Recent Fire Damage Posts

How To Prepare for a Fire Disaster

11/8/2020 (Permalink)

People escape to fire exit door Make sure all exits are easily accessible with no barriers

A business owner's biggest worry is dealing with a fire or other disaster. While you can never totally prepare for a catastrophe in Fort Sumter, SC, making some fire preparation plans ahead of time can mitigate the damage and reduce risks.

Create a Fire Emergency Plan

The first step is to select an emergency preparation team that is responsible for designing and implementing a comprehensive plan. The team should consist of members from all areas of the business and cover all shifts. Consider the following items in your plan.

Design a facility map that identifies the location of hazardous and flammable materials, fire extinguishers and building exits.
Create a written disaster preparation plan with procedures for employees to follow. The plan should identify the preferred exits for team members and the meeting locations outside. The plan must also designate who is responsible for alerting employees and the fire department in the event of a fire.
Assign key employees and designated alternates to account for all persons in the building, including visitors.
Make sure all exits are easily accessible with no barriers.

Implement and Test the Plan
A fire preparation plan is not effective unless all team members are aware of their role and follow the implemented procedures. The plan must also be tested so that deficiencies can be addressed and corrected.
Conduct emergency training with all employees and post facility maps in key areas throughout the facility. Organize periodic fire drills to ensure that everyone complies with the plan. When first implementing the plan, frequent fire drills should be conducted. Time each drill and evaluate the total evacuation time. Analyze the results and communicate the information with all employees.
If your business has a comprehensive fire preparation plan, you can reduce the risk of extensive fire damage. It's critical to contact a fire assessment service after the fire is extinguished, however, so that renovations can take place as quickly as possible.

How to Prevent and Put Out Grease Fires

9/25/2020 (Permalink)

Damaged walls after a kitchen grease fire Kitchen fire

The kitchen is the most dangerous room in your home and one of its obvious perils is cooking oils. Thankfully, you can prevent a grease-related fire from breaking out with a few elementary precautions. Should one occur despite your best efforts, know how to safely extinguish the crisis.

Grease Fire Prevention

Observe these recommendations to avoid your latest culinary masterpiece from transforming into a kitchen nightmare:

  • Never leave pans or fryers unattended. Resist the urge to pick up the phone, watch TV or answer the doorbell when cooking with such a highly flammable liquid.
  • When heating oil, do so gradually and never exceed the needed temperature.
  • Turn down the heat should you notice excessive smoke or hear popping.
  • Reduce splatter by slowly immersing your food. Always avoid tossing anything into a grease-filled pan.

Never let your enthusiasm for cooking hinder the importance of proper procedure. Otherwise, you could find yourself facing a fire cleanup scenario, one necessitating a building restoration specialist that services Seabrook Island, SC.

Grease Fire Emergencies
If your dish bursts into flame, switch off all burners. It may be heartbreaking, but avoid attempts at salvaging your dish to avert spattering oils. Instead, focus on depriving the blaze of oxygen using a metal lid. Only once you have completed these steps should you head outside and contact the fire department.
You may assume water is the best substance to suppress burning, but doing so with grease can cause splashes that spread flames. Likewise, never use flour as a fire retardant, although baking soda can be used atop smaller infernos. Fire extinguishers can be used as a last resort but should be avoided whenever possible as they risk spreading chemical contamination.
Any home chef must know how to prevent a grease fire from occurring. Unfortunately, the risk of greasy flames suddenly arising will always exist. Know ahead of time what to do once the need emerges.

3 Elements of Fire Restoration

7/13/2020 (Permalink)

Warehouse Fire Inside Fire damage in James Island, SC

3 Elements of Fire Restoration

After arriving at a workplace fire, firefighters usually do everything necessary to ensure that personnel are evacuated and the fire is extinguished. Often, this involves seemingly destructive behaviors such as breaking windows and inundating surfaces with water. To make things worse, the sprinkler systems present in many offices may automatically respond to a relatively local fire by spraying water across a whole area, requiring extensive water cleanup. If you have had a fire, there are three kinds of restoration your space will need now that the flames have been put out.

1. Fire Damage
Flames are the most immediately destructive force present in any fire. Because of the extreme temperatures that they can reach, unchecked fires can destroy almost anything in their path. Often, buildings that have been burned are no longer structurally sound and must be inspected by a structural engineer. Many items or surfaces may be salvageable during fire cleanup, but this will depend on the extent of both the external and internal damage.

2. Smoke and Soot
Because smoke easily permeates mechanical and electronic devices, removing evidence of smoke damage can be complicated. Soot created by smoke sticks to surfaces, resulting in a distinct odor that tends to linger. Starting smoke cleanup quickly is essential because soot becomes more destructive and difficult to remove over time.

