Recent Fire Damage Posts

Putting Out the Flames May Mean Unexpected Water Damage

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in a home Home fire in North Des Plaines, IL

Putting Out the Flames May Mean Unexpected Water Damage

The effects of a fire to your North Des Plaines, IL, can be devastating. Along with charred belongings, the stench of smoke, and visible soot damage, the water used to extinguish the flames can also cause damage. Considering that a fire hose used by firefighters can release 300 gallons of water a minute, that could mean dealing with extensive unwanted alongside the fire damage.

After a Fire
The aftermath of the fire and potential water damage means safety should always be the first priority. Once the property is safe to enter, below are some tips to get the restoration process quickly started.

Call Your Insurer – Getting a claim started fast means returning to normal sooner. An insurance adjuster will come and inspect the damage, both from the fire and any damage incurred putting it out. Depending on the severity, discuss if temporary lodging and food expenses will be provided.
Document Everything – While you may want to dig in and start salvaging your precious belongings, photos and videos should be taken of everything that came in contact with the fire or water.
Start the Drying Process – The longer water sits, the more potential for secondary issues to form, such as mold growth. If possible and safe to do so, open windows and run fans to get the air circulating.

Professional Help
The next call you make after insurance should be to a trusted fire damage and restoration company. They will complete and inspection and assessment of the situation, work with your insurer to get the process started and help secure the home against further damage during the wait. Once the restoration process begins, they have the expertise, latest technology and industrial cleaning techniques to thoroughly dry, clean, sanitize and restore any structural problems and many of your belongings.
Any kind of fire damage can have lingering effects. Taking quick action and working with your insurance company and professional restoration service can help you get back to “Like it never even happened.”

The Relationship Between Water and Fire Damage

7/12/2020 (Permalink)

Inside of an empty building damaged by water and fire damage Water and fire damage in a Mount Prospect, IL building

Ways a Fire Can Lead to Water Damage

If you’re worried about a fire at your Mount Prospect, IL, place of business then you may make plans for a restoration in case of emergency. But did you know you may also want to plan for a water cleanup as well as a fire cleanup? There are a few ways a fire can lead to water damage. Here are three of the most common.

1. Fire Sprinklers

Fire sprinklers are an important system for protecting your business, however, they can also cause some water damage. Sprinklers are designed to release the suppressant directly over the flame to put it out, but the water may still pool in the affected area and can cause some additional problems if not quickly cleaned up. This can be a problem for areas already weakened by the fire.

2. Fire Hose

A fire hose can lead to a water cleanup since this important fire suppression tool has the ability to pump out between 200 and 800 gallons per minute depending on its size. This can cause flooding which if not quickly cleaned up may further damage the space. Fortunately, many restoration services are trained to handle water damage as well, and may already expect to need to perform a flood cleanup.

3. Weather

Weather can play a factor in causing water damage after a fire when the fire has caused structural damage that leaves gaps to the outside. This usually occurs in the roof or around windows. These gaps leave a space where rain or snow can get in. Your Local fire damage restoration service may offer tarping services in additions to smoke cleanup.

Planning for water cleanup can be important as water damage can occur in a number of ways. Fire suppression efforts such as sprinklers of a fire hose can lead to flooding. Additionally, if the fire has caused any structural damage such as in the roof, then rain or snow may get in and cause water problems as well.

Learn About the Cleanup Process After a Fire

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Extensive fire damage in a home. Insulation from ceiling all over the floor Fire damage in Mount Prospect, IL

Fire Cleanup

If your Mount Prospect, IL, home has been through a fire, you may be wondering how it can be restored to its previous glory. Experiencing a house fire can be hard, but with a team of fire and smoke damage restoration professionals, you'll see a clear path to recovery. Each fire damage scenario is unique, so getting a plan that's customized to your needs is important. Here are some common processes involved with fire cleanup.

1. Cleaning up Soot
Soot is an unpleasant residue left after a fire. It's a black substance made largely of amorphous carbon, and it can be powdery or flaky in appearance. After a house fire, soot damage is a concern. It can stain your upholstery, carpet, and walls, as well as your belongings. While you can clean up soot to some degree yourself, many household materials require professional sanitization to remove it fully.

