Recent Fire Damage Posts

How to Get Rid of a Smoke Smell After a Fire

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

After a fire, everything in your home may smell like smoke. Many textiles and materials absorb the odor, which can make it hard to remove. When possible, air out your home for as long as possible as quickly after the fire to allow as much of the smoke smell to dissipate on its own. After that, there are some steps to take to remove the smoke smell from specific materials.

From Clothing

The key to removing a smoky smell from your clothing is to act quickly. The quicker you act, the more successful you will be. First, soak the clothing in warm water with laundry detergent or white vinegar. Allow the clothes to sit overnight. The detergent or vinegar will work to neutralize the smell. Once the smell has been removed, wash and dry the clothing. Do not wash or dry the clothing until you are sure the scent has been removed, as it can set in the smell.

From Flooring

Flooring, including carpet, wood and tile, can all absorb smoke after a fire. The best way to properly clean your flooring is to call in a professional. A professional fire restoration company can work to restore your flooring and clean it, as can a carpet cleaner or tile cleaner. Hot water extraction is usually the best method for removing soot and scents.

From Your Walls

Unfortunately, after a fire, your walls can have a smoke scent that lingers. A professional should be called in, as removing the scent is not always easy. In some cases, the scent may actually be trapped in the insulation housed behind the wall. In other cases, the scent may be so embedded in the drywall that replacing the drywall is the best option. If the scent is faint and the drywall is in good condition, painting the drywall may help to remove the scent.

After a fire, it is well worth it to hire a fire damage specialist to come in and complete the cleanup process. Here at SERVPRO of Vigo County, we are committed to helping those who have gone through a fire get their home back. We can help with water damage cleanup, fire restoration and removal of soot and smoke smells. Call us now at (812) 242-9611 to get started.

Holiday Fire Risks

1/4/2019 (Permalink)

Christmas Trees

One in every four home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems. Be careful about the placement of the tree in your home, as well as lights and decorations that could potentially ignite. Always keep a close eye on the tree when it is lighted, and follow these safety measures:

  • Buy quality lights with a safety rating
  • Never use old lights with frayed cords
  • Use heavy-duty, safety-rated extension cords
  • Don’t overload your electrical outlets with too many plugs
  • Do not leave your tree lighted when you are sleeping or not at home
  • Place tree safely away from heaters, wood stoves and fireplaces
  • Do not let anyone smoke near the tree
  • Keep the tree hydrated with plenty of water

Candles

Sure, candles provide a certain ambience and can fill you home with wonderful aromas, but open flames can present a huge fire risk. The incidence of candle fires is four times higher during December than other months. If you use candles, never leave them unattended while lighted. Keep them far away from any curtains, bedding, kitchen items such as pot holders or dishcloths, or towels in a bathroom, to prevent a high flame from igniting nearby fabric. Also keep them away from open windows and doors to avoid the chance of a gust of wind knocking them over.

Children and Pets

Pay particular attention to young children and pets who can inadvertently topple lighted candles, ornaments and trees while playing. Keep lighted candles elevated so they do not have access. As children get a little older and curious, make sure matches and lighters are kept out of reach. Purchasing child-safety lighters is a good preventive measure. Never leave a child or pet unattended in a room with a lighted candle. Consider using flameless, battery-operated candles to be on the safe side. These can provide extra peace of mind during the busiest days of the holiday season when a lot of people are in your home, and you are busy cooking or talking with guests.

Keep the joy in your holidays by making sure you decorate, cook and entertain safely this season.

SERVPRO of Vigo County is a locally owned and operated leader in restoration and cleaning needs. We serve local communities in the Terre Haute, Indiana, area. We have the training, equipment and expertise to handle your needs following disasters and accidents in your home and business. We offer 24-hour emergency service and are faster to any disaster. Call us today at (812) 242-9611 when you need help getting your property back in order and looking its best. We are part of SERVPRO, a trusted leader in the restoration industry with over 1,700 franchises in the United States and Canada.

Fireplace Safety

1/4/2019 (Permalink)

Nothing is better during the holidays than gathering around a warm, crackling fireplace to celebrate the season with family and friends. Just make sure your fireplace is safe and holiday-ready before lighting to decrease your risk of a house fire. Make sure your chimney has been cleaned, and that your damper is operating properly and open when lighting a fire.

