Recent Fire Damage Posts

Soot, Soot, go away!

9/29/2023 (Permalink)

Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to personal property and structures. Quick action is the only way to minimize the destruction.

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, IICRC, is a globally recognized organization whose mission is to establish higher industry standards. As a referral source for consumers, IICRC certified firms are more likely to provide a faster, better service than non-certified competitors.

Restoration costs increase and damages escalate when the cleaning process is extended. By using an IICRC certified technician, owners will be rewarded by having the damage stopped so repairs can begin.

What happens only minutes after the disaster? Immediately after a fire, soot residue settles onto the property. Discoloration of porous materials is permanent, but other surfaces may be properly cleaned to remove the discoloration. Acidic soot begins staining other surfaces if not treated quickly.

Within hours all surfaces begin to suffer from fire and smoke damage. Wooden furniture may require refinishing. Metal begins to rust, pit and corrode. Painted walls begin to yellow. Clothing can become permanently stained. And finally, flooring may require refinishing or replacements.

If left untreated, within weeks the restoration process will take longer and cost more. Prolonged soot exposure permanently harms all surfaces and embeds in fibers. Replacement of property may be the best option at this point.

The structure may continue deteriorating if not properly restored by SERVPRO of Society Hill.

9 Tips to Keeping Your Pets Safe During an Emergency

7/6/2023 (Permalink)

Saturday, July 15th is National Pet Fire Safety Day! It is important to include your furry family members into your emergency plan should a fire ever occur. You want to make sure they know their way out of the house during an emergency.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in the United States, an estimated 500,000 pets are affected by house fires annually, with a significant number suffering injuries or losing their lives. Here are some tips to keeping your pets safe during a fire emergency:

  1. Develop a clear and well-rehearsed evacuation plan that includes your pets. designate a meeting point outside where everyone, including your pets, can gather safely.
  2. Display pet alert window stickers. 
  3. Ensure that your pets wear collars with identification tags at all times.
  4. Pets can accidentally knock over candles, lamps, or space heaters, causing fires.
  5. Consider installing pet-specific fire alarms or detectors that can detect the unique frequencies of a pet's distress call.
  6. Take steps to minimize the risk of fires in your home. Don't leave pets unattended near open flames or hot appliances.
  7. Include essential supplies for your pets in an emergency kit, such as food, water, medications, and copies of vaccination records. Keep this kit easily accessible in case of an evacuation.
  8. Inform neighbors or nearby friends.
  9. During a fire emergency, pets may become frightened and seek hiding spots. Be aware of their favorite hiding places and inform firefighters or rescue personnel about their likely locations. 

Show some love to your pets and make sure they are ready to escape during or following an emergency. Call SERVPRO Team Paparone immediately following any fire damage restoration services. We are HERE TO HELP® 24/7.

5 Common Causes of Kitchen Fires

8/9/2022 (Permalink)

stove burned from kitchen fire This unattended stove caused a fire in an apartment in Philadelphia, PA

We’ve all been there before. Half of your attention is on making food and the other half is worrying about a completely different task. Kitchen fires are one of the leading causes of home fires. According to the NFPA, between 2015-2019, cooking caused 49 percent of reported home fires, 20 percent of reported home fire deaths, and 42 percent of home fire injuries.

Here are five common causes of kitchen fires.

1. Leaving cooking unattended.
2. Frying with oil. Oil can be tricky because oil gets very hot, very quickly. Once you see signs of smoke emanating from the liquid and a strong smell, be prepared for a fire to ignite, though it may take several minutes before it begins to burn. 
3. Setting the cooking temperature too high. Philadelphians are known for their impatient behaviors, so it's common for people to put their cooking temps too high to speed up the process. But according to the home improvement experts, it’s extremely dangerous to do this.
4. Loose fitting clothing. For those who grew up during the 90s, you remember from the famous scene from the movie, Mrs. Doubtfire, where she leans over the stove and her blouse catches on fire. Did we just show our age?
5. Flammable compounds left near an open flame or other heating materials. SERVPRO of Society Hill was recently called in by the property manager of an apartment building. One of the units on the ninth floor went up in flames when a flammable object was left onto a hot stove.

Any one of these things can happen in the blink of an eye. Be aware of your surroundings and try to keep your full attention while in the kitchen.

Electrical Fire at Jim's Steaks in Philadelphia, PA

8/2/2022 (Permalink)

Fire Department respond to fire at Jim's Steaks First responders quickly try to contain flames at Jim's Steaks on South St. in Philadelphia.

If you are a true Philadelphian, you know cheesesteaks are a staple in our city and they need to be protected at all times.

     So when the famously known Jim’s Steaks on South St. went up in flames last Friday morning - the city was in a panic. Our team was quickly on the scene to assess the situation along with 125 first responders. 

     According to Action News, the fire is believed to have started in the electrical system. Employee Christina Lawlor knew something was up when she opened for the day and realized how hot it was inside.

     When the owner, Ken Silver, entered the building two days later, he feared the damage was a lot worse than it actually was. According to the fire department, the blaze was difficult to put out because the flames were moving rapidly through the HVAC system.

     Silver credited the fire department, who remained on the scene for 10 hours. After city officials searched the century old building, it was determined that the building is structurally sound, bumping up the timeline of rebuilding.

     The staff is determined to start rebuilding as soon as they are allowed to by city officials. He is anticipating reopening by Memorial Day 2023. 

