Recent Fire Damage Posts

A Fire in your Home?

9/7/2022 (Permalink)

Finger pressing button on smoke detector If you experience any property damage due to a fire, we are here to help. Contact SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara to learn more.

At SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara we know that going through a house fire is something that nobody ever wants to think about, but considering how you can prevent one can go a long way in protecting your home. Fires can spread in 30 seconds or less, jumping from a small flame to a major disaster situation quickly.

Thankfully, there are many steps you can take to ensure your home is as safe as possible from fires. While you will never be able to entirely prevent them from occurring, you will be able to significantly improve your chances of never having to experience a fire in your own home.

Reduce Your Chances of Experiencing a Fire in Your Home

Check your smoke detectors. Having smoke alarms is the foundation of fire safety, so it is important to make sure you have enough of them throughout your home. They should be on every floor and outside of every sleeping area, and it is recommended to test them monthly to ensure they have not malfunctioned.

Create a fire escape plan. Making sure your family does know how to get out of the house if a fire starts is so important. You will typically only have about two minutes to exit the house in a fire, so having a plan and practicing it often goes a long way in your overall safety efforts.

Limit your fire risks. There are many ways you can limit your fire risks simply through practicing good habits in your everyday life. Small things, like not leaving flammable objects near your stove, staying in the room if there is an open flame and storing chemicals safely, can all lower your risk of a fire breaking out to begin with.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy. While fire extinguishers should only be used if it is absolutely safe to do so, they can prevent a small mistake from turning into a household disaster. Any time there is an open flame present, it is good to have an operational fire extinguisher nearby and be sure you know how to use it just in case things get out of hand.

If your home is damaged by a house fire, we are here to help. Our expert fire restoration technicians are here 24⁄7 to spring into action as soon as you call. Contact us at any hour to report your damage and receive a quick response. SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara can be reached at 717-561-1404.

Keep Backyard Fires Under Control | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Swatara

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

a close up view of a bright campfire burning at night If you have experienced fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara

Relaxing by the campfire in your backyard is a great way to make memories with your family. S’mores, hotdogs and scary stories are just a few of the activities you can enjoy around the fire.

Backyard fires can be used for a variety of purposes, like enjoying a meal or removing old debris and providing pest control, but even the safest of fires comes with its own set of hazards. The National Park Service states that around humans are responsible for 85% of wildfires.

In 2021, Pennsylvania suffered from twice as many wildfires as had been normal for the 21st century. So, as wildfire danger increases in Pennsylvania, it’s essential to know how to protect your Lebanon home.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t still burn your yard trimmings, like your tiki torches, toast your marshmallows and barbecue burgers if local laws allow it. Taking precautions every time you burn will allow you to safely enjoy your backyard fires and reduce hazards.

Recreational Fire Hazards

While open flames are hazardous, grills, fireworks and campfires are some of the most prevalent ways backyard fires get out of hand. Grills are responsible for approximately 8,800 home fires each year, typically they are started by user error. Always supervise your grill when cooking food and be sure to check the propane tanks and gas lines that allow it to function.

Choose a safe location away from any buildings or forestry and only use a lighter or a match when building your campfire. Once you’ve gotten your flame going, only use wood to keep the campfire alive, and always keep a close eye even after you’ve put the flames out.

Fire pits are a great way to recreate the experience of relaxing at a campsite, but this equipment should be used with the same precautions as a regular campfire. If you can move your fire pit around, keep it away from overhangs and never place it on a wood deck.

While burning is a simple way to get rid of construction or household trash, you should only use approved firewood.

If you’re going to light fireworks, make sure they’re lit in an open area with plenty of room to land away from buildings, trees and other debris. Fireworks are only allowed to be set off from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. year-round in Lebanon, with the exception of select holidays, when they are allowed to be set off until 1 a.m.

Other Outdoor Fire Hazards

Even with the hazards they pose, fire and flammable materials can still be used in useful ways. If your yard collects a large number of leaves in the fall and you have no way to dispose of them, burning your yard debris might be the best way to keep your yard clean.

Before burning anything, though, ensure your local authorities allow you to burn debris in the first place. Be aware of any burn bans in place and apply for a permit if necessary. At the moment, in Lebanon, you can burn any yard trimmings, leaves or any other safe-to-burn debris as long as you check with local authorities to confirm that burning is allowed.

Clearing your yard of dead leaves and shrubs is a useful way to protect your home from wildfires, as well as strategic landscaping that slows the spread of flames from reaching your home. Knowing what is safe to burn and following general fire safety protocols can help you keep your fire under control.

We all most likely have gasoline in our sheds and garages to power our yard tools and vehicles, but irresponsible storage can have a disastrous impact. Be sure to only store gas in approved containers, and keep containers where your kids can’t reach them. Gas should only be used for what it was designed for so when you can’t get those flames started, don’t reach for that fuel can.

Before lighting a backyard campfire, check your local weather conditions. If conditions are windy or very dry, reschedule your campfire to another day and save the marshmallows for later.

And if a backyard fire gets out of hand and leads to substantial damage, contact our experts at SERVPRO. Our crew is trained to examine and repair any fire-related damage, and we can restore your home or business back to normal as soon as possible.

Burn safely outdoors. And save some chocolate for us! If you have experienced fire or smoke damage, contact us today to get restoration started faster.

Backyard Fire Hazard Awareness SERVPRO of Hershey / Harrisburg East

6/20/2022 (Permalink)

Flames and Smoke from Backyard Fire Fire can be a beautiful thing! Be careful that it stays where it should.

