Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire Safety and Preparedness

6/4/2020 (Permalink)

Oven on fire SERVPRO of Sarpy County reminds you to Grill Safe Omaha

The arrival, of summer typically makes us think of afternoons at the city pool, backyard barbeques, and family vacations. 

The team at SERVPRO of Sarpy County would like to remind you to add fire safety and preparedness to your to-do list this week. 

Statistics show that home fires claim the life of one child every day and approximately 16 children are injured from fires or burns every hour.  Over 85% of all fire-related deaths are due to home fires, which spread quickly and often leave as little as 2 minutes to escape.  

Some fire safety tips:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area.
  • Teach kids to never play with matches or lighters and store these up and away from children.
  • Create and practice a home fire escape plan with 2 ways out of your house. Make fire escape practice a fun game for the kids by having a race to see how fast they can escape and practice often.  The better prepared your kids are, the better chance they have to escape.
  • Teach your children to get low and get out when they hear the smoke alarm.
  • Use common sense in the kitchen.  Pay attention when cooking and never leave a hot oven or cooktop unattended.

Don't forget to check FEMA's fire safety checklist on their website.

Have a happy and safe summer!

If your property is affected by fire damage or smoke damage, call the trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Sarpy County at 402-291-3355. Our experienced crews are always here to help.

Proper Fire Extinguisher Usage

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguisher with PASS acronym Always use the proper fire extinguisher properly.

With all the fire damage and smoke damage that our crews see each year, SERVPRO of Sarpy County wants to PASS on some important fire extinguisher tips.  The acronym PASS is used to remember how to properly operate a fire extinguisher:

  • P - Pull the pin, hold the nozzle away from yourself and release the pin.
  • A - Aim low, toward the base of the fire.
  • S - Squeeze the trigger lever slowly.
  • S - Sweep the nozzle side to side.

In addition to knowing how to properly use a fire extinguisher, the U.S. Fire Administration suggests it is important to know which extinguisher is best for each type of fire.  Check out this article on our website on Choosing The Proper Fire Extinguisher.

If your property is affected by a disaster, such as smoke damage or fire damage, call the experts at SERVPRO of Sarpy County at 402-291-3355;  we are always here to help.

Holiday and Winter Fire Facts

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Sarpy County cleans fire damage and smoke damage caused by Christmas Tree fires every year.  The US Fire Administration has an entire page on their website dedicated to preventing Holiday fires.  While Christmas fires don't occur that often, they do cause a lot of damage, with 1 out of every 32 fires resulting in death.  Having a heat source or candle too close to the tree is the number one cause of Christmas tree fires.  Also be sure to keep open flames away from Christmas decorations and ensure the tree is watered regularly so it does not become too dry and highly flammable.

If your property is affected by fire damage or smoke damage, call the trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Sarpy County at 402-291-3355. Our experienced crews are always here to help.

Celebrate Thanksgiving With a Recipe For Fire Safety

11/21/2019 (Permalink)

As we gather with our families to celebrate Thanksgiving, we want to remind you to practice safe cooking habits.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries, causing millions of dollars in smoke damage and fire damage annually.

Here are a few cooking safety tips for the season:

  • Be on alert!  If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don't use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire - oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains - away from the stovetop.

Our SERVPRO family hopes you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, but if your property is affected by a disaster, such as fire damage or smoke damage, call the trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Sarpy County at 402-291-3355;  we are always here to help.

Avoiding Heating Fire Damage In The Omaha Metro

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Space Heater Amid Flammable Material EPIC Space Heater Fail

Heating and electrical malfunctions are some of the top causes for residential fires, resulting in millions of dollars in smoke damage and fire damage annually.

As the temperature drops, the need for heating appliances grows resulting in a spike in residential fires during the early heating season.  The increased use of space heaters, often placed too close to furniture and other flammable items and/or left on at the end of the day causes several business fires each winter.

A majority of electrical fires are caused by faulty outlets and old appliances.  Everyday use of electrical wiring can cause tears which can be a fire hazard.  Light fixtures are another cause of electrical fires, often with incorrect wattage incandescent bulbs or when placing flammable material too close to the fixture.  

If your property is affected by a disaster, such as fire damage or smoke damage, call the trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Sarpy County at 402-291-3355;  we are always here to help.

SERVPRO Supports Fire Prevention Week

10/4/2019 (Permalink)

campfire with roasting marshmallows SERVPRO reminds you to always practice fire safety.

