Recent Fire Damage Posts

The Fire Tetrahedron & Why It’s Important | SERVPRO® of Jamaica Plain/Roxbury

1/17/2022 (Permalink)

a small paper house burning If your home or business has any damage, SERVPRO of Jamaica Plain/Roxbury is ready around the clock to help you recover.

You might have read that title and wondered why on earth we’re talking about a geometric term, the tetrahedron.

Well, we’re not actually talking about geometry in today’s blog. We are actually going to discuss the fire tetrahedron.

If you think back on your childhood education, you may remember that a tetrahedron is a four-faced shape. That’s the connection, because there are essentially four “faces” to fire, or four things it can’t live without.

The 4 Things a Fire Needs to Live

Fuel. Adding “fuel to the fire” is a saying because in order for a fire to live or grow is has to have a fueling agent. Things like wood, plastics or many other common things are potential fuel sources for both planned fires and accidental ones.

Heat. In order for a fire to start, you have to have enough heat to make it burn. Different types of fires will require a different amount of heat. Some objects will simply melt when they hit a certain temperature, while others will combust, which can be a major danger.

Oxygen. Humans require oxygen to live, and so do fires. Oxygen feeds a fire, causing it to grow and also generate products of combustion.

Chemical Chain Reaction. A chain reaction is something that perpetuates a fire so long as it is undisturbed.

The 4 Ways to Stop a Fire

Cool it. The point of dousing a fire with water is to cool it to a point that combustion is no longer possible. By cooling your burning material, you are cooling it to a thermal balance.

Smother it. You may remember another common childhood lesson—“stop, drop and roll.” We were taught to take those actions if our clothing caught on fire. There’s a reason for that. When you drop to the ground, covering your clothing, it cuts off the oxygen supply to the fire, which smothers it.

Starve it. This works similarly to smothering the fire, except instead of removing oxygen, you’re removing the fuel source.

Interrupt the chain reaction. There are chemical agents, such as halon, that can be very effective in putting out a fire. However, this chemical has an elevated potential for ozone depletion, meaning it is harmful to the environment, and has been banned.

If the fire tetrahedron makes a wreck of your home or business, we’re ready around the clock to help you recover. Contact SERVPRO anytime for fast, thorough cleanup and recovery after a fire.

The Leading Causes of House Fires & How to Prevent Them | SERVPRO® of Jamaica Plain/Roxbury

11/13/2021 (Permalink)

a firefighter battling a fire with a water hose in hand Regardless of the cause, SERVPRO of Jamaica Plain/Roxbury are here for you if your home is affected by fire.

No homeowner wants to face a home fire. Fires cause devastation and spread unpredictably. It’s best to be prepared and have a plan in the event a fire occurs.

But despite all the technological advancements and advocacy campaigns, home fires still account for a quarter of all reported home fires.

Prevention is the key, so let’s look at the top causes of these house fires and see if we can get that number down by learning how to prevent them:

Cooking. This is the leading cause of home fires, by far! Almost half of all house fires start in the kitchen, and the main reason is unattended cooking. Want to reduce your chance of a home fire? Don’t leave the kitchen while you’re cooking.

Heating equipment. Nationally, 14% of all home fires are started by heating equipment. It’s a combination of things that cause this, including equipment malfunctions and accidents, but the biggest culprit is space heaters and having flammable items too close.

Electrical fires. These fires are generally caused by higher electrical demand in the home due to the increased amount of electronics. Add to that faulty or overloaded circuits in older homes, and these are the factors that contribute to electrical fires at home. Using ungrounded plugs or even placing high-wattage bulbs into low-wattage sockets can also start these fires.

Intentional fires. Arson is still an issue as well. Over 28,000 home fires are intentionally set each year. We use the word intentional because the fire was started with the purpose of burning the structure instead of an accident causing the fire.

Smoking materials. Way too many people still smoke and fall asleep. While smoking materials account for only 5% of all house fires, they are the leading cause of civilian fire deaths. These often start because cigarettes are left burning as people fall asleep and that makes the victim more susceptible.

Regardless of the cause, SERVPRO is here for you if your home is affected by fire. Contact your local team today to see how we can help.

With Fall Weather Comes New Fire Dangers | SERVPRO® of Jamaica Plain/Roxbury

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

a small campfire burning bright in the dark night Be mindful about fall fire safety. Always remember that SERVPRO of Hyde Park/Roxbury is the trusted leader in the restoration industry.

One nice aspect of living in Boston is that we get to experience all four seasons. And fall is quickly approaching! The official start of the season is Sept. 22 this year.

