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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Can Homeowners Reduce Bathroom Exhaust Fan Fire Risk?

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

bathroom exhaust fan Bathroom exhaust fans rarely catch fire. But if it happens in your home, be sure to contact the experienced professionals at SERVPRO for assistance.

IICRC-Certified Technicians Render Fire Damage Restoration Services for San Francisco Homes.

While bathroom exhaust fan fires account for a small percentage of home structure fires, they can cause a disproportionate amount of damages compared to other fires. Soot residues and char can settle in your HVAC system and adjacent rooms in your San Francisco home, which can lead to significant odors and potential corrosion from acidic residues.

SERVPRO provides rapid-response fire damage restoration to San Francisco residents within hours of their initial contact. These Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)-accredited pros are also licensed to render general contracting services to perform structural repairs after mitigating fire damage (license #937457).

How Can Homeowners Maintain an Exhaust Fan to Minimize Fire Risk?

While bathroom exhaust fans rarely catch fire and sport an increasing number of safety features to prevent them, a little bit of maintenance once or twice a year can go a long way toward reducing your fire risk. Keep these tips in mind while maintaining your exhaust fan:

  • Remove dust and dirt. After removing the cover from your exhaust fan, wipe down or submerge it in soapy water before drying. Ducts can be cleaned with a flexible duct cleaning extension kit, which can be found at most hardware stores. Depending on how it is installed, it may be necessary to remove the fan itself before cleaning the ducts. Your local electrician is more than happy to perform these services for you.
  • Use low wattage LED light bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs use significantly less wattage to achieve the desired amount of light for your bathroom, which is a must for preventing an overheating exhaust fan.
  • Quickly clean exhaust fans with compressed air. You likely already have a can or two of this in your home for keeping electronics clean. Make sure to turn the fan on before spraying it with canned air to get as much dust out as possible between deep cleanings.
  • Make a routine out of bathroom exhaust fan cleaning. The beauty of the bathroom exhaust fan is that it only needs to be maintained annually or semiannually to keep it in good shape, with quick cleaning in between servicing.

Bathroom exhaust fan fires are most commonly created by dust and dirt buildup that causes the fan motor to overheat. However, even with proper maintenance, disasters can still occur. That is why SERVPRO is committed to assisting homeowners 24/7.

Do New Bathroom Exhaust Fans Have Additional Safety Features?

San Francisco homeowners can breathe a sigh of relief with the knowledge that modern bathroom exhaust fans offer a bevy of safety features. These features are dedicated to reducing your energy costs as well as your home fire risk and include:

  • Thermal protectors, which were used as early as the early 1990s to reduce potential home structure fire risk.
  • Thermal fuses, which shut off the fan when the motor hits a specific temperature, usually around 260 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Time switches can also be installed to automatically shut off the exhaust fan after it has run for a designated amount of time. This function prevents a failure that results from running the fan for too long.

Hardware stores can also assist you with ensuring that your exhaust fan is the right size for the room. The general rule of thumb is to choose a fan that circulates at a rate of cubic feet per minute (CFM) that matches your bathroom’s size. A fan that is too small for your bathroom can overheat more easily.

Can SERVPRO Techs Restore a Fire-Damaged Ventilation System?

Restoration technicians at SERVPRO can replace fire-damaged flex duct ventilation. In contrast, sheet metal ducts can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before reinstallation. Minding the ventilation system after a home fire is crucial for several reasons:

  • After fire suppression efforts, mold remediation may be necessary depending on how long the structure has been saturated. Mold growth can increase rapidly in as little as 24 hours.
  • Ducts free of soot deposits and soils do not spread fire damage odors through the rest of the home for a protracted period.
  • Sometimes, replacement is more cost-effective than repair for homeowners, especially with more fragile materials like flex duct.

After removing soils, SERVPRO Odor Control Technicians (OCTs) can focus on eliminating fire damage odors that spread through vents with thermal foggers, trays of scented granules placed at vent intakes, and EPA-registered antimicrobial solutions.

SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos is proud to assist the community with Faster to Any Size Disaster service, time after time. Call (650) 591-4137 for emergency-response mitigation and restoration services.

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