Spring practically begs us to head outdoors. There’s so much to enjoy, from the mild, breezy weather to the incredible display of nature’s beauty. And there’s a renewed sense of life that it all brings that energizes us and calls us to get out of the house and enjoy the world around us, or at the very least to head out in the yard and play catch.

One of the things many people love to do most outdoors in this season is barbecue, and just about any excuse to fire up the grill will do. But the increase in grilling and backyard activity also unfortunately means a rise in spring and summer fires.

In fact, spring sees more daily fires on average than any other time of year. But keeping fires at bay is pretty simple, and you can stay ahead of the curve by observing a few simple guidelines:

The grill. The grill is the first thing to check to avoid fires caused in springtime. This is only natural because grills are basically billboards for fire danger. Make sure your grill is sturdy and on solid ground, away from anything flammable. Don’t use liquid accelerants to make your fire burn quicker or hotter (the same goes for fire pits), always stay with the grill while it’s cooking and make sure to clean it between uses. Almost 20% of grill fires are due to poor cleaning.

The fire pit. Visions of marshmallows roast in your head at this time of year, and you should by all means make them a reality. But be safe with your fire pit! Avoid flying embers by using a grate cover, keeping leaves and pine needles out of the fire and extinguishing your fire slowly instead of dumping water on it suddenly. Don’t ever leave it unattended, and don’t allow pets or kids near unsupervised.

Chimneys and dryer vents. While you’re thinking about fire safety, go ahead and clean that chimney out, removing dangerous soot and ash from inside, so you don’t end up with a hazard in the fall when you need your fireplace again. Take off your dryer’s vent pipe, removing any dangerous lint from the inside—and do this again in six months.

Your local SERVPRO of Hershey / Harrisburg East technicians are on hand 24⁄7 for emergencies. If you encounter fire damage at your home or business, no matter the cause, we will be there faster and have it cleaned up sooner. Call us today and experience the SERVPRO difference

A Clean Home Can Aid in Fire Prevention | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Swatara

6/7/2022 (Permalink)

interior view of a room with items completely destroyed by fire If your home is damaged in a house fire, SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara is here to help. Contact us for any fire restoration need.

House fires are the most common disaster in the country, killing thousands of people each year. Around 148 house fire-related fatalities were reported in Pennsylvania alone in 2021. It is more important than ever to keep your Lebanon County home fire hazard-free.

The American Red Cross has already reported more than 20,000 house fires in 2022, and this figure is only a small percentage of the fires that have occurred in the United States this year.

Taking precautions to avoid house fires begins in your own home. Simply keeping your home and yard clean is one approach to lessen the risk of fires:

Clear the Clutter

A cluttered residence offers several hazards to the home. In the event of a fire, the mess may be so significant that you are unable to escape safely, or the items piled up in your home may further fuel the fire. Clean up your clothes, books and trash from your space to help prevent the spread of flames in the event of a fire.

Clothes piled up near a water heater have the potential to create a fire as well. Maintaining your appliances and the items around them is an efficient way to avoid accidental fires.

A dirty stove coated with grease and other food debris can cause a minor kitchen fire to spread quickly. Cleaning your stove and any other heat-producing appliances may help to reduce the start and spread of fires.

Create a Defensible Space in Your Yard

Making your yard fire-resistant is another strategy to prevent an exterior fire from reaching your home. Taking fire measures in your yard begins with removing branches, fallen leaves and dead plants.

California has enacted defensible space requirements, which mandate yard layouts designed to slow the spread of wildfires. Having a layout plan for your property could be beneficial anywhere! Arranging your Lebanon County yard to prevent fire spread could save your home in the event of a wildfire.

Keep It Clean & Keep It Safe

While decluttering plays an important role in preventing fire and allowing you to escape in the event of a fire, basic cleaning is also essential and helpful.

Simple chores around the house and yard could aid in the prevention of a house fire. Even tasks like dusting around outlets and space heaters can help avoid fires started by dust bunnies.

Because your home is where you spend the majority of your time, do yourself a favor and give it a good cleaning every now and then. In the event of a fire, a tidy house could save your life!

If you have experienced fire damage or want to learn more about our fire damage restoration services, contact us today. We’re here to act fast, 247.

Puff Backs | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg 717-561-1404

5/12/2022 (Permalink)

Soot covered ceiling fan SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-561-1404

The term "Furnace Puff back" refers to the sudden expulsion of soot into the dwelling area caused by a malfunction in the heating system. The soot from a puff back is a sticky, greasy, grimy mess second to none. Wiping the soot from walls and ceilings creates a place where paint will no longer stick. And, unless the soot is quickly and professionally removed, it can cause corrosion of metals on doorknobs, faucets, and even electronic equipment throughout the home.  Because every inch of the home is affected, a puff back is an overwhelming job to clean properly.

This where the SERVPRO team can help - you can trust SERVPRO to clean EVERYTHING. We're your one stop for puff back and smoke damage cleanup in the Hershey / Harrisburg East area.  If your home has been affected by a furnace puff back - call us at 717-561-1404 - we can help you get your home and possessions back to preloss condition - "Like it never even happened."

Fires Start and Stop Based on the Same Root Causes | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Swatara

1/24/2022 (Permalink)

A small paper house burning If your home or business has any damage, SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara is ready around the clock to help you recover.

You may not remember exactly what a tetrahedron is, so let’s review, because hey, that’s the kind of thorough treatment you’ve surely come to expect from SERVPRO. A tetrahedron is like a pyramid, but with a triangular base—and thus one fewer side. It consists of four triangular sides, all equal.

