Recent Fire Damage Posts

Do Your Kids and Teens Know the Essentials of Fire Extinguisher Use?

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

One hand on the side and the other one on top of a fire extinguisher An individual holding a fire extinguisher with one hand on the side and the other placed on the top of the black handle.

With the majority of the population having their kids and teens learning virtually, the likelihood of an unexpected fire breaking increases with each use of electronic devices or small kitchen appliances.

Add the use of heat sources as the temperatures drop during the winter months and holiday decorations (trees, lights, candles); educating your children on proper fire extinguisher use makes perfect sense.

The very first step towards fire prevention is awareness about fire and precautionary measures. It's not enough if you alone learn about fire prevention. Children need to possess a basic knowledge of dealing with fire breakouts. They need to know about the different types of firefighting techniques, especially those adopted for small homes. Dousing the flames with the right kind of fire extinguisher is also essential. For instance, you can't extinguish electrical fires with water and instead need a Class C rated fire extinguisher. 

Your kids' ability to help you douse the flames and, at times, even handling fire extinguishers all by themselves is subject to proper training and awareness about firefighting. You can't leave your kids to the mercy of leaping flames and, instead, train them to deal with fire breakouts by learning about fire prevention.

A great training method developed to deal with small fires and dousing the flames with home fire extinguishers is called the PASS method. 

  • P – pulling the extinguisher pin
  • A – aiming the fire extinguisher low
  • S – squeezing the handle
  • – sweeping the extinguisher sidewise

Besides just using home fire extinguishers, you need to train your kids on how to prevent fires, as well. You need to inform them about not leaving any flammable items like gas cylinders in front of flames or fire and ensure that the iron is switched off and unplugged before it is left unattended. It would help if you also told them to call the emergency fire service; they notice flames in any building corner.

Prevention is the best way to fight unwanted fire breakouts in your home. Avoiding scenarios that could lead to fires breaking out minimizes the chances of an actual fire breaking out. Your kids can play a vital role in preventing accidental fires by efficiently learning about the prevention techniques and even handling home fire extinguishers.

We know that despite precautionary measures taken to avoid a fire disaster from happening in your kitchen, it is understandable how certain circumstances require someone knowledgeable in various levels of the restoration process.

Our technicians are highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured our team is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Our training program includes the following:

  • IICRC Training
  • Employee Certification Training
  • Initial Franchise Training
  • e-Learnings
  • Continuing Education Classes

If you find yourself in need our services during the holiday season, give SERVPRO of San Marcos/New Braunfels a call at (830) 625-0578.

October is Fire Prevention Month

10/2/2020 (Permalink)

October is nationally known as Fire Prevention Month, but Prevention Week begins Sunday, October 4th and runs through Saturday, October 10th.

The theme of this year's Fire Prevention Week is 'Serve up fire safety in the kitchen.' Firefighters are highlighting the risk of home fires that happen while cooking.

It's vital to raise awareness about fire safety and home safety to help ensure your home and family are prepared in the case of an emergency. Think of this as a perfect opportunity to review the current plans your household has in place for any fire emergency that may unexpectedly arise.

Some facts shared by First Alert include:

  • 3 of every 5 home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no working smoke alarms.
  • Less than 50% of homeowners have an escape plan.
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is the #1 cause of accidental death.
  • 60% of consumers do not test their smoke and CO alarms monthly.
  • Only 47% of people report having CO alarms in their homes.
  • Just 43% of homeowners have an escape plan.

These are some pretty alarming statics!

The best way to get started on the process of keeping your family safe is to do a thorough inspection and inventory of all of your fire extinguisher and smoke detectors. By checking your alarms, testing the alarms regularly, and adding reliable protection when replacing expired alarms urges the household to improve your home's safety. 

It is not uncommon for anyone living under your roof to easily forget where each of these essential items is found. Making a detailed layout and then printing multiple copies to leave in designated areas in your house is an excellent way for family members to refresh their memories of where each of these safety items resides. For the younger members of your family, consider using colorful graphics for them to relate to. A house scavenger hunt would be a fun way to educate and prepare your little ones not to be afraid in the event of a fire emergency. 

Don't forget your pets! Please include them in all of your fire emergency plans. Do this by having one or two members of your family designated to help your pets safely vacate your property.

Did you know SERVPRO of San Marcos / New Braunfels' staff are highly trained in property damage restoration? 

From the initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Our training program includes the following:

  • IICRC Training
  • Employee Certification Training
  • Initial Franchise Training
  • e-Learnings
  • Continuing Education Classes

We also are proud to serve our local communities:

  • San Marcos
  • Dripping Springs
  • New Braunfels
  • Kyle
  • Wimberley
  • Buda
  • Canyon Lake
  • Lockhart

Have our crew be the ones you turn to for all of your fire restoration needs. Give us a call at (830) 625-0578.

