possible after the fire. Three significant issues must be addressed immediately:

o Identify unsafe areas and safe areas

o Secure and organize the worksite

o Cleaning protocols and debris disposal

What procedures are used to ensure kitchen safety before the recovery work starts?

SERVER professionals know how to separate safe and unsafe areas, and part of that process includes pinpointing structural issues that may be dangerous. Safe cleanup procedures are also spelled out, along with the steps necessary to remove hazardous debris. Charred debris sometimes produces foul odors and can be especially dangerous, so special procedures may occasionally be required to remove it.

Precisely what safety hazards must be addressed specifically?

o Electrical hazards and lighting issues

o Potential problems for at-risk individuals

o Using PPE

How are electrical issues handled?

Restoring electrical service is a priority, but dangerous hazards must be accounted for and eliminated as part of the process. These include damaged wiring and power cords, along with the complete verification of all circuits. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters are used to do this if moisture is present.

What about the safety of homeowners and workers?

Slip-and-fall accidents and injuries are common after a kitchen fire, but this can be prevented by identifying slick surfaces and dangerous obstacles. SERVPRO professionals have experience using protective gear while working, and they know how to implement special procedures to protect at-risk residents who have health or mobility issues.

Turn to SERVPRO of Great Neck/Port Washington to stay safe while kitchen fire issues are being addressed. Call us at (516) 767-9600 for an assessment.

Find out more about Manhasset.

Fire Damage In Your Great Neck Home

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

fire damaged home You can reach the team at SERVPRO of Great Neck / Port Washington by calling (516) 767-9600.

Efficiently Restore Your Great Neck Home to Like-New Condition After Suffering Fire Damage

A range of emotions come over you the moment that you set your eyes upon the devastation after a house fire. The interior of your home is left with a pile of saturated possessions from extinguishing the fire, and all of the debris is charred and dirty. SERVPRO understands how important it is for you to get your home back to normal, so we employ the use of a variety of tried-and-true methods and start working quickly.

Once we arrive at your property to clean up fire damage in Great Neck, we assess the overall fallout from the fire to put into motion the best steps to take for cleanup and restoration. Charred building materials and personal belongings get moved out, and everything is examined thoroughly to determine what is salvageable and what is not.

Inspection
Skilled SERVPRO technicians go through fire loss areas of your home, looking for all salvageable items. Porous materials have the least chance of restoration due to high soot and smoke absorption levels. Non-porous materials have a high salvageability rate, especially with the use of our advanced cleaning methods.

Cleaning Methods
The process for cleaning up fire damage is unique to every situation, so there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. Technicians test items and surfaces to determine the proper cleaning agents and methods to provide the best results for soot and smoke residue removal. We also provide pack-out services with full cleaning at our facility with a process known as immersion cleaning.

Immersion is a cleaning method for non-porous items that utilizes high-frequency sound waves that generate millions of bubbles that scrub and agitate all contaminants from contents placed within the tank. We also provide wet cleaning, dry cleaning, foam cleaning, and abrasive cleaning based on the contents and the level of residue removal required.

Repairs
After the cleanup of the fire loss event is complete, SERVPRO compiles a report assisting you with filing the claim with your insurance provider. This report includes all restoration actions taken as well as the suggested repairs to complete the restoration process fully. With such attention to detail, SERVPRO technicians save you the stress of having to take care of these details at such a difficult time.

Call us whenever you require fast, efficient help with fire damage to your home. You can reach the team at SERVPRO of Great Neck / Port Washington by calling (516) 767-9600.

For more about Great Neck click here.

Deodorizing Your Home In Great Neck After A Fire

1/12/2020 (Permalink)

fire and soot damaged home SERVPRO of Great Neck / Port Washington is available to assist 24/7 after fire damage.

