Recent Fire Damage Posts

How To Clean Up Smoke Damage

1/20/2022 (Permalink)

Unfortunately, charred walls and belongings are not the only thing you have to worry about when your Chesapeake home or business suffers from a fire. Soot and smoke can cover much of the affected area with a sticky and difficult to clean mess. The particles and odors left behind can be harmful to breath and their acidic nature can further damage the surfaces they settle on if not cleaned properly. Continue reading for some best practices in getting rid of smoke and soot damage in your home.

The first thing you should do is protect your safety. Wear protective clothing with long sleeves, pants and gloves to protect exposed skin, goggles should also be worn, as well as a respirator to prevent any particles that get knocked into the air from getting into your lungs.

Once properly protected here are the steps you should take to begin cleaning your home:

1) Perhaps the easiest part of dealing with the damage is ventilation. Open as many windows and doors as possible to let in fresh air and use fans to help push out any air that may have contaminants. It is also important to note that you should NOT turn on your HVAC at all. This can pull smoke and soot particles into your ducting and spread it to other areas of the home or leave deposits inside the ducts making for more work when cleaning.

2) Use a vacuum to remove any loose soot particles. The vacuum should have a HEPA filter as to not redistribute the particles back into the air. Be careful when vacuuming to not let the vacuum touch the items you are cleaning. Soot particles are typically oily and can smear if rubbed around on materials.

3) Dry cleaning. For now, you should not be using any water or wet methods of cleaning. As mentioned above soot smears easily and especially so when wet. Use a dry-cleaning sponge to clean as much of the soot off of surfaces and walls as possible.

4) Once you’ve done everything you can with dry-cleaning you can begin using commercial soot removers to breakdown what is left on surfaces and remove lingering contaminants.

5) Dry! After you’ve used your wet methods of cleaning you need to make sure that everything is dried out properly. Using clean rags and fans be sure to not leave any moisture anywhere as to not foster bacterial growth in those areas.

Should you use a professional service to clean your home after suffering from a fire? The answer is almost always yes. While it is possible to rid your home of smoke and soot yourself it is a difficult task and easy to mess up. Additionally, odor causing particles are some of the most difficult to clean and you may find that despite your best efforts there is still a lingering smell of smoke in your home. When you call our team of professionals here at SERVPRO of Chesapeake South we have the ability to use specialized equipment like air scrubbers to help pull these smelly particles out of the air and our own set of commercial cleaners specifically designed to get smoke and soot out of surfaces and properly disinfect them. Carpets, upholstery, and furniture should always be left for a professional as they require expertise to ensure they don’t get damaged during cleaning. Remember that the longer the smoke damage lingers in your home the harder it will be to fix the issues and the more damage it can cause.

The Different Classes of Fire

1/10/2022 (Permalink)

No matter the kind, the destructive force of a fire is not to be reckoned with. However, the type of fuel that is burning, or the class of the fire, can drastically change the way the fire is handled. Continue reading below to learn about the five different classes of fires and how best to manage them should one occur around you.

Class A – Class A fires are what you would consider to be “ordinary” fires. These are fires made of common combustible materials like paper, fabric, wood, and light plastics. While they don’t require any special treatment like other classes of fires, it’s important to treat them just as seriously. With an abundance of fuel present these fires have the potential to spread quickly and leave a wake of destruction in their path. Most commonly, these fires are put out with water or a dry fire extinguisher with monoammonium phosphate that smothers the fire.

Class B – These fires are those that comprise of flammable gasses and liquids. Particularly, fires with liquid fuels like petroleum, paint, kerosene, or gasses, like propane and butane. These fires are best handled with foam or CO2 fire suppression equipment that’s meant to smother them or remove oxygen. It is important to note that Class B fires specifically DO NOT include fires from grease and cooking.

Class C – Electrical fires are what’s called a Class C fire. Most common in places like data centers or construction sites, where heavy use of electrical equipment is prevalent. These fires produce a unique challenge as the fire suppressant must be non conductive in order to put out the fire. Additionally, places like data centers often require special systems that use what’s called “clean agent suppression” meaning that they do not leave residues that could be potentially harmful for sensitive electrical equipment.

Class D – These fires are much less common than the other kinds of fires and refer to fires that are fueled by flammable metals. Metals like titanium, aluminum, magnesium, and potassium are combustible. These fires are especially dangerous as they can be particularly difficult to extinguish. Water can actually make these fires worse as some flammable metals are reactive with water when heated and can cause explosions. Dry suppression systems and powders are the way to put out Class D fires.

Class K – Similarly to Class B fires, these fires involve flammable liquids. However, Class K is specifically reserved for fires related to food and the restaurant industry. Things like grease, oil and fats are highly flammable. Class K fires can be hard to manage, and spread quickly, making them some of the more dangerous fires to deal with. Water can make these fires worse, causing them to spread faster and grow bigger. Wet agent chemical extinguishers and smothering the fire are the best way to handle Class K fires.

