Recent Fire Damage Posts

Des Moines Fire Damage and Fire Soot Removal

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Des Moines NW we know that even the smallest of fires can disrupt families and keep them out of their homes for weeks if not months. It's important to know about different types of fires and the impact they can have, not only on the home but on personal property including laundry, electronics and furniture.

As a fire burns the hot smoke will move to cooler sections of the home and leave soot and that distinct smoke smell throughout the structure and on contents.

There are of course, different categories of fire depending on the material that fueled the fire and they will generate different types of smoke. These different types of smoke can play a major role in the restoration process and what types of cleaning is needed.

The burning of rubber or plastic items will typically result in a wet smoke. The attributes associated with wet smoke residue are a strong odor, sticky soot and smoke webbing.

The burning of paper and wood items will typically result in a dry smoke. The attributes associated with dry smoke residue are more evenly distributed soot due to high temperatures fast burning material producing smoke that rises quickly.

Protein Fires will produce residue that is more difficult to see but contains an extremely strong odor.

At SERVPRO of Des Moines NW we know that every fire is unique and will result in unique needs for our customers. We will determine the source of the fire and the type of smoke and soot. We use this information to determine the proper cleaning procedure and move forward with a plan to restore the home and it's contents to preloss conditions.

Des Moines Business Disaster Preparedness Plan - Fire

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

Many Des Moines area businesses experience devastating fire damage every year. Your friends at SERVPRO of Des Moines NW want to help you prepare your employees for the possibility of a fire. Here’s how you can begin to create a fire evacuation procedure for your business.

Consult with your local fire officials

Reach out to the local fire department. Often times, getting in touch with fire officials is a great place to start. They are happy to consult with you on necessary safety measures that your business can take, including the most efficient evacuation routes for your facility.


You want to involve your employees in the fire safety process. This makes everyone feel safe and prepares them for when you start scheduling routine drills. Once you have determined your evacuation route, mark them clearly with signs and communicate with your staff on what they mean.

Schedule fire drills frequently

Ideally, you should get to the point to where there is no question on what to do in the event of a fire. The best way to prepare staff is to hold regular fire drills, preferably at least once every quarter. A good example of the overall process is to create mandatory drills that require everyone to leave the premises following the established escape route and gather at a predesignated area for additional safety instructions. Staff should be trained to not leave the designated area until given the “all-clear” to return.

Run Different Scenarios

Fires can start anywhere at any time. It is important to prepare for all possibilities when you hold your drills. To prepare for unique situations, create scenarios where different exits are blocked off or have the fire “originate” at different parts of the facility each time. Doing this gives everyone the tools they need to escape to safety regardless of what type of fire is started.

These are just a few tips that your friends at SERVPRO of Des Moines NW want to extend out to you to make sure you and your staff stay safe in the case of a fire. Call us at 515-968-3711 for any of your commercial fire restoration questions or needs!

Identifying Key Causes of Fires in Des Moines

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

Identifying the causes of fires before they happen can in some cases help your home or business avoid a catastrophic fire. A fire can occur in any home or business with the right conditions, and many of us knowingly keep flammable items. It only takes a bit of attentiveness to protect your home or business from some of the most common fire hazards.

Your friends at SERVPRO of Des Moines NW think you should consider the following key causes of fire to determine how to make your home or business a safer place.

Electricity: Keep an eye out for damaged cords or overloaded outlets and extension cords.

Smoking: Limit rooms for smoking and make sure cigarettes are always put out properly.

Dryer: This one might sound familiar, but your dryer, especially the lint, is a major fire hazard. If you allow it to build up it could back up into the exhaust and overheat. Be diligent about cleaning out your dryer’s lint trap and never have the exhaust vents covered.

Cooking: Keep stovetops clear of flammable items. Also, remember to never leave your stove or grill unattended while in use.

Antique Electronics: It’s common to hold on to sentimental and functioning electronics from decades ago, but if you have an antique lamp, fan, or some other electronic device, know that it is very possible for it to have sustained damage to its internal wiring. The only true way to mitigate this risk is to have it professionally rewired or simply keep it unplugged and use it as a decoration.

