Recent Fire Damage Posts
3 Fire Extinguisher Facts for Businesses
Call SERVPRO of Mankato/Owatonna for fire damage cleanup in your Mankato workplace
3 Facts About Fire Extinguishers
A fire extinguisher is a crucial piece of safety equipment that can save lives and spare commercial properties from extensive damage mandating professional cleanup and restoration. Because of this, every business in Mankato, MN should maintain at least one functional device. To ensure it’s readily available in an emergency, every owner and manager should also recognize three key facts about this vital fire suppression tool.
- Device Doesn’t Last Forever
Extinguishers do not have an indefinite shelf life. Unfortunately, they also do not typically come with an expiration date sticker.
To determine the viability of your device, you should complete annual inspections and check for compromised components. Specific defects that may make it unusable include a broken handle, missing locking pin or a cracked nozzle. The gauge should also be in the green. If it’s not, replace the device.
- Multiple Types Exist
A fire extinguisher is designed to battle specific types of infernos. Class K units, for example, can douse a kitchen fire sparked by grease while a Class A device is designated for use with blazes involving ordinary combustibles, such as wood and paper. Additional distinctions include Class C for electrical fires and Class B for flammable liquids.
Attempting to smother flames with the wrong type of device can be ineffective. To combat this potential dilemma, evaluate your company’s specific fire risks and purchase your extinguisher accordingly. Check the canister’s label to confirm the class. You can also purchase a multipurpose device, which can be used against a variety of blazes.
- Should Be Accessible and Visible
Minimizing fire damage requires prompt action. To ensure an expedited response, mount your extinguisher in a safe, accessible place and post signage to identify its location. You should also ensure staff recognize this area and refrain from blocking the site.
Because an inferno can erupt suddenly, having a functioning fire extinguisher easily accessible is a crucial safety strategy. Understanding key aspects of the device can ensure it’s in prime operating condition and ready to perform in an emergency.
If your home or business experiences fire or smoke damage, call your local experts at SERVPRO of Mankato/Owatonna
Fire Damage in your Owatonna Home
If you have fire, smoke, soot or water damage from firefighting efforts, call 507-200-3700.
FIRE Damage in your Owatonna Home
According to a report published by the National Fire Protection Association:
- Every 24 seconds a fire department in the United States responds to a fire somewhere in the nation
- A fire occurs in a structure at the rate of one every 63 seconds
- A home fire occurs every 87 seconds
SERVPRO of Mankato/Owatonna has been providing a variety of fire restoration and cleaning services to Minnesotans for years. Our team of highly trained technicians are certified in fire restoration to safely clean and restore household items damaged by fire. We will pretest your belongings to determine what can be restored to pre-fire condition and we use several methods of cleaning including:
- Dry Cleaning - used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning
- Wet Cleaning - an effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues
- Spray and Wipe -effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning
- Foam Cleaning - used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned
- Abrasive Cleaning - involves agitation of the surface being cleaned
- Immersion Cleaning - contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product
SERVPRO of Mankato/Owatonna is on call 24 hours a day to respond to any size fire damage emergency. Call us today at 507-200-3700. We’ll clean up your fire, smoke, soot, and water damage from firefighting efforts.
Candle Fire Risk
Fire Damage From Candle
Candles may make a cozy feeling in your home this fall and winter, but they can also be a cause for home fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 3 out of every 5 candle fires start when things that can burn are placed too close to the candle.
Here are some tips that you should follow for candle safety:
- Blow out candles before leaving a room or going to bed
- Keep candles one foot away from anything that can burn
- Use a sturdy candle holder, that will not tip over easily
- Put candle holders on a sturdy and unclutter surface
- Light candles carefully, keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame
- Keep candles out of reach from kids and pets
- Do not let the candle burn all the way to the bottom; put it out before it gets too close to the container or holder
- You should not light a candle if oxygen is used in the home
- During a power outage, use a flashlight or battery-operated lighting instead of a candle
Remember candles are an open flame which means they can easily ignite. Use a candle snuffer to extinguish a candle. It's the safest way to prevent hot wax from splattering. Never use water to extinguish a candle. Water can cause the hot wax to splatter and might break a glass container. Make sure the candle is completely out and the wick ember is no longer glowing before leaving the room.
If you have any additional questions about fire or smoke damage, please feel free to contact SERVPRO of Mankato/Owatonna at 507-200-3700.
