Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire and Smoke Damage Clean Up Tips

9/1/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Fighter Dealing With Fire

Fire and Smoke Damage Clean Up Tips

Damage can come in all forms including fire and smoke damage, and water damage.  If you don’t act immediately, you can be faced with additional expenses to fix that damage.  We have compiled a list of tips you can enact when facing such damage.   Today we are going to focus fire and smoke damage.

  • Call SERVPRO.  Some by-products can cause etching which is irreversible fairly quickly.
  • Do not touch anything that has been damaged with your bare hands.  Your hands carry oil which can cause additional damage.
  • Open up the house and air out any smoke damage, if the outside temperature is warm.
  • Do not wash any of the walls that have smoke/fire damage.  The wrong cleaning component can cause more damage.
  • Clean off your Formica, chrome, porcelain or aluminum fixtures to prevent permanent tarnishing.
  • Call a professional to clean up any upholstered furniture and carpets.  Don’t clean them yourself.
  • Keep away from anything and everything electronic until they have been checked out by and cleared by a professional.
  • Replace your air filter on your furnace if you use forced air.
  • If your ceiling is wet, do not use any of the fixtures.
  • Throw away all food packages that have been opened.
  • Any clothing that has been tarnished, send to a professional for cleaning.
  • Clean out the refrigerator/freezers and keep the doors open, if the electricity is off.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call
SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County Today – (847) 516-1600

Cleaning Different Types of Smoke and Soot in Cary/Algonquin/Lake In The Hills Home

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO techs cleaning Soot from a Ceiling

When a fire occurs in your Southern McHenry County home the heat and flames are not the only fire damage causing problems to be concerned about. Smoke generated from the blaze burning structural materials and other components can travel throughout an entire home and ruin its contents. Residue from the smoke can permanently stain contents and building materials requiring them to be replaced. In some cases, it is possible to salvage contents and materials by cleaning and removing soot residues. The level of difficulty for doing so is contingent on the type of soot that is present in the property following the fire.

Wet Smoke Versus Dry Smoke

The length of time and overall clean ability of soot strongly depends on how wet or dry the smoke that caused the damage was. Dry smoke is a result of the blaze burning natural materials quickly and with a significant supply of oxygen. Wet smoke occurs when a fire burns synthetic materials at a slow pace with very little oxygen. It is extremely common for a fire to create both types of smoke while burning.

The easiest soot to clean is caused by dry smoke. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County uses dry sponges to wipe dry soot off and also can clean it using water-based chemicals. As an additional step, it is very helpful to vacuum carpets and fabrics to remove loose soot and debris. Removing soot from smoke that is too wet, requires much more aggressive cleaning methods that can be extremely difficult or even impossible in some cases.

Smoke Damage from Protein Fires

A large percentage of kitchen fires have a protein fuel source. Protein types of fuels that are commonly burned as a source include meat, poultry, and fish. These proteins produce smoke that leaves behind a residue, which is usually yellow or amber in color. These residues create a foul odor and must be fully cleaned in order for the smell to be removed. Some of this residue cannot be seen but will still cause a foul odor. Therefore, it is necessary to clean the property thoroughly in order to remove the odor completely.

Smoke Damage Cleaning and Odor Removal Services

If you have experienced a fire in your property, SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is a professional fire restoration company that can help you restore your property, clean soot, and remove odor caused by smoke. We work closely with you and your insurance adjuster to make this stressful situation as smooth as possible. Give us a call 24/7 at 847-516-1600 to get started!

Fire Safety Saves Lives

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Saves Lives

Fire Safety

Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Learn what else to do to keep your loved ones safe!

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County encounters a lot of fires that ended with everyone safely out of the vicinity thanks to smoke detectors that end up looking like this.  

Follow these tips from the American Red Cross to make sure you and your loved ones stay safe:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
  • Test smoke alarms every month. If they're not working, change the batteries.
  • Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
  • If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT, and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.

If you do have a fire in your home or business call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County to help clean it up at 847-516-1600.

Source: American Red Cross

How Long Do You Have to Escape a House Fire?

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

Know 2 Ways

How Long Do You Have to Escape a House Fire?

How long do you have to escape a house fire? It's way less time than you think.

Everyone knows not to dawdle if their house is on fire, but you may believe you have some time to make a safe exit. Well, think again.

Gail McGovern, the president of the Red Cross reveals that you only have two (just two!) minutes to get out of your home before you might get stuck in the flames. This is because it only takes about five minutes for a fire to consume your entire house. And with one in seven people dying in a house fire each day, there's little room for error.