Fall is a favorite season for campers, leaf-peepers and of course trick-or-treaters. There are lots of fun activities to do during autumn.

But along with the fun comes a few potential fire hazards. So grab a pumpkin spice latte, and let’s look over fire safety tips for the season.

Campfires and Fire Pits

This is the season for campfires and fire pits. But when you’re indulging, be sure to do so safely.

Knowing where and how to build a campfire is as important as knowing how to put it out. Start small with twigs and tinder and then ad larger stick and wood.

Use an extended lighter to start the fire if you have one. If not, consider buying one. Accelerants like kerosene or lighter fluid should be avoided.

Build your fire away from structures and other flammable items. And finally, extinguish your fire completely before leaving your campfire or fire pit.

Slowly douse it with a bucket of water to make sure no embers remain. A slight breeze can restart an ember and possibly cause a fire.

Fall Burning of Yard Debris

This time of year, yards are becoming full of dried leaves and many people like to burn leaves as a method of disposal. Make sure you check with your local Fire Department to obtain a burn permit prior to burning.

Never burn household trash or debris can that can have adverse effects like explosions or the release of toxic fumes.

Safety With Space Heaters

Portable space heaters are one of the most frequent causes of home fires in fall and winter. Following the proper safety precautions with space heaters is important for life and property safety.

Always keep your heater away from flammable objects. Make sure your heater has an automatic shutoff in case the heater turns over or overheats.

Plug any space heater directly into the outlet and avoid extension cords if possible.

If a fire hazard should turn from potential to reality in your home, remember the trusted leader in the recovery industry and contact SERVPRO to get your property fully restored right down to the smell of smoke.

With Outdoor Activities in Spring, the Risk of Fire Increases | SERVPRO® of Jamaica Plain/Roxbury

6/17/2021 (Permalink)

As old man winter starts to ease its grip on Boston and with the long cold days behind us, spring is right around the corner. Spending more time outdoors is now a priority since the weather is milder. However, with the increased outdoor activity, there also comes and increased risk of fire.

Spring brings with it the increased risk of fire mainly due to the increased outdoor activity around the grill. Unfortunately, spring is responsible for the largest increase in average daily fires.. But if you are diligent, we can all work to prevent fires this spring.

The Fire Marshall Say Pay Special Attention to These Areas Around the Home

BBQing. Single-handedly, the grill is responsible for a large percentage of outdoor fires, with lack of proper cleaning being the major cause.. When you have fuel, flame and grease in close proximity, that recipe has all the ingredients for a grill fire. Food particles that fall through the grill grates and the accumulation of grease are the biggest cause of unintended grill fires. Clean the grill before each use, and replace defective or worn parts.

The fire pit. The grill gets its share of blame for accidental fires, but the fire pit is another source of unplanned outside fires. We all enjoy a nice spring evening, but temperatures can get cold after the sun goes down. The fire pit provides an opportunity to interact outside with others. These safety tips are important to remember: Don’t leave children unattended around a fire. Keep water close by. Adding debris or other materials, other than wood, to a fire pit should be avoided. This can cause “flare-ups” and embers can be carried away by gusting winds. Roasting food should be done over the embers and not the open flame.

The dryer vent and chimney. Chimneys and dryer vents are another cause of outdoor fires. Warmer weather brings fewer fires in the fireplace or woodstove. Ash, soot and creosote build up during the winter in the stove pipe, and unless it’s removed, the risk of fire increases. Professional chimney sweeps are well worth the investment. It’s hard and dirty work. Clogged dryer vents are another opportunity for fire damage. The leading reason for fires in a clothes dryer is clogged lint in the dryer vent. Don’t become a statistic; keep dryer vents cleared of excess lint.

Has your home or business recently suffered fire or smoke damage? Our tech’s will be there fast and have it cleaned up quick. We’re available 247 for emergency situations. Call today 617-466-6909 and experience the SERVPRO difference.

Practicing Fire Safety This Holiday Season | SERVPRO® of Jamaica Plain/Roxbury

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

multicolor strand of lights on wood floor Make sure your fire risk is low during the holidays. If you experience any damage, SERVPRO of Jamaica Plain/Roxbury will be here to help.

The holiday season always arrives rapidly, and as we get our homes and ourselves ready to celebrate, it is still important to keep the importance of fire safety in focus. Winter is the peak of fires in the home according to the Red Cross, partially because of the risky activities that occur primarily in the wintertime.

