Safety Tips to Prevent Fire Damage in Mankato and Waseca, MN

Summer is the ideal time for cookouts, campfires, and barbeques. Do you know the rules on outdoor fires in your area? They’re probably different whether you live in a rural or incorporated area, and may change if the weather’s been extremely dry. More people are developing their yards to include brick fireplaces or fire pits. Just because a fire is enclosed by stone doesn’t mean it’s perfectly safe. High winds, improper fuel, or inattention to a fire can cause disasters. ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca wants you to have a safe summer, but we also want you to know we offer the best fire damage repair and restoration services, just in case things get out of hand.

Here are some helpful tips on keeping your home or other structures safe from recreational or cooking fires:

  • If it’s windy, don’t light a fire. Wait for a better day.
  • Don’t use barbeques on decks, porches, or wooden surfaces.
  • Always have a fire extinguisher or hose handy.
  • Use the right type and amount of fuel for your fire and make sure it fits inside your fire pit or other container.
  • Don’t overload the fuel; you want heat for warmth or cooking, not an inferno.
  • Check the local fire code before you install a fire pit or fireplace.
  • Place fire containers on level concrete or gravel rather than directly on the lawn.
  • Follow the ten-foot rule: If it’s a contained fire, keep it at least ten or even 15 feet away from a structure; if it’s a campfire, double the distance.
  • If you build a campfire, dig a pit first, remove all burnable grass from around the hole, and surround it with rocks.
  • Keep a cell phone handy to call 911 if needed.
  • Put out all fires before leaving an area. That means no embers or smoke remains.

If you experience a structural fire, remember to call us right after you call your insurance company. We respond promptly and can handle any fire disaster repair, from immediate cleanup to long-term restoration. ServiceMaster is your best option for disaster recovery in Mankato, Waseca, St. Peter, and surrounding areas. Contact us today to learn more.

How to Prepare Your Fireplace for Winter in Mankato, MN

ServiceMaster of Mankato/Waseca provides some fireplace tips to help you avoid fire and smoke damage this winter.

As winter approaches and the weather cools off, you might be using your fireplace or wood stove as a substitute for your traditional furnace. That may be an economical choice, but make sure you have made the proper preparations before striking the first match. Anything with an open flame in the home demands extra attention and precaution or the result may be an unwanted home fire. ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca wants to make sure you don’t have to face dealing with fire and smoke damage in your home this fall.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, the greatest threat from flame-based heating systems is from creosote buildup on interior surfaces of stovepipes, exhaust ducts, and chimneys. The best prevention is to avoid burning the wrong materials, such as woods with excess oil and sap, or kindling materials that leave chemical residues. Have your chimney cleaned regularly by a chimney sweep. Yes, they’re real, and they’re in the telephone listings. Use proper fire screens or doors to ensure sparks from popping wood don’t reach your carpets or other furnishings. Does your chimney have a cap on it? Chimney caps will prevent birds or squirrels from building nests in your flue during the summer that can act as a fire risk in the fall. They will also keep leaves from blowing in and disrupting airflow.

Be cautious with portable fireplaces that you may be using to warm things up on your deck. Make sure they are safely designed, placed away from building walls, and ensure that they’re extinguished before you leave them. Whether using portable or permanent fireplaces, avoid building an oversized fire. Excess heat can crack your chimney and also increase risk of a fire spreading. Use extreme caution when using flammable liquids to start any fire, indoors or out.

If you do experience a home fire, no matter what the cause, call ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca. We are your best choice for fire damage cleanup and fire restoration services. We’ll give you prompt professional help when you need it the most.

The Challenge of Smoke and Fire Damage Cleanup in Mankato and Waseca, MN

ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca provides Fire and Smoke Restoration in Mankato, MN and surrounding areas

Whatever is not charred or destroyed by fire can often be saved and restored. Yet in many instances, when the actual fire damage is minimal, smoke damage can be extensive and require a variety of techniques to make an interior and its furnishings like new again. ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca is ideally suited to take on fire and smoke damage restoration.

Why is smoke damage so difficult to restore? Every surface is different. From wood to plastics to fabrics and textiles to metal, each has a different molecular structure that determines the surface geography. To that, add the additional variables of the smoke itself. Smoke particles come in a range of sizes and shapes depending on the molecular makeup of the fuel mixtures that fed the fire. Often an electrical fire will contain plastics from wires, while various chemicals stored in close proximity will reflect whatever was in that potentially caustic cocktail mixture.

It’s important that smoke and fire restoration begin as soon as possible because the damage doesn’t stop when the fire is out. The longer smoke residue is allowed to seep into a surface, the harder it is to clean. Plus, the chemicals may continue to react with each other or with the chemistry of the surface material and make the damage much worse.

If that isn’t complex enough, consider that smoke permeates everything, including the inside of appliances, cupboards, closets, HVAC systems, vents, and ducts. The odor will remain unless all surfaces are effectively cleaned properly. No matter one’s diligence, it is difficult to reach all the nooks and crannies with the right cleaning materials using the right technique. The best solution overall is to use a professionally trained restoration company, qualified to tackle smoke odors and residue. If your home or business has been hit by a fire, even a small one, consider the long-lasting detriments of smoke particles. Contact ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca for a prompt response and the best possible solution.

Fire Damage and Smoke Damage Double Whammy

When a fire damages a home or business the damage often extends well beyond the reach of the actual flames. Smoke and soot caused by a fire can cause extensive additional damage as they spread throughout a structure and adhere to furniture, floors, walls, draperies, appliances, art and more. Smoke embeds soot and other small carbon particles that can damage surfaces, and often this damage is made worse the longer the carbon residue remains in place, making quick remediation of smoke and soot damage extremely important to restoring your property.

Porcelain and marble surfaces can be etched by carbon particles, while stainless steel, appliances and chrome can be permanently tarnished if not quickly and properly cleaned following a fire event. Draperies, furniture, carpets and other fabrics are especially vulnerable to oily soot residue that must be cleaned properly. If you don’t know how to clean soot correctly you can inadvertently push gritty soil and oily soot deeper into fabrics and carpets causing even more damage.

Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration

ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca can safely and effectively provide clean up and restoration services following fire and smoke damage for homes and businesses throughout our service area; Mankato, North Mankato, Waseca and surrounding communities in Waseca and Blue Earth Counties. Our services include complete cleaning for structures and for the property within the damaged home or business.

Please contact us to learn more about our restoration services and to learn how to beat the fire and smoke damage double whammy.


For emergency service, call 1-800-596-0063 or submit a service request.



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