Fire Damage FAQ What is Soot

Fire Damage FAQ: What is Soot?

The threat after a house fire can disastrously continue even if the flames have been put out. Smoke and soot damage is responsible for thousands of premature deaths, heart and asthma attacks in the United States and other countries. It can easily spread to your entire property and causes discoloration of walls and ceilings.

In addition, soot can cause smoke odor since it will sink in all property contents and remain for long periods of time. So in this article, “What is soot?”, a frequently asked question of most homeowners will be discussed as well as other important information that you need to know about it. 

 What is Soot?

  • A black, fine particle that is commonly termed a type of particulate matter (PM) is 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller. Even smaller than dust and mold particles.
  • Because of its size, it can only be detected with an electron microscope. 
  • It is the result of the incomplete combustion of fossil fuel and becomes the black residue that sticks around and accumulates after a fire.
  • When you burn wood, oil, coal, or other fuels, the residue which is mostly carbon travels through the air and stays into the surrounding environment.
  • It comes in different states of matter: solid, liquid, or gas (“aerosol”).
  • The soot particles may contain chemical compounds or carcinogens such as chromium, arsenic, cadmium.
  • The black and brownish powder contains some harmful elements like sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and methane.

Soot Exposure 

Chimney sweeps probably have the highest occupational soot exposure. Anyone who works where organic materials are burned as well as brick masons, heating-unit service personnel, building demolition personnel, and horticulturists, may be exposed. People may also be at risk of exposure to soot from particulate emissions from any combustion source, fireplaces, engine exhaust, and furnaces.

Dangers of Soot Exposure

People may expose themselves to soot by inhalation and ingestion. Moreover, it can be absorbed through the skin and eyes. Soot particles pose a wide range of environmental and health risks.

 Air pollution from smoke, including soot, greatly contributes to the indoor air quality of your home, in addition to leaving unpleasant odors and stains behind. 

 And because soot particles are so small, they can easily enter deep into the lungs without even knowing it.  Soot can cause breathing problems including aggravated asthma, bronchitis, heart diseases, and even cancer. The most vulnerable population for the dangers of soot include infants, the elderly, and people who have breathing issues.


DIY Tips For Soot Clean-up

Whatever the cause of soot in your home, be it just from a simple wood-burning or from wildfire, ensure that your home is safe and clean once you enter. Proper clean-up and restoration from fire damage professionals are a must. Nevertheless, you can use the following clean-up soot tips for your home.

  1. Always remember to use safety gear such as masks or an air-purifying respirator and nitrile gloves before dealing with the soot or residues.
  2. Avoid touching your face while cleaning and wearing your gloves.
  3. Wear safety glasses or goggles to protect your eyes from particles.
  4. Use a strong vacuum to get rid of loose particles on all areas and surfaces.
  5. A lambswool duster may help to dust off particles, depending on the amount of dry soot and the sizes of the surfaces.
  6. Move the small objects to another place and clean them after an extensive vacuum cleaning is done.
  7. Deodorize, repaint, or varnish wooden materials in your house. You can use a dry chemical sponge to clean off the wood then wipe it with a damp cloth. You may consider using a polish or conditioner for wood after it has totally dried.
  8. When cleaning hard surfaces like floors and countertops, use water and a specialized cleaner. Put them in a spray bottle then spray the cleaning solution before wiping the surface. Rinse afterward with clean water.
  9. To sanitize and deodorize, you can use a natural remedy. After cleaning the area, use a mixture of water, baking soda, and vinegar to eliminate the strong smell.
  10. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after the clean-up.


Ensure Safety of Your Health with Superior Restoration

You don’t need to deal with smoke and soot alone since it may endanger your home and especially your health. It will take much time and effort to clean up all the residue and prevent possible side effects. However, hiring fire and smoke damage restoration experts will ensure the safe use of your residence again.  

Our expert teams have quality equipment and tools to help you with full smoke and soot clean up. Contact our local office today! We are available round the clock to serve you better.

15 Grease Fire Safety Tips

15 Grease Fire Safety Tips

A lot of people spent more time at home especially in the kitchen when the peak of the pandemic started. Yet, a lot still panic when cooking mishaps happen particularly grease fires. Grease fires are the main culprits of cooking fires and are really dangerous. Knowing how to respond quickly and what action to take will prevent severe fire damage. We’ll help you stay calm and prevent fire with our grease fire safety tips.

