Recent Fire Damage Posts

Now what? | Fire in your Greenville, SC Home

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

House on Fire If you are dealing with a house fire, call SERVPRO of East Greenville County immediately! We're Here to Help! 864-292-3495

When a fire occurs inside your home or at your commercial business, our team is here to assist.  We have a variety of services to meet your needs.  There is no need for you to stress.  In the event of a fire, give our office a call.  We will take your information, schedule a time for of our crew members to come out, then plan a time for our crew to begin.  There are 2 different types of fire services we provide:

  • Light Cleaning:  This kind of cleaning only occurs when a fire is limited to a very small space (1-2 rooms).  Our team will arrive and clean items in place and walls with visible smoke damage.  How do we determine if there is smoke damage?  We us a specialized sponge that is designed to pull smoke out of the wall.  If nothing comes off the walls in this room, there is no need to clean.
  • Heavy Cleaning:  This is the typical route we chose to take when cleaning after a fire.  This method ensures items and the structure have been rid of smoke.  If smoke is left, damages will persist.  When performing a general clean, all items heavily affected by the fire will be taken to our warehouse for cleaning.  Any small items that can be cleaned in place will be.  The structure will be cleaned from top to bottom as well.

If you encounter a fire in your home, give a call to the best team in town - SERVPRO of East Greenville County.  We'll help make it, "Like it never even happened."

Did You Know?

4/23/2021 (Permalink)

Black cellphone connected to a black charging cord. The screen has a green battery to indicate it is charging. Laying a charging phone under a pillow or sheet can trap heat inside the cord.

When do you typically charge your phone? When you’re at work? While you’re asleep?

The typical individual charges their phone at night while they sleep. Various studies performed over the last two years have revealed this practice is dangerous and leaves you and your teenagers at risk! Here is the biggest risk factor: Leaving them in the bed while you sleep!

  • The chords we use to charge our phones get hot. If they’re laying on the sheets or under a blanket/comforter, they’re not expelling the heat as they're designed to do. Should the device or cord get too hot, the sheets/blanket/comforter may burn. Devices should be left on nightstands or dressers or shelves on top of a non-flammable object. 

When charging your devices, be sure to use the product as the seller intended they be used. Read the guidelines in the packaging. This quick tip can keep you and your household safe!

Let's Get Out

3/10/2021 (Permalink)

Trees and bushes that are on fire. Any time that you light a fire, make sure there is always 10ft between the fire and trees or structures.

Spring Time!!! Can you feel it?! Maybe not? That’s okay. The first official day of spring is just around the corner. Can you believe it? 

 With Spring approaching, we all want to get outside, enjoy the warmer weather and spend time with people we care about. This means bonfires, s’mores, or movies on the lawn. All of those sound GREAT! Before lighting a fire or starting that movie, here are two things to check when entertaining outside:

  1. Ensure the fire is 10 ft. from all trees and structures. Some residential fires begin because an open flame is lit too close to a flammable substance. This includes your grill! Take a few minutes and make sure there is nothing flammable close to the flame. It will save you a huge headache!
  2. When using drop cables outside, check them to make sure wire is not exposed. An exposed wire produces heat, thus producing a flame once a flammable substance is hot enough. Also, as the sun goes down, dew set. If you have an exposed wire in the dew, the wire could spark, creating a fire. Check out these remedies to fix an exposed area on a drop chord.

Double checking these two things can drastically decrease the odds of a fire starting at your home. If you do have fire damage, give our office a call. Our team will assist you however we can!

How to Escape a Fire in Your Greenville Home

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

White house with flames coming out of a window and roof. No one expects a fire to happen, but are you prepared if it does?

How to Escape a Fire in Your Greenville Home

No one anticipates a Fire breaking out in their home, yet in a matter of minutes, our safe place called home becomes a danger zone.

Not only are lives at risk, but home furnishings – like carpets, upholstery, and furniture – become like matches that can ignite or fuel the flames. Firefighters say that the window of time to safely escape a burning home is around 5 minutes, so each one of those minutes counts. Do you have a plan?

  1. How will you get out? It is a good rule of thumb to have at least two ways out of every room. It can be a door or a window, but ensure that both of those are accessible at any time.
  2. Is everyone accounted for? Children or elderly family members can be more at risk, so designate someone who can help get them out quickly and safely.
  3. Where will you go? Designate a place for everyone to meet once they are out of the house. Make sure that it is a safe enough distance from the house itself.
  4. Put the Plan in Practice! It is a good idea to practice your plan annually. This allows everyone to keep the plan in mind. Practice it during the day and at night.

Our team at SERVPRO of East Greenville specializes in Fire restoration and cleanup. If you are to experience a house fire, give us a call at 864-292-3495. We are here to support you!

Beat The Cold

1/2/2021 (Permalink)

Man wearing a blue winter coat looking out a window and rubbing his hands together to keep warm. Staying warm this winter doesn't have to be hard, but doing it safely is important.

Happy New Year!

We are so excited to see what 2021 has in store! That being said, what kind of resolutions do you have? We’d love to hear them! 

For this platform, our resolution is to provide more information to our audience so they can prevent water losses, fire losses, sewage losses, and so many more. Our goal as a Franchise is to SERV our community as best we can. On that note, here are a few tips to beat the cold and prevent a fire in your home.

  1. Never use a stove to heat your home.
  2. Make sure your space heater has an automatic shut-off.
  3. Use a metal or tempered glass screen when using your fireplace. 

While these tips may seem simple, they’re pivotal to protecting your home from heating fires. Additionally, we recommend you change your return filter on a more regular basis during the winter and check your fire alarm on a regular basis. Winter time is the prime time of year house fires occur. Check back into our blog throughout the year to learn more tips and tricks!


