Recent Fire Damage Posts

Keeping Your Home’s Smoke Detectors Operational

6/29/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm It is important to keep up with your homes smoke alarm.

Smoke alarms are an extremely important component of fire safety. Fires in homes with smoke alarms are less likely to be fatal, as having an early alert to danger can help everyone escape the home safely and effectively.

In addition to installing your smoke alarms on every floor of the home, in every bedroom and in areas that are highly susceptible to fires, it is important that you perform regular maintenance on them to make sure they remain effective
and are replaced when they reach the end of their working life.

Important Components of Smoke Alarm

Check smoke alarms every 30 days. According to the United States Fire Administration, it is recommended to test your smoke alarms at least once a month to make sure they are operational. Alarms should be equipped with a test button you can press and hold to make sure the alarm sounds—never use an open flame or smoke to test your alarm system.

Know when the manufacturer recommends battery replacements. It used to be that smoke alarms were designed to have the batteries replaced annually, but many alarms are now made with special long-life batteries
that do not require replacement for the lifetime of the unit. Be sure you know which type you have and set a reminder to replace your batteries regularly if your manufacturer
recommends it.

Replace smoke alarms every 10 years. Regardless of the model, smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years at a minimum. Smoke alarms that are older than 10 years old have a 30% failure rate, so do not let yours age
past their effective lifespan. It is important to note that some smoke alarm models are designed for three- and five-year use, so knowing the details of yours when you install it is important.

Vacuum your alarm yearly. Dust can collect in the vents of smoke alarms and make them less sensitive to smoke and high heat. Be sure to use your vacuum attachment to pull any dust out of the vents so they are at their peak effectiveness just in case.

If you have experienced fire damage to your home, we are here to help you. You can get in touch any time to get a quick response from our restoration experts. Call us at 732-752-4445.

Top Causes of Home Fires and How To Prevent Them

5/8/2020 (Permalink)

A third of all fires begin in the home. To keep your home and loved ones safe, you should educate yourself on the ways fires can start, so you can be ready if it ever happens.


Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and are responsible for half of the injuries from home fires

  •  Turn off the stove when you are away
  •  Use a timer when cooking
  •  Keep flammable items away from stove
  •  Never pour water on grease fire


Smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths. Cigarettes, pipes, and cigars cause 21% of home fire deaths.

  • Smoke outside, not inside. Many fires begin in the bedroom or living room with fabric, paper, or other flammable material.
  • Do not toss cigarettes into bushes or leaves
  • Be cautious with e-cigarettes- do not leave them charging unattended or overnight.


Electrical equipment can create hazards- the wiring, lighting, electrical cords, and plugs, cause about 10% of house fires.

  • Don't use light bulbs higher than the recommended wattage.
  • Unplug appliances when not in use.
  • Keep children away from electrical sockets.
  • Call an electrician if you see sparks. 


Candles can be very dangerous if you are not careful

  • Never go to sleep with candles burning.
  • Place candles at least a foot away from anything that could catch fire.
  • Keep candles away from children and pets.


Heating equipment is the second main cause of home fire fatalities.

  • Have a professional clean and inspect your chimney once a year.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month.
  • Keep flammable materials away from heaters.

If you have fire damage call SERVPRO of Piscataway. Our IICRC trained and certified technicians will come and make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Piscataway 732-752-4445

Fire Safety Tips

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Fire Damage Do you have fire damage? Call SERVPRO of Piscataway.

There are over 365,000 fires and 2,650 civilian deaths every year, resulting in $7 billion in property damage.  US fire departments respond to a fire every 86 seconds. That is over 1,000 fires a day.

Unattended cooking is the leading cause of house fires, followed by heating equipment, electrical malfunction, intentional fires or smoking materials.

Here are some simple fire safety tips to keep you and your family safe:

  • Install and maintain fire alarms on every floor in your home and within bedrooms
  • Never leave food cooking unattended
  • Avoid using portable and fixed space heaters
  • Teach kids how to stop, drop, and roll
  • Create a fire plan with your family to escape in case of a fire

If you have fire damage to your home or business call SERVPRO of Piscataway at 732-752-4445.

Fire Safety for Small Business Owners

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

As a business owner, you are legally and ethically responsible to keep your employees safe. Fire safety is one way to do that. No matter how big or small the business, you are legally obligated to follow fire safety laws. 

Here are 5 things your small business should be doing to keep your property, employees, and customers safe.

