Recent Fire Damage Posts

Avoid Lingering Smoke Odors After a Fire

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Ozone generator

Any size of fire in your Burlington, MA, commercial building will require some form of fire damage and restoration. When the loss is small, it may seem like any easy and straightforward task to clean the charred items and simply air out the area. Unfortunately, smoke damage is much trickier than one might expect. To ensure your business has no lingering effects from the fire, smoke cleaning will be necessary.

Factors to Consider

Smoke odor itself is quite complex. A number of factors contribute to the time an effort that will be needed to eradicate the smell. These include:

Soot Type – The two main types are dry and oily. Dry can easily be wiped away, but oily will smear and requires specialized techniques for proper removal.
Size of Damaged Area – The bigger the fire, the smoke that can waft to other areas of the building.
Time – Waiting to take action will increase the levels of damage.
Materials Burned – A building is filled with various materials, all of which burn differently. Porous surfaces, such as drywall and paper, can become stained while metallic surfaces may begin to corrode.

Cleaning Processes
Along with techniques to clean belongings, a professional smoke cleaning provider will be able to eradicate the odors trapped in the structure and air. These methods include:

Air Filtration Devices – These scrubbers often have HEPA filters, carbon filters or treated filters that target smoke molecules. They suck the air through the filters and release fresh air.
Ozone Machines – Unlike filtration devices, these pump ozone into the area to neutralize odors.
Thermal Foggers – These release heated droplets into the air, which are also absorbed into porous materials, to deodorize and clean odors. This and the above method both require that no people are on the premises.

After the fire, be sure to have all the damage assessed. If smoke cleaning is left off the list, it may mean long-term odors.

What To Do When Puffback Damages Your Commercial Building

10/26/2020 (Permalink)

Oily sticky soot Furnace puffbacks spray oily, sticky soot all over the building

Follow The Steps Below Whenever Puffback Occurs

Your oil furnace is a valuable part of your commercial building in Winchester, MA. It keeps everyone warm during those cold winter months. However, furnaces can also cause puffback damage.
Furnace puffbacks spray oily, sticky soot all over the building. The soot can even end up inside drawers and closets. Sometimes, the soot spread is so extensive that it forces people to temporarily leave the premises.
Because the soot is so hard to clean, you should not attempt to remove it on your own. Instead, you should follow the below steps whenever puffback occurs.

1. Survey the Damage
First, you need to determine exactly how much harm the puffback caused. Search every section of your property to see how far the soot spread.

2. Call the Insurer
Next, make a call to your insurance company. Find out if the furnace puffback is covered by your commercial policy.

3. Call an HVAC Specialist
Puffback damage is usually a sign of a larger problem with your furnace. A trained HVAC specialist can determine exactly what is wrong and repair the issue immediately.

4. Contact Cleanup Professionals
If you try to remove the excess soot on your own, you could just end up spreading the sticky substance further. That is why you should contact a commercial building restoration company. Remediation experts will know the best and most efficient way to clean the soot. They can also remove odors and decontaminate any damaged items.
The experts may use aggressive tactics to get rid of the soot. The building may thus need additional repairs once the cleanup is complete.
You may be tempted to quickly remove any puffback damage from your building. However, if you do not have the proper techniques or tools, you could just make the problem worse. Instead of trying to clean the soot yourself, assess the situation and contact your insurer. Then let the restoration professionals handle the rest. They should get your property back to normal in no time.

How To Remove Smoke Odors From Your Home

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Removing the odor’s source using professional cleaning equipment, such as ozone

If someone in your family smokes, the odors can seep into the carpeting, fabrics, and even the drywall. Scented sprays and candles can temporarily make the house smell better, but they only mask the odors. To successfully remove the unpleasantness, you need to call a home deodorization professional.

How Does a Professional Remove Odors?

Cigarette smoke and other stubborn smells can’t be removed using basic cleaning supplies. If you attempt to handle the problem yourself, you can cause even more damage to your home’s furnishings. Dirty materials and surfaces must be handled with care. A professional is trained to locate the source of the odor and remove it safely and completely without damaging the furnishings in your home.
Procedures involved in professional home deodorization include:

  • Removing the odor’s source using professional cleaning equipment, such as ozone
  • Applying special deodorizing treatments to all contaminated structures and furnishings
  • Discarding any furniture, flooring or drywall that can’t be salvaged
  • Cleaning the air with specialized filtration equipment, such as air cleaners and HEPA vacuums

Can I Use Home HEPA Filters Instead?
High-efficiency particulate air filters are specially designed to remove air particulates. The EPA has defined a HEPA filter as being able to trap 99.97% of all airborne particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. These filters can remove most dust, smoke, and other pollutants from the air.
The concern with home air purifiers, however, is that while they can filter particles out of the air, they are not able to remove the odors that are embedded in the furniture, flooring, and other structures in your home. This prevents you from being able to fully solve the problem.
If you are concerned with unpleasant smells, don’t spend a lot of money on remedies you find at your local hardware store in Winchester, MA. Call an odor restoration professional instead to inspect your home and conduct a full home deodorization.