Practicing fire safety certainly requires vigilance, but it doesn't take too much effort to avoid a tragedy. First, make sure you have smoke alarms in your home (5 million American homes don't). You need one in every bedroom, one outside every sleeping area, and at least one on every floor. Make sure the detectors are working and refresh their batteries when you change the clocks for the beginning and end of Daylight Saving Time.

Also, it's important to practice fire drills with your family. You should go over possible routes to get out of your house fast, and consider getting escape ladders for any rooms on upper floors. Choose a meeting place outside that's a safe distance from your home.

And of course, you should take steps to prevent fires from happening in the first place. Watch the video to learn which common mistakes you might be making.

When fire and water damage strikes, a fast response is critical. We’re dedicated to responding immediately, day or night, to your Southern McHenry County home or business. A faster response helps to prevent secondary damage and to reduce cost.

We are available to assist you 24/7/365.

Source: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/      http://www.redcross.org/

Six Common Causes of Fires In Your Home

1/4/2019 (Permalink)

Grease Fire

Six Common Causes of Fires In Your Home

These below causes are preventable if caution is practiced.

Electrical

Electrical fires are another common type of home fires. One of the leading culprits is the over-use of extension cords. Extension cords are designed to safely pull a certain amount of amps, so make sure to read labels and know the limitations of the cord you are using. We recommend having an electrical inspection performed by a certified electrician at least once a year.

Cooking Incidents

The leading cause of residential fires are incidents related to cooking. Cooking incidents actually make up about 42% of reported house fires in the country! For example, an oven or stove left on and unattended is a disaster waiting to strike.

Unsupervised Children

Teaching children about fire safety is definitely something every parent should consider. It is extremely common for items such as lighter and matches to be left within reach of children who are not aware of the dangers of fire.

Smoking

Smoking is the source of many house fires and leads to almost 1,000 deaths a year. Lit cigarettes that have been left unattended, forgotten about can make contact with flammable items in your home and lead to a fire. Another common occurrence is smokers falling asleep while smoking in their home.  We recommend not smoking in your home or quitting altogether, however, if you choose to smoke in your home you should always make sure to extinguish your cigarette.

Candles

Candles should never be left unattended but oftentimes are. When leaving a room with a burning candle make sure to blow it out or take it along with you if necessary. Forgotten candles are very dangerous and can quickly lead to a fire disaster.

Dryers

Dryers are all too often forgotten!  It is important to remember to empty out your dryer vents and be certain that they are properly vented. Remember to maintain your dryer by cleaning the vents at least once a year.

When Fire Disaster Strikes

There are many possible causes and contributors to residential fires. Being aware of the causes listed above will go a long way in helping to prevent fire damage or much worse in your home. In case of an emergency, please be sure to dial 911 to reach a local emergency responder. Also, keep in mind that SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County performs excellent fire restoration services and is available 24/7 to respond to your needs.

Source: NFPA (National Fire Protection Association

Five Ways to Prevent Electrical Fires

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Faulty Toaster On Fire

Electrical fires can get out of control quickly. Prevent them from ever occurring with these tips.

Over 14670 people sustain injuries or 3400 deaths due to electrical fires during 2017 in the United States. And almost every one of those injuries or deaths could have been prevented. The fact is that many fires of this nature happen because of human error. Taking preventative steps now will help you avoid a fire in the future. Here are 5 ways you can prevent such a fire in your McHenry County home or business.

Replace or fix broken plugs and cords

Frayed or nicked electrical cords or broken pugs can overheat or cause sparks. Both of these can cause a fire. It is not difficult to replace most appliance cords or plugs. If you are not able to do the work yourself, an electrician can do the work for you.

Don't overburden electrical outlets

Plugging too many appliances or electronics into the same outlet can cause overheating. An overheated plug can spark or short out completely and cause a fire. If you need to plug more than one thing into an outlet, use a power strip with built-in overload protection.

Have faulty wiring fixed

If you have flashing blinky lights, buzzing outlets, breakers that constantly trip or funny smells, you may have faulty wiring somewhere. Older homes often contain aluminum wire or even white ceramic "knobs" and black "tubes" that encase the copper wiring, which are both prone to cause fires more than modern copper wiring. It may be time to rewire your century-old building. Faulty wiring is often hidden in the walls or ceiling cavities. So, leave faulty wiring to an electrician. He can diagnose and fix the problem quickly and effectively.

Keep flammable materials away from electrical appliances

Your home and business abound with flammable materials, such as towels, rugs, draperies, paper and blankets. Keep electrical appliances well away from these flammable materials. This includes electric space heaters, hair irons, hair dryers, and lamps. Never hide cords under rugs because they cause fires by overheating.

Get an electrical inspection done

If your home or business is an older building, consider a thorough inspection performed by a professional electrician. Older homes often contain aluminum wire or even white ceramic "knobs" and black "tubes" that encase the copper wiring, which are both prone to cause fires more than modern copper wiring. It may be time to rewire your century-old building.