Fire Exits

If there is a fire, you need to be sure there is a way for employees and customers to get out of your building. OSHA requires all workplaces to have at least 2 fire exits that are not located in close proximity to each other, and these exits must be kept clear. 

Fire Extinguishers

OSHA requires all workplaces to have the proper type of fire extinguishers based of the type of fire hazards present. For example, a kitchen would have a fire extinguisher that would need a fire extinguisher for grease fires. The fire extinguishers must be kept in good working order and tested and inspected regularly.

Emergency Evacuation

Employers should provide written emergency plans for employees to be sure all employees know where the exit routes are. Employers and managers must have a plan in place to account for all employees during an evacuation. 

Make sure your employees are trained on what to do in the event of a fire and review training every 6 months. Host regular fire drills to allow employees to practice the evacuation procedures.

Fire Suppression Systems

Finally, OSHA requires all workplaces to have fire suppression systems, such as automatic sprinkler systems. When a fire is detected these systems automatically spray water, sound the alarm and alert the authorities. 

These are important steps to follow for all small business owners. Take some time to be sure your business is operating within the current OSHA guidelines. 

If your business sustained fire damage, call SERVPRO of Piscataway at 732-752-4445 to speak with one of our certified Fire Restoration technicians. 

Small Business Recovery Tips for After a Disaster

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Accessing fire damage Restoration technician accessing fire damage.

If your small business has been impacted by a natural disaster, it can be a time fraught with uncertainty. Between recovery, ensuring the safety of your employees and restoring your building to continue operations, there are many things to consider—and with small businesses being impacted more severely than large businesses in the wake of a natural disaster, recovering can begin to feel like a daunting task.

As leaders in commercial restoration, we have helped many business owners reopen following a natural disaster and are here to be a resource for you. Below we have compiled our top tips for recovery after your business has been hit by a natural disaster, so you can get back in business faster.

Assess and Document the Damages

It is important to never re-enter a building until emergency personnel have declared it to be safe, but once that happens, taking stock of the damages and documenting them is vital to the restoration process. By having documentation of the damage, you can provide your insurance company with more information to go toward your claim in order to provide proof of the issues you are facing. Additionally, this is a good time to check in with key employees, vendors and clients to determine they are safe and evaluate any interruption in their own workflow.

Explore Recovery Options

Knowing where to turn to for assistance during the recovery process will help you receive aid and get your business reopened much more quickly. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers low-interest disaster loans and other resources for business owners to learn more about disaster preparedness and recovery processes.

Contact a Commercial Restoration Company

Working with the right company to handle your restoration is one of the best things you can do for the longevity of your business. Be sure to watch out for post-disaster restoration scams that often pop up to prey on vulnerable victims, and instead choose a company with a proven record for quality work and a strong local presence. Look for a company with a 24⁄7 emergency line so you can report your damage at any hour, and be sure they have highly trained technicians who have experience in commercial restoration.

If your business has been impacted by a disaster, you can call us 247 to report the damage and have our highly trained technicians respond quickly.

How Your Household Can Prepare for a House Fire

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Though a house fire is something most individuals would rather not consider, it is important to prepare for them to keep the members of your household safe. 

Many people overestimate how much time they will have to escape a house fire, but experts warn that the average person only have two minutes to evade the flames. Because of this narrow time frame and the extreme dangers associated with a lack of preparedness, having a house fire plan in place is key.

How to Prepare for a Household Fire

Follow Guidelines for Smoke Alarms

When a fire starts, your smoke alarms are the first line of defense meaning that it is essential that they are operational and can be heard from anywhere in the home. The National Fire Protection Association has several guidelines for smoke alarm installation regarding where to install them and how often to test and replace them to help keep your household fire-safe. 

Create a Fire Escape Plan (and Practice It) 

While many households have a fire escape plan in place, fewer than half have actually taken the time to practice it. It is important to create a fire escape plan that includes two exits out of every room and allows all family members to escape in under two minutes. Practice the escape plan at least every six months, going over different fire scenarios and designating an outdoor meeting place where household members can touch base once they have escaped. 

Know What to Do After a Fire

The aftermath of a fire can be emotionally draining and cause individuals to experience a lot of stress as they work to reclaim their home and belongings. Making a plan for the aftermath of the fire- such as designating a temporary place to stay, keeping important home documents off-site for recovery and knowing which restoration company to work with to get cleanup started right away- will make the recovery process much smoother for individuals who have suffered from a house fire.

If you have suffered from a house fire, we are here to help! Call SERVPRO of Piscataway at 732-752-4445 to report your damage and begin the restoration process immediately. 

