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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Fire Damage Blog Posts

Protect Your Home: Top Causes of Fire Damage and Prevention Tips

2/7/2024 (Permalink)

Severely burned utility room.  Washer and Dryer have been completely burned out. Severely burned out room

Fires can wreak havoc on homes, causing extensive damage and posing serious risks to occupants. SERVPRO® of Bay County, we recognize the critical importance of fire prevention and safety. Here, we delve into the primary causes of fire damage and offer valuable tips to safeguard your home against potential disasters.

1. Cooking Mishaps: Cooking-related fires stand out as one of the leading causes of residential fires. To mitigate this risk, it's crucial never to leave cooking food unattended. Ensure that flammable objects are kept away from the stove and maintain a working fire extinguisher in your kitchen at all times.

2. Electrical Malfunctions: Faulty wiring, overloaded circuits, and damaged electrical appliances can all contribute to electrical fires. Regularly schedule inspections of your electrical system by a qualified professional, and avoid overloading outlets with too many devices.

3. Heating Equipment: Space heaters, furnaces, and fireplaces can pose fire hazards if not used properly. Preventative measures include keeping flammable materials away from heating sources and scheduling annual inspections of your heating equipment by professionals.

4. Smoking: Careless smoking habits are another common cause of residential fires. Use deep, sturdy ashtrays, and refrain from smoking in bed or when feeling drowsy.

5. Candles: While candles can create a cozy ambiance, they also present a fire risk if left unattended. Opt for flameless LED candles or ensure that traditional candles are placed securely in holders away from flammable materials.

6. Dryer Lint: Lint buildup in dryer vents can ignite and lead to fires. Regularly clean your dryer lint trap after each use and schedule annual professional cleaning of your dryer vent.

7. Children and Pets: Curious children and playful pets can accidentally start fires by knocking over candles or playing with matches. Store matches, lighters, and other fire-starting materials out of reach of children, and take steps to pet-proof your home to prevent accidents.

By incorporating these fire prevention tips into your household routines, you can significantly reduce the risk of fire damage and ensure the safety of your family and property. However, in the unfortunate event of a fire, remember that SERVPRO of Bay County stands ready to assist with expert fire damage restoration services. Don't hesitate to contact us for prompt and reliable support. Stay proactive and stay safe!

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Protecting Your Home: Common Causes of Holiday Fire Damage and Prevention Tips

11/23/2023 (Permalink)

The results of interior fire damage Interior fire damage

At SERVPRO, we understand the importance of keeping your home safe during the holiday season, when joy and festivities abound. However, it's also a time when the risk of fire damage increases due to various factors. In this blog post, we want to share our insights on the most common causes of holiday fire damage and provide valuable tips on how to prevent them. Your safety and peace of mind are our top priorities.

1. Decorative Lights and Electrical Hazards:

Decorative lights are a beloved part of holiday decorations, but they can pose a fire hazard if not used safely. Here's how to prevent electrical-related fires:

  • Inspect your holiday lights for frayed wires, damaged sockets, or loose connections before use.
  • Only use lights and extension cords that are labeled for outdoor or indoor use as appropriate.
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets and power strips.
  • Turn off decorative lights and unplug them before going to bed or leaving your home.

2. Dry Christmas Trees:

A beautifully decorated Christmas tree is a hallmark of the holiday season, but a dry tree can become a fire hazard. To prevent this:

  • Choose a fresh tree with green, flexible needles that don't easily break.
  • Water your tree regularly to keep it hydrated and prevent it from drying out.
  • Place the tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, and heaters.
  • Dispose of your tree promptly after the holidays to avoid fire risks.

3. Cooking Accidents:

Holiday feasts are a cherished tradition, but they can also lead to cooking-related fires. To prevent cooking accidents:

  • Never leave the kitchen unattended while cooking.
  • Keep flammable items, such as kitchen towels and oven mitts, away from heat sources.
  • Use a timer to remind you when dishes are done.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and know how to use it.

4. Candles and Open Flames:

Candles and decorative candles are often used to create a cozy holiday atmosphere, but they can be a fire hazard if not handled carefully. To prevent candle-related fires:

  • Keep candles away from flammable materials, such as curtains and decorations.
  • Place candles on sturdy, heat-resistant surfaces.
  • Always extinguish candles before leaving a room or going to bed.
  • Consider using flameless LED candles as a safer alternative.

5. Space Heaters:

As temperatures drop during the holiday season, many people turn to space heaters for added warmth. To prevent space heater-related fires:

  • Place space heaters on a level, non-flammable surface and keep them away from curtains, furniture, and bedding.
  • Maintain a safe clearance around space heaters as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Turn off space heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Never use extension cords with space heaters; plug them directly into an outlet.

6. Fireplace and Chimney Maintenance:

If you have a fireplace, it's essential to ensure it's safe for use during the holidays. To prevent chimney-related fires:

  • Have your chimney professionally cleaned and inspected before using it.
  • Use a sturdy screen or glass door to contain sparks and embers.
  • Dispose of ashes in a metal container, away from the house and flammable materials.

7. Smoking Materials:

If you or your guests smoke, be mindful of the fire risks associated with smoking materials. To prevent smoking-related fires:

  • Provide designated outdoor smoking areas with safe disposal containers.
  • Ensure that cigarettes and cigars are fully extinguished in approved containers.
  • Discourage smoking inside the home, especially if alcohol is being consumed.

8. Fire Escape Plan:

Lastly, it's essential to have a fire escape plan in place. Review it with your family and guests so that everyone knows what to do in case of a fire emergency.

By following these prevention tips, you can enjoy a safe and festive holiday season without the worry of fire damage. However, accidents can still happen. In the unfortunate event of fire damage, SERVPRO is here to assist you with fire restoration services to help you get back to celebrating the holidays. Your well-being and peace of mind are our top priorities, and we're here to support you every step of the way.

Restoring Business After Fire: SERVPRO's Expertise in Bay County, FL

11/14/2023 (Permalink)

The results of severe fire damage at a business Severe fire damage before being restored by an expert SERVPRO team

In the heart of Bay County, Florida, where businesses flourish amidst the scenic landscape, the threat of fire wreaking havoc on commercial properties is an unfortunate reality. At SERVPRO, we understand the distressing impact of fire damage on businesses and the urgency of swift restoration. Let us guide you through our proven fire restoration abilities, tailored to meet the specific needs of Bay County businesses.

Understanding Fire Damage in Bay County Businesses:

  • Fires in commercial properties can be devastating, not only causing structural damage but also disrupting business operations. In Bay County, where businesses thrive by the coast, fire incidents demand immediate, professional attention.

SERVPRO's Expert Fire Restoration Process:

  • Our team's proficiency in fire restoration is a testament to our commitment to Bay County businesses. Here's an insight into our tailored approach:

1. Emergency Contact and Inspection:

  • Promptness is crucial. We respond immediately to assess the fire damage, understanding that time is of the essence in salvaging as much as possible from your Bay County business.

2. Board-Up and Tarp Services:

  • Ensuring security is our priority. We provide board-up and tarping services to prevent further damage to your Bay County business premises.

3. Water Removal and Drying:

  • Water damage often accompanies firefighting efforts. Our specialized equipment efficiently removes water and thoroughly dries affected areas in your Bay County business property.

