Recent Fire Damage Posts

The Fire Damage Cleanup Process

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

If your home has a fire, there’s a lot you’ll have to worry about. At SERVPRO of Catawba County West, what we don’t want you to worry about is your home or belongings. Our professionally trained team has helped thousands of homeowners recover from fires, flooding, and more. Although the fire cleanup process can vary to some degree, we’ve outlined the steps you can expect us to take.

  1. Assessing the damage. When you first call our office, we’ll dispatch somebody from our team to visually inspect the damages. This will allow us to determine next steps and prepare the necessary crews and equipment.
  1. Extract any water damage (if applicable). If you had to call the local fire department, your home will more than likely also have water damage. Because water can present its own set of challenges, we’ll have a team extract the water and begin the drying process.

  1. Inventory, pack out, and restore your belongings. We know that your possessions are often irreplaceable, so we put a lot of care and attention into restoring them. Our contents specialists take photos of all your possessions and digitally inventory them into our system. We then box and relocate them to our warehouse to be professionally cleaned and restored.
  • (Note: Some items may not be salvageable, but we always speak with you before disposing of anything.)
  1. Clean your home’s interior. Barring any extreme circumstances, our team will clean the interior of your home, including the walls, ceiling, and carpets. We will also clean your home’s HVAC system, which will be contaminated with soot and other debris. In some cases, we are even available to do the repair work!

  1. Return your belongings. Once the cleaning and repair processes are complete, our team will return your restored belongings back to your home. This is the final step in getting your home back to normal!

We’ve seen first-hand how devastating fires can be, so we understand how stressful these situations can be. If you have a house fire and need our professional cleanup services, call us anytime at (828) 322-4400!

Fire Safety Tips While You're Home During the Pandemic

4/8/2020 (Permalink)

Several used cigarettes spread out in ashes Smoking indoors can lead to deadly house fires!

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many of us to stay home for the foreseeable future. Because we’re cooped up in our homes, there are also more opportunities for fires to break out. We’ve seen first-hand how devastating a fire can be, so we’re sharing a few tips to make your time at home a little bit safer!

  1. Practice kitchen safety. Cooking-related fires are one of the most common kinds of home fires each year. This is due to several factors, but one of the most important is that many people leave their kitchen unattended while it’s in use. Keep your eyes on your kitchen and follow other safety practices to limit your risk.
  1. Don’t smoke indoors. Not only can smoking lead to home fires, but it's often one of the most deadly. If you choose to smoke, do it away from the home and be sure any cigarettes are fully extinguished before disposing of them.

  1. Keep matches and lighters out of your children’s reach. It’s common sense to leave fire hazards away from children, but it’s a good time for a reminder since children are home from school. Put these objects in hard-to-reach places that can only be accessed by adults. Even better, take time to teach your children why they are dangerous!

We’re all going through uncertain times, but there are some things you can do to keep you and your family safe. If you do have a fire at your home, however, our team at SERVPRO of Catawba County West is always here to clean and restore your home!

What Are Soot Webs?

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

Black web along the edge of a greenish ceiling Soot webs might look like cobwebs, but they have nothing to do with spiders!

Many times after a fire, our customers will point out soot-covered cobwebs along the ceiling and corners of their homes. They’re often surprised at both the number of webs and how they had escaped their notice all this time. In reality, these aren’t actually cobwebs—they’re soot webs.

What is a Soot Web?

A soot web—also known as soot tag—is the result of ionized soot particles sticking together like a chain. In appearance, they resemble cobwebs, but they actually have nothing to do with spiders at all. These features are only formed by fires and are not indicative of your cleaning habits!

Cleaning Your Home After a Fire

Soot webs are not fun to look at, but you shouldn’t try to clean them on your own; you’ll likely make a larger mess. Instead, call our disaster restoration team and we can clean up and make any fire and smoke damage “Like it never even happened.”

The Contents Cleaning Process

12/17/2019 (Permalink)

Female SERVPRO employee in a small bedroom places items into a SERVPRO-branded box Our team carefully packs your belongings so they can be cleaned and stored at our warehouse!

When your home has a fire, many of your belongings will be damaged—possibly even destroyed. This fact might be one of the most devastating parts of having a fire. After all, it’s the sentimental value that makes your house a home. Fortunately, our franchise specializes in contents cleaning, so we can save many of your damaged belongings through our restoration process!

  1. We pack and store your belongings. The first step in the process is to identify which items can be saved and then pack and prepare them to be sent to our facility. Our team digitally inventories each item and then carefully places them in boxes. Each box is labeled with a unique code, so you never have to worry about your belongings being misplaced!

  1. We bring damaged textiles to our facility. If you have any damaged textiles—such as clothes, rugs, stuffed animals, etc.—we send them to our state-of-the-art textiles cleaning facility. Most can be cleaned in our washers and dryers, but for special cases, we have an Esporta and an ozone chamber (for odor removal). Collectively, we can clean most smoke- and soot-covered textiles.

  1. We bring all the other items to our cleaning warehouse. Any other damaged items are brought to our cleaning warehouse. We use a variety of cleaning products and equipment to remove contaminants. For example, our ultrasonic machines can clean damaged jewelry, some electronics, and other sensitive objects!

  1. We temporarily store your cleaned belongings. Once we’ve finished cleaning, we store your belongings in one of our warehouses. Each customer has their own section, so nothing gets mixed up or misplaced. Once the restoration process is complete at your home, we will return all of your belongings!

If you have a house fire, you’ll hope that your possessions can be salvaged. While some items cannot be saved, there are many that can. Our team is available to help with any size fire, so call us to make any fire damage “Like it never even happened!”

3 Facts You Should Know About Home Fires

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

Woman wearing apron stirs pot in white kitchen Cooking-related fires are the most common cause of house fires in the U.S. each year!

House fires are a semi-regular occurrence in the Hickory areas. For many victims, they occur unexpectedly and completely disrupt their lives. We’ve helped many homeowners recover from these types of disasters, which is why we want to share some facts every homeowner should know about fires.

