Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire Safety Tips to Consider During Haloween

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

Keep Halloween Safe and Fire Free!

Unfortunately, symbols of Halloween and activities while fun can also present fire risks that have the potential to become truly scary. Halloween decorations are the first thing to ignite in over 1,000 reported home fires each year. Whether you are trick or treating, throwing a party, or staying inside, decorations can be a lurking fire risk and it is important to be aware. Planning ahead, you can help make this Halloween a fire-safe one. Taking simple fire safety precautions like keeping decorations far away from open flames and using battery-operated candles or glow-sticks in jack-o-lanterns can help ensure your holiday remains festive and fun.  From the National Fire Protection Association, here are five Halloween fire safety tips:

  • Use a battery-operated candle or glow stick in jack-o-lanterns.
  • When choosing costumes, stay away from the long trailing fabric.
  • Teach young children to stay away from open flames, including jack-o-lanterns with candles in them.
  • Keep all decorations away from open flames, especially cornstalks, dried flowers, and crepe paper.
  • Provide young children with glow sticks or flashlights to carry with their costumes.
  • Remember to keep all exits clear of decorations so escape routes are not blocked. Also, make sure all smoke alarms are working properly.

In the case of an emergency, know that the team at SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac is going to work around the clock to help keep your Halloween season a good one! Give our team a call at 248.377.2220

Every Moment Counts in a Fire

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

An in-home fireplace can bring joy but also be dangerous

This time of year means that the fireplace uses are coming to an end. Of course, playing with fire is dangerous for children, so please remember these tips from before you light your hearth. 

  • If possible, keep a window cracked open while the fire is burning.

  • Be certain the damper or flue is open before starting a fire. Keeping the damper or flue open until the fire is out will draw smoke out of the house. The damper can be checked by looking up into the chimney with a flashlight or mirror. Do not close the damper until the embers have completely stopped burning.

  • Use dry and well-aged wood. Wet or green wood causes more smoke and contributes to soot buildup in the chimney. Dried wood burns with less smoke and burns more evenly,

  • Smaller pieces of wood placed on a grate burn faster and produce less smoke.

  • Clean out ashes from previous fires. Levels of ash at the base of the fireplace should be kept to 1 inch or less because a thicker layer restricts the air supply to logs, resulting in more smoke.

  • The chimney should be checked annually by a professional.

  • Even if the chimney is not due for a cleaning, it is important to check for animal nests or other blockages that could prevent smoke from escaping.

  • Make sure the area around the fireplace is clear of anything that is potentially flammable (ie: furniture, drapes, newspapers, books, etc.). If these items get too close to the fireplace, they could catch fire.

  • Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Make sure it is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house. If you leave the room while the fire is burning or the fireplace is still hot, take your small child with you.

  • Minimize your child's chance of burns from the hot glass front of some fireplaces. Safety screens can be installed to reduce the risk of burns.

  • Put fireplace tools and accessories out of a young child's reach. Also, remove any lighters and matches.

  • Install both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.

  • Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.

  • Communicate to children as early as possible the dangers of fires and the heat generated from them.

How Common Are House Fires? - Where They Typically Start

7/15/2020 (Permalink)

House fire House fires happens every 18 seconds in the United States. Who are you going to call?

Kitchens - 50% of residential home fires

Cooking is the number one cause of fires at home. 50% of all reported fires cases started in the kitchen. Most house fires occur between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m -- which are the usual times when one is cooking dinner.

It is relatively easy to prevent such infernos. Be watchful while cooking and keep all flammable items away from the oven. It is prudent to be attentive while cooking and to have a fire extinguisher somewhere close.

Bedroom - 7% of residential home fires

An estimated 7% of residential infernos start from the bedroom. As you can imagine, bedrooms are packed with flammable items like mattresses. Bedroom fires spread very quickly. To be on the safe side, you will need to upgrade to a bed that adheres to the new flammability standards. In essence, that means ditching all mattresses made before 2007.

Chimney - 6% of residential home fires

Dirty chimneys can cause a chimney fire. In the reported 25,000 cases of chimney fires between 2011 and 2015, there was an accompanying loss of 120 million dollars in property damage. Regular cleaning is necessary to prevent these fires. Ideally, the soot residue should not be more than ¼ inch thick.

Living Room - 4% of residential home fires

A small percentage of residential home fires start from the living room. Culprits to watch out for include fireplaces, candles, faulty electronics, and HVAC systems. The presence of couches makes living room fires one of the fast-spreading infernos. To prevent living room fires, you will need to inspect fireplaces and service your HVAC system regularly.

