Apartment Water Damage
It's important to know who is responsible for water damage in your apartment
Unfortunately, water damage is a common issue both homeowners and renters can face. The aftermath can be devastating making the property unlivable and permanent damage may occur to personal belongings. When water damage occurs in an Lynn, Lynnfield or Nahant Massachusetts apartment you need to know who is responsible for the damage cost. The property owner or renter? When water damage occurs in an apartment, who is responsible for the damage cost? The property owner or renter?
Water damage can be unpredictable and it is important to understand your renter rights and understand who is responsible for what in such an event. In general, a landlord is responsible for maintaining the property ensuring that the apartment is livable and functioning up to code. The landlord may refuse repairs, or fail to address them quick in enough – causing further damage such as mold. In the United States, basic principles in tenant rights are in place and outline the party liable for damages. Depending on the state, rent details can vary so check with your local housing authority.
Review your lease
It’s important to know what your lease states regarding property damage. Most properties have property insurance and will list what type of damage that is covered and what is not. The lease may specify actions that may be in place depending on the severity of the water damage. If the damage is severe and the apartment is unlivable is the tenant still required to pay the rent? Can the landlord evict the tenant or can the tenant cancel their lease without penalty? In general, if the damage is minor, the tenant will not be able to cancel the lease agreement. If the terms regarding property damage are not listed in the lease, speak to your landlord about who is responsible in the event when water damage strikes.
Accidents happen which is why it is essential to have renters insurance. Most places require you have it before allowing you to move in an apartment. Depending on the plan you select, coverage can vary from damages to the building, personal content and may even cover the cost of lodging while repairs are being completed.
The landlord is responsible for maintaining a functional apartment ensure that it is livable. The upkeep of basic plumbing such as sinks, toilets and tubs fall on the shoulders of the landlord. Failure to maintain or repair these functions may lead to property damage and the landlord is liable due to negligence.
Damage to property and personal belongings
Water damages caused to the building itself such as flooring, walls and utilities should be covered under the landlord’s property insurance. Personal property damages fall to the responsibility of the party at fault for damages, which can be the tenant. For example, if the tenant leaves a faucet on and falls asleep causing water damages.
How we can help
Water damage requires a rapid response in order to minimize loss to both the property itself and belongings inside. The professionals at SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield are experts at water damage cleanup in apartments and building of all sizes no matter severity of the damage. Our team of experts will assess the damage and develop an appropriate plan to restore and recover your property and contents. Contact us by calling 781.593.6663 to learn more about our water damage clean-up services.
Factors That Affect Cost of Commercial Water Loss
Commercial water damage should be handled quickly and properly to avoid further costs
Water is a force of nature to be reckoned with and has the amazing power to both create and destroy anything in it’s path. It created the Grand Canyon, it keeps us alive, and unfortunately, it can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your business.
If your Lynn, Lynnfield or Nahant Massachusetts business has water damage, repairing it immediately is vital. Finding the cause of water damage and addressing the issue is half the battle, the other half is mitigating the damages. The extent of water damage can be misleading when looking at the outside surface but often times water seeps into the deeper materials of your home. Due to the unique nature of water, the damage cost can range from high to low. Here’s a look into factors that will affect the price of water damage mitigation.
Factors That Affect Your Water Damage Repair Costs
No one wants to end up with a larger bill than they expected. That’s why it’s helpful to get a professional estimate on your repairs. Here are some of the factors that will impact the pricing.
1. The Size of the Area
As you might expect, the larger a damaged area is, the more expensive it will be to repair it. It will take more time, materials, and manpower to fix an entire room that was flooded compared to a few square feet of damage. This isn’t the only factor that determines your cost. Some of the other factors on this list can add up and make a smaller area with more extensive damage cost more than a larger area.
2. Your Location
You’d be hard pressed to find anything that costs the same in Los Angeles as it does in Des Moines. As the cost of living varies, so does the cost of services like water damage repair. It’s best practice to find a local reputable water damage company like SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield with experienced professionals that can give you an accurate cost estimate.