What To Expect After a Partial Loss

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damaged apartment building. Fire loss in Wilmington, MA

How To Return Your Commercial Space To Its Pre-Fire Condition

If you have experienced fire loss in Wilmington, MA, you may be wondering what type of damage you have sustained. If only part of your building has been harmed and certain items are salvageable, you may have a partial loss. In this case, you may need either minor or substantial repairs, but you will not need to have your entire structure rebuilt. When dealing with a partial loss, there are a few things you should do to make the process smoother.

1. Determine the Type Damage
After a fire, you could have heat, fire, or smoke damage. If your sprinkler system activated or water was used to put out the fire, you may also have water damage. Fire departments sometimes use fire suppression materials that can cause further damage to rugs, furniture, and other items.

2. Check for Problems in Hidden Areas
Upon entering your building, you may notice damage to obvious places such as floors, walls, and ceilings. You could also have fire loss in less visible areas like inside subfloors or behind walls. Some types of damage are harder to see than others. If water has been left to sit for more than 24 hours, mold can begin to form. You will need to have a thorough inspection to search for hidden damage like ash or mold.

3. Return To a Uniform Appearance
Your repairs must not only make your building safe, clean, and functional but should also return it to a consistent appearance. For example, if only part of your roof was damaged, the patching job must match the existing material, or else the whole roof will need to be replaced. It is generally unacceptable to only replace a portion of the roof if it cannot be made to match the rest of the roof.
A fire loss can be devastating for a business owner. However, with the help of a professional fire restoration company, you can quickly return your commercial space to its pre-fire condition.

What You Need To Know About Emergency Board Up Services

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

Broken window in a home, window i s board up. Concept board up services Board up services in Burlington, MA

You might have heard your local fire restoration company discuss why board up services are vital. You may be wondering if emergency board up is actually necessary after a disaster.
Boarding up your home is actually an important part of the restoration process. Read on for more details.

The Definition of Boarding Up

Boarding up and tarping over are two related but different processes. Boarding up refers to covering doors and windows that are:

  • Broken
  • Cracked
  • Damaged by wind or debris

Tarping over, meanwhile, is the process of covering roofs that may be unstable following a disaster. Depending on how much fire damage occurs in your home, you may need both tarps over and board up services.

The Importance of Boarding Up
There are several benefits of boarding up and tarping over your home. Holes in the walls and roof of your property could cause further damage after the fire has been extinguished. Water from a rainstorm could come through the openings and flood your house. Vandals or thieves might also gain access to your house. They could steal your electronics or even your personal information.
Homeowners' insurance companies typically only reimburse customers who mitigate further harm to their after a fire. Boarding up your home thus increases the likelihood that your insurance claim will be accepted.
Because boarding up your Burlington, MA, house is so vital, you should not attempt to do it on your own. Even when the property appears secure, there could be hidden debris and dangerous air particles. Professionals will understand when it is safe to begin boarding up the premises.
The experts will also know exactly which materials and processes to use. If you attempt to board up your home alone, you could injure yourself or cause further harm to your property.
Boarding up and tarping over your home can protect it from additional damage. To ensure this important job is done properly, leave it to professionals.

How to Clean and Maintain a Gas Stove

2/28/2020 (Permalink)

cleaning glass ceramic hob, gas stove. Household chores. Just like everything else, your gas range needs proper care and maintenance

Things You Will Need For A DIY Range Cleaning

Cleaning your gas range might not be as enjoyable as fixing a flavorsome meal, but it brings a sense of accomplishment and reduces the risk of kitchen fires. On top of that, it will also keep your stove in good working condition for years to come.
Here is a list of things you’ll need for a DIY range cleaning in Burlington, MA:

  • Vinegar
  • Dishwashing agent
  • Scrub brush
  • Rugs and paper towels

Step 1
Remove the grates and put them in warm soapy water. That will loosen the grease, making them easier to clean. While those continue to soak, wipe the crumbs from the stovetop and spray it with a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it off with a cloth. At this point, you’ve gotten rid of most of the smoke smell, and you are ready to proceed.

Step 2
Next, use a scrub brush or old toothbrush to remove grossness from the grates and burner tops. This step will be time-consuming, and the trick is to be patient. When you encounter tough stains such as baked-in grease, spray some warm soapy water and continue scrubbing. Also, you can use a pin to remove debris in the hard-to-reach spaces of the burner heads.

Step 3
Pop the stovetop so you can vacuum the internal parts of the gas range. Most stoves have a system similar to the hood of a car. Others have a slightly different setup where you have to use a putty knife to release the fittings on the L and R marks. Once it’s open, vacuum the interior to remove dirt, debris and crumbs then reassemble everything for testing.
Just like everything else, your gas range needs proper care and maintenance. It’s the only way to get rid of harmful bacteria in your kitchen and prevent a possible kitchen fire disaster.

3 Signs You Need to Replace Your Smoke Alarms

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

Some alarm, bottom of picture it says REPLACE IT Some smoke alarms have 10 year batteries

3 Signs You Need to Replace Your Smoke Alarms

Having properly functioning smoke alarms in your Winchester, MA, home is an essential aspect of basic fire safety. These devices give you the first warning that your home is in danger in the event of a real fire. After you’ve had your fire alarm system for a while, though, it may stop working as effectively as it once did. If you notice any of the following signs, it may be time to replace the smoke alarms in your home.