Candles: One of the more obvious of the bunch are candles. Almost everyone has a variation of candle in their home. As you can imagine, they’re a relatively common cause for household fires being that they can easily be knocked over. Some useful tips are to never burn a candle without a candle holder and make sure to keep the open flame away from flammable items like couches and curtains. Never leave candles unattended.

Space Heaters: Winter weather is here and although space heaters keep you warm and toasty, believe it or not they are a major fire hazard. Keep your space heater at least three feet away from all flammable items in the room, like furniture, bedding, and stuffed animals. Use them sparingly when possible.

Unfortunately, fires can happen. If your home or business in the Des Moines area has suffered fire damage, SERVPRO of Des Moines NW can help. Our staff is on call around the clock so we can start helping you get back to normal, fast. Call us at 515-986-3711 for assistance.

Fire Safety Tips in Des Moines

12/3/2020 (Permalink)

It’s that time of year where we start cranking up the heat in our homes, and while gas furnaces are generally quite safe, they can occasionally be the cause of household fires.

So, if you heat your home with a furnace, a little precautionary preventative maintenance could increasingly help you prevent a fire when you turn up your heat this winter.

SERVPRO of Des Moines NW recommends that you:
• Clean around the furnace and move any debris or stored items at least three feet away from your furnace
• Replace dirty air filters. Clogged vents/flutes can lead to fires.
• Clean the Furnace itself. Not only can grime cause overheating, but it can also prevent you from seeing any damage or susceptible problems related to your furnace
• Routinely check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Both alarms should be installed throughout your home and routinely tested to confirm they are properly working.
• Invest in a professional maintenance checkup. A professional will be able to identify and correct any issue with your furnace. Things like incorrect pressure or a cracked heat exchanger can be properly taken care of by the professional servicing your furnace. Little things like the color of the flame can easily tell an experienced repair technician how well your furnace is functioning. So, if you can’t recall the last time you’ve gotten your furnace serviced, make an appointment this month!

These are just a few tips that your friends at SERVPRO of Des Moines NW want to give you so you can have a warm and safe winter season.

If your home has suffered fire damage, SERVPRO of Des Moines NW can help. Our staff is on call around the clock so we can start helping you get back to normal, fast. Call us at 515-986-3711 for assistance.

Holiday Season Fire Safety Tips - Prevent Your Christmas Tree From Catching Fire

12/3/2020 (Permalink)

Holiday season is upon us and as the temperatures drop, the fireplaces and furnaces kick in- heightening the risk of a household fire. For many, the holiday season is also time for a Christmas tree which also pose a dangerous fire hazard to your home.

SERVPRO of Des Moines NW wants to remind you and your family the importance Christmas tree responsibility. A simple spark has the potential to turn a dry Christmas tree into flames in a matter of second. Once the tree is on fire, the flames can engulf your room in under 30 seconds.

Here are some tips to keep your wonderful time of the year emergency free:
• Keep your tree at least three feet away from any heat source like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.

• Always keep plenty of water in your tree base to limit the chances of a dry out. Water it daily! Fresh, watered trees are much less likely to catch fire.

• If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it is labeled “fire resistant”.

• Do not forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night! Bedtime means all light out!

• Make sure that you have properly installed Fire/smoke detectors.

Just following these simple steps can help reduce the chances of a Christmas tree disaster. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season from the SERVPRO of Des Moines NW Team.

SERVPRO of Des Moines NW Fire Restoration Process

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

Think Ahead

The most wonderful time of the year can also be one of the most common times for fires. Every year, on average, 160 fires start with Christmas trees. So, your friends at SERVPRO of Des Moines NW want to remind you of the importance of thinking ahead. Fires can be especially devastating to your home or business. So, although it is not enjoyable to plan for a fire, it’s crucial to have a plan of action. You don’t just need a fire escape route though; you also need an idea of which restoration company to use to be prepared if the time comes.

The staff at SERVPRO of Des Moines NW has many years of combined experience and are professionally trained to restore your home and all your salvageable contents to their pre-fire condition, making it “Like it never even happened.” We do this by the following three methods.

Content Cleaning

SERVPRO of Des Moines NW understands that personal belongings can be just as important as your home itself- that is why we will clean all the salvageable contents in your home carefully and efficiently. We often can restore other damaged goods such as clothing, books and in some cases, curtains, rugs, and furniture can be cleaned and deodorized, too, by using a wet or dry-cleaning process.

