Recent Fire Damage Posts

The 4 Leading Causes of Home Fires

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

Bathroom destroyed by fire House fire in Ebensburg, PA

The 4 Leading Causes of Home Fires

Fire statistics in the U.S. paint a picture of a disturbingly common problem. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a fire breaks out somewhere in the nation every 24 seconds. While progress has been made over the years, a home fire still happens frequently. Most of the fires are preventable with common-sense precautions. The leading causes of a fire show people often make unwise choices in their homes.

1. Cooking Fires - When it comes to fire causes in homes, this is among the most common fires. In addition to causing about 550 deaths a year, these fires account for about $1 billion in property damage. This type of home fire spikes around the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
2. Candle Fires - While candles can be soothing, they can also be dangerous. About 21 candle fires are reported every day in the U.S. December and January are the peak months for this fire type. They cause a higher amount of property damage than many other fires.
3. Home Grill Fires - This type of fire accounts for about 10,600 home fires each year. Though home grill fires do not cause a lot of deaths, they still cause a lot of damage to home structures.
4. Electrical Fires - This type of fire is caused when electrical systems malfunction. They are most common in old weather months. Electrical fires are often caused by arcing, and they result in many deaths and significant property damage every year.
A home fire is a devastating event for many families. To help people cope with the aftermath of a fire, a local fire remediation franchise in Ebensburg, PA, is often the best resource to aid in recovery. The technicians are experts in fire cleaning, and they can deal with both the effects of structural damage as well as smoke damage. The technicians can also offer excellent advice on fire precautions and avoiding a fire in the first place.

Rebuild Right with a Mitigation Professional

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Warehouse Fire Inside Commercial fire damage in Cresson, PA

Rebuild Right with a Mitigation Professional

If your property in Cresson, PA, has fire damage, getting back up and running as quickly as possible is vital. After calling your insurance provider and visiting with an insurance adjuster, figuring out just how to return to normal can be overwhelming. Instead of trying to take on the complex and time-consuming process, a fire mitigation and restoration company may be your best bet.

Services for All Damage
Although the initial source of the damage may be fire, there is often secondary damage from the water used to suppress the flames. If not properly and quickly addressed, it may result in water damage or mold growth. There are also odors left behind from the smoke. By choosing a certified professional to help, you can count on:

  • Local service providers that provide 24/7 services and can arrive fast to mitigate further damage.
  • A thorough inspection and assessment completed quickly.
  • Mitigation for fire, water and mold damage completed by certified professionals who adhere to industry standards.
  • Advanced cleaning and deodorizing methods to restore items and eradicate lingering odors.
  • Proper and efficient replacement or rebuilding of structural components, such as drywall and carpeting.

Claim Process Assistance
A fire damage claim doesn’t happen overnight. Once the process has started, working with a mitigation company can help ease the burden of figuring out what happens next. Along with providing a fast response time and pretesting to restore as much as possible instead of replacing, the right company will have a solid relationship with insurance companies. Taking the extra step to maintain an itemized loss inventory and electronic access to the claim, which includes a detailed listing of every aspect of the project, makes the process go more smoothly.
Dealing with fire damage often means much more than making a few quick fixes. The restoration process can be overwhelming, so count on help that makes it “Like it never even happened.”

4 Tips for Removing Microwave Smells

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

Young repairman repairing microwave in service centre It is possible to remove the smoke smell from burnt food

Tips To Help You With a Smelly Disaster

Some microwave smells, such as burnt popcorn, are so offensive workplaces have banned employees from microwaving certain foods. However, it is possible to remove the smoke smell from burnt food and other offensive odors from your oven. Try these three tips next time you have a smelly disaster.

1. White Vinegar
Put a cup of water and four tablespoons of white vinegar in a microwave-safe container and boil the water. Once the mixture is steaming, leave it in the oven for five minutes. When the five minutes are up, wipe down the appliance with a damp rag or paper towel and then clean with soap and water.

2. Baking Soda
Combine five teaspoons of baking soda with a quart of warm water. Use a rag or sponge to scrub this mixture onto the surfaces of your microwave. The abrasiveness of the baking soda can help remove dried-on food, while the odor-fighting properties also remove the smoke smell or other odors.

3. Replace the Bad Odors With Good Ones
Mixing a couple of tablespoons of a substance, such as coffee grounds, vanilla extract or cloves, with water and then boiling that water in your appliance can remove bad odors and replace them with good ones. Wipe it down with a cloth or paper towel afterward to remove any excess moisture.

