Recent Fire Damage Posts

Where to keep a fire extinguisher in a home.

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

How terrifying is it to have a fire in your home and not be properly prepared for the worst? A fire does happen in homes a lot more frequently than one would think. When it comes to a home fire, the best thing is to have a ready plan in place with the right equipment throughout the house. SERVPRO of North Rensselaer and South Washington Counties will explain the proper places for which a fire extinguisher in your home should be kept.


Did you know that 68% of home fires happen in the kitchen? So, we can only assume that the #1 place for a fire extinguisher is in the kitchen. Grease fires are the most common factor as it is highly flammable therefore, you don’t want to keep the fire extinguisher next to a stove. It should actually be located about 30 ft from the stove. For small kitchen we recommend mounting the extinguisher to an adjacent location with easy access. .

Every Level

For some of you who have several levels, please be aware that according to many law and jurisdictions with your state recommend a fire extinguisher be put on every level. If you think about it, it makes sense because no one would want to travel to another level and grab a extinguisher, that would absolutely take too long and you would run the risk of getting injured and having the fire grow into something more damaging.

Garage and Workshop

Garages and workshop’s are also a great place to have a fire extinguisher. In most cases the garage and workshop is a place where certain flammable items are stored. For example, gasoline, electric power tools, oil and paints are all stored in garages and workshops. So, to prevent that disaster of a fire to happen, mount a fire extinguisher and have the peace of mind that you have a ready plan in place as a precaution.

Laundry/ Heat sourced Areas

Laundry rooms and utility rooms are also areas in your home that could catch on fire. Dryers have a collection of lint that can build up in the hoses and vents. Dryers can get up to 120* f or hotter, and if the lint caught any sort of sparkle, a fire would happen instantly. Utility rooms are commonly used for the main heat source in a home. A furnace for example can be a potential fire hazard because of all the components, motors, electrically wiring, and the oil to allow it to run. You can never be too careful when putting a ready plan together and sticking a fire extinguisher in a utility room.

By having an extinguisher in all the basic rooms in the home you will have the ease that you are prepared in the event of a fire at your home. Did you know if you get to a fire within 6 seconds of it happening there is 75% chance that the fire can be put out. That is a quick action that could save a life or further destroy your home.

A word from the wise as well, please check expiration dates on all fire extinguisher in your home. They do expire and will not work when you need them too if expired. SERVPRO of North Rensselaer and South Washington Counties recommends you to not wait. By waiting you are creating a disaster to happen and you can never be too prepared. So, take an evaluation today and see if your home could use a few more extinguishers ready for a quick response.

What's a Soot Web?

8/15/2019 (Permalink)

Soot webs in a customers basement after a recent fire.

After a fire in your home you’ll probably spend a lot of time focusing on the aftermath of this disaster. One thing that you may notice along the edges and corners of your ceiling are what many customers think are “dirty cobwebs”. However, these are called soot webs! These are not indicative of your cleaning skills at all they are actually due to the fire!

Soot webs form when ionized soot particles stick together and form long chains. These webs like to move to cooler areas in your home which is why you will likely see them along the edges of your walls and ceilings.

Do not attempt to clean these soot webs all by yourself! In order to properly clean them the correct chemicals and experience are required. Otherwise, further damage can be done if the proper action is not taken! We here at the SERVPRO of North Rensselaer/South Washington Counties have crews that are trained and have the precise tools and experience to clean up these soot webs the right way!

If you have a fire damage please call us at (518) 677-3444.

What is dry ice blasting?

6/7/2019 (Permalink)

Dry ice blasting is a carbon dioxide cleaning method using solid CO2 pellets (dry ice) to create a pressurized air steam that is directed at a surface to clean it. This cleaning method is similar to others, such as sand blasting, bead blasting, or soda blasting as it cleans the surfaces using a pressurized air steam. Dry ice blasting is an environmentally safe cleaning method and is nonabrasive, non-conductive, nonflammable, and non toxic.