Summer Fire Safety

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

This home in Middlesex had fire damage due to a grill being placed against the house.

Barbecues and bonfires are two activities that come to mind when you think of summer fun. Grilling, toasting marshmallows, or just sitting around the fire - nothing says summer like a bonfire or a backyard barbecue. However, both activities carry a high risk of fire hazard.

When grilling, the grill should only be used outdoors in a well ventilated area at least 10 feet away from the house. Never use a grill on a porch, balcony, or a deck with a roof or overhang. SERVPRO of Piscataway recently completed a fire job at a home in Middlesex where a grill was placed against the house and caused a fire to break out. It caused extensive damage to the back of the home and the deck.

After using a propane grill, always make sure the propane tank is shut off properly. Forgetting to shut off the tank can cause an explosion. 

Whether you are using a propane grill or a charcoal grill, never pour or squirt lighter fluid directly onto a lit grill.

When building a bonfire, use only untreated hardwood. Never use flammable liquid to keep your fire going and always have things on hand to put out the fire (water, shovel, and/or fire extinguisher). 

While having fun this summer, always remember that fire can be dangerous and cause a lot of damage. Preparation is key to having a fun and safe summer.

If your home or business has suffered from fire or smoke damage, our technicians at SERVPRO of Piscataway can help. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us at 732-752-4445.

What to do After a House Fire

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

Soot damage in Piscataway.

Experiencing a house fire is a frightening, sickening, and upsetting experience. In the aftermath of a fire, it is very important to know what to do to protect yourself and others from any possibility of further harm. Ask when it is safe to enter a house or other building on the property after a fire. Do no enter a house or other building that has been affected by a fire until you have listened to the professionals telling you that it is okay to do so.

A resident in Piscataway went through a devastating experience when a fire took place in their residence. After the fire department did their job; the client called SERVPRO of Piscataway to take care of their soot and smoke damage. Our trained and knowledgeable technicians got the job done professionally and quickly, leaving the client pleased with how fast they were able to get back in their home.

SERVPRO of Piscataway is available 24/7 365 days for all soot and smoke damage.

SERVPRO of Piscataway


Smoke and Soot Restoration

4/19/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Restoration in Berkeley Heights

After emergency personnel have left, the actual existence of a fire at your home can leave you devastated. SERVPRO of Piscataway is the number one leader in smoke and soot restoration.

Smoke can spread to all levels of your home. Hot smoke can move to cooler areas and upper levels of property. Smoke also flows around plumbing systems, seeping through holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.Extinguishing a fire can sometimes leave behind water damage in addition to fire damages already in your home. Heating , ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system should be addressed in fire restoration in your home.

SERVPRO of Piscataway is here 24/7 for all your smoke and soot restoration. Our trained technicians are knowledgeable to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Spring Cleaning and Fire Safety

4/19/2019 (Permalink)

Spring is here and the weather is getting warmer. With the arrival of spring comes blue skies, blooming flowers, and spring cleaning! The nice weather that comes with the season makes for the perfect time to take preventative measures to help maintain your home and property throughout the year.

Here are some fire safety spring cleaning tips to make your home a safer place:

1. Smoke Detectors

Check your smoke alarms. Test the batteries, if the detector makes a chirping sound, replace the batteries immediately. Replace any smoke detectors that are over 10 years old.

2. Electrical Cords

Check all electrical cords on appliances, televisions, computers, stereos, and heating/cooling devices. If any wires are cracked or frayed- they must be repaired or replaced. Make sure cords are not pinched in doors, windows, or under heavy furniture or rugs.

3. Appliances

Clean any dust, grime, or grease from toasters, microwaves, and stoves. Clean the area under and behind the washer and dryer and make sure there are no flammable materials nearby like cardboard or cleaning supplies. Clean lint from dryer vent by vacuuming the lint trap.

4. Grills

Before you turn the grill on- check the propane tank, hose, and all connection points to ensure there are no leaks. You can check for leaks by using a 50/50 solution of water and soap. If bubbles appear- there is a leak. If you are using a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starting fluid.

Adding these small measures to your spring cleaning routine can help ensure a safe season for you and your loved ones.

If your family has experienced a fire and needs help restoring your home, SERVPRO® of Piscataway can help! Give us call to learn about our fire restoration services and what we can do for you.