Structural Cleaning

After a Fire, the structural components of your home or business will likely need to be cleaned, including, carpets, walls, and subflooring. Our technicians will first establish the extent of the damage. This helps them choose the equipment and cleaning techniques best suited for your home. In some cases, mild soot buildup can be removed directly from surfaces, while in other cases, they may need to be removed or refinished. 

Deodorization Services

Fires can leave behind pesky smoke odors, but it can also leave behind hazardous soot particles that may lead to health issues. Instead of using artificial fragrances to mask the odors, our staff will go to the source of the odors and remove them with air scrubbers and other odor-eliminating equipment best suited for your situation.

We at SERVPRO of Des Moines NW know fires can be stressful. That is why when you call SERVPRO of Des Moines NW, we will be as helpful as we can in explaining everything to you while being considerate & accommodating in the process. So, let us help you this holiday season. Keep us on your list of emergency contacts at 515-986-3711.

SERVPRO Handles All Stages of Fire Damage, Including Debris Removal

8/29/2020 (Permalink)

The professionals at SERVPRO Des Moines NW are trained to provide a multi-level response to fire damage, including fire and smoke restoration, odor control, upholstery and fabric cleaning. 

Additionally, our company offers debris removal services.  SERVPRO prides itself on providing our customers with an all-inclusive solution during difficult times, such as in the aftermath of a fire. 

Why Debris Removal Requires a Call to Professionals

Contrary to what one might think, cleaning up after a fire is not simply a matter of wiping up dirt and ash or collecting damaged belongings.  The residues left by a fire can emit toxic fumes and physical contact with soiling and rubble can cause irritation or bodily harm. As a result, professionals are needed to sort, bag and discard fire debris. 

Our certified and experienced SERVPRO team, equipped with top-of-the line products and cleaning equipment, provide safe, effective and lawful clean-up and disposal services.  Our technicians will complete your job in a timely manner, implement environmental safeguards and minimize any health risks. 

Protecting Against Airborne Residues

First, it is essential to restrict hazardous airborne and settled residues, as well as damaged building materials and contents.  To do this, our SERVPRO technicians seal off the workspace using negative pressure air scrubbing technology.  The air scrubber will direct contaminated air through HEPA filters and vents to the outdoors. 

Our team members also dress in personal protective equipment (PPE) for safety purposes, as well as to avoid tracking fire debris through the rest of your home or business.

Debris Disposal

As a result of chemical reactions caused by a fire, there are countless toxic substances that SERVPRO technicians encounter.  Our crew collects and packs the charred and melted items into designated containment receptacles.  There is an array of items that are contained, including drywall, woodwork, household goods, flooring and other contents— essentially, any item that cannot be restored due to severe damage.

Additional Expertise

Our professionals are well-versed in the local and state requirements dictating debris removal, which will serve to protect you from violations or citations during this process. 

Housing construction in the area may pre-date the current codes governing lead paint, asbestos and other hazards.  As a result, SERVPRO professionals keep an eye out for these dangerous materials during the initial assessment and procure certified removal of these substances during the debris removal process. 

Additionally, our trained technicians are continuously on the lookout for any structural weaknesses that may have been caused by the fire.

Call SERVPRO of Des Moines NW today to make sure every step of your response plan is expertly handled, including clean up and debris removal following a fire.  We are available day or night to take your call.  Contact us at (515) 986-3711.

SERVPRO Takes Care of Your Fire Damage Odor

8/29/2020 (Permalink)

Recovering from a fire at your home or business is an overwhelming and traumatic experience.  SERVPRO is here to guide you through the recovery process. 

Do Not Attempt to Clean Fire Damage Yourself

  • Structural components like walls, ceilings and floors require a professional evaluation to identify instability.
  • Professionals are needed to expertly remove substantial amounts of water and extinguishing chemicals.
  • Debris and residues may be extremely toxic, which requires the use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • SERVPRO technicians will customize the cleanup methods and products used to meet your specific needs. The most effective strategy will depend on the materials burned and the surfaces affected.
  • Deodorization methods typically require specialized products and unique equipment.

