Recent Fire Damage Posts

Your Landlord Does Not Insure Your Contents

7/12/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Your Landlord Does Not Insure Your Contents Tenant's insurance is necessary to protect against fire losses

House fires are the biggest challenge we face in restoration cleaning. Not only must we dry any water damage associated with putting the fire out and clean the soot, we also have to assess what can be restored help occupants come to terms with their losses.

Despite our training and experience, we never find it easy to deliver bad news, and the worst bad news is that a tenant's fire loss is not covered by insurance.

Landlord Limitations

The common misconception that a landlord’s insurance policy will cover a tenant’s contents costs tenants thousands of dollars a year in lost contents and cleaning bills.

In many cases, fires cost tenants everything they own.

Affordable Renter’s Insurance

It does not have to be that way. Renter’s insurance is reasonably priced given the peace of mind it brings.

Tenants who own cars can often get a discount when bundling renter’s insurance.

Depending on the policy, tenants may even get additional protections for theft outside the home or liability coverage. 

Landlord’s Insurance

Insurance for landlords differs from regular homeowners insurance because it only covers the structure.

When we are called to a job with tenants, we are not allowed to touch contents until we have verified renter’s insurance or confirmed the tenant will pay for services performed on their contents.

If there is no contents’ coverage and no commitment to pay, we will clean the walls, ceiling, and floors, but that is about it.

Similar Fires, Different Results

Two similar jobs can have very different results.

For one job, we were called to a home where a short circuit started an oven range fire that spread soot throughout whole house.

The landlord’s insurance covered removing soot from the outside of the cabinets and closets along with the walls, ceilings, and floors.

However, we were not permitted to open the closets or cabinets or to clean any contents because the tenant had no renter’s insurance.

In contrast, an electric short caused a fire in a closet of two-story condominium in Weston which affected all rooms on both floors and the attic.

The tenant in this case had renter’s insurance. Her insurance covered the $4000 invoice for the contents' restoration, while the landlord’s insurance covered the $15,000 invoice for structural restoration.

Losing Everything in a Fire

When a four-unit Waltham apartment building built in the 19th century had a fire a few years ago, the city’s fire inspector declared the building unsafe for entry. Tenants were locked out and unable to access their contents.

The owners learned that restoration on a building that old would require permissions from the city’s historical commission, and they decided a rebuild was cost prohibitive.

Rather than hiring a restoration company, the owners left the condemned building as is and sold off the property.

The tenants lost everything that remained locked up in the condemned building. Those who did not have renter’s insurance received no compensation.

What Do You Have To Lose?

If you or someone you know rents but does not have renter’s insurance, consider how much is at stake.

Take ten minutes to explore how much a renter’s policy would cost. Consider that whatever it costs, tenant's insurance protects against a devastating financial loss. 

We hope you never suffer a fire loss, but if you do, we hope you are properly insured.

How to Prevent Fires in the Summer in Lexington, MA

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Summer Fire Safety

With the warmer months comes an increased risk for fires. Risk of fire increases because of the warmer weather, but also from the dangers posed by fireworks and outdoor grilling.

Grilling seems like a safe everyday summer activity, but it also holds a lot of danger.

Fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts for a good reason. They can be very dangerous if not handled properly and cause many injuries and fires.


Though fireworks can be a lot of fun to set off and also watch, they are very dangerous if not handled and done properly.

Fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts and should not be used by private citizens in the state. When around fireworks, be aware of your surroundings.

If you are in a state that allows the use of fireworks, here are some safety tips:

-Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities

-Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully

-Keep a bucket of water or a hose handy in case of fire or mishap

-After fireworks complete their burning, douse the device in water before discarding to prevent a trash fire

Grilling Safety

Whether you're grilling up a quick dinner, or multiple courses for your cookout, it is always best to grill safely to avoid causing a fire. You might not think your contained grill could pose such a danger, but it can. Some best tips on how to grill safely:

-Only grill outside and keep grill at least 3 feet from property

-Open your gas grill before lighting

-Don't leave grill unattended

-Clean your grill after each use to remove grease, which can cause a fire

Call SERVPRO for Fire Restoration

We wish you a warm summer season free of disaster, however, we are here 24/7 should you need our expertise to recover from a fire.

Do not hesitate to call us any time day or night. We are always Here to Help.

Arson Awareness Week 2019

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

Arson Awareness Week

The week of 5/5/19-5/11/19 is Arson Awareness Week. The focus for this year is “Preventing Arson at Construction Sites.” To see how you can help, check out this article from the U.S Fire Administration.