  1. Most fire-related deaths are due to smoke inhalation. Believe it or not, burns aren’t the cause for the majority of fire-related deaths—it’s actually from breathing in the smoke. A combination of heat, carbon monoxide, and a variety of vapors make smoke deadly to inhale. That’s why it’s important to keep low and escape as quickly as possible!
  1. Cooking-related fires are the leading cause of home fires each year. Cooking is a major pastime in many homes in the community, especially around the holidays. But most home fires actually start in the kitchen! So while you should continue to cook, never leave the kitchen unattended while in use.
  1. A flame can become a major fire in just 30 seconds. Most people think you have a considerable amount of time to escape from a house fire. In reality, you have just a few minutes—at best. Newer home materials burn a lot faster than they used to, so a fire can quickly grow and spread!

House fires can be extremely destructive, and they shouldn’t be underestimated. If you practice fire prevention and quickly react to an ongoing fire, you can mitigate your loss. Fortunately, if you do have a house fire, our team at SERVPRO of Catawba County West has experience cleaning and restoring fire-damaged homes!

How to Prevent Space Heater Fires

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

Charred paper and boxes on top of a burnt, white cabinet A space heater was the suspected culprit in this house fire!

Fall weather has already hit, and winter is right around the corner. As the temperature continues to drop, many of us will find ourselves indoors where it’s warm. It’s around this time that we bring out our space heaters. While these heaters keep us warm and cozy, they can pose a serious threat to you and your home. In fact, the National Fire Protection Agency reports that space heaters account for more than 44% of home heating-related fires. If you plan on using your space heater this year, you should be aware of the potential dangers!

  1. Space heaters should be away from flammable materials. True to their name, space heaters can produce a lot of heat. In many of the fires they are associated with, they were too close to flammable materials and caused them to catch fire. That’s why it’s strongly advised that they are kept at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn.

  1. Space heaters should be plugged directly into the wall. Because they draw a lot of energy, space heaters should never be plugged into an extension cable or a power. And even if they are plugged into the wall, nothing else should be plugged into the same outlet. Otherwise, they can cause a fire and/or electrical hazard.

  1. Space heaters should never be left unattended. For the above reasons, you should never leave a space heater unattended, even for just a few minutes. While they are great for supplemental heat, they are potential fire and electrical hazards.

As you start to use your space heater in the coming months, it’s important to remember that it carries a risk. If you’re responsible and remain aware of your surroundings, you can safely keep warm. If you do have a fire, however, know that our team of fire restoration professionals is always here to help!

3 Things You Should Know About Smoke Detectors

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

White smoke detector on a ceiling Smoke detectors are an essential device in every home!

At the time of writing this, it’s Fire Prevention Week. Each year since 1925, the current president declares the week of October 9th as a time to be mindful and to learn how to stay safe during a fire. One of the most important tools for fire safety is a smoke detector. This sensor can alert you and your family about a fire in your home or office, which can give you enough time to escape. In honor of Fire Prevention Week, here are 3 things you should know about smoke detectors.

  1. You can get a free smoke detector (in certain circumstances). The American Red Cross’ Home Fire Campaign aims to install free smoke detectors in homes that don’t have them. Particularly, this program is aimed at people who can’t afford one or are physically unable to install them. If you think you’re eligible for this program, you can submit a request on their website!
  1. Smoke detectors should generally be replaced every 10 years. Although your device’s batteries should be replaced at least once a year, the device itself should be replaced every 10 years. They do not last forever, and if you don’t replace them, they may fail when you need them the most.
  1. You should test your smoke detector at least once a month. It’s never a good idea to assume, yet many Americans go to sleep at night assuming their smoke detectors are still operating. Instead, it’s highly recommended that you test your smoke detector each month. Most units have a small button you can hold until it beeps. As long as you hear that chirp, you know it’s still operating!

Benjamin Franklin famously wrote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Interestingly, he wrote this in the context of fire safety! If you haven’t already, install a smoke detector in your home and test it periodically. However, if you do have a fire, you can contact our team at SERVPRO of Catawba County West to make it “Like it never even happened.”

How Dryer Lint Can Cause a Fire

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

Clothing and linens cause lint to accumulate inside your dryer, which poses a fire risk!

Appliances were created to make our lives easier. After all, imagine how much time you would spend if you had to wash and dry all of your clothes by hand. There’s no denying the convenience appliances add to our daily lives.

But for all the benefits, appliances come with the risk of disaster. Your clothes dryer, for example, has the real potential of causing major fire damage. How? It might because of all the lint.

What is Dryer Lint?

Anyone who’s used a clothes dryer knows about the lint trap (and if you don’t, now would be a good time to learn about yours). But what exactly is the fuzzy stuff trapped in the tray? It’s actually fabric fibers that get separated and accumulate during the drying process. Known as lint, most of these fibers are filtered through the trap in your dryer and are stored there.

How Lint Can Start a Fire

After each load of laundry, lint slowly builds up in the dryer vents. Over time, this accumulation can slow or block the airway, which makes your dryer less efficient at drying your clothes. Blocked airways also increase the risk of your appliance overheating. Because lint is highly combustible, this creates optimal conditions for a fire to break out.

Preventing Dryer Lint Fires

Lint is an inevitable part of drying your clothes, but it doesn’t have to cause a house fire. The main way to prevent that from happening is to simply clean and remove lint from the vent and the lint trap. For the trap, remove and dispose of the lint after each load of laundry. As for the vent, it’s best to clean it at least once a year. You can call a professional to clean it, or you can to do it yourself (at your own risk).

In Case of a Fire

The risk of disaster can only be mitigated, not eliminated. So even if you take every precaution to prevent a disaster, it’s no guarantee you’ll never have a fire. While we hope that you don’t, it’s important to know that you have an expert team who is always ready to restore any home. If you have fire damage, call SERVPRO of Catawba County West at (828) 322-4400!

