Recent Fire Damage Posts

Immediate Service: Day or Night!

7/24/2022 (Permalink)

Immediate Service: Day or Night!

SERVPRO of Germantown / Collierville provides 24-hour emergency service and dedicates being faster to any-sized disaster! We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Residential Services

Whether your home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us. Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's no convenient time for fire or water damage to strike your commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So, when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, we have the training and expertise to respond with trained technicians to get your property back to business.

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

SERVPRO Helps Prevent Fire in Your Home with Dryer Vent Cleaning

7/17/2022 (Permalink)

 House fires affect millions of people every year at the cost of over $500 Million. Smoke detectors have proved their value, saving lives and homes from total loss. Most house fires start in the kitchen, but a significant number still occur in a place most forget about once the item is installed, the dryer vent. 

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 2,900 dryer fires are reported each year. These fires lead to a staggering national average of 35 million dollars in property damage, 100 injuries, and five fatalities annually. 

PSA: Vent cleaning service may reduce your clothes dryer's workload while lowering energy usage!

A dryer inside the house or apartment uses a metal exhaust pipe (galvanized iron or steel usually) to vent hot air outside the home. The zinc-coated material is designed to handle the highest dryer settings and more but not open flames from burning built-up lint. Since this is an exhaust pipe and smoke seeks the most comfortable access, a vent fire goes undetected by the smoke detectors much longer than a fire anywhere else in the house. 

If your dryer is in the garage or under a carport, the chance for a significant fire is reduced. The flexible vent tube may not run under the house, but it is still at risk. The build-up of lint can still ignite, destroying your dryer and the washer next to it. As the flexible plastic pipe melts, the burning material quickly ignites drywall and other building materials. 

Our technicians can eliminate this threat with an inspection. We can attach an air mover that introduces high-velocity airflow into your vent for just a few minutes. If the build-up has caked against the sides of the pipe, we'll then use a brush with a telescoping handle to scrape the sides and then blore-attach the air mover to the lint outside your home. We detach it from the dryer for a flexible conduit and clean it outside using either an air mover or garden hose to wash it out. 

The cost for vent cleaning is minor compared to the possible cost(s) to restore your home fire-damaged home. Aren’t convinced? There are still some things you, as a property owner, can do to keep your home as safe as possible.

What You Can Do

Clean the lint filter.

A clogged lint filter is the leading contributing factor in residential dryer fires. The U.S. Fire Administration reports that failing to clean out the lint trap causes 34 percent of reported dryer fires every year.

Each time you unload the dryer, clean out the lint trap. Before putting the next load of clothes in, double-check that the lint trap is completely clean to lower your risk of fire. A clean lint filter allows the dryer to run more efficiently, too, thus drying your clothes faster while also preventing your machine from overheating.

Inspect the ducts regularly.

Blocked ducts frequently cause dryer fires. To ensure your dryer is running correctly, check your ducts about once a month to ensure there are no blockages. Some telltale signs that your ducts are clogged include the following indicators:

  • Your laundry is taking longer to dry
  • Exhaust air is failing to exit the vent
  • You suspect that your machine is overheating

Sometimes, a blockage occurs because the venting system itself is damaged. Other times, blockages may be occurring because of an accumulation of lint, animals building nests in the vents, or snow building up over the outside vents.

If you notice any blockages, clean them out before using your dryer again. To clean your ducts, disconnect them, remove the blockages and reconnect them. If you notice any damage to the venting system, call in a professional to repair the issue.

Replace outdated ducts.

Older ducts made of plastic or foil are prone to sagging. These accordion-style ducts can easily trap lint in hard-to-reach spaces, increasing your risk of fire. To keep your home safe, replace your older models with new ducts designed with heavy-duty metal.

DON'T overload the dryer.

Stuffing too many wet clothes or bedding into a dryer can cause an excess of lint to accumulate. Since lint build up reduces a dryer's ability to ventilate, the machine may quickly overheat and cause a fire to break out. Read your owner's manual to determine your machine's maximum hold to ensure you aren't overstuffing it.

DON'T leave the dryer running unattended.

Never go to sleep or leave the house while your dryer is running. If a fire breaks out, your ability to extinguish it or call emergency services right away can make all the difference between damage to your laundry room and complete loss of your home.

DON'T dry clothes without the lint filter.

A dryer without its lint trap is an accident waiting to happen. The filter protects the dryer's inner workings from collecting lint. Without this defensive shield, a buildup of lint in the ducts can easily lead to a dryer vent fire.