SERVPRO of Piscataway


Holiday Fire Safety Tips

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

Holiday Fire Safety Tips

The holiday season is one of the most dangerous times of the year for household fires,

Here are some tips from SERVPRO of Piscataway to help your household from being a holiday fire Statistic

Residential fires during the holiday season are more than usual, with people not realizing these few simple precautions. And when those fires occur, they do more damage: Property loss during a holiday fire is 34% greater than in an average fire. When the source of the fire is a highly flammable Christmas tree, the toll in property and lives is even greater.

To keep your household from becoming a holiday fire statistic, here are some safety tips to follow.


Cooking is the top cause of holiday fires. The most common is food that is left unattended. It is very easy to get distracted. Make sure to keep a kitchen fire extinguisher that’s rated for all types of fires, and check that smoke detectors are working. 
If you’re planning to deep-fry your holiday turkey, do it outside, on a flat, level surface at least 10 feet from the house.


The incidence of candle fires is four times higher during December than during other months. According to the National Fire Protection Association, four of the five most dangerous days of the year for residential candle fires are Christmas/Christmas Eve and New Year’s/New Year’s Eve. (The fifth is Halloween.)
To reduce the danger, maintain about a foot of space between the candle and anything that can burn.. Never leave flames unattended. Before bed, walk through each room to make sure candles are blown out. For atmosphere without worry, consider flameless LED candles.

Christmas Trees

It takes less than 30 seconds for a dry tree to engulf a room in flames.
To minimize risk, buy a fresh tree with intact needles, get a fresh cut on the trunk, and water it every day. A well-watered tree is almost impossible to ignite. Keep the tree away from heat sources, such as a fireplace or radiator, and out of traffic patterns. If you’re using live garlands and other greenery, keep them at least three feet away from heating sources.
No matter how well the tree is watered, it will start to dry out after about four weeks, so take it down after the holidays. Artificial trees don’t pose much of a fire hazard; just make sure yours is flame-retardant.

Decorative Lights

Inspect light strings, and throw out any with frayed or cracked wires or broken sockets. When decorating, don’t run more than three strings of lights end to end. “Stacking the plugs is much safer when you’re using a large quantity of lights,” Extension cords should be in good condition and UL-rated for indoor or outdoor use. Check outdoor receptacles to make sure the ground fault interrupters don’t trip.
When hanging lights outside, avoid using nails or staples, which can damage the wiring and increase the risk of a fire. Instead, use UL-rated clips or hangers.

When you are cleaning out the fireplace, put embers in a metal container and set them outside to cool for 24 hours before disposal. 

Are You Watching for These Fire Hazards in Your Home? SERVPRO® of Piscataway

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

Are You Watching for These Fire Hazards in Your Home? | SERVPRO® of Piscataway

In this blog, we’ll be diving into two of the most common household fire hazards. Because no one wants to experience the unfortunate possibility of seeing their home damaged by fire, it’s important to learn and understand how you can protect your home from this harsh reality by understanding fire hazards and knowing how to identify them.

Be Mindful When Burning Candles

Candle usage caused 2 percent of reported home fires, with 3 percent resulting in death and 7 percent with injuries. There were an average of 24 candle-related home fires reported per day during those five years, with December having the highest number of calls during the year for home candle fires.

Of the candle fires during this time span, 37 percent started in bedrooms and were responsible for 36 percent and 51 percent, respectively, of the associated deaths and injuries. According to the National Fire Protection Association, during a five-year period from 2011 to 2015, fire departments in the United States answered calls to an estimated 8,700 home structure fires a year that were started by candle use. These fires were responsible for 82 deaths, 800 injuries and $295 million in direct property damage.

Never use a candle if oxygen is being used in the home. Always blow all candles out before leaving a room or going to sleep. And be sure candles are kept at least one foot away from anything that could burn and in a sturdy holder that won’t easily tip over.

Disaster Can Stem From Indoor Smoking

While cooking is the main cause of home fires, smoking is the main cause of home fire deaths. Approximately 17,200 home structure fires caused by smoking materials, including cigarettes, pipes and cigars, were reported in 2014. Those fires resulted in 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in property damage, per the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes.

All cigarettes should be doused in water or sand prior to throwing them out—and keep in mind that one out of four fatalities from smoking-material fires is not the actual smoker whose cigarette started the fire.

Dust Bunnies = Fire Hazards

While candles and smoking are two of the most common causes of home structure fires, there are also other lesser-known hazards that could be present in your home.

Were you aware that some kinds of glassware in your home could pose a fire risk? When sunlight passes through the glassware, the concentrated ray may ignite flammable materials. It is best to keep glass accessories away from windows and out of sunlight.

