Recent Fire Damage Posts

Kerosene Fire Cleanup

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Kerosene Fire Cleanup Kitchen Cabinets covered it soot from Kerosene fire.

This Greencastle mobile home was used as a show home for potential buyers. When a Kerosene heater was left unattended and malfunctioned causing soot to go threw out the home. SERVPRO of Chambersburg cleaned the surfaces and got the walls ready for paint. It's important in a smoke/soot lose for the surfaces to be cleaned prior to painting so the paint will stick to the walls and cover the staining remaining. 

If your home has a smoke/soot issue, call SERVPRO of Chambersburg today at 717-261-0310. Don't attempt to clean anything as it could make it an irreversible event. 

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have Smoke or Fire Damage? Call (717) 261-0310

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 us.
  • 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

Preventing Puffbacks

10/24/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Preventing Puffbacks During the Cleaning process after a puff back

A puffback is a messy furnace malfunction that occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout the interior of a home. It can happen all at once, covering the interior in grimy soot, or it can leak soot more gradually.

Initially, many people mistake soot for dust and simply wipe it away. However, once cleaned, this “dust” often reappears and can sometimes be accompanied by a strong, oily odor. There are several steps your clients can take to prevent damage to their home. Remind them to:

  • Have the oil-burning furnace professionally checked and cleaned annually.
  • Keep an eye out for traces of soot around their home.
  • Install a carbon monoxide monitor. Puffbacks (and the soot they create) will increase the carbon monoxide levels in their home. A carbon monoxide monitor can help to detect the puffback in its early stages.

If soot begins accumulating on objects or walls within their home, they should turn off the heating system immediately. Contact a heating professional to service the heater and restore it to proper working order.

Fortunately, if your client does experience a puffback, SERVPRO has the knowledge and experience to complete a thorough cleaning and removal of any soot and odors. Our Fire Restoration Team will respond immediately and make it look Like it never even happened®.

Steps in Fire Restoration

10/24/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Steps in Fire Restoration Fire damage in a kitchen caused by a toaster

After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Today 1-800-SERVPRO

Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call the SERVPRO National Call Center, which is staffed 24 hours a day. Our representative will ask a series of questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us dispatch the nearest SERVPRO Franchise Professional with the appropriate equipment and resources.

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, the SERVPRO Franchise Professional 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

The SERVPRO Franchise Professionals use 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.

What to do after a fire damage

10/24/2016 (Permalink)

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

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 us.
  • 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.

Overlooked Fire Hazards in Your Home

9/29/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Overlooked Fire Hazards in Your Home Fire Damage caused by a toaster in a kitchen

A fire can cause devastating damage your home. It’s important to take extra precautions to avoid fire hazards before they can cause irreversible damage. Often times fires are caused by something that we’ve completely overlooked. Here are a few fire hazards you should be aware of to stay ahead of the curve.

Faulty Wiring

Over 80% of residential electrical fires are a result of faulty wiring behind your walls. Winter months are surprisingly the most dangerous due to increased usage of lighting and heating appliances. Replace frayed wires and have flickering or hot light switches inspected by an electrician. New infrared technology is available that can determine if there are potential wiring hazards behind your walls.

Cluttered Heating and Storage Areas

Storing too many things in your utility room and around your heating system, boiler, or hot water heater is not a great idea. Investing in exterior storage could prevent a fire in your home.

Overloaded Extension Cords

Extension cords are not permanent outlets. Overloading an extension cord can cause overheating and put your entire home at risk of a fire. Regularly check your extension cords to make sure they are not damaged or broken. Stop using an extension cord immediately if it feels unusually hot.

Dryer Vents

If you notice that your clothes are taking longer than usual to dry it could be a sign that your dryer vent and pipe need servicing. A blocked dryer vent can cause a fire as the hot air attempts to escape. Clean your dryer vents annually and replace the dryer hose.

Electric Blankets

An electric blanket can be cozy in the wintertime, but they are also a fire hazard if left unattended for too long. Make sure your electric blankets are turned off when not in use and do not leave them around pets.

Excessive Greenery

Although shrubs and leaves can make a home look naturally attractive, too much greenery around the exterior of your home is a fire waiting to happen. Keeping the area just outside your walls clear can avoid a disaster in your future.

Get Fire Damage Repair and Restoration at SERVPRO

Does Your Home Have a Fire Escape Plan?

9/29/2016 (Permalink)

Every household or commercial business should develop a plan in case of an emergency fire. Fire outbreaks can not only cause a lot of home calamity, but also loss of life. The National Fire Protection Association recommends bring your family together to make a plan, including inspecting all possible exits and routes. So how do you make a fire escape plan, and what should it include? Here are a few things you should consider.

