Recent Fire Damage Posts

Proper Techniques for Home Restoration After a Fire | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

Black smoke coming out of broken windows in a burning house Having a team on your side after a disaster can help relieve stress. SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County is here to help when a fire strikes

Any time of year is a good time to practice fire preparedness, but homeowners should be especially careful during the winter months. The highest number of home fires are in the winter, with December being the peak.

Planning for a fire in advance is one of the best ways to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. A fire escape plan and emergency precautions are helpful in the moment, but knowing what to do after the fact can also provide valuable peace of mind. That is where picking a restoration company in advance comes into play.

The Process of Fire Restoration

When you pick your fire restoration company in advance, you want to know that you can call them at any point and have them respond quickly. Not only does SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County guarantee that for our customers, but we also guarantee that we will send highly trained technicians to the scene who are well-versed in a variety of cleanup scenarios. Here are the ways we can help:

Structural Cleaning

Correctly repairing a home’s structure after a fire is essential, and it is something we take very seriously. By first performing testing to determine the true extent of the damage, we will then move in with our equipment and begin the restoration process. We handle reconstruction, soot removal and more on walls, doors and floors, and can even prepare surfaces for fresh paint.

Contents Cleaning

Restoring contents is typically less costly than replacing all your belongings, and allows you to keep the things you already own and like. We have both wet and dry cleaning tools to ensure each item gets the care it needs, from art to area rugs and most things in between. A full cleaning and deodorizing ensures the items are still safe to use and do not have any lingering odors.

Deodorization Services

The smoke and soot left behind in the air after a fire are more than just harsh scents—exposure to them has been linked to health issues such as cancers as well due to the chemicals and compounds in combusted material. We utilize air scrubbers to take care of these particles, making the air quality healthy once again throughout your household.

If you’ve been affected by a fire, reach out to us right away! We are here 247 to help you recover.

Get your Dryer Vent Cleaned to Avoid a Fire Hazard in your Dutchess County home!

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

A burned and melted clothes dryer Clogged clothes dryer vents are a fire hazard! Get yours cleaned out at least once a year, call us to schedule your next dryer vent cleaning!

According to Consumer Reports (2018), every year firefighters respond to close to 15,000 residential fires caused by clothes dryers. 80% of these fires is due to an accumulation of lint and debris. Not cleaning out your dryer vent yearly can set you up for a serious fire hazard that's far more serious than your clothes taking longer to dry from a clogged vent.

Here are 4 simple best practices to ensure safety in your laundry room:

  1. CLEAN THE LINT FILTER AFTER EVERY LOAD- not only will this help prevent a fire, but your clothes will dry faster!
  2. REPLACE OLDER ACCORDION-STYLE DUCTS- Plastic or foil accordion-style ducts connecting your appliance to the vent should be replaced with a rigid metal duct that won't sag and collect lint.
  3. CLEAN THE DRYER DUCT ANNUALLY- (at least)- There are a few DIY ways to clean your dryer vent but the easiest (and not pricey) way to have it done correctly is by hiring a professional to do so. They know exactly how, where and what, that equals a lot less hassle to you.
  4. HANDLE CHEMICAL STAINS WITH CARE- Do not put flammable-stained garments in the dryer. Substance like gas, cooking oil, cleaning agents, or other flammable chemicals or substances need special care. It's recommended to wash such stained clothing more than once to minimize volatile chemicals, then hang to dry. Not only will putting them in the dryer make the stain set, it’s a fire hazard that isn’t worth the risk.

IMPORTANT: In the event that a fire does start, keep the dryer door closed to limit its oxygen supply—a fire needs oxygen to keep it going.

Not only can our professionals take care of restoring your home If your family has experienced a fire, but we ALSO DO DRYER VENT CLEANINGSSERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County can help 24/7, give us call at 845-831-3600 to learn more!

Fire Prevention Tips for your Poughkeepsie, Wappingers, Beacon or Fishkill home

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

Burned insulation and sheet rock in a residential hallway ceiling Stay safe with some simple fire prevention tips!

A fire can happen in less than 3 minutes. It’s a terrifying thought that there is such little time to get everyone to safety. There are several, simple things you can do in your home to help prevent fires.

-Test your smoke detector batteries once a month. Set a reminder on your phone to make it consistent. Keep in mind that smoke detectors have a life of 8-10 years, replace them when needed.  

-Install smoke detectors in the right spots- When placed in the correct locations in your home, it’s your best bet of getting to safety quickly.

-Inspect heating sources- Regardless of the type of system you have, an annual inspection will reduce any risks.

-Keep the oven and stove clear of anything- Make sure there are no curtains, towels, cookbooks, or anything flammable by or on the stove and oven. Kitchen fires are the most common places for house fires.

-Stay in the kitchen when cooking- Make sure pot handles are turned in and don’t leave the room with any food cooking. Turn off everything and take the pot or pan off the heat if you need to.

-Check the dryer and have dryer vent cleanings performed once a year.

-Maintain electrical cords- don’t keep them under a rug as cords produce heat. Use extension cords sparingly and unplug appliances that feel warm. Check for fraying or damage and replace immediately.

-Locate the shut-offs- All utilities have shut-off valves or switches in or on your home. Gas, appliances, circuit breakers, and water. Make sure all family members know where, when and how to use them.

-Keep flammable products away from heat sources- hair products, cleaners, and shaving cream  and combustibles like paint and gas should be kept in a cool, dark place.