Dust bunnies are also a fire risk if left to collect near electrical sockets and floor heaters. Sweeping or vacuuming your floors regularly and cleaning hard-to-reach areas like behind entertainment centers can help prevent buildup.

Check for loose electrical outlets in your home. The movement of these loose electrical outlets could possibly loosen the wires connected to the outlet and create dangerous arcing and sparking, which could ignite a fire.

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


Fire Safety Basics For your Family

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Basics for Your Family | SERVPRO® of Piscataway

Every year in the United States, more than 350,000 house fires occur, adding up to more than $5.5 billion in property damage. These fires also lead to nearly 3,000 deaths and another 10,000 injuries.

Your best defense is to prepare in advance for a fire. That’s why it’s important for every person in your family to know how to prevent fires and understand what needs to be done if a fire occurs.

Start by teaching your kids basic fire safety guidelines at a young age. Also take a look at these three other fire safety precautions you can practice as a family:

Finding Fire Hazards in the Home

If you were to walk through your home looking for fire hazards, you might be surprised at how many you spot! Take some time to check every room as well as your outdoor space to spot and correct these hazards.

  • Appliances should be in good working condition.
  • Check to be sure electrical cords aren’t damaged.
  • Ensure electric outlets and/or extension cords aren’t overloaded.
  • Light fixtures should be used with the correct light bulbs.
  • Electrical wiring should never be covered up by rugs or carpet.
Fire Safety for the Kitchen

Home fires are often caused by cooking. That’s why it’s important to be especially careful in the kitchen.

Anyone who’s cooking needs to follow some basic cooking safety rules:

  • Never cook when distracted or tired.
  • Supervise kids and teens at all times when they are cooking.
  • Keep a lid nearby when cooking on the stove. In the event of a grease fire, smother it with the lid.
  • If the oven catches fire, keep the door closed and turn the oven off.
  • If a kitchen fire occurs and starts to spread, leave the room and close the door.
Design a Fire Safety Plan

Should a fire spark, every person in the family must know how to react and what to do—which includes how to get out of the house and where to go once they’re out.

But don’t just create a plan and not practice that plan.

You’ve heard the saying “practice makes perfect.” Regular practice of your fire plan will make everyone involved more likely to remember the steps if an actual fire occurs.

If your family has experienced a fire and needs help restoring your home, SERVPRO® of Piscataway can help! Give us call to learn about our fire restoration services and what we can do for you.

Here's What You Can Do Before Fire Restoration Help Arrives

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Here’s What You Can Do Before Fire Restoration Help Arrives | SERVPRO® of Piscataway

While damages from fire can often be mitigated with restoration, learning that you’ve been affected by a home fire is still devastating. When you begin the cleanup process, to ensure the restoration is properly done, don’t cut corners by not hiring a professional.

Working with a professional has several benefits—not only will they work with your homeowner’s insurance company on your behalf, but they will also be able to salvage more items in the cleanup. That being said, it’s understandable to want to begin cleanup right away, while you’re still waiting on help to arrive.

While most things should be left to the professionals, a few tasks can be done while you wait so you can get your life back to normal faster. If you decide you’re ready to start on fire restoration ASAP, here are three things you can safely do:


If your washer and dryer have not been affected by the fire, starting laundry right away is a great way to help the cleanup process. By washing clothing, bedding and other machine washable materials with an alkaline cleaner or vinegar solution, you’ll be able to get back to normal more quickly as most things must be washed several times. However, always leave delicate fabrics, upholstery and curtains to professional care.

Increased Ventilation

To reduce the smoky smell, open windows and doors, and keep them open as long as weather allows. While the restoration team will bring industrial-grade equipment to ventilate further, this is a small step you can take toward helping the process along.

Preliminary Cleaning

Tile, countertops and other non-porous substances can benefit from a scrub with soap and water to cut through the initial layer of grime. Use a mild dish soap or alkaline cleaner to get a preliminary scrub taken care of. Cleaning improperly can result in more severe and possibly permanent damage to your surfaces, so leave anything you’re unsure about to the pros.

If you’ve had damage due to a home fire, SERVPRO® has a team of trained professionals that can help your life get back to normal, faster.


Fire Escape Plan

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Fire escape plan

Why Should You Create a Fire Escape Plan?

Every household should have some sort of fire escape plan in place just in case the worst was to happen. Hopefully you will never have to use it, but it is important to prepare for it so there is no delay when it is put into action. Time is your biggest enemy when escaping from a burning building. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and can turn into a major fire.

