Recent Fire Damage Posts

Safety Tips While Decorating for the Holiday Season

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

A living room with stockings hung up over a fire place and a decorated Christmas tree set on fire The holiday season can pose multiple fire risks from decorations.

The holiday season is a time of good cheer and an opportunity to catch up with loved ones near and far. However, it is also a time of potential fire hazards. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 2013-2017, fire departments responded to an average 160 home fires started by Christmas tree lights, and 780 home fires started by other decorations. 

In order to prevent potential fires caused by Christmas decorations, here are a few safety tips to follow:

  1. Replace old or damaged Christmas lights. If you see light strands with frayed or pinched wires, it is best to throw them away.
  2. If you have a natural Christmas tree, be sure to water it every day. Dry wood catches fire more easily.
  3. Be sure any lit candles are secured in stable holders and located in areas where they cannot be easily knocked over.
  4. Consider LED lights - they stay cool, use less electricity, and are less likely to overheat compared to traditional Christmas lights.
  5. If you are decorating the outside of your house with Christmas lights, be sure the lights you use are graded to be used outside. Some Christmas lights are to be used indoors only, and these are not insulated and could potentially pose a fire risk if they become wet.
  6. Do not leave tree lights running overnight. Make sure to switch them off before leaving the house or going to bed, or purchase a light timer to set your mind at ease. 

In the unfortunate event your home or business suffers fire damage caused by holiday decorations, please give us a call. We at SERVPRO are available 24/7, even during the holidays! We service Elk Grove, Schaumburg, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, and beyond! (847) 593-3055

Holiday Fire Safety Cooking

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

A pot on a lit stove, with a towel that was left on the stove beginning to catch fire Did you know that Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are peak days for home cooking fires?

The holiday season brings family together for good times and good cheer, but it could also be a hectic time. Did you know it also brings a higher risk of home cooking fires?

In 2016, there were around 1,570 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving day alone, with unintended cooking being the leading cause of incidents. In almost half of all reported home fires and injuries, cooking equipment was involved.

Keep your home and your family safe this holiday season by following these safety tips:

  • Check to see if your smoke alarms are working by pressing the test button.
  • Keep an eye on your food! Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop. Do not leave home with a turkey cooking in your oven.
  • Make sure your stovetop is free of any potentially flammable objects (towels, paper, cardboard, etc.).
  • Keep children under age 5 away from the stove.
  • Be sure electric cords from kitchen appliances (such as coffee makers, plate warmers, mixers, etc.) are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of children.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters in a cabinet up above, out of reach of children.
  • When in doubt, just get out! Do not try to fight any fires that may grow out of control. Ensure your safety by leaving the house, and call 911 as soon as you are a safe distance away from the fire.

SERVPRO of Elk Grove / E. Schaumburg / Itasca / Roselle / Palatine / Rolling Meadows is ready 24/7, even on holidays, to respond to any emergency disaster. If your home has suffered from fire damage, call us! (847) 593-3055

Making Fire and Smoke Damage in Rolling Meadows "Like it never even happened."

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

A customer's garage showing clean walls after soot stains were cleaned This customer's garage was heavily stained with soot. After SERVPRO finished its fire cleanup process, the garage was left looking good as new.

In the aftermath of fire damages, the cleanup process can be a tricky one to tackle. Not only do you have to deal with the obvious damages to your property and personal belongings, but you also need to consider any hidden damages as well. Soot can be hard to spot and could have spread throughout your house without you noticing, which creates a deep-seated smoke odor that can be difficult to get rid of. Even if heavily damaged materials are removed or cleaned, your house may still have a lingering odor if the cleanup was hastily or improperly done.

At SERVPRO, we have many years of experience and training dealing with fires, and we understand what it takes to properly clean and neutralize fire and smoke staining and odors. We take the time to inspect every area that could have potential hidden soot utilizing chem sponges, which you can read about here. After we determine each area that needs cleaning, we clean and wipe every affected surface with chem sponges, followed by wiping with de-greasing chemicals and deodorizing agents. This process can be time-consuming, but if done properly, your house may be left with virtually no trace of the fire damage, truly "Like it never even happened."

Check out testimonials from clients we have performed fire cleanup services for in the past.

