Recent Fire Damage Posts

Getting Rid of Cigarette Smoke Odor

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

Getting Rid of Cigarette Smoke Odor

It's obvious to a non-smoker when a home smells like cigarettes.  The smell of tobacco and/or cigarette smoke and tar is stubborn because it "sticks" to all surfaces in your home as it spreads through the air. So, how do you get rid of the cigarette odor?  The short answer is that it's very difficult.  ALL surfaces in the home need to be scrubbed and deodorized, including the: flooring, walls, furniture, appliances, knick-knacks, and clothing. Even the air in the home needs to be deodorized during the process.  It's not an easy task, but the experts at SERVPRO® of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands have done it many times and are more than willing to help you.  Give us a call today and start breathing fresh smelling air!

Things To Be Done Before and After Fire Damage

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Things To Be Done Before and After Fire Damage SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands is the best option for residential or commercial mold, water and fire restoration that is quick and detailed.

When Fire Strikes

Did you know that more Americans die from fires each year than all of the natural disasters combined? Therefore, if you have a fire and it’s too large to use a fire extinguisher, then please immediately vacate the premises and dial 911. Regardless of the size of the ordeal, you need to get in touch with a company that provides fire damage repair in Cape Cod.

If you must flee the scene of a fire, always make sure to follow these important points:

  • Call the Authorities, make them aware that you plan to vacate, so they know that nobody is trapped inside.
  • If you are in an old or historic building, tell the authorities and restoration technicians in case they have special methods for handling it.
  • Close the door behind you, whenever you exit a room to prevent the smoke and fire from spreading.
  • Don’t use any elevators.
  • If you encounter smoke, drop down just a few inches above the ground and crawl to the nearest exit. Be aware that toxic smoke may also be found on the floor as well as in the air.

Moments After the Disaster

It only takes about five minutes for the fire to be hot enough to burn through steel. So, imagine what it can do to the framework of a building. This is why you’ll need clearance from the fire department before your allowed to re-enter a place after a fire.

In the meantime, stay with a friend or relative. You can also call a disaster relief service to find temporary accommodations. Your very next step should be to call your insurance company. Depending on your policy you may receive reimbursements for damages or help paying for fire damage restoration services offered from reputable companies like SERVPRO.

Before The Restoration Company Arrives

If you are allowed back in you home and you can try these tips before the restoration process happens

  • Determine whether a water damage removal service in Cape Cod is also needed.
  • Decide if hiring a contractor is necessary.
  • Spread coffee grounds throughout the house to absorb the smell.
  • Recover valuables and important documents.
  • Use videos or pictures to document the damages for insurance purposes.
  • Don’t turn on any HVAC systems to prevent circulation of soot.

What To Expect From Restoration companies

If you hire professionals to handle the restoration companies, here is what you can expect.

Special Equipment like negative air fans and air scrubbers will be used for air decontamination and ventilation. They may also use a HEPA vacuum on surfaces to get rid of dangerous particles. Once the air is clean and evacuated, they’ll run the ozone machine for at least 24 hours to clear any odors.

Remove all items so that they are not being further damaged from the soot and smoke that is still in the air. And put them in a safe space to be cleaned later.

Disinfecting and scrubbing areas with alkaline cleaners and counteractant chemicals. These are much better at cutting through soot and dulling down the strong fire odor.


Stay Safe

Conducting a fire restoration process is unsafe without a help from professionals. SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and The Islands is the best company for this job. We have expert knowledge and can determine if damages have reached beneath the surface. Furthermore, we offer other services like mold remediation in Cape Cod, which is often needed in cases of fire damage. Regardless, let us handle the situation so your life can get back to normal.

Cooking is the Number One Cause of House Fires, According to the National Fire Protection Association

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Cooking is the Number One Cause of House Fires, According to the National Fire Protection Association

 The number one source of house fires is cooking – usually leaving pots or pans unattended on the stove while you run away to do something for “just a minute.” The NFPA says that 40% of all house fires, or an average of 156,600 per year, start this way, causing approximately $853 million in property damage. Two-thirds of the fires started because the food or other materials caught fire.

Fires are more likely to start on a range (57%) as compared to the oven (16%), mainly due to frying. Most injuries occur when the cook tried to put out the fire.

Safety tips for avoiding Kitchen Fires:

  • Be alert when cooking and don’t leave food unattended.
  • Don’t throw water on a grease fire, put a lid on the pan to smother the fire.
  • Keep clothing, pot holders, paper towels and other flammable items away from the stove.
  • Have working smoke detectors in the house and keep a fire extinguisher nearby just in case.

Sources: and National Fire Prevention Association

Home Fires Caused by Dryers and Washing Machines

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Home Fires Caused by Dryers and Washing Machines

 Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage according to the National Fire Protection Association. The most frequent causes of fires in dryers are lint/dust (29%) and clothing (28%). In washers, they are wire or cable insulation (26%), the appliance housing (21%) or the drive belt (15%).

