Recent Fire Damage Posts

Tips for Preventing and Preparing for Home Fires

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

smoke alarm in ceiling fire preparation is important during the holiday season

While the mentality about fire preparation is nothing new, many families still tend to neglect necessary safety measures, like having an escape plan. Therefore, if you do not want to fall victim to a fire disaster, then you should acknowledge and use these five fire preparation tips.

Install smoke alarms and fire extinguishers
Inspect Wiring
Limit use of open flames
Keep heat sources clear
Have a plan

Install Smoke Alarms and Fire Extinguishers.


While it might seem like a minimal effort for a big reward, fire safety can be as simple as installing smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. Sure, these devices are not intended to prevent fires, but they do help to keep your family safe. Smoke alarms should be placed on every level of a home, and they should also be installed in rooms where fires are more likely to occur, such as kitchens, laundry rooms and near or in mechanical closets. Additionally, fire extinguishers should also be placed throughout the home in the same areas as fire alarms.


Inspect Wiring


Proper fire preparation includes inspecting your home, especially wiring. Faulty wiring is a leading cause of domestic fires. Also, electrical safety is critical to preventing many common electrical fires. For example, you should never place extension cords under carpeting or splice them into outlets.


Limit Open Flames


Candles and other open flames can lead to a home fire. Therefore, limit candle usage. For example, instead of using candles when the power goes out, use flashlights.


Keep Heat Sources Clear


Never place flammable materials near heat sources. Don't cozy up by a fireplace wrapped in a blanket. People can get too comfortable around open flames, and that can lead to recklessness and risks.


Have a Plan


Fire escape plans are crucial to safety. Consult with a fire mitigation and remediation expert in Carpentersville, IL to design a plan suited to your family and home.


Fire preparation does not have to be challenging. However, it does have to be thorough and consistent. Complacency is a risk.

Using Fire Extinguishers in Your Home

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher on a wall Having a fire extinguisher in your home can potentially stop a fire in its tracks

While there are no laws or regulations in placing requiring you to have a fire extinguisher in your house in West Dundee,IL, it can be lifesaving to have one available. Here is some useful information on how to correctly choose and use extinguishers in your home.

How To Use an Extinguisher

While using an extinguisher is very simple, it can be easy to panic and freeze in the case of a real home fire. An easy way to remember how to use one is to memorize the acronym PASS:

Pull: Pull the pin on the top of the extinguisher.
Aim: Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire
Squeeze: Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
Sweep: Sweep the extinguisher side to side until the fire is put out.

What Type of Extinguisher to Get

When purchasing a fire extinguisher for your home, you will need to check the label to learn the extinguisher’s classification type. Many people choose to purchase ABC extinguishers, which are capable of putting out a fire caused by an ordinary combustible material, a flammable liquid or gas, or an electrical source. However, these types of extinguisher can cause damage to your home, so you may need to contact a restoration specialist after using one.

Where To Place Extinguishers

To practice fire preparedness, every home should have at least one extinguisher on each floor. It is recommended to place an extinguisher in the kitchen and garage where fires are most likely to break out.
While having a fire extinguisher in your home can potentially stop a fire in its tracks, it is always best to leave and call for help if the fire is too large or you are not sure how to use your extinguisher. Take time to familiarize yourself with the information in this guide in case you are ever faced with a home fire.

Content Cleaning After a Home Fire

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

House fire damage in West Dundee, IL

After experiencing a home fire, there is nothing worse than discovering that many of your personal belongings have been damaged by the flames, smoke, or water. Fortunately, a fire damage cleanup company located near you in West Dundee,IL, can aid you in sorting through your items and restoring and dry-cleaning any of your contents that are salvageable.

Which of My Belongings Can Be Restored?

When inspecting your items for any damage that has occurred, a fire damage restoration specialist will be able to determine which items are salvageable and which items are damaged beyond repair. There are special content cleaning processes in place for many types of items, but it is always safest to throw out any affected food items, medicine, or cosmetics. Other types of items that often can be salvaged include:

  • Furniture
  • Documents
  • Photographs
  • Clothing
  • Electronics

The Restoration Process

Depending on the type of item being cleaned, the restoration specialist might use dry-cleaning to help remove light residues followed by wet cleaning or a spray and wipe to remove heavy stains. Other items might need to undergo immersion, foam, or abrasive cleaning. Electronics will require special handling to prevent further damage and should never be turned on before the arrival of the restoration specialist.
If extensive damage has happened to your home, the first step the restoration specialist may take when restoring your belongings is to remove them from the fire or water damaged area and to put them in content storage. During the process, the specialist can also take inventory of your items which will help you keep track of everything you own and provide proof to insurance of what was lost.
It is reassuring to discover that many of your items can be saved after a fire. From a quick dry-cleaning to get rid of small marks to more thorough cleaning processes that completely remove signs of fire damage, there is a much a restoration specialist can do to help preserve your items.

