Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire Safety & Prevention

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

We tend to think about Fire Prevention each fall during Fire Prevention Month…. however fire can affect, homes, businesses, and communities at any time. Always keep in mind how to keep your property safest during a fire, especially by having working smoke alarms!

According to the National Fire Protection Association, survey data shows that the public has many misconceptions about smoke alarms, which can put them at increased risk in the event of a home fire.  In an effort to inform the members of our community, SERVPRO and the National Fire Protection Association are offering several tips and information regarding your smoke detectors:

-Check how many years you've had your smoke alarm for- if it's after 10 years its time for a new one.  If you are not sure how old your smoke alarm is, the date of the manufacture on the back of the alarm will tell you.

-Hardwired smoke alarms operate 94% of the time while battery powered alarms operate 80% of the time. However, if smoke alarms completely fail to operate, it could mean batteries are missing, disconnected or dead.

-As the National Fire Protection Association specifically recommend, an ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, or where extra time is needed to awaken or assist others, both types of alarms, or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms are recommended.

Keep safe this week and every week. SERVPRO will always be there for you.

Fire Damage: Types of Smoke Residue

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

Types of Smoke:

Did you know there are different types of smoke? There is “Wet” Smoke and “Dry” Smoke. What is burning in your home or business determines the type of smoke residue that is left. The different types of smoke are Wet Smoke (Plastic & Rubber), Dry Smoke (Paper & Wood), Protein Fire Residue (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire), Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Back), Other Types of Smoke (Tear gas, Fingerprint Powder, and Fire Extinguisher residue).

Our SERVPRO franchise is highly trained in how clean and remediate fire losses depending on the type of smoke. SERVPRO is also trained in how to assess smoke damage. For example, smoke is unique in its behavior as it gravitates to cooler areas and upper levels, smoke seeps through holes around piping and can go floor to floor between walls and flooring.

Dealing with any smoke or fire damage to your home or business, no matter how minor or severe, can be stressful and frustrating. If you experience a fire loss, and have issues with linger odor, wall discoloration, or even severe damage call in SERVPRO, we will be there to provide a free quote and plan of action to restore your property like it never even happened.

Grill Safety this Summer

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Summer is the time for picnics, barbeques and plenty of delicious food; however do you know all of the safety measures you should take with your grill? Three out of five households own a gas grill. Each year an average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling and about 16,000 patients went to the emergency room because of an injury involving a grill. Wow, that’s a lot. 

Most of these injuries and fires could have easily been avoided. So just in case, here are some tips on how to avoid injuries and fires while also enjoying those yummy summer-time meals:

  • Keep your grill away from your home and deck railings.
  • In order to safely turn on your grill, follow these steps:
    • Open the lid before turning on the grill
    • Turn on the propane tank
    • Turn on the knobs of the grill burner
    • Push ignition button (if you have one)
  • If your grill doesn’t ignite, let gas dissipate for at least 5 minutes before igniting again. 
  • To turn off your grill safely, turn the gas tank off first in order to keep excess gas from leaking out.

And in case of fire damage, you know who to call: SERVPRO!

Soft Contacts: Restore, Don't Replace!

4/18/2018 (Permalink)

When it comes to restoration, many people focus on the structure of the house or building itself. Browse around our website for even 15 seconds and you can rest easy knowing that this is our specialty. However, after the initial panic of fire and water/flood damage has eased, your next natural question is probably, “but what about all of my stuff?”

Meet our Esporta Wash System. By using Esporta Technologies we have been able to make the restoration process effortless and stress free from start to finish (Even for “your stuff”.)

Traditional Dry Cleaners typically can restore: 40% of soft contents

The Esporta Machines used by SERVPRO typically can restore: 85% of soft contents

Using an advanced system of hydraulic action our machines can force both organic and inorganic contaminants out of all your valuable personal belongings.

So what can be restored you ask? You name it! Purses, comforters, couch cushions, sports gear, boots, high school letterman jackets, clothing, linens, Valentine ’s Day teddy bears, and even your favorite pair of socks with the sharks on them.