Get Rid of Faulty or Defective Appliances

You should stop using an electrical appliance that is sparking, tripping a breaker, or overheating. Things like these are time bombs waiting to happen, and just because nothing has gone wrong yet doesn’t mean nothing will. There is a reason they are called accidents!


Each of these tips will help you prevent an electrical fire from starting in your home or business. So, if the worst happens, and you do have damage from a fire, you need the help of professionals to get your home and business straightened out. Call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600.

Source: HOWSTUFFWORKS 

          www.usfa.fema.gov/data/statistics/

The Aftermath of a Home Fire

9/1/2018 (Permalink)

House fire in Cary

The Aftermath of a Home Fire

Recovering from a fire is not easy by any means. It is an emotionally draining process that turns your life upset down. The hardest part comes at the beginning, when you feel helpless and are completely unsure as to how to proceed. With that in mind, our goal is to present to you the fundamental steps you need to take immediately after the fire is extinguished.

Deal With Insurance

You should already be on the phone with your insurance agent before the firefighters even get done putting out the fire. Mind you, this is just the beginning. After a few days, you’ll need to get a copy of the official “fire report” from your local fire department. The insurance agency will likely send an adjustor out to survey the damage and help you get in touch with a restoration agency, such as the professionals at SERVPRO.

If you are renting, then you’ll obviously need to contact the owner of the home. If you own home but don’t have insurance, on the other hand, then you’ll want to speak with the Internal Revenue Service. You might be eligible for something known as casualty loss.

Settle in Somewhere

Most likely, your home is currently in an unlivable state, meaning you’re going to have to find somewhere else to stay. Your best bet is to stay with friends or family. However, if that’s not an option, check with your insurance company to see if your policy covers temporary living expenses. Otherwise, contact the American Red Cross.

Before you leave, try to rummage through your home for some essential items like the following: Identification Cards, Medications, Eye Glasses / Hearing Aids, Wallets, Credit Cards / Checkbooks, Money. **Only do this AFTER you get permission from the firefighters to reenter your home.**

Turn Off Utilities

Make certain you get all of your primary utilities turned off.  Why waste money for services when you are not even living in your home? Plus, restoration cannot be performed on your home if there’s still electricity and such running through it. The risks of electrocution would be far too high.

Contact a Restoration Company

This is perhaps the most important step. You’ll need to contact a professional, full-service restoration company, such as SERVPRO. Our company is trained specifically to deal with post-tragedy damage. Below is a list of some of the things you can expect us to do:

  • The company will start by removing all the water from your home. During a fire, a lot of water from the firefighters hoses usually collects all over the place. Plus, fires sometimes cause pipes to burst, thus leading to even more severe flooding. The point is that restoration cannot begin until the water is first removed.
  • The company will then start with water restoration. Carpets, walls, ducts must be dried. Mold must be removed. Just this step itself can take a few days.
  • Next is the actual fire restoration. First and foremost, the company will inspect the structural foundation of your home and fix any major problems. Obviously, if a ceiling is about to crash, then it must be attended to before any other restoration efforts can be completed.
  • Once the structural foundation is secure, the specialists will start cleaning up soot/smoke damage, deodorizing everything (carpets, walls, furniture, etc.) and basically returning the home back to normal. If anything is so damaged that it cannot be repaired, it’ll be removed and thrown away. It’s your responsibility to let your insurance company know what items you lost.
  • Last, but not least, the company will clean up the remaining mess (dust, debris, etc.) and rearrange everything back into place.

Move Back In

Finally, you get to move back into your home and resume life. Unfortunately, it can take quite a bit of time before you even get to this final step. We’re talking about several weeks. The truth is that restoring a home from a fire takes a lot of time, a lot of resources and a lot of money.

Just remember to keep in close contact with your insurance company through the whole process. If all goes well, you’ll get your home back in one piece, and you’ll get your lost possessions replaced.

When you have fire, water and mold restoration service needs, give the experienced professionals at SERVPRO a call at 847-516-1600.

Chimney Cleaning Tips

7/8/2018 (Permalink)

Keep your chimney clean to prevent fire damage in your home!

Chimney Cleaning Tips

At SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County, we know the lovely warm glow a chimney can add to any home. Sitting in front of a fireplace in your Nashville home on a crisp day is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy an evening with family. There is nothing more important than keeping your home and family safe. To help keep those fires going, it's useful to make sure the chimney is periodically cleaned. Chimney cleaning can help a fireplace stay in good shape and reduce the risk of a fire breaking out in your home. Additionally, the chimney allows smoke, fumes and dangerous toxins escape the home through its ventilation. Read on for some helpful tips on having your chimney services.