Fire Safety For a New Year | SERVPRO of East Greenville County, SC

12/31/2020 (Permalink)

Firefighters fighting flame The winter months in upstate South Carolina typically see more residential fires than any other time of the year. Last year in South Carolina.

The winter months in upstate South Carolina typically see more residential fires than any other time of the year. Last year in South Carolina, there were 85 fatal fires resulting in 100 deaths, and several of those fatalities were “heating related,” according to the State Fire Marshal’s office.

Most heating related fires are preventable.  Please follow these safety tips to help reduce those risks:

  • Heating pads and electric blankets pose fire dangers – especially if they are older than 10 years old. Do not allow anything on top of either when in use – this includes pets or blankets.  Never fold electric blankets or use while sleeping.
  • Take great care when using candles during the winter months. They are an open flame.  If oxygen is in the home, never use candles.  Make sure to use sturdy candle holders and extinguish them when leaving a room or going to sleep.
  • Have flashlights ready in case of a power outage.
  • Do not use the kitchen oven to heat the home. It is not designed for that purpose, and the heating element may fail causing a fire.
  • Portable generators are commonly used in the winter as a result of storm-induced power outages. Carbon monoxide fumes are odorless and deadly, so follow manufacturer’s instructions to prevent death from carbon monoxide.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container.
  • Chimneys should be cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional each year. If not, it can become filled with layers of creosote which are highly flammable.

Safety guidelines recommend that smoke alarms should be installed on every level of a home and inside and outside sleeping areas.  This should be done at least once every 10 years.

Finally, if there is a fire emergency in your home, dial 9-1-1 immediately, and stay outside. Never reenter a burning building to retrieve personal things.  Items can be replaced. You cannot.

If you've endured a fire and need emergency services, call SERVPRO of East Greenville County today at 864-292-3495!

Be Prepared. Every Second Counts! - Part 5 | SERVPRO of East Greenville County

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Restoration Is Possible Our team at SERVPRO of East Greenville County can serve you through your Fire mitigation needs. Give us a call today!

Check your dryer

This time of year, everyone loves warm clothes! 

Did you know, thousands of house fires are caused by dryers every year and account for 90% of all appliance fires.  The most common reason dryer fires occur is because there is a failure to clean the dryer vent as highly flammable lint can build up over time and may be ignited by the heat of a dryer.  The dryer vent should be cleaned once a year with a special vent cleaning brush and the lint trap should be cleaned between every load.  Make sure the outside dryer exhaust vent allows hot air to escape.

In addition to these helpful fire prevention tips, remember that SERVPRO of Northeast Greenville County is here to help with our 24-hour emergency services.  We can respond immediately to your disaster and have the expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs no matter how big or small.  Give us a call at 864-292-3495 if we can help!


My Handyman –

Smoke Detector Placement and Safety for your Greenville, SC Home

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke Detector Installing smoke detectors makes you feel safe from a possible fire. Stay aware of their placement and maintenance!

You’re going to need more than one and there are different types, so read this.

Installing smoke detectors makes your feel safe from a potential fire.  Staying aware of their correct placement and maintenance will ensure that no smoke goes unnoticed in your home.

Where to Place the Smoke Detector: Most fatal fires occur late in the early morning or night, while you’re sleeping.  For this reason, the National Fire Protection Association recommends placing smoke detectors in every occupied bedroom, as well as on every floor, including the basement.

In the kitchen, place the smoke detector away from the stove to prevent a false alarm.  If someone in your home is hard of hearing or deaf, consider a detector that also combines flashing lights with the alarm sound.  If you are installing your detector on a wall and not the ceiling, remember to place it 4-12” away from the ceiling.

Means of Detection:  There are three kinds of smoke detectors: ionization, photoelectric, and a combination of the two, called a dual sensor.  Ionization detectors quickly note sudden combustible fires without high flames, like a grease fire.  Photoelectric ones are better at picking up a slow-building, smoldering fire, like one resulting from a burning candle.  For the best safety, go with the dual sensor.  Since you don’t know what type of spark you may have, it is better to have both sensors to allow you the early-warning time to react and take action. 

Being vigilant every second of the day will eventually take its toll, so it is recommended that you replace old detectors every 10 years.

If you have fire damages and are feeling overwhelmed, we are here to help.  You can call us immediately to begin the restoration process at 864-292-3495!

Fire Extinguisher Tips for your Greenville County Home

9/29/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguisher Call SERVPRO of East Greenville County if you need fire damage cleanup! 864-292-3495

A portable fire extinguisher can save your life and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives.  Because fire spreads and grows rapidly, the number one priority for residents is to get out quickly and safely.  Remember to check your fire extinguisher monthly and keep these factors in mind when doing so:

  • Pressure Level – Many extinguishers have gauges that show when the pressure is too high or too low
  • Working parts – Make sure the can, hoses, and nozzles aren’t damaged, rusted, or dented
  • Easy access in an emergency – make sure nothing is blocking or limiting the access to your extinguisher
  • Cleanliness- remove any oil, dust, or grease that might be on the outside of the fire extinguisher
  • Guidelines and instructions – some extinguishers need to be shaken monthly, others need to be pressure tested every few years

When using a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS.

  • Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
  • Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the lever evenly and slowly.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

If you've experienced a fire in your home, call SERVPRO of East Greenville County for your restoration needs!  We're here to help!

Be Prepared. Every Second Counts! - Part 4 | SERVPRO of East Greenville County

9/16/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Restoration Is Possible Our team at SERVPRO of East Greenville County can serve you through your Fire mitigation needs. Give us a call today!