3. Whether Water is Still Present
If water is still present it needs to be removed immediately to stop further home deterioration. This can be done with the help of water pumps, dehumidification equipment, and moister absorbent materials. Removing excess moister adds more time to the mitigation process, leading to an added cost. As soon as the area has been dried and the excess water is removed the repair process can begin.
4. The Materials That Were Damaged
Depending on what materials were affected, the cost will vary. For example, hardwood floors are often times easier to repair than carpets, walls and trim. Hardwood floors require less time than the time consuming labor that is associated with replacing carpet. Another factor to take into consideration that will affect the cost of mitigation is the cost of the materials that need to be replace or repaired.
5. The Type of Water
The state of of the water during water damage can vary from clean to a bio hazard. The dirtier the water, the more precautions and treatments the repair will require resulting in a higher cost. The worst case scenario is black water: sewage water that has been in contact with human waste. Gray water, on the other hand, is water that has been used for showering or dishes but not for sewage. Backwater and gray water mitigation are usually more expensive because of the need to treat for contaminants.
6. Presence of Mold
One of the worst parts about water damage in a home is that it can lead to the development of mold and mildew. The way to prevent mold and mildew from developing is to ensure that excess moister has been removed from damaged areas. If allowed to develop, they can cause further damage to your home and even turn it into a health hazard. If mold or mildew are present, it adds an extra step to your water damage repair. Not surprisingly, that extra step leads to a higher bill.
7. Your Timeline
A good of rule of thumb to follow is to address water damage immediately, that is your first defense against further damage. The longer you wait, the larger the impact it has resulting in a need for more repairs and a high bill. In addition, mold and mildew will have a chance to develop and that requires another set of repairs themselves.
Planning for Your Business's Repairs
We understand: it isn’t fun to pay for building repairs, and it certainly is not cheap. In comparison, the initial costs of water damage mitigation you pay now is minor to what you would have to pay down the line. Ignoring water damage can lead to further problems like mold, rot, and even structural damage that may be entirely irreparable.
If we can help, please call SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield at 781.593.6663
How to Storm-Proof Your Home
Better safe than sorry! Preparing your home for storms now can save a lot of damage later
Are you looking to prepare your Lynn, Lynnfield or Nahant Massachusetts home for a hurricane or storm? Nobody wants to end up with a torn-down home or a roof with holes. Do you want to know the best way to protect your property from storms? Keep reading for our guide on how to hurricane-proof your home.
1. Stock Up on Essentials
The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season that ravaged the US last year taught many Americans to prepare for natural disasters. The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season formed 8 hurricanes, 2 of which were considered major. A total of 15 named storms came from that season, comparable to an average season with 3 major hurricanes out of 6. Still, these hurricanes taught people the importance of preparedness. Take inventory on what you have at home. If you plan on staying in your house to endure the hurricane, stock up on a lot of non-perishable foods. It’s also good to have a battery-operated radio and flashlights in the house. Of course, make sure you have extra batteries for each device. Don’t forget about the essentials if you have a pet.
2. Clean Your Yard
If you want to know how to storm-proof your home best, don’t neglect your yard. You want to protect your home from anything that can take flight when the hurricane hits. Often, yards are where flying, destructive debris comes from. Before the storm hits, clear your yard. Secure your lawn furniture, trashcans and yard ornaments. If you have a grill, potted plants or other lawn accessories, bring them inside. It’s also important to remove all dead and dying limbs from your trees. Anything small that you can pick up or carry should get cleared out. A hurricane’s high-speed winds could make any of these items flying missiles. Tie-down larger items like sheds, doghouses and swing sets.
