Fire Damage Restoration West Palm Beach FL
When your home or business is damaged by fire, it can be an overwhelming experience.
In a situation like this, you need the best and most qualified professionals to assess the damage, create an organized and detailed plan, and get you on the road to recovery. You can rely on us to completely repair and restore your living space to the absolute top professional standards of quality, safely and efficiently.
Fire Damage Restoration West Palm Beach FL
Every year in the United States, firefighters respond to over 2 million calls. The responses cover fires from in-home sources as well as from natural disasters. These fires are nearly all accidentally ignited and cause enormous amounts of damage. Home fire damage occurs every 87 seconds across the country. In response to car fires, structural fires, and wildfires, local fire departments are called to an active fire scene every 23 seconds.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2019:
Non-residential structure fires include locations such as:
Causes Of Fires
The most common causes of residential fires are all considered accidental. This includes intentionally ignited flame, which then gets out of control, as used in cooking, heating, and decorative purposes. These are some residential fire hazards, most of which can also be found in business locations:
Cooking EquipmentCooking equipment is by far the deadliest and most expensive cause of house fires. Cooking accidents frequently involve things like an unattended pan on a stove or a toaster too close to a paper towel dispenser. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), cooking fires are responsible for over 172,000 home fires per year and amount to over $1 billion in property damage. Approximately 60% of home cooking fires are started by ranges and cooktops. Ovens and cooktops are responsible for 87% of cooking fire deaths every year and 78% of cooking fire injuries. Cooking fire damage is sometimes confined to the kitchen area, but because of an abundance of flammable materials and continuous heat from a stove or oven, kitchen fires can spread faster and further throughout the house than in any other location.
Smoking in bed and falling asleep while smoking accounts for over 70% of residential deaths. The NFPA estimates an annual average of over 18,000 reported home structure fires are started by smoking materials. An average of approximately 600 people dies annually from fires caused by smoking, over 1,100 are injured, and related property damage totals over $470 million. A dropped cigarette will quickly ignite flammable bedding or carpet, and the occupant is frequently overcome by smoke before they can escape the room. Damage from smoking incidents is often comparable to damage from portable heating sources.
Heating sources are mostly permanent fixtures and portable heaters, which are often placed too close to flammable surfaces. Conversely, flammable items are sometimes placed too close to a fixed heating source, such as a fireplace or furnace. Sometimes the resulting fire is due to worn components in the heating device, such as wiring or switches. Most of the time, the cause is user carelessness. Some people become accustomed to the experience of being several feet away from a heat source and forget that the surface temperature of an electrical heating element can be extremely high. Damage from portable heating sources usually begins near the floor and is sometimes contained there if extinguished in time. If nearby drapery material ignites, the damage quickly travels up the walls and into the ceiling.
Candles and other decorative flammables, including incense burners, lanterns, tiki torches, and gas fireplaces, are a significant cause of residential fires. According to the NFPA, an average of 21 home candle fires are reported every day. About 37% of home candle fires start in bedrooms, many of which involve the occupant falling asleep. These fires cause 40% of the associated deaths and 49% of the associated injuries. Damage from candle fires often begins on tabletops, traveling to nearby flammable surfaces.
Faulty House Wiring
Electrical appliances such as stoves, dishwashers, dryers, lamps, and other devices may have a failure within the appliance or a problem with the external power cord. Home electrical fires account for over 50,000 fires each year, 500 deaths, more than 1,400 injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage. Also, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that problems with electrical wall outlets cause 5,300 fires every year. If wiring is involved in the ignition, electrical fire damage can travel through walls quickly. And speaking of appliances, 65% of home fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke detectors.
Cooking equipment is by far the deadliest and most expensive cause of house fires. Cooking accidents frequently involve things like an unattended pan on a stove or a toaster too close to a paper towel dispenser. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), cooking fires are responsible for over 172,000 home fires per year and amount to over $1 billion in property damage. Approximately 60% of home cooking fires are started by ranges and cooktops. Ovens and cooktops are responsible for 87% of cooking fire deaths every year and 78% of cooking fire injuries. Cooking fire damage is sometimes confined to the kitchen area, but because of an abundance of flammable materials and continuous heat from a stove or oven, kitchen fires can spread faster and further throughout the house than in any other location.
Outdoor gas grills account for an average of 8,900 home fires per year, according to the NFPA. Leaks or breaks in the gas lines are the primary cause, and this is usually because of failure to inspect the lines before every use. Charcoal or other solid-fueled grills make up 1,300 home fires annually. Grilles are sometimes located too close to structures or landscaping, and the damage that might have been contained to the grille site can spread to the main house or other nearby structures. This damage is sometimes contained to the exterior of the house if extinguished in time.
Children Playing With Fire
Faulty house wiring can include circuit breaker panels, outlet boxes, light and fan switches, and the related wires that interconnect all the components. Most wiring related fires are caused by worn or otherwise faulty outlets. Vibration, careless repairs, or rodent damage can also compromise the wiring. If modifications were made or electrical features were added to the building without updating the wiring, there could be an increased fire risk. Poorly maintained or outdated electrical panels may not be able to handle the current power demands safely. Damage inside fire-rated walls is generally contained within the protective boxes, but not many residential buildings are equipped with this protection level.
Fire classifications based on fuel type:
- Class A: Ordinary combustible materials, such as wood, cloth, paper, rubber and many plastics. They burn with an ember and leave an ash. Extinguish by cooling the fuel to a temperature that is below the ignition temp. Water and other extinguishing agents are effective.