 How Do Grease Fires Start?

Home fires start in the kitchen when you cook with oil or grease that reaches its smoking point. During the process of cooking, the temperature actually varies depending on what type of oil you are using.  A grease fire can ignite and this type should be handled differently than a normal fire. Generally, for most oils, the smoking points range from 350-450 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil will begin to smoke when there’s too much heat or reaches a temperature that will cause it to combust.

 Fire Requirement

 Three things are required for a fire to burn and that include heat, oxygen, and fuel. Getting rid of any of these will halt the fire from burning.  If you catch fire because of grease, the safest and quickest way to prevent the spread is by removing the oxygen. Close the door and windows to contain the fire.

 Grease Fire Safety Tips

 Here are some tips on how to stop a grease fire safely:

  1. Don’t leave the kitchen whenever you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling. Don’t leave the pot or pan unattended.
  2. Being attentive and alert around the fire is one way to be safe from fires. If you are exhausted, sleepy, or intoxicated, never attempt to cook.
  3. Clear your countertops from inflammable items such as potholders, oven mitts, or wooden utensils. Keep them away from your stovetops.
  4. Use a thermometer to maintain the temperature of the oil or grease at a normal rate. Learn about the flashpoint and ignition temperature of the oil you are using. In addition, the autoignition point is between 750 to 815 degrees Fahrenheit (400 to 435°C). 
  5. Eliminate moisture from food before placing it in hot oil. Avoid putting frozen foods into hot grease to prevent grease fires.
  6. Prevent splattering of oil by slowly heating and gently putting food on a pan.
  7. Turn off the burner or stove immediately when you see smoke or smell the oil. Too much heat or high temperatures may cause a fire.
  8. Keep a metal pot lid near your counter so you can easily access it in case a fire begins. In addition, keep salt or baking soda nearby to put out a grease fire.
  9. Place a fire extinguisher in your kitchen for easy access.
  10. Do not allow children to stay in or play around your kitchen especially while you are cooking.
  11. Clean up dirt and grease/oil spills in your burners and counters to prevent the spread of fire.
  12. Avoid wearing loose clothes, especially loose sleeves. A loose sleeve or the end of the loose shirt might touch the stove accidentally and ignite. If clothes are caught on fire, remember these three things to extinguish the fire: Stop, Drop, and Roll.
  13. Do not attempt to move the pot or pan with burning oil to prevent the spread of grease fire. 
  14. Before treating burns, make sure the fire is contained or the building is completely evacuated.
  15. If you need help, call 911 as soon as you are safe and away from the fire. 

 What Makes a Grease Fire Worse?

Never put or use any of the following on a grease fire:

  • Water

Water is a no-no. Never pour water on a grease fire because this vaporizes instantly causing a steam explosion that will spread flames.

  • Flour 

Flour on a grease fire will just fill the air with particles that would ignite and burst into flames.

  • Baking Powder

This resembles baking soda but should never be used. Baking powder like flour will just ignite when thrown on a grease fire. 

  • Dinnerware/glassware

Covering a grease fire with a plate or something that is made of glass can result in an explosion that would break the dinnerware of the glass into shrapnel.


 Fire Damage Restoration 

If you experience a kitchen fire in your home, aside from calling the fire department, you will need a restoration company that can deal with fire damage. Superior Restoration offers high-quality fire and smoke damage restoration services.

We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and would love to help restore your home. Please call us today!

What Causes Fire Damage in The Workplace

What Causes Fire Damage in The Workplace

There isn't much discussion about fire damage in the workplace. However, this is important because, according to statistics, over 481, 500 structure fires occur in business settings in the United States each year. Fire safety in the workplace is of the utmost importance in any property and this comes with knowing the causes of fire in the workplace. Read on to learn the most common causes of fire in the workplace as well as steps to prevent business fire damage.

Common Causes of Fire Damage in the Workplace

There are many factors to consider why there are some sudden fire explosions or happenings in your business. Below are the most common causes of workplace fires.

Faulty Electrical Equipment

Electrical fires are one of the most common causes of fire in the workplace. Most businesses conduct their operations with the use of computers and other electronics, making a building susceptible to workplace fire. Faulty electrical equipment presents a fire hazard in the workplace. Fires can start with loose wires, overloaded plugs, and faulty connections, which causes overheating, sparks and can light up the entire room. 