3. Protect and Seal Your Roof
Many people believe the roof is the weakest part of the house, but garage doors and windows are even more vulnerable. No matter how good the condition of your roof, it would be wise to prepare it for the incoming storm. Seal down any chimneys or vent pipes that lead into your house. Clean out any clogged gutters and downspouts as well. Otherwise, the water may spill over the sides and soak through the home’s foundation. If you have roof tiles or shingles, secure them with roofing cement. Disconnect and bring any exterior TV antennas inside, then seal any wire openings. This will help you avoid damages from storms, especially structural and water damages. If you’re afraid that your roof will take wing from the top of your house, reinforce it with uplift protection. You can retrofit your roof with hurricane clips yourself or with professional help. First, don’t forget to talk to a contractor to check the structural integrity of your roof system.
4. Seal Doors and Windows
Do you want to know how to protect windows during hurricane season? As we stated earlier, anything can start flying off during a storm. Your windows may break and let in wind and rain. When wind enters the home, it can increase the pressure under the roof. High-pressure from inside the house can lead to your roof popping off. It’s not too different from a can of soda that has been shaken. To protect your family from this scenario, use storm shutters. They provide great protection for your windows and doors. You can create DIY storm shutters by boarding up your windows. For your doors leading outside, install deadbolts if you don’t already have them. The deadbolts will help hold your doors closed. If possible, you can also install doors that are already made to survive hurricanes. Make sure to install these protective shutters and locks on all sides of the house. Hurricanes may come from a certain body of water in a specific direction from your house, however, they can swirl in any direction too.
5. Reinforce Your Garage Door
Often, your garage door can be one of the weakest links in the home. After all, garage doors are not made to withstand the violent winds of a hurricane. If you have a garage, you should learn how to secure the garage door for a hurricane. Once your garage door goes down, the rest of your house may soon follow. The high-speed winds pressurize the house and then blows off the roof. Check your garage door for a wind or pressure rating. The ideal garage door is a single and windowless door. It should also have the rating to withstand 50 or more pounds of pressure per square foot. If possible, fortify your garage door. You can buy or DIY braces for the garage door which you can disassemble. Use your car as an extra brace for it as well.
6. Take Measures Against Flooding
If you live in flood-prone areas, this is one of those things you shouldn’t forget to do. Check your flood risk and start making a list of things you can do to prepare for flooding situations. Before the flood, you want to reduce the risk of damage from flooding as much as possible. Elevate any electrical appliances and systems. If your area is very prone to flooding, consider elevating the entire home. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a more extensive guide on how you can protect your home before, during and after a flood.
7. Get Insurance Coverage
You already know how to prepare your home for a hurricane. Now, let’s talk about what you can do to prep it insurance-wise. Update your insurance and make sure you have the right amount to cover any damages. If you have a homeowner’s insurance, check if there is coverage for storms. If there isn’t, it’s time to start looking into extending the coverage to insurance for storm season. If the insurance company doesn’t have that kind of coverage, start shopping for one that does. When you go shopping for hurricane-related damage insurance, don’t do it right before the storm hits. Most insurance companies may stop selling coverage 48 hours before a hurricane watch. You should also find out if there is a waiting period before the coverage takes effect.
How to Hurricane-Proof Your Home and Stay Safe During Storm Season
That is our quick guide on how to storm-proof your Lynn, Lynnfield or Nahant home. Follow these steps and you’ll be better prepared during the storm season.
If you'd like more information please call our SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield office at 781.593.6663
Prepare Your Business For The Next Storm
Make a New Year's resolution to prepare your business for the next storm
IT’S A NEW YEAR…IS YOUR BUSINESS PREPARED?
As the calendar ticks over to a new year, we hope you’ve had a relaxing and happy holiday season. And whether or not you typically make New Year’s resolutions, SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield wanted to challenge you to try something slightly different this year; make a resolution that will prepare your business for a storm or disaster should the worst happen in 2020.
Understand Your Biggest Risks, Start Planning Now
In Lynn, Lynnfield or Nahant Massachusetts preparation is always essential to a smooth recovery and keeping your business as strong as possible. Failing to prepare will slow you down as you compete with other companies to line up help and figure out what you need to do to keep your business alive. In other words, inadequate planning compounds headaches, costs, and stresses during an already incredibly stressful time—and it could cost you your business. The harsh reality is that many businesses fail within a year if they are not able to reopen doors quickly after a disaster.