In the past these items typically ended up in the landfill, but today this technology has literally revolutionized life after an emergency. We have saved our clients time, money and peace of mind after a loss.

Learn More:

DYK: Behavior of Fire & Smoke

12/5/2017 (Permalink)

Fires can be caused by many things from candles, wood stoves, electrical malfunction, cooking/ grease fires, space heaters, and more.

Did you know there are different types of smoke & fire residue? Not only that, but smoke has unique behavior that impacts the way your property is affected by smoke.

There are two types of smoke: wet and dry. Depending on what is burning determines the type of smoke residue that is produced.

The various types of smoke/ residues are:

  • Wet Smoke: Plastic and Rubber
  • Dry Smoke: Paper and Wood
  • Protein Fire Residue: Prodiced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
  • Fuel Oil Soot: Furnace Puffback
  • Other Types: Tear gas, finger print powder, and fire extinguisher dust.

Behavior of Smoke:

  • Smoke migrates to cooler areas, and upper levels of structures
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems and seeps through holes that pipes go through
  • The type of smoke can greatly impact the restoration process

No matter the type of fire loss or residue left, SERVPRO professionals are highly trained in understanding the behavior of smoke and cleanup processes to best utilize during fire restoration services.

Stay Fire Free This Fall!

10/30/2017 (Permalink)

This Fall be aware and fire concious of everyday hazards, even of decorations!

Follow these tips to help ensure you stay safe and fire-free:

  • Keep fall decorations like dried flowers & cornstalks away from any heat source and open flame.
  • Keep emergency exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks an escape route.
  • Teach Children to stay away from open flames. Be sre they know how to stop, drop and roll if clothing catches fire.
  • Remember safety first when choosing a Halloween costume. Consider avoiding billowing fabric.
  • It is safest to use a flashlight or battery operated candle in a Jack-O-Lantern. If using a candle place it away from anything that can burn and out of the way doorsteps, walkways and yards.

Facts provided by

Ozone Deodorization: How does it work?

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

The use of ozone can be a very effective way of removing odor from a property. SERVPRO may commonly use this method following fire damage cleaning, skunk odor to the property, mold or full property cleaning. SERVPRO will provide a free estimate of your situation and decide if Ozone will be the best and most appropriate method of odor removal.


When it comes to successful deodorization the first step is to clean/remove or fix what is causing the odor, for example the best chance of success would be to clean the fire damage first, fix a leaking pipe that is causing a musty odor, or remove the garbage from an area before starting the ozone process. It will be crucial to remove items emitting odor.

How it works: Basically, ozone removes odor by destroying the molecules, bacteria, and spores that cause unpleasant smells.  Ozone (O3) is a highly reactive molecule and is very quick to chemically react with particles that it comes into contact with in the air and on surfaces.  The extra oxygen atom in the ozone attaches itself to other molecules, chemically changing their structure to create non-offensive molecules – eliminating the smell. * 

For more questions regarding our deodorization methods please feel free to call our office and we would be happy to help!

Property Stabilization

5/2/2017 (Permalink)

Following a disaster, whether it’s after a fire, storm or other structural disaster, ensuring the safety of you and your family, or employees if the property is a business is priority #1. Once safety is insured, stabilization of the property is next. In many cases stabilization can mean boarding up damaged property. This is a burden that no one should ever have to go through- especially if it is your property that has been damaged.

Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself.

Our team of SERVPRO professionals can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping making it “Like it never even happened.”

Dryer Vents & Fire Prevention

4/7/2017 (Permalink)

According to FEMA, failure to clean home dryers casues 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 Million in property loss and even can cause injury or death. To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your own home or business, SERVRPO can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup.

Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include cleaning the lint filter befroe and after each each load, and making sure the outdoor vent flap will openand is not restricted by snow, a birds nest or other potential obsticles.

If your home or business is ever affected by fire or smoke damage due to a dryer fire, call us in for a free estimate. Our trained professionals will work with you and your insurance to asses the damage and come up with a plan to get you back up and running as soon as possible.