Common Causes of Fire Damage

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

House fires are disastrous and can happen at any time, often when and where we least expect.

Nobody ever expects they’ll have a house fire, but each year, 1 in 360 insured homes file a claim for fire and lightning damage. What’s worse is that these types of incidents tend to be the most costly. While it’s difficult to fully prevent a fire from ever occurring in your home, it’s important to be aware of the most common causes.

  1. Kitchen Fires. Cooking-related fires are the number one cause of house fires each year. While there is always a risk of fire, there are a few ways you can mitigate that risk. For one, never leave your kitchen unattended, even for a minute. Also, be sure to clean and remove grease after each time you cook. For more preventative measures, check out our previous blog post on the topic.

  1. Cigarettes/Smoking Materials. House fires that result from cigarettes and other smoking materials are the leading cause of house fire deaths. If you choose to smoke, it’s highly recommended that you do so outside and ensure it is properly extinguished before disposing of the materials.

  1. Heat Sources. Space heaters, candles, and fireplaces are great comforts during the winter, but if they are close to flammable objects, they could spell disaster. It’s recommended that you keep any flammable materials at least 3 feet away from heat sources, perhaps even further.

House fires can destroy valuables and displace families—often in just a short period of time. Fortunately, our team at SERVPRO of Catawba County West is capable of restoring your home and preserving many of your valuables. If you have a fire in the Hickory, NC area, call us today at (828) 322-4400!

Fire Damage Q&A: Can You Restore My Burnt Documents?

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

While we can attempt to preserve burnt documents, it's not possible to return them to their original conditions.

Perhaps the most devastating part of having a house fire is losing pictures, documents, and belongings with sentimental value. While some things will be beyond any means of restoration, our franchise does have an on-site, textile-cleaning facility and access to a document restoration chamber. But it’s important not to have your expectations set too high before going into the process.

Can You Restore My Burnt Documents?

When it comes to damaged documents, it’s important that you understand what “restoration” means. It’s not possible to return a burnt or wet document back to its original condition. Instead, to “restore” a document is to prevent further deterioration and preserve it in a usable condition.

For example, if the ink has begun to run off the page, or if portions of a document have been burnt, there’s no way to undo that damage. In some cases, in fact, there’s simply nothing that can be done.

However, if there is light fire damage and/or most of the document is still legible, we can prevent further deterioration and even clean and sterilize it. As far as document restoration goes, our goal is to salvage as much as possible. Unfortunately, we can’t undo the damage that’s already been done.

Your Document Restoration Service

We aim to be a one-stop shop for your disaster restoration needs, which is why we offer document drying and restoration services. If you have vital documents that need to be saved, call SERVPRO of Catawba County West today!

3 Essential Fire Safety Tips

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

A smoke alarm is one of the most basic ways you can protect yourself should a fire occur!

At SERVPRO of Catawba County West, we advocate for fire safety measures. Having seen countless home and commercial fires across the county, here are a few essential fire safety tips that we’ve picked up!

  1. Install a smoke detector. This is one of the most basic things you can do to protect yourself from a fire. These devices essentially act as 24-hour guards to make sure you know as soon as it detects smoke in your home. This can give you and your family just enough time to escape!

  1. Never leave the kitchen unsupervised. Cooking-related fires are the leading cause of home fires each year. And often times, they occur because the kitchen is left unsupervised while food is cooking. If you must leave the kitchen, either find somebody else to watch or turn off your appliances until you return.

  1. Keep a fire extinguisher in stock. A fire extinguisher will be your friend should you have a relatively small fire. If you have to deploy one, be sure to aim the spray at the base of the flame. We recommend keeping an extinguisher that is capable of extinguishing A, B, and C class fires, which are the 3 you’re most likely to encounter!

As much as we might wish, it’s not always possible to prevent a fire. So if you do have one, call SERVPRO of Catawba County West at (828) 322-4400!

Christmas Tree Fire Safety Tips

12/14/2018 (Permalink)

Christmas lights look pretty, but they can have the potential to be a fire hazard!

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are nearly 170 home fires each year that start with a Christmas tree. In some of these cases, people died and homes were lost. That’s why it’s important to ensure you take some precautions to ensure your Christmas tree doesn’t catch fire.

  1. Keep your Christmas tree away from heat sources. It’s cold during the winter, so it’s no surprise that people tend to keep the heat running in their homes. Unfortunately, however, these heat sources—if they are too close—can cause trees to catch fire. Keep these heaters at least 3 feet away from your tree and other flammable objects.

  1. Be careful with Christmas lights. Christmas lights might be festive, but they can pose a potential fire hazard. For starters, check for broken bulbs because the tree needles can get stuck in the empty light socket and ignite. Also be sure not to overload the sockets or use frayed cords, which also pose a fire risk.

  1. Water your tree on a regular basis. It might be the last thing on your mind, but it’s crucial that you water your Christmas tree. A dry tree makes great fuel for a fire, so if your tree does catch fire, it can engulf an entire room in less than a minute! A well-watered tree takes longer to burn and give you more time to respond and escape.

At SERVPRO of Catawba County West, we love the Christmas spirit. But we also know that the holidays are some of the most dangerous times, which is why we’re here to perform emergency services any time—even on Christmas. If you need help cleaning your home after a fire, us today at (828) 322-4400!

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

When using a fire extinguisher, it's important that you aim at the base of the flame!

If you ever find yourself in front of a small-to-medium sized fire, you may have to have act quickly before it gets out of control. Depending on the fire’s class and size, you might be able to use water, but in many cases, a fire extinguisher is going to be the most effective way to go.

The PASS System

Like any important task, the steps needed to use a fire extinguisher can be easily summed up in an easy-to-remember acronym: PASS.

Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher.

Aim the extinguisher’s nozzle at the base of the flame (this is important to actually extinguish the flame).

Squeeze the handle.

Sweep the nozzle from side to side until the fire is extinguished (remember to aim at the base).