Fire Protection Technology

In the event a fire occurs, it is important your property is equipped with the correct and up to date fire protection technology. It is very important to have your home or business equipped with this technology, it could end up saving not only your property but also yourself. The USFA provides a list of the technology you should have and the importance of each one.

Awareness is Key

Preventing damage from happening to your property first starts with being aware. Taking steps to have better knowledge about the surroundings of your property will help you be better prepared in the event an emergency happens. USFA provides information on how contractors and the community, and first responders and inspectors can have better knowledge about a construction site. 

Best Practices

These tips should help you to be better aware and prepare your property better in the case of a fire. Fires can occur naturally or it could be caused by someone. It is always important to be on the lookout for suspicious behavior around any property, and also construction sites.

When Your New Home Smells Like Smoke

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage When Your New Home Smells Like Smoke Smoke odors have to go

Buying a house always contains a level of risk. You can’t always see what is going on inside the walls or utility systems, and neither can the inspector.

Unpleasant Odors

Recent home buyers of a single-family ranch called us because several days after moving in, their home suddenly had an overwhelming smoke odor. They couldn’t find a fire, but they needed our help in removing the odor before they finished unpacking.

Upon arrival, our production manager discovered the smell was strongest in the area of the basement fireplace. The homeowners had not yet used the fireplace, so they couldn’t understand why that would make their entire house smell like smoke.

Damaged Chimney

Our production manager investigated further and found that the chimney damper was open and unable to close fully. High winds were blowing soot particulates through the fireplace, and they had entered the HVAC system and spread throughout the home.

Containment and Air Filter

The chimney would require a specialist to repair, so our first step was to seal the fireplace to stop the particulates entering the home. We also set up a HEPA-filtered air filtration device to pull soot particulates out of the air.

Deep Cleaning

We proceeded to clean all surfaces including ceilings, walls, baseboards, trim, flooring, windows, and cabinets. Additionally, we cleaned all of the contents that had already been unpacked.

Duct Cleaning

Our technicians also completed a thorough duct cleaning to ensure the HVAC system would not redistribute soot in the home.

Ozone Machine

Finally, we installed an ozone machine to fully neutralize any remaining odors. During this step, the homeowners were unable to occupy the home for about 24 hours.

Call for Odor Removal

Give SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford a call if you smell something you shouldn’t in your home. We have the tools and technical knowhow to make your space smell nice and allow occupants to breathe easy.

A Small Fire Makes a Big Mess in Arlington, Mass.

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage A Small Fire Makes a Big Mess in Arlington, Mass. All it takes one candle to light a building on fire

Fire is one of the most destructive forces on earth. Even small blazes release dangerous compounds that coat every surface and can contaminate the air.

You may also have water or the discharge from a fire extinguisher adding to the mess.

Should you start cleaning on your own, you may find you made the problem worse.

Church Fire in Arlington, MA

Shortly before Christmas, our franchise responded to a fire loss in a church. A candle had caught an altar wreath on fire. While fighting the fire, the fire department discharged powdered chemical fire retardant which dispersed throughout the building and affected all the walls, ceilings, floors, contents, and HVAC system.

Christmas Services

With Christmas Eve looming, everyone was feeling the pressure to clean the building as much as possible before the holiday services. Usual protocol recommends washing all surfaces including ceilings, but the policyholder decided against installing scaffolding to reach the upper walls and ceilings up to twenty feet high.

Several HEPA-filtered air filtration devices circulated all the air in the building and scrubbed particulates out of the air for a couple of days, while our crew cleaned all lower walls, floors, windows, fixtures, and other objects.

The restoration technicians completed cleaning all the lower surfaces on Dec. 22rd and the HVAC ductwork on Dec. 24th, just in time for the Christmas Eve service.

Commercial Fire Response

SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford understands the importance of time in the restoration process. Our commercial fire response crews will work with you to ensure your building is operational as soon as possible following a fire.

Lexington, Mass. Oven Fire in Condo

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Lexington, Mass. Oven Fire in Condo A fire in one room usually causes soot damage in every room

Even a small kitchen fire may require a large cleaning effort to restore the dwelling and contents to preloss condition. Losses in condominiums have an extra layer of complexity when the insurance policy on the structure is separate from the policy for the contents.

Fortunately, our SERVPRO franchise has 35 years of experience negotiating the claims process and providing the documentation insurance carriers need for approval. We can keep the claims separate while restoring both the dwelling and its contents.