Cooking is always a concern, but winter also brings about the concerns of heating and decoration that are not present at other times of the year. Do not give fires the opportunity to spark by focusing on fire safety as you celebrate the best of winter.

Wintertime Tips for Fire Prevention

Keep safe when cooking. The top cause of house fires is cooking at any time of year, but more people tend to prepare large meals and increase the frequency of their baking when it is cold outside. It is wise to practice fire safety each time you cook, keeping a fire extinguisher nearby and keeping flammable items at least three feet from the stove. Make sure children and pets are not allowed near open flames in the kitchen as well.

Heat the house with proper precautions. Many people make use of space heaters and fireplaces to supplement their home’s heating system, but it is important that you always use these tools with caution. Space heaters should always cut off if they get too hot or tip over, and should never be used on carpet or near flammable items. If you use a fireplace, be sure to get your chimney inspected every year and never allow a fire to burn unattended.

Decorate with care. The decorations commonly associated with Christmas, such as trees and lights, present an electrical hazard if they are not installed correctly. Christmas tree fires due to electricity are extremely common, often as a result of the lights being plugged in improperly. Make sure to not overload outlets or power cables, and never use decorations with frayed wiring.

If you have damage due to a house fire, you can depend on us to help. Contact us 24 hours a day to report damage and receive a quick response from our certified restoration technicians. Get in touch today 617-466-6909

Prevent Fires During the Holidays

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

fire in kitchen with holiday trimming Prevent holiday fires by following fire prevention tips

In our opinion the final months of the year is a very joyous time of year! Flashing lights light up the night. Everyone is scrambling to get home for the holidays. With the holidays it is also reported that the number of home fires increase dramatically. SERVPRO of Jamaica Plain/Roxbury wants to ensure this of year remains joyous for you and your family. Below are simply tips to help prevent a fire.

These simple easy tips can prevent a fire from starting within your house this Christmas!

  • If you have a Christmas Tree, always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out.
  • Make sure all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested in a lab by the UL or ETL/ITSNA for safety, and throw out any damaged lights that are broken.
  • Any lights you use outdoors must be labeled suitable for exterior placement, and be sure to plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle.
  • Keep all your holiday candles away from your Christmas tree
  • Bedtime means lights off! ­ Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.
  • Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, so look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don’t break easily from its branches. The tree shouldn’t be shedding its needles readily

After your tree starts to drop needles and some may turn brown it is time to say your last goodbye and throw it outside.  These simple and easy facts can really be a lifesaver come the holidays. If there ever is a problem in your home call SERVPRO of Jamaica Plain/Roxbury. 

Office: 617.466.6909

Why Our “Restore First” Mentality Is Best for Customers | SERVPRO® of Jamaica Plain/Roxbury

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

large red diamond shape sign with Natural Disaster written in large black print Have you sustained property damage and feeling overwhelmed? We are here to help, contact SERVPRO of Jamaica Plain/Roxbury.

If your home sustains damage for any reason, it can be a frustrating and fraught time for your entire family. There are many emotions that people will cycle through after a fire or other disaster, and having to go through the process of handling the damage can further complicate the recovery process.

While there are always difficulties to consider throughout the recovery period, having a good restoration company on your side can truly make all the difference.

We will work with you and your insurance company to make the entire procedure as seamless as possible, and with our restoration-first mentality, we will do our best to preserve your belongings so you do not have to replace them.

How Our Restoration-First Mentality Helps Our Clients

We can help you save money on your insurance. Homeowners insurance is designed to help you cover the cost of losses in case of many types of damage, but filing a claim can also raise your premium tremendously. In the event of water damage, for example, the average claim is over $10,000. We can help lower the cost you have to claim with insurance by restoring objects where possible.

We can protect your sentimental items. We have invested in some of the most advanced restoration equipment available to us, which is what enables us to save items that may seem like a lost cause. In the past, we have been able to restore irreplaceable objects such as family photos, documents and art, as well as valuables such as electronics. Some things can’t be replicated, which is why we do our best to keep these sentimental objects intact.

We make sure your home feels like home again. As we have helped many people in the community with losses and damage, we understand all the complex emotions involved. To help make the return home easier, we focus primarily on restoring your house to its pre-damaged state and placing your belongings just how they were before the damage occurred. This will help your house feel like home again so your family can focus on healing.

If you have damages and are feeling overwhelmed, we are here to help. You can call us as soon as you need to in order to begin the restoration process. Contact us today 617-466-6909 to learn more.

Fire Hazards in the Business Place

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

fire in stairwell Keep yourself and your employees safe in the event of a fire

If you own a business, it is important that you are honest about potential risks from every source—including from emergencies and natural disasters. With the possibility of commercial fires and the data behind how costly they can be, preparing for these is key to the longevity of your operations.