Being aware of the different classes of fires and what to do should you experience one can be the difference between a small emergency and a total property loss. Understanding how these fires start is critical in being able to fight them as well as hopefully prevent them from ever happening in the first place.

If you experience a fire in your home or business, you’ll want a leader in the restoration industry to handle the cleanup and repairs. That’s why you should call us here at SERVPRO of Chesapeake South. Our team is constantly training to help ensure that we’re always up to date on the best practices and techniques.

Heating Safety in Your Home

11/11/2021 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the leading cause of home fire deaths is from equipment used to heat your home during the cold winter months. Continue reading to make sure that you’re taking the proper safety steps to make sure that you’re using heating equipment in a responsible way.

Portable Heaters – You should never leave any sort of space heaters, electric blankets, or any other portable heaters unattended. It’s possible for these items to short out and start fires.

Chimney Inspection – It’s very important to have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually. This makes sure that they are structurally sound, as well as getting rid of any blockages that may prevent the chimney from properly venting smoke from your home.

Three Foot Rule – For anything in your home that is used to generate heat (fireplace, woods stove, furnace, space heater) you should ensure that there is at least three feet of space between that and any flammable items in your household.

Smoke Alarms – Check your smoke alarms regularly. Smoke alarms should be checked every month to ensure proper function as well as making sure that the batteries do not need to be changed.

When it’s cold outside there’s nothing like curing up in a nice warm house and keeping cozy, just be sure to enjoy the warmth following the proper safety rules to make sure your winter plans go off without a hitch.

Bon Fire Safety

11/3/2021 (Permalink)

With autumn in full force and winter just around the corner many of us have taken to the outside to enjoy the cool weather sitting around a bonfire. Bonfires can be a great activity for the whole family but it’s important to keep in mind the dangers of open flames and how to have a bonfire responsibly!

  • You should always either use a fire pit purchased from the store or dig your own – Fire pits are a crucial part of keeping a bonfire contained where you want it to be and not have it spread, be sure to also clear away brush from around the fire pit as well
  • Make sure your fire is a safe distance from houses, trees, powerlines, or anything that can be affected by the heat
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose close by – Accidents happen and being able to address them immediately is how to prevent things from getting worse
  • Use newspaper and small kindling to get the fire started, NOT gasoline or other accelerants
  • Never spray aerosols or toss canisters into the fire – The heat can make these containers explode and throw burning embers everywhere
  • Limit your fire size – It’s tempting to make a big fire, but you should make sure to keep your fire to a manageable size, no bigger than a few feet around
  • When you’re done be sure that the fire is completely extinguished – Stir the ashes around and use more water than you think you need to ensure there is nothing still smoldering, embers can stay smoldering, hidden under a bed of ashes for hours and can be relit by the wind unexpectedly

Bonfires are a lot of fun and a great way to spend time outside, just be sure that you are taking the proper precautions to do so safely.

Fire Safety Tips For Your Chesapeake Business

10/28/2021 (Permalink)

Whether you’re a business owner, facility manager or employee, it’s very important to sake fire safety seriously in the workplace. Here are some good fire safety practices for your business:

  • Evacuation Plan – Develop a plan on the best ways to evacuate the building in an emergency. There should be multiple clear exit paths out of the building. It’s not enough to just design these evacuation plans, you have to make sure that your employees also know the proper ways to exit the building should something occur. Place the plan around the building in highly visible locations and have fire drills with your staff to ensure everyone knows the proper safety procedures
  • Fire Protection – Based on the kind of business that is operated you make need different fire protection systems. Sprinklers or a Suppression System should be installed depending on the type of work that is being done and the type of fires that could potentially happen. Make sure to set up regular inspections so that everything is functioning properly should they ever need to be used.
  • Fire Extinguishers – Fire extinguishers should be strategically placed around your building and clearly labeled so they are easy to find. Make sure your employees are trained on the proper use of fire extinguishers and where the location of each one is. You should have them inspected regularly in accordance with fire code.
  • Teach! – Fire safety should be a part of your company policies. Educate your staff on proper equipment use and other fire hazards and have proper responses to emergencies clearly stated.

Sometimes accidents happen that are out of our control, but if you make sure that your business follows proper fire safety procedures, you’ll be able to reduce the danger to your staff and potentially turn a catastrophe into a minor problem.

Fire Prevention Week - Hotel Fire Safety

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

This week as we recognize National Fire prevention Week, our SERVPRO of Chesapeake South team would  like to share some tips and facts on Hotel and Motel Fire Safety. When we talk about fire safety, it usually involves what to do when you’re at home and a fire breaks out. However, it’s also important to know what to do when staying in a hotel.

Fire, get the facts:

  • According to the National Fire Protection Association, on average, 1 of every 13 hotels reported a structure fire each year
  • The majority of hotel fire deaths result from fires that started in the bedroom
  • Cooking equipment is the leading cause of hotel and motel fires.

