Recent Fire Damage Posts

Tips for Preventing Electrical Fires at Your Home

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

image of electrical chord causing a small fire that has potential to grow rapidly Keep flammable items away from electrical outlets. Keeping blankets, furniture, and other flammable materials away from outlets helps prevent fire.

One of the most terrifying thoughts a homeowner can have is thinking about their house burning down. Electrical fires are at the forefront of this fear---since most of the time they are not visible to the naked eye.

Electrical fires, while not as common as kitchen fires, only make up about 5%-10% of home structure fires. However, this should not be a deterrent to ignore warning signs. SERVPRO of Mercer County is here to give you some important tips to prevent an electrical fire from happening at your home.

  1. Get your wiring checked. While this seems like it would be common sense, most homeowners do not get their wiring checked by a licensed professional. You should do this especially if the wiring is more than a decade old.
  2. Repair old wiring. If you notice the wires are visibly frayed, worn down, or the internal wiring exposed, this indicates it is a good time to switch those out for new.
  3. Check those electrical outlets too. Wires are not the only thing that catches fire. Old electrical outlets can be a major fire and shock hazard.
  4. Add more electrical outlets to your home. This spaces out the electronics, appliances and other items you plug in, which in turn reduces electrical hazard.
  5. Keep flammable items away from electrical outlets. Keeping blankets, furniture, and other flammable materials away from outlets helps prevent fire.
  6. Invest in surge protectors not just extension cords. Especially with Christmas season coming. A power surge can cause sparking which can turn hazardous as well.
  7. Replace older appliances that seem like they are on their last leg. If you gut is telling you its time for a new fridge---it probably is. Especially if you hear strange sounds or notice any flickering from the appliance.

If you are affected by an electrical fire. SERVPRO of Mercer County specializes in fire and water damage restoration. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. Call us anytime. We are here to treat your home and your belonging just like we would treat our own. Call 724.704.8939.

National Fire Safety Month: Smoke Alarm Testing

10/19/2020 (Permalink)

image of hand testing a smoke alarm but taking it off and back on You should be testing the alarm monthly to ensure the battery has not died and changing the batteries in the Spring and the Fall

October is here. Beautiful leaves are falling to the ground here in Western Pennsylvania. More importantly…October is Fire Prevention Month. Something many of us know, but we don’t do much to get ready around the home. SERVPRO of Mercer County is here to remind you of the most basic thing you can do to protect your home before the cold months come…test your smoke alarms.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month and batteries should be replaced at least once or twice a year.

There are two kinds of smoke detectors. Battery operated and AC-powered. Battery operated are the more common, more affordable option. They require bi-yearly inspection to make sure the battery is operating properly. AC-powered are installed by a certified electrician. They are pricier, yet more dependable over a long period of time. However, they should have an independent battery backup in the case a storm or electrical fire creates a power outage.

All smoke detectors have a test button to properly asses if they are working. They also have lights that blink to show they are using power. You should be testing the alarm monthly to ensure the battery has not died and changing the batteries in the Spring and the Fall.

This is also a great time to clear the unit of any dust or debris. Never use a solvent cleaner. Use a vacuum instead.  This could contaminate the sensor and break the detector.

The test button may check if the batteries are working okay. But it does not really prove if the detector is able to identify smoke. To check if the detector is working to its full potential---light two or three matches and blow them out underneath the detector to check the functionality.

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) states that the best location for a smoke detector is on the ceiling near a doorway or stairway. As a fire burns, the smoke rises and seeks easiest route of escape. Kitchens, basements are a top priority to place a smoke detector.  

SERVPRO of Mercer County is an expert when it comes to fire damage. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Please refer to our Fire Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

Have Questions? Call Us Today – (724) 704-8939

How to Stop a Beeping Smoke Alarm

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

Chirping smoke alarm A properly functioning smoke alarm is crucial in keeping you and your family safe in case of a fire!

A smoke alarm that is beeping when there is no fire or smoke requires maintenance. Otherwise, you will be stuck with it beeping for hours on end..like Phoebe in Friends

The specific steps to reset your smoke alarm or change the batteries depends on the alarm design. Here are three ways to determine what is wrong with your smoke alarm and ensure it is working properly.

