Ten Ways To Avoid A Kitchen Fire.

Did you know the kitchen is where more home fires occur than anywhere else in the house and that cooking is the number one cause of home fires? The American Red Cross has steps everyone can follow to avoid a cooking fire:

Image result for small kitchen fire


1. Never leave cooking food unattended – stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen, even for a second, turn off the stove.

2. Check your food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking.

3. Use a timer so you’ll remember that the stove or oven is on.

4. Don’t wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.

5. Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.

6. Keep anything that can catch fire – pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.

7. Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.

8. Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.]

9. Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.

10. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

 “Ten ways to avoid a kitchen fire.” Web blog post. Use red cross tips. American Red Cross, 04 Feb. 2014.

Are you prepared for a house fire?

Every day, house fires kill an average of seven people in this country, for an average of a little more than 2,500 people per year. Make sure you and your loved ones are protected and have a safe escape plan in the event that a fire occurs in your home.

In 2013, there were 1,240,000 fires reported in the United States. These fires caused 3,240 civilian deaths, 15,925 civilian injuries, and $11.5 billion in property damage. house-on-fire-with-black-smoke

  • 487,500 were structure fires, causing 2,855 civilian deaths, 14,075 civilian injuries, and $9.5 billion in property damage.
  • 188,000 were vehicle fires, causing 320 civilian fire deaths, 1050 civilian fire injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage.
  • 564,500 were outside and other fires, causing 65 civilian fire deaths, 800 civilian fire injuries, and $607 million in property damage.

The 2013 U.S. fire loss clock a fire department responded to a fire every 25 seconds. One structure fire was reported every 65 seconds.

  • One home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds.
  • One civilian fire injury was reported every 33 minutes.
  • One civilian fire death occurred every 2 hours and 42 minutes.
  • One outside fire was reported every 56 seconds.
  • One vehicle fire was reported every 167 seconds.


The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards. 60 percent of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. During a home fire, working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives.

Follow these steps during a house fire to make sure you get out safely.EscapePlanAA1_1

  • STEP 1: When you get out of your bed, you’ve got to stay very low, so try to crawl on the floor, or stay very low.
  • STEP 2: Before opening any door, check it for heat using your hands.
  • STEP 3: As you’re going down the stairway, you want to feel the wall for direction, so you can get down the stairs quicker.
  • STEP 4: Have one fire escape ladder in every upstairs bedroom mounted on a window to help family members escape safely. Fire ladders like the Kidde brand fire ladder can be purchased from Home Depot for as little as $35.
  • STEP 5: Once you’re out, stay out. Never go back into a burning home.

You should find somewhere safe to wait near the building. If there’s someone still inside, wait for the Fire and Rescue Service to arrive. You can tell them about the person and they will be able to find them quicker than you. If you go back into the building, you will slow down the fire-fighters’ efforts to rescue anyone else missing, as well as putting your own life in great danger.


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Why you should always hire a licensed contractor.

Being a licensed contractor in Florida is a privilege. Many do not understand the difference in being licensed and why some are not licensed. Obtaining and keeping your contracting license in Florida is expensive and there are requirements you must meet. An unlicensed company is taking the easy and unethical approach to assisting those in need.

Licensed or Unlicensed – Is It a Big Deal?

When you are in need for repairs questions run through your head: What does it mean to be licensed? Why are some contractors licensed and some are not? Does it really matter? Being a licensed contractor means they have passed all required testing, met the minimum experience level of four years, passed a credit and background check, and they must carry insurance to cover liability and workers compensation.

Risks of Hiring an Unlicensed Contractor:

  • No insurance – No liability: An unlicensed contractor typically is uninsured – you unlicensedmay end up being liable for personal or financial injuries to others. If they happen to damage your property, there is no insurance to cover that.
  • Poor qualifications and poor quality work: Unlicensed contractors usually do not have the education or qualifications required of a licensee. Therefore, they usually do poor quality work and do not finish the project, leaving the homeowner to pick up the pieces.
  • Possible criminal background: Unlicensed contractors also pose the threat for having a lengthy list of criminal history. This list may include violent crime, sexual offenses, substance abuse, fraud, and/or theft. Do you want someone like that working on your private property?
  • Scam artists: Unlicensed contractors often disappear after taking your money. The department cannot discipline an unlicensed person or help you with any recovery of repairs or money lost. These con artists usually try to scam those in need or urgent repairs such as hurricane damage.
  • Not covered under homeowner’s policy: Most homeowner policies require any repairs be done by a licensed individual.
  • Limited resources for broken contracts: If you have a dispute with a licensed contractor, you have rights and are able to contact the department who will take disciplinary action. However, this action is not available if the contractor is not licensed.
  • Noncompliance with building codes: Most projects require permits and inspections, unlicensed contractors usually ignore such things. If your project isn’t permitted or doesn’t comply with the building code you may have to remove or repair the work at your own expense and be subject to fines.

