Recent Fire Damage Posts

Should I Contact Professionals for Fire and Smoke Cleanup in Everett Immediately?

6/8/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke residue on a wall It's not just a fire, there is so much that goes into fire restoration. Call SERVPRO of Medford / Everett for assistance for your property today.

Contact Reliable Restorers like SERVPRO Immediately for Professional Fire and Smoke Cleanup in Your Everett Home

A fire in your home is a disaster to deal with due to severe loss and life disruption. You may feel relieved when the fire is extinguished and everyone is safe, but the harm has just begun. To prevent more damage, involve professional restorers like SERVPRO to get your property back to its former glory.

How long does the restoration process take?

The time SERVPRO restorers take to manage fire, and smoke cleanup in your Everett property is dependent on the following factors:

  • The rooms affected by the fire
  • The damage intensity
  • The type of materials burned during the incident

However, our team of restores can thoroughly clean your property in a short amount of time. The task may take several days or weeks to complete.

Using home remedies and cleaning products to clean different surfaces may cause further harm. In addition, to prevent huge damages and costly repairs, the reconstruction process necessitates skilled and experienced personnel.

Our restorers have innovative equipment and products that help us minimize damage. We also have the right protective gear that protects us from inhaling and getting into contact with smoke residues. To make cleaning easier, we can use brushes, abrasive powders, and roto pads to agitate the surface. We can also vacuum the heavy deposits to prevent the loose particles from spreading. We ensure to leave your property in a better state than its preloss condition before leaving. 

A small fire can put your family’s safety in jeopardy. Contact SERVPRO of Medford / Everett for professional restoration services at a friendly cost. Call us today at (781) 395-4444. We’re Faster To Any Size Of Disaster.

Should You Wait for Professionals to Start Fire Restoration of Your Medford Home?

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damage burning out of the top of a home. Try not to hesitate when you have fire damage in your Medford home. Let SERVPRO come in and help you.

SERVPRO Can Save You a Nice Amount of Time and Money on Fire Restoration of Your Medford Home 

It can be tempting to start fire restoration of your Medford home on your own after a fire incident. However, you can be doing more harm than good by not involving SERVPRO experts. Without proper equipment, you can worsen an already bad situation. 

SERVPRO has years of experience in the fire restoration of Medford homes. Our IICRC certified fire and smoke restoration technicians (FSRTs) have the necessary training and equipment to handle any size fire and smoke damage. Cleaning smoke and soot residue are some of the biggest challenges for SERVPRO technicians. The extent of smoke damage depends on many factors, including the type of fire and the temperature of the smoke. 

Factors Affecting Smoke Damage Caused by a Fire at Your Medford Home 

Several factors determine the extent of the damage that smoke can inflict on your Medford home after a fire damage incidence. 

  • The temperature of smoke- Smoke rises away from the fire by a process called convection. Fires that burn hotter generate hotter smoke that can penetrate deeper into the porous structures such as drywalls and fabrics, causing extensive smoke damage. SERVPRO technicians understand the behavior of smoke and design fire and smoke damage restoration strategies accordingly. 
  • The temperature of surrounding surfaces- Hot smoke inflicts the heaviest damage to colder surfaces. As the smoke moves from the source of the fire to colder areas, the smoke and soot particles are deposited on surfaces causing major damage. Thankfully, SERVPRO technicians understand this phenomenon and use several techniques to clean even the heaviest smoke and soot residue during the fire and smoke damage restoration and cleanup. 

Call SERVPRO of Medford / Everett at (781) 395-4444 for a reliable and fast fire damage restoration service.

How Does SERVPRO Remove Smoke Damage from Medford Properties?

4/21/2021 (Permalink)

Bubbled and smoked up ceiling after a kitchen fire. SERVPRO’s technicians have the tools and equipment to remove fire and soot damage from your home.

Smoke remediation and soot removal involve several cleaning practices in Medford homes.

Soot particles present severe health hazards to those exposed, so responding technicians must initially contend with the indoor air quality concerns. In some situations, SCBA gear and respirators are necessary to protect our professionals deploying HEPA air scrubbers and hydroxyl machines to capture damaging particulates. Even with this filtration, many of these carcinogenic particulates come to rest on surfaces and contents.

