Recent Fire Damage Posts

Cleaning Up Smoke and Soot

5/11/2022 (Permalink)

When even the smallest smoke or fire loss occurs in your home or office, smoke or soot damage can occur, even if there was little to no fire damage. If this happens, you need to make sure it is properly cleaned. SERVPRO® of McKinney has special cleaning solutions and equipment to clean up soot and smoke stains and to eliminate any lingering odor.  These include:

  • Dry Sponges
  • SERVPRO’s ‘Wall and All’ Wash and Rinse solution
  • SERVPRO’s Firestar cleaning solution
  • Ozone Machines
  • Hydroxyl Machines

Dry Sponges are used for ceilings and flat painted walls or surfaces that can't be wet washed. ‘Wall and All’ and SERVPRO Green solutions are used to clean glossy painted walls and most everyday surfaces, as well as cleaning contents. 

After we have thoroughly cleaned the smoke and soot damaged areas, we can eliminate hard, set in odors by running an Ozone machine (the building must be vacated) or a Hydroxyl machine (the building does not have to be vacated) for several days in the affected areas. These machines deodorize the air and any contents within the given area. 

We also offer RECONSTRUCTION services!

Call SERVPRO® of McKinney at 469-714-4955 for your fire and smoke restoration needs. We also offer reconstruction services! 

Soot vs Smoke

4/7/2022 (Permalink)

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire… and frequently soot damage, as well. Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home or business, causing hidden damage and odor. 

Smoke is the result of combustion. Smoke contains solids, liquids and gasses. If smoke contains hot oils, which are cooled rapidly, they can form a film on surfaces which can be difficult to remove. 

Soot is the solid residues as a result of combustion. The three elements required for combustion are heat, fuel, and oxygen. Soot is the part of the material that did not burn. When combined with moisture soot becomes acidic. Soot residues are usually more attracted to cooler surfaces. The amount of soot residue increases as the temperature increases. The severity and amount of soot residue is increased with higher temperatures, prolonged combustion time and a lack of oxygen during combustion. When combined with heat and moisture, soot can cause many surfaces to become yellow. Soot from burned synthetic materials, such as plastics and vinyl are black and easily smudged. Soot from burned natural materials, such as wood and paper are gray. 

Each fire, smoke and soot damage situation is unique, and requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  SERVPRO® of McKinney has the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire, smoke and soot damage.

Call SERVPRO® of McKinney at 469-714-4955 for your fire, smoke or soot  restoration needs. We also offer reconstruction services!

Fire Prevention Tips

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

To help prevent a fire in your home, there are several simple and common-sense steps for you to take. Here are some suggestions to help keep you and your loved ones safe:

  • If you are cooking, don’t leave the stove unattended.
  • If you need to leave the kitchen, turn the burner off.
  • Keep flammable materials away from the stove when a burner is in use.
  • If you are using the broiler feature, don’t leave the oven unattended.
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets.  
  • Don’t leave flammable materials near any outlets or any appliance that has an open flame.
  • Keep flammable materials at least three feet away from fireplaces, wood stoves, space heaters and radiators. 
  • Do not use an extension cord for an electric heater. Plus the heater directly into the outlet.
  • Don’t leave fireplaces or wood stoves burning or space heaters on when you go to bed. If this is your only heat source, take precautions to make sure there are no flammable materials within three feet of the heat source.
  • Be sure to have smoke detectors in your home, and change the batteries once a year.

Smoke Detectors

9/30/2021 (Permalink)

It’s good to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors every twelve months, but you should also consider replacing the smoke detectors in your home or business if they are more than 10 years old. Most smoke detectors contain some electronic components, and after 8-10 years the alarm sensors wear out. At that point, the entire unit should be replaced. When you replace the unit, write the purchase date on the inside cover, so that you’ll always know when you purchased that unit.  

Generally a smoke detector will let you know if the battery is low. If the smoke detector keeps chirping or there is a blinking red light you might need to change the battery. The smoke detector red light could also indicate that it is over 10 years old and needs to be replaced. A hard wired smoke detector with a red blinking light could indicate there is a problem with the wire connection.

A smoke detector in good working order is an essential component of your home's safety equipment and having at least one smoke detector means that you, your family and your home are safer. 

Deodorization After a Fire

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

Whether large or small, a fire can cause odors to linger for weeks or months if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent odor problems.  

