Recent Fire Damage Posts

How Fire Damage and Water Damage Are Connected

4/11/2023 (Permalink)

Mold growing on the frame of a home. The damage caused by a fire is not limited to the flames themselves.

Fires can be devastating, causing significant damage to a building's structure and contents. However, the damage caused by a fire is not limited to the flames themselves. Water damage is a common side effect of firefighting efforts and can compound the destruction caused by the fire. In this blog, we will explore how fire damage and water damage are connected, and how the water used to fight fires can cause damage of its own. We will also discuss the steps that must be taken to address both types of damage to ensure the safety of the building's occupants and prevent further harm to the structure.

Fighting Fires with Water

When firefighters respond to a fire, they use large amounts of water to extinguish the flames. The water is often directed toward the source of the fire, but it can also spread throughout the building, causing water damage to areas that were not affected by the fire.

Damage from Water

The water used to put out the fire can also damage the building's infrastructure, including the walls, floors, and ceilings. Over time, the water can cause wood to warp, metal to rust, and electrical systems to short circuit. This damage can create significant safety hazards and can be expensive to repair.

Creating Toxic Slurry

Additionally, the water used to put out the fire can mix with any chemicals or other hazardous materials present, creating a toxic slurry that can further damage the building.

Mold Growth

In addition to the damage caused by the water itself, the moisture left behind can also lead to mold growth. Mold can cause a wide range of problems and it can also weaken the structural integrity of the building, making it unsafe to inhabit.

Cleaning Up the Damage

Cleaning up after a fire can be a complex process that requires specialized equipment and expertise. The water used to extinguish the fire must be removed, and the affected areas must be thoroughly dried to prevent mold growth. Any damaged materials, such as drywall or carpet, must be removed and replaced. The process can be time-consuming and expensive, but it is essential to prevent further damage to the building and ensure the safety of its occupants.

In conclusion, fire damage and water damage are often intertwined. When a fire occurs, the water used to put it out can cause significant damage to the building's infrastructure and create safety hazards. If you have experienced a fire, it is essential to work with a professional restoration company that can address both the fire and water damage to ensure your property is safe and habitable once again.

How to Avoid Cooking Fires

1/17/2023 (Permalink)

Large flame in a pan. It's important to remember that cooking fires are preventable.

Cooking fires are a real danger in the home. They can happen when you least expect it, so it’s important to be prepared for any situation. Cooking fires can be caused by grease or oil, foods that are left unattended on a stovetop or grill, and even towels and potholders that get too close to heat sources.

Never leave cooking food unattended. 

Ensure that you are always aware of what is going on in the kitchen, especially when it comes to stoves, ovens, and other appliances. 

If you have a small child who is not old enough to understand how dangerous hot or boiling liquids can be, then do not allow them to use these items at all. Make sure they cannot reach them or go near them without your supervision.

Keep towels and potholders away from heat sources.

A towel or potholder can post a risk if left too close to flames. So, keep towels and potholders away from heat sources. Don't use them to move hot pans, and don't use them to open the oven door.

Also, don't leave them on the stovetop as they can get caught in a flame or if something falls over onto the stove and starts a fire!

Do not let children handle hot foods or liquids.

If you have children, it's important to remember that they shouldn't be allowed to handle hot foods or liquids. This is because new research has shown that both children and adults have a higher risk of burns when handling these items.

Children should also not be allowed to play with matches or lighters — nor should they be permitted to use the stove or oven.

Do Not Move Pots or Pans

If a fire starts in a pot or pan on the stove, do not move them. Turn off the burner then cover it with a lid and never put water on it.

If you have to move the pan, use oven mitts or potholders because they are made to be used in high-heat situations.

Use an all-purpose dry chemical fire extinguisher.

Do not use water or flour to put out a grease fire. A dry chemical fire extinguisher can be found in most kitchens and is relatively inexpensive to purchase at your local hardware store if yours does not have one available.

Stay Calm

Stay calm and get everyone out of the house. If you're alone, call 911 from a neighbor's phone or from outside your house as soon as possible. Do not go back inside until cleared to do so by emergency responders.

Install Smoke Detectors

A smoke detector should be installed on each floor of your home and inside every bedroom. 

  • Install smoke alarms in your house. Smoke alarms are a must-have for any house. It is critical to have working smoke detectors installed throughout your home as well as in bedrooms to allow for an early warning when a fire starts.
  • Test them regularly: The best way to ensure that your smoke alarm works are to test them regularly, especially after power outages or long stretches without use.

How to avoid cooking fires

There are a few simple things you can do to prevent cooking fires in your home, including:

  • Keep towels and potholders away from heat sources, especially if they are made of materials such as terry cloth that may melt or catch fire easily.
  • Do not leave the stove unattended.
  • Do not let children handle hot foods or liquids.
  • If a fire starts in a pan on the stove, do not move it; turn off the burner then cover the pan with a lid, and never put water on it!

It's important to remember that cooking fires are preventable. If your home or business suffers from a fire, don't hesitate and give our SERVPRO of South & West Charleston team a call today! Our team can take care of all your fire damage cleanup and restoration needs.

