Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire Safety Tips for the Fourth of July

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

With the Fourth of July coming up, it is a good time to talk about fire damage.  Fireworks, cookouts and candles can all pose risks to properties, so always be careful with any flames indoors or outside. Make sure that your grill, bonfire, or any other potential hazards are far away from flammable materials. These can be obvious things, like a wooden awning, or any other part of your home, but also grasses, debris, chair cushions, etc. This might go without saying, but always keep an eye on kids, especially when fireworks (even seemingly harmless things like sparklers) are involved. Also, if anyone has had a few too many adult beverages, its best for someone who’s sober to take over any duties involving potential fire hazards.

Although we all hope for a beautiful day, it’s also good to keep an eye on the weather. High winds can end up blowing smoke or fire farther than you’d expect. It’s also a good idea to keep an extinguisher handy, just in case things get out of control. Following some simple guidelines, you should be fine; however, if something does go wrong and a fire breaks out, SERVPRO of Northbrook / Wheeling / Glencoe is here to help. It’s important to recognize that fire damage can lead to many more problems that we can help with. If the fire department was needed, there is often extensive damage to the property, not only from the fire, but also from the water used to put it out. We can restore any damages caused by either fire, water, or mold, making sure that your home is safe and habitable. Also, if there’s a lingering odor from smoke, even if it’s just from a bonfire or a grilling incident gone wrong, we can come and eliminate those unwanted scents.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to call us at (847) 498-8889

Post Fire Facts

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have A Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency? 
Call (847)498-8889

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Smoke and soot facts!

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

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

Smoke and soot facts:

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

Different Types of Smoke

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

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

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

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (847) 498-8889

Fire Safety

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

It might be easy to forget about fire risks during Chicago’s storm season, but even though the potential for water damage is higher during this time of the year, you should always take the necessary precautions to prevent fire hazards.

  1. Install and test smoke detectors

You’ve probably heard this one, but I cannot stress how important it is that your smoke detectors are in the right places and are regularly tested. There should always be one on every floor (including the basement) and outside of each bedroom. If they’re on the wall, they should be 4 to 12 inches from the ceiling, and if they’re on the ceiling, at least 4 inches from the wall. This ensures that the fire will be detected before it becomes too large. You should also test your alarm once a month, change the batteries once a year, and replace it every ten years.

  1. Purchase a small fire extinguisher

Small fire extinguishers can be purchased at your local hardware store. You should always have one in an easily accessible place in case of emergency. It’s important to stop fires as fast as possible, so you’ll want it in a place where you can find it quickly.

It might be easy to forget about fire risks during Chicago’s storm season, but even though the potential for water damage is higher during this time of the year, you should always take the necessary precautions to prevent fire hazards.

  1. Install and test smoke detectors

You’ve probably heard this one, but I cannot stress how important it is that your smoke detectors are in the right places and are regularly tested. There should always be one on every floor (including the basement) and outside of each bedroom. If they’re on the wall, they should be 4 to 12 inches from the ceiling, and if they’re on the ceiling, at least 4 inches from the wall. This ensures that the fire will be detected before it becomes too large. You should also test your alarm once a month, change the batteries once a year, and replace it every ten years.

  1. Purchase a small fire extinguisher

Small fire extinguishers can be purchased at your local hardware store. You should always have one in an easily accessible place in case of emergency. It’s important to stop fires as fast as possible, so you’ll want it in a place where you can find it quickly.

  1. Regularly clean and maintain any potential fire hazards

It’s easy to forget that appliances and other conveniences can also be fire hazards, but you should always remember to keep an eye out for possible dangers. Keep flammable materials (towels, oven mitts, rugs) away from stoves or fireplaces. If you have a fireplace, make sure that you install a chimney cap, close the damper, and schedule a yearly inspection.

Of course, any fire, even if it’s only brief, leads to odors, soot, and other damages that SERVPRO of Northbrook/Wheeling/Glencoe can professionally restore, like it never even happened. 

If you have any emergencies or questions, call us at (847) 498-8889.

Cooking Fires!

