Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire Preparedness Reminders for SOCAL Residences

4/12/2022 (Permalink)

A picture of a fire inspector reviews safety measures. Flames are behind a clipboard and a fire extinguisher is ready for use Regularly do a safety fire check at both your home and office, since where we spend most of the day can be considered our second home.

As our state begins to deal with hotter temperatures, wildfires may put our homes or businesses at risk at some point. Plus, despite preventative measures, fire-related accidents still happen. Fire spreads quickly so each minute counts in assuring everyone evacuates safely. SERVPRO is here to help clean up after and encourages you to prepare now in the event that disaster strikes.

Important reminders:

  • Bi-annually check batteries on each smoke detector
  • Keeping room doors closed can help slow the spread
  • Prepare your property with fire extinguishers and service regularly
  • Consider upgrading your property by installing an internal sprinkler system
  • Plan an escape route and agree upon a safe outdoor meetup spot
  • Practice your fire escape plan annually
  • Keep pathways and exits free from clutter
  • At the first sign of fire, act quickly and calmly
  • Remember to stay low to avoid breathing in smoke
  • Stay out, once you are out, notify the fire department if someone is missing
  • Practice a scheduled fire drill, timing how long it takes for all to exit

How to prepare for California wildfire season

6/24/2021 (Permalink)

A woman wearing an N95 mask looks out on her balcony as her neighborhood fills with smoke from a nearby brush or wildfire In case of a wildfire ending up in your area... Be ready to leave quickly if asked to do so. Prepare everything now including emergency go-bags.

Fires can start and spread quickly. Many times you may have only minutes to grab necessities before you are in danger. A few years back during a local canyon fire, a client had a nearby hillside of brush on fire. She filled her arms with what she could but by the time she got to her car, the smoke was so thick and low, she struggled even making it to her car. Fortunately, she and her family made it to safety. But, sadly her beautiful home of eighteen years where she and her husband had raised their kids in burned to the ground. Since we live in a dry and windy climate, it is wise to fully prepare.

Prepare your home

  • Clear surrounding areas of your yard so that it is free of debris, woodpiles, fallen leaves, twigs, and dead branches
  • Keep rain gutters cleaned out
  • Keep flammables away

Prepare your family

  • Teach the family how to use a fire extinguisher and ensure that they know where it is stored
  • Make a family emergency & evacuation plan
  • Have an emergency go-bag ready
  • Have emergency supplies on hand

Be prepared to leave quickly

  • Recognize air-quality alerts & fire warnings
  • Stay safe during a fire by evacuating immediately if authorities tell you to leave home
  • Have your masks and sanitizer ready to go when sheltering at a public location or a friend’s home
  • Use N95 masks or a respirator to protect yourselves against

Remember the 5 P’s of evacuation

People & Pets as a priority

Prescriptions, vision aids, power chords, first aid kit, and sanitization items

Papers including important documents, insurance papers, and contacts

Personal needs, clothes, shoes, food, water, cash, cards, and phones

Priceless items such as family photos or other sentimental valuables

After you return home, if soot, ash, or a strong smoke odor is present, we can help. Call our team out for a complimentary visual inspection at 626-960-9145

PART 5 - How to use a Fire Extinguisher?

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

A man uses all his might to properly use a fire extinguisher by aiming at the base of the flames coming from the oven We are here to help every step of the way. Call now for more information on professional smoke & odor removal.

Fire extinguishers can save lives and prevent the total destruction of properties. When a fire begins, how quickly it will spread depends on surrounding building and content materials. Everything can happen so fast that in that exact moment, it may be difficult to think clearly, let alone decide how to best react to the situation.

Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher can be of great value. Understanding what to do after extinguishing the flames is the fifth and final step of this blog series.

UNDERSTAND WHAT TO DO AFTER USING A FIRE EXTINGUISHER

  • If you have emptied one canister and the flames continue, if the fire has not grown, you can use another cylinder but again, your focus must be on the base of the flames. If you are still unsuccessful after using the resources available, make the call to your local fire department by dialing 911. In most instances, they will arrive within minutes to quickly put out the fire.
  • If you have successfully extinguished flames, what a relief!!
  • Once the flames are out, you first make sure everyone is safe, that no one was injured nor inhaled smoke or fumes. If anyone needs to be evaluated by a medical professional, seek help at once. Next, try to keep everyone away from the area that had caught fire because a bigger mess will be made with a lot of movement. As you look around… the powdery substance deployed from the now empty canister will be all over, not just on the area you sprayed, so a good cleanup will be needed. Now is the time to call in the professionals instead of a typical maid service because you will want to fully remove the smoky smell

At SERVPRO of West Covina, our team is professionally trained to remove even the tiniest of odor-causing particles and leave behind a fresh clean area. Time and again, our customers cannot get over how clean we leave the area post-fire. We constantly hear that we left EVERYTHING cleaner than when it was brand new! We love these kinds of compliments for a job well done and this is part of the reason why we find this line of work so rewarding.

