Fireplace Safety

It is that time of year where many cities and states in the country have seen there first snow falls which means more cold weather to come. Many households still have and use fireplaces to heat there homes along with furnaces or instead of. Experts estimate that 25,000 chimney fires occur yearly in the United States, burning at up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit and causing an estimated $125 million in property damage. Chimney fires and household fireplace accidents are not always preventable but Blue River Restoration has put together some tips to help cut down on common mistakes that could lead to a fire and make sure that your fireplace safety is up to date.

Keep the fireplace interior free of everything but a light layer of ash; this small amount of ash acts as insulation, helping future fires light more quickly and easily. Remove all other ashes to a metal container three days after each fire – any sooner and buried live coals could create a hazard. Protect the area and occupants while sweeping ashes by opening a window and wearing a dust mask. Open a window when using the fireplace is recommended to prevent the room from becoming smoky. The air coming in from the window will go up the chimney. Never use a vacuum to clean up ashes, because live coals may remain in those ashes. Also, smaller pieces of wood placed on a grate burn faster and produce less smoke.

Making sure that the chimney is clean and not obstructed is important to check regularly. Smaller conflagrations damage chimneys, prompt expensive repairs, and make future chimney fires more likely. Regular maintenance helps homeowners safely enjoy a fireplace’s wonderful ambiance while minimizing its risks. Trim tree limbs that encroach on the top of the chimney and invest in a chimney cap that prevents debris and animals from entering the tight space. Blocking the chimney exit, even partially, presents a fire hazard and restricts airflow across the chimney top. When fires lack oxygen they burn more slowly, and incomplete combustion may form poisonous carbon monoxide. Surprisingly, ensuring a clear chimney may also help furnaces run more smoothly. Many chimneys have more than one flue

Other than having your normal fireplace brass tools nearby, it is important to keep a fire extinguisher on hand. It may also be a good idea to keep a nonflammable rug (available at fireplace-supply stores) in front of the fireplace so that sparks won’t melt or otherwise damage your carpeting. Fire is nothing something to mess around with and fireplace safety is something to take seriously. At the end of the day, fire can be controlled if you are using smart tactics and being safe.


Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Thanksgiving Day is a festive celebration but did you know that it’s also the leading day for home cooking fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  3 out of 5 reported home fires involved cooking equipment. Ovens counted for 13%. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 4,000 fire happen each Thanksgiving Day, usually in the kitchen. Don’t leave anything cooking on a stove top unattended. Stay home the entire duration if you are cooking anything in the oven. When you are cooking, ensure there are no trip hazards, and nothing near that could catch fire. This related to 10% of cooking fires and 23% of deaths. Thanksgiving is a family holiday which means a lot going on with people, talking, laughing and kids running around. Always be sure to be ready for any injuries or choking. One of the biggest reasons your guests could get sick is if you improperly handle raw meat, or undercooked meat comes in contact with vegetables or other food that’s already been cooked. Be sure to keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of emergency, and teach your family how to use it.

As you begin preparing for your family dinner, keep these fire safety tips in mind:

  • Stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen even for a minute, turn off the stove.
  • When cooking your turkey, check on it frequently and don’t leave the house.
  • Alcohol (or drowsiness) and cooking don’t mix! Don’t use the stove or stove top if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol.
  • Use a cooking timer to remind you when to turn off the stove or oven.
  • Wear tight clothes and roll up your sleeves when cooking. If you have long hair, tie it back.
  • Keep flammable things, such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, your clothing or food packaging, away from the stove top.
  • Accidents can happen – keep a lid nearby to smother small grease fires by sliding the lid over the pan and turning off the stove top. Leave the pan covered until it’s completely cooled.
  • Never throw water over a grease fire! Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen for extra prevention.
  • Keep the kitchen floor clean and clear of objects to avoid trips or falls.
  • Keep children out of the kitchen while cooking. Prepare activities such as games, puzzles or books that keep them busy elsewhere. Keep pets out of the kitchen as well.
  • Make sure electric cords aren’t dangling off the counter within easy reach of children or pets.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters up high in a locked cabinet and out of the reach of children.
  • Use battery-operated candles instead of real candles. Learn more candle fire safety tips.
  • Ensure your smoke alarms are working by testing them at least once a month and replacing batteries once a year.
  • Review your home fire escape plan with the whole family and tell your visitors about it. Mark two exits out of each room and practice your fire drill routinely.


Blue River Restoration is here for you 24/7 incase something were to happen to your property. Let us get your home back to the pre-loss conditions.

Just had a Pipe Break?

