Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire Preparation Steps

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

As a homeowner, the thought of a fire breaking out in your house is a nightmare scenario. This emergency situation could have devastating effects. Not only is your family safety at risk, but you could lose precious possessions and your house itself. There are fire preparation steps you should follow to reduce the risk of this terrible event from occurring.

Sure up Those Smoke Alarms

All Germantown, TN, homes should have smoke alarms to alert you of fire danger. One or two devices is not enough. Your home should have one in every bedroom and an additional alarm per floor. There are also other essential elements of smoke alarms you should look for to help prevent a home fire from spreading and getting out of hand.

  • Test your smoke alarm once a month.
  • Change the batteries in your smoke alarm at least once a year.
  • Never disconnect your smoke alarm.

Keep an Eye on the Dryer

Of all your appliances, your dryer is perhaps the biggest potential culprit for starting a fire. It's vital that you check the filter after every loan and remove any lint buildup. Also, make sure you inspect the outside vent as well as the hose leading from the dryer to the vent.

Watch the Outlets

Being aware of electrical problems is an important fire safety tip. Check each outlet in your home, and never overload them with cords. Also, be mindful when you use power strips, especially with electronic equipment such as computers.

Be Careful When You Cook

Fire prevention often starts in the kitchen, where there are a few different heat sources. Make sure your oven is clean and functioning properly. Also, never leave food on the stove unattended.
You can have peace of mind when you follow these fire prevention guidelines. If you need further direction, you should consult a fire remediation company.

What is Covered By Your Commercial Property Insurance

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

House Fire Damage If you have experienced a House Fire, Call SERVPRO of Bartlett/Cordova. Experts in Fire Damage Restoration.

Reasons to Have Commercial Insurance After Fire Damage

If a fire occurs in your  Bartlett, TN, building, it can be extremely helpful to have commercial insurance. While the details will vary between companies and individual policies, it can cover a wide range of property. Here are some of the items you can expect to be included.

1. The Structure of the Building

In many cases, fire damage will include the building itself. If it was severe enough, you may even be required to rebuild part of the structure. Your insurance will usually cover this. If you are missing portions of your walls, floors or ceiling, your policy should include the costs of repairing and restoring these areas. It will often include repainting and placing new flooring as well.

2. Property Inside the Building

Whether the fire was large or small, there is a good chance that items in the building were damaged. This can include equipment, furniture and decorations such as curtains or artwork. If these were affected by smoke or fire damage, they will be included in your policy as well, so you won’t have to worry about the costs associated with repairing or replacing them.

3. Property Outside the Building

Because fires are not always contained to the building in which they began, your commercial insurance can cover the area outside of your business as well. This can include outdoor furniture and equipment. In some cases, it may cover neighboring properties as well, if the fire and the damage it caused spread outside of your own property.

You may like to think that a fire cannot occur on your property, but even if you are careful, some accidents cannot be prevented. Fires are common, so it is a good idea to have commercial insurance that covers it. It will help pay for the repairs that you will need to have done by a fire restoration company as well as the costs of replacing destroyed items.

How To Keep Your Pets Safe During a Fire

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

How to Prepare for a Potential Fire Emergency

A fire can quickly engulf any home in Bartlett, TN. In addition to potentially causing extensive damage, an inferno can also threaten the wellbeing of everyone living inside, including pets. While you may be able to communicate evacuation instructions to human family members, ensuring pet safety can be more challenging. Employing four useful strategies can help everyone in your family prepare for a potential fire emergency. 

1. Keep Leashes Accessible

A leash is an essential pet care accessory that can help you safely extract your dog or cat from the premise and keep track of them in the ensuing chaos. To expedite its retrieval, you should store this device near a frequently-used exit. You should also train your pet to promptly come to you when called. 

2. Practice Evacuating With Pets

If you have children, you may routinely complete fire drills to ensure everyone understands crucial evacuation procedures. Including your pets in these exercises may be extremely beneficial. 

3. Post a Pet Alert Sign

A pet alert sign is another useful fire emergency planning tool that you can attach to windows near both your front and back doors. These placards are designed to help first responders quickly identify the number of animals living inside the residence. Posting this information may be especially vital if a fire erupts when no one is home. 

4. Help Others Identify Your Pet

A frightened animal may run away during a crisis. Purchasing an identification tag and microchipping each pet can enable others to quickly determine the correct owner. To eliminate communication problems, be sure to update both items if your contact information changes. 