The fire tetrahedron is so named because it represents the four equal elements that must be present for fire to ignite and grow.

Without all these elements working together, a fire will stop—which clues us in about some important fire safety truths.

<h34-things-a-fire-needs-to-live">The 4 Things a Fire Needs to Live

Fuel. Fire has a ravenous appetite. Put simply, there’s got to be something to burn. Be it wood or other organic material, or manmade substances—if there’s going to be a fire, there must be something for it to consume.

Heat. Having consumable materials isn’t enough for fire to start—those materials have to be heated to a level at which ignition becomes inevitable.

Oxygen. Fires don’t exactly breathe, but they consume oxygen the same as you, only at an incredibly rapid rate, leaving behind only carbon monoxide for nearby people to take in. This oxygen is a vital need for any fire.

Chemical Chain Reaction. This part of the tetrahedron is the least simple to explain, but a chain reaction has to happen, which essentially is the uninterrupted continuation of the previous elements interacting with each other.

<h34-ways-to-stop-a-fire">The 4 Ways to Stop a Fire

Cool it. An effective way to stop fire quickly is to cool its fuel source with water. Restoring the thermal balance of the material makes the rate of heat unable to compete at which the rate the material cools. You have to use a lot of water to restore that balance, though, because some of it sublimates as it hits the hot surface.

Smother it. You know that thing the cool kids do where they lick their fingers and smush them together on a wick to put out a candle? That’s a combination of cooling and smothering. Any way you can cut off the oxygen supply to a hungry fire, you can use to smother it. Even when you stop, drop and roll, that’s how you’re stopping a fire on your clothing.

Starve it. This one might seem overly simple, but it’s effective all the same. If either a fire runs out of material it can consume, or consumable materials are removed from the fire’s path, there remains nothing for it to burn, and it will have no choice but to diminish.

Interrupt the chain reaction. Fires can be stopped from the inside, with the application of the proper chemicals. Gases like halon (which is no longer produced because of its adverse impact on the environment) are able to trip up the repetitive reaction the fire requires, thus putting a stop to it without water or smothering it.

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

Make Fire Safety a Priority This Fall | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Swatara

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

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

The Eagles are back on the field, the morning and evening air is nice and crisp and suddenly everything is pumpkin-scented. That can only mean one thing—fall is back.

The season of roaring campfires, Halloween parties and beautiful leaf-peeping is here to relieve you from summer and give you a reason to break out your favorite hoodie.

But of course each season requires special care with regard to fire safety, and fall is no different. Keep your fall fire-safe with these quick reminders.

Campfire Safety

Cool fall nights are perfect for camping, and we say make the most of it. But when you’re setting up your fire, make sure to take proper precautions.

Build your fire in a pre-dug pit surrounded by stones if there is one provided by the campsite. If not, keep it at least 25 feet away from any tents or structures. Only light your fire with trusted methods like matches or lighters, never using kerosene or lighter fluid to light or accelerate the flames.

When it’s time to go, don’t leave anything hot or glowing. Any live embers you leave behind are potential wildfire threats. Don’t walk away from your campfire until all remaining wood and ash are cool to the touch.

Open Burning

Most of Hershey/Swatara restricts the burning of leaves, but much of the county approves open recreational burning (fire pits or bonfires) or even burning of some household paper items. Check with your local municipality to find out what’s allowed in your area.

If your township allows open burning, it’s likely you are required to use a burn barrel with a screen on top. Keep your fires at least 30 feet (50 is recommended) from any structures, and never leave a fire to burn unattended.

Space Heaters

Portable space heaters are frequent culprits of cold-weather home fires. If you’re breaking yours out of storage this fall, make sure you keep it at least three feet from anything at all that could catch fire—this includes curtains, furniture and clothing.

Keep your heater on a level surface, update to a newer model with automatic shutoff and tip-over functions if necessary, and only plug it directly into an outlet (as its electrical draw can overwhelm some extension cords).

Halloween

We’ll dig further into this later, but for now be mindful of your decorating, especially if you like to use candles or string lights, which can both present fire hazards.

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

Playing Defense Against Wildfire | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Swatara

8/4/2021 (Permalink)

a gated long brown pebble driveway tucked next to a large brick home If your home is damaged by fire or any other reason, SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara is ready and able to repair any damage.

Of the many potential dangers homeowners face, there may be none more frightening or disheartening than the thought of seeing one’s home destroyed by fire. While most home fires in our region are caused by other things, wildfires are more of a reality than you might expect.

And they are so hot and move so fast that it’s surprising that fire crews are ever able to contain them at all.

But there are ways to safeguard your home from wildfires, aside from the obvious but still overlooked method of simply being careful, which is by far the best method of prevention.

Let’s look at one of those ways: “defensible space.”

What Is Defensible Space?

It’s not a new NASA program. “Defensible space” is a zone of buffers with which you can surround your home, giving it a greater chance of surviving a wildfire outbreak. You can slow or stop the aggression of a fire with the right combination of thoughtful planting and pruning, hardscape made of concrete or gravel, and removal of dead trees and brush—a quick, favorite fuel for wildfire.

Think of defensible space as a way of using the land around you to choke out a fire as it draws close. If there’s nothing to feed the fire, it can’t keep spreading. It also gives firefighters their best chance of stopping a wildfire before it gets to your home.