Using the Right Extinguisher

Not every fire should be treated the same; some require a different type of extinguisher than others. It’s important to check out what kind of extinguisher you are using before you deploy it; this will be labeled somewhere on the extinguisher.

To learn more about the different classes of fire and how to respond to them, check out our other blog post!

The Difference Classes of Fire

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

A fire that originates from an oven should be treated differently than a fire that originates from a cigarette!

When most people see fires, their first instinct is to grab the nearest fire extinguisher or use nearby water. But what most people don’t know is that not all fires are the same. In fact, adding water to some fires can actually make them worse! There are actually different classes of fire (determined by its fuel), and each one has to be extinguished in its own way.

Class A fires. Class A fires are what you might consider to your “typical” fire. This fire is fueled by ordinary combustibles, such as wood, trash, cloth, and more! These can be extinguished by Class A extinguishers and water.

Class B fires. A Class B fire is fueled by flammable gasses or liquids such as oil, gasoline, and propane. (Note: Grease and cooking oils belong in a different class and should be treated as such.) Unlike a Class A fire, this kind of fire should be extinguished with a dry chemical or carbon dioxide extinguisher.

Class C fires. This class of fire is fueled by active, electronic equipment, such as computers, appliances, motors, and more. If the power source is shut off, the fire changes class and it can be treated differently. But as long as the equipment is energized, it needs to be extinguished with a Class C fire extinguisher. 

Class D fires. Class D is rare for home fires, but they are more likely in factories and similar settings. These fires are fueled by combustible metals such as potassium, titanium, sodium, and more (generally metals that end in “-ium”). To extinguish this class, you’ll need a dry powder (class D) fire extinguisher.

Class K fires. One of the more common classes, Class K fires are what you might refer to as “kitchen fires,” though that doesn’t mean they’re exclusive to the kitchen. These fires are fueled by grease and cooking oils, and they should not be treated as any other class. Your best bet here is to use a Class K extinguisher. Do NOT attempt to put this type of fire out with water, as it can make things much worse.

Even though your instinct might be to use water, you see that each class of fire needs to be extinguished in its own way. If you don’t have the proper extinguisher to put out the fire, don’t attempt to use another extinguisher class or use any other method. Instead, call your local fire department. And if you have fire and smoke damage in the Hickory, NC area, call SERVPRO of Catawba County West to have it cleaned up at 828-322-4400!

Fire Damage Q & A: Is It Safe to Go in My Own Home

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

Fires can cause structural damage, even when it isn't as apparent as the photo above. Always get permission to enter from your local fire department!

When your home has a fire, your only goal is to get everything back to normal. There are a lot of questions that the typical homeowner has after a fire, but some of them are more pressing than others.

Is it Safe to Go Back in My Own Home?

While we understand that you want to get back and assess the damage, safety comes first. That’s why it’s imperative that you do not re-enter your home until you’ve been given explicit permission by the local fire department.

In addition to possible structural damage, will examine other possible dangers that need to be addressed before the home is habitable again. Even after having permission to enter, follow any instructions they may have given you.

Once the all-clear is given, our team will also go in to assess the damage and begin any necessary work to make it “Like it never even happened!”

3 Tips for Preventing Kitchen Fires

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Kitchen fires are the most common type of home fires, but they can be easily prevented!

Every year, kitchen fires top the list as the most common source of home fires. These fires might remain limited to the kitchen, but many of them affect entire homes, sometimes leading to a complete loss. Since everyone uses the kitchen, here are 3 tips for preventing kitchen fires:

  1. Never leave your kitchen unattended when using a heat source. Many people leave their kitchen while they are waiting for something to cook, but that leaves them susceptible to uncontrolled fires. If you have to step away from the kitchen—even for a moment—turn off the heat source.

  1. Clear off your kitchen counters. Keep flammable objects (plastic bags, pot holders, etc.) off your counters while you are using any heat source. If a minor fire does start, these materials can jumpstart the spread rate and increase the chances of a major fire breaking out.
  1. Regularly clean kitchen surfaces. Besides just keeping a clean home, cleaning kitchen surfaces prevents grease buildup. Because grease is highly flammable, removing excess stains from the area will help prevent a fire.

Kitchen fires are incredibly common, but with vigilance and proper cleaning, you can prevent one from happening! If you do have a kitchen fire, call your local restoration company to make it “Like it never even happened.”

4 Things SERVPRO Can Do for Fire-Damaged Homes

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

Our crew is highly trained and capable of packing out your belongings so they can provide deep cleanings!

When a fire damages parts of your home, it almost seems impossible to imagine how your home will be the same again. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Catawba County West has plenty of experience restoring homes to their preloss conditions! There are several things that our franchise offers to customers, but there are 4 important services that we offer:

  1. Clean floors, walls, and ceilingsSoot and smoke can do a considerable amount of damage, but our expert team has the skills, equipment, and cleaning products to clean both. We’re able to remove lighter soot without requiring repainting or carpet replacement.
  1. Inventory, pack out, and contents cleaning. Your home is full of personal items that just can’t be replaced. Fortunately, our team is capable of inventorying, packing out, and cleaning your contents back to their previous condition. Our inventory process goes room-by-room and includes photos of each item so you can easily file your insurance claim. The items will then be carefully moved out of the home and relocated to our warehouse to be cleaned by state-of-the-art equipment.
  1. Duct cleaningSoot and smoke will pollute your HVAC system, which means it will be less efficient and recycle contaminated air throughout your home. Our duct cleaning experts will use professional equipment to clean and deodorize your ducts so you can relax knowing your air is clean.
  1. DeodorizationFires can leave behind strong odors that often seem ingrained into your home. Once everything has been cleaned, our technicians will deploy specialized equipment to remove any trace of the offensive odors.

House fires can be very stressful, but SERVPRO of Catawba County West has the team and experience to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Plan Your Escape Route In The Event Of Fire Damage In Sweetwater

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

The team at SERVPRO is on standby and ready to help in the event a fire strikes your Sweetwater home.