Reduce your risk of a kitchen fire

Kitchen fires are responsible for most home fires throughout the year.  The most usual starting point for kitchen fires is the stove, not the oven.  Always remain in the kitchen when grilling, frying or cooking on your stovetop to reduce your risk of a fire.  Flammable materials such as a paper towel dispenser or a dish towel should be kept away from the area.  Make sure there is a fire extinguisher available to you in the kitchen that is not too close to the stove or oven.  The best way to suffocate a flame is with a lid, not water.


My Handyman –

Be Prepared. Every Second Counts! - Part 3 | SERVPRO of East Greenville County

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Restoration Is Possible Our team at SERVPRO of East Greenville County can serve you through your Fire mitigation needs. Give us a call today!

Practice fire safety while smoking

The leading cause of fatal fires is smoking and they occur throughout the year.  Smoking accounts for more than 20% of home fire deaths.  If you smoke, do it outdoors if possible.  Always make sure cigarettes are completely extinguished every time by dipping them in water or a bucket of water.  Never smoke in bed because mattresses and bedding can catch on fire easily, especially if you’ve fallen asleep.  Never mix smoking with medical oxygen as it is highly flammable.

Don’t take chances, take precautions. Stay tuned for this blog series to learn how you can proactively protect your home and loved ones from fires. Every second counts! 

Have Fire Damage? 

Call Today – (864) 292-3495


My Handyman –

Be Prepared. Every Second Counts! - Part 2 | SERVPRO of East Greenville County

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Be careful when grilling outdoors

The number one leading cause of house fires is cooking.  This danger only increases when you move cooking outdoors.  For safe grilling this summer, follow these fire tips:

  • Always use your grill outdoors and keep it at least 10’ away from any structures.  Make sure there are no overhanging branches in the area.  The National Fire Protection Association reports that 27% of home fires are started by an outdoor grill on a patio or courtyard and 29% started on an exterior balcony or open porch.
  • Use charcoal starter fluid carefully.  If the fire starts to go down, do not add more starter fluid.
  • Have baking soda, a fire extinguisher or a bucket of sand handy if you need to put out a fire.  Under no circumstances are you to add water to a grease fire.

Don’t take chances, take precautions. Stay tuned for this blog series to learn how you can proactively protect your home and loved ones from fires. Every second counts! 

Have Fire Damage? 

Call Today – (864) 292-3495


My Handyman –

Be Prepared. Every Second Counts! - Part 1 | SERVPRO of East Greenville County

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Restoration Is Possible Our team at SERVPRO of East Greenville County can serve you through your Fire mitigation needs. Give us a call today!

Did you know that a house fire can become life-threatening in just two minutes?  In five minutes, a home can be completely engulfed in flames.  House fires are the most common disaster in the United States with more than 88,000 fires occurring each year.  Most house fires occur between the late fall and winter, especially December and January, when furnaces, space heaters and fireplaces introduce a greater risk in the home.  Still, many fires occur during the summer months due to fireworks and outdoor grilling so it’s imperative to know and understand common causes of house fires and how to prevent them.

Make sure your smoke detectors work

There should be at least one smoke detector on every floor of your house in an area that can be heard from every room.  Smoke detectors should be inspected regularly to make sure they are in good working order.  Have an escape plan ready that your entire household can practice in case of an emergency.  There should be two possible exits from every room and these paths should be free and clear of as much clutter as possible.

Don’t take chances, take precautions. Stay tuned for this blog series to learn how you can proactively protect your home and loved ones from fires. Every second counts! 

Be on the lookout for more fire safety tips throughout the year! 

Have Fire Damage? 

Call Today – (864) 292-3495


My Handyman –

Lingering Dangers Can Cause Damages | SERVPRO of East Greenville County

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke Damage Take a Breath. Our team can make it "Like it never even happened." Give us a call: 864-292-3495

Ridding your home of its smoky odor is necessary after a fire. Our blog “Why Is Fire Restoration Important” explains how damaging soot and smoke odor can be. To dive deeper into the restoration process here are the steps professionals use remove odors:

  • Remove the source of the odor, as possible, including unsalvageable debris that contributes to odor generation and re-contamination of cleaned and deodorized areas.
  • Clean salvageable surfaces and items to physically remove odor-causing residue.
  • Chase remaining odor with an odor counteractant. In the case of smoke, create a deodorizing fog or gas that seeks out and combines with odor-causing substances.
  • Seal salvageable surfaces that are inaccessible or slightly scorched, not only for aesthetic purposes, but primarily to encapsulate odor and prevent progressive re-contamination.

Understanding the effects of a fire can help homeowners evaluate the damage to their home. By learning more about residue clean-up and deodorization after a fire, you can minimize the need for costly repair. Fire and smoke restoration experts can help you return your home and furnishings to a “preloss” condition. Our team of experts at SERVPRO of East Greenville are qualified to assist you with any residue clean-up and deodorization. Give us a call are 864.292.3495 today so we can help you!

Precautions to Take to Grill Safe | SERVPRO of East Greenville County

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

Take Precautions During Grilling Season "Between '2013-2017, grills, hibachis or barbecues were involved in an average of 10,200 home fires per year.'"

Barbecue Season is Here!

Summer time is a season to unwind with friends and family, or relax by the pool. Arguably, the most common reason people gather during the summer is to enjoy a barbecue or home cooked meal. No matter if you use a gas grill, charcoal grill, hibachi, crock-pot, or stove top, people love to gather for great food and time with those closest to them. 

During the summer month, as we see an increase in gatherings, there is also a corresponding increase in fires. According to Marty Ahrens in his Home Grill Fires study for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between “2013-2017, grills, hibachis or barbecues were involved in an average of 10,200 home fires per year, including an average of 4,500 structure fires and 5,700 outside or unclassified fires.” His study is focused on the area the fire occurred in, fuel of ignition, and what the leading cause for ignition was. He notes 1,200 (27%) of the fires reported during 2013-2017 were caused by a lack of cleaning, resulting in $1 million dollars in damages collectively. Summer is supposed to be about the outdoors and time with those you love, not fire damages.

