Recent Fire Damage Posts

What To Do If You Smell Natural Gas in Your Home

6/3/2022 (Permalink)

Clean stove top Make sure the stove is off.

Avoid a Gas Fire In Your Home

Gas leaks can happen at any time, and it is important to recognize the warning signs. Natural gas itself has no odor, but a strong rotten egg smell around your stove is still a tell-tale sign of a gas leak. This is because gas companies add a pungent chemical called mercaptan to the gas that you use.
If you get that rotten egg smell in your home one day, here are some tips to help you manage the situation safely and avoid a gas fire.

1. Leave Immediately If the Smell Is Strong
A very strong odor indicates a potentially dangerous gas fire. It is a good idea to leave the house as soon as possible and tell everyone else in the house to leave. Then, you should call your gas company from your cell phone or from a neighbor's phone.

2. Do Not Turn the Lights On
If gas is present in the building, turning the lights on could create an explosion. It is better to use a flashlight.

3. Make Sure the Stove is Off
It is important to verify that all the burners are switched off. It is easy to accidentally bump them and turn them on, which can lead to a fire.

4. Open the Windows and Doors
Opening the windows and doors allows for ventilation. This will reduce the amount of gas present in the home.

5. Evacuate to Avoid a Gas Fire
If the smell is not overwhelming and you have taken the above precautions, you should evacuate and call your gas company.
Following these steps will help you proceed as safely as you can.
If you do experience fire from a gas explosion, be sure to contact a professional fire restoration company in Carpentersville, IL  as soon as possible. A prompt restoration effort will help you recover your belongings and move forward.

3 FAQs About Insurance and Fires

5/25/2022 (Permalink)

Walls of a home damaged by fire, hole on wall, yellow ribbon awareness in room damaged by fire Fire damage in a home in East Dundee, IL.

Learn More About Your Insurance Policy Coverage

Your house is a valuable asset, and you want to ensure that it is protected in the event of a home fire. These events, caused by everything from electrical flares to arson, cause a lot of damage, requiring a fire restoration company to repair. Fortunately, you can learn more about your insurance policy coverage to help you prepare for this situation.

1. What Items Are Covered by Insurance?
When a home fire strikes, your insurance will typically cover any of your belongings on your property in East Dundee, IL. This includes your house, detached structures, and personal belongings. It also means that any vacant houses you own will be covered if listed on your insurance policy. The only requirement is that the item damage is on a piece of property listed on your policy.

2. How Much Coverage Can Go Towards a Fire?
The amount of money you can receive after a home fire depends on your policy limits. Read your policy to find your fire limit or the maximum amount of funds you will receive after a fire. Most of the time, you will adjust this number when choosing your policy. You should base this amount on the total value of your personal belongings and structures to ensure that you have enough coverage.

3. What Type of Fire Damage Is Not Covered?
Your insurance doesn't cover every type of fire damage. If you start a fire that damages your home or outbuilding on purpose, your policy will not cover the damage. Additionally, any fires started due to war are not covered. To get a more in-depth understanding of what potential risks are not covered under your policy.
It helps to prepare yourself for a house or vacant home fire. Understanding more about your insurance policy is one way in which you can help prepare yourself to bounce back from a situation financially.

What Kind of Damage can Happen in a Business Fire?

3/27/2022 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in a big building Commercial fire damage in Sleepy Hollow, IL.

A fire at your place of business can feel like a disaster. You have built your hopes and dreams on the things that go on inside that building and have made a great investment to get it up and running. In the event a fire happens, you may have no idea what to expect and what needs to be done to deal with the fire damage.

Types of Damage From a Fire

As you would expect, flames may burn furnishings and other items that they come in contact with. There are other types of damage that can happen as well.

Fire damage including consumption, melting and soot
Water damage from fire hoses
Potential additional damage from fire sprinklers

How can Water and Fire Ruin Items?

In some cases, flames may not be extensive, but the fire sprinklers may be triggered by the excessive heat causing water to spray down over the contents of the office. This water can be damaging to both the structure and content. Once the fire department deems it safe they can shut off the water so that no more destruction can take place.

