Recent Fire Damage Posts

Home Fireplace Cautions

7/19/2023 (Permalink)

A fireplace in the winter time can be mesmerizing. We picture a roaring fire, providing warmth from the cold outside. Preparing for a family gathering, or just time to cozy up to read a good book with something warm to drink. Well, like most things we look forward to, it takes some planning and preparation right?

So let me switch gears a little. Did you know that 1 in 10 home fires start as a  result of a fireplace? Here at SERVPRO® we've unfortunately seen our share of families dealing with the aftermath of a fire in their home and helped them get back on their feet. It's what we do. 

This blog is not to deter you from enjoying your fireplace, but rather to inform you of some things you can do to take some precautions when it comes to using your fireplace. The EPA recommends that a fireplace be inspected annually by a professional. Missing bricks or cracks in the mortar can allow smoke to vent into your home. Wood is the fuel for your fire. When wood burns it releases toxins in the process, one of which is Carbon Monoxide. It is odorless and colorless and is referred to as “The Silent Killer”. So make sure your home's carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. Opening a window even slightly, can help vent as well. 

Try to use wood that is properly dried out, not damp. Freshly cut wood is damp inside and will smoke more. Dried wood will burn hotter and with less smoke.

Use a grate or screen to keep embers where they belong. Never leave a fire unattended. We've all started the fire in advance of a family gathering before guests arrive, but then went back to the kitchen to cook the meal. You should wait till guests arrive. Then you can show off your mad skills at building a proper fire. And it's best to never let the fire go on through the night. 51% of all deaths . resulting from a fire, happens at night between 11PM and 7AM while we are sleeping. 

So go ahead and enjoy your fireplace… just do it safely.

SERVPRO of Oak Park / Ferndale   Working to help our community.

(248) 246-0790

Important Steps After Your Fire

7/11/2023 (Permalink)

The first 48 hours after you experience a fire in your home can make the difference between potentially Restoring, versus needing to Replace your belongings. They are important to you. The overwhelming emotions can range from Fear, Stress, Uncertainty and Doubt and typically will last long after the Flames and Smoke are gone. 

Where do you start? Who do you depend on to help you put things right again? The fire lasted a couple hours but the process to get your home back to Pre-Fire Loss will take time. Weeks and probably longer depending on the amount of damage that occurred.

Time to take a deep breath and focus on the start of this process. A little at a time, you'll get there. Answer the “Whos Gonna Help You” question 1st. 

SERVPRO® has been an Industry Leader in the Restoration business for over 55 years. It has earned us the reputation as a company that cares, and is a Preferred National Vendor with most of the large Insurance carriers. That's who you should want to help you put things back together. With over 2,000 locations, all independently owned and operated, working tirelessly 24/7 365 days a year helping people with their loss. We are here to help!

SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale (248)246-0790.

Like It Never Even Happened

Acting Quickly For Your Fire Loss

7/6/2023 (Permalink)

If you experience the unfortunate event of a fire in your home, there are some helpful things you should know. You're probably going to want to start the cleaning process on your own. It's a natural reaction.

 However, the cleaning process should really be done by a Professional Restoration company trained in dealing with Fire/Smoke damage. The process to get your home back to its Pre-Fire condition requires specific cleaning agents and technical knowledge depending on what type of fire you experienced.

Keep in mind that a fire (even a small one) typically fills your entire home with smoke in just 5 minutes. The first 48 hours after a fire loss are important and can be the difference between a Restoration versus a costly Replacement of your home's contents. With that in mind…

  • Limit movement through your house as you'll be spreading the soot particles further.
  • You can put clean towels or linens down in high traffic areas or on rugs as temporary help.
  • Do Not wash the walls or painted surfaces. These require specific cleaning agents
  • Do Not shampoo any carpets or upholstery. They require cleaning agents and methods that will release these soot particles. Otherwise you may set the smoke and smell in permanently requiring replacement. 

Let SERVPRO® and their 50 plus years of experience as a Leader in the Restoration Industry do it for you. It's part of our core business. 

SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale - Serving Our Community 24/7

Call us at (248) 246-0790

Fire Prevention Measures

6/5/2023 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Tips for your Family and HomeSafeguarding your Family and Home from a potential fire situation is Greatly enhanced if you consider 3 key steps. Prevention, Detection, and Escape.

Prevention Starts With You! One of the 1st and most important things you can do is making sure you have Smoke and Fire detectors in your home and properly placed. It is recommended that you place (1) in each bedroom, typically on the ceiling near the door to the room. Smoke and Heat will typically travel upwards so placing an alarm in a hallway near any stairwell can alert you quicker and potentially identify a location of the source of the fire. Check your system on a regular basis to ensure they are in good working order and be ready to Replace any batteries as needed. Important note from FEMA- 51% of all deaths as a result of home fires happen while family members are asleep, between 11PM and 7AM. Have and practice an Evacuation Plan that everyone in your home knows.If your alarms start to Sound… Get everyone out of the house immediately. Then call your local fire department from a safe place. This number should already be stored in your phone's contact list. They are Trained for this Emergency and will be there asap. Having a fire extinguisher or (2) is another recommendation but you should always consider your personal safety before going back into the home. You and your family's safety is more important than the contents in your home. A fire and the smoke from it, can completely envelope your home in as little as 5 minutes. Be Safe, Be Prepared!!!  SERVPRO of Oak Park/ Ferndale(248) 246-0790

Flammable Materials in Your Home

2/1/2023 (Permalink)

We all know fire can spread very quickly, but are there things in our home helping the spread of a potential fire? Certain materials are more flammable than others and will catch fire rapidly. Here are some things that are common that could increase the damage done to your home during a fire.

