Recent Fire Damage Posts

Things to Consider When Purchasing a Smoke Detector

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

A smoke detector Having enough working smoke detectors in your home can give you more time to safely evacuate

Experiencing a house fire in Friendly Hills,CA, can be devastating and overwhelming. Unfortunately, thousands of home fires occur each year, and it's important to be prepared. Having a working smoke alarm can warn you to evacuate, helping ensure you and your family stay safe.

Number of Smoke Detectors

The number of smoke detection devices you need depends on the size of your home. There are several factors that come into play here:

  • The number of bedrooms in your home
  • The square footage of your home
  • The number of floors in your home

Safety recommendations include installing a smoke alarm in each bedroom of your home and at least one on each level. If you have a basement, you should have one there as well. In addition, make sure you have at least one smoke detector for every 500 square feet of space in your home.

Types of Alarms

There are several different kinds of smoke alarms, and the type that is best for you will depend on your specific needs. For example, if you are someone who spends a lot of time out of your home, you may benefit from a smart smoke detector that connects to your phone. You can be alerted if a smoke alarm goes off when you are away. A battery-powered basic smoke detector is a simpler and less expensive option that will alert you to smoke or fire so you can evacuate. Hard-wired alarms connect to your home's electricity but have a battery backup in case of a power outage. You can connect them to other hard-wired alarms in your home, alerting everyone in the house of the potential danger and giving you more time to escape.
Fire safety is important in case the unthinkable happens. Having enough working smoke detectors in your home can give you more time to safely evacuate, and fire restoration experts can help you get everything back to normal after the fire is out.

3 Ways To Prepare Yourself for a Home Fire

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Creating a fire escape plan is often a useful way to prepare yourself for a home fire

Steps To Take To Prepare for a Fire in Your Home

Thinking about a fire damaging your home in South Whittier,CA, can be scary, especially if you feel unprepared. However, it's often important to have a fire escape plan and to know how to prepare yourself in case a fire affects your home. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prepare for a fire in your home.

1. Install Smoke Detectors

When a fire starts, it's often important for the homeowner to be alerted in a timely manner. Unfortunately, if homeowners don't have smoke detectors properly installed, smoke and fire damage can occur to a home. In situations where homes have sustained major damage, emergency restoration services can often assist in the restoration process. However, installing smoke detectors and replacing the detectors' batteries yearly, as well as replacing the smoke alarms once every ten years, can ensure you are alerted quickly. As a result, your home will be less likely to sustain major damage.

2. Implement a Plan

Creating a fire escape plan is often a useful way to prepare yourself for a home fire. When first making a plan, it can be helpful to plan a way to escape from your bedroom if a fire occurs, as many fires start overnight. Ensuring that you know how to escape from other areas of your house can also be helpful, however, since you don't know where you will be if a fire starts.

3. Frequently Practice Your Plan

After you have made an emergency escape plan, it's often wise to practice your plan frequently. As you practice your plan, you will likely be able to identify potential problems that may occur in the event of an actual fire. If you do notice any issues with your plan, you can readjust your plan accordingly. Practicing your plan often can help you feel confident in your ability to safely exit your home.

If a fire occurs in your home, reacting in a timely and safe manner can be valuable. In order to prepare yourself for a home fire, it can be useful to install smoke detectors, implement a fire escape plan and practice your emergency escape plan often.

Creating an Emergency Action Plan for Your Company

6/27/2019 (Permalink)

Prepare an action plan for your company

Six Major Things That a Company's Emergency Action Plan Must Accomplish

It is smart for corporations in West Whittier, CA, to have a contingency plan in place in the event that a disaster occurs. Typically, it is a written document that keeps employees organized during an emergency. There are six major things that a company’s emergency action plan must accomplish.

1. Establish Reporting Procedures

There are procedures that are standard, such as dialing 911 or pulling a manual fire alarm, but a company may wish to establish a system that is unique. For example, a bank may incorporate a secret button that is pushed during an armed robbery and silently notifies the authorities so that employees can safely surrender.

2. Decide Upon Exit Routes

The evacuation plan is put into place so that employees know when, where, and how to evacuate. The plan authorizes who can order an evacuation and explains the conditions in which he or she would. It also features exit diagrams so that employees can follow escape routes easily.