4. Smoke and Soot Removal:

  • Smoke and soot residues can cause pervasive damage. Utilizing advanced cleaning techniques, we eradicate smoke odor and residue from surfaces in your Bay County business.

5. Cleaning and Sanitizing:

  • We meticulously clean, sanitize, and restore salvageable items in your Bay County business, aiming to return them to pre-fire condition whenever possible.

6. Restoration and Reconstruction:

  • Our goal is complete restoration. We handle necessary repairs and reconstruction, working diligently to bring your Bay County business back to its pre-fire state.

7. Documentation and Communication:

  • Transparency is vital. We keep Bay County business owners informed throughout the restoration process, providing detailed documentation for insurance claims and peace of mind.

Bay County Businesses - Our Priority:

  • At SERVPRO, we understand the vital role businesses play in the Bay County community. Our team's expertise, coupled with our commitment to minimizing downtime and disruption, makes us the trusted choice for fire restoration in Bay County, FL.

Your Partner in Bay County Fire Restoration:

  • Whether your Bay County business has faced minor smoke damage or extensive fire-related destruction, SERVPRO is equipped with the expertise, resources, and dedication needed for efficient fire restoration. We're not just a restoration company; we're part of the Bay County community, working tirelessly to help businesses recover swiftly and thrive once again.

Contact SERVPRO in Bay County Today:

  • If your Bay County business has experienced fire damage, don't hesitate to reach out to SERVPRO. Our tailored fire restoration solutions are designed specifically for the needs of Bay County businesses, aiming to restore your property promptly and efficiently. Let's work together to bring your business back to life in Bay County, Florida.

SERVPRO Finds Ways to Help Your Family After a Fire With a Customized Remediation Plan

10/4/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technicians execute contents restoration in Bay County Technicians carry out the contents restoration component of a custom plan for local client.

Many homeowners, who experience a fire in their Bay County residence, lose almost everything, while other people fare much better. A smaller, more localized fire which never spreads can still create a considerable amount of havoc in your life and even cause you to doubt the safety of your home.
If your residence recently suffered fire damage, SERVPRO professionals can help you and your family. We work with both homeowners and insurance adjusters, so your experience involving your home's restoration becomes less stressful. In the case of smaller fires, many families find they can remain in their own home while we work on just the areas damaged directly by the fire. This requires some preparation that eliminates the smoke damage and its odors in the area intended to become your primary living area during the restoration work. However, staying in your home while restoration helps keep children calm, schedules on track, and medicines, necessary documents, and other vital belongings within your reach.
One of the things we do first includes cleaning excess soot from the most easily damaged surfaces in your home. These include chrome and other finishes on your bath and kitchen fixtures, as well as any other belongings that include a metallic component. Works of art and pieces of American history often contain metal that can quickly corrode when covered by abrasive soot and ashes from the fire.
Even though the soot may seem minor, the effects can become permanent over time, as well as cling to anyone unfortunate enough to wash their hands at the sink before we clean the faucet handles. As sticky as soot seems, it easily transfers to anything touched, making a messy trail rapidly.
We wash the linens and clothing your family needs immediately, and then return these to you as soon as possible. We want to help you as much as possible during this challenging time, so your family can recover faster and with less stress. As soon as we complete the initial cleaning of your undamaged-by-fire living area in your home, our Odor Control Technician (OCT) can eliminate the odors that your family can do without smelling.
Using thermal fogging, our IICRC-certified technician chemically bonds leftover and hidden soot particles to the neutralizing agents in the fog. With spot treatments, fresh scents can soon fill your rooms with odors that your family enjoys. We use safe and effective chemicals that do not cause problems for your home, family or the environment.

Restore or Replace?

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Ceramic dishes with soot on them There are many things that can be restored after a property fire!

Fires can result in a variety of damages:  damage to structure and contents from the flames, soot staining throughout the property, smoke odor, and even water damages incurred during the extinguishing of the blaze.  Understanding the types of materials that can be remediated and restored, versus those that should be discarded and replaced after a fire has occurred at your home or business, can help you to make better decisions moving forward after this type of disaster strikes.


Items that are more likely to be able to be restored after a fire include:

  • Items made of glass, ceramic, or porcelain
  • Hardwood items, such as dressers or bureaus
  • Metal, including flatware
  • Certain fabrics, when cleaned appropriately to reduce the possibility of smoke odor setting in
  • If done with specialized techniques and by professionals, such as SERVPRO of Bay County, electronics and paper documents can be restored if not directly affected by flame


Items that should be discarded after a fire include:

  • Food, including fresh, frozen, and canned items that have been exposed to heat or smoke
  • Medications
  • Fabrics, electronics, or paper goods that are directly affected by flame
  • Cosmetics

Here to help you restore your property, and your life, after fire damage strikes, SERVPRO of Bay County offers 24/7/365 emergency service throughout Panama City, Panama City Beach, and surrounding communities.  To learn more about our service lines, request assistance, or for any other questions, please give us a call: 850-785-1077.  SERVPRO of Bay County: “We’re faster to any size disaster!”

Practicing Fire Safety with Children

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

Family reviewing a fire evacuation plan Practice fire safety with your children!

Fire safety – both in the sense of preventing a fire from starting and knowing what to do in case of fire – is a very important lesson to begin learning at an early age.  Teaching your children about the dangers of fire, instructing on how to react when a fire does start, and making sure children understand the importance on fire safety is imperative.  So, what specifics can you focus on with your children?  Redcross.org suggests the following:

Prevent your Child from Starting Fires

  • Keep matches, lighters, and other sources of fire ignition out of reach of children. Teach your children that these items are not toys.
  • Monitor children around candles, cooking equipment, and other flame sources. Consider utilizing flameless candles vs. traditional.
  • Instruct your children on the location of fire extinguishers. Make sure they understand how to operate the extinguisher.  Additional information on types of fire extinguishers and their operation can be found here: https://www.SERVPRObaycounty.com/blog/post/248179/fire-smoke-damage-restoration/fire-extinguisher-faqs

Help your Child Survive a Fire

  • Install smoke alarms. Test your smoke alarms monthly and change batteries at least twice a year.  Make sure children understand WHAT the sound of the smoke alarm going off indicates, and how they should respond.
  • Instruct children on how to evacuate in case of fire. This will include determining at least two exits from the building, practicing fire evacuation (at different times of day) regularly, and having a designated meeting spot outside of the structure.
  • Depending on the features of your home, consider investing in specialized fire safety/escape equipment. This may include escape ladders for multiple story homes, or quick release devices for barred windows and doors.
  • Teach your children to STOP, DROP, and ROLL if their clothing should catch on fire.

In the unfortunate event that a fire does occur, and damages the structure or contents of your home, know that SERVPRO of Bay County is Here to Help.  We will work diligently to clean, restore, and repair the damages, making it “Like it never even happened.”  For more information about our services, to request assistance, or to learn more about our team of professionals, please give us a call: 850-785-1077.

Most Common Home Fire Hazards

7/22/2022 (Permalink)

Two men cleaning soot from a ceiling Fire Damage? SERVPRO of Bay County is Here to Help!