In the case of a larger fire, emergency responders may apply endless gallons of water with a high-pressure fire hose in their efforts to extinguish the flames completely. That can cause a good deal of water damage to the structure and the contents. Sheetrock and subfloors, studs and the building’s contents can be stained, swollen, disintegrated or in other ways ruined by water.

It may sound hopeless, but rest assured there is help. In Sleepy Hollow, IL, you can call on fire and water restoration professionals to assess the damage and to help with the cleanup. Items with water or fire damage may be salvaged or disposed of depending on the extent of the destruction. Once the cleanup is completed, a complete restoration can take place. You can get back to business and feel secure again.

What Is Smoke Damage?

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

Ozone generator The best way to banish smoke odors is to use a specialized treatment.

Smoke Damage

Smoke damage is an additional type of damage that results from fire. Smoke may stain surfaces or contents and cause an undesirable odor to linger. Commercial fire damage restoration companies typically also offer smoke cleaning services. There are several aspects of damage caused by smoke that experts can eliminate.

Stains

Smoke may stain surfaces such as ceilings or walls, as well as the contents of a structure. A cleaning service may remove discoloration by using

  • Chemical sponges
  • Degreasing solution
  • Content cleaning treatments

Surfaces may be wiped off, dried, and treated with a stain-blocking primer prior to repainting. If these measures are not taken, stains may resurface over time. Non-porous items stained by smoke may be immersed in cleaning solution and treated with ultrasonic waves. Delicate materials may benefit from dry-cleaning or foam treatments.

Smoke Particles

Residual particles of smoke in the air can cause odors to linger. The best way to eliminate particles of smoke is to use an air filtration system. Cleanup experts may recommend using air purifiers, HEPA filters, or HVAC scrubbers. These smoke cleaning methods will remove some particles. The smell may still persist, as particles can be as small as 0.01 micron and may not be captured by filtration equipment.

Smoke Odor

The best way to banish smoke odors is to use a specialized treatment. Restoration experts may recommend

  • Ozone machines
  • Hydroxyl generators
  • Thermal fogging
  • Vapor modification

Ozone and thermal fogging are the fastest and most effective methods, but both require evacuation. Hydroxyl and vapor treatments are slower, but can be completed while occupants remain in a structure.

A smoke cleaning strategy should account for every sign of damage. If staining and smoke odor are present at a commercial building in Barrington Hills, IL, the owner should contact a cleanup and restoration service that can provide all of the equipment necessary to get rid of smoke damage.

Learn How Many and What Kind of Fire Alarm You Should Install in Your Home

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

smoke detector with white smoke and red warning light Smoke alarms can help keep your family safe.

What Type of Smoke Alarms Do You Need in Your Home

Smoke alarms can help keep your family safe if the most serious of situations occur. Home fires account for numerous deaths and injuries and countless property loss in Barrington Hills, IL, each year. Homes without smoke or fire alarm run the risk of danger to family members, who may sleep through the early stages of a fire and suffer from smoke inhalation.

So how many alarms should you install in your home? According to the National Fire Protection Association, the average two-level, three-bedroom home needs an average of 14 units. How do you determine how many are needed in your home?

How To Determine the Number of Alarms You Need

•There should be one fire alarm installed inside each bedroom in the home
•You need to make sure to have one unit in every hallway outside of a sleeping area
•Make sure to install one unit above each stairway
•Install at least one unit on each level of the home whether there are bedrooms or not

According to these guidelines, you may have anywhere from five to 20 alarms in a small to average home. You can purchase hard-wired units or buy a simple battery-operated alarm that can be hung on a couple of screws. There are two types of sensors as well – an ionization alarm and a photoelectric alarm. Smoky and smoldering fires are picked up faster by a photoelectric alarm, while flames are actually sensed more quickly by ionization units. It is recommended that you have a few of each on each level of your home.

What To Do If a Fire Happens

If a fire does break out, get your family out of the house immediately and then call 911. When things have been taken care of, you will likely have smoke damage and fire damage to deal with. The trauma alone is great enough to deal with, so you are best to call on expert service technicians in Barrington Hills, IL, to help restore your home to a livable condition. Making sure to install a fire alarm in each critical area of your home can prevent serious trouble and keep your home a safe and peaceful place.

