Recent Fire Damage Posts

How Can Lightning Start a House Fire?

8/23/2022 (Permalink)

Purchase high quality surge protectors for your house.

Summer is the season of barbecues, swimming pools, and thunderstorms in Westlake Hills, TX. Every year, these storms are responsible for lighting fire to countless acres of land and residential structures. 
Annually, thousands of people are injured in a house fire caused by a severe storm; property damage runs into hundreds of millions.

How Lightning Can Damage Your Home

During a severe weather event, your home is vulnerable to electricity: 

  • Surging through wiring
  • Striking trees nearby
  • Downing electrical wires
  • Lighting fire to your roof or attic

How To Protect Your Property 
Much of the costly damage is due to “transients.” These are high-voltage impulses that travel through your home’s wiring. 
Transients are not usually capable of lighting fire to your appliances, but the voltage from transients can destroy computers, televisions, large appliances and even smoke detectors.

Surge Protectors
The best protection against transient damage is to purchase high quality surge protectors for your whole house. Be sure to select products that are UL certified.

Check your homeowner’s policy to confirm that you have coverage for damage from electrical storms; not all policies will cover your electrical appliances for surge damage.

How To Protect Yourself During a Storm
Have a plan for your family to evacuate your home in this type of emergency.
A direct electrical strike most often results in lighting fire to your roof or attic. If you see flame or smell smoke, evacuate the building and dial 9-1-1.
Downed trees can also damage your home or car. Give large trees a wide berth during severe storms. Avoid any contact with electrical wires. Always treat them as though they are live; they often are.
Your local fire restoration experts can help in the event that your home sustains damage during a storm, but prevention and awareness can make your home and family much less susceptible to harm.

4 Tips for Preventing Fires in Your Kitchen

7/14/2022 (Permalink)

Fire in an oven in a home in Bee Cave, TX.

Four Tips for Preventing Kitchen Fires

Cooking equipment is the most common source of house fires. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly half of home fires result from cooking. One of these kitchen fires can quickly spread to the rest of your Bee Cave, TX, house. While fire damage restoration specialists can repair your home after a blaze, you should also take steps to avoid cooking fires entirely.

1. Pay Attention to the Stove
Keep your eyes on the cooking food at all times. If you have to walk away to answer the phone or go to the bathroom, turn off the stove before you leave the room.

2. Remove Combustible Items
Oven mitts or towels can easily catch on fire if they are placed too close to an open flame. Keep these items away from your stovetop.

3. Do Not Wear Loose Clothing
Loose sleeves are quite combustible, as well. Roll up your sleeves or switch to tight-fitting outfits before you start cooking.

4. Turn Pot Handles Toward the Back of the Stove
This should prevent you from accidentally bumping into the handle and spilling the pot’s contents onto the stove. It will also limit the chances of your kids or pets knocking over the pot.

What To Do If a Kitchen Fire Occurs
Even if you follow the above tips, you still could end up with a fire in your kitchen. After all, the hot flames of a stove or oven could get out of control.
As soon as you see a small fire develop, call 911 right away. You may think you can handle the blaze yourself, but it could spread more quickly than you anticipate.
If the fire is in your oven or microwave, turn off the appliance and keep the door closed. This should smother the flames. You should also smother a grease fire by covering the flaming pan or pot with a lid.
The listed tips will keep your family safe as you prepare food. You can then enjoy the cooking process instead of worrying about a potential fire.

Tips on How to Recover Quickly After Fire Damage Restoration

12/6/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO advises homeowners on how to pick up the pieces after their home has experienced fire damage, including enlisting professional help.  

SERVPRO works for residents of Lakeway, TX, and the surrounding area to provide first-rate restoration services after damage from any of the elements. The company’s technicians perform everything from mold removal to restoration of belongings. Fire damage can be especially heartbreaking given the speed at which fire spreads and consumes a home. SERVPRO understands that the burden of recovering after such an event can be hard and seemingly endless and is dedicated to making the process as smooth and timely as possible. The company will get your home looking good as new again and will work with your insurance company to obtain coverage for as much as possible. The experts know just how to handle a burned home safely and work hard to fix all that’s been broken.

Some Tips on Quickly Bouncing Back from Fire Damage with Help from the Pros

  1. Contact Your Insurance Right Away 

The first step to take after a home has been damaged by fire is to contact the insurance company to see what they’ll cover. A burned home is only safe to enter once the fire department deems it so, but then the damage should be documented. Insurance companies provide resources to those affected by fire and can help with finding temporary lodging while a home is repaired or rebuilt. This is where fire restoration companies like SERVPRO can be extremely helpful. These companies can work with insurance appraisers to document the full extent of the damage and help those affected get the most out of their coverage.

  1. Replace Any Lost or Damaged Valuables and Documents

While the most obvious victims of fire damage are floors and walls of a home, if the fire gets to any drawers or file cabinets, many important items can go up in smoke. It’s important to work quickly to replace these items, such as:

  •     Passports
  •     Driver’s licenses
  •     Birth certificates
  •     Insurance information
  •     Credit cards
  •     Wills 

These and other documents will likely be needed in the immediate aftermath of fire damage, especially insurance information, so it’s important to get them replaced as soon as possible if they get lost in a fire. For items that have only been damaged but not destroyed, SERVPRO and other companies like them can work to keep them intact and even restore them. Though it may be impossible to get everything looking exactly as it did before the fire, it’s certainly possible to get close.

  1. Take Care of Your Family

The last and most crucial tip on this list is to take care of those affected by the fire. While commercial cleaning services can help take care of home repairs, the most important aspect of recovery is safeguarding all those affected. Disaster relief organizations like the Red Cross can be life-savers when it comes to finding a place to stay and getting hold of the essentials. Friends and neighbors can also help, so reaching out to them can be extremely beneficial. All of the cleanup and insurance wrangling can wait until everyone is safe and sound. When the time comes to get to work repairing the damage, SERVPRO is ready to handle it and put everyone’s minds at ease. Belongings can be replaced; loved ones can’t.

SERVPRO is proud to offer fire restoration services throughout central Texas. If your home has been damaged by fire, don’t wait. Call SERVPRO at (512) 261-4790 or visit their website and use the contact form to schedule a visit today.

List of Do's and Don'ts Before Your Fire Damage Restoration Company Arrives

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO provides Lakeway, West Lake Hills, and Austin, TX residents with the knowledge to take informed action before receiving fire damage restoration services.

Fire is truly a devastating force. Fires can start for many different reasons, including natural causes such as lightning and unnatural causes such as unattended campfires, electrical shortages, and more. No matter the cause, fires can cause irreversible damage to commercial properties and homes. 