4. Avoid Bad Odors
The most effective way to avoid bad odors in your microwave is to avoid the behaviors that often lead to them. Do not leave your popcorn or other easily burnt food unattended. Wipe up spills promptly. Use a cover to prevent food from splattering. Do not put metal in the science oven and keep the vent grill clean.
The best way to avoid the smoke smell from burnt food is to not burn your food, but accidents happen. If these tips do not eliminate the odors from your home, consider hiring a professional smoke cleanup company in Belsano, PA, to assist you.

When Did You Last Think About Your Fire Escape Plan?

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

People escape to fire exit door How many emergency exits are there in your building?

How To Craft An Escape Plan

How many times throughout your day do you consider your disaster planning? Do you run through your fire prevention efforts and exit strategies? A contingency plan can be a useful tool in the event of a disaster, but if you fail to practice or review it, is it really a help? Having a fire restoration company in Cresson, PA, on standby is only part of the preventive strategy, it is also necessary to know how to craft an escape plan and ensure your staff and facility stay safe during a fire.

Count the exits
Eliminate obstacles
Inspect preventative systems
Get real about practice

Count the Exits
How many emergency exits are there in your building? How many exits out of each room? The minimum number of exits suggested for an evacuation plan is two for every room. People need to have multiple ways of getting to safety from their workspace. In offices, a door and a window are enough, but make sure that employees have tools needed for a safe escape.

Eliminate Obstacles
As part of the contingency plan and escape, it is crucial to keep hallways free and clear. Also, avoid placing shelving and storage in front of windows or doorways. When a fire happens, the smoke makes it nearly impossible to see. Obstacles only slow down a person's escape.

Inspect Preventative Systems
Annual and semi-annual inspections of preventative systems can help reassure you and your staff of the safety of the building. Sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers are some of the best defenses against fire, and keeping these tools functional should be a priority among business owners.

Get Real About Practice
Too many companies have escape plans, but they fail to practice. Having maps and exit signs are not enough to ensure the safety of employees. Practice regularly throughout the year.
A business contingency plan is about preparing for the worst-case. If you need help designing a plan, then contact a disaster professional for advice.

Smoke Alarm 101

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke detector mounted on roof in apartment A smoke alarm can be an important tool for informing you of danger before a fire gets out of hand

Smoke Alarm 101

While a fire damage restoration service can help make repairs after a fire occurs, many professionals recommend using fire alarms so that you can be informed of a fire in time to evacuate and call the fire department. When installing a smoke alarm in your Johnstown, PA, home there are a few things you should know.

1. Different Types of Alarms

There are several different types of alarm you can consider when taking fire safety precautions in your home. A heat alarm goes off when the room temperature reaches a specific degree. Ionization and photoelectric detector both react to smoke, although an ionization detector triggers when an electric current is interrupted and a photoelectric detector senses smoke with a beam of light. You may also be able to find combination detectors as well.

2. Where To Place Alarms

It’s recommended to place a smoke alarm inside and outside each bedroom. The bedroom alarm should be placed closer to the door so that it will go off if any smoke leaks through. The alarm outside the bedroom can be placed so that it centers between several rooms so that everyone can hear it’s warning. You should also place an alarm in the kitchen, and in any workshop areas that use power equipment.

3. How Many Alarms to Have

Many professionals recommend having at least one smoke detector per floor in your home. There should also be one alarm per bedroom. You can also count an alarm for each additional location you believe to be important. The total of these added together will be the number of alarms that should be in your residence.

A smoke alarm can be an important tool for informing you of danger before a fire gets out of hand. Remember there are several types of alarms and choose the best fit for your home. It’s recommended to place one alarm per floor, and one alarm in each bedroom. Remember, if a fire does occur, a restoration service can help.

Dryer Fire Safety

5/25/2020 (Permalink)

Clothes dryers can be found in over 8.1 million home in the United States, but did you know they are responsible for over 2,900 home fires that have resulted in millions of dollars in property loss.

The leading cause of home clothes dryer fires are from the users failure to properly clean them. Over time the dryer vent fills up with lint that sneaks into the filters that will begin to restrict airflow causing heat to build up and sometimes ignite.

There is no such thing as a small fire. Regardless of the size of the event, a fire in one room can damage belongings and surfaces throughout your home and cause odors that may last for years if not properly cared for. Before you risk doing further damage to your home by attempting to cleanup the damage yourself, call the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals!

SERVPRO of Ebensburg can help with Fire Damage 

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Ebensburg has highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding to any size disaster with 24-hour emergency response. Contact us today, at 8(814) 472-0800, to see what SERVPRO of Ebensburg can do to help you!

