Recent Fire Damage Posts

Job of the Quarter: Q3

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damaged warehouse Inside of the damaged warehouse was approximately 170,000 square feet of smoke and soot

It’s a tradition here at SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team - Team Wall to spotlight a “Job of the Quarter” four times each year. Usually, the selected job is an exemplary project that represents our strengths and what we strive to deliver in every job. This quarter, we selected a fire restoration job that we completed in July. It was a job that required many members of our team from different departments to pitch in, whether they helped with acquiring the job or seeing it through to the very end. 

No Large Loss Too Large

We received a call from our customer on June 28th after they experienced a large fire loss. Within 24 hours, we were on the job site with members of our Harrisburg West team. Offering to handle the job from start to finish and emphasizing our ability to begin work immediately, we assured our customer that we had lots of experience in large loss jobs, as well as Matterport technology, which would enable us to get the job done in a timely manner. 

Making It “Like it never even happened.”

Inside of the damaged warehouse was approximately 170,000 square feet of smoke and soot, which was exacerbated by the fire having affected the HVAC unit. On July 2nd, the contract was signed and before the end of the day, we began the processes of tarping the roof and duct cleaning. In order to get the company and its employees back on schedule, we worked over the July 4th holiday weekend. In this way, we were able to clean offices while employees were out of the building and minimize distractions. Our team was working around the clock with crews of 40 or more members at a time. We also had to rent a scissor lift in order to clean smoke and soot residue from the warehouse’s high ceilings. Additional challenges were faced by our team throughout the process. Because the company’s production couldn’t be placed on hold while the warehouse was being restored, our team had to learn how to work around their crews and section specific areas off so that they could continue working in other sections of the building. On July 26th, we did our final walkthrough — the warehouse fire damage was “Like it never even happened.”

Teamwork Makes All The Difference

The overarching reason as to why this job was selected over others to be our “Job of the Quarter” is that it highlights the ways in which SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team - Team Wall is truly a team. Our digital marketing team got us in the door and our Harrisburg West team arrived in person to the job site. Commercial Account Manager Jannene Miller followed up with calls and emails to the point of contact throughout the process to make sure SERVPRO remained at the forefront of their minds.  One of our owners, Jim Wall, alongside our Harrisburg West VP of Operations, Jason Quick, and Large Loss Production Manager, George Readinger, also visited the job site to work with the customer. From the office our other owner, Trish Wall, sent letters of recommendation, helping to seal the deal.  All of this goes to show that so many people played a part in making this happen, which helped everything go smoothly. Thanks to our teamwork, we were able to ensure that our customer was happy with not just the final product, but with every step along the way as well.

Have a Large Loss? Call Team Wall

In the event that your commercial business experiences a large loss, whether it be a large fire or water damage from a strong storm, know that SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team - Team Wall is here to help. We offer fire, water, storm, and mold restoration and remediation services specifically designed for commercial properties. Give us a call today for a powerful team of skilled specialists and state-of-the-art restoration equipment and technology that will get the job done. We look forward to future opportunities to help you or your customer recover from any disaster. 

How To Clean Your HVAC System After a Fire

9/2/2021 (Permalink)

HVAC System Tubing A crucial component of minimizing damage after a fire involves an element of your property that works behind the scenes: your HVAC unit.

After any fire emergency, your mind immediately goes to structural damage and destruction of personal belongings. However, a crucial component of minimizing damage after a fire involves an element of your property that works behind the scenes: your HVAC unit. After any fire, it is important to clean the affected areas in order to prevent further fire damage to your property. Because HVAC systems facilitate air circulation, they can carry smoke and soot through the air, causing it to travel to previously unaffected areas of your property. Additionally, it is important to clean HVAC ducts because after fire damage restoration, HVAC systems can still distribute smoke-filled air back into restored areas if they are not included in the initial cleaning. Let’s learn more about HVAC systems and fires in order to determine when HVAC cleaning after a fire may be necessary.

When Should HVAC Cleaning Be Implemented?

Typically, moderate to heavy fires, which produce increased amounts of smoke and soot residue, require HVAC cleaning. Additionally, your property may benefit from HVAC cleaning depending on which side of the HVAC unit (either the supply side or the return side) the fire took place. Regardless of the scope and location of the fire, however, it may be beneficial to enlist the help of a professional who can assess the severity of the fire damage and determine whether or not your property requires HVAC cleaning. In the event that your property’s HVAC system cannot be cleaned normally, we offer duct sealing services, which involves removing, cleaning, and replacing vent registers and air intakes, as well as vacuuming out soot and dust.

HVAC Cleaning Reduces Health Hazards

Smoke and soot that linger in homes following fires can be detrimental to the health of those inhabiting your property. HVAC systems circulate this residue in the air, thereby increasing health effects. Therefore, HVAC unit cleaning is essential in minimizing the potentially detrimental health and air quality effects of fire damage. 

For Professional HVAC Cleaning, Call SERVPRO

Fire emergencies of any size deserve quick and professional fire damage restoration services. You can trust SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County to arrive as soon as possible after you call us at (410) 229-0012. Our Fire Damage Restoration specialists and HVAC cleaning professionals will be with you every step of the way until your property is restored to its preloss condition. Learn more about our Fire Restoration Process and Air Ducts and HVAC Cleaning services on our website.

Lithium Battery Fire Safety

8/13/2021 (Permalink)

An assortment of batteries As portable electronics become a larger part of our lives, lithium battery safety concerns, especially in terms of fire safety, must be considered.

You may know lithium as atomic element number 3 on the periodic table from chemistry class, but among its many real-world uses, lithium is used in batteries, including lithium batteries and lithium-ion batteries. The difference between these two types of lithium-containing batteries is that lithium batteries are primary cells that cannot be charged, while lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable, secondary cells. Both lithium batteries and lithium-ion batteries are capable of storing portable energy, which allows them to be used for a multitude of electronic devices. As portable electronics become a larger part of our lives, lithium battery safety concerns, especially in terms of fire safety, must be considered.

Why Are Lithium Batteries Such a Concern?

It is true that all batteries present risks to safety, however, we use them frequently in our day-to-day lives. Only when they short-circuit or overheat do they become a significant safety concern. During the summer, the chances of batteries overheating in objects like cell phones and other portable electronics increase. In lithium-ion batteries in particular, their lithium-ion cells can reach a maximum temperature as a result of damage, overcharging, or overheating, which causes the battery to begin releasing heat. In recent years, stories detailing cell phones and hoverboards catching fire in the heat could frequently be found in the news. According to the United States Postal Service, lithium batteries are categorized as Class 9, which involves miscellaneous hazardous materials that only present dangers during transportation.

Preventing Lithium Battery Fires This Summer

Because lithium and lithium-ion batteries are utilized in many everyday electronics, including cell phones, laptops, and even electric toothbrushes, fire safety involving these types of batteries is critical. With temperatures heating up this summer, electronics can easily overheat. Therefore, be sure to avoid leaving electronics in a hot car for extended periods of time. Additionally, an unwanted fire can be prevented by making sure not to charge electronics in the heat. When charging your electronics, having a reputable and reliable charger can decrease the risk of a fire. Lastly, it may be beneficial to protect your phone and its lithium battery with a high-quality, strong phone case in order to prevent damage to the battery that might ignite fire. 

Have You Experienced Fire Damage? Call SERVPRO 

Electronics that use lithium and lithium-ion batteries can be used safely and fires resulting from either are rare. However, the unexpected can happen, which is why it is advantageous to be prepared for anything and we here at SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County are ready to help. In the event that your home or business experiences fire damage resulting from a battery or any other source, you can call us at (410) 229-0012 for an immediate response. We offer Fire Damage Restoration Services and Commercial Fire Damage Restoration Services that fit any scenario so that normalcy can be restored as soon as possible. Be sure to also check out our Caring for Your Belongings page specific to fire damage, as we provide various services, such as electronic cleanup for television sets, computers, and more that may be affected by lithium battery malfunctions.

What is Matterport?

6/25/2021 (Permalink)

Matterport is the standard for 3D space capture and collaboration in multiple industry sectors. They are the leading spatial data company focused on digitizing and indexing the built world. Matterport’s all-in-one 3D data platform enables anyone to create an accurate and immersive, digital twin of a physical space, which can be used to design, build, operate, promote, and understand any space.

How Does Matterport Help Our Customers?

Matterport provides two key components that benefit our clients and insurance industry professionals alike: Velocity and accuracy. Gone are the days of measuring a property by hand and utilizing a camera phone to document damages. By utilizing Matterport, SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team- Team Wall can now capture the measurements and photo documentation simultaneously while significantly reducing human error. In fact, Matterport’s Pro2 Camera provides measuring accuracy within a 1% margin of error. The 3D space generated provides unbiased information that cannot be manipulated to the benefit of any party. This 3D space also offers a snapshot in time, giving any insurance industry professional the ability to collaborate on repairs. This in turn expedites the overall claim settlement process, getting the property restored back to our client and adhering to our slogan, “Like it never even happened.”

Matterport In Action

Overcoming Pandemic Obstacles

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, many insurance companies restricted their field adjusters from visiting properties. Limitations on inspections put many adjusters in a precarious situation. SERVPRO Team Wall cemented their trust with Matterport coupled with stellar services performed for our mutual clients. 

Faster to the Finish Line

 When a multi-family condominium suffered structural damage to their roof, an engineer was engaged to determine the necessary repairs. Once he found out that we had scanned the property with Matterport, he utilized the 3D scan to generate a detailed report. This reduced the turnaround time on the report and allowed our team to begin the repairs to the structure.

Caring for Your Belongings

After a fire impacted our client’s residential home, we engaged Matterport to document the personal property and structural damages. Due to our client’s health, she had to limit her time on site. Instead, we opted to scan the property on multiple occasions to put her mind at ease. In addition, she was able to assist with the non-salvageable inventory process with our team.

Matterport is Here For the Assist

SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team – Team Wall strives to create the premier customer service experience. We utilize state-of-the-art technology such as Matterport and continue to implement emerging products that will benefit the overall property restoration process. If you are interested in learning more about SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County or our Matterport services, please give us a call at (410) 229-0012 or visit our website, where you can learn more about our water, storm, fire, and mold restoration services, as well as our other Advanced Technologies that are designed to restore your home or commercial business to its preloss condition as soon as possible.