PART 4 - How to use a Fire Extinguisher?

5/5/2021 (Permalink)

A close up of a fire extinguisher and its tag log. A man is checking off for maintenance purposes Be thorough in all your preventative measures to avoid real dangers and property damage from occurring.

Fire extinguishers can save lives and prevent the total destruction of properties. When a fire begins, how quickly it will spread depends on surrounding building and content materials. Everything can happen so fast that in that exact moment, it may be difficult to think clearly, let alone decide how to best react to the situation.

Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher can be of great value. Understanding the importance of regular maintenance of all extinguishers is the fourth step.

UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF FIRE EXTINGUISHER MAINTENANCE

Maintenance of our cars, homes, and appliances, is a necessity. Adding home and business fire extinguishers are important enough to add to our list. It may be of little to NO Value to grab an extinguisher to put out a fire if it is old, empty, or completely broken.

Most businesses or property managers have a company that regularly fits the building with supplies and logs maintenance checklists or logs. What about the extinguishers at your home? Be sure to regularly check the pressure gauge on each extinguisher. You do not want it too low or high otherwise it is in need of service. Ensure that the path is clear and items are not blocking easy access to each one. Inspect the cylinder, hose, and connective parts. Look for any sort of corrosion or damage to determine if this unit should be replaced. If everything checks out, do a wipe down of the exterior of the extinguisher so that sticky dust or grease is not allowed to build up.

(To be continued...)

PART 2 - How to use a Fire Extinguisher?

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

An iron has melted and is covered in flames as it rests on an ironing board in a high-end looking bedroom Safety always comes first. Only if it safe to proceed using an extinguisher should it be considered for use.

Fire extinguishers can save lives and prevent the total destruction of properties. When a fire begins, how quickly it will spread depends on surrounding building and content materials. Everything can happen so fast that in that exact moment, it may be difficult to think clearly, let alone decide how to best react to the situation.

Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher can be of great value. Understanding how to decide when to use an extinguisher is the second step.

UNDERSTAND HOW TO DECIDE WHEN TO USE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER

A quick assessment is important. If the answers to all of the three questions below are YES and it is SAFE TO DO SO, an attempt to extinguish the flames may be taken by a physically capable adult. If after completely emptying out the contents of an extinguisher or two proves unsuccessful, evacuate the building and call 911.

  1. Is this fire small and contained to one object only?
  2. Is everyone indoors aware there is a fire in the building?
  3. Is there a clear escape route, including breathable air?

If flammable liquids are nearby or if the fire materials burning could be considered toxic, exit immediately. If the fire is already heavily smoking, exciting immediately to avoid smoke inhalation is the wisest course. If the fire has already spread from its original source to surrounding objects, quickly exiting and allowing professional fire-fighters to extinguish flames is strongly advised. If the building is full of more than a handful of people, it is wise to assist everyone to safely exit, account for all then call for help.

(To be continued...)

PART 1 - How to use a Fire Extinguisher?

4/30/2021 (Permalink)

Flames are all a blaze in the back but 6 fire extinguishers are labeled according to use based on type of flames Learn classifications. Then teach employees and family members how to utilize these important tools. It may save your life or theirs, one day.

Fire extinguishers can save lives and prevent the total destruction of properties. When a fire begins, how quickly it will spread depends on surrounding building and content materials. Everything can happen so fast that in that exact moment, it may be difficult to think clearly, let alone decide how to best react to the situation.

Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher now can be of great value. Understanding how to douse flames based on the type of fire is the first step.

UNDERSTAND FIRE CLASSIFICATIONS AND EXTINGUISHER TYPES

Fire extinguishers are graded based on materials or fire types. Class A, B, & C, etc, or labeled for multi-purpose uses. Ex: B-C. 

A, B, and C types are typically found in homes. You will want to know details such as an ordinary type A intended for cloth, paper, and wood, will not be used the same as a class B fire started by a flammable oil nor a class C fire of an electrical appliance, for examples. You will want to look at which types are accessible in your home.

At your place of business… you may often find Class A, B, or C as well or multi-purpose ones. If your place of business is located in a factory, you may even have a Class D type extinguisher intended for flammable metals.

Restaurants and other commercial kitchens may have Class K in the event of a grease fire, or dry powdery substances can be used like baking flour, but as we all learned in school, never add water to these types of flames.

(To be continued...)