Planning a Fire Escape Basics

  • There should be two ways to get out of every room, and all members of your household should be aware of them.
  • Add escape ladders to areas or homes above the second floor, especially sleeping areas. Train household members in how to use them and store them near windows.
  • Practice home fire drills periodically (at least twice a year) so that everyone knows how to do one in less than two minutes. The objective of a fire drill is to practice, not to frighten, so a planned drill can be just as effective.
  • Teach younger family members the stop, drop, and roll method for dealing with clothes that have caught fire.
  • Make special arrangements in your plan for infants or anyone with a disability. Assign someone to assist disabled family members in case of an emergency.
  • Install smoke alarms inside and outside of every sleeping area of your home.
  • Find an outside meeting place that’s a safe distance away from your home that everyone can reach after an escape. Make sure everyone is aware of its location.
  • Always choose the safest escape route, meaning the one with least amount of smoke and heat. Practice getting low and traveling beneath smoke when you perform a fire drill.
  • Close doors on the way out during a fire to slow it down and give you more time to safely escape. In situations where fire prevents you from leaving the home, you should practice “sealing yourself in for safety” as part of your fire escape plan. Put as many doors between you and the fire as possible, and cover air vents to prevent smoke from reaching you. Open windows at the top and bottom so fresh air can get in.
  • Under no circumstances should you ever go back inside a burning building. Do not try to retrieve belongings. If someone is still inside, inform the fire department dispatcher when you call. Only a trained firefighter has the skills and equipment needed to perform a rescue.

Fire Damage Tips

5/13/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage Tips Fire damage clean up using specialty cleaning productions.

A fire 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 of Chambersburg has 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.

Board-ups - In some cases firefighters may break windows and cut holes in the roof in order to vent the fire. It is extremely important to secure openings to your home or structure using sturdy, durable materials designed to protect it from both weather intrusion and intrusion by outsiders.

Types of Fire/Smoke/Soot

Wet Smoke – Plastics and Synthetics; Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood; Fast burning, high temperatures, dry, powdery, non-smeary residues.

Protein – Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace Puff Backs. Other Types – Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue.

What to do after a fire:

  • 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.
  • What NOT to do after a fire:

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree 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
  • Soot Cleanup & Smoke Cleanup

    5/13/2016 (Permalink)

    Fire Damage Soot Cleanup & Smoke Cleanup Soot cleanup after a furnace malfunction

    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 Chambersburg 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.

    SERVPRO of Chambersburg- 717-261-0310

    How To Select The Right Fire Restoration Company

    4/25/2016 (Permalink)

    When you find that your property is subjected to fire damage, it’s crucial that you address the issue as quickly as possible. If you don’t, you run the risk of exposing your home or office space to structural damage and mold issues. The secret to ensuring that your residential or commercial property does not undergo this unwanted damage is hiring the right fire restoration company. When you find the ideal team of remediation specialists, they will be able to complete the cleanup, drying, and repair processes with speed and skill. Learn more about the helpful services offered by fire restoration companies by reviewing the short outline provided below:

    Why You Need Professional Services
    Often, commercial and residential property owners seek to complete the fire restoration process on their own. This step is never recommended and can be quite dangerous. Unfortunately, most members of the general public do not possess the experience, education, and experience necessary to expedite and optimize the fire restoration process. One of many problems you may face in attempting to complete a DIY project is that you will likely not be able to spot hidden signs of damage. Professionals possess the extensive training and knowledge to perform this type of work, and that’s why you should leave the remediation process to them.

    How Your Insurance Provider Can Help You
    Once you realize that hiring a fire restoration company is the ideal course of action following a fire, you may wonder how to get started. In some cases, your insurance provider can help you. Specifically, some insurance companies will provide their clients with referrals to the fire restoration professionals they trust. Attaining this type of information is helpful because it increases the likelihood that you will attain assistance from restoration experts who work ethically and in excellence.

    What Should You Look For In A Fire Restoration Company?
    If your insurance provider does not offer you a referral, you can master the art of finding the perfect company on your own. There are numerous steps you can take to realize this objective, such as finding a fire restoration company that offers comprehensive services. Doing so will help ensure that you don’t have to complicate the restoration process by attaining specific services from multiple companies. Some of the services that you’ll want to look for in the remediation company include:

    • HVAC system cleaning
    • Debris removal
    • Extensive drying
    • structural rebuilding

    Why Choose A Fire Restoration Company
    Although fires can be nerve-wracking and economically taxing, hiring the right restoration company can help ensure that you preserve your sanity and restore your property. To attain the proficient, specific remediation services you need and deserve, call the professionals. With a team of IICRC-certified technicians, companies are able to provide clients with the knowledgeable, efficient restoration work that gets their property back in excellent condition following a fire.

    Every second counts during a fire

    11/25/2015 (Permalink)

    Fire Damage Every second counts during a fire Fire damages causing smoke and soot throughout home.

    Every second counts during a fire.  In just a matter of moments, a small flame can turn into a major fire, making it critical to be prepared by having an escape plan in place.  A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.  Once a plan is developed, it is important to ensure everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year.  The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan for your family.

    ·         Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows.  Find two ways to get out of each room.  Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.

    ·         Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floor.

    ·         Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped.  Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.

    ·         Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.

    ·         Have a plan for everyone in your home who has a disability.

    Escape Planning for Your Business

    Although an emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency situation.  OSHA suggests the following steps when developing such a plan.

    ·         Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company’s emergency plans.  You may wish to select an individual(s) to lead and coordinate your emergency plan.

    ·         Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees.  Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and well lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times.

    ·         Conduct office evacuation exercise and drills.  Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover and conduct a head count.  Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.

    SERVPRO of Chambersburgis here to help with all of your business Emergency Readiness Plans (ERPs).  We are only a phone call away at 717-261-0310 if fire does invade your home or office.