How To Remove Smoke Odor After a Fire

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Ozone generators work best in low-humidity environments

Smoke Cleaning Services

Smoke damage can affect your business long after a fire has been extinguished. A Sattler, TX, fire restoration company can provide smoke cleaning services to remove stains and odors from the following:

  • Air
  • Carpets
  • Upholstery
  • Art

Several methods can accomplish this.

Air Scrubbers
These air filtration systems can remove smoke odor from the air by passing it through a high-tech filter that removes contaminated particles. Purified air returns to the original environment without traces of the odor-causing contaminants.

Ozone Generators
Ozone is oxygen that has three oxygen atoms instead of two. The third atom attaches itself to malodorous particles and neutralizes them. The other two atoms remain in the air as pure oxygen. Ozone generators work best in low-humidity environments where there is less hydrogen to hinder the attachment of the third oxygen atom. They also work quickly, allowing employees to re-enter a business within hours. Ozone treatment is an effective smoke cleaning option because it can effectively penetrate porous surfaces that are difficult to reach.

Hydroxyl Generators
After a fire, a hydroxyl generator can remove smoke odor in high humidity environments flooded by water used to extinguish the flames. One oxygen atom and one hydrogen atom change the molecular structure of the contaminants that produce odor. Hydroxyl generators can purify a wide range of objects, including artwork. They are slower than ozone generators to remove smoke odors. Still, they do not require room evacuation, making them an excellent choice for businesses that don't require relocation after a fire.

Thermal Foggers
After a fire, smoke cleaning objects like rugs and upholstery can be challenging. Thermal fogging is a reliable method of hazardous particle and odor removal. A deodorizer is heated to create a fog that can penetrate the most difficult-to-reach parts of a room and its contents.
A fire restoration company can recommend the appropriate method of smoke odor removal for your Sattler, TX, business.

Teaching Kids To Escape a House Fire

6/27/2020 (Permalink)

Teaching Kids To Escape a House Fire

If your home in New Braunfels, TX, catches fire, your kids' safety is probably your number one priority. You can't expect them to instinctively know what to do, though. Here are a few important tips to teach them just in case a fire ever engulfs your home.

1. Get Low

Smoke and heat rise, so the lower your kids can get to the floor when they're trying to escape a home fire, the better. Practice the fire crawl and bed roll with them so they know exactly what to do. In the fire crawl, they should keep their heads down and crawl to safety on their hands and knees. If it's too hot to crawl that way, they should slide like a snake along the floor to the nearest exit.

2. Follow Plan

Have a conversation about the quickest route out of every room. To ensure kids' safety, teach them how to check doors for signs of fire damage on the other side. If they open the door slowly and see that the path is clear, they can proceed as planned.

3. Have Backup

A successful fire escape may require a backup plan if the planned route is blocked. Teach children how to open their windows and make their way safely outside if they need to. Reassure them that broken windows are okay in the event of a fire, because their lives are more important than avoiding fire damage cleanup.

4. Get Out

Impress upon kids that their main goal is to get out of the burning house and meet at the agreed upon safe point. Let them know that they will likely see firefighters entering the house to put out the fire and rescue anyone who can't get out on their own.

Before fire cleanup can begin, you must first ensure that everyone has gotten out alive. Teaching your children how to respond during a home fire helps ensure kids' safety.

How To Create a Home Fire Escape Plan

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

Map of a house and escape routes Developing a fire escape plan increases the chances of you and your family getting out of the house safely

Follow The Below Steps To Make And Implement Your Plan

When a home fire occurs, you have precious little time to escape. The blaze can spread throughout your Buda, TX, house in just a few minutes. That is why it is important to know what to do in advance.
Developing a fire escape plan increases the chances of you and your family getting out of the house safely. Yet most people do not take this simple step. One survey found that only a third of American households have created and practiced an escape strategy. Follow the below steps to make and implement your plan.

The Basics

Before you develop a detailed fire preparation strategy, your family needs to know the proper reaction to a beeping smoke alarm. Only about eight percent of respondents in one survey answered that their first thought upon hearing the detector would be to exit the home. You should thus get your loved ones together and tell them to do the following once the smoke alarm sounds:

  • Go low to avoid the smoke
  • Stay out of the home once they leave
  • Call the fire department after escaping

The Detailed Plan

Once your loved ones understand the basics, you can start to create your specific fire escape plan. Draw a floor plan of your home and note two ways out of each room. Next, come up with an outdoor meeting place that is a safe distance away from the house. You should also have everyone memorize the phone number for the fire department and the contact information for your local fire restoration company.
Next, you should test out your strategy. Perform semiannual fire drills so you can work out any kinks in your plan. Try holding the drill at night so you can make sure your children wake up when they hear the smoke alarm.
Every family needs a proper fire escape plan. Practice the strategy regularly so that everyone in your house understands how to get to safety during a blaze.