Why Defensible Space Matters

You may consider wildfires a West Coast issue, but they can and do happen everywhere in the United States. In fact, there were over 59,000 wildfires across the country in 2020.

Even if we omit California’s 10,000+ fires, there were still almost 1,000 fires per state on average in 2020, and there were no states that were totally spared.

Even Pennsylvania is not immune—we suffered almost 1,500 wildfires and saw almost 3,000 acres of land burned last year alone. And don’t look now, but 2021 is on pace to top last year’s total—there have been 25% more fires this year than over the same period last year.

Anything that can be done to stop wildfires should be done, and defensible space is one more way you can safeguard your home.

If your home is damaged by fire of any sort, wild or not, SERVPRO is ready and able to repair the damage caused. Get in touch today to get the pros on your team.

Fire Safety

1/22/2021 (Permalink)

large image of red, yellow and orange flames House fires tend to peak during the winter. SERVPRO of Hershey/Harrisburg East is available 24/7 in the event of an emergency.

Fires at home impact thousands of American families every winter, and they lead to approximately 890 deaths during the colder months of the year.

It’s true that not every house fire can be prevented. Some are caused by natural disasters or by unforeseen accidents or appliance failures.

But there are things you can do to ensure that you’ve lowered your fire risk and taken sufficient steps toward protecting your home from a house fire.

How Would You Answer These Fire Safety Questions?

One of the first steps to making your home safer in the Harrisburg and Hershey areas is understanding what steps you should take to do it.

Your answers to these questions are an excellent place to start. And they offer some simple steps you can take to make your home safer that aren’t a big time or money commitment.

Do you know how to find natural gas leaks? Natural gas leaks are usually first noticeable by smell. If you notice the smell of natural gas in your home, act immediately to cut off your gas and get help to your home. Natural gas leaks are a significant fire hazard. Ensure the leak is repaired before you turn the gas on again and start using your appliances.

Do you know the basics of kitchen safety? Grease fires can happen in any kitchen, and they’re a common hazard. Keeping a fire extinguisher accessible while you’re cooking can prevent one of these incidents from growing into a destructive fire.

Can you use your fireplace safely? Fireplaces that are dirty or clogged create a fire hazard. If you do decide to enjoy a crackling fire, be sure you’re you’re disposing of the ashes correctly. Dirty fireplaces can cause fires.

If your home is damaged due to a fire or any other cause, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We have crews who are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact SERVPRO of Hershey/Harrisburg East at 717-533-FIRE or www.SERVPROhersheyswatara.com  to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help your family.

House fires during the winter can be a threat

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

firefighter with water hose trying to put out large flames engulfing brick home If you have fire damage due to a heating malfunction or other issue, count on SERVPRO of Hershey/Harrisburg East to fully restore your home

House fires can be a threat during the winter months. They’re even more common in states like Pennsylvania, where the temperatures get cold and adequate home heating is vital.

Many of these winter fires are caused by how we heat our homes. For example, if your space heater doesn’t have an automatic shutoff mechanism, it can turn over and cause a fire while it’s still running. Problems with furnaces and accidents with other appliances happen, too.

The holiday season has some extra fire hazards of which homeowners should be aware. Christmas tree accidents are a leading cause of house fires.. Fires caused by overflowing pots and pans that are left alone on the stove too long are common this time of year, too.

People who live in the Hershey, Harrisburg, Hummelstown and Middletown areas can count on our team if their homes ever need fire damage repairs or restoration work.

Why You Should Choose SERVPRO

Here’s why Hershey and Harrisburg residents know they can trust us when they need our help:

We are available 247. Getting started early on restoration efforts can make a difference. That’s why our team is here to help you at any time. Just reach out when you need our help.

We are a locally owned business. SERVPRO locations are all across the United States. But this location is a local business. Because we’re a SERVPRO location, we can use the resources, equipment and training you would find at a large, thriving company with the advantage of choosing a partner here in the community.

We put restoration efforts first. Our team helps families recover from fire damage in a way that’s both logical and economical. Experts help through each step of the process, working to save your family time and money. We work to keep repairs affordable and insurance premiums down.

We can help with all your restoration projects House fires can damage your walls, your furniture’s upholstery and more. Other issues homeowners deal with after a fire include smoke and water damage. We have the tools and resources to remediate these issues and more.

If you have fire damage in your home due to a kitchen, heating or other fire, you can count on us for restoration assistance. Our team is always ready to meet your needs and help you restore your home. Visit us at www.SERVPROhersheyswatara.com or call us at 717-533-FIRE to learn more about our restoration services.

How to plan a commercial fire drill

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

red fire alarm hanging on gray concrete wall If your business experiences any fire damage, you can count on us. SERVPRO of Hershey/Harrisburg East specializes in commercial fire restoration.

Though there are many things that are wise for business owners to plan for, one of the most important could possibly be planning for a commercial fire. Here at SERVPRO of Hershey/Harrisburg East we know that Fires impact many businesses each year, and for owners who are not prepared, they can be absolutely devastating to your business plans.

The most important thing when considering your commercial fire preparedness is the safety of yourself and your staff, which is why understanding how to plan workplace fire escape drills is such an important skill. These drills will help everyone be more educated and prepared in the event of a fire starting to keep all of your employees safer.

How to Plan Workplace Fire Escape Drills

Consult with your local fire officials. The internet is a great resource for doing research regarding the fire safety of your business, but working with your own local fire marshal is likely the best resource there is. They can visit your building and advise you on how to plan out your fire drills and give you pointers on how to increase your overall fire safety.