     Jim’s Steaks celebrated their 46th year anniversary in the beginning of July and while this will set them back a year, the city is rallying behind the locally famous cheesesteak joint. 

It's Grilling Season!

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

It's barbecue season and you know what that means - more outdoor grilling with friends and family.

Here are some tips from the Philadelphia Fire Department on how to stay safe while grilling.

  1. Keep the grill 10 feet away from wood railings, siding & never under loose branches or trees. Also keep a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and walkways
  2. Keep matches, lighters and starter fluid out of reach from children.
  3. Children should never be allowed to use outdoor cooking equipment. Pets also should be kept away from the cooking area.
  4. It's very important to keep your grill clean. Grease/fat can catch on fire quickly.
  5. Turn off valves while not in use and never leave the grill unattended.

To learn more about safety tips on grilling, click here to visit the Philadelphia Fire Department website. 

If you are in need of fire damage clean up, SERVPRO of Society Hill has your back! Call us at 215-772-1203.

Choosing The Right Smoke Alarm

4/15/2022 (Permalink)

Replace your smoke alarm every ten years.

There two most common types of smoke alarms are Photoelectric and Ionization. Each gets its name from the mechanism used to detect the presence of smoke.

Ionization smoke alarms use ionized particles to detect smoke. A tiny amount of radioactive material sits between two electrically charged plates. The reaction between these components generates a current. When smoke enters the detector, it disrupts this current and triggers the alarm. Ionization smoke detectors are best for detecting aggressive, open flame fires.

Photoelectric smoke alarms use a light beam and sensor to identify smoke. Once smoke permeates the alarm, it blocks the light beam and reflects it onto the sensor, triggering the alarm. Photoelectric alarms respond fastest to smoke produced by smoldering fires.

Smoke detection technology has advanced in the past several years. Many modern detectors include a combination of ionization and photoelectric sensors, making them capable of detecting all types of smoke.

Remember to replace your smoke alarm every ten years. When you're ready to upgrade your system, consider selecting a combination alarm.

What is Ghosting? (Part 1)

11/18/2021 (Permalink)

The most common cause of ghosting is candle burning.

Have you noticed a faint discoloration on your walls? Or a dark, dusty residue on top of flat surfaces? Your home is being ghosted! 

Don’t worry, you’re not being haunted. Ghosting, otherwise known as “sooting” is very subtle soot damage. It is relatively common and typically harmless, aside from being an unsightly nuisance. 

Surprisingly, the most common cause of ghosting is candle burning. Although they appear to burn cleanly, scented candles produce tiny particles of soot. As the airborne particles settle, they combine with dust and cling to cool surfaces. Over time this creates noticeable staining.

If you simply can’t forgo the cozy ambiance of a lit candle, not to worry! There are ways to limit candle soot.

  • Always trim your wick before lighting, especially if it has a mushroom shape. 
  • Never burn your candle close to a wall. Place it on a table instead, away from flammable materials. 
  • If possible, leave a window cracked to allow for ventilation.
  • Use a snuffer or lid to extinguish the flame. Doing so will trap emitted smoke.
  • Keep the flame still. A flickering wick will produce sooty smoke. Consider purchasing a lid-topper, which reduces the draft around your candle, allowing it to burn evenly. 

Aside from candle burning, other causes of ghosting include cigarette smoking, woodstoves and fireplaces, poorly tuned furnaces, kerosene heaters, propane logs, and unvented stoves. Regular maintenance of such appliances and proper ventilation will help reduce the issue.

Ghosting: How to Remove Light Soot (Part 2)

11/18/2021 (Permalink)

Dry cleaning sponges (also known as chemical sponges) are specifically designed to absorb residue, which makes them perfect for cleaning soot.

In our last blog, we covered Ghosting; the subtle soot damage often caused by candle burning. Now that we know how to prevent candle soot, let's discuss how to remove it.

The acidic nature of soot makes it difficult to remove. Methods will vary depending on the material that was burned and the surface type. If you’re dealing with heavy soot, you’ll want to contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Society Hill. For light candle soot on walls, follow these steps:  

  • Create ventilation. Soot can irritate your lungs. Start by opening a window, turning on a fan, and opening vents. 
  • Wear personal protective gear. Protect your eyes, skin, and lungs from particles with safety glasses, gloves, and a mask.
  • Pull furniture away from the affected area(s). This will prevent loosened particles from settling on your belongings.
  • Use a dry cleaning sponge. Soot is easy to smear, so if you use a regular sponge, you’ll push it farther into the wall and cause a permanent stain. Dry cleaning sponges (also known as chemical sponges) are specifically designed to absorb residue, which makes them perfect for cleaning soot. They’re widely available in hardware stores, cleaning supply stores, and online.
  • Wipe, don’t scrub. The key to removing soot is to wipe it, as scrubbing will only cause it to spread. Us downward and overlapping strokes to wipe the wall. After each stroke, check the sponge. When it becomes clogged and full of soot, flip it over and use the clean side. Switch to a fresh sponge as necessary. Do not rinse the sponge with water or it will become unusable for cleaning soot.
  • Once the soot is removed, treat the remaining stain. Use a degreaser, such as a dish detergent. In a clean bucket, mix 2 tablespoons of liquid detergent with ½ gallon of water. Dampen a sponge in the mixture and use it to clean the stain. Gently rinse with water.
  • Dry. Use a towel or rag to dry the area, then allow it to air dry for several hours.
  • Vacuum. Use the long nozzle attachment on your vacuum to ensure any loose particles are removed.