Heating and Cooking Equipment

Most commercial fires, like home structure fires, begin in the kitchen. Since cooking equipment is necessary for all businesses, you never know when an accident will occur. Cooking equipment is susceptible to catching fire because it can accumulate oil and grease, which, if in contact with a heating system, can cause sparks. Leaving cooking unattended in the workplace is another cause of the business fire.

On the other hand, since heating devices are somehow necessary for businesses with cold climates, fire is a high risk. If not properly maintained, the heating devices can overheat or catch fire if placed near combustible materials. 

Flammable and combustible materials

Some businesses don't have a proper protocol for storing items, especially flammable liquid. Improper storage may lead to workplace fires, particularly in commercial settings where equipment that can cause sparks have been used. Additionally, combustible materials like paper, cardboard, and wood can contribute a significant amount of fuel to the fire. 

Human Error

Fire accidents happen any time, especially in a workplace where fire safety training is not conducted. Fire damage in the workplace may occur due to a lack of staff training or workers unaware of fire safety protocols. Additionally, in some cases, employees don't know how to use the work equipment or fail to report if there is something wrong with the devices.

Lack of fire safety resources and equipment

Common causes of fire in the workplace are lack of fire safety equipment like fire alarms, fire extinguishers, proper fire exits, smoke alarms, and fire sprinkler systems. It might be surprising for some, but many businesses continue to neglect this step even if it's necessary.  

In some cases, businesses have all of the required fire safety equipment. But the problem is they are defective. Smoke and fire alarms don't have a battery, fire escapes are too narrow to use, and extinguishers are either not appropriate to use or have reached their usage limit.


Although this does not happen very often, there is always the risk of an intentional fire in the workplace. According to NFPA, 19 % of structural fires reported are due to arson. It might seem paranoid or insane, but it occurs in some companies.


Tips on How to Prevent Fire in the Workplace

  1. Fire safety equipment should be accessible to the public. 
  2. The fire extinguishers, fire alarms, and fire exits should be available to use.
  3. Only smoke in the designated area or smoke outside the building.
  4. Maintain cleanliness in the workplace. 
  5. Learn to store and dispose of flammable materials and chemicals in the proper places.
  6. Reduce the possibility of overheating by using the electrical equipment properly and limiting the power outlets. 
  7. Place a protective sleeve for wirings, or replace it if it shows signs of damage.
  8. Ensure to exercise caution with heat sources.
  9. Maintain any machinery and equipment that you use at the workplace and fix the damage immediately.
  10. Install effective fire and smoke alarms.
  11. Regularly test the fire alarms.
  12. To avoid human error, train the staff on how to use the equipment properly.
  13. Inform the employees about the proper fire safety protocols.
  14. Install CCTV cameras in all corners of the workplace to monitor the employees.
  15. Make sure to keep the clutter to an absolute minimum to avoid any dust and grease buildups.
  16. Place and check fire extinguishers.
  17. Install sprinklers in every room in the workplace.
  18. Conduct annual fire risk assessment and fire drills.
  19. Make a fire prevention plan annually.
  20. Check for hazards regularly to ensure the workplace is safe.

Professional Fire Damage Cleaning and Restoration Services

In case of a sudden fire in a workplace, immediately evacuate the area and call 911. Stay in safe places and wait for professionals to arrive. In case your building suffers fire damage, contact a fire damage restoration company, like Superior Restoration, immediately. They will handle both cleanup and restoration services.

Superior Restoration is the leading restoration company that provides quality fire damage restoration services. We also offer 24/7 emergency restoration services. Contact us today for your property restoration needs. 

Fireplace Safety Tips - Preventing Fire Damage at Home

Fireplace Safety Tips – Preventing Fire Damage at Home

In this season, when the cold, bracing weather begins to set in, nothing beats the beauty and warmth of a nice, crackling fire in a fireplace. However, the joy and warmth you receive from this fire can lead to a disaster when safety precautions are not followed. Keep in mind that heating equipment, such as a fireplace, is one of the leading causes of house fires in winter. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one-half of the home heating fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. So, to enjoy the heat and smell of a crackling fire during this cold season and prevent injuries and fire damage in your home, follow these simple fireplace safety tips and precautions


What Causes Fireplace Fires

Fireplaces fail because of these reasons;

  • Blacked chimney flue or damper
  • Flying embers or sparks
  • Damaged fireplace components such as metal caps or missing bricks
  • Overloaded fires
  • Flammable items are too close to the fireplace


Fireplace Safety Tips that Help Prevent Fire Damage

Preventing fire damage from a fireplace begins with proper maintenance and precautions. 