How To Pick a Fire Extinguisher for Your Home

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

Black smoke coming out of a house When a home fire starts, you won't have too much time to act

Ask Yourself Three Questions During the Purchase

As soon as you see smoke, call 911 and evacuate your family. If possible, grab your fire extinguisher, and smother the flames, buying your loved ones those few extra lifesaving minutes. The device can help minimize the flames, allowing everyone to make an escape. The fire crew can handle the rest, and a fire restoration company in Portage, PA, can take care of the damage. Do your part. When you stock your home with an extinguisher, ask yourself three questions during the purchase.

1. Can You Lift It?

When a home fire starts, you won't have too much time to act. Flames spread within minutes; therefore, you must move swiftly throughout the house with it in your hand. For example, extinguishers are sold by the weight, sitting on shelves in 2, 5 and 10 pounds. In times of distress, you will carry them and hold them upright. So, consider if you would be able to pick it up and move it without anyone's assistance. You should be able to hold it on your own for several minutes.

2. What Does It Put Out?

Read the label on the fire extinguisher. Letters should be on it, indicating what type of blaze it can handle. The letter A means the object could put out fires starting from paper and wood. B means it has chemicals to manage sparks from oils such as kitchen conflagrations. Finally, the letter C indicates the device douses electrical fires. Several units smother all three, making them versatile for your needs.

3. How Long Will It Last?

Your device is an essential part of your fire preparedness plan. You'll want to make sure that it is functioning and ready to use. Over time, though, they can lose pressure. You'll need to check on it. Metal valves can be refilled, but plastic ones may need to be replaced.
When you go to the store for a fire extinguisher, look over the labels carefully. Can you use it easily? Would it last? Is it functional for your demands? Select the one that is best for your concerns.

4 Things You Should Never Do If You Smell Natural Gas

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Someone with both hands holding a lighted candle Lighting an open flame near natural gas is a quick way to start a gas fire

4 Things You Should Never Do If You Smell Natural Gas

If you ever suspect that there might be leaking gas in your home in Cresson, PA, taking immediate action is the only way to avoid an unfortunate gas fire from starting, which can damage your home and require fire damage cleanup services. While natural gas is odorless on its own, mercaptan is added to produce a smell similar to rotten eggs. If you detect this scent or hear a distinct hissing noise inside your home, your main goal should be to escape the area and call for help. A gas explosion can happen quickly if certain precautions aren’t taken, so make sure to refrain from any of the following actions:

Do Not Turn On Any Lights or Appliances

While your first instinct might be to turn on the light if you hear a hissing noise at night, never flip the switch. Similarly, don’t turn on any other appliance for whatever reason. Even a flashlight can create a spark, so focus on escaping safely if it is too dark to find the source of the leak.

Do Not Light a Candle

Lighting an open flame near natural gas is a quick way to start a gas fire. A candle should never be used to mask a sulfur-like odor, and don’t use one as a light source at night.

Do Not Open the Garage Door

When exiting your house, use the front or back door instead of the garage. If you are trying to air out your home, you can open windows and doors instead.

Do Not Use Your Phone or Other Electronic Device

Wait to call for help until you are outside of your home. Using your phone or other electronic devices can result in a gas fire.
Even if you’re not sure if there is actually a natural gas leak in your home, you should always take your suspicions seriously. Avoid any actions that can cause a spark and focus on finding your way to safety.

What To Expect During a Fire Cleanup

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

White door with glass in the middle Post fire cleanup in Johnstown,PA

Fire Cleanup

If your Johnstown, PA, home has experienced fire or smoke damage you may be wondering the best way to get everything restored. Fortunately, a fire restoration service may be able to help. Here are the three steps you may see these professionals perform during a fire cleanup.

1. Inspection

The first step you may see your local fire damage restoration service take is to thoroughly inspect the damaged area. This allows them to locate any fire, smoke and soot damage that may be present, as well as formulate a plan for the restoration process. Once they know where the damage is located, what type, and how much is present, they can begin taking steps to help prevent any further loss.

2. Prevention

After the area is assessed, you may see your restoration company began covering over areas of smoke damage with tarps or boards. This step helps prevent additional damage by preventing weather, animals, or other humans from accessing the area until appropriate repairs can be made. Your restoration service may also take the opportunity to recommend upgrades to your home that may help mitigate potential issues in the future.