Understanding Electrical Outlet Guidelines

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

We’ve all had that moment, electrical cord in hand, wondering, “Can I plug this in here?” We weigh the pros and cons of plugging a hefty number of cords into one outlet or filling an extension cord. Just one more shouldn’t make that much of a difference, right? According to the National Fire Protection Agency, the second leading cause of fires in homes between 2012 and 2016 was electronic malfunctions. In the moments when we desperately need to charge our phones or laptops, however, it is important that we remember the consequences of taking risks with electrical outlets and seek clarification. How many cords is too many? How can we ensure that we are protecting our homes from electrical fires?

Statistics About Electrical Fires

First, developing an understanding of the causes of electrical fires in residences is crucial in order to prevent such fires from occurring. In 2018, FEMA published a report on Residential Building Electrical Fires between 2014 and 2016, in which it was concluded that electrical wire was often one of the first items to catch fire in residential building electrical fires. Additionally, outlets and receptacles accounted for 12 percent of the electrical fires ignited, while extension cords also resulted in 5 percent of these fires. Therefore, exercising caution when interacting with electrical wires, cords, and outlets, is key in protecting your home from the dangers of electrical fires.


The FEMA report also outlines a number of guidelines concerning fire safety when interacting with appliances, outlets, and extension cords.


The report asserts that appliances, which range from refrigerators and washing machines to microwaves, should only be plugged directly into wall outlets. It also suggests that the electrical cords and wires used with appliances be closely monitored, as the faster you can identify damage, such as cracking or loosening, the better you can prevent an electrical fire.

Outlets and Extension Cords

When interacting with outlets, be sure to never overload an outlet with more plugs than it is designed to handle. That being said, electrical cords should also always be fully inserted into sockets and three-pronged cords should never be forced into a two-prong outlet. It is especially important to never overload extension cords, as they are only intended to serve as temporary power sources. You can often find out about an extension cord’s capacity by checking its packaging. The report also suggests using extension cords that possess internal overload protection in case of an accident.

Where SERVPRO Can Help

Even with our best efforts, electrical fires can ignite unexpectedly as a result of an accident or emergency. Here at SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County, we understand just how stressful residential fires can be. You can trust our reputable Fire Services to help restore your home to its preloss condition, making the fire “Like it never even happened.” Learn more about our Fire Restoration Process and check out our other fire-related website content, such as our Fire Damage Tips, which can help guide you through the appropriate steps to take after a fire emergency. If your home experiences a fire, call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County immediately at (410) 229-0012.

How Invasive Can Smoke Be?

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

The scariest things always seem to be those that we cannot see. This is true even in fire damage, as the often invisible companion of fire, smoke, can be equally as destructive as fire damage. Capable of invading virtually any area of your home, smoke infiltration in homes and businesses can lead to more restoration work than one may expect. In order to gain a better understanding of the restoration work that may be required following smoke damage, it is important to learn more about the invasive nature of smoke as well as the visible and invisible damage that it can impose upon your home or business.

Why Is Smoke Invasive?

Smoke can make its way into cracks and crevices. This can create staining when homeowners try to clean the soot, as doing so only causes smearing on affected surfaces. Additionally, drywall is a porous material, which increases the ability of smoke to infiltrate. In the event that the smoke extends its reach to insulation, demolition may be needed in order to remove the smoke odor. Depending on the type of contents affected and its proximity to the source, smoke damage can vary.

Surprising Effects of Smoke Damage

Sometimes, after a fire, soot can leave visible residue that resembles spider webs. These are actually webs of smoke that adhere to walls and ceilings. A protein fire, for example, does not leave visible residue like dark smoke or soot. The smoke damage that results from a protein fire is therefore invisible, which leaves homeowners and business owners confused as to why there is nothing visible to clean, but the smell of smoke won’t disappear. Soot residue is also highly acidic and therefore, soot is capable of corroding metal substances within homes and businesses, which can lead to less apparent, long-term damage.

Why Is Demolition Necessary?

Demolition is an important aspect of the restoration process as a result of smoke damage, even though smoke damage does not commonly leave visible residue. In instances of heavy fire damage, it's important to pull out the walls in addition to scrubbing the surface. Soot and smoke find their way into cavities, nesting between drywall or plaster and the firewall in the interior. Smoke odor often becomes trapped in these cavities and insulation. The next time the weather is hot and humid, the smoke smell will come back in full force, as though it was never cleaned in the first place. Therefore, the demolition process is integral to conducting a thorough cleaning. How Do We Combat Invasive Smoke Damage at SERVPRO?

Here at SERVPRO, our general course of action when remediating smoke damage after a fire involves a range of practices and techniques. First and foremost, we remove any charred or burned material as soon as possible. Often, it is necessary that we “chase” smoke, a process in which we track smoke through open areas in order to calculate how far the smoke has travelled. Once all of the areas in which smoke can hide have been revealed and inspected, we can begin the cleaning and smoke remediation process. Usually, there is also a presence of water that needs to be extracted or removed following smoke damage. Additionally, equipment is usually placed in the home to help eliminate the smoke odor. Following demolition and cleaning, we utilize a sealant to encapsulate residual smoke odor that is left in tiny crevices or areas that cannot be easily reached.

Trust SERVPRO with Smoke Damage

If your home or business has been the victim of invasive smoke damage, don’t wait. Call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County immediately at (410) 229-0012. We use specialized equipment and techniques, including deodorizing services as well as both structural cleaning and contents cleaning, to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and surfaces. While we are renowned for our Fire Damage Restoration Services, keep in mind that we also offer a plethora of Building Services, which renders us capable of tackling the entire job, top to bottom. When your home or business experiences a fire, you can count on SERVPRO to handle the fire restoration, smoke and soot restoration, and the demolition and rebuild process, saving you valuable time and reducing stress. Learn more about our Building Services here. No matter what comes your way, we are committed to making it “Like it never even happened,” for your home or business.

Caring for Fire-Damaged Curtains

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

Fires have a nasty habit of tearing through homes and businesses, creating tremendous damage that affects the overall structure of the building, personal items, and everything in between. In order to keep damage to a minimum, it is important to take action as soon as possible once the fire has been put out. Guides to cleaning surfaces after a fire are commonly found online, but what about cleaning textile objects and upholstery? More specifically, what should you do if you discover that your curtains have sustained fire damage? It may come as a surprise, but your fire-damaged curtains shouldn’t immediately be sent to the garbage can. Rather, they may be salvageable with the help of some cleaning. How do you do that? You have a few options. Let’s learn about some of them:

How to Care for Fire-Damaged Curtains

After a fire, your curtains may have experienced either smoke or soot damage. Both types of damage require their own, different cleaning procedures.

Smoke Damage

If the curtains in your home or commercial business have experienced smoke damage as a result of a fire, eliminating the odor is first on the agenda. It is important to remove the odor prior to any other cleaning efforts in order to prevent the smoke smell from becoming trapped in the fabric. Here at SERVPRO, we offer deodorizing treatments, which you can learn more about here. Once the deodorizing process is complete, you can also trust our Drapes and Blinds Services to give your curtains a professional, thorough cleaning.

Soot Damage

Not unlike smoke damage, the first step when dealing with soot damage after a fire is removing the soot particles themselves. This must be done first in order to avoid soot stains, as soot is oil based and can do serious damage to the fabric. Some types of curtains can be dry cleaned, but if you’re unsure of the best way to clean your curtains after soot removal, give us a call. We offer an exclusive process of dry cleaning draperies and have the equipment necessary to provide a quality cleaning that you can trust.

Preventing Additional Fire Damage

When dealing with the aftermath of fire damage, you run the risk of imposing further fire damage on items in your home or business. Refrain from touching curtains that have sustained fire damage and if they happen to be wet from efforts to put out the fire, make sure that they are dried as soon as possible in order to prevent mold growth. It is also helpful to keep windows open or keep air circulating as best as possible. To protect against future fires, consider investing in curtains made of fire-resistant material and stay up to date with fire safety by regularly testing fire alarms as well as practicing fire safety.

Got Fire Damage? Protect Your Belongings with SERVPRO

Have you recently had a fire in your home or business? With SERVPRO, you can ensure that your belongings receive the care that they need. We offer a range of contents restoration services and can help restore your home or business after fire, water, storm, or mold damage. Know that by trusting the fire damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County, your fire-damaged belongings, whether they be curtains or a beloved photograph, will be in good hands. Call us today at (410) 229-0012 or check out our Fire Caring For Your Belongings page for more information.

What To Do After A Fire: Moving Forward With Preparation

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

Residential fires are undoubtedly overwhelming and devastating. It may seem as though there is chaos around every corner, leaving you unsure of what to do. You are eager to do whatever you can to get your home and your life back to normal, but one wrong step can actually do more harm than good. It’s crucial to do everything possible to protect your home from additional damage, so keep reading to learn about some helpful things that you can do when dealing with the aftermath of a fire, as well as measures that you can take to protect your home from a future fire.

Fire Damage Restoration Tips

Taking these steps can help facilitate the restoration process.

  1. Keep Movement to a Minimum

Moving around in your home as you normally do kicks smoke and fire soot particles up into the air, which can be detrimental to your carpets, fabrics, and upholstery. Therefore, limit movement or be careful when inside of your home.

  1. Don’t Attempt to Clean Without Professional Guidance

Cleaning without the guidance of a professional may actually do more harm than good for your home. Consult expert fire damage cleaners before attempting to wash walls or carpets after a fire. Additionally, don’t attempt to clean electronic devices or appliances after a fire if they have come in close contact with fire, water, or intense heat. These appliances can be dangerous if they have been damaged.

  1. Keep Hands Clean

This one may come as a no-brainer, but it’s important to keep your hands clean when handling objects in your home after a fire, as you may expose them to fire soot particles, which can cause additional, unnecessary damage. It may be beneficial to handle items with clean gloves to further decrease this risk.

Preventing Future Fires

Although repairing and restoring your home to its pre-fire condition is crucial, it is equally important to protect your home from future fire damage or smoke damage. According to the American Red Cross, the following actions can be beneficial in protecting your home from a devastating fire for years ahead.

  1. Check on Your Smoke Detectors

Make sure that your smoke detectors, which should be placed in multiple places within your home, are functional and have their batteries changed regularly. It may also be beneficial to install interconnected smoke alarms so that when one alarm goes off, so do the others.

  1. Fire-Proof Your Home

When furnishing your home, you can decrease the chances of a fire spreading in your home after igniting by choosing pieces that are fire-resistant. It doesn’t have to stop at a fire-resistant couch. You can even buy fire-resistant decorative plants!