When creating a fire escape plan, incorporate the following elements:

  • When coming to a closed door, use the back of your hand to feel the top of the door, the doorknob and the crack between the door and the frame to make sure that the fire is not directly outside. If the door feels hot, use the secondary exit. If the door feels cool, brace yourself against it and open it slowly.
  • Do not waste any time trying to save your personal property. Instead, take the safest exit route.
  • If you must escape through smoke, crawl low under the smoke and cover your mouth.
  • Establish a meeting place outside of the home where everyone knows to go once they are safely out. Designate one person to go to a neighbor’s house to call the fire service.
  • Never go back into a burning home for any reason.

Safety First

You and your family should establish an escape plan that outlines at least two exits from each room in your home in the event of a fire. If the primary exit is blocked by fire or smoke, you will need a second way out. It is also advisable to have a room in which you could all stay in if the worse was to happen. It would be suggested that this room also has a telephone so you can summon help. Make sure all the children know your address in case they have to telephone themselves.

Every member of your family should practice the escape plan each month both in the light and in the dark so that everyone knows how to feel their way out of the house. Special arrangements need to be made in consideration of any elderly people who may live with you and how you will implement the escape.

If you are concerned about how you would escape from your home in case of fire,  we at SERVPRO of Piscataway will help you devise an escape plan that fits your families needs.

Give us a call

SERVPRO of Piscataway


Summer Weather Fire Tips

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Summer weather means cookouts, Fourth of July fireworks, and all sorts of campfire fun as families across the country take advantage of the warm temperatures to get back in touch with nature.

It’s certainly relaxing to enjoy a beach bonfire with friends and loved ones, or roast marshmallows by the lake or in the backyard fire pit, but it’s also important to ensure that everyone stays safe by observing a few simple fire protection guidelines.

  1. Keep a bucket of water handy. If an ember floats out of your fire pit, or a log falls down from your bonfire stack and sets nearby foliage, paper, or other flammable materials aflame, you don’t want to be scrambling for a way to put the fire out. Having a bucket of water nearby is a great first response tool to keep a fire under control.
  2. Supervise all fireworks (if fireworks are legal in your state). Sparklers might seem “low risk,” but the reality is that there aren’t any fireworks out there that are safe enough for kids to use without adult supervision. It’s also important to ensure that no one tries to re-light fireworks that don’t work properly the first time. Dump these in a bucket of water and move on to the next package.
  3. Don’t let barbecue grease build up. Whether you’re using a charcoal or a gas grill, it’s important to keep it clean to prevent accidental grease fires caused by all of the gunk that can accumulate on a grill over time.
  4. Inspect the area around your BBQ and campfire. You don’t want to grill or light a campfire anywhere near other flammable materials. This includes deck railings, overhanging branches, dry grass or that pile of dry wood and recycling sitting in the back corner of your yard. If you’re camping, clear out the area immediately around your BBQ or campfire spot to be sure that there’s no brush nearby that could ignite if a spark lands on it.
  5. When you’re done with the fun, put out the flames. While it might seem romantic to fall asleep in front of a campfire, you really should dump water and/or sand on those embers before catching some shut-eye. The same goes for BBQs – close your propane valve and the unit’s lid, as well as any vents on a charcoal grill once you’re done. A unsupervised BBQs can easily tip over in the wind. A breeze can pick up and carry coals and embers from that campfire, dropping them where they can ignite dry grass, branches, trees or deck planks.

 If you have any questions 

Feel free to contact us 

SERVPRO of Piscataway 


What to do After a House Fire

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

What to do after a House Fire?

Experiencing a house fire is a frightening, sickening, and very upsetting experience. In the aftermath of a fire, it is very important to know what to do to protect yourself and others from any possibility of further harm

Ask when it is safe to enter a house or other building on the property after a fire. Do not enter a house or other building that has been affected by a fire until you have listened to the professionals telling you that is okay to do so.

Know who to call after a fire.

  • Contact family members that may not have been with you. Let them know what happened, let them know that everybody is okay (if so) and let them know the information that is necessary.
  • After a house fire, don't assume that someone is going to contact your insurance. This is the number one thing that youneed to do. This will not only enable documentation of the event and set in train the insurance claim but your insurer will be able to talk you through emergency lodging and living expenses. The insurance company will also assist with clean up options.
  • If you are a tenant, contact the owner/landlord and/or their insurance company.
  • Anyone who you feel that could be helpful to you, not necessarily just an insurance company but it could be other things involved, such as the contents of your home and you need to contact a particular help group or business etc.
  • Understand what happens with a "fire report".A fire report will discuss what structure the house was in, what area was involved, the time of the incident, the date of the incident and it will have an incident number if it comes through a fire department. 