Communicate and mark fire evacuation routes. After your best escape drills have been determined, making sure that staff are aware of them and the possibility for an upcoming drill is next. Make sure everyone understands what routes they should take when the drill begins and what the protocol is for a headcount once everyone is outside.

Have fire drills frequently. Regular fire drills are a great way to solidify everyone’s fire safety knowledge and keep your staff safer. While having drills too frequently may reduce their impact, it is important to have them often enough that the procedure is fresh in everyone’s mind any time a fire starts.

Run different fire scenarios. Fires can start from an astounding number of sources, so it is important to plan out your drills accordingly. Going over different scenarios each time will help your staff adapt to any sort of fire scenario if it occurs in real life so you can be certain that everyone is prepared for every situation.

If your business has experienced fire damage, you can count on SERVPRO of Hershey/Harrisburg East. We specialize in commercial fire restoration and will be here for you at any hour—contact us at 717-533-FIRE. We will make it "Like it never even happened."

A Fire in your home? Call SERVPRO 717-533-FIRE

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

white fire alarm being tested by a person If you experience any property damage due to a fire, we are here to help. Contact SERVPRO of Hershey/Harrisburg East at 717-533-FIRE.

At SERVPRO of Hershey/Harrisburg East we know that going through a house fire is something that nobody ever wants to think about, but considering how you can prevent one can go a long way in protecting your home. Fires can spread in 30 seconds or less, jumping from a small flame to a major disaster situation quickly.

Thankfully, there are many steps you can take to ensure your home is as safe as possible from fires. While you will never be able to entirely prevent them from occurring, you will be able to significantly improve your chances of never having to experience a fire in your own home.

Reduce Your Chances of Experiencing a Fire in Your Home

Check your smoke detectors. Having smoke alarms is the foundation of fire safety, so it is important to make sure you have enough of them throughout your home. They should be on every floor and outside of every sleeping area, and it is recommended to test them monthly to ensure they have not malfunctioned.

Create a fire escape plan. Making sure your family does know how to get out of the house if a fire starts is so important. You will typically only have about two minutes to exit the house in a fire, so having a plan and practicing it often goes a long way in your overall safety efforts.

Limit your fire risks. There are many ways you can limit your fire risks simply through practicing good habits in your everyday life. Small things, like not leaving flammable objects near your stove, staying in the room if there is an open flame and storing chemicals safely, can all lower your risk of a fire breaking out to begin with.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy. While fire extinguishers should only be used if it is absolutely safe to do so, they can prevent a small mistake from turning into a household disaster. Any time there is an open flame present, it is good to have an operational fire extinguisher nearby and be sure you know how to use it just in case things get out of hand.

If your home is damaged by a house fire, we are here to help. Our expert fire restoration technicians are here 247 to spring into action as soon as you call. Contact us at any hour to report your damage and receive a quick response. SERVPRO of Hershey/Harrisburg East can be reached at 717-533-FIRE

Tips and Tricks to have a Safe Thanksgiving!

11/26/2019 (Permalink)

Team Photo Happy Thanksgiving from your Hershey/Swatara SERVPRO team!

The best food holiday is right around the corner!! Check out these tips and tricks to have a safe Thanksgiving.

Did you know...

Between 2014 and 2016 an estimated 2,400 residential building fires were reported to fire departments in the U.S. on Thanksgiving day? Cooking fires were 77% responsible for Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings! 

Cooking Safety

  • Start the holiday cooking with a clean stove and oven. Remove food and grease buildup from burners, stovetop, and oven.
  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking and don’t become distracted by guests.
  • Stay in the home when cooking turkey, set a timer, and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. Preferably use the back burners.
  • Keep a flame-resistant oven mitt, potholder or lid nearby to smother any flames.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • Have working smoke alarms in the home and have an escape plan that the entire family knows if there is a fire.

Turkey Safety

  • Completely thaw your turkey before cooking with one of two ways:
    • In cold water: keep the turkey in plastic wrap, submerge completely in cold water and allow to defrost for 1 hour for every pound. Remember to change the cold water frequently!
    • in the refrigerator: Place the turkey on the bottom shelf away from ready-to-eat foods. This is a slower method which will take about 5 hours for every pound, but requires far less attention!
  • Remove neck and bag of organ meat from inside the turkey
  • Roast uncovered or loosely covered by tinfoil
  • Check the temperature! Your meat thermometer should read 170°F for an unstuffed turkey and 180°F for a stuffed turkey.

Following these tips will greatly reduce your risk of a Thanksgiving day fire! 

Need help with fire, mold, or water damage? Call us today! (717) 561-1404

Hershey Kitchen Fire- What To Do? | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

When a fire starts in the kitchen, you need to act fast to keep the fire from getting out of control. But how you act depends on what kind of fire you have and where it is. Follow these instructions for putting out kitchen fires:

·         If you have a fire in the oven or the microwave, close the door or keep it closed, and turn off the oven. Don’t open the door! The lack of oxygen will suffocate the flames.

·         If your oven continues to smoke like a fire is still going on in there, call the fire department.

·         If you have a fire in a cooking pan, use an oven mitt to clap on the lid, then move the pan off the burner, and turn off the stove. The lack of oxygen will stop the flames in a pot.

·         If you can’t safely put the lid on a flaming pan or you don’t have a lid for the pan, use your fire extinguisher. Aim at the base of the fire — not the flames.

·         Never use water to put out grease fires! Water repels grease and can spread the fire by splattering the grease. Instead, try one of these methods:

·         If the fire is small, cover the pan with a lid and turn off the burner.