As various materials burn, the smoke will travel throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard to reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors.

SERVPRO® of McKinney professionals provide specialized services that rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. Any restorable item in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and ozoned, including: furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and more.  

SERVPRO® of McKinney professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. Ask our professionals to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you. 

If you experience fire damage or some other incident that requires deodorization services, contact SERVPRO® of McKinney at 469-714-7955.  

Fire Safety Precautions

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

Not every home will catch on fire; but if it does happen, the best way to keep your family and home safe from a fire is to take action before it happens! 

For your loved ones, take the time to: 

  • Plan and practice fire drills with your family; 
  • Have an escape plan from each room; 
  • For second story bedrooms, consider purchasing an emergency escape ladder; 
  • Develop a ‘buddy’ plan if there are young children or elderly residents in your home; and,
  • Have a designated meeting place outside of your home to make sure everyone has safely made it out of the house.  

Here are some precautionary steps to help fireproof your home:

  • Check Your Smoke Alarms Often: Your smoke alarms will alert you of a fire before you see or smell smoke. Check them at least every six months and be sure to change the batteries.
  • Keep A Fire Extinguisher In Your Home: A fire extinguisher can be used to put out some small fires and stop them from spreading. Every home should have one. If your home has more than one story, it's a good idea to have a fire extinguisher on each level.
  • Never Leave Candles Unattended: Candles can easily catch furniture, papers and even hanging pictures and décor on fire. Be sure to extinguish candles when you leave the room and especially if you leave your home.
  • Remove Clutter: Clutter that is too close to a heat source can catch fire. Get rid of clutter that could catch fire or block an escape route. 
  • Check Your Electric Cords, Sockets and Exposed Wires: Check your electric cords and exposed wires often to make sure they are intact and not damaged. Make sure the wall sockets are not too full and that all the plugs are secure. 

Acting on these safety precautions will give you and your family peace of mind. 

Helpful Tips for Fire Prevention

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

Not every home will catch on fire, but the best way to keep your family and home safe from a fire is to take action before it happens! 

For your loved ones, take the time to: 

  • practice fire drills with your family; 
  • have an escape plan from each room; and,
  • have a designated meeting place outside of your home to make sure everyone has safely made it out of the house.  

For your home, take some precautionary steps now to fireproof your home:

  • Check Your Smoke Alarms Often: Your smoke alarms will alert you of a fire before you see or smell smoke. Check them at least every six months.
  • Keep A Fire Extinguisher In Your Home: A fire extinguisher can be used to put out some small fires and stop them from spreading. Every home should have one. If your home has more than one story, it's a good idea to have a fire extinguisher on each level.
  • Never Leave Candles Unattended: Candles can easily catch furniture, papers and even hanging pictures and décor on fire. Be sure to extinguish candles when you leave the room and especially if you leave your home.
  • Remove Clutter: Clutter that is too close to a heat source can catch fire. Once clutter catches on fire, it can make the fire worse and even stop you from getting out of your home during a fire. Get rid of clutter that could catch fire or block an escape route. 
  • Check Your Electric Cords, Sockets and Exposed Wires: Check your electric cords and exposed wires often to make sure they are intact and not damaged. Make sure the wall sockets are not too full and that all the plugs are secure. 

Acting on these safety precautions will give you and your family peace of mind. 

Every Second Counts During a Fire

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

In just a few moments, a small flame can turn into a major fire, making it critical to be prepared by having an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 6 percent of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency plan for your family.

Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.

Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floor. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.

Choose an outside meeting place at a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.

Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.

Plan for everyone in your home with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.

Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime.

We encourage you to make a plan NOW!

Facts About Smoke Damage

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke 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.  

Facts About Smoke:

  • 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 smoke. Additionally, the residue from a protein fire is not the same as smoke. 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. 

Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of McKinney 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. 

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. 

Call SERVPRO® of McKinney at 469-714-4955 for your water restoration needs. We also offer reconstruction services!

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

It is a good idea to have fire extinguishers conveniently located on each floor of your home or business, as well as in all areas in which a fire may break out, such as kitchens, laundry rooms and mechanical rooms. SERVPRO of McKinney would like to provide you with some valuable knowledge in the event of a small fire in your home or business. If you are not in danger and feel that you can safely attempt to extinguish the fire, remember the acronym PASS to help you activate the extinguisher successfully.  

  • Pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher that prevents the handle from being pressed.
  • Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.  
  • Sweep foam from side to side at the base of the fire.