If you experience a fire damage, do not hesitate to call us for fast 24/7 service! We are located in Elk Grove Village and we service Schaumburg, Itasca, Roselle, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, and surrounding cities through the Chicago Suburbs! (847) 593-3055

Chem Sponges - What Are They and How Do They Work?

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

After the fire has subsided, your property can be left with a myriad of damages to deal with, and it can be overwhelming to figure out what to do next. At SERVPRO, we are highly experienced in fire and smoke mitigation, and we can help you through the process of getting your house back into shape.

One of the most important tools at our disposal in fire and smoke mitigation is the chem sponge. These are unlike any other sponge in that they are used completely dry, and their unique cell structure made of vulcanized latex rubber enables them to pick up deeply embedded dust, soot, and smoke residue from within the surface. 

While they are powerful cleaning tools, chem sponges are also safe to use on virtually any surface, even fabric. They are also gentle enough to use on painted drywall surfaces, ensuring your walls will be cleaned without causing further damage.

Not only will we use chem sponges on soot-damaged surfaces, but we also use these to check other surfaces within the structure outside of the obviously stained ones, as soot can travel far and wide. A wall may look clean, but one swipe of a chem sponge can reveal hidden soot that had been embedded deep within the surface! We want to ensure your property is thoroughly treated, and chem sponges are incredibly useful to help us achieve this goal. 

SERVPRO is ready and prepared to provide fire and smoke mitigation to your home and help make it "Like it never even happened." Call (847) 593-3055; we are available 24/7 to address your needs!

What Now? How to Navigate the Aftermath of a Disaster

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

It can be a stressful and disorienting time after your home suffers fire or water damage, especially if the damage is particularly devastating. There are many steps to take to move on from this incident, and it can be overwhelming to figure out what to do next. This blog aims to give some guidance to help move you in the right direction in the aftermath of a disaster.

Take Care of Yourself and Family

Contact your local disaster relief service, such as the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army. They can help you find a place to stay, as well as food, clothing, and medicine. Make sure that you have a safe place to live temporarily. Get plenty of rest and ask for help; do not try to do it all alone.

Help Your Pets

Try to leave pets with a family member, friend or veterinarian if you are visiting or cleaning your property. Keep your pets out of the house until the cleanup is complete to keep them safe.

Security and Safety

Do NOT enter a damaged property unless the fire department says it is safe. Watch for damage caused by the incident; roofs and floors may be damaged and could fall. The fire department will make sure the utility services (water, electricity, and gas) are safe to use. If they are not safe, firefighters will have your utilities turned off or disconnected before they leave. DO NOT try to turn them back on yourself. Contact your police department to let them know that you will be away from your property.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance company right away. Your property will have immediate needs such as covering windows, doors and more.

If you do not have insurance, there are organizations that can help, such as:

  • American Red Cross
  • Religious organizations
  • Public agencies, such as the public health department
  • State or municipal emergency services office


Get in touch with your landlord or mortgage lender ASAP. Contact your credit card company to report credit cards that were lost in the incident and request replacement. Save all of your receipts for any money you spend; these may be needed later by the insurance company to prove any losses claimed on your tax return.

Handling the Damage

Call a company that specializes in cleaning and/or restoring personal items, such as SERVPRO. Whether you or your insurer buys this type of service, be clear on who will pay for it. Be sure to ask for an estimate of cost for the work and agree to it in writing. 


  • Secure your home against more damage
  • Estimate and repair damage to your property and renew items of personal property
  • Store repaired household items until needed

24/7 Services

SERVPRO of Elk Grove/E. Schaumburg/Itasca/Roselle and SERVPRO of Palatine/Rolling Meadows are ready to respond 24/7 to your emergency. Contact (847) 593-3055 for service that is Faster to Any Size Disaster!

SERVPRO Takes Care of Any Size Fire Damage Disaster In Your Roselle Home

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage can be a devastating experience for any homeowner. After the firefighters leave, you're left to deal with structural damage, as well as damaged personal belongings. We understand how trying this time can be, and we at SERVPRO are ready to help you.


SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for many insurance companies. We make sure to stay in contact with your adjuster to ensure you are covered for the work we do. Anything we can do to make this situation less stressful for you, we are willing to do so!