Before you agree to any repairs confirm the individual is licensed and has insurance. Below are helpful links for you to use:

Click here to verify a Pinellas County license

Click here to verify a State license

Why Hire a Licensed Contractor?

  •  A licensed person has the required education, experience, insurance and qualifications to obtain a license.  They must pass a competency examination before practicing.hire a liecensed contractor
  • Licensed individuals are screened for prior criminal history.
  • The department can discipline and even revoke a license if the person does not live up to professional standards.  This is a not a total safeguard, but is a strong incentive for the licensee to do good work.
  • You may be able to sue the licensee in civil court for problems related to the work done.

Why Should You Hire PRS?

PRS logoProfessional Restoration Services of Tampa Bay, Inc. holds 4 state licenses, multiple certifications and the experience to get the job done right. We strive for customer satisfaction and believe in ethical work. We are dedicated to people in need and we are available 24/7 365 days a year to assist you. We are certified to handle all stages of home restoration. Please take a look at our licenses and certifications below:

State Certified Building Contractor CBC #1258546
State Certified Mold Assessor #MRSA236
State Certified Mold Remediation Contractor #MRSR102
State Certified Home Inspector #HI907
State Certified Radon Measurement Technician #R2257
Crime & Trauma Scene Clean-Up
BBB Accredited Business
CMI #79154, CMRC #79178, WRT/ FSRT #135042
Clean Trust Certified Firm #187012 (formerly IICRC)
EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm, Lead-Safe Renovator #NAT-50994-1
FEIN# 270863221
Knight of Columbus
Community Associations Institute member

House Fire Clean up.

When a disaster like a fire happens you may not know what to do next. Who do I call, where do we go, or what to do now may be some of the thoughts running through your head. Homeowners and business owners may be in shock from the initial devastation.  It is important to try and follow the proper steps to achieve a complete fire restoration.  Service providers that are associated with the Institute will have the following distinctions:  current training, safety and health certifications, vast amounts of experience in restoration projects and the proper licenses and insurance information. 

 The first step in the process is to clean up as much of the existing area as possible. If the area is not immediately cleaned, soot residue and permanent damage can be left behind.  If the homeowner or business owner does the initial cleaning, it is important to follow these steps. When cleaning, always use dust masks and open the area for proper ventilation.  Clean from the ceilings to the floors and vacuum all floors and upholstery.  Wash any items that are able to be laundered.  Clean the outside with a pressure washer if available. 

 If immediate clean-up is not done, it can lead to devastating effects.  Within minutes of fire and smoke damage, appliances and many items will discolor to a yellow hue.  After a few hours, acid will stain bathrooms and many other areas of the home or business.  Within days, walls will discolor permanently and items will begin to rust due to the acid residue.   Finally, after weeks the cost of clean-up will become substantially more expensive. The building and furnishings can be permanently damaged by the acid left behind.  Soot residue will be layered throughout the home or business.  For these reasons, it is vital to contact a professional associated with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification Such as PRS of Tampa Bay to utilize fire restoration techniques in an effort to return the home or business to a pre-loss state. 

Here are some good fire safety tips to prevent future house fires.

  • ·         Stay at least three feet away from heating equipment, such as the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or space heater.
  • ·         Have a three foot “kid-free zone” around open fires
  • ·         Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • ·         Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters, and central heating equipment according to local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • ·         Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional as dust, creosote and even small animals tend to block flues.
  • ·         Turn off portable heaters when leaving the room and before going to bed.
  • ·         Use the fuel specified by the manufacturer fir fuel burning space heaters.
  • ·         Make sure wood fire places have a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. These screens also help keep small children a safe distance away.
  • ·         When cleaning your fireplace, make sure the ashes are cool before disposing them into a metal container a safe distance away from your home.
  • ·         As always test your smoke alarms every month. 

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Structural Drying

Structural drying is a cost effective way to bring your home or business back to pre-loss condition after water damage has occurred. It has evolved over the years. Before modern technology it was a guessing game using trial and error. Structural drying has become a science with many techniques used by professional restoration companies.IMG_2074-150x150312-6-150x150

Why would I need this service? Structural drying is needed to prevent secondary water damage to your property. Water damage can be deceptive. If not taken care of promptly, greater damage will surface when materials delaminate, shrink, split and further deteriorate to where costly repairs are required. It is needed after flood and water damage has occurred as well as when there is mold present.   If you have condensation on windows or  pipes that are within your walls, there could be damage occurring to your home or business. If water damage is not remediated properly and there is more than a 16% moisture content remaining in building materials, mold could be present and causing damage. Mold can start to grow within 24 hrs.