1. The Alarms Are Over 10 Years Old

Like all other devices, your smoke detectors will eventually reach the point where they’re too old to work properly. To see if this is the case, simply check the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm. If at least 10 years have passed since the printed date, you’re due for a new alarm system.

2. The Alarms Fail the Monthly Test

To ensure that your fire alarm system is in top condition, you should test it at least once a month. Find the test button on the front or side of each device and hold it down for a few seconds. If the alarm doesn’t emit any sound, this is a likely indicator that the system needs to be replaced.

3. The Alarms Go Off Randomly

Your smoke detectors must do their job of alerting you of a real fire emergency before any fire or smoke damage ensues. However, if your alarms frequently go off for no apparent reason, they could be defective. To save yourself the constant noise and properly safeguard your home from danger, be sure to have new detectors installed as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, your fire alarm system may fail you unexpectedly. If you experience any signs of smoke or fire damage in your Winchester, MA, home, trust fire restoration professionals to bring it back to its normal state.

What To Do After a House Fire

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

a graphic that says are you covered SERVPRO can help you with every step of the fire restoration process.

There will be a lot to do after a house fire in Burlington, MA. The fire restoration process may be long and complex, but the following steps provide a brief outline of what to do after the fire has been extinguished.

Make sure everyone is safe. Treat any injuries that you, your family or pets have. Try to keep everyone calm. If you cannot return to your home, find somewhere else to stay for a while.


Call your fire insurance company. Let them know that you have suffered a house fire. They may have specific instructions for what to do next.


Board up any broken windows or other openings. In order to protect your home from criminals or bad weather, cover any openings with plywood or tarpaulin. Understand that after the house has been boarded up, it is harder for the toxic particles leftover from the fire to escape. Therefore, it is important to wear a respirator mask and take any other necessary precautions when you go back into your home.


Assess and document the damage. When you are able to re-enter your home, take photographic or video evidence of the damage before beginning any fire restoration efforts. Make sure the pictures or video are as detailed as possible. List any items that are not salvageable along with their purchase date and purchase price.


Remove water. It is important to dry up any water from the fire-extinguishing efforts as quickly as possible to prevent mold growth.
Clean up smoke and soot. Unfortunately, smoke goes everywhere after a fire and tends to linger. However, there are numerous smoke cleaning options available, including thermal fogging and ozone treatments.
Repair and replace damaged items. With modern technology, many fire-damaged items can be restored to their pre-fire condition.


Home Fire Preparedness: The Basics

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

two red fire extinguishers Implementing a plan that combines the three areas of fire preparation can give you the best edge against structure and property damage.

Home Fire Preparedness: The Basics

No one thinks a fire will happen in their home, yet emergency services respond to over 300 thousand residential fires each year. The potential for fire to cause catastrophic damage makes fire preparation essential for homeowners. If you are interested in creating or improving your plan, this discussion about the three general categories of fire preparedness may help you.

Fire Prevention

A solid prevention plan can be your best strategy for addressing fire risk in your Woburn, MA home. Consider these preventive measures.


Maintaining your furnace annually, and changing filters monthly
Inspecting natural-gas lines for leaks annually
Inspecting your electrical system annually
Cleaning gas dryer vents and heat vents annually
Making sure lit smoking implements and candles are always attended
Keeping your cooking range free of grease


Your local fire restoration specialist will generally be happy to visit your home to make additional preventive suggestions specific to your structure and environment.

Early Detection

No amount of home fire preparation completely eliminates risk. If you do have a fire, early detection is crucial for minimizing injury and property damage. Your smoke detectors provide this important function, by sounding as soon as smoke is detected. To ensure proper operation, it is recommended that every six months you change smoke detector batteries and vacuum the outside of each unit, which will clear any lint or dust.

Fire Readiness

Your ability to respond quickly to a fire is key. More time can mean more damage. If your home is equipped with fire sprinklers, your readiness level is very good. For small fires, a fire extinguisher may be effective, as long as you have pre-read the instructions and can operate it properly. Placing several extinguishers in key locations works well. Having quarterly fire drills is also strongly recommended so that your family is aware of fire safety and knows how to evacuate in a fire emergency.

Proper planning can mean you and your family never have to face the life-altering experience of a home fire.

Choosing the Right Smoke Detector

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

a smoke detector Regardless of which is best for your needs, a smoke alarm is not something to forget about.

If a fire breaks out in your Burlington, MA home, a working smoke alarm is your first line of defense to get everyone out safely. If the fire happens while everyone is sleeping, the chances are high that it would go undetected without a warning system. Choosing the right alarms, as well as the right number, can make all the difference.


How Many Alarms Should a Home Have?


Every home is different, but every family should have a fire safety plan. Part of that plan should include determining how many alarms are needed. A good rule of thumb is to have a smoke alarm on every floor of the home, especially in and around bedrooms. The bigger the house, the more alarms that will be needed.


What Kind of Alarms Are Available?


Not every smoke detector is the same. There are actually two main kinds:

Ionization – These used ionized particles to detect smoke. They have electrically charged plates connected through a current. When smoke disrupts their connection, it triggers the alarm. These typically detect high-flame fires.
Photoelectric – These use a light sensor instead of ionization to detect smoke. It is triggered when the smoke particles block the sensors. These typically detect smoke faster, especially in cases of a smolder fire.