Garage Fire Damage
Garage Fire Aftermath
Garage Fire Damage
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, each year there are approximately 6,600 garage fires in the United States. The cause of most of these fires is electrical malfunctions. There are often combustible items stored in the garage. The items to consider for flame proof storage or keeping in a shed away from the home would be the following:
How many of these items do you have in your garage?
Do you know if they are stored safely? It is also recommended to keep items that can burn on shelves away from appliances. Plug only one charging appliance into an outlet. Don’t use an extension cord when charging an appliance.
The reason that garage fires can become such a large and dangerous disaster is that they are often cluttered. Most homes have some amount of stored items in their garage.
Garage clutter is a safety hazard. Stacks of items and junk piled high in the garage may not be stable and will also be fuel to any fire.
Other less common causes of garage fires are:
- Grilling inside garage
- Improperly disposed fireworks
- Failing to extinguish cigarettes fully
To avoid these causes going unnoticed, it is recommended to consider installing a smoke and heat detector in your garage. This creates a warning to something that may go otherwise unnoticed. If your garage is attached or detached from the home, the smell and smoke may not be quickly realized. These fires are fueled by chemicals and highly combustible materials, meaning it may easily travel to your home if not controlled.
If your home experiences fire damage from a garage fire, call the experts in smoke and fire damage restoration at SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna for help. Faster to any size disaster, we come equipped to help after a fire loss at your home. Call 507-200-3700.
Back to School Fire Safety & Social Distancing
Safety of students and staff should be put first in case of a fire.
Regardless of how the school day looks for your kids now, maintaining a healthy and safe environment should be a top priority. This includes continuing to conduct fire drills. In Minnesota, schools are required to hold five fire/evacuation drills, five lockdown drills, and one tornado drill per year. The current state of the world can make this difficult, but it is still possible and important! With all of the changes made in your school due to COVID-19, it is important that students and staff are familiar with theses changes and their expected course of action in emergencies.
Of course, there are concerns with conducting fire drills during a pandemic. The NFPA has addressed some of these concerns by offering alternatives to the standard fire drill: “Emergency egress training programs may be substituted on a one-for-one basis for as many as four of the required monthly emergency egress drills. The mixture of training programs and emergency egress drills might elicit student egress behavior that is superior to that instilled by drills alone.”
However your school chooses to conduct fire drills this year, remind your students that while social distancing is important, exiting the building quickly when a large fire occurs is even more important.
Avoid Kitchen Fires in Mankato and Owatonna
If you experience a kitchen fire in Mankato or Owatonna, our team is ready to respond quickly. SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna 507-200-3700
Two out of every five home fires start in the kitchen while food is cooking. Aside from being damaging, they also account for 15% of home fire deaths and 38% of home fire injuries. Kitchen fires usually occur when heat, electricity, water, and grease meet. Grease fires being the most common type of kitchen fires. Unattended pots, pans, burners, and ovens can all lead to starting a fire in the kitchen. Use a timer to keep yourself checking heat sources and staying nearby the stove when things are getting hot! Keep flammable towels, mitts, wooden utensils, and curtains away from any heat sources. Try to keep distractions to a minimum, such as children and pets, who could also be a tripping risk. Be on alert and stay in the kitchen while cooking to monitor cooking and stay aware of possible hazards.
If you do find yourself facing a kitchen fire, what should you do?
1. DO NOT pour water on a grease fire, this will only further ignite it. Place a lit over a small grease fire to smother it.
2. If it is too large, get out and close the door behind you to slow the spread.
3. Call 9-1-1.
4. Stay outside and follow fire department instructions.
5. Contact SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna and your insurance agent.
The US fire departments respond to 173,200 cooking related home fires a year. 53% of those hurt in these fires were trying to fight the fire themselves. Stay alert, cook with cation, and when in doubt if you can fight the fire, just get out!
Grilling & Campfire Summer Safety
Keep safety in mind this summer to avoid fires.
June and July are the peak months for grill fires at 15% and 18% respectively. The origin points for these fires stem mostly from grills that have not been cleaned and leaks from gas grills. Seven out of every 10 households have a grill or smoker! That means lots of yummy meals, but also an increased number of fires each grilling season.
Here are some tips to keep you and your home safe this season.
- Only use outside away from railings and out from under awnings.
- Keep grill and trays clean of build-up from grease and fat.
- Keep lighter fluid away from children.