Know What To Do

Precautions are necessary to ensure the safety of those you love and your home or business. Before you begin your grilling season, review this list of precautions to take as you host guests at your home.

  • Grill at least 10ft. from the edge of your roof. 
  • Clean your grill before and after use.
  • Be cautious when using lighter fluid.
  • Cook on a level surface. 
  • Do not leave items unattended.
  • Monitor your smoke detectors.

Call Today If You Need Assistance 

We at SERVPRO of East Greenville County hope you enjoy this barbecuing season and take necessary precautions. Should you need assistance with fire damage, smoke damage, or build up, give us a call. We will be ready to respond!


Why is Fire Restoration Important?

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Soot Damage from a kitchen fire. Soot Damage in a bathroom due to a kitchen fire.

The IICRC explains why Fire Restoration is important after experiencing a fire in your home or business. When a home or business owner prolong the restoration of their home or business after a fire, they extend the effects brought on by the smoke and soot exposure. Professional restoration technicians know that damage increases and restoration costs escalate the longer neutralization, corrosion control and cleaning are delayed. The following is a timeline provided by the IICRC of the effects of fire and smoke on a home.

Within Minutes: Acid soot residues cause plastics to yellow and can cause small appliances located close to the source to discolor in addition highly porous materials like marble may discolor permanently.

Within Hours: Acid residues stain grout in bathrooms while fiberglass bath fixtures may yellow and uncoated metals tarnish, counter tops may yellow and finishes on appliances, particularly refrigerators, may yellow in addition furniture finishes may discolor.

Within Days: acid residues may cause painted walls to yellow permanently and metal can corrode, pit and rust; wood furniture may require refinishing while vinyl flooring may require replacement; clothing can become soot stained and upholstery stains may be stained permanently.

Within Weeks: Restoration costs escalate quickly. Synthetic carpet fibers may yellow or discolor permanently while silver plate can be corroded permanently in addition glass, crystal and china may require replacement due to severe etching caused by prolonged exposure to acid soot residues.

Cleaning up soot residue must be done as quickly as possible. The IICRC explains that during combustion, soot residue and volatile vapors are carried by rising and expanding air to surfaces throughout a structure, and are then deposited onto structural surfaces in the home or business. This process occurs repeatedly until combustion ends, during which soot residue continues building up on surfaces layer by layer. This can make the soot very difficult to remove once restoration technicians arrive on site.

Fire Safety Tips to Protect your Home or Business

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Test your smoke alarm Make sure to test your smoke alarm!

SERVPRO of East Greenville offers some essential tips that you can implement on your own to prevent fires in your home or business.  Remember it is important to always be prepared!

  • Test and Replace batteries on Smoke detectors. New smoke detectors offer a 10-year lift span. If you live in an older home replacing your smoke detectors is a good idea.
  • Create and practice fire safety plans. Having at least 2 escape routes with exits is important and remember practicing this plan is just as important.
  • Keep outdoor grills at least 10 feet from your home or business and never leave them unattended
  • Keep small kitchen appliances unplugged
  • Don’t smoke when you are tired- you are at risk for falling asleep with the cigarette still burning
  • Make sure if you use a wood stove or fireplace that the fire is out completely before leaving
  • Always make sure to have a fire extinguisher in your home or business and know how to use it

Following these safety tips can help keep you safe.  Should you become a victim of a fire in your home or business, contact SERVPRO of East Greenville County, our trained professionals will help walk you through restoring the structure of your home or business as well as the contents inside.

We are always here to help!

Be Prepared Every Second Counts

11/8/2019 (Permalink)

Join SERVPRO of East Greenville County make sure you are prepared. Join SERVPRO of East Greenville County and make sure you are prepared in the event of a Fire in your home or business.

Be Prepared…Every Second Counts.

Experts agree that every second counts when there is a fire in a home or business.  In a few short moments a small flame can become a serious fire.  This makes it critical to have an escape plan.  According to fire experts, people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home or building before it’s too late.

Do you have a plan? 

Fire is one of the most common disasters, it causes more deaths than any other type of disaster. But fire doesn't have to be deadly if you have early warning from a smoke detector and everyone in your family or business knows how to escape calmly. It is important to be serious about the responsibility for planning for and practicing what to do in case of a fire.  

SERVPRO of East Greenville County encourages all of our community members in Greenville, SC to develop their own fire safety plan making sure that the items listed below are part of your plan.

Check fire detectors monthly to ensure they are in working order

Check to see if you have a working fire extinguisher on hand

Train family members or employee’s on how to use the fire extinguisher

Draw a floor plan of your home or business with exits marked.

Establish an escape plan with a meeting place once you have exited your home or business

If you have small children teach them how to escape on their own if you cannot help them.

Make sure to give special consideration to anyone in your home or business that may have special needs.

Practice your plan at least twice a year.

People become survivors when faced with a fire in there home or business when they have working smoke detectors, an escape plan and have practiced it. 

Join SERVPRO of East Greenville County and make it a priority to be prepared.

Fire Prevention Week

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

fire prevention week poster This fire loss was cause by a damaged laptop wire.

During a fire every second counts. In efforts to keep our community safe and prepared SERVPRO of East Greenville County is observing Fire Prevention Week. Each year, The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) set aside a week to focus on fire prevention. The theme for this year is “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice your Escape!”

According to the NFPA, you may have as little as 2 minutes to escape from a home after the smoke alarm goes off.

Do you have a fire escape plan?

- Repetition makes perfection, coming up with an escape plan and practicing with your family can help you be prepared in case of a real emergency. 

Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year?

  • When properly installed and maintained smoke alarms can be life savers. 