Fire Safety Tips While Traveling:

  • When you check in, ask the front desk what the fire alarm sounds like.
  • When you enter your room, review the escape plan posted in your room.
  • Take the time to find the exits and count the number of doors between your room and the exit. Make sure the exits are unlocked.
  • Keep your room key by your bed and take it with you if there is a fire
  • If the alarm sounds, leave right away, closing all doors behind you. Use the stairs — never use elevators during a fire.
  • If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit.

What to Do If You Can’t Escape:

  • Turn off fans and A.C.
  • Shove wet towels in the door crack
  • Call the fire department and tell them your room location
  • Signal you're inside your room with a light or cloth

Fire Damage, Estimate, and insurance

1/20/2021 (Permalink)

You may be feeling uncertain and unsure of the next step after the fire trucks have left your home. Depending on the severity of the fire, your belongings are most likely suffering from not only fire and smoke damage, but also extensive water damage from the firefighting efforts. The restoration of your home and the estimation of your fire loss begins when you call a professional fire damage cleanup & restoration company.

Our SERVPRO Professionals in Electronics, Structure, and Contents Restoration arrive to conduct pretests, while inspecting the property to determine the extent of the fire damage and the scope of needed cleaning, restoration, and repairs. Initially our professional experts conduct the following scope to provide you and your insurance company with our recommendations for fire restoration and repairs. 

  • The materials, and items affected by smoke or fire and the proper method for cleaning; 
  • If your personal belongings need to be relocated while your house is being restored
  • The areas that were not affected by soot and odor and protect those areas as soon as possible to avoid contamination 
  • If the smoke residues are cleanable
  • Conduct a complete inventory of items that are damaged beyond repair as a complete inventory is invaluable
  • The amount of time needed to perform the cleanup with the most effective cleaning methods

Once our estimate is approved by your insurance company, the restoration process begins.  Our office staff will be in communication with you and your insurance company throughout the entire claim process. 

Call us for fire, smoke or soot damage cleanup & restoration, SERVPRO of Chesapeake South, 757-523-9700.

Fire Damage Repair Estimate in Chesapeake

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

The fire trucks are gone and now your Chesapeake home and belongings are likely suffering from not only fire and smoke damage, but also extensive water damage from the firefighting efforts. The restoration of your home and estimation of your fire loss begins when you call your local SERVPRO of Chesapeake South.

Our SERVPRO Professionals will inspect the property to determine the extent of fire damage and the scope of needed cleaning, restoration, and repairs. These professional experts need to identify and consider the following:

  • The materials, and items affected by smoke or fire and the proper method for cleaning; 
  • If your personal belongings need to be relocated while your house is being restored
  • The areas that were not affected by soot and odor and protect those areas as soon as possible to avoid contamination 
  • If the smoke residues are cleanable
  • Conduct a complete inventory of items that are damaged beyond repair as a complete inventory is invaluable
  • The amount of time needed to perform the cleanup with the most effective cleaning methods

Once the fire damage mitigation begins, you will be kept informed and your questions will be answered throughout the process.

Need an estimate for fire damage? Call our office at (757)-523-9700

Top 5 Causes of Fires

10/19/2020 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), these are the top five causes for fires:

  1. Candles - From 2014-2018, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 7,610 home structure fires that were started by candles per year. These fires caused an annual average of 81 deaths, 677 injuries and $278 million in direct property damage.
  1. Smoking - Smoking materials, including cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, started an estimated 17,200 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments in 2014. These fires caused 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in direct property damage. Smoking materials caused 5% of reported home fires, 21% of home fire deaths, 10% of home fire injuries, and 6% of the direct property damage.
  1. Electrical & Lighting - According to the NFPA, in 2011 approximately 47,700 home structure fires were caused by some sort of electrical failure or malfunction. These resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.
  1. Cooking - Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.
  1. Heating - Heating equipment is a leading cause of fires in U.S. homes. Local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 52,050 fires involving heating equipment each year in 2012-2016, accounting for 15% of all reported home fires during this time. These fires resulted in annual losses of 490 civilian deaths, 1,400 civilian injuries, and $1 billion in direct property damage. 

Our SERVPRO of Chesapeake South team is always ready 24/7 if you have a fire in your home. Our professionals will begin work right away and help you get your home back to pre-fire condition.

Fire Safety in the Kitchen

10/12/2020 (Permalink)

The National Fire Protection Association dedicates October to Fire Prevention. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking and the number one cause of home fires and home injuries is from cooking.

Follow these tips to keep you and your family safe:

  • do no use the stove if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol
  • stay in the kitchen while boiling, frying, grilling, or broiling food
  • check on food that your are simmering, baking or roasting and use a timer to remind you that food is cooking
  • keep items that can easily catch fire away from the stove
  • DO NOT use water to put out a grease fire - keep a lid nearby when cooking to smother the flames
  • if a fire erupts in the oven, turn off the heat and keep the door closed

If you experience a fire in your home, get out! Close the door when you leave and call 911.