One of the more obvious materials is wood. We use it in outside fires all the time without making the connection that a good portion of our homes are made of wood. Cabinets and furniture made of wood can set alight easily if exposed to flame as well as the framing that supports our homes structurally.

Things such as cloth outside of furniture and blankets will very easily catch fire and act as tinder to set other things alight. Curtains and closets full of clothing will ignite almost instantly when exposed to open flame at high enough temperatures leading to out-of-control fires very quickly.

Older homes have insulation such as cellulose based blown-in insulation that are not as fire resistant as modern insulation. This is basically shredded paper meaning it will catch fire extremely fast and start a chain reaction that sets nearby insulation alight as well.
While there isn’t much you can do to eliminate these materials from being in your home, Being knowledgeable about the subject can help you understand what could happen in the event of a house fire.

Be sure to call the SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale if you experience a house fire to make it, Like It Never Even Happened!

House fire with more damage than meets the eye.

11/7/2022 (Permalink)

House, Fire, Soot, black, front of home, attic area. A fire took place in a local residence. SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale was a part of this Restoration.

Just by observing this picture, does it appear that the fire that happened in this home was severe? I can tell you it was. That is why there is a familiar saying, never judge a book by it’s cover. A fire in the attic area went from the garage into the kitchen and through out other areas of the home. Many of the walls, carpet, flooring had to be gutted, taken out, and will be reconstructed. Our technicians work hard when there is a fire trying to save as many contents as possible. If the SERVPRO team can restore any personal property for the homeowner that will be discussed with them. The items are cleaned with SERVPRO cleaning products and carefully stored in SERVPRO Content boxes. Technicians are also trained in how to properly store belongings and what should and should not be packed together. If you have had an unfortunate fire loss, please contact your local SERVPRO.

Why do I have spider webs after a fire?

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Stove fire, soot, black, webs Soot tags form after a fire that have the appearance of spider webs.

What are some noticeable signs of a fire besides the obvious? If you have experienced a fire it may surprise you or even creep you out to see these spider looking webs in higher places along your doors and ceiling. There is a name and reason. They are called soot webs or (soot tags) even in smaller fires these webs are common. What does fire create? HEAT! When you feel heat what do you want to do? Get to a cooler area right? It is the same with hot air that moves causing the smoke and soot to move along with it. In an area that has lower air circulating the particles are what forms the web like threads to appear. The fire that took place in this home was unfortunate. SERVPRO of Oak Park Ferndale received the call. If you or anyone you know has had a fire loss and are unsure what company to turn to. Please call our office at 248-246-0790.

What should I do to teach my child about fire safety?

7/15/2022 (Permalink)

When a fire starts in your home (or any area) children are not familiar with the flames, this could be one of the most frightening experiences they go through and they have no idea how dire the situation could potentially be. Starting children at an age appropriate time where they can learn as to what, and what not to do, is a very good idea. There are kid-friendly books regarding fire safety. Starting there is good practice. Playing games. When you participate in an activity children have a much better chance at remembering what they did. Many ideas are on the internet about what activities you can choose without it being a scary subject. Practice is vital. Not all situations will be the same, but if they have a basic understanding of what to do, they have a better chance of not panicking and getting out safely. I taught my children to never go with a stranger! Children may hide for this reason. It is important to talk about who and in what situation they may allow themselves to accept the offer of help.

What kind of fire am I smelling?

7/7/2022 (Permalink)

You might see it first or smell it first, either way, it becomes very clear what it is. FIRE!!! Today we are going to try and distinguish the difference between what kind of fire has started based on our smell. For example:

Electrical Fire-some may experience the smell of fish or burning plastic. Or worse. No smell at all. But if you hear a bee like buzzing sound or have a brown or blackish gray outlet. It’s electrical.

Chemical Fire-may or may not smell similar to an alcohol based odor. (Remember these may smell different to you.) Suggestions are based on what other people have experienced.

Furnace burning smell-when you first turn your heat on for the first time in a while when the colder temperatures are back you may smell a slight burning smell. (the aroma could present itself as a fire) due to dust and dirt that needs to be cleaned in the vent system. But always check! You know what ASSUME means.

Wood Fire-smells like a campfire, but much stronger.

Gas fire-a sulfur and gas mixture.

Again, we taste, smell, and hear different from others. It’s good to know that we have something to reference back to.

Don't allow your summertime to go up in flames.