A good quality Spring cleaning will make your surroundings bright

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

A toddler smiles big as he sits inside a laundry basket being pushed by his mom in a fresh clean looking kitchen You deserve to live in clean surroundings. If you need a little extra help from the professionals, call today!

With summer still two months away, it is Spring cleaning time! Is your family’s To-Do Cleaning checklist ready? Pinterest has great lists to print out so you can physically check it off as you tackle each task as well as blogs providing wonderful tips and ways to be more thorough. Our cleaning list is long this year… for many who continue to work from home, focusing on some deep cleaning may really help improve your surroundings. For those with little ones, you will feel better about them playing on the floor. Clearing clutter and getting a fresh clean start may boost everyone’s mood. Some find it challenging to stay on top of regular dusting and routine weekly cleaning, so taking extra care to get into the detailed areas like corners, baseboards, and less used areas, should make a big difference in the overall appearance of your space. Moving larger pieces of furniture helps to really get underneath the hard-to-reach areas to remove all of the built-up clusters of dust bunnies. Polishing floors, cleaning rugs and carpets will freshen rooms up a lot too. Also, now may be the right time to turn your attention to blinds and windows that may have a blanket of sticky dust. A good tip is to use a paper towel or microfiber cloth lightly dipped in a bit of oil to clean. It degreases and works wonders on the stubborn hard parts to clean.

If taking on such a large cleaning project seems way too overwhelming, we can help. Our team is professionally trained for very methodical cleaning for post-mold, water, and fire damages.  When removing soot, smoke, and odor particles from all surfaces including ceilings, walls, trims, moldings, floors, and all of the contents, not an area can be missed. In fire damage cleanup, the only way to fully remove the smoke and char smell is to remove the teeniest particles first. In fact, one of our residential fire loss customers appreciated our talented team so much after the cleaning at his home that a few years later he called to ask us to return because of how great our team left his place in the end. We constantly get comments from both commercial and residential customers like “this is cleaner than before!” or “it was this clean when we moved in”. We highly value the feedback and input from our customers and love it when they call us out to return the next time our services can be of good use for them. Another area our team is fully trained in dealing with is sensitive matters such as hoarding and/or debris haul-away. In those situations, our cleaning crews can work wonders. We also get calls from restaurants and other local businesses to provide an extra deep cleaning when regular maid services just won’t do. Call now for more details!

Water damage typically occurs with Fire damage

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

Firemen use hoses to extinguish a fire in a house garage. A melted garage door and burnt car shows high heat and damages Do not go through the stress of fire damages alone, call in the professionals at SERVPRO of West Covina to help.

How do water damage and fire damage go hand in hand? As flames are extinguished from a Class A blaze of building materials, the continuous full force stream of an industrial-strength water hose can leave everything sopping wet. Approximately one gallon of water may be used to put out a three-foot section. Interesting to note is that a hose spraying out three hundred gallons (some hydrants pump five hundred) each minute can easily overflow the equivalency of eight full-size bathtubs. That is A LOT of water.

So how do you handle the situation after a fire? The first step is to safely get you and your family out and relocated to a calm relaxing setting like a neighbor’s, friend’s, or family’s place. Next call in the professionals to inspect, secure, and stabilize the property. Board–up’s of windows, doors or the roof may be necessary… Then the cleanup process can begin. Valuables and sentimental items that can be restored will be gathered and a team will get right to work in addressing the smoke, soot, char, and water affected materials of both the structure and all furniture and personal effects. We will do our best to communicate well and assist you through the whole process to minimize your stress and worry. Call today for more information!

Do you need odor removal from smoke damage?

3/25/2021 (Permalink)

A wall outlet has a full sized plug. The chord of it is on fire and black smoke is beginning to cover the wall Call today and inquire about how we can help with odor removal!

Over the years in helping many different families and businesses after the devastating effects of a fire we have witnessed many different scenarios of how various fires have started. Learning from these situations has taught us a few basics. Never overload electrical plugs and never charge a laptop, tablet, or phone on soft materials like a bed where it can easily overheat.

How damaging a fire is, depends greatly on how quickly the flames are extinguished and the source of the fire. Electrical fires can sometimes smell like burned wires or chemicals and protein fires have a whole different set of circumstances to address. Sometimes these burned materials can make the odors dangerous for the respiratory system. Regardless smoke and soot particles travel quickly and spread throughout a space faster than one would think. Sometimes soot might not even be clearly seen until tested through a dry-cleaning method.

