Recent Fire Damage Posts

What to Say When Tragedy Strikes

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Most of us have a hard time knowing what to say when someone has experienced a great tragedy. As Americans, we aren’t that good at grief, loss, and mourning. On the other hand, we’re really good at hope, optimism, and resilience, and at seeing the “silver lining.” But all too often, our words of comfort, born out of compassion, actually hurt those we are trying to help. So here are some tips from a reluctant expert in loss, for people who are trying to comfort those who are in the midst of tragedy.

1) Don’t say any sentence that starts with the words, “At least…” As in, “At least you’re still alive… At least you have insurance … At least you saved a few things…” No, emphatically no. Believe me, “At least…” is one of the worst things you can hear at a time like this. The person who has had a great loss is trying to understand what they’ve lost, to somehow take in the enormity of the situation. Trying to make them feel grateful in the midst of tragedy is not compassionate. I beg of you if you find yourself saying, “At least…” just stop right there.

2) Don’t say, “It’s just stuff.” Suddenly losing a lifetime of possessions is a devastating experience. You have no idea how hurtful and infuriating it is to have someone who did not lose everything wax philosophical about how great it is to “clear out and start over.” So please do not ever, ever say “It’s just stuff.” I found it much more comforting when people said, “I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine what this must be like for you.”

3) Avoid making it a discussion of faith. In times of great loss, faith is often questioned. Your whole world has just been blown apart, and you may not be so sure about God’s role in any of it. So even if you attend the same church, practice the same faith, or feel like you’re pretty sure of their religious beliefs, try not to go there when you’re comforting someone. It may only make them feel worse about what’s happening.

4) Don’t talk about the “silver lining.” This is a tough one. When you’re in the midst of tragedy, death, or great loss, you really, really do not want someone to take your hand and tell you how you’re going to come out of this stronger, better, etc. It’s important to let that person have their own feelings; don’t tell them how to feel, even unintentionally.

5) Don’t remain silent. Many of us struggle with what to say or worry that we’ll say the wrong thing, so we don’t say anything. This is awkward and unsettling for someone who’s experiencing great loss. You know they know, and you’re waiting for them to say something, and then they don’t, and it makes everything worse. So then what do you say?

6) Say just two things: “I’m so, so sorry. How I can help?” That’s all there is to say – then just BE with them. Hold their hand and cry with them. Bring them food and blankets and gift cards and kleenex and listen, really listen to them when they are telling you just how broken they feel. Just be there.

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What Happens After you extinguish a Fire

4/18/2022 (Permalink)

Did you know that not all fires are created equal? Different types of fires have different classifications. For example, an electrical fire is handled in a vastly different manner than a kitchen grease fire. These fires are fueled differently, thus producing a distinctive kind of odor. Did you also know that different kinds of fires require different kinds of fire extinguishers? There are wet chemical fire extinguishers, ABC dry powder fire extinguishers, dry special powder fire extinguishers, CO2 gas fire extinguishers, water fire extinguishers, and foam fire extinguishers. Mind-boggling, right? So, say a fire has happened, now what? You have water damage, fire extinguisher mess, heavy oily soot, stinky dirty carpets, and drapes and don’t even know where to begin. How will you ever get it all cleaned up and not smelling like a disaster? The best solution is to call SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea. We are experts in cleaning up chemicals left from fire extinguishers, drying out water damage, cleaning your ceilings, walls, and floors, and removing soot, smoke, and fire damages and odors. Our expert technicians are trained to use our commercial-grade cleaning products (which have to be handled, applied, and removed with care) to combat the lingering devastation a fire leaves behind. We work diligently both on the scene and at our shop to bring your salvageable items to preloss condition. We even have a fancy ultrasonic machine that uses high-frequency sound waves transmitted through a liquid solvent to scrub clean the surfaces of your precious belongings. Our team works hard and with heart. We handle your items with care and concern. A fire, despite what kind or what extinguisher was used, is an overwhelming, unfortunate catastrophe, but you don’t have to, and shouldn’t, handle it alone. Soot can be caustic and carcinogenic. It leaves lasting damages if not handled promptly, with the right products, and in the right manner. SERVPRO of Austin and Albert Lea has your back and has the power and know-how to get you on track to life as you remember it. If you don’t know where to begin, a good first step is making a call to us so we can come to assess the damages and begin the time-sensitive process of cleaning and restoring your home back to preloss condition. We are HERO READY, and HERE TO HELP.

Two Minutes.