Enduring a fire emergency can be a daunting experience. If you have animals inside your home, pet preparation should be a component of your family evacuation plan. In addition to providing peace of mind, knowing both your human and furry family members are safe may reduce the stress of the fire cleanup and restoration process.

Overcoming Soot Damage

2/7/2020 (Permalink)

Team SERVPRO Has the Experience to Eliminate Many Different Types of Soot Residues Remaining in Your Home After a Fire

Your Memphis home was not intended to stop fires before they spread to other areas of the house. In fact, most of the materials used for the construction of your home have the ability to catch fire and help it to spread throughout the structure. Unfortunately, this can spread the effects of this blaze all throughout your property and cause a lot of work for the professional restoration team that you choose to help clean up this mess. 
Working to clean up the mess after the incident is over is no easy task, either. Most often the substantial effects that stand out are smoke and soot damages. These are common versions of fire damage in homes, and they can often prove to be challenging to remove without the right equipment. 
Fortunately, our SERVPRO professionals have the tools and expertise to help you through often widespread soot damages throughout your household. While the most concentrated of this effect can get found around the fires originating point where it burned the longest, this is not always the case. This matted debris and film from the combustion leaves a dark, often black residue on surfaces, furniture, flooring, and other materials. 
Removing this residue requires multiple approaches. For wall surfaces, scrubbing with wet and dry sponges can often remove the bulk of the present film. Confined spaces like ductwork require high powered vacuums to get used instead. 
Smoke damage often presents itself in the form of a harsh odor lingering in fabrics, carpeting and open spaces throughout affected areas of your house. Removal of this odor typically requires thermal fogging, a process that releases an unscented chemical compound into the environment and contents of the room to break apart odor molecules and leave no discernable scent behind. 
There is very little that most homeowners can do alone to bring their homes back from the harmful effects of a fire. When you face these kinds of damages, seek out the professionals we employ at SERVPRO. We can respond quickly and get your home back to preloss conditions as soon as possible. Give us a call 24/7 at (901) 382-0900

5 Steps of the Restoration Process

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire damage can happen anytime.

When you think of fire restoration, you probably think of the end result of fire damage cleanup, when everything that was destroyed gets rebuilt. Before they can rebuild, however, fire damage experts in Memphis, TN, have to do a lot of cleanup and damage repair. There are several steps of mitigation that technicians have to work through in order to get to the final stage of restoration.

1. Assessment

Before technicians do anything, they have to see how bad the damage is. Therefore, the first thing they will do when they arrive is assess the damage to your home. They know they will likely need to contend with fire, water, soot and smoke damage.

2. Water Damage Repair

Firefighters usually have to use a lot of water to extinguish the flames. Unfortunately, this means your home probably has a lot of water damage. Excess water must be extracted, and the affected area needs to be dried.

3. Smoke and Soot Damage Repair

Smoke and soot get everywhere during a fire. Before fire restoration can take place, all of it has to be removed out of every crack and crevice.

4. General Cleaning

After the major issues have been tackled, there is probably still some minor damage cleaning that needs to be done before the structure can be rebuilt. Any materials that are damaged or have sustained secondary damage must be repaired or removed. All surfaces must be disinfected to get rid of bacteria or other microbes.

5. Restoration

Finally, after everything is cleaned, restoration specialists can begin to rebuild your home. They not only replace the parts of the structure that were not salvageable but also make sure the rebuild matches the remaining structure so that the final outcome looks "Like it never even happened."

Technicians have to do a lot of work to restore your home after a fire. Fire restoration is merely the final step of the process of making your home livable again.

Charcoal Grill Fire Safety

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

For many people, the arrival of nice weather in Cordova, TN calls for grilling out with friends

Follow These Tips To Avoid A Barbecue Fire

For many people, the arrival of nice weather in Cordova, TN calls for grilling out with friends and family. Unfortunately, a grill fire is a real safety hazard in the right combination of circumstances. A fun get-together can turn into a disaster in a hurry. You can avoid a barbecue fire by following these tips:

1. Keep the Grill in a Safe Location

Keep the grill outside on a level surface at least 10 feet from buildings and other flammable objects. Never grill under an overhang or in an enclosed area. Be sure to monitor it closely until it cools.