Inspect the Brick

All chimneys should be completely cleaned at least once a year. Proper cleaning is important to make sure that the chimney is in good working order. Any homeowner should also perform an inspection on their own. This can help identify any potential problems that must be addressed as soon as possible. It's a good idea to bring a flashlight and have a good look at the floor. All the ashes in the chimney accumulate here. The flooring needs to be kept in good shape to make sure the fire can be turned on. Note any problems with the brick surrounding it. The bricks used in a fireplace are more heat tolerant than ordinary bricks. They need to be maintained to prevent any fire in the fireplace from spreading to other areas of the home. If a single brick is out of place, this can make the rest of the chimney far less functional.

Have a Look Up

After having a good look at the area surrounding the fireplace, it's a good idea to have a look at the rest of the chimney. Put on some old clothes and get in the area surrounding the fireplace. Have a look at the chimney area. You should see if there's any obstruction or other issues. Small birds and rodents often find themselves stuck or you could have a thick layer of creosote and soot sticking to the flue and masonry inside the chimney. When this gets too thick, all it takes is a spark and you have a chimney fire on your hands.


According to the National Fire Prevention Association, 30 percent of home fires are caused by chimney fires. Be sure your home is not one of them and have your chimney cleaned regularly. If you do run into trouble with smoke or fire in your home give us a call at 847-516-1600. At SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County, we take pride in making it like it never happened 

Contents Restoration for your Southern McHenry County Home

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Content Before and After

CONTENTS RESTORATION

From furniture to antiques to artwork and appliances, we'll treat your treasures with the care they deserve. While some items can be cleaned on-site, in many cases we'll need to inventory, pack out and transport the contents of your property to our state-of-the-art facility to ensure the best care possible.

Key Issues

  • Contents may need to be cleaned off-site
  • Contents inventory
  • Determine replacement and restoration
  • Pack
  • Ozone treatment
  • Cleaning
  • Odor removal
  • Secure
  • Return

Contents Inventory

  • We arrive on-site and inventory all of your personal belongings.
  • We carefully pack all salvable items to transport to our secure warehouse and cleaning facility.
  • Unsalvageable contents are inventoried and discarded.

Contents Valuation

We have trained professionals to help you establish replacement values versus restoration costs. We are also available for pricing of non-salvable inventory items.

Restoration

  • Thorough cleaning
  • Proper handling of all electronics
  • Photographs and artwork
  • Fabrics
  • Clothes
  • Memorabilia
  • Antiques
  • Soft goods

If you need the above services contact SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600.

Four Fire Damage Restoration Factors for your Southern McHenry County Homes

3/11/2018 (Permalink)

Never Leave a Flame Unattended Says SERVPRO

SERVPRO Steps to Restore Your Southern McHenry County Fire Damaged Home

A serious situation is a given with heavy Southern McHenry County fire damage. If you try to complete the remediation process on your own, you will often expose yourself to health and safety hazards that may lead to injury. For these reasons and more, calling a professional fire damage restoration team like SERVPRO is the most prudent course of action when disaster strikes your residential property. Learn more about how remediation experts can assist you with the property restoration process by reviewing this short outline: Fire Damage Remediation Techniques. There are many factors and services involved to restore your property following a fire. Some are drying the property, cleaning the HVAC system, rebuilding the damaged structures of the property, and removing unsalvageable goods. Drying Your Home. Drying your property following a fire is important. Typically, firefighters perform extinguishing work that leaves excessive water in your living space. This standing and hidden water create the perfect breeding ground for mold if left unattended. To prevent a mold infestation--starts with 48-72 hours after water intrusion--SERVPRO will extract volumes of water using powerful pumps, and water extractors. Now additional drying and moisture removal can begin using specialized equipment like air-moving machines and dehumidifiers. HVAC System. Residual particulates from a house fire coat the coils and filters of HVAC systems with debris and soot. Soot is not smoke, but an oily by-product of partially combusted materials like plastics and vinyl. The ductwork must also be cleaned and deodorized. Special techniques, along with IICRC and corporate training enable our technicians to complete successfully this wipe down and clean up stage. If this process is done properly, staining, painting, and replacement of drywall and ceilings are minimized, along with your costs. Structural Repair. When fire damage has compromised structural materials such as trusses, floor joists, drywall, and the electrical or plumbing systems, then the affected areas may have to be replaced. When feasible, repair is done before replacement. Our fire damage restoration experts can complete this work, or we can work and instruct your building contractors on your behalf. Removing Unsalvageable Materials. SERVPRO utilizes an industry developed technology called XactContents that inventories all household content. Categorizing of these items is then made as salvageable, non-salvageable, or questionable. The XactContents benefits you regarding the claims process with your insurance adjuster. We will help and cooperate with your okay. Fire damaged items beyond repair must be disposed of properly. If not, these items could contaminate other areas of the property.