Deodorizing After Fire Damage to Your Great Neck Home

Fires can occur any time of year but can be more of a challenge during a cold New York winter. When the temperature outside quickly cools the contents of your home, it may be more challenging to recuperate afterward if the thick smoke residue settles throughout the structure. It is crucial to deal with the aftermath of a fire quickly and expertly to make sure your home and its contents are restored to their pre-fire condition.

If you find yourself dealing with fire damage in your Great Neck home, contact SERVPRO right away and have our trained technicians create a restoration plan specifically to suit your situation. Attacking odors after a fire can be one of the most challenging aspects of restoring your home.

Technicians remove valuable contents to have them cleaned by specialists or to ensure that smoke odors do not penetrate further into porous surfaces. After the removal of contents, the SERVPRO team searches for the source of the smoke odor. Typically, it is wherever the fire started within the home. The team removes the appliance or heat source that originally emanated the offensive odors; this way, no remaining odors are coming from the source.

SERVPRO technicians often use thermal foggers to dispense solvent-based deodorants. The deodorants go through a heated area in the machine that combusts the solution, breaking it down into microscopic particles that can disburse anywhere throughout the home. These one-half micron-sized particles pair with the offensive odor, neutralizing it by changing its composition. During the fogging process, technicians wear personal protective gear and make sure that residents, pets, and plants are not in the home. Residents may return to the home after the fogged area airs out, and it is easy to breathe.

Another deodorization technique is vapor odor control. The goal here is to attack vapors found within the air. Technicians release products created to release deodorant vapors into the air, counteracting the malodor vapors upon contact. Vapor odor control and thermal fogging work together to combat odors since SERVPRO technicians use a combination of techniques.

SERVPRO of Great Neck / Port Washington is available to assist 24/7 after fire damage. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster. Contact us at (516) 767-9600.

For more about Great Neck click here.

We Are Available 24/7 In Manhasset For All Your Restoration Needs

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

A stove top that suffered fire damage in the kitchen Originating in the kitchen, this fire quickly ran up the cabinetry and caused damage to the floor above as well.

Move-Out Procedures Used To Tackle Fire Damage In Your Manhasset Home

Dealing with fire on your Manhasset property can be grueling for anyone. However, it is a time that you should be worrying about your family, not about whether or not your restoration company can supply you with adequate services. You want to work with a company that helps make the entire process successful and far less stressful. 

On occasion, fire damage in your Manhasset area home can be severe enough to warrant moving contents to a safe, clean, controlled environment. The primary tasks involved in a move-out procedure performed by our team falls into six phases. We communicate clearly and consistently throughout the process, helping you understand each phase. 

SERVPRO technicians conduct an initial scope and estimate to determine the production staff and supplies required to complete the move-out process. The scope also assists in reaching an agreement between all parties (Insurance Adjuster, Restorer, and You) about what should happen to restore specific items.

At SERVPRO, the most time-consuming part of any move-out involves hours spent inventorying, packing, and moving contents to a warehouse or storage area. We use an organized approach during this phase to help with efficiency, accuracy, and safety.

Our team sorts items into two distinct categories during the packing and inventory process;

  1. Clean Items - Restorable contents that require cleaning and return packaging.
  2. Claim Items - Contents that are not restorable, often replaced by insurance.

Movers and packers take precautions against causing additional fire damage while moving contents from your home to the storage facility. There are specific packing procedures used for transporting lamps and shades, glass shelves, mattresses, pictures, paintings, dishware, and essential documents.

Once at the storage facility, SERVPRO teams clean, deodorize, and restore move-out items using an orderly assembly-line approach. Each item receives significant attention and a unique solution depending on the type of material and amount of exposure.

After cleaning and inspecting move-out contents, we make arrangements to return items after completing any construction and restoration services on the structure. We make every effort to accomplish these tasks in a timely, efficient manner, allowing you to return to your home as soon as possible. 

Call SERVPRO of Great Neck / Port Washington 24-hours a day, 7-days a week for access to full-service fire damage solutions throughout the area. (516) 767-9600

See more about Manhasset.

