Recent Fire Damage Posts
Apartment Fire in Kissimmee Orlando Area. Are You Covered?
Fire damage to your property can be devastating! At the end of April building in an apartment complex in the Kissimmee/Orlando FL area went up in flames.18 units were destroyed in the fire. SERVPRO of South Orange County FL has worked with many other apartment complexes who experienced similar circumstances. As costly as this will be to the Apartment complex to fix the structure that was burnt, it has been overwhelming for the renters who had to vacate their apartments. One common issue for the renters is having to leave property behind that in some cases are not salvageable.
Generally, apartment leases require renters to have liability insurance to cover damage to the structure of the apartments but don’t necessarily require you to have coverage for your personal contents. However, in most leasing agreements, there is generally wording that absolves the apartment complex of liability for your contents if you don’t have coverage for your contents. Now, they are still investigating the cause of the fire. If it is found to have been caused by the negligence of another renter, they can possibly go after the insurance policy of the renters at fault. But generally, the apartment complex has first priority to claims per the rental agreement. The cost to restore the building could be well over $500K and will most likely exhaust the claim coverage.
So insurance policies are sometimes complicated to understand. But there are some basics PolicyGenius.com suggests for renters insurance.
- $25,000 personal property damage coverage: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing your belongings if they’re damaged or stolen.
- $300,000 personal liability coverage: Covers legal costs from damage or injury that occurs in your apartment.
- $2,000 medical payment coverage: Covers medical expenses for anyone injured in your apartment.
- $10,000 loss of use coverage: Covers the cost of lodging, food, and more if your apartment becomes unlivable due to damage.
They also suggest having a deductible of around $500. Yes, you can get your insurance cheaper with a higher deductible, but remember, if something happens you have to make sure you are able to cover that deductible.
Prepare Ahead for a Fire!
House fires created over $264 Million in direct property damage from 2012 to 2016. In 2016 alone the state of Florida averaged 5.2 deaths and 38.5 injuries per 1000 residential structure fires (source). While the injury average was above the national average, the death rate was below. We’ll take injuries to deaths any day. Property damage can be restored or replaced. A life cannot be replaced. The best way to prevent deaths from a house fire is to have a plan. When a fire does take place in your home, saving a few seconds of reaction time could make a big difference in helping to get your family or friends out of danger quickly and safely.
Here are some tips you can use to create an effective fire evacuation plan!
- Plan for everyone. Account for the special needs of everyone in your household, especially young children and elderly household members who may not be as mobile. Children don’t always wake up when a smoke alarm sounds. Make sure someone is assigned as an escape buddy for small children, then choose a backup person in case the assigned person is not present at the time of the fire.
- Identify two ways out of the structure. This could include windows and doors. Make sure each escape route open easily so everyone can get outside. and install emergency release mechanisms on all security bars on doors or windows.
- Involve the children in planning. Have your children help create the fire evacuation plan. Draw a map of the home, then have the children mark two exit routes and the locations of smoke detectors. You can download a PDF that will help you draw out the plan here: https://www.nfpa.org//-/media/Files/Public-Education/Campaigns/Fire-Prevention-Week/FPW17/FPW17EscapePlanGrid.pdf
- Choose a meeting spot outside of the structure. Decide on a meeting place outside. It can be a neighbor’s house, mailbox or stop sign. It should be in front of the house so first responders are able to see you when they arrive. Make sure everyone knows not to go back into the house after you leave. Also, keep in mind that Florida’s weather tends to be finicky. You might want to have different meeting places depending on the type of weather at the time.
- Check smoke alarms. Make sure smoke detectors are properly placed and working. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends installing one in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping room and on each level of the home.
- Be visible. Make sure that your house number can be seen quickly from the street by first responders. You can put house numbers above the garage door, on a pillar next to the front door, or on the street curb directly in front of your house, for example.
- Respond immediately. Make sure everyone knows that if the smoke alarm sounds, they need to get out as quickly as possible.
- Always have a backup plan. If the planned exit routes are blocked by fire or fallen debris and it’s not possible to leave the house, close all doors between you and the fire. Place a towel, pillow, or something similar under the door and go to an exterior-facing window. Call the fire department to report your location.
- Share with everyone. Make sure the escape plan is readily accessible to guests as well. Go over the plan with everyone who lives in the house along with guests and overnight visitors.
- Practice your escape plan regularly. Practice and review the plan at least once per year.
Having an Emergency Ready Plan available on your phone is a good way to be prepared as well. The “Ready Plan” is a free app that can be downloaded to your Android or Apple mobile device that contains information such as where electrical and water shutoffs are, emergency and insurance contracts, where emergency vehicles are safe to park, etc. you can even store pictures of various items that have value for you in case you need that for an insurance claim. Look for our upcoming blog post that will show how easy it is to set up your Emergency Ready Plan. We’ll link to it here when it has been posted.
With a well-thought-out plan in place, you can be one step ahead of the unexpected. You may not have the time or ability to think things through. Don’t forget to periodically practice your escape plan and make sure visitors know how to access the plan.