Be sure to watch for re-ignition and repeat the steps if necessary. 

Always remember safety first! If a fire is too large or you are unsure what to do, it is best to leave the area and call 911 immediately.

If you do experience fire or smoke damage in your McKinney home of business, call SERVPRO of McKinney at 469-714-4955. We also offer reconstruction services!

Removing Odors After Smoke or Fire Damage

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning your home or business after smoke or fire damage should include removing the lingering odor. Each cleanup situation is unique, so we will inspect the property to determine the best method for removal. Three methods that we use for odor removal are (1) ozone generators, (2) hydroxyl generators, and (3) deodorants.

Ozone Generator - Ozone is a gas that is both a natural and a man-made product. An ozone generator produces man-made ozone by energizing oxygen molecules, which causes a chemical reaction to occur resulting in ozone. The ozone then exits the generator where it can oxidize smoke, odors and other harmful contaminants, which helps to remove the odor. It’s important to know that while an ozone generator is in operation inside of a building, NO occupancy is allowed.

Hydroxyl Generator - Through a chemical reaction, hydroxyl generators create hydroxyl molecules that safely convert contaminants into harmless carbon dioxide and water. Hydroxyl generators can safely be used while a building is occupied. 

Deodorants- Deodorants are pairing agents that combine with the lingering odor to create new odorless compounds. Use of deodorants is through the forms of liquids, gels, and solids.

Call SERVPRO of McKinney at 469-714-4955. 

Deodorize After Fire or Smoke Damage

7/16/2020 (Permalink)

Whether it’s large or small, a fire in your home or office can cause odors to linger if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. As various materials burn, the smoke that is produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits might cause permanent damage to the structure and may result in resurfacing odors.

SERVPRO of McKinney professionals provide specialized services that rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. Affected areas of the structure that were not replaced, such as ceilings, walls, flooring, and HVAC air ducts, should be professionally cleaned. Restorable contents items that were in affected areas, such as furniture, draperies, textiles, electronics and art, should also be professionally cleaned. 

SERVPRO of McKinney professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance. Rather, they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. Ask our professionals to explain the various deodorization methods and which will work best for your situation.

If you suffer a fire or smoke damage and require deodorization services, contact SERVPRO of McKinney at 469-714-4955. We also offer reconstruction services!

Fire Prevention Tips

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damage can be stressful and overwhelming. A fire is something that nobody expects to happen to them; but if it does happen to you, everything will become extremely chaotic in a short amount of time. Here are some things you can do in advance to help reduce the chance of a fire in your home: 

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in all bedrooms.
  • Test the smoke alarms every month.
  • Replace the batteries in smoke alarms every 12 months. 
  • Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Keep pot holders, towels and curtains away from flames.
  • Never smoke in bed or when you are drowsy or medicated.
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets or extension cords.
  • Do not run electrical cords under rugs.
  • Replace old or frayed electrical cords.
  • Have an escape plan, make sure your whole family knows the plan, and then practice it.

Keep your home and family safe!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Fire and Smoke Cleanup

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

If you have smoke or fire damage in your home or office, we know it’s hard to be patient and not start cleaning yourself. However, smoke and fire damage clean up is different from normal dirt and dust, and you might accidentally cause more damage to your property or the contents. Please let the professionals at SERVPRO of McKinney help you with cleaning smoke or fire damage.

There are some things that you should not do, as well as some things that you can do, to help minimize the damage. 

The Don'ts

  • Do not try washing anything yourself. This could cause the soot to become embedded into the item. 
  • Do not shampoo your carpet, rugs or upholstered furniture. Talk to a professional first.
  • Do not clean any electronics without contacting a professional.
  • Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been affected by the fire, soot, or smoke.
  • Do not turn ceiling fans on. This will stir up the soot residue. 

The Do’s

  • Keep movement in the building to a minimum.  This helps keep particles from being embedded in carpet and fabrics.
  • Wash your hands a lot and be careful not to transfer or wipe soot onto other surfaces.
  • If the electricity is off, empty the refrigerator and freezer, and prop the doors open to prevent odors. 
  • Turn off the furnace and air conditioner to avoid smoke damage to the system and to avoid spreading smoke throughout the property. It’s also good to change the filter, since it could have a lingering smoke odor.
  • Call SERVPRO of McKinney at 469-714-4955 for your fire or smoke restoration needs.