- Class B: Flammable liquids (burn at room temperature) and combustible liquids (require heat to ignite). Petroleum greases, tars, oils, oil-based paints, solvents, lacquers, alcohols, and flammable gases. High fire hazard; water may not extinguish. Extinguish by creating a barrier between the fuel and the oxygen, such as layer of foam.
- Class C: Fuels that would be A or B except that they involve energized electrical equipment. Special techniques and agents required to extinguish, most commonly carbon dioxide or dry chemical agents. Use of water is very dangerous because water conducts electricity.
- Class D: Combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, zirconium, sodium, lithium and potassium. Most cars contain numerous such metals. Because of extremely high flame temperatures, water can break down into hydrogen and oxygen, enhancing burning or exploding. Extinguish with special powders based on sodium chloride or other salts; also clean dry sand.
- Class K: Fires in cooking appliances that involve combustible cooking media (vegetable or animal oils and fats).
ABC Powder extinguishers are useful for class A, B, and C fires, since they do not use any electrically conductive chemicals. They can effectively break the chain reaction in a liquid or gas fire, something a water extinguisher cannot do. Cleanup is fairly manageable.
Dry chemical extinguishers, used on Class A and B fires, use monoammonium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate, or potassium bicarbonate. Time is of the essence after this type of extinguisher is used because these powders can be corrosive to metals and can cause further damage if not cleaned up quickly. If it has not been done already, we will shut off your ventilation system and electrical power while cleaning up dry chemical residue. We will clean all the electrical contacts inside of all outlets in this process. Vacuuming or fan use should not be started until we determine the type of chemical used.
Bicarbonate based residue is less corrosive than dry chemical, and we will use vacuum equipment fitted with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) extinguishers leave virtually no residue and evaporate fairly completely. Cleanup is relatively quick and safe. Some Class D extinguishers use a graphite-based powder, which can become sensitive to static charge and become combustible if it is stirred back into the air. This makes it dangerous to clean with a vacuum, and we use manually operated collection devices for this residue.
Fire damage to your home or business goes beyond burned areas. A small appliance fire in your basement can result in smoke damage that extends throughout your home or business. Similarly, if a fire breaks out in the condo below yours, your own space can suffer significant smoke damage.
Smoke and soot damage affects the insulation and wood structures inside of walls, floors, and ceilings. It cannot be painted over with “smoke killing” paint. The smell of the new paint can temporarily cover up the smoke smell, but it is not a correct restoration. Special methods are needed to eliminate smoke damage properly. We use trisodium phosphate when treating smoke damaged surfaces. The more porous the surface, the greater the likelihood it will need to be replaced. Certain soft goods such as drapery and linen can be professionally cleaned and restored to a smoke-free condition.
Some fires are intentionally set, and some appear from natural disasters outside the home or business building. Their resulting damage can vary, depending on response time.
Over 250,000 intentional fires are reported to U.S. local fire departments every year, with associated annual losses of over 500 deaths, over 1,300 injuries, and $1 billion in direct property damage. Because they intend to do as much damage as possible, arsonists frequently use a chemical accelerant, which causes the fire to burn hotter and spread more quickly. As a result, the damage caused is usually greater in scope and scale than accidental fires and requires more extensive repair and restoration measures.
In 2020, the Western States Wildfire burned more than 8 million acres and destroyed nearly 15,000 buildings, with more than 10,000 being private homes. Property damage and related costs of the Western States fires alone were over $10 billion. Wildfire damage typically starts on exterior surfaces, mainly the roof. If controlled in time, the damage can be contained outside of the living space.
Smoke and soot can be toxic. The toxicity level depends on the materials that were burned. The two most common chemical byproducts of burned materials are carbon and tar, which are well-known health hazards. Smoke and soot also contain chemical irritants that can cause respiratory irritation or trigger asthma attacks.
On average, the cost of cleaning up residential fire and smoke damage will typically run between $3000 and $30,000, with a national average of about $13,000 for a full restoration. Your exact figure depends on factors such as the extent of the initial damage, water removal, chemical cleanup from extinguishers, soot removal, and extent of smoke damage. Mold remediation can be a major component of your fire damage restoration if more than 24 hours have elapsed since the fire crews dampened the surfaces. After being soaked with water, the increased humidity can cause your building’s wooden components to open their pores, which causes them to absorb more smoke and soot residue.
Smoke and soot contain acids that cause plastics to be yellow, and highly porous materials such as marble will discolor permanently. This effect begins within minutes of exposure to smoke. These acid residues will stain bathroom and kitchen grout. Fiberglass fixtures and countertops begin to yellow, and uncoated metals begin to tarnish. Furniture finishes begin to discolor. This all starts within hours of initial exposure. After a few days, painted walls begin to yellow permanently, metal rusts and corrodes, wood furniture requires refinishing or replacing, and fabrics become permanently stained. Within a few weeks, restoration costs increase drastically. Hard surfaces are permanently etched.
We will keep your air handling systems shut off until our experts can evaluate all the ductwork and blower components. This is to avoid spreading smoke and soot residue into currently unaffected parts of the building.
If your home is structurally unsafe during the restoration process or no longer has electricity or running water, you should not occupy the building. If the damage is confined to one area of your house, you may decide to stay in the space, but there will be repair noise and a smokey smell until we complete the restoration.
If your business location sustained fire damage, it must be certified to be safe for occupancy before reopening. As with a residence, if the damage is confined to a remote area, it may be possible to keep a portion of the area open during repairs if the affected area is properly sealed off. We can assist you in properly accomplishing this temporary arrangement with correct safety barriers and other methods.
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