Recent Fire Damage Posts

Tips that will help you reduce additional damage in the wake of a fire.

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

Burned kitchen with fallen insulation Burned kitchen with fallen insulation.

Here are some helpful tips prior to the arrival of SERVPRO® of Sumter:

Emergency Fire and Smoke Damage Tips

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent further damage. 
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling.  
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.  
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets and appliances then protect with a light coating of lubricant.
  • Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting a SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting a SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire or water without consulting a repair service.

Fire and Smoke Damage Services

  • Emergency Response: Reduce Loss Severity/Pretesting for Restorability.
  • Contents Cleaning Specialists: On-Site or Move Out.
  • Structural Restoration Services.
  • Large Loss Completion with Trained Crew Leaders.

Types of fires your home may experience.

3/16/2020 (Permalink)

There are 3 main types of smoke and residues that can be left behind by fire damage in your home:

  1. Synthetic: These synthetic residues appear when oil-based materials are burned such as plastics and fabrics. This could include everything from window coverings, furniture, carpets, and electronics. When synthetic materials burn, they will produce a thick black smoke, leaving behind a smeary residue that can create quite the mess if not cleaned up properly. In these situations, avoid touching any of the residue to prevent smearing as vacuuming is the best approach to cleaning the residues left behind, followed by sponge cleaning.
  2. Protein: Fires caused by the burning of proteins such as meats and beans for example will leave behind a yellowish-brown residue. The texture of which is greasy feeling and can stick to any surface, making it a pain to clean up.
  3. Natural: These types of fires are caused by the burning of natural products such as wood and paper. They produce dry powdery residue that is grayish-black in color. These residues are easier to clean up than the synthetic or protein residues. Removing the residues can be done by vacuuming with a bristled brush, followed by sponge cleaning.

Most household fires experience a combination of all the above types.

SERVPRO of Sumter's  highly trained technicians are ready to assist you with all your fire restoration needs.

Thank you to our First Responders

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

Firefighter in blaze Firefighter standing in a blaze.

SERVPRO of Sumter would like to thank all the Firefighters, police officers, as well as EMS in Sumter County and the surrounding areas for all you do to keep our citizens safe and assist them in their most desperate time if need.

 In most communities it is the local fire department that is the first to respond to emergencies, whether they are small, day-to-day types or large disasters. As the first official government agency contacted, they have the responsibility to manage the incident. Consequently, any volunteer group that wants to provide assistance during these emergencies must work with the local fire/rescue organization if they are to be effective.

Ask your local Fire Department to speak to your schools on safety and fire tips.

Christmas Tree Fire Prevention

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

A christmas tree set ablaze from defective lights. Defective lights can quickly catch fire and do major damage to your home in a matter of seconds.

Every year Christmas trees start fires. Prevent most of these fires by following simple rules: Choose a recently cut, healthy tree. A fresh tree holds moisture better. Although some people advocate for placing various substances in the water to preserve freshness, it is recommended that consumers simply keep the tree well-watered with pure tap water. Avoid putting compounds such as sugar, aspirin, and other chemicals into the water. These have not been proven to work and often can inhibit the tree’s intake of water and actually cause it to be more of a hazard.Use lights rated for indoor use that don't create heat (such as LED lights). And don't overload your electrical outlet. Don't use electric lights on a metal tree. Unplug tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed. Keep the tree at least 3 ft. from candles and fireplaces.

Tips to keep you safe while grilling

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Fire fighter putting out a grill fire.

Independence Day is right around the corner and families will be pulling out the grills for the get togethers they have planned to celebrate.

Here are a few grill safety tips to keep uninvited first responders off the guest list:

  1. Ensure your grill is a minimum of 10 feet from buildings and flammable materials.
  2. Ensure the grill is monitored at all times
  3. Ensure that you never close the lid on a gas grill until after the flame is lit to prevent gas from exploding with lit.
  4. Ensure that your grill is cleaned prior to cooking, grease greatly increases the chance of flare ups.
  5. Ensure that you never attempt to grill indoors as grill produce carbon monoxide that is deadly.

Please follow these tips and the ones  found in your grill owners manual to help have a happy and safe grilling experience.