  1. Limit Fire Risks

You can protect your home from future fires by making small changes to your everyday home activities, such as using electronic devices and heating your home. Don’t let frayed cords or wires continue to be used, even if they appear to still be functional. Instead, take the safer route and replace them ASAP. During the winter, make sure that your stove tops, chimney, or other heating sources are clean prior to use.

Fire Damage? Call SERVPRO

If your home has experienced devastating fire damage or smoke damage and you feel unsure of what to do, call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County at (410) 229-0012 to get the ball rolling with our remediation fire damage services. We’ll provide a full fire damage assessment, as well as the professional guidance that you need. During such uncertainty, let us help you get back on your feet by handling the fire damage cleanup and restoring your home to normal as quickly as possible. Check out our website for more of our expert Fire Damage Restoration Tips.

Make it "Like it never even happened."

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

Whether commercial or residential, fires can have devastating effects on not only homes and buildings but on the lives of those who live or work in them as well. For this reason, it is of great importance that your home or business is restored to its pre-fire condition so that you can get your life back on track. Here at SERVPRO, we strive to make it “Like it never even happened.” With so many unknowns after a fire, you can be certain that we will begin our trusted, 7-step fire restoration process immediately. Let’s take a moment to walk through this process, step by step.

  1. Emergency Contact

As soon as the fire has been put out, be sure to make SERVPRO your first call. Because every fire is different, we work with you to personalize and tailor our restoration services to your individual needs. By calling SERVPRO, you can guarantee that we will respond immediately, equipped with the right resources and equipment for the services that your property requires.

  1. Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Once onsite, our team of experts will carefully inspect the scope of your property’s fire damage in order to determine the extent of fire, smoke, and soot damage. With this information, we are able to build the best plan of action.

  1. Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Services

Before we begin work, our team will place boards or tarps over any areas that have become exposed as a result of fire damage, which may include the destruction of windows, doors, or roofs. These services are necessary in order to prevent further damage during the rest of the restoration process.

  1. Water Removal and Drying

Oftentimes, after a fire has been put out, there may be water damage to the property as a result of the fire having been extinguished with water. If this is the case for your property, we will completely remove all of the water. First, we will get rid of any standing water. Following this process, we will employ dehumidifiers and air movers in order to remove the rest, leaving your property completely dry.

  1. Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

Next, our team targets remaining soot and smoke left on surfaces such as walls and ceilings, using our specialized equipment.

  1. Cleaning and Sanitizing

The next step in our process is cleaning and sanitizing any items that have undergone fire damage. For every item that can be restored after a fire, we clean, sanitize, and disinfect. In order to do so, we utilize a wide array of cleaning techniques and eradicate odors by making use of industrial scrubbers and fogging equipment, giving your home or business a thorough and high-quality clean.

  1. Restoration

The final step of our fire restoration process involves putting the final touches on restoring your home or business to its pre-fire condition. These final steps range from minor repairs, such as painting, replacing drywall, and installing new carpet, to major repairs, including the reconstruction of damaged rooms or areas.

In Need of Fire Damage Restoration? Give SERVPRO a Call

Our number-one priority is helping our customers get back to normal after a destructive and devastating event. If your home or business has undergone fire damage and is in need of restoration services, look no further than SERVPRO. During such a distressing time, take comfort in our thorough, 7-step fire restoration process and know that we will take every step to make your home or business’ fire damage “Like it never even happened,” restoring it to its condition before the fire. Click here for more information about our fire restoration process and call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County today at (410) 229-0012.

3 Hidden Fire Hazards In Your Home

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, 27% of fires occur in residential homes. The majority of homeowners are familiar with the most well-known fire hazards in the home, such as those involving an open flame or electricity, including the stove and electrical wiring. However, other objects in the home that aren’t commonly considered fire hazards can also be dangerous. The following are 3 hidden objects that risk the ignition of a fire in your home.

  • Loose Outlets

Faulty electrical wiring is known to be a fire hazard, but what about electrical outlets? As time passes, the blades inside of electrical outlets loosen. Have you ever tried to plug in a cord and it falls out? This is a common sign that the blades inside of the outlet have loosened. These blades can conduct intense heat, which may lead to a fire igniting.

  • Laptops

We’re all too familiar with experiencing our laptops overheating while using them for long periods of time. When laptops overheat, leaving them sitting on fabric surfaces such as a bed comforter, a blanket, or a sofa, for extended periods of time can risk the ignition of a fire.

  • Glassware

You may remember the classic science experiment of starting a fire by focusing a ray of light on a flammable object through a magnifying glass. Certain types of glassware, which may include vases or drinking glasses, can serve the same purpose as the magnifying glass, instigating a fire if a concentrated ray of sunlight passes through them and focuses onto a flammable object. Be sure to keep glassware away from windows in order to prevent an unwanted fire.

Residential fires can ignite and spread quickly, risking the safety of anyone inside your home and devastating fire damage in the blink of an eye. Keep a lookout for these hidden fire hazards and practice caution when dealing with wires, electrical appliances, and flames in order to prevent a potentially dangerous fire from igniting in your home.

Hidden fire hazards can cause unexpected, devastating damage. If your home has experienced fire damage, call SERVPRO today and click here to learn more about our fire damage services. You can also check out our Fire Brochure. You can trust our team of fire damage specialists with extensive expertise in residential fire damage to restore the damaged areas of your home quickly and thoroughly.

Halloween Fire Safety Tips

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

Anytime there's an excuse to dress up at work, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley Harford County loves to really go all out. It's not uncommon to see a few of us here wearing demon horns or witch hats as early as October 1st. So, when it comes to Halloween, we don't mess around. In fact, a lot of us here deck out our houses with huge rigs of lights, animatronic skeletons, fog machines, speakers, you name it. What does all of this require? Tons of electricity and that can take your relatively safe Halloween night into an actual nightmare. So what precautions can you take to ensure the safety of your house and still keep it spooky?


  • What Are Your Decorations Made of?

Generally speaking, putting dried out hay bales or corn stalks next to open flames is not the best idea. Be sure to take into account what you're setting up and if it could be a hazard or not. One of the biggest culprits of this are paper bag luminaries.

  • Try Swapping Flames for LEDS

While it's nice to have an open flame once in a while, if not properly watched, even something as simple as a jack o lantern can catch fire to something. Try swapping out your run-of-the-mill candles for some color-changing LEDs to not only spark up the action but make your set-up safer.

  • Keep an eye on your costume

Some pieces of dress or costume can have long dangling threads or even just highly flammable material such as acrylic. Always check your surroundings to make sure there isn't an open flame near these materials that could accidentally light. If this does happen, however, always remember; Stop, Drop, and Roll.


Things like fog machines, chainsaws, and riding lawn mowers have a tendency to leak oil if not properly taken care of, always remember to check your gas caps before starting any gas powered equipment near an open flame.

  • Remember to Test Your Electrical Outlets Before You Plug In

Especially those that are outside and exposed to the elements, even if "it worked fine last year" does not mean it will be safe again this year. Take the time to test your outlets and ensure that you're using the correct power outlets to prevent an electrical fire.  Along with this, a good "haunted house" can cost you OVER $281.32 A WEEK (according to That’s a LOT of watts, and you wouldn't want those running all night unsupervised.

Accident prevention is the key to making smart, calculated decisions that could cost you in the long run. We always strive to provide customers with solutions to everyday problems in hopes that they will never need our services again. We know how hard house fires can be for families and we will always be here to get people back on their feet in their time of need. If all else fails, remember, you can always call on your local SERVPRO for assistance.

The Clothes Dryer: A Potential Fire Hazard

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

Dryer In addition to cleaning the lint filter daily, it is also crucial to take several other precautions in order to lower the chances of a fire igniting i

There’s perhaps nothing scarier for homeowners than the ignition of an unwanted fire in the home. When we consider our ideas of the most frequent catalysts of residential fires, the laundry room is most likely not included in that list. A whopping 92% of residential fires originate from an object in the laundry room, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. It may come as a surprise that this object is something that you use on a daily basis: the clothes dryer. Because fires have the ability to spread rapidly to other rooms and areas of the home, it is crucial to learn why clothes dryers can ignite fires and understand what steps you can take to protect your home.

Clean That Lint Filter!

One of the leading causes of clothes dryer fires is neglecting to clean the lint filter, a simple action that only takes seconds. It’s important to clean out the lint filter because lint is highly flammable and with each load, more and more lint accumulates in the lint filter. Additionally, too much lint in the filter can prevent proper airflow, which increases the risk for fire. Therefore, be sure to clean out your dryer’s lint filter between every load. It isn’t sufficient to only clean it out once a week or even once every few days. It’s a small action that can protect your home from disaster in the long run.

Other Ways to Prevent Dryer Fires

In addition to cleaning the lint filter daily, it is also crucial to take several other precautions in order to lower the chances of a fire igniting in your laundry room.

  • Pay Close Attention To Clothing Labels

Be sure to check tags for drying instructions on every item that you intend to put in your dryer. Often, tags will tell you the specific heat setting required for that particular item, which can range anywhere from “tumble dry low” to “high heat”. Following these instructions is incredibly important. Some items that require a low drying temperature can contain types of rubber and, if exposed to high heat, the likelihood of a fire igniting may increase.

  • Check the Outdoor Vent Flap

While we’re most familiar with managing the dryer inside of the house, it’s important to remember that dryers have outdoor vent flaps as well. This vent flap plays a key role in filtering out lint and hot air from the dryer. As a result, a fire can ignite if the vent flap becomes obstructed. Check your vent flap for debris on a regular basis in order to prevent an unwanted fire.

  • Move Flammable Objects Away from the Dryer

In many homes, the laundry room stores general cleaning supplies for the household. However, keeping cleaning supplies located in close proximity to the dryer is risky, as cleaning materials are generally highly flammable. In the event that a fire ignites in the clothes dryer, the fire can spread quickly if there are other flammable materials nearby. Therefore, while it is best that cleaning supplies be stored in another room, be sure to at least keep them a safe distance from the dryer.

If Disaster Strikes…

While it’s a hard reality to face, it’s important to understand that unexpected fires can ignite, even if you take precautions. In the event that your home experiences fire damage as a consequence of a dryer fire, look no further than SERVPRO. We respond immediately and our experienced team of fire damage specialists will restore your home quickly and thoroughly. Damage to your home as a result of a fire is often a stressful and upsetting situation, but know that SERVPRO will be there every step of the way until your home is back to normal. Call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County today and for more information about our fire damage services, click here.

Need a Temporary Roof to Protect You From the Storm?

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Roof with half of a tarp on it We use high grade equipment in order to ensure your buildings protection.