Halloween Decoration Fires

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

Spooky decorations of skeletons, witches, and zombies aren't the only decorations people put out for Halloween. Many families like to use candles, dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper to celebrate the occasion and spice up their home fall décor. However, these types of materials have the potential to catch fire easily and it's important to keep them away from open flames and other heat sources like light bulbs or heaters.

It's important to take some precautions when decorating this year. Check out some tips to keep in mind:

  • Use a battery-operated candle or glow-stick in jack-o lanterns. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit.
  • When lighting candles inside jack-o lanterns, use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter.
  • Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of the way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways, and yards.

If your family experiences a fire damage, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Chesapeake South to help remediate and restore the damages. 

Cleaning Smoke and Fire Damaged Contents

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

What to Consider when Cleaning Fire Damaged Contents

After a fire, more than likely the fire department efforts to save your property have left your home or office with a huge wet mess or you could have minimal damage with only grease, smoke, or soot damage.  We are here to help.  Our SERVPRO® fire restoration team considers every loss unique and considers the best means to clean and restore your fire damaged items.

Restoration methods can occur with dry-cleaning, cleaning with ultrasonic waves or with other specialized treatments to remove odors and to help preserve photos, documents and electronic equipment.  We take certain steps in determining how to best clean your contents.

Assess the Damage

Our first step would be to determine whether the item (s) can be restored or are they non-salvageable.  Contents with smoke or soot damage usually can be restored, such as photos or documents, however, burned or charred items would be considered a loss.

Consider Durability

The durability of the fabric, or the            material of the damaged item (s) is considered when determining the cleaning and restoration method.  Delicate items subjected to the fire incident may not withstand even our most gentle of treatments.

Consider Porosity

The porosity of an item is important in determining the best cleaning and restoration method.  Porous items such as clothing and textiles can benefit from our ozone treatment to dry cleaning.  Delicate, non-porous items made of glass or ceramic, can more than likely be immersed and cleaned with ultrasonic waves.  More delicate porous items are handled more carefully and limited to moisture exposure.

We recommend always having your fire damaged items cleaned by a professional restoration company.  SERVPRO® of Chesapeake South offers a full range of content cleaning options as well as content storage.  When we clean your contents, we box and label your items, to deliver back to you once your home has been restored or another location has been determined.  Fire Damage Cleanup in Chesapeake?  Call 2757-523-9700.

Using the Proper Fire Extinguisher.

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Our franchise professionals are on standby 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help with your fire clean up/restoration needs.

Did you know that there are five types of fire extinguishers? Each type is designed for a specific type of fire and knowing which type to use can make a drastic impact on your safety and using the proper extinguisher can significantly reduce the damage to your home. 

Type A Fire Extinguishers -  These are for use with ordinary materials such as paper, cloth, or wood. 

Type B Fire Extinguishers - These are for use with flammable/combustible liquids such as gasoline, oil based paint and grease. 

Type C Fire Extinguishers - These are for use with electrical equipment such as tools, appliance or any other equipment that is plugged in to an electrical source. 

Type D Fire Extinguishers - These are often found in factories and are to be used on flammable metals. 

Type K Fire Extinguishers - These types of extinguishers are often found in commercial kitchen as they are used to put out fires that involve oils from animals or vegetables, or animal fats in cooking appliances.

It is important to keep fire extinguishers in a place that they can be easily accessed in case of an emergency. Make sure that all parts of the extinguisher are in proper working order and be sure to review the manufacturer's guidelines and instructions on regular maintenance and inspection. At SERVPRO Chesapeake South we are here to respond Faster to any size disaster. A fire in your home can be stressful, but our franchise professionals are on standby 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help with your fire clean up/restoration needs.

Keeping Yourself Warm & Safe This Winter!

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know that space heaters account for 86% of fire related heating deaths?

With winter weather approaching, it is important that we keep ourselves and our families warm during these colder months. We here at SERVPRO Chesapeake South want you to be prepared to safely heat your home or business. 

Never heat your home or business with a gas top stove or oven. Not only does this method of heating create an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, leaving an unattended stove can cause a fire.

Read, understand and implement all manufacturer warnings and instructions when using space heaters. Most home heating fire deaths (86%) involved stationary or portable space heaters. 

Make sure that all heating equipment especially chimneys are regularly maintained through periodic cleaning and inspected prior to use. 

Keep heating equipment away from materials that are susceptible to catching fire such as furniture, clothing, bedding paper materials as well as other holiday decorations like Christmas trees. 

Almost half of all heating equipment related home fires occur from December - February. So now is the time to inspect, clean and test all heating equipment to ensure that it is in proper working order.

SERVPRO Chesapeake South wants you, and your business to stay safe during these winter months.  If you do experience a fire or water damage during the holidays, or any time of the year, our franchise professionals can make it “Like it never even happened.” Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, we are Here to Help.