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

Two minutes doesn’t seem like a lot of time. It slips by quickly with little significance on any given day. During a fire, a lot can happen in just two minutes. According to the Red Cross, you may have as little as two minutes to escape if a fire starts in your home. Two minutes doesn’t seem very impactful until your home is on fire, then it can mean life or death. Time is of the essence. Every moment of notice you can get is a better chance of survival. Early warnings make all the difference. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your property as well as both inside and outside of the bedrooms. Sprinklers and smoke alarms together cut your risk of dying in a home fire by 82% in relation to having neither. Alarms should be tested monthly and be equipped with fresh batteries. Preparation ahead of time can significantly impact your chances of survival. Making a fire escape plan is a great first step. Communicate with all household members about evacuation points and where to meet when you get outside. Once you get out, stay out! Do not go back in for people, pets, or things. Smoke is just as dangerous and destructive as fire and can wreak havoc on the human body. Avoid smoke inhalation, if at all possible, by staying low to the ground and moving quickly to the closest evacuation point. Remember, you have two minutes to get to safety if a fire starts. Practice your fire safety and escape plan and execute fire drills twice a year. Time your fire drills! A lot can happen in two minutes. Make sure you and your family are prepared, have adequate warning devices, and are equipped with the proper knowledge and empowerment to escape safely!

Can Smoke-Damaged Electronics Be Saved?

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

Sometimes the damage is simply too disastrous to overcome. In other cases, careful restoration services can save the damaged electronics.

Either way, saving smoke-coated electronics will depend on the type of device and the extent of the damage.

After a fire, your damaged electronics are a safety hazard. You should not turn any of them on until after talking to a professional. If you do turn it on, the corroding acids will immediately cause the device to fail.

If there was a fire, remember that water was used to put it out, so you may also have water in the electronics. Water or heavy soot levels can easily cause your electronic devices to short or disrupt their operational capacities.

One option is to unplug and remove any affected devices. Then, clean the items and wipe off any residue with a cloth. If you do this immediately, you will improve the chances of saving devices.

If the item has a heavy coating of soot or smoke or burn marks, do not attempt to restore it. These devices are often beyond saving and should be safely discarded.

On a practical note, always keep warranty records on your devices. If they are damaged beyond saving, they might be covered by any warranty plans. Typically, devices over $100 in value have warranty plans.

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3 Steps to Success

3/17/2022 (Permalink)

There are a few steps required to create an effective fire escape plan.

1. Identify exits.
2. Choose at least two exits.
3. Meet at a pre-determined location.

Begin by identifying all exits; remember to count side doors and exits leading into garages. Identify the exit that all family members can effectively use; very young and very old family members may need assistance. Choose two exits that all family members can use; this gives people an alternative exit if one doorway is blocked. Establish a family meeting place; plan to gather at a pre-determined location that can be safely and easily reached. 

Developing an effective fire escape plan is typically easy and can be done with input from all family members. Once it is made, share it with everyone and practice using it.

The First 48

1/7/2022 (Permalink)

Fires come in all shapes and sizes. At SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea, we see all kinds of fires. The most common are kitchen fires and electrical fires. The first 48 hours following a fire are crucial and can make a vast difference between being able to restore items and valuables and having to replace them. We ensure rapid response to your emergencies to provide timely mitigation and prevent further damages from corrosive soot particles. When soot settles on structures and personal items it can be very caustic and harmful. Wiping soot can often set the soot in and make it even more difficult to remove and deodorize. At SERVPRO of Austin and Albert Lea, our technicians have undergone special IICRC training to ensure we use exactly the right equipment for the designated area. Specialty cleaning equipment is used for removing surface debris and deodorizing the soot smell. Delicate items can be cleaned using our ultrasonic machine, where they are submerged in a cleaning solution that uses tiny ultrasonic sound waves to free built-up grime, soot, dirt, or other impurities from the affected contents. We are prepared for anything, and here for you. We are ready to use these specialized tools to help our customers make it "Like it never even happened."

Knowing What To Do Matters

12/10/2021 (Permalink)

Different types of smoke residues can exist in
the same loss environment. SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea will select a cleaning method that will effectively remove the type of smoke residues present.

Identify the type of surface

The type of surface determines which cleaning
methods and products are safe to use on that surface. SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea will be careful to preserve the material or surface being cleaned, and unfortunately, some materials may not be restorable because they cannot withstand the cleaning process.