Know how to get a copy of a fire report. You may be able to call the fire department for a copy. For example, in Los Angeles, you can call the Fire Prevention Bureau, the Fire Marshall or the billing agency of the fire department. If arson is involved, the Arson Unit or equivalent will probably be able to get this information to you.

Secure the property. If you have not already being told to do so, it is important to secure your property to prevent possible looting. Talk to emergency services on how best to go about this. Most insurance policies require this.

Consider the clean up requirements. 

If your house has been damaged interior clean up will be required. We at SERVPRO of Piscataway can help you to clean up the damage with content pack and professional cleaning services of property or businesses.

Keep in mind that damage to the property often goes beyond what the eye can see. (Removal of a destroyed house should only be done by professionals.)

 The types of damage including soot, ash, charring, smoke, odor, etc.

  • Damage to a single room - this may be something you can manage yourself
  • Extensive damage - leave it alone and call in the professionals at SERVPRO of Piscataway 24 hours a day 7days a week. 732-752-4445

If water hoses were used to put out your fire drying your home is very important. It is best to hire professionals to do fire/ water combination clean up. Water damage can lead to more damage or even mold if not dried properly. Insurance companies will often have approved restoration contractors such as SERVPRO of Piscataway that you can call at 732-752-4445 for board up, structural drying, contents cleaning and structural cleaning and repair.

 Know how to handle smoke and soot damage after a fire. If you do make the decision to clean up yourself, be aware that soot and smoke damage might be significant and often creates a film on the walls. There will also be residue from the extinguishers used by the fire crew.

  • Soot- while there are many cleaning products available on the market, one of the most common is "TSP" or tri-sodium phosphate. Mix it with water according to the instructions and use a sponge. Wipe down the walls and let it dry.
  • Extinguisher residue- use a shop hired vacuum to remove the residue and any remaining dry soot.
  • Furnishings such as carpets, rugs, curtains etc. are best cleaned professionally if they are even salvageable
  • Open all doors and windows if possible. Even if it is freezing cold outside, let small bursts of fresh air circulate through. Send the kids to a friend's house for a bit while this is happening. They should not be around anyway, for fear of the potential for ingestion of chemical particles or other particles that might damage young lungs and immune systems.

Fire Safety Prevention Tips

4/20/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Prevention and Preparedness Tips

Questions to ask yourself…..

  • Do you have a properly installed smoke detector?  When is the last time you tested it and changed the batteries?
  • Do your children know what the alarm on your smoke detector sounds like?
  • Do you have an escape plan?  Have you practiced it with all members of your household?
  • Do your younger household members know how to STOP, DROP, and ROLL?
  • Do you have properly working fire extinguishers in your home and do you know how to use them?

Practices makes for a more prepared family.  Although there is no way to predict how you will react during an emergency situation, one of the most important things you can do, especially for younger members of your home, is to practice how to handle a fire in your home.

Once the fire is over, it is difficult to pick up the pieces.  If you were home when the fire began, you may have a lot of emotional ups and down.  The last thing you should have to worry about is coordinating contractors to get your house back to its original state and get the fire, water and smoke damage repaired.  

Here are a few tips for preventing fires at home:

Avoiding Electrical Outlet and Wiring Fires

Electrical fires account for about 24,000 residential fires every year. Some of the most common causes of these fires are due to everyday usage of power cords and electrical outlets. Here are a few ways you can reduce these electrical hazards.

  • Avoid using outlet extenders or power strip bars that can overload electrical circuits
  • Replace all frayed or damaged electrical cords
  • Do not pinch or cover electrical cords with furniture or rugs

Kitchen fires are very common.

  • Refrain from microwaving materials such as aluminum foil, Styrofoam or paper products
  • Never leave pots or pans unattended on a hot stove
  • Keep your stove top and oven clean. Built up grease and other residue can ignite when exposed to high temperatures

How to Prevent Appliance Fires

Home structure fires are often the result of common household appliances. Every year, dishwashers, dryers, microwaves, refrigerators and toasters can become a fire hazard. Make sure to inspect and maintain your appliances to minimize the risk of fire.

  • Remove lint from your dryer after each use
  • Avoid using portable heaters and keep them clear of any materials such as curtains or blanket
  • Have your heating system, chimney and fireplace serviced regularly. Be sure to never burn cardboard boxes or wrapping paper in your fireplace

Fire Prevention in the Garage and Outdoors

Our yards and outdoor spaces are often extensions of our living spaces. Hosting summer parties or barbecues and sitting around the fire on cold, winter nights are a lot of fun. And they are great ways to spend quality time with family and friends. But, hosting outdoor events can also increase the risk of property fires. Make sure to take the following precautions to fully enjoy your outdoor space.