3. Water Cleanup
Sprinkler systems, burst pipes, and firefighting equipment can all cause extensive water damage. While some items may be undamaged by water, you should always understand that flowing water may have mixed with toxic or corrosive substances present in your workspace.
There is a lot to think about after sustaining a fire in James Island, SC. Some aspects of fire restoration involve skill-intensive labor. It is always recommended that you check whether your insurance policy covers fire restoration. By contacting a professional that specializes in fire, smoke, and water cleanup, you can prevent further damage to your valuable property.

Treating Smoke Smell With Ozone: Tips for Deodorizing Your Home

6/7/2020 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Ozone treatments can be a big undertaking, but they are truly effective for home deodorization

Treating Smoke Smell With Ozone

Cigarette smoke can linger in a home for years after the smoker has gone. In most cases, the smoke often buries itself into a given part of the home, then seeps back out over time. Smoke could be collecting in many places. Common surfaces harboring cigarette smells include:

  • Walls
  • Vents
  • Fabrics
  • Flooring

You need to identify the problem area before you can solve the smoke issue. If you're having trouble finding the source of the smoke smell, trained smoke removal specialists in West Ashley, SC, can help you determine and eradicate the source. For eliminating smoke, professionals often turn to ozone treatments.
Ozone is among the most effective home deodorization treatments available. In almost every case, ozone is able to kill residual cigarette smell. This is due to the ozone's unstable structure; it's able to neutralize stinky particles at the molecular level. It's not quite as simple as running an ozone machine and calling it good, though.

Before the Ozone Treatment
First, expose the affected area. What that means is, if the smoke is in the flooring, you have to remove the flooring and potentially the subfloor until you've reached the layer harboring the smoke smell. Then, clean the area thoroughly. The home deodorization treatment won't be as effective if there's stuff in the way.

During the Ozone Treatment
The ozone machine may need to run for a couple of days. Ozone is not effective when it's only run at safe levels for people and animals; it has to be stronger for it to work. This means your family and pets can't be home while the machine is running. You may have to seek different accommodations while the ozone is going. After the treatment, the area needs to be aired out to lessen the ozone concentration.
Ozone treatments can be a big undertaking, but they are truly effective for home deodorization. With the help of ozone, you can enjoy your home again without the pervasive smell of smoke.

Three Ways To Remove Smoke Odor

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke can linger long after a fire has been extinguished. If the particles remain too long, they can cause smoke damage, such as discoloration and corrosion. Even after the visible residue has been removed, the odor may persist. Fortunately, there are a variety of smoke cleaning products available. Three common methods of odor removal include the following: 

Air Filters


Air filtration devices circulate the air in the home. Then the filters, frequently HEPA or carbon, trap smoke odor particles as they pass through. This keeps the smell from continuing to float through the home. 

Ozone Machines


Ozone machines work by emitting ozone particles into the air. The ozone then chemically combines with the smoke particle in a process known as oxidation. This creates an entirely new particle that does not have a smoky smell. If you choose to use this method of smoke cleaning, it is important to hire professionals who can make sure the task is completed properly and that it is safe for you and your family to return home. 

Thermal Foggers


When a fire burns inside a house, it heats up everything, causing cracks, crevices and other openings to expand. This allows smoke particles to get trapped inside porous surfaces. Other odor-removal techniques cannot reach those areas. Thermal foggers heat up the area and allow a deodorizer to circulate through the house. Because the area has been heated up, the deodorizer can reach all of the smoke particles.
After a fire, it is important to actually remove the smoke particles to keep the smell from returning. Products like air fresheners and scented candles may temporarily cover up the smell, but it will keep coming back until the source of the odor has been eliminated. If you feel overwhelmed by the smoke cleaning process, you may wish to hire a certified restoration company. They can help you get your South & West Charleston, SC area home back to normal.

Little Known Ways to Deal With Fire Damage in Ashley

3/22/2020 (Permalink)

fire damaged room Make sure that odors after a fire in your home do not linger. Contact Team SERVPRO for effective fire damage remediation services.

Hydroxyl vs. Ozone Machines in Fire Odor Removal for West Ashley

Choosing the right deodorization equipment for a fire-damaged West Ashley home is critical to saving customers time and money on restoration work needed for the house. With numerous options to neutralize odors, the appropriate choice in which to use boils down to several factors. These include the severity of the harsh odors, the location and materials affected, and whether the fire loss forces relocation of your family.

Severity of Fire Odors 

Both hydroxyl machines and ozone generators can neutralize widespread odors from fire damage in West Ashley homes. Hydroxyl machines utilize ultraviolet cleaning practices where UV reacts with water molecules to clean and deodorize. Ozone generators split oxygen into an unstable compound that bonds with odor molecules and overwhelms them.