What Tools Are Necessary for Smoke Damage Removal in Medford?

Beginning fire and smoke cleanup in Medford homes can protect underlying materials from unnecessary tear-out and reconstruction. Because of soot's acidic composition, these soils can erode and destroy wood finishes and other surface materials. Advanced cleaning products in our inventory can help to loosen and ultimately remove thick, oily residues. Strategies for soot and smoke damage removal include:

  • Abrasive cleaning
  • Soda blasting
  • Solvents and detergents
  • Controlled demolition

Removing soot and smoke damage involves several strategies that must begin right away. Our fast responding SERVPRO of Medford / Everett team can help with your fire restoration needs when you call (781) 395-4444.

Fire and Soot Damage Restoration and Cleanup in Everett

4/19/2021 (Permalink)

smoke from fire through a doorway opening Smoke and Soot got you down? Worried about house fire cleanup in your Medford home? Call SERVPRO

Soot and Smoke Remediation in Everett – Call SERVPRO

A low-temperature fire, for example, a grease fire on the kitchen stove, produces a great deal of heavy, oily smoke and soot residue that sticks to everything in the kitchen. Much of the soot remains in the kitchen; however, active HVAC systems can distribute smoke and soot throughout the home affecting every room.

SERVPRO provides fire and soot damage restoration and cleanup in Everett residences and business structures. We respond 24/7 and aim to be onsite in less than 4 hours from your initial call. In addition to grease fires on the stove, furnaces starved of oxygen or poorly vented can produce a great deal of soot. SERVPRO recommends always have your heating system inspected every few cold seasons to prevent "puff back."

SERVPRO fire and smoke damage restoration

and cleanup specialists can help homeowners deal with these stressful and frustrating experiences. Our team:

  • Removes damaged contents from your fire damaged residence or commercial structure
  • Provides complete house fire clean up and removes all soot and smoke residue from all surfaces
  • Cleans carpets, upholstery, and fabrics to remove smoke odors and soot
  • Restores your residence, "Like it never even happened."

Let SERVPRO help to remove the stress and worry after a fire. We manage the chaos and strive to get you back in your home as soon as possible.

Call SERVPRO of Medford / Everett for fire and soot damage cleanup services in Medford and surrounding areas. We can help 24/7. Call (781) 395-4444.

For House Fire Cleanup Services in Medford, Call SERVPRO Immediately

4/5/2021 (Permalink)

cartoon female fretting, house burning Our Medford neighbor can be less stressed-out once SERVPRO arrives for fire damage recovery and cleanup.

Fire Damaged Homes in Medford Need the Industry Knowledge Offered by SERVPRO Certified Technicians

Fire and smoke damage in a home in Medford can spread quickly. A grease fire, an electric malfunction, and even a broken appliance can be the spark behind widespread flames. People with fire-damaged homes need professional assistance to avoid the escalation of damages and remove traces of the incident in the most efficient manner.

Luckily, water and fire restoration services in Medford can be left in the expert hands of our SERVPRO staff. Certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), our team has the training and field expertise to handle the most demanding jobs. 

Fire restoration has several phases to it, most notably the following-

  • Water clean up following the extinguishing of the flames. Extracting water from carpets and textiles, as well as creating containment areas to minimize cross-contamination
  • House fire clean-up involves removing soot and ashes throughout the home. Some surfaces require chemical agents to loosen the residue and make it easier to vacuum away. Other objects may require liquid cleaning solutions specific to their composition.
  • Smoke remediation is achieved by applying deodorizing solutions and the use of specialized equipment such as ozone generators and air purifiers.

Whatever your fire and smoke damage restoration and cleanup services are, SERVPRO of Medford/Everett is ready to help. Call us at (781) 395-4444 and let us put our skills to work for you.

Skilled Smoke and Fire Damage Restoration Handling for Medford Properties

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

smoke gray on black background Smoke Damage including odors can be remedied by SERVPRO, much to the delight of our Medford customers

SERVPRO knows that fire damage restoration includes smoke damage control in Medford

Fire-damaged homes and businesses not only have immense charred debris, but there are also different types of smoke and soot residue that must get addressed. SERVPRO features smoke damage remediation methods to remove foul smells so that your Medford property is left “Like it never even happened,” once we get done.