Remember, this method only applies to removing soot from a lightly damaged section of wall. Attempting to remove heavy soot yourself can be dangerous. The professionals at SERVPRO of Society Hill are experts in smoke and soot removal, as well as odor abatement. For your complimentary cleaning estimate, call 215-772-1203.

Preventing Smoke & Soot Damage

11/3/2021 (Permalink)

Prevent smoke and soot damage by maintaining a clean fireplace.

November is here! As cooler temperatures arrive in Philadelphia, many of us look forward to keeping warm by a fire. Of course, enjoying a cozy fire requires a clean, safe fireplace. Here are some tips for keeping it that way:  

  • When possible, keep a window cracked while the fire is burning. The incoming air will go up the chimney and prevent the room from becoming smokey. 
  • Make sure the damper or flue is open before starting a fire. Keeping the damper or flue open until the fire is out will draw smoke out of the house. The damper can be checked by looking up into the chimney with a flashlight or mirror. Do not close the damper until the embers have completely stopped burning.
  • Use dry and well-aged wood. Wet or green wood causes more smoke and contributes to soot buildup in the chimney. Dried wood burns with less smoke and burns more evenly,
  • Clean out ashes from previous fires. Levels of ash at the base of the fireplace should be kept to 1 inch or less because a thicker layer restricts the air supply to logs, resulting in more smoke.
  • Fireplace coals can remain hot enough to start a fire for up to three days, so always wait at least that long before removing the ashes. At that point, close the damper to prevent cold air in the flue from stirring up excess dust while you're removing the ashes.

If your fireplace causes soot, smoke, or odor damage to your home, call the experts at SERVPRO of Society Hill.

Fire Prevention Week 2021: October 3rd - 9th

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Prevention Week 2021: Learn The Sounds of Fire Safety!

Fire Prevention Week is observed annually in early October. The event has been officially sponsored by The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for 99 years.

This year’s theme: “Learn The Sounds of Fire Safety”

The goal of 2021’s theme is to help people better understand the reasons smoke alarms sound and how to effectively address them.

Here are the NFPA’s key messages:

  • When a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide (CO) alarm sounds, respond immediately by exiting the home as quickly as possible.
  • If your alarm begins to chirp, it may mean that the batteries are running low and need to be replaced. If the alarm continues to chirp after the batteries are replaced, or the alarm is more than 10 years old, it is time to replace the alarm.
  • Test all smoke and CO alarms monthly. Press the test button to make sure the alarm is working.
  • If there is someone in your household who is deaf or hard of hearing, install a bed shaker and strobe light alarms that will alert that person to fire.

Philadelphia residents should contact 311 to request free smoke alarms or adaptive alarms for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. The PFD will come and install the alarms. 

  • Know the difference between the sound of a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm – three beeps for smoke alarms; four beeps for carbon monoxide alarms.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week and this year’s theme, along with a wealth of resources to help promote the campaign locally, visit

Understanding Soot Damage

6/8/2021 (Permalink)

Accumulated soot appears as a dark black residue.

Soot is a highly acidic airborne contaminant made of tiny carbon particles created by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels like wood, oil and coal. Individual soot particles are nearly microscopic - even smaller than dust. They easily travel through ventilation systems before attaching to a surface. Accumulated soot appears as a dark black residue and emits a smoky, ashy odor.

Is Soot Dangerous?

Simply put, yes. Soot accounts for over one quarter of the total hazardous pollution in the air and is known to cause various types of cancer and lung disease.  

During a house fire, both natural and synthetic materials burn. The resulting soot particles can contain acids, chemicals, metals, dust and other hazardous materials. These toxic particles then stick to surrounding surfaces, like walls and ceilings, leaving you and your home exposed to the harmful effects.

How To Clean Up Soot

Soot removal is a difficult and sometimes dangerous task. It’s acidic nature makes it very challenging to remove and simply scrubbing or wiping may only further the damage. 

If you’re dealing with a relatively small amount of soot, removing it yourself may be manageable. Wear protective gear and ensure proper ventilation by leaving a nearby window open. Vacuum the damaged area and use a special chemical sponge to wipe the affected surface.

If you have significant soot damage- call the experts. SERVPRO of Society Hill has years of experience in fire, smoke and soot damage cleanup. Call 215-772-1203 to schedule your complimentary estimate today!

Selecting a Fire Damage Restoration Company

4/5/2021 (Permalink)

In the aftermath of a house fire, there are two entities you must deal with in order to restore your home—your insurance company and a fire damage restoration company. When choosing a fire damage restoration company, there are certain factors to consider in order to ensure that the company you choose is reputable, professional, and will perform the work to your satisfaction.

Insurance Claim Help

Insurance claim assistance is one of the most important aspects to consider when selecting a fire damage restoration company. Handling a property insurance claim with your insurance company can be challenging, especially if they attempt to provide you a low appraisal. Insurance companies will often recommend a preferred company to perform the repair and restoration services. However, you are free to choose whichever company you like. You’ll want to select one who will help negotiate your property insurance claim on your behalf, enabling you to get the full value of the repairs. 