To lower your risk, always use your dryer with the lint trap in place. If your existing lint trap is worn or develops any holes, replace it immediately at your nearest home supplies store.

When it comes to disasters, one could argue that none are worse than a residential fire. Not only do the flames cause inherent danger as they destroy your family's home and or business, but there is also the after effect concerning the removal of debris, soot, the smell of smoke, compromised structure, and additional damages that have been inflicted on your property. For most homeowners, fire is an incredible event. However, they DO happen and for a variety of reasons.

Top 10 Other Causes of Fires

  1. Home heat fires: Your furnace needs regular inspection(s) and ensures combustibles are not near any portable heaters.

  2. Cooking fires: Unattended kitchens, splattering grease, and combustibles near the source of heat are very common fire starters.

  3. Smoking: Always ensure that you properly and completely extinguish the cigarette if you smoke in your home.

  4. Electrical fires: Look out for frayed cords, overloaded plug outlets, and the overuse of extension cords.

  5. Children: Keep lighters and matches away from children to stifle any curiosity they could have about what happens when various items catch fire.

  6. Candles: Candles may smell nice, but if left unattended, they could cause a significant issue.

  7. Flammable items: Do not keep adhesives, paint, or cleaning agents close to sources of heat.

  8. Faulty wiring: A significant safety hazard is inadequate wiring (MOSTLY prevalent in older apartments and homes).

  9. Grills: Never cook on the grill under an awning or a covered porch. Give yourself ample space away from your home and automobiles.

  10. Holiday décor: Be mindful of how close your Christmas tree is to your fireplace and always safely hang another décor.

Despite our best efforts as homeowners, accidents still happen. If your home has been damaged by fire and smoke, call SERVPRO of Germantown / Collierville. Our team of highly trained technicians can help get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. With the proper training, innovative equipment, and helpful guidance, our expert technicians will be with you every step of the way to get you back on your feet.

We will arrive at your home quickly to mitigate the damages, secure your property and start the emergency cleaning process to items that are of priority. While we are on the site, your property will be inspected, assessments of damage(s) will be documented, and preliminary estimates made to give you a comprehensive restoration plan of action. 

What is Wet and Dry Smoke?

4/24/2022 (Permalink)

kitchen filled with soot, old yellow walls covered in soot damage Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call SERVPRO of Germantown / Collierville today at (901) 755-3705

Did you know different types of smoke damages emerge based on the type of material burning? These smoke types determine the measures professional fire restoration technicians take when cleaning up after a fire. We break down the types.

Wet and Dry 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, a professional like SERVPRO of Germantown / Collierville tests the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pre-testing. 

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, extremely pungent odor. 

It's important to survey all areas of a property because every part has the potential for damages. Smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure, and smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action to restore your property to its preloss condition. 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 Germantown / Collierville today at (901) 755-3705.

What To Do After a House Fire

4/24/2022 (Permalink)

two dryers covered in soot, sitting next to one another, with caution tape on them SERVPRO of Germantown / Collierville Has the Experience, Tools, and Techniques to Eliminate Soot Residues Remaining in Your Home After a House Fire

Your Memphis home was likely not built to stop house fires before they spread to other areas of the house. In general, most of the materials used for the construction of your home are fire kindling, able to catch fire quickly and spread throughout the property. On top of that, the popular open-concept floor plan lays out the perfect environment for fires to spread from room to room more easily than other floor plans.

While flames do much damage on their own, other substantial effects of a fire are smoke and soot damages. 

Soot Damages

Soot is most concentrated where it burned longest, but matted debris and film from the combustion leave a dark or black residue on surfaces, furniture, flooring, and other materials, too. Removing this residue requires multiple approaches. For wall surfaces, scrubbing with wet and dry sponges can often remove the bulk of the film. Confined spaces like ductwork require high powered vacuums. 

Smoke Damages

Smoke damage often presents itself in the form of a harsh odor lingering in fabrics, carpeting, and open spaces throughout affected areas of your house. Removal of this odor typically requires thermal fogging, a process that releases an unscented chemical compound into the environment and contents of the room to break apart odor molecules and leave no discernible scent behind. 

The Right Solution

Unfortunately, this causes a bigger mess than most people are equipped to handle. Fire damage proves to be challenging to remove without the right equipment. We always suggest hiring a professional fire cleanup and restoration expert. We may be biased, but SERVPRO is just that. We have the experience, tools, and techniques to help you through widespread fire, smoke, and soot damages. 

When you face the effects after a house fire, SERVPRO of Germantown / Collierville responds quickly to get your home back to preloss conditions, as soon as possible. 

