Recent Fire Damage Posts

How to prepare your home and family for a fire

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

Most people take active measures to prevent house fires, but not many people have implemented fire preparation techniques. Yet, fire prep is just as important as fire prevention, and in fact may be more so when it comes to protecting your home and loved ones. If you have yet to implement fire safety procedures, it’s time to do so. Below are five things you can do to get started.

5 Steps To Prepare Your Home for a Fire.

  • Test your smoke alarms. 
  • Plan an evacuation route. 
  • Teach your children what to do in the event of a home fire. 
  • Devise a communication strategy. 
  • Practice.

1. Test Your Alarms

Though your smoke alarms should inform you when they’re low on batteries, it doesn’t hurt to check them periodically. Test them once a month, and to err on the side of caution, replace their batteries at least once a year. 

2. Plan an Evacuation Route

This should be at the top of your fire preparation list. Identify all possible exits for each room in the home and make sure that each family member is aware of where those exits are. Designate a family meeting spot outside. 

3. Teach Your Children 

If you have young children, show them what the fire alarm sounds like and advise them on what to do if they hear one. Inform them of evacuation routes as well. 

4. Plan a Way To Communicate

Put together an emergency contact list and make sure that all family members know who to contact if they cannot find one another. Have your young children memorize important phone numbers, beginning with 911. 

5. Practice

The best way to ensure that all family members know what to do in the event of an emergency is to practice. Host a fire drill every couple of months and devise different scenarios. In doing so, you can increase the odds that everyone knows what to do and how to escape in a real emergency. 

Your fire restoration team or local fire department can review your fire preparation plan and provide additional tips for how to improve it. Don’t cut corners when it comes to fire safety and start planning today. 

Smoke Travels Fast

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

If you experience a fire in your home or building, it’s not only the flames that you need to be concerned about. In some cases, smoke can cause even more damage. The following are a few reasons that smoke cleaning should be performed as soon as possible after a fire.

1. Smoke Travels Further Than Flames

Even if the fire was small or contained to a specific area, there may be smoke damage beyond this point. Smoke travels through the air and carries soot and other contaminants as it does. Because of this, it is important to have smoke cleaning done throughout the building, whether the flames spread far or not.

2. It Can Cause Long-Term Damage

While fire damage is often obvious, smoke damage can be less so. Smoke and soot particles can find their way into small crevices where they can begin to cause problems for your belongings. This is especially true for electronics, as the acidic elements in the smoke can cause the metal and hardware to corrode. If you believe that your computers, televisions or equipment have been affected, do not turn them on until they have been examined to prevent making the damage worse.

3. Odor Can Be Difficult to Remove

It may be fairly easy to remove the visible signs of smoke and fire damage, but the smell can linger for long afterward. Smoke particles can become trapped in the walls, carpeting and porous items, so you should include these in the cleanup process as well. Smoke odor can be stubborn, but a fire restoration company will have professional equipment that should be able to remove it from the air and your belongings.

After a fire, it can be easy to focus on the damage that you can see, but you should be sure to pay attention to that which is less visible as well. Performing smoke cleaning is an important part of the restoration process and should be done thoroughly to return your building to its previous condition.

How safe is your laundry room?

8/31/2020 (Permalink)

Firefighters across the country respond to countless home fires caused by clothes dryers. A buildup of lint can cause a fire. In other words, not cleaning your dryer can be more of a threat of fire than an electrical malfunction.

Now, some dryers have indicators designed to alert you when lint has built up or blocked the vent. It is still good practice to check with your own eyes, for lint every time you use your dryer.

Below are three simple steps for laundry-room safety.

Clean The Lint Filter

Not once a month, or even once a week, remove lint from the dryer’s lint screen every time you use your dryer. It doesn’t matter if you do this before or after drying a load, but remove any lint from the screen at some point during each use. Not only does this help prevent a fire, but it also helps your laundry dry faster.

Replace the Accordion-Style Ducts

Most of the time, dryers are equipped with a 4-inch vent in the back, which homeowners or installers connect to the outside vent with a duct. But not all ducts are made the same.

If you have plastic or foil accordion-style duct connecting your dryer to the vent, it's a good idea to replace it.They are risky because they can sag, allowing lint to build up at low points. Also, the ridges on this type of duct can trap lint. Using a metal duct won’t sag, and lint is less likely to accumulate. Try using the shortest length possible.

Inspect Vent and Exhaust Duct Regularly

If you notice that your dryer takes longer than it used to, to dry clothes, that's a clue that there may be a blockage. Another clue is when you’re drying a load, go outside, and look at the dryer vent.Do you see or feel exhaust air? If not, the vent or exhaust duct is probably blocked with lint.

Try disconnecting the duct from the dryer, cleaning it out, and reconnecting the duct to the dryer and outside vent. Also, clean behind your dryer and underneath it because lint can build up there too.

SERVPRO of Lenoir, Duplin & Jones Counties would like for homeowners to use these simple tips to prevent a fire in your home.