Oven Fire in Lexington Condo

Last fall, our franchise responded to a soot loss in a condominium unit caused by a fire in the oven on a Saturday. The homeowner had used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. In addition to the soot, the entire contents of the extinguisher were discharged, and the dust from the discharge entered the HVAC system and circulated into every room in the condo.

Air Quality Concerns

Particulates from the extinguisher discharge and soot posed a threat to inhabitants of the home. Our technicians set up a HEPA-filtered air filtration device over the weekend to collect airborne particles. We also installed a 4-optic hydroxyl generator and a dry vapor system to control odors.

Occupancy Concerns

The homeowners wished to remain in their home. Knowing the approval process can take some time, especially when dealing with two different insurance carriers, we performed some preliminary kitchen cleaning that weekend before receiving the approval. This permitted the homeowners to use their kitchen and have a replacement stove installed.

Cleaning Soot

After we received the proper approvals, our fire restoration technicians began the arduous process of cleaning every surface, fixture, and object in the affected rooms. Soot finds its way into every space air occupies, even remote corners of closets and cabinets.

The crew cleaned ceilings, walls, doors, windows, and floors. They cleaned every fixture, appliance, and hard-surface object in the home. They recommended sending soft goods like clothing to a restoration dry cleaner to remove all soot and odor.

Check Your Fire Extinguisher

This oven fire was much less destructive than it might have been because the homeowners had a working extinguisher they employed to knock the fire down quickly. You can increase your safety in a kitchen fire by checking your fire extinguishers to be sure they are operational.

Several Kidde extinguishers were recalled in 2017. If you have a Kidde fire extinguisher, you should compare it to those on this page to see if yours was one of the recalled devices.

Make sure all able adults in your home know how to operate your fire extinguishers and where they are located.

Children should not be permitted to operate fire extinguishers. Children are taught in school to flee fires and find help, and that advice should not be countered in the home.

After the Fire

If you should suffer an oven fire in your home, call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford for experienced professionals who will restore your home to preloss condition as quickly as possible. We are always “Here to Help.”

Protect Your Home from Fire

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Protect Your Home from Fire An ounce of fire prevention is truly worth a pound of cure

As we head into the winter season in Middlesex County, we can expect to see residential fires on the rise. Statistically, January is the month in which the U.S. sees the highest percentage of house fires.

More Deadly Fires

Fires in the home cause great concern because although only eight percent of total fires occur in the home, they cause 23 percent of the injuries and 30 percent of the deaths. Of the deaths, about 60 percent occurred in homes with smoke alarms missing or not working.

Kitchen Fires

Cooking is the number one cause of fires in the home. You can protect your family by

  • Keeping combustible materials away from the stove and other cooking appliances
  • And monitoring children when they are cooking.

Malfunctioning Appliances

Short circuits and other appliance malfunctions also cause many house fires. Again, keeping flammable items away from space heaters and other appliances that get hot will help protect your home and family.

Never leave a space heater on when sleeping or not in the room with the heater. Unplug electric appliances when not in use.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

Be sure to check your smoke detectors monthly and replace your batteries annually. You should also replace your detectors when they are ten years old or according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Fires happen, but many do not have to be fatal.

Call SERVPRO for Professional Fire Restoration

Should you have the misfortune to suffer a fire in your home, you can call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford anytime day or night at 781-861-0500 to speak with a caring individual who will help you start taking back your home. Our fire restoration technicians are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification to provide professional restoration services according to industry standards.

We can dry wet materials, clean the soot, and filter harmful particulates out of the air. We will even deal with your insurance company to help them understand the scope of your loss. We want to be your first choice to make fire “Like it never even happened.”

Furnace Puff Back in Lincoln, Mass.

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Furnace Puff Back in Lincoln, Mass. Puff Backs Can Leave Harmful Residue on Surfaces and in Air

Aging homes in Massachusetts have aging heating systems. Some of the older systems are subject to malfunctions. When they break down, we have a situation often referred to as a “puff back.”

Lincoln Puff Back Clean up

For example, our franchise responded to a puff back in Lincoln, Mass. The furnace in a 1939 colonial had malfunctioned and forced soot throughout the home. Every object in every room of the house was covered with a fine film of soot.

Contacting the Adjuster

Our estimator arrived on site to assess the extent of the damage. He contacted the adjuster to obtain authorization for our services. He then presented the plan for restoration to the homeowner.