Fire & Smoke Damage Cleanup and Restoration

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

Upon arriving at your home after a fire, SERVPRO of McKinney professionals will inspect every room in your home to look for fire and smoke damage. Fire damage is obvious, so after the inspection our reconstruction manager will provide a written estimate to you and your insurance company to rebuild the fire damaged parts of your home.

Smoke and soot damage is not always obvious, so our production team will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The types of soot include:

  • Wet Smoke Residues result from smoldering fires with low heat. Residues are sticky, smeary and with pungent odors.  Smoke webs can be difficult to clean.
  • Dry Smoke Residues result from fast burning fires at high temperatures. Residues are often dry, powdery, small, non-smearing smoke particles.
  • Protein Residues are virtually invisible residues that discolor paints and varnishes and have an extremely pungent odor.
  • Fuel Oil Soot is from furnace puff backs that distribute fuel oil soot.
  • Other Types of Residues, such as fire extinguisher residues, will also need cleanup.

Cleaning procedures will be based on the information identified during the smoke damage pretesting. 

If you have fire or smoke damage in your home, call SERVPRO of McKinney at 469-714-4955.

Replace Those Batteries!

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

Do remember when there were less than twelve holidays that were celebrated each year? New Years Day, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve? There were a few more days that were government, bank or school holidays, but it was still easy to remember all of them. But now, every single day of the year has become a national day for celebrating many different things. There are over 1,500 national days of things to celebrate even though we only have 365 calendar days to celebrate them. One of these is National Battery Day, which was February 15th.

National Battery Day was created to raise awareness of the importance of testing and having working batteries in our smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These detectors help warn you of a potentially life threatening situation, giving vital time to get you and your loved ones to safety. This is why it is so important to make sure the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home or business have working batteries. It’s never too late to take this safety step, so if you haven’t changed the batteries in these devices yet this year, do it now!  

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

When even the smallest fire occurs in your home or office, smoke or soot damage can occur, even if there was little to no fire damage. If this happens, you need to make sure it is properly cleaned. SERVPRO of McKinney has special cleaning solutions and equipment to clean up soot and smoke stains and to eliminate any lingering odor.  These include:

  • Dry Sponges
  • SERVPRO’s ‘Wall and All’ Wash and Rinse solution
  • SERVPRO’s Firestar cleaning solution
  • Ozone Machines
  • Hydroxyl Machines

Dry Sponges are used for ceilings and flat painted walls or surfaces that can't be wet washed. ‘Wall and All’ and SERVPRO Green solutions are used to clean glossy painted walls and most everyday surfaces, as well as cleaning contents. 

After we have thoroughly cleaned the smoke and soot damaged areas, we can eliminate hard, set in odors by running an Ozone machine (the building must be vacated) or a Hydroxyl machine (the building does not have to be vacated) for several days in the affected areas. These machines deodorize the air and any contents within the given area. 

We also offer RECONSTRUCTION services!

Call SERVPRO of McKinney at 469-714-4955 for your fire and smoke restoration and/or reconstruction needs. We make it “Like it never even happened.”

Process For Restoring After Fire Damage

1/16/2020 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of McKinney, our number one priority is to help return your damaged home or commercial building back to preloss condition. We will do everything we can to make it "Like it never even happened." When a fire happens, you do not want to waste time searching and searching for fire damage restoration companies. You will want a company that responds fast, and will walk you through the process.

To save you some research time, here is our emergency fire damage process:

Within one hour

After receiving your call of loss, SERVPRO of McKinney will contact you within one hour to arrange the first appointment for an inspection. 

Within four hours

Within four hours of notice of loss, our team will be onsite. After cleared by fire professionals and insurance has been spoken to and approved work to begin, mitigation services will begin.

Detailed explanation 

One of our highly trained professionals will talk you through the entire process, step-by-step, explaining what you should expect and what the outcome should be. 

Pretesting

Our team will begin taking inventory and pretesting for restorability, working from the initial source of damage, outwards. 

Within eight hours

Within eight hours of arrival, a verbal briefing of the area will be communicated to the appropriate personnel, usually your adjuster or property manager. 

Cleaning, restoration, and deodorization

Once all the logistics are taken care of, our professionals will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property. With our state-of-the-art techniques and equipment, we will make sure that your property is taken care of right, the FIRST time. 

Final walk-through

Once all of the work is completed, a final walk-through will be conducted with you to be sure you are satisfied. 