  1. Reset and Clean the Alarm: If you are using an alarm powered by a nine-volt battery, detach the unit from the mounting bracket and remove the battery.

On a 10-year model with a lithium battery, press and hold down the reset button.

If the alarm is hardwired, turn off the power supply at the circuit breaker, detach the detector and disconnect the power supply. Press and hold the test button for 15-20 seconds.

You can also use an air blower to clean out the vents prior to reinstalling the alarm.

  1. Change the Batteries: If the smoke alarm is powered by replaceable batteries and starts beeping again, you probably need to change the battery. It is recommended that you change the batteries every six months to one year.
  1. Deactivate and Replace the Alarm: If the alarm is still beeping after cleaning it and replacing the battery, you may just need to replace it. Remove the batteries before purchasing and installing another alarm unit.

For the 10-year model, you will need to disconnect the alarm, and use a screwdriver to the straight line next to the arrow on the back. Turn the screw to the off position to permanently deactivate the model and drain the battery.

A functioning smoke alarm is crucial in keeping you and your family safe in case of a fire. If a fire does break out and you need help, SERVPRO of Mercer County is ready. We are fire and water mitigation experts. 24 hours day, 7 days a week, we are ready to serve you!

Call us if you need our help! (724) 704 8939

Connect with us on Instagram

How Did Those Spider Webs Get There?

7/27/2020 (Permalink)

Two SERVPRO workers cleaning up fire damage If you have fire, smoke, or soot damage, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Mercer County!

After a fire, no matter the size, customers will sometimes find a collection of what look like spider webs on their ceilings and walls. What follows is usually some confusion and embarrassment as to how they got there and did not notice them before.

The good news for them is that the “spider webs” are not actually spiders webs at all and not a reflection of their cleaning abilities. The “spider webs” are actually called “soot tags.”

During a fire, smoke and soot circulate throughout the house and the heat will try to move toward cooler air to equalize the temperature. In areas with less circulation, like ceilings, and corners the soot tags can begin to form. Soot tags are just chains of dirt that accumulate in areas with low circulation.

Even after dusting them off, they can reoccur immediately or over time. Avoid spraying the tags with water or getting them wet and wiping them as it will just smear them and stain.

The best way to combat soot tags is to call SERVPRO of Mercer County. We will come in and professionally clean and restore any of your belongings that were damaged in the fire.

If you need our help, give us a call! (724) 704 8939

Connect with us on Instagram

Power Strip Safety Tips

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

Power Strip with small flame SERVPRO recommends following our safety tips when using power strips and surge protectors so you don't have an electrical fire on your hands!

What would we do without our power strips in 2020? So many different things need plugged in, there is no way the contractors installed enough outlets in one room. From hair styling tools, TV’s, and phone chargers, to cooking equipment, light fixtures, and gaming systems, it is safe to assume that if a power strip has 10 outlets, you can use all 10 correct? Not exactly!

Most people probably don’t give much thought to how many appliances are plugged in at once. Unfortunately, about 4,600 house fires are started every year as a result of overused power strips and extension cords.

Power Strip versus Surge Protector

  • A power strip and surge protector look relatively similar. They are skinny, rectangular, plastic boxes with multiple outlets for you to plug things in. This is what makes it super easy to confuse the two when in the mass chaos of Walmart.
  • Surge protectors may be a bit more expensive and have additional lights near the power button that light up when plugged in. Additionally, they usually have internal components that help prevent spikes and surges in power that can ruin your devices.

A common misconception about surge protectors is that they protect against lightning. Unfortunately, this is not true. Lightning is much too powerful; a surge protector doesn’t stand a chance.

Some simple safety tips:

  • Never plug in a major appliance to power strips or surge protectors. Space heaters, dehumidifiers, and other major appliances should be plugged directly into the wall.
  • Never use power strips or extension cords in a bathroom or on the kitchen countertop
  • When shopping, don’t just look at the price tag. Make sure you are getting the correct item for your needs.
  • Never try to make a room prettier by covering up cords with a rug. This can be a serious fire hazard.
  • Use power strips sparingly. They are not designed to maintain a high load for extended periods of time.