Fire Prevention:  this is a topic that we have all been taught about since a young age.  From practicing fire evacuation in elementary school, to installing fire extinguishers throughout our businesses as adults, we have all had some kind of experience in the area of fire safety.  Another important, and valuable, step that we can take to better understand fire risk, and help protect ourselves and our property, is to analyze the most common fire hazards in our homes, and safeguard against these hazards.

Cooking – Cooking is a leading cause of residential fires.  Whether utilizing indoor appliances (stove, countertop fryer, toaster oven), or outdoor methods (grill, smoker), it is imperative to always pay attention to the items in use.  Do not leave any flammable materials, such as towels or oven mitts, too close to the heat/flame source.  Have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of a flame up, and do not leave children unattended to cook for themselves.

Candles – Much like cooking, it is very important to monitor candles while they are in use.  Candles can be easily knocked over, allowing the flame to spread.  Keep lit candles away from curtains, draperies, and furniture.  Consider using battery powered candles in place of flame lit to reduce the risk of fire.

Heating – While less prevalent in Florida, especially this time of year, utilizing space heaters inside the home can be a fire hazard.  Following the manufacturer’s instructions pertaining to electrical supply, placement, and operation is imperative to operating space heaters safely.  As with the previously mentioned fire hazards, you should be sure to keep space heaters away from flammable materials and liquids.

Electrical Wiring – Have your electrical wiring inspected by a professional!  Do not overload circuits and discontinue use of any electrical cords that have frays, breaks, or melted areas.  When it comes to using electrical appliances, make sure children are supervised.  To keep yourself and your property safe, it is advantageous, in relation to electrical appliances, to follow the adage “When in doubt, throw it out!”  If electrical outlets or appliances begin to smoke or spark while in use, immediately remove the power source to the area by turning off the circuit.

Even with the best prevention in place, home fires do still happen.  For exceptional customer service, industry leading work performance, and peace of mind after your fire disaster, trust SERVPRO of Bay County to provide your cleanup and restoration service.  Operating throughout the Panhandle of Florida, our team is available 24/7/365 for emergencies.  For more information please give us a call: 850-785-1077. 

The Do’s and Don’t’s of Fire Damage

6/17/2022 (Permalink)

Kitchen with fire damage throughout When fire damage strikes, the professionals at SERVPRO of Bay County are Here to Help!

Thankfully everyone is safe, the property is not a total loss, and some of your most valued possessions have not been damaged.  The fire department leaves, and you are looking into your home.  You ask yourself…”What do I do now?”  This can be a very confusing and stressful situation for a property owner to find themselves in after a fire damage has occurred.  Striving to provide the highest possible level of customer service after disaster strikes, SERVPRO of Bay County is proud to be of service for fire damage throughout the communities of Panama City Beach, Callaway, and surrounding areas.  By calling us as soon as possible, our team will respond and begin the restoration process, working to reduce the amount of total damage sustained.  Until our team arrives, we recommend the following do’s and don’t’s of fire damage:


  • Limit movement in the home to reduce the embedding of soot particles into carpet and upholstery.
  • Keep hands clean to reduce soot transfer.
  • Wipe soot from chrome surfaces, including appliances. After wiping soot away, protect these surfaces by applying a light coating of lubricant.
  • Leave HVAC system OFF but do change out filter. Do not run the HVAC system until is has been inspected and possibly cleaned.
  • Place dry towels or old linens down on high traffic areas that are carpeted.


  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces.
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstery.
  • Turn on fans. These can spread soot particles around.  Especially if water was used to extinguish the fire, be care of using any fixtures attached to wet drywall as this can present an electrical shock hazard.
  • Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning can set in smoke odors.
  • Consume any food or beverages that were near the fire. These items may be contaminated.

Available 24/7/365 for emergencies, SERVPRO of Bay County is “Faster to any size disaster.”  With extensive training, experience, and knowledge of fire damage restoration practices, our team will work diligently to restore your property, limit the amount of secondary damage, and reduce the stress associated with a fire loss as much as possible.  To learn more about our services, request assistance, or for any other questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call: 850-785-1077.

Incorporate FIRE SAFETY Into Your Memorial Day Celebration!

5/18/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO logo alongside a grill being used outdoors Stay FIRE Safe this upcoming Memorial Day!

Memorial Day Weekend marks the “kick-off” of summer in the Florida Panhandle.  Barbecues, graduation celebrations, family gatherings, and outdoor activities abound at the end of May.  When it comes to celebrating Memorial Day, and all the other festivities during this time of year, it is important to keep safety, especially FIRE SAFETY, in mind!  So, what steps can you take to protect yourself, loved ones, and property against fire danger?

  • Do not allow children to use fireworks unattended. Many celebrations incorporate fireworks, which can be both fun and entertaining, but must be used according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer, and all firework lighting should be supervised by a responsible adult.
  • Practice grilling safety. This includes keeping your grill away from structures and foliage while in use.  Make sure the grill is cleaned before lighting to reduce the risk of flare ups.  Do not leave a hot grill unattended and keep children and pets away from the grill to reduce the possibility of knocking the grill over, as well as burns.
  • Campfires in the celebration plan? Make sure your campfire is built away from anything that can catch fire, including bushes, trees, and tents.  Have water and/or a fire extinguisher readily available for your campfire, and make sure the fire is completely out after use.  Keep your campfire surrounded by a fire pit or rocks for proper containment and control.

Even with the best preparation, planning, and safety measures in place, accidents can, and will, still happen.  When fire damage affects your property, trust the local professionals at SERVPRO of Bay County to help.  Our team is available 24/7/365 for emergency response at 850-785-1077 and will work diligently to make your damage “Like it never even happened.”   

October 3rd-9th, 2021 is Fire Prevention Week

10/5/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Prevention Week 2021 Logo with a dog "Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety" as you make your fire safety preparations!

One of the most important fire safety steps that you can take to safeguard your home and/or business is to practice fire prevention.  This year, fire prevention week is October 3rd-9th, with the 2021 campaign being “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!”  This campaign focuses on knowing the different sounds that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors make, including a low batter indicator, devices and specialized equipment available as it relates to alarm systems for the deaf or hard of hearing, and what everyone in the building should do if the fire or carbon monoxide alarm does sound.  Additional information on the 2021 Fire Prevention Campaign can be found at https://www.nfpa.org/Events/Events/Fire-Prevention-Week/About

Chirp vs. Beep.  What’s the Difference?

A chirping alarm indicates that there is an issue with the alarm, most likely a low battery.  If you hear a chirping sound coming from you alarm, it is either time to change the battery, or possibly even the entire alarm.  It is recommended that as a standard practice you test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors once a month, change out batteries twice a year, and replace the entire detector once every 10 years.

A beeping alarm means that smoke or carbon monoxide has been detected in the structure.  Hear a beep = get on your feet!  Once you have safely evacuated the building, make a call to emergency services, and be sure to stay out of the building until it is deemed safe for re-entry by first responders.

Alarm Systems for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing

There are many technologies available to alert the deaf or hard of hearing to a fire or carbon monoxide issue.  Alarms that produce a strobing or flashing light as well as devices that work along with your smoke alarm to shake your bed when the alarm is triggered are a couple of examples.  When using devices designed to aid the deaf or hard of hearing, it is important to make sure they are installed appropriately, tested regularly, and are kept in good working order in case of an emergency.

