Recent Fire Damage Posts

What NOT to do After a Fire

7/27/2023 (Permalink)

A toaster that has some fire damage, still plugged into the wall By reducing secondary fire damage, you can minimize cleanup time and costs

There are a lot of things that we’re told we should do when experiencing a fire in our home: exit the building safely, get low to the ground if there’s smoke, and call 911 as soon as you get out. But after the fire has been put out and the smoke clears, most people don’t understand the dangers that may still be present on the premises. When you eventually return to your home to try to put your life back together, follow these tips to make sure you and your property are safe from any additional damages.

Don’t turn on any electronics until advised to do so by a professional

If any of your electrical wiring was damaged by the fire, it could be extremely dangerous to try to turn anything on. Wait until a professional has reported no damage before you touch or operate anything connected.

Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces

While you think you might be getting a head start on cleaning up soot from a fire, you will most likely be only spreading it around and staining your painted surfaces further. Leave these surfaces to the professionals to get the job done right!

Don’t use any fans in an area where soot is present

If you move the air around soot, the soot is going to move as well. To minimize the amount of affected contents and areas, don’t turn on any fans unless advised to do so. Ceiling fans can pose an additional risk if the wiring is wet, so it’s best to not touch them.

Don’t shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture

Professionals know which specialty products and procedures should be used depending on the material. It’s always best to wait for a restoration technician to restore these items to their original condition.

Don’t consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to the fire

Increased temperatures and chemicals in the smoke have the potential to contaminate any consumables that have been near the fire. Be on the safe side and discard any food or beverages that were around during the fire.

If you recently had a fire and still have questions about what you should do about your home or belongings, you can always call us at (309) 346-5600 and a professional will be happy to give you expert advice.

Ready, Set, Grill!

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

The smell of grilling and laughter among friends and family is a reminder of summer tradition. We cherish these memories and SERVPRO is here to help educate you by providing tips and best practices for preventing fire damage from the NFPA.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) warns families that the onset of the summer season also marks a rise in home fires started by outdoor grilling activities. According to the NFPA, on average, 10,600 home fires are started by grills each year. July is the peak month for grill fires, followed by June, May, and August.1

"Sixty-one percent of U.S. households own a gas grill."

"A total of sixty-four percent own at least one outdoor BBQ, grill, or smoker. The popularity of this outdoor cooking equipment combined with longer, warmer days creates a unique fire hazard that should be taken seriously.”

The NFPA offers these basic tips for fire-safe grilling:2

For gas/propane grills:

  • Check the gas tank for leaks before using it.
  • Open the lid on all gas grills before lighting the grill.

For charcoal grills:

  • Use only charcoal starter fluid to start the fire but never add it or any flammable liquids to a fire that is burning.
  • Cool coals completely before you dispose of them in a metal container.

For all grills:

  • Place the grill well away from house and deck railings. Don’t place it under eaves or branches.
  • Remove grease and fat buildup from grills and trays after each use.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill.
  • Never leave the grill unattended when in use.

Basic precautions set the stage for a safe and enjoyable outdoor cooking season. Life is unpredictable, but you can take steps to control the risk of house and property fires caused by outdoor cooking. Whether you are strictly a summer grilling warrior or you use your grill year-round, simple, common-sense actions can help ensure that the only smoke you smell this summer is the sweet aroma of steaks and vegetables grilling.

SERVPRO specializes in fire and water cleanup and restoration services and repair services, helping to remediate damage for both commercial and residential customers. 



Have you heard about Secondary Fire Damage?

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

Secondary smoke damage before and after photo. Trust SERVPRO to help restore your valuable items.

Smoke! Flames! Oh no, a FIRE! 

The family and pets are safe but what about all the assets in the house. Panic sets in, what do I do now...

Don't worry, SERVPRO is here! 

When thinking about fire damage, the initial thought is usually the immediate burn damage from the flames; the primary damage. However, what some fail to think about until trying to clean up the damage, is the mayhem that can be left behind by the smoke and soot from the fire. That is secondary damage, and it can be more of an issue than it initially seems. 

Smoke and soot sticks around

To start, soot and smoke can be incredibly difficult to clean, even from surfaces that are generally easy to clean. Smoke and soot can spread quickly and can cover items even in unforeseen places. Items you love or cant replace can be damaged and stained horribly. Soot and smoke are black and difficult to remove.

That smoke smell lingers

There is a smell that comes with smoke and soot as well. Think about what it’s like after going camping or having a party with a bonfire. The smell from the burning wood will generally linger in hair and clothing until they are washed, and sometimes it’s a hard scent to stomach. Now think if with that burning wood there was plastic, clothing, furniture, and other items made of flammable materials. That’s a smell that can’t really be fought with a room spray. It’s tough to live with and even tougher to get out of.

So what do you do if you find yourself dealing with secondary fire damage?

The best thing you can do is reach out to your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals, and ask them if there is any way that you can get our teams out to get your home (or business) back to its original state. We have teams of people who are trained to come in and do the job quickly, correctly, and safely. We also have Esporta equipment within our Central Illinois franchise, giving us the ability to clean individual items like clothing, furniture, and other costly items of secondary fire damage.

So if you find yourself dealing with the aftermath of a fire, let us handle it with you. Give us a chance to make it feel, “Like it never even happened.”

Winter Fire Safety Tips from FEMA

12/15/2021 (Permalink)

We’ve been seeing fires quite a bit this year. Considering winter in Central Illinois generally brings a rise in fire damage (whether it’s due to holiday cooking or heating sources) we wanted to share some fire facts and fire safety tips that were shared by FEMA.

Tips for Winter Fire Safety:

  • 50% of heating fires happen in December, January, and February.
  • 1 in every 7 home fires involves heating equipment.
  • Remember the 3-Feet Rule; keep flammable items 3 feet away from any and all heat sources.
  • Only place portable generators outside.
  • Only plug one heat source into an outlet at a time.

There are other things you can do to prevent fires this winter. Head over to the FEMA website to learn more from them, and check out our old blogs to learn more from us.

Remember that if you do experience fire damage, we are Here to Help® with the cleanup and restoration.

Seasonal Causes for House Fires

11/10/2021 (Permalink)

House fires can happen any time of year. However, there are certain fire hazards and risks that are related to certain seasons and holidays. Winter has its own list of fire hazards that can lead to severe damage to your home. The following are just a few of the cold weather fire risks.


Cooking fires are especially common during the holidays. Thanksgiving cooking leads to quite a few fires, but so does cooking for Christmas. It is important to take special precautions to make sure that your holiday feasts don’t become holiday fiascos.

Candles and other decors

Candles are an obvious fire hazard during the colder months, but there are other decor items that can pose a fire hazard. Whether the decorations are electrical and can start fires on their own, or whether they are just placed too close to heat sources, décor can be a major fire hazard during the colder months.

Electrical fires

Electrical fires can occur year-round, but during the winter when you might have extra heat sources plugged in or when you’re spending less time doing outdoor activities and more time plugged in indoors, it raises the risk for electrical fires.

Washer and dryer

If you don’t properly clean out the ventilation system of your washer and dryer, it is very likely that you could find yourself dealing with a fire in your home.

Just remember, if you have a fire as a result of any of the things we mentioned here, you can always call your local SERVPRO® for the cleanup and restoration of your property. We are Here to Help®!