3. Restoration

Once the inspection and any necessary damage prevention measures have been taken, the restoration service can begin any smoke cleaning necessary before the repair process. Once the area has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, repairs can begin. It may take a little time depending on the extent of the damage, but your home can be restored back to its original condition.
When a fire restoration service begins work on smoke damage in your home, you may see them start with inspecting the property and damage type so that they can correctly formulate a plan. The next step will often be to take steps to prevent further damage until repairs can be made. After everything is prepared the restoration process can begin, and your home can be restored to look as it did before the fire

Preventing House Fires

7/21/2019 (Permalink)

Space heater are a frequent cause of house fire

Although a home fire in Gallitzin, PA, is a scary thought, being prepared can ease your mind and may help you prevent serious damage.

Common Fire Causes

There are many ways a fire can start in your home, but being aware of the most common culprits can keep you and your family safe. Here are ten frequent causes of house fires:

  • Heaters
  • Cigarettes
  • Faulty wiring
  • Overheated cookware
  • Candles
  • Grills
  • Lamps and other light fixtures
  • Children
  • Flammable liquids
  • Christmas trees

Take extra care with the above and anything else that might start a home fire. Check power cords, light fixtures, furnaces and other fire hazards frequently. Never leave matches or lighters where children can play with them. Do not leave stoves and grills unattended. Make sure all cigarettes and candles are thoroughly extinguished. Properly store flammable liquids. Do not leave Christmas tree lights on when no one is home or awake. Although many fires are beyond your control, some can be prevented with a little extra caution.

Additional Precautions

Unfortunately, even the most conscientious homeowner may still experience a fire. Therefore, it is important to have the proper items on hand to take care of small fires before they spread. Make sure you have a smoke detector in every bedroom and at least one on each level of your house, and check their batteries once a month. Additionally, you should invest in a few fire extinguishers for your home. At the very minimum, you will need one in the kitchen. If you are building a new home, you may want to look into getting a sprinkler system as it is less expensive to install one while building a home than to retrofit a home later. The sooner a fire is extinguished, the safer your family will be and the less extensive fire cleaning you will need.
By taking proper precautions, many fires can be extinguished early or prevented altogether. However, if you are the victim of a home fire, you may want to enlist a team of experienced restoration professionals to help you get your home back to pre-fire condition.

What Is Business Interruption Insurance and Do You Need It?

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

What is business interruption insurance?

As a business owner, you are forced to weigh the pros and cons of every possible expense before you make an investment. One expense you may question is interruption insurance. Do you need it, or will it end up costing you more than you will save?

The Basics of Business Interruption Coverage

You already have commercial property coverage, so why would you need interruption coverage? Good question. Commercial property coverage insures against damage to your building and its contents due to a covered loss, such as a fire. Depending on your policy, this type of coverage may cover increased expenses that result from fire damage as well as the loss of income. However, what happens if your business is forced to close for an extended period of time while fire restoration is underway, or if your business suffers additional losses after you reopen? That's where interruption insurance comes in. This type of coverage covers the following:

  • Loss caused by the slowdown or suspension of your business operations
  • Losses accrued during the restoration period
  • Losses sustained after resuming operations and that are a result of the fire damage

Business interruption coverage also covers payroll costs during the restoration period. This ensures you can retain your employees while your business is closed. It also covers the cost of taxes, business loan repayments and relocation expenses.

What Interruption Coverage Does Not Cover

Though interruption coverage can be extremely helpful in the event of a loss, it does not cover everything. For instance, it does not cover the cost of utilities that continue to run despite the fact that your business is closed. To ensure you don't get charged with electricity, water, gas or any other utilities while your doors are closed, call your utility companies to have them shut them off.
This type of coverage also does not cover direct property damage. That is what commercial property coverage is for. If the damage is the result of an earthquake or flood, your earthquake or flood policy should cover the cost of damages.
To learn more about what interruption insurance does and does not cover, contact your East Conemaugh, PA, fire restoration team. In addition to providing you with more information, it can help you find appropriate coverage.

Home Fire Q and A

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Do you keep lit candles near a sofa in your living room?

The National Fire Protection Association shares this statistic: Somewhere within the United States, a fire department responds to a fire every 20 seconds. Sadly, the incidence of residential fires and related deaths have increased substantially since the 1970s. To better understand the home fire situation, it's important to ask and answer several questions.

What Are the Leading Causes Of Residential Fires

Over the past several years, the NFPA has analyzed fire data to understand this dangerous upward trend. The studies conclude that the predominant causes of residential fires in the United States include the following:

  • Electrical failures and malfunctions
  • Smoking in the home
  • Backyard grilling
  • Cooking in the home
  • Christmas trees and holiday décor
  • Upholstery near candles, matches, or lighters
  • Dryers and washing machines

There are other fire causes, such as children playing with matches and fireworks, that get a lot of attention, but they don’t top the charts when it comes to the numbers of fires they cause. Fire cleaning and prevention begins with recognizing the leading causes of fire.