Utilizing appropriate fire prevention equipment is just one step in practicing fire safety.  Having an evacuation plan, practicing that plan on a regular basis, and having a designated meeting spot in case of a fire or carbon monoxide evacuation are all also extremely important.  When it comes to fire safety, the more prevention and preparation practiced the better!  If you are interested in learning more about fire prevention, many great resources are available:




Celebrate Labor Day Safely

8/30/2021 (Permalink)

Man holding a hard hat that says fire safety Practicing Fire Safety is one of the best ways to Prevent Fire Damage!

Many Floridians enjoy celebrating Labor Day with outdoor festivities, such as fireworks, grilling, and watersports.  During your celebrations, it is important to keep yourself and loved one safe – especially when it comes to fire!  Keep these tips in mind to protect yourself, your property, and your family:

  • Give yourself a “safe space” around outdoor flames, including grills, fire pits, or bonfires. Make sure no buildings, foliage, or furniture is within this safe space that could catch fire.  Keep pets and children away from outdoor flames, both to reduce the possibility of burn injuries, as well as limit the risk of grills or fire pits being knocked over.
  • Always keep a method of extinguishing fires nearby while using outdoor flames. Water hoses, buckets of water, or fire extinguishers are all valuable assets that can be used to control burning.
  • Always follow the laws and/or recommendations set forth by local authorities when it comes outdoor flame. Do not burn in areas where prohibited, or when a “burn ban” has been issued.
  • If using fireworks, be sure to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. NEVER allow children to use fireworks unattended and be sure to only set off fireworks in an open area free of debris. 
  • Once you have finished your celebrations, make sure that all fireworks, grills, or burning areas are fully extinguished before leaving the area. It only takes a minimal ember to spark a catastrophic fire.

Practicing fire safety is paramount to reducing damage risk, but in the unfortunate chance that your home or business does suffer a loss, trust SERVPRO of Bay County to help.  We have the training, expertise, and equipment to handle fire damages of all shapes and sizes, and take great pride in providing the highest level of customer service to the communities that we both live and work in.  To learn more, or request service, please give us a call at 850-785-1077.

Fire Prevention in Panama City

8/2/2021 (Permalink)

Bathtub with soot staining in Panama City, Florida Practice Fire Prevention to Reduce the Risk of your Home Having Damage Like This!

The last thing anyone wants to have happen is their home catch on fire.  Along with the obvious safety concerns, residential fires can cause extensive property and contents damage, stress for the homeowner and residents, and create a large financial burden.  To reduce the risk of all these things, there are quite a few prevention steps that can be taken:

  1. Periodically check the power cords of all appliances (Refrigerator, Clothes Dryer, Dishwasher, etc.) – Damaged or frayed cords are a prime place for fires to start. Making sure the cords are in correct working order reduces this likelihood.
  2. Clean and Maintain your Clothes Dryer and Vents – Clogged dryer filters and dryer vents not only trap heat from your machine but provide the perfect ignition source for fires. It is recommended to clean out the dryer filter after every load, and occasionally clean out vent hoses.
  3. NEVER leave unattended items on the stove or range top – Something as simple as a towel too close to a burner, coupled with an accidental bump of a knob, can lead to a massive fire situation. While cooking, be mindful of the stove and surrounding area.
  4. Consider electric candles instead of traditional – Candles are a common fire starter within a home. Using electric, battery-operated candles, instead of traditional flame candles eliminates this risk.
  5. Children in the home? Talk about and teach fire safety – Playing with matches or improperly using appliances can lead to a fire disaster. Make sure your children understand some of the possible causes of accidental fire, and ways to prevent this from happening.

While prevention can go a very long way, sometimes residential fires do still happen.  If your home has suffered fire, smoke, or soot damages, SERVPRO of Bay County can help.  Our team of highly trained professionals has numerous years of experience in cleanup and restoration and takes great pride in being of service to the communities of Panama City, Panama City Beach, Callaway, and surrounding areas.  If your home needs fire damage remediation services, give us a call at 850-785-1077, We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster!

Special Operations Fire Teams in Panama City, FL

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Truck from Panama City, Florida The Panama City Fire Department employs a variety of Special Response Teams to help support our community.

Firefighting at its core is the process of rescuing individuals affected by emergency, limiting the amount of property damages sustained from a fire, and being of service in multiple capacities to the communities in which a team serves.  Firefighters in the Panama City area often serve as first responders to non-fire emergencies, such as hurricane damages or vehicular accidents, and to provide the highest possible level of service, employ multiple Special Operations Team in our area.

The City of Panama City Government describes three Special Operations Teams within the local fire department that operate within our community, aiding with BOTH fire related and non-fire emergencies:

Joint Agency In-Water Strike Team (JAWS)

This operations team focuses primarily on training and preparedness for water-related incident response, including water rescue, dive rescue, and water survival.  The JAWS team practices strategies keep both themselves, and community members, safe during water-related rescue situations.

Urban Search and Rescue (USAR)

The Panama City Fire Operations USAR team specializes in responding to a variety of urban-related rescue events, including confined space rescue, structural collapse rescue, and vehicle or machinery entrapment rescue.  These types of responses often utilized highly specialized equipment, requiring a high level of training and experience.  This team has also previously participated in statewide hurricane response efforts, assisting other communities in need.

Fire Boat Operations

The Panama City Fire Department’s Pacifica Fire Boat has a 500 gallon per minute pump for firefighting operations on the water.  This vessel can conduct emergency operations in less than two feet of water, making it a critical piece of firefighting equipment along the coast.  With multiple properties built directly along the shoreline in our community, having the equipment and training to respond to shoreline fires is paramount.

The amazing work done day-in and day-out by our local first responders, from volunteer firefighters to special operations team members, is courageous, inspiring, and instrumental in our community.  SERVPRO of Bay County is proud to be a supporter of these brave men and women, and the technological strides that they make to keep our community safe during disaster.

Source: https://www.pcgov.org/234/Special-Operations-Teams

Residential Fire Prevention – Dryer Fires

6/24/2021 (Permalink)

Burned clothing dryer with SERVPRO logo Reduce the risk of dryer fires by practicing preventative maintenance!

Preventative maintenance is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of a residential structure fire, and this is especially true in the case of clothing dryers.  The US Fire Administration reports than an average of 2,900 dryer fires occur each year, amounting in nearly $35 million worth of property damage loss, and that failure to clean the dryer is the leading cause of these fires.  Keep yourself and your property safe by following these tips on dryer maintenance:

  • Make sure that you clothes dryer is installed according to manufacturer specifications. Improper wiring can cause an electrical fire.
  • Clean out the lint filter after each cycle. This allows the proper air flow through the machine, and the removal of the lint limits the amount of material available to burn if a fire did start.
  • Periodically check the vent system leading out of the dryer. Make sure this venting is not cracked or restricted.
  • Clean out lint buildup behind and around the dryer.
  • Do not leave your dryer running unattended.

If do you find that your home has experienced fire damage, know that SERVPRO of Bay County has the training, experience, equipment, and expertise to help.  Servicing Panama City, Callaway, Laguna Beach, and surrounding communities, SERVPRO of Bay County offers 24-hour emergency service, and is Faster to Any Size Disaster!  To learn more, or schedule service, give us a call at 850-785-1077.  

Enjoy a Safe Memorial Day Celebration!

