Recent Fire Damage Posts

Space Heater Safety

5/16/2022 (Permalink)

Every year, over 25,000 house fires can be attributed to the incorrect usage of space heaters, according to Consumer Reports.

Fighting the cold weather using these machines can be safe — referring to NFPA’s (National Fire Protection Association) “Heater Checklist” will guide you into making the correct decisions to ensure a safe home/environment for your space heater to do its work.

Some of these tips include, but are not limited to:

  • When buying a space heater, make sure that the unit has a seal from a qualified testing laboratory on it.
  • Keeping children away from these heaters will limit bodily injury and poor usage of the units.
  • Make sure the unit is placed on a solid, flat surface.
  • Allow at least 3 feet of space between the space heater and anything else, including humans. Items that tend to catch fire are: curtains, bedding or upholstered furniture.
  • Turn off the units when you leave the room or before you go to bed.

If your property has been damaged due to a fire and you suspect that your space heater was the cause, call your local SERVPRO franchise for all of your restoration needs.

Summer Fire Safety

4/27/2022 (Permalink)

A home with a boarded up outer wall with grills on the grass outside Have fun and stay cool this summer but remember these tips to stay safe. If summer fun leads to any fire damage, know that Team McCabe is here to help

As we head into spring and summer I think we can say we are all excited to switch out the space heater for the air conditioner, and get the grill set up on the porch. However, the next few months bring their own set of hazards to be aware of. Fires can start for many reasons but the leading causes of fires in the summer are due to grills, air conditioners, fireworks and smoking.

According to the National Fire Incident Reporting System there are approximately 5,700 grill related fires each year. These fires cause just under $40 million in damages, 100 injuries and 10 deaths each year. Always check your grilling area to make sure it is safe before you ignite it. Be sure your grill is 10 feet from any home, shed or other structure. It should also be secure on a flat surface with nothing above you that could have the potential to ignite, and no trip hazards in the immediate area. Your grill should always be cleaned after use but before your first BBQ of the season make sure to give it a deep cleaning, checking for grease left behind from last season. Along with all these precautions it is always recommended to keep an extinguisher nearby in case of a fire.

Air conditioners also make up a large number of summer fires. This is typically caused by faulty wiring and over use. An air conditioner catching fire also has the potential of causing any contents in the surrounding area to catch fire so be aware of what you put near your windowsill. 2pm - 8pm is the most common time for an air conditioning fire due to the continuous use throughout the day. Be sure to use other methods to cool your house and rotate out the air conditioner with fans and by keeping windows open overnight. Air conditioners are only meant to keep your home 15 to 20 degrees cooler than the outside temperature so if you are attempting to run it at any lower temperature you run the risk of overuse. 

We all make our personal choice to smoke or not knowing the dangers that come along with it. However during the summer months smoking can also cause fire hazards. According to the NFIRS, smoking fires are the leading cause of fatal fires. Always make sure your cigarette is kept away from the ground while lit and properly extinguished before being disposed of.

Fireworks also lead to a number of fires in the summer causing about 50,000 fires annually. It is important to always light fireworks in a dry area away from buildings and other structures. They should always be lit one at a time and never relit. Be sure that no kids are in the area and a hose is kept nearby. If children are using sparklers, always be sure it is done under adult supervision.  Be sure before use that you review safety with them including no running and always holding the lit end away from themselves and others.

Have fun and stay cool this summer but remember these tips to stay safe. If summer fun leads to any fire damage, know that Team McCabe is here to help. 

We Do Board Ups!

4/18/2022 (Permalink)

After an emergency involving one's own property, whether it be a bad storm, fire or water damage, many properties need to be boarded up. Board ups are done to prevent the properties from incurring any further damage before the remediation process can begin. Board ups are one thing that should be left to the professionals. Most people are experiencing emotional trauma after an emergency involving their own property. By calling SERVPRO in for a board up, it relieves some of the stress and leaves our customers with time to deal with the accident on their own time.

Aside from the board up, we also can start the remediation and restoration process as soon as possible.  Our services are available 24/7 and we always have a crew on call ready to assist in emergency situations.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

1/3/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call Us Today 

Ho! Ho! Puff?: A Cold Weather Dilemma Puff Back

12/23/2021 (Permalink)

Puff back smoke residue on a wall above a cabinet SERVPRO is here to help after any disaster big or small. Puff back can damage your walls, carpets, and electronics. Let SERVPRO

Crank up the heat! The colder weather is upon us and your heaters are soon going to be roaring back to life. For many of us, our heating systems will turn on flawlessly and get to work toasting our freezing feet. But for many others, the consequences of having left your heater sit unattended and inactive throughout the warm-weather months; can leave you with a costly and time-consuming mess.

Puff Backs are a result of a misfiring in your furnace. This misfire causes an explosion of soot and debris that shoot back into your home leaving your walls, furnishings, carpets and many other household items coated in a difficult-to-remove film. The explosion of soot brings to the forefront an underlying, usually simple, problem with the mechanics of your furnace such as a valve or filter in need of replacement.