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

Summertime is here. The sun is shining, the trees and flowers are coming into full bloom and people want to be outside planting flowers, enjoying activities and getting together. Summer is one of the best times of the year. This time of the year is also when fires are more prevalent due to dry leaves, grass, air. When we are having fun, we tend to get caught up in the moment. Sometimes we don’t realize the potential danger that could cause a fire to get out of control. I would like to share some reminders to keep our parks, trails, forests, animals, homes, and businesses safe.

If you smoke. Never throw your cigarette or cigar (or anything that can be lit) in a wooded area or on dry grass. Please put your Cigarette or cigar out completely and dispose of it in a proper container.

When barbecuing be certain to only cook food in an open and designated area. Please do not walk away from the flames, if you must, have another person watching until you come back. Be certain to always put the fire out completely after you are finished.

The same goes for any fire pits, gas or otherwise.

Keep gas containers on a shelf away from anything flammable. It is best to leave it by itself and store it in the coolest spot away from direct sunlight. Best wishes to all for a safe and happy summer from our team here at SERVPRO of Oak Park Ferndale.

Campfire safety under the stars.

2/9/2022 (Permalink)

If what you want is a real camping experience, then you will want to learn how to build a campfire.

What is the most important first step? Building it with safety in mind!

Here are some tips on how to enjoy a campfire under the stars.

> Check for guidelines with your local officials ON WHO TO CONTACT for rules regarding campfires before you do anything! DO NOT ASSUME IT IS OKAY!

>If you receive approval, FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES! Here are a few tips I found as I researched this subject. Look for a spot that is at least 15 feet away from anything flammable and away from brush or hanging branches. The area should be sheltered from the wind. Find flat ground not along a rolling hillside.

>Look for an area that is exposed to earth, NOT grass. (especially dry dead grass) you may find a spot where you can clean up  debris that has piled up over time and opens up to dirt underneath to set the platform. Give yourself much needed space. Finding (DRY ROCKS ONLY) the size of your closed hand to make a circle is best. Space the rocks slightly apart so the air will circulate at the bottom of the fire.

>Gather dry wood such as tinder and kindle. If it doesn’t snap, it will not burn well. Only use wood pieces that has fallen. Tinder and kindle (tinder smaller sticks bark, and leaves, kindle longer and larger sticks) is the best way to get the fire going. Research what is the best way to ignite the fire. (Example: a flex neck lighter)

>Finding wood as the main source of the campfire you should try and find pieces that are the size of your arm. Two ways you can arrange your start up is:

*The Tepee-tinder should be in a bundle in the center of the circle then placing the wood like a tepee on top of the tinder. Leaving a gap at the top for air flow. Adding tinder and kindle as needed.

*Lean-to: place tinder and kindle in the center of the pit then a larger log on top but off to the side place larger kindling sticks on top of the tinder with them leaning over the larger log. Once in place add your wood pieces to keep the fire going.

>Keep in mind this is a process which takes time and patience. Increase wood pieces slowly as needed avoiding suffocating the fire. This will keep your campfire steady.

>When you are ready to put it out for the night, do not add any wood. Let it die down. DO NOT LEAVE THE CAMPFIRE BURNING AND WALK AWAY! Make sure you have COMPLETELY EXTINGUISHED THE FIRE! You can use a long stick to move the ashes around and pour water on top of any wood still burning. Repeat this process until EVERYTHING HAS BEEN PUT OUT! This could take some time. Patience is MOST IMPORTANT!

>Last but not least-Clean up before you leave to go back home. Make sure all the debris inside and outside of the pit is picked up and removed from the pit area. Remove the rocks and place them naturally in the area. Respecting the grounds and nature and other fellow campers allows everyone to enjoy the best camping adventure! Happy camping!

Avoiding a Thanksgiving Fire and staying safe.

11/24/2021 (Permalink)

Turkey. pumpkins, orange, wheat These pretty pumpkins represent what I am Thankful for. Do you agree?

Would it surprise you to know that Thanksgiving Day the risk of starting a fire goes up by 300 %? Through my research, that’s what I read. Wow! That’s concerning! Let me give you a few tips on what we all can do to avoid this kind of disaster.

*Never walk away from the stove or any other appliance you are using, such as fryers. It only takes a second for a spill or grease to hit the flame.

*As much as we would like to put the turkey in the oven to cook and leave to go get something you may have forgotten or need, it is not wise! Stay in the home.

*Make sure your smoke alarms are working before you start cooking. As an experienced cooker, there are always a lot of dishes to be prepared at the same time and we can get easily distracted.

*Keep towels, foil, paper of any kind away form the stove. Anything that could reach the flame.

*Do not overwhelm your outlets. Be aware if you have an outlet that is not working properly or an appliance. Do not use it. It is not worth it.

*Never leave children alone in the kitchen, they are curious and hot pans or reachable items could cause a dangerous situation that is avoidable.

*When cooking spills on a floor can cause a slip. Be sure to clean the area and make sure it is dry.


Shall We?