How to Plan for a Fire

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Cleanup and Restoration in Chesapeake at SERVPRO of Chesapeake South

Did you know that when a fire ignites, you only have a few minutes to safely get everyone out of the house?  It is so important that everyone knows what to do before the event of a house fire.  Here are ways to plan for a fire, to have an escape plan, to help keep you and everyone safe.

Install Fire Alarms on every floor of your home and inside and outside of every bedroom.  Everyone inside should be able to hear the alarm.

Map out your home's floor plan showing at least two ways to get out of a room.  This is a great visual for children and a second exit option in case one is not accessible.

Discuss this escape floor plan with your family making special note to point out all the escape exits to the children, especially those in their bedroom.  Then make it excite with a fire drill so that everyone is familiar and aware.

Choose a Meeting Place so everyone knows where to meet after getting out of the house safely.  Places safely away from the fire like a mailbox across the street, a street sign, or a neighbor’s house.

Don't Wait around when you hear the smoke alarm, yell, scream, knock on doors as you are immediately exiting the house.  No items or belongings are more valuable than yours and your loved one’s lives.

Call SERVPRO of Chesapeake Southwith any questions about fire or smoke damage or about making a fire escape plan.  We are "Always here to help." 757-523-9700.

Smoke Damage: How It Hurts Your Home

6/7/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Cleanup in Chesapeake? Call 757-523-9700 to help make it "Like it never even happened."

When you suffer a home fire, the smoke and fire damage can be severe.  The home should be inspected quickly and cleaning and recovery actions should be in place to avoid permanent damage.  

When it's safe for you to return to your home, call your insurance company and ask for a cleanup and restoration company to help you with the fire and smoke damage to help restore your home.

Be sure to arrange for an inspection to make sure that the foundation and the structure of your home are safe.

When a fire has consumed your furniture and belongings, you have a wet, scorched mess left behind. Leather, fabric, and wood can trap smoke smells and usually can be restored. In addition, smoke and soot particles can get trapped inside of your air duct system.

SERVPRO® of Chesapeake South will remove the wet, burned, scorched mess and take your salvageable contents to clean in our warehouse.  We also have the capability to help restore your fire and water damaged documents and photos.  When this process is completed, then we can address the soot, water, and fire damage restoration to your home and to your air duct system.

Cooking Fire Safety

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

Kitchen Fire Restoration in Chesapeake

Cooking Fire Safety

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries.   Travelers Insurance offers these safe cooking behaviors to help keep you and your family safe.

Never leave your cooking equipment unattended while cooking, turn it off.

Don’t wear loose clothing, roll up your sleeves.

Keep your cooking area clean and remove any items that may explode or catch fire, like a paper or kitchen towel, oven mitt, non-dairy creamer, or flour.

Remove any grease buildup from your cooking area. 

Keep a fire extinguisher in the cooking area.  Be sure to have the correct type of extinguisher and know how to properly use it.  

Don’t throw hot grease into the garbage.  Let it cool and harden then dispose of it.

Don’t store food items in your oven.  People forget that there is food in there and it could catch fire when preheating. 

What do you do if you do have a cooking fire? 

Your safety comes first.  Leave the scene if you aren’t sure if the fire is safe enough to combat, call 911 for help.  The fire department will control the fire.

If the fire is small and you are going to attempt to extinguish it, call 911 for help first.  The fire can get out of control quickly and having help on the way is safer.

Never throw water on a grease fire, smother it.  Watch how the water will turn to burning steam and the oil will splash and spread the fire.  If you can, use a mitt to carefully slide a lid onto the pan and safely turn off the heat source.  Don’t attempt to remove the pan until the fire is out and the pan has had time to cool.

Keep the door closed for an oven or microwave fire and turn off the heat and electrical source.  Don’t open the door until the flames are gone.

If you suffer fire damage, call us for your Fire Damage Restoration in Chesapeake

How to Avoid a Fire Disaster this Holiday Season

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Safety in Chesapeake

SERVPRO of Chesapeake South wants to help you avoid a fire disaster this holiday season.  November is a time of the year that inspires family get togethers, like Thanksgiving.  As you begin the holiday season, and are busy whipping up delicious dishes, it’s also important to take time to remember safety.  Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home-fire-related injuries in the U.S.  According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency), cooking equipment and heating equipment are the leading causes of home fire deaths,  read more at Thanksgiving Safety  and watch the  Potential Danger of Turkey Fryers

If you have a cooking fire, consider just getting out and when you leave close the door behind you to help contain the fire.  Then call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.  Consider for an over fire, to turn off the heat and keep the door closed and to keep a lid nearby when cooking to smother small grease fires. 

SERVPRO Chesapeake South want you, your family, and your property to stay safe.  If you do experience a fire or water damage during the holidays, or any time of the year, we can make it “Like it never even happened.”

November is Military Family Month.  All of us would like to thank all service members and their families during Military Family Month and all year-round.

Best Smart Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detector of 2018

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

Best Smart Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detector of 2018

The best smart smoke/carbon monoxide detectors of 2018 were picked recently by and shared on This Old House. 