  • Properly prepare the area surrounding your backyard fire pit by raking the area and keeping it clear of any debris
  • Be sure to properly extinguish any smoldering materials. Smoldering materials can burn for days before igniting a fire
  • Avoid garage fires by storing oil, gas, paints and varnishes in a shed away from your home

How to Stay Safe in Case of a Fire

  1. Install smoke alarms inside all bedrooms and outside any sleeping areas
  2. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors each month and replace the device’s batteries if they’re not working
  3. Create a fire escape plan with all family members and practice the plan at least twice a year
  4. In case of fire, get out and call for help. Never go back inside!

We suggest having two escape plans from every room. This is important in the event that one escape route becomes unavailable due to the path of the fire. It’s also very important to practice fire drills at least twice a year, especially with small children. This ensures they know what to do in the event of an emergency.

Remember, when it comes to fire safety, every second counts. Know the risks, eliminate unnecessary hazards and educate your family with escape planning. There are many ways to reduce the chances of having a deadly fire in your home. But, you should always have a fire escape plan in place. Never underestimate the power of preparedness when it comes to safety.

How Long Do Fire Extinguishers Last?

4/18/2018 (Permalink)

How Long Do Fire Extinguishers Last?

Rely on this info to keep your home safe from flames and your defenses up to date.

Check for an expiration date. 

Look for a paper tag on the fire extinguisher showing a record of maintenance. It may not connote an expiration date, but if the oldest date on the tag was more than 10 years ago, your extinguisher’s days are likely numbered—it may already have lost its ability to fight flames.

Next, inspect the pressure gauge at the top. 

If the needle is within the green area, your extinguisher should be in working order. If so, set up a monthly reminder on your calendar or your phone to continue checking the gauge. A needle in the red or white area indicates that it requires service.

If the extinguisher has no gauge, it’s probably an older model, which means it would be wise to take it to a professional for testing and, if necessary (and possible), recharging.

Bring the unit to a fire extinguisher expert for a professional determination to see if it can be recharged.

 To find a local pro, search online for “fire extinguisher specialist” and include the name of your city and state. A professional recharge typically runs between $15 and $20, a bargain compared to a new extinguisher, which will likely cost $100 to $200.

Store a fire extinguisher in a clean, indoor location can help extend its life. Exposure to sun, UV radiation, wind, or rain can cause corrosion, rust, and deterioration. Excessively dusty or dirty environments can hamper the device’s ability to function properly.

Know the warning signs. There are several telltale clues that your extinguisher won’t work no matter what its age—and that, in fact, it poses a hazard all its own. If the canister is dented or bruised, or if the tamper seal and pin are missing, there’s a possibility that it might explode unprompted. Examine the entire unit and if it’s not in good shape, properly dispose of it without delay.

If your fire extinguisher is indeed expired or damaged beyond repair, dispose of it properly. 

Take it to your local hazardous waste collection site (find one locally with an online search) or local fire department (call first to ensure that the station accepts expired extinguisher drop-offs). Never throw a fire extinguisher into the trash or recycling bin, because it still has hazardous, pressurized chemicals inside that can contaminate the earth or even explode. Depending on where you live, improper fire extinguisher disposal may also be subject to a fine.

If you have any questions or concerns Please feel free to contact us at anytime 24 hours a day 7 days a week



Heating Safety Tips

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

Space heater safety.

We at SERVPRO Of Piscataway know that winter months can be very cold in your home.  

Did you you know that heating equipment is a leading cause of home fires? Here are some tips for the safety of your home when using alternate methods such as electrical heaters and fireplaces

Heating Safety Tips 

*Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from any heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater.

*Never use your oven to heat your home.

*Make sure your heating equipment and chimneys are cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.

*Test your smoke alarms at least once a month to ensure safety in home in case of a fire.

*Remember to turn off portable heaters when leaving a room or going to bed.

*Have a 3 foot or more distance "Kid-fee zone" around open fires and space heaters.

*If using a space heater that uses fuel, make sure only to buy the fuel that is specified by the manufacturer.

*Never plug space heater into a electrical strip always make sure its in a wall socket.

With these few tips you can help ensure the safety in your home more effectively. If you have any concerns feel free to call us at 

SERVPRO of Piscataway 732-752-4445.