Recent Fire Damage Posts

Clothes Dryer Fire Safety Outreach Material

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

Growing up comes with responsibility, doing your own laundry is one of them. Did your parents ever tell you to clean the lint filter before every use? Well if they did, here is why. 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and in some cases are fatal. Failure to clean the dryer is the leading cause of dryer fires and they mostly occur in the fall and winter months. Here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to clothes dryers.


  • Have your clothes dryer installed by a professional.
  • Clean the lint out of the vent pipe every three months.
  • Put a cover on the outside wall dampers to keep out snow, dirt, and rain.
  • Make sure the outdoor vent covering opens when the dryer is on.
  • Keep the area around the dryer free of items that can burn.


  • Do not use a clothes dryer without a lint filter.
  • Do not put too many clothes in the dryer at once.
  • Do not dry anything containing foam, rubber or plastic.
  • Do not dry items that have come into contact with anything flammable.
  • Do not leave a clothes dryer running if you leave the house.

5 Most Common Causes Of A House Fire

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

To the hot summer days, to the cold frigged winters, house fires can be started quickly and spread fast. A house can easily catch fire from the misuse of heating equipment, appliances and even smoking in your bedroom. In fact, house fires are the leading cause of all fire deaths in the United States.

Here are 5 of the most common causes of a house fire and some prevention tips.

  1. Cooking equipment. Pots, pans, and burning food can easily overheat and catch fire if the person is not paying attention. Stay in the room, or ask someone to watch your food while you are away from the kitchen.
  2. Heating. Portable heaters are used a lot during the winter months. Keep portable heaters at least 1 meter away from furniture, laundry, curtains, clothes and anything else that may be a hazard. If you have a furnace, make sure it is inspected once a year.
  3. Smoking in bedrooms. Fires started in the bedroom makeup 73% of all house fire fatalities! Bedrooms should be kept off-limits from smoking. Cigarette flames may stay alit for several hours before dying out. It could easily catch fire if it came in contact with flammable materials.
  4. Electrical Equipment. Electrical appliances like toasters, microwaves, and skillets should always be double-checked before using. Overloaded adapter plugs can also cause a fire from overuse of electricity. Don’t plug too much in at once.
  5. Candles. Who doesn’t love a good smelling candle? If left unattended it could cause your hose to go up in flames! Keep them away from items like tissue boxes, books, and napkins. And of course, always blow them out before leaving a room. 

Fireplace Safety Tips

3/2/2019 (Permalink)

Fireplaces are beautiful and cozy focal points in any home. Check out our safety tips to enjoy your fireplace safely.

During the chilly winter months in New England, many Topsfield residents keep warm in front of a cozy fire. Whether you have a gas, wood, or electric fireplace, it’s important to follow a few safety guidelines to ensure that you are keeping your family safe from potential fire hazards.

Wood and Gas Fireplaces

Get an annual fireplace and chimney inspection from a trusted professional to make sure your fireplace and chimney are in good working condition. Be sure that the chimney flue is open before the fire is lit. An open flue will allow the air to feed the flames and allow the smoke to exit. And like any other source of fire, keep your children and pets away from the flames.

 Electric Fireplaces

Many homes have an electric fireplace and although the flame isn’t real, safety precautions still need to be taken. Your electric fireplace is essentially a portable electric heater, and should be treated as such. Be sure that your heat source has enough space around it for the air to flow, and that it isn’t close to curtains or other materials that could potentially burn. Keep your electric fireplace away from any water sources, it should never be used near a washing machine, sink, or other source of water. Lastly, power strips and extension cords are not recommended; plug your fireplace directly in a wall unit.

Space Heater Safety Tips

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Keep your family safe with these space heater safety tips!

During the cold New England winters, many homeowners use space heaters to help heat their homes. But space heaters can also cause deadly fires if left unattended or used improperly. To help keep your family safe, follow  the safety tips listed below.

Using Space Heaters Safely

  • Keep space heaters 3 feet away from drapes, furniture or other things that can burn.
  • Put heaters on a level surface away from places where someone might bump into it and knock it over.
  • Avoid using extension cords. If you must use an extension cord, use a heavy duty one marked with a power rating at least as high as that of the heater itself.
  • Never leave a space heater unattended.
  • Never leave a space heater on while you sleep.
  • Supervise children and pets near space heaters.
  • Buy heaters that are tested and labeled by a nationally recognized testing company, such as Underwriter’s Laboratories Inc.(UL).
  • Keep electric heaters away from water. Never use them near a sink or in the bathroom.
  • Never use an unvented kerosene heater. It is illegal to sell or use them in Massachusetts.

Church Fire Causes Smoke Damage

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire and soot damage caused by a candle that reignited in the windowsill.

Recently, a local church experienced fire damage and called in SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich to help. The fire started from a candle burning in the windowsill which spread to a cavity in between the walls. Luckily, a neighbor saw the fire inside of the church and promptly called the fire department. The first responders were quick to arrive, extinguishing the fire and preventing it from spreading throughout the building. Despite their timely response, unfortunately, there was quite a lot of damage to the window and carpet below. Smoke filled the church, resulting in black soot covering the surfaces throughout, including the pews, walls, ceiling, and balcony area.