Cleaning All Surfaces

Soot is sneaky. The pressure of a puff back forces soot into the tiniest of openings. Homeowners are always surprised to find soot at the back of closed cabinets and behind the contents of closets. Following a fire or puff back, our certified Fire Restoration Technicians are tasked to wipe down every surface: walls, floors, ceilings, and fixtures, as well as all sides of all contents.

Clearing the Air

In addition to the deposits on all surfaces, a puff back also leaves chemicals and other particulates floating in the air. These byproducts may be hazardous and can cause odors to persist. For this Lincoln puff back, our crew installed three HEPA-filtered air filtration devices to scrub all the particulates out of the air.

Neutralizing Odors

Smoke odors penetrate porous materials that are difficult to clean on the surface. We employ an industrial odor-neutralizing system to eliminate lingering malodors. This machine uses a nontoxic dry vapor that penetrates everywhere the soot and smoke went. The vapor leaves a home with a pleasant aroma without damaging fabric, plants, or electronic devices.

Trust Professionals for Puff Backs

Attempting to clean soot with conventional cleaners may actually set the stains into your walls and furnishings. Additionally, the air in your home may not be healthy to breathe following a furnace malfunction. Even if you think you have cleaned successfully, you may experience an overpowering smoke odor the next time it rains.

Regular maintenance should keep your heating system functioning normally. However, if you experience a puff back, you should contact us as soon as possible. At SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford we pride ourselves on making it “Like it never even happened.”

Soot Cleaning in Lexington, Mass.

2/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Soot Cleaning in Lexington, Mass. Many homeowners make a soot job worse when they try to clean it themselves

Soot is a mess that requires professional cleaning. Soot not only contains ashes but also oily residue that makes it persistent. Depending on the materials burned, soot may also contain hazardous chemicals. Household cleaners may fix the soot into fabrics and wallcoverings. Even worse, soot particles are so small they can travel throughout a home and into every nook and cranny.

Here at SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we seek to educate everyone in our area about the perils of do-it-yourself soot cleanup. Still, some people insist on trying. 

Do Not Vacuum Soot

We recently received a call from a homeowner in Lexington, Mass. who tried to vacuum out her fireplace. The vacuum did not have a filter small enough to capture soot particles, so the homeowner wound up blowing the mess all over the first floor of the home.

This house has a forced hot air heating system, so the soot went in the intake grate, through the heating system, and out the ducts to any rooms the vacuum missed. Every surface of the house and its contents were covered in a thin layer of soot.

Call a Fire Restoration Tech

Our production technicians have the training and certification to properly clean soot the first time. Had we been called in originally, we would have set up containment to keep the mess in one room and used a HEPA-filtered vacuum to capture even the tiniest particles.

Instead, our fire restoration crew spent several days cleaning the walls, ceilings, floors and all of the contents in the home. The final bill was about ten times what it would have been had we been called in the first place.

When you have a sooty situation, call the professionals at 781-861-0500 for a free estimate. We can make it, “Like it never even happened.”

Removing Soot From Your Home

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Removing Soot From Your Home Trust Professionals to clean soot from your home

After a fire in your home, you will likely find soot everywhere. The heat of a fire pushes soot into every nook and cranny, deep into cupboards and closets coating every surface.

Do Not DIY

Some homeowners are tempted to clean the soot on their own. Do-it-yourself cleaning is not recommended following a fire. The soot particles are so small they can get behind walls and between floorboards. Even when surfaces appear clean, smoke smells can linger for years due these hidden particles. 

Another issue is the HVAC system. Soot will hide inside the ducts for heating or air conditioning systems. Once a homeowner believes the house is clean and turns on one of these systems, the soot in the ducts will once again blanket the house.

Consult a professional before you make your problems worse.

Fire Restoration Professionals

If you have a fire in your home, you should act fast to prevent further damage. Most importantly, you should trust the cleanup to fire restoration professionals with the training and experience to remove soot thoroughly the first time. They can show you what can be cleaned, what should be discarded, and when you can safely turn on your HVAC and electricity again. They can communicate the scope of your loss to your insurance company. 

At SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we have over 33 years of experience responding to fire damages and removing soot for homeowners in Middlesex County. Our fire restoration technicians are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, and they are on call 24/7 to respond quickly and secure your home if needed.