A reputable company will lend further assistance by providing insurance claim help via strategies and negotiations intended to ensure you receive compensation for everything lost or damaged by fire.

Experience and Assurance

Experience is key. You’ll want to research any company you are considering in order to see how long they have been performing restoration services. Look for reviews that indicate satisfactory performance. Hire a company with expertise. They should offer a warranty on labor and support, and have proper insurance for their own workers and any subcontractors.

Cost and Details

After your property insurance claim has been filed, a competent fire damage restoration company will provide a free consultation and appraisal of the work to be performed. You should receive the complete details of the restoration process, as well as an estimate of how long the work will take. The right company will review these details with you and respond to any questions.

To learn about how SERVPRO of Society Hill works with on your behalf to completely restore your home, call 215-772-1203 today.

House Fires Peak in Winter

12/21/2020 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Society Hill, we specialize in cleanup & repair of fire damages.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, more home fires occur during Winter than any other season of the year. As the leading experts in fire, smoke and soot damage, we come across many fire-related property damages during Winter months. Let’s discuss the leading causes of house fires and how they can be avoided.

Cooking is the leading cause of fires year-round. Most cooking is done indoors throughout the colder months. Thus, the likelihood of a kitchen fire increases during Winter. Remember to never leave the kitchen unattended while cooking, especially when using hot appliances. Keep paper products, towels, potholders and other flammable materials away from the stove and avoid grease buildup by cleaning your stove often.

Heating is the second-leading cause of home fires. Space heaters are responsible for a large portion of Winter fires. Keep space heaters at least three feet away from flammable items. Never plug a space heater into an extension cord or power strip. 

Many of us use candles to decorate our home in Winter. Be mindful of the placement of your candles. The majority of house fires started by candles occur when a combustible material is left too close to the open flame. Remember to keep candles at least three feet away from anything that might catch fire. It is unwise to leave a candle unattended. Be sure to extinguish lit candles before going to sleep.

The majority of dryer fires start because homeowners fail to clean the dryer. Buildup of lint and other materials cause fires because the unit cannot release heat properly. That heat buildup becomes the fuel to a very dangerous fire. To prevent a dryer fire, clean out lint filters each time you use your dryer. You should also have your dryer vent and ductwork professionally cleaned once a year- services we provide at SERVPRO of Society Hill.

Electrical lighting is another common cause of house fires. As you decorate your home with lights, be mindful of manufacturer instructions. Avoid overloading your outlet and/or power strip. There is a limit to how many strands of string lights can be connected safely. Replace any string strands with frayed wires or a worn appearance. Most importantly, turn off Christmas lights before leaving the house or going to bed.

Whether you prefer a real or artificial Christmas tree, both can pose a fire risk. Real trees tend to be at a higher risk of catching flame because of their needles becoming dry. However, artificial trees result in more severe flames with dangerous chemicals and smoke. As with other combustibles, keep your tree three feet away from any heat sources like radiators, fireplaces, heat vents, etc. Make sure your tree isn’t blocking an exit out of the home, like a hallway or door. For more tips, read our article about christmas tree safety here:

Prevention is key to keeping a fire-safe home. Now would be a good time to practice your fire escape plan with your family! If your home is damaged by fire, smoke or soot this Winter, call SERVPRO of Society Hill for immediate cleanup and restoration.

Holiday Tree Safety- Avoid a Fire Damage!

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

Avoid a fire damage in your home by following Christmas tree safety guidelines.

Flickering lights and winter greens are hallmarks of the holiday season. Unfortunately, a beautiful Christmas tree can become a fire hazard if not maintained properly. Follow these simple tips to avoid a fire damage and ensure a happy and safe holiday season! 

First and foremost, start with a quality tree. When purchasing an artificial tree, consider selecting one labelled “Fire Resistant”. If you prefer a live tree, pick one with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched. Make sure the base is cut at a 45 degree angle before placing it in water.

Keep your live tree hydrated! Dry Christmas trees are dangerously combustible. A small fire that spreads to a dry tree will grow very quickly. The average tree can use as much as one gallon of water per day, so make a point to check the water level daily. Not only will this keep your tree safe, it will also help maintain its plump and full appearance.

Find the perfect spot for your tree. According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than two of every five decoration fires occur because decorations are placed too close to a heat source. One-third of home decoration fires are started by candles. Keep your tree at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles and heat vents. Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.

Inspect light strands before use. Those with worn, frayed wire or loose connections are unsafe and should be discarded. Purchase lights with safety labels and follow manufacturer instructions on how many strands to connect. Don’t leave your lit tree unattended, always turn off lights before leaving home or going to sleep.

Winter months are the leading time of year for home fires. Avoid a devastating fire in your home by practicing fire safety year-round. Make sure your home has working smoke alarms. Test them once a month and replace the batteries yearly.

When the holiday season comes to a close, discard your live tree promptly. Many communities offer Christmas tree recycling. Check with your local recycling center for drop-off locations. These centers will often chip and shred your tree for use as mulch or soft bedding for parks and playgrounds in your community.

At SERVPRO of Society Hill, we have years of experience cleaning and repairing residential fire and smoke damage. If your home is impacted by fire this season, call the experts you can trust at 1-800-SERVPRO.

How to safely heat your home this winter!