SERVPRO helps home and business owners begin the recovery process by providing trustworthy, affordable fire damage restoration services in West Lake Hills, TX, and surrounding areas. SERVPRO is a comprehensive property damage recovery service offering water cleanup, mold removal, commercial cleaning services, and more.

List of Do's and Don'ts Before Your Fire Damage Restoration Company Arrives

DO: Turn off utilities 

A critical first step that property owners should take when facing fire damage is to immediately turn off all utilities, including electric, water, and gas. If possible, turn these utilities off at any main valves, breakers, or other primary structures until professionals check them for safety.

DO: Take precautions

Avoid sitting on furniture or inhabiting spaces where smoke, ash, or other particles may contaminate fabrics, surfaces, or air. Wear respirators or air filters and other appropriate safety gear when working in or handling any objects impacted by fire damage.

DO: Check your insurance policy

All residential and commercial property owners dealing with fire damage should consult their insurance policies as soon as possible. Many home and business insurance policies offer some limited coverage for fires in specific situations. 

Reach out to insurance companies for clarification about insurance policies and answers to any questions before calling any restoration professionals. Insurance companies typically select their restoration providers for any needed services and may not cover services from other contractors.

DO: Take notes, save original documents, stay organized

Following fire damage, an important task for home and business owners is to collect original documents such as deeds and property receipts. These documents will help in the restoration process and provide the necessary documentation for any insurance claims. Keep these documents handy and organized for ongoing fire restoration and insurance needs.

DON’T: Tamper with damage

While it may be tempting to clean or provide DIY fixes immediately after a fire, it’s best to wait for professional services. Spaces can be unsafe for many reasons, including: 

  •       Structural damage
  •       Smoke
  •       Toxic chemicals
  •       Hazardous objects
  •       And more 

Professional fire damage restoration services like those provided by SERVPRO help determine which spaces are unsafe and restore those spaces by rebuilding, removing smoke, cleaning vents, and more.

DON’T: Use electronics or appliances

After a fire, don’t attempt to operate any modern appliances like computers, microwaves, TVs, radios, or other technology. These objects may be affected by heat or smoke damage, and using them could cause harm to people or the appliances themselves.

DON’T: Consume food items or canned goods 

Food and canned goods that received damage from heat or smoke damage may be toxic. These products are not safe for consumption, and property owners should discard them when it is safe to do so. 

Sometimes, more than one type of damage occurs as a result of a fire. Fire restoration companies, mold remediation companies, and water restoration companies may all specialize in one service, but SERVPRO specializes in them all. 

For more information about proper fire restoration procedures and professional fire damage restoration services, reach out to the professionals at SERVPRO. Use their convenient web form or call 512-261-4790 today.

SERVPRO: 6 safety tips to help homeowners sail through wildfires

8/24/2021 (Permalink)

Blog summary: This SERVPRO article explains how homeowners can prepare for the wildfires and protect themselves and their families during this natural disaster.

Wildfire safety tips to follow 

In 2021, 37,803 fires have burned more than 3 million acres across the United States so far, as per NIFC (National Interagency Fire Center). Wildfires wreak havoc on life and property every year. SERVPRO with its disaster recovery team shares some safety tips against wildfires.

  1. Be aware

Wildfire refers to a large, unplanned blaze in a rural or forested area. These fires often spread during summer and fall due to high volumes of dried vegetation. Lightning, arson, discarded cigarettes, and spontaneous combustion are some of the common causes of wildfires. Open areas with abundant vegetation and a dry climate are at a higher risk of wildfires.

The danger of wildfire is heightened during prolonged periods of hot and dry weather.

  1. Be prepared

Preparation is imperative before the wildfire season arrives. There must be clear procedures, plans, and protocols within households and the neighborhood in anticipation of wildfires.

  1. Insurance: Homeowners in wildfire-prone areas must check if their policy covers wildfire damage and if not, they must invest in one. 
  2. Plan: An evacuation plan is an indispensable safety step. Due to the unpredictable nature of wildfires, multiple evacuation routes must be prepared. as the spread of fire can be unpredictable. This plan must be detailed to ensure there is minimum loss and discomfort. It may include:
  • Contact information of relevant people such as family members, workplace, schools, doctors, and utility companies.
  • Important documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, insurance policies, and photos of the property for insurance purposes.
  • Locations of temporary shelter with friends or acquaintances, local disaster center, hotels for long-term stays, and evacuation routes.
  • Investigation of potential hazards in local neighborhoods and nearby factories and farms. This information is important while deciding the evacuation route. 
  1. Pack an evacuation kit: A wildfire can arrive in minutes unexpectedly. In an emergency where homeowners may have to evacuate their homes, an evacuation kit must be ready and easily accessible. It can include items such as:
  • N95 masks to help filter out harmful, airborne particles 
  • Three days’ supply of clean, bottled water
  • Three days’ supply of dry or long-life food supplies
  • Blankets
  • Changes of clothes
  • The evacuation/wildfire plan
  • A portable radio
  • Flashlights
  • Mobile phone
  • First aid kit
  • Medications
  • Any pet supplies and carriers
  • Stay informed
  1. Stay informed
    Preparation is possible only when sufficient information is available. Listen to local news, sign up for the community warning system, and stay up to date with the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to know about any imminent dangers and evacuation announcements.
  1. Protect the house: Some simple steps can provide some protection to a house and increase the chances of its survival during a wildfire.
  1. Inside the house
  • Use Class A roofing material such as slate, or asphalt. 
  • Install Class B pressure-treated shingles or shakes. 
  • Procure a smoke alarm for every bedroom and in each zone of the house.
  • Maintain and test smoke alarms monthly and change their batteries annually. 
  • Consider fire sprinklers. 
  1. Outside the house - Create a defensible space around the house by following the below-mentioned guidelines.

Within 30 feet of the home

  • Remove combustible materials such as dried leaves and pine needles.
  • Chop down any tree limbs that are 15 feet or closer to the ground to prevent the fire from spreading into the property’s tree line.
  • Store any unused flammable lawn furniture.
  • Install a non-flammable decor, such as gravel.

Within 100 to 30 Feet of the house

  • Create “fuel breaks” such as gravel pathways or driveways in the property to halt the spread of a fire. 
  • Cut tree branches that are 8 feet or closer to the ground.
  • Clear combustible vegetation.

Within 200 to 100 feet of the house

  • Continue to clear combustible vegetation.
  • Plant trees far apart so their branches do not touch.

Designate water resources
In preparation for the wildfire, homeowners must ensure ample garden hose as well as water sources such as swimming pools, ponds, lakes, wells, and fire hydrants. Ensure that the fire department can access these if the need be. 

  1. Beware of the dangers

Fire: In case of an alert by the EAS of a wildfire, homeowners must evacuate at the earliest. In case of delay, homeowners must follow the below tips if the fire reaches the house.