We're making progress on our temporary roof installment for a condo in Frederick! The condo had a fire last week and was in desperate need of some serious protection. Here at SERVPRO Hunt Valley & Harford County, we do things right!

For more information, and progress photos, check out our Facebook post!

"SERVPRO of Frederick County SERVPRO of Gaithersburg/Germantown along with SERVPRO of Hunt Valley & Harford County were recently called to mitigate a devastating condo fire. The roof of the 12 unit building in Frederick County was completely destroyed. Check out these pictures to show the installation progress on the temporary roof and shrink wrap installed last week. This will protect the condo units through the restoration process until a permanent roof can be rebuilt. Isais didn’t stand a chance!"

Fire Up the Barbecue: Gas Grill Safety

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

BBQ Grill, Open Flame It is estimated that an average of 8,900 home fires are the result of gas grills each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

The month of June is famous for backyard barbecues and cookouts. The grill is a staple for
these events and often, they are gas grills, which are usually powered by propane tanks or
cylinders. While grilling should be fun and enjoyable, it is important to recognize that gas grills are a prominent fire hazard. It is estimated that an average of 8,900 home fires are the result of gas grills each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. By understanding
how to safely go about each step in the grilling process, you can minimize the risk of a fire
igniting while keeping your summer cookouts enjoyable and safe.

Using a Propane Cylinder Safely

It is important to check your propane cylinder for damage, such as rust or dents, prior to use. If
you find that the propane cylinder is damaged, refrain from using that particular cylinder.
Additionally, make sure that the propane cylinder is not overfilled before firing up the grill.
Maintaining a distance of at least 10 ft between the propane cylinder and any combustible items
is crucial at all times. It is also extremely unsafe for children to be within close proximity to the
propane cylinder while it is in use. When not in use, propane cylinders should never be stored
inside. Instead, they should be kept in an outdoor location with sufficient ventilation in an upright
position. However, they should not be kept beside or underneath the gas grill.

Gas Grill Safety

Before any kind of cookout, be sure to check your grill for gas leaks. In order to do this, spray a
soapy water solution on the grill fitting and turn on the gas. Bubbles forming on that line
indicates a leak. Another important step is to check the hose that runs from the propane cylinder to the grill for any holes, which may leak gas. Also, be sure to remove any blockages that you find in the grill, which can range from bugs to old food grease, before you use the grill. Make
certain that the grill is located on a level surface in a ventilated outdoor space and don’t leave
the grill unattended while grilling. At any point while grilling you begin to smell gas, evacuate the
area and call the fire department from a safe distance. In the event of an emergency, it may be
beneficial to have a fire extinguisher on hand.
Once you’re finished grilling and the food is smelling wonderful, don’t forget to completely close the valve of the propane cylinder and turn off the grill’s burner controls. Before placing a cover over the grill, make sure that it has thoroughly cooled down.

In the Event of a Fire…

Adhering to safe grilling practices can reduce the chances of the ignition of an unwanted fire,
but regardless of how careful you are, accidents cannot be completely voided. If your home has experienced fire damage due to a gas grill mishap, be sure to call SERVPRO. From fire damage to smoke and soot damage, our team of skilled fire damage specialists will speedily remediate the damage so that you can continue to enjoy your sizzling summer barbecues and cookouts
this June.

Understanding HVAC Systems

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Air Conditioning Unit Are you in the know?

HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems will soon be kicking into gear to keep businesses cool during the hot and humid summer season ahead. When used frequently, HVAC systems can be fire hazards. Commercial fires can have many origins, including cooking equipment complications, electrical circuit malfunctions, or even careless mistakes. Fires caused by HVAC complications are not incredibly common, but the damage can be devastating, so it is important to gain an understanding of the common hazards of HVAC systems in order to most effectively protect your commercial business from damage.

Three Common Hazards
The first of the three common fire hazards associated with HVAC systems that will be discussed is a leaking fuel line. When flammable fuels, such as petroleum, gas, and oil, leak out of an HVAC unit, they may ignite, thus increasing the likelihood of a fire. Regular maintenance is helpful in preventing this type of HVAC fire hazard, as leaking fuel lines can be difficult to detect otherwise.

A second common hazard is compromised electrical connections within the HVAC unit. As they become older, connections loosen, which can result in burnt or exposed electrical wires. These loose connections can be the catalyst of HVAC fires. Such fires often smell like burning plastic and therefore, this smell can be an early warning sign of this type of fire.

Finally, clutter in the area surrounding your HVAC unit can not only risk damage to the unit, but it can also increase the probability of a fire that ignites within an HVAC unit spreading to other areas of your commercial business. HVAC units are often stored in closets or other types of storage areas. Therefore, objects such as crates, boxes, cleaning supplies, or other equipment may be situated in close proximity to the unit. These surrounding objects can damage the HVAC unit itself and in the event of the unit catching fire, these objects can quickly and easily catch fire like a line of dominoes falling, spreading the fire to other areas of your business. This spread can make for an even larger, more devastating fire in your commercial business.

Experienced a Fire?
If your commercial business has experienced an HVAC fire and is left with fire damage and resulting water damage from emergency cleanup, contact SERVPRO. Our highly trained fire and water damage restoration specialists are here to your commercial business back up on its feet as quickly as possible.

Home Cooking Fire Safety

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Pot on Stove-Top Always remember, oil and water can cause large scale fires in your kitchen.

Cooking is an everyday activity that occurs in the majority of households, but did you know that the majority of household fires result from cooking? We cannot simply avoid cooking in order to lessen the risk of a fire igniting in the kitchen, but there are undoubtedly measures that can be taken both before cooking and while cooking to protect your home from a fire.

Before Cooking

Prior to cooking, make sure that your cooking surface is free from any flammable kitchen materials, including paper towels, oven mitts, or wooden objects. Grease, oil, and food debris can accumulate on stove tops and in ovens after cooking, which increases the risk of an unwanted fire igniting, so before cooking, it is beneficial to clean those areas. Finally, like ovens and stoves, pots and pans can become adorned in oil and grease from previous cooking excursions, which can instigate unwanted fires if not cleaned before they are placed in the oven or on a stove top. Taking a moment to wipe down all cooking surfaces and materials prior to cooking will help to significantly decrease the chances of a dangerous fire igniting while cooking.

While Cooking

While cooking, be sure that you remain in the kitchen and stay attentive to what you are cooking. Leaving cooking objects unattended increases the risk of a fire igniting that could quickly become out of control. Therefore, if you must leave the kitchen for a short period of time, make sure to turn off the stove. However, there are some cases, such as baking or roasting a dish for long periods of time, in which it would be unreasonable to never leave the kitchen unattended. When cooking such items, use a timer in order to remember to regularly check on the food.

Even when preventative measures are taken, there is still a chance that a fire could ignite while you are cooking. In order to protect your home, make sure that your home is equipped with smoke alarms and that a fire extinguisher is stored in the kitchen at all times. If the fire is small and manageable, extinguishing the fire yourself may be an option. However, if the fire grows large and becomes too much to handle, exit the house safely, make sure that everyone else in the house has escaped, and call 911. Contacting the fire department will hopefully limit the damage caused by the fire to your home. However, if the damage is significant, remember to call SERVPRO in order to ensure that the damage is remedied quickly and efficiently.

Space Heater Safety

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

Firefighters After Space Heater Fire

With temperatures dropping as we turn the corner into November, a heated home is becoming more necessary to relieve us from the chilly temperatures in Hunt Valley & Harford County. For many homeowners, space heaters are a popular method of providing that desired warmth. While they perform a helpful function, space heaters can also become dangerous. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated in 2013 that 25,000 residential fires and 300 deaths are caused each year by space heaters. However, with a thorough understanding of space heater safety, you can utilize your space heater while keeping your home and family members safe.

   Space heaters can ignite fires if they come into contact with combustible items. Therefore, space heaters should be situated at least 3 feet away from combustible items, which can include curtains, rugs, papers, furniture such as sofas or beds, and clothes. They should also be kept on flat surfaces, away from major walkways in which someone could bump into the heater, knocking it over. Before using a space heater, always check to make sure that it has not been damaged in any way. Examples of damage can include frayed cords, cracks, and loose plugs in addition to damage to the heater itself. If you find that your space heater has been damaged, do not plug it in. Finally, it is a good idea to never leave your space heater unattended while it is in use, as it could ignite a fire with no one present who could notice the smoke or smoke smell and contain the fire. This is why it is crucial to unplug and turn space heaters off before leaving the house or falling asleep.

   It may also be beneficial to have smoke detectors and alarms installed on every level of your home in order to detect fires as soon as possible. If you have children or pets in your home, make sure that they don’t get too close to the heater while it is in use in order to avoid injuries. In the event that a fire ignites as a result of space heater usage, call SERVPRO for any fire damage restoration needs.

Promoting Fire Safety in the Workplace

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Most of us are familiar with home fire safety. Habitually testing our fire alarms, replacing their batteries, and being conscious of the location of the fire extinguisher are drilled into our memory. What may not be so habitual, however, is workplace fire safety. Knowing the instigators of fires in addition to what to do and where to go in the event of a fire emergency are essential skills to have in order to best protect your office from a disastrous fire.

Before all else, taking precautions can make a world of difference in the safety of your workplace. Computers, telephones, and other electrical appliances should be inspected for damage, as faulty wiring can very easily catch fire. Immediately eliminating and replacing all damaged electrical equipment in conjunction with educating employees on how to correctly use electrical appliances can decrease the risk of a fire igniting in the first place. Smoke alarms should also be present in every workplace, as they warn employees of a fire as soon as one is detected. In order to ensure that they are always functioning properly, test the alarms, replace their batteries, and make sure that the alarms can be heard by everyone, no matter their location in the office.

Creating an emergency escape plan that can be followed by employees during a fire is extremely valuable. The plan should be explained in detail, covering which exits can be used and pointing out an exact meeting place outside of the building. With a thorough understanding of the emergency plan before disaster strikes, workers will be able to exit the office as quickly and efficiently as possible in a real emergency. Teaching employees about office fire safety can also help to prevent fires. Prior to a fire, employees should be taught to look for fire hazards while going about their daily routine, use all electrical equipment carefully, and alert others when a fire hazard is spotted. Finally, employees should also know where the fire extinguisher is located in the office in addition to understanding how to operate it.

Protecting your office from a destructive fire can be made attainable by taking safety precautions and ensuring that your employees understand the ins and outs of workplace fire safety.