Clean the firebox after each fire but retain a light layer of spent ashes to create a good based for the next fire. Remember, coals can remain hot for several days. When you remove them, immediately take them out of the house and store them in a fire-safe vessel. If you have a ceiling fan in the same room as your fireplace, run it clockwise on a low speed to redirect warm air from the ceiling into the living space.

Fireplace Safety Tips

There is an art to making a good and safe fire for your loved ones. Here are some guidelines:

  • Don’t overload the fireplace with wood
  • Use only clean, dry wood, cured for 8-12 months
  • Build the fire slowly
  • Never leave a lighted fireplace unattended
  • Make sure fire is extinguished before going to sleep
  • Remove dry spent ashes from fireplace and store outdoors in a fire-safe vessel
  • Keep any flammable materials a safe distance from the fire
  • Glass doors should be kept open when a fire is lighted
  • Keep a fire screen in front of fireplace
  • Keep children and pets a safe distance from fires with a gate
  • Place a non-flammable rug in front of the fireplace
  • Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working

Chimney Cleaning and Maintenance

  • When your chimney is cleaned of creosote buildup, make sure it is also checked structurally for cracks, missing mortar, loose bricks or any signs of deterioration.
  • Install a wire-mesh cap over the top of your chimney to prevent birds, squirrels and debris from entering.
  • Keep any tree limbs from growing near your chimney to avoid igniting.

SERVPRO of Vigo County is a locally owned and operated leader in restoration and cleaning needs. We serve local communities in the Terre Haute, Indiana, area. We have the training, equipment and expertise to handle your needs following disasters and accidents in your home and business. We offer 24-hour emergency service and are faster to any disaster. Call us today at (812) 242-9611 when you need help getting your property back in order and looking its best. We are part of SERVPRO, a trusted leader in the restoration industry with over 1,700 franchises in the United States and Canada.

Thanksgiving Kitchen Fire Safety Tips

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

As family and friends come together to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, food is, of course, a big focus. This yearly feast means kitchens are placed in overdrive. It’s a chaotic time that calls for being aware and alert, as Thanksgiving has the dubious distinction of being the peak day for home cooking fires. Make sure you and your loved ones, as well as your property, remain safe this holiday.

Steps You Can Take to Protect from Kitchen Fires

  • Be Proactive– by testing the batteries in all your smoke, fire and CO2 alarms to make sure they are operational. Keep your oven and stovetop clean and grease-free. Do not leave combustible materials like oven mitts or dishtowels near a hot oven or stove. Do not allow young children to get near stoves and ovens. Always have a fire extinguisher within arm’s reach in the kitchen.
  • Be Attentive – never leave cooking food on the stove unattended. If you have food in the oven and want to step into another room, make sure to set a timer. Keep pot and pan handles turned so they cannot be knocked over as people pass by. Keep electric appliance cords dangling off counters, along and with knives that could be grabbed by children. If you use candles, make sure they are kept well out of reach of children or breezes that could topple them over. Never leave them unattended. On more hectic holidays, consider using battery-powered candles to keep everyone safe and sound. If food ignites, throw baking soda on it or cover it with a pot cover.

Be Cautious When Deep-Frying a Turkey

Some people claim to like the taste of deep-fried turkey better than the more traditional oven cook. If you chose to cook your turkey this way, make sure to follow safety measures.

If a fire starts in your home, quickly call 911, after you and your family members and pets have safely evacuated. Do not return to the dwelling for any reason. Let the professionals take it from there when they arrive.

SERVPRO of Vigo County is a locally owned and operated leader in restoration and cleaning needs. so we are part of this community too. We serve local communities in the Terre Haute, Indiana, geographical location, so we are part of this community too. We have the training, equipment and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs following disasters and accidents that occur in your home and business. We offer 24-hour emergency service and are faster to any disaster. Call us today at (812) 242-9611 when you need help in getting your property back in order and looking its best. We are part of SERVPRO, a trusted leader in the restoration industry with over 1,700 franchises in the United States and Canada.

Common Causes of House Fires

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

House fires are devastating and often tragic to human and pet life, in addition to causing smoke and water damage to property. But house fires are traditionally caused by just a few very common scenarios, which means they are highly preventable. Make sure you and your family stay safe from the potential dangers of a house fire.

