Recent Fire Damage Posts

Careful Burning!

10/10/2021 (Permalink)

Lots of us especially if you live in rural areas, in Southeastern Minnesota, burn fall leaves. This is so much easier than bagging fifty or a hundred bags of leaves.  Those of us that live in the city of Rochester either bag our leaves or burn them.  

SERVPRO of Rochester wants to give you some quick helpful tips to avoid a home, shed, garage or other structure fire when burning leaves this fall.

  • Make sure you call the city or county to see if burning is allowed in your area.
  • Do you need a burn permit? 
  • In some small communities, like Oronoco,  they request you let the local fire department know you will be burning.
  • Check the local weather forecast. Avoid days with strong winds. 
  • Make sure you have a hose hooked up to water source in case the fire gets out of control. 
  • Check the distance your fire will be away from any structure, yours or any neighbors. 
  • Keep the leave pile small and manageable. Add to it to avoid a massive, huge, uncontrollable fire. 
  • Keep a phone nearby in case you need to call 911.

Stay safe this fall. 

Special Smoke Alarms for Hard of Hearing or Blind?

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms if properly tested and batteries changed regularly can save lives. Homes are required to have smoke alarms. 

However, for those of us that have aging parents or are care givers to loved ones we wonder if "regular" smoke alarms would help in the event of a home fire. 

SERVPRO of Rochester wants to let you know about a few tools that are available that may help you and your loved ones stay safe and if there's a fire to get out in time.

As we all age, there are ways that we have to adjust our daily lives, routines and things we do. 

Do you or a family member have difficulties hearing? Or have a hearing aid? Maybe you  or a family member have macular degeneration or another debilitating eye disease or are blind? The good news is that there are different products available for purchase that will alert those that are hard of hearing or blind?

The National Fire Protection Association or N.F.P.A. on their website state that there are smoke alarms  that are specifically made for the hard of hearing, deaf, visually impared and deaf. 

These products have different features such as: strobe lights going off when the smoke alarm goes off, or activating the pillow shaker to wake up the person. 

Both products are available on Amazon.com and range in price averaging about $300.00. 

No matter the age of your loved ones, statistics show that 85% of people do NOT practice the fire escape plan. SERVPRO of Rochester strongly encourages you to practice the fire plan with your loved ones. Simple things like planning, checking alarms, and changing batteries make a significant impact on increasing chances of escaping a fire. 

Each year SERVPRO of Rochester helps families in the aftermath of a fire. Again and again we have heard from customers that they wished they had had a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and wished they hadn't left the candle burning when they left the room. 

We are here to help you or your loved one during times of need after a kitchen or home fire.  

Fourth of July Celebration Safety In Southeastern MN

7/2/2021 (Permalink)

All of us at SERVPRO of Rochester wish you a Happy Fourth of July and hope that you have a safe holiday weekend celebrating our independence.

The Fourth of July celebration is for many of us a take time away from work and have time with family and friends. 

Celebrations are wonderful times to catch up with loved one and relax for a day or two. With these fun times, SERVPRO of Rochester has a few Fourth of July fire & fireworks facts for you in hopes that you stay safe from fire and injury. 

The National Fire Protection Association, N.F.P.A., has done research that shows each year 19,500 fires are started from fireworks!  Of the 19,500 fires, almost 10% of those are structure fires like sheds, garages and homes. Vehicle fires account for 5% of the fires. 

Emergency room statistics show that there are 10,000 people that come in to the ER with a firework injury. In particular the face and hands are the most injured part of the body.  Sparklers account for almost 1/4 of emergency room visits. 

Many think that sparklers are harmless, but think about this for a moment: 

*You bake a cake at 350 degrees F. 

*Glass melts at 900 degrees F.

*Sparklers burn at 1200 degrees F.

With a few precautions, you can lessen your chances of having a injury or structure fire.

Fireworks Safety:

  • Check to make sure your fireworks are Minnesota legal.
  • Follow the package directions.
  • Have water nearby. Make sure you have the hose close by and turned on! Be prepared. Fires happen quickly.
  • Supervise children with sparklers.
  • Light fireworks away from structures and people.
  • If a firework doesn't light and you think is a "dud", do NOT try to relight. Dispose of in water or spray to ensure it is not lit.
  • After lighting fireworks, pick-up the firework debris. Spray with water and leave on concrete. Try to gather all debris off grass. 

Wishing you a wonderful Fourth of July celebration! 

Home Fires In Rochester, MN

6/26/2021 (Permalink)

Home fires in Rochester, MN and surrounding communities have been increasing with the dry conditions.

It's our hope for you that you never have to deal with a fire in your home. SERVPRO of Rochester each year helps homeowners with the aftermath of having a part of their home damaged from smoke, soot or fire. 

