Recent Fire Damage Posts

10 Tips To Make Your Home Safer From Fires

12/24/2018 (Permalink)

It’s an unfortunate tragedy. Your home in Champaign/Urbana has been ravaged by a raging fire. A restoration company has come to the rescue to return your home back to its prior condition. Hopefully you will never experience such loss again, but it is wise to prepare your home in the event of future disasters. Even if your home has never been devastated by a fire, the following fire preparation tips can prove beneficial in giving you greater peace of mind regarding fire safety in your home.

1. Smoke alarms: Test smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries annually.


2. Prepare children: Teach fire preparation to children, including the dangers of fire. Make sure they know the proper use of 911 for emergencies. Keep matches and lighters out of their reach.


3. Plan where to go: Create an escape plan and make sure everyone in the household is aware of it. Choose an outside meeting spot for all family members to gather upon escaping. Conduct practice drills at least twice a year.


4. Share contact information: Make sure all household members know who to contact in the event that they cannot find each other during a home fire.


5. Educate on proper techniques: Teach everyone in the household to stop, drop and roll in the event their clothes catch on fire.


6. Take action if you smoke: Smokers should take extra precautions, as many residential fire deaths are caused by smoking materials. Avoid smoking in bed, especially while sleepy or medicated. It is better to smoke outside.


7. Handle heaters: Portable heaters should be turned off when not in use.


8. Take care of candles: Candles should be extinguished when not in use, and never left unattended.


9. Store other sources of light: Speaking of candles, consider using flashlights during a power outage instead of candles.


10. Examine the home for other fire hazards: Check the electrical wiring and home heating sources to make sure they are safe.

A home fire is a most unwelcome event, but by taking fire preparation seriously, you and your household can hopefully avoid this happening or, at the very least, be better equipped to handle such an emergency when it occurs, Feel free to call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana anytime at (217) 355-0077.

SERVPRO is the #1 Company to Call in Champaign/Urbana When Dealing With Fire Damage!

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Dealing with commercial fire damage on your own can be devastating & stressful. Our techs can help you and give you peace of mind.

Assistance Helps Speed up Recovery after Commercial Fire Damage in Champaign/Urbana

Fires in commercial establishments can be very devastating. Apart from the loss they cause by damaging the structure and contents, they also lead to business closure, which translates to lost revenue. The longer it takes to resume normal operations, the higher the cost of lost opportunities. In the worst cases, the business might even lose customers. We offer restoration services that help commercial establishments recover faster after fire incidents. FSRT certification means our customers benefit from a combination of top-notch equipment and advanced skills sets throughout the restoration process. 

The steps taken immediately restoration starts can quicken, or hamper the speed of recovery after commercial fire damage in Champaign/Urbana. Our SERVPRO technicians rely on their IICRC training to do a thorough evaluation before starting the restoration process. Such evaluation helps us establish the primary form of damage. Depending on the materials and items present in the affected area, it could be a case of predominant flame or smoke damage. If it is a case of smoke damage, we need to establish whether wet or dry smoke is the most prevalent. Having such information helps determine the level of agitation, chemical action and dwell time needed for effective cleaning. 

Commercial spaces can present unique size challenges. In a space like a warehouse, the sheer size of the walls, ceilings and other areas that require cleaning can prolong the restoration. In a hotel or office space, the challenge could be large surfaces such as glass windows that require special care to avoid problems like streaking. Our SERVPRO crews use special equipment such as mobile scissor lifts, spotting pad holders and extensions poles when cleaning up vast surfaces saving time. 

Our SERVPRO team considers the entire restoration process to determine how much effort to put into each phase, which also helps save time. For instance, if restoration involves repainting the affected surfaces, we clean to remove debris and neutralize the acids in smoke residue then restore the visual appeal though painting.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources


Restoring your fire damaged premises should not take too long. Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana to assist. You can reach us at (217) 355-0077 any time. 