Before structural drying equipment and techniques are used,  thermal imaging  and video boroscoping can be done to detect hidden moisture within ceilings, in and behind walls, within and under floors and in other unseen structures where moisture can be hiding. Dehumidifiers, turbo drying fans and hydroxyl generators are used to remove water and excess moisture from the air, furniture, flooring, carpets, and spaces between walls. Porous building substances like drywall usually are not able to be dried and keep there integrity therefore they should be replaced. After remediation has happened, thermal imaging can show that the moisture has been removed.bedroom-thermal-imaging-150x150

Professional Restoration Services of Tampa Bay, Inc., has the technology and experience to do structural drying and get it done right the first time. They are available 24/7 by calling 727-NO-WATER. You can learn more about PRS and there services by going to www.prs24hr.com




What Does P.R.S. Do?


PRS of tampa bayDo you need reconstruction or remodeling work done to your home?  Whether it is for beautification, a growing family  or damage caused by flood, fire, smoke, wind or mold, reconstruction can be costly and time consuming. You should use a licensed contractor who will help you plan your reconstruction, make sure you have any permits that are required, stays within budget and is reliable.  It would be nice to have one company that fits that description and could do it all.  Well there is, Professional Restoration Services of Tampa Bay, Inc., is your one stop shop. 

With the experience and the use of modern technologies at there disposal PRS can handle any disaster restoration and remodeling job you need done.  They will work with you and your insurance company to do what your home needs from putting on an addition to replacing/restoring ceilings or floors and everything in between. From plumbing and electrical to cabinets and paint, PRS is able to handle the job so you don’t have to hire anyone else.

 P.R.S. services include:

  • Flood extraction (Water, Sewer & Storm)
  • Structural drying
  • Thermal Imaging/Video Boroscoping
  • Injection drying to remove hidden, hard to reach moisture
  • Mold inspections, mitigation and remediation
  • Emergency board-up/sealing and securing of premises
  • Packing inventory and storage of furniture, personal belongings, etc.
  • soft content restoration
  • Fire damage clean-up
  • Smoke odor and soot removal
  • Deodorizing, disinfecting and encapsulation
  • Odor Elimination using 100% “Green” technology
  • Home Inspections
  • Radon testing
  • Full reconstruction and property renovation

hire a liecensed contractor


Why Should You Hire P.R.S.?

Professional Restoration Services of Tampa Bay, Inc. holds 4 state licenses, multiple certifications and the experience to get the job done right. We strive for customer satisfaction and believe in ethical work. We are dedicated to people in need and are available 24/7,  365 days a year to assist you. We are certified to handle all stages of home restoration.

P.R.S. Credentials:

State Certified Building Contractor CBC #1258546
State Certified Mold Assessor #MRSA236
State Certified Mold Remediation Contractor #MRSR102
State Certified Home Inspector #HI907
State Certified Radon Measurement Technician #R2257
Crime & Trauma Scene Clean-Up
BBB Accredited Business
CMI #79154, CMRC #79178, WRT/ FSRT #135042
Clean Trust Certified Firm #187012 (formerly IICRC)
EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm, Lead-Safe Renovator #NAT-50994-1
FEIN# 270863221
Knight of Columbus
Community Associations Institute member


What is Thermal Imaging?

Thermal images 016bedroom-thermal-imaging-150x150What is thermal imaging? Thermal imaging is a technology used by professionals to detect changes in temperature within a specified area. Firefighters have used it to see in smoke filled rooms finding endangered people. They have also used it to find the base of the fire so it can be extinguished. It can be used to detect unseen damage to your home caused by a lightning strike. Thermal imaging can also be used to find the unseen water damage caused to a property. Areas of moisture can be detected because they will have a lower temperature than there drier surroundings.

In terms of restoration, thermal imaging is an essential tool in detecting water damage and ensuring its remediation is thoroughly done.  Water damage can be deceptive.  Saturation pockets can be found in unsuspecting places. It can be found in and between walls, in a crawl space or in an attic, in ceilings, and under flooring.  For example before pulling up a damaged carpet that has been “dried”, a thermal image can be taken to determine if there has been enough moisture left behind to support mold growth, reducing the chances of accidently releasing thousands of mold spores into the air.