Cleaning Your Belongings After a Fire

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning Belongings after a fire can require a lot of work.

After a fire damages your Carpentersville, IL, home, facing the task of cleaning your belongings can be a challenge. Your clothing, furniture, carpeting and other items might have all suffered smoke and soot damage that can be difficult to remove on your own. However, there are some steps you can take to restore them, from sorting restorable belongings to having a fire remediation and restoration company use dry cleaning techniques and other industrial machinery to salvage as many possessions as possible after a blaze.

3 Steps to clean up your belongings after a fire.

  1. Gauge What Might Be Saved

Once fire officials have let you know it is safe to re-enter your home, the first step you may want to take is sorting through smoke-damaged items and finding those that could still be salvaged. Most non-porous items, such as metal kitchen items and certain types of building materials can be wiped clean or sanitized in boiling water. 

  1. Sort Out Saved Items

Once you find items you wish to salvage, sort them into piles so the company that handles your content cleaning does not have to work with one large pile of different belongings. This can also make the process more efficient. If any of the items have both smoke and water damage, keep these separate and ask your restoration company if they will require a different restoration process. 

  1. Note Building Cleaning Requirements

While restoration specialists can use dry cleaning machines on your clothing and other items, cleaning soot and smoke from your walls, ceiling and carpeting may be more of a challenge. As you note which rooms have sustained such damage, you can work with your fire damage techs and discuss whether you will require content storage for your cleaned items while stationery sections of your home are cleaned with industrial foggers and air sanitizing machines. 

Cleaning items after a fire affects your Carpentersville, IL, home does not have to be an insurmountable task. From sorting your items efficiently to reaching out to a professional restoration company for dry cleaning and air purification services, there are several steps you can take to reclaim your property from the ravages of fire. 

What to Do About Smoke Odor Damage After a Fire

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

After smoke or fire damage ceiling, walls, carpets, and floors will need a thorough cleaning

How to Minimize Fire Damage Before Help Arrives

If your business in East Dundee, IL, has been struck by a fire, it may be damaged in many different ways. Aside from structural damage, damage from smoke odor may also be present and can severely harm your commercial building. If an odor from residual smoke has spread throughout your building, it’s crucial to schedule a smoke cleaning with a professional. Here are some simple steps you can take to minimize the damage before help arrives.

Clean HVAC System

If you allow smoke particles to linger in your HVAC system, they can continue to affect the air quality of your building. Be sure to do the following as soon as possible to remove any residual smoke from your ventilation system:

  • Replace air conditioning filters
  • Have HVAC system inspected
  • Contact a professional to clean out air ducts

It’s vital to take action immediately if you suspect smoke damage in your business. Failing to address lingering smoke can cause it to further permeate the air and harm your commercial building.

Remove Damaged Objects

All items in your building that have been damaged by smoke must be removed from the affected area right away. This may include any window screens, cushions or rugs that are found around your building. Anything that can be washed must be washed as quickly as possible in order to free it of smoke odor. However, a professional smoke cleaning should be conducted if furniture items such as desks and couches have been damaged.

Clean Carpets

Removing smoke from carpets is a difficult step as the particles can become embedded in the material. To alleviate the odor, try cleaning your carpets with baking soda and then let it sit for a few hours. You can also choose to steam clean the carpeting, although this should be done with care. It’s best to avoid damaging any aspects of your building if possible.

When your commercial building in  East Dundee, IL, is affected by smoke damage, taking immediate action is vital. Contact professional restoration services for a smoke cleaning and have your business restored in no time.

3 Important Smoke Alarm Facts

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

Test your alarms at least once a month to ensure they are working properly

3 Important Smoke Alarm Facts

A smoke alarm is a very important device that should be part of every building. Taking proper care of the alarm in your Gilberts, IL  home will ensure that it is working in the event of a fire. Knowing the answers to the following questions can help you keep your home safe.

1. What Kind of Alarms Can You Use in Your Home?

If you are installing a smoke detector, there are a few different options that you can choose from. The two types of alarms that you will be able to purchase for your home are photoelectric and ionization. Because the type of fire each of these detects is different, having both in your home is a good idea. You can also find some alarms that use both types of sensors. For those with hearing loss, alarms that vibrate and flash lights are available as well.