Laundry Room - 3% of residential home fires

Three percent of all residential house fires start in the laundry room. The dryer lint is the most common cause of fires in laundry rooms. The vents and filters all need to be cleaned regularly. Stop the dryer when it starts to overheat.

Outdoor fires - 3% of residential home fires

Outdoor fires start from porches, grills and bonfire spots. These fires spread to the house when you don't put them out immediately. After enjoying a barbecue or fireworks outside, put out all fires before you retreat to the house. Not only will being careful with fireworks help prevent the risk of a house fire, but it will also ensure the safety of those around it. According to an article from the Insurance Journal, at least eight people passed due to a firework's mishap in 2017, and 12,900 were injured.

Attic - 10,000 residential fires every year

Perhaps the attics are the last place you would expect an inferno to start. Well, according to data from the fire department, that line of thinking is wrong. Usually, the leading cause of attic fires is faulty electrical wiring.

To prevent attics and all other types of electrical fires, watch out for exposed wires and have them sealed or replaced.Industry professionals recommend unplugging all electrical and electronic appliances after use and switch off lights when you leave home.

Home Fires

So, how common are house fires? An estimated 358,500 home fires occur every year. 50% of these fires start in the kitchen, 7% begin in the bedroom, and 6% are chimney fires, 4% of all residential home fires start in the living room, while 3% start from the laundry room. A small percentage (3%) of home fires start from the outdoors while 10,000 cases of all yearly home fire incidences start from the attics. In order to prevent a house fire from happening, it’s important to take all the preventive measures outlined to keep your home and family safe.

Keep your family safe and warm this winter

12/8/2019 (Permalink)

fire damaged homes can take more than just your property house fires affect more than just your property. We help you get your life and home back.

The winter season is in full swing. the days are shorter and the temperature is lower. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in the weather but in Michigan, we tend to feel the full effect of harsh winter weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves.

In 2011, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 53,600 reported US home structure fires. Unfortunately, that's not where the story ends. Along with the fires, there were 400 civilian deaths, over 1500 civilian injuries, and $893 million in direct property damage. These fires accounted for 14% of all reported home fires.

Heating is the second leading cause of home fire deaths, making it important to review ways to help reduce the risk of a heating-related fire. Here are some tips to ensure you stay both warm and safe this winter:

  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
  • Use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • All heaters need space. Keep flammable objects, at least, three feet away from heating equipment
  • Plus space heaters directly into outlets, never into an extension cord or power strip
  • When using fuel-burning heaters, use only the fuel specified by the manufacturer
  • Install and maintain carbon monoxide and smoke alarms inside your home and business. Test alarms monthly
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off before leaving the room or going to bed. If you are buying a new unit, choose one with a shut-off timer.
  • When using a wood burning fireplace, make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to help prevent sparks from flying into the room. Spent fireplace ashes should be cool before removing and putting them into a metal container. The container should be stored away from your home or business

At SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac, we want you to be both warm and safe but you can trust that if you have an issue we will make it "Like it never even happened."

Why hire a specialist?

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

House Fire Bloomfield hills A fire in your home disrupts your life and can be stressful. Calling a professional like SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac can help you get back to normal

Why Hire a Specialist?

One of the most stressful events for a family is a house fire in your home. It’s unsettling and suddenly, everything that’s “yours” is at risk.

To make matters worse, Fire damage is often serious. Even property that wasn’t on fire may be affected by heat, smoke or water.

After a fire in your home, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is getting your property cleaned and restored. Seeking assistance from a fire restoration service may be the best first step.

So why hire a Specialist? The combination of fire and water damage can be devastating to personal property. The pressurized water from the fire hose alone can be destructive. If you have property damage 

  1. Fire damage experts have access to specialized equipment and methods that facilitate timely drying and restoration of your belongings.
  2. Professionals are trained to use safety precautions to prevent accidents and injuries.
  3. Specialists work quickly to prevent secondary damage, such as mold, from developing.

Turning over your home and property to restoration experts can feel uncomfortable. It may help to have some more information about what to expect.

What About Your Belongings?While structural restoration continues, a content-cleaning team will begin to sort and inventory your personal items.

Fire-damaged items are often unsalvageable, but many water-damaged items can be restored. Textiles, carpets and upholstered furniture that are not badly smoke damaged can be dried and cleaned.

If not damaged by heat, electronics such as computers and televisions will be dried, dehumidified and restored to working order whenever possible.