The Simple Steps for Using a Fire Extinguisher

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher instruction labels set. Instruction extinguisher and protection of fire with extinguisher illustration The PASS technique

Here Are The Three Main Types of Fire Extinguishers

Every home should have at least one, and preferably two or three, fire extinguishers at hand. These devices can keep a small fire from spreading and play an important role in home safety. While these items are ubiquitous in homes and public facilities, they won't be effective unless someone knows how to operate one. It's also important to understand the fire extinguisher classification system. Different types of extinguishers reduce different types of fires. Here are the main types:

A Class A device is loaded with water and works for paper, wood, rubber and some plastic fires
A Class B device contains carbon dioxide and fights fires from oils, paints, greases and solvents
A Class C device contains dry chemicals and works on electrical fires
A multiple -purpose fire extinguisher contains dry chemicals that work on all of the above types of fires

The PASS Technique
To prevent fire damage, the extinguisher must be operated properly. The acronym PASS explains the four steps. The first is to pull the pin. This breaks the tamper seal and makes the device operational. The second is to properly aim the device by pointing the nozzle at the base of the fire. The third step is to squeeze the handle to release the contents of the device. The final steps is to sweep across the base of the fire until it appears to be out. Using these steps—pull, aim, squeeze, sweep—could stop a kitchen fire from spreading.

The Fire Aftermath
Even a small fire in Kyle, TX, can leave a mess. Everything from smoke and soot damage to the cleanup of fire fighting efforts require attention from a local fire remediation team. Trained and certified technicians can clean up the fire damage and significantly speed up the recovery process. The proper use of a fire extinguisher could reduce damages and limit the expenses of an insurance claim.

The Legal Liability of Fire Damage Coverage

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

Window,  table on the middle of a room with burned debris Fire loss in a Buda, TX home

If your home experiences fire damage, you want to know how much insurance will cover. With over 3,550 fires each day in the U.S. that require a fire department call, property damage from fires exceed $11 billion a year. Your coverage is especially important if you rent property in Buda, TX. Legal liability coverage refers to insurance for damage caused by a fire to the buildings a tenant occupies. This type of coverage is necessary if you are renting a home, and it should cover the value of the premises as well as provide liability insurance for damage to nearby properties because of negligence.

Facts About Legal Liability Coverage

Both direct damage and fire damage restoration costs can add up quickly. As with all insurance policies, it's important to understand your coverage and to ask for clarification from your agent. Here are a few additional salient points concerning fire damage and legal liability coverage:

Exclusions and limitations of coverage may apply
Monetary limits for claims may be capped at $50,000 or $100,000
Contents of properties may not be covered
Water damage may not be covered

You should talk with your insurance agent to see if smoke damage is covered. Always purchase a legal liability policy that meets your needs. Make sure you explore all available options to get the best value.

Information About Fire Cleanup

Working with a fire remediation team in Buda, TX, is a smart way to minimize expenses due to fire damage. A team that is available and that can arrive on site Faster to any size disaster can quickly assess the damage and start the cleanup process. After a fire, always secure your property against additional damage due to vandals and weather. The team may also be able to help with insurance claims by providing an inventory of damaged items and expenses for cleanup.

How to Clean a Gas Range

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Clean  gas stove top Clean gas stove top

How to Clean a Gas Range

If you own a gas range, you know that it has advantages over an electric stove, especially a more precise cooking experience. It’s important to keep your appliance clean so that it stays in good working condition throughout its life. Clean your stove about once a month or whenever you notice that the flame is uneven or discolored. Start by filling your sink with hot, soapy water. Then, continue by:

1. Removing Grates

Remove the grates and put them in the hot, soapy water to soak.

2. Cleaning Stovetop

Remove all loose crumbs from the stovetop. Next, you will want to clean dried spills. A 1:1 vinegar to water mixture works great. Spray onto the whole stovetop and use a rag to wipe clean. Grease buildup will require a little more work; dish soap and a toothbrush are ideal for this job. Scrub in a circular motion with the toothbrush and finish by cleaning with a damp rag.

3. Removing Burner Caps

A typical gas range only requires you to lift up on the burner caps to remove them. Place them into the soapy water to soak with the grates.

4. Removing Burner Heads

As with burner caps, lift up to remove the burner heads and let them soak with the grates and burner caps.

5. Vacuuming Any Remaining Crumbs

Lift up the range (consult product manual if necessary) and vacuum any remaining crumbs and debris from under the range.