The 3 Types of Smart Smoke Detectors

4/17/2022 (Permalink)

graphic of smart smoke alarm, green background, square animated wifi fire alarm orange smoke, servpro logo in top left corner Although classic smoke detectors haven't changed much over the past few decades, they have seen a few minor upgrades.

The 3 Types of Smart Smoke Detectors

Wait…there’s more than one type of smoke detector? Yes! That old smoke detector you grew up with is outdated. Although classic smoke detectors haven't changed much over the past few decades, they have seen a few minor upgrades.

Today's homeowner often opts for smart devices for added convenience. Perhaps it's time to consider adding your smoke alarm to the list of smart devices for your home. Take a look at three primary smart smoke detector options before choosing to upgrade:

1. Smart Battery

This is the most basic type of fire safety smart device available. Smart batteries have a short list of responsibilities, only notifying you, via push notifications, when your alarm goes off or when the batteries are about to expire. Batteries typically last for about five years, so you likely won't be receiving that type of alert all too often.

2. Smart Smoke Detector

The classic smart smoke alarm is a natural step up from the smart batteries. The primary difference between these alarms and classic detectors is that smart detectors connect to your internet. This allows you to receive notifications when the batteries are low or when the alarm goes off. This device also gives you the capability to silence incoming alarms from your mobile device.

3. Listener

If you're reluctant to replace your entire alarm, you can always opt for a listening device. These gadgets are intended to listen for alarms and alert you when one goes off. They're ideal if you have several alarms in your house and only want to install one device per floor, as opposed to replacing the smoke detectors in every room.

Replacing your smoke alarm with a smart device can help you stay vigilant. You can have the added ease of being able to deactivate alarms using your smartphone, and you won't have to put up with annoying low battery chirps. Contact fire remediation experts, like the local fire department, before you attempt to tamper with the alarms in your home.

Space Heater Safety and Fire Prevention Tips

2/3/2022 (Permalink)

space heater near Memphis, TN Stay safe when using a space heater and remember, all heaters need space.

Cold temperatures inevitably make us want to cozy up under a blanket and crank up the heat, but before you bring the space heater up from the basement to get extra toasty, consider these safety and fire prevention tips. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is the leading cause of all house fires. 

Space Heater Safety First! 

SERVPRO of Germantown/Collierville has compiled some space heater safety and fire prevention tips to help you stay warm, but most of all, to keep you and your home or office safe from fire damage. 

  • Keep 3 feet of distance between your space heater and anything that can burn, including people!
  • Never plug your space heater into a power strip; always plug it directly into the wall. 
  • Turn off and unplug the heater whenever you leave the room, especially when leaving for the day or going to bed. 
  • Always place your heater on a flat surface, away from foot traffic. 
  • Educate your family and coworkers about the dangers of space heaters.
  • Keep the heater away from wet areas. This includes bathrooms, basements, and even wet hands and materials. 

Buy the Right Heater 

  • Check to see if your heater has a seal marking that it’s been tested by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory
  • Purchase a space heater that is suitable for the size of the room you would like to heat. Use small heaters for small spaces, and large heaters only for big, open spaces. Using a small heater in a large space will cause the heater to overwork and reduce its lifespan.
  • Know your heater’s wattage. Higher wattage = higher energy output. Low wattage = less energy. 
  • Choose a heater with an automatic shut-off that engages if the heater is knocked over or overheats. 
  • Know about the different types of space heaters: oil or water-filled radiator heaters, fan-forced heaters, ceramic heaters, and infrared heaters. 


Using these space heater safety and fire prevention tips will help prevent fire damage in the home and workplace. If you have any questions about fire prevention or if your property experiences smoke or fire damage to your home, call your local professionals at SERVPRO of Germantown/Collierville for assistance. We’re available 24/7 at (901) 755-3705.

Fire Prevention Tips from SERVPRO

8/11/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damage resulting from a kitchen fire. Fire damage resulting from a kitchen fire.