-Never leave candles unattended- Keep them in secure, tip-proof holders and never near curtains or blankets. Set a reminder on your phone to extinguish them before leaving or sleeping.

-Practice fireplace safety- put a metal screen in front of the area, don’t leave the fireplace unattended and place the ashes in a metal container. Have a chimney cleaner come at least once a year to prevent build up that could cause a fire.

-Prevent wildfires- Keep a bucket of water available if you’re using a fire pit, having a bonfire or using a burn barrel. It only takes one spark!

-Keep fire extinguishers handy- Have one in the kitchen and other high risk areas like a fireplace or garage. Learn the P.A.S.S system for how to use it effectively.

-Know your location- firefighters need an exact address, make sure every member knows it.

Learn all you can about fire prevention and talk it over with your family members. If you do ever experience fire damage, call the trained experts at SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County 24/7, we’re here to help and will make it Like it never even happened.

The what and how of fire extinguishers in your Western Dutchess County home

10/4/2019 (Permalink)

a drawn diagram of how to use a fire extinguisher Learn what type of fire extinguisher is best for your home and how to use it in an emergency.

Most of us have fire extinguishers of one size or another in our homes, especially in the kitchen. A fire extinguisher can help put out a fire before emergency personnel arrive or they can help you exit your home safely.

Not every extinguisher is for every fire, a little clarification can really help determine if you’ve got the right one for the right type of fire.

What type do you get?

All household fire extinguishers have 3 classifications: A, B or C. Some models have a combination of all three extinguishers in one. 


-A is for ordinary combustibles like trash, wood and paper

-B is for liquids & grease (think more like stove-top fires)

-C is for electrical equipment

-D extinguishers are designed for use on flammable metals. Not typically used or found in households.

Keep in mind, according to the National Fire Protection Association, each floor of your home should have an extinguisher. 

How do you use a fire extinguisher?

To use the extinguisher properly, you want to use the PASS method:


-Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.

-Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire instead of at the flames themselves. Standing at least 6 feet away from the fire is important! Do not touch the plastic discharge horn on a CO2 extinguisher as it gets super cold and may damage your skin.

-Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly while keeping the extinguisher upright. 

-Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side until the extinguisher runs dry.

Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations so make sure you have the correct extinguisher for your home and type of fire. 

Whenever you use an extinguisher, whether you ran it dry or used it briefly, it's important to replace it or refill it right away. This is also the rule for any gauge that goes down to the red zone over time. 

Even though you take precautions against fire damages, they can still sometimes occur. If you experience fire damage in your home, don't hesitate to contact the experts at SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County at 845-831-3600 to help make this disaster "Like it never even happened."

What to Do Before, During and After a House Fire | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

A white smoke detector on a blue and red background with smoke trails close to it It's important to know what to do before, during and after a fire, every little thing counts!

Knowing what to do in the event of a house fire is important. Though we all hope a fire will never happen to us, the reality is that there were nearly 500,000 fires in 2017 alone. Though they are always an alarming situation, planning ahead can go a long way in helping you feel safe and prepared. While practicing general fire safety is best, knowing what to do at every stage is essential for keeping yourself and your family safe.

By compiling resources from the National Fire Protection Association and Ready.gov, we’ve assembled a complete overview of preparedness, safety precautions and actions to take after the flames subside:

Before a Fire:

? Install smoke alarms in each bedroom and on each floor of the home, and be sure to check them once per year.

? Ensure the house number is visible from the road for emergency responders.

? Identify two ways out of each room and create a drawing of the floor plan reflecting escape routes.

? Identify an outdoor meeting place for the whole family, such as a neighbor’s mailbox.

? Alert any visitors or overnight guests to the plan should an emergency occur.

? If you have young children or family members who have limited mobility, assign them to a “buddy” who can make sure they get out safely.

? Make sure all escape routes are free of clutter and easily accessible for all family members.

During a Fire:

? Call 911 as soon as you are able.

? Because smoke rises, stay low to the ground to avoid inhalation as much as possible.

? Always feel the door and doorknob for heat to determine if a route is safe.

? Open doors with caution in case the fire is just beyond.

? If your clothes catch fire, remember to stop, drop and roll right away.

After a Fire:

? If you are in need of assistance, contact The Red Cross or other local emergency relief service.

? Contact your insurance company and a fire-certified restoration company as soon as possible.

? Always wait for the approval of the fire department before re-entering your home, and have a professional reconnect utilities.

? Take an inventory of all damaged items before cleanup begins.

? Save receipts for any expenditures accrued due to the fire.

If your home has been damaged in a fire, don’t hesitate to reach out to us  24/7! We are fully certified in fire restoration and can respond quickly to damages.

Residential Fire Prevention Strategies | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Be prepared and in the know when it comes to fire safety and prevention!

Structural and property damage from residential fires can be significant, causing expensive damage for homeowners and putting the household in danger. Because of how devastating they are and how frequently they occur, practicing proper fire prevention techniques is essential to staying safe and gaining peace of mind.

Residential Fire Numbers

Many consider fires to be an uncommon occurrence, but according to the numbers, they occur quite often. A fire occurs every 24 seconds, as reported by the National Fire Protection Association.

Over half of residential fires are caused by cooking in some manner. Utilizing caution when cooking with open flames can go a long way in residential fire prevention.