The top smoke detectors and monitors on the market were put through their paces before being selected.  

Regular smoke detectors beep when they sense smoke, and if they are not connected to a fire department, are only valuable if you are home. 

Smart smoke detectors will send you a push notification when the alarm goes off, and give you a heads up when the battery is low.  The top pick Halo+ excelled with its speed of notifications whether connected to WiFi or not, detecting smoke or carbon monoxide.  Read more about best right now.

At SERVPRO of Chesapeake South, we know about Fire Damage Cleanup and Restoration.  Let us help make it "Like it never even happened."

How Does Your Home Measure Up to Fire Safety

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

Beware of the Dead Zone

More often then not, the sound from a smoke detector is more reliable than your senses to alert you of a fire when you are sound asleep.  

Many people think that they will wake up because they will be able to smell the smoke.  Not so, because your sense of smell shuts down when you sleep, and your sense of hearing is more active.

The National Fire Protection Association  reported that 2 out 5 home fires that sustained fire damage, either did not have smoke alarms or they were disabled. 

Make sure that your alarm is placed properly so that you'll not be tempted to disable the alarm and installed correctly to ensure it's effectiveness and efficiency.  How does your home measure up for fire safety?

SERVPRO of Chesapeake South can answer your questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage

Spring Wildfire Season is Here. . .Are You Ready Chesapeake?

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Chesapeake, 757-523-9700.

Spring wildfire season is here . . .  are you prepared?

February 15th was the start of the spring wildfire season in the commonwealth.  The Virginia Department of Forestry says that we are in good share for the beginning of the season thanks to the rain helping to add moisture to the fire fuels, like dry grass, straw and leaves, the biggest fuels for wildfires.

The Department also reminds us that the outdoor burning law went into effect on the 15th, meaning you have to wait to burn till after 4:00 p.m. and if it’s windy, or dry outside, postpone the burning.  Read more

Our friends at Allstate say that the best defense is to be prepared and offer these steps that you can take to prepare your family property and home.

  • Determine your risk level and then create a ring of three defensible fire zones around your home.
  • Build a disaster preparedness kit with water, food, dust masks, a first-aid kit and other essentials.
  • Create a family communication plan, plan an evac route and follow it immediately if an evacuation is ordered.

Fire damage can be devastating for you and your family.  SERVPRO of Chesapeake South will provide you with caring and expert guidance through the crisis.  Please refer to our Fire Damage Tips-Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

The Behavior of Smoke

12/6/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Chesapeake South, 757-523-9700.

Following a fire, there are two different types of smoke, wet and dry.  As a result there are different types of soot residue after a fire.

  • 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.
  • Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs) While "puff backs" can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.
  • Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue) Special loss situations require special care.

SERVPRO of Chesapeake South Franchise Professionals are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns.

Safe Holidays are Happy Holidays

12/5/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Chesapeake South, 757-523-9700

Safe holidays are happy holidays.  As you begin to decorate your home or office remember. . .  

  • Inspect your lights before you hang them
  • Replace old lights
  • Never connect more than 3 strings of lights at a time
  • be mindful of low-hanging or damaged wires to protect your pets and children

The Consumer Product Safety Commission offers up holiday decoration safety tips and general rules for Holiday Safety on products we use to decorate with like "Snow", Paper, Trimmings, Candles, Trees, and lights.

SERVPRO of Chesapeake South has been serving the community since 1967.  We are dedicated to helping customers when disaster strikes and helping to make it "Like it never even happened."  We are ready 24/7, 365 at 757-523-9700.

Have Questions? Call Us Today – (757) 523-9700

Thanksgiving Cooking Safety and the American Red Cross

11/15/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Chesapeake South, 757-523-9700

Scott Salemme, Regional CEO of the American Red Cross of the Greater Chesapeake Region said “Cooking is the number one cause of home fires, so we also have information cooks can follow to avoid a fire.”

When we come together as family and as friends to prepare the Thanksgiving meal and share in the “how to” of family recipes, it is easy to get caught up in the festive moment and to forget the potential hazards.

While cooking, remember to avoid wearing your robe, loose fitting clothing or dangling sleeves.  Never leave the stove unattended, even for bathroom breaks, just turn it off.  Here the American Red Cross suggests more cooking safety steps  

At SERVPRO of Chesapeake South has been serving the community since 1967.  We are dedicated to helping customers when disaster strikes and helping to make it “Like it never even happened.”  We are ready 24/7, 365 at 757-523-9700,

Fix Up Your Firebox

10/24/2016 (Permalink)

Unsightly cracked and crumbling mortar inside a fireplace can be fixed in minutes with a few simple tools.

The mortar in most brick joints consists of sand, lime, and Portland cement. But in a fireplace, that mix just crumbles away when subjected to roaring wood fires. For this application, masons rely on a refractory mortar made of magnesium silicate, which can withstand beat up to 2,000 degrees F. Yet even refractory mortar can fail as the brickwork expands and contracts with repeated fires. Fortunately, fixing those damaged joints is a snap, thanks to high-temp fireplace mortars packaged in caulk tubes.