Dryers were involved in 92% of the Washer/Dryer fires; the risk of fire was basically the same for both gas and electric-powered dryers.

Safety tips:

  • Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
  • For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
  • Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
  • Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
  • Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.

Source: National Fire Protection Association and

Here to Help You Recover from Fire Damage| SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Here to Help You Recover from Fire Damage| SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands, the best professional fire and smoke damage restoration on Cape Cod. We are always here to help!

Recently we were called to help someone recover from a fire damage at their home in Bourne, MA. Typically, the crew would secure the building by boarding up the windows and doors, however this property’s fire took place nine months earlier. However, it is important to note the importance of securing your property immediately after a fire damage to protect your personal belongings and limit liability.

Fire damage is caused by the direct contact of both the heat and flame of the fire. Demolishing of the parts of the dwelling not structural sound happens immediately and we also haul way the debris from the property too!  And with our own construction division it gives us the ability to manage the entire project with no surprises getting you back in your home quickly. Then the crew goes to work on the inside where they clean the content and structure only damaged by the soot and or smoke and are salvageable. Contents are transferred to a secured storage facility. We organize and coordinate all the content cleaning such as clothing and the storage of your furnishings. We can even dry documents, restore your photos, and electronics. And of course, all while working with your insurance carrier to help make the claims process smoother.

As the days turned into weeks we cleaned the entire structure including ceilings, walls, floors, and cabinets.  The smoke can drift through household ducts, where it becomes trapped. We don't cover the smell, we remove it by using special equipment that can remove the smoke odor from your structure. If not properly removed, smoke odor will reoccur, especially during the months with high humidity. The "Thermal Fogging" process takes approximately three days. All work as to come to a halt and the site shut down. Signs are placed on all entrances to the property to warn people that there is thermal fogging in progress. Thermal fogging is the most crucial part of the cleanup process making it like the fire damage never even happened!

After the equipment is pulled, the property gets re-insulated, the walls are sheet rocked and painted, the kitchen and bathrooms are all installed, and the plumbing and electric are finished.  The final touches are all fixtures which are installed and finally the floors get put in.

If you are in need of a restoration company with experience in making fire damage "Like it never even happened." call SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands.

Tasks You Can Safely Do Before Fire Restoration Help Arrives | SERVPRO® of Upper Cape Cod and Islands

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Tasks You Can Safely Do Before Fire Restoration Help Arrives | SERVPRO® of Upper Cape Cod and Islands SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands is a leading name in commercial cleanup and restoration on Cape Cod & the Islands.

Learning you’ve been affected by a home fire is a devastating feeling. While the damage fires cause can often be mitigated with restoration, it’s important to hire a professional to ensure the cleanup is done properly.

Working with a professional has several benefits, including working with the homeowner’s insurance company on your behalf and helping the restoration happen more quickly. However, as you’re waiting for help to arrive, it’s natural to want to do what you can to get started.

While some things should always be left to the professionals, there are a few tasks you can start to get your life back to normal even faster. If you find yourself needing to start on fire restoration ASAP, here are three things you can safely do:


As most items will need to be washed several times, if your washer and dryer have not been affected by the fire, starting laundry right away is a great way to help the cleanup process. Begin by washing any clothing, bedding or other machine washable materials with an alkaline cleaner or vinegar solution—but leave delicate fabrics, upholstery and curtains to professional care.

Increased Ventilation

Weather permitting, let outside air into the house as much as possible. Open windows and doors to dissipate the smoke smell, and let them remain open as long as you are able. While the restoration team will bring industrial-grade equipment to aid this process once they arrive, this is a small step you can take toward helping the process along.

Preliminary Cleaning

Non-porous surfaces such as countertops and tile can withstand a preliminary scrub with soap and water to cut through the initial layer of grime. Use a mild dish soap or alkaline cleaner to begin, and let the professionals handle the usage of anything more heavy-duty. If you’re unsure, it’s best to wait for the professionals, as cleaning improperly can result in more severe and even permanent damage to your surfaces.

If your home has been affected by a fire, SERVPRO®’s team of professionals is trained and ready to help.

10 Tips for Cleaning and Removing Fire and Smoke Damage Odors

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 10 Tips for Cleaning and Removing Fire and Smoke Damage Odors SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & the Islands is a leader in fire, smoke, water, storm and mold damage restoration of residential or commercial disasters.

A fire accident is not only injurious to the health of residents of the house at the time of the accident but also quite damaging if not treated properly through professional means. A fire and smoke damage restoration company will ensure that once the green light has been given by the firefighters, your house is made habitable, safe, clean and healthy once again. In their efforts, they will get rid of any and all supplementary hazards. These include unintentional water damage caused by the firefighting efforts, accumulation of hazardous soot, unhealthy levels of smoke odor, etc.

