Recent Fire Damage Posts

Sorting Through Your Belongings After a Fire

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Chair and furniture in room after burned by fire Home fire in Holland, TX

One of the most difficult aspects of the recovery process after a home fire has occurred is sifting through belongings and deciding what you can keep and what you need to throw away. Some items that appear damaged by fire, smoke, or water can be be restored, but other items that look perfectly fine on the outside might actually need to be tossed out for safety reasons. Use this guide to help you as you sort through your things.

Items You Should Always Throw Away

While many types of items can potentially be restored by a fire damage cleanup company in Holland, TX, there are three types of items you’re better off tossing out right off the bat if affected by flames, smoke, or high heat:

  • Perishable and non-perishable food items
  • Medicine and supplements
  • Cosmetics and toiletries

While it might be difficult to throw away a refrigerator full of food or a brand new, expensive makeup palette, these items can be dangerous if consumed or placed on the skin.

Important Documents

There’s no need to immediately dispose of important or sentimental documents that have fire damage. Depending on the document type and the extent of the damage, a cleanup company may be able to restore documents and photographs using dehumidification and other drying methods.


Never assume that your electronics are safe to use simply because they appear intact. Do not power on any devices to avoid corrosion and possible injury. Instead, let a technician examine the item and decide if it is salvageable.

Clothes, Bedding, and Upholstered Items

While clothing and upholstered items might need to be thrown away if they are visibly burned, special cleaning solutions can be used to try and remove smoke and soot. Always make sure to read the care label for washing instructions.

When deciding what to keep and what to throw away, always consider the safety of you and your family first. It is best to seek professional help when dealing with extremely valuable items.

What Type of Smoke Alarms Do You Need in Your Home?

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

Dual smoke detector Dual sensor alarms are often the right purchase for homes

In a house fire, time is precious. A few seconds can make a big difference in determining your safety. Without an effective smoke alarm system, you may not know about the fire until it is too late. Even if you currently have some type of alarm, it’s helpful to evaluate the device and make sure your Belton, TX, home is equipped with the right one.

Different Styles

A smoke detector does not come in a one-size-fits-all solution. There are various models that serve different purposes. You should understand what is available and when each might be effective at protecting you and your loved one.

Photoelectric alarms use a strobe light to warn you of danger. When smoke enters the alarm chamber, light triggers the alarm.
Ionization alarms ionize the air within the unit with a tiny amount of americium. These alarms are effective at detecting fires that start and grow quickly.
Dual-sensor alarms incorporate elements from the other two. Though these cost more, they are often the right purchase for homes.

Know How They’re Powered

Before you choose a smoke alarm, you should understand how the device gets its power. Many detectors use regular AA, AAA or 9-volt batteries. You should change these regularly, though some units will indicate when the batteries are almost dead. Other units use longer-lasting lithium batteries that you’ll need to check every 10 years or so. Newer homes often wire the alarms directly into the home’s current.

How Big Is Your Home?

When it comes to fire safety, size matters. The square footage of your home should play a role in what type of alarm you have and where you place them. Fire mitigation companies recommend that you wire all the detectors together so that when one sounds, they all do. Make sure you have a detector in each bedroom and in the hall outside the bedroom.
A smoke alarm may look like a simple item, but it can be a lifesaver. Knowing how these alarms function and which are most effective can come in handy during an emergency.

How Many Fire Alarms Should Be in Your Home?

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Fire alarm

Sometimes, the smallest solutions can make the biggest difference. Think about the effect a fire alarm can have in your home. You hope to never need these devices, but you're grateful when they detect problems in your Belton, TX, house. Unfortunately, many people don't have enough of these smoke detectors. This is particularly the case in older homes. It's vital that you have the correct number of alarms, so you can have the peace of mind knowing you're doing your part to stay safe.

How They Help

While a fire alarm won't prevent fires from starting or smoking from infiltrating your home, it can ensure that fires don't spread. A properly installed and functioning alarm can help you in the following ways.

  • Alert you when fire and smoke are present in your home.
  • Emit a loud enough noise to wake you up from a deep sleep.
  • Give you sufficient time to alert the fire department, put out the fire yourself (if it's safe to do so) and evacuate if necessary to avoid the effects of smoke damage.