  1. Cover face with a protective layer such as a mask or a damp cloth to limit smoke inhalation. 
  2. Keep low and head away from heavy smoke and fire. 
  3. Move against the wind as this is likely to be the opposite direction of the fire.
  4. If too close to the fire, avoid walking on embers and dampen clothes to prevent flames from catching.

Smoke: Smoke from a wildfire can spread over large distances. Therefore, homeowners may be at mercy of harmful smoke even before the fire reaches the area. Carbon Monoxide and toxic particles found in smoke may lead to nausea, light-headedness, chest pain, and, in extreme cases, suffocation. It can also cause damage to the lungs. 

  • Keep checking the EAS and local news for updates on the status of the smoke.
  • Endeavor to limit smoke inhalation by staying inside with doors and windows closed.
  • Wear N95 masks to filter out harmful smoke.

5. After the fire

Returning to a fire-damaged property is safe only if certified by an emergency service.  When returning home, it is advised to:

  • Wear proper protective attire. 
  • Stay vigilant for broken floorboards, shattered glass, and other hazards. 
  • Watch out for ash pits and hot spots. Even after a fire is extinguished, small fires can flare up without warning. 
  • Turn off utilities to avoid any risk of electric shock or gas leak. 
  • Assess the damage to the property and its contents
  • Contact insurance providers. 
  • Refrain from cleaning up until an insurance representative has arrived on site. 
  • Share with the adjuster an inventory of damaged items and/or photos of the property before the damage. This documentation is really helpful while estimating and settling the claim.

6. DIY salvage

Protective clothing when salvaging possessions after a fire is imperative. In case of limited damage, homeowners may be able to salvage the house and its content themselves, to some extent. Moving the damaged items out of the house and into the open air helps. However, fire, smoke, and water damage affect different materials in different ways. In case of structural damage, DIY is no longer an option. Therefore, before diving into a DIY restoration, homeowners must contact their insurance adjusters and ideally speak to a fire damage restoration service such as SERVPRO. 

A wildfire’s path cannot be changed but homeowners can follow the above safety tips to prevail through the wildfires. 


  • SERVPRO uses state-of-the-art equipment to bring the damaged property back to its original state. SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake is always updating its fleet and equipment so clients in Lakeway, West Lake Hills, or anywhere else can quickly access the services. 
  • With over 1,700 US and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to respond faster to an emergency of any magnitude.
  • The SERVPRO staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. They receive initial in-house training and constant skill up-gradation at the corporate training facility and also acquire the regular IICRC-industry certification.

For fire damage restoration services, call SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake today at (512) 261-4790.

SERVPRO: Fire Safety Tips to Follow While Grilling

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

Blog summary: The article by SERVPRO talks about the various steps homeowners should follow to ensure fire safety during grilling.

11 safety tips to follow while grilling

Come July, the barbeque season arrives, bringing with it the smell of delicious feasts and the sound of get-togethers. Unfortunately, it also brings a higher incidence of home fires caused by a grill or smoker. 

Statistically, July is the peak month for grill fires. From 2014-18, fire departments visited an annual average of 8,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis, or barbeques per year, including 3,900 structure fires and 4,900 outside or unclassified fires. These grill fires also cause serious thermal injuries, sending an average of 19,700 patients per year (2014-2018) to emergency rooms. SERVPRO, a fire damage restoration company, shares some tips homeowners can follow to prevent grill fires.

Things to do

  1. Keep a distance: The grill must be kept at least 10 feet away or even further from the house and the attached portions such as carports, garages, and porches. Grills, both charcoal and gas, should not be used underneath wooden overhangs as the fire could flare up into the structure above. Children and pets must also stay away from the grill area.
  1. Clean the grill regularly: Grease and fat from the last grilling session must be cleaned or it can become a source of flare-ups.
  1. Inspect for gas leaks: A solution of half liquid dish soap and half water can be rubbed on the hoses and connections to check for leaks. Upon turning the gas on (with the grill lid open), if the soap forms large bubbles, it indicates the hose is damaged and needs to be replaced, or the connections are not tight enough.
  1. Put decorations far from the grill: Decorations create a beautiful ambiance for a barbeque get together but it also provides fuel for fire. Objects like hanging baskets, pillows, and umbrellas are often made of artificial fibers, making them combust quickly. Steer clear of these objects for fire safety.  
  1. Keep a spray water bottle handy: In case of a minor flare-up, a water spray can douse the fire easily without ruining the food.  
  1. Learn to use a fire extinguisher: Keep a fire extinguisher close by and know how to use it. Fiddling with the extinguisher can delay the fire suppression process and prove fatal. Call the firefighters if using a fire extinguisher is unfamiliar. 
  1. Use starting fluid carefully: For charcoal grills, use only charcoal starting fluid, if needed. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. The charcoal fluid must be kept out of the reach of children and away from heat sources. 

Things not to do

  1. Turn on the gas with a closed grill lid: One must never make this mistake as it causes gas to build up inside the grill, and when it’s opened and lit up, it can fireball and explode in the face.
  1. Leave a grill unattended: All food preparation must be done in advance before lighting up the grill. This ensures that grills are under a watchful eye at all times. 
  1. Overload with food: Overloading the grill with fatty foods can lead to fat drips flaring up and out of control. Not only is overloading a fire risk, but it is also not the ideal way to cook a tasty grilled meal. 
  1. Light up an indoor grill: A small indoor grill may seem safe but is actually a fire hazard because it releases carbon monoxide, a deadly colorless, odorless gas. This gas in a closed area can suffocate everyone present. 


  • SERVPRO uses state-of-the-art equipment to bring the damaged property back to its original state. SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake is always updating its fleet and equipment so clients in Lakeway, West Lake Hills, or anywhere else can quickly access the services. 
  • With over 1,700 US and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to respond faster to an emergency of any magnitude.
  • The SERVPRO staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. They receive initial in-house training and constant skill up-gradation at the corporate training facility and also acquire the regular IICRC-industry certification.

For fire damage restoration services, in Bee Cave, TX, and surrounding areas, call SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake today at (512) 261-4790.

Smoke and soot and how the SERVPRO fire restoration process works

5/18/2021 (Permalink)

Blog summary: Details on the impact of smoke and soot after a fire damage event and SERVPRO’s restoration process and services.

The aftermath of a fire

Once the fire is extinguished, smoke and soot residue settles into the property. Soot is a very fine, black powder substance (0.25 µm in size), which binds to walls and fabric. Smoke is a visible collection of a variety of solid, liquid, and gas particles left unburned during the combustion process. Soot and smoke spread incredibly quickly throughout a fire-damaged property, causing discoloration of walls and leaving a lingering odor. 