Depending majorly on the size of the fire, exposure time and the amount of material burned, the reconstruction and restoration service will enable you to get your life back on track in minimal time. Our professional crew from SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands will clean and restore every nook and cranny of your house, and leave it to you with extraordinary results. It will be “like it never even happened”.

The following are a few tips that we know will be useful in cleaning, removing unwanted smoke odor:

Fabrics & Textiles

All kinds of textiles and fabrics such as blankets, cushions, covers, curtains, etc. should immediately be removed. Wash these, or get them dry cleaned. Store the fresh, clean textiles outside of the affected areas until all is clear and clean inside.

Entire Windows

All kinds of windows, and window shades, screens, panes, frames and sills should be cleaned properly with the right cleaning solution. Use a solution of hot water and vinegar to eradicate tougher residues from blinds, sills and frames. Always use a specific wood-friendly cleaner for wooden surfaces and blinds.

Window Screens & Mesh

For the window screens and mesh, a mixture of or independently-used shampoo or dish soap will be enough. Rinse, clean, and repeat until desired result is achieved. Dry these with fresh air or via a fan.

All Solid Surfaces

For all solid surfaces, use a mixture of white vinegar, warm water and dish soap to cleanup thoroughly. This will be effective for removal of smoke particles from walls, doors, ceilings, door frame, cabinets, shelves, baseboards, furniture, etc. Dry out whatever you can out in the sun on a windy/sunny day. Sunlight coupled with fresh air will aid in eradicating unwanted odors. Similarly, clean all fixtures, switches, piping, etc.

Uncarpeted Floors

The mixture of warm water, white vinegar and dish soap is also effective for all uncarpeted floors. Use a mop, and after cleaning, wash it under running water. Get the mop cleaned before heading for another mopping session or else you’ll only be dispersing the particles onto the surfaces once again.

Upholstery & Carpets

Carpets and upholstery is among the most challenging surfaces to clean when affected by fire, water and smoke. The fibrous materials absorb smoke particles deep within, which is why they have to be cleaned effectively. Sprinkle baking soda and leave it be to absorb all undesired odor. Use a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner to siphon out the particles and clean it.

Painted Surfaces

After a fire incident, it is advised to repaint the house for safer and cleaner walls. However, you can make use of cleaning products that contain ammonia or glycol to clean off walls. These are helpful in neutralizing odors. Clean properly and let dry completely.

Primers & Latex Paints

Most professionals recommend using a primer to hold off all unpleasant odors. Latex paints are beneficial in finishing off the last coat of the paint job. These will keep the surfaces smelling pleasant and fresh.

Air Out the House

You will be required to air out the house after the cleanup. Use fans, air blowers, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, etc. to get the desired result. Ventilate properly by keeping one entry point and one exit point for the circulation of fresh air. It will help remove odor from every corner of the house.

Airducts & HVAC Vents

After fire and smoke damage, the HVAC network and airducts within your house are very likely to be contaminated with smoke particles, soot residue, water accumulation and even mold growth. Get it inspected and cleaned properly by professionals from SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands. If the network has been compromised beyond cleanup, it will have to be replaced. Get the airducts and vents cleaned efficiently to ensure good indoor air quality.

For more information on smoke and fire damage reconstruction in Cape Cod, MA, get in touch with our professionals. Call us now at (508) 888-5985.

Yarmouth Fire Damage Restored by SERVPRO

10/9/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Yarmouth Fire Damage Restored by SERVPRO SERVPRO, the best professional fire and smoke damage restoration in Cape Cod. We are always here to help!

Yarmouth Fire Damage Remediated by SERVPRO

SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands is a leader in fire damage restoration and it is also a competent, professional mold remediation in Cape Cod. When an unfortunate incident of fire broke out in an apartment complex in Yarmouth, our services were employed for efficient cleanup and restoration. The accidental fire was later determined to be caused by misplacement of a cardboard box near the cooktop which caught fire and spread all over instantly. Yarmouth Fire Department was quick to respond and overcome the fire incident with SERVPRO swooping in the later stage to restore the property. Here’s a short overview of the incident and how we helped. On the afternoon of 25th of April, 2017, a fire broke out in the Unit of a building which is a large multi-building apartment complex. The concerned building has a total of 12 units. One building, in particular, was the first one to call in 911 and report that smoke was being seen from another unit along with fire alarms sounding loud. The Fire Inspectors and Deputy Chief were the first to arrive on the scene. After a small mishap with the supply of water, the firefighters and ambulance were able to stop the fire incident and help the people who lived there. After evacuation, extinguishment, and ventilation, the residents of all units excluding those of Unit burnt in the fire were instructed to go back to their homes.