Capture and remove residues

Smoke residues bond with surfaces they contact. SERVPRO of Austin Albert Lea uses dry and wet cleaning processes to release and carry residue particles away
from the affected surface.

SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea properly dispose of debris and cleaning waste.

Holiday Fire Prevention!

11/19/2021 (Permalink)

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don't practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don't use the stove or stove top.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are drying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains away from the stove top.

For more information call us today at 507-396-6644

Here to Help Your Holiday Nightmare!

10/25/2021 (Permalink)

With Halloween right around the corner, it time to start planning for the holiday season. The holiday season is the time of the year to gather with family and friends. Holiday meals can bring cheer with uncle Daunte's homemade pie, grandma’s famous sweet potatoes casserole, or any favorite holiday dish. However, cooking is the main cause of home fires and injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Review these cooking safety tips to help ensure you have a safe holiday cooking experience.

  • NEVER leave cooking food unattended. Turn off the stove, even if you think you will be right back in the kitchen.
  • Check the food regularly while cooking and use a timer.
  • Keep small children away from the cooking area.
  • Keep flammables (pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, and bags) away from the stove, oven, or other appliances that generate heat in the kitchen.
  • Prevent grease build-up by cleaning cooking surfaces regularly.
  • Purchase and keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
  • Install smoke alarms in your home.

If the unthinkable happens and fire strikes your home this holiday season, contact your local heroes at SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

Note the Dangers of Fireworks!

7/3/2021 (Permalink)

Firework season is among us! They are often used for special events and holidays—most commonly the 4th of July. Fireworks can fill the sky with their beauty, but they cause thousands of burns and eye injuries each year.

What you can do to have a safe 4th of July…

  • Keep a close on children and pets when fireworks are being used.
  • Do not operate fireworks under the influence of alcohol.
  • Always have a bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Dispose of used fireworks by wetting and placing them in a metal trash can away from any building.

SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea wants you to have a safe 4th of July. If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO® of Austin & Albert Lea to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Know The Dangers When It Comes To Grilling This Summer!

6/21/2021 (Permalink)

Nothing is better then some delicious grilled food on a nice Summer day!

With the start grilling season finally upon us, here are a few things know to keep you and your family safe.

  •  July is the peak month for grill fires (18%), including both structures, outdoor or unclassified fires, followed by June (15%), May (13%) and August (12%).
  • The grill had not been cleaned in more than one-quarter (29%) of the home grill structure fires.
  • The leading area of origin for structure fires involving grills was an exterior balcony or open porch, and 44 percent of the property damage from grill structure fires resulted from fires that started there.
  • Five of every six grills involved in home fires were fueled by gas (84 percent), while 12 percent used charcoal or another solid fuel.
  • Gas grills were involved in an average of 8,900 home fires per year.  Leaks or breaks were primarily a problem with gas grills.
  • Charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in 1,300 home fires per year.

 Always make sure to watch the grill. It only takes a second to turn a great day into a nightmare!

Have A Plan Incase of A House Fire!

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

As the leaders in fire restoration, SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea want to keep you informed of ways to prevent fire damage.

The Red Cross gives some excellent tips here:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. 
  • Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
  • Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year

Immediately dial 9-1-1 and have first responders there as soon as possible. Make sure anyone who was in the house is out, DO NOT go back into a burning building for any belongings, nothing is as important as your safety. Once the fire has been extinguished, contact your insurance provider and see what your policy covers. Have them contact us, SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea, and we will work with them for you, to make sure everything is restored to the perfect condition

SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea is Available 24/7

Importance of HEPA Filters

4/15/2021 (Permalink)

Fire and combustion are synonymous. The short explanation of combustion is the break-down of a solid and becoming a gas. For this to happen there needs to be one other element added, heat.  There are three elements needed for combustion: fuel, oxygen, and heat. In a perfect situation those three elements are equal, which would give off zero smoke, but that rarely happens.  When these three elements are not equal smoke occurs. Smoke is airborne at first and after some time comes to rest on anything in contact of the fire. The reason we bring this up is to point out exactly how important Hepa filters are. Smoke particles range from .1 microns to about 4 microns. For a comparison, the average human hair is 75 to 100 microns! The average period at the end of this sentence is around 150 microns! Even though the smoke particles are that small our SERVPRO Hepa filters permanently trap 99.97% of the smoke particulate!

Staying Safe As Things Start To Heat Up

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

Home air conditioners cause an average of 20 deaths, 140 injuries, and $82million in property damage annually.