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

With Winter fast approaching, you already know cold temperatures are right around the corner. This means you will be heating your living spaces.  Which increases the chances of possibly starting a fire. Two of the most common sources of these fires are space heaters, and fireplaces. SERVPRO of Society Hill would like to provide you with some safety precautions to take this winter when using either one of these sources of heat. 

Space Heaters
In an effort to help cut energy costs or to accommodate roommates many people use space heaters during the winter months. They are an excellent way to warm up cold rooms or provide extra heat. Space heaters can also be hazardous if not used properly. Never leave a space heater unattended especially when children and pets are around, and don’t place it near drapes, shades or bedding.  Always keep them out of high traffic areas, and doorways.  This will lower the risk of a tripping accident. If your heater is more than a few years old, replace it with a new model that has more current safety features such as tip-over protection. This way it shuts off automatically if it happens to fall over.  Never use an extension cord to plug in a space heater.  Always plug directly into an outlet on the wall.  While space heaters come in very handy they can also pose serious risks.  So follow these tips to stay warm safely!

Winter is a notorious time for house fires and it is vital to have working fire alarms around the house to alert everyone, but one of the main culprits is faulty fireplaces. The best way to prevent a disaster is having a professional properly inspect it. If your flue or chimney are blocked by debris or contain cracks or leaks, inadequate venting can occur, and toxic fumes may seep into your home. An inspection lets you know that everything is in safe working order.  You should also have your fireplace and chimney cleaned before your first use every year. Always make sure your fireplace is out and cooled before going to bed, and just like the space heaters never leave the fire unattended. 

SERVPRO Society Hill wants everyone to take the right steps to prevent house fires from happening.  So if you take all these precautions and steps this winter you will be safe and warm in the comfort of your home!

Important Steps To Follow When Dealing With an Active Fire!

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Society Hill we care about you and your families well being. In the terrible case that you have to deal with an active fire here are some safety tips to get you and your family to safety as fast as possible!

  • Always have an escape plan/route mapped out that everyone in your family knows if a fire should ever occur.
  • Crawl low under any smoke to your exit - heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling.
  • Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, or if there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
  • If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
  • If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call 9-1-1 or the fire department. Tell the emergency operator where the person is located.
  • If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters right away.
  • If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out.  Call 9-1-1 or your fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
  • If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll – stop immediately, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands.  Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out.  If you or someone else cannot stop, drop, and roll, smother the flames with a blanket or towel.  Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for 3 to 5 minutes.  Cover with a clean, dry cloth.  Get medical help right away by calling 9-1-1 or the fire department.

Following these steps will greatly increase your chances of getting to safety quickly and no harm.  SERVPRO of Society Hill is available 24/7, and ready to help with the aftermath of a fire!

Fire Vandalism Clean Up

6/4/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Society Hill understands your hardships and wants you to know we have a staff that is willing to do what ever it takes to get you back up and running. This means providing services at any time during almost any situation at hand.  We are always there to help fix the disaster that has taken place.

We offer all services from pressure washing graffiti off of walls to bio hazard cleanings to boarding up fires and rebuilding a facility. Our staff here can clean up the smoke damages by using chemical treatment and taking down charred and damaged structures. We can remove odor out of a building and extract water that may have come out of a sprinkler system. We can dry your structure so it does not grow any mold. If you already have mold then we offer remediation and treatment for it to keep you and the others around you safe. 

If you are looking for a company who can do it all SERVPRO of Society Hill is here for you and do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Common House Fires

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

It is very easy to forget that you left the iron on went to bed with a lit candle and forgot but house fires should be taken very seriously. No one knows that more than SERVPRO of Society Hill. We know the process to get you back on your feet can be tough not to mention the danger it brings to you and your family. 

Here are some tips to prevent a common house fire.

  1. Stay in the kitchen. Don't leave a hot cooking surface unattended. ...
  2. Check the dryer. ...
  3. Maintain electrical cords. ...
  4. Know your shutoffs. ...
  5. Store flammable products properly. ...
  6. Be careful with candles. ...
  7. Be a conscientious smoker. ...
  8. Use the fireplace responsibly.

Fires start very easy and can you guess the most common way?

Appliances, Heaters, & Children Playing with Fire

Other common causes of home fires include overuse of appliances, home heating systems, and children playing with fire. Faulty or over-used appliances can easily cause a fire with just a few sparks.

Where are home fires most likely to start? Home fires are more likely to start in the kitchen than any other room in the home. The second leading cause of home fires are heating sources like wood stoves, and fireplaces. Fires caused by smoking are the leading cause of deaths.

Take this advice and use this information as a learning experience.

Fires Mean Smoke Damage!

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

This bedroom suffered a substantial amount of smoke damage from a space heater fire.

It is not very hard to figure out if, and where you have smoke damage in your home after a fire.  Most commonly you will have discolored walls or ceilings, ash or soot on the floor, and charred items.  Besides the visuals smoke damage can also produce odor and other side effects that can damage property and health.  Although smoke damage usually is noticeable right away, but sometimes it does take a few days to surface.  Another precaution to be aware of after a fire is that your electrical system could have easily been damaged as well. Electrical damage can range from signs of corrosion, experience of short circuits or just complete failure.   Certain parts of a room may experience more damage then others. Ceilings are most common because of how heat rises. Also nail heads in the wall and ceilings will attract smoke particles.  A fire will continue to cause issues even after it has been extinguished, don't put you or your family health at risk.  Contact SERVPRO of Society Hill to help in any fire or smoke cleanup.  It's always important to act quickly to minimize the health risks as well as repairs to be done on the house. 