Heavy Fire and Smoke Damage

Finally, it was reported that the unit was struck by damaged caused by heavy fire and smoke damage. Once the Yarmouth Fire Department was done with their part, SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands was called in for the restoration of the property. Because of the heavy fire and smoke, the premises were considerably damaged. The residue of smoke, fire, soot, and water was everywhere and it had to be cleaned up and the property restored back to its original state. Since SERVPRO is a leading fire restoration service in Cape Cod, we ensured that the restoration left the house in a state where it seemed ‘like it never even happened’.

 Restoration for Fire Damage

There are many things to consider when a professional cleanup and restoration company such as SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands is handling a property damaged by fire. Fire is more than often an unstoppable force and if it is not stopped in time, it devours every nook and cranny of the property. But due to the courage and tireless efforts of our brave fire departments, SERVPRO rarely has to handle a property that has been damaged beyond conventional repair. When conducting fire damage repair in Cape Cod, we have to consider spaces, rooms, furniture, books, electronics, drapery and other textiles that might have been damaged. Soot, ash and other residue is the biggest challenge that SERVPRO faces during the restoration procedure.

SERVPRO, Always There to Help

After the Yarmouth fire incident was handled by the Yarmouth Fire Department, SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands was called in to remediate Unit 1218 of the building apartment complex. With the latest technology, machinery, and skilled professionals, we set to work immediately to restore the damaged unit. Our crew is capable of remediating residential as well as commercial property of any size which has faced damage due to natural calamities or accidents. Within a short duration, SERVPRO managed to complete the cleanup and restoration process to handover the property to its owners. Our quick cleanup ensured that residents returned to their homes as soon as possible.

 For inquiries and questions about Fire Smoke Damage Restoration in Cape Cod, contact us round the clock at (508) 888-5985.

Cape Cod Family Suffers Devastating Fire Damage

8/10/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Cape Cod Family Suffers Devastating Fire Damage Fire and water damage destroys the personal content of a Sandwich family.

Family in Sandwich, MA Rebuilds Home After Devastating House Fire

Fire damage to your property, either commercial or residential, can be very distressing both financially as well as emotionally. Not only do you lose the things in which you have invested in, but family heirlooms can be damaged or lost forever in a fire. At such crucial times, a family in Sandwich, MA, made one call to us which put them on the road to recovering and rebuilding their home and peace of mind.

Contacting us was the least they could do and the rest of it was up to us. Not only did we restore their house but we also updated the property making the damage “Like it never even happened.”

Fire Damage Repair, Not an Easy Task

We, at SERVPRO, have built our company on the foundations of reliability, trust, convenience, and efficiency. We are trustworthy people who can fix any damage done to your property that troubles you. The range of damage caused by the fire is always extensive. It is not only the fire that causes damage, but also the water from the fire brigade too. Your property gets covered in soot. Fire damage repair requires proper, well trained and knowledgeable technicians.

SERVPRO has the best team of technicians who know their jobs well. They first inspect and identify the damages to your property, and then take steps accordingly.

Fire Restoration Service, Cape Cod

Our services include 24/7 availability and every kind of emergency scenarios are tackled as well. We have a team which is ready to help provide the best fire restoration service, Cape Cod area. Our fire restoration process comprises of six to seven steps in which we clean, repair and restores your property with as little disruption and inconvenience to you as possible.

Smoke and Soot – All Damages Restored!

Soot and smoke can be very tricky when it comes to removing these two completely and restoring and repairing the property that has been damaged because of a fire accident. Our specialists of fire smoke restoration, Cape Cod focus on restoring your property so that you can get back to your routine as soon as possible. We use special cleaning techniques which make the job easier, quicker and more effective.

Why Trust SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and Islands?

Our quality services and quick response have earned us a valuable name in the town, people have always put their faith in SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and Islands because of professionalism and desired results delivered. We are always there whenever a client calls us for help which has earned us a reputation like no other. With least disruption and best quality of material used in the restoration processes, we have always won the trust of our clients.

Restoration Available Round the Clock

We tackle emergencies 24/7 which makes us approachable and available to our clients at any given time. With the best team of specialists a company could have; we make your decision to hire us worthwhile. Our company’s motto is to provide you with the best results and meet your expectations from the beginning to the end. For us, your health and your home, matter the most and this has helped us garner the rightful recognition we hold today.

Plymouth, MA Family Rebuilds Home After Devastating Kitchen Grease Fire

7/6/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Plymouth, MA Family Rebuilds Home After Devastating Kitchen Grease Fire Kitchen fire damages Plymouth, MA home.

Contacting us was the first thing that they did!We took care of the rest of the process from the board up all the way through to the rebuilding of their property. Not only did we restore their house we updated the property making the damage “Like it never even happened.”