6. Washing Grates, Burner Caps and Burner Heads

Once everything has soaked in hot, soapy water for 20 or 30 minutes, scrub grease and residue from the grates, burner caps and burner heads. You can continue to use the toothbrush you used for cleaning the range. The burner heads may be clogged in some little crevices; use a pin or unbent paperclip for more precise cleaning. Rinse everything thoroughly and dry.
Once everything has been scrubbed clean, reassemble the burners and your range cleaning job is complete. Your gas range should be working like new. If your home in Kyle, TX sustains fire damage or has a lingering smoke smell, you might consider hiring fire cleanup professionals.

Be Warned: Homeowner’s Insurance Doesn’t Cover 2 Types of Fire Damage

7/21/2019 (Permalink)

A home fire resulting from arson is a crime

Homeowner’s insurance in Kyle, TX, isn’t just a requirement for a mortgage; it’s even more important to having peace of mind, knowing that your most expensive investment is covered from a major loss. In most cases, a home fire is going to be covered, including smoke and water damage, if it exceeds deductibles. However, there are two specific cases where your policy may not apply.

A Vacant Home Fire Isn’t Covered by Most Homeowner’s Policies

A vacant home in Kyle, TX, is usually defined as one that hasn’t been occupied for at least 30 consecutive days. If an insurance company determines that it’s vacant, the professional fire damage cleanup and losses won’t be covered by a normal homeowner’s policy. This is because vacant homes are a significantly greater risk of loss than occupied homes, for a few reasons:

  • Damages that occur are often reported later since they are less likely to be noticed, allowing further damage.
  • Vacant or unoccupied homes are more likely to suffer a break-in.
  • The average emergency response times are longer, since unoccupied homes are a lower priority.

Arson Is a Criminal Offense and Insurance Fraud

In all cases, a home fire resulting from arson is a crime. It’s defined as the intentional setting on fire of personal property. If fire investigators determine that the cause of your fire damage is intentional or even suspicious, that will trigger a criminal investigation.
The only time an arson may be covered is if the fire was set without the involvement of either the insured or any additional insured associated with the policy. In other words, if anyone listed on the policy has anything to do with starting the fire or if it was set at the direction of someone on the policy, the damage is not covered.
Often, the lack of coverage for a home fire is only discovered after a loss, and that’s sure a bad time to learn about it! Make sure you are prepared with comprehensive coverage, such as a special vacation home policy if you have a residence you leave vacant for part or most of the year.

What To Know About Fire Sprinklers

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

Install a fire sprinkler system in your Kyle, TX business

A Few Things You May Want to Know About Fire Sprinklers

If you have a business in Kyle, TX, then you may be looking into ways to keep your employees and customers safe. One step you may consider is the installation of a fire sprinkler system in the business property. Here are a few things you may want to know.

There are Several Types of Sprinkler Systems

Depending on your property's needs there are several fire suppression systems that may be available. These include:

  • Dry pipe systems
  • Wet pipe systems
  • Foam water systems
  • Deluge systems
  • Misting systems

Each type of sprinkler is meant for a specific scenario, so you may want to talk to a professional about which installation will best benefit your business property. You may also want to take into account if the building codes in your local area require any specific setup.

Building Codes May Have Specific Requirements

In many cases the local building codes may have specific requirements for any installed fire sprinkler systems. These codes may include placement specifications, requirements for certain types of systems to be used, or specifications for suppressant output.

They May Help Prevent Damage

In many cases having a fire suppression system in your place of business can help mitigate damage in the event of a fire. A sprinkler system puts out less water than a fire hose, but can still control, or even suppress, any fire that might break out. In the event of an emergency, a local restoration professional can help with both fire damage remediation and fire sprinkler cleanup

Choosing a fire sprinkler system that meets local code requirements and works for your building's specific layout is crucial for ensuring your property is well protected against fire damage. Make sure to do your research well before installation and consider consulting with the fire sprinkler professionals. Doing so can help to ensure that your system will perform as needed and meets any requirements for insurance coverage.

5 Ways To Cook Safely

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

Don't pour grease down the drain

Five Ways to Avoid Kitchen Hazards

Many people in Startzville, TX, love to cook. But even seasoned chefs sometimes make costly mistakes. Here are five helpful ways to avoid kitchen hazards such as a drain clog or grease fire.

1. Keep Your Vents Clean

It’s important to keep the vent screens above your stove clean. Otherwise grease can build up on the screen and inhibit the ventilation becoming a contributing factor in a kitchen fire. The grease build-up could even make a fire worse.

2. Don’t Leave Pans Unattended

Most cooks know never to lean a pan unattended on the stove. The pan could be knocked over, grease can splatter, or the food can be allowed to cook too long. Each of these things can be a fire hazard.

3. Don’t Put Grease Down the Drain

When you're done cooking it may be tempting to pour the hot grease down the drain. Built up grease in drain can lead to a drain clog and sink overflow. Instead the grease can be poured into a container, allowed to cool and then placed in the trash.

4. Wipe Out Greasy Pans Before Washing

Wipe out any remaining grease and food particles before washing your pans. This can help prevent buildup that may lead to a sink clog.