Fire detection has come a long way and become more affordable. While either kind is better than not having anything, the best option is to have a few of each for maximum coverage.


Types of Connections


Depending on your home, there are options for battery-powered or hard-wired detectors. Battery usage is low on the former, but it does mean that extra precautions must be taken to ensure batteries are regularly replaced. The latter are directly connected to the electrical system, making them more reliable if you are prone to forgetting about detector maintenance.


Modern times have also welcomed the addition of smart detectors. Similar to how a smart thermostat works, these give you instant connectivity to your system. Many also include carbon monoxide detection. These are available in both battery or hard-wired, but they do tend to cost more than traditional models.


Fires can happen anytime, so being prepared is key. A professional can help you choose the right option and provide assistance in case of a fire. Visit https://www.SERVPROburlingtonwoburn.com/fire-smoke-damage-restoration for more information on fire cleanup

Keeping Your Pets Safe During a Fire

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Cute border collie puppy with an emergency kit Remember to include your pet in your emergency plan

Facing a fire in your Woburn, MA, home is a serious situation. Your first priority is your own safety and that of your family members. If you have pets, you’re also concerned about their welfare during a fire emergency. Fortunately, there are ways you can include them in your evacuation efforts.

Make Pets a Part of Your Plans

Every family should have an escape plan in the event of a house fire. Every member of the family should have a role and be aware of what to do the moment someone detects smoke or flames. As you run through your evacuation strategy, take your pets with you. A good plan includes:

  • Determining exits in all areas of the house.
  • Having a gathering place a safe distance outside of the home.
  • Practicing the evacuation consistently.

Keep Pets Away From Open Flames

Pet preparation in the event of a fire is much like preparing young children. Like kids, pets will be curious around flames. This means you should be careful where you place candles. Make sure they are high so pets can’t reach them. Also, never leave a candle unattended, especially if you retire for the night. If you spot an open flame anywhere, put it out as soon as possible so the pet doesn’t spread it.

When You’re Gone

If you have to leave your pet for the day or longer, make sure you have someone you trust to keep an eye on them. If necessary, keep the pet in a crate or kennel. This is important for pet safety, especially for younger animals. Make sure there are no fire-starting hazards within the pet’s reach.

Kitchen Tips

Stove and oven fires are common, and pets are not immune from starting them and creating a fire emergency. If your pet has access to the kitchen while you’re gone, remove stove and oven knobs or cover them up.
Protect yourself and your pets from a fire emergency. If you need further tips, consult a fire cleanup and restoration specialist.

4 Things To Remember After a Partial Loss Fire

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Flames in an office with storage boxes stacked SERVPRO of Burlington/Woburn is equipped with fire damage restoration experts.

As a business owner, you are required to file a partial loss insurance claim if a fire has damaged your Woburn, MA property but has not caused total fire loss. These claims can become confusing, especially when having to explain to insurers how your property is no longer the same. Therefore, it is crucial to know how to handle them for the full recovery of your belongings. Here are four things to keep in mind as your recover from a partial loss fire.

1. Search for hidden damage. There could be a significant amount of smoke damage to your building after a fire. Checking for ashes and adequate air quality is vital to the safety of you and your employees. There is also the possibility of water damage if the fire department used a hose to douse the flames. Along with water damage comes the need to check for mold, which can be a hazard as well.

2. Check for proper cleaning methods. No one knows your commercial property better than you do, so conducting a thorough examination of your own is essential when trusting other people with repairs. Even with the help of certified professionals, small details can go overlooked. Remember that, as the owner of the insured property, you are entitled to a complete fire restoration cleaning.

3. Treat your adjusters well. Insurance adjusters are often overworked and underpaid for the work that they do. Cleaning up the aftermath of a fire loss is the task of a hero, but these laborers often go unnoticed. Therefore, it is important to prevent delays. One way of doing so is by encouraging the workers with snacks or thank you cards.

4. Fortify the reproduction of your property. Adjustments should not only fix what was damaged but should also fix other elements to guarantee uniformity. Uniformity means that if one carpet got switched due to water damage, the other carpets should ideally get switched as well.

Even a partial fire loss is difficult. Remembering these four tips will make the adjustment process a lot easier as you work toward total restoration of the property.

Fire Damage Emergency Tips

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

What you can do until help arrives

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have A Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency? 
Call 781-935-8222

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being 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.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • 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 use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Adding Duct Cleaning to Your House Cleaning List

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

Very often, when a fire or smoke damage occurs, the air ducts in your home can be affected. Here is some information on getting them cleaned from Home Advisor: The cost of cleaning your air ducts is determined by the size of your air duct system and the extent of contamination. On average, homeowners spend between $265 and $471, with $352 being the national average.

Did you know that cleaning your ducts and vents can help airflow and increase energy efficiency? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), keeping your air ducts and vents clear can increase energy efficiency and indoor air quality. While the cost to clean ducts and vents might sound high, the benefits to homeowners?especially those sensitive to allergens?is worth considering.