In the Bedrooms

Fire restoration specialists and experts recommend that you place smoke detectors in every sleeping area of your home. This should be the ideal whether you have a one-bedroom apartment, a seven-bedroom home or anything in between. This can give you the assurance that everyone in your household has protection.

Outside Sleeping Spaces

In the entryway leading into bedrooms, you should have an alarm as well. Fire damage can be severe, but the correct number of alarms can help ensure that you and your loved ones get out safely in a timely manner.

Every Level Covered

You should be in good shape as long as you have at least one detector on every level. Don't forget to place one in the basement as well.
A fire alarm is one of the most critical devices you can have at home. Make them a priority for your family's well-being.

5 Things for a Business To Know About Fire Cleanup

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage in a Holland,TX building

5 Things for a Business To Know About Fire Cleanup

If your business in Holland, TX, has experienced fire or smoke damage, then you may be wondering how to properly perform a fire clean up. Here are a few steps many professional restoration services recommend.

1. Safety Comes First

Remember, whatever your restoration process looks like safety should come first. This means that proper equipment should be worn, and that the damage should be assessed before any repairs are made to ensure that safety procedures are followed

2. Professionals Can Handle the Job

When cleaning up after a fire you may want to contact fire restoration professionals to do the job. These professionals have the tools necessary to deal with a variety of types of damage, and make any necessary repairs.

3. Many Types of Damage Can Occur

In addition to fire damage, you may also encounter smoke damage and soot damage. Each of these may need to be cleaned up with a different method depending on the location and severity. Fortunately, a professional may be able to help.

4. Cleaning Methods Depend on Damage Type

When it comes to smoke cleaning the method used depends on how bad the damage is and what type of items that need to be restored. Electronics may need to be sent to a professional, while solid surfaces can be wiped down with special cleaner.

5. The Business Property Can Be Restored

The best thing to remember after fire damage affects your business, is that the building can be restored so that it looks like nothing ever happened. Your chosen professional can assess the damage, and inform you about any recommended repairs and procedures.

If your business has suffered smoke damage, or other damage related to a fire, then following these steps may help you get back up and working again. Remember that during clean up safety should always come first. A professional restoration service may be able to help with the work, and will know what methods to use for each damage type. At the end of the clean up process your business can look as if nothing has ever happened.

How To Maintain Your Smoke Detectors

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

Fire cleanup experts advise that you test each smoke detector monthly

The number one way to keep your family safe during a fire is by having working fire alarms installed. Each smoke alarm in your home in Rosebud, TX, must be tested frequently and replaced if it is old or malfunctioning. An effective system lets you know as soon as smoke is detected so that you can lower your risk of being caught in the fire and hopefully lower your fire damage cleanup cost as well. Here are some simple ways to keep your system working properly.

Understand Power Source

In order to work, each smoke detector must have a power source. There are three main ways detectors are powered:

  • Hardwired into home electrical system
  • Powered by long-life lithium battery
  • Powered by 9-volt battery

If your electrical system is the source of your smoke alarm system’s power, you don’t have to change the batteries unless the detectors use them as a backup for when the power goes out. The 9-volt batteries must be replaced once a year. A lithium battery is part of the detector itself and thus needs to be replaced every 8-10 years as the detector expires.

Test Monthly

While it is important to pay attention to the date printed on your detectors, you cannot assume that your detectors work just because the expiration date hasn’t arrived. Fire cleanup experts advise that you test each smoke detector monthly. Press the test button in the center of the detector. If it doesn’t emit a shrill beep, you probably need to replace the detector. The sooner you know there is a fire in your home, the sooner you can call emergency services and have the fire put out so that it causes as little fire damage as possible.

Proper fire safety starts with having a working smoke alarm system. By making sure they stay powered up and testing them on a monthly basis, you can rest easy, knowing that you are protected.

What are the different types of smoke?

5/4/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Temple and Belton will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred.

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 Temple and Belton 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.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

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Don’t Risk Your Health; Toss These Items After a House Fire

5/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage can be devastating and it can take months to recover.

House fires can cause devastating damage and can take months, if not years, to recover from. In addition to the structural damage and damage to personal items, you will find that items not burned to a crisp have been severely damaged by high heat, water and smoke. If you run across these items, your first instinct may be to clean them and save them, but in many cases, doing so may be a bad idea. The fire restoration team in Temple, TX, warns homeowners against keeping all non-ruined items and advises them to throw away many seemingly “fine” objects.