What Smell? The Meaning of Ozone Treatment

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Ozone chamber in our warehouse

·zone'o?zon/noun

  1. a colorless unstable toxic gas with a pungent odor and powerful oxidizing properties, formed from oxygen by electrical discharges or ultraviolet light. It differs from normal oxygen (O2) in having three atoms in its molecule (O3). Ozone treatments are one of the best tools for removing odor caused by smoke damage. Ozone works to remove odors by chemically changing the structure of the molecules in the smoke that are creating the smell. The extra oxygen atom attaches itself to the other molecules to create a new molecule that is non-offensive—and non-smelly—in a process called oxidation. As a gas, ozone can clean anywhere air is allowed to flow. That’s one of the features that makes it so effective in removing odors that other cleaning techniques just can’t touch.

Be Alarmed!

5/10/2019 (Permalink)

This is a diagram that shows the most effective placement for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Did you know that most fire fatalities are due to no smoke detectors being placed in the home or not being placed in correct area?  

Not having a smoke detection devices in your home can be catastrophic. Smoke inhalation can more fatal than the flames. It can render your unconscious, unresponsive or even worse, end your life. 

Most fire departments in the area offer free smoke detectors and instructions on how to instal them. If you already have smoke detectors in place, consider making a donation of a new smoke detector to your local fire department to help others in need. 

Set a time on your calendar every month to test the batteries in your smoke detector, this can also help fatalities. We find the best time to remember to test your smoke detector is when you change your HVAC return filters. 

Brush Fires Can Lead To House Fires.

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Grass fire moving dangerously close to a home.

Studies show that local fire departments across the country respond to more than 300,000 grass and brush fires, most if them caused by carelessness, with a number of them igniting home on fire as they spread.

Here are a few tips to help prevent you becoming a victim of a grass or brush fire:

  • Do not throw lit cigarettes or matches on the ground.
  • Create a fire break around any burn piles.
  • Keep a water hose with you at all times while burning burn piles to extinguish any embers that may land on dried areas outside of the burn area.

While following the above tips can help prevent you falling victim to a grass or brush fire, accidents do happen. 

At SERVPRO of Sumter when disaster strikes. we can make it "Like it never even happened."

A Fire Safety Plan is a Great Idea

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

A recent fire in Rembert Sc. caused by lightning.

In just a matter of minutes a home can be destroyed by fire. No matter what the cause of the fire is, be sure to have a plan for safe evacuation. 

If a fire is caused by lightning that hits the roof of a home, it can ignite insulation and travel the length of your attic in a matter of minutes. A sprinkler system, smoke detectors, and even carbon monoxide detectors can be the difference in safely exiting an fire. 

Planning a fire safety meeting with your family every 3 to 6 months is a great idea. Make sure that all the exits are free of blocking hazards, and your family knows  that when they hear the smoke alarm go off to follow the fire safety plan. 

It is alway a good idea to sleep with bedroom doors shut. This will help to eliminate some of the hazards that come with fire damage. 

And as always, remember SERVPRO of Sumter is here to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Dangers of Christmas Tree Fires

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fresh Christmas Tree Catches Fire.

Every year Christmas trees start fires. Prevent most of these fires by following simple rules: Choose a recently cut, healthy tree. A fresh tree holds moisture better. Although some people advocate for placing various substances in the water to preserve freshness, it is recommended that consumers simply keep the tree well-watered with pure tap water. Avoid putting compounds such as sugar, aspirin, and other chemicals into the water. These have not been proven to work and often can inhibit the tree’s intake of water and actually cause it to be more of a hazard.Use lights rated for indoor use that don't create heat (such as LED lights). And don't overload your electrical outlet. Don't use electric lights on a metal tree. Unplug tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed. Keep the tree at least 3 ft. from candles and fireplaces.

What is Ozone Treatment for Fire Damage

6/29/2018 (Permalink)

Ozone Chamber

o·zone'o?zon/noun

  1. a colorless unstable toxic gas with a pungent odor and powerful oxidizing properties, formed from oxygen by electrical discharges or ultraviolet light. It differs from normal oxygen (O2) in having three atoms in its molecule (O3). Ozone treatments are one of the best tools for removing odor caused by smoke damage. Ozone works to remove odors by chemically changing the structure of the molecules in the smoke that are creating the smell. The extra oxygen atom attaches itself to the other molecules to create a new molecule that is non-offensive—and non-smelly—in a process called oxidation. As a gas, ozone can clean anywhere air is allowed to flow. That’s one of the features that makes it so effective in removing odors that other cleaning techniques just can’t touch.