When looking to have your ducts cleaned, or any other part of your home, for any reason, give SERVPRO® of Burlington/ Woburn a call (781-935-8222)! We are here to help you make it "Like it never even happened."

Emergency Fire Tips

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Burlington/ Woburn will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property when a damaging event has taken over

The first 48 hours after fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems. We provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration. These services help ensure your property, belongings and memories are restored to preloss condition when possible.

  • Limit movement to prevent further damage
  • Place clean towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open
  • Clean and protect chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets and appliances with light coating of petroleum jelly
  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO®
  • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO®
  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire or water damage without consulting a repair service.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet
  • Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

So before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals at (781) 935-8222. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn has worked for over 40 years to help make fire damage “Like it never even happened."

Wildfire Tips

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Wildfires can occur at any time throughout the year, but the potential is always higher during periods with little or no rainfall.

A wildfire can occur anywhere-in fact, in 2014, wildfire occurrences were  recorded in all 50 states. What is a wildfire? It is an unplanned, unwanted fire burning in a natural area, such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. A wildfire can destroy homes, businesses, agriculture, and damage natural resources while threatening the safety of the public and the firefighters who protect our forests and communities.  Wildfires can occur at any time throughout the year, but the potential is always higher during periods with little or no rainfall, which make brush, grass, and trees dry and burn more easily. High winds can also contribute to spreading the fire.

If you live or work in an area prone to wildfires, consider the following safety tips to help prevent the spread of wildfire.

Wildfire Safety Tips

  • Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. Remove dead  vegetation from under your deck and within 10  feet  of the  house.  This  prevents  embers from igniting your home.
  • Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches. Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to  prevent debris from accumulating.
  • Ensure flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks, dry vegetation) are more than 30 feet from your home or business's foundation and outbuildings.
  • Wildfire can spread to tree tops. If you have trees on your property, prune so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
  • Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.

How to Prevent Attic Fires

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Attic Fires

Did you know that more than 40% of attic fires are the result of electrical malfunctions?

So how do we help prevent an attic fire? Here are three things firefighters suggest you hire have a professional to do:

    1. Have your chimney inspected by a professional who will check the interior and exterior of the chimney, including the part running through the attic
    1. Check the wiring in your attic, preferably by an electrician, looking for signs of damage, cracked insulation (wire sheathing), and exposed or disconnected wires
    1. Look for signs of burning and charring in the insulation and wood

A common mistake is that everybody typically plugs in their space heaters to help supplement their heat. And then, they'll put them on a long extension cord so that they are able to reach areas with less heat. So, the longer the extension cord is, the more ampage it will draw on the circuit.

Another common fire hazard is that homeowners choose voltage incandescent light bulbs in ceiling fixtures that is a higher voltage than required is also afire hazard. That heat that is trapped within the light fixture goes straight up into the attic and in the wires and essentially cook the wires, starting a fire.

How to Prevent Attic Fires

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Attic Fires

Did you know that more than 40% of attic fires are the result of electrical malfunctions?

So how do we help prevent an attic fire? Here are three things firefighters suggest you hire have a professional to do:

    1. Have your chimney inspected by a professional who will check the interior and exterior of the chimney, including the part running through the attic
    1. Check the wiring in your attic, preferably by an electrician, looking for signs of damage, cracked insulation (wire sheathing), and exposed or disconnected wires
    1. Look for signs of burning and charring in the insulation and wood

A common mistake is that everybody typically plugs in their space heaters to help supplement their heat. And then, they'll put them on a long extension cord so that they are able to reach areas with less heat. So, the longer the extension cord is, the more ampage it will draw on the circuit.

Another common fire hazard is that homeowners choose voltage incandescent light bulbs in ceiling fixtures that is a higher voltage than required is also afire hazard. That heat that is trapped within the light fixture goes straight up into the attic and in the wires and essentially cook the wires, starting a fire.

What to do if you suffer from a Fire Loss

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

What Can Someone Do When They Experience a Fire Loss?

Getting life back to normal when someone’s home or business has been affected by fire damage is extremely stressful. An individual may experience emotional as well as financial hardship. Loss of valuables and family keepsakes may leave a person feeling helpless. Fire in their home or a fire in their business is a terrible site for an owner to encounter.

The property owner experiencing the fire loss may find it necessary to seek help from a professional fire cleanup company. The owner may not be able to enter the property when faced with a fire in their home or a fire in their business. The strong odors from smoke damage can be harmful to their health. 

What Types of Damages Can a Fire in a Home or a Fire in a Business Cause?

Coming up against a fire in the home may become an extremely difficult situation. Types of damages an owner can expect include soot damage, smoke damage, and the air quality in the home is affected. Overall a fire loss can be an upsetting -as well as costly- experience. 

Soot damage on rugs, upholstery, and curtains may be more costly to clean. In some cases, it may be easier to replace these items. Air quality may not improve until fire cleanup begins, and odors from smoke damage are removed. Fire damage to a home or business can seem like a nightmare.

Known Dangers of Commercial Fire Damage

All fires to any structure can be dangerous. A fire in a business can spread quickly to nearby areas. Commercial fire damage may involve dangerous gasses leaking and even explosives depending on the type of business in place. If not handled quickly a commercial fire damage can result in a long-term loss. Certain substances, like combustible metals often in industrial locations can emit undesirable chemicals making the air quality problematic. 