A fire restoration company must be able to ascertain the various kinds of smoke and their behavior patterns. This is crucial to help decide the most effective cleaning method:

  1. Wet Smoke – Plastics and Synthetics; Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. 
  2. Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood; Fast burning, high temperatures, dry, powdery, non-smeary residues. 
  3. Protein – Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 
  4. Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace Puff Backs. 
  5. Other Types – Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue.

Soot and smoke have the following impact, if not addressed within a day or two or some hours, in some cases, of the fire damage:

  1. May cause health effects
  2. Painted walls and wood furniture can become permanently stained if not addressed quickly. 
  3. Metal surfaces can rust and corrode when smoke and soot particles are left sitting too long. 
  4. The odor will settle into contents and if not cleaned effectively and swiftly, the damage may be irreversible.
  5. The longer the delay, the more extensive the damage and the higher the cost to arrest further damage and restoration.

One must follow the emergency fire tips until the professional help arrives. A fire restoration company like SERVPRO follows the following steps to bring the property back to pre-fire condition:

Step 1: Emergency Contact

Once a call is made to SERVPRO, the restoration process begins. The representative will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help determine the appropriate equipment and resources. 

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

  • Surveying: Inspect the property with the client to determine the areas that have been affected. 
  • Pretesting: The cleanability of surfaces is pretested as per the SERVPRO® Franchise System process designed to identify those items that will be restorable. 
  • Assessment: Finally, a summary of the findings and explanation of the best steps for restoration is shared with the client. 

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, SERVPRO can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs. 

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. SERVPRO uses dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process. 

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

Specialized equipment and techniques are utilized to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces. 

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

SERVPRO cleans, sanitizes, and disinfects all of the restorable items and structures that are damaged by fire. A variety of cleaning techniques are used to restore belongings to pre-fire conditions. Removing odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment is also a specialized service that is available.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting the home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Other services that SERVPRO can provide:

  1. Clothing, carpets, and upholstery cleaning
  2. Cleaning, buffing, and polishing of metals such as silver and brass
  3. Floor finishing hard surface floors can be mop cleaned, stripped, sealed, and refinished if conditions warrant them
  4. Document/photograph restoration for valuable keepsakes that are irreplaceable
  5. Electronics cleaning removes the residues, which may cause corrosion leading to electronic failure in the device
  6. Artworks may be cleaned of soot or smoke by technicians or further subcontracted to a professional art restorer
  7. Ductwork may be needed if smoke is detected
  8. Additional cleaning may be needed to remove heavy soot and prepare walls and ceiling for sealer and paint
  9. Move-outs may be needed to prevent further damage to the contents during the restoration process
  10. Contents Claim Inventory Service helps in the creation of a comprehensive room-by-room inventory, enabling easier content settlement


  • SERVPRO uses state-of-the-art equipment to bring the damaged property back to its original state. SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake is always updating its fleet and equipment so clients in Lakeway, Westlake, or anywhere else can quickly access the services. 
  • With over 1,700 US and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to respond faster to an emergency of any magnitude.
  • The SERVPRO staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. They receive initial in-house training and constant skill up-gradation at the corporate training facility and also acquire the regular IICRC-industry certification.

For fire damage restoration services, call SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake today at (512) 261-4790

How to Stay Healthy and Safe During a Fire Damage Restoration and Cleanup Operation in Texas

4/22/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: Water and fire damage is deeply unhealthy when left unchecked. Fires leave behind plenty of toxic chemicals and damage the integrity of the residential or commercial structure. The SERVPRO team provides four tips on how to stay safe during a fire damage restoration. 

As a local fire damage restoration service, the SERVPRO team has worked with hundreds of families in Bee Cave, Texas. One of the biggest concerns that residents express is how to keep healthy and safe after a fire when most people are in a hurry to get their life back in order. Recovery after a fire is challenging, and a commercial cleaning service and water removal company like SERVPRO eases the burden considerably.

Four Health and Safety Tips to Optimize Fire Damage Restoration and Cleanup

According to the Fire Protection Research Foundation, fires cost Americans over $328.5 billion in 2014. Texas is prone to wildfires in the summer, especially in Bee Cave, TX. There are also house fires due to poor electrical wiring and simple accidents that become physically and emotionally jarring experiences.

The SERVPRO professionals provide four tips for handling fire damage restoration while staying safe and healthy.

#1 Don’t Enter the Property

Fires produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and potentially toxic ash. The substances stay behind for days or even weeks after the flames die down. Entering a fire-damaged building is dangerous without appropriate safety equipment, and residents should never enter the property unless escorted by a licensed professional.

Most fire and water restoration companies have stringent security protocols in place to protect their specialists. These highly trained fire damage restoration technicians can quickly identify potential hazards and work to avoid them on-site.

#2 Ask a Professional About Salvageable and Hazardous Items

Smoke contaminates porous items, even those that people expect might be safe. Smoke-contaminated food and other perishable items are toxic, and SERVPRO technicians remove these potentially hazardous items as part of the fire damage restoration service.

People also tend to discard items that look unsalvageable where restoration is possible. Working with SERVPRO professionals should prevent most of these issues and restore what’s left of the property. 

#3 Be Patient and Accept Support

When the commercial water damage that plagues an area after a fire becomes obvious, the event’s emotional turmoil hits home. Everything will go back to normal after the water removal and mold remediation companies leave. A fire damage restoration service takes time to work through each aspect of the process, including the building restoration service, flood cleanup service, air duct cleaning service, and more.

SERVPRO handles every aspect of a fire damage restoration, including the insurance company and any health and safety concerns. The support allows families the time they need to deal with the losses involved, knowing that a caring service is helping them make rational decisions about the restoration process. 

#4 Trust the SERVPRO Professionals

A professional fire damage restoration service safeguards the health and safety of all residents after a fire. The homeowners enjoy clear instructions on how to proceed and a rapid, effective restoration so that they can move forward. SERVPRO technicians understand the mental anguish around lack of control after a fire, and they do everything they can to restore a sense of normality to the scene.

SERVPRO is a fire damage restoration service that offers mold removal, water cleanup, water damage restoration, and many other services. Find more information by calling (512) 261-4790. Follow SERVPRO on Facebook to see more about how SERVPRO serves the Bee Cave, TX 78738 community.

6 Critical Steps in Fire Damage Restoration

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake discusses the six most critical steps involved in the fire damage restoration process.

Property fires are tragic, and deciding what to do next can feel overwhelming. In 2016 alone, Texas fire departments reported 73,528 fires and over $694 million in property loss. Due to the staggering amount of damage fire can cause to a property, effective fire damage restoration is extremely important.

There are six critical steps involved in fire damage restoration. Following them is key to reducing losses and restoring both residential and commercial properties.

6 Critical Steps in Fire Damage Restoration

#1: Contact a Fire Damage Restoration Professional

As soon as the fire is extinguished and everyone is safe, call a fire damage restoration company. Fire damage restoration is a major process—a responsive and knowledgeable team is an absolute must. They will provide the experience and advanced equipment necessary to restore the property to its pre-fire condition. 