5. Call a Professional to Service Appliances

If you’re having problems with your stove or drain it may be time to call a professional. They will know how to fix the problem without causing a potential electrical fire. These can come from attempting to fix a broken stove or clogged dish disposal without the correct tools. If fire or flooding does occur, then a fire and water damage restoration service may be able to help.

Following these tips can help you prevent problems like a drain clog or grease fire. Never leave your stove unattended when it’s on, don’t put grease down the drain, and call a professional if your kitchen appliances need maintenance. In the event a fire or flooding does happen in your kitchen, then a restoration professional may be able to help.

What Everyone Needs to Know About Fire Damage Cleanup

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot damage in a building

After there has been a fire in a home or a fire in a business, there needs to be fire cleanup.

It's important to rely on the expertise of fire damage professionals from a restoration company. Understanding the process and what needs to be done is of the utmost importance.

The Smoke Smell Will Linger

The smoke smell is something that many people are not prepared to deal with after a fire in a home. Even if there is a fire in a business, the smoke smell is overwhelming. This means knowing how to get the smell out, even before the board up process happens.

Anything that can be done to mitigate the smoke smell should be done. Often, this means eliminating items that have experienced significant smoke damage.

Fire Damage Comes in Various Shapes & Sizes

Residential and commercial fire damage will often lead to all sorts of problems that need to be addressed by a restoration company. If the fire blazed for hours, there is likely going to be a lot of soot damage. If it took a while for the fire to get started, there might be a lot of smoke damage as well as a strong smoke smell.

Some rooms with a fire in a home could have been completely ruined. When there is a large fire in a business, it might be limited to one wing of the building.

The board up is going to happen regardless of where the damage is. Often, people don't know how bad the residential or commercial fire damage is because there is a board up over the doors and windows. This is for everyone's benefit.

Residential and Commercial Fire Damage Takes Time to Clean Up

It's important to understand that fire damage restoration takes time. This means that the fire cleanup is going to take time. How long the fire cleanup will take is completely dependent on the level of damage that has taken place.

A restoration company will be able to come out and assess the full level of residential or commercial fire damage. From there, they will be able to make assessments on how long it will take to get everything done. Many professionals will be able to work with insurance, too, if it is applicable.

Smoke damage and soot damage will often dictate just how long it will take to complete the restoration. This will be an important thing to know when planning when a business can be re-opened or when a family can move back in.

Visit for more information on fire damage.

5 Fire Dangers To Be Aware of in Your Home

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Wood stoves can be another fire source in your Kyle, TX home

5 Fire Dangers You May Want to Be Aware Of

If you’re worried about a home fire in Kyle, TX, then you may be wondering about some of the most common causes. Fortunately, many experts such as firefighters and fire damage restoration professionals can offer tips for fire prevention. Here are some fire dangers you may want to be aware of.

1. Candles

A candle’s open flame is a common fire source. Always keep the area around a lit candle free of flammable materials, and never leave one unattended.

2. Kitchen Stoves

The kitchen stove is another one of the most common fire causes. Keeping your stove stop clean and clear of debris is an important prevention step. Also be sure to ensure that the stove is turned completely off when you’re done using it.

3. Faulty Wiring

A source of a possible home fire can also be faulty wiring. If you have an older home, or have experienced damage to the building, you may want to have the wiring inspected to ensure everything is in working order.

4. Wood Stoves and Fireplaces

Wood-stoves and fireplaces can be another fire source if improperly used. Many such come with use and care instructions from the manufacturer. A screen or grate can help prevent flying sparks. After fire cleaning of your stove or fireplace can also help insure that the fire is completely put out, and no coals have been left to smolder.

5. Appliances

Appliances, such as a clothes dryer, can also be a cause for a fire. It’s important to look for signs of wear and tear in these machines, as well as follow any maintenance instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Being aware of these dangers can help prevent a home fire in your Kyle, TX, residence. Never leave a heat source such as a stove or candle unattended, make sure the area is cleared of flammable debris before use, and always make sure everything is put out properly. It’s also a good idea to regularly inspect wiring and appliances. With some time and care you can take steps to help prevent a fire in your home.

Home Fires: The 4 Most Common Causes of Residential Properties

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

Never leave a candle unattended in your New Braunfels, TX home

Most Common Fire Causes

A home fire is the worst nightmare for many people. The idea of losing everything you have is devastating. While a fire is a common fear among homeowners, it is curious that many choose to play it fast and loose with the most common fire causes, but maybe that is due to a lack of understanding.

1. Cooking and Faulty Appliances

Habits tend to create complacency. Cooking and the use of appliances is a habitual behavior, and as such, it is possible to overlook specific safety guidelines or even little appliance quirks. Cooking safety goes beyond preparation. You should never leave food unattended while it cooks on the stove. Also, if your oven, or any other appliance for that matter, is not working correctly, you should have it inspected, repaired or replaced.