Home Fire Safety 101

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

In the event of a fire starting in your home, time is of the essence. Mere seconds can determine the severity of the damage that a fire can inflict upon your home. Therefore, preparing your home for the worst and having a fire emergency plan in place ahead of time is necessary in order to keep your home and those living in it as safe as possible during an emergency. Follow these guidelines in order to get the best understanding of each necessary element of fire protection for your home.

Smoke Alarms

Make sure that smoke alarms are installed on each level of your home. It may be extra beneficial to have one smoke alarm inside of every sleeping area in addition to the one alarm per level. It is very important that smoke alarms are tested regularly and that their batteries are changed yearly to make sure that they are functioning properly. Consider installing a central carbon monoxide detector in addition to smoke alarms in order to protect your home from deadly fumes.

Fire Extinguishers

Be sure that there is at least one fire extinguisher in your home that is easy to access in the event of a fire. The type of fire extinguisher recommended for household use is an ABC fire extinguisher, which can put out three different classes of fires. Class A covers trash, paper, and wood fires. Class B is for various liquids and gases. Finally, Class C is for fires emanating from electrical sources. Understand how to use your fire extinguisher beforehand so that you don’t have to waste time reading the directions during an actual emergency.

Enforce Safe Practices

Teach your children the dangers of playing with fire and keep matches as well as lighters in a secure location away from them at all times. Lastly, create a fire emergency plan with your family in order to have a predetermined escape route in the event of an emergency that your entire family can remember in case you become separated.

Preventing Garage Fires

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

Thousands of garage fires occur every year across the country, putting homes at a greater risk of catching fire, especially if the garage is attached to the home. Considering their frequency, it is important to identify the causes of garage fires as well as how to prevent them from igniting in order to protect your home from damage.

Electrical complications such as faulty circuits and overloaded outlets can cause sparks to fly, which can ignite combustible items that may be located nearby. To decrease the chances of this happening, have an electrician investigate the condition of your garage’s wiring. Also, be sure to refrain from using extension cords to power electrical appliances in the garage by instead solely utilizing wall outlets.

It may be helpful to store unwanted items in the garage, however, clutter sitting idly in garages increases the chances of a large fire igniting, as the clutter allows fires to spread quickly and easily. To combat this issue, declutter your garage on a regular basis.

Commonly found in garages, flammable liquids including gasoline, paint, paint thinner, and oil can spark when making physical contact with a flame or when fumes coming off of the liquid reach a flame. Instead of housing these flammable liquids in your garage, opt to store them in sheds of someplace distant from your home.

Alongside flammable liquids, propane tanks used for outdoor grills may also reside in your garage whenever they are not in use. There is a chance that the tanks may not be stored or sealed correctly, so keeping them in an outdoor area that is dry and ventilated would be a much safer storage practice.

Although these tips will help to decrease the probability of a fire igniting in your garage, there is always a chance that a fire will start. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep a fire extinguisher either in your home or in the garage that can be accessed quickly in the event of an emergency. Installing a heat alarm in your garage may also be beneficial in catching a fire before or as soon as it starts.

How Do Electrical Fires Start?

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

When we think about residential fires, the first things that usually come to mind are accidents with matches, candles, or other items that involve a visible flame. However, electrical issues are often invisible culprits, erupting in electrical fires, which account for a significant margin of all residential fires. Electrical fires are most common during the cold, dark winter months due to increased use of heating systems as well as light fixtures. Understanding what causes electrical fires can help you to prevent them from igniting in your home.

Common Causes of Electrical Fires

The use of inadequate electrical wires in the home can often cause electrical fires to ignite if the wires are torn or frayed. When plugged into outlets, appliances with frayed wires can relocate heat to nearby combustible items such as curtains and rugs, which can catch fire. Refrain from running faulty cords under or on top of rugs in order to prevent carpets from igniting.

Be sure to utilize the correct wattage bulb for light fixtures, as installing a bulb with a higher wattage than what is recommended for the fixture can cause a fire. Make sure to also keep combustible items such as cloth on lightbulbs, as the contact with the bulb can cause the item to overheat and subsequently ignite.

Relying on extension cords instead of wall outlets to power appliances may be convenient, but they can increase the risk of an electrical fire igniting because they are only temporary devices for wiring. All major electrical appliances should be plugged into wall outlets to prevent extension cords from creating electrical shock or igniting fires, which can occur if extension cords are utilized over an extended period of time. Call an electrician to install more wall outlets instead if you have a shortage.

Finally, the age of your home and its wiring can be problematic due to the increased amount of electricity demanded by modern electrical appliances if your home was not built within the last 20 years. In theory, the breakers in your home should be triggered if there has been an electricity overload, but aging breakers may not be capable of giving that warning and immediately cause an electrical fire instead.

How to Prevent Grease Fires

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

From the title of a hit musical to its use as an industrial lubricant, grease plays a variety of roles in our lives, but it may be surprising to many that grease is also a common instigator of kitchen fires. It is crucial to prevent grease fires from starting in your home, as they can get out of hand rather quickly. Consider these do’s and don’ts in order to protect your home from the detrimental effects of grease fires.

Before cooking, do make sure to remove any combustible items, such as towels or cookbooks, away from the cooking space. Next, pay close attention when cooking. The majority of grease fires are caused when no one is monitoring what is cooking. Grease fires can ignite and grow in a matter of seconds, so looking away for even a quick moment could enhance the risk. If you’re planning on drinking cocktails before dinner, save those drinks until after you’ve finished cooking dinner, as cooking while intoxicated can increase the risk of accidents occurring or misjudgment, which can subsequently increase the chance of a grease fire igniting. Keep a metal lid close by when cooking in case a grease fire ignites, as you would need to smother this particular type of fire in order to put it out. It would also be wise to keep baking soda handy, since it can also be used to put out grease fires, but only if the fire is small.

When cooking, don’t throw food into the hot oil. Doing so can cause the oil to splatter and potentially catch fire when met with a hot burner. Exercise caution when placing food into the oil by slowly and carefully dropping the items into the oil, especially if the food was previously frozen. Allow frozen food to thaw before cooking it in hot grease. Also, do not throw liquid onto a grease fire if one breaks out, as doing so will cause the fire to spread.

Preventing Fire Damage in Your Home

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Preventing Fire Damage in Your Home

What Causes Fires in Homes?

It is important to recognize common flammable household items in order to prevent fires.

Some of these objects including anything from kitchen items such as flour and oranges to hair spray, shaving cream, and even hand sanitizer.


Hot plugs and sockets as well as blown fuses can often serve as instigators of fires in homes. Exploded wires can spark, thus resulting in a flame, but a flame does not need to be present in order for there to be a risk of fire.


Caution when smoking indoors must be taken, as neglecting to completely put out a cigarette, falling asleep with a cigarette still burning, and the use of improper ashtrays can lead to fires in homes.


Lighting candles in a home can increase the risk for fires to start in homes. Drafts of wind, such as those emanating from nearby open windows, can push candle flames toward flammable objects, thus resulting in a larger fire. Neglecting to keep candles in proper candle holders can also increase this risk.


Certain combinations of household objects can increase the risk for a fire to spark. Among those combinations are: open fire and grease, electricity and water, and keeping linens/clothes next to heaters. Fireplaces can also instigate fires if they are not protected by a screen or glass doors.

5 Tips For Avoiding Fires in Homes

  1. Routinely check and maintain heating sources
  2. Test smoke alarm batteries once a month
  3. Replace frayed wire cords immediately
  4. Keep fire extinguishers handy
  5. Keep hot surfaces clear

5 Steps to Putting Out a Kitchen Grease Fire

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Concentrate while you are cooking

Over 160,000 home fires happen while people are cooking and, unfortunately, cooking is the leading cause of home fires. About two-thirds of those fires began when food and other cooking materials caught on fire. If you know how to respond to a kitchen fire, and specifically a grease fire, you'll be prepared to minimize damages when an emergency happens. Quick action could reduce the need for fire cleanup and the cost of hiring restoration professionals.

1. Prevent fires by removing flammable items from the area.

Towels, flowing sleeves, curtains, and ingredients that could catch on fire should be moved away from the stove. Clean out burners, so that crumbs and caked-on grease can't burst into flames while you're cooking.

2. Stay with your food.

Too many home chefs get food cooking and then walk into the other room while they wait for pots to boil or pans to heat up. If something in the kitchen does catch on fire, you should be there to quickly respond.

3. Cut off the fire's fuel supply.

One of the quickest ways to put out a cooking fire is to cover the flames with a cookie sheet or a large metal lid. DO NOT POUR WATER ON THE FIRE. Turn off the heat source.

4. Put out the flames with appropriate materials.

Throwing water or baking powder on a grease fire could cause heavy damage and serious injuries. Be very careful to use baking soda or even a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher to put out kitchen fires if the flames haven't died down. Never use water to put out a grease fire because it will cause the grease to splatter, hitting people and flammable items throughout your kitchen.

5. Contact the fire department from outside the home.

If you haven't been able to put out the fire at this point, it's best to evacuate the home. Once the fire is out of control, you only have a couple of minutes to get everyone out of the house and to safety. Use a cellphone or the neighbor's phone to contact the Timonium,MD, fire department.

First Aid Tips for Burns in the Workplace

8/17/2018 (Permalink)

Burns in workplace can be dangerous and need to be treated differently for different people

Undeniably, when you own a business in Towson, MD, you must expect the unexpected. This also applies to the health, safety and well-being of your employees. If a fire occurs onsite, you trust your commercial property insurance and fire restoration specialist to handle fire damage to the building. But, are you prepared to handle burn first aid if the damage is to one of your staff?

Care for Minor Burns

A burn is considered minor when the diameter is less than three inches. Pain, blisters or superficial redness are characteristic of this type of injury. You do not typically need to seek professional medical attention for minor burns.

• Train your staff in basic first aid skills, including burns.
• Have a kit of medical supplies on hand in the case of an emergency. This includes cold compresses, sterile gauze bandages, antibiotic ointment, aloe lotion and an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Care for Major Burns

A major burn is greater than three inches in diameter and covers a person’s face, extremities or major joints. These burns may be deep and exhibit a discolored appearance. If an employee suffers a major burn, seek professional medical treatment immediately. Here are some steps you can take until help arrives.

• Keep the injured employee safe from further harm. If fire damage continues to occur to the grounds, evacuate staff promptly.
• Loosen restrictive clothing and accessories to allow for swelling of the burned area.
• Elevate and cover the burned skin with a cool cloth.
• Be alert for reduced respiration or signs of shock.