Older Homes and Fire Damage Replacements

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

Plaster and Lathe in Historic Older Home after Fire Damage

In the fires and other events that we see at SERVPRO of Great Neck/Port Washington, older historic homes often require substantial attention and often pieces are irreplaceable.  Even when they are replaceable, you may find your insurer will not cover an exact replacement.

Those with plaster and lathe tend to have lots of dry flammable wood, and the plaster layers are not so amenable to repairs and patching like modern drywall.  Damage to plaster and lathe may require a complete gut and renovation of a room or home. 

Often other details affected such as columns, inlaid flooring, plaster ornamental details, ceiling medallions, door, window, crown and baseboard trim, and more will not receive exact or even like replacements from your insurer.

You might be surprised to find that your insurer will allow only standard replacements for columns and molding, not the fancy plaster and wood decorative pieces you have cherished.  You may opt for basic coverage and pay out of pocket for the difference, should an event occur, pay more, or your insurer may have other options for you. 

It is wise to consider what your expectations are when first arranging for homeowners insurance and have that discussion before selecting your policy. 

Fire Destroys Tenant's Apartment and Primary Residence

6/23/2018 (Permalink)

Apartment fire damages entire home.

When you have a tenant in a basement or attached apartment, make sure that you have ample and proper fire safety detection equipment - namely, smoke detectors throughout your unit and theirs. 

Luckily in this fire no one was injured, but the apartment as you see was a total loss, the contents were destroyed.  The source of this fire is under investigation but originated in the apartment.  However, the smoke damage permeated the owner unit as well, which had extensive amounts of antiques and collectibles, the owner's business.  The entire home had to undergo restoration.

As a homeowner and landlord safe egress, properly maintained utilities, and fire detection equipment is a primary responsibility.

As a tenant, you should make sure smoke detectors are present, know your egress escape points, and make sure that you create no potential fire hazards.  Additionally, make sure you have renter’s insurance with fire coverage, don't expect the homeowner's insurance to cover your own belongings.

Fire Safety Week is in October, but it is never too soon to do a fire safety check in your own home!

Fire and Smoke Damage When You Have Valuable Antiques, Art and Collectibles

6/23/2018 (Permalink)

Fire and Smoke Damaged Collectibles Can Often Be Restored!

A fire is a devastating event, no question - but one particularly more complicated when you have valuables that are irreplaceable affected.

At SERVPRO of Great Neck/Port Washington we often encounter property owners with unique situations of all types.  The matter of valuables is one worth addressing because of their monetary value and irreplaceable nature.  

While you can safeguard the value end with special insurance coverage, be sure to make and keep a digital file in the cloud and in a safe deposit box with a complete inventory list with adequate invoices, bills of sale, dates of purchase/acquisition, provenance records, descriptions, valuations and photographs.  

Make sure your homeowners policy agent knows that you have valuables that need coverage, don't assume your policy covers all.

If there is a fire, call in SERVPRO as soon as possible to ensure that restoration can begin on anything salvageable.  We restore whatever can be saved and also will provide an inventory list of losses for your insurance claim. 

We're here for you, 24/7.

SERVPRO of Great Neck/Port Washington is Ready for any Fire Damage Situation

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Massive fire damage to your property is compounded with additional damage from water, smoke odors & soot, whether from the fire department in order to put out the fire and of course rainy whether.

In the even of a property fire SERVPRO of Great Neck/Port Washington will ensure the property is secure, by assessing the damage and address all health and safety issues and concerns. Our trained technicians will remove damage content or if its necessary storage salvageable content. We will mitigate the water damage, deodorize smoke odors, clean and restore surfaces. We have special equipment to remove odor and soot from surfaces.

SERVPRO of Great Neck/Port Washington will leave the property prepare for the restoration/construction phase. We are dedicated to help you during a stressful time. Contact us if you experience fire damage at 516-767-9600.