Do You Have A Fire Emergency Plan For Your Sweetwater Home?

Everyone hopes to avoid fire damage to the home. Fire is frightening and dangerous, and it is hard to feel like your home is your own during cleanup, especially in cases where there is a lot of soot damage or lingering smoke smells. SERVPRO is on hand to support Sweetwater homeowners during post-blaze cleanup and restoration. We also aim to offer advice and tips to help local householders. Today we take a look at fire escape route planning.

It is essential to plan the escape route from your Sweetwater home in the event of fire damage. Fire prevention steps such as checking electrical appliances for frayed cords or monitoring cooking pans help to keep your home and family safe. However, it is wise to plan your escape route just in case a blaze breaks out.

Gather all members of your household together and walk through your home as a group. Inspect potential escape points in every room, including of course all windows and doors. Draw out a floorplan of your home and mark escape routes on it.

Make sure all doors and windows on the escape plan are easy to open. Ensure each window or door is simple to unlock and open even for a child or an old person. Some windows have security bars fitted on them – it is vital that the bars can be released quickly from the inside.

Involve children in the walk-through and plan drawing. Involving children raises their fire safety awareness and ensures they know what to do in the event of a blaze. Drawing up an escape plan can be made into a game, to make the process more engaging and less intimidating for young people.

It is also a good idea to decide on an assembly point. Choose a place that is easy to remember, but not immediately outside your door. A post box, fence, or garden gate are all excellent choices. Let everyone know that in the event of a fire, they must gather at the appointed assembly place and wait there until help comes.

In the event of a fire, SERVPRO is on hand to help with cleanup. Our IICRC-certified technicians take care of soot cleaning and odor removal to restore your home and make it feel like yours once more.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

For help with fire damage cleanup in Sweetwater, Mountainview, Fairgrove, Jacob’s Fork and surrounding areas, call SERVPRO of Catawba County West at (828) 322-4400 today.

For more on the town of Hickory, click here.

When In Hickory, You Need To Know All About Fire Damage

11/7/2017 (Permalink)

Hickory Area Fires Call for Professional Cleanup, Restoration, and Odor Removal--Rely on SERVPRO

Restoring and Cleaning Up After a Significant Fire is Key to Recovery for the Homeowner

Though we all appreciate what fire does for us, no one loves the problems it may inflict on a property when not adequately regulated or during an accident. Yes, fire damages occur, and you need to know how to deal with them appropriately. A fire restoration service is what you need to ensure your property is in good hands.

When in Hickory, you need to understand that all fire damage issues are not the same and each requires a different approach. Some fire disasters may be too extensive and require long hours of removing the resulting smoke and all the bad odors that may be difficult to identify the source. That is why you need a professional service like SERVPRO to ensure every aspect of restoration is well taken care of, and no areas are left unattended.

During a damaging fire event, not everything is destroyed, and there are plenty of components you can restore to their earlier state. SERVPRO can help you to identify every piece of your property and items that can be repaired and start working on them. The restoration process is not simple, and you need a lot of cleaning and deodorization. Torched homes experience fire damage, and you need to be familiar with the processes of dealing with the resulting mess.

Deodorization is done to remove the different odors left after a fire damage. You may think that using a few fragrance cleaning materials may get rid of, it but it is never a permanent solution. You need to identify the exact sources of the smells and obliterate them. Deodorization is done using specialized tools and highly qualified technicians with lots of experience. Simply masking odors is not a permanent solution.

In some situations, the affected properties may be hard to restore to their earlier state. Reconstructing and repairing these fire damages can be a challenging job that only professional restoration services may be able to handle. Experience helps you at this point, and you need a company that has been in the business for a while. SERVPRO strives to restore and not replace, but under severely charred structures, we can even call in third-party partners to expedite, and efficiency restore your home to its preloss condition.

SERVPRO of Catawba County West can help you restore your property after a fire damage incident of whatever magnitude. Call us at (828) 322-4400 and get professional services.

Learn more about the local fire department here

Mountain View Residents Get Professional Help with Fire Damage in Their Homes

10/9/2017 (Permalink)

If you experience a house fire, rely on SERVPRO to restore your home.

SERVPRO is Ready to Assist You with Your Fire Damage Restoration Needs

We serve homeowners throughout the Mountain View area, providing emergency cleanup and restoration services that give you the help you deserve when you need it the most. Our technicians are proud to be your choice for providing restoration services in your home and show it in everything we do.

If you are looking for help recovering from fire damage on your Mountain View property, give us a call. We are available 24/7, 356-days a year to deliver full-service solutions to members of our local community. Regardless of what your situation is, we work with your insurance company and manage your entire restoration process from start to finish.

At SERVPRO we recently helped a homeowner who had a devastating fire in their kitchen. The flames spread from their stove to window coverings, cabinets, flooring, appliances and more. As a majority of home fires derive from cooking, electrical, or heating incidents, this was nothing new. However, after firefighters did their best to put the fire out, you could easily see that this was just the start of a long night.

The homeowner had a pre-arranged relationship with SERVPRO, where they visited our READY APP to provide additional, helpful information about the location of their residence, belongings, and concerns to our technicians before we ever needed to respond to a call. We found that the family had some souvenirs, family keepsakes of sorts that were important to them.  

With this information, SERVPRO was able to respond quicker, providing the homeowner with valuable board-up services that helped protect the rest of their home while restoration was underway. We also helped the customer find suitable temporary housing and began their fire damage restoration right away. 

We help you understand your situation, explain our services in detail, and do everything we can to make your house a home again. All of our cleaning and restoration technicians are IICRC certified, have access to the latest equipment, and vast resources that make restoring your home successful.

Contact SERVPRO of Catawba County West, our technicians are standing by to assist you with emergency situations that often occur. Obtain services for your Fairgrove, Cooksville, or Brookford property, from a locally owned and operated restoration company, today. (828) 322-4000

For more information about Mountain View, click here.

