Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fast Response to Fire in Eaton County

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

exterior of home with visible fire damage boarded up Board up and lock box at Eaton County residential fire

When people think about home and structure fires they often think about the lasting effects of that fire. Their damaged contents and structure being forefront in their minds. Often, because of the panic and the stress of the initial damage they don't think about the initial board up and security that may be needed. That is where SERVPRO of Eaton County comes in. 

SERVPRO of Eaton County offers emergency board up and security services. 

If the doors, windows and roof of a home or business aren't damaged from the fire, they may be damaged by the fire department while they are trying to put out the fire and gain access to the house. SERVPRO of Eaton County can come out as soon as the fire department clears the scene of the fire to board up windows, doors or the roof and to set a lock box. This prevents additional damage from the elements and also unwanted intruders. 

What to Expect: Eaton County Fire Damage

3/31/2020 (Permalink)

Bedroom with soot stained carpets and open ceiling. Walls are black and peeling away from the studs This entire house was affected by soot, so everything will need to be cleaned... down to the studs.

This family’s Eaton County home suffered from a fire caused by an electrical malfunction. It’s always devastating when a family experiences a house fire, but SERVPRO of Eaton County worked hard to recover the structure and contents. We were able to remove the soot and even the smell of the smoke from the home, so that the family returned to a safe, clean space. Our goal is always to make your home “Like it never even happened.” 

What To Expect: 

When we visit your home after a fire loss, we will scope the affected areas to determine the extent of the loss. We will always pretest affected surfaces to determine the type of smoke and which products will help us recover the area most effectively. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. If a fire has damaged your home, call us right away at 517-541-1170. SERVPRO of Eaton County  will treat you and your family with empathy and respect, and your property with care.  

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 Eaton County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting.

Fire Safety Tips

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

Burned black and charred house frame is all thats left after house fire A house fire isn't anticipated, but some can be prevented if you keep in mind these simple tips

You may not always be able to prevent fire but here are some tips for Fire Safety:

-Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home. Make sure they are inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. 

-Test your smoke alarms every month. If they do not work, change the batteries or replace the whole alarm if needed. 

-Make an escape plan with your family members. Talk about how everyone will get out and where you will meet once outside. Practice the plan twice a year. 

-If you notice any flicking lights or electrical outlets sparking do not use them. Shut the power off to that area of the home and have an electrician come out and check the wires. 

-Make sure all small appliances such as toasters, space heaters and even heated blankets are unplugged when not in use. 

There are many other things you can do to help prevent fires in your home. Be aware of how your home functions at its best so you will automatically notice if something is out of the ordinary. 

House Fire Caused by Small Appliances

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

melted plastic remains of a personal dehumidifier This is what was left of the personal Dehumidifier that caused this house fire

There are a myriad of things that can cause house fires. It can seem impossible to prevent all the fire hazards in your home. Smaller appliances such as toasters, space heaters and dehumidifiers can pose great risks if not properly used, maintained and monitored.

-Be sure to check the appliance regularly. Any irregularity in the unit or the power cord could be a potential fire hazard. 

-Be sure that the wall outlets you are plugging your appliance into are working properly. If you notice any flickering lights or sparks shut the power off and contact an electrician. 

-Unplug the appliance when not in use. An unused toaster sitting on the counter can easily be accidentally turned on.

-Make sure the appliance is far away from any potential fire hazard such as blankets, papers or even water which can cause the unit to spark. 

Many appliances have safety features on them that are supposed to shut the unit off when they tip over or malfunction in some way but this is not fool proof. Never leave them running unattended. 

Smoke & Soot Damaged Contents

12/27/2019 (Permalink)

A total loss fire damaged home in Eaton County All that was salvageable from this loss were some family photos

A house fire is never planned for, or expected. Many of our favorite and most treasured items are the once that are irreplaceable. Some examples are pictures, handmade items and antiques. Good thing for our customers, SERVPRO of Eaton County specializes in cleaning all types of contents.


Many times some of the things, like photos, that get wet and stick together and seem like they are a loss, can actually be saved. SERVPRO of Eaton County has the knowledge, expertise and training to clean and restore all of your property after a house fire.