Kitchen Fire Prevention Tips

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

The aftermath of a kitchen fire.

We've all done it - put something on the stove and got busy elsewhere in the house - completely forgetting that we were cooking until we smell something acrid and burning.  In some cases, maybe you've actually gone outside or on an errand.  

Kitchen fires travel fast and knowing some tips to extinguish them could reduce the risk of injury and damage.  

Tip #1:  Never throw water on a kitchen fire.  It seems counter to what you'd intuitively do, but water on a grease fire will act as an accelerant and the fire will flash and spread rapidly.

Tip #2:  Keep a kitchen rated fire extinguisher in an easily accessible cabinet and install a smoke detector in the far end of the kitchen (not so close to the stove that regular use sets it off).

Tip #3:  With a stove fire, dampen and wring out a kitchen towel, then toss it over the flames to smother it.

Tip #4:  Cook pots should have the handles turned in, so toddlers cannot grab and tip them.

Tip #5:  Use a timer and set an alert on your mobile phone if you plan to leave the room so you don't forget you were cooking.

Clean Soot and Grease After a Fire Damage

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Kitchen with a lot of soot and grease are notoriously difficult to clean up.

SERVPRO of Great Neck/Port Washington is trained to help you to cleaning your house or property after a fire. Soot and grease are notoriously difficult to clean up, and it needs to be done quickly to prevent secondary damage. you also find residue of grease and soot in the walls, ceiling, appliances, and other areas you might not be able to access, such as behind the walls, cabinets.

We have all the equipment and services necessary to handle even the most difficult task. Our professionals can identify the proper cleaning procedures, have all the necessary equipment to remove the odor from the property and knows how to properly remove kitchen cabinets without causing further damage.

In situations of a lot of soot and grease its necessary to have a quick clean up response that will also help to prevent getting your items permanently staining from soot. SERVPRO of Great Neck/Port Washington is available to help 24/7.

Secondary Fire Damage – Water, Soot and Smoke

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage can result in secondary damages

Secondary damage in areas of homes and buildings isn't what you think about after a fire but areas not burned in a fire are often affected.  

Smoke and soot can work their way into nooks and crannies on all floors - not stopped by doors. It may not be immediately obvious as all surfaces may be coated.  Water damage from the fire can cause lots of losses by damaging furnishings, building materials, electrical or mechanical systems and personal belongings.

In this house fire, water in a room not directly burned has caused extensive damage. Additionally, soot and ash coat everything and every surface, and smoke odor as well.  Many things may seem as if totally destroyed. Restoration and cleaning of some soft items and hard surface items are sometimes possible.

SERVPRO has special document drying chambers for completely drying out important irreplaceable papers and books that have become water damaged in a fire or flood.

Hospital Fire - Statistical Information

2/16/2017 (Permalink)

Hospital Electrical Fire

The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), the leading resource on fire, electrical and related hazards reported recently that while structure fires in health care facilities has followed a steady downward trend over the past decade, cooking was the leading cause in 65% of all fire property damage (specifically in health care facilities), followed by electrical distribution and lighting equipment - causing 34% of health care fire property damage.  To a far lesser extent, other causes include intentionally set fires (16%), heating equipment (5%), smoking materials (5%) and clothing dryers (4%). 


U.S. fire departments respond to more than 5,600 health care structure fires each year.

Homeowners Take Note! Holiday Fire Risk Increases after Christmas Day

12/11/2014 (Permalink)

Most homeowners are aware that holiday decorations should be used with care.  Each year, statistics tell the story of the fire danger resulting from frayed wires, proximity to heat sources, and lights left on unattended.  But SERVPRO of Great Neck Port Washington wants local homeowners to know that the danger of fire cause by holiday decorating, and by Christmas trees specifically, actually increases after the holiday.  Research from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)* says that, while four out of five Christmas tree fires happen in December and January, the 10 days with the highest average number of fires were all after Christmas Day.