Fire Damage in Your Sweetwater Home can Range from Slight Smoke to Complete Destruction

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

Fire damage after a cooking accident can affect many aspects in your kitchen including the structure. Contact SERVPRO to assess the damage.

It is Best to Have a Partner Like SERVPRO When Dealing with Fire Damage Restoration

Fire is one of those aspects of life that we use almost daily, without actually thinking about the implications involved if it is mishandled. Fire can get out of control very quickly and spread to areas that were never considered to be at risk of catching on fire.
Homeowners in Sweetwater can restore their homes after fire damage has occurred. SERVPRO is ready to help in the restoration process. Certified by the IICRC, our professionals have the skills and experience needed to bring your home back to the state it should be in again. We have expertise in all sizes of damaged homes.
We also understand that the emotional stress of this type of disaster is not confined to the event itself, but that it soon affects every aspect of life for each member of your family. A quick but thorough job of restoring everything, from the structural aspects of your home to your personal belongings, can help cut the time down before you can return your family to their home. We make sure we work as fast as possible with no mistakes so that your home is restored “Like it never even happened.”
We assess each home to know where structural damage has taken place. This type of harm can occur because of the heat from the fire, the fire itself, the firefighters' water, or a combination of these factors. After it is known where deficits exist that can cause safety hazards, we assess the rest of the damage. Cleaning, repairs, and restorative work is conducted with our customers' safety and comfort in mind.
When in doubt about a structural or architectural aspect, we always discuss the matter with the customer. In areas where only part of a structure has been damaged and is in need of replacement, we match as closely as possible to the remaining undamaged sections.
For any kind or size of fire damage restoration, call us, SERVPRO of Catawba County West, at (828) 322-4400. We are always here when you need our help the most.

For more information regarding Sweetwater, click here

Dealing With A Grease Fire In Your Hickory Home

6/6/2017 (Permalink)

Up to ninety percent of kitchen fires are cooking mishaps, with most of them being grease fires.

Fire Damage Due To A Grease Fire

Kitchen fires can spring up fast. Do you know what to do if it happens in your home? Up to ninety percent of kitchen fires are cooking mishaps, with most of them being grease fires. Learning when to smother a fire, when to use a fire extinguisher, and when to call the fire department are all imperative.

Grease Fires
In a class by themselves, grease fires in your Hickory home should not be handled like any other kind of kitchen fire. The best way to handle them is to smother it if possible so it can die out and you can avoid any further fire damage. Do not ever pour water on a grease fire.

Have a potholder, oven mitt, and lid which fits your pan handy when you are cooking. Put the oven mitt on if grease catches fire and smother the fire by placing the lid on the pan. Instead of dropping the lid from above, slide the lid over the flames. Turn the burner off and leave the pan where it is so it can cool. Do not lift the lid until the fire is completely out.

After you have experienced a fire in your kitchen, you may need help in cleaning up the soot, smoke, and other damages. You should call SERVPRO, a specially trained and experienced fire damage remediation company who waste no time in answering your call.

Baking Soda
If you have nothing to smother the fire with, baking soda is another tool that should be handy. Pour baking soda generously on the flames, as it extinguishes a small fire. You may need several boxes of it, however. Do not use flour since it can make the flames worse.

Your kitchen should also be equipped with a fire extinguisher. It needs to be one which is labeled safe to use on any fire, and within easy reach. Ensure that you teach everyone in the home how to properly use it. Do not ever hesitate to call the fire department if the fire is larger than you can handle yourself. You and your family’s safety comes first.

No matter the size of the fire, our technicians are here to help you clean up afterward. Soot and smoke can cause further damage, so we clean that up as well as repairing any damage and deodorizing the affected area. At SERVPRO of Catawba County West, we understand that even a small grease fire can be traumatic. That is why we are available by dialing (828) 322-4400 any time of day or night.

Click here to learn more about the great city of Hickory, North Carolina.

What to Do When Deep Fat Frying Causes Fire Damage in Brookford Homes

4/5/2017 (Permalink)

Brookford Smoke & Fire Damage Needs Professional Clean Up--Call SERVPRO

Cleaning Up Smoke Odors and Damage Is a SERVPRO High Priority for Your Home

Many homeowners in Brookford own a deep fat fryer or are used to cooking ingredients at high temperatures, with lots of oil. Whether your vice is doughnuts, fries, chicken, or crispy fish, it is important to do it right. Deep fat fryers are a common cause of residential fires because hot oil is a danger.

When it is heated up, it starts to move erratically, and it can stick to surfaces and ignite. This type of fire damage in Brookford homes burns hot and fast, and it can be difficult to extinguish. It has been known to cause severe destruction, but the good news is that SERVPRO can help with cleanup and repairs. Keep reading to find out how our team deals with kitchen fires caused by hot grease and cooking fat.

The first step is to open all windows and doors in the kitchen. It encourages the flow of clean air and creates an environment which is safe for work. Be careful to keep the kitchen isolated from the remainder of the home to reduce smoke circulation. If your kitchen is in a basement and does not have any windows, call SERVPRO fast.

Mild to moderate pan fires tend to burn directly upwards. Therefore, when a fire gets extinguished quickly, the charred materials are usually restricted to a small area (a column around the cooker). The rest of the room may not burn, but it is likely to be covered in thick, greasy soot. SERVPRO removes all burnt items (oven door, cabinet doors, and damaged sections of flooring).

The tricky thing about kitchen fires is that they produce an oily type of soot. It cannot be dry-wiped from surfaces as it smears upon contact. The best method is to use a high alkali detergent and controlled amounts of water. Cleaning chemicals thin some paints, so it may be necessary to redecorate sections of the wall afterward. This can get real messy, save efforts and money by calling in SERVPRO to mitigate the damages.