Tips from SERVPRO of Germantown / Collierville Fire Crew

We asked for input from our fire crew at SERVPRO of Germantown / Collierville to highlight their favorite fire prevention tips to keep their children safe while they are out of school for the summer and spend more time at home. Here is the feedback we received based on their experience in the fire restoration industry:

“Do not cook anything on the stove because you may get distracted with your phone or TV and leave it unattended too long. “ - Marie

“Never use a metal bowl or aluminum foil in the microwave…some children are not aware of the damage this can cause.” – Kim

“Always turn off the exhaust fan in the bathroom….if it runs continuously, the motor can burn up and fall into the toilet and cause it to explode….true story.” – Dana

“Do not use the iron unsupervised.” – Shalitha

“Take batteries out of toys before storing in a hot location such as an attic.” – David

“Do not plug multiple electronics into a power strip…they increase the amount of power that runs from the outlet…it can overheat and cause an electrical fire.” – Kerry

 “Never play with lighters or matches, especially in the bedroom….a mattress can catch on fire easier than you may realize.” – Maria

“Keep fresh batteries in your smoke detectors….they can save a life.” - Jemarius

Thank you to our hard-working fire crew members who help restore homes for customers every day, then go home and take care of their own families. We are blessed with a family-oriented team that values the place they call home and the place you call home.

Pet Safety for the 4th of July

8/10/2021 (Permalink)

If you include pets on the 4th of July celebrations, incorporate safety measures to protect them from common accidents. Loud noises scare animals. Many pet owners say that their dogs or cats try to escape during a thunderstorm and often find the perfect hiding place. If the fear has developed into a full-blown phobia, the pet can injure itself, trying to flee quickly. Common noise phobias are effects of sounds from thunderstorms, firecrackers, or gunshots. Overall, animals are more sensitive to noise than humans.

Create a Safe Haven for Your Pet

If you are plan an outing for the holiday and keeping your pet at home alone, try these few tricks to make your pet feel safe:

  • Leave a fan blowing lightly or play music to relax your pet.

  • Shut windows to avoid loud noises and make a comfortable area for your pet like a closet or the pet's crate, be sure to include their favorite stuffed toy or soft blanket.

Additionally, pets left at home may become anxiety-ridden during a firework display and find a way to escape from the house. Make sure your pets wear a durable collar with up-to-date information on identification tags. Having your pet micro-chipped is another way to increase your pet's chances of reuniting with you should they become lost.

The 4th of July can be a safe and fun celebration for all members of your family. If there's an emergency, don't wait to have your pet treated; locate a 24-hour veterinary clinic if your family veterinarian is not available. For additional pet safety for the 4th of July, read these safety tips from Nationwide.

3 Ways to Remove Lint from a Dryer Exhaust

5/14/2021 (Permalink)

person is cleaning out a dryer exhaust Ensure you remove lint from your dryer exhaust.

Clothes dryers cause more than 15,000 fires every year, and up to 80 percent of these fires start due to clogged exhausts. The accumulation of lint in a dryer exhaust hose can increase the risk of a dryer fire. A homeowner can prevent a lint fire by cleaning the lint screen after every load, deep cleaning the filter every week or two, and clearing the exhaust hose several times a year. There're three practical ways that SERVPRO of Germantown / Collierville has found to clean out a dryer exhaust.

1. Use a Vacuum Attachment

If a vacuum has an attachment that fits inside an exhaust hose, it can be used as dryer cleaning equipment. Make sure that you can insert and extract the attachment without difficulty. It's important to clean every side of the hose. It may be easier to use a specialized cleaning rod.

2. Use a Vent Cleaning Rod

A vent cleaning rod is narrow and has a round brush at the end. Some rods are made for manual use, while others can be connected to a power drill. Feed the rod into the vent and rotate to clean. For the best results, you should extract, clean off, and re-insert the rod several times to remove the buildup that can cause a lint fire.

3. Hire a Cleaning Service

Some services specialize in cleaning dryer exhausts and have specialized equipment designed for this purpose. Hiring professionals will prevent a homeowner from moving a dryer or risk damaging the clamps that hold the exhaust hose.

These methods can help prevent a lint fire. If a dryer fire results in Germantown, Tennessee, or Collierville, Tennessee, contact SERVPRO of Germantown / Collierville at (901) 755-3705. Regularly cleaning a lint screen and taking measures to keep an exhaust vent clear can reduce the likelihood of a fire.

How to Tell When Your Dryer Vent Needs Cleaning

5/13/2021 (Permalink)

A clogged dryer vent Did you know a clogged dryer vent filled with lint causes house fires?

4 Steps to Prevent a Dryer Fire

If you own a home in Germantown, Tennessee, or Collierville, Tennessee, fire safety is something you should think about. You've probably installed smoke detectors and have an extinguisher handy; however, have you recently taken a look at the vent on your dryer? Every year, thousands of homes are damaged due to the occurrence of a lint fire. Luckily, it's easy to tell when it's time to clean your dryer vent. So, what should you look for to prevent a dryer fire? SERVPRO of Germantown / Collierville is here with some tips to help.