For many families, preparing for the holiday season is a very busy time. Come December 26, it’s tempting to relax; stop watering the Christmas tree, replacing bulbs in outdoor lights or tucking indoor garlands back into place.  Dry greens, open sockets and decorations that slip dangerously close to light sockets or fireplaces can all increase the risk of fire in the days after the Christmas holiday.

The American Christmas Tree Association** (quoting Nielsen research) says Americans purchased 21.6 million live Christmas trees in 2011.  That number is significant because, according to the NFPA, Christmas trees remain the number one culprit in holiday fires.  43 percent of Christmas tree fires happen in December, but January is close behind, claiming 39 percent – numbers that demonstrate the danger of allowing Christmas trees to dry out during and after the holiday season.  Tragically, Christmas tree fires are particularly deadly, claiming on average one life in every 40 fires compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home fires.

SERVPRO of Great Neck Port Washington encourages homeowners who choose to decorate with live Christmas trees to be diligent about watering their trees both before and after the holidays.  If a Christmas tree dries out, it only takes a single spark from a fireplace, a candle flame or carelessly held cigarette to turn a holiday celebration into a tragedy. 

As the holiday season moves into full swing, SERVPRO of Great Neck Port Washington reminds homeowners to take precautions based on a clear understanding of the potential danger to help prevent holiday traditions from turning into a holiday nightmare.  For more information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.SERVPROgreatneckportwashington.com.

About Fire Prevention Week

10/6/2014 (Permalink)

Since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls.

Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on October 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on October 9, 1871.

Commemorating a conflagration
According to popular legend, the fire broke out after a cow - belonging to Mrs. Catherine O'Leary - kicked over a lamp, setting first the barn, then the whole city on fire. Chances are you've heard some version of this story yourself; people have been blaming the Great Chicago Fire on the cow and Mrs. O'Leary, for more than 130 years. But recent research by Chicago historian Robert Cromie has helped to debunk this version of events.

The 'Moo' myth
Like any good story, the 'case of the cow' has some truth to it. The great fire almost certainly started near the barn where Mrs. O'Leary kept her five milking cows. But there is no proof that O'Leary was in the barn when the fire broke out - or that a jumpy cow sparked the blaze. Mrs. O'Leary herself swore that she'd been in bed early that night, and that the cows were also tucked in for the evening.

But if a cow wasn't to blame for the huge fire, what was? Over the years, journalists and historians have offered plenty of theories. Some blamed the blaze on a couple of neighborhood boys who were near the barn sneaking cigarettes. Others believed that a neighbor of the O'Leary's may have started the fire. Some people have speculated that a fiery meteorite may have fallen to earth on October 8, starting several fires that day - in Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as in Chicago.

The biggest blaze that week
While the Great Chicago Fire was the best-known blaze to start during this fiery two-day stretch, it wasn't the biggest. That distinction goes to the Peshtigo Fire, the most devastating forest fire in American history. The fire, which also occurred on October 8th, 1871, and roared through Northeast Wisconsin, burning down 16 towns, killing 1,152 people, and scorching 1.2 million acres before it ended.

Historical accounts of the fire say that the blaze began when several railroad workers clearing land for tracks unintentionally started a brush fire. Before long, the fast-moving flames were whipping through the area 'like a tornado,' some survivors said. It was the small town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin that suffered the worst damage. Within an hour, the entire town had been destroyed.

Nine decades of fire prevention
Those who survived the Chicago and Peshtigo fires never forgot what they'd been through; both blazes produced countless tales of bravery and heroism. But the fires also changed the way that firefighters and public officials thought about fire safety. On the 40th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, the Fire Marshals Association of North America (today known as the International Fire Marshals Association), decided that the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire should henceforth be observed not with festivities, but in a way that would keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention.  The commemoration grew incrementally official over the years.

In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation, and since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls. According to the National Archives and Records Administration's Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The President of the United States has signed a proclamation proclaiming a national observance during that week every year since 1925.