- Never leave grill unattended.
Keep up with regular cleaning and give your grill full attention to make sure your backyard cookout this summer is safe and fun!
Along with grilling, roasting s'mores over a campfire is a summer staple. However, campfire accidents send thousands of people to emergency rooms with burns every year! 90% of wildfires in the United States are caused by people, according to the U.S. Department of Interior. Many human-caused fires result from campfires left unattended.
Follow these simple guidelines to keep yourself, structures, and the forests safe from harm this summer.
- Attend to the campfire at all times and keep small. A campfire left alone for only a few minutes can grow into a damaging fire.
- Keep water on hand in order to douse if fire becomes too large or before leaving the site of the fire.
- Keep campfires 25 feet away from buildings and structures.
- Clear all dry leaves and overhanging, low branches.
If sing-a-longs, stories, and s'mores are on your agenda this summer, keep these tips in mind and toast those marshmallows responsibly.
Winter Holiday Fire Safety
Avoid fires this holiday season.
The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve.
The holiday seasons brings happiness and joy, but also fire hazards. Here are some tips on avoiding a home fire this holiday season.
- Choose decorations that are flame resistant.
- Keep burning candles away from decorations and Christmas trees.
- Do not use any decorations or lights with frayed electrical cords.
- Test your smoke alarms and have a fire escape plan.
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking with the stove or oven.
- Place all decorations at least three feet away from heat sources.
- Recognize which lights are intended for indoor or outdoor use.
- Turn off holiday lights and extinguish all candles before leaving or going to sleep.
Reviewing these simple tips each year can prevent a major disaster and help keep your holidays merry and bright.
If the unfortunate does occur and you experience a fire this holiday season, SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna is ready to help 24/7. Call us at 507-200-3700.
Tips for a Fire-Free Feast this Thanksgiving
Cooking is the main cause of home fires and injuries. With Thanksgiving feasts and all of the cooking involved with the holiday, it is no wonder why Thanksgiving is a peak day for fire emergencies. Keep yourself and your family safe this holiday season by following these simple safety tips:
- Never leave cooking food or unattended.
- Keep small children at least three feet away from the stove and oven.
- Keep flammable items away from kitchen appliances that generate heat.
- Clean cooking surfaces regularly.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
- Make sure all kitchen appliances are turned off before leaving your home or going to bed.
- Check the batteries in your smoke alarms (especially the one in your kitchen!)
If the unfortunate does occur and you experience a home fire this holiday season, SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna is here to help. Our team of local, caring professionals can help make it "Like it never even happened" quickly so you can continue to enjoy this holiday season.
Stay safe, Mankato, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
After the Fire
What to do after a fire in Mankato
If you’re like most people, you want things to go back to normal after a fire but might not know how to do so. The U.S. Fire Administration (FEMA) offers a guide for your next steps after a fire at https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/fa_46.pdf
This is a general guide, and you may need to consider other steps specific to your family and your needs. Fires can create an overwhelming to-do list, but SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna is here to help guide you through the process. As fire and waters experts, we have seen many different scenarios and can offer assistance in ways that go above and beyond what you might expect from a fire restoration company. When you have questions or concerns during any part of the recovery process, our team has the insight and experience to answer your questions and guide you through this stressful time.
As stated by FEMA, “Anything you want to save or reuse will need to be carefully cleaned,” and this is where SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna typically comes in. We are here to help restore your home and your most important belongings with care. We care about the families that experience home fires and have a sincere drive towards making fire damage “Like it never even happened.”
We are proud to serve our local communities:
- North Mankato
- Eagle Lake
- New Richland
Commercial Lightening Equipment Safety Information for Eagle Lake
Office lighting is the second most common cause of commercial fires - stay safe in Eagle Lake.
According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), one of the most common causes of commercial fires is electrical and lighting equipment. This type of fire is not easily predicted, as the lighting equipment can look totally fine on the outside in your Eagle Lake business. SERVPRO® of Mankato/Owatonna wants to share the following information about commercial fires and how safety equipment helps to lessen the damage and can assist in preventing any bodily injury:
- Wet pipe sprinklers installed in the ceilings of commercial buildings are very effective in helping to fight the fire(s)
- Building sprinklers should be examined and tested every 5 years
- There should always be a fire extinguisher in reach inside of a commercial building and they must be checked annually to ensure they are in working order
- If an office building is on fire, exit the building immediately and do not try to fight the fire yourself
- If there is a lot of smoke inside the building, cover your mouth and nose and do your best to not inhale any of it
In the unfortunate event that a commercial building does catch fire, rest assured that SERVPRO of Mankato/Owatonna is prepared to help clean up any fire damage the building/area has sustained.