According the American Red Cross 7 People die everyday from  home fires and 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires. 

How are you prepared for a disaster? For more information on escape plans, smoke alarms and fire prevention week visit


9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Fall and Winter weather is approaching and that means it’s almost time to light the fire place, pumpkin candles burning throughout the house and maybe a few heaters plugged in too. While enjoying the joys of the season it’s important to make sure you and your family or business are taking the right precautions to stay safe in case of a fire.

September is “National Preparedness Month” according to the purpose is to “promote family and community disaster and emergency planning now and throughout the year.”

It’s best to have plans in place to make sure, in case of an emergency, you are prepared. A great way to start is by putting together an emergency plan with your household.

While developing your plan decide on the following questions:

What is our shelter plan?

  • Where will we meet when we are all out of the house or building?

What is the evacuation route?

  • How will we get out of the house or building?

What is my household/business communication plan?

  • What will be the line of communication to know that everyone is safe?

Consider specific needs in your household or business.

  • Age, Gender, Disabilities, Languages spoken and/or any pets?

Fires can be extremely dangerous; the best way to ensure the safety of the people involved is to have an effective plan set in place. Throughout the month remember to use the hash tags #BeReady and #PreparedNotScared. Happy Safe Holidays!

Firepits Should Be a Safe Sanctuary

4/8/2019 (Permalink)

No matter if you choose to go with a simple or elaborate firepit, make sure to make your design with safety in mind.

Spring evenings are my favorite time to utilize the fire pit in the back yard. The night air is still a little crisp, and the bugs are not in full terrorize mode. Lighting the fire, pouring a drink, and putting on some ‘90s rock music are the keys to my paradise. And I hope that you enjoy relaxing by your fire pit as much as I do. Oh, you don’t have a fire pit, but I bet you want one now.

If I have managed to spark any interest in setting up a fire pit, be sure to check out the following safety “Do’s and Don’ts” from Nationwide Insurance.

DO: Build your fire pit on a level surface

Make sure the ground or surface is even to reduce the risk of fire escaping beyond your fire pit. The level ground also reduces the risk of someone stumbling or items rolling into the fire.

DO: Keep the fire at a safe distance

To keep your fire from causing damage, build the fire pit at least 10 feet from your home, fences, trees and the like. Portable fire pits are great but do not be tempted to relocate it inside a garage or covered porch if it happens to rain.

DON’T: Use gasoline or lighter fluid

Never use gasoline or kerosene to start your fire; such fuels can cause a fire to get out of control quickly. Instead, use dry wood as kindling that doesn’t extend beyond the edge of the pit.

DO: Monitor guests around fire pits

Make sure guests maintain a proper distance and don’t exhibit risky behavior. Keep close tabs on children and pets.

DON’T: Build a fire pit with river stones

Smooth stones from river beds may have absorbed moisture over time and can heat rapidly and explode. Instead of river stones, build your fire pit with dry, rough rocks.

DO: Check the weather report

Avoid using your fire pit on windy days, since flames or embers can spread to your home, yard and nearby trees.

DON’T: Leave a fire unattended

Even if your fire pit is small, flames can spread quickly if left unattended. Monitor at all times.

DO: Put your fire out safely

Once you extinguish your fire with water, gently stir and spread the ashes to cool. Leave only when they’re cool to the touch.

DO: Have an emergency plan

Keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose or bucket of sand close to douse the fire in case it gets out of hand. If you can’t put it out quickly, call 9-1-1.

Following these best practices will help you to keep your sanctuary a safe and relaxing place. Now if you would excuse me, I am off to cut some firewood and purchase a few bags of sand.

Safety Is the Greatest Benefit

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire can quickly spread from a chimney to the rest of a structure. Preventative maintenance can significantly reduce the risk of a fire.

In the ten years that I have lived in my home, I have used the fireplace only a handful of times, and all but two of them were when the power went out during a winter storm. I am sure that many of our readers get a lot of usage out of their fireplaces, even when it isn’t that cold outside, but how many of you regularly have your chimney professionally cleaned? Thoroughly cleaning your chimney can provide you with a few benefits, including the safety and health of your family.

A chimney's purpose is to provide ventilation from the gases or smoke that generate from a device used to heat materials such as a stove, boiler, or fireplace. And over time and with each use a substance called creosote can build up on the inside walls of a chimney. In addition to being flammable, creosote reduces the airflow of a chimney, and that can prevent toxins and smoke from properly clearing from your home. As I mentioned, creosote is flammable. And a flammable substance that can be that close to a source of heat could lead to disaster. A burning ember from the fireplace can float up to a deposit of creosote and cause it to ignite, and the fire can quickly spread through the chimney and affect your home. A regularly maintained chimney can help to limit your family’s exposure to harmful gasses and help to prevent fires.

The buildup of creosote is not the only reason to have your chimney cleaned. Animals such as birds and rodents can nest in chimneys and being with them other flammable materials or block the pathway of toxins and smoke. So if you are like me and rarely use your fireplace, you may still need to consider a professional cleaner inspect it just in case you decide, (or have to) use your fireplace.

Clean chimneys have other benefits such as more efficient heating and lower power bills during the colder months. But the increased safety is well worth the time and cost to find a professional chimney sweep and start a cleaning routine. Cleaning chimneys may not be one of the services that SERVPRO of East Greenville County provides, but if you are having trouble finding a service provider, we will be glad to help you out.

Proper Post-Holiday Tree Care and Disposal

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Christmas has come and gone, and it is almost the new year. Now it is nearly time for the big post-holiday cleanup. Which by the way, is my least favorite part of the whole thing and the reason that I use the “simple and tasteful” approach when decorating my home (even though I love it when others go all out). And if you use a real tree to bring the holiday joy, you may wonder what options you have when it comes to disposing of the ol’ Tannenbaum. The great news is that residents in our area have an eco-friendly solution at the ready.