2. How Often Should You Replace the Batteries?

How often your batteries will need to be replaced depends on your particular smoke alarm. Some detectors use disposable nine-volt battery that will need to be changed at least once a year. Others use a long-lasting lithium battery that will last the life of your device and will not need to be replaced at all. If your alarm is hardwired into your home’s electrical system, the back-up battery should be treated similarly to those in a battery-powered alarm.

3. How Often Should You Replace the Alarm?

Over time, your smoke detector will become less effective and more likely to fail. In order to ensure the safety of yourself and your family, you should replace your alarm regularly. The life of your device may vary so you should always check the user’s manual, but many will last around ten years.

While a smoke alarm can alert you to danger, it cannot prevent fire damage. An emergency restoration service can help get your home back to its previous condition if you have experienced a fire. Be sure to test your alarms at least once a month to ensure they are working properly.

Prevent a Lint Fire With These 4 Tips

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Remove the lint screen from the dryer and clean it

Prevent a Lint Fire With These 4 Tips

Everyone knows that you’re supposed to clean out the dryer lint every time you start a new load, but this task can be easily forgotten. While you may already be aware that cleaning out lint helps to dry your clothes faster and preserve your dryer, letting dryer lint build-up can lead to a dangerous home fire. Prevent a lint fire in Carpentersville, IL, by following these four tips!

1. Wipe Off the Lint Screen After Every Load

The simplest step to prevent a dryer fire is to remove the lint screen from the dryer and wipe it off every time you take out a load. Extremely flammable lint paired with a dryer that gets extremely hot makes for a dangerous combination!

2. Wash the Lint Screen

Your lint screen can get clogged and dirtied over time due to the products used to clean and freshen your clothes. Every few weeks, use hot water, dishwashing soap, and a soft brush to remove gunk from the screen.

3. Occasionally Deep Clean Dryer Vents

Your lint screen isn’t the only place that lint gathers. The exhaust hose on your dryer and wall vent connected to your dryer collect lint over time which can easily lead to a lint fire if not cleaned periodically. This process will require removing the exhaust hose from your dryer and getting ahold of a special vent cleaning kit.

4. Clean Inside Your Dryer

The last place you want lint to build up is inside the interior of your dryer. At least twice a year, unscrew the back panel on your dryer and vacuum out any lint you find. A microfiber cloth is useful for wiping off metal bits. Avoid needing to call in fire damage specialists by performing this step and clearing away lint blockages before they occur.

It is important to remember that flammable lint and hot dryers don’t mix well! Prevent a lint fire in your home by keeping these four tips in mind.

Soot, Structure, and Smell

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

Structure fire in Gilberts,IL

Services Provided from Smoke Damage Restoration Professionals

After a home fire, you're left with a lot of mess and clean up. Fortunately, you don't have to tackle those chores on your own. After the fire department has left and you have the go-ahead to return to your home, make sure there's plenty of ventilation and then consider the following services provided by smoke damage restoration professionals.

  • Emergency protection
  • Home content removal
  • Cleaning and sanitation
  • Odor removal
  • Restoration
  • Education and consultation

Professionals in Gilberts,IL, may provide other services in addition to these.

Eliminating Soot Damage

Smoke and soot settle into just about every permeable item in your home. This includes paint, carpeting, curtains, clothing, and other furnishings. Some of those belongings you can take care of on your own. You might take your clothing to a dry cleaner, for example. However, other items require expert care. Professionals have specialized equipment and training to safely remove soot deposits from sensitive items, such as expensive rugs. Work closely with professionals to minimize soot damage.

Inspecting for Structural Concerns

One very important service provided by fire and smoke cleaning professionals in Gilberts,IL, is the inspection of structural elements. Fires often cause weaknesses around windows, doorways, walls, and ceilings. However, even if you only had smoke damage, the structure of the home could be affected. Smoke seeps into those surfaces and could linger for long periods of time without appropriate treatments, such as dehumidifiers and industrial air scrubbers.

Eliminating Smells

For homeowners, the lingering smells left behind after a fire are a constant reminder of the scary experience. Fortunately, as smoke cleaning professionals complete their work, the odors are washed away, until you don't smell anything but a clean, fresh home. If there is a lot of damage or heavy odors, professionals may use some type of blasting, power scrubs, or specialized chemicals to clean your home thoroughly.

