Recent Fire Damage Posts

Post Fire Hazards: Electronics!

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

As you investigate the damage that a fire caused in your home or business, it is important to remember that fire-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard!

You SHOULD NOT attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by fire. Smoke residues can contain acids that corrode metal surfaces; if the residues are not removed, corrosion causes electronic failure in the device.

Do not try and clean these items, either. 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 and returned to you if we deem the safe to use!

Choose SERVPRO for Your Fire Loss!

10/4/2019 (Permalink)

Your local SERVPRO professionals are highly specialized in fire and water damage restoration and have even more experience in cleaning up your home or property quickly!

We understand that your fire loss has put your life on hold; why should we take our good ol’ time fixing up what you need done NOW? Our technicians will restore your home to pre-fire conditions fast, all while we remove pervasive smoke odors and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpets.

Our 24/7 emergency service is guaranteed to be faster to any size disaster, which cements our place as one of the trusted leaders in the restoration industry. We use this pedestal to continually provide exceptional service on a daily basis, in hopes of providing our great work to anyone in need of restoration services.

SERVPRO is Ready for ANY Fire Loss!

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

Large losses, due to unexpected fires, can be especially devastating to your home or business. You may even find yourself very distraught as the fire trucks leave, worrying about how much 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. 

How are we ready for any fire loss, though?

SERVPRO provides 24/7 emergency services, giving us a certain edge in the restoration industry - we boast the fact that we are always faster to any size disaster! From the moment you call in, to the moment we arrive on location ... SERVPRO is here for you!

What is fire?

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

Unfortunately, we all hear of house or wildfires entirely too much; by the time we hear that these fires are ongoing and active, it is usually too late and the damage is already done.

However, it is on us to understand what fire is, how it is caused, and what measures we can take to prevent a disaster to happen to us or in our communities. With that, we refer to’s article, What is fire?

According to their article, “fire is the visible effect of the process of combustion — a special type of chemical reaction. It occurs between oxygen in the air and some sort of fuel. The products from the chemical reaction are completely different from the starting material.”

The fuel must be heated to its ignition temperature for combustion to occur. The reaction will keep going as long as there is enough heat, fuel and oxygen. The combination of these occurrences is known as the Fire Triangle.

Sparing further scientific references, it is important to practice safety when dealing with fire or flammable objects. Be sure to always have a means of extinguishing a fire if you plan on having one; if you do decide to participate in a controlled burn, make sure that you do so in an area that’s not likely to catch fire in the event of an unfortunate accident!

SERVPRO of Germantown on site cleaning after a school fire

6/9/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Germantown cleaning a school after a fire

SERVPRO of Germantown is a proud supporter and restoration business partner of the PSBA, Pennsylvania School Board Association.  Many schools count on us to help them in their time of need.  We have the staff and resources to help schools recover efficiently 

Commercial Fire Loss in Philadelphia

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Germantown is always ready to load up and respond to any emergency situation. Today, we responded to a large, commercial fire site in Philadelphia, where our experienced technicians began to restore the property to its original state.

From the moment we become aware of a loss, down to the completion of the job, our staff is locked in every step of the way. It is during the morning briefs, the preparation of equipment, the drive to the loss, and to the arrival on site where our crew focuses on the tasks at hand to deliver quality, efficient restoration work.

So as we tackle this large loss today, and as we are ready do so in the future, SERVPRO of Germantown is committed to providing superior service — in every aspect of the job — GUARANTEED!

SERVPRO Safety Tips: Space Heater Dangers

4/1/2019 (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.

-Content by Rob D’Emilio Jr.

SERVPRO Safety Tips: Dealing with Fire Damage

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), an estimated average of 355,400 homes had caught fire and were responded to by U.S. fire departments from 2012 to 2016. These fires contributed to millions of dollars in damages, often leaving homeowners in the unfortunate situation of dealing with the wreckage.

When your home falls victim to a fire, SERVPRO wants you to know how to handle the situation effectively and by limiting the amount of harmful contaminants and soot you interact with.

You should:

  • Try to limit the amount of foot traffic in your home, for moving around frequently can further embed soot particles into your carpet and upholstery.
  • Gather old linens and dry towels to place on rugs, carpets and upholstery in high, foot traffic areas.
  • Soot on your hands can be easily spread throughout your home, so be sure to keep them clean to avoid soiling walls, upholstery, etc.

You shouldn’t:

  • Try to wash any walls or painted surfaces — or shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture — without first contacting your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to the fire, for they may be contaminated and not safe to ingest.
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet; the wiring may be faulty and could pose negative health effects, like electric shock and secondary damage due to increased air movement.

Instead of possibly causing further damage to your home after a fire, or putting your health at risk, call your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals to take care of it for you. Our team will help you every step of the way, providing top-tier work and ERBs (Emergency Response Bags) for your convenience.

For more information about our fire restoration services, or for information regarding our ERBs, call your local SERVPRO franchise today!

- Content by Rob D'Emilio Jr.

Cooking Safety

10/12/2018 (Permalink)

This past week was National Fire Prevention Week. Every day we posted different fire safety tip sheets from the National Fire Protection Association’s Website. Today we shared information on how to stay safe in the kitchen.

“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.

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What To Do & What Not To Do After a Fire

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

After a fire coming back to the house or building were it happened can be a very emotional experience. Here are some tips of what to do and what not to do in in your house after a fire.

What To Do After a Fire:

  • Keep hands clean so as to not furth soil an upholstery, walls or woodwork.
  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas
  • If electricity is off, empty the freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change the HVAC filter.