What Can You Do To Prevent a Fire in Your Home?

The first step is to recognize the common causes of a home fire. Have you noticed the sound of static when flipping a light switch? Do you keep lit candles near a sofa in your living room? How hot do holiday lights get when you leave them on? As you recognize the potential for fires in your home, you can take steps to prevent them. An effective way to recognize the leading causes of fire in Johnstown, PA, is to contact professionals who handle fire prevention or a fire damage cleanup company.

What Else Do You Need To Know?

Even if you actively keep your dryer free of lint and routinely repair electrical failures, there may still be a chance for a fire in your home. Protect yourself and your family with smoke detectors and similar tools. The more you know about home fire situations, the better prepared you'll be to avoid them.

Dealing with a Furnace Puff Back

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Soot webs in the upstairs stairway due to a furnace puff back in the basement.

Dealing with a Furnace Puff Back

Is Your Furnace Ready for Winter? 
It doesn't get much worse than finally giving into turning on your furnace for the next few months and having it blow a whole bunch of soot back out through your entire home. 

What is a Puff Back? 
The term "Puff Back" refers to the sudden explosion of soot into your home or business caused by a malfunction in the heating system. This soot is usually a sticky, greasy, grimy mess that can present a sever health hazard. All of those minuscule, oil based particles embed themselves in your curtains, carpets, and clothing while contaminating the air with known carcinogens. 

How Can I Know if I had a Puff Back?
Puff Backs are characterized by the oily black soot left behind, often appearing like spider webs. The soot and other debris from the explosion can easily be carried throughout your home by the exhaust and heating systems meaning that every room in your home has the potential to be damaged.   

You might be tempted to try and clean up this mess by yourself, but running a vacuum over the soot only grinds it deeper and creates stains that will never come out. Wiping the soot from walls and ceilings creates a place where paint will no longer stick, and unless the soot is quickly and professionally removed, it can cause corrosion of metal on doorknobs, faucets, and even electronic equipment in the home. Because every inch of the home is affected, a puff back is an overwhelming job to clean properly. 

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Ebensburg has highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding to any size disaster with 24-hour emergency response. Contact us today, at 814-472-0800, to see what SERVPRO of Ebensburg can do to help you! 

How Long Do Smoke Alarm Batteries Last?

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Homeowners should replace the detector unit every 10 years

A smoke alarm will only function if a power source is available. The batteries in alarms that are not hardwired, and the backup battery power in systems that are, should be switched out on a regular basis. It is advisable to be proactive and not to wait for a smoke detector to start beeping before changing the batteries. Find out more about the average operating life of different types of alarm batteries.

Alarms With Replaceable Batteries

Smoke alarms that rely on replaceable batteries may require various types. There are five common types of alkaline batteries:

  • Nine-volt or PP3
  • AAA
  • AA
  • C
  • D

Most smoke detectors with replaceable batteries use nine-volt or PP3 batteries. Make sure that you have spare batteries for any detector. Homeowners should replace the detector unit every 10 years.

Alarms With Non-Replaceable Batteries

Some newer smoke alarm models run on a lithium battery that has a 10-year operating life. Batteries in these detectors cannot be replaced. It will be necessary to purchase and install a new detector at the end of this period. Old detectors should be deactivated according to the instructions for each model prior to proper disposal.

Backup Batteries

Some building codes require homeowners to have hardwired smoke detection systems. A battery backup can ensure that these smoke alarms will continue to function even if the power goes out. These batteries should be replaced at least once a year.

Whether an alarm relies on replaceable alkaline batteries, a non-replaceable lithium battery, or is hardwired with a backup battery pack, it is important to replace batteries at least once a year. If a smoke alarm starts beeping before this time, go ahead and replace the battery. If a fire breaks out and damages or destroys building materials and contents at a residence in Cresson, PA, homeowners should schedule a consultation with a fire damage restoration company.

How To Extinguish a Fire

12/23/2018 (Permalink)

Evacuation can keep you safe

Four Steps to Put Out a Household or Kitchen Fire

A fire extinguisher can limit the amount of damage caused by a minor fire. This safety equipment is not difficult to use, but it is important to use it properly. Follow these four steps to put out a household or kitchen fire.

1. Identify a Safe Evacuation Path

Do not attempt to extinguish a fire until you have a safe path for evacuation. Avoid letting the fire get between you and the exit. If there is not a safe path, you should immediately pursue another escape route.