·         Throw lots of baking soda or salt on it. Never use flour, which can explode or make the fire worse.

·         Smother the fire with a wet towel or other large wet cloth.

·         Use a fire extinguisher.

·         Don’t swat at a fire with a towel, apron, or other clothing. You’re likely to fan the flames and spread the fire.

·         If the fire is spreading and you can’t control it, get everyone out of the house and call 911! Make sure everybody in your family knows how to get out of the house safely in case of a fire. Practice your fire escape route

After the fire – who will need help cleaning-up from the fire and smoke damage.  Depending on the extent of the fire, smoke damage can affect many other areas of the house.  You will need the help of a professional to properly remediate the damage and if necessary – repair and or replace the damaged items and property.  The clean-up protocols are vastly different depending on the type of fire and the type of materials affected.  The professionals at SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara are trained, certified and equipped to handle any size fire damage remediation project.   After the fire – call SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara at 717-561-1404.

Fire & Soot in Harrisburg, Hershey and Surrounding areas in Central PA | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

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.
  • Limit movement to prevent further damage
  • Place clean towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more siling.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open
  • Clean and protect chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets and appliances with light coating of WD-40 or petroleum jelly
  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces.
  • Don't attempt to clean carpet or upholstered furniture

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 Hershey 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 SERVPRO of Hershey/Harrisburg East/Lebanon County at 717-561-1404

Smoke and Soot Damage Restoration - Derry Township, PA | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE

8/30/2016 (Permalink)

Air scrubber in the bathroom Air Scrubber cleaning the air in a home that was damaged by a furnace puff back. | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE

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

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke greatly affects the restoration process.
  • Limit movement to prevent further damage
  • Place clean towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open
  • Clean and protect chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets and appliances with light coating of WD-40 or petroleum jelly
  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces.
  • Don't attempt to clean carpet or upholstered furniture

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 Hershey 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 SERVPRO of Hershey at 717-561-1404 754-9689

Harrisburg Kitchen Fire Damage- What To Do | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE

11/26/2015 (Permalink)

kitchen stove and cabinets engulfed in flames | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE

When a fire starts in the kitchen, you need to act fast to keep the fire from getting out of control. But how you act depends on what kind of fire you have and where it is. Follow these instructions for putting out kitchen fires:

·         If you have a fire in the oven or the microwave, close the door or keep it closed, and turn off the oven. Don’t open the door! The lack of oxygen will suffocate the flames.

·         If your oven continues to smoke like a fire is still going on in there, call the fire department.

·         If you have a fire in a cooking pan, use an oven mitt to clap on the lid, then move the pan off the burner, and turn off the stove. The lack of oxygen will stop the flames in a pot.

·         If you can’t safely put the lid on a flaming pan or you don’t have a lid for the pan, use your fire extinguisher. Aim at the base of the fire — not the flames.

·         Never use water to put out grease fires! Water repels grease and can spread the fire by splattering the grease. Instead, try one of these methods:

·         If the fire is small, cover the pan with a lid and turn off the burner.

·         Throw lots of baking soda or salt on it. Never use flour, which can explode or make the fire worse.

·         Smother the fire with a wet towel or other large wet cloth.

·         Use a fire extinguisher.

·         Don’t swat at a fire with a towel, apron, or other clothing. You’re likely to fan the flames and spread the fire.

·         If the fire is spreading and you can’t control it, get everyone out of the house and call 911! Make sure everybody in your family knows how to get out of the house safely in case of a fire. Practice your fire escape route

After the fire – who will need help cleaning-up from the fire and smoke damage.  Depending on the extent of the fire, smoke damage can affect many other areas of the house.  You will need the help of a professional to properly remediate the damage and if necessary – repair and or replace the damaged items and property.  The clean-up protocols are vastly different depending on the type of fire and the type of materials affected.  The professionals at SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara are trained, certified and equipped to handle any size fire damage remediation project.   After the fire – call SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara at 717-561-1404.

Holiday Season = Increased Fire Risks! | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE

11/23/2015 (Permalink)

Christmas tree on fire in corner of house | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE

Home Fire Danger Peaks During Holiday Season

Local SERVPRO restoration specialist cites statistics on escalated cooking and candle fire risk that can turn festivities into a fire drill

Harrisburg, PA (Grassroots Newswire) November 16, 2015 -- As the holiday season approaches and families gear up for decorating their homes and hosting large gatherings of friends and family, Brad Morgan of SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara reminds homeowners to take note of some sobering statistics about home fire safety from the National Fire Prevention Association:

  • Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires. The three peak days for home cooking fires are Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.1
  • Candles fires peak in December. The top three days for candles fires are Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.2

“These statistics are a serious reminder of how the excitement of holiday entertaining can quickly turn into a life-altering fire or even a tragic injury or death,” says Morgan. “While glowing candles and elaborate meals set the stage for a great holiday get-together, homeowners need to exercise extra care in controlling the dangerous potential for fires.”

According to the NFPA3, unattended cooking is by far the leading cause of home cooking fires, with frying posing the greatest fire risk and electric ranges posing a higher risk than gas ranges. Range top cooking in general started the majority of home cooking fires and caused 86 percent of related civilian deaths for the reporting period.

While incidents of candle fires peaked in 2001 and have been falling since, candles are still one of the top 10 causes of U.S. home fires, according to the NFPA. As with cooking fires, unattended or abandoned candles account for a large portion of candle fires–almost 20 percent–but the most frequent cause of candle fires is placing the candle too close to something that can burn, like curtains, decorations or furniture.