If you or a neighbor experienced a fire, even if it is quickly put out, you may be dealing with a strong smoke smell or the effects of acids in the ash that can etch into building materials. Many believe that in time the lingering odors will dissipate but that is not typically the case. Having a professional company that specializes in property damages is the best route. A typical protocol SERVPRO of West Covina will utilize for smoke smell removal is first to remove even the tiniest of particles from all affected surfaces, this includes ceilings, walls, floors, trim, cabinets, furniture, personal belongings and don’t forget about the ventilation system and/or attic. Soot can be between one to three microns in size so while it may not be visible to the naked eye you may certainly smell its odor. We have several methods to do this removal and depending on the situation our technicians will make use of either a hydroxyl or an ozone machine to fully deodorize. Call now for an inspection.

When to Call in a Professional Restoration Company ...

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

At a city intersection with a burned brick building, SERVPRO professionals are unloading equipment to start restoration Not every project should be a 'Do It Yourself' one. It is important to know when to rely on the experts and trust their wisdom.

Most property damages occur suddenly and unexpectedly. Since our SOCAL homes and businesses usually are our biggest investments, is it wise to make all repairs a DIY project or utilize a handyman or property janitorial team? If faced with issues due to any of the following, seriously consider calling someone who is IICRC Certified and specializes in the restoration field, is state licensed, insured and bonded for your protection.

When Water Damage Occurs

Flooding and water leaks can cause damage to materials affected and if not addressed within the first seventy-two hours bacteria will continue to multiply and fungus or mold growth may begin to make itself visible. Your first thought may be to call a plumber but in addition to stopping the leak, think of all the wet materials including the structure that could be affected behind the walls and areas not seen like under tile or wood flooring or behind cabinets. Fully restoring materials and contents that are wet may depend on how much time has elapsed. Flooring and other structural materials could end up compromised, turning a small issue into a serious one over time. The quicker you contact professional restoration experts, the better the outcome. 

After a FIRE 

If your property or a neighbor sustains damages from a fire you may be at a loss for where to begin. You may be inundated by people at your door offering conflicting information. Contacting your insurance agent and hiring a company you trust can help ease the recovery process immensely. As various materials burn, smoke and soot particles spread throughout the structure, covering everything, leaving a terrible odor behind some of which could be toxic. As time passes, the charred smell and lingering carcinogens can pose potential health effects to the respiratory system that could lead to breathing issues. Water or chemicals used to fight the fire can often leave behind additional damages if not addressed immediately so, time is of the essence.

Mold Might Be Present

Ongoing leaks can start small especially if it is in an inconspicuous area so not until a musty smell is noticed or moldy spots become visible will you know an issue has developed. Mold can flourish when it has water, food, (drywall paper or wood), and warm temperatures. Repairing the actual water leak is a place to start. Equally important is the removal of moldy materials and proper disposal. Some of the worst mold situations are discovered behind the tile, drywall, and inside the wall cavities where the wood stud framing of the structure is affected. If you suspect you may have mold, rely on a professionally trained company to test and remediate the mold for your protection.

Biohazard

Proper disposal of pathogen-infected materials, thorough proper cleanings, and sanitizing is the best plan of action for you and everyone's safety.   After any sort of trauma, crime scene, severe hoarding, or even coronavirus contamination, you will want to reach out to a reputable professional who will correctly address the situation. 

Weather Damage Occurs

The long heatwaves of our SOCAL summers can speed up the deterioration of exterior materials like shingles and wood. Then, when strong winds, hail, or heavy rains come along, roof and siding damages can occur.  Nearby trees can also be destructive so it is important to maintain your property grounds with a disaster preventative mindset. Proactively make repairs before rain can make entry into your dwelling, but if it does, you can count on our team to assist.

SERVPRO of West Covina is here to help twenty-four-seven and have many years of experience of working with Southern California’s homeowners, business owners and have multiple property managers as clients. We are proud to have the highest reputation and will take good care of you during your time of need.

Summer is Almost Here!

4/28/2020 (Permalink)

A turquoise blue pool of water has a bright orange safety floatation device with a rope. Young hands are holding on Be safe this summer by preparing now!

Our city of West Covina homes five Fire Stations that are spaced out in our city for the quickest response depending on the location of need. Fire station no.1 is on South Sunset Ave., no.2 is on East Cortez St., no.3 is on West Puente Ave., no.4 is on South Azusa Ave. and no.5 is on East Shadow Oak Dr. Our California firemen are extremely dedicated; they work incredibly hard and regularly put their lives on the line to help others. We cannot thank them enough! Our hearts go out to each of them and their families. The extra dangers our firefighters will continue to face while we battle COVID-19 puts each of them at extremely high risk due to years of prolonged exposure to smoke inhalation and compromised respiratory systems. Yet, they continue protecting us and our city from dangers and we wholeheartedly THANK YOU!  