  • Before using your fireplace this winter, have it inspected or maintained by a professional. 
  • Hire a qualified sweep to clean and remove any creosote and soot buildup from your fireplace and chimney. Furthermore, debris and other materials can accumulate and block your chimney, causing inadequate ventilation of your fireplace. 
  • Regularly inspect the chimney cap for any signs of damage. Replace or repair if necessary. 
  • Ensure that the chimney has a cap to prevent animals or debris from accumulating inside the chimney.
  • Do not throw in the trash, cardboard, and other debris inside your fireplace. These products can discharge toxins when burned in a fireplace. 
  • Burn only dry, seasoned wood. Wet or green wood can produce more fire that can be too much for the damper to handle. Also, cut the wood to the correct length.
  • Have a spark guard installed around the fireplace to prevent embers from coming out. 
  • Keep all flammable materials, like books, newspapers, furniture, and fabric at least 3 feet away from the fireplace.
  • Never leave your burning fireplace unattended. Always extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving home. 
  • Keep children and pets away from the fireplace when it is in use. 
  • Use the proper tools like a brush, shovel, tongs, poker, or a long carrier to maintain the fire. 
  • Clean your firebox and remove ashes regularly or at least once a week during the colder months to prevent ash and soot from accumulating in your fireplace.
  • Close the damper when the embers have completely cooled down. 
  •  Place a fire extinguisher in the room where the fireplace is located.
  • Install smart devices like smoke detectors, alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors to alert you of any possible house fire. Furthermore, regularly inspect these devices to ensure that they are in good working condition. 


Safely Start A Fire 

  • Remove the ashes from the firebox before stacking some logs in your fireplace. But be sure that the ashes have already cooled down to prevent injuries. Dispose of old ashes and embers in a tightly sealed metal container. 
  • Open the chimney damper before starting a fire to ensure proper ventilation.
  • Ensure that your fireplace has a grate for safety purposes and to allow adequate airflow necessary to sustain combustion.
  • Use some crumpled paper and add some kindling underneath the grate to start a small fire. 
  • Place the logs at the back of the fireplace on top of the grate. Arranging the logs at the rear of the place will help prevent sparks and embers from getting out of the fireplace box.
  • Use a match or a lighter to start a fire. Remember not to use any flammable liquid in starting a fire. 
  • Keep your kindling burning until the wood catches fire and as the fireplace heat, gradually add more logs.
  • Always keep the fire small to lessen creosote buildup and generate less smoke.
  • Tightly close the metal-mesh screen or glass fireplace door to keep the hot embers inside the fireplace. 
  • You may consider opening your window slightly to allow fresh air intake. Outside air will help the fire to burn efficiently.


Professional Fire Damage Cleaning And Restoration Services

Following the above safety tips and precautions can help reduce the risk of a house fire and allow you to enjoy the cold weather of winter. But, if your fireplace fails and your home or building suffers from fire damage, contact a professional fire and smoke damage restoration company, like Superior Restoration, immediately. Fire, smoke, and soot can cause severe damage to properties. Thus, a quick response is crucial. 

Superior Restoration offers 24/7 emergency restoration services to help restore a fire-damaged home or business. We have professionals ready to respond and attend to your emergency. Contact our office today for quality fire damage cleaning and restoration services.

How To Safely Store Flammable Items At Home

How To Safely Store Flammable Items At Home

There are plenty of flammable items in our home, from our kitchen to the living room to our bedroom. They are everywhere. While some of them are obvious to cause a house fire and require extra precautions, many are not much. And, often, many homeowners do not know how to properly and safely store these items. These items, when not stored properly can create a destructive fire, putting your property at risk for fire damage and your family in danger.  So, here are some tips on how to safely store flammable items in your home to prevent any disasters. 


Highly Flammable Household Items 

Here are the most common flammable items that are most likely present in your home. 