Generally fire affected contents will be wet as well from the fire department putting out the fire. This can cause extra issues as well but these items can usually be still be saved. We make it our priority to clean and restore your contents as if they were our own.


Call SERVPRO of Eaton County to clean your smoke or fire damaged contents at 517-541-1170

Eaton County Smoke & Soot Cleanup

12/27/2019 (Permalink)

Servpro employees use a dry chem sponge to clean soot from ceiling Soot isn't just dirty, it can leave behind odors if not thuroughly cleaned.

Smoke and soot are very invasive, and can penetrate various cavities within your home. This causes 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 Eaton County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call SERVPRO of Eaton County (517) 541-1170

Smoke and Soot After a Small Fire

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Two metal pots on stove with lots of smoke filling the room SERVPRO of Eaton County knows exactly what steps to follow a fire. Reach out to us if you need help with any restoration repairs.

Taking Care of Smoke and Soot After a Small Fire

If you had a small house fire, then you may be wondering why you need to leave your house for some time. After all, if the rest of your house wasn't damaged by the fire, it may seem excessive to stay at a hotel.

However, smoke and soot left behind by the fire carry potential health risks. Learn why you may need to evacuate for some time and how to take care of smoke damages when you return home.

Understand the Health Risks

Believe it or not, about 50 percent to 80 percent of fire-related deaths are because of smoke inhalation rather than burns. Additionally, combustion uses oxygen, so large fires are dangerous since they can use up the oxygen in the air and cause asphyxiation.

Although smaller fires may not use up all the oxygen in the air, the smoke is still dangerous because it is a mix of gases and heated particles. If you or a family member inhales chemical irritants, like sulfur dioxide, in the smoke, then they are at risk for injury. Smoke can irritate eyes, skin, mucous membranes, and respiratory tracts.

Once the fire is out, there will still be lingering smoke and soot in your home, which can still make you sick. Young children, people with poor immune systems, and the elderly are especially at risk for developing respiratory issues, like bronchitis.

Follow the recommendations of fire professionals and restoration companies if they say that you need to evacuate the house. If you or a family member was exposed to any smoke, see a doctor just to make sure you are okay. The effects of smoke inhalation may not reveal themselves right away; keep an eye out for:

  • Prolonged coughing spells
  • Difficulties with concentration
  • Difficulty breathing or a hoarse voice
  • Frequent headaches

If you have any of these symptoms, visit a doctor to make sure that you're all right.

Let Professionals Assess the Smoke Damage

You may need to evacuate your home so that professionals can properly assess the fire and smoke damage. Your insurance company needs to evaluate who was at fault and how the damages will be covered.

Professionals at restoration companies also need to assess what work needs to be done and figure out when it's safe enough to do so. For instance, the restoration professionals may need to properly ventilate the house before they can make repairs.

Although you may think you just have smoke damage, a restoration professional may find other issues. For example, you may have water damages from firefighting efforts, meaning that they will have to make sure the house doesn't have mold or structural damage.

Once the professionals have assessed the damages, they can proceed to make it safe for you to enter the house again.

Remove Lingering Odors When It's Safe to Return

Once you get the go-ahead to return to your home, you may find that while other restorations are underway, there are still odors from the fire. You shouldn't take care of large damages since they can put your health at risk, but you can help eliminate poor air quality.

Products with tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) are great at reducing smoky odors on upholstered furniture, clothing, and curtains. Make sure that you check your fabrics for care instructions. Remember that TSP can be caustic, so make sure that you wear a mask and gloves and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Purchase dry-cleaning sponges to wipe off any soot or smoke stains on the walls. If there are still loose soot particles on the floor, use a shop-vac to remove the debris. Also consider installing or renting a HEPA air purifier to catch any lingering particulates in the air.

Lastly, talk with a professional from a restoration company to see what they cover in their services. Some places will clean up the odors along with their restorations. Contact us at SERVPRO of Eaton County if you need help with any restorations.

14 Potential Fire Hazards in Your Home

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

House fires are more common than you may realize, with potential fire starters like light bulbs, laptops and lint traps hiding in plain sight throughout your home, disguised as harmless everyday necessities. Are you guilty of these bad habits that could start a fire in your home?