If you find yourself needing help after a house fire, SERVPRO of Mercer County is ready to help! We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will treat your home and family with respect, empathy, and care.

Have questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call us at (724) 704 8939

Connect with us on Instagram

Summer Grilling Safety in Sharpsville, PA

7/21/2020 (Permalink)

Man grilling SERVPRO of East Mahoning County wants you to stay as safe as possible this summer and we urge you to follow our safety tips!

Summer is prime season for outdoor picnics, grilling, campfires, and BBQ’s with friends and family. With many of the fun summer activities comes the risk of fire related injuries and damage.

The US Fire Administration on Grilling Fire Safety has a few safety tips to keep you and your family safe:

  •  Only use your grill outside
  • Keep grill at least 3 feet from siding, deck rails and eaves
  • Clean your grill after each use to remove grease build up that could start a fire
  • Open your gas grill before lighting
  • Keep a 3-foot safe zone around your grill for children and pets
  • Place coals from your grill in a metal can with lid after they have cooled
  • Always keep watch over your grill, fire pit and patio torches. Do not walk away from them while they are lit
  • Use long handled BBQ tools
  • Wear short sleeves or roll up long sleeves during cooking and do not wear loose fitting clothing that could catch on fire

As always, SERVPRO of Mercer County wants you to stay safe this summer! If you do experience fire, smoke, or soot damage, do not hesitate to call us. SERVPRO of Mercer County provides an immediate response and emergency clean-up services.

If you have any questions about these tips or need help – give us a call (724) 704 8939

Fire Safety: The Importance of Fire Drills in Mercer Schools

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

red fire alarm Fire drills provide the opportunity to reduce panic and increase confidence when preparing for the unexpected.

Safety is the number one priority in school districts. Teaching preparedness and safety procedures is not only necessary in schools but it is also a legal requirement. 

Fire drills are necessary for schools’ staff to review plans with their students at the beginning of the school year.

Young students should be told when there is a drill and  taught to familiarize themselves with the sounds of the alarms and the procedures necessary to evacuate the building smoothly and safely.  

During fire drills, students have the opportunity to become aware of the building layout. When educating young learners, it is the responsibility of the staff and administration to educate and prepare for when a disaster may strike. 

Fire drills provide the opportunity to reduce panic and increase confidence when preparing for the unexpected. 

Consistency and communication are key when conducting fire drills. Communicating with your local fire department is beneficial during an emergency and also builds strong community relations.

There is a need to practice! There is a need to prepare! If you should ever need our help, we will be there! If your Mercer County school is in need of disaster preparedness plan call us today - we are here to help! 

SERVICE PRO Offers Smoky Savings

10/25/2019 (Permalink)

fire background with "smoky savings" in text The more you know, the better you can respond. Knowing the different types of smoke enables our team to craft a unique response to each fire incident.

To handle the worst, you need to have the best. 

At SERVPRO of Mercer County, we believe the above statement to be true. That is why we invest in the latest equipment, state of the art technology, and productive technicians. We understand that recovery time from a disaster is reliant upon the resources available.

For this reason, we work hard to ensure that Mercer County residents and business owners have access to professional equipment and processes that help reduce the cost of claims.

When time is of the essence, we count on the right equipment and right team to respond correctly. Our team of highly trained professionals are knowledgeable and experienced in mitigating different types of disasters. For instance, they know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns.

Types of smoke:

  • Wet smoke – plastics and synthetics; low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary
  • Dry smoke – paper and wood; fast burning, high temperature, dry, powdery, non-smeary residues 
  • Protein – virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor
  • Fuel Oil Soot – furnace puff backs
  • Other types – tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue

The more you know, the better you can respond. Knowing the different types of smoke enables our team to craft a efficient and effective response to each fire incident.

SERVPRO of Mercer County has years of fire, water, mold and mitigation experience. With our state-of-the-art equipment and highly trained professionals we make even your most daunting disaster, “Like it never even happened.”