Fire Damage Repair not a Child’s Play:

We, at SERVPRO, have constructed our company on the foundation of reliability. We are the trustworthy people who can fix whatever it is that troubles you. The range of damage caused by fire is always very vast. It is not only the fire that causes damage, but the water from the fire brigade also does. Your property gets covered in soot. Fire Damage Repair requires proper, well trained and knowledgeable technicians.

SERVPRO, have the best team of technicians who know their jobs well. They would first inspect and identify the damages to your property and then take steps accordingly.

Fire Restoration Service, Cape Cod:

Our services include 24/7 availability and every kind of emergency scenarios are tackled as well. We have a team who ready to help Fire Restoration Service, Cape Cod. Our fire restoration process comprises of six to seven steps in which we clean, repair and restore your property with as little disruption, as possible.

Smoke and Soot- All damages restored!

Soot and smoke can be very tricky when it comes to removing these two completely and restoring and repairing the property that has been damaged because of a fire accident. Our specialists for Fire Smoke Restoration, Cape Codfocus on restoring your property so that you can be brought back to your routine as soon as possible. They use special cleaning techniques which makes the job easier.

Why trust SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and Islands?

Our quality services and quick response have earned us a valuable name in the town, people have always put their faith in- SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and Islands because of our results and professionalism. We have vowed to be always there whenever anyone calls for help, we have a reputation like no other. With the least disruption, yet the best quality of material used in the restoration process, we have won the trust of our clients.

We tackle emergencies with 24/7 availability which makes us approachable and helpful. Having the best team of specialists, you could have; we make your decision to hire us worthwhile. Giving the best results, and meeting your expectations from the beginning to the end is our company’s motto, we have gained today’s rightful recognition. For us your health and home both matter the most to us.

Water heater recall: Rheem, American Standard

5/31/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Water heater recall: Rheem, American Standard Recall: Rheem Water Heater, American Standard. If you need assistance cleaning up call us at 508-888-5985

We recently came across this recall from Rheem who issued a recall May 26 on its Rheem Performance Platinum brand of electric water heaters in 40-, 50- and 80-gal. capacities due to fire and burn hazards caused by the overheating of control panels. If you have experienced a fire damage due to your Rheem water heater and need help cleaning up contact SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands.  Water Heating Technologies Corp. issued a recall May 24 on its American Standard brand of gas water heaters in 30-, 40- and 50-gal. capacities due to a fire or explosion hazard caused by a space between the burner flange and the combustion chamber.

Rheem Performance Platinum recall
The Rheem recall is for 54,000 of its Performance Platinum brand of electric water heaters (40-, 50- and 80-gal.) sold exclusively at Home Depot locations nationwide and online from January 2014 through April 2016 for between $450 and $720. The control panel on the water heaters can overheat, posing fire and burn hazards. The firm has received 296 reports of control panels overheating, including one report of a fire which resulted in $5,800 in property damage. No injuries have been reported.  

Consumers should immediately turn off and stop using the recalled water heaters, and contact Rheem to request a free repair by a Rheem field technician. Call toll-free at 866/369-4786 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT Monday through Saturday, and from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CT on Sunday, or visit

The Risks of Fire Damage Increases During the Holiday Season on Cape Cod and Islands

11/5/2015 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The Risks of Fire Damage Increases During the Holiday Season on Cape Cod and Islands This photo shows the damage done by a fire which started twelve units away from it.

Every day we take certain measures to keep ourselves safe from accidents, fires, and other perils. We use our seat belts when we are driving and we insist that our passengers do the same. We place our children in their car seats to keep them safe. Hopefully, we refrain from texting while driving and never drink and drive, keeping ourselves and other travelers safe.

We also take precautions at home. We lock our doors and never leave valuables in our cars so that we are not the victims of a break-in. We keep our properties well lit to deter criminals. But even with the greatest of intentions and precautions on the minds of property owners, they sometimes forget that the greatest risk of all could be unintentionally caused by them. And what could that be, you ask.  House fires can be the most devastating accidents of all and  here are the top causes of fire damage to homes or housing complexes that you may or may not be aware of.