Your employees are an integral part of your business in Towson, MD, and it is important to provide a safe working environment. In the unexpected event of a fire, care for your staff first and worry about the fire damage to your property second. Train and plan for proper minor burn first aid on the premises. For major burns, call 911 and care for the injured staff member until help arrives.

For more on Towson click here

How To Prevent Grill Fires

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Proper grill maintenance is key to preventing future fires during cooking

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 9,600 home fires are started from grills each year. The leading cause of those grill fires was that the grills had not been properly cleaned. It doesn't matter if your grill is gas, charcoal or a smoker, all grills need cleaned just as you already clean your stovetop in Towson, MD to prevent a grease fire. Take this fire safety precaution and learn the art of grill cleaning. Here is how:

Turn off gas. Close the valve and move the propane tank away from the area. Begin grill cleaning when the grill has cooled to just warm.

Wipe the outside. Just use soapy water and a cotton cloth.

Clean cooking grates. When cool enough to touch, start brushing the bars with a wire brush, then remove them and place in soapy water.

Empty the catch pan. For gas grills, empty the drip pan. For charcoal grills, you simply lift the charcoal grate and rotate the bottom mechanism to dump ash into the catch pan. Empty the ash catch pan. If ash is still hot, store in a metal covered pail.

Clean the cook box of the grill. Grill cleaning the interior of a gas grill includes burner tubes and heat deflectors. For either grill, you can scrape carbon and grease build-up from the interior of the grill with a wire brush and scrub with soapy water.

Reassemble your grill and enjoy safe use. Keep the grill a safe distance from the house when in operation and never leave the grill unattended while food is cooking.

Another important fire safety precaution is to keep children away from grills. Declare a three-foot area around the grill to be a no-kid zone and stay in the area. Proper grill maintenance is the key to preventing structure fires from your grill. If you do have fire damage, at least you can trust restoration specialists to help assess and restore your property to its pre-fire conditions.

For more on Towson click here

How To Choose a Fire Damage Restoration Company for a Home in Cockeysville

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

After the House Fire, Tarps and Boarding

When you find that your property in Cockeysville is subjected to a fire, responding effectively and immediately is important. If you don't take the appropriate course of action, your home could be victimized to not only fire damage, but secondary water damage from the fire extinguishing efforts by the local fire department. Structural weaknesses are always issues along with potential health hazards. A prudent course of action to take during the aftermath of a fire is hiring a fire damage restoration company. Learn more about how to select the company that best fits your needs by reading the following information.

Obtain A Referral from Your Insurance Agent

One strategy you can employ to secure assistance from an experienced fire damage restoration company is to request a referral from your insurance company. This should be your first call once the smoke has settled, your insurance company or agent. Your insurance agency has gained enough industry experience to know which fire damage restoration companies will be able to offer the most efficient, expedient services. An added benefit of following a referral from your provider is that it increases the likelihood that your agent has worked well, in the past, with a company like SERVPRO. We are preferred vendors for over 300 insurance companies, government entities (we did extensive clean up for the Pentagon), and property management companies.  SERVPRO have developed excellent communicative and coordinated cooperation with many insurance adjusters. Our policy of cleaning and restoring, rather than simply replacing fire damaged materials and personal items, saves you money and may help to control your insurance premiums, also.

Do Your Research

The impact to your house from the fire will dictate the degree of restoration required to return your home in Cockeysville to its preloss condition. After the flames are put out, a careful assessment must be made to ascertain the best course of action. The goal is to get you back into your home, if you must vacate during restoration, as soon and as safely as possible. Below is a step by step approach to how SERVPRO executes the fire damage restoration service necessary for a large house fire event.

* Water Removal--post-fire using water pumps, wet vacs, and even mops
* CCIS inventory for all affected items and materials
* Cleaning and wiping of smoke and soot
* HVAC system cleaning
* Debris removal
* Extensive drying utilizing air movers and dehumidifiers
* Sanitize and Odor Removal using various air scrubbers, foggers, and chemicals
* Potential structural rebuild including initial tarping of roof or walls and boarding up for security and safety

Why SERVPRO for Fire Damage Restoration for Your Cockeysville Home.

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Why Choose SERVPRO?

Once a fire has hit your residential property, your living space may become dangerous. To ensure that the fire damage restoration process is completed quickly and correctly to restore safety and sanitation, you should hire the best fire restoration company on the block. That company is SERVPRO. Here are just a few of the great benefits that we have to offer:

• 24/7 Emergency Services
• Highly Trained Fire, Water, and Mold Remediation Specialists
• Fast Response, Local Company
• Trusted Industry Leader With More Than 1,650 Franchises
• Preferred Vendor For Many Local And National Insurance Companies

Over the years, our SERVPRO's trained and certified IICRC technicians and owners, have offered our clients in Cockeysville the customized, cutting edge services they need and deserve. We will alleviate your stressful situation and return you to your home "Like it never even happened."

Locally Owned, with National Resources

We live and work in Cockeysville too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville is close by and ready to respond to your fire damage emergency also in Towson and Lutherville. We are proud to be an active member of the Cockeysville community. We are close by, call for assistance. (410) 229-0012

Have the Skill To Keep the Fire in Your Grill

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Skills to keep the fire in the grill is needed during this time of the year

The weather is warming up in Towson, MD, and you can mentally smell the BBQ food you’re eager to cook outside. Unfortunately, a grill fire can surprise you as something that wasn’t on the menu if you are ill-prepared. Before looking up new recipes or seasonings to try, it’s worth learning the basics of grill safety.

Preparation Is the Key to Prevention

After ensuring the grill’s footing is stable and removing low-hanging tree branches and other flammable items near the grill, it’s time to start your grill the safe and proper way:

• Gas grills: Check the connections on both ends of the gas tank to make sure they are tight. After securing the connectors, coat the hose with a 50/50 water and soap solution before turning the grill on while its lid is open. If you witness any bubbles on the soapy hose during this test, immediately turn off the grill and have it serviced because those leaks put you at risk for a grill fire.

• Charcoal grills: A charcoal grill should be safely lit only with charcoal starter fluid or a charcoal chimney starter. Using other flammable liquids instead, a fire can get out of hand and cause flare-ups that can spread to your residence or cause BBQ smoke damage.

Meat Temperature Shouldn’t Be the Only Thing Monitored While Cooking

While cooking outside, exercise vigilance by following these tips to prevent a BBQ fire:

• Supervise the grill until it is off
• Turn the grill off if you suddenly smell gas
• Call emergency services if a gas smell doesn’t subside after turning the grill off
• Wear clothing that has no loose or hanging parts that could catch fire
• Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and know how to use it

If Fire Spreads Despite Precaution

Following these tips, most accidents can be prevented. If a grill fire occurs and cannot be contained with an extinguisher, contact your local emergency number. If the fire damages your property, a professional fire restoration crew is worth considering to restore your home’s condition and remove any residual smoke smell.

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Recovering from Home Fire Damage in Baltimore

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

After your home is aired out and clean, professionals will repair any damage the fire may have caused.

Recovering from home fire damage

Cleaning up the damage from a fire can be a time consuming task. Recovering from a home fire often involves expensive repairs to your home. When dealing with fire damage, you must contact your insurance agent and work to restore your home to its former glory. On top of that, your home likely won't be livable, which forces you to reside in temporary housing. All of these things can certainly take a toll, and that is why hiring a professional Baltimore fire damage contractor can be a worthwhile investment. They take care of cleaning and restoring your home, so you have one less thing to worry about. 

Cleaning Your Home

The first thing a professional Baltimore fire damage contractor does is clean your home. Bringing in a professional to do this can be extremely helpful because the cleaning process is not always something you can do yourself. Cleaning up after a fire is a long process involving special equipment and expertise in order to ensure that the job is done well. A professional fire damage contractor will first assess the damage caused by the fire. This helps him or her to determine how extensive the damage is, what equipment is necessary to repair and clean it, and how long it will take.  

After the damage is assessed, the fire damage contractor will immediately begin to air out the home so that mold and mildew do not begin to grow. Mold and mildew can start growing in your home in as little as 24 hours after a fire, and if they are left untreated, they can eventually cause health problems to the home's residents. 

Repairing The Damage

After your home is aired out and clean, professionals will repair any damage the fire may have caused. They will repair things like structural, drywall, carpet, and plumbing damage. They will also work to repair any other extensive damage the home may have endured. Professionals will also work quickly to fix your home. They often bring in multiple experts to assist them in making repairs so that the process is quicker. Typically, it can take anywhere from a couple weeks to a few months for repairs to be completed, but it depends on the extent of the damage.  

If your home has suffered Baltimore fire damage, it is important to contact a professional. They have experience repairing this type of damage and the proper equipment to get the job done right. No matter what the extent of the damage to your home is, it is helpful to have professional help so you can be sure the repairs will be done correctly.

How to Effectively Stop a Grease Fire From Spreading

2/1/2018 (Permalink)

Woodbrook, Maryland Grease Cleanup

It’s something most people don’t expect to experience, but a grease fire is a dangerous situation that can happen to anyone, including experienced cooks. If you ever end up dealing with the unfortunate situation of having this type of fire in your home in Woodbrook, Maryland there are three steps you should follow to effectively stop it from spreading any further.

  1. Cover your pot with a metal lid. If the grease fire is just starting inside a pot or pan on the stove, you may have time to put a stop to it before it spreads to the other burners and to other areas of your home. Grab a metal lid belonging to one of the pots or pans you’re using and quickly place it on top of the pot.
  2. Turn the stove burners off. After you’ve covered the pot with a metal lid, make sure to turn the burners off. If you leave the burners on, the pot will continue to stay hot, and that may cause the fire to spread out of control. The goal is to shut everything off before it has any time to spread throughout the home.
  3. Call for help to keep the fire from spreading. If covering the pot with a metal lid and turning the burners off hasn’t helped and you can see the grease fire spreading to other areas of the stove, call for help. You shouldn’t waste any time contacting firefighters.

Any fire is dangerous, but one caused by grease can spread quickly. Knowing how to protect yourself if you’re ever in that situation in Woodbrook, Maryland, is important for your safety as well as the overall protection of your home. You must act quickly to cover the pot, turn the stove off, and call for help to keep the fire from spreading out of control and causing serious damage.

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Tips To Make Cleanup After a Fire Easy

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Tips To Make Cleanup After a Fire Easy

One of the most devastating events you and your family can experience is losing your home and belongings to a fire. Dealing with finding a temporary place to live while rebuilding your life can be a stressful time, especially if there was extensive smoke damage to some or all of your belongings. You may think your possessions are a total loss following a fire and that you should throw them away, but you may be surprised by the number of items you can save through dry cleaning and other professional cleanup efforts. Consider these tips on how you can clean smoke-damaged items and possibly preserve prized family heirlooms.