While the walls are being cleaned, and we have found replacements for the damaged items, SERVPRO turns to the issue of odor. Grease and cooking oils have a distinct smell, and it is very unpleasant after a fire. It is not enough just to ventilate. Generally, deodorization is required. We install ozone generating machines if the house is vacated, or hydroxyl generators, if not, to capture and transform the smoke and soot particles. Thermal fogging, and HVAC system cleaning may also be needed to finish the service.

At SERVPRO of Catawba County West, we deal with kitchen fires on a regular basis. We understand how much damage they can cause and know that affected homes need lots of expert help. If you live in the Brookford area and need fast repairs, call us 24/7 at (828) 322-4400.

How to Handle your Wildfire Damage In Ridgeview

11/23/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Can Mitigate Your Ridgeview's Home Wildfire Damage

Call SERVPRO, Many Franchises Are Ready to Help You Battle Wildfires

High winds, unseasonably warm temperatures and excessively dry conditions combined with anything from a lightning strike to a carelessly tossed cigarette or an unattended bonfire can mean disaster for you and other in your neighborhood. Now is certainly not the time to have a fire with the dry conditions we are facing. Higher than normal temperatures and drought conditions this season have put individual homes and whole communities in the western counties of North Carolina at risk of finding themselves in the path of one of these hot burning and fast moving wildfires. Tens of thousands of acres have burned in past weeks. And our SERVPRO franchise located in the heart of the area hard hit by these deadly conflagrations is on high alert ready to assist you and your family should your dwelling be in danger of being the next statistic in this record year for terrifying and fast moving grass and wildfires.

Thousands of residents have been evacuated and a state of emergency issued because of these uncontrollable blazes, causing wildfire damage in Ridgeview. With our professional team representing your interests during this significant disaster, you can rest assured we can deliver the restoration services you need when you need them even under these overwhelming circumstances. We are there for you with the power of over 1,750 other franchises nationwide, uniquely able to respond to any size wildfire crisis. Our Disaster Recovery Teams' success is well documented, and many insurers prefer you use our services over those of other restoration companies to recover from the damage done to your home by the recent out-of-control fires in your area.

The last thing you need to hear when your home has been damaged by wildfire is that you must wait your turn for fire, smoke and secondary damage remediation and repair services. We are committed to the residents of our local community in this time of peril and pledge to expand our scope to the extent necessary to respond to the current fire damage emergency fast through our relationship with other local SERVPRO franchises. We will help with everything from evaluating your personal loss to providing air-tight evidence to your insurance company for coverage. We can help to secure your premises and relocate your family elsewhere if needed to return your home to pre-fire condition safely. All restoration work conforms to local codes. We have the training, the talent, the equipment and the drive to restore your home swiftly even as thousands of your neighbors are also grappling with fire damage response.

Do not delay to contact SERVPRO of Catawba County West if your home has suffered damage from recent wildfires. We are ready at (828) 322-4400 to take your call.

The Basic Deodorizing Tools Used to Repair Fire Damage in St Stephen Properties

10/25/2016 (Permalink)

Smoke and its associated smell gets everywhere. Call SERVPRO quickly to remediate!

Fire Damage Remediation Includes Getting the Smell Out

No matter how extensive the damage, fires are always a stressful experience. If you’re fortunate, the emergency will be spotted quickly, and the fire extinguished before it can wreak any permanent havoc. However, for many homes and businesses, the situation isn’t so lucky.

The good news is that highly sophisticated restoration techniques can turn even the most fire damaged homes around. If specialist attention and repairs are provided quickly, there is a good chance of saving most of the property. So, whether it is fire damage in St Stephen homes or businesses, SERVPRO is on hand to tackle the fallout.

One of the most important aspects of fire damage repair is a process called deodorisation. This is designed to eliminate the unpleasant (and often toxic) odors left behind by smoke and soot. It is a complex procedure, and it should only be carried out by qualified professionals. As we have access to state of the art deodorisation, equipment, we can arrive onsite and get repairs started quickly.

Safety Clothing/Precautions

We will advise you to remain at a distance from the property while the deodorisation process is occurring. This is for your own safety. The chemicals used to neutralize the smoke residue are noxious, and you should not be exposed without the proper safety garments and breathing apparatus. The SERVPRO team will wear respirators and protective gloves while working inside the home or business.

Pressure/Electric Sprayers

We will bring a series of industrial machines onto the site so that we can start lifting the smoke and soot from walls and ceilings. This will include electric and pressure spraying devices. They disperse deodorizing chemicals into the air and onto surfaces. We will not use spraying machines on items that may be vulnerable to discoloration, as the chemicals are very wet.

Ventilation Box Fans

The use of ventilation box fans is a highly effective way of pushing clean air into the property and unhealthy air back out. These machines are very powerful and can operate at extreme velocities. Once again, it is important that you remain at a safe distance and do not attempt to interfere with any of the equipment. These are complex devices and must be operated by professional restoration technicians.

This is just a handful of the tools and machines that can be used to tackle toxic odors from smoke and soot. For more information, you can visit our website. SERVPRO of Catawba County West is a local company. We are based in your area, so you can get in touch and ask for help or advice at any time. Call us 24/7 at (828) 322-4400.

Fire Damage Issues

6/14/2016 (Permalink)

Let the professionals at SERVPRO of Catawba County West restore your Mountainview fire damaged home.

Issues with Fire Damage 

Fires are unexpected and catastrophic disasters that can cause Mountainview fire damage with no warning. Nobody expects a fire to occur, and the severity of the fire damage will determine how much property and personal possessions are lost. After a fire, residents just want to get back to their daily routines as if nothing ever happened.

Once the Mountainview fire is over, and the property is declared safe for entry, the unexpected destruction in the home becomes a harsh reality. As much as we understand that a Mountainview fire is strong enough to destroy, we do not realize its capabilities until we walk through the doors. Walking through a home that sustained fire damage is a disturbing experience that will never be forgotten. Finding toys, trinkets, collectibles, clothing, and electronics destroyed is a tragic event. Reality truly sets in when items with sentimental value are no longer usable or are damaged beyond repair. Items with fabric or upholstery may get burned off to the point that they need to be replaced. 