We began the process by wiping the top layer of contaminants away. Then, using SERVPRO’s time-tested and industry-approved steps, along with our proprietary cleaning products and methods, we restored the walls and surfaces without the need to repaint or refinish.  The cleaning process removed the smell from the fire, returning it to pre-fire condition. We have the training and equipment to identify and eliminate these offensive odors. By identifying the cause of the odor and determining the conditions in which the damage was done, the odor can often be removed over time without a trace. Our technicians have access to several odor removal products capable of penetrating surfaces to neutralize an unpleasant odor thoroughly.

SERVPRO Goes to Danvers Fire Open House!

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPROs mascot duck figgy on a fire truck Our SERVPRO duck, Figuero came with us to Danvers Fire's Open House! Isn't he so cute on his little truck?!

Fire Prevention Month

October is Fire Prevention Month and every year, local fire departments host an open house to educate the community about fire safety. It’s a great family event to meet the firefighters and see them demonstrate best safety practices. The smoke house demonstration was a favorite of the children, where they got to walk through a fire and smoke simulation, learning to crawl under the smoke to safety. The firefighters also had a jaws of life demonstration that was really amazing to watch!

SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich is always happy to be part of this great event and support our local fire departments. We appreciate the brave men and women that serve our community and help keep us safe. Papa Gino’s generously donated pizza for this event, and we donated lollipops, water and apples from Connor’s Farm.  We also gave out cute little SERVPRO rubber ducks to the children (and some adults too!)

SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich specializes in fire and water damage restoration. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition.

What To Do After a Home Fire

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Photo of one of the many homes damaged from last week's gas related fires and explosions.

Our hearts go out to the victims of the Merrimack Valley gas fires that struck the towns of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover last Thursday. Often, the hardest part for residents after a home fire is knowing where to begin and who to contact. These tips taken from FEMA provide information on what to do after experiencing a tragic home fire.

Checklist for Next Steps After a Fire

Here are the steps to follow after a fire in your home:

  • Contact your local disaster relief service, such as the American Red Cross. This will help you find a place to stay and to find food, clothing and medicine.
  • If you have insurance, contact your insurance company. Ask what you should do to keep your home safe until it is repaired. Ask who you should talk to about cleaning up your home. If you are not insured, try contacting community groups for aid and assistance.
  • Check with the fire department to make sure that your home is safe to enter. Be very careful when you go inside. Floors and walls may not be as safe as they look.
  • The fire department will tell you if your utilities (water, electricity and gas) are safe to use. If not, firefighters will have your utilities shut off before they leave. Do not try to turn them back on by yourself. This could be very dangerous.
  • Contact your landlord or mortgage company about the fire.
  • If you leave your home, call the local police department to let the police know that the site will be vacant.
  • Begin saving receipts for any money that you spend related to fire loss. The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and to prove any losses claimed on your income tax.
  • Check with an accountant or the IRS about special benefits for people recovering from fire loss.

Preventing Cooking Fires

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Kitchen fires can be devastating. You can prepare and prevent cooking fires by following some simple safety tips.

Cooking Fire Preparedness

Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Home fires are more likely to start in the kitchen than any other room in your house. Here are some facts and tips from to help prevent kitchen fires.

Cooking fires are the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries according to MFIRS statistics.

Cooking Safety Tips                      

  • Put a lid on a grease fire to smother it, then turn off the heat. Baking soda will also work.
  • Never move a burning pan. You can be badly burned or spread the fire.
  • Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on a grease fire. Water will only spread the fire and the force of the extinguisher can splash flaming grease out of the pan.
  • Stand by your pan. Don’t leave food, grease or oils cooking on the stovetop unattended.
  • Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking. Loose fitting clothing can easily catch fire.
  • If your clothing catches fire, STOP, DROP & ROLL to put out the flames. Put burns in cool running water. Call 9-1-1 for help.
  • Keep pot handles turned inward to prevent accidental spills of hot contents. • Create a three-foot “child-free zone” around the stove. Keep children and pets away from the stove while cooking to prevent burns and scalds. Cooking Safety Tips (cont.)
  • Keep combustible objects such as pot holders, towels, paper or plastic bags away from heating elements.
  • For fires inside an oven or microwave, keep the door closed, turn off the appliance, and call the fire department.
  • Don’t place any metal inside a microwave. Utensils, aluminum foil or twist-tie wraps can arc and cause a fire.
  • Microwaved foods and liquids can become very hot. Use caution to avoid scalds.
  • Unplug appliances, such as toasters and coffee makers, when not in use.
  • Don’t use the oven to store items.

Following these tips will help you to prevent kitchen fires. However, should your home experience an unexpected disaster, contact us at SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich at 978-356-7077. We’re here to help restore your property, like it never even happened.