Knowing where and how much damage there is can help you to determine whether or not it is cost effective for  you to restore your property. One advantage, if you decide to restore, is having the knowledge that thermal imaging technology exists and its use can give you peace of mind that your property has had all the water/moisture damaged removed and is safer for you and your family.

PRS, Professional Restoration Services of Tampa Bay, Inc., has the technology and experience to restore and remodel your home or business when damage occurs due to wind, fire, water and mold. Darren Clark of PRS is a licensed building contractor and inspector who is certified in mold mitigation and remediation. You can reach PRS 24/7 at 727-NO-WATER.  More information is available at www.PRS24hr.com.


Fire Prevention & Safety

Did you know that if a fire starts in your home, you may have just two minutes to escape? Did you also know that roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep?

The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards. Almost 60 percent of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. During a home fire, working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. home-fire-prevention-214x3001

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Test smoke alarms once a month, if they’re not working, change the batteries. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. Smoke alarms save lives. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. In fact, having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half! Never disable smoke or carbon monoxide alarms. Carbon monoxide alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms. Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas. If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door.

A few fire safety tips:

  • If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL for help.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month, if they’re not working, change the batteries.
  • Talk with all household members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.

Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home. After escaping from the home, make sure everyone knows where to meet outside in case of fire. Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1. Also, it is important to teach household members to stop, drop and roll if their clothes should catch on fire.




The Fire Damage Restoration Process

The process of fire restoration can be very involved. Private homeowners and companies can oftentimes be devastated by the damage caused by this kind of event.  One aspect that gives peace of mind involves knowing when the right professional has been hired. That is one of the reasons why it is important to hire a firm that is associated with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.

The process of fire damage restoration is neither simple nor easy. It doesn’t help either that homeowners are usually already traumatized enough by the fire itself. Nevertheless, restoration must begin from day one. Otherwise, you place your home at risk of even greater damage.


Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call PRS, which is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Our Professionals will carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, PRS can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. They will then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

PRS uses specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

They will clean all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. They’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

download (1)The fire damage restoration process is fairly complex and time-consuming. If done yourself, expect it to take several weeks minimum. Keep in mind that every day that passes only further worsens the damage that’s already present.








Benefits of Thermal Imaging

Thermal Imaging, also known as Infrared Thermagrophy, are visual displays of the amount of infrared energy emitted, transmitted, and reflected by an object. Thermal imaging uses high tech cameras that create pictures of heat rather than light. Where there is suspected water intrusion, these cameras help find areas that are not clearly visible to the naked eye.Thermal images 016

How does thermal imaging work?

All objects emit infrared energy (heat) as a function of their temperature. The infrared energy emitted by an object is known as its heat signature. In general, the hotter an object is, the more radiation it emits. A thermal imager (also known as a thermal camera) is essentially a heat sensor that is capable of detecting tiny differences in temperature. The device collects the infrared radiation from objects in the scene and creates an electronic image based on information about the temperature differences. Because objects are rarely precisely the same temperature as other objects around them, a thermal camera can detect them and they will appear as distinct in a thermal image.

Thermal images are normally grayscale in nature: black objects are cold, white objects are hot and the depth of gray indicates variations between the two. Some thermal cameras, however, add color to images to help users identify objects at different temperatures.bedroom thermal imaging

What are the benefits of thermal imaging?

#1: Moisture Intrusion

Thermal imaging will not detect mold, but it can detect potential moisture or water intrusion behind a wall by detecting the temperature variations behind the wally and identifying the cold spots. Once a cold spot is found, a moisture meter can be used to verify if there is moisture behind the wall. Once the moisture problem is found, it is imperative that it is fixed to prevent further mold growth and poor health. identifying the cause of moisture and fixing it will prevent future mold growth that could impact the structural integrity and value of the home, not to mention the potential health impact that mold has.

#2: Detecting Insufficient or Improperly Installed Insulation

Thermal imaging detects hot/cold spots in walls where insulation could have slouched over time, was incorrectly installed, or where insulation was never installed at all. If you are trying to reduce heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer, this is very important to know.

#3: Loose or Damaged Electrical Components

Thermal imaging can identify electrical hot spots which are caused by loose, damaged, or dirty connections which cause heating issues. When this occurs, over time the connections can degrade causing the circuit breaker to trip or fail and eventually start a fire.

Thermal imaging is essential for new and existing home owners because it can detect serious problems that the naked eye can not see, including: plumbing leaks; moisture intrusion; inadequate or non-existent insulation; heating and cooling losses; abnormal heat from an appliance or electrical system; unwanted animals; and poor construction. All of these problems can cause extensive damage to your home.

 PRS logo (2)