After surveying the extent of fire and smoke damage, it's easy to become overwhelmed. Professional services can take you from desperation back to your normal life.

4 Steps to Fire Damage Restoration

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire damage in a Dundee,IL home

Fire restoration is usually an extensive process. Fire destroys building materials and contents and fills the remaining structure with ash, smoke, soot, and water from fire suppression efforts. Rely on a specialized cleaning company and a restoration company or a single service capable of cleaning up fire and smoke damage and completing restoration.

Here are the four steps necessary to restore your home following a fire

1. Contact Your Insurance Provider

Notify your insurer as soon as the fire has been extinguished. You should clarify the limits of your policy for cleanup and restoration. You may also be able to ask for an advance for mitigation.

2. Obtain an Estimate

Schedule a consultation with a fire mitigation service. These specialists can give you an idea of the cost and duration of time necessary for damage cleaning. You can also contact a fire restoration company or seek out a single service with the expertise and equipment necessary to complete the entire process.

3. Clean Up Fire Damage

A cleanup company will start by removing any water introduced by fire suppression efforts. Experts will then use specialized methods to clean damaged building materials and contents. Non-porous or durable materials may undergo dry or wet cleaning or specialized methods such as abrasive blasting, immersion, or ultrasonic waves. Delicate or porous items may be cleaned by spraying and wiping or with foam.

4. Restore Damaged Materials and Contents

Contents with smoke damage can be cleaned and stored offsite. These items can be returned when restoration is complete.

You may obtain the best results by relying on a single mitigation and fire restoration service in West Dundee,IL. Working with one service can ensure that the experts working in your home are aware of all of the work that has been done during cleanup and all the measures that should be taken during the restoration phase.

How to Board up Your Building Post-Fire

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Board up after a fire in Carpentersville

If your commercial building in Carpentersville, IL, has recently sustained fire damage, you have hopefully already taken advantage of fire restoration services or are planning to shortly. You may also be wondering how to keep your building safe from looting during this time. Boarding up openings in your building will be your best bet to keep your property secure. There are three basic steps you can take to make sure everything is as protected as possible.

1. Board Every Open Space

This includes doors and windows. Make sure that they are all locked before moving forward. There are different boards and materials that you can use to accomplish this task, from basic to more complex, so you will want to figure out how secure your building should be and how long it will be vacant before purchasing boarding materials.

2. Consider Adding a Fence

Depending on the security level of your neighborhood and the amount of time your company will be closed, it may be a good idea to add fencing to enhance the security that your boards offer. This is another time that you will want to do some serious calculations, as there are many fencing materials to choose from that will meet differing needs.

3. Go One Step Further With Security

If you are planning to be closed for a long duration due to extensive fire damage, you may want to consider hiring trustworthy security services to keep an eye on the premises when you can’t. If you aren’t ready to take that leap, you may want to consider a security alarm instead.

Remember: Simpler May Be Better

If you are starting to get overwhelmed with your fire damage, you may find that having to put a large-scale security plan in place is the last thing that you need added to your plate. You want to put as much energy as possible into getting your place of business back up and running, so if you feel that a complex security plan is too much to handle, remember that boarding will be the best solution to protect your valuable property from looting in most situations.

For more on Carpentersville click here

How To Use Space Heaters Safely

7/28/2018 (Permalink)

Follow proper use when having a space heater running in your home

You need to be careful about what you use in your Carpentersville, IL, home. Unattended candles or faulty electronics, for example, can increase your chances of starting a house fire. Space heaters can be quite helpful in keeping your home warm during the colder months, but these warming devices can also pose a fire risk. The following tips may help you learn how to use this equipment safely and avoid a burned space heater.

• Consider the Location: Whether you put your space heater in an office, bedroom, or living room, you need to consider where you place the machine. If you put it too close to another object, you may cause the device to overheat. The heater could also start combustible materials, such as bedding and curtains, on fire if it is put too close. Most experts suggest keeping a three-foot free space around a space heater.


• Focus on the Surface: Not only do you have to make sure there's a safe zone around the heater, but you also have to make sure it is on a safe zone. Put it on a hard surface to ensure it cannot tip over. Remember, this type of small heating device is usually meant to sit on the floor not a counter or table.


• Turn It Off: Whenever you leave the house, make sure your space heater is turned off. Leaving a device running for long periods of time can increase the chances that it will become a burned space heater. You should also turn it off at night.