2. Electrical and Heating Equipment

One of the leading causes of a home fire is faulty wiring. Additionally, portable heaters account for most fires during the colder months. All appliances should be maintained and installed correctly. You can check the owner’s manual for specifics regarding your appliances. Also, to prevent catastrophe, electrical and heating equipment should be inspected at least once a year.

3. Candles

While a popular interior decoration, candles are one of the most often neglected items, leading to fires. Candles should be kept a reasonable distance from flammable materials, and you should never leave a lit candle unattended. Before leaving a room, blow out any and all candles.

4. Curiosity, Recklessness and Bad Habits

While last on the list, curiosity, recklessness and bad habits are some of the leading causes of house fires. Children curious to see a lit match, leaving a grill on in the backyard unattended, and smoking in bed are all problems that have caused numerous fires and even deaths.

If you would like to discuss any of these issues further, you can call a fire remediation specialist in the New Braunfels, TX, area. As experts in their field, these companies specialize in more than fire cleaning.

A home fire is terrifying to think about and worse to experience. Know the common causes and be vigilant in order to remain safe and sound.

When Should You Schedule Furnace Maintenance?

10/25/2018 (Permalink)

Keep your furnace maintained for better results

A well-maintained furnace can be operated efficiently and safely. The best way to ensure that the furnace in your home is in good shape is to perform and schedule regular maintenance. Have a professional clean, inspect, and test the furnace once a year before temperatures drop. Then, do regular upkeep as needed. These measures can prevent damage that may require fire cleaning.

Before Cold Weather

Contact a furnace expert in the early fall to inspect and test the furnace in your home. This appointment may cost anywhere from $80 to $150, and you shouldn't cut corners. An expert should

  • Check static air pressure, gas pressure, and temperature rise
  • Inspect wiring or gas lines for any signs of damage or leaks
  • Test combustion gases
  • Perform an amp test draw on the blower motor
  • Remove and clean the blower wheel
  • Inspect the drainage system and internal hoses
  • Check the heat exchanger for corrosion
  • Clean the condensate drain and trap and replenish water in trap

All of these steps can increase the efficiency of a furnace and help to prevent circumstances that may call for fire cleaning or smoke cleaning. There are also several basic maintenance tasks that you can perform at any time during the winter or the rest of the year.

On a Regular Basis

You can take several measures to ensure that your furnace continues to function safely, especially when you rely on it every day. Take the time to

  • Check the filter every month or two
  • Check burners for ignition and burner flame
  • Inspect the blower door seal
  • Look for signs of blockage in the air intake and ventilation systems
  • Vacuum out dust and debris

All of these measures can help to prevent a furnace fire at your home in Kyle,TX. If a fire starts at your home for any reason, seek the services of fire cleaning professionals.

Effective Ways To Get Smoke Odor out of Your House

7/15/2018 (Permalink)

Of all the disasters that could occur in your home, fire is among the worst. The worst fires can completely destroy your home and everything inside. Even minor blazes can damage valuables. Another effect fires leave behind is the smell of smoke that remains. You may find yourself doing some smoke cleaning weeks or even months after the event. Fortunately, there are some effective methods of removing the awful stench of smoke and the damage it can cause.

Do it Quickly.

Even the slightest amount of smoke in your home can causes problems. You don’t want to waste any time before you work on eliminating the smoke odor. The longer the smoke sits in your San Marcos, TX, home, the greater chance it has of seeping into walls, carpet, furniture and other parts of your home. It’s important to immediately open windows and ventilate the house. Then, you should get right to work.

What Materials Are Best?

Luckily, it’s not hard to get your hands on the right equipment and supplies to combat smoke damage. Some of the best smoke cleaning tools are the following:

• Air filtration devices
• Ozone machines
• Thermal foggers

Why Choose Professional-Grade Supplies?

Air filtration, ozone machines and thermal foggers are designed especially for some of the worst smoke odors and damages from smoke. Professional restoration companies use these devices to help ensure a home is as close to its original state as possible.

Take Caution.

If you decide to use this equipment and these materials yourself, take proper precautions before cleaning. Make sure you wear gloves, eye protection and a mask on your face. This will keep harmful particles from getting into your lungs and off your skin.

Smoke cleaning isn’t something you want to do, but you’re grateful there are solutions to overcome these terrible effects. Consult an expert today on how to use this equipment and which will work best in your situation.