Putting together a emergency response plan (ERP) may also sound stressful when you’re already busy with other important work. But if you spread the tasks out amongst a team over time, it’s relatively easy. And in addition to gaining the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ll be ready for the worst, you may learn some new and important things about your business as you go through the process. To make the process manageable, start small. To begin, focus on four things:
- Form a response team, including a point person to lead the team and team members from each department.
- Research the biggest risks your business faces and evaluate how they could potentially affect your business, considering everything from potential impacts to day-to-day operations, to the impact on the community or your supply chain.
- Start a disaster recovery plan by compiling plans and documenting teams and emergency contacts in a centralized document (see below for some resources).
- Prepare an emergency kit that includes the key supplies you would need in the event of a disaster.
Once you have fundamentals in place and learn more about what’s critical for your business, you can keep building out your plan.
Resources for Developing or Updating Your ERP
Great ERPs are built one step at a time, and to make getting started easier you can use SERVPRO's ERP app. It provides prompts for the kinds of questions you need to be considering and information you need to be gathering as you build a plan.
It’s also important to remember that once you have an ERP in place, it should be updated on a regular basis since employees come and go and business circumstances evolve.
Have a Safe and Productive Year!
That’s it. If you can carve out some time to get your ERP rolling and establish a partnership with Salem of Lynn/Lynnfield in 2020, you will be able to rest much easier the next time the forecast calls for something scary. And that will make for a better 2020 and beyond.
For more information call SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield at 781.593.6663
Hardwood Floor Drying
Quick action and the proper equipment can salvage your hardwood floors after a water loss
SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield knows how your Massachusetts hardwood flooring can be damaged in a flood. Let us explain why your hardwood floor needs drying after a flood damage.
After flooding that leaves stormwater coming to rest on the floors of your Lynn, Lynnfield or Nahant home, you only have a finite amount of time before saturation and deterioration begin. Hardwood is particularly sensitive to moisture absorption, and it does not take long for surface moisture to get pulled into the planks. Effective extraction and drying of this material requires multiple specialty drying tools and techniques employed by our experienced water restoration technicians within this limited window.
There are multiple scenarios in which the bulk of water removal from flood damage can happen with towels and a mop. This direct absorption from these tools can reduce the surface moisture, but rarely removes it entirely. Apart from this traditional approach, our SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield team can utilize specialty extraction attachments and wet-vacuums or only use the wet-vac directly on the damaged areas for immediate removal. These potential water removal solutions do not eliminate all of the surface moisture, however.
Not only does some lingering surface moisture exist, but for exposure that has lasted longer than a day, free moisture absorbed into the wood planks is another factor to consider. Drying these areas can be a challenge with conventional air movers and dehumidification options we might use elsewhere in the house. Instead, our SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield team can install drying mats connected to portable extractors. Depending on the severity of the situation, multiple mats can get used simultaneously.
Tenting with lay-flat poly sheeting can regulate the moisture removal process over these specific damaged areas. When it is probable that hardwood can get protected and stay installed, our professionals must regulate moisture removal to ensure that the planks do not become overly dried. Continual monitoring and documentation of the drying process can ensure that the mats get pulled up when the optimal moisture content levels have been reached.
Extraction and drying of hardwood flooring within the first 48 hours can often save these flooring options from demolition and reconstruction. Our SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield team can utilize our state-of-the-art equipment to return your property to preloss condition quickly. Give us a call today at 781.593.6663
At SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield, out employees care about our customers
At SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield, our number one priority is to make our customers happy. It may sound like an impossible task; after all, we are arriving on the scene when circumstances for our customers are devastating. A fire in their home, a busted pipe which has caused water damage in their kitchen, mold in their office building. These are difficult situations emotionally which is all the more reason for our employees to be sensitive to what our customers are dealing with.