Toss These Items After a House Fire

While some objects, such as clothing, furniture and household items, may be salvageable with proper cleaning, there are others that you should toss after a house fire, no questions asked.

Those items are the following:

  • Nonperishable foods
  • Perishables left at room temperature for too long
  • Medicines
  • Cosmetics
  • Burned clothing

Search your cabinets and refrigerator for any opened containers and anything stored in permeable packaging (think cardboard boxes or thin plastic bags). You may be able to salvage canned or jarred foods, unless they were extremely close to the heat. Canned foods exposed to high heats may not be edible anymore, as the heat can activate bacteria that causes the food inside to spoil. It is better to throw away those items than to risk consuming them and getting sick.

Toss out fruit, vegetables, bread and any other food items left out and vulnerable to the smoke in the air. Perishables left inside your refrigerator may be salvageable, depending on if your power went out, and if so, for how long it was out. Refrigerators are well-sealed and can generally keep items cold for up to four hours after the power is cut.

However, each situation is different, and the best thing you can do is open your own fridge and check for the following:

  • Smoky smell
  • Other odd odors
  • Soot in the fridge
  • Frozen foods that no longer feel cold

If you notice any of the above, throw away all food in the fridge, no questions asked.

What to Expect During Fire Restoration

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage at a Belton,TX home

Restoring Your Home After A Fire Damage

If you have experienced a fire in your home in Belton, TX, then it is likely you will need fire restoration. Restoring your home can take a while and there are several steps that will need to be followed.

1. Inspecting the Damage

The first thing that you will need is a fire damage assessment. A professional will determine the amount of the damage so that they can create the best damage cleaning plan for restoring your home.

2. Mitigation to Prevent Further Damage

Before fire restoration can begin, it is important for mitigation to be performed on your home. During mitigation, steps are taken to prevent any further damage. Depending on the damage that your home has suffered, this can include boarding up missing walls or windows as well covering damaged roofs with tarps.

3. Removing Water From Your Home

If the fire was big enough that firefighters were involved, you will likely have water damage as well as damage caused by the fire. Before any repairs can be made, any remaining water will need to be removed from the home. Air movers and dehumidifiers might be used to dry everything more quickly.

4. Cleaning Your Home and Belongings

Once mitigation has been performed and all of the water has been removed, the specialists will begin cleaning any remaining soot and smoke damage. Any structures and belongings that can be restored will be cleaned and smoke odors will be removed.

5. Restoration of Your Home

The last step is restoring your home to the condition it was in prior to the fire. This includes reconstruction of any areas that have been severely damaged as well as smaller repairs such as installing carpets or repainting walls.
After an emergency, it is important to call a fire restoration service as soon as you can. Because there are many steps to take in restoring your home, you shouldn’t wait too long to begin the process.

Why Does Smoke Damage Electronics?

12/30/2018 (Permalink)

Electrical fire in a Belton, TX home

The intense heat caused by a fire is likely to destroy electronics. Even exposure to smoke can cause irreparable damage. Find out more about why smoke damage affects appliances and devices and how this damage may be restored as part of a professional fire cleanup.

What Is In Smoke?

Smoke is a visible suspension of small particles. The composition of smoke may include:

  • Water vapor
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Nitrogen oxide
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Toxins

The acidity of smoke causes metals to corrode or disintegrate. It is necessary to ensure that circuit boards and other electronic components function properly after exposure to heat or smoke.

What Does Smoke Do To Electronics?

Smoke damage can cause a black film to develop over internal electronic components. This residue may cause malfunctions, such as:

  • Overheating
  • Short-circuiting
  • Electrical fires

Black film is formed when smoke adheres to any dirt or dust that is already present in electronics. An owner can attempt to clean out corrosion or film, but this effort is more likely to be successful when attempted by fire cleanup professionals.

How Do Experts Clean Up Damage?

Restoration specialists will remove electronics from the scene of a fire for cleanup off-site in a dedicated facility. This may involve:

  • Removing corrosion or residues
  • Attempting to retrieve data
  • Providing proof of loss

Even if a device is no longer functional, it may still be possible to retrieve data stored on a hard drive or memory card. Experts may also be able to completely restore devices that have only suffered slight damage.