Once again Greenville County is offering a Christmas Tree Recycling Program that includes curb pick-up (check for availability in your area) and drop-off locations across the county. Just make sure that all trees are free of tinsel, ornaments, and lights. There are several places to drop off your tree including Simpsonville City Park, Travelers Rest City Hall, and Greenville’s recycling centers. Making it easy and convenient to properly dispose of your tree.

Why is it important to properly dispose of your tree?

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day can be a hectic time. You may have to go back to work on a short week and have a lot to do in a little time, or you may be off and spending time with family and enjoying your new “toys.” It can be easy to forget to water the tree, after all, Christmas has passed and it can seem less important to make sure the tree is vibrant and green. But it is imperative to make sure that your tree is still adequately cared for until it is removed from the house. A dry tree has a significantly higher risk of becoming a fire hazard.

So make sure to monitor the water levels daily. If you run your fingers through the needles if they feel brittle and fall off easily into your hand, the tree is too dry and should be removed from the house. Experts suggest that a properly cared for tree can stay fresh for three to four weeks, after that its chances of drying to an unacceptable and unsafe level. Keep that in mind if you like to buy your tree early in the holiday season.

Make your post-holiday a safe one and help start off 2019 incident free by properly caring for and disposing of your Christmas tree.

Fry the Turkey, Not Your Yourself: Turkey Frying Safety Tips

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Fried turkey is delicious, but it can be disastrous if safety is not a priority during the preparation process.

It took a while, but Fall has finally come to Greenville. The temperatures are getting cooler, the leaves are changing, and you may even have to warm the car up before heading to work some mornings. But the best parts of the season, to me, are the all the holiday foods. Each year I start planning my Thanksgiving menu weeks in advance, and that includes doing a test run of some of the foods that are only brought out for the big day to make sure it will be just right.

But this year I am thinking of changing it up a little and frying the turkey. I'm talking acutally doing it myself, not ordering one from a restaurant the day before and fighting the temptation to dig in. I admit I am a little nervous about frying the bird, after all when you work in the restoration industry you see and hear about fires and other disasters that can happen if the proper safety steps are not followed. Luckily, there are several reliable sources for techniques and safety protocols that can help to ensure that the only worry will be impressing the in-laws. has several safety tips to secure a “scorchless” celebration, including:

  1. Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.
  2. Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups.
  3. Watch the weather. Never operate a fryer outdoors in the rain or snow.
  4. Place the fryer on a level surface, and avoid moving it once it's in use.
  5. Leave 2 feet between the tank and the burner when using a propane-powered fryer.
  6. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid overfilling. Oil can ignite when it makes contact with the burner.
  7. Choose a smaller turkey for frying. A bird that's 8 to 10 pounds is best; pass on turkeys over 12 pounds.
  8. Never leave fryers unattended.
  9. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby during the heating, cooking, and cooling process.

Food Guru Alton Brown has designed a Fry Derrick that can help ensure your safety and the safety of your property. You can see a brief instruction video here.

Remember to be thinking about safety when working in a kitchen, or cooking outdoors in this case, and then you and your loved ones can focus on enjoying the meal, and no one has to take a to-go plate to the emergency room.

If you have a turkey fryer incident or any other accident in the kitchen SERVPRO of East Greenville County specializes in Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration and we can help you ANY day of the year.

SERVPRO of East Greenville Observes Fire Prevention Week

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

Each year the week of October 9th is recognized as Fire Prevention Week by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. More than 250 people died, 100,000 homes and businesses were destroyed, and thousands of acres were burned, and that disastrous event changed the way that civil engineers and firefighters viewed fire safety.  Since 1922 Fire Protection Week has been sponsored by the NFPA, and President Coolidge declared it a national observance in 1925 making FPW America’s longest-running public health observance. During FPW firefighters provide public education to children and adults to promote fire safety and reduce fire-related casualties.

The campaign for Fire Prevention Week 2018 is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere,” and focuses on teaching people three necessary steps to reduce the likelihood of a fire and how to escape in the event of a fire.

for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.

for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.

two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

For more information including printable materials and videos for fire safety and prevention visit And contact your local fire department to see if they are hosting any Fire Prevention Week events. 

Dealing with Marijuana Residue and Odor in Your Greenville, SC Rental Property.

8/9/2018 (Permalink)

Similar to cigarette smoke, marijuana residue can build up over time and have drastic impacts on a structure.

The past few years have seen many states legalize marijuana for recreational or medicinal use, and property managers in those states are facing the challenge of removing marijuana residue and odor after a tenant moves out. South Carolina has yet to legalize marijuana at any level of use, but property managers in Greenville still have to face those same challenges.

Marijuana residue can enter the ventilation system of the structure; it can seep into carpeting or other soft contents, walls can be severely stained just like with cigarette smoke. And the length of the tenants’ tenure may have an impact on the level of contamination and processes that are needed to clean and restore the structure. Marijuana smoke and residue may also be combined with incense and other items used to mask the odor, and that may cause even more staining and penetration of the materials inside of a structure. A simple wipe down with retail cleaning solutions may be enough to clean the walls in an apartment that had a tenant with a twelve-month lease. But if the resident had been living there for multiple years, it may be time to call in a professional.

One of SERVPRO of East Greenville County’s specialties is the remediation of smoke damage, and we have the specialized resources to remove the damage, stains, and odor that smoke can cause. So, we can treat structures with marijuana residue with the same care and expertise as those with other types of smoke. Our cleaning solution can be increased or diluted to adjust to the level of staining without damaging the walls. Our air movers, ozone machines, and carpet cleaners are powerful enough to deodorize and remove residue from the air inside of structures and can help reduce the need to have the carpet replaced.