The warmer months are upon us and it’s time to start putting away the sweaters and bring out the tank tops. This also means, for a lot of Minnesotans, it means putting that window unit air conditioner back in. It turns out that the appliance we count on to keep us out of the blazing heat, may be the cause of a blaze in our home. According to a 2016 report by the National Fire Protection Association home air conditioners cause an average of 20 deaths, 140 injuries, and $82million in property damage annually. There are some things you can do to help prevent fires cause by air conditioning units. By performing proper maintenance on your unit, you can reduce the risk of a fire in your home.  Changing the filter regularly and ensuring there is adequate power supply to the unit will help reduce the risk of fire in your home. As temps rise and units are running more continuously there can become electrical issues with home cooling systems. This could catch nearby combustibles on fire.  Avoid using power strips or extension cords. These can very easily overheat and catch fire. Stay safe as things start to heat up out there.

The Danger Is Not Over After A House Fire

3/31/2021 (Permalink)

A house fire can cause serious damage.  Many of the items in your home may have been badly damaged by flames, heat, smoke and water.  You may see the items that did not burn, but are now ruined from the smoke and are soggy with water. 

Please use caution and understand the risk to your safety and health even after the fire is out. Be careful if you go into your home as it can, and will be, dangerous.

Do not eat, drink or breathe in anything that has been near the flames, smoke, soot or water used to put out the fire.

Contact SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea we’ll start the process to get your home and life back to normal.  We will have a technician meet with you and go over your options and help you make your next step i.e., Securing your home, Estimating the damages, discussing restoring vs. replacing, inventory of your items, cleaning of your items, returning your items once repairs have been completed on your home

House Fire!

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

Home is a place to relax after a busy day. Home is where your daily routines begin and end. Having a housefire can disrupt your daily routine and be very traumatizing. Although your world turns upside down after a fire loss, it is important to get a plan in place to help you recover your home. The quicker you call SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea to begin mitigation and restoration on your home, the sooner you can get back to your daily routine.

A fire at your home can be devastating but our team of knowledgeable professionals will work efficiently to get you back in your home quickly and safely. If disaster strikes, call us anytime at 507-396-6644. We are Here to Help

We Can Help When Disaster Strikes!

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Even if the fire only affected one area in your home or business, we are Here To Help!

As shocking as a large and widespread disaster might be to your home or business, having a plan in place to help you recover your loss and restore the property is critical. The faster a professional restoration company can begin mitigation and restoration on your home or business, the less time that this process usually takes to complete.

Once first responders have left the scene and the fire was extinguished, you get your first look at the 
fire damages to your property. It is at this point that you realize you need a team of trained technicians that can work quickly to return your home to normal. Our SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea team can help.

SERVPRO of Austin & Albert response team can arrive quickly with our industry-leading equipment to mitigate the immediate losses and set up a plan to restore your property fast. Give us a call anytime disaster strikes at 507-396-6644

Fire Restoration Services in Albert Lea?

10/19/2020 (Permalink)

We restore fire, smoke, and soot damage in Austin.

Fire Department Trivia

Did you know that the Albert Lea Bucket Brigade was organized on November 22, 1870? It consisted of thirty volunteers! Here’s a brief timeline on the history of fire rescue in Albert Lea:

  • 1870, Albert Lea Bucket Brigade is formed
  • 1879, Albert Lea Fire Department is organized
  • 1879, steam engine water pump and two hose carts pulled by horses
  • 1891, waterworks system is completed
  • 1903, new City Hall on North Broadway housed the Fire Department in two floors
  • 1918, the first motor-driven water pump goes into service
  • 1948, Fire Department becomes a fully paid organization
  • 1968, Fire Department moves to 221 East Clark Street
  • 1991, combines with Albert Lea Township Fire Department

Lightning strikes, faulty electrical cords, floating embers, and many other sources can cause fires to break out. SERVPRO® of Austin & Albert Lea has been serving the commercial businesses and residents of the Austin and Albert Lea areas for many years. We take pride in the many fire, smoke, and soot clean up and restoration services we offer to return your property to preloss condition.

Call Us Today

When you need help with a fire damage emergency of any size, SERVPRO® of Austin & Albert Lea is ready to respond 24 hours a day or night. We’ll clean and restore your property damage in Albert Lea, “Like it never even happened.”

Call us today at 507-396-6644.

SERVPRO® of Austin & Albert Lea is Independently Owned and Operated.