Don't Delay-Get Great Fire Damage Remediation Services Today! In many cases, Southern McHenry County property fires send homeowners into a panic. Don't let this happen to you. Instead, recognize that hiring a top-notch fire damage restoration company is the key to restoring your property to preloss condition while maintaining your emotional equilibrium. SERVPRO works for you to keep costs down, treat you with empathy, and get you back home ASAP.

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County is locally owned and operated, so we are part of this Charlotte community too. When you have a smoke, soot or fire damage emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help. We take pride in being a part of the Cary, Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills, Huntley, Marengo, Union, Fox River Grove and Woodstock communities and want to do our part in making it the best it can be. Call us for immediate assistance. (847) 516-1600

Smoke Detector Safety

2/1/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke Detector and Sprinkler

Smoke Detectors Smoke detectors are devices that are mounted on the wall or ceiling and automatically sound a warning when they sense smoke or other products of combustion. When people are warned early enough about a fire, they can escape before it spreads. Prices start at about five dollars. Every year thousands of people die from fires in the home. Fire kills an estimated 4,000 Americans every year. Another 30,000 people are seriously injured by fire each year. Property damage from fire costs us at least $11.2 billion yearly. Most fire victims feel that fire would "never happen to them." Although we like to feel safe at home, about two-thirds of our nation's fire deaths happen in the victim's own home. The home is where we are at the greatest risk and where we must take the most precautions. Most deaths occur from inhaling smoke or poisonous gases, not from the flames. Most fatal fires occur in residential buildings between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. when occupants are more likely to be asleep. More than 90 percent of fire deaths in buildings occur in residential dwellings. A Johns Hopkins University study, funded by the United States Fire Administration, found that 75 percent of residential fire deaths and 84 percent of residential fire injuries could have been prevented by smoke detectors. There are Two Basic Types of Smoke Detectors 1. Ionization detectors - Ionization detectors contain radioactive material that ionizes the air, making an electrical path. When smoke enters, the smoke molecules attach themselves to the ions. The change in electric current flow triggers the alarm. The radioactive material is called americium. It's a radioactive metallic element produced by bombardment of plutonium with high-energy neutrons. The amount is very small and not harmful. An ionization detector responds satisfactorily to all types of fires, however it generally responds quicker to flaming fires. 2. Photoelectric detectors - These type of detectors contain a light source (usually a bulb) and a photocell, which is activated by light. Light from the bulb reflects off the smoke particles and is directed towards the photocell. The photocell then is activated to trigger the alarm. A photoelectric detector generally responds more quickly to smoldering fires. Choosing a Smoke Detector When choosing a smoke detector, there are several things to consider. Think about which areas of the house you want to protect, where fire would be most dangerous, how many you will need, etc. East Side Fire Department recommends that every home have a smoke detector outside each sleeping area (inside as well if members of the household sleep with the door closed) and on every level of the home, including the basement. On floors without bedrooms, detectors should be installed in or near living areas, such as dens, living rooms or family rooms. The safest bet is to have both types of detectors or a combination detector with a battery back up. Be sure to check for a testing laboratory label on the detector. It means that samples of that particular model have been tested under operating conditions. Check to see if it is easy to maintain and clean. Installation The placement of smoke detectors is very important. Sleeping areas need the most protection. One detector in a short hallway outside the bedroom area is usually adequate. Hallways longer than 30 feet should have one at each end. For maximum protection, install a detector in each bedroom. Be sure to keep the detector away from fireplaces and wood stoves to avoid false alarms. Place smoke detectors at the top of each stairwell and at the end of each long hallway. Smoke rises easily through stairwells. If you should put a smoke detector in your kitchen, be sure to keep it away from cooking fumes or smoking areas. Proper mounting of a smoke detector is also important. You can mount many detectors by yourself, but those connected directly to your household wiring should have their own separate circuit and be installed by a professional electrician. If you mount your detector on the ceiling be sure to keep it at least 18 inches away from dead air space near walls and corners. If you mount it on the wall, place it 6 to 12 inches below the ceiling and away from corners. Keep them high because smoke rises. Never place them any closer than three feet from an air register that might re-circulate smoke. Don't place them near doorways or windows where drafts could impair the detector operation. Don't place them on an uninsulated exterior wall or ceiling. Temperature extremes can affect the batteries. Maintenance Keeping smoke detectors in good condition is easy. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions. Be sure to replace the batteries at least once every year or as needed. East Side Fire Department recommends changing the batteries in your smoke detectors twice annually. Most models will make a chirping, popping or beeping sound when the battery is losing its charge. When this sound is heard, install a fresh battery, preferably an alkaline type. Keep extra batteries on hand. Check the smoke detector every 30 days by releasing smoke or pushing the test button. Clean the detector face and grillwork often to remove dust and grease. Never paint a smoke detector, as it will hamper its function. Check your detector if you've been away from home for an extended period of time. If you're looking for a unique gift for somebody, consider giving him or her a smoke detector. It's an interesting gift that can save lives and it shows that you care.