When you call us for house fire clean-up, we will come out and begin the fire damage restoration in your Medford property. In order to tackle tough odors, SERVPRO’s technicians have access to a broad range of odor-control tools, including:

  • Thermal Foggers that put out a deodorizing solution mist that penetrates surfaces, pulling out odorous particulates.
  • Air scrubbers, which are critical to smoke remediation, remove airborne particles and pulls them through a series of filters
  • Venting box fans offer high-velocity air circulation to thoroughly ventilate the structure – often used before and after deodorization.
  • Ozone generators are used in exceptional circumstances to generate ozone (consisting of unstable oxygen molecules) that react chemically with odor molecules, oxidizing residues, and removing odors. Note: All occupants and pets should get removed from the property during the ozone process.

For smoke and fire damage restoration, you can trust our skilled team at SERVPRO of Medford/Everett. Call us 24/7 for emergency service at (781) 395-4444.

How to Properly Use a Fireplace

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Here’s the proper technique for how to use a fireplace, with safety precautions every homeowner should know.

It’s not even officially winter yet and we’ve already had three snowstorms in the Medford/Everett and North Shore Area!  Nothing beats warming the house with a crackling fire. But while wood-burning fireplaces should give you long-lasting and evenly burning flames, one simple mistake can fill your living room with smoke—or even spark a dangerous house fire. Here’s the proper technique for how to use a fireplace, with safety precautions every homeowner should know.

STEP 1: Stay Safe
Before bringing out the lighter, it’s vital to understand safety precautions for using a fireplace. First, always double-check that your fire extinguisher, smoke detector, and carbon monoxide detector are each in working order (check those batteries!). Remove anything flammable within three feet of the fireplace in case stray sparks escape the hearth, and use a fireplace screen as well. Make sure the flue isn’t blocked by obstructions like an animal’s nest, especially if this is your first time using the fireplace. If the system hasn’t been recently inspected, hire a chimney sweep certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) to do the job.

STEP 2: Gather the Kindling
Gather kindling in a variety of sizes (small, medium, and large) for the proper fire-building technique that is outlined below. To emit less smoke and soot, make sure the wood is dry, well-seasoned, and split a minimum of six months ago. You can choose either hardwood or softwood for the fire; while hardwoods like oak or maple burn longer and create more sustained heat, softwoods like cedar or pine start fires easier because they ignite quickly. Whatever you don’t use can return to the firewood rack, best stored outdoors in an elevated and covered location.

Note: Never burn trash, plastic, painted materials, or anything with chemical treatment like scraps of pressure-treated wood—these materials can release harmful chemicals into your home.

STEP 3: Open the Damper
The damper is a movable plate inside the flue. When opened, it allows the smoke and ash to travel safely up the chimney. If you start a fire with a closed damper, however, the smoke will have no escape route and circle back into the house.

Adjust the damper as needed with the handle located inside of the chimney. It will move either front to back, left to right, or in a clockwise or counterclockwise rotation. Check to make sure you opened it properly by sticking your head in the flue and looking upwards, using a flashlight if necessary. You should see up the flue without any obstructions if the damper is open; a closed damper will block your view entirely.

STEP 4: Prime the Flue
Now, gauge the temperature. If you feel a rush of cold air (which usually occurs if the chimney is built on the outside of the house), then you need to prime the flue—in order words, you need to preheat it. Otherwise, the cold draft may cause smoke to blow into the room. Light a roll of newspaper and hold it against the open damper to send warm air into the flue. The draft should reverse after a few minutes, making your fireplace ready for action.

STEP 5: Build the Fire
While there are multiple ways to build a fire, the CSIA recommends the top-down method, which produces less smoke and requires less tending. Start by donning thick fireplace gloves and grabbing a metal poker. Position large pieces of wood in the bottom of the fireplace in one row, perpendicular to the opening of the fireplace. Next, take mid-sized pieces of wood, and stack four or five rows on top of the base layer in alternating directions. Make sure the stack takes up no more than half the height of your fireplace. Now add your smallest pieces of wood, making sure these pieces are very dry. The tiniest bits (which can take the form of wood shavings or bunched-up newspapers) should be at the very top.