SERVPRO of Mankato/Owatonna is independently owned and operated.
Electrical Fires & The Damage They Cause
Electrical Fires Can Happen With Any Device In Your Home...
Did you know electrical fires can be a major contributor to home fires?
Electrical distribution, lighting, and power transfer equipment accounted for 50% of home fires involving electrical failure or malfunction in the last five years.
Power surges from lightning are the least common cause however it is best to use ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to reduce the risks of shock and to prevent electrical fires.
This Owatonna Minnesota home fire started due to a malfunction in a home humidifier. The fire spread quickly through out the home effecting many areas and damaging personal property. To make sure your humidifier functions properly always read the care and instructions of the manufacturers manual.
To find out if your home humidifier has been recalled for defects go to:
If you experience a fire due to electronic malfunctions in your home call SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna. We're here to help.
Here To Help When a Fire Takes Control of Your Life
Distributing Personal Emergency Bags in Owatonna, Minnesota
When fire takes control of your life, SERVPRO of Mankato/Owatonna does everything we can to help take it back. Immediately after a house fire there are many things families may find themselves without. Simple things like tissues and a stuffed animal for crying little ones can provide comfort when a family has lost so much. Decreasing the stress just by giving kids a distraction and allowing the parents to focus on what their next steps are is just one part of what we hope to provide with our personal emergency assistance bags. The emergency assistance bags were distributed to Owatonna, Waseca, and North Mankato fire stations to allow families in our communities to access the resources provided immediately following a home fire.
The bags contain:
- First aid kit
- Stuffed animal
- Shaving Kit
- Cotton swabs
- Sanitizing wipes
- Phone book
- Coloring book
We hope the families receiving these bags can utilize them to make things just a little bit easier and more comfortable during such a stressful time. SERVPRO of Mankato/Owatonna specializes in restoring homes after fires as quickly as possible to get families back in their home and back to their normal lives without too much disruption, and we hope that these bags help families during the time it takes to restore their home and belongings.
New Fire Separation Requirements in Mankato, MN
Gypsum board separation under stairs.
The City of Mankato has enacted a new ordinance that will require all dwelling units (owner occupied and rental) to have fire separations in certain areas. Garage to house fire separations and a gypsum board under stairs are the main requirements of the ordinance. Garage fires can quickly get out of control, but a fire barrier can be an effective way of stopping the fire long enough for people to escape. For dwellings with attached garages, a fire separation consists of 5/8” type X gypsum board on the garage side of the wall separating the house from the garage. A fire door must also be installed between the garage and the house.
A gypsum board under enclosed basement stairs used for storage can also allow people more time to escape and allow firefighters to enter. Stairs are a common means of escape from basements and are used by firefighters in the home, so it is important for them to remain intact during a fire. Without the gypsum board, stairs can be quickly weakened by a fire enclosed in the space underneath them.
A fire separation is required on walls and ceiling under the stairs in all homes with basements. For newly installed separations, the material must be 5/8” type X gypsum board. All joints must be covered with tape and at least one layer of joint compound. Existing separations must be gypsum board in good condition with joints covered. An alternative method for under stair protection may be a sprinkler head taken off the domestic water supply.
Fires From Arson Can Not Be Ignored
Prevent Fires in Blue Earth County
SERVPRO of Mankato/Owatonna wants you to be aware of the causes of fire damage and fire injuries so that you can help prevent them.
Top Causes of Fires in Blue Earth County:
- Arson & intentional fires. An “intentional fire” is one that is not set to cause harm, but it gets out of control. Arson is a fire that is set to cause harm. Most of the time, arson and intentional fires are set outside. Deaths, injuries, and fire damage usually happen indoors
- Candles-SERVPRO of Mankato/Owatonna has more info here.
- Kitchen fires are the leading cause of home fire injuries and home fire damage
- Use all electrical equipment according to the directions
- Heating equipment is the second most common cause of deaths in home fires
- December, January, and February are the months that have the most home heating fires
- Cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and other smoking materials are the biggest cause of fire deaths in the U.S. Think of preventing tragedy when explaining why to quit smoking
- Children should never be left alone with matches, lighters, candles, or other dangerous materials. Children playing with fire cause hundreds of deaths and injuries every year
Please pay attention to fire safety. While we can help to restore your home or office, prevention and family safety should always come first. Share this blog with a friend who might want to learn more about fire prevention.