  • There are a number of sources for house fires and at the top of the list is cooking. Grease splatter or a pan overheating can quickly start a fire. Never leave a pot or pan, especially if you are using oil, unattended. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. Instead, cover it with a lid, to starve the fire of oxygen. Tip: As Thanksgiving Day approaches and you are tempted to fry the turkey instead of roasting it, make sure the fryer is a good distance from the house on a patch of dirt or sand.
  • Another source of home fires is the furnace or other heating elements, such as wood stoves and fireplaces. Remember to have your furnace checked annually. This not only reduces the potential for a fire or a puff back but helps the appliance operate efficiently. Be sure to have your chimney cleaned and remember to open the flue before starting a fire. Keep pets and children away from the fireplace when having a fire. Be careful when cleaning and disposing of ashes in the fireplace. Place discarded ashes in a barrel far away from the house.
  • Candles are lovely and certainly add to the ambiance in the room but they are also a major cause in many house fires.  When lighting candles, make sure that they are away from any loose fabrics, such as curtains. And NEVER leave a lit candle unattended.
  • Though smoking is all but taboo these days, people are still lighting up. Another big cause of home fires is poorly extinguished smoking materials. Make sure that smoking is off limits in bedrooms and that ash trays are deep and large. If at all possible, ask that smoking be done outside rather than in the house.
  • All too often, fires start because of an electrical malfunction. Be sure that electrical cords are not frayed and that you are not overloading extension cords. Though I applaud homeowners who can handle do it yourself projects, anything involving electricity might be better left to a licensed electrician. Tip: If you have to disconnect one appliance so that you can use another or if fuses blow and circuit breakers trip frequently or if the lights dim when you use another appliance, you may have a wiring problem and should call an electrician.
  • Take special care when storing flammable items such solvents, cleaning agents, thinners, or paint. Since the vapors can easily ignite from a high temperatures or small spark, be sure to store these items in a cool, ventilated area.
  • With Christmas just around the corner, make sure that the Christmas tree is positioned far enough away from heat sources, such as radiators, wood stoves, or heating systems. Check all lights and leave out any strings with frayed cords.

The old adage, It's better to be safe than sorry really holds true in these cases and we at SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands want you to know we are here when you need us most!

Fire damage goes beyond material loss in Woonsocket, RI

11/4/2015 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire damage goes beyond material loss in Woonsocket, RI A fire at a 36-unit apartment complex in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

fire at a 36-unit apartment complex in Woonsocket, Rhode Island last month is a stunning example of the kind of disaster that you know can happen but hope never does. While loss of life is certainly the worst loss that can ever occur in a tragedy such as this, loss of personal belongings and the home you have come to call your own, is the second worst thing that can happen. We feel blessed to say that no one was seriously injured in this blaze.

Typically, when my crew arrives on the scene of a fire damage, they often deal with much more than just the loss caused by the flames, themselves. There is also soot and smoke damage as well as damage caused by the water that was poured on the flames. The loss can and often is extensive. Oftentimes, my crew is not only assessing the extent of the loss and evaluating what needs to be done to make it “Like it never even happened” they are reassuring the homeowners or tenants, offering emotional support and comfort to those affected by the catastrophe. It’s one of those skills that is innate, that cannot be taught in a training class and I’m fortunate that it seems to come natural to the members of my team. I feel lucky to have employees with this type of characteristic working for me.

In the recent Woonsocket fire damage, the structural damage was extensive. The fire started because an outdoor electrical source malfunctioned. As you would expect, the 12 units directly affected by the flames incurred the greatest amount of damage and were determined to be a total loss….condemned.

As the fire moved through the building, firefighters sprayed down the next 12 units with water to prevent the fire from traveling into them. While these units were not burned, they did incur extensive soot and water damage. In these units, my team came in—removed the sheet rock, insulation, the trim and flooring, drying everything out—preparing the structure to be repaired at a later date.

Though the last 12 units were unaffected by the flames or water, they still incurred soot damage. When firefighters enter a building one of the first things that they do is to knock down doors to ensure nobody is in the unit. With no doors on the apartments, the smell of the smoke and accompanying soot from the fire travels inside, imbedding itself into everything from the furniture to the carpets to clothes hanging in closets. Removing the soot and the smoky smell requires professional cleaning beyond a dry cleaner. Hint: Renter's Insurance is relatively inexpensive and covers the damage done to the tenant’s personal property. 

Most people do what they can to prevent a tragedy like a fire from happening. We take precautions but even with the best preventative measures, these disasters do happen. And when they do, companies like SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands can step in and restore things back to the way they were.

Hiring A Restoration Firm To Clean Up After a Fire Damage in Plymouth, MA 02360

10/15/2015 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Hiring A Restoration Firm To Clean Up After a Fire Damage in Plymouth, MA 02360 Before and after photos of a kitchen fire that we provided service for in Plymouth, MA 02360

Time is critical in the aftermath of a fire damage and, ideally, restoration efforts begin right away. Aside from destruction caused by flames and heat, the acid contained in soot is a primary cause for ongoing damage to a home or commercial building.  SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands has the experience, training and resources to help you after a fire.

Fire damage, including smoke and soot, affects not only the structure of your property but also your belongings. For this reason, quick action is imperative and removal of the soot is urgent. If left to accumulate, the acid soot can form a thick layer that is extremely difficult to remove and may irreversibly destroy textiles, furnishings, carpeting, walls, appliances, and fixtures. Unless the problem is contained without delay, soot accumulation can increase the cost of restoring a building to pre-loss condition exponentially.