Top Causes of Holiday Fires

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

This kitchen was left torched after a towel was left on the stove.


Stay safe this holiday season by reviewing SERVPRO’s top causes of holiday fires and be prepared to prevent them.

 The holidays can be such a wonderful time of year as people enjoy putting up decorations, cooking, traveling to visit friends and family and celebrating the time together. But because everyone is operating outside of their normal routine during the holidays, it can also be a recipe for risky behavior and accidents.

As SERVPRO of Society Hill has experienced over the years, one prominent accident that can often occur during the holiday season is unwanted fire! Fires can quickly lead to serious home damage or even injury. That's why it's important to look out for the top causes of holiday fires to ensure you keep your home and family safe throughout the holidays.


One of the best parts of celebrating the holidays is the FOOD! Casseroles, cakes, cookies and more, food can be the focal point of the holidays. But when cooking extra food and feeding more people than usual, it can be easy to make mistakes such as leaving the stove unattended. Luckily, you may have additional people around to help monitor hot areas such as the stove and oven. The holidays can be one time where it’s perfectly acceptable to have too many cooks in the kitchen. So, surprise those family members that offer to help this year by accepting their offer!


Brrr, it’s cold out there! For those of us who celebrate holidays in colder climates, it’s nice to have some extra heat around. But beware the portable space heater! According to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters account for 43% of home fires in the United States! Always read your space heater safety instructions and review the safety precautions with any visitors to your home who may be using the heaters without your supervision.


Smoking cigarettes indoors is still a leading cause of home fires. The holidays can add a lot of stress so it’s understandable that some may look to ease the stress with their favorite stress reliever, even something as unhealthy as cigarettes. But when it comes to smoking, it’s best to keep it outside whenever possible and never smoke when in a situation where you may fall asleep such as in a recliner, on the couch or in bed. When in doubt just put it out!


With decorations comes the need for many plugs and extension cords. Overloaded sockets can sometimes cause sparks or fire. This can quickly escalate into a dangerous situation. Be sure to only use one extension cord per socket. Also, only use electrical power strips or block adapters that have their own fuse. To stay safe at night, be sure to unplug as many decorations as you can until the morning. Decorations are a wonderful addition to any holiday but be sure to read the safety and proper use instructions every time! 


There is a reason why many hotels don’t allow guests to light candles in their rooms, they can easily lead to burns or fires. When using candles, be sure to always place candles in a prominent place away from flammable items such as napkins, curtains or clothing. Place a non-flammable object underneath the candle so as the candles burns the heat from the bottom of the candle won’t burn the object it is resting on. Finally, NEVER leave a candle unattended. If you light a candle, remember to blow it out before leaving the area or going to sleep. Turn it into a holiday game by telling the kids they can make a wish for each candle they blow out at the end of the night.


Grilling can be a delicious addition to the holiday cooking and it’s great when entertaining guests. When grilling in the winter, however, it can be a common mistake to keep the grill close to the house or try grilling on a small porch. When a grill is placed too close to a building it can cause the wall to unsafely heat up, buckle or burn. Grills used on porches or other structures with ceilings can potentially ignite the ceiling as the heat and flames travel upward. So be sure to keep your grill at least 10 feet away from any flammable structure both during cooking and after cooking while the grill cools down. And NEVER start a grill or outdoor fire with combustible fuels such as kerosene or gasoline. Use gas grills or self-lighting charcoal whenever possible to easily get your grill heated up to cooking temperature.


The holidays often bring families together with kids in tow. Children can be very curious, especially in a new location. It’s important to remember to put away matches and lighters that may normally be accessible when children aren’t present. Also, make sure flammable liquids such as gasoline are stored safely out of reach in the garage or shed. Kids should also be taught about the dangers of fire whether around a grill, indoor fireplace or outdoor fire pit. When cooking smores by the fire, be sure instruct children to never try and put out a burning marshmallow by waving their stick around and accidentally flinging the burning marshmallow into the air!

 The SERVPRO of Society Hill team hopes this list helps you have a safer holiday experience this season and beyond. If an unexpected fire should occur this holiday season leading to damage to your home, please call us for a free quote on repairing the damage and getting your home back to normal!

Happy Holidays!

Tis the Season to get Your Fireplace Cleaned!

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

This fireplace needs to be cleaned before its next use to avoid the risk of a much larger fire.

It's almost that time of year again. Where the family is gonna gather round the warmth of the fireplace. An before you throw those logs on and spark it up, its very important that your fireplace and chimney are properly cleaned. During the spring an summer seasons when your fireplace is not in use a variety of things could have built up in the chimney. Such as soot, leaves and sticks, or even a variety of critters! A chimney is a great place for birds,squirrels, and other varmints to build there nests. Whether the critter is still there or not this still is a huge risk or starting a fire. Always take a flashlight an do a self inspection to make sure your chimney flue is clear of all debris. Even if you think you've done a sufficient cleaning, its always safe to have a professional come out an inspect it properly. If you own a gas fireplace make sure all gas lines are tightly secured, and don't have any leaks. Although it may seem alright to leave it untended. you should always turn it off when leaving your home or going to sleep. Fireplaces are nice an cozy, but if not properly cleaned an attended to they can become a huge fire risk for your home. So just follow the step given an you and your family can enjoy your fires safely! From all of us at SERVPRO of Society Hill have a great fall/winter seasons!