Residential Fire Prevention

Because of how quickly fires can grow, preventing them from starting is the most effective method of fire safety. Household objects can quickly turn hazardous if conditions are right, but there are many ways to keep the risk of a residential fire at bay:

Inspection of the smoke detector. Use the smoke detector’s test button to check the batteries once each month. Every 10 years, the unit should be replaced with an updated model.

Disposal of dryer lint. An excessive amount of lint can be a fire hazard due to the heat of the dryer. Dispose of dryer lint in the tray after each load as a cautionary measure.

Attend to open flames. Just because one uses a flame each day for cooking or fireplaces does not mean that it cannot pose a hazard. Always attend to open flames and never leave the room when one is burning.

Maintain cables. Cords come with a safety coating that protects the wires and lessens the fire risk. When the cables become frayed and worn, the wires become exposed and create a threat. Check cables often and dispose of frayed ones immediately.

Properly store products. Everyday household products can also pose a fire risk. Read the label of cleaners, household chemicals and aerosol cans to determine the safest way to store them.

If your home has suffered damage from a fire, give us a call. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 247.

Kitchen fires in your Western Dutchess County home can leave pungent, lasting odors.

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire odors and damage can permeate throughout the home more than you think.

Protein fires can come from food that is burnt in the kitchen. Think about a pan of fried chicken where the grease has caught on fire and created a significant issue. They can make an especially unique restoration challenge and create odor issues which are difficult to mitigate.

Here are some important facts regarding this type of fire:

*Protein fires generally leave little visible residue, often confusing the untrained eye. The smell is there but hard to pinpoint where it could be coming from.

*They create a significantly more distasteful smell than most other fires.

*The nature of the burn causes the odor to permeate the home even more completely than other fires, sometimes the damage can require a sealing agent or even repainting to completely eradicate the odor.

*The damage may require multiple attempts and methods to achieve the best results.

*Often, because of the strong link between smell and memory, a homeowner may experience “phantom odors,” where the memory of the event causes reproduction of the odor even after thorough cleaning. You don't want a reminder of a stressful event every time you walk in the kitchen.

Don’t tackle this issue by yourself, let the trained and experienced experts at SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County take care of it. We’re here to help when you need it most and when fire and odors take control of your life, we’ll help take it back. You'll be amazed how fresh and clean our team can make your home, "Like it never even happened."

How to Avoid Fire Hazards When Grilling This Summer | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Grill fires can cause more damage than you could anticipate, be safe this grilling season!

Grill fires can happen to any grill and any person, leading to serious damage to your deck and home in Poughkeepsie, Fishkill, Wappingers or Beacon. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association reports that grills were involved in over 10,000 home fires in a four-year span, with July being the most popular time for these incidents. 

That’s why it is important to be aware of what conditions can cause a grill fire—and how to prevent one—so you can stay safe while having summer fun.

~What Causes Grill Fires?

While there is a fire risk anytime someone is cooking, because of the open flame and direct contact, grills pose a unique risk for flare-ups. Common causes of grill fires include:

* Overfilled grease pans

* Burner tubes blocked due to debris or insects

* Uncleaned grill grates

* Grilling near combustible materials—heat radiates farther than you may think!

* Leaving grills unattended

~How to Prevent Grill Fires

The best way to avoid accruing damage from a grill fire is by preventing one from happening in the first place. 

Here are a few ways you can care for your grill and prevent fires, too:

  1. Clean your drip pans frequently. Cleaning your grill is the best way to prevent grease fires and flare-ups. Under the cooking grids and burners, every grill is equipped with a drip tray. When these trays become full and reach high temperatures, grease fires can occur. Check your pans or trays every time you use the grill to ensure they are not getting overfilled.   
  2. Scrape down cooking grates. Not only do meat and grease that are dried onto your grill grates harbor bacteria that can affect the outcome of your meal, but they can also cause dangerous fires. After preheating your grill, use a grill brush to scrape off grates—and scrape again after cooking. It is also advised to frequently give grates a scrub with soap and water while the grill is cool.
  3. Keep safety supplies nearby. Baking soda is an extremely effective fire extinguisher, as it quickly cuts off oxygen the fire needs. Keep baking soda and a fire extinguisher nearby each time you grill to smother any flames. 

Tip: Never use water to put out a grease fire, as it can actually cause the flames to spread.

If you’ve experienced fire damage from a grill or any other occurrence, SERVPRO® of Western County is here to help you! Give us a call today to talk with one of our fire remediation experts. We're here to help, 24/7 for emergencies.

When was the last time you tested the smoke detectors in your Western Dutchess home?

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

Just a few minutes once a month can help in a fire emergency!

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), states that approximately 3 out of 5 fire deaths in a residence are due to either malfunctioning smoke alarm or no alarms at all. Of the ones that had detectors, only about half of the fires did not work due to missing batteries, debris-covered detectors or disconnected wiring. When you have properly installed and tested smoke detectors, they can give everyone extra time to get to safety quickly. It’s a minor amount of money and time to give yourself some good piece of mind should an emergency arise in your Poughkeepsie home.

The easiest way to go about it is to have smoke detectors installed outside every of every bedroom, inside every sleeping area, AND on each level of the house, including the basement. Smoke rises, so it’s important to have them on each level of the home.

Put a note on your calendar or smart phone to test your smoke alarms once a month including checking the batteries and the wiring. If you hear chirping every few minutes from the detector, the batteries need to be replaced. If you have one that has non-replaceable batteries, the entire unit should be replaced every 10 years.