2. Use the Right Fire Extinguisher

There are five classes of extinguishers that contain different substances. These include:

  • Class A for ordinary combustibles
  • Class B for flammable liquid or gas fuel
  • Class C for electrical fires
  • Class D for combustible metal
  • Class K for liquid cooking materials

Multi-class extinguishers are suitable for more than one type of fire. These extinguishers will be labeled with more than one class, such as A-B-C.

3. Do the P.A.S.S. Technique

There are four steps to the P.A.S.S. technique. These steps are as follows:

  • P: Pull the pin and break the tamper seal
  • A: Aim the nozzle, horn, or hose at the base of the fire
  • S: Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing substance
  • S: Sweep from side to side near the base of the fire

Continue until the fire appears to be out. Then, watch the area for signs of re-ignition. If an extinguisher becomes empty and a fire is still burning, you should evacuate immediately.

4. Evacuate If Necessary

If you cannot extinguish a fire, evacuating can keep you safe. If the fire appears to be out, you can wait outside for the fire department to arrive to ensure that there is no further risk.

These four steps will enable you to use a fire extinguisher to put out an incipient fire at a residence in Johnstown, PA. If a fire is more severe, you should evacuate. Once the fire is out, you can contact a fire damage restoration company.

3 Things to Throw Away After a Fire

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Recovering from a home fire is a long, frustrating process, sometimes compounded by the loss of cherished belongings. When you face the destruction of the furnishings and content of your Portage, PA, home, it can be hard to say good-bye to belongings that don't seem to have been affected. However, there are some items that you need to throw away, even if they don't look like they've damaged by fire or smoke.

1. Food

Obviously, you'll toss out any cereals and breads that were on the counter. Of course, you'll throw away anything in open containers and foods there were stored in cardboard or thin plastic bags. It may surprise you to learn, however, that even your canned foods should be tossed out. This is because the high heat of the fire will activate the growth of bacteria, even when food is sealed in glass jars and cans from the store.

The contents of your fridge may be safe, even if the power has gone out, but remember that it's safer to throw out questionable foods than to suffer through physical sickness. Anything that smells smoky or odd, has visible soot, or doesn't feel cold should be disposed of.

2. Medicine

The last thing you need after a fire is to be left without your necessary medications. However, these items can be affected by fire damage. If there's warping, charring, or signs of soot, throw it out. It's better to contact your doctor for refills than to become sick or suffer other side effects.

3. Cosmetics

You may think that heat could affect cosmetics to the point that they are harmful to your health. However, the same temperatures that affect your food and medications could affect the chemicals in cosmetics to the point that they are no longer usable.

Ultimately, it's best to throw away any belongings that have suffered fire damage. This is particularly true for food, medicine, and cosmetics. Don't put yourself at risk. Ask professionals from the fire department or a fire restoration company if you aren't sure if something is safe to keep.

How To Avoid Fires From Cooking

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Of all the rooms in your home, the kitchen is the one in which you may spend more of your active time than anywhere else. This is where you gather, entertain, eat and, of course, cook. Unfortunately, this is one of the most common areas in the home where fires start. Often, destructive fires start because of unsafe cooking practices. It’s important to follow some best practices and tips to keep fires away.

Stay Nearby.

Whether you’re standing at the stove or using an electric skillet, it’s important to not leave any cooking food unattended. Unmonitored cooking can lead to extensive fire damage.

• Stay in the kitchen whether you’re grilling, frying or broiling your meal.
• If you have to leave for any reason, turn the stove or other appliance off.
• If possible, have someone at your Ebensburg, PA, home watch your food while you step away.

Use a Timer.

It’s easy to throw something in the oven and forget about it, especially if you leave the kitchen and go into another room or outside. Setting a timer will help reduce the risk of a fire starting in the oven and spreading to other areas.

Clean, Clean, Clean.

Not only will cleaning up grease and other materials help your kitchen look nicer, but this will reduce the risk of a grease fire. As soon as you’ve finished preparing and cooking your meal, wipe down the surfaces of your stove.

Watch Your Clothes.

You may not think of your attire as being important when it comes to fire prevention tips. However, if you’re not careful, loose and dangling clothing could touch a burner or come into contact with grease. This could injure you and could even spread flames in your kitchen.

These simple fire prevention tips could help save you and your loved ones from catastrophe. Be conscientious as you cook and entertain so you can avoid the terrible consequences of a house fire.

For more information, please visit us at

Are Candles the Right Choice for Your Home?