3. Explain Emergency Operating Procedures

In critical emergencies where equipment must be utilized before moving forward with the contingency plan, all hazards must be explained. These hazards may include the breaking of glass or the usage of fire extinguishers.

4. Ensure Employee Safety

A procedure to ensure that employees evacuate safely is necessary. Someone may be assigned the duty of checking offices and restrooms. This step could also be completed by implementing an old-fashioned roll call.

5. Maintain Contact Information for Employees

Keeping a record of names, titles, departments, and telephone numbers is helpful when someone has questions during an emergency. Assembling this info ahead of time will make it easier to locate during, or immediately after, an emergency.

6. Know Whom To Call for Cleanup

It's also wise to have the contact information for commercial building restoration services on hand. Enlisting the help of professionals can help get your business back on its feet in a timely manner.

Creating a contingency plan for your company in West Whittier, CA, is the responsible thing to do. It allows for a safe transition when disaster unfolds, and employees are more likely to feel calm at work when there is one in place.

How Fire Damage Can Lead to Water Damage

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage in a West Whittier, CA home

There’s no question that fires can cause devastating damage to a home. In a matter of minutes, you could watch in horror as your property and possession go up in flames. Fire damage isn’t the only concern you’ll have in this type of disaster. You also need to be aware of potential flooding on your West Whittier, CA, property as a result of firefighters’ efforts to put out the fire.

Response Following a Fire

Your first responsibility after alerting the authorities about a fire in your home is to get to safety. Then, you should let firefighting crews take over. The team will use a lot of water to ensure it puts out all the flames. This can result in water damage inside the structure. Here’s what will happen next:

  • You should take photos and contact your insurance company.
  • Avoid touching anything in the area of the fire.
  • Contact a fire restoration and water cleanup professional.

Water Cleanup Issues

A fire crew’s primary concern is to get the fire under control, stop it from spreading and ultimately completely extinguish it. The responders will spray as much water out of a fire hose as possible to achieve these goals. While this may effectively put an end to the flames, it will likely cause other problems with water on the floor, ceiling, walls, furniture and electronics.

The Next Group Comes In

In order to salvage as much of your home as possible, a restoration company will remove water left behind from the fire department. Specialists will use high-powered extractors to remove any water from the area. The team will determine what items can be saved and what it must replace.

Clean and Sanitize

Fire damage can destroy the structure or your possessions, but water has its own ill effects. The restoration technicians will thoroughly sanitize the wet areas to keep mold from growing and to help eliminate other substances.

In addition to fire damage, an emergency such as this at your home can introduce a lot of water. In order to remove it and begin rebuilding your house, make sure you call the experts.

SERVPRO of Whittier can help with your Fire Damage

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

If your home suffers from a fire loss, Call SERVPRO of Whittier

Have you had recent fire damage?  SERVPRO of Whittier is here to help!  SERVPRO of Whittier has certified technicians and crew chiefs to help with any fire damage- no job is too big or too small for SERVPRO of Whittier.

We understand the stress and chaos a fire loss can leave in your home or business.  Families get displaced and businesses shut down and cause a stressful environment.  Leave the stress and chaos to the professionals. 

SERVPRO of Whittier not only helps with residential restoration, we also help small or large commercial businesses get back on their feet.  So if you have had a recent fire or water damage in your business or commercial building, do not hesitate to give us a call for an inspection.  We are here 24 hours a day 7  days a week- weekends and holidays for all your fire and water emergency services.  Give us a call at (562) 698-5368. 

3 Ways Water Can Damage Your Home After a Fire

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in Whittier, CA

Ways That Water Cause Further Devastation After a Fire

A fire can wreak havoc on your home, but the flames aren’t the only things that can cause destruction to your property. Often times, water can cause as many or, in some cases, more problems as the fire damage itself. If you own a home in Whittier, CA, then you should be aware of the ways that water can cause further devastation after a fire.

1. Ruptured Pipes

During a fire, temperatures in your home can become extreme, and the intense heat can cause burst pipes and plumbing malfunctions. Falling debris can also lead to warped or broken pipes. Even if parts of your home are spared from burning, flooding can cause water damage throughout your residence, especially to walls and flooring.

2. Storm Damage

Fire damage often includes structural problems to the roof and windows. This can mean that water will be able to enter the home during any inclement weather that occurs before repairs can be completed. Placing tarps on the roof and boarding any broken windows can help mitigate these potential problems.