Dealing With Personal Electronic Devices After a House Fire

11/3/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen damaged by fire, stove burned, doors of a refrigerator covered with smoke from fire, ceiling collapsed from kitchen This home in Carpentersville, IL suffered a fire loss.

Three Reasons Electronics Should Be Included In Your Fire Cleanup

From smartphones to smoke detectors, most residents of Carpentersville, IL, own dozens of electronic devices. When fires sweep through homes, electronic devices commonly melt or quit working altogether. Those that continue to function sometimes have problems. Even worse, they may be covered with dangerous chemicals and foul-smelling smoke. For at least three reasons, electronic devices should be included in your fire cleanup.

1. Electronic Devices Are Part of Your Daily Life
If you are like most people, you carry your smartphone with you everywhere you go. You also probably use your alarm clock, television, microwave, and other electronic devices every day. Because you interact with your electronic equipment frequently, you must be sure it is free from smoke, chemicals, and other fire residues.

2. Heat and Smoke Can Cause Damage
Even if your personal electronic devices seem to function properly, heat and smoke may have damaged their inner workings during a fire. As such, part of fire cleanup must be thoroughly inspecting and cleaning your electronic devices. An electronics professional can likely tell you whether you can continue to use your devices or if you need to invest in new ones.

3. All Belongings Should Be Cleaned
Finally, when developing a post-fire strategy, it is important to commit to cleaning everything in the affected area. This includes electronic equipment. When you address everything that may have sustained even minor smoke damage, you know you aren’t inadvertently leaving toxic or smelly substances behind.

If you have been through a residential fire, you may be tempted to focus on cleaning your home, personal belongings and treasured keepsakes. Checking to see that your personal electronic devices continue to function is only part of the equation, however. You also must ask a skilled restoration technician to include electronic equipment in your overall fire cleanup. Once you know your electronic devices are free from fire damage, you can use them without worrying about contamination.

3 Tips for Avoiding Outdoor Grill Fires

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

Fire grill Keeping your grill clean and free of grease can help reduce the risk of fire.

Tips To Avoid Outdoor Grill Fires

Grilling at your Sleepy Hollow,IL home can be one of summer’s greatest joys. There are dozens of recipes available for beef, chicken, pork and even seafood. However, there are a few possible dangers connected with cooking outdoors, such as a sudden grill fire. Knowing how to douse and prevent these fires can help you stay safe, whether you are a grilling novice or a seasoned burger master.

1. Remain at the Grill When Cooking

Many a bbq fire has occurred when cooks step away from the grill and get distracted elsewhere. Grilled food can burn quickly and start a smoky, acrid fire that can be difficult to put out. It is wise to stay at the grill at all times after you light it. If you have a sudden emergency, turn the grill off or have another adult man it until you return.

2. Beware of Overhanging Branches and Foliage

If you cook on your backyard deck where trees and bushes might be close by, either move the grill or trim back branches and other foliage before you light the grill. Flames that jump suddenly can catch a tree branch on fire and cause a major blaze that could quickly spread to your home. This can be especially important during dry spells when your property’s trees might be more prone to catching fire.

3. Clean the Grill After Use

Keeping your grill clean and free of grease can help reduce the risk of fire. After each use, scrape the grate clean and soak the drip pan in hot, soapy water to dissolve the grease. Clean the inner hood with a soft sponge and wipe away any buildup. This helps remove any food bits or grease that might help spark a grill fire. Have a fire damage and cleanup service come to help you clean your grill properly and remove any bbq smoke damage that could affect the taste of your food.

Grilling meals at your Sleepy Hollow,IL home can be a delight. However, knowing how to stay safe and prevent a grill fire can make the experience even more enjoyable.

How To Use Space Heaters Safely

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

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

Avoid a Burned Space Heater

You need to be careful about what you use in your East Dundee, 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.

Tips for Space Heaters

6/21/2021 (Permalink)

Portable Electric Heater, Halogen Light Heater Never leave a space heater unattended.