Emergency Fire Damage Tips!! What to do?
In a fire or water loss situation, your insureds are faced with emergency decisions that must be made while they are experiencing stress and uncertainty. Since a fast response is key to preventing further damage, SERVPRO of South Orange County Professionals offer and emergency checklist that guides you through the steps you need to follow until professional assistance arrives. By keeping their tips handy or with your insurance policy, you increase the chances of a successful restoration.
After fire, smoke and water damage:
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.
- Place clean towels or old linens or rugs, carpet traffic areas and upholstery; if wet, remove pillows and cushions for faster drying.
- If power is not available, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open.
- Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheese cloth over air registers.
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
SERVPRO of South Orange County utilize a 24-hour hotline for immediate response to emergency situations. Call SERVPRO of South Orange County today for more content-saving and restoration tips.
Move Outs Aid in Timely Recovery
When an insured experiences a fire loss, it is often necessary to move the home’s contents to another location for storage, security and restoration of damaged contents. This process is also referred to as a pack out.
Damage to a structure requiring a move out will involve the entire structure rather than be localized to one room. If only one room is affected, the contents may be moved to other rooms in the structure while repairs are being made instead of out of the house. In other occasions, it is necessary to move contents out of the entire structure. Once a move out is decided upon, SERVPRO of South Orange County follows a precise process to ensure that it is done correctly.
When arriving to assess the damage, SERVPRO of South Orange County professionals will pretest items to determine their cleanability. This process will help to determine what items are restorable and what items need to be deemed claim items. In all situations, our priority is getting your customer back into their home or office in a timely manner. SERVPRO of South Orange County professionals will make a complete inventory of all items being moved out of the structure on a room-to-room basis to ensure all items are detailed. Those items that are restorable will be carefully packed for removal.
Ask about our “Claims Items” inventory service. Call SERVPRO of South Orange County to get an accurate claim list fast.
After the contents are packed and the furniture is labeled, the professionals from SERVPRO will check off each item on the inventory list as it is being loaded into the moving can for removal.
Once removed, each item will be carefully restored and stored until the structure is ready for the move back. When the structure has been restored, SERVPRO of South Orange County professionals will return the cleaned and restored contents to the insured.
Fire Damage? We can make it "Like it never even happened"
When a fire loss strikes your business or your home, the damage can often feel overwhelming. The recovery process, in kind, can be intimidating especially if you and your customers aren’t prepared.
To aid customers in reducing the stress that inevitably comes with sorting through contents following a fire, SERVPRO of South Orange County offers Contents Claims Inventory Service (CCIS). This service simplifies the claims process and alleviates unnecessary stress and downtime by producing a quick and accurate room-by-room inventory. CCIS allows you to focus on getting back into business-and allows your customers to get back to their preloss lifestyle-without the time-consuming process of self-inventory.
If disaster has already struck, CCIS can serve as an organized, accurate and detailed inventory. Not only can a thorough inventory aid in the claim-filing process, it also allows property or business owner to track and manage contents both on and offsite in the event a move out is required.
Or, if utilized prior to an incident, CCIS functions as an invaluable part of a disaster recovery plan. After all, taking steps to prepare now can help reduce downtime, restore peace of mind, and rid yourself and your customers of unnecessary stress should a fire loss occur.
Contents Claims Inventory Provides:
- Preloss list and value of contents.
- Detailed and accurate report.
- Better information to settle claims quicker.
- Assistance with burden of proof for claims.
- Peace of mind when you need it most.
Even a small fire CAN CAUSE ODORS in a structure FOR YEARS TO COME
Fire, smoke and soot damages in a structure can create unpleasant and permanent problems if not properly addressed. As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in those hard to reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and result in periodically resurfacing odors. Unfortunately, such damages are often made more severe when unprepared property owner attempt to perform the cleanup themselves.
Feel free to contact SERVPRO of South Orange County (407) 226-2621 for questions or services. We are available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, even on holidays to assist. Dont let fire damage be a headache, we are here to help!
Content Cleaning and Restoration Saves Money
Following a fire damage, one of the toughest recovery challenges facing a property owner or manager is dealing with fire, smoke and soot-and likely water-damaged contents. SERVPRO of South Orange County Professionals can help alleviate some of the stress involved and, in the process, help lower recovery costs by cleaning and restoring contents quickly and correctly.
Traditionally, replacement costs for contents are more expensive than cleanup and restoration. Many contractors simply resort to the “tear out the throw out” approach, which ultimately increases recovery costs. By carefully pretesting contents for restorability, SERVPRO of South Orange County can quickly help a property owner determine what to restore and what needs to be replaced.
Another advantage to utilizing SERVPRO of South Orange County is Contents Claim Inventory Service. Utilizing CCIS, technicians can sort contents into three categories: salvageable, non-salvageable and questionable. An electronic inventory of every item allows a property owner to efficiently handle contents decisions. Should items need to be moved out while facility undergoes restoration, the CCIS inventory serves as a useful tracking tool for content management and movement.