Trust SERVPRO for Soot Cleanup

We hope you never have a fire in your home, and we strive to educate homeowners about fire prevention. However, should you suffer a fire or puffback and you need soot removed from your home, you can trust our fire restoration technicians to make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Holiday Fire Safety

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Holiday Fire Safety Protect your home and family from fires during the holidays

During this holiday season, SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford would like you to exercise caution when staging your holiday décor and preparing holiday meals. Holiday decorations and food preparation are the culprits in many house fires that occur during November, December, and January.


Candles light up many events during the season. Unfortunately, candles also start 55 percent of home decoration fires in December. Christmas, New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve are the top three days for house fires started by candles. 

Place candles carefully away from flammable items. Keep them out of reach of children and pets. If you cannot protect your candles from cats, consider using flameless candles for your celebration.

Christmas Trees

Approximately 200 house fires each year involve Christmas trees. More alarming is the fact that one in every 32 Christmas tree fires will result in death.

You lessen your risk when you:

  • Keep live trees watered
  • Inspect tree lights for exposed wiring
  • Replace old lights with newer, safer ones
  • Place candles and space heaters far from trees
  • Secure tree against tipping

Do not permit a situation where an active child or pet could knock over a tree and have it touch a lit candle or fireplace.

Cooking Holiday Dinners

The top three days for home cooking fires are Thanksgiving, the day before Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Hectic cooks trying to do too much, houseguests helping in unfamiliar kitchens, and decorations placed too close to cooking equipment all contribute to these fires.

Keep decorations and other flammable items away from cooking equipment. Take care when using slow cookers, roasting pans, and other cooking appliances. Place all cooking appliances where they cannot be knocked over. Do not use extension cords as they may not be rated for the appliance you are using and they can create tripping hazards that lead to burns and fires.

Happy Holidays

SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford wishes you all the best this holiday season. We hope your friends and family enjoy safe celebrations. Remember we are here 24/7 throughout the year to assist should disaster strike.

No Renter’s Insurance in Lexington, Mass. House Fire

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage No Renter’s Insurance in Lexington, Mass. House Fire Your landlord's insurance does not cover your contents in a fire.

Do you rent a house or apartment? Do you have renter’s insurance? Unfortunately, our franchise is frequently called to the scene of fires where tenants do not have coverage for their contents. No coverage means they risk losing everything they value in the event of a fire or other catastrophe. Fires are always terrible, but fires without proper insurance are heartbreaking. 

Earlier this year, we were called to clean after a fire in a house in Lexington, Mass. A short circuit caused an oven range fire that affected the whole house, especially the kitchen. Heavy soot covered all surfaces and contents, including cabinet and closet interiors.

Owner’s Insurance

The property owner had insurance to cover the building. Our certified fire technicians were able to clean the soot off the ceiling, walls, and floors. However, we could only clean the exterior of the cabinets and closets, because the insurance company and property owner would only agree to pay for their areas of responsibility.

No Tenant’s Insurance

The tenant was on the hook for any contents cleaning, but the tenant did not have renter’s insurance to cover the contents. Without renter’s insurance, any destroyed items were a total loss for the tenant. Even worse, if the tenant did not have the right training and materials for soot removal, there is a good chance the tenant damaged items that could have been restored by an experienced fire restoration cleaner. 

Talk to Your Insurance Agent/Carrier

If you currently rent a house or apartment and you do not have renter’s insurance, please take the time to get a quote for this coverage. You will likely find the coverage is less expensive than you expected and well worth protecting everything you keep in your home.

Here at SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we are committed to restoring property following a fire or flood. Please consider carrying the right insurance coverage to ensure we are able to make your disaster "Like it never even happened."

Why a Brighton Pizza Shop Chose SERVPRO for Fire Restoration

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Why a Brighton Pizza Shop Chose SERVPRO for Fire Restoration Fires can shut down restaurants for days. Call SERVPRO to get back in business ASAP.

Fires can shut down restaurants for days. Soot must be removed from affected surfaces, fumes must be deodorized, and any water damage must be cleaned and dried.

Many city health departments will require a health inspection before allowing a restaurant to reopen after a fire.

Our franchise professionals have the experience and Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Certification (IICRC) certifications to properly assist restaurants in reopening as quickly as possible.

Time Is Money

When a restaurant is closed for a meal, every minute is lost revenue for the business. Most restaurants run on a slim margin and cannot recoup money lost when forced to close. Employees also suffer a loss when they cannot work.

At SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford, we make every effort to restore a business following a fire as soon as possible to reduce the financial impact on owners and employees.

Brighton Pizza Shop

Last spring, the exterior shingles on a Brighton, Mass. pizza shop caught fire during lunch, contaminating two levels of the restaurant. The Boston Board of Health closed the pizza shop until it could pass inspection.