The theme for Fire Prevention Week this year is "Not Every Hero Wears a Cape".  Fire prevention week started because of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.  The fire lasted two days and affected a 3-mile radius, displacing thousands.  Sparky the Fire Dog and Smokey Bear have become a large part of Fire Prevention Week, teaching children that no matter how small something or someone is they can always help prevent a fire.  For example, a child can remind the adults to blow out candles before leaving the home or going to bed.  

We typically see an increase in fire pit accidents with the arrival of the Fall season.  While Smore's are tasty and fun, it is best to make them over the stove or gas grill if it is too windy out.

If your property is affected by a disaster, such as smoke damage or fire damage, call the experts at SERVPRO of Sarpy County at 402-291-3355;  we are always here to help.

Holiday Fire Prevention Tips

12/14/2018 (Permalink)

Dry Christmas trees are as flammable as matches. Keep you tree watered at all times.

Since we typically see a spike in smoke damage and fire damage during the Christmas Holiday season, SERVPRO of Sarpy County would like to share a few tips for preventing fires this Holiday Season:
• Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles.
• Purchase flame retardant metallic or artificial trees. If you purchase a real tree, make sure that it has fresh, green needles that aren't easily broken. Keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water.
• Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
• Always unplug tree and holiday light before leaving home or going to bed.
• Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
• Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees.
• Keep anything that can catch fire - pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels and curtains - away from your stove top.
• Designate one person to walk around your home to make sure that all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave.
• Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with the doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace batteries at least once a year.

If you experience fire damage or smoke damage, call the SERVPRO of Sarpy County team of trusted professionals at 402-291-3355. Our experienced crews are always here to help.

Kitchen Fire in Omaha, NE

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke damage and fire damage from a kitchen fire in Omaha, NE.

Our crews recently cleaned up the smoke damage and fire damage from this kitchen fire in Omaha, NE.  The cook was distracted momentarily and several thousand dollars in damage was the result.

As the holiday season approaches, SERVPRO of Sarpy County reminds you to be aware of the dangers of cooking fires.

You may be surprised to learn that cooking equipment is the leading cause of residential fires.  According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):

  • 475,500 structure fires were reported in the US in 2016.
  • That means one structure fire was reported every 66 seconds.
  • These fires caused $7.9 billion in property damage.

If you experience fire damage or smoke damage, call the SERVPRO of Sarpy County team of trusted professionals at 402-291-3355.  Our experienced crews are always here to help.

Fire Prevention Month Tips For Omaha, NE

10/10/2018 (Permalink)

Remember to replace your smoke detector batteries this fall.

October is Fire Prevention Month and a great time to consider your fire preparedness plans.  Do you have a fire escape plan?  Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries in the last year?  Do you have a working fire extinguisher in your home?

This year's message from the National Fire Protection Association is:

"LOOK" for places fire could start.  Identify potential fire hazards around your home and take care of them.

"LISTEN" for the sound of the smoke alarm.  You might only have minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds.  Also have an outside meeting place a safe distance from your home.

"LEARN" two ways out of every room an make sure all exterior doors and windows are free of clutter and open easily.

If you or your family are affected by a disaster, such as fire damage or water damage, call the trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Sarpy County at 402-291-3355.  Our experienced crews are always here to help.

Choosing the Proper Fire Extinguisher

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

A fire extinguisher can be a life-saving tool when used correctly. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends individuals are properly trained in order to use and maintain an extinguisher.

USFA says an extinguisher should only be used if:
• You have alerted other occupants and someone has called the fire department.
• The fire is small and contained to a single object, such as a wastebasket.
• You are safe from the toxic smoke produced by the fire.
• You have a means of escape identified and the fire is not between you and the fire escape route.
• Your instincts tell you that it is safe to use an extinguisher.


Classes of Fire Extinguishers:

  • Class A: Use on ordinary combustible materials, such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and many plastics.
  • Class B: Use on flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline and oil.
  • Class C: Use on appliances, tools, or other equipment that is electrically energized or plugged in.
  • Class D: Use on flammable metals and are often specific for the type of metal in question. These are typically found only in factories working with these metals.
  • Class K: Use on vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances. These are generally found in commercial kitchens, but are suitable for the residential market.

Check out the Fire Equipment Manufacturers Association for more information about fire extinguisher use, type and care.

If you experience fire damage or smoke damage, call the trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Sarpy County at 402-291-3355.  Our experienced crews are always here to help.