Misusing Electric Blankets: A warm and cozy electric blanket is a welcome comfort in the winter but, it also poses a potential fire hazard. Never allow pets to snuggle on top and don't pile extra covers over the electric blanket. Excessive heat builds up may lead to a fire. Never bend the coils, always keep your blanket at it's lowest setting and always turn it off in the morning.


Piling up dirty rags: A wood stain may be the perfect finishing touch on a DIY project, but later on, that pile of oil-soaked rags you tossed in the corner could trigger the perfect storm. Those rags are a very real fire hazard if left unattended. The rags could oxidize and spontaneously combust, causing a house or building fire. Two proper ways to dispose of oily rags are to lay them flat outside to dry or to put them in a metal can filled with water and a tight fitting lid.


Neglecting appliance recalls: Home appliances have caused an estimated 150,000 fires each year, just during the last decade! A significant number of these were caused by faulty appliances. You can visit www.recalls.gov or register your appliance with the manufacturer to keep on top of recalls and prevent disaster.


Lingering dryer lint: We're sure you know emptying the lint screen increases your dryer's efficiency, but did you know that lint is flammable? The combination of lint buildup and excessive heat is a recipe for disaster. Make sure to clean the interior of the dryer frame as well as the dryer vent and exhaust duct regularly to clear away lint and clogs and to reduce the risk of fire.


Letting your laptop overheat: If you own a laptop, you know how hot it can get, Leaving your computer on your bed, chair, rug or another soft flammable surface, you increase the risk of restricting airflow through the cooling vents. This can cause your laptop to overheat and possibly catch fire. Keeping your laptop on a desk or table will help prevent fires.


Choosing the wrong wattage: If you've ever thought "It's okay to use this 60-watt bulb in this 40-watt socket" you're not alone. However, you are putting your home at risk. A leading cause of electrical fires is using a light bulb with a wattage that is too high for a lamp or light fixture. Always check the light fixtures maximum wattage and never go over the recommended rating.


Using too many extension cords: Extension cords are meant to be a temporary response to a lack of electrical outlets; not a permanent solution. The reason why is this: connecting a large number of cords for a significant amount of time causes an overload that will lead to a short circuit - which could start a fire. Hiring a qualified electrician to install additional outlets could help you avoid this problem altogether.


DIY projects you're not qualified to perform: Americas will spend about $200 billion fixing up their homes this year and nearly a fifth of that will go toward DIY projects. Jobs involving electrical wiring, plumbing and HVAC units should never be completed without a qualified professional. Gas leaks and electrical sparks result from improper installation and are a common cause of house fires. Hire a licensed professional instead of attempting dangerous DIYS on your own to avoid putting your family and home at risk.


Disregarding dust: Built-up dust can be a fire hazard if it collects in and around electrical sockets, electronics, and even floor heaters. Vacuuming regularly, especially behind electronics, will significantly reduce the chance of dust particles catching fire.


Improperly storing batteries: Storing 9-volt batteries in your kitchen junk drawer might be putting your home and family at risk. When loose batteries roll around with other metals such as paper clips or screws, the two terminals could short out, possibly generating enough heat to ignite flammables nearby. If storing the batteries in the original package isn't an option, place a piece of electrical tape over the terminal to prevent this possibility.


Ignoring unwanted guests: Rodents like mice and rats like to chew on electrical wires to control the length of their teeth. Over time, they can remove the sheathing, this leaves the wires exposed. The electrical current traveling through the wire generates heat and if the wire is exposed this could lead to sparks, which in turn could ignite the surrounding surface. Call an exterminator if you suspect you have rodents.


Forgetting the chimney sweep: There are common cause of chimney fires, such as dead birds, raccoon nests, cracked mortar, and built-up creosote. The National Fire Protection Assoc. recommends a professional chimney sweep at least once a year. Also, when building a fire in your fireplace, never light it with kerosene. Always use an approved fire starter.


Overlooking the range hood: Ovens and cooktops are the most common sources of kitchen fires. But, range hoods are also a potential threat. Grease builds up over time and can drip down onto the cooktop, possibly starting a fire. These flames could easily reach your cabinets and before you know it your kitchen could be engulfed. Regularly clean and maintain your range hood to keep your kitchen out of harm's way.