Property owners may feel compelled to start the cleanup but sometimes that can cause more damage. Using the wrong product can actually cause more damage to surfaces affected by smoke damage. Walking around can grind soot into the floor making areas not salvageable. And let's not forget that it is with certain that anyone working on a fire damage should be wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to protect themselves from breathing in possibly harmful chemicals that are a byproduct released from items that burned in the fire such as plastic. The cleaning experts can do intricate and detailed restoration services that are best suited for each situation to make the outcome, "Like it never even happened."

This is what our customers had to say about us when we helped them recover from a fire damage.

Heating Things Up on Our Wedding Anniversary at Home in Sandwich, MA

10/6/2015 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Heating Things Up on Our Wedding Anniversary at Home in Sandwich, MA A romantic fire can turn into a soot mess in a matter of minutes.

 As the cooler days of autumn arrive, I cannot help thinking about my upcoming anniversary. It is without doubt one of my favorite “holidays” to celebrate and I genuinely enjoy coming up with new ways to surprise my husband on our special day. And I have to admit that last year I truly outdid myself in terms of shocking Billy…and me.

I had gotten home before Billy and started preparing for our celebration. I turned on the soft music, made myself a Cosmo, lit some candles around the room and then lit the fireplace. I was just about to change into “something a little more comfortable” when I noticed the room becoming smoky. I quickly determined that the flue in our chimney was broken and didn’t fully open. As the smoke continued backing up and pouring into the house, I considered different ways to douse the flames and decided that the fire extinguisher would be the best and safest method. Once the fire was out, I looked around and noticed all the soot covering my freshly painted walls. As the owner of a restoration company dealing with fire and soot damage on a daily basis, I knew the best way to clean the walls was with SERVPRO’s Wall & All cleaner. So I immediately got my rubber gloves, the cleaner, a bucket, and went to work. It was at that moment that my husband walked through the front door. Instead of finding me dressed in “something a little more comfortable” holding a drink in my hand…ready to celebrate, he saw me kneeling on the floor, wearing my sexiest rubber gloves, cleaning the walls. Yup, unfortunate surprises even happen to the owners of a restoration company. 

HINT: Every home should have a fire extinguisher. Try to keep it near the kitchen, where most fires start.

The Do’s of Fireplace Safety

  • Make sure the flu is open before starting a fire.
  • Have your chimney cleaned once a year. A buildup of creosote can cause a chimney fire.
  • Keep the doors closed and a hearth gate up if there are small children in the home. Supervise young children at all times when a fire is lit.   
  • The Don’ts of Fireplace Safety

  • Don't use gasoline to start the fire or to get it burning stronger. 
  • Don't let children sit near the hearth.
  • Don't burn a Christmas tree, which can cause a fire in your chimney.
  • Don't forget to check the fire to be sure it is fully out before you go to bed.
  • Don’t put the ashes and embers in the trash. Be sure to properly dispose of them at a safe distance from the house or other structures. 
  • Fire Happens In a Blink of an Eye in Buzzards Bay, MA

    9/26/2015 (Permalink)

    Fire Damage Fire Happens In a Blink of an Eye in Buzzards Bay, MA Fire Damage at Eastern Inn, Buzzards Bay, MA 02532

    Fire Damage can occur in a blink of an eye.

    In 2014, there were 1,298,000 fires reported in the United States causing $11.6 Billion in property damage according to the National Fire Protection Association. The same site quotes, “a fire is reported in the U.S. every 64 seconds.” Many agree that the kitchen and more specifically, cooking is the #1 culprit. You may call your unclean stovetop messy, but safety experts would call it dangerous! Not cleaning your stovetop can result in grease buildup, which is flammable.  Tip # 1: If a grease or oil fire does occur, do not try to stop it with water. Water on a grease or oil fire will only make the fire bigger. Instead, smother the fire with a nearby pan lid or cookie sheet. There are two types of destructive fires that can occur at a residential or commercial property. One variety is a small-centralized fire in a kitchen mentioned above that damages only a few items while the other type is a large fire that destroys numerous important materials such as drywall and insulation of a building. Not only is a fire destructive due to hot flames, but there are additional problems from poisonous smoke and greasy soot that make it difficult to restore a property and the water or extinguisher that is used to put out the flames.

    The Role of Fire Restoration Technicians

    SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands’ fire restoration technicians are trained to restore a property as quickly as possible to prevent additional damage from soot, smoke and water. One of the first things that require repair are roofs and walls to prevent exposure to rain, snow and cold air. And the boarding up of any damaged doors and windows to reduce the chance of theft and personal liability. These repairs permit workers to enter a building to complete essential restoration to other fire damage materials. At the same time, SERVPRO technicians begin the process of removing water prevent moisture damage.