Exposure to smoke can cause corrosion or residues to form on the internal components of electronic appliances and devices. While a non-professional may attempt to clean contents after a house fire in Belton, TX, trained fire cleanup professionals working in controlled environments are likely to achieve the best results with delicate components inside electronics.

5 Things You Need To Do To Remove Cigarette Smoke From Your Home

10/26/2018 (Permalink)

Cigarette smoke can leave your Marlin,TX home with an unpleasant aroma

Cigarette Smoke Removal

Cigarette smoke can leave your Marlin,TX, home with a rather unpleasant aroma. No matter how the smoke made its way into your house, you have to go through a major home deodorization to completely remove the smell.

1. Call in a professional. Your first step should be to call in a home smoke and odor removal team. These professionals can help you clean and deodorize your entire space.

2. Wash everything. If you truly want to say goodbye to the smell of cigarettes, you need to wash almost every surface in your house. Clothing, curtains, rugs, carpets, walls, furniture and ceilings all have to be cleaned. The washing process will vary greatly. Some items can be thrown in your washing machine while others have to be wiped down with a deodorizing solvent.

3. Use filters. Removing the smoke odor from the surface of your home may not be enough for a complete home deodorization. The smell can actual cling to particles in the air. You can use a commercial-grade air filter to improve the air quality and smell in your house.

4. Try ozone machines. An ozone machine sends out special molecules that act like smoke particles. The molecules cover all of the surfaces in your home, just like the cigarette smoke did. The difference is the new molecules remove the odor rather than cause it.

5. Replace items. The smelly smoke from a cigarette cannot be removed from every item. If you have a piece of furniture that will not let go of the foul odor, you may need to replace it to ensure your home does not start to smell again.

When it comes to smoke from cigarettes, the odor can be hard to get rid of. Because it can cling to almost every surface in your house, the home deodorization can take a while, but it is often well worth your time.

Fire Safety Tips for Parents

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

In a home fire, you have under five minutes to escape. If a fire occurs at your home in Temple, TX, your first thought is your kids’ safety. Imagine the terror of running room to room searching for them. Now, instead visualize your children prepared for this emergency situation. When you teach your kids about fire escape, you save precious moments that can make a difference.


The best way to ensure your kids’ safety is to prevent a fire from happening in the first place:

• Do not let young children near open flames. This includes fireplaces, grills, fire pits, candles and stovetops.
• Keep flammable liquids and incendiary sources, such as lighters and matches, out of reach of children.


In a fire, be alerted quickly and have a plan of escape:

• At minimum, keep one functioning smoke detector at each floor of your house, especially in or near the bedrooms. Test the detector monthly while your children are home so they recognize and understand the meaning of the alarm. Change the batteries twice per year.
• Create a fire escape plan. Find two ways out of each room and agree on an outdoor meet up place. Get escape ladders for the second floor.
• Teach your children how to call 911.

Practice .

Practice techniques to evacuate your home efficiently if necessary:

• Twice a year, run through the fire escape plan with your children.
• Practice how to stop, drop and roll if clothing catches on fire.
• Have your kids practice staying low in a fire. This includes rolling off of the bed and crawling on the floor.
• Rehearse checking doors for heat and closing them as you go.
• Repeat, “Get out, stay out,” when practicing to emphasize the importance of not returning inside of the house once out.

Prevent, prepare and practice to ensure your kids’ safety in the event of a home fire in Temple, TX. Once you and your children are safe from harm, make a plan to restore the damage to your home by contacting fire restoration specialist and insurance agent as soon as possible.

For more information, please visit us at

How Can Fire Damage Cause Water Damage?

5/20/2018 (Permalink)

In the event of a fire, your Temple, TX property may need a good deal of fire cleanup work, even if there was only damage from smoke. Yet did you know you may need to handle water cleanup, as well? After a fire, water damage is just as likely as smoke or fire damage.

So How Does It Happen?

Water damage usually happens in one of three ways:

• Pressure and high-volume water saturation from fire hoses used by firefighters to douse the blaze.
• Burst water mains and pipes damaged during th efire.
• Sprinklers activated by smoke.

Each of these instances can saturate your belongings in water, which can be highly damaging for electronics and inventory. Water cleanup is imperative as you recover your property from catastrophe, and to prevent additional health and safety issues caused by standing or stagnant water.

How Can I Prevent Water Damage?