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

Cooking fires are the leading cause of fire damage in the US.  The reason is because the kitchen is where heat, water, gas, electricity,  and grease come together.  Grease fires can cause huge devastation and most people do not know how to properly put out a grease fire.  The first thing that needs to happen is TURN THE HEAT OFF!  Once you take away the source of the heat, you must place a metal lid on whatever you are cooking and apply baking soda to the top.  NEVER TRY TO PUT OUT A GREASE FIRE WITH WATER!  This will only cause more issues and will make the fire worse. 

The second leading cause of Fires in America is electrical fires.  These can happen for a number of different reasons.  They can include faulty appliances, worn or faulty electrical wiring, improper use of electrical outlets and worn out breaker boxes.  This is especially true for older homes, which do not always have the proper wiring to handle the electrical appliances we use today.  This can cause shorts and sparks that can actually ignite inside the walls.  Also, old circuit breakers are made to shut off electrical current when the circuit is overloaded as a way to prevent fires, but often times the connections may be worn or broken, and do not activate the breaker switch. 

No matter the cause, always be aware that fires can happen at any moment, and to always be prepared for whatever happens!  If you do find yourself in need of professional help after a fire, never hesitate to call SERVPRO of Northbrook/Wheeling/Glencoe at (847)498-8889!

After a fire, what do you do?

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals know just how devastating a fire can be. Fire and water damage can leave your house unsafe and unlivable. They’re trained to clean and restore your home with as little disruption as possible. Learn more about the fire damage restoration process.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

Step 6: Cleaning and Repair

Step 7: Restoration

Once these steps are taken, it will be like it never even happened!  SERVPRO has been cleaning fires for decades and know exactly what your house needs in order to get you back to where you were.  If you ever have any questions, please contact us at (847)498-8889.  Before hiring a fire restoration contractor, make sure they are certified by the IICRC!

Out of the Frying Pan: What Can You Do About Fire Damage?

8/8/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage can be devastating for a homeowner. Aside from damaging the structure of the building, furniture, belongs etc., smoke and soot can continue to cause problems if not dealt with immediately. While everything that burned will have to be replaced, there are steps you can take to help prevent things from getting worse. First, you should seal off certain sections of your house with tarps and plastic sheets while damaged areas are being treated. Grease and soot can spread to other sections of the house, making everything worse. Odors can travel, and stains can get into your carpet, walls, and clothing. Blocking off the area can help prevent this.

Check for any leaks or other areas that could cause more problems for your home. Sometimes fire damages pipes, or there could be entry points for water in the roof. This can lead to water damage, which will only make things worse if it’s not treated right away. You can simply scan for any areas that might have this issue and keep an eye out for leaks if it rains. Moreover, you’ll need to watch out for mold and other problems that stem from water damage, as water used to extinguish fires can seep into dry wall and floors. Most often, carpet and flooring will need to be removed. These areas tend to absorb both soot and water, and it is usually much better to simply replace them. Essentially, everything that might have been covered in soot will need to be deep cleaned, and that includes clothing and other belongings that might have been damaged in the fire. Of course, some items will need to be replaced, but belongings that can withstand heavy cleaning can often be saved.

If the damaged area is not properly cleaned, the smoky odor that a fire leaves behind will never go away. There will always be at least a faint trace of that unpleasant smell. Sometimes, you can fix this problem by scrubbing the walls and floor with soap and water. Paint tends to hold odors, but if the damage is only on the surface and dealt with quickly, you might be able to get rid of it. However, sometimes these areas will need to be replaced depending on the severity of the damage. You’ll need to remove sections of drywall and perhaps even flooring. It can be difficult to tell the difference between things that can be salvaged and those that need to be replaced, but knowing will save you time and money. The professionals at SERVPRO of Northbrook/Wheeling/Glencoe will be able to discern what can be restored, and they can help you effectively remove any traces of the fire while saving as much as possible.  Give us a call today at (847)498-8889!

Fire Safety Tips!

4/30/2018 (Permalink)

In the United States, there is a house fire reported every 90 seconds in 2016!  That is a lot of fires!  85% of all fire related deaths occur in homes, so you should always be prepared!  You may have seconds to minutes to escape a burning building because these fires can start and spread very rapidly. 