#2: Inspection and Assessment

After the flames have gone out, it's important to leave everything as is until the fire damage restoration team can perform an assessment. Everyone’s needs are unique, and a timely inspection is necessary to determine the extent of the damage. This inspection will help the restoration team develop the best plan for cleanup and repair.

#3: Secure the Property and Mitigate the Damage

Damage after a structure fire doesn't necessarily stop when the flames are out.

If the roof is damaged, it can leave the building exposed to the elements. Windows and doors might also be broken or compromised. Unfortunately, this can allow thieves or looters to access the property and take anything valuable left behind.

Fire damage restoration services include steps to mitigate the possibility of further damage after the fire. A specialist will secure the doors, board up windows, tarp the roof, and carry out other necessary repairs.

#4: Water Removal and Cleanup

Water does a great job putting out the fire, but it can often leave behind damage of its own. The right restoration company should be equipped to handle water damage and flood cleanup. 

At the beginning of the fire damage restoration process, contractors use specialized equipment to remove most of the water. Then, they set up dehumidifiers and let everything else air dry.

#5: Clean and Sanitize

All restorable items damaged by the fire are professionally cleaned and scrubbed down. Techs remove soot, dust, and smoke from all surfaces, including walls, ceilings, air ducts, and furniture. They address unpleasant odors with industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

#6: Repair and Restore

Lastly, the fire damage restoration team will work to return the residential or commercial property to its pre-fire condition. They repair and restore any damage done to the property, including installing new drywall and flooring if needed. 

In some cases, full building restoration services may be required. That can include the complete reconstruction of rooms or other areas on the property.


SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake in Beecave, TX, is committed to providing the best fire damage restoration services possible for commercial and residential properties alike.

Whether for fire damage restoration, water damage restoration, mold removal/remediation, or commercial cleaning services, SERVPRO can deliver. Call for 24-hour service at (512) 261-4790 or request help online today.

Contact Information:

SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake

12600 Hill Country Boulevard

Building – 5 Suite R-275

Bee Cave, TX 73738

Top 5 Tips on Fire Damage Restoration Insurance Claims

1/19/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: After a fire, the last thing you need is more stress. Learn about the fire damage restoration process by the experts at SERVPRO. See these top five tips for making the experience go smoothly.

Fires are not uncommon in Texas. Whether caused by accidents, storms, or deliberate acts, fires have become a problem for many Bee Cave, Texas homeowners. 

The team at SERVPRO knows all about cleaning up properties after an emergency. See their advice regarding fire damage restoration below.

Top 5 Tips on Fire Damage Restoration Insurance Claims

  1. Request advance assistance before your claim resolves

Homeowners rarely expect a fire to break out in their home. Insurance companies can offer assistance if an unexpected emergency causes widespread damage and prevents you from accessing your finances.

If the insurance company approves a request, the client will receive a check to help pay for essential items in the interim period before finalizing their insurance claim. These funds can be used for food, shelter, clothing, and other items needed after the fire. 

Keep in mind that the company may void advance assistance if the money is spent frivolously.

  1. Create a comprehensive list of lost or damaged items

Your insurer will cover the cost of goods lost in the fire.

Detailed and accurate reports can expedite processing for insurance claims and help cover as many losses as possible. Do not let time pass. Waiting to compile a list of losses can lengthen the process and cause you to forget about certain items.

You may want to keep hold of items that have fire damage since the insurance company sometimes wants to visually inspect damaged goods. 

  1. Promptly file the insurance claim as soon as possible

Insurance companies commonly operate on a “first-come, first-served” basis. Delaying the filing process can only hurt the homeowner by potentially delaying the timeline for repairs.

This point demands attention due to the vast amount of information required for insurance claims. Fire damage can rack up an excess of thousands of dollars in damages, potentially requiring a proportional amount of documentation. After a fire, you will likely have claims related to fire damage, water cleanup, or mold removal. The insurance company needs all these details to figure out how to process your claim.

Some examples of information to notate can include:

  • Date, types, and scope of damage
  • Severity of incurred injuries
  • Date and content of fire department report
  • Contact information of all involved parties
  1. Research and evaluate options for inspection and repair

Choosing a company may seem overwhelming, especially when dealing with everything else after the incident. However, you need to choose a professional team that can handle the full scope of the situation. 

After a fire, you will likely need:

  • Flood cleanup: Firefighters and sprinklers will leave your property soaked with water damage.
  • Building restoration: Floors, walls, ceilings, and other surfaces will be ruined with black smoke and damage.
  • Air duct cleaning: If your HVAC is still functional, you may need to clean it to remove soot and debris.

Instead of calling different fire restoration companies, water restoration companies and mold remediation companies, choose a team that does it all. See what SERVPRO customers have to say about their fire damage restoration service.

  1. Do not feel rushed to close the claim

Damage can sometimes hide in plain sight. Cases of hidden damage can prove difficult to resolve after closing the insurance claim. You want to cover every base and to address every problem before the adjuster leaves the property. Also, stay in contact with the company and let them know as soon as something new becomes apparent. 

For 20 years, SERVPRO has served Bee Cave, TX residents and the surrounding areas. Aside from offering fire damage restoration, SERVPRO offers water removal, commercial cleaning service, and other services. If you need help in the 78738 area, call SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake today at (512) 261-4790 for friendly and courteous service.

Four Steps to Creating a Fire Escape Plan

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Creating a Fire Escape Plan

The best time to formulate a fire escape plan is before there is a fire. The American Red Cross shared in its Home Fire Escape Plan that there may be just two minutes to get to safety. The following four steps can help prepare you and your family for the event you hope never happens.

1.) Draw a Floor Plan With Escape Routes -- Drawing a floor plan that shows two escape routes from every room can help people visualize how they will escape, depending on the location of the fire. Use both doors and windows as exit points. Assign a primary and backup adult to each person who may need help exiting the building. Floor plans can be posted on doors as reminders.

2.) Choose an Outdoor Meeting Place -- Make sure that everyone knows where to meet and immediately goes to that location upon exiting the home or building. The meeting place should be a safe distance away and included on the emergency escape plan drawing.

3.) Memorize the Emergency Phone Number -- All home occupants, including children, should memorize the Austin, Texas emergency phone number and be able to call for help. They should also know the street address to help emergency responders quickly find the location.

4.) Practice -- Run fire drills using each escape route and time them to make sure all occupants can exit the building within a 2 minute time frame. Test smoke alarms and make sure all occupants know how they sound. Practice crawling low to the ground as if there were smoke present, and make sure each person knows to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire.