Many times, depending upon the damage we are mitigating, we could spend days, weeks, or even months in customer’s home or office. We get to know our clients one on one. We get to meet their children. We get to hear about their families. We know their pets’ names. We know where they leave the key in case they are not there. We get to know them by carefully handling all of their cherished possessions, sometimes cleaning them and packing them away until their homes are restored.
At the end of the day, we are just people helping people. That’s what it’s all about. Sometimes that means stopping what we are doing and having a cup of coffee or dinner with our customers if they ask. Sometimes it means taking out the family pet.
What a beautiful thing to see! Why SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield? Because we care about our customers...and they know it! Let us be the one you call when your life gets flipped upside down..781.593.6663
Sewage backups are dangerous and should be handled by a professional
Sewage backup is no easy task to deal with, and it’s more common than you think. A backup occurs when sewer water overflows from the drains in your home, like the sink, toilet, shower, and tub.
When dealing with sewer backup, it’s important to take the necessary steps to handle the mess to ensure that your personal items and space are properly sanitized; failure to do so can lead to greater damage and health hazards in the future.
Below are some commonly asked questions about sewage backup, plus, solutions to ensure your family’s safety.
What Causes Sewer Backup?
Various factors can contribute to sewage backup, but the most common cause is a clog in your sewer line, which typically occurs when solid material builds up over time.
Some common causes of clogs or sewer failure:
- Pouring things like excess fats and oils, coffee grounds, food solids, and large food waste down your kitchen sink
- Flushing excess soap, hair, toilet paper, paper towels, and sanitary napkins down the drain or toilet
- Broken or leaking pipes, poorly designed sewer systems (such as those invaded by tree roots nearby), snow and ice (Massachusetts can experience intense winter weather); or mainline backups caused by vandalism, natural disasters, or infrastructure breakdown
Can My Family Safely Inhabit the House After a Sewer Backup?
It’s definitely not safe for your family to stay inside your Lynn, Lynnfield or Nahant home after a sewer backup. The contaminated water is considered hazardous to your health, as it may contain pathogenic, toxigenic, or other harmful agents.
It’s important to ensure that your home is as sanitary as possible before re-inhabiting it. In many cases, property owners are not equipped to handle effective cleanup and professional mitigation and sanitation may be required.
What Hazards Are Commonly Caused by Sewer Backups?
Sewer backups can lead to hazards other than damage to your home, property, and possessions. If the area affected by the sewer backup goes untreated, it can lead to the spread of disease-causing organisms like bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
It’s important to avoid contact with the sewer water and anything it has been in contact with. The contaminants found in sewer water can cause painful irritations and rashes when they come in contact with the skin.
Ingesting contaminants can lead to nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and even hepatitis A. Inhaling airborne microorganisms can cause respiratory infections and allergic reactions as well.
Can I Clean Up The Mess Myself?
Although property owners are responsible for dealing with the aftermath of a sewer backup, you should only clean up the mess yourself if you’re knowledgeable of how to clean and sanitize effectively.
If your Lynn. Lynnfield or Nahant home has only experienced minor damage and you’re able to clean the area on your own, it’s recommended to take precautions by wearing rubber boots, protective gloves, goggles, and a facemask to minimize your contact with contaminants.
If your home has experienced major sewer backup (or if the water has been in contact with any electrical outlets), we recommend consulting an experienced professional before you begin cleaning up the mess—water is highly conductive of electricity.
Can I Use Bleach to Clean it Up?
It’s not a good idea to clean up the mess yourself if you’re not an experienced professional or without at least consulting with a professional first.
Bleach also isn’t a good solution for extensive cleanup because it does a poor job of eliminating the contamination left by standing sewer water. Although bleach is a common household disinfectant, sewer backup is much more harmful than common household messes and should be cleaned up with stronger disinfectants.
How Do I Know If Everything has been Appropriately Sanitized?
After the sewage backup has been cleaned up and you’re able to reenter the property, you can go through your space and assess what still needs to be cleaned (e.g., personal belongings, furniture, and surfaces). Some cleaning can be performed on your own; for everything else, SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield can handle it.