2. Removing Smoke Odor
After the flames are extinguished, the smell of smoke may persist due to smoke damage. When smoke permeates your home, minuscule smoke particles become lodged inside household materials, from your flooring to the paint on your ceiling. Smoke cleaning often requires experts in the industry and specialized cleaning equipment such as industrial air scrubbers and fogging machines.

3. Cleaning Your Home's Structure
Skillful and experienced fire damage cleanup teams should create a plan to fully clean and restore your home's structure. A comprehensive remediation plan ensures that your home doesn't continue to degrade after the fire is put out. Your home needs to be cleaned and repaired after suffering smoke and soot damage as well as water damage from the firefighting efforts.
After a house fire, you may be overwhelmed, but it's important to act quickly. Calling in fire restoration experts with the training and equipment to restore your home will pay off. Efficiently removing water, soot, and smoke damage is crucial to restoring your home to pre-fire condition.

3 Common Causes of House Fires and How to Prevent Them

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

Four burning candles Unattended candles remain to be one of the leading causes of house fires

The Leading Fire Causes

Nobody ever wants to think about the possibility of a home fire, but it remains to be one of the biggest threats to human life. With your family and prized possessions at risk, it’s important to know what causes these disasters and how to prevent them.
The leading fire causes in North Des Plaines, IL include:

  • Cooking fires
  • Careless smoking
  • Unattended candles

1. Cooking Fires

Cooking is the #1 cause of home fires, accounting for half of the total fires in the state. This news comes as no surprise considering the open flames and intensive heating that happens in this room. If left unsupervised, cooking food could burn, resulting in a big fire and an expensive fire cleaning process. Therefore, stay in the kitchen until the meal is ready or leave someone else in charge.

2.Careless Smoking

Smoking poses a danger to your health in many ways, including the risk of igniting your house. While cigarette smoking accounts for only 5 percent of house fires in the entire country, the death rate sits at a whopping 23 percent. In most of these cases, the residents smoke while in the bedroom, and something accidentally catches fire after they fall asleep. It is safer to avoid smoking altogether, but if you must, do it outside the house where there’s little risk of starting an inferno.

3.Unattended Candles

There’s something about candles that makes people buy more of them despite the fire hazard they present. Maybe it’s because of the warm, cozy feeling they bring, or it’s the delicious scents they produce. Whatever the reason, unattended candles remain to be one of the leading causes of house fires. To avoid this, consider using safer alternatives such as flameless candles and wax warmers.
Home fires will always remain to be a massive threat, even though you might not think about it much. That’s why you need to be extra cautious in the kitchen and when using traditional candles.

Fires are Preventable

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Fire in a warehouse with boxes Don't let a fire get you down!

When it comes to your property, certain safety precautions can be taken to help prevent fires. Below are some tips that can help you to prevent a fire.

Electrical and Appliances Safety

  • Replace frayed and old worn electrical cords on appliances. Also make sure all extension cords are in good working condition and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • If an appliance has a three prong plug, use it only in a three slot outlet. Never force it into a two slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Immediately shut off light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker and have replaced by a trained professional.

Fireplaces and Wood stoves

  • Inspect and clean wood stove pipes and chimneys annually and check for damage or obstructions monthly.
  • Always use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop a burning log from rolling out and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying embers.
  • Make sure that the fire is completely out before leaving your home or going to bed.

For more fire safety tips, visit ready.org and if a fire should occur call SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines at 847-956-1880 and our trained professionals will make it "Like it never even happened."

How To Put Out a Grease Fire

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

A jar with the word baking on it and in front of the jar there is a spoon with baking soda. Smother a small cooking fire with salt or baking soda.

Putting Out Grease Fire

A grease fire is one of the most common ways house fires begin. They often start because food was left unattended while cooking, but even under close watch, fires can happen. All it takes is for a little grease to spill over the side of a pan, and you have the potential of a fire starting. Here are 5 steps to putting out a fire involving grease.

1. Remove the Source of Oxygen

Place a metal lid over the fire. If a lid is not easily accessible, a cookie sheet will also do the trick. Do not remove the lid until the fire is out and it is cool to the touch.

2. Remove it From the Heat

Turn off the source of heat. If you can safely do so, and the fire is contained in a pan, remove the pan from the heat.