Dry ice blasting is often used to remove smoke, soot, and char damage after a fire at a home or business. It also provides a fast and effective alternative to traditional methods of cleaning industrial production equipment. This process is the preferred method of cleaning because it leaves no chemical residue, in comparison to other blasting methods, as dry ice sublimates, or coverts back to a gaseous state, when it hits the surface that is being cleaned.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call Us Today – (518)677-3444

No Job Is Too Large

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Large Loss Team Arriving to Jobsite

After a recent fire at a local college in Vermont, SERVPRO of North Rensselaer/South Washington Counties called out SERVPRO’s Commercial Large Loss Division Team for assistance.  SERVPRO’s Commercial Large Loss Division team is the best of the best in the restoration industry. Every large loss is supervised by a commercial operations manager to ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation.

One thing that we are proud of at SERVPRO of North Rensselaer/South Washington Counties is that we are always quick to respond. We were able to be on site, that same day, and with the help from the Commercial Large Loss Division Team, we were able to setup a large amount of industrial drying equipment to dry out from the water damage from the firefighting efforts. We also have a significant amount of crew members working to restore the structure as quickly as possible, to get the college back up and running.

Fire damage can be very devastating for a business or commercial property. We understand that every hour spent restoring your business back to pre-fire condition is an hour lost of revenue and productivity.

Is your business suffering from fire damage? Call SERVPRO of North Rensselaer/South Washington Counties at (518)677-3444.

How To Remove Strong Odor From Cigarette Smoke

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

Many homeowners smoke cigarettes inside their home without realizing that the smoke and odor it creates will have negative effects on their home and is not easy to get rid of.

First our technicians will try to remove nicotine buildup from the walls and ceiling of the home. We use strong degreasers as cleaning agents. Most homeowners might think that a coat of fresh paint will eliminate the odor, but if you just paint over nicotine coated walls, the smoke smell will still remain strong as nicotine is an oil base and will just bleeds through paint overtime.

If all else fails when trying to remove a smoke odor from a home, our trained technicians can perform an ozone treatment which is a deodorizing technique that eliminates odor by oxidizing the air. The oxidized air is circulated through the air just as smoke is and is able to get into all of places cigarette smoke does, effectively getting rid of the smelly residue. 

For professional assistance with deodorization, call SERVPRO of North Rensselaer/South Washington Counties at (518)677-3444.

Fire Extinguisher Safety

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Every residential and commercial property should have at least one fire extinguisher present on the premises. Many people do not know the different types of fire extinguishers; let alone how to use them. It is best to learn this before, so that you will be prepared in an event of an emergency.

According to OSHA, the 3 most common types of fire extinguishers are air pressurized water (used for ordinary combustibles, such as paper, cloth, wood, rubber, and plastics), CO2 (used for flammable liquids, such as oils, gasoline, paint, lacquers, grease, solvent, and other flammable liquids) ,and dry chemical (used for electrical equipment, such as wiring, fuse boxes, energized electrical equipment, computers) .

Use the “P.A.S.S.” technique when operating a fire extinguisher:

Using a fire extinguisher properly is a great way to contain or put out a small fire, but creates quite a mess. Our trained technicians on fire, smoke, and soot clean up at SERVPRO of North Rensselaer/South Washington Counties can help clean that mess and make it look "Like it never even happened.”

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call us Today- (518)677-3444

Fireplace and Space Heater Safety

1/11/2019 (Permalink)

With the temperatures dropping as we winter progresses, it is nice to sit back and relax and take off the chill by warming up next to your fireplace or space heater. It also can be very dangerous if you do not take the appropriate precautions. Here are some helpful tips to enjoy your cozy fire or warm space heater but still keeping safe.

Space Heaters:

  • NEVER leave a space heater running without supervision. The plug can overheat and start a fire if it cannot handle the amount of energy it takes to run the heater. Better yet, you can even unplug your space heater when you do not have it running or are not home.

  • Make sure your space heater is approved for indoor use. Most of the heaters that run on electric are safe to use indoors, but some heaters run on fuel and can produce carbon monoxide and should not be used indoors.

