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What to Know About Fire Reconstruction

Fire reconstruction is a helpful service that works to restore your living space to normal conditions. Yet, while useful, some might be hesitant to use it. This post will explore more about the benefits of fire reconstruction and what is done during the process.

Is Fire Reconstruction Useful?

Sometimes, a few might think fire reconstruction is a wasteful service as they can repair most of the damage themselves. While you can fix some issues, most need to be addressed by a professional. This especially includes smoke damage which can seep into walls and can only be removed with the use of special equipment.

Besides this, fire reconstruction will work on:

  • Repairing burned or broken structural components.
  • Removing dangerous particles, like lead or asbestos.
  • Deodorizing the space.

In addition to cleaning, most services will have a contractor’s license allowing them to legally fix a structure, such as replacing fire damaged beams or load bearing walls.

What is Done During Fire Reconstruction?

At first, a fire reconstruction specialist will inspect the damaged area. This will give them a better understanding of how severe the issue is and what equipment is needed.

After assessing the scene, they’ll then get to work sealing off the area and removing debris as well as personal belongings.

Once this is done, the section will then be cleared of soot, mold spores, and other particles with the help of a strong vacuum. They’ll then scrub the walls and other areas and apply a deodorizer. You’ll notice that they’ll also use HEPA filters in the vacuums and fans to ensure that even the finest particles don’t escape.

When the expert is certain that everything is properly cleaned, the reconstruction process will begin.

Can This Service Restore Personal Belongings?

Besides just removing personal belongings from the scene, this resource can also refurbish items. While this might not be possible in some cases, fire reconstruction services often are equipped with high-tech equipment, like ultrasonic cleaners, that can aid in getting your possessions back to good condition.

How Do I Know if a Fire Reconstruction Service is Reputable?

Some ways to tell if a company is credible is by:

  • Checking their reviews.
  • Ensuring they are insured and have the correct licenses.
  • How much of the process they assist with.
  • Reviewing their time and budget estimates.

Fire reconstruction is a helpful service that can assist with getting your residence back to normal after a devastating event. RCS in Sonoma County offers an extensive reconstruction service that will quickly repair and restore affected areas.

How to Protect Your Home from Kitchen Fires

How to Protect Your Home from Kitchen Fires

The kitchen is the heart of the home where meals are lovingly prepared. But, did you know that the kitchen is also the most likely place that home fires begin? Read on to learn how to protect your family from the dangers associated with kitchen fires.

How to Protect Your Home from Kitchen Fires

Most common causes of kitchen fires

The most common causes of kitchen fires are frying food and leaving cooking food unattended. Frying is a particularly dangerous way to cook because oil is highly flammable, and heating the oil too much or having splattering oil will quickly cause a kitchen fire. Be aware that walking away from any cooking food is dangerous even if you think you will be gone for a short amount of time.

Take preventative actions

Prevent fires by keeping flammable items like oven mitts, dish towels, and utensils away from the stove-top, and keep at least one small fire extinguisher in your home and make sure it is accessible in the kitchen.

Also make sure that your cooking tools are appropriate for what you are trying to prepare. This includes making sure your stove-top is in good working order as well as your pots and pans being the correct size. You may want to consider investing in an outdoor fryer if you do a lot of frying.

Stop a fire in progress

If you notice that your oil starts smoking, immediately turn your cooking temperature down. Smoking oil is a sign that it is too hot and will catch on fire soon. The only way to put out a grease fire is to smother it, so keep a lid near your cooking area.  If you can’t put it out, shut the door and get everyone out of the house.

Damage to your home

Depending on how large the fire was, you may see significant damage to your kitchen. Besides the obvious damage to stove top and melted appliances there may also be unseen damage to gas lines and electrical lines. It is always best to call the fire department to make sure that your home is safe before you re-enter after a fire.

Another big issue with kitchen fires is the fumes and soot caused by burning plastic and other items. You will need to wash down your walls, clean out drawers and cabinets, and be sure to change your air filter. Soot from the kitchen fire will travel to your entire home through your air ducts.