2. Keep Children and Pets at a Distance

Children and pets should be kept at least three feet away from the grill. Make sure that pets on tie-downs cannot reach the grill; they can wrap their line around the grill and pull it over. It will keep them at a safe distance in the event that a grill fire occurs.

3. Be Mindful of Loose Clothing

Make sure that you wear appropriate attire when you grill. You can tie back everything with an apron. For added safety use long tongs and spatulas and wear heat resistant grill gloves.

4. Use a Chimney Starter

A chimney starter is a much safer option than lighter fluid. It will also light the coals more evenly.

5. Practice the Two-Zone Method

This simple, versatile method creates a much safer grilling experience. Put the hot charcoal on one side of the grill and leave the other side empty. If a flare-up occurs, move the food to the other side until the flame subsides, then move it back to continue cooking. The two-zone method can improve the quality of your food because it creates a side for searing and another side for flame-free slow cooking.
Keep a fire extinguisher close by. Do NOT use water; it can make a grease fire flare up. Instead, close the grill lid until the flare-up subsides. If your house sustains fire damage or smoke damage from a grill fire, fire cleanup experts can return it to its original state.

What to do Within 48 Hours of a Fire

7/25/2017 (Permalink)

What to do Within 48 Hours of a Fire

A fire can change your life forever. Recovering from such an unexpected disaster doesn’t have to be difficult. Finding a quality fire damage restoration team can get you back on your feet safely and moving forward in a relatively short amount of time.

Starting the process of restoration after a fire is important. The quicker you get the damage assessed and work started, the less possible future damage can occur.

Immediately after a fire has occurred and is safely extinguished open all doors and windows to let the debilitating smoke out of the rooms and allow fresh air to flow in so as to minimize as much damage as possible. Ash and soot can contain harmful chemicals, so don’t attempt to clean it up. After alerting your insurance company, call a fire restoration specialist to guide you through this challenging ordeal. They will assess a few things to salvage your possessions and assist in cleaning those that can be saved from soot and smoke damage, such as electronics, furniture, clothing and other soft fabric items.

The insurance provider is an important first step. Most states and insurance providers require that you contact your insurance company within days of the event so that they can begin whatever documentation needs to be started to get your home in good repair. If you receive an advance, this can help you to eliminate the smoke smell, soot damage, initial fire cleanup and board up any windows to make your home as secure as possible.

Once you’ve had fire damage, it’s not just the structure that has been affected. Smoke damage, soot damage, a lingering smoke smell and other secondary issues that come with a fire. A good restoration company can come in and board up the home to keep it secure while the fire damage restoration is being completed. It can take days and up to weeks to restore a home or business to its pre-fire pristine state, depending on the amount of fire cleanup that is needed.

The longer that an acrid smoke smell is allowed to linger in your property, the harder it can be to remove. Soot damage often makes a bigger mess than first expected, but a trained commercial fire damage specialist can keep that to a minimum. A quality fire damage restoration expert can also keep costs down by removing soot damage and smoke damage before it can become an expensive problem for your commercial business.

A fire restoration company can help you to determine if it is more economical to restore or completely rebuild your property. It’s not unusual to simply restore areas after a fire in your home and get back to living stress-free as soon as possible.

A responsible fire damage assessor will:

Completely clean all structures inside and out and the contents
Clean HVAC ducts
Assist in recovering data from damaged electronics
Provide temporary fencing and boards for windows and doors
Inventory the items they find as they move through the property

Commercial fire restoration requires the same steps. Contact your insurance company and hire a commercial fire damage specialist to asses any fire damage and securely board up your property as soon as possible.

Once you can safely return to your home or business, make sure you correctly install new smoke alarms and fire detectors in key areas of your home. A fire restoration company can help you place fire extinguishers strategically at entrances and in places where fire is prevalent, such as kitchens and living rooms, to keep your space safe.

A fire damage restoration company can help you recover from devastating event from start to finish, leaving you in a better place to move on from a difficult situation.

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A Guide to Fire Damage Restoration

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

A Guide to Fire Damage Restoration

Homeowners are often caught off guard when fire damage occurs. Fire in business premises is not only deadly but can also cause devastating property loss. As such, business and home owners need to familiarize themselves with fire damage restoration tips before a catastrophic fire occurs. That helps recover from a fire in business premises before it gets uncontrollable.