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

A candle can make your home in Ebensburg, PA, feel extra home sweet home. There is something about the flame and fragrance; nostalgia, maybe? Despite its beauty, a candle flame is a fire hazard. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a candle fire accounted for 2 percent of reported residential fires (averaged over five years). Placement of candles also makes a difference; just over a third of candle fires began in bedrooms. Rather than worrying if you extinguished your candle, your family can rest easy by looking into candle alternatives.

Candles Alternatives

Thanks to innovative thinkers, candle lovers have many safe options that look and even smell like real candles, without the candle fire hazard. It is also important to ensure your family has flameless options available for power outages.

For Beauty and Scent

• There is a variety of flameless candles, such as LED Flameless wax pillar candles. There are myriad scents, shapes and sizes available. Some even have timers.
• Try using electric warmers for candles, oil or wax.
• Himalayan salt lamps do not produce any scent, but they can give any room a beautiful ambiance. Then you can use air fresheners or plug-ins for smell.
• Treat yourself to a little aromatherapy by using an essential oil diffuser.

When the Lights Go Out

• There is nothing wrong with using good old-fashioned flashlights or buy some with LED bulbs that last longer than regular ones.
• Camping lanterns are battery operated, and many can hang and use LED bulbs.
• Book lights are small, but many can clip to objects and are flexible.

If you use candles, ensure your family has smoke detectors, a fire extinguisher and an escape plan. A candle fire (or any fire) can cause significant smoke damage. Also, know that due to the nature of soot, it can sometimes be impossible to remove from surfaces. If your family has the unfortunate experience of a fire, call a professional who knows how to handle the smoke cleanup. If you decide to use the flameless route, then happy hunting for the best safe options for your family.

For more information, please visit us at

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

According to the US Fire Administration an estimated 890 lives could be saved each year if all homes had working smoke alarms. 

  • more than 1/3 (38%) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present. 
  • 3 out of 5 home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. 
  • The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms. 
  • Half of home fire deaths happen between 11pm and 7am when most people are asleep. 
  • Home fire death rates in homes with working smoke alarms have decreased by 51%

The American Red Cross and its partners have launched an initiative that aims to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25% in five years with the Home Fire Campaign. The American Red Cross goes door to door to install working smoke alarms in homes that do not have them and praticing fire drills with families so they will know what to do incase of a fire.

Members of SERVPRO of Ebensburg teamed up with the American Red Cross of Southwestern PA, and countless other volunteers, to canvas areas of Dale and Johnstown Pennsylvania offering to install smoke detectors and help residents develop a home fire escape plan. 300 free smoke alarms were installed in the 387 homes that were visited. 

Managing Fire Damage in Ebensburg, PA

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

Perhaps nothing is as stressful and sad as fire loss and fire damage.

Not only do you lose your home, but all your belongings and likely many items that cannot be replaced such as photos, keepsakes and other memories. Soot and smoke can do irrevocable damage that many don't realize. A recent victim of fire loss reported that although the fire only destroyed on portion of her home, the soot and smoke smell permeated all her furnishings to the point that it needed to be restored.

Fortunately, by knowing what to do in the event of a fire in business, or fire in home in Ebensburg, PA, mitigation will be less of a headache when you're dealing with a fire damage home.

Visit SERVPRO of Ebensbug for more information.

Do’s and Don’ts of Using a Fire Extinguisher

2/13/2018 (Permalink)

Most commercial owners have a fire extinguisher around.

In fact, most will have more than one in several areas to be safe. The garage, fireplace and kitchen are the most common areas to keep an extinguisher in case of a fire emergency. Even if you own one, you may not know how to use one. Here are the dos and don’ts that fire restoration services want you to know.

1. Do Not Keep a Broken Extinguisher

Always make sure that your extinguisher is up to date. Check for any cracks to the base or hose. You can also lift it up to see if it’s heavy. It should be full of the extinguishing agent and, hence, heavy to the touch. Lastly, a pressure gauge should tell you if the extinguisher is at an operable range.

2. Do Read the Instructions

Keep in mind that every fire extinguisher should have directions printed on it. It should explain the proper way to pull the safety pin, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the trigger and sweep from side to side to put out the blaze. In a hurry, remember those steps. However, if you have time, you should always read the instructions.

3. Do Not Continue if Fire Grows

In the chance that the fire continues to spread, it’s vital that you know when to stop. The longer you wait as the flames spread through your business, the less chance you have of being able to escape unscathed. You don’t want your route to be cut off by a kitchen fire.

When it comes to using your fire extinguisher, you have to know what you’re doing. Having an extinguisher handy can help you avoid severe fire damage in your Portage, PA. As long as you use it properly, you can feel a little safer.