Light the top of the stack with a single match. The fire should travel down, igniting the pieces underneath without prompting. Let the fire burn for as long as you’d like. Don’t close the damper until the fire is completely out and all the embers have stopped burning.

STEP 6: Clean the Ashes
The CSIA says you can leave a bed of ashes between one to two inches in the fireplace as an insulating layer, which helps the next fire to burn. But when you need to dispose of ashes, proceed with caution. Coals may take several hours or several days to completely cool, and ash could still be burning during that time. Using a metal shovel, scoop ashes into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. Store the container outdoors away from the house, and not in garages or on decks.

Christmas Tree Safety Tips

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Tips for a safe and Merry Christmas!

As you deck the halls this holiday season, be fire smart. A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly.

Picking the tree

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

Placing the tree

  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

Lighting the tree

  • Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

After Christmas Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

Thanksgiving Fire Safety- Everything You Need to Know

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

For most, the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays. From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations.

So keeping fire safety top of mind in the kitchen during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there’s a lot of activity and people at home. As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large family feast, remember, by following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safer from fire.

Thanksgiving by the numbers

  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. and Christmas Eve.
  • In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
  • Cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths.  

Safety tips

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

October Is National Fire Prevention Month

10/12/2018 (Permalink)

Home Safety Checklist

Smoke Alarms

There is one smoke alarm on every level of the home and inside and outside each sleeping area.

Smoke alarms are tested and cleaned monthly.

Smoke alarm batteries are changed as needed. 

Smoke alarms are less than 10 years old.

Cooking Safety

Cooking area is free from items that can catch fire.

Kitchen stove hood is clean and vented to the outside.

Pots are not left unattended on the stove.

Electrical & Appliance Safety

Electrical cords do not run under rugs.

Electrical cords are not frayed or cracked.

Circuit-protected, multi-prong adapters are used for additional outlets.

Large and small appliances are plugged directly into wall outlets.

Clothes dryer lint filter and venting system are clean.

Candle Safety

Candles are in sturdy fire-proof containers that won’t be tipped over.

All candles are extinguished before going to bed or leaving the room.

Children and pets are never left unattended with candles.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Carbon monoxide alarms are located on each level of the home.

Carbon monoxide alarms are less than 7 years old.

Smoking Safety

Family members who smoke only buy fire-safe cigarettes and smoke outside.

Matches and lighters are secured out of children’s sight.

Ashtrays are large, deep and kept away from items that can catch fire.

Ashtrays are emptied into a container that will not burn.

Heating Safety

Chimney and furnace are cleaned and inspected yearly.

Furniture and other items that can catch fire are at least 3 feet from fireplaces, wall heaters,   baseboards, and space heaters.

Fireplace and barbecue ashes are placed outdoors in a covered metal container at least 3 feet from   anything that can catch fire.

Extension cords are never used with space heaters.

Heaters are approved by a national testing laboratory and have tip-over shut-off function.

Home Escape Plan

Have two ways out of each room.

Know to crawl low to the floor when escaping to avoid toxic smoke.

Know that once you’re out, stay out. 

Know where to meet after the escape.

Meeting place should be near the front of your home, so firefighters know you are out.

Practice your fire escape plan.

Grease Fire Safety Tips

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Do NOT pour water on the fire!!!

The best way to avoid a grease fire is to not have one. While you are cooking, keep an eye on the oil as it’s heating. The oil won’t immediately catch fire once it starts smoking, but smoke is a danger sign that it’s well on its way to getting there.

If the worst happens and your oil does catch on fire, use the following tips:

  1. If the fire is still small enough and contained in one pot, it is safe to put it out yourself. If it is already spreading to other parts of the kitchen, evacuate.
  2. Turn off the source of the heat on the stove. Do not try to move the pot because you don’t want to accidentally spill or splash the burning oil.
  3. Do NOT pour water on the fire!  Since oil and water do not mix, pouring water can cause the oil to splash and spread the fire even worse. In fact, the vaporizing water can also carry grease particles in it, which can also spread the fire.
  4. Remove all oxygen from the flame. You can cover with another pot or pan. Do not cover it with a glass lid because the glass lid may shatter.
  5. If you can’t cover it, dump lots of baking soda on it.
  6. Use a chemical fire extinguisher on the grease fire. There are different kinds of extinguishers. Not all can be used on a grease fire, but the ABC dry chemical extinguisher is best.