STAY WARM AND SAFE THIS WINTER
FIRE SAFETY TIPS
SERVPRO of Mankato Owatonna wishes you a warm and safe 2019 winter.
Did you know….
- $2 billion in property loss occurs each year from winter home fires.
- Winter home fires account for only 8 percent of the total number of fires in the U.S., but result in 30 percent of all fire deaths.
- Cooking is the leading cause of all winter home fires.
- A heat source too close to combustibles is the leading factor contributing to the start of a winter home fire (15 percent).
- 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. is the most common time for winter home fires.
Practice fireplace safety and do routine maintenance checks. Call SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna if you experience any fire or smoke damage @ 507-200-3700
For information on fire safety tips visit:
Preventing Fires This Thanksgiving Holiday
SERVPRO© of Mankato / Owatonna wishes everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
Did you know?
Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires and can sometimes be due to turkey cooking methods.
When frying foods, you can increase the risk of a cooking fire.
Keep in mind of the potential dangers of deep frying a turkey:
- Turkey fryers can easily tip over spilling hot oil across a large area. Use your turkey fryer only outdoors on a sturdy, level surface away from things that can burn.
- Make sure to have a “3-foot kid- and pet-free zone” around your turkey fryer to protect against burn injuries.
- An overfilled cooking pot will cause oil to spill over when the turkey is placed inside.
- Determine the correct amount of oil needed by first placing the turkey in the pot with water.
- A partially frozen turkey will cause hot oil to splatter. Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before you fry it.
- Turkey fryers can easily overheat and start a fire. Check the temperature often with a cooking thermometer so the oil won’t overheat.
- The pot, lid and handles of a turkey fryer can get dangerously hot and cause burn injuries. Use long cooking gloves that protect hands and arms when you handle these items.
For more information and free fire-safety resources, visit www.usfa.fema.gov.
Candles and Fire Prevention in Mankato / Owatonna
SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities
SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities wants you to be safe from fire and smoke damage. Although fires from candles happen more often around the holidays, many people use candles all year round. It is so important to be careful any time you have an open flame in your home or office.
Fire Prevention is the best way to fight against fire damage or injuries.
SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities offers these tips for candle safety from the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA):
- Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can catch fire
- Don’t let children near candles
- Put out candles when leaving the room or going to bed
- Keep trees and other plants away from candles
- Make sure that candles are not near window curtains or blinds that could catch fire
- Keep lit candles in safe candle holders
- If the flame has to burn until the candles are out, keep the candles in holders that keep the flames behind glass
- If the flame has to burn until the candles are out, keep the candle holders in a sink or a metal container of water
- Do not leave children alone in a room with lit candles
- Don’t light candles in the bedroom. You might fall asleep. One third of all candle fires start in the bedroom
- If the power goes out, use flashlights instead of candles
- If someone in the home uses oxygen, do not use candles
- Fire damage from candles happens 35 times a day in the U.S.
A little caution goes a long way to protect you and your loved ones. If you have to deal with damage caused by smoke or fire from a candle, your friends at SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna. We are just a phone call away.
Fire Extinguisher Safety in Mankato / Owatonna Cities
SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna
All of us at SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities hope you never have a fire. If the worst happens, we are experts in cleaning the damage left by smoke and fire in your home or office.
Fire extinguishers may help prevent fire damage or smoke damage, but only if you know how to use them.
SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities wants to share these tips from FEMA. You can try to fight a small fire only if:
- You have alerted others in the building that there is a fire
- Someone has called the fire department
- You are physically able to use a fire extinguisher
- The fire is small and contained (like a wastebasket)
- You are safe from the fire’s smoke
- You have a clear escape route
How to Use a Fire Extinguisher: SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities suggests you remember PASS:
Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
Aim at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
Sweep the nozzle side to side.
If you see a small fire at your place of business or home, and you think you can take care of it yourself, use these tips above. If you have any worries, you and everyone should leave the building and call 9-1-1 when you are safe, outside.
Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Mankato or Owatonna Home.
SERVPRO© of Mankato / Owatonna
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO© of Mankato / Owatonna will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – (507)-200-3700