5/26/2021 (Permalink)

Fireworks with SERVPRO logo SERVPRO of Bay County offers a full line of Fire Clean-Up and Restoration Services. Call 850-785-1077 to learn more!

Memorial Day in the Panhandle of Florida is often celebrated with outdoor activities, grilling, and fireworks displays.  While enjoying your Memorial Day festivities, it is also important to practice fire safety to keep your joyous occasion from turning terrible quickly!

Practice Grilling Safety:

  • Be sure to do all grilling a safe distance away from both structures and foliage. The U.S Fire Administration recommends keeping a 3-foot “safe zone” around your grill, providing safety for your property, pets, and children.
  • Clean your grill regularly. Grease build-up can serve as a fuel source for fires to flame-up and quickly get out of hand.
  • Do not leave your grill unattended! Once grilling is complete, be sure to property turn off fuel sources or extinguish coals before leaving the area.  Unattended, hot grills can be very dangerous both as burn hazards AND structure fire sources.

Practice Firework Safety:

  • Follow the guidelines, regulations, and recommendations set forth by local and state authorities when using fireworks.
  • Follow the firework manufacturer’s safety guidelines. Improper use of fireworks can lead to both serious bodily injury as well as property damage concerns.
  • Do not allow children to use fireworks unattended.
  • Discharge fireworks in an area free of debris, foliage, and structures, all of which could easily catch fire and spread.

In the unfortunate event that your Memorial Day celebration leads to fire damages, call SERVPRO of Bay County at 850-785-1077 for help.  Our team of highly trained professionals has the equipment, experience, and training to remediate fire, soot, and smoke damages safely and effectively, helping make your loss “Like it never even happened.”

Fire Extinguisher FAQs

10/15/2020 (Permalink)

Multiple Fire Extinguishers with SERVPRO logo If your home or business is in need of fire clean up and restoration services, give SERVPRO of Bay County a call at 850-785-1077.

It is widely known that having an in-date fire extinguisher on your property is imperative to fire safety, but did you know that there are different kinds of fire extinguishers, as well as a proper way in which to use one?  Keeping yourself, your family, and your property protected in the event of a structure fire is paramount, and the below information can help facilitate that process.

Q:  What are the different kinds of fire extinguishers, and what is each used for?

A:  The U.S. Fire Administration defines five primary types of fire extinguishers used to put out different kinds of fires:

  1. A – used for ordinary material fires, such as wood, cloth, or paper.
  2. B – for use with combustible or flammable liquids like grease, gasoline, or oil.
  3. C – for use with electrical equipment like appliances and tools.
  4. D – for use with flammable metals.
  5. K – for use with animal oils, vegetable oils, and fats in cooking appliances.

Many fire extinguishers may also be multipurpose, in that they carry multiple letter definitions and can put out a variety of material fires.

Q:  What is the proper way to use a fire extinguisher?

A: The U.S. Fire Administration suggests the acronym “PASS” as a means of properly discharging a fire extinguisher:

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

     A - Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

     S - Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly

     S - Sweep the nozzle from side to side

To keep yourself safe, it is important to use extreme caution within a fire damaged structure, and always follow the guidance of local fire authorities.  SERVPRO of Bay County offers a full line of fire clean up and restoration services, and we are Here to Help when you need.  Give us a call at 850-785-1077 to learn more.

Carillon Beach Fire Safety Tips

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Person Replacing Batteries In a Smoke Alarm Smoke Alarms are Essential in Staying Fire Safe! Check and Change Batteries Out Monthly, and Replace Faulty Devices as Needed.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the top five causes of structure fires are cooking, heating, electrical, smoking, and candle usage.  As most of these are common occurrences and activities, it is important to utilize fire safety equipment and strategies effectively to reduce the risk of a fire in your home or business, as well as keep yourself, loved ones, and coworkers safe.  Fire safety suggestions from leading industry authorities include:

  • Install and Use Smoke Alarms – Be sure to check the batteries at least once a month in every smoke alarm. Depending on the size of the structure, multiple alarms may be necessary, and should be placed strategically to cover all areas.
  • Have a Fire Extinguisher Available – Different fire extinguishers are made for different materials. Depending on the type of structure (residence, office building, restaurant, etc.) and contents, a different type of fire extinguisher may be necessary.  Visit the US Fire Administration website for more information on fire extinguisher selection.
  • Make an Evacuation Plan – In the event of a fire at your home or business, it is imperative to have an evacuation plan already in place. Be sure to share this plan with all involved parties, and practice evaluation with children.  Have a designated meeting area outside of the structure for everyone to gather if evacuation occurs.
  • Check Wiring and Electrical Equipment Regularly – Flickering lights, a scorched smell, or frequently blow breakers may all be signs of a wiring issue in your home or business. Contact an electrical professional to address these types of issues.  Along with structural wiring, you should regularly check appliances and electrical equipment for breaks or frays in cords, which provide a fire hazard.
  • Keep Items Away from Open Flames – If burning candles, smoking, or cooking in the home, be sure to keep flammable items, such as draperies, towels, clothing, and cleaning chemicals away from hot surfaces and flames. Fire can spread rapidly once these kinds of items are ignited, making containment and suppression much more difficult.

In the unfortunate event that a fire causes damages to your home or business, know that SERVPRO of Bay County is Here to Help.  Serving Panama City Beach, Carillon Beach, and surrounding areas, our professional team responds quickly to your disaster to begin the remediation process.  For more information about our services, give us a call at 850-785-1077.

Common Causes of Residential Fires

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bay County is Here to Help with all of your fire damage needs in Carillon Beach, Parker, Springfield, and surrounding areas!

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), nearly 350,000 residential fires occur each year in the United States.  Along with threatening your home’s structure and contents, residential fires can also be very dangerous for you and your loved ones.  Following are some of the most common causes of house fires, along with tips on how to help prevent them:

  • Cooking – Microwaves, Ovens, Stoves, Fryers, and Toasters all have the potential to catch fire when in use. While cooking in your home, be sure to keep all flammable materials, such as towels, away from hot surfaces.  Never leave your food unattended while cooking, and always check your appliances for residue and build-up before use.
  • Faulty Wiring – Outdated or Frayed wires can pose a significant electrical fire hazard in your home. Always have electrical work done by a trained professional.  Flickering lights, sparks at light switches, or a burning smell may be signs that something is amiss with your wiring; if these occur, turn off power to the affected area and contact an electrician.
  • Use of Open Flame Indoors – Smoking or Burning Candles can easily catch flammable materials on fire if left unattended. Never leave these items burning in an unoccupied room, take care not to fall asleep while smoking or burning candles, and always have a fire extinguisher available in case of emergency.

In the unfortunate event that a fire results in damage to your home, give the professionals at SERVPRO of Bay County a call at 850-785-1077.  Serving Panama City, Panama City Beach, Mexico Beach, and surrounding areas, our highly trained team is Here to Help!

Fire Damage Services in Panama City, Florida

7/27/2020 (Permalink)

If your home or business has experienced a fire damage, give SERVPRO of Bay County a call at 850-785-1077!

Along with providing structural cleaning, contents cleaning, and deodorization in the Florida Panhandle after a residential or commercial fire, SERVPRO of Bay County also offers additional specialized services to our community:


One of the top priorities after a fire loss is to secure your property and belongings until work can begin.  SERVPRO of Bay County offers board-up services for windows, doors, and other exposed structural areas to prevent intrusion by both water and unauthorized persons.