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

yellow, orange, blue, fire Low oxygen yellow orange fire. High oxygen blue fire.

Facts about Fire

  1. Fire is a chemical reaction. That unleashes heat and light.
  2. Fire is a reaction of oxygen and fuel thus causing the Fire to burn.
  3. Without the oxygen in the air, it can not assemble heat and smoke.
  4. It has been said that Earth is the only place where fire can burn. Other places do not provide enough oxygen.
  5. A low oxygen fire will construct a yellow glow. While a high oxygen fire will burn blue.
  6. A blaze can be put out in 3 different ways.
    1. Water
    2. Smothering the Oxygen
    3. Exterminating the fuel source
  7. Impulsive combustion is a real thing! Some fuel sources can create heat on their own. Examples: Haystacks, old newspapers.
  8. It is not known who masterminded the fire hydrant. The patent was demolished in a fire in 1836. (WHO KNEW…IN A FIRE!)
  9. I heard you can start a fire with ice. I have yet to study that one.
  10. Fires move faster going uphill rather than downhill.
  11. Fun fact: In the old days fire stations used horses to get around on. They also had spiral staircases in the stations. Know why? To make sure the horses were unable to climb into the living space. Brilliant!
  12. Call your local SERVPRO today. # 248-246-0790 for Fire Restoration.

Putting a plan in place in the case of a fire could save your life.

7/20/2021 (Permalink)

house, fire, flames, heat, smoke Even though the flames may look contained to one area, the smoke is spreading quickly.

A fire is spreading quickly, what do you do? Easier said than done, try and remain as calm as possible so you can think with logic. Panic could lead you with an undesirable outcome.

~Every room should have an escape plan. Know your way out! Once the fire starts the room can fill up quickly with smoke making it difficult to see and breathe.






~STAY LOW! This helps with smoke intake. NEVER HIDE UNDER A BED.



What exactly is a fire?

7/9/2021 (Permalink)

Fire, wood, soot, burnt Close up of a piece of wood that was apart of a house fire.

Fire by definition is a state of combustion in which materials or fuel are ignited in combination with heat, oxygen and flame giving off light that produces burning.

The outcome of a fire can cause conflagration. Meaning: the destruction of an immense amount of area.

Oxidation, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water vapor are the leading roles in the “fanning” shall we say, of the out of control blaze. The flame itself is what you physically see.

Depending on what substances cause the scorching the color and the intensity will be distinct.

Carbon dioxide and water releases energy which is minor in comparison to the other ingredients.

Bottom line is FIRE is EXSTREMELY HOT and nothing to take lightly. Once it starts, it only takes a moment to get it going and when that happens, you will not know the extent of destruction it will bring.

Call your local Fire Department to put out the flames. Then, call SERVPRO to help with the cleanup.

Oak Park/Ferndale #248-246-0790

Michigan home surrendered to fire.

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

Fire burnt, furniture, books, clothing, basement, soot, damage This Michigan basement caught on fire then moved to the upstairs.

It is hard not to panic just hearing the word “FIRE”. When it actually happens…it’s complete shock. Here at SERVPRO, our technicians have seen the worst of the worst. From small to all-encompassing flames that destroyed every bit of one’s possessions.

Soot and smoke damage is a huge and intricate process. Even if an object appears to be okay, the smell of the fire may never completely dissipate which forces a property owner to make some very hard decisions. While loosing all your material belongings can be hard. Most important is that you and your family are safe. Here are a few tips to help keep your fire from spreading.

*Discuss a FIRE ESCAPE PLAN with your FAMILY or whomever you live with*

*Buy a FIRE EXTINGUISHER or a FEW for ALL LEVELS and AREAS of your home or business*

*Make sure you have WORKING FIRE ALARMS and test once a week*

*DO NOT WORRY about material possessions IF YOU CAN NOT GET CONTROL OF THE FLAMES just get OUT! *


Have you ever heard of a Fire Triangle? Along with a Fourth ingredient called Tetrahedron.

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

A 3 sided triangle with the 3 elements of a fire. Heat, Fuel, Oxygen. "The Three Elements of the Fire Triangle"

Let’s take a look at the three (representation of the triangle) elements that are in fact the reason for a blaze to get started and out of control. Without the mixture of these components the fire can not survive.




Which = a firestorm.

The first facet is HEAT which may be the most essential, for without the high temperature fire can’t ignite.

The second is FUEL which is anything that can be a feeder such as wood, fabric, paper, chemicals. If there is no source. There is no fire.

The third is OXYGEN. Flames need this ingredient to start and continue to burn. In the case of a smaller fire, it’s suggested to use a fire extinguisher, dirt, sand, or a non flammable blanket or a cooling agent such as water to prohibit the release of oxygen.

The four sided geometric characterization is the fourth added component. Or “D” classification.

*Fire Tetrahedron

This = Chemical Reaction

These fires involve metals.




In this situation water will only magnify this combination. Firefighters need to use an agent such as sand to suffocate the flames.