Tips To Prevent Fire Damage From A Burned Space Heater

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. 

3 Steps to Emergency Preparedness at Home

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

Hand completing Emergency Preparation List by Equipment Put together a complete emergency kit for your family.

Steps To Prepare Your Home For An Emergency

Keeping your family safe in your home in East Dundee, IL is surely a priority. There are a lot of hazards that can affect your family and being prepared goes beyond just having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Here are three steps to getting your home prepared for an emergency.

1. Make a Plan
Think about the different emergencies that might arise and create a plan for each. In case of a home fire, you should have a plan for how to get out of the house and a meeting spot outside in case your family gets separated. Depending on where you live, consider other disasters that could affect you:

  • floods
  • tornadoes
  • earthquakes
  • public health emergencies

The more you think ahead about what you should do in these situations, the easier it will be to act under pressure if the need arises.

2. Build an Emergency Kit
Having basic safety equipment such as a fire extinguisher and first aid kit is great, but you should also put together a complete emergency kit for your family. You should include ready-to-eat food, water, phone chargers, an emergency radio, flashlights, batteries, essential medication, toiletry items, cash, extra clothing, a whistle, spare masks, and extra clothing. Make sure that your kit has at least enough supplies to last three to four days.

3. Communicate With Your Family
Discuss all of your plans with your family so that every member knows what to do. Make sure to talk about basic fire preparedness and safety even with young children in case you are unable to reach them immediately. The knowledge that your spouse and children are informed will help keep you calm when disaster strikes.
Your whole family should be prepared when an emergency arises. Whether it's knowing the location of the fire extinguisher or where to meet up if you are separated in a disaster, following these steps will help you get the household ready. If your family remains safe in an emergency the worst work you'll have afterward is contacting emergency restoration specialists to get your home back in order.

Tips for Avoiding Space Heater Fires

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Portable Electric Heater, Halogen Light Heater One of the biggest causes of Barrington Hills, IL, house fires are space heaters

One of the biggest causes of Barrington Hills, IL, house fires are space heaters. When the temperatures drop and homes start to feel chilly, heating equipment of all kinds are put to use, but space heaters tend to be among the most dangerous of the equipment. With a little bit of information and improved habits, you can reduce the risk of and maybe avoid a burned space heater and a fire in your home.

Fire Prevention Steps

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends some preventative measures that homeowners can take to avoid house fires and burn injuries:

  • Make sure the appliance is on a level, nonflammable floor.
    Situate the heater about three feet away from curtains, sheets, blankets, and other upholstery.
  • Keep these appliances out of your garage or workshop where you may have gasoline, cleaning chemicals, and other flammable items.
  • Don't put space heaters in enclosed areas, such as under or behind a desk.
  • Never plug heaters into extension cords or surge protectors. Let these appliances have their own outlets.
  • Don't leave heaters running when you leave or when you go to sleep. Turn off the heater and unplug it to avoid trouble.
  • Never run a burned space heater.
  • Make sure you have fire and smoke alarms positioned appropriately throughout your home.


One more thing you should do is make sure that the space heaters in your home have tip-over switches that shut the device down if it overheats, falls, or gets knocked over.


The Best Features of Heaters
There are some other features to look for when you buy a heater. Try to find a device with a GFCI plug; many heaters don't come with this feature and should not be used near water. Only choose appliances with a safety certification label, such as a UL sticker. Check with your local fire station to learn more about this safety step.


Time To Contact Professionals
If you see a burned space heater, it's important to look for other signs of danger. Contact local fire and smoke cleanup professionals to correct and repair damage and to make sure there aren't hidden dangers.

Content Cleaning After a Fire

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

Fire and strong smoke covered building. Dangerous situation Commercial fire in East Dundee, IL

Content Cleaning Methods You Can Expect In Fire Damage Restoration

Once the fire is extinguished and the firefighters depart, it's time to call in East Dundee, IL, fire damage experts to restore your business' interior items and contents to their pre-fire condition. It's a job for professionals who bring to bear the right training, the right equipment and the right dry-cleaning, wet-cleaning and other techniques in the remediation process.
Their mission is to renew your items wherever possible so that you don't have to replace them. Skilled technicians work quickly understanding that, in business, time is money and every day of closure means lost commerce, lost revenue, ongoing fixed expenses and added fire-related costs. Here's a rundown on the content cleaning methods you can expect in fire damage restoration.