When a fire in your home disrupts your life, it can be overwhelming. A professional cleanup service like SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac can be the best way to get your home back as quickly as possible.

Using a secure, multi-step process, we will clean and restore your belongings as quickly and completely as possible. Knowing what to expect may help you decide what will work best for you if you experience a home fire.

Smoke and Soot Damage: What to Know

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

Unfortunately fires can cause smoke and soot damage to not only the structure that's on fire but other buildings nearby as well.

Smoke and soot is invasive and can get into every nook and cranny of your home all while causing hidden damage, odor, and stress for the homeowner.

At SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac, we have the expertise and experience to accurately asses the damage and develop a plan to make it "Like it never even happened."

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 types of smoke, wet and dry. The type of smoke will determine what needs to be done to clean it properly. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac will test the soot to determine the type of smoke damage. We then will create a comprehensive plan using the information gathered from our pretest.

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

Every fire is different. That means that every fire cleanup is different. With our expertise we can create a comprehensive plan to restore your property and help you make it “Like it never even happened.”

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (248)377-2220

Stay safe this Thanksgiving

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac wishes you and your family a safe and loving Thanksgiving

For many people, the fall season is a time to enjoy cooler temperatures, beautifully colored leaves and family oriented get together, like the Thanksgiving holiday. Each November, families, gather to celebrate Thanksgiving holiday. Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your happy holiday could become hazardous very quickly.

Cooling fires are the leading cause of home fires and home fire-related injuries in the United States. In fact, the United States Fire Administration (USFA) says, there are nearly 4,300 fires on Thanksgiving Day. That’s more than double the daily average for residential fires. The leading cause of Thanksgiving Day fires is food left unattended while cooking.

Whether you or your customers are preparing a quick dinner for two or a lavish Thanksgiving spread, follow these helpful tips to stay safe in the kitchen this Thanksgiving holiday.

Recipe for Kitchen Safety

·         Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food

·         Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently

·         Watch children closely, It is a good rule of thumb to keep children three feet away from the cooking area.

·         Clean cooking surfaces to prevent food and grease build-up.

·         Keep curtains, towels and pot holders away from hot surfaces and store solvents and flammable cleaners away from heat sources. Never keep gasoline in the           house.

·         Turn pan handles inward to prevent food spills.

·         Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer, or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child

·         Make sure your smoke alarms are working by testing them prior to beginning food preparation

*Tips and statistics reproduced from NFPA’s Website,

How to recover after a fire

11/30/2017 (Permalink)

When you have a fire damage in your home or business let SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac’s professional team will come to your rescue. We use three key elements to eliminate damages made by fire, smoke and soot.

-Structural Cleaning- Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a through cleaning after a fire. We will perform a protest  to determine the extent of the damage, and then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your facility. Depending on the amount of soot, we may even be able to reduce the cost of recovery by cleaning lighter soot deposits on some surfaces, eliminating the expense incurred with repainting or refinishing.

-Contents Cleaning- All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. We begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate. We can provide wet or dry cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. Finally, we can provide an inventory list of all "to be claimed" items if requested.

-Deodorization- We provide specialized services that rid your place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. We do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, we seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.

If you have any questions about our processes do not hesitate to call our office at (248) 377-2220.  Someone is available 24/7 to take your call!

FIRES occur every 18 seconds in the U.S....Only One Matters to You!

9/12/2016 (Permalink)

Fires occur every 18 seconds in the U.S. Only one matters to you. SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac will be there for you including when you need us most!

Following the events of September 11, 2001, SERVPRO was called upon to assist with the cleanup and restoration of the Pentagon. In spite of the emotions and difficulties involved in the restoration effort, SERVPRO dried nearly 300,000 square feet in addition to providing fire, soot and smoke cleanup and restoration services. Upon completion of the drying assignment, SERVPRO  provided mold remediation services in other sections of the facility. SERVPRO  met the challenge and completed the process in just 90 days.

  We saw first hand some of the devastation that occurred that day. We salute and honor the service men and women than ran into dangerous conditions to help others.

Your home or commercial facility contains many of your most valuable possessions. SERVPRO of  Greater Pontiac understands the trauma that follows a loss. When fire damage takes control of your life, we help take it back. Our number one goal is returning damage to its pre-loss condition, doing all we can to make it “Like it never even happened.” Every SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac professional who steps onto a job site has this goal in mind. It is about total restoration of the damage and about the life of the customer being helped.