Holiday Fire Safety Tips

12/1/2018 (Permalink)

Residential fires during the holiday season are more frequent, more costly, and more deadly than at any other time of the year. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) reports more than double the number of open-flame fires on Christmas Day than on an average day, and about twice as many on New Year’s Day. And when those fires occur, they do more damage: Property loss during a holiday fire is 34% greater than in an average fire, and the number of fatalities per thousand fires is nearly 70% higher. When the source of the fire is a highly flammable Christmas tree, the toll in property and lives is even greater.

To keep your household from becoming a holiday fire statistic, here are some safety tips to follow.

Cooking

Cooking is the top cause of holiday fires, according to the USFA. The most common culprit is food that’s left unattended. It’s easy to get distracted; take a pot holder with you when you leave the kitchen as a reminder that you have something on the stove. Make sure to keep a kitchen fire extinguisher that’s rated for all types of fires, and check that smoke detectors are working.

If you’re planning to deep-fry your holiday turkey, do it outside, on a flat, level surface at least 10 feet from the house.

Candles

The incidence of candle fires is four times higher during December than during other months. According to the National Fire Protection Association, four of the five most dangerous days of the year for residential candle fires are Christmas/Christmas Eve and New Year’s/New Year’s Eve. (The fifth is Halloween.)

To reduce the danger, maintain about a foot of space between the candle and anything that can burn. Set candles on sturdy bases or cover with hurricane globes. Never leave flames unattended. Before bed, walk through each room to make sure candles are blown out. For atmosphere without worry, consider flameless LED candles.

Christmas Trees

It takes less than 30 seconds for a dry tree to engulf a room in flames, according to the Building and Fire Research Laboratory of the National Institute for Standards and Technology. “They make turpentine out of pine trees,” notes Tom Olshanski, spokesman for the USFA. “A Christmas tree is almost explosive when it goes.”


To minimize risk, buy a fresh tree with intact needles, get a fresh cut on the trunk, and water it every day. A well-watered tree is almost impossible to ignite. Keep the tree away from heat sources, such as a fireplace or radiator, and out of traffic patterns. If you’re using live garlands and other greenery, keep them at least three feet away from heating sources.

No matter how well the tree is watered, it will start to dry out after about four weeks, Olshanski says, so take it down after the holidays. Artificial trees don’t pose much of a fire hazard; just make sure yours is flame-retardant.

Decorative Lights

Inspect light strings, and throw out any with frayed or cracked wires or broken sockets. When decorating, don’t run more than three strings of lights end to end. “Stacking the plugs is much safer when you’re using a large quantity of lights,” explains Brian L. Vogt, director of education for holiday lighting firm Christmas Décor. Extension cords should be in good condition and UL-rated for indoor or outdoor use. Check outdoor receptacles to make sure the ground fault interrupters don’t trip. If they trip repeatedly, Vogt says, that’s a sign that they need to be replaced.

When hanging lights outside, avoid using nails or staples, which can damage the wiring and increase the risk of a fire. Instead, use UL-rated clips or hangers. And take lights down within 90 days, says John Drengenberg, director of consumer safety for Underwriters Laboratories.  “If you leave them up all year round, squirrels chew on them and they get damaged by weather.”

Fireplaces

Soot can harden on chimney walls as flammable creosote, so before the fireplace season begins, have your chimney inspected to see if it needs cleaning. Screen the fireplace to prevent embers from popping out onto the floor or carpet, and never use flammable liquids to start a fire in the fireplace. Only burn seasoned wood — no wrapping paper.

When cleaning out the fireplace, put embers in a metal container and set them outside to cool for 24 hours before disposal. 

Should you have a fire emergency, no matter how big or how small, we here at SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana are ready to help 24 hours a day! Call us today at  (217)355-0077.