First thing every homeowner should do, is install smoke alarms.  They should be on every level and should be inside, or just outside every sleeping quarters.  Make sure that they are interconnected, and tested every month.  While smoke alarms are a great way to identify the danger, the best thing that can be done is to put a sprinkler system in your home.  This may be a costly prevention method, but it can save your life and your property. 

The next important piece of advice is to make an evacuation plan!  Sit down with your family about twice a year and make sure everyone knows the quickest way out of your home.  Make sure that there are two separate ways out of the building and that everyone is aware of what to do in case of a fire.    

The unsettling affects of leaving fire/smoke damage

4/27/2018 (Permalink)

Fire and smoke damage can absolutely wreak havoc on your home or business.  The most important thing to do when you experience a fire is to get help immediately.  If left untreated, the cost and scope can change drastically in the following ways. 

The cost to restore increases.

When fire and smoke damage go untreated for a prolonged period of time, the odor becomes worse, and it becomes more difficult to remove it.  This ultimately keeps a restoration company on the site longer, which increases the bill drastically.  The quicker you clean, the less time it will saturate your home or business. 

Deposits of soot.

Neutralizing of soot residual and deposits is an effective first clean up step. If left for long, soot can easily travel and penetrate into other rooms that weren't affected by the fire, staining the wall paint, carpet, furniture, drapes, clothing and any other household items.

Extensive damages.

Smoke and ash can mix with water to produce a very corrosive element. If not cleaned quickly, this corrosive substance begins to slowly corrode away walls, floors, ceilings and any other surfaces in your home. Cleaning up quickly with soap and water is not enough. The substance requires proper cleaning with appropriate chemicals to remove it completely in order to contain the damages.

The facts about Smoke and Soot

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot facts:

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

Different Types of Smoke

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

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

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

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (847) 498-8889

The Fire Damage Restoration Process

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The Fire Damage Restoration Process Aftermath of a fire.

The Fire Damage Restoration Process

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals know just how devastating a fire can be. Fire and water damage can leave your house unsafe and unlivable. They’re trained to clean and restore your home with as little disruption as possible. Learn more about the fire damage restoration process.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

Step 6: Cleaning and Repair

Step 7: Restoration

Once these steps are taken, it will be like it never even happened!  SERVPRO has been cleaning fires for decades and know exactly what your house needs in order to get you back to where you were.  If you ever have any questions, please contact us at (847)498-8889.  Before hiring a fire restoration contractor, make sure they are certified by the IICRC!

Leading Cause of Fire Damage

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Leading Cause of Fire Damage Fire damage in a Restaurant

We have all heard stories, seen pictures, or even have experienced a fire in our lives.  But what is the leading cause of Fires in America? 

Cooking Fires!

Cooking fires are the leading cause of fire damage in the US.  The reason is because the kitchen is where heat, water, gas, electricity,  and grease come together.  Grease fires can cause huge devastation and most people do not know how to properly put out a grease fire.  The first thing that needs to happen is TURN THE HEAT OFF!  Once you take away the source of the heat, you must place a metal lid on whatever you are cooking and apply baking soda to the top.  NEVER TRY TO PUT OUT A GREASE FIRE WITH WATER!  This will only cause more issues and will make the fire worse. 

The second leading cause of Fires in America is electrical fires.  These can happen for a number of different reasons.  They can include faulty appliances, worn or faulty electrical wiring, improper use of electrical outlets and worn out breaker boxes.  This is especially true for older homes, which do not always have the proper wiring to handle the electrical appliances we use today.  This can cause shorts and sparks that can actually ignite inside the walls.  Also, old circuit breakers are made to shut off electrical current when the circuit is overloaded as a way to prevent fires, but often times the connections may be worn or broken, and do not activate the breaker switch. 

No matter the cause, always be aware that fires can happen at any moment, and to always be prepared for whatever happens!  If you do find yourself in need of professional help after a fire, never hesitate to call SERVPRO of Northbrook/Wheeling/Glencoe at (847)498-8889!

Fire Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives

9/22/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives We use special sponges to clean walls and ceilings!

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have A Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency?
Call (847)498-8889

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Northbrook/Wheeling/Glencoe Smoke and Soot Cleanup

8/4/2016 (Permalink)

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

Smoke and soot facts:

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

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

    Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

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

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

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

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

    Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
    Call Us Today – (847) 498-8889