Marijuana cleanup is a sensitive subject, and it is what it is, no judgment from us. So if you are dealing with the impacts of marijuana use on your structure SERVPRO of East Greenville has the experience and resources to clean it up and give you peace of mind.   

Be Safe While Enjoying Your Fireworks in Greenville, SC

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of East Greenville County wishes everyone a Safe and Happy Independence Day.

Next week is the United States of America’s birthday, and we celebrate that day with burgers, hotdogs, and days at the beach. But that night belongs to the fireworks. Many cities will have enormous firework displays, like Greer’s Freedom Blast on June 30 and the Wells Fargo Red, White & Blue Festival in Greenville on July 4, that are managed by professional pyrotechnic experts that will light up the sky and make memories for years to come. And some of us will do our own thing…

Sparklers, snakes, roman candles, bottle rockets, hoosker doos, and hoosker don’ts. We all have our favorite. But no matter what type of blast you prefer, safety must be a top priority. Because according to the National Fire Protection Association, more fires are reported on July 4th than any other day of the year. Thousands of fires and injuries, nearly 40% of all reported fires and emergency room visits, are related to fireworks.

So, if you are planning to put on your own fireworks extravaganza, please keep these tips from the National Safety Council in mind.

  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
  • Never light them indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses, and flammable material
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Never ignite devices in a container
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire

Making a fire Escape Plan for Your Home

6/6/2018 (Permalink) is an excellent source of material to help prepare your family fire safety plan.

You had fire drills growing up at school, (hopefully) you have the occasional fire drill at work now that you are an adult, but do you ever have fire drills at home? Coming up with and practicing family safety drills can help to make sure your family is prepared in the event of an emergency. It is an important topic to discuss with your family, especially children.

The National Fire Protection Association has a helpful section on how to create a family fire escape plan. It includes how to draw a fire escape path for your home, how to reinforce fire safety to younger children, and tips how to stay as safe as possible during a fire.

Some of the tips include:

  • Call 911 as soon as possible, even if you think you can contain the fire
  • Know at least 2 ways out of each room
  • Have a designated outside meeting place a safe distance from the home
  • Assign “partners” for young, elderly, or family members with mobility issues
  • Close Doors behind you as you leave each room to slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire

Your family’s safety is the first priority. After emergency services have done their job SERVPRO of East Greenville County will be here to help you repair, restore, and recover your belongings.

Hoarding Can Negatively Impact Fire Safety

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Stacks of items can block windows and doors preventing escape or rescue during a catastrophe like a fire.

You may know someone that is a hoarder or be a hoarder yourself. If so you understand the many struggles that hoarders face when dealing with their mental and emotional well being and physical condition of their home. My grandmother was a hoarder; there was clearly defined path through her house carved out from the stacks of books, items of clothing, and unopened packages she ordered during late night TV. My family didn’t look into the proper ways to discuss her situation with her, and more often than not it would lead to months-long arguments. She only agreed to let us help her after she learned a friend of hers that also struggled with hoarding, passed away in a fire and that she couldn’t escape because her way was blocked by her belongings.

The local fire department helped us to clear out my grandmother’s home and explained how hoarding isn't just a danger to those that live inside the house, but also to those that may be the ones that try to save them in the event of a fire. Piles of belongings can obstruct entry/exit points such as doors and windows. Stacks of items may impair and slow movement or prevent crawling to avoid smoke inhalation, or they may fall and cause injury.  

If you know someone that may be in an unsafe situation because of hoarding contact your local fire department to see if they have a Hoarding Taskforce that specializes in working with those that deal with hoarding. Even if they do not have a task force, they may have resources available like a contact for support groups to help start the discussion about hoarding.

Fire Extinguisher Tips for Your Greer Home or Business

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

There are many types of fire extinguishers. Make sure that you are using the correct type for the category of fire you are dealing with.

During moments of crisis, we often make decisions within the moment. Sometimes we make decisions out of instinct from training, or we react out of panic. Reactions can solve the problem or can make them worse. That is why running training drills or attending continuing education courses will build knowledge and develop an instinct to make smart decisions is paramount to the success of safety.

National Building Safety Month concludes with a week dedicated to Improving Education & Training Standards for a Safer Tomorrow, and we would like to offer up some basic information on fire extinguishers from to wrap up the month. Remember it is important to know what type of fire you are dealing with and what type of extinguisher needed for each type

Part of using a fire extinguisher properly is knowing the Three A’s:

  • Activate the building’s alarm system or call 911 to notify the proper authorities
  • Look for anyone in immediate danger or incapacitated and Assist them in exiting the building (without risk to yourself)
  • After A’s 1 & 2 are completed, should you Attempt to extinguish the

You should also only attempt to fight a fire if

  • the fire is small and contained
  • you are safe from toxic smoke
  • you have the means to escape
  • your instincts (there is that word again) tell you that it is ok

If there is a fire and it is safe for you to take action with the proper type of extinguisher, remember to P.A.S.S.

Pull the pin

Aim the nozzle or hose at the base of the fire from a safe distance

Squeeze the lever to discharge the extinguisher

Sweep the nozzle from side to side until the fire is out, moving forward as the fire diminishes. Be alert in case of re-ignition.

Practicing using fire extinguishers with your family or coworkers can help to educate and promote safety at home and the office and make sure that you are as prepared as you can be in the event of an incident.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County is here to help.

If you have had a fire and have damage to your property because of the fire, smoke, or soot we are happy to help with your repair or restoration needs. Call us at 864-292-3495 anytime.

You successfully put out a small fire and saved the day. Now what?

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Fire extinguishers can leave a huge mess. Make sure to clean up with the correct methods based on the type of extinguisher.