If there's built-up dust or paint or anything that could penetrate the sensors, clean it off or replace with a new detector.

Make sure you and understand the manufacturers specific instructions as some units need new batteries every year and some do not. Each manufacturer’s website also has some great tips for trouble shooting.

Unless replacing with new, don’t ever disable a smoke detector for any reason, it’s not a good idea to think that you’ll remember to replace the batteries tomorrow or buy a new one before there’s a fire. You can also reach out to your local fire department if you need help or you can click here for more information. We urge you to check the smoke detection system in your home as soon as possible, this is not a risk worth putting off.

In the event you’re dealing with fire, smoke or water damage, SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County is here for you, ready to help no matter what. We’re here to help and will make any disaster “Like it never even happened.”

Real facts and how we can help if you suffer a fire in your Poughkeepsie home

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and water damage affects every single thing in the home if you've suffered a fire, nothing is immune to the it.

It might seem like a made-up statistic, but house fires are reported to fire departments about every 24 seconds and cost thousands of lives each year and causing enormous damage to homes and buildings. If a fire starts in your Fishkill home, you have very limited time to get your family and pets to safety.

Smoke and fire damage can be severe and if the home survives the fire, it should be inspected, contents removed, the home quickly cleaned and recovery actions in place to avoid permanent or secondary damage to your property.

When you've been told it's safe to return to your home, call SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County any time of day to help restore your home from the fire, smoke and water damage. Our highly trained teams have the experience and expertise to tackle any kind of restoration and have been trained with a “restore vs. replace” mind frame whenever possible to help keep some costs low.

If the fire consumed your furniture and belongings, you’re going to have a wet, scorched mess left behind. Leather, fabric, and wood will trap smoke smells and usually can be restored. In addition, smoke and soot particles can get trapped inside of your HVAC system as well, we can take care of cleaning those mechanicals too. You’ll be amazed how fresh and odor-free your home will be!

SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County will remove everything and take your salvageable contents to be cleaned and restored in our local warehouse. If needed, we can also help restore your damaged documents and photos.  Once the cleaning process is completed, we will then address the soot, water, and fire damage restoration to your home and to your HVAC system. There is no service we can’t provide from start to completion to a restored and clean home!

If you experience Fire, smoke and water damage anywhere in Western Dutchess County, we're here to help! Call us at 24/7 at 845-831-3600 and we’ll help make it "Like it never even happened."

Grilling safety tips for all those who love to barbecue at their Dutchess County home

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

Never assume your grill is cool enough to be moved up against your home.

The Hudson Valley is starting to enjoy the weather and more people are using their outdoor grills….and the number of grill-caused fires in Western Dutchess County goes up.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, outdoor grilling causes an average of 8,900 home fires. Gas grills cause more home fires than charcoal grills as most people, about 64% of households, own gas grills.

Regardless of the kind of grill you might have, there are some important BBQ safety tips that will help keep you safe during barbecuing season:

-Always a good idea to check for propane leaks on your gas grill. Try a soap and water mixture on the hose to check for leaks when the gas is on (it will bubble where the leak is), or you might notice a gas odor near the barbecue or maybe there's a flame that just won’t light.

-Grill away from any structures. Gas and charcoal grills are made for outdoor use only but more than 25% of home fires start on a balcony or open porch. Even when you’re done cooking, a grill is still a fire hazard, DO NOT MOVE the grill near your home. Never leave it unattended and don’t try to move the grill when it’s hot or still lit. A grill will stay hot for at least an hour after use.

-Be careful with charcoal starter fluid, if you use a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid. If the fire starts to go out, it is not a good idea to add starter fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. 

-Keep your grill on a flat surface that is stable, make sure it can’t be tipped over.

-Remove grease or fat build-up often. A clean grill helps food taste better too.

-Never use water to put out a grease fire. Always keep baking soda and a fire extinguisher nearby for emergencies. Baking soda will help control a grease fire.

While all safety measures can be followed, things just happen accidentally. Help decrease the chances of a fire by knowing the grilling safety tips. 

If you ever suffer fire damage, SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County is here to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We'll make it "Like it never even happened."

How to handle fire and smoke damage in your Western Dutchess County home or business

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

There are some important things to remember when dealing with fire, smoke and water damage!

Dealing with a fire brings a whole set of things to take care of that you probably haven’t given much thought to before at your Dutchess County property.

We’re here to help you every step of the way in terms of what to do and not to do in case of a fire. Once the firemen have deemed it safe to go in (in some cases they won’t), here are some important things to consider in this situation:

-DO NOT attempt to consume food or beverages that have been stored close to fire, heat or water. They could be contaminated.

-DO NOT wander around inside the property. Keep your movements limited to help prevent soot particles from getting embedded into upholstery and carpet. Keep your hands clean to avoid further soiling.

-DO NOT turn on ceiling fixtures, they could’ve gotten wet or damaged and could cause electrical shock. In most cases, the electric has been turned off anyway as to not be a danger for the firefighters.

-DO NOT attempt to clean carpets, garments, electrical appliances, walls or painted surfaces BEFORE contacting SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County professionals. We are trained and certified with most innovative equipment and most effective methods of cleaning smoke and soot from everything in your home, including electronics, paperwork, photos and artwork. Let our teams take care of the hard part, it’s one less thing for you to have to consider in a time like this.

SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County will work directly with your insurance company to help get your home and life back the best way possible. You’ll be amazed at how clean, fresh and back to normal your property or business will be using the experts from SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County. Check out some of our work here!

Another valuable fire safety tip when it comes to dryer vents!

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Good cleaning tips can help prevent this scary situation

Protect your clothes—and possibly a whole lot more—with these simple maintenance tips:

Not taking care of your dryer causes several issues, starting with longer drying times, which can lead to shrunken clothes and heat-damaged fabrics. It can also drive up your utility bills, since the dryer is one of the more energy-intensive appliances in the home.

Another symptom of poor dryer maintenance: your dryer's automatic cycles could start to be less accurate, resulting in laundry that's either damp or dried to a crisp.

Last but certainly not least, a neglected dryer poses a serious fire hazard. In fact, some 7,000 fires, 200 injuries, and 10 deaths are attributed each year to dryer fires, according to estimates by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Not cleaning the dyer is the leading cause of the blazes.

Here’s how to get peak performance, efficiency, and safety out of your clothes dryer in a few simples steps.

Step 1: Empty the Lint Screen

This needs to happen every time you use the dryer. Not every week or every so often—every single time. If you allow too much lint to build up on the screen, heated dryer air won’t move freely through the machine, which will prolong drying times.

Step 2: Clean the Dryer Vent

Even if you’re diligent about emptying the lint screen, small fibers will get through the trap and into your dryer vent. Left unchecked, this lint can slowly snowball, to the point where an errant spark could lead to a serious conflagration inside the dryer vent. That’s why it’s critical to clean the dryer vent every few months or so, depending on how often you use the dryer and the types of laundry you dry. 

It’s a pretty simple task, assuming you can access the dryer vent by pulling the dryer away from the wall (if not, you’ll need to hire a professional). Always disconnect the dryer from its main power source at your home's electric panel. Then separate the vent from the dryer and vacuum both ends using the crevice attachment of your vacuum.

A few years ago, we tested the Lint Lizard, a device that can be attached to the end of your vacuum. It was extremely effective at sucking up dryer lint, so it might be worth the $10 investment. Just note the Lint Lizard’s sharp point could harm flexible dryer ducts made of foil or plastic. That being said, we strongly recommend metal dryer ducts, because they don't sag, making lint less likely to build up. Also, if a fire does start, a metal dryer vent is more likely to contain it than one made of plastic or foil.

Step 3: Clean the Moisture Sensors

Our top-rated dryers all have moisture sensors that work in conjunction with auto-dry cycles to detect the laundry’s dampness and shut off the machine when clothes are dry. Over time, these sensors can get covered with film, especially if you use dryer sheets. The buildup can prevent the dryer from knowing when the laundry is dry, leaving them either damp or overcooked.

To counter this problem, clean the sensors with a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol every few months, or any time the auto-dry cycles seem to be missing the mark. The sensors are usually located just inside the dryer, underneath the door. Look for thin metal bars, about 6 inches long, with a slight curve that follows the contour of the door. If you don't see the sensors there, check your owner's manual for their location.

Be diligent and avoid fire hazards! If you have experience fire and/or water damage in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County to alleviate the burden of restoration, 845-831-3600.

(reference: Consumer Reports, How to Clean Your Dryer Vent and Other Quick Tips, https://www.consumerreports.org/clothes-dryers/how-to-clean-your-dryer-vent/)

Learning About Fire Hazards in Your Home | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

December is the peak time of the year for home candle fires.

To protect your home from structure fires, you first need to be able to identify the common and lesser-known fire hazards within it. While we know it’s never fun thinking about an unpleasant scenario such as fire, unfortunately it is a harsh reality for many Americans each year.

Identifying Lesser-known Fire Hazards

There are many lesser-known hazards that may be present in your home that could cause home structure fires. Look out for loose outlets in your home, because the movement of these electrical outlets could loosen the wires connected to the outlet and create dangerous arcing.

Dust bunnies can pose a fire risk when collecting near electrical sockets and floor heaters. Vacuuming or sweeping your floors regularly and cleaning behind those hard-to-reach places, like an entertainment system, can help prevent buildup.

Also, some types of glassware in your home can also pose a fire risk. When sunlight passes through them, the concentrated ray could ignite flammable materials, which is why it’s smart to move glass accessories away from windows.

Smoking Can Cause Serious Structure Fires

While cooking is the leading cause of home fires, smoking inside is the leading cause of home fire deaths. In 2014, an estimated 17,200 home structure fires were reported due to smoking materials, which includes cigarettes, cigars and pipes. The Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes reported that those fires resulted in 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in property damage.

Fire-safe cigarettes are the best option—and deep, sturdy ashtrays should be used. Smokers should also know that most deaths result from fires that have started in living rooms, family rooms or bedrooms. Smoking outside is the best option.

Put out all cigarette butts and ashes in water or sand prior to throwing them out.

Candles Can Be a Hazard When Not Supervised

According to the National Fire Protection Association, during a five-year period from 2011 to 2015, fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated 8,700 home structure fires a year that were started by candles. In total, there were 82 deaths, 800 injuries and $295 million in direct property damage.

Candles are reported to have caused 2 percent of home fires, with 3 percent resulting in death and 7 percent with injuries. There were an average of 24 home candle fires reported per day over those five years, and December was the peak time for home candle fires.

Of all the candle fires during this time span, 37 percent started in bedrooms and were responsible for 36 percent of the associated deaths and 51 percent of the associated injuries.