For more information, please visit us at

Protecting Your Pets During a Fire Emergency

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

Any fire emergency in a San Marcos, TX, home can be devastating, but losing a pet during a fire can make the situation even more tragic. To prevent this from happening, there are several pet safety tips you should put in place to protect your furry friends from potential harm:

Include Pets in Your Evacuation Plans

• Put someone in charge of making sure your animals are with you during an evacuation.
• Make sure your pets will respond when they are called. Practice calling them when there are distractions so you are confident they will respond appropriately in a fire emergency.
• Have a firebox in your home that contains any important pet information (ownership documents, vaccination records, veterinarian information, etc.) that you can easily take with you during an evacuation.
• Put a pet first aid kit with your family’s first aid supplies so you can grab it without wasting additional time during an evacuation.
• Stick a “pet alert” window cling on a front window or door that indicates how many pets you have and where they are in the house. This helps firefighters locate your pets during a fire.
• Do not try to find a pet if they don’t respond. The most important thing to do is make sure you and your family get out of the house safely.

Have Pet Plans in Place for After a Fire

Most residential fires result in serious damage that may mean you have to stay someplace else until your house is cleaned, repaired and restored. This can take several days or longer; during this time, you may need to board your pets or temporarily house them with friends or family. As part of your pet preparation, consider boarding your pets or having them visit your friends before there is a fire so they can adjust more easily when there is an emergency.

Surviving a fire emergency can be traumatic for you and your pets. Restoring your home to a livable condition is crucial to getting your life back to normal. Restoration specialists in San Marcos, TX, can make the transition smoother and get you and your pets back home sooner.

For more information, please visit us at

SERVPRO San Marcos New Braunfels Available 24/7 Even on Holidays

2/21/2018 (Permalink)

As winter season approach remember to stay safe and be aware of fire hazards. Here at SERVPRO San Marcos New Braunfels we see first hand the disastrous effects of home structure fires and want you to be aware and prepare.

Be Aware of the Leading Cause of Home Fires.

According to a recent National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report, there are around 400,000 house fires every year in the United States. Below are the top 7 causes of home structure fires. 

  1. Cooking Fires, responsible for 42%
  2. Christmas Tree Fires
  3. Smoking
  4. Candles
  5. Appliances
  6. Heaters
  7. Children Playing With Fire

Prepare, Because No One Expects it to Happen to Them.

First, make sure your home fire extinguisher is not expired, is easily accessible and ready to use. Also, check the type of extinguisher you have as not all are useful for every type of fire. 

Second, protect yourself and valuable items. Fire safes are a great way to protect irreplaceable items such as important documents, family heirlooms and memorabilia such as photos.  Have a plan to escape in case the fire is to large to control with your extinguisher. Many fire experts agree that in some cases you have as little as 2 minutes to escape a home fire before its too late.  

Last, have a post disaster plan. In the event the unthinkable were to take place know who to call. Here at SERVPRO San Marcos New Braunfels we have Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certified professionals ready to respond to your needs at a moments notice and we are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week, even on holidays.

Don't let your holiday plans go up in smoke, take the time to prepare and be aware. Wishing you a safe holiday season from all of us here at SERVPRO San Marcos New Braunfels.

If you do experience a fire or water damage call us any time at (512) 396-8225 or visit our website for more information. 

Repairs and Rebuilds Will Need to Take Place

2/21/2018 (Permalink)

Soot damage, smoke damage, and more can all result in the need for repairs, replacements, and complete rebuilds. For example, if there is a lot of soot damage, it might mean that countertops have to be replaced. Fire damage restoration will often involve tearing damaged materials out as well as replacing many items. Carpeting, drywall, and cabinetry are some of the most common aspects involved with fire damage restoration.

Fire damage professionals will look to save as much as possible. Some things can be salvaged with deodorization or with some basic repairs. Other items will need to be replaced as a result of extensive fire damage.

When fire cleanup starts sooner rather than later, it's easier to make the repairs. If there is nothing done early on, the process can take longer because there is more damage to deal with.

The moment that a fire in a home or a fire in a business has been put out, a call should be made to a restoration company. It will make it easier to board up and begin on the fire damage restoration.

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What Every Homeowner Should Know About Furnace Maintenance

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

As a homeowner in San Marcos, TX, you have a lot of things to think about on an annual basis. From cleaning rain gutters to preventing cold weather pipe freezing, home ownership can certainly keep you busy! However, it’s important to remember furnace maintenance on your list of things to do around the house. It’s easy to forget about your furnace when it’s working properly, but lack of regular maintenance could eventually lead to other unpleasant responsibilities, such as smoke damage and fire cleaning. Here are a few things every homeowner should know about furnace maintenance.

The Importance of a Maintenance Schedule

A well-maintained furnace is less likely to have problems than one that isn’t regularly serviced. Regular maintenance can help your furnace in the following ways:

• Ensure efficiency
• Extend the useful life of the unit
• Reduce risk of failure
• Keep your family safe

Many experts recommend that you have your furnace checked by a professional at least once each year (preferably before winter). Of course, if your heating system shows any signs of problems, have it checked right away, even if it’s not within your regular maintenance schedule. Doing so could potentially reduce the risk of fire danger in your home and eliminate the need for fire cleaning services.