1. Inspect Your Home

After a fire, do a thorough inspection of your home and belongings to see what you can try to save. There may be some objects that have been thoroughly destroyed that will need to be tossed, but others may have simply suffered smoke or water damage.

2. Separate Objects by Damage

The type of damage your items suffered will determine how they’ll be cleaned and restored. For example, belongings ruined by water from when firefighters extinguished the fire will not be treated the same as possessions affected by smoke.

3. Clean and Store Items

After you’ve separated your items for cleanup, you’ll want to begin the restoration process. You should have higher-priority objects, such as clothing, treated first since they’re items you’re more likely to use daily. Dry cleaning your clothes can remove any smoke damage that may be present. When it comes to content cleaning, most fire remediation professionals in Towson North, Maryland can restore non-porous items using ultrasonic cleaning. Once your items have been restored, you’ll want to use a content storage facility to keep them safe until your home has been repaired or rebuilt.

It’s important to begin the post-fire cleanup and restoration process as soon as possible. The sooner you’re able to get fire damage restoration professionals in your home to assess the damage and begin dry cleaning, the more belongings you’ll likely be able to save. Visit for more information on fire damage.

How to Recover Your Home or Business After a Fire

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

How to Recover Your Home or Business After a Fire

Recovering from fire in home or fire in business can seem like an insurmountable task on first blush. A fire damage restoration service can provide you with invaluable assistance when it comes to the aftermath of a fire in home or fire in business.

Immediate Restoration Company Response

When it comes to understanding how to best recover from a fire in home or fire in business, you must never underestimate the importance of immediate restoration company response. The reality is that fire damage can best be remediated successfully when efforts at fire damage restoration commences directly after a fire is put out.

When it comes to fire damage, even a slight delay in beginning the fire cleanup process permits the situation to deteriorate further. Indeed, the rate of deterioration associated with fire damage is based on a rate measured in hours, not days.

A prime example of what needs to be done immediately is the board up of a fire damages property. Board up is vital to ensure that the elements do not cause further damage to a property. In addition, board up protects the premises from intrusion by people with no business being at the premises. A professional fire damage remediation company understands the vital necessity of the prompt board up of a residential or commercial property following a fire.

Comprehensive Fire Damage Restoration Services

When you are in need of assistance after a fire in home or fire in business, you are best served engaging a fire damage restoration firm that provides a comprehensive range of services. This includes everything from initial board up and fire cleanup to remediating issues like smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell.

When a company provides comprehensive services for smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell, you are in a better position to accomplish a thorough and efficient fire cleanup and recovery.

Cost of Restoration Company Services

When in need of residential or commercial fire damage assistance, you want reliable services but you also desire reasonable pricing. The reality is that when it comes to residential and commercial fire damage recovery, there can be some fairly significant disparity between pricing from one restoration company to another. Although you want a company on site as soon as possible, you are best served carving out at least some time to a bit of price comparison from one fire cleanup and recovery company to another.

A reputable restoration company will be quick to come to the scene of a fire and undertake an appropriate inspection. Via this inspection, a recovery firm will be able to provide you with a reliable estimate for services necessary to restore your property after a fire in home or fire in business. Indeed, there are some firms that take this a step further and guarantee the initial estimate provide for a recovery and restoration project on a home or business.

Fire Damage Restoration Specialists

When in need of residential or commercial fire damage recovery assistance, you need individual specialists that are properly suited for the task. You need to access a residential or commercial fire damage recovery firm that maintains a properly trained, licensed, bonded, and insured team of specialists.

Proper Fire Cleanup and Recovery Equipment

The equipment utilized by a fire restoration company is a crucial consideration. This includes equipment designed to address issues like smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell. There exists some highly effective, recently developed technology associated with this type of equipment that is now being used by some restoration companies.

As an aside, you also need to ascertain what types of chemicals might be utilized when addressing smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell. You might have some definite preferences when it comes to the chemicals that might be utilized as part of the overall fire cleanup and recovery process.
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How to Effectively Address Fire Damage

7/26/2017 (Permalink)

How to Effectively Address Fire Damage

After a fire damage in your property, you will need to replace a lot of things. However, you can only know what you need to replace after undertaking a thorough fire cleanup. A fire cleanup will entail removing the burnt items and sweeping the floor so that you can begin to estimate the cost of repair. The cleanup can be a tricky exercise after the commercial fire damage if you have a lot of debris and charred items that could pose some dangers. Beware of the sharp things such as nails and steel rods that could be risky. While cleaning up, you need all hands on deck. While you might not want to rush the job and expose the workers to these risks, procrastination is not a good idea. Remember that the water used for firefighting could carry some corrosive chemicals that might affect your house. The best idea when it comes to fire cleanup after commercial fire damage is to hire as many workers as possible. While undertaking the job, ensure that the workers have the protective gear they require to avoid injuries. Alternatively, you can hire a commercial fire damage specialist to undertake the job. The restoration company will have the necessary gear and expertise to do the job safely in the event of a fire in business premises.

Smoke and soot

The commercial fire damage will leave some ugly discolorations of soot and smoke damage. The restoration company will start with a fire cleanup to eliminate the soot damage before embarking on the renovation. If you renovate your home without taking these considerations, you are likely to have some problems in the future. Be sure to complete the fire cleanup before you apply a coat of paint on the walls. Soot contains lots of carbon-based toxins that can be harmful. Besides, the presence of burnt plastics can lead to lots of problems that the restoration company will address as soon as possible. A restoration company will come in handy if you are dealing with fire in home floors, fire in business walls, smoke smell, soot damage, or smoke damage. You can save money if you salvage some things after a fire in home walls.

Avoid DIY fire damage restoration

Fire damage restoration is not a DIY exercise. With so many issues to handle, you must engage a professional company to address the effects of fire damage on your behalf. While dealing with the fire damage, you will notice that the board up is the most difficult issue to address. The board up entails removing the burnt ceiling and roof to replace it with new materials. As you undertake the board up, you will need to support these structures to prevent them from crumbling and causing some accidents. Since you might not have the necessary props and stakes, a fire damage restoration company will work to your advantage.

Safety precautions

Dealing with the effects of fire in home ceilings is a major board up operation that requires professional assistance and special equipment. Commercial fire damage restoration might even be more difficult than dealing with the fire in home roofs and ceilings since some commercial ceilings are quite high. When repairing the building after you experience a fire in business premises, you must hire a contractor if you want to get back on track as soon as possible. Avoid using your staff to undertake the job. If your staff members are injured in the process, you might have some lawsuits to handle. Engaging a restoration company to deal with the soot damage, smoke damage, and any other effects of fire in business premises will save you a lot of time and money. Repairing your floors and walls after a fire in home ceilings is a daunting task that calls for professional intervention. Since you have to consider the risks of soot damage and smoke damage, you do not want to expose your family to the smoke smell. The smoke smell can linger in your home for days after the fire damage. Instead of using deodorants to get rid of the smoke smell, you should open the windows. A proper ventilation system will come in handy when dealing with the smoke smell and addressing the soot damage.
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Why You Need Professional Help with Fire Damage Restoration

6/30/2017 (Permalink)

Why You Need Professional Help with Fire Damage Restoration

Fire damage is no joke, and it affects millions of people worldwide. It can be devastating to deal with some type of fire damage in your home, but it's great to know that there are professionals who are there to make life easier for you. Fire damage restoration professionals will come in and take care of the smoke damage and soot damage that has ravished your home or business.

What are the Effects of Fire Damage?

The problem with fire damage, smoke damage and soot damage is that it can linger for years if it is not properly cleaned. Another issue that homeowners and business owners have is that the water used to put out the fire causes additional damage that needs to be restored. If the soot damage and smoke damage is allowed to linger, it can weaken floor boards and make the structure of your home or building very unstable. This is why it is imperative that you work with an expert fire damage restoration team. Fire cleanup is beneficial for so many reasons, and it can be a lot cheaper than you think.

Professional Fire Cleanup

Professional fire cleanup is readily available to you if you're currently dealing with this problem. Fire damage restoration uses a variety of different tools, meters and commercial fire damage machines to get rid of the soot damage, smoke damage and the smoke smell that is left to linger. The reason it might be a better choice for you to let the experts deal with the fire in your home or fire in the business is because they have the tools and skills necessary to get the job done. Most homeowners are not skilled enough to get the full extent of the damage cleaned up in the proper manner.

Hiring a Fire Damage Restoration Company

In order for you to hire the pros, you need to find a commercial fire damage cleanup team who can come to your place of business or home and begin the work. They will take care of the damage left from a fire in your home or a fire in a business and rid the air of that lingering smoke smell. You can read reviews online to get a feel for the type of company you're looking to hire for this specific job.

What to Expect with Fire Cleanup

Once you make the decision to hire a commercial fire damage company, you'll be working with experts who bring all of their own tools and machines to get the job done. It can take several days to a few weeks to handle the aftermath of a fire in a home or a fire in a business when the experts get involved. The pros may also have to make multiple trips back to ensure that the smoke smell is totally gone from the air. They use specialty air monitoring devices to measure the smoke smell that is apparent and is being breathed in by you and your loved ones.