Tools Needed:

  • Nitrile gloves
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Sponge with abrasive pad
  • Grout-removal tool with triangular carbide blade
  • Stiff-bristle brush
  • Wet/dry vac
  • Nylon-bristle brush
  • Refractory mortar
  • Caulk gun
  • Tuck-point trowel


  1. Wash the brick: Put on nitrile gloves, then thoroughly scrub soot off the sides of the firebox with an abrasive pad on a wet sponge. Soot dissolves fairly easily when wet. The washing also dampens the brick and mortar, a necessary step before repointing.
  2. Dig out the loose mortar: Using a grout-removal tool fitted with a triangular carbide blade, scrape out cracked, loose, and crumbling mortar. Stop when the sides of the blade touch the edges of the brick. The blade’s triangular shape prevents it from going too deep (more than half the width of the joint). Clean the joints with a narrow, stiff-bristle brush and sweep up the mortar crumbs with a wet/dry vac.
  3. Wet the joints: Go over all the scraped joints with a nylon paintbrush, dipping repeatedly into a bucket of clean water. Refractory mortar bonds best to a damp surface, and the brush bristles ensure that all of the old brick and mortar are moistened.
  4. Caulk the joints: After slipping a tube of refractory mortar into a caulk gun, drag the tube’s nozzle over all the scraped mortar joints, leaving behind a fat bead of caulk. Make sure to fill any gaps between the hearth and the firebox floor.
  5. Pack the mortar: Use a 3/8-inch-wide tuck-pointing trowel to smooth and press the soft mortar firmly into each of the joints, then scrape off the excess with the trowel’s edge. In corners, use a gloved finger to pack and smooth.
  6. Wipe away the residue: Multiple swipes with a damp sponge with remove most of the mortar residue. Wipe the brick again in 24 hours, after the remaining residue dries to a haze. This mortar’s heat-resistant qualities kick in when it reaches 500 degrees. Either a heat gun or a small, brief fire will serve the purpose.

Keeping your firebox in tip-top shape is just one step in keeping your fireplace in good working order, and preventing home fires.

The Nose Knows

9/26/2016 (Permalink)

Here’s an interesting story of a contents manager who was faced with an interesting challenge!

There had been a chimney fire. The homeowner climbed up on his roof and extinguished the blaze by spraying a fire extinguisher down the chimney from above. It worked, but there was a large amount of smoke. When the homeowner opened his front door to go back in, the resulting draft sucked the smoke and soot back down the chimney and through the house.

The smoke billowed through a trophy room of mounted animal heads, coating everything in its path and saturating various items with strong smoke odors. The moose, elk, and deer trophies were fragile, so the contents manager decided not to use soot sponges as it may remove the hair from the taxidermy. Instead she used strong HEPA-filtered vacuums and a mild cleaning solution for the eyes and antlers.

In the kitchen, soot sponges were used first to determine whether there were smoke particles on the inside of the cabinets (if a sponge is passed gently over a smoke-laden cabinet or counter, it will come back with black smears or dark lines). Discovering no soot or ash on the surface of the cabinets nor on the inside, she opted not to clean out the insides of the cabinets and shelves, then went back for a final check of everything else.

What is the final check? The same one the homeowner would eventually use – the sniff test! The contents professional came within an inch of the taxidermy and sniffed along the fur- no smoke odor could be detected. The nose knows!

The manager mentioned that had there been any smoke or soot in the cupboards, she would have thrown out all the opened boxes of food and even those sealed boxes with thin cardboard containers or even thinner plastic bags where there would be too much risk of contamination. Of course nothing is discarded without talking things over with the owner and getting a “disposal authorization” form signed.

That is how we here at SERVPRO of Chesapeake perform: easy, simple, and well thought out.

Chesapeake Smoke and Soot Cleanup

7/11/2016 (Permalink)

Soot and smoke can cause a pervasive odor in your Chesapeake 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 Chesapeake 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 – (757)523-9700.

Grill Fire Safety in Chesapeake

6/27/2016 (Permalink)

Keep your home safe this summer with these grilling tips.

Warmer weather brings hot grills and tasty meals. However, a fun backyard cook-out can quickly turn into a dangerous fire situation. It is important to practice safe grilling habits to keep your outdoor fun going all summer long.


Each year an average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling, and close to half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns. While nearly half of the people who grill do it year-round, July is the peak month for grill fires followed by May, June and August. A failure to clean the grill was the leading factor contributing to the fire in one –fifth of all grill structure fires (19%). In 17%, something that could catch fire was too close to the grill. Leaks or breaks were the factor in 11% of grill structure fires and 23% of outside and unclassified grill fires. Gas grills contribute to a higher number of home fires overall than their charcoal counterparts.


1. Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house. Farther is even better. This includes portions attached to your house like carports, garages and porches. Grills should not be used underneath wooden overhangs either, as the fire could flare up into the structure above. This applies to both charcoal and gas grills.

2. Clean your grill regularly. If you allow grease and fat to build up on your grill, they provide more fuel for a fire. Grease is a major source of flare ups.

3. Check for gas leaks. You can make sure no gas is leaking from your gas grill by making a solution of half liquid dish soap and half water and rubbing it on the hoses and connections. Then, turn the gas on (with the grill lid open.) If the soap forms large bubbles, that's a sign that the hoses have tiny holes or that the connections are not tight enough.

4. Keep decorations away from your grill. Decorations like hanging baskets, pillows and umbrellas look pretty AND provide fuel for a fire. To make matters worse, today's decor is mostly made of artificial fibers that burn fast and hot, making this tip even more important.

5. Keep a spray bottle of water handy. That way, if you have a minor flare-up you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it. The bonus of this tip is that water won't harm your food, so dinner won't be ruined!

6. Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill. And KNOW HOW TO USE IT. If you are unsure how to use the extinguisher, don't waste time fiddling with it before calling 911. Firefighters say many fire deaths occur when people try to fight a fire themselves instead of calling for expert help and letting the fire department do its job.


7. Turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. NEVER do this. It causes gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it and open it, a fireball can explode in your face. 

8. Leave a grill unattended. Fires double in size every minute. Plan ahead so that all of your other food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling.

9. Overload your grill with food. This applies especially to fatty meats. The basic reason for this tip is that if too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up that could light nearby things on fire.

10. Use a grill indoors. People often think it will be safe to use a grill, especially a small one, indoors. NOT TRUE. In addition to the fire hazard, grills release carbon monoxide, the deadly colorless, odorless gas. That gas needs to vent in fresh air.

If a fire does occur this summer, call SERVPRO® of Chesapeake at (757)523-9700. Our trained team will work to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Preventing Home Fires in Your Chesapeake Home

3/23/2016 (Permalink)

Fireplace and Woodstove Safety Tips:

  • Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and fireplace chimneys annually. Make sure to check monthly for any damage or obstructions.
  • Never burn trash, paper, or green wood. These can smolder and cause smoke to fill your home.
  • Use a fireplace screen that is heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.
  • Store cooled ashes in a tightly sealed metal container outside the home. After three days the ashes can be bagged and thrown away.

For Emergency Restoration Services, Call Us! 757-523-9700

Are Your Smoke Alarms Up-to-Date?

3/14/2016 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms are important to have in our homes and in proper working condition. When installed and properly maintained, smoke alarms can dramatically reduce the risk of injuries caused by fires.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends that smoke alarms are to be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping areas, and on every level of the house. Their website provides great learning tools for teaching children about smoke alarms and emergency plans. Business owners should consult the Chesapeake Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home. Think about how you are placing an alarm. Make sure it is in a location that, if there were a fire, it would quickly detect the smoke. Do not install the smoke alarm where it could be blocked or damaged.

  • Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen and shower to prevent false alarms. They should be at least around 10 feet from a cooking appliance.

  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using a test button. Set the date on your calendar and be consistant to form a good habit. This is also a good time to review and practice your emergency escape plan. 

  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year, though twice would be best. Daylight savings times in March and November can be good dates to set for this. Again, try to schedule this on your calendar. If an alarm "chirps" the battery is low and should be replaced right away. Do not wait!

  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old. If you do not know how old your smoke alarm is, go ahead and replace it. Newer alarms on the market also offer carbon monoxide detection as well as voice alarms, which have shown to be more effective in waking children up. 

Here at SERVPRO Chesapeake South, we believe in PREVENTION first. 

What You Need to Know When Recovering From Fire Damage.

3/7/2016 (Permalink)

This is damage caused by soot and smoke in a home where a fire occurred.

While the fire is always the immediate danger, once it's gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect your home and everything inside it. Ash and smoke will leave extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration and don't forget about those lingering odors, if left and not cleaned by professionals. Here are the first steps to your homes recovery and what you should know:

  1. Don't risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself. Refer to the list below.

  2. Call your insurance carrier and file a claim.

  3. Then call SERVPRO of Chesapeake to assess the damage. We will then communicate with your insurance company to plan the damage recovery process, and the process will be explained to you.

The sooner you contact us the better, as damage will continue and your structure and all your contents will have much more extensive damage to them. Carpets may become permanently discolored, and glass may be severely etched. And those odors aren't just odors, they are acidic and filled with toxins that can be harmful to you, and the longer they stay the more damage it will cause to your home.

Keys Things to Avoid:

  1. Do not wipe or attempt to wash residue from walls, ceilings, or absorbent surfaces.

  2. Do not use carpeting or upholstered furniture impacted by heavy smoke residue or debris.

  3. Do not use food items or canned goods exposed to heat.

  4. Do not turn on computers, TV's, stereos or electrical appliances until they have been professionally cleaned and checked by SERVPRO.