Inventory, Pack-Out and Storage

As the clean up and restoration process begins, SERVPRO of Bay County can take inventory of the contents of your home or business.  As contents are sorted, they will be categorized as salvageable, and processed to be cleaned, or unsalvageable, and documented as such for insurance purposes.  Our professional team can pack-out and store any unaffected materials as needed as well.   SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are trained to properly inventory, move out and control the contents from the structure during the cleaning, restoration, and deodorization process.

Document Drying and Restoration

The SERVPRO Document Restoration Team offers a range of services to restore your damaged documents, including drying, cleaning/disinfecting, re-jacketing, digitizing, and deodorization.  Depending on your specific needs, and utilizing industry leading techniques and state-of-the-art technology, SERVPRO’s restoration professionals will help you recover paper goods, no matter the size of the loss.

Serving Lynn Haven, Mexico Beach, and surrounding areas, SERVPRO of Bay County is Here to Help with all your fire damage needs.  Our professional team will help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Safely Enjoying Fireworks in Bay County

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bay County provides fire, water, and mold damage services in Panama City, Carillon Beach, Southport, and surrounding areas!

With the 4th of July quickly approaching, coupled with social distancing guidelines implemented due to COVID-19, many families are opting to purchase fireworks to set off at their homes instead of going to a large professional fireworks show.  While consumer fireworks can create an enjoyable and memorable family experience, it is important to understand how to properly use them to reduce risk of personal harm or property damage.  According to the National Safety Council, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires each year, including 1,300 structure fires and 300 vehicle fires.  Following are some guidelines offered to reduce these risks:

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

In the unfortunate event that a firework mishap results in fire damage to your property, give the professionals at SERVPRO of Bay County a call at 850-785-1077.  Serving Panama City, Panama City Beach, Mexico Beach, and surrounding areas, our highly trained team is Here to Help!

After The Fire...

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bay County is Here to Help with your fire damage needs in Panama City, Carillon Beach, and Surrounding Areas. Call us at 850-785-1077.

Suffering fire damages at your home can be a very traumatic experience.  Along with the damages from the flames, your home may have soot residue, smoke odor, and water damages from firefighting efforts.  Many times, the hardest part of the experience is determining “What do I do now?” once the fire is out.  The U.S Fire Administration offers these “After the Fire” guidelines to help you through this tough time:

  • The top priority is keeping yourself, loved ones, and pets safe. The structure of your home may be unstable, or various hazards present due to the fire damages.  Always follow the instructions of the local authorities pertaining to safety in a fire damaged area.
  • Contact your insurance agent. Your insurance agent can help determine what your policy covers regarding cleaning and restoration.
  • Contact your mortgage company or landlord to report the fire.
  • Secure important documents. If undamaged, gather items such as Social Security Information, Birth Certificates, and Passports.  If these items have been damaged, you will need to formulate a plan for replacement.

In the unfortunate event that you experience a fire at your home in the Panama City area, SERVPRO of Bay County is Here to Help. Our professional team provides fire restoration services, soot clean up, smoke odor removal, and structural drying to help restore your home.  Give us a call at 850-785-1077, We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.

Fire Safety Tips for Holiday Decorating

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bay County provides emergency 24-hour fire damage restoration service in Panama City, Callaway, Lynn Haven, Chipley, and surrounding areas.

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la--- FIRE!!!

When it comes to decorating for the holidays, the last thing you want is a fire threatening your home, business, or most importantly your loved ones. Decorations are fun and festive, but keep in mind that if they are not properly done, they can be very dangerous and increase the risk of fire damage to your property.

Remember to follow these holiday decorating fire safety tips this season:

  • Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
  • Do not connect more than 3 strands of mini-light sets at a time, with a maximum of 50 bulbs at a time, for screw-in bulbs.
  • Check the packaging of your lights. Some lights are only for indoor use.
  • Do not block exits with trees or other decorations that limit your access.
  • Dispose of your tree right after Christmas – or when it’s dry – and look for community recycling programs for proper disposal of your tree.
  • Dispose of and replace any string sets of lights that have worn/broken cords or loose bulb connections.
  • Use hanging clips or hooks, not nails, to hang lights so that cords do not get damaged.
  • Store any outdoor electrical lights inside once the holidays are over to prevent hazards and make them last longer.
  • Keep any lit candles at least 12-inches away from anything that can catch fire.
  • Make sure your tree is a minimum of 3-feet away from heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles, and heat vents.
  • When picking out a natural tree, make sure the needles are fresh, green, and do not fall off when you touch them. 
  • If you have a natural tree, water it daily to limit drying out and potential of creating a fire hazard.
  • If you have an artificial tree, confirm that it’s labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.
  • Always turn off any Christmas tree lights before leaving your home or going to bed.

We hope that you will find these tips helpful while you are decorating for the holidays. From the entire SERVPRO of Bay County team, we wish you a very Safe and Merry Christmas!

Call SERVPRO of Bay County today at (850) 785-1077 for any fire or water damage restoration needs. We're Faster to Any Size Disaster.

Halloween Fire Safety Tips

10/22/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bay County provides 24 hour fire damage restoration service in Panama City, Panama City Beach, Lynn Haven, Southport and surrounding areas.

Without taking the proper precautions, your spooky Halloween decorations in your home and yard can pose a potential fire risk to your family and to trick-or-treaters who visit your door. Keep these things in mind for a safe and fire free Halloween display.

  • Avoid open flames.

Jack-o'-lanterns with burning candles require constant supervision and can pose a risk to trailing parts of flammable costumes. Choose battery-operated candles or LED lights instead.

  • Don’t overload extension cords.

If you have a lot of interior decorations that require power, make sure that you're not putting too much strain on your extension cords. Your cord should be the correct amps for what you're plugging into it. Check the cord periodically: If any part of the cord, the plug or the socket is hot, unplug it to prevent overheating.

  • Watch the flammable decor.

Halloween decor like moss, spooky gauze,  or fake spider webs are extremely flammable. Also, by placing them around doorways, you may accidentally block their exits in the case of a fire. Just in case, keep exits clear and keep flammable materials away from fire hazards.

SERVPRO of Bay County wishes everyone a very Happy and Spooky Halloween! Call SERVPRO of Bay County today at (850) 785-1077 if you need Fire Damage assistance!

Fire Safety Tips

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bay County provides 24 hour fire damage assistance and restoration services in Bay County.

Make sure you and your family are safe from a fire by following these Fire Safety tips:

1. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home or business. Be sure they are inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.

  1. Be sure to test your smoke alarms every month. If they are not working, make sure to change the batteries and test them again.
  2. Put together a fire escape plan and practice with your family members twice each year so you are all prepared in the event of a fire.
  3. If a fire occurs in your home or business, get out of your home, stay out of the building, and call for help.

Damage caused by a fire is devastating for your family and your home. It’s a stressful and confusing time, so you’ll need a caring expert to guide you through this crisis. Our professionals will always treat you with respect and empathy, and we’ll always treat your home and belongings with great care.

Immediate action is crucial when dealing with water and fire damage. We’re dedicated to responding immediately when you need help. A fast response helps lessen the damage, limits secondary damage, and reduces cost.