That’s the luckier side of things. Kitchen fires can easily become full-fledged house fires, and you could end up without a home. Unless put out extremely quickly, a fire will likely require the assistance of either an electrician, a disaster specialist or both to get the home back to safe and comfortable conditions.

How to Use Gas Safely in Your Home

How to Use Gas Safely in Your Home

One of the reasons we have been using gas in our homes for as long as we have is because gas is both clean and convenient for most households. Today, nearly any appliance can be run off of gas in your household. Thankfully, gas is pretty much as safe as electricity, if you keep a few things in mind. Here are some excellent tips to keep in mind if you use gas in your home.

How to Use Gas Safely in Your Home

Good Maintenance

Keeping your household appliances clean and in good working order not only extends the life of your appliance but makes it easier to detect any issues that may occur. Keep the piping free of any detritus and rubbish as well as free of kinks. Set up regularly scheduled maintenance to check your appliance.

Familiarize Yourself With Warning Signs

Pay attention to the warning signs that can alert you to a potential gas fault. If you believe that there is a gas fault immediately turn off the gas.

Signs may mean you have a leak are:

  • Rotten egg smell
  • Yellow flame instead of blue
  • Unexplained condensation
  • Soot stains
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Difficulty breathing

If You Believe You Have a Leak

 If, at any time, you believe that you may have a leak, turn off the gas as quickly as possible to prevent asphyxiation and fire. Open any windows and doors to get as much ventilation as possible into the space. Do not touch anything that can spark, like light switches, and do not light a cigarette. Don’t even use the telephone. From your cellphone or another location, call a professional to inspect the home.

Purchase Gas Alarms

Every home should have a smoke alarm, but homes that use gas should also purchase and install gas alarms. These alarms work very much like a smoke alarm by setting off an audible alarm when they detect gas leaks in your home. Just like with a smoke alarm, ensure that you keep it in good working order and schedule regular battery replacement. You should check it at the same time you do your smoke alarm to make sure you don’t forget.

Gas is a safe feature in your home as long as you remain aware of what warning signs to look for and take the few extra steps of purchasing a gas alarm and conducting regular appliance and alarm maintenance.

4-1-1 on Protecting Your Family With Smoke Detectors

4-1-1 on Protecting Your Family With Smoke Detectors

Want to know how to best protect your family from fire? Read on to get the 4-1-1 on installing, testing and purchasing smoke detectors in your home.

Where to Install Smoke Detectors

Proper placement of smoke detectors ensures your home and family are protected without the inconvenience of a false alarm every time you cook dinner. The size and layout of your house determine the effective number and placement of these life-saving units.

To get started, install smoke detectors:

  • On every floor, including the basement
  • Near the kitchen but 10 feet from the stove
  • In each sleeping area and hallway
  • By the stairways of each floor
  • Ten feet from fire risks, like electrical panels and fireplaces

Avoid drafty areas. Exterior doors, windows, heating and cooling ducts create air flow which dissipates smoke and delays alarms from sounding. Install smoke detectors on the ceiling or four inches down on the wall. Smoke fills a room from the top. These placements catch the first signs of trouble.

How to Test Smoke Detectors

Low battery and indicator lights provide inadequate proof that a smoke detector works. Testing your units monthly ensures they work properly. Match this task to another monthly chore to jog your memory. Simply hold the test button for a few seconds, and the alarm activates.

A crisis test uses a match, candle or aerosol to set off the alarm. This test ensures smoke triggers the alarm and any interconnected alarms. Use this opportunity to run an unplanned fire drill as well. Develop an action plan with your family, and practice during these crisis tests.

Whether low or not, switch out your batteries twice a year. If you live in a part of the country that observes Daylight Saving Time, replace all smoke detector batteries when you spring ahead and when you fall back.

Which Smoke Detectors to Purchase

With the options on the market, what do you look for in a smoke detector? Price, warranty and sensor type vary by brand and style. The most important feature? Knowing what you are getting and how it works.

You can choose from:

  • Battery-operated or hardwired units
  • Stand-alone or interconnected detectors
  • Those with special features

Voice and mobile alerts and alarm shut offs allow you to monitor smoke detectors while away or busy. Smart detection gives you the location of the fire. Silence buttons quiet alarms for a set time without interrupting function. And, ones that include carbon monoxide sensing protect your family from two foes at once.