Fire can be one of the most devastating scenarios one can encounter. Being aware of our daily habits and continual safety practices we can avoid such a tragedy.


Don't walk away from your stove when cooking.

Any electrical outlets that are showing wear should be replaced.

Unplug all small appliances, curling irons or the like when not in use.

Only burn candles in rooms you are in and blow them out when feeling tired before you fall asleep.

Smoking and ashtrays should stay outside in the open area. (They are stinky!) 

SERVPRO is the company with the experts in fire restoration. With over 1,800 locations across the US.  SERVPRO will be there in your time of need.

Stay safe.

Caring For Your Belongings After a Fire

7/8/2020 (Permalink)

After a fire tragedy strikes in your home, you can call SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale to help eliminate any extra stress. We know the keys to reducing the damage and helping you save money along with your belongings and responding quickly is the first step.  Our goal at SERVPRO is to save everything we can, and make it "Like it never even happened."

Methods and Options:

  1. Dry Cleaning-For Cleaning Light residues or to pre-clean before we cleaning
  2. Wet Cleaning-Effective method for removing moderate to heavy residues 
  3. Spray and Wipe-For items that can't withstand wet cleaning
  4. Foam Cleaning-Used for upholstery or fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned
  5. Abrasive Cleaning-Is agitation of the surfaces being cleaned
  6. Immersion Cleaning-Contents are dipped in cleaning products

Additional Services Provided for Fire and Smoke Damage:

  1. Move out/Packouts
  2. Electronic Cleanup
  3. Document/Photograph Drying
  4. Contents claim inventory service

Let us Help:248-246-0790

When tragedy strike SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale is here!

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

When tragedy strikes in your home with fire, SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale knows how stressful it can be.  Smoke and soot may not only affect the structure of your home but also can affect the belongings inside the home. Our number one goal is to save anything we possibly can and make it “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale knows the key to reducing damage is to respond in a timely manner, which ultimately will save money and time. Our professionals begin by pretesting your items to figure out what items we can restore back to pre-fire condition. All of your contents that can be saved will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. At SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale, we use several different methods for cleaning, depending on the item and fabric. This includes:

  • Dry Cleaning-For cleaning light residues or to pre-clean before wet cleaning
  • Wet Cleaning-Effective method for removing moderate to heavy residues
  • Spray and Wipe-For items that can't withstand wet cleaning
  • Foam Cleaning- Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned
  • Abrasive Cleaning-Is agitation of the surface being cleaned
  • Immersion Cleaning- Contents are dipped in cleaning products

Other Services we also provide for fire and smoke damage are:

  • Move out/Packouts
  • Electronic Cleanup
  • Document/Photograph Drying
  • Contents claim inventory service

Here at SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale, we know a home fire is a confusing and vulnerable time, we try to lighten the burden as much as we can. Let us give you peace of mind when you need it the most.

Let us help you! Contact us at 248-246-0790

Fire Safety Tips for Children

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

House fires are a tragic event we hope never happens, however if it ever did safety is the first priority. As an adult we have a key understanding on what to do if a fire did happen, something that was taught to us at one point. Making sure you teach those safety tips to any children in your home is very important. Children under the age of five are twice as likely to die in a house fire than any other age. Teaching fire safety at a very young age to a child, and keeping it refreshed in their memory is just the key to hopefully avoiding a tragedy like that from happening. Here are some tips you should remember to teach your children about fire safety if an emergency ever occurred.

-Always teach your children that fire is not a toy, and it is something they should never play with. This goes for matches, lighters, stove-tops, candles, etc.

-Make sure every floor of your home has a smoke detector. You should also teach your kids the sound it makes. That way if it ever went off they know that sound indicates an emergency.

-Sit down with the kids and come up with a family fire safety plan together. Including what to do if you hear the smoke detector go off, different ways to get out of the home, and where to go once out of the house.

-Always practice the fire safety plan your family comes up with. Do test runs showing your children exactly what to do.Showing them all the different ways of getting out the home. Make sure they can easily open windows, and screens if necessary. Also practicing where to go for your meet up location.

-Remember to teach your children safety tips for a fire. Including how to correctly check to see if a door is hot. Letting them know to always stay low to the ground if smoke is entering a room, and to stop, drop, and roll if clothing catches on fire.

-Teach your children that even though it is an emergency try not to panic. Never run and hide if you hear a smoke alarm, and to let them know their main goal is to get out of the home. This is why practicing your fire safety plan as much as you can will make the child feel more comfortable ,and secure on what to do during an emergency.

- Lastly make sure your children know 9-1-1, and to always utilize it for help during an emergency.

It is estimated by the U.S Fire Administration that 300 people are killed, and $280 million in property is destroyed each year from children playing with fire. Talking with your children, and letting them know the dangers of fire can help try and avoid these tragedies from happening.

Caring About Your Belongings After a Fire

7/19/2018 (Permalink)

When dealing with a tragedy such as a fire here at SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale we know how stressful that can be. Smoke and soot may not only affect the structure of your home, but also all of your belongings inside the home. Our number one goal is to save anything we possibly can, and make it Like it Never Even Happened.

SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale knows the key to reducing damage and helping you save money along with your belongings is by responding quickly. Our professionals begin by pretesting your items and figuring out what items we can restore back to pre-fire condition. All of your contents that can be saved will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. At SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale we use several different methods to cleaning depending on the item and fabric. This includes:

  • Dry Cleaning-For cleaning light residues or to preclean before wet cleaning
  • Wet Cleaning-Effective method for removing moderate to heavy residues
  • Spray and Wipe-For items that can't withstand wet cleaning
  • Foam Cleaning- Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned
  • Abrasive Cleaning-Is agitation of the surface being cleaned
  • Immersion Cleaning- Contents are dipped in cleaning products 

Other Services we also provide for fire and smoke damage are:

  • Move out/Packouts
  • Electronic Cleanup
  • Document/Photograph Drying
  • Contents claim inventory service

Here at SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale we know how stressful fire/smoke damage can be. It is a very stressful, confusing, and vulnerable time, and we try to lighten the burden as much as we can. We want to give you peace of mind when you need it the most.

Let us help you! Contact us at 248-246-0790

Cooking Fires

7/11/2018 (Permalink)

Cooking fires have become the leading cause of house fires today. It also is the #1 cause of home fire injuries due to victims trying to fight the fire themselves. Here are some safety cooking tips on how to avoid cooking fires.

Never Leave Cooking Unattended

Leaving food cooking unattended either on the stove, oven, or broiler is the most common occurrence of cooking fires. If you have to leave the kitchen for any reason you should always turn off the oven, broiler, and the stove. It is also a great precaution to remove any pots and pans from the heat.


Loose clothing, flowing sleeves, and even aprons can catch fire while cooking. If you must wear an apron make sure it is a well fitted apron.

Keep away flammable objects

Many things can easily catch fire if near a hot burner. Oven mitts, food packaging, towels, paper or plastic items, etc. Always remove any flammable items away from the stove top, or any other appliance in the kitchen that produces heat. 

Fire Extinguisher

You should always have a fire extinguisher handy in case a fire does break out. If you have never used one most fire departments will assist you on how to properly use one in case of an emergency.


Grease/Oil are a common flammable substance that is used a lot in cooking. Weather we are cooking food with it, or the food we are cooking produces it, grease and fire are a dangerous combination. Always make sure the stove is cleaned regularly of grease. Never cook oil/grease at a temp higher than their smoking point(450 degrees for oil, 375 degrees for lard/fat). Even if the grease isn't on fire always wait for it to cool before disposing of the grease.

Double Check

You should always do a double check of the kitchen either once your done cooking, before bed, or leaving your home. Always make sure the stove, oven, broiler, and any appliances in the kitchen are all shut off.

Be Prepared

You should always be prepared to put out a fire if one happens. If it occurs in a pan of pot you should carefully smother it with a tight fitting lid. Never use water to put out a grease/oil fire. Lastly flour does not put out a fire flour can actually burn, and it makes a huge mess if you attempt it.

Practicing fire precautions are a big must for safety when it comes to you and your family. Always make sure smoke detectors are working properly, and have fresh batteries. always come up with a plan with the family and children in case a fire breaks out. Also always remember to stop, drop, and roll if clothing catches on fire. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to home fires.

Tips on Keeping Safe During a House Fire

7/3/2018 (Permalink)

House fires are a tragedy that could happen at any moment. Knowing how to stay safe during this time helps with the chances of survival for you and your loved ones. One of the biggest things to remember if a fire is to strike is timing is everything. Remember to stay calm, and focus on these key tips.

Tip #1- React

Smoke detectors/alarms are a safety feature in homes to help detect a fire if we are unable too. Your main concern if your smoke alarm goes off is to get out of the home as fast as you can. If it happens while everyone is asleep you should yell as loud as you can to wake everyone in the home up. Also remember to contact 911 right away if you are able too.

Tip #2- Exiting

Before running out of any door to safety, you should stop and pay attention to what is going on first. Fire brings smoke which is very toxic when inhaled into the body. If you notice smoke coming from under the door the fire could be closer than you think.Keep the door shut if smoke from under the door is occurring. If smoke is not noticeable yet always place the back of your hand on the door/door knob to make sure it isn't hot. If the door/knob is cool to the touch you can slowly open the door to pass through if the coast is clear to any visible fire. If a door is open and you see fire that is stopping you from leaving the room, make sure to close the door to protect yourself. (If the door has smoke coming from under it, and the door is to hot to pass through a window is the best escape option if one is accessible. Be careful at the same time whenever having to use a window to escape from a fire).

Tip #3- Smoke Inhalition

As pointed out before the inhaling of smoke is very toxic to our bodies. Smoke inhalation can cause a person to become very weak, disorientated, and can even put you in a deep unconscious sleep. Smoke always tends to rise at first so make sure to get low to the ground. Always crouch, or crawl if smoke becomes visible in the room you are in. You should also cover your mouth and nose if you must walk through a smoked filled room. If you are able place a shirt or a wet rag over the nose and mouth, but only if you have these items close by should you worry about doing that.

