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Fire Safety, Fire Damage, Fire Restoration: Part Two

This is part two of three in a series of posts. This series covers the main causes of house fires, how to best prepare and what to do after a fire occurs in your home, and what the fire restoration process consists of. If you have further questions, please contact Jeremy Grigg at Jeremy.grigg@mitiserve.com.

In the last post, we covered the top five causes of residential fires and some key ways in preventing them. A lot of times, taking the necessary steps in prevention is enough to keep fires from happening. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. This makes it critical to be adequately prepared in case you and your family become involved in a fire. Proper preparation could end up saving your life!

What does preparation consist of?

• Have fire escape plan and practice it twice each year. When creating this plan, look for two ways out of each room. Also, identify potential ignition sources and try to avoid these.
• Teach your family how to stay low to the ground while performing escape plan
• Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and in each bedroom.
• Test smoke alarm batteries monthly and replace yearly
• Become trained and have appropriate rated fire extinguishers throughout home (kitchen, garage, etc.)
• Check all windows to ensure they are free from obstructions and neither nailed or painted.
• Consider safety ladders in multi-level rooms
• Check with your insurance agent to see if your structure and belongings are fully covered in case of fire damage.
• Document/inventory sentimental and high value items. This will speed up the insurance claim process if a fire were to occur.

After a fire:

• Do not reenter the home until it is safe to do so (according to the fire department) but be very aware of structural hazards and falling debris. These have the potential to cause severe bodily harm.
• If food, water, or housing is needed, contact your local Red Cross Chapter.
• Contact your insurance company and let them know of the incident.
• Contact the fire restoration contractor of YOUR choice.

A reputable fire damage restoration contractor should arrive onsite immediately after your call is placed. This is where the initial mitigation work begins. While the next blog post will cover this in more detail, there are three common remnants we often see from house fires: soot damage, smoke damage, and water damage. These can have devastating effects on your home and personal items if proper steps aren’t taken promptly and correctly. This makes it extremely important to find the right contractor with the right tools and technology.  

In the case of an unfortunate event such as a fire at your home or business, MitiServe Restoration is one phone call away. Our priority is not only to restore your home but your peace of mind. Whether it’s Northwest Arkansas, Branson Missouri, or Harrison Arkansas, put your problem in MitiServe’s hands.


Fire Safety, Fire Damage, Fire Restoration: Part One

House fires are an occurrence each of us hopes we never have to face. Unfortunately, they are a very real threat. It is something we see rather frequently here in Northwest Arkansas and Southern Missouri. 

This is part one of three in a series of posts. In this series, I am going to touch on the following: the top causes of house fires, how to best prepare and what to do in the event of a house fire, and what the fire restoration process looks like. 

In this post, I am going to keep the discussion limited to the top 5 causes of house fires according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

1. Cooking Equipment: This may come as a no brainer but most fires occur in the kitchen.  According to the NFPA, 45% of all house fires last year started this way.

Safety Tips
Do not leave food or the kitchen unattended while cooking
Move all flammable items away from the stove
Do not pour water on grease fires
Have an appropriate rated fire extinguisher nearby

2. Heating Equipment: This includes furnaces, portable heaters, fireplaces and chimneys.

Safety Tips
Keep the area around your furnace clean 
Maintain a safe space between portable heaters and combustible items
Avoid placing combustible items near fire place
Do not put trash items in fire place
Have chimney swept and inspected by certified professional yearly

3. Electrical and Lighting Equipment: This category is a much broader than the previous two. This can be anything from a faulty plug-in to a circuits overloading on heavy duty appliances.

Safety Tips
Avoid overloading outlets and circuits
Ensure you have the appropriate size extension cord (use indoor cords inside only)
Leave third prong (ground wire) on all plug ins
Unplug Christmas lights and unnecessary electronics when not in use

4. Smoking: Though smoking is toward the bottom of our list, it actually had the highest fatality rate over the five year period NFPA conducted the study. It also a category in steep decline.

Safety Tips
Avoid smoking in the bedroom, especially in bed
Use an ashtray that is deep enough to avoid cigarette butts from falling out
Make an attempt to smoke outside

5. Clothes Dryers and Washers: A common cause of household fires homeowners often forget about is the dryer and washer. The main cause with the dryer is the lint dust and the actual clothing. With the washing machine, it is the wiring and the machine itself. These two unsuspecting machines can wreak havoc on a home.

Safety Tips
Clean lint screen/filter before each use
Clean dryer vent periodically
Do not place combustible items in dryer
Clean behind both washer and dryer regularly 

We hope this helped you understand some of the major causes of household fires. More importantly, we hope you were able to grab some useful information on fire prevention.

If you have fire damage or water damage, call the MitiServe Restoration Emergency Response Team @ 870-743-6607 or toll free @ 844-845-7314. Whether it's Harrison, Branson, or Mountain Home, our IICRC certified technicians are standing by 24 hours a day.


Contents Restoration

A new website and a first blog post! That puts a lot of expectations on the first topic. However, it was rather an easy choice when you have a piece of technology like the one I am about to discuss. I am talking about the ESPORTA Wash System. The Esporta is the newest tool to MitiServe Restoration's arsenal but it has revolutionized the way we look at soft contents on fire damage and water damage claims. With the Esporta, we are able to clean and restore 85% of all soft contents that were previously considered non salveagable. Unlike the traditional cleaning methods typical restoration companies will use, the Esporta uses a patented hydraulic cleaning process that allows it to clean, on average, 85% of the contents we encounter.

Being only one of a handful in the region with this technology (and one of 3 in the entire state), MitiServe offers something completely different than most restoration companies. One, we are able to clean and restore much more items than most. All of those sentimental items that suffered smoke damaged? There is a much better chance of those being salvaged with the Esporta and Mitiserve.  Two, we complete this entire restoration process in house. We do not ship your contents to an outside network, including the dry cleaners. This means your personal, sentimental items receive our attention from start to finish. They are always under our care and supervision. This also means you will receive your contents more quickly.

Thanks for reading!