Hidden Soot Odor

The problem with fire damage is, even after the most obvious visual damage is removed or cleaned, there can still be a lingering smoke odor. Heavily sooted areas can be easy to spot, but there can still be hidden soot in your walls, ceilings, carpet, contents, etc. that emits an odor. Our staff is properly trained to take care of fire damage that covers every nook and cranny of your property. Every surface is tested and wiped with a chem sponge that helps draw out any hidden soot, followed by wet wiping with powerful cleaning and deodorizing chemicals. Finally, if there is still a lingering smell, an ozone chamber can be set up to further neutralize any odors left behind.


Have a large number of contents? No need to worry; SERVPRO also provides pack-out services for temporary storage at our warehouse. In addition, we can also clean salvageable contents from soot and smoke damage, keeping detailed inventory for insurance purposes. We can even help with hard-to-clean items such as clothing, electronics, paintings, documents, etc. 

24/7 Disaster Recovery Services

SERVPRO of Elk Grove/E. Schaumburg/Itasca/Roselle and SERVPRO of Palatine/Rolling Meadows are ready to respond 24/7 for any size disaster. Call us today at (847) 593-3055!

The Dos and Don'ts of Fire Damage

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Whether at your home or place of business, fire damage is stressful and taxing to deal with. Once the fire is out and the fire department has left, it may be confusing to figure out what to do next.

After any fire damage situation, your first priority is your safety. Is it safe to stay inside your house? If so, make note of the dos and don'ts of this list below to ensure your safety and prevent further damage.


  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If the electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
  • If the heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in the sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Wash both sides of leaves on houseplants.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloths over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in and out of the HVAC system.


  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your local SERVPRO Professionals.
  • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your local SERVPRO Professionals.
  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don’t consumer any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. They have be contaminated.
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

When fire damage strikes and you need assistance, SERVPRO of Elk Grove/E. Schaumburg/Itasca/Roselle and SERVPRO of Palatine/Rolling Meadows are only a phone call away. Give us a call to begin the fire damage restoration process and make it "Like it never even happened."

Holiday Cooking Fire Safety

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are peak days for home cooking fires?

The holiday season brings family together for good times and good cheer. But did you know it also brings a higher risk of home cooking fires?

In 2015, there were around 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving alone, with unattended cooking being the leading cause. In addition, 55% of people injured were attempting to put the fire out themselves. 

Keep your home and your family safe this holiday season by following these safety tips:

  • Check to see if your smoke alarms are working by pressing the test button.
  • Keep an eye on your food! Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop. Do not leave home with a turkey cooking in your oven.
  • Make sure your stovetop is free of any potentially flammable objects (towels, paper, cardboard, etc.).
  • Keep children under age 5 away from the stove.
  • Be sure electric cords from kitchen appliances (such as coffee makers, plate warmers, mixers, etc.) are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of children.

SERVPRO of Elk Grove / E. Schaumburg / Itasca / Roselle is ready 24/7, even on holidays, to respond to any emergency disaster. If your home has suffered from fire damage, call us! (847) 593-3055

Deep-seated Smoke Odor and Soot Are No Match For SERVPRO

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

After a fire, any restoration company can clean up the visible damage. It takes an experienced and properly resourced restoration company to truly make it "Like it never even happened."

Smoke odor is difficult to remove and will seep deep into interior walls, linens, carpets, etc. In addition, any remaining soot can be hard to spot. SERVPRO's technicians will take every extra step necessary to thoroughly deep clean your property and leave no trace of odor or soot.

For any personal items such as clothing, toys, and furniture, SERVPRO will safely pack away and store your items to be deep-cleaned. As for your property, we have the equipment, resources, and training needed to properly treat every square inch of affected area. With the use of safe cleaning chemicals, air scrubbers, and ozone machines, SERVPRO will ensure the air in your property is thoroughly cleaned and freshened.

Check out testimonials from our customers and examples of previous fire jobs we've done. You can rely on SERVPRO to give your fire-damaged property the proper treatment it needs!

Make the Most of SERVPRO's Fire Damage Restoration Services

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Our technicians create an action plan to tackle your fire damage disaster. Contact us right away to start the process.

Experiencing fire damage in your property can be devastating, leaving you displaced and wondering what to do next. Regardless of the type of fire you experience in your home, it often accompanies water, carpet, upholstery, and content damages that make it impossible to tackle repairs on your own. However, with qualified professionals on your side, things become much easier. 