Immediate Fire Restoration and Why It's Important

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Fires can be a devastating when they occur.  It is crucial though when a fire strikes that you get the restoration process started immediately.  The longer that it is put off the harder and more repairs will be needed. This also means the price of repairs goes up as well.  SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana specializes in fire damage and restoration.  Contacting us is the first step in getting the restoration underway. SERVPRO will try to save as much of your home and personal belongings that we can. Remember that safety comes first, so if there’s no way to safely gain access into your home, stay out until SERVPRO professionals arrive. On arrival we perform a thorough cleanup using our industrial-grade products and equipment, such as dry cleaning soot sponges to remove loose soot and specialized vacuum filters to clean carpet and upholstery.  Unfortunately fires happen, but when they do make sure you act quickly to get the damage cleaned up.  SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana takes fire damage and leaves it "Like it never even happened." Call SERVPRO of Champaign/Urbana for your fire restoration needs anytime at (217) 355-0077

Smoke Detectors

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

You really can never be too prepared. Fires can happen anywhere, at any time...under the right conditions. The preventative measures you take prior to a potential fire loss could save your home, or more importantly your life! Replacing the batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year is a must. A good rule of thumb is when you change the clocks change the batteries in the smoke alarms, this will provide consistent battery life in your detectors.  This gives you a chance to check your smoke detectors to make sure they working properly. Put an evacuation plan together. Make sure your loved ones and those living with you know what to do in the event of a fire. Having a central location to meet once everyone is outside is a great plan. After you and your loved ones are safe, call SERVPRO to make it "Like it never even happened."

Smokewebs

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

This isn't your typical Halloween decoration. In fact, these are not made from cobwebs at all. This is what is known as "Smokewebs." Smoke webs occur when the ionization process of burning synthetic materials (rubber, plastics etc.) create charged particles that tend to cling to certain surfaces. These charged particles will attract to themselves repeatedly and form "chains" of soot. Smoke webs are especially common in low heat or smoldering fires which produce "wet smoke." The webs are common in stagnant air spaces such as the corners and edges of ceilings or cabinets.  Soot from synthetic materials is tacky, pungent, and smears very easily with conventional cleaning products. Our Production Staff uses professional grade chemicals specifically designed for smoke and soot produced by any material. No matter how big of a fire damage, you should always contact your local SERVPRO. We'll make it "Like it never even happened."

Firefighter Techniques

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Firefighter Techniques Hand trails from the fireman that saved this family's home.

Since SERVPRO is usually some of the first people to see the structure directly after their fire damage, we are lucky enough to be able to analyze the fireman's techniques from marks and trails left behind from the soot. To anyone who has taken a couple minutes to speak to a fireman about their job, or done a little research, knows that firefighting isn't just spraying water until the fire goes away. When there are victims trapped inside, when you can't see two inches in front of your face, when you feel like a hot potato wrapped in aluminum foil with 50lbs of gear strapped to your back...you have to rely on teamwork, trust, and the training you have been given to protect that victims life and even your own. What you see pictured here is the trails left behind from a method called "Left hand/Right hand." When you cannot see, you have to rely on your other senses to maneuver through the collapsing structure. Fireman will keep their left hand on the wall, while searching with their right hand or visa versa. This helps them understand the layout of the structure and lead them through the building without using their eyes. Take a second to appreciate a firefight you know today, they could be saving YOUR house one day...

Champaign / Urbana Smoke and Soot Cleanup

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Champaign / Urbana Smoke and Soot Cleanup Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Champaign / Urbana Home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Champaign / Urbana will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (217) 359-0077

Urbana Firefighter's Vehicle Show Trunk or Treat

9/5/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Urbana Firefighter's Vehicle Show Trunk or Treat Take a photo with our SERVPRO Stormtrooper!

Come see us Sunday, October 29, 2017 at Blain's Farm and Fleet parking lot. We'll be supporting our local Urbana firefighters at their annual Vehicle Show Trunk or Treat!  

Bring your kids for a fun, safe alternative to trick or treating.  Our fireman invite local vehicle show enthusiasts and their amazing creations on wheels.  Local businesses participate and bring their vehicles with trunks full of free treats.   Come see a wide array of "anything on wheels" including antique fire trucks, cars/trucks, tractors and many more. Dress up with your kids if you like!

We're raising money for the Urbana Firefighter's charity fund. This organization has helped many local charities including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Boy Scouts of America, March of Dimes, UIPD Benefits as well as many others.

Guaranteed smiles!!