Recent Fire Damage Posts

Household Appliance Fires

4/27/2023 (Permalink)

graphic with appliances SERVPRO of Lake of the Ozarks has the expertise to restore properties following fire damage.

Household appliances can often malfunction and lead to home or apartment fires. Appliances such as a washer and dryer, stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, or other cooking appliances, are used routinely for our convenience. However, using these items can have detrimental effects if used carelessly, left unattended or malfunctioned. SERVPRO of Lake of the Ozarks can be there to restore a commercial or residential property following fire and smoke damage and is always Here to help. To prevent a possible fire due to a household appliance and protect your property, here are three things you can do.   

  1. Never leave heated cookware on overnight such as crockpots. Use of these appliances should be supervised in case of a heating element or wiring malfunction. 
  2. Never leave an appliance running while away. Coming home to clean dishes from the dishwasher may sound nice after being away, but electrical issues may stem from heating elements which can cause fire.  
  3. Do not overload your washer or dryer, and always make sure to clean out the lint trap.

Behavior of Smoke

4/22/2022 (Permalink)

Apartment Experiencing a Fire The easiest tip to avoid a bigger disaster is to sleep with the bedroom door shut; this adds a wall between you and the fire.

Our team wishes no one would experience fire damage to their home/business. We can understand how a fire can grow. You can buy critical reaction time if you start understanding what fuels a flame. Our Digital Marketing Support Coordinator learned that you should never sleep with your bedroom door open. This disrupts the convention of air created during a fire. 

What to Do 

The convention of air rises because it is less dense, which pushes the cooler air towards the ground. We recommend you seal the door so no smoke can seep through cracks in a fire. Once you seal off the room, call 911 and provide dispatch with your location and that you’re trapped. Something that can buy you more time is that hot air is more turbulent and will move towards the cooler areas of the structure. Another critical component is knowing your HVAC system and selecting a room that won’t have smoke travel. Smoke will spread through this system because it goes up through openings cut for water pipes. 

Our Advice

Making a plan before a disaster is the best way to create more reaction time for your family. Strategically walking through your home and figuring out which rooms will provide better protection will give you more reaction time. This plan should include fire extinguisher locations, emergency exit plans, smoke alarm checks, and where you supply your PPE (respirators). 

Hey Alexa! Tell me about the different types of soot.

4/22/2022 (Permalink)

Towel containing a dark soot residue. Our clients might know the difference between wet and dry soot, but don't worry; our SERVPRO of Lake of the Ozarks team does!

One of our Digital Marketing Support Coordinators, Jacob, had an opportunity to attend a CE Class, Understanding the Restoration Industry: Property Fire Damage Restoration. One of the biggest takeaways was learning about the different types of soot and how they are created. Our team of professionals knows what to look for in soot damage to be able to restore a client’s content/property accurately.

Wet Soot

You can find wet smoke residue in fires smoldering at low temperatures with little oxygen. If you don’t look at soot damage on regular bases, soot damage might look the same to you. Our team of professionals can use the most helpful tools, our nose, to figure out what type of soot we are working with. Wet smoke residue is sticky and smeary, accompanied by a pungent, acrid odor.

Dry Soot

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have dry soot damage from an oxygen-rich fire. These types of fire are fast-burning which produces lighter soot particles but causes more damage to surfaces. A fire that produces dry soot contains a less intense scent than the wet smoke residue. 

Protein Soot

We have all done it, we will be cooking, and something pulls you away from the stove. Next thing you know, the smoke alarm is going off, and you are rushing to deescalate the situation. Protein soot is created by fires that start from overcooked meat. If the burnt roast leaves you stumped, another indicator of this damage is the pungent odor that will stick around and linger. Our SERVPRO team knows that this type of soot requires extensive cleaning to remove any trace of residue to achieve deodorization. 

Often when our clients return to their property after a fire, they feel overwhelmed. Soot damage to them might come across as a complete loss, but our team here at SERVPRO of Lake of the Ozarks aren’t as easily convinced. Our team understands the steps needed to restore the contents/property back to the preloss condition.  

Preventing Cigarette Fires

2/9/2022 (Permalink)

Man Smoking Inside the Home By following these easy tips, you will eliminate a chance of a fire starting in your home. If you need our services, call us at 573-346-7200!

As we all know, if someone wants to do something that isn’t recommended, they will more than likely do it. One of those unrecommended habits is smoking cigarettes inside their home, which increases your likelihood of having a house fire. However, we would wish that our clients would move outside when smoking we know that with it being winter, someone going out to smoke decreases.

  • Clean out Ashtray
    • The real risk is when someone lights up and frequently lays it down in the ashtray still ignited. When the ashtray isn’t cleaned regularly, you increase the backup of ash in the dish. When someone lays down an ignited cigarette, the hot end can touch the ash and create a fire.
  • Falling Asleep While Smoking
    • On average, in the United States, smoking cigarettes has caused one in twenty (5%) house fires when the smoker falls asleep. This is dangerous for falling asleep as the cigarette will start a fire next to the impaired person. This doesn’t provide ample time to wake up and extinguish the fire accurately.
  • Extinguish the Cigarette
    • When you are all done with the cigarette, we suggest making sure it is extinguished fully before discarding. This wouldn’t allow any chance of the cigarette to grow into a more significant situation.