The Process of Fire Damage Restoration

Your priority should be to assess the damage caused by fire in business premises. Many items within a home or business facility are often overlooked when determining the scope of the fire damage. A fire cleanup crew should carefully evaluate the following items before integrating them back into a restored business or home.
• Upholstery
• Utensils
• Carpets
• Furniture
• Food
Utensils and food are often overlooked when assessing the scope of fire in home or business facilities. Using contaminated utensils or eating contaminated food can be harmful. As such, these items must be carefully inspected by a professional commercial fire damage cleanup crew before restoring them back into your home. If these items can’t be restored, look for proper ways to get rid of them.

Flames cause the most visible damage to a home or business premises. However, soot damage and smoke smell often create invisible hazards that could cost lives. Suffocation is the leading cause of death in a fire accident. Therefore, smoke damage and soot must never be overlooked during the assessment of a fire in home facilities.

Unlike the smoke smell, soot is a very visible hazard. Soot is a black coating created when oil-based substances, wood or coal burn. Soot is disbursed into the air and settles anywhere. It can easily damage to your furniture. If smoke contaminates your property,a commercial fire damage specialist must assess the smoke damage to determine whether recovery is possible.

Water damage is often disregarded when fire damage occurs. During a deadly blaze, inherent water damage often occurs as fire damage restoration specialists attempt to extinguish the fire. Most people use water to put out fires. After the blaze has been contained, you must thoroughly dry the affected area to avoid further commercial fire damage. You can use air movers and humidifiers to dry saturated furniture, padding, and carpets. Make sure the affected area is thoroughly dried as mold growth can start just 48 hours after the occurrence of smoke damage. The combination of mold, water, and soot damage can result in a complete loss. However, the damage of fire in business facilities can significantly reduce if you work with a reputable fire cleanup crew.

Tips to Mitigate Commercial Fire Damage

Fire in home facilities can be devastating to a home and its occupants. Once a fire in home facilities has been put out, there are a lot of measures needed to minimize the scope of soot damage and smoke damage. You should never get back to your home until the fire cleanup crew confirms that it is safe to go inside. Embers can rekindle if not properly extinguished. When it is safe to enter your home, grab any essential documents such as mortgage information, birth certificate, and insurance files.

Be sure to take any valuables you can carry and medications you will need. The next step is to call a reputable fire cleanup crew for cleanup and remediation services. Note that there might be lingering soot and smoke smell all over. As such, you can stay in a hotel during the cleanup period. In most cases, you will not be allowed to enter your home during the commercial fire damage restoration process due to risks associated with fire damage and soot exposure. The cleanup crew will be wearing protective gear to protect them while working.


• Never use any electrical appliance
• Don’t turn on any lights
• Open windows for ventilation to get soot and smoke smell out of your house
• Don’t allow people go in and out of your home to avoid tracking soot
• Get pets out the house to prevent soot damage and smoke smell inhalation
• Contact an HVAC technician to help you turn off the gas
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The Process of Fire Damage Restoration

5/26/2017 (Permalink)

The Process of Fire Damage Restoration

The process of picking up the pieces after a fire can seem daunting. Fire damage can cause significant losses both to private individuals as well as businesses. Besides the fire itself, soot damage and smoke damage frequently make property useless or irreparable. However, with the right approach fire cleanup can be less challenging. There are several steps to fire damage restoration, but if you follow them in order and approach them with care and patience you will find the process much less painful.

The first thing you should do to begin fire damage restoration is to evaluate for any holes in the exterior of the structure. Following a fire in home or a fire in business, holes can appear from the damage that leave property exposed. Once you have access to the fire damage site, begin to look for any gaps in walls or ceilings that could allow wind or precipitation to affect property. This is a good way to increase the overall total of commercial fire damage. While not as obvious as plain fire damage, damage from exterior holes can be significant.

The most noticeable thing once you enter the building will be water damage. While water can help minimize fire damage, cleaning up the water can be one of the most painful parts of fire cleanup. Standing water can be contaminated with disease and in pools of water small objects can float, creating hazards for those without the proper equipment. Water boots are a necessity for fire cleanup for this specific reason. Make sure that as you explore the structure and begin to clean the remaining water that you are very careful and you catalog any items that have been damaged by the water.