8 Safety Tips You Should Keep In Mind During This Thanksgiving Day!

11/5/2017 (Permalink)

This what could happen while deep frying a turkey.

According to the United States Fire Administration, there are the average number of reported residential building fires on Thanksgiving Day was more than double (2.1 times more) the average number of fires in residential buildings on all days other than Thanksgiving. The average losses for Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings, however, were less than the same measures for non-Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings. The majority of Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings took place in one- and two-family dwellings (65 percent) followed by multifamily dwellings (29 percent).

    1. In case of any emergency, call 911!
    2. Never wear loose fitting clothing when cooking. Those can easily could ignite and catch fire.
  • Don't leave your food unattended on the range or in the oven.
  1. Keep children out of the kitchen when cooking.
  2. Remove anything near the stove that could catch fire, including wooden utensils, oven mitts, plastic bags, or towels.
  3. Take extra precaution with turkey fryers. Turkey fryers increase your risk of burn or fire hazards. Be sure the oil used to fry the turkey is the right temperature and always fry outside in a well-ventilated area. Never put water on a grease fire use a fire extinguisher or flour to put it out.
  4. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Be familiar with how the extinguisher works and teach your family to use it as well. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and teach your family how to use it.
  5. Stay alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.

Sources:

  • “Thanksgiving Safety Tips”

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/11/5-fire-safety-tips-to-keep-in-mind-this-thanksgiving/

Fire Damage Repair Should Be Done By Professionals

10/8/2017 (Permalink)

With quick and decisive fire damage repair, even the worst disasters can be put in the past. Roaring flames have been one of man’s greatest enemies since the dawn of ancient times, and though it’s easier to handle these days, it can still cause havoc if it gets out of control. Not only can the flames cause enormous damage, the ash, soot and smoke residue that remains will make the home almost noxious to live in. Both can create irritating odors, discolor walls or ceilings and cause breathing issues if there is a high concentration of ash left over.

Professional fire damage repair will remove the ash, odor and smoke residue left behind. This has to be done quickly because ash is acidic and will cause materials to deteriorate if allowed to sit for long. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County technicians will work hard to provide a thorough cleanup.  This will include treatment of every surface that is affected by ash and soot. This includes cleaning down walls, ceilings, furniture and countertops. Ash and smoke will almost always be present in the vents and ducts as well, as they are quickly taken up by the HVAC system. SERVPRO’s technicians will access the home’s ducts to clean them out as well, preventing either from entering the home once again.

Upon eliminating all of the ash, soot, and smoke, the home will quickly be free of any lingering odor. It will be “Like it never even happened.”

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – (847) 516-1600

 We service all of these communities in Southern McHenry County           Algonquin, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Trout Valley, Marengo, Village of Lakewood, Village of Oakwood Hills, Woodstock and Union.

Fire Prevention Week

10/1/2017 (Permalink)

Celebration of Fire Prevention Week

This year, Fire Prevention Week in the United States is from October 8th through October 14th. According to the National Archives and Records Administration's Library Information Center, fire prevention week is on Record as the longest running public health observance. 

The first National fire prevention week was October 4th through the 10th in 1925. This started a tradition of the President of the United States signing a proclamation of recognition for the annual occasion. The yearly event falls on the week of October 9th and runs Sunday through Saturday. 

The week is in commemoration with the "Great Chicago Fire". The Great Chicago Fire took place on October 8th-9th 1871. This dreadful fire burned over 2,000 acres, destroyed over 17,400 structures, left 100,000 people homeless, and killed more than 250 people. Legend has it, the fire started after a cow kicked over a lamp. 

Source: www.nfpa.org

Halloween Fire Safety

10/1/2017 (Permalink)

Have a Safe & Happy Halloween from SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County

For each year from 2011 to 2013, an estimated 10,300 fires were reported to fire departments in the United States over a three-day period around Halloween and caused an estimated 25 deaths, 125 injuries and $83 million in property loss. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) nearly half of decoration fires in homes occurred because the decorations were too close to a heat source.

Don't let these statistics scare you away from celebrating Halloween to the fullest! The vast majority of these fires are easily preventable. Here are a few safety tips to help ensure the holiday remains festive and fun.