  • Gasoline, paint thinner, and turpentine. They are known as highly flammable substances that can cause most fires in residential properties.
  • Nail polish and nail polish remover. These items contain acetone which is an extremely flammable and volatile chemical.
  • Rubbing alcohol. It is one of the most common flammable household items that can cause serious property damage when exposed to fire.
  • Aerosol cans. They are extremely dangerous. They will not only ignite if exposed to a fire, but they can also explode when stored near any heat-related appliances or even just placed on a sunny windowsill.
  • Hand sanitizers. Most sanitizers are alcohol-based. Similar to rubbing alcohol, they can also ignite very easily in a naked flame.
  • Non-dairy creamer. This artificial flavoring is combustible because of the chemical composition it contains, like sodium aluminosilicate.
  • Oranges. These Amerca’s all-time favorite fruits contain limonene. It's dried peels can be used as fire starters for campfires. On the other hand, a dangerous substance that can cause serious fire damage in homes or businesses.
  • Flour. Surprisingly, this and other powdered foods suspended in the air can easily explode when exposed to an open flame.


How To Safely Store Flammable Items At Home


Keep Items In Proper Containers

When storing flammable liquids, it is important to always keep them in the proper containers.  You might be tempted to store them in ordinary containers like milk jugs and Tupperware or old paint cans. But, doing this can just lead to problems. Containers, not particularly designed for these items, might not withstand the internal pressure of flammable liquids, causing them to leak or melt.


Always keep and transport flammable items only in approved containers. Containers with labels “FM Approved” or “UL Listed” indicate that they have been tested and safe to use for storing fuel and other flammable liquids. Keep in mind that flammable liquids are highly explosive. Even a small amount of liquid can cause destruction. So, it vital to keep your flammables in proper storage. 


Store Flammables in A Well-Ventilated Area

Just like having proper containers, it is also important to place these flammables in a proper area. Most homeowners store their flammable materials in their garage, utility room, or basement. This can be very dangerous. Flammables such acetone, paint thinner, and ether, should be kept in a well-ventilated area, separated from your home. Flammable cans should be stored in areas away from potential ignition sources like heating equipment. They should also be away from electrical equipment or any equipment that can cause a spark or open flames.


Keep The Storage Area At Room Temperature

Furthermore, liquid containers should be kept in an area not exposed to direct sunlight or the intense heat of the summer. If you don’t have that area, consider buying a flammable liquid storage cabinet from your local hardware store. Also, keep the storage area locked and not accessible to children. 


Professional Fire Damage Restoration Services


Proper storage of these flammable items in your home does not only help protect your family from danger but also keep your property safe. Always handle and store flammables properly and safely to avoid any problems. But, in case any of these flammables has caused structural damage to your home or business, contact a fire damage restoration company immediately. A professional restoration company, like Superior Restoration, will help prevent the spread of smoke and soot in your property, as well as restore it to its pre-damaged condition. 


Cleaning Up Soot and Ash After A Wildfire

Cleaning Up Soot and Ash After A Wildfire

While wildfires are a part of nature and can be beneficial to vegetation, animals, and ecosystems surrounding the fire, they can be deadly and damaging. In the U.S., wildfires can cause millions of dollars in property damage to nearby homes and businesses. The fires can destroy all the materials in their way. But even properties that are not affected by the fire can also suffer serious damages and may require repair and restoration. The unseen and often unknown dangers of wildfires are the smoke, soot, and ash damage to homes and properties. These natural byproducts of wildfires can travel farther away from the site and cause extensive damage thousands of miles away. Smoke, ash, and soot damage should be dealt with immediately to prevent permanent damage to your property as well as a long-term hazard to your loved ones.


Safety First

Before you begin your fire damage cleanup efforts make sure that your home is safe to re-enter. Verify if the evacuation order has been lifted and seek advice from your local fire marshal to check if it is safe to return to your home.

When entering your home, wear protective clothing to prevent having direct contact with wildfire ash. This ash may be non-toxic but it contains a small number of chemicals that can cause skin and nose irritation and may also trigger respiratory problems like asthma. Some protective equipment you can use is a long-sleeved t-shirt, long pants, safety shoes, safety glasses, and a NIOSH-approved N95 mask. Also, avoid kids and any family members that have respiratory problems to go near the affected area unprotected. 

Additionally, never try to turn on utilities or appliances until they have been checked by a professional. They might have come in contact with fire, water, or fire-retardant.