“It’s easy to see why cooking and candle fires both peak during the holiday season,” says Morgan, “and it’s also easy to see why homeowners need to take extra care when decorating their homes or entertaining. A moment’s inattention at the stove or a guest repositioning a candle on a tabletop may be all it takes to turn the festivities into a fight to save property and lives. While our business is fire and water damage restoration and we stand ready to help at a moment’s notice if disaster does strike, our sincere hope is that our friends and neighbors will enjoy a fire-free and festive holiday season.”

 

For more fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.SERVPRO.com. For more information on SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara, please contact Bradley Alan Morgan at (717) 561-1404 or SP10241@SERVPROHersheySwatara.com.

Fire Loss - What Do I DO Now ??? | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE

11/21/2015 (Permalink)

kitchen fire with insulation falling out of ceiling What do we do now??? Call SERVPRO of Hershey 717-561-1404

The hours, days and weeks following a fire in your home or business can be simply overwhelming. Surrounded by your soot-covered and flame-damaged possessions, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture: As long as everyone got out—thanks to proper disaster planning and preparation—everything else is just stuff. But once the smoke clears, you will need to deal with that stuff, and the sooner the better.

From the get-go, it’s imperative to stay organized amidst the chaos of your scorched surroundings. A three-ring binder with pockets is your new best friend. Take notes on every conversation and online correspondence with your insurance company and restoration professionals, because in any stressful situation, miscommunication can happen. Save all receipts and original documents; only give photocopies upon request.

Binder in hand, your first call should be to your insurance agent. Not only is it required that you file your claim as soon as possible, it is also in your best interest. At this time, you’ll be asked to submit a proof of loss claim. The sooner you get the ball rolling, the sooner an insurance adjustor will arrive at your door to begin assessing damage.

A reputable local cleaning and restoration team should be next on your call list. If you can find one that also specializes in professional construction services, you’ll save yourself time, money and headaches. Depending upon the extent of damage, your property will first need to be secured (boarded up, for example), and a high quality restoration team with carpentry skills can perform that service for you. On a side note, be sure to remain vigilant in the days ahead, because a fire-damaged residence or business is an easy target for theft and vandalism.

Your restoration team should work with your insurance company to initiate a fire damage recovery plan that includes the complete restoration of your structure. Again, if your team is truly “full service,” the construction side will assess the structural damages while the cleaning and restoration specialists will work closely with you and your adjustor to determine which of your possessions can be cleaned…and which need to be inventoried for replacement. Often these services can be provided on site, but in the event that your contents have to be removed, make sure your team also offers the capability to electronically inventory, package, transport and store your belongings in a safe, heated facility.

Now that you know the initial steps of the fire damage recovery process, here are a few tips on what NOT to do before the pros arrive:

  • Do not wipe or attempt to wash fire residue from walls, ceilings, or other absorbent surfaces
  • Do not use carpeting or upholstered furniture impacted by heavy smoke residues or debris
  • Do not use food items or canned goods exposed to heat
  • Do not turn on computers, televisions, stereos or electrical appliances until they have been professionally cleaned and checked

With preparation, resources and trusted professionals in place—plus a healthy dose of patience and perspective, after the fact—you and your family or co-workers will make it through the process of fire damage recovery.

SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara can handle EVERY aspect of remediating your fire loss.  We service the entire Harrisburg area.  We will make it "Like it never even happened." Give us a call at 717-561-1404 and we will be happy to assist you!

6 Things You Need To Do After a Fire in Harrisburg, PA | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE

12/27/2014 (Permalink)

multi-bedroom 2 story home with roof and side of home engulfed in flames | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE

You may think a house fire will never happen to you. But what if it does? Are you prepared?

Figuring out what to do after a home fire can be a very stressful and overwhelming process, and it can be hard to decide what to do first. With a little help from your insurance agent, though, you may be able to settle your claim more quickly and get your life back to normal.

Here are the six things you should do after a home fire.

1. Call your insurance agent immediately. You will be getting calls at all hours of the day from public adjusters and contractors who will try to offer you a deal on putting your house back together. These calls can create a lot of stress and confusion. I suggest you speak to no one but your agent to discuss your options at this point in the process.

2. Ask about restoration companies (such as SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara) that can help with cleaning up soot, boarding up windows, and other construction. Immediately after a fire, especially if it is a minor one, you’ll need to clean up any soot or water damage. It is important to hire a reputable service to deal with these issues. Ask your agent or insurance adjuster to recommend a few different companies. They deal with these situations more often than you do and likely know of some businesses that fit your needs. Many of these restoration companies have connections to good contractors, engineers, and architects, as well.

3. Separate damaged property from undamaged property. The insurance company will need a detailed inventory list from you after they inspect the loss. Separating your damaged property from your undamaged property will make it easier for you to make a list of your damaged items. This list needs to include the date you purchased each item, the brand name, the price you paid, and the serial number, model, or description of each item. If the item was a gift, be sure to indicate that as well.

It’s a good idea to submit your receipts with this inventory list. If the receipts were destroyed in the fire, or you didn’t keep any receipts, request copies of prior bank statements. This can make obtaining duplicate receipts easier. Keep in mind that photos of any damaged items are always helpful if receipts are not available.

4. Save undamaged property from further destruction. Any items that are not damaged should be put in a safe place, even if it means putting them in storage. Insurance adjusters are typically fair when it comes to adding additional costs for storage.