  • Keep decorations far away from open flames and other heat sources like lights and heaters. Remember to keep all of your home's exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Try a battery-operated candle or glow stick in jack-o'-lanterns. If you want to use real candles, be extremely careful. In this case, use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter when lighting them inside jack-o'-lanterns. If there are children around, make sure they are watched at all times when candles are lit. Place the lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far away from driveways, doorsteps, walkways and yards -- anyplace where trick-or-treaters may walk.
  • Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters whose costumes may brush up against the lighting as they walk to from your door.
  • Choose costumes that don't require long-trailing fabric. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can clearly see where he is walking to prevent trips or falls near dangerous or flammable items.
  • Talk to your children and remind them to stay away from open flames, including jack-o'-lanterns with candles inside. Provide them with flashlights or glow sticks to carry for lighting as part of their costume.

Source: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Smoke Odors and Fire Damage Often Act in Tandem

8/23/2017 (Permalink)

Rely on SERVPRO to Restore Your Fire and Smoke Damaged Property in Southern McHenry County

SERVPRO's Many Proven Techniques Mitigate Smoke Odors and Fire Damage

Following a fire, early deodorization is essential as a follow-up to cleaning and odor removal procedures. Deodorization gives a clear indication of how effective an odor removal process is working. Deodorizing usually requires multiple techniques to produce the proper results. As a multi-step process, this helps to reduce cross-contamination of smoke residue. Odor removal should begin in the area where the fire originated.

Fire odors are caused by different sources such as soot, flames, contaminated materials that become damaged, all of which require different methods of deodorization. For a fire damage event in Southern McHenry County, your home or business may need a water-based deodorant treatment.   The purpose of this method is to counteract gas smells at the floor level and to keep them from becoming airborne. A compression sprayer is used, which is filled with a water-based deodorant and is then applied to the floor along with a safe odor counteractive chemical for the smoke.   Another deodorant process involves a time-release granulated deodorant that is applied to the floor. These specialized granulates release odor counteractants to reduce the intensity of smoke odors. Granule treatment should only be performed by SERVPRO because of the particular care that should be taken on different floor surfaces.   The last emergency deodorization procedure used is an odor counteractive spray or fog. This method is called “thermal fogging,” to recreate the conditions that exist during a fire. Tiny particles become deeply embedded into surfaces, just like smoke particles during a fire. Odor counteractant vapors will continue to work throughout the SERVPRO restoration project.   Of the varied deodorizing techniques, the first step of any odor removal treatment is to remove the source of the odor. The second basic step is to clean the area of residue. Removing odor sources and cleaning residues is perfunctory in every deodorization methods. During a fire, odors can come from some sources, both indoors and outdoors. Of course, HVAC systems must not be activated during these procedures, and quite often a thorough and comprehensive duct cleaning are needed.   SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County technicians are trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors. We have the training, tool and industry approved equipment to deodorize and remove offensive odors from a fire, water damage or mold. Acting fast can save your property even after fire damage. We are available 24 hours a day, give us a call – (847) 516-1600 and let us help restore your property to a preloss condition.

Enjoy Your Summer Fires by Building a Safe Fire Pit

8/11/2017 (Permalink)

Be Safe By The Pit

It's finally that time for outdoor BBQs, parties, and camp-outs and it's important to always keep safety at the forefront. Whatever type of pit you have in mind, make sure you follow all the rules for proper ignition. This will keep not only your family and friends safe but also those around you, like your neighbors.

Getting Started

Before you start digging to build your summer fire pit, think through the process. Where are you going to build your pit? How deep should you dig? What should you use to create the above ground wall? When selecting your spot, take care not to dig too near other items that would easily flame up. So place your pit at least ten feet from other structures and avoid overhanging branches. It's important that if you are installing a prefabricated pit, you need to ensure your ground is level. Using pavers is a great way to ensure that any burning embers that may escape won't spread to other structures or brush.

When digging your own summer pit, ensure you remove at least one foot of earth. Place large stones or landscaping bricks around the outside edge of your site and cover up at least one foot. Using concrete to secure your bricks will provide a safer, stronger pit. Once you have your pit completed, create a ten-foot circumference around it by clearing any brush, leaving only bare earth, or by using pavers to secure the area and help prevent drifting embers.

Enjoying Your Pit

Light your pit before the light is too dim. Twilight is a bit late, but with some skill, you should be able to get it lit. Make sure you have enough water stored near your pit to quickly douse flames. Finally, keep your wood well away from the pit. And it goes without saying; no horseplay should ever happen near the pit. While we would rather you enjoy your summer safely; the professionals at Southern McHenry County can help you with any fire disaster--large or small.

Preventing Puffbacks

8/6/2017 (Permalink)

During the Cleaning process after a puff back

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

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

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

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

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

Call SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County at 847-516-1600.