You hope it never happens, but it is best to be prepared in case it does. Save lives by having a fire escape plan and ensure the entire household knows how to exit the home or building quickly and call for help. Once everyone is, damage assessment and restoration efforts can begin. 

Using a Fire Extinguisher

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

A fire extinguisher is a common tool seen in office buildings, restaurants, schools, stores and just about every type of building you visit in and around the Austin, TX area. You may even have one in your workplace. They’re handy for the common person to use before the fire gets too large and out of control. Knowing how to use an extinguisher allows you to act with confidence when needed and help avoid major fire damage. If you’ve never been trained to operate this important device, now is the time to learn.  

Remember PASS, and using a fire extinguisher is easy.

  1. Pull the pin. The first thing you want to do when operating a fire extinguisher to put out a fire is stand at the appropriate distance. Most extinguishers have a range of 6 to 20 feet, so make sure you know how far the one you have will reach. Next, you pull the pin in the extinguisher. Once you do this, you can move to the next step.
  2. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. Some people think the best way to attack a kitchen fire or fire somewhere else in your home or building is to spray at the top of the flames. This won’t be effective, however. You must go for the base if you hope to smother it.
  3. Squeeze the trigger. To avoid major fire damage in your house or whatever building you’re located in you need to act quickly. In step three, simply squeeze the trigger firmly. This will release the agent inside the extinguisher and help put out the fire.
  4. Side to side. Use a sweeping motion, do not  move the device up and down. Instead, go from side to side until you have successfully put out the fire.

Whether it be fire damage or smoke damage from: a home fire, a fire to a business or commercial building, a grease fire, cigarette smoke odor, or any other fire or smoke damage event, SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake is here to help.

Three Tips to Keep Your Pet Fire Safe

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

Pets are a part of the family, and it’s only natural to want to protect them in the event a fire occurs in your home. Unfortunately, many homeowners fail to include their dog, cat or other pet in their family fire emergency plan, leading to heartbreaking outcomes. Preparing your pet for fire emergencies keeps your furry friend safe from harm. A few tips to keep your pet fire safe are:

Take a few common fire prevention precautions

Ensure that you’re not leaving any open flames, such as candles, unattended, remove your stove’s knobs while you’re away so they can’t be turned by curious paws, and consider securing your pet in a safe place while you’re not around to supervise them. It’s estimated that unattended pets are responsible for almost 1,000 house fires annually.

Prepare for Disasters by raining your pet to respond to your voice

Taking the time to teach your pet to come running when they hear you call their name helps make pet preparation easier.  You should also ensure that you have fire emergency supplies such as food and medication for your pet on hand in the event of an emergency.

Set up a proper safe space for your pet while you’re away

Keep your pet on a collar, a leash nearby, and secure them somewhere near the door while you’re away. This makes it easier for rescue services to help you pet if a fire occurs when you aren’t at home. You should also keep your pet’s vaccination and ownership records in a fire resistant box.

Preparing your pet for a fire emergency can take a bit of time and patience, but in the end, it’s well worth it if it means keeping your companion safe. 

What to Expect From Fire Restoration Service Providers

11/18/2020 (Permalink)

Fires can lead to extensive damage to a home, business, and personal belongings. The property can sustain burns, water damage from sprinklers and fire trucks, and leftover soot and odors. 

SERVPRO of Lakeway/Westlake and other fire restoration companies use several services and processes to bring a property back to its pre-fire condition. The timeframe to complete the work varies from property to property, so keep reading to see what it entails.

Contributing Factors to Fire Restoration Timeframes

It can take fire restoration companies several days to several months to restore a property. You must speak with your insurer and wait until the local authorities complete their investigation about the fire. Once the insurance agents determine your coverage, you can hire a fire damage restoration service to address your situation.

Fire, smoke, and water damage limited to one room are considerably easier to deal with than an entire floor or building. A one-room job may only take a week, whereas a whole house can take a month.

Other factors that affect the restoration time frame includes:

  • Type of fire (i.e., gas fire, electrical fire, etc.)
  • House structure
  • Amount of debris 
  • Affected materials
  • Smoke contamination
  • The extent of smoke, fire, and water damage
  • Local restoration codes or requirements

Standard Processes of Fire Restoration Companies

Though there is no predetermined time frame for restoring every property with fire damage, a general rule to consider is that the more extensive the project, the longer it will take. 

Fire restoration companies utilize several crucial steps to ensure the property's full restoration to make it safe and healthy for residents to occupy.

  • Inspection and Assessment: Before fire restoration specialists can complete any work, they must first inspect the property and determine the extent of the fire damage. During this time, they will provide property owners and insurance companies with an estimate for repairs, replacements, and how long it will take to finish.
  • Salvage Materials and Belongings: The cleanup team will remove salvageable items from the property to prevent additional damages. They will protect undamaged items and materials they cannot take from the building with a secure covering.
  • Cleaning and Repairs: Areas with fire or water damage will be repaired and cleaned. This step includes general sanitation to eliminate potential hazards. If there was water from sprinklers or fire trucks, water restoration companies might need to help with water removal. Because of smoke, the home may need an air duct cleaning service to remove leftover soot.
  • Replacements: For materials and belongings fire restoration experts cannot repair, you will need to replace them. Replacements often include flooring, furniture, wall coverings, and electrical outlets. 
  • Restoration: The final part of the fire restoration process is bringing the property back to its original condition. Depending on how much damage occurred, the size of the property, and the materials requiring repairs and replacements, this step can be as simple as replacing carpeting or a complete reconstruction of a room. 

Contact SERVPRO of Lakeway/Westlake

As one of the top fire restoration companies in Bee Cave, Texas, SERVPRO of Lakeway/Westlake offers customers superior fire damage restoration services. The building restoration service team understands that each situation is unique, and their skilled staff uses reliable processes and specialized services to bring your fire-damaged property into its previous condition. 

From water cleanup to mold removal, you can count on SERVPRO for commercial cleaning service. 

To learn more about SERVPRO of Lakeway/Westlake's fire damage restoration service, call (512) 261-4790 today.

Fire Damage Emergency Tips for Austin Residents

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

Here to Help

Summary:  SERVPRO of Lakeway/West Lake explains what to do after a house fire.

Blog Summary:  SERVPRO of Lakeway/West Lake offers emergency fire damage tips that can speed up the fire damage restoration process and return life to normal.

SERVPRO of Lakeway/West Lake has been responding to water, smoke, and fire damage incidents for over two decades. Using the most advanced techniques and technology, the highly-trained and experienced team repairs and restores homes and businesses damaged by fire, smoke, water, and other causes. Knowing what to do after a fire can accelerate recovery and restoration, as well as potentially preserve life and health.