Dealing with the aftermath of a fire in the business property can also put a dent on the finances for an owner. Especially when they solely rely on income produced from their business. 

Not only can a commercial fire damage result in the destruction of items they have invested on, but also dealing with the repairs can be extremely costly. Heavy soot damage on clothing in retail shops, for instance, cannot be sold and is a complete loss to the owners. 

Certain types of commercial fire damage may be compensated by an insurance company to help owners recover from a fire loss, however, it will likely not happen as quickly as they would like. The same can be said for homeowners that need to recover from the effects of a fire in their home. Beginning the fire cleanup process is imperative to prevent further destruction from fire damage. 

What Does a Fire Cleanup Professional Do?

Fire cleanup professionals provide a variety of services to those that have experienced a fire loss. They have the equipment to clean areas affected by soot damage, and machines that improve air quality by eliminating pervasive odors due to smoke damage. Fire damage can go beyond what a home or business owner may see. 

Visual inspection can show the soot damage around the structure, and the odors from smoke damage will affect the air quality, and the odors can linger on. An important step taken by a fire damage restoration company is to inspect behind walls and under flooring for additional fire damage. Working with a trusted company can help owners get their life back in order.

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn is here to help! For more information, please contact us at (781) 935-8222.

Common Causes of Wildfires

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

A wildfire is the potentially deadly catalyst that starts as an uncontrolled fire in a large undeveloped and un-populated area. If the response to these fires is not timely they can quickly get out of control and end up destroying homes and agriculture and killing animals and human life in their path. As many as 90 percent of wildfires in the United States are caused by human carelessness or criminal intent. An unattended campfire, the burning of debris, negligently discarded cigarettes as well as intentional acts of arson are some of the ways that people cause tragedy. Wildfires can also be caused by an accumulation of dead matter (leaves, twigs, and trees) that create enough heat in some instances to spontaneously combust and ignite the surrounding area. Man-made combustion from arson, carelessness and lack of fire safety cause wildfire disasters every year. However, weather conditions contribute to the occurrence of wildfires as well. Lightning strikes or extended dry spells causing drought are weather related agitators. Lightning strikes the earth over 100,000 times a day and 10% to 20% of these lightning strikes can cause fire. An average of 1.2 million acres of US woodland burn every year. And sadly a large wildfire is even capable of modifying the local weather conditions and producing its own weather.

Summer is coming and many of us will be camping in the woods. We have known Smokey the Bear all our lives and have the responsibility to share his critical message with the next generation of campers. I love the commercial where Smokey comes out of the woods and gives a young camper a hug for carefully putting out his campfire. You can't help but smile. The message is stated subtly but is a good reminder of the detailed instructions Smokey has provided for years on how together we can prevent forest fires. As Smokey advises,keep campfires at a manageable size, allow wood to burn to ash completely, and pour a substantial amount of water on all embers until hissing sound stops. If you do not have water, stir up the dirt or sand into the embers with a shovel and bury the fire making absolutely sure no embers are exposed and still smoldering. One last word of caution from the Bear who knows,“If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.”

Fire Damage Emergency Tips

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

What you can do until help arrives

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have A Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency? 
Call 781-939-6990

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being 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.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • 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 use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Emergency Fire Tips for Homeowners and Business Owners

11/16/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Burlington/ Woburn will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property when a damaging event has taken over

The first 48 hours after fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems. We provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration. These services help ensure your property, belongings and memories are restored to preloss condition when possible.

  • Limit movement to prevent further damage
  • Place clean towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open
  • Clean and protect chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets and appliances with light coating of petroleum jelly
  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO®
  • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO®
  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire or water damage without consulting a repair service.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet
  • Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

So before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals at (781) 935-8222. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn has worked for over 40 years to help make fire damage “Like it never even happened."

Fire Damage - Emergency Ready Profile

9/29/2017 (Permalink)

A fire in your home or business is nothing you ever planned on.  But it is something you can plan for by calling on the fire and water, cleanup and restoration specialist at SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn at 781-935-8222. That’s where you’ll find a team of professionals who are committed to helping you develop a plan to make sure you’re ready for whatever happens.   With an Emergency Ready Profile from SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn you’ll take confidence in knowing that when the things that matter most are on the line they will be too because you can’t keep fire damage from taking control of your home or business.  But with an Emergency Ready Profile, you can make sure it doesn’t take control of your life.  So before fire or water damage strikes, make sure you’re ready for whatever happens with SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn at 781-935-8222.  Helping make fire and water damage “Like it never even happened”.

Fire Prevention Week

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) holds their Fire Prevention Week activities in October; this year it’s October 8th-14th.

SERVPRO is proud to announce our sponsorship and participation during this time. Our local fire fighters visit children at school and hold open houses. The kids enjoy these visits and learn the basics of fire prevention.

SERVPRO has provided fire safety coloring books and crayons to the communities of North Reading, Wilmington, Winchester and Stoneham. The fire fighters will distribute these gifts during their visits. It’s a fun way to support our local fire fighters and give back to the community.