Major Culprits
In 2016, fire departments responded to a house fire every 90 seconds. Here are some of the leading causes of home fires:

  1. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. It is the second leading cause of home fire deaths. Unattended cooking is the primary cause of such fires and frying poses the greatest risk of fire.
  2. Smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths and has been for decades. Smoking materials account for the fifth largest cause of house fires overall.


Always take extra precautions against these common causes of house fires to keep your home and family safe from harm:

  • Kitchen fires are most often started by grease from frying. When a pot or pan overheats and splatters grease, it can take virtually just seconds for a fire to erupt. Make sure combustible materials such as oven mitts, dish towels, and paper towels are not located near the stove or oven, where they can easily catch fire. Always have an operating fire extinguisher in the kitchen so you can effectively douse any flames before they get out of control. Never leave food cooking on a stove unattended.
  • Candles should never be left unattended. They should be kept in sturdy, heat-safe holders on a stable surface. They should be kept away from children, pets and any flammable materials like curtains, furniture, and carpeting. Also, they should not be located near an open window because a breeze could tip them over.
  • Electrical fires occur mostly during winter months and typical are caused by home-heating equipment or faulty electrical wiring in a home, particularly out-of-date systems. Make sure your heating equipment is clear of any combustible materials and in good working order. If you live in an older home, check with an electrician to make sure your system is up to code and the load demand is not too intense. Discard any frayed or old cords. Be particularly careful with space heaters and never leave them unattended while in operation.
  • Children are curious and can cause a fire by playing with matches or lighters. Make sure these items are safely stored well out of their reach. Only buy child-resistant lighters.
  • Smoking cigarettes is the leading cause of house fire fatalities. If you smoke inside your home, use a large and deep tray that is cleaned daily. A smoking cigarette butt can be left smoldering for hours before igniting a fire. Never smoke in bed or when tired and never leave a lit cigarette unattended.

Fire Prevention Week
The devastating Great Chicago Fire of 1911, that caused 250 deaths, led to the creation of the annual Fire Prevention Week from October 3rd to 9th. Sponsored by the National Fire Prevention Association, this week helps to raise awareness of fire safety and prevention. Take some time to brush up on your fire education during the month of October.

If Your Home is on fire, families should have an emergency plan in place, with all members on board, with a planned escape route. If there is an active fire in your home that has not been immediately controlled, everyone should exit the home immediately. Call 911 once you are clear of the structure. Under no circumstances should you re-enter a burning home. Wait for emergency personnel to arrive and allow them to do what they are trained to do.

SERVPRO of Vigo County is a locally-owned and -operated leader in restoration and cleaning needs, so we are part of this community, too. We have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs following disasters and accidents that occur in your home and business. We offer 24-hour emergency service and are faster to any disaster. Call us at (812) 242-9611 when you need help getting your property back in order and looking its best. We are part of SERVPRO, a trusted leader in the restoration industry with over 1,700 franchises in the United States and Canada.

How do you stop a chimney fire?

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How do you stop a chimney fire? Chimney Fire in Terre Haute

Chimney fires happen when there is too much buildup in the chimney. The buildup will begin to burn causing fire to come out the top and push smoke into the house. 

How do you stop a chimney fire?

Cleaning out the chimney using a wire brush or hiring a chimney sweep during the warm seasons is the best way to keep fires out of the chimney and out of your home.

The homeowner put out the chimney fire with a fire extinguisher. They were left with dust covering the home and contents.

The home owner was at a devastating loss and didn't think his home could be restored back to new.

SERVPRO of Vigo County came in to restore his home to "Like it never even happened." The customer stated that he was very impressed with the management team and trust worthiness.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup in Terre Haute

7/30/2018 (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 Vigo County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

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

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

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

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

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

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

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

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (812) 242-9611

Improve Dryer Efficiency and Reduce Fire Risk by Cleaning

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

If you notice your dryer is not functioning properly, you should act immediately. Your Terre Haute, IN, home is at risk of fire when the dryer cannot properly redistribute heat. Proper dryer maintenance and cleaning protects your home from the danger of a lint fire.


Know the Symptoms of a Dryer Vent Clog.


There are several telltale signs that you should clean and inspect your dryer:

• Unusually long time for clothes to dry
• Clothes much hotter than they used to
• A burning smell
• Lint spilling out of the hose

These warning signs mean you should immediately stop using the dryer and clean it. Running the dryer when it shows any of these signs could cause a dryer fire.