3. Water From Fire Hoses

When firefighters go to work to extinguish a burning house, their biggest ally is water. While absolutely necessary, the thousands of gallons that can come from a fire hose can leave behind a great deal of residual water that will need to be cleaned and removed. The longer this water sits stagnant, the greater the potential for incurring more damage and costly repairs. Fire extinguishers used by emergency responders can also contain compressed water, which can also leave behind destruction.

If you are dealing with the heartbreak of a fire in your dwelling, you are probably preparing to combat the fire damage you have suffered. However, you should also make a plan to deal with the destruction that water may have caused to your property, as well. Contact an emergency restoration specialist for more information to help you restore your home to the safe haven you deserve.

How To Keep Pets Safe During a Fire

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

Post a pet alert on your front door so that firefighters can be on the lookout

You probably consider your pet to be a member of the family, so it’s important to safeguard its life in the event of a fire emergency. Home fires in West Whittier, CA, are common, so having a readiness plan is imperative. There are several things you can do to prepare all the members of your family, especially the furry ones, for a fire.

Pet Records

Your pet’s record should be kept with the rest of the family’s vital records. A few things to consider keeping in the grab bag or fireproof safe include:

  • Pet adoption papers
  • Vaccination records
  • List of medications, if applicable

Your animal’s important documents should be kept safe and accessible. While fire restoration professionals may be able to salvage damaged items, it may be even more helpful to make electronic copies of the paperwork as a backup.

Emergency Plan

Include pets in your fire emergency plan. If you put together a disaster kit for each family member, for example, you also need one for the dog. When your family gives the evacuation plan a trial run, your pet should practice, too. This practice serves as both human and pet preparation to choose the best route to safety.

Firefighters Assistance

A key component of pet safety during a fire in your home is making sure firefighters are aware that there is an animal on the premises. When you aren’t at home, make sure your pets are kept near the entrance so that they can be easily found. If this doesn’t seem feasible, you can also post a pet alert on your front door or a prominent window. List the number of pets so that firefighters can be on the lookout for them.

You don’t want to wait until a fire emergency occurs to think about what you will do to keep your pets safe. By having a plan and making sure your animals are well documented, you increase the likelihood of saving them during a house fire.

How to Avoid a Cigarette Fire

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

It is important to install smoke alarms in your Friendly Hills,CA home

If you're a smoker and you own a home in Friendly Hills,CA, you need to be aware of the dangers of a cigarette fire. One little mishap can cause thousands of dollars' worth of damage, or worse. By being aware and alert, this kind of tragedy can be avoided. Here are a few simple steps to preventing a cigarette disaster.

1. Don't Smoke in the House

The most effective way of preventing an ashtray fire in your home is to limit your smoking to outdoor areas such as patios and backyards. Make a habit of going outside when you feel the need to smoke. Not only does this prevent the possibility of a cigarette fire, but it also has the benefit of keeping tobacco odors out of your home.

2. Avoid Smoking When Sleepy, Medicated or Drinking

If you feel the need to smoke in your house, be careful to refrain from lighting up when you're tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Never smoke in bed or while reclining on the couch, as the cigarette could easily fall from your hand and set a mattress or other furniture ablaze.

3. Make Sure Smoke Alarms Are Working

It's important to have smoke alarms installed on every floor of your house, including the basement and attic. Be sure to test them every month to make sure that they are working properly.

4. Keep Matches and Cigarettes Away from Children

Keep your cigarettes and any matches or lighters in a secure place that children can't access. A curious child could easily start a fire by dropping a lit match or cigarette.

If you are ever the unlucky victim of a cigarette fire, you may want to contact a professional fire cleanup company to make sure the needed repairs are done properly. Hopefully, this isn't the case, and by taking the precautions outlined above, you can prevent a fire before it has a chance to happen.

Understanding a Commercial Fire Cleanup Estimate

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage can affect all businesses in different ways including structure and content

When a fire is finally doused, one of the first things considered is cost of treating the damage. Fires lead to a multitude of damage to a business unfortunate enough in Whittier, CA. There are major factors that influence how an estimate for a commercial fire incident plays out.