It may not be possible to wholly prevent water damage, when much of it happens during times when you should either be in the process of evacuating the building or should have already evacuated. However, you can make it a practice to cover your inventory with waterproof materials, and cover your electronics once you leave for the day.

How Do I Clean Up After Water Damage?

The first step of water cleanup is safety. Water conducts electricity, and after a fire you may have exposed wiring or other safety hazards. Do not enter the building until a fire professional has cleared it as safe. Once you are able, dry the building as much as possible. Mop water from the floors and wipe down any surfaces. Open windows and doors to air everything out, and tear out waterlogged carpet and drywall. Haul anything wet out into the sun to dry. Take inventory of everything water-damaged and keep accurate records for your insurance company.

For more information, please visit us at

Is Your Fire Extinguisher the Right One for Your Home?

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

While most folks would agree having a fire extinguisher is important, would you know how many to have or what kind to own based on your house and who lives inside? When buying yours, keep the following in mind:

1. Who will use it
2. Where it could be used
3. How to use it effectively

Who Will Be Using Your Extinguisher?

Since household extinguishers can weigh anywhere between 1 and 20 pounds, your first consideration is how much weight the primary user can lift and carry quickly toward a home fire. Rechargeable extinguishers with metal valves will cost more upfront but will cost less to refill than a disposable one. However, if a refillable one is too heavy for a family member to aim quickly, then a smaller disposable canister with a plastic valve should be used.

Where Should Canisters Be Located?

Household extinguishers come in three types: Category A - combats combustibles; Category B - combats flammables; and Category C - combats electrical fires. An A:B:C-classified extinguisher will fight all three kinds of fires. The minimum number of extinguishers recommended for a typical family home is one per floor, but also consider having a fire extinguisher in your garage, laundry room, car and kitchen. Just remember not to use them over a deep fryer as the chemicals could cause the grease to run and make the blaze larger.

How To Operate Your Extinguisher

No fire preparedness plan would be complete without knowing how to use your extinguisher. The first step is to pull the safety pin. Next, stand at least 6 feet from the fire while directing the chemicals at the source of the flames. Then release the chemicals by squeezing the trigger continuously. Finally, move the stream from side to side until there is nothing left inside of the canister. In case of smoke damage, contact a Temple, TX, fire restoration specialist.

Take some time to learn about extinguishers for your home. Then you can sleep easily knowing you have the right fire extinguisher and the right skills to protect your loved ones when it counts.

For more information, please visit us at

What should I expect after fire damage?

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

Preparing for a home fire.

There are quite a few instances in which a fire will start because of lighting or a broken gas line. The fires may burn for quite some time, and the house will take on even more damage.

The mitigation crew must remove all the water from the house, and they must manage the fire damage as it may touch every part of the house. The house itself may be in good condition, but the fire will cause problems that are unseen, and the problems will persist until the damage has been cleaned completely.

Trust the crew from  SERVPRO of Temple & Belton to help you get back on your feet after a fire. Our crews are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Call us at (254) 771-3055

What should I do to help fire damage?

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

What To Do After A Fire

Fire damage doesn't have to be long lasting. Cleaning up a fire does take time but the process can be quicken by following these simple tips:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

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Smoke and Soot Cleanup

11/21/2017 (Permalink)

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.

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 – 

Common Causes of Residential Fire Restoration

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

Common Causes of Residential Fire Restoration

Nobody wants to think that it could happen, but fires can occur when you least expect them, causing a lot of damage. Whether the fire was related to electrical problems, cooking mistakes or a space heater, the resulting damage can be costly to repair, and most people don’t know where to turn.

After the fire is under control, people soon realize that fire damage is not the only thing about which they need to worry. In addition to fire damage, you will likely face water and smoke damage, but a fire restoration team can come to the rescue and help you salvage your home and personal belongings.

They can remove the smell from smoke damaged homes by using air filters and repainting the walls, and the lingering smoke odor will become a thing of the past. Once they get the fire damage under control, the team will remove your personal belongings from your smoke damaged home. When you enlist the support of a qualified fire restoration team, they will start cleaning soot from walls and the other parts of your home.

After they get done cleaning soot from walls, the lingering smoke odor will be gone. Time is not on your side when a fire strikes, so you will want to move fast if you care about your property. Nothing beats the peace of mind that comes with having caring professionals on your side.
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