Location and Materials Affected

Hydroxyl machines can clean in a radius around the unit, pulling air through a HEPA filtration system to reduce airborne contaminants like soot and smoke residues. Ozone generators are ideal for penetrating porous materials like clothing and high-permeance construction elements like drywall.

Can Your Family Stay in the House? 

The choice between all of the deodorization equipment hinges on the individuals present when the odor removal takes place. Even with containment strategies, it can be dangerous for living creatures to be around the production of ozone. This product makes a hazardous situation, despite the effectiveness of this deodorization practice for open areas and affected materials in the house. Our SERVPRO professionals utilize timed runs of these machines so that areas can get properly ventilated of ozone before technicians and others come back into the recovery zone. Hydroxyl machines do not require the relocation of your family to function, and they can benefit even more from getting used behind containment barriers.

Fire losses can produce harsh odors that fill the space in your home and can penetrate porous materials to create lasting damages. We have multiple deodorization tactics, including the use of both ozone generators and hydroxyl machines, to neutralize these odors as quickly as possible. Give our SERVPRO of South & West Charleston team a call anytime at (843) 823-7400.

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Kitchen Fire Damage In Charleston

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

kitchen fire damage The certified technicians are available 24/7 to make the fire loss to your property, “Like it never even happened.”

Kitchen Fire Damage Needs Extensive Cleanup in Charleston

Although much of the fire damage in kitchens results from a meal flaming up in a pan, microwave ovens are also a source of loss in homes. Common reasons for a microwave to catch on fire include:
    •    Overheated food
    •    Improper containers used for cooking
    •    The use of foil or containers with metal
    •    Attempting to dry cotton clothing

A home in Charleston had fire damage from a microwave that mistakenly had too much time set for cooking at max power, and the homeowner was not paying attention. The packaging of the foodstuff caught on fire, and the homeowner made the mistake of opening the door, which let in oxygen, causing it to flame up. Fortunately, there was a fire extinguisher handy to put it out before it could spread beyond the kitchen.

Removal of Charred Items
SERVPRO technicians immediately began moving out fire loss items such as the microwave, stove below it, and the cabinets surrounding both the microwave and the oven.

Why Containment is Crucial
Soot spreads rapidly and can travel easily on clothing and shoes to currently unaffected areas of the home. As the residue winds up in other areas of the house, it expands the scale of the needed cleanup and restoration service, particularly for odor control. The technicians set up containment around the work area to limit the spread of soot, so it is not an issue later.

Choosing Cleaning Agents
Even in a limited area, the potential for different types of residues exists. SERVPRO technicians test before cleaning smoke damage, so the proper cleaning solutions get used. For example, plastic and rubber tend to leave behind wet, smeary smoke that grips the surface and often needs a solvent-based cleaner to remove. Through careful testing, the techs make sure the cleaner will not do harm before use.

Get the fire damage cleanup started quickly by calling SERVPRO of South & West Charleston at (843) 823-7400. The certified technicians are available 24/7 to make the fire loss to your property, “Like it never even happened.”

For more about Charleston click here.

Our Experts Can Handle Any Size Fire In Charleston

12/19/2019 (Permalink)

fire caused damage to property Call us at (843) 823-7400 and let us leave your home, “Like it never even happened.”

The Fire In Charleston Was Small, But The Smell is Huge

With winter upon us in Charleston, it seems like we light fires more than we did during the summer.  We light scented candles, we light fireplaces, and we roast marshmallows as we welcome the warm glow of the flames. However, we also expose ourselves to the danger of something catching on fire, like a curtain or tablecloth, creating an emergency in our home.

Regardless of the reach of the flames, fire and odor damage can permeate your Charleston home quite easily. Without you even noticing, smoke travels through the vents and openings in your home, leaving a foul smell behind that no store-bought scented spray seems to mask. The permanence of those smells is the reason why you should reach out to a service like SERVPRO, where our technicians can apply various disinfecting and deodorizing methods to help you forget all about the fire. All you need to do is call our 24/7 hotline and invite us into your home.

In fire and odor restoration, some steps are apparent. Ventilation is critical, as is the elimination of soot and smoke residue. However, cleaning each surface is an art in itself. Not all cleaning solutions apply to all types of surfaces, and our SERVPRO crew can help you discern those needs. A targeted approach is not only efficient but can also prevent further damage to your furniture and cabinets by avoiding exposure to abrasive cleaners.

Essential to our success is attacking the smell problem with equivalent force. For lighter jobs, it may be enough to use odor counteractant beads to erase the smell. However, stronger odors may require thermal fogging, air scrubbers, charcoal filters, or even dry deodorizers. Our SERVPRO team is ready and equipped to use one or several of these methods to make your home smell homey and welcoming once again.

Always be cautious around open flames, but do not despair if there is an accident. SERVPRO of South & West Charleston is here to help if your home is sporting the foul smell of smoke. Call us at (843) 823-7400 and let us leave your home, “Like it never even happened.”