Grease fires and what you need to know

8/26/2020 (Permalink)

So, you’ve began to warm up the grease to fry some mouth watering French fries and all of a sudden the phone rings. The grease on the stove starts to overheat and smoke, and before you know it, the fryer catches on fire. What you do next to put out the grease fire is very important, so keep these tips in mind-

  1. Turn the heat off, but don’t move the container of grease.
  2. Don't pour water on a grease fire. Water could cause the grease to splash on other kitchen surfaces and possibly spread the flames.
  3. Put a lid on it. Covering the container will hopefully smother the fire.
  4. Call 911, if the fire has gotten out of control and get out of the building.
  5. Don't use flour on a grease fire. Sometimes using baking soda can put out a SMALL grease fire, but flour should never be used.
  6. Fire extinguisher should be the last resort, due to the risk of contaminating your kitchen.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

8/19/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot are very intrusive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience at SERVPRO of Lenoir, Duplin & Jones Counties allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a plan of action.  

Smoke & Soot Facts:

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

Smoke Types

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

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, strong odor, sticky, distorting. Smoke webs are harder to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

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

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

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

SERVPRO of Lenoir, Duplin & Jones Counties Fire 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 SERVPRO Today      (252)208-7888

Fire Pit Safety Tips

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

With more pleasant weather approaching, keep these useful tips in mind-

DO: Build your fire pit on a level surface Make sure the ground or surface is even to reduce the risk of fire escaping beyond your fire pit.

DO: Keep the fire at a safe distance. To keep your fire from causing damage, build the fire pit at least 10 feet from your home, fences, trees and the like.

DON’T: Use gasoline or lighter fluid Never use gasoline or kerosene to start your fire; such fuels can cause a fire to get out of control quickly. Instead, use dry wood as kindling that doesn’t extend beyond the edge of the pit.

DO: Monitor guests around fire pits. Make sure guests maintain a proper distance and don’t exhibit risky behavior. Keep close tabs on children and pets.

DO: Check the weather report
Avoid using your fire pit on windy days, since flames or embers can spread to your home, yard and nearby trees.

DON’T: Leave a fire unattended
Even if your fire pit is small, flames can spread quickly if left unattended. Monitor at all times.

DO: Put your fire out safely
Once you extinguish your fire with water, gently stir and spread the ashes to cool. Leave only when they’re cool to the touch.

DO: Have an emergency plan
Keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose or bucket of sand close to douse the fire in case it gets out of hand. If you can’t put it out quickly, call 9-1-1.

Spring Cleaning Fire Safety Tips

5/27/2019 (Permalink)

With the arrival of spring comes blue skies, blooming flowers and spring cleaning. This is the perfect time for a refresher on fire safety tips that should be followed year-round. Keeping fire safety in mind when doing things around the house will help prevent fires.  First and foremost, check your smoke alarms. It’s a task that can easily go forgotten for months, but how convenient that you should change your battery once a year and spring cleaning comes around once a year. Put it on your list of chores for the big clean to ensure that it happens every 12 months. According to the NFPA, a functioning smoke alarm in your home cuts your risk of dying in a house fire by 50 percent. The leading cause of dryer fires is the failure to clean them. Clean the lint filter before and after each load of laundry. Also, be sure to clean the lint that may have collected around the drum and the dryer vent. Keep the are around your dryer clear of things that can burn like boxes, cleaning supplies, and clothing.  Check your electrical cords to make sure that they are not running across doorways or under carpets. Extension cords are intended for temporary use.  If you are in need of extension cords, have a qualified electrician to install additional receptacle outlets.  Clean your garage of stored newspapers or other rubbish that can fuel a fire.  Properly store household chemicals in an approved container and never mix cleaning agents. Check and clean filters above stove. Pull refrigerator out and vacuum or dust the coils. 

Grease fires and what you need to know!

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

  1. So, you’ve began to warm up the grease to fry some mouth watering French fries and all of a sudden the phone rings. The grease on the stove starts to overheat and smoke, and before you know it, the fryer catches on fire. What you do next to put out the grease fire is very important, so keep these tips in mind.
  2. Turn the heat off, but don’t move the container of grease.
  3. Don't pour water on a grease fire. Water could cause the grease to splash on other kitchen surfaces and possibly spread the flames.
  4. Put a lid on it. Covering the container will hopefully smother the fire.
  5. Call 911, if the fire has gotten out of control and get out of the building.
  6. Dont use flour on a grease fire. Sometimes using baking soda can put out a SMALL grease fire, but flour should never be used.
  7. Fire extinguisher should be the last resort, due to the risk of contaminating your kitchen.

Smoke vs Soot

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

Damage from a fire can be devastating but we are here to help!

Smoke and soot are very intrusive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience at SERVPRO of Lenoir, Duplin & Jones Counties allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a plan of action.  

Smoke & Soot Facts:

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

Smoke Types

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

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, strong odor, sticky, distorting. Smoke webs are harder to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

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

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

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

SERVPRO of Lenoir, Duplin & Jones Counties Fire 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!