Candle Safety at Home: 5 Tips To Prevent Fires

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Lidded candles To keep your home in safe from a potential candle fire, you should understand the dangers as well as proper handling instructions.

Candle Safety At Home: 5 Fire-Prevention Tips

Candles can be the perfect addition for relaxing at night, setting the mood or freshening the air. That said, using them does not come without risks. Between 2014 and 2018, candles caused approximately 7,610 residential fires. To keep your home in Johns Island, SC safe from a potential candle fire, you should understand the dangers as well as proper handling instructions. To prevent the likelihood of needing to call a smoke cleanup team after your next bubble bath, consider these five safety tips.

1. Stay Nearby or Blow Them Out

It is better to be safe than to be sorry. If you plan on leaving the room, make sure you blow out any burning flames. You never know who could pass by or what could happen that might accidentally start a fire.

2. Keep Flammable Items Away

Even if you are in the same room, you need to keep anything flammable at least one foot away. Be especially mindful of materials like paper and cloth to avoid a candle fire.

3. Use Candle Holders

When you use a candle without a holder, it can easily tip over. A sturdy holder or non-flammable container can prevent this from happening.

4. Avoid Using Around Children or Pets

It is also wise to ensure small children and pets stay clear of any areas where you have candles burning. In addition, consider where you keep matches and lighters. While your cat probably will not figure out how to use them, your son or daughter might.

5. Do Not Use Near Oxygen

If anyone in the house uses oxygen, candles can be extremely dangerous. For this reason, you may want to look into artificial options that do not have flames.

While many residential fires occur because of candles, they do not have to be unsafe. Fortunately, there are simple safety measures that can allow you to enjoy comfortable lighting and pleasant smells at home without starting a candle fire.

How To Remove Smells From a Microwave

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

Cleaning Microwave Like any appliance, microwaves will last longer and perform better if you take good care of them.

How to Get Smells Out of a Microwave

Your microwave is probably one of the most-used appliances in your home. Microwaves are famously convenient and easy to use, but it is important to be diligent in keeping them clean and taking care of any unpleasant smells that occur.

Here are some tips to help you clean and maintain your microwave.

1. Clean and Replace Filters
Microwaves that are placed over the range often have two filters that need to be cleaned and replaced on a regular basis. Consult your owner's manual if you are not sure how to remove the vent grill or replace the filters.

2. Clean the Inside Regularly

Ideally, you should wipe down the interior of the microwave after each use. However, you may not always have time to do this, and there are other techniques you can use to prevent the microwave from becoming smelly. For example, you can create a steam-cleaning effect by microwaving a bowl filled with water and vinegar or water and lemon juice.

This helps not only to reduce odors but also to remove bits of food that are stuck to the inner walls so that you can wipe them up more easily.

3. Be Wary of a Smoke Smell

Food items cooked in the microwave for too long will start to burn and produce a smoke smell. Different kinds of potatoes, for example, have different cooking times. 

If a fire ever occurs in your microwave area, it is important to have a fire extinguisher ready. Once the fire has been extinguished and the smoke smell is gone, it is a good idea to contact a professional fire restoration company in West Ashley, SC, to help you assess the damage and restore the appliance to working condition if possible.

Like any appliance, microwaves will last longer and perform better if you take good care of them. Following these steps will help you create a clean and safe microwave area.

Establishing a Furnace Maintenance Schedule

2/14/2022 (Permalink)

Fragment of the interior of a country house. The iron furnace is heated. There is wood near the stove. The need for fire cleaning can be avoided if you schedule any necessary repairs before turning the heater on.

Creating A Furnace Maintenance Program

As the weather starts getting colder, you will probably start wanting to switch from air conditioning to the heater in your home. To ensure that you can do so safely, however, you need to perform preventative maintenance on your furnace before you use it as well as having it professionally inspected at the end of the cold season. Fire cleaning experts recommend the following steps to get your furnace ready for regular use.


The first thing you want to do is to make sure your furnace and all its components are free of dust, which can ignite a fire when the heat is turned on and leave you looking for smoke cleaning services. The three main components to clean are:

  • Filter
  • Motor
  • Blower

Check the filter to see if it is clean. If not, change it. In fact, it’s a good idea to change the filter every month when the furnace is running continuously. Inspect each component inside and remove dust with a toothbrush or some other fine-toothed cleaning apparatus.


The need for fire cleaning can be avoided if you schedule any necessary repairs before turning the heater on. For example, if the belts look brittle or torn, they need to be replaced. Both the blower and the motor have belts, and all of them need to be strong for the furnace to work properly.


Many furnace motors are sealed by the manufacturer with the necessary lubrication already included. Some, however, have oil ports, and these motors require the occasional addition of lubricant. It doesn’t take a lot of motor oil to keep the furnace running smoothly. Just add a couple of drops to each port, and that should do the trick. A well-oiled motor is a happy motor that keeps your furnace operating efficiently throughout the colder months.

It’s smart to check your furnace before its first use of the year and after its last use. It is easier to keep it clean and well lubricated with intact parts than it is to hire fire cleaning experts in Johns Island, SC, when dust and grime cause sparks.