In addition, should a fire damage exceed your commercial insurance deductible limit, the CCIS inventory can make filing and settling contents claims a less stressful and time consuming process.
Contact SERVPRO of South Orange County Professionals at (407)226-2621 to discuss a detailed preloss inventory of your facility’s contents before a disaster strikes. Your detailed inventory will be delivered in a customizable electronic spreadsheet format that can be manipulated in Microsoft Excel.
Overcoming Fire Damages with Proper Planning
A fire can generate tremendous amounts of heat, smoke, and soot throughout a commercial facility, even when the flames are concentrated in a small area. As the heat and smoke move, damage to the structure and contents can make it impossible to immediately resume normal business activities. For unprepared property owners, such a closure makes recovery even more difficult.
For decades, SERVPRO of South Orange County Professionals have been providing fire and water cleanup and restoration service. Experience has shown that a proper Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP), including an Emergency Response Profile (ERP), can not only mean the difference between survival and failure, but can also reduce time and recovery costs.
A thorough ERP identifies emergency response providers capable of addressing disaster situations quickly. In the case of a fire damage, SERVPRO of South Orange County would be an essential ERP service provider. Offering 24-hour emergency service, SERVPRO of South Orange County Professionals can normally be onsite prepared to begin emergency mitigation services in as little as four hours.
Please call SERVPRO of South Orange County (407)226-2621 for your professional fire cleaning needs.
Mishandled Fire Damages Can Cause Lingering Problems- Orlando, Fl
Even when a fire is small, the smoke and soot damage that results can be more than a little disruptive. Depending on the type of structure and contents affected, smoke and soot can cause both immediate damage and, if not handles properly, lingering problems that can last for years.
As smoke travels throughout a structure, soot settles out of the air, depositing on surfaces as well as inside contents and tough to reach areas – virtually anywhere air can travel. Soot can be corrosive, quickly deteriorating metal fixtures and electronics, and needs to be handled quickly and properly to help limit secondary damages. Unnecessary movement inside a smoke-damaged area can ground soot particles deeper into carpet or upholstered furniture or even smear wet soot particles, normally found when plastics were among the items burnt by the fire, making the cleanup even more challenging. When property owners attempt to clean up soot, they may succeed in wiping away the surface soot. However, most lack the expertise, equipment, and products necessary to remove the soot trapped out of view, or in difficult to see, much less reach, areas including inside the HVAC system and ductwork.
There is little wonder that smoke odors continue to persist in such cases. Experience has shown that often, as weather conditions change, smoke odors seem to appear or disappear in accordance with the HVAC system. And this is just one source of smoke odor missed by the average property owner.
A trained, uniformed SERVPRO of South Orange County Professional will respond to a fire cleanup call ready to identify the source of fire-related odors, and is equipped to clean and deodorize a structure thoroughly. SERVPRO of South Orange County Professionals work to make it "Like it never even happened."
Please call SERVPRO of South Orange County at (407)226-2621 for all your fire damage needs! We are always here to help.
Fire Damages and the HVAC System
Following a fire, SERVPRO of South Orange County Professionals pay careful attention to the HVAC system and ductwork to prevent the spread of soot and to eradicate a potential source of lingering smoke odor. If the system was operational at the time the fire occurred, chances are good that the system, including air registers and HVAC units, should be thorough cleaned to prevent continued circulation of soot and odor-causing particles that may have contaminated the system.
Depending on the size of the fire and the methods used to extinguish it, the duct system may also have been compromised by water. In as little as 24-48 hours, this moisture can provide the catalyst for mold and mildew growth inside the duct system, further degrading indoor air quality. If the duct system has been contaminated with water, your SERVPRO of South Orange County Professional can help locate the moisture and remove it before serious air quality problems can develop.
Contact SERVPRO of South Orange County at (407)226-2621 to learn more about air duct system cleaning following a fire damage and the value of maintaining clean air duct systems year-round.
FIRE DAMAGE CLEAN UP- ORLANDO
You may be anxious to clean your home or business after a fire, but without professional advice, you may be wasting your efforts or creating further damage. Contact SERVPRO of South Orange County immediately once the fire is out. We will provide advice on
restoration or replacement of not only your home or business but the contents inside as well.
Once the fire is out it may seem like the danger has passed, but without the help of professionals to clean the damage left behind, the building will never return to normal. The process of cleaning smoke damage is quite complex and requires experience and labor to clean up properly, this should not be attempted by a home or business owner on their own.
Ash, smoke, and soot if left untouched, will cause extensive discoloration and lingering odors. SERVPRO of South Orange County can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming we are contacted promptly.
The first thing SERVPRO of South Orange County will do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. We will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any residue coating surfaces.
As you can see this is a very detailed process but we assure you we will make it as least stressful for you as possible. Call SERVPRO of South Orange County with all your residential and commercial fire clean up needs. We service the Orlando, Lake Nona, Downtown Orlando, Hunters Creek, and many other areas. We are available to help you 24/7/365.