Aspects of Furnace Maintenance

Routine furnace maintenance services typically include a thorough check of the vent system, blower and components. If leaks, blockages or buildup of debris are observed in any of these components, cleaning and repairs may be performed. As part of the furnace inspection, the electrical connections will typically be checked to make sure they’re tight, and belts will be observed for signs of cracks or other damage. The air filter will likely be replaced or cleaned, and the motor’s moving parts may be lubricated to ensure proper motion.

Scheduling Your Maintenance Appointment

If you don’t like the idea of fire cleaning or smoke cleaning, do what you can to take preventative measures and keep your home safe. Regular furnace maintenance appointments should be an essential part of every homeowner’s annual list of responsibilities.

Commercial Fire Considerations

1/10/2018 (Permalink)

Using a Tarp to Avoid More Damage

Commercial fire damage, whether it is caused by an electrical fire or a utility room fire, usually causes holes in the walls and ceiling of the building. These can let in water when it rains and cause even more water damage, besides the damage caused by the fire sprinkler system, the fire suppression system, or the fire hose and fire truck used by the firefighters. These openings need to be sealed off with tarps or boards.

The other reason for securing the building with tarps and boards is to keep looters from entering your building to steal items of worth. Along with boarding up the building, there is the option of using fencing and security to keep it safe.

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4 Ways to Deal with Fire Damage

11/6/2017 (Permalink)

4 Ways to Deal with Fire Damage

A fire in a home or a fire in a business can be extremely damaging. A smoke smell may be present. There might also be soot damage and smoke damage. Calling in a professional restoration company will make it easier to explore fire damage restoration.

Identify Extent of Damage

The fire damage as a result of a fire in a home or a fire in a business could be limited to one area. It might also spread throughout the entire building. This is why it's important to board up and then assess what has happened. Whether there is residential or commercial fire damage, it's important to identify every area.

This is when it pays to bring in a restoration company. If a single area is missed, the fire damage restoration will not be as comprehensive. This could spell trouble for a property down the road.

Clear Out Fire Damage

Fire cleanup is a comprehensive project that needs to be done right. When there is fire damage, it's important to focus on the smoke smell, the smoke damage, as well as any soot damage. Plumbing and electrical work could be impacted. It will also be necessary to rip up flooring, drywall, and other areas that have been severely impacted by the fire in a home or fire in a business.

A restoration company will come out to board up. Once the board up process is complete, it's then possible to work on clearing everything out and rebuilding. The board up is simply designed to keep the location secure while focusing on the fire cleanup and overall fire damage restoration.


Fire damage professionals will know how to renovate, including how to eliminate the smoke smell so that there is no constant reminder that there was a fire in a home or fire in a business. Residential and commercial fire damage will often result in a lot of damage. It's, therefore, the fire damage restoration that will help with the overall renovation.

Renovations can include many things:

Replacing carpet

Various professionals might need to be called in to help with the renovations and fire cleanup. How one goes about the fire cleanup will also impact the amount of time it takes to restore and renovate.

As the renovations go on, the smoke smell will dissipate. It will then be possible to overcome commercial fire damage in its entirety. How a company or individual focus on mitigation will determine how much restoration needs to happen. Those who wait until the last minute to board up and who don't do anything to alleviate the problems are the ones who end up with the bigger projects. These issues can be avoided easily enough by knowing that it's important to call in professionals from the very beginning. It makes a big difference in the overall project.

Many people don't realize how much smoke damage and soot damage can affect a home or business. A restoration company will be able to determine what needs to be rebuilt.

Countertops, cabinets, and more might need to be constructed to offer stability to the building. Soot damage and smoke damage can weaken walls, counters, and more.

The good news is that residential and commercial fire damage can be overcome. It's a matter of calling in the professionals who know how to deal with fire damage. There are plenty of ways to deal with the problems. However, it starts with knowing how to assess the damages so that nothing is overlooked.
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Fire Damage Pack Outs

1/30/2017 (Permalink)

Home contents being stored in our large secure warehouse after being cleaned and deodorized. Soon to be returned to the owner.

SERVPRO San Marcos/New Braunfels offers pack out services for fire damages. If the damage to your home or business is rather extensive we usually recommend a pack out. This allows us to remove all the contents from the building by safely packing them in boxes using wrapping paper and bubble wrap for protection. This frees up the working space and helps prevent any further damage to your possessions. Typically we will bring the contents back to our large secure warehouse where the contents can be cleaned, deodorized in our ozone chamber and repackaged in clean boxes and packing material to await return after the fire restoration/rebuild is complete.  

If you experience a fire damage in your home or business call the professionals at SERVPRO San Marcos/New Braunfels at (512)396-8225 or visit our website for more info.