In an article from ready.gov/home-fires, it says that flames on the floor can reach 100 degrees and at eye level height the temperature of over 600 degrees. There are dangerous toxins in the air that you don't want to breathe or find yourself in this situation. 

Some common household fire starters are

  1. cooking: stay in the kitchen when cooking & keep a fire extinguisher nearby
  2. electrical appliances: Get rid of any appliance with a frayed cord or that is working improperly.
  3. portable space heaters: Make sure space heater is off & unpluged before leaving home
  4. fireplaces & woodstoves:Have your fireplace and woodstove inspected annually, clean frequently
  5. children: Keep matches out of reach from kids.

Always remember the rule for escaping the fire in your home: stop-drop-roll. The most important thing is to have all people inside able to get out and escape. A word of caution: be careful opening doors and touching doorknobs. The heat, smoke and fire can be incredibly intense. Be careful!

SERVPRO of Rochester suggests planning for a fire in hopes that you NEVER have to implement the plan. 

  1. Make sure your homeowner's insurance policy is paid and kept current. It's helpful to annually check your policy.  Are contents covered by insurance? Do you have valuables that need its own insurance? 
  2. SERVPRO of Rochester suggests that you have digital or photos of your home, room by room, unique items photographed and inventoried. This will help in the event you find yourself dealing with a fire. 
  3. Have an escape plan. Things to think about are: How would each person escape? Do you need a ladder to be kept in each bedroom in the event of a fire? Where will you meet once you are out of the home? Who will call 911?

SERVPRO of Rochester has many customers that have fires each year. We are experiences, certified, professional, compassionate and hope to earn your business. 

SERVPRO of Rochester is open 365 days a year. 24 hours a day. Even holidays.

Fire Danger In Rochester MN

5/17/2021 (Permalink)

This winter and spring have been extremely dry in Southeast Minnesota.  The summer outlook doesn't look good in terms of getting out of the drought we are currently experiencing.

SERVPRO of Rochester wants to give you a few tips about taking care of your home and property during the current drought season. 

1. Water your flowers, shrubs, trees and lawn in the early morning or late evening. This will help the roots absorb the water more than if you water in the mid-day hours.

2. Make sure your gutters are free of leaves, twigs and other debris to avoid a spark from bonfire or firework catching fire and then starting the house on fire.  

3. Prune any overgrown branches over trees around your home. 

4. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, near your outdoor grill and in the garage. Also, check the date on each fire extinguisher to make sure the dates are current. 

5. Hook up a hose, which is at least 50 feet in length,  to your homes outdoor water faucet. 

6. Make sure that you and your family have an emergency plan in case of fire or other reason where all occupants would need to flee the home.  Practice, practice, practice your plan!  The more you practice, the more natural it will be for everyone to remember in time of distress. 

SERVPRO of Rochester is here to help you in time of need. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Holidays too. 507-286-9170.

Winter Fire Safety Tips for Rochester Homeowners

1/19/2021 (Permalink)

Check the Batteries in Smoke Alarm SERVPRO of Rochester recommends checking the batteries in your smoke alarm and testing monthly.

Many of us are spending more time inside than outside because it's winter here in Minnesota and it's an extraordinary year of COVID-19.  SERVPRO of Rochester has been on several home and garage fires this past year. 

Here are a few fire prevention safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association. 

  • Never leave a candle unattended or in the reach of little ones.  Blow out the candle when leaving the room. 
  • Working from home and using a space heater? Make sure that the cord is intact and not fraying.  Recommended distance from any object is at least three feet. Make sure to turn off the heater or unplug it when leaving the room. 
  • Check your smoke detector to make sure it's working. If you hear that dreaded "chirp" noise, that means you need to replace the batteries. 

If you find yourself in need of our services from fire & water damage to trauma or mold clean-up, SERVPRO of Rochester is here to serve and work with you.

Media Blasting After Fire in Chatfield

1/9/2021 (Permalink)

Before and After Media Blasting The photo shows on the left side was BEFORE the media blasting and the right side shows AFTER the media blasting.

SERVPRO of Rochester has worked with customers on several fire damages the past year. Some fires are considered minimal while others are extensive.

Recently, we worked with a customer that had a garage fire resulting in a total loss. However, the heavy smoke affected the home's attic.  

Media blasting is used for many different applications. There are different types of media that one can use: soda, dry ice, garnet and others. 

SERVPRO of Rochester is a fire, water, mold, graffiti mitigation and trauma clean-up company which uses media blasting.

Our technicians used soda blasting to remove heavy smoke from the wood framing. Incredible, right? We were able to remove all the smoke damage and odor. This process saved the home's roof and climate and the odor. The final step in the process is sealing the wood. 

There are photos of this process that show before and after as well as a video on our main webpage. 

SERVPRO of Rochester is here to serve you in your times of need. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Happy Thanksgiving Rochester and Surrounding Communities!