Fire Damage Clean up After A Wildfire

If your home sustained fire damage or even water damage, it is always best to seek a professional fire damage restoration company. But, in case, you would prefer to clean up the damage on your own, make sure to wear the proper protective gear and follow these tips;

Exterior Ash and Soot Damage Cleanup

When removing ash and soot from the exterior of your home, there are two things you have to avoid; washing ash into the storm drains and using leaf blowers. Washing ash into storm drains can cause blockage to the system and contaminate the water. At the same time, using a leaf blower can drive the ash back into the air and can become a fire hazard. This can cause the ignition to smoldering areas. 

Start cleaning the exterior of your home at the top, meaning from your roof, and work all the way down. Use a broom or a brush to gently remove the ash from the roof, including the gutters, and collect them in a trash bag for disposal. You can also use a wet cloth to remove smaller particles. 

To remove ash and soot from the exterior siding, walls, and windows, spray it using a garden hose with a nozzle. You may also need to use a pressure washer to remove any stubborn spots, but make sure to use the lowest pressure to prevent damaging wood or stucco. When doing this, make sure to direct the water to your flowerbeds or laws and away from the storm drains. 

Lastly, once you have completely removed the ash and soot from the exterior windows, clean them using a glass cleaner or with a mixture of vinegar and water. 

Interior Ash and Soot Damage Cleanup

Before cleaning fire damage inside your home, it is recommended that you have your HVAC system cleaned professionally to remove any smoke, ash, and soot residue, and to allow you to breathe cleaner air as you clean up the rest of the interior of your property. 

Then, begin removing the ash first. Use a dust cloth to remove ash from most surfaces like books, frames, and other decors. For furniture or textiles, use a hand broom or a brush to sweep off the ash. Collect the ash in a bag and mop wet the floor to fully remove the remaining residues. Furthermore, if you opt to use a vacuum to remove the ash, use only a HEPA filter vacuum. 

The next step is to clean up the soot in your home. You can use a mild soap to clean up soot damage on most surfaces. But if you need a more effective solution, create a mixture of 1-gallon of warm water, a cup of bleach, and 4 to 6 tablespoons of trisodium phosphate (TSP). Begin cleaning from the floor and work way up to the ceiling. It is also best to clean one part of the area at a time and rinse it with clean water. 

How To Prevent Fire Damage 

As a homeowner, fire prevention should always be your top priority. You can do this by always checking the situation of your home, creating defensible space, and fireproofing your property. Here are some tips on how to prepare your home from fire damage during a wildfire. 

  • Remove any natural debris, such as fallen leaves, tree branches, dried-out vegetation, and others, from within 10 feet of your home. 
  • Keep stored flammable materials at least 30 ft. from your home.
  • Keep shrubs and grasses trimmed to remove any dry materials that could ignite and avoid lawn clippings from lingering.
  • Trim trees to keep their branches are 6 to 10 feet above the ground.
  • Cover soffits and under-eaves with vents or screens, then attach 1/8 inch metal mesh to ensure that embers do not enter the area or outside of the attic vents. 
  • Replace damaged or missing shingles and roof tiles so that roofs are better protected from any blowing and falling embers.


Professional Fire Damage Restoration Services

Fire damage from a wildfire can leave you with plenty of work and can even put you at risk of danger. So, if you need help, you can always trust the professionals at Superior Restoration. We are equipped with skilled and experienced professionals who can clean up smoke, soot, and ash in your property and restore it to its pre-damaged condition. Contact our office today to know more about our fire damage restoration services. 


Fire Safety Tips To Prevent Workplace Fires

Fire Safety Tips To Prevent Workplace Fires

Fire prevention, whether in a home or business is a serious matter. In business, fire safety is often ignored probably because of the absence of a significant source of heat, which is the kitchen. But, offices carry risks as well. In fact, from the year 2011 to 2017, there was an average of 3,340 fires in business properties every year, resulting in $112 million in property damage, injuries, and casualties. Just like in homes, workplace fires can also be avoided and everyone in the office can be responsible for keeping the environment safe. So, to keep everyone safe in the building, learn these essential fire safety tips, as well as the steps you can take in case of an emergency. 


How To Prevent Workplace Fires

Clean Your Workplace 

Having a workplace with unorganized materials, paperwork, equipment, or debris can provide fuel to an already-started fire and restrict access to escape routes or other emergency exits. Organize and clean your workplace. Keep the clutter to a minimum and make a clear pathway to an exit, to prevent fire hazards as well as to help you get out of the building safely, in case of an emergency.  