Safety Tips When Heating Your Home With a Space Heater

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

As you can see if you don't watch where you put blankets this is what can happen with a space heater.

With colder weather on the way, many people will be bringing out their space heaters. An if you don't take the right safety measures, they can be a huge fire risk. Space heaters are the second leading cause for house fires in the United States. Up to 65,000 house fires a year are started from these heaters.  A space heater fire can put a whole home in flames in a matter of seconds. Here are some safety measures that should be taken when using a space heater.

  • Inspect the heater for any broken plugs,and loose or damaged wires.
  • Putting your space heater in the proper place is very important. Make sure its 3 feet away from any furniture, clothing, paper, rugs, or anything that can burn
  • Whenever leaving the room make sure to turn off the heater.
  • Keep out of high traffic areas to prevent a tripping hazard, or possibility of knocking it over
  • When not in use, unplug and store in proper place

From all of us here at SERVPRO of Society Hill. Have a enjoyable and safe fall and winter seasons! 

Soot & Smoke Damage is a SERVPRO Specialty.

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire causes soot damage to the walls.

Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to personal property and structures. Quick action is the only way to minimize the destruction. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, IICRC, is a globally recognized organization whose mission is to establish higher industry standards. As a referral source for consumers, IICRC certified firms are more likely to provide a faster, better service than non-certified competitors.Restoration costs increase and damages escalate when the cleaning process is extended. By hastening the hiring process and using an IICRC certified technician, owners will be rewarded by having the damage stopped so repairs can begin.What happens only minutes after the disaster?Immediately after a fire, soot residue settles onto the property. Discoloration of porous materials is permanent, but other surfaces may be properly cleaned to remove the discoloration. Acidic soot begins staining other surfaces if not treated quickly.Within hours all surfaces begin to suffer from fire and smoke damage. Wooden furniture may require refinishing. Metal begins to rust, pit and corrode. Painted walls begin to yellow. Clothing can become permanently stained. And finally, flooring may require refinishing or replacement.If left untreated, within weeks the restoration process will take longer and cost more. Prolonged soot exposure permanently harms all surfaces and embeds in fibers. Replacement of property may be the best option at this point. The structure may continue deteriorating if not properly restored by SERVPRO of Society Hill.

Safety With Heating Your Home

10/25/2019 (Permalink)

When using a space heater be very mindful where you are placing it.

The fall season is in full swing - the days are shorter and the temperature is lower. No matter where you live, fall/winter bring a change in the weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplace cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters and wood burning stoves. Heating is the second leading cause of home fire deaths, making it important to review ways to help reduce the risk of a heating-related fire.  When using a wood-burning fireplace, make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to help prevent sparks from flying into the room. Spent fireplace ashes should be cool before removing and putting them into a metal container. The container should be stored away from your home or business.  Also all heaters need space. Keep flammable objects at least three feet away from heating equipment.  For all your heating safety tips, and heating damages contact SERVPRO of Society Hill.

Common Causes of Fire in Commercial Buildings

3/21/2019 (Permalink)

Fire at a High Rise Commercial Building

One place that is responsible for most commercial building fires is the kitchen.  One reason being all of the equipment such as; deep fryers, ovens, grease hoods, ranges, grills, and rotisseries are just a few.  Always use extreme caution in the kitchen, as well as keeping the proper extinguishers to contain a small fire before it gets out of hand.  Studies show that about 3,300 office fires break out every year.  Once again one of the leading causes is cooking equipment that is not being used properly or left unattended.  Coffee makers, toasters ovens, and microwaves, are the main fire stating appliances.  Also offices contain a lot of flammable/combustible materials.  When a fire does start it can easily spread and grow rapidly.  That is why all materials should be stored and disposed of correctly, reducing the damage a fire may cause.  Always have a planned prepared in the case a fire were to occur.  Fire alarms along with commercial sprinkler systems, and a planned exit strategy play a huge roll in fire safety.  Frequent maintenance on alarms and sprinklers to see that they are working properly  is crucial as well.  In the event of any type of fire in your commercial building, SERVPRO of Society Hill has the experienced professionals to clean up any destruction a fire may bring.

How to handle the fire aftermath

12/13/2018 (Permalink)

Fire's can bring a wave of emotions after a they burn through a home.  Long after the flames and smoke have been extinguished. Families are still faced with the stress, fear, and uncertainty about the future of the home or property.  So after the firefighters have put the flames to rest, it's good to know what and what not to do until SERVPRO of Society Hill comes in for the mitigation process. Here are some tips of what can be done before help arrives:

  • Limit movement in the area to prevent soot particles from spreading. 
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
  • Place clean towels or or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery. 
  • Do not wash walls or painted surfaces.
  • Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery.
  • Do not clean any electrical equipment.

So, before you risk causing more damage by attempting to clean up fire damage yourself, follow these steps and call the experts of SERVPRO of Society Hill.

Christmas Tree Fire Safety

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Christmas tree Fires can burn a home down in minutes! Also be safe when decorating with a real tree.