The city of West Covina remains active in our SOCAL Community reminding us of the importance of disaster preparedness summer is just ahead. Outdoor temperatures steadily rise so our city along with our West Covina Fire Department has reminders for us all. On our city’s website they provide POOL SAFETY TIPS to adhere by. Stopdrowningnow.org informs us that on average ten people drown every day, most occurring at home pools, so swimming lessons and water safety is the best way to prevent accidents.

Pool Safety checklist

  • Be prepared with a safety net and flotation device
  • Bring your cell phone to the pool area – 9-1-1
  • Assign an adult supervisor who knows CPR
  • Before leaving the pool each time, collect all toys so children won’t wander after them
  • Be sure when leaving the pool area to close and lock gates
  • Do a safety check around the fence to ensure there is nothing that a child could climb to gain access to the pool

Pool Safety DO

*Install fencing or a cover as a protection

*Have rules posted and review them often

*Teach children to swim, early

*Keep children away from the filter inlet and drains, which are dangerous

*Stay hydrated and reapply sunscreen hourly

*Maintain proper PH to keep the water clean and clear

*Evacuate pools during rain or thunderstorms

Pool Safety Don’t

*Swim alone

*EVER leave children unattended, even for a moment

*Allow horse-play, running or diving

*Let glass, sharp or breakable items in the pool

*Don’t permit adults who have been drinking alcohol into the pool area. Alcohol and swimming don’t mix.

5 Water Survival skills

Every child & new swimmer should know:

  1. Float or tread water for one minute
  2. Turn around in a full circle to exit
  3. Swim 25 yards to exit
  4. Exit the water without using the ladder
  5. Step or jump into the water above their heads and return to the surface

What to expect following a Fire or Smoke Damage Claim

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

A room full of smoke damage is being cleaned using a dry method. As the two techs are use their sponges, results are clear You can trust SERVPRO of West Covina will be the best choice for all your specialty cleaning needs.

When our team gets called in, we will contain damaged areas to stop the spread of health-hazardous soot, smoke, and toxins from being tracked throughout the property. Important to note is that even a minor fire, quickly extinguished can bring significant smoke and soot damage throughout your property. Smoke and soot particles are incredibly tiny and can get deep inside building materials, furniture, and other porous items. HEPA filters help our industrial-strength air scrubbers and vacuums capture soot, purify the air and neutralize odors. We can assist in communicating our findings and plan of action to your insurance adjuster so that there are no surprises later.

Water Damage Remediation

Firemen use a lot of water and or chemical to extinguish the flames which can be destructive to structural components and contents if not handled properly by professionals. Our professionals will take the steps needed to minimize damages of your home or business by prioritizing water extraction.

Packing Services, Contents Cleaning

Part of the fire damage restoration process includes furnishings and personal effects being examined for salvage-ability and proficiently cleaned. Our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS) creates documentation through photographs and inventory all contents affected by smoke and soot at the property. Items are either cleaned on-site or packed up and cleaned at our warehouse depending on the structural damages. Once the items are cleaned, they will be packed in fresh clean boxes ready for the return. Post-construction our favorite part of our services is returning all the newly cleaned furniture and belongings to their rightful place in your home or office. A great amount of care goes into this process regarding the replacement of every last item.

Structural Cleaning

Structural cleaning procedures will begin immediately as quick action will minimize damages. It is important to competently remove soot before it begins etching or discoloring furniture, woodwork, carpeting, fabrics, drywall, plastics, metals, and glass. A thorough cleaning of the structure could include the inside of the attic, HVAC system, ceilings, walls, floors and permanent fixtures. Our team appreciates “we have never seen it this clean even when it was new” compliments from such methodical cleanings.

Structural repairs & Construction

Post-fire damage cleanup or for after any property damages, we offer reconstruction and rebuilding services so that scheduling is smoother than if you hired several different companies. Not every restoration company has a State-issued General Contractors License, but we do and our customers continue to express their appreciation. If you have chosen a reputable company, they will take great care of you all through the process and help turn things around to a positive outcome in the end. Our company motto is “Like it never even happened.” To that end, we bend over backward to live up to our promise because we truly care.

Is your home at High Risk for a fire?

4/15/2020 (Permalink)

Wildfire flames on hillside brush headed towards homes in Orange County Canyon fire Prepare your property each season by clearing gutters and trimming nearby brush or debris.

With all the recent rain California has seen this year; your home could be at high risk for a fire

Our attention currently may be elsewhere since we are in the middle of a pandemic, however it is important to know if your home is considered high risk and this, of course, depends on the area surrounding your home.  In recent years California has seen seasons with multiple wildfires mainly due to dry brush grown during the rainy season. Property owners are admonished to take action by walking their grounds and clearing any debris or brush before it’s too late. This is the perfect opportunity to take care of property maintenance since many of us are finding extra time on our hands.