Maintain Electrical Systems and Machinery

Keep electrical items and machines in good working order. Check electrical cords for signs of damage. Have professionals inspect and repair damaged wires. Also, avoid overloading power outlets with many electrical cords. Doing this reduces the possibility of overheating which can lead to workplace fires.

Designate Areas For Smoking

Employees should know the fire hazard of smoking inside the building. So, it is recommended that the designated area for smoking is outside of the building. Never smoke in storage areas or areas where chemicals are stored.  

Test Fire and Smoke Alarms

One of the simplest and most effective ways of preventing workplace fires is having well-functioned smoke detectors and fire alarms. The management should inspect and test these devices regularly. Having these devices in your building can make a huge difference in keeping your business and staff safe. 

Place Fire Extinguishers

Have the proper number and type of extinguishers in the building. Check them regularly and teach employees how to use them.

Keep Equipment Away From Combustible materials

Equipment that produces heat such as a microwave oven, should be placed away from combustible materials. Flammable materials and chemicals should be stored safely and away from heat-producing equipment. 

Post Emergency Exits 

Create an emergency exit diagram and post it in the building. Make sure that the emergency exits and routes are unobstructed.

Perform Fire Drills

Have the employees perform a periodic fire drill and create an evacuation procedure. This will allow you to ensure that everyone knows how to react in case of an emergency.

How To Respond To A Workplace Fire

Workplace fires can happen unexpectedly. So, it is very important to know what to do in case it occurs in your building. 

The first important steps to take are to activate your alarm system to alert all the employees and call 911. Remember not to hang up when talking to an emergency responder until he tells you to. 

You may consider extinguishing a small fire using a fire extinguisher if you are trained or you know how to use it. Otherwise, never use it. If the fire seems too big for you to handle or is getting uncontrollable, then you should leave the building. Make sure to carefully follow the escape routes and go to the designated meeting place. When exiting the building, close the doors and even the windows to prevent the fire from traveling further. 

When you are outside, never go back inside the building. If someone is missing, wait for the responders to arrive. 

Contact Superior Restoration For Professional Commercial Fire Restoration Services

Fire emergencies and disasters can occur anywhere, anytime, and to anyone. However, with smart policies, vigilance, and quick action, you will be able to avoid catastrophe or at least reduce the damage. Always follow the safety tips above, so you can keep yourself, others, and your workplace safe. And, if the fire hits your business, know that we, at Superior Restoration,  are here to help you get back on your business as quickly as possible. We have a team of experts that will work from cleaning up ash damage, removing soot and smoke odor, and restoring your fire-damaged equipment. 

We also provide commercial water damage restoration services. To learn more about our restoration services, you can contact us at 951-309-2123.

How To Remove Smoke Odor After A Fire

How To Remove Smoke Odor After A Fire

Fire is considered to be the most dangerous natural disaster that can happen in a home. The fire alone can destroy every building material and the household item it touches. But what is even more troublesome are its detrimental consequences; potential water damage, soot pollution, smoke damage, etc. The danger of fire continues even after it has been extinguished because of its byproducts that can cause damage to your property and the most common aftermath of a fire is its prevalent smoke odor. 

When smoke permeates in porous materials like carpet and furniture, the odor that it leaves behind can linger for a long time and can compromise the indoor air quality of a home and result in health issues of the occupants. Knowing its danger, it is important to take quick actions to remove smoke odor effectively and efficiently. 


How To Remove Smoke Odor After A Fire 

Getting rid of the smoke odor after a fire requires a lot of effort. Some factors like how big the fire was, how long were the materials got exposed to smoke and what products were involved can have an impact on how severe the damage is. But that does not mean you can’t do anything to remove smoke odor on your own. There are a few practices that can help to decrease the level of smoke odor in your property. 

Below are steps to remove smoke odor after a fire

Step 1: Air Out Your Property

Open doors and windows to allow fresh air to enter your home. Set up fans near windows and doors so they will pull clean air to get into your home and to have proper air circulation. Ventilating your home after a fire helps reduce smoke odor at the same time dry out areas that have been wet during the extinguishing process. 

Step 2: Use Positive Pressure Ventilation

If the first step is not applicable to the level of smoke odor in your home, blow out your home using positive pressure. It is more effective than opening windows and doors or using exhaust fans. 