3. Smother the Fire

Water should never be used to put out a grease fire. It can splash and spread the fire, making it much worse than it was. Instead, smother a small cooking fire with salt or baking soda.

4. Use a Fire Extinguisher

If you have a class B fire extinguisher that is made to handle chemical fires, you can use it on the fire. Since you should not touch or inhale too much of the powder, you should use this as a last resort.

5. What To Do if All Else Fails

If these steps fail and you are not able to put out the fire or it is spreading, evacuate the area as quickly as possible. Get everyone outside and call emergency services so that your local fire department can put out the fire. Remain outside until they tell you it is safe to go back in.


If you experience a grease fire in Mount Prospect, IL, you need to get the fire out as quickly as possible while protecting your safety. If your home sustains damage, you may want to call a professional fire restoration company for fire cleanup. They are trained to repair or replace damaged items and remove any lingering odors.

Warning Signs of Faulty Wiring or Electrical Systems

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

Plug on fire in an electrical outlet Electric fires account for 34,000 house fires a year

Electrical failure or malfunctions account for an estimated 34,000 home fires, on average, per year and result in roughly 440 deaths and $1.3 billion in direct property damage according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). This threat is higher in older homes built before the 1950's due to lower electrical wiring standards, however; even newer homes are at risk. Older homes were built to handle 30 amps of power, but most newer homes demand 100 to 200 amps. Listed below are some of the warning signs that may indicate an electrical problem in your home:

  • Flickering or dimming lights.
  • Switches or outlets that are hot to touch and/or give off a strong burnt rubber odor.
  • Discolored cords, outlets and switch plates.
  • Repeatedly blown fuses and tripped circuit breakers.

If you have any any of these, contact a licensed electrician immediately to examine and repair any electrical problems and if the need for fire restoration is required, we are there to make it "Like it never even happened". SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines, 847-956-1880.

Recipe for Safety

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

Gas stove top turned on Make sure to shut off your stove when you leave the house

Cooking Safety Tips:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you have to leave the room for even a second, turn your stove or cooking device off.
  • When you are simmering, baking, or roasting, check the food regularly or use a timer to remind you.
  • Keep cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles such as potholders, paper towels, food packaging, etc...
  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of at least three feet around the stove.
  • If an oven fire starts, turn off the oven and keep the door closed. If the fire does not go out, get out of the house and the fire department.

Please remember that education in prevention is the best way to keep you and your family safe. In the event there is a fire, call your local fire department and then call SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines at 847-956-1880 to help you with all your fire restoration needs. 

Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines Smoke and Soot Cleanup

11/8/2019 (Permalink)

Fire and smoke pours into a stairwell Fires can cause immense damage and the aftermath can be stressful

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 Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines 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 – 847-956-1880

Securing Your Building Post-Fire

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

Fire extinguishers are the first line of defense against a fire Fire extinguisher training can be crucial in preventing fires in a business

Is your Mount Prospect, IL, commercial property suffering after a fire? If you are planning on seeking help from a local fire damage restoration company, you are already on the right track. But you also need to keep your building safe in the meantime. Follow these three steps to make sure looting does not affect your business in the aftermath of a commercial fire.

1. Identify and Secure Open Spaces

Survey your building very carefully when beginning your fire cleanup efforts. Ensure that all windows, doors and other open spaces are securely locked. Next, make sure that you purchase some sturdy boards that will be sufficiently protective for the type of opening that you are securing. The length of time you expect the boards to be in place should also influence what type of covering you buy.

2. Research Further Options

While waiting to repair fire damage to your building, you may want to invest in some fencing for added security. This really depends on whether or not you feel that your building is in an area prone to heavy looting, as well as the amount of time you expect your business to be shut down for.

3. Consider Advanced Security Options

If you feel that your company’s geographical area is highly unsafe or expect you will be closed for a very long time, security services or a high-tech alarm may be the way to go. These options allow your building to be secured when you are not physically available to keep a close watch.

Don’t Get Intimidated

Fire damage is stressful enough without worrying about highly customizable security options. You need to focus on fixing any destruction first and foremost, so if you think complicated security measures are out of the question logistically or financially, stick with basic, reliable boards that will keep your Mount Prospect, IL business protected not only from criminal activity, but also the unpredictable natural elements.