Although we would love to move your smoking outside, we know that it might be more appealing to smoke inside to avoid the winter weather with below-freezing temperatures. SERVPRO of Lake of the Ozarks will always be here for all of your restoration needs.

How to Stop a Grease Fire!

2/9/2022 (Permalink)

Someone turning on the stove to begin cooking. Once you start cooking, you should stay close as it only takes a few seconds for grease to reach unsafe temperatures!

Cooking can be very therapeutic for people as they can learn about different cultures through trying new recipes or styles of cooking. One type of cooking has a greater risk of creating a fire than others: frying food. Fire departments around the nation respond to, on average, 172,000 fires a year caused by cooking activities. Let’s go step by step on what you should do if you encounter a fire in your kitchen while cooking. Most cooking accidents escalate when rash decisions are made. This is the time to keep calm and focus on the following steps.

Removing The Oxygen

There are multiple ways to remove oxygen from a fire that will help extinguish it before it grows. Removing oxygen is critical in extinguishing a fire as oxygen supports the chemical processes during a fire. When a grease fire burns, it reacts with the oxygen from the surrounding environment, releasing heat and creating smoke and gas.

Cover the Pan

You can cover the pan with a flat cooking sheet or put the lid on top of the pan. By removing oxygen, you replace it with carbon dioxide, which is inflammable and denser than air.

Throw Baking Soda on Flame

Another way you can stop a fire is by throwing baking soda on top of the flame. When you add baking soda to fire, it releases carbon dioxide, which, as mentioned before, is denser than air.

When in Doubt Use a Fire Extinguisher

If you don’t have the time to do the previously listed strategies, you can always use a Class K fire extinguisher. This type is a wet chemical that takes the temperature of the fire and creates a barrier between the oil and fire.

If the fire grows out of control, please don’t try and put it out on your own. Please call the emergency phone number, 911, to get help before it grows to other parts of the home or business. No amount of property damage is worth putting your life in danger because if you face any damage, please call your local SERVPRO is here to help!

P.A.S.S. the Fire Extinguisher

2/9/2022 (Permalink)

Lady using fire extinguisher to put out fire. When a fire breaks out, you might find yourself in a rush to put out a fire. Follow these steps to put out a fire in your home or business safely,

As a property owner, you have a lot of things to consider that could make owning property potentially risky. When an event such as a fire, busted water pipe, or whatever it happens to be, you should know that S.E.R.V.P.R.O. of Lake of the Ozarks is here to help®. One way to ensure you are protecting your property from a fire is by knowing where the fire extinguisher is. This cuts down the time the fire has to grow out of control.

Okay, you have the fire extinguisher in your hand aimed at the base of the fire. If you never operated an extinguisher, then you should pay close attention to the following steps:

  1. Pull the pin. When you pull the pin you break the tamper seal as well.
  2. Aim low; When directing the extinguisher, you should always aim at the base of the fire, where the fire is the hottest.
  3. Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  4. Sweep from side to side, directed at the base of the fire. Don’t release your squeeze until the fire appears to be out.

By implementing the P.A.S.S. method, you can get ahead of a fire when you act fast. By showing other household members this method, you can ensure that you protect yourself and your household from a dangerous situation. If you are ever in need of our fire restoration services, please call our office at 573-346-7200, and we will be happy to set up an appointment.

Space Heater Precautions

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

Space Heater Space Heaters need to be used correctly.


According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, space heaters are the leading cause of house fires each year. With projected increases in the average utility bill, consumers invest in alternative heating options. Space heaters can be an excellent source for heating only when used properly. We wanted to provide critical insights into protecting your household from a space heater fire.

  • Space Heater Should Stay on the Floor:
    • The recent temperatures being bitterly cold outside has left many people using heating alternatives. When you get home after a long day at work, it is understandable that you will want to feel as comfortable and warm as possible. Some people might even place the space heater right next to them to feel the heat immediately. You have to consider items in the general area of the heater to ensure that they aren’t heating to an unsafe temperature. Be very mindful of all the different fabrics that would catch fire fast, and you should move it to a spot out of the direct flow of heat.
  • Place away from water:
    • Science lesson repeat; water and electricity create unsafe conditions, especially when water touches an electric heater causing it to short out. When this happens, it creates a dangerous spark which can cause the heater to catch flames. We suggest keeping the space heater out of the bathroom and kitchen.
  • Plug into the wall directly:
    • Put down that extension cord and plug that space heater directly into the wall! Cords can create dangerous conditions when someone tries to cover them with a rug or a piece of furniture. When someone plugs a heater into an extension cord, it adds extra electrical connections, increasing your chance of creating resistances. This is a problem because the more resistance, the more energy, which means more heat. When it gets plugged into an extension cord, you are allowing the increase in energy to heat surrounding items that have the opportunity to create a fire. When plugging a heater into the wall, you will want to perform a 3-foot check or ensure nothing that can start a fire is within a 3 ft radius of the heater.

We aren’t telling you not to use space heaters as a heating alternative, but we do ask that you follow these easy steps to ensure your household is safe and warm!