Halloween Party Fire in Austin?

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

Don’t let fire “haunt” your Halloween party this year!

Halloween Fire Facts

October is here, and that means lots of scary costumes and fun parties to attend. SERVPRO® of Austin & Albert Lea wishes all of the residents in the Austin and Albert Lea communities a fun and safe Halloween this year. We have responded to many fire damage emergencies over the years and know what fires of all sizes can do to a home. Even in rooms not affected by the fire, smoke, smoke odor, and soot will cause damage to these areas as well. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides safety tips and seasonal information on its website. Here are some interesting Halloween fire facts from the NFPA:

  • From 2013-2017, an average of 780 home structure fires began with decorations per year 
  • More than two of every five (44 percent) of these fires occurred because the decorations were too close to a heat source, such as a candle or hot equipment
  • More than one-third (37 percent) of these fires were started by candles
  • One-fifth (21 percent) of the decoration fires started in the kitchen; 16 percent began in the living room

Call Us Today

SERVPRO® of Austin & Albert Lea is on call 24 hours a day in Austin to respond to your fire damage emergency. Call us today at 507-396-6644.

SERVPRO® of Austin & Albert Lea is Independently Owned and Operated.

Fire Damage Restoration Services in Albert Lea?

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

We are fire cleanup and restoration specialists in Austin.

Fire Damage is Pervasive

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 Austin & Albert Lea has been providing a variety of fire restoration and cleaning services to the Albert Lea community 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 Austin & Albert Lea is on call 24 hours a day to respond to any size fire damage emergency. Call us today at 507-396-6644. We’ll clean and restore your fire-damaged household items in Albert Lea “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO® of Austin & Albert Lea is Independently Owned and Operated.

Smoke detectors save lives in Austin

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea wants its neighbors to be safe

SERVPRO® of Austin & Albert Lea is part of the community, so urgently wants your safety. If disaster strikes, call us at (507) 396-6644. Emergency service is available all day, every day.

SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea is Faster to any size disaster.

This speed allows SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea to prevent additional damage, and to restore Austin homes and businesses to preloss conditions as much as possible.

Fire is fast

Within two minutes, a fire can move from “easy to escape” to “difficult to escape.”

Within five minutes, fire can destroy a two-story building.

Early warnings are essential.

Newer buildings may be less safe than older ones. Many synthetic materials burn more easily than natural ones like wood or cotton. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that newer buildings burn more quickly and for longer times than older ones.

Smoke detectors provide early warnings

Smoke detectors sense smoke before a fire starts, providing extra time to get out of the building. People who have movement disabilities, older people, children, and pets may need the extra time, but everyone benefits from the warning.

Commercial buildings have codes for the number and placement of smoke detectors.

In homes, the NFPA recommends:

  • At least one alarm inside every sleeping area
  • One on every level of the house (larger houses may need more alarms)
  • Test smoke detectors every month
  • Replace batteries twice a year
  • Never disable a smoke detector before cooking. Use a fan to vent smoke outdoors

SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea is Independently Owned and Operated.


Fire Safety Prevention in Albert Lea?

8/3/2020 (Permalink)

We are fire restoration specialists in Austin.

Fire Safety Tips

According to data published by the National Fire Protection Association, (NFPA), sixty-nine percent of home fires happened between 2013 and 2017. The highest cause of home fires was cooking. SERVPRO® of Austin & Albert Lea wants you to know that we are experienced fire restoration specialists with years of experience mitigating fire damage in the Austin area. Here are some fire prevention safety tips from the NFPA to keep you and your family safe: 

  • Watch your cooking
                If you must leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove
  • Give space heaters space
    Keep fixed and portable space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn and turn them off when you leave the room or go to sleep
  • Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs, or have loose connections
  • Be careful when using candles
    Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn and blow them out when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Make a home fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas

Call Us

SERVPRO® of Austin & Albert Lea is available 24 hours a day to assist you with any size fire damage emergency. Call us today at 507-396-6644. We’ll clean and restore your fire damage  in Austin “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO® of Austin & Albert Lea is Independently Owned and Operated.

Except the unexcepted

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

firework fun

Summertime presents us with great weather, opportunities for family reunions, and more time with the family in general.  During this time, especially during a pandemic, entertaining your family during the summer can be a lot of fun!  From grilling your favorite summertime meal, to setting off fireworks at night, summertime involves a lot of activities that can become dangerous if safety measures are not in place and adhered to. 