What NOT To Do After a Fire:

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

Content by: SERVPRO Corporate

The Makeup of Smoke

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

There are several components that make up smoke. Learning about these components can lead to a better understanding of just how badly smoke damage can be after a fire. Each part contributes a part to the odor a fire leaves. Particles are the partially or completely burned substances that can penetrate fabrics and surfaces. These can be toxic at times. Vapors are a fog-like, misty droplets that can become dangerous if one inhales or absorbs them. The third component is toxic gases. Although these are odorless, carbon monoxide is the most common gas that will result from a fire and is dangerous. Phosgene gas results from household products like plastics, vinyls, and other chemicals are burned. Hydrogen cyanide is a product of the burning and combustion of insulation, clothing, carpet, synthetics and plastics. Due to the complex makeup of smoke and all the different ways it can be produced, it is hard to get the smoky odor out of many household items unless cleaned by a professional service.  

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Stop, Drop, Roll and Extinguish: The A,B,C ‘s of Fire Extinguishers

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Fire extinguishers are a common site in most houses across the United States as many states have implemented laws requiring each household to have one. What most people don’t know is that there are actually four different classes of fire extinguishers which work to put out different types of fires. It is important to be informed of these different classes in order to purchase the best extinguisher for your own house or apartment.

The classes of extinguishers are labeled as Class A, B, C, and D - each best for putting out a different type of fire.

  • Class A extinguishers: best at putting out fires in ordinary combustible materials, such as wood and paper
  • Class B extinguishers: best for use on flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil and grease
  • Class C extinguishers: best for use only on electrically energized fires
  • Class D extinguishers: best for use on flammable metals

Although there are four different classes, most fire extinguishers are sold as a combination of the classes to cover a broader range of fires. Some will be sold as A-B, or even A-B-C. Next time you are at the store shopping for you new extinguisher make sure you keep this information in mind to help you prepare best for any type of fire you may be faced with.

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Common Fire Safety Tips

8/27/2018 (Permalink)


  • Never leave your stove unattended while on. Be sure to pay attention even more closely when frying food.
  • Keep your kitchen clean! This seems like an obvious tip but sometimes life gets to us and we let things get away from us. Make sure you are keeping your kitchen clutter free and keep flammable items away from the stove.
  • Wear tight clothing to limit the possibility of a sleeve hanging over the lit stovetop.
  • Install a smoke detector in your kitchen and make sure it always is working properly.

Laundry Room:

  • The proper dryer duct should vent directly outdoors. If it is not it can lead to the discharge of combustible gasses from the machine.
  • Buy a hard metal duct with as few bends as possible and avoid plastic ones. These are more easily melted and ignited.
  • Always clean your ducts out of lint. Clean your lint trap after every dryer use as well. This is help reduce the chance of a dryer fire and help contain it if one does break out.

By Hearth and Candlelight

  • Never leave a fire unattended. This seems like common sense but time can get away from you at home.
  • Use a screen in front of your hearth. Be sure to buy one that covers the whole opening. This can prevent logs from rolling out and is an extra added safety precaution.
  • Perform regular inspections on both your chimney and woodstoves. These items should be cleaned and checked for any damage to ensure they function as safely as possible.

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SERVPRO supports PFESI and First Responders

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Announcement made by PFESI

PFESI welcomes SERVPRO as the new sponsor of the Statewide Advisory Board.

Please thank your local SERVPRO representative for their support of PAs. Emergency Services.

PFESI also thanks Delaware County Firemen's Association for their 3 year renewal of their sponsorship.

The support of fire service organizations is critical to us. If your fire department or county organization is not a sponsor please consider a contribution.

This announcement was made in 2016 and today SERVPRO continues our support of PFESI. This support allows us to make a difference in every community in Pennsylvania.

SERVPRO is proud to support our Community First Responders and Heroes.
You will find us at many events throughout the Commonwealth extending our support in every way possible. SERVPRO wants everyone to know you can count on us prior to an emergency. Please reach out to any SERVPRO and we will provide tips for preparation, prevention, response and recovery from building emergencies.

The Fire Damage Restoration Process

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals know just how devastating a fire can be. Fire and water damage can leave your house unsafe and unlivable. They’re trained to clean and restore your home with as little disruption as possible. Learn more about the fire damage restoration process.

Step1: Emergency Contact
Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed) Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present) Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
Step 6: Cleaning and Repair
Step 7: Restoration

Preparing Your Family for an Emergency

6/20/2017 (Permalink)

Prevent This Disaster!

Preparing Your Home for an Emergency

Taking the Necessary Steps

Have you ever stopped to wonder what it is like for those who have suffered the loss of everything they own and love in a home fire? Have you ever wondered what it would like be if it were you?

If you have stopped to think about the impact a fire or other related emergency could have on you and your family, then you’re a step ahead! If not, it is time to start emergency planning now because the best thing you can be in the event of an emergency is, prepared.

It is important to keep in mind every second counts and having a plan in place could mean the difference between life and death.

Here are some tips to help properly prepare:

  1. Plan and practice your emergency escape route
  2. Locate all known and potential exits from your home
  3. Purchase a home fire extinguisher and store it in a safe, easy-to-locate place
  4. Install and properly maintain a smoke detector
  5. Ask your local fire department to inspect your home for fire safety

In addition to the steps mentioned above, SERVPRO offers an Emergency Ready Profile for your home or business. This profile contains all important information such as water and gas shut off locations and key contacts in one convenient location.

If you are interested in getting your home ready for a possible emergency, call us today! (215)-536-7989.

Ho! Ho! Puff?: A Cold Weather Dilemma

9/27/2016 (Permalink)

The result of a puff back!

Puff Back

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;

  1. Ensuring your oil-heating system is free of dust and debris
  2. Inspect and provide service to your heating system before you need to use it
  3. 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!”