  • NEVER use a space heater as a dryer. It can be tempting to warm socks or a blanket over the warm blowing air, but this is extremely dangerous as the materials can easily start a fire.


  • Test Smoke detectors at least once a month.

  • NEVER leave a fire unattended. Even though it seems to be a controlled fire, you can’t control a spark from flying out of the fire and onto a surface or a blanket in your home.

  • Clean your chimney at least once a year and have it inspected by a trained professional.

Contact our fire cleanup trained professionals at SERVPRO of North Rensselaer/South Washington Counties (518)677-3444 with our 24 hour emergency services, we are always here to help!

Fire Restoration in an 1800's Home

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

A fire occurred at our customer’s home in their kitchen due to a cardboard box catching fire near an electric stove. Our customer stated that there was 5 to 6 feet of backsplash affected by the fire and white ash from the cardboard and paper towels throughout the home. Our technicians spent several days properly cleaning the homes structure, contents, and upholstery.  Due to the ornate woodwork and moldings within the home, along with the historic wallpaper that dated back to the 1800’s, we took extra time to insure these areas were properly restored. In the photo you will see the wallpaper that covered the ceiling of the dining area and the ornate base of the dining room's chandelier. When our work was completed the customers were very satisfied with our quality of work and timely restoration. 

Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there!

8/16/2018 (Permalink)

When inspecting a fire at a commercial building site, it is very crucial to look at every level of the building even if the fire did not occur on that floor. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there! Ceiling tiles and or any other type of ceiling may block your view of soot throughout the building. A great hint that there is extra space above the ceiling is the HVAC ventilation system. This building had a complete automobile repair shop above it prior to it being closed off for the building space below. In total there was a 14’ ceiling space above this commercial business that needed soot cleaning along with HVAC ducting, steel structure, electrical & plumbing systems and main carrying beams that would never have been seen if the inspector never looked above the ceiling tiles to see how much damage there was.

Soot Webs or Soot Tags

1/12/2017 (Permalink)


Our customers frequently mistake these soot webs, also known as soot tags, for smoke that has attached itself to spider webs that were present prior to a fire. In fact, soot from synthetic/petroleum based sources that have burned, cling to each other like magnets creating chains of soot. These webs are usually found in corners like spider webs and here’s why. Smoke/soot circulates towards cold, as the air is seeking equilibrium within its environment. These areas tend to be on the perimeter of the ceiling on an outside wall since those walls are cooler. Not only are those areas cooler, but the area near the ceiling is also a low area of concentration. So if you happen to find these after a fire, they are in no way indicative of your housekeeping.

Warning signs and preventative measures to prevent a house fire

12/22/2016 (Permalink)

This past year we have done a few fire restoration jobs relating to everyday items, that most people know can be a fire hazard, but are overlooked. Some items were an electric blanket, electrical outlet, kitchen stove, dryer, portable electric heater, and an extension cord. As a homeowner there are warning signs and preventative measures you can take to help prevent a fire like this in your home. For example, a couple ways to prevent your dryer from causing a fire is to clean out the lint in the lint filter to help prevents the dryer from overheating, also make sure to check your exhaust for any obstructions. For extension cords make sure to check them thoroughly for cuts or kinks in the cord, these can make sparks if the positive and the negative cords touch. Another area to check on cords is the end of the cord that plugs into the outlet. If the cord is extremely warm to the touch, then you should replace that end immediately or replace the cord all together. Any item that has an outlet cord is an easy place to check regularly. If this cord ever gets hot to the touch it should be replaced. Another tip is anything that has a fan, whether it is exhaust or intake, make sure the fan can breathe. Clean any dust or debris that may be covering the area. Some items that may have these fans would be a stove, portable boxed heaters, dehumidifiers, computers and computer towers. These are just a few tips to help you prevent a disaster from happening in your home. As a side note make sure to do your yearly maintenance cleaning on your boiler and chimney in order to prevent chimney fires and puff backs in your home. We hope these tips are a help for all of you in the future for preventing fires in your home.