Preventing a Fire in Your Home and Fire in a Business

The most important thing that you can do in your home or for your business is to prevent a fire altogether in order to reduce the chances of dealing with commercial fire damage. The way to do this is to continually have the home or office inspected for any mechanical, electrical or fire hazards that might be an issue in the future. You will also want to make sure that you have the proper steps put into place to prevent a fire from getting out of hand, like having extinguishers readily available and teaching everyone how to use it in the correct manner. These extinguishers may not get rid of a large fire, but they will be ideal for when a fire is just getting started and has not yet spread.
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Professional Fire Damage Restoration in Cockeysville

4/10/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke & Fire Restoration Is a Cornerstone of SERVPRO Cleanup for Your Cockeysville Property

SERVPRO Holds the Answers to Smoke & Fire Damage Restoration

After a fire, your home and possessions are damaged, and you may feel devastated and unsure of what to do next. Your family is emotionally traumatized and in shock. You need to have SERVPRO come to your home to clean up the damage from fire. A professional fire damage restoration company, we are courteous and understanding as well. Our experts know how to perform cleanup for damage from fire efficiently and quickly while keeping you and your loved ones in mind.
At SERVPRO, we do everything needed to restore your Cockeysville home to its original state after fire damage. We clear out soot, smoke, and odors, wash surfaces and repaint, repair or replace areas of the structure so that your home is as good as new.
After you hire SERVPRO to take care of your cleanup from fire damage, a representative and our certified technicians come to your home and conduct an inspection. They establish the scope of the damage. After it is approved by you and your insurance company, we can begin the work. For emergency situations requiring immediate cleanup, you can sign off on the work with a form and deposit. We need to start the restoration process as soon as we can after the fire. The damage worsens the longer you wait.
Clearing Odors
Large, industrial axial box fans are brought in to get rid of smoke and odors from the area which is damaged if there is access to the exterior in the damaged areas. We do this important step because smoke can contain substances which are corrosive and continue to damage the items in your home if it remains. The fans also assist in drying out walls and floors which have been damaged by water.
Removing Residues
We clean soot from ceilings, walls, and floors, which involves coating metal surfaces with petroleum jelly to keep them from corroding, getting rid of wet carpeting to protect wooden floors or other steps to prevent mold growth. Ceilings, walls, and woodwork are washed with special cleaners to remove soot. Circumstances guide the SERVPRO technicians on particular courses of action.
Protecting Unaffected Sections
Some areas of your home may not have suffered from the fire, so our team closes them off to keep odors and soot from traveling into them and creating more damage. Some items like furniture, appliances and personal items which are not damaged can be taken out and put in storage until after repairs and cleaning are complete. If the smoke and fire damage is limited, pack-out is not required.
Replace, Repaint, Repair
Some parts of your home may need repainting once smoke odors and soot are gone. Alternatively, they may need to be repaired or rebuilt completely. Sometimes, cleaning takes soot off ceilings and walls. However, many times repainting is necessary. We may at times sand and scrub flooring, but as with carpeting, at times these elements may not be restorable.
Your home is your sanctuary, and when it is damaged, you want to find someone you can depend on to restore it, so do not hesitate to contact us at SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/ Lutherville after a fire. When you call us at (410) 229-0012, we are at your home quickly to efficiently perform restoration for fire damage.

Protect Your Responsible Renter Reputation after Fire has Caused Damage to Your Hampton Apartment

2/1/2017 (Permalink)

Fires in Hampton Can Destroy Rental Properties and Personal Possessions

SERVPRO Helps Renters with Fire Damaged Units

The small fire caused by one little candle falling over when you were relaxing in the tub caused more than a little bit of damage. It is a sad way to find out that the counter top in your bathroom is only imitation marble. Now the bathroom needs some serious work to get it back to how it used to be. It was bad enough that the fire ruined the little bit of time you managed to get chiseled out of your daily schedule, just for yourself. Now you have a mess that needs to be cleaned up before your landlord sees it. SERVPRO can help you set things right again, protecting your security deposit, and ensuring you can still use your bathroom for the remainder of your lease.
In Hampton, finding an apartment is not always easy, and having fire damage in a rental unit can cause problems for renters in the future, too. Potential landlords can locate and access not only court documents from previous landlord-tenant suits, but also fire department reports. Finding that there was a fire in a unit that you rented in the past has been known to be the reason many landlords refuse to rent to those who have had fires in the past. It is better to make sure that any fire damage in the apartment or home you are renting has been eliminated before the end of your lease.
SERVPRO employees are well-trained and educated in the many areas you are going to need to make things normal again, such as our Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician (FSRT). We can significantly decrease odors if they are noticeable. Our belief is always to help our customers in ways that can provide the most benefit to them, long-term. We know that having one fire in your lifetime is more likely to make you more cautious with fire-causing materials in the future, not less cautious, as many believe. One small mistake in the placement of a candle should not cause you grief the next time you search for a new place to rent.
When you are facing the responsibility head-on of repairing fire damage that you caused instead of letting it wait until your landlord discovers it after you have moved out is commendable, but the work should always be top-notch. Call us, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville at (410) 229-0012, so we can provide you with the best in repair and restoration work.

Common Cleaning Methods Used For Fire Damage

10/14/2016 (Permalink)

When residential or commercial damage occurs due to a fire, restoration is needed to restore families and businesses back to a pre-damaged condition.

Different Cleaning Techniques

When residential or commercial damage occurs due to a fire, a storm, mold or water, restoration is vitally needed to help restore families and businesses back to a pre-damaged condition. SERVPRO uses various methods to help restore personal belongings and furnishings. One such successful method is called “immersion” which employs the scientific advancement of ultrasonic cleaning technology.

Ultrasound cleaning is a technologically advanced method of cleaning contaminants. It is based on the use of sound waves in a specially formulated cleaning fluid. When SERVPRO uses ultrasound as a cleaning method for fire damage in Cockeysville, it successfully helps to restore your valuable contents. Its strength to clean even the most stubborn substances from items affected by fire, water, or mold, stems from the industry approved use of a “transducer.” A transducer is only used by professional remediation technicians who are highly trained in OSHA and IICRC techniques. Professionals know how to safely use ultrasound cleaning because of the complex factors involved.

The factors include heat, power, frequency, detergent type and time, all of which affects the cleaning process to achieve the most effective results to help you become whole again. The method of using ultrasound in the restoration process, involves ultrasonic energy entering a liquid within a tank, causing agitating formation and the collapse of tiny bubbles or “cavitation.” The bubbles quickly increase in size until they implode against the item being cleaned which violently and safely lifts contamination from its surface and recesses. For efficient cleaning, the restoration industry rule is that the lower the frequency, the larger are the cavitation bubbles and higher is the level of energy released.

Ultrasonic cleaning technology works without harming metals, plastics, glass, rubber, ceramics and more. Ultrasound waves completely remove contaminants such as dirt, rust, dust, soot, grease, carbon deposits, mold, wax, lime scale, pigments, bacteria, fingerprints, fungus, algae, biological soil, etc.

SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville specializes in a “restore” versus “replace” mentality to help our residents preserve as much of their precious keepsakes and belongings as possible. Our technicians are licensed professionals who are prepared to restore and repair any disaster your home may be experiencing.

We are available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us today and let us explain our restoration services. Our experience and training are designed to give you peace of mind, from a remediation company that is compassionate and trusting – (410) 229-0012.

What You Should do if You've had Residential Fire Damage

6/27/2016 (Permalink)

If your Cockeysville home has sustained fire damage, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville can quickly restore it back to pre-loss condition!

What You Should Do When Dealing with Fire Damage in Your Home

Life has enough interruptions and bumps along the way without the unwanted disaster of a house fire. The aftermath is almost as bad but much longer-lasting. Even small fires can merit the use of a professional restoration company. Cooking fires that spread beyond the stove, barbecue grills that go haywire, and even small appliances that catch fire can cause damage to surrounding areas. 

Small Fires can Pose High Risks 

While you should never pour water on a grease fire, nor on an electrical one, many times that is a person's first reaction anywhere. This can cause even more damage. Cooking fires and electrical shorts are common causes of Cockeysville fire damage. It can also create physical risks to people standing nearby. With grease fires, baking soda should be poured into the skillet and any grease or oil that has caught fire outside of the cooking pan or skillet instead of water. 

With electrical fires, the appliance should be unplugged if it can be safely done, but not by pulling on the cord. This can cause the cord to snap, leaving the plug, without the cord, still in the outlet. The power to the area where this is happening should be shut off at the fuse box as quickly as possible to eliminate the hazard. 

After the Fire is Out, It's Time to Repair the Damage 

When there's been a localized fire, you should have someone assess the damages for you. This can often help with insurance documentation. Landlords, if you are renting, will also appreciate if you inform them of the fire, and they can see the damage for themselves. It is every landlord's worst nightmare to have a fire or flood damage their properties. If they can see the amount of damage, they can rest easier knowing the extent of the repairs required. Fires do happen, through nobody's fault, and your landlord will know this. 

Damage can range from blackened walls and countertops to heavily burned surfaces, electrical wires being damaged and requiring replacement, to floors suffering damage so severe they must be replaced to be safe again. Having experts conduct the repairs needed can greatly facilitate insurance claims being resolved, as well. 

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

At SERRVPRO of Hunt Valley and Lutherville, we have highly trained and skilled professionals who are experienced in all sizes of fire damage clean-up and restoration. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you clean-up and repair fire damage, no matter how large or small. Call us at (410) 229-0012 to get the necessary damages repaired and the mess eliminated so you can go back to your daily routine. 

Lutherville Fire Damage: Why a Fast Response Is So Important

2/26/2016 (Permalink)

It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames.

Why a Fast Response Is Important For Fire Damage In Lutherville

After a fire in Lutherville, you should immediately notify your insurance company. Once you've put in your call to your local restoration specialists, they will secure your home, assess damages, and put together a cost estimate for restoration work. Damage caused by smoke, water, and other factors will be included in an estimate for cleaning, restoring and deodorizing. The experts will go through the entire house, assessing and inventorying all items that may have been damaged by fire, smoke or firefighting efforts. Types of fire damage include burnt structure, personal goods, soot, smoke, water and mold damage. Items assessed include everything from dishes, electronics and clothing to jewelry, furniture and artwork.

What Does the Fire Restoration Process Include?

A professional team will conduct a complete and comprehensive treatment and restoration after Lutherville fire damage. Items that have been affected by the fire will be removed, and personal property that is salvageable will be cleaned, dried and deodorized. The pungent odors caused by various types of smoke will be eliminated throughout the home. Smoke damage can be even more devastating than damage from the fire itself, and special equipment is required to track down the origin and eliminate residual pungent odors. Water damage from firefighting or damaged water pipes will also be mediated. Charred contents like burned wood and insulation can seal in smoke and may need to be removed. Carpeting, flooring, framing and subflooring will be inspected for safety and odors.

What Specific Services Will Help Restore a Home?

Lutherville Fire damage recovery services include comprehensive restoration and cleaning of all structure and property involved in the fire. Starting with board-up service and removal and inventorying of damaged items, our experts will take care of every last piece of property that has suffered fire, smoke or water damage, from electronic equipment repair to furniture refinishing and upholstery cleaning. From structural damage restoration to soot removal, HVAC duct cleaning, content restoration, biohazard cleaning and water damage mitigation, your local restoration specialists will attend to all aspects of restoring your home after the devastation of a house fire.

Fire damage mitigation experts have the experience and specialized equipment necessary to safely restore your home and property, eliminate the source of all post-fire odors, ferret out and repair water damage, and prevent the insidious growth of mold. 

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville is strategically located to respond quickly to your flood and water emergency event. When fire damage occurs, we have the resources and personnel to help. Call us today! (410) 229-0012