In winter, we see an increased risk for household fires. Below are four of the top six causes of fires. Notice the presence of danger increases in winter, due to an increase of usage in these categories:

In the spirit of fire prevention, we’d like to remind you to:

  • Replace smoke detector batteries.
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Have an escape plan and meeting place.
  • Space heaters need adequate space around them. Don’t place objects to close.
  • Thoroughly clean your dryer of lint.
  • Never use a candle if an oxygen tank is used in the home.

Smoke Alarms

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. 

Here's what you need to know!
  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. 
  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound. 
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use of both types of alarms in the home.
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.
  • More about installation and maintenance of home smoke alarms.

Fire Damage in Home

9/11/2017 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn we understand how badly some fires can affect our customers. Not only do they do damage to the homes and businesses to so many individuals but they also cause a tremendous amount of stress.  We are here to alleviate that stress and restore your home back to the way it once was prior to damage.  This job classifies as fire damage as you can see the amount of debris on the floor when looking at the picture. Our crew went in with the proper tools to get rid of all the garbage and debris the fire left behind to make this house look like a home again. Our customer was very happy with the level of professionalism we provided. It’s easy to get worked up when something like this happens to you but don’t worry SERVPRO is #heretohelp.

Emergency Fire Tips for Homeowners and Business Owners

9/8/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Burlington/ Woburn will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property when a damaging event has taken over.

The first 48 hours after fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems. We provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration. These services help ensure your property, belongings and memories are restored to preloss condition when possible.

  • Limit movement to prevent further damage
  • Place clean towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open
  • Clean and protect chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets and appliances with light coating of petroleum jelly
  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO®
  • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO®
  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire or water damage without consulting a repair service.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet
  • Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

So before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals at (781) 935-8222. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn has worked for over 40 years to help make fire damage “Like it never even happened.”

5 Wildfire Safety Tips

9/8/2017 (Permalink)

Wildfires can occur at any time throughout the year, but the potential is always higher during periods with little or no rainfall.

A wildfire can occur anywhere-in fact, in 2014, wildfire occurrences were  recorded in all 50 states. What is a wildfire? It is an unplanned, unwanted fire burning in a natural area, such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. A wildfire can destroy homes, businesses, agriculture, and damage natural resources while threatening the safety of the public and the firefighters who protect our forests and communities.  Wildfires can occur at any time throughout the year, but the potential is always higher during periods with little or no rainfall, which make brush, grass, and trees dry and burn more easily. High winds can also contribute to spreading the fire.

If you live or work in an area prone to wildfires, consider the following safety tips to help prevent the spread of wildfire.

Wildfire Safety Tips

  • Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. Remove dead  vegetation from under your deck and within 10  feet  of the  house.  This  prevents  embers from igniting your home.
  • Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches. Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to  prevent debris from accumulating.
  • Ensure flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks, dry vegetation) are more than 30 feet from your home or business's foundation and outbuildings.
  • Wildfire can spread to tree tops. If you have trees on your property, prune so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
  • Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.

How To Prevent Attic Fires

9/8/2017 (Permalink)

Attic Fires

Did you know that more than 40% of attic fires are the result of electrical malfunctions?

So how do we help prevent an attic fire? Here are three things firefighters suggest you hire have a professional to do:

    1. Have your chimney inspected by a professional who will check the interior and exterior of the chimney, including the part running through the attic
    1. Check the wiring in your attic, preferably by an electrician, looking for signs of damage, cracked insulation (wire sheathing), and exposed or disconnected wires
    1. Look for signs of burning and charring in the insulation and wood

A common mistake is that everybody typically plugs in their space heaters to help supplement their heat. And then, they'll put them on a long extension cord so that they are able to reach areas with less heat. So, the longer the extension cord is, the more ampage it will draw on the circuit.

Another common fire hazard is that homeowners choose voltage incandescent light bulbs in ceiling fixtures that is a higher voltage than required is also afire hazard. That heat that is trapped within the light fixture goes straight up into the attic and in the wires and essentially cook the wires, starting a fire.

What Can Someone Do When They Experience a Fire Loss?

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

What Can Someone Do When They Experience a Fire Loss?

Getting life back to normal when someone’s home or business has been affected by fire damage is extremely stressful. An individual may experience emotional as well as financial hardship. Loss of valuables and family keepsakes may leave a person feeling helpless. Fire in their home or a fire in their business is a terrible site for an owner to encounter.

The property owner experiencing the fire loss may find it necessary to seek help from a professional fire cleanup company. The owner may not be able to enter the property when faced with a fire in their home or a fire in their business. The strong odors from smoke damage can be harmful to their health.

What Types of Damages Can a Fire in a Home or a Fire in a Business Cause?

Coming up against a fire in the home may become an extremely difficult situation. Types of damages an owner can expect include soot damage, smoke damage, and the air quality in the home is affected. Overall a fire loss can be an upsetting -as well as costly- experience.

Soot damage on rugs, upholstery, and curtains may be more costly to clean. In some cases, it may be easier to replace these items. Air quality may not improve until fire cleanup begins, and odors from smoke damage are removed. Fire damage to a home or business can seem like a nightmare.