     Next week will be the 4th of July and many families will be shooting off fireworks, grilling and having yard events.  SERVPRO of Albert Lea/ Austin would like to share some useful safety tips that could help prevent fire outbreaks. 

  • When grilling and using lighter fluids and gas, make sure you are at a safe distance from your home and other structures, and that there are no flammable materials close enough to the grill. Keep an eye on which direction the wind is blowing and adjust, as necessary.  If using gas, ensure that connections are good and that the gas is turned off when not in use. 
  • When setting off fireworks, make sure that fuses and wicks are long enough, adults are supervising sparklers and proximity factors, and that aerial fireworks are set off securely and at a safe distance from trees, homes, power lines, and other structures.
  • Be sure to monitor yard torches using kerosene and other accelerants, and that their bases are secure with no hazards around them. Keep in mind that if a torch were to spill an accelerant, the fuel expelled becomes a fire hazard on anything that it touches. 
  • When setting a bonfire, always consider where the wind is blowing and its speed. Bonfires need to be placed at a safe distance (at least 25 ft) from homes and other structures, and you need to have a fire extinguishment source at hand in case of emergency.  Some things to keep on hand would be sand/dirt and shovels, a fire extinguisher, a water barrel, a garden hose or anything that can be used quickly to extinguish fires.

Take time to enjoy the summer and the activities that come with it, but always be safe in doing so and consider these pointers when planning your fun filled adventures!       

Arson Fires in Austin & Albert Lea

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

Fires can happen accidentally but it’s worse when caused by arson.

SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea 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 Austin & Albert Lea: 

  • 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 Austin & Albert Lea has more information here.
  • Cooking.  Kitchen fires are the leading cause of home fire injuries and home fire damage
  • Electrical. Use all electrical equipment according to the directions 
  • Heating. Heating equipment is the second most common cause of death in home fires
  • December, January, and February are the months that have the most home heating fires
  • Smoking. 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. Children should never be left alone with matches, lighters, candles, or other dangerous materials. Children playing with fire causes hundreds of deaths and injuries every year

Please pay attention to fire safety. While we can help restore your Austin & Albert Lea 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. For more information please call us at 507-396-6644. 

SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea is independently owned and operated. 


Tips to Put Out Fires in the Kitchen Safely in Austin & Albert Lea

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Safety in the Kitchen in Austin & Albert Lea.

SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea recognizes that over half of home fires start in the kitchen. Some kitchen fires start out small enough that you might be able to put them out easily. By being proactive, you can save yourself and others from fire and smoke injuries in your Austin & Albert Lea home. 

Remember that fire is fast. If you cannot contain a fire immediately, leave and bring everyone with you. Call 9-1-1 from outside the home.

SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea  has these tips to offer for handling a small cooking fire:

    • If the fire is on the stove top or in a pot, put a lid on the fire to smother the flames. Turn off the burner  
    • If a cloth on the stove top is on fire, put a lid on the fire to smother the flames.  Turn off any burners  
  • Do not use water on a gas fire or a grease fire. Pot lids will smother a fire. You can also use (a lot of) baking soda. Pour a box of baking soda on the fire
  • If the fire is in the oven, turn off the heat. Close the oven door.    


Never leave fire-fighting to chance. SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea knows that objects can be replaced.  People and pets cannot.

SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea is independently owned and operated. 


Smoke Detectors can Save Lives in Austin & Albert Lea

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

By installing a fire alarm in your home, you can lower your risk of being harmed in the event a fire breaks out in your Austin & Albert Lea home.

Fire spreads fast once it is started so SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea wants to remind you that smoke detectors (smoke alarms) can help save lives in your Austin & Albert Lea home. An alarm alerts you that danger is present giving you time to get out.

SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea wants you to remember:

  • Closed doors can slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.  That is good for reducing smoke damage and fire damage. That is also why you should have a smoke alarm in every sleeping room in the home
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home
  • Large homes might need extra smoke alarms
  • Some companies make alarms that are interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound
  • Do not turn off smoke detectors when cooking
  • Test the smoke alarms at least once a month.  There is a test button on the alarm
  • When the alarm sounds, get everyone outside and stay outside
  • Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years

If your Austin & Albert Lea home is not properly protected by a smoke detector, please install one. If you experience a fire, immediately vacate the home and then contact your fire department once you are outside the home. For fire clean up or for more information please call us at 507-396-6644. 

SERVPRO of Austin & Albert Lea is independently owned and operated.