*Featured Article from the April SERVPRO Restoration Newsline

ARC Home Fire Preparedness Campaign

11/28/2016 (Permalink)

The American Red Cross is in full swing of their home fire safety campaign! SERVPRO of Broome, Tompkins & Tioga Counties, along with SERVPRO Industries fully support this amazing initiative. The goal is to have the amount of fire related deaths lowered by 25%. The American Red Cross is educating homeowners and installing smoke alarms for free to anyone who contacts them. To have one installed in your home contact your local American Red Cross Chapter.

Home Fire risk is the highest in the months of December, January and February. We want to remind homeowners to be aware of their risk and avoid preventable fires this season! Not every fire is a total loss, and when it comes to smoke, soot, and content damage we are the professionals ready to help. We offer free estimates, and offer 24 hours response for when you need us most!

Thanksgiving Fire Safety

11/21/2016 (Permalink)

Thanksgiving has the highest number of reported cooking fires in the U.S., which is about 3x the average of any other day. We would like to keep your family safe this holiday season by sharing some cooking safety tips to avoid being part of this overwhelming statistic! According to the NFPA here’s what you need to know!

  • Keep an eye on what you fry
  • Be alert when cooking
  • Keep things that can catch fire away from cooking area

Our team has significant experience in clean up of smoke & soot damage from cooking related fires, and even clean up of fire extinguisher dust used to put out a protein fire. Cooking related fires are known for leaving behind a very pungent odor and a virtually invisible film that can discolor paint. If you have ever experienced this is your home, call our local number we can provide a free estimate for cleanup, deodorization, or repair services. Call our local number 607-722-2262.

Home Fire Escape Planning

11/8/2016 (Permalink)

Every home should have a fire escape plan. According to the American Red Cross, homeowners shouldn’t just have a plan of escape for a fire but have a plan and practice it twice a year. Home fires cannot be predicted and can happen to anyone. If you’re making preparations to prevent home fire, you should also prepare for what you and your family would do if you have one. Here are some tips from the American Red Cross in making a plan for your home.

  • All members of the household should know two ways to get out of every room.
  • Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas or homes on the second floor or above. Learn how to use them and store them near the window.
  • Pick a place outside for everyone to meet and make sure everyone knows where it is.
  • Practice your home fire drill until everyone in the household can do it in less than two minutes.
  • Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
  • Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

Once the safety for your family is established, the next steps to come will be home recovery. SERVPRO® will work with you from widow and roof board up to assisting with the final stages of move back & rebuild.

Ultrasonic Cleaning

11/3/2016 (Permalink)

A fire in your home can cause a devastation that carries distress and anguish over anything lost in the aftermath. However, SERVPRO has the ability to restore your home and many of your items that appear to be ruined. We’ve now applied the Fireline system of Ultrasonic Cleaning so we can repair and preserve the things important to you! It’s an assembly line system so your things will be taken care of and packaged individually. Our team at SERVPRO want to help you save more and replace less.   

If you have a fire emergency or are concerned about the safety of your home, call us at (607) 722-2262. We’re here for you 24/7 and your safety is our number one priority!

Wet Smoke and Dry Smoke

11/3/2016 (Permalink)

Restoring your home after a fire can be a dangerous feat, especially with fires emitting two types of smoke: wet smoke and dry smoke.  The difference in smoke results in a difference in soot residue. If you don’t know the type of smoke or soot released you may add more damage to your home when you begin the restoration process. To determine if the smoke is dry or wet, SERVPRO Franchise Professional study the layer of soot left behind and can then treat and restore your home accordingly.  

We at SERVPRO would like to share some additional information regarding various types of smoke in order to keep you safe:

- Wet smoke causes plastic and rubber to smolder and emit a pungent odor. They may also turn sticky or smeary.

- Paper and wood caught in dry smoke will reach a high temperature and burn quickly.

- After a fire, there may be protein fire residue created by evaporation of material. Although the residue is virtually invisible, it can discolor paint and release an extremely pungent odor.