When Every Second Counts…

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

The National Fire Protection Association's theme for 2017 was "Every Second Counts" and when you think about that statement, it couldn't be more true. Most people think of escape plans and prevention when they think about fire safety but there is a much neglected and overlooked resource to consider.

The Forgotten Red-Head! 

Prevention and a plan are obviously high priority, but when is the last time you thought about that fire hydrant up the street from your home or business? Keeping it clear of snow can save valuable time when time is of the essence.

If you have thought of it, but your thoughts go something like "It's not my responsibility to clear it of snow" you should reconsider.

Saving Valuable Seconds

Depending on the city or town you live in, keeping the hydrant clear of snow and debris could quite possibly be your responsibility. Check with your local fire department or town hall to find out the laws in your area.   

Beyond that, keeping it clear only benefits you. If you are the victim of a fire, what do you want the firemen spending their time on? Clearing the hydrant or fighting the fire? Be smart. Be a good neighbor. Do what's Right.

After A Fire

If you are the unfortunate victim of a fire, we're here to help. After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today – (978) 777-3498

The Anatomy of Smoke & Fire Damage

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot are 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

Closely Related But Very Different

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, we 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. 

Getting Back to Normal

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich specializes in fire and water damage restoration. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. Moreover, we live and work in this community too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich is close by and ready to respond to your smoke or fire damage emergency. 

Space Heaters Need Their Space.

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

During the winters months, many people have the mind set that keeping the overall home or office temperature lower while adding space heaters will save money. Whether that makes fiscal sense depends on several variables. The one thing that does not vary though, is that space heaters, when not used properly can be dangerous.

Space heaters should be kept at a minimum distance of three feet but often are used near beds or under desks, altogether too close to fabrics, papers or other flammable materials. Not considering this hazard can lead to unexpected fires that spread quickly. 

Keeping these tips from DIY Network in mind can avoid potential tragedies:

Safety First

No matter what type or brand of space heater you opt to use, follow these safety tips from the NFPA to reduce the chances of fires and injury:

  • Keep anything that can burn, including bedding, furniture, and curtains at least 3 feet away from a space heater.
  • Have a three-foot "kid-free zone" around space heaters and never use a space heater in a child's bedroom.
  • Run power cords on top of carpet and step over them to avoid abrading the cord. Do not use extension cords.
  • Turn off space heaters when going to bed or leaving a room.
  • Don't use a space heater in a damp or wet area unless it's specifically made for that purpose.
  • Turn space heaters off before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Never put a space heater on a countertop unless it's specifically designed for it.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and test monthly.
  • Only purchase "UL Listed" heaters which display the UL mark on their label. This is an independent organization which tests for safety.
  • Don't use gas- or oil-burning space heaters indoors, only outdoors or in spaces open to the outdoors like tents or porches.
  • Read and follow all manufacturer's directions for your space heater.

We are always here to help. Although we are in the clean-up business, we would rather see you avoid the crisis. In the event you do need fire-damage restoration, we will treat your home as if it's our own.

Deep Fried Disaster!

11/3/2017 (Permalink)

Although a mighty delicious tradition, deep-frying a turkey on Thanksgiving can be risky. 

Every year deep-fryer fires are responsible for five deaths, 60 injuries, the destruction of 900 homes, and more than $15-million in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association. 

So you want to know which state has the most accidents?

For the last seven years, Texas has led the country in most grease- and cooking-related insurance claims on Thanksgiving Day, with 38 according to insurance company State Farm.  Illinois follows, with 27 reports and Pennsylvania and Ohio are tied for third with 23.  New York ranked fourth, with 22 claims and South Carolina and Georgia claimed fifth with 16 claims each. 

Check out State Farm's safety video starring Si and Jase Robertson from "Duck Dynasty" fame.  They give helpful and hilarious tips on how to avoid those nasty shooting flames.

SERVPRO Supports Georgetown

9/22/2017 (Permalink)

A donation of apples –and wise advice– at Georgetown Fire Open House.

October is fire safety month. Most fire departments open their doors to the public, welcoming the community in to learn about fire safety, see the cool equipment they use, demonstrate best safety practices and even let the kids climb in and on the trucks. It's just a great family day, all around, to meet the men and women that dedicate their lives to keeping our communities safe.

SERVPRO is always happy to support our local Fire Departments. At the most recent Open House for Georgetown Fire, we donated apples (and some wise advise)!

SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich specializes in fire and water damage restoration. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Every Second Counts! Fire Prevention Month

9/22/2017 (Permalink)

A downloadable graphic to review with family and co-workers.

October is Fire Safety Month 

While it is our job to clean up after the Fire Dept has contained the fire, SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport and SERVPRO of participates in many of the local Fire Department Open Houses during this very important month.

The theme this year is "Every Second Counts" and it couldn't be more true. You can get a head start on fire prevention month by downloading this graphic. This downloadable graphic is a great learning tool to use with your family or in the workplace. They will be on hand for you to take with you and most fire houses.

Print it out and hang it in an area that gets a lot of traffic. A break room or your refrigerator, for instance. Having it in a visible place will keep it "top of mind" in the event it's needed.