• Perform Maintenance: Before you start using your heater for the winter, you need to make sure it's ready. You can clean filters, check the cord and test shut-off features to make sure it is still safe to use. If you notice anything faulty, don't use the heater. Faulty devices can easily become a burned space heater.

There's no law that says you cannot use a space heater in your home. Following proper use procedures can help you ensure you don't have to call in a fire restoration team for fire or smoke cleanup.

For more on Carpentersville click here

What is fire damage?

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

The probability of someone experiencing a fire once in a lifetime is high. Fire damage is often devastating. Fire loss, even when it doesn't mean loss of life, can negatively impact lives. Fires disturb air quality, cause soot damage, smoke damage, and can cost money for fire cleanup. A fire in a home, a fire in a business or any commercial fire damage causes a delay in a person's quality of life.

A fire in a business often results in the loss of income and commercial fire damage. It is another fire loss. Soot damage, smoke damage, and all the fire cleanup after a fire in a business requires the business to close for the duration.

Fire damage after a fire in a home often includes soot damage, smoke damage, and fire loss of prized possessions. During fire cleanup after a fire in a home the home owners or renters often have to stay in a hotel. It is often unsafe to remain in a building, after a fire in a business or after a fire in a home, with soot damage, smoke damage, and poor air quality. Fire loss of a building can include structural damage.

Precautions after Fire Damage

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage restoration can become complicated and it is too easy to make the mess worse during fire cleanup. Wiping away dirt isn't a clear cut process because of soot damage. Smoke damage isn't the same as regular dirt and grim. Cleaning often requires wearing protective gear, for example a respirator to protect against poor air quality.

Precautions after Fire Damage

  • Call a commercial fire damage, fire cleanup, fire damage restoration service. People who are financially able, or who have insurance coverage, call in the experts.
  • After fire loss is carefully assessed and all pets and people without protective gear have been removed safely from the area turn off electricity. Empty the area of all food, tossing out any that was contaminated or compromised in the fire.

Fire cleanup, if done properly, will clean the mess of a fire in a business, any commercial fire damage, and a fire in a home.

House Fire

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

Structure Damage

When we got the call on this property, we knew that the damage was more than likely beyond repair. SERVPRO of East & West Dundee/ SW Barrington Hills will not only fix minimal fire damage, but we can build your home or business back if it is a total loss by your insurance company. We not only deal with water and fire damage but we do re-construction.

A few services we offer are:

  • Board Up
  • Carpet Repair and Installation
  • Drywall Installation
  • Drywall Removal
  • Electrical
  • General Contracting
  • Hardwood Floor Repair
  • HVAC Services
  • Painting
  • Plumbing
  • Roofing Services

We will be sure to be in touch with you and your insurance company throughout the entire process. It is our goal that you are happy and feel at "home" when your project is complete.

Apartment Building Fire

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

There was interior and exterior damage with this apartment fire.

Late on a Sunday evening in March, SERVPRO of East & West Dundee/SW Barrington Hills was called out to assess an apartment building fire. It is our goal to be with our customers within moments of their contact with us.

Upon arrival and after making sure that everyone was safe, it was obvious that they needed our services.

As fire and water damage specialists, we have the knowledge and the specialized equipment to get your property back to pre-fire condition.

  • Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician
  • Odor Control Technician
  • Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician

The property owners were so happy with out work that they asked us to do the repairs as well. It did take several months to complete this project but we assure you that we had another very satisfied customer!

Tips for Space Heaters

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

Space heaters can be very convenient, especially if you have one room in your home that never seems to get enough heat from your central HVAC system. Whether you use a space heater regularly or you only pull it out on the coldest winter days, here are three important steps you should always take to prevent fire damage from a burned space heater. 


1. Clean It Thoroughly


Before you use your space heater for the first time, make sure you clean all visible surfaces thoroughly. Dust and other small particles tend to build up on the heater’s surface and could potentially cause the unit to overheat or catch fire if not removed regularly. 


2. Leave Plenty of Empty Space Around Your Heater


Never put your heater up against a blanket, piece of furniture or any other item. If you do, you’re likely to have a burned space heater before long. Space heaters should always have at least three feet of empty space around them, free from furniture, carpets and other items. 


3. Never Leave a Heater Unattended


Never leave a space heater unattended. If you plan to leave the room for a few minutes or a few hours, turn the space heater off beforehand. You can easily turn it back on when you return. 

Following these preventatives steps will minimize your chances of fire damage while warming your home. If you experience a burned space heater or fire damage even after taking these preventative steps, a fire damage restoration professional can help with your smoke cleanup and restoration needs.