Never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home—and always blow out all candles before leaving a room or going to sleep. Also, when burning a candle, be sure it’s kept at least one foot away from anything that could catch on fire and is in a sturdy holder that won’t easily tip over.

Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to homes, and in many circumstances, can be accompanied by water damage from firefighting efforts. If your home is damaged by fire or smoke, SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County is here to help restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Fire Damage Tips- What to do before help arrives

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

It's important to know what you can do and what not to do before help arrives.

What to do until help arrives, after you've had a fire.

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:

    • Is it safe to stay in the house?
    • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
    • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
    • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have Smoke or Fire Damage? Call 845-831-3600

What To Do After A Fire

    • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
    • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
    • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
    • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
    • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
    • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
    • Change HVAC filter.
    • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

    • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
    • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
    • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
    • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
    • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

SERVPRO of Western Dutchess is available 24/7 to provide emergency fire services, board-up services & reconstruction services to help make your damage "Like it never even happened."

Why you should consider a fire extinguisher in your Dutchess County home

10/30/2018 (Permalink)

One fire extinguisher per floor is recommended!

Fire extinguishers can save your life! They can put out a fire before emergency personnel arrive or they can help you exit your home safely.

What type do you get?

All household fire extinguishers have 3 classifications: A, B or C. Some models have a combination of all three extinguishers in one. 

    • "A" is for ordinary combustibles like trash, wood and paper
    • "B" is for liquids & grease (more stove top fires)
    • "C" is for electrical equipment

According to the National Fire Protection Association, each floor of your home should have an extinguisher. 

How do you use a fire extinguisher?

To use the extinguisher properly, you want to use the PASS method:

    • Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
    • Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire instead of at the flames themselves. Standing at least 6 feet away from the fire is important! 
    • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly while keeping the extinguisher upright. 
    • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side until the extinguisher runs dry.

Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations so make sure you have the correct extinguisher for your home. 

Whenever you use an extinguisher, whether you ran it dry or used it briefly, it's important to replace it or refill it right away. This is also the rule for any gauge that goes down to the red zone over time. 

Even though you take precautions against fire damages, they can still sometimes occur. If you experience a fire damage in your home, don't hesitate to contact SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County at 845-831-3600 to help make this disaster "Like it never even happened."

Tips to help prevent fires in your Dutchess County home

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

Tips to help avoid fires in your home.

According to U.S. News, “Each year, roughly 3,400 people are killed in home fires or by burn injuries, making them the third-most-common cause of accidental deaths at home”. They have provided five tips that can help to prevent home fires.

Fire Threat: Cooking

-Stand by your pan! Don’t walk away while the stove or cook-top is on. This can lead to a fire very quickly.

Fire Threat: Heating

-A space heater needs 3 feet of clear space all around it in all directions, keeping it away from draperies, furniture, bedspreads, people, and pets .

-Chimneys should be inspected and cleaned before each heating season begins.

Fire Threat: Smoking

-Take it outside. There are usually less combustible items outside than there are inside.

Fire Threat: Electrical

-Check all of your electrical cords to ensure that they are in good shape, and replace any that are worn out. In addition, make sure you are not overloading circuits and that one receptacle has one plug.

Fire Threat: Candles

-Consider going to battery-operated candles. They are fake but they are so much safer! It’s easy to forget to put out a candle when leaving a room.

Reference: Mullins (U.S. News) Top 5 Tips to Prevent House Fires. http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/real-estate/articles/2008/09/25/top-5-simple-ways-to-prevent-home-fires?page=2

Dutchess County Homeowners! How to Prevent Dryer Fires

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

An accumulation of lint can lead to a dangerous situation.

According to Consumer Reports (2018), every year firefighters across the country respond to around 14,630 home fires caused by clothes dryers, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

One-third of these fires is caused by an accumulation of lint, which means that not cleaning out your dryer vent can set you up for a dangerous situation that's far more serious than the drop in performance caused by constricting a dryer's duct work.

Take a look at these 4 simple best practices to ensure safety in the laundry room:

  1. CLEAN THE LINT FILTER AFTER EVERY LOAD- not only will this help prevent a fire, but your clothes will dry faster!
  2. REPLACE ACCORDION-STYLE DUCTS-If you see a plastic or foil accordion-style duct connecting your appliance to the vent, it’s a good idea to replace it with a rigid metal duct that won't sag and collect lint.
  3. CLEAN THE DRYER DUCT ANNUALLY- (at least)-Disconnect the duct from the dryer, and vacuum both the dryer and the duct—as much as you can access, then reassemble, return dryer to original spot and reconnect power.
  4. HANDLE CHEMICAL STAINS WITH CARE-Clothes stained with gas, cooking oil, cleaning agents, or other flammable chemicals or substances need special care. It's recommended to  wash such stained clothing more than once to minimize volatile chemicals, then hang to dry. If you must use a dryer, use the lowest heat setting and a drying cycle that concludes with a cool-down period.

IMPORTANT: In the event that a fire does start, keep the dryer door closed to limit its oxygen supply—a fire needs oxygen to keep it going.

If your family has experienced a fire of any kind and needs help restoring your home, SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County can help 24/7! Give us call at 845-831-3600 to learn about our fire restoration services. "Like it never even happened."

Reference: Consumer Reports- How to Prevent Dryer Fires: https://www.consumerreports.org/clothes-dryer/how-to-prevent-dryer-fires/

What You Can Do Safely Before Fire Restoration Help Arrives | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Call 845-831-3600 for help with our fire damage today!