What Causes the Odor Associated with Kitchen Fires?

When a fire occurs in a kitchen, food materials, oils and greases are usually the ignition source.  The fats and proteins create an oily mist that covers the area, and the heat causes the oils and grease to melt and dehydrate.  This, in turn, causes the substances to become rancid, which leaves a rotting stench that permeates appliances, cabinets, ceilings and walls.  Air currents spread the odor far and wide throughout the property as well.  

Why SERVPRO is the Solution

Our technicians rely on the age old “like dissolves like” rule when selecting products to counter fire residues.  Residues of a kitchen fire are oil-based; our technicians look to solvents to break the bonds between the soot and the surface. 

SERVPRO’S Advanced Deodorization Measures

When deep cleaning is insufficient to eliminate protein-based soot odors, SERVPRO offers additional options:

  • Hydroxyl Generators. Hydroxyl radicals destroy the molecular structure of odors.
  • Thermal fogging. Deodorizers are combusted into a fine mist, paring with soot particles to neutralize the odor.
  • Airtight products are applied to surfaces, which keeps the odor molecules from vaporizing.

Contact SERVPRO of Des Moines NW at (515) 986- 3711 to cover all of your fire damage needs, including residue cleanup and odor removal.  We will schedule an assessment at your earliest convenience.

How to Remove Smoke Damage the Proper Way

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Obviously, the smell of smoke is caused by a fire. There’s truth in the saying “where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” after all. Now, the smell of smoke could be caused by a fire in your kitchen because you forgot to turn off the stove. It could be burnt food because your partner can’t cook to save his/her life. It could be smoke from a cigar or cigarette. A smoke smell can be from extinguished candles or incense.

It can even be from your friendly neighbor who is nice enough to burn something right outside your open window. It doesn’t really matter what the source is (though you do need to locate the source for safety purposes, ok?) because it all boils down to one thing – the smell sticks to your house and belongings like glue. And eliminating that smell is just a small part of the problem.

Any kind of smoke that is caused by burning carbon-based materials such as wood, paper, oil, gas, or food can produce carbon monoxide. If you don’t know this yet, this is an odorless, colorless gas that kills hundreds of people each year. Of course, small amounts are not enough to cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

But you should note that lots of household appliances produce this gas, particularly those found in your kitchen so adding to that small amount isn’t going to do your health any favors. That’s not all. Burning organic substances also produce polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that are believed to be carcinogenic. It’s pretty safe to say that it’s important that you don’t just eliminate the smell, you’ll need to make sure that the air that you’re breathing no longer contains these particles.


When it comes to smoke odor removal, there are several options available. Some may use scented candles, air fresheners, and sprays to get rid of smoke odor or any kind of unpleasant smell.

However, they’ll soon realize that there is only so much scented candles or sprays can do for the problem. In fact, they can make matters worse, as they simply combine with the smoke smell and leave behind something quite unpleasant. Even opening your windows and letting fresh (read that as also polluted) air in won’t be getting rid of the smoke odor completely.

A lot of people believe that a good scrub will be enough to get rid of the smell of smoke in a house. And they’re right in a sense. You can scrub your walls plus your ceilings with ammonia and water to get rid of the smell of smoke, especially if it was just a small amount and the room wasn’t exposed too long to the smoke. You probably won’t be able to smell it anymore. However, it won’t be cleaning something more important – the air you breathe.

Vinegar and baking sodas are natural odor neutralizers and another good option. You can place some vinegar in the room and baking soda in the carpet to start eliminating the smell of smoke. It’s going to work but it’ll take time and several repeats to get the smell completely out.

While using these may be tedious, they’re a lot cheaper than choosing a professional. In fact, if the smoke particles have had time to sink into the upholstery, curtains, and even your clothes, washing them with vinegar and baking soda is your best bet.

But vinegar and baking soda still leave one problem behind – the remaining invisible-to-the-naked-eye smoke particles still hanging around in the air. Plus, since you used ammonia in cleaning the heck out of your walls and ceilings, you may have now added chemical fumes to your indoor air. The world is such a scary place, ain’t it? But there’s no need to panic. Take a deep breath (or not) and calm yourself. There is a way out of this dilemma.