Fire and Smoke Damage Clean up tips From SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire and smoke damage

Damage can come in all forms including fire and smoke damage, and water damage.  If you don’t act immediately, you can be faced with additional expenses to fix that damage.  We have compiled a list of tips you can enact when facing such damage.   Today we are going to focus fire and smoke damage.

  • Call a professional.  Some by-products can cause etching which is irreversible fairly quickly.
  • Do not touch anything that has been damaged with your bare hands.  Your hands carry oil which can cause additional damage.
  • Open up the house and air out any smoke damage, if the outside temperature is warm.
  • Do not wash any of the walls that have smoke/fire damage.  The wrong cleaning component can cause more damage.
  • Clean off your Formica, chrome, porcelain or aluminum fixtures to prevent permanent tarnishing.
  • Call a professional to clean up any upholstered furniture and carpets.  Don’t clean them yourself.
  • Keep away from anything and everything electronic until they have been checked out by and cleared by a professional.
  • Replace your air filter on your furnace if you use forced air.
  • If your ceiling is wet, do not use any of the fixtures.
  • Throw away all food packages that have been opened.
  • Any clothing that has been tarnished, send to a professional for cleaning.
  • Clean out the refrigerator/freezers and keep the doors open, if the electricity is off.

If you have any questions or you need emergency call us at 847-516-1600.

Candle Fire Tips and Facts

7/18/2017 (Permalink)

A candle fire in progress.

The winter holiday season is upon it is traditionally a festive time of year filled with colorful decorations and family gatherings, it is too often a time of tragedy and loss as well. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) statistics indicate that 28% of all home fires and 35% of home fire deaths occurred between the months of December, January, and February. These winter fires result from a variety of sources. From 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 9,300 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 86 deaths, 827 injuries and $374 million in direct property damage. And the top three days for home candle fires were Christmas, New Year's Day, and Christmas Eve.

Facts and figures

During the Six-year period of 2009-2014

  • Candles caused 3% of reported home fires, 3% of home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries, and 5% of the direct property damage in home fires.
  • Candle fires occurred in these rooms: 44 percent of candle-sparked fires start in bedrooms, , 19 percent in living rooms, family rooms or dens, 11 percent in bathrooms, seven percent in kitchens, and four percent in dining rooms.
  • Roughly one-third (36%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 32% of the associated deaths and 47% of the associated injuries.
  • Falling asleep was a factor in 11% percent of the home candle fires and 30% of the associated deaths.
  • On average, 25 home candle fires were reported per day. 
  • More than half (58%) of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.
  • December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 11% of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.

Here are some candle safety recommendations:

  • Don't leave them unattended. If leave a room, extinguish the candle and re-light it when you return.
  • Maintain a two-foot circle of safety around a lighted candle. It shouldn't be near clothing, books, curtains, etc. A breeze from an open window or forced hot air from a heat duct can, for instance, sweep a curtain into the proximity of the flame.
  • Use candles with a sturdy base
  • Trim the wick to one-quarter inch. That prevents the flame from becoming too large.
  • Keep lighted candles out of areas where they can be knocked over by kids or pets. People like to put candles at the end of a coffee table, but that's where people reach over to get something, and their clothes can come in contact with a flame.
  • Some candles require special attention, such as those with combustible material embedded in them. When the candle burns down, a little plastic fish, for example, becomes exposed to the flame, and it may ignite.

We here at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County wish you the Happiest of the Holidays.

  • Source: National Fire Protection Association

Fires Can Be Traumatic

7/14/2017 (Permalink)

Here is where the fire started and there was smoke damage throughout the house.

Any fire loss is a traumatic event for home or business owners, leaving you highly stressed and unsure of the process of getting life back to normal. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County delivers compassionate and caring restoration services and guides you through the restoration process so you can recover as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Fire losses are often also water losses and represent a wide variety of technical challenges and SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County has the skills, specialized equipment and systems necessary to return structures back to their normal functioning condition. We thoroughly assess the damage caused by fire, smoke residue and water and start the restoration process immediately because fast action helps to minimize further and extensive fire and smoke damage.

Because SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County specializes in mitigation rather than reconstruction, we do everything possible to restore, rather than replace, damaged structure and even its contents in order to get the job done faster. We are the professionals at removing even the most difficult and persistent smoke odors in the Southern McHenry County area, as well as providing the kind of restorative cleaning required to return property and its' contents to preloss condition.

If you have any questions or you need emergency services call us at 847-516-1600.

Southern McHenry County Smoke and Soot Cleanup

7/21/2016 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
  • Different Types of Smoke

    There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

    Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
  • Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
  • Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 
  • Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

    Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

    Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
    Call Us Today – (847) 516-1600