Recent Fire Damage Posts

Facts About Fire Restoration

9/15/2022 (Permalink)

While it’s true that a house fire can be an extremely difficult and overwhelming experience, professional fire restoration companies are available to help you deal with the aftermath. When fire damage is the result of fire in our home—one of the scariest and most devastating events we can face—it can make us feel panicked, vulnerable, and helpless. The good news is that you don’t have to deal with it alone when you have the right fire restoration services to guide you.

What professional fire restoration companies do is a science designed to provide the most effective restoration and resolution after a fire to get your home back to its original condition and get you back to life as you know it.

Here are 3 amazing facts about fire restoration, and #3 just might surprise you:

#1: With a House Fire, Smoke Goes Everywhere

Even if you have a tiny kitchen fire with minimal damage, you will experience the smell of smoke and have the potential for smoke damage throughout other areas of your home, or maybe even throughout your entire home. Smoke travels everywhere. It’s made up of particles of the fuel that burned in the fire combined with chemicals and particulates that become airborne during the fire and then move throughout your house.

Smoke damage restoration is one of the primary concerns during fire restoration. If smoke damage is not treated properly it can cause more and more problems as it sits on surfaces throughout your home. And the odor lingers long after the fire is out and can make a home unlivable if it isn’t dealt with successfully. It takes the proper tools, equipment, products, and know-how to get rid of smoke damage.

#2: Fire Damage Is Often More Extensive (and More Dangerous) than It Looks

When the fire is out and the smoke has cleared, the danger isn’t necessarily over. Fire damage is often more extensive than it first appears. A small fire can damage not just the surface where the fire occurred but can damage the interiors of walls and ceilings and can affect the electrical and the structure of your home in unexpected ways.

When fire burns, the temperature and ferocity often depends on the fuel. In a home fire, that often includes lots of synthetic and petroleum based products like carpet and flooring, toys and furniture, and plastics and artificial laminates. This type of fire creates smoke and soot residue that is greasy and smeary and can be difficult to remove as well as toxic to handle.

When there is a fire against a wall, it can also burn the interior support structure and the floor below. This is another danger you could be facing if you choose to enter the home before it’s deemed safe by the fire department. Use caution when dealing with the interior of your home as well as the residue left behind by the fire. Call in a professional before you do anything.

#3: House Fires Lead to Water, Water Everywhere!

One of the most damaging things about a house fire isn’t necessarily the flames but the water used to extinguish them. Surprised? You’re not alone. Most homeowners expect to find fire damage after a fire, not water damage. The truth is that water can often cause more damage after the fact than the fire itself.

The water, though essential to put out the fire, is used in massive quantities and will run down through your home, pooling in the lowest areas of each floor. Not only can this cause damage to your belongings and the structure of your home, but it can cause an even more dangerous situation as it creates the perfect environment for mold growth.

Dealing with mold after a fire is more common than you might think. Mold is damaging to your home and belongings but it can also pose a huge health risk and needs to be dealt with by an experienced professional. This is why the fire restoration process generally includes water damage restoration to ensure a successful and safe repair.

Fire damage is something we all hope we never have to deal with, but if you should be faced with a fire in your home, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with and why you should put the care of your home in the hands of a restoration company.

Contact SERVPRO for any restoration needs!

Steps to Take After a House Fire

9/7/2022 (Permalink)

A house fire is traumatic event that can certainly leave you with a mix of emotions. You’ll be nervous, worried, scared, upset, wondering what to do next, and just how to do it.  First things first…take a deep breath, try to relax, and know that everything will be more than fine. Ultimately you need to make sure that your family is safe and sound. Once you can confirm that, then you can tackle the recovery process of your home and belongings.

We’ve compiled a list of five things that you should do and be aware of after a fire.  This way, you can approach the rebuilding of your home in a cool, calm, and collected manner!

(1) Review with the authorities and the professionals as to when it is safe to enter the home after the fire.  The fire department will make sure that the fire is completely extinguished and then will go through their precautionary measures in order to deem the area ‘safe’.