- Fuel oil soot or furnace puff backs are difficult to manage, but SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can restore the contents and structure quickly.

If your home or business sustains fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO. Once we arrive, we can help make it look “Like it never even happened.”

Fires: Be Ready and Stay Safe

10/18/2016 (Permalink)

Fire disasters in the United States reached over 1.3 million in 2015.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, 501,500 were structure fires, 204,500 were vehicle fires and 639,500 were outside and other fires.  Every 86 seconds a home structure fire was reported.  SERVPRO is set on greatly decreasing these frightening numbers by supplying you and your family with important information.

The NFPA lists several causes for a home structure fire.  Based on this list, we would like to remind you of the following:

-Using cooking and heating equipment, make sure to turn off any item you are no longer using

-Using clothes dryers and washing machines, remember to clean out the lint filter

-Any equipment that involves ignition, including grill fires, should be completely turned off

-Fireplace and candles, extinguish both when leaving the room

Our team at SERVPRO hope you remember the list above and be cautious- your safety is our number one priority.

For more information regarding fire statistics and potential hazards, visit:

What To Do In A Fire Emergency

10/10/2016 (Permalink)

Fires can spread fast and cause immediate damage, but we at SERVPRO are here to help restore your home.  As with all natural disasters, you and your family should first assess the situation and determine if it is safe to stay in your home. If you decide to stay in your home, SERVPRO would like to offer pertinent information to keep you safe while we are on our way to help.

After a fire, make sure to limit movement in your home, as soot particles can get embedded into upholstery and carpets.  We recommend placing clean towels or old linens on any rugs or upholstery. In this regard, keeping your hands clean will prevent further soiling to upholstery, walls and woodwork. As we mention on our website, if you have houseplants wash them on both sides of the leaves.  We also suggest changing the HVAC filter and taping double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

However, there are several activities you should not to before we arrive. These include attempting to wash any walls or painted surfaces, or shampoo carpet or upholstery.  Avoid cleaning electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water.  You should also avoid using any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.  If the ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fixtures, as the wiring may be damaged.

Once SERVPRO arrives, we will handle the rest. We'll be there no matter the disaster- your safety is our main priority.

Fire Prevention Week

10/10/2016 (Permalink)

For over nine decades we, as a nation, have taken part in Fire Prevention Week. This tradition occurs through the week of October 9th, to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire and the commonly forgotten Peshtigo fire of 1871. It's our duty to uphold the efforts of the brave individuals that risked their lives with their acts of heroism during those disasters.  SERVPRO would like to be an active participant in a week dedicated to preventing the start of another infamous blaze.

Every year the National Fire Protection Association creates themes for Fire Prevention Week. Last year was Hear The Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!  This year we're observing: "Don't Wait, Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years." As these themes suggest, a simple way to protect you and your family begins with the fire alarm. According to the National Fire Protection Association, survey data shows that the public has many misconceptions about smoke alarms, which can put them at increased risk in the event of a home fire.  In an effort to inform the members of our community, SERVPRO and the National Fire Protection Association are offering several tips and information regarding your smoke detectors:

-Check how many years you've had your smoke alarm for- if it's after 10 years its time for a new one.  If you are not sure how old your smoke alarm is, the date of the manufacture on the back of the alarm will tell you.

-Hardwired smoke alarms operate 94% of the time while battery powered alarms operate 80% of the time. However, if smoke alarms completely fail to operate, it could mean batteries are missing, disconnected or dead.

-As the National Fire Protection Association specifically recommend, an ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, or where extra time is needed to awaken or assist others, both types of alarms, or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms are recommended.

Keep safe this week and every week. SERVPRO will always be there for you.

Grace & Holy Spirit Church Fire

9/15/2016 (Permalink)

A growing segment within SERVPRO Industries is Commercial Large Loss Response. Our professionally trained team has the experience and equipment to manage any and all commercial damage emergencies, no matter how large. One of the most devastating disasters for any business or commercial property is a fire. 