For more about Charleston click here.

Here is a Quick Fix for Fire Damage in Charleston

10/19/2019 (Permalink)

house on fire To remediate fire damage in your home, contact SERVPRO immediately.

Think Safety When Dealing With Fire Damage In Your Charleston Area Home

Safety hazards are present in your Charleston home after a fire; this is not an assumption; it is a fact. You should never attempt to enter an affected area alone or try to begin cleaning before professionals arrive. Restorers must address safety concerns adequately before starting any emergency services and maintain a safe, secure environment to protect everyone involved throughout the process. 

Everyone should make safety a primary concern when addressing fire damage in your Charleston area home. There are safety procedures in place to help you avoid hazards, illnesses, or injuries that everyone should follow — having a restoration expert on-site can help you establish a safe work zone and increase cooperation and communication between parties. 

SERVPRO can provide you with a safety evaluation to determine which safety risks are involved or which hazards exist on your property. Once identified, safety procedures help minimize these risks and promote safety throughout your home. Technicians set up staging areas for equipment and supplies, using warning signs or barrier tape to mark off unsafe zones. We also communicate the importance of respecting the marked areas for personal safety.

At SERVPRO, we follow all governing regulations and standards of safety set by The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). All technicians are well-versed in safety procedures and receive Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help them remain safe while working in your home. Safety equipment includes respirators, gloves, hearing and eye protection, boots, and even full-body suits whenever necessary. 

With safety at the forefront of any job, SERVPRO can provide you with fire damage restoration, cleaning, and deodorization services to return your home to a quality preloss condition. We follow five distinct rules whenever performing work that poses a possible threat to our safety. 

  1. Keep PPE clean and stored in a ready-to-use condition.
  2. Never share PPE with others unless adequately cleaned.
  3. Wear eye protection whenever mixing, spraying, or pouring cleaning products or when operating dangerous equipment or machinery.
  4. Wear chemical-resistant gloves to protect against irritation, blisters, or whiteness of the skin when using alkaline products or dry cleaning solvents.
  5. Wear respirators when dealing with organic vapors, solvents, or hydrocarbons, or any exposure to dangerous situations.

Contact SERVPRO of South & West Charleston for access to quality cleaning and restoration services with a strong emphasis on safety. (843) 308-0178

Click here to learn more about the Charleston area.

We Will Restore Your Home In Charleston After A Fire

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

Charred couch in fire damaged house When a fire has created damage to your home you can trust SERVPRO of South & West Charleston to handle the restoration.

Your Charleston Residence And Fire Damage Restoration

As a homeowner in Charleston, the last thing you want to deal with is a fire. Not only do fires cause vast amounts of damage, but they also bring massive amounts of soot and smoke along with them. Even a small fire contained in one room can produce smoke that travels throughout the rest of your home.

After a fire in your Charleston home, there is fire damage cleanup which must be done immediately. Any soot and smoke that are left behind continue to do damage if they are left to sit because they are acidic. Therefore, get in touch with our SERVPRO staff as soon as the flames are extinguished. We have been trained to restore your home from any size fire properly. “Like it never even happened.”

One of the most common places in homes for a fire to start is in the kitchen. Between the intense heat of the oven or open flames on your stove, there are many factors that can spark a fire. It is very common for cooking tools, napkins, food, or your clothes to catch fire while cooking. The issue can get out of control fast, but thankfully, the best way to avoid a fire here is to be aware and keep anything flammable away from the stove while you are cooking.

Part of our restoration process after a fire includes deodorization. In some instances, SERVPRO techs may need to remove the source of the odor, such as charred structural materials, before deodorizing. Contaminated debris continues to give off smoke odors if it is not removed. It is also essential that we clean any surfaces with odor-causing particles on them. Tiny particles continue to give off odors if they are not adequately cleaned. All rooms are checked – not just the one in which the fire occurred.

We also need to distribute a deodorizer to surfaces in a way that is similar to how the odor-causing substances penetrated the surface. Surfaces may need to be sealed when everything else is done if the loss was severe. Two standard methods of sealing are painting walls or sealing inaccessible duct surfaces.

Another common fire danger in your home is all of the electrical appliances and wiring. These can malfunction, creating massive fires. Most of them cannot be put out with water, either. Instead, they require special extinguishers that are water-free. To prevent these types of fires, make sure you don’t plug too many appliances into the same outlet, and repair any outlets or wiring which are damaged.

When a fire has created damage to your home in Arrowhead, County Downs, or Gunter Air Force Base, you can trust SERVPRO of South & West Charleston to handle the restoration. Once you are safely out of the home, and the flames are extinguished, call us at (843) 308-0178 so we can help you get your home back to the way it was.

For more about Charleston click here.