A burst water pipe in your home will cause damage eventually, depending on the location and severity of the pipe damage. Whether large or small, a burst pipe and resulting water will damage your walls, floors or belongings until the water is shut off and drained from flooded areas. Meaning that a burst pipe is the last thing anyone wants to tackle. But there are some quick temporary fixes you can do to slow the impact of a burst pipe. Depending off if the burst was caused rust, hard water, poor installation or pressure, many times pipe bursts takes place inside walls where it can go undetected for days or even weeks.

Once a pipe burst, the first thing you want to do is turn off the water if you can access it. Always be cautious that any standing water could have electricity running through it. Once the water is turned off, you want a few faucets to relieve the pressure from the pipes. Unless you feel comfortable trying to repair a broken pipe on your own, you’re probably going to need a plumber at some point. You can, however, do several things before calling the plumber that will help reduce the impact of a broken pipe. Now shut off your water boiler and heating system and release all the water from your hot taps. If your pipe burst or froze from cold weather, let some warm air in. After draining the remaining water from your taps, you might want to turn the heat back on and hike up the thermostat, or simply train a hair dryer on the pipe in question. At the very least, do your pipes a solid and open up the cabinet doors where they live to let the warm air circulate. If you’re lucky enough to know where your leak is coming from, start mopping up excess water to prevent mold and mildew. But before you get everything back to its perfect, pre-burst condition…


Smaller projects can be a DIY and be very manageable. The bigger the water damage, the more your friends at Blue River Restoration can help to make sure your home or business is back to its pre-loss conditions.

4 FAQ’s About Mold

Mold is a type of fungus that lives almost everywhere there is moisture, oxygen, and organic matter. Mold plays an important role in nature as it helps decompose organic material. However, mold found indoors can cause health problems, as well as structural problems to buildings. Mold removal can be a complicated and confusing process for many people. You’re already stressed that mold was found in your home or business and you just want it out, but the proper way to remove it may not be what you’d expect. That’s understandable, and that’s why professional mold remediation is needed. Experts spend years studying and getting on-the-job experience so they’re capable of dealing with any mold situation that may arise. Here are 4 FAQ’s About Mold:

Q: What Does Mold Look Like?

A: Mold has many different appearances from varying textures, colors, and sizes. Unfortunately, mold can take on several different appearances and it can sometimes be difficult for the naked eye to detect mold. It is sometimes confused with mildew or even just dirt, depending on its appearance. Mold can vary in color from black to green and anything in between. Sometimes you can immediately notice that you have mold from the appearance or odor, but some spores are hard to recognize. It’s best to get an expert to come to your home and identify what you’re dealing with instead of taking a guess. Once the mold is identified, mold removal can begin.

Q: How is Mold Detected?

A: Mold is usually detected by its characteristic musty odor that causes a person to investigate the source of the odor. Mold spores are usually found after looking further. It’s important to know that not all mold has an odor, so some can be present without ever smelling that well-known musty smell. Sometimes you’ll see the mold before you smell it, and in some cases, you’ll accidentally discover it while going about your day. In some cases, you won’t know it’s there until it’s become a major problem.

Q: What Causes Mold?

A: Mold can be caused by many different things, but in most cases, a warm, damp area with poor ventilation and some type of nutrient will cause mold. There are at least 300,000 types of mold! Since there are so many, and mold can have a lot of variety, we can’t list all the ways mold can grow. The easiest thing to keep in mind is that mold will grow in an area that doesn’t have proper ventilation and that’s warm and damp. Mold can grow on anything it can absorb nutrients from – dead skin cells, wood, cardboard, fabric, etc.

Q: Can I Remove the Mold in My Home Myself?

A: You shouldn’t remove mold yourself unless you can throw out the contaminates without any danger to health. Mold is difficult and tricky, and in some cases, you can actually make it worse. You may encounter common household mold while you’re doing your normal housework. If the patches are small and don’t pose a major health risk to you personally, you can wear protective gear and clean them off hard surfaces like glass, tile, porcelain, and metal. In some cases, like with dishes, you can simply throw away the contaminated materials.

Although it is always better to hire a certified mold removal company, you might be able to remove small patches of mold yourself (which are smaller than 10 square feet). When you’re not sure how to remove mold, or if the infested area is larger than 10 square feet, contact a qualified professional.

If you find mold that fits the following criteria, you shouldn’t try to remove it:

Mold inside your walls
Mold inside your heating and ventilation
Mold that’s caused by water damage or flooding
Mold that has a diameter of more than a few feet
Any mold you experience when you have a major allergy to mold or are asthmatic

It’s better to be safe than sorry since some mold spores can be deadly. Let your friends at Blue River Restoration clean up the mold so your home/business is safe.

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