Known Dangers of Commercial Fire Damage

All fires to any structure can be dangerous. A fire in a business can spread quickly to nearby areas. Commercial fire damage may involve dangerous gasses leaking and even explosives depending on the type of business in place. If not handled quickly a commercial fire damage can result in a long-term loss. Certain substances, like combustible metals often in industrial locations can emit undesirable chemicals making the air quality problematic.

Dealing with the aftermath of a fire in the business property can also put a dent on the finances for an owner. Especially when they solely rely on income produced from their business.

Not only can a commercial fire damage result in the destruction of items they have invested on, but also dealing with the repairs can be extremely costly. Heavy soot damage on clothing in retail shops, for instance, cannot be sold and is a complete loss to the owners.

Certain types of commercial fire damage may be compensated by an insurance company to help owners recover from a fire loss, however, it will likely not happen as quickly as they would like. The same can be said for homeowners that need to recover from the effects of a fire in their home. Beginning the fire cleanup process is imperative to prevent further destruction from fire damage.

What Does a Fire Cleanup Professional Do?

Fire cleanup professionals provide a variety of services to those that have experienced a fire loss. They have the equipment to clean areas affected by soot damage, and machines that improve air quality by eliminating pervasive odors due to smoke damage. Fire damage can go beyond what a home or business owner may see.

Visual inspection can show the soot damage around the structure, and the odors from smoke damage will affect the air quality, and the odors can linger on. An important step taken by a fire damage restoration company is to inspect behind walls and under flooring for additional fire damage. Working with a trusted company can help owners get their life back in order.

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn is here to help! For more information, please visit our website at www.servrpoburlingtonwoburn.com or call (781) 935-8222.

Common Causes of Wildfires

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

   A wildfire is the potentially deadly catalyst that starts as an uncontrolled fire in a large undeveloped and un-populated area. If the response to these fires is not timely they can quickly get out of control and end up destroying homes and agriculture and killing animals and human life in their path. As many as 90 percent of wildland fires in the United States are caused by human carelessness or criminal intent. An unattended campfire, the burning of debris, negligently discarded cigarettes as well as intentional acts of arson are some of the ways that people cause tragedy. Wildfires can also be caused by an accumulation of dead matter (leaves, twigs, and trees) that create enough heat in some instances to spontaneously combust and ignite the surrounding area. Man-made combustion from arson, carelessness and lack of fire safety cause wildfire disasters every year. However, weather conditions contribute to the occurrence of wildfires as well. Lightning strikes or extended dry spells causing drought are weather related agitators. Lightning strikes the earth over 100,000 times a day and 10 to 20% of these lightning strikes can cause fire.  An average of 1.2 million acres of US woodland burn every year. And sadly a large wildfire is even capable of modifying the local weather conditions and producing its own weather.


     Summer is coming and many of us will be camping in the woods. We have known Smokey the Bear all our lives and have the responsibility to share his critical message with the next generation of campers. I love the commercial where Smokey comes out of the woods and gives a young camper a hug for carefully putting out his campfire. You can't help but smile. The message is stated subtly but is a good reminder of the detailed instructions Smokey has provided for years on how together we can prevent foret fires. As Smokey advises, keep campfires at a managemable size, allow wood to burn to ash completely, and pour a substantial amount of water on all embers until hissing sound stops.  If you do not have water, stir up the dirt or sand into the embers with a shovel and bury the fire making absolutely sure no embers are exposed and still smoldering. One last word of caution from the Bear who knows, “If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.”

Fire Prevention Week

10/13/2016 (Permalink)

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) holds their Fire Prevention Week activities in October; this year it’s October 9th-15th.

 

SERVPRO is proud to announce our sponsorship and participation during this time. Our local fire fighters visit children at school and hold open houses. The kids enjoy these visits and learn the basics of fire prevention.

 

SERVPRO has provided fire safety coloring books and crayons to the communities of North Reading, Wilmington, Winchester and Stoneham. The fire fighters will distribute these gifts during their visits. It’s a fun way to support our local fire fighters and give back to the community.

 

In winter, we see an increased risk for household fires. Below are four of the top six causes of fires. Notice the presence of danger increases in winter, due to an increase of usage in these categories:

 

In the spirit of fire prevention, we’d like to remind you to:

  • Replace smoke detector batteries.
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Have an escape plan and meeting place.
  • Space heaters need adequate space around them. Don’t place objects to close.
  • Thoroughly clean your dryer of lint.
  • Never use a candle if an oxygen tank is used in the home.

Fire

8/31/2016 (Permalink)

Warning

FIRE!

We all know that we’re in the middle of one of the worst local droughts on record. This blog is just a friendly reminder to be extra careful.

I’m sure you’re all familiar with Smokey the Bear and his fire danger meter. One fire fighter told me that it’s at “Extreme” right now. That’s as high as you can get, and it’s rare in this area.

 Your town may have ordinances (temporary or otherwise) against outdoor fires. Check with your local authorities.

http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/dfs/ (The “dfs” stands for Department of Fire Services)

Even some camp grounds in New England have a temporary moratorium on fires. Check locally about that as well.

There is so much more to say about fire safety. October 9-15 is national fire prevention week and we’ll have more then. In the meantime feel free to check out the following sites.

http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/resources/safety-tip-sheets

http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/campaigns/fire-prevention-week