There are many ways to get started in fire safety planning, but we always recommend originating from a safety standpoint. Teaching your employees how to perform a fire evacuation is a key element to keeping everyone safe in case the fire alarm were to sound for real.

Teaching Your Employees How to Perform a Fire Evacuation

Consult with your local fire officials. With the internet, you have so many research options at your fingertips surrounding commercial fire safety, but do not forget about your local options as well. You can generally have your local fire officials come and provide you with personalized advice for planning your evacuation routes and boosting your fire safety.

Communicate and mark fire evacuation routes. After you have decided what evacuation routes suit your needs, be sure they are labeled clearly and your staff is aware of the upcoming drill. Keeping everyone looped in will create more transparency and be sure every one of your staff members are prepared when the drill begins.

Have fire drills frequently. Though taking time out of your day for a fire drill is not ideal, generally doing them once every few months is sufficient enough for everyone’s safety. Keep them on the schedule regularly enough so that everyone can remember the protocols, but not so often that they become mundane.

Run different fire scenarios. There are many ways fires start and spread throughout an office space, so your drills should reflect this to better prepare everyone for a real fire. Have your mock fire block different exit routes so your employees can see what it is like to alter their course with little notice just like they may have to if the fire alarm sounds for real.

If your business has experienced fire damage, you can count on us. We specialize in commercial fire restoration and will be here for you at any hour— call us today 617-466-9606

Smoke Damage to Your Home

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

debris in kitchen from fire Smoke and soot is very invasive and need special cleaning

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 Allston, Brighton & Brookline 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?
Call Us Today – (617) 466-6909

Smoke & Soot - How to handle

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

flames against black background Smoke and soot can cause as much damage as an actual fire.

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 Jamaica Plain/Roxbury 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?
Call Us Today – (617) 466-6909

Most Common Causes of Fire in the Workplace

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

fire extinguishing equipment in building Fire safety is important in the work place.

Electrical Fires

Over 25% of all fires are linked to a malfunction of either a piece of electrical equipment, wiring, or both. Electricity is a common source of ignition for major fires. One way to avoid problems with electrical fires is to establish an electrical safety program.

All employees should be thoroughly familiar with the safety procedures for their particular jobs. To maximize his or her own safety, an employee should always use tools and equipment properly. Extension cords must be inspected before use, and those found questionable, removed from service and properly tagged. Damage or inadequate maintenance can cause equipment to deteriorate, resulting in unsafe conditions.

Flammable and Combustible Materials

There are thousands of chemicals in use in the modern American workplace. One of the most prevalent dangers of these chemicals is their flammability or combustibility. Improper handling of flammable materials brings a great risk of fire. When a flammable liquid is spilled, vapors begin to form immediately. It is the vapors that will ignite, and which pose the greater danger.

Flammable liquid spill cleanup should begin immediately. Vapors will continue to build until the liquid is removed, and they can be ignited by a variety of sources in the average workplace. The best way to avoid fire caused by these materials is to follow all OSHA guidelines when dealing with flammables.

Human Error

The most common reason for a sprinkler system failure is human error. Often times the water supply was turned off at the time of the fire. The success of fire prevention strategies depends primarily on pre-planning, preparation, equipment quality, and the readiness of personnel. Employees and loss prevention practitioners must be knowledgeable about the proper use of extinguishers. If the wrong extinguisher is used, a fire may become more serious.

General Negligence

Negligence is another common cause of fire in the workplace. It’s slightly different from fires caused by human error. Negligence occurs when an employee does not follow established procedures and knowingly undertakes an activity that is a potential fire hazard.

Fire caused by negligence can be the result of:

  • Hot surfaces too close to heating equipment
  • Open flame that’s not properly located or protected
  • Not following smoking restrictions or careless disposal of butts, ashes, and matches

Good common sense, self awareness, and close adherence to policy are a great way to avoid fires caused by general negligence. Posting fire safety signs in common areas is another way to keep fire safety at top of mind.

 Arson

The premise behind arson prevention, like other prevention programs, is to address the opportunity to commit the crime. Arsonists, like other criminals, typically prefer to start fires in locations that are secluded or hidden. Prevention programs often suggest improving the surveillance in these areas by lighting the area, removing visual obstructions to natural observation, and moving the targets such as dumpsters.

If your company, please call SERVPRO of Jamaica Plain/Roxbury (617) 466-6909 to assist you with the cleanup.