House Fire Facts

The Fire Safety Protection Association provides the following statistics that highlight the human dimension of a fire damage incident:

"More than one-quarter (27%) of reported fires occurred in homes. Even worse, four of every five (79%) fire deaths and three-quarters (73%) of all reported injuries were caused by home fires. During this five-year period, US fire departments responded to an estimated average of 354,400 home structure fires per year. These fires caused an annual average of 2,620 civilian deaths, 11,220 civilian fire injuries, $6.9 billion in direct property damage, and 2,560 civilian fire deaths. Most home fires and fire casualties result from five causes: cooking, heating, electrical distribution and lighting equipment, intentional fire setting, and smoking materials. Over the five-year period of 2013–2017 as a whole, cooking was the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, while smoking was the leading cause of home fire deaths."

A Safe Escape Is the Top Priority

A house fire is a traumatic event. The senses are overwhelmed by smoke alarms, the roar of the fire, and wailing sirens. Choking smoke, intense heat, and a gripping fear can be paralyzing at a time when quick thinking and fast action are demanded. Once a house fire starts, occupants have only three to five minutes to escape.

SERVPRO of Lakeway/West Lake Fire Damage Emergency Tips 

SERVPRO of Lakeway/West Lake provides these emergency tips to help the homeowner transition from fire escape and survival to fire and water damage restoration. With the fire extinguished and the site stabilized, fire crews are making final checks, gathering and storing equipment, and completing administrative tasks in preparation for departure. The property damage restoration process can safely begin.

Minutes Matter for Fire and Water Damage Restoration

As soon as possible, the homeowner should call a property damage restoration specialist to begin the fire and water damage restoration process. When water damage is a major component of the overall damage event, minutes matter.

While waiting for the property damage team to arrive on the scene, safety is still of utmost importance. This checklist addresses some of the foremost concerns.

  • Locate alternate living options if the house is not safe for occupancy.
  • Identify and resolve electrical and "slip and fall" hazards.
  • Use extreme caution in the damaged structure. Only perform safe activities.
  • Avoid lifting wet items such as area rugs, pillows, and furniture. The extra weight from the water can cause back injuries.

What to Do After a Fire

This list focuses on minimizing any further damage to the home until the professionals begin the restoration process.

  1. Limit activity in the damaged structure to keep soot from becoming embedded into rugs, carpet, and upholstery.
  2. Avoid soiling walls, woodwork, upholstery, and furniture by keeping hands washed or gloved.
  3. Cover carpet traffic areas, rugs, and upholstery with clean towels or old linens.
  4. If the power is off, remove contents from the freezer and refrigerator. Prop the doors open.

What NOT to Do After a Fire

  • Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces and do not shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting a certified, experienced property damage company. They have the proper equipment, tools, and solutions to safely and thoroughly clean surfaces covered with soot. Missteps in these areas can further embed the soot and lock in the smoke smell.
  • Do not clean electrical appliances or electronics that might have been damaged by fire, heat, or water. Consult with an authorized repair service. When SERVPRO of Lakeway/West Lake inspects and restores appliances and electronics, only certified technicians do the work.
  • Do not consume food or beverages that may have been subjected to fire, heat, or water.
  • Avoid using ceiling lights or ceiling fans if the ceiling is wet. Shock or fire could result.
  • Do not send clothing, bedspreads, blankets, or pillows to a typical dry cleaner. The smoke odor may be set if the items are not properly cleaned.

A competent and experienced fire and water damage company will assist the homeowner in navigating every step of the restoration process, including the initial inspection and assessment, working with the insurance company, and restoring and rebuilding the damaged area. A top-flight company like SERVPRO of Lakeway/West Lake will stand beside the homeowner until the job is complete.

To learn more about fire damage restoration, visit the SERVPRO of Lakeway/West Lake at Contact the team by phone at (512) 261-4790.

Austin-Area Damage Restoration Company Shares Fireworks Safety Tips

6/30/2020 (Permalink)

Here to Help

Summary: SERVPRO of Lakeway/Westlake urges people to use caution when shooting off fireworks.

Fourth of July celebrations and fireworks are a significant part of the American tradition. SERVPRO of Lakeway/Westlake, a damage restoration company, encourages residents of Austin, Lakeway Hills, Westlake, Rollingwood, and surrounding areas to exercise caution when enjoying this tradition.

The first use of fireworks in a July 4th celebration was in Boston, MA, in 1777. Founding father, John Adams said he wanted the anniversary of independence to be remembered for years with such things as “bonfires” and “illuminations.” Since the first July 4th fireworks display occurred during the Revolutionary War, some historians think the fireworks were intended as a “morale booster.” The first celebrations would have also included the firing of guns and cannons, adding to the explosive nature of the festivities.

Fireworks Can Be Dangerous

The National Fire Protection Association provides these fireworks fire and injury statistics to drive home the potential danger that can arise from improperly handling fireworks. “Fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires in 2018, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires. These fires caused five deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage. In 2018, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,100 people for fireworks-related injuries; half of those injuries were to the extremities and 34% were to the eye or other parts of the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for more than one-third (36%) of the estimated 2018 injuries. These injury estimates were obtained or derived from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2018 Fireworks Annual Report by Yongling Tu and Jason Ng.”

How to Stay Safe When Using Fireworks

The Texas Department of Insurance offers these fireworks safety tips to know to have fun with fireworks and stay safe.

  1. Follow local rules.

Some areas allow only certain types of fireworks, and most areas do not allow fireworks within city limits or during burn bans. Follow the local law and contact the local fire officials if there are any questions.

  1. Find out if a permit is required.

Organizers will need a permit from the local fire department if they are shooting off fireworks for a group of fifty people or larger.

  1. Hire licensed professionals

If someone is hired to put on a display for a group, ensure that he or she has a Texas pyrotechnic operator’s license. To find out if a person has a Texas license, contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office by email at or by phone at 1-800-578-4677.

  1. Make sure fireworks are legal.

Fireworks can only be sold at specified times of the year, typically within a week or so leading up to an important holiday. Besides the Fourth of July and New Year’s celebrations, Texas counties may also include Texas Independence Day (March 2nd), San Jacinto Day (April 21st), Cinco de Mayo (May 5th), and Memorial Day. Anyone can use fireworks any day of the year as long as the fireworks are not banned in the area where they are being used.

  1. Be safe!

It is essential to follow safety practices whenever fireworks are used. Children should not play with fireworks, and an adult or adults should always be vigilant whenever children are near fireworks. In addition, never consume alcohol when setting off fireworks. Follow the instructions on the firework, and only use the explosive in the way it is intended to be used. The fireworks set up should not be near brush, dry grass, flammable materials, or flammable substances. Never aim fireworks at a house, structure, person, or animal. In case of emergencies, keep a bucket of water, garden hose, or other water sources nearby.

