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How to avoid a house fire

August 2, 2017 by  
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avoid house firesSome things are common sense, like not leaving burning candles unattended and keeping a fire extinguisher on hand.  There are, however, a few other things you can do to help prevent having a fire in your home.  At Mellon Certified Restoration, we’ve compiled some tips to help increase your odds of avoiding a house fire.

  1.  Have your furnace, heat pump, etc. serviced regularly by a professional.   If you have a wood stove or fireplace, be sure to have your chimney cleaned before each season. Clean around your furnace, stove, etc. and keep dust and other flammable items away from them.
  2. Clean your clothes dryer lint trap after every use. A clogged filter and lint trap will restricts airflow and causes heat build up in the vents.  This forces lint build up on the heating coils, which could ignite.  It’s also not a good idea to let your dryer run when you aren’t home.  In the event there was a problem, you would have no chance at containing it before it spreads.
  3. Keep firewood, piles of leaves and trash away from the home. If a grass fire starts nearby, these items next to your home could easily become kindling. Never dump hot ashes inside or near your home; keep them in a metal container well away from your house and garage.
  4. Avoid using extension cords or power strips when possible.  These can quickly overload an electrical circuit and cause a fire. Replace old, damaged or frayed appliance cords, and never force a three-pronged plug into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  5. Keep cooking oil and other flammable objects away from your cooking stove. When cooking with oil, never walk away from the stove. In the event of a grease fire, turn off the burner and place a lid on the pan to suffocate the flames, or pour baking soda on the fire. Never pour water on a grease fire or try to carry the pan outside; water splatters the grease and will make the fire bigger.
  6. If you smoke, be sure to properly extinguish your cigarettes, cigars, etc. Smoking materials that are not properly extinguished can smolder for days before igniting into a fire. Never discard smoking materials in the trash can until you are certain they have long since been extinguished.  Avoid putting smoking materials out on the ground or in plant pots.

Hopefully just being cautious and avoiding some of these common causes of house fires will be enough to spare you the tragedy of watching your home burn down.  Obviously, in the event of a house fire, call 911 immediately.  Be smart, stay safe!

Soot and Smoke Contents Cleaning

May 15, 2017 by  
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Soot damage from fire

Soot from fire can leave behind oily residue that is difficult to clean and deodorize.

Mellon Certified Restoration uses proven methods to eliminate soot, smoke odor and fire residue from your personal contents. Detailed cleaning with appropriate detergents and techniques provide amazing results. Whenever possible we try to utilize “green” cleaning products to protect the homeowner and our environment. We have successfully cleaned items that were originally thought to be ruined.

During a fire, smoke can permeate every everywhere. It can flow around plumbing systems, travel from one floor to another, and drift through air ducts where the odor becomes trapped.

Soot is oily and can easily stain carpets, draperies and other fabrics. Everything becomes covered in soot, and the odor can be extremely difficult to get rid of. If not properly removed by a professional, soot and smoke odor will keep coming back.

Our ability to pack out contents, clean them, and store them under one roof makes our contents cleaning a value asset in getting you back to pre-disaster condition. Our inventory control program tracks each item and makes locating your valuables during storage possible.

Mellon Certified Restoration also offers electronics cleaning for fire damaged contents. We have the ability to clean televisions, stereos, computers and other items of this nature.

Back to School!

February 18, 2014 by  
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Mellon Certified Restoration ‘‘Restores Order to Chaos’ Before First Bell!

On April 17, 2013 Penn Wood High School was secured for the evening following the conclusion of extracurricular activities that day. Approaching the end of the year, its 600 student body, teachers, and staff were focused on graduation, the prom, and life beyond the familiar walls of the school. In the early morning hours the next day, an individual with destruction on their mind pried open the back door of the school. The still unidentified culprit purposely set fire to two areas – a math classroom and the lobby of the building. Successful in their mission to cause chaos, both areas were completely destroyed by the fires and the ensuing smoke damage devastated both floors of the high school. Dirtying two floors of contents, closing 17 classrooms, all administrative offices, the five main hallways, and the auditorium the damage caused the school year to grind to a halt. Working quickly, the school district was able to make temporary arrangements at a sister campus so the school year could be completed. Shortened days, additional bus routes, and alternative room arrangements made for a much disrupted end of year. Without a feasible backup plan for the following school year, the restoration needed to be completed in time for the first day of school. Just four months to go and with no “Plan B” our team immediately set to work!

The school wisely took advantage of our full suite of restoration capabilities, we began by taking a detailed inventory of the contents inside the building. Our crews cataloged items in all the affected areas right down to the contents of each folder inside the filing cabinets. After giving everything a thorough cleaning we created an onsite inventory system to house all of the cleaned contents. Set up in two shifts we could work continuously throughout the day while limiting the amount of overtime required. Overall, by developing creative solutions throughout the project we were able to save more than 1.4 million dollars in the cost of the restoration.

Having been at the school essentially round the clock for four months, we truly became part of the Penn Wood High School family. The strong bond we’ve formed can be seen in the way our staff is greeted by students, faculty, and administrators. During a school assembly to review the restoration process we were able to show the students exactly how the transformation had taken place. As the photos were displayed of the blackened hallways and scorched memorabilia items it was obvious they were unaware of the extent to which the school was damaged. Those before photos (see below) were met with shock and outrage and the after photos rewarded with rowdy cheers and applause. Highlighting our team’s efforts was especially satisfying because of how close to “home” this loss actually was. More than just physically located near our corporate office there were also many of our own employees, including Jim Mellon, who had graduated from the school.

Motivated to make a difference in the community that had been a part of the lives of so many of his own employees, Mr. Mellon decided to continue to build on Mellon Certified Restoration’s commitment to education and certification. At the school assembly, the announcement was made that a Mellon Certified Restoration scholarship would be set up as part of an endowment fund at the school that would award a $1,000 scholarship each year to a college bound graduating senior. With the building fully restored and an investment made in their futures, students were ready to get “back to school”!