Tip #4- Trapped Safety

If you find yourself in a position that you are unable to get to safety don't panic.While waiting for help the first thing you should do is try to minimize the amount of smoke coming into the room. Close any doors and try to cover any cracks or vents with cloth or tape to help slow down the smoke from coming in. Your first instinct maybe to open a window if one is present, however fresh oxygen draws a fire in. Make sure to keep any windows closed if you are not able to escape from it. It may seem scary if you are on a second story floor or higher, but if your able to fit thru a window and some how jump to safety it is worth a try. If there is a ledge you could even try to dangle your body down to try and get as close to the ground as possible before letting go.

Tip #5- After Exiting the House

Once you have gotten yourself to safety the first thing you should do if you haven't already is call 911. Next thing is to do a head count of the people who were in the home. Only re-enter the home or building if it is safe. Otherwise notify the first responders right away if someone is missing. While waiting for the first responders you should check yourself and other for any injuries. If any injuries have occurred do what you can until help arrives. Lastly you should always keep your distance from the structure on fire once out to safety.

You cant always prevent fires from happening, but you can always come up with ways to try and keep your family safe and informed if a tragedy like this occurs. Always come up with two escape routes per room, and practice with the family and small children to show them where they can escape in a time of crisis. Make sure smoke detectors/alarms are always working properly, and always have fresh batteries. Show everyone in the home especially small children how to open and close any windows in the house in case of an emergency. Most importantly practice fire safety. Always let children know fire is not a toy or a game. Always pay attention while cooking, and never leave candles unattended, etc. Also always remember to stop, drop, and roll if you catch on fire at anytime. 

Grilling safety tips

6/22/2017 (Permalink)

Fire in the grill, under hot dogs and burgers, is a welcome sight at the family cookout. But fire anywhere else can make your summer kick-off barbecue memorable for all the wrong reasons. With approximately 8,900 fires started by grills each year, SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale doesn’t want your summer to be ruined by one as well. To keep you and your family safe while grilling, follow these general guidelines.

General grilling tips

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.

Propane grills

Before you use your grill:

  • Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.
  • Check the gas (propane) tank hose for the potential (gas) leaks. To do that:
    • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.
    • Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose (big enough to see).
    • If there are no bubbles, your grill is safe to use.
  • If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department immediately.

When the grill is on:

  • As you are cooking, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.
  • If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.

Charcoal grills

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Of course, accidents do happen, no matter what. If you do find yourself the victim of a grill fire and in need of help, contact us at 248-246-0790, 24/7, 365. The sooner you call us, the sooner we will get your summer back to sunshine, family fun-days, and backyard barbecues, “Like it never even happened.”

Fireworks Safety for this Upcoming Independence Day!

6/9/2017 (Permalink)

With the Fourth of July holiday just around the corner, it’s time to start planning and lining up the fun and entertainment. Many of us Michiganders will be lighting off fireworks in tradition and celebration of our country’s independence. In 2012, Michigan enacted a new firework law, allowing for state residents to purchase and operate bigger fireworks, year-round. Consumer-grade fireworks are now legal for purchase from state-authorized retailers, and must meet Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. This genre includes roman candles, bottle rockets, aerials, missile-type rockets, and reloadable shell devices. With these this new law comes more need for added safety to discharge these larger fireworks. Not only is there a heightened risk for bodily injury, with approximately 8,600 injuries caused by fireworks each year and 10-12 deaths, but fireworks are also responsible for over 2,000 reported structure and vehicle fires. It is important to know and practice firework safety, not only for yourself, but for your audience and guests, as well as your neighbors and all the personal property surrounding the ignition and viewing area. SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale is dedicated to keeping you informed and offering way to protect not only your home, but your family as well.

If you plan on entertaining with fireworks this upcoming Independence Day, SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale recommends that you follow this fireworks safety tips:

  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance description prior to igniting.
  • Know and obey all your local laws and ordinances regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from building and vehicles, as well as overhanging trees.
  • A responsible adult should always supervise all firework activities.
  • Children should never handle fireworks, even sparklers. Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle fireworks, under close adult supervision.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Be careful when lighting the fuse. Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then quickly back up to a safe distance.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework. Don’t try to pick it up right away either. Wait at least 20 minutes then soak it in a bucket if water.
  • Keep a bucket of water or garden hose nearby in case of a fire or other mishap. After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water, or place spend devices in a bucket of water for a few hours before discarding to prevent a trash fire.
  • Use Common Sense. Never point or throw fireworks at any living thing. Never carry them in your pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers. Wear safety glasses.
  • Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix. Have a “designated shooter.”

SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale wants you to have a happy, fun, and safe 4th of July. But hey, accidents happen. If you find yourself in need of fire or water restoration, call us at 248-246-0790. We are available to you 365 days a year, 7 days a week, and 24 hours a day. Call us any time, day or night and we will be there, SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster.