While all the other solutions we gave are handy, they won’t completely clean your environment of harmful gases and chemical fumes. The next step to ensure that your indoor air quality is top-notch is to get yourself an air scrubber.

What is an air scrubber? Well, it’s a portable air filtration system that makes use of a series of filters to capture contaminants in the air and recirculate the clean air in an enclosed space.

Air scrubbers come in a variety of sizes with different features and capabilities. But most of them will operate using the same basic principle – the motor will power a blower or fan that will draw in the air, letting them pass through the filters.

The first stage is the pre-filter stage where the large particles in the air are trapped. The second stage will contain a carbon filter which captures the gas and vapor molecules – the odors that we smell including the harmful smoke particles in the air. The third and final stage is the primary filter which is a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, able to capture 99.97% of particles in the air that can be as small as 0.3 micrometers.

Once it passes through all three filters, the decontaminated air will be exhausted. What all that means is that the smell, as well as the source of the smell, is completely eliminated. It’s not masked. It’s also not just decreased to undetectable amounts, it’s completely gone.

Take note that an air scrubber “scrubs” the air. Any smoke particles that get trapped in the surfaces of walls and inside fabric will remain there. Which is why you’ll still need to use a little elbow grease to wash away the smell of smoke on your belongings.

Aside from the fact that an air scrubber will clean your air of smoke particles, is there any other benefit to getting one? Good question. There are, actually. First of all, using an air scrubber gets your air clean in a few minutes. You don’t have to do anything but plug it into a power source, place it where the smoke is most concentrated, and switch it on. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to operate this machine.

The second benefit is that it doesn’t only filter out smoke odors. It also filters out mold, dust, pollen, and pet dander. Any particles that could potentially trigger any allergies are eliminated along with the smoke. And the ultimate benefit of an air scrubber is a simple fact that you can “clean” your air every so often. Indoor air pollution is no joke. Just ask the EPA While smoke odor may be the impetus you needed to get this cool tool, it won’t be the last time you’ll be needing it. That’s for sure.


Aside from adding an air scrubber to your arsenal, you might be delighted to know that you can also do one more thing to help continuously improve the indoor air quality of your home.

Based on research conducted by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors Of America, several common indoor plants are able to remove certain chemicals that can be found in our homes such as trichloroethylene (adhesives, paints, printing inks), formaldehyde (paper bags, facial tissues, paper towels, synthetic fabrics), benzene (detergents, dyes, drugs, pesticides), ammonia (window cleaners, smelling salts, floor waxes), and xylene (leather, rubber). So, if you love plants and indoor gardening, you might want to add this to your list of must-haves.

Taking out unpleasant odors in your home, particularly smoke odors, isn’t easy. And if you don’t act fast, you may end up replacing beloved items that are no longer salvageable. Fortunately, technology and nature have made it possible for us to get rid of this pain-in-the-ass smell and breathe quality indoor air. Now, if only we can do something about outside air…call SERVPRO Of Des Moines for all air quality needs!

Disasters In Fires

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

Fires are a scary thing, You never know when they will occur.  At SERVPRO OF DES MOINES NW we see a lot of major disasters.  When SERVPRO OF DES MOINES NW gets a call from a very stressed and depressed customer, we gather our very professional and friendly team and make miracles happen.  If needed we can haul your salvageable contents to our shop, clean it and store it until we have your house "Like it never happened".  Our awesome team can rebuild and then Chem Sponge your whole house.  The Chem Sponge wil remove all the gross black soot that fires leave behind.  We also will remove all unsalvageables and make sure they are disposed of in an appropriate mannor and hauled away.  So, if you ever find yourself in this tragic situation, the SERVPRO OF DES MOINES NW team is more than willing to help and make a bad situation better!

Flammable items in your home

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Dryer Fire

Some causes of household fires are rather obvious, but others? Not so much. Many of us knowingly keep flammable items in our homes, carrying on with our day to day lives and thinking to ourselves, “It won’t happen to me.” But a household fire can occur in literally any home with the right conditions and cause massive destruction. It only takes a bit of foresight to protect your home from the most common flammable items, so keep reading to hear about some flammable items to handle with care in your home.