SERVPRO is a preferred restoration provider for most major insurance companies. We have several years of experience returning hundreds of homes to a quality preloss condition and providing customers with stress-free disaster recovery services. It is our job to provide you with fast, efficient restoration services that exceed your expectations.  

After you have a fire in your home, you will certainly want to recover as quickly as possible. That is why we respond to your call immediately and begin providing you with the restoration services required to make your house livable again. All of SERVPRO’s technicians are IICRC-certified, taking advanced in-house training and following specific guidelines set by the EPA to ensure proper cleaning and restoration.  

SERVPRO also specializes in a wide variety of restoration services, making it possible for us to tackle any situation that may occur. We have restoration methods designed to address smoke damage and odor removal after a fire, as well as services that target specific areas of your property, including structural, content, and personal belongings. All of our services provide you with fast, effective results, working towards reducing your losses and returning your home’s atmosphere to normal ASAP. 

SERVPRO of Elk Grove / E. Schaumburg / Itasca / Roselle has an entire Green Fleet stocked and ready to deploy. Our qualified professionals stand ready 24/7 to address emergency situations effectively. Call today at (847) 593-3055.

Living Room Fire and Smoke Damage Cleanup

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Overloaded power sockets can start an electrical fire in the living room and cause considerable fire and smoke damage.

Electricity is one of the best conveniences of modern life. It allows us to recharge our phones, power the television/radio/microwave, and generate heat in our homes. However, overloaded power sockets can start an electrical fire in the living room and cause considerable fire and smoke damage.

When this occurs, it is important to have a restoration company within reach to reverse the damage. As an experienced fire damage restoration company, SERVPRO can arrive promptly to begin restoring your property. Following IICRC recommendations, our technicians can treat the smoke damaged contents and restore your living room, “Like it never even happened.”

Soot is one of the most stubborn effects of fire damage and smoke damage. It is oily and easily stains draperies, carpets, and other living room textiles. As such, we have to remove it before we attempt to clean up or deodorize any item.

The cleaning process is designed to extract soils, soot, and debris from various surfaces. During this process, our technicians use four primary cleaning actions. These are chemical action, mechanical action, lubrication, and suspension & dispersion.

In most cases, SERVPRO experts have to neutralize smoke odor that comes with smoke and fire damage. This smell can stick to your clothing, carpets, upholstered furniture, and draperies, and become a nuisance in the living room. We have various chemicals that can break up smoke molecules to get rid of these odors.

The choice of counteractant depends on the type of material that sustained smoke damage. Some situations may call for an ozone treatment in the deodorization process. If this is done in the house, we have to put the items under a tent while our experts operate an ozone generator (as a general rule of thumb).

If the fire damage extended to the walls, we have special cleanup procedures to restore them to their normal conditions. However, the exact approach depends on the nature of the wall: whether it is paneling or wood, painted, finished or unfinished, etc. The most effective cleaning method considers the type of surface, type of smoke, and whether the surface is dry cleanable or wet cleanable.

If your living room sustains fire damage, you need a reliable, responsible, and experienced restoration company to remediate your property. SERVPRO is a trusted, locally based restoration company that can reverse the fire damage on your living room items quickly and efficiently. Call us today at (847) 593-3055.

Developing a Plan of Action for Fire Restoration

7/6/2018 (Permalink)

Restoring homes after fire damage is a SERVPRO specialty.

While most fires are far less damaging than many people believe, the first sight of a fire-damaged home can still be overwhelming for most residents. A professional restoration service can clean the majority of the damage and keep the costs of replacement to a minimum. 

Restoring homes after fire damage is a SERVPRO specialty. We have decades of experience in Illinois and a highly trained response team that can analyze surface types and work with the fire department to determine other factors after a fire that help us determine a cleanup plan specific for each customer. 