Hopefully you’ll never be in a situation where you have to actually use this advice, but if you are remember to smother the fire with a pot or baking soda and never use water!

Call us at SERVPRO of Medford/Everett for fire, smoke or soot damage. 


10 Tips for Safe Summer Barbecues!

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Every year, 7,000 Americans are injured while using backyard barbecue grills. It's usually a case of good products used incorrectly.

Here are the top 10 most common mistakes and key safety tips.


  1. Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house.Farther is even better. This includes portions attached to your house like carports, garages and porches. Grills should not be used underneath wooden overhangs either, as the fire could flare up into the structure above. This applies to both charcoal and gas grills.
  2. Clean your grill regularly.If you allow grease and fat to build up on your grill, they provide more fuel for a fire. Grease is a major source of flare ups.
  3. Check for gas leaks.You can make sure no gas is leaking from your gas grill by making a solution of half liquid dish soap and half water and rubbing it on the hoses and connections. Then, turn the gas on (with the grill lid open.) If the soap forms large bubbles, that's a sign that the hoses have tiny holes or that the connections are not tight enough.
  4. Keep decorations away from your grill. Decorations like hanging baskets, pillows and umbrellas look pretty AND provide fuel for a fire. To make matters worse, today's decor is mostly made of artificial fibers that burn fast and hot, making this tip even more important.
  5. Keep a spray bottle of water handy.That way, if you have a minor flare-up you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it. The bonus of this tip is that water won't harm your food, so dinner won't be ruined!
  6. Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill.And KNOW HOW TO USE IT. If you are unsure how to use the extinguisher, don't waste time fiddling with it before calling 911. Firefighters say many fire deaths occur when people try to fight a fire themselves instead of calling for expert help and letting the fire department do its job.


  1. Turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. NEVER do this. It causes gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it and open it, a fireball can explode in your face.
  1. Leave a grill unattended.Fires double in size every minute. Plan ahead so that all of your other food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling.
  2. Overload your grill with food.This applies especially fatty meats. The basic reason for this tip is that if too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up that could light nearby things on fire.
  3. Use a grill indoors. People often think it will be safe to use a grill, especially a small one, indoors. NOT TRUE. In addition to the fire hazard, grills release carbon monoxide,the deadly colorless, odorless gas. That gas needs to vent in fresh air or it can kill you, your family and pets.

What Happens to My Belongings in a Fire?

6/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage, including smoke and soot, affects not only the structure of your house but also your belongings. SERVPRO of Medford/Everett understands your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings make your house more than a structure; they make it home.

If You Have Questions or Need Help, Call Us Today 800-394-4466

Contents Restoration

SERVPRO of Medford/Everett specializes in restoring contents damaged by water, fire, or mold. Our expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. We pretest your belongings to determine what items we can restore to pre-fire condition. We use several methods of cleaning your contents, including:

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.


If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning due to fire damage, SERVPRO of Medford/Everett can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. Move-out will provide several benefits, including:

  • A quicker remodeling process
  • Protecting items from potential damage
  • Protecting contents from further on-site damage

When restoration is completed, we will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage.

Electronic Cleanup

Fire-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by fire. Smoke residues can contain acids that corrode metal surfaces. If the residues are not removed, corrosion causes electronic failure in the device. We will coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including:

  • Television sets
  • DVD players
  • Computers
  • And more

The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. Electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician.

Document / Photograph Drying

When your valuable documents, including photographs, are damaged by water or fire, extreme caution should be taken to help ensure the fire damage does not destroy the document. Although some documents may not be restored to pre-fire damage condition, SERVPRO of Malden / Melrose can save a great deal and help minimize additional damage. 

Depending on the type of documents and the level of fire, smoke, or soot damage, they have five options for the restoration of documents:

  • Air Drying
  • Dehumidification
  • Freezer Drying
  • Vacuum Freeze Drying
  • Vacuum Thermal Drying

Contents Claim Inventory Service

When a fire emergency strikes, the damage can often feel overwhelming. We can help ease the worry and confusion during the recovery process by offering our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. We take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding.

