Recent Fire Damage Posts

Soot Tags not Cobwebs

3/5/2024 (Permalink)

Soot web Soot tag or soot web after a fire

There is a common misconception when walking into a house after a fire, when you look up you see, what look like, black spider webs. They definitely look similar, however, these webs weren't there before the fire occurred. 

Soot tags also known as smoke webs form when there is incomplete combustion during a fire. Small particles of carbon and tar release into the air and then when they cool, they stick to surfaces in low circulation areas. You usually find them in the corners of ceilings and on the underside of upper cabinets. 

When the cleaning process starts soot tags are easily removed using a process starting with hepa vacuuming, using a chem sponge to remove excess soot and then wet cleaning the affected area. 

Are your electrical cords safe

3/6/2023 (Permalink)

I always make the joke of electrical outlets and cords looking like the Griwswold's on National Lampoons Christmas vacation. But more times than not I end up seeing extension cords plugged into more extension plugged into cord that have wires showing and perhaps duct tape holding those together and more times than not this ends up being the cause of fires in a house or business. Another cause I see are cords being overloaded. I've seen two or more space heaters plugged into one extension cord that causes it to be overworked and lead to fires. Here are a few tips to being safe when using electrical cords: 

- Do not use extension cords to plug into a power strip

-Do no overload outlets( the Griswold effect)  or extension cords with too many appliances or overload the capacity of the cord

-Never use staples or nails to attach cords to a surface

-Make sure there is no crimping

-Never run a cord under a rug . It prevents the cord from releasing heat and can cause a fire. 

Is Your Fireplace Clean

1/31/2022 (Permalink)

Chimney Fire This was caused by a Chimney Fire

How often do you have your fireplace cleaned? Do you have it cleaned by a professional or do you do it yourself? 

However you have it cleaned you want to make sure its done properly and done often. Having a nice warm fire in your home or cabin can be nice to come back too, but if it is not properly maintained, it can lead to a disaster. Creosote can build in your chimney and lead to a fire that can  get out of control very quick. The damage in limited to just your chimney and fireplace. If it grows to quick it can quickly burn your walls and roof, soot will spread throughout your house and if the fire department is called out, they can quickly soak your house leading to a water damage as well. 

If this unfortunate loss should happen to you, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Mt Pleasant, Clare and Houghton Lake, 989-775-5065.  

Unlikely Causes for Fire Damage

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damage Fire damage

Fires can start from a number of different reasons, leaving a candle burning, a cookie sheet in the oven while it’s preheating and even charging a phone or battery pack and much more.
If any of these unfortunate events should happen to you it is important to call your local SERVPRO in Mt.Pleasant, Clare, and Houghton Lake at 989-775-5065

Recently a household had fire that was not expected while a device was charging. Luckily no one was seriously hurt and was able to get out. SERVPRO of Mt Pleasant, Clare and Houghton Lake was called and able to take care of the damage and get the family back into their house. The family was very happy with the team at SERVPRO made them feel at ease and comfortable with the process.  

Spring is here and the yard work begins.

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

Every spring we get called out to a fire that was started due to burning leaves and in most cases, those fires could have been avoided with some careful planning and a more thought out strategy.

1. Check the conditions.DO NOT BURN WHEN IT IS WINDY.Even a small burst of wind can move a burning leaf and cause a fire. “I didn’t think it was THAT windy,” is not a valid excuse.

2.Never leave the burn pile.You must stay outside and monitor the situation at all times. Murphy’s Law would say that the two minutes you go inside to get a drink is when a small wind will transform your small leaf burning into a full fledge garage fire. Be smart!

3. Be aware of your surroundings. Do not burn near any powerlines or low hanging trees. You need to haveat least three times the height of the pile in vertical clearance.Professionally we would suggest not burning below anything that is hanging. Why risk it?

4. Have a hose and water source nearby. As an extra precaution you can spray the ground around the fire to help keep the area wet and prevent additional spreading.

5.Do not burn everything all at once. This is obviously reliant on what you have to burn and your burn area, but it is always easier to add leaves than it is to take them away. Keep your fire small and add additional leaves as the fire burn down.