However, even though the mechanical fix may be relatively simple, you won’t realize just how many things can be affected in your home by a puff back until you have one happen. The soot somehow finds a way into the smallest nooks and spaces of your home leaving you with a very difficult mess to clean up.

The best thing for you to do in this situation is to call in the professionals. The soot and debris are not only hard to clean up but may be dangerous without the proper knowledge due to the chemicals released during the explosion.

SERVPRO has a very unique, hands-on approach to dealing with puff backs which we tailor to every incident. If a puff back occurs on a porous material/surface, for example, then we are able to perform a more abrasive wet-cleaning process. However, if the soot has landed on a non-porous material/surface, then our highly-trained techs will spend the time strenuously cleaning your walls and surfaces with a dry sponge ensuring that everything in your home returns to its pre-damage condition.

Some things you may be able to do to prevent a puff back include;

Ensuring your oil-heating system is free of dust and debris

Inspect and provide service to your heating system before you need to use it

If you hear strange noises or begin to see any soot residue around your furnace, call your heating company immediately

If you are unable to perform those steps or if you find yourself standing in an inch-deep pile of soot and debris, call SERVPRO today and we’ll send our crews out to make it, “Like it never even happened.”

Cooking Safety

12/23/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO equipment in a kitchen Make sure to always cook safely, accidents can happen at any time. If there's any mishap in the kitchen call SERVPRO to help.

“Cooking with Caution”

Be on Alert. Do not cook if you are sleepy or have consumed any alcohol. This can potentially create dangerous situations. Do not use the stovetop or stove if you are under the influence.

Be sure to stay in the kitchen while frying, boiling, grilling or broiling food. Always turn off the stove if you have to leave the kitchen, no matter how quick you may be.

If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in your home while it is cooking, or use a timer so you do not forget about it.

Be sure your kitchen is free of clutter and no loose items are near the stove. This reduces the chance of anything catching on fire.

If you have a small grease/ cooking fire and decide to fight the fire…

On the stovetop, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Leave the pan to covered until it is completely cool.

If the fire is inside the oven, shut the oven off and keep the door closed.

If you have any doubt about fighting a small fire…

Just leave the house! When leaving be sure to close the door behind you to help contain the fire.

Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from outside the house.

Content by: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Campaigns/Fire-Prevention-Week/Safety-Tip-Sheets

Electronic Cleanup

10/24/2021 (Permalink)

Electronics Restoration Photo courtesy of ERS-US.com

Electronic Cleanup

Fire-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by fire as they are prone to overheating upon startup. Another danger is that smoke residues can contain acids that corrode metal surfaces. If the residues are not removed, corrosion causes electronic failure in the device. There are even different types of smoke residues that can cause different levels of damage. Because of this we urge you again, not to attempt to turn these electronics on or clean them at home. A SERVPRO Franchise will coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including:

  • Television sets
  • DVD players
  • Computers
  • And more

The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. Electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician.

Document Drying

10/22/2021 (Permalink)

Documents Damaged Documents

Document / Photograph Drying

When your valuable documents, including sentimental photographs, wills, passports, marriage certificates, and other types of identification, are damaged by water or fire, extreme caution should be taken to help ensure the damage does not destroy the document. Although some documents may not be restored to pre-fire damage condition, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can save a great deal and help minimize any additional damage. We recognize that in some cases these documents can be difficult to replace or sometimes even irreplaceable, these are important to you which makes them important to us. Learn more about our document restoration services on our website.

Depending on the type of documents and the level of fire, smoke, or soot damage, they have five options for the restoration of documents:

  1. Air Drying
  2. Dehumidification
  3. Freezer Drying
  4. Vacuum Freeze Drying
  5. Vacuum Thermal Drying

Contents Restoration

10/21/2021 (Permalink)

Cleaning Fire Damaged Contents SERVPRO Fire Technicians cleaning

Contents Restoration

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals specialize in restoring contents damaged by water, fire, or mold. Their expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. They pretest your belongings to determine what items they can restore to pre-fire condition. They use several methods of cleaning your contents, 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.

Contents Restoration

10/21/2021 (Permalink)

Move Out /Pack Out SERVPRO Technicians preparing items for a move out

Move-Outs/Pack-Outs

If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning due to fire damage, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. A move-out has several benefits, including:

  • A quicker remodeling process
  • Protecting items from potential damage
  • Protecting contents from further on-site damage

When restoration is completed, they will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage. 

Fire Damage Services

10/12/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Cleaning SERVPRO trained Technicians Cleaning

Fire Damage Repair and Restoration

Fires can be especially devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. They also can remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet. 

Please refer to our Fire Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

215-848-8875

After a Fire Do's and Dont's

10/12/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Tips SERVPRO Fire Technician

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.