Positive pressure is when the air pressure is greater than that of the environment that surrounds it, which causes the air inside to leave its premises. 

  • At the front door of your home, set up the largest fan you can have and face it inwards.
  • Close all windows and doors, leaving only one window open as an exhaust and turn on the fan on its highest speed. Remove screens for better air flowing. 
  • Blow out the room for 15 minutes. 
  • When done, close all the doors and windows to that area and move to another room.
  • Repeat the process until all affected areas have been aired out. 

Step 3: Remove Fire-Damaged Items

Remove fire-damaged items from the premises to help get rid of the odor faster. This means removing all items that have been damaged by fire, such as furniture, carpets, insulation, cabinets, drywall, and others. Depending on the severity of the damage, an item may be cleaned or discarded. 

Curtains and other windows treatments on the window should be removed. You can either wash them or have them dry cleaned. Alternatively, hang them outside to air them out. Other fabric materials like pillows, clothes, towels, and blankets should also be removed as smoke can stick into fabrics. 

Step 4: Deep Clean Your Property

For you to completely remove the smoke odor, it is necessary to clean every affected area of your home. Here are the steps to ensure that your home is thoroughly cleaned. 


Cleaning Solid Surfaces

Some solid surfaces that you may need to clean are baseboards, tables, chairs, shelves, cabinets, window sills, and tile or wood floors. Wash them thoroughly using a solution made of water, detergent and white vinegar. Rinse these surfaces with clean water and wipe them down. Soot particles may have left on walls and ceilings. Clean them as well with the solution and allow them to dry.

Cleaning Carpets and Upholstery

Smoke particles can deeply penetrate into the fabric of your carpet and upholstery. To eliminate the smoke smell, sprinkle some amount of baking soda on the affected area, and let it sit for several hours or overnight for better results. Then, use a high-efficiency vacuum machine to remove the baking soda and other debris. 

You can also clean your carpet and upholstery with steam cleaning. You just need to be cautious when using steam cleaning for silk materials. Because they can get damaged. 

Cleaning Windows

Smoke gathers in windows and create a recurring smell even after the cleanup process. Wash them with dish soap and rinse them with clean water. Pay attention to frames and window panes as smoke can stick to these locations. 

Cleaning The HVAC System

Smoke particles can seep into your property’s ductwork and contaminate your HVAC system. This can lead to poor indoor air quality, thus it is necessary to change all the filters, including furnace filters. It is also best to have your HVAC system inspected to ensure that the air quality of your home is safe. 

Step 5: Repaint Your Walls

If the paint on your walls is holding the smoke odor, then you have to repaint the walls to remove the odor. 

First, you have to wash them with a cleaning product that has ammonia or glycol. These products are effective in neutralizing odor. Rinse them well and allow them to dry. After that, apply a paint primer that seals bad odor and finish the job with latex paint. 

Professional Smoke Removal Services

Removing the smoke odor after a fire is often complex and requires specialized equipment. Thus, it is best left with professionals. Experienced professionals have the skills and equipment to efficiently and safely remove smoke odor from your property. These restoration professionals will ensure that your home is smelling smoke-free and fresh again. 

For smoke odor removal services, contact Superior Restoration. We also offer water and fire damage restoration services.

Firework Safety and Fire Damage

In the wake of extreme dryness and prevalent wildfires across the state, many California cities have opted out of this year’s fireworks-based Fourth of July festivities, as USA Today reports:

“Fire fears have escalated since last year's celebrations. The fourth year of a drought has produced tinder-like conditions. More than 71% of the state is in an extreme drought and 47% is in exceptional drought, characterized by ‘shortages of water in reservoirs, streams, and wells creating water emergencies,’ according to the National Drought Mitigation Center.

In Eldorado, Calif., firefighters this week battled three grass fires that had started from lightning strikes.

According to Cal Fire, last year there were over 300 fires in the state sparked by fireworks. Fireworks approved by the state fire marshal are on sale in 300 communities in California.

‘As we head into the fourth summer of a severe drought, it is more important than ever that everyone use an abundance of caution to avoid sparking a fire,’ said Chief Ken Pimlott, director of CAL FIRE, in a statement earlier this week.

Firework Safety:

The National Council on Fireworks Safety has a list of recommendations to minimize the risk of fire damage:

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  • FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.