Safety Tips for Deep Frying a Turkey

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Be sure to be safe this Thanksgiving

With a dark, crispy skin on the outside and juicy, flavorful meat on the inside, deep-frying turkey has become a Thanksgiving favorite. With that in mind, deep-frying a turkey can be dangerous and the process can cause a fire quickly. SERVPRO of Lenoir, Duplin & Jones Counties would like to offer these tips and hope you make safety a priority when deep-frying your turkey this Thanksgiving.

Location, Location, Location

Set the deep fryer on level ground a good distance away from any structure. Don’t put it on a wooden deck or under a tree. The center of a level driveway,  away from vehicles is a good location.

Completely Thaw the Turkey in Advance

We’ve all heard that oil and water don’t mix. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before it goes anywhere near the fryer. If not, when the cold ice hits the hot oil, it could cause the oil to rapidly boil over and cause a large fire.

Keep a Fire Extinguisher Handy

Due to the potential for fire, you will want to have a fire extinguisher close by. A Fire can start and spread quickly, and you probably won’t have time to run inside to retrieve one fast enough.

Easy on the Oil

A easy way to know how much oil you will need is to place the turkey in The empty fryer, then fill the fryer with water. Then take the turkey out and notice the water line. The oil should be filled no higher than that line to make sure that it does not boil over when you add the turkey.

Slowly Place the Turkey in the Oil

Be very careful with the turkey, since it will likely be slippery. If you accidentally drop the turkey in the oil too quickly, the oil could splash or overflow, possibly burning you and creating greater risk for a fire. Lower the turkey in the oil slowly.

Wear Safety Gear

Hot oil Is prone to splatter, causing burns, blisters and ruined clothing. Be sure to wear goggles, gloves and an apron, and don’t any stand closer to the deep-fryer than you need to be.

Use a Thermometer

Using a thermometer throughout the entire cooking process is a good idea. Make sure the oil is hot enough before you begin, but do not allow it to become too hot. Cook the turkey until it reaches the right temperature, remove it from the oil and immediately turn off the fryer.

Tips to Prevent Fire in Your Clothes Dryer

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

Be sure to clean your dryer vent regularly

Firefighters across the country respond to countless home fires caused by clothes dryers. A buildup of lint can cause a fire. In other wordsnot cleaning your dryer can be more of a threat of fire than an electrical malfunction.

Now, some dryers have indicators designed to alert you when lint has built up or blocked the vent. It is still good practice to check with your own eyes, for lint every time you use your dryer.

Below are three simple steps for laundry-room safety.

Clean The Lint Filter

Not once a month, or even once a week, remove lint from the dryer’s lint screen every time you use your dryer. It doesn’t matter if you do this before or after drying a load, but remove any lint from the screen at some point during each use. Not only does this help prevent a fire, but it also helps your laundry dry faster.

Replace the Accordion-Style Ducts

Most of the time, dryers are equipped with a 4-inch vent in the back, which homeowners or installers connect to the outside vent with a duct. But not all ducts are made the same.

If you have plastic or foil accordion-style duct connecting your dryer to the vent, it's a good idea to replace it.They are risky because they can sag, allowing lint to build up at low points. Also, the ridges on this type of duct can trap lint. Using a metal duct won’t sag, and lint is less likely to accumulate. Try using the shortest length possible.

Inspect Vent and Exhaust Duct Regularly

If you notice that your dryer takes longer than it used to, to dry clothes, that's a clue that there may be a blockage. Another clue is when you’re drying a load, go outside, and look at the dryer vent.Do you see or feel exhaust air? If not, the vent or exhaust duct is probably blocked with lint.

Try disconnecting the duct from the dryer, cleaning it out, and reconnecting the duct to the dryer and outside vent. Also, clean behind your dryer and underneath it because lint can build up there too.

SERVPRO of Lenoir, Duplin & Jones Counties would like for homeowners to use these simple tips to prevent a fire in your home.

How Safe is your Commercial Building?

3/12/2018 (Permalink)

Sprinklers are required for most commercial businesses.

Fire safety should be one of the main concerns of all commercial business owners. If a fire were to occur during business hours it could lead to serious injuries or even death of its employees. No business owner should want that on their hands. Fire sprinklers could be the difference between life and death.

Here are some of the sprinkler requirements for commercial building systems:

  • Buildings more than 55 feet in height must have an automatic sprinkler system running throughout the building.

  • Buildings with a fire area exceeding 5,000 square feet, older buildings that have been remodeled or renovated, or any single tenant add-on that requires a new certificate of occupancy that increases the square footage over 12,000 feet must have fire sprinkler systems installed throughout the entire building.

  • Fire pumps should be installed to increase the water pressure in a single sprinkler system if that sprinkler system is fed by a non-pressurized water tank.  Also, municipal water sources do not provide enough pressurized water to sprinkler systems, resulting in an ineffective system.

  • Water supply control valves should be accessible for easy operation. All of the valves should be clearly marked with exterior signs showing where the each valve is located. These valves should be marked with information indicating the areas and locations covered by their water source.


These are justa few of the sprinkler requirements needed to keep commercial buildings, workers, and clients safe. So, how safe is your building?