14 Ways to Prepare for Fire Prevention Month

9/29/2014 (Permalink)

Reprinted from SafetySmart.com

Though most of us need a careful balance of caffeine, sleep, food, exercise, and regular installments of our favorite TV shows to get by, fire only needs three elements– heat, fuel, and oxygen — to come to life and wreak more destruction than Gallagher at a farmer’s market.  October is National Fire Prevention Month, so there’s no better time than now to evaluate your emergency preparedness. Workplace fires can result in loss of life, loss of jobs, and loss of property. But by taking these 14 precautions, you can make sure that a fire-related emergency is something that you’ll likely never have to worry about. Get ahead of Fire Prevention Month and use this as checklist to evaluate your workplace:

1.  Know your fire extinguishers!  One size does not fit all – in fact, using the wrong fire extinguisher during an emergency can quickly turn a small flame into a big emergency.  

 2.  Test your smoke alarms. Batteries should be changed at least once a year.

3.  Do a fire drill and establish an employee meeting place. Make sure you have emergency plans in place and that all exits are visible and accessible.  Also ensure that workers with mobility challenges are assigned a helpful coworker to assist them in the event of an emergency.

4.  Check your electrical outlets. Don’t overload electrical circuits.

5.  Keep heat producing appliances away from flammable materials – this includes coffee makers, copy machines, and space heaters.

6.  Check your electrical cords. If they have been damaged (or give off mild electrical shock), replace them immediately.

7.  Make sure you have metal containers available for the disposal and storage of oily rags.

8.  Designate safe areas for employees who smoke. Never smoke in storerooms or near chemical storage areas.  Make sure that receptacles are available for the safe disposal of cigarettes.

9.  If you have equipment that delivers mild electrical shock when energized, don’t use it! Also refrain from using equipment that gives off unusual heat or smells odd.   If in doubt have it checked and repaired or replaced.

10.  To help prevent fires that occur as a result of arson, lock up your workplace after hours and report suspicious behavior. Never leave combustible material outside of your building.

11.  Check for blockages – make sure that clutter isn’t blocking your access to emergency equipment and fire exits. Signs posted on walls and doorways may also be blocked by stacked items.  Make sure all emergency signs are visible.

12.  Check that your alarm system includes voice communication or sounds, like bells, whistles, or horns. Ensure that your workers are familiar with its sound.  Review your alarm system and evacuation plan whenever it is changed.

13.  Post reporting instructions and local fire department codes on information boards, common areas, and near telephones.

14.  Talk about the importance of sleep and encourage workers not to perform risky jobs while fatigued. It’s much easier to make mistakes when you’re sleep-deprived.  You could leave an appliance plugged in, forget to properly store an oily rag, or make a dangerous mistake.  Make sure you and your colleagues get the rest you need so you can stay alert at work.

Sudden, Swirling Firenado Rises out of Farm Fire

5/9/2014 (Permalink)

A firenado is spawned on a field in Chillicothe, Mo., the week of April 7, 2014. (Photo/Janae Copelin)

Stunned by the "coolest, scariest thing" she had ever seen, Photographer Janae Copelin caught a snapshot early this week of a rare weather marvel known as a firenado.The whirling "fire-devil" was spawned as a farmer burned off his field in Chillicothe, Missouri.

A swirling rotation of smoke, gas and debris, a firenado is generated when an active fire is swept upwards by strong winds, creating a vortex.

"The heat of the fire rising through the air allows the vortex to strengthen and create the firenado," AccuWeather Meteorologist Eric Leister said. "The firenado can then suck more brush and debris into itself and fuel the fire further."

Firenadoes can be extremely dangerous, as they have the ability to throw burning embers miles away. They are usually between five and 10 stories high and can measure up to 10 feet wide.

While this rarity lasts usually only minutes, the largest firenadoes have been known to create winds topping 100 mph.