The owner had only one question, “Can you have my shop ready for inspection tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.?”

Our IICRC-certified technicians worked into the night:

  • Cleaned all surfaces to remove soot
  • Deodorized with thermal fog
  • Scrubbed the air with HEPA-filtered devices
  • Cleaned the ducts and HVAC system

We also sent a crew to stand by during the health inspection in case the inspector raised any issues. The inspector was satisfied with the cleaning and deodorizing and permitted the restaurant to open the morning after the fire.

Hire SERVPRO for Fire Restoration

When your restaurant needs to get back in business quickly following a fire, call our office at 781-861-0500. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”

PASS the Fire!

1/20/2017 (Permalink)

Fires aren't something we come across too often but once they start they can become massive. Portable fire extinguishers aid in being a life and property saving tool. The NFPA (The National Fire Protection Association hopes the word PASS will help people remember how to properly use a fire extinguisher

Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.

Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire. 

Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly. 

Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side


Reading the instructions on the extinguisher and familiarizing yourself with one helps you prepare incase a fire breaks out. There are limitations to fire extinguishers so it is important that you have the correct type and use them for the correct purposes! If you need more help on finding the appropriate extinguisher visit

Carbon Monoxide: A Silent Killer

11/28/2016 (Permalink)

You can't see or smell carbon dioxide, but at high levels, it can kill a person in minutes. CO is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas and propane burn incompletely. An excess of CO, leading to CO poisoning, can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers or idling cars left running in garages. 

Taking some basic , precautionary steps can help eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Have fuel-burning appliances, like oil and gas furnaces, gas or kerosene heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves, inspected by a trained professional every year
  • Open the damper for proper ventilation before using the fireplace
  • Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home
  • Make sure all fuel-burning vented equipment is vented to the outside to avoid CO poisoning. Keep the venting for exhaust clear and unblocked
  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not blocked with snow, ice or other materials
  • Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris
  • Only use barbecue grills outside, away from all doors, windows, vents and other building openings. Some grills can produce CO gas. Never use grills inside the home or the garage, even if the doors are open.
  • Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows, vents and other building openings to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the home. 

Fire, Smoke & Soot Restoration Services

10/12/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can help provide a solution to your property's fire damage needs. 

Structural Cleaning 

After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. A SERVPRO Franchise Professional will pretest to determine the extent of damage, and then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your facility. Depending on the amount of soot, the local SERVPRO Franchise Professional may even be able to reduce the cost of recovery by cleaning lighter soot deposits found on some surfaces, eliminating the expense incurred with repainting or refinishing.

Contents Cleaning

 All of the tolerable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This included area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can provide wet or dry cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. Finally, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can provide an inventory list of all "to be claimed" items if requested. 


 SERVPRO Franchise Professionals provide specialized services that rid your place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them. 

Fire and Smoke Do's and Dont's

10/4/2016 (Permalink)


  • Limit the movement in the house to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork
  • Place dry, colorfast towels on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open
  • Clean soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances and protect with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil 
  • Pour RV antifreeze into sinks, toilet bowls, and tubs if heat is off during the freezing season
  • Wash both sides of leaves on house plants
  • Change HVAC filter
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system


  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc...) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service 
  • Consume any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water (They may be contaminated)
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged
  • Send Garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor

Know your Smoke

10/4/2016 (Permalink)

A fire loss is very complex because of the unique behavior of smoke. That is why is it important to have trained technicians at your home or business. 

Smoke Characteristics

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas
  • Smoke migrates to upper levels of a structure
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor
  • The type of smoke will greatly affect the restoration process

Types of Smoke

  • Wet SmokePlastics and Rubbers
    • 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
  • Fuel Oil Soot -  Furnace Puff Backs
    • While "puff backs" can create havoc for your insured, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can in most cases restore the contents and structure
  • Other Types - Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue
    • Special loss situations require special care. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are trained to handle your toughest losses!

Emergency Fire Damage Tips

9/30/2016 (Permalink)

Fires are scary monsters whose's flames can engulf a home in under 5 minutes. In case you ever face a fire here are some tips to stay safe:

  • Keep hands clean
  • Limit movement in the home to prevent further damage
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling 
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open
  • Wipe soot from chrome on faucets and appliances then protect with a light coating of lubricant
  • Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting a SERVPRO® Franchise Professional
  • Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO® Franchise Professional
  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire or water without consulting a repair service