When to Board Up After a Fire in Mercer PA

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

red home with wooden boards on the all of the doors and windows If your property is damaged from smoke and soot following a fire, call us anytime. We are available 24/7, 365 and always here to help!

When the unexpected happens, you want SERVPRO of Mercer County there! Incurring a fire can be an overwhelming and unpredictable experience. That’s why our priority at SERVPRO is to help you get back to normal as soon as possible. Boarding up your property after a fire can be one way to limit the structural damage and prevent any further loss from occurring.

Not sure if boarding up is the right move for you?

Here are four reasons why a board up may fit your situation following a fire disaster.

  1. Property Protection – One reason you may board up is if there are still viable products in the property. These items may need cleaning or other repairs but are not intended to be sold. By boarding up the property, you can help prevent them from being stolen.
  2. Protection from People – Some may see an opening in your property and consider that an invitation to enter. If you board up your property it not only protects indivudals from potentially hurting themselves in a damage structure, but also protects your property from invasion.
  3. Coverage Protection – if you fail to board up after a fire, it is possible that your insurance company could discontinue your coverage. Failure to board up when necessary could be viewed as negligence in the eyes of your provider, and in some cases lead to a rejected claim.

Figuring out how to repair your property from a fire can be a scary feeling. With SERVPRO of Mercer County – it doesn’t have to be! Our crews have the training, experience, and empathy to help your restore your property and your peace from fire damage, “Like it never even happened.”

If your property is damaged from smoke and soot following a fire, call us anytime. We are available 24/7, 365 and always here to help!

Fire Damage Restoration Process: Do’s & Don’ts

10/2/2019 (Permalink)

roof of a home up in flames with three firefighters on the roof with equipment When a fire threatens to destroy your investment, you want the team of trusted professionals on site to protect and restore.

At SERVPRO of Mercer County we understand that your commercial or residential property is your biggest asset. When a fire threatens to destroy your investment, you want the team of trusted professionals on site to protect and restore. We have the right tools and techniques to respond to any size fire damage in your Mercer County home or business. However, there are a few steps you can take to ensure the complete recovery of your home or business.

In the event of a fire….

DO:

  • Contact a certified restoration specialist: this should be done immediately (we are available 24/7)
  • Limit movement in the home or business to prevent soot from embedding into the upholstery and carpets
  • Turn off utilities: turn off water, electricity, gas, and other utilities until a professional has evaluated the damage to these systems
  • Check appliances: utilities should be off, so ensure the fridge is empty and open the doors to prevent mold and mildew

DON’T:

  • Use your air conditioner: wait until a professional arrives
  • Eat leftover food: this food is most likely not safe to consumer due to fire, soot, and other contaminants
  • Attempt to clean walls or clothing: a professional will need to provide advice before this is done, you may cause further damage by attempting to clean before the damage has been assessed

These guidelines are not a substitute for calling a restoration company following a fire. If you are wondering what to do after a fire, the best and most important task is to hire a certified professional restoration company. Recovering from smoke and soot damage requires knowledge and expertise to return your home to a preloss condition.

If you incur damage from fire or soot call us today and we will help make it, “Like it never even happened.”

For additional tips and resources you can also visit the Red Cross website here for more information on recovering from a fire.

Turkey Tips: How to Safely Deep Fry a Turkey

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

turkey fried and assembled on glass plate with text "turkey frying tips" to the left of photo Tis the season to be grateful and we are thankful to serve the Mercer County community!

The smell of a Thanksgiving feast cooking brings joy and families together. In order to have a good meal displayed on the table and satisfied people, there must be time, preparation and of course, safety put into your feast.

For those of you who prefer sitting outside deep frying a turkey and enjoying conversation and laughter with a friend or relative, do not forget about safety when preparing your turkey.  It is important to be aware of safety tips before you begin referring to your favorite recipe and deep frying your turkey.