SERVPRO of West Covina responds quickly to any fire that we get called out to because we are always ready to help! Each year there are almost 400,000 home fires that occur in America, according to the National Fire Protection Association. The main goal of first responders is to get everyone safely out of and away from the structure. You may not know who all the people are circling the sidelines while the fire department is at work. Just a heads up regarding ‘ambulance chasers’ because following a fire they may soon be at your doorstep asking for business. From many years of experience, and seeing families choose poorly and get stuck without repairs getting finished due to lack of money from settling too soon or promises made that will not be kept, our thought is… you have trusted your insurance company that you are insured with. Continue to put faith in them that they will make things right. Give them a chance to do their job and come through on your behalf during your time of need. You will have a few recourses later if things get ugly however most national insurance companies work hard on your behalf to keep out of pocket expenditures to a minimum. They trust a proven company such as SERVPRO to handle the Restoration following Fire and Smoke Damage.

Mitigation & Restoration Services

Only hire a company you trust, a company that is licensed and properly insured to take on such a project. Ask for verification, references and search for online reviews. A ‘fly by night company’ will not care about their reputation in the community the same way a legitimate business who has a reputable standing will.  Call SERVPRO of West Covina—Faster to any disaster. 626-960-9145

We are here to help during this Pandemic

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

A wall electrical outlet has an adapter converter for multiple plugs. Everyone of the eight have a plugged in cord. DANGER! Do Not EVER take this risk. Sadly too many fires that we come across could have been avoided. Please use extra precautions and be alert to all DANGERS

We are here to help during this Pandemic

The world does not stop, even for the coronavirus. While we have put off the non-essential outings like dining out, bars, gyms, hair and nail salons, other illnesses and accidents still happen daily. Our business is here for accidental property damages that do occur and need immediate attention.

Our emergency response team is, of course, getting calls in for coronavirus disinfecting, but also for the typical unexpected property damages that arise. Specifically, water leaks or flood cleanup or smoke & soot cleaning after a fire. Our qualified team is able and willing to help with whatever the need is.

Prevention

What preventative measures can be taken though, if any? Faulty gas and electrical lines could spark a fire but what type of incident could be avoided? Since the majority of us are working from home and waiting out the quarantine, our homes are getting extra use. Here are a few fire safety tips to review and put into use immediately.

  1. Stay safe in the Kitchen

Cooking is the leading cause of residential fires according to the National Fire Protection Association

The US fire departments respond to an average of almost 500 home cooking fires DAILY.

  • Never leave the stove unattended while in use
  • Be sure to unplug appliances like the coffee maker, toaster, air-fryer & counter-top mixer when not in use
  1. Use caution while candles are lit

On average the fire departments respond to approximately 8,000 structure fires annually started by candles so it is recommended to avoid candle use altogether. If it is not realistic, please consider the following:

  • Battery operated flameless are much safer
  • Keep candles twelve inches away from anything flammable
  • Avoid using a candle if you are tired and could fall asleep
  • If you leave the room, even for a moment, extinguish the candle
  1. Avoid electrical mishaps

Do not take electricity or its power for granted.

  • Check and do not use if electrical cords have visible damage
  • Never EVER overload an outlet
  • Use proper wattage light bulbs for fixtures
  • Use caution when extension cords are in use
  • Be watchful of charging phones, tablets & laptops
  1. Stay safe

Fifty-three percent of individuals injured in a home fire was related to them attempting to fight the fire themselves. By properly preparing, you can keep safety at the forefront.

  • Test each smoke alarm of each room and level of the house
  • Create & practice a family escape route with a designated meeting area
  • If a fire starts in your home, get out, stay out and call for help

Thank you to ALL

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

An empty classroom with chairs stacked on desks and the center heading says to take cleaning precautions Here for any and all your specialty cleaning needs during this pandemic. It’s important to be proactive to remain safe. We can assist!

During this COVID-19 pandemic, our wholehearted thanks go out to many in our SOCAL community. Our restoration business centers around helping families and businesses in their time of need and so our doors remain open.

Our Services

Bio-hazard cleaning, including for Coronavirus

Water damage extraction and dry-out

Smoke, soot & fire damage cleanup

Mold test, mold inspections & mold removal

Hoarding assistance

General Contracting CA Lic. No 968875

This work is rewarding but we certainly see a lot in our day to day emergency calls. While the majority of our incoming calls center around flooding and water damages, lots of our YELP private messages are for mold tests and mold removal inspections. Then several times out of the year we are called in to help after a fire has occurred. Most of the time, if the fire is extinguished quickly, much of the structure can be restored. This is ideal because it saves the insurance companies money and those savings are passed along to the policyholders. With this goal in mind, our team works from ceiling to floor and every surface in between to remove every tiny particle of soot, smoke, and odor. Once this process is complete, any repairs and reconstruction portions can be completed and this returns things to their preloss condition.