How do you clean up the fire extinguisher discharge? What type of specialized equipment do you need? How long should you wait to clean it up? All of these are great questions to keep in mind, and the answers vary based on the type of extinguisher used. The following information provided by State Systems Inc can help know what steps to take next when dealing with the aftermath of a small fire.

*Normally the discharge from fire extinguishers does not present a danger or hazard to health. But it is essential to clean each type appropriately.  

Fire Extinguisher Types and Cleaning Methods

Dry Chemical: Portable and compact, these extinguishers are well suited for minor incidents in commercial and industrial environments.

  • Sweep or vacuum any residue that has settled on the affected area.
  • Read the label of the extinguisher to determine the chemical used and then use the proper solution to neutralize it. Allow solutions to set for several minutes after applying before removal. (Note: there are multiple dry chemicals extinguisher types.)
  • Wash the area with a mild soap and water solution; then rinse.
  • Blow the area dry to remove excess water.

Wet Chemical: Uses a liquid agent to cool surfaces and reduce flames, commonly found in kitchens.

  • Confirm all fuel sources to the equipment have been shut off.
  • Make sure to wear rubber gloves. If the liquid or fire extinguishing agent comes into contact with your skin or eyes, flush thoroughly with water.
  • Use hot, soapy water and a cloth or sponge to wipe away the foamy residue. Scrub all surfaces that have come into contact with the excess agent.
  • Once all surfaces impacted by the residue are cleaned, rinse and allow time to dry before returning power back to the equipment.

Clean Agent: Discharge dissipates into the atmosphere making this extinguisher suitable for areas with sensitive equipment like a server room.

  • Does not require special precautions to clean after use.

Class K: Capable of holding in steam and vapor, commonly found in commercial kitchen overhead extinguishers.

  • Can be cleaned with soap and water

Always remember to replace or recharge your extinguisher after each use. For more information review State Systems Inc FAQs or contact your local fire department.  

Greenville County Smoke and Soot Cleanup

5/19/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot damage impacts many aspects of your home, including family heirlooms.

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 significantly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of East Greenville County 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 challenging 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 to the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 864-292-3495

The Origins of Building Codes

5/2/2018 (Permalink)


Have you ever asked “Why do I need to get a building permit and follow building codes? It’s my property,” while building a deck, remodeling a kitchen, or making a small addition to your home? You are not alone, so it may help to have an understanding of where building codes come from and how they can protect your family, your investment, and your community.

Week 1 of National Building Safety Month is about partnering with building code officials to build safer and stronger communities. And SERVPRO of East Greenville County wants to help our community do the same.

A Short History Lesson On Building Codes

Construction methods and materials contributed to the densely populated area of large cities being prone to massive fires that could quickly spread. The damage and loss of life these fires would devastate communities and recovery could take months or even years. In 1871 The Great Chicago Fire was such an event, burning for three days and destroying miles of the city.

The devastation left behind by the fire had a significant impact on the mayoral election, leading to Joseph Medill to win the election after he adjusted his campaign platform to focus on stricter building and fire codes. He worked with Chicago’s civic leaders and created codes requiring new structures to be built with noncombustible brick or stone exteriors as well as roofs that composed of ignition resistant materials. Over the next few years many cities would follow suit and create their own fire and building codes, and eventually, a national standard began to develop.

Organizations formed in each region of the country, each publishing lists with their own standards and codes. And although most initial codes were intended to reduce the risks and impacts of fire, codes have evolved to cover building stability, sanitation, energy efficiency, and more. Regional organizations started forming in 1873, but it wasn’t until 1994 that many of the organizations merged to form the International Code Council and began to set current codes and regulations. And since 2003 the NAFP 5000 Building Construction and Safety Code is revised, updated, and published every three years.

How Building Codes Can Benefit You 

Getting a permit and adhering to building and fire codes are not just civic hoops for you to jump through with no purpose. They are actually parts of a process that is designed to protect a structure, its owners, and occupants. Codes officials ensure the safety and well being of the community by enforcing building and fire codes. Communicating and partnering with Greer and Greenville building officials can help to avoid issues that can cost time and money, or worse put your family at risk.

For more about building code history visit

Thanks to the ICC and Fire Engineering.

Greenville, SC - Not the Ordinary Second Hand Smoke

4/8/2016 (Permalink)

Greenville, SC-Not the Ordinary Second Hand Smoke 

When it comes to fire damages, you could be affected just as an innocent bystander.  Even though your structure is not the one in flames, your structure can be harmed with smoke, soot and heat damage.

Locally we had a church catch fire.  Thankfully no one was inside the church at the time of the fire and the firefighters from three responding fire departments were all able to walk away unharmed.  Unfortunately the church is a total loss; however that does not mean that this loss did not affect your home or business in the area.

Many neighboring buildings can be affected unknowingly due to a fire in the area.  Smoke and soot can enter the building and cause damage to both the structure and contents of a dwelling.  It is best to let the professionals assess and clean up from the smoke damage.  Cleaning up after a smoke damage seems like a pretty easy concept but it does require a lot of experience and manpower.  It is not recommended to attempt the cleaning on your own.

Soot and smoke can cause discoloration, corrosion and a lingering odor.  The sooner a SERVPRO professional can get on site the better chance of a successful restoration.  The first thing that soot and smoke can cause is the discoloration of most surfaces.  Many finishes on products will start to turn yellow as will upholstery and textiles, while metals can tarnish.  As time passes, this damage can become permanent.  Because ash is acidic, the longer you take to call SERVPRO, the more destruction it can cause. 

If your home or business was recently in the area of a fire, call for a scope appointment.  We can identify the damages and determine what can be salvaged.  We can quickly arrange for a trained crew to come on site and begin the restoration process.  Once on site our trained professionals will work to restore your home or business to pre-loss conditions – “Like it Never Even Happened”.