Here are just a few tips to consider before your feast begins:

  • Turkey Tip #1- Always wear protective gear. It is important to wear eye protection and wear good mitts. Sometimes the oil splatters!
  • Turkey Tip #2- Have a fire extinguisher on hand within arm’s reach.
  • Turkey Tip #3- Deep fry your turkey in an open area away from children and pets and never leave your fryer unattended.
  • Turkey Tip #4- Place your fryer on a leveled, flat surface. Once it starts heating, it cannot be moved around.
  • Turkey Tip #5- Make sure you defrost your turkey completely and dry it in hot oil.
  • Turkey Tip #6- Remember, oil and water, whether liquid or frozen, DO NOT MIX
  • Turkey Tip #7- Although deep frying a turkey may be high on your priority list, plans may be canceled if it rains or snows.
  • Turkey Tip #8- Do not overfill the fryer. 
  • Turkey Tip #9- Turn the gas off before placing the turkey in the fryer.
  • Turkey Tip #10-Enjoy your feast!

Call SERVPRO of Mercer County at (724)704-8939. This is the season to be grateful and we are thankful to serve the Mercer County community!

We are always here to help!

Fire Safety Prevention Week

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

two firefighters in the corner holding a hose to put out a large fire in the background Incurring a fire is never the plan but having a plan can avoid one.

October 6 through 12 is Fire Prevention Week and as a leader in fire restoration, SERVPRO of Mercer County is here to help you prevent a fire in your home or business. Read the tips below to learn how you can be ready for whatever happens.

Fire Prevention Tips

  1. Have a Fire Evacuation Plan – sometimes the difference between escaping safely and enduring a tragedy is having a plan a place. Your evacuation plan should be known to everyone in your family or business and practiced twice a year.
  2. Inspect electrical cords – faulty or frayed wires can start a fire. Be sure to check your connections and cables regularly for cracking or damage and replace old wires immediately.
  3. Install and test smoke alarms – every level of your office or home should have an active smoke detector. Be sure to test your alarms regularly

Additional tips and fire safety resources can be found on the National Fire Association’s website here.

Incurring a fire is never the plan but having a plan can avoid one. If your home or business suffers fire damage from the result of any size incident, call our team of professionals and we will help make it, “Like it never even happened.”

October Fire Safety Tips!

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Fires can occur in your home or work place- be prepared with these tips!

October is Fire Safety Month!

Join SERVPRO of Mercer County and the National Fire Protection Association to stay informed about fire safety!

Fires can be a fact of nature, but they can also happen in your home or business. Check out these SERVPRO tips to reduce the risk of fire:

Watch your cooking- Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. Never allow young children around the stove or oven, especially if they are not closely attended.

Give space heaters space- Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn.

Smoke outside- If you must smoke inside, have a sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.

Keep matches and lighters out of reach- Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.

Inspect electrical cords- Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs or have loose connections

Be careful when using candles- Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.

Have a fire escape plan- Make a fire escape plan and practice it twice a year.

Install smoke alarms- Install alarms on every level of your office or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.

Test smoke alarms- Test alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year or as needed.

Install sprinklers- Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance of saving your property.

Smoke and soot cleanup

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot can leave a pervasive odor in your 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 Mercer County 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 – 724-704-8939 or view more information here

What NOT to do about soot

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Begin soot cleanup with a dry sponge instead of a wet cloth

Did you know...

In the event of a fire emergency in your home or work place, ash and soot can cause a huge mess. Soot is a black, dusty, grimy substance that can coat all of your belongings and property. 

What is the first way most of us think to clean a dirty mess? Soap and water should clean it up, right?

WRONG. 

If soot and ash are present from fire damage, you should never try to clean them using water. 

Whether soot is dry or oily, you will quickly find that trying to clean it using water and soap will only make the damage much worse. The soot will combine with the water to make a dark, mucky substance that will continue to smear rather than detach from your belongings. 

When a space is covered in ash and soot, it may be tempting to try wiping some of it off by yourself before restoration professionals are present or able to respond. As tempting as this is, the best hope of ensuring restoration of your belongings and property is to wait for trained technicians to survey the space and determine the best course of action. 

How does SERVPRO of Mercer County handle soot damage?

Our trained professionals at SERVPRO have a variety of methods that can be used to properly remove soot from everything from walls and ceilings to personal soft contents (i.e. furniture, stuffed animals, etc.). 