5. Cooperate fully with the insurance company’s investigation. When a fire claim is reported to an insurance company, it is given top priority. Usually the adjusters come out to see the loss within 24 to 48 hours. To help settle your claim in a timely manner and to your satisfaction, be sure you are available and on time for all meetings, that you return calls promptly, that any requested paperwork is completed as quickly as possible, and that you contact the company or your agent immediately with any questions.

6. Find somewhere to stay if you can’t live in your home. Most homeowner’s policies include “Loss of Use or Loss of Rents” coverage, which will pay for the food, clothing, and shelter that you and your family may need for a specified period of time. Keep in mind that your policy will pay for “like kind and quality” living arrangements. You may want to save the Ritz for a special occasion and instead stay in a more reasonably priced hotel.

What to do before disaster strikes

Review your homeowner’s policy to be sure you have replacement cost coverage, loss of use coverage, and adequate dwelling coverage. The last thing you want to hear after a fire is that you were underinsured.

• Save all your receipts and put them in a metal fireproof box or in a storage facility off the premises, such as a safety deposit box. Better yet, scan the receipts and save them to a computer file. Taking a video of your entire home and the possessions within it is the next best thing to receipts. This will show the insurance company what sort of lifestyle you had prior to the claim.

• Be sure to have smoke detectors in every room of your home to ensure that everyone gets out of the house or apartment safely in the event of a fire. Have exit ladders and fire extinguishers handy, and know how to use them.

• Discuss escape strategies and plans with your family prior to a fire, and consider a fire drill to help ensure everyone’s safety.

Source: Heidi Petschauer Fox - Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation

************************************

If you live in the Harrisburg,Pa area and find yourself a vicitim of a fire in your home or business - call SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara to restore your home and your contents.

717-561-1404

What To Do AFTER The Fire | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE

9/29/2014 (Permalink)

view of back of firefighter staring at flames | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE

Becoming a victim of a fire loss is never on anyone's list of 'to do's', but when or if it does happen to you or a loved one - it's good to have a checlist of what you need to do right away:

After the fire - your first call should be to your insurance agent to get the claim process rolling.  

Next - you should locate or start replacement of:

•driver’s license

•insurance policies

•military discharge papers

•Passports

•birth, death, marriage certificates

•social security or medical cards

•credit cards

•titles to deeds

•stocks and bonds

•wills

•medical records

•warranties

•finance & income tax records

•citizenship papers

•mortgage papers

Know your coverage as most policies will cover temporary living expenses in addition to coverage of your home and contents.  The mitigation and restoration process can take months - depending upon the extent of the fire, smoke and odor damage to your property.

SERVPRO Mitigation Process

1.Board-up/Secure the Property

2.Detail Inventory

3.Storage of Content

4.Disposal of Wet/Burned Content

5.Dehumidification of Structure

6.Mitigation of Smoke and Odor

7.Preparation for Re-Construction

8.Restoration vsReplace

9.Re-Construction

What To Do AFTER The Fire | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE

5/6/2014 (Permalink)

fire fighters putting out fire in home | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE

A fire will change your life in many ways that you cannot imagine. Knowing where to begin and who can help you is important. 

Put Safety First 

The safety of you and your family must be the first priority.Follow the advice and directions issued by local authorities. If the authorities ask you to evacuate, do not return until they report that it is safe and secured. 

Contact Your Insurance Company

The typical homeowners policy will provide reimbursement for Additional Living Expenses (ALE) such as the cost of hotels and food when a covered loss to your home makes the residence uninhabitable. 

If you do not have insurance, your family and community might help you get back on your feet. Organizations that might help include:

• American Red Cross (717) 234-3101;

• Salvation Army (717) 233-6755 ;

• religious organizations;

• public agencies, such as the public health department;

• community groups;

• State or municipal emergency services office; and

• nonprofit crisis-counseling centers.

What To Expect

A fire in a home, whether you live in an apartment, a single family, or multifamily home, can cause serious damage. The building and many of the things in your home may have been badly damaged by flames, heat, smoke, and water. You will find that things the fire did not burn up are now ruined by smoke and soggy with water used to put out the flames. Anything you want to save or re-use will need to be carefully cleaned. The firefighters may have cut holes in the walls of the building to look for any hidden flames. They may even have cut holes in the roof to let out the heat and smoke. Cleanup will take time and patience.

Restoration Services

You do not need to make a quick decision on who will perform the restoration services.  You will, however  need to have someone perform board-up services to secure the property. Many restoration companies - including SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara perform board-up services.  You are not required to use the same company to provide mitigation and restoration services.  Take you time to decide after consulting with your insurance adjustor and do some of your own research before you decide.

Restoration and Mitigation Services Include:

Restoration companies like SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara provide services that include the following: 

  • Documenting all items affected and items to be removed for cleaning / restoration
  • Removing unsalvageable items and material
  • Storing and cleaning contents and personal items
  • Restoring furniture and other personal property
  • Cleaning clothes, linens, etc
  • Drying the structure and contents
  • Deodorizing the structure and content
  • Preparing the structure for rebuild

Once the structure has been miigated for the fire damage - the home owner can negotiate with contractors to rebuild. SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara can help the homeowner with the rebuild process as well.  

Keep Fire Hydrants Clear of Snow | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE

2/11/2014 (Permalink)

snow covering all but the top of a fire hydrant outside of a home | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE

With snow piling-up and even more on the way - make sure that you keep your fire hydrants clear of snow!