Unwisely arranging furniture: Furniture placed too close to a wood stove could spontaneously ignite. Pyrolysis is the chemical decomposition of a combustible item. This occurs when an object is continually exposed to a heat source and dries out. This leading-yet seldom considered the cause of fires doesn't even require a direct flame. It only takes heat and time


If you find yourself in need of restoration after a fire, call SERVPRO of Eaton County. We are available 24/7-365
517-541-1170

Save Items After a Kitchen Fire

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

Surprised woman in home kitchen wearing a red apron over a yellow shirt, holding wooden spoon in one hand and a skillet with SERVPRO of Eaton County is ready here to guide you through the restoration process.

A small house fire can lead to extensive problems. A kitchen fire, for example, contained in the area around a stove, may only burn a small area. However, the smoke smell and the soot from the fire will fill the entire room. To save money and preserve the items you love, learn what you can do in the event of a kitchen fire.

Clean Recipe Books

Modern cooks often find their recipes online, but many homes still have treasured family recipe books and paper recipes handwritten by relatives. The books have the sentimentality of an heirloom item, and homeowners may feel their loss will take away the personality of their kitchen.

Clean books carefully by using a cloth dampened with a mild detergent and water to wipe down solid covers. A dry sponge wiped along the ends of the pages can help to remove soot along the edges. Clean the exteriors as much as possible before opening the book because it is possible to spread soot-covered fingerprints across the pages.

Place any books with water damage from fire sprinklers on a table in a well-ventilated room. Open to the first damp page and keep a fan blowing across the book until the page dries. Do each page of the books individually and thoroughly to prevent mold growth from damp pages.

Some services offer ozone chambers that remove the soot and smoke smell. The process can often return the book to its pre-fire condition. Some insurance plans may cover the cost of this restoration service for valuable or irreplaceable books.

Clean Soft Materials

Curtains and kitchen towels absorb smoke odors easily, and a few trips through a washing machine do not always remove the smell or the soot. A soak overnight in a washing machine with baking powder and detergent may remove the offensive odor and soot for mild-to-moderate fabric damage. More severe damage may require professional restoration help.

Wash the Dishes

Clean all dishes thoroughly to make them shine again and to remove the toxins in the soot. Start by wiping away as much soot as possible. A dry-cleaning sponge can remove dirt and soot with no water. The sponges sell at art supply stores, home repair stores, and through online retailers.  

Soak the dishes for 30 minutes or more in a pan of hot, soapy water after wiping thoroughly with the dry sponge. Use a good-quality detergent that cuts through grease. Replace the water and soap after soaking and wash the surfaces thoroughly. Towel dry the dishes and check for any odor. Repeat the process for dishes that still smell like smoke. 

Sort the Groceries

Throw out any food that was open or may have had contact with water or soot. Only the food in sealed containers made from a non-porous material like glass, plastic, and metal are safe after a fire. Throw out the food in the refrigerator if the power was out for over four hours and clear the freezer if the refrigerator was off for 48 hours or more.

Do not keep any open or uncovered food like potatoes in a bin or the items in a fruit bowl. Throw away any food product close to the heat of the fire. Containers that heated too much may look acceptable from the outside, but the products inside may have cooked fully or partially in the jar.

Homeowners have a lot of questions after a fire takes place. Everyone wants to preserve as many of their belongings as possible. At SERVPRO of Eaton County, we can offer advice and clean and restore homes and belongings. Contact us to learn more about the cleanup and restoration services we offer or call immediately to request our emergency services.

Emergency Fire Damage Tips for Homeowners

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Kitchen Fire Kitchen Fire

When you have a fire loss in your home, it's easy to want to take action before help arrives. It's good to know what to do, and what to avoid doing before a SERVPRO professional arrives. Here are some helpful hints to get you through the first couple hours of your fire loss.

To Do:

* Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling.
* If the electricity is turned off, empty freezers and refrigerator, and prop doors open.
* Wipe soot from chrome on all kitchen and bathroom faucets and appliances, then protect them with a light coating of lubricant.
* Limit movement in the home to prevent further damage.


What NOT To Do:

* Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting a SERVPRO Professional.
* Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture.
* Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire or water without first consulting a repair service. 

Remember: Proper emergency response to a loss significantly reduces further damage and replacement costs. Let a trained and certified crew from SERVPRO of Eaton County help make it "Like it never even happened."