The Different Types of Damage From a Fire

Fire damages property not only by burning down structures. It affects business with a few different types of damage that are evaluated by an insurance adjuster:

• Fire damage to parts of the building that will require repairs or replacement to ensure structural integrity
• Soot and smoke on furniture or flooring that needs odor removal and cleansing before it settles in permanently
• Chemical residual from fire extinguishers or special fire treatment equipment that damages surfaces it remains on
• Water from sprinkler systems or the fire department that can become contaminated or lead to mold if allowed to fester

Time Is Money When Dealing With Fires

An ideal time for fire treatment by a professional commercial fire restoration team is between one and two days. An earlier estimate and restoration leads to more savings, especially if in this early timeframe.

If they’re left alone, business assets become more contaminated and harder to recover. If left for an excessive period of time, they could become unsalvageable and require replacement.

Assess Your Assets With a Professional’s Help

It’s difficult to know exactly what costs will be without a professional inspection. A bidding process commences once your insurance approves the claim, and you will be put in touch with a recovery service. Your business is offered a timeframe and an expected total after everything is checked for outstanding and potential problems.

Usually, there is an expert project manager assigned to the premises. You should ask him or her to tour through all the problems so you can see them for yourself and evaluate the necessity of the services offered. The estimate may seem like a lot of money now, but it saves more in the long run. It’s your cost-benefit analysis of the most effective route to take for your business.

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How To Get the Smoke Out

7/19/2018 (Permalink)

The smell of smoke permeates your clothes, curtains, sofas and walls. After a fire at your home in Whittier, CA does the odor ever come out? Yes, there are steps you can take to get rid of that unwelcome scent. Through a combination of dry-cleaning, wet-cleaning and other techniques, a professional fire restoration specialist can help you enjoy your home again.

Content Cleaning

The smell of smoke sticks to the majority of your belongings. What contents of your home can be cleaned, and how?

• Smoke odors are removed from clothing using professional dry-cleaning.
• Fabrics and upholstery including furniture, rugs, curtains, and bedding are tested to see which method of cleaning is most appropriate. Cleaning may be wet or dry, depending on the item.
• Electronics can break down over time from exposure to smoke. The outside of these items are cleaned using proper techniques to prevent further damage.
• If your possessions must be removed from your home, the professionals categorize, inventory and pack items before transporting the boxes to content storage. Content cleaning and deodorizing occurs before you retrieve your belongings.

Structural Cleaning

Smoke and grime coat the interior spaces of your house. What surfaces need cleaned?

• Smoke adheres to walls, carpeting, wood floors and ceilings. These surfaces are tested and matched with the proper cleaning method.
• Many times, soot can be successfully cleaned. Other times, surfaces will be primed for painting or refinishing instead.

Deodorizing

The smell of smoke remains in the air, even after the rest of the contents and structures are clean. How does the air get refreshed?

• The source of the odor is identified and targeted, rather than covered up by a fragrance.
• Two professional methods used include Ultra Low Volume (ULV) and thermal foggers.

The last thing you want after a fire in Whittier, CA is the daily reminder of smoke in your home. Through proper wet and dry-cleaning procedures, smoke and soot are eliminated. Partner with your homeowner’s insurance agency and a fire restoration company to return your home and contents to pre-fire condition. Visit http://www.SERVPROofwhittier.com for more information on fire damage. 

5 Tips to Help Prevent a Fire in Your Home

3/30/2016 (Permalink)

Dealing with the aftermath of a fire in your home or business can be costly, time-consuming, and emotional. This is why it’s important to take certain precautions to prevent or decrease the likelihood of a fire. These helpful tips provided by the NPFA can reduce the probability of a fire in your home or office;

1.       Watch your cooking!  You should always stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Remember to never let young children near the stove or oven while you are cooking.

2.       Give space heaters space! It’s best to keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn.

3.       Keep matches and lighters out of reach! The safest place to keep matches and lighters is in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.

4.       Inspect electrical cords! You should replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs, or loose connections.

5.       Be careful when using candles! Be sure to keep candles at least one foot away from anything that will burn.

Not all fires are caused by things we have control of. Some fires can be caused by unavoidable acts of nature or unpredictable accidents. Just in case one of these catastrophes may happen, keep in mind that a fire escape plan for your crew or family is always a good idea! Try practicing it at least twice a year. In the event of fire damages SERVPRO of Whittier is available around the clock to offer exceptional response time and trained professionals ready to restore your property!