Fire Damage leads to Water Damage

6/29/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage in Sumter, SC.

Fires often trigger damage in a way homeowners do not expect: significant water damage. Whether during the efforts to put the fire out or leaks caused by the heat, firecan directly or indirectly cause your home to take on large amounts of water unexpectedly.  

Fast response after the fire out is very important. Your furniture and belongs need immediate attention if they have been saturated with water and debris from the extinguishing of the fire.

Growth, swelling of wood, and rust are some of the things that can happen to your belongings after they have been through a fire. 

Remember the first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing. SERVPRO Professionals can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term affects. 

Fire Safety Tips

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

Lee County Fire and Rescue Bishopville, SC

Top 10 fire safety tips

  1. Fit a smoke alarm and check it regularly.
  2. Make a fire action plan so that everyone in your house knows how to escape in the event of fire.
  3. Take care when cooking with hot oil and think about using thermostatically controlled deep fat fryers.
  4. Never leave lit candles unattended.
  5. Ensure cigarettes are stubbed out and disposed of carefully.
  6. Never smoke in bed.
  7. Keep matches and lighters away from children.
  8. Keep clothing away from heating appliances.
  9. Take care in the kitchen! Accidents whilst cooking account for a large number of fires in the home.
  10. Take special care when you are tired or when you've been drinking. 

If you do experience a fire or smoke damage, SERVPRO of Sumter will do everything possible to elevate some of the stress and get you back in your home as soon as possible.

Support Your Local Fire and Rescue Departments

5/17/2018 (Permalink)

Lee County Fire Department

SERVPRO of Sumter would like to thank all the Firefighters, police officers, and EMS in Bishopville for letting us participate in the Lee County Rescue Day Parade. We enjoyed our time with all of you and the great townspeople of Lee County.  

 In most communities it is the local fire department that is the first to respond to emergencies, whether they are small, day-to-day types or large disasters. As the first official government agency contacted, they have the responsibility to manage the incident. Consequently, any volunteer group that wants to provide assistance during these emergencies must work with the local fire/rescue organization if they are to be effective.

Ask your local Fire Department to speak to your schools on safety and fire tips. 

We care for your belongings like they are our own

3/16/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Professionals hand cleaning a customers contents after smoke and soot damage.

SERVPRO of Sumter knows how trying and stressful a fire can be. Our Professionals take great care to clean and pack your belongings so you do not have to worry about it.

Our warehouse is well equipment to store all of your belongings in a climate controlled area with extra steps taken to keep them clean once we have completed our process. 

All items that can be cleaned to pre-fire conditioned are done so by hand with the correct SERVPRO brand cleaning agents and then repacked in clean boxes and stored until you are ready for them to be returned after repairs. 

This includes all upholstered furniture and mattresses that once cleaned, will go through our ozone process to remove any lingering smoke odor.

Let SERVPRO help to make it "Like it never even happened." and alleviate some of the worry for you. 

Fire damage helpful tips before we arrive

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

Here are some helpful tips prior to the arrival of SERVPRO® of Sumter:

Emergency Fire and Smoke Damage Tips

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent further damage. 
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling.  
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.  
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets and appliances then protect with a light coating of lubricant.
  • Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting a SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting a SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire or water without consulting a repair service.

Fire and Smoke Damage Services

  • Emergency Response: Reduce Loss Severity/Pretesting for Restorability.
  • Contents Cleaning Specialists: On-Site or Move Out.
  • Structural Restoration Services.
  • Large Loss Completion with Trained Crew Leaders.

One service we provide

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

Thermal Fogging

No, this is not a fire occurring at this moment.  This is a process called Thermal Fogging.  It is just one of our services that we offer in the event of a fire damage to help treat and deodorize odors caused by smoke damage because it acts like a smoke itself.

It is able to travel like smoke and penetrate hard porous surfaces.

Our equipment heats a water based masking agent to create fog that penetrates everywhere smoke may have traveled. A thermal fogger unit can reproduce the energy and pressure of smoke, which penetrates every possible nook and cranny that could still hold odor after sooted material have been removed.

This could help specific clients that have breathing issues such as asthma or COPD.