 Your dryer

You’ve probably heard it before — your dryer, specifically, the lint, is a major fire hazard. If it builds up, backs up into the exhaust, and overheats, it’s a quick recipe for a house fire. In addition to being diligent about cleaning out your dryer’s lint trap before running each load, there are some other steps you can take to prevent dryer fire risk: don’t ever keep the exhaust vents covered or run your dryer overnight. This could result in a fire starting when you’re asleep. 

Your stove

Most people know to keep their stovetops clear of flammable items. Still, they often don’t keep these flammable items far enough away from the cooktop surface, and fires can occur as a result.

“So many home fires start in the kitchen. Keep cooking areas clear by removing flammable items such as cookbooks, towels, and potholders and leaving a space of at least three feet between your cooktop and the nearest item. Another key piece of advice? Never leave the stove unattended while you’re using it,” writes Amanda Hardin on CheatSheet.

Any antique electronics

It’s not at all uncommon for homeowners to hold onto sentimental or still functional electronics from decades ago. If you have an antique lamp, fan, or other electronic device, know that it’s very possible for it to have sustained damage to its internal wiring. This makes it a bigger risk when it comes to electronic fires. The only real way to mitigate this risk and keep the item is to have it professionally rewired, or simply use it as a decoration and keep it unplugged with a clear warning label on the wire.


Almost everyone has some sort of candles in their home, and not many people see them as a fire risk. That being said, candles are actually a relatively common cause of housefires since they’re easily knocked over by pets or young children. Don’t ever burn a candle without a candle holder, keep the open flame far away from flammable items like furniture and curtains, and keep them up at a higher altitude to prevent the risk of them getting knocked over.

Space heaters

Finally, winter will be here in just a few short months, and though space heaters keep you warm and toasty, they’re also a major fire risk. It’s essential to keep your space heater at least three feet away from any and all flammable items, like furniture, bedding, stuffed animals, and carpets. Use them sparingly when possible.

Now that you’re aware of these common household fire risks, you can safely prepare for the upcoming season and keep your home safe.

Holiday Season

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

This time of year our industry is known for its fires.  Fires can happen at any moment SERVPRO OF DES MOINES NW is ready to assist in any fire.  Our technicians have state of the art chambers at our facility to remove that horrible smell of soot off your contents.  In the even that you find yourself in a time of need with your belongings under siege, just know SERVPRO OF DES MOINES NW can more than likely restore that valuable item.  SERVPRO OF DES MOINES NW can also restore your structure to your home.  We specialize and take pride in our ability to put you back in your home as soon as possible.  SERVPRO OF DES MOINES NW works with all insurance companies for your convenience.  If you have a fire SERVPRO OF DES MOINES NW will put you back to where you need to be in a timely manner!

Home caught fire.

6/27/2019 (Permalink)

This home caught fire in February.

After your home catches fire and you and your family and pets are out of the home safely, you call the fire department. They show up put out the fire and leave. Then what? Call SERVPRO of Des Moines NW. We will take care of you and your home. 

After you or your insurance or corporate calls us,

  • We receive the emergency call
  • We call our crew of technicians 
  • They pack up the trucks with the soot and smoke cleaning chemicals, equipment and head out.
  • Our team shows up to your house and take an inventory and pictures of your home or business and all items effected.
  • We remove all damaged items and bring them back to our shop to be cleaned by our team of professional cleaners.
  • Our team of technicians start cleaning your home.
  • Once the soot and smoke damage is cleaned from your home and all damaged walls and floors are taken care of we start our rebuild process if you choose to use us as your re-builders.

House fires

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

The living room of a recent house fire.

House fires are absolutely devastating for a family! SERVPRO of Des Moines NW specializes in house fires smoke and soot removal. Our team is supplied with the top of the line cleaning products. 
What SERVPRO does after a fire is we come in and remove all of your items that were in your home at the time of the fire. We determine what is savable and what is not by our standards. We take the savable items back to our shop so that our specially trained restoration cleaning crew so they can clean and remove the smoke smell and soot from your personally effects once our cleaning process is done we store your items until our crew has cleaned and removed all the damaged walls and floors from your home. Then we return your belongings back to you looking like they are brand new.

We know fires can be stressful let us help with the clean up!!