Learning that you’ve been affected by a home fire is a devastating feeling. The good news is, much of the damage can be mitigated through restoration if you hire a professional.

Not only will a professional work with your homeowner’s insurance company on your behalf, but they will also be able to salvage more items in the cleanup. However, it’s natural to want to do what you can to get started as you’re waiting for help to arrive.

While some things should always be left to the professionals, there are a few things you can do while you wait. If you’d like to start on fire restoration ASAP, here are three things you can safely do:

Starting laundry right away is a great way to help the cleanup process, as most things will have to be washed several times. As long as your machines have not been affected, washing any clothing, bedding or other machine washable materials with an alkaline cleaner or vinegar solution is a great place to start. Leave delicate fabrics, upholstery and curtains to professional care.

If weather allows, reduce the smoky smell by opening windows and doors, and let them remain open as long as possible. While the restoration team will bring industrial-grade equipment to aid this process once they arrive, this is a small step you can take toward helping the process along.

Non-porous surfaces—such as tile and countertops—can benefit from a scrub with soap and water to cut through the outermost layer of grime. A mild dish soap or alkaline cleaner will get you started, but let the professionals handle the usage of anything more heavy-duty. Cleaning improperly can result in more severe and possibly permanent damage to your surfaces, so anything you’re unsure about should be left to the pros.

In the event of a house fire, SERVPRO® has a team of trained professionals that can help your life get back to normal, faster.

3 Reasons to Not Make Soot Cleanup a DIY | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Call 845-831-3600 to help with your soot clean up today!

From revamping your patio to remodeling the kitchen, DIY home improvements are integral to many homeowners’ weekends. However, even the handiest of homeowners should know that not everything should be tackled on your own.

If your home has been subject to fire damage, it’s tempting to start the cleanup process right away—but because there are many nuances to soot removal, this hastiness can often hurt more than it helps. That’s why we’ve compiled three reasons soot cleanup should never be a DIY project:

1. There Are Different Types of Soot. Because every fire is different, soot can vary greatly in its composition. While some soot has a dry, powdery texture, others will be thick and liquid-like. Appearances can be deceiving, and many homeowners are surprised to find that they don’t know what type of soot they’re dealing with before they interact with it. Tackling soot without knowing what type is on your hands can lead to spreading it further, running the risk of causing more damage to the home.

2. Soot Contains Toxic Chemicals. Fires require things such as carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen, but there are also chemicals released from every material that the flames came into contact with. Materials such as plastics, textiles and paint are extremely toxic once heated, and soot contains them all. Because of this, improper soot cleaning can cause these toxins to be re-released into the air and infiltrate the home with chemicals.

3. Soot Won’t Stay Put. Soot travels through the air, meaning it won’t remain contained to the fire’s original area. Soot travels into crevices, adheres to ceilings and can even infiltrate HVAC systems. Additionally, materials such as fabrics, upholstery and carpets can attract soot from other parts of the home. While it might be tempting to launder these items and scrub down the walls right away, improper cleaning can lead to ruining your belongings beyond repair.

If your home has been damaged by a fire, don’t risk causing further damage with DIY cleanup. SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County has a team of fire restoration professionals that can get your life back to normal, faster.

3 Reasons to Not Make Soot Cleanup a DIY | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Call 845-831-3600 to have SERVPRO help you with your soot cleaning!

From revamping your patio to remodeling the kitchen, DIY home improvements are integral to many homeowners’ weekends. However, even the handiest of homeowners should know that not everything should be tackled on your own.

If your home has been subject to fire damage, it’s tempting to start the cleanup process right away—but because there are many nuances to soot removal, this hastiness can often hurt more than it helps. That’s why we’ve compiled three reasons soot cleanup should never be a DIY project:

1. There Are Different Types of Soot. Because every fire is different, soot can vary greatly in its composition. While some soot has a dry, powdery texture, others will be thick and liquid-like. Appearances can be deceiving, and many homeowners are surprised to find that they don’t know what type of soot they’re dealing with before they interact with it. Tackling soot without knowing what type is on your hands can lead to spreading it further, running the risk of causing more damage to the home.

2. Soot Contains Toxic Chemicals. Fires require things such as carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen, but there are also chemicals released from every material that the flames came into contact with. Materials such as plastics, textiles and paint are extremely toxic once heated, and soot contains them all. Because of this, improper soot cleaning can cause these toxins to be re-released into the air and infiltrate the home with chemicals.

3. Soot Won’t Stay Put. Soot travels through the air, meaning it won’t remain contained to the fire’s original area. Soot travels into crevices, adheres to ceilings and can even infiltrate HVAC systems. Additionally, materials such as fabrics, upholstery and carpets can attract soot from other parts of the home. While it might be tempting to launder these items and scrub down the walls right away, improper cleaning can lead to ruining your belongings beyond repair.

If your home has been damaged by a fire, don’t risk causing further damage with DIY cleanup. SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County has a team of fire restoration professionals that can get your life back to normal, faster.

Reconstruction Services Now Being Offered!

5/2/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO will take the nightmare of a damage and help to make it "Like it never even happened."

We are now a one-stop shop! 


SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County is now offering reconstruction services for all mitigation damages! No longer do you need to find someone else to perform your restoration portion of the water, mold or fire damage! After we come in and perform the cleanup services, we can smoothly transition into the reconstruction services to help restore your home or office back to preloss condition!