SERVPRO of Mercer County will perform necessary pretesting and employ professional cleaning products and equipment to take care of the soot damage in your property. 

Click here for information on our ESPORTA® Wash System, a revolutionary way to restore your soft contents and personal items.

Supporting our local fire departments

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

To say thank you, we will even drop off cases of water bottles for each fire department that we visit!

SERVPRO of Mercer County would like to thank the firefighters and first responders in the surrounding areas for their incredible service to the community. As a fire damage restoration company, the jobs of the local fire departments are integral to our day-to-day actions, as the volunteers and staff members fight dangerous fires and recover property that SERVPRO can restore.

More importantly, however, our local firefighters work daily to keep us and the members of our community safe and protected from fire emergencies. Recently, SERVPRO of Mercer County was privileged to be a part of Home Depot's Fire Safety Event (check it out here in our photo gallery), and we were impressed by the amount of local firefighters who took part in the event to raise awareness of fire prevention and safety for families and children.

We at SERVPRO of Mercer County encourage everyone to thank their local fire departments for all that they do!

Building community one uniform at a time

In appreciation of our local fire departments, SERVPRO of Mercer County is offering to donate our equipment cleaning services for fire department use. With our new ESPORTA® Wash System, we are qualified to clean turnout gear and personal protective equipment of all kinds. We can eliminate over 90% of the contaminants caused by dirt, soot, and smoke, and allow equipment to be cleaner and last longer. 

And we will do this absolutely free for our local fire departments, whether staffed or volunteer.

Simply call SERVPRO of Mercer County at 724-704-8939 to set up a time for SERVPRO representatives to come and pick up your equipment, and we will quickly return it to you.

What can we do about that smoke odor?

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

This image shows a post-fire attic from which SERVPRO of Mercer County removed contaminants and odors from smoke and soot

How to remove smoke odor after a fire

If you've ever sat around a campfire and forgotten to wash the sweatshirt you were wearing, you know that the smell of smoke can linger. And it's strong.

On an even larger scale, you'll find that that is especially true following a fire emergency in your home or commercial property. 

Smoke rises, which means that the odor rises with it and can stick around in your home or attic long after you have put out the fire. 

SERVPRO of Mercer County can fix this for you. How, you ask?

Take this attic, for example. This home, located in Mercer County, suffered a fire that left it smelling heavily of smoke. The attic had a large amount of insulation, as is the case with most attics or upper rooms of a property. Insulation can make the smoke odor worse because the material locks in the smell and causes the smokiness to linger. this is also the case with any other odor besides smoke. So, the first thing technicians will do in this case is remove the odorous insulation from the space. They will then clean the space with SERVPRO'S Green chemicals and special cleaning technologies, which will remove approximately 95% of the contaminants from the fire. Finally, a step that is shown in this image is the coating that is sprayed over all of the wooden beams in the attic. These structures can also hold odors, so the coating is a type of sealant that will lock any remaining contaminants underneath so that they will not continue to spread and fill the attic or cause odors. 

What's cooking? Kitchen Fire Tips

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Stoves and ovens are common causes of loss in home fires

Did you know...

A majority of fires that take place in homes begin in the kitchen.

The holiday season is approaching, which means that many of us will be spending a lot more time in the kitchen. This also means that, with every pumpkin pie and each batch of Christmas cookies you make, there is a greater risk of a fire emergency. 

Aside from calling 9-1-1, which should be one of your first moves, here are some quick tips for dealing with a fire emergency in your kitchen.

  1. Always watch your cooking; don't leave anything unattended
  2. Set a timer so that you don't accidentally burn something or forget that an appliance is being used
  3. If something on the stove catches on fire and it is small, cover it with a lid and turn off the burner
  4. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen near your cooking area where it is easily accessible
  5. Add baking soda to a grease fire, not water
  6. Clean your appliances regularly so that grease does not accumulate and start a fire
  7. Clean and dust around and behind appliances, as dust accumulation can cause fires if it is close to electrical wiring
  8. Keep flammable objects away from cooking appliances, especially those things like tea towels and potholders 
  9. Install a smoke alarm in your kitchen
  10. Test your smoke alarms and make sure they will work when you most need them!