Fireworks Safety Can Prevent Injury and Fire Damage

6/23/2018 (Permalink)

Small debris from fireworks can cause large fires like this one.

It's fireworks season!

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an average of 18,500 fires are started every year by fireworks.  This includes 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires.  These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and $43 million in direct property damage.

One may think that sparklers are the safe way to go, but they account for about a fourth of emergency room visits due to fireworks injuries.

Stay safe this summer by paying close attention to children at fireworks events and check out these additional fireworks safety tips from the National Safety Council Nebraska 

If your Omaha-area home or business needs fire damage cleanup, call the trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Sarpy County at 402-291-3355; we are always here to help.

Electrical Safety

12/15/2017 (Permalink)

A recent report from the U.S. Fire Administration shows home electrical fires claim the lives of 280 Americans each year and injure over 1,000 more. Overloaded circuits and extension cords cause many electrical fires in the home or workplace.

Electrical fires occur most during the winter months due to the increased time spent indoors, which also increases the use of lighting, heating and appliances.

Many electrical fires can be avoided if basic safety precautions are taken.  Review the following safety tips to reduce your risk of an electrical fire:

  • Routinely check your electrical appliances and wiring.
  • Frayed wires can cause fires.  Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately.
  • Replace any electrical tool or appliance if it overheats, shorts out, causes even small electric shocks, or gives off smoke or sparks.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet.  Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Use electrical extension cords wisely; never overload extension cords or wall sockets. 

 Source: U.S. Fire Administration

Heating Your Home Safely

11/7/2017 (Permalink)

Practicing a few basic home heating tips can reduce your chances of coming home to this.

The change in season means an increase in the use of supplemental home heating, and an increase in home heating fires. An October 2013 report from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) using date from 2007-2011 reveals some sobering statistics:
• Space heaters accounted for 33% of home heating fires and 81% of home heating deaths.
• The leading factor contributing in home heating fires was failure to clean (primarily creosote) from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
• The leading factor contributing to ignition in 53% of fatal home heating fires was having flammable items too close to heating equipment.
With these statistics in mind, here are some tips for safe home heating:

Fireplaces:
• Always use protective screens to keep sparks and embers inside the firebox.
• Ensure the air inlet is free from debris and obstructions.
• Keep combustible decorations or furniture away from heat source.
• Burn only seasoned wood, never rubbish or scraps of treated lumber.

Woodstoves:
• Check the iron and steel components for cracks or degradation from the fire's heat and replace those that are bad.
• Close a dollar bill in the door at various spots around the frame. If you can pull it out easily the gaskets are won and should be changed.
• Set woodstoves on hearth rugs made of spark resistant material.

Space Heaters:
• Plug heaters directly into a wall socket and not into extension cords.
• Unplug heaters when they are not in use.
• Do not place heaters in walkways or in locations where they could be easily knocked over and ensure heaters are equipped with a tip-over switch.
• Keep clothing, furniture, draperies, paper and other items at least three feet away from the space heater.
• Use only electric heaters equipped with a thermostat or an automatic shut off switch.
• Do not hide cords under rugs or carpets. Placing anything on top of the cord could cause the cord to overheat, and can cause a fire.
• Leave appropriate and recommended amount of space surrounding a space heater.

The trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Sarpy County hope you have a safe and happy fall season.


If you have questions or need help, please call us 24x7 at 402-291-3355

Wildfire Facts and Safety Tips

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

The trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Sarpy County hope you have a safe and happy fall season

National Geographic shares, “On average, more than 100,000 wildfires, clear 4 to 5 million acres of land in the U.S. every year. In recent years, wildfires have burned up to 9 million acres of land.”

As of September 10, 2017, the National Interagency Fire Center (nifc) reported 47,981 wildland fires responsible for burning over 8 million acres of land. The same time period last year claimed 42,280 fires burning 4,745,957 acres of land.