If you have any questions about our fire damage restoration or the process itself, give us a call at SERVPRO of McKinney at 469-714-4955. We are here 24/7. 

A Few Helpful Steps To Take After A Commercial Fire

1/13/2020 (Permalink)

A fire is a devastating incident, and you may feel overwhelmed if your business has been affected by fire damage. These are some initial key steps you should take in the aftermath of a fire in order to ensure that your business is up and running again as seamlessly as possible. 

Stay Away From Damage

While you may be tempted to try to start to repair objects that have been damaged by the fire, it is best not to touch any damaged items in your business. Take the following precautions when surveying the effects of the fire:

  • Avoid washing walls or painted surfaces
  • Do not turn on lighting fixtures if walls or ceiling are wet
  • Keep your hands clean to avoid spreading soot particles
  • Refrain from cleaning damaged electronics

Call Your Insurance Company

Make sure to call your insurance company as soon as possible to report the fire damage. The faster you inform them of your loss, the faster you can focus on the restoration and the less likely you are to miss important deadlines. Taking care of the logistics after an incident can help you be well informed during a stressful situation.

Turn off Utilities

Until help arrives, it is crucial to do what you can to minimize further damage. Only if it is safe, turn off all the utilities in your building, including gas, electricity and water. You can shut off the water at the main valve and turn off gas and electricity at the meter. Once you’ve done this, refrain from using any utilities until a professional has inspected them properly.


Whether you need smoke cleaning services, water removal or reconstruction from firefighting efforts, SERVPRO of McKinney can help conduct a fire damage assessment and help beginning to bring your business back to normal. Call our office at 469-714-4955 and we will be happy to help. 

Smoke Damage From A Fire

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Most homeowners don’t think fire or smoke damage could ever happen to them. The reality is that home fires are incredibly common, ranging from very minor to major. A minor fire may not cause a lot of fire damage, but can still cause significant smoke damage that is difficult to clean and dangerous to be living around.

Smoke damage that is a direct result of fire damage should ideally be cleaned by experts. Experts know how to get rid of smoke damage that might be present in the home after it has been ravished by flames. You should always look to hire a licensed, highly experienced professional who has extensive experience dealing with fire damage. The professionals start by evaluating the overall extent of the damage that is present in the home, and then they will go over prices and costs of damage remediation for you to get the issue cleaned up by their company.

There are a lot of reasons why handling smoke damage after a fire should be done by experts and as quickly as possible. The smoke that you find after a fire often contains ash, soot and sometimes even carbons and tar that might have come off of the flames. Also, carbon monoxide is incredibly common after fire damage has been exhibited. Carbon monoxide is very dangerous  because it is odorless and cannot be seen or tasted. Therefore, you may not even know that you are surrounded by carbon monoxide until it has been properly tested. 

Smoke damage can also be aesthetically damaging. Furniture, walls, ceilings and practically anything in your home can become black or gray from the smoke that has come off from a fire. Many things will need to be professionally cleaned, while other things might have to be fully removed from the home in order to get rid of the problem. Your remediation company will be the one who tells you what is salvageable and what is not.

SERVPRO of McKinney has the resources and training to make your damage, "Like it never even happened." Call us today, 469-714-4955.

Fire Prevention

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Not every home will catch on fire, but the best way to keep your family and home safe from a fire is to take action before it happens!

For your loved ones, take the time to:

  • practice fire drills with your family;
  • have an escape plan from each room; and,
  • have a designated meeting place outside of your home to make sure everyone has safely made it out of the house.  

For your home, take some precautionary steps now to fireproof your home:

  • Check Your Smoke Alarms Often: Your smoke alarms will alert you of a fire before you see or smell smoke. Check them at least every six months.
  • Keep A Fire Extinguisher In Your Home: A fire extinguisher can be used to put out some small fires and stop them from spreading. Every home should have one. If your home has more than one story, it's a good idea to have a fire extinguisher on each level.
  • Never Leave Candles Unattended: Candles can easily catch furniture, papers and even hanging pictures and décor on fire. Be sure to extinguish candles when you leave the room and especially if you leave your home.
  • Remove Clutter: Clutter that is too close to a heat source can catch fire. Once clutter catches on fire, it can make the fire worse and even stop you from getting out of your home during a fire. Get rid of clutter that could catch fire or block an escape route.
  • Check Your Electric Cords, Sockets and Exposed Wires: Check your electric cords and exposed wires often to make sure they are intact and not damaged. Make sure the wall sockets are not too full and that all the plugs are secure.