Tips To Protect Your Home From Disasters

Tips To Protect Your Home From Disasters

There’s never a good time for a disaster to strike your home. You can, however, be prepared for when the unexpected happens. Here are action steps you can take now to better protect your home from disasters.

Routine Maintenance

When it comes to fire damage, most fires are caused by electrical malfunctions. Prevent fires from ever happening by making sure all electrical cords are in excellent condition. This is one thing duct tape can’t fix.  If you have exposed wires, call an electrician to take care of the problem. Additionally, check to make sure all major appliances are plugged directly into wall outlets and not power strips or extension cords. For smaller electronics, invest in power strips that have surge protection.

Get your roof inspected regularly to insure that your roof is in excellent condition before bad weather hits. Keep your trees properly trimmed. Make sure branches are not hanging precariously over your roof.  Keep your gutters clean as they help prevent foundation issues caused by oversaturation.

Regularly check for leaks in your pipes. If there’s a leak, call a plumber to take care of it. A little leak can cause a lot of damage over time. If you will be away from your home for an extended period of time, consider shutting your water off altogether and draining the water present in the pipes. You can also invest in covers for outdoor faucets and tube pipe insulation for exposed pipes inside of the home. Both are handy for preventing pipes from bursting due to frigid conditions.

Be Prepared

No matter how well you maintain your home, disaster can strike. Here are a few supplies and strategies to have on hand when those happen:

  1. Have a water and fire-proof safe for important documents.
  2. Know where the main water valve is for your home and how to properly shut it off.  There’s nothing like coming home to water flowing from a burst pipe. It would be even worse if you didn’t know how to take care of it.
  3. Invest in a wet/dry vacuum. Having one of these on hand in the event of flooding decreases the chance of damage and mold. You’ll want to get to work right away pulling the water out of your home.

No one wants a disaster but there are ways to lessen the effects. If you keep your home properly maintained and have a few tools on hand when disaster comes knocking on your door, you’ll be prepared.

4 Major Signs of Electrical Problems in Your Home

4 Major Signs of Electrical Problems in Your Home

Any homeowner will tell you that electrical problems are no joke. They are difficult to detect, costly to repair and can be extremely dangerous.

Because all wiring is done within the walls of our home, we usually have to rely on our senses alone to identify potential electrical issues. On the bright side, if you know the signs, you can catch electrical issues early and work fast to resolve them.

4 Major Signs of Electrical Problems in Your Home

 

Frequently Tripping Circuit Breakers

Modern homes are equipped with circuit breakers, which are replacing the archaic fuse boxes. These are a safer and more convenient option, because if a circuit breaks, it only takes a flip of a switch to get things going again.

However, an increase in how often you need to reset your circuit breakers could be a sign that you’re overloading the circuit’s safety capacity or you may have a short in your wiring. Either way, it could lead to major issues if left unchecked. Contact an electrician to diagnose the issue.

Flickering Lights

Flickering lights may be great for haunted houses, but you don’t want them in your home. In most cases, the issue may lie with the fixture itself – maybe it’s old or needs a replacement bulb.

Continued flickering after the bulb or light has been replaced could indicate a problem with your wiring. A licensed electrician will be able to detect and repair the electrical issue.

Shaking Appliances

Many appliances are designed to make their need for electricity discreet. If it becomes obvious that a lamp or appliance is plugged in that could indicate a problem with your wiring.

Some signs to look out for are slight buzzing, shaking or shock when you turn the appliance on. You can try testing the lamp or appliance in another outlet – if the same issues occur, it’s a strong indication there’s an electrical problem that needs to be examined.

Burning Odors

If you start smelling burning plastic or vinyl, turn your breaker off immediately and contact an electrician. The odor usually indicates a significant issue with your wiring or possibly an electrical fire.

Detecting early signs of an electrical issue could save your home from major damage. If you experience any of the above issues in your home, contact a licensed electrician that’s trained in diagnosing and repairing electrical problems.