The holiday season is upon us and many people will be decorating there homes for this festive time of year.  While these decorations are quite a site to see, they also come with some dangers.  One of the biggest potential hazards is Christmas trees.  A tree after it is cut needs to be properly watered to keep it from drying out.  Even after a while a properly watered tree will eventually dry out.  Soon after the holidays make sure you dispose of your tree properly, because this is when most fires occur.  When going to sleep or leaving your home always make sure to unplug any lights on the tree.  Most tree fires start because lights were left plugged in overnight or while away.  Also make sure trees are a safe distance from any heat source such as space heaters, fire places, and any furnaces.  Follow these tips to ensure that you have a safe and happy holidays!  If disaster does happen to strike this holiday season, SERVPRO of Society Hill is one call away ready to respond!

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Studies show that cooking is the main cause for most home fires and burn related injuries. With Thanksgiving being the busiest cooking day of the year.  It's good to know some safety tips to have a safe, and happy Thanksgiving holiday.  

  • Never leave food that is cooking unattended, especially when frying or broiling food. The stove should be turned off if you must leave the kitchen
  • Keep anything that could easily catch fire a safe distance away from flames, or hot surfaces. Examples such as; potholders,towels of any material, paper or plastic bags, and wooden utensils.
  • Cooking surfaces should be kept clean to prevent grease buildup.
  • Always make sure to check the kitchen before leaving the home or going to bed.  Check to see that all ovens, stoves and appliances are shut off and stored correctly. 
  • Have a fire extinguisher near by, and know how to properly use it if needed. Also smoke alarms should be checked monthly to see if properly functioning. 

SERVPRO of Society Hill wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!  

Immediate Fire Restoration and why its Important

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

Begging of restoration from a kitchen fire.

Fires can be a devastating when they occur.  It is crucial though when a fire strikes that you get the restoration process started immediately.  The longer that it is put off the harder and more repairs will be needed. This also means the price of repairs goes up as well.  SERVPRO of Society Hill specializes in fire damage and restoration.  Contacting us is the first step in getting the restoration underway. SERVPRO will try to save as many of your home and personal belongings that we can. Remember that safety comes first, so if there’s no way to safely gain access into your home, then stay out until SERVPRO professionals arrive.  On arrival we perform a thorough cleanup using our industrial-grade products and equipment, such as dry cleaning soot sponges to remove loose soot and specialized vacuum filters to clean carpet and upholstery.  Unfortunately fires happen, but when they do make sure you act quickly to get the damage cleaned up.  SERVPRO of Society Hill takes fire damage and leaves it "Like it never even happened." 

Electrical Fires

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

Electrical Outlet on Fire

Electrical fires are the most common fires in houses. They also are one of the hardest fires to put out due to the constant charge that the electric gives out. Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electricaloutlets and old, outdated appliances. Never use an appliance with a worn or frayed cord which can send heat onto combustible surfaces like floors, curtains, and rugs that can start a fire. Running cords under rugs is another cause of electrical fires. The amount of electrical fires increase in the months of December and January due to the increase of heating appliances and the increase of lights used. Therefore, to prevent this disaster from happening use newer appliances and make sure that the outlets in your house are updated. If this disaster does happen SERVPRO Society Hill will clean and restore your house back to the way it was. SERVPRO Society Hill will make sure your house looks like nothing even happened. 

Smoke Alarms

4/4/2018 (Permalink)

Kidde i4618 Ionization Smoke Alarm, Hardwired with 9V Battery Backup

Fire prevention is one of the most important things for you and your family. Ensuring that your home has smoke alarms are one of the first steps in fire prevention. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 3 out of 5 home fire deaths were caused because of no smoke alarm or no working smoking alarm. Smoke alarm cut the risk of people dying. Hardwired fire alarms operated 94% of the time versus battery powered alarms. The battery may tend to fail because of missing, disconnected or dead batteries. Ionization smoke alarm is more responsive to flaming fires and can detect a fire faster during the night hours when you are sleeping to give you extra time to safety assist or waken others to evacuate from a fire.

Better Safe Than Sorry

2/6/2018 (Permalink)

Better safe than sorry is an all too common saying that holds a lot of value. Here at SERVPRO of Society Hill we want you to be prepared for the worst. SERVPRO of Society Hill believes in being READY.  One of the first ways of doing this is to have an emergency supply kit.  It may be different depending on what type of disasters you are likely to encounter but this is a good starter list. Put this emergency kit in a safe place that easily able to be found by all members of your family. 

  • Water ( one gallon water per person per day)
  • Food ( non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Battery-operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal help
  • Dust mask
  • Hygiene items
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener
  • Local Maps
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Cash
  • Important documents
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches

We care about the well being of you and your loved ones so this is why we recommend taking the proper precautions in being ready. You never know what could happen but whenever you reside in the Philadelphia area, just know that SERVPRO of Society Hill has your back.  

Home Fire Campaign

11/28/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO partnered with the American Red Cross and local Fire Departments going house to house in the Willingboro area installing free smoke detectors. We donated cases of water and provided breakfast for all the volunteers. SERVPRO cares about our community and we always want to give what we can back. We were broken up into teams of four to document, install and educate each resident. For residents who were not home we left packets on each door to give them the opportunity to call their local fire department to schedule a time for them to stop back. The 11 groups were able to hit about 800 houses and installed 216 smoke detectors. This is the third time this year this campaign has taken place and this year alone 800 smoke detectors have been installed in the state of New Jersey. It was a beautiful day to walk around Willingboro to increase the chances of saving a life.