Acting on these safety precautions will give you and your family peace of mind.

Periodically Replace Your Smoke Detectors

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

We all know that it’s a good habit to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors every twelve months. But did you know that smoke detectors lose their effectiveness over time? Because most smoke detectors contain some electronic components, the average lifespan is 8-10 years. At that point, the entire unit should be replaced. When you replace the unit, write the date purchased on the inside cover, so that you’ll always know when you purchased that unit.  

Generally a smoke detector will let you know if the battery is low. If the smoke detector keeps chirping or there is a blinking red light you might need to change the battery. The smoke detector red light could also indicate that it is over 10 years old and needs to be replaced. A hard wired smoke detector with a red blinking light could indicate there is a problem with the wire connection.

A smoke detector in good working order is an essential component of your home's safety equipment and having at least one smoke detector means that you, your family and your home are safer.

SAFETY TIPS FOR USING YOUR STOVE/COOKTOP

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

Almost every residence has a stove or cooktop which is used on a daily basis to prepare meals. These are important appliances in anyone’s household, but life can be dangerous if you are not practicing safety and caution while using them. Cooking-related fires are the primary cause of residential fires in the U.S., but most kitchen fires are preventable, if you follow these safety tips:

  • Never leave cooking food unattended.
  • Do a safety check before each use.
    • Make sure that there are no food particles or grease residue on the stove top.
    • If you have a gas stove or cooktop and you smell gas, open a window, leave the building and call the gas company.
  • Be sure to follow safety guidelines when using stove top burners.
    • Never use a pot that is too small or big for the burner.
    • Never leave a burner on that does not have a filled pot or pan on it.
    • Do not leave an empty pan on a hot burners.
  • Keep all flammable items (e.g. oven mitts, towels and paper) away from the burners.
  • Check for body safety:
    • Tie back long hair.
    • Roll up long sleeves.
    • Remove loose jewelry.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher, baking soda and metal lids nearby to put out fires quickly.

After A Fire

1/16/2019 (Permalink)

If your home or office should sustain fire damage, occupant safety should be your first concern! After the fire fighters have left, consider the following before going in the building:

  • Is the house or office building structurally sound?
  • Wet materials can be very heavy, so be careful lifting any contents that are wet.
  • Common post-fire accidents involve slip and fall hazards or electrical-related incidents.
  • Only do activities that can be safely performed.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to clean or use any electrical appliances that may have been close to the fire or that were exposed to high heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire or exposed to high heat or water.
  • Don't turn on any lights or electrical appliances or fixtures if the walls or ceiling have fire damage or are wet. There might be damage to the wiring.
  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning could set smoke odor.

What To Do After A Fire

  • Call a qualified restoration company, like SERVPRO of McKinney, for proper cleaning of the structure and contents that were not destroyed.
  • Limit movement in the home or office to prevent soot particles from becoming embedded into the carpet or upholstered furniture.
  • Keep your hands clean to avoid further damage to upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet.
  • If the electricity is off, empty the refrigerator and freezer, then keep the doors open.
  • Clean and protect metallic finishes, like chrome or brass, with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Change the HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over the air registers.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.

Choosing a Fire Extenguisher

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know there are five different types of fire extinguishers and that each type is designed for  different types of fire? Whether for your home or business, it’s important to have the correct type of fire extinguisher available.

Class A: This is the most common fire extinguisher. It can be used to put out fires in ordinary combustibles such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper and many plastics.

Class B: This type of fire extinguisher is used on fires involving flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline or oil.

Class C: These fire extinguishers are designed for fires involving appliances, tools, or other equipment electrically energized or plugged in.

Class D: These fire extinguishers are for use on flammable metals, and are typically found only in factories that work with flammable metals.

Class K: This type of fire extinguisher is intended for use on fires that involve vegetable oils, animal oils or fats in cooking appliances. Class K fire extinguishers are generally found in commercial kitchens, but are becoming more popular for use in home kitchens.

Multi-Use: There are fire extinguishers available that are able to be used on several different types of fires. A combination of Classes A, B and C is a common multi-use fire extinguisher.

Heating Safety Tips

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

With the cold weather quickly approaching brings the need for heaters. Follow these proper safety tips shared by the National Fire Protection Association will help keep you and your family safe during this cold weather season.

Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fires and deaths. Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. Some simple steps taken can prevent most heating-related fires from happening.

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, for example: the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot minimum “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year only by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to always turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop the sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should always be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container then a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

Contents Cleaning

3/16/2018 (Permalink)

A home fire can be devastating. The most important aspect is that you made it out of your home safely. You will begin asking yourself if some of your belongings can be saved. SERVPRO of McKinney professionals are experts in cleaning your contents after a fire. We can help answer these questions on what is restorable and what is not for you as we walk the property.

The first thing you will have to do is get rid of the water and moisture. Not doing so will cause further secondary damage and allow mold the chance to grow. We have the proper equipment to extract remaining water and air movers and dehumidifiers to properly dry out your structure. Put furniture on wood blocks if possible and hang clothes, draperies and pillows outside to dry. For non-damaged items, content storage is recommended so nothing can cause harm to them. We can help in this process as well.

For clothes, our professionals recommend dry cleaning. Don’t attempt to clean the clothes, draperies and any other textile items yourself as this can cause permanent damage to them and generally will not remove the soot. If salvageable, a restoration expert can remove the soot from your damaged items.

After you get rid of the soot, you will want to get rid of the smoke smell in textiles and throughout the home. Thoroughly vent your home as much as possible. The experts at SERVPRO of McKinney use specialized procedures such as ozone treatment and thermal fogging to effectively remove the smell. We have a ozone room at our warehouse to place your contents in.

Non-porous items are generally easier to clean than porous items. Ultrasonic treatment and high-pressure water are some of the procedures used. Our equipment and specially formulated cleaning products can successfully remove contamination from your belongings and restore them to preloss condition. 

These are a few of the helpful ways you can follow to clean your content after a home fire. The professionals at SERVPRO of McKinney have the proper expertise, tools and equipment to get the job done right and can help with dry cleaning, content cleaning and content storage. 

When To Use a Fire Extinguisher

3/16/2018 (Permalink)

Do you know where the closest fire extinguisher is in your home or place of work? Even more importantly, do you know how to use it? Both of these things are very important to know so you know what to do in case of an emergency and to keep you safe. Listed below are some tips on when to use a fire extinguisher during an emergency.

  1. The outside of the extinguisher is clean, and all parts are operable and not damaged or restricted
  2. You have identified an escape, and the fire is not between you and the route
  3. You have alerted other occupants, and someone has called the fire department
  4. You are safe from the toxic smoke produced by the fire
  5. The fire is contained to a single object, such as a wastebasket

These tips are good to know so you can safely use a fire extinguisher. It is also good to familiarize yourself with the location of the fire extinguisher in your home and workplace. Stay safe!

Fire Deodorization

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems. 

As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard to reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors.

SERVPRO Of McKinney professionals provide specialized services that rid in your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. Any restorable item in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and ozoned, including: furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and more.

SERVPRO Of McKinney professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. Ask our professionals to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.

If you or a customer suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services contact SERVPRO Of McKinney. Wether it's fire, water or mold damage, or just stubborn odor that refuses to go away.

Do's and Don'ts After a Fire

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

A fire in your home can be a devastating experience.  Contact SERVPRO of McKinney to help you with the restoration process, but here are some important Do’s and Don’ts to help you before we arrive:

DO:

Limit movement in the house to prevent soot particles from being embedded into carpet and upholstery.

Keep your hands clean.  Soot on your hands can further soil upholstery, wall and woodwork.

Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.

If the electricity is off, empty the refrigerator and freezer completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.

Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricants.

Change HVAC filter, but leave the system off until a trained professional can check the system.

If the HVAC system is left on, tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON’T:

Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of McKinney.

Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first contacting SERVPRO of McKinney.

Attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to the fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.

Consume any food or beverage that may have been stored close to the fire, heat or water.  (These items may be contaminated.)

Turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet.  Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may cause secondary damage.

Send garments to the dry cleaners.  Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

3/5/2018 (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.

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 will assess 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. 

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is unique, 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. 

Do You Have An Exit Plan?

11/7/2017 (Permalink)

Every second counts during a fire. In a matter of moments, a small flame can turn into a major fire, making it critical to be prepared by having an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 6 percent of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency plan for your family.

Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.

Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floor. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.

Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.

Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.

Plan for everyone in your home with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.

Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime.

We encourage you to make a plan NOW!