As Property Damage First Responders, we understand the hard work that goes into the service industry... so to all the professionals helping us through the Coronavirus quarantine, please know that WE APPRECIATE YOU!

  • First Responders
  • Medical Professionals
  • Restaurant Workers
  • Grocery Store Clerks
  • Home Service Professionals
  • Mail Carriers
  • Sanitation Workers
  • And so many more!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Fire Safety in Socal

5/3/2019 (Permalink)

Make it your aim each Spring to ensure your safety along with your loved ones’ by regularly reviewing a few key reminders on fire safety.

Once a fire starts, you may have only minutes to escape. So in addition to tackling our spring cleaning chores, another good habit to get into is reviewing a fire safety checklist for both your home and office. One of the most important yet so simple steps is the testing and maintenance of detectors. The monthly testing, periodic cleaning, annual replacing of batteries, (unless you have the ten-year lasting kind) and full replacement every ten years of each smoke detector could save your lives. Another great recommendation is to install carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers on each floor. 

Bring family members up to date on evacuation and meeting locations. Keep lighters and matches out of reach of children and remember to discuss repeatedly with children about the dangers of playing with them. Never ever leave candles unattended indoors, even religious candles as we have seen the extensive damages caused by them. Be sure to clean the lint trap on your clothes dryer after each use and teach all family members to do the same. Always remain in the kitchen when any sort of cooking or heating is being done because if you forget, fall asleep or leave the home while doing so may lead to the highest of regrets… be fire safe.

After a Fire – What To Do

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

Here to help with any disaster any time day or night. The BEST at Fire Damage Cleanup, Board Ups, Smoke and Soot Cleaning or Charred Odor Removal.

A home or business fire can be absolutely devastating. SERVPRO of West Covina is here any time of day or night to help. No doubt with many mixed emotions you will have to make some important decisions, some sooner than later. Here are the very first few things you will want to know and prioritize after everyone is safely evacuated and the fire is extinguished.

  1. Get to a safe zone and call 911

Safety of you and your family is of prime concern. Get everyone to a safe area away from the fire before calling 911. If you do not have a cell phone consider going to a neighbor to make the call.  Remaining outside of fire damaged areas until the authorities give clearance for re-entry is important in preventing injury.

  1. Call your insurance agent ASAP

Notify your insurance agent of the damage as soon as possible. Your insurance agent has your best interest in mind. He values your patronage and will work hard to assist during this difficult time.

  1. Ask about reputable restoration companies

SERVPRO of West Covina works with all major insurance companies and has built solid relationships within the community to be of help when disasters arise. We care about each customer and work hard to earn your trust. SERVPRO will help to secure and stabilize the premises by boarding up doors and windows to keep the elements including possible looters out. SERVPRO will next start the cleanup process by removing the smoke, soot and the charred smell. No need to tackle this loss alone, let the professionals help, that’s exactly what we are here for.

FEMA has an after fire checklist pdf that has useful information such as reminding you to start saving all receipts for all money spent related to the fire.

Now is the Time to Think of Fire Prevention

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

Cooking even in the MICROWAVE can be the source of damages. A simple potato cooked way too long caused an awful odor throughout the entire home!

Sadly, several years of drought had a part in last year’s worst fire season with over 1.8 billion acres burned in California. Families were devastated as more than one hundred lives were lost, homes and structures were charred and entire neighborhoods leveled.

Unfortunately, older homes are at high risk of catching fire quicker. If you have an older home, switching to fire-resistant materials when inspecting for damages, replacing or remodeling will help with improvements. Re-roofing? Perhaps consider bringing projects up to code as it will prove to be a worthwhile investment. Do your part to keep the community safe as wildfires are primarily started by people. Trim down dried trees, weeds and grass. Lawnmowers and other power tools used outdoors can spark a fire so during the hottest and driest months, proceed with extreme caution. Remove rocks in your path and mow in the early morning hours on non-windy days as they can spark when hit by a metal blade.

Is your building of newer construction with an automatic fire sprinkler system? This is important because it can act as your first line of defense against a potential fire. When properly maintained, they can truly make a difference by reducing heat, smoke, and flames. National Fire Association gives several fire causes such as cooking, candles, heating, smoking etc. and ways of prevention of each. They even state the odds of surviving a home fire increases eighty percent when a sprinkler system has been installed. Lives are invaluable so certainly well worth the approximately $1.35 per square foot cost of a sprinkler system home upgrade. And never underestimate the value of installing and annually testing both smoke and carbon monoxide alarms throughout each property and on every level of the home. Important to note as well is to ensure all halls and doorways are clear of tripping hazards and electrical outlets are never overloaded. We have seen fires start this way and it is always sad when with a little extra safety and precaution, a fire could have been avoided.