SERVPRO provides these fireworks safety tips as a public service to the residents of Austin, Lakeway Hills, Westlake, Rollingwood, and surrounding areas in the hopes that everyone will have an enjoyable, safe, and patriotic Fourth of July.

Fire and Water Damage Restoration Process

When a home or business is dealing with the aftermath of a fire, the damage that it can cause to the property structure and valuable possessions can be extremely devastating. Here at SERVPRO, the team understands the stress, confusion, and all the emotions that are present when dealing with this kind of ordeal. The SERVPRO technicians are highly skilled and certified, as well as equipped with fire damage restoration equipment to take special care of the client’s property and possessions. The SERVPRO team will be there with the customer every step along the way to explain the process to help get them through this stressful time.

After the fire trucks leave, the home or business likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO has the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore a home to its pre-fire condition.

Every fire damage event requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate the process for the typical fire damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when a customer calls SERVPRO. A representative will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help SERVPRO respond immediately with the appropriate equipment and resources.

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

SERVPRO technicians carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of the property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, the team can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (If Water Damage Is Present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. SERVPRO technicians then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

Specialized equipment and techniques are used to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

Skilled technicians clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. SERVPRO employs a variety of cleaning techniques to restore belongings to their pre-fire conditions. The SERVPRO specialists are also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting a home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet, or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.


SERVPRO of Lakeway/Westlake hopes that everyone’s Fourth of July celebration will be safe and enjoyable. The team of fire and water damage experts is proud to serve Austin, Lakeway, West Lake Hills, and Rollingwood, TX.

To learn more about fire and water damage restoration, visit the SERVPRO of Lakeway/Westlake at Contact a SERVPRO representative by phone at (512) 261-4790.

Promoting Fireworks Safety

6/20/2019 (Permalink)

Promoting Fireworks Safety

As families and friends gather for the Fourth of July holiday at backyard barbecues, cookouts and pool parties, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reminding consumers to celebrate safely when using fireworks. 

“CPSC works year round to help prevent deaths and injuries from fireworks,” said Ann Marie Buerkle, CPSC acting chairman. “Beyond CPSC’s efforts, we want to make sure everyone takes simple safety steps to celebrate safely with their family and friends. We work with the fireworks industry, monitor incoming fireworks shipments at the ports and enforce federal fireworks safety regulations, so that all Americans have a safe Fourth of July.” 

Remember, fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries. You can help us prevent fireworks-related injuries and deaths. How? By working with a national, state or local organization where you live to promote fireworks safety in your community.

To learn more about fire damage restoration by SERVPRO of West Austin / Lakeway, please click here

Source: CPSC

Getting Rid of Cigarette Smoke Odor

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Getting Rid of Cigarette Smoke Odor

The smell of cigars, cigarettes, and other smoke odors can get trapped in a home and be very strong and stubborn.  The smell of tobacco and/or cigarette smoke and tar is stubborn because it "sticks" to all surfaces in your home as it spreads through the air. So, how do you get rid of the cigarette odor?  The short answer is that it's very difficult.  ALL surfaces in the home need to be scrubbed and deodorized, including the: flooring, walls, furniture, appliances, small items, and clothing. Even the air in the home needs to be deodorized during the process.  It's not an easy task, but the experts at SERVPRO® of West Austin / Lakeway have done it many times and are Here to Help.  To learn more about smoke damage removal, give us a call today. 

Home Fires Caused by Dryers and Washing Machines

1/1/2019 (Permalink)

Home Fires Caused by Dryers and Washing Machines

Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage according to the National Fire Protection Association. The most frequent causes of fires in dryers are lint/dust (29%) and clothing (28%). In washers, they are wire or cable insulation (26%), the appliance housing (21%) or the drive belt (15%).

Dryers were involved in 92% of the Washer/Dryer fires; the risk of fire was basically the same for both gas and electric-powered dryers.

Safety tips:

  • Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
  • For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
  • Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
  • Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
  • Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.

Source: National Fire Protection Association and

Preventing Christmas Tree Fires

1/1/2019 (Permalink)

Preventing Christmas Tree Fires

Like candle fires (the number one cause of fires in the home), Christmas tree fires are more common during the holidays, with 43% occurring in December and 39% in January. The NFPA says an average of 230 fires are attributed to Christmas trees each year and they are more likely to be serious because of the factors that can contribute to the fire: a dry tree, electrical lights, and an abundant fuel supply (gifts) under the tree. Christmas tree fires cause an average of $18.3 million in property damage each year.

The most common causes are electrical failures (32%), having the tree too close to a heat source like a fireplace or wood stove (17%) or being too close to candles (7%).

Safety tips:

  • Keep live trees well watered and dispose of them before they become dry.
  • Turn off tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
  • Check lights for any shorts or other electrical issues before putting them on the tree.

Source: National Fire Protection Association and

Getting Rid of Cigarette Smoke Odor

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Getting Rid of Cigarette Smoke Odor

It's obvious to a non-smoker when a home smells like cigarettes.  The smell of tobacco and/or cigarette smoke and tar is stubborn because it "sticks" to all surfaces as it spreads through the air. So, how do you get rid of the cigarette odor?  The short answer is that it's very difficult.  ALL surfaces in the home need to be scrubbed and deodorized, including the: flooring, walls, furniture, appliances, knick-knacks, and clothing. Even the air in the home needs to be deodorized during the process.  It's not an easy task, but the experts at SERVPRO® of West Austin have done it many times and are more than willing to help you.  Give us a call today and start breathing fresh smelling air!

Fire Prevention Week is October 7-13, 2018

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Prevention Week is October 7-13, 2018

During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires. See what programs your local fire station offers.

Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere!” That’s the theme for Fire Prevention Week.

Look for places fires could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.

Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.

Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.


Understanding Smoke & Soot Restoration

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

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

Smoke and soot facts:

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

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of West Austin/Lakeway 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 – 512-335-7247

When Fire Damages Your Business

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

To you, it’s more than just a business, it’s your livelihood.  SERVPRO West Austin/Lakeway understand the feelings of frustration and overwhelming concern related to handling fire damage.  Our priority is to help you regain control and get your doors open again.  Within eight business hours of arriving at your facility, our technicians will discuss the extent of the damage and the steps they will take to help restore your building, equipment and furniture.  Responding quickly to a fire damage can save your company money, reduce more extensive damage and shorten the length of down time.

Armed with industry-approved equipment and expertise, SERVPRO West Austin/Lakeway will make every effort to restore your business to preloss condition when possible.  We use the latest equipment, products and processes to properly remove smoke, soot and fire damage from walls, flooring and air ducts and restore furniture and equipment.  We are available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to help you get your business back in business. 

Business closures due to a fire damage don’t just affect the business owner.  It affects the employees, their families and the community.  Contact SERVPRO West Austin/Lakeway at 512-335-7247 for your fire damage restoration needs.