Call SERVPRO of Bay County today at (850) 785-1077!

Wood Fireplace Safety

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bay County provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Bay County! Stay safe with these wood fireplace tips!

Even in Florida, during the late Fall and Winter months, homes begin to light up their fireplaces to keep warm. Use these wood fireplace safety tips to ensure your fireplace is burning brightly, but more importantly, safely.

1. Only Burn Dry, Cured Wood

That means logs that have been split, stacked, and dried for eight to 12 months. You may cover your log pile on top, but leave the sides open for air flow.

Hardwoods such as hickory, white oak, beech, sugar maple, and white ash burn longest, though dry firewood is more important than the species. Less dense woods like spruce or white pine burn well if sufficiently dry, but you’ll need to add more wood to your fire more often, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

2. Burn Firewood and Only Firewood

Construction scraps, painted wood, or other treated wood releases chemicals into your home, compromising air quality. Log starters are fine for getting your wood fireplace going, but they burn very hot; generally only use one at a time.

3. Close the Damper When Not Using Your Wood Fireplace

This will prevent warm indoor air -- and the dollars you’re spending to heat it -- from rushing up the chimney.

4. Keep Bifold Glass Doors Open When Burning a Fire

This will allow heat to get into the room. On a factory-built, prefab wood fireplace with a circulating fan, keep doors closed to prevent unnecessary heat loss.

5. Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Smoke Detectors

Place them near your wood fireplace as well as in bedroom areas.

6. Get Your Chimney Cleaned Twice a Year

If you burn more than three cords of wood annually, this is a must-do. A cord is 4 feet high by 4 feet wide by 8 feet long, or the amount that would fill two full-size pickup trucks.

7. To Burn a Fire Safely, Build It Slowly, Adding More Wood as It Heats.

Keep the damper of your wood fireplace completely open to increase draw in the early stages. Burn the fire hot, at least occasionally—with the damper all the way open to help prevent smoke from lingering in the fireplace and creosote from developing.

These tips provided by houselogic.com

Call SERVPRO of Bay County today at (850) 785-1077!

Keep Your Pets Safe During a Fire

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bay County provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Panama City, Panama City Beach, Lynn Haven, Southport and more!

Pets are family, too!

At any given moment, a fire emergency can take place in the Bay County area, and though unexpected; it can be instrumental to already have a strategy in place for everyone, pets included, in your home to evacuate and meet in a safe location. While you should always be most focused on keeping yourself and your family safe, you can be better prepared to keep your pets safe during a fire emergency by following these safety tips:

Practice Evacuating 

In the confusion and fear caused by a fire, it can be hard to think of everything you need to do at that moment. If you already have a plan in place and practice it a couple of times, you can be more prepared to handle a fire emergency. This can not only be helpful for pet safety, but also for the safety of everyone in your household. 

Notice Your Pets Location 

An important part of the planning process can be knowing where your pets spend most of their time. It can be especially helpful to take note where they hide when frightened, maybe during a thunder or lightning storm.You don’t want to put yourself or your family at risk by spending too much time searching for your dog or cat during a fire emergency. 

Keep Any Collars and Leashes Nearby

Fire emergencies can be especially frightening to pets. By keeping their collars, leashes, or carriers handy, you can more easily lead them safely out of the house. If you are unable to find your pets, it can be easier for the fire department to get them out if they are wearing collars. It can be a good idea to hang leashes by the door that you are planning to evacuate through.

Have Fire Damage? Call Us Today (850) 785-1077

Grilling Safety Tips

8/3/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bay County provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Panama City, Panama City Beach, Lynn Haven, Southport, and more.

The summer months are the prime cookout season. Many of us are lighting up the grills with our favorite recipes. Unfortunately safety is usually the last thing that come to mind when gearing up for a backyard barbecue. There’s an average of 9,600 grill-related fires in the U.S every year. So, brush up on the tips for safely using charcoal and propane grills to prevent any type of fire safety hazard or fire damage.

Inspect the grill for wear & tear

Has it been awhile since you last used your grill? Be sure to check it for any damage, broken parts, or rust. Same goes for a fuel tank – if it’s beat up with rust, dents or cracks, it’s at risk for explosion and you need to replace it.

Check for leaks

You should inspect the valve and hose that run from the fuel tank for any leaks by making a solution with water and soap, then sprinkle it onto the valve hose. Turn on the gas, but DO NOT ignite the grill, and watch for any  bubbles that form. If there’s a leak, repair or replace parts before using your grill again.

Grill away from structures 

The heat of the grill can melt siding, cause smoke damage or grease stains, and may even ignite any dry grass, leaves, branches, shrubs and decks. Leave plenty of space on all sides of the grilling area and make sure there’s nothing overhead that can melt or catch fire.

Light the grill properly

How to light a gas grill:

  • Step one: open the grill.
  • Step two: turn on the gas via the valve on the propane tank.
  • Step three: light the grill using the grill’s quick ignition switch or a match (this final step depends on the make and model of your grill). Once your burners are functioning, you’re ready to grill.

How to light a charcoal grill:

  • Open the grill vents – there’s usually one on top of the grill and one on the bottom.
  • Place newspaper at the bottom of the charcoal chimney, then fill the rest with charcoal and light the newspaper. The newspaper will act as kindling for the charcoal, which will burn hot for several minutes before reaching an ashy-white condition appropriate for cooking.
  • Once the coals reach temperature, you can pour them out into the bottom of the grill, below the cooking grates. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for any specific indications and use an oven mitt to protect yourself from burns.

Be ready to put a fire out

Grill fires often contain grease, and these types of cooking fires CANNOT be put out with water. In fact, water makes grease fires worse. Instead, have a dry chemical fire extinguisher nearby. If a spark from your fire ignites something nearby and there’s no cooking grease or oil involved (for example, if a charcoal ember catches some dry leaves) then you can use water to prevent it from spreading. You may want to have your garden hose or a bucket of water at the ready just in case.

Have Fire Damage in Panama City, Lynn Haven, Southport, or surrounding areas? Call Us Today (850) 785-1077

Smoke & Soot Cleanup

8/3/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bay County provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration services in Panama City, Lynn Haven, Southport, and surrounding areas.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities in your home, causing damage you can not see. Our smoke and fire damage expertise allows us to inspect and accurately assess the scope of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

Believe it or not, there are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before the restoration process begins, SERVPRO of Bay County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. 

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

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

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

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

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions at your home or commercial business.  Our professional team has the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call Us Today – (850) 785-1077

Smoke and Soot Cleanup in Your Home or Business

2/8/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Bay County Home or Business.

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

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Bay County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

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

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

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

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

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

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call Us Today – (850) 785-1077

How To Safely Put Out a Grease Fire

1/10/2018 (Permalink)

Cooking is one of the leading causes of house fires in the United States. Often times, cooking fires are ignited by grease, which can be dangerous for both your home and the individuals inside your home. In an effort to keep everyone safe, here are our tips for safely containing and putting out grease fires in your kitchen:

1. DO NOT USE WATER! Trying to extinguish a grease fire with water can be catastrophic. Also stay away from flourbaking powder, or any other cooking powders that resemble baking soda or salt. While baking soda and salt can help (we’ll touch on this later), powders that merely look like them can have very different chemical makeup and will not react well to the grease. They can actually making the fire worse.