When an electrical fire caused significant damage to the Grace & Holy Spirit Church in Cortland, New York, we were eager to get to work. This landmark in the Cortland Community is not only a place of worship, but also the home to many outreach groups, including those who serve food to the hungry and hold 12-step programs. We knew that it was vital for this loss cleanup to be completed as quickly as possible and with a great deal of TLC. 

For an establishment who has done so much for their community for so many years, it was honor to clean and restore the damage from this disastrous fire. Reopening the doors of this church was of our utmost concern for so many reasons. By helping one, we have helped hundreds, and that makes our job so rewarding.


Home Fire Preparedness Campaign

7/7/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO and the American Red Cross are teaming up for a new partnership in 2016! We are working on the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign in which we help families become aware of the dangers of house fires and how to prepare for and prevent one. Get tips and tricks on how to stay prepared and learn what to do if there were a fire in your home. Check out the American Red Cross website for more information on Home Fire Safety!

Lightning Safety Awareness Week!

6/23/2016 (Permalink)

It’s the first week of summer and we’ve already had our first night storm. It’s good to be knowledgeable about the potential dangers of lightning at all times of the year, but it’s Lightning Safety Awareness Week we thought it would be a good time to share some details. Surprisingly, lightning is the third greatest storm-related killer in the United States. It is commonly underestimated because many people don’t believe that it could happen to them. However, on average, lightning will kill about 37 people directly, cause 300 injuries and $1 Billion in damages each year. It is important to know that there is no safe place outside when there is a thunderstorm in the area. Even when inside, it is still possible that your home can be struck by lightning as well. Lightning causes about 4,400 home structure fires each year. WOW that’s quite a few. 

Learn more! Check out these helpful tips on what to do if this happens to your home. And don’t forget you can always call us for the clean up!

Happy National Electrical Safety Month!

5/13/2016 (Permalink)

Happy National Electrical Safety Month! What is Electrical Safety Month you ask? “The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is a non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety in the home, school, and workplace.” every year ESFI creates a campaign to educate key audiences about the steps that can be taken in order to reduce the number of electrically-related fires, fatalities, injuries and property loss. This year their campaign features a collection of new resources to help facilitate an effective electrical safety awareness campaign for your community, organization, school, or family. So read more here on how you can protect your office or home!


And if anything does ever happen and you’re faced with recovering property from an electrical fire, SERVPRO is here to help! We’ve got 7 steps to get you through this trying time, just see how by clicking the link below!

Together, we can reduce the number of electrically-related deaths and injuries – one home, one school, and one workplace at a time!

Fireline Systems

2/9/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fireline Systems Fireline Systems

Have you or has someone you know experienced a fire or smoke damage to their home or business? Let us shed a little light on the system that SERVPRO of Broome, Tompkins & Tioga Counties uses to bring your contents back to new. The Fireline Ultrasonic Contents Cleaning System is an assembly line process to quickly clean customer's contents following fire or smoke damage or other related disaster. The Fireline's systematic approach to contents restoration has emerged as the industry model and continues to set the standard for efficiency. 

At SERVPRO of Broome, Tompkins & Tioga Counties we can now safely restore instead of replace your damaged contents. The Fireline System can clean to near pristine condition, much of your personal and sentimental contents. You would never know that your contents had been through a fire or smoke loss. Having the ability to restore your contents will provide you not only with peace of mind, but a timely turnout of your belongings and a cost savings for the client as well as the insurance company. 

While utilizing the Fireline System, our expertise in contents restoration enables us to offer a total solution that provides increased customer satisfaction. Employees that work in the Fireline Systems Center are all trained and certified to work in restoring contents as a result of a fire, smoke, water or mold loss. The staff at SERVPRO of Broome, Tompkins & Tioga Counties is highly trained in property damage restoration. From the initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's corporate training facility to industry certifications such as the Clean Trust (IICRC), rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property and contents. 

When choosing SERVPRO of Broome, Tompkins & Tioga Counties, you are choosing a company who understands the stress and worry that comes with devastation. Having our employees at your door with understanding, along with the knowledge and training to back their work will be invaluable.