After you have evaluated your building following the fire in home or fire in a business, the next thing to do is to assess soot damage. Soot is caused by objects burning in the fire and leaving an ashy, sometimes oily residue. Soot damage can affect everything from food to electronics and can be very difficult to clean. It is important during this process to photograph everything, but inexpensive items that are easily replaced should just be discarded. More expensive things like televisions or furniture can be cleaned, but it is rarely worth it to try to clean a DVD or books. In the case of a fire in a business, keeping track of soot damage is essential to understanding total commercial fire damage.

The next step in fire damage restoration is to look at the walls, ceilings, and floors of the structure. In a fire in a home, walls between rooms can have damage that needs to be carefully inspected and documented. In a fire in a business, the external walls will already have been surveyed but you should also look for damage to the whole floor, ceiling, and any interior walls. Smoke damage can affect walls significantly and as such they may need to be replaced.

The last thing you should do in fire cleanup is evaluate the extent of smoke damage. Smoke smells can consume many objects and because of this things like garments or linens can become totally unusable. Keep track of the amount of items with smoke damage just like you did with soot, again discarding inexpensive or easily replaceable items once you have them cataloged. With fire in a business, pay mind to how smoke smells might affect customer experience and make necessary replacements, calculating the cost into commercial fire damage. Smoke smells can also be a problem with fires in homes, where the smoke smells being more prominent in some rooms over others.

Commercial fire damage can have significant effects on a business and fire damage restoration can be intimidating to a homeowner, but with the right strategy you can address the problems without as much hassle.
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Rebuilding Your Life After a Fire

5/12/2017 (Permalink)

Rebuilding Your Life After a Fire

Fire damage can be an awful ordeal to endure. In the case of fire in a home, soot damage and smoke damage can make many personal belongings unusable. Fire in a business can result in significant commercial fire damage. Dealing with fire damage is not something anyone wants to have to handle, but it is a reality nonetheless. If you are looking to begin fire damage restoration here are some key steps you need to know.

The first part of fire cleanup is simply assessing how damage to a structure can create further damage down the line. Aside from initial fire damage, holes in the exterior walls of a structure, known as breaches, can pose a significant challenge to any fire cleanup efforts by causing additional property damage from exposure to the elements. An essential component of fire damage restoration is evaluating a property for any breaches and sealing them off before they cause more damage. This is especially important when cleaning up after a fire in a business, because damage from breach exposure may not be considered part of the overall commercial fire damage.

Once you have secured the exterior-facing parts of the structure, the process of water cleanup begins. This involves removing the water that remains from the emergency response. Water cleanup can be a dangerous part of fire cleanup because standing water can be a vector for disease. Additionally, small hazards can be hidden by large pools of water. That is why water boots are essential tools in all fire damage restoration.

The next step in fire cleanup is assessing soot damage. Soot damage is caused when property burns to ash and then coats other property. The soot damage can be amplified when plastics are burnt and the soot has an oily residue. It is important to take stock of all items that have suffered soot damage for both commercial fire damage as well as fire in a home. In the case of home fire damage, inexpensive and common items that are covered in soot should be disposed of, but cataloged to evaluate the overall damage. More valuable items may be cleaned.

The next step in fire damage restoration is evaluating the walls, ceilings, and floors of a structure for damage. Smoke damage may be especially prevalent here. This step is important to both fires in a home as well as fires in a business, because restoring or replacing floors, ceilings, and walls is a necessity for any building. Make sure to catalog the damage to any part of the structure, and to examine thoroughly. What may seem to be minor damage can turn into major damage later on.

The last component of fire damage restoration is evaluating the presence of smoke damage. This can include physical damage to objects, which is common in fires in business, or simply the presence of irremovable smoke smell, which can occur when there are fires in home. Smoke damage can be a significant contributor to overall commercial fire damage. Additionally, smoke smells can make garments unwearable and may force you to discard inexpensive objects. As was the case with soot, you can attempt to clean more expensive objects. However, smoke smell is resilient and can be considered a factor in overall property damage. Do not fear counting property hurt by smoke smell towards your overall damage, be it from a fire in home or a fire in business.

Addressing the damage from fire is not something anyone wants to deal with. It can be a lengthy, painful process full of emotional turmoil and significant inconvenience. However, if you approach it with a plan and preparation you will find the process much less daunting. Thorough cataloging of all objects damaged and fine-point inspection of the whole structure can help prevent problems down the line. In the case of fire cleanup, preparation and knowledge are invaluable tools.
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