Cooking even in the MICROWAVE can be the source of damages. A simple potato cooked way too long caused an awful odor throughout the entire home!

WildFLOWERS to WildFIRES

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

This Spring has brought tons of color and joy. As the seasons' change, so do our views and concerns. #wildflowers2019 #wildfiresprevention2019

Just a few weeks ago Southern California residents were enjoying bright Kelly green grass blanketing hills and roadsides thanks to the unusually high amount of rainfall we’ve experienced compared to the last few years. All across the southland the incredible ‘super bloom’ of wildflowers including bright orange poppies drew crowds of spectators and became a huge topic on Instagram and Facebook. Our team members passing through the Lake Elsinore fields even posted a weekday picture of the view while in route to San Diego. Many of us will agree, the wildflowers in bloom this Spring was the best we’ve probably seen yet. So colorful in fact, these colorful fields captured the attention of both tourists and residents simply due to the sheer beauty. The Washington Post’s headline included its vibrancy could even be seen from space!

Now weeks later and we’ve had merely a few days of heat and the temporarily green fields rapidly have turned yellow and brown, drying out. Rumors of windy days to come seem to be a topic of discussion for some. If you’ve lived in Southern California long, you are all too familiar with the Santa Ana warm gusty winds. In some cities and areas, those winds seem to never really die down and while most dangerous in the dry fall months, our summers can become harsh and quickly vulnerable to wildfires. Fire season is much longer due to climate change. The past several years of California’s recent wildfires have totaled BILLIONS of dollars in damages. In efforts to keep in business insurance companies have had to restructure and evaluated high-risk areas and policyholders. So what can we do as home policyholders?

Help preserve California’s beauty by preparing ahead of time. Prepare your home for a potential wildfire now. Remember safety is always first, so have evacuation plans and exits. Important also to note is strive to never miss an insurance premium payment to prevent coverage from lapsing. To be caught without insurance for your home or business property could be devastating. Next, take the time to do a thorough inspection and clear a safety zone all around your structure. Ensure all dried out and dead vegetation is removed along with any rubble or debris and flammable propane tanks or gasoline. Use extreme caution when cooking outdoors and keep firewood piles at a good distance away. If a pop-up fire nears your neighborhood, shut off the gas and extinguish pilot lights. Be fire wise and ready to evacuate prior to the danger of a fire even getting too close. We each can do our part in preventing unintentional fires from forming so that generations to come will continue to take in the picturesque scenery that surrounds us year after year. 

Fire in West Covina leaves behind a thick blanket of soot

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

A lot of work went in to restoring this home after a thick blanket of soot covered absolutely everything in it. #gratefultohelp

This sweet little lady’s home caught fire in the family room. Thankfully the West Covina Fire Department quickly extinguished the flames and saved her home from burning to the ground. Since smoke and soot filled every room our SERVPRO Team we was invited to inspect the extent of the damages. Structurally the house was determined to be sound so our job was to removed the particles of soot and the burnt smell. Our work began by cleaning every item and surface top to bottom. A lot of hard work and a detailed cleaning of every piece of furniture, and precious belonging restored the home. The rich reward and satisfaction of helping one of our community members in their time of need, means the world to us! We love our job!!

How to Prevent Fire in your SOCAL Home

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

Damage happens so quickly! Flames from the oven began to melt this microwave, spreading the awful smell of burnt plastic throughout the home.

Each year fires occurring during the fall and winter seasons injure more than 2500 people and cause more than $390 million in damages.  Please keep your family safe by reviewing with them a few of the ways that we have seen home fires begin:

  • Do not overload electrical outlets, this is SUPER DANGEROUS!
  • Do not leave empty plastic home fragrance plug in cartridges in outlets
  • Avoid burning candles, but if used, keep under close watch
  • Keep candles and lights away from combustible materials like paper and fabric
  • Before leaving for the day, going to bed at night or leaving a room, turn off and unplug all lamps, chargers and electrical appliances
  • Do not charge phones, tablets or laptops on soft surfaces like carpet, beds or sofas, etc.
  • When operating a microwave nevert use paper goods, fabric or metal inside it
  • If cooking food on the stove top or in the oven, do not leave unattended

 Through utilizing Fire & Safety Tips aim to prevent a fire from ever starting in your home. However, accidents do at times occur so please take the time to test your smoke alarms and remember to test annually and replace them every 10 years. If smoke damage does affect your property, please call out the professionals with the expertise & experience to provide complete fire restoration services and odor removal.