The post-traumatic stress that may be experienced can be unbearable, especially for children. Children may not understand how to deal with their emotions and figure out how to process this tragic experience. If pets are part of the family, the children should be encouraged to find their way to safety and never go back into a burning building to locate the family pet. SERVPRO suggests explaining that personal safety is paramount is more than important than going back for a cat, favorite toy, or any other material possession. 

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

Besides focusing on the material possessions, property damage, and recovery process, families need to make an effort to focus on the mental health of each family member. This is a reason why every family should have a fire escape plan and have a safe area to meet outside of the home. People do not always think clearly during an emergency or afterward. If your family is forced to deal with a fire, remember to contact our team of specially trained experts at SERVPRO of Catawba County West. We are waiting to hear from you and can be reached at (828) 322-4400. 

Fire Damage Can Get Messy

4/4/2016 (Permalink)

Don't let fire damage your Longview home, call our experts at SERVPRO today and we'll make it "Like it never even happened."

Dealing with Hot and Messy Fire Damage

A fire, happening in your Longview home, is a confusing and complicated time for you and your family. The aftermath combines fire damage with soot, smoke, and water damage and, possibly, the growth of mold. altogether. 

The fire is one thing, and this burns anything it touches. The water that the fire department had to use to put it out can get all over everything, and that creates more mess. It can become absorbed into many of the building materials as well as the furniture, carpets and throw rugs. 

The soot is something that occasionally presents as greasy. It can coat everything and is a fine granulate that be abrasive on many things. It can become deposited into the carpet pile, on clothing even if they are hanging in the closet and layer itself on the floors, walls, and ceilings. Soot, just like smoke can float in the air and pushed and drawn into the various eddies of air into every nook and cranny. 

Smoke is something that contributes a smell and a feeling. The smell is dirty, and the feeling is almost claustrophobic. You might not be exposed to this because, after the fire has been put out, the Longview fire department may have declared your house uninhabitable. This is because the dangers of breathing in many things, such as the soot and smoke, as well as the risks of floors that may not hold you up and ceilings that may fall as well as walls that might not hold themselves up either. This is the mess addressed earlier. 

One other thing that you can add to the problems that are already there. That is that, with all of the water present, it increases the moisture level and, combined with the organic material, such as drywall and wood, as well as the carpets, the possibility that molds can develop and grow is very real. 

The restoration of your home after the fire and all of the rest of the Longview fire damage has to be taken care of after it is safe to go back into the house. The air, inside, has to evacuate. This assists in getting rid of the soot and smoke as well as the earthy, musty smell associated with wet things and molds, if present. Vacuum the water out and extracted from the carpets. 

Dehumidifiers are needed to be used to help reduce the moisture level. This can also contribute to freshen the air. The molds found need to be physically removed, and the surface must be disinfected to aid in preventing reinfection. 

Water, fire damage, and molds might be located behind walls, above ceilings and below floors. It may be necessary to remove certain building materials to get to them. During the restoration process, the building materials need replacing and all surfaces clean and painted to restore your home back to a clean, safe and healthy place for you and your family. 

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

If you have experienced all of this fire, water and mold mess in Longview, Hickory, or Viewmont, give a call to SERVPRO of Catawba County West at (828) 322-4400 for immediate attention to detail in your home.

Why You Should Hire A Fire Damage Restoration Company

10/7/2015 (Permalink)

Don't Let a Bonfire Become a Cabin Fire in Your Mountainview Getaway.

Call In SERVPRO to Fix Fire Damage To Your Home

Once a fire strikes your property in Mountainview, there are a plethora of issues you will need to address. Damage can occur in the form of things as unusual as corrosion resulting from acidic ash residue. In addition to smoke damage, your property can acquire secondary water damage as a result of the extinguishing work completed by the fire department. In many cases, property owners feel that they are at their wit's end regarding how to address these issues. The solution is simple: Let a qualified team of fire damage restoration specialists assist you. Learn more about the value of hiring a company like SERVPRO by reviewing the following information.

Why Should You Hire A Fire Damage Remediation Company?

Hiring a team of professional fire damage restoration specialists is beneficial for numerous reasons. First, specialists possess the specialized equipment necessary to remove quickly and correctly standing water, clean, sanitize, repair, and restore your home in Mountainview to its previous condition. Second, industry experts possess the extensive knowledge needed for the identification and elimination of problems that result from smoke and water damage. These by-products can be more difficult to remedy than the actual destructive fire damage. Third, restoration experts have worked with hundreds of clients and understand how stressful and emotional the restoration process can be. Calling a fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO ensures that you will obtain a speedy response and personalized care that sets you at ease.

When Should You Call A Fire Damage Remediation Company?

Often, residential property owners don't know when they should call for assistance. The answer is simple. As soon as the firefighters have extinguished the flames, and you have already notified your insurance company, you should call the restoration company. A SERVPRO expediter can meet with your insurance adjuster on-site and coordinate an action plan. With a quick authorization, we can optimize the efficacy of the fire damage restoration service by getting to work. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, water extraction has the highest priority. Doing so aids in the prevention, or at least mitigation, of secondary water damage.

Before the above action starts, we will assess and inspect the damage, compare notes with your adjuster, and also provide you with an inventory list of damaged items and personal belongings.

Choose SERVPRO For Excellent, Expedient Service

As a team of fire damage remediation experts, the technicians of SERVPRO are skilled in offering treatments that restore your property. We are IICRC certified in cleaning and are dedicated to restoring your Mountainview fire damaged home to its pre-fire state. Additionally, we maintain a deep respect both for our clients and their property while working. We are here to serve you.

Locally Owned, with National Resources

SERVPRO of Catawba County West is locally owned and operated so we are part of the Mountainview community too. When you have a fire or flooding emergency, we’re already also nearby in Longview and Cooksville and ready to help. We are faster to any size fire disaster. (828) 322-4400