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

When you have a home or business fire it can be utterly devastating. And once the fire department has left and the fire is completely out you're left wondering what now? How do I get this mess cleaned up? How do I get all my savable items clean? Well worry no more. SERVPRO of Des Moines NW specializes in cleaning house fires and removing smoke and soot from your home and from your belongings. We have an upholstery and fabric cleaning tech on site at our shop.

The fire restoration process can be worry some for you. Here's the steps of the process;

STEP 1: Emergency contact

STEP 2Inspection and Fire damage       Assessment.

STEP 3: Immediate Board-up and Roof Tarp (if needed)

STEP 4:Water Removal and Drying (if needed)

STEP 5Removal of Smoke and Soot Damage From all Surfaces

STEP 6: Cleaning and Repairs

STEP 7Restoration

Give SERVPRO of Des Moines NW a call for your fire clean up needs at 515-986-3711!

How many Fires start in a Year?

12/13/2018 (Permalink)

This shows a fire that started in the middle of a living room.

Between 2011 and 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 358,500 home structure fires per year.  These fires caused 12,300 civilian injuries, 2,510 civilian deaths, and $6.7 billion in direct damage.  On average, seven people per day die in U.S. home fires.

Where do most fires start in a home?Based on research from fires that occurred between 2009 and 2013, here are the most common places fires begin:
  • 1: Kitchen. Half of all house fires start in the kitchen.
  • 2: Bedroom. About 7% of all house fires start in the bedroom.
  • 3: Chimney. 6%
  • 4: Living Room. 4%
  • 5: Laundry Room. 3%
  • 6: Outside. 3%
  • 7: Attic. 3%
The top cause of fires is cooking.  House fires happen most during dinner hours—between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. That’s because people are cooking.

If you have fire damages to your property call 24/7 the experts at SERVPRO of Des Moines NW at (515) 986-3711.

Safety tips for your Christmas Tree

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

This shows a Christmas Tree that caught on fire due to a candle.

According to National Fire Protection Association between Christmas trees and Christmas decorations in a 4 year window caused 23 million in direct property damage.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and is a time where some family traditions are to get a tree and also decorate it for Christmas.

The lights that are decorated on the tree are not enough to ignite the tree.  However, if you decorate the tree like Clark Griswold from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation you may want to re-think the way you install your lights.

Research shows the following:

  • 43% of Christmas tree fires result in an overload of lighting that causes a spark and catches the tree on fire
  • 27% include a heat source - such as a candle or the tree was located to close to a fireplace
  • 22% of Christmas tree fires were intentional
  • 8% of Christmas tree fires were undetermined

If you insist on having a real tree.  Remember the following:

  • Add water to the tree stand. 
  • Be sure to add water daily and check for brown needles. 
  • Place the tree away from any heat source, like fireplaces, candles, radiators, heat vents, or space heaters

With the advanced technology of LED lights and fire retardant artificial trees there has been mass improvements in safety. 

If you have fire/smoke damages to your home or business you can call 24/7 SERVPRO of Des Moines NW at (515) 986-3711.

The crew at SERVPRO of Des Moines NW wish you and your family a safe Thanksgiving Holiday.

Thanksgiving Turkey Fryer Safety Tips

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

This Turkey Fryer Fire Started on a Wooden Deck.

Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to gather and be thankful.  It's also a time where the entire family joins in the food preparation so it's also a time to think fire safety with so many cooks in the kitchen.

In recent years deep-frying turkeys has become a new family tradition because of the speed, the irresistible flavor, and juiciness.  It also frees up space in the oven to make irresistible side dishes. 

But turkey fryers have the potential to cause fire and serious injuries.  If you plan to deep-fry your holiday bird, be sure you know how to safely use the fryer.

Tips for frying a turkey

  • Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking.  Ice or water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups or explosions.
  • Keep all fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.
  • Place the fryer on a level surface, and avoid moving it once it's in use.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid overfilling. Oil can ignite when it makes contact with the burner.
  • Choose a smaller turkey for frying. A bird that's 8 to 10 pounds is best; pass on turkeys over 12 pounds.
  • Never leave fryers unattended.
  • Cooking oil that begins to smoke point can catch fire. If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off.
  • Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner on.
  • Use protective gear and have a grease-rated fire extinguisher close by.
  • Do not to use water or a garden hose on any grease fire.
  • Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.