Our Contents Claim Inventory Service:

  • Preloss list and value of contents
  • Detailed and accurate report
  • Better information to settle claims quicker
  • Assistance with burden of proof for claims

Peace of mind when you need it most!

My Smoke Alarm Works - Why Would I Change It?

1/25/2018 (Permalink)

We all know to change the batteries in our smoke alarms twice yearly but did you know the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that you replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old?

I know what you’re thinking, “how I am supposed to remember how old they are?”  Check the back of the smoke alarm and you will find the manufacturer date.  

Even if your smoke alarms aren’t ten years old you may also consider replacing them early to keep up with the latest technology.

There are two kinds of smoke alarms:

Ionization smoke alarms are generally more responsive to flaming fires.
How they work: Ionization-type smoke alarms have a small amount of radioactive material between two electrically charged plates, which ionizes the air and causes current to flow between the plates. When smoke enters the chamber, it disrupts the flow of ions, thus reducing the flow of current and activating the alarm

Photoelectric smoke alarms are generally more responsive to fires that begin with a long period of smoldering (called “smoldering fires”).
How they work: Photoelectric-type alarms aim a light source into a sensing chamber at an angle away from the sensor. Smoke enters the chamber, reflecting light onto the light sensor; triggering the alarm.

 The NFPA recommends smoke alarms that use both of these technologies. 

 Check out the NFPA website for lots of great information on smoke alarms.

Fire-Safety Tips to Keep in Mind This Thanksgiving

11/2/2017 (Permalink)

The kitchen is where the holiday meal magic happens, but it can also be a danger zone, especially on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is typically the most dangerous day of the year.  Everybody's cooking in the kitchen and it's one of the few days where almost everyone is preparing a meal.  "The house is more congested than normal so you have to control the flow in your kitchen to make sure there's no accidents.

More fires start in the kitchen than anywhere else in the home.  On Thanksgiving, in particular, there are three times as many house fires than any other day of the year, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission

Below are some safety tips for the holiday:

  1. Don't wear loose-fitting clothing around open flames.
  2. Don't leave your food unattended on the stove or in the oven.

Make sure a person is always in the kitchen watching the food that's cooking.

You should have a zone, around anything around the stove, within like a 3-feet range for children.

  1. If deep-frying turkey, do it outside.
  1. Never put water on a grease fire.
  1. Store fire extinguishers in plain sight and near an exit - not under the sink. According to the National Fire Protection Association. Because fires can double every five to 10 seconds - and can consume a room in just one minute - call 911 first.

Smoke Detector - Ionization vs Photoelectric

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

The two most commonly recognized smoke detection technologies are ionization smoke detection and photoelectric smoke detection.

Ionization smoke alarms are generally more responsive to flaming fires.
How they work: Ionization-type smoke alarms have a small amount of radioactive material between two electrically charged plates, which ionizes the air and causes current to flow between the plates. When smoke enters the chamber, it disrupts the flow of ions, thus reducing the flow of current and activating the alarm. 

Photoelectric smoke alarms are generally more responsive to fires that begin with a long period of smoldering (called “smoldering fires”).
How they work: Photoelectric-type alarms aim a light source into a sensing chamber at an angle away from the sensor. Smoke enters the chamber, reflecting light onto the light sensor; triggering the alarm. 

For each type of smoke alarm, the advantage it provides may be critical to life safety in some fire situations. Home fatal fires, day or night, include a large number of smoldering fires and a large number of flaming fires. You can not predict the type of fire you may have in your home or when it will occur. Any smoke alarm technology, to be acceptable, must perform acceptably for both types of fires in order to provide early warning of fire at all times of the day or night and whether you are asleep or awake.

For best protection, use both types of smoke alarm technologies

For best protection, it is recommended both (ionization and photoelectric) technologies be used in homes. In addition to individual ionization and photoelectric alarms, combination alarms that include both technologies in a single device are available.

Fire Damage in Medford, MA

8/9/2016 (Permalink)

Living Room Candle Fire in Medford, MA

Title: SERVPRO of Medford/Everett  Smoke and Soot Cleanup

Category: Fire Damage

Photo Caption: Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Home.


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 of Medford/Everett 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?
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