Keep these quick tips in mind, and prevent a major fire damage emergency from taking place in your home this season!

Content Restoration: we can clean that!

4/18/2018 (Permalink)

Have you or someone you know experienced a fire loss? Whether big or small, your probably know that one of the major results of this type of loss is that all of your belongings, from clothes to furniture pieces, are damaged by smoke and soot.

Perhaps a layer of soot is covering all of your most precious belongings. Or, maybe there is a heavy smoke odor that is lingering even after the fire has been put out. Perhaps both of these factors are in play. 

Whatever the situation is, SERVPRO of Mercer County offers the best chance of restoring your damaged belongings instead of throwing them away. 

We know that your property and the contents of your home are important to you; many things likely hold memories or fondness because they are yours and have been part of your home for many years. 

We want to make sure they stay that way. 

What types of content can we restore?

To be honest, almost anything.

It does not matter if you have soft contents like your favorite jacket or set of curtains, or if you have large furniture pieces or electronics.

For soft contents and textiles, we employ our Esporta Wash System, which is an advanced piece of technology with multiple combinations of settings that will be unique to each different type of content. 

For larger pieces like furniture or antiques, we have a variety of safe cleaning and disinfecting products that our technicians will use to rid your belongings of any soot and grime that is present. 

If it is simply the odor that you are wishing to alleviate, we have an ozone room at our office that is designed to neutralize odors and remove any unpleasant smells. 

The best part? If we are unable to completely restore an item, you will not be charged for that item on your final bill. 

Do you have content you'd rather restore than replace? Call us and we'll do our best to take care of it for you.

What's cooking? Kitchen Fire Tips

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

Stoves and ovens are common causes of loss in home fires

Did you know...

A majority of fires that take place in homes begin in the kitchen.

The holiday season is approaching, which means that many of us will be spending a lot more time in the kitchen. This also means that, with every pumpkin pie and each batch of Christmas cookies you make, there is a greater risk of a fire emergency. 

Aside from calling 9-1-1, which should be one of your first moves, here are some quick tips for dealing with a fire emergency in your kitchen.

  1. Always watch your cooking; don't leave anything unattended
  2. Set a timer so that you don't accidentally burn something or forget that an appliance is being used
  3. If something on the stove catches on fire and it is small, cover it with a lid and turn off the burner
  4. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen near your cooking area where it is easily accessible
  5. Add baking soda to a grease fire, not water
  6. Clean your appliances regularly so that grease does not accumulate and start a fire
  7. Clean and dust around and behind appliances, as dust accumulation can cause fires if it is close to electrical wiring
  8. Keep flammable objects away from cooking appliances, especially those things like tea towels and potholders 
  9. Install a smoke alarm in your kitchen
  10. Test your smoke alarms and make sure they will work when you most need them!

Keep these quick tips in mind, and prevent a major fire damage emergency from taking place in your home this season!

What can we do about that smoke odor?

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

This image shows a post-fire attic from which SERVPRO of Mercer County removed contaminants and odors from smoke and soot

How to remove smoke odor after a fire

If you've ever sat around a campfire and forgotten to wash the sweatshirt you were wearing, you know that the smell of smoke can linger. And it's strong.

On an even larger scale, you'll find that that is especially true following a fire emergency in your home or commercial property. 

Smoke rises, which means that the odor rises with it and can stick around in your home or attic long after you have put out the fire. 

SERVPRO of Mercer County can fix this for you. How, you ask?

Take this attic, for example. This home, located in Mercer County, suffered a fire that left it smelling heavily of smoke. The attic had a large amount of insulation, as is the case with most attics or upper rooms of a property. Insulation can make the smoke odor worse because the material locks in the smell and causes the smokiness to linger. this is also the case with any other odor besides smoke. So, the first thing technicians will do in this case is remove the odorous insulation from the space. They will then clean the space with SERVPRO'S Green chemicals and special cleaning technologies, which will remove approximately 95% of the contaminants from the fire. Finally, a step that is shown in this image is the coating that is sprayed over all of the wooden beams in the attic. These structures can also hold odors, so the coating is a type of sealant that will lock any remaining contaminants underneath so that they will not continue to spread and fill the attic or cause odors. 