  • Surface Type – Non-porous surfaces (vinyl wall coverings and glossy, enamel paint for example) are much simpler to clean than porous surfaces (i.e. wallpaper and flat, latex paint). Porous surfaces are penetrated much easier by smoke odors and particulate residue, so they require more intensive cleaning products and devices to agitate them and release the particles.
  • Natural fibers (cotton and wool clothing) attract less residue than synthetic fibers (carpets) but are harder to clean than synthetics.
  • Surface Age – Over time, paint deteriorates and becomes more porous. It is also true for carpets and clothing, regardless of the fiber content. 
  • Heat Level – The higher the temperature, the faster paint breaks down and furniture finishes melt and ‘bubble.' Surfaces warp and expand more the hotter a fire burn which allows particulates and odors to penetrate deeper. 
  • Moisture Level – A high moisture level combined with high temperatures cause tile and vinyl to yellow and create permanent stains in other structural and personal property. The most common sources of moisture in this situation comes from home sprinklers and water used by firefighters. 
  • Type of Material – Burnt natural materials (wood, paper, and cotton fabric) leave a dry, powdery residue which is easier to remove than the wet, smeary residue left behind by burnt synthetic materials. 
  • Temperature Changes – Some residues increasingly damage surfaces as they cool. They form a film which is harder to remove and may even cause enough permanent damage to warrant disposal of the building material or personal property item. 

Restoring your home after a fire can be expensive and time-consuming. The agency you hire must have the experience and patience to walk you through the process. SERVPRO of Elk Grove / E. Schaumburg / Itasca / Roselle is here to help. Call us today at (847) 593-3055.    

The Most Comprehensive Smoke & Soot Cleanup Service Available

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

Our IICRC-certified technicians are thoroughly equipped and trained to effectively clean your property from smoke and soot.

Smoke and soot damage can be very invasive and hard to get rid of. While initial fire damage cleanup may make things appear clean, any and every nook and cranny of your property and belongings could be affected, causing hidden odor and damage. Fortunately, our IICRC-certified technicians have the expertise and experience necessary to inspect and accurately assess the situation to develop an effective plan of action.

Every fire damage situation looks different; in fact, there are two different types of smoke: wet and dry. As a result, there are also different types of soot residue. Before we begin our work, we can test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. From there, we will put a proper plan into place to make sure your fire-damaged property is taken care of thoroughly, efficiently, and safely.

Our equipment and specialized cleaning chemicals ensure quality results. For any kind of surface or material, including metal, stone, brick, clothing, curtains, carpets, painted surfaces, etc., we have what is needed to properly take care of your smoke and soot-affect property and belongings.

Don't just take our word for it; check out testimonials from these satisfied clients!

SERVPRO of Elk Grove / E. Schaumburg / Itasca / Roselle is available 24/7 to take care of you. Call us today at (847)593-3055 for your fire damage needs!

We Can Deodorize Your Apartment "Like It Never Even Happened"

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

After the devastation of fire damage, SERVPRO aims to make it “Like it never even happened.” This involves demolition and reconstruction, as well as water damage mitigation from fire fighting efforts. However, we specifically pride ourselves on our deodorization process.

Our clients are often surprised and delighted by our ability to completely remove any trace of smell. Property managers who have dealt with multiple fires in the past will tell us that we are the only ones who can actually make the property completely odor-free.

The trick is that we do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; we seek out the sources of the odor and remove them completely. In addition to our quick response time and state-of-the-art equipment and resources, our thoroughness and willingness to go the extra mile truly sets us apart from the rest.

The aftermath of a fire can be overwhelming and stressful, but SERVPRO is always available to help you in your time of need. Call today!

What Happens to Your Belongings after a Fire?

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

As if the stress of dealing with fire damage to your property wasn’t enough, there is also the question of what happens to your belongings. You may lose hope and believe that everything needs to be tossed and replaced. Well, not necessarily. SERVPRO’s mitigation and restoration services also extend to your belongings. Our extensive and thorough content cleaning process will ensure that your belongings are treated with the utmost care.

  • We will complete an accurate room-by-room inventory and ensure everything is property accounted for. This includes photo documentation and bar coding items, suitable for filing insurance claims forms, alleviating you of this often stressful and time consuming process.
  • If needed, your contents can be relocated for cleaning, deodorization, and storage while structural repairs are being completed. A supervised moving crew will carefully pack and move the entire contents of your home or office.
  • Any contents which are deemed restorable will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, area rugs, draperies, upholstery, and more. For any fabric material, our professionals will carefully inspect and test all fabrics to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate.

If your property has been devastated by fire damage, rely on SERVPRO to properly take care of your needs. Call today!