Abrasion. This method uses vibrations or controlled blasting to cleanse a surface of residue, most often soot.
Dry-cleaning. Specialized cleaning processes remove stains and odors from clothes and fragile materials that can't be subjected to water.
Foam cleaning. This approach combines even absorbency and nominal wetting for fast drying of materials like upholstery.
Immersion cleaning. Submerges small items into a custom cleaning solution. (Ultrasonic waves are sometimes included in this technique.)
Spraying and wiping. Used on finishes that can't be soaked, a specialized solution is misted over the surface and cleaned with a surface-appropriate tool.
Ultrasonic cleaning. High-pressure waves remove particles from non-porous items such as glass, metals, plastics, ceramics or rubber.
Wet-cleaning. Unlike dry-cleaning, durable materials that can withstand liquid immersion are bathed in cleaning solutions that disinfect, deodorize and remove heavy residue.

In addition to state-of-the-art, proactive cleanup of fire-damaged facilities, professional services include safe content storage of your items until you're ready to reopen the doors of your newly restored business.
A commercial fire can test the resilience of the most successful business ventures. By choosing to work with a proven fire restoration service, you are ensuring that your business will be returned to "Like it never even happened," condition.

How To Remove Dryer Lint From the Exhaust

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

Vacuum cleaning a flexible aluminum dryer vent hose, to remove lint and prevent fire hazard. To avoid fire damage, clean your exhaust every six months

When dryer lint gets caught in the exhaust it can cause issues. Not only do your clothes take more time to dry, it means the dryer also uses more electricity. Even worse, lint caught in the exhaust could start a lint fire. While you should always clean lint from the dryer lint trap, it's important to regularly clean lint from the dryer exhaust to help keep your home in Gilberts, IL, safe.

Cleaning the Lint Trap

Many people only pull the extra lint from the lint trap, but it's a good idea to rinse the screen in the sink as well. This should be done at least once ever three weeks. You'll likely see debris in the trap itself. When you rinse the screen, also make a point to vacuum the trap with the hose attachment on your vacuum. By making this a routine, you will avoid starting a lint fire.

Cleaning the Exhaust
To avoid fire damage, clean your exhaust every six months. Follow these steps to clean it safely.

  • Unplug the dryer from the wall.
  • Remove the exhaust hose.
  • Remove the back panel.
  • With a vacuum, suction out built up dryer lint in the hose and inside the dryer.
  • Wipe down the interior of the machine.
  • Replace the hose and panel.
  • Plug the dryer back into the wall.

A dryer fire can cause serious damage to your home. If you experience a fire call for emergency help immediately and evacuate your home. The damage to your home can be repaired. Call your insurance company to verify your next steps. They'll likely suggest you contact a restoration company to ensure the home no longer presents a danger to you.
A lint fire in the home can be avoided. Be diligent in caring for the lint trap in your dryer. Though it requires a bit more effort, it can save you from danger later on.

Protecting Your Business After a Fire

7/8/2020 (Permalink)

security camera and urban video Surveillance is a necessity for most commercial sites

Protecting Your Business After a Fire

Commercial businesses struggle after any disaster, but fire damage can lead to significant loss even after the fire's extinguished. Looting, weather damage, and even wild animals can wreak havoc on a facility exposed and devastated by flames. A restoration company in West Dundee, IL, can offer some relief through mitigation, fire cleanup, and security practices, but it is up to the business owner which tools to use.

Plywood and Plastic
Video Cameras
Fencing
Security guards

Plywood and Plastic
The primary tools used for fire mitigation are plywood and plastic. Restoration services will come in and secure pieces of ply to cover over exposed windows and doors. Crews will also search for any holes in the building's structure where wildlife or vagrants could enter and seal each off. Roofline holes are typically too large for plywood, so crews will use plastic tarps. While not as secure as ply, tarps do protect the property from wildlife and weather.