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Rochester wishes you a safe holiday as you celebrate Thanksgiving.  In this year of uncertainties and challenges, we have a few tips for you and your family as you cook and prepare. 

  • Always stay in the kitchen when you are cooking food
  • Check the oven to make sure it's empty before pre-heating
  • Keep children out of the kitchen and cooking area
  • Make sure knives are out of reach from children
  • Make sure the floor is clear of kid's or dog toys, and bags
  • If grilling outside, make sure grill or fryer is at least 10 feet away from your home
  • Candles are a nice touch, but don't light ahead of time. Don't leave unattended
  • Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen working area

Thanksgiving is a peak day for home fires. Please stay safe. 

SERVPRO of Rochester. Here to help. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even holidays.

I Had Fire and Smoke Damage to my Rochester residence....Now What?

7/15/2020 (Permalink)

Customers have shared with SERVPRO of Rochester their feelings after sustained soot, smoke and fire damage. The words they describe are a feeling of an out of body experience, the disbelief that this happened to their home, anger and feelings of now what. 

SERVPRO of Rochester has been fortunate to help many customers mitigate their smoke and or fire damage. 

So what are you supposed to do if you find yourself in this position?

SERVPRO of Rochester recommends the following:

  • Contact your insurance agent. 
  • Call SERVPRO of Rochester 507-286-9170
    • We have the knowledge and expertise 
    • We have the necessary equipment
  • Don't throw anything away.
    • We inventory everything for you and send it to your insurance company.

When you experience a damage like this, you need to know that the process can be lengthy. However, we believe that doing a thorough job is better than simply rushing through things. 

Rochester Residents...Fourth of July Celebration Tips

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Celebrating the Fourth of July creates such excitement for many of us! Everyone seems to celebrate differently from spending the time with family or friends to boating or grilling. However, one common part of the day we all do is to watch or light off fireworks. 

SERVPRO of Rochester wants to help you stay safe.

Here are a few fireworks safety facts and tips for you:

Facts:

1. Sparklers' sparks are 1800-3000 degrees F. and can cause third degree burns.

2. Fireworks burn at 2000 degrees F. which is hotter than a blow torch. 

Tips to Stay Safe:

1. Keep a bucket full of water or hose nearby in case of fire.

2. Make sure children are closely supervised. 

3. Never place any body part over any part of a firework when trying to light. 

4. If a firework doesn't light, don't try to relight it.

5. When all fireworks are completed, don't put the burned pieces in plastic. Put in a bucket of water overnight. 

SERVPRO of Rochester hopes you have a safe Fourth of July!

It's Officially Summer Rochester!

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

It is officially summer! There's nothing better than firing up the grill, putting some steaks or hamburgers on and the wonderful smells as it cooks. Many of us look forward to these fun summer traditions. 

The National Fire Protection Association reports that every 7 of 10 Americans own some type of grill whether it's a gas, charcoal or smoker grill. The months of May through August are when the most grill fires occur. So, we are currently in the months when most grilling fires occur. 

Gas grills account for 84% of grill fires, while charcoals accounts for 16%. 

A few tips for grilling to prevent fires: 

1. Clean the grill before putting food on. 29% of fires were caused by a grill that hadn't been cleaned. 

2. When lighting the grill, make sure the lid is open. 

3. Keep the grill at least 10 feet away from the home. 

4. Never leave the grill unattended.

Happy Grilling!

Fire Tips for Rochester Residents

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

FEMA reports that in one single year over 4,000 people die in fires and over 25,000 people are injured from fires. And, annually the insurance industry reports that home damage costs are estimated at $8.6 billion dollars. 

SERVPRO of Rochester is here to help you if you find yourself in this situation. We have helped people when their homes have had minor losses such as smoke and soot damage to complete demolition of their kitchen or several rooms affected from fire.

There are a few simple steps that you can do to help prevent a fire. Some suggestions are:

1. Install a smoke alarm. FEMA estimates having one that is installed and working, it could decrease your chances of dying from a fire in half. 

2. You need to have one smoke alarm in each room of your home. 

3. You need to replace the batteries in your smoke alarm at least once a year. 

4. You need to replace each smoke alarm every 10 years. 

5. Have an escape plan. Talk to your family and make a plan how to get out of your home and where to meet if you would have a fire. 

These steps are very important. SERVPRO of Rochester is here to help you. 

SERVPRO of Rochester Fire Tips

1/12/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know that the most common time for a house fire is 5 P.M. to 8 P.M.? Each year over 900 people die in house fires. That number is staggering. The number one cause of winter house fires is cooking fires, while the second cause is from heating sources. 

We at SERVPRO of Rochester want to help you not be one of these statistics that has a home fire. Here are some helpful tips: 

1. If you have a fireplace or wood stove, keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from the area. It's recommended that you don't burn paper, wrapping paper or newspapers.  Most importantly, have your fireplace or stove inspected each year. 