Supporting our local fire departments

10/10/2017 (Permalink)

To say thank you, we will even drop off cases of water bottles for each fire department that we visit!

SERVPRO of Mercer County would like to thank the firefighters and first responders in the surrounding areas for their incredible service to the community. As a fire damage restoration company, the jobs of the local fire departments are integral to our day-to-day actions, as the volunteers and staff members fight dangerous fires and recover property that SERVPRO can restore.

More importantly, however, our local firefighters work daily to keep us and the members of our community safe and protected from fire emergencies. Recently, SERVPRO of Mercer County was privileged to be a part of Home Depot's Fire Safety Event (check it out here in our photo gallery), and we were impressed by the amount of local firefighters who took part in the event to raise awareness of fire prevention and safety for families and children.

We at SERVPRO of Mercer County encourage everyone to thank their local fire departments for all that they do!

Building community one uniform at a time

In appreciation of our local fire departments, SERVPRO of Mercer County is offering to donate our equipment cleaning services for fire department use. With our new ESPORTA® Wash System, we are qualified to clean turnout gear and personal protective equipment of all kinds. We can eliminate over 90% of the contaminants caused by dirt, soot, and smoke, and allow equipment to be cleaner and last longer. 

And we will do this absolutely free for our local fire departments, whether staffed or volunteer.

Simply call SERVPRO of Mercer County at 724-704-8939 to set up a time for SERVPRO representatives to come and pick up your equipment, and we will quickly return it to you.

What NOT to do about soot

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

Begin soot cleanup with a dry sponge instead of a wet cloth

Did you know...

In the event of a fire emergency in your home or work place, ash and soot can cause a huge mess. Soot is a black, dusty, grimy substance that can coat all of your belongings and property. 

What is the first way most of us think to clean a dirty mess? Soap and water should clean it up, right?

WRONG. 

If soot and ash are present from fire damage, you should never try to clean them using water. 

Whether soot is dry or oily, you will quickly find that trying to clean it using water and soap will only make the damage much worse. The soot will combine with the water to make a dark, mucky substance that will continue to smear rather than detach from your belongings. 

When a space is covered in ash and soot, it may be tempting to try wiping some of it off by yourself before restoration professionals are present or able to respond. As tempting as this is, the best hope of ensuring restoration of your belongings and property is to wait for trained technicians to survey the space and determine the best course of action. 

How does SERVPRO of Mercer County handle soot damage?

Our trained professionals at SERVPRO have a variety of methods that can be used to properly remove soot from everything from walls and ceilings to personal soft contents (i.e. furniture, stuffed animals, etc.). 

SERVPRO of Mercer County will perform necessary pretesting and employ professional cleaning products and equipment to take care of the soot damage in your property. 

Click here for information on our ESPORTA® Wash System, a revolutionary way to restore your soft contents and personal items.

Smoke and soot cleanup

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot can leave a pervasive odor in your 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 Mercer County 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 – 724-704-8939 or view more information here

October Fire Safety Tips!

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

Fires can occur in your home or work place- be prepared with these tips!

October is Fire Safety Month!

Join SERVPRO of Mercer County and the National Fire Protection Association to stay informed about fire safety!

Fires can be a fact of nature, but they can also happen in your home or business. Check out these SERVPRO tips to reduce the risk of fire:

Watch your cooking- Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. Never allow young children around the stove or oven, especially if they are not closely attended.

Give space heaters space- Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn.

Smoke outside- If you must smoke inside, have a sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.

Keep matches and lighters out of reach- Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.

Inspect electrical cords- Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs or have loose connections

Be careful when using candles- Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.

Have a fire escape plan- Make a fire escape plan and practice it twice a year.

Install smoke alarms- Install alarms on every level of your office or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.

Test smoke alarms- Test alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year or as needed.

Install sprinklers- Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance of saving your property.