Video Cameras
Surveillance is a necessity for most commercial sites because of valuable and vulnerable property that may remain on the premises. Many mitigation services will provide video surveillance as part of their security package.

Fencing
Unfortunately, some people may take advantage of fire damage, using the remaining structurally sound building to take shelter. To keep vagrants and other unwanted elements out, a restoration company may provide fencing services.

Security Guards
While a fence may not keep the most vigilant people out, in-person security may. Some restoration companies may offer protection for the sites, or they may have affiliations with companies you can use. Having live security is a tremendous deterrent for both people and animals.
Fire damage to your commercial facility can be devastating. Thankfully, mitigation services are available to help you return to work quickly. The protective tools these companies offer before the restoration begins help to put a worried owner's mind at ease. If your building has survived a fire, then trust mitigation experts to keep it safe.

3 Important Smoke Alarm Facts

6/23/2020 (Permalink)

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.

Helpful Information About Smoke Alarms

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Testing a home smoke alarm Test the smoke alarm at least once a year

If you are like most people, you have bought and installed a smoke alarm in your home in Carpentersville, IL. At the time, you likely read up on the system and had a pretty good understanding of it, but now that some time has passed you could be a bit fuzzy on a few things. This article will serve as a reminder of best practices for your fire alarm. First and foremost, a smoke detector in your home is critical. It cuts the chance of a death occurring in your home by roughly half. Just as importantly, an inoperative alarm is nearly as deadly as having no alarm.

Smoke Alarm Best Practices

Make sure you get the right system for your home. A larger home requires more alarms. Everyone in the home should know what the alarm sounds like and the best way to get out of the house. The following principles should be followed:

  • Test the smoke alarm at least once a year
  • Replace batteries as needed
  • Place a device in every bedroom
  • Replace the fire alarm every ten years
  • Understand how your alarm works

There are two basic types of fire alarms: ionization or photoelectric. A home should have both types to detect different kinds of fires or have alarms that combine both types of detection capabilities. You might also want to consider an integrated alarm system that goes off throughout the entire house when smoke or fire is detected.

Fire Cleanup Best Methods
A professional fire mitigation team has the training and the resources to treat fire damage. Technicians will begin with an inspection and damage assessment and then move on to restore the home to its original condition. They will use high-tech equipment to remove water and chemicals from fire fighting efforts, and they will work to remove soot and smoke damage from the home. Along with a smoke alarm, it is one of the best resources you have to minimize the effects of fire.

Why a Power Outage Increases Fire Danger

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

Battery powered candle Flameless candles that work with batteries: they set a nice mood and are super safe

The next power outage in your home in Sleepy Hollow, IL, is coming. It is a matter of when and not if. When the lights go out, unless you have planned ahead, you will be scrambling to shine some light on the situation. For the past several decades, the source of light many people think of is candles. After all, they are usually present in most homes, but because they have an open flame and are subject to being knocked over, they are not the safest choice. Fortunately, a number of candle alternatives provide ample light without the risk of starting a home fire.

The Best Choices for Emergency Lighting

Many choices exist that eliminate the possibility of a candle fire. Planning ahead is the key to make sure you know where your emergency supplies are located since you will likely be searching for them in the dark. It's also important to make sure everything is current with good batteries and working light bulbs. Here are some of the best candle alternatives:

Your phone: just make sure it has enough power for the flashlight to work

A powerful flashlight and fresh batteries
Flameless candles that work with batteries: they set a nice mood and are super safe

New products on the market mimic candles with the smell of scented wax and the pleasant glow and flicker of candlelight. They often turn off automatically after a couple of hours.

The Worst Choices for Light

Sometimes people panic when the lights go out. They might turn on the stove burners to get some light, or even light a piece of paper or try to keep a match burning. Other bad choices include keeping a small lighter on or firing up a small camping stove. Always stick with the safest candle alternatives you can find in a power outage. If a fire does break out, follow all the standard safety precautions and call in a fire mitigation company in Sleepy Hollow, IL, for a quick recovery.

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.

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.

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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!