Fire Safety Tips for your Next Outdoor Party from SERVPRO!

5/26/2017 (Permalink)

With the warmer weather we’re having and summer just around the corner, outdoor parties in the backyard, or at the cottage are a delightful way to spend time with family and friends. However, safety should be your top priority when hosting any kind of party, especially when you’re using open flames for cooking, lighting or ambiance. Fire sources such as candles, portable outdoor fireplaces, sky lanterns, patio (tiki) torches, and fire pits can start a fire if they’re not used carefully. SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale wants you to enjoy your family and friends, as well as see you all be safe, so here are some practical tips to prevent fires during you next outdoor party:

  • If there are children and pets at the party, always supervise them and keep them at least 3 feet away from any flames.
  • If the scene is decorated with burning candles, use sturdy candle holders to help prevent candles from being tipped over.
  • More than half of all candle fires start when objects that can burn are too close to candles. Keep flammable objects far away from candles and any other open flame.
  • We strongly recommend using battery-operated flameless candles and patio torches instead of their more dangerous, open-flame counterparts.
  • When a portable fireplace is burning, be present at all times. Or designate another responsible adult to keep an eye on the fireplace.
  • Keep in mind that sky lanterns are prohibited by NFPA code requirements, so consider using something safer instead, such as kites or streamers.
  • If you’re going to make a campfire, build it in a fire pit to help prevent fire from spreading. Never leave the fire unattended, and keep a water source nearby.
  • If you’re grilling, keep the gill at least 10 feet away from any structure and don’t turn on the gas with the grill closed.

SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale hopes that you’ll keep these tips in mind during any outdoor party and pass them on to those who plan to host outdoor parties this summer. SERVPRO want you all to have a wonderful, safe summer. However, if you, or someone you know find yourself in need of any professional fire, water, storm, and mold restoration services, contact SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale office at 248-246-0790. We are here for you 24/7, 365!

Nine Fire Safety Tips

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

Fire safety should be a concern for everyone, young, old, big and small. Whether you live alone or have a family of six with your elderly parent living with you, it is important to make a fire plan and for everyone to know where fire detectors and extinguishers are placed in your home and maintaining a maintenance plan for them all. Here are nine very important fire safety tips that everyone should read. While SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale will be here to help if you find yourself in need after a fire, we’d much rather prefer that you keep your family and yourself safe with these helpful safety tips.

  1. Educate Your Kids

Kids have an awesome capacity for learning and understanding, so school them in fire safety. Children do really well with mnemonics and mantras and other tools to jog their memories in case of emergency. (For some specific tips, check out this article on fire prevention for kids or this comprehensive guide to Fire Safety for Kids.)

  1. Smoke Alarms & Fire Extinguishers

You should have at least one smoke alarm per level of your home, plus extras in every sleeping area and near the kitchen. You should also have at least one fire extinguisher in your home, and preferably one per floor. Check smoke alarm batteries & extinguisher pressure regularly, and change batteries at least twice a year. (Read more about smoke detector placement & maintenance.)

  1. Fire Sprinklers

Did you know you can get fire sprinklers installed in your home? I know, sounds fancy schmancy, but they’re actually quite affordable. In fact, once you factor in insurance discounts and increased property values, home fire sprinklers are actually a great investment in your family’s safety.

  1. Plan Your Escape

You may not want to think about it, but you do need to create an emergency escape plan in case of fire.

  1. Appliances & Electrical Safety

Nearly half of all house fires are attributed to faulty appliances, electronics, and electrical wiring. Practice proper electrical safety at home, including regular safety checks.

  1. In the Kitchen

Okay, the number one fire safety tip in the kitchen is never leave your cooking unattended! Even if it’s just a turkey roasting for hours in the oven, don’t leave the house. If you’re using the stovetop, take extra precautions and move flammable materials (napkins, oven mitts, etc.) to a safe distance.

  1. Smokers, Be Safe

If you smoke, you need to follow extra safety precautions. Keep lighters and matches out of reach of little hands. Always be sure to stub out your cigarettes thoroughly (or douse them in water). Never smoke near oxygen tanks, aerosol cans, or other flammable materials. Don’t smoke in bed.

  1. Lightning

I don’t know about you but for me, lightening is both awesome and terrifying. A lightning storm, especially at night, is absolutely gorgeous. But it’s also potentially dangerous, so remember to stay inside. Stay away from water (don’t even wash your hands). Don’t use electronics. And if you feel your hair stand on end, lightening is about to strike. Duck! (Not kidding.)

  1. Fire Protection Systems

Think of it like this: fire protection is to smoke alarms what a home security system is to DIY door sensors. In other words, a fire protection system links your smoke alarms to a security company, so they can monitor your home while you’re at work or on vacation, or can call the fire department in an emergency. Fire protection means someone else is looking out for your family, too.


Dealing with the aftermath of a fire can be awful and frustrating, SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale will do what we can do not only get your home clean, this also helps in getting your life back as well.

Metro Detroit Smoke and Soot Cleanup

6/23/2016 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 248-246-0790