2. If you use a portable heater, make sure it has an automatic shut off. Place the heater at least 3 feet away from curtains, drapes, bedding and clothing. 

Fire Prevention Tips for the Upcoming Holidays

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

We at SERVPRO of Rochester LOVE the holiday times!! For us, this is a time of gratitude for all we have, time for family and moments to remind us how important life truly is!

With that said, we wish you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas and offer some tips to keep you safe. These tips come from The National Safety Council website.

Decorating Tips:

1. Use flame less candles. If you must use real flame, keep out of reach of children. 

2. Make sure to extinguish candles before leaving your home or to go to sleep. 

3. If you have an artificial tree, make sure it's labeled "fire resistant". 

4. If you have a live tree, make sure to water it each day. When the holiday is over, dispose of it right away. 

5. Replace lights and light sets that have broken or frayed cords.

6. Read the package directions on how many sets you can plug in to each other. 

Lastly, keep a fire extinguisher accessible in your home in case you do have a fire start. 

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

SERVPRO of Rochester 4th of July Celebrations Safety Tips

6/30/2019 (Permalink)

With the Fourth of July just a few days away, we at SERVPRO of Rochester want to help you stay safe from injury and fires.

A few safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission about injury and fires around the Fourth of July celebrations.

*Keep a water hose nearby in case grass or your home catch fire from fireworks.

*After the fireworks have completed burning, spray them off and then put in a bucket of water.

*Keep sparklers and fireworks away from your body and other people.

*Sparklers are pretty and fun, but they burn at almost 2000 degrees, as hot as a blow torch.

*Never touch or look at a "dud" firework. Leave it alone. Spray water on it and dispose.

*Never put used fireworks in a plastic garbage bin or recycling container. It may catch fire even if it feels cool to the touch.

*Do NOT relight a firework that has not fully ignited. 

*Children should always be supervised by an adult. 

Byron Bonfire Fun!

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

We at SERVPRO of Rochester have a few tips as we move into the summer grilling and bonfire season. 

Bonfire tips:

1. Keep a hose or bucket of water nearby so that if an ember or spark gets outside the firepit that you are able to put it out.

2. NEVER leave a bonfire unattended.

3. Make sure everyone stays at least 3 feet away from the fire. 

4. When you are done with the bonfire, make sure the entire fire is put out.  Use water to spray the area down. 

5. Make sure to walk around the yard before going inside for the night. Check for any sparks or embers. 

Fun times can turn quickly into a catastrophe. We hope you have a fun and safe time having bonfires this summer.  As always, we at SERVPRO of Rochester are here to help you in the event you have a fire or water damage.

Homeowners in Rochester: Don't Let Your Christmas Tree Dry Out

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

Christmas Tree This is a beautiful, healthy tree. Please make sure to check the water level daily in the Christmas tree stand.

At SERVPRO of Rochester, MN we want to remind you of a few safety tips as Christmas nears.  

The likelihood of a household fire increases dramatically in December and early January.  The National Fire Protection Association recommends that you follow these steps to decrease your chance of a fire.

*Check the Christmas lights before hanging.  Make sure that the bulbs are not broken and cords are not frayed. 

*Keep the Christmas tree at least 3 feet away from any heat source.

*Make sure to check the tree water each day and water. 

*Before going to bed at night or leaving home, unplug the Christmas lights. 

*Once the Christmas tree is dried or you have removed all the lights and ornaments, recycle at Waste to Energy lot.  They will shred the tree to be used later as landscape mulch. 

If you do have any water, smoke, fire needs during the Christmas season, SERVPRO of Rochester is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!  Call 507-286-9170!

Merry Christmas!

SERVPRO of Rochester Thanksgiving Fire Safety Tips

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

Thanksgiving is less than 48 hours away.  Soon kitchens will be bustling with food galore, drinks, laughter and gathering of family and friends. We, at SERVPRO of Rochester, want to give you a few tips to keep your kitchen safe this Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is the #1 day that fires start in kitchens. 

There are a few simple steps you can do to avoid the likelihood of having a kitchen fire.

Kitchen

1. Clean the oven and stove top from any crumbs or debris. Remove any grease build-up.

2.  Keep all pan & pot handles turned inward. 

3. Stay in the kitchen while food is cooking, particularly on the stove top.

4. Make sure the batteries in smoke alarms are working.

5. If you have a fire in your oven keep the door closed.

Turkey deep fryers

1. If using a turkey deep fryer, use it outdoors.

2. Use the correct oil that the manufacture recommends. 

3. Thaw the turkey completely.

4. Don't overfill the oil. 

5. Keep children away. 

From our family at SERVPRO of Rochester, we wish you and your family a blessed and safe Thanksgiving.