2. Cover the flames with a metal lid or cookie sheet. Do not remove cover until it has cooled. This will help contain the fire and suffocate the flames.

3. TURN OFF the heat source! When a grease fire starts, heat fuels it and can make the flames spread and grow stronger. Turning off the heat will cut that main source of fuel.

4. Here’s where the salt and baking soda come in. If possible, pour some salt or baking soda onto the fire – the substances will help smother the flame and significantly reduce its strength.

5. If none of the previous steps are successful in putting out the grease fire, spray the fire with a Class B Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher.


An important note - IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO EXTINGUISH THE GREASE FIRE, GET OUT. Please keep in mind that your safety and the safety of those around you is most important. A grease fire can become very dangerous very quickly. Evacuate, and once everyone is safely out of harms way, call 911. Do not re-enter your home until the fire has been contained by firefighters.

If your home is damaged by grease fire or any other type of disaster, SERVPRO of Bay County is ready to help with the restoration process. Give us a call at 850-785-1077.

5 Common Causes of House Fires

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

Fire is one of the most hazardous types of damage that can wreak havoc on your home. While safety measures can be put in place to combat fire (like having a fire extinguisher handy or a fire alarm system installed), knowing what the common causes are can be a good first step in preventing fire.

Cooking Equipment

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are ranked as the number one cause of house fires in the United States. It’s important to always be alert and aware when cooking in your kitchen, and to not leave items unattended. Pots and pans can easily overheat, food can burn, and any time large quantities of grease or oil are involved they can spray and splatter, taking only seconds to ignite into flame. Be sure to keep an eye on your cooking area at all times, and remove any combustible items like dish towels, paper towels and oven mitts so there are no flammable objects within range.

Electrical Equipment

Electrical fires are one of the most common threats homeowners face. From overloaded electrical outlets to malfunctioning appliances, fires can start quickly and grow strong. Be careful not to overload your circuits or leave lights on overnight, and if you can, start conducting an annual inspection of your home’s electrical systems. This will help you identify and locate any faulty wiring, damaged outlets or other issues your system may have.


Smoking is a major contributor to house fires that occur in the United States each year. Lit cigarettes accidentally dropped somewhere in the home can quickly ignite its surroundings and build to dangerous levels of fire and smoke. The best way to significantly reduce the risk of this happening is to stop smoking altogether or by smoking outdoors. However, if you choose to smoke inside your home, take proper precautionary measures: don’t smoke in your bedroom or forget to extinguish your cigarette if you become drowsy. Use large, deep ashtrays, and keep them away from anything that will burn. And finally, check around for any fallen embers and properly dispose of them as soon as possible.


This one may surprise some people, but your dryer could pose as a major hazard for your home if not properly maintained. When lint and dust build up over time, the dryer vent becomes clogged with highly flammable materials. When you run your dryer, it exposes the vent to high temperatures that can cause the build up to combust. Regularly cleaning your dryer’s lint trap and routinely inspecting the vent for blockage is the best way to avoid this potential danger.


Candles provide wonderful aromas and stunning ambiance to any room, but can be hazardous the moment you neglect them. Always blow out a candle before you leave a room – an unattended open flame is asking for trouble, and can quickly lead to a house fire. In addition to blowing it out, be sure to clear away any flammable materials from the vicinity of the candle prior to lighting it. Trimming the wick can also help reduce the size of the flame, better containing it.

If you are worried about any of these hazards that may exist in your home or have any questions, feel free to call our team of professionals here at SERVPRO of Bay County. We’ll be happy to assist you!

Tips For Avoiding Holiday Hazards

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

The holidays are a time for celebration! However, between delicious meals together, reindeer games, and bright decorations, the holiday season can also be a time for hazards in your home. Here are a few tips to reduce your risk of property damage this winter:

  • If you bring home a tree to decorate, make sure its placed far away from any heat source, such as a fireplace, radiator, heat vent, lights or candles. Also, be sure to keep the base filled with water so the tree doesn’t dry out – this will significantly decrease the chances of it catching on fire from any of the sources previously mentioned.
  • Stringing up lights? Check both your indoor and outdoor lights for any damage. Additionally, if you are using lights outdoors, be sure they are labeled suitable for exterior placement and that they are plugged into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle.

  • When it’s time to turn in for the night, remember to switch OFF all lights and decorations around the house. Not only will this help you save on your utility bills, it will reduce the risk of any electrical malfunctions that could occur while you’re asleep.

We hope you find these tips useful, and wish you a wonderful, safe holiday season! 

Summer grilling means more than tasty food

7/3/2016 (Permalink)

Recently SERVPRO of BAY County responded to a fire at a high rise condominium, caused by a guest who disposed of charcoal in the trash chute.  Fortunately, the maintenance crew caught this in time and minimal smoke damage was done to several units. It could have been so much worse.

 According to the National Fire Protection Association Three out of five households own a gas grill, which translates to a lot of tasty meals. But it also means there’s an increased risk of home fires.

Each year an average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling, and close to half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns. While nearly half of the people who grill do it year-round, July is the peak month for grill fires followed by May, June and August.

The following fact sheet gives stunning information on structural fires caused from grilling.


In this case the team at SERVPRO Bay County professionally cleaned soot and deodorized the units from smoke.

SERVPRO of Bay County urges our friends and neighbors to practice safety while grilling this summer.

SERVPRO of Bay County is available 24/7  850-785-1077

Fire Restoration Urgency

7/1/2016 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage

Fire Restoration

Often times after a fire people assume everything is a loss. When hiring professionals like SERVPRO of Bay County the process of restoration can save a lot of the presumed loss.  

Professionals can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days’ pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.

The fire, smoke and soot are the expected result of the fire and most people do not think of the damage the water used to extinguish the fire can cause. It is equally important to extract the water and dry the structure properly. If not dried properly even more damage can result in the future.

Quick action to hire professionals such as SERVPRO of Bay County helps keep costs down as prevention of further damage is key. Without quick action metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to not only be distracting, but in some cases harmful.  Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.
This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional like SERVPRO of Bay County that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative.

Each disaster needs its own special attention to detail and that is why SERVPRO of Bay County has a team that will come and assess the damage and create a scope of work needed to take you through the entire process of remediation through reconstruction to make it “Like it never even happened”.  You may visit http://www.SERVPRObaycounty.com/fire-smoke-damage-restoration to learn more.

SERVPRO of Bay County professionals stand ready to help you 24/7  365 days a year  850-785-1077

Fires can result in multiple types of clean up

2/26/2016 (Permalink)

This homeowner called SERVPRO of Bay County after a fire in his bedroom. Restoring his home took many steps. The amount of water needed to extinguish the fire created water clean up and dry out in areas of the home not directly affected by the fire. The water must first be extracted and sometimes drying equipment such as dehumidifiers are necessary before addressing the actual fire damage. In this case the charred items in the room had to be removed to get to the wet carpet. Only after the drying process is started can SERVPRO of Bay County professionals begin cleaning soot and smoke damage, and in some cases removal of walls and ceilings  which results in reconstruction.

If you have the misfortune of ANY SIZE DISASTER you can trust SERVPRO of Bay County to take every step to put home or business back together and make it "Like it never even happened" 850-785-1077 


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