Concerns About Smoke Damage to Electronics

2/6/2018 (Permalink)

No one living in Cresson, PA, wants to think about their home catching on fire.

In the worst-case scenario, fires can completely destroy your home and everything inside. Even small, minor fires can result in significant fire cleanup and damage to precious items. One thing homeowners have to worry about is smoke damage to electronics. It’s important to be aware of this potential and know how to handle the problem if it occurs in your home.

  1. Smoke residue can harm your equipment. You spend a lot of money on your electronics, and you use them frequently throughout each day. If there’s a fire in your home, even the smoke can render your electronics useless if you’re not careful. Inside smoke are acids that are known to corrode metal surfaces. It’s vital to have a specialist carefully remove the residue as quickly as possible. If the residue stays on the surfaces too long, it will ruin your devices.
  2. A specialist can look at your electronics and determine the amount of damage. Part of your fire cleanup efforts should include a restoration specialist examining your electronics. Only a qualified expert should attempt to remove the residue. The quicker someone can address this situation, the better chance you have to save your devices and avoid replacing them or losing precious data.
  3. No electronics are immune to the damage. Smoke knows no bounds when it comes to ruining your equipment. A restoration specialist will carefully examine all of your electronics in your home, including televisions, desktops, laptops, stereos, DVD players and anything else that may have been exposed to the smoke.

Fires of any size or seriousness can cause major problems to your home and to your valuables inside. You need a fire cleanup expert to assess the smoke damage to your electronics. When you get a specially trained professional on the case, you have a greater chance of salvaging your electronics in Cresson, PA.

Wood Furnace Fire, Clymer PA

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Source of The Fire

As temperatures grow colder, residents and businesses begin firing up heat sources to keep their buildings warm.  Unfortunately this sometimes leads to unwanted disasters.  If a furnace isn't properly maintained they can lead to furnace puff backs or worse, fires.  Fires like the one pictured can easily happen and usually when you least expect it.  This recent fire occurred in Clymer PA in Indiana County.  You can see the wood furnace pictured below.  The home is restore-able but it is not just the structure that can become affected.  Odors from various burning materials still linger in the homes after fires, requiring the removal of the odor causing sources, deodorizing and the extensive cleaning.  Personal items may need to be cleaned as well depending on the extent of damage.  A lot of work is needed to restore a home to preloss condition.  It is always easier to prevent the problem by making sure you have your furnace inspected and maintained by a heating professional.  But in the event something would ever go wrong, always call SERVPRO to help!         

Attic Fire Damage in Altoona

8/23/2017 (Permalink)

Photo of where the fire started

Fires can occur in any place of a building.  Unfortunately sometimes it occurs in the attic.  This turned into a particularly large job for many reasons.  One reason is that when the fire started, fire crews had to put out the flames using water.  When this happened, water went from the top of the attic, all the way down to the second and first floors.  The job then became a water and fire job.  Unfortunately when the water sat in the drywall and plaster of the structure, it started to grow mold.  Since mold was then present, containment and air scrubbers were needed to keep the unaffected rooms free of mold spores.  The affected areas of the structure were torn down to the studs and cleaned.  Any room with smoke or soot damage were also cleaned using the correct SERVPRO chemicals.  The affected rooms were rebuilt and finished.      

Modular Home Fire Loss Content Cleaning

8/22/2017 (Permalink)

Front view of the modular home

Fire damage can happen in any building that has utilities such as electrical.  This was a fire lose that occurred in a modular home in Cambria County.  The home was full of content when the loss happened.  At SERVPRO, we can not only clean and restore a home depending on the damage, but we can also clean the contents in the home.  When the fire happened, forced air was on, therefore leading to soot and smoke being blown all over the home and personal items.  All content was removed to be cleaned and placed in a room with an ozone machine.  This removed residue, but also any smoke odors that were absorbed by the items.  Our team successfully restored all the items in the home.  Sometimes personal items are just as important as the home itself.    

SERVPRO of Ebensburg Helps Local Family Back into Their Home After Fire

11/25/2014 (Permalink)

Crews working hard to clean the smoke damaged kitchen

Saturday, November 15, 2014 - SERVPRO of Ebensburg and a few volunteers helped a local family in Nanty Glo, PA after a fire in their basement caused extensive smoke damage in their home back on October 22. 

Crews began cleaning the home at 8am and worked for hours cleaning the home of any harmful toxins left from the fire. Thanks to the help of our staff and the heart-of-gold volunteers that came to help, the family will safely be able to move back into their home by Thanksgiving!