6. If using a burn barrel, make sure it is made entirely of metal, properly equipped (at least three evenly-spaced, three-inch holes, screened vent and metal top screen) and in good condition.

7. When complete, drown the ashes with water and use a shovel to carefully turn over the ashes.Drown the fire again and repeat multiple times.The goal is to prevent any sort of rekindling.

If you do decide to burn your leaves this fall, please be cautious and smart. If you have any questions, call your local fire department and ask for guidance. They would be more than happy to help you.

SERVPRO of MT.Pleasant,Clare and Houghton Lake can help repair any damage due to out of control yard fires. . Give us a call 24/7 @ 989-775-5065 where you can speak to one of our representative,

Warmer Weather Brings Out The Grills.

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

It happens every year. The weather gets warmer, more people use outdoor grills – and incidents of grill-caused fires go up. Each year, outdoor grilling causes an average of 8,900 home fires. Listed below are 9 safety tip when Grilling. 

1. Grill outside and away from any structures

Charcoal and gas grills are designed for outdoor use only. However, NFPA reports that more than one-quarter (27 percent) of home fires started by outdoor grills began in a courtyard, terrace or patio, and 29 percent started on an exterior balcony or open porch. Pay attention to overhanging tree branches when you set up your grill.

2. Make sure your grill is stable

Only set up your grill on a flat surface and make sure the grill can’t be tipped over. Consider using a grill pad or splatter mat underneath your grill to protect your deck or patio.

3. Keep your grill clean

Remove grease or fat buildup from both the grill and the tray below the grill. If you are using a charcoal grill, allow the coals to completely cool off before disposing of them in a metal container.

4. Check for propane leaks on your gas grill

Before the season’s first barbecue, check the gas tank hose for leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose and then turning on the gas. If there is a propane leak, the solution will bubble. Other signs of a propane leak include the smell of gas near the barbecue or a flame that won’t light.

5. If the flame goes out, wait to re-light

If you are using a gas grill and the flame goes out, turn the grill and the gas off, then wait at least five minutes to re-light it.

6. Take care around the grill

Never leave a lit grill unattended. Don’t allow kids or pets to play near the grill. Never try to move a lit or hot grill, and remember the grill will stay hot for at least an hour after use.

7. Be careful with charcoal starter fluid

If you use a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid. If the fire starts to go out, don’t add any starter fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. Consider using a charcoal chimney starter, which uses newspaper to start the fire instead of starter fluid.

8. Wear the right clothing

Clothing can easily catch fire, so be sure your shirt tails, sleeves or apron strings don’t dangle over the grill.

9. Be ready to put out the fire

Have baking soda on hand to control a grease fire and a fire extinguisher nearby for other fires. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, keep a bucket of sand next to the grill. Never use water to put out grease fire.

SERVPRO of MT.Pleasant,Clare and Houghton Lake can help repair any damage due to a spark from your grill. Give us a call 24/7 @ 989-775-5065 where you can speak to one of our representative,

Summer Bring Lightning-Related Fires

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

  • During 2011-2017, U.S. local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 22,600 fires per year that were started by lightning. These fires caused an average of nine civilian deaths, 53 civilian injuries, and $451 million in direct property damage per year. Most of these fires occurred outdoors, but most associated deaths, injuries, and property damage were associated with home fires.
  • Lightning-related fires are more common in June through August and in the late afternoon and evening. Peak seasons for lightning-related fires vary by region, as do weather patterns in general.   
  • In addition to the fires reported to local fire departments, federal and state wildland firefighting agencies reported an average of 9,000 wildland fires started by lightning to the National Interagency Fire Center per year in 2011-2017. These fires tended to be larger than fires started by human causes.  The average lightning-caused fire burned 402 acres, nine times the average of 45 acres seen in human-caused wildland fires. 
  • In addition to causing fires, lightning is dangerous on its own. Data from the National Weather Service show that in 2011-2017, an average of 29 people per year died as a result of lightning strikes. The most common location for these deaths was outside or in an open area. The average number of lightning flashes per square mile varies considerably by state, as does the death rate from lightning incidents. 

SERVPRO of MT.Pleasant,Clare and Houghton Lake can help repair any damage due lightning. Give us a call 24/7 @ 989-775-5065 where you can speak to one of our representative,