In 2008, 29 states had more than 10,000 acres scorched by wildfires as a total of 5.2 million acres burned across the country. Though thousands of wildfires are started every year by natural causes – such as lightning strikes – many more are man-made disasters. It is reported that four out of five wildfires are started by human error. Because they tend to occur in more populated areas, man-made wildfires can be more dangerous than natural fires. Though we may never be able to fully eliminate wildfires, steps are available that we can take to help lessen the danger of damage to our homes and businesses. SERVPRO® of Sarpy County / Omaha Southwest encourages you to follow these safety tips:

  • Remove debris from under decks and insides gutters.
  • Replace highly flammable vegetation such as pine, eucalyptus, junipers and fir trees with lower growing, les flammable species. Check with your local garden store or fire department for suggestions.
  • When camping, take care when using and fueling lanterns, stoves, and heaters. Make sure lighting and heating devices are cool before refueling. Avoid spilling flammable liquids and store fuel away from appliances.
  • Always build fires away from nearby trees or shrubs.
  • Do not discard cigarettes, matches, or smoking materials from moving vehicles, or anywhere on park grounds. Be certain to completely extinguish cigarettes before disposing of them.
  • Follow local ordinances when burning yard waste. Avoid backyard burning in windy conditions, and keep a shovel, water, and fire retardant nearby to keep fires in check. Remove all flammables from yard when burning.
  • Create a 30-foot safety zone around the house or business, clearing all flammable and combustible objects.

If you have questions or need help, please call us 24x7 at 402-291-3355

What To Do Until Help Arrives – Fire/Smoke Damage

9/11/2017 (Permalink)

When fires happen, a lot can happen in the panic. Following these tips can ease the burden.

At times like these, we receive several calls seeking advice on what to do until help arrives.  The answer depends on whether the water is clean or contaminated.  Generally speaking, water from a supply line is considered clean, while water from drains is considered contaminated.  There are exceptions to this general guideline.  

If you are unsure of the classification of water affecting your property, consult your water damage experts at SERVPRO of Sarpy County at 402-291-3355 and we will help as best we can.

Do:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim, and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks, and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Wash both sides of leaves on house plants.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

Don’t:

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces.
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture.
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water. (They may be contaminated)
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Summer Fire Safety and Preparedness

6/16/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Sarpy County is here to help 24x7. Call us at 402-291-3355

Summer is finally here! The kids are excited that summer break is here. They are busy enjoying the city pool and riding their bikes. Your family summer vacation plans are in place.
Amid the are many things to enjoy this summer, SERVPRO of Sarpy County would like to remind you to add fire safety and preparedness to your to-do list.
Statistics show that home fires claim the life of one child every day and approximately 16 children are injured from fires or burns every hour. Over 85% of all fire-related deaths are due to home fires, which spread quickly and often leave as little as 2 minutes to escape.

Some top fire safety tips:
• Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area.
• Teach kids to never play with matches and lighters and store these up and away from children.
• Create and practice a home fire escape plan with 2 ways out of your house. Make fire escape practice a fun game for the kids by having a race to see how fast they can escape and practice often. The better prepared your kids are, the better chance they have to escape.
• Teach your children to get low and get out when they hear the smoke alarm.
• Use common sense in the kitchen. Pay attention when cooking and never leave a hot oven or cooktop unattended.

Don't forget to check out the Red Cross fire safety checklist on their website.

Your friends at SERVPRO of Sarpy County wish you a safe, happy summer.

Are You Prepared For Fire?

10/19/2015 (Permalink)

Test your smoke alarms regularly

October is Fire Prevention Month and an excellent time to examine the emergency preparedness plans, for your home and business, including your fire escape plan.  Do you have a fire escape plan?  Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets aside a designated week each October to focus on fire prevention.  The 2015 focus is "Hear the Beep Where You Sleep."  The NFPA recommends installing smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home, including the basement.

Did you know that roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep?*  Smoke alarms save lives.  If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out.  In fact, having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half!

The professionals at SERVPRO of Sarpy County want you to stay safe and prepare now to ensure you are ready for any disaster.

* Data provided by the National Fire Protection Association

Make This Fall Fire Free

10/6/2015 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Sarpy County responded to this house fire.

The fall season brings cooler temperatures, beautiful colors and an abundance of outdoor activities.  Plan ahead this season to help ensure it is safe and fire free.

Tips from the National Fire Protection Association (nfpa.org):

  • Fall decorations, like dried flowers and cornstalks, are highly flammable.  Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
  • Keep emergency exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Teach children to stay away from open flames.  Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire.
  • Remember safety first when choosing a Halloween costume.  Consider avoiding billowing fabric.  If you are making your costume, choose material that won't easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or a flame.
  • It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern.  Use extreme caution if using a real candle.  Place lit pumpkins away from anything that can burn, and out of the way of doorsteps, walkways and yards.

We hope you stay safe this fall, but if you suffer fire or smoke damage to your home, SERVPRO of Sarpy County is here to help 24x7.  Call us at 402-291-3355