The folks at SERVPRO of Des Moines NW want you to have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.  We are available 24/7 no matter how small or big your fire damages are.  Call us anytime at (515) 986-3711.

Recent Fire Frenzy? Des Moines, what does it mean?

2/2/2018 (Permalink)


Febuary 2, 2018

Per 3.8 Miles there has been a Commercial or house fire, in Des Moines.

Its only January, why the sudden surge?

My experience includes Commercial Framing construction and Web manmagment. In my opinion this surge is from a mix of things. 

1. Most people are Ignorant on living issues and would not think twice to leave there Pot boiling on the stove while finishing Netflix in the other Room. We think were invincible... Were not!

          "This was the cause of the apartment fire next to 235"

2. Some of us are informed but dont care about letting little things slide, like a cigarette on the brisk leaves outside our house of 13 years in january. 

Sorry to inform you, its a hazard, and caused one local to seriously damage his condo on the eastern-Northern Side of des moines. 

3. Accidents happen, but when one happens, there is usually a pattern to follow in a city where everybody loves to do the same thing.

My advice? Stay sharp and consider the worst could happen to you. Play it safe Des moines. 

How Fires Start

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

How do Fires Start? 

Fires start only in the presence of oxygen, fuel, and energy. There has to be enough energy provided, by either chemical, electrical, or physical means for the fuel to reach it's heat of combustion. 

Right. What does that mean for my house and kids?

To start a house fire you first need to purchase a decent HDTV with a television stand that is barely big enough to hold it. Along with your T.V. you need at least two video game consoles, both equipped with component cables, as well as a 5.1 surround sound system.

Sounds similar to the set-up in the basement right? 

Answer me this; How did you or your children leave all the cords? Well they left them in the corner of your room, inbetween your T.V. and computer, and its just a tangled mess.

Don't forget to have at least two power strips full of plugs buried beneath all of your cables. It's also a bonus if the phone line in your house is conveniently placed in your room coming out of your wall, this way you have even more cables in one coagulated spot! As well as all that, it's also fun when your telephone is added to the mess. Nothing is better than having your phone just lay on the ground because you can't put it anywhere else.

Ladies and Gentlemen if this scenario describes the living situation of you or a loved one, a House fire is inevitable.

Take the right steps to avoid this. Give your children chores again, untangle the mess and organize the cords. No Fuss

It might just save you a visit from us. 

Effective Use of Hydroxyl Radicals for Fire Damage Restoration

5/4/2016 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, it is estimated that some 370,000 home fires occur each year, costing close to $7 billion in total property damage. Many of these fires, however, start and are contained in a certain area of a home or business. Even though containment eliminates the necessity for complete demolition and reconstruction, it is still necessary for proper cleaning of soot and smoke in order to restore the property to a pre-loss condition.

Covering the Bases of Fire Damage

3/29/2016 (Permalink)

If a house sustains fire damage, proper cleanup is crucial as the ash, soot and water will wreak havoc on what remains.  It’s bad enough there was a fire, but the water and chemicals used to extinguish it can cause secondary damage.  The remnants will continue to do damage long after the flames are extinguished.

The average person will attempt conventional cleaning methods like renting a steam cleaner and using common cleaning agents available at the store.  Unfortunately, this will barely make an impact on the problem and could cause bigger issues.  Chemical agents could react with the residue and cause permanent damage, and in some cases, they may cause toxic fumes.  Fire damage cleanup is one of the most difficult jobs out there, and it should be left to a professional for the best results.

When selecting a firm that does the restoration, consider what type of training they have. Do they have health and safety certifications? Are they experienced in a wide range of repair? Do they have proof of proper insurance and licenses?  The company that has the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) fire and smoke restoration Certified Firm meets all of these expectations and conditions. An IICRC-certified firm understands the need for a quick response.  Immediate action is necessary because the longer the delay, the harder and more costly the job will be as reactions within the damaged material can continue to occur. The fire may be gone, but the ash, soot and smoke odors that remain can continue to do harm.  Certified firms will use their knowledge of fire restoration to accurately test the damage and apply the proper repair techniques to bring the items back to preloss condition when possible!