(2) Know who to contact. First, contact any family members to let them know of the occurrence and the fact that you are safe. Review, and then contact your insurance company. A clean-up team should also be one of the first calls made.  We can efficiently and professionally get you back into your home – it will be as if nothing happened!

(3) Get the fire report. Typically coming to you from the fire department, this correspondence will review the facts of the fire – the home structure, the area of the fire, as well as the time and date. In some cities and towns, you may need to call the fire department directly in order to get a copy of this report.

(4) Make sure to secure your property.  If you are not securing the property, you could potentially be making a bad situation into a terrible one – your home could be robbed of it’s remaining property, or, in some cases, another individual could be injured on the property (becoming your responsibility). You can ask the authorities and emergency services on the best methods in securing what is yours.

(5) Begin the clean-up process. Interior and exterior clean-up will most certainly be required, and more often than not there is damage that you cannot locate with the naked eye.  That said, you should definitely hire a professional service like SERVPRO to do a thorough cleaning of all areas and of all soot, smoke, and odor.

Smoke & Soot

9/2/2022 (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 SERVPRO of Oconee/South Anderson/Pickens Counties!

Dryer Fire, Don't Be a Victim!

8/22/2022 (Permalink)

An electric or gas clothes dryer is nearly an essential part of life in most homes. In families with children, the laundry can seem a daunting task, going on forever with washing machines and dryers churning and turning away slowly at a never-ending mountain of laundry.

But, all that convenience carries with it the possibility of a deadly hazard -- a dryer fire -- the leading cause of home fires in this country at the rate of about 15,000 every year.

*Don't dry dangerously*

While today's clothes dryer is in itself a safe piece of machinery and a feat of modern technology, it isn't fail-safe and requires regular preventive maintenance to prevent fires that could start in your lint trap or anywhere within your dryer's venting.

When lint traps aren't cleaned as often as they should be, the resulting build-up in the screen or other areas can cause the dryer to perform poorly, operate at elevated temperatures and possibly overheat -- with dangerous consequences. Vent systems must also be checked and cleaned to maintain proper air flow for the same reasons.

Problems may also occur if consumers place improper items in their dryers, such as foam backed rugs or athletic shoes, or vent their appliances with plastic or vinyl exhaust materials. Make sure that whatever you put in your dryer is approved and safe to place in a dryer. When in doubt, check the washing instructions on the tag of the clothing or consult the manufacturers website for more information.

Please follow these useful tips to avoid a dryer fire. In the unfortunate event that you encounter a dryer fire and the damage left in its wake, please call us at SERVPRO of Oconee/South Anderson/Pickens Counties!

Smoke Alarms Save Lives!

8/22/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives when property installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of first where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).

In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.

Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact SERVPRO of Oconee/South Anderson/Pickens Counties!

Electric Heater Safety

12/21/2021 (Permalink)

As winter begins to hit and temperature begins to drop, you may choose to buy a space heater for warm up your home, apartment, or work space. Space heaters are a good alternative if you do not want to turn up your thermostat to heat up your home. Here are some tips that you can use to prevent any disaster caused by a space heater:

  • Leave the heater on level floor, don’t place on carpet - it can overheat and start a fire.
  • Do not use in bathroom, unless it is designed for it - moisture can damage the heater.
  • Keep three feet away from flammable materials and out of the way of children and pets.
  • Should always be plugged directly into wall outlet, don’t use with extension cord because it can cause overheating.
  • Don’t leave heater unattended, make sure to unplug when not in use.
  • Install smoke alarms on every floor.

Space heaters, if not used correctly, can cause fire damage to your property. Give SERVPRO of Oconee/South Anderson Counties a call today at 864-916-4160.

Board up

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Oconee/South Anderson Counties is proud to offer emergency board-up services. If your home has experienced a fire, or other major damage causing it to be unsafe or unsecure; we’re happy to help. Secondary damage, caused by Fire Departments attempts to extinguish the flames can leave you with broken windows, missing doors or portions of walls that can allow unwanted guests to enter your home. After you’ve experienced a loss in your home or business, it’s important to protect what remains salvageable. We provide the materials and manpower to close off any access to the structure.

  • Protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition.
  • Keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out to prevent additional damage. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.
  • Limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.