If, for example, you want to appropriately sanitize the surfaces of your home affected by sewage backup, mix one quarter cup of bleach with one gallon of water and use this solution to clean all hard surfaces. Leave it on for at least one minute, and rinse the area with soapy water.
For carpets and fabrics that weren’t damaged or touched by the waste water, you can sanitize them with Lysol or another less abrasive ammonia product, rinse clean with soapy water, and repeat as needed.
Can I Keep Any Household Items After Sewage Backup?
With the exception of hard-surface items that can be properly cleaned and restore, you shouldn’t keep anything that came in contact with the sewer water. These items could have absorbed hazardous waste materials.
Sewer water is highly hazardous, so you wouldn’t want to risk you or your family’s health, no matter how badly you want to keep a personal item.
Is Sewer Backup Covered by Insurance?
In some cases, property owners are responsible for a sewage backup bill. That’s why it’s important to purchase homeowners insurance, and make sure sewer backups are covered in your policy, as it can provide thousands of dollars in coverage.
If you’re renting a home, be sure to discuss any issues with your landlord and/or property manager. Property owners are typically liable for this type of damage, but renter’s insurance may provide additional coverage as well.
Sewer backup can be stressful to deal with on your own, so it’s important to stay informed on all the necessary precautions needed to handle the situation.
For more information please call SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield at 781.593.6663
To properly recover from a water damage loss, professional equipment should be used
Water damage is one of those things that we might all experience, although none of us want to! Because water damage can come from so many different sources, like an overflowing bathtub or a burst pipe, it is a more common occurrence than many people realize. Most people think of fans and wet-vacs as the only tools necessary in many water damage restoration cases, but the reality is that you need professional equipment. Here at SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield we have many tools that we use in a water damage restoration that are far more effective than your average water removal tools.
- Drying fans– Unlike your standard box fan, our drying fans are large, commercial-grade drying fans that can quickly and effectively dry out things like carpet, padding, and other absorbent materials.
- Dehumidifiers– Mold can grow even if there is a lot of moisture in the air and not necessarily on your belongings– that’s why we finish our water damage restoration water removal process not just with fans and water extraction methods, but with dehumidifiers as well to draw the moisture from the air.
- Water extraction– When you need water removed from things like carpeting, you need the right water extraction tools. Our powerful water extractors can suck up far more water than a shop vac or even a wet-vac. The more water you get out with water extraction, the better the rest of the cleanup process can go.
If you suffer a water damage at your Lynn, Lynnfield or Nahant home please give SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield a call at 781.593.6663!
Top Causes of Kitchen Fires
Kitchen fires are common and easily preventable
Every year there are thousands of home fires in America, some of them claim lives, and most of them cost thousands of dollars in damage and fire damage restoration bills. Fires can usually be prevented if the proper precautions are in place.
1. Unattended Cooking
Life has a way of keeping us busy, and as our lives progress, we get busier and busier. As such we are always finding ourselves being pulled in a million directions throughout our day no matter what we’re doing. Finding the time to cook a meal in the kitchen is not always so easy to come by, and while we’re doing so, it’s easy to become distracted. It may be tempting to leave your stove unattended for a few minutes while you fire back a bunch of angry tweets at some fool who disagrees with some dumb thing you believe but try to relax and stay focused on your food. The person you want to sling a bunch of angry pixels to on whatever social media platform you’re currently raging on isn’t real and can’t hurt you, the fire on your stove that you aren’t paying attention to can. It can burn your whole house down and snatch your life away if you aren’t careful.
2. Foods that Can Ignite
Certain foods are combustible when they get hot. Some examples of combustible foods are flour, oil, alcohol, sugar, garlic, and fatty meats. Since oil is so flammable, always clean leftover food and grease that is on stovetop, oven, toaster oven or counters that are near cooking surfaces. Make sure that when you are frying food, you do not put too much oil in your pots and pans. If oil does catch fire, do not under any circumstances try to put it out with water or any flour or powder based household item. Water will not help a grease fire, and flour or another powder will explode in a violent fireball. Instead, cover it with a pot lid or use flower or deploy your kitchens fire extinguisher, if you’re reading this and don’t have one stop right now and buy one, NOW! If you have got one check it and make sure it’s not expired and that it is rated safe for use in kitchen fires since not all of them are.