1. There's a Burning Odor

A good indication that the vent needs cleaning is a burning smell. If lint is clogging up the drum casing, exhaust tube, or trap, you could easily have a lint fire. When there's a burning odor coming from the dryer, turn it off and call a professional to service it.

2. Clothes and Dryer Are Both Hot

If the dryer is extremely warm when you touch the outside and your clothes feel hot when you remove them, it's probably a blocked vent. When the vent is blocked, the hot air can't escape from the dryer.

3. Clothes Are Taking Forever to Dry

With a blocked vent, clothes might take up to three times as long, as usual, to dry. When you put your clothes in for a regular cycle, you might find that they're still damp when you take them out of the dryer. If the vent is blocked, it won't allow moisture to be released from the dryer.

4. Your Dryer Hasn't Been Inspected for a While

A vent cleaning professional should take a look at your dryer at least once a year. While you can clean the vent by yourself, hiring a professional will ensure that the job is done right, and they'll have the right equipment to do a thorough cleaning and make sure the dryer in a safe condition for use.

The last thing you want is a lint fire in your home. By looking for the visible signs, you can prevent a house fire. Contact SERVPRO of Germantown / Collierville at (901) 755-3705 with additional questions.

5 Steps of the Fire Restoration Process

5/7/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO fire damage icon SERVPRO of Germantown / Collierville can restore your property after a fire. Call today!

When you think of fire restoration, you probably think of the results of fire damage cleanup, when everything that was destroyed gets rebuilt. However, before rebuilding, fire damage experts in Germantown, Tennessee, and Collierville, Tennessee, have to do cleanup and damage repair. There are several steps of mitigation that technicians have to work through to get to the final stage of restoration.

1. Assessment

Before technicians do anything, they have to see how bad the damage is. Therefore, the first thing they will do when they arrive is to assess the damage to your home. They know they will likely need to contend with fire, water, soot, and smoke damage.

2. Water Damage Repair

Firefighters usually have to use a lot of water to extinguish the flames. Unfortunately, this means your home probably has a lot of water damage. Water extraction will be needed, and the affected area will need drying.

3. Smoke and Soot Damage Repair

Smoke and soot get everywhere during a fire. Before the fire restoration process can occur, all of it must be removed out of every crack and crevice.

4. General Cleaning

After the significant issues have been tackled, there is probably some minor damage cleaning needed before rebuilding the structure begins. Any materials that are damaged or have sustained secondary damage must be repaired or removed. All surfaces must be disinfected to get rid of bacteria or other microbes.

5. Restoration

After cleaning, restoration specialists can begin to rebuild your home. Not only replacing the parts of the structure not salvageable but also ensure the rebuild matches the remaining structure so that the outcome looks "Like it never even happened."

Technicians have to do a lot of work to restore your home after a fire. Fire restoration is merely the final step of the process of making your home livable again. Contact SERVPRO of Germantown / Collierville for additional information.

Top 6 Fire Safety Tips for Children

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

fire safety image From these fire safety tips to save your children!

If the fire alarm went off in your home, would your children know what to do? Would kids see where the family could go for safety? Parents often forget that children are not intuitively aware of how to escape from the building during a home fire. Nor are children aware of how quickly a fire can spread. To help ensure kids' safety, SERVPRO of Germantown / Collierville has provided these safety tips.

Fire Safety Tips

1. Windows can be escape routes. Small children may not be able to open a window, but they can be taught to go to a window and wait for help.

2. Practice feeling the way out of the house. Check your local fire department if they provide classes on how to exit a house at night.

3. Find the ladder to escape from upstairs. Teach children where to find a fire escape ladder on the second floor and navigate the rungs.

4. Smoke detectors can be your friend. Explain the noise when the smoke detector goes off and lets children know what to do when they hear the sound.

5. Don't open doors and stay low. Children of all ages need to know not to open doors during a fire. Little ones should also understand that kids' safety can depend on crawling along the floor instead of standing up.

6. Once you get out of the building, stay out. Often children want to go back into the house for a favorite toy. To prevent this, explain the necessity of staying out of your home and gathering at a prearranged meeting place.

Teaching your children these six escape tips can make the difference in how the little one copes in a disaster scenario in Germantown, Tennessee, or Collierville, Tennessee. Practice can ensure the children are familiar with the potential situation and know what steps to take rather than standing and yelling for a parent. Kids' safety can be difficult to ensure, but you can help them understand how to find a safe way out of the building.