Remove Excess Lint From the Lint Trap.


Depending on the model, you should be able to find a lint screen on the bottom, top or side of the dryer. The screen may come out fully but should not be forced out.

Once you have the screen out as far as it’ll go, lint can be cleaned up using your hands, a brush or vacuum. The lint needs to be fully removed from the sheet to prevent a potential lint fire. Before putting the screen back, it’s advised to vacuum out the empty lint trap area.


Check the Exhausts for Lint.


After disconnecting the dryer and removing the exhaust hose from the wall, the hose should be checked for any lint. If there is lint, a lengthy cleaning brush tool from a vent cleaning kit should be snaked through and back to fish up any lint until no more comes out.

If there is an exterior vent in your home, it is good practice to regularly clean its screen of lint too.


Prepare for the Worst Regardless.


Your home can be protected from a lint fire, but fire damage always needs a plan. A local fire restoration company can assist you with a fire and should be kept as an emergency contact. Thankfully, cleaning the dryer regularly saves you from fire damage to worry about.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROvigocounty.com/.

Reasons and Tips To Keep Your Dryer Vent Clean

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Many people may not realize the importance of keeping a dryer vent clean. However, keeping your dryer vent clear of debris is the first step in preventing a lint fire from occurring in your home. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, January is the peak month for dryer fire incidents, so be particularly mindful to remove lint during the fall and winter time.


Preventing Losses


• The best way to avoid a lint fire is by simply cleaning the lint which has collected in your dryer’s lint trap after every load.
• Cleaning your lint trap ensures that debris does not accumulate over time in your dryer vent and restrict airflow through the unit’s exhaust.
• If the airway becomes restricted, there may be excess heat during operation of your dryer, which can cause flammable materials such as lint to ignite and cause damage to your property.
• Annually, there are 2,900 dryer fires reported, and every year, an estimated $35 million in property loss results from these fires. The leading cause of residential fires results from a failure to keep the ventilation free of debris.


Keep It Clean


A great way to keep your dryer’s exhaust ventilation clean is by using a rotary vent auger, or dryer snake, which is a bristled and flexible tool used to clear hard-to-reach areas of ductwork, such as your dryer exhaust. You should clear the vent anywhere from one to three times per year, depending on the number of people in your household, as lint and debris may begin to accumulate over a shorter amount of time if more loads of laundry are being done on average. You should be able to clean the vent on your own, but it is also possible to hire professionals to clean it for you.

Remembering these guidelines may help prevent a lint fire in your home. For more information for residential fire prevention, you can also check the local fire codes in Terre Haute, IN.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROvigocounty.com/.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

3/14/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage  Smoke and Soot Cleanup Dont let anyone clean up you soot and smoke damage!! Let the professionals!! SERVPRO of Vigo County

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 Vigo County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

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

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

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

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

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

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

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

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (812) 242-9611

Terre Haute House Fire

3/14/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Terre Haute House Fire Call us for your house fire needs.... we can make it "Like it never even happened!" SERVPRO of Vigo County 812-242-9611

Furnace caught fire with no one home resulting in a house engulfed with flames as the fire department arrived. Homeowner stated that when she arrived "he thought there was no way it would be back to new without tearing it completely down."

SERVPRO of Vigo County was called in to making it "Like it never even happened."

After fixing the house back to new and having vandalism damage during the process of putting it back to new not once but twice. The customer is back in the home and very happy with the whole process.

Customer stated that even though it took longer than expected due to the two vandalisms, he was very happy with how everything turned out in the end. He stated that he would use our services again if it ever would to happen hat he would need them.

House Fire in Vigo County

2/27/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage House Fire in Vigo County This is a before picture of what we walked into after the fire.

Furnace caught fire with no one home resulting in a house engulfed with flames as the fire department arrived. Homeowner stated that when she arrived "he thought there was no way it would be back to new without tearing it completely down."


SERVPRO of Vigo County & CPSV was called in to making it "Like it never even happened."


After fixing the house back to new and having vandalism damage during the process of putting it back to new not once but twice. The customer is back in the home and very happy with the whole process.


Customer stated that even though it took longer than expected due to the two vandalisms, he was very happy with how everything turned out in the end. He stated that he would use our services again if it ever would to happen hat he would need them.