3. Unsafe Kitchen Attire
Avoid cooking in loose clothing like bathrobes and baggy pajamas. Clothing can catch fire if it comes too close to a fire. Tie back hair when you are working in the kitchen so that it does not catch on fire. You should be doing this anyway so you don’t find hair in your food since that is not very appealing.
4. Cluttered Counters
Keep combustible items away from cooking surfaces. Move all paper towels, dish towels, food packages, and pot holders away from cooking surfaces. If something can catch fire keep it away from open flames and heat sources.
If you have had a kitchen fire, you know you will need a fire damage restoration company to help restore your home. Fire is tremendously dangerous and must be recognized for the potentially life-threatening thing that it is. Be careful when cooking and always remember that carelessness kills thousands of people each year, if you’re not careful in the kitchen you’re asking for trouble.
If you sustain a fire damage please call SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield at 781.593.6663 . We understand the intricacies of putting a home together after a damaging fire.
Fireplace Safety Tips
Proper care can prevent a home fire started from a fireplace
If you enjoy the occasional fire in your wood-burning fireplace, keep in mind that heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires during the winter months. Moreover, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than a third of home heating fires in the U.S. involve fireplaces and chimneys.
Follow these critical fireplace safety tips to help prevent a fire accident in your home during the cold months.
Fireplace safety tips
- Before the heating season, hire a professional chimney sweep to inspect and remove creosote or other obstructions, such as animal nests, from the chimney.
- Allow only a qualified professional to install chimney connectors and chimneys in your house.
- Inspect your chimney cap regularly. If it’s damaged, repair or replace it. If your chimney doesn’t have a cap at the top, have one installed fitted with wire-mesh sides to prevent debris or animals from entering the chimney.
- Keep any flammable objects, such as newspapers, books, and furniture, at least two feet away from the fireplace.
- Make sure there is a fire extinguisher in the room.
- Use only dry, seasoned wood cut to the correct length.
- Have a mesh metal screen or glass fireplace doors installed to prevent embers from shooting out of the fireplace.
- Use fireplace tools to maintain the fire.
- Supervise children whenever the fireplace is being used. Remind them to stay away from the fire.
- Keep pets at a safe distance from the fire, as well.
- Always supervise the fire and never leave it burning when going to sleep or leaving the home.
- Close the damper only when the embers have cooled off.
- Install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms (CO) outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. For the best protection, interconnect the CO alarms, so that when one sounds, they all do.
When starting a fire:
- Remove the ashes from the previous fire but let them cool for several hours before disposing of them. Leaving the ashes will result in more smoke, as it reduces the air supply to wood.
- Put the ashes in a metal container with a tight lid. Store it outside, at least 10 feet away from the home and other buildings.
- Open the damper; you may have to look up into the chimney with a mirror or flashlight to check that it’s open.
- Place crumpled paper on the grate and cover it with kindling or another firestarter (but do not use flammable liquids to start your fire!). Add the firewood once the kindling is burning brightly. Then, close the fire screen.
- Don’t overload the fireplace; a large fire generates more smoke and can damage your chimney.
- Never burn plastic, garbage or other toxic materials.
For professional fire damage cleaning services, contact the experts at SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield!
Even with all the proper fireplace safety measures in place, accidents can still happen. As smoke can severely damage a home, it’s essential to get the house remediated as soon as possible. Our fire damage restoration technicians use the latest equipment and techniques to remove soot and deodorize your house after fire damage quickly and properly. For professional fire damage cleaning services in Lynn, Lynnfield or Nahant, contact the SERVPRO of Lynn/Lynnfield office at 781.593.6663.