With our new Reconstruction division, lead by Michael Scardaci, we are excited to offer the following services during the reconstruction process: 



  • Structural repairs

  • Electrical

  • Plumbing

  • HVAC

  • Windows/Doors

  • Interior Design

  • Flooring Replacement (all types)

  • Ceilings

  • Roofing

  • Drywall

  • Siding

  • Exterior Finishes

  • Carpentry

  • Framing

  • Tile Work


Call today for more information 845-831-3600 or visit our Facebook Page for more pictures and posts! 

Fire Damage Tips!

3/21/2017 (Permalink)

Let SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County help make your fire damage "Like it never even happened."

What to do until help arrives, after you've had a fire.


After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:



  • Is it safe to stay in the house?

  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.

  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.

  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!


Have Smoke or Fire Damage? Call 845-831-3600


What To Do After A Fire



  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.

  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.

  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.

  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.

  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.

  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.

  • Change HVAC filter.

  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.


What NOT To Do After A Fire



  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.

  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.

  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.

  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.

  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.


We're available 24/7 to provide emergency fire services, board-up services & reconstruction services to help make your damage "Like it never even happened."

How to Properly Use Your Fire Extinguisher

3/6/2017 (Permalink)

Fire extinguishers save lives!

Why you should consider a fire extinguisher for your Dutchess County home. 


Fire extinguishers can save your life! They can put out a fire before emergency personnel arrive or they can help you exit your home safely.


What type do you get?


All household fire extinguishers have 3 classifications: A, B or C. Some models have a combination of all three extinguishers in one. 



  • "A" is for ordinary combustibles like trash, wood and paper

  • "B" is for liquids & grease (more stove top fires)

  • "C" is for electrical equipment


According to the National Fire Protection Association, each floor of your home should have an extinguisher. 


How do you use a fire extinguisher?


To use the extinguisher properly, you want to use the PASS method:



  • Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.

  • Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire instead of at the flames themselves. Standing at least 6 feet away from the fire is important! 

  • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly while keeping the extinguisher upright. 

  • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side until the extinguisher runs dry.


Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations so make sure you have the correct extinguisher for your home. 


Whenever you use an extinguisher, whether you ran it dry or used it briefly, it's important to replace it or refill it right away. This is also the rule for any gauge that goes down to the red zone over time. 


Even though you take precautions against fire damages, they can still sometimes occur. If you experience a fire damage in your home, don't hesitate to contact SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County at 845-831-3600 to help make this disaster "Like it never even happened." 

Summer BBQ Fire Safety Tips for Dutchess & Ulster County Residents

6/14/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County & Kingston/New Paltz wants you to enjoy your summer safely!

'Tis the grilling and fire pit season! Keeping the stove off and lighting that grill or smoker is a summer dream. While we all look forward to that warm weather, it is very important to keep these fire safety tips in mind!

Grilling:

  • Keep a 3 foot clearance on all sides of the grill (that means keep kids and pets clear too!)
  • Do not use the grill near the house, siding, railings, or any overhangs
  • Do not use under trees or shrubbery.
  • Periodically clean the grill and its grease traps to prevent grease fires.
  • If using coals, please make sure they are completely cool before disposing of in a metal container.
  • Fire pits:

  • Before starting the fire, make sure the lid can fit and cover the inside fire in case of emergency
  • Keep the fire pit well away from flammable materials and fluids
  • Do not burn trash, leaves, paper or cardboard that could spark or send hot particles through the air.
  • Other safety reminders:

  • Do not leave grills or fire pits unattended
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand
  • Always stay safe with any summer activities. Enjoy the season! 

    Dutchess County Fire & Soot Cleanup

    6/14/2016 (Permalink)

    Fire Damage can cause serious damage in your home. What type of soot do you have?

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


    Smoke and soot facts:



    • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.

    • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.

    • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.


    Different Types of Smoke


    There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Western Dutchess 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 difficult to clean.


    Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood



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


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



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


    Our Fire Damage Restoration Services


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


    Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
    Call Us Today – 845-831-3600

    Tips to Prevent Home Fires

    1/28/2016 (Permalink)

    Use these tips to help prevent house fires

    According to U.S. News, “Each year, roughly 3,400 people are killed in home fires or by burn injuries, making them the third-most-common cause of accidental deaths at home”. They have provided five tips that can help to prevent home fires.

    Fire Threat: Cooking

    · Stand by your pan! Don’t walk away while the stove or cooktop is on. This can lead to a fire very quickly.

    Fire Threat: Heating

    · A space heater needs 3 feet of clear space all around it in all directions, keeping it away from draperies, furniture, bedspreads, people, and pets .

    · Chimneys should be inspected and cleaned before each heating season begins.

    Fire Threat: Smoking

    · Take it outside. There are usually less combustible items outside than there are inside.

    Fire Threat: Electrical

    · Check all of your electrical cords to ensure that they are in good shape, and  replace any that are worn out. In addition, make sure you are not overloading circuits and that one receptacle has one plug.

    Fire Threat: Candles

    · Consider going to battery-operated candles. They are fake but they are so much safer! It’s easy to forget to put out a candle when leaving a room.

    Reference: Mullins (U.S. News) Top 5 Tips to Prevent House Fires. http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/real-estate/articles/2008/09/25/top-5-simple-ways-to-prevent-home-fires?page=2