    Improving Air Circulation

    After a fire occurs, buildings often become humid from the water used to douse flames. Unfortunately, power in the building is frequently turned off, leading to poor air circulation. Lack of air circulation causes secondary problems from smoke odor and humidity. Our fire damage technicians install the fan systems to circulate air and reduce humidity levels. With an improvement in air quality and removal of moisture, it is possible to restore power to a building to complete other restorations.

    Cleaning and Sanitizing Surfaces Affected by Fire

    After major repairs are completed; our trained experts begin cleaning and sanitizing surfaces damaged by smoke and soot. Removing filthy soot is a specialized process to avoid contaminating other items. Industrial-strength equipment scrubs the surface while vacuuming debris that is isolated for disposal. Our technicians use sump pumps and extraction machines to remove moisture from water-soaked areas.

    Why hire a Fire Damage Remediation Expert

    After a fire, hiring a professional fire remediation company like SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands helps the property owner be able to begin the cleanup immediately upon the approval from the fire inspector after determining the cause and origin of the fire and that the building is safe to work in.  Hiring us means that you have someone taking care of your needs 24/7. We work directly with your insurance company and adjuster to help the process go as smooth as possible. Our goal is to ensure that you and your family will be back in your home or business as soon as possible making this terrible tragedy “Like it never even happened.”

    More information see: Fire Damage can occur in a blink of an eye 

    Puff Backs Happen When Your Furnace Malfunctions

    9/25/2015 (Permalink)

    Fire Damage Puff Backs Happen When Your Furnace Malfunctions Furnace Malfunction in the basement sent soot residue all over the ceilings, walls and furniture in this home.

    As the steamy nights of summer give way to cooler autumn nights and chilly fall mornings, it quickly becomes apparent that we do, in fact, need to turn the dial on the thermostat. With strength, determination, and perseverance, every year I find myself in a battle with the thermostat as I try to hold off on moving the dial for as long as humanly and comfortably as possible. Inevitably the colder temperatures win out and I find myself waving the white flag and switching it on. For many people, turning the heat on for the first time in the season calls attention to a problem with the furnace and they end up experiencing a “puff back.”

    How Does a Puff Back Occur?

    A puff back happens when an oil burner doesn't ignite immediately and oil fumes are allowed to build up before ignition, resulting in an explosion similar to the backfiring of a car.  It can also occur due to a buildup of debris, causing an excessive explosion when the furnace turns on.  In either case, the explosion sends soot and debris through the furnace or boiler's exhaust system and into your home or business.  The problem tends to be worse with forced hot air systems (opposed to a forced hot water system) as the heating ducts spread soot into every corner of your home, with the same efficiency that they spread heat as seen in this photo above.

    Hot tip #1: Most puff back cleanups are covered by insurance and the professionals at SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands can make it "Like it never even happened.” Out clients often tell us that their home and business looks and smells cleaner than before!

    During a puff back event, oil based soot usually covers all areas of the property including drapes, bedding, furniture, clothing, cabinets, ceilings, walls and floors and is extremely difficult to remove. Most times, you will know that you’ve had a furnace puff back! But there are times when it is harder to detectsince the soot coverage can range from a light dusting to a concentrated dark appearance especially on horizontal surfaces like countertops. While you may be tempted to clean the affected area, the "dust" will “re-appear” hours later. There may or may not be a strong odor of oil in affected rooms and don’t be fooled that the dust is only where you see it because it travels everywhere that air does—every nook and cranny. Sometimes you will find what you think are black “spider webs” in the corners of a room; but really they are a collection of the sticky soot. At SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands, we have the right equipment, cleaning products and trained technicians to make it, "like it never even happened."

    The causes for a puff back vary from the age of a boiler, to maintenance issues to a malfunction.

    Hot Tip # 2: The cost to repair the furnace would most likely NOT be covered by insurance. 

    As you can imagine, a puff back creates an unhealthy environment and you should not touch or breathe the soot or particulates that are floating through the air and onto the surfaces of your home or business. Like the exhaust from a car – these particles can be a carcinogenic for us and our loved ones to breathe.  It's especially unhealthy for young children and our elderly relatives.

    Hot tip #3: Most oil companies can also inspect and service the boiler at your property, which greatly reduces the chances of a puff back; however, there is no guarantee against such an occurrence.

    8 things you should do after soot damage

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from becoming embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
  • Throw away all exposed food
  • Call a repairman to fix the malfunctioning furnace
  • Call a cleaning service, such as SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands to clean up the soot and chemicals
  • 5 things you should NOT do after soot damage

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
  • Don’t use standard cleaning products that could cause further damage and may not get rid of the oil residue and odors.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fans or increase air circulation as this will only spread the soot around.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.